It is quite ironic that on the 8th anniversary of America’s involvement in the Iraq War, which killed over 4,000 and wounded over 30,000, many very seriously, that suddenly we are engaged in war against Libya and its leader, Moammar Gaddafi!
The first missile strikes against Libya were by the French, but soon were joined by the United States and Great Britain, with the war effort being endorsed by the Arab League.
President Obama has said there will be no combat troops on the ground, that the purpose of the conflict is to prevent mass murder in Benghazi and other locations in eastern Libya, and to allow the rebels against the central government forces of Gaddafi to have a chance to succeed in defending themselves and to overthrow the 42 years long Libyan dictatorship, which has been condemned by UN Resolution 1973.
So we are now engaged in THREE wars at the same time, although Iraq is not considered to be hostile territory anymore, and American forces are scheduled to leave at the end of 2011. Meanwhile, Afghanistan is a war we are now engaged in for the 10th year.
The question is whether we can be certain that our involvement will be just missiles and air attacks, or whether it will deteriorate and lead to combat forces, no matter what Obama is saying now.
The thought of three wars at once, and the economic costs involved is enough to make one sick, and will probably mean further cuts down the road in domestic spending!
And there is concern that the Arab world and Muslim nations, while no friends of Gaddafi, might yet someday turn against the West, led by the US, France and Great Britain, and accuse them of a holy war against Islam.
There is also concern that Obama has not involved the Congress in the war planning, although that fits Presidential actions under Truman, Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon, and the two Bushes, and other Presidents have intervened in a non war situation without Congressional approval. The War Powers Act of 1973 is again proved a “paper tiger”, and Congressman Dennis Kucinich is leading the attack on Obama asserting too much authority without approval of Congress.
So this Libyan intervention has just begun, and is bound to be longer lasting and creating more headaches, both domestic and foreign, than one wants to imagine today!
But at least, we will not be able to say that we ignored a potential mass holocaust, as Jimmy Carter did in Cambodia, and Bill Clinton did in Rwanda!