On the issue of the no-fly zone in Libya, again

The discussion is endless and I’m actually really tired of the soundbites from both sides of the argument. Conservatives are calling liberals hypocrites for opposing the US war in Iraq in ’03 but campaigning for a no-fly zone, which effectively amounts to a declaration of war against the Qaddafi regime.  This is a befuddling of history.  Appealing for a no-fly zone is more analogous to the first Persian Gulf War in ’91 than ’03.  In 1991 and in the aftermath of the war, then US president George HW Bush called on Iraqis to rise up, and when they did, not necessarily because he called upon them to do so but bc they had their own laundry list of grievances, the US and its coalition of 29 countries stood by as Saddam brutally put down the rebel.  The international community responded by imposing a no-fly zone only after the massacres. Qaddafi has shown that he has the same capacity to kill his people as Saddam  (well maybe not the same but you know what I mean) and here’s a chance for the world community to prevent the looming massacre of the rebels before it happens, so please don’t reference ’03 when you should be talking about ’91.

As for liberals who are so one-dimensionally against imperialism that they see everything in that lens… what will they tell the rebels, their families, and the countless civilians who will surely die in the cross-fire (or as state policy) and have been pleading for this no-fly zone… how will these liberals respond to them after the massacres take place because of the absence of the no-fly zone? And make no mistake about it, Qaddafi is winning in his efforts at counter-revolution because of his air supremacy – the most important aspect of warfare. It’s long overdue for all of us to move beyond our soundbites and our convenient ideological narratives and see what is actually needed on the ground and what the people are asking for themselves.

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