Libyan Civil War

President Barack Obama And Women’s Role In His Administration: Greater Than Any President!

With the controversy over contraception coverage for women in religiously based employment at the height of the news this week, it became evident that President Obama was influenced by women in his administration toward the stand he took, until he backtracked earlier today. Among those women influencing his earlier stand were Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius and White House aide Valerie Jarrett. Among the men opposed were Vice President Joe Biden and former Chief of Staff William Daley.

Last year, it was women working with Barack Obama, including Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and United Nations Ambassador Susan Rice, who convinced him to get involved in Libya”s Civil War, although others such as Secretary of Defense Robert Gates and National Security Adviser Tom Donilon advised against it.

This is an interesting development, as never before have women had such significance in decision making on important domestic and foreign policy issues as under Obama.

Whether in the long run this will be seen as positive for the Obama record in office will be debated and analyzed for decades!

Libya Success Proof Of Obama’s NEW Foreign Policy Being A Success!

The overthrow of the Gaddafi regime in Libya, even if Gaddafi himself is still at large as the author writes, is a triumph of major proportions for President Obama, and adds to his image of fighting against terrorism and international outlaws in unison with the international community, rather than going “Lone Ranger” as George W. Bush did in Iraq!

Despite all the critics who said Barack Obama was defying the War Powers Act, which he was not; and that the Libyan Civil War should not have been intervened in, as many Republicans declared; or the criticism that we had led from behind, rather than use our own air power and troops on the ground, as John McCain, Lindsey Graham and Joe Lieberman stated; Barack Obama did PRECISELY the right thing in working with the Arab League, the United Nations, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, and with the full backing of his Secretary or State Hillary Clinton and his UN Ambassador Susan Rice in undermining Gaddafi, working with the Libyan rebels, and yet NOT committing ground forces or major American air attacks and spending large amounts of money on the involvement!

So not one person was killed who wore an American uniform; not one plane was lost; and only about $1 billion was spent on this crisis, by the latest estimate!

This outdoes the Kosovo intervention against Serbia in 1999 under President Bill Clinton, where no one was killed and only one plane was shot down and lost!

The Republicans may be unwilling to give Barack Obama credit, but his new foreign policy of collaboration with other nations has been a major success, and he deserves full credit for what has happened!

So even in the midst of economic troubles that the President faces, which threaten his reelection, one must hail the President’s outstanding record in foreign policy and ask again: Other than Jon Huntsman, what are the credentials in foreign policy of ANY of the other GOP Presidential candidates? The answer, unlike with John McCain in 2008, is ABSOLUTELY NONE!

So again, if the Republicans have any common sense, in more ways than one, they will make Jon Huntsman their Presidential nominee, and if so, Barack Obama will have some sleepless nights during the fall campaign of 2012!

A Clarification On Obama, The Libyan Civil War Intervention, And The War Powers Act

A few days ago, the author wrote in criticism of a group of Republican conservatives who were making an issue of the fact that 60 days has passed since the Libyan intervention, and that a resolution was needed to continue the intervention, under the War Powers Act of 1973.

The author incorrectly stated that no such resolution was required, but made the point that the Congress could, but never had, demanded the withdrawal of troops within a 60-90 day period, and never, realistically, would.

Upon further investigation, it turns out that it is not just a group of extremely conservative Republicans who are making an issue of this matter, but instead a bipartisan group that is pushing for a resolution next week in the Senate to continue support of the intervention.

And it turns out that yesterday, President Obama called for such a resolution to continue support, which is assured, despite criticism of some Republicans and Democrats on both sides of the political spectrum.

The group pushing a resolution includes Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, John McCain of Arizona, Joe Lieberman of Connecticut, John Kerry of Massachusetts, Carl Levin of Michigan, and Diane Feinstein of California.

