Unlike Obama, President Bush did confer with Congress. In a recent article in American Thinker, “Obama Attacks Libya, Where’s Congress?”, J.B. Williams states, “when George W. Bush sent troops into Afghanistan and Iraq following the September 11, 2001 attacks on U.S. soil, not only did he consult Congress in advance, but he sought and received specific statutory authorization from Congress before ordering troops into combat. Bush complied with the Constitution and the War Powers Act under conditions (2) and (3). He also had a broad coalition of U.N. partners driven by years of U.N. resolutions defied by Iraq.” Read more here.
Now we are striking Libya with missiles in an attack ordered by our president without the full consent of Congress. Why is there not an outrage in every media outlet? If this had been ordered by a conservative president, every major network would be calling for impeachment for war crimes. The media would relentlessly air stories about the horrors of war on our troops. It happened the entire last two years of George Bush’s term. Since Obama took the position of Commander in Chief, we have not backed out of any of the wars we were committed to and he has only added to the contingencies.
In addition to striking a country without a plan, we are discovering that we have engaged on behalf of rebels we know little about. In fact some of them may be al Qaeda, the people that we are supposedly fighting against in Afghanistan. Yesterday, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton acknowledged "we are still getting to know those who are leading the transitional national council." We are still “getting to know” the people we launched $70 million of missiles on behalf of?
In his speech, the President said, “America's role would be limited; that we would not put ground troops into Libya; that we would focus our unique capabilities on the front end of the operation, and that we would transfer responsibility to our allies and partners. Tonight, we are fulfilling that pledge.” Immediately after this double-speak that we are not putting boots on the ground in Libya, it was announced that twenty-two hundred Marines and sailors from Camp Lejeune are preparing to deploy off the coast of Libya in northern Africa. The 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit was set to deploy to the Mediterranean later this year but that got bumped up once NATO forces launched an air assault on Libya.
Speaking of NATO forces, our President stated, "Our most effective alliance, NATO, has taken command of the enforcement of the arms embargo and no-fly zone. ... Going forward, the lead in enforcing the no-fly zone and protecting civilians on the ground will transition to our allies and partners, and I am fully confident that our coalition will keep the pressure on Gadhafi's remaining forces. In that effort, the United States will play a supporting role." A caller into the Dennis Miller Show Tuesday stated rightly, “We ARE NATO.” We are the primary contributor to NATO providing 1/5 of their budget so our role is still significant. After all, 2,200 marines “off the coast of Libya” can’t be wrong.
So again I ask, why Libya? The President states, “Libya sits directly between Tunisia and Egypt - two nations that inspired the world when their people rose up to take control of their own destiny. For more than four decades, the Libyan people have been ruled by a tyrant - Moammar Gaddafi. He has denied his people freedom, exploited their wealth, murdered opponents at home and abroad, and terrorized innocent people around the world - including Americans who were killed by Libyan agents…. Faced with this opposition, Gaddafi began attacking his people….. In the face of the world's condemnation, Gaddafi chose to escalate his attacks, launching a military campaign against the Libyan people. Innocent people were targeted for killing.” This is a noble reason to help, but then again, this is not the only nation with a dictator hell bent on silencing the citizens. This is also happening in Syria and the Ivory Coast. I haven’t heard of any plans to protect innocent civilians in those countries.
The President’s answer for not responding to other countries was as follows, “much of the debate in Washington has put forward a false choice when it comes to Libya. On the one hand, some question why America should intervene at all…they argue that there are many places in the world where innocent civilians face brutal violence at the hands of their government, and America should not be expected to police the world, particularly when we have so many pressing concerns here at home. It is true that America cannot use our military wherever repression occurs. And given the costs and risks of intervention, we must always measure our interests against the need for action. But that cannot be an argument for never acting on behalf of what's right. In this particular country - Libya; at this particular moment, we were faced with the prospect of violence on a horrific scale….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.” Yes, Mr. President, I ask again why do you turn a blind eye to Syria and the Ivory Coast?
I hope in the immediate future Congress becomes more involved with this situation. We have been pulled into an unfortunate dilemma exclusively by our Commander in Chief. It is of grave concern to me that on Sunday Obama's defense secretary, Robert Gates said Libya, "was not a vital national interest to the United States, but it was an interest." Mr. President, despite your speech, you have not shown Americans, including your own cabinet, that we belong in this fight. Refresh my memory, what did you win the Nobel Peace Prize for?