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Posted at 4:23 PM ET, 03/ 1/2011

McCain: U.S. 'making up reasons' to avoid action on Libya

By Jackson Diehl

Fully a week after Libya's delegation to the United Nations first proposed that Western countries impose a no-fly zone in their country, the Obama administration finally has begun discussing it with other NATO governments. But most of the talk seems to be about why it can't happen.

Diplomats say NATO won't act to stop Moammar Gaddafi from bombing his own citizens unless the U.N. Security Council passes an authorizing resolution -- and Russia and China will not allow that. Pentagon officials are meanwhile warning that any no-fly operation would require preemptive attacks on Libyan air defenses. At a Senate hearing Tuesday Gen. James Mattis, chief of U.S. Central Command, called the potential mission "challenging" and added, "it would be a military operation -- it wouldn't be just telling people not to fly airplanes."

Those comments exasperated Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) a former Navy pilot who, along with Sen. Joseph Lieberman (I-Conn.), just returned from a tour of the Middle East. "We spend $500 billion on defense, and we can't take down Libyan air defenses?" he asked incredulously in an interview he and Lieberman gave to me and The Post's Fred Hiatt. "You tell those Libyan pilots that there is a no-fly zone, and they are not going to fly."

"I think they [in the Obama administration] are making up reasons" not to act, McCain added. "You will always have people who will find out the reasons why you can't do it. But I don't recall Ronald Reagan asking anyone's permission to get Cuba out of Grenada, or responding to the killings of American soldiers." Reagan ordered a U.S. airstrike against Libya in 1986 after U.S. soldiers were killed in a Libyan-sponsored bombing in Berlin.

McCain and Lieberman proposed a no-fly zone in a press conference last week in Jerusalem, as well a number of other measures to raise the pressure on Gaddafi. Those include the recognition of an alternative government and the delivery of weapons to opposition forces. In the interview with us, Lieberman argued that "we ought to act not just for humanitarian reasons."

"Others in the Arab world are watching Gaddafi practice the most grotesque atrocities," he said. "Insofar as we get involved to stop him, the democratic revolutionaries will understand that we are taking their side." Regimes contemplating similar violence to put down protests will, of course, also take note of whether Gaddafi is allowed to succeed.

The two senators visited Morocco, Tunisia, Lebanon, Jordan, Israel and Egypt in a whirlwind tour of a region in revolution. Apart from his insistence on the need to act on Libya, McCain said he came away impressed by the importance of whether Egypt's uncertain transition to a new political system succeeds. "We shouldn't understate the importance of Egypt," he said. "It will have a powerful effect on the entire scenario."

Lieberman said he was thrilled to the degree that the conversation about Egypt had changed. For years, he pointed out, U.S. administrations had accepted that the choices there were limited to a friendly secular autocracy, or hostile Islamists. "Suddenly there's a third alternative that is democratc and secular," he said. "It's like a gift."

Some analysts have been arguing that the Mideast revolts are helping Iran and could eventually play into the hands of Islamic extremists. Lieberman disagrees. "What's happened in Tunisia and Egypt is a powerful repudiation of al Qaeda and Iran," he said. "We have to figure out how to do everything we can to be supportive of a successful transition."

McCain was more cautious, saying he was worried about Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood -- "a well-disciplined, well-organized force" that "has been playing this perfectly" so far. Still, he said, "it's not clear how this thing is going to go -- but we have to be optimistic."

By Jackson Diehl  | March 1, 2011; 4:23 PM ET
Categories:  Diehl  | Tags:  Jackson Diehl  
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Well, at least McCain had a half lucid moment and remembered more or less what the base cost of our military is. Beyond that his senile dementia is showing.

To run a no fly zone we need to spend about $2 Billion a month to keep two carriers in the Gulf of Sidra, plus the cost of three or four AWACs birds to fly control, plus whatever else we need to run a no fly zone, say total $5 billion a month. More than Congress wanted to take out of a two week extension of the current continuing resolution.

The only carriers available are patrolling in the Indian ocean, something of a priority right about now, but priorities change.

But anyone's memory that is so hazy that he thinks Castro had anything to do with Grenada isn't functioning at all well in this century anyway.

He doesn't even seem to remember that he was all hot that we do something, anything, about Egypt just a couple weeks ago.

But the shoot first and then check to see where your foot was attitude of Diehl, McCain, and all those wonderful peace loving Republicans has had such spectacularly beneficial effects on people and budgets when applied to Afghanistan and Iraq that we ought to take their advice for what it has been proven to be worth.

We know Jackson would never be so rude, but would he kindly ask Republican fireeaters where they expect to get the assets for their next thoughtlessly started war, and where they expect to get the money to pay for it?

Posted by: ceflynline | March 1, 2011 6:14 PM | Report abuse

Shell, BP, Halliburton and TransOcean have deep water drills right off the coast of Libya
Why not ask them to kick in the costs of the extra security that will be needed?

Posted by: Gracefulboomer | March 1, 2011 6:22 PM | Report abuse

There are plenty of reasons to support rebels to oust "The Butcher" of Libya. PanAm 103 is plenty of reason for me. However, looking for reasons to avoid an American led attack against Qaddaffi may lead to the law of unintended consequences. Didn't we back rebels in Afghanistan in the 80's and the Vietnamese before the Vietnam War. Yes, we ended up losing the WTC and the Vietnam mess. Its a good thing Saddam is gone, but are we any safer? Sure I want democracy and freedom for all our brothers in North Africa and the Middle East. I wish them well, and sure we need to make it clear that we will allow no one to butcher them. Only if it is clear that they can't stand to Qaddaffi and they're about to get mowed down. We shouldn't jump the gun, and do a drive by, leave, and expect eternal gratitude. Those who want freedom must be willing to die for it or continue to live as slaves.

