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The predominant, although not unanimous, sentiment amongst the Left’s opinion leaders is that the Libyan dictator Muammar Qaddafi’s grisly demise represents a complete vindication of President Obama’s multilateralist foreign policy.
For example, left-wing New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof tweeted soon after the news of Qaddafi’s death broke, “If Qaddafi is dead, this is (tentative) vindication of a brave Obama decision to back rebels trying to overthrow him.”
How ironic it is that, back in 2003, Kristof warned “we have been midwives to growing Islamic fundamentalism in Iraq. Women did relatively well under Saddam Hussein… Iraq won’t follow the theocratic model of Iran, but it could end up as Iran Lite: an Islamic state, but ruled by politicians rather than ayatollahs.”
What does Kristof think today about the Obama-backed Libyan Transitional National Council’s plans to institute Sharia as the governing law in Libya and to begin by removing the Qaddafi-era ban on polygyny?
The George Soros-funded Center for American Progress issued a statement on the day that Qaddafi’s death was announced declaring that “Moammar Qaddafi’s demise today represents a measure of justice for the countless individuals he and his regime terrorized in Libya and around the world during his 40-year rule.”
Ben Armbruster, national security editor for the center’s ThinkProgress blog, praised “NATO’s successes in Libya and validation of the president’s policy.”
“The United States spent just over $1 billion on the war in Libya and not one American life was lost,” Armbruster wrote. “Now, Qaddafi is dead and the National Transitional Council is positioning the country toward a democracy.”
In an exchange between the two left-wing commentators Bill Press and Keith Olbermann on the latter’s Countdown TV show, Press said:
[L]ook at Libya, right? Where we went in the beginning, but we were in cooperation with our allies, it was under the U.N. flag, NATO operations — countries — joined us in paying for it. Not one boot on the ground, not one life lost, and it’s over in seven months.
The leftist comedic commentators Jon Stewart and Bill Maher also got into the act in support of Obama.
“Is there no Republican that can be gracious and statesmanlike in this situation?” the Daily Show host Jon Stewart asked. “We removed a dictator in six months, losing no American soldiers, spending like a billion dollars instead of a trillion dollars.”
Bill Maher on his HBO program said, “If you just presented the Republicans with Obama’s resume and didn’t say who it was, they would erect statues to this guy.”
At least Jon Stewart can at times be funny. Maher is just plain mean-spirited, as he showed in following up with this ugly sexist remark: “Just the killing alone, Michelle Malkin would name her vibrator ‘Obama.’”
Note that none of these Obama left-wing boosters have questioned the circumstances of Qaddafi’s summary execution without trial, NATO’s bombing of a children’s hospital, a market, and private residences that killed or wounded innocent civilians, or the gross human rights violations that the U.S.-backed Libyan rebels were openly committing during the war and its wind down.
The Left’s Obama cheerleaders also conveniently forget that Qaddafi would have posed a far graver danger to his own people and to American security interests had he not been forced to abandon his pursuit of weapons of mass destruction, including his nuclear arms program. Qaddafi did so directly as a result of President George W. Bush’s successful military intervention in Iraq that brought down Saddam Hussein.
Although Obama did not seek congressional approval for American military intervention in Libya – which President George W. Bush did obtain prior to initiating military action in Afghanistan and Iraq – the Left’s congressional “anti-war” Bush critics heaped praise on Obama. For example, Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman John Kerry (D-MA), who famously was for the Iraq war before he was against it, gushed about the Obama administration’s “clear-eyed leadership, patience, and foresight by pushing the international community into action after Qaddafi promised a massacre.” Once again, Kerry seems to have gotten things backwards. It was the Arab League, United Kingdom’s Prime Minister David Cameron and France’s Nicolas Sarkozy who pushed hard for military intervention and led the effort to obtain the UN Security Council’s blessing under the pretext of protecting Libyan civilians. Obama reluctantly joined the bandwagon already in motion, “leading from behind,” as one of his senior advisors put it.
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