Leon Wieseltier mounts his enormously high horse and pontificates:

If Muammar Qaddafi takes Benghazi, it will be Barack Obama’s responsibility.

That is what it means to be the American president. The American president cannot but affect the outcome. That is his burden and his privilege. He has the power to stop such an atrocity, so if the atrocity is not stopped it will be because he chose not to use his power. Perhaps that is why Obama has been telling people, rather tastelessly, that it would be easier to be the president of China. Obama will not be rushed. He is a man of the long game. But the Libyan struggle for freedom, and the mission of rescue, is a short game. That is the temporality of such circumstances. If you do not act swiftly, you have misunderstood the situation. Delay means disaster. Does Obama have any idea of what Qaddafi’s victory will mean for the region and its awakening?

Not much, actually. Wieseltier suffers from the notion that we are still living in the 1990s. The American president is emphatically not responsible for all the horrors that go on in the world, even if he has the power to stop them. Notice one word missing from the piece: Iraq.

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