March 28, 2011
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I may have addressed this before, but at the risk of being repetitive, I have to question the rhyme or reason behind the US getting involved in Libya. Further, I have to look at it from a different view–if we are going in there to help with regime change, or prevent a leader from killing his own people, how do we decide which places to stick our noses in and which ones to ignore?
President Obama publicly rebuked Libya leader Mommar Quaddfi, saying that the US and its allies would get involved in Libya to stop the killng that was going on there. On the surface, such actions are noble. who doesn’t want to see an end to slaughter and bloodshed by a tyrannical dictator? But the issue is a complex one. If we are going to take this stance on Libya, why not on other countries? There have been hundreds of thousands killed in Darfur. The people in Iran tried to rise up and got squashed. There are numerous countries in the Middle East where the citizens are currently protesting their government.
Of the situations mentioned, there is no plan for intervention from the US or otherwise.
So the question becomes, under what grounds do we decide to jump in? Does the situation have to be 100% winnable? Only under NATO approval? Only when invited by the Arab League?
Someone somewhere needs to spell this out.
November 29, 2010
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Today, the US is in scramble mode due to a website called Wikileaks. For the uninitiated, Wikileaks has been gathering secret, unpublished documents from the US and publishing them for the world to see. Previously, the site released secret documents somehow obtained from the US military, documenting information, negotiations, and unmentioned concerns about the war in Afghanistan. This past weekend, they went one better, releasing thousands of cables (think secure emails) from diplomatic sources around the world, exposing a lot of opinions that were best kept under wraps. In short, when people are making cracks at other world leaders–referring to them as “weak,” “easily swayed,” “useless,” and even comparing them to Batman and Robin–it can tend to ruffle feathers.
Further, a number of things the US wanted to keep under wraps now come to light. Like how US allies wanted the US to take out the Iranian nuclear facility. Or how the King of Saudi Arabia did not want the US to invade Iraq and take down Saddam because the US and Saudi Arabia, along with Saddam’s help, had been able to keep Iran in check. Even negotiations about a missile shield in Europe came out–which showed that President Obama has not trouble playing hardball behind the scenes.
One politician even called WikiLeaks a “terrorist organization.” It will be interesting to see how much damage the site can end up doing to the US and its Middle East efforts.