War #3

We started our third war.   The United Nations called for a no-fly zone in Libya, to try to stop dictator Moammar Gaddafi’s military strikes against Libyans protesting his rule.  This time NATO allies are playing a big role, with the French launching airstrikes against Gaddafi’s tanks.  (How do aircraft attacking ground targets, other than air defense sites, relate to the mandate of establishing a no-fly zone?)  But the U.S. is in it too, launching 112 Tomahawk missiles against Libya, as well as co-ordinating coalition efforts from American bases.  See  International coalition launches strikes on Libya – The Washington Post.

But here is the problem:  It may be too late.   Gaddafi may have already crushed the revolt.  His forces had already entered Benghazi, the city of a million people that was the center of the uprising.  What good would a no-fly zone, or even airstrikes do, to stop the urban warfare that is now taking place in that city?

President Obama has ruled out sending ground troops.  (Was that wise to let Gaddaffi know that?)  It looks like the Europeans are going to do the heavy lifting–in addition to the French, the Danes, the Spanish, and others have sent in their American-made F-18s and are preparing them for action–while we launch our missiles from afar to prevent any American casualties.  (Is this  Obama style of warfare, in which we no longer lead but follow and let other countries do the fighting for us, worthy of our country?  Or is it about time other countries police the world and we start holding back for once?)

But what will the coalition do if the rebellion is put down and Gaddafi is still in power?  Try to overthrow him, as the Americans did with his nearest counterpart, the late Saddam Hussein?  Which would surely require sending in ground troops after all?  Or just give Gaddafi  his victory?

UPDATE: American jets have attacked Libyan ground forces

About Gene Veith

Professor of Literature at Patrick Henry College, the Director of the Cranach Institute at Concordia Theological Seminary, a columnist for World Magazine and TableTalk, and the author of 18 books on different facets of Christianity & Culture.

  • Carl Vehse

    While one is tempted to ironically refer to the recent use of U.S. military force in Libya as “Hillary’s War,” Congress has not officially declared war, nor has Congress yet authorized the use military force under the War Powers Act of 1973.

    Now the War Powers Act of 1973 does allow the President to use military force without first consulting Congress in a national emergency caused by a foreign attack on the United States, its territories or possessions, or its military forces. However, in committing American military forces under this condition, the President must, within forty-eight hours after initiating military action, submit a formal report to Congress. I am not aware of any “national emergency” having been declared in the past few days.

  • Carl Vehse

    While one is tempted to ironically refer to the recent use of U.S. military force in Libya as “Hillary’s War,” Congress has not officially declared war, nor has Congress yet authorized the use military force under the War Powers Act of 1973.

    Now the War Powers Act of 1973 does allow the President to use military force without first consulting Congress in a national emergency caused by a foreign attack on the United States, its territories or possessions, or its military forces. However, in committing American military forces under this condition, the President must, within forty-eight hours after initiating military action, submit a formal report to Congress. I am not aware of any “national emergency” having been declared in the past few days.

  • Carl Vehse

    One can read details about the limitations and differences in various types of military conflicts in “How America Goes to War: The President, American Laws, & U.S. Military Intervention into Foreign Conflicts“, by Dr. Almon Leroy Way, Jr. (The Progressive Conservative, An Online Journal of Political Commentary & Analysis, Volume II, Issue # 1, December 31, 1999)

  • Carl Vehse

    One can read details about the limitations and differences in various types of military conflicts in “How America Goes to War: The President, American Laws, & U.S. Military Intervention into Foreign Conflicts“, by Dr. Almon Leroy Way, Jr. (The Progressive Conservative, An Online Journal of Political Commentary & Analysis, Volume II, Issue # 1, December 31, 1999)

  • mark†

    If the UN, but not the Congress has authorized this was, is this a just war? Has anyone in this administration considered whether this would be a just war?

  • mark†

    If the UN, but not the Congress has authorized this was, is this a just war? Has anyone in this administration considered whether this would be a just war?

  • Carl Vehse

    Define the meaning of “just war” wrt the United States.

  • Carl Vehse

    Define the meaning of “just war” wrt the United States.

  • Cincinnatus

    I think we should send no more than 100 soldiers who are only allowed to unload boxes from trucks and who are definitely not allowed to wield or employ firearms of any kind. Then Europe will know what it feels like. And it will be healthy for our budget.

    To the actual issue: I am firmly opposed to our involvement in both Iraq and Libya (and I’m not so keen on our deployments to Afghanistan, South Korea, Japan, Germany, ad infinitum, either), but it seems to me that, of the two, Iraq has or had the more compelling claim to being a “justifiable” war, preemptive though it was: Iraq was believed (incorrectly as it happens, but the owl of Minerva only flies at dusk, etc.) to possess weapons that were of direct threat to American interests and a dictator who was fond of antagonizing neighboring nations and terrorizing his own people (gassing the Kurds, etc.). Libya only has the latter, and on an arguably smaller scale than Saddam’s regime. So this is where I ask the seemingly obvious but almost-always-ignored question: out of all the petty tinpot dictatorships in Africa (not to mention the rest of the globe), what makes Libya so special that it deserves the involvement of America’s military? Is it because Qaddafi boasts oil while Congo, Sudan, Rwanda, etc., didn’t/don’t? Is Obama merely trying to appear “strong” in the face of Carterian perceptions? What’s the motive here? What does the United States stand to gain and what crucial American interests are at stake?

    Let’s also put this in budgetary perspective: 110 Tomahawk missiles were fired by the United States in a matter of minutes into Libyan airspace. Each individual missile costs $756,000. Say what you will about NPR, but we could have plugged it’s nearly $500,000,000 deficit nearly twice over if we had let Europe meaninglessly bombard a Third World desert instead. Substitute your own ailing government program of choice that actually contributes something to American public life for NPR. That’s an unfathomable amount of money for something that, to me, seems exceptionally trivial and chauvinistic so far, with only a tenuous connection to national security, if any.

  • Cincinnatus

    I think we should send no more than 100 soldiers who are only allowed to unload boxes from trucks and who are definitely not allowed to wield or employ firearms of any kind. Then Europe will know what it feels like. And it will be healthy for our budget.

    To the actual issue: I am firmly opposed to our involvement in both Iraq and Libya (and I’m not so keen on our deployments to Afghanistan, South Korea, Japan, Germany, ad infinitum, either), but it seems to me that, of the two, Iraq has or had the more compelling claim to being a “justifiable” war, preemptive though it was: Iraq was believed (incorrectly as it happens, but the owl of Minerva only flies at dusk, etc.) to possess weapons that were of direct threat to American interests and a dictator who was fond of antagonizing neighboring nations and terrorizing his own people (gassing the Kurds, etc.). Libya only has the latter, and on an arguably smaller scale than Saddam’s regime. So this is where I ask the seemingly obvious but almost-always-ignored question: out of all the petty tinpot dictatorships in Africa (not to mention the rest of the globe), what makes Libya so special that it deserves the involvement of America’s military? Is it because Qaddafi boasts oil while Congo, Sudan, Rwanda, etc., didn’t/don’t? Is Obama merely trying to appear “strong” in the face of Carterian perceptions? What’s the motive here? What does the United States stand to gain and what crucial American interests are at stake?

    Let’s also put this in budgetary perspective: 110 Tomahawk missiles were fired by the United States in a matter of minutes into Libyan airspace. Each individual missile costs $756,000. Say what you will about NPR, but we could have plugged it’s nearly $500,000,000 deficit nearly twice over if we had let Europe meaninglessly bombard a Third World desert instead. Substitute your own ailing government program of choice that actually contributes something to American public life for NPR. That’s an unfathomable amount of money for something that, to me, seems exceptionally trivial and chauvinistic so far, with only a tenuous connection to national security, if any.

  • mark†

    “Define the meaning of “just war” wrt the United States.”

    Just Cause. The war must be for a just cause. Basically self defense or defense of others.
    Proper Authority. Lawfully declared by a lawful authority.
    Right Intention. The intention behind the war must be good.
    Success. Reasonable chance of success.
    Last Resort. Viable alternatives have been seriously tried and exhausted.

