The Gulf of Sidra Irresolution

The US Capitol dome, December on 17, 2010.

From the Editors of the Wall Street Journal:  The House’s confusion—failing to authorize the U.S. intervention but failing to shut it down too—shows that Congress as usual doesn’t want to take responsibility for its alleged convictions. But it also shows that President Obama is managing the Beltway front lines as poorly as those in Benghazi. Only a last-second, leading-from-behind White House lobbying push prevented Democrats from defecting on the defunding bill. And only eight Republicans supported the President on the Libya authorization.

The press corps is claiming that all this reflects "war weariness," but the war in Libya will only drag on longer if Gadhafi and his bloody-minded sons have reason to believe that the Americans are divided. These resolutions will encourage our enemies to conclude that if they can only hold out for a few more weeks or months, the U.S. and NATO will give up and sue for peace. The House is also undermining the morale of Libya’s rebels, not to mention domestic support for the intervention.

Mr. Obama is paying for his refusal to spend political capital to build support for the war he started, however reluctantly. The public, and even Congress, will support a President who makes a case for military force grounded in the national interest. This President isn’t making that case, and so Congress as ever heads for the hills.  (photo: Getty)

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