23 March 2011

Another war, another attack on a sovereign nation

Don't be fooled by the big 'D' that accompanies Pres. Obama's name in political discussions.  What the President is doing in Libya is as much of a declaration of war as our actions were in invading Afghanistan and Iraq.  So the difference between Mr. Bush (R) and Mr. Obama (D) is increasingly blurred by the latest convoluted initiation of air strikes against a sovereign state. I'll repeat that last bit for emphasis, the US has chosen to bomb a sovereign nation.  This is an egregious act of war.

It's obviously ludicrous to point this out but just for the sake of analogy let us suppose that another country bombed the US in the same way that we are currently bombing Libya.  It would be a massive attack on our soil.  Congress would immediately reconvene and would not dare hesitate to declare war on the intervening state.

So we are now at war, intervening in another country's internal affairs.  This is wrong in so many ethical ways.

First, we've attacked a sovereign state that posed no threat to the US.  That in itself should be decisive.  Additionally, Article 1, Section 8 of the Constitution states that congress has the power to declare war.  Congress has not passed any resolution for us to have engaged in this war.  There was no debate, only a presidential order.  The Constitution does not allow the president to declare war.

Then, there's the cost of this military exercise.  The latest figure is that our operations in Libya are running upwards of $300 million a day.   According to an independent report released this month by the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments, "... the no-fly zone would cost at least $400 million to set up, and up to $100 million per week to enforce.  Each Tomahawk missile costs more than $500,000, bringing the total price for Saturday night's initial volley to at least $55 million."

And yet everyone in America has been told to make sacrifices.  While the working class sacrifices, the military budget climbs toward $700 billion, the poverty gap increases, and our foreign policy devolves into constant overreaching attacks on autonomous nations.  In much the same way that Afghanistan has no optimistic ending in sight, this action seems utterly void of a positive outcome. 

What is the reasoning behind the actions of an ostensibly rational, educated president?  What could possibly validate or support the rationale to drop bombs on an independent state that does not constitute an immediate threat to US security?  Is this a moral decision?  Gadhafi has ordered military reprisals, the killing of his own people, to quell the uprisings and attempts at a coup, and we need to put an end to that brutality.

If that were the case, there must be hundreds of cases of oppression of the same magnitude or larger, Rwanda, Sudan, Saudi Arabia, Zimbabwe, etc. where the US has far more compelling reasons to get involved but we have chosen not to.  Most of the other situations noted above contain far more civilian casualties and brutality of innocents than does the week old uprising in Libya.

Here is the real, and perhaps the only, reason the US is currently bombing a sovereign state: Libya possesses the largest oil reserves in Africa.

There it is.

Unfortunately, this could cost Mr. Obama a second term.  In which case, the US will be burdened with an even bigger dolt in any of the republican candidates mentioned so far (Palin must be having a real goose right about now).

Why the President didn't call congress back into session to debate the ramifications of our actions is beyond reason.  It will be very difficult to get out of this commitment without more egg on Uncle Sam's face.

Already the Arab nations that voted for the UN resolution have started denying that the resolution approved any attacks.  The US is going to end up on the wrong side of this no matter the outcome.

That can't be good.

Over and out.

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