The Pundits Are Driving Me Crazy– And You Thought Qaddafi Was Nuts

“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.”  So said presidential candidate Barack Obama in an interview with the Boston Globe in 2007.

That was then.

But as vile and erratic as Moammar Qaddafi is, he poses no “actual or imminent threat to the nation” – not this nation, anyway.  So, according to candidate Obama, President Obama had no right to “authorize a military attack” on Libyan anti-aircraft stations.  A mere technicality, because President Obama won authorization – and justification — from other authorities.

Here is Chuck Todd, NBC News White House correspondent on the matter:

“He’s [President Obama is] always going to want these multilateral coalitions; and not just a group of countries, but getting it legally, basically getting the legal justification from institutions like the United Nations and the Arab League, both of which we saw today.”

I feel much better knowing that the U.N. and the Arab League have given the United States the green light to fire over 100 Tomahawk cruise missiles into Libya (though I wonder why the nations that comprise the Arab League – nations must closer to the problem than we are here in the United States — didn’t muster their own military forces to impose a no-fly zone over Libya).

Yes, politicians have been known to say one thing when they’re running for president and another when they actually become president.  And if this is hypocrisy on the president’s part, he is hardly alone.

For a change, liberals are not marching in lock step in support of the president.   Some on the Left, like Ralph Nader, Michael Moore and Dennis Kucinich are against Mr. Obama’s decision to launch an attack on Qadaffi.  Nader wants Obama impeached and Kucinich, quite reasonably, says the president had a constitutional obligation to consult Congress before taking military action.

But for a lot of liberals, this is the kind of military action they can support:  the kind that is blessed not only by the U.N. but by France as well.

Jonathan Alter of Newsweek spoke for a lot of liberals who support the president when he said this on MSNBC: “He’s a reluctant warrior.  So it’s not as if he’s converted to being a cowboy.  So I think people recognize the difference between him and former President Bush.”

And there’s another reason this is the kind of war, if that’s what it is, that liberals can get behind:  it’s war that is waged for humanitarian reasons.  At the outset of the uprising, Qaddafi said he would “cleanse Libya house by house” or “die here as a martyr” trying.

When you hear a madman say he is prepared to “cleanse” his enemies out of existence, you have every reason to believe he means it.  And so, it is certainly reasonable to justify military action on humanitarian grounds.  But this raises a question:  Where were the humanitarian concerns for the Iraqi people who were at the mercy of their own madman,  a madman with a history of gassing and torturing his own people?

I don’t recall a lot of liberal tears over the Kurds or the Iraqi Arabs whom Saddam murdered for speaking out against his regime. What saddens me most is that a lot of liberals hated George W. Bush more than they loved their own liberal principles regarding humanity.  So they condemned President Bush for being a cowboy – even though he ousted a monstrous dictator — but now praise Barack Obama for his noble concern for the oppressed people of Libya.

Really?

And remember when liberals said, if Bush goes into Iraq, then how can he justify not going into North Korea, which is also run by a tyrant.  But when asked how President Obama can justify not going into Yemen, where 52 protesters were shot in the street in a single day, Jonathan Alter said, he’s a “pragmatist” who doesn’t need to follow “a consistent line.”

I think I’m getting sick.

But, sorry my conservative friends, you and I both know that the Left doesn’t have a monopoly on hypocrisy.  A lot of conservatives – especially the loud voices on radio and TV — wonder what the end-game is in Libya?  Good question.  But it was also a good question when President Bush took us to war in Iraq. But since W. was one of them, conservatives –again, mainly the ones on cable and talk radio — cheered him on.  Whatever liberals were against, they had to be for.

There’s more.

In one breath, these same conservative commentators condemn the president for waiting two long weeks before taking military action against Colonel Qaddafi — and in the very next breath condemn him for taking military action when we don’t know who would take over if Qaddafi goes.  And they speak out of both sides of their mouth without the slightest hint of embarrassment.

