The Obama administration has been recklessly cautious -- and has even go so far as to say that the president "doesn’t want to fall into a Libya trap." But the trap in this case might be to do nothing at all.
"Portugal has now joined France in recognizing the national council in Benghazi as the government of Libya," Paul Wolfowitz writes. "The Guardian reports that France will now send a French ambassador to Benghazi and receive a Libyan envoy in Paris. Two Libyan National Council representatives, Mahmoud Jibril and Ali Essaoui, have been to Paris and met with President Nicolas Sarkozy."
And Wolfowitz asks how the U.S. will "respond to requests by the new government for support of various kinds, including supplies, communications, and arms." It's not clear, of course, what Obama will do, and whether the U.S. will recognize the national council in Benghazi.
And then there's the issue of a no-fly zone. AFP now reports that "French President Nicolas Sarkozy will propose air strikes on Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi's command headquarters to EU leaders." Obama is said to be weighing all options, which in theory would be a good thing of course if it weren't such a time sensitive issue.
Will the U.S., if France ultimately decides to implement a no-fly zone, help our French allies carry it out?
Obama insisted, when he ran for president, that he would "restore our moral standing so that America is once more the last, best hope for all who are called to the cause of freedom." Now might be the time for the president to follow through on that promise and work to prevent the slaughter of the Libyans at the hands of Muammar Qaddafi.