rant: wisconsin, libya
Posted on 2011-03-17 10:54:00
Tags: rant essay
I support the public workers' rights of unionization and collective bargaining. But Democratic senators fleeing the state to avoid passing the bill seems to be going a bit far. Protests, demonstrations, all these are good ways of expressing opposition. Even recalling some of the Republicans - that's what the recall law is there for. (and this isn't a California-type situation; they still need plenty of signatures) Effectively shutting down the government because you disagree with a bill is not. They were out of the state for three weeks(!) before the Republicans were able to use tricks to pass the bill. It's hard to have the moral high ground when you're not present to vote, though...
Yes, I'm aware that the Texas Democrats did this back in 2003, but that was to protest a highly-unusual out of season redistricting. It's more justified when you're protesting a bill with how the government works.
I meant to write this a week ago, and apparently the US now supports a no-fly zone and airstrikes in Libya. But I wish people would step back and carefully consider whether we want to get militarily involved in another country. Yes, Qaddafi is bad and toppling him would probably be an improvement. But it's a huge step for the US to even enforce a no-fly zone - it's essentially an act of war. (since we have to take out ground defenses as well as shoot down any planes) So what happens if Qaddafi's forces beat the rebels anyway? Do we bring troops in on the ground?
Again, Qaddafi is bad, etc., but we can't compare the situation now versus the ideal (Qaddafi toppled, Libya goes into a friendly democracy with little bloodshed) - we have to look at what effect our actions are going to have. There has to be more thought behind it than this guy is bad, so we should get rid of him. (see: Iraq)
Comment from spamchang:
Qaddafi apparently has a large number of supporters to whom he has distributed small arms. That makes me think that the conflict here is less of an armed uprising against a hated dictator and more of a civil war between two supertribal factions. In that case, the lines get a little more blurred; we should certainly not take sides except to prevent wholesale loss of human life. Still, Qaddafi is the one that the media is claiming to have killed a lot of civilians. The official Libyan govt communiques, of course, deny this, and there's not very much in the way of verification. Qaddafi is not helping his case by restricting journalists either.
I can't believe the French are so willing to quickly intervene. Germany is going neutral here, as are China, Russia, and Brazil. I'm not sure what the US can even spare in terms of military power. The 7th fleet should still be supporting troops in Iraq...
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