By: Jim Meyers and Ashley Martella
Donald Trump is not backing down from his demand that President Barack Obama produce his birth certificate and stepped up his criticism by questioning why he has not released other personal records, including college transcripts and legislative papers.
The billionaire real estate tycoon and star of “The Apprentice” created a stir on Wednesday when he said on “The View” that Obama must release his birth certificate.
Now Trump has reiterated his call in an exclusive interview with Newsmax.TV, with this simple message for Obama: Why don’t you produce your birth certificate and put to rest all speculation that you were born outside the United States?
He says Obama’s birth certificate controversy is a “strange situation” — there are conflicting reports as to what Honolulu hospital he was born at, and the governor of Hawaii claims he somehow remembers Obama being born 50 years ago.
Trump, who says he will soon announce if he will run for president in 2012, also says Libya is a “total mess,” with Iran possibly behind the rebels and waiting to take over the country, and charges that the United States is going to “hell in a hand basket.”
“It’s a very simple situation,” Trump says in regard to the birth certificate issue. “I’d just like to see his birth certificate.
“I’m hearing all sorts of stories that his own family can’t agree which hospital he was born in and lots of other things, and I’m trying to find out where is the birth certificate. I have a birth certificate. Where is his birth certificate?
“If you’re born in this country, to the best of my knowledge people have a birth certificate.”
Obama asserts that he was born in Honolulu, but former Pennsylvania Deputy Attorney General Philip Berg has claimed that Obama’s paternal grandmother says she was in the delivery room when he was born in Kenya.
There are even differing reports about which Honolulu hospital he may have been born at. During his 2008 presidential campaign numerous reports indicated Obama was born at the Queen’s Medical Center. Later, Obama’s half sister said he was born at the Katiolani Medical Center.
After questions were raised about his birth, Obama’s campaign released a Certification of Live Birth. The form is a summary document and does not include the newborn’s location of birth. The long-form Birth Certificate includes such data, but Obama has declined to release it.
Hawaii Gov. Neil Abercrombie first ordered the state attorney general and health department director to release more information about Obama’s birth there, then abandoned that pursuit.
“It is an amazing situation,” Trump says of the governor’s actions.
“And later the governor said, but I remember when he was born. I said, what? You actually remember when somebody was born? It sounded very unusual that a Democratic governor would remember when somebody was born 50 years ago.
“I assume that Obama was born in the United States. I assume he was probably born in Hawaii. But I have to get rid of the word ‘assume.’ If somebody wants to run for president you have to be born in this country. And when the family argues about which hospital it was because they’re not sure, as has been reported, and you don’t have a birth certificate, it’s sort of a strange situation.”
Trump adds: “I don’t want there to be a question. I think it would be wonderful news for everybody, including me, if the birth certificate is found. But at this moment there is no birth certificate.
“Some people say it exists, and if it exists, even worse, why isn’t he showing it? So I would like to see a birth certificate, and when the governor and everybody else say they think it exists, why don’t they produce it?”
Asked if Obama has fulfilled his campaign pledge to have the most transparent administration, Trump responds: “Certainly he hasn’t in terms of his birth, and I guess a lot of college records and other records haven’t been produced, and that’s a little unusual. Why wouldn’t you produce your records?
“There are client lists that haven’t been produced and lobbying lists that haven’t been produced, so there are a lot of things that haven’t been produced for somebody who is supposed to be so transparent.
“There’s certainly not a lot of transparency.”
Asked about the Obama administration’s handling of the rebellion in Libya, Trump tells Newsmax: “For one thing, if you’re going to save lives on a humanitarian basis you should have started sooner, because many of those lives are gone.
“For another thing, you really have to find out who you’re fighting for. Who are the rebels? You have some people who say that Iran is controlling the rebels, that Iran is the happiest of all nations because they think as soon as we leave they’re going to go in with the rebels and take over Libya.
“I hear more and more reports that the rebels aren’t the sweetest people on earth either. It looks to me like it’s a total mess.”
Polls show Trump among the leaders in the GOP field for the 2012 presidential nomination. Asked if he has decided whether or not to run, Trump says: “I will be announcing one way or another somewhere prior to June.
“I hate what’s happening to this country. It’s never been at a point like this, ever. We’re not respected. We’re scoffed at. We’re laughed at by other places. People from China and other places cannot believe they’re getting away with what they’re getting away with. We’re rebuilding China. We’re rebuilding other countries, and our country is going to hell in a hand basket.
“One thing I can say, if I ran and if I won, that would stop, and everybody knows it. I think that’s why I do well in the polls.”
Publicado: 03-25-2011 02:11 PM
IT PAYS TO BE CLOSE TO OBAMA, G.E. PAID NO TAXES
G.E. Paid No U.S. Taxes in 2010
General Electric paid no American taxes in 2010, the New York Times reports:
The company reported worldwide profits of $14.2 billion, and said $5.1 billion of the total came from its operations in the United States.
Its American tax bill? None. In fact, G.E. claimed a tax benefit of $3.2 billion.
That may be hard to fathom for the millions of American business owners and households now preparing their own returns, but low taxes are nothing new for G.E. The company has been cutting the percentage of its American profits paid to the Internal Revenue Service for years, resulting in a far lower rate than at most multinational companies.
G.E.'s CEO, Jeffrey Immelt, is considered Barack Obama's favorite businessman and serves as the head of the president's Council on Jobs and Competitiveness. Fred Barnes wrote about Immelt here.
Jeffrey Immelt, Obama’s Pet CEO Fred Barnes
In General Electric CEO Jeffrey Immelt, President Obama may not have picked the worst possible corporate executive to head his new panel on job creation. But Immelt is pretty close.
Immelt is a classic example of a rent-seeking CEO who may know what’s good for his own company but not what produces economic growth and private sector job creation. He supported Obama on the economic stimulus, Obamacare, and cap and trade – policies either unlikely to stir growth and jobs or likely to impede faster growth and hiring.
Just before the stimulus was passed in February 2009, Immelt said in a statement: “Bold, visionary action – like that we need from Congress today – never comes easy, but we urge Congress to expeditiously conclude the stimulus package.” GE, he said, favors “swift passage of legislation…that can be promptly signed by the President.”
He got his wish. And two months later, Immelt told the Cincinnati Enquirer that Obama had “pumped nearly $1 billion into the economy… and my sense is that, over time, these things will work.” He was wrong. Unemployment has remained well above 9 percent for more than a year and growth has increased slowly and erratically.
On Obama’s health care bill, Immelt said at GE’s annual stockholders’ meeting last April that he hadn’t personally lobbied for it. Instead, he said GE’s pposition was covered through the Business Roundtable, which did indeed lobby Congress to pass the legislation, and later regretted it.
