Sunday, October 23, 2011

News Watch

Sunday is laundry day. And when you have as much dirty laundry as Barack Obama, that means you not only need effective whitewashing, but also a vigorous spin cycle.

And so it is that the president, his staff, and his media lapdogs are all busily trying to erase our memories of what actually occurred in Libya over the past months, and replace it with a "new and improved" truth which is, well, not the truth at all.

Which is why Hope n' Change presents the following chronological retrospective of "Obama's War" in Libya, with links to contemporaneous stories and our past cartoons.

Lest we forget...

2008 - Claiming their mission is to shore up America's failing economy, the Federal Reserve secretly loans massive amounts of money to a Libyan bank owned by one of our stalwart allies: Muammar Gaddafi.

August 14, 2009 - The Whitehouse secretly sends a special top-level delegation to Libya to meet with Muammar Gaddafi to discuss what a great guy he is, and to celebrate our marvelous friendship. Representing the president are John McCain, Joe Lieberman, Susan Collins, and Senate Armed Services Committee Staffer Richard Fontaine. At the meeting, John McCain promises to help Gaddafi get military aid from the U.S. because he is such a great ally against terror .

Gaddafi, who commonly heaped praise on Barack Obama, "made a point of expressing his satisfaction with the improved U.S. relationship and his hope that the relationship would continue to flourish."

Sept 7, 2009
- The Lockerbie bomber, who killed 270 innocent people when he blew up Pan Am flight 103, is returned to Libya and receives a hero's welcome from Muammar Gaddafi. Obama publicly criticizes England's decision to release the bomber, and then is scolded by the British because he knew all about the deal before it happened and had no objections to it.

February, 2011 - Libyan rebels begin a credible movement to throw out Gaddafi. Barack Obama is already stinging from criticism of his unwillingness to lend aid (or even encouragement) to previous such rebellions in Iran and Egypt. But he shows disinterest in Libya's increasing bloodshed and explains that he "does not like to meddle."

March 2, 2011 - As Libyan rebels are increasingly decimated by Muammar Gaddafi, Barack Obama refuses to condemn the dictator in public, but speaks to him via phone.

Obama's "go to" arbiters of right and wrong, the U.N., having recently put Libya on their Human Rights Council, decide to temporarily postpone a report which praises Libya's dedication to human rights.

March 7, 2011 - Alarmed by the slaughter in Libya, England contemplates establishing a "no fly zone" over the embattled country. Meanwhile Barack Obama goes golfing for the 60th time since being elected.

March 18, 2011 - With Libya's rebels all but defeated, Barack Obama sees that his reluctance to become involved (yet again) is going to become a political liability. He therefore says that the U.S. will join NATO in stabilizing things and providing humanitarian aid to Libya, and our involvement will be "days, not weeks."
Obama says the U.S. mission is limited to creating a "no fly" zone. That's it. period.

March 21, 2011 - Barack Obama surprisingly authorizes a humanitarian cruise-missile attack on Libya, but won't answer questions about it because he's got a really, really important trip to sun-drenched Rio de Janeiro to meet with schoolkids and talk about soccer. Navy Admiral Mullen makes clear that the United States' mission is "not about seeing Gaddafi go."

March 22, 2011- Arab States in Obama's "international coalition" protest the president's unexpected use of cruise missiles, saying that they'd joined the coalition only after being told the mission would consist only of jamming Libya's radar.

March 24, 2011 - After having forced NATO to back up his cruise missile attack on Libya, Obama suddenly pulls back U.S. involvement, leaving Germany, France, and England asking "what the hell are we doing here?!" Meanwhile, our Secretary of Defense says that things are confusing because "we've never done something like this kind of on-the-fly before."

March 26, 2011 - Accused of starting a war without consulting Congress, Barack Obama denies that there is a war, and asserts that sending cruise missiles into another country is simply "kinetic military action" which needs no more authorization than sending a Hallmark birthday card.

March 27, 2011 - Disconcertingly, it is revealed that the rebel group in Libya that Obama is supporting with our cruise missiles contains members of Al Qaeda.

March 30, 2011 - Barack Obama continues delivering kinetic humanitarian aid to Libya. Defense Secretary Robert Gates confirms that the US has "no vital interest" there.

April 26, 2011 - With oil-rich Libya thoroughly destabilized and unrest in the Mid-East reaching panic levels, the cost of gasoline skyrockets. Barack Obama explains the resulting price increases are due solely to greedy American oil companies and speculators.

