Rich Lowry cruelly asks: “Is it a war or a Marx Brothers comedy?” I believe that the Obama administration’s position is that it is neither. Rather, Rich is positing what the president likes to condemn as “a false choice.”
Like others whom the president condemns in this fashion, however, Rich is on to something. He links to the New York Times article by Thom Shanker and Charlie Savage reporting that NATO is prepared to bomb the LIbyan rebels (or “rebels,” as I prefer to call them) whom we have intervened to support.
Shanker and Savage lead their story with this: “Members of the NATO alliance have sternly warned the rebels in Libya not to attack civilians as they push against the regime of Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi, according to senior military and government officials.”
Shanker and Savage report in paragraph two: “As NATO takes over control of airstrikes in Libya and the Obama administration considers new steps to tip the balance of power there, the coalition has told the rebels that the fog of war will not shield them from possible bombardment by NATO planes and missiles, just as the regime’s forces have been punished.”
Was it only the day before yesterday that the Obama administration was debating whether we should arm the “rebels”? Perhaps it would be more accurate to say that Obama was holding the debate with himself: “I’m not ruling it out. But I’m also not ruling it in,” Obama told NBC News in an interview Tuesday evening. Maybe he’ll be able to rule on it once he figures out who the heck the “rebels” are.
Damn, these limited kinetic engagement deals can get hairy.
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