It didn’t last more than a few hours (the White House even told journalists that the women weren’t even in the room when Obama made his decision). It was a one-off move that was likely prompted more by European (especially French) and anti-Gaddafi Arab insistence than by the arguments of the Valkyries. It was certainly not a principled world view that would become the trademark of our Nobel Prize-winning president. You may have noticed the total silence about “RtoP” when it comes to Syria, where the slaughter has been orders of magnitude greater than anything Gaddafi likely contemplated.
The proof that RtoP was just the flavor of the day, rather than a new dispensation from on high, is the destiny of Obama’s Furies. If you scan the policy-making horizon, you’ll only find a single surviving Valkyrie: Ambassador Rice. And she was most recently in the headlines when she served as Obama’s lead propagandist for the fable that the attack on our facility in Benghazi was a spontaneous demonstration provoked by an evil video, and then withdrew from consideration as Hillary’s successor at the State Department. Hillary is gone. Samantha Powers is gone. And we’re left with an administration that abandons American diplomats under fire, vetoes proposals to support the Syrian opposition, begs Iran for a nuclear deal, and turns its back on oppressed and murdered people most everywhere.
There is an Obama Doctrine, but hardly anyone wants to acknowledge it. He favors anti-American dictators, and he couldn’t care less what they do to their people. That’s the doctrine that checks out: he favored the Muslim Brotherhood over the pro-American Mubarak; the Libyan insurrectionaries over Gaddafi, who had come to terms with the United States; the Iranian tyrants who crushed a pro-democracy uprising; and Assad (who, whatever Kerry and Hegel have said, is an enemy) against a revolution that at least contained pro-American elements, now suffering from Obama’s betrayal.
Samantha Power wrote a fine book about Bill Clinton’s historic failure to stop the Rwandan genocide. Maybe she’ll enlighten us about Obama’s brief flirtation with humanitarian intervention, and his subsequent abandonment of the very idea, along with the women who were its most forceful advocates.