Already slammed this week by Republicans for his 2012 budget and his support of unions in Wisconsin, President Obama appears to be going for a hat trick when it comes to poor leadership choices.
As leaders around the world condemn the slaughter of innocent civilians in Libya, aside from Secretary Clinton's recent comments, the Obama Administration has remained conspicuously quiet on the issue.
While critics have offered differing suggestions on what should be done in response to the recent atrocities committed by Muammar Qaddafi, they do share the underlining view that the Administration's reaction has been inexplicably pathetic. Here's a look at what a few conservatives have had to say about the current situation:
Paul Wolfowitz, Wall Street Journal
It is difficult to understand why the U.S. is equivocating when it should be expressing clear support for the amazingly brave Libyans whom Gadhafi is slaughtering…The U.S. should come down on the side of the Libyan people—and of our principles and values. The longer the current bloodshed continues, the worse the aftermath will be. The U.S. silence over the last crucial days has been mocked by commentators in the Arab media, who display with relish the 2009 photo of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton meeting with one of Gadhafi's more hideous sons, Mutassim. We will not get much of a hearing in a post-Gadhafi Libya if that is how we continue to be viewed.
William Kristol, The Weekly Standard
Secretary of State Clinton issued a truly pathetic statement … No direct condemnation of the Qaddafi regime. No expression of support for the demonstrators. No hint of action on our part—no immediate economic embargo, no threats against any individuals involved in the atrocities, no call for a U.N. Security Council meeting, no sign of possible NATO enforcement of a no-fly zone, no demand that the border be opened for humanitarian aid. Instead, the State Department is trying to "convey a message" to the Libyan government. This is your State Department at work. Surely there are some in the White House—I think there are some—who are cringing at such an absence of moral clarity on the part of the U.S. government and at such a failure of American leadership. Let's hope they persuade the president to step forward very soon to overrule the State Department, and to put the United States, in both speech and deed, strongly and unequivocally on the side of decency and freedom.
Nick Wood, Media Intelligence Partners
The Left remain sanctimonious and confused. A man they once defended as an Arab nationalist bravely standing up to the West (and supplying the IRA) is now excoriated for machine-gunning protesters in his own land. There is a clearer and simpler way of looking at this - a view expounded by the conservatives Reagan, Thatcher and George W Bush and the honorary and late-coming conservative Blair: murderous despots are always wrong and should be given no succour.
Jennifer Rubin, Right Turn in the Washington Post:
[O]nce again the administration is stuck in neutral, seemingly surprised by and unprepared for recent developments. You'd think after a few of these episodes, they'd have developed an effective response. But, no, not this group. For people who castigated the Bush administration and promised "smart diplomacy," they surely haven't demonstrated any prowess of their own.
Danielle Pletka, in an email to Washington Post blogger Jennifer Rubin which she disclosed in the blo:
It’s not an easy situation in the Middle East, and a little hesitation from the administration is understandable. A very little. But President Obama’s complete moral and political paralysis is inexplicable.
Peter Feaver, Foreign Policy’s Shadow Government:
The Qaddafi regime is no friend of the United States. While Qaddafi did make a major concession on WMD in 2003 on the heels of the U.S. invasion of Iraq, it is likely that that deal would be honored (or an even better one secured) by any regime installed after its ouster. Moreover, the level of atrocities the regime has inflicted upon the street protesters goes well beyond what the other regional autocrats have done. Full-throated condemnation would seem an easy call for the administration. As former Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz notes in a tough column today, the U.S. message has not been all that full-throated, not yet anyway…As Wolfowitz and others note, there is much the United States can do and pressure other states into doing short of unilateral military actions. The Obama administration should take those steps, and quickly.