President Obama’s tenure up to this point may well be noted by the historians for primarily three things: his misunderstanding or willful violation of both the intent and substance of the U.S Constitution; total ignorance of or willful manipulation concerning economics; and attempting to govern with the weakest, most incompetent Congress in history, in both its terms. Obama’s contempt for the latter, occasioned by an unbelievable personal arrogance and animus, is about the only thing that has been transparent during his presidency.
Obama’s airtight, impeachable offense occurred in March 2011 when he by executive order, only, preempted Congress’s constitutional responsibility concerning war-declaration and apparently willfully violated the War Powers Act, as well. The republican-dominated House could have, with little preparation-time needed, voted to impeach him. He would not have been convicted and expelled from office by the democrat-controlled Senate, just as Clinton wasn’t when he was impeached, but the House should have taken a stand. It stood down, perhaps fearing that such action would have been seen as politically or racially motivated.
The War Powers Act has a number of provisions but its main thrust is that no military action can be taken by the president unless the offending nation poses an immediate threat to the United States. Libya posed no threat to this nation or any other nation, with its 76,000 troops and total population two million less than that of New York City. Indeed, Qaddafi agreed to dismantle his weapons program in December 2003, with verification by the U.S.
Libya was/is 97% Muslim officially but has not been a serious terrorism-threat to this country since the 1980s, notably then by the 1986 bombing of a discotheque in Berlin and the downing of PanAm 103 over Scotland in 1988. In 1986, ten days after the Berlin bombing, President Reagan ordered the bombing of targets in Libya. Indeed, former headman Qaddafi warned Obama that al Qaeda was HIS enemy as well as this country’s. It turns out that he was right.
So…why doesn’t Romney make the Libya issue front and center as he battles for the presidency? Like the other republican candidates, except Ron Paul, of course, he was for doing-in Qaddafi even though the facts, as mentioned above, obtained during the Primary season. Actually, the candidates were all over the map concerning Qaddafi and had no better excuse for doing anything than Obama had.
Romney brought himself to say ultimately that he was for going after Qaddafi but that the decision officially should have been made by Congress as per the Constitutional requirement concerning a declaration of war (or even according to the War Powers Act) and not as an executive order by the president. Of course, Obama would deny that he gave an executive order but as a practical matter he did just that. He would also deny that he precipitated an act of war against a sovereign nation but that’s precisely what he did.
The consensus seems to be that Obama acceded to the pressure for attacking Libya that was brought by three women – State Secretary Clinton, UN Ambassador Susan Rice and special assistant to the president and member of the NSC Samantha Power – on the basis of Qaddafi’s being a mean man who would kill all his citizens if he thought he had to…sort of like Syrian strongman Bashar Assad currently. Clinton lately has been stamping her foot like a three-year-old and screaming that Assad has to go but she’s about as convincing and silly as Tweety Bird.
The consensus, mainly formed in the mainstream media, which is virtually a propaganda arm of the administration, may be the result of attempting to keep the onus for the Libyan bloodletting off Obama’s back, since his decision was dumb at best or criminal at worst. Let the ladies take the heat, but blame them benignly since their motives were pure as the driven snow. Hogwash!
The president, especially with the economy in the tank and unemployment remaining high, needed a diversion that could do two things: get the citizens’ minds off the recession, still in full bloom in March 2011 (and still is), and demonstrate his macho side, i.e., kill some folks and break some things. Libya, without any sponsors, was the perfect patsy since it had no serious defenses and a military manpower quotient that was near zilch, especially when compared to other nations in the Muslim world. The ladies had nothing to do with it…it was Obama’s show.
Mitt Romney could fly with this subject but he’s had virtually nothing to say, never mind his approach during the Primary season. The technicalities of the Libya fiasco (does anyone know who’s in charge there now?) are totally unimportant. The important aspect is twofold: (1) the Libya “event” was constitutionally illegal and (2) decent American military personnel were ordered to kill innocent Libyans. Bombs and missiles are not addressed like a postcard. They tend to kill everyone in the vicinity of their use, or their mistaken use…and did, even in residential areas.
Romney is obsessed with the economy, about which he may or may not have a clue. Obama is obsessed with his reelection and certainly does NOT have a clue. Romney could point a finger at the president and ask about Syria, where the murdering of citizens by the government is front-page daily news and infinitely worse than anything that happened in Libya by Qaddafi. Romney could ask if Obama intends to set up a “no-fly zone/killing field” in Syria and then “lead NATO from behind,” despite Syria’s sponsors – Russia, China.
This makes too much sense…won’t happen, even in the hardball politics of an election year.