Cahiers Péguy

22Mar/113

The Truth about our Wars

No one feels sympathetic toward Gaddafi, as we didn't toward Saddam Hussein, and it's easy to acquiesce to the grand impulse toward liberation, or the illusion of it. Still, it all looks so familiar, and it's not just disappointment, but the implacable misery that continues in places where we imagined we were being helpful. Giorgio Vittadini weighs in with a sober judgment on the current engagement in Libya.  How can we find a more reasonable position?  It exists.

The truth is that the neocolonial policy is starting up again: for oil, for international prestige, for control of North Africa and the Middle East, for the victory of internal elections of the European leaders or a pacifist (!) leader like Obama. And this shows once again the weakness of the European Union, which sanctions the actions of states which, awakened from a benevolent stupor that lasted sixty years, return to a colonial policy. Therefore, before the armed intervention of the coalition, one cannot but think that the only alternative to this blood-letting hypocrisy is the course of the Holy See. A regard for every person starts the dialogue, which is always preferable to armed intervention and which considers international politics the art of compromise, which tries to value all the factors at play: what is the alternative to a regime? What prior conditions are required to establish a political system based on multi-party elections? Is it possible to impose democracy by force?

One could go on, but what has been said would already require of all Western countries a different policy for the good of the people ...

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About clairity

Sharon Mollerus is an editor (ilsussidiario.net), writer (peguy.net) and photographer (clairity.org) but mostly a Grandma-on-call.
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  1. The Libyan intervention is troubling for several reasons. Ross Douthat, among others, well articulate such reasonable qualms. The purpose and strategy in Libya is vague (an understatement). A lot to disagree with, but oil, however, is not a factor. First, most U.S oil imports are Canadian and Mexican. We do import Saudi oil but this is not our main source. On top of this, due to declining currency, Arab nations have less incentive to export oil to the U.S. Concerning Iraq, again a lot to disagree, but China and Russia benefit from Iraqi oil imports–not the U.S. U.S. intervention inadervtently prompts such Chinease and Russian profits, unfortunatly. However, oil was not the U.S.’ goal in Iraq nor is it in Libya. As John Waters wrote, Bush’s intervened out of compassion–albeit irresopnsible and ill-executed compassion. Indescrit compassion is dangerous–that is the lesson of our wars.

  2. My initial comment was laden with embarrising typos–I’m usually more careful–hopefully this edit gives my points some credibility…
    The Libyan intervention is troubling for several reasons. The purpose and strategy in Libya is vague (an understatement). A lot to disagree with, but oil, however, is not a factor. First, most U.S oil imports are Canadian and Mexican. We do import Saudi oil but this is not our main source. On top of this, due to declining currency, Arab nations have less incentive to export oil to the U.S. Concerning Iraq, again a lot to disagree with, but China and Russia benefit from Iraqi oil imports–not the U.S. U.S. intervention inadervtently prompts such Chinese and Russian profits, but oil was not the U.S.’ goal in Iraq nor is it in Libya. As John Waters wrote, Bush intervened out of compassion–albeit irresponsible and ill-executed compassion. Indiscreet compassion is dangerous–that is the lesson of our wars.

  3. There were a lot of American contracts to develop oil in Iraq, so as you say the oil connection may be less direct. After reading Bush’s memoir and seeing his action in Africa during the AIDS crisis, I do recognize his sincerity. However, American exceptionalism, a Protestant ideal, is troubling and underpins some of our foreign policy. Liberals have their own form of knowing best for everyone else in the world. These ideologies can lead to some bad decisions on an epic scale.


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