Over the past weeks we've been very critical of the administration's alleged policy in Libya. Under the guise of a rather exotic theory called Responsibility to Protect -- also known by its cute acronym R2P -- the United States, acting as part of a NATO force which seemingly only includes countries with financial interests in Libya, has undertaken a rather meaningless pseudo-intervention in Libya.
Our core objection to the Libyan intervention remains its incoherence. The Secretary of Defense has declared that Libya is not a vital national interest. This intervention has made us allies of al Qaeda, lacks any identifiable long term policy goals, and has been deliberately structured to fail as the use of ground forces and the goal of regime change have been ruled out. As a bonus, our allies are involved in the ethnic cleansing of Africans and they routinely behead prisoners.
On the other hand, a popular revolt is underway in Syria - where we do have vital national interests. More civilians have been killed to date by Syrian security forces than were killed by Qaddafi before our intervention. Instead of an "international" coalition being formed to R2P the heck out of Bashar al-Assad we get nothing.
It is clear at this point that the Obama administration's doctrine is non-existent beyond being a way for Samantha Power to prove her addlepated theories. It can best be summarized as if you are a crappy little irrelevant country and you abuse your people we will step on you - not enough to remove your leader from power and change the system of government but just enough to embolden your opponents and make them reveal themselves. On the other hand, if you are an oppressive regime in a nation that either has the ability to resist or represents vital US interests feel free to kill to your heart's content unless you are allied with the US, in which case the Egypt Rule (known in 1979 as the Iran Rule) applies.