It turns out that Bill Clinton failed to get a resolution within 60 days when he intervened in Kosovo in 1999, with the intervention lasting 78 days, but with specific funding for it approved early on by Congress. In Obama’s case with Libya, no such specific funding has been authorized, and the mission has cost about $750 million already, and has angered forces on the left and the right, including intellectuals and constitutional law professors who contend that the War Powers Act has been further damaged by Obama’s failure to call for action sooner than yesterday.

The author hopes that the resolution will pass, so as to legitimize the intervention, and although the War Powers Act remains considered a “paper tiger” by many observers, it would be best NOT to have it declared totally ineffective, as the issue is not just Obama, but the balance of power between the executive branch and the legislative branch when it comes to war powers!

The Libya Crisis For NATO And The United States: One Month And Counting!

NATO and the United States decided one month ago today to intervene in the Libyan Civil War against dictator Moammar Gaddafi with the expectation that they would be able to prevent mass murder and overthrow the tyrant in a short period of time. President Obama said it would take just days, not weeks, to overcome the Gaddafi government by using air strikes against government forces, in support of the rebel group.

No one imagined that Gaddafi would employ troops in rebel cities in mosques and schools, and make it impossible to use air strikes to overcome him and his henchmen, and meanwhile, indications of mass murder have been evident, a very frustrating situation, amidst a mounting financial cost for the United States and the NATO nations!

But the United Nations directive, decided a month ago, was that the goal of the intervention was to protect civilians, and not to begin a ground invasion by Europeans and Americans of an Arab nation!

So now the question is what next? There is no desire of the American government or the NATO powers to get involved in a long, drawn out war in Libya, and there is little public support for a ground invasion, which has no guarantee of success in the short or long run!

But can the Obama Administration and NATO allow Gaddafi to remain in power, without it being seen as a human rights disaster and a blow to the whole concept of NATO’s effectiveness?

How can Obama look good if Gaddafi remains in power? How can that help his re-election campaign? What effect will this have on the Middle East revolutions that have erupted since January?

In other words, Barack Obama and the NATO nations are in the midst of a major morass, with no easy exit or solution, something no one could have imagined just a month ago!

94th Anniversary Of America As A World Power: Time For Reflection!

On this day, 94 years ago, the United States declared war on Germany, the Austro Hungarian Empire, and the Ottoman Turkish Empire, as President Woodrow Wilson took us into the First World War on the side of Great Britain, France, Russia and Italy, in a war to promote “democracy”!

Ever since, this nation has debated the virtues and shortcomings of entering that war, World War II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, the Gulf War, the Afghanistan War, the Iraq War, and now the Libyan War.

Many have said that we have stretched ourselves thin, seen hundreds of thousands of Americans killed, gone into a tremendous national debt, and yet have not created a safer world for democracy, which is still rare around the world!

This past 94 years is seen by many as an era of the “American Empire”, but which has been detrimental to our national prosperity and growth!

As we recall the sacrifices of our men and women in all of these wars, it is necessary to say we cannot return to “isolationism” as we tried to do in the 1920s and 1930s to our detriment!

But we also cannot be the world’s “policemen” and have troops and bases in more than 100 countries and manage to promote democracy and opportunity at home!

We must realize as a nation that we can only have limited commitments to overseas military adventures, and not allow the “military industrial complex” to promote commitments that we cannot sustain!

We must always remember that while we are the beacon of democracy in the world, we cannot expect everyone worldwide to want to emulate the United States, and we must work to better our own democracy while trying to promote the concept overseas as an ideal, but not one whereby we keep on committing American men and women to die for a cause that is not wholly supported by the people in other nations!

The Middle East Headaches Of Barack Obama

Now in its fifth day of intervention in the Libyan Civil War, the Obama Administration faces a whole series of headaches in the Middle East, many more problematical than Moammar Gaddafi!

The biggest problem of all is the Afghanistan War and the instability in next door Pakistan, which could blow up any time and affect the security of next door India, with the growing threat of Al Qaeda and Islamic terrorism in the region.

Iran is also a problem that will NOT go away, with the growing dangers presented by the radical theocracy of that nation, and the movement ahead on development of nuclear weapons capability.

