Tuesday, March 29, 2011

More Incoherent than Usual:
The O-BOMB-A Doctrine

It goes something like this:

There will be times when our safety is not directly threatened, but our interests and values are. These may not be America’s problems alone, but they are important to us, and they are problems worth solving.

In such cases, we should not be afraid to act – but the burden of action should not be America’s alone. Real leadership creates the conditions and coalitions for others to step up as well; to work with allies and partners so that they bear their share of the burden and pay their share of the costs; and to see that the principles of justice and human dignity are upheld by all.

So if, for example, there's a bloodbath looming in Benghazi, then we as Americans have a special duty because of our exceptional values to act; but if the world isn't with us and we can't do it as part of an international effort--then forget it. And we especially have to ask permission from the corrupt U.N. and the Arab League before we can put our American exceptionalism into action.

Have I got that right?

This is from a reader-response over at HotAir: American exceptionalism means we can rescue the Libyans because they have a ruthless dictator, but we’ll make an exception for Saddam Hussein. That was about attacking a nation that never hurt us so that we could take their oil. Oh. Wait. That was Libya, too. So, America has this tradition and values, plus, we’re the only nation with the power to stop bloodbaths. Yes, American exceptionalism means we can save anyone, except if we don’t have the permsission of the United Nations and/or the Arab League. What’s more, we aren’t in Libya for regime change, except that Ghaddafi has to go or the bloodbath will simply be postponed.

But the lamestream media will give this guy a pass all day long.

Here's The NYT editorial page this morning trying to make sense of this hash: "President Obama on Libya." The editorial actually says it is hoping for "humane and competent" governing structures from the rebels. Really? More hope and change--it's worked so well for the U.S. for the past two years.

The LA Times editorial thinks that Obama addressed the "thorny questions" of Libya with "cogency and clarity"--but he wasn't always persuasive.

Here are some reactions from the other side. Read the response at American Thinker: "Obama's Scary Discomfort with American Power." Obama never offers a robust defense of American power without subordinating it to the more pressing matter of leveling the global playing field. "But it is my deeply held belief," Obama said a 2009 speech to the U.N., "that in the year 2009 ... the interests of nations and peoples are shared." .... When allied forces finally decided to strike Gaddafi by air, Obama gave his reluctant approval by phone from Brazil. He also authorized his top commander on the ground, Admiral Mike Mullen, to tell reporters that the goals of the international campaign "are limited and it isn't about seeing him go."

Or this one from the Washington Examiner: "UN 'Authorization' Is the Emperor's New Fig Leaf." Equally offensive is the emerging legal pretext for the war, in which UN authorization supposedly eliminates the need for a congressional vote."Why not go to Congress?" ABC's Jake Tapper asked Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Sunday."We would welcome congressional support," Clinton replied, but this is an "internationally authorized intervention."

Covering the outrage brewing in some quarters on the Hill, Politico quotes an irate Democratic congressman: "They consulted the Arab League. They consulted the United Nations. They did not consult the United States Congress." That's what we've come to.Will Congress put up with it?

Here is Sen. Rand Paul's (R-KY) response to Obama's address:

I have only one question for the rabidly anti-war Left (who are amazingly silent as The Won takes us into War Number Three): How do you like your brown-eyed boy? And no, that's not raaaaaacist. It's a literary reference, to an E.E. Cummings' poem, "Buffalo Bill": how do you like your blue-eyed boy, Mr. Death?

Update. My prediction: things are not going to go well. This morning, CBS and Reuters, both normally huge water-carriers for Big Zero, are reporting that Gaddafi's "better armed and organized troops" are pushing the rebels back east, and that the rebel retreat looks more like a "rout." Big freaking surprise, when you have the U.N., the Arab League, and NATO leading the way. Go get 'em, Barry, that's the way to lead from behind, our new tradition of American leadership in the world.

Exit Question. Can we just call him O-BOMB-A now?

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