I saw a statistic somewhere that said that 68% of U.S. citizens are war weary. I am certainly one of them. Neither party seems to shy away from sending our kids and/or our dollars to fight in this or that conflict. After twelve years of constant war costing us thousands of our kids and $trillions I am war weary. Do we really need to be the policemen of the world even if it bankrupts us? Our war machine has cost us enough! More…
It was good to see President Obama go on television the other day to explain why he supported the NATO no-fly zone in Libya. I think he did a good job of saying how we as U.S. citizens cannot turn our backs on these types of humanitarian issues. When leader of a country indiscriminately kills so many of its citizens others of the world have to take action. Since we have the vast majority of military in the world we had to step forward to help. I also appreciate that he let NATO take the lead in this exercise. That is the way it should be. The U.S. should not be the policemen of the world. Given our deficits we just can’t afford to do that all the time as we have.
I find the Republican response to the Presidents speech quite amusing. They are shouting about an exit strategy and a time-table for getting out of the “quagmire” as some of the are calling it already. What is so amusing about this is that these are the same politicians who all but crucified candidate Obama we he dared to say he would put a time-table on our non-existent exit strategy in Iraq if he were elected. At that time the Republicans were ranting about how it is impossible to put a time-table on their war in Iraq. Now they are demanding the same thing they were condemning just a few years ago. But who said the current crop of Republican politicians are consistent about anything except their complaining about the opposition party.
The Republicans are also demanding that we do everything possible to “take out” Kadhafi and provide total support the rebels in Libya. This seems another place where they as usual go off half-cocked. It is widely recognized that the world knows next to nothing about the rebel opposition in the country. They might be ultra extreme Muslims Jihadists for all we know. To put the success of this action on putting them in power seems tenuous at best. Just like everything else in this world time will only tell who would be the best leaders for that country. We can only wait to see how that shakes out.
But what do I know….
It warms my heart that two European countries have taken the lead in keeping the dictator of Libya from destroying his own people. Maybe humanity does mean something to political powers. I am also relieved that the U.S. has finally agreed to help them in that effort. This goes a long way to proving that we don’t have to be the policemen of the world. While President Obama has dissappointed me in so many areas this is not one of them. He let others closer to the conflict take responsibility for stopping the innocent killing. Good for him. But, I was getting scared that he was going to wait too long and therefore making action moot.
For the most part I am a passivist. I believe that war is absolutely the last option. But when a leader of a country goes about systematically killing off his opposition in such large numbers something must be done to ameliorate that action. Thanks Britain and France for having the compassion for doing just that.
When President Obama was campaigning in 2008 he made it a point to say that there were some circumstance where he would use the military might of the U.S. to right something that was morally wrong.
See the article referenced by the link below. It seems that Libya forces who are backing Gadhafi are rounding up dissidents in the middle of the night and making them “disappear”. This seems very similar to the killing fields of Cambodia, Sudan, and several other countries where George W Bush and some of his professors basically sat on their hands. When President Obama was campaigning for the office I held out hope that he would live by his words. That hope as been somewhat dashed but not yet completely extinguished.
Britain, France and the Arab League are all initiating discussions about a no-fly zone over Libya. I hope President Obama eventually joins them in this matter. But he seems to require much more time to think things through than other world leaders. I hope he doesn’t wait too long to join the no-fly action. It is too bad he was not the one to originally bring it up. But, I am, unlike many in this country, not one to discount ideas simply because they were not initiated in the U.S.
In addition to Gadhafi sending out death squads he is also using his helicopter gun ships to fire upon unarmed protest marches in the country. I’m sure he will do absolutely everything, no matter how immoral, to maintain his iron grip over the country. Unlike Afghanistan and especially Iraq I believe we do have a responsibility to intervene here at least at a minimal level by enforcing a no-fly zone in Libya. I am by no means one to rush off to war but where innocents are being slaughter some limited action is demanded.
But what do I know.