Archive for December 6th, 2012

Begging the question: Obama and Libya

December 6, 2012

Last night I finished reading “Obama’s Way,” a lengthy feature on Barack Obama, the Libyan military intervention and the president’s decision-making process. Michael Lewis’ article has a publication date of Oct. 5 of this year, so I am definitely behind the curve on this; Vanity Fair’s nearly 14,000-word opus was meant to make a big pre-election splash.

I don’t think Lewis breaks any major news in his story. Rather, he fills in some details. Based on news accounts as well as Mark Bowden’s book The Finish (which ironically was published after Lewis’ piece), I’ve always considered Obama to be a very deliberate, cool and calculating decision-maker, despite the many forces that frequently put competing claims on the president.

That’s just what Lewis portrays. And he adds numerous colorful details, some pulled from one or more flights aboard Air Force One, others from at least one visit to Obama’s favored work and living spaces at the White House, and still more from one of the president’s nigh-legendary hard-fought, sharp-elbowed recreational basketball games.

One of the most fascinating things in the article comes around the two-thirds point, as Lewis gives a comprehensive (and incredibly divergent) account of two March 15, 2011, meetings between Obama and his security team. Both gatherings concerned the Libyan civil war and how, if at all, the United States should respond to it.

Early on, the first meeting went off track. The two options on the table were establishing a no-fly zone over Libya and doing nothing. Read the rest of this entry »

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One Wondrous Sentence: Obama and Israel

December 6, 2012

This one wondrous sentence pops a hole in the overblown conservative theory that Barack Obama and his administration is nearly as opposed — or nearly as dangerous — to Israel as that nation’s sworn enemies.

Despite misgivings in Washington, the Obama administration got Congress to provide $205 million for Iron Dome in 2010, a financial boost that saved the project.

Source: Ernesto Londoño, “For Israel, Iron Dome missile defense system represents breakthrough,” The Washington Post, Dec. 2, 2012. (Link is to story’s second page.)

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