What Obama Didn’t Say Tonight

Monday, March 28, 2011

Under mounting criticism from both Democrats and Republicans, President Obama took to the airways tonight to tell a war-weary American people why he ordered the military to attack Libya.

The speech was a rhetorical mishmash borrowed from former President George W. Bush’s “Mission Accomplished” speech but failed to answer a fundamental question on the mind of many Americans: ‘Why is ending Qaddafi’s murderous reign more important than ending the far more lethal civil war in Somalia?’

President Obama purposely avoided calling the mission a “war,” and took great care to stress the humanitarian nature of the mission, at one point saying:

“Some nations may be able to turn a blind eye to atrocities in other countries. The United States of America is different. As president, I refused to wait for the images of slaughter and mass graves before taking action.”

Perhaps, someone in the president’s inner circle needs to show him “images” of the civil war underway in the Darfur region of Sudan which began in 2003. The Darfur civil war has resulted in the deaths of several hundred thousand Sundanese and forced more than 2.5 millions into refugee camps.

President Obama can opine about the humanitarian nature of the mission until he’s blue in the face but what makes Libya appear on his radar screen and not Sudan is simple: oil.

Libya — an OPEC member, produces 1.6 million barrels of oil per day making it the the third-largest oil producer in Africa and sits atop the continent’s largest reserves of crude oil. Sudan produces only a half a million barrels per day, making it the sixth biggest producer in Africa.

The president attempted to make the argument if he not acted, “the writ of the U.N. Security Council would have been shown to be little more than empty words, crippling its future credibility to uphold global peace and security,” but he managed to leapfrog over why he unilaterally took our nation to war without condescending to make his case to the U.S. Congress — as required by Article 1, Section 8 of the United States Constitution.

President Obama delivered the speech before a live audience at the National Defense University in Washington, DC and not from the Oval Office in the White House. The room read to the television camera like a relaxed, college lecture hall. All the more peculiar since the American people are anything but relaxed about a new war added to Iraq and Afghanistan.

This entry was posted in International News, Libya, News, President Barack Obama and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

20 Responses to What Obama Didn’t Say Tonight

  1. Eric Equality Kuntz says:

    Great op-ed, Christopher. Really says it all. Well done. ^5^!

    BTW, did you see what Howie Kurtz said? He says Obama spoke at 7:30p.m. because ABC didn’t want to preempt Dancing with the Stars.

  2. Matteo says:

    You have to read this. Appalling. While Pell Grants are being reduced. Screw Obama.

    The Real Cost Of U.S. In Libya? Two Billion Dollars Per Day.

    Libya is actually costing taxpayers about $2 billion per day, because that’s what the Pentagon and other security agencies of the federal government spend to maintain a posture that allows the military to go anywhere and do anything on short notice.


  3. Arizona Leatherneck says:

    I watched and I heard President Obama say we’re “fighting al-Qaeda. I’m not sure who he thinks he’s fooling.

    The Libyan rebels admitted they’re employing al-Qaeda fighters. How can Obama make such a claim while we’re arming our sworn enemies, the terrorist organization who took down the World Trade Centers killing close to 3,000 people?

  4. CriticalEyes says:

    This Ni&&er has got to go!

  5. CriticalEyes says:

    “Bush in Black Face” is not who I voted for!!!!! If I had known O-bush-ha would turn out to be such a fraud, I would have blinded mtself before I ever found the voting booth in November of 2008! I’m am disgusted!

  6. Randy Arroyo says:

    Watching the media’s reaction to all these wars is so partisan and sickening. Who can forget Fox cheering on Bush and the Iraq war, while MSNBC suggested he was a war criminal. Now, MSNBC is jubilant with Obama for the Libyan war but Fox suggests he should be impeached. I guess each side like war but, selectively. 😉

  7. Adirondacky says:

    I’ll tell you what is truly sobering to me. While what Obama did in attacking Libya was unconstitutional and opens the door for a Republican massacre, the GOP field is so batshit crazy that they make him look and sound reasonable. Obama’s smart enough to be well aware of this ugly fact. I mean, just imagine the spectacle of a Michelle Bachmann or Newt Gingrich going after the president? A religious kook and a philanderer.

  8. fran says:

    I had hard time listening to the speech. I think because he aims to say (the polished) right stuff, but I keep reading between the lines…. the things he is not saying- like how this robs the US of more money & ignoring the debt & while his State of the Union address was all rah rah education, teachers are dealing with having their collective bargaining rights stripped & most states are bankrupt.
    I have a hard time with this sudden desire to help those in need w medicines & healthcare. Seriously? Are they delivering them in Tomahawk missiles?
    When they get back to the business of the budget (slashing), you will see health care & education get big cuts.
    Let NATO handle Libya…. we have our own crisis right here at home.

