Gates: No vital national interest or imminent threat in Libya before Odyssey Dawn

posted at 10:15 am on March 27, 2011 by Ed Morrissey

Jake Tapper reminds ABC why they foolishly spent money on Christiane Amanpour last year for the anchor job on This Week with a tough joint interview of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Secretary of Defense Robert Gates.  Tapper asks Gates exactly what vital national interest the US has in Libya and what kind of imminent threat to our security Moammar Gaddafi posed at the beginning of Operation Odyssey Dawn.  Gates says … none in either case:

On “This Week,” ABC News’ Senior White House Correspondent Jake Tapper asked Gates, “Do you think Libya posed an actual or imminent threat to the United States?”

“No, no,” Gates said in a joint appearance with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. “It was not — it was not a vital national interest to the United States, but it was an interest and it was an interest for all of the reasons Secretary Clinton talked about.  The engagement of the Arabs, the engagement of the Europeans, the general humanitarian question that was at stake,” he said.

Gates then says that refugees from Libya could have destabilized Tunisia and Egypt, which is true — obviously, the revolutions in those places helped destabilize Libya — and that somehow that was of interest to the United States.  That is certainly an arguable point either way, but that point should have been argued in Congress before committing the US to war.  The War Powers Resolution requires there to be “(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” before a President can send US military forces into a new conflict.

People have disputed the constitutionality of the WPR ever since Congress passed it, but no President has ever had the nerve to challenge it.  Moreover, Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton ran for the presidency in 2007-8 by challenging George Bush’s record on military adventurism, and now-VP Joe Biden specifically campaigned on the promise to impeach Bush in his final year in office if he violated it.  Gates’ admission leaves Obama with very little room to pretend that he followed his own campaign rhetoric on warmaking.

Hillary felt the need to swoop to the rescue.  She claimed that Obama didn’t need to go to Congress because this coalition is so darned multilateral:

Tapper asked Clinton, “Why not got to Congress?”

“Well, we would welcome congressional support,” the Secretary said, “but I don’t think that this kind of internationally authorized intervention where we are one of a number of countries participating to enforce a humanitarian mission is the kind of unilateral action that either I or President Obama was speaking of several years ago.”

“I think that this had a limited timeframe, a very clearly defined mission which we are in the process of fulfilling,” Clinton said.

Obviously, the Secretary of State has trouble with both math and the law.  There is no “multilateral” waiver in either the WPR or the Constitution, but even if there were, Obama would be the least likely President to qualify for it.   This coalition is the smallest since World War II involving the US in military action, only half the size of  George W. Bush’s Iraq War coalition.

She also fails vocabulary test in her claim that the mission has a limited timeframe.  Later, Gates says that no one knows how long this will drag on:

On “This Week,” ABC News’ Senior White House Correspondent Jake Tapper asked Secretary of Defense Gates how much longer we might be there.

“Some NATO officials say this could be three months, but people in the Pentagon think it could be far longer than that.  Do you think we’ll be gone by the end of the year?  Will the mission be over by the end of the year?” Tapper asked

“I don’t think anybody knows the answer to that,” Gates said.

This administration has had trouble throughout this Middle East crisis getting its stories straight from day to day.  Now they can’t even get their stories straight in the same interview.

Smart power.


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They can’t even keep the story straight in THE SAME INTERVIEW? I would have loved to have been next to the aids for these two. They were probably pissing themselves trying to keep their mouths shut while these guys make our government look like a bunch of bumbling incompetents.

Mord on March 27, 2011 at 10:25 AM

“Look like a bunch of bumbling incompetents?” Seems to me this interview confirmed it.

But we all ready knew that.

GrannyDee on March 27, 2011 at 11:53 AM

This cabal has been trampling on the Constitution since they walked in the door. Trust my word,,the UN is going to be used to rip out the 2nd Amendment also. Because a “multilateral bunch” thinks we should not own guns,,,well, so be it. Our Constitution is in shambles. It will take a lot of work to put it back together, if ever.

retiredeagle on March 27, 2011 at 11:59 AM

Yet…the media remains silent. Think of the uproar if this was President Bush.

SPGuy on March 27, 2011 at 12:09 PM

Where are those hawks who were clamoring for this war telling us that there really was a national interest at stake? What happened to, “we need to go to war today because Momo was a terrorist 20 years ago?”

You got the war you wanted and all you can do now is complain and pretend you never asked for it.

MJBrutus on March 27, 2011 at 12:10 PM

Adults

In

Charge

Del Dolemonte on March 27, 2011 at 12:28 PM

A dults Dolt’s

In

Charge

Del Dolemonte on March 27, 2011 at 12:28 PM

darwin-t on March 27, 2011 at 12:30 PM

MJBrutus on March 27, 2011 at 12:10 PM

At least there was a minority of us on here who were against this from the beginning, not that our opinions means squat. Hope the majority that were cheerleaders for this feel good about what they were cheerleading.

WoosterOh on March 27, 2011 at 12:40 PM

Doesn’t anyone remember the 28th Amendment to the Constitution which states that International consensus trumps the rest of the document?

amazingmets on March 27, 2011 at 12:42 PM

Hope the majority that were cheerleaders for this feel good about what they were cheerleading.

WoosterOh on March 27, 2011 at 12:40 PM

Why would the Left be outraged by this? It’s the complete opposite of the kind of military action we opposed in Iraq. Here there’s an imminent threat to both the stability of the region and the citizens of the Libyan nation, and we have broad international support.

crr6 on March 19, 2011 at 4:52 PM

It’s interesting to note that in the runup to the 2002 Resolution concerning Iraq, Bush and the Republicans never claimed Iraq was an “imminent threat”, but a “continuing threat”.

One Senator wanted to change the language to “imminent”.

Dick Turban (D-IL)

Del Dolemonte on March 27, 2011 at 12:48 PM

One Senator wanted to change the language to “imminent”.

Little Dickie Dick Turban (D-IL)

Del Dolemonte on March 27, 2011 at 12:48 PM

Hope you don’t mind.

Naturally Curly on March 27, 2011 at 1:02 PM

Biden took a phone call about Libya from Obama while the president was on his Spring Break trip to Latin America and later had lunch with Obama when he returned to the White House. Biden’s total lack of public comment on Libya is striking. Some are speculating that Biden opposed the Libyan “kinetic military action” and has been “sent to Coventry“.

J_Crater on March 27, 2011 at 1:07 PM

J_Crater on March 27, 2011 at 1:07 PM

Well if Joe “make love not time-limited kinetic whatevah” Biden did oppose it then good on him.

