I think I’m in the Twilight Zone. Really, I saw Rod Serling. He was handing out cookies.
The White House spokesman today said effectively that we have the capacity to end the Libyan war, but we’re just not going to that. Because of our dedication to multilateral action, the United Nations and the brotherhood of man, we’d rather have the conflict drag on and people continue to die. All in the name of good world governance.
Here’s what Jay Carney said. He was asked if there are any discussions about actually removing Qaddafi instead of just protecting the population from him. Maybe Jay was joking.
Does the United States have the capacity to unilaterally with military force produce regime change in Libya or another country? It probably does. We probably do. Is that a desirable action to take with — when you have your eye on the long game here in terms of Libya’s future, the future, the interests of the United States in the region? No.
It is best to pursue the policy the president has chosen to pursue, which is a coalition backing military force with limited — with a limited mission aimed at protecting Libyan civilians in response to the request from the Libyan opposition, request from the Arab League, and in concert with our partners in the United Nations, separately pursuing as a political, diplomatic, economic policy the idea that Gadhafi is no longer fit to lead and should step down, and pursuing all those measures unilaterally and collectively that help drive towards that goal.
Yes, we’re not stupid Bushies. We got our eye on “the long game here.” We’re not so dumb as to get into a war to win it. There are principles involved.
Obama increasingly reminds me of some grandpa who says, “No, no, this is how you grill a hamburger!” and it comes out all seared on the outside and somehow raw in the middle, but you did it “right.”
Or like, in the old Batman TV series, when the Riddler or the Penguin could have easily killed Batman and Robin, but they decided they were going to put an end to them “the fun way.” So they tied them up in some kind of supposedly deadly contraption that would kill them slowly and with some panache, and the Dynamic Duo inevitably escaped.
All this is perhaps not too surprising, since as you may remember, our goal in Afghanistan is not to win the war, buy to “break the Taliban’s momentum” and then hand the thing off to Karzai.
So we’re in two wars, and our goal is to win neither. Iraq, a third, was handed to President Obama already basically won.
This is the Obama Doctrine, apparently: Not only do we dispense with the notion of “overwhelming force” in wars, but we put aside even the idea of winning wars at all.