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llotter
03-20-2011, 07:44 PM
With no debate and no objective, Obama enters a war

Iimothy P. Carney

At once presumptuous and flippant, President Obama used a Saturday audio recording from Brazil to inform Americans he had authorized a third war -- a war in which America's role is unclear and the stated objectives are muddled.
Setting aside the wisdom of the intervention, Obama's entry into Libya's civil war is troubling on at least five counts. First is the legal and constitutional question. Second is the manner of Obama's announcement. Third is the complete disregard for public opinion and lack of debate. Fourth is the unclear role the United States will play in this coalition. Fifth is the lack of a clear endgame. Compounding all these problems is the lack of trust created by Obama's lazy leadership.

"Today, I authorized the armed forces of the United States to begin a limited military action in Libya," the president said. For him it was self-evident he had such authority. He gave no hint he would seek even ex post facto congressional approval. In fact, he never once mentioned Congress.

Since World War II, the executive branch has steadily grabbed more war powers, and Congress has supinely acquiesced. Truman, Johnson, Reagan, Clinton and Bush all fought wars without a formal declaration, but at least Bush used force only after Congress authorized it.

And, once more, the president's actions belie his words on the campaign trail. In late 2007, candidate Obama told the Boston Globe, "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."

There is no claim that Moammar Gadhafi poses a threat to the United States. But asking President Obama to explain his change of heart would be a fruitless exercise. This is a president who has repeatedly shredded the clear meaning of words in order to deny breaking promises he has clearly broken -- consider his continued blatant falsehoods on tax increases and his hiring of lobbyists.

Matching the offhand assertion of authority to start an offensive war was the unserious way he announced it. While France's Nicolas Sarkozy stood before an international gathering in Paris and Britain's David Cameron arranged an address from No. 10 Downing St., Obama took a brief break from his trade meetings in Brazil to issue a statement at first carried to Americans only in audio form.

Bush has been called a brash cowboy, but at least he started his wars "ex cathedra," so to speak, conveying the gravity of war by solemnly addressing "my fellow Americans" from the Oval Office.

Further, Bush started his wars only after leading long national debates. Obama pledged to be more deliberative than Bush, but on Libya, any deliberation mostly excluded the public and Congress.

The prospect of U.S. military intervention in Libya first arose weeks ago, when an all-out civil war erupted there. Yet Obama never pushed the issue until after his U.N. ambassador voted for the use of force at the Security Council. Obama never tried to cultivate American support for a third war. While Cameron defended his position during question time in Parliament, Obama merely sent a few aides to Capitol Hill.

Nor has there been a clear explanation of America's role in the anti-Gadhafi coalition and the objectives of the war. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said of the attacks: "We did not lead this." But Vice Adm. Bill Gortney, director of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said Saturday that the U.S. was in command of the operation.

Obama will portray the U.S. role as simply supporting the European powers or "setting the stage," but, again, he has a history of playing word games when it comes to military conflicts. For instance, although it has been eight months since Obama declared "the end of combat operations" in Iraq, American soldiers are still being killed in combat. Americans can put little stake in what Obama says today about what the U.S. is actually doing in Libya, and no one should count on straight answers in the future.

Finally, the White House hasn't spelled out the objectives of this military campaign. The U.N. resolution is purportedly about a bringing about a cease-fire, but if Gadhafi does stop shooting, will the rebels stop? Would the U.S. and its allies really leave Gadhafi in charge? Would they partition Libya?

Or, more likely, is this about regime change? And if Gadhafi is deposed, can the U.S. really walk away -- or will this mean more nation-building in the Muslim world?

Obama has allowed very little sunlight to shine on America's participation in this military undertaking. Americans know little about what is going on, and history shows they will not blindly support the expenditure of blood and treasure on foreign soil.

LWW
03-21-2011, 02:42 AM
The silence on this is deafening.

pooltchr
03-21-2011, 07:04 AM
Someone (I don't recall who it was) from the administration commented yesterday that they don't want to set any goals that they might not be able to reach.

JUst think about that comment for a minute. Launch a full scale attack on another country without any goals?????????????


