Saturday, June 25, 2011

Obama's war

The  NATO coalition has been waging a war in Libya since March 19.  Let's look at some statistics. NATO is an organization of 28 states. It's combined annual military budget is more than 1 trillion dollars. The population of all NATO countries is close to 800 million people. On the other side of the conflict - Libya, a country of 6.4 million people and a nominal annual GDP of 74 billion dollars. One day of war costs the US taxpayers 285 million dollars - which is more than Libya's entire GDP. And yet, for more than 3 months, Muamar Kaddafi has been able to withstand an attack by the mightiest military machine in the world - and the current situation can be best described as "quagmire". The "days, not weeks" military campaign turned into a long and bloody affair with no light at the end of the tunnel. When looking at Obama's war, the most relevant quote that comes to mind is Napoleon's maxim - "An army of sheep, led by a lion, is better than an army of lions, led by a sheep". It is quite possible that at some point in the future (maybe eve tomorrow), a lucky missile will kill Kaddafi and bring an end to the conflict. It is also entirely plausible that some random Libyan major will decide to switch sides and bring Kaddafi's head on a platter as a gift to the rebels. Even if something like this happens in the next few weeks, one thing is certain - the entire war is a disgrace to America and its allies.

The failure of Obama's warmongering in Libya is evident to all, and it seems the White House understands that it needs to do something about it (or rather say something uplifting). A "small victorious war" turned up to be neither. Hillary Clinton, the "I am sick and tired of people who say if you disagree with this administration somehow you're not patriotic" dissident suddenly changed her mind. Yesterday the old witch shouted the following:

I say with all respect that the Congress is certainly free to raise any questions or objections, and I’m sure I will hear that tomorrow when I testify.

But the bottom line is, whose side are you on? Are you on Qadhafi’s side or are you on the side of the aspirations of the Libyan people and the international coalition that has been created to support them? For the Obama Administration, the answer to that question is very easy.
In short, you either support Obama's "dumb war", or you support Kaddafi. No "ifs" of "buts", no "Dissent is Patriotic" - it's either you are with us or you are with the mass-murderer. No shades of grey here. How quickly things change. Does she really think that denouncing all critics of Obama's war she can win support of the American people?

What's more surprising to some readers is how the most "cerebral" president of all times, Barack Hussein Obama launched this small victorious war. He is a man known for taking unusually long time before reaching a decision - and he is also known to unmistakably choose the worst possible course of action.

For more than 2 weeks people in Libya were rebelling against Kaddafi, and his regime was on the brink of collapse. While this was going on, Obama was characteristically silent. At some point Kaddafi was able to regroup and pushed the rebels back. When all appeared to be lost for the Libyan revolution, Obama rushed into action and crawled on his knees to UN and the Arab League and begging them to give him permission to intervene. After the UN nabobs were generous enough to give him a nod, Obama sent the NATO bombers against Kaddafi's troops. To confirm once again my initial impression of Obama as a man of unusually feeble mind for someone with a high-school diploma, 2 weeks later he suddenly became very curious about the nature of the Libyan rebels he rushed to support and he sent CIA to investigate them. Apparently, it did not enter his mind to find this out BEFORE he rushed into war.

Even today, no one in his administration can explain whether the rebels are Islamist scum, or they are pro-American freedom fighters. I suppose we will find this out once Kaddafi is ousted - or in the immortal words of Nancy "Dumb ass" Pelosi "We have to pass the bill so that you can find out what is in it."

And here is food for thought - the provinces that rebelled against Kaddafi are known for sending record numbers of recruits to fight the Allies in Iraq. While Kaddafi is certainly a thug worthy of a rope around his neck, it may be that the rebels are even worse. It's rather difficult to discern why Obama decided to support the Islamists in their jihad against Kaddafi - instead of letting these two sides kill each other at will. As Henry Kissinger said about the Iran-Iraq war - "It's a shame both sides cannot lose". And don't forget that even Obama's own Secretary of Defence, Robert Gates stated that Libya posed no threat to the USA whatsoever, and there was no national security issue.

But as far as Obama's behavior goes - it actually gets worse (or better depending on your perspective). For some reason, our president decided to ignore the War Power Acts in its entirety. A few years ago, when asked about Bush's possible attack on the Iranian nuclear facilities (which by all means do constitute a danger to the US security), both Barack Obama and his side-kick Joe Biden were unequivocal. Here is what future vice-president thought in 2007:

I have written an extensive legal memorandum with the help of a group of legal scholars who are sort of a stable of people, the best-known constitutional scholars in America, because for 17 years I was chairman of the Judiciary Committee. I asked them to put together [for] me a draft, which I'm now literally riding between towns editing, that I want to make clear and submit to the United States Senate pointing out the president has no authority to unilaterally attack Iran. And I want to make it clear, I want it on the record, and I want to make it clear, if he does, as chairman of the foreign relations committee and former chair of the judiciary committee, I will move to impeach him."
I can only guess that the same "best-known constitutional scholars" later approved Obama's attack on Libya - and confirmed that Obama did not need the Congressional authorization to continue the war indefinitely - overriding the opinions of career lawyers. Of course, back in 2007, Obama was also unequivocal  about the limits of the president's power:

Question: In what circumstances, if any, would the president have constitutional authority to bomb Iran without seeking a use-of-force authorization from Congress? (Specifically, what about the strategic bombing of suspected nuclear sites -- a situation that does not involve stopping an IMMINENT threat?)

