Extended quote of the day: Hitchens on Libya, Obama

February 25, 2011

Really, I wish Christopher Hitchens would stop being so shy about his feelings:

Evidently a little sensitive to the related charges of being a) taken yet again completely by surprise, b) apparently without a policy of its own, and c) morally neuter, the Obama administration contrived to come up with an argument that maximized every form of feebleness. Were we to have taken a more robust or discernible position, it was argued, our diplomatic staff in Libya might have been endangered. In other words, we decided to behave as if they were already hostages! The governments of much less powerful nations, many with large expatriate populations as well as embassies in Libya, had already condemned Qaddafi’s criminal behavior, and the European Union had considered sanctions, but the United States (which didn’t even charter a boat for the removal of staff until Tuesday. [See also. –PF]) felt obliged to act as if it were the colonel’s unwilling prisoner. I can’t immediately think of any precedent for this pathetic “doctrine,” but I can easily see what a useful precedent it sets for any future rogue regime attempting to buy time. Leave us alone—don’t even raise your voice against us—or we cannot guarantee the security of your embassy. (It wouldn’t be too soon, even now, for the NATO alliance to make it plain to Qaddafi that if he even tried such a thing, he would lose his throne, and his ramshackle armed forces, and perhaps his worthless life, all in the course of one afternoon.)

Unless the administration seriously envisages a future that includes the continued private ownership of Libya and its people by Qaddafi and his terrible offspring, it’s a sheer matter of prudence and realpolitik, to say nothing of principle, to adopt a policy that makes the opposite assumption. Libya is—in point of population and geography—mainly a coastline. The United States, with or without allies, has unchallengeable power in the air and on the adjacent waters. It can produce great air lifts and sea lifts of humanitarian and medical aid, which will soon be needed anyway along the Egyptian and Tunisian borders, and which would purchase undreamed-of goodwill. It has the chance to make up for its pointless, discredited tardiness with respect to events in Cairo and Tunis. It also has a president who has shown at least the capacity to deliver great speeches on grand themes. Instead, and in the crucial and formative days in which revolutions are decided, we have had to endure the futile squawkings of a cuckoo clock.

Ouch!

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Libya: Just how pathetic is Barack Obama?

February 24, 2011

The British have dispatched the Royal Navy and their SAS –their elite Special Air Service— to evacuate their citizens from Libya:

The SAS was ordered into Libya on Thursday to oversee the evacuation of hundreds of British nationals after the Government’s response to the crisis came in for widespread criticism.

Nearly 500 Britons were successfully repatriated throughout the day after three RAF Hercules transport aircraft and a Royal Navy frigate were pressed into action.

The Daily Telegraph has learnt that special forces were on the ground in Tripoli to ensure the evacuation of all British nationals went smoothly.

SAS officers offered support and advice to private security firms drafted in to rescue more than 170 oil workers stranded in remote desert compounds.

Last night the frigate HMS Cumberland set sail from Benghazi with 200 passengers on board, many of them British.

Rescue efforts were still under way last night but the Government insisted that it was close to getting everybody out.

That is how the government of a world power is supposed to take care of its people!

So, what did President of the United States Barack Hussein Obama, Commander in Chief of the mightiest military the world has ever seen, do? Dispatch a carrier battle group with Marines to rescue our people? Drop in Special Forces to secure an evacuation zone? Declare a no-fly zone and crack a few sonic booms over Tripoli as a warning to Qaddafi?

Nope. The 45th President of the United States, successor in office to Washington, Adams, Jefferson, Jackson, Lincoln, TR, FDR, Reagan, and all the rest… rented a ferry:

Right now, in Libya, there are hundreds of Americans waiting for evacuation … by ferry.

Seriously.  The State Department has chartered a ferry to take the hundreds of waiting Americans to Malta.  But rough seas have delayed the ferry’s departure until Friday.

A ferry. We have the biggest navy in the world and all that wimp can do is rent a ferry, as if this were some excursion in the bay instead of an evacuation in the middle of a civil war.

Others offered earlier the reasonable argument that Obama wasn’t doing more because he didn’t want to do something that might set Qaddafi off to take revenge on Americans. But that obviously isn’t a concern if the Brits feel they can send in the SAS…

Yet we rent a ferry.

Unbelievable.

Mr. President… Barry… Stop it. Just stop. You’re embarrassing us.

UPDATE: After three days, the ferry has finally left the dock in Tripoli and the Americans are out. Maybe next time we should ask London to do it for us.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


The price of Obama’s weakness

February 17, 2011

When they feel this free to abuse Americans abroad, it means the tyrants no longer fear us.

So desperate to be loved and respected overseas, President Obama has made his country neither.


Obama vs. Iran: the gloves come off

August 5, 2009

Whoa, gird your loins; it may be time to take cover! On the occasion of Iranian Psychotic Nutjob President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s  inauguration, the Obama administration has decided to play hardball with the mullahs, soft power-style:

In an address after the ceremony, he criticised foreign powers who have cast doubt on the validity of the election, saying Iran would resist them.

Opposition supporters protesting outside parliament were met by hundreds of riot police.

Germany, France, Britain and the US all said they would not be sending letters of congratulation to Mr Ahmadinejad.

Well, that showed them. And if Tehran doesn’t learn from this brutal demonstration of Smart Diplomacy(tm), the next step will be to scratch them from the next Fourth of July party list.

That’ll teach’em.  Rolling Eyes

LINKS: A letter-writer to The Weekly Standard is even rougher on Ahmadinejad:

“I hear we’re also refusing to supply sparkling water and cookies at the bilateral talks when they happen. Only tap water. One must show strength before the enemy.”

It’s the Cold War all over again, man.