Turning Libya into Iraq: bad idea

Bernardo Vigil, A&E Editor

United States military involvement in the Middle East has never really been a bad idea. In theory, taking out Al Qaida in Afghanistan and deposing a brutal dictator in Iraq is all well and good, but––much like Soviet communism and trickle down economics––it fell apart in practice. Why we occupied a whole country in order to eliminate covert, independent, terrorist cells operating out of the mountains I will never know. Why we deposed of an entire government for possessing nuclear weapons we knew they didn’t have I will also never know. But the point of this rambling aside on our foreign policy: we need to follow through on the theory of our involvement with Libya and not allow our military to get bogged down in a third Middle Eastern front.

Now hopefully we’ve learned from our previous flirtations with metaphorical Stalinism and poverty in the Middle East, but if history has taught us anything, it’s that history will never teach us anything. Fortunately, the easiest way to keep our objectives in mind when dealing with Libya is simply to keep our objectives in mind when dealing with Libya. We are there to assist the rebels and keep Qaddafi from using military force on his own people. We aren’t there to occupy, and we aren’t there to depose a government. We aren’t even there on our own. We’re there as a larger allied force (headed up by Britain and France) and if we want to keep from falling into our usual “it’s our job to save the world with guns” attitude we would do well to remember that.

So let’s help Libya. It’s for the good of them, it’s for the good of us, and it’s for the good of the global community. But let’s not keep helping them 10 years later.