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Thread: The President's Speech on Libya

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    Re: The President's Speech on Libya

    Quote Originally Posted by Dr_Patrick View Post
    Your analysis contains some valid points, but then you kind of screw it all up by bashing Obama for everything under the sun and even bringing up the pastor issue (which is not only way outdated, but has nothing to do with the topic at hand). Many liberals had the same problem when it came to Bush. When you have legitimate arguments against someone and then mix it in with partisan rhetoric, the legitimate arguments kind of get lost in the noise.
    I think Obama said something about not getting into nation building or something like that as a candidate.
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    "Fly-over" country voted, and The Donald is now POTUS.

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    Re: The President's Speech on Libya

    Quote Originally Posted by ReverendHellh0und View Post
    I was talking about The O man....
    Ah, in that case, I agree with you.
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    Re: The President's Speech on Libya

    Quote Originally Posted by Jetboogieman View Post
    Meh.

    If he hadn't of done anything...

    He's not a leader, rah rah rah rah rah rah!

    He did do something

    he's not a leader rah rah rah rah rah rah rah!

    Rah rah rah pastors,! Rah rah rha rah rah!
    Where's the declaration of war?

    Congress Asks Obama, 'Why No Declaration Of War?' : NPR

    "The president does not have power under the Constitution to unilaterally authorize a military attack in a situation that does not involve stopping an actual or imminent threat to the nation." - Sen. Barack Obama December 20, 2007.
    Gates Says Libya Not Vital National Interest
    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB1000...261420430.html
    Last edited by American; 03-29-11 at 03:28 PM.
    "He who does not think himself worth saving from poverty and ignorance by his own efforts, will hardly be thought worth the efforts of anybody else." -- Frederick Douglass, Self-Made Men (1872)
    "Fly-over" country voted, and The Donald is now POTUS.

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    Re: The President's Speech on Libya

    Now he's got the realists still sighing with disdain....

    George Friedman

    A declaration of war, I am arguing, is an essential aspect of war fighting particularly for the republic when engaged in frequent wars. It achieves a number of things. First, it holds both Congress and the president equally responsible for the decision, and does so unambiguously. Second, it affirms to the people that their lives have now changed and that they will be bearing burdens. Third, it gives the president the political and moral authority he needs to wage war on their behalf and forces everyone to share in the moral responsibility of war. And finally, by submitting it to a political process, many wars might be avoided. When we look at some of our wars after World War II it is not clear they had to be fought in the national interest, nor is it clear that the presidents would not have been better remembered if they had been restrained. A declaration of war both frees and restrains the president, as it was meant to do.

    [...]

    My readers will know that I am far from squeamish about war. I have questions about Libya, for example, but I am open to the idea that it is a low-cost, politically appropriate measure. But I am not open to the possibility that quickly after the commencement of hostilities the president need not receive authority to wage war from Congress. And I am arguing that neither the Congress nor the president have the authority to substitute resolutions for declarations of war. Nor should either want to. Politically, this has too often led to disaster for presidents. Morally, committing the lives of citizens to waging war requires meticulous attention to the law and proprieties.

    As our international power and interests surge, it would seem reasonable that our commitment to republican principles would surge. These commitments appear inconvenient. They are meant to be. War is a serious matter, and presidents and particularly Congresses should be inconvenienced on the road to war. Members of Congress should not be able to hide behind ambiguous resolutions only to turn on the president during difficult times, claiming that they did not mean what they voted for. A vote on a declaration of war ends that. It also prevents a president from acting as king by default. Above all, it prevents the public from pretending to be victims when their leaders take them to war. The possibility of war will concentrate the mind of a distracted public like nothing else. It turns voting into a life-or-death matter, a tonic for our adolescent body politic.



    Read more: What Happened to the American Declaration of War? | STRATFOR
    What Happened to the American Declaration of War? | STRATFOR

    But, he has also had some neoconservatives on his side (Wolfowitz, Kristol, Kagan), while other neoconservatives are against it (Horowitz-who recently went so far as to say he is not a neoconservative, I think Gaffney... etc.).

    Robert Kagan

    With his speech tonight, President Obama placed himself in a great tradition of American presidents who have understood America’s special role in the world. He thoroughly rejected the so-called realist approach, extolled American exceptionalism, spoke of universal values and insisted that American power should be used, when appropriate, on behalf of those values. I was particularly pleased to see him place Libya in the context of the Arab Spring. This is the part of the equation that the self-described realists have missed. While in isolation acting to defend the people of Libya against Moammar Gaddafi might not seem imperative, it is in the broader context of the revolutionary moment in the Middle East that U.S. actions take on greater significance. Tonight the president began to place the United States on the right side of the unfolding history in the region.

