Daily Archives: March 18, 2011

Here we go again…

Gaddafi instead of Saddam.

Another war is beginning in which more lives and damage will be lost and/or destroyed than the damage Gaddafi was doing himself.  As Gates said, a no-fly zone is an act of war.  Will it all end with more western ground troops in place, another weak so-called democratic government, and another Arab country in ruins? What’s the end game?

While it’s hard to watch the Libyan rebels face inevitable defeat and revenge from Gaddafi, it may be even harder to watch the ruin that the west is about to bring.  What’s to be gained here?   Has anyone really thought through the consequences?  Or is this just an emotional response to brutality with a mixture of quasi-pragmatic, “Save the oil!?

The moral impulse to help those in trouble is strong as is the desire for dignity and justice among the people of Libya, but will we really be “helping”?  I see the moral dilemma, but I have a bad feeling about what’s going to be happening.

Most of the heavy damage and killing the Ghaddafi forces are doing seem to be from ground artillery of one sort or another firing indiscriminately at buildings.  Are the planes enforcing the no-fly zones going to go after the tanks?  Inevitably, having taken this step be drawn into “protecting civilians” on the ground with ground action of our own.  The Libyan rebels will always be asking for more help.

Sunday, March 20.

Aljazeera English has this:

I wish I felt the least bit encouraged, but this is just the beginning of a long road for the West and the Libyan people.

Suppose we get Gaddafi to the point where he is holed up somewhere, and the rest of the country is in the hands of the rebels.  What then?  They say they want democracy, but do they really.  Will they be able to resist the temptation to follow in Gaddafi’s footsteps in controlling the population?  It seems hard not to imagine that at some point we will be persuaded into nation-building, about which we know little and have had very poor results with what we have been able to do.

Posted: Friday – March 18, 2011 at 09:02 AM