Monday, March 28, 2011

After Weeks Of Pipsqueaking, Obama Claims Credit for Saving Libya.

While I was listening to Barack Obama say uplifting things about the Libyan intervention on Monday I could have sworn I heard him more or less claim credit for the whole thing. So I checked Obama's speech transcript, and you know what? That's exactly what he did. No wonder Americans are so confused about what the heck is going on.

Long after Libyans were being slaughtered on the streets for having had the audacity to wave protest placards, and well after an armed uprising was in full swing, and the rebels were crying out for help, Obama was still putting bets on basketball games or something. Even after Mad Moammar had vowed to fight to the last drop of other Libyans' blood, White House spokesman P.J Crowley was telling the perplexed Washington press corps: "Again, you know, this ultimately and fundamentally an issue between, you know, the Libyan government, its leader, and the Libyan people."

Hell, even Peruvian president Alan Garcia was out of the blocks before "the leader of the free world" was. President Garcia was calling on the UN Security Council to order and enforce a no-fly zone over Libya before President Obama had even decided on whether to send Hilary Clinton off to Geneva to say mean things about Gaddafi's human rights record.

The Libyans were facing massacre. "I refused to let that happen," Obama boasted in his speech. He did? What actually happened was Obama was still asking for the Arab League's permission for America to do something after France was already meeting with the Libyan rebel leadership and preparing to recognize them as Libya's legitimate government.

And get this: "At my direction, America led an effort with our allies at the United Nations Security Council to pass an historic Resolution that authorized a No Fly Zone to stop the regime's attacks from the air, and further authorized all necessary measures to protect the Libyan people." Like hell. Security Council resolution 1973 was proposed by Lebanon, France and Britain. The Americans came in with an assist, and nobody even knew for sure how the US was going to vote until almost the last minute.

"Wherever people long to be free, they will find a friend in the United States," Obama intoned. Really?

There are a million Bahrainis who long to be free, and they could sorely use a friend in the United States right now, but as I write this they are being shot and beaten jailed and hunted in the backstreets of Manama, right under the ships' guns of the US Fifth Fleet.

Some friend.


Blogger kellie said...

Well at least he gave half a loaf of bread. There are an incredible selection of people, beyond the usual suspects, arguing he shouldn't even have given that.

If he can derive political benefit from giving the half loaf, maybe we can approach a politics where a whole loaf is more likely.

2:33 AM  
Blogger Terry Glavin said...

I suppose.

The Americans (i.e. the fighter pilots especially) do deserve credit for weighing in with their massive and inordinate heft. Granted. But the closer you look at his speech, the more it becomes clear why so many Americans simply do not get what an international obligation is. It's always all about them. I'd bet you a pound to a penny that the overwhelming majority of Americans could not name more than two or three other ISAF countries in Afghanistan, do not knwo there are 43 and not just two or three, and consider the other ISAF countries merely "America's allies" in Afghanistan. Fair play to the Yanks, but nothing undermines the international commitment more than having to hear yet another American politician or general saying "thanks" for supporting America in Afghanistan.

10:29 AM  
Blogger kellie said...

Yes, the Steinbergian view of the world, a view weirdly reinforced by anti-Americans worldwide.

10:38 AM  
Blogger The Plump said...

And I am am beginning to get anxious at further dithering and a lack of decisive action as the Gaddafi goons fight back, using their superior fire power and equipment on the ground.

2:32 PM  
Blogger dmurrell said...

I agree with The Plump on this one. Obama is a good talker, but when it comes to tangible action, he is not up to it.

As soon as Obama gave his speech -- which amounts to dithering and obfuscating -- tactical command was then shifted to NATO. With that, Gadhafi forces suddenly are now winning.

Obama's lethargy is snatching defeat from the jaws of victory.

2:18 AM  
Blogger Wetcoasters said...

Hi Terry:
You are right on as usual.
I keep trying to post some of your comments under the "commentaries" but either you get smeared and/or the posts are removed and I am then blocked. So much for free speech.

12:39 PM  
Blogger Terry Glavin said...

Dang you went and made me read that Duncan Cameron guy who for some weird reason keeps trying to friend me on Facebook. And then I saw this comment under your link to my post: "I see Terry's back, promoting his fascist blog."

Does this mean that the rabble morons think that I'm you and you're me?

What a sad pack of wankers, the lot of them. Handy to have them in one place, mind you, for sociopathology-research purposes.

8:29 PM  
Blogger Wetcoasters said...

Hey Terry:

I agree re sociopathic-research. It never ceases to amaze me how perverse their realities are.
My favourite part of Cameron's analysis is:

"The leading British "independent" (LOL) observer of Middle Eastern politics, Robert Fisk, is unwilling to defend Gaddafi, who is widely understood to be a dangerous maniac. For good reason, no one has come forward to defend the Libyan regime. Neither has it been widely reported that the economic and social disparities, and gross depravations existing in Egypt are much less evident in Libya, which has more wealth per person and a more balanced distribution of income than elsewhere in Africa. Though it is not well advertised, in Libya housing is available, and the unemployed receive an income."

Yep things aren't that bad in Libya and the only usual culprit not chastised by this Rabblleian is those darn Zionists who are the root of all evil.

8:44 AM  
Blogger Terry Glavin said...

Speaking of them dang Zionists, Shimon Perez has a great piece in the Guardian today, cheering on the Arab Spring and properly identifying the young democrats and the women who have been at the core of the agitation in Egypt.

It is telling that one of clearest and most progressive encouragements to the young Arabs I have read - and in the context of Israel and Palestine, if you please - was written by the president of Israel.

There was a time, about five years ago, when I would occasionally despair of the "left" in the bourgeois "west." Now I mostly laugh at it.

4:35 PM  

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