In Libya, President Obama Tests the Limits of Military Power
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The intervention in Libya shows President Obama pulled in a multitude of different directions. Is there now an "Obama Doctrine" in the Middle East? What are the implications for US policy toward the rest of the world? Also, Yemen's president clings to power, and a federal appeals court approves what angry opponents call "the right to lie."
Banner image: People mill around near Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi's residence after a missile totally destroyed an administrative building in the Libyan leader's complex in Tripoli on March 20, 2011. Photo: Imed Lamloum/AFP/Getty Images
Yemen's President Clings to Power ()
In Yemen, the bloody repression of protesters has led to defection by the nation's most powerful military commander, along with scores of other highly placed officials. The opposition has refused President Ali Abdullah Saleh's offer to resign by the end of this year, but he still warned in a TV broadcast that trying to force him out will lead to a civil war. Karen DeYoung is senior diplomatic correspondent for the Washington Post.
Barack Obama's First New War ()
After weeks of apparent reluctance, the United States joined the UN's fight to protect Libyans against their leader, Moammar Gadhafi. President Obama promptly left for South America, saying that the intervention will be over for the US in a matter of days. When he returns, he'll have a lot of questions to answer, especially now that a US plane has crashed in Libya. The crew is safe, but Republicans and Democrats are asking, "What's the mission? Why wasn't Congress asked in advance? How long will this go on?" Beyond that, is there an overall rationale for intervention in one country versus another? If Libya, why not Yemen, Bahrain or the Ivory Coast? Is there an overall strategy that also considers the impacts on Israel, Iran, North Korea and the roles of the UN and NATO?
- Massimo Calabresi: Time
- Michael O'Hanlon: formerly, Secretary of State's International Security Advisory Board, @MichaelEOHanlon
- Charles Kupchan: formerly, National Security Council, @CFR_org
- Jonathan Alter: Newsweek, @jonathanalter
Appeals Court Strikes Down 'Stolen Valor Act' ()
According to a federal appeals court, the first amendment gives Americans the right to lie. "Saints may always tell the truth, but for mortals, living means lying." Those words are part of the court's ruling in the case of a man who falsely claimed he'd been awarded the Medal of Honor. Judge Alex Kozinski said the law against lying about military honors meant patients could sue "the dentist who assures you it won't hurt a bit." Carol Williams reports on legal affairs for the Los Angeles Times.
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