Don't want to be a one-note fanatic, but I remain distressed by the intervention into Libya. Woke up early this morning; the TV news was full of video of cruise missiles and bombers heading towards Libya; some footage of bomb damage at Qaddafi's headquarters and of blasted Libyan military gear.
All this leads to the following reflections; perhaps a bit disjointed, and I apologize for that.
To begin, today's news reminds me, once again, that without a doubt the West has achieved an unprecedented mastery of the technical side of warfare. By the West, of course, I really mean the USA. The US military, with whom I have worked all over the world, remains the most amazing organization on the planet. That is why I get very upset over an abuse of that organization, and this intervention is just that.
Our terrific military is being called upon to execute a mission that doesn't make sense. Unlike Saddam, the Taliban, or Al Qaeda, crazy old Qaddafi posed no threat to the US homeland or to our interests abroad. One of the great achievements of the Bush administration was that it defanged Qaddafi-- dismantled his nuclear weapons program and turned him into a valuable source of information on Al Qaeda. That administration basically treated Qaddafi as though he were an aged sex offender, put him under house arrest and tagged him with an ankle monitor. Qaddafi, once the darling of the left, became just a cranky old man with an odd fashion sense selling his oil to whomever wanted it. Sort of an Arab Joan Rivers selling his wares on late night TV-- he did seem to wear a lot of that Joan Rivers jewelry, by the way. We didn't buy much oil from him--only about 0.3% of our consumption comes from Libya--but the Euros did. So we had an imperfect solution in an imperfect world.
Then, Qaddafi got himself a rebellion. OK. People in Libya are unhappy. OK. He is a crazy gangster and responded like a gangster. OK. And our interests are what? Are they so pressing as to justify Obama's incredible abuse of Presidential power? Not even an attempt to get Congress, much less the American people on board? How do we justify sending our people into harm's way, spending hundreds of millions of dollars, probably billions by the time this is "over," however, that's defined? What is the mission? No Fly Zone, or blast Qaddafi into the arms of 72 virgins? What result will make any difference to American national interests? What are our interests in this?
A slight digression, if you will. This Libya business has served as a reminder that we have a President who is a typical product of our "finest" universities. In other words, he is glib, narcissistic, feels entitled, and is intellectually lazy. Despite all the hype to the contrary, I very much doubt Obama reads or reflects much. We have a U.S. President, totally ignorant of America's history and of world realities, bored by the duties and responsibilities of the Presidency, but enamored of its perks--he launches a war as he goes off on an eminently postponable trip to Brazil. He needs a distraction from his failed domestic policies, so why not a little PR burnishing on the international scene? A war is good for that; war leaders look tough, and there are always those photos with returning service personnel.
Obama's intervention, however, is similar in one way to those carried out in Grenada, Panama, and Iraq. It shows, once again, the consequences of the sustained assault by the left on our ability to act quietly and cheaply to take out "offenders" such as Maurice Bishop, Manuel Noriega, Saddam Hussein, or, now, Qaddafi. We, in effect, have no ability to act covertly. We have no effective intelligence agency, certainly not that bureaucratic, lawyer-stuffed monstrosity of political correctness out at Langley, Virginia called the CIA. That whole thing needs to be dismantled and built anew. No, instead of being able to pay some disgruntled Colonel a couple of million bucks into an offshore account to take out some madman--that would be "selective targeting" and that is wrong--we have to launch massive military assaults that kill thousands and cost billions. Thank you liberals, thank you very much.
So, we will continue to kill Libyans in the name of protecting them, we will put our brave military at risk to benefit the EU, do violence to our laws and constitutional procedures, and spend lots and lots for no discernible US interest. Thank you liberals, thank you very much.