Moammar Gadahfi is hardly anyone that will be missed in the UN or the world. He was a vicious dictator who ruled Libya with a bloddy iron hand. He was a friend to terrorists, and a constant threat to America. The world would surely have been better off if the 1986 bombing had killed him – Maltese Prime Minister Karmenu Mifsud Bonnici and Italian politician Bettino Craxi can be thanked for that.
This being the given and understandable stance on Gadahfi, the U.S. embarked on a curious path once it became clear that the Libyans were ready to overthrow the dictator. America took the back seat. America did not step forward, rather we sat back and allowed NATO to make a decision.
In April 2011, America gave up leading operations against Gadahfi. France took the lead. France, a nation that honestly hasn’t won a war since Napoleon. A nation that does not have the same vested desire to have Gadahfi removed from power, if not the face of the Earth.
In fact, not only did America NOT stand up to this dictator, we were failed in leadership. President Obama, in his illogical picking and choosing of Middle East nations in revolution to support, could not even muster the courage to ask Congress for the right to bomb Libya. He chose instead to pick a political fight over the definition of the bombing, and the extent of the War Powers Act of 1973.
The War Powers Act states,
SEC. 2. (a) It is the purpose of this joint resolution to fulfill the intent of the framers of the Constitution of the United States and insure that the collective judgement of both the Congress and the President will apply to the introduction of United States Armed Forces into hostilities, or into situations where imminent involvement in hostilities is clearly indicate by the circumstances, and to the continued use of such forces in hostilities or in such situations.
(b) Under article I, section 8, of the Constitution, it is specifically provided that the Congress shall have the power to make all laws necessary and proper for carrying into execution, not only its own powers but also all other powers vested by the Constitution in the Government of the United States, or in any department or officer thereof.
(c) The constitutional powers of the President as Commander-in-Chief to introduce United States Armed Forces into hostilities, or into situations where imminent involvement in hostilities is clearly indicated by the circumstances, are exercised only pursuant to (1) a declaration of war, (2) specific statutory authorization, or (3) a national emergency created by attack upon the United States, its territories or possessions, or its armed forces.
It is understood that a President must get authorization from Congress to deploy military forces beyond 90 days maximum.
The New York Times, ardent supporters of the President, were compelled to report,
“But the 1973 act does not apply solely to boots-on-the-ground, full-out shooting wars. It says that 60 or 90 days after notifying Congress of the introduction of armed forces “into hostilities or into situations where imminent involvement in hostilities is clearly indicated,” the president must receive Congressional authorization or terminate the mission.
No word games can get him off the hook.” – June 16, 2011
Because rather than say that the U.S. is fighting a dictator, and advancing the potential for democracy in the Middle East – as opposed to our stance under similar circumstances in our somewhat ally Egypt – the Obama Administration stated,
“U.S. operations do not involve sustained fighting or active exchanges of fire with hostile forces, nor do they involve the presence of U.S. ground troops,” and thus are not the sort of “hostilities” covered by the act.”
According to the Obama Administration, killing a person with a bomb does not count as “hostilities”. We don’t consider it friendly, and if we dropped a bomb on North Korea we are sure they would consider it hostile enough to restart the Korean War. Ditto for Iran, China, and any place where Al Queada happens to be.
Thus, President Obama was unwilling to take the blame for actively involving America in a 3rd war. He was unwilling to have America stand as the shield bearer for democracy in the world. He was unwilling to even be honest with the American people.
Therefore, he deserves none of the credit. If Moammar Gadahfi’s government is overthrown, it wasn’t because of America under President Obama. IF Libya becomes a stable and democratic nation (which is in major dispute), it is not thanks to America under the leadership of President Obama. IF democracy takes hold of the Middle East, again it is not because of the leadership of President Obama.
He didn’t want the blame, nor had the courage to have American forces in the forefront. He was unwilling to justify what he did to Congress, and the American people. President Obama gave up control, and France stepped up to take it.
Anything positive in Libya therfore is credit to France and Europe. Any attempt by President Obama to take credit is riding on the coattails of France and Europe. Its dishonest and distasteful. Not only should any action to gain a reward for a lack of leadership be denoted as such, we would hope it would detract voters rather than gain them, as such actions would be intended to do.
We are happy to see Moammar Gadahfi removed from power. We are happy to sleep at night knowing that another dictator that funded and supported terrorists targeting America is gone. We are pleased that, for the moment it appears, America will cease military operations in yet another nation.
But at the same time we cannot help but be dismayed at the failure of America to stand up. That forthright position belongs to France. Good for them. good for President Sarkozy. Yet it feels that America has lost far more than it gained in this situation with Libya.
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