. Regarding Libya: Predictably I'm against wars. Unpredictably, I think President Obama has handled the Libya situation very well. We're participating in a coalition with other nations as requested by the opposition and approved by the UN in establishing a no-fly zone to protect the people of Libya. The President has said we will not send in troops on the ground, which Libyans do not want.
Ghadaffi is well-armed with weapons we and other Western nations have sold him. He is using them against his own people and has stated that he'll show no mercy. It seems to me that, as prior supporters and suppliers of Ghadaffi, we have a responsibility to protect the people. This is perhaps a new idea. .Remember that no one stepped up to protect the Jews against Hitler, no one protected the Rwandans against that genocide, no one is protecting the Palestinians against Israeli war crimes, and other examples from history.
At the instigation of Canada, the UN has adopted a policy called "The Responsibility2Protect." It covers crimes such as genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing, and crimes against humanity. I think Ghadaffi's actions fit within this category. We need to limit our idea of sovereignty when leaders abuse their power. Let me add that this is the first time we have stood up for the people who are being oppressed. It's the first time we are supporting the Muslim people against the brutal repression of their leaders.
Is the same thing happening in Bahrain, Yemen, Syria, etc.? Perhaps, but in those cases there is still perhaps some possibility of compromises from the governments. There may be room for other types of actions, sanctions, asset freezes, isolation, etc. . Military action is always a last resort. If additional action is needed, the international community may have to intervene. The U.S. should not be policeman of the world. Other countries, including Arab ones, could and must step up.
What happens next in these countries after a revolution is not up to us. The argument that we should not support the rebels because we don't know what will replace these dictators is not valid. It should be the choice of the citizens of those countries.
Can we afford these wars? Definitely not. My suggestion is that these dictators have stowed away millions, maybe billions of their country's money for their personal use. . Their money should pay the bills. I know we don't trust the U.S. to not impose its own interests on these countries, especially the oil-rich ones, but that's the next problem, which we need to face and oppose if it starts to happen. We should judge each situation upon its own merits and keep a careful eye upon what happens. -Sally