“No Man’s life liberty or property is safe while the legislature is in session”.

- attributed to NY State Judge Gideon Tucker

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

What About Libya?

It's been almost a month since the US backed into its Libyan operation under NATO's flag. If memory serves, the US was going to be out of the action in a week.

So much for promises. But it's worse than that.

Not only does the US still have military personnel and assets at risk in Libya, but now it looks like Qaddafi won't be dislodged. Between truce talks and rumors of carving up the country into two zones, it's hard to argue that the NATO action has done much to cause the dictator to worry that he might actually have to flee.

I asked a friend last week what he would have done, were he president, in the case of Libya. Would he see the prospect of civilian slaughter, alone, as reason to intervene?

He would not. In fact, he noted the reports that Al Qaeda is heavily represented among the rebels, and suggested a much different action. He would have seen this as an opportunity to eliminate some of the anti-US terrorists in the Mideast, and offered to help Qaddafi to do so.

It's a radical alternative, to be sure. But it points up the inanity of our present situation. We're caught between aiding a dictator, or helping rebels who are likely, should they win, turn viciously anti-American.

Perhaps, absent a clear-cut choice that benefited the US, we should have simply stood aside and let the Libyans go about their civil war unaided.

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