Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Should the US Intervene in Libya?

I had a long discussion with another reader over at The Other McCain about the wisdom of intervening in the civil war in Libya.  I am against intervention.  After years of war in Iraq and Afghanistan, I see no compelling reason to intervene -- absolutely not with boots on the ground, and not even with military or humanitarian aid to the rebels.  Why should we help people who hate our guts?  The enemy of my enemy is not necessarily my friend.

Michael J. Totten makes the case for non-intervention in yesterday's New York Post.  He writes:
Last time Americans led a coalition to topple a mass-murdering dictatorship in the Middle East, the Arab League and the Arabic press hysterically denounced us as imperialist crusaders fighting a war for oil and Israel. Egged on by al-Jazeera, they cheerleaded the "resistance" that killed thousands of our soldiers with roadside bombs in the years that followed.
Of course, that operation was a full-scale invasion, not merely the offering of military supplies and advice.  I am against even the latter, for fear that it would come back to bite us.  We offer aid to the rebels, who are weak and disorganized, and who will be beaten -- and then give Kaddafi a great propaganda coup that he defeated an American-backed military force.  No thanks.

But shouldn't we try to "win the hearts and minds" of the Arabic world?  What, do you live in Fantasy Land?  Nothing we can do will change the minds of Islamists whose religion commands them to hate us and to kill us. Totten says, instead of us trying to "win the hearts and minds" of the Arabs, they can damn well try to win our hearts and minds for a change.   He writes:
Americans fret constantly about whether or not we're doing the right thing to win the hearts and minds of the Arabs. That's one reason Obama was elected (though I can't help but wonder how many Libyans wish John McCain were in the White House right now). This may be a good time for Arab leaders and opinion makers to ask themselves what they can do to win over the hearts and minds of Americans.

They might find that if they treated us more like the Kurds do, more of us will be willing to help them in the future -- rather than shun them as hostiles who deserve to be left to their fate.
Read it all here.  Hat tip View From the Right.


Old Rebel said...

Check out this foul-mouthed, anti-Southern leftist who's all for intervening in Libya. After all, his party's in power, and he wants Obama to look presidential:

(Weekend-Wed March 11-16, 2011)

Stogie said...

Bartcop is so over the top he doesn't offend me -- just as people in asylums don't offend me. They are just batshit crazy.

Nightowl2548 said...

I'd love to see Gaddafi get what's coming for blowing up Pan Am 103 over Scotland, however if we gave the rebels weapons to deal with air attacks who knows where those weapons will end up? Perhaps used to target more Western commercial airliners. If anything I say secretly buy old Russian junk and have it funneled in. I can't possible see anything worse than Gaddafi but the help should be done secretly.

Stogie said...

Nightowl, I share your sentiments. Gaddafi deserves to die for Pan Am 103. If the rebels overthrow him that is fine with me; I just don't want any more American war deaths.

bro said...

Gaddafi will keep the oil flowing and not mess with the usa. The rebels we know nothing about. Better the devil you know. than the one you don't.

Stogie said...

Bro, yes -- the devil we don't know may turn out to be the Muslim Brotherhood, some serious jihadi fanatics.

Always On Watch said...

I am not optimistic.

I think that it's most likely that jihadomaniacs are driving the rebellion in Libya.