Answer for Glenn Greenwald, for whom I have enormous respect: Yes.
Iraq was an illegal war, for no pressing national interest & with no UNSC authorization.
The Libya intervention is legal and was necessary to prevent further massacres and to forestall a threat to democratization in Tunisia and Egypt, and if it succeeds in getting rid of Qaddafi’s murderous regime and allowing Libyans to have a normal life, it will be worth the sacrifices in life and treasure. If NATO needs me, I’m there.
1. People keep bringing up the need for Congressional approval. I agree that would be better, and don’t agree that Bush actually had it for Iraq. But there is an argument for going to war under a UNSC decision because it is a prior treaty obligation entered into by Congress. See e.g. this comment. This reasoning is the one used in the Korean War. Me, I’d like a straight Congressional vote since that would be cleaner, and Sen. Levin may be working on (the president has some time to seek it).
2. In a rather juvenile way, some people keep telling me to go join the rebels and fight in Libya; I thought we’re all opposed to American boots on the ground? Likewise for telling people to enlist; unless they are going to be fighter jet pilots, they wouldn’t get to be involved in Libya, and infantry would be shipped off to Afghanistan, which has morphed into a war I can’t support. This meme is just a mischievous distraction. I took Glenn’s rather more serious question to be whether I categorized the Libya intervention as I did the 2001 intervention against al-Qaeda in Afghanistan, and my answer is yes. Since I’m 58, no one is going to let me, nor would it be wise to let me, soldier, but I do do consulting with the military sometimes if it is an issue on which I think I can make a difference through conceptual understanding proffered to officers (I find our officers to be very smart and on the ball). Sometimes colleagues of mine have done such consultations in places that are at least a little dangerous, which was what I was saying I was willing to do in this instance. I lived through the some of the early years of the civil war in Lebanon and know what war is, unlike a lot of the commenters; I don’t support one lightly.)