What's another war when you have two going?

It is interesting how comfortable Americans seem to have become with war without end.

We are now so complacent that our president can apparently call in a new war while on spring break in Rio.

The start of hostilities was so unremarkable, meanwhile, that all three major TV networks Saturday cancelled their evening news broadcasts in favor of college basketball coverage.

On Saturday, as the U.S. began dropping 122 Tomahawk missiles on Libyan strongman Moammar Gadhafi's military, President Barack Obama was seeing the sights on Brazil's coastline.

We have now, apparently, dispensed with the solemn Oval Office address to the nation explaining the start of new wars.

No press conference. No questions. No consultation with Congress — just one of those little weekend wars.

The president explained that he continued with his trip in order to emphasize that other nations are in charge of this war.

Which would be nice if it were true, but it is not.

This has been almost totally a U.S. war from the start. Now, as it moves forward, our so-called allies are resisting efforts by the U.S. to hand over day-to-day operations they promised to accept.

This war seems to be shaping up like our other two wars, a grand illusion of global coalition, followed by the U.S. picking up 90 percent of the combat, expense and bloody sacrifice.

What was even more shameful was the way the three major TV networks chose to pretend the war wasn't even happening

Their Saturday evening newscasts disappeared amid the all-important NCAA basketball playoff games.

That probably accurately reflects the dominant interests of the American people. With a totally professional military, only a small portion of the U.S. people have spouses, children or relatives in harm's way.

By and large, the same soldiers, sailors and airmen simply revolve from one combat zone to another, one deployment on top of another.

Perhaps what's most frightening about our latest war is how little we know about our new friends in Libya and where this is going.

Last summer, these same people were cheering the return of Lockerbie bomber Abdel Baset al-Megrahi. He's the guy who planned the bombing in 1988 of Pan Am Flight 103 over Scotland.

At the peak of the Iraqi insurgency, more jihadists per capita traveled to join al Qaeda in Iraq from Libya than from any other country, according to CNN World.

The U.S. originally got into this Libyan affair because of our "unique" ability to make the skies safe for a no-fly zone.

In plain English, we are the only country with enough million-dollar missiles and billion-dollar stealth planes capable of handling three wars at the same time.

But all that fire power comes at a cost. At a time of massive budget deficits, the U.S. spends more on its military than the next 14 largest nations combined.

That is, of course, on top of the horrific cost in terms of lives lost, disabling injuries and psychological trauma to our warriors.

President Obama can, of course, explain that he acted to avert a crisis and possible humanitarian tragedy.

But we live in a world of perpetual crisis and tragedy. At some point, the U.S. must allow other people to sort out their scraps, particularly nations that are perpetually hostile to our interests.

We should not have been in this war. Now we should find a way to leave it as quickly as possible.

rrhoades@sunjournal.com

The opinions expressed in this column reflect the views of the ownership and editorial board.

What do you think of this story?

Login to post comments

In order to make comments, you must create a subscription.

In order to comment on SunJournal.com, you must hold a valid subscription allowing access to this website. You must use your real name and include the town in which you live in your SunJournal.com profile. To subscribe or link your existing subscription click here.

Login or create an account here.

Our policy prohibits comments that are:

  • Defamatory, abusive, obscene, racist, or otherwise hateful
  • Excessively foul and/or vulgar
  • Inappropriately sexual
  • Baseless personal attacks or otherwise threatening
  • Contain illegal material, or material that infringes on the rights of others
  • Commercial postings attempting to sell a product/item
If you violate this policy, your comment will be removed and your account may be banned from posting comments.

Advertisement

Comments

Jim Cyr's picture

What's another war when you have two?

