Roy Edroso almost has me agreeing on the US military campaign in Libya right up until he doesn't:
I can believe Obama is very different from the imperialist Westerners who’ve been fucking over small states for generations, and still believe that the best way for him to show his difference is to stay out of their affairs insofar as possible. We don’t have a great track record since World War II, and while Obama appears to think that the best way to fix that is to do foreign intervention right this time, I would prefer a cooling-off period. Always leave ‘em wanting more. [emphasis mine]Putting this in terms of a how Obama should manage perceptions, "cooling off periods," and "leaving 'em wanting more" is above-average trifling. It refuses to stop at trivializing the situation and boldly recapitulates the worst, most inane self-regarding tendencies of US foreign policy by evoking a generic International Current Affairs Follower who will be favorably impressed by anguished expressions and heavy sighs, or if not that, by a play-it-cool approach borrowed from the cliches of the dating scene.
Such wise forbearance in a difficult world! Heavy lies the crown and so on. But what if the International Current Affairs Follower isn't picking up on the sighs and the anguish? Has all the practice in the mirror been worth it? I think I know the answer, but for now I'm just asking.
Suffice to say the USA's pretensions for mending select parts of the world aren't touched by the observation that we should pursue these pretensions coyly lest we come on too strongly. We should fucking stop it would be closer to the mark. We should stop pretending to have bombs armed with answers, let alone answers for societies we collectively ignore for decades, that our citizens can't find on a map, and that are governed by decrepit cretins who deserved to be hanged by piano wire long before the time before last we switched sides and hissed of their villainy.
The USA demonstrably does not have answers for Libya. We don't have a clear idea of all the factions in this civil war we've blundered into, let alone what they'd do if they "won," whatever "winning" would look like. This is absolute madness. We need to stop it.