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Fact-checking Obama's speech on Libya

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Balladeer
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75 posted 04-06-2011 08:46 AM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

I'm curious, Denise, how you think you might react if a foreign country landed a few thousand ground troops off the coast of Pennsylvania?

I'm guessing, Ron, that Libya is not a part of Pennsylvania? (geography has never been my strong suit)

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76 posted 04-06-2011 03:17 PM       View Profile for Huan Yi   Email Huan Yi   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Huan Yi

.
“We have intervened in Libya on “humanitarian grounds,” but have not argued that more were likely to die in Libya than in the Ivory Coast or the Congo. We wish to help the “rebels,” but we do not know who or what they are. Apparently we came to their aid simply because they seemed both likable and Westernized on CNN and because for a moment they seemed likely to win and remove Qaddafi — and on the initiative of the Europeans, who have sizable oil interests in Libya. The president has both demanded that Qaddafi leave and asserted that regime change is not our aim; he has both promised to enforce a no-fly zone only and often gone beyond such patrolling by bombing ground targets and inserting American agents. He has sought the sanction of the U.N. and the Arab League, and then de facto ignored their resolutions by occasionally calling for regime change and bombing Qaddafi’s bunkers, while not asking Congress for similar authorization to intervene. We are told Qaddafi is doing terrible things (and he is), but we were also told up until a few weeks ago that he was in diplomatic rehab and was now more an ally than a mad-dog enemy.

Then, after two weeks of confused “kinetic military action,” the United States abruptly quit fighting and outsourced further direct military operations to European NATO members — apparently in the hope that either the Europeans or the rebels can oust Qaddafi. In any case, Libya may be the first war in American history in which the United States directly attacked another nation-state, in an act of war, then abruptly quit the preemptive assault with the enemy still very much in power. If Qaddafi survives, do we say we’re sorry, pay reparations, take in rebel refugees, patrol a protected enclave for years, bisect the country, or play golf and let the Europeans deal with the mess?”

http://www.nationalreview.com/articles/263997/middle-east-policy-shambles- victor-davis-hanson?page=2


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77 posted 04-06-2011 03:36 PM       View Profile for moonbeam   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for moonbeam

An interesting, if somewhat partisan, article Huan.

What are your thoughs on it, if any?

moonbeam
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78 posted 04-06-2011 03:49 PM       View Profile for moonbeam   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for moonbeam

What I do know, however, is that procedures exist to curtail any President who oversteps his Constitutional boundaries. Congress has options to pursue. So, too, does the Judicial branch.

With the incredible level of partisan animosity so prevalent in our country right now, I really can't imagine those procedures not being pursued if there's even a chance in Hell of damaging the current administration.


I knew there was something I forgot to add to my last post.  Thanks for saying it more clearly than I could Ron.

How many knew that President Lincoln effectively declared war and called for 75,000 troops three months before Congress could convene? Did anyone know that Lincoln suspended the writ of habeas corpus and had thousand of Northern political opponents arrested? Including dozens of newspaper editors and publishers? When the Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court officially declared Lincoln's suspension unconstitutional, Lincoln and the military ignored Chief Justice Taney. There was even rumors of arresting the Chief Justice? Lincoln went on to extend the scope of the habeas suspensions and continued them for another two years, ending the illegal maneuver only when Congress passed the Habeas Corpus Act of 1863. Lincoln's real coup de grace to our Constitution was his arrest of the Maryland Legislature to prevent them from voting for secession.

West Virginia (Union) was carved out of Virginia (Confederate). One of the most outspoken members of the Democratic Party opposition, Congressman Clement L. Vallandigham of Ohio, was arrested, tried, convicted, and eventually deported (to Tennessee?). The mayor of Baltimore and Congressman Henry May were imprisoned. Private citizens in the states bordering the Confederacy were disarmed, in violation of the Second Amendment, and suffered widespread confiscation of private property. The list goes on and on.

Historian Lee Kennett wrote in "Marching Through Georgia" that if the Confederates had won the Civil War they would have been justified in "stringing up President Lincoln and the entire Union high command" as war criminals.

Yet, today, Abraham Lincoln is widely regarded as the greatest American to ever sit in the Oval Office.


Precisely.  

This has all happened before, and will no doubt happen again, and the present incumbent is surely more the victim of a "sour grapes" campaign, than in any way a transgressor on the scale of past examples.

It's both regrettable and ironic, in my opinion, but it seems we have always been more interested in this country in results than in method. Some day, I suspect, that will cost us dearly. Some day, I fear, it will cost us everything.

