the Air Vent

Because the world needs another opinion

WTF

Posted by Jeff Id on March 21, 2011

Do you  realize that America just bombed a country by authority of the president, killing people without a single US address as to the reason, intent, or expected involvement from the president?

Sure there was  a UN resolution – minimally discussed, but why are America and UK throwing billions of dollars of weapons at Libya without public explanation?

What if G.W. Bush tried the same?

Crazy world.

 

 

 

 

 


45 Responses to “WTF”

  1. This is Valerie Jarret’s war. She’s Iranian. Let’s ask her. She’s running the country and babysitting Barack.

  2. BillyBob said

    I personally believe you should never let an opportunity to depose a mass murdering dictator go to to waste ….

    However, as far as I know, the women made him do it.

    “That a diplomatic team led by Hillary Clinton, Susan Rice, and Samantha Power advocated military action against Gaddafi may be a footnote in the Libyan conflict—but it is a significant mark of our nation’s evolution, argues John Avlon.

    The Libyan airstrikes mark the first time in U.S. history that a female-dominated diplomatic team has urged military action.”

    http://www.thedailybeast.com/blogs-and-stories/2011-03-20/libya-airstrikes-hillary-clinton-and-the-women-who-called-for-war/#

  3. AEGeneral said

    After the uprising in Iran, the Gulf oil spill, riots in Egypt, natural disaster in Japan….

    ….I’m still shocked Obama actually made a decision.

    Obama isn’t the dimmest bulb on the tree by any means, but I swear he’s like a CFL in a strand of incandescents when it comes to making important decisions.

  4. Robert said

    AEgeneral,
    I don’t know how you seem to be equating “dimness” with making important decisions. Bush made plenty of important decisions. He was the “decider”. The only problem is they were wrong. Being absolute in one’s decision making to me does not equal being intelligent. Frankly if he did a little more dithering like Obama did, we might have had fewer soldiers coming back in bodybags.

  5. The climate scandal was just the most visible evidence that a tyrannical government had taken control and was using science as a tool of government propaganda.

    I am not an admirer of Gaddafi, but I have not forgotten that our constitution does not allow America to bomb another “country by authority of the president, killing people without a single US address as to the reason, intent, or expected involvement from the president.”

    We have lost constitutional government.

    With kind regards,
    Oliver K. Manuel

  6. richardM said

    Jeff, I for on am very glad your site is back.

    I agree with your POV. If the threshold for committing US lives and funds has now reached this level, I’m wondering what may lay in store for Bahrain,Iran, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Chad, Somalia, Syria, China, Russia…. murky doesn’t even begin to describe our objectives. If that’s not indecisive, I don’t know what is.

    As to the absolute lack of discussion (beyond the UN) – I’m looking for the advise and consent role that the Congress typically demands – completely absent as is the normal cacophony (I don know how to use and pronounce this word) that the left usually trundles out in these situations. This is just plain awful – and to think we may hand off leadership to some other country – and possibly have continued US involvement (although I don’t see how as there is no defined objective) – makes me ill – been there done that, and if I had owned the t-shirt I would have burned it long ago.

  7. kim said

    The founders are clear that the reason they gave the Power to Wage War to the Executive(unitary) and the Power to Declare War to the Legislature(collective) was that it is a Hell of a lot easier to get into a war than to get out of one.

    Nonetheless, it is also clear that the Executive can unilaterally order military action.

    The dynamics here require a functioning democracy for resolution. Fortunately, we have one.
    ================

  8. Neil said

    As a non-US person (but currently living in the US) I find it all a bit confusing. We have had a series of uprisings around the world that have had a degree of civil war to them, but world and US responses have been diplomatic. So what is the difference here? Many counties over the years have had civil wars and the UN has condemned them, but no airstrikes etc.

    The geopolitics of it all are beyond me or are hidden from us all!

    What will fill the vacuum? We always hope for democracy, but we always forget that western style democracy is not well understood in many countries (including many of the countries that have been democratic for hundreds of years), just as they have different concepts of property rights etc. we always seem surprised later when many of these countries fail to operate the way we do, but we shouldnt be.
    Neil

  9. Bruce said

    “So what is the difference here?”

