How Gadhafi's fall vindicated Obama and RtoP
National Security Council Senior Director Samantha Power led the drafting of PSD-10, the Presidential Study Directive on Mass Atrocities. (Getty Images)
August 29th, 2011
04:00 AM ET

How Gadhafi's fall vindicated Obama and RtoP

Editor's Note: Stewart Patrick is a Senior Fellow and the Director of the Program on International Institutions and Global Governance at the Council on Foreign Relations. He is the author of Weak Links: Fragile States, Global Threats, and International Security.

By Stewart Patrick, Foreign Affairs

The fall of Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi is a significant foreign policy triumph for U.S. President Barack Obama. By setting overall strategy while allowing others to shoulder the burden of implementing it, the Obama administration achieved its short-term objective of stopping Gadhafi's atrocities and its long-term one of removing him from power. This was all done at a modest financial cost, with no U.S. troops on the ground, and zero U.S. casualties. Meanwhile, as the first unambiguous military enforcement of the Responsibility to Protect norm, Gadhafi's utter defeat seemingly put new wind in the sails of humanitarian intervention.

One must be careful, however, not to overdraw lessons from the Libyan experience. It was a unique case and is unlikely to be repeated.

For one, Libya had Gadhafi, a villain straight from central casting, who had managed to alienate nearly all UN member states, including his erstwhile Arab and African allies.

The timing was also perfect. As the UN, NATO, and United States debated intervention, leaders in the Middle East were still reeling from the Arab Spring. Acutely aware of the vulnerability of their own regimes, the members of the Arab League, Organization of the Islamic Conference, and Gulf Cooperation Council all endorsed the UN's declaration of a no-fly zone over Libya, including the use of "all necessary means" to prevent mass atrocities.

In addition, China and Russia, the two permanent members of the Security Council (UNSC) most averse to authorizing military intervention under Chapter VII of the UN Charter, had no special relationship with, or interests in, Libya. So, they had no reason to veto a collective action. Moreover, Libya is a small country, with a population of only 6.4 million, which is concentrated along a fairly narrow strip of land by the Mediterranean. Thus, the logistics of military intervention promised to be less daunting there than it would have in Sudan, for example, which is fifty percent larger, almost seven times as populous, and has hundreds of thousands soldiers under arms. And since Libya is situated on Europe's doorstep, NATO and the EU were more motivated to provide aerial power and political support for the mission, since regional instability and a wave of refugees would effect them. The country also possessed a credible, fairly cohesive, and increasingly capable opposition movement, which provided the ground force that casualty-averse Western governments would not. These rebels ultimately proved able to defeat Gadhafi's military machine.

Finally, Libya was an unambiguous case for applying the RtoP doctrine. To be sure, the atrocities Gadhafi orchestrated in Libya prior to the intervention pale in comparison to those committed during the course of other recent violent conflicts. In Sri Lanka, for example, the government killed thousands of civilians while finishing off the rebel Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam in 2009. And forces in the Democratic Republic of the Congo have raped tens - or perhaps hundreds - of thousands of women over the past decade to sow terror. Gadhafi's violent crackdown on this spring's protests and his explicit promise to "have no mercy and pity" on residents of Benghazi, the opposition stronghold, also left little ambiguity. As Secretary of State Hillary Clinton noted in March, "left unchecked, Gadhafi will commit unspeakable atrocities."

Read: Obama's Options in Damascus

Gadhafi's ouster may vindicate the RtoP idea, but the application of the norm will inevitably remain selective and highly contingent on the political context. The humanitarian imperative is a strong and growing global impulse, but statecraft is still subject to constraints of geopolitics, resources and political will.

What has been most striking in the Libyan case is the Obama administration's vocal leadership in seeking to consolidate RtoP as a vital global norm - a stark contrast to the lukewarm attitude of the Bush administration. Washington's embrace of RtoP is critical, because the United States is the only country with the power and the credibility to actually enforce it.

Lest one imagine that the Libyan case is a one-off, on August 4 the Obama administration released the Presidential Study Directive on Mass Atrocities (PSD-10). The directive defines the prevention of mass atrocities as both "a core national security interest and a core moral responsibility of the United States." PSD-10 is a groundbreaking document and represents a huge victory for National Security Council Senior Director Samantha Power, a leading administration hawk on Libya.

The PSD-10 recognizes a simple truth: The United States will inevitably confront atrocities that cannot be ignored. The directive expands the menu of policy options available in such cases, which should range from complete inaction to sending in the marines. This escalatory ladder is meant to encompass preventive diplomacy, economic and financial sanctions, arms embargoes, and ultimately coercive action.

