Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

No Left Turns

Mr. Obama's War

...began earlier today, with the firing of 110 Tomahawk missiles against targets in western Libya.

I'm waiting for the massive antiwar rallies to begin.  I'm also waiting for groans from some of the commentators here; after all, how can the country tolerate the embarrassing fact that the French fired first?

Discussions - 9 Comments

Oh, but this is different, don't you know.

It's nothing like the wars started by Bush.

The actions in Libya are moral imperatives ... just like they were in Darf... er, nevermind.

Yes, Don, but isn't it good to be able to say

Vive La France!

and mean it?

May our memories of Jacques Chirac fade away...

Well, not massive, but it's a start maybe: http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/us_war_protest
Ralph Nader, Charlie Rangel, and Daniel Ellsberg all in appearance. Quoth Rangel: "Our presidents seem to believe that all we have to do is go to the U.N. and we go to war. Going to war is not a decision that presidents should make."

You know something isn't right when Charlie Rangel is admonishing you for breaking rules and getting too cozy with the UN.

Les Jeux sont fait.

Yes, it is funny to see Charlie Rangel come, now, to Constitutionalism and a strict sense of the legality of things.

We are not making war against the nation of Libya, but we have taken sides in their internal conflict. We have gone to war against Gadhafi and those who will fight for him. I was wondering which nations, exactly, are in the fight. I read this: "French President Nicolas Sarkozy said representatives of the U.N., European Union, Arab League and Western powers had agreed at their Paris summit to use all necessary means..." Gadhafi has many enemies.

Therefore, presuming he will lose, I am wondering how the peace will look. The US cannot afford to stay (although as John Moser notes here, we cannot afford even this "conflict"). Maybe the French will stay to rebuild. Or the UN will. Or we will stay, the hell with the expense. No, we are sure the president has an exit strategy in place. Wasn't that his main complaint againt Bush?

This is a new kind of colonialism, isn't it? Maybe not that new, not after Iraq and Afghanistan. It is not quite like the Marshall Plan, either, though the US or the World through the UN could do that. Maybe it is like the Balkans. I wonder what this actually is like.

There will be no massive rallies, John, as you well know. Why? Because 1) the administration is liberal, and 2) there is nothing in this that would really further American interests. Rule No. 1 for the Left when it comes to war is "thou shalt not have any direct interest in the conflict." It's a weird pseudo-altruistic adventurism, getting us involved in Bosnia, Somalia, Haiti, and now Libya. Now...if there were some WMD involved, you'd see those folks out in the streets ASAP (although with OBAMA in the White House, maybe at half strength). It's all about America-hatred. We must fight and die for causes that mean nothing to us as penance for our evil, greedy history, yet another double-standard of the Left.

Not that we don't have good reasons to hate Gaddafi (e.g., Lockerbie). Still, you'll probably won't hear THIS administration use that as a justification for involvement UNLESS it goes south. It has been the habit of Lefty presidents involved in fights to appeal to the Right when things go awry. The Left simply has no staying power when in comes to international fighting resolve.

"I wonder what this actually is like." That really depends who you are. That is why Satre is good here.

As for not being able to afford this conflict, nonsense Dick Cheney already established that "deficits don't matter." Basically that is what Sarcozy told Merkel. The Germans are worried this is french Megalothymia. Carl Scott likes this, but that is because he has some rather developed views in the area, and when you buy into a view as an academic you are more or less pot commited.

It is all these things, but it is also a form of corporatism and corporate welfare. Like it or not the United States has a huge military, and a lot of defense industries. Interestingly enough the foreign policy establishment is also the most educated on the particulars. Here we simply have analyst capture feeding back to us, pro-war sentiment.

What is the point of protesting? Tea party or proggressives, you are simply argueing ignorance back into the Tory system. Is the war good? sure. Is Kadafi bad? sure. Can we do a lot to help the Lybians? sure. But this is really just corporate welfare. Crafting an ideology of manliness is just marketing for the war machine.

Of course all of this marxist stuff is way too judgemental, and ignores the fact that humans do buy into it. Also it ignores the fact that the military does do some good. A ton of unknowable factors set aside, this sort of thing should have been done a lot sooner. The way we are set up with a large fixed cost in a military and a lot of military businesses, it more or less makes sense for the government to intervene constantly.

So sure you gave corporate welfare to Raytheon by drawing down fixed costs in Tomahawk missles, that you will have to replentish? But what about all the other key players? Bless your soul Kate, KBR hearts the Marshall Plan talk.

Can we rebuild Lybia? Sure! Can we send a man to the moon? Sure! Can we build a battery powered SUV that gets a thousand miles between charges, on a battery that doesn't degrade? Yes. Can we make sure that no american cruise ship is ever bothered by Somali Pirates! Hells yeah! Does it make sense economically? Well it makes sense economically for the lawyer or economist on that side of the ball, you cherry pick to your conclusion and hope the other side doesn't slam your balls.

I think rhetorically at least the war with Lybia improves Ron Paul's principled libertarian position. But my analysis lead me to buy a small stake in Ron Paul a long time ago, and in an idealistic way I still kind of like him.

But like Pierre Dumaine, I must leave the revolution and political philosophy. There will be no real protests, because Kadafi is evil, and Tesla makes cool cars.

Here's an interesting column by economist Art Carden: http://blogs.forbes.com/artcarden/2011/03/19/bombs-over-big-bird/

My favorite factoid: The cost of merely seven of those Tomahawk missiles that were fired against targets in Libya yesterday equals the entire annual budget of NPR.

John Moser: The private sector can bring us NPR. Despite what John Lewis says, the private sector is not going to lead our military.

John Lewis: An ensign I know who is on a ship hunting Somali pirates does not think we can altogether stop that piracy. There is too much money in it and there are too few barriers to entry in the market.

No, I do not think tackling Libya's problems are good economics for the US, no matter which corporations might benefit in the long run. I don't think our president can win the next election if this "incursion" or whatever we are going to call it, goes on longer than it takes to remove Gadhafi from power.

Redwald: Do you think McCain would not have done this? What would Republicans be saying if there were Republicans running this effort?

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