01.Apr.2011 Arming The Libyan Rebels: What To Do?
Wouldn’t it be nice if the Nike solution applied to everything? If the problem of whether (and how) the outside world should support the anti-Gadhafi forces in Libya were so simple, Obama could just appoint Phil Knight to be the next Secretary of State.
Unfortunately, it’s not so simple. When it comes to arming the Libyan rebels, many of the people saying “just do it” are the same people who were gung-ho about the last couple of American wars. It’s not entirely fair to say that the mainstream journalists and overpaid think-tankers who supported the Iraq invasion early on ought to be banned from advising anyone about anything—but, well, they probably ought to be.
As painful as it is to give any number of discredited warmongers a fair hearing, it would be a bigger mistake to treat the horrific situation in Libya as a chance to reenact an eight-year-old domestic political dispute. Any seemingly reflexive stance on the matter—whether in favor of military action or against it—cannot, by definition, be based on an honest evaluation of the unique circumstances in Libya.
I’m always at pains to note that W.I.B. is not an antiwar website—it’s an anti-war profiteering website. With that said, to my mind, the anti-intervention camp has produced the most persuasive arguments so far on Libya. There is absolutely no guarantee those arguments will persuade the right people. Indeed, at this point, it appears that Western leaders have already decided in favor of steadily increasing military involvement. Obama has already bypassed Congress to wage a bombing campaign (euphemistically known as the “no-fly zone”); absent domestic opposition, he is free to escalate as long as the uniformed military can bear the strain.
Keep reading for a brief roundup of the latest takes on the most crucial foreign policy question of 2011 (so far).
22.Feb.2011 Answers to the WIB Crossword Puzzle
As promised, here are the illustrated and sourced answers to last week’s War is Business crossword puzzle.