I understand that a massacre of people by the Libyan government would have been a tragedy — one that U.S. fighter planes helped to avert. But lives are lives, and I don't believe Americans care as much as we say we do about the Libyan people. Is a good deed still good if the intentions aren't right? Are lives lost on the opposing side any less precious?
I don't believe that Americans are innocent — maybe confused, but innocent, never. When the U.S. government wages selfish wars, the American people feign innocence. But all the while we know in our hearts that we have no reason — no earthly reason — to trust our government, or President Barack Obama for that matter. If our governing officials had the moral rectitude they claim to have — to which all the stupid adults who support this war also lay claim — then there wouldn't be men and women eating out of trash cans. Can you imagine, in our own country, real human beings eating out of the trash? And the White House officials have the nerve to say that the United States of America is the keeper of moral uprightness in the world?
Some say we are there because Qaddafi is killing his own civilians. If this is true, what about the genocide in Darfur — why didn't the U.S. conduct air raids then? How about the repression that has been happening in Bahrain for the past year? What hypocrisy! Morally speaking, they should have ousted a significant number of dictators long ago, such as Arab monarchs who don't allow their people to criticize government policy or to protest, as we have seen. Even in the U.A.E., one of the countries in the Middle East most friendly to the West, there is no democratic outlet for the people. The attitude of the government is this: If you don't like it, leave. The American government knows this, but I wonder, will they say anything?
This hypocrisy is so clear, and yet CNN, MSNBC and all the other liberal news networks act like chickens without heads, leaping on the bandwagon with the wave of Obama's hand. Why are the smartest talking heads in the American media suddenly silent? Why?
Furthermore, America clearly does not respect Muslim lives in general. American Muslim lives perhaps, but as far as the rest of them — my brothers and sisters — are concerned, the American government doesn't give a damn. To it, my brothers and sisters are just casualties. To get sidetracked a bit, people talk — and talk and talk — about improving the relationship between the Muslim community and the wider American community. Well, here's an a solution: Tell the U.S. government to stop killing my brothers and sisters, get out of their land and stop pretending to be morally superior by ousting a dictator with whom it was friendly only a couple years ago —read: Qaddafi.
Why do Americans have to pretend to be the heroes — the world has changed, and people no longer see America in that kind of light. We've shown our true colors more than once — Hiroshima, Nagasaki, Vietnam — all examples of Americans shamelessly killing other countries' citizens.
One need only listen to the way Obama talks about Libyans — as helpless people, so thankful to great, big, strong America for coming in and saving them from the nasty villain. It's a set up. Some are thankful, but others aren't — are we going to hear their story? Or are we just going to get the standard, frustrating nonsense that America is once again standing up for the little guy — never mind that the little guy is standing on huge oil wells.
Perhaps this is irrelevant in this day and age, when governments act independently of their people's will, but I don't remember Obama or any of his officials ever asking if we, the American people, wanted to go to war in Libya. I may have voted, but that doesn't mean I authorize more wars. There are American fighter jets in Libya that indict me with every bomb they drop, and I wonder why I was not even asked whether I thought this was a good idea. One minute all the talking heads are babbling about the madman Qaddafi, and the next we are dropping bombs on his forces. Do they take me for a fool? Doesn't this sound like a set up? If we had had some balanced reporting on Qaddafi, with some historical perspective on past relations between Libya and the U.S., then wouldn't all the Obama administration's grand visions of portraying themselves as the moral paragon for the world have been dashed by the people's insistence that it fix the problems in this country?
There President Obama stands, lying to the American public, just as President George W. Bush did. It's Deja vu.
Nida Abdulla '11.5 is an English concentrator from New Jersey. She can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.