However, despite President Obama’s speech to the nation explaining the justifications for military engagement last Monday, an increasing percentage say that the military action lacks a clear goal “” 57% today, up from 50% a week ago. And by an overwhelming 66% to 25% margin, most say they would oppose the U.S. and its allies sending arms and military supplies to the anti-government groups in Libya. – Goal of Libyan Operation Less Clear to Public
Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd has urged the international community to maintain its resolve over the deadly conflict in Libya, as NATO vowed to do everything possible to protect civilians. Libyan rebel leaders have accused NATO of standing idly by while government forces kill people in the besieged western city of Misrata. – ABC News
Libyan rebels ripped NATO “inaction” in Gadhafi-held portions of the country, proving that no good deed goes unpunished, especially if it’s as haphazardly initiated as this one was by the West.
War brings with it its own humanitarian crises; you can’t wage it without killing civilians. That’s just a fact.
For Pres. Obama and his neoconservative friends, along with a lot of Democrats, deciding to go into Libya is proving to be a very bad war of choice. From the Washington Post:
“One Libya, with Tripoli as its capital” is spray-painted on walls around this rebel city and glides off the tongues of opposition leaders. Moammar Gaddafi will fall in a week, they predict, two at the most, and they’ll build a new country then.
But as weeks stretch into months and progress on the battlefield stalls, this rebel-held area of Libya is settling into its status as a de facto separate state.
[…] …on Monday a facility that feeds oil to Tobruk was sabotaged, presumably by Gaddafi’s forces. The damage to production has not yet been assessed, but the attack underscored the east’s fragility. For now its leaders live in semi-hiding, with bodyguards and safe houses, and the east is dependent on NATO airstrikes to keep Gaddafi’s forces at bay.
Libya was never going to be Rwanda, with the ghosts of that catastrophe inspiring an emotional decision by Obama and other leaders, including Sec. Clinton, Samantha Power and Susan Rice, among others. It’s truly remarkable how seasoned foreign policy hands can ignore the history of intervention and the predictable outcome of half-measures.
The only way to have a positive outcome in Libya was to go all in. You can’t wage half a war successfully.
Afghanistan proved that after Bush left for the Iraq preemption misadventure, with Pres. Obama still trying to make right in that country something that cannot be corrected from the outside.