I have always wondered how the powers that be select the names that are attached to military actions.   The names usually consist of titles that ring of noble goals – Operation Enduring Freedom, Operation Iraqi Freedom, Operation Provide Comfort, Operation Desert Storm, and on and on.  Now we have given birth to Operation Odyssey Dawn.

The U.N. Security Council, composed of five permanent members and ten rotating members, moved quickly after the Arab League requested a vote on establishing the no-fly zone.   China and Russia, both permanent members, abstained from the voting, thus only three of the permanent members supported the vote.  Seven of the ten rotating members also supported the request for the no-fly zone.

But, the birth of Operation Odyssey Dawn may lead to yet another twilight in American dealings in the Middle East.  The goal is a “no-fly” zone – a zone where aircraft is disallowed – similar to a demilitarized zone on land.  This goal is not to be confused with regime change.  Those who were looking for “boots on the ground” to rid Libya of Gadhafi will be sorely disappointed.

The Arab League already is expressing reservations about the actions taken to establish the no-fly zone.  League Secretary General Amr Mussa indicated to reporters that preparations were under way to convene an emergency meeting of the 22-member Arab League at which Libya would top the agenda.  Disharmony within the Arab League is not a good sign since it was at their request that the U.N. Security Council took up the no-fly zone issue.

What remains to be seen is how intertwined the establishment of a no-fly zone becomes with the desire to pursue regime change.  If that happens, the United States will plunge down a slippery slope of yet another incursion into the Middle East, its politics, and its hold on our troops and our future.


About Charlotte A. Weybright

I own a home in the historical West Central Neighborhood of Fort Wayne, Indiana. I have four grown sons and nine grandchildren - four grandsons and five granddaughters. I love to work on my home, and I enjoy crafts of all types. But, most of all, I enjoy being involved in political and community issues.
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  1. Evert Mol says:

    Damned if you do and damned if you don’t. What do you think would have happened to the “rats and cockroaches” in Benghazi in the next few days without our intervention? What would you have done?

  2. Evert:

    For one thing, which I think most people are forgetting, this intervention is not a regime change. Gadhafi will still remain. The operation was to create a no-fly zone – not to dethrone Gadhafi.

    And, ask yourself, just what will our intervention do? The no-fly zone may be established, but that does not resolve the issue of what looks like a civil war.

    And, here are some additional questions I have – “who are the rebels?” Do we even know what plans they have? What kind of government would they install if Gadhafi were gone?

    While some articles have been written about the leaders and their previous roles in the Gadhafi government, no one really knows what would happen if they were in control. Bottom line is that this intervention is not to get rid of Gadhafi – it is to establish a no-fly zone.

  3. Evert Mol says:

    You’re right. We don’t know who the rebels are and what would happen if Quaddafi were gone. But that’s also true in Egypt, Tunisia or any other North African or Middle Eastern country which might also shake off autocratic rule. The only other coherent force in those societies (I lived there) is Islam. We can’t predict what will happen.

    What would you have done in Rwanda, Dafur, etc. ?

  4. Tim Zank says:

    The elephant in the room is your Prez, the anti war candidate, the poster boy for code pink has once again proved his beliefs, promises, and actions are all subject to change on a moments notice.

    Rather ironic after the middleast apology tours,(where Obama apologized for and denounced our meddlesome ways) he does a 180 and decides to start blowing brown people out of the air. A conundrum indeed for those that take peoples words and promises seriously.

  5. Tim:

    I seem to remember that Obama opposed the war in Iraq, not Afghanistan. He is captured on video stating that not all wars are bad, “just this one.” So I am not sure you can label him as anti-war.

    And, just for clarification, Obama was my third choice in candidates. I guess I don’t exactly consider him in the possessive sense, and, actually, he is everyone’s president at this point.

    Are you saying you don’t agree with the no-fly zone? Or stepping into Libya’s business? Or is your point simply to counter with Obama’s apparent change of heart? Of course, I imagine we can go back with any candidate and find where he or she said one thing on the campaign trail and another after taking office.

    Didn’t the first Bush say “Read my lips, no new taxes” and then pushed a tax increase?

    Just because I am a Democrat doesn’t mean I support everything Obama does, or that I supported everything that Clinton did.

  6. Dave MacDonald says:

    Looks like VP Biden will call for President Obama’s impeachment over this…

    Then again…

  7. Dave:

    Over the generations, quite a few presidents have used unilateral authority to get us involved in military actions.


