Monday, March 28, 2011

Gadhafi Eats Babies, Film at Eleven

by Jeff Huber

Mar 29, 2011

Nothing clots the relentless drip from a liberal’s bleeding heart more decisively than the tattered banner of humanitarianism, especially when it’s brandished by master propagandists to sanctify an otherwise unforgivable war.  Our present caper in Libya is an exceptional illustration.  

Hanoi Jane enforces humanitarian
no-fly zone over North Vietnam.
Even our mainstream media, once our fourth estate but now the abject echo chamberlain of the American warmongery, openly admit that the Libya conflict is one of the most fumble-thumbed lunacies ever to escape from the five-sided funny farm known as the Pentagon.  We don’t know why we’re there, we can’t say how long we expect to be there and we can’t say exactly who’s in charge.  Our Libya excursion is a bigger cluster campaign than Iraq and the Bananastans combined; Carl von Clausewitz is once again clawing at his coffin lid over our cock-and-bull combat capers.   

Young Mr. Obama said our involvement would be a matter of days, not weeks, but it’s already been weeks and our involvement won’t end in a matter of months or even years.  In his little “Please don’t hate me” speech in front of a flock of war scholars at National Defense University Monday night, he announced that NATO has taken charge of the operation.  That’s like saying Halliburton has turned responsibility for its shenanigans over to KBR.  NATO is a wholly owned subsidiary of the American Pentarchy.  Its operational commander has always been and always will be an American four-star officer and NATO will never be able to mount so much as a Campfire Girls’ field trip without massive U.S. support and direction.       

Obama also said that we’ll now kick back and play a “support role,” merely supplying “intelligence, logistical support, search and rescue assistance, and capabilities to jam regime communications.”  Kid, that’s the whole guts of the operation.  What NATO nations actually supply couldn’t keep the show going past the overture.  And how long do you suppose it will take before our financially strapped little NATO buddies decide they have to go home and help their sick grandma wash their hair or something?  The only reason NATO nations are on board with the Libya gig so far is to scam another year’s worth of justification for their phony-baloney defense budgets.  

The Libya scrape is also as illegal an armed force fiasco as we’ve ever conducted.  Talk about treating the Constitution like a roll of Charmin. Tricky Dick Nixon and Barbara Bush’s eldest little booger eater kissed Congress’s kiester compared to the way Obama is cramming junk into its trunk.   Obama didn’t even given the legislature a reach around on the subject of whether or not the country to war this time.  In his little speech Obama said he “consulted” with “the bipartisan leadership of Congress.”  Hey, Dill Weed…  “Consulting” with your favorite sots from the legislature at happy hour isn’t what the founding fathers had in mind when they gave Congress alone the power to declare war.  It’s not even the Authorization for Use of Military Force discussed in the War Powers Resolution of 1973.  

In absence of any constitutional authority for his new war, Obama invoked the UN Security Council resolution that blessed establishment of a no-fly zone over Libya.  Since he’s a Constitutional scholar, I’d guess Obama knows damn good and well that the Founders didn’t say anything about letting other countries declare war for us either.  Maybe he just saw it in the speech and decided that his speechwriters must know what they’re talking about and he should just go with it.  You think?

By the standards the liberal-istas held the last administration to, our sand castle safari in Libya should have them singing “We shall overcome” in the National Mall morning, noon and night, but no.  The hand wringers are champing at the bit to kill! kill! kill! in a humanitarian cause.  

