by Ron Paul
The current situation in Libya may be a short term victory for Empire, but it is a loss for our American Republic. And, I fear it may be devastating to the Libyan people. There is no doubt that Moammar Gadhafi is a bad guy, and that he has brought harm and misery to his country. However, our involvement in another country’s civil war is costly and unconstitutional.
We have spent over $1 billion on a war that this administration has fought not with the consent of Congress but under a NATO flag and authorization from the United Nations.
It is a serious thing for a President to engage us in a war. He is bound by our Constitution to seek authority from the People, through our Congress, prior to engaging in any military action unless that action is to address an imminent threat to our safety and security. The situation in Libya is a civil war contained within that country’s sovereign borders, and it presented no imminent threat to the United States.
And so, our government continues to spend trillions of dollars in overseas foreign wars while we face unsustainable debt, a looming dollar crisis, and our Constitution seems to lose any meaning. These actions will sink our country if we do not reverse course.
Meanwhile, we must beware of any ‘Mission Accomplished’ euphoria. The conflict in Libya is far from over, and there could very well be war in Libya for a long time to come.
While I hope and pray that the hostility draws to a close and the people there find peace, I fear this is only wishful thinking. We face a situation where a rebel element we have been assisting may very well be radical jihadists, bent on our destruction, and placed in positions of power in a new government.
Worse still, Gadhafi’s successor is likely to be just as bad, or worse, than Gadhafi himself. Alternately, Libya may descend into anarchy like Somalia after the overthrow of dictator Siad Barre. Much like when we removed Saddam Hussein, another thug in Iraq, the likelihood of either a new brutal dictatorship or tribal violence and a protracted insurgency are much more likely than the peaceful transition to democracy we are all hoping for.
With all these problems and the predictable chaos that will likely ensue, we must ask why this administration was so eager to embark on this Libyan operation in the name of ‘humanitarianism.’ Governments in Bahrain and Yemen have this year used military force to put down democratic protestors. The Saudi regime, which practices Sharia Law, has also been repressive, yet we have not intervened there. These countries continue to sell us oil, while Libya had begun to turn their exports toward Russia, China, India, and Brazil. Could this war largely be about protecting our oil interests at the expense of our Constitution?
This episode is all too familiar. We were already involved in two wars that have dragged on years longer than the people who led us into them initially predicted. We can no longer afford to police the world, in terms of both dollars and American lives. We will destroy ourselves if we do not stop, build a strong national defense at home, and focus on trade and commerce with the world instead of Empire.
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