Speech open thread #2: No pundits allowed in

This one for those who really don’t want to hear what the empty talking heads has to say.

Good evening. Tonight, I’d like to update the American people on the international effort that we have led in Libya – what we have done, what we plan to do, and why this matters to us.

I want to begin by paying tribute to our men and women in uniform who, once again, have acted with courage, professionalism and patriotism. They have moved with incredible speed and strength. Because of them and our dedicated diplomats, a coalition has been forged and countless lives have been saved. Meanwhile, as we speak, our troops are supporting our ally Japan, leaving Iraq to its people, stopping the Taliban’s momentum in Afghanistan, and going after al Qaeda around the globe. As Commander-in-Chief, I am grateful to our Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines, Coast Guardsmen, and their families, as are all Americans.

For generations, the United States of America has played a unique role as an anchor of global security and advocate for human freedom. Mindful of the risks and costs of military action, we are naturally reluctant to use force to solve the world’s many challenges. But when our interests and values are at stake, we have a responsibility to act. That is what happened in Libya over the course of these last six weeks.

Libya sits directly between Tunisia and Egypt – two nations that inspired the world when their people rose up to take control of their own destiny. For more than four decades, the Libyan people have been ruled by a tyrant – Moammar Gaddafi. He has denied his people freedom, exploited their wealth, murdered opponents at home and abroad, and terrorized innocent people around the world – including Americans who were killed by Libyan agents.

Last month, Gaddafi’s grip of fear appeared to give way to the promise of freedom. In cities and towns across the country, Libyans took to the streets to claim their basic human rights. As one Libyan said, “For the first time we finally have hope that our nightmare of 40 years will soon be over.”

Faced with this opposition, Gaddafi began attacking his people. As President, my immediate concern was the safety of our citizens, so we evacuated our Embassy and all Americans who sought our assistance. We then took a series of swift steps in a matter of days to answer Gaddafi’s aggression. We froze more than $33 billion of the Gaddafi regime’s assets. Joining with other nations at the United Nations Security Council, we broadened our sanctions, imposed an arms embargo, and enabled Gaddafi and those around him to be held accountable for their crimes. I made it clear that Gaddafi had lost the confidence of his people and the legitimacy to lead, and I said that he needed to step down from power.

In the face of the world’s condemnation, Gaddafi chose to escalate his attacks, launching a military campaign against the Libyan people. Innocent people were targeted for killing. Hospitals and ambulances were attacked. Journalists were arrested, sexually assaulted, and killed. Supplies of food and fuel were choked off. The water for hundreds of thousands of people in Misratah was shut off. Cities and towns were shelled, mosques destroyed, and apartment buildings reduced to rubble. Military jets and helicopter gunships were unleashed upon people who had no means to defend themselves against assault from the air.

Confronted by this brutal repression and a looming humanitarian crisis, I ordered warships into the Mediterranean. European allies declared their willingness to commit resources to stop the killing. The Libyan opposition, and the Arab League, appealed to the world to save lives in Libya. At my direction, America led an effort with our allies at the United Nations Security Council to pass an historic Resolution that authorized a No Fly Zone to stop the regime’s attacks from the air, and further authorized all necessary measures to protect the Libyan people.

Ten days ago, having tried to end the violence without using force, the international community offered Gaddafi a final chance to stop his campaign of killing, or face the consequences. Rather than stand down, his forces continued their advance, bearing down on the city of Benghazi, home to nearly 700,000 men, women and children who sought their freedom from fear.

At this point, the United States and the world faced a choice. Gaddafi declared that he would show “no mercy” to his own people. He compared them to rats, and threatened to go door to door to inflict punishment. In the past, we had seen him hang civilians in the streets, and kill over a thousand people in a single day. Now, we saw regime forces on the outskirts of the city. We knew that if we waited one more day, Benghazi – a city nearly the size of Charlotte – could suffer a massacre that would have reverberated across the region and stained the conscience of the world.

It was not in our national interest to let that happen. I refused to let that happen. And so nine days ago, after consulting the bipartisan leadership of Congress, I authorized military action to stop the killing and enforce UN Security Council Resolution 1973. We struck regime forces approaching Benghazi to save that city and the people within it. We hit Gaddafi’s troops in neighboring Ajdabiya, allowing the opposition to drive them out. We hit his air defenses, which paved the way for a No Fly Zone. We targeted tanks and military assets that had been choking off towns and cities and we cut off much of their source of supply. And tonight, I can report that we have stopped Gaddafi’s deadly advance.

In this effort, the United States has not acted alone. Instead, we have been joined by a strong and growing coalition. This includes our closest allies – nations like the United Kingdom, France, Canada, Denmark, Norway, Italy, Spain, Greece, and Turkey – all of whom have fought by our side for decades. And it includes Arab partners like Qatar and the United Arab Emirates, who have chosen to meet their responsibility to defend the Libyan people.

To summarize, then: in just one month, the United States has worked with our international partners to mobilize a broad coalition, secure an international mandate to protect civilians, stop an advancing army, prevent a massacre, and establish a No Fly Zone with our allies and partners. To lend some perspective on how rapidly this military and diplomatic response came together, when people were being brutalized in Bosnia in the 1990s, it took the international community more than a year to intervene with air power to protect civilians.

Moreover, we have accomplished these objectives consistent with the pledge that I made to the American people at the outset of our military operations. I said that America’s role would be limited; that we would not put ground troops into Libya; that we would focus our unique capabilities on the front end of the operation, and that we would transfer responsibility to our allies and partners. Tonight, we are fulfilling that pledge.

Our most effective alliance, NATO, has taken command of the enforcement of the arms embargo and No Fly Zone. Last night, NATO decided to take on the additional responsibility of protecting Libyan civilians. This transfer from the United States to NATO will take place on Wednesday. Going forward, the lead in enforcing the No Fly Zone and protecting civilians on the ground will transition to our allies and partners, and I am fully confident that our coalition will keep the pressure on Gaddafi’s remaining forces. In that effort, the United States will play a supporting role – including intelligence, logistical support, search and rescue assistance, and capabilities to jam regime communications. Because of this transition to a broader, NATO-based coalition, the risk and cost of this operation – to our military, and to American taxpayers – will be reduced significantly.

So for those who doubted our capacity to carry out this operation, I want to be clear: the United States of America has done what we said we would do.

That is not to say that our work is complete. In addition to our NATO responsibilities, we will work with the international community to provide assistance to the people of Libya, who need food for the hungry and medical care for the wounded. We will safeguard the more than $33 billion that was frozen from the Gaddafi regime so that it is available to rebuild Libya. After all, this money does not belong to Gaddafi or to us – it belongs to the Libyan people, and we will make sure they receive it.

