Cutting Through The Crap

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Not Good


The more I think, hear, and see, the less I like the fact that we're involved in Libya. I do hope Qaddafi goes down; I hope a semblance of democracy rises from the ashes. But I'm disturbed and worried about our role.

First, as usual, it's an undeclared war. I didn't like it when Bush did it, and I don't like it now. The fact that it seems unconstitutional, but has become par for the course, is hardly a small issue. There are few Rs complaining about that part, of course, so at least they're consistent in ignoring their so-called love of small government and The Constitution. (Yes, there's the War Powers Act. I'd defer to experts about its comportment with law. It seems pretty dyscomportly with limited executive powers.) The complaints, from such proven wizards as McPOW and the former half-term governor is that Obama should have acted even more quickly, ie even more unilaterally and less constitutionally. Or, as the military expert ex-JAGo argues, we should be totally in charge of everything. Teabaggers, predictably, make no sense at all: they don't support Obama's handling of the war but they support the war. And their hero is even worse.

I'm not sure why we're doing it. Is it just for humanitarian reasons, for "not standing idly by?" If so, why not Rwanda and about a dozen other places? Is it for some sort of message to others who'd rise up for democracy elsewhere in the Mideast? If so, what's the message? That we'll fight for you everywhere? Or is it, as usual, oil? Might there be unintended consequences?

The more I learn, the less I know. Bahrain faces uprising; the Saudis are helping to put it down. Both are Sunnis. Iran is Shia; so, I gather, are many of the "revolutionaries" in Bahrain. Does Iran win in this? Where do we stand there: we have a huge navy base in Bahrain. We support uprising in Libya but not Bahrain?

Having said our goal is to see Khaddafi (let's use all the spellings, shall we?) go, and given that the "rebels," whoever the hell they are, are totally outmatched militarily (at least in terms of weaponry) and seem to be losing, and given that a no-fly zone is unlikely (so they say) to be determinative in and of itself, isn't it likely that we're going to be forced to increase our involvement? Air strikes alone seem to have done the trick in Bosnia, but it seems much less evenly matched in this instance.

The bottom line (or, among the many lines running across the bottom) is that whatever we do, and have done since time immemorial, in the Mideast we get caught up in complications too many to apprehend. It seems some sort of match has been lit there, and forces beyond our control are at work. What happens -- even as there will be more bloodshed -- must happen in its own way there; or so my poor and unfilled brain is telling me. I think there's only one sensible approach, given that we can't control events there and never have, and this is it: get the hell off oil. GET THE HELL OFF OIL. And do what we can, non-militarily, to pressure governments to allow their people freedom.

Which also means this: those who still think we can drill our way out of energy dependence, who think limiting and disincentivizing fossil fuel use is some liberal plot against whatever the hell it's against, are killing us. Because even if we find enough oil within our borders and along our shores to stop importing it, the effect is to keep needing it. Which means we're still enabling the producers, wherever they are; and sooner or later we'll be fighting for the last drops, as we are now.

Meanwhile, I find myself in agreement with those who question the legality of this war, and who demand to know much more precisely what our interest is there. Humanitarianism is a reason; a good enough one or not is a worthy subject of debate. But it was never held, at least not in public. I'd like to know what else is going on.

(Concerned as I am, I'm still inclined to trust Obama in most things, and I'd argue enthusiastically that we're so much better off than if McCain had won, or if Bush were still in charge, that analogy escapes me. In maintaining the vestiges of trust, I'm not alone.)


3 comments:

Frank Drackman said...

Sid Sid Sid...
"Undeclared War?" oh, you mean like Vietnam that the E-Ville Richard N Nixon started???
And I LOVED Vietnam, kept my Dad in Thailand for a year, while I got to eat at Mickey D's 5 days a week and stay up late watching "Love American Style"...
Seriously, I love my Dad, would love him more if he'd move to Thailand...
And the "War"s actually a budget cutting measure, those Tomahawks have expiration dates, just like a gallon of milk, might as well give the boys some practice...
And don't shoot the Messenger...
and in parts of Atlanta they really do shoot Messengers...
But...
Rwanda's full of Black People(s), nobody cares.
Not even Bill Clinton, and he cares about everybody.
Seriously, if you care so much, go to Haiti, you can do all the Non-Laparoscopic surgery you want...
And its just rediculous cause Israel could have knocked off Khadafi 40 years ago if they wanted to...
Its that old "Enemy of my Enemy" thang, having an E-ville dictator on Egypts West Border ties up Egyptians who would be throwing down there weapons and surrendering in the Sinai...

Frank

Anonymous said...

This situation is troubling. Want to believe that with an international commitment--that's waning--this is a humanitarian effort. A naive and idealistic hope.

bl

FreeTheTruth said...

Yet another example of the U.S. trying to act as the global police. This is a Libyan conflict that needs to be settled by Libyans. Yes Gaddafi is a terrible dictator who needs to go, but that's not up to the U.S. or any other nation to decide. Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya; who's next?