Earlier today, officials confirmed that Gaddafi has been killed at the hands of National Transitional Council forces near his hometown of Sirte. The former Libyan leader was found hiding with bodyguards beneath a road near the city. He had been injured by a NATO airstrike, and died from wounds suffered during his capture.
How do you think Libya will proceed without Gaddafi? Do you think Obama will lessen American involvement with NATO forces? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.
Early on Thursday's The Daily Rundown on MSNBC, as news was breaking of the reported death of Libyan dictator Moammar Qadhafi, host Chuck Todd used the opportunity to declare: "...a trillion dollars and thousands of U.S. lives to topple a dictator in Iraq, it's a billion dollars and no U.S. lives to topple a dictator in Libya. That's a – that's a pretty stark contrast." [Audio available here]
Todd, NBC's chief White House correspondent, made the gratuitous shot at the Bush administration while talking to Robin Wright of the liberal Woodrow Wilson Center, who proclaimed: "...this is going to be an enormous success for the Obama administration in looking at how quickly it was done, with what international cooperation....it's one where the United States changes the narrative from what happened in Iraq." [View video after the jump]
Reporting on President Obama speaking at the United Nations for Wednesday's NBC Today, chief foreign affairs correspondent Andrea Mitchell sympathetically declared: "Preparing for today's speech, the President was all smiles for the class photo, but while hoping to run a victory lap as the new Libyan government officially joined the United Nations....Everywhere else, trouble loomed."
Referring to the Palestinian push for statehood recognition from the UN, Mitchell described how Obama was "grappling with the same problem that has trapped American presidents for more than half a century, the Middle East." Later in the report, Mitchell cautioned: "The President could end up paying a heavy political price for supporting Palestinian rights in the past, even as he is losing support around the world for standing by Israel this week at the UN."
CNN's Fareed Zakaria got more than he bargained for in his Sunday interview with guest Donald Rumsfeld.
As he pushed the former Secretary of Defense on America's need to cut military spending, the "GPS" host blushed when Rumsfeld smartly said, "There are people who think we're living in the post-American world, to coin a phrase. There are people who believe that we should step back and lead from behind" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
It certainly wasn't a Paul Krugman moment, but is the tenth anniversary of the biggest attack on our mainland a good time to say, "Fifty years from now, we might even look at 9/11 as simply the beginning of the decline of America?"
That's what Fareed Zakaria said Sunday on the CNN program bearing his name (video follows with transcript and commentary):
By all accounts, President Obama has been far more hawkish than anyone anywhere in the world could have possibly imagined.
Despite this, "New Yorker" magazine editor David Remnick told the crew at MSNBC's "Morning Joe" Friday that the current Administration is responsible for the lack of anti-American displays in Arab Spring uprisings (video follows with transcript and commentary):
On Saturday's CBS Evening News, correspondent Barry Petersen filed a report which highlighted Human Rights Watch's analysis of government records in Libya which document that, during the Bush administration, the CIA sent prisoners to Libya as part of its renditioning program. Anchor Russ Mitchell saw the papers as potentially "troubling" as he introduced the report:
The text box works in a typical crack at Bush administration foreign policy: “Using force when justified but not going it alone.” The implication, common in the pages of the Times, is that Bush somehow went it alone in the invasion of Iraq. For the record, the United States actually led a 30-nation coalition in Iraq (35 countries joined the fight in Afghanistan).
Tina Brown seems to be very conflicted about her opinion of Dick Cheney.
After telling the "Morning Joe" panel the former Vice President is a "wrecking ball" who "seems to be totally in denial still about Iraq," the Daily Beast-Newsweek editor said moments later, "He's been validated by Obama" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
In a Thursday NPR interview, CNN's openly-gay anchor Don Lemon lumped discrimination against gays and lesbians in with atrocities committed in Libya.
When asked why audiences should be interested in gay and lesbian issues, Lemon answered that "people are glued to what's happening in Libya, because it affects us. Any atrocity that's committed against one person affects us all and we are becoming more of one society, of a global society. "
House Republicans are introducing a bill today with hopes to force major changes on the United Nations. The bill would require the UN to allow member countries to fund the UN agencies of their choosing rather than according to a formula, end funding for Palestinian refugees, limit U.S. funding to be used only for purposes specifically outlined by Congress, and end contributions to peacekeeping programs until changes in management take place.
With the United States contributing 22% of the UN's operating budget, the GOP believes there is enough leverage to force these changes in the UN. Led by the Republican chairwoman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Ilena Ros-Lehtinen, the changes are designed to end corruption and inefficiency in the global organization. How involved do you think the U.S. should be in the UN? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.