Posted by: willie1231966 | March 1, 2011 6:48 PM | Report abuse

Yo John,lighten-up !
This military adventure you are proposing is mighty expensive to American taxpayers and dangerous to American lives !
Why don't you talk first to the Italians who have a historic relationship with Libya or maybe the Germans who did quite a job in North Africa during WWII. I believe they are very familiar with the lay of the land around Tobruk, Ben Gazi and surrounding areas.
Maybe you know a bunch of hotshot gun toters out Arizona way who would be willing to volunterr for a mission to Libya ? You know, night drop, weapons,and an Arabic dictionary .
You Neo-Cons could take up a collection and put the money in a Swiss bank; anyone who makes it out gets the account number !

Posted by: wek41 | March 1, 2011 7:38 PM | Report abuse

McCain another demented repub that would do the USA good if he resigned.....part his fault we are in two senseless and immoral wars in the first place...

2012 get rid of all repubs and demos supporting the USA policing the world...

Time to bring out roops home, cut dod in half, close nearly all foreign bases and end weapons development progrmas....

Posted by: ticked | March 1, 2011 7:52 PM | Report abuse

Start the bombing now!

Posted by: DougJ3 | March 1, 2011 8:25 PM | Report abuse

Israel should use this turmoil as cover to remove its own religious crazies from the settlements in Hebron and the West Bank, except in the immediate vicinity of Jerusalem.

The religious settlers are Trojan Horses that only appear to give Israel leverage in negotiations, but are in fact a major threat to Israeli security.

Israel needs to put itself into a state of defense.

Posted by: forrest3 | March 1, 2011 8:25 PM | Report abuse

Why is there so much excitement about intervening in Libya? Why not intervene in Sudan and Zimbabwe where tens of thousands have been killed? Or Burma, North Korea, etc.?

I find the tremendous excitement about Libya very strange. It couldn't have anything to do with oil, could it?

Posted by: AlanGoldberg54 | March 1, 2011 8:40 PM | Report abuse

Simple answer, Diehl, we're not doing anything about Libya because Bibi hasn't phoned Obama and Hillary yet with their new instructions.

Posted by: rbe1 | March 1, 2011 8:47 PM | Report abuse

If it were up to McCain and Lieberman you would be reporting on todays body count of American soldiers and passing on their unfunded bravado to your children.

Posted by: whocares666 | March 1, 2011 8:59 PM | Report abuse

If we step into Libya right now, we preclude the opportunity for a Libyan version of a George Washington to emerge that could unite their country. Let the Libyans find their own leadership to deal with their own problems, and then it will be time enough to intervene more actively on their behalf. I think Obama's go-slow approach is the right one; the last thing we want to do is to jump-in with both feet like another Afghanistan or Iraq.

Posted by: armyofone | March 1, 2011 9:00 PM | Report abuse

I sure am glad McCain isn't President right now.

Then we'd be in Three Wars of Republican Foreign Adventure.

All ones we can't afford.

Posted by: WillSeattle | March 1, 2011 9:02 PM | Report abuse

McCain is the hothead who ignored a missile locked onto his own plane, which ended in his getting shot down, wasting a perfectly good multi-million dollar airplane, and spending several years in a Vietnamese prison camp.

McCain also seems to have encouraged Georgia's Saahkashvilli to provoke Russia.

Here he is ignoring the effects of a military intervention on US relations with Saudi Arabia, who was already ticked of about the way we abandoned Mubarak.

McCain has become highly irresponsible since he won the Republican nomination.

Posted by: j3hess | March 1, 2011 9:32 PM | Report abuse

You might want to trust the four star Marine general who is actually in command of U.S. forces in the region. He is the one who said that the mission would be dangerous and complicated. For McCain to compare the enforcement of a no-fly zone to the air strikes in 1986 or to the invasion of Grenada shows that he has no understanding at all of what the risks are.

To enforce a no-fly zone, we would be required to have a sustained presence in the air space -- hostile air space, I should add. Libya is a big country, so we would need a lot of aircraft just to cover the space, not to mention to maintain that coverage over time. Sen. McCain may be right about the unwillingness of Libyan pilots to challenge U.S. or other international air power in the skies, but do you really think that Qaddafi would show any restraint in using his anti-aircraft weapons, surface-to-air missiles, etc.? We would be forced to take on Libyan air defenses from the start, I would suspect. That is dangerous to our forces and it has the potential to create some pretty interesting political consequences.

As much as I would like to see us do something to take on Qaddafi and to support the protesters, lets take a breath and figure out what the best course of action would be. It is possible that we can provide direct support to the people of Libya in the form of humanitarian support, or perhaps in the form of security force assistance to the new rebel "government." We could very easily provide communication support and limited intelligence support, and could interfere with Qaddafi's ability to communicate. All of those actions are far less risky both to our personnel and politically.

We don't need to invent reasons to avoid pushing for a no-fly zone. Those reasons are real.

Posted by: DM_Inf | March 1, 2011 9:59 PM | Report abuse

I think President Obama is busy calculating who are the winners and who are the losers from the Arab earthquake! I'll try to help.

