UPDATE: So after my original posting of this blog I see that President Obama is going to give his version of what this Libya thing is all about and our progress so far on Monday night (7:30 p.m., Eastern Time). I may be working, but I hope I can catch it on radio. I’d like to know. UPDATE to the UPDATE: Actually, the president has already given his rationale for acting in Libya in his weekly address, something I never catch. Guess I am one of those people who actually prefers the “filter” of the media. But if you missed it too: http://www.whitehouse.gov/briefing-room/weekly-address
George W. Bush plunged the nation into a fruitless and needless and bloody and terribly expensive war in Iraq while putting a seemingly at the time slightly more reasonable war in Afghanistan on hold, only for a new president, Barack Obama, who castigated him for Iraq, to ramp up the effort in Afghanistan and then start his own new war (or at least military operation) in Libya (although supposedly just part of a coalition of sorts).
But it occurs to me, just as Iraq, even under the terrible tyrant and butcher Saddam Hussein, posed no direct threat to the U.S., neither does Gaddafi — although it is hard to argue that he should not be gotten rid of, but maybe an embargo and total freezing of his bank accounts would be a better way to go.
(A German official commented about the seeming hypocrisy of the coalition of Western nations still buying oil from Gaddafi (thus funding him) while attacking him — I’m not sure what his point was, but it is a kind of strange situation — but you know, people still need oil and business is business and war is war. Germany has chosen to stay out of the Libya mess, even though other NATO partners are involved. And sometime I need to re-check this, but I often cite something I read that said Germany sold its then enemy Great Britain ammunition, via Krupp Steel in World War I.)
I put an add onto my last post that suggested maybe that gaining hegemony in the Middle East is what we should do (just a maybe) seeing as how we have pressured some Arabs to support us. But then I read a column by Bob Herbert in the New York Times and I snap out of such thoughts (it‘s his last column, he‘s moving on).
He rightly asks why we seem to find money to fund foreign military actions but none to rescue ourselves from a dire economic and social breakdown here at home.
To heck with geopolitical gamesmanship, I’m thinking. Let’s just keep our own Fortress America safe from attack and get our own house in order.
There well may be a freedom movement around the Middle East, but that is up for Middle Easterners to work on. Let us not get in their way, but let’s us stay out of their way.
Check out the Herbert column if you have not already: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/26/opinion/26herbert.html?_r=1&hp
The web can be frustrating to me. If I read a newspaper I can go back to a headline and read the story, but I just surfed past one on the internet somewhere that said Europe is worried that Libya could become its Afghanistan — European nations who depend upon Libya more directly for oil than even the U.S. are said to be the main instigators in the no-fly zone operation (okay so maybe we should hand the operation over to them and get out). ADD 1: Okay, I found that item I was referring to at the Der Spiegel (German news magazine) site: http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/0,1518,750852,00.html
And hopefully my next post will not be about Libya. I’m kind of worded out on the thing.