“No Man’s life liberty or property is safe while the legislature is in session”.

- attributed to NY State Judge Gideon Tucker

Monday, June 27, 2011

Kim Strassel On GOP War Powers & Libya

I typically find Kim Strassel's editorials in the Wall Street Journal to be on the mark. But her recent piece about House Republicans and Libya, entitled The GOP's War Powers Opportunism, was quite wide of that mark.

Echoed by today's third Journal staff editorial, Strassel basically blames House GOP members for failing to support Wonderboy's ill-conceived and poorly-explained Libyan adventures, labeling this opportunistic.

I disagree.

What Strassel and others at the Journal fail to appreciate or acknowledge is that we don't really know who we're backing against Gadhafi. Back in March, I had lunch with an old friend who is culturally and hereditarily, but not religiously, Jewish. Even he backed Gadhafi against more extreme Arab fundamentalist rebels, suggesting we ask the Libyian dictator what he needed to kill the Muslim extremist seeking to overthrow him.

In occasional moments of lucidity, Strassel and the Journal staff admit that Wonderboy offered no compelling reason to risk American lives and money in Libya, then compounded that by saying NATO is running the show and, finally, we aren't really in combat.

This isn't about War Powers procedure anymore, but a serious lack of understanding of who we are backing if we oppose Gadhafi. It's no longer enough to say we want him out. What if the result is a rabidly-fundamentalist so-called democracy that wants Israel wiped off the map?

Until House members are provided more certain information assuring them that backing the Libyan rebels isn't going to create a Libyan Muslim fundamentalist, anti-American state, there's no harm or shame in simply stepping back and being neutral.

It's a fact that Wonderboy's administration chose to stick it's thumb in the GOP-held House's eye by failing to play along by the War Powers Act rules while insisting it need not, because the Act is unconstitutional. Instead, Wonderboy just flipped Congress the bird and went ahead without even attempting to build a consensus behind its policies and actions in Libya.

I don't think the House GOP is being cowardly nor opportunistic on Libya. Rather, they are behaving prudently in the face of a failure of leadership from the Oval Office, even as troops and money are squandered overseas without explanation.

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