So let’s compare and contrast. Exhibit A, our senior Senator. Leading, as elected officials are supposed to do. Exhibit B, our junior Senator. Hedging, mumbling, and following.
Kerry, two weeks ago.
Senator John Kerry yesterday urged the United States and its allies to draw up plans for a no-fly zone over Libya, to be ready to intervene if Libyan leader Moammar Khadafy commands his air force to slaughter his own civilians….
He stressed that the plan should be done in conjunction with allies, and only to stop a civilian crisis.
“I would only consider its implementation if Khadafy himself were using [air power] as a means of terror, as a means of massacring large numbers of civilians,” Kerry said. “And I think it is only then that the global community would begin to say, uh-oh, we’ve got to do something, now is the time you have to do it.”
Very prudent, and, as it turns out, prescient. He wasn’t flying off the handle saying that we should bomb Libya right away. Rather, he was saying that we should be ready in the event that (a) Khadafy starts using his own forces to slaughter civilians, and (b) the global community agrees on a joint response.
And sure enough, both conditions were met. Khadafy has made pretty clear his intention to kill every last member of the opposition to his murderous regime. In response, the Arab League requested a no-fly zone, which encouraged the UN Security Council to authorize a no-fly zone. And, per Kerry’s original assessment, allied forces including the U.S. are acting against the Libyan regime.
In contrast, here’s Scott Brown, the day after Kerry’s original comments.
The United States should wait before creating a no-fly zone over Libya, Senator Scott Brown said today, striking a cautious note that contrasts with the call from Senator John Kerry to lay plans for restricting Libyan airspace…. Brown, who serves on the Senate Armed Services Committee, didn’t rule out the possibility of such a step in the future if the U.S. has “strong and credible information” that Khadafy, for example, is using mercenaries to kill his own citizens.
Brown has never explained the connection between using mercenaries (who are presumably on the ground) and a no-fly zone. Anyway, Brown’s approach, if adopted, would probably have left the U.S. unprepared to participate in the current action. Which, by the way, Brown now supports.
“I support the administration’s involvement at this point. Obviously, it gets to a point where you have to draw a line in the sand, and when innocent civilians are being killed, it’s important for the world community to step forward, and we’re doing it in a coalition manner, and I’m supportive of that.” … “in this instance, it’s clear that (Libyan leader Moammar Khadafy) was using his own forces to kill innocent civilians, and that’s where I draw the line,” Brown said.
Ah, interesting. So, nothing now about mercenaries. Instead, the conditions that now “obviously” allow Brown to support the current action are
(a) Khadafy starts using his own forces to slaughter civilians, and (b) the global community agrees on a joint response.
Exactly what Kerry said two weeks ago. Welcome to the big leagues, Senator Brown. Try to keep up.