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.”
Al Gore’s 2000 presidential running mate, Sen. Joseph Lieberman (I-Conn.), said he supported the mission’s goal of regime change – assuming, of course, that is actually the objective. “This peaceful democratic revolution in the Arab world ends here,” he told the Senate. “If Qaddafi survives this, he is going to cause no end of trouble for the United States and anyone else in the world who stood with the freedom fighters.”
The extremists who are reflexively opposed to U.S. soldiers serving as anything other than heavily armed social workers and first responders were predictably outraged.
Anti-American, anti-Semitic cult leader Louis Farrakhan, a man who has long been on Qaddafi’s payroll, addressed Obama, obediently blasting him on cue. “Don’t let these wicked demons move you in a direction that will absolutely ruin your future with your people in Africa and throughout the world,” he said. “They don’t like the way you handled [former Egyptian President Hosni] Mubarak!”
Farrakhan scolded Obama for demanding Qaddafi’s ouster. “You can’t order him to step down, and get out – who the hell do you think you are, that you can talk to a man that built a country over 42 years, and ask him step down and get out?”
Farrakhan said “the American people are rising against their own government” and warned Obama that, “America will be bathed in blood, not because Farrakhan said so, but because the dissatisfaction in America has reached the boiling point. Be careful how you manipulate the dissatisfaction in Libya and other parts of the Muslim world.” (Obama is connected to Farrakhan by way of radical academic Cornel West. The Marxist professor advises Farrakhan and was an adviser on Obama’s 2008 campaign.)
Perennial presidential candidates Ralph Nader and Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio) called for the president’s impeachment. Said Nader:
Why don’t we say what’s on the mind of many legal experts; that the Obama administration is committing war crimes and if Bush should have been impeached, Obama should have been impeached.
Kucinich, Capitol Hill’s foremost authority on UFOs, a man who uses pie charts during radio appearances, said Obama’s Libyan initiative “would appear on its face to be an impeachable offense.”
After France led the attack on Libya and the U.S. fired more than 100 Tomahawk missiles at Qaddafi’s forces in Benghazi, propagandist Michael Moore angrily took to Twitter, the micro-blogging website, to mock Obama. Here are some of his tweets:
“And we always follow the French’s lead! Next thing you know, we’ll have free health care & free college! Yay war!”
“We’ve had a ‘no-fly zone’ over Afghanistan for over 9 yrs. How’s that going? #WINNING!”
“Khadaffy must’ve planned 9⁄11! #excuses”
“Khadaffy must’ve had WMD! #excusesthatwork”
South America’s two leading communist heads of state condemned Obama.
Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez, who claimed this week that capitalism might have extinguished life on Mars, said, “Libya is under imperial fire. Nothing justifies this.”
“Indiscriminate bombing,” the caudillo said. “Who gave those countries the right? Neither the United States, nor France, nor England, nor any country has the right to be dropping bombs.”
In a move that might endear him somewhat to right-thinking Americans, Bolivian President Evo Morales cheekily suggested Obama’s Nobel Peace Prize was undeserved. “How is it possible that a Nobel Prize promotes an invasion?”
Interviewed on one of his frequent anarchist world tours, octogenarian ultra-leftist Noam Chomsky told the Irish Times that intervening in Libya was a mistake. The U.S. is “hated in the region for very good reasons.”
But the rest of America’s leftists seem to have either fallen in line behind the president or are biting their tongues.
Meanwhile, it needs to be said that although Obama embraces aspects of so-called liberal internationalism, he doesn’t particularly care about foreign policy. Sure, he may ponder it from time to time, but the man who won the Nobel Peace Prize lottery a mere nine months after being inaugurated doesn’t care much about things that distract from his transformative socialist agenda. His Alinskyite discipline allows him to choose his battles with exceptional care.
Matthew Vadum is an award-winning investigative reporter. Vadum’s book, Subversion Inc.: How Obama’s ACORN Red Shirts Are Still Terrorizing and Ripping Off American Taxpayers, will be published in mid-2011.