I’ve always had kind of mixed feelings over our UnWar with Libya. I thought there were good reasons to go after K-Daffy, and think the world would be a better place without him. On the other hand, I thought there were better reasons for not going after him. That largely became irrelevant, though, once the decision was made — we were in it, dammit, so we better win it. That’s when I shifted my position to lambasting Obama for going to war (I’m sorry, Kinetic Military Action) half-assed. If we were going to take out K-Daffy, either by driving him from power or killing him, we shouldn’t do it half-assed. Obama was right when he said it should have been a matter of “days, not weeks,” but in a typically Obama fashion, that was about five months ago.
Now, though, I’m wondering if our Community Organizer In Chief might have stumbled into a winning strategy for dealing with rogue states that sponsor terrorism — and it’s Ace Of Spades that has me reconsidering.
Ace notes that Obama’s “strategy” in dealing with Libya has been, when you strip away all the typical Obama administration BS, has been remarkably simple: just start hitting them, in ways that minimize our own risks, and seeing what happens. We loosely coordinated with the rebels, and did do a few strikes that were not officially intended to kill K-Daffy but came gosh-darn close, but for the most part we didn’t bother really flexing our muscles. Oh, and we allowed the Europeans to seem to take the lead — while we, as a mere supporting member of the commission, still did well over half the work.
We didn’t invade and occupy. We didn’t displace the established regime and set ourselves up as the controlling force. We didn’t displace the existing military and law enforcement bodies and take their place. We just expressed our displeasure in the traditional American diplomatic way: the application of high explosives.
The message Ace sees in our actions: “We didn’t screw up your nation, and we have no intention of fixing it. It’s your country, you do it how you see fit. But if you piss us off again like you have, repeatedly in the past, we’ll blow you up again, and you can try again. Now get your act together and stop pissing us off.”
That’s the kind of thing you can’t put into diplomatic language. That’s not the kind of thing that makes a good Congressional resoution. (That’s another thing that pissed me off about the UnWar: Obama cleared it with the UN and NATO, then went to UnWar without consulting with the Congressional leadership or making his case to the American people. Hey, dumbass, WE are your bosses, not them — we’re the ones you need to keep in the loop.) That’s not the kind of thing that makes a good presidential speech. It’s not the kind of thing that even makes a good leak from a “senior administration official.”
Again, I don’t think that Obama or his people planned this out this way, but it was a happy coincidence that it seems to be working. I just hope they’re smart enough to realize that this can work, in specific cirsumstances, and keep it in mind as an option for future application.
This all depends upon, of course, K-Daffy actually giving up power, one way or another. And that means giving him a viable “exit strategy.” I think if we offered him a free trip to Cuba, or Venezuela, or North Korea, or some other rogue state, with a suitcase or two of cash to last him the rest of his life and assurances that we won’t go after him any more as long as he stays out of sight, he just might jump.
Yeah, it would be nice if we hauled him before some court or arranged for him to “face justice” like he so richly deserves, but things don’t always work out that way. The most important thing is to get him out of power.
So, will Libya end up being a win for Obama? Just maybe. But just like the Bin Laden killing, the parts that work out are the ones he doesn’t directly control, while he still manages to make a huge mess out of the things he does.