March 10, 2011
France recognizes Libyan rebels
It’s well past 3:00 AM. Would someone please throw a bucket of water on our president and wake him up?
France has become the first country to recognise the Libyan rebel leadership, the National Libyan Council (NLC), as the country’s legitimate government.It comes as Nato is set to discuss military options in the Libyan conflict including a possible no-fly zone.
In recent days, pro-Gaddafi forces have tried to regain ground in the rebel-held east, and have bombarded rebel forces in the town of Zawiya, 50km (30 miles) west of Tripoli.
The president of the International Red Cross said on Thursday there was a marked increase in civilian casualties in what he called a “civil war”.
The office of French President Nicolas Sarkozy said Paris regarded the NLC as Libya’s “legitimate representative”.
Mustafa Gheriani, a spokesman for the rebels in their eastern stronghold of Benghazi, said the French move was “breaking the ice”, adding that he expected other EU members to follow suit.
Not a word about the US response until the closing grafs, where Hillary Clinton gives a textbook statement on how American foreign policy has changed under Barack Obama:
On Wednesday, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton told the CBS TV network: “We believe it’s important that this not be an American or a Nato or a European effort. It needs to be an international one.”
I guess NATO and EU action just isn’t “international” enough for our timid president.
Richard Perle, writing at Pajamas Media, sums up the pitiful foreign policy of Obama:
We can, of course, stand by and accept whatever outcome results from a war that could go on for some time, with mounting casualties and opportunities for our enemies to maneuver their way to power. We could watch passively as support for the rebels is provided by those most concerned to propel their acolytes into power. Alternatively, we could at least try to shape the outcome by helping those rebels who are driven by political rather than religious motives, rebels who will not establish an Islamist beach head in North Africa. Some argue that we do not know the players-and given the parlous performance of the CIA in these areas-they may be right. But there are almost certainly people fighting Qaddafi whose motives do not include a hatred of the West or the dream of Muslim global dominance. If we can identify them it would be in our interest to help them-but time is running out.
The fact that it would be in our interest to seek out those fighting Gaddafi for more secular goals means that the president won’t lift a finger to help. In the Age of Obama, American interests come second to getting the world to like us.