War From Afar

Meet Murph. One of the first people I met in law school, Murph was in my very first class and very last one. He and I had been talking for a while now about getting him some space here at America’s Right; this particular story provided a perfect opportunity, and I hope we see more of him here.

I thought his experience in Bosnia would provide an excellent perspective with regard to Libya and this president’s reaction to the senseless killing of innocent civilians by Muammar Qaddafi (or however I’m spelling his name today). I was planning on writing something about Libya myself, but I think I’ll wait until I hear the same “No Blood For Oil!” chants we grew accustomed to throughout the last decade.

In the meantime, enjoy Murph’s insight. I did. — Jeff

Oh, no.  Tell me that I did not just see that.  Tell me that I’m not sitting here in Maryland for the weekend, gazing at Fox News Channel, watching a Tomahawk missile launch from a U.S. Navy vessel.  I cannot believe it.  I simply cannot believe it.  Here we are, pushing into the second decade of the 21st century, and yet we’ve managed to return to the military policy of the 1990′s.  Amazing.  It looks like President Barack Hussein Obama is going to rely on the video game, Fire-From-A-Distance strategies of President William Jefferson Clinton.

Don’t get me wrong — I do not have a problem with the president taking military action in Libya.  For the sake of innocent men, women and children across Libya, I am absolutely thrilled that he has done so.  (Plus, if Louis Farrakhan is angry at him, chances are the president has done the right thing for once.)  As far as the president’s actions with regard to Libya, my problem is with the when and the how.

Once again, a Democrat president has recognized the right thing to do but has hemmed and hawed about doing the right thing before obtaining approval from the so-called “global community.”  And, once again, cruise missiles are being used in a half-hearted attempt to take military action without the risk of publicly unpopular casualties.  Put simply, we knew that the right thing to do entailed intervention in the rebel uprisings in Libya, but yet again a Democrat in the Oval Office has dragged his feet and delayed doing that right thing while watching people die in the process.

I was in Bosnia in 1996, immediately following the signing of the Dayton Peace Accord. I got to work closely with a lot of Bosnian nationals. I specifically recall speaking with one Bosinan woman who said that she was happy with the American presence in her country because it ended years of bloody civil war. What puzzled that woman, however, was why we waited so long to get involved.  She wanted to know: Why did the U.S. sit on the sidelines during the massacre in Srebenica? Why did we simply watch as hundreds of thousands of Bosnians were raped, murdered, and tossed into mass graves? I didn’t really have a good answer for her.

If I were speaking with a Libyan today, I guess I wouldn’t have a good answer for him, either.  In the meantime, I find myself extremely concerned that we will return to the military policies of the Clinton era — distance, low risk, and largely ineffective air attacks conducted only with tacit approval of the global community.  Involvement without commitment, managed risk for meager results, and U.S. troops placed under the command of our allies.”  Nothing contributed more to the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 than the image of a weak American military afraid to take action as a sovereign nation.  This image was largely created and lovingly cultivated during the Clinton administration.

My fears are not without merit.  After all, President Obama has already announced to our enemies that under no circumstances will ground forces will be used, and we are already planning our exit strategy when we haven’t really even made much of a entry yet.  Involvement without commitment.  Managed risk for meager results.

Lets face it, folks — there isn’t much military might in playing second-string to the French Air Force.  Perhaps, in the days to come, President Obama will strenghten his position and convey a stronger message to the world: that the United States military is prepared to accomplish its misson without placing limits on its means.  Somehow, I doubt it.

When I think of my experience in Bosnia and see what is transpiring in Libya, I foresee this American administration watching the events on the shores of Tripoli unfold from the sidelines, stepping in only when the dust has settled, and using the American military in a nation-building role rather than for the role for which it was intended — the defense of the United States and its interests, and the destruction of its enemies.

I hope I’m wrong.

Unfortunately, from 1992-2000, I rarely was.

Sgt. Martin G. Murphy, Jr. is a law enforcement officer in South Jersey. A veteran of the United States Army Reserve and New Jersey National Guard, Murph served in Bosnia Herzegovina in 1996 during Operation Joint Endeavor. He is a graduate of the U.S. Army Infantry Officer Basic Course and NJ National Guard Officer Candidate School. Murph has a J.D. from the Rutgers School of Law in Camden, NJ.



  1. graypanther says:

    Something tells me that we’re going into Libya exactly as deep as the Arab League would let us. We wouldn’t want them to sanction us, after all.

    No, seriously, folks, my money says that Obama and Clinton took the line they did to assuage the United Nations which is still sore for the way it got dissed by GWB and John Bolton.

  2. Great first piece, Mr Murphy.

    I personally am waiting for the likes of Code Pink to camp out at the White House (or the nearest golf course) in protest. I won’t hold my breath.

