« Previous Story | Front Page | Next Story »


Libya

By Ken Poland
Opinion | March 19, 2011

COLBY, Kan. - What are we getting into?

I can't verify this quote but here is what Quadafi supposedly ask our President. "What would you do if you found them controlling American cities with the power of weapons? Tell me how would you behave so that I could follow your example?"

Does anyone in our group or any of our commenters want to answer that question?

How would you feel if a foreign country had decided they didn't like how we handled the civil rights riots of the '60s or the evacuation and clean up of New Orleans? What would your response be if the U.N. would decide we are not addressing our Health Care issues the way the world majority thinks we should, and began dictating how we would resolve our differences? Let's go back to our Civil War. Should foreign countries have taken sides in the issue and became militarily involved?

Is Quadafi violating any sovereign boundaries of any other country? We have stepped into conflicts to stop aggression of one country against another. And in the case of Germany and Japan, we, along with our allies, had to completely crush the aggressors to establish world peace. It didn't last very long, but at least we had relatively peaceful conditions around the world. Just a few years ago, President Bush #1 drove Saddam Hussein back behind his own borders, then we pulled out. Saddam was invading his neighbor.

Sad to say, we don't have a clean record on how we have interfered in other country's internal politics. We haven't always backed the "democratically" elected leadership. We have openly furnished weapons of mass destruction to both sides of some of those conflicts. We haven't been consistent in our interference to protect individual rights.

Can we honestly declare 'Mission Accomplished' in Iraq? If we can, we weren't honest in why we invaded that country.

I openly voiced my opposition to the military invasion of Iraq. There was no reliable evidence that that nation had invaded our boundaries. The perpetrators of 9-11 were not politically connected to Iraq. Our declaration that we were out to get Bin Ladin didn't give any real reason to invade Iraq. In fact, the invasion of Iraq disrupted our pursuit of Bin Laden. U.N. inspectors were unable to find evidence of stockpiles of weapons of mass destruction. Plain and simple, I didn't think we had justifiable reason to send our military men and women into that nation to overthrow their government. And there wasn't much evidence that the citizens of that nation were even asking us for help.

What do we have to show for our efforts? We spent billions of dollars, sacrificed thousands of our men and women, and killed more thousands of the civilian population. We are still there (8 years) and they, yet, do not have a viable democratic government. But, we showed the world that we could unilaterally act without anyone else's permission.

We have far more to lose than we have to gain by interfering with Lybya's struggle with their governing body. If the rebels are successful and ask for our help to organize a democracy, then by all means, we should help them. But, even then, I would be very hesitant to use military force. Outsiders very seldom come out winners, when they interfere with someone else's family fight.

I didn't support President Bush and the Iraq invasion and I will not support President Obama if he invades Libya. That doesn't mean that I don't support this administration on their domestic programs. Neither does that mean I'm not supportive of our military personnel.

Is Quadafi violating any sovereign boundaries of any other country? We have stepped into conflicts to stop aggression of one country against another. And in the case of Germany and Japan, we, along with our allies, had to completely crush the aggressors to establish world peace. It didn't last very long, but at least we had relatively peaceful conditions around the world. Just a few years ago, President Bush #1 drove Saddam Hussein back behind his own borders, then we pulled out. Saddam was invading his neighbor.

Sad to say, we don't have a clean record on how we have interfered in other country's internal politics. We haven't always backed the "democratically" elected leadership. We have openly furnished weapons of mass destruction to both sides of some of those conflicts. We haven't been consistent in our interference to protect individual rights.

Can we honestly declare 'Mission Accomplished' in Iraq? If we can, we weren't honest in why we invaded that country.

I openly voiced my opposition to the military invasion of Iraq. There was no reliable evidence that that nation had invaded our boundaries. The perpetrators of 9-11 were not politically connected to Iraq. Our declaration that we were out to get Bin Ladin didn't give any real reason to invade Iraq. In fact, the invasion of Iraq disrupted our pursuit of Bin Laden. U.N. inspectors were unable to find evidence of stockpiles of weapons of mass destruction. Plain and simple, I didn't think we had justifiable reason to send our military men and women into that nation to overthrow their government. And there wasn't much evidence that the citizens of that nation were even asking us for help.

