Monday, March 21, 2011

Iraq and Libya

Also, as an aside, I think we're currently seeing a media and political environment that is in some ways the inverse of the run-up to the Iraq War. Before that war, the path of least resistance was unquestionably to support the administration, and virtually everyone did, despite the emperor-has-no-clothes quality of their claims about Saddam's arsenal, et al. Liberals, conservatives, it didn't matter -- pretty anyone of note figured out some way or another to grudgingly support the war, none of which justifications quite fit with each other, but nonetheless, as a result, no one shouldered too much blame afterwards. Strength in numbers and all that.

There's a similar dynamic today, except everyone is finding some reason to criticize the action in Libya. But just like none of the justifications for Iraq quite gelled with each other, neither do many of the criticisms of Libya. What exactly is the problem here? The whole concept of humanitarian intervention? That it might not work? That it's too little, too late? That Obama didn't get proper authorization? That the episode could balloon into something bigger? That it's too expensive? I'm not saying one or more of these critiques might not end up being right, but just looking at the range of them, it's hard not to get the sense that, once again, a lot of people have settled on their favored conclusion and then worked their way back until they found an argument they liked.

1 comment:

  1. at war with 3 middle-easter countries? I hear if we enter into a 4th, we get a free bagel at bruegers.