I was most struck by the last few minutes of the speech, when Obama sought to put the Libyan intervention in the context of the regional Arab uprising. He firmly embraced the forces of change, saying that history is on their side, not on the side of the oppressors. In doing so he deftly evoked two moments in our own history-first, explicitly, the American Revolution, and second, more slyly, abolitionism, with a reference to "the North Star," which happened to be the name of Frederick Douglass's newspaper.Obama is a cautious political actor who rarely says anything radical, but it seems that he has in his heart less tolerance for dictators of any sort than any President since Jimmy Carter. Whether this will amount to much in terms of his policies remains to be seen.
Tuesday, March 29, 2011
On the Right Side of History
Another way to see Obama's decision to intervene in Libya, from Tom Ricks: