Thursday, August 25, 2011

Credit Where Credit Is Due

E. J. Dionne complains that President Obama is not getting enough credit for the overthrow of Gaddafi.

The question comes to mind in the wake of the Libyan rebels' successes against Moammar Gaddafi. It's remarkable how reluctant Obama's opponents are to acknowledge that despite all the predictions that his policy of limited engagement could never work, it actually did.
So, what did Obama do? The actual fighting was done by the rebels. Dionne does admit this in passing. But, they were aided by NATO who provided air support, weapons, and training. And NATO acted because of the urgings of... French President Sarkozy. The US was involved in the initial conflict but, as President Obama told Congress, operational control was passed of to NATO after the first few days and the US limited its role to providing supplies and tactical data. Also we sent some Predators in to hunt Gaddafy.

Dionne admits that, also:

The military action by the West that was crucial to the rebels was a genuine coalition effort led by Britain and France. This was not a made-by-America revolution, and both we and the Middle East are better for that.

Yes, we probably provided more support than the President admitted but we would never have been there if France and the UK hadn't shamed us into it. So why is Dionne giving Obama so much credit?

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