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Where’s our dog in Libyan fight? (03/27/2011)
By John Edstrom

Would somebody please step up and explain just what dog it is that we (the U.S.) have in this Libyan fight? Of course, that country’s strong man, Moammar Gadhafi, is a monster, but by the standards of the Middle East, not too bad of a one. He recently gave up his aspirations for nuclear and weapons of mass destruction voluntarily. He has been reliably pumping oil and selling it at market prices, wishing only to be left alone to run his country with one iron fist and loot it with the other, standard practice over there.

Naturally, there will always be competition for that kind of job, so his “people” have risen against him in rebellion and civil war has erupted, which Gadhafi and his loyalists were in the process of winning, until the U.S. and allies intervened on behalf of the rebels. There is no word as to who or what constitutes these rebels, but a good guess would be that their strongest and best organized elements would be, aside from the usual odd-man out tribal interests, a mixture of Islamists and communists. Nevertheless, they have been designated “innocent civilians” who must be saved by the civilized world, mainly France, the U.K., and us.

To that effect, this country alone has expended a billion dollars deploying high-tech weaponry to blow up what will surely be worthless, obsolete, junk Soviet air defense which Gadhafi’s forces would not know how to use properly if it did work. Now, what appears to be a stalemate has developed, and who knows when Libyan crude will flow freely again as world oil prices climb. (Perhaps this is President Obama’s real intention, one he dare not admit to.)

Sooner or later Obama will discover himself to be just one of a long line of American presidents to have succumbed to the bogus notion that an expensive air force can rearrange things on the ground other than blow them to flinders. Then let us pray that he will have tired of playing general, or we could well find ourselves involved in yet another ground war in the Middle East. If that sounds far-fetched, think about it. Easily the main issue that got Obama elected was a widespread moral/pacifist revulsion against the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan on the part of his leftist base, and the spreading notion on the right that Iraq was a bad idea and the Afghani effort floundering.

Yet without consulting either his friends or enemies in Congress, or offering any rationale for it to the American public, he launches a major and beastly expensive air attack against a country that has given the U.S. no (other than general) offense and where we have zero national interest. I would be tempted to rehearse the old saw about liberals’ unwillingness to project American military might in any cause except one in which we have nothing at stake, except that the political left has joined the right up in arms over this adventure.

When the dust settles in Libya this country will, at the very least, have wasted a fortune in borrowed money to accomplish nothing other than to make itself appear arrogant, capricious, and oblivious of its own interests. I shudder to think what the worst outcome might be.



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