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Tag: Moammar Gadhafi


Look at Syria, then give thanks to George Washington

This editorial will appear in tomorrow’s print edition.

Officially, today is Washington’s Birthday. Abraham Lincoln and other presidents got in on the deal later.

So let’s give Washington his unadulterated due this time. There are multiple reasons to honor the first president, including his crucial role in creating the nation, the Constitution and the executive branch. His single most important contribution, though, is something he didn’t do: cling to power.

The world is full of horror stories written by rulers unwilling to let anyone else run the show. One of those stories is unfolding right now in Syria, where long-time dictator Bashar Assad has spent 11 months spilling the blood of Syrians who are sick of him and tired of waiting for a change in management.

What started as peaceful demonstrations inspired by nonviolent revolutionaries in Tunisia and Egypt has become a brutal civil war that Assad will probably and deservedly lose.

This is the human race’s customary method of transferring power. To get rid of a dictator or king, you’ve got to defeat his army and kill him – the fate of Moammar Gadhafi in October. Dynasties and one-party regimes generally have to be shown the door the same way.
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The trick: Keep the allies and lose Gadhafi

This editorial will appear in Wednesday’s print edition.

Today – as Barack Obama announced Monday – the United States hands off the war in Libya to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. It will be hard to tell the difference.

NATO isn’t exactly a third party. The U.S. military is the muscle of the alliance, and NATO can’t reduce Moammar Gadhafi’s armed forces from the air without American support.

The Air Force and Navy provide essential surveillance, targeting, transport, drone, electronic warfare and aerial refueling capacity. American pilots will remain in the battle in a very big way. The Air Force has recently deployed C-130 gunships and A-1 “Warthog” attack aircraft in Libya – slow-moving, low-flying warplanes that have devastating firepower and can target Libyan forces dug into cities.

Meet the new intervention, same as the old intervention. But as Obama argued persuasively Monday, labels like “NATO” and “U.N. Security Council” and “Arab League” mean a lot in an operation like this. Read more »