Quote of the Day: Obama’s Libya Decision is Consistent With Obama Doctrine
Our Quote of the Day comes from the indispensable First Read which says despite a barrage of criticism from the left and right, President Barack Obama’s decisions on the Libya crisis are consistent with the Obama Doctrine:
*** Keeping with the ‘Obama Doctrine’: But how Obama has dealt with Libya is consistent with the tenets of the “Obama Doctrine” on foreign policy that he laid out in April of 2009 — multilateralism and standing up for American ideals. Here’s what Obama said then, in part: No. 1 “[T]he problems that we confront, whether it’s drug cartels, climate change, terrorism, you name it, can’t be solved just by one country.” And: “Number two, I think that — I feel very strongly that when we are at our best, the United States represents a set of universal values and ideals — the idea of democratic practices, the idea of freedom of speech and religion, the idea of a civil society where people are free to pursue their dreams and not be imposed upon constantly by their government.” In pursuing action against Libya, the administration kept with those principles — it got international support with a U.N. resolution, which the U.S. only sought after it became clear that Khaddafy was going after his own people. Obama stressed in that speech that he believes “there aren’t junior partners and senior partners in the international stage.” And highlighting the fundamental difference between Obama and the conservative hawks was this from Sen. Lindsey Graham on FOX: “I’m glad we have international support, but I don’t want the model to be that you have to go to the U.N. to deal with tyranny,” Graham said. “Those Russians and China are going to be less than friendly to getting rid of dictators, because in many ways, there are countries run by dictators.”
But, in another item, First Read notes a characteristic about this administration I’ve often pointed out here: it is truly stunning how an administration that many assumed would “get it” on imagery could be so politically flat-footed with his being in Brazil depicted as talking about other issues and with French President Szarkozy being the lead leader in public on this issue.
This is not the first time the Obama administration has struggled to control the message. This has been “The Crisis Presidency” — from the greatest economic collapse since the Great Depression, bailouts and the stimulus to health care (by the way, Wednesday is the one-year anniversary of President Obama signing the health-care overhaul into law), the BP oil spill, turmoil in the Middle East, and Japan. And, as NBC’s Meet the Press with David Gregory reminded everyone on Sunday, then-Sen. Barack Obama, himself said back in 2006 on Meet the Press with Tim Russert, “Obviously, most of the time it seems that the president has maybe 10 percent of his agenda set by himself and 90 percent of it set by circumstances.” By the way, the longer Libya takes, the more grief Obama will get from the left and right. Sources in the admin still believe the heavy US military component will be done before the end of this coming weekend.