President Obama today appeared in Martha’s Vineyard to note that Qaddafi is finished and to claim credit for shoving him out.
In the early days of this intervention, the United States provided the bulk of the firepower, and then our friends and allies stepped forward. The Transitional National Council established itself as a credible representative of the Libyan people. And the United States, together with our European allies and friends across the region, recognized the TNC as the legitimate governing authority in Libya.
Qaddafi was cut off from arms and cash, and his forces were steadily degraded.
From Benghazi to Misrata to the western mountains, the Libyan opposition courageously confronted the regime, and the tide turned in their favor.
Well, OK, but this has been a little like taking three days to make a layup and asking your teammates to help you dribble toward the basket.
You may remember that last February Qaddafi was standing in the rain in Tripoli trying to sound relevant while rebels coursed through the city on the cusp of overturning his rule. A little bit of well-time American assistance at the time would likely have erased him for good.
Instead, Obama sat on his hands agonizing over what to do, and only when Qaddafi had turned things around and was about to completely depopulate Benghazi did we finally get into the act, though just for “humanitarian” reasons, to protect civilians.
The protection effort somehow led us to start dropping bombs on Qaddafi’s head, revealing that what we were really after was regime change, which we could have already had if we had acted earlier.
And the U.S. took a back seat so NATO could flex its muscles, even though only we have the capability of doing the job right. It was as if Obama was a saying, “Hey United States, everybody gets a chance to fight a war. You just fought two wars, now let little Johnny Europe have a chance.”
Well, Europe proved that while they still know how to whip up fine desserts and hand out welfare checks, they’ve completely forgotten how to fight.
And so things took much longer than they had to and now, six months and thousands of lives later, we finally got Qaddafi.
Obama today noted that there is justice in this for us because Qaddafi killed many Americans.
Qaddafi”s regime has murdered scores of American citizens in acts of terror in the past. Today we remember the lives of those who were taken in those acts of terror and stand in solidarity with their families.
Strangely, Obama decided to be indirect here. What Obama is mainly alluding to there is the 1988 downing of a U.S. flight over Lockerbie in Scotland, resulting in the deaths of 190 Americans.
He would not be specific so I will: May God bless the souls of all those who died over Lockerbie and let Qaddafi’s fall grant some measure of comfort to their families.
Obama is now shooting a game of basketball with friends and staff.