For days the media were bristling with hints of conflict among President Obama’s advisers in their deliberations on the appropriate American reaction to the Libyan crisis. On Thursday evening, the Security Council’s resolution to mobilize all necessary force short of invasion made clear that the interventionists had won the battle.

When I read the fascinating and suspenseful account of the five-day evolution of American foreign policy towards Libya from wary observation to forcible military intervention, I was struck by the fast-moving narrative, but not nearly so much as by the revelation that the key players who brought about the sharp shift in policy were women. For a veteran of the feminist battles of the 1960s and ’70s, that disclosure was stunning.

Though Defense Secretary Robert Gates was joined by the national security adviser Thomas E. Donilon and the counter-terrorism chief John O. Brennan in arguing against American military action, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton overrode their objections. Samantha Power of the National Security Council (left) and U.N. ambassador Susan Rice (right) had been arguing for the deployment of military force. According to Brian Katulis, a national security expert, “Hillary and Susan Rice were key parts of this story because Hillary got the Arab buy-in and Susan worked the U.N. to get a 10-to-5 vote, which is no easy thing.”

Rice not only strengthened the original resolution, she personally found the missing South African ambassador and his critical affirmative vote when he was absent from the Security Council as it was about to vote on Thursday evening. (Below, see her announcing the vote that day, just as the cards were falling into place).

For more about the power and influence that these women wielded in the policy shift, see the article in last Friday’s New York Times.

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  • gerry maxey March 22, 2011 at 11:31 am

    The United States is at war today with Libya because three women want us to be at war with Libya. Three internationalist women, well educated,
    brilliant, globalized.

    Jean Renoir did a film about the upper classes called, La grande illusion,about the ties between the International Upper Classes and how those ties
    were paramount over the ties between Upper and Lower classes from the same country.

    These three women are examplars of the new Grand Illusion; they are the New Elite with more ties to Globalization than American interests.
    They are courtiers to Ruling Class elitism and Globalization.

    The lives of low born American soldiers, non Ivy League educated American airmen, working class sailors mean nothing to them. The lives and voices
    of people who went to college at the Air Force Academy, Notre Dame, West Point,CCNY,Purdue,Michigan,TCU,Chico State Colorado,Emory
    mean nothing to them.

    In the end that is what the WASP Frat Boys and Internationalist women have in common; they see American service members as Plebians,
    born to be wasted on foreign shores, for they don’t count as much as the desires of the Ruling Class.