President Obama hardly has been John Wayne — or even George W. Bush — in dealing with the Arabic political upheaval.
While Obama has spoken with a number of world leaders recently on the tumult engulfing Libya and finally has said our options include the imposition of a no-fly zone over Gaddafi’s former playground or military action, he has come across as a naive pipsqueak.
Ever since the Mideast started coming apart at the seams, Obama and his aides have been clueless and unprepared. No wonder they soon dissolved into powerlessness like a lump of sugar in tea.
Presidents go through more crises than toilet paper. So deal with them. Global events never will be smoother than the top of a Formica table. Just read a history book.
Anything would have been better than the precious little he has done. Hell, a good start would have been to hire David Copperfield to make the whole Middle East disappear. Except for the oil, mind you.
Relying on the equally impotent U.N. Security Council and its puny talk about an arms embargo and financial sanctions? C’mon, man.
Perhaps Obama has had a timid tongue because of his fear of reprisal against Americans in Libya. A ferry carrying hundreds of Americans and other evacuees finally sailed from Libya today.
Obama had said our highest priority was the safety of Americans in Libya. Granted, that is an important priority. But our highest priority is to defend and advance the core foreign policy interests of the United States. The passivity of the Obama administration regarding Libya has damaged America’s interests and standing around the world.
What happened to the Uncle Sam who wasn’t afraid to stick sharp things in the eyes of the bad guys?
The mere presence of Americans in a foreign country in turmoil has become an excuse for inaction. Our diplomats and our citizens traveling abroad have become de facto hostages to the government of any state in which they work or visit.
Hopefully there are no Americans in the Amazon, just in case the Tupi tribesmen get out of line.
Obama needed to be robust and take a discernible position in the crucial and formative days in which revolutions are decided. Instead, he has been more feeble than a 96-year-old in a walker climbing the Matterhorn.
When the spit hit the fan in the Mideast and especially in Libya, a more proactive U.S. president would have tried to influence the situation with a vocal defense of liberty, support for governments that enjoy the consent of the governed, a forceful condemnation of the crimes Gaddafi is perpetrating against his people, a dispatch of more naval assets to the Mediterranean, and an order to the Treasury to freeze the assets of the Libyan government and the Gaddafi family.
Of course, such actions would not have been without risk or cost. But they would have put the United States squarely on the side of an oppressed people against a terrorist-friendly dictator. And would have applied a tourniquet to the hemorrhage.