Steve

LWW
03-21-2011, 08:44 AM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: pooltchr</div><div class="ubbcode-body">Someone (I don't recall who it was) from the administration commented yesterday that they don't want to set any goals that they might not be able to reach.

JUst think about that comment for a minute. Launch a full scale attack on another country without any goals?????????????


Steve </div></div>

James Carville put it best, paraphrased from memory "If Hillary gave Obama half of hers they'd both have two." Apparently that may be what happened.

Soflasnapper
03-21-2011, 04:08 PM
I mainly agree with this piece. I guess I wonder how those commenting here so far can, however.

Not a week ago, these people were lauding the Reagan example, when he air-attacked Tripoli, and when we later (before? forget) engaged and crippled or sank various Iranian war vessels to protect the shipping lanes through the Persian Gulf.

We might also remember his attack and invasion of Grenada, or his battleship shelling of the Druze militia in the Shouf Mountains in Lebanon.

They said THEN that Obama ought to be more like Reagan (when we had 'a REAL' president).

But Reagan neither defined those missions publicly, nor sought Congressional approval ahead of time.

I see the author of this piece calls out Reagan and others for the long-standing erosion of Congressional checks on war-making powers of the executive, but I do not see these others doing that. Rather, they were urging immediate and decisive action, presumably quicker than the time involved here for this decision, and about the time it probably would have taken to get Congressional approvals.

LWW
03-21-2011, 04:17 PM
Nice attempt to fabricate a conflict.

Sadly, what you miss is that ... speaking for myself ... I agree with Obama's actions. I wish they would have come sooner, but I agree with them.

Where I disagree is that I have no faith in the actual implementation of the strategy being anything more than a knee jerk reaction.

I disagreed with Bush for poor planning on the post war Iraq and I see this as actually very similar to Clinton lobbing a few missiles at Bin Laden simply because he was being pressured to do something.

GHWB, OTOH, had a strictly followed plan ... as did Reagan.

There is a difference between a planned response and a blind swing.

Soflasnapper
03-21-2011, 05:03 PM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body"> Rep. Kucinich (D-OH) says President Obama should be impeached over the Libya campaign.

A short while ago a couple of our reporters were asking questions on the history of the War Powers Act and the necessity for a declaration of war for the president to go to war.

I explained that the current constitutional rule is that a president doesn't have to do anything to send the military into battle. Except in cases where the ruling party believes an Authorization for the Use of Military Force (AUMF) sets the party up well for the next election campaign.

So in general, it's ideal to have a congressional vote except if you don't have time or don't want to. </div></div>

Joshua Micah Marshall, TPM

That is indeed a correct take, IMO. The War Powers Act isn't triggered until troops are in action some 30 to 60 days, and it doesn't require any kind of advance permission from a vote from Congress.

The original no-fly zone over Iraq, back in the first Gulf War's ending time, was also done without Congressional approval, or UN mandate, or even NATO action, just something the US and Britain did on their own.

Still, I think war should be a last resort, and only done under the condition of vital national interests at stake. Neither is the case in this Libyan situation.

pooltchr
03-21-2011, 05:15 PM
I guess you could say that our lobbing all those missiles into Lybia isn't really war. It's a humanitarian effort, since all we are doing is trying to protect civilians from the army.

It's all in the spin!

Steve

Soflasnapper
03-21-2011, 06:24 PM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: pooltchr</div><div class="ubbcode-body">I guess you could say that our lobbing all those missiles into Lybia isn't really war. It's a humanitarian effort, since all we are doing is trying to protect civilians from the army.

It's all in the spin!

Steve </div></div>

'Rebels been rebels, since I don't know when. But all she wants to do is dance, dance, dance.' -- Don Henley

There are typically a dozen or more insurrections around the globe at any given time. Quash those, and more pop up.

