Aug 23, 2014 at 6:14 pm #1320234
Ben 2 WorldParticipant
@ben2worldLocale: So Cal
I am American, of course, and there's a lot to be proud about our nation. But many times, I read the news, and I feel both anger and guilt at the deaths and misery America has caused worldwide — both directly and indirectly!
The direct tragedies of Iraq and Afghanistan have been hashed out pretty well here. But look at the indirect tragedies that we have helped cause!!
I am certainly no fan of Libya's Gaddafi — but are Libyans today any better off than they were three or four years ago? I would say they appear to be far, far worse off. Back in Gaddafi's days, people knew where they stood, where the boundaries were… Life for the masses likely wasn't great — but they were safe and predictable.
When some Libyans rose against their dictator… Obama and Clinton and McCain did everything they could to undermine that dictator (e.g. "no fly zones", etc.). But we had no champion to support! Our leadership was simply focused on getting rid of the hated Gaddafi — and for the last few years now — Libya is essentially a political vacuum — a "free for all" where warlords battle each other in the most brutal ways!
I am no fan of Saddam Hussein either — but having wrecked that nation too — when will we ever learn?
Sadly, we don't learn… because up to now, we have never had to bear the full consequences of our foreign adventures! While Libyans and Iraqis, etc. suffer immensely — most all of us have long since moved on. Pass the sports/entertainment page, please?Aug 23, 2014 at 6:24 pm #2129801
Ben 2 WorldParticipant
@ben2worldLocale: So Cal
About a month or so ago, President Obama stated he would give an additional $500,000,000 to 'help the poor Syrians'. Same story, really — undermine the stabilizing force without thought to consequences — and again, no champion to support — so basically another "free for all".
Imagine what $500,000,000 could have done for Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone if Obama had mobilized a month ago!! But alas, no.Aug 23, 2014 at 7:30 pm #2129813
I'm not going to totally disagree with you about Libya.
At least we didn't have a protracted war with U.S. "boots on the ground" which is expensive for us in blood and money, and pisses off people all over the globe that then want to do us harm.
Kadafi was about to kill a bunch of people in Bengazzi.
In the past we supported Kadafi or Saddam or whoever as long as they were willing to sell us oil cheap. I think that's worse.
It seems like things worked out better in Bosnia after we meddled.
Hopefully things will turn around in Libya. After a strong, brutal person is removed, there will be a period of chaos sorting things out, but that doesn't mean you should have strong, brutal leaders in general.Aug 23, 2014 at 9:40 pm #2129831
Lybia. Don't get me started. We were selling them military goods when stuff hit the fan. Then we supported the rabble that overthrew him.
I really think Obama I must be actively trying to help our enemies. Either that or he is truly incompetent.Aug 23, 2014 at 9:49 pm #2129832
Kadafi plotted to kill people in airplane over Scotland. Previous "tough guy" presidents just ignored it, went along with Kadafi. Obama's plan exacted some sort of justice.
I don't think that was "helping" our enemy Kadafi or was incompetent. The mass killings at Bengazi were prevented.
I think you just have in your head you don't like Obama and your cognitive dissonance prevents you from hearing anything to the ocntrary.Aug 23, 2014 at 9:58 pm #2129833
"Previous "tough guy" presidents just ignored it, went along with Kadafi."
Reagan?Aug 23, 2014 at 10:13 pm #2129835
and when they killed all the Marines in, was that Lebanon?, Reagan abandoned it.
we probably should never been there and leaving was a good thing – Obama is no worse than other recent presidents and better in many instancesAug 23, 2014 at 10:32 pm #2129836
Nice try. You were talking about Libya, not Lebanon.Aug 23, 2014 at 10:42 pm #2129837
"Obama's plan exacted some sort of justice. "
All while ignoring the Constitution, something he's perfected since he's been in office. I can't tell if he's just massively incompetent or if he's so delusional from his messianic complex at this point that he feels he's not bound by the supreme law of the land.Aug 24, 2014 at 6:59 am #2129857
Very weird – unconstitutional?
I thought that was just a political ploy by cynical Republicans in congress to get more power. I guess it's working to some degree.
Do Republican voters really thing Obama is all that different than other presidents?
Of course it would have been better to bring Kadafi to trial, but that wasn't possible. There was a popular uprising that was somewhat successful, then U.N. approval to aid them, Obama notified congress, senate passed resolution, U.S. and other countries including arab countries implemented no fly zone which enabled the rebels to overthrow Kadafi.
I don't think there's anything close to unconstitutional. It was effective. Things aren't going well now, but that's how it is when the U.S. isn't policeman all the time. When they work things out, maybe it will be more stable and democratic? U.S. meddling only makes things worse. When will we ever learn? I guess Obama has.
Similar to Bosnia except Bosnia was more stable afterwards.
