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March 20, 2011

U.S. Launches $157 Million Worth of Democracy at Libya

By: John Caruso

Citizens of Raytheon are united in joy!

"I've authorized* the Armed Forces of the United States to begin a limited military action in Libya," Obama said during a visit to Brazil. "That action has now begun."

Admiral William Gortney told reporters in Washington that US ships and one British submarine fired 110-112 [Tomahawk] cruise missiles at air defence targets including in cities of Tripoli and Misrata.

* (I wonder if the Constitutional scholar-in-chief thinks that Article I, Section 8, Clause 11 feels smoother than Article I, Section 9, Clause 2 when he wipes his ass with it?)

For those keeping score, the U.S. is currently waging war at varying levels in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq, Libya, and Yemen.  Which might seem discouraging, but on the other hand, just imagine how many countries we'd be bombing right now if we didn't have an anti-war Democrat in the White House.

WHERE CREDIT IS DUE: It's good to see Dennis Kucinich asking the right question:

A hard-core group of liberal House Democrats is questioning the constitutionality of U.S. missile strikes against Libya, with one lawmaker raising the prospect of impeachment during a Democratic Caucus conference call on Saturday. [...] Kucinich, who wanted to bring impeachment articles against both former President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney over Iraq — only to be blocked by his own leadership — asked why the U.S. missile strikes aren’t impeachable offenses.

They are, of course.  And Obama didn't ask for a Congressional resolution—which I don't doubt he could easily have gotten—for the same reason the Clinton administration refused to seek the required U.N. Security Council authorization for its attack on Yugoslavia:

French officials said the deployment of NATO peacekeepers in Kosovo needed to be backed by a United Nations Security Council resolution, a proposition that the Clinton Administration opposed. Washington, according to State Department officials, was sticking to its stand that NATO should be able to act independently of the United Nations.

The debate played out in Paris, Rambouillet, London and Washington with a compromise worked out this afternoon by the British. Instead of the United Nations being asked to ''authorize'' the deployment, the Security Council will be asked to ''endorse'' it, a British diplomat said.

In this way, all sides could claim victory. For the French, the United Nations still got a nod. For the Americans the ''neuralgic word 'authorize,' '' was avoided, the diplomat said.

— John Caruso

Posted at March 20, 2011 12:58 PM

Apart from formally waging war, which the US never does at all any more, the number of countries who the U.S. is currently waging war against under its titular commander in chief, President Obama, is probably far higher than five if one were to count truly count all the acts of aggression in violation of international law that are happening here, there, and everywhere as part of our global engagement and watchful protection over every corner of the globe. The number is likely quite a bit higher than the President himself even knows (and surely wants to know). Remember that the President doesn't have to give a press release on most of our less flamboyant acts of war like sponsoring terrorism and civil war in unpopular countries like Iran or Venezuela and therefore probably isn't (and probably doesn't want to be) on the "need to know" list for all this sordid mischief.

As JC has pointed out more than a few times, President Obama didn't run against war in general--he just ran against continuing Iraq in favor of a greater commitment to winning in Afghanistan and South Asia. His Secretary of Defense, Gates, and defense adviser, General Jones, are old hawks and the case of Gates (at least) case not even Dems, let alone McGovernites. Mistah Charley's MICFiC is now firmly in control of both parties for all practical purposes, and I'd also say pretty in control of all opposition to both parties too, because sorry JC, but sheep bleat with more effectiveness and persuasiveness than our third-party voices.

Not that it's their fault. I remember seeing a bunch of "We are all Palestinians t-shirts" several years ago at an event. Well, perhaps now we should instead print a bunch of "We are all livestock" t-shirts, because there is a striking resemblance.

Posted by: N E at March 20, 2011 02:48 PM

1 million a pop, product IS moving and business is good. I see JOBS, JOBS, JOBS at Lockheed and GE.

Posted by: Mike Meyer at March 20, 2011 03:24 PM

i made this joke somewhere else but i will share it again because it isn't stale yet.

someone asked how there is money to make smoking holes in libya but none to make jobs.

i said it reflects the fed's mixed feelings about the dual mandate to stabilize prices and to achieve full employment.

Posted by: hapa at March 20, 2011 04:59 PM

"Just imagine how many countries we'd be bombing right now if we didn't have an anti-war Democrat in the White House." I have a powerful imagination, but not that powerful.

Posted by: Fearguth at March 20, 2011 07:10 PM

It’s the White Man’s Burden, and Obama is WHITE! He’s the WHITEST guy I know.

Posted by: Rob Payne at March 20, 2011 11:13 PM

Seriously, Rob Payne, shut the fuck up.

Posted by: saurabh at March 21, 2011 02:06 AM

Hear, hear Rob. Its something I wished more people would realize.

His only semblance of African ancestry is through his father and he left when he was three. If there was any chance of being encultarated black, that went out the window right there. Even if he stayed, Barack Obama Sr. was not only a native Kenyan but a part of the Kenyan elite something that 99% of African-Americans cannot relate to.

Then again, race doesn't really have an international definition of what it is. What's "black" in one country isn't "black" in another (i.e. Brazil). Inevitably its an artificial social construct more than anything. What can be said conclusively is that our current POTUS would never get anywhere near the Oval Office if he wasn't favored and did not accept the values by what Arthur Silber (in the blogroll) calls the American White Male Ruling Class.

I'm inclined to agree.

Posted by: Nikolay Levin at March 21, 2011 04:11 AM

Ah, Nikolay, good to see you haven't been swallowed up by academic life--now I have to check the other thread to see if you noticed that someone mentioned UFOs there! (Btw, I think you and I have a lot to learn from Saurabh.)

Posted by: N E at March 21, 2011 06:53 AM

@JC: "in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq, Libya, and Yemen."

The Somalian ambassador to the US is upset you left his country off your list. Why do you hate Somalia?

Posted by: bobs at March 21, 2011 11:12 AM


He looks black to me. I guess I'm NOT as color blind as had hoped I would be by now.

Posted by: Mike Meyer at March 21, 2011 11:24 AM

Well. I appreciate the thought NE.

Posted by: Nikolay Levin at March 21, 2011 03:35 PM

Seriously, Rob Payne, shut the fuck up.

Blogmom would appreciate it if no one told anyone to shut up.

Posted by: Jonathan Schwarz at March 21, 2011 04:10 PM