Roundtable chairman Ivan Seidenberg declared last June that “Washington” – code for the Obama administration – had created “a hostile environment” for job creation. Immelt is a big player in Washington, having been a member of the president’s earlier Economic Recovery Advisory Board. The new panel he’ll head is the president’s Council on Jobs and Competitiveness.
Immelt’s support for cap-and-trade was pure rent-seeking. The measure was certain to drive up energy costs and weaken the economy, but GE was expected to benefit enormously. The cap-and-trade bill passed the House, but died in the Senate in 2009. However, the Environmental Protection Agency may, on its own, act to curb greenhouse gases, as cap-and-trade would have.
In an interview on CNBC in 2009, Immelt said he found the science on global warming to be “compelling. So it’s question of when and not if there’s going to be something done on carbon. Give us some certainty and let’s go.”
He said some people argue for a simple tax on carbon. “But I just think cap and trade is the more practical approach.” Cap-and-trade would let Washington impose a national ceiling on carbon emissions, and companies could buy or sell emission rights. GE, by gaining rights in a windfall as a result of the legislation, would have many rights to sell.
Immelt is Obama’s pet CEO. The president traveled today to Schenectady, New York, where he toured the site of the birthplace of GE before delivering a speech.
They did it again: General Electric paid no taxes
By David Freddoso
Washington Examiner Mar 25 2011
They did it again: General Electric paid no taxes
Halper points out over at The Weekly Standard that General Electric paid no taxes in 2010. Importantly, they paid no taxes in 2009, either. This year, they are actually claiming a $3.2 billion tax benefit.
Our own Timothy P. Carney wrote an entire chapter on GE in his book Obamanomics, which the best available study of corporate welfare in the age of Obama. The company serves as proof that big government inevitably works in favor of companies that are best positioned to lobby it.
The bigger government gets, the greater the advantage it will provide for politically connected corporations. The only thing that can solve the problem is smaller government.
Publicado: 03-25-2011 09:12 PM
And the Beat-Down Goes On
Townhall.com ^ | March 26, 2011 | Paul Driessen
Presidential candidate Barack Obama promised that his policies would cause electricity rates to “skyrocket” and “bankrupt” any company trying to build a coal-fired generating plant. This is one promise he and his über-regulators are keeping.
President Obama energetically promotes wind and solar projects that require millions of acres of land and billions of dollars in subsidies, to generate expensive, intermittent electricity and create jobs that cost taxpayers upwards of $220,000 apiece – most of them in China.
His Interior Department is locking up more coal and petroleum prospects, via “wild lands” and other designations, and dragging its feet on issuing leases and drilling permits. Meanwhile, his Environmental Protection Agency is challenging shale gas drilling and fracking, and imposing draconian carbon dioxide emission rules, now that Congress and voters have rejected cap-tax-and-trade. That’s for starters.
The beat-down of hydrocarbon energy goes on. Oil, gas and coal provide 85% of the energy that keeps America humming, but the administration is doing all it can to take it out of our mix. American voters, consumers and workers may want more drilling, mining and use of hydrocarbons, to get the economy going again. But the administration has a different agenda.
EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson has unveiled another 946 pages of regulations that she claims will protect public health. The regs cover 84 “dangerous pollutants” that are already being scrubbed out of power plant emission streams by a host of innovative technologies. In fact, coal-fired generators now emit a fraction of what they did just 40 years ago.
The most frequently cited of these pollutants is mercury. Higher doses cause well-known ill-health effects, from severe neurological damage to brain damage and death. However, it has been all but eliminated in herbicides, light switches, thermometers and other products.
Its presence in coal and power plant emissions is likewise minimal and declining. The last serious cases of human health impacts from mercury poisoning in the US occurred decades ago – and coal-fired power plants remain the largest source of US-based manmade mercury only because other human sources are essentially gone.
Nevertheless, EPA and its anti-energy, anti-job allies like Climate Progress and Greenpeace are using mercury to spearhead their latest campaign against a fuel that provides half of all US electricity, and up to 95% in many manufacturing states. Even worse, they claim minorities somehow are especially at risk from mercury and other power plant pollutants. They even went so far as to hold a people-of-color-only press conference, to stir up fears and persuade minority interest groups to support the new regulations.
A few elemental facts put the alleged “dangers” power plant mercury emissions in perspective – which EPA and its fellow campaigners steadfastly refuse to do. They also illustrate how EPA abuses science, statistics and tax-funded “education” campaigns to promote needless public anxiety and expand its control over our lives, jobs and consumer choices, on a host of pollutants that pose little actual risk.
First and foremost, we are talking about a mere 41 tons of mercury per year. If that sounds like a lot, consider the following.
The United Nations Environment Program estimates that the cremation of human remains results in 26 tons of atmospheric mercury per year – from mercury-silver amalgams in teeth fillings.
China’s coal-fired power plants emit six times more mercury than their US counterparts, and power plants worldwide emit nearly twelve times as much, according to UN and other data. Since the atmosphere, jet streams and weather systems are global phenomena, all this mercury is mixed with US emissions, But even these manmade sources are dwarfed by natural sources.
According to the National Center for Atmospheric Research, forest fires in the Lower 48 States and Alaska annually put over 44 tons of mercury into the air. Root systems carry naturally occurring mercury from soils into their leaves and wood; forest fires release the mercury into the atmosphere and also “roast” it out of burned soils. (Maybe it’s time to ban forest fires – and wood-burning stoves.)
Recent studies by two Cambridge University scientists calculate that man and Mother Nature discharge up to 9100 tons of mercury into the global atmospheric every year. Most comes from volcanoes, but subsea vents (the Mid-Atlantic Ridge and elsewhere), geysers and forest fires also play major roles.
In other words, US power plants account for less than 0.5% of all the mercury in the air that we Americans breathe. Even eliminating every ounce of this mercury will do nothing about the other 99.5% of that pollutant in America’s atmosphere.
And yet EPA & Company demand that we do just that – at a cost of billions of dollars per year, to “protect” us from infinitesimal or imaginary risks.
Perhaps our helpful bureaucrats and activists could put a Plexiglass bubble over the entire United States, to keep those evil natural and Chinese gases out; plug Old Faithful and Kilauea; and keep people (especially minorities) away from Yellowstone National Park.
Add up everything EPA is doing to tax, obstruct and penalize coal use, and we are looking at huge increases in electricity prices. These skyrocketing prices will hammer family budgets, especially in minority communities, impairing nutrition and health, making it harder for many families to heat, cool and pay for their homes, and increasing illness and death.
