Yesterday, President Obama announced that the U.S. military would support a no-fly zone over Libya with materiel and personnel. From the president’s remarks:
Now, here is why this matters to us. Left unchecked, we have every reason to believe that Qaddafi would commit atrocities against his people. Many thousands could die. A humanitarian crisis would ensue. The entire region could be destabilized, endangering many of our allies and partners. The calls of the Libyan people for help would go unanswered. The democratic values that we stand for would be overrun. Moreover, the words of the international community would be rendered hollow.
And that’s why the United States has worked with our allies and partners to shape a strong international response at the United Nations. Our focus has been clear: protecting innocent civilians within Libya, and holding the Qaddafi regime accountable.
Democratic presidential hopeful Barack Obama said Thursday the United States cannot use its military to solve humanitarian problems and that preventing a potential genocide in Iraq isn’t a good enough reason to keep U.S. forces there.
“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.
How times have changed—except that the times haven’t changed. The times are the same. There has been no 9/11-type of event that has created a paradigm shift since Obama became president. The only thing that’s changed is President Obama.
Personally, I’m not altogether opposed to bombing Qaddafi and his cronies into little pieces. But if we truly wanted a no-fly zone to succeed and contribute to the end of the Qaddafi regime, then we should’ve been doing it two weeks ago when opposition forces had control of several cities and appeared to be a more viable fighting force. Instead, President Obama insisted that Gaddafi must go and then proceeded to put those words into action by going golfing and picking his NCAA men’s basketball tournament bracket live on ESPN.
Perhaps more puzzling is the response—or lack thereof—of the professional left to Obama’s new warmongering ways. A quick check of the Huffington Post, Slate, Democratic Underground and the Daily Kos show no analysis of the Obama administration’s decision—a decision that the same sites would likely be screaming bloody murder over had George W. Bush made similar moves. Over at the Nation, is a sober, level-headed editorial that raises concerns about Obama’s decision, but is far more restrained than one would expect based upon their treatment of Bush’s interventions.
In short, the left once again demonstrates they’re not so much anti-war as anti-Bush.