Romney Flunks Foreign Policy 101

Barack Obama characterized Mitt Romney’s latest foreign policy gaffe as “shoot first, aim later.”  This is how wars are started:  leaders are clueless about how and what they say.  Mitt Romney got his proverbial 3 AM phone call this week and fumbled it.  The killing of the American Ambassador to Libya and three other embassy personnel had the GOP candidate smirking at the thought he’d scored a point on the president.  Instead of showing calm and concern for those who lost his lives an AP photographer caught him smirking as he walked off the stage.

The fact he got his facts wrong and made a hurried statement which, as president, could have been monstrous, shows he isn’t qualified to be president.  Mitt Romney doesn’t have the temperament, the sense of seriousness or the gravitas to be president.

This follows his recent foreign trip where he proceeded to insult the locals everywhere he traveled.  It began in London when he questioned Great Britain’s preparation for the Olympics.  They went off smoothly.  He then went to other European countries including Poland where a key adviser told the press to kiss his ass.  That’s a real good way to get good press.  Did anyone back home read anything else about the Poland trip except for that?

In Israel he said the Jews success had to with their culture, that they’re good with money.  How many anti-Semitic jokes and tortures have come from that mind set?  Mitt went to three of our staunchest allies and insulted them all.  He thinks war with Iran is a good idea and casino crook Sheldon Adelson is financing much of his campaign to insure such a war.  Adelson’s War is what it will be called as he thinks we should fight and die for Israel.  Israel can fight its own wars.  Americans shouldn’t die on their behalf.

Romney has criticized the ending of Iraq War, one which was started on a pack of lies issued by his own foreign policy advisers during the Bush/Cheney years.  If you like George W. Bush’s foreign policy Mitt Romney is your man.  His reckless mouth should be good for several additional wars.

Chris Stevens’ death was a tragedy.  When the initial White House statement was issued there had been no violence at the consulate.  Romney lied about that fact because he didn’t take time to check his facts before rushing to a microphone to try and gain political advantage.  His smirk after thinking he’d scored a point instead of showing gravitas on a sensitive international situation proves he isn’t up to the job.

Foreign policy has a bad habit of sneaking up on presidents who ran on economic issues.  Our enemies always test a new president to test their mettle.  I shudder to think how badly a President Romney might fail that test.  9/11 was the test of George W. Bush, one he failed miserably.  Hundreds of thousands have died as a result.  We can’t afford a President Romney.

News & Notes October 20, 2011

The Arab Spring reached its culmination today when Moammar Ghaffi was killed in Libya.  Remember when Bush and Cheney warned the country that Democrats couldn’t be trusted to fight terrorists?  Of course Bush used Ghaddafi and his prisons to torture detainees so he obviously didn’t include Libya (Pan Am 103?) in that category.

Josh Shapiro and Leslie Richards launched their first ad for the MontCo Commissioners race yesterday.

Lou Barletta is still getting heat at his town halls.  This is why Republicans stopped holding them and why Barletta tried to keep cameras out of his:

The Republicans have been killing hundreds of thousands of jobs and only producing bills which would further crash the economy.  Their failed policies which caused the recession are the ones Barletta is supporting now and claiming will help.  How stupid does he think we are?

The GOP presidential debate the other night sure was interesting.  Rick Perry can’t follow rules, Mitt Romney is getting called out on his flip flops, Rick Santorum keeps walking out to the extreme and Michele Bachmann is increasingly irrelevant.  Herman Cain, the flavor of the moment, was called a Brother by someone who hunted at a place called Niggerhead, and the 9-9-9 tax plan completely debunked.

If this is the best they can do Obama should feel pretty safe.

Cain has been caught using campaign money to buy his own books from his own company.  Nothing like enriching yourself through campaign contributions to indicate the sort of corruption a Cain Administration could produce…

Sen. Casey’s staff looks bad this week after denying he bundled contributions for Obama’s re-election campaign when he did.

