Rachel Alexander
Obama has bungled hawkish military action in Libya so badly that even Republicans now appear to be opposing military engagement. While many people have doubts about intervening in the “Arab spring” uprisings sweeping the Middle East, there are a couple of despotic tyrants that most Americans agree must be removed. Libyan leader Muammar al-Qaddafi is one of them. It would not have been difficult for Obama to have obtained the support of Congress to take military action complying with the War Powers resolution of 1973, because Republicans usually vote hawkish on military action and the Democrat-controlled Senate would likely support him as a Democrat president, but instead he chose to go it alone and inform Congress afterwards.

Now, Republicans worried about the way Obama is handling the intervention have aligned with far left Democrats to challenge Obama on continued U.S. military engagement in Libya. Both the House and the Senate passed resolutions this month demanding that Obama provide Congress with the rationale behind the intervention. On Monday, the House voted to prohibit funding for U.S. military operations in Libya. House Speaker John Boehner issued a statement expressing concern that Obama had not defined what the U.S. role in Libya would be.

There is a legitimate fear by Republicans that the left-leaning Obama, whose record in politics has generally been averse to military action, is over his head when it comes to initiating armed combat. John Bolton, former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, expressed this concern, “I am feeling sick to my stomach that we are into something where the president does not know what he is doing.” Bolton is troubled that Obama’s mission does not specifically focus on removing Qaddafi.

Without consulting Congress, Obama launched a missile assault on Libya on March 19. He informed Congress afterwards on March 21. He demanded that Qaddafi step down or face military action from the U.S. and its allies, but failed to provide a deadline or describe what kind of military action. Obama also unilaterally sought support from the Arab League and the United Nations Security Council to establish a no-fly zone over Libya.


Rachel Alexander

Rachel Alexander is the editor of the Intellectual Conservative.