Re: “Attack on Libya looks like the right move” (editorial, 3-24).
Republican critics like House Speaker John Boehner lament “mission creep” in Libya, and the cost of President Obama’s military action. I wonder where these people were when George Bush invaded Iraq, beginning a nearly trillion-dollar war. All they talked about then was Bush’s “moral clarity.” No one spoke of “mission creep.”
First, we invaded Iraq to destroy nonexistent weapons of mass destruction. Then we were there to overthrow Saddam Hussein’s regime, which Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush had supported. No, the mission was really to build a model democracy in the Arab world. Actually, no, we were simply rebuilding what we destroyed and cleaning up our own mess.
Finally, the mission in Iraq was, and still is, just to get the hell out.
I contrast that muddled mission with Obama’s decisive bombing of Libya to avert mass murder in the city of Benghazi and to disable Moammar Gadhafi’s air force. Obama’s mission was clear, and it is accomplished, even as the president humbly transfers leadership to other nations, including Arab ones.
Before Obama acted, his critics accused him of “dithering.” When he acted decisively to stop mass murder, they accused him of “mission creep.”
I will take Obama’s moral clarity any day over Boehner’s.