National Commentary

Obama Takes a Stand on Libyan Revolt

President Obama has finally taken a stand in favor of the revolt of the masses in Libya. It’s good and wise, but not, he said, a stand to depose of Muammar Gaddafi by military means. Obama hopes to force his ouster by other means.

President Obama has finally taken a stand in favor of the revolt of the masses in Libya. It’s good and wise, but not, he said, a stand to depose of Muammar Gaddafi by military means. Obama hopes to force his ouster by other means.

Obama’s goals – using jet air strikes and missiles to help the out-gunned – is aimed at saving lives.

“Some nations may be able to turn a blind eye to atrocities in other countries,” Obama said in a national televised address Monday night, “but, the United States is different.” He also noted that he was not acting alone, and he appeared happy to turn over the command of the NATO-run coalition.

“In such cases we should not be afraid to act – but the burden of acting should not be America’s alone,” he said.

Obama’s strong words may come back to haunt him. The whole Arab world is engulfed in popular protests seeking democracy.

“I believe this moment of change cannot be turned back,” he said, “and that we must stand alongside those who believe in the same core principals that have guided us through many storms, our opposition to violence directed against one’s citizens; our support for a set of universal rights, including the freedom to express themselves and choose their leaders; our support for governments that are ultimately responsible to the aspirations of the people. … Gaddafi has not yet stepped down from power and until he does, Libya will remain dangerous.”

Obama made it clear we are involved in a partnership with the other nations to save civilian lives in Libya – not to depose Gaddafi, the strongman who has threatened house to house reprisals against the rebels.

The opposition represents grass-roots forces that are fighting for liberation from the fear and tyranny of one-man rule – under Gaddafi, who has been in power 40 years. Obama went on the offensive after being pushed by congressional critics.

He wanted to get on the right side of history. But in the case of his opposition, it was “damned if you do, and damned if you don’t.” Obama can’t win in the case of opponents – many who are hoping to be his opposition GOP candidate in 2012.

Some of the critics compared the intervention to the U.S. Bush-led debacle in Iraq. But it’s no such thing.

In 2003, the U.S.-Iraqi war, claiming it had weapons of mass destruction and ties to Al Qaieda terrorist networks – all lies. The individual invasion has been going on for eight years at a horrendous cost. Thousands of Americans and Iraqis were killed.

The war was touted to last two to three weeks, and Iraqis were to greet the invaders with flowers and candy. Dictator Saddam Hussein was hanged, and to this day former President George W. Bush has yet to explain why he invaded Iraq.

The most devastating destruction was in the town of Falluga – so devastating it can be compared to the leveling of Carthage.

The President made his remarks to a military audience Monday evening. He was flanked by American flags on the stage. He began his remarks defending his leadership in this world crisis, using many “I’s”.

“I refused to wait for images of slaughter and new mass graves before taking action,” he said. In support of his policy on Libya, Obama said removing Gaddafi from power “would splinter the coalition and would be a step too far … to be blunt, we went down the road eight years ago” (in Iraq) and noted that “regime change cost thousands of American and Iraqi lives and nearly a trillion dollars. That is something we cannot afford in Libya,” Obama declared. “We should not be afraid to act.”

Libya has put Obama to the test of his leadership. The President now faces more decisions in terms of the uprisings in Yemen, Syria, Bahrain and other possible upheavals in the Middle East and North Africa. But Obama has made it clear that he does not intend to intervene on behalf of other rebellions.

The Arab World is in turmoil and the strong men who have ruled for decades are running out of time.

The other world is transfixed on the surprise revolutions, and faces uncertainty on how to help to promote the goals of democracy and freedom without stepping on too many toes.

Throughout the region, the leaders and potentates are quaking in their boots. It’s about time. The Arab people have had enough, and have obviously reached a point of no return.

No concessions. No reforms are enough. The people in the Arab World have suddenly awakened to their own power – at last.