NATO commanders are demanding that the intervention in Libya, initially limited to the aim of protecting civilians, be expanded to destroy the civilian infrastructure of the country and remove Qaddafi from power. Civil institutions – not military – are now being targeted in the bombing campaign and even hospitals have been damaged.
As it happens, top Libyan officials have agreed to an immediate ceasefire provided NATO stop bombing the country. The terrorist rebels that we’re supporting have publicly rejected the offer, but it remains to be seen whether the U.S. will agree. They both may prefer he be arrested and face trial at the International Criminal Court for crimes against humanity.
If the U.S. ultimately chooses a continuation of the war over these other options, it should be understood that the responsibility of prolonging the war – which may have ended promptly – is on America. This is no longer an “intervention” between two belligerent parties; we are a primary actor now. Further targeting of civilians by Qaddafi, further crimes committed by our rebel allies, and further civilian casualties from NATO bombs all rest on the shoulders of U.S. leadership. We can be reasonably sure, though, they won’t be held to account.
Furthermore, now that it has become an open policy to change the regime in Libya, it’s clearer and clearer that the U.S. government has renewed, post-Bush zeal for their long held motto: We Own the World. We choose the leaders of men. Our jurisdiction extends across the globe.