Tomorrow, Secretary Clinton will go to London, where she will meet with the Libyan opposition and consult with more than thirty nations. These discussions will focus on what kind of political effort is necessary to pressure Gaddafi, while also supporting a transition to the future that the Libyan people deserve. Because while our military mission is narrowly focused on saving lives, we continue to pursue the broader goal of a Libya that belongs not to a dictator, but to its people.

Despite the success of our efforts over the past week, I know that some Americans continue to have questions about our efforts in Libya. Gaddafi has not yet stepped down from power, and until he does, Libya will remain dangerous. Moreover, even after Gaddafi does leave power, forty years of tyranny has left Libya fractured and without strong civil institutions. The transition to a legitimate government that is responsive to the Libyan people will be a difficult task. And while the United States will do our part to help, it will be a task for the international community, and – more importantly – a task for the Libyan people themselves.

In fact, much of the debate in Washington has put forward a false choice when it comes to Libya. On the one hand, some question why America should intervene at all – even in limited ways – in this distant land. They argue that there are many places in the world where innocent civilians face brutal violence at the hands of their government, and America should not be expected to police the world, particularly when we have so many pressing concerns here at home.

It is true that America cannot use our military wherever repression occurs. And given the costs and risks of intervention, we must always measure our interests against the need for action. But that cannot be an argument for never acting on behalf of what’s right. In this particular country – Libya; at this particular moment, we were faced with the prospect of violence on a horrific scale. We had a unique ability to stop that violence: an international mandate for action, a broad coalition prepared to join us, the support of Arab countries, and a plea for help from the Libyan people themselves. We also had the ability to stop Gaddafi’s forces in their tracks without putting American troops on the ground.

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.

The task that I assigned our forces – to protect the Libyan people from immediate danger, and to establish a No Fly Zone – carries with it a UN mandate and international support. It is also what the Libyan opposition asked us to do. If we tried to overthrow Gaddafi by force, our coalition would splinter. We would likely have to put U.S. troops on the ground, or risk killing many civilians from the air. The dangers faced by our men and women in uniform would be far greater. So would the costs, and our share of the responsibility for what comes next.

To be blunt, we went down that road in Iraq. Thanks to the extraordinary sacrifices of our troops and the determination of our diplomats, we are hopeful about Iraq’s future. But regime change there took eight years, thousands of American and Iraqi lives, and nearly a trillion dollars. That is not something we can afford to repeat in Libya.

As the bulk of our military effort ratchets down, what we can do – and will do – is support the aspirations of the Libyan people. We have intervened to stop a massacre, and we will work with our allies and partners as they’re in the lead to maintain the safety of civilians. We will deny the regime arms, cut off its supply of cash, assist the opposition, and work with other nations to hasten the day when Gaddafi leaves power. It may not happen overnight, as a badly weakened Gaddafi tries desperately to hang on to power. But it should be clear to those around Gadaffi, and to every Libyan, that history is not on his side. With the time and space that we have provided for the Libyan people, they will be able to determine their own destiny, and that is how it should be.

Let me close by addressing what this action says about the use of America’s military power, and America’s broader leadership in the world, under my presidency.

As Commander-in-Chief, I have no greater responsibility than keeping this country safe. And no decision weighs on me more than when to deploy our men and women in uniform. I have made it clear that I will never hesitate to use our military swiftly, decisively, and unilaterally when necessary to defend our people, our homeland, our allies, and our core interests. That is why we are going after al Qaeda wherever they seek a foothold. That is why we continue to fight in Afghanistan, even as we have ended our combat mission in Iraq and removed more than 100,000 troops from that country.

There will be times, though, when our safety is not directly threatened, but our interests and values are. Sometimes, the course of history poses challenges that threaten our common humanity and common security – responding to natural disasters, for example; or preventing genocide and keeping the peace; ensuring regional security, and maintaining the flow of commerce. These may not be America’s problems alone, but they are important to us, and they are problems worth solving. And in these circumstances, we know that the United States, as the world’s most powerful nation, will often be called upon to help.

In such cases, we should not be afraid to act – but the burden of action should not be America’s alone. As we have in Libya, our task is instead to mobilize the international community for collective action. Because contrary to the claims of some, American leadership is not simply a matter of going it alone and bearing all of the burden ourselves. Real leadership creates the conditions and coalitions for others to step up as well; to work with allies and partners so that they bear their share of the burden and pay their share of the costs; and to see that the principles of justice and human dignity are upheld by all.

That’s the kind of leadership we have shown in Libya. Of course, even when we act as part of a coalition, the risks of any military action will be high. Those risks were realized when one of our planes malfunctioned over Libya. Yet when one of our airmen parachuted to the ground, in a country whose leader has so often demonized the United States – in a region that has such a difficult history with our country – this American did not find enemies. Instead, he was met by people who embraced him. One young Libyan who came to his aid said, “We are your friends. We are so grateful to these men who are protecting the skies.”

This voice is just one of many in a region where a new generation is refusing to be denied their rights and opportunities any longer. Yes, this change will make the world more complicated for a time. Progress will be uneven, and change will come differently in different countries. There are places, like Egypt, where this change will inspire us and raise our hopes. And there will be places, like Iran, where change is fiercely suppressed. The dark forces of civil conflict and sectarian war will have to be averted, and difficult political and economic concerns addressed.

The United States will not be able to dictate the pace and scope of this change. Only the people of the region can do that. But we can make a difference. I believe that this movement of change cannot be turned back, and that we must stand alongside those who believe in the same core principles that have guided us through many storms: our opposition to violence directed against one’s own citizens; our support for a set of universal rights, including the freedom for people to express themselves and choose their leaders; our support for governments that are ultimately responsive to the aspirations of the people.

Born, as we are, out of a revolution by those who longed to be free, we welcome the fact that history is on the move in the Middle East and North Africa, and that young people are leading the way. Because wherever people long to be free, they will find a friend in the United States. Ultimately, it is that faith – those ideals – that are the true measure of American leadership.

My fellow Americans, I know that at a time of upheaval overseas – when the news is filled with conflict and change – it can be tempting to turn away from the world. And as I have said before, our strength abroad is anchored in our strength at home. That must always be our North Star – the ability of our people to reach their potential, to make wise choices with our resources, to enlarge the prosperity that serves as a wellspring of our power, and to live the values that we hold so dear.

But let us also remember that for generations, we have done the hard work of protecting our own people, as well as millions around the globe. We have done so because we know that our own future is safer and brighter if more of mankind can live with the bright light of freedom and dignity. Tonight, let us give thanks for the Americans who are serving through these trying times, and the coalition that is carrying our effort forward; and let us look to the future with confidence and hope not only for our own country, but for all those yearning for freedom around the world. Thank you, God Bless you, and may God Bless the United States of America.


283 thoughts on “Speech open thread #2: No pundits allowed in

  1. I predict that loudmouth Ed will rant and rave about how POTUS is betraying the liberals and how he needs to be primaried!

  2. Hey guys will check in . I will be on the other thread taking down sponsors and negative pundit. But i will come and only discuss the speech. This should be fun.

  3. C’mon, no fair you cheated on your prediction. You peaked back at Ed’s response to nearly every speech the President has made. 🙂

  4. Personally I think that no matter what Obama does or say the pundits will speak louder and thus many who’d rather listen to the pundits than Obama will listen to them rather than Obama. The other half will listen to Obama over the pundits but in the end nothing will get resolved. Its so frustrating because the course or ‘mission’ if you will has already been stated.

    The mission is a no fly zone which means that we bomb said targets and than keep it in place till one side or the other wins. My feeling is that the rebels are going to win but this isn’t guaranteed… In that case if they do lose probably the UN will push for other things, what those may be is anyones guess.

    Obama is the best president I’ve had in my lifetime but it saddens me that the media has it in for Obama.

  5. For a 100% pundit free experience watch here – http://www.whitehouse.gov/live

    Otherwise you get “pre-criticism” while they wait for PBO to begin.

    Given President Obama is sitting down for interviews with with Brian Williams, Diane Sawyer and Erica Hill tomorrow maybe the pundits will play a bit nicer knowing that their college will have the interview tomorrow.

    Fox and MSNBC are lost causes.

  6. I hope Erica Hill hasn’t jumped on the high speed rail to crazy town. I really like her.

  7. nintendowii, do you mind taking this convo down to the pundits thread? We’re basically having two threads, so that people who don’t want to read about the media don’t have to in this thread. 🙂

  8. Jessica promise me if you have any jokes you will come over to the other thread and share. LOL!

  9. This is going to be fun tonight. Is anyone going to watch PLOTUS’s townhall on Univision? I hope it is online. I’ll try to find it.

  10. President Obama’s Univision townhall airs at 7pm, and his Libya address is at 7:30pm, assuming the townhall was longer than one half hour seems that Univision viewers will have to choose one or the other.

  11. Conservatives in favor of high-speed rail plan Virginia event
    By Keith Laing – 03/28/11 02:09 PM ET

    With GOP opposition to President Obama’s high-speed rail investments on the rise, a group of conservative supporters of the proposed railways are seeking to change the course of the discussion about railways.

    The Southeast High Speed Rail Association will hold an event called “The Conservative Case for Intercity & Higher Speed Passenger Rail” on March 30 in Richmond, Va. The featured speaker will be William Lind, director of the American Conservative Center for Public Transportation.

    Lind co-wrote a book in 2009 called Moving Minds: Conservatives and Public Transportation.

    “Not every conservative — not even every libertarian — believes America’s unofficial motto should be ‘drive or die,’ ” the center’s website reads. “There is a long conservative tradition of not wanting to see America reduced to nothing but strip malls, gas stations and pavement.”

    The event will take place Wednesday at 5:30 p.m. in Richmond’s Colony Club.

    The Hill-

  12. Thank you for doing this separate thread, BWD.

    And, I’m enjoying the President’s comments on Univision – link above works fine.

  13. The thing that has not really been emphasized in this so-called “confusion” regarding the communication around President Obama’s words regarding the desire for Gadaffi to go, is that military action is not the only way to make Gadaffi go. There is a whole diplomatic mission already in play – including freezing his assets, applying regional pressure, convincing the military to abandon him. It’s shocking that these facts have been forgotten, especially since Tunisia and Egyot changed hands without a single military shot fired.

  14. Press conference has begun: President Obama is starting by paying homage to the US military.

  15. President Obama is once again outlining the “brutal repression and looming humanitarian crisis” which Gaddafi was preparing for the rebels and protesters.

  16. Just made it clear that he indeed did brief bipartisan Members of Congress – BEFORE – he launched the humanitarian mission.

  17. President Obama stating that Benghazi, a city the cize of Charlotte, would have faced massacre without the no fly zone. He also says that he did have a discussion with bipartisan members of congress. He’s saying that as of tonight, he can report that he stopped Gaddafi’s “deadly advance” towards a Benghazi massacre. He’s naming the allies involved with this mission.

  18. I hope that was clear enough for the idiot pundits to understand. They’ve been confused.

  19. Just did the Bosnia comparison: more than a year for the world to respond, we led the world’s response in Libya in a mere 31 days.

  20. POTUS emphasizing the speed of the international response and intervention: 31 days, versus 1 year for Bosnia. He’s stating that basically he kept his word: limited US involvement at the front end of the nfz, no boots on the ground. Promise kept: NATO has taken command of the nfz and protecting Libyan cilizians–the transfer will officially take place on Wednesday.

  21. PBO delivers a history lesson, comparing international action on Bosnia vs. Libya.

  22. US’ secondary role: intelligence & communications capabilities. Results in a significant cost reduction to the US military and taxpayers.

  23. We will make sure the Libyan people are the beneficiaries of the more than $ 31 Billion dollars of assets that we have frozen.

  24. POTUS once again makes a distinction between the military mandate (limited) versus a humanitarian mandate (non-military and seeking to help Libyans; the ultimate goal is helping Libya to transition away from Gaddafi to a civilian government—calls this a task for the international comunity, and “more importantly, a task for the Libyan people themselves.”

  25. He’s now laying out the way forward. Go, PBO, keep emphasizing this is the Libyan people’s decision!

  26. President Obama articulating the isolationist critique of this action: says it’s true that the US can’t really play world policeman; says that this is still not an argument for “never acting,” when facing “the prospect of violence on a horrific scale…and a unique ability to stop that violence.”

  27. The rationale for intervening in Libya vs. intervening in other places. Stop G without putting troops on the ground. Not doing something is not who we are. Lay it on ’em, PBO.

  28. President Obama is laying out the humanitarian and national security reasons for supporting the intervention: (paraphrasing) would have stopped the partial Mid-East transformation in its tracks, encouraged other dictators to do the same thing.

  29. He’s wearing that C-i-Chief mantle VERY well!

    Looking good, Mr. President.

    So eloquent in laying out the case for intervention. He is holding class right now.

  30. “Broadening our cause to include regime change would be a mistake…”

  31. Oh my — he just went there, comparing this to the [misguided] incursion into Iraq. Go PBO!

  32. Laying out the rationale for not bringing about regime change by force in Libya. Reminding them of having made the mistake of bringing regime change to Iraq through force and the costs in $ and lives.

