Is Libya worth the risks of intervention?

Thursday, March 17, 2011; 8:04 PM

Retired Gen. Wesley K. Clark's March 13 Outlook commentary said that "Libya isn't worth the risk" to the United States of intervening - in other words, that Libyans aren't worth the risk. I could not disagree more.

Consider the amazing fact that the Arab League has requested a no-fly zone over Libya. Moammar Gaddafi is clearly a dangerous zealot who has not hesitated to slaughter his own people. Moreover, Gen. Clark's comparison between our "intervention" in Afghanistan and a no-fly zone in Libya is invalid. There is no parallel to be drawn between our ground-based "intervention" in Afghanistan and imposing a no-fly zone in Libya.

Elsewhere in his article, Gen. Clark said, "It is hard to stand by as innocent people are caught up in violence, but that's what we did" in response to civil wars in Africa and fighting in Darfur. Is that any reason to do so now?

Lydia Skloven, Kensington


Gen. Wesley Clark said that "protecting access to oil supplies has become a vital interest, but Libya doesn't sell much oil to the United States." That is true, but the price we pay in the world market is determined by whether Libya produces oil. Whether the United States imports or exports oil or is self-sufficient, the price that prevails in our market will be the world price, and this is governed by world supply and demand.

Anyone who doubts that what happens in Libya is of great importance hasn't been to the gasoline pumps in the past month.

Gail E. Makinen, Arlington

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