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The Late Show

Author: Elliott Abrams, Senior Fellow for Middle Eastern Studies
July 18, 2011
National Review


On Friday, July 15, the White House announced that the president would meet with the Dalai Lama. This was after weeks of speculation, and only one day before the Dalai Lama's long-planned week in Washington was scheduled to end. In other words, the White House waited until the last minute and thereby squandered much of the good will such a meeting can engender.

On the same day, it was announced that the United States would finally recognize the Transitional National Council in Libya as the country's legitimate government. This step has been urged upon the White House for months, and there is no good explanation for why it was the right thing to do on July 15 but not on July 1 or June 1. As the Wall Street Journal has pointed out, “Libya's rebellion began five months ago. NATO started to bomb Gadhafi's forces on March 19. Twenty-six other countries recognized the TNC before the U.S. did. Luxembourg roared its approval on Wednesday, and the U.S. followed.”

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