The Weekly Ringer

The University of Mary Washington Student Newspaper

Opposing Viewpoints: Obama's Refusal to Remove Gadhafi Endangers Rebels

2 min read

The American people should applaud President Obama for his willingness to intervene in Libya to prevent Moammar Gadhafi from slaughtering innocent civilians.  However, the amount of time it took for Obama to make that decision cost the lives of thousands of Libyans.

In fact, Obama’s limited military action in Libya does not go far enough. During his Monday-night speech, he said that pursuing regime change in Libya “would be a mistake.”

If we are not going to remove Gadhafi and put him on trial for crimes against humanity, why are we fighting in the first place? Should the revolution fail and Gadhafi remain in power, he will persecute anybody that fought against him and commit greater atrocities.

America does not have to become embroiled in another costly war to remove Gadhafi. The situation in Libya is not even remotely similar to the one in Iraq under dictator Saddam Hussein, and by publicly stating that the U.S. would not put troops on the ground, Obama has unnecessarily tied his hands behind his back.

Air strikes and missiles look impressive on television, but they will not prevent Gadhafi’s ground units from continuing their slaughter of fellow Libyans.

If we are not prepared to face the potential cost of war, we should not be intervening militarily in the first place.

War has a funny habit of unfolding in unforeseeable ways, and there is no way to anticipate whether or not a situation will arise that would require the U.S. to deploy ground troops.

While Republicans appreciate that Obama is willing to use at least some degree of military force, the President’s public refusal to use American forces to remove Gadhafi is naïve, and betrays the Libyan rebels that may otherwise perish without  our help.