Christopher Dickey begs Obama to intervene in Libya:
So what’s a leader like President Barack Obama to do? Well, one might say, “lead.” Because, whether war-weary Americans want to believe it or not, the lack of direction in American policy right nowopposing Gaddafi but finding every excuse not to act against his forcesis going to be hugely damaging to their interests. ... Just for starters, Washington’s reluctance to take concrete action against Gaddafi’s forces confirms the idea that a dictator (a Ben Ali or a Mubarak) is more vulnerable if he is America's friend than its enemy (or in Gaddafi's case, it's frenemy).
But why would we want America to be known as the indispensable nation in keeping tyrants in power - because it has more leverage over them? Larry Diamond is less restrained in an article that almost refutes itself:
Presidents do not get elected to make easy decisions, and they certainly never become great doing so. They do not get credit just because they go along with what the diplomatic and military establishments tell them are the “wise and prudent” thing to do.
Take a couple of Ikes and call me in the morning. David Kopel seconds Diamond:
Barack Obama’s America is showing itself to be a paper tiger; and every one of America’s enemies, especially the tyrants in Iran and Venezuela, are realizing that they can step up their aggression. If Gaddafi stays, he will resume his nuclear and chemical warfare plans and his support of global terrorism, secure in the knowledge that this American President will do nothing to stop him, unless the Russians and Chinese give permission. This week is may be one that will cause terrible problems for the United States for decades to come, comparable to the week when Khomenei seized power in Iran.
My response to all this is here. I think these individuals have simply failed to assess the new global reality.