…because otherwise we’d have to rethink our position on the situation in Libya.
Here’s a clip of Farrakhan, who takes money from Muammar Qaddafi and has made a few trips to Tripoli to kiss his ring, denouncing the idea of getting involved in the Libyan situation. It’s a spellbinding rant which is equal parts passionate, poetic and, well, batshit crazy.
Hat tip to I Hate The Media, from which this quote is well worth a pass-along.
Don’t know what we like most about this clip. Is it Farrakhan ranting about Muammar GadHafi’s munificent nature? Is it the silly-looking host of the program nodding in agreement, but never saying a word? Is it the Nation of Islam bodyguard trying to look imposing as he stands behind Farrakhan? Or is it the announcer at the very end of the clip saying, “More intelligent conversation….”
The thing is, on a very superficial level, Farrakhan is actually correct here. We shouldn’t be bombing Libya. But it’s not for any of the reasons Farrakhan offers – it’s certainly not because Qaddafi is a good guy who builds apartments and makes farms in the desert, and it’s not because white militia people are going to come after Obama and he needs to save his resources to fight off the Klan, or whoever.
We shouldn’t be bombing Libya because Congress hasn’t authorized it, for one. Dennis Kucinich is actually correct in questioning whether committing the country to a war – and when you bomb a country, you’re waging war – without either a declaration of war or at least a Congressional vote authorizing the use of force is an impeachable offense. The Ron Paul sect goes further, demanding that a declaration of war is the only proper platform upon which such actions can rest, but that’s an absolutist position which falls short of historical precedent. When President Jefferson committed the Marines to the shores of Tripoli to fight the Barbary Pirates, he did so with a Congressional authorization but not a state of war.
Obama has neither here. He has a UN security council resolution, and that is not binding on American law. It’s an infringement on our sovereignty that the UN can commit American troops without Congress coming along for the ride.
We also shouldn’t be bombing Libya because we don’t have a mission there. Obama has already said he won’t put boots on the ground in Libya, and if he or the other involved partners don’t one wonders how anyone expects to keep Qaddafi’s forces from eventually winning there. And if Qaddafi wins despite our bombing him, what then? He won’t be happy with us. Or with the French and Italians, to whom he sells most of his oil. That seems an unacceptable situation. So unless we’re prepared for a long fight in which we arm and train the rebels and coordinate with them, we’re betting our international prestige on a weak horse.
The other option, of course, is mission creep – and a third military expedition in a Muslim counry. This adventure has already cost us more than $100 million we don’t have.
And we shouldn’t be bombing Libya because we don’t know who we’re helping. While I have no doubt there are Jeffersonian democrats among the rebel ranks, that’s not who you’d expect to see atop whatever government might replace the Qaddafi regime. It’s worth noting that the Libyan situation didn’t really get hot until Qaradawi, the Muslim Brotherhood cleric who functions as a latter-day Khomeini for the Egyptians, essentially put a contract out on Qaddafi. The idea that not only would we abandon our ally Mubarak in Egypt in order to perhaps facilitate an Ikhwan government in that country but we’d actually commit military forces in order to actively aid the creation of a Muslim Brotherhood government in a country which exports 2 million barrels of crude a day is one which wouldn’t appear to survive a lot of scrutiny.
And that scrutiny hasn’t been given. Not through proper channels, like Congress. Which is in all likelihood a feature rather than a bug.
What’s even worse is that no Congressional vote can be taken now, particularly where the House of Representatives is concerned. Because politically a vote is a loser. Either the vote endorses military action in Libya, which means the Republicans then own a piece of it, or it blocks further action and makes the GOP the soft-on-defense party as America is seen as even more of a weak sister than we already are. If Speaker Boehner puts such a Hobson’s choice before his membership he’s a fool. Better to gripe about the president’s extralegal activities in Libya and add them to the rather well-supported narrative of this administration’s lawless character – Net Neutrality, Card Check, contempt of court on the Obamoratorium, and so on – in an effort to get him out of office next November.
Because while our pilots might be doing a sensational job over the skies of Tripoli, from a geopolitical and strategic standpoint this mission is a Charlie Foxtrot. That Louis Farrakhan is opposed to it as well doesn’t affect that fact in the least.