The Arab League has already semi-bailed after one day. Gaddafi has not yet surrendered. There is talk of terror attacks from a new insurgency (not the CIA insurgency fighting for freedom now), and our bombs are creating civilian casualties. Even talk of impeachment. The future is hard to know, and land sakes, Libya was actually helping us fight al Qaeda.
No matter what happens tomorrow, today it's clearly a quagmire, and this war is lost. President Hillary has some splainin' to do!
THE UGLY TRUTH 3/21/11
Let's be brutally honest--this whole Libya thing has nearly everyone's head spinning: left and right, socialist and capitalist, thug and academic, moderate Muslim and AQ. The only groups with relatively unflinching positions are the internationalists, neocons, and libertarian-isolationists. The trick has been figuring out where Obama would come down. His normal tendency to hang back floating over events waiting for shoes to drop so he could be on the correct side had finally caught up to him with the reality of dead rebels.
Yet as Waldo was dithering, the right--including yours truly--bashed him for filling out basketball brackets and giving talks on bullying allowing Q'daffy to regain all the gains of the "rebels" (in scare quotes because we know as much about who they are as we do about Obama's background, which is part of the problem). It looked as if he might even drift into the libertarian isolationsit camp until suddenly the internationalists persuaded him to reverse course somehow. Someone at Time Mag thinks he did it to promote the New World Order Kosovo concept, which if true would propel his image out of the isolationist camp faster than a French bullet train.
Yet he finally gave the orders, which provided an almost instant conundrum for the righties who were bashing him (like Sarah Palin). Personally, my criticism was more about the indecision and what it signaled to our allies and the enemy but, yeah. He stills deserves criticism for engaging the way he did, without coming to either Congress or the American people first (which seems to fall in line with the Time Mag theory) but he's no longer dithering. If we care about the people of Libya then we should be glad he finally acted, if that was the criticism.
That doesn't absolve him of all, though. Any president of the past would have canceled a foreign visit upon sending an order to send troops into harm's way; that Obama didn't is almost unfathomable. Imagine Bush sending 150 cruise missiles into some Muslim country while on 'vacation' somewhere. Dollars to doughnuts Obama purposely left the country to further lessen his (and America's) importance here. In other words, "it's the UN's deal, we're just assisting, so what's all the fuss?" As Time says--leading from the rear.
As usual he's too clever by half if yahoos on the internet and Time Mag can figure it out.
But back to righties. It's highly hypocritical to criticize engagement after criticizing a lack of engagement. The commander-in-chief has a right to use the military and really shouldn't need a congressional or UN approval stamp. There's a remedy for abuse--impeachment. Next to Saddam this little fruitcake was one of the worst Arab tyrants and the military is engaged in trying to get rid him, which should leave the world and region better off in the long run. I'm behind the troops and thinking of all the air disaster victims in hoping his Daffiness makes a quick exit, perhaps into the desert dust. "Days not weeks" sounds good.
As to the left it's easy--nobody who criticized George W. Bush for going into Iraq has any intellectual integrity if they enthusiastically get behind this move. On the contrary, unless there's something classified we don't know about, Libya did not pose a direct threat to national security as Saddam did after 9/11 because we KNOW he doesn't have a WMD program going in.