As bad as Mubarak and Qaddafi have been, one of the things that have bothered me about this administration's rush to remove Egyptian and Libyan dictators, is the uncertainty of who or what would be replacing them. I believe that part of the reticence to take out Saddam during the first Gulf War, was not knowing who would fill the vacuum of his passing. Better the devil you know...
And now, it appears that some of the "rebels" in Libya have Al-Qaeda connections. What's to prevent a radical Muslim takeover or either Egypt or Libya (or both)? The terrorist group Hamas was "democratically" elected to govern the Gaza strip. Merely holding an election is not enough to institute the democratic reforms needed to sustain a Jeffersonian democracy (or a democratic republic, if you will.)
What if a coalition of the great nations had intervened on behalf of our rebels a hundred and fifty years ago? Since there is a possibility of us backing the "wrong rebels", I offer the following:
Dateline Paris, 1862:
Tonight, I’d like to update the French people on the international effort that we have led in the United States –- what we’ve done, what we plan to do, and why this matters to us.
I want to begin by paying tribute to our men and women in uniform who, once again, have acted with courage, professionalism and patriotism. They have moved with incredible speed and strength. Because of them and our dedicated diplomats, a coalition has been forged and countless lives have been saved.
Meanwhile, as we speak, our troops are also fighting in Mexico. For generations, France has played a unique role as an anchor of global security and as an advocate for human freedom. Mindful of the risks and costs of military action, we are naturally reluctant to use force to solve the world’s many challenges. But when our interests and values are at stake, we have a responsibility to act. That’s what happened in the United States over the course of these last six weeks.
The American people are been ruled by Abraham Lincoln, who has denied his people freedom and exploited their wealth. He began attacking and killing his own people. I made it clear that Lincoln had lost the confidence of his people and the legitimacy to lead, and I said that he needed to step down from power.
Confronted by this brutal repression and a looming humanitarian crisis, I ordered warships into American waters. European allies, Britain and Spain declared their willingness to commit resources to stop the killing. We have instituted a blockade...a "no float zone" if you will, outside northern American ports.
We struck regime forces approaching Atlanta to save that city and the people within it. We targeted military assets that had been choking off towns and cities, and we cut off much of their source of supply.
It’s true that France cannot use our military wherever repression occurs. And given the costs and risks of intervention, we must always measure our interests against the need for action. But that cannot be an argument for never acting on behalf of what’s right. In this particular country -– the United States — at this particular moment, we were faced with the prospect of violence on a horrific scale. More Americans have died during this conflict than at any other time in their history.
I believe that this movement of change cannot be turned back, and that we must stand alongside those who believe in the same core principles that have guided us through many storms: our opposition to violence directed at one’s own people; our support for a set of universal rights, including the freedom for people to express themselves and choose their leaders; our support for governments that are ultimately responsive to the aspirations of the people.
For these reasons and more, we support Jefferson Davis and those "rebels" and their adherence to the right of self determination.
Thank you. God bless you, and may God bless the newly formed Confederate States of America.
Related discussion: Memeorandum. Cross posted at Proof Positive