    The president also deserves credit for showing, once again, how bold and effective U.S. leadership can pave the way for multilateral efforts. He has been right to insist that others take their fair share of the burden, but he has also made clear that American leadership was essential, even indispensable.

    This was a Kennedy-esque speech.
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/...g.html?hpid=z5

    William Kristol

    I knew pretty early on during tonight’s speech that President Obama had rejoined—or joined—the historical American foreign policy mainstream. It was when he mentioned Charlotte (the city, not the spider):

    ''At this point, the United States and the world faced a choice. Gaddafi declared that he would show “no mercy” to his own people. He compared them to rats, and threatened to go door to door to inflict punishment. In the past, we had seen him hang civilians in the streets, and kill over a thousand people in a single day. Now, we saw regime forces on the outskirts of the city. We knew that if we waited one more day, Benghazi – a city nearly the size of Charlotte – could suffer a massacre that would have reverberated across the region and stained the conscience of the world.''

    When American presidents want to justify foreign interventions, and are worried the American people aren’t quite with them, they often reach for a strained analogy or comparison that will bring the situation abroad home to their fellow Americans watching on the tube. Obama’s awkward interjection explaining that Benghazi is “a city nearly the size of Charlotte” is a classic of the genre. As Obama said it, I recalled Reagan explaining Nicaragua was as near to Texas as Texas to Washington, D.C., or some such thing, and similar clunky and earnest attempts at homespun appeals by George H. W. Bush, Bill Clinton and George W. Bush. I found this reassuring.

    As I found the rest of the speech. The president was unapologetic, freedom-agenda-embracing, and didn’t shrink from defending the use of force or from appealing to American values and interests. Furthermore, the president seems to understand we have to win in Libya. I think we will.
    http://www.weeklystandard.com/blogs/...by_555622.html

    David Horowitz

    It looks like we are headed for the same result in Egypt, where the Muslim Brotherhood is poised to win the September elections. The reality is that a totalitarian Islam is the vibrant and increasingly dominant movement in the Arab world. Any elections likely to take place will be on the order of one man, one vote, one time. Neo-conservatives are now cheering on the Obama administration’s reckless intervention in Libya, as though the past ten years have taught them nothing. The nation building effort in Iraq led to a squandering of American resources and a weakening of American power. Putting a man who is hostile to American power in the White House is not the least aspect of this American decline. Because of these nation-building delusions we are still mired in Afghanistan — now the longest war in American history. And now we have been plunged into the Middle Eastern maelstrom with no clear agenda or objective.
    The Obama Administration, in my view, is the most dangerous administration in American history, and conservatives need to be very clear about the limits and objectives of American power so that they can lead the battle to restore our government to health. To accomplish this, neo-conservatives need to admit they were wrong, and return to the drawing board. They should give up the “neo” and become conservatives again.
    http://frontpagemag.com/2011/03/23/w...m_medium=email
    Last edited by Fiddytree; 03-29-11 at 03:44 PM.
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    Re: The President's Speech on Libya

    Quote Originally Posted by washunut View Post
    What makes you think it laid any foundation for killing Libyans?
    Because in his 2009 remarks Obama laid down the predicate that it was appropriate for America to act militarily in concert with other nations on humanitarian grounds. With that the foundation was well established almost precisely for what followed this month with the U.N. Security Council sanctioned military intervention in Libya on humanitarian grounds by a broad coalition including America but also the Arab League and many European nations. You call that “killing Libyans” but of course there is little doubt that far more Libyan civilians would have perished if the coalition had failed to intervene when it did. To borrow a line from a former president:

    “We got there just in time.” — Ronald Reagan, Address to the Nation on Events in Lebanon and Grenada, October 27, 1983
    Last edited by Chappy; 03-29-11 at 04:29 PM.
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    Re: The President's Speech on Libya

    Quote Originally Posted by Chappy View Post
    Because in his 2009 remarks Obama laid down the predicate that it was appropriate for America to act militarily in concert with other nations on humanitarian grounds. With that the foundation was established almost precisely for what followed this month with the U.N. Security Council sanctioned military intervention in Libya on humanitarian grounds by a broad coalition including America but also the Arab League and many European nations. You call that “killing Libyans” but of course there is a little doubt that far more Libyan civilians would have perished if the coalition had failed to intervene when it did. To borrow a line from a former president:

