Trust Obama on Libya?

Posted on March 30, 2011 by

Why do I believe what Barack Obama is saying about Libya? 

Am I naive? 

How many times does this president have to mislead and disappoint me before I get the message that he’s not representing my political values? 

But corporate, financial and military elites. 

Why am I so attracted to his vision of the United States as a powerful force for good in the world?  And why do I trust him to use military force for allegedly humanitarian purposes? 

For one thing, he needs my support. 

His republican opponents are so merciless and vicious in their criticism, so determined to undermine and destroy him. 

I want to stand up for him and his presidency. 

Then there’s the hope that he’s earnest, well-meaning and absolutely correct.  That American and NATO forces did prevent a massacre.  And that this mission will not backfire on the people of Libya or the United States. 

Progressive democrats are frustrated. 

It’s not just because Obama’s policies are so moderate.  But that all the compromising in the world doesn’t discourage the president’s enemies from demonizing and marginalizing him. 

Despite this – or maybe because of it – as the 2012 election season approaches, democrats (especially unions) will fall in line.  Even if his record on workers issues, for example, leaves us cold. 

We want to trust Barack Obama. 

And - especially when he orders the use military force - give him the benefit of the doubt.

Comments (8)


  1. Robespierre says:

    Why do you want to trust Obama? He has screwed the left, the middle and the right. I am just very happy that he soon will join his political peer, Jimmy Carter, in the role of former (and failed) presidents. I trust that the United states has now learned it’s lesson. Or are we the rubes at the carnival who keep spending money on the sideshow games despite the fact that no one ever gets the big stuffed toy?

  2. Greg says:

    And I disagree with both of you. I feel he has done an incredible job especially given the vitriol and complete nonsensical crap come at him from the right. I understand people being upset about not getting single payer in health care. We wouldn’t have gotten health care done with single payer. I can see it coming sooner rather than later. The resistance that the Republicans have to it is going to create a need for a fix and the only fix will be single payer. I hate the give on the taxes for the wealthy. If that hadn’t happened, there would have been none of the amazing work that got done in the lame duck session. The place where I am most disappointed has to do with financial regulation. There was some progress made there, but again the Republicans have been so incredibly recalcitrant there was never an opportunity to even begin to create any meaningful change. How many times has it happened that Republican’s have pushed for something, the president said okay, we can do that and then the Republican’s backed away from it. That, I don’t think is an indication of anything but his willingness to work with the opposition. His effort has been to get things done regardless of politics. Far from being a failure, I think he is one of the most amazing Presidents we have had in sometime.

    • mary says:

      thx for this sane response Greg … ufortunately many “progressive” liberals are as bigotted & as blinkered as the right ….

  3. RL says:

    Time for truly concerned citizens to stop looking for Obama to bring about real change…he did say in his campaign speeches leading up to election that he will not be able to to do anything without us pushing him. Organizing and Uniting needs to happen in this country on the common citizen level in a grand way to make demands on issues which we see no room for debates to take place on between these career politicians. Financial regulation, and tax loop holes for corporations are the big ones i feel real demands should have been made with no compromise. Tax loopholes alone would remedy this illusion of budget issues that don’t allow for basic essentials to be properly funded (education, state funded services, medical insurance). I’m ready to elect a non-career politician that is not affiliated with either the democrats or republicans…who to me are the same group carrying on in this play and at the end of the day hold hostage the basic things that all good Americans desire…which is not much. As for Libya…it has nothing to do with whether or not we trust Obama’s intentions…that is irrelevant. The actions were not wise and plain wrong as it broke the proper lawful process we have in place when it comes to acts of war. There is still no clarity as to what happened ont he ground in Libya, yet without Congress’ approval he went ahead and had us support military action in the UN process. China & Russia removed themselves from supporting…why? It is a flawed precedent to set…intervention without clarity and confirmation. Do we even know what percent of the population approximately were taking to the streets? Do we know if these armed rebels attacked first? Do we know who they are and how they are getting armed? Don’t get me wrong, Ghadaffi is a horrible leader and needs to GO…but it’s about how he goes and the precedent that is set. If we accept the manner that this was handled, will we except let’s say Britian taking military action on our US soil against the US Military who are fighting against armed rebels that make up say 5% of the population? What if the TEA BAGGERS took up arms and said OBAMA must go!!! Obama orders force used against these armed and attacking rebels. See how things can get blurry…most Americans would probably say…hey Britian, thanks but no thanks….let our military or police forces funded by tax payers deal with these armed rebels.

  4. Michael Powelson says:

    The US has perpetrated massacres in both Afghanistan and Iraq, so it’s too late in the game to now claim that in the case of Libya the US government has suddenly acquired a heart.

    If the US is interested in stopping brutal regimes that are killing their own people they should start with their allies: Bahrain, Yemen, and Saudi Arabia. Until the US shows that it will pressure it’s allies how can anyone take seriously the argument that it intervened to prevent a massacre?

    I thought Obama was elected to get the US out of wars, not to start new ones!

  5. Greg says:

    The problem with all that you have listed Michael is the despot have supported us in the fight against the extremists. That puts us in a really tenuous place. The scenario with Libya, in my estimation is not a war. Because of the way we have always done things people think it’s a war. It’s not. We’ve got planes dropping bombs, blowing up Ghadaffi’s warehouses and guidance systems. We’re basically helping the rebels get a leg up. He believes that if the populace wants the leader gone, with a little help from their friends it can happen without becoming mired the way that we have in Iraq. Had we done this in Iraq, we’d be out by now. Afganistan is a different story.

  6. Greg says:

    RL. It doesn’t matter who we elect. If we are not involved in the push, nothing is going to happen. It’s not enough just to vote and then wait for somebody to do something. As you have noticed, there is all kinds of incoming on the president, coming from all sides, if our voices are not among those that are coming in and insisting that he needs to hear us, well, who’s fault is that?

    • Roger says:


      What do you suggest we ACTUALLY do? What does it mean to PUSH?

      What are you doing to make YOUR voice heard?

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