America Now Taking Orders From Arab League
The President had his two cabinet secretaries out on the media circuit this weekend, trying to give a positive spin on military action he decided to take in Libya. The result was more than underwhelming. It was a moment of clarity as the two people, Secretary Clinton, and Secretary Gates became a bit rattled under pressure.
What did we learn? The US will not engage unless a lot of other people say we need to do it. Secretary Clinton’s answer says it all. The spin from the President that we cannot stand by while innocent people are killed is a complete farce. In Secretary Clinton’s answer below, she explains how the US “picks” who to save on humanitarian grounds.
On March 1, the Senate passed a resolution on the no-fly zone. In Secretary Clinton’s answer she refuses to state that Speaker Boehner was against it. Odd, that they had over two weeks, and couldn’t get it heard and voted on by the House. It was clear from her answers that she was unable to say Congress supported this effort. Look at the choice of words.
So, the President’s own people have some difficulty explaining what is happening…
Quotes from Face the Nation transcript:
Bill Scheiffer: Madam Secretary, let me start with you. Tens of thousands of people have turned out protesting in Syria, which has been under the iron grip of the– the Assad for so many years now. One of the most repressive regimes in the world, I suppose. And when the demonstrators turned out, the regime opened fire and killed a number of civilians. Can we expect the United States to enter that conflict in the way we have entered the conflict in Libya?
HILLARY CLINTON (Secretary of State): No. Each of these situations is unique, Bob. Certainly, we deplore the violence in Syria. We call, as we have on all of these governments during this period of the Arab awakening, as some have called it, to be responding to their people’s needs, not to engage in violence, permit peaceful protest and begin a process of economic and political reform. The situation in Libya, which engendered so much concern from around the international community had a leader who used military force against the protestors from one end of his country to the other, who publicly said things like, we’ll show no mercy. We’ll go house to house. And the international community moved with great speed in part because there’s a history here. This is someone who has behaved in a way that caused grave concern in the past forty-plus years in the Arab world, the African world, Europe and the United States.
BOB SCHIEFFER: But I mean– how can that be worse than what has happened in Syria over the years, where Bashar Assad’s father killed twenty-five thousand people at– at a lick. I mean, they opened fire with live ammunition on these civilians. Why is that different from Libya? This is a friend of Iran, an enemy of Israel.
HILLARY CLINTON: Well, if there were a coalition of the international community, if there were the passage of a Security Council resolution, if there were a call by the Arab League, if there was a condemnation that was universal but that is not going to happen because I don’t think that it’s yet clear what will occur, what will unfold. There is a different leader in Syria now. Many of the members of Congress of both parties who have gone to Syria in recent months have said they believe he’s a reformer. What’s been happening there the last few weeks is– is deeply concerning. But there’s a difference between calling out aircraft and indiscriminately strafing and bombing your own cities, then police actions, which frankly have exceeded the use of force that any of us would want to see.
End of the transcript from Face the Nation.
So, we are now acting in concert with many countries because of what we “think” someone may do. After the military efforts began, and the President asked Gadhaffi to go, the Arab League said this is a legitimate government and to not interfere. This was a byline on the BBC one night after the military exercise began by the various countries.
On Meet the Press, more troubling statements were made by both Secretaries, that indicate the US has been heavily involved in conversations with rebels in most of the middle eastern countries.
Quotes from Meet the Press Transcript:
SECRETARY ROBERT GATES: I think that the no-fly zone aspect of the mission has been accomplished. We have not seen any of his planes fly since the mission started. We have suppressed his air defenses. I think we’ve also been successful on the humanitarian side. We have prevented his forces from going to Benghazi , and we have taken out a good bit of his armor. So I think we have, to a very large extent, completed the military mission in terms of getting it set up. Now, the no-fly zone and even the humanitarian side will have to be sustained for some period of time.
SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, I think it’s perfectly legitimate for members of Congress and the public to ask questions. The president’s going to address the nation Monday night. A lot of these questions will be answered. But, but I would just make a couple of points. First, on March 1 the United States Senate passed a resolution calling for a no-fly zone. That was a bipartisan resolution. There were a number of people in the House , including leadership in both the Republican and Democratic Parties , who were demanding that action be taken. The international community came together; and, in an unprecedented action, the Arab League called on the Security Council to do exactly what the Security Council ended up doing. Now, the United States and other countries were in a position to be able to act to enforce it. If you look at the coverage on Al Jazeera , if you listen to the statements that are being put out by the opposition in Libya , there is a great deal of appreciation for what we and others have done in order to stop Gadhafi on his mission of merciless oppression. So this was an international effort that the United States was a part of. I certainly believe it was within the president’s constitutional authority to do so. It is going according to the plan that the president laid out. The United States will be transitioning to a NATO command and control .
MR. GREGORY: Did Speaker Boehner raise any objections when he was briefed prior to the mission ?
SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, I know that there was a constant flow of information, both to members and staff. And, of course , the president had a, a conference with some members in person , others, many others, including the speaker on the phone. But we have no objection to anybody asking questions. But I think it’s important to look at the context in which this is occurring. And the fact that we have moved so rapidly to have this kind of international action taken answers in great measure the legitimate concerns of the people of Libya . And now, of course, we’re going to take it day by day . That’s what you do in a situation like this.
End of Quotes from Meet the Press Transcript
America has never witnessed so much unrest in the Middle East. Secretary Clinton and Secretary Gates have acknowledged in many press briefings that our country has been engaged in a lot of conversation with rebels throughout the Middle East. Now we have unrest in almost all of the middle eastern nations as rebels protest against their governments. In the press briefings previously at the White House, it was stated that we are encouraging economic and political reform. Our country is broke. We have people at the highest levels involved in redistribution of wealth on a grand scale. Government processes are ignored on a regular basis. It is time for creative thought as to how to impede the progress of the liberals until 2012. These riots in the Middle East are occuring because the flames of discontent have been fanned by people with agendas.
“Since the general civilization of mankind, I believe there are more instances of the abridgment of the freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments of those in power than by violent and sudden usurpation” James Madison