By Heather Stone, Contributor to US Daily Review.
The people of Libya began rebelling against Gaddafi in February 2011. Gaddafi responded with brute force against the people. About a month later the U.N. started sanctioning him. And about one month after that the U.N. began air strikes in order to assist the people. The U.S. and France saw it through until Gaddafi was captured. The death toll is estimated to have reached over 30,000.
Syria is much the same, or even worse. In March Syrians began protesting against their dictator Assad. The Syrian government responded with tanks and snipers and denied the people water and power. They’ve killed women and children. They’ve detained thousands and tortured them. An estimated 7,000 have been killed, including over 300 children and more than 600 tortured detainees. The U.N. has responded with sanctions and other diplomatic means in an attempt to force Assad to stop the violence. President Obama says we will lean on Assad hard diplomatically, but has no intentions of using force as they did against Gaddafi in Libya.
In a speech about Libya President Obama said, “We knew that if we waited one more day, Benghazi – a city nearly the size of Charlotte – could suffer a massacre that would have reverberated across the region and stained the conscience of the world. It was not in our national interest to let that happen. I refused to let that happen,” and, “In just one month, the United States has worked with our international partners to mobilize a broad coalition, secure an international mandate to protect civilians, stop an advancing army, prevent a massacre, and establish a No Fly Zone with our allies and partners.”
One large difference so far is our failure to respond quickly to Syria’s dire situation, while for Libya we did not wait. As far as the UN is concerned, Russia and China vetoed the resolution that would call for Assad to step down and to begin political reform. However, the United States can act without the support of the UN through unilateral action. So why did Obama feel so strongly for the people of Libya and yet he stands by and chooses to be diplomatic with such a tyrannical ruler like Assad? Some would make the argument that it’s a civil war and America should stay out of it, but I’d make two points to that: First, did The United States not have assistance from the French against the British so long ago? And second, this is much worse than a civil war. Assad calls the protestors “terrorists,” he tortures them, and bombs their homes, without care for children. If anyone needs help right now, it’s the people of Syria.
So back to the original question, what’s the difference in Syria and Libya? It’s Obama. He lacks principles. A man of real character, of any amount of greatness does not change his story. You state your purpose clearly, you act, then you stick by your actions. But now, he chooses to sit back and be diplomatic. But what about people suffering a “massacre that would have reverberated across the region and stained the conscience of the world”? For Obama it’s not about human beings, it’s all about politics. Where’s the heart? Those people need help. Senator John McCain suggests we arm the opposition in Syria, what are we waiting for, people are dying.
Heather Stone is a mom, wife, Christian, veteran, republican, runner, and writer. Heather lives in Arizona where she currently works as an auto mechanic, and served in the United States Air Force from 2001 to 2007. After leaving the service, she worked for Boeing as a supply handler until her husband proposed marriage and they received orders that moved them to Italy.
Heather has an AA in Business Administration and plans to earn her BS in Environmental Science. Heather’s hobbies and interests for me consist of running when she gets the chance, writing, politics, and enjoying her family.