— The Erimtan Angle —

In his speech on Monday night (28 March), the 10th day of direct U.S. involvement in Libya, President Obama defends the war in Libya – but does it make sense? In other words, Obama is once again invoking the principle of Just War, which he propounded during his Nobel acceptance speech in Oslo (11 December 2009) – an address that was somehow caught up in theological rhetoric. In fact, as I pointed out in Today’s Zaman some time ago, “Obama is much attached to the work of the American Protestant exponent of ‘Christian realism’, Reinhold Niebuhr”.[1]  Even though Obama did not explicitly state his reasoning during yesterday’s speech – no doubt mindful of Gaddafi’s taunt that he was facing a Crusader attack – he nevertheless implied that the War in Libya is a just war, waged to protect civilians.


Here is Rachel Maddow dissecting America’s current war effort in the Muslim world. Maddow quite insightfully also refers to Obama’s Oslo speech.



President Obama said: “Our most effective alliance, NATO, has taken command of the enforcement of the arms embargo and the no-fly zone. Last night, NATO decided to take on the additional responsibility of protecting Libyan civilians. This transfer from the United States to NATO will take place on Wednesday [, 30 March]. Going forward, the lead in enforcing the no-fly zone and protecting civilians on the ground will transition to our allies and partners, and I am fully confident that our coalition will keep the pressure on Gadhafi’s remaining forces. In that effort, the United States will play a supporting role – including intelligence, logistical support, search and rescue assistance, and capabilities to jam regime communications. Because of this transition to a broader, NATO-based coalition, the risk and cost of this operation – to our military and to American taxpayers – will be reduced significantly”.[2] 

[1] C. Erimtan, “A frontline in the war against Islamic Extremism or A Crucial Part of the Eurasian chessboard?” Today’s Zaman (25 January 2011). http://tiny.cc/h3b5g

[2] “President Obama’s Speech To Nation 28 March 2011 @ 18:35 HRS CST (TCP)CHICAGO” The Critical Post (28 March 2011). http://thecritical-post.com/blog/2011/03/president-obamas-speech-to-nation-28-march-2011-1835-hrs-cst-tcpchicago/.

Comments on: "Libya: A Just War???" (2)

  1. People are still pretending any war is just?

    How is killing anyone “just”.

    Perhaps it is the best amongst bad choices, but it’s not just. And NATO pretends it’s not about regime change. That’s the biggest bunch of BS since WMD’s or Mission Accomplished.

    Tex Shelters

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