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March 24, 2011

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OOOOOPS----

Hillary, upon returning from the woodshed, has issued a clarification of her statements on Assad. She wasn't speaking for the administration but rather she was only discussing what other members of Congress were saying about Assad being a reformist after returning from their trips to visit with him. So, does that mean Congress sees him as a reformist but the administration sees him as a ----brutal Dictator, terrorist, or reformist? Is the smoke clearing yet?

AND ON RIFLES----

The administration is now considering arming the rebels to allow them to go after Quaddafi rather than NATO troops coming in. But, we are not engaged in a policy of regime change? Is the smoke clearing?

AND FROM O'Reilly----

O'Reilly supports the US intervening in any event in which innocents are being slaughtered "so long as it does not endanger America". That means, I suppose, we can bomb but not invade. Please Mr. O'Reilly clarify what endanger America means exactly?
This tendency towards trying to define the threshold and conditions of American interention reminds me of modelling ground warfare mathematically using a number to describe the mental determination of the opposition. (Japanese get a 10, the French get a 1 in WWII) This is exactly why we have a President and a Congress to LEAD us. There is no clear set of rules for intervention---we use judgement.

AND THEN ON THE BUDGET-----

Senator Schumer, of NY, arguably the most powerful of Democratic Senators next to Harry Reid, gets caught on the telephone by reporters who are listening in telling his party not to negotiate on the budget because he wants the Government shut down so that the Tea Party will get the blame. Shame on you, Senator. Politics before country?--so what's new say Union Leaders?

Why is it that we cannot get this Administration to tell us what they really stand for? Smoke and Mirrors policy both foreign and domestic. Finally, as an exercise I would like to suggest that you get a copy of the speech on Libya and count the times OUR President used the word "I" in it. I heard a Democrat ask why the President cannot say we? Because he is the "I" man,sir.

MIXED MESSAGES CONTINUED----

And so the speech was delivered and was both good and frustrating. Good in that the President actually began to sound like he believed in the leadership role America has played under past President's in defending the weak and championing freedom. Frustrating in that he showed no inclination to clarify what our real role and objective is in pounding Quaddafi forces and more so for the future conflicts ahead. Syrian dictator Assad had just finished using snipers to kill 70 of his citizens in Syria when Hillary was on the talk shows saying it was no big deal and not enough to warrent our intervention or change our view that Assad is a reformist and not the terror supporting dictator of his father's type. Huh? 70 down and counting. Huh? Arms flow from Iran straight through Syria to Hammas to rein down on Isreal. Huh? Syria is the source of much of the terror support for the region. Still Hillary gives Assad credit for not taking advantage of the Golan heights to attack Isreal. But the truth is if they attack Isreal directly Isreal will wipe them out. Only a few years ago Isreal destroyed their nuclear reactor site. Any response from Syria? No one knows where the Iraq chemical weapons went but it is possible they went into or through Syria (to Libya?). Today NATO announced a delay in the transfer of command in control from the US. Perhaps the rebels needed a few more days of air support to take Quaddafi's home town and head for Tripoli. So despite his words is the real objective to take down Quaddafi as he stated in early march? I think so. A wounded and embarrassed Quaddafi will certainly attempt to pursue revenge.

In any case the stage is set for the President to have to explain why or why not he is taking action against Syria, Iran, Yemen, etc. as the region transistions. What is the trigger number? Obviously it is more than 70 killed. Kill 70 you are a reformist. Perhaps it is 500? I support our efforts in Libya but the mixed message to dictators throughout the world is dangerous. In some ways it invites them to try and guess what the threshold is, to torture and kill oppontents in clandestine operations and torture chambers rather than open streets where the bodies can be counted on video phone and posted on U tube. A clear foreign policy would be preferred. But we do not have it here. And, last night it was not made any clearer. Liberals and conservatives now have something to be bipartisan about "smoke and Mirrors" foreign policy.

