Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is the person responsible for the No Fly Zone over Libya, as far as the American participation is concerned. She is said to have had a change of heart last Monday and by the middle of the week she and U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice convinced Barack Obama that the time had come to join in with France and Great Britain in the mission. So, we now know who is capable of making and executing top level decisions - and it's not Barack Obama.
Hillary Clinton flew to Paris and met with French President Sarkozy - who is taking the lead in this operation - and the rest of the top players. Then, Hillary made her statement explaining the U.S. involvement in the No Fly Zone over Libya.
This is from the blog at the State Department:
"Now, this has been a quick but productive trip, and I want to give you a brief update and then answer your questions. First, let's remember how we got here. As you know, Americans and people around the world watched with growing concern as Libyan civilians were gunned down by a government that has lost all legitimacy. The people of Libya appealed for help. The Arab League and the Gulf Cooperation Council called for action.
"The international community came together to speak with one voice and to deliver a clear and consistent message: Colonel Qaddafi's campaign of violence against his own people must stop. The strong votes in the United Nations Security Council underscored this unity. And now the Qaddafi forces face unambiguous terms: a ceasefire must be implemented immediately -- that means all attacks against civilians must stop; troops must stop advancing on Benghazi and pull back from Adjabiya, Misrata, and Zawiya; water, electricity, and gas supplies must be turned on to all areas; humanitarian assistance must be allowed to reach the people of Libya.
"Yesterday, President Obama said very clearly that if Qaddafi failed to comply with these terms, there would be consequences. Since the President spoke, there has been some talk from Tripoli of a ceasefire, but the reality on the ground tells a very different story. Colonel Qaddafi continues to defy the world. His attacks on civilians go on. Today, we have been monitoring the troubling reports of fighting around and within Benghazi itself. As President Obama also said, we have every reason to fear that, left unchecked, Qaddafi will commit unspeakable atrocities.
"It is against that backdrop that nations from across the region and the world met today here in Paris to discuss the ways we can, working together, implement Resolution 1973. We all recognize that further delay will only put more civilians at risk. So let me be very clear about the position of the United States: We will support an international coalition as it takes all necessary measures to enforce the terms of Resolution 1973.
As Barack Obama dithered on the sidelines - making declarations that he demanded "no violence", though Libyans were being murdered in the streets by Qaddafi thugs, and as he was being coaxed by Sarkosy and British Prime Minister Cameron to join with them to stop the brutality, it was Hillary Clinton who saw the situation for what it is. Late, but nonetheless, support for the Libyans rising up against the madman.
Had Barack Obama been a real leader capable of making a decision, he would have done so two weeks ago as the plan was developed and as international leaders spoke out. Who knew that France and Great Britain were the new world leaders?
While Obama dithers and works mightily to prove he is not George W. Bush, though he has continued with all of Bush's policies in foreign affairs and national security, he spoke of the coalition of those involved in this mission no less than 5 times as he announced the U.S. involvement. This demeans the participation of those allies who sacrificed blood and treasure with the U.S. in Iraq, in particular. It is shameful.
And now, Obama has again followed the lead of GWB - going into a conflict on the weight of a U.N. Resolution.