Thursday, February 16, 2012

What Must Moammar Be Thinking?

The shade of Moammar Qaddafi must be scratching its ghostly head over recent developments in Syria. After all, the Libyan leader was himself peremptorily dispatched to his eternal reward, such as it might be, largely because President Obama and Secretary of State Clinton insisted on humanitarian grounds that we intervene to prevent him from killing thousands of his citizens. So we proceeded to kill hundreds, maybe thousands, of young Libyan soldiers to keep Qaddafi from killing thousands of civilians.

"Very well," Moammar must be musing from his ethereal perch, "I can understand that, but then why not Syria? What's the difference?" Good question. How does Bashar Assad get away with killing thousands of his people with every bit as much remorseless brutality and cruelty as Moammar could ever have mustered and there's no military response from the U.S? Is it that Libya has oil and Syria doesn't? That can't be the reason because Mr. Obama and Ms Clinton are lefties, and if there's anything we know from the Iraq war it's that lefties would never, ever spill blood in order to secure oil. Heck, they won't even build a pipeline to secure oil.

Perhaps we've not intervened in Syria like we did in Libya because thousands of leftists have made it clear to Mr. Obama that if he threatens military force they'll journey to Syria and serve as human shields just like they did when George Bush threatened to invade Iraq. And they did, too, at least until the bombs started falling at which point they disappeared. Maybe they told Mr. Obama that this time they really mean it, and the administration believed them.

Okay, maybe that's not it. The vociferous anti-war left has been as quiet as church mice since Mr. Obama ascended to the Oval Office. It's only when Republicans launch hostilities, it seems, that they're able to find their voice.

Whatever it is, Mr. Qaddafi must be wondering today whether there are any guiding principles governing American foreign policy and if so, what they might be. If he is wondering this he's got a lot of company, except in the American media which seems completely uninterested in the question.