You want to know why? It’s because I don’t know what the heck it is that we’re doing in Libya right now. Are we toppling the government? Are we setting up an effective partition of the country? Are we acting? Reacting? Is there an actual plan, or are we just making this up as we go along? And not only do I not know: neither does anybody else. Including, apparently, the President’s own party leadership, which is just as much in the dark as the rest of us. It’s not helpful that there isn’t a consistent message coming out from the administration, either. The President is playing soccer in Brazil; the Secretary of Defense is being embarrassed by the Russians; and the Secretary of State is… making surreptitious calls to her old leadership PAC, probably. You tell me who’s minding the store right now.
I admit it: I was spoiled by the previous administration… actually, no. I was spoiled by the previous four administrations. Whether I agreed with the various military interventions or not of those administrations, at least we were told about them ahead of time. We had a basic idea of what the goal was, who was in charge, and what we were going to be doing. The plan didn’t always work, but there was a plan. If there’s a plan now, it’d be great if more than three people know what it is.
‘Three’ is me being optimistic, by the way.
Moe Lane (crosspost)
Bless their hearts, who cares?
Below I’m going to answer some questions asked by the Brittanica Blog (via Instapundit), in the order that they were given at the end of a blog post. To give the background, the author of said blog post has noticed something that the rest of you knew already: based on recent events, the Democratic party never really gave a tinker’s dam about the Iraq War except insomuch as it allowed them to scream about the Republican party. And, even though that party’s leadership has by now pretty much contradicted everything that they have ever said on the subject of going to war, there seems to be a certain… passivity… thus far in the progressive antiwar movement’s response to the Libya situation, too.
Fools, dupes, and knaves, in other words.
Anyway, on to the questions! Continue reading Where’s the antiwar movement?
[Welcome, Instapundit readers.]
People like Andrew Sullivan were dumb rubes to actually believe that any functional candidate for President would actually believe in the progressive anti-war strategy (let alone implement it, once they were in office), and you told them so. Heck, I told them so – admittedly, when I wrote that it was before the financial meltdown turned what had been a moderately tough election campaign cycle for the GOP into an impossible one, thus making it unnecessary at the time for the then-Senator to actually address his mendacious pandering to the anti-war movement with regard to the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. But the Right blogosphere knew that “All Barack Obama Statements Come With an Expiration Date. All Of Them” right from the start, and we were not shy about saying so. If the rubes over on the anti-war Left are now upset about that, well, they should try voting sober next time.
And since we’re bringing up uncomfortable truths, let me add this one: we were right on the war, rubes, and you were not.
Moe Lane (crosspost)
PS: Lest this turn into a lovefest for the President, let me remind you of something else: Barack Obama is bad at this, mostly because it takes him far too long to come up with a response in a crisis.
So. Now that the UN has authorized a no-fly zone in Libya – which is another way of saying that we have decided to create a no-fly (and no-drive) zone in Libya, using the UN for cover – it’s being reported that the Qaddafi regime has immediately declared a cease-fire. As Glenn Reynolds put it: “Blink.”
If true: well, we should have done this a week ago. Unfortunately, we’re stuck with a President that takes forever to get to the point – and, contra Andrew Sullivan (safe link), this situation would not be “highly believable” if it were taking place under a hypothetical McCain administration. Mostly because Qaddafi wouldn’t have dared tick off the USA in the first place; Republican hawks tend to have a low opinion of him and his regime. Still, at least President Obama got to it eventually.
Sorry: I might be more effusive in my praise if the optics on this were better. And optics are important.
Moe Lane (crosspost)
Continue reading Qaddafi reminded who the weak horse is after all?
Mostly because Jay Carney‘s a shifty little weasel – yeah, even by the standards of White House spokesman, which is renowned as having (under Democratic administrations, at least) some of the most mealy-mouthed, two-faced posturing buffoons in government service. Speaking of Bobby Gibbs… he probably watched this exchange between Carney and CBS guy Chip Reid over the President’s inability to actually say or do anything useful about Libya, popped open a beer, and said to himself Thank God I got out when I did.
Here’s the text (via Fox News, via Ace of Spades) as to why:
Q Doesn’t there come a point to make a — where you have to make a decision?
MR. CARNEY: And I would go back to what I said to Jill, that we have acted with great haste, and we have coordinated international — led and coordinated an international response, the likes of which the world has never seen in such a short period of time. And we have — we continue to consult with our international partners. We meet — we have met with, as the Secretary of State did, with the Libyan opposition discussing new ways we can put pressure on Qaddafi.
And when it comes to considering military options, this President will always be mindful of what the mission, should it be engaged, what it entails, the risks that it poses to our men and women in uniform, and its likelihood of having the kind of impact that we set out for it to have. And that is his responsibility as Commander-in-Chief.
And I would suggest to you that that is what leadership is all about.
Suggest away, Sparky. Suggest away.
That’s not a compliment, by the way.
