Ben Rhodes is director for strategic communications at the National Security Council, a high official in the Obama administration. He says that the approach to Libya might just provide a model for a way to use the US military to advance US national interests even when our national security is not threatened.
This is Stalinist, Hitlerian, or, if you like, simply brutally imperialistic. If international law meant anything, it would be enforced against any power using military force to further its national interest. It is the Doctrine of Our Oil By Any Means.
Libya ranks 8th in proven oil reserves. Syria ranks 34. Both featured brutal dictators slaughtering nonviolent democracy activists, except Bashar Assad is still doing so (this video is quite rough, quite graphic, in Arabic, and the uploader is calling for violent revolution, but it is still an example of documented killing of nonviolent activists).
When Mubarak was opposed, the US did nothing, which was a blessing, since Mubarak's regime was entirely dependent on US military backing. Same with Ben Ali in Tunisia. If decades of US military aid to these kleptocrats couldn't save them, more of the same wasn't going to redound well for the US.
So our enemies get the military ouster when they have oil that needs exploiting, but if they barely have enough for their own needs, the people are left twisting. What sort of messages do Ben Rhodes and President Obama think they are sending?
The problem is that these issues cannot be handled by the US nor by NATO. What is the North Atlantic Treaty Organization doing bombing anyone in Libya? The costs to the US, to other countries in NATO, and to Libyans, are tremendous and are a moral failure. This is all about the deadly confluence of the conflict industry and propaganda, moving our species backward rather than forward. While we marvel at the fury and cost of the new storms that our global climate changing is producing we continue the resource usage that causes it, failing to connect the ironically named Irene to our solution to all problems: bomb somebody.
We need a revolution on a matriotic nonviolent basis. Humanity has one path out: nonviolence. All others are just wandering in the worsening hell of violence, oil capture, violence, conflict debt, violence, income and wealth inequality, violence, and war against the very air, water, and natural paradise Mother Earth has been giving us for our entire evolution. That path isn't easy but all the others are disaster.