Those poor Libyan kids.  We have to overthrow Gadhafi as soon as possible so we can send Sally Struthers over there and feed them, and so Secretary Cruella Clinton can make sure all the little Libyan girls get to go to school like those little girls we liberated in Afghanistan get to do now.  And that naval blockade we set up, that’s to keep Gadhafi’s fishermen from killing all those poor dolphins and whales in the Gulf of Sidra, isn’t it?  And thank goodness we don’t have to worry about all those Libyan spotted owls and giant redwood trees because we’ve sent in our elite Army Rangers to take care of them.  Isn’t that nice?
Roll another Juan...
Just like the other Juan..
I feared that the preceding spoof on liberal perceptions of war might be over the top until I discovered that even progressive icon Juan Cole has gone daft in the bat hangar.  In what has to have been a hallucinogen inspired piece titled “An Open Letter to the Left on Libya” Professor Cole argues with a straight face that the left should support U.S. participation in the UN sanctioned war because the “Neoconservatives hate the United Nations and wanted to destroy it.”  He adds, just as seriously, that the humanitarian aspect of the war should garner liberal support because “Allowing the Neoconservatives to brand humanitarian intervention as always their sort of project…gives them credit that they do not deserve, for things in which they do not actually believe.”  So liberals need to drive America off another cliff before the Neocons do it first and get all the kudos, eh Juan?

Cole also makes the chemically conceived assertion that a United Nations Security Council resolution is “the gold standard for military intervention.”  Christ hanging from a dance pole, is that the way things work now?  The mightiest nation in the history of humanity commits its troops to combat because a flock of third-world thyroid cases order it to?

Obama made reference in his little speech to the “horrific scale of violence” in Libya, implying that Gadhafi has taken measures to suppress his insurrection (something he’s as entitled to do as we are) that are more draconic than those taken by heads of state in Egypt and Syria and all those other places where where we didn’t intervene militarily.  In his little letter, Juan Cole claimed that “The other Arab Spring demonstrations are not comparable to Libya” for a number of reasons Cole enumerates but clearly doesn't understand.  There is no reason to accept any assertion that Gadhafi’s actions to retain power are any more brutal or less appropriate than the ones taken to counter the other rebellions on the region.  Any reports to that effect had to have come from intelligence or news sources, and as we know from significant and bitter recent experience, both of those entities are even less trustworthy than our politicians and intellectuals.   

Everybody needs to get it through his or her or its head that innocent civilians get killed in wars, and they get killed by both sides.  We “good guys” killed more civilians during the Second World War--and did so on purpose--than the “bad guys” did, and if you don’t believe me I’ve got three words for you: “Nagasaki,” “Hiroshima” and “Dresden.”  And I guarantee you that we’ve killed more innocent people in Iraq and Afghanistan than Gadhafi could ever hope to exterminate. 

Please keep that in mind the next time the news hounds of war start howling about how we have to blow up the planet in the name of humanity again.  Lives, like villages, are not saved by their destruction. 

Commander Jeff Huber, U.S. Navy (Retired) is author of the critically lauded novel Bathtub Admirals, a lampoon on America’s rise to global dominance.

Monday, March 21, 2011

A Wafer-Thin No-Fly Zone

by Jeff Huber

No doubt oblivious to the irony of the farcical realism he’s helping create, Christian Science Monitor staff puke Brad Knickerbocker wonders aloud in a March 19 thunk piece if the Libya ado signals the emergence of an “Obama Doctrine” of war. 

Obama (right) feeds the
American war machine.
Jesus in a strip joint, Brad: the Obama war doctrine emerged when he kept “Uncle Bob” Gates and Mike “Moon” Mullen and “King” David Petraeus and Ray “Desert Ox” Odierno on active duty instead of having them transferred to Civilian Command like he should have the nanosecond the words “…preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States" crossed his lips.  Since his inaugural, young Mr. Obama has proven time and again that his doctrine involves giving the American Pentarchy* as much war as he thinks the country can possibly tolerate.  The Libya boondoggle is merely the latest manifestation. 

Young Mr. Bush at least had the grace to build a case, albeit one as phony as a blue dollar bill, that his military binges were somehow connected to national security.   He also had sufficient sense of the separation of powers to exploit the War Powers Act of 1973 and manipulate Congress into writing him the blank check—the Authorization for Use of Military Force (aka “AUMF”) of Sept. 18, 2001—that gave him legislative leave to mitigate mayhem through weaponized wizardry at any place or time against anyone who he unilaterally deemed in need of shock and awe therapy. 

