One senses a certain chill in the feet of the Old Gray Lady as they cover their President's latest foreign adventure and report on Obama's delusional "days, not weeks" timeline for US military involvement:
Obama Warns Libya, but Attacks Go On
Gosh, that headline is a real bunker-buster on my morale. Are they suggesting that Obama is impotent and irrelevant?
It gets worse. Much worse:
Mr. Obama used tough language that was at times reminiscent of President George W. Bush before the war in Iraq.
OMG - the Times broke out the dreaded Bush comparison? If they use the word "Cheneyesque" (and on the topic of Gitmo, they just might), you will know the love affair is finally over.
The Times plays Hamlet to Obama's, well, Hamlet. Can we find criticism of his dithering? Yes we can:
“If Qaddafi does not comply with the resolution, the international community will impose consequences, and the resolution will be enforced through military action,” Mr. Obama said, laying out a policy decision made after several weeks in which the administration sent conflicting signals about its willingness to use force to aid the rebels at a time of upheaval throughout the Arab world.
And can we find support for the dithering? Yes we can:
But unlike Mr. Bush, Mr. Obama cast the United States in a supporting, almost reluctant role, reflecting the clear desire of the Pentagon, which has been strongly resistant to another American war in the Middle East.
Ahh, well, we don't want to get involved but what's a superpower to do when both France and the Arab League bat their baby blues?
Say it with me - they told Glenn that if he voted for McCain we would be taken into wars with neither Congressional approval nor public debate.
SENDING A STRONG SIGNAL: The Times gets inside the decision process and reassures us that Obama is commited to vacillation and weakness. After explaining that this is Hillary's war, they deliver this jaw-dropper:
On Thursday, during an hour-and-a -half meeting, Mr. Obama signed off on allowing American pilots to join Europeans and Arabs in military strikes against the Libyan government.
The president had a caveat, though. The American involvement in military action in Libya should be limited — no ground troops — and finite. “Days, not weeks,” a senior White House official recalled him saying.
"Days, not weeks"? Seriously? Because several folks (Ross Douthat, Jeffrey Goldberg, Clive Crook) have made the seemingly obvious point that if Qadaffi simply accepts a cease fire in place (which is, after all, what the UN requested), that may not result in the fall of his government. In which case we may be propping up the rebels in Benghazi for years, not days. Is Obama really not aware of this possibility? Does he seriously think the US will abandon its role in the no-fly zone after a few days if the situation is unresolved? Or is he really just too focused on the NCAA upsets to think clearly about this? This "days, not weeks" timeline is absurd, but it seems utterly consistent with the mindset that brought the headscratching "surge and retreat" announcement on Afghanistan.
I envision a slight recasting of Hillary's Eleven, a star-studded caper film with Hillary Clinton asking Barack Obama "Are you in or out?" Because it doesn't sound like Barry realizes we can't be in for just a day or two.
LADIES NIGHT OUT: Is my snark-detector misfiring? I think the Times is showing less than full respect in this next passage, although I may be guilty of projection:
The change [in Administration policy] became possible, though, only after Mrs. Clinton joined Samantha Power, a senior aide at the National Security Council, and Susan Rice, Mr. Obama’s ambassador to the United Nations, who had been pressing the case for military action to avert a potential humanitarian catastrophe, according to senior administration officials speaking only on condition of anonymity. Ms. Power is a former journalist and human rights advocate; Ms. Rice was an Africa adviser to President Clinton when the United States failed to intervene to stop the Rwanda genocide, which Mr. Clinton has called his biggest regret.
Now, the three women were pushing for American intervention to stop a looming humanitarian catastrophe in Libya.
Well, thank heaven Barry listened to a former journalist and not his defense specialists. Apparently the boring middle-aged guys wanted to stay home:
In joining Ms. Rice and Ms. Power, Mrs. Clinton made an unusual break with Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates, who, along with the national security adviser, Thomas E. Donilon, and the counterterrorism chief, John O. Brennan, had urged caution. Libya was not vital to American national security interests, the men argued, and Mr. Brennan worried that the Libyan rebels remained largely unknown to American officials, and could have ties to Al Qaeda.
No worries - America's role in Libya will be winding down by next weekend and won't distract us from the Final Four, or even the Elite Eight. Sweet Jiminy.
FROM COLD (BUT INQUIRING) MINDS: I never liked "chickenhawks" as a slur, but given their slim military credentials will libs be calling Hillary, Samantha and Susan the "chick-hawks"?