Sunday, March 27, 2011

Obama justifying his Libya War, Saturday version

Here's President Obama's justification for going to war with Libya from his weekly Saturday message of 03/26/2011, The Military Mission in Libya. Presumably, his speech Monday night will elaborate on the same themes, justifications, rosy claims and facile optimism. This does illustrate the difference between the preferred liberal Democratic justification for war and the Republican version.



Obama here makes it sound like we've sent a bunch of social workers over to help with a refugee problem or something similar. The fact that it's a war that involves killing people like all wars is politely downplayed. The Republicans make sure to include atrocity stories and to profess concern for the human rights of people in whatever country they want to bomb and invade. But they like to frame it as a testosterone test and as glorious military triumphalism.

As a political matter, that's part of the problem of the way the Obama Administration rolled out this war, pointedly ignoring any obligation to get Congressional approval or the need to go on television and explain to the public why we're getting involved in another risky and destructive war. The Kabuki dance pretending the the US is not going to be in charge of the NATO war, when everyone that's half paid attention knows that we are, is part of the same approach.

In other words, Obama isn't even going to get the publicity boost that Republican Presidents do when they wrap themselves in a flag, or costume themselves in a flight suit, and posture and bluster as the Commander-in-Chief of the Greatest Country in the History of the World. It's another example of Obama's almost bizarre aversion to using a crisis to maximum political advantage. He doesn't even get points for jingoism on this war!

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