Anne-Marie Slaughter urges action on Libya

(Interestingly, in the same article Kristoff also writes, "Look, I'm not a fan of teachers' unions. They used their clout to gain job security more than pay, thus making the field safe for low achievers. Teaching work rules are often inflexible, benefits are generous relative to salaries, and it is difficult or impossible to dismiss teachers who are ineffective."   - promoted by Bob Neer)

Princeton professor of politics and international affairs Anne-Marie Slaughter makes a case for intervention in Libya in the NYT:

The United States should immediately ask the Security Council to authorize a no-flight zone and make clear to Russia and China that if they block the resolution, the blood of the Libyan opposition will be on their hands. We should push them at least to abstain, and bring the issue to a vote as soon as possible. If we get a resolution, we should work with the Arab League to assemble an international coalition to impose the no-flight zone. If the Security Council fails to act, then we should recognize the opposition Libyan National Council as the legitimate government, as France has done, and work with the Arab League to give the council any assistance it requests.

Any use of force must be carefully and fully debated, but that debate has now been had. It’s been raging for a week, during which almost every Arab country has come on board calling for a no-flight zone and Colonel Qaddafi continues to gain ground. It is time to act.

What do you think? The Marine Corps hymn does have Tripoli in its second line …

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15 Comments . Leave a comment below.
  1. Or Stop Buying Libyan Oil if Qaddafi Wins

    This would not be a boycott at the consumer level but the entities that purchase at the oil ports.  Such a boycott would, however, probably require some pressure on those entities.

    For more see:

  2. Her first n/t

  3. As tempting as it is... just go in and make the world safe for democracy, I don't see this as a priority without a direct link to or effect on us.  We have other commitments right now and we always have to tread lightly on that region lest it come back to bite us.  If the UN wants to do something I'd be happy to go along, but I don't think this one is for the US to initiate or lead.  I do think we should stop buying Libyan oil and was surprised to learn we did.  I thought Libya had been on the top of our terror-sponsoring, want-nothing-to-do-with-them list for a quarter century.

    • U.S. normalized relations with Libya in 2006.

      Under the recent Bush administration, the U.S. lifted sanctions and formally restored full diplomatic relations with Libya after its government renounced terrorism and dismantled its nuclear weapons program in 2003. At the time, the shift was heralded by State Department officials as "a success in our foreign policy." A BBC correspondent went so far as to call it a "fairy tale."


      • We can denormalize

        France has already recognized the Benghazi government rather than the Tripoli one.   Problem is, the West (and to their rare -- very rare -- credit, so has the Arab League) has severed contact with the Tripoli regime.  If Gadaffi survives, then I worry he'd go back to his terror-sponsoring ways.

        One thing I fail to understand through this hesitation to implement a no-fly zone; isn't the Libyan military pretty ineffective?   I can't imagine we'd have many more problems putting a no-fly in Libya than we did in Serbia.  What are the military specs of such an operation?

        sabutai   @   Tue 4 Dec 7:00 PM
        • per an expert on NPR yesterday...

          A no-fly-zone is rarely just a no fly zone. the bombing of air installments etc usually leads to boots on the ground. major mission creep - bosnia + iraq, were examples given.

          • Not an easy call

            The alternative though is becoming clearer -- Libya is rolling up the rebels, and I don't see them holding out in Benghazi for much longer.

            sabutai   @   Tue 4 Dec 7:00 PM
            • Unfortunately events seem to moving MUCH faster

              than the slow, deliberative process inside the US administration, as well as in the European capitals.

              It is blackly amusing that, after two terms of administration that was so decisive that it didn't even bother to consider facts or analysis, we seem to have an administration that is so consumed by facts and analysis that it can't decide.

              As a rule, man is a fool When its hot he wants it cool When its cool he wants it hot Always wanting what is not

  4. right there on the same page of the paper...

    ... is another view from Ross Douthat. His contention is that the "burden of proof" lies with the hawks, not the doves. For example, what are the possible outcomes of imposing the no-fly-zone and what do we do in those cases? Y'know, some strategic planning regarding what comes next. It isn't enough just to bat down the counter-arguments.

    Lessons from Iraq:

    One is that the United States shouldn't go to war unless it has a plan not only for the initial military action, but also for the day afterward, and the day after that. Another is that the United States shouldn't go to war without a detailed understanding of the country we're entering, and the forces we're likely to empower.