Realist critics have bemoaned it as a blueprint for interventionism run amok, anticipating meddling in foreign conflicts on a grand Wilsonian scale. But an honest evaluation of the directive should be informed by the United States' previous experience with RtoP; given the country's sorry record in actually confronting mass atrocities - in the killing fields of Cambodia and the bloody hills of Rwanda, to name just two - the realist critique seems off base. Indeed, the far greater risk is that the directive will gather dust on a shelf, while the United States and the international community ignore the victims of atrocities.

Read: Libyan Nation Building After Gadhafi.

Ultimately, the fate of the PSD-10, and perhaps of the RtoP norm itself, will depend on the attitudes of future U.S. presidents and the American people. Will they be willing to devote resources, and potentially lives, to address the suffering of strangers? The question is, in part, a moral one: What obligations does the United States have to those living beyond its borders? It is also a strategic one: How does a policymaker weigh the potential benefits of an intervention (in terms of lives saved) against the costs to the United States (including in the lives of its own soldiers).

There is no easy answer to this question. In the late nineteenth century, Bismarck famously remarked that the entirety of the Balkans was not worth the bones of a single "Pomeranian grenadier." A century later, NATO dithered before summoning the will to intervene in Bosnia and Kosovo, and the United States pulled out of Somalia after the deaths of eighteen U.S. Army Rangers.

Now, two decades later, no senior official in the Obama administration nor member of Congress has issued a call for intervention in Somalia to assist the delivery of emergency food aid, as that country faces its worst famine in decades. Al Shabaab, a U.S. designated terrorist organization, controls the vast majority of drought-affected areas and is obstructing the delivery of foreign aid. Without assistance, 3.2 million Somalis will likely die. The United States' silence on Somalia contrasts starkly with its policy on Libya.

The United States will remain selective about humanitarian intervention, because it must balance the goal of preventing suffering with other interests and commitments, and because some conflicts, such as anarchic Somalia, are dauntingly complex and would impose unacceptable burdens on well-meaning intervenors.

As Obama has noted, however, that is no excuse for inaction everywhere. Although rigid criteria for involvement are unrealistic, the U.S policy on armed humanitarian intervention should be guided by several principles, which I first outlined in 2004 when I was on the State Department policy planning staff.

First, the United States should set the bar for intervention high. It should be limited to stopping or preventing egregious atrocities –situations in which governments or insurgents are targeting large numbers of civilians with genocide, systematic rape, mass murder, expulsion or other crimes against humanity. There are prudent reasons for this limitation. Sovereignty remains the stabilizing force of the world order - a barrier to global anarchy. In addition, U.S. capacities are finite. Without discipline, its resources could be quickly exhausted.

Second, armed intervention should be an option of last resort. Given the costs, risks, and the unpredictable consequences, it should be employed only when other measures fail or when the speed and scale of atrocities outpaces slower instruments. And then, the mission should be undertaken using means proportional to the conflict, and should be coupled with a realistic long-term political strategy to address the violence's root cause.

Third, multilateral interventions are vastly preferable to unilateral ones. They offer both increased legitimacy and the promise that others will share the load.

Finally, the United States should undertake armed humanitarian intervention only if its leaders are committed to marshaling and sustaining the domestic support required to stay the course even if the going gets rough. Absent enthusiastic public or congressional sentiment in favor of intervention, the president must be ready to lead on his own.

Read: How Iran Keeps Assad in Power in Syria.

When it came to authorizing and conducting the Libya intervention, the Obama administration checked all these boxes. It set the bar high; moved to military force after other expedients had failed; designed a military strategy with good prospects of success, using proportional means; and it forged a broad coalition, legitimated by the UN Security Council. Finally, Obama displayed the political courage to do what was right, sticking with the campaign even as U.S. public support flagged from lukewarm 43 percent in late March to a dangerously low 24 percent by July.

Libya has demonstrated the viability of a well-implemented RtoP intervention. Yet just because the doctrine has survived a significant test, one should not assume that the United States and its allies will apply it universally. As atrocities emerge in other contexts, the international community will need to cultivate and weigh other policy options against armed intervention, so it is not faced with stark choice of military action or inaction. The Obama administration's PSD-10 is a step in that direction.

