Dear Mr. President, stop it now please.

Josh Marshall speaks for me.

A week ago a relatively limited intervention probably could have sealed the rebels’ victory, preventing a reeling Qaddafi from fully mobilizing his heavy armaments. But where do we expect to get from this now? It’s not clear to me how the best case scenario can be anything more than our maintaining a safe haven in Benghazi for the people who were about to be crushed because they’d participated in a failed rebellion. So Qaddafi reclaims his rule over all of Libya except this one city which has no government or apparent hope of anything better than permanent limbo. Where do we go with that?

We’re calling a time out on a really ugly situation the fundamental dynamics of which we aren’t in any position to change. That sounds like a mess.

Maybe we do this and then that rejuvenates the opposition and Qaddafi is gone in a week. If that happens, great. Egg on my face. But I doubt it.

And that’s about how it looks to me. And that’s about how it feels to me. And like Josh Marshall, I’d love to be wrong.

7 responses to “Dear Mr. President, stop it now please.

  1. Allied forces (not sure what else to call them) are in fact bombing Qaddafi’s forces and it was reported earlier this evening that there have been some strikes against his compound. I think you and Mr. Marshall are a tad premature in your predictions for the outcome. Frankly I don’t think there is anyway we could sit this one out, sometimes you need to be on the right side of history.

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    • Egypt and Tunesia were mostly peaceful, but there’s some ugly stuff happening in Bahrain. Are we supposed to be there? What about Georgia a few years ago? I’m not actually opposed to the air strikes to interfere with Qaddafi’s plan to ‘show no mercy’ as he said. I am opposed to troops in Libya and our history so far . . . And in any case, I’m not convinced that we end up doing any good – no fly zones don’t keep their ground troops from going after the rebels.

      A horrific genocides happened in Bosnia underneath a no-fly zone.

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  2. Allies Target Qaddafi’s Ground Forces as Libyan Rebels Regroup

    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/21/world/africa/21libya.html?hp

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  3. Once you throw the dice…..

    Things begin to take their course….

    You will have the wait….

    This IS why Gates didn’t want to go….
    But you you don’t want a half a**ed job…..

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  4. I’ve called for the no-fly zone, but I am deeply troubled that it occurred so late in the game. I’m also questioning why we are mostly silent on Yemen and Bahrain. If this crackdown against Qaddafi helps dissuade another tyrant from trying to murder all his opposition, then it’s done some good I guess. There is a lot of moral questioning in all of this. I have few if any answers.

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    • From Andrew Sullivan’s site today:

      “There are so many good reasons on both sides, so many different possible outcomes, that my only sure conclusion is that I’m glad I don’t have to make a decision,” – James Downie, on the Libya intervention.

      I think we could all say that. Meanwhile Sherry , the thing I fear most of all is ‘mission creep’.

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