On Tuesday's edition of the Stephanie Miller radio show, she welcomed the one she called "Dreamy News Man," the former MSNBC anchor David Shuster, now just picking up anchoring scraps from that flailing show with the terminally arrogant former sportscaster on Current TV. Predictably, Shuster pleased the persistently Obama-cheerleading Miller by suggesting the Republicans were in "Crazy-land en masse" on Libya. It's apparently "absolutely crazy" to question the patience, the firmness, the wisdom of Team Obama's foreign policy:
On Tuesday morning, CNN's Kyra Phillips asked why the Republican presidential candidates have not been speaking out on foreign policy in Libya during the climactic battle in the country's capital between rebel and imperial forces. CNN had interviewed Republican candidate Jon Huntsman the night before, but had not yet asked him about the conflict in Libya, in the first of a two-part interview set to conclude Tuesday night.
"This week's battle in Libya, the first big chance for the GOP presidential hopefuls to show their foreign policy savvy," Phillips noted during the 10 a.m. hour of Newsroom. "Why haven't we heard from them?" she asked. Liberal CNN analyst Roland Martin subsequently hammered the Republicans as "wimps" for their silence.
It's enough to make you scream . . . On Morning Joe today, Howard Dean rapped Mitt Romney for calling on the Libyan rebels to turn Gaddafi over to the US for trial. According to Dean, Romney's suggestion made "no sense" and exposed his lack of foreign policy experience.
There was just one little problem with Howie's hypothesis. Romney never called for the rebels to turn Gaddafi over to the US. As was clear from both Romney's words in the clip Morning Joe aired of his Fox News interview with Neil Cavuto, and in the graphics at the bottom of the FNC screen, Romney wants the rebels to turn the Lockerbie bomber, Megrahi, over to the US for trial, not Gaddafi. Hat tip readers Gil S. and BondPlainBond. View video after the jump.
It's not at all surprising the Obama-loving, anti-war media are gushing and fawning over what appears to be a rebel victory in Libya.
On MSNBC's "Hardball" Monday, the Huffington Post's Howard Fineman joined in the victory lap mocking skeptical Republicans by sniping, "If Barack Obama came out and said, 'You know, I really love apple pie,' they would say, 'Apple pie is a socialist plot'” (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Want to watch an MSM version of Stand By Your Man? Check out the video here after the jump. Tamron Hall, theoretically an MSNBC show "host" and not a pundit, gets visibly upset with Michael Singh, a former foreign policy adviser to President George W. Bush. Singh's sin? Apparently being insufficiently enthusiastic in his praise of President Obama's handling of the Libyan situation.
The irony is that Singh is anything but an isolationist. Singh supported the Libyan intervention and hardly came across as a hard partisan. But apparently anything short of fully prostrated praise for the prez is enough to bring down the Wrath Of Hall.
Last night, following the rebel capture of one of Col. Muammar Gadhafi's sons, the one-time heir apparent, and the surrender of another of his sons, massive celebrations erupted in Tripoli, the capital of Libya. Rumors also swirled on the fate of Gadhafi, some saying he had been shot, captured, or escaped to Algeria.
As a rebel spokesman told the Washington Times of the uprising in Tripoli, "Gadhafi's troops just melted away. They left their uniforms in the streets and slipped into civilian gear...We were very surprised by the little resistance. It remains to be seen if Gadhafi has anything up his sleeve, but I think it is over." What do you think is the fate of Gadhafi? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.
While Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) was calling for troop withdrawal in Iraq and Afghanistan, and for that military spending to go to deficit reduction, CNN's Piers Morgan would not press him about U.S. military action in Libya – a decision authorized by Democrat President Obama.
Frank has been a champion of cutting the defense budget and continued his screed Tuesday night, calling for a $200 billion-a-year cut on military spending. He even criticized Obama's decision to leave troops in Iraq. However, he was not asked about Libya, and did not comment on it.
During former President George W. Bush's time in office, he was regularly described as fascist, murderous, and a war criminal for his wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Even if people didn't support the wars, though, Bush obeyed the law and received congressional approval to be in the countries. President Barack Obama is the one acting above the law, having yet to seek approval for being at war with Libya and ignoring the War Powers Act, but the media remains absent on labeling him with the same names.
CNN foreign affairs analyst Fareed Zakaria – who has recently had off-the-record conversations with President Obama on foreign issues – noted the president's "restraint" in his dealing with the "Arab Spring" and the conflict in Libya Wednesday. Zakaria previously gave a thumbs-up for Obama's Mideast speech in May and later defended the president's plan for removing American troops from Afghanistan.
The point-of-note is that this is the same analyst whom, according to the New York Times, President Obama "sounded out" while shaping his foreign policy. The two simply had "off-the-record" conversations on foreign issues, according to Zakaria, and the CNN host claimed he was not an advisor to the President.
