The Washington Post

Friday question answered

Obama belatedly ended weeks of dithering last week on Libya. Along with Britain and France, we are now engaged in a military operation.On Friday I asked why he reversed course and whether it was wise to wait for the U.N. action.

ZoltanNewberry wrote, in part: “Because Hillary shamed him into it.” Well, yes, there is that. The most literary answer goes to jcw47mypost. Quoting liberally from the greatest battle speech in literature, he writes: “It is likely that Obama reversed course because of intense pressure from exasperated allies who want not Hamlet at Elsinore but King Henry V on Crispin’s Day.”

But ploni expresses a common perception among the president’s critics: “Obama did not reverse course, he was dragged kicking & screaming by Sarkozy/Cameron + the threat of Hillary leaving right now. The U.N. resolution is a fig leaf to hide [Obama’s] lack of nerve/leadership. There was no choice of waiting/not waiting; Obama wanted to do nothing and still prefers to ‘consider all options.’ Events, and ‘allies,’ forced his hand.”

We don’t know if Clinton or anyone threatened to resign. But we know that the same “reluctant commander” Bob Woodward spotted during the decision-making on our Afghanistan policy has not become any more decisive. If only the advisors who urged action had implored him earlier to change his mind, Gaddafi might be in a worse position and many Libyan lives might have been spared.

Jennifer Rubin writes the Right Turn blog for The Post, offering reported opinion from a conservative perspective.


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