In a recent story in the New York Times, we read this:
Mr. Obama’s administration, however, has clearly tried to avoid the debate over a strategy beyond that by shifting the burden of enforcing the United Nations Security Council resolution authorizing force on to France, Britain and other allies, including Arab nations like Qatar and the United Arab Emirates, which on Thursday said that it would contribute warplanes to the effort. In other words, the American exit strategy is not necessarily the coalition’s exit strategy.
“We didn’t want to get sucked into an operation with uncertainty at the end,” the senior administration official said. “In some ways, how it turns out is not on our shoulders.”
This is a cast of mind that is almost alien to America’s conception of itself. It also happens to border on being criminally negligent.
No nation, but especially the United States, should enter a war and immediately abdicate responsibility for its outcome to others. If that is the mindset of the president and his administration, then it is better never to have engaged in the conflict in the first place. Whether the Obama administration wants to accept responsibility or not, how Libya turns out does rest on our shoulders. Not alone and not completely; but we certainly share the burden and the responsibility for the outcome of events.
Just as a man can’t get a woman “sort of” pregnant, the United States can’t engage in a “sort of” war in which we duck responsibility for its denouement.
One might argue that a senior administration official who holds such a view as the one expressed to the Times should be fired. The layers of ineptness that we’re seeing from the Obama administration on Libya (and not just Libya) is striking. But that ineptness is being matched by a staggering moral indifference and dereliction of duty.