First Afghanistan. Then Iraq. Back to Afghanistan. Now Libya. Do the American people want this? Do they need this? With the economy still playing teeter-totter, this risky gambit in North Africa is going to cost a lot of taxpayer money and probably cost American lives.
As I write, this country’s awesome military might is being unleashed on another Arab nation, killing more Arab peoples. Tomahawk missiles from the sea, stealth bombs from the sky. (I saw a stealth bomber at a military air show in California. It is one bad boy in design and killing power.)
Why can’t we get out of this cycle of “butting in” when it comes to Arab nations? The majority hates the United States enough as is, but now we have just handed them more ammunition, figuratively and literally.
Like the people of other Arab nations, Libyans protested the oppressive 40-year reign of Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi and moved to overthrow the lunatic leader. But Qaddafi fought back against the rebels who wanted to do him in. He started killing opponents, his own people. American foreign policy experts pressured President Obama to get involved because we had a moral obligation. They argued, “He can’t be allowed to massacre his own people.” Finally the President proclaimed, Qaddafi “has to go.”
After the United Nations voted to impose a “no-fly zone” over Libya, some European countries and the Arab League proposed that the US join a coalition to enforce the resolution. With backing from our allies, the Obama Administration felt it had some cover. Nobody said it, but you know who was expected to do the heavy lifting—the nation with the most powerful military in the world. The Good Ol’ USA.
The attacks on Libya began when French warplanes destroyed several combat vehicles in the first strike by the coalition. But within hours our military was firing missiles and dropping bombs on Qaddafi’s air and ground defenses.
What we face in Libya is a civil war. One group of citizens wants change and the other wants the status quo. The President of the Ivory Coast had a similar situation, but we didn’t stop him from killing his people.
Don’t get me wrong, like Saddam Hussein; Muammar Qaddafi is bad news and a little crazy. The world may be better without them. But what is our objective with this Operation Odyssey Dawn (what kind of name is that?) Military officials assure us that they will not send ground troops to Libya, but they are somewhat vague when asked about whether we will stay in the Libyan “theater” until Qaddafi is gone.
Aha! Now I’ve got it. Libya has oil, some of the finest crude on the planet. Perhaps our interest is not the poor Libyan people but who, there, will control the black gold.