The great tragdy that is unfolding in Libya is a tragedy foretold by many keen and dispassionate observers.
See also The Trenchant Observer, “Libya — ‘All necessary measures’”, March 29, 2011.
The debacle follows brilliant diplomacy to get Security Council Resolution 1973 adopted without a Chinese or Rusian veto, which was a great achievement not only for France and Britain and, however reluctantly, the United States, but also for the international community.
What has happened since, since President Obama applied a highly intellectual abstraction to the brutal facts on the ground–leaving NATO leaderless, dodging responsibility for the thousands of civilians who have already died since the demonstrations began, is nothing short of a debacle.
It is Obama’s debacle.
As we suggested in a recent post, the only arguments Obama seems to understand these days are electoral arguments. Libya just might provide one–an extremely powerful argument for Republicans to make to the effect that Obama committed American forces, failed to lead, and is responsible for the disaster that has occurred.
Nixon spoke of “ä pitiful helpless giant”. I never thought I would quote Nixon in this regard, but surely Republicans will.
The 82nd Airborne Division could take down Qaddafi in a week.
But for Obama, who likes to say “all cards are on the table” when he is acting in his rhetorical realm, the most important cards for Libya are now missing from the deck.
Historians may write that this dramatic foreign policy failure, where the Commander in Chief appears to be absent from the scene, not only led to the countless deaths of innocent civilians in Libya, but also to the foundering of the Atlantic Alliance.
Where was President Obama when Zawiyah fell? Is he watching the events in Misurata? What would it take to move him?
The Trenchant Observer
Tags: Atlantic Alliance, debacle, electoral argument, foundering, France, Great Briatain, Libia, Libya, Libye, Misurata, NATO, Nixon, Obama, pitiful helpless giant, Republicans, Resolution 1973, struggle for democracy, Zawiyah