Obama is too busy with his March Madness bracket to take a stand on the uprising

Discussion in 'Politics' started by phenomena, Mar 18, 2011.

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    While President Obama has been busy focused on filling out his March Madness college basketball brackets on television here at home, there is a global version of March madness sweeping the Middle East, most seriously in Libya, whose violent uprising affects not only our own interests - namely, oil - but the security of our allies in that region.

    There is no question that the Libyan crisis is a thorny one, but it's been weeks since the rebels began their mission to overthrow their dictator, Moammar Khadafy, and since then the U.S. has either sat on its hands or sent mixed messages - a strategy that has resulted in no real message at all.

    On the one hand, President Obama has said on several occasions now that Khadafy should step down, but the tyrant has given no indication at all that he will do so, especially as rebel forces are being pushed back. At the same time, America has made clear that it is not very interested in the kind of military effort that would remove him.

    We also have a UN Security Council resolution calling for an International Criminal Court investigation into Khadafy. At the same time, Obama has asked the Defense Department to examine all options (this includes a no-fly zone, which technically would require a military presence), but no movement on this front has been made. Khadafy is only strengthened by this sort of hand-wringing, while the rebels lose ground.

    In fact, National Intelligence Director James Clapper took major heat last week for admitting in front of the Senate Armed Services Committee that Khadafy, in the long term, "will prevail."

    Although Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham was so outraged that he called for his resignation, Clapper was right: Khadafy has modern weapons, he is retaking territory every day, he controls the skies, he has tons of money and the military has generally stayed loyal. He has every advantage and will win without any U.S. or international coalition pressure that includes real action, like crippling sanctions or military actions.

    It's time for Obama pick a side. If he wants Khadafy out, like he claims he does, he should side with the rebels. He should stress that they are the greatest hope for overthrowing an enemy of the U.S. who has killed Americans through terrorism, most notoriously the Lockerbie bombing.

    He could say something like, "The United States of America will not allow Col. Khadafy to prevail against his own people," backing up his words by sending, with NATO's complete cooperation, aircraft carriers to the region. That should get the dictator packing his bags for, say, Venezuela.

    Or, if he truly does not want the U.S. involved in this conflict, then he needs to plainly - and loudly - articulate his reasoning to the public. He could reiterate that not one American soldier is going to die for Libya, that he's seen enough flag-draped coffins during his presidency.

    At the same time, he could assure the world that even if Khadafy wins this fight, over the long term we will contain and isolate him, call out his human rights record and prevent him from threatening his neighbors or supporting terrorism - but we are already in two wars and that he doesn't want a third.

    I am certain that the American people, who crave decisive leadership above all, would support either of the above options, but both stances require leadership, which is not a trait often found in the law school faculty lounge.

    For now, it appears that Obama does not know what to say and seems to suffer from leadership paralysis. He is not guided by U.S. interests or any discernible strategy - in Libya or the entire Middle East. The Obama doctrine is one part ambivalence, two parts inaction - a recipe for a world where a weakened United States is just an average seat at the table. He is, as in his beloved basketball, simply running out the clock.

    Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/opinions...ke_a_stand_on_the_uprising.html#ixzz1GwQrhnAZ
  2. President Obama has said on several occasions now that Khadafy should step down

    Obama should say pretty please, then beg, if that doesn't work, Obama should give us some golfing tips or write another book.

    Bush knew what to do with Saddam.


    Ya know, it's almost like the media is trying to motivate Obama.

    Motivation comes within from a leader, not from a bunch of lameasses pushing him into doing something.

    Anatomy of failure is fear of decision.
  3. Oh Man, that's a funny picture, and right on point as to the direction our government is going.