The views expressed in this article are solely those of Stewart Patrick.


soundoff (417 Responses)
  1. mosinnagant

    I could care less what this CFR piece of trash says. The bottom line is Obama broke the law. By the way Gadhaffi has not been killed or captured yet so I don't see what the celebration is all about.

    August 29, 2011 at 2:00 pm | Reply
  2. theWinner

    So basically as long as you win any use of military force is ok.............

    August 29, 2011 at 2:02 pm | Reply
  3. Politician Hater

    You're all sheep!

    Bah ahhhh, bah

    August 29, 2011 at 2:08 pm | Reply
  4. Mikie

    At what a cost-largest debt-highest taxes and no relief in sight-now who cares about Gadhfi-Obama's follies and we he tax payers keep paying

    August 29, 2011 at 2:08 pm | Reply
  5. sharky

    LOL So then if all goes to h**l in a hand basket is Obama still vindicated? LOL. I love how people before the dust even settles instantly say OOOO vindicated all because it is Obama. But hey with the pro-Al Qaeda sympathizers and Islamic Militants being released from prison, and Qaddafi's weapons unaccounted for, mainly the Man-Pad weapons, congrats Obama, job well done. LOL. Even though of course he simply stood in the back of the pack, went over Congress, and decided on his own what do to about another country. So I guess Bush was vindicated for Iraq then eh. Nope, he is still hung in effigy.

    August 29, 2011 at 2:09 pm | Reply
  6. Dead Man Blogging

    American support of these "Arab Spring" uprisings led to the overthrow of the Mubarik regime in Egypt. Like it or not, Mubarik was our friend, and he has kept Egypt, the most populous Arab nation, generally out of the conflicts that have plagued the rest of that region. Egypt is at peace with Israel, but that peace is much more fragile now. The Muslim Brotherhood has been quietly building strength in Egypt, and if there are truly "open" elections there, it's likely that this religious party will hold significant power, if not an outright majority.

    Egypt, Tunesia, Libya and Syria are not models of modern democracy. However, they are self-contained problems. I worry that the next governments will not be as benign.

    August 29, 2011 at 2:17 pm | Reply
  7. Alqueda now in power

    Thank you Barrack for putting Alquada in power with the muslem brotherhood we are gratefull for you forever

    August 29, 2011 at 2:21 pm | Reply
    • Buster Bloodvessel

      Aw, did America succeed without your permission? Libya can have alqueda, alqauda, or even go all out and get Al-Qaeda for all I care. We kept Gadhafi from dropping nerve gas on them, whoever they were, and I'm down with that. Nobody deserves to have nerve gas dropped on them.

      August 29, 2011 at 2:29 pm | Reply
  8. Billy Davis

    The GOP is already calling the VICTORY a DEFEAT as noted by Slick Rick Perry saying that U.S Generals should lead in place like Libya and not the NATO. Hmm, his party was questioning why we would intervene at all. It goes to show that nothing this POTUS does especially when it's good they cry foul. The GOP since getting their marching order from Rush has proven time and again they are Un-American.

    August 29, 2011 at 2:21 pm | Reply
    • Tim in Kansas

      What did he do besides sit back spend a bunch of money and kill people on both sides of the fight, continue to crap on our country financially.

      August 29, 2011 at 2:29 pm | Reply
      • Alina77

        Why are you angry? I sought by this time conservatives would get tired to pretend like they care?

        August 29, 2011 at 3:15 pm |
  9. Alina77

    Americans are not paying attention to Libyan war "because" (there were no American casualties).

    August 29, 2011 at 2:23 pm | Reply
  10. Buster Bloodvessel

    They will foam at the mouth like rabid dogs, and then run Mitt Romney as being "Presidential." Half the GOP will vote for Obama to keep Mitt away from the White House.

    August 29, 2011 at 2:25 pm | Reply
  11. bnorton

    What a self-serving load of garbage from Mr. Patrick. Obama has done nothing short of working to destroy this country. The sooner he is voted out of office the better things will become. I hope that Mr. Patrick didn't suffer too much pain patting himself on his back. CNN is a waste of time.

    August 29, 2011 at 2:31 pm | Reply
  12. Mortalc01l

    Obama cures cancer: Neocons decry Obama's "job destroying" actions. How dare he cure cancer and put all those hard working drug company employees out of work!

    Obama rescues kitten from drowning: Neocons outraged that he didn't consult congress before taking such "reckless" actions.

    Obama stops GM from going out of business: Neocons cry foul at Obama's "socialist" policies for propping them up and saving american jobs.

