The further to the left or the right you move, the more your lens on life distorts.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

No Win

As the Libyan war devolves into chaos, the Western word is faced with still another in a long line of no-win Middle-Eastern debacles. On the one hand, we have a certifiably insane, genocidal thug (Gaddafi) who clings to power. On the side of the Libyan “freedom” forces (the MSM's rediculous characterization) we have the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group, which according to ABC News is “the movement [with] an impressive history of supporting jihadist causes, having worked with al-Qaeda for more than a decade.

A commenter at The Belmont Club, “Subotai Bahadur,” states the situation rather eloquently. He’s talking about Libya, but his comments apply equally to any country in the Arab crescent. They should be pondered whenever you hear a naïve talking head (or our President) discuss the “freedom” agenda in the Middle East:
There is no burnoose-clad Thomas al-Jefferson waiting his opportunity. Nor a Libyan Locke or Adam Smith squatting in Benghazi pondering the relationship of man and the state, or the making of needles. The rise of a democratic and republican society requires a culture of both self reliance and general trust. You have to have a sense of self and self worth in a society, and at least a knowledge of what a rule of law means. These are people whose very religion literally is “submission”, which regards anyone who is beyond the bounds of immediate family and tribe as a hostile outsider, which regards anyone not Muslim and half of Muslims as chattel. They have a history not only of authoritarian rule as far back as it goes; they have not even had real exposure to what Western Democracy is. They were colonized, not by Britain; but by royal and Fascist Italy.

Any stability we may impose will be at great cost to ourselves and an even greater cost to the locals. It will be temporary. And whatever deluge that we arrest by our temporary presence will be merely pent up for later release. And those very entities that want us to undertake the heavy lifting, the UN and EU, will castigate us for over-reacting, under-reacting, and for the fact that we intervened in the first place; even though they themselves both asked for it and were unable to do anything themselves.

The thought of any sort of American intervention in Libya is an absolute no-win situation. Absent the appearance of a vital US national interest in Libya [and keeping the oil taps open for Europe does not constitute such in my mind], it is not worth the life of one US soldier; even if we had the strategic cushion to attempt it.

I have a very bad feeling that this will not turn out well. We live in interesting times.