And then there is the issue of those troublesome NCAA basketball brackets.  When the president filled out his brackets on ESPN instead of concentrating all his attention on Libya, well that was one more piece of evidence for the pundits on the Right that Mr. Obama is incompetent and not worthy of his office.  But you just know that if George Bush filled out his brackets during the lead up to the war in Iraq, these same conservatives would have said, “What’s the big deal?  Can’t he be president and take a few minutes out for fun?

And why would they say that?  Because liberals, who saw no problem with Mr. Obama’s basketball moment, would have been all over that “frat boy” George Bush, if he had done the very same thing,

Somebody, please:  Make it stop!

The problem is that there is a lot of rigid ideology masquerading as honest commentary these days.  Everyone is a warrior trying to destroy the other side.  These are the times I wish I were a conscientious objector in the culture (and political) wars.

As for Libya, let’s hope it turns out okay, that only Qaddafi and his most ardent supporters suffer.  But one thing is for sure:  Many of President Obama’s most ardent supporters will cover for him no matter what.  If things go badly, they probably will figure out a way to blame George Bush for the mess.  And Mr. Obama’s detractors?  They won’t give him credit, even if Qaddafi is carried out in a box and a new Libyan leader takes over singing the Stars Spangled Banner while wrapped in the American flag.

Did I mention that I’m sick of the whole thing.

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  • BARB

    Larry Pinkney of the BlackCommentator on Obama:

    This is a man who has enjoyed the fruits of America at the blood and expense of Black Americans and others, but who has paid virtually no dues.

    This is a man whose father had also enjoyed the fruits of university schooling in America but subsequently returned to his native Kenya.

    This is a man, who also like his father before him, neither served in a branch of the US military nor in any organization in America opposed to US military adventurism.

    This is a man who as a deeply corporate military industrial complex US Presidential candidate, has called for “unilateral” US military actions in other nations. [And why not? After-all, his father, himself, or his wife and children were not and will not be the ones killing and being killed.]

    This is a man who, in Chicago, pretended to support the human rights of the Palestinian people but who is now known to be a huge supporter of the apartheid Zionists and their powerful and insidious political lobby in America.

  • Greg Burdette

    Thank you Mr. Goldberg for a very refreashing look at what is going on right now. This is the reason I have so enjoyed your books. Watching the news the past week or so I have been thinking how different the commentary would be from both sides if it was President Bush taking this action and not President Obama.

  • joe from louisiana

    That article is exactly why I enjoy reading Bernie Goldberg over all the others. You and Mark Levin are bright spots of sanity in America today. I think his shows on the War Powers Resolution should be mandatory for high schoolers. I know Goldberg is not that uncommon but are you any relation to Jonah Goldberg?

  • Scott Bonds

    When the liberal/progressive/democrats hear the great khan speak, they swoon. The great khan will say that the US is only bombing radar stations and airplanes. No one was killed. After all they didn’t do anything to the US. We were not in any imminent danger of any kind. The great khan got congress’s permission first. Oops, I mean France’s permission UKs permission, and Italy’s permission. It’s the same as congress to the great khan. It kind of reminds me of health care legislation, where the liberal/progressive/democrats just rammed it through. Its ok if they do it. They know better than the rest of us, or so they say. I personally like the idea of liberal/progressive/democrats taking a vacation. I will help out by never voting for a liberal/progressive/democrat for any office ever again. I mean it this time.

  • Ron Kean

    One interesting thing about Republicans against Democrats, liberals against conservatives, left verses right is that it’s all over the internet. It’s been said that all the falsehoods in the world are on the internet and that’s what’s corrupting the minds of those whose opinions we oppose. But I don’t think so.

    One only has to go to Real Clear Politics, for one of many, to see videos of Chris Matthews, Bret Hume, Keith Olberman (still), Bill Kristol… or read Frank Rich, Tom Friedman, Victor Davis Hanson, Paul Krugman, Mark Steyn and all the rest. So we read one and the other and make up our minds and I believe we’re the best informed public ever.