Cabot Energy wants to stop delivering water to people in Dimock whose wells they polluted.  Meanwhile they want to resume drilling there.  It will be very, very interesting to see how DEP and Gov. Corbett handle this…  DEP has already said they can stop delivering the water.

I predicted a year ago that bank fraud in foreclosures might jeopardize ownership for those buying foreclosed homes.  That is now becoming reality.  When bankers used forged documents, refused to legally file mortgage papers as the loans were sold, etc. they created a vast mess.  Estimates also are saying almost 450,000 bank owned homes remain on the sidelines, still not listed for sale for fear of thoroughly crashing home prices.

Isn’t it funny that conservative commentators are saying OWS protesters are on welfare when the truth is that it is the Wall Street banks which are.  Trillions of our dollars have been spent bailing them out and buying their worthless paper but we’re the bums?

President to Tap Oil Reserve

President Obama will tap the nation’s Strategic Petroleum Reserve for 30 million barrels of light sweet crude to help plug a huge hole in oil supplies caused by unrest in Libya.  Thus far 140 billion barrels have been lost since unrest in that northern African nation began.  The result has been steeply higher prices for gasoline.  A total of 60 million barrels will be released onto the market by members of the IEA with the U.S. providing half that amount.  Also Saudi Arabia has agreed to increase its production by 1.5 million barrels per day.

The Libyan oil was light sweet crude and Saudi petroleum tends to be sourer so Obama has decided to release light sweet crude according to senior Administration officials who just conducted a conference call on the matter.  The 30 million barrels constitute less than 5% of the country’s strategic petroleum reserve and will be sold at auction with the oil required to remain in the U.S.

The timing is interesting since gas prices are beginning to fall.  In my area the price for regular has fallen from $3.95/gallon to about $3.55.  The summer driving season is upon us though and the Administration expects higher demand in the next two months.  There was considerable pressure on the White House to release crude oil to relieve supply issues several months ago but they resisted.  Now as prices at the pump are slackening they are releasing oil.  

Considering the massive 140 billion gallon shortfall even 60 million barrels and the increased Saudi production don’t appear to be much more than drops in the bucket.  Until stability returns to Libya and the foreign oil workers feel safe enough to return international oil markets will continue to be in turmoil.  This, of course, is why American forces are supporting NATO in attacks against the Libyan government.  It’s all about the oil as usual.  One note regarding the waging of war without Congressional authorization:  one doesn’t need “boots on the ground” to wage war.  Many acts of war, including cyber attacks, space based weapon systems and aircraft require no actual soldiers on the ground in the theater.  They remain an acts of war however.

Obama Defends Libyan Military Action

The White House began issuing press releases to the media yesterday regarding its continued military actions against Libya.  According tot he War Powers Act passed by Congress following the disastrous Vietnam War the President must get permission from Congress to conduct a war after 60 days.  The war against Libya, though being coordinated by NATO is past that date.  Since American forces are engaged in acts of war versus Libya this makes those illegal.

Of course the entire War Powers Act is unconstitutional since the law of the land decrees that only Congress can declare war.  That body emasculated itself by ceding this ultimate authority with passage of the War Powers Act.  It was followed by many more such acts of neutering since and now the Office of the President assumes (this was done by George W. Bush primarily) it can do whatever it wishes with unabridged powers due the Commander in Chief.  The constitution says otherwise and until it is amended remains the supreme law of the land.  That makes Obama’s Libyan effort an impeachable offense.

News & Notes June 1, 2011

U.S. military intervention in Libya has been illegal now for more than a week because the 60 day War Powers Act authorization expired.  President Obama didn’t even ask Congress for express permission to continue operations in that theater until after the 60 days.  

Texas Gov. Rick Perry is rumored to be considering joing the GOP presidential field because he thinks all the current crop is saddled with serious baggage.  Hmmm, like embracing secessionism?

Congresswoman Hochul was sworn in today to represent New York’s 26th District.

