Why Not Syria and Iran? Hell, Why Not North Korea?
I was on a radio show today and one of the hosts was trying to put a good face on Obama's Libyan thing. "Well," she said, "he was slaughtering all those innocent people. Should we just stand by?" I said that the Iranians were killing 3 a day -- that we know about -- for months, and for extras were killing Americans, as they had been for 32 years. We have stood by, as we are standing by as Assad -- another sponsor of American killers -- slaughters the Syrian people demonstrating for freedom.
The problem with Obama's Libyan thing is twofold:
First, if it's right to intervene to save Libyan lives, then why isn't it right to save Iranian, Syrian, Congolese, Sudanese, North Korean and Chinese lives, as well as millions of others?
Remember, I was the first kid on the block to call for bombing the Libyan air force, several weeks before the Valkyries decided that it was urgent to do something, and convinced a clearly reluctant president to do the Libyan thing. And I have said that getting rid of Qadaffi is a worthy mission, but not a crucial one. Which brings us to the second part of the problem.
Second -- and here we get to the crux of the matter -- why is it so important to save Libyans when this president won't act against tyrants who kill Americans? It's disgusting to me, as I'm sure it is to other military parents, spouses, and children, that the president and the secretary of state seem positively proud to tell us that we won't lift a finger against Assad or Khamenei. Yet Assad and Khamenei are mass murderers on a scale that dwarfs Qadaffi, and they are also killing AMERICANS. But we don't hear about that.
I'm all for saving Libyans, and I'm all for regime change in Tripoli. But that's a secondary matter in the strategic scheme of things. The primary strategic issue is how to win the big war being waged against us, the big war the president either does not see or whose name he dare not utter. The big war that gives the lie to all his empty politically correct bombast about changing the world with his outstretched hand and shameful apology tours and his obeisance to tyrants from Venezuela to China.
What does he say? He takes us through the recent events in Libya, and he boasts that he saved the rebels, and prevented a huge refugee crisis that would have shaken Egypt and Tunisia. Perhaps; we're not at the end of the Libyan thing, after all, and the Italians will tell you that they are dreading the North African boat people. But let's say it's true. And let's agree with him when he says:
"To brush aside America's responsibility as a leader and — more profoundly — our responsibilities to our fellow human beings under such circumstances would have been a betrayal of who we are."
To which the clear and obvious response is:
Are not Syrians and Iranians our fellow human beings? Yet you have done nothing for them in circumstances that do not require military assault. And are not our soldiers, sailors, pilots and Marines also our fellow human beings? Yet you apologize to their killers instead of aiding the oppressed peoples.
Disgusting. Get first things first. If we can get regime change in Damascus and Tehran -- missions worthy of America and its president -- then the things we face in Libya, as in Somalia, Iraq, Afghanistan, Lebanon, yes, Israel, and, still, Egypt and Tunisia, will get much easier. Because if you defeat your enemies, your friends will be braver, and your enemies' friends will suddenly discover the virtues of prudence.
One last thing: just how vigorous are we prepared to be with the Libyan thing? What if it drags on? Are we and NATO ready to take the next steps? Because if we somehow find ourselves losing...
So it's not that the Libyan thing is a bad thing. It's that it's not the main thing. We still are not even beginning to talk about the main thing.