Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Why are we in Libya?

The President's address last night explaining why we had a responsibility to act in Libya.

It seems clear that our actions have already prevented large scale massacres.  That seems a good enough justification for military action.  Now, of course people have a right to worry about the cost and scale of this mission from the American point of view.  We have reason to be concerned about the scope of our future involvement.  But we also can't expect to know all the answers in advance, and we are just going to have to live with some uncertainty.  For the moment, I just have to admire the courage and hope for the success of a ragtag rebel force using pick-up trucks to attack the tanks of the dictator's army. The president's speech also reminds us that the problems in Libya and in the region cannot be solved solely by military means, and cannot be solved by the United States alone.


  1. Joe, I personally felt it was an important speech.
    I think what really makes so many people uncomfortable is the fact that PBO is not someone who can be pegged on many different levels.

    Most politicians are A+B=C types of people. Obama operates outside of that confinement. Even the pundits want something that is predictable. It makes their lives easier.

  2. How many massacres happened in Iran? In Iraq? In Syria? North Korea? Sundan? Rwanda? West Bank? Israel? Why not go there too?

  3. The situation in the ME is so fluid and the outcome so questionable that accepting blame to or taking credit by the President is almost silly. This is an incredibly difficult and complicated situation. Obama is not Carnac the Magnificent. He is worn out, like everybody else. We all hope for the best. No party or individual is Carnac. Taking a que from Joe, everybody "should shut up".

  4. << How many massacres happened in Iran? In Iraq? In Syria? North Korea? Sundan? Rwanda? West Bank? Israel? >>

    My guess on each account is at least as many if not much more than in Libya.

  5. Ideally, Harrison, I think you would want the UN to try to prevent all massacres. Isn't that one of the main purposes of the organization? As for "going in" to the countries you mention, in fact we have been deeply involved in all of them, with the possible exception of Rwanda, where we should have been more deeply involved, and probably could have prevented a massacre more easily than in a well-armed place like Libya. We didn't always do the right thing, and some of our efforts might even have been counter-productive. But that is not an excuse for doing nothing.

    If Obama had done nothing, and thousands of civilians had been slaughtered in Benghazi, I'll bet you would have been one of the first to say that the blood was on Obama's hands.

  6. Most of America is a little preoccupied to worry as much about Libya as some others. Maybe there is more time to look outward if you have the time to look away from just meeting the bottom line.

    This country is not producing new jobs, there is falling income for the non union middle class, rising costs of foods, rising costs of healthcare, rising costs of gas, calls for increased taxes (wtf?), a government unwilling to access our own oil and no coherent ploan elsewhere, companies like GE being subsidized by hokey green government dollars making 14 BILLION last year and paying zero taxes, companies flocking to Zug, Switzerland, which has a corporate tax rate of about 15%. The town of 26,000 has more than 30,000 companies in the area and that number is increasing an average of 800 a year. Caterpillar may be next. Raising corporate taxes (wtf?). Banking fraud that has seen the four largest banks get 20% larger than the were prior to the bailout!? University students who we promised a better life graduating an average of $24,000 in debt and moving back into their kid bedrooms at their parents house? It's a shame what this country has done to our young generation. Forget the little kids. We just jacked up a whole generation of college grads who were supposed to support you in your old age and the little kids through college.

  7. No, I wouldn't have said blood was on Obama's hands. We're not the world's policeman and the UN is impotent. I don't think we should be in Libya any more than I thought we should have gone into Iraq. Obama has just invented a reason using similar logic as Bush.