Obama's Speech on Libya

Color me underwhelmed.

And as for all the reasons given why we should intervene…. wouldn’t those have been good arguments to make to Congress?

My heartburn:

1. No clear mission or goal- “Do something!” isn’t clear guidance.

2. A failure to even attempt to rally the American people to his cause. While I spent a goodly portion of my career adhering to the precept that “It’s better to ask forgiveness than permission” it’s a quite another matter to take that approach to starting a war…

3. If the case for intervention was so clear, why NOT try to sell it to Congress? Wouldn’t he have been pushing on an open door? If there WAS resistance to US intervention from Congress, well, first, that’s why we HAVE a Congress, and second, he could have used point number 1 above, popular support, to push back against that congressional resistance.

4. Either we lead, follow or get the hell out of the way. Which is it? Obama has tried to take credit for leadership, place any potential blame by saying we’re just following, and yet, won’t get the hell out of the military’s way and let the armed forces go for regime change…

5. Regime change- once the President of the United States got on television and said Quaddafi had to go, there was NO other politically acceptable outcome.  Either we mean it, or we don’t.  So why can’t he stand by his previous statement, and attempt to make that happen? Half assed measures in war are the very worst kind.

6. You’ll see a lot of comparisons of Obama’s actions and speeches to those of Bush in 2002 and 2003 justifying the invasion of Iraq. But there is no comparison. Bush repeatedly addressed the nation, Congress, and the international community to build support for that invasion. Obama instead is coming out after involving us in a war and telling us to like it or lump it. The next liberal that tells me Bush was an imperial president is gonna get a lump of his own, right on his noggin.

7 thoughts on “Obama's Speech on Libya”

  1. Brad,

    You know I don’t agree with the position that the POTUS can’t deploy troops without the go-ahead from Congress. HOWEVER. I also cannot disagree with a single point you made here. Just because I believe he doesn’t HAVE to ask permission doesn’t mean he shouldn’t. And if his motivation for asking is that he’ll get turned down, then I would agree that military action is not in the best interest of the nation.

    If he’s not asking for an AUMF because there isn’t time, or because he’s already wasted too much of it dithering (more to the point in this case) that’s a different matter. But like a FISA warrant, I also think he SHOULD go back and ask after the fact at least.

    But as a military action (which it is regardless of what stupid dissembling term this administration comes up with like ‘kinetic operations’), this is a Charlie Foxtrot. No defined objective. I’m not going to bitch about the lack of a timeline or end date as to me, that’s a stupid thing to ask for in the planning of a military op. You plan for victory or you don’t go. The problem is this OinC doesn’t know what ‘victory’ is.

    Look, I make no bones that my position is that as a nation we OUGHT to stand on the side of people who are struggling for freedom. That doesn’t always mean military intervention, but sometimes it will. I also believe if we had done this three weeks ago, the whole thing could have been completed by now, and with a lot less bloodshed. I also agree that the President’s “standard” of why we intervened now puts us squarely on the path to take on Syria and Yemen and a few others in short order. I DON’T actually think that’s going to happen, because The Big O doesn’t actually have any kind of coherent plan or even opinion on this situation. He’s the Ditherer in Chief, after all.

    And finally, the very next time a lib gives you the Bush Bad / Obama Good BS, remind them that Bush’s “rush to war” took a year and a half, had twice the number of nations in his coalition, had more UN resolutions supporting it, and actually had a stated objective. Where we went wrong is trying to rebuild Iraq after that objective was reached. In my opinion at least.

  2. Brad,

    There are a group things that we should have before we go into a planned attack. 1. We should know the adversary better than he knows himself. 2. We should have a stated list of objectives on paper, before we start. 3. Then, we should have, in place, the strategies and tactics to accomplish those same listed objectives. 4. We should, then have the logistics to meet all of those same listed objectives, BEFORE we start. 5. Last, but not least, one of this type of operation, I would require a full “Congressional Declaration of War”. I want the whole nation at war, not just the military. These last two things are extremely important, we may not like it, but taxes should be required to meet the need or don’t do it. Now, after you stop complaining, think about something, we need to be involved in saving our own lives. I’m not saying that we should reinstate the draft. There are more than enough places for the average American Citizen to find a place to serve. I know we have our “First-Responders”, but many people could find their place where they work or volunteer. This is the way, though I believe America goes to war.

  3. POTUS can deploy troops without going to Congress for a “Mother May I” slip. What a president can not do legally is engage in war without the approval of congress. Even Alexander Hamilton said that. War is not undertaken by the President, the Country undertakes war and the population is the group that will bear the cost of it, not some on looker that fools enough people to get himself elected.

