Barack Obama struck Libya not for narrow U.S. interests; he did it for the world. The Secretary of Defense himself said on ABC’s “This Week” that Libya was “not a vital national interest to the United States.” This is no jingoistic war waged by America for America. It is fought with the altruistic aim of making the world a better place.
Barack Obama’s motives are pure. There may be oil in Libya. And prices may be approaching $4 a gallon at the pump. But you can be sure there will be no blood spilled for oil. He is too noble for such uncouth motivations. He is a Democrat like us. He is good like us.
If this is an unfair characterization of the mental contortions used to justify Libya by the vocal critics of Iraq, then the born-again hawks, by all means, should explain in their own words why one megalomaniac dictator deserved to be bombed while another deserved to be overlooked; one oppressed people merited help and another rated to be ignored; a war without Congressional approval is dubbed legal and a war with Congressional approval is deemed illegal; a war conducted by a coalition of several dozen nations is decried as “unilateral” while a war conducted by essentially three countries is praised as “multilateral”; a war months in the offing is a rush job while one sprung on the American people without so much as a presidential address avoids that designation; and bombing foreigners is jingoistic when ordered by a Republican but humanitarian when ordered by a Democrat. The major objections to Operation Iraqi Freedom generally apply to Operation Odyssey Dawn more easily.
Muammar Gaddafi is an unhinged brute unfit to rule a pet, let alone a country. The people of Libya are right to desire his hasty departure. But he poses no threat to America and his country is not a vital U.S. interest. On the question of Libya, war is not the answer. Neither is kinetic military action.
Daniel J. Flynn is the author of A Conservative History of the American Left (Crown Forum, 2008), Intellectual Morons (Crown Forum, 2004), and Why the Left Hates America (Prima Forum, 2002). He has appeared on Fox News, MSNBC, CNN, Sky News, PBS, CSPAN, and other networks. He writes a Monday column for Human Events and blogs at www.flynnfiles.com.
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