Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Libya - An Opportunity Lost?

Subtitle - how Obama's weak, do nothing, non-committal, don't want to upset our enemies, can't show any leadership, suck up Foreign Policy is dropping the ball.

The absolute incompetence being shown by our government on what is taking place in the Middle East is astounding. There hasn't been such a pathetic attempt at dealing with the world and current events since Jimmy Carter (and with the morons Clinton had as Secretaries of State, that is really saying something!).

A popular uprising against Ghaddaffi in Libya was what we've been hoping would happen for years. This uprising stood a very good chance of working, a good chance of running him out of the country or even killing him. However, it looks like it is losing steam, and the dictator and his forces appear to be winning.

The UN and European countries have been lamely discussing a no-fly zone for weeks now, one that would supposedly counter the dictator's advantage in the air. Wishy washy morons, it will take them weeks more to get around to getting close to thinking about implementing a preliminary study of a possible plan. Our esteemed Secretary of State has stated emphatically that the US will not lead any such effort, but that we will consider joining one if other countries commit to it first. How's that for Global Leadership? You've got Pentagon leadership publicly complaining about how difficult it would be for us to put up a no fly zone.

This was a golden opportunity to help cause the ousting of one of the biggest terrorist supporters in the world, a man who has arranged and sponsored the killing of Americans on numerous occasions. We could have gotten in good with the forces that would have taken over the country, perhaps gain an important ally in a country that is currently openly hostile towards our interests. Instead, we look down at our shoes, kick some dirt, and complain about how tough it is, how someone else needs to do it instead of us.

Don't get me wrong ... I know that intervening in the situations going on across the Middle East is not easy. We could very well end up on the wrong side of some of the outcomes. However, the way Obama is leading us will ensure that we are on the wrong side of EVERY outcome - because we chose not to take sides, not to help, not to use our strength and influence to guide events, leading everyone in that region to consider us weak and irrelevant.

Now, in Libya, the rebels are asking where we are. Why aren't we helping them? If they succeed in running Uncle Moh out of town, do you think they will have a good opinion of us? If Ghaddaffi wins, do you think he will think any better of us for not having intervened?

It's an amazing display of gutless, rudderless diplomacy.

3/17 Update - The Obama Administration is seeking UN approval to launch airstrikes against Ghaddaffy's forces. Some would consider this too little, too late. I consider it a massive attempt by Obama at CYA. They know that UN approval will take forever. They also know that, at least according to news reports, it is too late for any such strikes to turn the tide in favor of the rebels. I suspect that there is no intention by Obama to launch any strikes, that this is merely a diplomatic maneuver to try and shift the blame onto the UN for not supporting the rebels. I can see him standing in front of his teleprompter, telling the world that he wanted to help the rebels, but was prevented by UN (in)action.

3/21 Update - OK, we've fired a bunch of cruise missiles at Libyan Air Defence installations and other forces. The UN actually passed a resolution that said something. France and Britain stepped up. I may end up eating my words on this one - we'll see. It remains to be seen if this is actually a good moment for Obama and our country. So far, he still seems to want everyone/anyone else to take the lead and responsibility, and he's just in a yes-man support role. However, going this far has surprised me - I really didn't think he had it in him. I will keep an open mind on this for a while. Let's see if he follows through ...

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