Neocons are defending illegal Libya intervention
With some Republicans seeking the party’s presidential nomination expressing caution on international affairs, warmongers are beginning to speak out; including Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), who derided “isolationism” in the GOP field in an appearance on This Week:
I was more concerned about what the candidates in New Hampshire the other night said. This is isolationism. There’s always been an … isolation strain on the Republican Party — that Pat Buchanan wing of our party. But now it seems to have moved more center stage, so to speak. … If we had not intervened, Gadhafi was at the gates of Benghazi. He said he was going to go house to house to kill everybody. That’s a city of 700,000 people. What would be saying now if we had allowed for that to happen?”
McCain is, of course, playing the part of demagogue. Not one candidate in the GOP field is pushing for isolationism; even Ron Paul. Isolationism means completely cutting yourself off from the international community, including trade or enacting protectionist measures. No one wants to do that. Merely expressing skepticism in going to war is simply not “isolationism.” But sadly, McCain is not alone. Separately, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) also recently slammed Mitt Romney for expressing the view that it is time to withdraw from Afghanistan.
At the Washington Post, George Will criticized intervention in Libya and hits back at politicians like McCain:
In March, Obama said that U.S. intervention would be confined to implementing a no-fly zone: “Broadening our military mission to include regime change would be a mistake.” By May, Obama’s Bushian mission was to make Libyans “finally free of 40 years of tyranny.” After more than 10,000 sorties, now including those by attack helicopters, NATO’s increasingly desperate strategy boils down to: Kill Gaddafi.
Then what? More incompetent improvisation, for many more months.
Disgust with this debacle has been darkly described as a recrudescence of “isolationism,” as though people opposing this absurdly disproportionate and patently illegal war are akin to those who, after 1938, opposed resisting Germany and Japan. Such slovenly thinking is a byproduct of shabby behavior.
We’re learning now that President Barack Obama has ignored the advice of lawyers in his administration that continuing military action in Libya without congressional authorization would be illegal; a sentiment that has not sat well with many in Congress. There are now threats that Congress could target funding for operations in Libya. But how serious those threats remains to be seen.