published Wednesday, July 20th, 2011

If Gadhafi goes, then what?

There are serious concerns that at least some factions of the rebels who are trying to oust Libyan dictator Moammar Gadhafi have ties to terrorists or are actually engaging in terrorist activities.

NATO's top commander, U.S. Navy Adm. James Stavridis, told the U.S. Senate that "flickers" of al-Qaida have appeared in the rebels' ranks, and outside investigators have determined that some rebel forces have committed war crimes.

Most recently, rebels who have captured certain Libyan towns are accused of burning down homes of people they suspect don't support the rebellion, according to Human Rights Watch. The rebels also are accused of looting clinics and shops of those they believe oppose them.

None of that is to say that Gadhafi's forces are anything close to "innocent." They have engaged in atrocities against Libyan civilians, and many people of good will would welcome a removal of Gadhafi from power.

But it is, at a minimum, disturbing that President Barack Obama embroiled our military forces in international air attacks on Gadhafi's military in the midst of Libya's civil war. Besides the fact that the president never got the constitutionally required congressional authorization to attack Libya, it is simply unclear that the rebel forces whom our aerial attacks are aiding are an improvement on Gadhafi himself.

And yet now, the Obama administration has also given formal recognition to the rebels as the official government of Libya.

We can readily understand the desire not to treat Gadhafi as "legitimate," given his oppressive behavior over the years. But throwing the full backing of the U.S. government behind rebels whose motives are at best uncertain is not wise.

There are hints that Gadhafi is trying to negotiate a way to exit Libya. We won't miss him if that happens. But our country should be very careful about lending aid or moral legitimacy to his presumed successors, when we don't know exactly what they intend to do in Libya.

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nucanuck said...

After Gadhafi is gone the desert will bloom, the Libyans will turn white, embrace Christianity, and offer America oil at half price.

July 20, 2011 at 12:20 a.m.
limric said...

DANG nucanuck, I laughed so hard milk came out of my nose. That was great!

July 20, 2011 at 9:21 a.m.
Livn4life said...

Dang, nucanuck, it's a good thing you have a place like this to write something so not funny. But then it is a free country and I thank God(who is not white, not male but does exist)for that. But finally, I continue to look for a nationwide call for outrage that our (Demo)President took it upon himself to get the US involved militarily in another conflict at a time economically when we hear how much we need to be getting out of the war business. Where is it? Oh, I guess it's ok for a (Demo)President to do as he likes with no repercussions. That is the new America.....I suppose!

July 20, 2011 at 10:53 a.m.
nucanuck said...

L4l,

When are you going to figure out that neither political party has answers for our problems?

July 20, 2011 at 12:16 p.m.
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