A Speech and Obfuscations

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2. What precisely is the endgame?

If we are not ready to declare an end to our military role after having saved the people of Benghazi and stopped Qaddafi’s forces in their tracks, when will the Commander-in-Chief deem the mission completed?

Obama told the American people in his speech that removing Qaddafi is not part of the coalition’s military mission. He contrasted his refusal to use military force to bring about regime change with the “road” the Bush administration went down in Iraq. Ironically, if Bush had not moved forcefully to take out Saddam Hussein, Qaddafi would not have been so willing to give up his nuclear arms program, which he did shortly after the 2003 Iraq invasion. Just imagine what might have happened if Qaddafi had ended up with nuclear weapons in his arsenal today.

In any case, we are in fact using our military resources for much more than just protecting civilians in imminent danger. We are also actively helping the rebels advance towards Tripoli and topple Qaddafi. We are taking sides in a civil war, which may be very protracted. When Secretary of Defense Gates was asked by ABC News on Sunday specifically about reports that some officials within the Pentagon believed the mission could last many months, Gates did nothing to dismiss that belief. “I don’t think anybody knows the answer to that,” he said.

The president did not level with the American people on how long we will be involved militarily in Libya. He did not promise to seek formal congressional authorization if we remain involved past the next few days, as George W. Bush did before undertaking the Afghan and Iraq wars.  And Obama did not address where the money will come from to pay for his “humanitarian” war, except to say that our “international partners” will be sharing the cost.

3. Who exactly are we helping?

We can all agree that Qaddafi is an evil man with American blood on his hands, but that fact does not automatically mean the Libyan opposition is a force for democracy that will protect the “universal rights” that Obama says he is defending. Obama did not share with the American people anything about the opposition, including whether we can be sure that, if it prevails, it won’t turn on civilian Qaddafi supporters with the same ferocity as Qaddafi was prepared to unleash against them.

More alarmingly, Obama concealed from the American people some disturbing facts he undoubtedly knows about elements in the opposition that we are now supporting. This Telegraph headline says it all: “Libya: the West and al-Qaeda on the same side.”

As reported on March 17, 2011 by the Asian Tribune, a document prepared by the U.S. West Point Military Academy Combating Terrorism Center revealed that Libya sent more fighters to join Iraq’s Islamic militant insurgency and kill American soldiers in Iraq on a per-capita basis than any other Muslim country, including Saudi Arabia. Most of those fighters come from the very forces in eastern Libya that we are now helping and are considering arming.

The West Point report said:

Most of the Libyan recruits came from cities in North-East Libya, an area long known for jihadi-linked militancy. Libyan fighters were much more likely than other nationalities to be listed as suicide bombers (85% for Libyans, 56% for all others).

The commander of anti-Qaddafi rebels forces in Libya, Abdel-Hakim al-Hasidi, has confirmed the West Point report’s findings, admitting that among the ranks of those fighting against the Qaddafi government are Islamic militants who killed U.S. troops in Iraq. He added that “members of al-Qaeda are also good Muslims.” Hasidi, by the way, was arrested by U.S. forces in Afghanistan in 2002. Without any explanation to the American people, Obama has decided that his ill-defined mission in Libya is worth allying ourselves with opposition troops who have tried in the past to kill our soldiers and who are, in turn, aligned with our global terrorist enemy, al Qaeda.

Certainly, the Obama administration is not the first to find itself with strange bedfellows. The Reagan administration, for example, provided billions of dollars in arms to Afghanistan’s Islamic resistance against the Soviet Union, including to Osama bin Laden. The crucial difference, however, was that when Reagan acted in 1987, he did not have the benefit of hindsight. Al Qaeda had not emerged as a terrorist organization committed to killing Americans. Obama, on the other hand, went into Libya despite knowing (or at least he should have known) that we were helping al Qaeda allies, who had previously sent their forces to Iraq to kill American soldiers.

President Obama told the American people in his speech that “As Commander-in-Chief, I have no greater responsibility than keeping this country safe.” Yet, for the first time perhaps in our nation’s history, we have a Commander-in-Chief asking American soldiers to defend individuals who, not too long ago, tried to kill other American soldiers and who are allied with a sworn enemy of the United States. Of all the failures associated with the Libyan conflict, this is perhaps the most devastating.

Joseph Klein is the author of a recent book entitled Lethal Engagement: Barack Hussein Obama, the United Nations and Radical Islam.

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  • proxywar

    "The Reagan administration, for example, provided billions of dollars in arms to Afghanistan’s Islamic resistance against the Soviet Union, including to Osama bin Laden."

    That is the biggest lie ever told. How could frontpage allow you to post that truther meme. You just ruined your whole article with that sentence.

