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Why I supported the Libya adventure

Reader comment on item: What's the Goal in Libya?

Submitted by John in Michigan, USA (United States), Jun 18, 2011 at 06:17

I initially supported the Libya adventure for four reasons:

1) Humanitarian grounds (avoiding mass murder, and possible ethnic cleansing or even tribal genocide;

2) The general optimism of the Arab Spring; and specifically, the hope that the right kind of American action in Libya might influence the Arab Spring (in the larger region) in a more pro-American direction;

3) Treating our enemies like enemies. The intervention seemed to overturn the previous Obama admin pattern of giving concessions to our enemies (e.g. Iran, N. Korea) and demanding concessions from our friends (e.g. Israel, S. Korea, Britain). At long last, Obama seemed to be demanding more from an enemy, Libya, than from neutrals and friends, like Egypt, Tunisia, Morocco, Britain, and France.

4) Supporting our European allies. Libya is right in Europe's back yard. Geopolitics dictates that Europe has an interest in events in the Med, in much the same way that the US has an interest in events in the Carribean (Haiti, Cuba).

The Libya adventure has, once again, revealed the flaws in NATO's command and control structure that people have been warning about ever since it became clear that NATO would not be fighting a land war against the Red Army. Even after a month of co-ordination, training, and fighting, air support is still not able to respond quickly enough to developments on the ground.

Also, the decision to get not just one but TWO UN resolutions (a bit of political theater to enable the US and Euro left to pretend that "we are not Bush"), manged to vastly improve Qaddafi's chance of holding on to something. Had we intervened 2+ weeks earlier, when the Libyan uprising was viable even in Tripoli, and before Qaddafi had a chance to rally his forces, the outcome might have been very different than the current stalemate.

But, even in the current stalemate, there is some hope. The perimeter around Misurata has been expanded, and there is no longer much house-to-house fighting there. Also, there is apparently a sort of second front at the western border.

For now, at least, partition seems a reasonable goal.

Due to his apparent insanity, I would prefer that the western entity be controlled by someone other than Qaddafi. Perhaps it could be one of his heirs, or some other leader who can be found from amongst his supporters.


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