Friday, March 18, 2011

Germany's no-fight zone

I'm not much of a warmonger, but the resolution of the UN Security Council to enforce a no-fly zone over Libya is good news. Unfortunately, Germany abstained from voting and will not be helping out militarily.

The reasons given by the government are that there is no way to tell where military intervention will stop – we may become as entangled as we are in Afghanistan and Iraq. Prominent German intellectuals, such as Josef Joffe of Die Zeit, agree that the risks outweigh the potential benefits.

I disagree. The Arab revolution is potentially the best thing to happen to the planet this century, but in countries like Libya and Bahrain the people saying "give me liberty, or give me death" are getting death. We have a moral obligation to stop these dictators from using military equipment they largely bought from us against their own people, and if that means we become militarily entangled, so be it – we are entangled anyway, which is what too many German intellectuals refuse to accept. And I say that to as someone who never supported the attacks on Afghanistan or Iraq (either in 2003 or 1991).

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