Soaring energy prices will also force numerous companies to outsource manufacturing operations and jobs. Electricity is a major cost for factories, offices, stores, hospitals and schools. Every price hike hits them with another $10,000 to $1,000,000 or more in new annual expenses that they must pass on to consumers – or address by laying off more employees, whose families then suffer even more.
These hard realities must be viewed against 8.9% national, 11.6% Hispanic and 15.3% black joblessness. (These figures do not include people who have given up on finding a job, or have been forced to take part-time or temporary work.) EPA’s unelected and unaccountable bureaucrats are being completely disingenuous when they say their latest ten-pound stack of rules will bring one milligram of net benefit to human health and welfare, especially for minorities. EPA’s special “stakeholder briefing” on March 16 certainly conveys the correct image. Environmental activist groups are holding the stake that this rogue agency intends to pound through the heart of America’s economic recovery and civil rights progress.
EPA needs to start basing its policies and rules on science, reality, common sense, and comprehensive public health considerations. Congress needs to reassert its authority over EPA.
Both need to focus on responsible, science-based air and water quality standards that address real health and economic needs – and recognize that “human health and welfare” means more than eliminating every vestige of US manmade emissions, especially when we can do absolutely nothing about the vast majority of natural and manmade global emissions.
America – and our economic and civil rights progress – are waiting.
Publicado: 03-26-2011 09:46 AM
BLOOD FOR OIL
self | 3/26/11 | bray
Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in LOVE. Eph 4:2
Ah, Rio and Carnival is so nice this time of year to visit as Dictator of a Country. While you continue punish your Country with illegal bans and regulations you enjoy the joys and festivities of Brazil with your family. Then of course since you have imposed unconstitutional moratorium on drilling for oil and your subjects are struggling to fill their tanks and pay their mortgages you make sure Rio’s gummit owned Petrobras will have plenty of money to drill in the way you forbid your oil companies.
Wasn’t that Gulf spill fortuitous? You also assure their fellow communist leader America will buy all the oil they can drill since you plan on bankrupting, nationalizing and closing the American oil industry, how thoughtful. Those assurances will help bring more investment into their risky deep water drilling since they are a bit cash poor so your guarantee should help bring investors. How tyranical of you.
If only Present Obama cared as much about America as he does Brazil and South America. If only he was as much at war with Iraq, Trashcanistan and Libya as he is with America they would be over. If only he had a passion for anything other than his hatred for this Country we would be out of this Depression but he doesn’t and we aren't.
If anybody still doesn’t realize he despises America and believes it should be punished for all its past sins and he is the one to bring justice and execution they aren’t paying attention. Certainly none of the beltway Republib pundiots have noticed while sipping their Chablis while laughing at Conservatives. His trip to Rio with his entourage was not only an amazing vacation, it was his sign he had the oil industry squarely in his sights for destruction. What communist dictatorship in the world doesn’t control the energy of his people to own them?
If his goal is to be the Stalin of America and he has 18 months to do it, why wouldn’t he be trying to destroy the energy industry? If he doesn’t kill the economy to remake it into his one world commie utopia all of his lifetime goals will be crushed and capitalism will have a chance to recover.
If he is thrown out of office it would mean that America will be lost and have a chance to exploit all of the people around the world who they have exploited in the past. If he is tossed out on his oversized ear by Palin then America will be able to exploit his precious resources like coal and oil as they have in the past making America thriving on her own and he can’t have that. He knows America is a racist Country who has held the Black man down for 250 years and needs to give reparations which he is going about doing that through redistribution. His trip to Rio was to promise some of that distributing.
We are dealing with a severely brainwashed communist dictator. From the moment he was born he has been exposed to hatred of America. From his mom to his grandparents all through school and the Chicago race machine he has been taught to hate America, capitalism and Whitey. Unlike most commie libs he has been exposed to the most militant of this brand of communism through Reverend Wrightwing church, Bill Ayers, Valarie Jerrett and his radical groups in Chicago.
Throw in the fact he and his cronies were a part of the Chicago corruption by exploiting public housing as well as public healthcare and you ended up with a Stalinist who had a chip on his shoulder the size of Georgia. The irony he has ordered the bombing of poor Blacks in Libya with all the collateral damage and imperialistic mayhem only proves God has a sense of humor. He is now guiltier than George W Bush rushing to an illegal blood for oil war against Islam while he wallows in his sanctimony.
His ultimate goal is to destroy our economy and crucial to that goal is the destruction of the one industry that is still surviving, Big Oil. He has nationalized Auto, Banking and Healthcare so the last one standing is Oil.
Our ultimate goal is to survive his final 18 months and continue the American dream. We need to support the remaining capitalistic industry that hasn’t been destroyed completely. Many of the drilling companies have already been bankrupted in Louisiana as the overhead for those drillers are massive and have been hurt by his illegal moratorium so we have to support the companies left.
We have been brainwashed into hating Big Oil but they are providing a vital service to keep capitalism flowing. We have to turn our thoughts around into supporting these companies and realize their profits turn into our profits. Their profits make the truckers and farmers as well as the store’s profits.
We all benefit from a healthy energy industry although we have been programmed to believe just the opposite. We have been taught to look at these companies and their ability to make money through the prism of commie liberal eyes, who see it as exploitation and theft. The oil industry is the lifeblood of capitalism which is why they hate it.
We have to learn to see it as survival of America and a valuable service to the economy. We need to see Big Oil as the capitalistic economies of scale being necessary to develop large enough resources to feed this great ship. We have to deprogram ourselves to understand the greatest weapon against oppression and slavery is a free market and the lifeblood of that free market is the free flow and production of oil.
The more we can produce on our own and the more freedom we will enjoy. George $oro$ and Chairman Maobama understand that concept completely and is why they partied in Rio, while their greatest fear is that these oil companies will survive to start the recovery from their well planned Depression. Their greatest fear is America and its will to survive which would put an end to their one world communist gummit.
Dr Evil understands the need for Oil and it’s time for Americans to understand it and the real war we are fighting. It ain’t in Libya, Iraq or Afghanistan it’s in the Gulf of Mexico and Alaska against America. This is Revolutionary War 2.0’s Bunker Hill and the war is ragin against a tyrannical king and his boy Present.
Pray for America
SOROS, EL VERDADERO PODER DETRAS DE OBAMA, ES DUEÑO DE 22 MILLON ACCIONES DE PETROBRAS A $40 QUE CERRO LA BOLSA AYER, SON $880 MILLONES!!!!
ESA ES LA RAZON POR LA QUE OBAMA LE ABRIO A PETROBAS UNA LINEA DE CREDITO DE $2 BILLONES MIENTRAS ARRUINA LAS INDUSTRIAS AMERICANAS DEL PETROLEO Y EL CARBON.
Publicado: 03-26-2011 02:03 PM
Obama's Unauthorized War in Libya
| March 27, 2011 | Larry Walker, Jr.
How many casualties so far?
By: Larry Walker, Jr.
So just how many 18-20 year old Libyan soldiers has Obama killed? Or were those tanks, trucks and command centers just empty? Dropping bombs on 18-20 year old Libyan solders, killing them without warning and without a declaration of war is a crime. When our soldiers die in combat, we cringe.
Yet when we see young Libyan soldiers die, at our hand, some cheer. CNN even cheered when a rebel suicide bomber drove a truck loaded with explosives into a Libyan army barracks and detonated it, killing hundreds. Libyan soldiers were under the impression that they were protecting their homeland against an internal assault by government protesters in conjunction with foreign terrorists. Libya never declared war on the United States, and no U.S. interests were at risk, so how can this action be justified?
Firing missiles, from miles away, at young Libyan soldiers, who were defending themselves against an internal uprising, killing untold thousands, without authorization, and without a formal declaration of war, is not only cowardly, but in my mind constitutes a war crime punishable by impeachment, if not death.
WAR POWERS RESOLUTION
United States Code: Title 50, CHAPTER 33—(Reference)
§ 1541. Purpose and policy
(a) Congressional declaration
It is the purpose of this chapter to fulfill the intent of the framers of the Constitution of the United States and insure that the collective judgment of both the Congress and the President will apply to the introduction of United States Armed Forces into hostilities, or into situations where imminent involvement in hostilities is clearly indicated by the circumstances, and to the continued use of such forces in hostilities or in such situations.
(b) Congressional legislative power under necessary and proper clause
Under article I, section 8, of the Constitution, it is specifically provided that the Congress shall have the power to make all laws necessary and proper for carrying into execution, not only its own powers but also all other powers vested by the Constitution in the Government of the United States, or in any department or officer hereof.
(c) Presidential executive power as Commander-in-Chief; limitation
The constitutional powers of the President as Commander-in-Chief to introduce United States Armed Forces into hostilities, or into situations where imminent involvement in hostilities is clearly indicated by the circumstances, are exercised only pursuant to
(1) a declaration of war,
(2) specific statutory authorization, or
(3) a national emergency created by attack upon the United States, its territories or possessions, or its armed forces.
Operation Odyssey Dawn is an unauthorized use of military force. There was no formal declaration of war. There is no specific statutory authorization. There was not a national emergency created by an attack upon the United States, its territories or possessions, or its armed forces. Whether you agree with the war in Iraq or not, the use of military force was authorized by Congress - AUTHORIZATION FOR USE OF MILITARY FORCE AGAINST IRAQ RESOLUTION OF 2002.
No matter what justification you may wish to apply to this action, taken solely by the order of Barack Obama, it is a blatant abuse of power for which he should pay the ultimate price. How dare you even mention the words, "the American people". Neither the American people, nor their representatives have authorized any such involvement in Libya. Obama has murdered thousands of Libyan soldiers on the ground, without authorization from the American people, thus setting us all up for retaliation, by God knows who, at some future date. When it's all over, and the number of Libyan casualties have been tallied, somebody needs to be held to account by the International Criminal Court (ICC).
Publicado: 03-27-2011 04:28 PM
Trump: 'Why Can't He Produce a Birth Certificate?'
Real estate mogul and potential 2012 presidential contender Donald Trump defended his questioning of President Obama’s birth certificate Monday morning with a defiant, “this guy either has a birth certificate or he doesn’t.”
“I am really concerned,” Trump said in a phone interview on Fox & Friends. “You have no doctors that remember, you have no nurses -- this is the president of the United States -- that remember. … He could have been born outside of this country. Why can’t he produce a birth certificate?”
Trump, who has been flirting with a run for president, first made a remark about the so-called “birther” issue last week on The View. Obama provided news organizations with a scan of his birth certificate during his 2008 campaign, which some oulets also independently vetted.
“I brought it up just routinely, and now I’m starting to wonder myself whether he was born in this country,” Trump said Monday.
Trump also raised the possibility that the rebels in Libya currently receiving backing from the West may have more nefarious allegiances than people realize, advising Obama to address the issue in his speech on Libya Monday night.
“He’s got to talk about who the people are that we’re fighting for, because I’m hearing more and more that these rebels are aligned with Iran, maybe al-Qaida,” he said.
He managed to take another swipe at Obama in the interview, which lasted less than 10 minutes, when asked about the budget cut protests in Britain. Asked if the same unrest could occur here, Trump said confidently that it could – and would – if Obama continues to be president.
“We have people that have absolutely no idea what they’re doing running this country,” he said.
Is Obama Real?
By David Solway On March 25, 2011 In Daily Mailer,FrontPage
A little over a decade before anyone had heard of Barack Obama, cyberpunk author William Gibson already had his number, as it were. The novel was called Idoru (“idol” in Japanese) and told the story of a holographic emanation, an entirely virtual media star projected upon an adoring world. As Rolling Stone put it in a review, “Gibson envisions a future in which the lines between the virtual and the actual are terminally blurred. How ‘real’ are today’s celebrities?”
There’s no doubt that the world’s “greatest” celebrity creation is Barack Obama, an idol who mesmerized the American public and much of the West besides, drawing enormous crowds wherever he went, inspiring millions upon millions of mindless infatuates who regarded him as the answer to all the world’s problems. People gazed upon him and swooned over his pectorals or felt tingles crawling up their legs. Others thought a god had arisen in their midst. He was the savior, the messiah, “The One” who would resolve the world’s most intractable conflicts, who would roll back the seas, who would introduce transparency into American politics, and who would bring harmony and wisdom, hope and change, to a distracted electorate.
Two years have passed and the shine has faded. Every initiative that the American idoru has undertaken has generated only controversy and failure. Add to the record of his blunders and hesitations the fact of his shrouded identity, anemic CV and playboy-like behavior, and we have a veritable enigma on our hands. Does he fly under or over the radar? The then-senator who constantly voted “present” seems as president disturbingly absent, junketing about the planet, shooting endless rounds of golf, practicing his jump shot, warbling at parties, sipping slurpies.
