Monday, March 21, 2011
President Obama is threading a needle of public opinion with the attacks on Libya. On the one hand, he is trying to satisfy conservatives who want Qaddafi gone. On the other, he needs to mollify liberals who are enraged that America has entered yet another conflict. When the Speaker of the House tells him that he has to communicate better to the American people, the President should probably listen. The President is in a tough situation. He has ruled out ground troops but he hasn't ruled out air power. However, Qaddafi has said he will grind the rebels into the dust, air power or not. The rebels are in disarray, and there is a good chance they cannot dislodge Qaddafi even with the support of allied bombs. So what is the point of American involvement? That is what Obama has tried to explain by saying he is trying to stop a dictator from slaughtering his own people. However, there are other African dictators who are doing just that, and America has not intervened. There are times when a President can't win unanimous public support, no matter what he does -- or doesn't do.