  • mark†

    “Define the meaning of “just war” wrt the United States.”

    Just Cause. The war must be for a just cause. Basically self defense or defense of others.
    Proper Authority. Lawfully declared by a lawful authority.
    Right Intention. The intention behind the war must be good.
    Success. Reasonable chance of success.
    Last Resort. Viable alternatives have been seriously tried and exhausted.

  • mark†

    What does the United States stand to gain. Nothing. After this is over, we are not going to get a regime friendly to the US.

    What crucial American interests are at stake? None. If we would exploit our own resources, oil would not be an issue and no one would care.

    What was the authority that allowed for this action? There is none. Whether you agree with him or not, Bush did it the legal way. He went to Congress and obtained its authorization for both Afghanistan and Iraq.

  • mark†

    What does the United States stand to gain. Nothing. After this is over, we are not going to get a regime friendly to the US.

    What crucial American interests are at stake? None. If we would exploit our own resources, oil would not be an issue and no one would care.

    What was the authority that allowed for this action? There is none. Whether you agree with him or not, Bush did it the legal way. He went to Congress and obtained its authorization for both Afghanistan and Iraq.

  • http://www.redeemedrambling.blogspot.com/ John

    In the words of Groucho Marx, “whatever it is, I’m against it.”

  • http://www.redeemedrambling.blogspot.com/ John

    In the words of Groucho Marx, “whatever it is, I’m against it.”

  • Louis

    Iraq/Afghanistan are the wrong comparisons. A better comparison would be the old Yugoslavia in the 90′s.

  • Louis

    Iraq/Afghanistan are the wrong comparisons. A better comparison would be the old Yugoslavia in the 90′s.

  • Purple koolaid

    Nobel peace prize enters war #3!!!

  • Purple koolaid

    Nobel peace prize enters war #3!!!

  • WebMonk

    Strategically, everyone I’ve talked with has said this is way too late to be taking this sort of action. Not way too late as in, Gaddafi is about to win anyway, but way too late to save lives. The rebels/freedom fighters/protesters/whatever can still “win” by driving Gaddafi’s forces out of their strongly held areas, but it will be a bloody war, and there’s no way they can take over the entire country unless the UN does 90% of the fighting for them in the strongly pro-Gaddafi areas.

    One of the things the news hasn’t really brought forward is that Gaddafi has considerable support amongst the populace. There is still a lot of tribalism in Libya, and there are two large tribes that Gaddafi is associated with, and they make up between a half and a third of the general population, and they largely support Gaddafi.

    Gaddafi has solidified the support of around a third of the population, and combining that with his much greater wealth and military power means that any overthrow is going to be horribly bloody at this point. There were good (at the time) reasons for the UN to not involve itself earlier in the war – they thought the protesters would oust Gaddafi on their own. But things began to turn the other way, and if the UN had moved in almost immediately when that happened and done what they are doing now, thousands of lives would have been saved, and Gaddafi would be out of power at this point.

    Instead, they waited for a week and a half while Gaddafi steadily drove back the opposition to the point where Gaddafi was very clearly in the ascendancy, and too strongly settled to easily remove. Now, it’s back to a bloody war across dozens of cities that will have thousands dead, and the entire country reduced to a war-torn shell.

    The UN F-ed this up badly. At this point, it is arguably better from a variety of considerations if Gaddafi were to quickly regain control, because short of that happening, there is going to be a nasty civil war that could go on for years.

    If I had dictatorial fiat powers, I would split Libya in half, giving the protesters the eastern half, and Gaddafi and his supporters the western half. (keeping the border as far away from major cities on either side as much as possible) Then, the UN could play border guard for a couple decades. I realize that’s not realistically feasible, and all the predictions I’m hearing are that we’ll have war for years to come.

  • WebMonk

    Strategically, everyone I’ve talked with has said this is way too late to be taking this sort of action. Not way too late as in, Gaddafi is about to win anyway, but way too late to save lives. The rebels/freedom fighters/protesters/whatever can still “win” by driving Gaddafi’s forces out of their strongly held areas, but it will be a bloody war, and there’s no way they can take over the entire country unless the UN does 90% of the fighting for them in the strongly pro-Gaddafi areas.

    One of the things the news hasn’t really brought forward is that Gaddafi has considerable support amongst the populace. There is still a lot of tribalism in Libya, and there are two large tribes that Gaddafi is associated with, and they make up between a half and a third of the general population, and they largely support Gaddafi.

    Gaddafi has solidified the support of around a third of the population, and combining that with his much greater wealth and military power means that any overthrow is going to be horribly bloody at this point. There were good (at the time) reasons for the UN to not involve itself earlier in the war – they thought the protesters would oust Gaddafi on their own. But things began to turn the other way, and if the UN had moved in almost immediately when that happened and done what they are doing now, thousands of lives would have been saved, and Gaddafi would be out of power at this point.

    Instead, they waited for a week and a half while Gaddafi steadily drove back the opposition to the point where Gaddafi was very clearly in the ascendancy, and too strongly settled to easily remove. Now, it’s back to a bloody war across dozens of cities that will have thousands dead, and the entire country reduced to a war-torn shell.

    The UN F-ed this up badly. At this point, it is arguably better from a variety of considerations if Gaddafi were to quickly regain control, because short of that happening, there is going to be a nasty civil war that could go on for years.

    If I had dictatorial fiat powers, I would split Libya in half, giving the protesters the eastern half, and Gaddafi and his supporters the western half. (keeping the border as far away from major cities on either side as much as possible) Then, the UN could play border guard for a couple decades. I realize that’s not realistically feasible, and all the predictions I’m hearing are that we’ll have war for years to come.

  • Dennis Peskey

    I used to fear Orwell’s 1984; how silly of me. I should have paid more attention to Barry Goldwater in 1964. We’ve managed to take his “lob one in the men’s room of the Kremlin” to new lows. Let me know when we start bombing Alabama.
    Peace,
    Dennis

  • Dennis Peskey

    I used to fear Orwell’s 1984; how silly of me. I should have paid more attention to Barry Goldwater in 1964. We’ve managed to take his “lob one in the men’s room of the Kremlin” to new lows. Let me know when we start bombing Alabama.
    Peace,
    Dennis

  • WebMonk
  • WebMonk
  • Carl Vehse

    “Then, the UN could play border guard for a couple decades.”

    Swell. This way the UN can serve simultaneously as practice targets for both sides.

  • Carl Vehse

    “Then, the UN could play border guard for a couple decades.”

    Swell. This way the UN can serve simultaneously as practice targets for both sides.

  • Michael Mapus

    Do you know why the middle east is full of dictators? That’s what it takes to control those people. Now itsead of dictators, we are helping them to create orangized dictatorships.

  • Michael Mapus

    Do you know why the middle east is full of dictators? That’s what it takes to control those people. Now itsead of dictators, we are helping them to create orangized dictatorships.

  • Carl Vehse

    It’s all explained in the op-ed piece, “‘Barack-A-lujah! I Have Seen The Light!’,” allegedly written by anti-war activitist and BDS enthusiast, Cindy Sheehan.

  • Carl Vehse

    It’s all explained in the op-ed piece, “‘Barack-A-lujah! I Have Seen The Light!’,” allegedly written by anti-war activitist and BDS enthusiast, Cindy Sheehan.

  • DonS

    If we are relying on the Europeans (specifically the French and the Spanish) to do the “heavy lifting” in any kind of armed combat, then their track record in past conflicts tells us the effort is futile. Certainly, the two week delay in getting underway has been critical, and there has been no formal consultation with Congress, which is also strange.

    It is, indeed, hard to see what U.S. interests are being served by engaging in this conflict, particularly at this point, and in such a limited way.

  • DonS

    If we are relying on the Europeans (specifically the French and the Spanish) to do the “heavy lifting” in any kind of armed combat, then their track record in past conflicts tells us the effort is futile. Certainly, the two week delay in getting underway has been critical, and there has been no formal consultation with Congress, which is also strange.

