I have been hoping that President Obama might be a bit clearer in his answers and statements previously but, to my mind, he has only continued to send mixed signals on the situation. Here, for example, are some excerpts from his weekly radio address this past Saturday:
“Our military mission in Libya is clear and focused. Along with our allies and partners, we’re enforcing the mandate of the United Nations Security Council. We’re protecting the Libyan people from Qaddafi’s forces. And we’ve put in place a no fly zone and other measures to prevent further atrocities.”
Well this would be fine and wonderful except; I believe it was the Libyan people who fired the first shots. Make no mistake; this IS an armed uprising against the government as represented by Qaddafi. I am no big fan of Qaddafi (just as I was no big fan of Saddam Hussein) BUT, just who are the people who would replace Qaddafi should this rebellion succeed?
“This military effort is part of our larger strategy to support the Libyan people and hold the Qaddafi regime accountable. Together with the international community, we’re delivering urgent humanitarian assistance. We’re offering support to the Libyan opposition. We’ve frozen tens of billions of dollars of Qaddafi’s assets that can help meet the needs and aspirations of the Libyan people. And every day, the pressure on Qaddafi and his regime is increasing.”
Again; are we enforcing a no fly zone or supporting an armed revolution in a sovereign country? President Obama has said that Qaddafi “must go” and yet our generals say that they have no orders to remove him. So; is President Obama using the “Libyan opposition” to force a regime change in Libya in the name of the United States? After 8 years of George W Bush’s cowboy diplomacy, I certainly didn’t vote for that. Nowhere in any of the president’s statements can I find a rationale that puts the US at imminent risk from Qaddafi or the Libyan government that might give him the legitimacy he needs to exclude Congress from their role in ordering a deployment of the US military.
And so, Mr. President, please tell me if this is how the Obama Administration will continue to conduct foreign policy and; if you feel so inclined, please assure me that you believe that the “Libyan opposition” is led by benevolent “pro-American” folks that we won’t just be helping to “hold accountable” in another 5-10-20 years down the road.
Chad (The Left) Shue