If Obama was just going to be Bush, anyway…

While I can’t find the links, I do seem to recall that a few times during the Bush years, Glenn Reynolds waxed philosophical over at Instapundit, wondering if it would take the Democrats winning elections — and thus taking control of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars — in order for them to finally get behind them.

I’m remembering that now, because it seems that the Obama Administration’s stated mission for Libya is one of regime change and the establishment of system of governance.

Which sounds so very much like the stated mission of the Bush regime — the mission that the Democrats and the press pushed, and pushed and pushed against, non-stop, for six long years.

It seems, after all, that helping to establish democratic governments in the Middle East might be in America’s best interests, and in the bests interests of human liberty for the rest of the world.

Helping people to claim liberty for themselves, it seems, is a good thing. Who knew?

I guess what I’m wondering is, how much further along would the Iraq government’s stabilization be — how much further along would the quest for democratic governance be, in the Middle East (and how much less reluctant would tyrants be to try to stop it by killing their own people), if only the Democrats hadn’t wasted 6 years politicizing our efforts and another two years bowing and scraping and restarting and gasbagging and doing everything they could to say, “we’re not Bush,” only to become all they said they hated?

In the end, all the politics, all the fury and drama and rhetoric delayed an inevitable desire and movement toward liberty, and perhaps costs lives.

In an era of record-breaking government spending and clear wastefulness, perhaps the past 8 years of politically-expedient dissent has been costliest waste of all.

I won’t even get into the profound media and pundit silence on issues formerly fraught with headline-grabbing fierce moral urgency. It’s just a given, at this point.

UPDATE:
James Taranto has more

A study in contrasts – I think we’ll be seeing a lot of these. I’m struck how Bush took months and months to “rush to war” while Obama seems have decided to take on Libya between writing his brackets and packing his travel bags, and yet Bush was the impulsive “cowboy” and Obama … sigh, oh, what’s the point…passive aggressive?

Instalanch!: Thanks, Glenn!

Related:
World Leaders fight not to take the lead.
It’s not the Onion.

About Elizabeth Scalia
  • Rhinestone Suderman

    Kadafy deserves to be locked up—is going in and bombing Libya really the best way to go about getting him?

    You should, indeed, worry about the money—because we will be spending a lot on this action—at a time when the country’s going bankrupt. And you may not much want to see ground forces in Libya, but you will, eventually, if we go in—remember Vietnam? So, you should, indeed, be worried about the money “And all that” here. You should also be worried about the end game here, and what we’re really trying to achieve by going into Libya, and how many Amerian soldiers will have to die. (Again, why Libya? Why not Iran? Or Tibet? Or Saudi Arabia, which provided 15 of the 19 9/11 hijackers, and seems to be involved in any number of anti-American dealings? Why is Libya suddenly so vital? Especially since France and Britian were so chummy with Kadafy, just a short time ago?)

  • Rhinestone Suderman

    Actually, I think the British parliament is wrong to support Iraq. Christians there are facing genocidal conditions. (Isn’t nation building great?)

    (The British government hasn’t had many problems with Kadafy, until recently; heck, they even gave him the Lockerbie bomber, gift wrapped! The U.N. was okay with him, too.)

    Sadly, Valleys, I believe your background is leading you to over-idealize Islamic movements against dictators. I think you’re seeing them as your own, working-class mates, and comrades in arms for freedom, marching along, singing the “Internationale”, or somethng, when the actual story is less, um. . . inspiring. Many of the movements do seem to be spurred on by Islamic fundamentalism; pictures of Kadafy have been shown with Stars of David scrawled across them (meant as an insult.) If these “dissidents” do manage to create an Islamist theocracy across the Middle-East, you will not like it at all. . .

  • Rhinestone Suderman

    Actually, I think the British parliament is wrong to support Iraq. Christians there are facing genocidal conditions. (Isn’t nation building great?)

    (The British government hasn’t had many problems with Kadafy, until recently; heck, they even gave him the Lockerbie bomber, gift wrapped! The U.N. was okay with him, too.)

    Sadly, Valleys, I believe your background is leading you to over-idealize Islamic movements against dictators. I think you’re seeing them as your own, working-class mates, and comrades in arms for freedom, marching along, singing the “Internationale”, or somethng, when the actual story is less, um. . . inspiring. Many of the movements do seem to be spurred on by Islamic fundamentalism; pictures of Kadafy have been shown with Stars of David scrawled across them (meant as an insult.) If these “dissidents” do manage to create an Islamist theocracy across the Middle-East, you will not like it at all. . .

  • dry valleys

    Libya is being singled out because citizens there are already in revolt. It is “unusual” compared to its North African neighbours, whose dictators made their way out with more or less dignity.

    There are some questions as to which regimes get attention and which don’t: for example, Ivory Coast, in which the regime lost a free and fair election but hangs on for grim death (at the cost of many innocent Ivorians’ lives) has barely been noticed by anyone in the west, “left” or “right”. Yet the fact that there aren’t interventions around the world doesn’t make one, particular, intervention wrong.

    As observed, I do support liberal intrvention to protect those Libyans who are essentially civilians, whom I do not think have the wherewithal to resist the regime by themselves.

