Did Obama Forget to Have a Gaddafi Meeting 'Without Preconditions'?

Of all the disturbing and problematic aspects of Obama's post-American military odyssey, what fascinates me is that Obama would rush to half-hearted war with Moammar Gaddafi -- of all people.

After seeing the dreadful force of the U.S. military unleashed on his fellow ruthless dictator Saddam Hussein, Gaddafi was crying uncle before George W. Bush could twist his wrist.  In December of 2003, Col. Gaddafi announced to the world that he would be voluntarily abandoning his nuclear weapons program.  "Libya has said it will give up its programmes for developing weapons of mass destruction and allow unconditional inspections," reported BBC News in 2003.

Gaddafi was no Saddam Hussein in the stubbornness department.  The colonel saw the light rather quickly and became an instant convert in support of democratic nation-building.  The Libyan dictator assured Tony Blair and Bush that he wanted to be a partner in making the world a safer place.

In Gaddafi's willingness to have "unconditional" inspections of his facilities and Barack Obama's willingness during the 2008 campaign to sit down with dictators "without preconditions," we see a perfect match.

As crazy as it sounds, Obama's greenhorn idea of meeting with dictators without preconditions might have actually worked in the case of Moammar Gaddafi.

Obama already had connections to Gaddafi via his former pastor, Jeremiah Wright, and Louis Farrakhan.  Rev. Wright and Farrakhan had traveled together in 1984 to meet with Gaddafi in Tripoli.  And Obama reportedly attended Farrakhan's Million Man March with Wright.  Surely, the four men could have sat down together and hammered things out over some Turkish coffee.

Prior to launching a military attack without the authorization (or even knowledge) of Congress, Obama could have negotiated with Gaddafi -- except maybe with a couple of preconditions.  We were told that the tripartite wonder of Obama's Muslim background, brilliance, and charm would work wonders in certain foreign policy ambits -- but we've yet to see any benefits accrue.

Mr. Obama might have missed his big diplomatic moment to work the magic his disillusioned fans have been waiting for since the failed Olympics bid.

From Gaddafi's perspective, he and Obama were on brotherly terms.  In a recent letter to Obama, Gaddafi called Obama his "son" and expressed his loving affections (for some reason I can't see Moammar calling any other U.S. president his son).  Gaddafi also sent a message to other U.N. leaders:

The tone of the messages was markedly different. The one to President Obama stuck a consolatory tone, while the other was more aggressive - accusing David Cameron, Nicholas Sarkozy and the Ban ki-Moon of meddling in Libyan affairs.

Obama waited a full week into the unrest before even mentioning Gaddafi's name.  And when Obama did speak out, he did so in general, ambiguous terms.  Then, out of the blue, Obama was calling for Gaddafi to step down and agreeing with Sarkozy's no-fly-zone, and without warning, the USS Barry was firing Tomahawks at the dictator's compounds.

Some "son" Obama proved to be.  In light of Obama's campaign promise to negotiate with dictators, he could have at least warned his father that Sarkozy was serious.

Obama had a unique opportunity for diplomacy, but he did a 180 without rhyme or reason.  Maybe the stresses of entertaining, vacationing, golfing, basketball brackets, and life-and-death decisions were just too much.

If Obama had attempted diplomacy and failed, he then could have tried to get the approval of Congress to launch a full-on invasion.  Only troops on the ground would achieve Obama's objective anyway -- whatever that is.  Whether Obama's objective is to protect the opposition forces or to remove Gaddafi or both, an on-the-ground military presence realistically would be required.  But considering that Libya poses no threat to the U.S., direct or otherwise, I sort of doubt that Congress would have consented.

That's probably why Obama decided to go it alone (with foreign authorization only).  By contrast, the military action in Iraq was authorized by Congress and involved twice as many foreign coalition partners as the Libya coalition.

In rushing into a military attack operation without any real attempt at diplomacy and without the authorization of Congress, one has to wonder what Obama was thinking.

Of course, the worst of all possible scenarios materialized: Obama surrendered U.S. military sovereignty to a U.N. committee and telegraphed to Gaddafi that no clear goal exists, no troops will be sent into Libya, and the bombing operation will end quickly.  Even Gaddafi is not likely to become weak-kneed under that scenario.

The only one likely to get weak-kneed is Obama in trying to spin or redeem his impulsive, sovereignty-yielding war decision -- especially if the Russians decide to assist Gaddafi in the fight.

