I watched and read Obama's speech on Libya and I still find that there are tons of questions left unanswered. While Obama tried to make the case that humanitarian circumstances and the rebel's request was the reason why we intervened in Libya, he never told us what might happen if a similar situation arises in yet another Middle Eastern country.
Although Obama tried to say we were not engaging in nation building or regime change, his own description of what we are doing over there makes clear we are doing those two very things.
That’s not to say that our work is complete. In addition to our NATO responsibilities, we will work with the international community to provide assistance to the people of Libya, who need food for the hungry and medical care for the wounded. We will safeguard the more than $33 billion that was frozen from the Qaddafi regime so that it’s available to rebuild Libya. After all, the money doesn’t belong to Qaddafi or to us — it belongs to the Libyan people. And we’ll make sure they receive it.
Tomorrow, Secretary Clinton will go to London, where she will meet with the Libyan opposition and consult with more than 30 nations. These discussions will focus on what kind of political effort is necessary to pressure Qaddafi, while also supporting a transition to the future that the Libyan people deserve — because while our military mission is narrowly focused on saving lives, we continue to pursue the broader goal of a Libya that belongs not to a dictator, but to its people.One of the most important questions our actions in Libya is who exactly are we helping? Throughout the entire speech Obama never mentions the rebels but only refers to "the Libyan people". After all should Qaddafi leave power, we will have to deal with whomever comes to power. Shouldn't we not be 100% sure they are an improvement over Qaddafi and not worse?Other questions I still did not hear answers to was, how long is this going to last? If Qaddafi hunkers down and digs in, he will always remain a threat to the security of the Libyan people and our role of protecting the Libyan people becomes an open ended affair. Another important question was how are we going to pay for this. Obama tells us about the $33 billion frozen from Qaddafi and how that money will be used to help pay for Libya to rebuild. But what about our military tab? We are no longer the wealthy nation we once were and at $600,000 a pop Tomahawk missiles don't grow on trees.
Something tells me as our involvement in Libya drags on, these nagging questions are going to assert themselves more and more. Hopefully the answer to these questions won't be too painful for America.