    Relating to this topic, just like always, it’s useful to identify excess on both sides but my point is that both are out there. That’s why Bernie can write this. We all can see everything.

  • RecknHavic

    Thank you for saying what other conservatives won’t say Bernie. I’ve sooo many friends on the Right who take the same jabs at Obama as the Left did at Bush. If it’s not “he’s playing golf when there’s a crisis!” to “NCAA brackets? Now?!” it’s some other frivolous thing. But when the MSM and every liberal around took these same shots at Bush, well, they were just bein partisan.

    I’m one conservative who doesn’t begrudge Obama taking a moment for himself. It’s his bloody stupid policy decisions that I hate.

    • Bernie Goldberg

      Thank you, Reck

    • Chris

      Now you are misleading! Bush stopped doing the golf trips after 911 because it looked really bad. There is a difference here!

      • Bob Hadley

        Bush said he would stop playing golf after Iraq became a quagmire. But he was filmed playing golf after that time.

  • Cameron D. MacKay

    Mr. Goldberg:
    Congratulations on your article in which you call a spade a spade by saying. “The problem is that there is a lot of rigid ideology masquerading as honest commentary these days. Everyone is a warrior trying to destroy the other side. “ You are always at your best when you expose the “bias” in the media. Given that we live in an age in which the sheer volume of “information” is overwhelming, it is either sad or frightening to see so many people providing proof positive that they are “third class journalists.”
    Not too long ago, the public could actually count on the media to do some thorough research and provide a report which focused on facts and if they felt it was incumbent upon them to express an opinion, it was usually an opinion which was grounded in Reason.
    On my part, I think you perform a vital service to the public by employing your inside knowledge of the journalistic community to provide the general public with a reasoned critique in cases which are deserving of criticism. Accurate information is critical if a free society is to survive. Unfortunately there seems to be an abundance of third class brains monopolizing the air waves.
    As a Canadian conservative, I cannot envisage a situation in which I would ever vote for Obama if I was qualified to vote. Notwithstanding my political propensities, it does not following that everything that a Democratic administration does is axiomatically in error. Statistically, if for no other reason, they are bound to make some good decisions. What totally baffles me is this: is there not a substantial market niche in the world of journalism for a person who consistently displays an impartial, thoughtful, well researched message in the mass media????
    I personally have many demands upon my life. I have little time or the resources to thoroughly research every current event which occurs in this postmodern world. I would be a devoted follower of any journalist who did careful research, provided reports which were as humanly impartial as possible, and clearly distinguished between “facts” and “opinions” in the media broadcasts. Surely there are millions of viewers in the same category — or maybe it’s just me.
    Again, thank you for your articles
    Cameron D. MacKay B.A., LLB.

    • Bernie Goldberg

      Thanks Cameron. I appreciate the kind words very much.

  • Scott

    The U.S. has absolutely no reason to even get involved in Libya’s problems. If the U.N. wants to put together a police force, fine, but leave us out of it. Libya did not pose a threat to the U.S. so I don’t see how this military action is in the best interests of the U.S. If we want to be the world’s police force then we better start launching missiles into other countries where those governments are killing their own people as well. There’s absolutely nothing that Obama is going to say tomorrow that will in the least bit convince me that this is a just cause and that there’s some sort of plan here. It’s just another FUBAR’d situation that we don’t need to be concerning ourselves with.

  • http://blog.cyberquill.com Cyberquill

    Reason and logic stand no chance against the primal evolutionary phenomenon called tribalism, i.e., that warm and fuzzy feeling of safety and security when we are uniting against a common enemy, be it liberals, conservatives, or whoever.

    Where in the Constitution does is say that the president has an obligation to consult Congress prior to commencing military action? It says that Congress has the power “to declare War,” but Congress never declares war anyway, whether consulted by the president or not, and I can’t find the provision which obliges the latter to conduct such consultation. It just says “The President shall be Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States”. Where’s the “Consult Congress” clause?

