Foreign Policy

Obama's Fatal Attraction to War

George W. Bush and Barack Obama have more in common than we thought.


It's a good thing we didn't elect John McCain in 2008. A McCain victory would have meant an escalation in Afghanistan, a third war in the Middle East, and a president sending U.S. forces into harm's way heedless of public opinion or congressional power.

Instead, we elected Barack Obama, who firmly rejected military action for purely humanitarian reasons. In his 2002 speech opposing the Iraq war, Obama insisted that though Saddam Hussein "butchers his own people to secure his own power," the war was unjustified.

Hussein, he pointed out, "poses no imminent and direct threat to the United States, or to his neighbors" and "can be contained until, in the way of all petty dictators, he falls away into the dustbin of history."

In 2008, we saw debates between Obama and his rival contenders. Now we are seeing a debate between Obama the candidate and Obama the president.

Candidate Obama was firm in his opposition to the Iraq war. President Obama was against going into Libya before he was in favor of it. The former said the president may not legally strike a country that hasn't attacked or presented a threat to us. The latter bombed a country that had done neither.

Obama's defenders insist that what he did in starting the Libya war is not as bad as what President George W. Bush did in starting the Iraq war. True: In some ways, what Obama did is worse.

Bush made the case for removing Hussein over months. Bush got approval from Congress. Bush acted against a dictator who aspired to acquire nuclear weapons. He invaded a country of large strategic value. He stated plainly the purpose of the invasion.

Obama did none of those things. He rushed into a war, ignoring Congress, to punish a ruler who had abandoned his nuclear ambitions, in a country of peripheral importance.

And he did it without being clear on what would constitute success: just averting the slaughter of the rebels or also toppling Moammar Gadhafi from power. Obama says Gadhafi has to go. The United Nations resolution authorizing the attack says nothing of the sort.

Obama's war doesn't pose the heavy risk of a bloody, long-term occupation. Like Bush's, though, it rests on wishful thinking and ignorance.

The hope is that a no-fly zone will turn the military tide against Gadhafi or at least prevent the rebels from being wiped out. But they do not look capable of taking the fight to him, and a stalemate would require a long-term commitment at odds with Obama's plan to do this in "days, not weeks."

We may find it hard to avoid plunging in further. The Washington Post Wednesday reported "little evidence that the attacks had stopped regime forces from killing civilians." If the air strikes fail at that objective, Obama will find it hard to walk away.

But suppose our allies do win? Obama may be wrong in thinking they would be an improvement. "It could be a very big surprise when Gadhafi leaves and we find out who we are really dealing with," Libya scholar Paul Sullivan of Georgetown University told The New York Times.

What is clear today is that there is only one party in American politics. That is the war party—which, like Major League Baseball, is arbitrarily divided into two groups engaged in the same game. Military restraint is the equivalent of cricket: a quaint, incomprehensible pastime that will never take root here.   

Candidates for the highest office may champion peace and prosperity. But presidents no longer strive for peace. War has become the default response to unpleasant events abroad.

Ronald Reagan invaded Grenada and sent troops to Lebanon. George H.W. Bush invaded Panama, launched the Gulf War, and dispatched forces to Somalia. Bill Clinton invaded Haiti and bombed Serbia.

George W. Bush and Obama have more in common than we thought. In 2000, Bush argued for a humbler role in the world—rejecting nation-building and accusing Clinton of over-stretching our military. Once in office, he abandoned that approach. Obama has been similarly faithless to his own stated policies.

War is the central business of the presidency. Once someone becomes commander in chief of the most powerful military in history—even someone elected on his peace credentials—he is helpless to refrain from using it.

Said Obama in 2002, "I'm not opposed to all wars. I'm opposed to dumb wars." That first sentence was true.


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  1. Good morning reason. Yawn.

  2. Not that I agree with it, but at least “W” had 9/11 to use as an excuse. What excuse does Obummer have? The French?

    1. Merde-let’s hope not. Now that Germany has taken its ships out from under NATO control and Turkey is trying to appear as neutral as possible I wonder what the lefties think about Obama’s incredible “coalition”. Is it enough that Fwance is somehow involved (at least until they can find a way to stab us in the Back)? Do they value Les Frogs so highly that their presence somehow makes all the difference?

