The PJ Tatler

'War by steering committee' in Libya now?

Really? This is where we are now?

Those of us who’ve been involved in Baptist churches know what steering committees are. They’re among the most slothful, indecisive bodies known to man. While they’re not actually created to prevent decisions from being made, they often lead to that outcome. So, you know, a steering committee is just the perfect instrument through which to fight a civil war. Or protect civilians, or whatever it is we’re doing in Libya. The only thing we know for sure is that we’re not using our military to take out the head of the enemy’s steering committee. That was a committee decision, at the UN.

I don’t mean to be flip. But at every turn, this very serious action has come to resemble farce. We’ve had President Barackets show more passion for sports than he shows for his job. We’ve had the Arab League dip in and dip out and basically take Gaddafi’s word against ours after endorsing our action against him. We’ve had Gaddafi’s own ambassadors, once his shameless mouthpieces, tell us what a loon he is once they thought he was going down. We’ve had the Italians and Turks waffle and China lecture us on how to be humanitarians, and the Russians accuse us of launching a modern day crusade. And a French mouthpiece, supposed to be on the team, agreed with that.

None of that would matter much if we had our strategic act together, but it’s clear that we don’t. None of it still may matter much, but fighting a war from the air by committee, all with competing interests and without a clear, unifying objective? That will matter, and not in a good way.