Libya's chaos is Obama's shame

That knowledge may have also motivated Obama’s decision to make Libya a drive-by war. “What I didn’t want,” Obama told reporter Michael Lewis, “is a month later a call from our allies saying, ‘It’s not working — you need to do more.’ So the question is: How can I cabin our commitment in a way that is useful?”

In other words, the only thing Obama learned from Iraq and Afghanistan seemed to be that nation-building is costly, difficult, and lengthy. He must have missed the lesson that the removal of one evil can open the door to greater ones.

Libyans tell CNN reporter Jomana Karadsheh that they feel America and our allies “did not really do enough to try and build a military, build a state.” We didn’t really “try and demobilize and disarm the militias in the aftermath of the revolution,” as Karadsheh put it.

At every stage, though, the administration behaved shamefully. Obama never tried to persuade Americans his war was just. He never sought the congressional action that would have made his war — sorry, his “kinetic military action” — legal. At one point, administration officials even floated the idea that they could frustrate the intent of the 1973 War Powers Resolution and its 60-day limit on unauthorized wars by momentarily stopping and then immediately restarting U.S. involvement. Obama never told the truth, perhaps for fear it would make his war more unpopular. And he never made the commitment to staying and rebuilding that could have made his war a success.