    I am curious as to how you’d want Obama to show restraint. Should the USA have voted against the UN resolution 1973, or abstained as in the case of Russia, Germany and China? Or theoretically support the idea but not actually send any forces through? Obama could have vetoed any UN support if he’d had any wish to do so.

  • Rhinestone Suderman

    I think Obama should have showed restraint by stahying out of this mess (in case I haven’ already made that clear.)

    There was a point at the beginning of this, when he could have given a strong speech against Kadafy, if he really wanted him deposed, which could have tipped the balance; then he could have stood back and let the rebels/British/French/U.N. handle it. But, he didn’t—and now, he’s dithering about “Kinetic military action”, which means—what, exactly?

    (And, no, I’m not interested in going to 1973, or what Russia, or China, or whoever, should have done. We can’t change the past, we deal with what’s happening now. And “Now” is America involved in two wars—with serious problems on the Mexican border—a failing economy, and our president wants to indulge in a little “Kinetic military action” in a conflict that doesn’t seem likely to do us much good.)

    Um, the Iranians were already in revolt. And many of them were civilians. And they didn’t have the wherewithal to protect themselves. And what about Syria? They’re having a revolt there, too! And they’re civilians too, aren’t they? So, shouldn’t they be helped? And the Uighers are revolting against the Chinese, and there’s lots of of civilians there, too, and they can’t succeed without some outside help! There’s lots of revolutions going on! Why is Libya the one we’ve got to intervene in, at the moment?

    (Could it be this is more about protecting European oil, and less about protecting civilians?)

    I don’t know about other North African dictators leaving gracefully–but, in the Islamic world, Mubarak only left after a lot of struggle, and all the other tyrants: the mullahs of Iran, Hamas, Hezbollah and the rest, seem either pretty firmly entrenched, or willing to tear everything down around them, if they’re forced out. I think it’s a good bet none of them are going to bow out gracefully, so any American action there means we’re in for a long tussle. . . And what will we gain from it?

  • Rhinestone Suderman

    Interventions around the world are likely to gain us a lot of enemies in the long run, no matter who morally justified some might think they are. And, of course, if it’s a question of civilians resisting tyranny, who can’t succeed without outside help—well, the list is endless! The Libyans will just have to get in line!

    (And, wasn’t the U.N. created to deal with these very problems? Guess it’s been too busy condemning Israel of late, to actually do anything.)

    Of course, if America does intervene in Libya, the same old progressive types will denounce it as a “warmonger”, and trying to be “Cop of the world.”

  • Rhinestone Suderman

    Again, if you, an Englishman, support your country’s army going into Libya to help civilians—and you, as a private person, want to send aid to the Libyans—that’s your right. Nobody’s stopping you.

    However, a lot of Americans don’t like this war, and do not support it. And that’s they’re right. We do have a right to say what happens with our army, on our dime, and to criticize our president, if he’s making a mistake.

  • Rhinestone Suderman

    Joseph, Obama sold those airplanes, and weapons, to Kadafy, a little over a month ago. The story’s over at weasel zippers.

  • Rhinestone Suderman

    Clinton, after all, was the one who actually had Osama in his hands. (Not that they think Osama was the real problem in the Middle-East, anyway; just a symptom. I also suspect he’s not only merely dead—he’s really, most sincerely dead!”

  • Rhinestone Suderman

    also, to continue what I was talking about earlier—Ahmadenijad, Iran’s president, was openly trying to build a nuclear reactor, and threatening our ally, Israel, whereas Kadafy, bad as he might be to his own people, wasn’t much of a threat to anyone outside his own country. Therefore, it would have been in our own interests, to see Ahmadenijad and the mullahs thrown out (it would interrupt their nuke program, if nothing else), but we have no real reason to go after Kadafy (except for Lockerbie, but that should have been done decades ago.)

    There are revolutions brewing in Syria, in Yemen—are we be expected to intervene in all of them? Yes, intervention certainly is, frequently, unpopular—and the U.S. will certainly be denounced as a warmonger, once the bodies start piling up—and they will. So, we’re supposed to save Libya—why, exactly? I still haven’t heard a good reason! If it’s about saving civilians—well, I’d rather see our army work to save Christian civilians, in Irag, or Israeli civilians, like the hapless Fogel family and the ones in the recent bus explosion—or Mexican civilians, being slaughtered by drug cartels.

  • Rhinestone Suderman

    According to the Drudge Report, there are now 2,200 American troops off the coast of Libya.

    This isn’t going to be any quick little war we can solve with a few bombs, chummers!

  • Rhinestone Suderman

    Meanwhile, according the New York Times, the Moslem Brotherhood is on the rise in Egypt, while the secular leaders of the revolt are being pushed to the side. . .

    Um, yeah. . . establishing democratic governments . . .

  • Anonymous

    I have to agree with both of you but have tos ay everyone is flawed. It’s just some like the anointed one are flawed to the point of incompetence. Also while other countries are in it too, I see no reason for us to be involved again. There are a whole lot of countries in the world, especially Arab, that could be doing the job. I’m tired of policing the world.


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