Daily Archives: March 19, 2011

Quote of the Day – Is Libya the Women’s War?

“Silly, sexist me. Yesterday, I associated military action against Libya with testosterone. As the New York Times reports today, the pressure for action came Hillary Clinton, UN Ambassador Susan Rice and the NSC human rights expert Samantha Power–with the macho boys over at the Pentagon opposed. This may be a first in American history, a welcome one I might add–although I remain extremely skeptical about military action and heartened that the President seems intent on letting other countries take the lead.”

Joe Klein

So who’s in charge?

OK…We’re committed in Libya. Here’s Obama’s statement this afternoon…

Good afternoon, everybody. Today I authorized the Armed Forces of the United States to begin a limited military action in Libya in support of an international effort to protect Libyan civilians. That action has now begun.

In this effort, the United States is acting with a broad coalition that is committed to enforcing United Nations Security Council Resolution 1973, which calls for the protection of the Libyan people. That coalition met in Paris today to send a unified message, and it brings together many of our European and Arab partners.

This is not an outcome that the United States or any of our partners sought. Even yesterday, the international community offered Muammar Qaddafi the opportunity to pursue an immediate cease-fire, one that stopped the violence against civilians and the advances of Qaddafi’s forces. But despite the hollow words of his government, he has ignored that opportunity. His attacks on his own people have continued. His forces have been on the move. And the danger faced by the people of Libya has grown.

I am deeply aware of the risks of any military action, no matter what limits we place on it. I want the American people to know that the use of force is not our first choice and it’s not a choice that I make lightly. But we cannot stand idly by when a tyrant tells his people that there will be no mercy, and his forces step up their assaults on cities like Benghazi and Misurata, where innocent men and women face brutality and death at the hands of their own government.

So we must be clear: Actions have consequences, and the writ of the international community must be enforced. That is the cause of this coalition.

As a part of this effort, the United States will contribute our unique capabilities at the front end of the mission to protect Libyan civilians, and enable the enforcement of a no-fly zone that will be led by our international partners. And as I said yesterday, we will not — I repeat — we will not deploy any U.S. troops on the ground.

As Commander-in-Chief, I have great confidence in the men and women of our military who will carry out this mission. They carry with them the respect of a grateful nation.

I’m also proud that we are acting as part of a coalition that includes close allies and partners who are prepared to meet their responsibility to protect the people of Libya and uphold the mandate of the international community.

I’ve acted after consulting with my national security team, and Republican and Democratic leaders of Congress. And in the coming hours and days, my administration will keep the American people fully informed. But make no mistake: Today we are part of a broad coalition. We are answering the calls of a threatened people. And we are acting in the interests of the United States and the world.

Thank you very much.

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I really hoped we wouldn’t end up with our third simultaneous conflict in the Middle East. Hopefully, this time we’re not paying for all of it.

Saturday Afternoon Entertainment… “I Like U” by The Chase

Now doesn’t that make your day better?

Warren Christopher dies at 85

Warren Christopher, who spent 45 years serving Democratic Administrations (including Secretary of State for Bill Clinton), died yesterday of complications from bladder and kidney cancer at his home in California.

Hillary Clinton commenting on Christopher said:

“Warren was a diplomat’s diplomat — talented, dedicated and exceptionally wise. As well as anyone in his generation, he understood the subtle interplay of national interests, fundamental values and personal dynamics that drive diplomacy.”

His achievements were notable. With Richard Holbrooke, Christopher brokered the 1995 Dayton agreement ending the war in Bosnia. He restored diplomatic relations with Vietnam and pushed for the expansion of NATO to include countries of central and Eastern Europe. Christopher oversaw the signing of the Oslo accords between Rabin and Palestine Liberation Organization Chairman Yasser Arafat in Washington.

This was a great man who served by “talking” as opposed to armed battles. His comment says it all:

“Most talking is not glamorous. Often it is tedious. It can be excruciating and exhausting. But talking can also tame conflict, lift the human condition, and move us close to the ideal of peace.”