Thursday, March 31, 2011

Be Very Careful Marco

Rising Republican Star, first-term Florida Senator Marco Rubio yesterday offered his full support for the US intervention in Libya.  In fact, he one-upped President Obama by calling unequivocally for regime change.  He even went so far as to send a letter to the Senate Majority and Minority leaders calling for congressional authorization for the use of military force.  Unlike the president, Rubio managed this with just enough clarifications and qualifications to make his appeal, for me anyway, both reasonable and palatable, save for one very important exception.

Senator Rubio:
“If we believe that the rise of this new attitude among young people and others seeking a new life and a new way in the Middle East is a positive thing, and I believe that it is, then it serves our national interest to see that happen...The last thing you want is for someone like Muammar Qaddafi to get away with crushing something like that through brutal force. Because what he does is create a blueprint for how Syria should handle this, Iran should handle this, and everyone else should handle this.”
While I'm sympathetic with this line of thinking--what friend of freedom wouldn't be?--it does not for that reason override the need to be extremely careful about encouraging uprisings.

Most rebellions, however noble their underlying causes, fall very short of their stated goals, even their most immediate one of throwing the dirty, rotten, SOBs out.  Unfortunately, there is one quite dire and very predictable consequence of coming up short:  a brutal, murderous, and wide-ranging purge by the still-ruling tyrant.

If and when this happens, and it will happen as often as not, are we then both willing and able to intervene even more directly?  If not, are we then prepared to live with the blood of the doomed rebels at least partly on our hands as well?

With all due respect Senator, these questions, and a host of others like them, must be answered before we decide to get too deeply involved.

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