Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Obama's Speech Fails to Inspire; Fails to Tell the Truth

So how did the President do in his speech to the nation last night? If you're like me, you didn't watch it yourself so you've been waiting to read a few reviews and responses. Well, it shouldn't be surprising to learn that even the press, once so bespotted with Barack Obama, is getting downright bored, dissatisfied, and skeptical after two and a half years of flat and contradictory rhetoric.

And that's not mentioning Mr. Obama's inept handling of the duties of Chief Executive. Sometimes overreaching, sometimes AWOL, but always incompetent, President Obama is fatiguing even those who idolized him just 30 months ago.

For instance, even the Associated Press was left frustrated and unimpressed with Obama's Libya speech last night. Here's Anne Gearan's report.

President Barack Obama wanted to tell a hesitant America why he launched a military assault in Libya, and he wanted to describe it on his terms — limited, sensible, moral and backed by international partners with the shared goal of protecting Libyans from a ruthless despot.

Trouble is, the war he described Monday doesn't quite match the fight the United States is in.

It also doesn't line up with the conflict Obama himself had seemed to presage, when he expressly called for Moammar Gadhafi's overthrow or resignation. Obama's stated goals stop well short of that. And although Obama talked of the risks of a long war, he did not say just when or on what terms the United States would leave Libya.

Obama never directly mention the Libyan rebels seeking Gadhafi's overthrow, even though the heavy U.S.-led firepower trained on Gadhafi's forces has allowed those rebels to regain momentum and push toward Gadhafi's territory...

If the purpose of the U.N.-sanctioned military action is to protect civilians, does that include pro-Gadhafi civilians who are likely to be endangered in places like Sirte that are in the rebels' crosshairs? If not, it is difficult to see the Western intervention as a neutral humanitarian act not aligned with the rebels...

The Nobel Peace Prize winner never used the word "war" to describe what's happening in Libya, but made a point of addressing what the conflict he chose "says about the use of America's military power, and America's broader leadership in the world, under my presidency."...

And the AP's "Fact Check" article written by veterans Calvin Woodward and Richard Lardner doesn't treat Mr. Obama's speech any better.

Meanwhile, others weighing in on the President's speech are even more worthy of your time -- journalists who have been telling the real story of Barack Obama since the beginning -- journalists like the editors of the Washington Times:

...Mr. Obama waited nine days after U.S. forces began to engage in hostilities in Libya to make a major address to the nation. He initially avoided making more than perfunctory remarks because U.S. involvement in the nonwar was supposed to be brief and limited. But as the kinetic became more frenetic, and Mr. Obama didn’t see the favorable bump in public opinion most presidents enjoy after unleashing military force, he was compelled to address the issue head on. Unbeknownst to the novice commander in chief, Mr. Obama faces a mass of contradictions that makes this conflict a hard sell.

c Mr. Obama has started a war that is not a war.

c Mr. Obama is using military force, but his secretary of defense says there is no vital American interest involved.

c Mr. Obama sold the country and the United Nations on a no-fly zone, but coalition forces are targeting Libyan ground troops.

c Mr. Obama’s mandate was to protect civilian lives, but he is actively siding with the rebellion.

c Mr. Obama has praised the “legitimate aspirations of the Libyan people,” but many of the rebels are Islamist radicals and even members of al Qaeda.

c Mr. Obama has gone to war to prevent a “bloodbath” in Libya but only offers empty words to innocent Syrians being gunned down by the Assad dictatorship.

c Mr. Obama has said the United States is not seeking to force regime change but believes that Moammar Gadhafi “has to go.”

c Mr. Obama said there would be no “boots on the ground” in Libya but reports are emerging that some boots have landed.

c Mr. Obama said the operation would be handed over to NATO but the United States will still be doing the heavy lifting.

c Mr. Obama said Operation Odyssey Dawn would be limited to “days, not weeks,” but now it is projected to go on for months, or longer.

c Mr. Obama denounced his predecessor President George W. Bush for unilateralism but the O Force has gone to war with no congressional authorization, fewer coalition partners and weaker support from the Arab world.

All of these contradictions were of the president’s making and are the product of trying to preserve an exalted image that now only a few members of the White House inner circle still believe. The Nobel Prize-winning man of peace who expanded America’s wars; the champion of Muslims who only helps them when it’s convenient; and the great global leader who continually emphasizes America’s declining influence: What a long strange odyssey the Obama presidency has become.