Obama’s Libyan bender doesn't feature either of these political niceties. 

Muammar Gadhafi posed no threat to the United States.  He’s pretty much kept his trap clapped shut since 1986 when The Great Communicator (aka Mr. Nancy Reagan) bombed his house and killed his daughter during Operation El Dorado Canyon.  The apple of Barbara Bush’s eye normalized relations with Gadhafi’s government in 2008.  Ghadafi has destroyed his weapons of mass destruction program and he has not only denounced al Qaeda, he has pledged his commitment to combat the terrorist group.  If we actually believe the cost of oil is bottle-rocketing because of the situation in Libya (as opposed to the situations in Egypt and Saudi and the rest of the Middle East), then it’s in our best interest to step in to restore Libya’s legitimate government, which would be Gadhafi.  It’s highly likely that the rebel crowd is, as Gadhafi claims, another al Qaeda franchises.  Whoever the they are, if they end up in charge of Libya the world will be a more dangerous place than it was before. 

The Pentarchy’s media suck ups—like the utterly despicable war wags at The Atlantic—are helping Team Obama sell its farcical reality by hyping our strikes on Libya as “humanitarian intervention.”  I’m wondering if there’s a neocon pundit in the world, including Bill “I’m Going to Hell” Kristol, who would claim that any of our military interventions of the New American Century did anything other than create humanitarian crises or make existing ones worse.  By anybody’s count, we’ve caused more injury, displacement and death of innocents than any ten supposed bad guys we’re blowing the globe to smithereens to keep it safe from.   

And we don’t have a plausible justification for the likely hundreds of thousand of innocents whose lives we’ve destroyed.  The best excuse anyone in the warmongery manages to come up with has something to with denying sanctuary to what might add up to a few hundred al Qaeda dudes who may or may not have been holed up the nosebleed seats in the mountains along the border between the Bananastans where, for some inexplicable reason, the best-trained, best-equipped military in the history of humanity can’t get at them. 

Gadhafi has all the excuse he needs for conducting military actions—he’s suppressing and insurrection, and while he’s at it he’s also repelling an invasion, one that we’re leading.  Don’t fall for the claptrap that halfwit John Kerry tried to feed us about a no-fly zone not being a military intervention (It’s just a wafer-thin no-fly zone.  It’s only a tiny little thin one. Oh, just…just one.  VoilaBon apetit!). 

Bon apetit indeed.  It’s feeding season for War Inc., and mongrels on both sides of the chasm—from state secretary and AIPAC hag Cruella Clinton to John McCain’s poofter-hawk paramour Lindsey Graham—are downright giddy about their shiny new war of opportunity.  Kerry’s minty no-fly zone has turned into a full bore air campaign against Gadhafi’s forces and their infrastructure, and don’t think the involvement is going to stop with air power. 

Obama is still playing the tape about “days rather than weeks,” but we’re not likely to get out of Libya any sooner than we’ll leave Iraq or the Bananastans.  Even Mullen, our military’s most senior bull feather merchant, doesn’t give false hopes for a swift exit.  “I wouldn't speculate in terms of length at this particular point in time,” he told ABC’s Christiane Amanpour in his own sweet convoluted way during his rounds of the big brainwash broadcast last Sunday.  Translated into wise-acre-ese, Mullen is telling us that the last plane out of Tripoli will take off when brown cows give chocolate milk.

Sen. Lindsey Graham on
FOX News Sunday
And who gave Obama permission to get us follicle deep in yet another quagmire?  Not the Constitution.  Not Congress.  Hell, congressional democrats are wringing their hands over whether or not to ask Obama to ask them for permission to start the war in Libya he already started without their permission.  And congressional Republicans like Mayberry Boy Graham doesn’t think Obama is doing enough.  Graham said on FOX News Sunday that Obama acts as if “leading the free world is an inconvenience.”

Don’t worry, Senator Opie.  Obama is leading the free world right where you want him to lead it, and the cliff is just around the corner we’re about to turn.

