Home
In this issue
April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review March 31, 2011 / 25 Adar II, 5771

No plan, no clue

By Jack Kelly




http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | In his belated address to the nation Monday, President Barack Obama explained why, after nearly a month of dithering, he chose to intervene militarily in Libya's civil war.

"We knew that if we waited even one more day -- Benghazi, a city nearly the size of Charlotte, could have suffered a massacre that could have reverberated across the region and stained the conscience of the world," the president said.

The speech was praised by liberal journalists, who tried hard not to notice Mr. Obama sounded a lot like George W. Bush.

"For generations, the United States of America has played a unique role as an anchor of global security and as an advocate for human freedom," the president said. "When our interests and values are at stake, we have a responsibility to act."

The speech drew praise from neoconservatives, who did notice Mr. Obama sounded a lot like George W. Bush.

"The president was unapologetic, freedom-agenda-embracing, and didn't shrink from defending the use of force or from appealing to American values and interests," said Bill Kristol, editor of the Weekly Standard.

To distinguish his intervention in Libya from the one in Iraq he criticized, Mr. Obama said: "Regime change there took eight years, thousands of American and Iraqi lives, and nearly a trillion dollars. That is not something we can afford to repeat in Libya."

To keep Libya from becoming like Iraq, he would not put in ground troops, and will transfer command to allies, the president said. He wants regime change, but only by non-military means.

It was this portion of Mr. Obama's speech that buoyed spirits among supporters of Libyan dictator Muammar Ghadafy, said NBC correspondent Jim Maceda.

"They're feeling like they dodged a bullet," said Mr. Maceda, reporting from Libya. "If NATO's taking over, they like that. They've got much better relations with NATO than with the United States. And they love the idea that the U.S. position as stated by Obama is that they're not looking for regime change."

"This is the first time in American history a president has simultaneously set a war aim and disavowed means to obtain it," said Josh Trevino, a former soldier who was a speechwriter for President Bush.

"Dynamite in the hands of a child is not more dangerous than a strong policy weakly carried out," said Winston Churchill.

It's easier to get into wars than out of them. Regime change in Iraq took only about three weeks. It was the unforseen aftermath that took eight years, thousands of lives, and nearly a trillion dollars.

Air power can keep Mr. Ghadafy from destroying the rebels. But air power alone can't oust him. I noted in an earlier column the U.S. Army teaches nine Principles of War, and that Mr. Obama already has violated them all. The restraints he's imposed on military action makes a bloody stalemate the most likely outcome.

If Mr. Ghadafy departs for Venezuela or the hereafter, we have no idea what would happen next. There are thousands of nasty, well armed people who -- out of patronage, tribal loyalties, or both -- support the dictator. Our troubles in Iraq began, you'll recall, when supporters of the ousted regime started a guerrilla war. The NATO commander, U.S. Admiral James Stavridis, said ground troops may be needed if Mr. Ghadafy is ousted.

Al Qaida took over the insurgency in Iraq. After a rebel commander, Abdel Hakim al Hasidi, told journalists he fought with the Taliban in Afghanistan, Admiral Stavridis said he's detected "flickers" of al Qaida among the Libyan rebels. The Washington Times reported Wednesday up to 1,000 freelance jihadis have joined the rebels. That's quite a flicker.

It's customary to vet one's allies before going to war on their behalf. But it isn't just the rebels' attitude toward the West that's a mystery to us. What are their military capabilities?

Dispatches from journalists with them make the rebels sound more like frat boys on Spring Break than a military force. This can't be fixed just by handing them guns, as NATO's political leaders are now noisily debating. It takes months of training, and boots on the ground.

President Obama hopes Mr. Ghadafy can be ousted by diplomatic pressure alone; that his supporters will desert him; that the rebels are militarily competent democrats.

"Don't tell me what you hope will happen, don't tell me what you wish you could do," former Army Chief of Staff Carl Vuono used to tell his aides. "Give me a plan that makes it happen."

Mr. Obama has no plan for Libya. Nor does he appear to have a clue.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

Comment by clicking here.

JWR contributor Jack Kelly, a former Marine and Green Beret, was a deputy assistant secretary of the Air Force in the Reagan administration.

Jack Kelly Archives


© 2009, Jack Kelly

Columnists

Toons

Lifestyles