      After the multitude of disaster that have marked Fwench military policy for the last 200 years or so, you’d think their value as an “ally” would have been discounted but apparently not to the left.

      1. With Germany levaing, they now have three fewer coalition partners than Bush had in Iraq.

        1. I have a consensus. We must have a consensus.

      2. I think maybe Sarkozy promised Obama a roll with his wife. Not that Sarkozy really cares, she’s probably just a Beard, anyway.

        1. Maybe Sarkozy promised a roll with him? Or maybe the promise of the wife was to Hillary?

      3. Again, are “lefties” behind this military operation? The Daily Show has been panning it all week. The Nation, American Prospect, the Progressive, etc., have all published against it. I’ve seen several Dem congresscritters on TV complaining about it.

        Are these lefties in your head?

        1. I believe he’s talking about the majority of Democrats, not the liberal wing of the Democratic party. Perhaps.

          1. There is no “liberal” wing of the Democratic party. It’s all Pacifists, Progressives and Hawks (with some overlap).

            Liberalism is dead.

            1. Liberalism is dead.

              Not quite, Nietchze. It is known as “Progressivism.” MNG is a noted disciple. Classical Liberalism appears to be in a bit of a schizophrenic funk at the moment.

              1. Indeed – “liberal,” “progressive,” whatever you want to call it. I refuse to call them “progressive,” because they have no new ideas, and the recycled ideas that they use don’t result in anything akin to progress – not on the fiscal front, at any rate.

                1. “I refuse to call them “progressive,” because they have no new ideas”

                  We’re closing in on a century of “progressive” policies in the United States. Maybe it’s time to start calling these fools “conservatives”.

                  1. I was thinking that exact same thing watching the protests in Madison. Here’s all these ‘progressive’ people loudly and desperately trying to cling to old ideas, outmoded ways of doing things, archaic social constructs that have been left behind by history.

                    ‘Progressive’ my ass.

              2. Liberalism is liberalism. I refuse to use the term “classical liberalism” because it admits that we let the progressives co-opt the word. The term has a very specific meaning, as indicated by its latin root.

                1. I guess I should say that liberalism is dead in every powerful political party on earth.

                  1. But they *did* co-opt the word, and if you keep using a word that no longer means to most people what it means to you, you won’t convey the message you are trying to convey.

                    1. Like when my wife’s british co-worker asks someone if they want to go outside and “smoke a fag”. Talk about confusion.

                    2. Liberalism is dead and you are all a bunch of necrophiliacs.

                2. Yeah, and the Reds somehow became the ‘blue’ states? What the fuck happened there? Like some kind of re-branding campaign or something (Phillip Morris is now ‘Altria’).

        2. The apologists for Obama on this are almost exclusively on the left MNG (Andrea Mitchell, Maddow).

        3. There are definitely divisions about this war on the left. The most notable supporters are MSNBC and Daily Kos, with the latter apparently wanting to pretend nothing is happening.

          Stories above Libya on the Rec list at Daily Kos as of 11:00 AM, Wisconsin (twice), Elizabeth Taylor, Conservatism (is destroying America!!1!), gay rights, Michigan, some sex scandal involving a Republican, food stamps, New Hampshire, and Arizona.

          1. Oh, and the diary about Libya is actually in support of the war/police action/humanitarian mission

            1. I posted on a diary the other day that Obama didn’t have the Constitutional authority to launch the Libyan war. I was in the minority to say the least; most of the other commenters were holding that Obama could do it because of his Commander-in-Chiefiness powers.

              I thought for a moment I had stumbled onto Free Republic.

              1. Ugly as it is, if my (foggy) memory of the War Powers act is clear, Obama has something like 30 days of accountable-free bomb-time with his plaything until he has to submit some report to Congress about why he’s playing with his shiny plaything. Technically, its legal I think by that measure.

          2. The Kosby Kidz would still be whining about George W. Bush if he gave them an excuse by popping up in the news with a statement.

        4. Are these lefties in your head?

          No, they’re the large masses of lefties who were howling in the streets over Bush’s ‘illegal war’ as well as The NY Times, WaPo, MSNBC, CBS, NBC, CNN, ABC, etc. who seem to missing on this.

    2. “Not that I agree with it, but at least “W” had 9/11 to use as an excuse.”…..that only a moron would fall for.

      1. well the two towers fell for it!

