War Du Jour, Part III

(11 am. – promoted by ek hornbeck)

War, endless war.  Evidently, Iraq and Afghanistan, even taken together, cannot sate the US’s taste for armed combat and blood. No. Not a chance. Those are insufficient. Today we learned that the US was going to get involved in yet another war, a third one, this time in Libya, again complete with ill defined purpose, the possibility of massive and uncontrolled escalation, and no exit plans.  Yes, I know.  No ground troops are being committed. Yet. Right now. But this intervention is a lot more than just imposing a “no fly zone”.  Let’s call it what it is: it’s an open invitation for the US to get embroiled in yet a third, simultaneous, distant ground war.

How so?  Let’s suppose that air power can keep Libya’s air force on the ground.  But let’s also suppose that Libyan armor attacks Benghazi.  Or Libyan mercenaries and infantry attack some other civilian center in which there is resistance to the Gaddafi government and its tanks and infantry and mercenaries. It’s clear that to defend the rebels (read: the less well armed Libyan people) there would have to be at the very least an air attack on the advancing forces. And the Libyan response to that would be an escalation of some kind, and the response to that, in turn, another escalation. Have we seen this particular sequence and its consequences before?  Or more to the point, haven’t we seen it far too often?  And hasn’t it killed enough US soldiers?  And enough foreign soldiers?  And enough civilians?

MSNBC reports:

NATO allies meeting in Brussels were drawing up plans to enforce a United Nations resolution authorizing military action to prevent the killing of Libyan civilians Friday as Western leaders delivered an ultimatum to Moammar Gadhafi.

Fighting continued Friday in Libya despite the government’s declaration of a cease-fire to comply after the U.N. resolution passed a day earlier.

President Barack Obama and other Western leaders said military response would be swift if Gadhafi forces continue attacking protesters trying to end his 42-year rule.

I think we’ve heard that line about “swift” elsewhere, perhaps in the different context.  At least so far we’ve been spared the silly prediction that the Libyan people would greet US troops in the streets of Tripoli with flowers. We’ll have to wait until next week or next month for that.  Right now there is already video of people in the streets with Libyan flags supposedly cheering the UN/US decision to intervene.  Those videos are positively Chalabi-esque.

But it’s the language about “military action to prevent the killing of Libyan citizens” that’s the real problem.  That very phrase opens the door wide to yet another quagmire.  You remember quagmires.  Vietnam.  Iraq.  Afghanistan.  Now Libya.  What does this phrase mean about the limits, if any, of US/UN intervention in Libya?  As far as I can tell, not so very much.

And how does our present War President explain (video) why the US cannot sit this out in the peanut gallery and try to nurse it’s own economy and Japan back to a modicum of health?  Ah.  Well.  He doesn’t.  You have to watch the entire statement.  Very nice rhetoric.  Very broad.  Very fierce (where has this fierceness been hiding for the past two years that it gets to show off now?).  Yes, it’s intolerable that Gaddafi’s forces are killing civilians.  Yes, Gaddafi has abused the populace for more than four decades.   Yes, he’s violated human rights.  Yes, he’s suppressed expression and the right to assembled.  And worse. We’ve heard all that before about Mubarak, and Saddam Hussein, and [fill in the name of the dictator who is now out of favor in the US].  Yes, he’s a bad, bad man.  And, yes, he has oil, oil, oil.  How coincidental.

You would expect a large outcry about this newest of US wars.  But so far, I don’t hear much.  I’m amazed that committing the US’s military to anything like this can happen so easily.  Have we become that desensitized, that habituated to war for oil?  


cross posted from The Dream Antilles



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  1. living things.

    Thanks for reading.

    • Xanthe on March 19, 2011 at 12:50

    make a difference.  And the people in charge here are bullies and (okay, I’ll say it) crazy.

    There’s a lot going on – we’ll get out there eventually, on the streets.

    But – this time we won’t be handled with caution – there’ll be hell to pay for those of us who balk.  In our heart of hearts we know that —

    It’s not only about oil.  Something else is going on – is it that we want to get on the side of the protestors for political reasons – it’s stupid but so what.

    Perhaps the Republicans will begin offering mandatory education from grades 1 thru 6 to help the war efforts.  Then the little working class drones are on their own – perhaps military schools from 7th grade on.      

  2. Meanwhile back at the Homeboy Security front.


  3. A few weeks back, I read that the strife (protests) in Libya were totally different from that of Egypt, et al.  That, Gaddafi, in fact, has been quite good to his people, had shared the wealth of oil with the citizenry, and so on!  The problem seems to be more of a “tribal” one!  For the life of me, I cannot find that exact same article, but here’s a google, so pick your choice of articles!

    The minute a country exhibits “internal strife” (oil-rich ones, that is), that’s when we go in like vultures and proceed to exhibit our strength on false pretexts.

    I wager to say this was foreseen, as “fiscal responsibility” seems to be the “mode du jour” in order that . . . .  !

  4. Kucinich Calls for the Return of Congress to Exercise Constitutional Authority to Declare War

    U.S. Military Action Against Libya Absent Imminent Threat or Congressional Approval Outside the Legal Scope of the Presidency


    Obama v. Obama

    Senator Barack Obama, December 20, 2007, “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.”

    Washington D.C. (March 18, 2011) – Congressman Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) today released the following statement and letter to Congressional leaders after the President announced that the United States will support a United Nations-approved attack on Libya:

    “While the action is billed as protecting the civilians of Libya, a no-fly-zone begins with an attack on the air defenses of Libya and Qaddafi forces. It is an act of war. The president made statements which attempt to minimize U.S. action, but U.S. planes may drop U.S. bombs and U.S. missiles may be involved in striking another sovereign nation. War from the air is still war.

    “It is also worth noting that the President did not comment upon nor recognize that the Libyan government had declared a ceasefire in response to UNSC Resolution 1973. It was appropriate for the UN to speak about the situation. It was appropriate to establish an arms embargo and freeze Qaddafi’s considerable financial assets. But whether the U.S. takes military action is not for the UN alone to decide. There is a constitutional imperative in the United States with respect to deciding to commit our U.S. armed forces to war. . .  .

    Oil, oil, oil, oil!  A filthy dirty source that we do not cease to kill humans for!  Gawd help us all!

  5. Without a doubt he heard first hand the conversations that took place in the MIC which was set firmly in place as a result of WWII. All of our wars since have been in response to theoretical dangers to America and Democracy based upon “isms” and acronyms. The dominoes of the 50’s are alive and doing well, and the “ism” advertisers haven’t lost a beat.

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