I tried to stay quiet. I even made attempts at neutrality. But I find myself enraged at the decision to “go to war” in Libya and I have to say something. I could ramble on for pages but I will spare you. I will limit it to just a few points, fully aware that there are more to be made. On both sides.
Spread the Blame
First, I don’t blame just President Obama. The media and Congress (mostly democrats) are using this as the perfect opportunity to slaughter his decision making. There are reasons for what President Obama decides to do that we aren’t privy to. That is generally a truth that applies to presidents. And it’s not as if he made the decision on his own. It is widely known that there was a split in the Administration with Hillary Clinton and Susan Rice both supporting military action.
Point two: involving the American military is a statement not just about our government’s priorities but also the international community’s.
Andrew Sullivan of The Atlantic put it perfectly: “We have done nothing in Burma or Congo” and we “are actively supporting governments in Yemen and Bahrain that are doing almost exactly – if less noisily – what Qaddafi is doing.”
Please, don’t get me wrong. The people of Libya need international support and Gaddafi should be ousted. But at what cost? The United States is already beyond broke; countries like Congo and Sudan have seen fighting, government crack downs, and orchestrated mass rapes at the hands of government officials for years and no planes go in to rescue the civilians.
The United Nations sends troops that admit they have failed in Congo; and the only whispers we hear from the United States’ government is in support of the Sudanese split or quiet condemnation of mass rape. Well, who can’t condemn such an atrocity? So, I ask, Why Libya? What don’t we know?
President Obama referenced that Gaddafi posed a threat to national security. Again, I refer to Mr. Sullivan: “Really? More than Qaddafi’s meddling throughout Africa for years? More than the brutal repression in Iran? And even if it is destabilizing, Libya is not, according to the Obama administration itself, a ‘vital national interest.'”
Also, this. Let’s not compare this “Operation Odyssey Dawn” with any operation under the Bush Administration. We aren’t, as of yet, sending in ground forces and we are being promised that this is time limited. Very time limited. We are also acting in unison with other important world forces of the U.N. Security Council, another important contrast. So before we attack Obama for voting against the war in Iraq yet authorizing the attack on Libya, let’s first at least recognize they are not the same.
So much about this disgusts me – the decision itself, the way the media has forgotten about Japan and countries like Yemen where protests are still raging and no international aid is forthcoming. I don’t have the answers and I don’t claim to know what is “right.” What I do know, is that there are plenty of other ways to channel this money, energy, time, and power. It’s as if this is a big connect the dot exercise and we are missing having half the dots.