March 30, 2011

Why Obama’s Libyan Adventure Is Already a Failure

Well, you may agree or disagree with the core argument of this article—it is high time to replace the U.N. Charter (and its obsolete procedures), in whose eyes North Korea, the most brutal totalitarian government in the world, is the equal of the United States, which has done more than any country in the postwar period to protect freedom and democracy, with international rules that encourage countries to end human rights abuses, fix failed states, and oppose rogue nations and terrorist groups, etc. But it’s worth reading anyway, in my opinion. In any case just let me know and we’ll fix it…

While Obama might claim success early on, given the vague mission of protecting civilians, we should not be fooled into thinking that an ongoing civil war represents a victory for American arms.Indeed, a prolonged stalemate would be a disaster. Wounded, vengeful, but undefeated, Qaddafi would pose a greater danger than ever. He could resume his practice of terrorist attacks on Western targets, working perhaps through jihadi elements such as the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group, hundreds of whose members he has released from prison.
A protracted civil war in Libya could have effects beyond its borders. It could lead competing outside powers -- France, Turkey, or even China -- to back different Libyan factions. U.S. forces and resources would be tied down even as the United States seeks to wind down in Iraq and defeat a resurgent Taliban in Afghanistan. On the other hand, a premature exit would undermine American credibility in a region that already doubts Obama's steadfastness. Just as the administration's mishandling of last year's oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico revealed its ineptitude in domestic matters, its mismanagement of the Libya intervention may become emblematic of its haplessness in foreign affairs.
The Obama administration's most glaring mistake in its approach to Libya is the central weight it has given to the United Nations. Hanging America's hat on U.N. approval has caused a mismatch between Obama's stated policy goal -- that Qaddafi must "go" -- and the limited means provided by U.N. approval for economic sanctions and civilian protections. Even at this early stage of the conflict, Obama's policy has created a large gap between U.S. strategic ends and U.N.-authorized means


The one positive in all this? If Libya at least brings about a rude awakening for the Obama administration on the follies of multilateralism and leads to the emergence of a new international security system, it will have done far more good than simply dragging the United States into a civil war.

Found the Original King James Bible


A little English village church has just made a remarkable discovery, a rare 400-year-old book...

“Courtyard of the Gentiles”

Photo courtesy of
Both the idea and the name—“Courtyard of the Gentiles”—came from Benedict XVI himself, the Pope-philosopher. The meeting, promoted by the Pontifical Council for Culture and launched with major international participation on Thursday at the Paris headquarters of UNESCO, was aimed at recovering a broad cultural dialogue between believers and non-believers, because, as the Pope said in his Christmas greetings to the Roman curia on December 21, 2009, “To the dialogue with the religions must be added today the dialogue with those to whom God is unknown.”

Photo courtesy of
The initiative took its name from the space in the area of the great Temple at Jerusalem, in which Jews and gentiles met and engaged each other. And the choice of Paris as the venue for the conference was no accident: la Ville Lumière, with its symbolic status as the home of the Enlightenment and with its modernist La Grande Arche de la Défense, the monument to what the French call laïcité which is almost a perfect cube and which inspired the provocative title of George Weigel’s The Cube and the Cathedral.

With the promotion of the “Courtyard of the Gentiles” Benedict XVI created “a new starting point for dialogue between believers and nonbelievers,” the Vatican spokesman said. And I think we can believe him. So here are a couple of reading suggestions for those who want to learn more about the whole thing:

  1. The full text of Pope Benedict XVI’s video message to participants at the meeting.
  2. An initial assessment of the initiative, on the part of Cardinal Ravasi, and a conversation with a French intellectual of Bulgarian origin, Julia Kristeva, who has been one of the most dedicated participants in the meeting. Both of the interviews were published in Avvenire, the newspaper of the Italian Episcopal conference.

And here is a video introduction to the initiative from Rome Reports:

~ First written for The Metaphysical Peregrine ~