MJBrutus on March 27, 2011 at 1:11 PM

Hillary Clinton is a power-mad idiot. She thinks her job as Secretary of State also entails acting as SecDef and POTUS. Time to end her disgraceful and abject failure of a career once and for all. Gates should resign and leave her and Obama holding the bag on Libya. Of course, the Dems will try to pin the kinetic debacle on Gates, but no one will really buy that.

Resign, Gates! Unless you want this to be your legacy.

Christien on March 27, 2011 at 1:12 PM

Maximum number of countries that could be considered part of a ‘broad international consensus’, not counting the USA:

14 other coalation countries: Norway, Italy, Greece, Denmark, Canada, Belgium, France, UK, Qatar, UAE, Turkey, Spain, Romania, the Netherlands (14)

Members of the UNSC not already mentioned who voted yes on UNSC 1973: Bosnia-Herzegovina, Gabon, Lebanon, Nigeria, Columbia, South Africa, Portugal (7)

Members of the Arab League not already mentioned (some of which are laughable if we considered them to be supporting a USA/France-bakced forced ‘Democratic’ overturning of Libya):

Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Sudan (lol), Iraq, Egypt, Jordan, Djibouti, Comoros, Bahrain (hah!), Yemen (double lol), Tunisia, Morocco, Oman, Mauritania, Kuwait, Algeria, Syria (17)

I love this new liberal attitude, though. As long as we get tacit support from a 15 member body (the UNSC, regardless of how many P5 members abstain during the vote) and a request for help from some local multi-national apparatus like the Arab League or ASEAN or the AU, we have a permanent rubber stamp to invade anywhere as long as there is a potential threat to regional stability.

Change!

Good Solid B-Plus on March 27, 2011 at 1:16 PM

R2P another butty liberal idea.

tarpon on March 27, 2011 at 1:17 PM

Somebody may have posted this already, but Chris Wallace lands a broadside on the White House on FNS. You can catch it here:

http://dailycaller.com/2011/03/27/chris-wallace-takes-a-shot-at-white-house-on-behalf-of-fox-news-sunday/

ted c on March 27, 2011 at 1:22 PM

“No, no,” Gates said in a joint appearance with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. “It was not — it was not a vital national interest to the United States, but it was an interest and it was an interest for all of the reasons Secretary Clinton talked about. The engagement of the Arabs, the engagement of the Europeans,

Sounds like Tapper had Gates rattled, or does our SecDef always repeat himself–repeat himself like this when he speaks?

Christien on March 27, 2011 at 1:29 PM

Things are going GREAT in Libya!

Thank you for your support (again), US of A.

Yours truly,
Al Quaeda operative.

P.S.
Soon – coming to a town near you.

P.S. 2

Good Solid B-Plus on March 27, 2011 at 1:16 PM
14 other coalation countries: Norway, Italy, Greece, Denmark, Canada, Belgium, France, UK, Qatar, UAE, Turkey, Spain, Romania, the Netherlands (14)

But at least we have the most corrupt president in EU, and he made a huge effort seeing that his brother is selling weapons to Arabs like there is no tomorrow.

Rookie on March 27, 2011 at 1:32 PM

You got the war you wanted and all you can do now is complain and pretend you never asked for it.

MJBrutus on March 27, 2011 at 12:10 PM

Eh? Clarify please?

a capella on March 27, 2011 at 1:34 PM

a capella on March 27, 2011 at 1:34 PM

What do you want to know?

MJBrutus on March 27, 2011 at 1:37 PM

Eh? Clarify please?
a capella on March 27, 2011 at 1:34 PM

You got the war you wanted and all you can do now is complain and pretend you never asked for it.

Any clearer? It was pretty clear to me.

Rookie on March 27, 2011 at 1:39 PM

Any clearer? It was pretty clear to me.

Rookie on March 27, 2011 at 1:39 PM

I’m not sure where all those hawks on Libya are supposed to be located. Here?

a capella on March 27, 2011 at 1:46 PM

NewsBusters| Meet The Press: Hillary Big-Foots Bob Gates
http://newsbusters.org/blogs/mark-finkelstein/2011/03/27/meet-press-hillary-big-foots-bob-gates

StewartIII on March 27, 2011 at 1:51 PM

a capella on March 27, 2011 at 1:46 PM

Yes here, absolutely. Perhaps you didn’t read or participate in those threads about it. As I noted and as a WoosterOH said, it was a lonely time to be against this war.

One poster after another was trying to justify it based on Pan Am 103 and other old atrocities. Most people had a harm time accepting what Gates said explicitly here, that 20 year old crimes are not a national security interest today.

Same for the current “humanitarian” crisis. It sucks, but it isn’t in our national to start another war to stop it.

MJBrutus on March 27, 2011 at 1:52 PM

I’m pretty sure that MJBrutus is referring to the US conservatives asking for an intervention in Libya.

There were some concerns, as I’m sure you’re aware, that the rebels are an amalgam of people with very different opinions, with the more aggressive ones and most military trained being the islamists around Abidjan and Benghazi.

As it happens in Egypt today, it’s very clear that the discontent “youths” totting Che-Guevara t-shirts are no match for the bearded guys who are waiting for this moment for 30 years now.

Same in Libya, your closet muslim president (I suppose you’re an US citizen) is just helping another radical faction gain power. I didn’t see him spring into action to stop Iranians or Syrians or Sudan. Daffy Duck is “just” a secular dictator, it does not fit the general picture.

Rookie on March 27, 2011 at 1:56 PM

Not even a need for this THUG gubRmint…to attempt to make up some bullshit excuse

roflmao

donabernathy on March 27, 2011 at 1:58 PM

I’m pretty sure that MJBrutus is referring to the US conservatives asking for an intervention in Libya.
Rookie on March 27, 2011 at 1:56 PM

Who would they be? Are these the people who just want Gaddafi taken out because of Lockerbie, or who are eager to see the rebels take power because of the democracy hoo-haw being floated? I hadn’t noticed a tidal wave of conservatives in the second camp. Did I miss them?

a capella on March 27, 2011 at 2:06 PM

Much as I can’t stand Gates, he told the truth. Must be time to throw him under the bus and bring in the ultimate weasel, Wesley Clark.

0bama is perfect to establish a No Fly Zone.

The Lord of Lies is also the Lord of the Flies.

Syria is off limits, a la Hillary. They sure have consistent standards, the bastids. Freedom, rejoice!

Schadenfreude on March 27, 2011 at 2:09 PM

A blast from the (fairly recent) past:

George W Bush phones Col Gadhafi to laud claims settlement deal

President George W Bush telephoned Libya’s Moammar Gadhafi to express his satisfaction over a $1.5bn payment that Tripoli made to settle a long-standing dispute over terror attacks, including the bombing of a Pan Am jetliner over Lockerbie, the White House has said.

