How Barack Obama's Good 'Intentions' Destroyed Libya | World Defense

How Barack Obama's Good 'Intentions' Destroyed Libya

mtime7

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February 23, 2020 Topic: Security Blog Brand: The Skeptics Tags: LibyaBarack ObamaSamantha PowerHistoryIntervention
How Barack Obama's Good 'Intentions' Destroyed Libya
The observation that the road to Hell is paved with good intentions is especially true with respect to foreign military interventions. It is well past time for the architects of such debacles to accept responsibility for their awful handiwork.
by Ted Galen Carpenter
Humanitarian crusaders trot out a variety of excuses to evade responsibility when their military interventions go awry. One frequent excuse is that a failure is because the U.S. and Western commitment to the mission was either inconsistent or insufficiently robust. Another popular explanation for disappointing results is that the effort would have succeeded if not for malign foreign interference. That rationale has become a favorite for the architects of the Syria debacle, who contend that Russia’s intervention beginning in 2015 saved Bashar al-Assad’s beleaguered, evil regime. One striking feature is the absence of diminished confidencethat a more determined U.S.-led effort can succeed or that Washington has a moral and strategic obligation to make the attempt, even when the previous meddlesome policy has imploded.

When those excuses are not available, defenders of a failed humanitarian crusade insist that their intentions were good, and that they should be judged according to that standard. The good intentions dodge is perhaps the most maddening. Barack Obama seemed to recognize the inherent deficiency when he first met Samantha Power, an advocate of the “responsibility to protect” (R2P) doctrine, and a passionate proponent of U.S. involvement in multilateral military interventions for humanitarian goals. Obama reportedly praised Power’s book on the Rwanda genocide, but then he observed that it “seemed like malpractice to judge one’s prospects by one’s intentions, rather than making a strenuous effort to anticipate and weigh potential consequences.”

Obama was right, but he didn’t heed his own insights. Not only did he choose Power for a series of high-level policy posts when he became president, culminating in her appointment as ambassador to the United Nations, but he launched several disruptive, catastrophic interventions, most notably in Libya and Syria. The unintended negative results of those crusades continue to reverberate nearly a decade after the initial U.S. actions.

Daniel Larison, senior editor at the American Conservative, provides a provocative analysis that has the ring of truth about why humanitarian interventionists focus so heavily on their supposed good intentions.

Interventionists rarely anticipate and weigh potential consequences, because if they did that it would be much harder for them to get the interventions they want. Advocates for military action routinely minimize the risks and costs of war in order to reduce opposition to it, but “humanitarian” interventionists have another incentive to downplay negative consequences and preferably to ignore consequences in their entirety. If a “humanitarian” intervention creates worse conditions than existed prior to the intervention, it has to be declared a failure on its own terms. That is why “humanitarian” interventionists go to such lengths to turn a blind eye to the destructive effects of their interference.
 
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Falcon29

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@mtime7

Please include the link for the article/blog at the bottom of your OP. This is for copyright reasons.

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Anyhow, I don't understand the article, is he saying Obama is a 'humanitarian interventionist' or whatever that means? He was a senator and his whole presidential campaign was mostly centered around recovering from the economic recession.

Is he arguing against our military presence/use in the region? Okay, after looking him up he seems to have an consistent anti-ME war stance but this article did seem more like a personal attack on Obama. Maybe that website pays for him for that purpose and he is more objective person in reality. Although let's be real, situation in Middle East has been going in wrong direction for decades because greedy/selfish leaders and other bullies in the region looking to assume power.
 

mtime7

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I don't think it's a personal attack, I think he is just pointing out, in the age of Trump, that Obama may have had it right, but didn't make the right decisions because of his advisors.
 

Falcon29

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I don't think it's a personal attack, I think he is just pointing out, in the age of Trump, that Obama may have had it right, but didn't make the right decisions because of his advisors.
Things looked very different in the Middle East during Obama's era, some revolutions succeeded and there were big changes. Then it took a turnaround and we already had relatively long term results by the time Trump was sworn in office. Remember Trump did do a strike on Syria for chemical weapons use as well.
 

mtime7

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Lol ... I vote based on domestic policies and my own ulterior motives. It's too early to say until at least the debates have begun.
The debates already began, another one tonight, the Communist is leading and surprisingly not one question so far about foreign policy. I put my vote in today for the Communist.
 

Scorpion

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Things looked very different in the Middle East during Obama's era, some revolutions succeeded and there were big changes. Then it took a turnaround and we already had relatively long term results by the time Trump was sworn in office. Remember Trump did do a strike on Syria for chemical weapons use as well.
What! Are you serious? Obama destroyed the ME with his stupid policy, supported the MB and gave Iran 1.5 billion in cash, signed the horrible nuclear deal and gave a blind eye to the rise of ISIS with his support to Erdogan and last but not least stood against Saudi Arabia military action against Iranian backed Houthis.
 

Falcon29

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The debates already began, another one tonight, the Communist is leading and surprisingly not one question so far about foreign policy. I put my vote in today for the Communist.
You are a Bernie supporter? I see you are talking about primaries for the democrats, I personally don't participate in those. I will vote in the Presidential election, however.
 

Falcon29

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What! Are you serious? Obama destroyed the ME with his stupid policy, supported the MB and gave Iran 1.5 billion in cash, signed the horrible nuclear deal and gave a blind eye to the rise of ISIS with his support to Erdogan and last but not least stood against Saudi Arabia military action against Iranian backed Houthis.
You are sounding like one of those Arab republicans here in the US who try to fit in with the Republicans(who are not in favor of prosperous Arab world). I already went over these discussions with you but I'll say again, Obama hardly played role in ME events, it all started in Tunisia and spread from there. Congress forced Obama to remain within traditional ME foreign policy objectives and now with Trump we also have the same traditional ME foreign policy. It's bad for the region and bad for all the regions rulers who are going to collapse one by one. It will also affect the US standing and influence badly.
 

mtime7

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You are a Bernie supporter? I see you are talking about primaries for the democrats, I personally don't participate in those. I will vote in the Presidential election, however.
I am no Commie, but I did vote for the Commie. He should be a push over for Trump, once people figure out what all Bernie is all about
 

Falcon29

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I am no Commie, but I did vote for the Commie. He should be a push over for Trump, once people figure out what all Bernie is all about
Please avoid smearing language so this can continue to be a forum for healthy discourse. I was aware of your motives and I'm not a democrat or republican myself so not sure why you limited my choices down to those two. I'm more of a believer in God and don't find comfort in any candidates across my lifetime, but also feel like the traditional establishment in the US is the one that calls the shots anyways, regardless of candidate. So I usually do not have enthusiasm for our elections.

That being said I will give my input based on what I know. I don't think Democrats will nominate Bernie Sanders but instead go with Biden. As for the voters, if it came down to Biden-Trump it will depend on situation in November. If the economy does not go into recession and no wars erupt then Trump will have a good chance of winning a second term. Especially since for many people nowadays, cultural/populist motives triumph those of domestic concerns.
 

mtime7

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Man you got no sense of humor, my motives were to have a laugh at some of the funny candidates. As for Biden, I won't make fun of him, his mind is deteriorating right in front of a live audience. A couple days ago he told a crowd at an event that "I am Joe Biden and I am running for United States Senate"
 
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