Barack Obama told America tonight:
“I refused to wait for the images of slaughter and mass graves before taking action.”
Massacre in Syria–
Protesters slaughtered by regime in Yemen–
Regime moves in military on protesters in Bahrain–
To brush aside America’s responsibility as a leader and – more profoundly – our responsibilities to our fellow human beings under such circumstances would have been a betrayal of who we are. Some nations may be able to turn a blind eye to atrocities in other countries. The United States of America is different. And as President, I refused to wait for the images of slaughter and mass graves before taking action.
Moreover, America has an important strategic interest in preventing Gaddafi from overrunning those who oppose him. A massacre would have driven thousands of additional refugees across Libya’s borders, putting enormous strains on the peaceful – yet fragile – transitions in Egypt and Tunisia. The democratic impulses that are dawning across the region would be eclipsed by the darkest form of dictatorship, as repressive leaders concluded that violence is the best strategy to cling to power. The writ of the UN Security Council would have been shown to be little more than empty words, crippling its future credibility to uphold global peace and security. So while I will never minimize the costs involved in military action, I am convinced that a failure to act in Libya would have carried a far greater price for America.
Now, just as there are those who have argued against intervention in Libya, there are others who have suggested that we broaden our military mission beyond the task of protecting the Libyan people, and do whatever it takes to bring down Gaddafi and usher in a new government.
Of course, there is no question that Libya – and the world – will be better off with Gaddafi out of power. I, along with many other world leaders, have embraced that goal, and will actively pursue it through non-military means. But broadening our military mission to include regime change would be a mistake.
Here is the full transcript.
This is the same man who once said that genocide was no reason to keep US troops in Iraq.
Obama said the US would continue to go after Al-Qaeda… Even though Al-Qaeda is allied with the opposition in Libya.
Obama forgets to mention how he ignored the protesters in Iran when they were being slaughtered by the regime.
“We welcome the fact that history is on the move.”
The speech was full of contradictions from Obama’s past statements and actions. He also contradicted what his own cabinet told reporters yesterday about Libya not being vital to US interests.