Today the US and British military launched Operation Odyssey Dawn. This action was authorized by the United Nations (which presumably has sovereignty over such things). Over 100 cruise missiles were fired at a number of targets within Libya, according to a story in the Washington Times. President Obama announced these attacks while interrupting his vacation in Brazil stating that “We must be clear: actions have consequences and the writ of the international community must be enforced. We are answering the calls of a threatened people.”
The goals of this action, according to an unnamed Defense Department individual, are to prevent Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi from attacking Libyan opposition groups, especially those in Benghazi and making it impossible for the Libyan Air Force to violate the no-fly zone which the UN mandated. Obama has stated that no American ground forces (read infantry) would by employed in this action; however, he has already invested our Navy, Marines, and Air Force into this process.
While campaigning for office in 2008, Obama told the Boston Globe that “ (the president)…does not have power under the Constitution to unilaterally authorize a military attack in a situation that does not involve stopping an actual or imminent threat to the nation.” So, I guess that’s what’s going on here, an imminent threat to America. There must be some secret intelligence somewhere that is telling our leaders that Gadhafi is going to use his massive naval forces to attack our ports. But no, according to the administration, there is a loophole which is that the current deployment is “limited in duration and scope and conducted in cooperation with an international coalition.”
To me, one of the more interesting claims that those who sought this war argued is that we need to fight this to protect democracy in Libya. Now, there are things about democracy that I probably don’t get, but polling shows that although virtually all elites have sought this little excursion, the American people overwhelmingly oppose it. So, I guess democracy is important in Libya, important enough to forget about democratic values in our own nation. Next stop Iran. I’d recommend for our next military adventure if we thought of a name that doesn’t look like a headliner at a burlesque show.