…now it’s Libya!

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.
Cam Obert



  1. Woman from the east Says:

    President Obama has it just right. Both he and Hillary Clinton correctly pointed out the difference between this humanitarian crisis and the others (that is, if the critics had paid attention to what they both said). The Arab/Muslim world is in the midst of an awakening. Democracy is springing up from the grass roots — mostly young people and the future of these countries. Egypt is a good example. These are fragile situations in both Egypt and Tunisia who “sandwich” Libya. Khadaffi threatened, and I don’t think anyone would doubt his word based on his prior actions of suppressing any kind of uprising, that he would hunt down and kill anyone who opposed his regime. He talked about blood flowing in the streets. He already had bombed/gunned down many the weeks prior to our forming a coalition, getting a U.N. authorization and having the Arab League join with us to stop this brutal dictator’s massacre on his own people. He was stopped — preventing possibly hundreds of thousands of lives. Obama has leveled the playing field by taking out Libya’s air power and much of his tank power and heavy artillery. For once the U.S. is not attacking, invading and occupying a Muslim country. For once the U.S. is helping innocent Muslim civilians from being slaughtered. We don’t have a huge stake in this. The chaos does affect our oil prices but this is NOT why we took this action — for oil. I think Obama was showing that the U.S. is an exceptional country and that we do care about humanity, human rights, civil rights, equality and justice for all. This may be called the Obama Doctrine and if so, in my opinion, it’s a good route to take.

  2. youandmedoweagree Says:

    Elena Sohmer Boo-Hoo! President Obama attends a $30,000 plate dinner in the gentrified up-scale Red Rooster. Harlem’s annual median income is $25,000 less than the $30,000 plate dinner for one night. Nearly 50% of Black men in NYC are jobless. A cruise missile cost $1 million each. 126 cruise missiles were fired the first day on Libya

    Submitted via Facebook by Elena Sohmer

  3. youandmedoweagree Says:

    Ralph Williams Elena..give me a break..EVERY president attends fund raisers..nothing new about that.
    6 hours ago · Like
    Elena Sohmer Quite correct. How many Nobel Peace prize winners would have escalated Afghanistan, send ongoing Drone attacks into Pakistan and
    entered this fiasco in Libya?
    6 hours ago · Unlike · 1 person
    Ralph Williams George W. Bush would have sent the Marines into Libya by now..remember Iraq?
    6 hours ago · Like
    Elena Sohmer I will not fall prey to the comparison game. He is his own man…
    We need better educational institutions, jobs, healthcare, jobs, and the list goes on….We need to repeal Doma, jobs, deal with immigration law and tackle a host o…
    See More
    5 hours ago · Like
    Cameron Obert Elena, you are spot on with your observations. I’m am still very angry with HIS surge in Afghanistan, all for less than 100 known Al Qaeda members! I agree with Ralph, with political stuff is what they have to do. I am bothered by his move to the center and pandering to the right but, I only hope it’s a temporary deal before he gets back to taking care of the important things like poverty, homelessness, unemployment, health care, etc.
    5 hours ago · Like · 1 person
    Ralph Williams Cameron and Elena,you will have to deal with the Scott Walkers and Koch brothers,first

    Comments submitted on Facebook by ralph Williams and Elena Sohmer

  4. Woman from the east Says:

    Ms. Sohmer — Gosh, all of a sudden when President Obama, a black man, attends a fundraiser in a predominantly black area of Harlem (which, by the way, former President Bill Clinton, has located his office to help revitalize Harlem years ago) — the right wingers start to scream. Too funny. Listening to Fox radio they harped over and over on the same talking points you used. Guess what — wasn’t the Republican House majority voted in in the Nov. election because they promised THEY WOULD CREATE JOBS??!!! I hope they meant for ALL Americans. In that case, isn’t it up to the representatives who were elected — whether Republican, tea party or Independents — to find jobs for the for not only the black folks in Harlem, NYC and the rest of the country??!!! Furthermore, as for costs for the Libyan operation — where were the Republicans right wingers when President Bush engaged us in TWO WARS??!!! Not a peep about costs. How quickly history is conveniently forgotten. Didn’t Bush promise the American public that Iraqi OIL would pay for the cost of that war? Wrong answer!!! Last I read, that war alone has cost us 8 years and over a trillion dollars — let alone all the innocents killed in that war. How about Afghanistan? Longest war in U.S. history! Ten years and counting. I suggest you pick another battle. You have lost this one.

  5. Woman from the east Says:

    Elena — I hope you are not one of those people who oppose anything this president does. Again, hundreds of THOUSANDS of lives could have been lost in Benghazi. Khaddfi’s military was right on the outside of the city. The citizens of Benghazi would have been sitting ducks and massacred. Would you have been content if the U.S. sat back and did nothing and let the slaughter continue? Can you imagine the outrage from around the world? Again, Egypt and Tunisia border Libya. They are both in the midst of their own revolutions and ousting their oppressive and brutal leaders. They could not absort the thousands upon thousands of refugees fleeing war torn Libya. You probably remember the news accounts of the refugees trying to cross the borders into these two countries weeks ago. Another humanitarian crisis was being created. None of the other countries mentioned have these same set of circumstances whether you talk about Syria or other middle east or African countries. Let me be clear — the Libyan freedom fighters ASKED for help from the outside world which the Egyptians and Tunisians did not. The U.N. passed a resolution for a no-fly zone and whatever it takes to protect the innocent civilians. The Arab League, for the first time, joined the mission that is affecting an Arab/Muslim country. For the first time, Arab/Muslim countries have been a part of the military mission (Qatar, United Arab Emirites and others in a more minor role). This is unprecedented. Also, NATO is part of this operation. Europe — especially Italy and France — also have the possibly burden of absorbing refugees from these countries trying to escape the violence. This is far more than a Libyan problem — it encompasses a wide region in the middles east, North Africa and Europe. I stand by our President.

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