Is it just me, or does entering a war with the expressed mission of not winning seem a little odd? Actually, it seems like a strategy only the UN could love. From Rwanda to Darfur to Somolia to Kosovo, the UN has developed a reputation for successful genocide containment. Wherever tyrants are mass murdering their people, the UN is there to set up some ground rules. In Libya, the rules are no airplanes, and we get to shoot at you from a distance while you do it.
Of course, what is really strange is how quickly the party in power has completely reversed every principle they held so fast to between the start of the 2004 election and 2008. I’m not just talking about keeping Gitmo open, restarting military tribunals, and employing a surge strategy led by General Betr…oops, I mean Petreaus.
I am talking about pre-emptive war. Of course, here is the disclaimer: we are not at war, our goal is not nation building, in fact our goal is not even to remove Qadaffi. We all know there are no WMDs in Libya, so no one can say we are going there for a lie. And of course, outside of CIA and special ops, there will be no boots on the ground. Actually, as recently as couple days ago, Robert Gates in testimony to the House made it clear that our future intentions are to sit back, sanction them to death and wait for Qadaffi to sort of fall out of power like what has happened with other evil dictators we use that strategy on (you know, Ahmidenijad, Kim Jong Il, Saddam Hussein in the 90s). We could say that strategy worked with Mubarak if by sanctions you meant funding.
Speaking of funding, you might be interested to know that about a month before we started spending hundreds of millions of dollars to blow up Qadaffi’s military, we were funding his military so that he could fight terrorism. You might ask why we would be doing such a thing. The fact is, aside from the Lockerbie bombing and some other smaller scale recognizable terrorist attacks in the 80s and 90s, such as shooting Doc Brown in the movie Back to the Future, Libya has had a pretty good track record lately. When we invaded Iraq, we were able to confiscate a nuclear weapons and materials stash, but it wasn’t in Iraq. It was in Libya and was voluntarily handed over by Qadaffi. He then paid millions of dollars to the families of Libyan terrorist victims. Libya has been an ally in the war on terror ever since and Obama had requested an additional $1.7 million for Qadaffi’s military just last month.
Then we started bombing Libya to prevent a genocide against Libyan rebels. Then we started supplying the rebels. Unfortunately, we didn’t do our research. Turns out, the same rebels who are fighting for pro-America freedom and democracy in Libya are the Al Qaida fighters who we were fighting just a few years ago in Iraq.
The embarrassment of going into Libya without a plan, without justification, without consulting congress, and without knowledge of who we were blowing up and who we were aiding has caused the administration to begin tiptoeing as quietly as they can toward the exit. The answer has been to reframe the mission as a humanitarian NATO mission only to save civilian lives. This is why now, after arming the rebels, NATO is warning the rebels that if they kill civilians, we will bomb them too.
We are arming both sides, now we will be bombing both sides. At least we will be saving lives, right?