  • http://mediamatters.org/ Wil Burns

    Bernie, Why isn’t there a debate about whether America can afford this latest military adventure. Obama saw nothing,but a great opportunity for the USA to look good here, and he wasn’t the least concerned about the cost. Our elite is always able to come up with the money for a bank bailout or a war against a Muslim country, but when it comes to the working and middle class in America, we are ‘broke’ and can’t do anything to help.

  • Ron Kean

    I think many of us who come from the right wing agree that when Obama imitates Bush, specifically in foreign matters, that’s okay.

  • http://www.bigbureaucracy.com/ Ellie Velinska

    ” I am not opposed to all wars. I’m opposed to dumb wars. So for those of us who seek a more just and secure world for our children, let us send a clear message to the president.

    You want a fight, President Bush? Let’s finish the fight with Bin Laden and al-Qaeda, through effective, coordinated intelligence, and a shutting down of the financial networks that support terrorism, and a homeland security program that involves more than color-coded warnings.
    - Barack Obama, 2002″

    I wish they wrap up the Afghanistan massacre before bombing other countries.

  • Clarence De Barrows

    Heaven forbid that I get into a long harangue with the intellectuals on this site, but respectfully, I’ve just got to say this whole discussion is getting way too complicated. The critical issue is Obama and his penchant for vacillation, saying one thing and doing another in any given situation, when his real life experiences qualify him not at all. Thinking Americans just don’t trust him. Regardless of the issue at hand his perplexing actions and continued dilatory conduct in critical areas (securing the border – we don’t drill in the gulf, but Brazil can, etc.) have the effect of emasculating our Republic rather than empowering it. That’s the paramount issue facing our Nation. Not the diversionary subtleties inherent in discussions generated by our interference in another country, justified or not.

  • falcon

    Bernie,

    I was just reading an article on NewsBusters and wondering why both sides in this equation can’t just shut the heck up and start working toward fixing what’s broke in this country, and then I read your article. I couldn’t agree more – punditry (and, by extension, ideology) is a lot of what’s wrong with this nation, and I think it’s time to just shut up and start working. Instead of each side tearing the other down, our energies could be better spent trying to make this country great again. Yet liberals always attack conservative beliefs, and conservatives do nothing but point the fingers back. Where’s the benefit in that? Thanks for bringing both sides’ hypocrisy to the fore.

  • Kathie Ampela

    Speaking of people who have no life: http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0311/51949.html Why do these mutants care about Fox News so much if it’s all a bunch of lies..why waste $10 million dollars ($1 million from George Soros) on trying to discredit them? This is not just about attacking the opinion hosts…it’s about destroying EVERYONE who works there…executives, journalists, commentators, analysts. Has anyone else ever seen something like this before? Where are all those calls for civility in our political discourse..this is vicious, nasty and insidious.

    • Bruce A

      It seems that the calls for civility come from the left & only apply to conservatives.

  • Henry

    Hey Bernie, thanks for keeping both sides honest. Even though I lean towards the right, it’s important for me (as well as for many others I’m sure) not to be blinded by ideology.

    • http://www.bernardgoldberg.com/ Bernard Goldberg

      Exactly, Henry. Exactly!

