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President Obama Acted Justly, Morally on Libyan Conflict

By March 21, 2011

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I believe that President Obama has, thus far, acted both correctly and morally regarding military air attacks on Libya if, as the President insists:
  • U.S. leadership in attacking Moammar Gadhafi's forces in Libya is short-term and does not entail ground forces, and
  • U.S. involvement, thereafter, is limited and part of a much larger United Nations humanitarian effort.

I'm not alone in in supporting President Obama's use of air strikes to protect Libyan citizens. Per a new CNN poll:

"According to the survey, 70 percent support the establishment of a no-fly zone by the U.S. and other countries, up from 56 percent a week ago. Twenty-seven percent oppose the move, down 13 points... And most Americans are on the same page as President Barack Obama in opposing putting U.S. ground forces into the conflict."

Both the President and the United Nations have declared these strikes against overtly-murderous Libyan dictator Gadhafi to be strictly a humanitarian mission. Said the President last Friday as part of his official declaration:

"The United States is acting with a broad coalition that is committed to enforcing United Nations Security Council Resolution 1973, which calls for the protection of the Libyan people...

"I am deeply aware of the risks of any military action, no matter what limits we place on it. I want the American people to know that the use of force is not our first choice and it's not a choice that I make lightly.

"But we cannot stand idly by when a tyrant tells his people that there will be no mercy... where innocent men and women face brutality and death at the hands of their own government."

Read here for the full text of President Obama's Declaration of U.S. Military Action on Libya.

If President Obama loses control of the Libya situation, as President Bush did eight years ago with the still-ongoing Iraq War, then he has massive problems, both logistical and political. Clearly, Obama has bet his presidency on supporting U.N. success in Libya, and in keep U.S. involvement to a manageable minimum.

I admire that President Barack "play it safe" Obama took a risk for a just and moral humanitarian cause. He does that far too infrequently for liberal tastes.

I have no doubt, though, that as President Obama promised, U.S. leadership in the Libyan conflict will be short-lived, and U.S. involvement will be as merely one player among many as part of a United Nation effort.

Why do I fervently believe that? Because, in case you haven't yet noticed, Barack Obama is a political survivor extraordinaire. He's a political cat with nine lives, and he'll land safely on his feet after this scrape, too. He'll personally see to it. Mark my words!

(Photo taken on March 19, 2011 of President Obama and staff working on his Declaration of Limited Military Action in Libya, while on a state visit to Brazil: Pete Souza/White House/Getty Images)

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