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Now that we’re bombing Libya the New York Times reports that, technically, we didn’t go to war to defeat Gadhafi. Technically, the Times says, all the UN Resolution did was set up a no-fly zone to stop Gadhafi bombing his own civilians. The General commanding our attack says pretty much the same thing: “Our mission is not to support any opposition forces.” In fact, according to the UN ‘mandate’ if one of our fighter pilots flies across a battlefield Gadhafi’s army and the rebels are fighting it out he’s supposed to fly right on by.
This has created a helluva mess at NATO headquarters where some of our allies are saying what started out as a mission to prevent Gadhafi bombing his own people has somehow turned into our bombing Gadhafi’s army.
After all, President Obama says he wants Gadhafi out and it’s hard to see why Gadhafi would give up as long as he has an army and the rebels don’t.
And who exactly are these rebels the President wants to help? Are they Freedom Fighters or clansmen from feuding Bedouin tribes? A political scientist at Georgetown University answered that dryly saying, It could be a very big surprise when Gadhafi leaves and we find out who we’re really dealing with.
Here’s one fact: After the airstrikes started and pictures of pulverized Libyan tanks started appearing on TV the rebels attacked Ajdabiya trying to retake it from Gadhafi’s army. They retreated after taking eight casualties. So how solid is President Obama’s bet these folks whip Gadhafi on their own?
As one rebel leader said, Gadhafi’s forces are like birds. They can fly anywhere, but the international community can shoot them down. Our role in this war is to walk in and pluck their feathers. That doesn’t exactly sound like a diehard patriot fighting for his freedom.


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3 comments on “It Turns Out…

  1. Carbine says:

    Carter, did you EVER have the idea that we were going to war “to defeat Gadhafi?” Did ANY administration official ever say that? Or imply that? Or think it really loudly?

    And do you really not understand that the way you accomplish the stated mission of preventing Gadhafi’s forces from slaughtering civilians is to bomb Gadhafi’s forces? I have criticized the Obama administration’s approach to a lot of things, but I don’t see how he can be criticized (yet) for doing exactly what the UN mandate said we’re supposed to be doing.

  2. dap916 says:

    So far, I haven’t seen an actual proposed strategy in Libya for the so-called coalition UN forces. Obama first came on TV saying Gadhafi needs to go then military leaders and advisors are saying that’s not the goal. It seem we don’t actually have a strategy and are making it up as we go along. Your point about the opposition forces being unable to actually take on the Gadhafi military is well taken. I mean, unless we…well, the coalition forces, excuse me…provide this opposition with arms and “advisors” etc., this whole effort seems more like some muscle flexing rather than some strategic effort with a dedicated goal.

    My guess? This is more about Obama looking all “strong and commander-in-chief-like” than anything. I mean, what good prez hasn’t had a skirmish under his belt, huh? Of course, this one might turn out like Carter’s rescue attempt..remember that one? Reagan beat his brains out partly because of that.

    Obama ran on getting us out of Iraq in 16 months…never happened. He ran on having success in Afghanistan…hasn’t happened. He is on record saying that Bush didn’t have the authority to do what he did militarily and guess what…he’s done the same thing.

    Ain’t politics grand? hahahahaha….We’re living in crazy times in America. The craziness of Korea and then the idiocy of Vietnam didn’t teach us a damn thing.

  3. cwrenn says:

    Dear Carbine,

    Last week in Santiago, Chile, President Obama said, “I have … stated that it is U.S. Policy that Qaddafi needs to go.” (CBS News, March 21, 2011)

    Last night, Obama said, “Of course, there is no question Libya – and the world – will be better off with Qaddafi out of power. I, along with many other world leaders have embraced that goal, and will actively pursue it through non-military means.”

    The President said that as we are bombing Qaddafi’s army.
    On one hand the President says Qaddafi must go because he’s slaughtering civilians; on the other he says Qaddafi can stay in power. He says we’re not leading the war, NATO is – but, as Ambassador John Bolten said last night, Obama may be the only person in the world who doesn’t know we lead NATO.

    President Obama’s rhetorical skills are unquestioned but trying to fight a war while saying he’s not fighting a war has twisted him into a rhetorical pretzel.

    Best, Carter

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