You just know there have to be some 'unkind' minds snickering away in Europe, Turtle Bay, and the
Caliphate souks of the middle east. Snickering about how easily Obama was manipulated into a rash action in Libya. Combine that with how Obama is deliberately staging the US's fade from leadership of the operation and you have a picture that should make any middle east dictator split his sides guffawing. I imagine many emails to/from the policy wonks in the above-named locations contain a lot of smiley-faces this week. You know, the ones with winks. = ; - )
Obama jumped through all the hoops of fire required to get UN and Arab League approval, but omitted keeping Congress in the loop. Smart power.
All the constitutionally mandated bases were tagged and touched.
I don't really imagine that Yogi Bera ever actually said it, but if asked, he would have said something like, "You can only hit the ball that you have your eye on." Obama obviously had his eye on the UN and Arab League balls. He drove those out of the park. Ooohrah. He also just as obviously did not have his eye on the constitutionally-mandated Congressional ball. He didn't even swing at that one. Still a strike, though.
It's really hard to believe that Defense, State, and the NSC had all their various meetings in the run-up to Libya and nobody said, "Hey, we have to inform Congress." OK, let's postulate that somebody did pipe up in one or more of the meetings (principals absent, of course). OK, alternatively, let's postulate that nobody piped up and said it. Neither picture bodes well for a President who wishes to have a good relationship with Congress, or for the competence of the 'leaders' at Defense, State or the NSC.
Obama exhibits an amazing arrogance by working so hard to get UN, NATO, and Arab League signoffs, but totally ignoring the Constitutionally-mandated requirement to secure Congress' agreement. His unstinting devotion to the cumbaya One World meme while
on vacation working in Brazil is obvious. But it doesn't cut much ice with Congress. Or the people in Paducah.
Now we know Congress is probably being the teeniest bit disingenuous with their squawks late this week, but Congress has been on vacation. But your money would probably be safe if you were wagering that some WTF (not Win the Future) emails were sent from some Blackberries on some redwood decks when certain members of Congress observed Secretary Clinton and Susan Rice running around Turtle Bay garnering votes for a certain Security Council resolution.
You can place your bets here now that various leaders in the middle east are laying plans now for the next trap they will place for Obama - both to further dissipate American power and cause the administration Yet Another PR/diplomatic/domestic Disaster. It wouldn't surprise me in the least if by a year from now, Obama has started more wars than he inherited.
(points) Look over there! (pushes) Yaaa! Got ya!
I'll bet every serviceman deployed in the Med feels great that the UN and the Arab League provided multilateral cover for the ops that are keeping them sleep-deprived these days. Predictably, the Arab League has already reversed course and is criticizing the operations now. Alas, it looks like the Green Party in Germany is about to form a governing coalition and those are exactly the types who have read our Constitution and fully realize that the fact that Obama did not consult Congress gives them a really good chance of getting a CAG or an air wing commander in front of a tribunal at the Hague. You can bet that our servicemen in the Med are glad their Commander in Chief gave them full legal cover for the ops they are undertaking. They read blogs, too. They think about these things and they notice.
It's not just military power that is dissipated when the leader of the free world becomes a clueless clown. It's our diplomatic power, our credibility, and our ability to defend ourselves from both diplomatic and military attacks. And yes, prestige.
Of course, already the Defense Department is saying that the Libya operation will take months. Not 'days' like Obama promised. Of course, Obama knows he doesn't have to keep that promise, because liberals and the media will give him cover. It was both highly amusing and very chilling to discover reports of how Hillary swooped in and stepped on Gates on a TV interview, interrupting his response to a question, to go on a minute and a third tirade about how "his [Ghadafy's] troops begin to turn back toward the west - and to see the opposition begin to reclaim the ground they had lost." Something, by the way, that wasn't in the UN mandate.
He's covered himself a bit by moving the Enterprise from the Med to Hormuz. No "thanks for the great job in the Med, boys," from Obama. And certainly no 'Mission Accomplished' banner. But why move the Enterprise out of the Med entirely? Right about now, it would have been nice to have a carrier right off the border between Lebanon and Israel and have our air wings do some training with the IDF while Israel is deploying their Iron Dome missile shield. Some keen minds in Damascus and Amman would be watching very closely, and Lebanon would appreciate it, too.
So now we have two really-crazy CAGs (Enterprise and Vinson) just outside Hormuz trying to de-conflict air ops while practically in each others' wakes. That has to be really crazy-making.
It also suggests that Obama knows or suspects where the next head-fake is coming from.
Some group of petty dictators can play "let's you and him fight" and Obama will go for it, especially if he has UN or SEATO or somebody's multilateral blessing and there is no vital US interest involved. He'd probably even try an end run around Congress again, because this administration has definite learning disabilities.
Cross-posted at Unified Patriots to stimulate conservative activism.