Rich brought up some great questions in his comment yesterday. The answer to those questions trouble many, just like the confrontation of a needy person looking for a handout. This has always bothered me, I want to help, but how do you determine who is really in need, and who is just too lazy to work. We've always been told, "you are your brother's keeper," yet enabling the slothful is sinful as well. It's the age old struggle, who is sinful in their motives? Are the new regimes seeking freedom, or just their form of suppression? Are we assisting the Taliban, Hezbollah, or the Muslim Brotherhood, or truly on the side of freedom?
The beggar thing I solved, I simply give them the best help I can without knowing what their situation really is. I tell them if they are truly in need, and without resources, get to the nearest church. Charity for them starts there. I give my money so they can not only aid these people but counsel them back on the right path. This way I'm a good steward of the blessings God has entrusted to me, and I don't enable slothfulness.
One would think he UN would be the institution we could turn to for the same clarity in the Middle East matter. Honestly, we are the UN. It's just a counsel on how the Americans should spend their money and their efforts. The bulk of it's financial support rests on our shoulders, and the President is just using it to redistribute the blame assigned by others for getting involved. If the UN was to be effective, it should have a system set up to enter a toppled regime and establish and defend a voting system. Allow those people who yearned for freedom to vote for how they wish to live, without fear of reprisal. It should also include an education system to inform the people what they are voting for. Freedom is all about choices, and any multinational force should have the means to offer newly birthed governments those options. Then they've made the decision!
As far as when and where we should use force, that's still a conundrum. Humanitarian support shouldn't be determined by a dollar figure. It's never, ever justified to put money before life. If it's a legitimate need, we have the means to resolve, there isn't a question. It should be done! The question of the need is the secret we must unravel.