Paul Revere by Cyrus Dallin, North End, Boston



Friday, October 21, 2011


The presidential hopefuls of the GOP and the malcontented rightwing bloggers are wrong again. 

They continue to misjudge Mr. Obama's foreign policies; and when those policies succeed, they tie themselves into pretzels to avoid giving President Obama the credit he so richly deserves. 

In 2+ years, Mr. Obama has shown himself to be better at ridding America of its dangerous enemies than the Bush administration did in its 8 years.

Not one American lost his/her life in the capture and death of 2 of the world's  most vicious murderers.

And yet those on the right haven't the decency to admit they were wrong in their attacks on Mr. Obama's handling of his Libyan policy to oust the dictator, Qaddafi.

Here are examples of their wrong-headed and politically motivated criticisms:


 “It is apparent that our military is engaged in much more than enforcing a no-fly zone. What we are watching in real time is another example of mission creep and mission muddle. In an op-ed in today’s Boston Herald, former U.N. ambassador John Bolton rightly notes that Obama has set himself up for 'massive strategic failure' by demanding Qaddafi’s ouster 'while restricting military force to the limited objective of protecting civilians.' Military action cannot be under-deliberated and ad hoc. The president owes it to the American people and Congress to immediately explain his new Libya mission and its strategic rationale.”


 “President Obama’s policy of leading from behind is an outrage and people should be outraged at the foolishness of the President’s decision” and asking “what in the world are we doing in Libya if we don’t know what our military goal is?”


 “I’ve said many times before that US intervention in Libya is inappropriate and wrong. The US does not belong in this war…Pres. Obama did not make it clear what our mission was in Libya, what the American interests were or what victory looks like. We cannot risk our treasury or national treasures (brave men & women in uniform) without knowing those answers.”


 ”Ridding the world of the likes of Gadhafi is a good thing, but this indecisive President had little to do with this triumph,”


"I would not have intervened. I think there were a lot of other ways to affect Qaddafi. I think there are a lot of other allies in the region we could have worked with. I would not have used American and European forces."

Do we really want any of these wrong-headed and muddled-thinking people leading our country?

h/t Politicususa

JON STEWART:  "What the f**k is wrong with you people?!"

He goes after three ungracious and obviously stupid GOP pols who couldn't find the decency to credit their OWN COUNTRY, THE USA, for taking part and succeeding in this effort because it would have reflected well on the president of their country.  The GOP and their followers are so eaten up by their rancid partisanship, they couldn't do the honorable thing, and they, therefore, brought dishonor on themselves and their party. 



Infidel753 said...

Rather than launch an invasion, the West (remember, this was a French-and-British-led intervention) responded to a call for help from a Libyan rebellion which was already well under way. The Libyans cleaned up their own house while we played the limited supporting role they themselves had asked us for. As a result, they now have a sense of pride in their own accomplishment rather than feeling downtrodden by outsiders.

That's the way to handle this kind of thing, even if Republicans are disappointed by the lack of opportunities for macho swagger.

Rational Nation USA said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Rational Nation USA said...

I did not support US involvement in Libya anymore than I supported US involvement in Vietnam (at in any level). It is more philosophy and ethics for me than any BS about macho swagger.

The US people apparently believe that we must be the "people's of world" protector. Especially when "their guy is in power."

Having said that I give Obama credit for "mission accomplished."

Dave Miller said...

The removal of the Lion of Libya has been an unstated policy goal of the US since the Reagan Admin first bombed the country in the 80's.

At least up until the recent Bush Admin where "peace" was made so we had a place to send prisoners for rendition and torture.

President Obama, his Admin, and the US military deserve credit for a strategy that finally got him, cost zero US lives, and was pretty darn economical.

For US Senators to credit Great Britain and France, while refusing to acknowledge the central US role in planning and directing the Libyan action is simply unbelievable.

Their narrative of President Obama being in over his head demands that no matter what he does, they cannot give credit, because to do so would undermine their entire strategy to make him a single term president.

I am certainly coming around to Lord Truth 101's view regarding these guys... and that is hard for a guy that like to think the best of people.

Infidel753 said...

The removal of the Lion of Libya.....

"Loon of Libya", I think you mean:-)

okjimm said...

What RN said.... I support NO WARS... but all's well that ends ....ends... ends.... hopefully there will be no more need.... Obama and this Admin did well.

