“History is on the move in the Middle East, in North Africa .. and young people are leading the way,”
President Barack Obama, March 28, speech on Libya
After listening to the president’s speech tonight, I am of the understanding that he is trying to explain the reasons for the bombing of Libya. And in doing so, well, it’s complicated.
This president likes to be professorial. He explained that no, the military action is not part of regime change. “We’ve been down that road in Iraq,” he said, dismissively. Instead, the no-fly zone protected a massacre from occuring in Libya and enabled those “young people” to pursue a new government. The rest of the actions — freezing Libya’s $33 billion in assets, international pressures, embargoes, etc., hopefully will convince Gadhafi to leave.
Will this work? I am not sure.
Obama’s long-winded explanation is his way of filling us in on his philosophy. And it is also a way to look like, sound like and act like the military leader of the United States. Americans and pundits looking for a black-and-white explanation aren’t going to get it from this guy. He’s way too nuanced in his speeches.
One last nuance I noticed. It is the way he tried to rally young people to his side. He was saying sometimes the U.S. military forces can be used to help the young people of the world improve their lives. It happened in Egypt and Tunisia. Why not now Libya?
I wonder how the young people in this country react to that? Do young people really care? Do they support the U.S. military in this case? If so, this could be a case where military might is supported — not protested — by young Americans.
I’m waiting to see what the reaction is here in America. Or will young people just go about their normal business and not care at all.