News has “leaked” that Barack Obama authorized a secret war in Libya weeks ago. According to Reuters, he “signed a secret order authorizing covert U.S. government support for rebel forces seeking to oust Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi.”
Imagine if a Republican President ever pulled a fatal stunt like that. And if it was secret, why is Obama leaking it now?
Why Libya ?
It would be one thing if Obama had been fighting the forces of jihad through a muscular foreign policy. Why wasn’t such action taken when millions took to the streets in Iran, so as to cut off the head of the snake?
Pamela Geller, the proprietor of Atlas Shrugs, hits the nail right on the head, and it is that question of inconsistency which tips the scales for me when it comes to the Obama administration’s decisions on Libya.
Look, I do family law for a living. The enjoyment I get out of my job comes from getting spouses and children out of bad situations — the legal equivalent of physically stepping between an abuser and his or her victim. In that regard, as the Libya situation unfolded, I had difficulty rationalizing nonintervention.
Despite considering myself a libertarian conservative, I thought that nonintervention would be hypocritical, especially among those on the American right. Consider, for example, the focus that so many on the right place upon the rights of the unborn. While conservatives know full well the tremendous burden placed on federal, state and local budgets by babies born into bad financial circumstances–back in 1992 former California Gov. Pete Wilson blamed “welfare moms” for the state’s budget deficit, while in 2010 welfare spending on anchor babies in Los Angeles County alone topped $600 million–pro-life advocates also understand that the most vulnerable among us must be protected at all costs. At all costs. How could those very same people, I wanted to ask at the start of operations in north Africa, stand idly on the sidelines as thousands of innocent men, women and children are slaughtered by Muammar Qaddafi?
That question, I felt, was not the same as the tired, old argument against capital punishment: well, if you red-staters value life so much, how can you argue in favor of state-sponsored murder of Death Row inmates? Life is life, right? Unlike those awaiting lethal injection or the electric chair, the thousands who have been murdered in Tripoli, Benghazi and beyond by Qaddafi-friendly forces have not been charged, tried and convicted. These are innocent people.
On the other hand, of course, there are two issues: first, the question of who exactly we are supporting; and second, the issue of the slippery slope.
On the first, I shudder when I hear ex-military commanders on Sunday morning talk shows speak about arming the Libyan rebels. These are people with questionable members in the ranks–see Libyan Rebel Commander Admits His Fighters Have Al Qaeda Links–and there are already questions as to whether the rebels themselves have been selling weapons to Al Qaeda militants — so why should we hand over weaponry and equipment when there is a better-than-average chance that, down the road, those same materials will be used against Americans and American interests?
Besides, if we are so interested in deposing Muammar Qaddafi so as to provide weaponry and equipment to a rag-tag bunch of fighters that will not be using them effectively, why not put troops on the ground and use our own weapons and equipment to get the job done and get out?
On the second issue, the issue of the slippery slope, the questions are more obvious. There are bad dictators and autocrats across the globe — so long as we are protecting innocents, why not challenge Robert Mugabe? Why not intervene in Darfur? And, as Pamela Geller asked, why not have intervened in Iran when millions took to the streets in Tehran? Iran, as Pamela points out, “has been supporting the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, the unrest in Bahrain, the Taliban in Afghanistan, the Shiite jihadists in Iraq,” and “has been at war with us and with the free world for decades.”
Read the rest of Pamela’s piece. She asks all the right questions. And if, like me, you find yourself conflicted at times about the merits and risks of intervention, just ask yourself the question that Pamela ends with:
What are we doing in Libya, and why is the media aiding and abetting a military invasion to install Islamic fundamentalism, destroyer and annihilationist of the West?