Answer: 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.

As Commander-in-Chief, the President does have a duty to protect and defend the United States. In instances of self-defense, the President would be within his constitutional authority to act before advising Congress or seeking its consent. History has shown us time and again, however, that military action is most successful when it is authorized and supported by the Legislative branch. It is always preferable to have the informed consent of Congress prior to any military action.

It's also amusing to read that back then, Obama even believed that the president had no right to detain American citizens. From the same source:

Question: Does the Constitution permit a president to detain US citizens without charges as unlawful enemy combatants?

Answer: No. I reject the Bush Administration's claim that the President has plenary authority under the Constitution to detain U.S. citizens without charges as unlawful enemy combatants.

Quite ironically, only a few years later, Obama decided that targeted assassination of American citizens is allowed by the US Constitution. If anything, Obama's understanding of the US laws is extremely flexible - in fact one could argue that he does not care a bit about the US Constitution and instead follows the Lenin's principles of "revolutionary conscience". Here is the direct quote from the Soviet Decree from December 5th, 1917:

Местные суды решают дела именем Российской Республики и руководятся в своих решениях и приговорах законами свергнутых правительств лишь постольку, поскольку таковые не отменены революцией и не противоречат революционной совести и революционному правосознанию.
My translation:
Local Courts make legal decisions on behalf of the Russian Republic and in their decisions follow the laws of the previous governments only as long these laws are not abolished by the revolution and do not contradict the revolutionary conscience and revolutionary justice.
Read this decree carefully and think - is there any indication that Obama's legal views are drastically different from those of Lenin? If so, I would like someone to list those differences. I hope my reader keep in mind that Lenin wrote those decrees when he had absolute control of Russia - while Obama's powers are severely limited by the US armed forces, which would not let him launch the Red Terror.

Last but not least I must mention once again Obama's refusal to pursue Congressional resolution supporting the war in Libya. Indeed, he had 3 months to do that - and yet, he demonstrated no desire in convincing the Congress to provide a legal justification for the war against Libya. Indeed, his claims that the war in Libya is not a war (they call it now "kinetic military action") are not taken seriously by anyone. Why is he doing so? The answer to that is rather simple - Obama is and always was a very intellectually lazy man - he simply does not think it's worth his efforts to follow the US Constitution. Why bother with the niceties - when instead he can spend his time with the fundraisers or playing golf?!

Here is just one example of how far he can go ahead and insult our troops just by simply not bothering to check the most important details. I believe a man so intellectually sloppy cannot be smart and educated - it's just not feasible...

During his remarks to troops at Fort Drum today, the President was reminiscing about the times he has spent with the US Army's 10th Mountain Division, when he got something wrong.

"Throughout my service, first as a senator and then as a presidential candidate and then as a President, I’ve always run into you guys. And for some reason it’s always in some rough spots.

First time I saw 10th Mountain Division, you guys were in southern Iraq. When I went back to visit Afghanistan, you guys were the first ones there. I had the great honor of seeing some of you because a comrade of yours, Jared Monti, was the first person who I was able to award the Medal of Honor to who actually came back and wasn’t receiving it posthumously."

The problem is, Jared Monti was killed in action in Afghanistan, on June 21, 2006. He was awarded the Medal of Honor posthumously, September 17, 2009. President Obama handed the framed medal to his parents, Paul and Janet Monti. He and the First Lady comforted them in the Oval Office following the ceremony.
Seriously, if you are going to make a speech and you got the urge to mention the name of a hero - would it really hurt to check his name first? And once you start putting together his other famous gaffes - the 57 American states that he visited, the 3000% decrease in insurance premiums, Austrian language - and compare him with president Bush (can you find anything that Bush said in 8 years of his presidency that was even remotely as embarrassing as what Obama blurted out in the last 2) - it's impossible to believe the media mantra about his super-human mental abilities. In fact, the facts point to something quite different.

But fear not, ladies and gentlemen, in November 2012 American people will get a chance to correct the mistake they made in November 2008. I hope this time they will take the elections seriously. I don't know about you, but I am certainly done with our first Affirmative Action president.

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