Home > Obama administration, World News > The ties that bind in Libya

The ties that bind in Libya

The Obama administration has painted itself into a bit of a corner:

[T]he State Department and the Pentagon have been adopting positions that would make intervention to change that military balance difficult, if not virtually impossible. On Monday, State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley said an arms embargo included in the U.N. resolution meant that “it’s a violation for any country to provide arms to anyone in Libya,” including the rebels. On Tuesday Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said that “it’s very important that there be a U.N. decision on whatever might be done,” including imposing a no-fly zone. […]

It’s beginning to look as if what Mr. Obama has “engineered” is a situation in which the United States and its closest allies have declared that a dictator must go “as quickly as possible” – and have not only constrained themselves from ensuring that outcome but are actively hindering it by refusing to provide arms to the opposition. So far the United States has not even recognized the opposition administration set up in Benghazi – even though the White House has said repeatedly that Mr. Gaddafi’s regime is no longer legitimate.

Mr. Obama, who skipped a meeting of his top aides on Libya Wednesday, may hope that the Libyan rebels will defeat the Gaddafi forces without outside help – or that other Western governments will provide the leadership that he is shunning. Meetings of NATO, the European Union and the Arab League in the next several days may produce decisions that loosen the straitjacket the administration has applied to itself. If not, the world will watch as Mr. Gaddafi continues to massacre his people, while an American president who said that he must go fails to implement any strategy for making that happen.

I’m not sure that the United States has any reason to interfere in a Libyan civil war, especially one that would warrant military intervention, unilaterally or otherwise.  The problem is that as soon as the President made it the position of the United States that Qaddafi needed to go, he needs to back that up.  The Libyan revolt began while the Mubarak regime closed up shop in Egypt, and I can only assume that team Obama felt that Qaddafi would leave just as easily, as the protests grew.

If that’s the case, the Obama administration is just as inept and clueless as previously feared, and probably even more so.

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