Tuesday, March 22, 2011

On Libya Part 1

Part 1: On the military action enforcing a “no fly zone”

In 1986 President Ronald Reagan ordered the beginning of Operation El Dorado Canyon. This operation was a response to terrorist attacks in Germany that were supported by Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi. Gaddafi survived the attack but has largely retreated from attacks on the West. On March 19th the United States joined coalition forces deploying military resources to stop Gaddafi from his recent rampage attacking his own people.

The situation in Libya has been compared to what happened a few short weeks ago when crowds in Egypt rallied in the streets and took down Hosni Mubarak, their leader of 30 years. Many conservative leaders were concerned about the events in Egypt, saying that the door had been opened for radical groups like the Muslim Brotherhood to seize control.

Egypt and Libya are completely different cases. Mubarak, while being an autocrat, was not violently oppressive; Gaddafi is. We can see the difference in how each of them dealt with revolutions in their countries. Mubarak initially resisted with tear gas, and eventually resigned peaceably. Gaddafi said he would rather die a martyr then surrender power, and backed this up by deploying Libyan solders against his own people, and bombing his own cities.

While both situations present the possible danger of radical groups like the Muslim Brotherhood seizing power, there really is no comparison. President Mubarak was a western friendly leader who kept many of the more radical elements in Egypt at bay. Gaddafi is unwillingly neutral at best, and a terrorist at worst.

By taking military action against an anti-American dictator, dare I say that President Obama ended up doing the right thing?

Jeremiah Lorrig

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