McCain's Libyan Adventure

Here was John McCain earlier this week criticizing Obama for not doing more militarily to overthrow Gaddafi:

This achievement was made possible first and foremost by the struggle and sacrifice of countless Libyans, whose courage and perseverance we applaud. We also commend our British, French, and other allies, as well as our Arab partners, especially Qatar and the UAE, for their leadership in this conflict. Americans can be proud of the role our country has played in helping to defeat Qaddafi, but we regret that this success was so long in coming due to the failure of the United States to employ the full weight of our airpower.

And here’s McCain two years ago promising Gaddafi to help him procure military hardware to make him stronger:

McCain opened the meeting by characterizing Libya’s relationship with the U.S. as “excellent,” to which Liebermann added: “We never would have guessed ten years ago that we would be sitting in Tripoli, being welcomed by a son of Muammar al-Qadhafi.”

“Lieberman called Libya an important ally in the war on terrorism, noting that common enemies sometimes make better friends,” the cable continues. “The Senators recognized Libya’s cooperation on counterterrorism and conveyed that it was in the interest of both countries to make the relationship stronger.”

Part and parcel to that relationship: military hardware, including helicopters and non-lethal weaponry, meant to ensure the security of Tripoli.

You can read the full diplomatic cable here.

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  • I’ve had lots of times where I facepalm after reading about how the latest middle eastern dictator got his weapons thanks to the US handing them over to support his fight against a previous middle eastern dictator who got his weapons from the US.

    I also know an old lady who swallowed a fly…

  • Last I checked, being overthrown is an either/or type of thing. Applying more military power doesn’t cause someone to be overthrown any harder. If you achieve the goal with less force, that’s supposed to be a good thing. Or is McCain just disappointed that we didn’t get to play enough with our extremely expensive toys?

  • Doug Little

    Hang on last time I checked the US transferred operational control over to NATO on March the 24th. I think McCain is confused on who had operational control for the majority of the mission, his statement makes it sound like the US was in control of operations for the entire mission, which would be false.

    I’m pretty sure that the US fulfilled it’s obligation to NATO and provided all the resources that were asked of it.

    Maybe the fact that this was not a unilateral action by the US is confusing Grandpa McCain.

  • scenario

    Some people don’t seem to get that revolutions work best from within. The Libyan people did most of the hard work in their own revolution, as it should be. The U.S. being a strong but quiet supporter works best to make friends. The common people around the region will look at the U.S. as helping the people rather than telling them what to do. Working quietly in the background gets more results in the long run.

    We should not be leading the revolution. The Libyan people should be.

  • D. C. Sessions

    Some people don’t seem to get that revolutions work best from within.

    Define “best.”

    We missed a golden opportunity to provide employment to military contractors replacing the heavy munitions used to level every building in Libya, to contractors rebuilding them afterwards, and to several divisions of occupation troops guarding the new, peaceful, democratic Libya from the terrorists determined to oppose the Libyan people’s desire to be free.

  • The Libyan regime bought a huge amount of ammunition (millions of rounds) from the UK a year or so prior to the revolution. So, if any of the SAS or SBS guys who weren’t on the ground there got shot at, it was almost certainly a bizzare sort of “friendly fire.”

  • “I am a war criminal, I bombed innocent women and children.”

    – John McCain, 60 Minutes 1997

  • scenario

    Best for the people who live in the country, if you want to have the best chance to end up with a stable, reasonably rational and reasonably fair government. Best for the U.S. if your looking for long term stability and trading partners rather than looking for a quick buck and screw the consequences.

    Democracy imposed from without almost never works. People point to WWII but it only worked because the people in Japan and Germany believed that it was their own governments action that lead to the destruction of their countries and they were ready for a change.

  • pacal

    WAsn’t it just a couple of Months ago that certain Republicans opposed the Libyan mission and sought to eliminate any funding for same? Wern’t some of the same sucking up to Gadaffi? Ah but Obama must be blamed for anything hence the hypocrisy.

  • moralnihilist

    Ironic that McCain thinks a few months is long when he supported the 11-year Iraq War.

  • moralnihilist

    Republicans are only anti-war when a Democrat is President.