        1. Too soon, dude. Too soon.

    3. What excuse does Obummer have?

      There’s an election coming up – he wanted to do something to look presidential?

      1. My handlers thought it would make me look strong and decisive. “Mission Accomplished.”

    4. Not that I agree with it, but at least “W” had 9/11 to use as an excuse.

      That makes sense as a reason to invade Afghanistan, where the terrorist group that carried out the attack was based and where the Taliban regime was aiding and harboring them.

      It is harder to make the case for invading Iraq on that basis.

      1. The only problem with the pretext for the war against Afghanistan is the fact that the Taliban offered to turn OBL over to a neutral country for trial – on the one condition that the U.S. government show some evidence implicating him. A more than reasonable position for them to take, under the circumstances.

        And then, of course, Bush et al. did not provide any evidence, since they obviously had none; so they attacked. Something they had planned on doing before 9/11 anyway.

  3. “Instead, we elected Barack Obama, who firmly rejected military action for purely humanitarian reasons. In his 2002 speech opposing the Iraq war, Obama insisted that though Saddam Hussein “butchers his own people to secure his own power,” the war was unjustified.”

    Stop it Chapman, you are killing me. I haven’t laughed this hard in years. What did the man say once “Ev’r feel like ya been cheated”?

    1. What did the man say once “Ev’r feel like ya been cheated”?

      I seem to recall something about certain subset of births occurring every minute or so…

  4. I remember back during the heady days of 2006 when the notorious Joe Boyle used to claim that the Democrats capturing Congress would end the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

  5. Americans like war, I cannot see an
    American president not waging war, its what they are known for. Don’t believe me, check out the three most famous presidents all time in America, all pretty much are defined by their war involvement.

    1. Jefferson was defined by the First Barbary War?

      Which war was Washington waging as president?

      1. I am talking about Washington, Lincoln and Roosevelt, the three most famous presidents from America for the rest of the world. I am not debating whether Jefferson was a great president or not or whether the big 3 were great or not, but those are the most famous.

        Washington is famous for fighting the British, nobody other than American history experts knows what else he did.

      2. “Which war was Washington waging as president?”

        The Whiskey Rebellion, which was really a war against western Pennsylvanians.

  6. This is worth repeating…Apart from the fact that we are talking about a very different military operation here, both in degree and kind, there are other differences. Libya was in much more of a state of open rebellion than Iraq was, and it was occurring within a ‘wave’ of rebellions in the area, which was not true for Iraq. Iraq was sold in part as retaliation for an attack on the US, pre-emption of a predicted future attack on the US, and disarming of WMDs while I’ve heard none of those used as justifications for this. This action is done with UN approval, Iraq was not. Other nations are taking a larger proportional role in this action relative to Iraq. And so on and so on.

    I mean really guys, the differences are very numerous. I have some serious problems with this action (i.e., these kind of operations have a tendency to expand into dangerous adventurism, we should always be reluctant to use force, no approval from Congress, and the timing could not have been worse). But when I come here I see the goofiest opposition I’ve seen in a long time. Never have I seen your anti-Obama hysteria get the best of you as in this case of everyone repeated yelling of “Same as Bush in Iraq, same as Bush in Iraq!” By the logic going around here the War of 1812, WWII, Reagan’s Libya strikes, etc., are “all the same” (after all they all used military force on another nation, about the only thing in common between this action and Iraq).

    1. Iirc prior to the invasion we operated a ‘no fly zone’ over most of Iraq in protection of the Kurds and such. This operation so far strikes me as like that and the opposition to it strikes me as about as equivalent as what existed to the Iraqi version back then.

      1. The NFZ in Iraq was immediately after the First Gulf War. We had already established a NFZ over the entire country and Kuwait, IIRC.

      2. As noted above, the No Fly Zone over Iraq was a continuation of the first Gulf War. No such prior authorization exists for Libya. Try again.

    2. So I take it if there was no UN approval and everything else was the same, then it would not have been ok then ?

      1. That’s one of five differences I note.

        But yes, the more of the differences you pealed away then I’m betting the support would go down.

        1. So let me ask you this MNG, what happens if the Colonel keeps blowing his own people away, as seems to be the case? This no fly-zone is a subsidy of rebels who would’ve lost by now, but not enough for them to win. Then what in your estimation should the Prez do MNG?

