Rich Galen

About the time President Obama was goofing it up at Google, he was also approving a fairly dramatic escalation in America's involvement in Libya by agreeing to utilize armed Predator Drones to rain fire down on Mohamar Gaddafi's forces.

Remember, we are not involved in a war in Libya. It has been officially deemed "Kinetic Military Action."

NATO, which has the lead in the Libyan action, doesn't have Predators with actual weapons. The ones they have are, apparently, only for surveillance.

The Predators we have are capable of firing Hellfire missiles which will atomize anything they hit and the Predator controllers will hit anything they aim at.

It is not clear whether the request to deploy Predators came before or after two well-known photo-journalists, Briton Tim Hetherington and US photographer Chris Hondros, were killed in a grenade attack on Wednesday.

According to the BBC, "Mr. Hetherington, 40, co-directed the Oscar-nominated war documentary 'Restrepo.' Mr. Hondros, 41, won the Robert Capa Gold Medal for war photography."

The use of armed Predators follows a decision by the United Kingdom and France to put military advisors on the ground in Libya to, according to Al Jazeera, "help advise rebels on technical, logistical and organizational issues."

The UK Guardian newspaper pronounced this "mission creep" quoting Foreign Secretary William Hague as saying in a statement that the advisors "will enable the UK to build on the work already being undertaken to support and advise the NTC [National Transitional Council] on how to better protect civilians."

The reason that construct, "protect civilians" is important is because that is the central theme of the UN resolution which authorized action against Gaddafi in the first place. The Guardian quotes Hague as reminding reporters that the resolution, 1973, "expressly rules out a foreign occupation force on Libyan soil."

It is interesting that the United Nations has determined that sending in war planes and drones to drop bombs and missiles to kill people is an acceptably tidy way to conduct Kinetic Military Action, but having actual humans shooting at other humans whom they can see and hear is not.

On the whole "military advisors" front, we have been through this before. According to a British history site: By 1955 America had already sent "special advisors" to South Vietnam. In 1961, there were 1,500 special advisors in the country. These were men from America's Special Forces who were there to train the South Vietnamese Army in how to fight the Viet Cong. By 1963, there were 16,000 special advisors in South Vietnam.

By 1968, those 16,000 advisors had swelled to more than a half-million - 536,100 - U.S. troops in Vietnam.

And we know how that turned out.

I have wended my way through all this because I am wondering when the House and Senate - Republicans and Democrats - are going to demand that the President explain just what he expects to happen and how he expects to get there.

I get it that politically Obama must not be seen as involving the United States in yet another war - his Left Wing is already suspicious enough about his self-proclaimed Liberal creds - but at some point he has to begin acting like the sitting President of the United States, not like the Perpetual Candidate for President of the United States.

The United Nations, of which I am not the most ardent supporter, needs to be honest with itself and with the people of the world as to what its real goal is in Libya.

This hogwash about using military force to "protect civilians" isn't working. Either come clean and say they want Gaddaffi - maybe all the Gaddafis - dead and/or gone or withdraw Resolution 1973 and tell the Western European nations they are just going to have to absorb about 500,000 Black Muslim refugees from North Africa.

Absent any leadership from Obama or the UN this Kinetic Military Action in Libya is going to make Iraq look like a perfectly designed and executed strategy.


Rich Galen

Rich Galen has been a press secretary to Dan Quayle and Newt Gingrich. Rich Galen currently works as a journalist and writes at Mullings.com.