President Barack Obama addressed the American people several days AFTER US airplanes began bombing missions in Libya to interdict or destroy or wipe out or oust Gaddafi or not oust Gaddafi or something. According to the president, it was the policy of America to come to the aid of those who are oppressed in the world, provided, it does not result in death to American troops. In fairness, to the president it is clear his goal is to oppose tyrants, but it is also his goal to decide which tyrants can be opposed. Liberal critics are upset at this distinction which apparently is based on a “situational opposition to tyranny.” We oppose tyrants, and we hope people who oppose them can be supported, but there is also a reality factor. Most probably, President Obama did not wish to spell out the situational aspect of his doctrine.
Does a situational approach go against the tenets of liberalism? The answer is both yes and no. For example, in 1956 Hungarians rebelled against the Communist government of their nation. President Eisenhower expressed support for the rebels, but made clear the US could not provide military support because to do so might initiate a nuclear war that would end human civilization. The “risk factor” for world peace must always be part of any doctrine that seeks to end tyranny in the world. It is unfortunate that Obama did not pursue this explanation of why we entered Libya. Reality is the US and NATO can blast Gaddafi to hell without posing any risk to world peace or economic stability.
In other words, the US intervenes when it is realistic. Why not term what is being done, the “REALITY DOCTRINE?”