Question of the Day

Alexander Cockburn asks:

In terms of evil deeds, is Qaddafi a Mobutu, a Bokassa, a Saddam, or any U.S. president?

His answer: “Surely not.”

I find it difficult to disagree with his answer given Qaddafi’s opponents, who were all unrepentant killers.

I ought to mention that neither Cockburn’s question nor his answer would hold any significance whatsoever if it were not for the American need to justify its imperial sorties by claiming these military actions were meant to check the actions of or depose outright an archfiend. It is believed, wrongly, I would guess, that Americans will not long tolerate war-making unless the war-makers target radical evil. Thus, for this American President, the name Qaddafi along with the aura that surrounds that name does provide the President with the fortitude needed to produce another costly political-military spectacle. That Obama’s actions in Libya are legally dubious and morally suspect are matters which remain unresolved. Neither the quality of Qaddafi’s character nor America’s pretensions to being exceptional can resolve them. Nor also an act of Congress and a Supreme Court judgment.

Fortunately, Ralph Nader and Dennis Kucinich have already identified one path that would resolve the issues raised by Obama’s Libyan actions: Impeachment. I believe this outcome, one that would be politically and legally relevant, would provide a more effective and durable remedy to Executive branch lawlessness than would Congressional disapproval or a Supreme Court ruling that could not be enforced except by the use of violence. After all, the impeachment option would require the proponents of the action to make their case in public to the American people and thus by extension to the whole world.

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