Obama sets doctrine on Libya
In a televised international speech US President Barack Obama spoke for nearly a half hour on the NATO lead, US backed coalition at war in Libya.
The speech focused on Libya as opposed to grander strategy, emphasizing America’s responsibility as a global leader and the specific Libyan intervention.
“To brush aside America’s responsibility as a leader and -– more profoundly -– our responsibilities to our fellow human beings under such circumstances would have been a betrayal of who we are,” the US President said. “Some nations may be able to turn a blind eye to atrocities in other countries. The United States of America is different. And as president, I refused to wait for the images of slaughter and mass graves before taking action.”
Although the details were sketchy, no vision of an endgame was given and many things remain unknown or elusive, one thing is for sure in Obama’s mind – Libya will not be another Iraq.
The US president wants to topple Gaddafi, but swore he would not fall at the hands of US troops. Obama insisted American involvement would end as soon as possible – whenever that may be.
“Broadening our military mission to include regime change would be a mistake,” he stated.
The man who campaigned on an anti-war and pro-diplomacy platform has found himself answering his formed supporters who want to know when Obama shifted his views.
“I am not opposed to all wars. I’m opposed to dumb wars,” Obama exclaimed, expressing his disapproval of Iraq, but support for his war in Libya. “I’ve made it clear that I will never hesitate to use our military swiftly, decisively, and unilaterally when necessary to defend our people, our homeland, our allies and our core interests.”
The Obama doctrine is revealed – use force when I deem necessary.
However, some critics feel his approach does not go far enough.
“If we tell Gaddafi, ‘Don’t worry you’re not going to be removed by force,’– I think that’s very encouraging to Gaddafi,” Republican Senator John McCain told CNN.
On the other side of the spectrum, many Democratic leaders felt the lack of clarity and specific endgame goals was too similar of Iraq and Afghanistan.
“Congress needs to ask some tough questions about the endgame,” said Brian Katulis, a senior fellow at the Center for American Progress.
Democratic Congressman Dennis Kucinich blasted Obama for his stance on Libya, saying “The economy is falling apart. Our cities are starved. People are without health care. All we're getting is war.”
He argued Libya could easily become Obama’s Iraq and has even proposed, along with Republican Congressman Ron Paul, legislation to defund the entire operation.
“The only real power Congress has here to assert itself as the people’s representatives is to stop funding,” Kucinich said.
The war power belongs to the democratic body, to the Congress, he explained. The US Constitution is clear.
Even President Bush went before Congress to get permission to enter into war with Iraq, he noted.
In addition, Kucinich explained using the military in conflict mode for humanitarian aid simply does not work.
“There’s no way you can avoid civilian casualties,” he said. “What we’re doing here is enlarging a humanitarian crisis with more people becoming refugees, with more civilians put at risk of injury or death due to the bombing.”
In order to get involved in a conflict congress must have a say – even if the conflict is by way of the UN, NATO or other organizations. This is the law of the United States, he explained.
As more and more people seek information on Obama’s war in Libya, it is becoming harder to get factual information from on the ground beyond what NATO and coalition governments claim.
Veteran war correspondent Keith Harmon Snow explained the US and coalition forces are leading an imperialist information war, targeting journalist and preventing truth from being told in Libya.
“Most journalists are not honest,” he said, explaining they are forced to tell half truths.
Journalists are embedded with one side or the other and what they can say is censored by the powers that be. Thus, no one really reports what might actually be going on or what motives may be at play in Libya.
The inability to tell the truth or report all the facts prevents the public from knowing why America may really be in Libya – humanitarianism, access to resources or imperialism.
Radio host Alex Jones argued the war is full of classic propaganda and misinformation, and the US has no business being involved.
The same formula that was used in past interventions is playing out again, he said. Even al-Qaeda is part of the mix. Jones argued the terrorist organization was created by the CIA. It is all part of a major globalist agenda to take away American liberties.
“British Special Forces, US Special Forces were there [Libya] before this began,” said Jones. “The west is setting a precedent through the UN that they can fund rebels to start wars against regimes not favorable to the globalist system.”
Libya is just another piece of the puzzle. It is the beginning of a new front of a global war – it is not humanitarian.
This has nothing to do with humanitarianism, Jones argued. It is about the new world order and their army – al-Qaeda – which is used to strike at America, Russia and others to progress the globalist agenda.
[Source: RT, Washington, 29Mar11]
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