Thursday, October 20, 2011

Capture or Kill

The Obama administration offered millions of dollars in new aid to Libya as Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton encouraged the country's unsteady new leadership to commit to a democratic future free of retribution, and acknowledged in unusually blunt terms that the United States would like to see former dictator Moammar Gadhafi dead.

"We hope he can be captured or killed soon so that you don't have to fear him any longer," Clinton told students and others at a town hall-style gathering in the capital city.
So what is it with this new American foreign policy willingness to 'capture or kill' foreign leaders?  Does anyone else think that sounds awfully cold-blooded for American leaders to be saying?

Of course Gadhafi was no democrat, but I had not thought that he was a particularly vicious tyrant either.  Aren't a lot of the Middle Eastern leaders we have backed for decades just as undemocratic and, well, somewhat peculiar (to us anyway)?  The Saudi leaders, the Kuwaiti leaders, etc. are not Jeffersonian democrats, by any stretch of the imagination.  Anyway, we and the EU had normalized relations with Libya from 2003 until just recently, even giving Gadhafi a nonpermanent seat on the Security Council.

Then of course we backed the Libyan rebels.  Okay, that's realpolitik, you know.

Capture or kill?  Sounds like something you'd save for one of the exotic animals loose in Ohio, not a former world leader, even one as weird as Gadhafi.  Hell, even the animals should be captured alive, if at all possible.  You know, TRANQUILIZE THEM and then put 'em in a net and haul them to a zoo! 

I'm cynical enough about American involvement in the Middle East to believe that the main thing we're interested in is Libyan oil.  And we certainly don't want Gadhafi leading any of the other African nations in too independent a direction, you know. 

But I guess Gadhafi had resisted the West just a little too long in this war against him.  Time for him to go.  And besides, this gives Hillary a chance to show that she's just as tough as Barack, when it comes to killing foreign 'enemies'.  Can't look like a wuss, you know.

Update: Thursday, 11 AM.  It looks like Gadhafi has been killed.  Good, now we get to see bloody pictures of the 'monster'.  Everyone seems happy.  Another evil person hunted down and killed.  Fits the story line perfectly, I guess.  Dead lips aren't loose lips, that's for sure.  Anyway, check that one off.  Libya's back in the Empire!

Update 2: The common rationale for killing Gadhafi seems to be the Lockerbie bombing.  But you know, it's a funny thing.  Why did the West normalize relations with Gadhafi in the last few years, and then turn over the alleged Libyan mastermind and allow him to go home to Libya?  That seems like VERY strange behavior, if the West knew for a fact that he did it.  I'm suspicious (but then, I'm always suspicious).  There are other theories out there, but of course they're CONSPIRACY theories, so they can be dismissed as cranky and loopy.

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