When Barack Obama was elected by a wide margin, and subsequently handed a Nobel Peace Prize, it was all based on one simple idea: that he’s not George Bush. Candidate Obama, for all his lofty speeches was elected on an unspoken compact with the electorate. He promised us, without saying so, that whenever he was confronted with any decision at all he would stop and ask himself what would W do? and then do the exact opposite.
We’ve seen this pattern play out in virtually every news cycle since. When Old Man Cheney or his little shrew of a daughter comes on TV criticizing the president, you can bet he’s making popular decisions and doing a bang up job. When he does something like halt Guantanamo trials and let the place operate business-as-usual, the Democratic base gets mad because he’s fucking up the promise.
We really hate to say this, because it’s not very nice or compassionate or idealistic, but we just don’t care about Libya. Khaddafi can stay, Gadafi can go, and if Sharif don’t like it he can rock the casbah. We can still hear the neo-con cries of “But he bombed his own people!” from 2003. Truth is that the Kurds were on the point of revolution at the time, and they could never truly be described as “Saddam’s people.” Likewise, when Libyan civilians organized into a full scale revolutionary force and joined with a sizable portion of defected military to start seizing cities, they ceased to be ‘civilians’ as we think of them.
Some will say that Khaddafi has lost his legitimacy. That sounds all well and good, but what’s behind it? Is any leader legitimate who was not fairly elected? But he’s still recognized as leader, and has been for 40 years, and a UN resolution doesn’t change that. Sure, he’s an asshole, but there are assholes in power all over the world. We should have learned by now that just as in physiology, if you blow up an asshole you end up leaving the colon hanging out… and you get shit everywhere. We don’t even really know who these rebels are- maybe it’s best not to hand them a whole country just yet. They came at the king, they best not miss.
Some of you may be of the opinion that scatalogical imagery and Wire references are a poor way to express opinions on world affairs. It should appall or amuse you then to learn that we’ve decided to join the Baltimore Council on Foreign Affairs. We’re not sure how or why, but they sent us a letter about joining, so we will. You may remember it was one of our New Year’s resolutions to get involved in some sort of organized activity, and hobnobbing with politicos and statesmen in the World Trade Center sounds like something we could get used to.
Of course, it probably won’t be as much fun as hobnobbing with a bunch of young urban lefty drunks, which we’re already doing on a regular basis in the Baltimore Chapter of Drinking Liberally, which meets tonight at the Laughing Pint at 7 pm.
Laughing Pint is located at 3531 Gough St. in Highlandtown. DL meetings are free and open to all.