    No the CIA did not finance, train, or create UBL/Al-qaeda. This is a moonbat myth told by many troofers. Mr.Quevedo is really trying hard to protect his sham of a religion. It's ok I've heard it all the excuses from islamic-apologists before.

    Links to educate yourself. http://www.911myths.com/html/bin_ladin_links_to_t…. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Al-Qaeda#Etymology http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Al-Qaeda#Alleged_CIA….

    Good book on the subject: Disinformation : 22 Media Myths That Undermine the War on Terror

    • http://www.okcteaparty.org Dan

      Correctamente. In fact, it's myth #1 in Richard Miniter's 2005 book, Disinformation: 22 Media Myths That Undermine The War On Terror.

  • proxywar

    "Osama bin Laden explained the origin of the term in a videotaped interview with Al Jazeera (journalist) Tayseer Alouni in October 2001: "The name 'al-Qaeda' was established a long time ago by mere chance. The late Abu Ebeida El-Banashiri established the training camps for our mujahedeen against Russia's terrorism. We used to call the training camp al-Qaeda. The name stayed."

  • proxywar

    "A variety of sources — CNN journalist Peter Bergen, Pakistani ISI Brigadier Mohammad Yousaf, and CIA operatives involved in the Afghan program, such as Vincent Cannistraro — deny that the CIA or other American officials had contact with the Afghan Arabs (foreign mujahideen) or Bin Laden, let alone armed, trained, coached or indoctrinated them."

    "But Bergen and others argue that there was no need to recruit foreigners unfamiliar with the local language, customs or lay of the land since there were a quarter of a million local Afghans willing to fight; that Arab Afghans themselves had no need for American funds since they received several hundred million dollars a year from non-American, Muslim sources; that Americans could not have trained mujahideen because Pakistani officials would not allow more than a handful of them to operate in Pakistan and none in Afghanistan; and that the Afghan Arabs were almost invariably militant Islamists reflexively hostile to Westerners whether or not the Westerners were helping the Muslim Afghans."

  • proxywar

    "According to Peter Bergen, known for conducting the first television interview with Osama bin Laden in 1997, the idea that "the CIA funded bin Laden or trained bin Laden … a folk myth. There's no evidence of this. … Bin Laden had his own money, he was anti-American and he was operating secretly and independently. … The real story here is the CIA didn't really have a clue about who this guy was until 1996 when they set up a unit to really start tracking him."

    Osama was of the ARAB-Afghans. ie. Of the foreign Arabs who showed up in Afghan to help out the local Muslim Afghans fighting against the USSR. This conflict is not over either. It now continues in Chechnya for offensive jihad-build-up purposes.

    Smack whoever told you this lie.

  • proxywar

    "The Reagan administration, for example, provided billions of dollars in arms to Afghanistan’s Islamic resistance against the Soviet Union, including to Osama bin Laden."

    I can't believe frontpagemag would post your truther nonsense.

  • proxywar

    The other link was broke so here it is again: http://www.911myths.com/html/bin_ladin_links_to_t

  • proxywar
  • poptoy1949

    Mr. Klein has been, so to say, put in place by proxywar. Everything listed by proxywar checks out. Mr. Klein did not care for obama's speech and neither did anyone else that is informed and clear headed. However, making statements that are incorrect does not help any situation. Joe you are better than this. Mr. Horowitz its time to talk to Joe.

    • http://www.lethalengagement.com/ Joseph Klein

      If my reference specifically to Osama bin Laden receiving help from the CIA during the Reagan administration is wrong, then I retract that reference to bin Laden and apologize for the inaccuracy. However, the larger point in my article that we helped Islamic fundamentalists in Afghanistan years before they turned against us is still valid, as is the contrast with the Obama administration's decision to help elements of the opposition in Libya whom had already killed American soldiers in alliance with al Qaeda.

  • Steve Chavez

    OBAMA is setting the U.S. and Europe up for a REVENGE attack and that could come from the team of a bitter Mubarak and Gaddafi with the help of anyone, including Iran!

    Poke the eyes of a MADDOG/MAN and you will get biten!

  • http://apollospaeks.townhall.com ApolloSpeaks

    OBAMA TAKES CREDIT FOR REGIME CHANGE IN IRAQ

    Last year Joe Biden on Larry King took credit on behalf of the administration for stablizing Iraq and moving it toward a representative government. But last night in his speech on Libya Obama exceeded Biden's lies by actually taking credit for regime change in Iraq.

    Click my name and read my piece: Barack Obama's Claim Game, or Taking Credit for Regime Change in Iraq.

  • BLJ

    Obama's handling of this situation looks like a bad SNL sketch. His speech last night was a waste of good oxygen. Just another campaign speech by our community organizer.

    He could care less about any Libyan citizen. They are just more pawns in his efforts to tear down America. He is an internationalist who favors Marxism.

