On Thursday, the U.N. Security Council authorized a no-fly zone and potential military strikes to stop Col. Gaddafi from killing his own people. And in response, Libya declared an immediate halt to military action against the rebels. Yet, at the same time, Reuters is reporting that “twenty-five people, including several children, were killed during heavy bombardments by forces loyal to Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi on the western city of Misrata on Friday.”
I’m not sure what to make of the strike in Misrata, but I’m pretty sure that Gaddafi will soon stop his military operations against the rebels, now that the U.S. is involved.
Still, I feel that this is too little, too late (and I hate that phrase by the way).
Earlier action by Obama could have ended the bloodshed with relatively little effort. Instead, thousands of Libyans are dead, the U.S. looks like a weak, declining superpower, and Gaddafi may still find a way to remain in control. Look, I don’t like the idea of America getting involved in every single international squabble, and at this point, well into the fighting, I don’t necessarily like America putting military assets as risk, but what is happening in Libya is not your ordinary squabble. Has the U.S. responded earlier, when the rebels had the advantage, this could have ended quickly. Now, not so much.
Obama had two choices: stand up for the people of Libya, or state from the get-go (I hate that phrase too) that America would not get involved in a Libyan dispute. After all, what difference does it make to America if Libyans keep killing each other? Should America care, if in the course of a civil war, hundreds if not thousands of innocents are killed, simply because Gaddafi is a nutjob?
And although Gaddafi is a pretty evil dude (he has been for decades), the rebels aren’t necessarily that great either. Some have ties to terrorist groups, and they appear to be more thug than freedom-fighter. But I’d take a new terrorist-loving thug over the current terrorist-loving thug any day. At least we could work with the new guy.
Some complain that the rebels are anti-American. Well, maybe if Obama supported them just a little bit, instead of golfing and televising his March Madness bracket (in a self-indulgent ESPN special titled “Baracketology”), maybe they wouldn’t hate America so much.
Obama has proven that he’s not a leader. If he was a true leader, he would have stood up for the Libyan people or stated clearly that it wasn’t any of America’s business. Instead, a muddled message came from the Oval Office. Unfortunately, Obama’s indecision has rubbed off on me, and now I can’t even make up my mind! But it’s not my job, it’s his!
Here’s the thing: Even if it isn’t too late for Libya, it’s too late for Obama’s Presidency. He could still win reelection, but he will go down in history as the President afraid to lead.