I do career mentoring in my town with high school kids. It’s kind of like Big Brother, Big Sister. A year ago I let my 16-year-old mentee, who had a driver’s permit, drive my car from the school to my house while I was in the passenger seat. He was doing great until it was time to park in the garage. As he pulled in he suddenly hit the gas and was head toward a wall that would lead into my living room. Not wanting him to put a car through my house, I screamed for the kid to slam on the brakes and he did at the last possible second. We avoided near disaster but the car had wicked damage along the side from him scraping up against an A/C unit in the garage. That was the last day I let him drive my car.
I was dumb enough to let someone unskilled drive my car. The Obama administration is insane enough to let someone unskilled drive a war in Libya. And the damage is getting worse and worse. The latest wreck in the battle against Qaddafi involves airstrike last Saturday morning on a completely non-military target.
Early in the morning, thankfully before disabled children showed up for school at the Libyan Down Syndrome Society, NATO pilots sent missiles into the school building. The attack destroyed a much-needed facility for disabled kids. The founder of the school, and a parent of a disabled teenager were shocked.
I felt sad, really. I kept thinking, what are we going to do with these children? This is not the place we left on Thursday afternoon.
NATO has not explained who their actual target was. The Libyan government claims NATO planes were trying to hit Qaddafi who was doing a nearby interview at a television station that morning.
‘They maybe wanted to hit the television. This is a non-military, non-governmental building.’ -Mohammed al-Mehdi, head of the civil societies council.
Imagine what the press would have been if this building had been filled with children. Around 60 kids could have been killed and everyone involved, including our government, would have held responsibility. I can’t guarantee it, but I tend to think if U.S. military forces were allowed to take charge, this mistake would have never happened.
I know President Obama appears to be untouchable right now after killing Osama bin Laden, but Libya is still a serious problem that needs a serious change of policy. We cannot be in a war but then refuse to lead it and refuse to even call it a war. (Recently the administration rejected the word “war” for “kinetic military action”.) We simply do not have all three of the familiar options of lead, follow, or get out of the way. We either need to lead or get out of the way. Following the lead of others gets schools for disabled children blown up.
The school is for kids up to age 6. How can we say we are in Libya to protect citizens but supporting military action that almost killed 60 preschoolers with disabilities? I understand collateral damage, but that is ridiculous. If we aren’t in the driver seat on this thing, we need to jump out of the car and take the keys with us.
So far we’ve only scraped the side of the vehicle. I’m afraid any day now the car is going right through the garage wall and into the living room.