Why is the U.S. attacking Libya?


Deep in an economic funk is no time to embark on another war, unless you can call it something else like a UN humanitarian mission to save poor anti-Gadhafi rebels.

Already by my amateur count, Obama’s spent all the savings he’d theoretically  get by cutting something like public broadcasting.

Public bombcasting is always more expensive.

The issue this week is what exactly is the U.S. involved in? Are we leading? Following? Obfuscating our true purpose? Why doesn’t Obama just call it what it is. Blood for Oil, Part II, or is it Part III, or Part IV.

 I’m losing count.

I’ve got to hand it to Obama. Starting a war, excuse me, a military engagement with UN allies, while all the world is focused on the devastation of Japan is a great bit of political sleight-of-hand. By comparison a war doesn’t seem so bad next to worries about impending nuclear disaster and the end of the world.

But as we come into this first week of Spring, we have no less than Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio) saying that Obama has perhaps committed an impeachable offense, launching an unconstitutional war effort.

Should Obama have consulted Congress before giving the go ahead to start up against Libya? Is it a “war”? No combat troops are on the ground (yet). Did you expect Obama to parse his contitutional power to this degree?

Kucinich and a small group of the most liberal House members think the president is fudging to so much, he should have consulted them. The War Powers Act of 1973 is intended to limit the president’s ability to send troops into combat without Congressional approval.

But a president can do so for 60 days without a declaration or mandate from Congress.  60 days?  That sounds like a lot of time to do damage. But for enemies who like to play war for decades upon decades, 60 days is not so long.

So maybe the president thinks this is truly a short term action and we can all kindly disregard Gadhafi’s histrionics. All that stuff about fighting to the end, inch by inch, for forever and a day. Just macho talk by the colonel.  Or not.

Obama seems to be hoping for another repeat of the first Gulf War, where we can do most all the dirty work by air in just a few days with an adhoc alliance, before a vote can be taken in Congress.  And by time one could be taken, the action would be all over.  And we would win! U-S-A, U-S-A! 

Maybe. But the first Gulf War was an anomaly. The lesson since: War is not a video game. It’s a long narrative.

As we wait to see what exactly our purpose is in Libya, and what the end game is, it’s rather disappointing to see our man of change changing before our eyes into a different kind of president.

Anyone really surprised at this transformation? 

From  the war policy to the domestic policy and the banking and economic crisis, Obama seems quite happy to alienate the people who saw in him much hope.  Is this his way of getting ready for 2012?

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