For our third and final Question Time concerning the Libyan war, we turn our attention to the views of a so-called ‘Average Joe’. Our ‘Joe’ is no foreign policy expert or political junkie, but has been keeping an eye on the Middle East upheaval and the situation in Libya. His perspective on the issue should be enlightening as he likely represents many other ‘average’ Americans who are watching these events unfold on their television and computer screens. With the United States militarily attacking Qaddafi’s forces in Libya and many in this country questioning exactly why we are intervening (Rasmussen has only 45% supporting US military action) in the civil conflict, the views, aka support or lack there of, of average Americans will be integral in how the Obama administration proceeds. Enjoy.
1. Why do you think the Obama administration made the decision to join France and the UK to institute a no-fly zone and bomb Qaddafi’s forces in Libya? Do you support the decision? Why or why not?
Average Joe: I think that Obama finally decided to support France and UK because he didn’t have any alternative at this point, and was forced to make a decision finally. It would be a major disgrace to not support our allies. Yes I support the decision, even tough I don’t think Obama has a real vision or strategy. I think Libya is an example of a country whose leader will stop at nothing to restore order, and will slaughter anything that stands in the way. Libya is also a real opportunity to keep the momentum going with regards to rebellion in other oppressive nations ( Syria, Bahrain, Iran etc). Also it’s important to be a nation that supports freedom throughout the world.
2. In Egypt, Bahrain, Yemen, Syria, Libya, and Tunisia there are citizens voicing their opposition to the ruling class and leader(s) and refusing to let the status quo remain. What do you think of these recent uprisings throughout the Arab world? What will they lead to? How do you think they will affect the United States?
Average Joe: I think they are all corrupt nations and I’m glad to see the people starting to rise up against these monarchies and unjust societies. I think this is only natural as we have seen this in Europe and our own history. It needs to happen. I’m not sure what it will lead to, just as America’s future was unclear in the beginning.
I’m optimistic though, most of the protesting and revolutions have had economic factors as a driving force – no jobs and no opportunity for the masses. I don’t think that any new oppressive or Islamist fanatical regimes could take over and provide the type of economic freedom necessary to satisfy these needs. I also wouldn’t discount the importance of people remaining “connected” to the Internet and outside world. Something that was so important during the revolutions. Basically, I don’t see these nations trading one dictator for another. Once freedoms are established, it’s much harder to take them away.
However if Islamic extremists do take power via democratic elections, so be it. At least then we will have clarity on where things stand in that part of the world.
Any other ‘Average Joe’s’ out there that would like to comment?