Word Around the Net: A STUDY IN CONTRASTS
Watching the Libyan conflict unfold is a study in contrasts. Consider the differences between the invasion of Iraq under President Bush and the attack on Libya under President Obama. The differences between the two presidents and the response to their actions has been rather stark.
Months before the actual invasion of Iraq began, President Bush brought his argument to the American people, using speeches, interviews, and his administration writing editorials for various news sources. President Bush tried to convince the American people of the necessity of his plan and why.
By contrast, President Obama went to the UN and started taking action. He did not seek to convince anyone in the public of what he was doing, nor gain public support.
President Bush sought congressional approval for his military efforts, while President Obama did not even seem to consider it. In fact, he recently released a statement declaring such approval was unnecessary.
President Bush led the way, going to the UN to build a coalition of dozens of nations from nearly every continent on earth. President Obama went to the UN in response to bold leadership by the United Kingdom and France, waiting until someone else took the initiative.
Protesters began large, repeated, and loud protests against President Bush long before any actual military action took place. By contrast, protesters only started to complain about President Obama after the attacks had started, and they are not only few in number but scattered. International A.N.S.W.E.R. has not staged huge rent-a-mob protests in any country.
When this conflict began, there were 100 protesters out front of the White House... holding a rally over the 8th anniversary of the invasion of Iraq.
Meanwhile, President Bush was called a cowboy, a rash, warmongering extremist leading the nation into a Vietnam-like quagmire, while President Obama is being praised for his diplomatic skills in getting so swift an agreement to US action.
The media is supportive and protective of President Obama's actions, with the New York Times running editorial after article about the need to stop Qadaffi and even remove him from power. Now that the military action has started, the pattern continues. NBC's Andrea Mitchell gushed about how wonderful President Obama's handling of the Libyan situation has been.
Then there's the contrast of opinions before this event and after it. Vice President Joe Biden said about President Bush and Iraq:
The Constitution is clear: except in response to an attack or the imminent threat of attack, only Congress may authorize war and the use of force.
Actually the Constitution says nothing of the sort, but that's Joe Biden for you. Hillary Clinton, Obama's Secretary of State said:
If the country is under truly imminent threat of attack, of course the President must take appropriate action to defend us. At the same time, the Constitution requires Congress to authorize war. I do not believe that the President can take military action – including any kind of strategic bombing – ...without congressional authorization.
Now? Well Hillary Clinton pushed for this military action and Biden stands by his president. Charles Rangel has again pushed for the draft.
And perhaps the greatest contrast between President Obama and President Bush is that while the Bush team had a clearly laid out and prepared plan of action, what followed, and what would mean an end to US efforts, the Obama team seems to have nothing of the sort.
One cannot help wondering why it is that helping the people of Libya free themselves from a brutal dictator is so right that we must take military action, while freeing the people of Iraq from an even more brutal dictator who was supporting, training, and harboring terrorists was such a moral atrocity, according to President Obama.
The contrasts here are quite significant and unavoidable, but few in the press seem to want to even consider them.
**UPDATE: From Gateway Pundit we get this contrast, President Obama vs President Obama. In 2009, he said:
The message I hope to deliver is that democracy, rule of law, freedom of speech, freedom of religion — those are not simply principles of the west to be hoisted on these countries. But, rather what I believe to be universal principles that they can embrace and affirm as part of their national identity, the danger, I think, is when the United States, or any country, thinks that we can simply impose these values on another country with a different history and a different culture.
But now, the story is changing:
The White House is shifting toward the more aggressive goal in Libya of ousting President Muammar Gadhafi and “installing a democratic system,” actions that fall outside the United Nations Security Council resolution under which an international coalition is now acting, according to a conversation between President Obama and Turkey’s prime minister.
The contrasts keep coming.