So the French have won the war for Chocolate in The Ivory Coast, ousting a president who refused to give up power, after losing his re-election bid. Even better, they claimed only a minor role, defering to the “rebel” forces and the UN as the ones who “bagged” former President Gbagbo (silent “G”). If the French can depose a dictator in Ivory Coast with UN help, why can’t the US dislodge Khadafi, with UN, NATO, and Arab League help? – An unfair question, but one that is being asked around the world, nonetheless.
On it’s face, Sarkozy’s action in the Ivory Coast shows that even half-assed American action in a region gives cover for our allies to act more boldly. The situation in Ivory Coast was much different than Libya, but the outcome is what many wished would’ve happened in Libya, weeks ago. Now the African Union is trying to “negotiate” something in Libya, but it doesn’t look like the deal includes ‘Daffy leaving, so it’s been rejected by the rebels.
Sarkozy at least had the sense to step into a war that he knew something about, which enabled France to accomplish “regime change” more efficiently than the US has done in years. President Obama was suckered into Libya by domestic politics and media, and now he has to make a decision: will he do what it takes to get rid of ‘Daffy? That question won’t go away before election day, and clinging to “protecting civillians” as a mission will only get him so far, especially when neither side in this civil war cares much about civillian casualties.
We’ll have to see if Sarkozy did the right thing in the Cote D’Ivoire (in the original French). Again, both sides are accused of atrocities. They French are being called “neo-colonialists,” but what business does any nation that is part of the UN decry “neo-colonialism?” Gbagbo lost the election, and refused to leave. Authoritarian rulers in Africa lose alot of elections, but few of them give up power. France did something about it, in the Ivory Coast, with the UN. Chocolate prices went down, after Gbagbo’s surrender. Can Obama lower oil prices by getting ‘Daffy out? – Another stupid question, but one that will be asked.
This Libyan action has a greater chance of not turning out well every day; that much is evident. Days have turned to weeks, and the pretense that NATO is going to change anything on the ground is wearing thin, without a greater committment by the US. Will the most liberal president in almost three decades intervene in a third Muslim nation, while failing to withdraw from the other two? He already has, and his efforts to undo that will not fix the rift he has created with the “anti-war” caucus in his base, which is huge.
The “international community” is “having him for lunch,” and Sarkozy is “showing him up” with his Ivory Coast “success.” I don’t want to see him re-elected, but I feel sorry for our president, and the position he’s put himself in.
He seems to be picking up Reagan’s “unfinished business” with ‘Daffy from the ’80′s. It also reminds me of GW Bush, who felt an obligation to get rid of Saddam Hussein after his father, GHW Bush, only bombed Baghdad, and imposed an ineffectual “no fly zone” that lasted over a decade after driving Saddam out of Kuwait. Which Bush will Obama be, in Libya?