    Its very, very close to NATO bases so air strikes are easier.

    By the way, the bombing of Serbia by Clinton seems quite forgotten. Serbia was less of a threat than Libya (Lockerbie).

  10. Carrick said

    Neil:

    As a non-US person (but currently living in the US) I find it all a bit confusing. We have had a series of uprisings around the world that have had a degree of civil war to them, but world and US responses have been diplomatic. So what is the difference here? Many counties over the years have had civil wars and the UN has condemned them, but no airstrikes etc.

    As far as I can tell, this was pushed on us by the Brits and the French, but there are differences here.

    Here we have an unelected dictator who is stealing oil money from his people, and when they rebel, he hires a third-world mercenary army to exterminate them, using his stolen money. (I heard on BBC the tab for the foreign military is in the billions of dollars, no sweat, he can afford it.)

    Not quite on par with usual image two warring domestic sides in a civil war.

  11. Scott B said

    We should not even be involved in this. We don’t have the money and even if we did this UN resolution puts us in a no win situation where we either break it or maintain a no fly zone for years during a civil war in stalemate that will cost more lives than Gadaffi would have taken if he had simply been allowed to win. The reaction of most Americans has been sad. From what I’ve seen, most conservatives are whining we should have done something sooner and finding any opportunity they can to complain about Obama while most liberals are doing their best logic gymnastics to avoid criticizing Obama while not taking back their complaints against Bush.

    Can we please stop bombing random places that hold little value to US interests and possibly not go into even more debt?

  12. Steve Fitzpatrick said

    Disruption of oil markets may have something to do with the greater import the ‘international community’ assigns to Libya.

    Of course, that an oppressive dictator ordered the bombing of a civilian jetliner, has tried to murder heads of state, regularly murders his own citizens, steals much of the country’s oil wealth for his own personal use, and is likely insane, probably makes the decision a bit easier.

  13. steveta_uk said

    “So what is the difference here?”

    Oil

    “we always forget that western style democracy is not well understood in many countries”

    This unfortunately has been the excuse used by many of the middle east dictatorships for not allowing free votes in their countries. I’m not at all sure it’s true.

  14. Bruce said

    CG – March 24th, 1999

    PRESIDENT CLINTON: “My fellow Americans, today our Armed Forces joined our NATO allies in air strikes against Serbian forces responsible for the brutality in Kosovo…. Our mission is clear: to deter an even bloodier offensive against innocent civilians in Kosovo and, if necessary, to seriously damage the Serbian military’s capacity to harm the people of Kosovo. In short, if President Milosevic will not make peace, we will limit his ability to make war.”

    Just replace Kosovo with Libya and Milosevic with Khadaffy and Serbian with Libyan.

  15. Scott B said

    The oil answer doesn’t make any sense. Gadaffi was happy to provide oil. If that was the only interest, we could have looked the other way as he slaughtered the rebels. We’ve done that many times before.

  16. John F. Pittman said

    I dislike when USA goes to war. My liberal bias, I know.

    Still to me it is humorous that I voted against Obama as I did against Reagan for making for too many promises. Now Obama like Reagan hits Gahdafi.

    Perhps he will get the reputation of Reagan. “Who knows what in the hell he is going to do?” I like it when pisspot dictators fear how we might respond to their usual shenagans.

    Still, I hate war by USA. A mixed blessing as usual.

  17. Philemon said

    Total (French), ENI (Italian), British Petroleum (erm, BP), Repsol (Spanish), OMV (Austrian), Statoil (Norwegian), ExxonMobil, Chevron, Occidental Petroleum, Hess, and ConocoPhillips (American) all want their assets in Libya protected by the UN, at taxpayer expense, thank you very much.

    http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Middle_East/MC19Ak02.html

    (Some interesting information in the link.)

    My take is that protecting the status quo, (high profit margin oil sales, easily extracted sweet crude with low refinery costs), involves getting both sides obligated, so that whoever “wins” in the civil war, coup d’etat, or what have you, is bought and paid for. Of course, that won’t help the poor taxpayers.

    As I recall, G.W. Bush did bomb Iraq on his first day in office. Mind you, the Clinton’s had established a precedent for it.