1. The Arabs who suffered so much for so long.
2. Turkey who is playing it "right" in that region.

1. Arab dictators and authoritarian regimes.
2. Al-Qaeda and other terrorists who exploited the oppressed Arabs.
3. Israel who continues to brutally occupy's Palestine, and who lost what Netanyahu called "Israel's strategic asset"- Dictator Mubarak of Egypt.
4. The US who blindly supported brutal Israel and Arab dictators.
5. The oppressive Mullah's of Iran who fear that the winds of change in that region will ultimately sweeps them away.

It is obvious that the losers of the Arab revolution are more than the winners. But Arab democracy in that region, if it succeeds, is far more important!

Posted by: editor4tonio | March 1, 2011 10:06 PM | Report abuse

Agree with the comments. Glad McCain is not President. We don't need and can't afford another war. If the point of this item is to show how irrational McCain is; yep, we got that. Nothing new.

Posted by: Whazzis | March 1, 2011 10:11 PM | Report abuse

If military intervention in Libya passes the "Meghan McCain Test" I'd say go for it.

Somehow though I think it won't.

Posted by: DJ_Spanky | March 1, 2011 10:21 PM | Report abuse

I know another reason: we're already in two goddamn wars (that we know of) and don't need another one.

Posted by: sacomment | March 1, 2011 10:44 PM | Report abuse

If we go to war -- and enforcing a no fly zone and providing military aid to the rebels (yes, they are rebels) constitute acts of war, we should do so in a accord with the Constitution: Congress would first need to approve a Declaration of War.

AND: let's resume pay as you go for the costs of war with a Patriot's Tax for the full immediate costs for personnel, equipment, supplies, etc., and for all subsequent costs, e.g., increased pensions and care for the families who lose a member and for those in uniform who survive but with physical and/or psychological injuries. The Patriot's Tax would be a progressive tax on income and wealth on all Americans except those in uniform so that ALL Americans are engaged with the war. The Patriot's Tax would be progressive because those with greater income and/or wealth have more to be thankful to the country for the opportunities it has offered to do well financially, and Patriots should "give back" to their country accordingly.

Posted by: jimb | March 1, 2011 10:56 PM | Report abuse

I doubt that Tripoli is so large that a no-fly zone couldn't be maintained, possibly done with drones, and same with other cities. We can't sit back waiting for non-combatants to be slaughtered, I think the administration knows that. The US stepped in when the Serb army went after ethnic Albanians women and children etc., and Clinton intervened when the elites all said don't do it, bad politics but he did anyway with bombing only. The Albanians were Muslims, we thought we would be remembered for that in the same way we helped the freedom fighters in Afghanistan during the Russian occupation, arming them against an overwhelming air superiority. These things are a gamble for the US to get involved in, I wouldn't declare everything we are about to do or stand for because we don't want to own it, just that.

Posted by: bwcolq | March 1, 2011 11:05 PM | Report abuse

Why doesn't the US (read Obama) act? It is because the rookie, Barack the Arrogant I, has no clue WTF to do as usual. If it is not community organizing, he is useless - he probably was useless as a community organizer, too.

Posted by: apdseal | March 1, 2011 11:30 PM | Report abuse

Perhaps if you were the first to strike a blow, you'd know the reason why...

Posted by: OneWhoSpeaksTruth | March 1, 2011 11:39 PM | Report abuse

Reagan ordered a U.S. airstrike against Libya in 1986 after U.S. soldiers were killed in a Libyan-sponsored bombing in Berlin.

which has no effect.

Posted by: OneWhoSpeaksTruth | March 1, 2011 11:41 PM | Report abuse

Reagan ordered a U.S. airstrike against Libya in 1986 after U.S. soldiers were killed in a Libyan-sponsored bombing in Berlin.

which precipitated the Pan Am 103 bombing. Good job Ronnie!

Posted by: OneWhoSpeaksTruth | March 1, 2011 11:42 PM | Report abuse

Why are we doing so little for Libya? Because we did so much for Iraq and doing so much for Israel.

Posted by: goldhatresearch | March 2, 2011 1:33 AM | Report abuse

Two never ending wars bankrupting the USA in the middle east. Neither necessary and no on policy autopilot.

And again war in Libya.

Why WAR??? WAR??? Is the entire military and foreign service establishment on brain lock? We have very expensive and extraordinarily trained military resources that do NOT require a WAR. Drop the teams in and terminate the problem with his supporters. Then simply LEAVE. We are on the good guys side and when THEY build a government they will remember. The key is to know when to leave. Decapitate the governemnt so the new one is NOT still born. WAR is NOT necessary. Force on the right side of the angels is. And while we are at it leave Iraq and Afpak as well. We might be pleasently surp[rised at what follows.

Posted by: Modeldon_9 | March 2, 2011 1:41 AM | Report abuse

Bombing Lybian forces would be only action which could increase Gaddafi's popularity. Furthermore it would unite the arab world against the West. Taking in consideration the US'past in the ME and its recent veto at the UN security council against the illegality of Israeli settlements, the only acceptable course of action is to shut up and ....

Posted by: Jean-Robert0 | March 2, 2011 2:13 AM | Report abuse

Could we for once just mind our own business and stay the hell out of Libya? We have enough problems at home. Let's focus on reducing Federal spending, securing the southern border, and ending the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Posted by: Chippewa | March 2, 2011 2:21 AM | Report abuse

Crash & Burn McCain needs help.
somebody get him to a psychiatrist.

