Supporting the President on Libya
is not popular, but it ought to be considered.
Strief has an excellent post, and many comments follow it. I considered adding my own, but thought they might be lost in the fray.
I have to wonder why The President is in Rio while another airstrike is going on, but I remember that President Reagan had to be woken up to be informed that we had put a bomb through Gaddafi’s bedroom window on his orders.
The post remembers Clinton’s expedition in the Balkans, and makes some very good points as to what might happen after an intervention. Unfortunately, the results predicted more accurately describe what resulted after Gulf War I, when the Bush I administration abandoned Iraq’s Kurds in the North and Shia in the South. Both, for re-election political expediency that resulted in disaster for all concerned: the Kurds, the Shia, and Republican President George H.W. Bush.
Many of the comments demean President Obama, and I cannot but agree with some. But he is the President, the Commander-in-Chief, and no matter how long it takes him to make a decision, our Armed Forces are pledged to support him. In international measures, we should support The President, as well.
It would help if he outlined some goals: we are only there to take out Gaddafi’s air defenses and ground his airplanes. The French (who made the first strike) can blow up his tanks outside of Benghazi (they did); the Brits can launch almost as many cruise missile as we (they did), and French and British aircraft can bomb the heck out of installations, with help from B-2s out of Missouri (we all did).
The Qataris are sending aircraft, as are the UAE … the Saudis and Egyptians are preoccupied, although the Egyptians “cleaned Gaddafi’s clock” in 1977, and could easily do so again.
With a level playing field, perhaps Libya’s rebels could win … they certainly have the spirit. But the US and Europe will have to live with the result, and have perhaps taken too long to become involved.
The end-options are simple: deal with a leader who has been less than rational for forty years and now hates the West, or deal with rebels of varying backgrounds who may or may not appreciate “foreign” assistance.
In the meantime … no matter internal US politics, it is important to support The President of the United States of America, our country’ interests, and our military in foreign affairs.