Sunday, March 13, 2011

If it flies, it dies?

By Capt. Fogg

I say Qaddafi, you say Gadhafi, but some still refuse to call him a bad guy. Chavez, Castro, a bunch of tyrants and a few other dodgy regimes trying to curry favor with Iran oppose any foreign efforts to aid rebels in Libya, while others insist we need to establish a "no fly" zone right now.

As President Eisenhower once said,
" In only two efforts of endeavor do the amateurs consider themselves more competent than the professionals -- in the field of military strategy and the ancient profession of prostitution."

In the case of those now slamming Obama for not already having launched a military operation in support of Libyan rebels, those amateur Generals may well be more expert in prostitution than military operations, because if the President does decide to send in the bombers and fighters he'll surely be chastised as thoroughly as he was for hesitating -- and by the same people. For Republicans, of course, it would be a crime to make their base pay a dime for this, a sin to let NPR have a penny, but when it comes to another war, there will always be billions left to borrow and squeeze out of the serfs.

Make no mistake, establishing air superiority in Libya means attacking air bases, anti-aircraft and radar sites and that can easily involve civilian as well as military casualties -- and of course it will put our pilots in harm's way on yet another front. It will also give Qaddafi support from his friends at home and abroad who will portray it as an effort by the West to get at his oil and will feed paranoia in surrounding countries. I won't elaborate about our financial situation other than to point out once again, that it seems easier for the traditional armchair generals to borrow and spend for such a hugely expensive venture abroad than to dissuade them from swiping pensions from little old lady school teachers and shutting down birth control providers.

Of course yesterday's statement by the Arab League of support for intervention certainly does allay some fears that we'd be making things worse, but to me, that begs the question of why rich, well-armed countries like Saudi Arabia can't have a very large hand in keeping the Libyan tyrant from calling in air strikes on rebel strongholds. Certainly we and NATO allies need to show support for the end of Qaddafi's reign by the Libyan people, but do we really always need to be the Big Dog with the big guns and the bottomless pockets?

(cross posted from Human Voices)

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