  3. Dee says:

    Is this an act of war? I would think so but I am not experienced in all the rules of war. I ask this because I thought the President, whoever he or she may be, had to go to Congress first in order to declare war. Does BO have the right to do this without Congress approving? Maybe he can because he did not “declare” war and only did what the UN wanted him to do. I didn’t think we were ruled by the UN but once again, what do I know. I have not seen any media coverage regarding this issue. The media have covered the missles being fired but that’s it. I did read that anti-war protesters were in front of the whitehouse.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Are we furiously putting together our Libyan conflict ‘brackets’?

    PS. I hear Rio is lovely this time of year.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Was the strike ordered from Rio on a Blackberry?

  6. Jeff Schreiber says:

    Are we furiously putting together our Libyan conflict ‘brackets’?

    Awesome. I wonder if Qaddafi and the French Air Force will be meeting in the quarterfinals.

  7. Anonymous says:

    How long can we keep trying to cure the worlds mental illness on borrowed Chinese dollars? Not disputing any concern for innocents, but what if next week a mental illness in a leader somewhere else acts up, and then the week after that, and the week after that. Keep in mind, we really aren’t a superpower anymore, fiscally anyway. I am open to a moral intervention on this topic.

  8. Anonymous says:

    You could have opened an ACORN branch office with the cost of each cruise missile being fired. Duh, WINNING! We’re in for a long haul as it appears Muammar has tiger blood.

  9. Nolo contendere says:

    Miramar v. Muammar

  10. nana3 says:

    Luigi Farrakahn is NOT happy with the Messiah now…Quadaffy is his friend so this is about to get real interesting. Luigi said, “You better be careful, Mr. President.” He doesn’t like Obama ordering Quadaffy to step down: “Who in the H… does he think he is?” Well, Luigi, we have been asking that question ever since he got elected. I don’t think El Presidente was welcomed in Brazil either so he is feeling some flak from everywhere. He should hope his basketball picks work out because that may prove to be the only thing he has done right lately.

  11. Jeff Schreiber says:

    I prefer “Mallomar.” Like the cookie thingies.

  12. cali says:

    This is a ‘wag the dog’ situation for this current white house occupant; using it as an attempt to shore up his sagging poll numbers, photo-ups for his re-election campaign sitting around the table with world leaders playing a grown-up game with the child so lazy, and incompetent.
    Does Obama realise that he once again invite jihadist revenge, and attack on americans?

  13. Anonymous says:

    Can we please get another country to insist that Obama step down?

    Half our country wants that, but it doesn’t work THAT way. Sigh.

  14. Sam says:

    Awesome photo, DDG 88 USS Preble, built by my former employer BIW in Maine.
    Gratitude to all those who build our defense, and all those who serve, especially under this chain-of-command. You can bet everyone in the Preble’s CIC has a well documented background.

  15. Gail B. says:

    Well, the question arises as to whether Obama has successfully added another impeachable offense to the list. I thought there was a Democrat who suggested impeachment, but I can’t remember who it was.

    The Republicans are raising sand because he bypassed Congress. The Democrats have their panties in a wad, and Dem. Rep. Kucinich has thrown Obama’s own words up to him.

    Kucinich said on Fox news, in quoting Obama:

    ‘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.’

    “Now that was Barack Obama who said that on December the 20, 2007. We’ve got to be very sure here that we follow the Constitution, and president Obama didn’t do that.”

    I love it when a Democrat throws the Head Dem under the bus!

  16. Jack Bauer says:

    The War Powers Resolution of 1973 (50 U.S.C. 1541–1548) was a United States Congress joint resolution providing that the President can send U.S. armed forces into action abroad ONLY by authorization of CONGRESS or if the United States is already UNDER ATTACK or SERIOUS threat.


    ECONOMIC TERRORISM (more destructive than cruise missiles)


  18. Boston Blackie says:

    Welcome, Murph, and thank you for your service now and while in Bosnia.
    Once again Obeyme has voted present and deferred to the U.N. You know, that great body of nations presently investigating crimes against humanity by the state of Arizona while our sports fan in chief idley sits by waiting for his next tee time. It must be above his pay scale.
    Mark my words, again we will go in to help muslims but somehow the tables will be turned on us. We will be the imperialist that occupied the mother land and must pay. Does this mean that Obeyme has to give back the Nobel Peace Prize.

  19. Sam says:

    Jimmy Carter: “Carter won the Nobel Peace Prize for his work with Habitat for Humanity. Obama won the Nobel Peace Prize because … uhhhh … help us out here.”

    from Mad Magazine

  20. Anonymous says:
  21. Anonymous says:

    If you’re ‘handsome’ and your skin is the right color, you can start all the wars ya want. No questions asked.

  22. Nancy Pelosi says:

    We won’t know what’s in the War Powers Act till we pass it. Oh wait, that ship has sailed….uhhhhhh….. well, uhhhh, can I get back to you?


  1. [...] Martin Murphy America’s Right [...]

  2. [...] post: War From Afar March 20th, 2011 | Category: America’s [...]

Speak Your Mind