President Obama talked to the Nation this afternoon (4:30 PM PST) about the US involvement in Libya. Now, mind you: I am a Democrat, I voted for Obama, and I tend to think he is doing a decent job trying to work the day-to-day politics of running our country while still addressing his stated goals and planned actions in the face of huge national challenges. Still, I was not thrilled when we moved into action in Libya, although it is a tough stance to say we do nothing in the face of promised atrocities. We had at least been told the US would not lead the charge and would not stay engaged for very long. Oh, I so wanted to believe that promise!
This afternoon, Obama was saying all the right things: Obama took action for very specific reasons but was very aware that “the burden of action should not be American alone.” He also reiterated that we “cannot afford to repeat Iraq,” so—as promised—we will be reducing the United State’s role in Libya. On Wednesday, NATO will take over leadership of the ongoing action that is supported by an international coalition that includes Arab states. Therefore, the “risks and costs” to the American military and general population will be “reduced significantly.” I so want to believe that what is being reported today will come to fruition.
But I am still skeptical. There will be ongoing involvement by the US in Libya—that is a given being acknowledged by the President. And until Wednesday comes, we will not literally see the degree of reductions that take place vs. those being promised today. Then there are a few odd details. For example, I cannot quite fathom how the US military will help with “search and rescue” without committing ground forces. But still I am hopeful. I am realizing that my automatic mistrust of all politicians is waning a bit and I—dare I say it?—am hopeful that this time around the actions will match the promise. Only time will tell. But I do want to believe!
Wednesday we will see the start of the change in strategy and action in Libya. In the coming months, the reality of US involvement will become more evident. Until I am proven wrong, I will try to stay as hopeful and open-minded as Mulder on the X-Files who every week was willing to look for the truth of the situation, not the easier party-line that is more acceptable to the masses. I want to believe!