Obama to the Rescue

As usual, President Obama’s speech tonight was very well written. This time his speech writers had plenty of uninterrupted time to create it, since the President was vacationing in Rio.  The addition of a third Teleprompter was an improvement since it occasionally appeared as if Mr. Obama was looking directly into the camera, instead of bobbing back and forth from one side to the other like he was watching a tennis match.

Other nuances associated with his speech may have been even more telling than what he actually read.  First of all, the speech was delivered in the Abraham Lincoln Conference Room at the National Defense University at Fort Lesley J. McNair in Washington, D.C.  Now you can’t cloak yourself in much more patriotism than that!  And secondly, the President, not known for his punctuality, started precisely at the scheduled moment of 7:30 EDT, and ended precisely at 7:59 EDT, so as not to interfere with ABC’s season finale of Dancing With the Stars. Honest!

As for substance, there really wasn’t much we hadn’t heard before.  As with the other Obama bailout plans, he had to act without Congressional awareness because a delay of even one more day would have resulted in hundreds of Libyans getting killed.  So in a strictly humanitarian gesture, he immediately ordered the launch of a hundred or so cruise missiles, which resulted in hundreds of other Libyans getting killed.

The first part of his presentation was defending his action as Commander in Chief in acting swiftly and decisively in implementing the UN Resolution #1973. The last part was telling how we really just played a minor back-up role in the coalition of the willing, including Denmark, Norway, France, and a couple of other countries I never heard of, and that we will be gone by next Wednesday.

We know, of course that his first statement is patently false, and the latter one won’t wash either.  The UN Mandate #1973 authorized the coalition to establish a “no fly zone” over the Libyan countryside.  But in addition, we attacked Colonel Muammar Al-Qadhafi’s, tanks, personnel carriers, supply depots, convoys, and other land based facilities and equipment.  The immediate result was to enable the rebel forces to regain lost territories, and initiate a triumphant march toward the capital city of Tripoli.  The rebels are winning because of US military might, while the President is claiming humanitarian neutrality.

Other contradictions abound:  Mr. Obama has stated US policy is the removal of Qadhafi from power, but that is not our military objective.  We are not taking sides in Libya’s internal affairs, but we are only attacking Qadhafi forces.  We are not committed to nation building, but we have a responsibility to make certain that those seeking to overthrow Qadhafi will create a fair and humane democratic society.  Although what is happening in Libya is not a threat to our national security, it is in our national interest to intervene anywhere in the world where we see a government acting against its people, except in Syria, North Korea, Bahrain, Yemen, Darfur, Jordan, Iran, etc., etc.

And yes, while we are supposedly turning command of the hostilities over to NATO this coming Wednesday, Secretary of Defense Robert Gates estimates that we will be militarily involved at least through the remainder of the year.

Unanswered are the questions of an exit strategy, and an explanation of just how we ended up fighting on the same side with an Al Qaeda inspired revolutionary uprising.

The only thing lacking in his presentation was the U. S. Marine Corps Marching Band and Chorus playing and singing in the background, “How Great Thou Art!”

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3 comments for “Obama to the Rescue

  1. Ed
    March 29, 2011 at 11:31 am

    Brilliant!

  2. greg holman
    March 29, 2011 at 3:02 pm

    Always interesting to see hawks become doves and doves become hawks. Unfortunately both sides often view things through a political prism. I guess it it natural. I am often guilty of it myself.

  3. greg holman
    March 29, 2011 at 4:10 pm

    UN resolution 1973 authorized more than a no fly zone. it demands “the immediate establishment of a ceasefire and a complete end to violence and all attacks against, and abuses of, civilians; imposes a no-fly zone over Libya; authorizes all necessary means to protect civilians and civilian-populated areas, except for a “foreign occupation force”

    Seems the phrase “all necessary means to protect civilians” would include tanks etc.

    While we did take over at first, he said it was because of our “unique capabilities”, i.e. the tomahawk missile that can strike areas without putting airplanes at risk.

    I think he was clear that each war or conflict is decided on a case by case basis:
    “In this particular country – Libya, at this particular moment, we were faced with the prospect of violence on a horrific scale. We had a unique ability to stop that violence: an international mandate for action, a broad coalition prepared to join us, the support of Arab countries, and a plea for help from the Libyan people themselves. We also had the ability to stop Gaddafi’s forces in their tracks without putting American troops on the ground.”

    I guess if all those things line up again he will be in a difficult position. I don’t believe that all those things have been fulfilled in any countries you suggest but they surely could, especially in Syria, Jordan, and Bahrain.

    Once again, we had a no-fly zone over Iraq for 12 years. Hopefully this one does not last that long.

    I don’t see any proof that this is an Al Qaeda inspired uprising. I would say it is part of the greater middle east uprisings, especially of Egypt to the east and Tunisia to the west that are fueled by a quest for freedom. Now there may be some Al Qaeda types inside the rebels group, but that is different than Al Qaeda inspired. http://www.usatoday.com/news/world/2011-03-30-libyans30_ST_N.htm

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