Saturday, March 19, 2011

Obama finally mans up...sort of

It might be French jets in the skies over Libya, but they are only part of a coalition lead by the US and NATO who are finally acting to blunt Gadafi's murderous warfare against his own people. Naturally, Obama didn't want to hand another PR victory to Al Quaeda by having American planes strike the first blow, though they could have long ago. By spreading the risk around and forcing the Europeans and even the Arab League countries to be part of this operation it leaves the US far less exposed and less on the hook for potential problems down the line. Critics of Obama will criticize absolutely any action he takes no matter what as they always have. If he had intervened they would have preached the virtue of doing exactly what he is doing now, which is coalition building and working with allies. So naturally, now Obama's opponents insist that he should have been more of a cowboy and acted weeks sooner before there were any UN resolutions or public commitments from other countries to help out.

The reality is that if the US had decided to act alone, before others were ready, then this would have removed all the pressure from other countries and their participation would have evaporated. The US should not have to fix all world problems, and we need the rest of the world to get used to that. Europeans will have to act, especially in their own backyard, if they regard the threat as grave enough.

BTW, this conflict is far from over. There are still all kinds of problems, including the potential destruction of huge amounts of oil production infrastructure, which could make the price of gas go through the roof again. I hope that Obama prosecutes price-fixers this time. Bush certainly wouldn't/didn't because he was in bed with them as an oil tycoon himself.

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