Thursday, October 20, 2011

Khaddafi's Bloody Death: A Drone Strike?

There are troubling questions about the role of the U.S. military in the death of Libyan dictator Moammar Khaddafi. The video we've seen of a bloodied but still alive Khaddafi being manhandled by the rebels onto the hood of a jeep, shortly before his death ostensibly en route to a hospital, happened after his convoy was hit by a U.S. drone as the convoy attempted to escape the town of Sirte where Khaddafi was holed up. Preliminary reports are that the drone disabled several vehicles and a wounded Khaddafi crawled into a ditch where he was later found by the rebels. This lays bare the claim by the U.S. that it does not target foreign leaders. It bolsters the President's bona fides as a macho foreign policy leader who, unlike his predecessor Bush-Cheney, has selectively targeted America's enemies. However, the just outcome for post-Nuremberg international law would be the capture and trial of Khaddafi. One wonders also how much Hillary's drop-by visit to Libya just a day or so ago, in which she stated bluntly the hope Khaddafi would be "captured or killed" was not somehow anticipated and staged. (Caution: This is graphic video uploaded from Al Jazeera that was shown on news networks such as MSNBC and CNN.)

One thing's for sure: The outlines of the Obama Doctrine — this blog was among the first, if not the first, to pen it right after the U.S. action in Libya — have become clearer today: Don't mess with America because we've got a badass President who will track you down and get you. This President has flexed American muscle more adroitly than any U.S. president since World War II, the last just war we won, and FDR-Truman. That's pretty good company. But it's also a dangerous course fraught with peril. Good thing Mr. Obama is not only brilliant, but restrained and forceful, a complete turnabout from the strike-first-ask-questions-later "cowboy foreign policy" of Bush-Cheney.

No comments: