71% Believe GOP Candidates Should Oppose U.S. Creation of the Libyan No-Fy Zone

Bookmark and Share As President Obama explains Americas actions in Libya and tries to avoid receiving the same type of criticism that he himself leveled against the previous President for involvement in the affairs of other nations, an overwhelming majority of White House 2012 readers say that the potential Republican presidential candidates would be wise to oppose American involvement in the enforcement of the No-fly Zone over parts of Libya

The White House 2012 poll asked;

Is it wise for any of the potential Republican presidential candidates to support American involvement in the enforcement of the No-fly Zone over parts of Libya?

21.67% of all respondents said Yes, it would be wise while 71.67% said it would not be wise. 6.67% believed that the best position for the Republican candidates for President to take is one which called for more action in Libya than President Obama has committed to.

The poll is mainly indicative of a Republican electorate weary of ongoing interventionist policies such as those we see in Iraq and Afghanistan. Many Republicans know that revisiting similar policies in another hard fought election, would probably hurt GOP chances of winning more than help. But the situation is much worse for President Obama than for any of the potentiaql Republican presidential contenders.

While Republicans may disagree with the America led creation of the Libyan No-fly zone, it is more than likely that they were never going to vote for President Obama regardless od what his on this issue was. However; many in the Presidents liberal base have expressed disappointment and anger in Obamas decision to militarily intervene in Libya. Many in that base are repulsed by what they see as a policy quite similar to that of former President George W. Bush, a position that is anathema among the left.

But regardless of President Obamas position on the issue, contrary to the advice that White House 2012 readers offer in this poll, most contenders in the Republican presidential field believe that not only should the United States should be involved in the creation of the No-fly Zone over Libya, they criticize President Obama for not having acted earlier and more decisively than he did. Indeed some like Mitt Romney attack President Obama for what he describes as the Presidents relinquishing our leadership roll in the world to the French, who were the first to take on Kaddafi and who were in the lead on creating the No-fly Zone. A similar opinion has been shared by many other potential contenders such as Sarah Palin and Newt Gingrich. Haley Barbour is one of the few who articulated extreme reluctance for our involvement in Libya.

The issue is one that might play a significant roll in the GOP presidential nominating contest. It is one that could fuel the isolationist, Ron Paul, libertarian, element within the Party and help swing a .small but winning plurality over to candidates like Barbour who were not quick to pull the trigger on Libya.

While that issue will continue to play itself out, this week’s White House 2012 poll quickly changes topics and moves from the international political arena to domestic election politics and asks whether or not Fred Karger, the first candidate to make his candidacy for the Republican presidential nomination official, should be allowed to participate in al the upcoming Republican presidential debates.

Karger is openly gay, the first openly gay person to run for President in either major Party. Yet some forums, such as a recent Iowa Faith and Family forum, refused to allow Karger to participate because he is gay. This week’s poll asks whether or notsuch future treatmentof Karger should continue as time goes by or if he should be allowed a place in the debates. Click here to take the poll

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Can the Libyan No-Fly Zone Tear the G.O.P. Apart?

Bookmark and Share The recent decision by President Obama to have the United States intervene in the civil war taking place in Libya has the potential to unleash a bruising and divisive debate within the G.O.P. that may very well play itself out in the race for the Republican presidential nomination. For many Republicans, nearly a decade of simultaneous wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have begun to divide the Party almost as much as they divided the nation years after they began. The question of America’s role in the world has always inspired sharp opinions. In 2000 it was Governor and presidential candidate George W. Bush who himself famously stated his desire to make sure that the United States was not in the business of nation building. But then, after 9/11, it was President George W. Bush who created a Bush Doctrine that settled on a policy of preemption.

The circumstances that surrounded Afghanistan and Iraq were unique and there was no question that the leaderless wasteland of Afghanistan was a breeding ground for the terrorist attacks that brought the United States in to a dangerous new reality. Iraq was more complicated. While Saddam Hussein did not directly have any fingerprints on 9/11, whether you want to discount it or not, evidence demonstrated indirect involvement through Hussein’s support of terrorism and the entry in and out of Iraq by known Al Qaeda operatives. Furthermore, despite the lack of a discovery of a hard discovery of WMD’s in Iraq, evidence did in fact make it clear that Saddam had used, was developing and did at least at one point have WMD’s and was willing to use them. There is even evidence that before Operation Iraqi Freedom hit the ground and after a devastating earthquake in neighboring Syria, Saddam shipped his WMD’s out of Iraq under the auspices of shipments of humanitarian aid to Syria. Imagine that..Saddam Hussein and humanitarian assistance.