          1. Send in some “advisors.” That always makes matters better.

    3. It doesn’t have to be the “same as Iraq” for Obama to be a hypocrite betraying his anti-war supporters.

      First, just because Libya is in open revolt doesn’t make it right to violate their sovereignty. The Kurds were in open revolt in Northern Iraq and operating in a completely autonomous zone in 2003. They were a much more mature rebellion than this. Yet, I don’t recall that being used as a justification to invade Iraq. Lots of countries are fighting revolts at any given time. And it defies credulity for you to claim that the fact justifies international intervention.

      Second, had Obama been more equivocal and more nuanced in their criticism of Bush, you might have a point. But they were anything but nuanced. Obama said straight out that the US should not be involved in wars against countries that do not pose a direct threat to the US. And he said in so many words the President has no right to take military action without Congressional approval. You can’t now come back and say “well as long as we don’t invade and we get UN approval it is okay.”. That is not what Obama said. And that is certainly not what people thought they were voting for.

      Lastly, had Obama actually followed through on a single campaign promise regarding the middle-east, it might be more plausible to give him the benefit of the doubt. But he hasn’t. The man who said “2009 would be the year we ended the war” is still in the spring of 2011 engaged in Iraq and even more engaged in Afghanistan. Really, the only promise he has kept was to concentrate more on Afghanistan. He has done that. But I don’t think that was a promise people like Chapman really wanted him to keep.

      Finally, every day this goes on, the more the “this is not Iraq” rings hollow. We don’t seem to have a goal or an exit strategy. As long as Gadafi is in power, we will have to keep bombing. If the rebels win, it is unclear that they will be able to actually stabilize the country. IF that happens, we could end up doing peace keeping operations. Every day this looks more and more like an open ended commitment. And your claims that this is somehow different in kind from Iraq more and more hollow.

      1. You really want to condemn this action because it is an attack on the Qaddafi regime’s soveriegnty?

        “The Kurds were in open revolt in Northern Iraq and operating in a completely autonomous zone in 2003.”

        Yes, under the protection of our no-fly zone there.

        1. I am not condemning it. I am saying that you can’t on the one hand claim that invading Iraq was a crime and a violation of Iraq’s sovereignty and then on the other hand say this is just fine.

          If you would walk back on your criticims of Iraq, I wouldn’t bust your balls on this so badly.

      2. Don’t forget about Guantanamo. Although not in the Middle East, the operation of the prison was a result of our Middle East policy.

    4. Are people being killed by US weapons, by order of the US President, yes or no, or are you just trying to justify the killing of innocents with no provocation? That’s my opposition. Do you have a problem with that, or are you a war monger like Bush (X 2), Reagan, Obama, Clinton, Johnson, etc?

      I really don’t care about any differences. If 1 person is killed as the result of an unprovoked attack, it is too many. If you want to be an Obama apologist, be my guest.

      If I stick a knife in your back, just a little bit, it’s OK since I didn’t stick it all the way in.

      1. If I stick a knife in your back, just a little bit, it’s OK since I didn’t stick it all the way in.

        Plus, I promise I’ll pull it out next week.

        1. …or maybe the week after that…or maybe the ….

        2. I’ll just put the tip in…don’t worry, baby, I’ll pull out in time…WAIT…what the fuck were we doing again?

      2. “Are people being killed by US weapons, by order of the US President, yes or no, or are you just trying to justify the killing of innocents with no provocation? ”

        Liberals only justify the killing of innocents when it happens from far away, and the targets are defenseless. Cruise missile strikes, long range bombers, Predator drones; these are completely acceptable humanitarian efforts, because bombs don’t discriminate.

        1. and they don’t operate prisons…

    5. Given what Obama said as a candidate, what exactly is it about the differences in the circumstances between Iraq and Libya that makes the action aginst Libya justifiable and the action against Iraq not?

      It is not enough to say that are differences, you have to have some rationale as to why those differences matter.

    6. “Other nations are taking a larger proportional role in this action relative to Iraq.”

      Citation needed.

      The Brits, Italians and Poles (among others) all had pretty large battle groups in Iraq MNG including lots of boots on the ground. Show me some stats on percentage of sorties flown by nation or STFU. Again-this type of claim seems to come right back to the Cheese eating surrender monkeys. Prove it or walk it back.

    7. “This is worth repeating”….

