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After months of unsuccessfully trying to channel Ronald Reagan, today when announcing the Libyan no-fly zone President Obama tried to channel George Bush. He  closed his remarks today by saying, “I’ve taken this decision with the confidence that action is necessary, and that we will not be acting alone. Our goal is focused. Our cause is just. And our coalition is strong.” In 2001 when President Bush announced that U.S. forces were launching military strikes in Afghanistan, he said “To all the men and women in our military

Obama also said “The United States did not seek this outcome. Our decisions have been driven by Qaddafi’s refusal to respect the rights of his people and the potential for mass murder of innocent civilians. In 2001 Bush said something familiar. “We did not ask for this mission, but we will fulfill it. … We defend not only our precious freedoms, but also the freedom of people everywhere to live and raise their children free from fear.”

But playing the copycat was not the reason for these Presidential words, it was to make a 180 degree pivot and announce a no fly zone in Libya whose purpose is to well your guess is as good as mine. At least we know the parameters of the no fly zone..well no we don’t know that either.

“Now, once more, Moammar Gadhafi has a choice. The resolution that passed lays out very clear conditions that must be met. The United States, the United Kingdom, France and Arab states agree that a cease-fire must be implemented immediately. That means all attacks against civilians must stop.

I also want to be clear about what we will not be doing. The United States is not going to deploy ground troops into Libya. And we are not going to use force to go beyond a well-defined goal, specifically the protection of civilians in Libya.”

Previously the President had said he wanted Qaddafi out of power but he didn’t mention that today. What does that mean? If Qaddafi stops attacking his people does he get to stay?

Now, once more, Moammar Qaddafi has a choice.  The resolution that passed lays out very clear conditions that must be met.  The United States, the United Kingdom, France, and Arab states agree that a cease-fire must be implemented immediately.  That means all attacks against civilians must stop.  Qaddafi must stop his troops from advancing on Benghazi, pull them back from Ajdabiya, Misrata, and Zawiya, and establish water, electricity and gas supplies to all areas.  Humanitarian assistance must be allowed to reach the people of Libya.

If Qaddafi pushes the resistance out of Benghazi (which is very likely) before there is any action to stop them, what will the US, France, UK and Arabs do next? Will they invade? Are did Barack Obama commit us to another land war?

Let me be clear, these terms are not negotiable.  These terms are not subject to negotiation.  If Qaddafi does not comply with the resolution, the international community will impose consequences, and the resolution will be enforced through military action.

What action? How do we get in? More importantly how do we get out.
I also want to be clear about what we will not be doing. The United States is not going to deploy ground troops into Libya.  And we are not going to use force to go beyond a well-defined goal — specifically, the protection of civilians in Libya.  In the coming weeks, we will continue to help the Libyan people with humanitarian and economic assistance so that they can fulfill their aspirations peacefully.

I hate to bring this up, but if Obama’s real goal is simply to minimize civilian suffering maybe we should hasten  Qaddafi’s victory. A quick win by the tyrant will kill fewer Libyans (and Americans) than if there was a long civil war.

What if Quaddafi heeds Obama’s threats and stops and the rebels want some on the ground protection, will the UN provide a peacekeeping force? Will the US be part of that force?

What if the rebels attack Quadafi’s forces do we provided them cover?  What if the insurgents start attacking civilians who are loyal to the despot, do we protect citizens by attacking the rebels? After all our goal is to protect citizens.

President Obama has committed American forces and possible our blood to go on a mission with vague goals not understanding the unintended consequences. It is immoral to commit human lives to battle on those half-assed terms and until thinks this action through– Congress should refuse to allow any fund to be spent to fund this action.

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