Remember all those things we realized too late that we should have done before engaging Iraq in 2003? John Boehner does, and he’s pretty sure the President doesn’t. From CNN:
House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, sent a letter to Obama Wednesday complaining that “military resources were committed to war without clearly defining for the American people, the Congress, and our troops what the mission in Libya is and what America’s role is in achieving that mission.”
“In fact,” Boehner said, “the limited, sometimes contradictory, case made to the American people by members of your administration has left some fundamental questions about our engagement unanswered.”
Among other things, Boehner asked whether it is acceptable for Gadhafi to remain in power once the military campaign ends.
“If not, how will he be removed from power?” Boehner asked. “Why would the U.S. commit American resources to enforcing a U.N. resolution that is inconsistent with our stated policy goals and national interests?”
Boehner also posed other questions for the president. Since the “stated U.S. policy goal is removing” Gadhafi from power, “do you have an engagement strategy for the opposition forces? If the strife in Libya becomes a protracted conflict, what are your administration’s objectives for engaging with opposition forces, and what standards must a new regime meet to be recognized by our government?” his letter said.
Another piece on CNN.com has John P. Avlon proposing that the Left feels as though the world is experiencing a third Bush term. An interesting excerpt:
An objective assessment of the Obama record on foreign policy shows that he has not been the soft liberal ideologue that conservatives want to run against. An excellent book by my Daily Beast colleague Stephen Carter, “The Violence of Peace,” analyzes Obama’s War Doctrine at length from a legal, but readable, perspective. Carter writes, “On matters of national security, at least, the Oval Office evidently changes the outlook of its occupant far more than the occupant changes the outlook of the Oval Office.”
While Obama has changed the unilateral style of the Bush administration, he’s kept much of the substance. He has drawn down troops in Iraq, as promised. But on many other fronts, he has found that campaign rhetoric often does not square with the responsibilities of governing.
Because many on the left define themselves in opposition to authority, they are historically quick to turn on presidents of their own party for being insufficiently liberal — whether it is Truman’s and Kennedy’s Cold Warrior enthusiasm, LBJ’s escalation of the Vietnam War, Jimmy Carter’s budget cuts or Bill Clinton’s welfare reform.
Frankly, I’m surprised that no one has brought up the fact that Clinton’s 1999 airstrikes in Kosovo were basically lifted directly from Wag the Dog.
2 thoughts on “Does President Obama Need a New Producer?”
If you haven’t seen it, I think you would enjoy the punchline of this clip from the Daily Show on Monday night: http://www.thedailyshow.com/watch/mon-march-21-2011/odyssey-dawn—unconstitutional-war
In seriousness though, I haven’t been following this nearly as closely as I would like to. My understanding was that regime change was *not* a stated objective (though it would certainly be a nice side-effect) of the current operations, and that their purpose was solely to defend current opposition strongholds against heavy weapons. Obviously we are not going to do so in perpetuity, but I do not see direct foreign engagement in an assault on Tripoli as a real possibility. Where the world goes from here will be very interesting indeed.
A headline from a UK paper this week: “Minister admits there is no exit strategy” . No surprise there, then. Nato taking command may allow Obama to visibly take a step back. But if this goes on and on I can see Nato fracturing. Then, in the end, when all is done and whatever happens, huge corporations will be in like slavering hyenas as they pick over the Libyan carcass and pitch for the rebuild contracts.