      “Once upon a time” or “this is the truth” would be a better way to start off any of your posts. Your start has three lies in one. Chuckle!

    8. Won’t fly….your boy’s a dickwad!

    9. “Libya was in much more of a state of open rebellion than Iraq was, and it was occurring within a ‘wave’ of rebellions in the …”

      all the more reason not to interfere.

      there is one reason for what he is doing, it is his golden opportunity to bring our military forces under the control of the UN, which is controlled by anti western forces, and the arab league. He knows what he is doing. Unfortunately, our elites support his aims.

    10. The things that this action does have in common with what Bush did in Iraq are the only important things about it. The differences are trivial.

      The illegality, the violation of the Constitution, the immorality…that’s what counts. That other shit only counts to talking heads on cable shows.

      1. I can’t see much immorality in helping people overthrow a thieving dictator and his bunch.

        1. Or in preventing a slaughter by said dictator. However, I don’t support the Libya action.

    11. Well, because some irrelevant differences exist, like one is called ‘Iraq’ and one is called ‘Libya’, that makes this all okay!

  7. Yesterday I asked this question of minarchist, if you support a police force paid for with taxes that would intervene to protect the life and property rights of a family surrounded by a street gang trying to harm them why is it that you would not support a military paid for with taxes intervening to protect the life and property rights of foriegners threatened with a worse threat? The answer I got yesterday was “jurisdiction” which is pretty laughable.

    I can understand thinking intervention so often makes things worse as a general rule we should be against it and that war is the “health of the state” and so libertarians should be wary of it but I can’t see why libertarianism would have to reject intervention across the board.

    1. MNG,

      There are lots of good arugments for humanitarian invervention. I know, I spent the entire decade of the 00s making them. Had you and other Obama supporters not spent the 00s calling everyone who made such arguments war mongers and questioning their motives, people might be more willing to believe such arguments coming from you today.

      1. John is an unprincipled partisan hack.

        1. The really make a poor quality of trolls these days. I am not objecting to Libya you dipshit.

        2. No MNG, the unprincipled partisan hack would be you. John supported the war in Iraq, and it sounds like he supports Libya too. That means his principles are consistent and do not change depending on which party the President belongs too.

    2. No, the answer you got was that a minarchist state has duties to its citizens, namely to protect them against force and fraud, that it does not owe to foreigners. Those duties are what justifies its imposition of taxes to support a police force.

    3. In all seriousness, what do they teach in PoliSci classes?

    4. Which is why minarchism is a contradiction. The word “minarchist” is a derogatory term, coined by the late Samuel E Konkin III.

      …but I can’t see why libertarianism would have to reject intervention across the board.

      The non-aggression axiom is one of the foundations of libertarianism. Perhaps you should familiarize yourself with it.

    5. if you support a police force paid for with taxes that would intervene to protect the life and property rights of a family surrounded by a street gang trying to harm them why is it that you would not support a military paid for with taxes intervening to protect the life and property rights of foriegners threatened with a worse threat? The answer I got yesterday was “jurisdiction” which is pretty laughable.

      Never mind that it’s a false equivalency.

    6. Your local police force enforce, and are subject to, the laws enacted by the civilian government elected by the community. Their is accountability.

      When a nation decides to use force in a foreign country, the invading nation has no regard for local law. The citizens of Libya have no means of redress if they become unhappy with the way the United States, or other members of the “coalition of the willing”.

  8. Well, duh, yeah, this is exactly the type of foreign entanglement that the founders had in mind when they’d discuss the topic – with the bonus of actually being agitated, to a great extent, by the very Europeans that made the founders wary in the first place.

    Skippy’s “make this shit up as we go along” approach, combined with a lack of any real objective or vision other than some imaginary global kumbaya circle gets us a vapid pinball of a ‘leader’ who is willing to follow reported opinion down the garden path well past the point where folks finally pay attention and start asking “what the fuck?”

    Ghaducky hasn’t really done anything (external) towards us since Ronnie demonstrated that we get pissy when you try and kill us in sneaky, underhanded ways. Witness the pants pissing by Gheducky when W went after Saddam (for which, yes, aside from his penchant for feeding his citizens to plastic shredders, and the over estimations of on hand nasty stuff while he actively played ‘hide the ball’ may not be operative or satisfactory ‘reasons’ for committing to a war).

