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I’ve been pondering whether to say anything, or what to say, about America’s intervention in Libya. On the one hand, we love the idea of defending protesters against a dictator who doesn’t mind killing his own people. On the other hand, that just means we’re killing the dictator’s people.

On the one hand, we claim to be promoting democracy. On the other hand, we don’t really know if the leaders who emerge from the resulting chaos will be any better than those who have gone before.

Our track record in effecting change has been spotty at best. Our advanced technology and willingness to spend uncounted billions of dollars on smart bombs makes us very good at doing incredible amounts of damage and sending the “bad guys” into hiding among the populace, where we can’t kill them without killing lots of innocent civilians.

The gobs of money we pour into reconstructing what we’ve blown up does nothing to decrease levels of corruption and bribery, which are still the normal way of doing business in many countries.

We’ve spent thousands of American lives and mega-billions of dollars on the effort to install governments we think will be friendly to us and sell us oil, but we have no guarantee that the end result will be more of the same, or worse.

It seems to me that at some point, American leaders have to realize that, as folk singer Phil Ochs described it when we were overrunning El Salvador many moons ago, God did not appoint us to be “the cops of the world.” 

 

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