The Corner

‘To Hell With Them Hawks’ Speak Up

Talking to the editor of a conservative magazine (not this one) the other day, I heard him moan that: “Everybody wants to write about Libya. I have no space for half these pieces.”

Having a natural sympathy for editors — ask anyone — and being anyway a natural contrarian who bets on black just and solely because everyone else is putting their stakes on red, and furthermore being sunk in listless despair at the folly and incoherence of our government’s policy, I’ve held off writing about Libya, except in self-defense.

I am getting asked, though, where the To Hell With Them Hawks stand on the Libya, er, police action. As a self-declared THWTH, I feel moved to offer some reply.

An additional motive impulse was the astonishing performance of Bill O’Reilly on last night’s Factor. O’Reilly was vigorously presenting the case that when someone is getting oppressed anywhere in the world, the U.S. military must swing into action, because we are an exceptional and noble nation.

Yes, the action will cost the American taxpayer billions of dollars, and there is no guarantee that Qaddafi will be defeated. But in life, there is a right and a wrong. It would have been wrong for America to watch the slaughter of those people in Libya and do nothing.

That was a bit much even for Laura Ingraham and Dick Morris, who must by now be used to O’Reilly’s mood swings. They both looked bewildered as the lad from Levittown blathered on like a Stepford George W. Bush with a crossed circuit. The thought you could sense marqueeing across their eyeballs was: “Has Bill finally succumbed to the Curse of the Irish?”

So here’s the official THWTH position on Libya: It’s none of our damn business, and we are fools to be doing what we’re doing.

The THWTH slogan “Rubble Doesn’t Make Trouble” doesn’t apply. It’s been 20 years since Qadaffi made any trouble for the U.S.A. He’s paid blood money for Pan Am 103 and given up his WMD programs. (YOU’RE WELCOME, AMERICA.) The operative maxim here should have been “Don’t Trouble Trouble Until Trouble Troubles You.”

I’ll certainly allow that there would be much satisfaction in seeing Qadaffi strung up for his horrible acts. That’s for his own people to do, though, not for us. We should be practicing cold statecraft, not vendetta.

How Nations sink, by darling Schemes oppress’d,

When Vengeance listens to the Fool’s Request.

Our actions in Libya are grotesque, futile, and pointless. They bear no relation whatsoever to our national interest. And we can’t afford them.

[Steve Sailer has a nice note on the ethnic cleansing of black Africans we may expect if the rebels triumph. Will someone please alert Eric Holder?]

John Derbyshire — Mr. Derbyshire is a former contributing editor of National Review.

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