Wednesday, March 30, 2011

To the Shores of Tripoli

Who said history doesn't repeat itself?

The Marines hoisted the American flag over Tripoli in the First Barbary War in 1805. We were there to stop North African Muslim rulers from pirating ships in the Mediterranean Sea. And the trouble started when they hijacked an American vessel. So, we had a reason to invade and stop the crap.

Today, we are invading Libya again. (Or flying over and bombing the living doodoo out of the Libyan military, you pick your choice of words).

But why? Which American person or property has been attacked?

Well, none.

So why are we risking American military lives in Libya? (Did you hear that a U.S. plane went down last week, and we had to send Marines in to save the pilots? We have had boots on the ground.)

President Obama, our Commander in Chief, has made it all so clear. " . . . our military mission is narrowly focused on saving lives, we continue to pursue the broader goal of a Libya that belongs not to a dictator, but to its people."

Oh.

Just like we've done in Sudan. And the Ivory Coast. And Bahrain. And Saudi Arabia. And Iran. And Syria. And, oh darn.

I forgot. Apparently in those spots we don't have a military mission narrowly focused on saving lives, and continuing to pursue the broader goal of a (pick one: Zimbabwe, North Korea, Myanmar, China, Eritrea, Turkmenistan, etc.) that belongs not to a dictator, but to its people.

In the oh so clear words of P.J. O'Rourke when explaining how a farm bill gets hatched in Congress, "What the fuck? What the fucking fuck?"

Please, Mr. President.

Either tell the truth. Or don't say anything at all.

This policy makes no sense. (Unless, oh my gosh, Libya has oil, doesn't it? Like, say, Iraq? Wasn't that the last idiotic invasion without provocation that the United States has made? That war you campaigned against and called stupid, Big O? Because there was no clear end game? But, that would sound crass to say we were risking American lives for oil. Except that we all know we have been doing it since WWII.)

Mr. President, there is another place on this earth where civilians are being massacred. Including Americans. Civilians live in fear daily. And this place has lots and lots of oil. It is ruled by an unelected dictator. The dictator's name is Drug Cartels. The country is Mexico.

How long before we invade the Halls of Montezuma?

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