The Corner

Krauthammer’s Take

From Wednesday night’s Fox News All-Stars.

On the administration saying that what we’re engaged in regarding Libya is not a war:

Well, I can understand the administration saying because of the situation in Benghazi they had to rush and they couldn’t get congressional approval. But what’s not explicable is why the president hasn’t addressed the nation.

When in 1998 there was the attack on our embassies in [Kenya] and Tanzania and there was a single act of retaliation by the United States — not a military operation anywhere near the size and scope of what’s happening now — the president of the United States, [Bill] Clinton, went on television and explained what he was doing.

And so far, this president, who doesn’t like to use the word “war.” He won’t use the [term] “war on terror.” He doesn’t want to talk about the war in Afghanistan …

The other oddity here, apart from not wanting to talk about war, is wanting to hide and to disguise and then to hand off American leadership in this operation, which is obviously indispensable.

First it’s odd because Obama gives the impression that America, because of her past sins, doesn’t have the moral standing to lead an operation intervention of this kind …

And second, as we look around at the disarray in NATO, it is clear that without American leadership it is a very chancy proposition. You’ve got the French and the Germans walking out of a NATO meeting on Monday. You’ve got the Italians threatening that they’re going to close their air bases if there isn’t a resolution of this issue. Today the Germans pulled their ships out of NATO operations in the Med[iterranean]. And the Norwegians have airplanes in Crete but won’t let them go into the air until somebody tells them who the hell is going to be in charge of this operation.

NRO Staff — Members of the National Review Online editorial and operational teams are included under the umbrella “NR Staff.”

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