AND WHAT'S NEXT----

ON LIBYA. Perhaps tonight at 7:30 we will have some clarification of the US Mission in Libya and transisiton to the allies. The US has taken out the Libyan Air Force and destroyed most of their tanks opening the shooting gallery for whoever chooses to fire away with the French. The rebels are advancing toward Tipoli and capturing and reopening oil fields as they go. Despite the US limitation on arming the rebels they are gaining momentum, a testimony to the power of air to ground support from the world's most powerful military. Despite the hyped up uncertainty of the politicians and TV analysts it will be over soon. Quaddafi's space to hide in grows smaller by the hour. Mercanaries like to live to fight another day. Soldiers usually defect to the winning side.

ON BATTLES EMERGING. The President must be very cautious tonight not to put himself in a box. Too much of Hillary's "we have averted a great humantiarian crisis" to appease the left will set the stage for the US to be called upon to intervene in some very dangerous humanitarian demonstrations in the future--surely in Iran and perhaps even in Russia, China , Saudi Arabia. These make Libya and Syria look like easy calls. Syria you say? Yep Syria has already fired on it's crowd's just as Libya did. Yemen verges on civil war. Bahrain is using Saudi military to quell demonstrtions and Jordon with 60% of the people favoring Hammas terrorists will likely see challenges. Perhaps Jordan's will be soothed with reforms. But, can Obama expect the public to buy not intervening in these situations? And, can Obama expect the French to become the next police force of the region and take all these on? Tricky speech tonight in face of falling poll numbers and an election looming. And, then, there is the question of:

AL QUEDA. Where are they? What role are they playing in this? You know that amidst the chaos of Egypt, Libya, Yemen, Bahrain, etc that Al Queda is rapidly taking up positions militarily, financially and politically to attack the west physically, to financially impact the oil field production and to aid Hammas in it's attacks on Isreal already fighting in Gaza. With safe haven throughout the region AL QUEDA will likely flourish in recruiting as well. They can point to the gains made not by freedon fighters as we like to see them but by fundamentalists as many surely are.

As the President is finding out leading a country in need of defending itself and campaigning for a second term are not necessarily compatible. He must have a much better understanding of the GWB we saw after 911 than the one we elected before 911 who was talking with school children when the planes hit the Trade Centers. Popularity is secondary to fighting for you county's security.

I LOVE IT---the Rumsfeld outline format of knowns and unknowns is very well done and summarizes the chaotic anyone say anything approach to foreign and domestic policy that the Obama,Hillary,Biden,Holder,Gates,Napolitano team demonstrate day after day. Why is Holder weighing in on Libya anyway?

What has changed today is that all is well in the NATO alliance of command and control. Turkey is even supplying one submarine. And, now a few of the Arab League coutries are supplying planes. There is even talk of some NATO ground troops joining the US (their boots don't count in Boots on The ground statements) special forces in Libya.

I'm not going to pile on Obama. I recognize that this is a very Liberal man trying to play a game of defend on the left and appease on the right his Presidential logic. His mind must be in turmoil as he tries to differentiate his actions from those of GWB to the left and the international community who gave him the Nobel Peace Prize for a speech about abandoning nuclear weapons. And, his mind must wonder how the Presidency could turn out to be so different from the theory he envisioned as a candidate. Welcome to the real world Mr.President--one in which competition turns idealism into reality. Oil rigs leak, nuclear reactors are vulnerable to mother nature, tsunamis devaste countries econmies, people question motives, nation's kill their own, immigrants create crime,school children aren't always eager to learn and your staff doesn't always agree. In the end I support the action taken. It was late. It was done without the John Wayne approach of Ronald Reagan. His tendency to "go on with life as if crisis doesn't require his attention" makes me furious at the message it gives. And, giving up American leadership on all these police actions is counter to my John Wayne ego but perhaps a necessary step to get the rest of the world to step up and pay the price that few have paid besides America, GB and Australa since World War II. For that I support him. But, his unwillingness to include others in his strategy makes me wonder just how arrogant he is or if I am giving him too much credit.

Stay tuned. With bombs going off hourly inside Tripoli I believe Gaddafi (today's spelling--Bill found one with a K) will be gone soon. Then we see what is next. Yemmen looks to be next followed by Syria I suspect. And, what will unfurl in Egypt and Libya? Terrorists, tribes, or democracy? My suggestion for America? Drill baby Drill!

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