President Obama will address the nation tomorrow night to explain U.S. involvement in Libya. Or at least, attempt to explain.
How many times has he already tried to explain — first why he was keeping us out of Libya, then why we were going in. It made sense for us to stay out and let the Greater Middle East handle its own problems. Especially when we’re already fighting two wars in the region. Then came the sudden about-face and commitment of American military resources to “support” our NATO allies when they decided to intervene.
Since then, the confusion has only increased. We’ll have only a support role. Then we were relinquishing a previously undeclared “leadership” role. Our stated policy is “Gadhafi must go” but the stated objective of the coalition is “strictly humanitarian.” If coalition forces leave without removing Gadhafi, nothing will have changed and the entire intervention will have been for naught.
The whole Middle East is erupting. Why did we decide to help only Libya? Rebels are dying in a lot of countries; so what’s the rationale for helping only the Libyan rebels? And if our intervention is justified for humanitarian reasons, why didn’t we also intervene to save the millions slaughtered in Rwanda, Darfur, and Zimbabwe?
Obama is an intelligent, highly educated man and can be an outstanding orator. But it seems unlikely he can explain himself out of this one. It’s too late. He should just announce the immediate (next day) withdrawal of all U.S. forces from Libya and leave the podium. Anything more is a waste of time and no one wants to hear it.