Gates, as Secretary of Defense, has earned my admiration. He doesn’t make policy, he is responsible for the conduct of military action. Clinton is responsible for state. They both give their counsel to the president, Obama, who must direct our defense. His view by definition must include the universe of American interest.
The world must solve its own unique problems. Iraq was a neoconservative adventure of the Bush administration into preemptive war carrying a big stick. These perpetrators would be criminals but for their untouchable position. These actors are examples of what’s not happening in accountability.
Certainly, I don’t have access to the intelligence resources of Gates and the President, but I’m not impressed by what we’ve had before. I have argued against American neocolonial hegemony in the world before. I do suggest that we have no right to hold back because we don’t know who is part of the resistance. That is a red herring: it presupposes the will of a people. The evil of the Gaddafi machine is real, palpable, and historically evident.
After the Portuguese revolution in ’74 there were 83 political parties from communist to royalist. I was there and kept a suitcase by the door because you just don’t know which way the wind would blow. I stayed till ’77 despite running more than a few roadblocks. To attribute an evil presence in a naive, Mediterranean people is foolish.
Certainly there will be opportunists among them but they must argue in their own marketplace and a place in the economy of the west along with the advantages available is a part of that. I suggest a reading of that history of the Portuguese revolution might inform our understanding of this revolution.
I am for a lower profile for the US. Europe sees the danger lurking in the future but we are not likely to see the tough Portuguese marines, the Irish Defense Forces, or the Greeks, because they are economically shaky. France the UK and a few of the emirates have stepped up, but others, like Germany, have held back (perhaps thinking the whole thing will go away). Europe has tacitly surrendered/outsourced their mission to NATO and the US.
I believe in diplomacy. I believe it’s better to jaw, jaw, jaw, than war, war, war. However, the Gaddafi conglomerate is not Libya and it is more a mafia than a state. There must be a method help the Libyan people people to renegotiate their social contract and eliminate the mafia that seeks to strangle them and will seek payback from the West, sooner or later. – carlos