Regarding the U.S. role in the military operation in Libya, a few more questions for the President:
1. He has been pathetically obsessed with being the anti-Bush, to the point of putting American national security interests at risk. Yesterday, while still on his ill-timed jaunt to South America, he made a not-so-veiled reference to the Iraq war: “In the past, there had been times when the U.S. acted unilaterally or did not have full international support,” Obama said. “And as a consequence, typically it was the U.S. military that ended up bearing the entire burden.”
Not true, and not true. President Bush actually had a more comprehensive list of foreign backers for the Iraq war than Obama has for the Libyan war, and the British, Poles, and others took on major combat roles there. And since the U.S. is the world’s only superpower, we usually do end up “bearing the entire burden”—as we will do in Libya.
2. Obama went on to make another point about the need to respond to humanitarian crisis: “When the entire international community, almost unanimously says that there is a potential humanitarian crisis about to take place … that a leader has turned his military on his own people, we can’t simply stand by with empty words,” Obama said. “We have to take some sort of action.” Well, OK. “Responding to humanitarian crises” can come in many forms: economic, diplomatic, etc. It doesn’t necessarily have to involve military action. But that’s the route Obama has chosen to take here. Since he seems to be setting some sort of precedent with his words and actions (although he probably doesn’t even know it), how—if at all—is he prepared to “respond” to the slaughters happening in Iran, Yemen, Bahrain, and Syria? He says “we have to take some sort of action” in cases like these. OK—what’s it going to be, sir?
3. Attorney General Eric Holder said today that Muammar Qaddafi has “lost all legitimacy” and his presence in Libya “must end.” A few questions about this: a) when did Qaddafi EVER have legitimacy with his people?; b) why is the nation’s top DOMESTIC law enforcement official weighing in on national security? He was asked a question about Qaddafi and could have deferred to those responsible for foreign policy; c) if Holder wanted to chime in, he could have at least opined about whether the president should be asking Congress for authorization, whether Congress should “declare war,” or offered his position on the discretion afforded to the Commander in Chief under the 1973 War Powers Resolution. We got none of that, but we did get Holder’s inappropriate opinion on a sensitive foreign policy issue.
4. Defense Secretary Robert Gates told the Russian Foreign Minister that he expects that the “significant military fighting” should “recede in the next few days.” That’s a dangerous prediction—the kind of prediction that haunts presidencies. Are you comfortable with that prediction, Mr. President?
5. Over the weekend, the Russians began to demand a pullback of the UN resolution. Today they are demanding an outright and immediate ceasefire. How’s that Hillary Clinton Russian “reset” going?
6. Russia has now been joined by China (both abstained on the original UN vote) in calling for an immediate end to the US-led combat operations. Not to mention others who abstained, including Brazil and India, who are now saying the mission needs to stop. By the way, didn’t Obama just leave Brazil glowing with what he thought was Brazilian goodwill toward him? (Note I said: “goodwill toward HIM, and not goodwill toward the United States.) And didn’t he have a great trip to India a short time ago, where he also thought he felt the love? Well, not so much. Nations act in their own coldly calculated interests and will take any opportunity to screw us. Obama doesn’t get that because he believes everyone sees him as a transcendent, heroic, historic figure whom they should all follow. Of course, the world doesn’t work that way, but Obama does.
7. Within the military coalition, there is the predictable internal squabbling over which country has command. This is what you get when you try to run a war by committee that’s justified on “feel-good” terms. Who’s in charge?
Awaiting answers, still.
Have PoliticalMavens.com delivered to your inbox in a daily digest by clicking here