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Up to and during the Iraq War, leftists across America cheered an outspoken lawmaker who characterized the administration’s latest intervention in the Middle East as reckless military adventurism that would backfire on the United States.
“Us rushing headlong into a war unilaterally was a mistake and may still be a mistake,” Illinois state senator Barack Obama said in late 2002 as President Bush readied Operation Iraqi Freedom. “What’s our long term commitment there? How much is it going to cost?”
“It’s time to admit that no amount of American lives can resolve the political disagreement that lies at the heart of someone else’s civil war,” Obama said to adoring crowds on the presidential campaign trail in 2007.
But that was then and this is now. The angry protests of the Left against the Iraq war have dissipated into the ether now that their man is in the White House.
Rushing headlong into Libya’s civil war at the behest of the United Nations is now official policy.
The “no-fly zone” the U.S. and allied countries are enforcing in Libyan airspace is an aerial blockade, which is of course an act of war. President Obama gave his blessing to this undeclared war without even having the courage to seek congressional approval.
There was no fireside chat. No live address from the Oval Office.
Obama almost literally phoned in the attack on Libya, announcing it to his fellow Americans on March 19 via an audio-taped message while he was vacationing in beautiful Brasilia, the picturesque capital of Brazil. Yes, putting Americans in harm’s way was so important to the proverbial leader of the free world that he forced himself to hold off on his next caipirinha for a few minutes.
The president could have made some kind of an argument that Libya, which President Ronald Reagan said under Qaddafi had become a “synonym for barbarism,” is currently a threat to U.S. national security (and Israel) but Obama hasn’t yet taken time from his busy schedule to make it.
At first Operation Odyssey Dawn was justified purely on humanitarian grounds to prevent the Leader and Guide of the Revolution of Libya from slaughtering innocents who rose up against his tyrannical regime. This gave the mission a curious resemblance to the Prime Directive from “Star Trek,” which counseled its adherents to refrain from interfering with the development of alien civilizations.
In a testament to the undying power of circumlocution, on Tuesday the reason for flying Libya’s unfriendly skies switched to regime change, sort of, but Obama said maybe Qaddafi could kind of stay in power, you know, if he doesn’t get blown up, or whatever. Declared America’s most revered orator:
You are absolutely right that as long as Qaddafi remains in power, and unless he changes his approach and there are significant reforms in the Libyan government that allow the Libyan people to express themselves, there are still going be potential threats against Libyan people—unless he is going to step down.
Obama’s rationale may change again later today or tomorrow depending on the latest polls or how his NCAA tournament brackets are faring.
So far positive reactions on the Left to Obama’s actions in Libya have been fairly muted.
Radio bloviator and longtime pacifist Ed Schultz experienced an epiphany:
You’ll never convince me that Qaddafi hasn’t supplied resources to terrorists. Given the fact that Americans died on that [Pan Am] 747 over Lockerbie [Scotland], I’m all for this mission. I think the president of the United States Barack Obama deserves the benefit of the doubt and our support.
Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.), who famously explained that he had voted for a bill before he voted against it, embraced the operation, telling NPR it was “not calculated to get rid of Colonel Qaddafi – even though we believe he ought to go.”
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