Suppose President John McCain, as with President Barack Obama, justified military force in Libya to avert "a humanitarian crisis." But then gave no thought of using the military to stop the human slaughter in places like the Ivory Coast, Zimbabwe and the Congo.
How long would it take before the Congressional Black Caucus and the Rev. Jesse Jackson call him "racist"?
In 1994, President Bill Clinton sent 20,000 troops to Haiti, restoring to power that country's first democratically elected president. Ten years later, when violence threatened to further destabilize Haiti, the Congressional Black Caucus again argued for American military intervention. President George W. Bush refused. He properly understood that a commander in chief should put the military in harm's way for one reason only -- to protect, defend and advance national security.
Black detractors called Bush racist.
Jackson said: "It is clear that the right wing in this country does not support that democracy. (Bush) is, in fact, supporting overthrow of this government in this hemisphere."
"Black Americans," wrote MSNBC.com, "have contended that such a policy smacks of racism. They say the United States is unwilling to risk sending soldiers into the chaotic Caribbean nation, the Western Hemisphere's poorest, because its people are of African descent."
Obama refuses to argue that intervening in Libya is part of the fight in the war against Islamofascism and therefore a matter of national security -- the only defensible rationale. For to say so would concede that President Bush was right. Bush's "freedom agenda" strategy, including the "dumb" war in Iraq, was to fight and win the War on Terror by encouraging the replacement of hostile Arab and Muslim autocracies with democracies.
Obama instead justifies the use of the military in Libya -- a country that poses no imminent threat and from which we get virtually no oil -- on the desire to avert a "humanitarian" crisis. If that's the reason, why stop there?
Ivory Coast, Africa -- Los Angeles Times, April 3, 2011: "The Red Cross reported an ominous development in the increasingly brutal struggle for control (of the Ivory Coast): the massacre of up to 1,000 civilians in a western town. ...
"'We were shocked by the magnitude of the brutality of the event,' said (a Red Cross official). 'Our colleagues found a huge amount of bodies.' ...