But this is most interesting.  Not really got time now to do it justice.  Just to say that in essence I think that perhaps one of the greatest skills of leadership is to find that balance between ends and means.  When to risk all because the goal is judged (correctly) so important, and when to step back and realise that the method, if wrong, will mar the results even if they are achieved.  Morality and conscience come into it too.

It goes to the heart of why I think Obama is better than his immediate predecessors.  He has the ability to make that judgement more accurately, and imv with more moral authority.  Just my view though.

Good post Ron.
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79 posted 04-06-2011 07:37 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

I'm confused ( a not unnormal state) but what does a foreign country invading Pennsylvania or Lincoln and the civil war have in common with Libya and our actions there?
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80 posted 04-06-2011 07:41 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

Perhaps, Ron, you are making the case that Lincoln did many things that were not normal or popular in his day and yet today is considered one of the best? I hope so. I said almost exactly the same about Bush years ago, here in the Alley, that one day history would look back and recognize that his actions were to be admired and he would be known as one of our best. I still feel that way.
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81 posted 04-06-2011 07:48 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

We wish to help the  rebels,  but we do not know who or what they are.

This has been verified by both Reid and Clinton who have stated in the past week that they do not yet know who the rebels are or represent.


If Qaddafi survives, do we say we re sorry, pay reparations, take in rebel refugees, patrol a protected enclave for years, bisect the country, or play golf and let the Europeans deal with the mess?

An excellent question.

Libya is just another example that Obama acts without thinking and really has no idea what he is doing.
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82 posted 04-06-2011 10:31 PM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

My tangent on Lincoln was, indeed, a tangent, Mike, and if there was any point to it at all the point probably centered less on Lincoln than on human nature and our propensity to see only what we want to see. Its relevant to this thread only insofar as it's relevant to that rampant partisanship I was talking about.

My real point in the post, about our perception of the President's job description, clearly got lost somewhere in the translation. I'm sure that's my fault and has absolutely nothing to do with people seeing only what they want to see. I'll try to be more clear in the future.


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83 posted 04-06-2011 10:36 PM       View Profile for Huan Yi   Email Huan Yi   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Huan Yi

.


“The Obama proposal to increase funding for Libya’s armed forces — the ones we are now shooting at, because they have predictably been used against regime opponents — happened only a few weeks ago. And everyone knew at the time that Qaddafi was a prodigious human-rights violator. So in the blink of an eye, with no intervening threat to our country and no vital U.S. interest at stake, Washington goes from making laws that lined Qaddafi’s pockets to breaking laws so Qaddafi can be killed?”

http://www.nationalreview.com/articles/263573/not-unlawful-not-enemy-combatant-andrew-c-mccarthy?page=2


This is kindergarden . . .

.
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84 posted 04-06-2011 11:52 PM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K


     I am still unclear abouit John's actual opinion about his quotations.

     I am considering starting to post random passages from The Nation and other magazines with no hint of what my own position might be in relation to them.  Perhaps I will hope that people will count adjectives, decide that I am posting the silliest points of view that I can find, or that I am using people whose points of view I will model my own upon.  Perhaps I will vary the reasons for the postings from time to time.

     Then I will add enigmatic post scripts that sound like they are telling people who don't understand what I am not saying that they are fools.  

     "This is kindergarden. . . ," I will consider starting my series of conundrums.  Yes, "This is kindergarden. . ."  Try to suggest I actually meant something specific by that.  Now try to figure out what it was.
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85 posted 04-07-2011 12:27 PM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K



     As long as I have both Karen and Serenity's assurances that no posts were injured in the posting of the previous post, I would have to agree with what the serene party of the firt post posted.  And it did seem to me to be a toasty post indeed.  Not the original post,  but the post post being the more toasty of the two posts.

     Surely there must be a smiley to post here someplace.

     I'm sorry, I forget how shirley was involved in this post.
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86 posted 04-07-2011 05:26 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

Your point was about our propensity to see only what we want to see and it failed (tongue in cheek noted) because of people seeing only what they want to see. OK, makes sense to me

Of course people see what they want to see, Ron. It's the half -empty-half-full philosophy. It's normal. In politics, it's much more prevalent. Politicians will have a specific conviction of thought when their party endorses something and a completely opposite conviction of the same thought when their party doesn't and the opposing party does. People wsho follow politics will do the same thing, blasting a party for doing something they applaud when their party is doing it. This is one of the reasons why people do not trust politicians.