Republican talking points just point out that they are not responsible to any ideology.. but their own ill conceived, vague goals.

Rational Nation USA said...

If I read the response to my comment correctly then I can only assume you are part of the problem.

You see I am sick and tired of responding to liberals who bash my conservative principles as though I support the republican agenda that has no f'ing idea of what real conservatism is. And I have sated as much over and over again.

I also am fed up with liberals misrepresenting my libertarian values. You see you all are as guilty of the very things you accuse conservatives and libertarians of.

There is a huge difference between reactionaries and conservatives.

Shaw and Octo, I can go only so far in biting my tongue. If the liberals {and I know this does not include you two} want to refuse to look at compromise that makes sense for the good of this nation then so be it.

Until the two sides stop the hyperbole and vitriol {and I thank you Octo for pointing this out to me} the wars will continue.

I guess the nation has an abundance of cotton.

okjimm said...

RN... I think you have misconstrued my comment. I actually was in concordance with you. I support no interventions... but if it must be done... do it.

please, I apologize if I have been misunderstood. I should have been clearer on my opinion.

(O)CT(O)PUS said...

I looked at your comment and reader reactions to it - which I thought were generally supportive and favorable - but I don't understand your over sensitivity in your second comment. No one here was attacking you. This post is about disappointment at the response of prominent Republicans who withheld acknowledgement of Obama's role - meaning America's role - in Gadfly's overthrow; but no one here leveled any accusations of pettiness at you.

Please put this into context: The nation is hurting; there are millions of people unemployed; and the partisan impasse is beyond intolerable. What is wrong with taking a pause from the hyper-partisan rhetoric to give credit where credit is due?

Has it come down to this ... where nothing is sacred - and any/every accomplishment is trashed by partisan hacks with no sense of decency, dignity and decorum?

We've got to do better than this, or we have no future anymore.

Shaw Kenawe said...

(O)CT(O) is more eloquent than I was in my post.

(O)CT(O) is absolutely correct when he observes that we will not survive as "one nation" when this extreme and destructive partisanship tarnishes and diminishes everything our country achieves or tries to achieve.

For FOX News, the rightwing bloggers and GOP politicians to disregard the leadership Mr. Obama provided during the Libyan campaign is bad enough and symptomatic of a sick type of divisiveness, but to heap disrespect upon the country in order to insult its president is just plain uncivilized.

Rational Nation USA said...

Octo- After reading okjimm's comment over a couple of times I can see where I misinterpreted his intent.

Thank you bringing my attention to it.

okjimm, My apology for failing to recognize the intent of your comment. I failed at a basic rule... "seek first to understand then to be understood."

Shaw Kenawe said...

A reader from Andrew Sullivan's blog put it this way:

"The truth is that this President has done a good job in what has been one of the most difficult periods of modern history. He saved the economy from ruin (until the Tea Party took over Congress) with a stimulus that was as large as possible given the political realities, presided over a stock market that fairly quickly recouped many of its losses, presided over almost consecutive monthly increases in private sector job growth (unfortunately balanced by monthly decreases in public sector jobs which I attribute to the GOP further starving government), enacted the only meaningful healthcare reform ever in our history, passed financial reform (no matter what the Left says, he did this), saved the auto industry (which Romney is on record opposing), fired the first salvo of the Arab Spring with his address in Cairo no less, drawn down our footprint in Iraq in a responsible way (and headed toward almost total withdrawal), stopped numerous terrorist attacks in this country, stopped torture as policy, repealed DADT, joined the international community in a measured and responsible way to bring down an odious tyrant in Qaddafi, and killed a whole generation of al Qaeda leaders. And taking out Osama bin Laden the way he did will go down as one of the bravest military actions in American history.

I know this President is not popular, and it is very unpopular to defend him in such a way. I don't care. For this country to dump him for anyone on the other side would be a terrible thing. Progress is slow and painful, but we are doing it. Is that fashionable to say? No. Again, I don't care."

AS: "Amen. And the way in which the ADD media simply jumps to the next cycle of spinmanship only furthers the amnesia. But the Obama administration also shares some of the blame."

Shaw Kenawe said...

Forgot the link. Here.

(O)CT(O)PUS said...

This hyper-partisanship has damaged our country in ways too numerous to count. Let me elaborate. Hyper-partisanship translates into hyper polarization. It colors how we relate to one another. It turns neighbors and normal decent folk into the “other,” the enemy, those hateful liberals or those despised conservatives. It is a function of “identity” politics whose aim is to divide persons with common economic interests into warring factions. Divide and conquer. And a great many of us, liberals and conservative alike, buy into this bullshit and later pay a heavy price.