    It is, indeed, hard to see what U.S. interests are being served by engaging in this conflict, particularly at this point, and in such a limited way.

  • http://www.oldsolar.com/currentblog.php Rick Ritchie

    The reference to the War Powers act of 1973 brings up some interesting questions. Constitutional provisions were put into place as checks and balances that would make it harder to get into war. Power is balanced so that no one branch of government can do too much. Except here it appears that the balance of powers tips toward war more than the Founders may have envisioned. Where it is said that “the President must, within forty-eight hours after initiating military action, submit a formal report to Congress,” the question this brings to my mind is, “Or what?” If the Congress were strongly against what the President is doing, it would have the power to do something about this. But Congress tends to agree with the President’s wartime decisions. They have tools to use should they wish. But they don’t wish. And it doesn’t appear that either the Constitution or the War Powers Act made redress for overstepping automatic.

    Checks and balances are supposed to take opposition and contention into account and use them for an end. So we could either say the system doesn’t work because there is not enough opposition between the powers. Or we could say that when the system does not contain opposition, the checks and balances are designed to allow for a branch to overreach. Either the Constitution is flawed, or what is happening is good according to its design.

  • http://www.oldsolar.com/currentblog.php Rick Ritchie

    The reference to the War Powers act of 1973 brings up some interesting questions. Constitutional provisions were put into place as checks and balances that would make it harder to get into war. Power is balanced so that no one branch of government can do too much. Except here it appears that the balance of powers tips toward war more than the Founders may have envisioned. Where it is said that “the President must, within forty-eight hours after initiating military action, submit a formal report to Congress,” the question this brings to my mind is, “Or what?” If the Congress were strongly against what the President is doing, it would have the power to do something about this. But Congress tends to agree with the President’s wartime decisions. They have tools to use should they wish. But they don’t wish. And it doesn’t appear that either the Constitution or the War Powers Act made redress for overstepping automatic.

    Checks and balances are supposed to take opposition and contention into account and use them for an end. So we could either say the system doesn’t work because there is not enough opposition between the powers. Or we could say that when the system does not contain opposition, the checks and balances are designed to allow for a branch to overreach. Either the Constitution is flawed, or what is happening is good according to its design.

  • http://gslcnm.com Pastor Phil Spomer

    Despite our intentions, our military efforts over the last 15 years have empowered Islam. There are fewer Christians (and less freedom for Christians) in the Mideast than before.

  • http://gslcnm.com Pastor Phil Spomer

    Despite our intentions, our military efforts over the last 15 years have empowered Islam. There are fewer Christians (and less freedom for Christians) in the Mideast than before.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    Markt,
    What exactly is your argument here? That the United States has no interest in Libya? Or that it is an unjust war?
    To tout our Just War Theory, and then in the next breath ask what is our interest is quite ironic, especially given the parameters you give for just war.
    By your standards I’d argues that it is a just war.
    Second, I think it can easily be shown that we have an interest there.
    Even if we do not get our oil primarily from Libya, Europe does, and if Europe can’t get their oil from there, they will have to get it from our supply, which means that there is a shortage, and prices go up etc.
    For me though that is pretty much a secondary issue in all this.
    And Louis is right, this has more in common with Yugoslavia in the 90s than it does Iraq or Afghanistan.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    Markt,
    What exactly is your argument here? That the United States has no interest in Libya? Or that it is an unjust war?
    To tout our Just War Theory, and then in the next breath ask what is our interest is quite ironic, especially given the parameters you give for just war.
    By your standards I’d argues that it is a just war.
    Second, I think it can easily be shown that we have an interest there.
    Even if we do not get our oil primarily from Libya, Europe does, and if Europe can’t get their oil from there, they will have to get it from our supply, which means that there is a shortage, and prices go up etc.
    For me though that is pretty much a secondary issue in all this.
    And Louis is right, this has more in common with Yugoslavia in the 90s than it does Iraq or Afghanistan.

  • helen

    We have let civil wars go on for years elsewhere in Africa w/o the apparent necessity of our intervening.
    I don’t see the necessity of getting into this one. If Europe fears for its oil, let Europe do something about it!

    When we had one war going, a military man said we did not have resources for two. Then we had two and are pushing the country deeper & deeper into debt (because we “CAN’T” tax the people who are profiting). Now we are going for three?

    One could almost begin to believe the ‘conspiracy theorists’ who say that Obama’s real goal is to destroy the US.
    [Of course, that ignores all the help from Wall Street, much of it pre-dating his reign!]

  • helen

    We have let civil wars go on for years elsewhere in Africa w/o the apparent necessity of our intervening.
    I don’t see the necessity of getting into this one. If Europe fears for its oil, let Europe do something about it!

    When we had one war going, a military man said we did not have resources for two. Then we had two and are pushing the country deeper & deeper into debt (because we “CAN’T” tax the people who are profiting). Now we are going for three?

    One could almost begin to believe the ‘conspiracy theorists’ who say that Obama’s real goal is to destroy the US.
    [Of course, that ignores all the help from Wall Street, much of it pre-dating his reign!]

  • SKPeterson

    @Bror #20 – the only problem is the notion of “competent authority” in waging war. It is highly questionable whether the U.S., or the U.N., is competent in this case, competence here referring to have the authority to directly administer justice within a defined area of responsibility and/or territory.

  • SKPeterson

    @Bror #20 – the only problem is the notion of “competent authority” in waging war. It is highly questionable whether the U.S., or the U.N., is competent in this case, competence here referring to have the authority to directly administer justice within a defined area of responsibility and/or territory.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Ah, “conservatives” complaining about war again! It’s been so long — what, 11 years now?

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Ah, “conservatives” complaining about war again! It’s been so long — what, 11 years now?

  • Richard

    Hey, tODD:
    All together now: “All we are saying, is give peace a chance!”

  • Richard

    Hey, tODD:
    All together now: “All we are saying, is give peace a chance!”

  • DonS

    Here is an excerpt from the last 2008 Presidential debate:

    MR. LEHRER Two minutes for how you see the lessons of Iraq, Senator Obama.

    MR. OBAMA Well, this is an area where Senator McCain and I have a fundamental difference because, I think, the first question is whether we should have gone into the war in the first place.

    Now, six years ago, I stood up and opposed this war, at a time when it was politically risky to do so, because I said that not only did we not know how much it was going to cost, what our exit strategy might be, how it would affect our relationships around the world and whether our intelligence was sound but also because we hadn’t finished the job in Afghanistan. We hadn’t caught bin Laden. We hadn’t put Al Qaeda to rest. And as a consequence, I thought that it was going to be a distraction.

    Now, Senator McCain and President Bush had a very different judgment. And I wish I had been wrong, for the sake of the country, and they had been right. But that’s not the case.

    We’ve spent over $600 billion so far, soon to be a trillion. We have lost over 4,000 lives. We have seen 30,000 wounded. And most importantly from a strategic, national security perspective, Al Qaeda is resurgent, stronger now than at any time since 2001.

    We took our eye off the ball and not to mention that we are still spending $10 billion a month, when they have a $79 billion surplus, at a time when we are in great distress here at home and we just talked about the fact that our budget is way overstretched, and we are borrowing money from overseas to try to finance just some of the basic functions of our government.

    So I think the lesson to be drawn is that we should never hesitate to use military force, and I will not as president in order to keep the American people safe.

    http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9F07E6DE173FF934A1575AC0A96E9C8B63&scp=6&sq=Obama+exit+strategy+iraq+bush&st=nyt&pagewanted=all

    It would seem to me that the same questions could be asked about Libya. Except, even more so. What is Quaddafi’s exit strategy, other than fighting to the death? And how are we going to precipitate that event, unless he happens to be killed by an air strike? We say we are acting to “protect civilians”, but I don’t see how that will happen long term by enforcing a no-fly zone and bombing tactical targets.

  • DonS

    Here is an excerpt from the last 2008 Presidential debate:

    MR. LEHRER Two minutes for how you see the lessons of Iraq, Senator Obama.

