Thursday, March 24, 2011

A Response Regarding Libya

Yesterday Joel Monka questioned why politically liberal UU bloggers haven’t been writing about the recent military action in Libya. I can’t speak for others, but I can tell you why I haven’t written about it yet – because I have been hiding my head in the sand trying to pretend it isn’t happening.

I believe that the strong have an obligation to protect the weak. I believe that great powers should do what they can do prevent genocide and massacres when they can. I am very glad that there are people alive today who would not have been if we had not intervened. I am glad that we prevented bloodshed in Libya. On the other hand I do not understand the philosophy or methodology by which the Obama administration is choosing whom to help. Why are not intervening to protect civilians in Yemen, or Bahrain, Syria, Sudan, Congo, or the Ivory Coast?

I am frustrated because I do not have an answer to this question and President Obama does not seem to be in a hurry to articulate it. The lack of an answer leads me to cynicism. I dread the idea of being at war in three separate Muslim nations simultaneously and the fallout that may come from that. I am angry that we can’t seem to afford social programs but we have plenty of money to attempt to save the entire Middle East from itself, as it anyone asked us to. I am disappointed that Obama neglected to consult Congress before taking us into another military action.

Most of all, I am sad - sad that I am frustrated and disappointed this way. Anyone looking fairly at this situation can see that Libya is not Iraq. When Bush took us into Iraq I was angry, but now I am sad and discouraged. I expected better of Obama. When I happily voted for him two years ago, I was not voting for expanded war efforts. I also didn’t think I was voting for no end in sight for Guantanamo, or for going to war without consulting Congress.

If I have been quiet on this issue, it is because I am feeling a bit hopeless. When protesting against Bush, it seemed like the right person in authority could undo the wrong, but now it seems like electing the “good guy” still brings a bad outcome. Where do we go from here?
Given time, I am sure I will remember that I agree with Obama about a lot more than I disagree, I will give him credit for a very productive first two years in office. Right now, I am ignoring the situation so I can forget that my side let me down. I do not claim that this approach is commendable, but it is human.


  1. Thank you for this. I think in many ways the reasons you're not writing are the same as the reasons I am writing; just different polarity of the same emotions. Even though I had predicted that it made little difference who was elected, I had really, really wanted to be proven wrong. There's no Hell like spoiled hope.

  2. Don't forget Syria and the massacres in Dara'a. I have many videos on my website. Also note SecDef Gates spoke out yesterday to the Syrian Army and told them to "Empower a Revolution." Not to late for you to get on the right side of history. Join Syrian Revolution 2011 on facebook and start using google translate.

  3. Joel - "There's no Hell like spoiled hope." Great phrase. That is where I am at.

  4. Bill - I haven't forgotten Syria. That is exactly what I am waiting for Obama to explain - why are we intervening in one place and not another? I can't support his actions until he explains this. Ideally, I don't want any democracy advocates shot by their dictator, but I don't like this cherry-picking system either.

  5. Your reasons for not writing are the same as mine. It's hard for me to reflect on such an incomplete picture, and and incomplete understanding. The lack of consistency in our administration. On some levels, this reminds me a bit of Bosnia, a case where someone had to do something. At the same time, I do hate war. I do not know what I think.