Saturday, March 05, 2011

We Have Abdicated Our Moral Leadership

Once upon a time the world looked to the United States for leadership.  Especially during difficult times. It did so knowing we would do what is right and just and they would follow.

Our current administration has changed all that. It began with the President's whirlwind apology tour just after he took office. We no longer have any convictions.  We worry right along with the rest of the world whether someone else might be angered if we take action.  We want to study or talk everything to death.  That way no decisions are necessary.

Who have we abdicated to?  Therein lies the problem.  No one.  Britain comes closer than anyone else to actually taking action to help the opposition in Libya. At this point they too are just talking, but at least it's something more than advocating sanctions.

The sad thing is the world still looks to us for answers and we have none to give. The situation is not one where one size fits all.  Some governments are worse than others. Some of the opposition groups would be as bad if not worse than those they would replace.  Each needs careful analysis before we step in.  When the case becomes obvious, however, we do no more than talk.  Meanwhile hundreds of people are being slain.  With the tinder box world we have today, I find it unsettling to see we apparently have no policy for "what ifs".

So where does everyone turn?  To the United Nations.  The member nations are often at odds with one another.  It's why they are so ineffectual.  Resolution after resolution is brought forth only to be denied.  There is a built in safety valve for those who want to look like they're for action.  It's called the Security Council.  With permanent memberships, China, Russia, the U.S. and Great Britain, it's a safe bet that one will veto just about anything.  Such was the case with Iran and it's nuclear ambitions and human rights atrocities.  The same holds true now.

The Security Council will not authorize a no fly zone, with Russia and China the dissenters.  Of course they are.  No matter what spin they put on it, their human rights abuses are as dismal as those who would be attacked.

Yet our President wants to make no move without consultation with the international community.  Since they won't agree on anything, there's the out.  No decision necessary.

One day perhaps someone will step up to the plate and do what's right instead of what's politically expedient.  Unfortunately, at least for the foreseeable future, it's unlikely to be us.

Meanwhile good people die and the dictators don't.


Margie's Musings said...

In order to establish a no fly zone, first we would have to send a huge force of airplanes and bomb all their anti-aircraft areas and ammunition dumps.

We would have to do that to keep them from shooting down our planes.

It is very expensive and we already have two wars going. We would have to put together a large aircraft force. Many people are very unhappy about our deficit and that would add even more to the costs of the wars.

The rest of the world needs to take some responsibility for policing the world. We cannot do it alone and we cannot afford to always be the one to pay for these police actions.

Word Tosser said...

it is a tight wire to stay on the fence... as we should.. I agree with Margie.. we just don't have the money...

Also I wonder... if the Wisconsin mess spread across the state to Chicago, and then New York start one too, joining up with the Wisconsin bunch.. and headed for say, L.A. in California... would we as US citizens want another country to come in and help which ever group?

Dogwalk said...

To Margie, even John Kerry agrees this isn't like they have an air force to fear. You aren't looking at the Libyan situation for what it is, but rather seem to be assuming it would be like attacking Iraq, or Egypt for that matter who have a real military and a real air force. If Libya had, the protesters would long ago have been subdued.

There is more than one way to skin a cat.

Dogwalk said...

Word Tosser. Read my reply to Margie and do some homework. As for the Wisconsin issues, to date our government has not started slaughtering people. The two sceanarios don't begin to equate. Get real.

jhughes said...

So what should we do? Should America enter their country and take control? Should we take control of every country that we feel is doing wrong? Believe me a think there is a problem over there and their people need help, but help needs to come from the right place NATO. If you want to yell about NATA you are 100% correct, they are a joke. But them being a joke does not mean that the US has the right to take over. Amazing how we are damned if we do and damned if we don't. If we jump in we are hated for always interfering with other countries. If we don't get involved we are letting them commit crimes.

At some point we have to realize that we are NOT the police and do NOT have the right to get involved. What we need to do is make NATO accountable for policing. That is why it is there.

I have to agree with Word Tosser and Margie. To state your own words ... "get real".

Dogwalk said...

No one is saying take control. What is needed is someone, since NATO seems uninclined, to have the guts to say the slaughtering of the people is wrong and do something to help. That means some sort of aid to the protesters before the radicals move in and take over. They are the ones, when it comes to taking over, that matter. Choose your method, I don't care, but show some leadership and do something!

nan16 said...

Do we really know who is leading the opposition? Can it be by helping the opposition, we will, in future, go to war with them? The example is: Afghanistan. The mujahadeen that we helped in the 80's are now the Taliban that we are trying to stop.

Dogwalk said...

Boy, this post has certainly drawn a lot of comment! My thinking is that all of you are correct to a degree. What we shouldn't forget though, is that this particular surge of uprisings have been started by ordinary citizens wanting their freedoms.

They may not choose a government we like, but is that not their choice? What really concerns me is the protesters only wanted help from the west to level the playing field. They weren't asking for anyone to fight their war for them. The more time passes the more brutal the crackdowns get. Governments keep saying nothing is off the table in the way of help. The problem is everything is still on that table while good people die. And as time passes it gives those we really don't want in power time to get themselves organized.

I still expect the U.S. to be a leader when it comes to humanitarianism. This administration does not want the leadership role. It's all in what we expect from our country and what the world expects. It doesn't expect passiveness. I think it's in a state of shock over our current stance. We lead, they follow. That's how it has always been.

The tides have certainly turned.