Our current administration has changed all that. It began with the President's whirlwind apology tour just after he took office. We no longer have any convictions. We worry right along with the rest of the world whether someone else might be angered if we take action. We want to study or talk everything to death. That way no decisions are necessary.
Who have we abdicated to? Therein lies the problem. No one. Britain comes closer than anyone else to actually taking action to help the opposition in Libya. At this point they too are just talking, but at least it's something more than advocating sanctions.
The sad thing is the world still looks to us for answers and we have none to give. The situation is not one where one size fits all. Some governments are worse than others. Some of the opposition groups would be as bad if not worse than those they would replace. Each needs careful analysis before we step in. When the case becomes obvious, however, we do no more than talk. Meanwhile hundreds of people are being slain. With the tinder box world we have today, I find it unsettling to see we apparently have no policy for "what ifs".
So where does everyone turn? To the United Nations. The member nations are often at odds with one another. It's why they are so ineffectual. Resolution after resolution is brought forth only to be denied. There is a built in safety valve for those who want to look like they're for action. It's called the Security Council. With permanent memberships, China, Russia, the U.S. and Great Britain, it's a safe bet that one will veto just about anything. Such was the case with Iran and it's nuclear ambitions and human rights atrocities. The same holds true now.
The Security Council will not authorize a no fly zone, with Russia and China the dissenters. Of course they are. No matter what spin they put on it, their human rights abuses are as dismal as those who would be attacked.
Yet our President wants to make no move without consultation with the international community. Since they won't agree on anything, there's the out. No decision necessary.
One day perhaps someone will step up to the plate and do what's right instead of what's politically expedient. Unfortunately, at least for the foreseeable future, it's unlikely to be us.
Meanwhile good people die and the dictators don't.