May 2, 2011 - A Whitehouse spokesperson says Obama's dumbfounding lack of direction and failure to define our military objectives in Libya are really a new phenomenon called "leading from behind." Which means exactly the same thing as "covering your ass."

May 7, 2011 - After a Libyan school for children with Down syndrome is blown to smithereens, a Whitehouse spokesman says reporters should ask NATO what's going on, as the president has no idea.

May 23, 2011 - Congress, tired of getting no answers from Obama, demands that he explain himself under the provisions of the War Powers Act. Obama tells them to piss up a rope, claiming there is no war in Libya.

June 16, 2011 - Congress, still waiting for an explanation, is told by Obama's legal team that he doesn't have to answer to the War Powers Act because it's not war if the enemy is "unable to exchange meaningful fire with our forces." By which token, the attack on Pearl Harbor apparently wasn't war either.

July 4, 2011 - Barack Obama claims that U.S. involvement in Libya is now limited exclusively to providing intelligence, surveillance, and refuelling missions.

August, September, October - The American news media and Obama administration decide that the Libyan non-war that we're not involved in is no longer of any particular interest and stops speaking about it altogether, deciding that it's entirely NATO's headache. Instead, Obama furrows his brow and tells Republicans that "it's time to eat our peas" and raise the debt ceiling astronomically again. This kicks off Obama's big Class War initiative, which his legal team explains is not war because those being attacked "are unable to exchange meaningful fire."

October 20, 2011 - An outcast Muammar Gaddafi is captured by Libyan troops on the ground, brutally beaten, shot multiple times, driven around on the hood of a car as a trophy, then dumped in a walk-in freezer so Libyans can enjoy the sight of his bloody, mangled corpse (which, disturbingly, gives Hillary Clinton the giggles.)

Back in Washington, Barack Obama - the man who wouldn't talk about Libya - struts to a podium in the Whitehouse Rose Garden, elbows Nato and the Libyan rebels aside, and announces that Gaddafi's death vindicates his strategy and shows the strength of American leadership.

Mainstream media cheers Obama's extreme manliness and opines that his "foreign policy strength" should make his re-election a shoo-in.

Historic meeting between an evil, lying dictator...and Gaddafi.


Anonymous said...

Isn't the argument that it isn't a war because they can't return meaningful fire a bit of a stupid defense? If it were a war, then the responsibility for casualties could be reasonably suspended under normal circumstances... but if there is no war then each death should be counted as an act of willful murder.
With that kind of a defense, it's basically stating that he should be tried and executed for mass murder rather than merely impeached for breach of his responsibilities.

Coon Tasty said...

So, the Blitzkrieg was in fact NOT an act of war, because the Poles were not "able to exchange meaningful fire"?

How the HELL is Obama still in power? How is it that the people of the USA have not openly rebelled against this Administration of corrupt scum and liars? Why is the military openly allying themselves with him?

DavidD said...

I hope nobody misses this Sunday "news dump" by failing to scroll down after reading tomorrow's regular cartoon.

When is Hope n' Change going off its summer schedule, anyway?

Nice time capsule, by the way; good to see that someone is paying attention.

John the Econ said...

The only war Barack Obama has ever been fully interested in conducting is the class war against free Americans. Anything else is but a distraction.

Sorry, the Democrats and media sycophants can celebrate all they want, but at long as unemployment is >9% and inflation continues to lower the standard of living of those still employed even further, nobody is going to care about this glorious victory in a place most American's can't even locate on a map come election day. Remember, George Bush (41) had romped Iraq in Desert Storm, and yet a year later we voted for Bill Clinton over a comparatively robust economic recovery with 7% unemployment and 2% to 3% growth; stats that most would kill for today.

FlyBoy said...

Note to Coon Tasty: Unfortunately, most senior officers in the Armed Forces today are little more than politicians themselves-unwilling to stand up to an inept and corrupt president. Thanx in large part to Clinton-era changes, the military today is becoming a "feel good let's all just get along" commune instead of the fierce warriors they once were. Having served twenty+ years in Uncle Sam's Canoe Club, it truly breaks my heart to see what is happening to our great nation and people.

Stilton Jarlsberg said...

@Anonymous (top)- You make a very interesting point. If Obama orders people killed with cruise missiles but we're not at war with them, isn't it simply a murder for hire scheme? (Not that I'm likening our military to the mafia; they are compelled to follow the orders of the commander in chief, no matter what sort of pond scum he is).

