Why Does Congressional Candidate Mark Pocan Have No Thoughts About Libya?
News concerning Democratic congressional candidate Mark Pocan and his lack of a response about the NATO bombing of Libya is most disturbing.
Let me state before anyone jumps to the opinion that I am writing this post for political reasons as we near the primary that I have no doubt Pocan will win the contest, and be elected in November. My interest in this matter of which I write has nothing to do with election-year politics. Fact is this is my first post on the race in any meaningful way. This post does however have everything to do with how foreign policy needs to be viewed by someone who is elected to represent us in Congress.
I was not pleased to read in The Capital Times the following sentence.
(Pocan was) caught off-guard when I asked them what (he) thought of the NATO strikes against Libya last year. Pocan declined to answer, saying he was not involved…..
That is the weak-kneed type of answer one would expect from Michelle Bachman, and not the person who is soon to be the next congressman from the ‘Berkeley of the Midwest’!
Over the past year-and-a-half the world has watched a most historic and impressive series of events play out in the Middle East, and parts of the Arab world. There was no way not to be caught up in the developments as people used demonstrations, strikes, and marches to show they wanted changes in government.
When Wisconsin protesters were waging a fight with many tens of thousands marching at the Wisconsin State Capitol for collective bargaining rights we knew half-way around the world there were men and women championing their cause for democratic reforms in Tahrir Square. It created a most inspiring moment to be alive, and to be active in a cause.
The Arab Spring is something that moved tyrants aside, and cast new light in many parts of the Middle East.
Part of the momentous change from the Arab Spring was the ouster of Libyan strongman, and American menace Muammar Gaddafi. Caffeinated Politics took the position that President Obama should have been more strident at the outset of the uprising in Libya, while also applauding the role the United States took (finally) in concert with other nations.
The Arab Spring should not give way to the Dictator’s Summer.
The region is best served by allowing the aspirations for more freedoms to take root. The United States can best serve the interest of the Middle East by fostering a developing sense of democratic ideals, no matter how slim and weak in infancy, so to allow the possibility of more progressive governments down the road.
But that is not what seems to be the intent of some in Congress. Both sides of the aisle, for differing reasons it appears, seems intent on making a political statement, rather than staking out a reasoned foreign policy. It is not the first time a Congress acted irresponsibly, and it will not the last.
I am not shy about the use of military force for the right reasons. Never using the military to make the world a better place, or defending democratic ideals is not a wise mind-set. Therefore when it comes to assisting those who aspire to higher callings as a society such as in Libya, and there are clear-cut military goals, and a means to achieve it, I think the only rational thing to do is support it.
As I read again my thoughts it seems they might be needed to be heard by Mark Pocan. If Pocan can not forthrightly state his views concerning the actions we took in Liyba how can we be assured in any sense that he has either the resolve or the depth needed to calculate other military missions that might be needed? If Pocan is not moved to action over the Arab Spring and its historic ramifications, what will move the Madison Democrat?
Either Pocan did not want to agree with a military mission as he pursues the votes, as the article mentioned of the sandal crowd, or he has not yet formulated aview of the larger issues that he will at some point need to confront.
Either way it was not a stellar moment in leadership from a candidate that wants us to place our trust in him.