Libya and the politics of politics
The US is now involved in the civil war that is raging in Libya and debate is rising on the legality of intervening as well as purpose. President Obama is going to address his rationale for entering the US into yet another world conflict. Both sides of the debate will attempt to rationalize and validate their points. But while I agree there are usually two sides to every story, I think many are missing the forest for the trees.
First off, everyone is saying a "victory" was won by NATO assuming all aerial and ground attacks. That's great, but why are we even involved in the first place. What victory has been achieved? We are investing money and military resources in a conflict that has nothing to do with national security or national interests.
Secondly, everyone is asking what an acceptable outcome would be. Are we claiming victory already in a fight we probably should not even be in? What kind of big-headed ego assumes any outcome is assured? That is exactly what leads to big trouble down the road. I find it hard to believe I am siding with Hillary Clinton on anything, but the Secretary of State stated on NBC's "Meet The Press" that, "I think it is too soon to predict." Good answer. Can you imagine predictions coming like this during World War II? And look what happened in Vietnam. War and conflict is not a certainty.
Thirdly, President Obama did not seek Congressional consent or counsel but he did seek consent and counsel with the Arab Lague. He will be laying that out in a speech at 7:30PM EST today (Monday 28 MAR 2011) but one really has to wonder how legal and even more so, how prudent that is. Senator Richard Lugar (R-IN), also on "Meet The Press", I really believe summed the entire thing up when he said, "who has budgeted for Libya at all? I don't believe we should be engaged in a Libyan civil war. The fact is we don't have particular ties with anybody in the Libyan picture. It is not a vital interest to the United States."
And that is the whole crux of the issue. Why are we intervening, when we are already have our military stretched thin by two "wars" in Iraq and Afghanistan, have budget problems that are posing to furlough thousands of federal employees, and even the Secretary of Defense stated that Libya "was not a vital interest to the United States." The President says the mission is "clear and focused." Really? Clear to whom? Apparently not Congress. Apparently not to the people of this country who he works for.
We should be concerned that our President is overstepping his bounds. He is making decisions that he should not be making without much more consent. Since his decision to intervene and now with the outcry of his actions he has said that the U.S. military role would be decreasing. Great, but this should not be what he is reporting back to Congress and the people on. They military should not have even been involved int he first place in a country where we have no interest or stake in.
An now you have people, like Newt Gingrich, saying that the goal should be to get rid of Gadhafi. Why? Gadhafi has been on no concern or consequence for over a decade. But because rebels are now trying to overthrow his regime America thinks it needs to be involved? Again, why?
Politics is the central issue to this. Politicians have forgotten why they are elected for the position they hold. They only know how to play the game of politics. Gingrich is a good example. He is eyeing a bid for President in 2012. And he is playing the political game to the hilt. He is bad mouthing (albeit legitimately) the President, saying what people want to hear and flip-flopping back and forth on issues along with public opinion (he said he was skeptical that a no-fly zone will work without a mandate to get rid of Gadhafi, even though two weeks ago he called for one).
The President isn't off the hook either. He is quickly becoming known as "king" Obama by his actions that seem to focus on his own thoughts and opinions and by not taking into concern the Constitution and the processes involved in normal government operations. Consulting with the Arab League and not Congress was a VERY bad move that I think is going to bite him.
We are now involved in another conflict. Chances are good that we will be involved in yet another regime change. There is no plans for a replacement regime and no real stake in Libya for that matter. My guess is that Gadahfi will be overthrown, exiled, something to that nature, and the incoming flux of power-hungry people with just replace one corrupt regime with another. Time will tell, but in the end regardless of the outcome, the only significance that will be had in the whole matter is that we waste money that we don't have, further perpetuate the myth that the US is out to dominate the world, and separate military members from their families needlessly, and quite possibly send some needlessly to their death. For what?
The Politics of Politics.