@Coon Tasty- I think "war" is one of those things that we don't really need to have defined by word-parsing lawyers. And ruling that "kinetic military action" isn't "war" won't bring any of the "formerly kinetic people" back to life.

@DavidD- I considered making this Monday's cartoon, but I was so honked off at the spin machine that I bumped it up a day. And I felt it was important (in my small, bloggy way) to gather this timeline in one place. Obama's inaction finally forced him into action, after which he adopted a hands-off CYA strategy until he could see how things turned out. Then suddenly, it was "his" plan and "his" leadership, and "America is safer" despite the earlier claim that we had no vital interests. But if Obama wants to claim "credit" then so be it - and let us all remember that whatever regime takes over in Libya was put in place by Obama.

Regarding my reduced Summer cartoon schedule, I need to make some sort of decision soon. I'd love to be doing the cartoons daily, but it's hard to balance that much work with the continuing need to also earn a living. I certainly don't plan to do less than the M-W-F posts (with active monitoring and comments on the other days), but if the Koch Brothers (or any other members of the evil 1%) would like to become my corporate sponsors, I'd happily return to daily posting.

@John the Econ- Unlike the execution of Osama bin Laden, I don't think Obama gets any brownie points with the American public for Gaddafi's death. He never took ownership of the Libyan offensive while it was happening, and never made a case to the American people (or Congress) that it was necessary or in our interests. So despite the YouTube videos of Gaddafi's bloody final minutes, Obama is still rightly seen as an ineffectual and purely-political hack.

@Flyboy- I never served in the Armed Forces, but I don't doubt you for a moment. Politics is an infection (or in this administration, a plague) from which even the military isn't spared.

Anonymous said...

Excellent reporting. Obama is trying to capture the glory in all this, but eventually his weakness will become apparent to the general public. Why? Who is the one who looks strong and decisive in the Libyan war? Hillary. There are people who understand that she was the one who got the American involvement started. Notice how there is more and more criticism of Obama from the left? Who's doing that criticism? Old buddies of the Clintons and it's not a coincidence. Obama is a weak and unpopular President and lots of people are having buyers remorse over not voting for Hillary as the candidate in the last election. She's trying to make it seem like she'll refuse to run so she doesn't look like a back stabber. But there are lots of behind the scenes maneuvering to secretly force Obama out and put Hillary in as the 2012 Democratic candidate. The Democrats aren't the fools they currently appear to be and they know that if they back Obama he'll pull the entire party down with him.

Earl said...

That's a huge fear on my part. I kept looking for an Obama pivot to the right (aka "triangulation" a la Bill Clinton), but it didn't happen with Obama after the 2010 elections. It just may be a grand bargain that Obama made with Hillary after he won the nomination. If things turned south for him at some future point, he would decline to run in 2012 and Hillary herself would be the pivot to the right. She fired up my earliest tea party emotions when she accused "the vast right wing conspiracy" for her husband's cheating. Hearing her cackle about Qaddafi's death was like fingernails on a chalkboard. But democrats and the msm would love her.

Stilton Jarlsberg said...

@Anonymous & Earl- I'm also suspicious that Hillary might prove to be the switcheroo candidate for president in 2012. She's done nothing but grown in stature since becoming Secretary of State, while Obama has been shown to be an arrogant ideologue with no trace of ability or leadership.

A contest between a weak Republican and a strong Hillary would be a nailbiter I'd rather not have to face.

DavidD said...

Don't you think BHO's damaged the Democrats' brand enough that even Billary can't rescue it?

Hillary would be fundamentally no different from Obama. They're both Alinksyite leftists.

Herman Cain 2012.

JustaJeepGuy said...

D'Ohbama and Hillary are both Alinskyite communists for sure, but you can count on it that either one will get the same cover from the weasels in the mainstream media that Barack Hussein got the last time. The media went nuts over Barack because they were tired of covering for Slick Willie, which they knew they would have to continue to do for however many terms Hillary might win. They figured Barack Hussein would be their salvation from the strain on their (admittedly limited) consciences. Look what it got them. They stuck us with a Jimmy Carter clone who's worse than the original. Why they won't just come clean and admit how wrong they were to cover for Slick in the first place, I'll never know.

John the Econ said...

Summer schedule: If Obama's class war is allowed to progress as planned, writing daily comics for free will be no less profitable that applying that time to actual paying commerce. As the poor amd middle class continues to be more and more subsidized while the upper classes get taxed at greater and greater rates, the middle class will continue to shrink, and for those left working there will be less incentive to move up than there will be to move down.