    MR. OBAMA Well, this is an area where Senator McCain and I have a fundamental difference because, I think, the first question is whether we should have gone into the war in the first place.

    Now, six years ago, I stood up and opposed this war, at a time when it was politically risky to do so, because I said that not only did we not know how much it was going to cost, what our exit strategy might be, how it would affect our relationships around the world and whether our intelligence was sound but also because we hadn’t finished the job in Afghanistan. We hadn’t caught bin Laden. We hadn’t put Al Qaeda to rest. And as a consequence, I thought that it was going to be a distraction.

    Now, Senator McCain and President Bush had a very different judgment. And I wish I had been wrong, for the sake of the country, and they had been right. But that’s not the case.

    We’ve spent over $600 billion so far, soon to be a trillion. We have lost over 4,000 lives. We have seen 30,000 wounded. And most importantly from a strategic, national security perspective, Al Qaeda is resurgent, stronger now than at any time since 2001.

    We took our eye off the ball and not to mention that we are still spending $10 billion a month, when they have a $79 billion surplus, at a time when we are in great distress here at home and we just talked about the fact that our budget is way overstretched, and we are borrowing money from overseas to try to finance just some of the basic functions of our government.

    So I think the lesson to be drawn is that we should never hesitate to use military force, and I will not as president in order to keep the American people safe.

    http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9F07E6DE173FF934A1575AC0A96E9C8B63&scp=6&sq=Obama+exit+strategy+iraq+bush&st=nyt&pagewanted=all

    It would seem to me that the same questions could be asked about Libya. Except, even more so. What is Quaddafi’s exit strategy, other than fighting to the death? And how are we going to precipitate that event, unless he happens to be killed by an air strike? We say we are acting to “protect civilians”, but I don’t see how that will happen long term by enforcing a no-fly zone and bombing tactical targets.

  • Grace

    It is being reported that Gaddafi’s son has been killed:

    Gaddafi’s son ‘killed in kamikaze pilot attack on barracks’

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1368410/Libya-crisis-Gaddafi-uses-civilians-human-shields-prevent-military-targets.html

  • Grace

    It is being reported that Gaddafi’s son has been killed:

    Gaddafi’s son ‘killed in kamikaze pilot attack on barracks’

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1368410/Libya-crisis-Gaddafi-uses-civilians-human-shields-prevent-military-targets.html

  • DonS

    President Obama looks less and less like Candidate Obama as time goes by:

    2. In what circumstances, if any, would the president have constitutional authority to bomb Iran without seeking a use-of-force authorization from Congress? (Specifically, what about the strategic bombing of suspected nuclear sites — a situation that does not involve stopping an IMMINENT threat?)

    The President does not have power under the Constitution to unilaterally authorize a military attack in a situation that does not involve stopping an actual or imminent threat to the nation.

    As Commander-in-Chief, the President does have a duty to protect and defend the United States. In instances of self-defense, the President would be within his constitutional authority to act before advising Congress or seeking its consent. History has shown us time and again, however, that military action is most successful when it is authorized and supported by the Legislative branch. It is always preferable to have the informed consent of Congress prior to any military action.

    As for the specific question about bombing suspected nuclear sites, I recently introduced S.J. Res. 23, which states in part that “any offensive military action taken by the United States against Iran must be explicitly authorized by Congress.” The recent NIE tells us that Iran in 2003 halted its effort to design a nuclear weapon. While this does not mean that Iran is no longer a threat to the United States or its allies, it does give us time to conduct aggressive and principled personal diplomacy aimed at preventing Iran from developing nuclear weapons.

    http://www.boston.com/news/politics/2008/specials/CandidateQA/ObamaQA/

  • DonS

    President Obama looks less and less like Candidate Obama as time goes by:

    2. In what circumstances, if any, would the president have constitutional authority to bomb Iran without seeking a use-of-force authorization from Congress? (Specifically, what about the strategic bombing of suspected nuclear sites — a situation that does not involve stopping an IMMINENT threat?)

    The President does not have power under the Constitution to unilaterally authorize a military attack in a situation that does not involve stopping an actual or imminent threat to the nation.

    As Commander-in-Chief, the President does have a duty to protect and defend the United States. In instances of self-defense, the President would be within his constitutional authority to act before advising Congress or seeking its consent. History has shown us time and again, however, that military action is most successful when it is authorized and supported by the Legislative branch. It is always preferable to have the informed consent of Congress prior to any military action.

    As for the specific question about bombing suspected nuclear sites, I recently introduced S.J. Res. 23, which states in part that “any offensive military action taken by the United States against Iran must be explicitly authorized by Congress.” The recent NIE tells us that Iran in 2003 halted its effort to design a nuclear weapon. While this does not mean that Iran is no longer a threat to the United States or its allies, it does give us time to conduct aggressive and principled personal diplomacy aimed at preventing Iran from developing nuclear weapons.

    http://www.boston.com/news/politics/2008/specials/CandidateQA/ObamaQA/

  • http://www.oldsolar.com/currentblog.php Rick Ritchie

    @tODD #23, who were you aiming at? Cincinnatus was posted isolationist posts before. Dennis Peskey has questioned whether Iraq was a Just War. From what I can tell Googling past comments on this site, SKPeterson seems to be isolationist, too. I have a permanent link to antiwar.com on my blog. Was your comment directed to others in this thread in general, or only to a few?

  • http://www.oldsolar.com/currentblog.php Rick Ritchie

    @tODD #23, who were you aiming at? Cincinnatus was posted isolationist posts before. Dennis Peskey has questioned whether Iraq was a Just War. From what I can tell Googling past comments on this site, SKPeterson seems to be isolationist, too. I have a permanent link to antiwar.com on my blog. Was your comment directed to others in this thread in general, or only to a few?

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Rick (@28), yes, but now that Obama’s leading a military effort, all the “conservatives” (there’s a reason I use scare quotes) are on the same page, not just the ones who oppose most or all wars on principle! :)

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Rick (@28), yes, but now that Obama’s leading a military effort, all the “conservatives” (there’s a reason I use scare quotes) are on the same page, not just the ones who oppose most or all wars on principle! :)

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    DonS (@27), given that you routinely expressed your dislike of “Candidate Obama”, I can only assume that you note with approval that “President Obama looks less and less like Candidate Obama”.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    DonS (@27), given that you routinely expressed your dislike of “Candidate Obama”, I can only assume that you note with approval that “President Obama looks less and less like Candidate Obama”.

  • Grace

    “there’s a reason I use scare quotes”

    It isn’t effective!

  • Grace

    “there’s a reason I use scare quotes”

    It isn’t effective!

  • Bruce Gee

    tODD, what is your position on the decision by Obama to join in the UN military sanctions against Libya?

  • Bruce Gee

    tODD, what is your position on the decision by Obama to join in the UN military sanctions against Libya?

  • Bruce Gee

    You know, the situation in the Middle East gets more and more puzzling. Pastor Spomer: “Despite our intentions, our military efforts over the last 15 years have empowered Islam. There are fewer Christians (and less freedom for Christians) in the Mideast than before.”
    I wonder if the logical jump from US military efforts to empowering Islam to less freedom from Christians is a bit…ambitious. We don’t know what effects would have been felt had we stayed at home. We do know that using a “law and order” approach vis a vis the first twin towers bombing did not stop more terrorist attacks here. Do you have something more to offer as to what George Bush or Barack Obama ought to have done?
    I for one don’t have a clue.

  • Bruce Gee

    You know, the situation in the Middle East gets more and more puzzling. Pastor Spomer: “Despite our intentions, our military efforts over the last 15 years have empowered Islam. There are fewer Christians (and less freedom for Christians) in the Mideast than before.”
    I wonder if the logical jump from US military efforts to empowering Islam to less freedom from Christians is a bit…ambitious. We don’t know what effects would have been felt had we stayed at home. We do know that using a “law and order” approach vis a vis the first twin towers bombing did not stop more terrorist attacks here. Do you have something more to offer as to what George Bush or Barack Obama ought to have done?
    I for one don’t have a clue.

