In moments, the UN security council will vote on a resolution for military intervention in Libya. We already wrote about our serious concerns about the implications of an NFZ. Not the least of which is the concern that this could draw Americans into a third war in the Middle East. But the UN resolution goes much farther than just a no-fly zone, initiating an open-ended military action by authorizing a long term bombing campaign, and “all necessary measures to protect civilians and civilian objects.” This is a big deal, folks, and it’s happening very fast. Please take the poll below to let us know what you think, and add your thoughts in the comments.
“Clearly, the United States should be engaged with allies on how to oppose the Qaddafi regime and support the aspirations of the Libyan people,” said Sen. Richard Lugar (R-IN) at the start of the committee’s Thursday morning hearing on the Middle East. “But given the costs of a no-fly zone, the risks that our involvement would escalate, the uncertain reception in the Arab street of any American intervention in an Arab country, the potential for civilian deaths, the unpredictability of the endgame in a civil war, the strains on our military, and other factors, I am doubtful that U.S. interests would be served by imposing a no-fly zone over Libya.”
Lugar pointed to the fact that 145,000 American troops are currently deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan, and that the annual U.S. budget deficit is already around $1.5 trillion.
“In this broad context, if the Obama administration decides to impose a no-fly zone or take other significant military action in Libya, I believe it should first seek a Congressional debate on a declaration of war under Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution,” Lugar said.
As Secretary Gates has already said, even a no-fly zone “begins with an attack on Libya”, would involve “massive bombing” to take out any Libyan efforts to shoot down the planes, and require hundreds of aircraft. Civilian casualties could be massive, and it could certainly lead to the US being drawn deeper into Libya’s civil war.
Given the high stakes and grave risks for Americans, we believe that Congress can’t just sit back and watch this happen. They need to get in the game and start hashing out what’s best for Libyans, and for the American people. That’s why we’re asking you to click here to take action right away.
I also know that many Americans want to help Libyans fighting for their freedoms, and there has been broad support for a no-fly zone. Peace Action West has been pushing for peaceful alternatives, such as using our ships and planes to power a massive humanitarian aid mission, a move that could make a real difference to Libyans fighting for their rights. As we outlined here, there is ample reason to believe this would be more effective than military measures.
What do you think? Please let us know by taking this poll, and adding your thoughts in the comments.