Will they never learn?
We’ve had troops mired for years in two theaters, and they’re spread so thin that the stress of repeated tours of duty is breaking them. Just a couple of weeks ago, the Secretary of Defense said that anybody who considers getting involved in another Middle East conflict ought to have his head examined.
Yet, the armchair hawks in congress are ready to go to war all over again in Libya, and they have the gall to chastise the president for moving too slowly. Sure, it plays well back home, where people are screaming about gas prices. But it’s President Obama who, if he gets us involved militarily, will be lying awake nights with those lives on his conscience.
Sure, it’s “just” a no-fly zone that they want for now. Planes get shot down, though. Pilots survive and are taken prisoner. John McCain, of all people, should know that. And if that pilot doesn’t survive, what will it say on his plaque at Arlington, “He died to keep pump prices down?”
Then, there’s the infamous “mission creep.” The Europeans are talking about mounting a humanitarian effort. These things need protection, which probably means U.S. Marines. They’re the only outfit with the training and logistics to pull off a job like that on short notice.
But protection detail has a way of spinning out of control. Didn’t the Vietnam War start off as a temporary deployment to protect the perimeter of an air base?
And what if we go in there to save the rebels, and it turns out they hate Americans more than Gadhafi? Talk about losing hearts and minds.
You'd think that after granting President Bush a free hand eight years ago to invade Iraq for specious reasons, the members of the senate who were around at the time would at least have the grace to keep their mouths shut now.