Posted tagged ‘Middle East’

A sinking feeling about Libya

March 21, 2011

Who would have guessed that at the mid-term of an Obama administration that was elected partly out of public frustration with the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the United States would be embroiled in a third war in the Middle East?

Like the still smoldering conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan, the U.S.-led attack on Libya’s Moammar Gadhafi appears to have no clear goals, exit strategy or link to our country’s national interests.

The administration says the primary objective is to protect civilians caught up in a civil conflict, but after President Barack Obama earlier expressed a desire for Gadhafi to leave, anything short of that could look like a failure.

Critics make a solid case that if we were going in, we should have done it a couple of weeks ago before Gadhafi reclaimed the upper hand from the rebels.

Now that we’re in, how long are we willing to stay if Gadhafi proves resilient? If the dictator falls, what role are we willing to play in Libya’s rebuilding? How do we justify squandering more of our national wealth blowing up and then reconstructing another Middle Eastern country while our own economy crumbles?

It’s difficult to detect enthusiasm for this new misadventure from any segment of the U.S. body politic; just disappointment that we can’t ever seem to learn from past mistakes.


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