Looking back over the past few weeks, one can see a little history play out:
People rose up against Gaddafi. The West dithered.
The tide was in favor of the Libya rebels. The West dithered.
The tide turned in Gaddafi’s favor. The West — i.e., a few NATO states plus Obama — intervened.
Obama was utterly unable to give a coherent explanation for why the U.S. intervened.
A short time after the U.S. committed to Libya (air strikes now, the increased possibility of ground troops later), we learned that the rebels our military is supporting in Libya are al Qaeda members, the same people our military fighting against in Afghanistan and Iraq.
So far so clear. Here’s where the Machiavellian stuff comes in:
We’re doing a lousy job helping the rebels. We keep killing them in “accidental” air strikes. Also, Gaddafi is winning. Ordinary ineptitude because of a war that has no discernible mission and a lousy NATO command structure? I don’t think so. (Cue impressive introductory music.)
I’ve decided that Obama and the NATO states knew all along what was going on. In the very first instance, when the rebels appeared, they knew that they were al Qaeda. Obama’s/NATO’s first instinct was to sit on the sidelines, and let Gaddafi and al Qaeda fight it out. However, when Gaddafi was already winning, Obama and NATO had their brilliant idea: take advantage of the fact that al Qaeda fighters were being drawn out into the open, pretend to befriend them, and then “accidentally” kill them, all the while making sure that Gaddafi and his troops lead the slaughter on the ground.
It’s this Machivellian motive that explains Obama’s incoherence when he tried to tell the American people why it benefits us to spend millions a day fighting a war in which we have no clearly articulated national interest, even as we’re fighting a war on two other fronts. It also prevented him from telling us why it’s perfectly reasonable to ally ourselves in Libya with the same people we’re trying to kill in Afghanistan. If he’d told the truth, his beautiful scheme would have been destroyed.
When you have a president as brilliant as Obama, you just need to understand that everything he does is for the best in this best of all possible worlds. (And if you don’t know that I’m being sarcastic here, you don’t know me very well.)