20 March 2011
Libya 2011 isn't Iraq 2003 -- how about Iraq 1990?
Peter Bergen at CNN proclaims that U.S. participation in the U.N. no-fly-zone intervention in Libya is nothing at all like the American "operation" in Iraq in 2003. Instead, it's more like Iraq in 1990.
But what if it truly is more like Operation Desert Shield and the ensuing Gulf War? We'll stop just short of toppling Gaddafi and his government? Then we'll let him sit for another dozen years before we invade for real, with only grudging support from the U.N., secured through lies about weapons of mass destruction and nuclear capability? Resulting in tens of thousands of dead civilians and soldiers, as well as incalculable damage to world heritage sites?
President Obama remarked today that "we cannot stand idly by when a tyrant tells his people that there will be no mercy, and his forces step up their assaults on cities like Benghazi and Misurata, where innocent men and women face brutality and death at the hands of their own government." If that's truly the reason we've urged this action in the U.N. and are now participating, then why didn't we make such a move for Ivory Coast? Or Yemen? Or Bahrain?
Why does the government have money for this action, when it doesn't have the money to create jobs, repair highway infrastructure, expand benefits for hungry children, and fund public schools?
Will our children be fighting on the ground in Libya in 10 years? Will a veteran of the current intervention come back with some kind of PTSD and blow up a federal building?