The Reluctant Super Power: Time Lines are hell

Time Lines are hell. Especially when you claim to be taking decisive action in a crisis.

Take a look at this one. Look at the rhetoric each day, look at the corresponding action.

Tell me your thoughts. I know what mine are and presented them at the end.

February 15th – Libyan unrest begins more or less officially.

February 22nd China’s Evacuations of its people begins. US evacuations begin by “renting a Ferry”

February 23rd President Obama said regarding Libya that the United States would “stand up for freedom, stand up for justice, and stand up for the dignity of all people.” then promptly asks Libya for permission to evacuate American citizens.

February 25th US closes it’s Libyan embassy. Military action called “unlikely”. US institutes sanctions against Libya. American embassy staff evacuated. First Ferry of American citizens leaves Libya.

February 27 German and UK perform secret evacuation missions of civilians.

February 28th – US claims to move warships in to position near Libya, freezes $30 Billion in Libya government assets and prepare more sanctions against a country that barely even exists any more. Direct Military action, including a no-fly zone, is said to be “Unlikely” still. US asks Europe to enact sanctions against Libya as well. China dispatches war ship to protect their citizens and interests. President Obama says American citizens safety in Libya is to be “highest priority”

March 1 180 American citizens are evacuated having taken at least 7 days, with some American being reported as still in the country.

March 2 US Defense Secretary Gates says military action in Libya would be an Act of War. American evacuation efforts sputter and halt. Some reports are saying over 6,000 people have died by this time due to Libyan military action against protesters. Obama announces that his administration is planning “humanitarian military action” in case it’s needed, and looks to reduce American military presence in the area.

March 3rd - UN suspends Libya from Human rights council. UN decides that Gaddafi can be tried for war crimes. 14 more people are reported dead from the fighting.

March 4th It is reported that hundreds more of Libyan citizens are dead from the violence. President Obama insists military not a option.

March 5th US Navy Warships arrive in Crete. China finishes evacuating over 35,000 people in just 9 days. US refuses military action without UN support. Heavy casualties, with no actual numbers are reported.

March 6 - Libyan gunships and aircraft are estimated to have killed another 20 or more people. UN more or less tells Libya in diplomatic speak to “Stop it.”

March 7 (today) President Obama says military action a option, but only if it is A NATO or global effort. Refuses to make any remarks regarding putting in a No Fly Zone, despite Libyans dying from air-strikes by its own military. Obama requests Gadaffi to step down, again. Oil reaches over two year high. 42 more dead currently reported.

It’s been almost a month. People are dying every day.

By Comparison?

Operation Just Cause, the invasion of Panama:

  • On Dec 15, 1989 the Panama Assembly stated ”To declare the Republic of Panama in a state of war for the duration of the aggression unleashed against the Panamanian people by the US Government.”
  • December 21, 1989 US invaded Panama.
  • December 24, 1989 Major military operations come to a halt in Panama
  • Jan 3, 1990 Noriega surrenders to US forces.

How about Desert Shield:
2 August 1990 Iraq invades Kuwait.
7 August 1990 US F-15 fighters arrive in Saudi Arabia.

On January 16 around 1800 hours we kicked in to Desert Storm by March 1st Peace terms were being negotiated.

My own little piece of history, Operation Guardian Retrieval and Operation Noble Obelisk. We evacuated 451 American citizens and 2,059 third-country nationals in four days to the USS Kearsarge.

The point I am making is, we took decisive action and executed them flawlessly with rapid results. Innocents were protected, bloodshed minimal on our sides, and transitions made.

Essentially the current American populace, and the current American presidential Administration has allowed the Iraq/Afghanistan wars to cloud their judgments. We can, and we have, executed rapid extraction as well as rescue operations.

In short this Administration has turned us in to cowardly lions. We will speak of great things and use words like “humanitarian”, meanwhile those folks who we speak of are dying in the streets of their own cities while our politicians dither like hens in a chicken house over corn.

I have never been so disgusted with my government as I have been these last few days with our literally nonexistent course of action for people who simply want to be free.

So much for Truth, Justice and the American way.

The February 23rd entry says it all for me. The only thing I’m curious is how much golf did he play during this time line. Any takers?

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