Sen. Bob Corker wisely wary

Sen. Bob Corker wisely wary

April 26th, 2011 in Opinion Free Press

Senator Bob Corker

With a civil war going on in the North African country of Libya (see editorial above), Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., has soundly questioned why the United States involved itself there militarily.

"I'm not sure I understand the national interest [in Libya]," Corker said during a visit to the Times Free Press last week.

Libyan dictator Moammar Gadhafi is being challenged by some Libyan elements about whom, as Corker pointed out, we know too little.

So why should the United States be engaged militarily in a Libyan war in which we lack a clear national interest? No good explanation has been offered.

Some have challenged lawmakers who oppose U.S. involvement in Libya but who supported removing Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein. But the circumstances are far different.

There was widespread belief that Saddam had or was close to obtaining weapons of mass destruction. He had, in fact, previously turned such weapons on his own people. There was also strong agreement in the United States among both Democrats (including former President Bill Clinton) and Republicans that Saddam was a serious international threat. None of that is so with Libya.

And there was congressional authorization of the war in Iraq, which there has not been for our involvement in Libya's civil war.

Corker is right to raise questions about the president's unwise decision to intervene in Libya.