We do not have the money, the time, the troops, or the moral cause, sufficient to intervene in all of them, and the American people used to understand we should not, and cannot, be the policeman of the world.

llotter
03-21-2011, 07:37 PM
My main concern is the incompetence of The Moron and his administration in virtually everything they attempt. This team simply doesn't know what they are doing or worse, are intentionally doing what is destructive to this country.

pooltchr
03-21-2011, 07:59 PM
That cuts to the heart of the matter. Obama has given little if any indication that he is capable of leading this country. Now, he is faced with a potential war that he won't be able to blame on the previous administration. His mishandling of other problems makes one wonder if he really has any kind of plan to bring this on to an end.

I just don't have a whole lot of confidence in his abilities as a leader. Makes it difficult to blindly follow him.

Steve

Sev
03-21-2011, 08:10 PM
The unintended consequences should be interesting.

Looks like the Muslim Brotherhood is quickly rising in Egypt now that Mubarak is out.

Both Iran and Alqaeda are in support of getting rid of Kahdafi.

While I have no problem with dispatching him its the void that will be created that has the potential to cause real problems.

The Muslim portion of the coalition is already fracturing. Neither France or England have the will for a long term engagement. Obama may be about to own something he does not want.

Qtec
03-21-2011, 09:31 PM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body">Obama enters a war </div></div>

What war? Is the USA at war? Has war been declared?


Obama is the 'Decider' now. Get used to it.

If Obama decides this is a matter of Nat Sec, That's it. Thank GW for that one...

Q /forums/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/cool.gif

pooltchr
03-22-2011, 06:58 AM
I guess you are correct, Q.
There will be no more talk about the two wars Obama inherited, since there is no official declaration of war.
We aren't at war with anybody!

/forums/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/crazy.gif

Steve

Soflasnapper
03-22-2011, 03:00 PM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: llotter</div><div class="ubbcode-body">My main concern is the incompetence of The Moron and his administration in virtually everything they attempt. This team simply doesn't know what they are doing or worse, are intentionally doing what is destructive to this country. </div></div>

I'm not sure how you know your concern is accurate.

My view is that when things are so screwed up, the entirely correct plan of action may seem wrong, or at least be the subject of such a large amount of criticism as to foster doubts. Moreover, the eventual correctness of a seemingly radical strategy may take enough time to pan out that it will seem to be a failure all along until suddenly it succeeds.

Very few presidential actions are exempt from heated criticism, and that same level of criticism couched differently would have been brought if the action were the direct opposite.

Remember how the way cheap purchase of Alaska from Russia was considered 'Seward's folly,' and the result of mindless stupidity from Lincoln? Should we be looking to return the Louisiana Purchase, since Jefferson lacked Constitutional authority to do that deal (as he admitted)?

Some people are so wedded to the notion that the US should mainly act unilaterally that any multi-lateral effort is automatically considered weakness and pandering to the allies. Forgetting, I guess, how GHW Bush's Iraq war coalition building enhanced the international credibility of that effort, and as no small added benefit, reduced our costs in that war to a trifling sum of money.

llotter
03-23-2011, 07:54 AM
I can assure you that my concern can accurately be stated as my concerns.

If you main point is that most any position can be rationalized, you have no argument from me and it is not always obvious where the truth lies. However, if you starting point in political discourse is working to maximize individual liberty within a civil society, as opposed to statism, identifying the 'truth' that helps meet that goal makes life political decisions somewhat more manageable. And before you make the point, maximum liberty for all is not anarchy which, I think, would rapidly devolve into some sort of darwinian construct. Now, just where that line limiting government falls is over my pay grade but for me, the Constitution would be a good start.

There can be no doubt that both Statism/Socialism/Marxism and freedom have their supporters and there are plenty to read from each perspective. From the freedom side of the debate that I support, it is obvious that The Moron is wrong side and there is no room for compromise. I call it the 'wrong' side because SSM is antithetical to individual freedom and therefore represents an evil in the world.

I suppose I should consider it fortunate that all those SSM ideas don't work but even if they did work I would be against them because planned societies always work against individual freedom.

Gayle in MD
03-23-2011, 08:10 AM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: llotter</div><div class="ubbcode-body">I can assure you that my concern can accurately be stated as my concerns.

