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April 2, 2011
Bombing both sides?
Barack Obama, they told us, and keep telling us, is so very nuanced.
Well, seems to me that his idea of how to conduct our operations in Libya is so nuanced that we may well soon be bombing both sides.
Sure, you're probably saying to yourself: "If we're bombing Muammar Gadddafi's Libya, what's not to like?" and "Hey, if Obama has decided to attack one of our enemies rather than undermine one of our allies, could there be hope he's changing?
But is there any reason to believe his decision-making in connection with the situation in Libya is part of a rational scheme, a plan, the dawn of an Obama Doctrine? Certainly not that anyone else can seem to detect. Or that he can explain.
Sorry, talking about Obama and foreign affairs is like talking about the weather. You know, you talk about it and that's pretty much it. Obama can't seem to do anything right about foreign policy any more than he can do anything at all about the weather. He's clearly prefers to just watch things unfold like the rest of us do. He does seem to like to comment about it occasionally, but, of course, not as much as he likes talking about, say, basketball. And the media gives him a pass.
There is no real thought process at work here. Things just happen. Things get said -- often opposite things one day to the next, just like some weather forecast.
Now I am not suggesting that Obama has it easy here. It is probably difficult for him trying to guess what the "international community" would really like for him to do. Two weeks ago it was wrong to intervene in Libya. Now it is right to bomb the place. "Gaddafi has to go," Obama declares one day. Another day he says we are not trying to achieve "regime change." Never does tell us the magic formula he has in mind that doesn't change the Gaddafi regime and yet Gaddafi goes. Clearly what he things the situation calls for is non-change we can believe in. At least he isn't talking about hope.
About one thing Obama is very clear. He is not even thinking about returning that Nobel Peace Prize that he received for being anti-war and hoping for peace. Isn't it brilliant how he ended this war so fast just by declaring that it was not really a war but rather something else whose exact meaning no one could figure out?
They should have called Obama's non-war in Libya "Operation Rorschach Test" -- because I guess I'm not looking at it right. But, then, neither is he.
Remember that Hillary Clinton for President campaign ad that suggested it would be a good idea to have a President who might have the faintest idea what to do if the President's phone rang at 3AM and he had to make a decision involving an issue of great importance to America?
That question about who we want answering that 3AM call was a good one.
The clear lesson of the events of recent weeks should be obvious: Barrack Obama is not yet up to handling even one of those 3 PM phone calls -- not if it's about anything really important to the country.
James Eckert is an attorney in Rochester, NY.