On the presidential campaign trail, then-candidate Barack Obama recanted repeatedly that the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq were Bush’s wars. Now, after more than two years in office, the query is, “Does President Barack Obama have his own wars now?”
With the recent establishment of the Allied Forces’ “no-fly zone” over Libya, it is left to the imagination to discern if the military actions taken against Col. Qaddafi is to protect the civilian population or fulfill the president’s words, “Qaddafi must go.”
Albeit, he, via former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and current Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, has amassed massive multilateral support for the operation, the final reality is that we have intervened in a civil war. Libya is the first military action initiated by Obama. He has asserted that he will continue to support operations, although no endgame has been enunciated. Again, the worst part is that the president has outlined no endgame nor does he know who — rebel forces or the colonel — will win and what happens then. It is obvious he has not heeded the valuable advice of Minister Louis Farrakhan. Already, Turkey is resisting and has also called for an immediate Western cease-fire, and German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle abstained in a vote on the no-fly zone on March 17 at the United Nations Security Council.
Yes, Obama once spoke of peace and rejected his predecessor’s wars, forgetting the Korean War. That war started in a similar fashion in 1950, with a UN resolution. Although he firmly indicated no ground troops would be used, just as George W. Bush did, his actions happened on the eighth anniversary of the bombing of Iraq on March 20, 2003.
The hypocrisy of his actions in Libya versus his inaction and turning a blind eye in Yemen, Bahrain and Saudi Arabia is complicated by the fact that, since getting support from the Arab League, they have now condemned the military action and have called an emergency meeting to reconsider Arab support for the mission.
The truth is that Obama has pulled what some on the street would call “a punk move.” Libya is not in the U.S. strategic interest when compared to Bahrain and Saudi Arabia, yet troops are there and not in the latter countries. Not to mention, if there was any real threat to the U.S., it would be North Korea and the loss of oil reserves from Saudi Arabia. Now, it will be a waiting game. Obama does have his own war in Libya, and let us hope it does not become his Vietnam. –torrance stephens, ph.d.