Letter to the editor (Washington Examiner):
Re: “Here we go again, following a president to war”, March 31, 2011.
Reading Gregory Kane’s criticism of President Obama’s humanitarian intervention of Libya, one infers that (1) Kane’s observations are only confined to those that happened during his lifetime – “I was way too young to remember any of President Truman’s reasons for involvement in the Korean War”; (2) that he is foreclosed from gaining information through reading, the route most intelligent people use in acquiring knowledge about events that happened before they were born; and (3) that since he gives George W. Bush a pass on Iraq, Democratic presidents – Truman, Johnson, and Obama - are the primary practitioners of US interventionism.
For Mr. Kane’s edification, the following is a list of United States interventions into the internal affairs of other nations since 1964 when Mr. Kane reached the age of 12 and presumably became conscious of world affairs: Indonesia 1965, the CIA backed a military coup, overthrowing President Sukarno and ushering in General Suharto; Congo 1965, the CIA backed a military coup, overthrowing President Joseph Kasavubu and bringing Joseph Mobutu to power; Dominican Republic 1965, 23,000 US troops landed in the Caribbean nation; Laos 1965, a bombing campaign was initiated that lasts eight years; Ghana 1966, CIA backed a military coup, overthrowing President Kwame Nkrumah; Guatemala 1966, the US began an extensive counterinsurgency operation; Cambodia 1969, CIA supported military coup overthrowing Prince Sihanouk ; Oman 1970, US conducted counter-insurgency operation; Laos 1971, US along with South Vietnamese forces invaded country; Chile 1973, CIA backed military coup, ousting President Salvador Allende and bringing to power Gen. Augusto Pinochet; Cambodia 1975, Marines invaded, engaging in combat with government forces; Angola 1976, US conducted military and CIA operations; Libya 1981, US naval jets shot down two Libyan jets in maneuvers over Mediterranean Sea; El Salvador 1981, CIA and special forces began a counter-insurgency campaign lasting several years; Nicaragua 1981, US directed Contra operations against regime; Lebanon 1982, Marines and naval forces landed in country; Grenada 1983, US forces invaded the country; Libya 1986, US conducted strikes against Gaddafi’s official residence; Bolivia 1986, US special forces units conducted counterinsurgency; Libya 1989, US Naval aircraft shot down two Libyan jets over Gulf of Sidra; Philippines 1989, CIA and special forces involved in counterinsurgency; Panama 1989, US dispatched 27,000 troops to overthrow President Noriega; Liberia 1990, troops deployed, conducting major military operations, naval blockade, and airstrikes; Somalia 1992, US special forces intervened; Yugoslavia 1992, US played significant role in NATO blockade; Bosnia 1993, US conducted major military operations, involving air and ground forces; Croatia 1995, US attacked Krajina Serb airfields; Zaire 1996, US marines involved in military operations in country’s eastern region; Iraq 2003, US led forces invade country, ousting Saddam Hussein from power; Haiti 2004, US marines landed and in concert with CIA backed forces overthrow President Jean-Bertrand Aristide.
Of particular interest is Mr. Kane’s take on what can be described as President Ronald Reagan’s 1986 humanitarian intervention in Grenada (“It is worth remembering who liberated people of Grenada”, Feb. 7, 2011). According to Mr. Kane, invading American military personnel were greeted with outpourings of hospitality and affection – “Others simply shouted ‘we love you’ to American troops as they passed by.” Mr. Kane concluded his glowing praise of the Gipper with, “Reagan delivered an island of black people from the clutches of Marxists thugs. You can rest assured he is remembered in Grenada.” One wonders how can the same rationale employed by Reagan in 1986 and Obama in 2011, for essentially similar actions, be viewed so differently. Apparently, in the world of punditry, especially the sort practiced by Mr. Kane, principle, consistency and intellectual integrity don’t matter.
Monday, April 4, 2011
Kane But Not Able
As of this post, this is an unpublished letter to the editor Washington Examiner in response to a column by the chronically clueless Gregory Kane. This time the subject is Obama's decision to intervene in the Libyan civil war. Like Mr. Kane, I also have reservations about the administration's actions but I think the case cam be made in a much more intellectually respectful and coherent manner: