The UN Security Council’s vote to authorize the international community “to take all necessary measures” to protect Libyan civilians (after which the Khaddafy regime announced a cease-fire, although reports say shots are still being fired) elicited a surprising consensus among some liberal and conservative bloggers: a sense of doubt that moving forward with military operations will be worth the commitments the United States will have to make.
Liberal blogs seemed to have visions of the development of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.
Balloon Juice’s John Cole, in a post titled “The Hawks Are Winning”
I’ve already stated my piece on this, and appear to be in a mind-meld with Angela Merkel, who wants to know what comes next when the no-fly zone inevitably fails.
Well, we all know what comes next- FREEDOM BOMBS FOR EVERYONE.
The number one goal is not saving civilians, it is getting the no-fly zone in place so that escalation will be easier. When the no-fly zone doesn’t work, we’ll move up to shock and awe, and before you know it, we’ll have troops on the ground. After all, we’re Murrika!
I’ll let you figure out how this is in our national interest and how entering another war with no clear definition for victory or understandable mission is what we need. And someone let me know what color to change the blog to so we are not accused of being with the terrorists.
Liberal blogger Andrew Sullivan at The Atlantic:
So the United States is embarking on another effort at nation-building in a Muslim country where there is no nation.
And don't tell me we can stop short of this. If you are bombing a territory and arming and advising rebels within it, you are a part of the war. And you are responsible for its consequences. I simply cannot believe that the US is taking custody of yet another chaotic region we cannot begin to understand in favor of people we do not know against a crazy tyrant we spent the past few years rehabilitating.
Well, I can believe it. If we had elected John McCain, it would be highly believable.
Over at the Weekly Standard, conservative blogger John Tabin wrote that while the Obama administration took too long to get behind a no-fly zone, he expressed concern over the length of an American military committment.
There's no doubt that, as I argued yesterday, the cost/benefit analysis of this course of action has gotten significantly less favorable as the Obama administration has dithered for weeks.
I can't shake the feeling that this isn't so much laying the groundwork for Gaddafi's end as it is committing US forces to a longterm mission to enforce a de facto partition. Protecting Eastern Libya may be laudable in and of itself, but it's quite an effort to make if it doesn't topple Gaddafi any time soon.