Wednesday, March 30, 2011

To do nothing is unthinkable, to do something may by worse

The history of the Gaddafi regime supports the belief that his armed forces had been and were going to commit a massacre in order to preserve his reign. It was therefore unthinkable for the rest of the world to do nothing. But, as a pacifist and humanitarian I can't help but think about those dying by our hands.

We don't know anything about the man in this tank except that he was fighting on Gaddafi's side. Why was he fighting? Did he support Gaddafi? Was he a military contractor trying to earn some money? Was he forced to fight? (Remember, we use military contractors, and we force our military members to fight even when they disagree.)

Did this soldier have a wife? Was he a father? Is a mother, father, or sibling morning the loss?

Was what we did better than doing nothing? I can't answer this question.

On Tuesday's DemocracyNow! there was a debate between University of Michigan Professor Juan Cole and University of Trinity Professor Vijay Prashad. I encourage you to listen to it.

I have one last issue that was not brought up in the debate. Why is NATO providing command? Egypt, part of the Arab League has a strong military and competent command. Qatar and the United Arab Emirates, also part of the Arab League are patrolling the skies over Libya. Does it take a Western power to take command? Is it a disrespect to expect Arab nations to follow commands from NATO, but not to consider NATO following their commands?

I have not discussed the monetary cost to the U.S., and do not believe it should be a consideration.