Mr.Riml,if you look at my comment dated @0740 03/08/11;@1102 03/08/11 and again @ 0812 03/09/11,I believe I responded to your concerns. Except for one issue that I did not say that SCOTUS ruled on "wages versus incomes" I don't believe any such ruling exists. Therefore it is my "RIGHT to believe a SCOTUS ruling to be "unconstitutional" or not, as I have stated in my previous comments . Such as "ROE V. WADE" or the "16th Amendment" would never have passed their strong held beliefs.
And as for your verbose interpretation of Article VI,( I believe the last time a Constitutional Declaration of War,was back in '41) and in the said article,there is no reference to Executive Agreements by the President with foreign powers; no reference to Executive Orders; no reference to edicts by the Supreme Court which constitutes judicial legislation.Therefore, the power to declare war lies solely on Congress as stated in Article I Section 8 (11)

Joe Morin's picture

Puzzling

Our president wouldn't take a stance on this issue for weeks and then boom!!! Missles, bombs, jets, ships and marines. No announcemnet to the public of why we are doing this or what our mission is. No vote in congress to allow a debate of the pros & cons of this military action or possible ramifications. All the while the President is promoting off-shore drilling in Brazil... This guy is a mystery to me. This guy mystifies conservatives & liberals alike... Snake oil salesman. So much for bringing home the troops and closing Gitmo.

Jim Cyr's picture

Mr.Riml,the KING of SPIN

Article I section 8,(11) "Congress shall have the power to declare war,grant letters of of Marque and Reprisal,and make rules concerning Captures on Land and Water." The Constitution is above ANY U.N. Charter!

RONALD RIML's picture

Jim Cyr - No Knowledge of the Constitution

US Constitution - Article VI

"This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof; and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land; and the Judges in every State shall be bound thereby, any Thing in the Constitution or Laws of any State to the Contrary notwithstanding."

Now run along and research when the last time was that the United States "Declared War"

I see that you certainly didn't respond the last time that I found the Supreme Court Ruling that ran counter to your rantings and ravings.......

 's picture

Honestly the ethanol thing

Honestly the ethanol thing really irritates me. If i burn up my new snowblower because of this ethanol thing. I am gonna organize the million snowblower march on washington. Now that woukd be fun. Like a giant tailgate party.

 's picture

Great observation Rex. We

Great observation Rex. We are watching the rebirth of the imperial presidency. Pres OBama is the poster boy for our new political class. Our politicians all make up issues while running, and will say anything to get elected. Between them and most of our media, they divide us into left and right. Then we have the diehard partisans who supprt "their" side even when these are not the real issues. And the flames are fanned on both sides by the media. On both sides. If social engineering fulminated by our government hasn't worked here, what makes them think they have a moral right to try it anywhere? So while our airmen and women are risking their lives, our president does'n t talk to us. he goes on a tour of S America. The excuse is....well we are gonna hand over control anyway. What? In the mean time people are suffering here, while we are spending, excuse me, borrowing money, to help the suffering over there. UGH? So now we are stuck in the vortex of Middle Eastern duplicity. We have a heathcare bill that most don't want or even understand, we are burning CORN in our cars. BP was justt exonerated from criminal charges over the BIg spill. We don't hear about that. We want the debt gone, we want to carefor our elderly and disabled. We should want to eliminate politicians as a profession. And we need to protect ourselves. Anyway, sorry for the rant i guess we are all susceptible, Great observation Rex.

RONALD RIML's picture

Rex, the 'King' of Ignorers.....

I read through the entire editorial - once, twice, three time a...well, never mind. Who's 'War' is it???

Rex failed in his editorial to even once mention, nor refer to href="http://www.un.org/News/Press/docs/2011/sc10200.doc.htm">U.N. Resolution 1973, Security Council Approves ‘No-Fly Zone’ over Libya, Authorizing ‘All Necessary Measures’ to Protect Civilians

What Constitutional obligation does the President have to abide by this, as we are a signatory to the U.N. Charter?

According to Article 6 of the Constitution of the United States:

"Article VI

This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof; and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land;"

Rex is faulting the President for not telling the people about Libya when it was all over the News - yet Rex fails to tell us that the President was bound by the Constitution to attack. He flat out ignored that.

 's picture

Authorized is not the same as ordered.

