The frantic, frenetic, high-pitched squeal from all sides of the political aisle could have deafened most any ears. When the United Nations Security Council voted unanimously to institute a “no-fly zone” against Libya and its leader Moammar Gaddafi, there were shrieks of disgust. Where is President Obama? How could he allow this? And, conversely, what has taken him so long?
In 24-plus hours when the bombs began to fall on Libya (some 100 or more Tomahawks in the first bombardment), the shrieks continued. Isn’t this the anti-war president? How did he win a Nobel Prize? This is unconstitutional!
It is one of those rare moments: even though both sides come to the table from vastly different points of view, they have the same end game — what is President Obama doing? Even Louis Farrakhan, who I submit to you is an awful person, asked the question: “Who the hell do you think you are?”
It is blazingly obvious that for all the pundits’ talk about understanding Obama, none of them understand Obama. The Right does not understand the depths of his nature, and the Left does not understand his willingness to play them like pawns (see useful idiots.) Most importantly, neither side has grasped the proper context of Obama, and the fact that Libya has played out exactly as he wanted it to.
I was one of the many people disgusted by Obama’s lack of oratory in 2009 when Iranians were being killed in the streets of Tehran. They wanted to vote. They wanted the opportunity to choose their leaders. They wanted to be able to choose their destiny. Yet, they needed help. Not all help comes in the shape of bullets and rockets, or cruise missiles and combat troops. Sometimes, help comes from those who will stand with you and back your cause, and no greater ally can be had around the world than the United States. With a speech from the bully-pulpit that is the presidency, the world can move a great deal. With the strength and gravitas of the presidency, those who are oppressed recognize that they have an ally in the world. The hard work may still be theirs, but the realization of friends does much to encourage and empower them, in spite of the work ahead.
Obama was nearly silent during those days, and none of his speeches had any connect-ability. There was no tone that could be distinguished as purely American, no words of encouragement that could rally a people, or a nation.
Much of this silence was seen again during Egypt. The president, on his own (or because of yet another gaffe by U.S. Vice President Joe Biden) gave a tacit endorsement of President Hosni Mubarak. One week later Obama was calling for Mubarak’s ouster. On his own accord, Obama legitimized the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt should they fill the void left by Mubarak. Then, silence again. Mubarak, after much back and forth, announced he was stepping down, and the military was taking over. It’s an Obama victory — or so the MSM says. But history already shows the president’s flip-flop not as smart politics, but luck. In two cases where people desire freedom, the American president said nothing.
From the time the Libyan civil war started, to when UN Security Council decided to act, 31 days passed. While there are certainly well-organized elements in Libya (and Egypt) that would be horrible leadership choices for these nations (Muslim Brotherhood, socialists, etc.), their opportunism does not mean an exclusion of other alternatives or realities. There are those who wish to be free, who wish to choose their own lives. While socialists and others may have a heavy hand in the protests, that does not mean they speak for all the protesters yearning to be free.
Thirty-one days, and President Obama gave no speech of note. There would be no reference to “a shining city on a hill.” No chance of hearing, “I have a dream!” Nothing that would embolden and empower. Nothing that would show a freedom fighter that he has friends in the world. Nothing to show the fighter that the fight is worth the reward and that nothing that is worthy is easy. All that was heard from Obama was flowery rhetoric that Gaddafi must go. And then, silence.
It was Glenn Beck who showed the video clip, over and over and over and over again. It was from then-Senator Obama, Democrat nominee for president of the United States. It was five days before the election. Candidate Obama was at the podium, with his then-typical bravado and swagger. He stated clearly, firmly, and with no hesitation, “We are five days from fundamentally transforming the United States of America.”