Obama Credited With Achieving End to Gaddafi But How to Avoid Saying He Had Him Killed

Posted on October 20, 2011

Here is the Huffington Post account of Gaddafi’s death:

Moammar Gadhafi, who ruled Libya with a dictatorial grip for 42 years until he was ousted by his own people in an uprising that turned into a bloody civil war, was killed Thursday by revolutionary fighters overwhelming his hometown, Sirte, the last major bastion of resistance two months after his regime fell. [HuffPo]

Moments ago in the Rose Garden, President Obama himself said that the US helped bring about this success without boots on the ground and the loss of a single US life.  The boots on the ground is questionable.  In the early stages of the Revolution, it was reported here based on confirmed reports that there were, in fact, us boots on the ground in an advisory capacity.

But Senators McCain and Kerry treaded lightly in attributing the end of  Gaddafi to President Obama’s leadership of  NATO forces:

McCain, an Arizona Republican who lost to President Barack Obama in the 2008 presidential election, called it a “great day” and said the administration he previously criticized for withholding full U.S. military capacity in Libya “deserves great credit.”

“Obviously I had different ideas on the tactical side but … the world is a better place and the Libyan people now have a chance,” McCain told CNN.

Kerry, a Massachusetts Democrat, said Obama’s policy of building a NATO-led coalition for the Libya mission “demonstrated clear-eyed leadership, patience, and foresight by pushing the international community into action.” [CNN]

The end could just as easilyhave been otherwise.  But there was strong pressure from the allies to end the regime that put so many of its people in boats escaping to Europe.  Care for these refugees was a hot political issue.

Look for Obama to overreach and overreact and put boots and boats in the service of ridding Syria of its leader.  He remains a neophyte in foreign affairs and in military matters.  3 years do not a Commander-in-Chief make.  He has been slow to make decisions on behalf of our military and as a result, in Afghanistan our losses rose.  In Libya, his delay cost the lives of many locals on the ground.  It was our generals that won the moment here.  He just wanted it done – as with the project to rid Pakistan of  Bin Laden.

Care should also be taken that the transitional government has the support of the west so that the situation on the ground does not give way to extremism as it has in Egypt.  This is another good reason for our leadership to cease crowing about a victory in Libya.  The victory belongs to the people.  Put another way, try convincing the Brits that we saved them in WWII.  They had our help but they lived the Battle of Britain.

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