Worse, when it comes to issues of major significance, Obama cannot seem to make up his mind about anything. Taking a reasoned, consistent and principled pposition seems beyond his means. Rather, he is prone, to quote T.S. Eliot from The Hollow Men, to “behaving as the wind behaves.” Is he in or out of Afghanistan? Is he for the Ground Zero mosque or against? Does he admire or disapprove of his former pastor, America-hating Reverend Wright? Is he prosecuting terrorists in civil court or relying on military tribunals? Are the Articles of the Constitution to be observed or ignored? Is Congress to be circumvented or consulted in carrying out domestic and foreign policies, a question recently highlighted by his mobilizing the EPA to skirt legislative resistance to Cap and Trade or participating in the action against Muammar Gaddafi?
For that matter, is he committed to the Libyan adventure or not? Is he pro-Israel, as he has often affirmed, or anti-Israel, as his conduct plainly suggests? Why does he support the so-called “democracy movement” in Egypt but not in Syria or Iran? If health care reform is meant to be universal, why have public sector unions been given exemptions and congressmen spared? Why do statements emerging from the White House often seem downright contradictory? These paradoxes, evasions and ambiguities can be multiplied indefinitely.
It is now obvious that Obama is all gaffe and guff. But the central question that troubles the mind is more profound. Why is it that, despite his larger-than-life media prominence and his appearing wherever we happen to look, he never seems to be there? As he himself wrote in The Audacity of Hope—assuming he is the author of the entire book and not, as Jack Cashill thinks, beholden to speechwriter Jon Favreau—“I serve as a blank screen on which people of vastly different political stripes project their own views.”
Amir Taheri, writing in the New York Post, is distressed by Obama’s fluctuating and elusive nature. Commenting on Obama’s casting himself as a bridge between America and the Muslim world (Al-Arabiya TV, January 27, 2009), Taheri notes: “Obama appeared unsure of his own identity and confused about the role that America should play in global politics.”
In point of fact, Obama seems unsure of pretty well everything of importance, just as many of us have grown unsure about whether there is any substance at all behind the luminous façade thrust before us on screen or page or color supplement. French philosopher Jean Baudrillard, who developed the philosophical theory of the simulacrum in such books as Simulacra and Simulation and Simulations, defines one of its aspects as an image whose function is to mask the absence of a basic reality, to hide a vacancy. “It is no longer even a question of a false representation,” he writes, “but of concealing the truth that the real is no longer real.” In the mediatric age we now live in, we are steadily bombarded by “floating signifiers” that attach to nothing concrete. Baudrillard cites many examples of public and political hallucinations to which we are subject, which he labels “the precession of the simulacra,” but Obama is clearly the culmination of the process. He seems more like a collective hypothesis, an effigy permeable to the light, than a real person.
Studying the phenomenon of a simulated president, it is becoming increasingly difficult to distinguish character from rhetoric, being from seeming, the man from the teleprompter.
Indeed, we can take the question further. Is Obama real? Or is he the virtual creation of a group of spectral manipulators, of David Axelrod, George Soros, Bill Ayers and other tenebrous figures, who have combined their talents and resources to seize upon a mediocre legislator with no achievements to his credit and craft a glittering ectoplasm from pliable material in order to serve their political purposes—to produce, in effect, what Gibson calls a “consensual fantasy”?
Is he merely, in Gibson’s terms, nothing but, “a personality-construct, a congeries of software agents, the creation of information-designers”? A Loki-like shape-shifter? A kind of synthespian?
It is hard to resist the conclusion that, for all the bewilderment he sows and the undeniable harm he does, Barack Obama does not exist. An idoru sits in the Oval Office and the only transparency he has brought to American politics is that we can see right through him.
Publicado: 03-28-2011 12:26 PM
Being a leader is about more than reading off a teleprompter
EDITORIAL: The president’s speech
By THE WASHINGTON TIMES
March 28, 2011
President Barack Obama delivers his address at the National Defense University in Washington.
When King George VI gave his Sept. 3, 1939, war message to the people of the British Empire, it was a time of great moment. It was a “grave hour,” he began, “perhaps the most fateful in our history.” The king said that “for the second time in the lives of most of us, we are at war.” That, however, was back when war was war. Now it is just kinetic military activity.
The king’s speech, so recently dramatized in an Oscar-winning film starring Colin Firth, was significant because though George VI suffered a speech impediment, his message was of the highest importance.
President Obama, by contrast, has always been given ludicrously high marks for his abilities as an orator but seldom has anything substantive to say.
Mr. Obama waited nine days after U.S. forces began to engage in hostilities in Libya to make a major address to the nation. He initially avoided making more than perfunctory remarks because U.S. involvement in the nonwar was supposed to be brief and limited. But as the kinetic became more frenetic, and Mr. Obama didn’t see the favorable bump in public opinion most presidents enjoy after unleashing military force, he was compelled to address the issue head on. Unbeknownst to the novice commander in chief, Mr. Obama faces a mass of contradictions that makes this conflict a hard sell.
c Mr. Obama has started a war that is not a war.
c Mr. Obama is using military force, but his secretary of defense says there is no vital American interest involved.
c Mr. Obama sold the country and the United Nations on a no-fly zone, but coalition forces are targeting Libyan ground troops.
c Mr. Obama’s mandate was to protect civilian lives, but he is actively siding with the rebellion.
c Mr. Obama has praised the “legitimate aspirations of the Libyan people,” but many of the rebels are Islamist radicals and even members of al Qaeda.
c Mr. Obama has gone to war to prevent a “bloodbath” in Libya but only offers empty words to innocent Syrians being gunned down by the Assad dictatorship.
c Mr. Obama has said the United States is not seeking to force regime change but believes that Moammar Gadhafi “has to go.”
c Mr. Obama said there would be no “boots on the ground” in Libya but reports are emerging that some boots have landed.
c Mr. Obama said the operation would be handed over to NATO but the United States will still be doing the heavy lifting.
c Mr. Obama said Operation Odyssey Dawn would be limited to “days, not weeks,” but now it is projected to go on for months, or longer.
c Mr. Obama denounced his predecessor President George W. Bush for unilateralism but the O Force has gone to war with no congressional authorization, fewer coalition partners and weaker support from the Arab world.
All of these contradictions were of the president’s making and are the product of trying to preserve an exalted image that now only a few members of the White House inner circle still believe. The Nobel Prize-winning man of peace who expanded America’s wars; the champion of Muslims who only helps them when it’s convenient; and the great global leader who continually emphasizes America’s declining influence: What a long strange odyssey the Obama presidency has become.
President Barack Obama has touted his emphasis on multilateralism in the U.S. military intervention in Libya, but, for political, operational, and legal reasons, Obama's "coalition of the willing" is smaller than any major multilateral operation since the end of the Cold War.
