When both voices from the right and left urge us to go to war, watch out! Not a scientific survey since I only heard the voices of two talk show hosts, but I did hear them in the last 24 hours or so and they both seemed to suggest ( and/ or many of their callers did) that the U.S. should intervene in Libya to stop the massacre of innocent civilians.
One of the right-wing callers fumed about how impotent the U.S. has become and said that the situation in Libya is proof — the Arab bad guys know we won’t do anything. He said we should go in there and set up our own government for the people — oh, like we did in Iraq? Like we are trying to do in Afghanistan — nation building. How’s that working out?
The left-wing callers and the host wanted action more along humanitarian grounds, while the right wing clearly was interested in the oil (but the left wing acknowledges the oil thing too — we have “interests” there).
Libya is a major, major oil producer, with billions of barrels of reserves — need I really say more?
Thomas Friedman of the New York Times suggests that the spike in oil prices over the uncertainty in the oil lands over the budding revolutions signals more clearly than ever that we need to wean ourselves off of oil so we don’t have to be dependent on the Middle East. He calls for an energy tax on gasoline so we can build more electric cars: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/02/23/opinion/23friedman.html?_r=1&hp
It would make gasoline cost more, but we’ll soon be paying through the nose anyway. Don’t think I like his idea, but he may have a point.
In the interim we could convert more of our transportation to natural gas, a commodity we have in abundance, I understand, and one that can be retrofitted to our existing vehicles.
There are also calls for the UN to intervene. I for one do not much care for that. It really means for the U.S. to intervene under the cover of the UN. Even if it were just the UN, I do not think American troops should ever be under the control of commanders from other nations.
While I hate to see the carnage in Libya, I would think that if the U.S. got involved it would be similar to the police breaking up a domestic disturbance where both the husband and wife who were fighting each other go after the police. That is what happened in Iraq and it never has totally settled down. And worse yet, as I understand it, Iraq is becoming aligned or seems to be with Iran.
On the other hand, if Gaddafi, in Libya, is using foreign troops to massacre his own people, that might be a legitimate pretext for the U.S. to become involved, because that would mean the place is really out of control with no way for its people to get a hold on things. For their own good and for the stability of the region and the world — and the oil trade, we need to do something. But if we did, please let’s use all of our power instead of being namby pamby and fighting with one hand tied behind our backs.
Wouldn’t it be easier to just off Gaddafi (Reagan bombed his tent)? Wouldn’t it have been easier just to off Saddam Hussein?