Posted by: surlydoc | March 2, 2011 2:31 AM | Report abuse

not the barbary pirates involved here,they have relocated to somalia.stay our of the scumlim blood baths. not ONE american or ONE $ for these lunatics, let the euros send their people to suffer and die for the maniacs oil

Posted by: pofinpa | March 2, 2011 2:52 AM | Report abuse

Booger eatin' moron Obozo is doing nothing because he is a hollow shell of a man and a deer in the headlights. Thousands die while he throws another party at the White House.

Posted by: carlbatey | March 2, 2011 3:02 AM | Report abuse

Did Sec. Gates recently state:
"In my opinion, any future defense secretary who advises the president to again send a big American land army into Asia or into the Middle East or Africa should 'have his head examined,' as General MacArthur so delicately put it."

So why is anyone surprised that we are not getting involved in Libya?

Posted by: ahashburn | March 2, 2011 3:21 AM | Report abuse

McCain and Lieberman never met a war they didn't like and Obama never can say good bye to Afghanistan. He is stuck like glue.

This is a grab for Gaddafi's oil, besides Mubarack didn't have that much oil to begin with. With the dollar slipping and sliding, we better get as much oil as we can - especially if the price doubles or triples.

Posted by: alance | March 2, 2011 3:35 AM | Report abuse

Exactly the same chorus of warmongers that took us into the illegal war in Iraq, who have been pushing to bomb, bomb, bomb Iran, and now, attack Libya! What are we waiting for?!!! Thank goodness we have Gates in the Pentagon and a President that will think before shooting.

Posted by: likovid | March 2, 2011 5:04 AM | Report abuse

Gaddafi, Reverend Wright, and Cornel West are tight. Obama has to play his cards right on this one. Plus, he's waiting for his marching orders from the Saudi King, and George Soros..

Posted by: wewintheylose1 | March 2, 2011 5:38 AM | Report abuse

Earth to Diehl:
When America supports the Israeli slaughter of over 1400, mostly civilians, including over 300 children in Gaza, then the USA has little to say about the internal affairs of a foreign country.

Posted by: usnr02 | March 2, 2011 5:52 AM | Report abuse

God Bless Senator McCain. He knows right from wrong, and shows knowledge of and concern for the practicalities as well. I wish I could have voted for him in 2000 or 2004. He's the greatest wartime President we never had. It is with the hope that our wartime may be drawn to a close that I voted for Mr Obama in 2008 and not for Mr McCain. I hope Mr Obama will find a way to put my country on the side of what is right as regards Libya. I would not like to think I had voted for the wrong man in 2008.

Posted by: johnwerneken1 | March 2, 2011 5:56 AM | Report abuse

Yeah, and when embolden the opposition with a no fly zone, and they get slaughtered by tanks on the ground, you'll hear these guys saying it's our "moral" responsibility to roll in with ground forces. Then were entangled for 10 years just like Iraq.

Posted by: dmblum | March 2, 2011 6:04 AM | Report abuse

Here's your helmets, chickenhawks. What's your hurry?

You want a war? You gotta fight it yerselves for a change.

Posted by: DJ_Spanky | March 2, 2011 7:04 AM | Report abuse

Whatever happened to the notions that (1) we can't and shouldn't be the "world's policeman" and (2) another country's ("state's" if you want to show off) internal affairs, however repressive, do not justify foreign intervention. Even if the insurgency turns into a civil war and thus achieves some kind of internationality under Common Article 3 of the Geneva Conventions, there's no justification for foreign intervention. That would, among other things, transform the internal conflict into an international one. That there's even a serious discussion of US involvement means that proponents have other agendas at work and aren't revealing them, knowing full well that most of the American populace is too ignorant and superficial to think beyond the soundbytes of the moment. Let's have a bit less disingenuousness here even if candor will be lost on most.

Posted by: Freethinker2 | March 2, 2011 7:07 AM | Report abuse

Jackson Diehl is brought to you by AIPAC - America's Pro-Israel Lobby and by Lockheed Martin.

Posted by: areyousaying | March 2, 2011 7:07 AM | Report abuse

"You tell those Libyan pilots that there is a no-fly zone, and they are not going to fly."

"Iraqis will welcome us as liberators"

Old war mongers never die, they just lie so others will.

Posted by: areyousaying | March 2, 2011 7:10 AM | Report abuse

Time to steal the Baby Boomers Social Security to save Israel.

Posted by: areyousaying | March 2, 2011 7:13 AM | Report abuse

The US is and should be doing little about Libya because it none of the US's business what goes on in Libya... Let the zionist of Israel do something if they feel the need to... SCREW LIBYA!!!!

Posted by: demtse | March 2, 2011 7:23 AM | Report abuse

George W. Bush's Secretary of Defense said,
said military measures could have indirect consequences that "need to be considered very carefully." He suggested any intervention in Libya could drain U.S. forces from the war in Afghanistan and questioned the wisdom of the United States engaging in military action in another Muslim country.

But Israel and Diehl know better...

Posted by: areyousaying | March 2, 2011 7:23 AM | Report abuse

Will our neocons and neo-neocons ever stop wasting our precious human resources.

The neocon's for christianity and oil; the neo-neocons for other people's "democracy".

We ought to have an interfaith service each week at which they can offer a burnt sacrifice of say, one of their children to advance their righteous cause.

Posted by: samscram | March 2, 2011 7:35 AM | Report abuse

What could be more rewarding than getting into a war? The Americans will be here with food and blankets and medicine (and money!) and they'll get themselvles killed making us stop it.

