Home National Politics BREAKING: Republicans Rush to Congratulate Obama on End of Qadaffi Regime!

BREAKING: Republicans Rush to Congratulate Obama on End of Qadaffi Regime!

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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.

  • kindler

    …is that he lives in a place called “reality”.

    Think about how much Bush, Cheney and the neocons’ unfamiliarity with that place cost the US and the world in Iraq and Afghanistan — not to mention on the economy, climate, etc.

    While they’re still busy denying evolution, climate change, economics, and all varieties of common sense, Obama is simply doing his job.  And Amen to that.  

  • Tonight, the momentum against the Qadhafi regime has reached a tipping point. Tripoli is slipping from the grasp of a tyrant. The Qadhafi regime is showing signs of collapsing. The people of Libya are showing that the universal pursuit of dignity and freedom is far stronger than the iron fist of a dictator.

    The surest way for the bloodshed to end is simple: Moammar Qadhafi and his regime need to recognize that their rule has come to an end. Qadhafi needs to acknowledge the reality that he no longer controls Libya. He needs to relinquish power once and for all.

    Meanwhile, the United States has recognized the Transitional National Council as the legitimate governing authority in Libya. At this pivotal and historic time, the TNC should continue to demonstrate the leadership that is necessary to steer the country through a transition by respecting the rights of the people of Libya, avoiding civilian casualties, protecting the institutions of the Libyan state, and pursuing a transition to democracy that is just and inclusive for all of the people of Libya. A season of conflict must lead to one of peace.

    The future of Libya is now in the hands of the Libyan people. Going forward, the United States will continue to stay in close coordination with the TNC. We will continue to insist that the basic rights of the Libyan people are respected. And we will continue to work with our allies and partners in the international community to protect the people of Libya, and to support a peaceful transition to democracy.

  • Johnny Longtorso

    The Republican talking point goes from “Obama got us into a THIRD war!” to “the US didn’t do anything to help Libya, it was the Europeans!”

  • Moran Statement on Libya Developments

    Washington, D.C. – Congressman Jim Moran, Northern Virginia Democrat, issued the following statement regarding rebel gains in Libya:

    “Last night, the indomitable power of freedom carried the Libyan people within reach of ending Moammar Gaddafi’s cruel reign. Now, the dictator must surrender to the International Criminal Court, and face justice at last. The United States and the broad alliance we have brought together to help Libya’s Transitional National Council and oppose Gaddafi’s regime should now focus on supporting a peaceful transition to democracy.

    I commend President Obama and his administration for the decisive leadership that has brought us to this day. By halting Gaddafi’s murderous assault on Benghazi on March 17, the United States made the coming victory possible. Gaddafi’s power has been steadily eroded by allied military action and by diplomatic, logistical and financial support European, Arab and African states. The Transitional National Council overcame many obstacles and setbacks in their drive to oust the regime, and it is encouraging that the Berber communities of Western Libya – long persecuted by Gaddafi – played a crucial role in the final approach to Tripoli.

    “Indeed, from the beginning of this uprising, Libya’s people have been its driving force. Their resilience should serve as a model to other oppressed people. As President Obama has said, the future of Libya is in the hands of the Libyan people, and they will be able to count on U.S. support to create their country’s first democracy.”

  • Now, if we could only get the Teapublican’ts to admit that Obama’s kicking serious a** against America’s enemies (bin Laden – dead; Qadaffi – toast; Asad – on his way out). Yeah, I know, dream on…

  • STATEMENT BY THE PRESIDENT ON LIBYA

    Blue Heron Farm

    Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts

    2:20 P.M. EDT

    THE PRESIDENT:  Good afternoon, everybody.  I just completed a call with my National Security Council on the situation in Libya.  And earlier today I spoke to Prime Minister Cameron about the extraordinary events taking place there.

        The situation is still very fluid.  There remains a degree of uncertainty and there are still regime elements who pose a threat.  But this much is clear:  The Qaddafi regime is coming to an end, and the future of Libya is in the hands of its people.

        In just six months, the 42-year reign of Muammar Qaddafi has unraveled.  Earlier this year, we were inspired by the peaceful protests that broke out across Libya.  This basic and joyful longing for human freedom echoed the voices that we had heard all across the region, from Tunis to Cairo.  In the face of these protests, the Qaddafi regime responded with brutal crackdowns.  Civilians were murdered in the streets.  A campaign of violence was launched against the Libyan people.  Qaddafi threatened to hunt peaceful protestors down like rats.  As his forces advanced across the country, there existed the potential for wholesale massacres of innocent civilians.

    In the face of this aggression, the international community took action.  The United States helped shape a U.N. Security Council resolution that mandated the protection of Libyan civilians.  An unprecedented coalition was formed that included the United States, our NATO partners and Arab nations.  And in March, the international community launched a military operation to save lives and stop Qaddafi’s forces in their tracks.

        In the early days of this intervention the United States provided the bulk of the firepower, and then our friends and allies stepped forward.  The Transitional National Council established itself as a credible representative of the Libyan people.  And the United States, together with our European allies and friends across the region, recognized the TNC as the legitimate governing authority in Libya.

        Qaddafi was cut off from arms and cash, and his forces were steadily degraded.  From Benghazi to Misrata to the western mountains, the Libyan opposition courageously confronted the regime, and the tide turned in their favor.

        Over the last several days, the situation in Libya has reached a tipping point as the opposition increased its coordination from east to west, took town after town, and the people of Tripoli rose up to claim their freedom.

        For over four decades, the Libyan people have lived under the rule of a tyrant who denied them their most basic human rights.  Now, the celebrations that we’ve seen in the streets of Libya shows that the pursuit of human dignity is far stronger than any dictator.  I want to emphasize that this is not over yet.  As the regime collapses, there is still fierce fighting in some areas, and we have reports of regime elements threatening to continue fighting.

        Although it’s clear that Qaddafi’s rule is over, he still has the opportunity to reduce further bloodshed by explicitly relinquishing power to the people of Libya and calling for those forces that continue to fight to lay down their arms for the sake of Libya.

        As we move forward from this pivotal phase, the opposition should continue to take important steps to bring about a transition that is peaceful, inclusive and just.  As the leadership of the TNC has made clear, the rights of all Libyans must be respected.  True justice will not come from reprisals and violence; it will come from reconciliation and a Libya that allows its citizens to determine their own destiny.

        In that effort, the United States will be a friend and a partner.  We will join with allies and partners to continue the work of safeguarding the people of Libya.  As remaining regime elements menace parts of the country, I’ve directed my team to be in close contact with NATO as well as the United Nations to determine other steps that we can take.  To deal with the humanitarian impact, we’re working to ensure that critical supplies reach those in need, particularly those who have been wounded.

    Secretary Clinton spoke today with her counterparts from leading nations of the coalition on all these matters.  And I’ve directed Ambassador Susan Rice to request that the U.N. Secretary General use next month’s general assembly to support this important transition.

    For many months, the TNC has been working with the international community to prepare for a post-Qaddafi Libya.  As those efforts proceed, our diplomats will work with the TNC as they ensure that the institutions of the Libyan state are protected, and we will support them with the assets of the Qaddafi regime that were frozen earlier this year.  Above all, we will call for an inclusive transition that leads to a democratic Libya.

    As we move forward, we should also recognize the extraordinary work that has already been done.  To the American people, these events have particular resonance.  Qaddafi’s regime has murdered scores of American citizens in acts of terror in the past.  Today we remember the lives of those who were taken in those acts of terror and stand in solidarity with their families.  We also pay tribute to Admiral Sam Locklear and all of the men and women in uniform who have saved so many lives over the last several months, including our brave pilots that have executed their mission with skill and extraordinary bravery.  And all of this was done without putting a single U.S. troop on the ground.

    To our friends and allies, the Libyan intervention demonstrates what the international community can achieve when we stand together as one — although the efforts in Libya are not yet over.  NATO has once more proven that it is the most capable alliance in the world and that its strength comes from both its firepower and the power of our democratic ideals.  And the Arab members of our coalition have stepped up and shown what can be achieved when we act together as equal partners.  Their actions send a powerful message about the unity of our effort and our support for the future of Libya.

    Finally, the Libyan people:  Your courage and character have been unbreakable in the face of a tyrant.  An ocean divides us, but we are joined in the basic human longing for freedom, for justice and for dignity.  Your revolution is your own, and your sacrifices have been extraordinary.  Now, the Libya that you deserve is within your reach.  Going forward, we will stay in close coordination with the TNC to support that outcome.  And though there will be huge challenges ahead, the extraordinary events in Libya remind us that fear can give way to hope and that the power of people striving for freedom can bring about a brighter day.

    Thank you very much.

  • Redjek

    When it is favorably, I will congratulate President Obama.

    His decision to send in air support to the rebels was correct.  His decision NOT to go to Congress was not.

    When he did, Congress’ response was deplorable — neither voting to support the President nor to cut off funding for his actions.  That should have been ONE bill, not two.  But our weeny congresscritters needed cover either way.  So if the effort failed, “Well, we voted against it,” but if it succeeded, as it looks like it will, they can say they funded it.

    Disgusting.