The Cable compiled a chart listing all the countries that contributed at least some military assets to the five major military operations in which the United States participated in a coalition during the last 20 years: the 1991 Gulf War (32 countries participating), the 1995 Bosnia mission (24 countries), the 1999 Kosovo mission (19 countries), the 2002 invasion of Afghanistan (48 countries), and the 2003 invasion of Iraq (40 countries), at the height of the size of each coalition. As of today, only 15 countries, including the United States, have committed to providing a military contribution to the Libya war.
Experts quickly point out that all of these military interventions happened in different contexts. However, they added that the reason Obama's Libya war coalition has less international involvement than all the others was also due to his administration's behavior in the lead-up to the war, its approach to multilateralism, the speed with which it was put together, and the justifications for the war itself.
Michael O'Hanlon, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, said that the administration's effort to build the coalition was hampered by its stated desire to hand off the leadership of the Libya intervention to NATO.
"[I]f you [focus on the handoff], you don't deserve a lot of credit for leadership," he said. "Obama in his deference to [getting out of the lead] has not only wanted other countries to do as much as they could, he has essentially forgone his responsibility to build the coalition."
The Libya mission is, by definition, smaller in scale than Iraq or Afghanistan; and a no-fly zone doesn't require as many countries as a full-on invasion, O'Hanlon pointed out. However, the relatively few Arab countries contributing military assets could pose a problem for the mission's legitimacy.
Operation Odyssey Dawn now has three Muslim countries with actual military contributions --Qatar, Turkey, and the UAE. "The limits of Arab support are palpable and could be a growing concern in the days and weeks ahead," O'Hanlon said.
While the Libya intervention was endorsed by the Arab League, the endorsement doesn't actually require any Arab countries to contribute materially to the effort, said David Bosco, assistant professor at American University and author of FP's blog The Multilateralist.
Obama put a priority on "formal multilateralism," as opposed to "operational multilateralism," concentrating on getting international political bodies to endorse the Libya attack before he focused on getting individual countries to pledge actual military contributions, Bosco said. That's why the administration, primarily the State Department, is working the phones now to ask countries such as the UAE to chip in a few planes here and there.
"At a certain point the administration is going to have to decide whether just to say this is a coalition of willing countries," said Bosco. "That's not the end of the world."
Bosco also said Obama was practicing "a la carte multilateralism" by trumpeting the endorsement of certain regional international organizations, such as the Arab League, while dismissing the opinions of other groups, such as the African Union, which strongly opposed the intervention.
"There's a legitimacy shopping exercise that's going on here," Bosco said.
Wayne White, a former senior State Department intelligence official now with the Middle East Institute, noted that another problem with the Obama administration's efforts to build a coalition was its own apparent lack of enthusiasm about the war. It was keenly aware of the war-weary U.S. populace, concerned about the burden of its strategic commitments in Iraq and Afghanistan, and unsure how this would play out in an extremely competitive and divisive election next year, White said.
"They were profoundly conflicted internally whether to do this, let alone to lead, which is quite unique," he said.
Obama administration officials have argued that the speed of international action on Libya was much faster than any previous intervention, and that the process was driven by the need to avert a potentially imminent humanitarian disaster.
"I know that the nightly news cannot cover a humanitarian crisis that thankfully did not happen, but it is important to remember that many, many Libyans are safer today because the international community took action," Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said on Wednesday.
Publicado: 03-28-2011 10:00 PM
By Andy Thibault - Special to The Washington Times
White House aide Samantha Power, a former news reporter turned anti-genocide advocate, said President Obama's two-year campaign to promote human rights helped trigger the uprising in Libya against Col. Moammar Gadhafi's rule.
In a speech Monday at Columbia University, Ms. Power, director of multilateral affairs at the National Security Council, defended her support for the military operation against Libyan government forces and said the president's efforts, through speeches in various foreign capitals, made it easier for other nations to stand with the United States against tyrants.
"The president has argued our interests and our values cannot be separated," Ms. Power said, speaking to a friendly crowd of about 130 people. "These values have caused the people of Libya to risk their lives on the street."
Ms. Power sidestepped questions about reports she was among three female Obama administration aides who pressed the president to go to war in Libya.
On the military operation to impose a no-fly zone, however, Ms. Power, said that "force can be justified on humanitarian grounds."
Ms. Power said the international coalition acted to save the rebel-stronghold city of Benghazi because of Col. Gadhafi's attacks. "On a single day, he killed 1,200 people on suspicion" of being anti-government rebels, she said.
"To put Libyan events in historical perspective," she said, "in Libya, it took us nine days impose asset freezes and travel bans," while pressuring regimes in the Balkans and other places took years.
News reports first disclosed in the New York Times said that Ms. Power, U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice and Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton helped overrule reluctant defense and military leaders in persuading Mr. Obama to launchh military operations against Col. Gadhafi's forces under the guise of protecting civilians from those forces.
Mrs. Clinton on Sunday defended the Libyan intervention on ABC, stating that "we learned a lot" from not doing enough to stop genocide in Rwanda and ethnic killings in the Balkans in the 1990s.
The Ireland-born Ms. Power is the author of the 2002 book "A Problem From Hell: America and the Age of Genocide," which won a Pulitzer Prize.
Ms. Power is an advocate of the United Nations resolution called "Responsibility to Protect," or "RtoP," which focuses on efforts to prevent genocide, war crimes, crimes against humanity and ethnic cleansing.
Ms. Rice, who served as assistant secretary of state in the Clinton administration, has said her greatest regret was not pushing hard enough for international intervention in the Rwandan genocide in 1994, when hundreds of thousands were killed in a civil war.
Ms. Rice was instrumental in organizing the successful U.N. vote that included the backing of the Arab League to establish the Libya no-fly zone.
Johanna Mendelson Forman, a humanitarian-affairs specialist with the Center for Strategic and International Studies, said she understood the reluctance of Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates and other military leaders, including National Security Adviser Thomas Donilon to launchh military action in Libya.
"It's very hard to figure out where this takes you," Ms. Mendelson Forman said. "No one has the stomach for a continued ground presence in Libya."
Ms. Mendelson Forman, who served as an adviser to the U.N. Mission in Haiti, also played down the notion of fierce women pressuring reluctant men in the Obama administration. "Hillary Clinton would dismiss it as ridiculous," she said.
The intervention in Libya has spawned numerous questions, including the limits of presidential power, the decision-making process on where to engage in military action, mission creep and the role of advocates for implementing "RtoP."
"I thought we were past 'If women ruled the world, there'd be peace,' " said Mai-Linh K. Hong, a Virginia lawyer who has written extensively on the genocide in Rwanda. "Media reminds us we aren't."