At least, they weren't the same when the president was Republican and the country was Iraq. The Constitution does not require an attack because the UN authorized one. Obama decided, he owns it.

RONALD RIML's picture

You suggest we neglect our treaty obligations??

NATO now has it. Do you suggest we also pull out of NATO?

 's picture

NATO has what?

The order? Do you have a link to the text of that order?

Since you asked, yes, the US should pull out of NATO. Under that treaty, we pay most of the bills while the other signatories spend their money funding their failed experiments in socialism. NATO made some sense back when there was one big threat to Europe. That threat has been replaced by the threat of suicide by Muslim immigration, which no one will control for fear of being called intolerant.

RONALD RIML's picture

That's what the news was last night.

Check it out today - Military Control will be passing to Nato.

So you can either deal in today's reality, or segue to flights of fancy as you do in your above posting.

Damn - I had to work in the dirt, grit, and blood of reality during my careers. What is it you did???

Would you disband Public Safety once a criminal had been caught believing none others would arise? Europe doesn't have a history of tyrants, does she??

 's picture

One more time.

The UN authorized, it did not order. If the members of NATO decided to act on the blanket authorization, they violated their own charter. The treaty says that if one member is attacked, the other members will come to its defense. Is Libya a member of NATO? Is NATO now transmogrified into the public safety officer for Europe - and North Africa?

I paid a boat load of taxes to support you and others who volunteered to work in the dirt, grit and blood. Thanks, by the way. If I and others like me had refused, today you wouldn't have the luxury of complaining about anything. They don't allow blogging in the gulag.

Jason Theriault's picture

Wow, way off.

How about we save this editorial for when the president commits ground forces, which will probably be never. Because all this talk about putting our troops in harms way sounds hollow when it's limited to an air war against a clearly 3rd class power.

No, I think we need to help the rebels. Obama could have kept his mouth shut about Gadhafi, but he didn't, and as soon as he decided to throw support to the rebels, he should have been planning a no fly zone.

Now as for if these are the people we want to deal with, they are better than Gadhafi. They aren't slaughtering civilians(as far as I know). Besides, maybe if we help them, they wont feel as inclined to chant "Death to America".

Greg Rose's picture

NO MORE WAR!

Enough already! How about we take all the money being spent on the wars in the middle east and put that toward alternative energy research and development? Develop technology that will decrease our dependence on foreign oil and then perhaps the US wouldn't feel such a need to selectively intervene with such frequency.

I remain an Obama supporter but, I really think he screwed up here. The US doesn't need another war. We need to focus on energy independence and not fighting to remain dependent upon foreign oil.

Assisting the oppressed and endangered citizens of the world seems to have become the mission of the US - an admirable one - but at what cost?

AL PELLETIER's picture

hit the nail on the head

Mr Rhoades, I'm totally with you on this one. I've been a great advocate of Mr. Obama since he was elected continually saying, "give him a chance to fix things", but this is one giant step backwards. As I've said many times, the United States can not and should not be the world police and continuing down this path will be our downfall.

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

You could fit on the parrot's

You could fit on the parrot's beak the number of times the Pirate has agreed with anything Rex Rhoades had to say. But, Mr. Rhoades, i tip my hat to you, for you have hit the absolute bull's eye on this one, sir. If George Bush had gone into Iraq without congressional approval, they'd have impeached him. It's becoming more and more evident that until or unless oBAMa is found in a brothel closet with a dead woman or a live boy, he gets a pass on anything and everything. What a shameful curse the people who elected him president have put on this country.

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

You could fit on the parrot's

You could fit on the parrot's beak the number of times the Pirate has agreed with anything Rex Rhoades had to say. But, Mr. Rhoades, i tip my hat to you, for you have hit the absolute bull's eye on this one, sir. If George Bush had gone into Iraq without congressional approval, they'd have impeached him. It's becoming more and more evident that until or unless oBAMa is found in a brothel closet with a dead woman or a live boy, he gets a pass on anything and everything. What a shameful curse the people who elected him president have put on this country.