  • Paul Courtney

    Bernie: I feel like I’m joining AA ( Me-”Hi, I’m Paul and I’m a conservative.” Group- “Hi, Paul”). I was against some Bush policies, on Iraq and spending, but would not have complained too loud. Maybe I was too distracted by the anti-war left (some in the MSM) and their very harmful claims that Bush was a liar, murderer, torturer, war criminal, blah blah blah, but that’s still a rationalization. I know I’m more critical of Obama than Bush. That said, I’m also being driven crazy (a shorter drive) by the right demanding Obama go into Libya, not go at all, not go ’til we’ve got an “end game” (I’m reminded of Don Rumsfeld saying, over and over, correctly, that we don’t know how long we’ll be in Iraq, only to be asked again by an anti-war congressman who didn’t care how these bitter recriminations played overseas), not go if we have to let Britain, France or NATO have a say, not go unless the rebels are verified democratic good-gov’t types. Enough! Isn’t there something to leaving it at the waters’ edge, or did that have an expiration date? I didn’t like the crap the left gave Bush, and I don’t like Hannity and others with this “If Obama did it, it must be wrong” approach. I’ll continue to criticize Obama on other issues, but I’m begging my fellow cons to give Obama some leeway here, these arab uprisings are quite unprecedented and we have to feel our way through this. Yes, muslim radicals could use the chaos to their advantage and take over, but at least then we’d have a better target to light up. On the other hand, this could turn out very well for the west and the middle east (as improbable as that is), none of the rebels are chanting “death to Israel, death to America”. Obama has actually handled this as well as anyone can expect, moving with caution, only after getting support from other important players, and very limited engagement with little risk(some, yes, but what’s risk free here?) of being pulled into a ground war. We can’t micro-manage the outcome, but we also can’t sit and watch a massacre by a guy who ok’d the Lockerbie bombing. We should save some of those folks in Benghazi, if only to have them, somewhere down the road, explain to the editors of the NY Times why their grievance was with Qadaffi and not Israel.

    • http://www.bernardgoldberg.com/ Bernard Goldberg

      Good one, Paul. Especially the Hannity reference.

  • EddieD_Boston

    You can’t read and comprehend. If you could you’d be able to understand my point clearly. Obama’s indecisiveness is upsetting the people of the middle-east who are crying out for freedom (notice them burning him if effigy) and has emboldened their corrupt rulers (like Qaddafi Duck).

    Do you actually think Obama is showing leadership? Really? Wow. Are you really Wil Burns?

    And stick your peanut gallery and foaming at the mouth comments in your ear. I’m as smart and as educated as you think you are. Liberals think they’re smarter than everyone else but if you’re mommy let you out of the house after the streetlights went on you would be so clueless.

    What do EJ Dionne, Michael Kinsley and Frank Rich all have in common? My little sister could beat them up.

    • Bob Hadley

      What a post! So much hate, and so little reason.

      First, you say that you’re smarter and more eduated than me. Then, in the next sentence, you accuse liberals of thinking they’re smarter than everyone else. I guess you really are a liberal. Can your little sister also beat you up?

      People in the middle-east have been much more than upset with us for a very long time no matter what we did or didn’t do. That’s not the point. President Obama’s duty is to advance our interests, not theirs. Again, when Qadaffi goes we don’t know what or who will fill the void. Remember the lessons of the Iraq invasion and of building up leaders and regimes who turn on us.

      I don’t think Qadaffi is emboldened. He’s running scared. He has no choice but to strut and thump his chest. Chest thumpers are usually cowards.

      At any rate, foam on. What you say is harmless..

    • Paul Courtney

      Eddie, I’m normally with you and sniping at Hadley, but you gotta stop digging. The folks crying for freedom seem upset mostly with their own gov’t, not Obama or America or (most surprising) Israel. Obama has shown some leadership, getting even the Arab League to be for it (before they were against it). But he’d upset alot of Americans if he just went charging in to take out Qadaffi (ok, duck).Here’s my point- lefties will attack every Republican Pres use of military power even if it makes the world a better place. Obama’s cautious use of limited military action may be the best we can do, and we righties can at least let him play the hand without giving our enemies the pleasure of seeing Americans savaging the President. If we don’t show them how to act, how will they ever know?

      • EddieD_Boston

        I’m not against using our military but words matter too and the people of Yemen (now) and the people of Iran (last year) could have used our president’s support. Reagan helped eastern Europeans during the cold war. “Tear down this wall.”

    • http://www.bernardgoldberg.com/ Bernard Goldberg

      Eddie this is a great line:

      What do EJ Dionne, Michael Kinsley and Frank Rich all have in common? My little sister could beat them up.

      Keep posting yr comments. I enjoy them a lot

      • EddieD_Boston

        Thank you Bernie. It means a lot coming from you. Liberals get under my skin when they talk down to me, and all conservatives, like they’re better and smarter than us.

