BY JOSEPH J HONICK
Read More Joe Hoenick
Setting aside whether Barack Obama could have been elected in the 1930’s, and given his moral basis for intervening in Libya, would he, could he have applied his reasoning for these new commitments when Hitler was on the rise and doing precisely what the President said we could not ignore in the case of Gadaffi?
To some it may seem strange to raise such a question in a case where the precise target of his address is hardly waging war to consume whole continents or even the world. That reaction would not and should not hold for any reasoned and reasonable person.
The President’s justification for not only committing American combat personnel from land and air power was that we are “different” and cannot stand by as foreign governments wreak terror and murder on their citizens. That is a fascinating thesis since we have in fact stood by quite often even within the recent past as precisely those kinds of governmental terror have occurred. Tienneman Square comes to mind as do many of our own federal and state responses to civil rights marches, Kent State, Montgomery, Alabam and elsewhere.
So the question, if one even reasonably accepts the President’s thesis on our current involvement in Libya, is how will he readily apply those expressed moralities elsewhere…and why not if he does not? The fact is he has not been so determined when the target nations have been major powers.
The assertion that, for once, we are not the “lead nation” hardly dismisses our being on the roster of committed combatants as our Naval and Air Force elements have rained missiles, bombs and other assaults on Libyan military targets so, according to the news, the rebels could avoid being slaughtered by Gadaffi forces.
It is surprising that not one media reporter asked if he would have done the same when it was discovered how Hitler was bent on destroying the entire Jewish population of Germany and Europe as well…and then consuming the continent. After all, if the same moral principal that tells him America cannot simply stand by in the face of such events, would he have applied those principles in the 1930’s and would he do so again…and where?
That the business with our donning our NATO guise for this operation dismisses us from major status is false on its surface. Involvement implies agreement with whoever is in the lead, as does commitment of what already must be in the hundreds of millions in unbudgeted dollars to launch all those missiles and other strikes….and to commit ships and airplanes into active operations,
But still other major questions stand neither asked nor answered:
Who precisely are the rebels in the Libyan and other uprisings? What tells us and the world that something called “democracy” is their end game? Who are their leaders, and who elected them to be leaders? As we see “rebel” forces said to be advancing, who trained those folks in the use of those fairly sophisticated arms we see in the news photos, and who is maintaining the chain of supply?
Still other questions: what do they stand for and who said what they want is in our interests anymore than the dictator they are working to topple?
All of these questions and many more should be at least probed as we continue to commit our diplomatic, military and fiscal assets to their support. Yet why are theoretically competent media looking for indepth stories totally avoiding anything that would provide answers…or even indicate anybody cares? In fact, why are leaders in both Democratic and Republican parties failing to ask?
As we muck about the world, investing human, military and economic assets at a time of continued economic recession and job loss, the one “entitlement” Americans have a right to is being part of the what and why for which they seem endlessly paying in one way or another. The President’s attempt at justification for the Libyan action not only failed to answer any of those concerns, it did not even raise them.
It surely cannot be lost on even the most careless memories that it was fairly recently when our own President George W. Bush and Britain’s Prime Minister Tony Blair were lavishing warm praise on Gadaffi as they physically embraced him and helped to sponsor his return to grace to the United Nations that received him almost heroicly.
In the end, the point here has been to ask just what we can come to expect of the President in the application of “we just can’t stand by” with respect both to how governments treat their people and those who adopt the label of “rebels” when we have no idea of their own sets of principals as they relate to America.
Marines Deploy to Libya
Wed, 30 Mar 2011 07:30:00 -0500
More than 2,000 Marines from the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit, 2nd Marine Expeditionary force, deployed along with Amphibious Squadron 6 for Libya Tuesday.
This is sheer madness and well beyond what we were rhetorically promised in the President's speech. Millions of the unemployed and veterans with frozen benefits must wonder where all the masssive expenditures are coming from on the missile and air strikes and now these deployments that can only sustain our 'on the ground' commitments in that area.....and with not on whit of knowledge who the rebels really are. Congress must put some reins on all of what appears to be kneejerk strategy.
I worked hard to elect this president but cannot understand what guides his compass at this moment.