    Gas prices may have gone bannanas, as they generally pick up a cheap excuse to any time the clueless MSM decide to plaster 24/7 meanie pictures of bad things in places with sand and oil, but realistically, Libya isn’t one of our prime suppliers – though they do sell a lot to that buncgh screaming bloody murder, literally, the Euroweenies, kinda sorta making it rise to the ‘national concern’ level for them, if for no other reason than to serve as a convenient distraction for the already outrageous costs they happily pay for energy in general due to their own emo feel good policies than any temporary turmoil from one supply source.

    And why the fuck is it that every other freakin country in the middle east seems to be going through similar social churning, without the vaunted ‘international community’ peeing their pants in public. Well, ok, peeing themselves, as it’s their only real course of action, and they’re at a loss cause it’s beyond their control (oh my) – they certainly didn’t wanna get their bomb them to the stone age on when the dentist running Syria started killing his own folks for being uppity.

    Although it’s just annoying and all, “No blood for Oil”, ya Eurohypocrites. Wear that one for a while. To seem relevant, we’re sure the buffoon in chief round here will help with fashion tips.

  9. Its funny, you go to the military websites they’re all crowing and patting themselves on their backs on how great the War on Libya is going. The fight is so one-sided they’re just making themselves look silly.

    1. The fight is so one-sided they’re just making themselves look silly.

      I hear that one cause of U.S. PTSD in the first Gulf War was the perceived total unfairness of blasting away at sitting ducks.

      1. General Powell used the term “unchivalrist”.

      2. Hog drivers had a lot of fun and were very charitable with their depleted uranium. Your hearing and mine must be tuned differently.

  10. George W. Bush and Barack Obama have more in common than we thought.

    Only took you 2 years to figure that one out?

    1. They have NOTHING in common, George W. Bush served in the National Guard, he underwent the trials of basic training, he even earned the huge HONOR of becoming a pilot (which is not something they grant to anyone).

      Who is Obama? Some community organizer that has never even killed a deer, much less shoot a gun.

      Still, I’m gonna be fair and not call Obama a “chickenhawk” because unlike some people, I don’t think you have to join the military if you support war just like you don’t have to becoming a doctor if you support gastric bypasses or becoming a personal trainer if you like losing weight.

      Different people becoming different things is the beauty of a free country.


          1. My assessment of your trolling. I gave you the benefit of the doubt and assumed you weren’t actually serious about that tangential rant.

  11. “George W. Bush and Barack Obama have more in common than we thought.”
    Not more than I thought….they’re both idiots….but in different ways.

  12. For those of you too young to have seen “Annie Hall” (1977), who are amused by the MSNBC/DNC hypocrisy of supporting (a less well planned) Bush Iraq policy when done by Obama in Libya:

    Alvy Singer: I’m so tired of spending evenings making fake insights with people who work for “Dysentery.”
    Robin: “Commentary.”
    Alvy Singer: Oh really? I had heard that “Commentary” and “Dissent” had merged and formed “Dysentery.”

  13. I haven’t read the thread so maybe someone’s said this, but maybe this is impossible to avoid. Maybe we could elect Ron Paul and he’d still do the same shit. Maybe it’s some psychological inevitability. Not that I’m saying that Obama is so saint-like that it proves this theory by itself. Just seems whoever we put in charge of our military machine can’t resist the urge to use it in far from absolutely necessary ways, whatever the hell they say about doing just that beforehand.

  14. President Monroe warned that we cannot maintain a democracy while we constantly prepare for war. The statement about one party, the War Party, being the only political party we have is only too true.

  15. “…we elected Barack Obama…”

    We is way too many people.

    “…can be contained until, in the way of all petty dictators, he falls away into the dustbin of history.”

    Oh, you mean like Hafez el-Assad? You ever hear about Uday and Qusay?

    “He rushed into a war, ignoring Congress,…”

    The President is the commander in chief. He does not have to ask permission. Congress can either provide funds in the budget or not. The power to declare war is a reference purely to raising armies and issuing letters of marque.

    This article is an example of the amazingly underwhelming analysis of foreign affairs that is the hallmark of libertarians tripping over themselves as they stray into topics they don’t know anything about.

    This Libya thing is stupid, but not for the reasons you give.

