Escalation: Obama orders drone strikes in Libya

posted at 5:05 pm on April 21, 2011 by Allahpundit

I’m kicking myself for not predicting this, especially after yesterday’s grim Reuters report about how Qaddafi’s rebuilding some of his power while NATO jets zip by overhead — to the point where he might soon threaten Benghazi once again. (Expect a “de facto partition for a long time to come,” said one European security official.) Obama can’t pull U.S. support from the mission or else he’ll be shredded politically for weakness, but he can’t put American servicemen in harm’s way again after having promised that our role would be over in, ahem, “days, not weeks.” So we need to escalate, but we somehow need to do it without risking any more American lives.

Luckily, there’s an app for that.

“President Obama has said that where we have some unique capabilities, he is willing to use those,” Gates said. “And in fact he has approved the use of armed Predators.”

“What they will bring that is unique to the conflict is their ability to get down lower, therefore to be able to get better visibility on targets that have started to dig themselves into defensive positions,” Cartwright said. “They are uniquely suited for urban areas.”

The first drone took off this morning but turned back due to poor weather. Obama’s sworn up and down, remember, that the U.S. won’t use military means to dislodge Qaddafi since the UN mandate doesn’t reach regime change. But c’mon: Given the embarrassment to NATO from this lingering stalemate and the coalition’s interest in finding exile options for Qaddafi, does anyone think we won’t take a shot if he decides to make a public appearance in Tripoli in full view of a Predator? I’ll bet the crack White House speechwriting team is already preparing a day-after “let me be clear” statement.

Think Gates and Admiral Mullen are happy about this, incidentally? Background from HuffPo:

“It’s a mess,” lamented a senior U.S. official. Washington took the bold step of committing military force, but not enough to win. The administration waited to apply very limited military force until it was almost too late, and now, the official says, it has painted the U.S. “into a corner.” In the resulting stalemate, Libyan rebels and civilians are being ruthlessly pursued and killed while the United States, in effect, stands helplessly by.

The White House wanted the Pentagon to come up with a low-cost regime-change plan for Libya. Ideally, this strategy would have toppled Col. Muammar Gaddafi without bogging the U.S. down in another inconclusive foreign adventure. And by no means could the plan have included young American infantrymen advancing under fire across the sand.

The military kept insisting that no such option existed. A real regime-change operation, some officers argued, requires “boots on the ground.” That was a cost the White House, given rising domestic pressure to bring the troops home from Afghanistan and Iraq, was unwilling to consider.

In long meetings and email exchanges, arguments over strategic details often led to more serious disagreements, the official told The Huffington Post. The White House thought the Pentagon was disrespecting the president by refusing to propose a politically acceptable action plan, while the Pentagon became furious that White House officials didn’t “seem to understand what military force can and cannot do,” the official said.

In other words, if HuffPo — a quintessentially liberal blog — is to be believed, O was for using the military to take out Qaddafi before he was against it. Proof enough that those drones will fire away if they get a clear shot.

Go figure, though, that the White House would be searching for an unrealistic, pain-free, unicorn-ish solution to a hugely complex problem chock full of potential unintended consequences. That doesn’t sound like the Obama we know. Does it?


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If only there were a brave Illinois State Senator to stand up against his war crimes.

29Victor on April 21, 2011 at 5:07 PM

Tip

Melania Trump Takes On CNN’s Joy Behar – 4/20/2011

http://conservativeblogscentral.blogspot.com/2011/04/melania-trump-takes-on-cnns-joy-behar.html

Nearly Nobody on April 21, 2011 at 5:11 PM

Do Rubio and Bolton approve?

MeatHeadinCA on April 21, 2011 at 5:12 PM

The lefties will be by to drone on how this is different from any other place, and how fantastic it is to use unmanned drones now.

Obama leads the liars of the world.

Münchhausen and Pinocchio are indignant.

Schadenfreude on April 21, 2011 at 5:15 PM

Apparently Obama has never read anything about mission creep. But, then why would he?

Anyone want to predict when the boots hit the ground?