    Obama solves national debt problem: Neocons "disgusted" by Obama's interfering God's plan to bankrupt America.

    Lets' face it; he could do ALL of the above in the space of a week and STILL the Neocon/fascist/Bible Thumpers would find a way to try an belittle his accomplishments.

    August 29, 2011 at 2:31 pm | Reply
    • Tim in Kansas

      WoW, spoken like a true libtard. You do the name a lot of justice.

      August 29, 2011 at 2:37 pm | Reply
      • biggy

        spoken like a true teabagging dixiefascist.....

        August 29, 2011 at 2:52 pm |
      • Mortalc01l

        Nice going Tim.. Your well reasoned and obviously intelligent response, including insulting someone's Mother is exactly what the World needs to see; another "intellectual" argument from the far right. It's so nice to know that you people can't help but show your ignorance and fear.

        August 29, 2011 at 3:57 pm |
    • biggy

      couldn't have said it better myself... repubs are today like they have also been:... absolutely, utterly, totally desperate for absolute power, regardless of what it takes... even treason...

      August 29, 2011 at 2:54 pm | Reply
      • Tim in Kansas

        and another libtard jumps in with his nonsensical addition which holds about as much intelligence as a siv.

        August 29, 2011 at 3:15 pm |
      • Tim in Kansas

        Your mom like it when the teabaggin was being done to her.

        August 29, 2011 at 3:16 pm |
  13. jona

    MISSION ACCOMPLSIHED

    August 29, 2011 at 2:34 pm | Reply
  14. humtake

    This is exactly why Bush will be remembered by logical people as doing a good job, while those who just read newspapers will be the ones with no brain cells calling him a bad President. Obama looked at his options and chose the correct one. Yay for him! Bush looked at his options and chose the correct ones...but boo for him, because the media says so. What Bush did had to be done, even though it was not the popular thing to do. THAT is what makes a good President. Obama doesn't get kudos or complaints from me. He didn't really do anything. Bush does what needed to be done regardless of an ignorant public opinion of the situation based off of little fact and mostly media hype. That makes a good President. It doesn't make a popular one, but it does make a good one. If only Obama could learn this little tidbit instead of trying to please everyone, which in turn just makes him look like a puppet of the Republicans. Unfortunately, being well liked doesn't mean being a good President. Now, had Bush made really bad decisions or if Obama were to make really bad decisions, that makes them bad Presidents. But, Bush made good decisions and Obama has made no decisions (he's let the Reps make all of the decisions)...yet, when he makes the decision to do nothing then everyone heralds him for it? He will always be considered the second coming of Jesus to many people regardless what he does, it appears.

    August 29, 2011 at 2:34 pm | Reply
  15. hello

    No, not Obama, but David Cameron and Nick Sarkozy. Stop pumping up your favorite.

    August 29, 2011 at 2:38 pm | Reply
  16. bob

    CNN is always kissing Obama's A**, you are truly a onsided news service, this president has done NOTHING RIGHT since he came to office except run this country into the ground.

    August 29, 2011 at 2:38 pm | Reply
    • hello

      Agreed. These so called news organizations should be shut down. We have no news in this country, just propaganda that is much much worse than Al Jazeera. Compared to American so called media Al Jazeera is downright objective.

      August 29, 2011 at 2:39 pm | Reply
  17. Jeff

    The liberals in the media are so desperate to find anything positive to say about Obama. The fact is Libya is just the beginning. The governments in Afghanistan and Iraq toppled in a few days, much much less time than it took Libya to fall. As we now know, the real challenge is ahead, trying to bring a reasonable stable government to Libya, and that will take many many years, or the alternative is that it will turn in to big pile of manure and a breeding ground for terrorists and muslim extremists.

    August 29, 2011 at 2:45 pm | Reply
  18. Bobby McKEnzie

    RtP? Protect us from WHAT???? Qadaffi was no threat to us whatsoever. In fact he was much less of a threat than Iraq. WMD's aside, there were 19 UN resolutions that Hussein had violated. There was still the question of whether he had WMD's and might use them so something had to eventually be done. Qadaffi had done none of that

    August 29, 2011 at 2:45 pm | Reply
    • Nodack

      Responsibility to protect mass atrocities in other countries from happening, but if you read the article you knew that, so you are either being a dumb @zs or you are just being an @zs.

      Saddam might have committed atrocities in the past, but he was under wraps with inspections for a decade and no WMD. Rumsfeld demanded Clinton attack Iraq while Clinton was in office. The evidence was fabricated. Bush intentionally lied to us and the world to get his war for his and Cheney's buddy's at Haliburton and US oil companies who are pumping oil out of Iraq as we speak.

