Missed it live because most presidential speeches begin during or after O'Reilly; this one knocked out half of Shep's and Tingles' shows.
Points to ponder..( a quicker summary is at bottom)
> The speech sounded a tad overly sensitive.. "we acted swiftly"; "I ordered warships into the Mediterranean"; "at my direction, America led UN resolution, really, really quick compared to Bosnia, etc, etc.";
> The international community offered Gaddafi a "final chance". Gee, Saddam got one of those, too.
> "If we waited one more day, Charlotte would have been wiped out". I swear I heard that!
> "We hit Rommel's tanks in Benghazi, and cut off his supply lines". I swear I heard that too!
> It's funny how people keep talking about the Arab League being on our side; aren't they made up of a coalition of dictators or in the least non-democratic oil shiekhs? If they joined the battle it seems they would be fighting themselves. Or maybe I just don't understand it.
> If NATO actually takes over the role in 'protecting civilians on the ground' does that mean they'll be the ones providing the gun camera video and explaining collateral damage in coming weeks, not us? Also, if we're protecting citizens on the ground, does that also include civilians loyal to Gaddafi? Is there a way to know?
> Since Obama is divorcing himself from this action and handing it to NATO he can't later jump front and center and take credit for any successes after spending weeks "leading from the rear".
> Obama's argument for acting to save Benghazi was emotionally persuasive but it's hard to know what would have happened had we not acted. It's sort of like predicting how many jobs a stimulus program saved, or how many people weren't killed by a tornado because the siren went off. Gates said this wasn't a threat to US national security and Obama's itching to get out of the lead, so why couldn't we have let the Arab League, France and Britain protect Benghazi?
> He tried to make the case that letting the dictator survive after saying "he must go" would render the UN's word as impotent. Wait, that was Bush on Iraq, my bad. Obama tried to make the case that Arab revolutions would be threatened by a surviving Gaddafi because the other dictators would see it and mimic the violence, knowing we wouldn't act. That was his strongest point.
> He didn't want to put a bunch of troops on the ground to overthrow the power structure, preferring instead to leverage the local militias. WAIT.. that was also Bush, on Afghanistan. Sorry again. Obama said he didn't want to put troops on the ground because taking out Gaddafi directly would fracture the coalition, even though Gaddafi is a murderous thug bastard responsible for NATO being there in the first place.
> Around the 17:50 mark the Bush bashing began. Not sure if it was a coincidence--probably so--but when Obama mentioned "we've been down that road before" regards Iraq, Joe Biden dropped his head, almost as if in shame...
Then Obama praised "the troops" and "diplomats" for giving us "hope" that Iraq might be successful, followed by pointing out all the years it took, the deaths, and the enormous cost to put the cherry on his "I'm not a dumbass like Bush" cake.
For some reason he didn't mention any similar Afghanistan facts at all. What's even happening over there, anyway?
Apparently this poltroon doesn't have it in him to take the high road. Ever. Bush spoke many times about the quest for human freedom to include the Arab world, which was one of the solutions to stopping terrorism. In other words he got the ball rolling, and this cad bashes him for Iraq--the same cad who thought so highly of the Iraqi people that he didn't want to remove their even more brutal dictator, then in the process of removing him, wanted to bolt and leave them to their "civil war" fate.
> Oil. There was no mention of it, whatsoever.
> The future. He said the people will choose, "as it should be". Who could disagree? But Obama has some history in Africa. He went to Kenya in 2006 ostensibly to campaign with Raila Odinga, who claims to be related to Obama, is a Muslim-loving democratic-socialist or a dirty capitalist, depending on perspective, whose supporters rioted after he lost a contested presidential election resulting in a massacre. Obama told Odinga he "wanted to make history together", although it's not clear what type of history he meant. Will the administration actually take sides when the victorious rebels push towards a particular side of the political spectrum? Just sayin..
Quicker Summary-- he made the case that we have to always act to save lives when dictators threaten their own people, unless we don't. He made the case that leaving Gaddafi in power would embolden other dictators in the region, neuter the UN, and threaten the democracy movement, then said we can't be seen as taking out Gaddafi or the coalition would fall apart.
Yes, we're living in weird times.
He intoned that our national interest was involved due to keeping alive the fragile democracy movement, and when coupled with the predicted massacre in Benghazi it became an emergency that allowed him to escape the messiness of dealing with Congress. Then he bashed Bush for Iraq, thanked the troops and some diplomats for saving Iraq, and said a lot of the same things Bush said about democracy and freedom. Onward ho to wherever we go.