HE SPEAKS – AT 7:33 P.M. ET: Apparently bugged by the criticism of his failure to speak out on Libya, and presumably aware that Libya is a greater threat to the world than Wisconsin, President Obama spoke out today about the Libyan revolution. Frankly, it wasn't much:
The American people extend our deepest condolences to the families and loved ones of all who’ve been killed and injured. The suffering and bloodshed is outrageous and it is unacceptable. So are threats and orders to shoot peaceful protesters and further punish the people of Libya. These actions violate international norms and every standard of common decency. This violence must stop.
The United States also strongly supports the universal rights of the Libyan people. That includes the rights of peaceful assembly, free speech, and the ability of the Libyan people to determine their own destiny. These are human rights. They are not negotiable. They must be respected in every country. And they cannot be denied through violence or suppression.
That's nice. Fine words, signifying nothing. Compare please with Obama's getting on the phone to American ally Hosni Mubarak and ordering him to get the hell out.
Yesterday a unanimous U.N. Security Council sent a clear message that it condemns the violence in Libya, supports accountability for the perpetrators, and stands with the Libyan people.
Uh, Mr. President, a message isn't a resolution. The message was at the lowest level. Not exactly a ringing denunciation.
I’ve also asked my administration to prepare the full range of options that we have to respond to this crisis. This includes those actions we may take and those we will coordinate with our allies and partners, or those that we’ll carry out through multilateral institutions.
Oh dear, oh dear. What comes next? A college seminar. This means nothing. The crisis is now.
By the way, I was stunned to find out, in the last day, that the U.S. doesn't have a single aircraft carrier in the Mediterranean. How this can be at a time of such convulsion I cannot fathom. Some enterprising journalist assigned to the Pentagon ought to look into this. The crisis began in Tunisia many weeks ago. It doesn't take that long to sail across the Atlantic.
The entire world is watching, and we will coordinate our assistance and accountability measures with the international community. To that end, Secretary Clinton and I have asked Bill Burns, our Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs, to make several stops in Europe and the region to intensify our consultations with allies and partners about the situation in Libya.
Take that, Gaddafi. More consultations. You understand that, you bad boy?
I’ve also asked Secretary Clinton to travel to Geneva on Monday, where a number of foreign ministers will convene for a session of the Human Rights Council. There she’ll hold consultations with her counterparts on events throughout the region and continue to ensure that we join with the international community to speak with one voice to the government and the people of Libya.
Is that a serious statement? Sometimes a president needs someone to whisper to him, "Sir, do you really want to sound as inept and foolish as you actually are?" The UN Human Rights Council is one of the most corrupt bodies in the world. Among its members is Libya.
It's hard to imagine Ronald Reagan rushing Secretary of State George Shultz over to a meeting of the Human Rights Council. Did Clinton try to talk Obama out of this?
February 23, 2011