Commander Jeff Huber, U.S. Navy (Retired) is author of the critically lauded novel Bathtub Admirals, a lampoon on America’s rise to global dominance.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Wolfowitz in Bleep's Clothing

by Jeff Huber

Paul “Iraq Debacle” Wolfowitz has joined the phalanx of Pentarchs who are calling for Young Mr. Obama to intervene in Libya.  In a March 11 Wall Street Journal regurgitation of the latest neocon talking points, Paulie Walnuts admonishes that, “One has to be morally blind not to be moved by the spectacle of brave Libyans standing up to Moammar Gadhafi's tanks and bombs and mercenaries.”
Paulie Wolfowitz wants
we should whack Gadhafi.

One has to be cognitively blind not to make a quick emend of that sentence to reflect on “the spectacle of brave Iraqis/Afghans/Pakistanis standing up to America’s tanks and bombs and mercenaries.”  

Dog-of-war Wolfowitz tells us that “There are three important U.S. actions that could speed up Gadhafi's demise and stop the killing in Libya: recognize the newly formed national council in Benghazi as the government of Libya, provide assistance to the new Libyan authorities, and support the imposition of a no-fly zone over Libya.”

There are three important things wrong with that sentence. 

First is Wolfie’s dazzlingly false main assumption that we have any sort of legal or moral mandate to speed up or in any other way facilitate Gadhafi’s demise.  Gadhafi hasn’t committed an act of war against us lately, and there’s a fairly good argument that says he never did commit one. 

The checkered history of our tit-for-tattersall game with Gadhafi probably begins with the events that let up to Operation El Dorado Canyon, our unilateral 1986 air strike on Libya.  Up to that time, Gadhafi had allegedly been involved in terrorism in Europe, but nowhere that might remotely be considered United States territory. We’d had, however, a number of chesty-fights with Gadhafi’s air and naval forces because he claimed that much of the Gulf of Sidra was Libyan territorial water and we said it wasn't.  We said his claims didn’t meet the rules in the UN treaty on such things, which was true.  He said we’d made the UN write the rules that way to screw him out of being able to claim the Gulf of Sidra as territorial water, which was also true.

Then he said we couldn’t fly our military planes over his territorial waters in the Gulf of Sidra without his permission, which was true if you considered the Gulf of Sidra to be his territorial water (which he did) and false if you considered the Gulf of Sidra to be international water, which we did.

Things boiled to a head in the 1989 Gulf of Sidra Incident, where we flew Navy fighter jets over what Gadhafi claimed was his territory and shot down two of his fighter jets that flew out to intercept our fighter jets.  The insider’s version of the Sidra Incident is that a bunch of kiss-up, true believer Navy JAG lawyers sat down and wrote up rules of engagement that defined modern fighter defensive tactics as hostile acts.  So when the Libyan fighters executed the defensive tactics the Navy fighters were cleared to whack them with long-range air-to-air missiles, which they proceeded to do.  As Navy fighter pilots like to say, if you’re not cheating, you’re not trying.  

Two weeks later a bomb exploded in a West Berlin disco and killed two American servicemen.  It killed and wounded a potful of non-Americans too, but they weren’t relevant to what followed.  U.S. intelligence claimed to have gotten its mitts on “cables” saying that Libyan agents in East Berlin were involved in the bombing.  There’s no way of knowing if any of the intelligence officials involved in this intelligence were also involved in the intelligence that Wolfowitz and his pals used to justify the invasion of Iraq.  But we should have learned from our Mesopotamia Mistake that we should never believe what prevaricators like Wolfowitz tell us our intelligence says.

I guess back in the Reagan era they hadn’t yet figure out that intelligence types tended to tell them what they wanted to hear, so The Great Communicator ordered the Navy and Air Force to bomb the bejesus out of Gadhafi’s house.  But he wasn’t there, so we probably killed and injured more innocent people that he’d killed or injured by bombing that German disco, assuming he’d actually had anything to do with that.  Shortly after El Dorado, Gadhafi squashed an internal revolt, in case you were wondering if he has any credentials in that department.  