    Not one that I am aware of was ever impeached. In fact, when TR sent a warship fleet around the world to puff about U.S. military process, he was confronted by the Naval Appropriations Committee, which threatened to remove funding. TR already had snagged the funding, and his response was, “Try and get it back.”

    The War Powers Resolution states as follows:

    “The War Powers Resolution requires the president to notify Congress within 48 hours of committing armed forces to military action and forbids armed forces from remaining for more than 60 days, with further 30 day withdrawal period, without an authorization of the use of military force or a declaration of war.”

    According to the Resolution, if Obama notified Congress within 48 hours, he was well within his powers to do so. He has a time frame of 60 days and needs no authorization.

    The last official declaration of war from Congress was for World War II.

    I did not agree with Bush, and I do not agree with this. But the issue you are raising has to do with authority, and it appears he has that authority.

  8. Dave MacDonald says:


    I do see that you posted here you disagree with Obama’s decision. I’M not raising the issue of authority. It was raised by two self-described Constitution scholars, VP Biden and President Obama. On December 20, 2007, then Senator Obama declared,”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.”

  9. Dave:

    I understand that part, and I think he was certainly not very wise to say it because often when a presidential candidate or a president says something it comes back to bite. The only thing that – in my opinion – allowed wiggle room on Libya and remaining in Afghanistan is that Obama campaigned saying that he didn’t think all wars were bad – just this one (referring to Iraq).

    Perhaps Bush did not use the phrase “actual or imminent threat.” If an imminent threat or actual attack is the criteria (for whomever), then pretty much all conflict, wars, etc. since World War II have failed to meet that standard.

    Anyways, I hope my explanation is sufficient. I oppose his actions, and I think it is hypocritical for both parties to now switch positions simply because the presidency has changed hands.

  10. Charlotte,

    I do not think we should have any troops in Iraq or Afghanistan. I think we should bring them all home within the next six months.

    I do not think our forces should be involved in the campaign in Libya at all. We have chosen a side in a civil war. I am not sure how ANYONE can possibly think that attacking Libya with cruise missiles and striking ground targets can in any way be considered imposing a “no fly” zone.

    I was not surprised when President Bush and his Republican allies embarked on our “mis-adventures” in Iraq and Afghanistan.

    After listening to President Obama’s rhetoric on the campaign trail I am shocked that President Obama has gotten us involved in another conflict. I am even more disappointed that he did not consult Congress in advance. President Obama is an absolute hypocrite.

    Mike Sylvester

  11. Norma says:

    How about Operation I’m a liar, or Operation Fooled you all. Gaddaffi was a pal and buddy, now he’s to be taken out, but it’s not regime change. Oh please. War is war. Bush had some noble ideas that we could turn 7th century countries into 21st c. democracies and he wasted lives and billions. What’s Obama’s gig?

  12. mr roachclip says:

    you folks need to understand a few things that then willmake us foreign policy clearer. in no particular order.
    1 OIL/COAL/GAS/ENERGY- whatever benefits dick cheny, halliburton, Bechtel, exxon mobil/Bp. As they wish, it shall be done. if theres a weak oil bearing/OPEC regime, that we can jump into , and take over their government, and drain their gas tanks, so to say, we are in it.
    Besides- Qadaffi is a terrorist, and has gotten hundreds of american killed, so it his judgement day, anyway.
    2 Israel reigns supreme. anything that israel says, does, desires, whatever, upon the US( or most of the rest of the world)- so Be it. It shall be done. Its just a fact. Israel is kinda of like having a crack/meth/heroin dysfunctional family member, that requires a inordinate amount of personal, expensive, time consuming attention. Most folks would writ them off, but the US cant, for whatever conspiratorial, ancient reason, i cant fathom. I’m not being anti-semetic( and why everyone has to make that disclaimer, or face the wrath for any god forbid politically incorrect comment or statement of fact about israel) – its jus tht e way it is. accept it. a Us controlled Libya, or any of Israels enemies in chaos is a good thing, and the US has to support it.
    3 No war can be waged with our overwhelming, superior firepower. we cant use the SAC and finish any skrmish/mission in a matter of hours. the US must take the most excruciatingly slow, most costly, wasteful time consuming method of waging war imaginable. a nuke would do, now lets have lunch. no, cant have that.
    4 any President cant just do what needs done, and say that, and beat down his foes. spin must be applied, and maximum paparazzi/press corps time must be consumed, and the talking heads must drag this out for weeks on end, with a few days of hollywood train wreck tabloid fodder thrown in for comedic relief.
    this is the short course. class dismissed.

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