Area residents have mixed reactions to U.S. involvement in Libya

March 21, 2011

The United States’ involvement in Libya with support from its Western allies has caused a mixed reaction across the country and among local residents.

On Saturday, the U.S. led a missile assault on Libyan air-defense systems in an effort to support the country’s uprising against its leader, Moammar Gadhafi. The United Nations approved the attacks, and France and Britain also sent troops.

Area residents on Monday were asked for their opinions about the U.S. involvement.

Tevon Miller, 17, said that he didn’t understand how getting involved would help Americans.
“It’s good for the Libyan people, but there’s nothing in it for us,” he said. “The Libyan people wouldn’t help us if this type of thing happened to us.”

Other residents, however, said they support the action.

Roy Snyder said the United States has a responsibility to people in foreign countries who need help.
“I feel that’s the way God would want it to be, to help your fellow people who are in trouble because of tyrants and greed and selfishness,” he said.

Tony Arnold said he was not sure whether the U.S. should be involved, but he has strong feelings about why America has gotten involved.
“It’s probably another ploy to secure oil again, just like in Iraq,” said Arnold, who was eating in a downtown Hagerstown restaurant. “The West was friends with Gadhafi mainly because of oil, and now that’s not the case.”

Felita Williams said the U.S. has a “tendency to pry into other countries’ business.” She suggested that the government needs to be “more objective and less subjective” regarding issues around the world.

Thomas Dehart, 21, said the United States’ involvement is for commercial interests only, and that the country needs to stop policing the world.
“We need to stop killing all these innocent people for the resources that we need,” he said.

U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates said Sunday that the U.S. expects to turn control of the operation over to a coalition, probably led by France and Britain or NATO, in “a matter of days.” No timetable had been set.

— Caleb Calhoun

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