Obama’s Own Middle-East War
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