Six Months, No (domestic) Casualties, Freedom…what’s not to love?

Libya’s interim leader predicts Sirte victory by end of week – CSMonitor.com http://www.csmonitor.com/World/terrorism-security/2011/1011/Libya-s-interim-leader-predicts-Sirte-victory-by-end-of-week

BBC reports that the NTC will declare Libya liberated once they fully capture Sirte, even in Mr. Qaddafi is still at large. Although the desert town of Bani Walid also remains in Qaddafi loyalist hands, the rebels do not consider it critical for declaring victory because it does not lead to any escape routes through which Qaddafi could flee the country. Rebel fighters incurred heavy casualties in the fight for Sirte. Loyalist fighters used snipers and mortar barrages to pick them off as they advanced on loyalist bastions in the city, such as the main Sirte hospital and the Ouagadougou conference center, which Qaddafi built for hosting regional summits, according to the BBC.

I’m pretty sure this is how a completely different scenario was *supposed* to play out.  Pretty wild what competent leadership can do.

Iraq Libya Bush Obama Apples Oranges Fruit and War (and footnotes regarding freedom [x])

So it looks like we are at war again. 

Or in an unusual style I should say “we” [1] are at “war”[2] again [3].

-fin-

[1] We, the United Nations, of which I, as a United States citizen, am kinda a member. 

[2] It’s more of a humanitarian effort cloaked in war robes.  Well, let’s not cut dice here…what do we call this?  I think using “war”, flat out, is a bit extreme, especially referring to only the U.S. and Libya, and forgetting Europe and the Arab League, all of which are part of this…action.  This is a different type of thing [7], and I prefer it much to the other.[4]

[3] The U.N. is also intervening in other places….link…that needs to be updated…[5] 

[4] Iraq.  This is not the same thing as Iraq.  This is not a year of build-up, a parade of fake evidence, a cascade of fear-mongering, 500,000 300,000 (after Rummy got a hold of it) troops, multiple fleets, U.S. tanks rolling across the sand…this is just not the same thing.   This is a place called Libya.[6] 

[5] It’s Wikipedia, do it yourself.

[6] Libya.  It’s right here.  Between Egypt and Tunisia.   You might think, hey, wait, it’s barely between Egypt and Tunisia.  Well…yea…it does hang down a bit.  You remember hearing about the vastness of the Sahara Desert?  Yea…that’s what’s hanging there. “Libya” the piece of land, is better understood as the trade route by the Mediterranean connecting Egypt and Tunisia.  Note the bright line in the same place here, right along the sea.  Benghazi, the city that Kwudaffee [sp], was about to destroy, is right on that curveback part of the Med, where you can take a shortcut over sea.

The Tunisian people, just rose up,  and overthrew their authoritarian dictator.

The Egyptian people followed suit, rose up, and the overthrew their authoritarian dictator.

The Libyan people rose up, and got bombed and sniped and who knows what else.

[7] This “action” as I mentioned, falls into what I consider the “just war” category.  It is war based on justice.  Which, in pretty much every case, calls for a great deal of restraint, which we have shown in this case.

I am greatly saddened in this regard by Iraq.  On the one hand, great, I’m very glad that everyone now (welcome to the club, Republicans) is concerned about the cost and validity [8] of war.   I think Iraq re-taught that lesson to a lot of people.   On the other hand, I think that lesson came with it the somewhat cynical notion that all use of force, particularly by the United States, is “war” of the same caliber and just-ness as the one in Iraq.

They aren’t.  That’s the entire point of “just war” theory.  The notion that there is a time to unleash the Hogs. [8]

 [8] The President of the United States through the War Power Act of 1973 gets to do so when, and I quote…

SEC. 2. (c) The constitutional powers of the President as Commander-in-Chief to introduce United States Armed Forces into hostilities, or into situations where imminent involvement in hostilities is clearly indicated by the circumstances, are exercised only pursuant to (1) a declaration of war, (2) specific statutory authorization, or (3) a national emergency created by attack upon the United States, its territories or possessions, or its armed forces.

That (2) up there, in this case, is the U.N. Security Countil resolution, adopted 10-0 by that body.  The U.S. is a signatory to the U.N. treaty, so here comes the Constitution..

This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof; and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land; and the Judges in every State shall be bound thereby, any Thing in the Constitution or Laws of any State to the Contrary notwithstanding.