In their conversation, the two “discussed that this agreement should help to bring a painful chapter in the history between our two countries closer to closure,” White House spokesman Gordon Johndroe said in a statement.

aengus on March 27, 2011 at 2:15 PM

Hillary felt the need to swoop to the rescue. She claimed that Obama didn’t need to go to Congress because this coalition is so darned multilateral

She turns out to be as big a fool as Obama is.

He let the U.N. volunteer the U.S. troops. This has never been done before. Then he let NATO lead them. Not since the first war have U.S. troops been led by others.

The Lord of the Lies, also the Lord of the Flies, is perfect to establish a No Fly Zone.

Schadenfreude on March 27, 2011 at 2:22 PM

Jake Tapper reminds ABC why they foolishly spent money on Christiane Amanpour last year…

I loved the dig right out of the starting block. Nice, Ed.;)

Fallon on March 27, 2011 at 2:24 PM

aengus on March 27, 2011 at 2:15 PM

Bush, Hillary and Obama are all bad.

Schadenfreude on March 27, 2011 at 2:25 PM

Did I miss them?
a capella on March 27, 2011 at 2:06 PM

I’m afraid you did. I cannot say if it was really a “tidal wave”, but certainly there where numerous voices on this board wanting Daffy down just for the sake of principles.

When attacked by a dog and a wolf at the same time, frankly I’ll try to train the dog to help me . If the dog is rabid, I can put it to sleep later on.

Rookie on March 27, 2011 at 2:26 PM

blink on March 27, 2011 at 2:32 PM

Yes, indeed there are many who would support regime change in Libya…then and now, but regime change while simpler than the kinetic messaging going on out there now is never actually simple. A lot of blocks have to be put in place first before the trigger, so to speak, is pulled.

When a President makes a declaration of US policy is to remove Gadaffi, as did Obama last week…that President had better make sure all the blocks are in place first. Or, even better, say nothing, develop a proper Presidential Finding, with appropriate concurrence and notification of the principles involved, first, and then allow it to happen, making no public statement at all.

Then, again, a number of countries with both the motivation and ability to effect regime change in Libya have been cut off at the knees by this Administration (Egypt, for example) or have been burned so badly by the revelations of their being involved in renditions and the like so as to make their cooperation and assistance in removing Gadaffi and assisting to establish a palatable replacement pretty much a non-starter.

The voices on the Left who now say “Well, you Conservatives wanted Gadaffi removed,” are conflating a lot of various actions and non-actions, as they try to salvage the from the fallout of the ongoing Obama-Libya War as they grasp at some sort of noble high ground, which, frankly, just isn’t there regardless if Gadaffi is removed tomorrow or quits this afternoon or not.

Lastly, any action on our part that makes it easier for the Ikhwan or AQ to establish itself as a “legitimate” power in the region is not a good thing for us nor the region, and never ever will be.

Hence, our revulsion regarding this Obama-Libya War and the ramifications of that war, now and in the coming months and years.

But try to explain that to people whose first and only reaction is “Obama is awesome.”

coldwarrior on March 27, 2011 at 3:07 PM

You GOP’ers who kept giving Bush a pass on his wars have opened up a can of worms like I’ve never seen. You’ve now all empowered to give the executive branch the power to wage war at will.

God Almighty when will the slumbering fools wake up? Over and over you have all been manipulated by men far more cunning than you, and yet you continue to allow yourselves to be made fools of. Beck is the only one who gets even close. 9 of his 10 most evil Americans of the 20th century were all Kenites…Go figure. What a coincidence, lol.

True_King on March 27, 2011 at 3:07 PM

Hillary’s pantsuits ballboxes have gotten larger.

OmahaConservative on March 27, 2011 at 3:10 PM

The POTUS and CinC has the inherent Constitutional authority to take these actions without Congressional approval, have since Washinton as this is the true original intent.

Mark Levin has been on a tear about this and citing all the history and constitutional law.

Yes the WPA is unconstitutional.

jp on March 27, 2011 at 3:20 PM

Gates is a eunuchoid buffoon . . . the warrior queen just neutered him.

rplat on March 27, 2011 at 3:20 PM

Everybody on the Fox News Sunday Panel seemed to be cheering the “Arab Spring” and thus support the war in Libya on one fashion or another. What an embarrassing display of ignorance. FNC panels really need some fresh faces.

FloatingRock on March 27, 2011 at 3:21 PM

This is awsome! Who wold have thought Clinton could out do her personal best thinking of incompetnt thinking, i.e. Clinton care?

burt on March 27, 2011 at 3:27 PM

You GOP’ers who kept giving Bush a pass on his wars have opened up a can of worms like I’ve never seen. You’ve now all empowered to give the executive branch the power to wage war at will.

True King, you don’t have a historical clue what you are talking about.

The CinC has launched troops into action over 100 times in the first 100 yrs of the USA, not getting “Congressional Approval to use force”.

In fact Thomas Jefferson and James Madison both went to war against the City State of Tripoli(modern Lybia) and neither got Authorization from Congress to use their military powers as CinC.

Jefferson launched war in 1801, August 1st the first battle started. There was no Congresssional Authorization. The next year, Congress did have resolutions that acknowledged the war and provided funding for Merchant ships, but they never had the power to tell the CinC when and how he could use his military. They only have the power of the purse…or to launch all-out total war

jp on March 27, 2011 at 3:31 PM

Mark Levin on the issue, destroying liars like Prof. Tom Woods:
Professor Thomas Woods cutting and pasting history for a dogma

jp on March 27, 2011 at 3:32 PM

Why would the Left be outraged by this? It’s the complete opposite of the kind of military action we opposed in Iraq. Here there’s an imminent threat to both the stability of the region and the citizens of the Libyan nation, and we have broad international support. It’s a Democrat in charge this time.

crr6

FIFY.

xblade on March 27, 2011 at 3:34 PM

FloatingRock on March 27, 2011 at 3:21 PM

Juan Williams was cautionary about the Pandora’s box we’ve opened.

MJBrutus on March 27, 2011 at 3:40 PM

xblade on March 27, 2011 at 3:34 PM

+1

cmsinaz on March 27, 2011 at 4:22 PM

Don’t you buffoons know anything? The UN Charter overrides the United States Constitution. Sheesh.

Backwater hicks. Get with the program. We’re citizens of the world now. Nationalistic pride is so “hitler’ish”.

Sovereignty is for noobs.

