Green and Orange?

NPR.  National Public Radio.  I’m hooked.  Especially to BBC World News.  I listen almost every morning.  But lately I have been seeing red during the broadcasts.  Actually, I am seeing red over some apparent blindness, and I will now rant about it….

My brother and son are both color blind.  I have no idea what the world looks like for them.  For instance, green and orange are indistinguishable.  The difference between green and orange is so stark and so obvious to me, I can’t imagine what the world looks like when they appear to be the same color.

It is a blindness like that which inspires my rant.  Things which appear so stark and obvious to me, are apparently not so obvious to everyone and I can’t fathom it.

There has been so much “world” news lately.  Right now I am addressing the astounding happenings in northern Africa.  Specifically Libya.

This morning a BBC correspondent was interviewing a retired gentleman from Libya who was prepared to take up arms against Colonial Gaddafi (does anyone else remember when it was spelled with a Q? a K? but I digress…).  The man is not a soldier and is not going to fight Gaddafi to gain power, in fact, he has counted the cost and expects to pay with his life.  He fights for his country.  For freedom.  He will join students, accountants, farmers, oil workers, basically plain men, all ready to die for their country against the current government which oppresses and threatens them.

Is this ringing a bell with anyone yet?  Wait, there’s more…

How did they gain momentum to join rag tag forces together in opposition to an oppressive government?  Facebook, twitter, cell phones.  These are the new media for grass roots efforts. On this continent, a “few” years back (ok centuries) some ordinary people used printed pamphlets that they passed around.

The “rebels” of Libya are out armed.  They have nothing really.  The government has planes and tanks and all manner of weapons to put down an armed attack.  So a group of nations appealed to the United Nations and asked for help for the ‘”rebels”.  They asked for a “no fly zone” to be imposed to stop Gaddafi’s government from bombing the country.  Who was it that requested this help?  The Arab League.

Sounds like an legit invitation to me.

The UN resolution passed, it was a Thursday night, the same night Gaddafi was on his nation’s radio threatening all who opposed him.  He promised to find them, in their bedrooms, in their closets and when he found them he would kill them.

So what is making me see red?  Us.  US.  The U.S.  President Obama gave a speech trying to defend our participation in a no fly zone and aid to the “rebels”.  And, in my mind, he did a pretty poor job defending it.

He tried to make a case for it being in our best interests.  It’s probably not on a strictly national level.  Not really.

Why didn’t he say: We are doing this because we were asked, nay, begged to help.  By the Arab League and by the people of Lybia.

Why didn’t he say: We are doing this because the United Nations agreed it should be done.  Because our allies agree.

Why didn’t he say:  We are doing this because we can remember when we were the regular, untrained, Joe Shmoe standing up to THE power of the world at the time and fighting for independence and freedom?

Now do you see a connection?  Between the Libyan people and the Colonists?  The Americans?  Those who opposed King George?  King George III?  Anyone remember American History?  Anyone listening to the interviews of the Libyan people?  Doctors, professors, retired men and women, fighting a lopsided battle for freedom.

And we can’t make a decent case for why we would help?  If we should help?  Really?

Like green and orange, it seems so obvious to me.

Categories: Uncategorized | 3 Comments

Post navigation

3 thoughts on “Green and Orange?

  1. Bill

    I guess he thinks that if he says we helped because we were asked – then asking is all it will take and there are too many problems in too many places for us to help, just because we are asked – even if the cause is just. I am not saying that this is right. I am saying that is probably what he thinks. He is being careful.

  2. scott

    shades of gray. i’m so big on straight forwardness and bluntness. i’m with you on that. but we are doing the actions you call for. i think he’s walking a diplomatic tightrope because the arab league itself (even after requesting the no-fly zone) has serious reservations about our role and the scope of the involvement. they almost condemned the extent of the bombing mere days after it began. i think he’s also hearing from his military advisors about the limits we have in resources in the area at the moment. and this could be a protracted battle without a large scale foreign involvement. you raise very valid points. but sometimes even if orange and green are starkly different, when you step a little further back, the edges get real hazy and it all just blends together (at least through my eyes). shades of gray.

  3. I have a favorite singer/songwriter: Sara Groves. One of her songs contains the lyrics: “(I’ll do anything to get this right) Cuz the train when it leaves the station, is loaded down with connotation, and what you hear and what I say are night and day.”

    Until Bill and Scott replied I didn’t realize I was running a criticism of the President. But I read it again, and yep, it sure sounds like that. But the President’s speech was not the object of my emotion. It was just a sidebar, to me.

    What was burning in my heart as I punched those keys and wrote those words, was a compassion for the people of Libya. I feel a frustration as I listen to those on the front lines of the life and death conflict, and those in the “cheap seats” weighing the pros and cons of aid.

    What I may not have communicated as effectively as I would have liked is my recognition of this conflict and how it closely resembles the beginnings of these United States.

    To take all the wind out of the sails of my rant, I recognize the need to be diplomatic, to think before we act, to proceed wisely.

    What I guess I would like someone to say is “We are not choosing sides between two powers, two military or political powers, this is not about a grab for power. These are ordinary people ready to give up everything for the idea of freedom for whoever remains.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Proudly powered by WordPress Theme: Adventure Journal by Contexture International.