This is a little rushed, but whatever. I think the president’s speech was decent, definitely not his best (a little long maybe) but pretty straightforward.
I personally believe the military strikes in Libya are absolutely justified. Importantly, the US is not acting alone. If anything, Europe is taking the lead (especially France/Sarkozy). There is a UN mandate. Russia and China might not be too happy, but c’mon.
People’s memories are clouded with the bitter memories of Bush and his completely unnecessary and (basically) unilateral invasion of Iraq. But if people look back a little further, they’ll remember the air strikes the US (President Bill Clinton) ordered against Slobadon Milosevic and Sebia, in order to save lives there.
Had no-one intervened in Libya, Colonel Qaddafi would have been free to slaughter thousands of his own people. Innocent men, women and children. That’s not certain, but he seems pretty ruthless and unstable.
Pacifists might opposes any military action. But isn’t it justified if it saves lives overall? In many cases, on many scales, more harm can be inflicted through inaction than action. There might be less of a feeling of direct responsibility if your inaction causes, but an opportunity to help people was still missed.
Who is more highly esteemed by history? Neville Chamberlain or Winston Churchill? Sometimes military action is necessary and unavoidable.