Hahahahaha, had you there for a second? Of course, Republicans wouldn’t congratulate Obama or given him credit if he cured cancer, brought world peace tomorrow, and prevented Great Depression II after inheriting a spiraling economic disaster from the Bush Administration (that last one actually happened, by the way). Remember, their #1, #2, and #3 goals are for Obama to FAIL! And let’s not forget that, ever.
Anyway, let me just say, congratulations to Barack Obama, NATO, the U.S. military, U.S. intelligence, the Libyan rebels, and the people of Libya on the end of the tyrant in Tripoli.
Of course, we don’t know what’s going to happen next, and I presume the U.S. government is working hard behind the scenes to persuade the Libyan rebels to adhere rigorously to the rule of law, as well as to move quickly towards democracy and human rights in Libya. Still, even with the uncertainties right now, I’m just very happy to see evil scumbag Qaddafi’s regime gone. No, I have not forgotten the deaths of 190 Americans, 43 British citizens, and 37 others in the Lockerbie bombing, which the Qadaffi regime was responsible for and which I remember very well from 23 years ago. The thing is, if Lockerbie were the only blood on Qadaffi’s hands, that would be bad enough. But sadly, there’s a lot more.
So, with that, good riddance to Qaddafi and his corrupt, bloody regime. You can watch events unfold live on the BBC and Al Jazeera English. In general, I wouldn’t bother too much with U.S. “news” networks, as they’re generally far inferior to the BBC and Al Jazeera in covering events like these.
Now, a few comments about President Obama’s role in all this. First, despite criticism from Republican presidential wannabes, including the utterly insane Michele Bachmann and Missing Village Idiot Sarah Palin, it turns out that President Obama’s policy actually has worked out pretty well so far. What has this cost America? How about ZERO casualties, an utterly inconsequential amount of money in the grand scheme of things, and minimal impact on oil prices (maybe $5-$10 per barrel, or roughly 10-20 cents per gallon?) over a few months to get rid of the heinous Qaddafi regime? What has this cost Libya? Surprisingly little: no massacres (and I certainly hope the Libyan rebels won’t go in that direction), relatively minimal damage to Libya’s infrastructure (oil and otherwise), and just a few months of not-particularly-bloody fighting.
In addition, what President Obama has helped accomplish here, through his strategy of working closely with our allies in NATO and the Arab world, as well as through the United Nations, is a victory for multilateral action, human rights (e.g., preventing a bloodbath/massacre), the rule of law, and potentially helping encourage continuation of the “Arab Spring” (next stops: Syria’s brutal dictatorship? Iran?) with no obvious downside that I can see. Those are not inconsequential accomplishments, in and of themselves.
As for the arguments made by right wingers who “want Obama to fail” (also, a few on the pacifistic/anti-military left) that limited U.S. support for NATO’s internationally legitimate mission in Libya was somehow “unconstitutional” or “illegal” (e.g., under the War Powers Resolution), we’ve already discussed that question extensively. The bottom line, in my view, is that this is mostly a moot, abstract argument, also one that will probably never be fully resolved. The fact is, the last formal, U.S. declaration of war was in December 1941 — 70 years ago. Since then, there have been hundreds of U.S. military operations of various types, the vast majority of which have not been pre-authorized by Congress. Is that the way things should be? I don’t know, but I’d point out that Congress can’t even manage to do something as routine and banal as raising the debt ceiling (thanks to the Teapublican’ts) in a timely fashion, so can you imagine these people trying to micromanage a war? Also, I’d note that the last time Congress authorized the use of military force, it didn’t end up working out too well, so that’s certainly not a panacea (also, how’d the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution work out?).
Finally, I’m wondering if the end of Qaddafi’s regime tells us something about President Obama’s style. Perhaps Obama is a much more patient man than attention deficit Americans, their brains addled by the idiot box and instantaneous gratification of all kinds? Perhaps President Obama is better at seeing the broad picture and playing “three dimensional chess”/”the long game” than a lot of people give him credit for? And perhaps most of President Obama’s critics simply want him to “fail,” and so no matter what he does, they’ll criticize him (too fast! too slow! not enough force! too much force! he’s a socialist! he’s a fascist! he’s a Kenyan anti-colonialist! he’s a warmonger! he’s…a Rorshach Test!).
Despite all the complaining, criticizing, carping, etc., though, I think President Obama deserves a high five right about now. As “DarkSyde of Daily Kos points out, it “looks like Obama’s strategy on terrorism scored another stunning success,” and that it’s now “Obama 2 terrorists 0.” (he also points out that “we’ve now spent less on killing OBL & taking out Qadaffi than Republicans wasted in Iraq in a single week”). Now, back to Republicans and Tea Partiers rushing to congratulate President Obama on his (apparently) successful Libya policy. Or not. Heh.