Remember when the lads at Time magazine went on a bender in late January and did the cover story on President Obama as the second coming of President Reagan? Try to image the Gipper uttering these words, as spotted by Bryan Preston on the Pajamas Tatler blog:
A very alert Tatler reader tipped us to this statement by President Obama. It’s from an interview he did in El Salvador during his swing through Central and South America. Take a look at how he characterizes how the United States has ended up putting troops in harm’s way in Libya.
And we will continue to support the efforts to protect the Libyan people, but we will not be in the lead. That’s what the transition that I discussed has always been designed to do. We have unique capabilities. We came in, up front, fairly readily, fairly substantially, and at considerable risk to our military personnel. And when this transition takes place, it is not going to be our planes that are maintaining the no-fly zone. It is not going to be our ships that are necessarily involved in enforcing the arms embargo. That’s precisely what the other coalition partners are going to do.
And that’s why building this international coalition has been so important because it means that the United States is not bearing all the cost. It means that we have confidence that we are not going in alone, and it is our military that is being volunteered by others to carry out missions that are important not only to us, but are important internationally. And we will accomplish that in a relatively short period of time. (emphasis added)
There are problems with all of that, especially in the military capabilities and will to act that this president seems to think our allies possess. There would have been no no-fly zone without the US, and there will be no no-fly zone if we’re not playing a major role in enforcing it. That’s just reality.
But moving past that, the bolded sentence in the second paragraph beggars belief. As president, Obama is the commander-in-chief of the US military. It should not be “volunteered by others” for anything. Obama is, to borrow the word of a previous president, the decider when it comes to deploying the military. But here is more evidence that not only is Obama uncomfortable with command, he is also very leery of American leadership in the world. See Tony Katz’s article at PJM for a deeper look into that.
Here’s a screen cap of the relevant passage, lest it disappear from Obama’s Website:
Click to enlarge.
And since context is everything, click here for more from that page.
As Bryan writes, “This is a coalition and a war in total disarray, because the American president is abdicating his responsibility at every turn.”
Related: “Who’s in charge?”