In Wisconsin recall elections will be held against six Tea Party State Senators.  They illegally voted to remove collective bargaining rights from state workers.

In various LGBT news President Obama recognized June as Gay Pride month and the San Francisco Giants released a “It Gets Better” video:

Illinois became the eleventh state to authorize civil unions.

New York’s Attorney General is suing the federal government over shale drilling:

The federal government should conduct a full environmental review that weighs potential damage to the welfare of people in the Delaware River watershed and the drinking water quality for millions of New Yorkers before allowing natural gas drilling in the region, the state’s attorney general said in a federal lawsuit filed Tuesday.

A domestic terrorist was arrested in Wisconsin for trying to assassinate a Planned parenthood doctor in Madison.

A private citizen running around in a bus has been dangling the media like puppets and they insist on playing along.  I won’t fall for her tricks and give her any publicity.  The moronic former Governor known for her sinister vengeful streak visited Philadelphia and Gettysburg.  She isn’t the first secessionist to leave that town a loser.

NJ Gov. Chris Christie used a $12 million state helicopter to fly to Bergen County (my birthplace) so he could watch five innings of his son’s baseball game.  A limo drove him the 100 yards from the copter to the field.  Is it just me or do others think the exercise might have done him good?

The Obama Administration is getting tough on health insurance executives whose decisions on Medicare and Medicaid patients flouts the law.  They’re going after them personally not just the companies.  

Now, on top of fines paid by a company, senior executives can face criminal charges even if they weren’t involved in the scheme but could have stopped it had they known. Furthermore, they can also be banned from doing business with government health programs, a career-ending consequence.

Rep. Anthony Weiner won’t answer queries about a lewd picture Tweeted to a college student.  He claims someone hacked his account as a prank.  Andrew Breitbart is attempting to slander him by publishing the underwear picture though it is obvious it was a hack job.  The Congressman could end all of the media hype simply by answering the simple questions.  Not doing so makes him appear guilty.

Isn’t it hypocrisy when Tea Party people keep clinging to the constitution then turning around and trashing it?  Sen. Rand Paul complained bitterly, correctly, about the civil liberty infringements authorized by the USA PATRIOT Act then turned around and claimed Americans shouldn’t have their First Amendment right to free assembly and free speech:

PAUL: I’m not for profiling people on the color of their skin, or on their religion, but I would take into account where they’ve been traveling and perhaps, you might have to indirectly take into account whether or not they’ve been going to radical political speeches by religious leaders. It wouldn’t be that they are Islamic. But if someone is attending speeches from someone who is promoting the violent overthrow of our government, that’s really an offense that we should be going after – they should be deported or put in prison.

What is it tea baggers, do you support the entire constitution or merely parts?

The Center For American Progress has an excellent list of Pentagon items ripe for elimination.  If we’re going to slash spending everyone has to bear the brunt:

While we must always adequately fund the military and honor our servicemen and women, Congress can save up to $1.4 trillion over the next 12 years by eliminating overbudget and unnecessary defense programs, revamping military health care, and consolidating and capping spending across the Departments of Defense, Homeland Security, and State. None of these actions will compromise national security.

In a new CNN poll 58% of Americans don’t agree with the Ryan Plan to dismantle Medicare.

“Half of those we questioned say that the country would be worse off under the GOP Medicare proposals and 56 percent think that GOP plan would be bad for the elderly,” says CNN Polling Director Keating Holland. “Opposition is highest among senior citizens, at 74 percent, suggesting that seniors are most worried about changes to Medicare even if those changes are presented as ones that would not affect existing Medicare recipients.”

Libya Escalation

President Obama escalated American intervention in Libya this week giving $25 million worth of equipment and then sending Predator drones in to support the rebels.  The first drone attack happened overnight.  Meanwhile Sen. John McCain who has never seen a Muslim he didn’t want to kill, traveled to Benghazi.  Why?  Isn’t Arizona dangerous enough?

