There is pressure upon Nobel Peace Prize laureate, President Barack Obama, to proceed to a military solution to the crisis in Libya. Unfortunately, Col. Muammar Qaddafi has elected to trounce the rebels through air attacks, ground forces, and other military technologies rather than face up to the civil strife he helped to cause prior to his offensive defense tactics in the face of the uprising. The United States has tolerated Qaddafi’s human rights abuses since he became less vituperative against us some years back.
Qaddafi has been in office much longer than Hosni Mubarak. With such a long tenure at the helm of the ship of state, a political leader must be dictatorial and violent against the people. There is no way for opposition to be on the losing end for decades without massive suppression occurring. Needless to say, Qaddafi’s rule has not been exceptional.
It is ironic that one of the main responses of the Obama administration has been to defer to the United Nations as far as military intervention is concerned. We have repeatedly defied the U.N. since its inception, when we have used the device of “national security” to do whatsoever we wanted to preserve or advance our interests. Meanwhile, we watch from afar innocent Libyan civilians being massacred and virtually defenseless demonstrators struck down, because we are more concerned about Afghanistan and Iraq—two places where a hefty portion of our military arsenal is still engaged, both actively and poised for future sorties.
There are many in Obama’s coterie who believe that Qaddafi is definitely on the way out and, therefore, sitting on our duffs is not a bad option for now. This attitude is appalling, for it makes light of the awful devastation the Libyan dictator is wreaking on his own people today. How can we be so cavalier about people’s lives?
Many of our European allies depend upon this authoritarian regime’s oil. They will begin to feel more desperate about what’s happening in that country and may themselves opt to engage their own military might. Perhaps, we will be more favorable to that action, or more willing to support them rather than the democratic rebels of darker hue in Libya itself.
Ultimately, I do not favor a military solution to the crisis in Libya. There are ways to force Qaddafi out without using a weapon of mass destruction. The question is whether our intelligence and diplomacy are fit for the challenge. At this point, I fear the answer to that question and the many lives that are at stake!