The No-Fly Guy and Operation Odyssey Dawn
No one said being president was going to be easy. And no one was right. You get yelled at for doing things, and you get yelled at for not doing things. Often both times by the same people. Which is kind of like saying, "Even when you agree with us, you're wrong." That's a tough hill to climb.
Take Libya. Please. After it became apparent the native uprising against Qaddafi was not going to replicate the successes of Egypt, President Obama got lambasted by Republicans for not immediately leaping tall buildings to help the freedom-loving Libyans, like some guy from Texas would have done. Then from the other end of the same street, the Rip Van Winkle Republican Anti-Interventionists awoke from hibernation and objected to any involvement. Ever. Anywhere. If these folks had their way, they'd take away his passport.
Through a series of delicate negotiations, Barack managed to cobble together an international alliance to enforce a no-fly zone over Libya. Good timing, eh? We finally get most of our boys out of Iraq and boom, up jumps another crisis where we get to carry the democratic load. Superman should have warned us; this superhero thing can get a wee bit tiresome. I guess the deal is, you get used to running two wars, and it's not easy trying to get by on just one. Going to have to face it, we're addicted to war. Oops. Don't call it war.
This endeavor, altercation, conflict, campaign, enmity, friendly fracas, (not a crusade) is shaking out differently. At least we don't have to worry about being accused of ulterior motives since there obviously isn't any oil in Libya, oh... uh, scratch that. Wait, I got it. One big difference is we have actual allies this time around instead of imaginary friends. And the coup de gras is the Arab League throwing in with us. An inspired consideration when you insist on invading Arab countries.
Of course this skirmish, dispute, clash, carnage, quarrel, grapple in the sand has nothing to do with Islam or oil, it's about, um, promoting democracy and getting rid of a bad guy. So if I were Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, I'd watch my back. The man is obviously harboring weapons of mass seduction. Then again, maybe we'll wait until they find oil in Tuscany.
The oddest thing about this onslaught, strife, contention, assault, incursion, discordant havoc is discovering the biggest problem with having allies is having to work with the allies. Who knew? Not a big worry for a cowboy with a penchant for going it alone. Should be okay though, since history has shown the French and the English are both easy-going, low-maintenance types. Wonder whatever happened to those shy, retiring Germans? After all, they know North Africa like the back of their hand.
We're calling it Operation Odyssey Dawn, after the girlfriend of some Marine who hung out too long in bars on the shores of Tripoli, I guess. But even with a name like a ship out of the Carnival Line, getting rid of Qaddafi will be no cruise. The guy is nuttier than a U-Top-It Sundae from Dairy Queen. Gave himself a military rank and chose Colonel. Uses his own people as human shields. Spells his name with a Q, it's not followed by a U -- he plays by rules we don't even understand. If that doesn't spell crazy, time to get a new dictionary.