In a recent Wall Street Journal opinion article, Peggy Noonan asks quite a few questions about the U.S. military action in Libya . I'm afraid most of them will go unanswered, because in addition to not having answers, Obama doesn’t even understand the questions. When he was still a candidate, my opinion was that Obama was terminally naive and unjustifiably arrogant. In the intervening years, he has made the accuracy of that assessment more and more apparent.
Supporters, of the president rail against conservatives, liberals or both (mostly conservatives) for promoting malaise about the president's actions. Such arguments are at best irrelevant as they fail to address the core issue. Opinions vary as to whether our actions in Libya are justified, the true goal of those actions, and the US military position with respect other participants. But they are simply that-- opinions. However, Obama’s disconnect with Congress, and the American people, is an irrefutable fact.
Ms. Noonan states, “He has to make a case for his own actions. It's what presidents do!” She didn’t say, “That’s what presidents HAVE to do!” because the reference was to protocol and respect, not requirements. An American president who is truly concerned about the country’s citizens would never take war-like actions without directly addressing those citizens and the Congress that represents them.
It is both naïve and arrogant for this president to think such communication is unnecessary-- naïve because he apparently believes his actions will have no consequences, and arrogant in that he has blown off Congress and the American people. But he has also sent a similarly offensive message to our allies, while concurrently informing our enemies that he truly does not have a grasp of the nature of international conflicts.
Obama has stated that US involvement in Libya will only “last a few days”. Nothing of this magnitude lasts a few days. If the end game was to do nothing more than launch a few missiles, drop a few bombs and call it good, such might be the case. But if military action is a cornerstone for launching a humanitarian effort, it is delusional to think that the desired outcome will be achieved in less than a typical American work-week. On the other hand, proposing that the U.S. hand-off spearheading the effort to our European allies and NATO is analogous to saying, “we’re going to have a hell of a party, and if we bust up the place, you guys stick around a clean up”.
Thus far, the general media and his fellow Democrats have seemed untroubled by Obama’s modus operandi. But there are limits. Naivete and arrogance ultimately prove to be a fatal combination which begs the question, is Obama too naïve to realize it or too arrogant to care.