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War Machine Watch: John Kerry Pushes Obama to Bomb Libya

President Barack Obama
Photo by: Pete Souza
President Barack Obama

War fever is growing ever hotter with each passing day.

Criticism of president Obama's resistance to committing the United States to a war to erect a No Fly Zone over Libya is heard from both sides of the aisle.

"The most vocal camp, led by Senators John McCain, the 2008 Republican nominee for president, and Joseph I. Lieberman, the Connecticut independent and another hawk on Libyan intervention, say the central justification for establishing a no-fly zone over Libya is that the rebel leaders themselves are seeking military assistance to end decades of dictatorship," according to David Sanger and Thom Shanker of the New York Times.

Nowhere does the fever run hotter than with John Kerry, the Democratic Senator from Massachusetts.

"Some of these critics seem motivated by political advantage. Others, including the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, John Kerry, who is among Mr. Obama’s closest allies, warn of repeating mistakes made in Iraqi Kurdistan, Rwanda, and Bosnia and Herzegovina by failing to step in and halt a slaughter," Shanker and Sanger report. Kerry has advocated "cratering" Libya's airfields.

It bears remembering that those who critique George H .W. Bush's decision not to intervene further in Iraq following the first Gulf War are proposing that the US would have been better off bearing the burden of our War Without End there a full ten years earlier. So we'd now be preparing to celebrate the twenty-year anniversary of our occupation of that country. Presumably the spoils of war—whatever those may be—would be twice as great as they have been from the war we actually wound up in.

Nonetheless, Senators Kerry, McCain and Lieberman apparently believe that they can successfully portray the decision not to pursue a long war in Iraq as a mistake, in hopes that this argument will threaten the political viability of Obama's "all options on the table" stance.

The most reassuring note from Sanger and Shanker is that our military chiefs continue to resist the hawks.

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