- The Washington Times - Wednesday, March 23, 2011

@-Text.noindent:It is clear that a major sector of the American public - both on the political right and the left - do not want America embroiled in another war in a Muslim land.

@-Text.normal:Humanitarian claims, while noble, belie the true aim of our fair-weather European allies, which is to secure the oil fields of Libya rather than end the human carnage wrought by Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi. At this point, I see no national interest in risking the life of a single American in an attempt to defeat Col. Gadhafi. Nor do I see any benefit in our having joined forces to impose a no-fly zone with American aircrews on behalf of the Europeans, the African Union or the Arab League.

When President Reagan tried in earnest to end Col. Gadhafi’s reign of international terror some 25 years ago, our allies, specifically the French and Spanish, denied the overflight rights of American F-111s on a retaliatory bombing mission from England to Tripoli, thus forcing American aircrews to fly a much longer route along the Atlantic coast until they reached the Straits of Gibraltar. The interest of France and Spain was in the oil Libya supplied, and it was also in their interest not to anger Col. Gadhafi, who ordered the bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland, in 1988, according to quotes from Libya ex-justice minister Mustafa Abdel-Jalil in the Swedish tabloid Expressen.

What worthy allies. Let them secure their own energy source without Americans having to do the heavy lifting.

@-Text.noindent:ALAN J. QUARTARARO

Virginia Beach, Va.