Monday, March 28, 2011

What Are We Afraid Of?

As the rebels advance back across Libya, taking towns from Gaddafi's forces with active support from NATO airpower, it's become obvious that the President's stated goals of protecting civilians was just a bunch of baloney. NATO is out to depose Gaddafi and that's that.

There's nothing wrong with wanting to depose Gaddafi. The guy is a nut and a tyrant and a genuinely bad dude. The problem with the whole affair is the lack of clarity in the stated purpose of the operation. A quick and dirty perusal of Wikipedia shows that the three primary members of the anti-Gaddafi alliance have a military consisting of more than 2,010,000 people and 7,290 aircraft of all types, not counting the aircraft in the US Army and US Navy.

Gaddafi has almost no chance of shooting back at us in any meaningful way, so long as we stay up in the air. We have overwhelming power that can act with impunity and we're clearly using it to depose the guy. So why are we talking about no-fly zones? Why are we talking about saving civilians? Why have we come up with dozens of contradictory explanations as to just what this is - taking sides in a revolution against a tyrant? There's no fig leaf here at all. We look like cowards, saying one thing and doing the opposite and it's obvious to everyone.

Tonight President Obama is going to give us a speech telling us what we're doing in Libya. If he says anything other than, "We're getting rid of Gaddafi," then it's nonsense.

The reporters are stating the situation clearly. Why hasn't the Administration done the same?


tim eisele said...

Probably the clearest argument I've seen for the current approach is this:

"You can't give people a democratic government. They have to take it."

Right now, they are in the process of taking their own government - yes, it's with outside help, but they are taking the lead. Maybe it will work out satisfactorily from our point of view, and maybe it won't, but whatever the Libyans end up with will be *theirs*, not something imposed from outside. I think that's worth something.

Rose said...

No - it's really brilliant. Obama has figured out how to end the war in Afghanistan. It's so simple really - we're now ALLIES with Al Qaeda. The genius of the man knows no bounds.