SlaveDog on April 21, 2011 at 5:16 PM

Does anyone still believe a word that Dear Leader utters…?

d1carter on April 21, 2011 at 5:16 PM

while the Pentagon became furious that White House officials didn’t “seem to understand what military force can and cannot do,” the official said.

Well, the WH thinks Commander-in-Chief Canute can make the oceans recede and the planet heal, so why can’t all those generals figure out a way to stop Gaddafi in “days, not weeks”?

Wethal on April 21, 2011 at 5:17 PM

Does anyone still believe a word that Dear Leader utters…?

d1carter on April 21, 2011 at 5:16 PM

Did any sane person ever believe a word of his?

Schadenfreude on April 21, 2011 at 5:17 PM

When will the press start calling it “Obama’s Viet Nam”?

albill on April 21, 2011 at 5:18 PM

Obama is a LIAR. Did anyone else read the most recent HA headline about the rebels in Libya committing atrocities?
This is sickening, Congress needs to get us out of there NOW.

Susanboo on April 21, 2011 at 5:19 PM

This can’t end well. Not for Libyans, not for US prestige, and not for some WH or Pentagon flunky that’ll get thrown under the Predator Drone bus.

Of course, BarryO will still be the darling of the libs and this will establish a “military background” cred for his next election bid. (Geo. Washington rolls in grave)

Robert17 on April 21, 2011 at 5:19 PM

So, what stupid gaffe does he want to deflect from now?

SKYFOX on April 21, 2011 at 5:20 PM

Bush 3

CWforFreedom on April 21, 2011 at 5:21 PM

What better way to get our forces out of Afghanistan then to send them somewhere else?

Lawrence on April 21, 2011 at 5:21 PM

Call Evan Thomas…
Obama does not hover like a God, he hovers like a drone…

mjbrooks3 on April 21, 2011 at 5:21 PM

Gates won’t last through the summer.

I’m surprised he’s stayed this long.

SteveMG on April 21, 2011 at 5:21 PM

Obama is a LIAR. Did anyone else read the most recent HA headline about the rebels in Libya committing atrocities?
This is sickening, Congress needs to get us out of there NOW.

Susanboo on April 21, 2011 at 5:19 PM

Just read it. I’m kinda surprised AP didn’t bring it into this post. Anyway, doesn’t look good.

Glenn Beck was right…

MeatHeadinCA on April 21, 2011 at 5:22 PM

Underreported story…because the media are in denial Obama’s ars.

The targets of the most serious abuse are frequently black African prisoners.

Schadenfreude on April 21, 2011 at 5:22 PM

“It’s a mess,” lamented a senior U.S. official. Washington took the bold step of committing military force, but not enough to win…”

They forgot to add that this mess has Obowma’s stink all over it…

… Good job, Champ!

Seven Percent Solution on April 21, 2011 at 5:22 PM

Obama ignores the rebels’ atrocities and affiliation with Al Quaida, and sent millions, to be followed by billions.

Just shut up and pay. He is the better-knowing One.

Schadenfreude on April 21, 2011 at 5:23 PM

Want to get caught in a re-election killing Middle East quagmire?

There’s an app for that.

Good Solid B-Plus on April 21, 2011 at 5:23 PM

Smart Power.

sleepy-beans on April 21, 2011 at 5:24 PM

Schadenfreude on April 21, 2011 at 5:22 PM

If the story doesn’t comport with the narrative, it didn’t happen.

SlaveDog on April 21, 2011 at 5:25 PM

Here’s an Obama “drone strike“. Subject anyone to a couple days of that, and they will surrender.

forest on April 21, 2011 at 5:25 PM

“It’s a mess,” lamented a senior U.S. official. Washington took the bold step of committing military force, but not enough to win.

TRANSLATION: Barry made an oooops!

GarandFan on April 21, 2011 at 5:25 PM

Well, the WH thinks Commander-in-Chief Canute can make the oceans recede and the planet heal, so why can’t all those generals figure out a way to stop Gaddafi in “days, not weeks”?

Wethal on April 21, 2011 at 5:17 PM

Barry gets to set the rules of engagement.

If the president says you can’t shoot the bad-guy, just his minions, and only if they’re standing on their head on Tuesdays. And then you tell the bad-guy that. It’s kind of tough on the Generals to make any real progress.

