Lies, Damn Lies, and Presidential Statements

by , April 02, 2011

In politics, there are lies, damn lies and presidential statements. Nine days after taking the United States into another immoral, unnecessary, and unconstitutional war based on lies and distortions, President Obama continued to compound and expand the deceit. Everything about this action has been a lie, from the claims used to justify the action, to the bogus U.N. resolution crafted to give it an air of legality, to the implementation of the phony "no-fly zone."

It should now be clear to anyone that the United States has intervened in a Libyan civil war on the side of the rebels. Just a day after President Obama said this action was not about removing Muammar Gadhafi from power by force, Secretary of State Clinton said the United States and our allies were considering arming the rebels, an action which would be a violation of the U.N. resolution that supposedly authorized this attack.

Obama claimed, without presenting any evidence, that we had to act in order to prevent the "slaughter of civilians" and incredibly declared that to do otherwise would be a "betrayal of who we are." Launching a massive attack on a sovereign nation which has not attacked or threatened us is the real and the greatest betrayal of who we are. It is a despicable act of aggression and an outright act of war.

Once again, the United States military is engaging in a policy to "destroy the village in order to save it." What is unclear is exactly who are we saving it from. Obama said he "refused to wait for the images of slaughter and mass graves before taking action." But, he’s apparently perfectly content to be responsible for images of the mangled bodies of innocents killed by the "collateral damage" of American bombs, missiles and aircraft, and the body-bags filled with brave American soldiers.

The president has forgotten, or maybe he doesn’t believe, that his first and most important legal and moral duty as commander-in-chief is to protect the lives of Americans.

From the beginning of this manufactured crisis, President Obama simply has not been honest with the American people. He doesn’t even have the honesty to call this a war. His political sycophants have come up with the euphemism "kinetic military action" to disguise and obfuscate the true nature of this aggression. Obama has behaved and spoken in a way eerily and painfully reminiscent of his three predecessors, who entangled the United States in the quagmires of internal conflicts in other nations.

Like his predecessors, President Obama has used cleverly crafted, high-sounding and morally tinged words and phrases to justify actions that clearly demonstrate a disregard for the rule of law and U.S. Constitution. But actions speak louder than words. Sadly, his actions show a callous disregard for the lives of American soldiers, sailors, airmen, and Marines.

On the one hand, the president did not find the time to consult with Congress before ordering the attack on Libya, yet he found time to consult with NATO and the Arab League. While ignoring the clear mandate to seek a declaration of war from Congress, Obama cited the U.N. Charter to justify his action. Apparently the President thinks that is a higher law than the Constitution he has sworn to preserve, protect, and defend.

From the beginning, the "no-fly" zone was shown to be a farce. American missiles and aircraft attacked not just air defense systems, but infrastructure, convoys, tanks, Libyan government forces — and Gadhafi’s residences. Filling the Libyan sky with U.S. bombs, the president insisted that while Gadhafi "must go," he was not a target. That is insane! If this is indeed a just war, then all the leaders of the enemy nation should be targets. The fact that President Obama has been so circumspect about this issue just makes it all the more clear that this is not a just war.

The U.S. employed AC-130 gunships and A-10 tank buster aircraft which are specially designed for close air support and battlefield interdiction in support of ground forces. Another insanity here, if indeed this is a just war, is that to use such massive firepower without having someone on the ground to direct it is militarily unsound and morally reprehensible because it inevitably results in the death of non-combatants.

The talk about sending arms to the rebels in Libya is perhaps the most bizarre and disturbing development. Even before the bombing of Libya began there was very little information reported about exactly who the rebels are. Michael Scheuer, former head of the CIA’s Bin Laden unit, explained in a recent article that there is plausible reason to believe the rebels are current or former Islamist mujahedin, eager to engage in jihad. During his despotic reign, Gadhafi fought to suppress Libyan Islamists, who mostly live in the eastern provinces of the nation that are now in rebellion. Some of these same folks fought Americans in Iraq!

Whether or not the Libyan rebellion is dominated by al-Qaeda, Islamists, or any other terrorist or anti-American group is not the point. The point is that the United States does not know. Once again our ignorance of local conditions in a foreign nation, particularly the Middle East, hasn’t deterred American politicians from making stupid decisions about policy. And so – once again — American diplomatic ignorance and hubris will make enemies, sow chaos and discord, and result in the death of innocent people.

Read more by Lee Wrights