Tripoli, Libya (CNN) — Hours after French, British and American military forces unleashed cruise missiles and fighter jets, a defiant Moammar Gadhafi said Libya will fight back against undeserved “naked aggression.”
A coalition that includes Canada and Italy made good Saturday on international warnings to Gadhafi, hammering Libyan military positions in the first phase of an operation that will include enforcement of a no-fly zone.
More than 110 Tomahawk missiles fired from American and British ships and submarines hit about 20 Libyan air and missile defense targets in western portions of the country, U.S. Vice Adm. William Gortney said at a Pentagon briefing.
The U.S. will conduct a damage assessment of the sites, which include SA-5 missiles and communications facilities. A senior U.S. military official, who was not authorized to speak on the record, said the cruise missiles, which fly close to the ground or sea at about 550 miles per hour, landed near Misrata and Tripoli, the capital and Gadhafi’s stronghold.
I support the operations in Libya in the same manner that I supported the removal of Saddam Hussein in 2003. Consistency matters. Unfortunately I am seeing people on the right who supported Iraq failing to support this President’s efforts -most probably because he is a Democrat. And I am also seeing people on the left who were against the Iraq war finding few faults with this operation, even though the reasons for going in have many similarities (a brutal, oil-rich dictator possessing chemical weapons who may or may not have or attempted to have WMDs and who has slaughtered his own citizens has violated UN resolutions needs to be removed in order to stabilize the region).
Even the President is displaying some strange inconsistencies.
The president does not have power under the Constitution to unilaterally authorize a military attack in a situation that does not involve stopping an actual or imminent threat to the nation.
The world will not “sit idly by,” she said at a news conference, amid fears that Gadhafi will commit “unspeakable atrocities” against his people.
“We have every reason to fear that left unchecked Gadhafi would commit unspeakable atrocities,” she told reporters after an international conference at which world powers launched enforcement of the no-fly zone.
What it comes down to, is that the hyperpartisans and the politically unserious will likely flip. One side saying “Well you were telling me to be for this kind of war for 8 years so now I am and you have a problem with it.” The other side will say “Wait, I thought dissent was patriotic and that these wars were wrong?” Meanwhile the thinking middle will try to strive for consistency. I hope.