I listened to President Barack Obama’s speech about Libya on Monday as he expounded on the war that is not a war and justified American participation in military intervention on humanitarian grounds. I found it difficult to believe this was the same man who spoke so forcefully about US intervention in Iraq.
Of course the United Nations had ample time to do something about Iraq. It is my opinion one reason the UN refused to enforce its own resolution stemmed from the Oil for Food scandal. Too many palms were being greased to disturb the Iraq money for oil pipeline—one actor was a UN insider as we all know now. A US State Dept. report details corruption within the UN. Billions of dollars benefited the actors who naturally wanted Saddam Hussein to stay exactly where he was.
In a 2002 interview with Obama [video below], he expressed misgivings about how the US would stabilize the conflicted population—Sunnis and Shias—in Iraq. Asked how he would have voted on the Iraq War Powers Resolution—Obama of course couldn’t have voted because he wasn’t a US senator then—he responded, “If it had come to me in an up or down vote…I think I would have agreed with our senior senator Dick Durbin [D-Ill.] and voted ‘nay.’”
Obama’s concern? “Carte blanche to the administration for a doctrine of preemptive strikes.”
It’s important to point out there was no concern when Obama asked for and received a seat on the UN Human Rights Council, a first for a US president. The UN praised UNHRC member Libya’s human rights record, an action acknowledged by The New York Times. The paper at times reflects a whisper of what it once was.
Libya has since been suspended from the council. After all, it’s hard to bomb a country for human rights violations when you have just finished praising the same country for making inroads in human rights.
Socialist-progressives are applauding revolts, not just in Libya but in other Middle East countries as well. In the latest issue of their magazine Solidarity, the United Auto Workers are praising their own efforts in organizing “rebels” in these countries. UAW is of course clueless as to unintended consequences. This organization, with help from fellow socialist-progressives, appears to believe nothing but good will come from their roll of the political dice and interference in a country that represented not a hint of danger to the United States.
This is in sharp contrast to perceptions about Iraq prior to the US war—the Congressional Record is replete with mention of the possibilities for weapons of mass destruction there and if you believe all the possibilities were perpetuated by Republicans, you’d be dead wrong.
No good will come of our meddling in Libya. We have no idea whether good will come from meddling in any of these countries. It is time for Americans to consider exactly what role we want to play in policing the world, especially in a part of the world where citizens throw shoes at a president perceived as a cowboy and a president originally perceived as something close to the Messiah Nation of Islam chief Louis Farrakhan praised during the 2008 General Election.
The Associated Press somehow found time and resources to do a fact check of our president’s speech on Monday. The fact check provides a look at how a news organization lobs soft balls at the commander-in-chief when he happens to be a Democrat.
Will reporters with access to the White House think to ask about the current preemptive strike?
Will those same reporters ask how much influence international labor activists have on current revolts in the Middle East?
Will they ask how a council the US sits on could praise a country for human rights one week and participate in bombing the country shortly thereafter?
If there’s a real reporter left in the pool, it’d be a good idea to do so, but I have little hope.
(Commentary by Kay B. Day/March 29, 2011)
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