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.