So what have we learned since Obama’s War began? The Chinese are vehemently against our kinetic military action – perhaps because they buy a lot of Gadhafi’s oil? Many rebel fighters are jihadists from Iraq and Afghanistan who squared off against coaltion forces and soon will be getting American-supplied weapons. “Cowboy President” George W. Bush’s coalition had 4 times more members than Barack H. Obama’s coaltion enjoys. President Obama recently approved the CIA to undertake “activities” in Libya and Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood is fighting with al Qaeda over who will control a Kadhafi-free nation.
With constant criticism of starting wars which weren’t a matter of United States national security and of starting pre-emptive wars without Congressional approval first, Barack Obama has come full circle.
Many on the Right call the president a hypocrite while many on the Left – when their justifications fall flat – simply go quiet when it comes to the Nobel Peace Prize’s presidency.
Both sides are being somewhat unfair to Obama but one of two (or both?) more serious charges may be made against the man: he’s naive and/or he’s manipulative.
Running for president isn’t the same as being president. Many candidates learn this fact the hard way. Some grow into the role while others cause serious damage to their nation for years after their terms end.
What candidate Obama essentially accomplished during his run for office was to tie his hands every which way:
We must close GITMO.
We cannot have unlawful detention.
Warrantless wiretaps are unAmerican.
We won’t launch pre-emptive wars.
If our national interests are not at stake we will not get into a conflict.
All of this hand-tying at the time could only have served to make his job, if he got elected, more difficult. Either his stances were based on principle or they were simple pandering to his political base. World leaders, whether democratically elected or despots, didn’t care why Obama was saying what he said only that he said it and it would give them a freer hand doing what they wanted.
The irritating thing about Obama’s candidacy was the high-and-mighty way in which he painted everything – all the while mocking his opponents by suggesting they were morally corrupt because their decisions were and thus, by extension, America was weak and bad. The trouble with being high-and-mighty is for 95% of people you’re really just throwing stones from your glass house.
President Obama might be a lot of things but stupid is not one of them. He surely knew at the time he made his promises that if events dictated it he would go back on his word. And break them he has in virtually every area in which he critisized his predecessor. His allies in the press haven’t called him on his GITMO reversal or military tribunal flop or even his Abu Grahib – “trophy” pictures from a handful of U.S. soldiers.
So while it’s not fair to citicize President Obama for being a hypocrite on Libya as the presidency can force certain decisions upon you, it is legitimate for asking how or why he thought he could make those “promises” at all.