Last weekend, nearly the entire so-called civilized world mobilized against Libyan overlord Moammar Gadhafi with more alacrity than most living Americans can recall ever having seen. The ostensible rationale for doing so was to protect the Libyan people from Gadhafi, who had promised no mercy in his fight to quell a popular uprising against his capricious and ruthless regime. Under the weakest scrutiny, this humanitarian raison d’être wears thinner than Kate Moss, given the abundance of atrocities currently taking place in such nations as the Congo and Sudan, to name but two.
In light of the duress under which Americans (and in all fairness, Obama himself) have struggled – the economy, rising fuel costs, national security and labor tensions – the imprudence of this engagement has even experts baffled. Some have put the president’s actions, inaction and absence on the continent during this period down to incompetence or indecisive tendencies. Conservative pundits continue to counsel Obama to step up and “be a leader.” While his leadership qualities have always been in question (since he’d never led anything in his life prior to becoming president), and there are no doubt elements of ineptitude and vacillation in his modus operandi, my inclination is to remind those who are frustrated or mystified that Obama has always had his own unique and inscrutable agenda, even if he has no doctrine nor policy to speak of.
As many of his supporters and allies have discovered, this agenda isn’t necessarily in keeping with their interests. Even during the health-care debate in 2010, certain Democrat leaders felt slighted at their being shut out of certain processes. After the Republican wins in November, Obama’s brand of damage control infuriated them. The president’s determination to go his own way has dismayed benefactor George Soros, who contributed billions in dollars and minions’ man-hours to Obama’s campaign. Progressive elites the nation over (Hollywood celebrities in particular) have expressed dissatisfaction with his performance.
Last week, Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan blasted the president for demanding that Gadhafi step down, for failing to display solidarity with Africans and for being an establishment sellout in general. Farrakhan, as well as Obama’s former pastor, Jeremiah Wright, were unceremoniously discarded by Obama during his ascendancy, despite their having been key figures in that ascendancy. When Obama first hit Chicago in 1985 (prior to entering Harvard Law School), he was a young community organizer and wannabe power player. During his three years there, he forged some of the connections that would slingshot him through the political ranks in coming years – and the two clergymen were among them. So it isn’t too difficult to determine why there’s bad blood there. How bad is it?
I think the pertinent question is: How deep does it run?
By 1996, Obama was no longer a wannabe; he was an Illinois state senator. He was attending Wright’s Trinity United Church, which was allied with Farrakhan’s Nation of Islam ideologically if not theologically. Obama, Wright and Farrakhan were all operating out of Chicago, of course – and the latter just happened to be very tight with one globally infamous Libyan strongman – Gadhafi.
When Obama arrived in the Windy City, Farrakhan had already forged deep ties with Gadhafi. It’s no secret that Wright, and to a lesser extent Farrakhan, became Obama’s mentors, but it can’t help but give pause that Gadhafi, in his terse admonitions to the president and elsewhere, habitually refers to him as “my son.”
Precisely what, if any, relationship might Obama have had with the Libyan leader?
In the viral video of that radio interview, Farrakhan’s comments appear to contain cryptic, veiled threats of some sort. Does this speak to an even greater betrayal than the casual observer might surmise? Does the president have some unknown motivation for wanting Gadhafi gone?
The Islamist Muslim Brotherhood and their ilk desire fundamentalist Islamic regimes in nations such as Libya, rather than more secularized despots like Gadhafi or Egypt’s Mubarak. Obama has supported their efforts previously, if not clandestinely, even in the U.S. Contrary to the pabulum that the press has been feeding Americans pertaining to “pro-democracy protesters” in places like Egypt, Libya and Yemen, these pro-fundamentalists – perhaps even elements of al-Qaida – are driving these Mideast revolts.
Western leaders spent untold billions in blood and treasure to ensure that radical elements would not take the reins in Afghanistan and Iraq, and those actions were taken after long and judicious consideration. Suddenly, they’ve plunged into the Libyan conflagration with no elucidation whatsoever, and thus, much consternation among their governments and their people.
The European leaders involved in the Libya excursion are afraid; they’ve come to see these embattled countries as dangerously teetering dominoes, and an emerging Islamist superstate within a relative stone’s throw from their borders and shores. They may not respect Obama, but they certainly respect the might of the American military. This is why they’re on board.
Unfortunately, fear has never made for good decisions. Whether or not they are privy to any aspects of Obama’s agenda, it is more than likely that their efforts will only result in manifesting that which they seek to circumvent.
At which point, the sick joke of our wasted resources in Afghanistan and Iraq will be the least of our problems.