It ain’t over yet

Though it’s likely just a matter of time, Libya’s strongman hangs on:

The son and heir apparent of Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi, Seif al-Islam, resurfaced free and defiant early Tuesday a day after rebels claimed to have captured him.

In a bizarre reappearance, Seif al-Islam boasted that his father’s loyalists still control parts of Tripoli and would crush the rebellion.

His arrival at a Tripoli hotel where foreign journalists are staying threw the situation in the capital into confusion. It underlined the potential for Gadhafi, whose whereabouts remain unknown, to lash back even as his grip on power seemed to be slipping fast.

“We broke the back of the rebels,” he said. “It was a trap. We gave them a hard time, so we are winning.”

The rebel leadership seemed stunned that Seif al-Islam was free. The leadership’s spokesman, Sadeq al-Kabir, had no explanation and could only say, “This could be all lies.”

In the meantime, Obama fans are quick to exploit events:

President Obama’s critics are on the verge of witnessing a third major Obama success in the Arab world in 2011.

First, longtime Egyptian strongman Hosni Mubarak was deposed after Obama refused to support him against the Egyptian people at the moment of truth. Second, Osama bin Laden, America’s archenemy #1, was killed by Navy SEALS on direct orders from Obama in a risky cross-border raid into Pakistan. And now, Muammar Gaddafi — a man whose presence on the international stage has mocked any reasonable definition of sanity for more than four decades — is about to be knocked out of power by an international coalition in which Obama ensured that the U.S. played a leading team role.

It’s time for Obama’s neoconservative critics to acknowledge his leadership success on foreign policy, especially on Libya.

Why? Because Obama has done what his most ardent foreign policy critics have failed to do: he has ushered in a new era in the Arab world by supporting its organic democracy movements while also aggressively pursuing terrorists. This is foreign policy leadership, Obama style, and it works for American national security.

Seems more than a little premature to me but we can expect much more of this… much, much more as the campaign to prop up the empty suit marches on.

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