Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Libyan Gut Check

"Gut Check" for Progressives on Libya
 George Bush isn't president, so military interventions are back in style with the American left...
Progressives, are you comfortable with using military force — including airstrikes against strategic military targets — in Libya?

There are clear and compelling reasons to use force in this case, in concert with a progressive internationalist worldview, the belief that America can best defend itself by building a world safe for individual liberty and democracy.  The progressive internationalist now has little choice but to act militarily to stop the mass, indiscriminate killing of Libyans who hold those values.  (Gut Check Time for Progressives)
Did progressives just rip a page from the neocon handbook?

And who says these Libyan rebels "hold those values."  What proof do we have that any of these human hornets swarming in the face of creaking kleptocrats are motivated by anything even close to democracy or Western values?

Two cheers for President Obama’s non-intervention in Libya

It was the right thing to do, but he did it badly, and out of a feckless indecisiveness.  The he blew it completely by reversing himself once the opportunity to decapitate the Khadaffi regime had passed.  He was just the man to stand up and tell the European and Arab states to man up and take care of it themselves, we’re tired of fighting their wars for them.

But instead, he dithered in the face of having to do something harder that delivering a flowery speech, dissipating another opportunity and hastening Western entropy.
“The Arabs and the Europeans live there, and if they truly see hell coming, they should act, and they can act.”  --Leslie Gelb
Europeans and Arab states have the ability to take military action on their own.  Leslie Gelb explains:
Doubt not that those pushing for a U.N./U.S. no-fly zone can enforce that goal themselves. Libya has less than 200 usable jet fighters of old vintage, flown by pilots who get less than 90 hours practice time yearly.
Egypt has first-class F-16s that could pulverize any Libyan opposition. Saudi air power is even more formidable. That is to say nothing of the hundreds of top-grade fighters that London and Paris could deploy to bases in Egypt, Tunisia, or Italy. There would be no contest. Those arguing for a no-fly zone don't need a U.S. aircraft carrier.
If the stakes are anywhere near as great as activists claim, they don't need a U.N. Security Council resolution either. Many is the nation that resorted to force without such international blessing.
The hypocrisy here is monumental, even by traditional foreign-policy standards of baloney.  (Leslie Gelb -- Let Libya's Neighbors Fix It)
 * - Since this writing, they did get a security council resolution and the bombing has begun.  We'll see what happens.

20 comments:

Always On Watch said...

What proof do we have that any of these human hornets swarming in the face of creaking kleptocrats are motivated by anything even close to democracy or Western values?

Exactly.

Let the Moslems police their own over there.

This morning, I hear that an American fighter jet has crashed in Libya. Fortunately, the crew members are okay. But the cost of that crashed plane is on the backs of us taxpayers.

Infidel753 said...

What proof do we have that any of these human hornets swarming in the face of creaking kleptocrats are motivated by anything even close to democracy or Western values?

For one thing, the rebellions have not been dominated by Islamist slogans and demands the way such mass movements in that part of the world have been in the past. The basically secular character of the uprisings shows that the Arabs are a lot more politically mature than ten or twenty years ago. Most likely Western influence, facilitated by the pervasiveness of modern media, is the main reason.

For another, yesterday's constitutional referendum in Egypt brought a huge turn-out. When people have the chance to take democratic action on the future of their own countries, they do it.

Of course there's no guarantee that secular democracy will be the outcome in all or even any of the Arab countries -- but it would clearly be in our interest if it did, so given that there's a substantial chance, we should try to encourage it.

Silverfiddle said...

@Infidel: Of course there's no guarantee that secular democracy will be the outcome in all or even any of the Arab countries -- but it would clearly be in our interest if it did, so given that there's a substantial chance, we should try to encourage it.

True Statement. The question is how high of a price are we willing to pay.

On one level, we could argue that all of this is the result of George Bush's efforts (however ham-handed) are finally bearing fruit.

On the other hand, they all hate our guts over there, and I don't know what we can do to change it.

For that reason, I'm for staying the hell out and letting them sort it out for themselves.

Leticia said...

Silver, the United States has absolutely no business interfering in their internal affairs.

Like AOW stated, them police their own affairs and leave us out of it.

