Thursday, March 17, 2011

Meanwhile, In Libya ...

A genocide looms as Khaddafi's forces rally and President Obama dithers.

The Libyan insurgents have no chance against Khaddafi's mercenary regulars, his weaponry, air force and gunboats, artillery and tanks. The President once again is reluctant to take decisive action — nor could it have been otherwise for this risk-averse President after Bob Gates put his foot down and said "no intervention, under any circumstances!" What was striking is not that Gates said it, but the vehemence of the statement; it suggests the President has basically delegated to Gates the military decisions on this (and other?) matters.

So far, President Obama is content to hide behind the UN Security Council, the Arab League, the amorphous "international community" that, in turn, take their cues from the United States. For example, if the U.S. insists upon it, the Arab League authorizes a no-fly zone over Libya, as does the UN Security Council, namely China and Russia. Even if they don't, the authority of the Arab League is sufficient for the U.S. to take action.

And the U.S. must act soon, if we are to avert an impending genocide by Khaddafi and his despicably arrogant son giving triumphalist interviews. They are poised to crush the people's uprising in Libya with malice aforethought and "rivers of blood," to coin a phrase used in the region. Acting under cover of the Japan disaster trifecta of earthquake, tsunami and nuclear catastrophe, it's almost as if Khaddafi was provoked into ruthless counterattack by President Obama's ill-advised statement that we are "tightening the noose" on the Libyan dictator.

Those are fighting words in any battleground in the world. You must be willing to back them up with action, Mr. President, lest we, the United States, become what President Nixon once described as a "pitiful, helpless giant." Whatever restraint the madman may have considered to avoid a U.S. attack was dissipated after he and his scumbag son figured out that we were all talk and no action.

It's a familiar scenario.

The insurgents, the people, rise up against the dictator in the vain hope that America, "the cavalry" will come to the rescue for the final takedown. But the "international community" has its own priorities. Priority One, is the free (as in unemcumbered) flow of Libyan oil. Our allies require leadership. In its absence, nations such as France step into the breach and begin making noises about a no-fly zone. In the absence of U.S. leadership, Russia and China dig in their heels. NATO remains divided. And so it goes. No one wants to interrupt the flow of Libyan oil, or take responsibility for owning a Libyan power vaccuum, as despicable as the Khaddafi clan may be.

It's a familiar and tragic scenario: Bosnia, Rwanda, the Kurdish uprising in northern Iraq during the First Gulf War. In that instance, loose talk from President George H.W. Bush, the usual Republican pablum about "freedom" and "democracy" — was taken seriously by the Kurds, who revolted against Saddam Hussein expecting the U.S. to intervene and save them from the brutal dictator who had used lethal force and poison gas against them. But U.S. forces were ordered to stand down, and no help came for the Kurds, not even air power to give them, at least, a fighting chance to beat back Saddam.

The Kurds were slaughtered by Saddam even as they begged and cried out for the U.S. to save them.

There is an eerie and unsettling similarity between the horrible genocide committed by superior military and paramilitary forces against a largely defenseless civilian population, and what is unfolding and about to happen in Libya, as Khaddafi and his son prepare to unleash all the might of their terroristic power and money against their enemy, the people of Libya, who are striving to be free as the international community stands by, pretending to be too preoccupied with the tragedy in Japan to notice the one in Libya.

It's sick and immoral. But Libya has oil. And oil trumps morality.


drmagoo said...

What would you like Obama to do? I am 100% against using our military in any way in Libya unless we have no choice.

Carlos said...

It seems events got ahead of us as the UN Security Council authorized a no-fly zone today, with China and Russia abstaining.