ButterflyDragon on March 27, 2011 at 4:24 PM

crr6, to call you a hypocritical fool is a huge understatement. You propagate lies. Shame on your intellect. Go straighten out. Math is not your forte, as it isn’t Obama’s either.

———–
Great read from someone who knows military action, kinetic or not.

Schadenfreude on March 27, 2011 at 4:28 PM

crr6, explain why the dying in Syria are less significant to your ‘humanitarianism’ than the ragtags in Libya?

Writing at National Review Online, Stanley Kurtz explains: “Obama dithered when it was simply a matter of replacing Gadhafi, yet quickly acted when slaughter in Benghazi became the issue.

“What Power and her supporters want is to solidify the principle of ‘responsibility to protect’ in international law. … Power’s agenda would explain why Obama acted when he acted, and why the public rationale for action has not included regime change.”

How is the slaughter in Syria different from the one in Libya?

Schadenfreude on March 27, 2011 at 4:34 PM

Okay, mental exercise here; if it’s not yet time to use the ‘r’-word, exactly what would it take to get there? Exactly what does that scenario look like to you in which you’d say, “ok, *now* it’s time to take action”?

Destruction of the economy before our eyes?

Government pursuing ever more creative ways to take our money, deprive us of energy, drive up inflation and enslave the next several generations (if not *every* future generation) to indebtedness?

Votes that yield representatives who refuse to do what we ask, but rather openly and eagerly subvert their oaths of office and the Constitution?

Foreign policy that weakens us as well as overtly seeks to aid and arm terrorists who want to kill us?

This isn’t enough? What *is* enough?

Midas on March 27, 2011 at 4:39 PM

One poster after another was trying to justify it based on Pan Am 103 and other old atrocities. Most people had a harm time accepting what Gates said explicitly here, that 20 year old crimes are not a national security interest today.

Same for the current “humanitarian” crisis. It sucks, but it isn’t in our national to start another war to stop it.

MJBrutus on March 27, 2011 at 1:52 PM

Actually, I remember precisely *one* poster (and not a regular) mentioning PA103 as a cause to go to war with Libya, and *many* people responding “nah, not so much.”

Midas on March 27, 2011 at 4:44 PM

Hillary power grab

It was a stunning power play. On Meet The Press this morning, after Defense Secretary Bob Gates conceded that Libya is not a “vital interest” of the United States–but before he could complete his comments–Hillary cut him off. She launched into a minute-and-forty-second monologue seeking to justify US military involvement in Libya.
[...]
Clearly Clinton didn’t trust Gates to make a sufficiently muscular defense of President Obama’s policy. Host David Gregory never gave Gates a chance to defend himself. When Hillary finished her monologue, Gregory moved on to another subject: inviting Hillary to comment on the death of Geraldine Ferraro.

Gates never got to say another word. It was a classic DC big-footing, and one the Defense Secretary would seem unlikely to forget anytime soon.

Schadenfreude on March 27, 2011 at 4:48 PM

By fighting for the Libyan “Rebels” the United States is now fighting alongside AlQ and the Muslim Brotherhood and hence for them. I wonder how many in our military know this and what they thing about it.

Heckle on March 27, 2011 at 4:48 PM

By fighting for the Libyan “Rebels” the United States is now fighting alongside AlQ and the Muslim Brotherhood and hence for them. I wonder how many in our military know this and what they thing about it.

The Kosovo Liberation Army were heavy with Al-Q as well.

aengus on March 27, 2011 at 5:02 PM

aengus, if Kosovo was wrong, it doesn’t make it right in Libya.

Schadenfreude on March 27, 2011 at 5:08 PM

By fighting for the Libyan “Rebels” the United States is now fighting alongside AlQ and the Muslim Brotherhood and hence for them. I wonder how many in our military know this and what they thing about it.

Heckle on March 27, 2011 at 4:48 PM

Coming from a military family, including a brother and brother in law who are active duty, they are pissed. They have told me countless times the Military brass is a joke. The day to day operations have to constantly be changed by officers in the field because the orders coming from above are in their words “FUBAR”.

Gates needs to go, as well as his supporters (Petreaus et al).

Our military structure is nearly in shambles because of incompetent politicians promoted through the ranks by back room deals with senators, both R and D.

This action in Libya is treasonous. We are aiding our enemy, AL Quaeda, and helping to establish an Anti-western , anti- US sentiment through this Civil war in libya.

Way to go jackasses. Islam is the enemy to all free peoples. In their minds, there is either Sharia, or there is Jihad.

Sufi’s are the biggest liars amongst them.

MadDogF on March 27, 2011 at 5:09 PM

jp on March 27, 2011 at 3:31 PM

Your history is incorrect. Jefferson was authorized to act defensively with 6 ships should they come under attack. Meanwhile, he sought congressional authorization for offensive action. You may not like Woods, but Louis Fisher who has been a constitutional scholar for the CRS for years, has written extensively on the topic. In a recent congressional testimony he said:

In your hearing on March 13, a question was raised whether President Thomas Jefferson exercised unilateral power to engage in military actions against the Barbary powers in the Mediterranean. Consistent with the principles stated above, his actions were of a defensive nature. He reported to Congress on what he had done, asking for legislative guidance. He told Congress that he was “unauthorized by the Constitution, without the sanctions of Congress, to go beyond the line of defense.” Congress passed ten statutes authorizing Presidents Jefferson and Madison to use military force against the Barbary nations, resulting in a series of treaties in 1815 with Algiers, Tunis, and Tripoli.

crr6, have you ever explained why it is the duty of Americans to die and expend treasure to protect citizens abroad? Maybe in limited circumstances of true unabated genocide it would be the morally correct thing to do, but we cannot afford to protect every world citizen from every despot.

Firefly_76 on March 27, 2011 at 5:10 PM

aengus, if Kosovo was wrong, it doesn’t make it right in Libya.

True.

But why does the US find itself fighting beside Al-Q on more than one occasion?

I guess it’s because the US feels the need to support democracy and because AQ are popular – they have the support of the Arab demos (people) – the US ends up on their side.

It’s “power to the people”, even if they’re some very bad people.

aengus on March 27, 2011 at 5:12 PM

Midas on March 27, 2011 at 4:44 PM

Sounds like we’ve been reading different threads. A little over a week ago when the decision to go to war was handed down from on high H/A was infested with them. It’s now shrouded in the mists of time and fog of kinetic activity. Nonetheless, I didn’t dream it up.

MJBrutus on March 27, 2011 at 5:33 PM

My head is spinning reading this.

First, now that the admin has outright admitted to violating the WPR, where do we go from here? Congress has to do something. Issa? Bueller? Bueller?