    What Truman did in Korea was illegal, and what Obama has now done is also illegal. He did not merely deploy, he has engaged in acts of war without Congressional authorization. What he has done is an impeachable offence. While he should be thrown out of office, his own party are too cowardly to do so. The GOP are a bunch of wusses as well.

  4. Quartermaster, you make an interesting point about the “Mother May I” slip, on the contrary he may NOT deploy troops OCONUS, without Congressional “Declaration of War”. You are quite correct, when you say, “This is an impeachable offense.” The thing to remember is this, he was must present a case for going to war to the Congress.

    The only instrument that gives POTUS the title of “Commander in Chief of all US Military Forces” is the US Constitution, Article 2, Section 2. But in Article 1, Section 8, it states that the Congress of the United States *SHALL* have the power to declare war. It is most appropriate for POTUS on request a war declaration and stated goals, etc. It is important to note, that the Constitution uses the word “SHALL”, and not the word “may”. These powers are delegated and cannot be transferred to any other part of the government. This is all part of the strategy of our Constitution. No war making power is given to any one branch of our Government.

    But at no time should any policy making officials be involved in the gathering of this information. This would include all Defense Departments and all of the members of the Intelligence Community, “Undue Influence” is a very serious matter, this is especially true in the build up for war.

    I do not believe it is a healthy exercise to compare George W. Bush and Barack Obama, it is time to move on.

  5. Quartermaster, is a strange thing about the Constitution of the US, is not so important what is said, but what is perceived by everyday American Citizens. As I sat down and started to get ready for bed, I realized something very important. Why is a “Declaration of War” so important? In the final analysis, are you really changing anything on the warfront? Are you really going to change anything? My inclination is to say no and just move on. But on second thought, the truth is yes, it changes a great deal, but not on war front. This means there’s only one place that we see change and that is here. But, as we change, then the whole world begins to change with us. If we begin this process, we should see monumental change in the Whole World. This is the true essence of leadership by example.

    As we change, many things would change with it. As I look at today’s world, I see the Pentagon trying to get started on the process of getting its house in order, especially with this nightmare of procurement. Personally, I don’t believe our nations’ leaders or former leaders should be making money off of the weapons or weapon systems. This almost sounds like a “conflict of interests” issue. As we continue, we need to remember something and I know this hurts. We are not talking about weeks, months, years, decades, centuries, but many many millennia. We are talking about many generations. I hope this will clarify my view, have a good day.

  6. I understand where you were coming from Grumpy. I can’t agree with you on deploying OCONUS without Congressional Approval, however. If that were the case we could not base troops overseas on teh basis we have now. Almost none of those deployments are approved by Congress. Nor could POTUS deploy trrops to defend US Citizens abroad without such an approval.

    The difference is found in Defense. Defensive acts can be undertaken without Congress issuing the approval. Offensive acts, however, are acts of war and may not be undertaken with Congressional approval.

    I agree with you on declarations of war and the changes they make. AUMF is a euphemism to keep from saying we declare war and all the changes that come with that. We don’t want to keep Joe and Martha Six Pack from the malls, after all.

  7. Quartermaster, Sir, I don’t think we are that far apart in our view. First, let’s talk about the troops deployed OCONUS. if you look at them, they are mostly deployed under a Constitutional Approved Treaty. Therefore, they meet the necessary requirements. Their purpose is primarily defensive and not to make war. We need to remember not to trigger a response, that could be construed as an offensive action.

    On that beautiful Tuesday morning, 11 September 2001, I went to a McDonald’s to have breakfast with some other disabled veterans, like myself. All of us had gone up to the counter and gotten our food and coffee, then we sat down as a group. If I remember correctly, I had taken 1 bite out of my sandwich and a man walked in and came over to our group. He leaned over and said, “Have you heard a plane hit the World Trade Center?” After he told us, I asked him, “You mean something like a Cessna type aircraft?” He replied, “No, I he big ones.” The interesting thing was right behind us, were some of the guys and gals of the local Air National Guard. I looked over at one of the pilots, he overheard the comment and silently repeated the man’s comment. From that point on, the two different groups were acting all of the same page. I think we all inhaled our food, I looked over and saw one of the pilots, who I had “talked with before” and confirmed everything. As we walked out of the McDonald’s, both groups talked with each other. We brought both groups together and talked. I explained to the families the ongoing events of that time. Everybody went to their own homes, first. Everybody knew the consequences of these events and it was not going to be nice. The pilots from the Air National Guard, knew to go to the base and prepare for war. They knew that they were going to be flying many hours over, The World Trade Center and the Military District of Washington DC. If there was ever a time in our Nation’s History to declare war, this was it no, we did not declare war. Quartermaster,to be honest, I was livid.

    Your last paragraph was the center piece of my anger, you’ve said it, all.

    V/R Grumpy

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