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March 28, 2011

Obama To Retroactively Make the Case For War He Already Committed the Public to at 7:30 Eastern

Ten minutes or so.

Meanwhile, some discontent from the liberal hinterlands.

...we're basing our military decisions on the wills of other governments. In fact, the Obama administration appears to be taking this idea one step further. Tapper asked Clinton to reconcile the Libya mission with two quotes from 2007. One was Obama's: "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." The other was Clinton's: "If the administration believes that any—any—use of force against Iran is necessary, the president must come to Congress to seek that authority."

...

In other words, when the mission is "internationally authorized," the president doesn't have to consult Congress.

I'm no Tea Partier, but that sure sounds like a substitution of foreign for congressional authority. It's worse than outsourcing. Outsourcing is when you hire somebody abroad to do what you want. In Libya, we're doing the opposite. We're hiring ourselves out to do what somebody abroad wants....

I don't see any basis for that in the text or spirit of the Constitution.

My Mistake: He's not making the case for war; he's just "updating" on us on what the Europeans have decided our military should do.

"We Took A Series of Swift Steps:" Oh, you mean after you dithered around with the same basic facts for three weeks.

You mean after all that delay, you finally made a decision, and then the military acted swiftly.

"I Refused to Let That Happen:" Ah, okay, just as long as I know who the hero is here.

By the way, he's super-proud that he waited until the last possible moment to save Benghazi (but none of the towns and cities along the decimated way to Benghazi). Apparently those other towns he let be demolished as he dithered didn't count.

Only the dramatic, last-second decision to spare Benghazi specifically should matter.

Hilarious: He says that he's all about getting other countries to bear the burdens. He says, to that end, that he's transferred command to NATO.

Um, so, if I'm getting this right, our pilots and seamen are still fighting this war, they're just being bossed around by a foreign general, right?

And that general isn't actually in the fight, right?

Seems to me that all Obama is doing is distancing himself from any possible failure while keeping our troops in harm's way.

We Can't Embrace Regime Change Because Doing So Would... Require Ground Troops??!! That, he says, or huge civilian casualties (collateral damage in airstrikes).

That's absurd. Another lie. We're not embracing regime change for various diplomatic stupidities. We certainly could seek regime change and use the military, if it had a clear shot, to do so. Sometimes you will have intelligence about the location of a high-value target; a missile will hit that exact square meter of real estate.

He then claims that "To be blunt, we went down that road in Iraq." Nonsense -- we went down the ground-troops road in Iraq not for the sake of regime change but to establish order post decapitation of the Baath regime; we could have effected regime change without ground troops (eventually), but skipped the "police the country" part of it. It would have been bloodier, probably, but we could have done that. (I would argue we should have, actually.)

But you certainly don't need ground troops for a decapitating strike.

To check the chaos that flows afterwards from that, yes, but we can be grown-ups about this and finally say "Hey, we killed your tyrant, the rest is up to you."


Obama in 2002:

Now let me be clear — I suffer no illusions about Saddam Hussein. He is a brutal man. A ruthless man. A man who butchers his own people to secure his own power. He has repeatedly defied UN resolutions, thwarted UN inspection teams, developed chemical and biological weapons, and coveted nuclear capacity.

He’s a bad guy. The world, and the Iraqi people, would be better off without him.

But I also know that Saddam poses no imminent and direct threat to the United States, or to his neighbors, that the Iraqi economy is in shambles, that the Iraqi military a fraction of its former strength, and that in concert with the international community he can be contained until, in the way of all petty dictators, he falls away into the dustbin of history.

Compare that to his new position that the US, as a nation, cannot sit idly by as a slaughter occurs.

Seems to me he was pretty cool with Saddam's slaughter.


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posted by Ace at 07:20 PM

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