FRONT PAGE CONTRIBUTOR
Libya is Not Our Fight
Liberals have a penchant for engaging in the wrong wars and fighting them the wrong way. They are always meek and submissive towards those who represent an existential threat to America, such as Iran, Russia, China, Syria, and Venezuela. When they finally choose to engage in military intervention, it is usually for a dubious cause or for the purpose of some humanitarian aid that lacks a clearly defined mission or end result for our troops. Unfortunately, many Bush Republicans have a predilection to automatically support any military intervention, even if it lacks a clear mission or its original purpose does not represent a substantial threat to our national security.
Somalia was a classic example of a leftist foreign policy folly. There was no reason to involve our military in a humanitarian operation in that part of the world. However, once Somalia became a magnet for terrorists, these hypocritical interventionists refused to deal with the new reality and treat the mission as a military operation. Consequently, our soldiers were unprepared for the ensuing ambush in which over a dozen American soldiers were dragged through the streets of Mogadishu. Instead of bringing the terrorists to justice and turning the place into a waste zone, we summarily retreated. Thus, the very interventionists who were all too eager to engage in an imprudent use of our military were suddenly lacking the temerity to engage the enemy when it really mattered.
Unfortunately, it appears that history might repeat itself in Libya. As with the Egyptian insurgents against Mubarak, the Libyan rebels do not share our values, and as such, do not warrant our overt military support. In addition, unlike Iran and other terrorist supporting states, the Qaddafi regime in Libya does not pose an existential threat to our national security interests.
Undoubtedly, Qaddafi (unlike Mubarak) deserves to suffer demise for his terrorist attacks during the 80′s. However, the ship already sailed on that one. Reagan attempted to assassinate him in the 80′s (at the appropriate time) and was ironically undermined by some of the same European countries that are suddenly calling for Qaddafi’s head 25 years later. France and Spain undermined Reagan’s Operation El Dorado Canyon in 86′ by denying us overflight rights, adding 1,300 extra miles for our bombers. I guess it took them 25 years to conjure up the righteous indignation to take decisive action against Qaddafi.
The bottom line is that while the removal of Qaddafi is a laudatory goal, the fact that he no longer poses a real threat to America, in conjunction with the dubious information concerning the rebels, should be sufficient reason for us to stay out of Libya. The fact that the peaceful loving Egyptians already seem to be embracing the Muslim Brotherhood should give us pause before engaging in any “humanitarian” operation in Muslim countries.
The most unfortunate aspect of Obama’s Libya campaign is that he appears to be exacerbating a wrongheaded intervention with classic liberal tepidness for decisive action. While any Libyan campaign would gratuitously cost us money and potential lives for a fight that is not our own, the one ancillary benefit of such an intervention would be the ouster of Quaddafi. Yet, that is the one goal which the Obama administration seems to be abdicating up front. Admiral Mike Muller, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told Chris Wallace on Sunday that the military operation does not aim to take out Gaddafi:
WALLACE: Admiral, as you understand your mission, not the U.N. resolution, but your orders from the president, have we given up on regime change, ousting Qaddafi from power?
MULLEN: This particular military mission is very focused on ensuring that he can’t kill his civilians and that we are able to support humanitarian efforts.
And then specifically for us, we are currently in the lead to move to a support role over the next few days, and I don’t know exactly when that is going to occur, in terms of the coalition taking the leadership here positions of the operation.
And we are on track to do that. I think to know where this is going long-term from my perspective on the military, from the military perspective, it is not — I haven’t been given a mission beyond the one that I just described.
Cross-posted to Red Meat Conservative