I couldn’t bear to watch the President’s why-we’re-in-Libya speech as it wasbroadcast: it’s Spring, after all, and my garden needs planting. Priorities, priorities, priorities: so important, in politics and in life.
We all have our priorities: I have mine, and the President of the United States has his. As an indication of the latter, I note that Obama waited a whole week after deploying US forces before deigning to explain his actions to the American people. He has yet to go to Congress for authorization, although he made sure he cleared it with our pushyallies and the UN Security Council. Having received this double-dispensation, Congress is for him but an afterthought. This is the true meaning of “multilateralism”: world opinion matters, American opinion – not so much.
When he finally did come before us to justify this latest episode of world-saving, he didn’t address Congress, but “the most servile audience he could find,” as James Bovard so trenchantly put it, “uniformed military officers at the National DefenseUniversity. The room will be full of people who are owned lock, stock, and barrel by the government. The officers have spent their lives working for Uncle Sam, and they know that a single ill-time hoot during Obama’s talk could end their careers.”
There would be no “You lie!” moment in this setting. Such safeguards were not for nothing, because practically every other word out of his mouth was either a lie or a truth so veiled in ambiguity that it merges into untruth on closer inspection.