Thursday, March 24, 2011

Lest Anyone Think Silence Equals Consent . . .

With the inauguration of Operation Odyssey Dawn (and John Stewart is so right, that sounds like the title of a Yes album), Pres. Obama has managed to bring along the best of all possible worlds. Those who chided him for doing nothing are now attacking him for doing something. Those who insisted that we not get involved are crowing about getting involved in such a half-assed way. While it may be true that the President was in a position where he would have been criticized regardless of what actions he took, he now has the dubious distinction of ticking off all sorts of folks and killing people for no good reason.

While I find Sen Richard Lugar's (R-IN) comments ridiculous - he claimed on Sunday to now know what was going on, etc., as if he had not heard all sorts of clamor and complaint in the couple weeks leading up to the beginning of the mission - and Newt Gingrich's hilarious flip-flop no end of entertainment, that does not mean that I agree with the President. While I find it ridiculous of Speaker Boehner to claim, as he did over the weekend in a letter to the President, that there have been no clearly articulated goals, no clear definition of the mission, no discussion of the scope and size of the mission, that does not mean I find solace in the mission as the President has described it.

Indeed, as I wrote last week
[Qaddafi's] ground forces can consolidate. The opposition, such as remains of it, sits huddled in and around Benghazi. The talking about talking breaks down, and now the Libyan Army is ready to go. And, surprise, surprise! It doesn't need planes. Its tanks, its artillery - all in place. The troops, arranged properly and briefed thoroughly, move in.
By and large, this is what is happening. The ground offensive continues, the opposition, such as it may be, untrained, unprepared, inadequately armed, is hardly protected as the tanks, artillery, and troops continue to move against them. The stated final goal - the end of the Qaddafi regime - is no closer to being realized by the no-fly zone than it was before, with added costs not least of which is the loss of an American F-15.

We have no dog in this fight beyond a general desire for freedom for the Libyan people, and a wish they not suffer the hardships of being shelled, bombed, or otherwise injured and killed by their own military. Noble sentiments which I certainly share. All the same, such sentiments are not a reason to commit our blood and treasure to a campaign that involves killing people with whom we have no immediate quarrel, and which carries far too many unknown costs down the road. While it pains me to side with the opponents of the President, I cannot stand with him in the middle of this muddled, murderous nonsense.

Virtual Tin Cup

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