One of the not ha-ha jokes about Democrats is that they are often more willing to get involved in military actions that have little to no impact on U.S. security or interests. Kosovo, for instance. There has to be a nebulous humanitarian situation – unless it is Rwanda, Darfur (let’s be honest, Bush didn’t have much interest, either), or, say, Iraq. Now we learn, via the Washington Post
President Obama said Thursday that he had ordered plans giving the U.S. military “full capacity to act, potentially rapidly,” in Libya if the situation there deteriorates.
“I don’t want us hamstrung,” Obama said. He cited the possibility of a humanitarian crisis, or “a situation in which defenseless civilians were finding themselves trapped and in great danger,” or “a stalemate that over time could be bloody” if Libyan leader Moammar Gaddafi continues to resist international demands that he step down.
Gaddafi “has lost legitimacy to lead, and he must leave,” the president said.
Fortunately, he says that we would only act after consulting “with the international community.” So, once again, leadership from the United States has gone exit…stage left.
But, wait, doesn’t Libya (or, is that Lybia?) have…..oil? Hmm, Obama might be trying to steal their oil. No blood for oil, no blood for oil!
“The region will be watching carefully to make sure we’re on the right side of history,” Obama said at a White House news conference with visiting Mexican President Felipe Calderon. As with Egypt and Tunisia, he said, U.S. interests were best served if the United States was not seen as engineering or imposing a particular outcome.
I can see Ruth Marcus teeing up another opinion piece about Obama being reactive rather than inspirational, a “Where’s Waldo? president. What Obama seems to be doing is sticking his finger in the wind, and holding it there long after the wind direction has been ascertained.
Now, on the flip side, it is nice that Obama is willing to at least consider the possibility that he might be interested in maybe getting involved militarily in Libya. Let’s face it, what happens there can have a huge impact on the US in the form of high gas prices, which raise the price of everything else. Personally, I do not want the American military ordered in there willy nilly, and I would say the same with a Republican president. The big question is, if the time comes when the US military must take action, will Obama send them in too-sweet, or vacillate and look towards the polls? And will all the “we hate war” Liberals denounce him as a warmonger? Will they, having heard his words about maybe sort of possibly allowing military action, get out in the streets and demand no action?