January 23, 2009

With friends like these, Mr. President

Libyan crackpot Moamer Kadhafi believes America has turned a page with the election of Obama. Great news for America! The once and future terrorist state that knuckled under after Reagan and then later the UN taught them lessons in international behavior, has said America deserves a second chance now. How glorious. Obama's earned a new friend already. One who's probably rubbing his hands at the weakness he expects to be facing for the next four years.

Part of his glee involves the closing of Guantanamo (i.e. potentially freeing up jihad terrorists), withdrawal from Iraq (potentially contributing to regional instability), and a review of policy in Afghanistan (which we know he will end up being disappointed in since President Obama plans to ramp up, not down). It sounds like the making of at best a strained relationship, and at worst, a re-emboldened Kadhafi that supports anti-American terrorism.

If I were Obama who is trying to impress both the center and the left and right, I don't think I would want to reconcile my accomplishments with the backing of a lunatic Libyan dictator in the 'friends' column. No matter how it turns out - Kadhafi pleased or displeased, at least one of the three major voting blocks will be disappointed. If the President plays hardball with Kadhafi, then the left will be upset about the lack of international goodwill in the approach and see it as a go-it-alone style reminiscent of his 'dreaded' predecessor. If he cozies up to Khadafi, then the center and the right will see him as yet another liberal dove on foreign policy, reinforcing a concern of many.

With friends like these in the world, Mr. President, you're going to inevitably bleed some of those supporters who anointed you as savior.

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