Two veteran journalists from the Washington beat, Tom Brokaw and Pat Buchanan, were in agreement today when talking about this subject. Both of them said there has not been an American President in contemporary history to face the challenges, the disasters, the catastrophies, the wars, and the failed economy like President Obama has in his first two plus years in office. Now, I’m not here looking for sympathy for the President. After all, when one decides to be President, it’s his or hers job, regardless of circumstances.
In a quick recap of the Obama presidency, he came into office facing an almost completely flattened economy. Former President Bush did a magnificent job of destroying the American and almost the world economy! It took Bush eight years, I’ll mention the importance of the time reference later, to take a 200 billion dollar budget surplus and turn it into a 1.43 trillion dollar deficit. Under Bush, the U.S. economy lost a record number of jobs in the history of the country as well. The only smart thing Bush did was sign TARP into law at the very end of his failed administration. Ironically, most right-wingers, in their abject hatred of the current President, blame Obama for the TARP give-a-ways, even though TARP did prove to save the economy from a complete meltdown! Next, the President was charged with dealing with getting out of Iraq, a war we went into based on lies from the Bush administration. With Iraq and Afghanistan wars to pay for, set up by Bush to simply add the cost to the debt and deficit. Then there was the terrible earthquake to hit Haiti. Over 100,000 lives lost there, and them leaning heavily on the U.S. to help them out. Let’s not forget about the Cheeney led explosion and eventual pumping of millions of barrels of oil into the Gulf from the Deep Horizon oil drilling rig. Then came the earthquake in New Zealand, more horrendous tragedy and loss of life and property. Next came the unraveling of the Mubarak government in Egypt. A huge civil war engaged for the control of Egypt. At the same time, Syria, Yemen, Bahrain, Jordan, and Libya started boiling over. Then came, what may be the worst thing to occur in Obama’s administration, and possibly the entire world, in history and into the future; the 9.0 earthquake and ensuing tsunami in Japan. The natural disaster in and of itself was bad enough, but the health of the world’s third largest economy is now in the emergency room heading to intensive care! Now, the overriding worry planet-wide is the risk of melt down in more than one of the nuclear reactors in the earthquake area. Already plutonium is showing up in ground samples from the area. Now this brings us back to Libya.
President Obama is getting slammed from the right and the left, me included, for the U.S. military participation in Libya to protect the rebels who are trying to throw Khaddafy out of power. I was, and am, vehemently opposed to this military incursion by the U.S. and NATO or UN forces. I still believe this is a civil war situation, and should be left to the internal factions to work it out. Now, the powers that be in the U.S. and the UN are stating this to be a “humanitarian” mission to keep the more powerful Libyan government forces from systematically killing the rebels, primarily in the Benghazi area. Do you see the parallel forming here. Iraq, after the WMD lie was revealed to be just that, we were told we had to save the Iraqi people from that brutal dictator, Saddam. Now we are apparently looking at Khadafy the same way. Do you see my point here?
My question for the people who favor the air bombardment being perpetrated on Libya by the NATO forces is; If this is a “humanitarian” rescue issue, where were we as the mass slaughter and genocide was exploding in Rhuanda, in the Darfur region of the Sudan and Chad, or Somalia? Many countries are led by brutal dictators who continue to kill their own innocent citizens, Mugabe in Zimbabwe, Kim Jong Ill in North Korea, Assad in Syria, and the little guy, Acmadinajad and ayatolas in Iran. Why doesn’t the U.S. pursue these leaders who commit human atrocities in their own countries?
The President made the remark in last nights address that “the U.S. doesn’t stand for human atrocities being committed in any country”. That’s how he is justifying our military involvement in Libya. The flaw in his point is this; Where the hell was the U.S. in Darfur, in Zimbabwe, in Somalia, in Iran, in Syria, in North Korea, etc? The President and the republican leadership must believe we can pick and choose who and where we are going to send military power to fix human atrocity sites. This is so wrong! It is a an empty argument, it suggests we are morally responsible only to areas that we seem to think are important to us.
Circumstances around the world and domestically are putting this President into an almost no-win position on every issue. He was too slow to react to the oil spill/he was too aggressive going after BP and Haliburton, he was too slow to go after Khadafy/or his was too fast to get involved/or we shouldn’t go in there at all, he is too slow with presenting a budget proposal/ he gave up too much on his opening shot with the budget, it just goes on and on. Opponents to this President are so engaged in sound bytes politcal attacks, they don’t read much of anything, they don’t understand the complexity of the issues, especially from the President’s position
I thought the President’s address last night was very good. He explained his position and why he is moving on the Mid-east situation in such a tempered way. The U.S. has to move this way. We are now engaged in war in three Muslum countries in the Mid-East. I get his reasoning and I’m okay with it. I thought the President was very thoughtful and “Presidential” in his address. The political leaders of both sides of the aisle can and should take a lesson from the President about being researched and educated on the issues and acting a mature adult manner. The tail-gunning and sniping have got to stop, if progress is to be made on any front. And about the “time reference” in the first paragraph, President Bush used eight years to sink the economy and get the U.S. into two unpaid for wars on foreign soil, and yet Obama critics are insisting he should have fixed the economy and unemployent in less than two year and taken care of the the two wars the U.S. was wrongly involved in. Pretty ironic, isn’t it? President Obama is a very bright, responsible, and thoughtful leader, now if the members of the legislative branch will act in kind and work with him instead continually trying to tear him down and destroy his presidency, we as a country, could finally start forging ahead! Thanks for todays read, and I look forward to your comments.