Asked about the confusion surrounding planning for the military action in Libya, Secretary of Defense Robert Gates explained that the Pentagon had not previously done “something like this kind of on-the-fly before.”
That sums up the lack of clarity, as Speaker of the House John Boehner put it, about this operation as well as about the rest of President Barack Obama’s major initiatives.
We would all like everyone to be covered by health insurance. We would all like the economy to boom. And we would all like the killing by Moammar Gadhafi to stop in Libya. But in each case, Obama’s execution of his goals has been helter-skelter. While he claimed the stimulus would fund shovel-ready projects, Obama later admitted that he learned there is no such thing as a shovel-ready project.
While he claimed the healthcare bill was a carefully constructed plan that would reduce costs, it is actually raising costs and is so unwieldy that the administration has already granted more than a thousand waivers to companies and unions so they don’t have to comply with it.
Similarly, as he headed off for a five-day tour of Latin America, Obama claimed that military strikes in Libya would be strictly a humanitarian effort and that, within a matter of days, the U.S. would hand off control of the operation to others.
All that was undercut by Obama’s statement a week earlier that the Libyan dictator must go and the fact, as it turns out, no one knows who will take control of the operation. In recent days, coalition partners France, Britain, Turkey have been squabbling about the shape of a new organizational structure to replace the American command structure. Nor does it make any sense that the U.S. would claim it wants to stop Gadhafi’s murder spree without having a goal of taking him out.
As with the stimulus and healthcare initiative, Obama is throwing money at a perceived problem without having a clear idea of how the effort will achieve its goal.
On top of that, Obama’s humanitarian aims in Libya conflict with his previous positions on Iraq. At best, Gadhafi has killed thousands of civilians. Saddam Hussein killed 300,000 of his own people, used chemical weapons, and tortured his own people.
Because of Saddam’s removal, Iraqis no longer undergo torture by having electric prods attached to their genitals or by being given acid baths. They no longer have holes drilled into their ankles and skulls. They are not left naked in refrigerators for days. They do not have their tongues cut out and their ears cut off. They are not forced to watch their wives and sisters being gang raped.
Yet Obama opposed American intervention in Iraq. Obama’s lack of consistent principles suggests that he makes policy by holding his finger up to the wind to see which way the polls are going at any given moment.
Having had previous experience only as a community organizer, Obama should not have been expected to have had the competence to be president and commander in chief. Adulation by the press and his brilliant oratory gulled Americans into voting for him.
That should serve as a lesson when we elect our next president.
Ronald Kessler is chief Washington correspondent of Newsmax.com. View his previous reports and get his dispatches sent to you free via e-mail. Go here now.
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