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

I apologize for the double

I apologize for the double post. Things appear to be pretty slow today.

Mark Elliott's picture

Al, I am a little confused

Al, I am a little confused with your position on this. I agree that we must give all our politicians a chance to prove themselves. Being president is a huge undertaking but we are now beyond the two year mark (half way through his presidency I might add). Why do you give a democrat over two years worth of chances to fix things but you won't give a republican even three months?? Just yesterday you posted on this article: http://www.sunjournal.com/state/story/1004031?page=1 this comment: "Create jobs--yup, he hired his daughter. Streamline Augusta--yup, he took down a mural. Now that's progress!" indicating, with sarcasm, (something LePage isn't allowed to use) that he hasn't lived up to his promise of creating jobs. LePage's goal is to create PRIVATE sector jobs by improving Maine's business atmosphere to attract PRIVATE business. It won't happen overnight. The only way to create so many jobs in only three months is to fall back on the old democrat safety net of creating PUBLIC jobs which cost us all even more and sends Maine deeper into the financial quagmire we are in.

Which is it Al? Give them a chance or not?

AL PELLETIER's picture

thank you, Mark

Thanks for quoting my post from yesterday, Mark and I understand your confusion, but if Lepage were a Democrat and Obama a Republican my comments would have been the same. I am trying to give Lapage a chance but he keeps doing dumb little things that I love to pounce on. Obama just did a dumb BIG thing and I pounced on him too. Equal pouncing for all !!!

Mark Elliott's picture

Thanks for your respectful

Thanks for your respectful response, but do you not remember the BIG dumb thing Obama did during his campaign? The one big dumb thing that most Americans know not to do? ......Make promises without knowing if you can keep them or not........Most of the major promises he made during his campaign were the main reasons he was elected and they are now gone, and all within his first three months. I didn't support Obama, but I have many friends that did and they felt abandoned right away as his promises were thrown out the window one at a time.......they now feel they wasted their votes and that is indeed a shame. Nobody should ever feel they wasted their vote.....

Mark Elliott's picture

Yep...and we're not hearing

Yep...and we're not hearing much from the liberals about the other two wars we are stuck in anymore are we?? You know, the two we had overwhelming support, IN ADVANCE I might add! Surprise!!! .....maybe there is just more going on in the middle east than we all like to think we know??

RONALD RIML's picture

You've neglected to acknowledge my remarks concerning

My disappointment that Obama hasn't removed our troops from neither Iraq nor Afghanistan.

There never was a threat from Iraq, and Bush shilly-shallied with his attempt to capture Bin Ladin after Tora-Bora by repositioning troops for the upcoming invasion of Iraq. Everything in Afghanistan is a waste - historically no military has ever been able to impose its will in that part of the world for any lasting period.

- Read Peter Hopkirk's 560 page book "The Great Game" to get an understanding of what two great empires went through over several centuries (then what one of them was to learn again at the hands of the Mujahadeen - which we are still to learn.)

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

Great point, radar; great

Great point, radar; great point. Irag and Afghanistan are o.k. now that oBAMa has us bombing Libya. Anyone for taking out Iran's reactor? Or what about the Turks, they look like they could stand a little tune up. We have oBAMa the "enforcer" leading us now. We can go anywhere any time and kick butt. And, no one's keeping score; not congress, not the media. What a mess.

RONALD RIML's picture

Taking out Iran's Reactor??

Who needs to do that when you've already taken out their centrifuges through subterfuge......

You've not heard of StuxNet, Stud?? Where've you been since Nov. 29th? On a turkey tryptophan induced slumber???

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

First, you need to stay off

First, you need to stay off of the Italian porn sites. Secondly, Since November 29th, I've been watching my country go down the toilet under the leadership of some incompetent individual whom they call president, who is making George Bush and Jimmy Carter look like the two best presidents we ever had.

Advertisement

Stay informed — Get the news delivered for free in your inbox.

I'm interested in ...