The Obama Administration came into the fight long after the bell sounded in Libya, and many say its too late. The U.S. is sending forces a month after the fighting began, and almost a week after the Arab League requested a no fly zone. And even at its best, Obama is carefully prancing around the situation, sending only air forces and openly saying he wants to pull out as soon as possible and let it be someone else’s problem.
Given how thin our military is spread, his hesitation is understandable. But has waiting this long backfired? Some think so. John McCain (R-Ariz.) said on CNN’s State of the Union that the administration should have acted sooner.
“If we had taken these — this step a couple of weeks ago, a no-fly zone would probably have been enough,” he said. “Now, a no-fly zone is not enough. There needs to be other efforts made.”
So in holding back our military, Obama, says McCain, may have actually placed us in a more tenuous position. After all of this, if Gaddafi is still in power he may be a huge weapons of mass destruction threat, especially given how many resources he has at his disposal.
More threatening still is how much we, and the rest of the world, rely on Libya for oil. If McCain is right, and the fighting could have been reasonably stopped several days ago, we may be prolonging a serious hike in oil prices. Which is, frankly, probably what most Americans are most concerned about.
Additionally, what does this say about the Obama administrations respect for human rights? Can the United States, who could (albeit not comfortably) launch missions to protect the innocent civilians that Gaddafi’s people are mercilessly shelling, ethically afford to stand by and do nothing? I would say not. Especially given the administrations big talk on their respect for human rights at the start of Obama’s term.
But, at least he’s finally acted. If he wants to see an end he can agree with, he will eventually buy into a more long term position. Or at least he should. And if you don’t believe me, type his name into Google News.
I just can’t help but wonder if this will come back to bite Obama – and in more ways than one.