The new moves against Ghaddaffi go well beyond the UN mandate and continue a disturbing pattern of escalation since the struggle there began.  Interestingly 73 Syrian citizens were gunned by Assad yesterday but I see no cry to go into that country “to protect the civilian population.”  Of course Syria doesn’t have oil.  Funny how this works…

Libya: Sinking Deeper Into the Quagmire

Libya is quickly becoming a quagmire.  First the mission was to create a no fly zone so Col. Ghaddafi couldn’t slaughter his own people.  That quickly became an air assault campaign against his ground forces.  The we bombarded his seaport to prevent his naval forces from coming after ours.  Then we had to protect aid coming into the country in support of the rebel forces.

We do not even know who these rebels are or what they would create in a post Ghaddafi Libya.  Let’s review for a moment where things were before the advent of the Arab Awakening.  The World’s Ugliest Man was cornered in his desert kingdom, ostracized from the world, pumping oil and enjoying having his best terrorist buddy beside him after snookering Great Britain into releasing him.  No more nuclear program, no longer a threat to anyone else, Ghaddafi had been defanged.

President Obama promised there wouldn’t be any “boots on the ground” in Libya.  I suppose that meant we wouldn’t invade.  Invade with what?  George W. Bush broke our Army in Iraq and they’re too busy killing Afghan civilians and posing with the bodies.  Now we hear CIA operatives are in Libya.  This was inevitable.  How would we learn who the rebels are and their intentions, how would we discover where those million dollar babies fired from the Med need to go without boots on the ground?  I’d be willing to bet there are also Special Forces in Libya.  How do we drop laser guided bombs without laser sights projected on the targets?

The inevitable escalation will arrive sooner rather than later.  This war escalated from the first day the UN resolution passed.  Meanwhile we sink deeper and deeper into a desert quagmire entirely of Obama’s choosing.  At some point an American will be killed or captured and the nation will demand retribution.  There is no thirstier appetite for blood than here in America.

President Obama Addresses Libyan Situation

Ten days after initiating military action against Libya the President finally addressed the American people as to why he launched air attacks against the regime of Moammar Ghaddaffi.  I swore that if I’d closed my eyes and inserted a few references to 9/11 it could’ve been George W. Bush reciting the words.  I heard no clear mission and no exit strategy.  There was no explanation about the threat posed to our economy by the spike in oil prices or the fact that the cutoff of Libyan oil was a factor in his decision.

Yes, the atrocities against the people of Libya by their leader are horrible but so are the austerity cutbacks here at home.  With millions more Americans falling into poverty each year, millions being forced out of their homes and one in four going hungry the threat at home is also dire.   Americans must come before foreigners no matter how horrible their plight.  The war on middle and lower class Americans is as horrible as that waged by Ghaddaffi.  The banking sector centered on wall Street is as ruthless as any in the world in the misery it is inflicting on us and it, too, must be addressed.  I don’t see Barack Obama instigating any of his vaunted Change in that regard.  Too much of our own repressive foreign policies have been continued and even escalated under this so called agent of change.  Too much hasn’t changed in America yet here we go on another ill fated war costing billions.

The text of the President’s speech:

The President’s Address to the Nation on Libya – As Prepared for Delivery

National Defense University

Washington, DC

March 28, 2011

As Prepared for Delivery-

Good evening. Tonight, I’d like to update the American people on the international effort that we have led in Libya – what we have done, what we plan to do, and why this matters to us.

I want to begin by paying tribute to our men and women in uniform who, once again, have acted with courage, professionalism and patriotism. They have moved with incredible speed and strength. Because of them and our dedicated diplomats, a coalition has been forged and countless lives have been saved. Meanwhile, as we speak, our troops are supporting our ally Japan, leaving Iraq to its people, stopping the Taliban’s momentum in Afghanistan, and going after al Qaeda around the globe. As Commander-in-Chief, I am grateful to our Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines, Coast Guardsmen, and their families, as are all Americans.

