‘how the left got libya wrong’

A boy looks out as mourners pray during the funeral of a rebel killed by forces loyal to Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi in Benghazi, March 22

John Judis (The New Republic): ….I looked at various blogs and websites that air opinion on the left. With some notable exceptions (like Juan Cole), all I have found is opposition to the Obama administration’s decision to intervene in Libya.

So I ask myself, would these opponents of U.S. intervention (as part of U.N. Security Council approved action), have preferred:

(1) That gangs of mercenaries, financed by the country’s oil wealth, conduct a bloodbath against Muammar Qaddafi’s many opponents?

(2) That Qaddafi himself, wounded, enraged, embittered, and still in power, retain control of an important source of the world’s oil supply, particularly for Europe, and be able to spend the wealth he derives from it to sow discord in the region?

(3) And that the movement toward democratization in the Arab world – which has spread from Tunisia to Bahrain, and now includes such unlikely locales as Syria – be dealt an enormous setback through the survival of one of region’s most notorious autocrats?

If you answer “Who cares?” to each of these, I have no counter-arguments to offer, but if you worry about two or three of these prospects, then I think you have to reconsider whether Barack Obama did the right thing in lending American support to this intervention.

…Should Obama, as some critics have charged, have gone to Congress for a war powers resolution? I am not sure there was time for a full-scale debate…

…isn’t Obama repeating the same mistakes that George W. Bush did when he invaded Iraq in order to oust a despot? There’s a big difference between then and now: The United States is supporting an active revolt; it is preventing carnage; and it is encouraging real, rather than imagined, democratic movements across the region. These are all reasons why, even at this late date, and with uncertain prospects, it made sense to intervene.

Full article here

20 Responses to “‘how the left got libya wrong’”

  1. 1 Fred
    March 23, 2011 at 10:47 am

    the PL does nothing but yap and disrespect President Obama;no matter how WRONG they are

  2. March 23, 2011 at 10:48 am

    Thanks for posting the article from the New Republic. Sad that people just do not think.

  3. 3 Tulips
    March 23, 2011 at 10:48 am

    I don’t want to be considered as the left. i am a democrat. They have gotten a lot of things wrong. one them is reacting to things the same way they claimed the right did. I will not longer support the left groups, they are killing our chances of making any change. Racism is peaking their head and i will not support any of that idea.

  4. 4 Tulips
    March 23, 2011 at 10:50 am

    That picture alone tell me we did the right thing. when we start to compare humna life with the cost of a missle. you have lost me.

  5. 7 Bri
    March 23, 2011 at 11:13 am

    I read yesterday that when one of the U.S. planes crashed and the pilots got out of the plane, the locals THANKED them, and told them “we are your friends.” A grandfather or father said that his son or grandson might lose his leg due to the rescue mission that occured to save the two Americans, the journalist of the article reported the father or grandfather was not resentful at all. Now how can people try to develop conspiracies, and completely lie about why the Europeans, Westners, and Arab countries are doing in Libya, the Libyans appreciate us, and wanted us to help them. People want to call this a war, I call this a rescue mission!

  6. 8 Dorothy Rissman
    March 23, 2011 at 11:17 am

    Another winner Chipsticks. There is so much ugliness coming from the left and right. There is a lot of pain being created
    by this ugliness. I know we are all suffering from it.

  7. 13 majii
    March 23, 2011 at 11:41 am

    The “left” didn’t get Libya wrong because that was/is not the point of their faux outrage. What they got wrong was the type of president PBO is, even though he’s told them over and over again. What they got wrong was the idea that PBO needed their “very valuable input” before taking action. What the got wrong was that fact that PBO behaved like an adult while they behaved like little kids throwing a tantrum. What they got wrong was that PBO has access to all of the intel, and they don’t. What they got wrong was that they thought that they owned PBO, and they don’t.

    • 14 Sue in Minnesota
      March 23, 2011 at 11:02 pm

      Brava! Their frustration is a product of their own delusions. They created their own fictional version of Barack Obama in their minds. Makes their disappointment both convienent and baseless.

  8. 15 anniebella
    March 23, 2011 at 11:48 am

    I pray for the people of Libya, because all these people wanted was a taste of freedom, for 40 years they have been told what to do, how to do it, what to think, by this evil dictator. They saw what the people of Eygpt did, peacefully. I am hoping things turn out well.

  9. 16 Debra
    March 23, 2011 at 12:10 pm

    In a cbs poll yesterday nearly 7 out of 10 America support the Libyan air strikes. http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-503544_162-20046013-503544.html

  10. 17 Hachikō
    March 23, 2011 at 12:11 pm

    Even though I’m disappointed we intervened in Libya, I’m not so blinded by my own limited understanding of these complex issues that even I can’t see this: ” There’s a big difference between then and now: The United States is supporting an active revolt; it is preventing carnage; and it is encouraging real, rather than imagined, democratic movements across the region.”

  11. 18 lilaf1
    March 23, 2011 at 12:40 pm

    I think the most important difference outlined here is that this is in support of a popular uprising for democracy by the Libyan people and not a forced democratization of a country by outside forces like in Iraq. They watched the people of Egypt successfully revolt and overturn a government that didn’t meet their needs and want the same for themselves. Because their leader is a megalomaniac who refuses to step down and instead brutally retaliated against his own people, they asked for help. And the US did not act alone but as a part of the UN. The difference is great between the two situations. There are similarities and risks involved, both politically and to the people of Libya and the soldiers who have come to their aid, but in any situation, those risks must be assessed when decided what is the best response. No two situations are identical and each must be weighed individually. That is what seems to be missing from our political discussions in this country.

    Our politicians and media were all for the invasion of Iraq based on some unverified, and ultimately proven false, reasons. The public grew vocal in their opposition as the war dragged on and the lies were uncovered. Therefor, our politicians and media think that this time they can be on the “right” side of history by showing opposition from the start instead of cheerleading military involvement. But once again, they end up showing their lack of thoughtfulness and their shallow reading of details by refusing to analyze the actual situation and then presenting the facts both pro and con. An argument can be made for refusing to partake in the mission but it’s not the knee jerk opposition for opposition’s sake that we are getting. I haven’t entirely made up my mind about the wisdom of military involvement here but I think the argument made for intervening is stronger so far. For those who oppose it, I want to hear valid analysis of the current situation and plausible scenarios for what will happen without intervention that are preferable to what is being done. Until then, it is hard to give equal credence to the anti intervention arguments.

  12. 19 Shirley
    March 23, 2011 at 12:50 pm

    What they got wrong was the type of president PBO Is. I would also like to add, that what they got wrong Is, that PBO Is not only Highly Intelligent, but Is probably more Educated, and have a good understanding of Law, far better than they do.

  13. 20 HZ
    March 23, 2011 at 5:05 pm

    Amen Shirley. To the point!!!! This is why I trust President Obama to do what is right. He thinks, ask for more information, and listens to both sides presented, and then he makes the best decisions that he possibily can in the situation. I have read some well written books about how President Obama studied history, sitiuations, people, and I can see these truths in his decisions and his speeches. We have an intelligent, well-thought out practical President. He sees human lives being affected by the actions of his presidency, and he really wants us to be on the right side of history. I support him in this one.

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