Friday, March 25, 2011

A complete muddle

Charles Krauthammer is one of the most intelligent American commentators. This piece on the Libyan imbroglio details the mess from the American point of view. It all looked so good on paper, you see
And as for the United States, who knows what American policy is. Administration officials insist we are not trying to bring down Gaddafi, even as the president insists that he must go. Although on Tuesday Obama did add “unless he changes his approach.” Approach, mind you.

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.

A man who dithers over parchment. Who starts a war from which he wants out right away. Good God. If you go to take Vienna, take Vienna. If you’re not prepared to do so, better then to stay home and do nothing.
And what of our own Boy-King and the embarrassments we have for Foreign Secretary and Defence Secretary?


  1. How about this from Malcolm Rifkind

    He is on the Intelligence and Securiy Committee which really fills me with confidence.

  2. As his name is Barack Hussein, what can you expect?

  3. Arming the insurgents may not be such a bad idea. I seem to recall Rifkind was in favour of arms embargo when the Bosnians were fighting to create an independent state that they had voted for in a referendum supervised by the EU. Some lack of logic there. But actual armed intervention on our part is another story altogether. I am not against all armed intervention but there has to be a plan and a reason for it. And an obvious aim. Not this muddle.