  18. kuhnkat said

    It’s Bush’s fault.

  19. zone said

    Obama routinely relies solely on “his many experts” to inform him how to proceed. A problem with this is one can easily be wrong about who’s advise is wrong if lacking a deeper knowledge in a field. Second trouble is if calamity may result as a result of bad executive decision, he will not look within, but always refer that shortcoming to “the committee”.
    This might be a management style but is certainly not leadership.

  20. AEGeneral said

    Robert said

    I don’t know how you seem to be equating “dimness” with making important decisions. Bush made plenty of important decisions. He was the “decider”. The only problem is they were wrong. Being absolute in one’s decision making to me does not equal being intelligent. Frankly if he did a little more dithering like Obama did, we might have had fewer soldiers coming back in bodybags.

    I don’t consider “dithering” a good quality for any leader, much less the leader of the free world. It’s one thing to get feedback from others before making an important decision; but it’s quite another to put it off because of one’s lack of ability to prioritize his own responsibilities (such as picking NCAA brackets on ESPN and taking campaign donors to Brazil right now).

    And being absolute in one’s decision making may not equal intelligence, but the longer one “dithers,” the fewer options one may have by the time he finally decides to chart a course of action. Not exactly an intelligent decision to prolong making one, is it? Especially when you’ve got your priorities out of line and everyone can see it? Thus, the CFL analogy.

  21. Amabo said

    The reason presidents can go to war explained, as well as some other stuff that’s related to war:

  22. Kenneth Fritsch said

    I see some selective judgments about military actions here and particularly so in the so called intelligentsia. I give credit to Ron Paul and Dennis Kucinich for being consistent. We tend to have Democrat and Republican wars that are supported and opposed by partisan inclinations. One would hope that the intelligentsia would be less partisan in these matters.

    Of course we have some neocon conservatives that apparently do not see any military actions that they do not like and tend to give all Presidents, regardless of party, a break when going to war. What is interesting to see is the rationalization of normally anti-war liberals of justifying Democrat wars. I heard one talk about this war being more progressive in nature than apparently those of the Bushes.

  23. Bruce said

    Robert: “Bush made plenty of important decisions. He was the “decider”. The only problem is they were wrong.”

    Well, an alternative view is that thousands of jihadis flocked to Iraq to join Al Quada in Iraq and many of them died in Iraq, instead of living to conduct terrorist operations elsewhere. Many of their “best and brightest” died. Its very hard to quantify the results.

    And many easily forget how the US was betrayed by Turkey. The 4th Infantry Dvision was supposed to attack from the north via Turkey and at the last moment Turket stopped them.

    The Iraq war would have been different if they had deployed.

  24. BlueIce2HotSea said

    Democrats have typically passed on military intervention in cases of genocide and I have cynically hypothesized that it is because most of these humanitarian catastrophes have been conducted by socialists. In the anomalous cases of Pres. Clinton’s action in the Balkans and Pres. Obama’s in Libya, I also cynically note that in both cases the socialist rulers were/are nationalists. In communist countries true to Lenin and Stalin, nationalism has been a counter-revolutionary political crime carrying severe consequences.

    Ignoring my fetid allusions and other than humanitarian concerns, what might be the Democrat’s compelling interest in Libya?

  25. stan said

    Thank God we invaded Iraq. Without that invasion, Libya would have continued developing Saddam’s nuke program. We didn’t even find out about it until the Libyan terrorist got nervous we might do to him what we were getting ready to do to Saddam. And he didn’t agree to give it up until we bagged the Iraqi scumbag. Imagine the headache we’d have now if that sucker had nukes.

    I don’t have any problem if our mission was simply to take the sucker out. He’s killed Americans and funded more terror than anyone else on the planet. I just wish we had a president with the balls to simply say it and do it.

    Jeff’s major point, however, is the total lack of effort by BO to engage with Congress and the American people. That, regardless of the justification or the competence of the mission, is hugely problematic in our Constitutional republic. Obama has no leg to stand on from a legal perspective. Not good.

  26. j ferguson said

    The thing with the UN mandate reminds me of the thing where the guys get together to whomp the local bully who is really REALLY big.

    “Hey Uncle Sam, why don’t we get together and rid the neighborhood of this bad guy, See, he’s standing over there next to the wall. While we’re getting our stuff together, why don’t YOU go take a poke at him?”

    We don’t have the same dogs in the hunt. But guess who carries the ball? And then guess who gets
    the tar baby gig?

    Maybe this is where Obama finds out that being very smart doesn’t mean that you can’t get it wrong.

    Maybe this is where the best case can be made for not hiring young relatively inexperienced presidents, they simply haven’t had the opportunity to screw-up big time and figure out what to do next.

    Unfortunately we don’t often get to choose between real experience and the lack of it.

    I’m with Kucinich on this. If we can impeach for confusion about the meaning of “is” we surely ought to be able to take a hard look at this and decide whether it’s the sort of thing we can tolerate as a democracy.

  27. jeff Id said

    “Maybe this is where Obama finds out that being very smart doesn’t mean that you can’t get it wrong.”

    Please don’t call Obama ‘very smart’. He is above average and a fantastic actor but we need to be realistic. Jimmy Carter was said to be ‘very smart’. I disagree with both.

  28. j ferguson said

    Jeff, I agree with you on Carter. It may be, though, that i’m easily seduced by ready wit.

  29. Adam Gallon said

    The really amazing thing, is the French got the first pop!

  30. BlueIce2HotSea said

    Stan
    Thank God we invaded Iraq. Without that invasion, Libya would have continued developing Saddam’s nuke program

    Saddam’s Arab Socialist Baath Party runs Syria. Any chance there’s another nuclear program the U.S. doesn’t know about – publicly that is? A nationalist socialist Syria is somewhat acceptable to both Dems and Repubs as long as it can oppose Iran and make peace with Israel.

  31. PeterB in Indianapolis said

    Read the War Powers Act of 1973. There are only THREE instances where the President can commit US troops without PRIOR approval of Congress:

    1. An attack on US Soil
    2. An attack on a US Territory
    3. An attack on US Troops

    Is Libya US Soil?
    Is Libya a US territory?
    Was there an attack on US troops?

    If the answer to the 3 questions above is “No”, then the President is required, by law, to get PRIOR approval of Congress to deploy US Troops for a military operation. Not obtaining prior approval of Congress would be a violation of US Law, as well as a violation of Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution.

  32. Duster said

    Nothing really special here. Reagan bombed Kadafi as well. It isn’t political at all. No likes the man. Besides, some of that collateral damage is probably not so collateral. Someone might be trying to hit that Locherbie bomber chap who was sent back to Libya for “compassionate” reasons.

  33. Mark T said

    US law is apparently an inconvenience… unless you are not a democrat, in which case anything you do is otherwise illegal.

  34. kuhnkat said

    What I am seriously wondering is whether there is ANYTHING the chain of command will NOT execute if the President orders it?????

  35. Duster said

    Kuhnkat, Normally, if a president orders it, and it is not self-evidently illegal or in violation of a treaty, COC will proceed as instructed. Treaty obligations also require certain levels of response from the treaty partners. The situation in Libya is screwy. No US administration since before Reagan has had any use for Khadafi. Neither Republicans or Democrats like him. More importantly, neither the UN nor NATO have any use for him, and apparently very few Muslims do either – there are actually a handful of jet fighters from Qatar getting a little target practice. The French air force is apparently happy to shoot up the Libyan country side, and if you read BBC you could get the idea that that the US is hardly involved, though here in the US the media refers to the “US lead coalition.” Anyone interested can get a serious amount of information about who is involved and what has happened at http://www.globalsecurity.org/index.html.

  36. Black Sabbath said

    Where are the antiwar protests now?
    Where is Code Pink now?
    Where are Cindy Sheehan, Susan Sarandon and the Dixie Chicks now?
    Where is Not In Our Name now?
    What happened to No Blood For Oil?
    Why did Obama send us to war #3 and run off to Brazil to award Soros-dominated Petrobas an oil rig contract that he won’t let the US have?
    How much is this latest war costing us?
    What exactly do we intend to do there?
    What is our exit strategy?
    Why is Obama ignoring the economy, Japan, and the rest of the Middle East?
    Why don’t the Arab League pony up money, ships and troops?

