03/29/11 — OK ... but ... president's speech left a lot of questions still to be answered

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OK ... but ... president's speech left a lot of questions still to be answered

It was a good speech -- they always are.

But after listening to President Barack Obama talk about the situation in Libya Monday night -- and the U.S.'s role in the enforcement action or whatever it is -- it would be hard to imagine anyone being able to come up with a clear, defined reason why we are there.

And that is why this one is so scary.

The reasons cited were humanitarian. The president wanted to step in "before there are mass graves."

Hmmm. OK. Wasn't one of his biggest arguments against the Iraq war that there was no direct threat to the U.S.? At least back then, we thought there were weapons of mass destruction.

And if the main issue was to protect a people from the horrors of a murdering dictator, what about some of the worst spots like the Sudan and the Congo?

And who is really in charge of this expedition? If NATO drops the ball, who will be expected to rush in to save the day? That's an easy guess.

The problem with our seemingly new foreign policy of getting everybody's permission before we act as a nation is that it leaves a lot of questions about how strong we are -- and the respect we can muster when it comes to making sure our enemies know that when we enter a conflict we mean business.

Coalitions are great -- if you are not a player on the world stage. What matters more is that when we enter a fray, we mean business and we end it.

Perhaps that is President Obama's goal -- to let the world know that we are the force behind the attack.

Let's hope before it escalates we have a clearer purpose for being there and a strategy to get out.

Published in Editorials on March 29, 2011 10:36 AM