I didn't think of this while I was on the air, but in the cab back to my office it occurred to me that France does have a national interest in helping to stop the violence in Libya and stopping its spread to Algeria and Morocco.
Remember all those people trying to get out of Libya? France doesn't want a half million Muslims from what is known as Maghreb (the northwest corner of the African continent) washing ashore at Marseilles and clamoring for political asylum.
I am not making this stuff up. The wire service Agence France-Presse reported yesterday that a source has said President Nicolas Sarkozy favors air strikes on Gaddafi's command base.
The U.N., with its usual sprint to the core of the problem, is looking toward scheduling a meeting "early next week" to begin to see what, if anything, Russia and China will agree to in terms of military action against Gaddafi.
Russia has declared an arms embargo, but that's a long way from agreeing to a U.N. Security Council resolution allowing Sarkozy to launch air attacks.
Based upon that very thin sample of three guys, the United States is being blamed for (a) inaction and (b) too much interference. We are no better off now than when George W. Bush was the world's biggest booster for democratization throughout the world.
Whatever the people in this troubled region of the world thought Barack Obama was going to do; he has not been able to do it, has not wanted to do it, and/or does not know how to do it.
If nothing else, having France leading the way should be, at a minimum, embarrassing to the Obama Administration. I'm not certain they get it.