  • DonS

    tODD @ 30: Well, actually, I didn’t care for Candidate Obama largely because I knew that most of his campaign statements were unrealistic and suspected that they were politically calculated to put Bush policy in the worst possible light. I had a strong sense that he was speaking nonsense, and that has turned out to be the case, as predicted.

    I assume, though strangely, you do not say it, that you have noted a similar pivot in the anti-war sentiments of “liberals”, who seem to be strangely more silent about this Libya adventure than they were during the Bush administration.

  • DonS

    tODD @ 30: Well, actually, I didn’t care for Candidate Obama largely because I knew that most of his campaign statements were unrealistic and suspected that they were politically calculated to put Bush policy in the worst possible light. I had a strong sense that he was speaking nonsense, and that has turned out to be the case, as predicted.

    I assume, though strangely, you do not say it, that you have noted a similar pivot in the anti-war sentiments of “liberals”, who seem to be strangely more silent about this Libya adventure than they were during the Bush administration.

  • http://uni-heidelberg.de KarlB

    Grace, am sorry for not understanding your English. I am asking what you mean for not being effective?

    Todd, why is not scary to use quotes? Conservative party here have some scary parts, but is sure to be same for all politic parties.

  • http://uni-heidelberg.de KarlB

    Grace, am sorry for not understanding your English. I am asking what you mean for not being effective?

    Todd, why is not scary to use quotes? Conservative party here have some scary parts, but is sure to be same for all politic parties.

  • Carl Vehse

    As required by the War Powers Act of 1973, the text of the President’s explanation submitted to the Congress for his military action is at the bottom of this news article.

  • Carl Vehse

    As required by the War Powers Act of 1973, the text of the President’s explanation submitted to the Congress for his military action is at the bottom of this news article.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Bruce said (@33), “I for one don’t have a clue.” And I think that embodies my position, as well.

    On the one hand, it seems that our approach to these protests in majority-Muslim countries is, at best, inconsistent. I can’t begin to tell you why Libya got this special treatment for us, and to the degree I think I should be able to work that out as a reasonably informed citizen, that bothers me. Is it because of Libya’s oil? Because Gaddafi is pretty kooky and easy to demonize? Because having an impact there would have fairly large psychological value in the region? No clue.

    On the other hand, I can’t deny that I personally was sad that the Libyan protesters weren’t having as much success as their fellow protesters in Egypt and Tunisia have had.

    But then, I have come to believe the arguments from the “conservative” side that we ought not be profligate in our spending, which would preclude all but the most urgent of military actions. (Of course, I’m often confused how the people ostensibly on the same side can, on the one hand, complain about very small amounts of spending — say, a tiny environmental study that maybe costs five figures, tops — and, on the other hand, urge Obama to show some American “leadership” — which, of course, as Cincinnatus notes @5, easily runs into nine figures in the space of an hour.)

    Myself, I’m happy to see other nations lead such actions (if, indeed, they must be led; I say this to contrast against our doing the leading) — especially so close to their back door, as it were. I’d be happy, as Cincinnatus noted, to have us lend some moral support, though.

    And I have no clue what the endgame is, purported or otherwise. Or whether this will end as a “win” or even a “benefit” for us. If this ends up being little more than a 1986-style in-and-out mission, then I suppose it won’t ultimately upset me much. I kinda doubt that’s what’s going to happen, of course, as I am much more reminded of our semi-infinite “no-fly zones” over Iraq back during the last time “conservatives” didn’t like military action. And we all know how those ended. As with all these protests (successful or not; indeed, as with Iraq and Afghanistan yet), I think the final outcome is far from clear. And I find that troubling, inasmuch as we’re getting involved.

    In short, I don’t know what I think. As an American, I’m fascinated by our military power. I’m susceptible to the “at least we’re doing something argument”, even if I usually think that’s a remarkably naive argument when I actually think about it.

    And I’m fairly sure that many or most “conservatives” would have complained about Obama’s actions vis-a-vis Libya, regardless of what action he took.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Bruce said (@33), “I for one don’t have a clue.” And I think that embodies my position, as well.

    On the one hand, it seems that our approach to these protests in majority-Muslim countries is, at best, inconsistent. I can’t begin to tell you why Libya got this special treatment for us, and to the degree I think I should be able to work that out as a reasonably informed citizen, that bothers me. Is it because of Libya’s oil? Because Gaddafi is pretty kooky and easy to demonize? Because having an impact there would have fairly large psychological value in the region? No clue.

    On the other hand, I can’t deny that I personally was sad that the Libyan protesters weren’t having as much success as their fellow protesters in Egypt and Tunisia have had.

    But then, I have come to believe the arguments from the “conservative” side that we ought not be profligate in our spending, which would preclude all but the most urgent of military actions. (Of course, I’m often confused how the people ostensibly on the same side can, on the one hand, complain about very small amounts of spending — say, a tiny environmental study that maybe costs five figures, tops — and, on the other hand, urge Obama to show some American “leadership” — which, of course, as Cincinnatus notes @5, easily runs into nine figures in the space of an hour.)

    Myself, I’m happy to see other nations lead such actions (if, indeed, they must be led; I say this to contrast against our doing the leading) — especially so close to their back door, as it were. I’d be happy, as Cincinnatus noted, to have us lend some moral support, though.

    And I have no clue what the endgame is, purported or otherwise. Or whether this will end as a “win” or even a “benefit” for us. If this ends up being little more than a 1986-style in-and-out mission, then I suppose it won’t ultimately upset me much. I kinda doubt that’s what’s going to happen, of course, as I am much more reminded of our semi-infinite “no-fly zones” over Iraq back during the last time “conservatives” didn’t like military action. And we all know how those ended. As with all these protests (successful or not; indeed, as with Iraq and Afghanistan yet), I think the final outcome is far from clear. And I find that troubling, inasmuch as we’re getting involved.

    In short, I don’t know what I think. As an American, I’m fascinated by our military power. I’m susceptible to the “at least we’re doing something argument”, even if I usually think that’s a remarkably naive argument when I actually think about it.

    And I’m fairly sure that many or most “conservatives” would have complained about Obama’s actions vis-a-vis Libya, regardless of what action he took.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Heck, I’ll even note that, if you abstract the situation enough, things get even more troubling. Imagine: a rebellion begins in a country. The rebels start violently attacking the government, desiring to overthrow it. The government seeks to quash the rebellion. And then the government is accused of acting wrongly!

    Should the “international community” act to stop the government from quashing a rebellion? Apparently, the answer to that turns on how they quash it. Or how the government came to be in power. Or whether we in the “international community” like that government. All of which results in complete logical mush.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Heck, I’ll even note that, if you abstract the situation enough, things get even more troubling. Imagine: a rebellion begins in a country. The rebels start violently attacking the government, desiring to overthrow it. The government seeks to quash the rebellion. And then the government is accused of acting wrongly!

    Should the “international community” act to stop the government from quashing a rebellion? Apparently, the answer to that turns on how they quash it. Or how the government came to be in power. Or whether we in the “international community” like that government. All of which results in complete logical mush.

  • Grace

    Fascinating – I’ll spend the rest of the afternoon mulling all of these ideas and quesstions? – over -

  • Grace

    Fascinating – I’ll spend the rest of the afternoon mulling all of these ideas and quesstions? – over -

  • Bryan Lindemood

    I’m also with the “I haven’t got a clue” group on this one. And also agree that Cincinnatus’ “boxes” idea @5 has some real merit. I shudder to think what we’ve already spent on all those U.S. missiles when there are so many other alternative projects. Just peruse the news today for a few ideas. sheesh!

  • Bryan Lindemood

    I’m also with the “I haven’t got a clue” group on this one. And also agree that Cincinnatus’ “boxes” idea @5 has some real merit. I shudder to think what we’ve already spent on all those U.S. missiles when there are so many other alternative projects. Just peruse the news today for a few ideas. sheesh!

  • Joe

    tODD at 38 – you have just explained one of the reasons I find the concept and notion of international quasi-governance. It is at best ineffective and inconsistent and at worst simply a tool used to push the agenda of a few member states.

    I support treaties between nation-states, I do not support permanent international organizations.

  • Joe

    tODD at 38 – you have just explained one of the reasons I find the concept and notion of international quasi-governance. It is at best ineffective and inconsistent and at worst simply a tool used to push the agenda of a few member states.

    I support treaties between nation-states, I do not support permanent international organizations.

  • Joe

    oops – first sentence should end “ridiculous.”

  • Joe

    oops – first sentence should end “ridiculous.”

  • Grace

    KarlB – 35

    “Grace, am sorry for not understanding your English. I am asking what you mean for not being effective?

    Todd, why is not scary to use quotes? Conservative party here have some scary parts, but is sure to be same for all politic parties.”

    Not one misspelled word, punctuation passes the test – Come now, it isn’t April Fools day yet —– LOL

  • Grace

    KarlB – 35

    “Grace, am sorry for not understanding your English. I am asking what you mean for not being effective?

    Todd, why is not scary to use quotes? Conservative party here have some scary parts, but is sure to be same for all politic parties.”

    Not one misspelled word, punctuation passes the test – Come now, it isn’t April Fools day yet —– LOL

  • Bruce Gee

    Look, part of the tension here is that this administration must be aware of the inaction that took place during the Clinton administration in Rwanda. Not only was that admin severely blamed for inaction, but they took the blame, “posthumously” for their inaction. What they would have actually done is still a question without an answer. But it is one of the elephants in the room here: the same thing is about to happen, according to Qadaffi (sp, as usual), to the Libyans who have started this anti government military action.
    So this isn’t really, or ONLY, about oil or general Middle East civil unrest and how we can take advantage of it. There is this strong sense that the international community must act SOMEHOW so that another Rwanda doesn’t take place (as if another mini-Rwanda isn’t taking place, I suppose, in a dozen areas of the globe at any given time).

    In any case, if there was ever a time to appeal to the Lord Jesus for mercy, it is now.

  • Bruce Gee

    Look, part of the tension here is that this administration must be aware of the inaction that took place during the Clinton administration in Rwanda. Not only was that admin severely blamed for inaction, but they took the blame, “posthumously” for their inaction. What they would have actually done is still a question without an answer. But it is one of the elephants in the room here: the same thing is about to happen, according to Qadaffi (sp, as usual), to the Libyans who have started this anti government military action.
    So this isn’t really, or ONLY, about oil or general Middle East civil unrest and how we can take advantage of it. There is this strong sense that the international community must act SOMEHOW so that another Rwanda doesn’t take place (as if another mini-Rwanda isn’t taking place, I suppose, in a dozen areas of the globe at any given time).

    In any case, if there was ever a time to appeal to the Lord Jesus for mercy, it is now.

  • Bruce Gee

    As an aside, I see that as a result of his Libyan decisions, Dennis Kucinich has called for President Obama’s impeachment.
    My first thought is that, were Kucinich elected President of the United States and was faced with the totally contradictory choices of that office, he’d be forced to call, within a year, for his own impeachment.

    And by golly, I believe he’d do it.

  • Bruce Gee

    As an aside, I see that as a result of his Libyan decisions, Dennis Kucinich has called for President Obama’s impeachment.
    My first thought is that, were Kucinich elected President of the United States and was faced with the totally contradictory choices of that office, he’d be forced to call, within a year, for his own impeachment.

    And by golly, I believe he’d do it.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Bruce said (@44), “not only was [the Clinton] admin severely blamed for inaction [in Rwanda]” … ah, but this reminds me of my original point! If I recall correctly, Clinton was also blamed for his actions in Yugoslavia, Iraq, and Afghanistan, as well.

    August 1998, we launched cruise missile strikes against Afghanistan and Sudan over terrorist activity. Critics (largely Republicans, as I recall), criticized this as a mere distraction from the Lewinsky affair.

    December 1998, we launched a major four-day bombing campaign in Iraq over failure to comply with UN resolutions. Critics (largely Republicans, as I recall), criticized this as a mere distraction from the impeachment trial.

    March-June 1999, we participated in the NATO bombing of Yugoslavia due to accusations of ethnic cleansing and human rights abuses. As Wikipedia notes, “A large majority of House Republicans in the US voted against both non-binding resolutions expressing approval for American involvement in the NATO mission.”

    So do Republicans support military activity in Afghanistan if it’s to stop terrorist activity? Apparently only if a Republican does it. Do Republicans support military in Iraq if it’s to enforce UN resolutions? Apparently only if a Republican does it. Do Republicans support involving ourselves in a foreign country if there are accusations of ethnic cleansing and human rights abuses? Apparently only if a Republican does it. Or, conversely, if a Democrat fails to do it.

    One begins to suspect there may be some political opportunism underlying all this.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Bruce said (@44), “not only was [the Clinton] admin severely blamed for inaction [in Rwanda]” … ah, but this reminds me of my original point! If I recall correctly, Clinton was also blamed for his actions in Yugoslavia, Iraq, and Afghanistan, as well.

    August 1998, we launched cruise missile strikes against Afghanistan and Sudan over terrorist activity. Critics (largely Republicans, as I recall), criticized this as a mere distraction from the Lewinsky affair.

    December 1998, we launched a major four-day bombing campaign in Iraq over failure to comply with UN resolutions. Critics (largely Republicans, as I recall), criticized this as a mere distraction from the impeachment trial.

    March-June 1999, we participated in the NATO bombing of Yugoslavia due to accusations of ethnic cleansing and human rights abuses. As Wikipedia notes, “A large majority of House Republicans in the US voted against both non-binding resolutions expressing approval for American involvement in the NATO mission.”

    So do Republicans support military activity in Afghanistan if it’s to stop terrorist activity? Apparently only if a Republican does it. Do Republicans support military in Iraq if it’s to enforce UN resolutions? Apparently only if a Republican does it. Do Republicans support involving ourselves in a foreign country if there are accusations of ethnic cleansing and human rights abuses? Apparently only if a Republican does it. Or, conversely, if a Democrat fails to do it.

    One begins to suspect there may be some political opportunism underlying all this.

  • http://steadfastlutherans.org/ SAL

    I’d have the thought the first President raised in Dar al Islam would have realized that intervening in that world is folly.

    It makes me question his claim to visionary wisdom on healthcare, energy, and financial regulation.

    At least he has the good sense to acknowledge he’s ignorant on the issue of when life begins and whether men should marry each other.

  • http://steadfastlutherans.org/ SAL

    I’d have the thought the first President raised in Dar al Islam would have realized that intervening in that world is folly.

    It makes me question his claim to visionary wisdom on healthcare, energy, and financial regulation.

    At least he has the good sense to acknowledge he’s ignorant on the issue of when life begins and whether men should marry each other.

  • SKPeterson

    Todd @38 – My first thoughts on reading your post was American Revolution. Were the colonists right to rebel? Yes, as articulated in the Declaration. Was the British government acting legitimately in prosecuting the war? Yes and no. From the standpoint of acting to preserve its sovereignty and the lives and property of loyal British subjects it was right. (What will the international community do for all of the members of Qaddafi’s tribe and other loyalists if/when he is overthrown and their lives hang in the balance? Pray for more nuclear reactor explosions in Japan most like.) From the standpoint of acting illegally and arbitrarily against the lives, liberty and property of the other American subjects, no.
    Were France and Spain in the right for intervening on the behalf of the American rebels? Yes, because the rebels won and they had apparent interests in limiting British power globally, and no because they were intervening in what was effectively a civil war.

    The example is not perfectly apt, though. Libya is not a colonial empire and the rebels have not acted to list their specific grievances and rationale for their rebellion, or acted to form a separate government in the eastern part of the country.

