Bennett's Blog

Why America dropping bombs on Libya proves a point

Bennett R. Coles | April 1, 2011

The fact that American aircraft are pounding Colonel Qaddafi's forces on their home soil could be submitted as Exhibit A in the debate on why it's important for Western nations to maintain strong, flexible military forces.

Because America has always maintained a powerful military presence around the world, the time delay between deciding to intervene in the Libyan conflict and actually doing so was equal to a secure call to the Mediterranean commander and sailing a ship a few hundred miles south. No other nation on Earth has the ability to respond so quickly and decisively to events far from home.

Now I'm not saying that US military intervention is always a good thing - quite often it isn't. But that's a question of policy, not of readiness. In the case of Libya, I challenge anyone to argue against my opinion that supporting the common will of the majority of citizens in their attempt to remove a long standing and brutal dictator is a worthy cause. Dictators have tumbled in North Africa these past few months, with serious challenges to tyranny currently underway in Syria, Bahrain and Yemen. This is a GOOD THING, and we are morally obliged to help if we can. If Qaddafi suppresses this revolt, don't think for one moment that he will show any mercy to his people. And if he holds power, he will embolden other dictators to fight against their own people with equal brutality.

There are plenty of NATO countries involved in this campaign - and I'm proud to count Canada among them - but the first response was by the American standing forces, and NATO was able to respond so quickly only because this conflict is in its own backyard.

No matter where there is trouble in the world, the American military has the ability to react. That is a good thing, so long as the political decision-making behind it is sound. I tip my hat to the warriors and the architects of this world-wide force. I pray that their political masters learn to use them wisely.

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