What Obama Isn’t Saying Now

17 Mar

What I am opposed to is a dumb war. What I am opposed to is a rash war….A war
based not on reason but on passion, not on principle but on politics. Now let me be clear –
I suffer no illusions about Muammar Gaddafi . He is a brutal man….He’s a bad guy. The world, and the Libyan people, would be better off without him.

But I also know that Gaddafi poses no imminent and direct threat to the United States, or
to his neighbors, that the Libyan economy is in shambles, that the Libyan military a fraction of
its former strength, and that in concert with the international community he can be
contained until, in the way of all petty dictators, he falls away into the dustbin of history.

That’s what Obama might have said in response to the Libyan civil war, and he would have been right. It’s remarkable how little one has to change this part of Obama’s 2002 speech against the Iraq war to fit the current situation. I would say that it’s surprising that Obama’s response to Libya has so little in common with his criticism of invading Iraq, but I know that it isn’t. When there was political pressure in Chicago to speak out against a new war, that was what he did, and now that the pressure in Washington has been building to start a new war that is what he intends to do.