      No WMD and no mass atrocities.

      August 29, 2011 at 2:55 pm | Reply
      • Tim in Kansas

        after readin your post there are more No's to put in there.

        No honesty on your part.
        No intelligence on your part
        No idea what you are talking about.
        No conscience because you lied freely or you are stupid, whichever it is that's a shame for you.

        August 29, 2011 at 3:18 pm |
  19. John in Boston

    Bury this all you want in RtoP lingo, I still find it uncomfortable that the US government and the President is basically engaging in an assasination plot. Don't get me wrong, I'm no fan of Gadhafi, but when did western nations gain the moral right to say the leader of this country can stay, the leader of this country has to go – and if they don't we're going to bomb them? Who gives us the moral authority? And if we have it, why did we let Gadhafi stay in power for 40 years? If I were a kid in an arab country, the attacks on Gadhafi, telling Assaud in Syria he has to go, supporting Mubarouk and then not supporting him – this would drive me nuts and most likely to terrorism.

    August 29, 2011 at 2:50 pm | Reply
    • rtbrno65

      The answer to your question is George W. Bush. When he made the decision to invade Iraq, he set a permanent policy precedent. Those of us who opposed it at the time did so because we knew that a giant can of worms was being opened, not because we loved Sadaam Hussein. The Bush administration decided to tell the public that those of us who opposed the policy were supporting dictators and terrorists, which we certainly were not. We now have no choice but to support this because policy because, for better or worse, we are now a nation that has a doctrine of invasion of countries to remove dictatorships who are in human rights violation.

      August 29, 2011 at 3:30 pm | Reply
  20. Ralph

    Obama does deserve some credit. We should give him a Nobel Prize maybe in chemistry or physics this time.

    August 29, 2011 at 2:52 pm | Reply
  21. PittUSMC

    Obama has done nothing but meddle in foreign affairs that were none of our business. All those in Libya that supported Ghadaffi now HATE the United States. We will now call them terrorists because they hate us for bombing their country. What a ridiculous cycle. RON PAUL 2012!!!

    August 29, 2011 at 3:13 pm | Reply
  22. jsquires

    Obama was absolutely right in toppling Gadhaffi. I well remember seeing the parents in New York waiting for their students to come home that December that Lockerbie occurred. Gadahffi was responsible for murdering all of them. Getting rid of him was long overdue and I applaud this President for doing it. He's earned his Nobel Prize.

    August 29, 2011 at 3:17 pm | Reply
    • John S

      Nobel Peace prize for bombing people? Are you kidding? I think Obama got the Nobel peace prize for calling for Peace not war? Hmmm.

      August 29, 2011 at 3:20 pm | Reply
      • Tim in Kansas

        He got a Nobel Peace Prize for nothing. just more political b.s.

        August 29, 2011 at 3:32 pm |
  23. John S

    I do not give Obama much credit for this. NATO handled the affair from the beginning. We are not even sure what kind of government will be created in Lybia? It was not really a quick resolution to a small conflict. So why did it take so long and so many Lybian's had to die? The mighty NATO with the US in tow could not end this sooner? I am one who see several similar conflicts that have gone on for years without US becoming involved. Why Lybia?

    August 29, 2011 at 3:18 pm | Reply
  24. rtbrno65

    First the Republicans complained that Obama wasn't putting enough effort into the Libyan mission. Then, when it began to look like the policy might work, they tried to stop it by claiming it was a violation of the War Powers Act. Now they're saying he doesn't deserve to get any credit at all for it's sucess. There is nothing consistent about their message other than opposing anything the President does, blaming him for problems of their own making, and making sure he is not perceived as having anything sucessful occur under his administration.

    August 29, 2011 at 3:19 pm | Reply
    • cony000

      The Republicans just hate Obama because he is half black.

      August 29, 2011 at 3:31 pm | Reply
      • Tim in Kansas

        Some just may, I hate him because he's a terrible president, he has done absolutely nothing to the betterment of this country, he seems to be a terrorists best friend, money means nothing to him as long as he's spending other peoples, he spends more time talking about him getting his job than actually doing it, he lies, he doesn't know what he's doing, he is not business friendly which has hurt our country tremendously and all in all is just the worst President ever. I am sure tho some people just hate him for his skin color, that's sad tho given all the other things he has done for anyone with an ounce to hate him.

