Airstrikes on Libya Break Obama Campaign Promise?
I agree with the strikes on Libya because they’ll pave the way for a no-fly zone…and that will cut down on Gaddafi’s ability to do a lot of damage quickly. And I would agree with air strikes on Sudan who are doing awful things. Let’s remember, many Dems were for hitting Afghanistan hard in 2001 given their role in 9/11.
However, as Andrew Sullivan points out, this does break one of his campaign promises.
“The President does not have power under the Constitution to unilaterally authorize a military attack in a situation that does not involve stopping an actual or imminent threat to the nation,” – Barack Obama.
Of course that depends on what you define as an imminent threat. Whether any of us like to admit it or not, Libya’s oil and gas reserves are important to the entire world. And that’s why I think we’re seeing intervention right now from a country like France.
For France, Libya is important, partly because it shares a border with four French-speaking countries strategic to France: Tunisia, Algeria, Chad and Niger. France also imports oil from Libya, and the French oil giant Total controls an important Libyan oil field.
Still, Sullivan laments…
It’s just brutal to have supported Obama’s foreign policy for so long, only to see it morph into a multilateral version of McCain’s so swiftly. The whiplash is jarring.
Things change. And we’re offering air support right now, not ground forces. If we commit any significant number of boots on sand I’ll be against it. Until then I think taking out some military positions that could shoot down our planes isn’t a big deal.
What are your thoughts?