Saturday, 26 March 2011

Krauthammer on Obama´s lack of leadership

"America is led by a man determined that it should not"

Charles Krauthammer is not amused by the kind of leadership Barack Obama has shown during the Libya crisis. And it is not difficult to agree with what he is saying:

And as for the United States, who knows what American policy is. Administration officials insist we are not trying to bring down Gaddafi, even as the president insists that he must go. Although on Tuesday Obama did add “unless he changes his approach.” Approach, mind you.
In any case, for Obama, military objectives take a back seat to diplomatic appearances. The president is obsessed with pretending that we are not running the operation — a dismaying expression of Obama’s view that his country is so tainted by its various sins that it lacks the moral legitimacy to . . . what? Save Third World people from massacre?
Obama seems equally obsessed with handing off the lead role. Hand off to whom? NATO? Quarreling amid Turkish resistance (see above), NATO still can’t agree on taking over command of the airstrike campaign, which is what has kept the Libyan rebels alive.
This confusion is purely the result of Obama’s decision to get America into the war and then immediately relinquish American command. Never modest about himself, Obama is supremely modest about his country. America should be merely “one of the partners among many,” he said Monday. No primus inter pares for him. Even the Clinton administration spoke of America as the indispensable nation. And it remains so. Yet at a time when the world is hungry for America to lead — no one has anything near our capabilities, experience and resources — America is led by a man determined that it should not.
A man who dithers over parchment. Who starts a war from which he wants out right away. Good God. If you go to take Vienna, take Vienna. If you’re not prepared to do so, better then to stay home and do nothing.

Read the entire column here.


As we have pointed out several times already, only the US is capable of leading an operation like the one going on in Libya now. Formally NATO can take over, but in reality the US stays as leader, want it or not. Obama´s active avoidance of visible leadership is not very clever, because everybody - including the muslim countries - knows who is the real leader.
The internal bickering within NATO is also very damaging with regard to the future of the alliance. The worst performer is Germany, which in reality has allied itself with Russia and China. And sometimes one wonders, why Turkey is a member of the alliance?

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