Cartoon Reality

Cartoon Reality
Vol: 118 Issue: 28 Thursday, July 28, 2011

It would appear that the United States, non-fighting alongside NATO, Britain and France, are having their clocks cleaned by Libyan forces loyal to Muammar Khadafy in its unauthorized, non-war ‘kinetic operation’ that has already cost almost $1,000,000,000.00 scarce US dollars.

In March, the White House told the website, Politico that the United States was most emphatically NOT at war with Libya.  Instead it said, the United States has been participating in a ‘kinetic military operation’ in which the White House was in total compliance with the War Powers Act.

The War Powers Resolution was passed in 1973 with the intention to check presidential authority in committing US forces to armed combat without the consent of Congress.  It passed with a veto-proof two-thirds Congressional majority during the height of Democratic Congressional control.

Since the last formal declaration of war in 1941, the United States had been involved in a more or less constant combat in various places around the world without a Congressional declaration of war.  The Korean War and its aftermath, created this new idea of superpowers fighting a ‘limited war’ in a third country.

The Korean War, Vietnam War and Soviet Afghan War, both Iraq Wars, the current war in Afghanistan and the non war in Libya are all examples of ‘limited wars.’  The singular, glaring difference between World War II and the new and improved limited war concept is time.

The United States’ involvement in World War I lasted just under two years and ended in an armistice with Germany.  Twenty years, later America had to fight Germany again.  Learning the lesson from the first time around, America fought its way to total victory in less than four years. 

In 1948, the Cold War introduced the concept of proxy war with the Berlin Airlift and by 1951, “limited” war under the supervision of the United Nations.

Korea?  The Korean War never ended.  Fifty-nine years after it began, US forces remain permanently stationed along the DMZ along the most heavily defended borders in the world.  

They are part of the still-functioning UN Command, which remains in command of all US, UN and South Korean armed forces in the region.  A special service decoration, known as the Korea Defense Service Medal, is authorized for U.S. service members who today serve a tour of duty in Korea. 

The Vietnam War?  It lasted for more than ten years.  No matter how rosily one paints the true picture, the truth is that the US military won every single major battle, but lost the war.  America was forced out in a panic, and the North took over the country.  

The first Gulf War, also a United Nations operation, started in 1991 and lasted for more than twelve years.  After the US declared ‘victory’ the US was forced to participate in a twelve year air war until the second Gulf War, which ended the war with Saddam Hussein in 2003. 

Eight years later, we are still there, still fighting, and unable to extricate ourselves.  Babies born in 1991 during the first Iraq war now serve in combat units in Iraq, still cleaning up what their fathers left behind.

In 2002 the United States launched a “limited” war in Afghanistan against the ruling Taliban who provided training and assistance to Osama bin-Laden and al-Qaeda.  Afraid of widening the war, Washington entered into an alliance with the Taliban’s closest allies in Pakistan.  

On 7 October, America will celebrate nine years of warfare against a collection of sixth century warlords, drug dealers and RPG-carrying  goat-herders responsible for thousands of American deaths and legions of limbless wheelchair-bound casualties.

One of the most powerful political tools available to a US president is the ability to distract the nation away from domestic issues by waging a ‘successful’ war. 

The definition of a ‘successful’ war going all the way back to JFK’s Bay of Pigs and later introduction of US troops into Vietnam was one in which the White House can invoke national security or the fog of war as necessary to provide political cover at home.

Bill Clinton used it like political steroids – whenever he got into hot water at home, he’d try something spectacular overseas.  Somalia, Rwanda, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Serbia, Haiti, and of course, good old Iraq. 

Under Bill Clinton, the practice became so predictable that it even got a policy nickname; “Wag the Dog.”

Assessment:

Obama’s people must have consulted with focus groups and decided that Khadafy was so loathsome to the American people that joining a NATO effort to depose him would play well across-the-board. 

First, they simply assumed that Republicans are so bloodthirsty that they would support any US-led military action under what is [to them] the mysterious concept of ‘patriotism’.

(It is the Obama administration’s own fault for playing with something they don’t understand.)

Secondly, since the action was authorized by the UN, it would play well among Obama’s Marxist base.  And since the Arab League was also supporting it, it would also give him cover with his Muslim base.  

But that wouldn’t get him past the Republican majority in Congress.  Lying about it would buy him some time, though.  

By calling it a ‘kinetic military action’ Obama says he is in total compliance with the War Powers Act, which summarizes as follows:

“The constitutional powers of the President as Commander-in-Chief to introduce United States Armed Forces into hostilities, or into situations where imminent involvement in hostilities is clearly indicated by the circumstances, are exercised only pursuant to (1) a declaration of war, (2) specific statutory authorization, or (3) a national emergency created by attack upon the United States, its territories or possessions, or its armed forces.

Simply stated, what Americans are now doing in Libya is illegal under American law.  Every military action taken by the United States that results in the death of a Libyan foreign national is technically a war crime.

America has absolutely no critical national interest in Libya’s civil war or its outcome.  Indeed, the outcome is the least clear part of the entire debacle.  To this day, we don’t know who we are supporting against Khadafy. 

Unlike Britain and France, we haven’t even recognized the rebels yet, because we don’t know who they are!  At best, we know who they are not.

Obama’s plan for a splendid little war ending in a splendid little victory that would give him cause for a victory lap around the Republican opposition seemed foolproof back in January.  

Go in under the cover of the UN and NATO, crush Libya’s tiny military under the weight of secret American air power, kill Khadafy and be home in time for supper.  It was such a sure thing that Obama launched the war while on vacation in South America.

But Libya wasn’t a sure thing.  The “Libyan Rebels” named their government “the National Transition Council.” It has 31 members.  We know who thirteen of them are – the rest are pseudonyms – we have no idea who.

What we do know is that Libya’s ‘rebel leader’ freely admits that some of his fighters came to Libya’s front lines from Iraq where they had been fighting US troops.

And after spending a billion dollars indiscriminately killing Libyans and others without any real knowledge of whose side they are on (or whose side that we are)  the ‘coalition’ has decided that the only actual, identifiable war aim, which is to bring Khadafy to account for his crimes, is being abandoned.

The Obama administration admitted that it is negotiating, along with Britain, France and NATO, hoping to make a deal where Khadafy will surrender as long as he doesn’t have to leave Libya and face the International Criminal court. 

Because Congress wasn’t even consulted, the splendid little war and credit for the splendid little victory would have been all Obama’s – but evidently the combined might of Great Britain, France, NATO and the United States wasn’t quite a match for Khadafy’s determined army.

I always pictured the Tribulation Period in my head as a kind of cartoon movie, since I had nothing in my real-life experience to which I can compare the Bible’s images of the world gone insane under antichrist.  But that was before Obama. 

It’s a lot easier to picture now.

This entry was posted in Briefings by Pete Garcia. Bookmark the permalink.

About Pete Garcia

Christian, father, husband, veteran, pilot, and sinner saved by grace. I am a firm believer in, and follower of Jesus Christ. I am Pre-Trib, Dispensational, and Non-Denominational (but I lean Southern Baptist).

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