Also, this quote from Hil

“Well, we would welcome congressional support”

Congressional support isn’t something you “welcome”, Hil, it’s required. Is she trying to one-up O on arrogance or what? Oh, and where in the Constitution or the WPR is the caveat “if there’s a broad international coalition, go ahead and ignore these laws”? Did I miss an asterick or something?

-Aslan’s Girl

Aslans Girl on March 27, 2011 at 5:34 PM

Really this goes back to President Jefferson as recounted by Gerard W. Gawalt at the Library of Congress site on Jefferson’s papers:

Thomas Jefferson, United States minister to France, opposed the payment of tribute, as he later testified in words that have a particular resonance today. In his autobiography Jefferson wrote that in 1785 and 1786 he unsuccessfully “endeavored to form an association of the powers subject to habitual depredation from them. I accordingly prepared, and proposed to their ministers at Paris, for consultation with their governments, articles of a special confederation.” Jefferson argued that “The object of the convention shall be to compel the piratical States to perpetual peace.” Jefferson prepared a detailed plan for the interested states. “Portugal, Naples, the two Sicilies, Venice, Malta, Denmark and Sweden were favorably disposed to such an association,” Jefferson remembered, but there were “apprehensions” that England and France would follow their own paths, “and so it fell through.”

Paying the ransom would only lead to further demands, Jefferson argued in letters to future presidents John Adams, then America’s minister to Great Britain, and James Monroe, then a member of Congress. As Jefferson wrote to Adams in a July 11, 1786, letter, “I acknolege [sic] I very early thought it would be best to effect a peace thro’ the medium of war.” Paying tribute will merely invite more demands, and even if a coalition proves workable, the only solution is a strong navy that can reach the pirates, Jefferson argued in an August 18, 1786, letter to James Monroe: “The states must see the rod; perhaps it must be felt by some one of them. . . . Every national citizen must wish to see an effective instrument of coercion, and should fear to see it on any other element than the water. A naval force can never endanger our liberties, nor occasion bloodshed; a land force would do both.” “From what I learn from the temper of my countrymen and their tenaciousness of their money,” Jefferson added in a December 26, 1786, letter to the president of Yale College, Ezra Stiles, “it will be more easy to raise ships and men to fight these pirates into reason, than money to bribe them.”

Jefferson’s plan for an international coalition foundered on the shoals of indifference and a belief that it was cheaper to pay the tribute than fight a war. The United States’s relations with the Barbary states continued to revolve around negotiations for ransom of American ships and sailors and the payment of annual tributes or gifts. Even though Secretary of State Jefferson declared to Thomas Barclay, American consul to Morocco, in a May 13, 1791, letter of instructions for a new treaty with Morocco that it is “lastly our determination to prefer war in all cases to tribute under any form, and to any people whatever,” the United States continued to negotiate for cash settlements. In 1795 alone the United States was forced to pay nearly a million dollars in cash, naval stores, and a frigate to ransom 115 sailors from the dey of Algiers. Annual gifts were settled by treaty on Algiers, Morocco, Tunis, and Tripoli.

When Jefferson became president in 1801 he refused to accede to Tripoli’s demands for an immediate payment of $225,000 and an annual payment of $25,000. The pasha of Tripoli then declared war on the United States. Although as secretary of state and vice president he had opposed developing an American navy capable of anything more than coastal defense, President Jefferson dispatched a squadron of naval vessels to the Mediterranean. As he declared in his first annual message to Congress: “To this state of general peace with which we have been blessed, one only exception exists. Tripoli, the least considerable of the Barbary States, had come forward with demands unfounded either in right or in compact, and had permitted itself to denounce war, on our failure to comply before a given day. The style of the demand admitted but one answer. I sent a small squadron of frigates into the Mediterranean. . . .”

The American show of force quickly awed Tunis and Algiers into breaking their alliance with Tripoli. The humiliating loss of the frigate Philadelphia and the capture of her captain and crew in Tripoli in 1803, criticism from his political opponents, and even opposition within his own cabinet did not deter Jefferson from his chosen course during four years of war. The aggressive action of Commodore Edward Preble (1803-4) forced Morocco out of the fight and his five bombardments of Tripoli restored some order to the Mediterranean. However, it was not until 1805, when an American fleet under Commodore John Rogers and a land force raised by an American naval agent to the Barbary powers, Captain William Eaton, threatened to capture Tripoli and install the brother of Tripoli’s pasha on the throne, that a treaty brought an end to the hostilities. Negotiated by Tobias Lear, former secretary to President Washington and now consul general in Algiers, the treaty of 1805 still required the United States to pay a ransom of $60,000 for each of the sailors held by the dey of Algiers, and so it went without Senatorial consent until April 1806. Nevertheless, Jefferson was able to report in his sixth annual message to Congress in December 1806 that in addition to the successful completion of the Lewis and Clark expedition, “The states on the coast of Barbary seem generally disposed at present to respect our peace and friendship.”

Do note that Tripoli unwisely declared war on the US, so Jefferson need not have consulted Congress as we were already in a war. He felt that under the Law of Nations the Preseident, vested with the powers of Commander of the Armies and the Navies, had the duty to respond to a declared war against the Nation.

What Kadaffy did with the Berlin disco bombing and Pan Am 103 were acts of Private War being performed by his cronies at his direction. Those are, both of them, acts of war. The declaration of war against the US (and Berlin and the UK respectively, plus the Nations of any other nationals killed) was the action itself: that is what terrorism is, an act of Private War and the instance is the declaration when a Nation attempts to use subterfuge to cleanse its hands of the deed. Jefferson had a Law of Nations expert in his cabinet, and the Constitution was drafted fully in accord with the view that the Law of Nations was a vital definition of how nation states work and act towards each other, and lays out the duties and responsibilities of nation states in that realm. Washington cites it in the Neutrality Act, utilizing his Head of State, Head of Government and CinC powers in one document.

That is what is galling about the modern age: we refuse to call warfare what it is and then state the type and kind of warfare that is going on. Thus you get to the Orwellian verbiage of Gates, Clinton, Obama and the UN because we are too afraid to actually do those things any more. That does not make us more civilized, but less so. Do note that Jefferson was willing to wage war against Tripoli without the nicities because they were taking US citizens prisoner by acts of war when they were on the High Seas. Tripoli declaring war was the final straw.

ajacksonian on March 27, 2011 at 5:52 PM

“I think that this had a limited timeframe, a very clearly defined mission which we are in the process of fulfilling,” Clinton said.

That word does not mean what she thinks it means.

unclesmrgol on March 27, 2011 at 5:53 PM

You know, we really are getting into impeachment territory. This is worse than I thought.

