Davis: Libyan intervention both just and legal, despite criticism

On March 19, a coalition force comprised of ships and aircraft from the U.S., the U.K. and France began bombarding strategic locations under the control of Col. Moammar Gadhafi. The French, in defiance of their reputation as cheese-eating surrender monkeys, actually spearheaded the attack.

As so often happens, though, it was the American forces that have managed to do the most damage, firing more than 190 Tomahawk missiles from Navy ships in the Mediterranean, sending fighter jets to enforce the U.N.-sanctioned no-fly zone and positioning 2,200 Marines near Libya just in case an invasion is carried out. All of this action was taken without the consent, or even the advisement, of Congress.

Following the commencement of the bombardment of Tomahawks, which cost about $1.5 million apiece, there was a cry of "Foul!" from the left side of the Congressional aisle. Apparently, some people think President Barack Obama has committed an impeachable offense.

It seems that some within the extreme liberal left have, in opposition to what they see as a third war, decided that Obama is now a war criminal. This has left members of the political right considering their options; conservative demagoguery won't allow them to denounce military action against a freedom-hating dictator on behalf of some plucky liberty-seeking rebels. That'd be tantamount to admitting that, when President George W. Bush did the same thing, he was also in the wrong.

Similarly, the conservatives can't be seen to support a Democrat president, especially one so stridently progressive. Thus the likelihood of Obama being impeached is, politically speaking, zilch.

That's good, though, because he hasn't actually broken the law. The arguments for impeachment have been loud, but few and far between. Military action in Libya was, in fact, exactly the right course for Obama to take with or without the consent of Congress.

Contrary to what is suggested by Rep. Dennis Kucinich's (D-Ohio) poor interpretation of U.S. law, the president is allowed to deploy troops and all the accoutrements thereof for up to 60 days following one of two scenarios: specific authorization or direct attack.

Obviously, Gadhafi hasn't attacked America. But there was specific authorization in the form of a U.N. resolution calling for members of the Security Council to pursue "any means necessary" to protect Libyan civilians.

So not only is the action against Gadhafi entirely legal, it was also the only viable choice for the Obama administration. The way in which the situation been handled – that is, the lack of troops on the ground as well as the relinquishing of control to a joint NATO command – has proven not only that is Obama in the right, but that he is also a subtle tactician and a politician who does what is necessary when it is necessary.

While liberals rail against what they see as another warlike failure and conservatives complain about the costs of missiles and planes, informed Americans should appreciate the dedication of our president to preserving the pursuit of life, liberty and happiness for those who have decided they want it.