Stilton Jarlsberg said...

@John the Econ- I don't disagree, but I really need to try to bring in some entrepreneurial dollars rather just accepting the idea that my time and talents don't have any dollar value in Obama's blighted world.

robsan19 said...

@Flyboy & Stilt- I don't doubt that there are officers in the military who have a political bent, I saw it in my 26 years in the Air Force. Where I take exception is the inference that ANYONE in the military would stand up to an inept and corrupt president. ALL MEMBERS of the military swear an allegiance to uphold the Constitution and to obey the orders of the officers appointed over them, or did you forget that little phase @Flyboy. And Stilt, shame on you for encouraging him.

DragonAgnstEvil said...

In regards to the small Hillary debate we seem to have going on here, there are a lot of other factors. While the Clinton household is perfectly capable of "triangulation", they are incapable of prying themselves from their left ideologies. Slick Willie only begrudgingly accepted a right majority in Congress, but both he and his wife tried to get Hillarycare/Obamacare voted into law in the late 90s.

More importantly however, there are court cases popping up all over the place now concerning, gasp, voter fraud in the 2008 demoncrat primaries. If backroom deals and Chicago-style bullying cost the Clinton household a second romp at the White House, why wouldn't they be trying the same, exact thing now?

There is a fear. A real fear that we'll get the same "triangulation" Clintonite as before. Then Obamavilles will be the least of our worries.

As for politics in the military, there are many who do not understand that there is a difference between their oath to the Constitution and their leaders. They mistakenly see it as the same. Insubordination is defined as refusal to follow orders within bounds of the law. The left teaches insubordination to mean refusal to follow any and all orders.

While most military personnel do not agree with the left, they may be unable to separate their oath to their commanders from their oath to the Constitution. Not because they are stupid. They are kept, by will of their civilian political commanders, ignorant of the difference.

The above statement is not true for all or even most military personnel, but it is true enough that the left aren't afraid of seeing the military as useful in their ultimate plans. They also aren't afraid to reward behavior they like, and, alternatively, they make sure to punish any and all behavior they do not want repeated.

What kind of message is anybody supposed to get if blind faith is rewarded with promotions and pay increases, and following the Constitution gets you snubbed?

I do have a hidden message. Encourage our brave service men and women every, single chance you get! The act of encouragement alone is plenty of motivation for these fine specimens of our Great Nation. They are selfless, as told by how woefully underpaid and unappreciated they are by the political hacks hunched over in our Capital.

Stilton Jarlsberg said...

@Robsan19- First off, let me thank you for your service and say that your 26 years of actual military experience trumps the daylights out of any opinions on the subject that I might offer.

That being said, I'll gently suggest that I wasn't egging on Flyboy or suggesting that officers refuse to follow orders from the commander in chief; I was only bemoaning the fact that this particular c-in-c is a creature of pure politics and that our officers are compelled by their oaths to follow any of his orders which are constitutional (however ill-considered).

@Dragon Against Evil- Good post, and you do a nice job of adding additional nuance to this discussion. Per my remarks above, I wouldn't suggest that anyone in the military stand up to the president and refuse orders (at least, none of the ones that have been given to date...and I don't see Obama having the balls to give a "dealbreaker" order in the future). I do think that Obama's orders are bad militarily, but we have civilian oversight of the military for a reason...and I expect to have warmer feelings about that oversight after the next election.

Meanwhile, I hugely agree that we should all support our service people every chance we get - whether personally or through organizations that help encourage and support them.

DragonAgnstEvil said...

I did say "civilian political" leaders for a reason ;)

I really don't mind the civilian oversight. I mind the political-mindedness.

However, I do have to disagree on the Constitutionality of some of the orders Obama has given. He outright ignored the Wars Powers Act. He declared war without even talking to Congress, and then stated it wasn't a war "war" because language is too hard for him. He then gave primary power of our military operations to a foreign/treaty organization. No matter what, the UN or NATO has no jurisdiction over our military. As an aside, I have no problem with NATO itself. My dad, retired AF Captain, was assigned to NATO in 1991.

The problem, I see, is, like Hitler, Obama simply is not listening to his military commanders if they don't tell him what he wants to hear.

I do find it hilarious when a politician is forced to promote or otherwise use somebody they don't like or even hate just to retain some political favor.
eg. General David Petraeus. ^_^