For the last several days, President Barack Obama has rightly been highlighting the U.S. involvement in the rescue of Libya from the oppressive and violent hand of Muammar Gaddafi as an example of 21st century international cooperation. He’s right.
Indeed, the rescue of Libya began when Secretary of State Hillary Clinton authorized an emergency rescue and evacuation of the U.S. embassy personnel in Tripoli. When Gaddafi’s forces reacted with violence to peaceful protest, the U.S. along with most other nations, closed their Libyan embassies. But the hundreds of American, Australian, Canadian, British, Maltese and other personnel still had to get out.
With no commercial carriers available on sea or by air, this transplanted Californian serving as Ambassador in nearby Malta did what you would expect a guy from Malibu to do -- I helped persuade the State Department to rent a catamaran to come to the rescue.