Reason for pride
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          Our president said something the other day that struck a chord. I’m not sure if there’s ever been a president of the United States that has taken the slings and arrows of every action he has taken more than President Obama. As I’ve written previously, he deserves some criticism for the style in which he communicates. When coming before the citizenry he often is clear, concise and detailed. However, he has a tendency to give the facts and omit the emotions involved in the transaction.
          The other night he explained to all of us the facts regarding his decision to protect the people of Libya from the sadistic actions of dictator Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi.
          The criticisms of President Obama’s action in Libya are centered on his not clearly and definitely explain exactly what will happen in Libya after we send our fighter planes into the area. He’s being asked “What will happen when Qaddafi is gone?”
          After watching the goings-on in Libya I’m not sure what is happening today. As of today it appears that the air battle over Libyan skies is not pushing Qaddafi back to some hole in the ground where he will soon abdicate, shaken and defeated. On the contrary, he is on the march, taking back land lost to the rebels only a few days ago.
          I presume that the next step of the Libyan plan is to increase the bombing and strafing, leveling anything that resembles a Qaddafi stronghold. I also will presume that we have knowledge of who and what the rebels are and what plans they have should the N.A.T.O. bombardment succeed.
          Could there be a supplemental plan to be used in the event that the bombing does not alter the case in Libya? What if Qaddafi remains and the tide turns against the coalition?
          The quandary in Libya is just one of the trends that is emerging across the entire region. In the areas of Africa and the Middle East country after country is rebelling against the decades-old leadership that has denied the people their elemental freedoms. Hosni Mubarak found out that the march of his people in Egypt towards freedom was real and exacting. Now we have people marching for their freedom in Bahrain and Syria, with rumbles growing louder in Saudi Arabia.
          The Middle East is exploding before our eyes and ears. This is an area that has remained almost biblical for hundreds of years. Now the citizens of this area march towards modern times. These countries have avoided having free markets and the freedoms earned by much of the world. Women are waking to the possibilities of enjoying their freedom after millennia of subjugation.
          Our president, and indeed, us, are faced with significant portions of the planet that are volcanic, explosive and filled with a combination of governmental oppression and millions wanting their freedoms. It doesn’t take much of a prognostication to foresee that there are years of trouble and turmoil ahead of us.
          In the case of Libya we must hope that the Libyan opposition turns out to be capable and willing to give their brothers and sisters the freedoms for which they cry out. The same with Bahrain, Syria and eventually Saudi Arabia along with other area nations.
          We are at a disadvantage because we are naïve and unsophisticated in the ways of tribal states and ethnic groupings.
          And so our president stands before us and explains why we are sending our fighter planes and those of the coalition inside Libyan air space. He gives us his assurance that we will not place any American foot soldiers on Libyan land.
          Immediately following the president’s speech the criticisms began. The people wanted to know exactly what is going to happen. They wanted to know exactly what will transpire in Libya. The president was being honest when he reported that we will not know exactly the immediate outcome of our involvement in that far off land. He was being honest. Did Woodrow Wilson know exactly what would happen when we joined the battle in World War I? Did Franklin D. Roosevelt know exactly when World War II would end and how? Did we know exactly the conclusions of our involvement in Vietnam or Korea or, how our own Revolutionary War would terminate? Did Abraham Lincoln have advanced knowledge of exactly how the Civil War would resolve itself?
          Amid all of this uncertainty there is a national pride for all of us Americans to carry in our hearts.
          Yes, there are oil considerations and the preservation of our relationships with questionable members of the international community, but rising above these factors is something that our president mentioned during his recent presentation to us. It is something that often gets misplaced amid the rancor of our antagonistic political system.
          Here is what President Obama said about his decision to offer protection to the people of Libya: “Some nations may be able to turn a blind eye to atrocities in other countries. The United States of America is different. And, as president, I refused to wait for the images of slaughter and mass graves before taking action.”
          God bless America.