We may have found the actual answer to the question, why we involved ourselves in Libya. Prognosticators and armed chair generals will give you a laundry list of reasons legitimizing yet one more incursion into a region entirely hostile to American interests but it is almost always a thin veil covering something far more devious - or cowardly.
The classic, public answer to the question has to do with our 'goodwill toward all men', our concern for the safety and individual right to self-determination and the elimination of 'bad men', but this week, the administration may have inadvertently let the cat out of the bag.
On Sunday, March 27th, NBC's Meet the Press (MTP) hosted Robert Gates and Hillary Clinton who were sent to spread the word about this administration's compassion for the oppressed peoples of the world and to justify, by extension, our involvement in the internal affairs of a sovereign nation; Libya. After all the dribble about the poor, disaffected, freedom-loving, innocent civilians there, Ms. Clinton sought to punctuate the righteousness of our actions by mentioning that even Al Jazeera had expressed 'gratitude' for our gracious involvement for the innocents in Libya.
When you consider how this sitting President started his term, prostrating himself in Muslim lands, before a Muslim audience, apologizing for the 'excesses' of American living and the 'abuses' of American arrogance, not to mention assuring his Muslim audiences that America was not a 'Christian' nation, the reference to Al Jazeera, was enlightening. In the midst of that simple effort by Clinton to justify military action through the gratitude of Al Jazeera, she told us all we may need to know about this administration's actual end game strategy.
Al Qaida and other Islamic groups have been given safe harbor in Libya and are part of the 'freedom-seeking' rebel faction seeking to oust Muammar Muhammad al-Gaddafi. It now appears that intrinsic to the strategy is an ill-advised if not naïve attempt to offer an olive leaf to our age old enemy. After all, by throwing in with the rebel faction we have in fact allied ourselves with Al Qaida. Assuming the administration is not completely uneducated about the demographics in that country and given Ms Clinton's faux pas during MTP, it is not a huge leap to make this conclusion.
Later in the show, during the round table discussion with this week's guests, Savannah Guthrie, Ted Koppel, Bob Woodward and Tom Ricks, Ricks made an extraordinary claim that not all extremists (spelled Islamic Extremists) were necessarily hostile to the United States?!
Ted Koppel actually stood out as the reasonable voice at the table questioning the wisdom of pitting ourselves between the two Islamic factions, ultimately putting ourselves in bed with a group that might eventually bite us in the backside. Koppel should have been able to muster this little piece of wisdom having covered similar events throughout his career where we have seen the fruit of these kinds of foolish couplings. Can you say T-A-L-I-B-A-N?
All of the guests agreed the military would baulk at yet one more ill-advised and undefined incursion into the devil's lair and Ricks said his Blog is filled with commentary from military personnel denouncing this latest venture. Of course! They are the ones paying the price for this fantasy that we can sweep up all the 'bad guys' in the world and make all of the people - even Islamic peoples, friends.
No; what we will have is egg on the face of this administration and by proxy; us. It is naïve at best, criminal at worst to knowingly subjugate this nation to an ideology hostile to it's existence. Reaching out to an incalcitrant, enemy ideology and it's minions with chocolates rather than heavy guns is by definition an act of capitulation. There is little doubt left concerning the ineptitude of this Administration or Congress in general when discussing Islam, the Middle East, Southwest Asia, the Arabian Peninsula or North Africa.
The only serious question remaining is whether the American Voter, is paying attention and whether the 'King' is prepared to take back control of his country in 2012.
Tom Ricks made the comment that the US Military's history has been rather defined by this kind of 'Gunboat Diplomacy'…He should be careful not to try to equate the era of the Great White Fleet with the political failures of recent decades. In addition, our talking heads and politicians would do well to remember the battle of Iwo Jima which helped turn the tide in the Pacific Theater during World War II. Although costly to the United States Marine Corps, of the estimated 22,000 Japanese defenders on that island, only an estimated 300 survived to the end of the battle, March 1945. The Japanese surrendered, officially, 2 September 1945.
The Soldiers of Islam may be pious, even pragmatic, but there is a limit to the amount of suffering even they are willing to endure.
If we are going to survive as a nation that treasures self-determination as an American right, we had better be preparing to deliver pain, instead of presents.