Washington finally broke its silence Wednesday over the crisis in Libya when President Barack Obama issued a statement before television cameras in the Grand Foyer of the White House. Until now, the Obama administration had been making only bland declarations concerning the Libyan turmoil in order not to endanger American diplomats and citizens who had yet to be evacuated to safety. Before Wednesday’s statement, Obama had only given out a written declaration regarding Libya last Friday.
But while the cause for the administration’s diplomatic reticence was resolved by a sea evacuation, Obama’s statement nevertheless contained only empty words. Instead of threats or a hard-hitting warning to Gaddafi from the leader of the world’s only superpower concerning the raging violence, the American public was treated to Obama’s well-known multi-polar approach for solving world problems, even when they involve American interests. With Wednesday’s statement, Obama once again demonstrated his continued intent to keep American power off the world stage.
“The entire world is watching, and we will coordinate our assistance and accountability measures with the international community,” Obama declared. “To that end, Secretary Clinton and I have asked Bill Burns, our Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs, to make several stops in Europe and the region to intensify our consultations with allies and partners about the situation in Libya.”
Hillary Clinton will also travel to Geneva next Monday for more talks with other foreign ministers, all of which ought to scare Gadaffi into reining in his bands of killers and mercenaries.
Hundreds of these soldiers-for-hire, principally from Sudan, Chad and Niger, were reported to be heading to the Tripoli area, Gaddafi’s stronghold. According to an analysis by Stratfor Global Intelligence, the oil wealth in that area and the oil around Benghazi, the center of the anti-Gaddafi revolt, could see the current fighting develop into a protracted civil war between the two geographic regions.
Such a prospect would constitute a heavy setback for American and Western interests. With oil already over $100 a barrel for the first time since 2008 and expected to reach $120 within weeks if Libya’s oil ports are not reopened soon, the United States and other Western countries are facing severe economic consequences. One report sums up this dismal financial forecast by warning high oil prices would end America’s and the world’s economic recovery, which is just getting underway. Like with Iran’s nuclear weapons program, which, Obama seems to believe, is caused by the building of Israeli settlements, reality is once more being ignored.
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