Thursday, April 07, 2011

Leslie Gelb on Humanitarian Intervention

From The Daily Beast (ht Martin Kramer):
Let me be clear: I don’t question the sincerity of the humanitarian interventionists’ motives. I question their moral superiority, their priorities, and their carelessness about facts.

The humanitarian interventionists think their worries trump everyone else’s. They think their morality excuses their willful ignorance and carelessness—their unwillingness to address tough questions about what we know and don’t know in Libya. They say that if the U.S. doesn’t get rid of Col. Gaddafi, it would represent the death of America’s core values and beliefs. I think American values will survive. I think we are doing enough now in a supporting role. I believe we are facing but not addressing first-order problems in the Mideast and at home. To me, both Americans and Libyans will survive Col. Gaddafi, but Americans will not survive a failure of their leaders to devote top priority, attention, and resources to Mideastern turmoil and to America.