Libya is a prime example. The President does not have power under the Constitution to unilaterally authorize a military attack in a situation that does not involve stopping an actual or imminent threat to the nation.  and then Obama authorizes a military attack in a situation that does not involve stopping and actual or imminent threst to the nation. That is an obvious contradiction. Will Democrats acknowledge that? Not a chance. This lack of convictions is not limited to one political party. No doubt republicans have done the same. "Read my lips" comes to mind. I'll wager that the democrats who jumped on that one with both feet still will have nothing to say about this one. After all, it's THEIR party now doing the flip-flopping.

Regardless of who has done it or how many times, that does not excuse THIS action. Obama has contradicted himself and made a mess of it. We have gotten involved in a civil war on the side of people we don't even know with not even designated leaders and not knowing what results are to be produced. We are engaging in a third war even though there has been no actual threat to us personally. We are spending tens of millions of dollars doing it at a time we are fighting over spending reductions. It makes no sense at all. On top of that, we have a president telling congress that they can't stop him, no matter what they say or do. Even democrats should feel that there is something wrong here, I would think. Undoubtedly, if it were a republican president, they would and be very vocal in letting everyone know.

People see what they want to see. When what they see isn't palatable, they simply claim they don't see it and ignore it. That's what we have here.
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87 posted 04-07-2011 06:54 PM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K



     Michael. when you yourself quote Democrats who disagree with the President's position, including Denis Kusinich, it is time to bring your statements on the President's actions into line with your contradictory statements on the actions of the party.  It may also be time to bring your statements on the Republican position into line with various statements made by some of the various Republican ofiice holders.

     Your portrayal of this split is not accurate, even by your own account.  There are Liberals who are against this war and Conservatives who are for it, in some instances.

     Newt Gingrich made a point of being for it when the President was inactive and doing nothing on the subject.  When the President intervened, he made a point of coming out against it.

     As you've said, in previous situations, Republican Presidents may have acted in similar ways.  "Read my Lips," was the quote you offered.  I have been against those actions on a pretty much ongoing basis.  I'm against this one.  I am also a Democrat.

     If your post is correct, I don't exist.  Nor does Denis Kusinich.  Nor does any of the left wing opposition to this intervention; and yet, here we are. . .   I can see us pretty well.

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88 posted 04-07-2011 06:57 PM       View Profile for Huan Yi   Email Huan Yi   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Huan Yi

.

"In the past two weeks, more than 100 Africans from various Sub-Sahara states are believed to have been killed by Libyan rebels and their supporters.

According to Somali refugees in Libya, at least five Somalis from Somaliland and Somalia were executed in Tripoli and Benghazi by anti-Gaddafi mobs. Dozens of refugees and immigrants workers from Ethiopia, Eritrea, Ghana, Nigeria, Chad, Mali and Niger have been killed, some of them were led into the desert and stabbed to death. Black Libyan men receiving medical care in hospitals in Benghazi were reportedly abducted by armed rebels."

http://somalilandpress.com/libya-rebels-execute-black-immigrants-while-forces-kidnap-others-20586

I’ve seen other sources about this . . .

.

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89 posted 04-07-2011 07:24 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

Bob, you are absolutely right. You have spoken out against his actions throughout the thread and I acknowledge that. My comment was aimed at democrats in general and not every one of them. You are a refreshing exception, as are the democratic members of congress.

I have called McCain an idiot in this thread. You may add Gingrich.

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90 posted 04-07-2011 09:32 PM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K



     Dear John, I ran across this in my reading last evening and I put it up as a fresh posting for The Alley, but it never made it to prime time.  I don't know if this is what you mean or not, but it sounds as though it may well be.  I include it because I found it disturbing and because I try to make of point of giving things a reading even if I'm made a bit uncomforatable by them.
http://www.countercurrents.org/chowdhury140311.htm
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91 posted 04-07-2011 09:33 PM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K



     Thank you for # 89 above, Mike.  It is gentlemanly of you, and I appreciate it.
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92 posted 04-08-2011 08:04 AM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

Libyan Leader Moammar Gadhafi wrote a letter to President Obama yesterday imploring him to urge NATO to stop the attacks inside Libya and wishing him luck in his re-election bid, according to a copy of the letter obtained by ABC News.

Describing President Obama at one point as “our son” and later as “Baraka Hussein Abu oumama,” Gadhafi appeared reserve any criticism of the United States during his rambling three-page message.