Ms. Mendelson Forman acknowledged there is no clear end in sight for the Libya action. "Once you've gone in," she asked, "what is the commitment to stay?"
Ms. Power started her government career as a Senate aide to Mr. Obama. In March 2008, she resigned from the Obama presidential campaign after she was quoted in the Scotsman newspaper as referring to Mrs. Clinton, then a presidential rival, as a "monster."
During the campaign, Obama was asked by the AP about claims that an immediate withdrawal from Iraq would result in potentially genocidal mass killings and ethnic cleansing. He responded:
“Well, look, if that’s the criteria by which we are making decisions on the deployment of U.S. forces, then by that argument you would have 300,000 troops in the Congo right now — where millions have been slaughtered as a consequence of ethnic strife — which we haven’t done,” Obama said in an interview with The Associated Press.
“We would be deploying unilaterally and occupying the Sudan, which we haven’t done. Those of us who care about Darfur don’t think it would be a good idea,” he said.
Obama, a first-term senator from Illinois, said it’s likely there would be increased bloodshed if U.S. forces left Iraq.
“Nobody is proposing we leave precipitously. There are still going to be U.S. forces in the region that could intercede, with an international force, on an emergency basis,” Obama said between stops on the first of two days scheduled on the New Hampshire campaign trail. “There’s no doubt there are risks of increased bloodshed in Iraq without a continuing U.S. presence there.”
The greater risk is staying in Iraq, Obama said.
“It is my assessment that those risks are even greater if we continue to occupy Iraq and serve as a magnet for not only terrorist activity but also irresponsible behavior by Iraqi factions,” he said.
It’s worth pointing out a key difference between the potential genocide in Iraq and the heart-wrenching slaughters in Congo and Sudan: The latter aren’t our fault. But if genocide unfolds in Iraq after American troops depart, it would be hard to argue that we weren’t at least partly to blame. Yes, the mass murder would have more immediate authors than the United States of America, but we would undeniably be responsible, at least in part, for giving a green light to genocide. Obama offers precisely that green light in his proposed Iraq War De-escalation Act.
So, as a candidate, the current president took a principled stand for non-interventionism when it comes to genocide in places like Congo and Sudan. He even took a principled stand in favor of affirmative steps by the U.S. military to facilitate genocide in Iraq. I think those positions range from needlessly hardhearted to plain awful, particularly for a liberal. So I am glad Obama has flipped positions on genocide.
What is amazing to me is not that so many liberals support Obama as he intervenes in Libya today, but that so few had any problem with Obama coming out for doing nothing in the face of American-facilitated mass-murder back then.
>By Stanley Kurtz
As his speech tonight confirms, President Obama intervened in Libya to prevent a massacre in Benghazi. That is the long and short of it. Yes, he also hoped that his action would blunt Qaddafi’s counter-revolutionary stroke, thereby putting us “on the right side” of the emerging revolt in the Middle East (Hillary’s chief concern). Yet that was a secondary motive. Fundamentally, Obama was unwilling to go down in history as the man who allowed a massacre in Benghazi. He also wanted to set a precedent for future multilateral humanitarian interventions under United Nations auspices. Everything else follows from this core motive, which is represented within his administration by Samantha Power and Susan Rice, above all.
Obama is not a neoconservative democratizer. When he talks about our values of human rights and democracy, he has in mind the progressive vision of a UN-dictated rights regime that constrains and encroaches upon national sovereignty, including our own. This is the portion of his policy goals in Libya (drawn from advisors like Power) that he does not explicitly spell out. It depends on doctrines like “responsibility to protect,” liable to future expansion and abuse by international bodies. Instead of going into all this, Obama merely highlights the “historic” UN resolution that enshrines the new doctrine, and speaks of his worry that a failure to act would have rendered the UN’s “writ” meaningless.
There are immense problems with all of this, of course, both from the standpoint of American interests more conventionally defined, and from the standpoint of humanitarianism. In a tribal civil war, those we have saved are as likely to massacre Qaddafi’s supporters, should they take power with our help, as Qaddafi was to kill them. Getting out from our moral and military responsibility for that will be a neat trick.
As far as our “conventional” national interests go, whether you’re an eager democratizer or a realist, nothing Obama is doing makes much sense.
The point is, Obama was unwilling to let Benghazi fall under Qaddafi’s power, and he’s trying to avoid excessive American involvement beyond that simple act. He would love for all the uncomfortable consequences of his humanitarian gesture to go away. But of course they won’t. Saving Benghazi is not a simple act. It has massive ramifications and complications for humanitarianism, for democracy promotion or the lack thereof, and for America’s economic and military interests traditionally defined. On all this, Obama is simply juggling the complicated results of his humanitarian gesture as best he can.
Let’s go back to that fateful Tuesday meeting. Benghazi was about to fall. Hillary had just been rebuffed in her efforts to meet with the young demonstrators who brought down Mubarak. She had also been told by other Egyptians that they wanted Qaddafi stopped, because his success against his foes would break their movement’s momentum in the region. Obama saw in all this a chance in that to square the circle of our values and our interests, the conflict between which had been causing him no end of difficulty and embarrassment for weeks.
By stopping the massacre, he saved his good name and helped Hillary in her efforts to gain favor with the revolutionaries in Egypt and beyond. (The real reason Hillary was rebuffed, I maintain, was the bitter anti-Americanism of the Tahrir Square demonstrators who shunned her. They cannot be appeased, although Hillary falsely believed they could be.)
Obama’s national security advisors looked at our conventional interests and saw the mess of constraints and contradictions intervention would bring. Obama famously overruled “the men,” going instead with his troika of female advisors, and it’s all played out to form since.
Obama has saved his good name on Benghazi for the history books. The young Egyptians still don’t like us, and they aren’t in charge anymore anyway. An alliance of the military and the Muslim Brotherhood is now running the show in Egypt instead. As for our more conventional interests and military pposition, Libya is a contradictory mess, as Obama’s own national security advisors foresaw. It was all predictable and predicted (except for Hillary’s naive take on Egypt). Obama made his choice and we are living with the consequences now.
Publicado: 03-29-2011 03:30 PM
OBAMA ASSAULT ON U.S. CONSTITUTION
Statement of Thomas P. Kilgannon
President, Freedom Alliance
Dulles, Virginia – Last night President Obama spoke to the nation in an attempt to justify the American interest in Libya. He failed miserably. The President also explained the process by which the U.S. military came to be engaged in hostile action against a foreign regime. In doing so, he showed how he ignored the Constitution and failed to uphold his Oath of Office.