  • SKPeterson

    Todd @38 – My first thoughts on reading your post was American Revolution. Were the colonists right to rebel? Yes, as articulated in the Declaration. Was the British government acting legitimately in prosecuting the war? Yes and no. From the standpoint of acting to preserve its sovereignty and the lives and property of loyal British subjects it was right. (What will the international community do for all of the members of Qaddafi’s tribe and other loyalists if/when he is overthrown and their lives hang in the balance? Pray for more nuclear reactor explosions in Japan most like.) From the standpoint of acting illegally and arbitrarily against the lives, liberty and property of the other American subjects, no.
    Were France and Spain in the right for intervening on the behalf of the American rebels? Yes, because the rebels won and they had apparent interests in limiting British power globally, and no because they were intervening in what was effectively a civil war.

    The example is not perfectly apt, though. Libya is not a colonial empire and the rebels have not acted to list their specific grievances and rationale for their rebellion, or acted to form a separate government in the eastern part of the country.

  • Grace

    Let us pray for our country tonight, it’s late, but war doesn’t have a clock, it keeps it’s own time, it marches on, no matter how many fall along the way.

    We are facing yet another ‘conflict’ with the middle east, (Syria) …. more of our men and women will serve and give their lives. I pray for them and their families. They each have a story, dreams, wives, moms, dads, siblings, and loved ones. How many of us have loved ones in the military right this moment?

    My husbands dear friend buried his father this afternoon at the National Cemetery. He served under General Westmorland, …. he and their family remained friends after service. One of the Westmorland children attended the services. We did not attend for various reasons – I was the main reason, my heart is too heavy with grief for all concerned. Death is very painful, even if you know you will see your loved one again in Heaven.

    My husbands friend is a strong Christian, he and his wife raising their children in the church. They are strong Christians. Their family is a beacon for Christ.

    I leave you with this hymn:

    A Mighty Fortress Is Our God Text: Martin Luther Trans. by Frederick H. Hedge

    A mighty fortress is our God,
    a bulwark never failing;
    our helper he amid the flood
    of mortal ills prevaling.
    For still our ancient foe
    doth seek to work us woe;
    his craft and power are great,
    and armed with cruel hate,
    on earth is not his equal.

    Did we in our own strength confide,
    our striving would be losing,
    were not the right man on our side,
    the man of God’s own choosing.
    Dost ask who that may be?
    Christ Jesus, it is he;
    Lord Sabaoth, his name,
    from age to age the same,
    and he must win the battle.

    And though this world, with devils filled,
    should threaten to undo us,
    we will not fear, for God hath willed
    his truth to triumph through us.
    The Prince of Darkness grim,
    we tremble not for him;
    his rage we can endure,
    for lo, his doom is sure;
    one little word shall fell him.

    That word above all earthly powers,
    no thanks to them, abideth;
    the Spirit and the gifts are ours,
    thru him who with us sideth.
    Let goods and kindred go,
    this mortal life also;
    the body they may kill;
    God’s truth abideth still;
    his kingdom is forever.

    GOD bless America, GOD bless those who come to HIM in faith, repentance and Believe in the risen Christ as Savior.

  • Grace

    Let us pray for our country tonight, it’s late, but war doesn’t have a clock, it keeps it’s own time, it marches on, no matter how many fall along the way.

    We are facing yet another ‘conflict’ with the middle east, (Syria) …. more of our men and women will serve and give their lives. I pray for them and their families. They each have a story, dreams, wives, moms, dads, siblings, and loved ones. How many of us have loved ones in the military right this moment?

    My husbands dear friend buried his father this afternoon at the National Cemetery. He served under General Westmorland, …. he and their family remained friends after service. One of the Westmorland children attended the services. We did not attend for various reasons – I was the main reason, my heart is too heavy with grief for all concerned. Death is very painful, even if you know you will see your loved one again in Heaven.

    My husbands friend is a strong Christian, he and his wife raising their children in the church. They are strong Christians. Their family is a beacon for Christ.

    I leave you with this hymn:

    A Mighty Fortress Is Our God Text: Martin Luther Trans. by Frederick H. Hedge

    A mighty fortress is our God,
    a bulwark never failing;
    our helper he amid the flood
    of mortal ills prevaling.
    For still our ancient foe
    doth seek to work us woe;
    his craft and power are great,
    and armed with cruel hate,
    on earth is not his equal.

    Did we in our own strength confide,
    our striving would be losing,
    were not the right man on our side,
    the man of God’s own choosing.
    Dost ask who that may be?
    Christ Jesus, it is he;
    Lord Sabaoth, his name,
    from age to age the same,
    and he must win the battle.

    And though this world, with devils filled,
    should threaten to undo us,
    we will not fear, for God hath willed
    his truth to triumph through us.
    The Prince of Darkness grim,
    we tremble not for him;
    his rage we can endure,
    for lo, his doom is sure;
    one little word shall fell him.

    That word above all earthly powers,
    no thanks to them, abideth;
    the Spirit and the gifts are ours,
    thru him who with us sideth.
    Let goods and kindred go,
    this mortal life also;
    the body they may kill;
    God’s truth abideth still;
    his kingdom is forever.

    GOD bless America, GOD bless those who come to HIM in faith, repentance and Believe in the risen Christ as Savior.

  • Tom Hering

    Why are we in Libya?

    Groundhog Day.

    Seriously. We’ve been stuck in the ’80s since the ’80s. In terms of politics, popular culture, military adventures, the rich getting richer, the poor getting poorer … and bombing Gaddafi.

    “Well, what if there is no tomorrow? There wasn’t one today.” – Phil Connors (Bill Murray).

  • Tom Hering

    Why are we in Libya?

    Groundhog Day.

    Seriously. We’ve been stuck in the ’80s since the ’80s. In terms of politics, popular culture, military adventures, the rich getting richer, the poor getting poorer … and bombing Gaddafi.

    “Well, what if there is no tomorrow? There wasn’t one today.” – Phil Connors (Bill Murray).

  • kerner

    So, tODD @46, you’re saying that after 8 years of liberals attacking George Bush because they

    1) never trusted his motives,
    2) never trusted his competence, and
    3) politically oppose him so adamantly that they were overtly, or subconsicously, hoping he would screw up so he would be defeated in the next eelection.

    And now you are shocked, SHOCKED, to discover that conservatives are attacking Obama because they

    1) never trusted his motives,
    2) never trusted his competence, and
    3) politically oppose him so adamantly that they are overtly, or subconsicously, hoping he will screw up so he will be defeated in the next election.

    Stop the presses.

  • kerner

    So, tODD @46, you’re saying that after 8 years of liberals attacking George Bush because they

    1) never trusted his motives,
    2) never trusted his competence, and
    3) politically oppose him so adamantly that they were overtly, or subconsicously, hoping he would screw up so he would be defeated in the next eelection.

    And now you are shocked, SHOCKED, to discover that conservatives are attacking Obama because they

    1) never trusted his motives,
    2) never trusted his competence, and
    3) politically oppose him so adamantly that they are overtly, or subconsicously, hoping he will screw up so he will be defeated in the next election.

    Stop the presses.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Context, Kerner (@51), context. I was replying to Bruce’s statement (@44) that “part of the tension here is that this administration must be aware of the inaction that took place during the Clinton administration in Rwanda”, noting that “that admin severely blamed for inaction.”

    My point was that it would be extremely foolish to consider how one’s political enemies will respond to one’s action or inaction, because history makes it very clear how they will respond: they will criticize and oppose you. Regardless.

    Given that that was my point, I’m not sure how you concluded that I was in any way “shocked” by my response here. My very first comment here (@23) hinted at the predictability of the response from Republicans to our Libya actions.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Context, Kerner (@51), context. I was replying to Bruce’s statement (@44) that “part of the tension here is that this administration must be aware of the inaction that took place during the Clinton administration in Rwanda”, noting that “that admin severely blamed for inaction.”

    My point was that it would be extremely foolish to consider how one’s political enemies will respond to one’s action or inaction, because history makes it very clear how they will respond: they will criticize and oppose you. Regardless.

