The President’s speech did little to convince me of anything. I remain on the fence. Initially, I supported intervention in Libya, back when Ghaddafi was attacking protesters. Obama’s speech seems to address that situation.
What I am not convinced of is if the situation that President Obama seeks to address still exists.
When protesters were being attacked in the streets, a no fly zone made some sense. This is clearly not the case anymore. I am hard pressed to see how this is anything but intervention–taking sides– in a civil war.
Let’s get a few things out of the way. There is no vital US interest. The President said so, just as much. The only enumerated interest is that we have the power and the opportunity to prevent a humanitarian atrocity. This is not to be discounted, but it is also yet to be established. I want to support the President here, but other than some references in his speech to looming atrocities, the evidence of such is still as scarce as WMDs in Iraq.
This is what I need to see. The world presumed a WMD threat from Saddam and we acted. We broke a country it has taken decade and too many American lives to fix it. So I want some proof of pending atrocities, as much proof as ever can be established.
I will not fault the President for indecisiveness here, as the right thing to do is elusive. But, one cannot help but surmise that the decision to go to war, and that is what it is, had additional sources other than those cited by the President.
Without substantive and public proof of the looming atrocities of which the President spoke, I don’t think we have the moral high ground here. Indecisiveness is appropriate when the facts do not justify action. It seems we might have acted and then thought that justification might be handy, but I don’t know this. This is the problem. The President has not told us anything until now about the need to do this.
Why now? Why so late? Why present valid reasons ten days later? If all this was the real reason, why not give this speech the night we took to the air? Why now? Why only after 10 days of criticism? Why address so much of your speech to critics? Doesn’t that undercut your noble motives?
I want more, Mr. President. I want proof that we had no choice. Otherwise it still seems like we are taking sides in a civil war and that no matter who wins, we lose.
You have said why, Mr. President. Now prove it.