Obama considers arming rebels in Libya
While Ed Schultz would ask us whether we’re with the terrorists or the President of the United States, if Barack Obama follows through on arming rebels in Libya I can’t help but think that we may be creating terrorists:
The president said he’d neither decided on nor ruled out providing arms to rebels as part of U.S. assistance in efforts to overthrow Gadhafi short of more direct American military intervention.
“I’m not ruling it out. But I’m also not ruling it in,” Obama told NBC News in an interview Tuesday evening.
“It’s fair to say that if we wanted to get weapons into Libya, we probably could,” Obama told ABC.
“But we’re not taking anything off the table at this point,” Obama said. “Our primary military goal is to protect civilian populations and to set up the no-fly zone. Our primary strategic goal is for Gadhafi to step down so that the Libyan people have an opportunity to live a decent life.”
Providing arms to the rebels could carry some political controversy, especially as questions swirl about the exact tenor of the opposition, particularly whether al Qaeda has joined rebel efforts in Libya. Some lawmakers have expressed concern about al Qaeda factions within the opposition, and there could be some pause before providing arms to those suspected of being affiliated with anti-American groups.
I’m not accusing President Obama of wanting to help terrorists. I’m simply saying that we don’t know who we’re dealing with in Libya. We do know that at least some of the rebels have ties to al-Qaeda, so funding them or providing them with weapons is, needless to say, a very bad idea; not to mention that it would violate the United Nations resolution establishing the no-fly zone in Libya.
And Sen. Carl Levin (D-MI) brought up a point that deserves addressing. On Tuesday, he expressed concern that Muammar Gaddafi could return to sponsoring acts of terroriism again if he is left in power. Look, we’re planning on doing business with Gaddafi just months before we started bombing Libya. We had established normal relations with him.
This military action was non-essential. Libya posed us no threat. Gaddafi is a dictator, I’m not denying that. But he was simply not our problem. As far as I’m concerned, if Gaddafi is left in power and begins sponsoring terrorism again, it was our foreign policy that pushed him to it.