Jim Vicevich catches this suggestion from Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), usually considered one of the clearer Democratic thinkers on national security and the military in Congress. Air strikes haven’t forced Moammar Gaddafi to flee Libya, she told Andrea Mitchell at MSNBC yesterday, but you know what would work? A warrant for his arrest, courtesy of the International Criminal Court. All we need to do is to, er, “go in and arrest him”:
Pray tell, Senator, just how does one execute an arrest warrant without “putting boots on the ground”? Mitchell makes the same point after Feinstein suggests that the third option would be to handle Gaddafi the same way we handled Saddam Hussein, which would be a massive ground war and occupation. Of course, Feinstein doesn’t actually put it that way, but smirks when Mitchell points it out.
So can we consider Feinstein a neo-con now? At least in Iraq, we invaded after Hussein repeatedly violated the cease-fire that ended operations in the first Gulf War and ignored seventeen UN resolutions demanding his compliance. Suddenly, Democrats seem awfully comfortable with the idea of ground forces, invasions, and regime change through military means in Arab nations, with much lower thresholds for action. Unless, of course, Feinstein is so delusional to think that the US can send an envoy with an ICC summons and believe that (a) the envoy could locate Gaddafi, (b) the envoy would survive long enough to deliver it, and (c) Gaddafi would flee Libya out of fear of the ICC after standing up to two weeks of air strikes from NATO. Hell, maybe he’d laugh so hard that he asphyxiates.
Perhaps Feinstein should avail herself of the right to remain silent.