Monday, March 21, 2011

Libyan Lunacy

 I find it curious regarding the Libya situation that the press is reporting that Moammar Khadafi (Gadafi, Gaddafi, Kadafi) is attacking "civilians."'s a civil war...of course he is. By definition, anyone not in the Libyan military, and not on the government side, is a civilian. It seems like the more common term for a person who fights against their government to be called a rebel or domestic terrorist. But I have some questions about these "civilians." Mainly because, from the pics and video I have seen, they are certainly the most heavily armed civilians I have ever seen. They have tanks, armored personnel carriers, rocket launchers, grenades, and heavy machine guns. Even for the U.S., that's pretty beefy weaponry for a civilian. Given the fact that Khaddafi has kept his country impoverished for many years, where did the average Mohammed on the street get the money to afford these toys? Has someone from the outside supplied the people with weapons? If so, why? What are these rebels wanting? How did this uprising start? What was the defining event that caused it? Who is leading the "civilians?"

Khaddafi, who is not necessarily trustworthy, says Al-Quaeda has taken over certain areas of his country and is fomenting this rebellion. This could be a lie, but let's look at that statement. Has this happened before? We know in Afghanistan the Taliban have taken control of certain regions of this nation. In Iraq there are many areas still under control by Islamist insurgents. So is it really that far fetched to believe that this couldn't be occurring in Libya? If that is the case, wouldn't Khaddafi be justified in fighting against insurgents who have stirred up rebellion among the people? our supporting these unknown factions, aren't we fighting on the side of potential terrorists?

I think there are alot of questions that need to be answered here, certainly before we commit American lives to this conflict. Unfortunately, it appears that it is too late as the Obama administration has jumped into the fray, going   against the advisement of their military advisors. More questions. Should the president have sought congressional approval as he sought U.N. approval? What is his motivation for involving the U.S.? Did the relationship of Obama's mentors with Khaddafi play a role in his hesitation to act? What are our interests there? How long will we be there? What is the "end game?"  

Some are equating our involvement to President Bush's decision to attack Iraq. Not comparable in my view. With Iraq, there were over 48 separate violations of U.N. sanctions by Saddam Hussein. Long periods of national debate were spent on the subject before we got involved. Bush sought and got the approval of congress, a Democratic congress I might add. He did not worry about U.N. approval but was undoubtedly upholding the enforcement of their sanctions, which they themselves would not do. With Libya, we have a civil war that is only a few weeks old. Up until this point, the U.N. considered Khaddafi to be a peachy guy, even allowing Libya to hold a spot on the U.N. Human Rights Commission. He was a tyrant, although a very benign one. So there is a sudden and mysterious uprising, The Arab League speaks out, and suddenly the U.N. is moving with unprecedented speed toward taking military action against their buddy Moammar. Hold the phone! With Saddam, it took the U.N. years of debate and mountains of sanctions before action was taken against a dictator who abused his people, and even then not by the U.N. but by the U.S.. Hmmm...something's different here and it doesn't smell right.

Stay tuned kiddos...this is gonna get really messy before it gets better. And...oh yes...there will be blood! Blood that will be on American hands. Shouldn't we have a better idea of why and what for before we commit ourselves to killing people of a foreign nation? Just a thought.