Obama’s Speech on Libya

by Matthew Shaffer

The President, flanked by Secretary Clinton, just gave his first public remarks on the developments in Libya. I’ll have the transcript up ASAP, but here’s what struck me. 

 

The speech mostly could have been copied from one of his Egypt speeches (after he prefaced it by urging all Americans to leave Libya ASAP). He said (1) violence must stop (2) universal human rights must be respected and (3) meaningful change toward democratic reform must be made. He promised to send Hillary Clinton to Geneva for more discussion.

There was only one part that seemed more menacing than the Egypt speeches: “I’ve asked my administration to prepare the full range of responses we may take in response to these actions… Like all governments, the Libyan government has a responsibility to refrain from violence… It must be held accountable for its refusal to respect those responsibilities…. We will coordinate our assistance and our accountability measures with the international community.” With Egypt, the U.S. was always willing to reconsider its “assistance posture.” But does that seem to suggest something more aggressive? 

NRO’s Jim Geraghty summed it up on twitter: “Ya hear that, Gaddafi? You keep pulling these stunts, and we’ll continue to evaluate all options! So you better think twice!” and “BOOYAH! Hillary Clinton to Geneva. Bet you didn’t see that coming, huh, Colonel.”

Egypt Watch

The latest from Cairo and the Arab world.