Republican Presidential Candidate Andy Martin, the only presidential candidate with extensive overseas experience, offers his analysis of why there will be no stalemate in Libya, and why Senator John McCain is wrong.
Andy Martin explains how modern-era “limited war” creates the fits and starts of U. S. Libyan policy
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ANDY MARTIN /2012
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Republican Presidential Candidate Andy Martin says there will be no stalemate in Libya
“Ghaddaffi should get out of Dodge while he can,” Martin says “He ain’t stayin’. The ‘Last Chance Saloon’ is about to call ‘Last call’”
Andy Martin, who has five decades of military and intelligence experience, explains why he believes Senator John McCain’s predictions of a “stalemate” are misinformed
(NEW YORK)(April 25, 2011) Because I come from a military family I have been a student of war all of my life. I have been a student of the presidency for parts of five decades from the 60’s to today. That is the basis on which I make my claim that no other presidential candidate has the depth and breadth of my military and intelligence experience.
When I went to work in the 89th Congress the Viet-Nam War was just ramping up. My senator was a close confidante of the president. Later, when I landed in Saigon, I saw the “dirty” side of policy, where our people die, where mistakes are made, and where even the innocents perish. War is hell.
The great deficiency of our modern political system is that it does not produce presidential candidates with military or foreign policy experience. None of the aspirants in either party has any significant exposure to military and intelligence operations. They have spent their adult lives as politicians, climbing the greasy pole to the White House.
Unlike my opponents, I have lived in more “interesting times.”
Former President George W. Bush sincerely believes history will view him more favorably than we do today. With all due respect, I disagree. President George W. Bush was one of the nicest men to ever occupy the Oval Office. He is a thoroughly decent human being. I don’t know him, but I would be happy to call him friend if I did. But because Mr. Bush lacked any exposure to language, culture, foreign experience or real war (other than being a reserve pilot who apparently partied as hard as he flew), Bush had no idea what to do or how to do it when he arrived in the Oval Office.
Bush was a commander-in-chief who had never commanded. The “decider-in-chief” had never decided before voters dumped him in the White House. [I probably knew Bush better than he knew himself. I predicted in 1999 that Bush wanted to “bomb Iraq.”]
And then America was attacked on 9/11/2001. Because he was inexperienced, Bush made some serious policy errors.
One of my earliest memories of war was General Douglas McArthur’s address to Congress, “Old soldiers never die, they just fade away.”
Today Senator John McCain is an old solider. He has a lot of life left in him, but he is fading away. McCain is a knowledgeable and experienced man. So I do not quarrel with him lightly. But McCain was also dead wrong on Iraq. While he likes to trumpet his “surge,” there would have been no need for a surge if we had stayed out of Iraq in the first place, as I suggested. McCain and other Republicans were cheerleaders for an invasion that turned into a disaster. I was in Baghdad in 2003 and saw the aftermath. And, unlike McCain, I accurately predicted what would follow.
McCain knows “military” but he is weak on the intelligence side of the foreign policy business.
This weekend McCain was peddling his “Libya could become a stalemate” argument (see link below). It got him on television, which seems to be all that matters with McCain. And he is in good company. Our #1 military man, Admiral Mullen was also offering a “stalemate” analysis (link below).
The good news. Here is where I synthesize military experience, intelligence experience and political experience. We have the muscle but not the mentality to end Ghaddaffi’s regime. Europe has the mind but not the muscle to accomplish the mission. Strange as it seems, these two halves will in due course become a whole. There will be no stalemate.
President Barack Obama did not stick his toe into the Libya morass because he wanted to. He had to. Likewise, French President Nicolas Sarkozy and British Prime Minister David Cameron are pressing for action in North Africa not out of choice, but out of necessity. None of the three “travelers” on their unhappy journey to Tripoli are happy campers. They are in a “tour” together and don’t even much like each other. We all know what that’s like.
I have been to 10 Downing Street, the home of the British Prime Minister. And in the past I have “passed” for French when I needed to. So I understand the French pretty well. (Once, one of them even stabbed me, but that’s another story.)
