Look, I’m not opposed to saving innocent people. I’m not opposed to a word without Qaddafi. But can anyone answer any of these questions:
Sen. Richard Lugar (R-Ind.) warned on Sunday that the U.S. is starting a treacherous descent down a slippery slope of international diplomacy by getting involved in Libya.
It doesn’t make sense, he said, for the U.S. to help Libyan civilians when the citizens of countries like Bahrain, Yemen and Syria are also being oppressed.
“We had better get this straight from the beginning,” he said on CBS’s “Face the Nation,” “or there’s going to be a situation where war lingers on, country after country, situation after situation, all of them on a humane basis, saving people.”
Lugar, the ranking Republican on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee who has helped broker key nuclear weapons reductions with former Soviet Union countries, is one of the few Republicans who’s spoken against using force in Libya. He said Sunday the success of the airstrikes against Moammar Qadhafi’s air defenses hasn’t convinced him that getting involved there is a good idea.
Lugar warned that the U.S. is investing huge sums of money in a foreign endeavor at a time when the domestic economy is still struggling.”It’s a strange time,” he said. “Almost all of our congressional days are spent on budget deficits, outrageous problems. Yet, at the same time, all of this passes, which is a very expensive operation.”
He cautioned that President Barack Obama has authorized airstrikes without understanding whom the strikes might empower in Libya.
“We really have not discovered who it is in Libya that we are trying to support,” Lugar said.
When do we know we have “won?” Who are we protecting? What do we do if Qaddafi survives? What do we do when we figure out the people we are “saving” hate us, just slightly less than they hated Qaddafi? What about civilian casualties? How much is this going to cost? How long is it going to take? Who is going to pay for it? Are we going to raise taxes, or do we just proceed with devastating cuts to the poor to finance another war. Are we going to have to stay and protect people after we “win?” Will we have to create bases to protect the war profiteers who are going to swoop in and start drilling and reconstructing what we just blew up? What is the reaction going to be in other Arab nations? What kind of blowback will there be from this? We don’t know any of that. Other than Lugar, I don’t think anyone is discussing it.
And then the meta-lesson. What lesson does Iran learn from all of this? Qaddafi gave up his nukes to protect himself from American military attacks, and we went ahead and attacked him anyway. North Korea, with their nukes, remains safe from American tampering. What lesson would you learn if you were Iranian?
And then the way this was sold- just a no-fly zone and an Arab League action, which was just transparent bullshit from the get-go. I mean, this is a noble cause, but at least the Bush crew worked hard to sell their war with a special defense department designed solely to spew agitprop. We just get a serving of obvious nonsense about the Arab League leading this and it just being a no-fly zone, when it is pretty clear this is about regime change. I feel cheated- don’t we deserve war foreplay anymore? Someone say something about babies in incubators, for christ sake. I don’t need dinner and a movie, just talk dirty to me a little bit. Maybe jiggle my balls a little bit. Put some effort into it.
And so we have a coalition. How does that answer any of the questions in this post?