New York Times reporter Jennifer Steinhauer showed her labeling slant in Wednesday’s “news analysis” on how the war in Libya is tearing apart the Republican Party, “U.S. Mission Exposes Divisions in Congress and Within G.O.P.,” finding “conservatives” and “right-of-center” pols, but failing to identify the ultra-liberal Rep. Dennis Kucinich as a liberal. The strongest word Steinhauer could find for Kucinich was “anti-war.”
In the past Steinhauer has singled out Republican politicians as ideologically extreme, citing Rep. Allen West for his “hard-right stands” and overdosing on the “conservative” label. She wrote on Wednesday:
Sen. John McCain, whose life is a continuing exemplar of the American heroic ideal, regrettably has got it quite wrong when he says that growing GOP opposition to the Libyan and Afghan wars is evidence of isolationism. In his words on weekend television:
"Well, I was more concerned about what the candidates in New Hampshire the other night said. This is isolationism. There's always been an isolation strain in the Republican Party — the Pat Buchanan wing of our party. But now it seems to have moved more center stage, so to speak. ... If we had not intervened, Gadhafi was at the gates of Benghazi. He said he was going to go house to house to kill everybody. That's a city of 700,000 people. What would we be saying now if we had allowed that to happen?
The New York Times has evidently gotten over its Bush-era loathing of U.S. invasions.No more fears of a "rush to war" these days. Instead, the Times uncovered precious "free Libya moments" among the America-loving citizenry of that country, where Americans and Westerners in general are greeted as liberators and people are even "reportedly" naming their daughters after Obama's U.N. ambassador Susan Rice.
Republican Congressman and retired Army veteran Allen West (R-Fla.) said he "cannot understand" America’s involvement in Libya and that U.S. military is being used as a "rent-a-force" in the region.
"For every decision there are consequences and we have to sometimes analyze what could be those consequences. Just the same with operations in Libya – I cannot understand it. I don’t know what the goal and objective are," West said in an address at the Heritage Foundation on Tuesday.
Time magazine's Joe Klein this weekend claimed President Obama has a better relationship with the military than George W. Bush did when he was Commander-in-Chief.
Such hypocritically was said on "The Chris Matthews Show" just moments before Klein noted that the military were "very much opposed" to attacking Libya (video follows with partial transcript and commentary):
The War Powers Act is relevant in certain circumstances, including (Section 1543) "in any case in which United States Armed Forces are introduced ... into the territory, airspace or waters of a foreign nation, while equipped for combat." This would clearly apply to the Libyan situation.
The Act requires timely presidential notification of the commencement of such operations. Though of dubious constitutionality, the Act further requires that (Section 1544) "Within sixty calendar days ... the President shall terminate any use of United States Armed Forces" unless Congress has declared war or has enacted a specific authorization ..."
We're at Day 60, and the Obama administration isn't going to comply with any of this. Here is how the Associated Press is headlining and describing Barack Obama's failure to comply (copied in full for future reference, fair use and discussion purposes):
Update below the break: Although Zakaria said he would be "surprised" if any Israelis objected to Obama's "quite even-handed" call for pre-1967 borders between Israel and Palestine, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu expressed clear disapproval of the idea Thursday.
CNN's Fareed Zakaria appeared three times on Newsroom Thursday to preview and evaluate President Obama's speech on the Middle East – but never revealed that he has recently had face-to-face meetings with the president on foreign policy matters.
Last weekend a comment by CNN prime time host Eliot Spitzer revealed that Zakaria was advising the president on foreign policy matters, but Zakaria later dismissed that observation and said he simply had off-the-record conversations with Obama on foreign issues. However, he still did not disclose that information when he evaluated Obama's foreign policy speech Thursday on CNN.
Obama’s "deliberate, almost scholarly" approach to foreign policy may be obtaining mixed results at best, but New York Times reporter Mark Landler trumpeted the White House line that the killing of Osama bin Laden would enable Obama to "reset" American policy in the Arab world: "Obama Seeks Reset in Arab World – Speech Likely to Put Bin Laden’s Death in Context of Uprisings." After years of falsely deriding President Bush as an incurious cowboy set on "going it alone" in foreign policy, the Times finds Obama's "immersion" in liberal journo-think (like Times columnist Tom Friedman) a welcome sign of "scholarly" pragmatism.
For President Obama, the killing of Osama bin Laden is more than a milestone in America’s decade-long battle against terrorism. It is a chance to recast his response to the upheaval in the Arab world after a frustrating stretch in which the stalemate in Libya, the murky power struggle in Yemen and the brutal crackdown in Syria have dimmed the glow of the Egyptian revolution.