The WaPo highlights a typical Obama strawman argument, in which Obama, the calm voice of reason, fends off the crazies. The topic is Libya:
Yet Mr. Obama apparently remains unwilling to rally American resources that are readily available and that Britain and France have repeatedly requested. The allies have asked for the resumption of strike operations by U.S. warplanes that Mr. Obama pulled from the fight in early April. But immediately after acknowledging that more resources are needed, Mr. Obama talked down the prospect of “additional U.S. capabilities,” saying “there are going to be some inherent limitations to our airstrike operations.” He added: “There may be a false perception that there are a whole bunch of secret super-effective air assets that are in a warehouse that could just be pulled out and that would somehow immediately solve the situation in Libya. That’s not the case.”
Well, I happen to think that if Obama busted out the good stuff from Area 51 we could end this war yesterday (literally yesterday if we deploy the Trans-Top Secret Time Twister). But the WaPo notes that the French and British are not thinking quite that big:
In fact no one we know of is making that claim — much less Mr. Cameron or French President Nicolas Sarkozy, whose appeals for help Mr. Obama is ignoring. What the allies are seeking is no secret: eight or so U.S. AC-130 and A-10 planes, weapons that exist only in the American arsenal and that are ideal for the close ground-support operations that are much needed in Libya.
The Times warns us that Obama has formally shifted to regime change, not civilian protection, as the allied goal:
WASHINGTON — President Obama has subtly shifted Washington’s public explanation of its goals in Libya, declaring now that he wants to assure the Libyan people are “finally free of 40 years of tyranny” at the hands of Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi, after first stating he wanted to protect civilians from massacres.
But if toppling Colonel Qaddafi is now the more explicit goal, Mr. Obama’s European trip this week has highlighted significant tensions over how much time the NATO allies have to finish a job that is now in its third month.
Mr. Obama has urged strategic patience, expressing confidence that over time the combination of bombing, sanctions and import cutoffs will force Colonel Qaddafi from power. “Time is working against Qaddafi,” Mr. Obama said on Wednesday at a news conference in London with Prime Minister David Cameron of Britain.
"Strategic patience" translates as "Hey, you guys are doing great!". As to how long NATO needs to remain patient, Obama's election in November 2012 seems too far away; maybe they can wait until he announces troop withdrawals from Afghanistan this summer.