I have made it pretty clear over the past two years that I do not support Obama or his initiatives, programs or ideals, so it is with a smile that I read in the news that his approval rating is at an all time low. I particularly like that he is being taken to task over his mishandling of the issue in Libya. People are crying about Obama’s handling of the matter while they cry about the poor rebels who are fighting Libyan troops. This presupposes that the rebels are the good guys. This is not yet a proven fact, however. The rebels are mostly Muslims and will happily take any help they can get to get rid of the current regime, then they will most likely cut off the hand that helped them. We cannot afford to lose a hand in a fight where we don’t belong.
I do not support the Libyan leader Gadhafi (or is it Qaddafi or Kaddafi, I get confused because it is used several ways in the press…make up your minds guys!) and I would not cry over his ouster at the hands of the rebels fighting his troops. Libya is in the middle of a revolution; the same kind of revolutionary activity that has ripped through the middle east overturning governments in Egypt and Tunisia and threatening other countries like Libya. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that a repressed population will eventually get tired of repression and rebel against a totalitarian regime that does not take care of its people. This resounds particularly loud in the United States, being a country born of revolution itself.
More than 200 years have passed since the founding fathers of this country cast off the shackles of a monarchy who failed to give credence to the collective voices of its colonies and form its own union. The resulting war upset the balance of power in Europe as well, as England lost prestige in foreign affairs for sometime thereafter. The revolutionary army did not defeat England single-handed. The Swiss loaned us money and The French aided the continental army and navy with ships and supplies in order to further weaken the English for their own ends. France did not help us out of the goodness of their hearts; they had their own agenda in that they hated the English. The greatest thing that came out of that war was a new country based on the principle of self-government—by the people of the people, for the people. This government thrived for more than 200 years and rose quickly to dominate the world stage.
Perhaps it is because of the success of the American Revolution as well as the self-aggrandizement of Americans in their own self-righteousness that leads us to assume that any country so caught in revolution is thus a population trying to establish a democratic society. Qadaffi has a country he has ruled for more than 40 years. Granted, by all accounts, he is a terrible ruler by western values. I am certain American interests in the region would be better served if he weren’t in power. Libya has been a thorn in the side of every American administration for decades. There was even a failed attempt to remove him 20-odd years ago.
But he survived. If there was going to be a change of power in Libya, it would have to be the Libyans who would have to do it. And several rebels have tried. In fact, they have met with more success in their endeavor than any other attempt, but perhaps they are not moving fast enough for Obama’s administration. The US wrangled the international community to launch an offensive against Libya without a declaration of war in an effort to enforce a “No-Fly” zone. In doing so, it weakens the Qadaffi forces and helps the rebels. The rebels made huge advances immediately after the airstrikes, but their advance stalled short of the government stronghold.
My problem with all this is that it is not our fight. It is not for the American President or the United Nations to determine who rules a foreign country, no matter how inconvenient that person might be. Libya is a sovereign nation. They have not attacked the US in years and have not voiced any aggression against is or our allies. They are simply trying to put down a rebellion within the borders of their own country. Who is to say that the government that replaces Qadaffi will be a better one for Americans? It is entirely possible (and is being demonstrated in Egypt and Tunisia) that the new government will be a Muslim one that, like most other Islamic governments, hates America. One of the rebel commanders has already admitted strong ties to Al Qaeda, whom he says are “good Muslims.” Do we really want yet another Islamic nation hating America in the Middle East? We need to be more careful in whom we support in foreign conflicts and we need to stay out of this one.