  33. BAM!!

    ‘to be blunt, we went there, in Iraq ….’

    We aren’t doing regime change in Libya, period.

  34. President Obama is adamant that it would be a mistake to use the military for *regime change.* He says this is what we did in Iraq–cost lives and treasure; says we can’t afford to repeat this in Libya although he’s hopeful for Iraq’s future.

    President Obama once again emphasizes that all we are able to do at this time is stop atrocity, pursue diplomatic measures to help them replace Gaddafi “history is not on Gaddafi’s side,” “they [the Libyan people] will be able to determine their own destiny, and that is how it should be.”

  35. I love this ending!!! Tell us like it is Mr President! I love his forcefulness on this issue!!!

  36. “History is not on Quaddafi’s side…” The people of Libya will be able to determine their own fate, and that’s how it should be.

    “As Commander in Chief…” (I just love hearing him say those words :-))

    Reviewing his view of US war power — when to engage, when not to…

    Master class!

  37. President making the point that he’s no wimp, but is very careful about when/where he send our troops.

  38. POTUS laying out the Obama doctrine: *will* use the military where necessary, but (paraphrasing) this is not going to be some neocon adventurism; we’ll intervene when we can help people and won’t be afraid to act, but we’re not going to bear the burden of action alone. “Collective action.”

    “Real leadership creates conditions…for others to step up as well.”

  39. Tell ’em, PBO. The burden of action shouldn’t be ours alone. Real leadership creates conditions for others to help and bear costs.

  40. “Real leadership creates the coalitions and conditions necessary for others to bear their share of the burden and costs…..”



    Damn right my Mr. President!!

  42. ‘real leadership is not going it alone … it is enabling others to join …’

    Cowboy doctrine dead, in the coffin, and he is nailing it shut.

  43. Talks about the plane malfunction in Libya; one of the pilots who parachuted to the ground: “this American did not find enemies; instead he was embraced.” Glad he’s telling this story.

  44. Telling story of an airman who was embraced by Libyan people when he was shot down over Libya.

    *getting chills*

  45. “The United States will not be able to dictate the pace and scope of change…but we will be able to make a difference….”

    He’s awesome tonight (as usual).

  46. The US cannot dictate the scoop of this change! Tell em!!! Are the Repubs listening to his words!

  47. “I believe that this movement of change cannot be turned back” ~ President Barack Obama

  48. “The United States will not be able to dictate the pace and scope of this change; only the people of the region can do that.”

    Obama Doctrine: we can help, but we can’t tell other people what they’re going to do, but we’ll help them as they raise their voices.

    “Young people are leading the way.”

  49. “Wherever people long to be free, you will find a friend in the United States….”


  50. President Obama once again invokes the North Star during this time of change and upheaval.

  51. President Obama evokes this country’s history, many people took strides to improve freedom here and abroad in our past; he’s basically saying that we should be proud of that.

    This was a terrific speech. He closed by once again thanking servicepeople for it.

  52. And….it’s a wrap….*applause and standing ovation*

    And, I will switch the t.v. to HGTV, ESPN, anything….

  53. Great speech, listened to every word, as soon as I heard a pundit’s voice, said no pundits allowed and turned of the teevee.

  54. Man, we’re going to be going well into the night digesting the Obama doctrine as President Obama just very clearly laid out in this speech. Absolutely nothing new, but perfectly stated.

  55. Okay, I’ve safely turned to an old episode of America’s Funniest Home Videos.

    Well, as usual, PBO hit it out of the park. He looked resolute, spoke clearly and confidently, and laid out a masterful vision of American Exceptionalism: America leading by our example of freedom and supporting any other people on the planet who strive for the same.

    He is truly making a mark on this world….Catalyst-in-Chief.

  56. Mandate for this thread:
    Tonight, when the President speaks to the nation about Libya, let’s do something different.

    Let’s listen. Let’s listen, and then turn the television off and think about what he’s said. Mull it over in your mind, but only after having watched the thing and having imagined that the President was really talking to you.

    What are people’s thoughts. He was talking to me, and he challenged part of my mindset which abhors any military action at any time. He basically said that’s well and good, but this country cannot watch atrocity when it’s this easy and clearcut to stop it, and said that no matter how ridiculous things get in terms of politics silly season, I must resist the temptation to turn away in disgust.

    What did he say to you everybody?

  57. Bush/Cheney/NEOCON American ‘exceptionalism’ was declared dead tonight – the whole world was watching and you better believe they get it.

    When he did the ‘been there, done that, 8 years, thousands of Americans and Iraqis dead, Trillion dollar debt ….’ he could not have been more blunt in how fundamentally different he is as President and CIC.

    Needed to be said. He did it. Few words, crystal clear message.

  58. I think most of us who wanted to understood why we were helping in Libya, that there would be no boots on the ground, and that we’d be out in a matter of days. Those pretending they didn’t know anything were doing it to make it seem as if PBO is an ineffective leader. What is wrong with these people, gn?

  59. No pundits please! Switched to DWTS…. lalalalalalal ***holding fingers in ears***

  60. A brilliant speech from a brilliant man.

    I need the transcript so that I can take in every word of this masterpiece 🙂

  61. Short, clear, and to the point! We helped by stoppping a possible massacre. America doesn’t always have to be in front. Good leadership doesn’t have to be out in front. This is a joint effort. There are other ways to help Kaddafi out the door other than on the ground fighting. Short, clear and effective! Thank you, Mr. President.

  62. Man that man is too smooth.. Ive been reading this blog for about a month and I just wanted to lend BWD a long due Thank you for keeping my sanity and bringing me to the world of non Obama haters.. Im like a fly on the wall i always read the comments and love many of you guys’s post.. I wont post much but I will be posting more often.. Thank You again BWS and all of the BWS posters.. 🙂 Man OUR President is SMOOTH

  63. Perfectly timed as well as the volume on my computer must be on the fritz so I had to watch ABC and Sawyer and Stephanoplous had maybe a minute to bliovate before Dancing with the Stars started.


  65. We can’t get caught up in the day by day noise, because history will be very, very, kind to President Barack Obama. That’s a fact.

  66. Isn’t it just wonderful here? We discuss important issues without cutting each other to pieces. It restored my sanity too, Dshack.

  67. I like how he outlined our involvement to stop a humanitarian crisis and now we’ll pull back and provide support. He also made it clear that its not up to us to get rid of Gadaffi militarily.

    That’s exactly what I wanted to hear.

  68. What I heard from him was a history lesson on why we had to do this and what has happened before, why this is different.

  69. Extremely good speech. He laid out exactly why we’re doing what we’re doing, why he did it, and answered the “criticisms.” I also noticed that he laid out what a few of the foreign correspondents have called the “Obama Doctrine.” When we will use force, how we’ll go about it, only when absolutely necessary, and not doing it alone.

  70. I can’t help but think that part of what he was saying about government being of the people, and should be responsive to the people, will not only fan the flames of freedom in other nations, but right here in our nation as well. I think that in 2017, when PBO leaves office, we will marvel at how many changes have taken place in this country.


    This was one of those classic American moments when the President clearly explained how we are obligated to do good things, to help those in need, when we can…and the quote above (delivered by Libyans rescuing our downed pilot) clearly says that the world expects that from the USA.

  72. My President very clearly laid out the backdrop leading to the military and humanitarian intervention. He drew a sharp distinction between this intervention and the previous one (Iraq). He corrected misconceptions and false rumors about his failure to consult with congress. He honestly spoke of the realities of the current situation while providing the Libyan people with a sense of hope for their own future in their country. No one could have given a better speech at this time.

    All in all, I thought the speech was precise, concise, and I believe it will be an inspiration to the American people as well as the international community.

  73. I can’t watch tv gave that up for lent. Argh!!! But from waht I read he did a good job. I am sure the folks at fauxnews are exploding.

  74. I have an idea BWD:

    update both threads with the transcript AND video of this speech, I know it’s a lot of work but it is truly appreciated, because you’re the best!

  75. Great Message, President Obama. As Leader, and Commander and Chief, you explained what had to be done, and you did so. You reminded us what, and who America Is. We are to help where and when It’s needed, especially when People are asking for our help, and are In desperate need.

    I too love the story about the Pilot’s plane that crashed, and the Libyan told him not to be afraid, and helped him. Now that’s “RELIEF”. Whewwwwwwwwww. I can just Imagine what was going through our Pilot’s mind, after hearing those words, ummmmmmm, Thank God!!

  76. You’re right, Donna. I think the words on paper may be even more striking after watching the President deliver them. It’s the same with his inauguration speech – so much depth, that I never get tired of going back to read those words over and over again. This was an excellent speech.

  77. What I loved was that not only did he end the speech on time, but left 1:30 for commercials before people tuned into DWTS. Master stroke.

    Anyone else notice that he had a little smirk of pride that he had to keep wiping off his face when he spoke about how quickly this was all done? 31 days indeed.

    And he was wicked pissed at the notion that not being the world’s police does not mean you can’t help when asked and able.

    He let the neocons have it right between the eyes, too.

    I love how he personalized the scope of the impending genocide when he compared the size of Bengazi to Charlotte. Painted a picture that people could easily grasp the imagined horror of a government attacking unarmed people in Charlotte. Brill-iant.

  78. Oh I LOVED this one… There was a spark in his eyes while saying this.

    “Dithering ? “” REALLY ? NOT !!!

  79. Commanding speech! And as soon as he said his good nights, so did I.Refuse to listen to the talking heads.We are watching history unfold before our very eyes…the Obama Doctrine will be in history books forever more…a stark contrast to the past.I am proud of my President. He is a gift to the world.

  80. Nobody does it better. That Nobel Prize is looking more and more prescient every day.

  81. He has EVERY right to be disgusted with them!! Love my President. Thanks BWD!!

  82. Thank you BWD for this site!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Thank you President Obama for being who you are!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  83. President Obama is playing chess while his opponents are figuring out how to play Chutes and Ladders!

  84. For so long — since JFK, basically — America has been without a clear vision, without a guiding light.

    Well, we’re getting our groove back, baby! 😀 😀 😀

  85. One message I got was that even though America has handed off the leadership in the no-fly-zone aspect of the case, she is still involved in exploring other ways to end the Gaddahfi regime. Given what I’ve seen of the President’s MO to date, I feel sure that whatever is put together under his gudance will be quite thorough.

  86. This is going to leave a mark. The neocon heads will be exploding all over the place.

    To be blunt, we went down that road in Iraq. Thanks to the extraordinary sacrifices of our troops and the determination of our diplomats, we are hopeful about Iraq’s future. But regime change there took eight years, thousands of American and Iraqi lives, and nearly a trillion dollars. That is not something we can afford to repeat in Libya.

    Check please.

  87. Quite a few teeth have to be on the floor after THAT one!That hit landed square in the jaw!

  88. Solid speech by Pres. Obama. Very commanding and presidential. He wears the CIC mantle very well. Liked the way he took on his critics on both ends of the spectrum. Loved his history lesson and comparison to Bosnia situation (1 year to act vs. 31 days to act). President appealed to his country’s “better angels” by pointing out the horrible cost of inaction and how inaction would have stopped the Middle East revolution in its tracks and emboldened other dictators to follow Ghadaffi’s violent path. Pres. Obama is literally changing the world!!! We are living in historic times.

  89. You can’t help but be inspired. This is why I am so determined to enjoy this presidency — it’s because it makes me want to be a better person and reach my full potential.

    I don’t want to look back at the Obama Presidency and regret that I spent so much of it listening to pundits, fighting on blogs, or letting the bastards get me down.

    There’s too much wonderful going on :-).

  90. Okay, I know this is a pundit free zone but I have to say that Attention Hound Weiner and the Fake Liberal Kucinich (who is joining with the T-Party on this) are about to go on The Last Word to rebut the president’s speech. WTF – Aren’t these dip-wads both efing Democrats? What a couple grandstanding little twerps.

    I apologize for mentioning these fools but ARRGGG!!!

  91. I thought it was a well thoughtout, pragmatic speech. I listened a bit to what Rachel had to say on Laurence ODonnell, because she’s the only one I would listen to, but then when I heard LOD was going to have Kucinich and Weiner on, I changed the channel.

  92. Yes He Did! Thanks BWD for providing this forum and now I am watch Anne Hall and reading your site because I’ve been gone all day.

  93. Thanks for getting the text of the speech up so quickly, BWD. You rock!!!

  94. As a resident of Charlotte, I totally agree that he hit home with that comparison! I was really relieved when he said “We did that in Iraq, and 8 years and a trillion dollars and thousands of lives are gone and we aren’t doing that again.” He needed to make that crystal clear to those who would not have seen the differences on their own (and sad to say, it’s obvious that millions would not). What a relief to have a brilliant, calm, thoughtful man in the White House.

  95. I can’t wait to hear how many people all over the world watched this tonight. They saw a real man being President of the United States of America. This is leadership!!!! This is a man who understands the past and looks to the future. I am so proud to call him my President and I will work as hard as I can to keep him there!!

    Thank you BWD for this great site and this thread. It is so wonderful not to be depressed anymore.

  96. I love the people on this site! You make my day. Thanks for the live blogging of the speech. I am at work and can’t watch, but your descriptions are wonderful! Ahd I am actually understanding the whole Lybian situation better than I was a few days ago!

  97. Great comment, Tien Le! Loved this part:

    And he was wicked pissed at the notion that not being the world’s police does not mean you can’t help when asked and able.

    I also like the point he was making which was that one doesn’t always have to be out front to display leadership!! He called them out BIG TIME for questioning his leadership, and he was right to do so. Wow.

  98. Yes, Chip, I liked that too the first time I read about it last week, and it was especially good coming from President Obama’s mouth.

    Another things I liked was that he often looked straight at the camera as though he were looking and me and my husband. I found myself nodding to him, and smiling. He has very dark and soft eyes, but they are also intense and penetrating.

    I did as suggested — as soon as the speech was done, I turned off the TV and thought about it. I don’t know exactly what to say about it except I did get more of what atrocities Gadhafi had committed and am more concerned about those that disappeared.

    The man is not Mubarak. Mubarak was not insane, he knew he had to get himself out of the equation, and I thought he wanted the best for Egypt. But Gadhafi wants to keep his power, and he’s murdered so many of his own people without guilt. The man, I would say unequivocally, is insane.

    One thing I would tell the president if I were a coach or an aid in these speeches is to either not drop his hands on the lectern or have some kind of foam pad to drop them on, because I heard (and I’m sure everyone else did) every drop of his hands. It’s the way he speaks which is fine, but it does reverberate.

    Other than that, I’m far from a reliable critic of an Obama speech. Everything he says is gospel to me. If he told me there was a UFO hovering over my house, I’d run out and take pictures.

  99. Man.


    The way he ran up to the podium, you could see the SWAG dripping off him. This was A-game Obama. I think Farrakhan dumbass statements had DEFINITELY pissed him off, you could see the flash of anger when he turned to the “SOME say we should do nothing at all”. This was his best national security speech by far.

  100. And it wasn’t overly “rah,rah” about America. This is about Libya, and America is there to help. Great speech! (And great summary, Hopefruit).

  101. From the paragraph beginning “In fact, much of the debate in Washington has put forward a false choice ….

    To the one ending in “I am convinced that a failure to act in Libya would have carried a far greater price for America.” …

    He dissected their foolishness with masterful intellectual surgery and laid open their willful hypocrisy.

    He then did the same to the NEOCONS, and in doing so, even more thoroughly exposed the malignancy that we call the PL.

    Everything the PL criticized and rightly demanded be punished with impeachment and tribunals about the reign of terror led by Bush and Cheney – the person who actually bluntly, tersely, decisively decimated as a valid American policy, is the person that same PL attacks everyday, President Obama.

    So, all the hypocrites got called out. All the exceptionalists were informed that their policy is ruinous to America and he, President and CIC Obama, will have none of it.

    The vast majority of Americans will get that message – loud and clear.

    I assure you our military gets the difference and many if not most of them are probably resting a bit more comfortably that cowboy confrontational endangerment of their lives is not what their current CIC will ever do to them.

  102. IMO, I think the speech will be well received. PBO emphasized the role of the Libyan people in determining their fate, spoke of the need for Quaddafi to leave, and gave kudos to the UAE and others who are assisting. I think the Libyans will know he’s in their corner after they hear his speech.

  103. Good for you. I listened for a few seconds and immediately heard Kucinich lie through his teeth (no suprise there). After all, Kucinich and Weiner are elected officials and I want to know what crap they’re putting out there. I wish both these opportunistic little trolls would crawl back under their swamp rocks and never be seen or heard from again.

  104. ‘He let the neocons have it right between the eyes, too.’

    And, as he always does, he did it with class! That’s actually one of the things I love about him. He seems to amble along calmly, ignoring the taunts, absurdities, fundraising lies, etc. from his detractors, and because he doesn’t punch back immediately they assume he’s ‘weak’, or whatever. Then, in his own good time, he ‘goes there’ bitingly, cleanly, factually, and without rancor and the audience gasps ‘I can’t believe he’d state that so bluntly.’ He doesn’t attack a person’s character, but he sure isn’t afraid to speak truth to their faces. IMO that takes courage and integrity, qualities that a lot of his opponents lack. You go, Prez O!

  105. The thread just below welcomes media analysis; you don’t have to hold it in, just trot to that one and go in on all of them!

  106. Thanks, Chip.

    I am so glad to hear that Weiner had the guts to stand up for PBO. Kucinich has been very disappointing lately.

  107. I totally agree. At first I thought I should fight with the neanderthals – be they on the far reaches of the left or right. But I have never liked negative people in my life, so why should I let some unknown blogger infiltrate by life with negativity. It’s so much nicer to be here and other blogs where the people are sane and civil.

  108. Oh sorry, I guess I should have listened to Weiner. I thought they were both coming on to rebut the speech. I still think Weiner is a publicity hound though.

  109. why thank you df, my grammar and spelling have not been stellar this evening ;, typing before I think, “sanity and humanity are back” not “is” yeeesshh!

  110. Your last paragraph was priceless – thanks for the laugh. Not everything needs to be criticized, in my book.

  111. I think you’re a very reliable critic. The man spoke in clear English, and your comment comports with what many of us heard as well.

  112. Don’t apologize; I look forward to reading your thoughts and opinions about those reactions in that thread!

  113. I like what you say. It makes me think about the time I spend listening to the opinions of others, wanting them to acknowledge what a wonderful job he’s doing, but I never hear it, except sometimes on Rachel Maddow’s show.

  114. This whole argument was over the minute President Obama decided to give his speech on Monday night. I mean really, who among us really thought that President Obama wasn’t going to give the haters a beat down? I kinda feel sorry for Rachel Maddow, every time she doubts President Obama, she has to come back and almost apologize for doubting him in the first place. I was watching the speech and I could almost hear the Professional Left and the crazy right groan in unison.

  115. Sorry love…don’t know what you’re thanking me for:)I agree that sanity and humility have returned, and I love it too!

  116. A couple general comments and then some specific ones. First grades, simply because it’ll help explain my later remarks.

    Substance A
    Delivery B+

    The speech was tremendously well organized and hit just about every possible point. Delivery was a little staggery at times. The President is at his best when he can communicate with people at a very human, including humor, and motivational level. For obvious reasons, this speech was not conducive to that. By about the middle of the speech, though, he picked it up and sailed the rest of the way through.

    More specific points and statements he made that were critical.

