For resolution on Obama’s Libya policy one has to turn to Rep. Louie Gohmert’s effort, which garnered 87 Republican votes.
To put things in perspective, Muammar Gaddafi had a better week than Anthony Weiner. Perspective is in very short supply on President Obama’s “kinetic military action” in support of the NATO effort to forestall something to protect somebody and maybe accomplish that regime change thingy.
Last week, House Speaker John Boehner offered a resolution on Obama’s Libya policy intended to assert influence upon the expiration of the War Powers Resolution limitation on presidential power to commit troops to combat without congressional authorization. The resolution Boehner offered — about which more in a moment — was so bowdlerized that it brought to mind the scene in Oliver when the hungry waif held out his porridge bowl to ask, “Please, sir, can I have some more?”
A few facts about our military commitment to the Libya op illustrate the problem. We are — again — engaged in a limited war to accomplish a stated mission that cannot be achieved without succeeding in another unstated mission which is larger and harder than our leadership is willing to pursue.
President Obama justified our intervention in the Libyan revolt on humanitarian grounds and said it would take weeks, not months. That was three months ago, and no end is in sight. He and the other NATO leaders have always said that success cannot be achieved without Gaddafi’s removal. And because neither Obama nor his partners — France’s Sarkozy and Britain’s Cameron — have admitted the dependency of one mission on the other, they have led us into the worst sort open-ended fuzzy-goaled “limited war,” in which American strategic interests in the Middle East were not implicated before it began.
According to a congressional source who had heard the Obama administration’s briefing on Libya last week, American forces form the backbone of the NATO task force.
We are operating, in support of the NATO mission, fighters, ISR (intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance), electronic warfare and aerial refueling aircraft, one destroyer and a number of drone aircraft. Our aircraft represent 24% of the total NATO force and have flown 27% of all sorties. (Our tanker guys, God bless ‘em, are again pulling disproportionate duty, having flown over 75% of the refueling missions.)
All of this is at a cost of about $2 million a day. According to my source, the Pentagon puts the total cost of the Libya operation at $663.7 million as of mid-May. (That total seems far too low, considering we’ve fired about 150 Tomahawk cruise missiles at Libya so far, at a cost of about $1 million each.)
It’s fair to ask — now that our guys have been in action for over two months — just what are we getting for that investment? The answer is: nothing.
As I wrote when Obama commenced this charlie foxtrot, we have no interest in Gaddafi’s demise sufficient to justify the risk of American lives and the open-ended commitment of forces to the NATO operation.
It was less than three months ago when NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen assured the world that the NATO mission over Libya would only enforce the UN Resolution to “protect civilians and civilian-populated areas under threat of attack from the Gaddafi regime.” He said, “NATO will implement all aspects of the UN Resolution. Nothing more, nothing less.” From that false premise, NATO has proceeded to half-heartedly attempt to kill Gaddafi, resulting in the deaths of some of his relatives and increasing his resolve to remain in power.
Last weekend, having failed to remove Gaddafi, NATO decided to commit attack helicopters to combat. That raises the ante considerably: helicopters are far more vulnerable to antiaircraft weapons than fast-moving jets. British Defense Minister Liam Fox denied that this was NATO’s “plan B,” saying that the deployment of attack helos was just “…a logical extension of what we had already been doing.”
Fox’s denial rings entirely hollow. Limited wars — fought with limited weapons employed under restrictions that deny the opportunity to strike a fatal blow at the enemy — always evolve in their objectives from limited success to accepted failure.
In their briefing to Congress, the Obama team cited four reasons to justify our continuing involvement. The four reasons boil down to these: that if we pull back from the Libya operation, our NATO allies may pull out of Afghanistan sooner than we’d like; that if we end our Libya commitment, other Middle Eastern dictators will believe they can outlast us; and that leaving Gaddafi in place would enable him to destabilize Egypt.
Obama’s worry about Afghanistan is only that NATO’s shrinking presence will lead to a crisis there that could make him look bad before the 2012 election. Britain — almost alone among the NATO nations in providing troops that actually fight in Afghanistan — may begin a quick pullout this year.
The President shouldn’t worry about encouraging terrorist dictators to wait us out. They’ve done it successfully in Iraq (Iran principally, and Syria as well) and in Afghanistan (Iran, and the ever-helpful Pakistanis). In a decade of war against terrorists, only one of their sponsors — the late and unlamented Saddam Hussein — has been persuaded to cease sponsoring terrorism.
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.
The debacle of this president’s administration is both a cause and a symptom of the decline of American values. Unless Congress impeaches him, that decline will go on unchecked. An eminent jurist surveys the damage and assesses the chances for the recovery of our culture.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
The American Christmas, like the songs that celebrate it, makes room for everybody under the rainbow. Is that why so many people seem to be hostile to it?
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?
H/T to National Review Online