I don’t argue with success. President Obama initiated and led a successful operation to get rid of another tyrant who also had American blood on his hands. He did it without losing a single American life. Whatever the cost in treasury was small in the broader scheme of things. It was a good investment. I think it’s fine to borrow a little money to deal with a rabid dog, however small the dog. Incidentally, my guess would be that the cost was less than 1/1000 of 1% of GDP. Want to bet?
I wonder what Libertarian pacifists have to say about the whole thing. I am going to ask them. One of the things they will probably argue (just guessing) is that there are many rabid dogs in the world, too many for us to deal with. Yes, I don’t mind borrowing money to deter all of them if need be. Tranquility is priceless.
There are several benefits to the Libyan/NATO victory for this country. (That’s Libyan blood and courage and NATO arms, including our own.)
First, rogues and political murderers everywhere are given a chance to suppose that if you kill Americans, we will get you afterwards, even if it takes twenty years.
Two, Arabs and oppressed people everywhere are figuring that we mean it when we say we like democracy for everyone. We did not always mean it. We do now that communism look like an antique instead of a superpower with the largest army and the most tanks in the world.
Three, this Obama international victory will cost him dearly in the next election. A fraction – I don’t know how large – of the people who voted for him the first time around oppose all American military interventions. For years, they have explicitly preferred a native butcher to an American liberator. Given how tight the election is likely to be, his victory in Libya might be the cause of President Obama’s fall.
If I were he, I would consider resigning this morning, like leaving the ocean after a really good wave.