Wednesday, March 23, 2011


Barack Obama signed off on beginning a war with Libya because the UN had approved it. He was opposed to Iraq because the UN hadn't approved it. Amid all the other explanations he and his administration have been offering, that is the only one that seems to have not yet contradicted itself.

Yes, that is reductionist on my part, the sort of oversimplification and generalisation that should never enter intelligent discourse about complex foreign policy matters. I get that. We know how the game is supposed to be played, with chin-stroking analysis, like art critics marveling over how some pointless drivel raises interesting questions or starts a conversation about what art is supposed to be. But I ask in reply Is it true? Is there anything which contradicts this analysis? What is its disproving evidence?

To the absolutely fair question of what might be offered as evidence for this proposition, I will note that this is precisely what the most fevered of right-wing nutcases predicted: that leftists in general and Obama in specific think the UN, not any individual nation (and certainly not the US during uh, some administrations) is the real constituting authority for war.

So. What other arguments hold up to scrutiny?

Note: I offer no opinion here whether attacking Libya is a good idea. I like it less the more I look at it, but I don't pretend to know enough to give wise analysis.


terri said...

Sometimes I think that we have become too accustomed to the power that we wield. Much of the rhetoric I have heard bandied about revolves around what the world thinks of us and whether only being a "support" in the LIbya escapade, instead of going in with "shock and awe" I guess, somehow signals that America's turn as World Power is over.

It seems like some people are more concerned about maintaining that control and power and impression than they are about facing the reality of where our country is right now and what we can actually afford to do.

I don't get it.

Is it important that the US remains the ultimate military heavyweight that it has been for the last 70 years or so?

If so.....Why?

Dubbahdee said...

I'm just amazed at the hubris that allows us to think that we MUST go sticking out noses into every little burp and fart on the planet. As if we have the ultimate anti-burp and anti-fart remedy.