Jeff Neal for C.U.R.E. - Certain Unalienable Rights Endowment

Watching Dominoes Fall or Leading From Behind

In foreign policy, Opinion, Political Critique on October 23, 2011 at 10:26 am

Our president is being praised for [watching the] toppling of the erstwhile dictator of Libya.  Much of the praise seems to be based on a mistaken comparison between the cost of our ‘mission’ in Libya and the cost of our 9-year involvement in Iraq.

So, although he hasn’t landed a fighter jet on the deck of a Navy carrier, President Obama is right to announce “Mission Accomplished” in Libya.  Really?

I must have missed it: since Libya’s mad man was slaughtered by a mob in the streets, there have been elections of a legislating body and a president, the adoption of a constitution, a dismantling of the dictator’s security apparatus, establishment of a new police force, the rebuilding of a substantial portion of Libya’s infrastructure, and the formation, equipping and training of a new police force?  WOW!  That’s a busy few days.  I’m sure we’ve confirmed there will never be any kind of insurgency or other unrest in Libya.

Two points:

First, whatever mission the United States had, has or should have had in Libya is in its infancy.  That desert region is comprised of tribes and multiple power-seeking factions and barely meets the definition of a ‘country’ and is years away from being in a state where its citizens could be said to be living in a nation based on the universal principles of freedom of the individual.

Second, as we celebrate the continuing progress in what has been dubbed the “Arab Spring” we  should reflect on how unimaginable any of these events would have seemed before George W. Bush said “you’re either with us, or you’re against us.”  Those simple but critical words (like a similarly mundane phrase – “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall”) marked the beginning of what has been called the Bush Doctrine and should be as well-known as Mr. Reagan’s words.  They encapsulate the idea that America’s interests and America’s principles can be pursued simultaneously by spreading freedom across the globe and, thereby, minimizing potential threats from the likes of Usama bin Laden which 9/11 taught us were not prevented by geography.

It is to America’s detriment that the current occupant of the White House and so many of our policy-makers are so unaware of and/or ungrateful for the accomplishments of those who preceded them.  This premature celebration of Qadaffi’s murder as a “foreign policy victory” for the current administration is sign of immaturity and self-serving partisanship.  The dominoes would not be falling had the first one not been forcibly tipped over.  It’s much easier to watch dominoes fall than to have the nerve to push the first, biggest one over.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: