The Corner

Krauthammer’s Take

From Wednesday night’s Fox News All-Stars.

On the Obama administration’s decision to supply $25 million of non-lethal aid to the rebels in Libya:

If you listen to the list of items that the secretary of state mentioned, she said radios. What she didn’t say is that these are non-secure radios. You ask yourself: Why would we be sending it — rather than secure radios? It’s just as easily done. And the answer has to be because we don’t want to be seen as actually helping the rebels to fight, which is odd when your objective is dislodging and bringing down Qaddafi.

This is obviously a war in which Obama has intervened not because he seeks success but because he wants to have a new experiment in hands-off interventionism. He’s more interested in clean hands than in success on the ground.

It’s a kind of experiment in a post-American world, a world in which America is not dominant, not leading, but diminished. That’s exactly what he has created in this intervention. And we see the results: a stalemate; divisions in NATO; the French complaining that they are not getting timely targeting information because the Americans are no longer in the lead; and Misrata is on the brink of being overrun after Obama had announced to the world that Qaddafi had to withdraw from Misrata and it was non-negotiable. It turns out that American demands under Obama are not only negotiable, they are empty. …

I think the question about Obama is why is he doing this sort of hands-off interventionism? Number one: I think is because he believes America ought to be in the non-leadership role. And this is going to be his experiment, his demonstration of how it can work — his hyper-multilateralism. But the other reason is, as Charles [Lane] indicated, it insulates him on the domestic front. If we are not out there, we don’t have Americans exposed, then it’s not going to engender any [domestic] opposition. And on that he’s succeeding. But it’s a hell of a way to run a war.

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

Most Popular

Politics & Policy

Did Flynn Lie?

At the outset, let’s get two things straight: First, there is something deeply disturbing about the Obama administration’s decision to open a counterintelligence investigation on retired lieutenant general Michael Flynn while he was working on the Trump campaign — and, ultimately, about the Justice ... Read More
Law & the Courts

Where Is the Flynn 302?

Better late than never (I hope), my weekend column has posted on the website. It deals with the question whether General Michael Flynn actually lied to the FBI agents — including the now infamous Peter Strzok — when they interviewed him in the White House on his third day on the job as national security ... Read More

G-File Mailbag: The Results of a Bad Idea

EDITOR’S NOTE: The following is Jonah Goldberg’s weekly “news”letter, the G-File. Subscribe here to get the G-File delivered to your inbox on Fridays. Dear Reader (Including those of you just standing there eating Zarg nuts), I had a bad idea. It wasn’t a terrible idea, like asking a meth addict ... Read More
Politics & Policy

The Collusion Scenario

It has become an article of faith in some quarters on the right -- well, most -- that the Mueller investigation has found no evidence of collusion with Russia and has accordingly shifted gears to process crimes like lying to the FBI or obstruction of justice. Having decided that this must be true, many have ... Read More
Politics & Policy

Who’s in Charge Here?

In the run-up to the 2016 presidential election, Donald Trump was asked on many occasions whether he would “accept the results” of the election if he were to lose. Democrats and their media allies demanded that he make a solemn vow to “accept the results.” It was never entirely clear what anybody thought ... Read More