Libyan Opposition Flag - Don't Forget the Beng...

Image by mshamma via Flickr

There is no simple answer to how I feel about NATO’s (America’s) action in Libya. Speaking strictly morally, it is the right thing to do and I support it. The cause of the current situation – and all bad things in that county in the past 40 years – is Qadhafi. It is common sense that he must be eliminated, regardless of what comes next. He has American and British and German and French blood on his hands for decades now and this…”war” or “kinetic action” or whatever…MUST culmiate in his removal – dead or alive. Yet we (America, not the British) refuse to go after him lest it “fray the coalition”?? Hello?? He’s the reason we’re doing anything!

In”The Audacity of Hope,” Obama said the U.S. will lack international legitimacy if it intervenes militarily “without a well-articulated strategy that the public supports and the world understands.” He questioned: “Why invade Iraq and not North Korea or Burma? Why intervene in Bosnia and not Darfur?”

Last night, “Some nations may be able to turn a blind eye to atrocities in other countries. The United States of America is different. And as president, I refused to wait for the images of slaughter and mass graves before taking action.”

Then why haven’t we acted in Sudan or North Korea as he said? Iran? Syria? Bahrain? The Ivory Coast? Nigeria? Egypt? So the “why” question is basically because “he’s crushing an uprising and they have oil”… To say that lacks moral clarity is an understatement! So I do support it in general, the complete lack of a policy (contrary to the clear as a bell Bush Doctrine), is not good for us at all.

The War Powers Act is a bitch, but it is the law of the land. Any President can use the military damn near any place he wants, so long as it is deemed that “imminent involvement in hostilities is clearly indicated by the circumstances”. And he has to notify Congress within 48 hours and has to submit an update to the Congress within 60 days and thereafter every 6 months for continued authorization. The notification was given on March 21 so we’ll see where we are at the end of May. Since the “imminent involvement” part is murky at best, he’s going to have a heck of a time getting it approved in 60 days…and it goes to debate, Dennis Kucinich will likely use that platform to lauch his Democratic primary challenge for 2012.

Unfortunately, this is just the latest in a long, LONG list of examples from Barack Obama on issues of National Security – say both things, mean nothing. A tweet I saw this morning said it best: “I authorized this war that is not a war, which is narrowly focused but broad in scope, so we could lead. As helpers.”