Obama’s Own Middle-East War
It’s so obvious that we haven’t even commented on it, really. Glen Reynolds calls attention to this by Niall Ferguson:
The president has been more Hamlet than Macbeth since the beginning of the revolutionary crisis that has swept the desert lands of North Africa and the Middle East. To act or not to act? That has been the question. The results of his indecision have been unhappy. Hosni Mubarak, for so long an American ally, has been overthrown in Egypt. Muammar Gaddafi, the erstwhile sponsor of terrorism so foolishly rehabilitated by the West just four years ago, has—until now—lived to fight another day in Libya. Meanwhile, in Bahrain, another insurrection is being quelled with the help of Saudi Arabia—an American ally even more important than Libya.
Obama, a novice in foreign affairs, is a president without a strategy. Once a critic of American military intervention in the Middle East, once a skeptic about the chances of democratizing the region, he now finds himself with a poisoned chalice in each hand. In one there are the dregs of the last administration’s interventions: military commitments in Iraq and Afghanistan that he is eager to wind down. In the other is a freshly poured draft of his own making…
When told to beware of schadenfreude for the sake of patriotism, Reynolds, who has been indulging in said Germanic thinking, notes:
Watching the people who savaged Bush and called his supporters warmongers and so on now faced with watching the Lightbringer doing basically the same thing, only less competently, is too good a pleasure to forego. Sorry. I hope that things will go well, but I agree with Niall Ferguson that Obama’s dithering has cost us. If we had elected a more competent President, we’d have fewer worries. But people got excited about Obama, and, well, this is what you get when you elect an inexperienced guy with no great interest — or any experience — in international relations.
So far, they’re mostly just watching and not commenting. I guess this foreign policy stuff is kinda tough, after all.
ADDENDUM: Seven Questions For Liberals About Obama’s Libyan War
Where’s King Friday???????
Sheldon!!! Come on, call out your President! Where are you Shellie…the silence is deafening.
Though tragic in its execution, these Middle East revolts will provide for some good comedy as we watch the left separate into its various shades, trying so desperately to act tough, but not so tough as to make the current President be shown to be doing the same thing as our last President.
Oh, and let’s not forget the Army “kill team” during this President’s term. Senator? King Friday? Are you there??????
When will we see your blue blood boiling and call out your warmongering President?
At the risk of beating a dead horse, how’s that switchy-changy thing working out? Sorry for stealing an overused line but this has to be the ultimate slap in the face to the Bush haters. I saw a comment somewhere that said, “Yeah but Iraq was all about oil. This is different.” Keep drinking the Kool-Aid.
I think what we’re doing in Libya right now is exactly the sort of thing we -should- be doing. Preventing the ‘bad guy’ from mowing down civilians who are rebelling against a dictatorship in the name of democracy, even though we’re not entirely sure what democracy will bring.
Iraq was nothing like that. Saddam was basically at a standstill for a decade when Bush decided that it was time to drum up reasons to topple him.
Our chance to do it right in Iraq was back in ’91, when we should have put up similar defenses for the rebellion there, and Baathist atrocities were still ‘fresh’ enough to act on.
Don’t even get me started on Afghanistan, which I think should have been a small special forces-type operation to put Bin Laden in handcuffs combined with diplomats laying down the existential threat to the Taliban if they interfered.
“King Friday? Are you there??????”
You may address me as Your Most Royal Highness.
This is a democrat president, I presume. I have every confidence in the merit of his decision.
mangeek comment is a thoughtful response to this post. The others.. political refuse that someone has to sweep up of the street.
As if David S were the arbiter of comment quality here or anywhere else…