But no matter where you personally stand on the merits of our actions in Afghanistan and Iraq, the two wars have given rise to a level of war weariness that transcends Party affiliation. Within the G.O.P. itself, many Republicans have been attracted to Congressman Ron Paul, who touts what is essentially an isolationist position that would have the United States close its eyes and place its hands over ears while yelling “Im not hearing you.” To a degree Ron Paul is right. But only to a degree. 9/11 should have proved to us that the United States cannot ignore events that take place elsewhere. Today’s world is far too small to think that a ripple someone else will not eventually find its way to our own shores. But over overreaction can be just as bad as too little action.

And that is where the debate within the Republican Party begins.

We are already beginning to see the emerging field of Republican presidential candidates go to their respective corners of the political boxing ring on the issue. Sarah Palin, Mike Huckabee, Tim Pawlenty, John Bolton and Rick Santorum have jumped on the President for too much inaction in Libya. After the French took the lead in support of rebels opposing Moammar Gadaffi, Mitt Romney has attacked President Obama for relinquishing America’s leadership role in the world to the French. Romnney also recently said I support military action in Libya. I support out troops there in the mission they’ve been given. But let me also note that thus far the President has been unable to construct a foreign policy, any foreign policy,” . Romne added “He [President Obama] calls for the removal of Moammar Gadaffi but then conditions our action on the directions we get from the Arab League and the United Nations.”

But Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour, has seemingly broken ranks with his potential Republican opponents. On the involvement of the United States in military action to create and enforce a no-fly zone over the skies of Libya, Barbour said “I think we need to be cautious about being quick on the trigger,”. But Barbour has gone even further by suggesting that we must reevaluate our commitment in Afghanistan. According to him “What is our mission? … Is that a 100,000-man army mission?”.

Barbour connects his lack of interest in military intervention to fiscal responsibility, an argument that will have plenty of legs with a national electorate that has come to realize that our national debt is itself becoming a major risk to our national security. But while Barbour is framing American military and foreign policy on economic grounds, potential candidates like Sarah Palin suggests that we have a responsibility to promote freedom and the benefits that come to all from it, when she poignantly tells “We should not be afraid of freedom.”

At the moment, most of the developing G.O.P. presidential field is content with supporting the United States involvement in the creation of a Libyan no-fly zone, and to criticize the President for both, not acting on it quicker and not having a clearly defined end goal after its creation. But as Haley Barbour shows, that view is not unanimous and as Americans become increasingly weary of deficit spending, “nation building”, and policing the world, Barbour’s unwillingness to get on the no-fly zone bandwagon may distinguish himself from a field of potential candidates whom the electorate may see as leading us into foreign entanglements that cost more than they are worth.

The debate has the potential to divide the G.O.P’s predominantly fiscal conservative base into unbridgeable factions of neo-cons and libertarian Republicans. Such a division already exists, with one side led by Ron Paul and the other largely led by the Republican establishment. But should this emotional divide grow further apart, it could mean the difference between winning and losing the presidency in 2012. Haley Barbour could be positioning himself as the catalyst for compromise that could at least temporarily unite the two sides. And such a compromise over this existing division will be necessary. And not just for the political victory of the Party, but for the strength and security of the United States.

The future of freedom and our nation relies on our nation’s ability to effect positive change in the world that we live in instead of it being effected by the negative influences of the forces opposed to freedom. But as President Benjamin Harrison said; “We Americans have no commission from God to police the world.” While those words are quite true, can we take them to the extremes that Ron Paul does? Ron Paul believes we caused 9/11 and brought it upon ourselves. Such thinking cost him more votes than it got him and it suggests that America has no role to play in defending freedom or even the allies of freedom.

But is it possible for a Republican to rise to the occasion of true leadership by carefully articulating when it is necessary for American use of force in the world?

Until such time as such a Republican rises, the debate that was largely marked by the 2008 exchange between Ron Paul and Rudy Giuliani that is seen below, has the ability toput the Party asunder.

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And while we are on the topic be sure to click here and take this week’s White House 2012 which asks whether it is wise or not for a potential Republican candidate to support American involvment in the creation of a No-Fly Zone over Libya

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