Arabs, Barack Obama, bluster, Bush Doctrine, international community, Ivory Coast, Libya, Muammar al-Gaddafi, No Fly Zone, Operation Desert Kill, Operation El Dorado Canyon, Operation Odyssey Dawn, places that suck, Prairie Dawn, President Obama, President Reagan, Ronald Reagan, that trick never works, the UN's maddening inaction in the face of genocide, treachery, Tripoli, United Nations, United States of America, unpopular wars, Vietnam
Fans of endless foreign entanglements were buoyed by the news that Jheri-curled sourpuss Muammar al-Gaddafi continues to thwart an increasingly emboldened international community. The Colonel’s luck–and the world’s legendary patience and willingness to issue a series of ridiculously ineffective threats–appear to have run out.
With the initial backing of several Arab states, a coalition of the United States and the usual suspects have begun to turn the lights out in Libya. America has always prided itself that, no matter the dubious nature or unpopularity of a conflict at home or abroad, the Superpower never attacks without a cool code name. Enter Operation Odyssey Dawn. “It just sounded neat,” said an unnamed source, “And had a little more pizzazz than ‘Operation Desert Kill.”
Still, the United States can expect some difficulties between now and the time in the vague and unknowable future that the poorly defined mission ends. Chief among these difficulties is the inconsistency of America’s Arab allies, who after initially supporting the pact, quickly pandered to anti-Americanism from their own people and began backpedaling on their support. The complete evaporation of Arab support was not anticipated for at least several more days.
Secondly, this is not the first time the United States has turned Libya into a parking lot in the hopes of punishing the rogue state. In 1986, US President Ronald Reagan authorized Operation El Dorado Canyon, and on April 15, 1986, US airpower devastated Tripoli. This action almost succeeded in vaporizing the dictator and his family, but warned by an Italian politician, Gaddafi escaped to menace the world with his nefarious schemes on a number of occasions. Will the belligerent Bedouin slip the righteous noose of Western justice once again?
Even with the world’s willingness to help, all is not well in Africa. While the international community has been quick to pummel Libya, it has yet to meet its promise to solve the months-long electoral stalemate in Ivory Coast. Despite expressing profound concern for the day-to-day plight of Ivorians, it’s not clear why the international community has not shown the same interest in the tiny, coffee and cocoa producing nation as it has in the larger, oil-rich Libya.