Mason on March 27, 2011 at 6:00 PM

Coming from a military family, including a brother and brother in law who are active duty, they are pissed. They have told me countless times the Military brass is a joke. The day to day operations have to constantly be changed by officers in the field because the orders coming from above are in their words “FUBAR”.

Gates needs to go, as well as his supporters (Petreaus et al).

Our military structure is nearly in shambles because of incompetent politicians promoted through the ranks by back room deals with senators, both R and D.

This action in Libya is treasonous. We are aiding our enemy, AL Quaeda, and helping to establish an Anti-western , anti- US sentiment through this Civil war in libya.

Way to go jackasses. Islam is the enemy to all free peoples. In their minds, there is either Sharia, or there is Jihad.

Sufi’s are the biggest liars amongst them.

MadDogF on March 27, 2011 at 5:09 PM

I know this might sound, well incredibly STUPID but could you please in detail list the problems with General David Petreaus?

As far as I can see he is simply working with the (admittedly stupid/moronic/FUBAR) rules and circumstances that he has been given.

Like “Don’t cause civilian property damage”
“Avoid civilian casualties”
“Don’t ‘offend’ the locals”
etc

The military ANY military is designed to do TWO and only TWO things:

1.) Kill people-be they in uniform or out. If they shoot at you, you kill them.
2.) Break things-whether these things are tanks, planes, trucks, or buildings that are holding people trying to kill you. See #1.

The second that you add to these two things or change the way in which these two things can be done is the second you stop actually winning wars and start ending them with “withdrawals”, “cease-fires”, and “peace accords”.

Which we (and many other nations) have done continuously since 1946 or so.

Korea-ended in a cease-fire leaving millions starving in NorK. As well as all the poor dead servicemen, and for what the STATUS QUO ANTE?!

Viet Nam-started by the CIA assassination of the RVN leader and ended in the Paris Peace Accords which eventually wound up getting untold millions killed or sent to “re-education” camps. Again we have the hundreds of thousands of men and women killed and/or wounded both in mind and body. Why? Because several STUPID politicians (most notably LBJ) decided they could run a war better than the soldiers.

1980s Adventures with Reagan/George H.W. Bush
-Arming the anti-Soviet fighters in Af/Pak, Panama and Grenada. Smart move there Charlie Wilson-you helped create (unintentionally I might add) the very menace we’re dealing with today. Yes I know why we did it and no I DON’T believe that “we armed/paid Osama” or other such crap but we DID create a gigantic pool of now armed and trained folks who had shown a propensity for violence and mayhem for the past several hundred years.
-As far as Panama and Grenada good use of time-limited engagement to shore up our side of the Cold War. No long term involvement issues. Get in, get out, get it done. Clear objectives good quick execution

1990s-Gulf War I, “Meals on Wheels”, and “The Peace Dividend”
-Kicked Saddam Hussein’s can out of Kuwait and could have decapitated him from power in Iraq. Chose to encourage a rebellion in words and then not follow up in deeds. Had we given a little air support Iraq could have been rebuilt by Iraqis.
-Somalia-A giant clusterfark. No real mission or objectives except to feed the children.
-Bosnia/Kosovo-taking sides in a regional ethnic conflict that was ongoing for decades, if not centuries while simultaneously slicing our military budget to ribbons. Again no real clear objective and guess what….THEY JUST KEPT ON KILLING EACH OTHER!

2000-Present-”The Long War” aka Crappy RoE + PC hamstrings=large expense of Blood & Treasure
-Attacked on 9/11 and we started to turn Afghanistan even flatter than it already was. Good job. Only one problem….the folks on the ground don’t seem to want to give a sh!t about moving into the modern era. We decide to drag them kicking and screaming. Cost is still being counted to this day.
-Gulf War II-Back to Iraq for more fun in the sun. Inadequate planning (Hey RUMSFELD BETTER PUT IN TOO MANY TROOPS THAN TOO FEW) and poorly defined mission after wiping out the Ba’athists is rather expensive. At least these folks SEEM to want to modernize. So much less kicking and screaming. But lots and lots of blood and treasure.

SgtSVJones on March 27, 2011 at 6:08 PM

I’m still deeply concerned over the fact that the UN and NATO are “commanding” our Troops. I’ve got nephews serving and this is just totally unnerving.

What’s next? The UN decides to send American Troops into Sudan? Pakistan?

This is an extremely dangerous precedent and I don’t think it’s being emphasized enough.

Key West Reader on March 27, 2011 at 6:17 PM

Key West Reader on March 27, 2011 at 6:17 PM

Obama has had his way. We have gone from a World Leader to a Wrold Follower in two short years.

Prayers for your nephews. They and the rest of our Best and Brightest deserve a better CIC.

kingsjester on March 27, 2011 at 6:24 PM

Key West Reader on March 27, 2011 at 6:17 PM

I’m worried that Israel might be on their list.

-Aslan’s Girl

Aslans Girl on March 27, 2011 at 6:24 PM

Good Solid B-Plus on March 27, 2011 at 1:16 PM

No Albania? Why, that list is LOL-worthy.

Del Dolemonte on March 27, 2011 at 6:25 PM

I’m worried that Israel might be on their list.

-Aslan’s Girl

Aslans Girl on March 27, 2011 at 6:24 PM

Exactly. Now that we have bowed to the UN with our Military, what is next? This was done for no other reason than to set a precedent; I’m convinced of this. To back it up with facts, we did not intervene in any of the other uprisings especially in the countries that are strategically important to us.

Obama, Qdaffy and Farrakhan are all very close. There is something sinister going on here. I am just so uneasy with all of this.

There must be Articles of Impeachment filed. If not, then we must accept this move as a precedent and be expected to bow to the UN’s wishes going forward.

Russia and China were wise to abstain.

Key West Reader on March 27, 2011 at 6:31 PM

Prayers for your nephews. They and the rest of our Best and Brightest deserve a better CIC.

kingsjester on March 27, 2011 at 6:24 PM

Thanks, KJ. Love your blog and your writing.

Key West Reader on March 27, 2011 at 6:33 PM

Key West Reader on March 27, 2011 at 6:33 PM

Thank you, ma’am. I appreciate that very much.

kingsjester on March 27, 2011 at 6:35 PM

Sufi’s are the biggest liars amongst them.

MadDogF on March 27, 2011 at 5:09 PM

It’s my understanding that Sufism is the most mystical part of Islam, and that its adherents believe only in the Greater Jihad, which is a personal, internal struggle. They were an ascetic reaction to the materialism of the original caliphate.

John the Libertarian on March 27, 2011 at 6:42 PM

So much to say to this. As a military retiree, my outrage is beyond words.