For generations, the United States of America has played a unique role as an anchor of global security and advocate for human freedom. Mindful of the risks and costs of military action, we are naturally reluctant to use force to solve the world’s many challenges. But when our interests and values are at stake, we have a responsibility to act. That is what happened in Libya over the course of these last six weeks.

Libya sits directly between Tunisia and Egypt – two nations that inspired the world when their people rose up to take control of their own destiny. For more than four decades, the Libyan people have been ruled by a tyrant – Moammar Gaddafi. He has denied his people freedom, exploited their wealth, murdered opponents at home and abroad, and terrorized innocent people around the world – including Americans who were killed by Libyan agents.

Last month, Gaddafi’s grip of fear appeared to give way to the promise of freedom. In cities and towns across the country, Libyans took to the streets to claim their basic human rights. As one Libyan said, “For the first time we finally have hope that our nightmare of 40 years will soon be over.”

Faced with this opposition, Gaddafi began attacking his people.  As President, my immediate concern was the safety of our citizens, so we evacuated our Embassy and all Americans who sought our assistance. We then took a series of swift steps in a matter of days to answer Gaddafi’s aggression.  We froze more than $33 billion of the Gaddafi regime’s assets. Joining with other nations at the United Nations Security Council, we broadened our sanctions, imposed an arms embargo, and enabled Gaddafi and those around him to be held accountable for their crimes. I made it clear that Gaddafi had lost the confidence of his people and the legitimacy to lead, and I said that he needed to step down from power.

continued after the break…

In the face of the world’s condemnation, Gaddafi chose to escalate his attacks, launching a military campaign against the Libyan people. Innocent people were targeted for killing. Hospitals and ambulances were attacked. Journalists were arrested, sexually assaulted, and killed. Supplies of food and fuel were choked off. The water for hundreds of thousands of people in Misratah was shut off. Cities and towns were shelled, mosques destroyed, and apartment buildings reduced to rubble. Military jets and helicopter gunships were unleashed upon people who had no means to defend themselves against assault from the air.

Confronted by this brutal repression and a looming humanitarian crisis, I ordered warships into the Mediterranean. European allies declared their willingness to commit resources to stop the killing. The Libyan opposition, and the Arab League, appealed to the world to save lives in Libya. At my direction, America led an effort with our allies at the United Nations Security Council to pass an historic Resolution that authorized a No Fly Zone to stop the regime’s attacks from the air, and further authorized all necessary measures to protect the Libyan people.

Ten days ago, having tried to end the violence without using force, the international community offered Gaddafi a final chance to stop his campaign of killing, or face the consequences. Rather than stand down, his forces continued their advance, bearing down on the city of Benghazi, home to nearly 700,000 men, women and children who sought their freedom from fear.

At this point, the United States and the world faced a choice. Gaddafi declared that he would show “no mercy” to his own people. He compared them to rats, and threatened to go door to door to inflict punishment. In the past, we had seen him hang civilians in the streets, and kill over a thousand people in a single day. Now, we saw regime forces on the outskirts of the city. We knew that if we waited one more day, Benghazi – a city nearly the size of Charlotte – could suffer a massacre that would have reverberated across the region and stained the conscience of the world.

It was not in our national interest to let that happen. I refused to let that happen. And so nine days ago, after consulting the bipartisan leadership of Congress, I authorized military action to stop the killing and enforce UN Security Council Resolution 1973. We struck regime forces approaching Benghazi to save that city and the people within it. We hit Gaddafi’s troops in neighboring Ajdabiya, allowing the opposition to drive them out. We hit his air defenses, which paved the way for a No Fly Zone. We targeted tanks and military assets that had been choking off towns and cities and we cut off much of their source of supply. And tonight, I can report that we have stopped Gaddafi’s deadly advance.

In this effort, the United States has not acted alone. Instead, we have been joined by a strong and growing coalition. This includes our closest allies – nations like the United Kingdom, France, Canada, Denmark, Norway, Italy, Spain, Greece, and Turkey – all of whom have fought by our side for decades. And it includes Arab partners like Qatar and the United Arab Emirates, who have chosen to meet their responsibility to defend the Libyan people.

