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Wednesday, March 23, 2011

To the Shores of Baghdad Tripoli

On the 6th of this month, I warned that the president was fucking up big time and not being proactive enough against the world's dictators. But it seems as if he's swung to the other extreme and had never once considered diplomacy in the Protean transition from impartial onlooker to primary military aggressor.

I know, I know. Gadhaffi's nuttier than a squirrel turd but you have to at least make the diplomatic effort so you can legitimately reach further toward the center of the table and use military might.

Still, one doesn't have to squint to see the disturbing similarities between Iraq and Libya: A clearly insane strongman of an oil-rich nation who'd been in power for decades who nonetheless was no longer a threat to us and being bombed by a "coalition" that just happens to be led by US fighter jets, the bombing starting on March 19, of all days, with the British playing a hyped cameo role but a cameo role nonetheless.

The only thing that's missing is support from the president's opposing party and outrage from the so-called leftists who are bound and determined to support Obama no matter what he does just as surely as Republicans will condemn him no matter what.

So far, we haven't lost anyone, although a fighter jet recently went down with little fanfare.

I'll leave the infinitely complex geopolitical ramifications to the wonks like Juan Cole and Nick Kristoff. My "job" is to give a citizen's worm's eye view of what's going on around us and this stinks to high heaven, plain and simple. As Jon Stewart pointed out, we already have two wars on our plates and this isn't like paying attention to the baby war because the older ones can take care of themselves.

One could make a case, as Michael Moore recently had, that revolutions are supposed to be won by the indigenous people, without outside interference. Yet as noble a narrative as that is, Moore seems to forget that that's not exactly how we'd achieved our own independence from the British.

The one question no one seems to be asking is, "Why Libya?"

Libya was a relative newcomer to the unrest in the Arab world, suffering serious fallout from the violent regime change in Tunisia and Egypt. In fact, not one regime in the Middle East has been toppled while every Arab country in northern Africa with an unpopular leader has been unceremoniously thrown through the palace gates.

Save for Gadhaffi. Ah, Daffy, the Michael Jackson of dictators, a guy whom we'd all but forgotten if not forgiven for his past acts of terrorism against Americans. Now suddenly, removing Gadhaffi is the most important thing on our agenda. Not balancing the budget, not creating jobs, not getting us the fuck out of Afghanistan and Iraq, not helping the Japanese with their even graver crisis, not pressuring the terrorist Israelis for their criminally under-reported bombing of the Gaza Strip...

It's removing an old potato-faced madman well past his prime and dresses in clothes that look as if they were ransacked from the Three Stooges' wardrobe.

Here's another question no one is asking: Did anyone ask the Libyans what they thought of our interference, especially the ones that killed our troops in Iraq before scuttling back to Libya?

And, as always, no matter who's sitting behind the Resolute Desk in the Oval Office, you can always count on some frustrated poet at the Pentagon to dream up stupid titles such as "Operation Odyssey Dawn."
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