March 17, 2018

Obama defends US involvement in Libya

The World is a better place without Muammar Gaddafi. Do you think that sounds to much like George W Bush? Yes we do.

Libya is President Barack Obama’s first war he can call his own. Understandably he is a bit sensitive about it.

Defending US involvement in the United Nations backed military intervention, President Obama said “countless lives” have been saved that were threatened by the forces of the “tyrant” Muammar Gaddafi.

“Tonight, I can report that we have stopped Gaddafi’s deadly advance,” Mr Obama said, speaking from the National Defense University in Washington DC.

But the lead in enforcing the no-fly zone “and protecting civilians on the ground” would now move to US “allies and partners”.

“Because of this transition to a broader, Nato-based coalition, the risk and cost of this operation – to our military, and to American taxpayers – will be reduced significantly,” Mr Obama said.

“We must always measure our interests against the need for action,” the president continued.

“But that cannot be an argument for never acting on behalf of what’s right.”

“We were faced with the prospect of violence on a horrific scale. We had a unique ability to stop that violence: an international mandate for action, a broad coalition prepared to join us, the support of Arab countries and a plea for help from the Libyan people themselves.”

But having led the initial campaign, the US would hand over to Nato allies on Wednesday, he said.

Newswarped is not disputing what the President is saying but feels a little cynical about the selective employment of “acting on behalf of what’s right.” It is easy to see that if oil or some other valuable resource is involved then suddenly the need to intervene gets shifted to DEFCON 5.

If the conflict where innocent civilians are being slaughtered is somewhere on the lower end of the socio-economic scale then it doesn’t even register on the radar.

At best the people in countries like The Ivory Coast and the Sudan who are being massacred daily can only hope for a few words of outrage at a weekly press conference at the White House.

If these people happen to be oppressed by a regime that the US supports then thay are not even going to get that.

Meanwhile back in Libya the rebel advance westards is starting to meet stiffer resistance as they get closer to Tripoli and Gaddafi’s hometown of Sirte.

With nowhere to run too Gadaffi has no choice but to fight to the last. There may be some hasty secret negotiations going on behind the scenes to offer him a way out that gets everyone off the hook.

There is every incentive with NATO now involved in a conflict with no obvious end, for them to find a way of removing Gaddafi from Libya and giving his supporters no one to rally around.