    I bristled when he said “I ordered our brave troops”. Condescending yet macho.
    When did he become dictator???

    While he plays the humanitarian card, there are people right here in the US of A in dire need of keeping their homes, feeding their kids & having a decent job.

    Yea… lets have another war, Mr Peace Prize winner, because 2 wars are not enough?

  9. Kate Novotny says:

    I had a hard time listening to his speech, too Fran.

    Did you notice each time Obama said “we have an obligation to act,” he looked directly into the camera? Who was it for? Assad of Syria or Sen. Joe Lieberman? Because Sen. Lieberman is rumored to be pushing Obama to take out Assad next.

    Since Obama stands for nothing, I am left to conclude his foreign policy is heavily influenced by both Hillary Clinton and Joe Lieberman. He’s a tool for the Clintons and Lieberman. Remember, it was Lieberman who pushed Obama to run for president back when Obama was still a senator.

    I’ve really come to dislike Obama. Every bit as much as I disliked Bush.

  10. The Real Adam says:

    I think Obama and the Dems who support him grossly underestimate the growing revulsion American’s experience for our endless wars — now numbering three.

    Let’s also not forget, Obama dispatched an aircraft carrier to Costa Rica last year as a show of strength to the government in San Jose as the Mexican drug cartel violence is now appearing in Central America. All of this could very well determine the outcome of the 2012 election.

  11. Jolly Roger says:

    I have been in verbal battle with the President’s apologists most of the night. I swear to Dog they are just about as stupid as Chimpletons are.

    I disliked the guy, but I voted for him anyway. Now I REALLY dislike the guy. I can see for myself how this clown is no different in substance from the clown who preceded him. Why are dems so thick headed?

  12. fran says:

    Michael Moore’s comments:

    3,398 Words, Not a Single One of Which Is ‘Constitution’

    But President Obama does say he “consulted” congress before ordering
    the bombing of Libya, so now we know what President Palin
    will have to do before invading Iran

    Well, It Was Nice While It Lasted
    “The Congress shall have Power To … declare War” – Article I, Section 8
    of the obsolete U.S. Constitution

  13. Big Hank says:

    It all comes down to a simple question?

    Are we a nation of laws or not?If we are, then the US Constitution matters. If we are, then a president must go to congress when he or she wants to send the military into harm’s way. One piece of good news, I heard this morning that the congress will hold oversight hearings into Obama’s war against Libya.

  14. Bill Kristol liked Obama’s speech. He cooed about it being Reaganesque.

    This doesn’t want to make Rachel Maddow, and Lawrence O’Donnell, and Ed Schultz was to take a hot shower? It would me.

  15. Massagatto says:

    The POTUS is authorized to commit military forces under 3 conditions;

    1. declaration of war from the US Congress
    2. statutory authority from US Congress
    3 a national emergency caused by an attack upon the United States, its territories or possessions, or its armed forces

    Where did events in Libya meet any of the aforementioned?

    Absent, as legal authorities;

    1. UN resolutions
    2. NATO decisions
    3. Arab League statements
    4. Requests from the Secretary of State
    5. Pleas from the Libyan rebels

    Illegal use of the United States Military means Obama is a dictator.

    I understand this doesn’t sit well with elitists like Sen. John Kerry and Hillary Rodham Clinton, but the US Constitution supersedes their authority.

  16. feminazi says:

    One of Obama’s strengths is his ability to communicate. He reads the teleprompter well and he command of rhetoric is solid. But I have to say, I saw none of this last night and I was left to conclude for such an important speech, it left me cold. Did I doze off or something? Obama seemed to say he ordered the military to attack Libya because he could. Isn’t this like saying, I stole money from the till because it was open and no one was watching it? This is Obama’s argument for bombing Libya?

  17. TOM339 says:

    Christopher – You should write for a living. Why Newsweek or Time doesn’t hire you is a mystery to me.

    About Libya, I think Kaddafi is a French/NATO problem — there is national interests concerning the USA. Obama got this wrong. If he thinks attacking Libya will help in 2012, he’s mistaken.

  18. Brigadoon says:

    And the rebels? What rebels? Obama not only didn’t mention them but, he breezed over the fact that the rebels are populated with al-Qaeda soldiers. I wonder how supportive the dopes on MSNBC would be if they knew this little factoid? Would they even care?

  19. Vivzzz says:

    A brilliant essay. Thank you for keeping us informed and amused.

  20. DMason says:

    I didn’t watch. Sorry. No interest. I’m done with war and I’m done with Obama.

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