Friday, May 20

Obama's MENA speech: tick tock tick tock -- ding ding ding! Time's up, Mr Commander-in-Chief

Counting on my fingers and toes several times I think today is the 60 day-deadline for President Obama to ask Congress -- yes, by gum I see from Daily Kos and CNN that today is indeed the day President Barack Obama is supposed to comply with the part of the War Powers Act that says POTUS must receive congressional authorization for committing U.S. troops to a military action that lasts longer than 60 days.

Nuts to that, sez that great European statesman, Senator John McCain. According to CNN's report:
McCain said he doesn't believe the War Powers Act is constitutional and therefore he doesn't believe the president needs congressional authorization to continue the mission.

"I've never recognized the constitutionality of the War Powers Act, nor has any president, either Republican or Democrat," McCain said.
Yes but there are a few stick-in-the-muds among Republicans (see the CNN report) and Democrats (see Daily Kos) who want to bring the matter of continued U.S. military involvement in Libya to a vote.

If you interject, 'So that's what Obama's speech was about yesterday' -- yes. The part of the speech that addressed the Israeli-Palestinian situation was probably Obama's way of putting Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on the spot ahead of their meeting in Washington today. But the speech would have happened without the visit and Obama's incendiary comments relating to Israel. Obama knew he had to throw together a policy on MENA ahead of the 60-day deadline to rationalize continued U.S. military actions in Libya. He had to do this in the attempt to placate his American Leftist voter base.

The American Leftists -- the real Leftists -- aren't buying Obama's reasons for U.S. military intervention in Libya, as you can see from reading Rep. Mike Honda's op-ed at Daily Kos. Honda (D-CA) is a Senior Democratic Whip and co-chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus's Taskforce on Peace and Security.

And CNN's report carries a letter to Obama from six Conservative Republican senators who pretty much echo the crux of Honda's argument.

As it so happened just around the time of Obama's speech NATO launched attacks in Libya that were an escalation in their intervention to help the rebels eject Col. Gadhafi from power -- an intervention which for some queer reason NATO leaders portray as designed to protect Libya's civilian population. See this Reuters report for details on the latest NATO strikes. As Rep. Honda points out there were plenty of options NATO and the Obama administration could have taken if civilian protection was their real aim.

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