Thank God! Those precious men are safe.

Infidel753 said...

The question is how high of a price are we willing to pay.

Always a salient point. I think, though, that Libya is one of those cases where we'd ultimately pay a higher price for not intervening than for intervening.

On the other hand, they all hate our guts over there,

I'm not convinced that that's the case. Middle Easterners have for decades been subject to clumsy propaganda from their own rulers using demonic American/Zionist conspiracies as an excuse for whatever repression or deprivation the said rulers were inflicting at the moment, and a lot of them seem to have seen through it. There wasn't much anti-American or even anti-Zionist sloganeering during the Egyptian and Tunisian revolts, even though the regimes there were "pro-Western".

The only anti-Western sentiments I've heard of from the Libyan rebels consisted of anger that it took us so long to intervene.

Jersey McJones said...

I certainly don't want to us us get too involved. So far we're not. The French have taken the lead from the beginning. The absurdly named "Operation Odyssey Dawn" may be our operation, but it's not the British or French operations. These are essentially three operations variously coordinated with each other. This notion that we are somehow in charge of all this is just plain wrong. We're only in charge of Odyssey Dawn.

The trouble with this mission is that no one really wants to get too deep, except maybe the French, but even they wouldn't go it alone. This is certainly not some conspiracy of progressive world orderism. That's just stupid. So far we, and the French and Brits, have accomplished, pretty successfully, apparently, stopping a bloodbath in a few cities in Libya. That's a good thing. We have the capacity to do good and we did.

We should certainly not get any deeper in this than we are. Most everyone, progressives, conservatives, liberals, neocons, Republcians, Democrats, agree with that. Including Obama.

JMJ

Bastiatarian said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jersey McJones said...

That's simply not true, Bastiat. I know it fits your epistemology, but it simply isn't true.

JMJ

Bastiatarian said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jersey McJones said...

Bastiat, did you read anything other than that one article?

Gortney was talking about OPERATION ODYSSEY DAWN, not the British and French missions, the former being called operation Ellamy. Don;t know the French mission name.

God, man, can't you put things into context?

The French pushed for this all along. They're the ones who flew in the surface fighters and took out the Libyan armor. We acted as the coordinators of the British and French assaults, and assisted with missile assausts of our own on hardened targets and air defences. The British did a sort of combination of the two approaches. We did not need to work with them all that much in this operation. They were doing their own thing.

The French want the lead in all this, and they want it done their way. We're more than happy to oblige them. Obama and the Pentagon do not want another war now. The Brits and NATO have different agendas and issues. Th UNSC is all-onboard. The Arab states are here and there.

Like I said, so far, so good. Though I wish the whole thing had more organization and clarity. Maybe that's the Italian in me! ;)

JMJ

Bastiatarian said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Rational Nation USA said...

Ho -Hum, The more things change the more they seem to stay the same.

Gearing up for round two (and three) of The Obama Intervention. With support from the Neo Cons and the progressives.

Obama Looking very Clinton and Bush like these days.

As we we keep taking baby steps to "The Imperial Presidency."

Bastiatarian said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Bastiatarian said...

Comments deleted.
Explanation: I'm sick of having to talk slowly to people like this "Jersey McJones" character who have absolutely no interest in truth and reality, and are so intellectually slothful as to make it hard to believe that they're not just doing an over-the-top parody of leftist goofballs. I don't have time for people that aren't serious about truth.

Most Rev. Gregori said...

Liberal's motto: "Do as we say not as we do!"

Jersey McJones said...

Bastiat,

I'm honestly arguing with you.

JMJ

WomanHonorThyself said...

of course this war will be defended to the death..because after all "Messiah" initiated our military action!..pffttt!

Always On Watch said...

Silverfiddle,
You might be interested in reading THIS.

Silverfiddle said...

AOW: Wow! That is one smart woman. Thanks for the link!

MK said...

The problem with NFZ and things like that is that's all it can do, the rebels won't be able to defeat gaddafi, remember the no fy zone in Iraq, that crap went for 12 years.

If you don't have the balls to put boots on the ground, which obama doesn't, your best option is to shut up and stay out of it. Let someone else deal with it. After all if everyone's so weepy over the innocents, well go and do something then.