Born-Again Leftist Hawks

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Supporters of Barack Obama, who campaigned to finish the “good” war in Afghanistan and drop the “bad” war in Iraq, cast enthusiastic ballots with the expectation that their candidate would subtract America from at least one war. Instead, he added one.

For Obama’s foot soldiers, it is time either for epiphany or to get in line for Kool Aid. A third war in the Islamic world, after all, is not the hope and change they voted for. The campaign in Libya elicits disillusionment or rationalization. For those engaging in the latter, the party line is, though embarrassingly hypocritical given the caustic rhetoric during the George W. Bush presidency, quite predictable.

This is a liberal war. Did I say war? I meant “kinetic military action,” or “humanitarian mission,” or maybe “internationally authorized intervention,” or perhaps “time-limited, scope-limited military action” even. Liberals don’t fight wars. They manage “conflicts,” oversee “interventions,” and participate in “actions.” Bullets fly. People die. Just don’t call them wars.

Liberal bombs and missiles are humanitarian in intent. When American ordnance and Libyan people experience their moment of cultural exchange, the Libyans will surely appreciate how well meaning the American policy is. What is “I am from the U.S. government and I am here to help you” in Arabic?

The campaign is multilateral. This is another way of saying France is on board. Operation Iraqi Freedom, which involved a more diverse coalition that included Brits, Poles, Spaniards, and three dozen or so other peoples, was “unilateral.” That’s because the French stayed home.

Sure, Barack Obama bypassed Congress. They’re comprised primarily of conservative rubes now, anyhow. The Constitution? It gives rights to foreign gentlemen imprisoned at Guantanamo Bay; it doesn’t restrain presidential power, at least when the commander in chief is a Democrat. The important thing is that the Obama administration went to the United Nations. Their approval, not Congress’s, affirms the legality of the president’s action.

The decision to go to kinetic military action was made after due consideration and prudential deliberation. This is Barack Obama, Ivy League graduate, we are talking about. George W. Bush may have rushed to war when he attacked Iraq five months after Congressional approval and more than a year after the first protests of an Iraq war that wasn’t (yet). But Barack Obama’s commitment of the American military to another Middle Eastern campaign, when everybody was preoccupied with a natural disaster in Japan, was anything but a rush to war. So circumspect is this president that he waited more than a week after U.S. jets took to the Libyan skies to give his reasons to the American people in a televised address.

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  • logdon

    And where does the hypocrisy end?

    Syria? Saudi? Bahrain? Yemen?

    This is not over by a long chalk and as the fever for regime change grips the ME, more and more rioting will happen and the consequential death toll will ensue.

    What then?

    And what about that Seventh Imam obsessed spider watching, waiting and gloating as the Sunni world explodes?

  • Jim_C

    It's true we could play "But you said…" all day long.

    It doesn't do anything toward figuring out the right thing to do. Newt Gingrich, famously, called for action, then when action was taken, said it was the wrong thing to do.

    I don't think anyone knows what to do. If you are of a neoconservative bent, this accords with your values. This is essentially the Bush Doctrine. If you are a liberal, is this suddenly a "good war" now that Obama's running the show?

    I wish we stayed out of the whole freaking thing. How long are we going to be in Libya, now? It's ridiculous.

    • William_Z

      It’s too late for a number of reasons, but I don’t think the ‘Bush Doctrine’ applies—but there are a number of different meanings. (What do you think?) Libya began with an uprising and has move to civil war. In Afghanistan and Iraq there were neither. Well, possibly in Afghanistan there was what was called the “Northern Front,” but it was stalled in the north for years, so I don’t suspect that qualifies as a civil war, more of an inconsequential opposition, which went into action only once the US attacked.

      The Libya civil war would be over if the US and the allies didn’t get involved, for worse, or for worse. Doing what the ‘Nato’ is going to be doing—enforcing a ‘no-fly zone’ while blowing up everything in sight which has nothing to with a ‘no-fly zone’ this is could gone on for sometime. Kaddaffi could be killed, but he does have a son, who probably would like to be dictator.

    • Maxie

      "This is essentially the Bush Doctrine."

      No, it's essentially the Blair Doctrine: Human rights trump national sovereignties.
      Re: "Blair unveils bold intervention doctrine" by Rob D. Kaiser & Michael McGuire, Chicago Tribune April 23, 1999. Clinton was on board with this 'Doctrine' which he referred to as the "Doctrine of International Community which would empower "…the international community [to] stop ethnic cleansing and genocide whether it's within, or beyond, a country's borders". (*)

  • USMCSniper

    The NATO Commander says intelligence shows that members of Al Qaeda are known to be involved with the Libyan opposition. Abdel-Hakim al-Hasidi is the leader of the Libyan rebels. In an interview with the Italian newspaper Il Sole 24 Ore, Mr. al-Hasidi said he had recruited “around 25″ men from the Derna area in eastern Libya to fight against coalition troops in Iraq. Some of them, he said, are “today are on the front lines in Adjabiya.” But, they also have ties to al-Qaeda. That’s right, al-Qaeda. AND THE DEMOCRATS AND RINOS WANT US TO ARM THE REBELS SO THEY CAN TAKE OVER LIBYA!

    • Arius

      You are correct. The US also did this in the 1990's in the Balkans. It was then that I detected the self hating West that is aiding its demise.

  • Arius

    Like in the 1990's in the Balkans the US again supports the Islamic jihad against the West.

  • Bigfoot

    The objections to the invasion of Iraq could also have been raised against the bombing of Serbia in 1999 under President Clinton, but for the most part were not. The anti-war left seemed to have discovered the concept of "unilateral" war during Operation Iraqi Freedom, even though the bombing of Serbia was carried out by only two countries, far less than the 30-odd countries involved in Iraq. In other words, the left's hypocrisy is nothing new.

  • umustbkidding

    Well, seeing that this war is being waged and it's not in our "interests", meaning that it's not for oil. If there is a regime change it will unfortunately turn into a terrorist state (not that Kadaffi is a pussy cat) and he didn't speak to our congress about going to war before taking action only NATO, which means that it's "kinetic".

    I guess we are there for "fun".