The PJ Tatler

Libya: Not so interested in a cease-fire

Were you expecting cotton candy and fuzzy bunnies?

Libya’s foreign minister Friday said the country will abide by the United Nations Security Council resolution calling for military action against Col. Moammar Gadhafi’s forces and will implement an immediate cease-fire, though reports of renewed assaults against rebel-held towns suggest the fighting continues.

“My country will try to deal with this resolution,” Foreign Minister Moussa Koussa told reporters in Tripoli as he read from a prepared statement.

President Obama, in his previous remarks and today, called on Gaddafi to leave power and for his forces to stop attacking the rebels. Gaddafi has done neither. According to the president’s remarks today, military action will be the consequence. The community organizer gets to play modern warfare.

We’re entering an interesting conflict here. We don’t really know who the rebels are, and without solid intel assets on the ground, we’ll be relying to a great extent on reports from people who have a vested interest in goading us into attacking Libyan government forces. I have no problem with hounding Gaddafi per se; Libya’s government is an illegitimate thugocracy centered on a flamboyant nutcase. Gaddafi is an ant that Reagan tried stomping on, and later Bush successfully scared half to death. A profile in courage, Gaddafi is not. Formidable, his military is not. They made him a colonel, didn’t they?

But where are we going with this? Obama has no plan to lead, he said so himself. France is taking the lead, but to where? With any luck this will be over soon enough, but Gaddafi is nothing if not resilient.

Am I a little more nervous when a Democrat leads us into war versus when a Republican does? Yes, I’ll admit that I am. Democrats lead into war by taking weapons off the table, usually ground troops, which has the immediate strategic effect of telling the enemy where we won‘t be. I don’t like that. I’d rather him fear that those two amphibious carriers off his shore are bristling with Marines that may come ashore at any moment to find and throttle him. I don’t want our Marines going in; I do want the enemy to fear that that’s a possibility and add that to his calculations. I’m former Air Force, but there is no more feared military force on earth than the US Marines. They should be giving Gaddafi nightmares, but thanks to how Obama has articulated our engagement, they won’t be.

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