Speaking at a press conference in Jamaica, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton laid out the stakes in the current Congressional controversy over the Libyan war she talked Barack Obama into launching:
“So I know we live in a hyper-information-centric world right now, and March seems like it’s a decade ago, but by my calendar, it’s only months. And in those months, we have seen an international coalition come together unprecedented between not only NATO, but Arab nations, the Arab League, and the United Nations.
“This is something that I don’t think anyone could have predicted, but it is a very strong signal as to what the world expects to have happen, and I say with all respect that the Congress is certainly free to raise any questions or objections, and I’m sure I will hear that tomorrow when I testify.
“But the bottom line is, whose side are you on? Are you on Qaddafi’s side, or are you on the side of the aspirations of the Libyan people and the international coalition that has been created to support them? For the Obama Administration, the answer to that question is very easy.”
Just imagine what would have happened if the Bush Administration had addressed its domestic critics that way. He had his “with us or with the terrorists” Bush Doctrine, but that was directed at wobbly foreign allies and adversaries, not Congress.
You may recall that Bush’s press secretary, Ari Fleischer, was absolutely crucified for saying this, two weeks after 9/11:
“I’m aware of the press reports about what he’s said. I have not seen the actual transcript of the show itself. But assuming the press reports are right, it’s a terrible thing to say, and it’s unfortunate. And that’s why – there was an earlier question about has the President said anything to people in his own party – they’re reminders to all Americans that they need to watch what they say, watch what they do. This is not a time for remarks like that; there never is.”
He was responding to a reporter who specifically asked him about President Bush’s reaction to a Republican congressman, John Cooksey of Louisiana, who made a very insensitive “diaper head” comment, and the comedy stylings of Bill Maher, who Fleischer was told had described “members of our armed forces who deal with missiles are cowards, while the armed terrorists who killed 6,000 unarmed [civilians] are not cowards.” This was, nevertheless, treated as the beginning of the Bush Terror.
Clinton is dealing in the same kind of false “straw man” rhetoric her boss, President Obama, simply cannot give a speech without using. (He did it again in his Afghanistan withdrawal speech last week.) Obama always describes himself as a reasonable moderate, sailing the calm waters between “those” nameless figures who say two extreme things nobody is actually saying. Clowns to the left of me, jokers to the right, and here I am, stuck in the middle with you, America.
So the only two possible positions on Libya are (a) support for Obama’s war, or (b) wholehearted endorsement of the Qaddafi dictatorship? In that case, Mrs. Clinton, why are you teaming up with Bashar Assad to crush the democratic aspirations of the Syrian people? The tyrant you famously described as a “reformer” just a few months ago is butchering his people in the streets again today. Why haven’t you advocated air strikes against him yet, or even declared him an illegitimate ruler? By your logic, the only possible reason is that you support his dictatorship.
Whose side was the Democrat Party on, when it opposed the internment and interrogation techniques that led to the location and elimination of Osama bin Laden?
Whose side was Democrat Senator Dick Durbin on, when he described American soldiers as “Nazis, Soviets in their gulags, or some mad regime – Pol Pot or others – that had no concern for human beings?”
Whose side was the Democrat Party on when they claimed George Bush had somehow hypnotized them into voting in favor of the Iraq War? The Party has never attempted to refute any of the other reasons given for the invasion, besides the failure to find sufficiently spectacular quantities of apocalyptic weapons. By Clinton’s logic, doesn’t that put them firmly on Saddam Hussein’s team, as they made a deafening spectacle of regretting the military campaign that took him out?
A pair of would-be jihad terrorists was just arrested for planning to stage a new Ft. Hood massacre at a Seattle recruiting center, which includes a day-care facility. They specifically imagined themselves producing headlines that said “MUSLIM MALES WALK INTO BUILDING AND GUN DOWN EVERYBODY.” One of them is a U.S. Navy veteran, a radical Muslim who used to go by the name Joseph Anthony Davis, before he changed it to “Abu Khalid Abdul-Latif.”
Rep. Peter King (R-NY) has been holding hearings into Muslim radicalization. Democrats tried to shut down these hearings by accusing King of racism, and in the case of the bizarre Sheila Jackson-Lee (D-TX), serving the interests of “Christian militants that undermine the constitutional right of abortion.” Whose side are the Democrats on?
Do you really want to play this game, Secretary Clinton? No, of course you don’t. What you said was both foolish and deeply unprofessional. Let us have an apology from you, and then move on to a rational discussion of the Libyan operation, its progress, and its legality.