Libya unrest handled ‘poorly’ by U.S. government

Written By Alex Stumpf

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It’s hard to imagine a country currently more divided than Libya. Political turmoil does not even come close to describing the events that have transpired since February.A successful pro-democracy uprising in Egypt inspired the citizens of Libya to try to overthrow longtime leader Muammar Gaddafi. However, unlike the Egyptian protests, Gaddafi has fought back, going as far as to hire assassins from neighboring countries to help quell the protests. Thousands have died as a result.And what are these protestors fighting for? The opportunity to vote for the politicians that will represent them through democratic election, a staple in American politics. So naturally, when the uprisings began in Egypt, the world turned its head to America to see what the most powerful nation in the world would do.And the United States did nothing, only inspiring the Libyan citizens to fight for new ideals. The only difference was that this time, America decided to launch an air assault on Libya. But the timing of the air strike is fairly peculiar, mainly because the attack began just hours after the United Nations was able to make the citizens and government reach a cease-fire.The entire operation by the United States is poorly thought out. What were they hoping to gain from bombing Libya? The worst-case scenario is the U.S. enters another long war with a Middle Eastern nation as that nation tries to re-establish a democracy. And Gaddafi has sworn that his army is going to do everything possible to make sure it is a long war.This very well could become Obama’s Iraq. Libya didn’t pose a true threat to America, and neither did Iraq at the time of the invasion. In both cases, the entire operation is to get a longtime nemesis of the United States out of office. The parallels between the two continue on. What is to gain? Next to nothing, at best. And what is there to lose? A lot, to say the least.The bombings have also caused international outcries. While some nations such as England have stood by the United States, other nations, such as China and Russia, have condemned the attacks. Imagine if China becomes so outraged at the United States that it cuts off diplomatic ties.  China is an essential part of American business. Is it really worth getting Gaddafi out of office at the risk of losing the richest nation in the world as an ally? Plus a majority of America’s loans have come from China. It just does not seem very wise to do anything that even resembles “biting the hand that feeds you” in this case.But there are those who support the bombings. This is not a war because there has not been a declaration of war by Congress; it has been labeled as an operation to protect the citizens of Libya. And it is true some estimate that there are upwards of 10,000 casualties so far, but if America was to defend the citizens of Libya, they should have done so earlier on. The bombings have come at a point that little protection will be provided. Instead, a whole new can of worms has been opened, and it will be interesting to see how America  tip-toes their way through this ordeal.America did not handle the Libyan protests with great timeliness or rationality. It’s not too late to pull out and let the citizens and government fight their battles for themselves. But if the United States and the protestors do overthrow Gaddafi, several other nations may try to overthrow their governments, as well. And if they expect America to aid them like they did with Libya, this could create mass controversy in the White House for years to come.

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