    Regarding that last point:

    Eastern Libya, the locus of the rebellion, sent more foreign fighters per capita to join the Iraqi insurgency than any other region in the Arab world.
  5. Who's pocket she in?

    The reality is that the US government wants status quo. Tyranny is stable. The same people stay in power for years. Stability. We may be a freedom loving people, but we don't have a freedom loving government.

    As already posted, no fly zone means ultimate invasion. We'll either bomb the rebels in friendly fire accidents or just push our own puppet to replace Qadafi.

    So is Ms. Slaughter working for DoD's wholly owned subsidiary, the State Department, or Princeton? Another big government job coming? Big grants coming to Princeton?

    Who's in the People's pocket?

    "Diplomacy is the art of saying, 'Nice doggie' until you can find a rock."  --Will Rogers

    • I agree with Ross

      And was going to link to him myself, that said its amusing that Republicans like Douthat and Will return to their non-interventionist roots as soon as a Democrat is in the White House. Their silence on Iraq was deafening. That said both have called for exits from Afghanistan and are opposing military action here. It was disturbing to hear Chuck Schumer argue on Meet the Press, echoing our own senior Senator Kerry, that the President can do this unilaterally without consulting Congress (pretty sure a no-fly zone would be more than 30 days and thus subject to Congressional review under the War Powers Act). Even more disturbing to see so many of my liberal friends and liberal commentators and policymakers I respect make the same broad pronouncements of humanitarian necessity and the ease of intervention. I am sorry, but whenever the US has intervened in a civil war previously it has not ended well (see: Korea, Vietnam, El Salvador, Angola, Somalia to name a few). I defer to Secretary Gates and his four decades of national security experience and his reluctance to send more troops to die on foreign soil for a foreign cause, no matter how just. Saddam was ten times the butcher Qaddaffi is and a much greater threat to his friends and neighbors, but I opposed intervention then as I do now. Humanitarian interests are simply not enough to justify US blood and treasure from a policy standpoint, especially since the time frame will prevent us from making the long term preparations needed to make sure a 'limited war' succeeded. And our track record is fairly atrocious unless you count Iraq, Kosovo, Haiti, and Somalia as successful democracies. The risk of another Rwanda seems low, and while this may sound cold I would rather risk American lives when our own interests are at stake. I appreciate the caution on the behalf of the administration, its nuanced approach to this issue is a breath of fresh air. I saw let NATO and the Arab League coordinate this, its time we let someone else be the world's policeman for once, especially since few people appreciate our interventions and good intentions when we do.  

      • Was Saddam mass-slaughtering civilians at the time we went in?

        I think there's a difference between going in when the situation is ongoing, versus making up reasons to go in and destabilize a country that is currentky fairly peaceful, if authoritarian. Plus, it seems like these people actually want us to intervene. That has to count for something.

        • So - no need to oppose Baby Doc Duvalier, since he and Dad had already mopped up all but a few resisters?

          • I don't know much about that situation.

            But I know we have been generally negligent with regard to standng up against human rights abuses in Africa. I take it that Baby Doc does not enjoy majority support, and/or is a butcher? Then we should certainly oppose him- has the opposition been entreating us for help? Is it necessary that we always do these things unilaterally, I wonder?

        • Doesnt matter

          Slobadon had already mopped up the ethnic Albanians but you didn't see any protests when Clinton started bombing Serbian civilians and infrastructure to get back at him and decapitate the regime (which failed by the way, they overthrew him on their own accords and the UN brought him into custody, but boy did it look great on tv). Similarly Bashir is done in Sudan, and it looks like that Qadaffi is the winner of this round, so does it really matter if it happened before or after?

          I think the smart approach is not unilateral and short sighted, but really thinking this through. The President and his foreign policy team have done an excellent job in my book on this one and have confirmed why that was the number one reason I voted for him. This is a sea change from the shoot first ask questions days of the last one, and I am just shocked and appalled progressives, liberals, and lefties have such short attention spans. The exact same Senators that said Iraq would be a cake walk (hawkish liberals and neocons) are the same gang calling for more action here. I am unconvinced anything short of a full commitment of ground forces can work, and I am certainly unconvinced we can afford that commitment now. But lets see if the international effort works, and I for one think getting it under the banner of the UN is worth it, remember when liberals stood for that and opposed going it alone way back in that far off time of 2003?

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Fri 28 Apr 2:34 AM