Similar to Kuwait (but that left Hussein in power, but at least he was out of Kuwait). The only thing that bothers me is Madeline Albright telling the Iraq amabassador that the U.S. doesn't get envolved in arab-arab conflicts which encouraged Iraq to attack Kuwait…
You could argue Grenda was unconstitutional. Did Reagan get approval from congress? It was condemmed by Canada, Great Britain, and the U.N., there were virtually no other countries besides U.S. There were trumped up justifications about some U.S. medical students being in danger. We were supporting a corrupt dictator that was at risk of being overthrown by popular movement.Aug 24, 2014 at 8:16 am #2129866
It really does not matter to me if other administrations did the same. This is who is doing it now and it is wrong.
Again, blind loyalty is never a good thing.Aug 24, 2014 at 8:46 am #2129869
I'm sort of agnostic on U.S./U.N./NATO no fly zone in Libya that resulted in Kadafi overthrow. But if we are going to do military actions, this is a better way to do it.
If previous presidents were "less constitutional" than Obama, then claiming Obama is unconstitutional has to just be political – a means to reduce the power of Obama and Democrats.
If Obama is better than previous presidents, then we're at least going in the right direction.
That's why it's fair to bring up past presidents, not that if previous presidents were bad it's okay for Obama to be bad.
ISIS is a direct result of the Iraq war. Obama is now doing limited air strikes that enable the Kurds to push ISIS back. Using military action is bad, but since past military action caused this, Obama has no choice but to do limited actions.
If Obama hadn't of done this, then people would blame it all on Obama like they are in Libya.
This is such a mess…Aug 24, 2014 at 10:11 am #2129889
W I S N E R !Participant
"It really does not matter to me if other administrations did the same. This is who is doing it now and it is wrong."
I think it absolutely matters in that it shows a systemic pattern; that these things are not even necessarily controlled by presidents or elections, but by an entire system that has its own inertia. Us voters are restricted to going after individuals and parties when there is something far larger at work here.Aug 24, 2014 at 11:12 am #2129903
Again. You were not talking about Iraq or Lebanon. You were talking about Libya.
Military action against Iraq was approved by Congress in 2002. That was not the case in Libya.
Obama MUST obey the most restrictive language of our Constitution when it comes to combat, not the UN.
Any president, GOP or Democrat, who acts outside of the scope of their authority and in a manner contrary to the U.S. Constitution should be at the very least impeached and in extreme cases prosecuted.
That goes for W. as well but he's not the president now nor was he during Libya. I've already stated my opinion ad nauseum on my feelings on how Iraq was an unjust war.
Sorry but Obama, like his predecessor, is an inept president. I'm sure he's great to hang out with and have a beer with but that's not the job he was hired for.Aug 24, 2014 at 11:53 am #2129907
"I think it absolutely matters in that it shows a systemic pattern; that these things are not even necessarily controlled by presidents or elections, but by an entire system that has its own inertia. Us voters are restricted to going after individuals and parties when there is something far larger at work here."
Yeah, there's a lot of inertia.
So, if each president is better than previous, we'll slowly get better.
We're in a marathon, not a sprint.
We voters can slowly push the system in a better direction.
Just giving up because everything's not fixed in 8 years is childish.Aug 24, 2014 at 12:02 pm #2129909
'Just giving up because everything's not fixed in 8 years is childish."
Who's giving up? Every president has inherited problems from the previous administration. Not one of them made excuses, dodged responsibility, and deflected blame like Obama. His behavior is just a symptom of the leadership vacuum that is the Executive Branch these days.
Southern border is another example. Policy written that was not only inconsistent with the law, but ignorant of world affairs. As a result, Border Patrol Agents are now completely overrun with unaccompanied minors and don't have the resources to house them properly. Even worse, they can't just release them to the street because, duh, they're minors.
My wife's job has had to lay off nearly half of the mental health professionals that were previously on her team due to federal funding cuts that have all happened since Obama was elected.
Spoke with one of our contractors the other day whose income is lower middle class. Health care for his family under ACA is running $1200 per month. $1200 he can't afford.
How is any of this "getting better"?Aug 24, 2014 at 12:31 pm #2129912
"Obama MUST obey the most restrictive language of our Constitution when it comes to combat, not the UN.
Any president, GOP or Democrat, who acts outside of the scope of their authority and in a manner contrary to the U.S. Constitution should be at the very least impeached and in extreme cases prosecuted."
Presidents have taken similar actions in the past. Legality is all about precedent.
The Constitution says (article II first of section 2) "The President shall be Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States, and of the militia…when called into service…"
Doesn't say anything about not participating in no fly zone over Libya with only advising congressional leaders. Just says Obama is Commander in Chief.
There's the war powers act that says Obama has to notify congress (which he did) and he can't commit armed forces for more than 60 days without congressional approval. Did we ever meet the definition of "commiting armed forces"?
