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May 19th, 2011 by Richard Lowry
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The 22nd MEU has been on station in the Mediterranean for about two weeks now and we have done absolutely nothing to assist the people of Libya who continue to be slaughtered by their own government. We have spent all our time training and avoiding all other shipping. Once our coalition allies realize that the Obama Doctrine is to instigate but not participate, I fear that they too will back away from their mission of helping the Libyan people.

President Obama has publically stated two important goals for the resolution of the Libyan crisis: First, he has said that the fighting must stop and; second – Qaddafi must go.

The President acted decisively in halting the pro-Qaddafi forces’ advance on Benghazi when he ordered 26th MEU’s Harriers to attack the advancing Libyan Army from the air. He has done nothing to work toward his other stated goal and, after our initial involvement, he has done nothing more to stop the fighting. Qaddafi will not just go away on Mr. Obama’s request. Once a president sets a goal, he needs to lead the military in developing plans to achieve that goal.

It appears that Mr. Obama’s plan is to let other nations take the reins while America watches from the grandstands, cheering NATO and the Coalition on from the sidelines. Mr. Obama has abdicated his seat as leader of the free world and obviously washed his hands of the entire mess.

All the while, four thousand Soldiers, Sailors and Marines are driving in circles in the Mederiteranean. We have left our families to wait at home, missed Easter and Mother’s Day, and ten new fathers were not home to see their sons and daughters born. I am all for the existence of an expeditionary force. I am all for our troops, but I must tell you that this is all a giant waste of time and money for 22nd MEU to be sitting out here doing nothing. A young sailor, mother of two children, said to me today, “I feel like I’m in the Navy to help, but I’m not really helping.”

The MEU has the resources needed directly over our horizon. We could help evacuate refugees. We could provide our substantial medical facilities to wounded Libyans. We could contribute to the air raids or help in the maritime embargo or we could put boots on the ground to decapitate the Qaddafi regime.

Yet, we are traveling in circles.

Semper Fidelis,


Richard S. Lowry has been writing about the Marine Corps for many years. To learn more about his writing and how to purchase his latest book, visit

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8 Responses

  • Gary P Simon says:

    totally disagree with Richard Lowry. The MEU is to support the President in our US foreign policy. Libya issues are substantially NATO country issues not USA issues. Our MEU needs to be in waiting in case there is a flare up in this most volatile region. Once boots are on the ground or involvement with refugees, it is almost impossible to get out – notice we are still in Afghanistan, and Haiti still has huge needs. This fighting force and humanitarian efforts needs to preserve itself for the real fight/need; it should not chase after mischief, just because a news reporter is bored. Yes, that is what I read, that Mr Lowry is bored and he wants something more to write about – probably why we should not be doing what we are doing, when we finally get into a fight. He should drink a mint julip on his steel beach and be glad our guys are safe and sound for the time being – our guys have been in the fighting before and it is not pleasant for anyone. @ weeks of waiting, is he kidding. These guys are going to be there until February 2012; 10 more months of super charged risk. yours Gary

  • Richard Lowry says:

    I will, I went to Mesa Verde last weekend to watch a VBSS exercise. Once the VBSS exercises are complete, he should be back on Bataan. Everyone involved in the VBSS stuff has been very busy.

    Best Regards,

  • Michele R. says:

    I’m not sure how I feel about this. In my 6+ years of being a military wife one thing I’ve learned is that what may seem like a pointless exercise usually has purpose and rationale. Interestingly enough I felt similarly when my husband was in combat in Afghanistan. The loss of life was disheartening and I wondered if it was worth it. I questioned whether or not U.S. troops were even helping or if Afghanistan would return to it’s history of corruption, poverty and turmoil when left to govern itself once again. I suppose that remains to be seen, but the fact of the matter is that whether they are on a ship going in circles or trying to avoid IEDs in Afghanistan, there will always be someone questioning their actions (or inaction as the case may be).

  • Richard Lowry says:


    Thank you for your comment. I want you to know that I am merely voicing the frustration we are all feeling out here at sea.


  • Mrs. D says:

    Hello Richard! I understand what you are getting at. A lot of the guys (even my husband) were amp’d up about going to help Lybia and we all thought they would be doing the same, hence the call for an early leaving. It’s frustrating to know that there are countries needing our help and yet we are not there helping. I feel that the guys would be terribly bored and nerves on edge having to just sit out in the open water and ‘go in circles’. Yes, I love the fact that my husband is safe from harms way, but I feel that even if he were to be just off the coast providing support I would feel more like he left early for a reason. Anyways, keep up the good writing!!

  • Earl Scruggs says:

    Please remove my comments from May 19th @ 7:05pm. I have been informed they are not appropriate.

  • Richard Lowry says:

    We do have a mission out here, but it does not involve most of the sailors and Marines. Many Americans believe that the Marines’ only capability is fighting. I would personally like to see the Amphibious Ready Group/Marine Expeditionary Unit do more to help the Libyan people by providing humanitarian assistance and medical help. USS Bataan has a wonderful medical facility with operating rooms, an ICU ward and a hundred beds. The hospital is staffed with a surgical team and fully equipped. We could be saving lives out here, just like Bataan did last year during the Haiti earthquake. In short, we all just want to help.

  • Richard Lowry says:



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