Emphasis mine.  BTW, we have veto power in the U.N., so it’s not like “they” could ever order us to attack anyone we didn’t want to.   So that’s how the President “gets” to do this.  When somebody takes a shot at us, Congress tells him to, one of our treaties authorizes it (i.e. an attack on a NATO ally), or if he’s feelin’ really dirrty, whenever he wants.   Here’s the rub…

It is important to note that since the War Powers Resolution’s enactment, over President Nixon’s veto in 1973, every President has taken the position that it is an unconstitutional infringement by the Congress on the President’s authority as Commander-in-Chief. The courts have not directly addressed this question.

Remember folks, the President controls the Army, the Congress controls the purse strings.  That *is* the check and balance.  The rest is largely show and politics (and we get to vote out either next time ’round).    Congress has told itself it can cut off fuding after 60 (or 90) days.   It takes Congress a lot longer to do anything in most cases, hence the wiggle room written into pretty much every law concerning this stuff (if you read the law technically, simultaneously assassinating every member of Congress in an inconspicuous manner would make it impossible for the U.S. to ever strike back, as it violates none of the rules specifically listed in [8 – Sec.2.(c)(3)].)

All that being said, comparing this entire situation, from start to [current], isn’t  anything like Iraq.  If, perhaps, the people of Afghanistan had risen up and overthrown the Taliban, and the people of Iran has risen up and overthrown their Theocracy (as they’ve tried a couple times), and the people of Iraq rose up…and got gunned down by Saddam Hussein…then…perhaps then, we’d be talking about the same thing (at least it would be closer goegraphically and geo-politically.)   

Hindsight gives us this insight, for if Iraq had been the just war it was claimed, we would have a) found the WMD, b) been welcomed and c) the mass killing would have stopped by now.  We didn’t, they weren’t, and they haven’t.  We’ll know this about Libya much sooner [it won’t take 3 years for everyone to notice that if it’s going to fester for another 1o], but as it stands one can’t say the rest.

Iraq was spoiled from the start, to use it as a template for judging all war is folly.   Here, we seem currently and to me at least, to be on the righteous path.   A priest should not stand by and watch a slaughter he could stop with little effort, I daresay I don’t understand how a President could either.  

In this sense the apples and oranges can be compared on their own merits and not just lumped into that big basket of fruit called “war”.

[x] It ain’t free, but it is very much worth fighting for.  Like oil.  Which, like freedom, makes life flow much more smoothly.   Take that as you will.   If the right wants to take up the “war for oil” mantra, things will go uber-bizaroo and Trump might actually win (and have an army to fire people with).

[we’ll see how long this goes on.  Obama doesn’t seem to get into fights unless he knows he’s going to win, and he pulled the trigger here just about as soon as the i’s were crossed and t’s dotted.

More Republicans doubt Obama’s Every Move

(Reuters) – A growing number of Republicans are criticizing President Barack Obama for failing to lay out a clear plan on Libya and mounting costly military operations at a time when America’s budget deficit is gaping.

Republicans largely backed Obama’s strategy in Afghanistan. But senior party figures including House of Representatives Speaker John Boehner, House Armed Services Committee Chairman Howard McKeon and House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairwoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen are questioning the Libya air assaults.

via More Republicans doubt Obama’s Libya action | Reuters.

Personally I’m surprised it took them this long into the news cycle.  I mean, that’s like nearly 24 hours.

Ros-Lehtinen expressed concern that Obama has not yet clearly defined for the American people what vital U.S. national security interests are at stake in Libya.

Good point.  I mean…WTF…seriously people??   We couldn’t celebrate Egypt freeing herself, for fear of a group that haunts Glenn Beck’s “happy” nightmares, and now we can’t even help out as a guy we’ve fenced with for 20 years opens fire on his own people….and they stand up and fire back?

C’mon folks.   Can we give this one a week before someone drops the quagmire bomb?   (I’m guessing no…the Palin/Bachmann rhetorical multiplier is in effect)

Regardless….glad the U.N. was able to pull the trigger…not sure how much it will really do.  Air power doesn’t win wars, it can execute or stop mass genocide pretty good, but a scalpal, a sword, and a spear it is not.   We  can’t really offer air support to a rebel offensive, so the lack of Kwadaphi’s [sp] air power doesn’t mean all that much to his defense.

Waiting him out isn’t very politically tenable either.    I’m PDS (pretty damn sure) Obama is going to do the wise thing here and hand this one off to someone in Europe, quickly.  The derp will rise anyway, but it will be less than if he tries to take over command personally (not his style at all, and this isn’t really our fight…Europe needs Libyan oil a lot more than we do.).

I don’t expect Kharfaldi [sp] to last nearly as long as S. Hussein.