Stop comparing Lybia to Iraq. Stop calling it a war, and those who support it “liberal hawks” or “neocons.”
Stop licking your wounds like that. So Bush led you into a decade-long war. He emptied the pockets of the State to fill those of weapon-makers. What’s done is done, but the world keeps moving, and you with it. You’re going to retreat? See “military intervention” and call it wrong, ignoring context and the fact that it doesn’t have to be every man for himself? You don’t want History to repeat itself. Nobody does. But why does this have to translate into apathetic navel-gazing?
Cut it out. You didn’t go into this alone. You have the backing of not only NATO, but Syria’s neighbors. Countries that, like this one, have a flurry of problems at home without adding foreign policy to the mix. Countries who’d rather be investing in education than yet another Middle East conflict. But guess what. Engagement is how we build ourselves, and our place in the world. Being in it comes with responsibilities. You’re happy to tweet and blog about it, you’re happy to see nations determine their own fate regardless of the outcome (that Al-Qaeda might’ve been amongst the rebels in Tunisia and Egypt never crossed your mind?), you’re happy to stand on the sidelines, like you did with Darfur, and Kosovo for far too long, and you’re happy to point fingers and criticize a decision you were never in a position to have to make.
At least there was a plan. A deliberate choice to take action that was limited in scope and time, and a clear will not to go it alone. No one’s blinded by angelism, here. But no one’s naive enough to think that a pacific stance will do the trick against decades of violent despotism. Yes, the bombs dropped will have caused the deaths of good and bad people alike. Yes, there are brutal killers amongst the rebels. And opportunists, too. If there is one thing everyone knows by now, it’s that civil wars are the most murderous. Does it make the cause less legitimate?
Lybia isn’t Iraq. It isn’t Tunisia, where the military refused to shoot on the protesters, nor is it Egypt, where the armed forces depend on civilians and tourism to survive. Without the help of the U.S., the U.K., France, Spain, Italy and others, the people in Lybia, those who want the same rights you take for granted and hardly ever use (like voting), these people don’t stand a chance. You want to know why Lybia and not, say, Yemen? Well, whose to say, it may be next. Plus, of course, oil. So what?
Yes, we have problems here. Get involved. Talk to your representatives and senators. For that matter, go vote. Preferably, stop electing people who want you to focus on abortion as the devil’s work to distract you from the fact that they’re protecting those who need no protection. Get them to increase the corporate tax and end the tax cuts for the wealthy. Get them to create regulation for markets, promote education, research, development. But pretending nothing’s happening, except on Twitter, and doing nothing? Come on.
I’m not trying to convince you. It’s just that your arguments strike me as the ones of someone who just fell off a horse, and is refusing to get back on it because, you know, ow.
— From SF.
“America has no vital interest in Lybia.”
Aside, of course, from the fact that this conflict drove the price of oil through the roof. And oil is what runs in America’s veins, isn’t it. I suppose it all depends on your definition of “vital.”
“Our brave men and women in uniform (…) should not be asked to be nation builders or the world’s policemen, and they only serve in wars authorized and called for by the United States congress, not the United Nations.”
Exactly. Like the $1 trillion, based-on-a-lie morass in Iraq. Sorry Lybia’s thing wasn’t big enough to make it worth defense contractors’ time.
Now, let’s go bash a few more public school teachers.
— From SF.
NYTimes blog The Caucus compiles a few reactions to President Obama’s speech on his decision to intervene in Lybia.
I’m posting this because I rarely find myself nodding in agreement with a Republican Senator. It’s nice to see some of them make sense.
— From SF.
We found ourselves yesterday discussing the brutality of some fairy tales for children with two friends over some tea and biscuits.
We thought of toes being cut off, witches burnt and brothers that turn into cereal to be eaten by chickens. And then we discovered slight variations on brutality depending on the country:
David (from Switzerland): In the Wolf and the Seven Goats, in the end the mother goat cuts open the wolf’s stomach, fills it with stones and then closes it with some stitches.
Jose (from Spain): Wait, that’s not the end. The wolf then goes to the lake because he is thirsty and as he bends over to take a sip he falls into the lake and drowns as he is being pulled down by the stones in his belly.
— From London.
“I would also like to mention one very short nightmare that took place in an Italian restaurant. As I was leaning over my food, a young Italian waiter approached and asked ‘peppe?’, meaning ‘pepper?’, while looking at my vanilla ice cream.”
— From London.
Both books try to explain why as children we are told that erring is human and necessary to learn. But as we grow older the worse and more embarrassed we feel when we get something wrong.
I do wonder where this sudden obsession with mistakes comes from. Is it a sign that we as society are sick of being perfectionists and long for being wrong? Is it to make us feel better because we erred a little bit too much lately?
— From London.