  37. Bruce said

    Don’t pick on Cindy Sheehan. As nutty as she is, she is consistently nutty.

    “Three days after the current evil Emperor was installed by the oligarchy, he ordered a drone bombing in Northern Pakistan (a country that we are supposedly not at war with) that killed 36 civilians and since then, he has been absolutely mad about drone bombings, increasing Bush’s total over 300 percent in far fewer years. Even though I never supported Obama who funded wars as a Senator and who is NOT a peace president, I said at the time: “Three days in and already a war criminal.” I was thoroughly attacked by Democrats who once affiliated as “peace” activists for not giving Obama “time.”

    Well, Gitmo is still open, military tribunals will resume for men who have been illegally detained for up to a decade now, US Tomahawk missiles are raining down on innocents in Libya (killing people to save them is the NEW PEACE), dictators are still supported, Israel is still occupying and oppressing Palestine, activists are being targeted by Obama’s DOJ while BushCo are being protected, the USA PATRIOT ACT was renewed, the Gulf is dying–and where is the outrage?”

    http://www.eurasiareview.com/cindy-sheehan-an-open-letter-to-war-loving-democraticrepublican-frauds-oped-23032011/

    The more valid question is, where is the MSM’s coverage of Cindy Cheehan?

  38. mrpkw said

    #`27
    Liberals keep saying Obama is “smart”.
    I’m still waiting to see any evidence of that.

    On the “bright side”, there are a few, extreme left wingers in congress that are not happy about BO’s actions/non actions.

  39. Bryan said

    Todays Telegraph(UK) says Al-Qaeda fighters from Iraq have joined up with the “rebels”.
    Osama has come out against Gaddafi
    Truly the age of stupid has arrived.

  40. M. Simon said

    The neocons I associate with believe in Democracy, Whiskey, Sexy by any means necessary. Of course this is a bad thing if it has to be done by military force. Drum circles or praying to Jesus are better options.

    OTOH some of us neocons believe adhering to Constitutional niceties is a good thing.

    Note: the purpose of fighting small wars is in the hopes you can avoid big ones.

    You should balance military spending against disasters prevented. Since there is no way prevented disasters can be quantified, military spending will get reduced until there is a disaster.

    See world history 1920 to 1945.

    Rinse – repeat.

  41. Grant said

    This action, like the one in Kosovo, is politically advantageous for our president, as is was for Clinton. It’s the reason Clinton cut his losses in Somalia and got out fast, because he knew intervention there would be very costly. Responses to world problems like this define a president. And so for the UN and Obama, this is a no brainer, high upside potential, very little risk.

  42. Grant said

    Interesting, though. Current policy seems pretty dandy continuation of the Bush policy of regime change. Could the elimination of Sadam have set off a popular uprising throughout the middle east? Isn’t this the domino effect but for democracy? Got a feeling the results will be wonderful or horrible and not much in between. See the air conditioners getting turned up in palaces all around those parts.

  43. mrpkw said

    http://blogs.abcnews.com/politicalpunch/2011/03/defense-secretary-libya-did-not-pose-threat-to-us-was-not-vital-national-interest-to-intervene.html

    “On “This Week,” ABC News’ Senior White House Correspondent Jake Tapper asked Gates, “Do you think Libya posed an actual or imminent threat to the United States?”

    “No, no,” Gates said in a joint appearance with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. “It was not — it was not a vital national interest to the United States, but it was an interest and it was an interest for all of the reasons Secretary Clinton talked about. The engagement of the Arabs, the engagement of the Europeans, the general humanitarian question that was at stake,” he said.”

    A complete WTF moment.

  44. kuhnkat said

    Duster,

    now that you have lectured me, try including some actual legalities supporting your apparent view where the President is allowed to order our military to go bomb Libya because he FEELS like it. By the way, there isn’t any so don’t waste too much time making stuff up.

  45. kuhnkat said

    M. Simon, fighting a bunch of small wars helping to create a new caliphate under the Muslim Brotherhood will NOT prevent that next big war, it will guarantee it.

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