Monday, March 7, 2011

Libya: American President's 'Childish,' But Not 'Unilateral'

This isn't, as I've said before, a political blog. Not in the sense that I say that one person or party is the source of all that is good, just, and honorable: and that everybody who doesn't agree is a poo-poo head.

On the other hand, politics influences decision-making: here in America, at least.

Now, what this post is about:

Libya, America, 'the International Community,' and Who's in Charge

I've posted out Libya before:
Depending on who you listen to, Libya's Colonel is the victim of imperialists, a paragon of human rights, beloved by his people, or an autocrat whose subjects couldn't take it any more. I'm inclined to think that the Libyan pilots who defected, rather than bomb civilians, give a somewhat more accurate picture of the colonel.

But then, I don't use terms like "puppet warmongers" to describe folks who aren't sufficiently socialist.

It's not discussed much in the news, but Libya's a somewhat-socialist country.

The Libyan colonel came up with something he calls the Third Universal Theory. It's "a combination of socialism and Islam, derived in part from tribal practices and is supposed to be implemented by the Libyan people themselves in a unique form of 'direct democracy.' ("Libya," World Factbook, CIA (last updated March 1, 2011))

I think that goes a long way toward explaining why China, at least, isn't particularly anxious for Libya's boss to experience logical consequences for his actions.

Russia? That's anyone's guess. I'm still not sure - at all - why that country's leaders don't seem to mind Iran's Ayatollahs having nuclear weapons.

Meanwhile, the American president is 'threatening unilateral action against Libya - against the wishes of the international community.'

Except that's not how it's being said in the news. Russia and China don't seem ready to act against Libya's boss - and Libya was, the last I heard, in line for special commendation for its human rights record - but - - - here's the way the story goes in an America news source:
"NATO has launched around-the-clock surveillance flights of Libya as it considers various options for dealing with escalating violence in the war-torn country, America's ambassador to the organization told reporters Monday.

"Representatives of key Western powers also highlighted the possibility of establishing a no-fly zone in Libya -- part of growing campaign to break strongman Moammar Gadhafi's grip on power.

"British, French and U.S. officials were working on a draft text that includes language on a no-fly zone, diplomatic sources at the United Nations told CNN....

"...Any resolution on military intervention in Libya, however, would be subject to a vote by the 15 members of the U.N. Security Council. Such intervention could face sharp criticism from Russia and China, who rarely approve of such measures.

" 'The violence that's been taking place and perpetrated by the government in Libya is unacceptable," U.S. President Barack Obama said at the White House. Moammar Gadhafi's government 'will be held accountable for whatever violence continues to take place there.'...

"...NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen told reporters in Belgium that the organization has no immediate intention to intervene in the Libyan civil war. But 'as a defense alliance and a security organization, it is our job to conduct prudent planning for any eventuality,' he said.

"Rasmussen stressed that it is important to 'remain vigilant' in light of 'systemic attacks' by Gadhafi's regime against the Libyan population. 'The violation of human rights and international humanitarian law is outrageous,' he said....

"...'We can see a strong wind of change blowing across the region -- and it is blowing in the direction of freedom and democracy,' he asserted.

"Libyan Foreign Minister Musa Kasa lashed out the Western leaders, calling their response part of "a conspiracy to divide (and) partition the country.'

" 'The English are yearning for the colonial era" while Obama is acting 'like a child,' he said. 'Territorial integrity is sacrosanct and we will die for it.'

"U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, meanwhile, appointed a new special envoy to Libya to discuss the crisis with officials in Tripoli, the United Nations said in a statement Monday...."
The word "unilateral" doesn't appear in the article. Not once.

We do, though, get a good picture of how European leaders, NATO, and the United Nations are working, along with the United States, at the problem of how to deal with the fellow who's running Iraq. About that last point: Libya may very well be a "direct democracy" on paper, and the colonel may really believe it. But it's very hard to shake the impression that Libya has been a good old-fashioned autocracy since the colonel took over.

What President Obama is doing doesn't look all that different, to me, from what the former American president did before "unilaterally" invading Iraq. Along with a coalition of few dozen other countries. (August 9, 2007)

It's Different, When You're In Charge

I didn't vote for President Obama in the last election, and probably won't if he runs again. But I didn't have the fear of his becoming this country's chief executive that some folks seemed to.

Whatever I think of President Obama's policies political philosophies, I've never thought that he's particularly stupid. I've also assumed that he didn't want to go down in history as the president who destroyed this country.

Since he got sworn in, President Obama has been, it seems, a severe disappointment to the folks who expected him to remake America along loony-left lines. He may have disappointed folks who feared he would do so, too - and that is another topic.

Does this mean I'm 'for' Obama? No. I'm not 'against' him either. But in this case, I think he's doing the right thing: working with other national leaders with the good sense to recognized a threat, trying to develop a solution that will actually work.

Pretty much like the previous American president, I think.

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Note! Although I believe that these websites and blogs are useful resources for understanding the War on Terror, I do not necessarily agree with their opinions. 1 1 Given a recent misunderstanding of the phrase "useful resources," a clarification: I do not limit my reading to resources which support my views, or even to those which appear to be accurate. Reading opinions contrary to what I believed has been very useful at times: sometimes verifying my previous assumptions, sometimes encouraging me to change them.

Even resources which, in my opinion, are simply inaccurate are sometimes useful: these can give valuable insights into why some people or groups believe what they do.

In short, It is my opinion that some of the resources in this blogroll are neither accurate, nor unbiased. I do, however, believe that they are useful in understanding the War on Terror, the many versions of Islam, terrorism, and related topics.