Special Edition Libya: They Said Whaaaat?

By Jay Holmes

In the past few days, we have seen Western powers overcome their own reluctance to commit to military action against Gadhafi. The vast news coverage of the ongoing diplomacy amongst Western nations has left us with some interesting quotes and sound bites worth considering.

UK Prime Minister, David Cameron, while speaking to the press on Tuesday, March 15 presumed to speak for Arabs, saying their sentiment is, “If you don’t show your support for the Libyan people and for democracy at this time, you are saying you will intervene only when it’s about your security, but you won’t help when it’s about our democracy.”

If any Arab leaders should actually match Mister Cameron’s stated sentiment, I would simply ask them how soon they will be done taking care of the problem. After all, there is no force in Libya that could stop a determined Egyptian intervention.

I respect Mister Cameron, and I am not questioning his sincerity, but I must ask him what he knows that the rest of us haven’t heard about yet. Apparently, Mister Cameron is certain that a defeat of Gadhafi will lead to a democracy in Libya. What precisely would “our democracy” mean in Libya or in any Arab nation? The world has yet to see an Arab democracy.

As a long time Gadhafi detractor, I will not miss him when he moves to his summer home in Hell, but it is not clear to me what will occur in Libya once Gadhafi enters that post-metabolic phase of his personal adventure. I would like for the people of Libya to have a democracy run by Libyans and at peace with the region and the rest of the world, but I cannot ignore that in Iraq, the greatest number of foreign Islamic terrorists entering post-Saddam Iraq were from Libya. Many of them, in fact, come from the three main tribes of the Benghazi area. The homegrown, Al Qaida-mimicking Islamic group in Libya originates in large part from Benghazi. Right about now, too, I wish a little more urgency would have been shown concerning the destruction of Gadhafi’s 44,000 pounds of mustard gas. That gas makes for a nasty wild card in this sad poker game.

As a natural born idealist and an incurable optimist, I am hoping that Libya’s recent advances in education will be enough for Libyans to overcome the national kidnapping that Islamic Terrorists are attempting in Libya now. I see no hard evidence to support my best wishes for Libya, but time will surely tell. The air strikes by France and the UK, the missile strikes by the US, and the buildup of other Western military forces at Italian bases indicate that Western Europe (excepting Germany) has decided that the devil we know is worse than the devil we do not know. I hope that the influx of British, French, Danish, Canadian, American, Spanish, and Norwegian forces do not disrupt poor Berlusconi’s busy social schedule.

For another choice quote, on Wednesday, March 16, the often brilliant Princeton/Harvard/Oxford graduate Anne-Marie Slaughter accused the Obama administration of ignoring the human rights of the people in Libya. She tweeted the following: “U.S. is defining ‘vital strategic interest’ in terms of oil and geography, not universal values. Wrong call that will come back to haunt us.”

For starters “universal values” is a fascinating term. Whose universe is she referring to? Apparently, in her universe the United States military would be quite busy delivering human rights around a largely right-less planet to folks that might not all agree about sharing human rights with their own family members, let alone their neighbors. Would we start with China? Would we first introduce human rights in Iran, Saudi Arabia, or Pakistan? What about Malaysia or Indonesia? How about a few human rights in Russia or Rhodesia? Where do we start, and who will be paying for it? Will the Chinese finance our campaign for human rights in China? That would be cute.

Great idea, except for that little war with China thing.

Anne-Marie, did you not loudly criticize Bush for resorting to military intervention in Iraq? But now you want quick and vigorous military action by Obama? What a fascinating idea…. But let’s engage the fullest powers of our imagination for a moment. Let’s pretend that Anne-Marie is not just scoring points on the Obama Camp in hopes of regaining overpaid employment with some future Obama opponent in the next election cycle. Ok, Anne-Marie, you win, let’s do it your way. Come by my house, and I’ll donate one AK-47 assault rifle and a case of ammo (1440 rounds full metal jacket). As you are installing human rights in Libya, keep detailed notes. Call us on your cell phone when you get Africa fixed up, and we’ll proceed from there. We all “universally” wish you every possible success. Pax Americana, the sequel.

