There has been mounting criticism from all but the few supporters of the Obama administration about the slow to non-existent reaction of Obama to events in the middle east. While quick to condemn our democratic Israeli allies, Obama barely pays lip service to the struggles of many thousands of protestors in several dictator run countries. How can such a president be so slow to react?
Well, any president relying on the Associated Press for their intelligence (pun intended) has a problem. Consider this headline from the AP –
That’s right. In a country with openly armed conflict between forces loyal to the government and those advocating an overthrow, both forces which include current members of the military, both forces controling seperate cities and areas, the AP is concerned that a civil war may break out at any time! Laughably, the AP (like our president) is a day late and a dollar short.
The article goes on to mention that the US president is considering a no-fly zone, something Defense Secretary Gates seemed to rule out. Gates claimed that even an aircraft carrier in the region wasn’t enough, perhaps purposefully forgetting that NATO airfields are as close as Italy, and an appeal to NATO would be a good start. (Frankly, given the size of Libya’s airforce – which likely matches the sales figures for the Chevy Volt [under 300 over the last year] – I think an aircraft carrier would be a good start).
The British sent in C-130 aircraft to evacuate their people, said aircraft deploying small teams on dune buggies to extract oil workers (likely this was the British SAS, if not the Royal Marines or SBS). The Dutch suffered three men captured in a rescue in Tripoli (though the Libyan government is wise enough to have promised a release date of another four days). The US sent a ferry that couldn’t carry all of the stranded US citizens, and that was stuck in port because it couldn’t handle the choppy seas. How very muscular to send a ferry (pun might be intended) to do a navy’s job.
Thanks to our president’s innactions, the locals will look to see who supported them in their time of danger. While we sit back and send the matter to committees and pay scant attention, Al Quadda and other radical groups are stepping in with early support for the protests. I imagine that the Bush administration did a lot to get countries in the region to consider democracy, and now that these populaces are making their moves (as the Iranian people tried in the Green Revolution) our president sits back and dithers.
…and wonder if Libya is moving towards a civil war.