President Obama is seriously wearing on the patience of America's most war-loving war lovers, the Washington neoconservatives. Why won't Obama be reasonable and just let them have their endless War in Libya? Muammar Qaddafi is strengthening his grip and moving east, so the window of opportunity for invading another decentralized tribal country and then spending a dozen years there while alienating everyone in the region is closing. And so the neocons have banded together to write Obama a sternly worded letter asking for their war, please, now.
The signatories includes many of the usual bold-faced neocon names who've been writing these same letters demanding wars since forever. Kristol, Kagan, Boot, Podhoretz — these folks wouldn't miss a war-letter signing if it meant skipping mother's funeral.
Here's the full text:
The Honorable Barack Obama
President of the United States
The White House
March 15, 2011
Dear President Obama:
Regrettably, the international community has yet to take serious action to prevent a moral and humanitarian catastrophe in Libya and the Libyan opposition is now on the defensive. As forces loyal to Muammar Qaddafi push eastward, we are concerned that the brutal and indiscriminate tactics of government forces could lead to additional civilian casualties.
On Saturday, the Arab League endorsed Libyan opposition calls for a no fly zone. We call on you to urgently institute a no fly zone over key Libyan cities and towns in conjunction with U.S. allies. We also call on you to explore the option of targeted strikes against regime assets in an effort to prevent further bloodshed. The United States should also immediately recognize the Libyan National Transitional Council and take all necessary actions to support their efforts to unseat the Qaddafi regime.
In your inaugural address two years ago, you said this: "And so to all other peoples and governments who are watching today, from the grandest capitals to the small village where my father was born: Know that America is a friend of each nation and every man, woman and child who seeks a future of peace and dignity, and that we are ready to lead once more."
Today the United States and its allies should stand with the men, women and children of Libya who seek a future of peace and dignity. The situation in Libya in the coming days will not just impact the Libyan people. As protests continue against repressive regimes around the world, the message currently being conveyed by our inaction is that killing and repression will go unpunished and are the best option for despots seeking to postpone reform.
For the sake of our security as well as America's credibility with people who seek freedom everywhere, we ask you to act as quickly as possible to ensure that the people of Libya – and the world – know that we are willing to back up our principles with action.
Sincerely, Stephen E. Biegun
Reuel Marc Gerecht
Bruce Pitcairn Jackson
Gary J. Schmitt
It certainly wouldn't be a good outcome if Qaddafi was able to regain full power after a murderous rampage, and Obama really put himself in a box by demanding Qaddafi step down without knowing how to ensure that outcome.
But a U.N. agreement for a no-fly zone is still being blocked by Russia and China. The useless Arab League did endorse the idea already, as long as they don't have to enforce it themselves. A no-fly zone also requires bombing many Libyan air bases, and it wouldn't stop all the violence from heavy artillery on the ground. So then, of course, we'd feel compelled to do something about the violence from heavy artillery on the ground. Western European allies in NATO would offer to go along with a ground force, which means that the United States would have to do everything, for years. It likely would be perceived throughout the region as another imperialist American war of aggression. The Arab League leaders would pretend to forget that they ever endorsed the no-fly zone and proceed to play off of the populist anger against foreign occupiers to preserve their own grasps on power. Also, no-fly zones and wars cost "money." And so on.
So the neocons should probably present their case with something more persuasive than a vague five-paragraph letter about morals and human rights and whatever precious lines Obama gave in his inaugural address.
[Image via AP]