Wow, it has been a long time since I’ve posted anything here! I suppose a good reason for this is that I only blog when 1) I have free time and 2) Something has infuriated/interested me.
“The Libya Thing” (Hereafter referred to as TLT) has done both. Specifically, the way our President has handled it has both fascinated and infuriated me. Seriously, is it possible for anyone to screw up in so many ways in just one thing? So, let’s take a look at how I believe Obama has bungled TLT so far:
1) No good reason for going in in the first place. During his speech on TLT, Obama said the following: “To brush aside America’s responsibility as a leader and – more profoundly – our responsibilities to our fellow human beings under such circumstances would have been a betrayal of who we are. Some nations may be able to turn a blind eye to atrocities in other countries. The United States of America is different. And as President, I refused to wait for the images of slaughter and mass graves before taking action.” Peachy. However, did he ever think that it is not exactly America’s responsibility to solve everyone’s problems. We are not (or at least should not be) the world’s spiffy Globo-Robo-Cop. The world is a lousy place, Mr. President. Trying to solve every little problem that arises will get you nowhere. Also, the President’s responsibility is to American citizens. He has no obligation to Libya’s citizens or anyone else’s.
2) No clear objective. When Bush went into the Middle East during both Gulf Wars, he had a clear set of priorities, which I won’t post here in interest of space. The decision was made to leave the conflicts when Bush and his advisors went over that list and determined that all of the pre-set priorities had been reached. Obama has no exit strategy; he’s just committed the military with no idea of when to get them out.
3) Ignoring historical precedent. What happened the last time we helped out some rebels? Remember the mujahideen? They were our buddies against the Soviets. That didn’t turn around and bite us at all, did it? That was sarcasm, for those of you that didn’t catch it. Seriously, though, Exhibit A: South Tower. Exhibit B: South Tower. Helping out rebels is almost always a bad idea; they could turn on you as soon as they’re in power.
4) Failing to adequately consult Congress . . . but talking to the UN and NATO plenty. Obama consulted with the UN Security Council and NATO extensively before beginning TLT. However, he never once consulted Congress; he didn’t seek their approval or their opinion. My cow, even BUSH did that! In reality, Obama consulted Congress three days after he had made his decision to commit troops to Libya. And even then, he told them less than two hours before bombing was scheduled to begin. Why bother consulting them at all? Less than two hours before bombing was scheduled to begin the jets doing the work would have already taken off, rejoined, hit the tanker, and been on their way in. The decision was beyond made at that point, and informing Congress was pointless. If Bush had pulled something like this, calling it serious congressional consultation, raging Senators would have called for impeachment hearings. Seriously, though, what did you expect from someone who calls himself a “Citizen of the World“? Obama clearly shows here that he values international organizations as more worth his time than the United States Congress.
5) Damaged American credibility. Obama said that Gadhafi needed to step down . . . and then proceeded to make a few half-hearted steps to try and make him do so. Nice work, Mr. President. Like Karl Rove put it, “When an American president says someone should go, they really must. If they stay, America’s credibility is undermined and adversaries are emboldened.” This is exactly the case. The last time we said a dictator needed to step down, we destroyed his entire military and then dragged him out of his rat hole and handed him over to his people, who hung him. With Obama, we say a dictator needs to step down, and then drop a couple bombs. He cannot even do things all the way . . . even when he is doing something he is convinced is justified (Like TLT), he cannot bring himself to go all the way.
6) Outright lies to Americans. Obama said he and his administration took “a series of swift steps in a matter of days.” False. He sat on his hands and did nothing for two weeks. He also claimed “At my directive, America led an an effort” to “create a no-fly zone.” Also false. The major push for this came from French, the Arab League, and the British. Obama also said that this mission will be transitioned to NATO, to give the impression that it will not be our problem, but that of an international body. This impression is untrue. WE provide most of, if not all of, the muscle in NATO; we founded it, for Pete’s sake. Also, who commands NATO? Four-star Admiral James G. Stavridis . . . An American. In other words, the responsibility for TLT was just transferred from Admiral Mike Mullen, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, to Admiral Stavridis.
Is that enough for you? Gosh, our President ticks me off . . . I think I’ll quit my (lousy) job and start volunteering full-time for whoever’s running against him.