Remember one of the complaints about Bush? That he got us into wars we didn’t need to be in, for bad reasons?
We probably owe him something of an apology, because certainly this Libyan idiocy is on a par with his adventures.
Now, Colonel Gaddafi is a very bad man. He’s likely not as bad, on a bodies per year basis as Saddam Hussein, but he’s still a very bad man. However, being a very bad man, if it is grounds for bombing you, would see the bomb industry probably become the worlds #1 employer. We need more than that.
Well, he’s done terrible things to his citizens! That was the argument we got, when the US entered into enforcing a no-fly zone, without mind you, the president getting permission from Congress.
Fine. The argument could be made that in this case, the facts on the ground were moving too fast for Congress to take action. But now we’re seeing a move from no-fly to regime change.
All this from a no fly resolution– a resolution which it must be stated, in no place makes the statement that Gaddafi must go.
in fact, this part:
“6. Decides to establish a ban on all flights in the airspace of the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya in order to help protect civilians;” Refers explicitly to civilians, but groups engaged in armed rebellion are not treated as civilians– they’re treated as combatants. The use of aircraft to directly support the rebels is nowhere backed by the resolution, which right now is the only legal fig leaf these attacks have going for them.
Now, why should we care? Again, he’s a very bad man. Well, first of all, so far he’s a very bad man who is winning. What happens when the air strikes alone, as has been proven from WWII on, don’t achieve the goal? Do we storm the beaches? If not, what than– he’ll have little incentive for ever dealing with the west again, since he’ll have pretty well eliminated his internal competition.
Second of all, we know very little about the rebels– if upon entering Tripoli, courtesy of Western fire power, they engage in a celebratory massacre? Are we also now required to provide security and internal governance for Libya?
Lastly, and from the long term perspective, most worrying is Sarkozy’s statement here:
EUOBSERVER / BRUSSELS – French President Nicolas Sarkozy has warned all Arab rulers that they risk Libya-type intervention if they cross a certain line of violence against their own people.
The president told press at an EU summit in Brussels on Thursday (24 March) that UN Security Council resolution 1973 authorising air strikes on Libya has created a legal and political precedent on the “responsibility to protect.”
Very inspiring isn’t it? Especially since the implication is that this single resolution, which never even referred to regime change, now has produced a lasting precedent, one which presumably means nations won’t even have to bother with that pesky security council.
Of course, because of the current problems with NATO’s bombs, it’s likely that it’s a precedent the United States will have to back up– one hopes that this time, Congress, of either party, might be consulted.
So there you are– on flimsy reasons, an attack is launched against a foe that however nasty wasn’t at war with the US, which is now putting us in a position of not only risking an open ended involvement in Libya, but opening up involvement in God knows how many other states, that has no end game, no exit strategy (well other than the good colonel dying and his replacements proving to be tractable democrats), at the very point that we continue to be stretched thin by our other military commitments.
Strangely enough, I thought one of the reasons we voted the Republicans out of the White House was to reduce this sort of thing.