If you main point is that most any position can be rationalized, you have no argument from me and it is not always obvious where the truth lies. However, if you starting point in political discourse is working to maximize individual liberty within a civil society, as opposed to statism, identifying the 'truth' that helps meet that goal makes life political decisions somewhat more manageable. And before you make the point, maximum liberty for all is not anarchy which, I think, would rapidly devolve into some sort of darwinian construct. Now, just where that line limiting government falls is over my pay grade but for me, the Constitution would be a good start.

There can be no doubt that both Statism/Socialism/Marxism and freedom have their supporters and there are plenty to read from each perspective. From the freedom side of the debate that I support, it is obvious that The Moron is wrong side and there is no room for compromise. I call it the 'wrong' side because SSM is antithetical to individual freedom and therefore represents an evil in the world.

I suppose I should consider it fortunate that all those SSM ideas don't work but even if they did work I would be against them because planned societies always work against individual freedom.

</div></div>

The Constitution is above your pay grade!

Turn off FUX NOISE.

READ: THE SHOCK DOCTRINE, FIASCO. WORSE THAN WATERGATE, HUBRIS, AGAINST ALL ENEMIES, STATE OF DENIAL, THE RISE OF THE VUKCANS, ON THE BRINK, THE GREATEST STORY EVER SOLD, THE BOOK ON BUSH, THE UNITED STATES v. GEORGE W. BUSH et al, and above all, READ:

PERFECTLY LEGAL: THE COVERT CAMPAIGN TO RIG OUR TAX SYSTEM TO BENEFIT THE SUPER RICH - AND CHEAT EVERYBODY ELSE.

Watch: GASLAND

Watch: OUTRAGE


<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body">if you starting point in political discourse is working to maximize individual liberty within a civil society, as opposed to statism, identifying the 'truth' that helps meet that goal makes life political decisions somewhat more manageable. </div></div>


<span style='font-size: 14pt'>FYI: Individual Liberty, and a Civil Society, does not include people trying to dictate to all others, according to their personal religious beliefs, NOR does it include murderers killing innocent people, who are abiding by the laws of the land.

YOU KNOW NOTHING, about The Constitution, NOR about what constitutes a CIVIL SOCIETY! </span>

G.

LWW
03-23-2011, 09:01 AM
Excellent post, however your correct use of words regarding the political right and left are too confusing for some here.

It amazes me that the lovers of statism, who are all leftists, don't understand that the opposite extreme of totalitarianism ... IOW anarchy, or no state ... is what the political far right is actually about.

Somehow they believe that using the bayonet of the state tot the backs of "we the people" is freedom. while using that same bayonet for a different agenda is tyranny. The truth is, once absolute power is granted to the state ... the state doesn't care what anyone's agenda is other than the state's agenda.

The COTUS was written because anarchy was beginning. The founders realized that in the absence of a state, anarchy would ensue ... and history has taught us that once anarchy begins, dictatorship follows soon after.

The founders were very explicit in their writings and speeches that the state should be just large enough that it could fend off invaders and retain civil order. They also were quite clear that it should be kept small enough ... and "we the people" well enough armed ... that it could be killed off if it ever tried to bgrow too big for it's britches.

LWW

llotter
03-23-2011, 01:07 PM
Gayle, When are you ever going to stop reading those trash novels and begin to read and think about something worthwhile.

I would recommend real thinkers like John Locke, Adam Smith, J.S. Mill, Hayek, Friedman to start with. These are not the 'bumper sticker' writers that you are used to so be prepared to slow down and get serious if you have any intention of adding some depth to your argument.

LWW
03-23-2011, 02:08 PM
What's a VUKCAN?

llotter
03-23-2011, 02:28 PM
What's the diff?

LWW
03-23-2011, 02:31 PM
I'm just trying to figure out what Gee was talking about?

llotter
03-23-2011, 02:54 PM
Lord knows I make mistakes in my posts so I would never point out a typo in anyone's post. What she meant was 'Vulcan'.

LWW
03-23-2011, 03:01 PM
I understand, and I don't usually mention typos ... except when people arrogantly call other members morons repeatedly.