Should the US arm Libya’s rebels? For The Nation‘s Jeremy Scahill, the answer is an emphatic “No.” On MSNBC’s Ed Show, Scahill says that the talk of arming “freedom fighters” in Libya brings to mind the disastrous dirty wars of the 1980s, conducted behind the American public’s back with covert forces. What’s happening in Libya, Scahill says, is a civil war, and the United States shouldn’t be arming “1,000 or so rebels that don’t have much military training."
But the more important question may be why the US is taking such a different strategy in Libya than we have in Yemen. In his major article in this week’s issue of the magazine, “The Dangerous US Game in Yemen,” Scahill explains that for years the US has carried out a covert war within Yemen, and supported an autocratic leader as he repressed his people.
“Do you think we should take out Ali Abdullah Saleh, the president of Yemen, who double deals with Al Qaeda all the time?” asks Scahill. Schultz says that’s "Bush talk," and that Obama has gone through the UN to launch the intervention in Libya. To which Scahill responds: “We’re bombing Yemen. When did the president go to the UN to launch Tomahawk cruise missiles in Yemen?”