Monday, March 14, 2011

Questions for Libya Interventionists

Demands for the President to back up his ill-advised assertion that "Qaddafi must go" continue to arise on both the left and the right. People on both sides are strenuously insisting that we intervene in the Libyan civil war to stop Qaddafi from defeating and slaughtering the rebels in Libya. Before we do that, however, I think we must insist on answers to some very important questions from the folks who are calling for war:

  • If we decide to get overtly involved in Libya what justification do we have for not also attacking Iran and North Korea? What are the essential distinctions in the three cases? Surely both of these nations are a greater threat to us and to the world than is Libya.
  • If Mubarak had resisted the Egyptian demonstrators with force should we have gone into Egypt? What about Saudi Arabia, Yemen, or Bahrain all of which are or may soon be shooting demonstrators?
  • Why should we stop Qaddafi from killing rebels but not stop Ahmadinejad from building nuclear weapons that he will surely use. Why not stop Kim Jong Il who murders his people in North Korea every day? Indeed, why not launch an attack on China which is led by Hu Jintao whom President Obama honored with a lavish state dinner despite the fact that he was partly responsible for the 1989 massacre of pro-democracy demonstrators in Tiananmen Square?
  • If we use military aircraft to impose a no-fly zone we have to destroy anti-aircraft and radar systems. This means that we will be killing Libyans on the ground. Should we do that? Why? What happens when one of our bombs goes awry and kills a family of innocent civilians and the Arab world is incensed at us (again)? Is that a risk we should take? Why?
  • When the rebellion began Libyans were displaying signs saying Foreigners Keep Out and threatening to turn their guns on our aircraft if we intervened on their behalf. Now they're pleading for help. Which of these messages should we heed?
  • Even if we clear the skies, Qaddafi's forces on the ground will continue to drive the rebels back and possibly slaughter them. Should we attack his ground forces? Should we insert ground troops of our own if that's what's necessary to stop Qaddafi? Exactly how far should we go to stop him?
  • How long should we stay in Libya once we manage to halt Qaddafi's advance? What is our exit strategy?
There is much for which to criticize Mr. Obama in the way he has handled the Middle East and North Africa, but unless one has answers to these questions why criticize him for not going to war with Qaddafi? So far I haven't heard many answers, and I've heard none that are persuasive.


The story is horrific enough (see also here). Five members of an Israeli family, including three children, had their throats slit by an unknown assailant or assailants.

The level of degeneracy to which one must sink to do this to a child is hard to fathom, but to actually celebrate the brutal murders of little children puts one outside the community of civilized humanity altogether. These people are simply savages:
Gaza residents from the southern city of Rafah hit the streets Saturday to celebrate the terror attack in the West Bank settlement of Itamar where five family members were murdered in their sleep, including three children.

Residents handed out candy and sweets, one resident saying the joy "is a natural response to the harm settlers inflict on the Palestinian residents in the West Bank."
What sort of people are these who take joy in the murder of helpless children? The words of John Calvin leap to mind: "Total depravity".

Japanese Tsunami

Dramatic video of the moment the tsunami struck a fishing village along the Japanese coast:
The death toll is expected to exceed 10,000. They need our prayers and our help.

Dumbing Down America

No one wants dumb cops working their neighborhoods, but that's what they're likely to get in Dayton, Ohio according to this story:
The Dayton Police Department is lowering its testing standards for recruits. It's a move required by the U.S. Department of Justice after it says not enough African-Americans passed the exam.

Dayton is in desperate need of officers to replace dozens of retirees. The hiring process was postponed for months because the D.O.J. rejected the original scores provided by the Dayton Civil Service Board, which administers the test.

“It becomes a safety issue for the people of our community,” said Dayton Fraternal Order of Police President, Randy Beane. “It becomes a safety issue to have an incompetent officer next to you in a life and death situation."
Not even the NAACP supports the DOJ decision:
“The NAACP does not support individuals failing a test and then having the opportunity to be gainfully employed,” agreed Dayton NAACP President Derrick Forward. “If you lower the score for any group of people, you're not getting the best qualified people for the job,” Forward said.
This case is a window into how the liberal mind works and how they solve problems. If there are too few minorities passing the test, just lower the score needed to pass and the problem is solved. If crime is too high all we need do is decriminalize a few things like assault and battery and the crime statistics will plummet. If poverty is a problem just lower the income level below which someone is considered poor and, presto!, poverty is reduced, or even eliminated. If we followed this policy with enough resolve we could pretty soon be living in a crime and poverty-free utopia.

Wouldn't it seem more sensible, even to the folks at the DOJ, to make the police force applicant pool smarter, to insist that young men get a good education so they can qualify for good jobs, than to just water down the eligibility standards for service on the force?

Consider the message that the DOJ is sending young black males: They're telling them that they don't really need a good education to get a decent job. They're telling them that school isn't all that important, and if young black men aren't as well-educated as others applying for the same position, that's okay. We'll just lower the bar for them so that pretty much anyone can jump over it.

Come to think of it, maybe somebody lowered the bar for employment at the DOJ, too.