DID THE WOMEN DO IT?
The media are all over the reports that top Obama advisers Susan Rice, Hillary Clinton and Samantha Powers pushed for and led the charge to war in Libya to prevent a humanitarian crisis such as the genocide that occurred in Rwanda, thus putting a feminine compassionate face on the US entry into another snake pit of Middle East turmoil.
Paul D. Miller dismantles the Libya-Rwanda comparison:
Rwanda was genocide. Libya is a civil war. The Rwandan genocide was a premeditated, orchestrated campaign. The Libyan civil war is a sudden, unplanned outburst of fighting. The Rwandan genocide was targeted against an entire, clearly defined ethnic group. The Libyan civil war is between a tyrant and his cronies on one side, and a collection of tribes, movements, and ideologists (including Islamists) on the other. The Rwandan genocidiers aimed to wipe out a people. The Libyan dictator aims to cling to power. The first is murder, the second is war. The failure to act in Rwanda does not saddle us with a responsibility to intervene in Libya.
And Andrew Sullivan offers another devastating reality-check:
Shoes - Not "Boots" - On The Ground
So it seems Obama's long hesitation about going into Libya was not so hesitant.
He signed approval for covert action to arm the rebels weeks before the UN Resolution. It is not clear if anything has come of the directive - although it makes me wonder what the real truth was behind that WSJ story on Egypt's transfer of weapons - but it reveals the president to be at best vague last night and at worst deceptive. The US, we now know, has been on the ground actively aiding and abetting the rebels for weeks in targeting and attacking the Qaddafi forces. Was that secret operation entirely devoted to preventing a massacre in Benghazi? Count me suspicious. The Brits are even further up to their necks in this - another imperial intervention in a country Britain has no right whatever to meddle in. The empire in Africa is over, Mr Cameron. You're more than a century too late.
And when Obama says he rules out boots on the ground, it appears it depends whose boots we are talking about. Maybe the CIA agents wear shoes, rather than boots, in the desert - a Clintonian piece of bullshit that really needs to be called out (read the full post, it's incredible.)
Update April 1, 2011: Sullivan reports further on the brutal crackdown on the pro-Democracy movement in Bahrain by a coalition of oil friends while the bomb and squeeze is applied in Lybia.
Bahraini Shiites women attend the funeral of Bahiya al-Aradi, holding portraits of her...
Photo by Joseph Eid/AFP/Getty Images)
Backed by some 2,000 ground troops from Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and Qatar, along with a Kuwaiti naval detachment, the Bahraini government has all but stamped out the Shi‘a-led pro-democracy movement that had brought this small island nation to a standstill since mid-February.
And here's an ironically brutal reality check:
Update April 1, 2001: Glen Greenwald takes apart the Obama/Clinton claim of the President's power to make war and concludes, "Most Democrats, liberals, and even traditional conservatives and libertarians purported to find such lawlessness outrageous and dangerous during the Bush years. It isn't any less so now." That there could be so little difference between Bush/Cheney and Obama/Clinton is so weird that one can only conclude that this is not about personalities but about peak oil and that more weirdness is coming.
If the horror on the ground were not so real, one might laugh at the paradoxical humor of this wild weird world (www.com) but it's better (I think) to pray for the innocent ones who get crushed by the seriousness of it all.
It's noon on Thursday now and time for a Water Prayer.