Obama Explains Why We're Dropping Bombs on Libya
Every once in a while, President Obama has to explain to the nation why he's doing stuff. He doesn't want to do it, because you guys annoy him, and you don't want to listen to it, because Dancing With the Stars is on. But this is how democracy works! And we are currently dropping bombs on Libya, a country (?) in Africa (?), and it is important that you know why we are doing such a thing, because otherwise George Will or someone will whine forever and ever, and also, your tax dollars something something.
So President Obama stood dutifully in front of a bunch of American flags and let us all know that we'd averted a "looming humanitarian crisis." You see, Libyan dictator Muammar Qaddafi is a really bad dude, and he was going to murder his own people, and saving the lives of Arabs is, in this case, in our country's interests!
But more importantly than that, Obama wants us to know that our war-ish Libya thing is not Iraq. Not even a little bit: "The risk and the cost of this operation–-to our military, and to American taxpayers—will be reduced significantly." (Glad to hear that very little of the significant part of my tax dollar paying for our enormous military is going toward an even vaguely humanitarian mission!) In fact, NATO is taking over now, so don't worry, bros, we have a totally limited role in this who shebang and we can get back to the real focus of our military, murdering 15-year-old Afghan civilians.
He didn't, before you ask, mention an "exit strategy" or an "endgame," likely for the simple reason that he has no clue how this is going to pan out and neither does anyone else. Not that it will satisfy pundits/bloggers/people who learned the phrase "exit strategy" while warblogging about Iraq! And, as you know, the real reason Obama had to give a boring speech essentially rehashing everything his administration's representatives have been saying since we first starting flying our planes over Libya is to make sure that everyone has something new to have an opinion about. "Did Obama convince the American people?" "Did Obama sell the intervention?" "Is the intervention good or bad?" "Is the intervention legal or illegal?" Yes, there are a lot of things to have opinions about. (There seems to be some kind of secret contest to see who can be the most irritatingly cynical about the no-fly zone, where the prize is "being an asshole.")
But, as Andrew Sullivan put it, "a blogger has to take a position, even if not make a decision," and who are we to argue against that? Indeed, who are we to say that "taking a position" ("pro" or "anti") is not only the least fruitful way to approach a complicated discussion about both the specifics of this no-fly zone and the more general question of humanitarian intervention but is in many cases actively damaging to that discussion?
Oh, right, I am a blogger, and I "have" to take a position. My position on Libya is: God I hope this ends well. My position on positions: You do not have to take one, and sometimes it is better not to. And now: Dancing With the Stars!