The nightmare for us is, Obama’s in charge
Sitting here trying to get my thoughts together on just how badly Obama has handled this Libyan fiasco. And I sit in stunned amazement, as many no doubt do, at how convoluted and idiotic the whole management of the thing has been from start to today. Statements between his White House and State Department that not only offer no clarification, they defy one to even know who exactly is in charge of the Executive Branch in the United States today.
The chronology is so messed up; I can’t even make any sense of it. One would need to keep an hourly diary of all the actions and inactions, the statements and misstatements from the very beginning to today to even begin to see a bigger picture; a picture of ineptitude and incompetitance that leads one to believe the students are in charge of Professor Obama’s classroom.
Where to even begin?
First, the uprisings
It started with the Tunisia uprisings or revolution, an event that frankly as it happened just before the Christmas holiday I took no notice of whatsoever until the riots and chaos in Egypt ignited. To this, Obama was largely silent but to issue vague appeals for all parties to “keep calm and avoid violence“. He was criticized for being mostly silent about the protests, no doubt thinking the US wasn’t paying much attention anyway.
Egypt got his attention, and also his ambiguous statements such as “It is very important that people have mechanisms in order to express legitimate grievances,“ No kidding?
With Obama calling for “orderly transition” on the one hand, and his Press Secretary saying “Now means now” on the other, US foreign policy became amateur hour on display for the whole world to marvel at.
Libyan Uprising; Time to be a leader – or not
As civil war in Libya began to intensify into violence against civilians, Obama offered strong statements, but no clear direction or concise answers as to what role the US would take. He said the US would only be actively involved militarily for “days, not weeks“, but then his administration just today announces the “…international operation could last months…“. Defense Secretary Gates was asked if the US military involvement could possibly last until year’s end, he replied; “I don’t think anybody knows the answer to that.” Of course not! Nobody in the Obama White House is programmed to think beyond the next sound bite.
And the military objectives for US forces? Also lacking;
In any case, for Obama, military objectives take a back seat to diplomatic appearances. The president is obsessed with pretending that we are not running the operation — a dismaying expression of Obama’s view that his country is so tainted by its various sins that it lacks the moral legitimacy to . . . what? Save Third World people from massacre?
Obama seems equally obsessed with handing off the lead role. Hand off to whom? NATO? Quarreling amid Turkish resistance (see above), NATO still can’t agree on taking over command of the airstrike campaign, which is what has kept the Libyan rebels alive.
This confusion is purely the result of Obama’s decision to get America into the war and then immediately relinquish American command. Never modest about himself, Obama is supremely modest about his country. America should be merely “one of the partners among many,” he said Monday. No primus inter pares for him. Even the Clinton administration spoke of America as the indispensable nation. And it remains so. Yet at a time when the world is hungry for America to lead — no one has anything near our capabilities, experience and resources — America is led by a man determined that it should not.
As times for leaving GITMO have come and gone, and his “18 months” for a retreat from Afghanistan are fast approaching, one has to wonder if he ever says anything he means? Does he just say whatever pops into his head at that moment?
On the latter, obviously not, or TotUS would be out of a job.
The nightmare for Obama?
He’s in charge.
[UPDATE] NATO has agreed with Obama, that he shouldn’t be in charge either. So now War by Committee is a better Commander in Chief than our own. Nice…