Posted by CODEPINK Staff
As a believer in non-violent resistance, it is unlikely you'll ever see me being a cheerleader of violent revolution.
That said, maybe you think I should join Yvonne Ridley, a British commentator who recently proclaimed herself "wrong, wrong, wrong" for opposing NATO intervention. I understand that 41-years of dictatorial rule is nothing to sneeze at. I've read Mother's Jones coverage of the Libyan uprising. I'm not trying to cast judgment on the Libyan people's decision to take up arms against the country's dictator.
Regardless of the outcome, President Obama's decision to declare war without Congressional approval is illegal and that is a key part of my uneasiness. Obama arbitrarily decided that a war is not a war when US troops aren't on the ground. (Nevermind the special ops on the ground, they don't count. I guess because they're special?) Call me crazy, but I'd rather have the government be honest about what type of conflict my tax money is funding. As Kucinich warns, the Libya foray represents 'new international gangsterism.'
Was the $1.1 billion the U.S. spent in Libya worth it? Apparently it's 'a virtual rounding error at the Pentagon.' Raise your hand if you think a billion dollars is more than chump change. The Pentagon's budget is bloated beyond the ability of the human mind to comprehend concretely, but that doesn't mean it's not real money. It's disgusting that wolves are attacking the pitiful safety net in this country while billions are wasted 'bring freedom to the world,' corporations get $16 trillion dollars in secrete, interest-free, federal loans, and the Pentagon's core budget is treated like an untouchable holy sacrament of the Union.
Since I stand firmly for true human security, I must say the U.S. wasted a billion dollars in Libya. Building international cooperation through military alliances makes no one secure and therefore I call for the dismantling of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. UN Resolutions must be upheld under the auspices of the United Nations. And only the Congress of the United States has the authority to declare war. I stand for the rule of law, and for the expansion of real national security. Only complete and unfettered access to food, shelter, education, health, and jobs can make this nation truly secure. Washington must stop wasting trillions on war and corporate welfare.
Whether the billion dollars in tax payer money was wasted or used strategically, regime change is afoot in Libya. Perhaps the Transitional National Council will respect the rights of Libyans more than the falling dictatorship. Perhaps they will mandate women's equal involvement in conflict resolution. Perhaps things will be better for the people of Libya in the months ahead. I truly hope these things will come to pass.
Feeling the need for more analysis of the situation? Read one or two of the articles below.
Qaddafi's Wherabouts Unknown -- But Is It Too Soon to Declare Victory in Libya? by Phyllis Bennis in Alternet
Obama's 'Leading from Behind' Doctrine Revisted as Triploi Falls, by Uri Friedman in the Atlantic Wire
The Libya War argument, by Glenn Greenwald in Salon
Three questions on Libya, by Al Jazeera's chief political analyst, Marwan Bishara
The success curse, American politics in The Economist
Libya, End Zone Taunting, and the Success Curse, by Matt Welch in Reason
Five Reasons it is Premature to Declare Mission Accomplished for Obama's Libya Strategy, by Peter Feaver in Foreign Policy
Libya: the hunt for Gaddafi goes on, by Luke Harding, Chris Stephen, and Julian Borger in The Guardian
Defiant Saif al-Islam rallies loyalists, in AlJazeera
UN Chief says Col Gaddafi must give up fight, in The Telegraph (with video)