So why will there be no stalemate? Because the “Rub-a-Dub-Dub, Three Men In a Tub” (see link) leadership of the Western Alliance can’t afford to lose. Now hear me out. When you have three professional politicians that can’t afford to lose, because it would destroy their electoral chances, up against Ghaddaffi, who also can’t afford to lose but who also can’t win, the “can’t afford to lose” set is going to win every time.
What we are actually living in is the somewhat untidy era of “limited war.” Those old enough to remember when “limited war” was what experts predicted in the future, pre-Viet-Nam, can now see what limited war really looks like. All three leaders are severely constrained by their internal financial crises. No one is for all-out war in Libya, not even an Afghanistan-style commitment. So “limited” war has been imposed on Obama, Cameron and Sarkozy by internal economic constraints.
[By comparison, where Obama is under political pressure for unlimited war he has not hesitated, however hesitantly, to allow massive military operations in Afghanistan.]
By its very nature, “limited war” involves a process of trial-and-error. Obama would love to win a “cheap” victory. But he will go as far as necessary to avoid being seen as a loser. He can weather the interim criticism of his halting policy. But Obama can’t suffer a loss and expect to get reelected. Likewise, neither Cameron nor Sarkozy can afford to lose. They are also facing elections. But they, too, would like to win with as little expenditure as possible.
The British and French no longer have the capacity to stage 1956 Sinai/Suez Canal-style invasions; but when juxtaposed against Libya’s military the UK and France are still formidable defense establishments. And other NATO allies also recognize a serious interest in Libya.
Some people were offended when in an earlier analysis I said Obama “became a president” when he was forced to confront the mess in Libya. Much to Obama’s amazement, though not mine, Obama “discovered” the CIA. Secretary of State Madeline Albright will always be remembered for her great inquiry, “What’s the point of having this superb military that you’re always talking about if we can’t use it?” Well, Obama was forced to deploy the CIA. CIA officers do not “go to war” in uniform, or en masse. A handful can create a G-force powerful enough to topple a regime.
Obama may not like using the CIA, but he is now trapped by the office he holds. The office demands action. No, we are not acting as a “policeman of the world.” We are in Libya for legitimate foreign policy reasons.
Likewise, the British and French are pushing for action for their own legitimate reasons. No one is “on holiday” in Libya.
And that is why there will be no stalemate. John McCain and Admiral Mullen are mistaken.
Welcome to Limited war. It “ain’t purty” but that’s what we can expect in the future.
[Commercial message: wouldn’t it be nice if at last one Republican presidential candidate could intelligently discuss economic policy and foreign policy with some experience under his belt? We need to revive our economy, and ensure our national security. I am the only Republican presidential candidate who has any background studying these complex issues and seeing how they unfold in reality. I’m even willing to play “Cheney” if that’s where the party wants me to do. I’m Andy Martin and I approved this message.]
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ABOUT ANDY: Chicago Public Radio calls Andy Martin a “boisterous Internet activist.” Andy is the legendary New York and Chicago-based muckraker, author, Internet columnist, talk television pioneer, radio talk show host, broadcaster and media critic. He has over forty years of background in radio and television and is the dean of Illinois media and communications. He promotes his best-selling book, “Obama: The Man Behind The Mask” [www.OrangeStatePress.com] and his Internet movie “Obama: The Hawaii’ Years” [www.BoycottHawaii.com]. Martin has been a leading corruption fighter in Illinois for over forty years. He is currently sponsoring http://www.AmericaisReadyforReform.com. See also http://www.FirstRespondersOnline.us; http://www.EnglishforAmerica.org/
Andy is the Executive Editor and publisher of the “Internet Powerhouse,” http://www.ContrarianCommentary.com. He comments on regional, national and world events with more than four decades of investigative and analytical experience.
He holds a Juris Doctor degree from the University of Illinois College of Law and is a former adjunct professor of law at the City University of New York (LaGuardia CC, Bronx CC).
Andy’s columns are also posted at ContrarianCommentary.blogspot.com; ContrarianCommentary.wordpress.com.
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