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February 22nd, 2011
03:41 PM ET

Letters to the President: #764 'Libya coming unhinged'

Tom Foreman | BIO
AC360° Correspondent

Reporter's Note: The American president is talking to his advisors about Libya. The Libyan president is talking too…but I’m not sure who, if anyone, is advising him.

Dear Mr. President,

Let me just start with a simple thank you. It is the same thank you that I should bestow upon every soul who has held the presidency since our nation’s birth. Thank you for not being a lunatic.

Oh sure, Richard Nixon gave us a scare for a while, and other chief executives have had their moments, but it’s been nothing compared to the wild, baffling, and sadly, dangerous, activities of Libya’s Moammar Gadhafi.

I’ve been following this man’s hijinks for a good many years now, and the best I can say about him is that, like a volcano, he has occasionally gone dormant for long periods of time. I don’t mean that he has done nothing, but that during those periods he has at least not been raining hell upon his own people at the rate he is now.

Have you watched these statements he has made? He’s never been a nominee for “Well Balanced Potentate of the Year,” but in these videos he seems genuinely unhinged - as if he exists on an utterly different planet than the rest of his countrymen. I suppose, in a way, he does. And his son seems proof that the nut doesn’t fall far from the tree, what with his whole “river of blood” talk about a possible civil war.

Then he says, “Oh, btw, we’re ready to talk with the opposition about freedom.” Or something like that. Call me crazy, but if I were negotiating something even as simple as the price of a new car I would be pretty wary of sitting down with someone who suggested torrents of blood would fill the street if the deal didn’t go his way. Just saying.

Anyway, I’ve noticed that you have been relatively quiet about what is going on in Libya, and I know you are taking some criticism over that. But I’m not sure I can blame you. We don’t have much influence with the Libyans; anything you say may only help Gadhafi make his claims that the Great Satan is behind the uprising; and seriously, even if you spoke directly to this guy and his crew, do you think they’d listen?

I understand those who are terribly worried about the Libyan people wanting you to do whatever you can. But I also understand that our nation’s power in this circumstance is limited. And sometimes discretion really is the better part of valor, as much as it hurts to accept it.

Hope all is going well for you otherwise. I was rather surprised by the snow and ice last night. I had hoped we’d left winter behind. Call if you can.

Regards,
Tom

Follow Tom on Twitter @tomforemancnn.

Find more of the Foreman Letters here.

soundoff (3 Responses)
  1. diana

    I want to respectfully say that I know Hillary Clinton has her reason for her choice words (to attempt to keep peace), but I think it is too late to tell Kaddafi to be good and 'stop behaving like this.' This guy is a dangerous psychopath and it's easy to say give it another week because I do not fear walking down the street but isn't this what weapons were made for....to use in a manner to protect 'people' as quickly as we would use them to protect oil? I think this guy is way beyond stop being a naughty boy talk.

    February 22, 2011 at 6:38 pm |
  2. ED

    Question is there a hidden agenda behind the recent disruption within the Arab Nations, since they have been fueled by the use of social media ? If so who is doing it and why ?

    February 22, 2011 at 6:37 pm |
  3. ilaaf

    thank you for a great letter. I hope obama reacts soon.

    February 22, 2011 at 4:26 pm |