This man does not belong in the White House, he does not belong in the Office of Commander in Chief of the United States Armed Forces.

He does not belong in charge of anything.

Freelancer on March 27, 2011 at 6:45 PM

Key West Reader on March 27, 2011 at 6:31 PM

To add to the sinister feeling and the confusion: didn’t it seem that the UK was “in” with Qadaffi when they freed the Lockerbie terrorist? Then, the Brits trained Q’s military, and France had Q over for a state visit recently. Now all of a sudden they don’t support him? O’s thick as theives with Q but now he supports the Al-Qaeda linked rebels?

The Bible says that confusion is of the devil and it seems that everyone in charge wants us all terribly confused.

-Aslan’s Girl

Aslans Girl on March 27, 2011 at 6:46 PM

This was done for no other reason than to set a precedent; I’m convinced of this.
Key West Reader on March 27, 2011 at 6:31 PM

THIS ++++

From the very start, it appeared to me as a ‘test run’, and endeavored with the hopes of proving just how wonderfully his concept of world-involvement (NO SUPER POWERS ALLOWED !!) will show his super- wonderfulness.
‘This is the strategy we’ve been waiting for’ all these umpteen years.
In his/their minds no one, until now, has had the vision, glorious influence, and cajones to actually pull it off.
Such a strong delusion…
Sigh.
Blessings on the nephews.

pambi on March 27, 2011 at 6:47 PM

The Bible says that confusion is of the devil and it seems that everyone in charge wants us all terribly confused.

-Aslan’s Girl

Aslans Girl on March 27, 2011 at 6:46 PM

Yes, the Devil is the Author of Confusion and Obama is its messenger. I could be completely wrong, but to ignore the Yemeni Al-Q base and to ignore Bahgrhain which is desperately needed by our troops; the decision to invade Libya is just sinister. Under the auspices of the UN.

Someone in Command is going to have to choose. I’m thinking it will be Patreus and not Bob Gates. He’s afraid of something and I’m not sure what, but something is terribly wrong.

Key West Reader on March 27, 2011 at 6:59 PM

Whatever happens, the question going forward must be this:

Is the American Military, USAF, USMC, US ARMY, US COAST GUARD, US NAVY, Command Central, Strategic Command Centers Worldwide, US National Guard now under UN control?

That is the question that must be answered before the American people should be asked to digest this latest move by Obama and his Administration.

Is America now beholden to the UN? Or not?

Key West Reader on March 27, 2011 at 7:03 PM

Okay, mental exercise here; if it’s not yet time to use the ‘r’-word, exactly what would it take to get there? Exactly what does that scenario look like to you in which you’d say, “ok, *now* it’s time to take action”?

Destruction of the economy before our eyes?

Government pursuing ever more creative ways to take our money, deprive us of energy, drive up inflation and enslave the next several generations (if not *every* future generation) to indebtedness?

Votes that yield representatives who refuse to do what we ask, but rather openly and eagerly subvert their oaths of office and the Constitution?

Foreign policy that weakens us as well as overtly seeks to aid and arm terrorists who want to kill us?

This isn’t enough? What *is* enough?

Midas on March 27, 2011 at 4:39 PM

Amen to that! I get up every day and wonder what is it going to take. Our party leaders have been stripped of their balls to not make mincemeat out of all this. We have no one standing up for us. All these years, folks like us just living our lives, naive in believing everything our country stood for would always be here, and then it smacks us across the face after Obama was elected that there are evil people doing evil things and they have been for a very long time. I wonder if they are not so deeply entrenched that they are beyond stopping at this point. What is depressing is that there seems to be no one stepping up to even try.

silvernana on March 27, 2011 at 7:24 PM

OT: Ayers again admits to writing ‘Dreams’

see it at americanthinker.com at @ gatewaypundit.com. trending up.

ted c on March 27, 2011 at 7:26 PM

What ever you folks think of Bob Gates, the message he sent this morning was heard in every capital, every political leaders home in the world. Inside DC, this was an act of political courage. I wonder, how much this will cost him.

flackcatcher on March 27, 2011 at 7:44 PM

But why does the US find itself fighting beside Al-Q on more than one occasion?

aengus on March 27, 2011 at 5:12 PM

Stupid the first time…haven’t learned since…doing the same thing, expecting different results…insane.

Schadenfreude on March 27, 2011 at 7:46 PM

Robert Gates is totally out of his depth in this liar administration.

bayview on March 27, 2011 at 7:47 PM

I wonder, how much this will cost him.

flackcatcher on March 27, 2011 at 7:44 PM

He was going to retire anyway. Time for whiney Clark, whom Obama just adores. The world needs an euneuchey general for an Eunuch in Chief.

Schadenfreude on March 27, 2011 at 7:48 PM

Robert Gates is totally out of his depth in this liar administration.

bayview on March 27, 2011 at 7:47 PM

He fits in there to perfection. Yak. He is despicable.

Schadenfreude on March 27, 2011 at 7:48 PM

Love your Lord of the Liars, with all you’ve got.

If the president wants to complain about the effects gas prices are having on his popularity, he has only himself to blame. He has it in his power to push prices downward — and keep them down — with new energy exploration. Until he is willing to make that change, we’ll consider the higher prices at the pump the “Obama gas tax.”

Schadenfreude on March 27, 2011 at 7:52 PM

What ever you folks think of Bob Gates, the message he sent this morning was heard in every capital, every political leaders home in the world. Inside DC, this was an act of political courage. I wonder, how much this will cost him.

flackcatcher on March 27, 2011 at 7:44 PM

You’re absolutely right. This was not a flub; it was intentional. Whether his going off script was personal or principled matters little. He was sending a clear signal.

Firefly_76 on March 27, 2011 at 7:54 PM

I know this might sound, well incredibly STUPID but could you please in detail list the problems with General David Petreaus?

1. No backbone. If you are going to send people into a war zone, do not do it knowing your people are going to get killed by the stupid RoE set down by two stupid presidents.

2. Should they order you too, you man up and turn down the job. One American life, is far more valuable to America than a million dead Iraqi’s.

3. Should you play along with the stupid RoE’s and send then to war anyway, you are as complicit in their deaths as the person who killed them. That person should be tried for Treason, aiding and abetting the enemy by means of illogical, stupid RoE’s.

Petraeus continued to allow himself to be bossed into letting more American soldiers die than should have because he went along with the RoE’s and didn’t push back. Every general, every officer who went along with it should be fired, pensions with held.

Also, every politician who was complacent about the RoE’s should be tried and hanged as well.

I have lost one of my best friends, another friend and two cousins to these people over there because they couldn’t shoot until shot at.