To summarize, then: in just one month, the United States has worked with our international partners to mobilize a broad coalition, secure an international mandate to protect civilians, stop an advancing army, prevent a massacre, and establish a No Fly Zone with our allies and partners. To lend some perspective on how rapidly this military and diplomatic response came together, when people were being brutalized in Bosnia in the 1990s, it took the international community more than a year to intervene with air power to protect civilians.

Moreover, we have accomplished these objectives consistent with the pledge that I made to the American people at the outset of our military operations. I said that America’s role would be limited; that we would not put ground troops into Libya; that we would focus our unique capabilities on the front end of the operation, and that we would transfer responsibility to our allies and partners. Tonight, we are fulfilling that pledge.

Our most effective alliance, NATO, has taken command of the enforcement of the arms embargo and No Fly Zone. Last night, NATO decided to take on the additional responsibility of protecting Libyan civilians. This transfer from the United States to NATO will take place on Wednesday. Going forward, the lead in enforcing the No Fly Zone and protecting civilians on the ground will transition to our allies and partners, and I am fully confident that our coalition will keep the pressure on Gaddafi’s remaining forces. In that effort, the United States will play a supporting role – including intelligence, logistical support, search and rescue assistance, and capabilities to jam regime communications. Because of this transition to a broader, NATO-based coalition, the risk and cost of this operation – to our military, and to American taxpayers – will be reduced significantly.

So for those who doubted our capacity to carry out this operation, I want to be clear: the United States of America has done what we said we would do.

That is not to say that our work is complete. In addition to our NATO responsibilities, we will work with the international community to provide assistance to the people of Libya, who need food for the hungry and medical care for the wounded. We will safeguard the more than $33 billion that was frozen from the Gaddafi regime so that it is available to rebuild Libya. After all, this money does not belong to Gaddafi or to us – it belongs to the Libyan people, and we will make sure they receive it.

Tomorrow, Secretary Clinton will go to London, where she will meet with the Libyan opposition and consult with more than thirty nations. These discussions will focus on what kind of political effort is necessary to pressure Gaddafi, while also supporting a transition to the future that the Libyan people deserve. Because while our military mission is narrowly focused on saving lives, we continue to pursue the broader goal of a Libya that belongs not to a dictator, but to its people.

Despite the success of our efforts over the past week, I know that some Americans continue to have questions about our efforts in Libya. Gaddafi has not yet stepped down from power, and until he does, Libya will remain dangerous. Moreover, even after Gaddafi does leave power, forty years of tyranny has left Libya fractured and without strong civil institutions. The transition to a legitimate government that is responsive to the Libyan people will be a difficult task. And while the United States will do our part to help, it will be a task for the international community, and – more importantly – a task for the Libyan people themselves.

In fact, much of the debate in Washington has put forward a false choice when it comes to Libya. On the one hand, some question why America should intervene at all – even in limited ways – in this distant land. They argue that there are many places in the world where innocent civilians face brutal violence at the hands of their government, and America should not be expected to police the world, particularly when we have so many pressing concerns here at home.

It is true that America cannot use our military wherever repression occurs. And given the costs and risks of intervention, we must always measure our interests against the need for action. But that cannot be an argument for never acting on behalf of what’s right. In this particular country – Libya; at this particular moment, we were faced with the prospect of violence on a horrific scale. We had a unique ability to stop that violence: an international mandate for action, a broad coalition prepared to join us, the support of Arab countries, and a plea for help from the Libyan people themselves. We also had the ability to stop Gaddafi’s forces in their tracks without putting American troops on the ground.

To brush aside America’s responsibility as a leader and – more profoundly – our responsibilities to our fellow human beings under such circumstances would have been a betrayal of who we are. Some nations may be able to turn a blind eye to atrocities in other countries. The United States of America is different. And as President, I refused to wait for the images of slaughter and mass graves before taking action.