Posted by: kls1 | March 2, 2011 7:42 AM | Report abuse

Libya is none of our business just like Iraq, Afghanistan, and Iran are none of our business. But if loud mouth McCain wants to go to Libya have him get Congress to impose a significant "War Tax".

Posted by: Maddogg | March 2, 2011 8:13 AM | Report abuse

Why should we intervene in Libya. Let the Europeans use there troops and planes. Italy gets the majority of its oil from Libya. Let them lead the way. We should sit on the sidelines for this one.

Posted by: MARKHAGNER | March 2, 2011 8:14 AM | Report abuse

Why must America always wait for an instruction from Israel before intervening in a the Arab World?

Here is a golden opportunity to demonstrate to the mainly Muslim Arab world that America will do anything to ensure Muslim Tyrants are overthrown and will without reservation support any Arab nation aspiring to espouse a democratic form of governance.

It is in the interest of Western civilization to demonstrate that a democratised Muslim country is our ally.

The cost to America for the liberation of Libya and the removal of Daffy Duck Gadafi will be great but in a few years the West will reap the reward, one less chance of a fanatical Muslim country "liberated" by some mad mullah.

One less chance that a 9/11 will occur!

Remember the perpetrators of 9/11 were Egyptians and Saudis, citizens of oppressive Arab regimes that enjoyed American patronage!!!!!

Learn the lesson from history!!

Posted by: tuatha-de-dannan | March 2, 2011 8:30 AM | Report abuse

It shows how impregnable US Senators are to neocon AIPAC/Israeli government lobby.
These two mavericks are the most one-sided supporters of rightist regime in Israel - and against two-state solution. How long will it take Nethanyau and his gang to recognize what's national interest of Israel in 21st century.

Libya, as Gates said yesterday, is none of US military business. Besides. he said, we don't really know the facts on the ground.

Avoid US military intervention at any cost!
Bomerang will take US and Gadaffi with it...

Posted by: hariknaidu | March 2, 2011 8:56 AM | Report abuse

What part of broke do you not understand Jackson Diehl ?

Posted by: moebius22 | March 2, 2011 9:02 AM | Report abuse

We waged war in Iraq on false premise and destroyed the country and we are failing in Afghanistan where actually there is no combat. We could not do anything in Egypt and Tunisia because we still control them and they have no oil. Here is an opportunity in Libya to occupy high quality oil-reserves and create opportunities for our businesses, military, defense industry and lobbyists. Most importantly it will be easier if we just confine our occupation to oil-fields. And the appearance of a cause is noble. Let us go in.

Posted by: yameenzusnet | March 2, 2011 9:02 AM | Report abuse

McCain is suffering from senile dementia, according to some who comment here. Ummm, how is the diplomacy of engagement working? Has Iran modified its stance on nuclear weapons or on destroying one of its neighbours? Well, not yet. And has North Korea responded favourably to our overtures? Other than shelling a South Korean island (and its people) and threatning to do it again, I mean. Well, no they haven't responded favourably to our overtures. In fact, they have been downright rude, just like Iran. Khaddafy? He probably won't go of his own accord, or haven't you been paying attention. A no-fly zone may not be bloodless, but the blood is very likely to belong to the people who need to be bled, the oppressors of their own people and the nurderers of Americans.

Posted by: sailhardy | March 2, 2011 9:14 AM | Report abuse

Lost in most of the usual adolescent partisan posted "comments" here is the memory of those Libyans who were dancing in the streets and waving Libyan flags upon the arrival back in his Libyan homeland of the so called "terminally ill with cancer" man who was instrumental in blowing up the Pan American passenger jet over Lockerbie, Scotland.

What's also disgusting is the short memories of these "commenters" and their smug certitude while simultaneously being so ill-informed.

Posted by: CharlesGriffith1 | March 2, 2011 9:29 AM | Report abuse

We are still fighting a war in Afghanistan that has been raging for almost a decade now. We are still bogged down in our Iraq war. We are fighting a covert war on the Horn of Africa. We are fighting pirates in the Indian Ocean. At the same time, we are waging a war at home against organized labor, teachers, nurses, fire fighters, cops and the middle class. We are trying to hold the line on Social Security and our unemployment rate is officially 9% though the real figure is probably 15%. At the same time, we just voted to continue paying $52 BILLION to the oil companies and three months ago, Congress voted to continue $70 BILLION in tax cuts per year for billionaires and millionaires. So, do you begin to see the absolute lunacy of intervening in a civil war in Libya?

Posted by: codexjust1 | March 2, 2011 9:34 AM | Report abuse

I'm just going to have to go out on a limb and guess that Diehl's mother owns this paper.

Posted by: russellglee | March 2, 2011 9:37 AM | Report abuse

Why are we avoiding involvement in Libya ?, try the absolute mess we are in, in Iraq, and Afghanistan? Both have no beginning and no end. Sticking our nose in the Middle East ,could only be justified to serve our interest in Saudi, or Israel, if attacked by Iran.

Posted by: dangreen3 | March 2, 2011 9:54 AM | Report abuse

Get a gun and get your butt over there, Diehl.

We're sorry, but the budget outlook suggests you'll have to buy your own plane ticket.

Posted by: st50taw | March 2, 2011 9:55 AM | Report abuse

We are NOT the police for the world. Democracy has to be by and for the people of their own countries. As painful as it may be to see IT's NOT OUR BUSINESS!!! We can get our citizens out but the rest is left to the citizens of that country.

