What are we doing in Libya?

In case you haven’t heard, the United States has begun a third war in the Middle East. President Obama will address the nation tonight to explain why he has led the United States into the Libyan civil war. On this topic, I think Ross Douthat is on the right track in his column today for The New York Times. He poses four questions that President Obama needs to answer in his address to the nation.

1. What are our military objectives?
2. Who exactly are the rebels?
3. Can we really hand off this mission?
4. Is Libya distracting us from more pressing American interests?

These aren’t pedantic questions, especially the first one. As John Mark Reynolds has forcefully argued, “We cannot wage a just war when we do not know why we fight.” So I will be very interested to hear what the President says tonight in his address to the nation. Read the rest of Douthat’s column here. Watch the President tonight at 7:30pm ET.

13 Responses to What are we doing in Libya?

  1. yankeegospelgirl March 28, 2011 at 11:04 am #

    I think it’s a joke, but of course the liberals won’t rake Obama over the coals for this like they did with Bush and Iraq. They can’t question their Messiah.

  2. Donald Johnson March 28, 2011 at 1:56 pm #

    I fear we are in the age of forever war.

  3. Christiane March 28, 2011 at 2:56 pm #

    YGG

    As an American with family members in uniform, I am very proud that the people of Libya who were going to be slaughtered ‘without mercy’ got some help.

  4. Muff Potter March 28, 2011 at 4:38 pm #

    War is and always has been one of the most profitable enterprises investors can be into. The high tech wiz-bang items hawked by Boeing and General Dynamics to the Pentagon are mainstays for many Congressional districts and re-election war chests.

    Labels like and “liberal” and “conservative” have little meaning here because these alliances were forged long ago in both camps by the captains of industry and beltway politicians.

    Dwight Eisenhower was one of the finest warriors this country has ever produced and he warned us in his farewell speech on 17 January 1961 that this unholy alliance would prove deleterious to the Republic.

  5. Derek March 28, 2011 at 5:46 pm #

    I don’t know if this Libya thing is a good idea, I suspect not. But I am certain that Hillary Clinton pushed Obama to help the Libyan rebels because of an “unholy alliance” with the military supercomplex. Actually, there is every reason to believe that the military leadership wanted nothing to do with this.
    We may be entering a time of perpetual war, but I suspect that we simply won’t be able to maintain this kind of engagement much longer, not with the debt crisis we are facing.

  6. Derek March 28, 2011 at 5:48 pm #

    I meant to say “I’m sure that Hillary Clinton did not push Obama to help the Libyan rebels because…”

  7. Christiane March 29, 2011 at 12:08 am #

    For those who missed the speech:

  8. K Gray March 29, 2011 at 9:48 am #

    The military leaders expressed their reluctance. We have a civilian government. Civilian leaders overrode (perhaps too strong a word) the military’s concerns.

    Whether Pres. Obama led on this initially… we don’t know. Last night, he said he did.

    Quaddafi (sp) makes the crafty point today that NATO is exceeding its authority to “protect civilians” and is actually “helping the rebels.” That’s probably true.

  9. Christiane March 29, 2011 at 12:15 pm #

    With all of the support FOR Quaddafi (sp?) coming in from the far-right in this country,
    I am confused about the origin of the nature of this support:

    talking points ?, economic big-oil interests ?, etc.

    What exactly WOULD be the benefits to big-oil interests in this country, if Quaddafi were to remain in power?

    What am I not understanding?

  10. Derek March 29, 2011 at 12:34 pm #

    Christiane,
    What “far right” support are you talking about for Quadafi? As far as I can tell, conservatives and those on the right are supportive of Obama’s Libyan initiative and just wish he would communicate and lead in a bolder fashion than he is. The left seems to be feeling betrayed by Obama right now.

  11. K Gray March 29, 2011 at 3:13 pm #

    Can you give an example of “all of the support FOR Quaddafi coming in from the far-right in this country”? That is an astounding statement.

  12. Derek March 29, 2011 at 4:27 pm #

    Louis Farrakhan and the New Black Panthers are strongly supporting Quadafi – to the point that they have said they feel betrayed by Obama and have strongly condemned his actions. Who else is supporting Quadafi?

  13. Christiane March 29, 2011 at 6:06 pm #

    Thank you, DEREK

    I had seen the wide-spread criticism of Obama in a different light . . . and I am relieved to find out that his Libyan intiative is being supported.

    I was not aware that conservatives supported Obama in this at all.
    (I’ll have to back away from watching FOX news, if, from it, I am interpreting a wrong impression of the positions of the conservative right. 🙂

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