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March 23, 2011

Chicken Hawk Morpheus

Norman M. Covert

Move over, friend Barry. Somehow I’ve morphed to your aggregation; you would call it an awakening. It strikes me that getting involved in Libya’s internal struggles is probably a less-than-wise projection of United States power abroad. I may seek counseling for this new personal political stance.


There is no evidence that the United States has anything to gain by siding with the unknown Libyan rebels against Moammar Gadhafi. We have a lot to lose, especially the men and women sent in harm’s way by President Barack Obama. He pushed the button and flew off to Rio. He should stay there a little longer.


We are still counting bodies coming out of the peace in Iraq and the quagmire that Afghanistan has become. Libya? I’m with those on the Left whom I called “Moonbats,” a queer position.


This metamorphosis has me digging for bell bottom jeans, a Volvo or a VW Microbus. Yep, I had peace beads given to me by the ingénues at the Girls Club when I was drafted in 1967. But that was the Vietnam War, a mere blip on American history.


I’m a well-known “Hawk.” One of my favorite songs was “Bomb, Bomb, Iran” played on Z104 by Kemosabe Joe in 1979. I cheered President Ronald Reagan and his victory over communism; loved the Granada and Panama operations – achieving objectives quickly and getting out; I wasn’t a zealot for the incursion to Bosnia-Herzegovina, but it seemed a worthy effort.


After numerous attacks on our Homeland by radical Islamic groups in the 1990s, we had a sense that President “Bubba” Clinton might retaliate. I was cheered on even by his “or else” stuff and U.N. posturing.


Then there was Sept. 11, 2001 – genuine “lock and load time.” President George W. Bush made the right decision taking leadership of the coalition into Iraq that crushed despot Saddam Hussein. He was most worthy of dethroning and hanging. Our George just declared victory too soon.


Saddam thumbed his nose at the world, ignored United Nations resolutions and inspections, and bribed U.N. hot shots with money from the “Oil for Food” program. He was a stinker, to say the least. Remember when he used chemical weapons against his own people in Northern Iraq? How about burning the Kuwaiti oil wells? Yes, I believe he had CW/BW weapons.


My anti-war friends still think Saddam Hussein should have been left alone, that President Bush created a war crime ad nauseum.


Moammar Gadhafi? The man is a stinker, too. President Obama apparently was complicit, urging the Scottish government to early release of Libyan Abdul Baset Ali al-Megrahi, the Lockerbie bomber, who was sentenced to life imprisonment. Gadhafi was slick in that deal.


To his credit, Gadhafi has gotten along well with us and his neighbors in recent years. He did not threaten American interests in the region, nor Israel. For the going rate, he shared his bounty of oil. Some don’t think he was too kind to his own people, but that’s an internal affair.


So, why are we hurling cruise missiles at Gadhafi’s house? Why has the Obama White House decided that its diplomatic consort Moammar must go considering that we have avoided getting involved in uprisings in Iran, Egypt and other regional internal squabbles?


Do we have real military objectives as we sit off shore and lob multi-million-dollar Tomahawk cruise missiles? The U.S. commander assures us the Marine detachment will stay aboard ship and not sortie into Tripoli in a repeat of historical drama from the War with the Barbary pirates.


Is “Nation Building” our intent in Libya? The One does seek a positive niche in history after having dithered for months with no coherent foreign policy. The Nobel Peace Prize, you may recall, literally fell in his lap in hopes apparently that he would earn it. Oops.


President Bush at least outlined specific reasons for invading Iraq, among them Hussein’s rejection of every condition that would have allowed his renewed acceptance by the civilized world. Criticism of President Bush abounded. Key Democrat senators and congressmen, including then-Senator Obama, sought to cut off funding. Here we have no clear cut justification.


There seems no national will to pummel Gadhafi. A huge majority begged President Obama to support the bloodied protesters in Iran? He looked at the teleprompter and said we have no business getting involved in Iran’s internal affairs.


Our military forces serve as an extension of U.S. diplomatic and policy interests at home and abroad. President Theodore Roosevelt shipped the “Great White Fleet” on an 18-month worldwide tour that demonstrated American power in 1907. President Obama sent himself on tour in 2009 and 2010 apologizing for everything American, diminishing our power and influence.


An important question today is what will we do to justify our expenditure of billions if Gadhafi capitulates?


Further, will the United States, Britain and France assume power in lieu of Gadhafi’s exile or death?


Will the coalition select a new system of government, help write a constitution and monitor free elections?


It is probable that any new power coalition in Tripoli will look askance at the United States of America. President Obama and his advisors never thought this could happen on his watch.


I must check out the schedule at the Peace Resource Center on East Church Street. I can sign up for an event and make my signs, ensuring I put a Hitler mustache on Mr. Obama. If I am arrested with my new anti-war friends, I hope Barry will be my advocate and assure my family that I did the right thing.


Here’s my “V” for peace and the fickle finger of fate.


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