What we need to do is set up a Predator control center in the Oval office and hand Barry the joy stick. We can let him push the button on whatever he wants, thereby avoiding all the extraneous military command issues.

Lawrence on April 21, 2011 at 5:26 PM

President Charlie Foxtrot is pathologically incapable of learning from mistakes. His, or previous administration’s.

kurtzz3 on April 21, 2011 at 5:27 PM

A Barack Hussein Obowma speech in 2002:

I don’t oppose all wars. What I am opposed to is a dumb war. What I am opposed to is a rash war. What I am opposed to is the cynical attempt by Richard Perle and Paul Wolfowitz Obowma and Susan Rice and other armchair, weekend warriors in this administration to shove their own ideological agendas down our throats, irrespective of the costs in lives lost and in hardships borne.

What I am opposed to is the attempt by political hacks like Karl Rove Obowma, Susan Rice and Hillary Clinton to distract us from a rise in the uninsured, a rise in the poverty rate, a drop in the median income, to distract us from corporate scandals and a stock market that has just gone through the worst month since the Great Depression.

That’s what I’m opposed to. A dumb war. A rash war. A war based not on reason but on passion, not on principle but on politics.

Now let me be clear: I suffer no illusions about Saddam Hussein Khadaffi. He is a brutal man. A ruthless man. A man who butchers his own people to secure his own power…. The world, and the Iraqi Libyan people, would be better off without him.

But I also know that Saddam Khadaffi poses no imminent and direct threat to the United States, or to his neighbors…and that in concert with the international community he can be contained until, in the way of all petty dictators, he falls away into the dustbin of history.

Foot, meet mouth.

dthorny on April 21, 2011 at 5:30 PM

There’s an App for that? On Droid or IPhone? Or maybe I shouldn’t have missed the Facebook thing the other day. What’s the app called so I can look it up: ‘Hunt the Lybian Regime?’ Sounds like fun!

michaelo on April 21, 2011 at 5:31 PM

In addition to being batsh*t crazy, Moammar Khaddafi is also a moron.

He should rig every piece of oil infrastructure currently under his control with high explosives and tell NATO to cease hostilities immediately or it all burns.

I suspect that threat alone would end things quickly. Southern Europe is totally reliant on light sweet Libyan crude and a massive, prolonged disruption could doom their economies.

Sooner or later NATO intervention will tip the scales in the rebels favor. And one way or another, this conflict ends with Khaddafi’s death or imprisonment. Most likely his family’s too. Why he doesn’t recognize that and threaten to use the only real weapon he has is beyond me.

Mike Honcho on April 21, 2011 at 5:32 PM

He authorized drone strikes? Does that mean he is going over there to give them one of his boring speeches?zzzzzzzz

sandee on April 21, 2011 at 5:35 PM

The White House wanted the Pentagon to come up with a low-cost regime-change plan for Libya. Ideally, this strategy would have toppled Col. Muammar Gaddafi without bogging the U.S. down in another inconclusive foreign adventure.

Clearly, this is a mission for the unicorn brigade.

Anon Y. Mous on April 21, 2011 at 5:36 PM

Obama is a LIAR. Did anyone else read the most recent HA headline about the rebels in Libya committing atrocities?
This is sickening, Congress needs to get us out of there NOW.

Susanboo on April 21, 2011 at 5:19 PM

I linked to that video last week of our rebel “allies” executing (etc.) that man who had surrendered. (I was kind of afraid I was going to get banned for it.)

Nice crowd we run with.

US out of Iraq, Afghanistan, Pohk-EE-stahn and Libya (and the US economy) NOW!

No more wars kinetic military actions for oil, or bankstas!

Rae on April 21, 2011 at 5:36 PM

Anyone else notice how quiet Hillary, Rice, and Power are…?

(crickets)

(wind blowing)

(tumble weed rolls by)

(some where far off in the distance, a dog barks)

Seven Percent Solution on April 21, 2011 at 5:41 PM

Obama is going to get primaried, I have a couple handshake bets already. The real money lies in being able to anticipate what he will do during his lame duck session. That will be scarier than the election. A guy with all the power and ego in the world and nothing to lose.

