On Morning Joe today they talked mainly about Obama's speech regarding the "kinetic military action" in Libya. Donnie Deutsch, that political philosopher extaordinaire, thinks Obama is pitch perfect, on target, hunky-dory, jam up and jelly tight so far in Libya. Deutsch attempted to use every cliche he's heard the smart guys use -- gray areas, no absolutes, reasoned and calm, finding the right path between extremes, etc.
Pat Buchanan says that after going in, Obama should finish the job and oust Qaddafi. Charles Blow has problems and worries about getting stuck when the allies fade. Mika has concerns, too, and she wants to think Obama is doing the right thing, but she has concerns. Willie wonders why, if we went to Libya, we don't then have to go into Syria and Bahrain. Bill Bennett believes we should have gone in earlier and ousted Qaddafi. Tom Brokaw, who came on later, brought up the pertinent point -- we need to reassess our involvement in the Mid-East and look to the future regarding international relations.
The main argument among the Morning Joe crew and guests was whether to do as Obama suggested, make things safe for the Libyan citizens, then turn it over to the allies or to go forward and help the rebels oust Qaddafi. Now that we've gone this far, there is no telling what will happen. If things go well and Qaddafi decides to leave into exile, then we have to worry about who takes charge of Libya. No country wants to accept Qaddafi right now, and there's evidence al Qaeda is leading the rebels and would take power in Qaddafi's absence.
This is why Brokaw is right, and I've been saying this for a long time -- come up with a principled doctrine regarding foreign intervention. The Samantha Powers doctrine of Responsibility to Protect is too open and subjective, and it allows too much power for a president to do what Obama has done in Libya -- if we think there's going to be slaughter, abuse or genocide, we rush in. This doctrine can be misused for political purposes.
I've suggested we close all bases, end the wars and bring the troops home, in whatever timeframe it takes as long as we aren't delaying. Once out of the Mid-East, and they know we're serious, the region will have to adjust, just as Europe will have to adjust. If we strengthen our home defense, that's all we should do, plus, we promise much destruction if we're attacked -- otherwise, we'll mind our business and trade peacefully with all nations.
Obama's speech was fluff. Obama still promotes the idea of youthful rebellion yearning for freedom and democracy. There was cautious hope in the beginning with Tunisia and Egypt, but now this narrative is out of touch with reality -- what we'll likely see is the meanest gang in each country grabbing power, and all of them unifying in opposition to the west.