The PJ Tatler

Liveblog: Obama on Libya (Update: Link to full speech added)

I’ll be here with reaction to President Obama’s speech on Libya. I’ll also be on PJTV with reaction afterwards.

Update – 6:35 – Obama describing Libya as an uprising of the people against a tyrant who was a threat and had killed Americans.


Update – Once again says Gaddafi had lost “confidence of his people” and “legitimacy to lead.” Gaddafi never had either, he took power in a coup against the country’s elected leader.

Update – Everything Obama is saying about Gaddafi’s brutality is true, but was truer of Saddam Hussein and for a longer period of time, yet Obama built his presidency on opposing the war to remove Saddam.

Update – Discusses the coalition on Libya, which is actually far smaller than the coalition that removed Saddam. Turkey is a nice addition to the Libya coalition, though.

Update – A year to move against Iraq = “rush to war.” A month to act against Libya = necessary speed.

Update – Extolling NATO coalition, still hasn’t explained why it is that NATO is involved, or that the US is by far the majority force in NATO.

Update – Attempting to explain intervention in Libya, but not elsewhere. Straw man: Arguments over where to act can’t be an argument for never acting. He’s saying this to people who support our action elsewhere, action Obama himself didn’t support. Egads.

Update – “I refuse to wait for photos of slaughter and mass graves before taking action.”

Update – “A failure to act in Libya would have acted a far greater price for America.” And that price would have been…?


Update – Won’t pursue regime change through military, but will pursue regime change by other means. Force bad, sanctions good, even if the outcome is the same.

Update – If you can’t tell, I’m finding the president unpersuasive. More later on PJTV.

Update: Here’s a link to the full speech. It’s not any more persuasive as pixels than as sound. This was by far the most unpresidential address I’ve ever seen delivered in the context of an American president leading the nation into war kinetic military action. President Obama clearly put the coalition’s importance ahead of the mission. He clearly has little idea of why we’re acting in Libya. From a communications point of view, setting this speech outside the Oval Office had the effect of minimizing its importance and its impact. He’ll get a bump for a day or two, but unless the rebels win quickly, this speech won’t sustain support for the intervention in Libya.

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