Saturday, March 26, 2011

Obama and His Libya War

Bruddah Obama is scheduled to deliver a speech this Monday explaining to the nation his decision to support the UN no-fly zone over Libya. In reality, "UN" is just a transactional label. The US always shoulders the heavy lifting in any of the UN's humanitarian missions. For example, of the 175 cruise missiles launched at key Libyan military installations, only 6 were non-US military cruise missiles. Obama's main reason for Monday's speech is to justify his use of the US military without first asking for and acquiring a formal declaration of war from Congress. According to the constitution (since 1973), a president can legally deploy the US military for wars under 60 days duration without a full congressional hearing, so forth.

I don't believe Obama's critics have the upper hand in this controversy. After all, Obama lectured as a constitutional law professor at the University of Chicago, so he's himself an expert on constitutional law and I would think well versed on the how the constitution applies to the limits of presidential powers. The 60 day clause, itself, is confined to imminent threats to the US homeland or our citizens abroad. Obviously, a civil war in Libya does not constitute an imminent threat to the US. However, without a no-fly zone, Ghadfi would have massacred a lot of his countrymen. Granted, preventing genocide from taking place in a foreign country is not genuinely part and parcel of the 60 day clause, but I believe Obama is nonetheless entitled to a pass on the issue of arguably bypassing Congress by virtue that the alternative of standing by and allowing genocide to run it's course would have been an imminent threat to America's standing as the official caretaker of the world.

True, there are numerous nations in the world that the gov't have been and still are killing off their people like flies through one instrument of extermination or another, but the situation in Libya has arisen as part of the wave of the democratic revolution erupting in that Middle East region, which makes a genocide in Libya stand apart to the world's other killing fields. In addition, Obama can claim that he was simply fulfilling the America's obligation as a member of NATO who implemented the no-fly zone under the UN Security Council's umbrella. If that doesn't calm his critics, than Obama can still fall back on his penchant for being clueless. Or at least appearing clueless in the face of major issues. Gitmo. Afghanistan. BP oil spill. Health Care Reform.

Some members of Congress would like to make the most of this opportunity by impeaching Obama. The critics from the Republican Party realize that with next year's presidential elections, Obama, who had the least Washington DC related experience among all the candidates running for president in 2008, will now have the most experience under his belt on his 2012 credentials. Understandably, it is imperative that the Republicans bring down Obama now. By Sunday if they would have it their way. Otherwise, things look bleak for the Republicans to reclaim the White House in 2012. Mind you the same Republican critics accusing Obama of abusing presidential powers never muttered a word against Bush's indiscretions. Specifically, any time the constitution inhibited Bush's whims, Bush invoked the presidential privilege of submitting a "signed statement" which had the effect of excepting the president from a congressional law that limited the powers of the president in the relevant area. The problem with this, is that, the "signed statement" was signed by the president himself. Essentially, the president signed his own excuse slip.

The question in my mind because I care so much for world peace and watch too much 24-hour news channels is, "Just who are the Rebels that are opposing Ghadfi, and will the rebels have enough generosity to share power with the People if they defeat Ghadfi?" However, the question is moot, because as things stand, Ghadfi will annihilate the opposition. Ghadfi has way more fire power at his disposal, while the rebels are groups of disparate tribes whose only true unity will be sharing the same jail cell when the dust settles. Another question....why is Libya important asides from the prospect of becoming the newest Middle East nation to convert to democracy? Libya is ranked 19th in the list of oil producing nations in the world. However, Libya has the 9th most proven oil reserves globally and sweet crude grade which yields more gasoline and less tar. Why then does the nation with the 9th most proven oil reserves produce relatively so little oil in light of the world's growing demand for oil? They simply don't need the extra revenue with the size of their population. Libya has only 7.5 million people. New York City has more residents. Ghadfi could bribe off the revolters by offering every Libyan man, woman, and child a $1000 a month stipend for life which is a lot of money in Libya.


Kay said...

I don't want to think this is all because of oil that we're trying to help the rebels now. However, we didn't help Sudan. We didn't help Tibet. I'm glad we're helping now... I hope it's the right thing.

RONW said...

Kay- when these rebels get a taste of the wealth from the oil, if they win, we might be dealing with a different creature. The dilemma is that the US has to send boots on the ground to defeat Ghadfi and the US already has two wars on its hands. With what we spend for the wars, in 2½ weeks we could've paid for Honolulu Light Rail.