Following on yesterday’s post (see below) about the United States’ “evolving” role as Global Cop, we hear from another true believer in America as a Green Lantern-style superhero that should be ready to fight all evil everywhere all the time:
No one wants to be involved in another war in the Arab world. But evil people don’t always give you the luxury of time. Once the threat to 100,000 innocent civilians became immediate, the president needed to act. We could not have sat on our hands, with aircraft carriers offshore, as Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi massacred civilians. Not acting would have cost America dearly in terms of credibility: a generation of Arabs would have lost faith in the United States, just as the Arab Spring takes hold in country after country. We cannot afford to lose the Middle East.
Rachel Kleinfeld, CEO of the Truman National Security Project, via the NYT.
Others have raised oodles of questions about the lurch into Libya, so I won’t recite them now. But here’s an Assumption Check:
1. Evil people “don’t always give you the luxury of time.” True, but couldn’t the “you” here be some combination of the Europeans (firepower) and the Saudis (money, as I suggested in a recent post)? Why is “you” always U. S. ?
2. “100,000 civilians”–and more died in the Rwanda massacres, and I don’t recall us sending the Big Red One to stop that horror. If Que-Dah-Fee was threatening only 50,000 civilians, would that be permissible?
3. “cost. . . credibility”? I thought we lost all credibility with the Arabs after the Abu Ghraib disgrace, etc. Did we get it back recently?
4. “Lose the Middle East”? When in the past half-century did we “have” the Middle East?