Democrats get their wargasm

To borrow a phrase from Gene Healy of the Cato institute, the US is continuing to play “Globocop.” Saturday, US Naval vessels in the Mediterranean led the launching of at least 110 Tomahawk Cruise missiles into Libya.

To be sure, Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi is a cruel dictator. He’s a beast, a purveyor of terrorism, yet he hasn’t cast anything more than an evil eye toward the US in decades. So naturally, even Chadds Ford Democrats are applauding the UN-sanctioned action of establishing a no-fly zone over Libya. (See the comment below the Op/Ed piece “Stay out of Libya” at

Perhaps few people understood that when the UN voted last week to establish the no-fly zone, it was authorizing an act of war. The US, among others, is obliging.

That there are “humanitarian reasons” for the action, the justification remains questionable and the outcome is far from certain. Even former Democratic Party US Rep. Joe Sestak said on MSNBC, twice, over the weekend that there is a good chance the US may wind up taking a lead in this affair to the point of sending in ground troops.

Democrats were critical, and rightly so, over George Bush’s rush to wage a war against Iraq. Now, though, the Democrats can have their own war in Libya.

The Obama administration has now authorized air missions—bombings—in six countries: Libya, Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, Somalia, and Yemen. This after President Obama, as a senator, said the American president does not have the power to unilaterally authorize a military attack in a situation that does not involve stopping an actual or imminent threat to the nation.

Regardless that people say the reasons for Operation Odyssey Dawn are humanitarian and sanctioned by the UN, the use of military force is constitutionally justified only in defense of this country, not because, as Cato's Doug Bandow suggests, Mr. Obama wants to get in touch with his inner neocon. 

It’s even uncertain at this time whether the goal is to oust Gadhafi. Speculation has it that he can maintain a West Libya from Tripoli with someone ruling an East Libya from Benghazi.

Mr. Sestak, a former three-star admiral also said on MSNBC that it’s not known exactly who the Libyan rebels are, who the US and UN might be backing.

Great. Let’s help those who might be worse.

From Korea to Vietnam, from Iraq to Libya and all the brush wars in between where the American military has been ordered to kill and be killed for no constitutionally valid reason, the foreign policy of the US government, whether run by Republicans or Democrats is the same, play Globocop. Be the bully of the block. Do it our way or else.

Those among us who advocate liberty, peace and constitutionally limited government as primary goals hope the Democrats get as much out of their war with Libya as the Republicans got out of theirs with Iraq. Was your wargasm as good for you as theirs was for them? Was it worth it?

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3 Responses to “Democrats get their wargasm”

  1. Peter Jesson says:

    The only instances of the US playing “Globocop” in the third world that come to mind are The Balkan, Egyptian and Libyan revolutions.

    The vast majority of foreign interventions over the last hundred years from Hawaii to Iraq have been to further US business interests. These have usually involved the installation of vicious dictators who looted their countries and tortured and killed their people.

    As my title implies, the editorial writer suffers from myopia (a typical conservative disease in which the sufferer can not see further than end of his/her boot tips). I have pointed out previously that one can draw a straight line from the overthrow of the democratically elected government of Iran (with the installation of the vicious dictatorship of the Shah) through the Khomeini revolution to 9/11.

    I am not painting our local endemic Libertarians with the same brush. One does, however, wonder where they have been over the 100 years in which we have been committing one atrocity after another.

    Then there is all this bandying about of the word “war”. If the term “war” is applied in a general sense, then we were at war with Timothy McVeigh.
    Perhaps the author does not remember the Clinton “containment” of Iraq. Containment, a good word, like liberal and socialist, blacked by the incessant stream of right wing propaganda that we are subjected to day in day out from every major news outlet. Containment was the primary reason (as pointed out by the UN weapons inspectors) that nothing was found when Bush murdered 1 million innocent Iraqis.

    What we are engaged in, in Yemen, Libya, Somalia and Pakistan is containment. The Iraq and Afghanistan wars are legacies of Bush incompetencies for which Obama has been left to do the s..t shoveling.

    The objectives in Libya are clear: To prevent Qaddafi slaughtering his people. In this, it has already been remarkably successful; if in the process we get rid of Qaddafi and bring a popularly elected government to Libya, so much the better.

    The Balkans, Egypt and Libya are sensible moves in the long term security of our country, minor beacons amongst our disgraceful record of counterproductive foreign aggression.

    If we put fighting infantry boots on the ground in Libya then it will be a real war and I, for one, may well stop supporting it.

    The United States has formally declared war against foreign nations five separate times, each upon prior request by the President of the United States. Four of those five declarations came after hostilities had begun.

    On at least 125 occasions, a President has acted without prior express military authorization from Congress.

    Why are the neo-cons wetting their drawers over this particular intervention. Perhaps we should listen to Slimy Newt:

    Newt actually made a couple of speeches 48 hours before the air assault saying he would bomb immediately. Then 24 hours after the initial bombing, the slimy Newt said that we should not be involved.

    The “logic” is obvious: If a Democrat does it, it must be wrong.

    The Cato institute is a disreputable right wing propaganda machine in which their hired guns know what conclusions they are supposed to reach and try to manufacture copy and sound-bites to give a superficial rationalization for those conclusions. These are then handed to conservative and libertarian politicians and journalists with no reference to funders such as tobacco, fossil fuel, investment, media, medical, and other regulated industries.

    Cato is one of the most blatant examples of “simulated rationality”, as described in Phil Agre’s The Crisis of Public Reason. Arguments need only be plausibly rational to an uninformed listener. Only a tiny percentage will notice that they are being mislead. That’s all that’s needed to manage public opinion.

    I certainly agree with the editorial writer’s perspective on Vietnam and Iraq; why stop there, there a dozens of other examples. His/her problem is one of perspective (apparently a one size fits all perspective). To compare the murderous atrocity of Iraq with Libya beggars the imagination.

  2. Peter Jesson says:

    The Editor got a little dig in at the end of one of my responses.

    (“Editor’s Note: On Saturday the US led a Tomahawk Cruise missile strike and even former US Rep. Joe Sestak is worried that the US will commit ground forces”.)

    Firing Tomahawk missiles is hardly putting ones armed forces at risk. I have noticed in the press that there has been a distinct bias against the French leadership in this effort. One commentator went so far as to say that the French flew in a couple of planes at the beginning and then retired from the field.

    In point of fact the French are the only ones to down a Libyan aircraft. We do appear to be flying some F15’s since one crashed with mechanical failure.

    Dearly though I love Joe Sestak, he is a measured politician; like him I would deplore the introduction of ground forces; something which, I believe, Obama is smart enough to avoid.

    The Libyan people have recovered in their assault on Qaddafi thanks to the NATO intervention. They are bearing down on the dictator’s center of power.

    As I said earlier, let’s compare notes in a couple of months.

  3. Peter Jesson says:

    As the weeks pass it will be good to follow a map of progress in the Libyan revolution. As I said twice before, let’s compare notes in a couple of months to rate the prognosticators

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