Editorial: President Obama's reluctant policy in Libya - Cleveland 19 News Cleveland, OH

Editorial: President Obama's reluctant policy in Libya

President Obama went before the American people on Monday in a belated attempt to explain what we are doing in Libya. 

His explanation for why America and its allies should confront the dictator Moammar Gaddafi was, in itself, convincing but what remains unclear is the long-range U.S. strategy towards Libya and the rest of that beleaguered region. So far, the president's policy seems somewhat incoherent.

The uncertainty began back with the rebellion in Egypt. At first President Obama demanded that President Mubarak step down, then when the outcome of the crisis became uncertain, the White House suddenly went silent. 

Now with Libya, the president was clearly reluctant to aid the rebels until it looked like Gaddafi might crush the revolt and then suddenly a change of heart and bingo American troops were in battle.  But still and despite his Monday speech, it is not clear where we are going with Libya. 

The president says that regime change is not the goal of the operation but with American planes shooting at Gaddafi's tanks it certainly looks that way. 

And asked if we would arm the Libyan rebels, Obama said he's not ruling it out, but he's also not ruling it in. The president sought the approval of the United Nations and not Congress before getting involved in Libya so maybe someone at the U.N. can explain what American policy in that region intends to be.   

Write and let me know what you think. I'm Bill Applegate.



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