by Jason Williams, Tue Mar 22, 2011 at 03:31:55 PM EDT
Greenwald with the ultimate question for the "humanitarian mission" crowd:
For the reasons I identified the other day, there are major differences between the military actions in Iraq and Libya. But what is true of both -- as is true for most wars -- is that each will spawn suffering for some people even if they alleviate it for others. Dropping lots of American bombs on a country tends to kill a lot of innocent people. For that reason, indifference to suffering is often what war proponents -- not war opponents -- are guilty of. But whatever else is true, the notion that opposing a war is evidence of indifference to tyranny and suffering is equally simple-minded, propagandistic, manipulative and intellectually bankrupt in both the Iraq and Libya contexts. And, in particular, those who opposed or still oppose intervention in Bahrain, Yemen, Egypt, Iraq, the Sudan, against Israel, in the Ivory Coast -- and/or any other similar places where there is widespread human-caused suffering -- have no business advancing that argument.
A lot separates the mission in Libya from the invasion of Iraq, and I don't think the comparisons are justified. But this is worth recognizing. If humanitarian concerns are the driving impetus for this mission, why not get involved everywhere there is human suffering at the hands of oppressive governments?
Because it's about power. Humanitarian aid is a secondary concern.