Posted by: rlj611 | March 2, 2011 10:22 AM | Report abuse

I propose that if there is a resolution to wage war, that we also institute the reintroduction of war bonds? Those who want to "do something" can put their money where their mouth is.

Otherwise, I suggest we stay out of it.


Someone also mentioned the Lockerbie bomber here. As there appears to be both pro- and anti-Kadaffi factions, and that those cheering the return of this fellow are perhaps pro-Kadaffi.

Those of you bemoaning the separation of church and state should take heed. Look to the Middle East when you see the combination of religion and politics. It isn't pretty. And, please don't tell me that Christianity doesn't have blood on its hands. Religion has been used to provoke war for CENTURIES.

Posted by: MichelleKinPA | March 2, 2011 10:28 AM | Report abuse

I suggest that we send those like Jackson Diehl, who instigate violence and distrust while cowering behind their keyboards.

Posted by: gkam | March 2, 2011 10:30 AM | Report abuse

For once I agree with McCain. It's disgraceful that the United States is standing by while the death toll of Libyans fighting for freedom goes up and up. All Obama offers are words, words and sanctions that won't stop the slaughter. The Brits showed real spine by flying in planes to evacuate their citizens. They didn't ask permission, they just did it because it was the right thing to do. This administration needs to get some back-bone and step up for the freedom-fighters with humanitarian aid and a no-fly zone.

Posted by: kathok | March 2, 2011 10:32 AM | Report abuse

McCain and Leiberman have about as much credibilty as Laurel and Hardy. These two are partly responsible for the sorry state we are in now. I think McCain was psychologically damaged during the war. That's a shame but he should not be in a position to create more damage for more U.S. soldiers. As for Lieberman, he will say and do anything to protect Israel. Though in the long run, his policies will hurt Israel's ability to survive.

Posted by: jp1943 | March 2, 2011 10:38 AM | Report abuse

Just what would you have us do? This is Libya's issue, not ours. Our track record tells us to stay the hell out. McCain and Lieberman are fools, and Diehl is running a very close second.

Posted by: jckdoors | March 2, 2011 10:45 AM | Report abuse

We wonder what is it about America's 44 trillion bankruptcy that Sen. McCain doesn't understand. It is scary to think this man actually ran for the Presidency.
Are we going to send in the ships to every hot spot in the World?

Posted by: lionelroger | March 2, 2011 10:53 AM | Report abuse

It seems to me that most of these comments reflect an utter lack of concern over American disregard of other's national sovereignty. Perhaps this is because the writers do not expect that this erosion of sovereignty would ever come home to roost against the US. As our power declines in the world, due in large measure to our own failure to address our debt, we open ourselves up to more and more foreign intervention. When that happens we can hardly complain because others will be doing to us what we have been doing to them. I say stay of out of the internal affairs of other nations.

Posted by: jweley | March 2, 2011 11:03 AM | Report abuse

Am I right in assuming that at least part of any military action in Libya would have to be supported by our 5th Fleet, stationed in Bahrain? Or would it be covered by the 6th Fleet? If it's the 5th, that might be a good reason to keep our heads down.

Posted by: dkp01 | March 2, 2011 11:09 AM | Report abuse

I think you sir are asking a bit much from the American people. If anyone goes into Libya, it should be the UN. You warmongering neocons make me sick. Always first to jump into a fight, as long as someone else does the fighting for you. You people are doing everything that you can do and seizing on every opportunity to have our American forces mired into conflict in the middle east. Let's see...who gains from us taking your stupid advice and butting into Libyan affairs? The only country that I know of that probably welcomes an additional US presenced in the middle east is Israel. Man, you give the worst advice.

Posted by: ruthella10 | March 2, 2011 11:32 AM | Report abuse

I came to this column ready to write why we shouldn't be involved in Libya...but then found that nearly unanimously...everyone is against the idea of getting involved.


I think we've learned our lesson about being the unilateral war mongers and the costs (diplomatic, social & financial) that come with wearing that hat.

Nobody intervened here in the US when we had our revolution. Americans fought off the British, and that's why a lasting government formed.

(At least until the GOP shuts it down in two weeks)

Posted by: 20yrskinfan | March 2, 2011 11:34 AM | Report abuse

Perhaps if we hadn't gotten involved under false pretenses in Iraq, intervening in Libya might have been an option. But with our credibility in the tank, there is no way for us to do so without it being seen as another power grab by the US. It could also have the unintended consequences of weakening the resistance movement there by having them labeled as US puppets by Ghaddafi.

If we were going to get involved, it would probably be aid (in the form of weapons and such) to the resistance movement, sent covertly, through another Muslim country - which means we wouldn't know about it, including McCain and co. I'm not suggesting or implying that we should get involved, but if we did, this would be a better way to go about it. After seeing the results of our invasion of Iraq, this would be a more prudent course of action than any direct military intervention.

Posted by: Constantine26 | March 2, 2011 11:46 AM | Report abuse

Let the Libyans solve their own problems. No need for the U.S. to stick their nose where it does not belong.

Posted by: builder701 | March 2, 2011 11:47 AM | Report abuse

Isn't Diehl happy with us fighting his wars in Iraq and Afghanistan? How much more tax money do we have to spend to satisfy his neocon urges for mayhem?

Posted by: maggots | March 2, 2011 11:51 AM | Report abuse

If the UN and McCain want a no-fly zone, let them use the UN air force, and let McCain be the pilot. There's not a single US national interest in Libya, but our intervention in anyway could only lead to multiple grief for us. We can't influence the revolt in any useful way, so stay out.

