The Obama Administration’s spineless response to Colonel Gaddafi’s reign of terror
What is the White House’s strategy on the Libyan crisis? Quite simply there isn’t one. As Alex Spillius noted in his post yesterday, the US government has been remarkably meek on Libya. Like the EU, the Obama administration is stuck in classic deer in the headlights mode, offering little more than mealy-mouthed statements condemning the state-sponsored violence against anti-government protesters on the streets of Tripoli, Benghazi, Tobruk and other key Libyan cities, which has already claimed at least 1,000 lives.
Both Barack Obama’s and Hillary Clinton’s remarks today on Libya were distinctly underwhelming and non-confrontational, offering little beyond a carefully worded expression of outrage, except for a pledge to hold yet more meetings with the international community to discuss the Libyan situation. And both failed to even mention the man behind the reign of terror sweeping the country – “Mad Dog” Gaddafi, a ruthless dictator with Libyan, American and British blood on his hands.
This is an historic moment. One of the most brutal, evil and anti-American tyrants of our time is facing a massive popular revolt that is threatening to finally remove him from power after more than four decades as absolute ruler of his country. It is not a time for fence-sitting or navel-gazing from the world’s only superpower. President Obama should be openly calling for Muammar Gaddafi to step aside immediately, and if he doesn’t, face complete international isolation – including comprehensive sanctions, travel bans, the freezing of bank accounts, and a halt to Western investment and trade.
The Libyan people don’t need lofty neutrality from Washington. They do however need the president of the most powerful nation on earth to actively back their aspirations for freedom and democracy. And they certainly aren’t waiting for toothless statements from a divided UN Security Council or a morally bankrupt Human Rights Council.
President Obama is already being outflanked by Nicolas Sarkozy, who has taken a far tougher line on Libya than his US counterpart. It is hugely embarrassing when even the French are doing more to confront a murderous dictator than the traditional leader of the free world. Frankly, President Obama makes Jimmy Carter look like General MacArthur by comparison. The US administration needs to wake up from its slumber and start showing some real leadership on the world stage in place of its existing milquetoast foreign policy.
spineless and clueless and in waaaaaaay over his head…