No. It’s not. And it is. It’s always both. Bush’s war? Sure. Same thing. There’s always a commander-in-chief, and always the nation he serves. We’re in this together. But should we be in this at all? Many are unconvinced.
America has been a nation at war for a decade now, and we’ve had a lot of time and reason to think about why we fight. About when and where. There’s always vigorous debate (well, maybe not always, but often) when wars are waged or about to be waged. The nation would seem very well primed for an urgent and serious discussion of exactly what wars we want to fight.
Here’s a piece by Margaret Went of The Globe and Mail, a Canadian publication. It comes recommended by Real Clear Politics. Went writes that “foreign policy liberals” promote a “responsibility to protect” in such instances as Libya, where human rights are at stake. National security advisor Susan Rice, academic Samantha Power and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton have argued along these lines in favor of intervention.
Wente is not a neocon, but she is not a fan of R2P foreign policy liberalism, either. She writes: “In other words, the war in Libya is a creation of the liberal intellectuals – just as the war in Iraq was a creation of the neo-conservatives. Many of the liberal intellectuals who vigorously opposed the Iraq war have just as vigorously been advocating intervention in Libya”
And this: “R2Pers aren’t just guilty of amnesia. They’re also ignorant. They know less about the tribal politics of Libya than they do about the dark side of the moon.” That’s a good point. Did Barack Obama or anybody else inside the administration ever point to an opposition figure or leader or even a credible political party inside Libya and say: “Here, this is the type of Libyan leadership we envision taking over after this guy is gone?” As far as I’m aware, that hasn’t happened. So, as Obama, et al used to (and still?) say: What’s our exit strategy?