Obama on Libya: Promises Made, Promises Kept

Posted on Mar 31 2011 - 1:00am by Harrison

Liar or not?

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.

18 Comments so far. Feel free to join this conversation.

  1. Steve Dennis March 31, 2011 at 3:36 AM -

    He made these promises during the campaign and he either knew he wasn;t going to be able to keep them or he was naive. Those are the only two options I can come up with. If he knew he couldn’t keep them then he may not be a hypocrite but he is a liar. If he was simply naive you would think that someone on his campaign staff would have directed him to tone it down.
    Steve Dennis recently posted..Obamacare- Sen Inhofe claims nearly half of Oklahoma residents will lose their Medicare benefits

    • Harrison March 31, 2011 at 9:46 AM -

      What got me so much was the “America has gone morally corrupt” talk. If you’re going to take that high of a road there’s no turning back and yet, this is exactly what he has done. And this fact (and the lack of harshness from almost everyone from his own party) shows how Democrats really are just dust blowing in the wind with no fixed moral principles.

  2. fleeceme March 31, 2011 at 5:06 AM -

    I believe it was the naivete of the delusional. His narcissism precludes any serious introspection or self-criticism, especially in regards to his own words. As he increasingly bought into his own as well as the much greater external hype about his greatness in all matters human, it is understandable to presume he truly believed he would usher in a new century of incomparable world peace, ergo his many claims which you have listed are not so shortsighted when taken in that light.
    fleeceme recently posted..Funny Video of the Day – March 28th

    • Harrison March 31, 2011 at 8:37 AM -

      I agree he does appear to hold a rather high opinion of himself. If he isn’t re-elected his ego will take quite a little bruising.

    • Jack Camwell March 31, 2011 at 1:09 PM -

      That’s a bit unfair. We can’t know how hard he is on himself. He might give the outward appearance of being a narcissist, but we can’t know for sure.

      Some people think I come off as arrogant, but I’m actually really hard on myself. He’s just trying not to look like a bumbling dumbass. He might not be doing a good job at that, but eh, no one is perfect.

      • Harrison March 31, 2011 at 1:16 PM -

        Well in his speeches he usually talks more about himself more than the subject at hand.

        • Jack Camwell March 31, 2011 at 1:42 PM -

          I’m a terrible follower of politics. I rarely watch speeches because they usually feel like one-sided conversations.

          They say a bunch of crap I don’t agree with and I find myself having a one-way argument with the television.


  3. Jack Camwell March 31, 2011 at 5:47 AM -

    I believe I mentioned this very thing in the article I wrote for today. I wrote about my experience on crooksandliars.com, that liberal forum I mentioned yesterday.

    Those fools go quiet very quickly when I mention Libya, and then just when I think we can cut the crap and start having a real discussion, they all stop responding to the thread. If you checked out the thread I linked yesterday, you can see my desperate attempts to steer the discussion towards something meaningful.

    They’re all content to just sit around and constantly claim that Republicans are fascist. As for the lesson we should learn from this Libya episode: no politician is different from the other. Obama is just like any other politician who is ballancing doing what he thinks is right and what he thinks will get him re-elected.

    Since I can’t get the little thing to work, here’s a link to my article about the liberal wackoes:

    And because I actually try to give fair and ballanced views of people and there idiocy, here’s an article about my experience on a far, far right wing forum. The similarities are striking:

    Unlike those guys, you all seem intelligent and willing to listen.

  4. jonapope March 31, 2011 at 7:30 AM -

    Great posts and great insight. I think the President did have choice on whether or not he went into Libya. Secretary Gates said that Libay was no where on the radar as far as national security issues were concerned. Why he went to war in Libya is still a little beyond me considering his rhetoric as candidate Obama.

    However, I do agree that sometimes we can be a little hard on the President. When, as you say, the office forces some decisions on the the President. I just wish the president would be a little more straightforward as to why he does and doesn’t do the things that he does.
    jonapope recently posted..Orwell Moment! Obama wins Transparency awardin secret

    • Harrison March 31, 2011 at 9:48 AM -

      I think Obama was trying to be able to say he spread “Hope and Change” in the Middle East even though if by that we mean Sharia Law and beheadings. “Hope” and “change” aren’t policy goals they’re campaign slogans (and empty ones at that).

      • jonapope March 31, 2011 at 12:02 PM -

        Well if you want to talk about change at least we can say that for the first time American and Al Qaeda are working together…
        jonapope recently posted..Orwell Moment! Obama wins Transparency awardin secret

        • Harrison March 31, 2011 at 12:52 PM -

          They’ve got the brains Obama’s got the looks let’s make lots of jihad.

  5. Dean March 31, 2011 at 9:18 AM -

    Harrison, why is it not fair to criticize the hypocrisy of the President?

    As an American, I want to support my Commander-in-Chief when we are in action overseas but the whole manner in which this thing was handled was so half-assed and so half-baked, he makes it really, really difficult.

    The silence from the liberal-Left proves the convenience and cowardice that informs their politics. Disgraceful.

    And yes, I am taking a warm bath in schadenfreude over this entire affair. Joke’em.

    • Harrison March 31, 2011 at 9:31 AM -

      Well I said “somewhat unfair.” The hypocrisy game is valid often but in the case of Libya I think looking into his painting himself into a corner is more informative about his weakness. Some have called Sarah Palin a hypocrite because she signed a subsidy bill into law about Alaska TV shows and later her show benefited. Hypocrisy or not? I think there are limitations as to discussing hypocrisy.

  6. Jack Camwell March 31, 2011 at 9:42 AM -

    I don’t think it’s unfair to criticize hypocrisy, but there’s a point where you just have to move on and get to real discussion.

    Over on that forum full of morons, they are pretty much content to just sit around all day an call Republicans evil fascists, and point out every single hypocrisy ever committed by one.

    It’s just that pointing out hypocrisy is like pointing out the obvious. It’s alright to point it out, but do we really need to drone on about it and resort to name-calling and what not? I mean, I know I do an awful lot of namecalling in my blog, but I do it to be ironic and funny. And unlike most of these fools, I actually insert some sort of analytical insight or ideas for consideration.

    I tend to take it easy on presidents because I know that events shape them more than they shape events. I’ve always said that they don’t have the luxury of always being moral. They have to deal with what they’ve been given, and most of the time there are no good options.

    • Harrison March 31, 2011 at 10:22 AM -

      If there is a definite pattern of hypocrisy it’s a legitimate subject but it seems so much of it is just a gotcha game. I agree that websites frequented by Liberals tend to be mainly about ad hominem attacks and very snarky with the “fascism” term bandied about. Liberals really just seem to be angry people filled with so much envy or something.

  7. sharon smith March 31, 2011 at 11:03 AM -

    That apology tour worked out real well.

  8. Jack Camwell March 31, 2011 at 11:12 AM -

    Sadly, you get the same thing on a lot of Conservative sites. It just shows that there is a complete breakdown of meaningful dialogue between the two parties. As I mentioned in my article, both groups call each other the perpetrators of some grand totalitarian conspiracy.

    What I’ve observed is that no one in politics is immune to falling short of ideological consistency. The difference between guys like me, and psyhoes like them, is that I’m willing to admit when I’m wrong. I don’t contemplate and discuss politics just to prove to everyone that my ideology is right. I engage in it because I truly want to find the best answers.

    These fools have turned political discussion into nothing more than a damn horse-race. Everyone wants their horse to win, and they’ll turn a blind eye to the losses.
    Jack Camwell recently posted..Obama says testing is boring- Elton John is gay