In his speech, the President detailed actions already undertaken by the United States in Libya: “We struck regime forces…We hit Qaddafi’s troops…We hit Qaddafi’s air defenses…We targeted tanks and military assets…and we cut off much of their source of supply.”
These are acts of war. The United States is conducting a war that was decided and initiated by one man – Barack Obama. This is not how our Republic works. The solemn duty of sending young Americans to a war zone is a responsibility in which Congress plays a vital role and the President ignored them.
He said his actions were authorized by the United Nations and approved by the international community. Our self-professed “citizen of the world” was dismissive of the Congress and indifferent to his constitutional requirements. He showed that he was uninterested in the concerns expressed by the American public.
With his actions in Libya, Barack Obama is pushing the boundaries of the presidency in ways that make him less accountable to the other branches of government and less accountable to the American public. This is not a time for congressional passivity
Measuring Force (Thomas Sowell nails Obama)
Creators Syndicate ^ | March 29, 2011 | Thomas Sowell
You don't just walk up to the local bully and slap him across the face. If you are determined to confront him, then you try to knock the living daylights out of him. Otherwise, you are better off to leave him alone.
Anyone who grew up in my old neighborhood in Harlem could have told you that. But Barack Obama didn't grow up in my old neighborhood. He had a much more genteel upbringing, including a fancy private school, in Hawaii.
Maybe that is why he thinks he can launchh military operations against Moammar Qaddafi, while promising not to kill him and promising that no American ground troops will be used.
It is the old liberal illusion that you can measure out force with a teaspoon, not only in military operations micro-managed by civilians in Washington, like the Vietnam war, but also in domestic confrontations when the police are trying to control a rioting mob, and are being restrained by politicians, while the mob is restrained by nobody.
We went that route in the 1960s, and the results were not inspiring, either domestically or internationally.
The old saying, "When you strike at a king, you must kill him," is especially apt when it comes to attacking a widely recognized sponsor of international terrorism like Colonel Qaddafi. To attack him without destroying his regime is just asking for increased terrorism against Americans and America's allies. So is replacing him with insurgents who include other sponsors of terrorism.
President Obama's Monday night speech was long on rhetoric and short on logic. He said: "I believe that this movement of change cannot be turned back, and that we must stand alongside those who believe in the same core principles that have guided us."
Just what would lead him to conclude that this includes the largely unknown forces who are trying to seize power in Libya?
Too often in the past, going all the way back to the days of Woodrow Wilson, we have operated on the assumption that a bad government becomes better after the magic of "change." President Wilson said that we were fighting the First World War to make the way "safe for democracy." But what actually followed was the replacement of autocratic monarchies by totalitarian dictatorships that made previous despots pale by comparison.
The most charitable explanation for President Obama's incoherent policy in Libya— if incoherence can be called a policy — is that he suffers from the long-standing blind spot of the left when it comes to the use of force.
A less charitable and more likely explanation is that Obama is treating the war in Libya as he treats all sorts of other things, as actions designed above all to serve his own political interests and ideological visions. Whether it does even that depends on what the situation is like in Libya when the 2012 elections roll around.
As for the national interests of the United States of America, Barack Obama has never shown any great concern about that.
President Obama started alienating our staunchest allies, Britain and Israel, from his earliest days in office, while cozying up to our adversaries such as Russia and China, not to mention the Palestinians, who cheered when they saw on television the collapse of the World Trade Center on 9/11.
Many people in various parts of the political spectrum are expressing a sense of disappointment with Obama. But I have not felt the least bit disappointed.
Once in office, President Obama has done exactly what his whole history would lead you to expect him to do— such as cutting the military budget and vastly expanding the welfare state.
He has by-passed the Constitution by appointing power-wielding "czars" who don't have to be confirmed by the Senate like Cabinet members, and now he has by-passed Congress by taking military actions based on authorization by the United Nations and the Arab League.
Those who expected his election to mark a new "post-racial" era may be the most disappointed. He has appointed people with a track record of race resentment promotion and bias, like Attorney General Eric Holder and Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor.
Disappointing? No. Disgusting? Yes. The only disappointment is with voters who voted their hopes and ignored his realities.
Publicado: 03-29-2011 07:20 PM
IBD Editorial: Obama's Muddled Libyan Misadventure
Libya: The new military policy the president advocated Monday in his overdue address is best described as "misadventurism." Equally as bad or worse, the commander in chief is being disingenuous with the public.
During his presidential campaign, candidate Barack Obama famously said that when he became president, the American people and the world would "always know where I stand." But today , Americans are scratching their heads about where he claims to be standing.
"Some nations may be able to turn a blind eye to atrocities in other countries," the president said Monday — not from the Oval Office but from a military educational institution.
"The United States of America is different," he said. "And as president, I refused to wait for the images of slaughter and mass graves before taking action."
But atrocities occur around the globe often, and the U.S. could intervene in many of these places. Shall we now act as the world's humanitarian interventionism force?
The president knows we won't. We can't — neither materially nor politically. We have limited resources, and Americans aren't at all willing to send their sons off to risk death to stop every mass murderer in the world.
Obama knows that other criteria are involved, but he is not being honest about what they are.
In the case of Libya, one of the unspoken factors is a dirty, three-letter word: oil. But not our oil. Western Europe imports a significant chunk of its fuel from Libya, over 20% in the case of France.
Yet nowhere in the more than 3,000 words the president delivered at Washington's National Defense University was anything said about oil or energy resources.
Instead, we heard about "America's responsibility as a leader and — more profoundly — our responsibilities to our fellow human beings," and about avoiding "a betrayal of who we are."
Unfortunately, this president is trying to change who America is. Instead of leading as the world's Exceptional Nation, we have been reduced to taking orders from the United Nations and the Arab League.
As the Associated Press reported in a fact-check analysis of Obama's speech, "Mass violence against civilians has also been escalating elsewhere, without any U.S. military intervention anticipated" — in the Ivory Coast, for instance, where Gadhafi-esque strongman Laurent Gbagbo's regime's killings are approaching 500.
In spite of a million Ivory Coast refugees, the U.S. is turning, in the president's parlance, "a blind eye."
With Iraq and Afghanistan still on our plate, the U.S. has to be choosy about intervening elsewhere.
Of the many possibilities, Iran is at the top of our military to-do list — since it threatens to become the world's first nuclear terror state. Totalitarian North Korea, with its burgeoning nuclear capability, is up there, too.
Libya, by comparison, is a muddled misadventure dressed up by a president trying to look tough.
Publicado: 03-29-2011 09:33 PM