Moreover, America has an important strategic interest in preventing Gaddafi from overrunning those who oppose him. A massacre would have driven thousands of additional refugees across Libya’s borders, putting enormous strains on the peaceful – yet fragile – transitions in Egypt and Tunisia. The democratic impulses that are dawning across the region would be eclipsed by the darkest form of dictatorship, as repressive leaders concluded that violence is the best strategy to cling to power. The writ of the UN Security Council would have been shown to be little more than empty words, crippling its future credibility to uphold global peace and security. So while I will never minimize the costs involved in military action, I am convinced that a failure to act in Libya would have carried a far greater price for America.

Now, just as there are those who have argued against intervention in Libya, there are others who have suggested that we broaden our military mission beyond the task of protecting the Libyan people, and do whatever it takes to bring down Gaddafi and usher in a new government.

Of course, there is no question that Libya – and the world – will be better off with Gaddafi out of power. I, along with many other world leaders, have embraced that goal, and will actively pursue it through non-military means. But broadening our military mission to include regime change would be a mistake.

The task that I assigned our forces – to protect the Libyan people from immediate danger, and to establish a No Fly Zone – carries with it a UN mandate and international support. It is also what the Libyan opposition asked us to do.  If we tried to overthrow Gaddafi by force, our coalition would splinter. We would likely have to put U.S. troops on the ground, or risk killing many civilians from the air. The dangers faced by our men and women in uniform would be far greater. So would the costs, and our share of the responsibility for what comes next.

To be blunt, we went down that road in Iraq. Thanks to the extraordinary sacrifices of our troops and the determination of our diplomats, we are hopeful about Iraq’s future. But regime change there took eight years, thousands of American and Iraqi lives, and nearly a trillion dollars. That is not something we can afford to repeat in Libya.

As the bulk of our military effort ratchets down, what we can do – and will do – is support the aspirations of the Libyan people. We have intervened to stop a massacre, and we will work with our allies and partners as they’re in the lead to maintain the safety of civilians. We will deny the regime arms, cut off its supply of cash, assist the opposition, and work with other nations to hasten the day when Gaddafi leaves power. It may not happen overnight, as a badly weakened Gaddafi tries desperately to hang on to power. But it should be clear to those around Gadaffi, and to every Libyan, that history is not on his side. With the time and space that we have provided for the Libyan people, they will be able to determine their own destiny, and that is how it should be.

Let me close by addressing what this action says about the use of America’s military power, and America’s broader leadership in the world, under my presidency.

As Commander-in-Chief, I have no greater responsibility than keeping this country safe. And no decision weighs on me more than when to deploy our men and women in uniform. I have made it clear that I will never hesitate to use our military swiftly, decisively, and unilaterally when necessary to defend our people, our homeland, our allies, and our core interests. That is why we are going after al Qaeda wherever they seek a foothold. That is why we continue to fight in Afghanistan, even as we have ended our combat mission in Iraq and removed more than 100,000 troops from that country.

There will be times, though, when our safety is not directly threatened, but our interests and values are. Sometimes, the course of history poses challenges that threaten our common humanity and common security – responding to natural disasters, for example; or preventing genocide and keeping the peace; ensuring regional security, and maintaining the flow of commerce. These may not be America’s problems alone, but they are important to us, and they are problems worth solving. And in these circumstances, we know that the United States, as the world’s most powerful nation, will often be called upon to help.

In such cases, we should not be afraid to act – but the burden of action should not be America’s alone. As we have in Libya, our task is instead to mobilize the international community for collective action. Because contrary to the claims of some, American leadership is not simply a matter of going it alone and bearing all of the burden ourselves. Real leadership creates the conditions and coalitions for others to step up as well; to work with allies and partners so that they bear their share of the burden and pay their share of the costs; and to see that the principles of justice and human dignity are upheld by all.

