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Charles Karel Bouley

Charles Karel Bouley

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Obama on Libya: Mission Accomplished?

Posted: 03/29/11 05:53 PM ET

On Monday, President Barack Obama took to the airwaves to tell the American people about his decision to use military force to intervene in the Libyan uprising going on. He spoke of our "best interest" and "moral interest" in preventing a massacre in Libya by its dictator of 40 years, Gaddafi, as rebels try and overthrow Gaddafi's forces.

On Tuesday, headlines across the globe read like "Obama Declares Libya A Success" -- except on that same day headlines at places like The Huffington Post read "Carnage Beyond Imagination, Rebels Under Intense Attack, Plead for International Help...UK Minister Says Arming Rebels Probably Illegal, U.N. Envoy Will Urge Gaddafi to Implement Cease Fire..."

This is a success? On the contrary it sounds like ground troops are needed if Gaddafi's removal is the goal, although the President said regime change would not come at our hands but must come at those of the rebels and Libyans. As food, water and medicine run out, humanitarian aide will have to rush in. No, this is far from over, and nowhere near any kind of success if the U.N. is negotiating with Gaddafi.

It smacks of George W. Bush declaring Iraq a success on that fateful aircraft carrier with the banner "Mission Accomplished." And am I a bad liberal for pointing it out?

100,000 Libyans might have died in an assault on Benghazi. Yesterday, since I'm uninsured, I had to pay $220 for one medication -- or I could have died. Each year 50,000 Americans do die because they can't afford their health care or medications. But do we launch Tomahawk missiles at Blue Cross or Aetna? At Merck or Libby or Squib? In two years as many Americans will die from lack of affordable health care as Libyans we may have saved, and what are we doing to change that? Making them clients of the very insurance companies that are causing the initial problem. Instead of eliminating the middle man between patient and doctor we just gave that middle man millions of more clients and revenues and a few new rules. A billion dollars have been spent on Libya so far -- how much care could that have provided to the Americans who will die over the next 24 months?

More importantly, is this all about getting rid of Gaddafi so we can start becoming consumers of Libyan oil? We don't buy from terrorists nations, and we call Gaddafi a terrorist. Our allies have no such qualms, so they buy from Libya. With Gaddafi gone and an "acceptable" regime in place, suddenly, the spigot will be on for us, too. And yet gas is at $4-plus a gallon?

Obama has said no ground forces; let's see how long that lasts with headlines like "carnage beyond imagination." And if any of this escalates, it's suddenly his Iraq, and guess what, he still has one of those and an Afghanistan to spare, as we are still engaged on those fronts actively almost three years into his first term.

No mission has yet been accomplished anywhere. The Egyptians have managed to take care of business. We, on the other hand, already occupy two nations that are sucking our coffers dry and have now gotten involved in a third where the outcome is iffy at best. And we went in a very clandestine way. That seems downright Bushtonian.

President Obama must believe this is right, because this could literally explode in his face. If it is, then I'm not really sure why. It's not humanitarian issues, as we let millions die in Rwanda, Darfur, Congo; you know, places with no oil. So it must be something. Whatever that is, I didn't hear it in the speech and obviously those on the ground didn't get the whole "success" memo.

Whether we love or hate the Libyans is irrelevant; the fact that we are broke, that we don't have money for bombs, that our own people are dying at the hands of corporate criminals that drop neutron bombs destroying the family inside but leaving the bank accounts and empty buildings, should be center stage. The fact that we have other corporations that cost manage our loved ones to death or worse making basic lifesaving needs like medications unavailable is criminal and a billion dollars could go a long way to help fix it.

The only success in Libya is for the Libyans. Americans right now need to focus on successfully surviving the continual collapse of its middle class at the hands of corporate dictators every bit as evil as Gaddafi.

 

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