“We have been hurt more morally that (sic) physically because of what had happened against us in both deeds and words by you. Despite all this you will always remain our son whatever happened. We still pray that you continue to be president of the U.S.A. We Endeavor (sic) and hope that you will gain victory in the new election compaigne (sic),” Col Gadhafi wrote.

The letter, dated April 5, was sent from the Libyan Foreign Ministry to Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs Jeffrey Feltman, who immediately sent it to the White House.


http://blogs.abcnews.com/politicalpunch/2011/04/whats-in-gadhafis-letter-to-obama.html

Perhaps Barack will use it in his re-election campaign??
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93 posted 04-08-2011 12:52 PM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K



     Kadaffi certainly knows how to try to muster feeling against The President on the part of the American Right, and he seems to have caught the mood and temper of the right wing perfectly here.  Alas, thge American Right Wing has never been in danger of showing the slightest support for President Obama unless their feet were held to the fire.  

     When asked, straight out, whether they supported the President's actions in Libya, at least some Republican leaders said, "Yes."  I  didn't notice any of them scrambling to get their opinions on record before being asked, unless the opinion was, "No," or unless the opinion was in some way a contradiction of what administration policy was at that time.  I don't fault them for this, but I do note it.  

     Whether or not Kadaffi's message will  entrance the the American Center or the American Left seems another question entirely.  By attempting to forge an alliance with the American Right Wing in this way, Kadaffi may actually have given the President a bit of a boost, at least for those people who don't find the attempt pathetic or irrelevant.  

     Kadaffi is anything but subtle.
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94 posted 04-08-2011 01:00 PM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K



     I feel it might be appropriate for us to wish Kadaffi good luck in his reelection bid, as well, with all appropriate sincerity, as well as a good Passover and a Happy Easter.  It may be a bit early to send him an Easter Ham, but I can think of few people who have done more to deserve one.  Mazel Tov!  Colonel Kadaffi!  May all your good wishes be returned a thousand fold, and with all the sincerity you intended them to bear.
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95 posted 04-08-2011 05:06 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

Bob, I have no idea what you just said. You state that Kaddafi is bonding with the right wing by sending Obama a letter of support? You wish Kaddafi luck in his reelection bid when the luck wished was by Kadaffi for Obama's reelection bid?

If you are not confused, I am!
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96 posted 04-08-2011 10:07 PM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K



     Kadaffi is anti-semitic, and he has taken his office with guns, Mike.  He appears to be keeping it that way, unless he is forced to depart by the legally somewhat dubious means we have elected to support.

     His letter to The President was an attempt to stir up ill will in the United States by means that only make sense if he misreads the United States population and politics.  It is odd for the same reason that President Obama would have  been odd to have come out  for candidates in Iranian Elections:  It would have given the crazies in their government and population a boost.  That's what Kadaffi was trying to do here with his letter, except he thought that there were more crazies here than there really are.  Mostly his letter caused people to go "Huh?"

     I was simply saying Mazel Tov! to the Anti-Semite and wishing him the same sort of joy he would wish us, which is to say, none at all.

     I hope I have cleared up your confusion.
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97 posted 04-08-2011 10:15 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

hmmm...I see. Sort of a reverse psychology on Kaddafi's part? Interesting theory but I don't think I'll buy it. I believe his sincerity in calling Obama "son" and referring to him with a muslim name. To treat him as a kindred spirit only to to have Americans turn against him doesn't really gel with me so I suppose we will both believe in our own interpretations.
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98 posted 04-09-2011 02:56 AM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K



     I think MK has your number, Mike, and knows exactly how to appeal to you, and has done so with success.  He knows how to drive a wedge and enjoys doing so.  I think he has hopes, however, of driving additional wedges between the President and folks in the American Center and folks on the American Left, and in this case he has not managed to make the inroads he has with the predisposed and pre-alienated American Right.

     We don't need to agree on anything be the basic effort at friendship, and I'm solid with that.  I know we don't necessarily agree on how to go about being a good American, but I think both of us want to be one.  I do, and I know you do.  That, also, is enough for me.
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99 posted 04-09-2011 04:21 PM       View Profile for Denise   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Denise

Not only does Obama send our troops into harms way in Libya, without Congressional approval, for no discernable national interest, or national security concerns, he holds the budget process discussions hostage by refusing to allow them to continue being paid if a budget compromise wasn't achieved last night.

Despicable. I have no other words.
 
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