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Kenneth Bernstein

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  • An Open Letter to the Left on Libya
    • teacherken aka Ken Bernstein 03/27/2011 at 12:41 pm

      I thank you for your reasoned response. I am of the Left. Further, I am a Quaker. Nevertheless, I support this intervention, as I wrote here:

      link to

      Humanitarian issues should always trump ideology or theology. I agree.

      From a military standpoint, intervention should, however, be with as massive a force as possible, because it actually minimizes suffering on both sides. I wanted the no-fly zone earlier. I suspect that there must be some boots on the ground to coordinate supplying the opposition and providing humanitarian aid. If done in cities well behind the front lines, it avoids direct military confrontation by ground troops.

      Ultimately, the regime cannot be toppled merely by air power. It will take forces on the ground, but those may not all be military. If it becomes clear that the dictator and regime can be toppled, I suspect you will see massive defections - some from the actual military (Kristof has written about dissension in the Navy), some from some of tghe tribes whose support is critical for Ghadaffy's survival.

      I also suspect that some of his mercenaries might decide to go back to their own nations if they are worried about being captured by the forces of the opposition in the aftermath of a regime change.

      Again, thanks for this thoughtful piece.

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