And from Uncle Momo, himself, in a letter to European leaders on Saturday, “It is not your country. We could never and would never fire one bullet against our people.”

Well ok, Momo, I suppose technically “one bullet” would be unlikely. A hundred bullets every day of the week, thousands of bullets frequently, massive rocket and artillery barrages accompanied by bombardment by aircraft and followed by an assault by an armored column? Sure, several times this week. But “a single bullet”? Nah, a single bullet wouldn’t be any fun.

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11 comments on “Special Edition Libya: They Said Whaaaat?

  1. Dave says:

    Thanks, Holmes…I appreciate the balanced viewpoint. Everyone forgets that it’s a lot tougher to make the decisions than to sit on the sidelines and play armchair quarterback. No matter what the US and allies decide to do (or not decide to do), there will be fallout both positive and negative. The trick is always to make the least-bad decision.

  2. cath says:

    Dave is right. It isn’t easy making decisions at the top, but sure is easy to flip out those $5 opinions. I don’t often read articles that present both sides of the coin. Refreshing.

  3. Won’t fire one bullet against your people? Of course not. They’re firing a load of them, grenades, air strikes, etc. As for Anne-Marie Slaughter, no comment…let’s just keep it that way.

    I think that if we want peace in Libya, we’re supposed to aid them through peaceful means: education, water, food, education, and prayers. We should give them support so that they would have strength to fight but we shouldn’t necessarily fight their battles for them. They need to fight Uncle Momo on their own. That way, they could say that they did it themselves.

    • Piper Bayard says:

      Hi Marilag. Holmes wanted to answer you himself, but he’s a bit busy this week. He sends his best.

      I agree with you that it would be wonderful if we could empower others to fight their own battles, but, sometimes, people are so far behind the eight ball that they just need a bit more. I only hope that something better than Gadhafi comes out of all this.

      Thanks for stopping by. We appreciate your support.

      • David says:

        I only hope that Gadhafi doesn’t come out of it, at least intact. Small steps, small steps…

      • @Piper No prob! Tell Holmes that whatever he’s working on shall soon be over (and this too shall pass ;-).

        @David Actually, I hope he gets out of it. We should let the higher power take care of him. We’re not the ones who should pass judgment on him. What can I say? I am 99.9 % sure I could forgive my own murderer. It might take a while but I know I eventually would. If I could forgive my uncle for molesting me as a child, I’m sure I could forgive Gadhafi if he tries to kill a family member.

  4. kadja1 says:

    Well given Uncle Momos tendency to slaughter hordes, I can understand why the attack was done. The man is capable of mass genocide, so yes it probably needed to be done. Does it surprise me that the Arab world is backpeddling on it’s stance? No. However, when the insurgents start creating chaos in their countries, who will they cry to? That’s right! The U.S. In my not so humble opinion, Ghadafi should have been removed DECADES ago when he offered Farakahn money and weapons to start a war in the US. THAT is on video. AS for Anne Marie Slaughter–just send her to to Iran for a while. That way she can find out just how respected she really is by them. Better yet, send her to Africa. She would find out just how “universal” her “values” are then.

    However, to say we are “fighting for them” is not correct in this case. We are aiding nations who are.

    The only thing that surprised me in this is the fact that the French acted first! Their last contribution to military technology was the tank they created with 1 forward gear and 19 reverses!

    • Piper Bayard says:

      Hi Kadja. Love that idea of sending Anne Marie to Iran. I think she should join Katie Couric in Mideast Wife Swap. A little time in Saudi, Bharain, or even the south side of Chicago should show her that her values are not exactly universal. We can’t realistically be expected to force them on the world. Thanks for stopping by and commenting. 🙂

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