Posted by: jameswcarter | March 2, 2011 11:53 AM | Report abuse

McCain & the rest of the neo-cons should work at fixing the problems in Chicago, Atlanta, Miami, Le Paso, Washington D.C. and all of the other crime ridden cities. Stop dragging us into African and Asian problems. Lets take care of America.

Posted by: searenbur | March 2, 2011 11:54 AM | Report abuse

Whether or not we actually enforce a no-fly zone, it's imperative to get our assets into place. We need two carriers in the Med and an F-22 squadron based out of Sigonella, Sicily. Just having these assets in place should be instructive to Qadaffi. NOT having them in place means he will draw another conclusion entirely: that we lack resolve.

Posted by: danicholls | March 2, 2011 11:57 AM | Report abuse

It is time for these two old white men to go home and shut up. Clearly, the U.S. is not up for yet another war. Obama is showing intelligent restraint. McCain and Lieberman have been a big part of the problem of proping up murderous dictators in the middle east for decades. Go home old white men!

Posted by: mtdebcmt | March 2, 2011 12:09 PM | Report abuse

What is President Obama supposed to do?

He is having a a hard time to end the criminal involvements in Iraq and Afghanistan, inherited from the criminal Bush/Cheney regime.

Not that he does not want to end
those so-called wars, but is unable to do so due to the opposition of the otherr side of the aisle.

Same with closing GITMO.

Well, with a GOP government we would be having the draft and start bombing the heck out of yet another country for no obvious reason. That's what those pesky right wing morons want.

Posted by: mackiejw | March 2, 2011 12:19 PM | Report abuse

ceflynline ... well, aren't we paying to keep those carriers on patrol where they are? So isn't the only increased cost would be incurred is the extra pay for serving in a hazardous duty zone?

Posted by: Hazmat77 | March 2, 2011 12:30 PM | Report abuse

It just kind of shows you how people think. At one level, this is no different then say, Iraq but the same people who were against invading Iraq (including me) are for "doing something" (not me) about Libya.

We shouldn't be the policeman of the world, furthermore, nothing's harder than getting involved in a civil war, you'll end up getting shot at from both sides, alliances are mercurical, you won't know what duplicitious person is for or against you. But most of all, it's their lives, to be determined by them. Quadaffi's got more and bigger weapons? too bad.

OK, sanction all you want, but let's not get involved in another (civil) war.

Posted by: jhtlag1 | March 2, 2011 12:32 PM | Report abuse

McCain is idiot. Politicizing the Libyan situation.
He probably prompted the Saudi King to have the US invade Iran.(Wikileak)
Why does the US have to take the lead?
Let Libya's neighbors take the lead!
Let the ARAB nations take the lead!
We've got to stop being the world’s policemen.
We can’t afford it - in lives or in money.
The Chinese are so smart; they don’t say a word they don’t get involved. They’ll wait until the dust is settled and then swoop in to sign big energy contracts like they did in Iraq.
We are so numb.

Posted by: JJH1 | March 2, 2011 12:40 PM | Report abuse

kathok ... NO!

USA has enough military engagements on its hands right now and we need to leave Libya to the UN to take care of.

Posted by: Hazmat77 | March 2, 2011 12:42 PM | Report abuse

"You tell those Libyan pilots that there is a no-fly zone, and they are not going to fly."


Because they are behaving so rationally. And when they do fly what do we do? The President of the US can't issue empty threats.

This is why McCain couldn't be trusted with being president. Right now he'd have VP Palin sitting on his desk in a miniskirt filing her nails and agreeing with him.

Posted by: DatMel | March 2, 2011 12:43 PM | Report abuse

Thank you, Senator McCain, for reminding us all why it was so important for the future of our nation that you lost the election.

Posted by: abqcleve | March 2, 2011 1:12 PM | Report abuse

....Just having these [F-22s] in place should be instructive to Qadaffi. NOT having them in place means he will draw another conclusion entirely: that we lack resolve.

Posted by: danicholls | March 2, 2011 11:57 AM

You can't possibly have failed to notice that Qaddafi is sinking, fast? Yes, he and his supporters will kill and be killed before this is all done; but Qaddafi is no threat to anyone other than himself and his own people. The US does not belong in Libya.

Posted by: abqcleve | March 2, 2011 1:15 PM | Report abuse

Will the war profiteering never stop? We are already in two "wars" that we cannot afford and now this idiot McCain and limp wrist Lieberman want America to jump in another useless war that we REALLY cannot afford??

Are the Republicans intent on sinking our great nation into depression? I don't get it....

Posted by: massmedia77 | March 2, 2011 1:24 PM | Report abuse

Still brainwashed by the military, McCain?

"More war, more war."

You sound like a parrot. Americans are just now waking up to the fact that they are being asked to pay for the last ones with their pensions and their grandchildren. What do you need now, the fillings from their teeth?

Posted by: zorro2 | March 2, 2011 1:26 PM | Report abuse

Nobody intervened here in the US when we had our revolution. Americans fought off the British, and that's why a lasting government formed.


Through negotiations conducted by Benjamin Franklin, France engaged first in covert support of the American cause.