Whether we're talking about rising employment, skyrocketing health care and gas prices, or post-American foreign policy, Obama seems to have a knack for achieving the worst possible outcome for America.
Of all the disturbing and problematic aspects of Obama's post-American military odyssey, what fascinates me is that Obama would rush to half-hearted war with Moammar Gaddafi -- of all people.

After seeing the dreadful force of the U.S. military unleashed on his fellow ruthless dictator Saddam Hussein, Gaddafi was crying uncle before George W. Bush could twist his wrist.  In December of 2003, Col. Gaddafi announced to the world that he would be voluntarily abandoning his nuclear weapons program.  "Libya has said it will give up its programmes for developing weapons of mass destruction and allow unconditional inspections," reported BBC News in 2003.

Gaddafi was no Saddam Hussein in the stubbornness department.  The colonel saw the light rather quickly and became an instant convert in support of democratic nation-building.  The Libyan dictator assured Tony Blair and Bush that he wanted to be a partner in making the world a safer place.

In Gaddafi's willingness to have "unconditional" inspections of his facilities and Barack Obama's willingness during the 2008 campaign to sit down with dictators "without preconditions," we see a perfect match.

As crazy as it sounds, Obama's greenhorn idea of meeting with dictators without preconditions might have actually worked in the case of Moammar Gaddafi.

Obama already had connections to Gaddafi via his former pastor, Jeremiah Wright, and Louis Farrakhan.  Rev. Wright and Farrakhan had traveled together in 1984 to meet with Gaddafi in Tripoli.  And Obama reportedly attended Farrakhan's Million Man March with Wright.  Surely, the four men could have sat down together and hammered things out over some Turkish coffee.

Prior to launching a military attack without the authorization (or even knowledge) of Congress, Obama could have negotiated with Gaddafi -- except maybe with a couple of preconditions.  We were told that the tripartite wonder of Obama's Muslim background, brilliance, and charm would work wonders in certain foreign policy ambits -- but we've yet to see any benefits accrue.

Mr. Obama might have missed his big diplomatic moment to work the magic his disillusioned fans have been waiting for since the failed Olympics bid.

From Gaddafi's perspective, he and Obama were on brotherly terms.  In a recent letter to Obama, Gaddafi called Obama his "son" and expressed his loving affections (for some reason I can't see Moammar calling any other U.S. president his son).  Gaddafi also sent a message to other U.N. leaders:

The tone of the messages was markedly different. The one to President Obama stuck a consolatory tone, while the other was more aggressive - accusing David Cameron, Nicholas Sarkozy and the Ban ki-Moon of meddling in Libyan affairs.

Obama waited a full week into the unrest before even mentioning Gaddafi's name.  And when Obama did speak out, he did so in general, ambiguous terms.  Then, out of the blue, Obama was calling for Gaddafi to step down and agreeing with Sarkozy's no-fly-zone, and without warning, the USS Barry was firing Tomahawks at the dictator's compounds.

Some "son" Obama proved to be.  In light of Obama's campaign promise to negotiate with dictators, he could have at least warned his father that Sarkozy was serious.

Obama had a unique opportunity for diplomacy, but he did a 180 without rhyme or reason.  Maybe the stresses of entertaining, vacationing, golfing, basketball brackets, and life-and-death decisions were just too much.

If Obama had attempted diplomacy and failed, he then could have tried to get the approval of Congress to launch a full-on invasion.  Only troops on the ground would achieve Obama's objective anyway -- whatever that is.  Whether Obama's objective is to protect the opposition forces or to remove Gaddafi or both, an on-the-ground military presence realistically would be required.  But considering that Libya poses no threat to the U.S., direct or otherwise, I sort of doubt that Congress would have consented.

That's probably why Obama decided to go it alone (with foreign authorization only).  By contrast, the military action in Iraq was authorized by Congress and involved twice as many foreign coalition partners as the Libya coalition.

In rushing into a military attack operation without any real attempt at diplomacy and without the authorization of Congress, one has to wonder what Obama was thinking.

Of course, the worst of all possible scenarios materialized: Obama surrendered U.S. military sovereignty to a U.N. committee and telegraphed to Gaddafi that no clear goal exists, no troops will be sent into Libya, and the bombing operation will end quickly.  Even Gaddafi is not likely to become weak-kneed under that scenario.

The only one likely to get weak-kneed is Obama in trying to spin or redeem his impulsive, sovereignty-yielding war decision -- especially if the Russians decide to assist Gaddafi in the fight.

Whether we're talking about rising employment, skyrocketing health care and gas prices, or post-American foreign policy, Obama seems to have a knack for achieving the worst possible outcome for America.

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