    Given that that was my point, I’m not sure how you concluded that I was in any way “shocked” by my response here. My very first comment here (@23) hinted at the predictability of the response from Republicans to our Libya actions.

  • Bruce Gee

    Well, I guess, tODD, that I can see how you would misunderstand what I was saying. What you didn’t quote me writing, however, was my main point: “…but they took the blame…” What I am suggesting has been going on inside the White House is this awareness of how inaction by the US during the Clinton Admin vis a vis Rwanda led to so many civilian deaths (and a major motion picture, never a good thing) (Unless it stars Sean Penn…).
    This has nothing to do with worrying about the blame from the Republicans. It actually has to do with not wanting to repeat what they themselves considered “mistakes from the past.”

    I’m only speculating here, but I think it is relevant and compelling. If I understand correctly, it is Bill Clinton’s wife who has been the strongest advocate for getting the US involved in Libya. It isn’t a stretch to assume that a major motivator was the vivid scars of Rwanda. And Bosnia, come to think of it.

  • Bruce Gee

    Well, I guess, tODD, that I can see how you would misunderstand what I was saying. What you didn’t quote me writing, however, was my main point: “…but they took the blame…” What I am suggesting has been going on inside the White House is this awareness of how inaction by the US during the Clinton Admin vis a vis Rwanda led to so many civilian deaths (and a major motion picture, never a good thing) (Unless it stars Sean Penn…).
    This has nothing to do with worrying about the blame from the Republicans. It actually has to do with not wanting to repeat what they themselves considered “mistakes from the past.”

    I’m only speculating here, but I think it is relevant and compelling. If I understand correctly, it is Bill Clinton’s wife who has been the strongest advocate for getting the US involved in Libya. It isn’t a stretch to assume that a major motivator was the vivid scars of Rwanda. And Bosnia, come to think of it.

  • Grace

    Bruce Gee

    “I’m only speculating here, but I think it is relevant and compelling. If I understand correctly, it is Bill Clinton’s wife who has been the strongest advocate for getting the US involved in Libya. It isn’t a stretch to assume that a major motivator was the vivid scars of Rwanda. And Bosnia, come to think of it.”

    Excellent point!

  • Grace

    Bruce Gee

    “I’m only speculating here, but I think it is relevant and compelling. If I understand correctly, it is Bill Clinton’s wife who has been the strongest advocate for getting the US involved in Libya. It isn’t a stretch to assume that a major motivator was the vivid scars of Rwanda. And Bosnia, come to think of it.”

    Excellent point!

  • kerner

    tODD @52:

    I’m not really disagreeing with you. I should have put a ;) or something next to my last comment.

    It bothers me to see conservatives doing the things we chide liberals for doing. But some of that is just human nature, I guess.

  • kerner

    tODD @52:

    I’m not really disagreeing with you. I should have put a ;) or something next to my last comment.

    It bothers me to see conservatives doing the things we chide liberals for doing. But some of that is just human nature, I guess.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Bruce (@53), fair enough. Good point.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Bruce (@53), fair enough. Good point.

  • kerner

    On the other hand, we have been fighting this “war on terror” for almost 10 years now, am maybe it isn’t all that unreasonable to wish we had learned a few lessons.

    Saddam Hussein was a bad guy who inflicted cruel tyranny on his people. Qaddafi is the same. Iraq had oil resources. Libya does too. Hussein endured sanctions and a “no-fly zone” and various other measures designed to unseat him or encourage his people to overthrow him, but he held onto power and found ways to oppress his people regardless, and the people’s suffering probably increased while we were supposedly “sanctioning” Hussein. Is there any reason to believe that Qaddafi will be any less able to what Hussein did?

    In the end, the US was faced with a choice. The sanctions were failing and Hussein was recovering his position. The US could allow Hussein to re-establish his former position and become an example of how to defy the USA and come out on top, or we could make him an example of why making an enemy of the USA is a really bad idea. In 2002, the first option was the last impression we wanted to be made, so we invaded Iraq and killed Saddam.

    My point is that this Libyan war is more like the first Gulf War than the second. Heavy reliance on air power, international support, intention to stop short of deposing the enemy’s leader, but rather rely on the indigenous people to take care of replacing him. My problem with this strategy is that the half measures of the first Gulf War arguably caused the second, because the problem just remained and festered. Isn’t there a pretty good chance that, now that we have committed to this, that eventually we will have to fight Qaddafi on the ground (probably when somebody else is president)?

    That may still be the right thing to do, but I hope we remember how much time, trouble and money it cost to rebuild Iraq.

    On a lighter note, somebody told me that Obama has fired more cruise missles at people than all the other Nobel Peace Prize winners combined. I didn’t research it, but I bet it’s true. :D

  • kerner

    On the other hand, we have been fighting this “war on terror” for almost 10 years now, am maybe it isn’t all that unreasonable to wish we had learned a few lessons.

    Saddam Hussein was a bad guy who inflicted cruel tyranny on his people. Qaddafi is the same. Iraq had oil resources. Libya does too. Hussein endured sanctions and a “no-fly zone” and various other measures designed to unseat him or encourage his people to overthrow him, but he held onto power and found ways to oppress his people regardless, and the people’s suffering probably increased while we were supposedly “sanctioning” Hussein. Is there any reason to believe that Qaddafi will be any less able to what Hussein did?

    In the end, the US was faced with a choice. The sanctions were failing and Hussein was recovering his position. The US could allow Hussein to re-establish his former position and become an example of how to defy the USA and come out on top, or we could make him an example of why making an enemy of the USA is a really bad idea. In 2002, the first option was the last impression we wanted to be made, so we invaded Iraq and killed Saddam.

    My point is that this Libyan war is more like the first Gulf War than the second. Heavy reliance on air power, international support, intention to stop short of deposing the enemy’s leader, but rather rely on the indigenous people to take care of replacing him. My problem with this strategy is that the half measures of the first Gulf War arguably caused the second, because the problem just remained and festered. Isn’t there a pretty good chance that, now that we have committed to this, that eventually we will have to fight Qaddafi on the ground (probably when somebody else is president)?

    That may still be the right thing to do, but I hope we remember how much time, trouble and money it cost to rebuild Iraq.

    On a lighter note, somebody told me that Obama has fired more cruise missles at people than all the other Nobel Peace Prize winners combined. I didn’t research it, but I bet it’s true. :D

  • Joe

    Kerner – “On a lighter note, somebody told me that Obama has fired more cruise missles at people than all the other Nobel Peace Prize winners combined.”

    Well if you limit it to “cruise” missiles I am sure you are right but such a draconian limitation is just not far to Arafat. Give the man his due.

  • Joe

    Kerner – “On a lighter note, somebody told me that Obama has fired more cruise missles at people than all the other Nobel Peace Prize winners combined.”

    Well if you limit it to “cruise” missiles I am sure you are right but such a draconian limitation is just not far to Arafat. Give the man his due.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100003407013957 Lazar

    Whilst I understand the need for UN inteevrntion in Libya, there is a huge question mark as to why nothing has been done about the years of torture and abuse of human rights that have gone on in countries like Zimbabwe, Congo, Somalia with no military inteevrntion or air strikes by the West ..Simple answer: these countries have no strategic or economic interest to the great United States of America!!!!!It is the USA’s wasteful squandering of the world’s limited oil resource that has helped towards the spiralling price of oil wake up Europe and the rest of the world, the more we look for alternative energy sources the more oil there is left for the gas-guzzling USA!!!!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100003407013957 Lazar

    Whilst I understand the need for UN inteevrntion in Libya, there is a huge question mark as to why nothing has been done about the years of torture and abuse of human rights that have gone on in countries like Zimbabwe, Congo, Somalia with no military inteevrntion or air strikes by the West ..Simple answer: these countries have no strategic or economic interest to the great United States of America!!!!!It is the USA’s wasteful squandering of the world’s limited oil resource that has helped towards the spiralling price of oil wake up Europe and the rest of the world, the more we look for alternative energy sources the more oil there is left for the gas-guzzling USA!!!!


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