Tuesday, March 22, 2011
Moral certainty in Libya?
For a while, Libya seemed like a perfect place to bomb from afar. The setup was perfect - repressed people revolting against a tyrant, riding the jubilant waves of other successful revolutions. The despot's cabinet and head military officials defect, the rebels seize some towns, the world looks on with adoration. He's on the ropes! Then the dictator gets pissed and bulldozes, shoots, and bombs his own people to smithereens.
The brutal injustice stings, and you feel their pain and wish you could help. Yes, we know our own military is stretched too thin for a ground invasion, so why not do the next best thing? Join up some other super-powered nations and shoot missiles at the bad guys from far, far away. The bad guys get hit, we are safe and the civilians get to root for the U.S.
It seemed like that very, very rare thing - moral certainty. This was a good thing.
But then it wasn't. First the Arab nations changed their minds and started booing. Then the Republicans chastised Obama for moving too slowly. Then Democrats knocked him for moving too quickly. Finally, Jon Stewart of all people bashed the president for acting illegally without the permission of congress.
Don't know what to make anything anymore....