“The last thing I wanted to do was to be a wartime President” – Lyndon Baynes Johnson
I have often held that the cause of peace can be advanced more under a Republican than a Democrat, because the anti-war Democrats are loathe to criticize their own president. Similarly, the cause of balanced budgets and spending restraint can be advanced more under a Democrat than Republican, because the conservative Republicans are loathe to criticize their own president (if George W. Bush taught us nothing else, he taught us that).
On 19 March of this year, we got “involved” in Libya, in what our president declared would be a mission of “days, not weeks.” Perhaps we quibble too much about definitions – but I imagine that 70+ “days” could actually be translated into 10+ “weeks” … but who’s counting, right?
We just celebrated Memorial Day here in the United States. A day on which we remember those who sacrificed their lives for the sake of our freedom. It is a wonderful day for remembrance.
Several questions for you, dear reader:
First, to what extent is our involvement in Libya a defense of our freedom? I have said in times past that I am more than willing to accept very thin arguments about “mounting threats” or “fighting them ‘over there'” as a justification for military action and defense of freedom. (I am more than willing to consider our actions in Iraq and Afghanistan a necessary venture to ensure freedom – if for no other reason than to show the world that retribution is available to us. Now, staying in Iraq or Afghanistan … I’m not so sure.) That said, I just don’t even com close to buying the notion that intervention in Libya was necessary for us to maintain freedom.
Was it necessary to prevent slaughter of Libyan rebels? Of course! If you can somehow tie that to our freedom, then I will be impressed indeed. (And if you make the argument of “defense of human life and human rights” as paramount to our own freedom, then I will gladly ask why you have not supported intervention in North Korea, China, Iran, Syria, Sudan, or any number of other places.)
The second question is more ominous.
Think back, if you will, to those brave men and women who sacrificed their lives for the sake of our liberties. Think back to Lexington, Concord, Ticonderoga, Bunker Hill, Saratoga, Cowpens, and Yorktown. Think back to Tippicanoe and Fort McHenry. Think back to the battle of Meuse-Argonne in WWI, still the deadliest battle in all of American history. Think back to Pearl Harbor, Midway, the invasion of Normandy, and the Battle of the Bulge. Think back to all of the battles that our armed forces have taken up over the centuries in the Revolution, the War of 1812, the Civil War, the Spanish-American War, WWI, WWII, Korea, Vietnam, Grenada, the Persian Gulf War, Operation Enduring Freedom (Afghanistan), Operation Iraqi Freedom, and all the rest.
Did those men and women risk their lives, sacrifice their lives, for the sake of our freedom, so that we could freely choose tyranny?