Monday, March 21, 2011

Libya, Complex Indeed

Our intervention in Libya is a complex issue indeed. The President's Left base is not happy to say the least. Some conservatives appear to be watching from the sidelines while other conservatives are praising the fact we've finally made a decision and are doing something. And it does not help the administration to say on one hand that Gadaffi must go as the President did last week then change their mind this weekend that he can stay in power. This is exactly the type of rhetoric and indeciveness that keeps getting this adminsitration in trouble, especially in foreign policy. Once again, it makes us look weak to the rest of the world. There's one thing about George W. Bush and Ronald Reagan--when they were in charge--we didn't look weak.

That's why, whatever we do, we need a clearly defined mission.

Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC), "I'm glad we are finally doing something. I don't know how many people have died as we wait to do something. Thank God for strong women in the Obama administration..."

Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio) asked if the missile strikes should be an impeachable offense (if anything, this guy is consistent).

Paul Wofowitz, former deputy secretary of Defense, said, "We've have paid the price of intervention . Sometimes we've paid the price of non-intervention, in Bosnia, for example." {and I'd like to add in Rwanda where over 800,000 people were slaughtered, and in the Congo, now approaching over 6 million killed in the last 10 years}.

And Jamie Rubin, former Assistant Secretary of State in the Clinton Administration said, "There is a kind of vagueness to the political, military objectives here...I think the coalition is a little shaky." {He may be right. The Arab League appears to have pulled back its initial support for this campaign}.

And, of course, there are other critics who point out some of what Gadaffi is doing to his own country is going on in Bahrain and other hot spots, some who happen to be our allies.

My take? I've always looked at the moral component, not the practical, of any intervention or potentional intervention. In other words, I support going after and doing whatever needs to be done against "Evil doers." That's why I supported our intervention into Iraq and Afghanistan. How do I feel about this one? I think we should drop as many payloads on anyplace we believe Gadhafi is hiding or holding up. In short, I want him dead. But I don't want any American boots on the ground.

Regarding Afghanistan, I think Peggy Noonan said it best and it supports my personal beliefs, "In Afghanistan, America cannot leave because it is the 9/11 Place, the place that helped 9/11 to happen. America cannot leave because, as the iconic Time cover had it, the Taliban will cut off women's noses and brutalizes them in other ways {this is where my "moral imperative" comes into my decision making}. America cannot leave because al Qaeda will return, fill the vacuum left by our departure, and create a new terror state. America cannot leave, because from the day we arrived, we invested blood and treasure, and it cannot have been in vain. America can never leave because American troops always bring their kindness and constructiveness with them and their rule of law. Innocent people will be defenseless without them{Whoooah!!! Peggy}

And another question needs to be asked: did our hesitation--and the hesitation of our coalition forces--embolden the dictatorial leaders in Syria, Bahrain and other Middle Eastern and North African countries in the last several weeks to attack their own people? I think so. Will our decision to attack Libya change their minds? Right now, I think it's too early to tell. We do know this. After Reagan sent a few missles towards Gadaffi's way, he got the message.

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