Libya: are cruise missiles hitting Tripoli going to stick the opportunist demagogue label onto Obama?

Libya, Obama, the US and it's allies

Ridding Libya of Qaddafi is now a sanctioned action of the United Nations. This is War #3 for the USA, some think. In fact, it is, but hardly anything -- yet -- like the other two wars.

I see and read that some citizens of the US are very upset that the POTUS hasn't brought every soldier home, as he vowed as part of his sparsely detailed package of mottos, vows and "I-isms" (all the "I'll" do this, and that, me-me-me prattle Obama so skillfully spewed) on the 2008 campaign trail, and instead, we have this Libya action.

I didn't realize that "bring the troops home" was the specific, open-ended campaign promise that Obama prognosticated which sold so many tickets to the Obama-Biden circus tent. But apparently, to some, this was the chief reason they voted for Obama, or against John McCain.

I thought it was far down the list below several others: Hope. Change. Closing Gitmo. Spreading the wealth and other hints of socialism. Government health care for all. Not being anything like W. A comical VP. I won't beat it to death by listing more.

Is the arrogant campaign bluster about bringing our military home, which was continued by a secretive White House, the false promise will break the far left's and less doleful believers/fools' devotion to Obama? I figure that, in some ways, he's been vastly and deeply educated by the job, and his ideas about leading have grown up, in spots. I figure people who believed in his fuzzy promises of hope and change will give up on him in their own time, as individuals. Or, they will continue to not pay much attention to the breadth and depth of our reality, as they had during the 2008 campaign. (To be clear, I know that not all who voted for Obama in 2008 bought the hype, they had their own reasons, even held their nose to vote, they were independents or moderates who didn't like McCain, or just wanted to shake any GW Bush leadership continuation.)

Yes, already some insist the action in Libya is a war like Afghanistan, Iraq. Not yet it isn't. The story from the White House is that this isn't to be another foreign war started by the US. It is more like a visit by the Orkin man. But with cruise missiles. Then, we are to play a background role to the others' efforts.

I didn't have to do a lot of study to see that it will require a lot of work to reset Libya, as in Iraq. Libya was run by a kook who created almost no infrastructure or industry and controlled everything centrally. The people there will not get beyond Qaddafi easily, as Iraq has still not gotten beyond the damage of the Ba'ath party extremist.

I'm sick of the USA being forced into a role as world police -- YES, forced, at times -- and would like to see other states take on the primary tasks. The US should be proud to be part of removing dictatorships and autocracies that wantonly kill their own citizens. How about some larger effort from others? For a change.

That would be change I can believe in. But I will have to see it before I can believe it.

I am very pleased that for once in a long while the United Nations made a decision and let its members take serious action (read: do more than place sanctions and post statements) before all-out, blood-spewing mayhem ensued. I have to credit Obama for holding out for those slowpokes. It was worth it. This time. It seems.

As for what is to come, I hope I am wrong about Libya being in serious collapse after Qaddafi is out. I hope it is not the long term commitment that Iraq and Afghanistan have been. I will believe that when I see it, too.

Those who think the US is a bumbling warmonger, or a faltering superpower: watch how very awkward things get without our total involvement in Libya. I have a suspicion that Britain and France will see some grief for trying to lend common Arabs a hand. I mean beyond the usual sky-is-falling cries and goofy demonstrations from modern, spoiled, First World liberals. There will be riots, vicious accusations, attacks on state buildings, probably more terrorist attacks that ruin innocents. Worldwide, there will be anger at the US for not doing what modern liberals, every type of anti-imperialist, and America-haters, claim nobody wants the US to do -- influence and police the whole planet. And try to insert our irritating idea of liberty and fairly clean, democratic elections.

On that, too, I hope I am wrong. But kooks were violent in France only because Sarkozy won the election when he first became PM. Having to maintain order in Libya will be a divisive event there. I hope hey are ready to control their home extremism.

- jR

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