It's a strange thing, war! We have wondered for weeks why the Americans were invading Libya under the branding of NATO. The first rationale we were given was the protection of the civilian population and that it had UN backing. But we find this to be selective and we remain suspicious. So many other regimes are killing demonstrators or other sections of the population and NATO and the US have looked away.Not just recently, but for years. So we find the moral policing argument hard to swallow. We wondered alot about oil or perhaps even the supply of water when we were trying hard to find reasons for the US and Nato actions.
But here's what now happens. Planes take off and they go into Libya and then they drop bombs and they kill people, and even though they target military bases we are told it seems that they miss sometimes or they are mistaken. So sometimes civilians and sometimes even children still in nappies get killed. But according to a new report from the US point of view that's not war. Yes, you read that correctly. Apparently that's not war!
Well , it's a really strange sort of goodwill mission! By anyone's definition that looks like war to us. And we can guarantee if you are on the ground in Tripoli it will feel like war .
However apparently, according to the Obama administration it's not war.
Why? Because, according to “United States Activities in Libya,” a thirty-two-page report that the administration released last week, “U.S. operations do not involve sustained fighting or active exchanges of fire with hostile forces, nor do they involve the presence of U.S. ground troops, U.S. casualties or a serious threat thereof, or any significant chance of escalation into a conflict characterized by those factors.”
Silly us! there's a new definition of war. It's okay apparently for the US to bomb the hell out of anyone so long as US soldiers are not on the ground. So Afghanistan is a war right? Because the US invaded with ground troops as well. Iraq was a war too under this definition because in this invasion the US used ground forces as well . So they are wars. Not invasions, we notice... but wars. And we enjoyed the US Ambassador in Afghanistan lecturing the locals on why they should be far more grateful to the Americans for invading their country .
But presumably this is all because now a President can invade a country but not have to seek Congressional approval within the 3 month period because after all it's not really a war. Wow ! That's a heap of power to bestow on the President . And this one strikes us as one of the better ones.
Libya? We still can't make any sense of it. We know it exports oil and it occupies a strong strategic location in the Middle East/North African region. We know it has water , one of the highest per capita incomes in the region and we know that the US and many others intensely dislike Gaddafi ... But still not a reason for war .But pardon me . Of course its not been defined as not a war. So Im sure that makes it okay now.
A scary precedent indeed. No congressional approval needed ...and those drones can just go in anywhere cos it doesn't require US troops in jeopardy on the ground .
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