I have been genuinely torn over the issue about a “No-Fly Zone” in Libya. It took me about a week to decide that indeed it was the right thing to do. Now that the deal is done I’m a little concerned with how it was implemented. That might open me up to criticism that nothing Obama does will make me happy. That is not so much a function of my politics as it is the penalty we all are paying for having someone in the White House who doesn’t share our values or reverence for America, its culture and its institutions.
If I had access to the same information that President Obama has at his fingertips I might have acted in a similar manner – but I don’t think so. The news implies that plans were being made last week and certainly that would have been necessary in order to execute Tomahawk strikes and airstrikes. Keep in mind that the uprising in Libya began on 15 February – more than a month before we took action. I would hope that the President had called together advisors to identify options that early, but I doubt it. Certainly the defection of several Libyan diplomats around the world (21 February) and Qaddafi’s call to crush the rebellion (22 February) should have triggered such action – I don’t know. By 5 March there was an identifiable rebel group that we could have at least communicated with and I hope that happened – again I don’t know. My point is that planning and repositioning of military assets should have occurred several weeks before they appear to have.
The most powerful signal that we should have sent was the movement of an aircraft carrier – but that doesn’t appear to have happened. Certainly we are taxed at this moment – but the mobility of ships cannot be overstated in a situation like Libya. Why didn’t we? We will probably never know until someone writes an insider’s expose’ of the Obama administration – but that is no doubt years away. I think that the solution to why is probably in the makeup of the President. He is not about freedom – that isn’t his shtick. The fight of people for freedom doesn’t resonate with Obama the way it did with George Bush. Does anyone doubt for an instant that the US response timeline would have been shorted substantially had George W. Bush been in office? Freedom was in Bush’s DNA, Obama’s DNA runs to government control.
We also might hear some legitimate grousing about how the action was implemented. I’m not at all sure that the American people have been presented the case for intervention and it appears that Congress may not have been consulted either. This isn’t the first thing that Obama has implemented against the clear will of the American people. It will be interesting to see how this plays out. I won’t grouse about the “double standard” but can you imagine being a Code Pink lunatic watching President Perfect slamming Tomahawks into Libya? They are probably wondering what happened to Mr. Hopey-Changey.
I am happy to see British and French planes involved. I will be properly impressed when or if Qaddafi’s Arab neighbors pitch in and help as well.
Now that we are it this thing, we better support the guys and gals who are implementing this action. Hopefully our actions have come in time to help the burgeoning movement in Libya.