Monday, May 14, 2012

No Good Deed Goes Unpunished

So President Obama's supporters defended intervention in Libya's civil war as a lofty example of responsibility to protect (R2P). No vital national interests on the line. No Congressional authorization even. Just the president doing the right thing.

And it even worked. I still haven't seen the deep plan for the post-war, but that's another issue.

So after getting rid of a brutal dictator, is the human rights industry happy? Oh, get real:

NATO air strikes killed 72 civilians in Libya last year, Human Rights Watch said on Monday, accusing the western alliance of failing to acknowledge the scope of collateral damage it caused during the campaign that helped oust Muammar Gaddafi.

In a report based on investigations at bombing sites during and after the conflict, the New York-based HRW said NATO strikes killed 20 women and 24 children. It called on the alliance to compensate civilian victims and investigate attacks that may have been unlawful.

"Attacks are allowed only on military targets, and serious questions remain in some incidents about what exactly NATO forces were striking," Fred Abrahams, special adviser at HRW, said in a statement.

At least 30,000 Libyans died in the 7-month civil war. And the "human rights" industry naturally focuses its ire on 72 civilian deaths caused by NATO air strikes. Rather than be amazed at the low casualties, this is something they must investigate like a crime was committed.

But in a way their logic is flawless. If you really think that any deaths are too many, we should have supported Khadaffi when he marched on Benghazi to quickly suppress the revolt before more could die.

Whatever you might feel about why or how we intervened, it was certainly not immoral to overthrow Khadaffi. Nor was our targeting anything but incredibly careful and precise. But we are to be condemned because we are not perfect.

My special advice is that they can all just bite me, really.

UPDATE: And here's an idiot who blames the deaths of Libya on NATO's intervention. There were only 1 or 2 thousand dead when NATO intervened, he says. See, he seems to argue, if only we'd just let the loyalists quickly crush the resistance, it would have been much better.

Of course, he blames us for the deaths in Iraq and Afghanistan despite the fact that the enemy targeted civilians and fought dressed as and amongst civilians, meaning even the vast majority of civilian losses caused by an American weapon were actually the responsibility of the enemy.

This is typical left wing thinking: if we fight, the deaths in the fighting are our fault. The left never tells the terrorists to stop fighting to end the killing. The left just tells us to stop.

Again, bite me.

But I will grant him that we took a UN resolution calling for the protection of civilians and turned it into an intervention to overthrow the Khadaffi government. If a Republican president had done that, we wouldn't hear the end of the moaning and groaning from our liberal community about such a betrayal of international law. But Obama did it, so only the looniest of the far left will bring that up. Not that I think it was immoral to defeat Khadaffi, I'll say again for clarity, but I do find it amazing that Obama gets a pass from our usual liberal suspects for going to war without UN or even Congressional authorization.