This is a very bad, very stupid, very emotionally driven idea. The problems are obvious and should be to anyone with the slightest hint of intelligence.
-Western air power will kill innocent civilians.
-It will cost an extreme amount of money to maintain.
-Western personnel will die, inevitably, for a cause that is not in their interest.
-Gaddafi’s propaganda will come true as US bombs rain from the skies.
-It might not stop Gaddafi’s victory. You’ll stop his forces from entering Benghazi, but then what? What about a week from now? A month? A year? When does it end?How does it end? What’s the exit strategy?
-It might just prolong an already bloody conflict.
-What about civilians supporting Gaddafi? If they start shooting at western planes, will they fire back?
-This will not change the Arab world’s opinion of the west. If anything, it’ll strengthen anti-west resolve in some places. There are plenty of Libyan insurgents in Iraq and Afghanistan. They won’t all go home if Gaddafi falls. And if he prevails, he’ll simply be a figure for extremists to rally behind against the west. No one seems to be thinking long term about this at all. The second that first bomb drops, you’ve made new terrorists.
-There is absolutely no guarantee, absolutely none whatsoever, that these rebels will create a stable democracy, that their goals are in line with the west’s, that they won’t end up maintaining a status-quo, or even worse, becoming something like Iran. Belligerent, anti-west, anti-Israel, with arms supplied by the UN…and only a short stop from Europe itself.
-The west has no long term interest in the region. There isn’t any proof that a rebel victory will be a benefit to us. Why is the west doing this? What is in it for us?
Some people on this side of the Atlantic are so willing to throw away American lives in this foolhardy endeavour. Some people all over the place want the Arab League to throw away their lives.
I would not risk a single Irish life to bring democracy to Libya and I certainly wouldn’t risk them to bring victory to a rag tag, unorganised, unknown bunch of militia whose objectives and goals are far from clear.
Look at happened in Somalia, in Afghanistan, in Iraq, in Vietnam, in Korea, in post-WWI Russia, the list goes on and on. Western led interventions are usually disasters.
The UN Security Council can still step back from the brink. But it looks like the writing is on the wall. I’m counting down the minutes until a plane is shot down, until an American pilot is killed, before all of the chattering voices calling for a no-fly zone start asking for troops to be committed.
The United States, the EU, the west are all going to regret this in the months and years to come.