Way Behind The Curve, (as usual)
©Pirate Joe, 8-10 March,
As events unfold in Libya, we
again have an opportunity to note just
how much our leaders are out of touch with events in the real world.
Some are calling for the
traditional "boots on the ground" response.
Others say we should impose a
"no fly zone" over Libya.
Yet others say that we should do
absolutely nothing at all.
All these ideas are
idiotic, out of touch with reality, ignorant of the best
response and all would lead to yet another disaster.
Let's take them all in turn:
1. Boots On
Have we learned nothing at all? This is the worst of all possible responses
which would guarantee:
the resentment of the Libyan people,
b. a golden opportunity for al
(although their 15th century if-it's-fun-it's-punishable-by-death
approach to life is way out of phase with what these Internet-savy,
freedom-loving, globally aware folks are all about)
c. the usual charges by our
"less-than-friends" of Americans forcibly imposing our way of life on
other cultures whether they like it or not.
This would also be the
bloodiest, most expensive, least effective and
most unpopular (here and there) solution.
2. No Fly
would obviously be a far better response to the problem than Nr. 1
above, yet it still suffers from numerous fatal flaws, to wit: It is indecisive: while it would
help the revolutionaries somewhat, it would still avoid coming
face-to-face with the cause of the problem, dragging the process out
far longer than needed, while losing more lives in the process.
It would also provide longer windows of opportunity for those who would
disrupt the process for their own gain. While it would be less
expensive than boots-on-the-ground, the cost would still be quite
significant. It's effects would also be, in my opinion, too little, too
Nothing At All:
This would be the cheapest, (at least immediately) and dumbest (in the
long run) approach. It would demonstrate that we have no moral high
ground, ideals, standards or principles, a giant billboard to the world
that we are not the beacon of freedom we're
supposed to be, a world-relations faux-pas
of the highest order.
This is our chance to show the
world, jaded by such
events as Tiananmen Square, that America means something: freedom,
rights, government by the consent of the governed, democracy, fairness
and egalitarianism, in other words, that we really are the "good guys".
to al-Qaeda for a moment. While they
have obviously been blindsided by this spate of revolutions, it would
be foolish to think that they will not create a strategy to exploit
them, especially since these secular, modernistic Arabic revolutions
could render them (al-Qaeda) irrelevant. What might their possible
strategies be? They might opt for trying to subvert (at least) the
younger portion of the revolution. This is the most unlikely of the two
choices, since these folks want to shed authoritarian government, not
trade it for Iranian or Taliban style repression. How about let's make
a deal with Gaddafi? This is far more likely. Al-Qaeda could provide
Gaddafi with valuable extra fighting forces; in return for a price, of
course. Just what might that price be? Who knows? One thing we can say
is that it won't be good for the revolutionaries or the rest of the
This is not a time when we can
afford to be so out of touch. This is
not a time when we can afford to be so slow and lethargic in our
response that Gaddafi has the time he needs to use his air force to
crush the rebellion. Mark my words, that is exactly what his plan is.
A Gaddafi victory is the worst of
all possible outcomes. It
would embolden and inspire other
dictators and autocrats to use a
full-blown, genocidal military response against their own people,
the revolutionary momentum. It would also condemn millions to
oppression and exploitation of newly super-charged dictators that would
have otherwise been overthrown.
Yet all our all our supposedly
savy world leaders can come up with is
the three choices above. Oh, and I almost forgot: sanctions. Yea,
that'll do it. While we're at it, let's also tell him that he has to go
to bed without watching T.V..
Now it seems that the tide is
turning. Gaddafi, now assured of the fact that the rest of the world
will do nothing, and that the diplomats will just split hairs, knows
that he can split the revolution. He has launched the full scale
military response that we all feared. Hillary Clinton talks of visits
"next week", yet we all know that it will probably be all over by then.
We will all be subjected to the nauseating sight of Gaddafi, replete
with sunglasses and psychopathic grin strutting through the streets of
Libya kicking the debris of failed revolution down the road. Yet
another people has come to our philosophical door based on the
principals we are supposed to stand for, yet again we do
nothing as genocide continues and this vile pig of a man stands on the
verge or regaining power.
Yet the solution, (you thought
that I forgot about that?) is simple and obvious: determine the
ultimate cause of the problem, and eliminate it. The crux of this
problem is not Gaddafi's air force, nor his loyal troops and
mercenaries. The crux of this
problem is Gaddafi. The
solution? Take him out. We have the Predator jets. We have the bombs
with ± 1 metre accuracy. Genocide and Pan Am flight 103 are all
the justification we need. Take him out.
It isn't easy for someone of my
pacifistic views to advocate an action such as this. But is it
ultimately pacifistic to stand by and allow genocide to take place when
you have the weapon in your hand to stop it? Do you allow one sick,
demented pig to kill by the tens of thousands? No. Take him out, but
nothing else save humanitarian aid. Say to the Libyan people: O.K. he's
gone. Do what you need to do.
Sadly, it looks as if we will
miss this train. Sadly it looks like we will miss yet another
make freedom from oppression synonymous with "U.S.A".