26 June 2011


The administration’s half-hearted policy in Libya is a no-win situation all around. Americans may be war weary, but the preservation of the NATO alliance is still in our interests as well as theirs. It is true the Libya campaign has unmasked the impotence of the Europeans in carrying out any mission without significant American support. The Europeans continue to bury their heads and avoid adequate expenditures for their own defense. However it is hardly in our interests to see this mission fail. We made a commitment to this effort and to avoid looking impotent ourselves we need to see it through. It would not take a major effort on our part to finally topple daffy Quadafi, who has American and British blood on his hands. Having come out in favor of his overthrow we should make it happen, and then leave the post-Quadafi situation to the Europeans.

The case against Quadafi is that he has murdered his own people. By that standard the Assad regime in Syria is even worse, yet we are standing by as what is clearly a popular revolt is being brutally suppressed. There is a tacit policy of supporting the status quo in Syria in the interests of “stability.” This is nonsense. The fall of this Iranian ally would clearly be in the interests of the West. Without direct engagement on the ground we have sufficient forces in the area to support the revolt, and given its resilience in the face of murderous suppression it would likely succeed.

Again Americans are war weary, but having gone this far and largely succeeded in Iraq and Afghanistan it makes no sense to precipitously withdraw, thereby vastly increasing Iranian influence. The sacrifices we have made should not be in vain. Iran is the greatest threat to world peace and “stability” at the moment, but we effectively have them encircled. Until that regime is toppled by its own people the treat remains and we ignore it at our own peril. Regime change in Syria would be a major blow to Iran, not only there by in Lebanon, given Syrian mischief in that country.

Unfortunately the administration continues to project weakness, which only emboldens our enemies. This is suicide. Neo-isolationism is a dangerous fantasy and it is disturbing to hear some Republicans taking this position. The fact of the matter is that we may not be interested in the world, but the world is interested in us, and we cannot wish away those intent on destroying us.

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