More on Libya
Opposing the war in Iraq puts you in an odd position in debates about foreign policy these days. The majority of Americans supported the war. Those who didn't were called anti-American, or were told they didn't support the troops, or were said to be reflexively anti-war. That's odd for me, because I've supported many wars. I supported Afghanistan because it sheltered the people responsible for 9/11. I supported military action in Bosnia and Kosovo to prevent crimes against humanity. I would have supported action to prevent the genocide in Rwanda or the genocide in Darfur (look through my archives for my pleas for action in Sudan). Looking back, I think the Gulf War was justified. The Iraq War had no acute humanitarian aspect to it and the stated national security reasons - connection to 9/11 and al Qaeda and weapons of mass destruction - weren't convincing (and ultimately weren't true). So I didn't support it.

Where does Libya fall on this spectrum? Muammar Gaddafi has long since ceased to be a national security threat to the United States. The Obama administration is thankfully not claiming this. They, the United Nations, and a coalition of nations are claiming this action is a humanitarian action. So the question becomes, do Gaddafi's crimes against civilians warrant intervention? I honestly don't know the extent of the crimes. They certainly don't compare to Rwanda or Darfur, and probably not even the Balkans. Unlike the Gulf War, Gaddafi's aggression is confined to Libya. The problem here is that the last big military intervention the United States took was based on misinformation from the government. Some of the information on atrocities is coming from that same government.

Honestly, I've started to waiver on my initial opposition. Al Jazeera is apparently providing great coverage, so we don't have to rely solely on the US government for information. That's good, because frankly, I don't trust our government to provide honest information. I was hoping I could trust Obama more than I could trust Bush. If I want to be honest with myself though, I don't. He's better than Bush on human rights, but not enough that I trust when he says this action is about human rights.
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