Clueless without talking points: Conservatives on intervention in Libya

These are the sounds of unscripted right-wing foreign policy.

George Will:

“Do you think this was the right thing to do?” ABC’s Christian Amanpour asked Will.

“I do not,” Will said. “We have intervened in a tribal society in a civil war. And we’ve taken sides in that civil war on behalf of people we do not know or understand for the purpose of creating a political vacuum by decapitating that government. Into that vacuum, what will flow? We do not know. We cannot know.”

Bill Kristol:

“No, we cannot leave Gaddafi in power,” Kristol agreed. “And we won’t leave Gaddafi in power.”

“The immediate military mission, Admiral Mullen correctly described but the political goal is to remove Gaddafi and ultimately military assets will serve that political goal.”

“First we protect civilians and destroy his military capability. And then we help other remove him indirectly, presumably. Though I, unlike the president, would not rule out ultimately having to go in with peacekeeping and nation stabilizing forces. And I wouldn’t be surprised if we do that at the end of the day,” he added.

Glenn Beck:

“America is involved in the third front. If I would have told you four weeks ago that America may now be involved in a war — in a third war in a third Muslim country in the Middle East, would you have believed me? I believe I did say words similar to that right over there, that it would sweep, destabilize, and drag us all down. We’re in a third war, a third front. God help us all if it all boils over in Libya.”

Sen. John McCain:

“He (President Obama) waited too long, there is no doubt in my mind about it. But now, it is what it is,” McCain said in an interview on CNN’s “State of the Union” taped Friday. “We need now to support him and the efforts that our military are going to make. And I regret that it didn’t – we didn’t act much more quickly, and we could have.”

Sen. Richard Lugar:

It doesn’t make sense, he said, for the U.S. to help Libyan civilians when the citizens of countries like Bahrain, Yemen and Syria are also being oppressed.

“We had better get this straight from the beginning,” he said on CBS’s “Face the Nation,” “or there’s going to be a situation where war lingers on, country after country, situation after situation, all of them on a humane basis, saving people . .”

“We really have not discovered who it is in Libya that we are trying to support,” Lugar said.

Ralph ‘Bob’ Peters:

“. . nobody’s explained to the American people how high the stakes are in Libya. It’s not just about Libya. If the world community doesn’t stop this tinpot dictator, with his tinpot army from slaughtering his own people, the lesson the dictators around the world will take from it… is that it’s OK to slaughter your own people. The Arab revolt, the fight for freedom is at stake in Libya tonight.”

The Wall Street Journal’s blog:

How do you reconcile 0bama’s claim to being a Christian with his unprovoked attack on Libya? . .

Why suddenly the change of support now? Some possibilities that have been mentioned in other forums are the usual for US: oil prices and the economy, military fund raising, 0bama’s reelection; another is that Europe does not want a huge influx of refuges from Libya, and we are helping them at their request, in return for them having helped US in Iraq and Afghanistan. Is this unprovoked attack tantamount to murder?

John Bolton:

“Had we acted in those early days, we could have tipped the balance conclusively against Kadafi and this whole thing might be over,” Bolton told hundreds of delegates over dinner in the ballroom of a downtown hotel. “Instead the president dithered, and he watched, and he waited, and he temporized . .”

“This is the great diplomatic successor to the Bush administration? Are you kidding me?” Bolton scoffed to laughter Friday night.

Georgia State Rep. Bobby Franklin:

“This is nothing but pure evil,” Franklin said in response to the US assault on Libyan air defenses. “How would we like it if other countries launched attacks upon these United States because of our regime’s war on the unborn? May the Lord have mercy on us!”

Rudy Giuliani:

“Over the last week and a half, I’ve never witnessed a worse case of presidential decision-making,” Giuliani said of the president’s treatment of Libya. “Or lack of decision-making. Or conduct of foreign policy. Ever. And I worked for two presidents. And met probably the last five or six . .”

He made fun of the French military, joked that perhaps Obama thought he was dealing with Long Island and that Muammar Gaddafi was Italian—since it “ends in a vowel”—cracked jokes about wind and solar power, and concluded by saying that even Hillary Clinton would have been better than President Obama . .

When France proposed instituting a no-fly zone, “Our president, the leader of the free world, said, ‘A what? That’s hard! A no fly zone is r-r-r-really hard!’ ” Giuliani said to laughter . .

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