“The glib hubris of Libya is a sign that the change we hoped for really has morphed into the wet military dreams of neoconservatism and the utopian notion of the US as the rescuer of all those subjected to tyranny we believe we can opportunistically save – for a few days or weeks. What I see here is far from exceptional. It is the routine pattern of the rise and fall of all republics that become empires. It is what happened to Rome and Spain and Britain: Success, over-reach, hubris, bankruptcy and decline. And the withering of the sinews of a republic’s body – as in the supine, divided, incompetent Congress, and a court so deferent to the emperor’s unrestricted power.
In this, especially with this Libya clusterfuck, Obama reverted to embracing the forces he was elected to resist and restrain. One appreciates the difficulty of this; and I still hope for success – because I see no sane alternative to Obama anywhere and no one can hope that the monster Qaddafi stays in power. But the Libya decision was a deep break with the essential argument for the Obama presidency – and that break is one that the Obamaites seemed not to grasp in their insular, secret and arrogant decision-making process. I fear it has already profoundly weakened the president’s credibility and strength – and will become as big a burden to him as Iraq was to Bush.
For those of us who wanted him – and still want him – to succeed, it is a crushing disappointment. Even if success emerges, this capitulation to the very strains that took the US into the ditch of 2008 is a form of pragmatism too far.” ~ Andrew Sullivan