Secretly approached by Louis XVI and France's foreign minister the comte de Vergennes, Pierre Beaumarchais was given authorization to sell gunpowder and ammunition to the Americans for close to a million pounds under the veil of the Portuguese company Rodrigue Hortalez et Compagnie. The aid given by France, much of which passed through the neutral Dutch West Indies port of Saint Eustatius, contributed to George Washington's survival against the British onslaught in 1776 and 1777. French ports accommodated American ships, including privateers and Continental Navy warships, that acted against British merchant ships. France provided significant economic aid, either as donations or loans, and also offered technical assistance, granting some of its military strategists "vacations", so they could assist American troops.

Posted by: DatMel | March 2, 2011 1:28 PM | Report abuse

Why doesn't the US (read Obama) act? It is because the rookie, Barack the Arrogant I, has no clue WTF to do as usual. If it is not community organizing, he is useless - he probably was useless as a community organizer, too.

Actually, the Constitutional Harvard Law Professor that you call a "community organizer" is using a great deal of common sense.

We can no longer afford to police the world's problems, especially when it's not a direct threat to America. We aren't the world police and should not try to be. Let Libyans win their democracy and vote who they want into power. It is their country after all....nothing wrong with helping, but if we step into that mess, we'll end up becoming an occupying force in another country for no good reason at all.

It's time for America to focus on the problems ailing Americans.

Posted by: massmedia77 | March 2, 2011 1:34 PM | Report abuse

Everry time McCain talks americans celebrate that we did not put him in the WH. see McCain supporters or republicans, to have a no fly zone there needs the backing of the UN and china and Russia will veto it. so because laws need to be followed by law abiding nations, the no fly zone option is not going to happen. Therefore, attacking president Obama for following the laws that makes a nation like our different than goon nations shows the leadership of president Obama. McCain still has the idea that it has to be our way or no way. So McCain once again proved why we the people rejected his bid for the WH. As the general said, its not that simple to put a no fly zone in effect but McCain is an idiot and still angry at being rejected by the american people. I will take the word of the general over a politician any day. And Joe, really arm these people in Libya, really, come on man be real. And yes we could take out terh Libyan air-defence McCain but heres a thought: We are already involved in Iraq and Afghan, do we really need a 3rd war? Let the libyans figure it out themselves and McCain you will always be a arm chair president and never the president of this great nation.

Posted by: Realistic5 | March 2, 2011 2:03 PM | Report abuse

Jackson Diehl tells us that McCain and Lieberman are two of our illustrious leaders who encourage us to take action in Libya?

What, pray tell, are the credentials of these warriors? One never engaged and the other spent his time as a prisoner of war. Then there is McCain's famous presidential campaign mantra: "bomb bomb, bomb, bomb Iran and Lieberman's promotion of military action against Iran. You'd have to be Sarah Palin to imagine another U.S. major incursion in the Middle East.

Posted by: JAS51 | March 2, 2011 2:08 PM | Report abuse

@kathok :wrote:
For once I agree with McCain. It's disgraceful that the United States is standing by while the death toll of Libyans fighting for freedom goes up and up. All Obama offers are words, words and sanctions that won't stop the slaughter. The Brits showed real spine by flying in planes to evacuate their citizens. They didn't ask permission, they just did it because it was the right thing to do. This administration needs to get some back-bone and step up for the freedom-fighters with humanitarian aid and a no-fly zone.

Yes lets start another war and get involved in another conflict..Come on man..Be real...I for one say let the Libyans figure it out. This is their country, their fight, not ours. The only way I would asgree to get involved if there was chemicals or bio weapons being used. Power to the Libyan people for their fight for democracy but restraint in our part is needed. We cant get involved everywhere all the time.

Posted by: Realistic5 | March 2, 2011 2:09 PM | Report abuse

We overthrew a tyrant in Iraq, and the people hate us. We're helping the Afghanis get rid of the Taliban and they hate us too. Why does anyone think aiding the Libyans will turn out differently?
For once, let's MYOB.

Posted by: gregdn | March 2, 2011 3:23 PM | Report abuse

our lawmakers are, almost without exception, clueless hacks.

Posted by: Waffle1 | March 3, 2011 12:47 PM | Report abuse

what a disappointment Gates is. If you dont want to declare a no-fly zone on policy grounds, just say so. But to pretend it's because of massive force required is ridiculous. There's no reason for US aircraft to go feet dry - they can knock any Libyan aircraft down by shooting missile while still well out and see. And the likelihood of any remaining Libyan air force planes flying once a zone is declared and aircraft are seen on radar? zero. Libyans always stayed well away from US Navy aircraft in the past, even when there was no fly zone. They are well aware: you fly, you die.

Posted by: silencedogoodreturns | March 5, 2011 12:33 PM | Report abuse

what a disappointment Gates is. If you dont want to declare a no-fly zone on policy grounds, just say so. But to pretend it's because of massive force required is ridiculous. There's no reason for US aircraft to go feet dry - they can knock any Libyan aircraft down by shooting missiles while still well out to sea. And the likelihood of any remaining Libyan air force planes flying once a zone is declared and aircraft are seen on radar? zero. Libyans always stayed well away from US Navy aircraft in the past, even when there was no fly zone. They are well aware: you fly, you die.

Posted by: silencedogoodreturns | March 5, 2011 12:34 PM | Report abuse



by Flynt Leverett & Hillary Mann Leverett (source: Race for Iran )
Sunday, February 20, 2011

ISLAMOPHOBIA IS VERY SEVERE IN US, Muslims sue FBI for alleged First Amendment violation,
Muslim Student files lawsuit over FBI's GPS tracking

Posted by: jemal56 | March 7, 2011 12:14 AM | Report abuse

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