Texas Liberal

All People Matter

How Do We Have Money To Attack Libya?—We Can Always Ask More Of Ourselves As Citizens

How is it that we have the money to attack Libya?

Each Tomahawk missile we have launched on Libya cost $569,000 in 1999 dollars.

Then there are all the costs of fuel and manpower and whatever else involved.

As of 3:37 PM EST, Sunday, March 20 , the U.S and Britain had launched a total of 124 Tomahawks in Libya.

Britain has a big austerity program going on.—Still, the U.K. also found the resources for war.

How much will this all cost American taxpayers?

I don’t know.

But given that the President has said we must cut even programs that help the poor, whatever the Libya mission costs would seem to be more than we have.

Or at least more than we told we have by both major political parties.

Maybe the alleged budget crisis we are so often told exists is in fact something of a fraud.

Here is the United States Navy website for the Tomahawk Missile.

The full term is Tomahawk Land Attack Missile. The Tomahawk name is trademarked.

(Above–A Tomahawk missile product.)

Just because your tax dollars bought the things, does not mean you can call the missile you build in your garage a Tomahawk.

I support the Libya mission. I think we need to act to prevent a massacre of Libyan dissidents and rebels by Colonel Gaddafi.

Hopefully, I’d see the question the  same way if a Republican President had ordered the attack.

It should be noted though, that President Obama does not see the authority of a President to order combat without the approval of Congress in quite the same way candidate Obama saw the question.

How do Republicans feel about the Libya mission?

It is hard to view Republicans as credible on this question.

In the years since 9/11, Democrats and liberals have often been attacked for being soft of terrorism and for not supporting our troops.

This despite the fact that draft-dodger George W. Bush and draft-dodger Dick Cheney did not provide proper body armour to protect our troops fighting in our wars.

From the New York Times of January 7,2006

“A secret Pentagon study has found that as many as 80 percent of the marines who have been killed in Iraq from wounds to the upper body could have survived if they had had extra body armor. Such armor has been available since 2003, but until recently the Pentagon has largely declined to supply it to troops despite calls from the field for additional protection, according to military officials.”

Here is a useful website to see which Republicans have avoided service and how Republicans and Democrats are rated on issues impacting veterans.

I recall how back in 2002 Democratic Senator Max Cleland of Georgia, a triple amputee from combat in Vietnam, lost his seat after being attacked by his Republican opponent as weak on national security. Television ads were run in that campaign picturing Mr. Cleland with Osama and Saddam.

In regards to Libya, I imagine Republicans believe we should support a sitting President at a time of conflict. I’m sure they feel that to believe otherwise would be to put our troops at risk.

Right? Did I get the standard Republican line correct here? Or does it only apply when we have a Republican President?

I’m concerned the allied troops fighting for a better future in Libya. I’m concerned for people in Libya. I hope rebel forces in Libya have democratic aspirations.

It seems sometimes the best you can hope for on these type issues is that you get at least some measure of truth from people in power.

It does not have to be this way. People do not need to be helpless.

Our leaders from both parties know that often what we appear to want most is to avoid military service, avoid taxes, get cheap gas, and to blame Muslims for our problems.

We always have the ability to expect more of ourselves.

If we asked more from ourselves, we would get more from our leaders.

( Below–Senator Cleland in Crawford, Texas in 2004. Mr. Cleland was attempting to deliver a letter to George W. Bush asking that attack ads on John Kerry’s Vietnam service be stopped.)

March 21, 2011 - Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , ,


  1. Excellent post Neil.

    Comment by lbwoodgate | March 21, 2011

  2. Thank you.

    Comment by Neil Aquino | March 21, 2011

  3. Why is it OK to help the people of Libya pursue democracy, but not the people of Iran? What exactly is the US policy for helping Middle East democracy take hold?

    Comment by Elowe | March 24, 2011

  4. I have to correct the record on Cleland. He was not wounded in combat, regardless of what his campaign ads cynically implied. His injuries (terrible as they were) didn’t merit a Purple Heart, because they were an accident not caused by enemy action.

    According to Cleland’s retelling of the story in the Boston Globe, he was getting out of a helicopter to have a beer with friends, when his own grenade fell from his web gear and exploded.

    It’s a really interesting story. There’s a funny anecdote about having a stripper dance to an a capella rendition of “God Bless America” at Walter Reed Army Medical Center.

    As for that “useful website” you linked to, it’s not very reliable. Aside from the weird gay-baiting, it makes some awful factual errors, like the claim that before 1973, all men had to enlist in the military.

    It goes on to make bizarre attacks on “chickenhawks” who didn’t serve in Vietnam. For example:

    -Dinesh D’Souza (who was 12 year old when the draft ended, and an Indian citizen who had not yet been to the U.S.)

    -Anne (sic) Coulter (also 12, and a girl)

    -Matt Drudge (he was in first grade)

    It then vaporizes the last shred of credibility by calling Chris Matthews a “Republican mouthpiece.”

    Comment by Matt Bramanti | March 25, 2011

  5. Sen. Cleland was wounded in Vietnam while he was serving in the war. That is good enough for most folks.

    All those chickenhawk right -wingers you mention could have enlisted in our armed forces at anytime to serve our nation. All that gung-ho talk from these folks— Why not sign up?

    Comment by Neil Aquino | March 25, 2011

  6. “Why not sign up?”

    For the same reason that you’re not an astronaut (though you promote NASA), a ballplayer (though you root for the good guys), or a Tomahawk missile technician (though you “support the Libya mission.”)

    For the same reason I’m not a Notre Dame football coach, oncologist or priest.

    Because there’s nothing contradictory about making an opinion on an issue without having full-time employment in that issue. Nobody would call you a chickenAstro or me a chickenpriest.

    When the line of work is military service, such a notion is antithetical to the American tradition of military subservience to civilian authority. In our system, civilians’ opinions don’t count less than soldiers’; they count more.

    I also disagree that Cleland’s self-inflicted injury and exploitation of it was “good enough for most folks.” Those folks fired him from the Senate at their first opportunity.

    Comment by Matt Bramanti | March 25, 2011

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