  • begbie

    Bernie,

    It’s refreshing to read this and know that your are being as fair as you can. My belief is that conservatism…true conservatism….is always honest even when the finger has to be pointed at your friends. Thanks for pointing out this madness on all sides, especially from the right.

    I have liberal friends who gasp whenever I say something critical of George Bush, John Boener, or Eric Cantor. They think I’m trying to trick them or something.

    • http://www.bernardgoldberg.com/ Bernard Goldberg

      Many thanks, begbie

  • Jim

    President Bush did lay out his objectives in his first address to the nation…to “disarm Iraq, to free its people and to defend the world from grave danger.” More details came later, but they violated the UN resolutions and the coalition of 35 countries was going to enforce it.

  • Bruce A.

    Just what are we doing in Libya in the first place? When do we leave? Is there any guarantee that after completing the military action the country will be peaceful or, will a nut take over making things worse than before?

  • Kathie Ampela

    We would be a stronger more united country if pundits on both sides would just be fair in their analysis’ instead of almost always being on a search and destroy mission. Constructive criticism is a good thing. There are those who continually show up on this message board with the sole purpose of destroying those with whom they disagree with. Many have been convinced that bullying is justified if it’s for a good cause. I for one, WANT to believe my president has our best interests at heart..I don’t care about destroying the opposition.

    • http://www.bernardgoldberg.com/ Bernard Goldberg

      Kathie

      THANK YOU!

      Bernie

      • Bob Hadley

        Bernie,

        Yes, K. A.’s post was right-on, as was your article. Part of the problem, I think, is that too many honest, sincere and informed conservatives (and i think most are) do not see serious excesses coming from various prominent conservatives as serious and/or they see these excesses as being reactions to what they see as outrageous excesses coming from liberals. Likewise, too many honest, sincere and informed liberals (and I think most are) do not see serious excesses from various prominent liberals as serious and/or they see these excesses as being reactions to the conservative excesses. I think many are hyper-sensitive to how “the other side” treats them and hypo-sensitive to how they treat “the other side.”

        More conservatives should call-out the hate and hypocrisy among their ranks, especially when this comes from prominent conservatives and even if it means (God forbid!) defending certain liberals. And liberals should call-out liberals–especially prominent ones–who spew hatred and hypocrisy even if it means defending certain conservatives. Without the silent (or the more silent) majorities taking on their own, politics may well grow more and more polarized until there is a break-down of sorts.

        It’s important to distinguish, however, between being hateful and merely being impassioned. Strongly worded and incisive criticism is not necessarily hateful or even hypocritical. Much of the harsh criticism aimed at President G. W. Bush was merely impassioned, was aimed at substantive issues and at Bush’s official actions, and was fact based. Likewise, the same is true about some of the harsh criticisms of President Obama. Although I think the anti-Obama chorus is more shrill, or at least more unified, than the anti-Bush chorus. This speaks more to ability than anything else. And this is a somewhat biased view. And maybe i watch too much FNC….

        I know there’s a fine line between hateful and impassioned. But, hey, there’s a fine line between California and Oregon. Typically, just a bit of thought and honesty will make the difference clear.

        I’m reminded of SOME divorcing parents who are so hell-bent on “winning” and on driving a stake through the heart of their soon-to-be ex’s that they forget about, and often traumatize, their children. Because these parents suck up all the oxygen, they are often wrongly considered representative of divorcing parents. Likewise, hateful and rigid politicos are so hell-bent on “winning” and on trampling over the other side at any cost that they forget about, and damage, the national interest. It’s team politics at its worst.

        Maybe rigid and hateful conservatives and liberals have a Freudian aspect. Maybe they focus on each other’s excesses as a technique of denial–i.e. projection.

        I think one reason for the escalating polarization arises in that most controversial issues are close calls. Compelling cases can usually be made for opposing views. This does not mean that honest, sincere and informed people cannot have strong positions on such controversial issues. But only a dishonest, insincere and/or malinformed person would say that their view is the only reasonable one. Rigid and hateful politicos will try to obscure this by being shrill.

