Posted by Curt on 6 April, 2011 at 7:20 pm. 6 comments already!

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I find this hilarious:

Libyan rebels regained ground in a new advance on an oil port on Wednesday but accused NATO of inaction hindering their quest to oust Muammar Gaddafi.

NATO said Gaddafi was making it increasingly difficult for its pilots to carry out air strikes by ensconcing his forces in heavily populated areas and using civilians as human shields.

…“God willing, we are going to try to enter Brega today,” said rebel Idriss Abdel Karim, but he and various comrades complained of a lack of support from NATO bombers.

“(Government forces) are scared of NATO air strikes but NATO doesn’t bomb anything in the first place,” he said.

“There have been no air strikes. We hear the sound, but they don’t bomb anything,” said Hossam Ahmed, another rebel.

“What is NATO waiting for? We have cities that are being destroyed. Ras Lanuf, Bin Jawad, Brega, and Gaddafi is destroying Misrata completely,” added Said Emburak, an Ajdabiyah resident.

NATO’s air strikes are targeting Gaddafi’s military infrastructure but only to protect civilians, not to provide close air support for rebels, much to their dismay, as part of a no-fly zone mandated by the U.N. Security Council.

So let me get this straight. The mission of NATO and the US when we went into Libya was supposed to be about protecting innocent civilians but now that we have stopped bombing those flying tanks and are actually enforcing a NO-FLY zone the “rebels” are complaining.

Why in the world would NATO be a bit apprehensive about backing these “rebels” anyways? I wonder.

As far as our involvement in this mess there are a couple pieces you should take a gander at. First from the guy the left loves to hate….no, not Bush, but John Yoo. He writes about, and I agree with, the fact that the President does NOT need to get a declaration of war before commencing hostilities (Yoo goes into much more detail about this here)

I think this view of war powers is mistaken as a matter of constitutional practice and of the original understanding of the Constitution at the time of its ratification. I won’t repeat those arguments here, other than to point out that the Constitution gives Congress a singular, unique tool to stop any war it disagrees with — the power to cut off funds. If these senators think that President Obama is waging an unconstitutional war in Libya — and I would be the first to admit that the conflict does not involve an actual or imminent threat to the nation’s security — they should refuse to approve any appropriations for the Defense Department that would go to pay for our military and intelligence operations there.

But the point many of us are making isn’t that Obama CAN’T order military engagement, it’s the huge hypocrisy involved

But the more important story — which no doubt will pass without mention in places like the New York Times — is that every single Democratic senator voted against the Paul language [editors note – Rand Paul introduced a motion to declare as the sense of the Senate “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.”]. This represents a hypocritical reversal from their position during the Bush years, when they accused Republicans in the administration of violating the Constitution, seeking to place the president above the law, and so on, whenever Bush exercised his commander-in-chief power to manage the War on Terror. These are the same folks who used to file federal lawsuits against Presidents Reagan and Bush in the 1980s and 1990s not just for major interventions like the 1991 war against Iraq, but even minor operations like escorting Kuwaiti tankers in the Persian Gulf. Or used to raise talk of impeaching President Bush in the 2000s for exercising the commander-in-chief power to decide on military strategy and tactics.

Now the Democrats have a clear vote on the record to show that their objections evaporate when the president happens to be a Democrat. Their attacks on Republican presidents were always about partisan political advantage, and not about constitutional principle.

Every Democrat went on record voting against the very same language used by Obama himself when he was against the war in Iraq.

H Y P O C R I S Y

And then finally check out Stanly Kurtz piece on the woman behind this Libyan misadventure. Samantha Powers.

…My point is not that Power has never revealed her interest in humanitarian intervention or her passion for international law. I do argue, however, that Power often pushes forward thin and unpersuasive “pragmatic” arguments as a way of minimizing and disguising her real motivations and goals, just as Obama has done on health care.

Whoever said Power always gets what she wants, or that Obama hears no contrary advice? The point is that Power prevailed in Libya against more sensible advice from others. I don’t doubt, as Joyner says, that McCain would have intervened under similar circumstances, but McCain would at least have gone in to win–that is, to quickly displace Qaddafi. Instead we’ve gone in under Power’s inhibiting rules, and that makes all the difference. The fact that we haven’t carried out many more Power-style interventions is far less important than the fact that we’ve undertaken one at all, since these are very rare, and we’ve done so at a moment of broader international peril when our military is greatly overstretched.

…The idea that United Nations bureaucrats and international lawyers might someday be able to impose their will on the United States is in no way absurd. We are already being told that we cannot push for regime change in Libya because it will bust our coalition and contravene the authority of a UN resolution. So the Obama administration is already subordinating an explicit American foreign policy goal of real importance to United Nations authority (without even having asked for authority from Congress). In doing so, Obama and Power are trying to set a precedent that will tie down future presidents.

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