Gideon Rachman discussed the Libya situation recently on FT.com where he said that it was a battle between the "hot-heads", Cameron and Sarkozy and the "ditherers", Obama and Merkel. Caroline Glick, of the Jerusalem Post, writes the following on her blog: "The US's new war against Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi is the latest sign of its steady regional decline. In media interviews over the weekend, US military chief Adm. Michael Mullen was hard-pressed to explain either the goal of the military strikes in Libya or their strategic rationale. Mullen's difficulty explaining the purpose of this new war was indicative of the increasing irrationality of US foreign policy." These are harsh words about Obama's foreign policy.
However, Obama did try to impose his idea on the Israelian situation in the volatile Middle East by suggesting that progress was made on the two-state solution. He knew that Mubarak was coming to the end of his tenor and that, as Glick points out in her blog, the Muslim Brotherhood was standing in the door as the strongest candidate. He also knew, as Glick also points out, that the rebels in Eastern Libya might be al-Qaida since they had funded the al-Qaida in Iraq.
When during the second televised debate during the pre-election era Obama stated that a goal of his was to become independent of Middle Eastern oil in ten years, he indicated that he is on the way out and has since said that he is viewing across the Pacific rather than the Atlantic. This is obviously not good for Israel since they are rather integrated to the US than to the EU. My question is if the US really has that many objectives in the Middle East as they used to. Is it not rather the EU with their large immigration from the Arab world and a larger percentage of their oil than the 10% the US is importing that has interests?
William Hague, the UK Foreign Secretary, claims today in The Times that the Arab Spring event, only in its cradle, has passed the 9/11 event in importance. It has been argued earlier that the financial crisis of 2008 is rather the most important event during this century and that China, the winner of that debacle, is not very keen on fighting in Libya, having abstained from voting in the Security Council. Hague claims that it is a universal opinion that people prefer the rule of law rather that rules imposed by state intelligence services. Apparently the Chinese do not agree and I know for sure people in Sweden that also do not agree, although I prefer the rule of law myself.