What do we have to show for our efforts? We spent billions of dollars, sacrificed thousands of our men and women, and killed more thousands of the civilian population. We are still there (8 years) and they, yet, do not have a viable democratic government. But, we showed the world that we could unilaterally act without anyone else's permission.

We have far more to lose than we have to gain by interfering with Lybya's struggle with their governing body. If the rebels are successful and ask for our help to organize a democracy, then by all means, we should help them. But, even then, I would be very hesitant to use military force. Outsiders very seldom come out winners, when they interfere with someone else's family fight.

I didn't support President Bush and the Iraq invasion and I will not support President Obama if he invades Libya. That doesn't mean that I don't support this administration on their domestic programs. Neither does that mean I'm not supportive of our military personnel.


6 Comments

Stephen Kinzer's book "Overthrow" documents a dozen or so examples of U.S. "regime change" when we don't like someone's policies. It has nothing to do with democracy or humanitarianism, that's just the way it's sold to us.


Ken- Your points make sense, but at least in this case I disagree. This is unusual for me because I have never been that much of a hawk. As I see it in Libya we have to do something, because we don't have to do much. We (the international community) spent weeks on the sideline. The Libyan rebels took over substantial parts of the country. We wanted it to work like Egypt. What we underestimated was the luancy of Quadafi (I'm using your spelling. I've never seen someone's name spelled so many different ways.)

As soon as Quadafi forces began their offensive we should have stepped in. This is different than Iraq. In Iraq, we invaded a country to free a people. In Libya we are merely trying to help a people free themselves. The Libyan people started this. All we have to do is come in with some highly trained, techologically advanced forces and give them some help.

We bombed Afghaninstan with B2 Stealth Bombers. Those planes flew out of Whiteman Air Force Base in Missouri to Afghanistan and back. Our power through the Air Force gives us the ability to strike Quadafi forces with minimal risk to any of our military personnel.

I agree that we should not invade Libya with ground troops, but we don't need to. The will of the Libyan people exists to win this war. All we need to do is give them the advantage.


Doug, I meant to respond to you also, but I got off on a rant. I would argue that this is not "regime change" merely based on policy. Libya was taken off the US State Sponsers of Terrorism list in 2006. Quadafi gave his first speech at the UN General Assembly last year. We were willing to welcome him, despite his obvious atrocities.


I read where candidate Obama said back in 2007 that the US constitution forbids the president from taking any military action without the consent of congress and that if elected he would never make such an action (like Bush did) without such consent.

Typical politician doublespeak.

They are also saying that day 1 of the Libya operation cost around $100 million and will rise.

I say we should either stay out, or send in the marines and finish the job. None of this half measure stuff.


Brad, it is dissappointing that Obama chose to authorize military action against Lybia, without congressional approval.

I agree with you, if we have any business in Lybia, then go in with enough force to get the job done. But— — How much force will that take and how long will it take. We went into Iraq with such firepower and force that we couldn't even keep up with the supply lines. In comparison with other wars, it was a piece of cake. We eventually had something like 150,000 personell on the ground in Iraq. It has been 8 years and we are still there and they don't have a working government yet. We are so broke, financially, that we can't maintain our social obligations and infrastructure here at home. Where will we find the billions of dollars it will take to 'stay the course' in Lybia? The militaru paraphernalia is an alarming percentage of our gross national product. That is a sad thing for a supposedly Christian and peace loving nation.


Ken, Well its a little different in Libya. Libya is closer to established bases and our NATO allies. Plus the capital, Tripoli, is on the northern coast. Remember your history and how the US sent the marines in 200 years ago to clean out a group of pirates. Plus in Libya there is already a serious rebel opposition that would be able to quickly assume power if Quaddafi falls. So it wouldnt be like in Iraq where we had to start everything from scratch.

Many southern European countries like Italy have a close interest in a stable Libyan government since they have gotten flooded with their refugees.

Quaddafi right now is being held up because he has enough money to pay off his troops and his foreign mercenaries.