Michael Totten reminds us that if Qaddafi wins in Libya after all, it’s not without precedent. Specifically, the precedent of Saddam Hussein, post-Gulf War I. Back then we were all “wouldn’t it be great if the dictator fell?”, too- and back then we pretty much sat around and did nothing printable while the dictator went around smashing the opposition back down into the ground*. Which is what is happening now in Libya, apparently: the rebellion is reportedly collapsing in slow motion. It would seem that while pious words and firm rhetoric is of course all very useful and wonderful and everything, they’re not particularly effective at piercing tank armor and/or providing artillery support… which is something that the people fighting Qaddafi need rather more of right now. You want to see what happens when we’re not the world’s policeman? Here you go.
And if that doesn’t bother you on its own hook – after all, worrying about dead foreigners is so… neoconservative, isn’t it? – consider this: both Qaddafi and his regime have only ever responded to the stick. After 2003, both were deathly afraid of what America
and the West would do to them; I suspect that after this is all over neither will much care. Which is… bad.
Continue reading Barack Herbert Walker Obama?
The report is that they’re shipping crude again: which is almost certainly at least partially propaganda, but what the hell. I was merely willing to let Qaddafi keep his life in exchange for him ending his nuke program; I’m perfectly happy to alter the deal now.
By the way: when this is over, I’d like to have the status of the Lockerbie bomber… clarified. I’m willing to pay a little extra for that.
Via Ace of Spades HQ.
I was looking for a palate cleanser, I swear. Something nice and non-political. Relaxing. But Fark Geek had to spoil it for me:
Libya paid doctors who said Lockerbie bomber Abdelbaset Al Megrahi had three months to live
The Libyan government paid British doctors for medical advice which could have helped bring about the release of the Lockerbie bomber.
Cancer specialist Karol Sikora and two others received £100 an hour to consider how long they believed Abdelbaset Al Megrahi had to live.
Professor Sikora admitted yesterday that although he initially thought Megrahi could live for as long as 18 months, he was ‘encouraged’ to conclude he would die from prostate cancer within three months.
This is important as it is the amount of time under which Scottish law allows someone to be freed on compassionate grounds.
I don’t know why I’m surprised at this – anymore that I was surprised that the administration was fully kept up to date on the terrorist’s release (although Allahpundit’s reaction is more or less mine on that). But I am.
Crossposted to RedState.
Come, I will conceal nothing from you: when I first read Gateway Pundit’s post that the Obama administration was in contact in June with the Scottish government over the Lockerbie bomber, I ended up shrugging. The Boston Globe’s article suggested that AG Eric Holder was arguing against letting Abdel Baset al-Megrahi go, after all – which was what you’d want the American government to do. And unless we wanted to start a war with Great Britain, or wreck relations with them utterly, there was a sharp upper limit to what the American government could do to stop the release. Absent actual evidence that we helped facilitate the release, it’s not something to club the administration over.
On the other hand: if we didn’t help facilitate the release, then why are we putting a freeze on releasing our correspondence with the Scottish government?
The Scottish government told FOX News Tuesday that the U.S. government refuses to allow them to release details of any communication between Scotland and the U.S. over al-Megrahi’s release.
A source with the Scottish government, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the demand was made in a letter sent Tuesday from U.S. Embassy Chief of Mission Richard LeBaron.
This is a serious question: we already have at least one Senator countering (via AmSpec) with a threat of sanctions against Great Britain on this matter. It’d be kind of helpful to be able to prove that the British & Scottish weren’t doing it because we told them privately that it was all right if they did.
Crossposted to RedState.
Say what you like about the man – and there is quite a lot to say about him – but he and his government had precisely zero interest in letting the Lockerbie bomber walk free under the open sky. Even if doing so might have meant holding up an important oil deal:
During Blair’s 2007 visit, BP signed its exploration deal with Libya’s National Oil Corporation. “This is a welcome return to the country and represents a significant opportunity for both BP and Libya to deliver our long-term growth aspirations,” said Tony Hayward, BP group chief executive, who signed the contract with Blair looking on.
The prisoner transfer agreement — and specifically the fate of Megrahi — were inextricably linked with the BP deal. Six months after Blair’s trip, and with Gordon Brown in No 10, the Libyans were frustrated that the prisoner transfer agreement had not even been drafted. The BP contract was also waiting to be ratified.
The key reason for the delay in the prisoner transfer agreement was Megrahi. Lord Falconer, who was Blair’s justice secretary, had told the Scottish government in a letter on June 22, 2007 that “any prisoner transfer agreement with Libya could not cover al-Megrahi”.
(H/T AoSHQ) The Brown government (which took power five days later) was… somewhat easier to persuade. While they attempted to take the same line that Blair did, the Libyans were able to get them to back off on keeping Megrahi from even being considered for prisoner transfer; and shortly thereafter, BP got its contract. Continue reading Sometimes, I miss Tony Blair.