I know. This subject is all over the intertubes and covered much more eloquently by others, but they’re my pixels and I feel like using them for this.
If this was a Republican administration, there would be no question. The only reason there is a debate is the fact that the rabid left would chew off their own legs before they would support a war, just or not. Therefore, Democrats have to wage war on the sly lest their thinly bound left wing base begins to break off and vote for Ralph Nader.
Clinton did it (poorly) when he periodically lobbed some missiles at some aspirin factory or tent city, and now Obama is doing it, even more poorly if that is possible. He seems to develop his tactical goals for the day in the same manner I decide what flavor of jam to put on my biscuit. Strawberry today? No, blackberry.
But back to the question of the day: Is it war? Well, if Japan did it to us, we’d consider it war. If Russia or China joined Libya in repelling our advances and war planes, we’d consider it war. If Libya was strong enough to shoot back, we’d consider it war.
The lack of talent and equipment on the part of our opponents is not what determines whether or not the United States is waging war on a country. The fact that we have engaged our war making machinery and dropped our bombs on them is what makes it war.
The Obama administration asserts that this is not war.
White House officials told Democratic and Republican congressional aides Tuesday that the U.S. is not at war with Libya and, without laying out a timeline, that the president hopes to hand over control of coalition military operations in the next few days.
Officials present included representatives from the White House Legislative Affairs Office, several members of the intelligence community, a Treasury aide and Gene Cretz, the recently recalled U.S. ambassador to Libya, sources told POLITICO.
Aides in attendance said the administration didnâ€™t shed much new light on the situation.
â€œYou learn more by having read the paper,â€ one said.
The unclassified briefing, delivered to House and Senate aides in a Capitol Visitor Center auditorium, comes amid criticism that the administration did not consult enough with Congress before launching missile strikes on Libyan air defenses over the weekend.
So what is their justification for the determination? Because I said so, that’s why. I won.
Obama’s hubris never ceases to astound me.
I’ve seen the assertion made in conservative circles, though, that this is a military action, not a war. As near as I can tell, the only thing that separates these two things is our likelihood of success.
I don’t think there’s any question that we can bomb Libya as long and as heartily as we like with absolutely no danger that they will retaliate by bombing us. We could conquer their country and turn it into a glass parking lot if we chose, but they couldn’t drop a hand grenade on us on their best day.
But the likelihood of success is not what makes this decision for us. Our actions do.
*Our purpose doesn’t matter. Regardless of whether we engage our military might for humanitarian or philanthropic reasons or because we want their oil, land and women (or in this case, oil and sand), our willingness and capacity to destroy their military, kill their soldiers, and destabilize or destroy their government is what determines whether or not we are at war.*
It is war and President Obama should have requested a Congressional declaration before he sent the first bomber over. His failure to do so shows his contempt for the Constitutional constraints placed on him. Again.
And God bless our soldiers and sailors, who do a phenomenal job, risking their lives in obedience to their solemn vow to protect and to serve, even when their Commander in Chief is feckless. The order, stability, talent, and especially the honor exhibited by our armed forces is magnificent and praiseworthy. Thank you.
*Edited because I thought of something else I wanted to say.