I suppose I should write something meaningful about Operation Odyssey Dawn, the coalition air operation against the Libyan regime.

My default emotional position is that bombing almost any Arab country is OK with me. My more analytical side has a few issues. Are we trying to implement regime change? Should we? If we are, don’t we have an obligation to announce that to the world and the US people? If not, what IS an acceptable end state? Does anyone think that a Ghaddafi left in power will further abstain from pursuing policies of terror and weapons of mass destruction?

Does the willingness of the coalition to engage Libya show Iran that they need nukes in order to deter the Western powers?

Who are our allies on the ground in Libya? There’s no monolithic “resistance” in Libya. How do we know that, should they succeed, the resistance won’t be even more hostile to our interests than the current regime?

What do you think?

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For a great roundup of news on the action, go to War News Updates.

6 thoughts on “Libya”

  1. When it comes to Libya, what are the questions? I don’t think there’s a debate about Qaddafi. In my view, he is a tyrant, a crazy one at that. Sadly, no matter what choice we make, there will be civilian casualties. But the real question, goes even deeper. Does regime change always make it better for the common Libyan citizen? Don’t forget, we want democracy. Just a thought, by removing Qaddafi, in reality, could we be leaving the door open to and even worse tyrant? We want to prevent the slaughter of innocent civilians, sadly, that just may not be possible. Let’s be careful of our desires, we may not know the consequences. This is a completely different approach to life, so let’s be careful of our choices.

  2. Having crossed the Rubicon, the question is almost, but not quite, moot at this point. The fact of the matter is, if we don’t do what needs to be done, which is see it through to the ouster of this clown (not even trying to spell it), then it will be worse for all concerned, from the perspective of both the world, his people, and US foreign policy. You can guarantee, if left in power, he will attack us in some way, some day. Nothing overt, mind you, but it will be deadly. If left in power, he will eradicate any and all internal opposition, it just won’t be with tanks and aircraft. If left in power, he demonstrates to all of our other potential opponents just how toothless we are. Libya has never been our friend, so if another tyrannical thug extremist exporter of terror comes to power, it is essentially a wash, and if anything better comes to power, net gain. No better time than when a coalition that includes Arabs is in support. What better way to improve the US image in the middle east? If not now, when? Go for the regime change now, but here is where it gets tricky: just not to the extent that we commit ground forces. If that means he gets killed and we see what comes out of it, so be it. The key is that the replacements understand that we helped, not hindered, their rise to leadership.

  3. WE should have gone after him with hammer and tongs back in ’86. Alas, Ronaldus Magnus was not so magnus as many would like to think. We had the ability to do it then, and should have done without shame or apology. If not then, why now?

    Drill here, drill now, build those nukes and tell the rest of the world we’ll be here when they get things sorted out. We don’t have to run around the world looking for monsters to slay. Just be the guardian of our own liberty and leave the rest of the world to their own stupidity.

    OTOH, you mess with us or our interests, heaven have mercy on you, because we surely will not. You have to have manly leaders to do that, however, and we have few.

  4. Should we be at all worried that Iran wants the West to supply arms to the Libyan rebels?

    1. I haven’t really figured that one out myself. I’d be a little concerned that they were going to funnel them to the Russians or the Chinese, except that there’s nothing that we could conceivably give rebels (and expect them to actually make use of) that any bad guys would have a use for.

      This would seem to be a sterling opportunity for Iran to engage a little bit more with the West … join up with the coalition, send some aircraft / troops, send some weapons themselves. God knows they make / have enough to send to insurgents in IZ and AFG …

    2. The elephant in the room that few seem to want to talk about, is where does it end? We intervene in Libya to protect the civilian population. Where next? Yemen? And what are the criteria for needing to protect? A threat of “no mercy”? Reaching a certain body count? It is a slippery slope that we have stepped upon, becoming the police force of the UN. My understanding is that less than 1% of our oil imports come from Libya, so strategically, what are WE gaining? What is OUR real national interest in this, beyond neutralizing Q-daffy? Too many questions, not enough clear answers.
      Esli has the right of it. The river has been crossed. I hope and pray we do it right. I have every faith in our armed forces. I don’t, however in their political masters.

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