Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Intervention: Libya?

The Jasmine Revolution from Tunisia that spread to Egypt has stalled in Libya, where the leader under siege will not leave. Moammar Gadhafi is fighting back, resisting the populist opposition swelling up in his country.

Gadhafi claims that he is still in control, despite protests against his regime breaking out around Tripoli. However, Gadhafi still commands a loyal militant contingency. They have even succeeded in repulsing rebel forces in the east half of the country, where the rebels had significant victories.Notwithstanding this stubborn resistance, his incoherent rants and two-faced interviews have confirmed his evaporated legitimacy.

Because of this delay in Gadhafi's expected departure, the United States government is mulling whether to aid the rebels by establishing a no-fly zone over the country, or to let the rebellion play out on its own. Senator John McCain has even demanded that the United States accelerate Gadhafi's ouster and assist the rebels in establishing a more democratic government. McCain justifies American intervention based on the war crimes which Gadhafi is perpetrating against his own people. One could also included the more severe charge of Gadhafi's role in the bombing of Pan-Am flight 187.

In spite of these good intentions, American aid to the Libyan people must be strategic and additional, not essential. This is not our war to fight. The civil unrest breaking out in Libya will erupt throughout the Middle East as recently-liberated peoples safeguard their new freedoms.

Not only must the United States not attempt to police the world, we must respect the sovereign right and necessity of these nations to forge for themselves a new national identity free of military trappings and foreign dependence.

Revolutions of the people must be resolved by the people. Besides, the United States Armed Forces is already spread too thin, stationed in Iraq, Afghanistan, South Korea, and even Germany. Let the United States safeguard its own freedoms through fiscal restraint and moral focus. If Libya's civil war imperils our interests more directly, then we should take decisive action. Until then, the United States of America must leave the Libyan people to sort out their own fate. They have already visibly and violently challenged Gadhafi. There will be no going back for this long-time oppressor. Let us put more confidence in the long-term efficacy of the Libyan people.

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