Friday, March 23, 2012

Botched Job

Sunday was the anniversary of the Obama administration's decision to intervene in Libya under the guise of protecting Libyan citizens from Col. Qaddafi's threats to destroy them. The anniversary passed with little comment from the president's spokespersons and for good reason, I suppose.

This intervention followed hard upon our political intervention in Egypt taking the side of those who wished to depose Hosni Mubarak. That intervention followed our refusal to intervene to help the pro-democracy demonstrators in Iran who were being shot in the streets by thugs loyal to Mahmoud Ahmedinejad. All of these preceded (still with me?) our refusal to intervene in Syria where yet another tyrant is slaughtering his people by the thousands.

Perhaps there's a coherent foreign policy here, but if so it's difficult to say what it might be. What are the principles which govern Mr. Obama's decisions about whom to help and whom to let die? Why did we have a "Responsibility to Protect" Libyan civilians but no such responsibility vis a vis Syrian civilians?

Where we did intervene, of course, we made a mess of things. Egypt is now being ruled by Islamists who are hostile to both their own Coptic Christians and the Israelis. They're merrily murdering the Copts, burning their churches, and threatening to murder the Israelis.

Libya is governed, if one can call it that, by rival militias who've smuggled guns and other weaponry to Islamic insurgents in Mali, a country on Libya's southern border which had been a firm ally of ours in the war on terror. Now the military has deposed the government in a coup, and soldiers and others are plundering the capital. A relatively stable African country is in chaos largely as a consequence of our intervention in Libya.

Remember how the Democrats derided George Bush for commending his FEMA director for a job well done in the wake of Hurricane Katrina when by all appearances the director had botched the job? The mockery went on for years. When will the Democrats start deriding the Obama administration for a feckless, helter skelter foreign policy that has botched North Africa far worse than anything FEMA ever did?