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Crazy times in Libya

March 25, 2011

A team of Hollywood writers on LSD couldn’t invent the amount of wackiness on display in North Africa right now, and even if they did, no network would buy the script because the storyline is so far-fetched. Virgin bodyguards, a voluptuous Ukrainian nurse, dictators hiding behind CNN reporters, the U.S. military allied with Al Qaeda… this new war has it all.

President Obama started bombing Libya on Saturday, March 19, while vacationing with his family in Brazil. That must be a first. Our president has strangely-ordered priorities: “No need to cut my trip short just because I’m starting a war. That’s what cell phones are for!”

As people keep pointing out, he had no authority to bomb Libya. Yes, the president is Commander-in-Chief, but that doesn’t make the U.S. armed forces his personal bullyboys. He cannot declare war or engage in armed conflict without the prior approval of Congress. At least that’s what the Constitution says. The president can “repel sudden attacks” without congressional permission, but that’s all. He can’t send bombers over Libya.

President Obama doesn’t seem to comprehend the whole “limited powers” thing… or does he? Candidate Obama was asked in December of 2007, “In what circumstances, if any, would the president have constitutional authority to bomb Iran without seeking a use-of-force authorization from Congress?” His answer:
“The president does not have power under the Constitution to unilaterally authorize a military attack in a situation that does not involve stopping an actual or imminent threat to the nation.”
Good luck trying to reconcile the 2007 statement with his activities this week.

When Congress came back to work Monday morning and screamed bloody murder, the White House hastily cobbled together a letter “informing” them of what was happening, and hustled it over to Capitol Hill. Two days late, but it’s the thought that counts:
“Dear Congress,

“Hope all is well with you and yours. I’m having fun with Michelle and the kids down here in Brazil. Oh, by the way, I’ve been bombing the shit out of Libya for two days now. Thought you should know. Consider yourself officially notified.

“Sincerely, Barry”
Congressman Dennis Kucinich, a fellow Democrat, sent back a reply:
“Dear Mr. President,

“We should impeach your ass. You don’t declare war, WE DO! For God’s sake, man, didn’t you used to teach constitutional law?

“Love, Denny”
The definition of irony is seeing the President of the United States justifying military force against Libya because Muammar Gaddafi is a dictator, while acting like a dictator himself.

Gaddafi, by the way, is the only Muslim in the history of Islam who collected his 72 virgins while still alive. He’s accompanied 24 hours a day by lipstick-and-high-heel-wearing Kalashnikov-wielding virgin bodyguards. Virginity is a job requirement for these women, but the 24-hours-a-day thing has cynical people wondering, “Does he really let them stay virgins?” Who knows? Given that Gaddafi wears enough makeup to resemble an Arab Michael Jackson, maybe he can be around virgins 24 hours a day without boinking them. He also had a voluptuous full-time Ukrainian nurse named Galyna Kolotnytska, but she left for home a few weeks ago when she saw the writing on the wall. Better safe than standing next to Gaddafi when U.S. ships start targeting cruise missiles.

Question is, who will be in charge of checking bodyguard virginity now that Galyna is gone? (Please don’t send job applications here. Send them directly to Colonel Muammar Muhammad al-Gaddafi in Libya.)

The rebels don’t inspire confidence either. Every time you see them they’re riding around in old Toyota pickup trucks with machine guns mounted in the bed, or standing around shouting and firing their guns into the air. They claim that Gaddafi has hundreds of snipers roaming around picking off rebels and innocent villagers… but maybe people are just getting hit by those falling bullets. Just a thought.

