President Obama’s decision to have the United States intervene militarily in Libya as part of a United Nations coalition whose professed aim is to remove Libyan strongman Muammar Gaddafi from power is not in the best interests of the U.S. and was made for political reasons. It was made because he wants to get elected to a second term in 2012 and sees bombing Libya as a means of helping him do so, not because of any abiding need on the part of America.
Libya posed no strategic or economic threat to the United States prior to this intervention. No matter how the situation plays out now the U.S. made another enemy when it really didn’t have to in a part of the world where it needs all the friends it can get. The Russians and Chinese, who are not participating in the U.N. exercize, must be laughing their heads off.
If Gaddafi survives his emnity for America will know no bounds and he will do everything he can to harm the United States, militarily, economically and through sponsoring terror in any number of ways. There is every likelihood that he will survive too because the imposition of a no-fly zone and surgical air strikes won’t be enough to bring him down. Boots on the ground are needed for that and no country is willing to send its soldiers on a mission to drive him out of office. If on the other hand he doesn’t survive for some reason he will almost assuredly be replaced by Islamists who see the U.S. as their mortal enemy and who would do everything they can to bring it to its knees. Benghazi is crawling with these people and the damage they could inflict is considersable, especially since right next door Egypt is about to be taken over by Islamists and the Libyans would collaborate with them. Whether Gaddafi stays or goes now is irrelevant. Either way America has another enemy in Libya and a formidable one at that.
Gaddafi was keeping the Islamists at bay in Libya and Mubarak was doing the same in Egypt. Obama should have understood that and left well enough alone. He should also have understood what their replacements would be like and what this would mean for the United States.
Nothing good, that’s for sure.
So why did he do it? Why did he authorize the U.S. Air Force and Navy to bomb Libya? I think he did understand and went ahead anyway for political reasons. He is being heaviliy criticized on all sides for his inadequate response to Islamic terror in America and he knows that this is an issue that could very well cost him the Presidential election next year, or even his parties nomination for President. He has also been accused of being an Islamist himself and of currying favor with the Islamic world at the expense of the United States and the West. Bombing Libya allows him to refute these accusations in some small measure, at relatively little cost. He’s doing it to gain votes, to stay in office, that’s why he’s doing it. That’s also why he won’t authorize the U.S. military to intervene in Saudi Arabia or Bahrain regardless of how much the regimes in those countries repress their people or how cruel they are and no matter how large demonstrations and protests become. America needs Saudi Arabia and Saudi Arabia wants the government in Bahrain to stay in power so he won’t do anything to anger either one of them because it could ultimately cost him votes. His thinking is that Libya and Egypt won’t but those two could.
As for intervening in Iran or Syria (two other countries in the Middle East where anti-government riots are taking place) or supporting Israel either when she is attacked or carries out preemptive measures of her own…forget any of that unless its politically expedient.
Personally, I think he miscalculated because aside from anything else tying himself to the United Nations and refusing to act unilaterally is not something voters will appreciate. It makes him look weak and subservient rather than strong and independent and will raise questions in their minds about whether or not he would act unilaterally if the U.S. itself was attacked. If someone committed an act of war against America, especially in the American homeland, would he respond immediately or would he wait on the United Nations, effectively ceding sovereignty to the U.N.? That’s something voters will now be conscious of.
Nevertheless, we are burdened with a cynical, callous, cold, calculating President who will do anything to win in 2012. Principles and people be damned, if he thinks something will help him get elected he’ll do it no matter how questionable and objectionable it is and if he doesn’t think something will help him get elected he won’t do it no matter how compelling the reasons are.
Say what you want about George Bush but he never bombed another country to manipulate the electorate and convince Americans to vote for him. In President Bush’s mind some things weren’t election issues. In President Obama’s mind everything is.
Remember that when you vote in the next Presidential election.