    Here are the problems:

    1. There’s nothing in it for us.
    2. We are now the defacto allies of the rebels. Anybody know who these rebels are? No.
    3. What do we do if/when rebel atrocities come to light?
    4. What if Ghaddafi is able to drag this thing out for a long time? (He doesn’t need control of the air to do that…)

    In order to be valuable as a potential ally to countries that actually matter, the United States needs to have credibility with regard to capabilities and commitments. Therefore, we now have a vested interest in the success of the rebellion in Libya. This may require more than just no-fly zones. Given NATO performance following the collapse of Yugoslavia in the 1990s, it is pretty much a sure thing that this will mean a large scale U.S. stability and support operation over a long period of time – IF THIS THING DRAGS OUT

  16. It’s all Hillary’s, the Frenchy’s, or the Italiano’s fault. I was lied to by all of them.

  17. Obama couldn’t wait to get formal congressional approval because the Libyan government was going to massacre the opposition movement. It’s not an American war. It’s a NATO operation acting with UN approval.

    1. You tell ’em, Andy. Next stop, Syria! Or was it Saudi Arabia!?

      1. The last guy was George W, I’m BushPig.

  18. I agree with the article, but a few points should be rectified: Clinton not only bombed Serbia and invaded Haiti. He also kept bombing Iraq relentlessly for years and kept sanctions which led to the death of a large number of Iraqians. Iraq was forbidden to import even some of the most necessary medicaments causing incredible suffering in the country. Many people who had moral principles were against this, even some who were in charge of the sanctions. About this theme I’d reccomend the small book by John Pilger – also very well informed and well written – The New Rulers of the World. It’s also doubtful, or simply wrong that Saddam had atomic ambitions. At the time the Gulf war begun he was ready to complain with any international demand.

  19. pan am 103 – about time:…..ster-libya…..attentatet

  20. Michael Lind, a certified LBJ liberal, has a great article on why Obama’s invocation of the UN as a basis for this war is illegal and unconstitutional. He points out that several provisions of the UN Charter were never ratified by the US and that a President can’t bypass Congress by referral to the UN since no legal authority exists to do so. I accessed his piece on the website but it may be available elsewhere.
    Obviously we have a One Party War System as Chapman writes so the debates
    over which brand of interventionist imbeciles, GOP or Dems, is irrelevant.
    Ron Paul is the only one who an advocate of individual rights can support for President. The GOOPERS like Palin, et al, are worse than Obama.
    Time for our movement to escape the clutches of the Kochtopus, the Brandenroid Cultists, the Hospers’ Closet Repubs and the Radical Right lunatics like Beck, Hannity, Savage
    and Rush.
    Andrew, Presidents can ALWAYS wait to do the legal and Constitutional thing.
    Since the Saudis are slaughtering Bahrainis as well as their own opposition with FedGov approval,please spare me the BS PR line of how we have to stop Libyan slaughters. We’d be in every African country tonight if we took that world cop foolosophy seriously.

  21. Maybe its not so much that Bush and Obama are alike, its that events invariably pull all the presidents into the same place.

    Personally, I think the long term benefits of the Iraq war will far outweight the costs. Could be this Libyan action is simply a continuation of what was put into place some time ago, namely the democratization and modernization of a dangerously dysfunctional part of the globe.

    War for oil? Why not? Let’s see what happens after 2 months without it. Six billion savages at each other’s throats.

  22. JDL, you aptly named. WHAT benefits ?
    Bush lied about everything in Iraq, the WMD’s, the AlQueda ties, the “threats” to ANY other country, you name it. We installed an Islamic, pro-Iran government there and oil prices since then have gone through the roof.
    “Six billion savages” ????? There are only five million Jews in Occupied Palestine and surely it is unfair to call them all “savages.”
    “Democratization” what does that even mean ? We are a Republic here, not a collectivist democracy.
    “Modernization” is that a euphemism for hi-tech mass murder ?
    The most dysfunctional part of the globe is right here in the UASSA.
    Eddie Locke has a job opening for you over at the Ayness Rand Institute.

  23. This movie has some nike sb skunk dunks for sale of the same flaws I saw in another attempt at a faithful adaptation of a work of fantastic literature long thought unfilmable, Zach Snyder’s 2009 version of Watchmen…That is, it kobe 7 for sale struck me as a series of filmed recreations of scenes from the famous novel

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