Pat Buchanan

Now that Benghazi has been spared what we were assured would be a massacre by Moammar Gadhafi's army, why are the U.S. Air Force, Navy, CIA and Special Forces still attacking in Libya?

If our objective was to spare the defenseless people of Benghazi from slaughter, why, mission accomplished, did we not stop bombing? Why are we plunging deeper in?

Did Gadhafi attack us? Did he attack a NATO country, thereby triggering Article 5 of the treaty requiring us to go to war? Have his forces carried out massacres of such magnitude in recaptured towns and cities as to morally mandate our humanitarian intervention?

Where? What has Gadhafi done in any rebel city that has fallen to him to compare with what Syria's Hafez al-Assad did in Hama, when he rolled up his artillery in 1982 and slaughtered between 10,000 and 20,000 to teach the Moslem Brotherhood a lesson in loyalty?

Not a decade after Hama, Assad was the welcome ally of George H.W. Bush in Desert Storm.

With Benghazi secure, by what right did we attack the Libyan soldiers defending Ras Januf, Brega and Sirte? What crimes were they committing by defending their cities from rebel attack and their government from being overthrown by force and violence?

Is this not what all soldiers take an oath to do?

None of this is written in defense of Gadhafi, a loathsome man and murderer of innocents, but to ask: Why is this small civil war in a North African desert country America's war?

The White House will not even concede America is at war. And understandably so. For that would trigger follow-up questions.

If we are at war with Libya, who started it? What was the casus belli requiring us to go to war? Did Libyan troops attack U.S. citizens or ships in the Mediterranean? Who is the aggressor in this war?

The truth: America is fighting another war of choice in Libya, and this one without any constitutional sanction. Congress not only did not declare this war, Congress was not even consulted.

Yet, once begun, wars create new political realities.

Now that Obama and Hillary Clinton have declared that Gadhafi must go, and U.S. military power has been put massively in on the side of the rebels, Gadhafi cannot win without Obama losing face and the United States being humiliated.

Saving Obama's face and preserving our superpower image may be the cause for which we kill a number of Libyans who did nothing to us.

There is, however, a more compelling reason Gadhafi must go.


Pat Buchanan

Pat Buchanan is a founding editor of The American Conservative magazine, and the author of many books including State of Emergency: The Third World Invasion and Conquest of America .
 
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