Hyper-partisanship colors how we think. It gives rise to ALL-OR-NOTHING THINKING, where a party, a group, a person are either all black or all white with no shades of gray. Very few people in life are either all good (saints) or all evil (devils); yet hyper-partisanship demands that you think this way.

No matter what a person may achieve, the game of politics commands you to ignore the accomplishments and focus on the flaws; or spin good deeds into failures or characterize all deeds as evil deeds, despite evidence to the contrary. Demonize your opponent, that is the way the game is played.

Suddenly, one of our readers says: “Hey, wait a minute! I’m pissed off at something but I don’t know why.” It is this hyper-partisan programming pulling, tugging, sucking you under until you gasp for air. Time to break the cycle.

We are living in an era of non-stop character assassination and defamation, of political hostage taking, and legislative gridlock at a time when millions of people are suffering. There are powerful corporate interests that want us to be this way – divided – so they can cash in their chips and turn into serfs. Unless we break this cycle and say “To hell with you, I am not buying this bullshit anymore, then they win, and our country will wither away as dry wind-blown leaves of Autumn.

Sorry folks! Either we get our act together, or we will have no future at all.

Shaw Kenawe said...

Bravo (O)CT(O)!

I will be the first to admit I have engaged in partisanship in my writing, but lately I've tried to qualify my criticism--I do not always succeed--by saying "some" on the radical right, or "some" rightwingers, etc., but I'm sure I've been negligent in those qualifications from time to time.

I know I become angry when I read bloggers that refer to liberals as "mentally ill," or "libtards," or any other epithet, and am aware how that works in reverse, vis-a-vis conservatives.

I still will call out organizations and individual pols when they distort or plain lie about Mr. Obama and his administration.

But make no mistake, (O)CT(O) is correct: So long as we remain a divided country and a divided government, we lose, and we lose big.

And we all know who wins.

Meanwhile, I commend RN-USA for making the effort to state his convictions without labeling anyone, and thank okjimm and (O)CT(O), and everyone else here for making the effort to be decent to one another.

Shaw Kenawe said...

Surfing the blogs this morning, I found this comment at Liberal Values:

"One reason for Obama’s success on foreign policy–the Republicans are not able to stop him for political gain as they have been able to do on the economy."

(O)CT(O)PUS said...

Auntie Shaw,
All of us guilty of allowing ourselves to get sucked into the vortex of hyper-partisanship, and I admit to being as rabid as any … especially when baited by “libtard” epithets or facsimiles thereof. Sometimes I run hot or cold trying to end the cycle of mutual recrimination.

Case in point: Almost two years ago (October 26, 2009), I posted this article: DEMOGRAPHIC CLUSTERING AND THE SELF-SEGREGATION OF AMERICA, which touched on some these points. The comment thread is even more revealing than the post (and you will recognize the names of our conservative friends). Here is a quote from the article:

Over time, according to Bishop, a preference for living with like-minded neighbors in extreme homogeneous communities incubates ever more extremist views. Voters in landslide districts tend to elect more extreme members to Congress while moderate candidates shun public office. Among highly polarized lawmakers, debates degenerate into shouting matches as legislators engage in obstruction and gridlock. That is how our most urgent and pressing issues go unresolved.

When I look at the current political situation, it seems the article was prescient: We are now more polarized and gridlocked than ever before, and the current slate of candidates are even more extreme to the point of caricature.

Recalling some of RN’s recent comments, he distrusts the corporate plutocracy as much as we do – for the same reasons – and you would think we would have common cause; yet, identity politics and old habits always get in the way – witness the hyper-sensitivity that always accompanies hyper-partisanship.

I am wonder if it would be worthwhile revisiting this subject again and see where it takes us.

okjimm said...

Hey, RN.... ain't no big deal... see, I would disagree with you about 80% of the time.... but value and want to work on the other 29% (math is not my strong suit)

....this is a dandy little forum... I would not fuck it up for the world.

...I remember Nam all to well.. a brother seems to die every other week...Iraq and Afghani seem to be just more of the same. Peace Out.

Rational Natin USA said...

okjimm - Agreed. And my math ain't anything to brag about either!

Besides, there are much bigger "fish to fry" now ain't there?