President Obama is warning Libyan dictator Qaddafi to “fully comply” with a new U.N. resolution that calls for him to cease fire against rebels or ….
This is a president who has apologized to the entire world for past use of American military force. Why should anybody listen to him now? Least of all, some thug who cares nothing for American apologies, and sees them only as weakness?
“Let me be clear, these terms are not negotiable,” thundered Obama, the newfound enemy of dictatorship and defender of individual rights throughout the world. This is the man who “negotiated” an arms reduction treaty with Russia completely on their terms, and with little pretense of verification. This is a man who is cutting spending for defense and lowering morale for the military by sending them into combat telling them they’ll be withdrawn on a definite timetable. Imagine if George Washington had done this. Imagine if Washington had said at the outset of the American Revolution, “My troops will fight until 1779 — no later. Then they’re going home, no matter what.” How differently would that war have gone? And what if Allied leaders in World War II had handled Hitler, Mussolini and Japan in this way?
Obama thinks it’s in his — and America’s — favor to have the French government (verbally) on his side regarding Libya. But France is the country that opposed the American invasion of Iraq on principle, claiming that a free country has no right to topple a dictatorship. Obama has made the same claim before becoming President, and since. If America has no right to topple a dictator in Iraq, then what business does it have opposing one now?
The contradictions are everywhere in American foreign policy. On the one hand, Obama says we’re not going to use force in Libya. OK, fine. A lot of Americans probably agree with not going to war on behalf of Libya. But what’s the point of taking a stand if you’re not prepared to back it up? And when you openly acknowledge your lack of willingness to do so? On the same day, Obama’s own Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, said, “We are going to be not responsive or impressed by words, we have to see actions on the ground and that is not yet at all clear.” OK, again. Actions matter, not merely words. But won’t Qaddafi be equally unimpressed with words bereft of action? A cartoon character has more meaning than a U.N. resolution.
In recent years, Libya’s Qaddafi has been less of an enemy to the United States than it has in the past, and compared to other nations in that part of the world such as Iran and Syria. But that’s not saying much. Nations like Iran want to blow up America’s only ally in that part of the world, and the United States itself before too long. Next to Iran, anyone seems like a friend. If only Obama exhibited one-tenth of the verbal opposition to Iran that he now exhibits against Libya, things might be a little more secure than they are.
In any dysfunctional situation, the key question is always to ask: “What’s being ignored? What’s not being talked about?” In dysfunctional families, it’s called the elephant in the living room — the thing that’s there, but nobody in charge will ever mention. In the case of Libya, and elsewhere in the Middle East, it’s the oil. The Obama administration wants to act as if the Middle East does not matter, strategically or economically. The fact is, it matters a lot. Most of the oil upon which civilization as we know it depends comes from that part of the world. Obama has more or less shut down oil production anywhere near the United States, and the price of gas has already gone up because of that. The United States has no interest in choosing governments for Middle Eastern societies, but it does have every interest in asserting its right to produce oil in countries that are run by nasty little dictatorships. Obama ignores all of this, and appears to think American interests should not matter.
What really matters to America is not whether Qaddafi stays in power. Of course a democratic republic which respects individual rights would be good not only for Libya, but for the United States as well. We all know that isn’t going to happen. Given this fact, the U.S. would be best to do exactly what Obama has not been doing these last two years: Drill for oil elsewhere. This would not only increase the supply of oil (and lower prices) throughout the U.S., but it would also hinder the dictatorships of the Middle East, Libya included, who depend on this unearned loot in order to hold on to the power they have.
Liberals like Obama hate the idea of coddling up to dictatorships for the sake of oil, but they equally hate the idea of hurting these dictatorships by increasing the supply of oil via drilling elsewhere. Why is this? No answer is given because the topic is never raised or discussed. The only possible answer is that something other than the best interests of the United States is what motivates politicians such as Obama.
Obama and his remaining supporters are loving the fact that he gets to look like, and go through the motions, of being a world leader. None of this changes the fact that Obama’s policies are foolish in the extreme. His predecessor George W. Bush was considered by some to be too warlike and aggressive. Bush’s problem was that he chose the wrong battles, and apologized for them once he fought them. American security eroded under Bush, but it’s collapsing under Obama.
As in the Jimmy Carter years, we’re going to wake up one day and learn of a disaster, or perhaps a series of them, that in hindsight could have been prevented by the exertion of American strength. The pretentious apologies of Obama for America’s prior self-assertiveness and greatness have done us no good. The Middle East is rapidly destabilizing under Obama’s watch, and it’s not because of any movement towards liberty, individualism and freedom.