Mission creep in Libya. Why not attack Syria, too, since we’re flush with money?

Anyone else troubled by the U.S. mission creep in Libya? Originally we were just going to help our allies establish a no-fly zone over Libya by attacking Libyan airfields and air defenses to insure that Gaddafi can’t bomb rebellious civilians from the air. Then our allies were supposed to take over. No need for any boots on the ground.

No Libyan planes in the air now. But our allies are calling for more help, and we’ve agreed to send supplies and predator drone aircraft to attack targets on the ground. And we and they all have or will soon have boots on the ground, too.

Doesn’t this sound familiar? Why do we always seem eager to go to war anticipating quick and easy victories, only to find ourselves bogged down in protracted engagement?

Good thing we never have to worry about paying for war. We don’t have the money to fund Medicare for senior citizens or Medicaid for poor Americans. We don’t have the money to pay teachers or adequately fund schools or help young Americans go to college. But we have plenty of money to launch terrifically expensive cruise missiles and predator drone aircraft into distant countries that don’t threaten us.

There’s no denying that Gaddafi is a bad guy. But the world is full of bad guys. The dictators in Syria and Bahrain and Yemen are attacking and killing their rebellious civilians, too. Should we be taking the same actions there that we’re taking in Libya? Are we the cops of the world, or what?

John McCain knows what to do. The Republican presidential nominee who was ready to keep us engaged in Iraq for a hundred years, says we need to do more in Libya, much more. Don’t you wish this guy was our commander-in-chief?

Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

It will take 126,000 members this year for great news and programs to thrive. Help us get to 100% of the goal.