Hawks vs. Hawks: Debating U.S. Military Intervention in Libya

The New York Times has a piece today (3/7/11) about the debate over U.S. military intervention in Libya. The paper reports that

there are persistent voices–in Congress and even inside the administration–arguing that Mr. Obama is moving too slowly.

Reporters David Sanger and Thom Shanker contend that there is too much concern about perceptions, and that the White House is too squeamish because of Iraq. And who are those persistent voices?

The most vocal camp, led by senators John McCain, the 2008 Republican nominee for president, and Joseph I. Lieberman, the Connecticut independent and another hawk on Libyan intervention, say the central justification for establishing a no-fly zone over Libya is that the rebel leaders themselves are seeking military assistance to end decades of dictatorship.

As always, when it comes to calling for military force, John McCain is front and center in the TV news debate, since he is apparently an “expert.”

But the Times notes that there are others calling for a more aggressive response–including Sen. John Kerry. And that’s a problem for the White House:

For the administration, Mr. Kerry’s view is more troublesome, given that he is a normally a strong ally on foreign policy issues. He was a fierce critic of the war in Iraq, but he sees Libya as a different matter.

John Kerry was such a fierce critic of the Iraq War that he voted for it.

About Peter Hart

Activism Director and and Co-producer of CounterSpinPeter Hart is the activism director at FAIR. He writes for FAIR's magazine Extra! and is also a co-host and producer of FAIR's syndicated radio show CounterSpin. He is the author of The Oh Really? Factor: Unspinning Fox News Channel's Bill O'Reilly (Seven Stories Press, 2003). Hart has been interviewed by a number of media outlets, including NBC Nightly News, Fox News Channel's O'Reilly Factor, the Los Angeles Times, Newsday and the Associated Press. He has also appeared on Showtime and in the movie Outfoxed. Follow Peter on Twitter at @peterfhart.