Petraeus and every other person that went along with this in the military brass is culpable for their deaths.

Eh, I’ve ranted too much.

I’m all for destroying the Taliban and AQ, but to do so, you need to break the back of the civilian populace, not sweet talk them.

Crush them, and they will move into the 21st century willingly.

MadDogF on March 27, 2011 at 7:58 PM

He was going to retire anyway. Time for whiney Clark, whom Obama just adores. The world needs an euneuchey general for an Eunuch in Chief.

Schadenfreude on March 27, 2011 at 7:48 PM

Weasely Clark? I don’t think even little Bammie is that desperate.

slickwillie2001 on March 27, 2011 at 7:59 PM

I think now we have an idea how it might have felt had FDR’s response to Pearl Harbor been to help Japan defeat China.

FloatingRock on March 27, 2011 at 8:25 PM

<blockquoteFirefly_76 on March 27, 2011 at 5:10 PM

WRONG…find the 1801 Resolution Authorizing Force, importantly stating something along the lines of “President, you can now use the Military…”

There ISN’T one, Congress did pass resolutions acknowledging in 1802 the war and funding and arming Merchant ships to help in the war. They never, ever, authorized the CinC to use his constitutional powers.

Nor did they some 100 plus other times the next 100 plus years.

What really outs you Paultards, is that for years you blasted Bush, not for actually getting Congressional Authorization under WPA…but because that “Wasn’t a Declaration of War”….yet when applied to the 30 or so other Presidents this applies to, Presidents like Jefferson and Madison you have to pretend that while they DIDN”T GET A DECLARATION OF WAR, that the Authorization to Use foRce, which you can’t cite, was good enough for them, just not Bush.

jp on March 27, 2011 at 8:28 PM

ajacksonian on March 27, 2011 at 5:52 PM

Lybia/Gaddafi declared war on the US in the 80′s, via multiple acts of war.

jp on March 27, 2011 at 8:30 PM

I’m still deeply concerned over the fact that the UN and NATO are “commanding” our Troops. I’ve got nephews serving and this is just totally unnerving.

What’s next? The UN decides to send American Troops into Sudan? Pakistan?

This is an extremely dangerous precedent and I don’t think it’s being emphasized enough.

Key West Reader on March 27, 2011 at 6:17 PM

Israel… They set the bar pretty low with Libya, and substitite “civilian massacres in Gaza” for Libyan civilians and “Israel” for Libya…

And it is pretty clear that SecDef Gates has one foot out the door…

Khun Joe on March 27, 2011 at 8:33 PM

Hillary referred to an obscure shoot first, avoid questions later “Fort Marcy Policy.”

viking01 on March 27, 2011 at 8:35 PM

It’s my understanding that Sufism is the most mystical part of Islam, and that its adherents believe only in the Greater Jihad, which is a personal, internal struggle. They were an ascetic reaction to the materialism of the original caliphate.

-John the Libertarian

The Sufis are the fiercest fighters for Islam. One Sufi Order, the Bektashi, was the official order of the Jannisaries- the Ottoman military force drawn directly from Christians of primarily the Balkans, which would be something like our Marines. Anyone who paints a picture of them as being peaceful ascetics is either clueless, or more likely propagandizing.

sartana on March 27, 2011 at 8:38 PM

“but I don’t think that this kind of internationally authorized intervention where we are one of a number of countries participating to enforce a humanitarian mission…

And why in the h*ll do I care what the UN authrorizes. Do we now look to the UN for leadership? If a whole bunch of countries all get together and deciede its “the right thing to do” does that somehow usurp our sovereign rights and the need to run it by OUR government? What in the world is that bozo in the white house smoking to think he can just send our boys in without a nod from congress, and then head off to Rio?

Koa on March 27, 2011 at 8:43 PM

jp on March 27, 2011 at 8:30 PM

Correct.

And to commit military forces the President must state that this is the case. This gives justification for commitment of forces.

He has not done so.

If he has not declared the Libyan government illegitimate for such acts of war via Private War means, then he needs to seek authorization from Congress to commit an act of war against a nation we recognize as a nation, not a land with no government that has done acts that put it outside of the realm of a nation state. Also we would love to recognize any interim government the rebels or independent cities of Libya can put together so we can put the Pirates to chase.

It really is necessary to state such things so we have an understaning of why we are going to war, what the objectives are and to get affirmation from Congress.

Yes a President can respond to attacks. By defining what the attacks are, who did them and how they were done and what form of war they are, we then craft our response in turn. Putting a bright line between what governments can do and can’t do, and how we will respond to provocations would help things, immensely. Of course that would also serve to push the President to respond to ALL of the attacks that are illegitimate by governments and acts of depradation by groups of private individuals. That is a huge list as the US has been the target of terror attacks for decades, and involves thousands to tens of thousands of individuals in those groups. And even if they disbanded the group, the offense still stands…

Jefferson understood that. So did Jackson when he dispatched a warship to circumnavigate the globe to deal with Pirates going after our commerce off of Malay. Piracy is very easy to figure out – it is Private War. States utilize it at their peril of becoming non-recognized and a general free-fire zone for anyone willing to go after them. Because a threat to the order of Nations is a threat to all Nations, without exception.

ajacksonian on March 27, 2011 at 8:51 PM

MadDogF on March 27, 2011 at 7:58 PM

The silence on the Right about the Rules of Engagement in Afghanistan and even what the whole mission has turned into is shameful. Just go to Diana West’s website and read thru the archives of the last couple years- it’s mind-numbing what’s been going on over there. And from the Right- silence. A commenter here, MB4, used to provide many links to West detailing the insanity that’s been in play in Afghanistan but he never received much response. People don’t seem to want to accept how low we’ve fallen.

I’m not at all surprised about the recent revelations of the atrocities committed by some of our forces over there. Any normal person would unravel very quickly if stuck in such an insane predicament.

“Support the Troops!” has become a mindless trope on the Right. Now that it’s time for us to step forward and defend them when they are most in need, we stand back and watch as they’re thrown to the wolves.

Here’s the link to Diana West’s site:

Just go through the archives of the last couple years- there are too many articles to link to. To my knowledge, no one else is touching this- there seems to be a complete blackout.

sartana on March 27, 2011 at 8:53 PM

jp on March 27, 2011 at 8:30 PM

Uh, since then Libya has turned over their WMD, accepted an inspections regime, made restitution as part of an agreement to legally resolve Pan Am 103, and Libya has been removed from the state sponsor of terror list. We also restored diplomatic relations with embassies and everything.

MJBrutus on March 27, 2011 at 8:57 PM

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