Here’s another definition of irony: mortal enemies for over twenty years, locked in a war that has toppled two nations and two very large buildings in New York, the United States and Al Qaeda are suddenly on the same side, backing the rebels. Gives one pause, doesn’t it? There’s a proverb that says, “the enemy of my enemy is my friend.” When Gaddafi finally leaves Libya and moves into a mountaintop Swiss chalet with his female bodyguards, and after Al Qaeda moves in and takes charge of Libya, will somebody in the White House slap himself in the head and say, “Oh yeah! That old proverb! Guess we should’ve thought of that…”

The bombing of Libya involves more farce than a Monty Python movie. When a U.S. Air Force F-15E was shot down accidentally by the rebels – possibly just expressing their high spirits by shooting into the air – nearby villagers rushed out to rescue and welcome the American pilots who ejected safely. An Air Force rescue helicopter, thinking the villagers were hostile Arabs, strafed the welcome committee with machine guns, wounding six of them. That’s one expensive fighter jet and six rebels out of commission – if Gaddafi can keep his head attached for a few more weeks, the rebels and their rescuers might eliminate each other. On the same day, British fighter jets had seven missiles lined up on Gaddafi’s compound but couldn’t fire them because CNN and Reuters had accepted an invitation to visit the compound. Many people think of that as a win-win situation, but military men don’t like to target journalists, at least not in public where someone might notice.

The coalition doing the bombing originally comprised the United States, France, Britain, Germany, Italy, Canada, Spain, Denmark, and Belgium. That was on Day 1. By Day 5 Germany had quit and gone home, and the Italians were accusing the French of underhanded dealings regarding Libyan oil. (Germans at odds with the rest of Europe, Italians and French pointing fingers at each other – does any of this sound familiar?) The coalition asked Belgium to cover the gap left by Germany’s departure, but the Belgians said, “Our whole air force is already there. Both planes.” The British haven’t exactly maintained their military since Maggie Thatcher left office in 1990, but the Brits love a good fight so they spent the weekend firing Tomahawk cruise missiles into Libya, feasting on spotted dick, and generally enjoying themselves. They fired 12 of them altogether. Then somebody started counting and realized that 12 Tomahawks was 20% of the whole British Tomahawk inventory, so they reluctantly had to stop shooting. Now the submarine that was doing the firing is restricted to floating around aimlessly and sending videos of menacing facial expressions to Gaddafi’s Blackberry.

From the beginning, nobody was sure what the coalition’s goals were. Two weeks ago Obama was saying that Gaddafi had to go, but once the shooting started he said “regime change is not the goal.” Somebody forgot to tell the British Chief of Defence, Sir David Richards, who announced that Gaddafi was a legitimate target for assassination, whereupon Obama said, “No he’s not!” whereupon the Brits agreed that assassination is awfully rude, whereupon they started arguing amongst themselves with some Brits saying that assassination is on the table and some saying it isn’t.

To this day, nobody knows for sure what the coalition is hoping to accomplish in Libya.

Nobody knows who is in charge of the coalition, either. Obama, with two wars and a strenuous vacation schedule already on his plate, is adamant about not wanting the job, saying NATO should run the show. Germany and Turkey say no, NATO won’t do it, and since NATO can’t do anything without a unanimous vote, that’s pretty much the end of that idea. France wants a committee to be in charge, comprising NATO countries and Arab League countries and whoever else shows an interest, which explains a lot about the French inability to win a war. As of yesterday, our brilliant Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, had worked out a Solomonic compromise where NATO supervises the no-fly zone over Libya while the U.S. is in charge of all the shooting, which means enforcing the no-fly zone over Libya. If anything could make the French committee idea sound good…

If the war in Libya sounds like a joke, then the punchline came Wednesday when President Obama, stung by criticism about starting a war while on vacation, came home early and found himself locked out of the White House… apparently nobody expected him to come to work.

From Reno, Nevada, USA

March 29, 2011 - “Laughter is the best medicine”. I’ve been through this blog which has very informative content. I’ll have my friends check up here often. I’m fairly positive they’ll learn plenty of good stuff here. - Aileen, Hawaii

March 26, 2011 - I say impeach the bastard. He either doesn't have a clue about how the American system is supposed to work or doesn't care. He's all about grabbing power and pushing socialism. Never has America been in so much danger, and the danger is from within. The enemy is in the White House. - Toni V., W. Virginia

March 25, 2011 - W did the same thing in Afghanistan and Iraq, but I didn't see you complaining then. - Reese, California
J.P. replies: Since this website didn't exist back then, you wouldn't have been able to see me complain. And since George W. Bush spent months convincing Congress to give him authorization to use force, which they ultimately did, AS THE CONSTITUTION REQUIRES, I wouldn't have any need to complain.

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