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    Obama’s broken clock foreign policy

    Obama’s broken clock foreign policy

    I just listened to Obama’s statement on Libya, and while he didn’t spike the football, he’s pretty proud of himself.

    And, if as it now appears Qaddafi is gone, and if what replaces him is not even worse, then Obama should be proud of himself.  But being right doesn’t make one’s policy decisions right; the wrong decisions can be right in hindsight, like the proverbial broken clock.

    Obama’ Libya policy was broken in numerous respects.

    Militarily, the effort was weak which allowed Qaddafi to survive for several months, with only recent gains pushing the rebels forward; but for the determination of Nicholas Sarkozy, Qaddafi would be a survivor.  Diplomatically, Obama obtained U.N. approval for a very limited operation in Libya, then proceeded to disregard those limitations for regime change which hurt our diplomatic efforts against Syria by alienating China and Russia after they acquiesced in the limited Libya resolution.  Politically, Obama played word games to disregard the need to obtain congressional approval for an extended war effort, something about which his liberal base has been almost apoplectic.

    Yet at this moment, the broken Libya policy appears to have worked.

    Similarly, the decision to land commandos to kill Osama bin Laden rather than bomb his compound was extremely risky.  We came very close to having our special forces stranded and captured, as one of the two helicopters crashed.  The decision not to bomb the compound came very close to a disaster, but it worked.  So Obama’s broken decision making appears to have been right.

    On what are the two achievements internationally by Obama, Libya and killing bin Laden, the decision-making was broken but worked.  Like the broken clock, Obama was right twice, but for the wrong reasons.

    Elsewhere in the world, we are in retreat, our influence is waning, the “Arab Spring” is turning ugly in Egypt, Afghanistan is heading in the wrong direction, and Iranian influence is on the rise.

    The problem with Obama’s broken clock foreign policy is that it may be right twice a day, but it is wrong most of the time.


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    As Prof. Jacobson outlined in his post, Bambi certainly made a lot of mistakes with his Libya policy. IN addition to those noted, I would add the incredibly stupid comments “days not weeks” and “leading from behind.” Those two statements will ultimately undermine the credit he gets for this outcome.

    That being said, he does deserve credit for picking the right side and sticking it out, however tepidly.

      WarEagle82 in reply to EnerGeoPolitics. | August 22, 2011 at 5:18 pm

      There is almost no indication that there was a “right side” in this little revolution.

      Libya is most likely to be ruled by someone less than one standard deviation from the lunacy that was known as Qaddafi.

    retire05 | August 22, 2011 at 5:30 pm

    For all those thumping their chests that Qadaffi is gone, you need to remember the saying about the devil we know vs. the devil we don’t.

    I remember when the American press was absolutely falling all over themselves over a little known rebel before. He was leading “the people” to take their nation away from a brutal regiem. He was hailed as a hero, along with his really few “freedom fighters.” As he rolled into Havana, American reporters were absolutely salivating over getting to interview him. It didn’t take Castro long to start purging his nation of anyone who didn’t subscribe to his form of Communism. And American reports watched as Cubans fled their beloved nation in boats made from not much more than cardboard, with only the clothes on their backs as Castro had confiscated all the nation’s wealth, including the estate of Ernest Hemmingway. And Che Guevera’s firing squads became infamous.

    Again, we hailed a revolution that threw out another dictator and our President turned his back on that dictator. That allowed the Ayatollah to re-enter than nation and the rest is now history and the Iranian no longer see their women in the universities wearing modern clothing. Instead, they are beaten in the streets by the morality police.

    When the press hailed the overthrow of Mubarak, I thought to myself, “this is Cuba. This is Iran.” The Muslim Brotherhood is now positioning itself to control the September elections in Egypt, and that ain’t good for the U.S.

    Apparently, Obama wanted honey. But no one told him not to swat the bee hive because, I fear, these are going to be African killer bees.

    In that region of the world, I don’t see stable democratic governments emerging. There will be continuing bloodbaths for a long, long time. And already there are calls for NATO to come in, put boots on the ground, and stabilize the country.

    Expect a continuing exodus of people from that region to western governments already overburdened by social welfare programs and debt. Looking at the riots overtaking London for a good week, maybe European countries should concentrate on their own stability before encouraging the overthrow of others.

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