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Clinton: Libyan Rebels Don’t Want to be Seen As U.S. Stooges

Secretary of State Clinton today said the halting U.S. response to the Libyan crisis is partially due to fears the revolution will look like a U.S.-run operation.

From the New York Times:

On Tuesday, Mrs. Clinton, just back in Washington after consultations in Geneva with foreign counterparts, warned that Libya could be facing the prospect of a protracted civil war. She also reiterated that a no-fly zone for Libya was “under active consideration.”

But in her comments, made to the House Foreign Affairs Committee, she laid out one of the several reasons Western countries are moving with caution on such an option. Mrs. Clinton said that the administration was keenly aware that the Libyan opposition was anxious to be seen “as doing this by themselves on behalf of the Libyan people — that there not be outside intervention by any external force.”

Yeah, well, at some point the prospect of a mass slaughter needs to trump appearances, right?

A  little assistance, like humanitarian aid, a few clandestinely shipped-in weapons, and a no-fly zone aren’t going to brand this a Great Satan Production.

The United States is now moving military assets into the area. Let’s hope all the delay is not too late to avoid a catastrophe.

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3 Responses to Clinton: Libyan Rebels Don’t Want to be Seen As U.S. Stooges

  1. This uprising in the MiddleEast would not have happened if we weren’t percieved as weak and impotent in world affairs. We can’t stop the Muslim mujadin, the taliban, or al qaeda with the most modern of weapons and billions of dollars. Our enemies have been watching, listening and see that we have no power to stop a civilian army.
    Our military is streched to the limit and worn out from 10 years of hopeless fighting.
    It’s a civil war, a struggle between brothers who have lived under a strong-man rule for decades and they don’t have any idea of what they want in the future. The new regime may be worse than Kaddafi, more brutal and more restrictive. They probably won’t like us any more than Kaddafi did.

    • Once again, SRDEM makes a great point.

      The Islamists are not stupid, they recognize innate weakness. I wonder how many Islamic state intelligence agencies were conducting quick background assessments on Obama after his timid, ascerbic speech in Cairo. How many intel chiefs in Tripoli, Beirut, Tehran, Riyadh and other places compared notes and came up with a quick summary: feeble. Future assessment: he will not act, if pushed.