That’s the kind of leadership we have shown in Libya. Of course, even when we act as part of a coalition, the risks of any military action will be high. Those risks were realized when one of our planes malfunctioned over Libya. Yet when one of our airmen parachuted to the ground, in a country whose leader has so often demonized the United States – in a region that has such a difficult history with our country – this American did not find enemies. Instead, he was met by people who embraced him. One young Libyan who came to his aid said, “We are your friends. We are so grateful to these men who are protecting the skies.”

This voice is just one of many in a region where a new generation is refusing to be denied their rights and opportunities any longer. Yes, this change will make the world more complicated for a time. Progress will be uneven, and change will come differently in different countries. There are places, like Egypt, where this change will inspire us and raise our hopes. And there will be places, like Iran, where change is fiercely suppressed. The dark forces of civil conflict and sectarian war will have to be averted, and difficult political and economic concerns addressed.

The United States will not be able to dictate the pace and scope of this change. Only the people of the region can do that. But we can make a difference. I believe that this movement of change cannot be turned back, and that we must stand alongside those who believe in the same core principles that have guided us through many storms: our opposition to violence directed against one’s own citizens; our support for a set of universal rights, including the freedom for people to express themselves and choose their leaders; our support for governments that are ultimately responsive to the aspirations of the people.

Born, as we are, out of a revolution by those who longed to be free, we welcome the fact that history is on the move in the Middle East and North Africa, and that young people are leading the way. Because wherever people long to be free, they will find a friend in the United States. Ultimately, it is that faith – those ideals – that are the true measure of American leadership.

My fellow Americans, I know that at a time of upheaval overseas – when the news is filled with conflict and change – it can be tempting to turn away from the world. And as I have said before, our strength abroad is anchored in our strength at home. That must always be our North Star – the ability of our people to reach their potential, to make wise choices with our resources, to enlarge the prosperity that serves as a wellspring of our power, and to live the values that we hold so dear.

But let us also remember that for generations, we have done the hard work of protecting our own people, as well as millions around the globe. We have done so because we know that our own future is safer and brighter if more of mankind can live with the bright light of freedom and dignity. Tonight, let us give thanks for the Americans who are serving through these trying times, and the coalition that is carrying our effort forward; and let us look to the future with confidence and hope not only for our own country, but for all those yearning for freedom around the world. Thank you, God Bless you, and may God Bless the United States of America.

 

The Assault on Libya

The television media are again piling on as we attack yet another Muslim nation.  Defense “experts” are all over the screen telling us why we have to get involved in someone else’s civil war.  There’s nothing stupider or more dangerous (look up “Vietnam”) than getting involved in someone else’s war.

110 cruise missiles were launched against The World’s Ugliest Man” from three destroyers and three subs yesterday then last night three Stealth bombers dropped 40 bombs on Libya.  Someone likes the number three.  Ironically this makes three wars we are now into.

We’re firing teachers, silencing NPR, defunding Planned Parenthood and cutting off money for the EPA then turn around and spend $100 million to get Col. Ghaddafi all pissed off at us yet again.  If we have enough money for foolish errands we have enough for everything else.  I say we slash $350 billion from the Pentagon budget first, end the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, defund faith based initiatives, abstinence only education, and cut off all funds for the News Corporation (all Fox papers and affiliates).  That’ll save some cash.

News Updates

There is now a danger of a full core meltdown at Fukushima.  It is obvious the U.S. is using spy satellite images to see what is happening on site in Japan.  One spent fuel rod pond has no water whatsoever in it so the uranium is not being cooled at all.  This is far more dangerous than anyone in Japan is telling us.  So much for honor…

The UN passed a Security Council resolution tonight basically declaring war on Libya.  It gives carte blanche to stop a dictator who is already close to crushing the rebels.  Worse it will drag us into yet another unwinnable war in a Muslim nation.  Will we ever learn?

Tom Corbett created a Marcellus Shale Commission on which he appointed 13 industry executives.  I’m getting a little gas from this announcement and I’m afraid it isn’t going to pass.