Fear Of Engagement Leads To Weakness: Reagan (Libya), Clinton (Bosnia, Kosovo–Serbia) Proved Otherwise!

Republican President Ronald Reagan utilized bombing against Libya’s leader, Moammar Gaddafi in 1981 and 1986, and many feared what it might lead to, and it led to a silencing of Gaddafi at that time.

Democratic President Bill Clinton utilized bombing against Serbia in Bosnia in 1995 and Kosovo in 1999, and ended both crises effectively.

On the other hand, Republican President Gerald Ford and Democratic President Jimmy Carter stood silent in wake of the mass murder in Cambodia from 1975 to 1978, and Bill Clinton stood by as we saw mass murder in Rwanda in 1994.

Our ignoring of Cambodia and Rwanda has been condemned in history, while our intervention in Libya by Reagan, and against Serbia in Bosnia and Kosovo by Clinton, has been praised.

Conclusion: Show weakness and fear, and evil forces triumph, as in the 1930s with Adolf Hitler before World War II, which was far worse than if there had been a proper reaction against Nazi Germany in that decade!

Appeasement and isolationism NEVER work!

Another Moral Lapse: Syria Added To Cambodia And Rwanda

Any decent human being, witnessing the horrors of a Holocaust in Syria, as the world sits by and takes no action to stop the massacre of the citizenry by the government of Bashar Al Assad, feels helpless.

This massacre has been going on for almost a year now, and yet no nation or group of nations is doing anything other than to express horror at what is going on. In America, there is a feeling that we cannot intervene, as Barack Obama did in Libya, because of lack of international support and the exhaustion felt in this country about our interventions in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Iranian influence in Syria, which also prevents intervention, as Russia and China side with both nations, is in itself an alarm bell, that could be looked upon in the future as a tremendous mistake that causes a worse overall situation in the Middle East, and endangers Israeli national security.

No one is saying that it is an easy decision to think of American intervention in Syria, but the feeling of helplessness is disturbing.

We must not forget that the world stood by as the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia slaughtered 2.5 million between 1975 and 1978, during the administrations of Gerald Ford and Jimmy Carter.

And we must not forget that the world stood by as we had the mass murder of about two thirds of a million in Rwanda in 1994 during the administration of Bill Clinton.

Will we be able to keep our heads from being in shame when we look back at this time in the future?

The Obama Doctrine: Uphold Values Of Human Life By Intervening To Stop Massacres Overseas!

President Obama tonight gave a speech at the National Defense University at Fort McNair in Washington, DC, justifying American intervention in Libya as part of an international force to prevent a massacre of civilians in that civil war.

Obama called it a basic principle of the United States that we should oppose all violations of human rights when it involves the likelihood of mass murder by a deranged dictator who does not value human life, and is only too willing to conduct mass operations against civilians in large numbers.

This is a direct contradiction of what the United States did in the past: failure by Woodrow Wilson to intervene in the Armenian Massacre by Turkey in 1915 during World War I; failure by Franklin D. Roosevelt to step in during the mass Holocaust by Nazi Germany against Jews, gypsies, and others during World War II; refusal by Gerald Ford and Jimmy Carter to intervene during the holocaust in Cambodia in the late 1970s; and failure by Bill Clinton to step in during the massacre that went on in Rwanda in 1994.

All of the above are seen as moral failures by the United States and the world, but this new doctrine, while admirable and principled, does bring up the issue of how the United States and NATO are supposed to afford the cost of constant interventions all over the world!

What if similar massacres are imminent in Syria, Iran, and other unfriendly nations in the Middle East? Why should not the United States step into the situation in the Sudan, the Ivory Coast, the Congo Republic, Zimbabwe, Myanmar and elsewhere?

Are we to be selective in where the US and NATO intervene? And what about the deaths in Bahrain, where the US Naval Command in the Middle East is situated, and in Yemen, where there are dangers of Al Qaeda influences that could affect world wide terrorism?

And how in the world are we to afford more defense and war spending long run, as we cut ruthlessly into education, health care, and other public services all over the country? How much longer can we tolerate the worsening of our every day lives and commit ourselves to reforming the world of its evils?

It is hard NOT to agree with the purposes of the Obama Doctrine in theory, but in practice, it seems impossible and a losing proposition politically for Barack Obama to seem to commit us to never ending intervention in the name of human rights and decency!

This is a torment for those of us who consider ourselves progressives and liberals, as even the best intentions cannot be fulfilled within the budget constraints the country faces in the short run and the long run!

Eighth Anniversary Of The Iraq War’s Beginning, And Now Libya!

It is quite ironic that on the 8th anniversary of America’s involvement in the Iraq War, which killed over 4,000 and wounded over 30,000, many very seriously, that suddenly we are engaged in war against Libya and its leader, Moammar Gaddafi!

The first missile strikes against Libya were by the French, but soon were joined by the United States and Great Britain, with the war effort being endorsed by the Arab League.

President Obama has said there will be no combat troops on the ground, that the purpose of the conflict is to prevent mass murder in Benghazi and other locations in eastern Libya, and to allow the rebels against the central government forces of Gaddafi to have a chance to succeed in defending themselves and to overthrow the 42 years long Libyan dictatorship, which has been condemned by UN Resolution 1973.

So we are now engaged in THREE wars at the same time, although Iraq is not considered to be hostile territory anymore, and American forces are scheduled to leave at the end of 2011. Meanwhile, Afghanistan is a war we are now engaged in for the 10th year.

The question is whether we can be certain that our involvement will be just missiles and air attacks, or whether it will deteriorate and lead to combat forces, no matter what Obama is saying now.

The thought of three wars at once, and the economic costs involved is enough to make one sick, and will probably mean further cuts down the road in domestic spending!

And there is concern that the Arab world and Muslim nations, while no friends of Gaddafi, might yet someday turn against the West, led by the US, France and Great Britain, and accuse them of a holy war against Islam.

There is also concern that Obama has not involved the Congress in the war planning, although that fits Presidential actions under Truman, Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon, and the two Bushes, and other Presidents have intervened in a non war situation without Congressional approval. The War Powers Act of 1973 is again proved a “paper tiger”, and Congressman Dennis Kucinich is leading the attack on Obama asserting too much authority without approval of Congress.

So this Libyan intervention has just begun, and is bound to be longer lasting and creating more headaches, both domestic and foreign, than one wants to imagine today!

But at least, we will not be able to say that we ignored a potential mass holocaust, as Jimmy Carter did in Cambodia, and Bill Clinton did in Rwanda!