What's your source for "Obama MUST obey the most restrictive language of our Constitution when it comes to combat, not the UN"? Why shouldn't Obama follow laws for combat and non combat actions equally?Aug 24, 2014 at 12:47 pm #2129917
"What's your source for "Obama MUST obey the most restrictive language of our Constitution when it comes to combat, not the UN"? Why shouldn't Obama follow laws for combat and non combat actions equally?"
Stop putting words in my mouth, taking what I say out of context, and changing the subject. I never said that Obama should not obey the law. What I am saying is that we are not bound by the UN, an organization that has outlived its usefulness, to engage in unlawful warfare.
"The resolution was taken in response to events during the Libyan Civil War, and military operations began, with American and British naval forces firing over 110 Tomahawk cruise missiles, the French Air Force, British Royal Air Force, and Royal Canadian Air Force undertaking sorties across Libya and a naval blockade by Coalition forces."
I'm sick and tired of people, like Obama, who've never spent one minute in the military, who are so quick to unilaterally commit our military. This is why it's best to have veterans who've actually seen combat to serve as President. Once you've witnessed the horror of war, only a psychopath would want to ever revisit it in a case other than a last resort.Aug 24, 2014 at 12:53 pm #2129918
xAug 24, 2014 at 12:57 pm #2129919
xAug 24, 2014 at 12:58 pm #2129921
"Policy written by whom? And which policy are you even referring to? Another blanket assertions without specificity. Obama has deported and intercepted more illegals in 5 years than Bush did in 8. There are more border patrol agents now that anytime in the past. Facts."
All of those hired under Bush, not Obama. Fact.
Deportations are down
"We'll just assume this is true"
"Another fabricated Obamacare horror story. Total BS."
So you're calling me a liar? How about this, …Aug 24, 2014 at 1:05 pm #2129922
I don't see the criticism of Obama
"As a result, Border Patrol Agents are now completely overrun with unaccompanied minors and don't have the resources to house them properly"
The large number of minors is because they're desperately escaping violence at home that's resulted from our ridiculous drug laws. Obama has nothing to do with that. Obama has deported more illegal immigrants than previous presidents.
"My wife's job has had to lay off nearly half of the mental health professionals that were previously on her team due to federal funding cuts that have all happened since Obama was elected."
Congress is responsible for federal funding cuts.
"Spoke with one of our contractors the other day whose income is lower middle class. Health care for his family under ACA is running $1200 per month. $1200 he can't afford."
Does he qualify for subsidy or tax refunds? I agree ACA is a mess. Medicare was a mess initially but eventually things worked out to some degree. ACA is the political compromise that there were enough votes to pass. If in a few years, there are more people getting health care, then we can call it a success. Too soon to judge it.
Was your friend getting health care before?
NSA – with all respect to Kat : ) the congress did pass some reforms and Obama signed it. Snowden said it was a step in the right direction. We need to do more.
A lot of this is just technology – we now have the ability to listen to everyone's emails and telephone calls. It takes a while for the privacy laws to catch up.
"How is any of this "getting better"?"
We're out of Iraq and almost out of Afganistan, although we're now suffering the consequences (e.g. ISIS) but that will eventually fade. Public sentiment is such that we won't be getting into more wars any time soon.
Ever since FDR we've tried to get healthcare for all. We've finally achieved that, but I'm worrid it's so flawed it won't survive. If it survives maybe it can evolve a bit into something effective.
We're in the middle of the high tech revolution which is changing everything in amazing ways. This is way more transformative than the industrial revolution. Yeah, problems like NSA, but we'll figure it out.
People are figuring out how crazy the "Reagan Revolution" was.
When you're in the middle of a mess it's easy to get depressed rather than see the big picture.Aug 24, 2014 at 1:16 pm #2129925
"Stop putting words in my mouth, taking what I say out of context, and changing the subject."
I've always thought you had reasonable opinions.
We're not actually that far apart.
"I'm sick and tired of people, like Obama, who've never spent one minute in the military, who are so quick to unilaterally commit our military. This is why it's best to have veterans who've actually seen combat to serve as President."
I agree you need people that have experienced it, like Colin Powell. They can just be advisors though.
McCain has experienced war, yet he's more willing than most to commit military. That is contradictory to the theory that you want military people as president.
I think Obama's commitments have been very limited and consistent with "the Powell Doctrine".
Are you opposed to the current Iraq air strikes?Aug 24, 2014 at 1:32 pm #2129928
The less of two evils is still evil. Obama is personally responsible for droning hundreds of innocent people. He is a warmonger indeed.
Not all that criticize him are doing it for political reasons. Some of us have principles.
With your reasoning when a future republican president does not follow the constitution, his/her supporters will have every right to just recall Obama and call it good.Aug 24, 2014 at 1:33 pm #2129929
"NSA – with all respect to Kat : ) the congress did pass some reforms and Obama signed it. Snowden said it was a step in the right direction. We need to do more."
The changes actually cemented the worst aspects of data collection. You have been duped.
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