It’s precisely the lack of any national interest that makes it appealing to the progressive mind. By intervening in Liberia, you’re demonstrating your moral purity. That’s why all the folks most vehemently opposed to American intervention in Iraq — from Kofi Annan to the Congressional Black Caucus — are suddenly demanding American intervention in Liberia. The New York Times is itching to get in: ‘Three weeks have passed since President Bush called on the Liberian President, Charles Taylor, to step aside, and pledged American assistance in restoring security. But there has been no definitive word here on how or when."Then Steyn turns to Howard Dean's outbreak of acute idiocy (as opposed to his chronic foolishness):
Three weeks! And Bush is still just talking! The Times spent 14 months deploring the ‘rush to war’ in Iraq, but mulling over Liberia for three weeks is the worst kind of irresponsible dithering.
‘I opposed the war in Iraq because it was the wrong war at the wrong time,’ says Governor Dean. But Liberia’s the right war any time: ‘Military intervention in Liberia represents an appropriate use of American power.’ And unlike that desert mess, Dean confidently predicts that US troops would ‘stabilise the situation and remain in Liberia for no more than several months’.As with most of his writing, there are many lessons in one column. Go and read.
[T]he idea that the US would be there for ‘no more than several months’ and hand over to a ‘legitimate and stable government’ is ludicrous. If the Yanks are there for only a few months, the warlords will keep their ears close to the ground and bide their time. The intervention would be an intermission, after which the show would resume, as it has done after previous desultory interventions in the region.