    • Jim_C

      Why don't you just admit there is nothing Obama could have said that would have found favor with you, and that had a Republican president acted in exactly the same manner, you'd be all for it?

      This whole site was "for" it, before it was "against" it.

      So when did you start caring about Libyan citizens? My guess is, a few weeks ago. It reminds me of conservatives' touching concern for all Saddam's victims…15 years later when Mr. Bush was making the case for invasion. The ol' "bleeding heart conservative"–their sympathies always get ratcheted up just before a bombing.

  • USMCSniper
  • http://newmediaage.shugartmedia.com/NewMediaWorld/ Tar_n_Feathers

    Obama has his chips spread all over the roulette table in hope of somehow cashing in on whatever outcome befalls Libya. I'd prefer even a bad plan than no plan at all. At least with an ill-conceived strategy, it can be examined, evaluated and corrected. Instead all we have is some random military action that will change with any roll of the dice.

  • IslandAnne

    Obama promised there were no American troops on the ground and there would be no American boots on the ground in Libya. He lied again!! http://www.foxnews.com/on-air/oreilly/transcript/…. How much more of this arrogant, lying narcissist do we have to take before he's impeached? He is not above the Congress or the Constitution!

    • Jim_C

      Go get him, Island Anne! How I wish you would!

  • BBF

    What really happened in Afghanistan

    When the regime of Mohammad Daoud was overthrown in 1978, five percent of Afghanistan’s population owned over 45 percent of the land. Women could be murdered if found not to be virgins when they were wed.

    Over 96 percent of women were illiterate as were the vast majority of men. A third of the people in the countryside care were sharecroppers or landless laborers.

    Revolutionaries belonging to the People’s Democratic Party fought this oppression. They looked across the border in the Soviet Union where people in Central Asia had lived under similar conditions before the 1917 socialist revolution.

    For 70 years the Soviet government carried out the biggest affirmative-action campaign in history, bringing schools and hospitals to the area. Industries were built and electricity came to the countryside. Nations that were imprisoned by the czar were now free to develop their own culture and literature.

    This aid wasn’t a one-way street. Hundreds of thousands of soldiers in the Red Army from the Central Asian Soviet Republics died fighting Hitler. Sabir O. Rakhimov—who was the first Uzbek to be made a general in the Soviet Army—died liberating Gdansk, Poland. Two million Uzbeks live in Afghanistan.

    The first spark in Afghanistan’s revolution was the assassination of union leader Ahbar Haybar on April 17, 1978. Leaders of the People’s Democratic Party were imprisoned on April 26 for giving speeches at Hayber’s funeral. Within ten hours the Afghanistan army revolted and freed these political prisoners, using a tank to tear down the prison walls.

    Decree number six of the revolution cancelled the debts of the poor in the countryside. A farmer in debt had to turn over half of their crop to the money lender.

    Even a Pentagon study admitted, “The government trained many more teachers, built additional schools and kindergartens and instituted nurseries for orphans.” Textbooks were printed in the Dari, Pashtu, Uzbek, Turkic and Baluchi languages.

    By 1985 there had been an 80 percent increase in the number of hospital beds. Brigades of women and youths went to the countryside to bring medical care to peasants for the first time.

    None of this was to the liking of the feudal landlords whose rule the revolution challenged. The landlords organized counterrevolutionary gangs to terrorize people just as the Ku Klux Klan did here after the U.S. Civil War in the 19th century. One of the landlords’ leaders was Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, who threw acid in the face of women not wearing a veil.

    This Afghanistan Klan got support from President Jimmy “Human Rights” Carter. In a 1998 interview with the French weekly Nouvel Observatateur, Carter’s National Security Adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski bragged that the CIA was already bankrolling the counterrevolutionaries by mid-1979.

    It was in response to this CIA-backed campaign of violence that Soviet forces accepted the invitation of Afghanistan’s government to come to its aid on Dec. 24, 1979.

    • Fred Dawes

      THANK YOU FOR THE HISTORY, But I and many others know the facts.

  • Fred Dawes

    Cut by all the BS Its all about oil and oil means money and money means power and the end game is power over you.
    Its not about freedom that is now just a saying to keep you in line for the coming butchery inside the USA.

  • SECREV

    "Instead, the speech added to the confusion with deliberate ambiguities and omissions of material facts, if not outright untruths."

    To paraphrase Mark Twain, "If i can write the word 'lies' for a nickel, i wouldn't write 'untruths' for the same pay…" The point is—why not call it as you see it? Why use the leftist euphemisms (or even longer synonyms) for simple things such as lies? Here, let me do that for you:

    Obama is a compulsive liar, who uses lies to cover up his consistently anti-american agenda. There is not a shred of evidence to suggest that he has ever told truth since he started talking in his infancy.