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Libya: Land of the Free, Home of the Brave, Maybe

Libya: Land of the Free, Home of the Brave, Maybe
Are we Americans now entering Round Two of the Great Recession?
Just when money had begun to slowly change hands again and the jointly-held shares of economic success were looking a bit brighter, the Middle East suddenly gets religion. In the vernacular, that is, Democracy being the religion of western, secular Republics and democracies.
While it’s never too late nor too soon to become a democratic polity, and we all applaud Tunisia, Egypt, Bahrain, Yemen et. al. for their nascent freedom fights, the timing is a wee bit of a challenge.
Underlining how volatile energy supplies affect American jobs and family bank accounts, world oil prices have erupted since Libya entered a period of civil war 26 days ago.
That popular uprising could sweep iconic dictator Moamar Gaddafi (Qaddafi, Kaddafi, The Flake, etc.) out of power. Yet, he is kept in place by his air power, which has managed to turn things around in the day since this column was begun.
He, Kadaffy, Mr. “Friend of Louis Farrakhan,” could have reasonably been brought under control within the past seven days, which is when American mobile air power anchored off of the Libyan coast. Establishing a no-fly zone over Libya gives America and its supporters, such as Britain and France, the ability to shoot down all Libyan jets and many helicopters, depriving Gaddafi of his only military advantage over the rebels.
Setting aside whether or not Barack Hussein Obama, president of the USA, believes in the kind of America that made America great and created our quality of life, and assuming that a Libya without Qadaffi is better than one with him, every day that president Obama does not intercede militarily in Libya is another day that Americans pay an extra hundreds of millions of dollars in artificially high gasoline prices.
At an estimated average of 21 million barrels of oil being consumed daily in America, the 30-dollar-per-barrel increase since Libyan troubles began has put an albatross with an anchor around America’s economic neck to the tune of $900 million per day. That’s nearly a billion dollars more in increased cost every single day. Most of that increased cost is borne by gas consumers, who are mostly car owners, which is to say, Middle-Class Americans.
These are the same middle-class taxpayers who are struggling to keep their homes and investments in the face of a protracted economic malaise known as the “Recession of the Century.” We thought that Round One of the Great Recession was slowly but perceptibly ending. Now….?
Libyan rebels, whoever they are, are at least anti-Gaddafi. Gaddafi is a friend of Venezuelan dictator Hugo Chavez, and both are ferociously anti-American. Chavez has actually been able to damage American interests in material ways. Knocking the Libyan air force around will at least make the country more stable, less prone to a see-saw of military violence, and less of a threat to its neighbors. It will also cause oil prices to decline dramatically, possibly back to pre-uprising prices. If that decrease happens, then America stops hemorrhaging that additional billion dollars per day more than we were spending a month ago.
Many say that America should stay out of Libya and other foreign entanglements. But if we do not intervene, then what happens next? Is Round Two the knock-out punch, that will leave “America’s cities burning,” as one academic said today in a meeting?

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