I was struck yesterday by the coverage of Colonel Gaddafi's timely demise, in that for at least 6 hours--as I walked by silent TV's on Pentagon walls--it was covered as "breaking news". Can something as final as a death actually "break" for several hours? But--never mind that, on to substance.
David Ignatius has a column in this morning's WaPost in which he gives President Obama much praise for the conduct of the Libya operation. Lauding his coolness, his veiling of things under NATO, his insistence on limited US participation and behind the scenes leadership--Ignatius does a reasonable job of citing what really was a very successful undertaking by the Administration. The President is to be commended for the implementation of this campaign.
That said, there remains the question of whether the US should ever have been involved to the extent it was in the first place. I believe not--this was not our war to lead or fight--it was the Europeans' war, who REALLY have the beef with North African illegal immigration and the thirst for Libyan oil. But because the Euro's have let their military power diminish under the umbrella of US protection, they found themselves unable alone to overturn the regime of even this tinpot dictator. Hence US cruise missiles, drones, and jammers--all of which we brought in numbers early, in order that the Euros could then apply their feckless military to an already hobbled Gaddafi. Oh...it still took another six months to pull it off.
The slope here is a slippery one, and questions as to "if Libya, why not Syria? How about Saudi Arabia? Bahrain?" If the answer is that Gaddafi was a terrorist,well then why did we snuggle up to him three years ago? If the answer is his repression of his own people by denying them the right to self-rule, I commend to you again the rogues gallery of other Arab regimes.
President Obama was right on Libya all the way from B to Z--it was the "A to B" move--to act at all--that was the wrong call.