Presidents Reagan, Obama Differ on Handling Gadhafi

Wednesday, 23 Mar 2011 09:24 AM

By Michael Reagan

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Ronald Reagan called him the "Mad Dog of the Middle East" and treated him as such, launching a bombing raid against his compound that purportedly killed a member of his family and scared Moammar Gadhafi silly, reining him in for 20 long years.

As my father said then, Gadhafi has a goal of a Muslim fundamentalist revolution which is targeted on many of his own Arab compatriots. Dad said that it could be that the only reason Gadhafi sees the United States as an enemy is simply because we exist and stand in his way.

Now he's at it again, even killing his own people in a brutal effort to save his brutal dictatorship, yet our president seems unable to cope with the international crisis Gadhafi has created.

Last week Barack Obama said he wanted Gadhafi gone; however, he is now merely supporting a United Nations resolution that does not even demand Gadhafi's ouster from power. But is he not taking sides in this civil war by seeking to protect the citizens of Libya?

If the president wants to protect the people of Libya from their dictator, then he must see to it that Gadhafi is either killed or exiled to some place where he can never be in a position to retaliate against anyone involved in his ouster.

Just what is the president's end game here? Yes, by all means we should act to protect the people of Libya from this mad dog, but just what is the president's overall strategy for dealing with a crisis in a strategically important area of the Middle East?

As long as Gadhafi remains in power there can never be stability in the area. He is a burning fuse that leads to a powder keg.

Right now the United States and the world need an experienced leader, not some community organizer. We can't just leave it to surrogates such as the Arab League, which was for the no-fly zone before they were against it.

Once again, the Mad Dog of the Middle East is defying our efforts to bring stability to that troubled area, and once again we desperately need a leader who knows how to deal with the likes of Moammar Gadhafi. Tragically, instead we appear to have a president who characteristically dillies and dallies, and shoots baskets while the world passes him by.

Let it be understood that as long as Moammar Gadhafi remains in power in Libya there can be no peace and stability in the Middle East. If Barack Obama wants to work toward a peaceful Middle East he has to work to remove the main threat to peace there — Moammar Gadhafi.

I have more than a passing interest in wanting this crazed dictator gone from the world scene. Gadhafi marked me for death in retaliation for the alleged death of a family member when Dad had Gadhafi's compound bombed.

Gadhafi actually wanted the son of the president of the United States murdered. And he made it clear that he'd do what he could to see me permanently removed from the scene.

I can't be blamed for wanting to see a similar fate befall this mad dog, but not merely for personal reasons. Gadhafi is a continuing threat to the United States. He is exactly what Dad called him, and as long as he is on the loose there can be no real peace in the Middle East.

Are you listening, Mr. President?

Michael Reagan is the son of President Ronald Reagan, a political consultant, and the author of "The New Reagan Revolution" (St. Martin's Press, 2011). He is the founder and chairman of The Reagan Group and president of The Reagan Legacy Foundation. Visit his website at, or e-mail comments to

© Mike Reagan

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