Now that Colonel Muammar Gaddafi, the former leader of sovereign nation of Libya, has been killed in a coordinated effort between NATO and Islamic rebels, NATO’s mission in Libya is winding down, and the United States will continue pulling our troops home from its numerous overseas missions, according to our President’s words. Or not, according to our President’s actions.
This President’s wars are far from over: This past week, Obama plunged unilaterally into Uganda, sending 100 troops to chase down Joseph Kony, leader of the Lord’s Resistance Army, as it has plagued Uganda’s government for years. Uganda, you know: that lovely beacon of freedom that has outlawed homosexuality and kills their gay men and women in the streets.
For a true picture of Obama’s foreign policy, it’s best to ignore his words, and analyze his actions. It’s key to remember that, first and foremost, Obama is a lawyer: To him, words are everything, and winning the argument means winning the case; facts, therefore, are of little concern. Actually, the United States ‘are’ engaged in military operations in Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Yemen, once in Pakistan, and now, Uganda.
President Obama, recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize, promised to withdraw troops from Iraq by August 2010, a date that has long come and gone; today, Obama promised to withdraw from Iraq by December 2011, a date rapidly approaching. Looks like he might not be able to keep that promise, either. Additionally, the United States seems to be committed in Afghanistan until at least 2015, according to State Secretary Clinton, as we continue to struggle in our efforts in the “Graveyard of Empires.”
Advancing militarism through never-ending withdrawals and precipitous warfare, Obama declared yesterday Gaddafi’s death is a warning to other world leaders who rule with an “iron-fist.” Clearly, the Obama Administration is turning its attention to Bashar al-Assad in Syria, and Republican leaders are egging him on in that regard, although putting democracy before freedom will continue to destabilize the region. What does this expanding vision for our military mean for American foreign policy? What does it mean for us?
Obama’s “victory” in Libya has emboldened his military actions overseas, with the Associated Press declaring Gaddafi’s death a ”vindication of his doctrine.” The virtual “ease” of our actions in Libya – and the lack of resistance to unjustified action – are perpetuating a scope creep in foreign policy, which is precisely why I was opposed to American military action in Libya from the beginning, and expanded on reasoning in my post Viet-Libya. I spelled out my own foreign policy doctrine regarding the Arab Spring in February, six weeks before we entered our Libyan conflict. I have provided links for your perusal, but the takeaway is this: ”We must always support the democratic process, no matter the outcome. We must not publicly endorse one side over the other.”
Obama’s interventions have far surpassed “endorsement.” In backing rebels militarily without Congressional approval, we are witnessing the wholesale destruction of the rule of law in American foreign policy. Bypassing Congress for 60+ days of military action, with no formal declaration of war, is a violation of War Powers Act of 1973. The War Powers Act was enacted Post-Vietnam to restrict the Executive Branch in committing troops arbitrarily. The other coequal branches of government not only sit idly by while the law is trampled, but praise Obama’s actions, supporting his further interdiction overseas. In fact, the same day Gaddafi was killed, a U.S. District Judge dismissed a lawsuit against the President by ten brave U.S. Congressmen for his War Powers violations.
Although entering Pakistan was an act of war, the surgical assassination of Osama bin Laden, I believe, was justified. I praised the Commander-in-Chief for authorizing the action against America’s most wanted enemy combatant. While I also supported the assassination of Anwar al-Awlaki, I do not support the Administration’s justification for killing an American citizen, not by trial – even in absentia – but with a “memo.” Al-Awlaki was a dual citizen, and as a traitor, his US citizenship should have been revoked in accordance with US Code Chapter 8 Section 1481, a.7, for treasonous activities. If these legal proceedings were carried out, we don’t know about them. I suspect they weren’t; the Executive just declared him an enemy combatant. This begs the question, who else does the Administration have memos to kill?
What I find saddest of all is that a once-sane nation cheered the torture and execution of Gaddafi, the leader of a nation on which we did not declare war, nor was at war with us. Gaddafi deserved to be held accountable through legal means. It’s questionable whether members of his family – including three of his grandchildren under the age of twelve - deserved to be killed by NATO Predator drone strikes. Remember, in the words of the Occupy Wall Street protesters, who proclaim their solidarity with the Arab Spring: “This is what democracy looks like.”
Not challenging the Obama Administration on his War Powers is inducing him to plunge headlong into more wars - possibly for political gain - and is turning his Administration into that which he vows to crush around the world: a military dictatorship.Share on Facebook