    The first is that even though you can’t intervene in every situation, that doesn’t mean you can’t intervene in every situation. This is a direct slam at those that criticise for not doing something about North Korea, Bahrain, Yemen, etc. And it is a preemptive strik for future critics relating to Iran.

    Secondly, one of the significant points he made was that the people, not the government but the people, of Libya asked for the intervention. Remember that with Iran in 2009, the people were specifically asking that we not get involved.

    Thirdly, there are times for unilateral action, but those are rare. In other times, it means involving other countries and having them share the responsibility not only for the action, but also the aftermath.

    Fourth, he is not going to ever put boots on the ground unless our national security is at stake and the potential results are worht the risk. He respects the men and women of the military too much to do that to them. It is obvious that to him, the people in the miltary are not pawns.

    Fifth, we have to look at all the consequences of inaction. Specifically relating to Libya, in addition to the potential catastrophe to the Libyans themselves, those fleeing the violence would have put a tremendous strain on Egypt and Tunisia just as they are starting to develop their own home-grown democracies. And not doing anything would have told other repressive governments that there is no price to pay for violently putting down protests.

    In other words, when considering action we have to understand ALL the consequences of inaction.

    Also, although he really shot down most of the objections, he did it in a respectful way, as he usually does. He loves giving some credence to an argument, i.e. we have needs here, and then firmly but nicely destroying that argument.

    What he hear or read tonight will have less importance than what comes out over the next few days, but people who listened with an open mind had to at least be impressed with his thought processes, even if they still disagree with the actual intervention.

  117. That’s what I liked the cocky swagger. I love that. He was very forceful. He is such a good hearted man. He won’t stand by an witness atrocity when people have called out for help.

    President Obama is a hero to me. I really don’t want 2017 to come because no one else is going to be anything close. I don’t think I’ll see a leader like this again in my lifetime.

  118. Love all the comments and agree wholeheartedly with all. My first words after the speech were, “Now THAT is a President.” He is so brilliant and impressive, surefooted, clearheaded. I trust his intellect and judgment completely. He is a once in a generation president.

  119. I disagree – Ed has actually defended POB on this action –

    I thought President Obama hit all the right notes tonight –

  120. Thank you BWD for posting the text of the President’s speech on Libya. I was away at work and unfortunately missed viewing the speech. Any way, being from the old school, I still appreciated reading the text of his speech. I’ve been around for a while and have listened to many presidents. The speech I read tonight is one of best speeches I’ve heard any president give explaining the purpose and goal of taking military action against another country. Clearly this is a president who took time to think through all the possible ramifications had he decided not to act. The speech also revealed a president who is well aware of the dangers, and the limits, of taking military action against another country.

    I am a very strong support of International humanitarian laws that have been enacted since WWII. I was elated to see the President endorse the principle of International Collective Action to enforce International Humanitarian Laws.

    All I can say is Bravo Mr. President!

  121. Which is why sometimes I just want to kick his butt and force him to do these speeches much more often. When he speaks directly to the people – he’s unstoppable.

  122. Clear, realistic, persuasive. He has an ethical and moral compass. SO glad he is president!

  123. Preach!

    I agree that the military can feel and see the difference — their lives are valued; their service is acknowledged; they won’t be put in harm’s way without a clear and well thought out mission.

    180 degrees from Bush’s idiocy!

  124. Weiner defended the President and we needed that – Dennis sounded like an idiot! I can’t believe I used to like the guy!

  125. Just imagine for a moment how much progress America could make under this president if the Congress, etc. WORKED WITH, instead of against, him! The energy he has to waste explaining, and explaining, the obvious could be spent so much more productively to put the country back on a firm footing and move it forward faster. Just imagine!

  126. My jaw just about hit the floor when he mentioned that it took us almost a year to respond to Bosnia. And that my friends, was a nice little kick in the nads to President Clinton. But when he talked about Iraq and the trillion dollar price tag that we can’t afford to spend over again, I fell on the floor. President Obama took no prisoners tonight.

  127. Thank you BWD for this wonderful place. Comforting to know others are filled with joy to be living in this historic time. So glad that young man from Illinois caught my eye back in 2002! and, yes my prayers were answered. We are Blessed to have this man as our Commander in Chief. The deniers merely lose the joy that we all share, as his vision unfolds. Thank you, Mr. President!

  128. Tonight is the perfect time to relate a story that I heard on either a blog or from an article.

    In 2007 a democratic strategist along with a republican strategist went to a campaign event of a fairly new candidate and as they entered the arena and witness the atmosphere and the electricity of the candidate standing on stage the republican strategist stated in astonishment “Oh Shit”! The democratic strategist said he instantly recalled the captain’s reaction in the movie Jaws when the captain said “Oh shit we’re going to need a bigger boat”.

    Well that candidate they went to see that day was Barack Obama, and after this speech tonight every so-called republican candidate are thinking the same thing.

  129. I feel the same way WalkingOnSunshine – the best in my lifetime

    I love the man – his name is in my email address which sometimes creates let’s say problems but nothing I can’t handle – I promised I would use it for 8 years!

  130. Exactly.

    I am a sports fan and I was watching an interview with the coach of VCU, Shaka Smart, yesterday after their shocking win over one of the heavily favored teams.

    The reporter asked Shaka what he had to say to all the critics who said they didn’t even belong in the tournament in the first place, now that the team had been so successful.

    He said: “Those people don’t matter.”

    Bingo. That’s what I always say — people who are negative for no reason, the opposite-Obama people, petty people —– they are all completely, 100% irrelevant. History will zoom right by them and their lives will become futile as they stew in their bitterness.

    They just don’t matter.

  131. Thanks GN for the info. Haven’t been able to access C-Span. I don’t care what any one says, President Obama is the real deal. His critics have absolutely no leg to stand on other than their irrational hatred of him.

  132. By the way, BWD: Thanks a lot for implementing GN’s suggestion for a no-pundit zone. Also thanks for suggesting it again, GN. I REALLY appreciated it. A couple more times like this and we’ll eventually be able to cut mention of the translators out completely when the President speaks. 😉

  133. Unlike the billions of Iraqi money, supposedly under the control of the U.S. Provisional government in Iraq, that mysteriously disappeared and has yet to be accounted for.

  134. I don’t think it was a jab at Pres. Clinton. Rather, it was a much need dose of political reality for those who claimed Pres. Obama was “drifting” or “dithering” or “took too long to act” concerning the Libyan situation.

  135. some of my mixed up internets messaging df, 😉 meant thanks for the smiley faces, and that somehow ran into my comment about editing.

  136. GN, This is a true definition of a pragmatic visionary, or is it the other way round: a visionary who is also very pragmatic?

  137. I so agree! It was so great to share this with everyone here and not have to wade thru the trash. Thanks again BWD and everyone who participated!