Third issue is Iraq, where the last 50,000 troops are supposed to be withdrawn by the end of this year, but Iran is gaining more influence by the week in a country which once fought an eight year conflict against Iran from 1980-1988.

Bahrain, where the US naval fleet is housed, and Yemen, which has an active Al Qaeda cell, both are undergoing revolutionary activities against then established governments, endangering American security interests.

Egypt and Tunisia have to adapt to their revolutions and evolve toward democracy, something they have never experienced before.

The Israeli-Palestinian struggle continues, and new violence has now erupted, leading to new possibilities of widespread bloodshed and turmoil.

Libya is less significant comparatively, but it is a reality that Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton and Robert Gates and others involved in the execution of foreign policy must be having sleepless, or at the least, restless nights!

The Rise of Women “Hawks” In American Foreign Policy

With the intervention in the Libyan Civil War, a new trend has emerged: women “hawks”!

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and United Nations Ambassador Susan Rice were the members of the President’s cabinet most involved in convincing President Obama to choose to intervene in Libya, while Secretary of Defense Robert Gates and Joint Chiefs of Staff head, Admiral Mike Mullen, were more cautious.

This comes after National Security Adviser and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice under President George W. Bush was also a “hawk” and supported intervention in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The fact that women are now becoming frontline “hawks” is certainly a new concept that will bring about much analysis by scholars and journalists, since the role of women was never as significant before as it has now become in the formulation of American foreign policy!

The Politics Of The Libyan Civil War Intervention

With the US involvement in the Libyan Civil War, along with that of France, Great Britain, Spain, Italy, Canada, Denmark, and Norway, and with the backing of the Arab League, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, and the United Nations, and lack of use of their Security Council veto by Russia and China, we are seeing a political split developing in our nation.

We have learned that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, after earlier doubts, was finally convinced by UN Ambassador Susan Rice.

We have also learned that Secretary of Defense Robert Gates and Joint Chiefs of Staff Mike Mullen had great doubts on the intervention, but of course were loyal team members once the decision was made for involvement.

Also, Senator John McCain of Arizona and Senator John Kerry of Massachusetts, of different political persuasions and the last two losing Presidential candidates in 2008 and 2004 both felt that intervention was essential.

Independent Senator Joe Lieberman and Republican Senator Lindsey Graham also have strongly backed the military action, but Republican Senator Richard Lugar, the ranking member ofr the Kerry led Foreign Relations Committee, has expressed great upset at the intervention, and Speaker of the House John Boehner has made it clear that the President needed to consult Congress before taking action, which he basically failed to do, leading to a controversy over the War Powers Act of 1973, which mandates an explanation by the President within 48 hours, and the ability of Congress in theory to demand withdrawal after the military action, IF they can gain a majority vote in both houses of Congress, which has never happened, and is unlikely ever to happen!

The lack of consultation so far has angered Ohio Congressman Dennis Kucinich so much that he has brought up the concept of impeachment of the President, which certainly is not going to happen, but shows the turmoil developing because of the US now being committed to THREE wars at once, all in Muslim nations!

The danger is that Obama might, by what he has decided to do, to intervene to stop mass murder in Libya, could end up in a protracted war that could cost the nation many billions of dollars at a time when we are in economic crisis and cutting domestic budgets in states and nationally.

Additionally, it could cause Obama to have a Democratic opponent in the Presidential primaries of 2012, who assuredly he could defeat, but the attacks that would occur against him would weaken him, and make him more subjected to the likelihood of defeat in the Presidential Election of 2012 by the Republican nominee for that office!

This has happened three times in the past 35 years, in 1976 to Gerald Ford, in 1980 to Jimmy Carter, and in 1992 to George H W Bush.

It is clear that the Libyan Civil War intervention complicates the economic and political scene in America, and creates potentially new defense, foreign policy, and national security issues for the short run and the long run!

Eighth Anniversary Of The Iraq War’s Beginning, And Now Libya!

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!