Larry Posted March 1, 2011 Share Posted March 1, 2011 Doing some research for a paper in my Ethics class. And one of the web sites I visited, over in the side where they have the "other things on this site", had a really great recommendation to this National Review Editorial. I'll confess that I've been feeling really helpless, in the "can't somebody please help those people?!?!?!" vein, and I thought the piece had some very good points. (My emphasis.) But Qaddafi won’t go down without one last spasm of bloodletting. His goons — loyal remnants of the security forces, together with foreign mercenaries — have been gunning protesters down in the streets. This has led to calls for the imposition of a no-fly zone. We understand and share the impulse to stanch the killing. But there are two problems with the proposed no-fly zone.One, Qaddafi’s regime doesn’t appear to be doing much of its murder from the air. If we are serious about limiting his ability to massacre his countrymen, the no-fly zone would have to become a no machine-gun zone, too — in other words an honest-to-goodness military intervention to affect events directly on the ground. Deploying our air power while Qaddafi continued to kill with impunity would make us look more ineffectual rather than less. For now (perhaps this will change if Qaddafi begins to consolidate his position on the strength of his air force), the no-fly zone seems a classic case of looking for lost keys under the streetlight; it’s the handiest way for us to intervene, not the most effective. Two, the rebels are on the ascendancy. Absent some drastic change in the tide of events, it looks as if they will prevail. Why would we taint what would be the indigenous glory of their ouster of Qaddafi with an almost entirely symbolic Western military action? The reason that the revolts of 2011 have had a dramatic catalyzing effect across the region, when the invasion of Iraq didn’t, is that they are the handiwork of Middle Eastern populations themselves, and thus a much more appealing model of change. Indeed, it is a sign of how home-grown these rebellions have been that President Obama’s mealy-mouthed passivity hasn’t stopped them from rolling on. Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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