Rehashing thoughts on Libya

Greetings, loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader knows that his readers (such as there remain) are a thoughtful and well-read bunch. So he doesn’t plan on rehashing lots of things you’ve probably read from other sources, but he does plan on touching on a few items.

To begin, your Maximum Leader has to thank loyal minion Huck Foley for pointing out an old post that does seem to be becoming more and more true with each passing day. (See: This pithily titled post.) Now that the President has decided to intervene in the Libyan civil war, and has decided to do so without Congress having a say in the action, he does seem to be really annoying his base. Indeed, he seems to be continually disappointing his base in so many ways… If one were particularly uncharitable to the President, one could almost say that he is becoming more similar to his immediate predecessor.

So, can anyone remember a military action for which our military leaders were more frank about how unprepared we are for conducting the operation? Did Defense Secty Gates say that it is going to take a few days to figure out what the plan is? Did your Maximum Leader imagine that comment? Aren’t the various service chiefs all giving sometimes conflicting answers to reporters who are asking about our mission goals? This doesn’t seem to bode very well for everything going smoothly.

Your Maximum Leader still can’t figure out what exactly the aims of the powers involved in enforcing the Libyan no-fly zone are? (Frankly he’s not entirely sure the total number of powers involved in the operation.) We don’t seem to be looking to kill or depose Colonel Ghadaffy. We don’t seem to be providing air support for the rebels. We seem to be freezing in place the situation on the ground. Is that a viable goal? It doesn’t seem to be, unless the next stage of the plan is to start providing arms and training to the rebels in the west of Libya and prepare them for taking their country by themselves (a situation that will no occur on its own).

As your Maximum Leader has said before, he’s normally all for a vigorous US foreign policy. He understands that force can often be a component of that foreign policy. But he’ll admit he is a little gun-shy now. He thought Iraq was a justified experiment in regime change that could reap great benefits. With the benefit of hind-sight, your Maximum Leader sees that we screwed the pooch on executing our goals in Iraq. In retrospect, your Maximum Leader would have wanted a lot more thought and contingency planning before invading Iraq. (Frankly, your Maximum Leader assumed that the good people in the Pentagon and State Department had done a lot more thinking and planning for the Iraqi operation. Again, in retrospect, that planning was very thin and often based on flimsy and wrongheaded assumptions.) In the Libya operation it will be hard to screw the pooch in the execution of our goals if no one knows what the goals are in the first place. Other than blowing things up there doesn’t seem to be much of a goal.

So what of President Obama in all this?

Well… Your Maximum Leader’s low opinion of the President’s competency in most matters has diminished further. He doesn’t seem to particularly engaged in what is going on. By this your Maximum Leader is definately not being critical of the President being in South and Central America while military operations have started. Any President can monitor military operations from anywhere in the world. The problem is more that the President doesn’t appear to be in charge of his administration. The military option in Libya seems to be the brainchild of Hilary Clinton. She appears to have a bigger set of balls than the President does. (NB: Didn’t we all sort of know that already.) Sadly the Secretary of Defense didn’t seem to be the last person to speak to the President before the President declared that he was for the US enforcing the no-fly zone.

This all seems to be one more case of President Obama not having what it takes to lead. He didn’t lead when he held strong majorities in both Houses of Congress for the first two years of his administration. He let Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi do the leading and driving of the agenda. He helped a little bit at the end for Healthcare. But that is it. Now he doesn’t seem to be leading in foreign policy. It is almost like he is just out there “doing the job” of President of the United States, but not really “being” the President of the United States.

Your Maximum Leader wonders if Mr. Obama is overwhelmed by the scope of his job. So overwhelmed that he can’t focus on any part of it effectively.

At any rate… President Obama does seem to be iliciting strong feelings of distain from his political opponents as well as his friends.

Carry on.

1 Comment »
Huck Foley, groveling minion said:

“If one were particularly uncharitable to the President, one could almost say that he is becoming more similar to his immediate predecessor.”

I’m ready to see the phrase “He out-Bushed Bush (!!)” get into widespread circulation. I drop it into every conversation, along with “quagmire,” “war for oil,” and especially “chickenhawk.”
These times, they are exciting ones!



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