Question: Why are you (and you fellow contributors) so afraid that the potential regime change in Libya will put a magnifying glass on how poorly executed the invasion of Iraq? How the Bush Administration wasted human, financial and political capital going it alone. Are you really anti-democracy? Pro Gaddafi? or worse yet just a Republican pom pom cheerleader that doesnt want success unless its under the GOP label? Sad. — n0nesuch
Answer: Getting rid of Saddam Hussein may have cost a great deal of blood and treasure, but at least it was in the interest of the United States. Bombing Libya is not — and it’s a bad idea to use our military in a country where there’s nothing worth a single American life. It always looks easy at the beginning — and sometimes it is. Of course, it can also turn into a Somalia or Lebanon, too.
It’s also worth noting that Bush had twice as many coalition nations in Iraq as Obama has in Libya. Of course, the “coalition partners” are nearly irrelevant because the US, along with Britain, always ends up doing almost all of the work. The fact that the rest of the world can’t even handle a no-fly zone in a pissant little country like Libya without us holding their hand is actually a little bit sad and a little bit frightening.
As to Gaddafi, he’s a bad guy and I wouldn’t have a problem with sanctions or arming the rebels. But, now that we’ve gotten militarily involved, there is going to be tremendous pressure on Obama to stay involved until…
#1) Gadaffi is gone
#2) They have a functional democracy in Libya.
This is the “success” you speak of and it’s very problematic.
For one thing, we’re now fighting on the same side as Al-Qaeda — and, yes, there are anti-American terrorists that are fighting on the other side. So, is it entirely possible that we’re fighting to replace Gadaffi, who seemed to have given up his terrorist ambitions because George W. Bush scared the hell out of him, with an anti-American, pro-Al-Qaeda regime? Yes, that’s entirely possible. It also sends a counter-productive message to nations like North Korea. Give up your WMDS like Gadaffi and next thing you know, America will be sending in the bombers to overthrow your regime.
Going a little further, it’s worth noting that NO ONE seems to know what’s going to happen if and when the rebels win. Will there be a democracy? Maybe. Will there be a dictatorship? Maybe. Will there be a radical Islamic republic? Maybe. Will the country split into different parts as the rebels fight a civil war? Maybe.
While I’d certainly prefer for Libya to have a pro-American democracy, whether they do or don’t, really isn’t something that merits gambling American lives.