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Libya…now what?


President Barack Obama

“In such cases, we should not be afraid to act — but the burden of action should not be America’s alone.  Because contrary to the claims of some, American leadership is not simply a matter of going it alone and bearing all of the burden ourselves. Real leadership creates the conditions and coalitions for others to step up as well; to work with allies and partners so that they bear their share of the burden and pay their share of the costs; and to see that the principles of justice and human dignity are upheld by all.”

President Obama’s speech to the nation regarding the decision to go into Libya last week.

I find it difficult to reach a level of certainty on anything surrounding the debate over Libya and United States intervention when I feel like there really is no right answer.  We have two schools of thought on this issue.  The first, are those on the Left and some on the Right (the latter providing very little factual information other than to obstruct) who say we should not have gone in and used any kind of force towards Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi.  This mindset is “United States, a democratic country, going into a Muslim region (again), and dictating once again our philosophy towards a presently chaotic, highly political region like the Middle East.”  Then there is the second school of thought, where morality comes into question and we find ourselves feeling obligated to help prevent the extermination of a people from a terrible dictator.

I was and continue to stand against the Bush doctrine and the lies it created in an effort to start an unnecessary war in Iraq.  The reason I supported candidate Obama in 2007/2008 was because I, like many others, were in encouraged to see a candidate, finally oppose the actions taken in the Middle East.  This all meant something to those of us, who have always been against the Iraq war, or any war for that matter, made up of lies with a foundation bordering manifest destiny.

When it comes to foreign affairs and international conflict, President Obama and I are not always

Protests in Libya

on the same page.  For one, I did not support his stance on sending additional troops to Afghanistan.  I was actually in tears the day he stood at West Point in December, 2009 informing us of this decision.  Despite all of this, I do have to say that I am aligned with those who found it necessary to support his decision to go to Libya.  I do believe that those facing the wrath of Qaddafi and his army were in dire straights all the while there are those who oppose the President’s decision, and are adamant about showing their growing disappointment on this issue.  While I do accept the criticisms from the other side and perhaps find those arguments justifiable, I also find it disheartening to see those against this decision provide no solution or alternative.  I get that there is this issue of “Why Libya and not Yemen?”  I get all those arguments, I do.  I guess I am unable say why a “one over the other” debate matters.

I was upset this evening because my DVR did not record the Rachel Maddow Show, so I am a bit cranky.  However, I did catch the segment where Dr. Maddow points out the speech given by President Obama accepting his Nobel Peace Prize, and comparing his commitment to follow a process when faced with international challenges, to his speech tonight and the decision made towards Libya.  The President did in Libya what he described that Fall in 2009.  As he described again tonight, “the United States had a moral responsibility to stop “violence on a horrific scale,” Were we in a position to watch Libya unfold before our eyes without any involvement or was this the only option we had?  Again, I don’t know.

When it comes to the debate on war, I always side with diplomacy and I am hopeful that despite these last nine days, diplomacy will rule the day.  Until then, we watch and we wait to see what tomorrow my bring…if it were up to me? A slow news day.

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  1. March 29, 2011 at 5:10 AM

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