"As I was walking back from Green Square (now renamed “Martyrs’ Square”) to my hotel on Wednesday morning, a car draped in the victorious Libyan flag pulled up and offered me a lift. 'I just want you to feel welcome here,' explained the driver, Sufian al-Gariani, a 21-year-old salesman. He beamed when he heard where I was from and declared: 'Thank you, Americans. Thank you, President Obama.'
. . . .
President Obama took a huge political risk, averted a massacre and helped topple an odious regime. To me, the lesson is not that we should barge into Syria or Yemen — I don’t think we should — but that on rare occasions military force can advance human rights. Libya has so far been a model of such an intervention."
Obama does not deserve the same credit accorded Cameron and Sarkozy, who entered the fray without knowing whether Obama would ultimately assist them, although the Libyan rebels couldn't have overcome Qaddafi's forces without low-flying US AC-130 flying gunships and A-10 attack aircraft together with spotters.
No mention by Kristof that the rebels are refusing to extradite Abdel Basset al-Megrahi, responsible for the 1988 Lockerbie bombing of Pan Am Flight 103, to the West.
No mention by Kristof that Iran is inviting the chairman of Libya's National Transitional Council to visit Teheran.
Re Syria, where Kristof says Syrians mostly don’t want multinational intervention (I'm unaware of any such poll), the conduct of Obama and the EU has been disgraceful from a humanitarian standpoint. There have been embarrassingly belated denunciations from Obama, again leading from behind, regarding Assad's atrocities, and both the US and the EU have been delinquent in imposing sanctions upon the purchase of oil from Syria.
Moreover, Obama, who several times sent Senator John Kerry to woo Assad and appointed an ambassador to Damascus without Senate approval, has demonstrated his reluctance to acknowledge his flagrant error in judgment, and is again procrastinating with respect to a future course of action.
Iran's Ahmadinejad is now reassessing his relationship with Syria's Assad, and we soon could face an anomalous situation in which Iran withdraws its ambassador from Damascus before Obama requests that Robert Ford abandon the Syrian capital.
From the lyrics of "Won't Get Fooled Again" by The Who:
And the parting on the left
Is now the parting on the right
And the beards have all grown longer overnight
I'll tip my hat to the new constitution
Take a bow for the new revolution
Smile and grin at the change all around me
Pick up my guitar and play
Just like yesterday
Then I'll get on my knees and pray
We don't get fooled again
Don't get fooled again
Meet the new boss
Same as the old boss
Query: Has smiling Nicholas been fooled again for the umpteenth time?