There are no facts to support any explanation Obama will give tonight.
France “decided to assume its role, its role before history” to stop Colonel Gaddafi’s “murderous madness,” said French President Nicolas Sarkozy. Any war premised on French pretentions to glory won’t end well.
President Obama eagerly hitched us to Sarko’s team, insisting we won’t take any leadership role, without a word of explanation to the American people about why it was worth risking American blood and treasure.
In a prime-time speech tonight, we are promised, Obama will explain all. Meanwhile, thanks to an agreement yesterday, Sarkozy’s Triple Entente No-Foam NATO Latte (Britain, France and the U.S., joined by whichever hangers-on want to control decisions) will maintain the no-fly zone over Libya for as long as it takes or ninety days, whichever comes first.
Obama won’t say we are at war tonight because, according to his new spokesman, it’s not war: it’s a “kinetic military action.” (Andy McCarthy, with characteristic brilliance, now suggests “jihad” should be referred to as “kinetic Islam.”)
We cannot know when or how Obama’s Libyan kinetic military action of choice will end because, to be charitable, nobody knows what the hell we’re doing. Least of all our president.
America went to war as the junior partner in a coalition with the Brits and the French. Sarko was so eager to turn the French air force loose in Libya that he recognized a “government” of the Libyan rebels before “our” coalition was formed, and French bombs were falling before you could say “fromage.”
One plucky French pilot scored the first kill on Thursday. The first news reports said that a Libyan aircraft was shot down for violating the no-fly zone.
Later reports confirmed the kill. A French fighter had destroyed a Libyan G-2 Galeb trainer. Which had just landed when the French pilot fired an air-to-ground missile at it, demonstrating the bravery, skill, and daring we expect of the gallant Gauls.
At this point, NATO — according to Anders Fogh Rasmussen, its secretary general — will take command of and enforce the entire no-fly zone and arms embargo efforts and “… protect civilians and civilian-populated areas under threat of attack from the Gaddafi regime.” He added, “NATO will implement all aspects of the UN Resolution. Nothing more, nothing less.”
Which, if you’ll pardon the expression, leaves everything about the no-fly zone up in the air, and apparently excludes any anti-Gaddafi operations. Our aircraft are supposed to protect innocent civilians (if any such there be, a highly dubious assumption) from Gaddafi’s forces (unidentifiable in civilian garb) and then apparently leave old Moammar alone to sulk in his tent.
What rules of engagement will be imposed on our airmen to accomplish this has apparently been left to the imagination of NATO diplomutts to decide another day.
It is impossible to understand Obama’s case to enter this war, but when you hear his cabinet members and senior congressional Democrats explain it, the impossible turns into the bizarre. Congressional Republicans and at least one Republican presidential aspirant haven’t had the courage or the smarts to say Barry was just plain wrong.
On ABC and NBC yesterday, Defense Secretary Gates said that Libya posed no threat to the United States and that intervention was not a vital national security interest. Hillary Clinton, smiling beside Gates, talked about how wonderful it was to have the international coalition behind us. (Way behind us.)
Pressed on another show to justify the war, Senate Armed Services Committee chairman Carl Levin (D-Mich.) couldn’t think of any reason to have American lives at risk, so he defaulted to the idea that the “Arab street” was happy with us for doing that. Which sentiment was echoed by ol’ Joe Lieberman on Fox News Sunday. The less said the better about what John McCain and Newt Gingrich said.
McCain, of course, is rooting for regime change in classic neocon fashion and Newt — having been on three sides of this two-sided issue — managed a McCainesque level of incoherence. Why can’t anyone on the Republican side say the obvious: if it’s not in the interest of the United States to be in Libya, we shouldn’t be?
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?