During the 2008 pesidential race, candidate Barack Obama made statements concerning when the United States might intervene. He was arguing that Bush had been wrong in Iraq, but he did not argue intervention was always incorrect. “When genocide is happening, when ethnic cleansing is happening somewhere in the world and we stand idly by, that diminishes us.” His reference was to failure by President Clinton to half the genocide in Rwanda in the 1990s. Now, confronted by the brutal reaction of President Gaddafi in Libya, the president has to make a decision.
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton indicated the administration wanted to end the Gaddafi bombings, but feared any unilateral American intervention. She emphasized, “it is important that the United Nations make this decision.” A wise comment.