Liberals have spent years telling us that President Bush lied because Weapons of Mass Destruction were not found in Iraq. And that attacking Iraq and toppling a brutal dictator was completely without justification because WMD’s were never found. The argument that Saddam Hussein was a truly bad man who mistreated the citizens of Iraq was simply not good enough. Bush had no justification for going into Iraq.
And now, without even a hint of intelligence that Libyan strongman Muammar Muhammad al-Gaddafi was even contemplating possession of WMD’s, President Obama believes that America is justified in attacking another country of no vital interest to the US simply because he is a bad man who allegedly slaughtered his own people. But he used airplanes.
Oh, and a long time ago he had something to do with downing a Pam Am plane and bombing a night club. But the UN had already forgiven Gaddafi these indiscretions and even believed him to be sufficiently rehabilitated that he deserved to be on the UN’s Human Rights Council.
Despite the glaring hypocrisy of the left defending Obama’s attack on Libya while claiming Bush’s attacking Iraq was unjustified, the most troubling aspect of involving us in a third war is the lack of resolve displayed in Obama’s speech last night.
Do we have a moral obligation to protect the world from bad leaders even when they use deadly force against their own people? Perhaps. But the list of countries that would qualify these days is long – and growing longer. But America is completely and utterly broke – financially speaking.
Recall that Gaddafi came under attack and used deadly force to repel the aggressors. And despite the fact that a just world would have demanded this man’s trial and execution long ago, and as distasteful as it is to admit, Gaddafi was not the instigator of the recent “unpleasantness” in Libya.
And Obama failed to make a case on the basic question: why Libya? And more importantly, why not Syria or other Arab countries where the same scene played out? These are not Democracies. They are Dictatorships. When you attempt to topple a Dictator, you must expect deadly resistance.
But Obama’s assurance that we will not make the same mistakes Bush made in Iraq, getting bogged down in a long, drawn out war is hardly reassuring. When Obama said “I can report we have stopped Gaddafi’s deadly attack,” all that was missing was the “Mission Accomplished” banner.
Unfortunately, the “not getting bogged down” part is where Obama has failed to think this through. America supported and encouraged the Kurds to rise up against Saddam Hussein only to cut and run when the going got tough. We didn’t want to get bogged down.
We all know the result. Hussein’s power increased and Kurds were slaughtered.
Obama supports the same solution for Libya. Let’s give them a taste of victory, then pull out and let them sort it out on their own.
This leaves three possible scenarios.
1. Gaddafi survives and retains power.
This is looking like a possibility. History tells us that this can lead to a far worse outcome several years down the road. That the brutality potential for a regime such as this that survives an overthrow attempt multiplies exponentially. It is very likely that a bad situation will be made worse in the long run if we fail to complete the job and ensure a Democratic form of government is instituted. This is simply kicking the can down the road for future leaders to finally resolve – once and for all. A continuing resolution, something with which Obama’s party has become quite comfortable lately.
2. Gaddafi is deposed and the people of Libya choose a new government.
On the surface, this sounds like a good option. But the “rebels” we are now supporting have undeniable ties to al-Qaeda. Perhaps that is why Obama failed to mention the “rebels” at all last night. And there is an (intentionally) under-reported movement for Sharia Law in Libya.
ThinkAfricaPress reports on a demonstration in London demanding Sharia Law for Libya:
Dressed in black and white, supporters of Sharia law chanted claims that Sharia law is the only option, not only for Libya, but for the West as well.
A spokesman for the demonstrators – who nationality is unknown – referred to the “changing tides of the world”: for the demonstrators, events in North Africa are indicative of something more than the expulsion of dictators.
So, if left to their own accord, there is a great likelihood Gaddafi, if replaced, will lead to an Iranian style Theocracy where women, gays and human rights are tossed out the window replaced by stoning and hanging. Where Christians and Jews, in fact any non-Muslim is subject to the death penalty as infidels.
3. A Pro-Western Democracy embracing freedom and liberty springs from Gaddafi’s ashes.
We really don’t need to explore the possibility of this happening without a long, drawn-out Nation Building effort and American boots on the ground for at least a decade – probably more.
So, given that option #3 is not going to happen, and #1 or #2 are the most likely with Obama’s cut and run, kick the can strategy, are either of these options better than doing nothing?
There is a “humanitarian crisis” if we do nothing, but the uncommitted response Obama has chosen will lead to the same or worse ends.
America has learned from history that either we are either “all in” and willing to see things through at great cost in treasure and human lives, or we meddle on the edges and create a vacuum that will be filled by a worse nightmare eventually.
Leadership is the ability to know the difference between a short term patch that will eventually fail, making matters worse in the long run, and a long term solution that will fix the problem once and for all. And sometimes leadership is about the courage to reject both such options and allow events to take their natural course.
Obama has chosen the right course in Syria – do nothing, and the wrong course in Libya – an uncommitted commitment. NATO has already decided to delay taking over operations, despite Obama’s speech last night promising a diminished American role, making Obama look foolish and America look weak.
The UN and NATO are incapable of leading. They have always looked to America to do the heavy lifting and heavy spending. They are finding out that Obama is not the caliber of leader America has had in the past.
Given the choice of two tough options, Barack Obama always votes present.