        August 29, 2011 at 3:43 pm |
    • rtbrno65

      1. "he has done absolutely nothing to the betterment of this country", he helped keep hundreds of auto workers from being layed off and he helped prevent an implosion on economic Wall Street. A Republican President would have taken the same action

      2. "he seems to be a terrorists best friend", I haven't seen anything he has done that seems even remotely supportive of any terrorist organization. Is it his name that makes him "seem" as such?

      3. "money means nothing to him as long as he's spending other peoples", yes, the President sets the budget, it's what Presidents do.

      4. "he spends more time talking about him getting his job than actually doing it, " I don't see that at all. I know he just did that stupid bus tour thing, but that was two weeks out of three years.

      5. "he lies". Example?

      6. " he doesn't know what he's doing", a purely subjective observation on your part. I think he has seemed very decisive, although the results have not always been as favorable as he would like.

      7."he is not business friendly which has hurt our country tremendously" How was the auto industry bailout not business friendly? He saved a bunch of jobs and prevented at least one major bankruptcy. Ih he wasn't business friendly he would have just let them go out of business, and you would be blaming him now for that. I think he's TOO pro business personally.

      8." all in all is just the worst President ever." No, that was Franklin Pierce. You can't compare anything now to that total disaster.

      August 29, 2011 at 4:33 pm | Reply
      • rtbrno65

        Ooops..."economic implosion on Wall Street". Actually Economic Wall Street sounds pretty cool...

        August 29, 2011 at 4:37 pm |
      • cony000

        He brought me Bin Ladin's head for murdering 3000 of my people. In my book he is doing a fine. Hopefully now he can bring Gaddaffi Duck's head for murdering 178 more of my people.

        August 29, 2011 at 5:23 pm |
      • cony000

        Vindication will come when Gaddaffi duck's head is taken for having 178 of our people murdered. Eye for an eye an a tooth for a tooth. Trust me there are 150 families back in Libya who were burned alive by Daffi duck's boys who also need to burn in hell as well. Obama has taken care of business by knocking off Bin Ladin and many of his animals. The problems with our economy, illegal immigration, healthcare, ss, and so many other issues have always existed and have been swept under the carpet by every administration since Kennedy. For now Obama needs to keep his eyes on the goal and that is to protect the US and its interest. The other issues are not going to be an easy fix nor corrected for many years to come if ever.

        August 29, 2011 at 5:27 pm |
  25. DriftSS

    All this means is that Obama does what he does best – lets others attempt to solve the problem and blame them if they fail or take credit if they succeed. That's not leadership. But that has always been the Obama way. He never led anything in Congress as a Senator and hasn't done much of anything as President- just blaming Republicans for everything. Although at least its a step in the right direction. FOreign policy Inaction is better than head strong in the wrong direction like Bush usually did.

    August 29, 2011 at 3:25 pm | Reply
  26. cony000

    Vindication will come when Gaddaffi duck's head is taken for having 178 of our people murdered. Eye for an eye an a tooth for a tooth. Trust me there are 150 families back in Libya who were burned alive by Daffi duck's boys who also need to burn in hell as well. Obama has taken care of business by knocking off Bin Ladin and many of his animals. The problems with our economy, illegal immigration, healthcare, ss, and so many other issues have always existed and have been swept under the carpet by every administration since Kennedy. For now Obama needs to keep his eyes on the goal and that is to protect the US and its interest. The other issues are not going to be an easy fix nor corrected for many years to come if ever.

    August 29, 2011 at 3:29 pm | Reply
  27. Calm and non-idealogue

    "For great justice! All your base are belong to us!"

    Seriously, though...

    We must think critically, speak responsibly and true to our real hearts, question the outcome but allow others to succeed.

    August 29, 2011 at 3:31 pm | Reply
  28. Dreucalypt

    Bravo to Obama for making the right call and managing the intervention so adroitly. And bravo even more to Samantha Power for showing how America the best way to be a force for good in the world.!

    August 29, 2011 at 3:34 pm | Reply
  29. Calm and non-idealogue

    There is absolutely NO benefit for any citizen in the United States (when the president is bashed by ideologically constipated individuals with closed minds, anonymous names, and keyboards).

    Allow the "aweome" of the United States to be a priority – and be what we help and promote.

    August 29, 2011 at 3:38 pm | Reply
  30. MontanaSon

    And if things go wrong from here, it's Bush's fault.

    August 29, 2011 at 3:42 pm | Reply
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