You Lie, Mr. President

Reuters revealed that President Obama signed an order authorizing the US to secretly arm Libyan rebels weeks ago. This is particularly noteworthy because only yesterday the president pretended to be “considering” this action, saying no such decision had been made.

As Justin Raymondo of antiwar.com wrote, Obama is also a coward.

“When he finally did come before us to justify this latest episode of world-saving, he didn’t address Congress, but “the most servile audience he could find,” as James Bovard so trenchantly put it, “uniformed military officers at the National Defense University. The room will be full of people who are owned lock, stock, and barrel by the government. The officers have spent their lives working for Uncle Sam, and they know that a single ill-time hoot during Obama’s talk could end their careers.

The really stunning lie that stands out from the crowd, however, is the assertion that ‘we are naturally reluctant to use force to solve the world’s many challenges.’ After our long and ongoing post-9/11 rampage across the face of the Middle East, it will be many years before any US President can say this without being laughed at. Force, including the threat of it, is the main instrument of US foreign policy, a necessity inherent in the nature of any and all empires, and especially one such as ours, with global pretensions.

‘At this point, the United States and the world faced a choice. Gadhafi declared that he would show ‘no mercy’ to his own people. He compared them to rats, and threatened to go door to door to inflict punishment. … We knew that if we waited one more day, Benghazi – a city nearly the size of Charlotte – could suffer a massacre that would have reverberated across the region and stained the conscience of the world.’

Gadhafi never said he would “show ‘no mercy’ to his own people,” but rather that he would show no mercy to the organizers of the rebellion – presumably, the interim “council” that now rules Benghazi, including his own former Interior Minister. These are the “rats” he referred to – defectors from his own government, who deserted what they perhaps rightly regard as a sinking ship.

To be sure, the righteous tone of the President’s speech was ameliorated by protestations that the action was “limited,” and assurances that we’d soon be handing the effort off to NATO, and that there wouldn’t be any troops on the ground. This last, by the way, is yet another brazen lie: if we don’t have CIA over there already, aiding the rebels and coordinating air strikes with rebel actions on the ground, then somebody is not doing their job.

We are already half way down the slippery slope of Libya’s internal turmoil, and we’re in so deep at this point that I cannot see our way out for quite some time. The President is reported to have told congressional leaders that the intervention should last “days, not weeks,” and this is the biggest lie of all, a lie the President is apparently telling himself as well as us. We now own Libya’s insurrection: its fate belongs to us, and we’ll be wearing that albatross around our necks for quite some time to come.

President Barack Obama has explicitly ruled out using American ground forces, but his administration and European governments participating in the U.N.-sanctioned mission in Libya have said they are considering providing arms to the rebels. Such a move would require Obama to step back from his pledge to avoid an open-ended commitment in Libya.

While President Obama has insisted that no American military ground troops participate in the Libyan campaign, small groups of C.I.A. operatives have been working in Libya for several weeks
In addition to the C.I.A., dozens of British special forces and MI6 intelligence officers are working inside Libya. The British operatives have been directing airstrikes from British jets and gathering intelligence about the whereabouts of Libyan government tank columns, artillery pieces and missile installations, the officials said.

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