Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Obama Wants to Arm Libyan Rebels

President Obama announced yesterday that he may decide to arm Libyan rebels. What is wrong with this picture asides from the fact that only the day before, he proclaimed in a nationally televised speech to me and you and a war weary nation that the US is handing off the operation of the no-fly zone to the UN security forces to our collective sigh of relief? It doesn't take a 4-star general to assess that the rebels are out gunned by Colonel Ghadfi. Ghdafi has a larger weapons arsenal and billions of dollars at his disposal to buy more weapons along with hiring foreign mercenaries to snuff out the rebels with impunity. Whereas, the rebels have the equivalent of cork guns. You don't throw a civil war and show up with cork guns, not to mention ignore the dire situation when the corks run out. The revolution in Egypt was successful in large part because the Egyptian activists "studied the nonviolent tactics of Serbian and Ukrainian youth movements [ that overthrew Slobodan Milošević ] In the summer of 2009, Egyptian activist Mohammed Adel traveled to Serbia to take a course on strategies for nonviolent revolutions." Not so impromptu as it all might have seemed er releasing the genie in the bottle. Instead, somebody did their homework. The Egyptian activists knew before hand that if their protest rallies ever escalated into a military confrontation that Mubarak would trounce them. The Egyptian activists did themselves a favor. By extension they did the US a bigger favor. I'll go out on a limb and predict that the Egypt's April 6 Activists will be presented with the Nobel Peace Prize. Yea, like Obama received in 2009.

If you know the answer please clue me in, but what puzzles me is why Obama doesn't feel that the French, Italian, British, et al. shouldn't find it as morally urgent to arm the same Libyan rebels, and instead gather together a coalition among these nations to achieve the same ends, not withstanding the UN resolution that defines the humanitarian mission to protecting Libyan civilians not necessarily securing regime change by ousting Ghadafi. For the past few days, Obama has been mired insisting that the US won't, then the US will, but the US won't, type of public bulletins. Obama's latest "not rule out arming the rebels," appears to be a preamble to a done deal. Meanwhile, it's to the world's benefit that Ghadafi doesn't win the civil war because for one there'll obviously be an embargo imposed on Libya in the aftermath and oil prices will spike even higher in a not so distant future, so a Ghadafi victory spells bad news for anyone who drives a car. Honk if you like. Obviously, aiding the rebels with US weapons alone won't fortify the rebels enough to bring down the more powerful Ghadfi's army, but who knows with these things. That's primarily why Republican Party strategists are fumbling around to what degree to criticize the President's worthy goal. The Repubs don't want to be like the office worker who didn't chip in to buy the winning lottery ticket even though the odds of a rebel victory at this moment appears about the same.

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