Project for the New American Century
Time passed.  On August 14, 2008 Young Mr. Bush restored full diplomatic relations with Libya, an act that, by the way, officially recognized Gadhafi as the lawful political leader of his country.  So when Wolf Bob urges us to “recognize” the new “authorities” as the “government of Libya,” he’s asking us to throw out a government that his boss legitimized and back a pack of yahooligans that he and his fellow war hucksters don’t want you to know a whole lot about yet.  And the last thing the New American Centurions want you think about is that a tame Gadhafi in control of Libya is a 100 percent dead cert to be better for U.S. and global security than having a ragtag ring of radical religious revolutionaries take charge. 

John Kerry and Wolfie
agree on no-fly zone.
And God help America, it looks like Wolf-o-wiz even has chowder head John Kerry believing that if we put a no-fly zone over Libya, that won’t be like making a real military commitment or anything.  Who among us doesn’t love a no-fly zone, eh?  Oh, wait, maybe Kerry is spinning some political stratagem that will let him say he voted for the no-fly zone before he voted against it.  

Setting up a no-fly zone over the sovereign territory of a nation is every bit as much an act of war as a bombing campaign (which we’ll have to have anyway to knock out Libya’s air defenses) or an armed invasion would be.  A no-fly zone could not, by any measure acceptable to even marginally sane people, be even remotely justified as an act of national self-defense.  And make no mistake; once we spend a penny on setting up no-fly zone, we’re in for a pound of Pottery Barn.  A no-fly zone won’t topple Gadhafi’s regime any more than two we ran for more than a decade over Iraq, toppled Saddam Hussein.  Having committed military power to regime change, we’ll keep piling it on until Barack Obama too can declare “mission accomplished” on the deck of the USS Abraham Lincoln.  Except, of course, the mission will never be accomplished, and we’ll have stepped brow-ridge deep into our third and, most likely, final quagmire.

No, fellow citizens, listening to the likes of Paul Wolfowitz and recognizing and backing the Libyan rebels would be an act of national suicide, but guess what.  Neocon hag Hillary Clinton is over in Paris right now getting ready to do just that. 

Commander Jeff Huber, U.S. Navy (Retired) is author of the critically lauded novel Bathtub Admirals, a lampoon on America’s rise to global dominance.

Monday, March 07, 2011

History of No-Fly Zones, Part I

by Jeff Huber

It seems incredible that a former naval officer like John McCain became one of history’s dumbest shapers of foreign policy until you remember that he was also one of history’s dumbest naval officers

Senator Ex-Prisoner of War put on the Ritz last Sunday for ABC’s This Week, dithering with his arms and clumsily tap dancing like Peter Boyle in Young Frankenstein about how we need to establish a no-fly zone over Libya.  "Their air assets are not large,” McCain said of Moammar Gadhafi’s military.  “Their air defenses are somewhat antiquated and this would send a signal to Gadhafi that President [Obama] is serious when he says we need for Gadhafi to go."

21 AD: Caesar declares first
no-fly zone over Mesopotamia
McCain’s memory is as abysmal as his gal pal Joe Lieberman’s sense of history.  Lieberman once infamously noted that wars can only end in one of two ways: victory or defeat.  Tommyrot.  We scored an unprecedented “victory” in late 1991 with Operation Desert Storm.  The fabled air war all but eliminated Saddam Hussein’s relatively light air assets and his somewhat antiquated air defenses faster than you can say “Uncle Sam’s strikers schwacked Saddam’s swarm of SAMS and interceptors slicker than snot on a Sumerian silver setting.”  100 hours into the ground war, Big Daddy Bush declared that the mission had been accomplished (heh), and some observers—mostly military public affairs poofters and the embedded stenographers in the Pentagon press corps—called the Desert Storm the greatest military victory in U.S. history.  Heck, we didn’t just defeat Saddam Hussein; we mopped the desert floor with him.

