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Letter to the Editor

BY DI READERS | APRIL 07, 2011 7:20 AM

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Libya reluctance and the American role

Would the American public stand by and have a hands-off position if Muammar el-Qaddafi were the governor of Wisconsin and treating the residents of that state as he has those in Libya? If one’s sense of empathy and involvement in mankind stops at ghettos’ edge, city limits, county line, state border, or national boundary, maybe so.

We need not be the world’s policeman as long as we are not one of the world’s criminals. The likes of Qaddafi came to power because of colonialism and exploitation.

Against this background and in face of more of the same, should we be militarily involved with what we have helped create? We are, whether we like it or not, and now we must make the best of a bad situation. As Harvey Cox (who borrowed from Sartre) observed, “Not to decide is to decide.”

Any attempt to be good for goodness sake will be tarnished by one result or another, be it barrels of crude oil pumped from Libyan depths or holier-than-thou self-congratulation.

I don’t know about the rest of you, but this morning from where I am sitting, high on the horse, I insist that we do what is right.

Sam Osborne
West Branch


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