Mord on April 21, 2011 at 5:41 PM

Wouldnt “What else could go wrong?” be a more descript tagline?

Jeddite on April 21, 2011 at 5:43 PM

ROFL. PBHO is in so far over his head on this one that he would need an Atlas rocket to lift him out of the hole.

How’s that Fierce Moral Urgency working out for ya, libs? What happens when PBHO’s drone strikes kill a few bystanding civilians, how many innocents need to die for Warmonger Obama, how soon before he is dragged in chains before an international court for war crimes?

Helloooooooo?

Bishop on April 21, 2011 at 5:48 PM

Anyone else notice how quiet Hillary, Rice, and Power are…?

(crickets)

(wind blowing)

(tumble weed rolls by)

(some where far off in the distance, a dog barks)

Seven Percent Solution on April 21, 2011 at 5:41 PM

What about that collector of pins?

MeatHeadinCA on April 21, 2011 at 5:49 PM

Here’s what these “rebels” we are obviously helping are all about…(from HA headlines right now from PJ Media):

…harrowing video evidence has emerged that appears to show atrocities committed by anti-Gaddafi rebels. Among other things, the footage depicts summary executions, a prisoner being lynched, the desecration of corpses, and even a beheading. The targets of the most serious abuse are frequently black African prisoners. The ultimate source of the footage appears to be rebel forces or sympathizers themselves.

(Does Barack Obama hate black people?)

This is outragious. We have absolutely NO BUSINESS being in Libya at all. Both sides are barbaric, and hmmmmm, those rebels- those guys we’re ‘helping,’ – while they are torturing and killing and hanging and beheading, are all yelling ‘Allahu Akbar.’

marybel on April 21, 2011 at 5:52 PM

Did he call congress first?

Kissmygrits on April 21, 2011 at 5:54 PM

WTF

txag92 on April 21, 2011 at 5:55 PM

What is it with Obama and drones. He’s been using them since 2007.

clement on April 21, 2011 at 5:55 PM

WWJB

Who would Jesus bomb?

CWforFreedom on April 21, 2011 at 5:57 PM

WWJB

Who would Jesus bomb?

CWforFreedom on April 21, 2011 at 5:57 PM

Washington DC?

dthorny on April 21, 2011 at 6:05 PM

What was the point for this “intervention”?

God, what a clusterfark…Khaddafy is going to win, and he’s going to be very annoyed.

madne0 on April 21, 2011 at 6:13 PM

(Does Barack Obama hate black people?)

marybel on April 21, 2011 at 5:52 PM

Yes, he does.

Black unemployment is over 30% (was 9.8% with “Bush hates black people” in office, record food stamp use for black families, record black homeowner foreclosures, record poverty, Thousands of Detroit homes to be destroyed, many inner city schools failing, the Washington DC school voucher program which was a success, Obowma shutdown last year…..

dthorny on April 21, 2011 at 6:14 PM

Am I mistaken, or do I not recall Iraq (both Bush 1 and Bush 2 versions) being referred to as America’s Viet Nam? Yet, we entered and fought to win. And won. Unlike Viet Nam. Now we have a Democrat president (wasn’t it also another Democrat president who got us into Viet Nam?) who has gotten the US into Libya without any clear objectives, and without having the cajones to fight to win. I’m detecting the beginning of a pattern here. Viet Nam: Democrat president, military on a tight leash with limited engagement, no plan to win, no clear objective, no exit strategy. Libya: Democrat president, military on a tight leash with limited engagement, no plan to win, no exit strategy.

Harrell on April 21, 2011 at 6:25 PM

The White House thought the Pentagon was disrespecting the president by refusing to propose a politically acceptable action plan, while the Pentagon became furious that White House officials didn’t “seem to understand what military force can and cannot do,” the official said.

The demands by Obama’s crew of liberal pseudo-intellectuals for a “politically acceptable action plan” confirms their ignorance of the fundamental aspects of war. Not only are these people ignorant, they are ignorant of their own ignorance; in their ignorance they think they are smarter than the rest of us, and smarter than all the generations who went before us.

When their pipe dreams can not be rendered into reality by folks whose duty it is to deal with inconvenient facts, their childish anger with the messengers is just as disturbing.

These people hold our national security in their hands, and they are neither intellectually or emotionally prepared to deal with hard realities that conflict with their silly notions.

novaculus on April 21, 2011 at 6:26 PM

Libya = ‘Desert One’.

Robert_Paulson on April 21, 2011 at 6:32 PM

Turd sandwich, indeed.

And the stench from it is growing stronger.

Enjoy your meal, Barry.

AZCoyote on April 21, 2011 at 6:33 PM

The signs were all there. I didn’t need to see the HuffPo piece to know that’s what happened. Team Obama is the McNamara defense department on steroids, to infinity and beyond.

This Libya outing is Obama’s Rolling Thunder. Obama was trained by the morons who shrieked about the Vietnam War, while LBJ and McNamara were prosecuting it very much as Obama is now prosecuting the KMA in Libya. Endless cycle of using military force tentatively, prolonging indecision on the ground, and — the next form of entertainment for the Western media — provoking a backlash at home.

Yee-ha.

J.E. Dyer on April 21, 2011 at 6:42 PM

are we going to get ANY authorization request for our dear leader…

i mean for pity sakes, all this and not one ounce of outrage from the lsm about starting another war….

cmsinaz on April 21, 2011 at 6:43 PM

I’m cool with it, I hope one of our Reaper/Predator operator Airmen back at Nellis AFB, Nevada sees that pr!ck taking another joyride through town sticking half his body out the sunroof of his SUV.

I can’t wait for the footage of the blast to get posted on YouTube!

Tony737 on April 21, 2011 at 7:07 PM

If Obama orders a hit on Gaddafi, it’s only fair if G. orders one back, no? Fair’s fair…I won’t cry either way.

Fortunata on April 21, 2011 at 7:33 PM

O-Bomb-a

Alden Pyle on April 21, 2011 at 7:42 PM

Let me be clear and make no mistake Mr. Obama is so tangled in his political underwear that he can’t even lie like normal. If this continues we have a crisis on our hands.

Mason on April 21, 2011 at 8:17 PM

“Where does he get those amazing toys?” ~ The Joker

Of course this is wag-the-dog territory. “Can’t talk about the debt right now, have a war time-limited/scope-limited kinetic military action to run”.

He asked the Pentagon for “low-cost solutions”. This is the only program in the nation for which the Commander in Chief is counting the cost. The one that saves innocent lives by destroying an enemy, and he is looking for the “economy” option. But trim a fingernail off of a useless, mismanaged, bloated entitlement program? “You monsters want grandma to starve!”

Freelancer on April 21, 2011 at 10:20 PM

I’m kicking myself for not predicting this, especially after yesterday’s grim Reuters report about how Qaddafi’s rebuilding some of his power while NATO jets zip by overhead

“President Obama has said that where we have some unique capabilities, he is willing to use those,” Gates said. “And in fact he has approved the use of armed Predators.”

You shouldn’t be.

I have made a point of what UAV/U-CAVs can do, and yes they are very good for this type of mission, so good we are not the ONLY ones who have them!

The UK has 5 MQ-9 Reapers U-CAVs

Italy has “Aeronautica Militare” has
7 General Atomics RQ-1 Predator reconnaissance UAV RQ-1A
and
6 General Atomics MQ-9 Reaper reconnaissance UAV MQ-9

Don’t know why Italy would say they are unarmed Reapers, Reapers are purpose built U-CAVs (UN-manned “COMBAT” Ariel Vehicle).

Its like saying your going to use a “M1A1 Abrams tanks” to be used as “supply trucks”.

DSchoen on April 21, 2011 at 10:20 PM

I can’t wait for the footage of the blast to get posted on YouTube!
Tony737 on April 21, 2011 at 7:07 PM

You do realize that will cause an oil slick on the road, right?

DSchoen on April 21, 2011 at 10:25 PM

The targets of the most serious abuse are frequently black African prisoners.
marybel on April 21, 2011 at 5:52 PM

The black African prisoners are considered to be Mercenaries, they will get no mercy.

DSchoen on April 21, 2011 at 10:50 PM