Operation “Ambiguous Dawn” in Libya – War or Humanitarian Effort?

Posted on March 25, 2011


Ever since President Obama announced that we’re going to Libya in a UN-sanctioned, multi-lateral “humanitarian effort” (weirdly titled Odyssey Dawn)- conservatives and liberals alike have been scratching their heads over what the response should be.

The liberal knee-jerk reaction is anti-war and pro-Middle-Eastern dictator, but since their favorite president is ordering this and Europe is behind us and they really really want Europe to like us, they are tongue-tied. Conservatives knee-jerk reaction is “Yeah! Let’s bomb the jerks and come home” but middle-America is war-weary and conservatives have recently woken up to a terrifyingly bad economic reality, and are wondering if $600,000 Tomahawk missiles are where we should be putting tax money.

Clearly, everybody needs me to weigh in on this and grant some clarity. (Sarcasm intended).

Unfortunately, it’s taken me a few days to get my thoughts together, which I realized, is not entirely my fault. The reason why I and everyone else I know is horribly confused on the Libyan issue is because there IS no clear message.

Obama is asserting that this is a humanitarian mission, but that doesn’t really hold water. If the U.S. is in the business of bombing cruel regimes, why aren’t we striking Darfur, where were we a few months ago in Iran when they were beating, killing and imprisoning protestors, and why on Earth wasn’t Obama jumping for joy when Saddam Hussien was ousted from power?

So if it’s not a humanitarian mission, it’s a foreign war. No way around it. We are sending our selfless, brave men and women to once again perform the thankless job of being the police officers of the world. Oh, but this one is supposed be different, we’re told. We’re multi-lateral now, and we have the UN and Europe behind us. Well, that’s really nice… unfortunately, nearly every leader of the civilized world offered support, condolences and help after 9/11, completely standing behind our decision to retaliate in Iraq and Afghanistan. (Should I continue, or let the deafening silence make my point? Where are they now, eight YEARS later?)

So, once again, the U.S. is sticking her neck out for the world, and our anti-war president gets away with it because he labels it a humanitarian mission, avoids Congress entirely and runs off to South America before anyone can protest.

Don’t get me wrong – I think Qaddafi is a murderous felon and I wish we would have succeeded when Reagan tried to take him out in the 1980s. Unfortunately, I don’t think that this administration has the guts to finish the job, and hiding behind humanitarian excuses only expends our national treasure on yet another endless foray into foreign nation-building. The might and force of the U.S. military should not be so belittled, and our people should not be forced to pay for our leaders’ wobbly policy.