Monday, March 21, 2011

Lugar Speaks Out Against Obama's Open-Ended Military Intervention In Libya

It seems the U.S. Constitution has little continued viability in the wake of President Barack Obama's decision to go to war with Libya without any congressional declaration of war or game plan for what he expects to achieve. Sen. Lugar's criticism of the Obama administration's open-ended military action is spot on. Here's a statement Lugar's office released today:

Senator Dick Lugar, the Ranking Republican on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, reiterated his call today for "full congressional debate on the objectives and costs" of President Obama's military actions in Libya, "and a declaration of war" to proceed.

"There needs to be a plan about what happens after Gadhafi,” Lugar said. “Who will be in charge then, and who pays for this all. President Obama, so far, has only expressed vague hopes.”

“Congress has been squabbling for months over a budget to run the federal government for a fiscal year that is almost half over,” Lugar said. “We argue over where to cut $100,000 million here and there from programs many people like. So here comes an open-ended military action with no-end game envisioned.

With the Arab League already having second thoughts, and Turkey nixing NATO taking over, today there are even more questions. We also have to debate how all this effects the Saudis, Bahrain and Yemen."

“The facts are that our budget is stretched too far and our troops are stretched too far,” Lugar said. “The American people require a full understanding and accounting, through a full and open debate in Congress.”
The silence from other members of Indiana's congressional delegation is deafening. It is beyond me how they can stand by and watch Obama commit billions of new spending on a military action that has received no congressional authorization and for which no explanation of why this action is necessary has satisfactorily been presented to the American people at a time our country is facing the worst budget deficit in its history. Have we learned nothing from our disastrous experiences in Iraq and Afghanistan? It's as if we hopped into a paddle boat to navigate the Niagra Falls. It's insane. Have all the adults with decision-making authority left the room in Washington?


Cato said...

Of our now three wars, our action in Libya appears to have the greatest moral foundation. We went to war with Iraq and Afghanistan when these countries posed no threat to us and did not attack us. We have made Hells of these countries, killing hundreds of thousands and making millions refugees. Now, Der Spiegel is releasing photos that show our murdering troops posing with corpses taken in sport killings.

An Iraqi or Afghani eagerly wishes we never arrived.

In Libya, however, we have the Libyan regulars using full mechanized military on small arms forces. Disrupting those attacks prevents widespread slaughter and allows those rebels to live another day.

Sadly, Republicans only seem to want to use the military to make things worse and inflict greater death, instead of intervening in places where we could improve our fellow man's lot and prevent true genocide, such as East Timor, Rwanda and Darfur.

While it is true that we do not have the money to intervene in Libya, neither do we have the money to keep troops in Germany and Japan, when that war ended 66 years ago; in Korea, when that war ended over 50 years ago; in Afghanistan, where we've been for 10 years; or in Iraq, where we've been languishing for eight years.

The Republican complaint at this point is truly hollow and perhaps belies an ulterior motive. Can the CFR not see a strategic interest in Libya? Is the CFR at last openly admitting that it cares not a whit about humanitarian aims?

When the CFR sends Lugar to complain about the splinter in one eye, while we have a prodigious mote protruding from the other, one is left only to shake his head at Lugar's ability to make that duplicitous argument with a seeming straight face.

Advance Indiana said...

We're still talking about a nation of people in Libya who only last year cheered the release of the Lockerbie, Scotland terrorist who brought down the Pan Am flight that killed 173 Americans. Don't fault us for not picking sides in this losing battle for control of a country that will be our sworn enemy regardless of who is in control.

Cato said...

Is the moral question dependent upon whether they will be our ally, or are we allowed to consider whether it is right to let Kadafi annihilate his people with heavy ordnance?

Advance Indiana said...

We sat by and watched people massacred in other countries on the African continent like the Sudan? What makes Libya any different? Their oil?

Cato said...

What makes this time different? Perhaps a different President.

Advance Indiana said...

Let's face it. The US is bankrupt. We don't have the resources to take care of our own people, let alone play policeman for the world. If stability in the Middle East is important, then let the oil sheiks spend their trillions defending their interests.

Cato said...

Yes, we're broke, but I never seem to hear Republicans propose saving billions through re-legalizing the millions of things they've criminalized.

Complaints of spending, at this point, are hard to be seen as credible.