    “We got there just in time.” — Ronald Reagan, Address to the Nation on Events in Lebanon and Grenada, October 27, 1983


    I guess "no blood for oil" is no longer in vogue for the left.
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    Re: The President's Speech on Libya

    Quote Originally Posted by American View Post
    I think Obama said something about not getting into nation building or something like that as a candidate.
    Yep, said the same thing in meetings with his national security team according to Bob Woodward.
    Nobody who wins a war indulges in a bifurcated definition of victory. War is a political act; victory and defeat have meaning only in political terms. A country incapable of achieving its political objectives at an acceptable cost is losing the war, regardless of battlefield events.

    Bifurcating victory (e.g. winning militarily, losing politically) is a useful salve for defeated armies. The "stab in the back" narrative helped take the sting out of failure for German generals after WWI and their American counterparts after Vietnam.

    All the same, it's nonsense. To paraphrase Vince Lombardi, show me a political loser, and I'll show you a loser.
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    Re: The President's Speech on Libya

    obama's speech last nite was a major policy address

    major policy addresses cannot be summed up in anything less than thousands of words

    ie, there is much, much, much to comment on

    it takes america at least several days, if not weeks or months, to get its head completely around any major policy address

    that said, here are some initial reactions, some of the most substantial points and the most significant

    1. obama's speech was intended to pacify his base as he leads us off to war, he included much red meat for the rachel's and randi's, such as the equation of american national security interests with pure humanitarianism or some need to protect the un's credibility

    2. as such, this speech is gonna heat up the right-vs-left rhetoric accompanying this war, the paleocons are gonna rip it to shreds and the left, at least for now, will be compelled to defend some principles of american policy relative to world affairs that are very dear to their hearts

    3. conservatives are gonna be mortified by what we see as this attempt by the president to sluff off cic responsibilities to international bodies like nato and the un---call it what you will, but these are OUR troops at risk over there, this is OUR budget that is gonna pay for all this, this is AMERICAN prestige that has been put at risk

    4. obama's attempt to DUCK responsibility for his investment of our military and our prestige in libya is most un-cic-like

    5. bottom line---obama's description of our mission as the protecting of civilian lives is fundamentally IMPOSSIBLE without the removal of gadaffi, which would necessarily involve REGIME CHANGE and NATION BUILDING

    6. this elevation of humanitarian concerns to national security status, weird as it is, also downplays some rather hateful humanitarian crises that absolutely ARE in united states national security interests as more commonly and traditionally defined---that'd be the GULF and ISRAEL---which would require looking at yemen, bahrain, saudi arabia, jordan and syria

    there's quite a bit more to say about obama's major policy address and this WAR in libya

    and, in time, all of it WILL be said

    stay up
    Last edited by The Prof; 03-29-11 at 04:53 PM.

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    Re: The President's Speech on Libya

    Quote Originally Posted by danarhea View Post
    There is a big difference. In Iraq, The US did the heavy lifting, to the tune of a trillion dollars. In Libya, we stepped into the leadership for a few days, and are now functioning only as support for NATO, which are now the main load bearers.
    Honest question for you...

    Who do you think the main load bearers of the new "main load bearers" in Libya are?

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    Re: The President's Speech on Libya

    Moammar Gadhafi's forces hammered rebels with tanks and rockets, turning their rapid advance into a panicked retreat in an hourslong battle Tuesday. The fighting underscored the dilemma facing the U.S. and its allies in Libya: Rebels may be unable to oust Gadhafi militarily unless already contentious international airstrikes go even further in taking out his forces.

    Opposition fighters pleaded for strikes as they fled the hamlet of Bin Jawwad, where artillery shells crashed thunderously, raising plumes of smoke. No such strikes were launched during the fighting, and some rebels shouted, "Sarkozy, where are you?" — a reference to French President Nicolas Sarkozy, one of the strongest supporters of using air power against Gadhafi.
    Libya rebels flee Gadhafi assault as world debates - Yahoo! News

    msnbc this morning, reporting on the rout of the rebels outside sirte, pointed out that many of the pro-gadaffi fighters there are locals, militias, armed by the dictator but NOT members of his regular forces

    if the american/nato/un/arab league mission in libya is protection of civilians how can we WIPE OUT the citizens of sirte?

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