Sunday, March 27, 2011
But I have been disappointed in the disucssions for the past two weeks on these shows about Libya. There continues to be a reserve on the part of most commentators on the wisdom of our military intervention there. Some observers are clearly in favor of the President's decisions, but even they do not firmly resist some of the allegations of those who opposed him. Richard Haas of the Council of Foreign Relations has been especialy critical.
One of the most insistent points made by Haas and other critics is that we simply do not know who the Libyan opposition is so should not have rushed to support them. Even John Negroponte, a supporter of Libyan policy, ceded this one to Haas and urged the State Department to get diplomatic representatives to Benghazi to meet them. All this talk seems to ignore the fact that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton herself met with these leaders as did earlier French President Sarkozy. (The story of how French philosopher Bernard-Henri Levy travelled to Benghazi to meet them and then arranged for them to meet with Sarkozy is one of the fascinating turns of fate of this matter.) While I agree with Negroponte that we should dispatch diplomats to Benghazi, all this talk seems to ignore information already available about the Libyan opposition. For one, an excellent piece abou the origins of the revolt and the nature of it was published in the recent issue of "The New York Review of Books," by Nicolas Pelham called "The Battle of Libya:" http://www.nybooks.com/articles/archives/2011/apr/07/battle-libya/?page=1)
My hope is that the rebels, after a most successful air intervention by the anti-Coalition, will continue their westward sweep and that all this doubt and angst will also be swept away by their victory and the President's and Hillary's wisdom and compassion will have been confirmed.