I'm really torn on this one. On one hand to stand back and allow an opposition to a brutal dictator to fall because we would not support them sends a bad message. OTOH we shouldnt have to be the worlds policeman.


Post your own comment here


Do you want to read more? You've only just scratched the surface at the Kansas Free Press. We have so much more to read! Nearly all of the pieces published here are timeless and relevant, regardless of when the articles were first published. To discover more, please take a look at our Table of Contents or go back to our Front Page.


Our sponsors help us stay online to serve you. Thank you for doing your part! By using the specific links below (clicking through from our site) to start any of your online shopping, you are making a tremendous difference. By using the shopping links provided on a Kansas Free Press page, you are directly helping to support the Kansas Free Press:



About This Page

This page contains just one story published on March 19, 2011. The one written previous to this is titled "HB 2372 Raises Its Ugly Racist Head Once Again" and the story published right after this one is "Anti-war Activists Arrested Near White House"

Our most current stories are always updated on our Front Page.

Other Archives

Interested in other topics? You may wish to poke around in our Table of Contents to find other sections and archives.

Do you want to explore pieces written by specific authors? You can find archives for KFP writers by reviewing our complete Directory of Authors and Writers here.

Recently Featured Stories

My Response As a Kansan to Jessica Valenti

Jessica Valenti has come on board The Nation magazine to fill in for Katha Pollitt as the feminist columnist while Pollitt is on leave to write a book. I've found reading Valenti's columns thought-provoking and insightful. She often takes …
Of Angels and God's Dogs

There might be a whole group of us out there--people who value our relationships with animals on a par with our ties to people. "Get over it--it was just a dog" does not resonate with us. Our society places …
Of Angels and God's Dogs

There might be a whole group of us out there--people who value our relationships with animals on a par with our ties to people. "Get over it--it was just a dog" does not resonate with us. Our society places …
Roots of the n-word

While N-word dialogue has slackened following Saline County Commissioner Gile's use of it recently, the word still has great power. So, let's look inward at the N-word. To reach a much deeper path to understanding, simply go to Ad …
Corporate Tax Reform

Basehor, Kans.--For an interesting twist on the corporate tax debate, look at Alan Sloan's opinion in the April 29 issue of Fortune Magazine. In all of the froth about corporate taxation, neither proponents of tax reduction, nor corporate critics, …

News and Opinion





Get Connected

See our FB page!
Subscribe for free!
[Feeds & Readers...]
Follow Kansas Free Press on Twitter, too!
Make Kansas Free Press your home page!

Journalists, sign in.

We're reader supported!

Whenever you use the specific links below to begin any of your online shopping, a portion of your sale goes directly towards the support of this site.

Tech Depot - An Office Depot Co.


Our sponsors help us stay online to serve you. Thank you for doing your part! By using the specific links above (clicking through from our site) to start any of your online shopping, you are making a tremendous difference. By using the shopping links provided on a Kansas Free Press page, you are directly helping to support the Kansas Free Press.

Thank you for your help!

Notices & Policies

All of our Kansas Free Press journalists are delighted that you are here. We all hope that you come here often, sign in and leave us comments, and become an active part of our community. Welcome!

Our writers are credentialed after referral to, and approval by, the editor/publisher of KansasFreePress.com. If you are interested in writing with us, please feel free to let us know here. We are always looking for Kansans who want to write about Kansas!

All authors here retain their own copyrights for their original written works, original photographs and art works. They welcome others to copy, reference or quote from the content of their stories, provided that the reprints include obvious author and website attribution and links to the original page, in accordance with this publication's Creative Commons License.

Our editor primarily reviews stories for spelling, grammar, punctuation and formatting and is not liable or responsible for the opinions expressed by individual authors. The opinions and accuracy of information in the individual stories on this site are the sole responsibility of each of the individual authors. For complete site policies, including privacy, see our Frequently Asked Questions. This site is designed, maintained, and owned by its publisher, Everyday Citizen Media. The Kansas Free Press, KansasFreePress.com, and Kansas Free Press are trademarked names.

© Copyright, 2008-2012, all rights reserved, unless otherwise specified, first by the respective author, and then by KFP's publisher and owner for any otherwise unreserved and all other content.