Unfortunately, there were a number of things we didn’t mop up, so we installed no-fly zones in the north and south of Iraq, and they worked so well that they were still in force more than a decade later when we returned with ground power in 2003’s Operation Iraqi Freedom. 

Sens. Kerry and McCain tout
no-fly zone over Libya
Not to be outdone by Ex-Prisoner, The Other Senator from Massachusetts, John Kerry, also hit the gasbag circuit last Sunday to advocate slapping Libya’s Moammar Khadaffi upside the head with a no-fly zone.  But Kerry put his own unique spin on the matter.  On Face the Nation, he said we (i.e., we Americans and whatever little buddies we can con or bully into going along with us this time) should “prepare a no-fly zone in conjunction with our allies, not implement it.”

Jesus in a girly bar, Kerry.  Prepare a no-fly zone but not implement it?  No wonder Kerry, a decorated war hero, lost an election to a draft dodging deserter because the public was convinced that the draft dodging deserter made a better wartime commander in chief than Kerry would.

Prepare an NFZ and not implement it.  Truly yikes.  Who among us doesn’t love no-fly zones, eh John?  What Kerry’s talking about is a “no-fly zone in being,” a concept so perfectly and absurdly contradicted by its very name that all the brainiac Onanists at our war colleges and neocon tank thinkeries put together don’t have the imagination to conceive of such a thing.

A chapter from Warmongering 101: A “fleet in being” is a naval force that extends a controlling influence without ever leaving port (i.e., without being implemented).  The advantage to operating your navy as a fleet in being is that it’s cheaper to keep the fleet in port than to send it out to sea, and by not exposing your fleet to battle you keep it from taking a voyage to the bottom of the sea.  A lovely concept, but the history of fleets in being shows that the primary thing they influence is the financial collapse of the nations that possess them. 

Nonetheless, a fleet in being is superior to a no-fly zone in being in to the extent that a fleet can exist whether you implement it or not.  A no-fly zone that isn’t implemented isn’t a no-fly zone, or anything else for that matter.  You can gather an air force for the purpose of springing a no-fly zone on somebody, but that air force has to deploy from its components’ various and sundry home bases, and that costs money—just as much money, in fact, as actually using that air force to create a no-fly zone, because the fliers have to fly to stay current, and the maintenance troops have to take care of the airplanes, and the fliers and the troops all have to sleep and eat and go out for drinks to blow off steam, which also costs money and creates discipline problems and so on and so on. 

Plus, you can’t just switch on a no-fly zone like you start a car.  Air superiority needs to be established and maintained over the zone, and that takes a lot of work, even if the adversary has “somewhat antiquated” air defenses and a “not large” air force.  And establishing and maintaining air superiority involves dropping bombs on airfields and air defense installations, which is, any way you look at it, an act of war against a nation that hasn’t committed a hostile act against any political entity other than itself. 

Historical results of
no-fly zones
Kerry says that establishing a no-fly zone would not amount to military intervention.  I suppose that would be the case if we ran a zone without military assets, say, maybe, if we had Federal Express do it for us.  Kerry insists that, “we don’t want troops on the ground.”  So what happens the second a fighter pilot’s flight boots hit the ground at the end of the parachute ride he began when the his engines ate themselves over Tripoli?  Do we try to get him out with a fistful of Navy Seals?  Or do we hire Blackwater to do the job for us?  Or maybe Gary Trudeau’s Red Rascal?  Or do we just send Jesse Jackson, who gets the pilot back only after promising Moammar that the big, bad United States will never, ever be mean to him again, and he can go ahead and kill all the rebels he wants.   

Or do we just go ahead and conduct a fullbore invasion of Libya.  Be very, very mindful of the fact that the history of no-fly zones indicates that 100 percent of them lead to significant commitment of ground forces that quickly turn into inextricable quagmires. 

Commander Jeff Huber, U.S. Navy (Retired) is author of the critically lauded novel Bathtub Admirals, a lampoon on America’s rise to global dominance.