On Morning Joe today panel talk surrounded the Libyan rebels in Tripoli. Richard Haas, Michael Steele, Mike Barnicle and, later, Ed Rendell, Andrea Mitchell and David Ignatius, all gave their analysis of the situation. Steele and Haas called for caution, a wait and see approach to determine what happens next. Ed Rendell was more eager to give Obama credit and then went on to say we should use our military in partnership with NATO to do this anywhere people need help. Steele reminded Rendell that NATO draws a bright line when it comes to helping people in the deepest parts of Africa, plus, Haas asked what we should do if China cracks down on her people. Rendell is simply looking for short-term political advantage, which is how most partisan Democrats are spinning this so far.
David Cameron was shown in a clip praising the freedom-loving rebels and claiming victory for democracy. Britian should know better than other nations about the danger of premature victory speeches and grand designs in the mideast/northern Africa. David Fromkin, in his book A Peace to End All Peace about the peace talks regarding the mideast following WWI, wrote this:
Over and above any specific decisions there was a general sense that something was fundamentally wrong with the Peace Conference itself. In a general sense, and for the public that judged the Allies by their wartime promises and expressed principles, it was the way in which decisions were made that constituted a betrayal. Decisions, by all accounts, including those of the participants, were made with little knowledge of, or concern for, the lands and peoples about which and whom the decisions were being made. This was true even of the peace terms imposed in Europe, and was even more so of those imposed by Europeans upon the distant and unfamiliar Middle East.
Shortly after the Great Powers designed their plans for the Middle East, the plans fell apart, and we know the history up until now, and once again big statements are made about the potential to influence the Middle East through intervention and benevolent guidance. The Morning Joe crew spoke of the need for NATO to work with Libyans to create a workable government. Libya will soon be in chaos, and as it churns and gyrates like presently in Egypt and Tunisia, the media and pundits will move along to another story -- anything to divert attention away from reality and the failures of foreign intervention.