Ruth Hertzberg: The right side of history in Libya |

Ruth Hertzberg: The right side of history in Libya

While I sympathize with, even agree with many of the things Morgan Liddick says in his second column this week, I do not think it is right to ridicule the efforts of the Obama administration to participate in what is essentially a humanitarian effort to prevent Moammar Gadhafi from killing a group of people rebelling from his repressive rule (more than 40 years). Maybe it is a tribal war; maybe not. Maybe this group in rebellion wants to latch onto a democratic revolution that seems to be catching on all over the Middle East. (First in Tunisia and then to Egypt and Yemen and Bahrain and now Libya, even Syria.) We cannot help all these nations, but maybe we can do something to help Libya. Because we allowed others to be massacred – as in Rwanda and Darfur – do we have to allow Libyans to be massacred as Gadhafi has threatened? We should not forget, we are not alone in this pursuit; we have the support of NATO nations in this endeavor. I think we want to be on the right side of history … the side of democracy and opposition to tyrants. Those are our values, so mocked by Mr. Liddick

We certainly do not want to have “boots on the ground” or three wars at a time. We certainly want to know more about the people we are supporting. We may not succeed in this endeavor, but it’s worth trying. And if a similar situation arises in another country trying to throw off despotic rule, we might try again. That is in our national interest.

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