        And, of course, polarization is profitable in these times of the 24 cable “news” cycle and talk radio. Being civil and appropriately nuanced is usually not profitable. Rigid and hateful politicos can be motivated by ideology, by partisanship and/or by money and/or by power.

        Having said that, I can’t resist challenging an aspect of Bernie’s fine article. Before the Iraqi invasion there was a no-fly zone over much of Iraq, designed in large part to protect the Kurds. President Obama led an effort, at least ostensibly, to set up a no-fly zone to protect the insurgents. At the time of the Iraqi invasion, Iraq was stable (albeit because of an iron fist) while Libya is very unstable in a very volatile and dangerous part of the world. It’s possible that candidate Obama would have opposed such an aggressive action in Libya that involved knocking out Libya’s air defenses. I agree that Obama’s statement of constitutional law was so broad that it did not square with the Libya action and does make him hypocritical. But, if the Libya situation was occuring during his candidacy, he may have tailored this remark. Just like candidate Bush (in 2000) spoke strongly against nation building. But, if 9/11 had already occured at that time, he might have been more circumspect.

      • Kathie Ampela

        Your welcome. I have a busy life and not much free time, when I go online I want to learn something and exchange ideas with like minded people. If a liberal TV pundit said somthing on TV that was especially vile and despicable, I would probably go to their website and leave a heated, nasty comment..but I wouldn’t make it a point to keep go back to that pundit’s website over and over again to bully and destroy them..I don’t get anything out of that. I don’t understand the thought process of people who do that. Creating is more satisfying than destroying.

  • EddieD_Boston

    Just one thought…notice that the Lybian leader gave up his chemical weapons about two minutes after we invaded Iraq. But now the nut is being defiant. Do you think it might be that Obama is seen as pathetically weak in the Arab world? They’re laughing at him.

    • Bob Hadley

      Do you think it might be that the nut is defiant because he has no choice that is acceptable to a two-bit dictator (e.g. beg for asylum, beg for mercy, commit suicide)? Do you think the anti-American forces in Iraq were so defiant because they saw President Bush as pathetically weak in the Arab world? You certainly remember the serious trouble American forces had in Iraq in the years before the so-called surge, don’t you? Were they laughing at us (um er, excuse me, at Bush) then?

      You have provided an example of the (non-)thinking that Bernie assailed in his fine article. But, maybe I ‘m being dense. Maybe your post was not serious. Instead, maybe it was intended as subtle irony.

      • EddieD_Boston

        I think you are being dense. The young people of the middle-east are crying out for freedom and our president isn’t interersted in helping them. You haven’t picked up on that? QadaffiDuck isn’t concerned about America because he has picked up on it.

        • Bob Hadley

          You’re changing your story. First. you said that Qadaffi is defiant because President Obama is perceived as pathetically weak and that they’re laughing at him. Now you say that Qadaffi is defiant because he knows that Obama doesn’t care about the “young people of the middle-east crying out for freedom….” Isn’t that what liberals do?

          Anyway, if you think that the insurgency in Libya is fueled by young people who just want freedom, you might very well be dreaming. This “the enemy of our enemy is our friend” posture can be dangerous. Remember, initially the U. S. armed and gave power to Saddam Hussein because he was the enemy of our enemy–Iran. The U. S. also gave the Taliban power because it was the enemy of our enemy–the Soviet Union.

          I don’t think we know the various players in the insurgency. Obama is proceeding with extreme caution, as he should. Maybe he’s a little too cautious, but, if so, not by much.

          Talk is cheap, real cheap, when you’re in the peanut gallery. But when you make vital policy, you must be responsible. That’s one reason why presidents often go back on their campaign rhetoric.

          If Obama did what you indicate he should do, and if things turned out disasterous as a result (as they could), I bet you’d demand Obama’s head on a stake. But, then again, I bet you’d demand his head on a stake no matter what.

          You have the luxury of foaming at the mouth. Responsible leaders do not.