Mission Accomplished in Libya?

By: Ron Paul

Even as a major hurricane hit America’s eastern seaboard, the administration was determined to expand the war in Libya while threatening the regime in Syria. Is there any limit to government’s appetite to create more problems for our nation and economy?

Americans may be tempted to celebrate the apparent victory of U.S.- and NATO-backed rebels in Libya, since it seems the Gadhafi regime is overthrown. But I believe any enthusiasm for our Libyan misadventure is premature.

The Obama administration attacked Libya without a constitutional declaration of war, without congressional authorization, without meaningful consultation with Congress — and without a dollar being authorized from the House or Senate.

It was a war started by a president who turned to the United Nations for its authority and ignored the authority of the U.S. Congress.

Are we better off as a nation by ignoring and debasing our Constitution? Are we better off having spent more than a billion dollars attacking a country thousands of miles away that had not threatened us? Are we more financially sound having expanded the empire to include yet another protectorate and probable long-term military occupation? Are we more admired throughout the world for getting involved in yet another war?

Still, many will claim that getting rid of Libyan ruler Gadhafi was worth it. They will say that the ends justify the means. As the civilian toll from NATO bombs adds up in a war started under the guise of protecting a civilian population, even the initial argument for intervention is ridiculous.
We should not forget that there were no massacres taking place in Libya before the NATO attack. The attack was dubbed a preventive humanitarian intervention. But as soon as NATO planes started bombing, civilians started dying.
Gadhafi may well have been a tyrant, but as such he was no worse than many others whom we support and count as allies.
Disturbingly, we see a pattern of relatively secular leaders in the Arab world being targeted for regime-change with the resulting power vacuum being filled by much more radical elements. Iraq, post-Saddam, is certainly far closer to Iran than it was before the U.S. invasion. Will Libya be any different?

We already see grisly reprisals from the U.S.-backed rebels against their political opponents. There are disturbing scenes of looting and lawlessness on the part of the rebels. We know that some rebel factions appear to be allied with Islamic extremists, and others seem to have ties to the CIA. They also appear to have a penchant for killing each other as well as supporters of the previous regime.

The tribal structure of Libyan society all but ensures that an ongoing civil war is on the agenda rather than the Swiss-style democracy that some intervention advocates suggest is around the corner.

What is next after such a victory? With the big Western scramble to grab Libya’s oil reserves amid domestic political chaos and violence, does anyone doubt that NATO ground troops are not being prepared for yet another occupation?

Neoconservatives continue to dominate our foreign policy, regardless of the administration in power. They do not care that we are bankrupt, as they are too blinded by their desire for empire and their affection for the entangling alliances we have been rightly counseled to avoid. They have set their sights next on Syria, where the U.S. moves steadily toward intervention in another domestic conflict that has nothing to do with the U.S.

Already the U.S. president has called for regime-change in Syria, while adding new sanctions against the Syrian regime. Are U.S. bombers far behind?

Ron Paul is a U.S. Congressman from Texas. He ran for President of the United States in 1988 as the nominee of the Libertarian Party. 
Note: Libya has the largest, proven oil reserves in Africa. On the UNDP, Human Development Index, Libya ranked #1 in Africa.

NOTE:This is a cross post from Antiwar.Com

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  • Rauf  On October 23, 2011 at 8:15 am

    As far as west is concerned, “Mission accomplished in Libya”
    which country is going to be their next “mission” ??????

  • Mohammad Chaudhry  On October 23, 2011 at 8:22 am

    I tend to endorse Ron Paul’s thought process and his probing insight about this myopic and slanted perspective of Obama government in foreign affairs ,primarily run by left over Neocons of Bush era,still in influential positions through overpragmatism of Obama for bipartisanship and arm twisting by the extreme right of Republicans.As predicted by Ron,this is bound to have its repercussions not only for Obama and America but the next generations and humanity at large as all this doesn’t correspond to ground realities and analysis theirof.

  • Mehboob Qadir  On October 23, 2011 at 12:22 pm

    Dear Yasmeen,

    Thank you so much for the valuable email stream of selected articles that you have kept up so thoughtfully.

    Gaddafi’s tragic death and the way his huge state apparatus melted around him is an objective lesson in statecraft and governance.A state system that persistantly refuses to align with its people’s interests is doomed to collapse and is replaced by another, internally or externally.Much bloodshed and a possible redrawing of boundaries occur.
    One can only feel sorry for the way he died.Strangely this lesson is always lost on the next despot who continues in his brutal ways till he meets a similar end.Late Gaddafi also had the unenviable distinction of smearing Pakistan when he decided to surrender his nuclear ambitions in the hope that the West and US would perhaps have a charitable view of him, but that was not to be.
    Monkey business like this one, at the cost of people, fairness and rule of law never pays.

    Regards, Sincerely, Mehboob Qadir

  • A.H SIDDIQUI  On October 24, 2011 at 8:38 am

    Sir It was very sad to see dead body of such a great leader. Every one comits mistakes but it was a bit too much to dispose him the way they did.
    thanks and regards Siddiki

  • Ghulam Asghar Mitha  On October 24, 2011 at 8:40 am

    Yes, it is terrible. Whatever, no dead person deserves to be displayed and paraded in this manner. There is something terribly wrong with many Muslims. They’re behaving like barbarians.

    Gulam Asgar Mitha


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