In his address to the nation last night, President Obama denounced those who offered the “false choice” of “broadening our military mission beyond the task of protecting the Libyan people.” He’s already in the process of making that “false choice,” so this will be one of many statements from last night that becomes inoperative in the coming days.
Reuters reports this morning that “U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice said on Tuesday that the Obama administration has not ruled out arming the Libyan rebels fighting to oust Muammar Gaddafi.”
If arming people is part of “the task of protecting” them, why are Obama and the rest of the Democrats so hot for gun control in the United States? Shouldn’t they be distributing guns to law-abiding citizens instead? Maybe the IRS agents who verify our compliance with ObamaCare could give us a gun, a box of ammo, and a lollipop after the interview is over.
I can immediately see two problems with that plan. First, Michelle Obama would never approve of the lollipop – they’re unhealthy. Second, you can’t just hand people guns and tell them to have fun protecting themselves. This is equally true of the Libyan rebels. Arming them would not be a matter of tossing them a few crates of weapons, handing them the keys to a fleet of armored vehicles, and telling them to have fun storming Qaddafi’s castle. Remember the scene in The Fifth Element where Gary Oldman gives his alien thugs a crate of super guns, and they stand around fumbling with the weapons, occasionally shooting each other with nets, until one of them pushes The Little Red Button and blows them all to smithereens? It would be like that.
Even as Obama was touting his great victory in Libya last night, Qaddafi’s forces routed the rebel attack on his hometown of Sirte. As Fox News describes it, “Rockets and tank fire sent Libya’s rebel volunteers in a panicked scramble away from the front lines, suggesting that the opposition is still no match for the superior firepower and organization of Qaddafi’s forces, despite an international campaign of deadly airstrikes.”
The Fox report concludes that “the undisciplined volunteers’ disorganized flight in their pickup trucks” demonstrated “the rebels’ fundamental inability to counter Qaddafi’s heavy weapons without outside help.” The situation cannot be fixed by tossing better guns to the same guys and encouraging them to try again. It is, in fact, cruel to the point of sadism to keep pushing the rebels into a meat grinder without either better training, or more significant tactical support… and suddenly that “false choice” doesn’t look so false any more.