Politics & Society
March Wed 23, 2011
At the time of this writing, the invasion of Libya is the main story in the American news media, followed closely by the aftermath of the earthquake in Japan. Since an earthquake similar to what happened in Japan could happen here in both the West and East coasts, many Americans (at least those living on the coasts) have been following with some concern what is happening in Japan, and for the moment at least, the Libyan crisis has not received the attention it will no doubt receive if the reason for the American military involvement in yet another front is not adequately explained by the Administration.
At the present, these are the most interesting reactions being heard. In a commentary for CNN, Richard N. Haass (President of the Council on Foreign Relations} writes:
“The United States has now embarked on its third war of choice in less than a decade. And like the 2003 Iraq war and the Afghan war after 2009, this war of choice is ill-advised. Libya is a war of choice for two reasons. First, U.S. interests are decidedly less than vital. Libya accounts for only 2 percent of world oil production. The scale of the humanitarian crisis is not unique; indeed, this is not strictly speaking a humanitarian intervention. It is a decision to participate in Libya’s civil war.
It is a war of choice for a second reason: The United States and the world have other options besides military intervention. Civil wars tend to burn out and come to an end sooner barring significant foreign intervention. A range of tools, from economic sanctions to covert action, could weaken the regime, bolster the opposition or both.”
According to Haass, this intervention is ill-advised. “Under almost any scenario, whether Qadhafi’s removal from power, his falling back and holding off as the U.N. resolution requires or his fighting on successfully, something more than the current international military effort —which now involves considerably more than just imposing a no-fly zone — will be required.”
I seriously doubt that Archbishop Oscar Romero could have imagined that a sitting President of the United States of America would have ever visited his tomb when, shortly before he was assasinated, he declared in perhaps his most famous homily: “If they kill me, I will rise up in the Salvadoran People.” (March,23 - 2011)
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