  138. Indeed Majii! I really loved his affirmation of the importance the UN and the international collective action. I know this will drive the right wing unilateralists crazy. I am always puzzled by the anti-UN Republicans. Do they not know that the U.S. played a central role in establishing the U.N.?

  139. NO PUNDITS ALLOW (Priceless) thank you BWD, in my opinion “F” the pundits I watched the speech on ABC and after PBO Diane @ George were so desperate looking for some crotisism.
    I was perfect and explaiened to the americapeople that he was NOT going the same mistake as George Bush in Iraq PBO was brilliant.

  140. Didn’t Ghadaffi give Farrakhan’s Nation of Islam millions of dollars over the years? I think that may explain his vigorous defense of his patron. I think Pres. Obama was also directing that comment to his critics on the left like Dennis Kucinich.

  141. I am glad he went there. This is why I deeply respect the wisdom of this young President ( I say young because he was just five years old when I started my freshman year in college). The President really sent three powerful messages in his speech tonight:

    1. United States will not stand idly by when there is compelling evidence that a leader vows to exterminate his people simply because they oppose his rule.

    2. United States honors international law and believes in the importance of the international community taking collective action to enforce international law, and especially humanitarian laws.

    3. The United States should not be in the business of regime change; rather, it must defer to the people in each country to determine their own destiny, and only offer assistance if it is requested by the people who no longer have confidence in their oppressive rulers.

  142. Well said GN about “neocon adventurism.” The president made it clear: Taking U.S. unilateral action, against the wishes of the international community, and in defiance of international law, is neither a sign of strength nor a sign of leadership.

  143. Our CIC is a genius who is organized to take each critical component of a problem, disect it and cover every aspect to come to a conclusion and then act upon it.

    He referenced this and I will paraphrase that a true leader doesn’t go it alone or micromanage but brings in all the experts and forms a coalition with each member taking a part of the action and responsibility. I knew what he was doing at the very onset when I kept hearing Sarkozy and Cameron taking the lead publicly. When everyone bought into the action it was pussed at the US by Rice and acted upon.

    It made an impact on me when he referred to Ghadiffi’s murderous actions which included sexual assault. I had never heard that before. Also that Ghadiffi is on the wrong side of history. That you can stand by or act but by not acting you will have regrets

    I was warmed when he mentioned the downed pilot and how they embraced him and said “We are your Friend.”

    I was touched by so many statements that I will just stop for now and carry that speach in my heart. He is deemed for History books.

  144. Indeed hopefruit! This President is always mindful of history. He works very hard to avoid past mistakes. I was so glad when I read the lines where dismissed the false choices between non-intervention and an all out, boots on the ground, war to change the regime in Libya.

  145. Thanks for highlighting this sentence PJ. This line, and many others in his speech to night, debunks the false claim that Obama=Bush.

  146. Oh he said alot more than that. Said Obama was siding with “the old colonial masters”. Compared Ghadaffi’s tyranny to the actions of a “forceful parent”. Called Obama “THE FIRST JEWISH PRESIDENT”. Then he had the balls to say “Where in the hell is humanitarian values in America when you’ve got over 50 million Americans living in poverty, sick and diseased, with no healthcare?”.

    Because LORD KNOWS Obama hasn’t done anything about that *healthcare* issue, right?

    Its ridiculous. My dad called me Saturday morning howling with laughter about it. Conservative commentators that see this as a sign of weakening black support for Obama are on crack. Farrakhan was still bragging about how much he loves Obama last year.

  147. Wow! Here is a President of the United States who has faith that people, and especially the young, in North Africa, West Asia, and other countries, possess the capacity to change their countries. He offers them a had of friendship and support and not a threat of domination.

  148. You know I got so wrapped up in the speech that I forgot to wonder where exactly it was given? Then I was at the Obama Diary and saw that it was the National Defense University in D.C. Think about that for a minute. That standing ovation he received at the end was from, essentially, the military. Chipsticks has some great pictures taken from there that show the Officers in uniform really quite pleased with this President. I think it gets lost in all this exactly how the Military feels about this action. Something tells me they’re very much on board with the way it was all handled and have a great deal of respect for their Commander-In-Chief.

  149. I read the speech. I hope to be able to view and listen to it later. But I agree with you dcsandy: The speech I read was “Awesome, awesome speech!”

  150. Conservative commentators are way off base on that one. Maybe they don’t know about the financial relationship between Ghadaffi and Farrakhan (or choose to forget it to create an anti-Obama spin).

  151. Not only was this a brilliant speech by the President (which clearly addressed every objection, argument, and bogus criticism) but it was–to me– a speech by a strong Commander in Chief who is comfortable in that role and fully accepts all the heavy responsibility it entails. He is stating clearly that he makes the decisions, he commands the actions to be taken and he is accountable. How anyone in the known universe could call this man anything but a powerful, decisive and visionary leader is beyond me.

    Also the president in full command as CIC in front of a senior military audience was a stunning visual. Just wow.

  152. OK , I read the transcript instead of hearing the speech. Absolutely unaware of any pundits take on this..so here is my impression.

    1) PBO has enacted a thorough, efficient, multilateral and effective solution to this issue.

    2) he has asked us to contrast his handling of this situation to the not at all dissimilar situation of Iraq in 2001.

    3) he has access to information we don’t have, advice we don’t hear and brain cells most cannot access.

    4) we are in good hands. I can’t tell yet whether by our collective wisdom or God’s grace.

    5) everyone disagreeing with how he played this now has the burden of proof that a different strategy would have revealed different results.

    Finally, any “liberal” who thinks we should have waited, not gone in, debated it longer: you can only say that because Arab lives are not real lives to you. Had this been Spain or Ireland or Israel or Tibet or some orher photogenic country you would have been screaming about the humanity. You are now revealed as poseurs and morally bankrupt poseurs to boot.

    Tao out.

  153. Nice to meet you Jayne. You must get some very interesting emails! lol! 🙂

  154. I agree. Today, I heard many progressives espousing a sudden concern for the people of countries like Ivory Coast, where they are having violence from the leadership. Never before was there such concern, but NOW – to make an anti-Obama point – many progressives are so concerned about countries in Africa that are having violence and strife.

    Total poseurs.

  155. Loved, Loved, Loved this speech! Masterclass Mr President. Wanted to comment earlier but was just now able to pick myself up from the floor after the Iraq invasion comment 🙂 I literally screamed out “thank you for going there sir”.

    Thank you all so much for your comments. It is so refreshing to be among like-minded people.

    Thank you so much BWD for this fantastic forum. It’s a great oasis in the dry wasteland of punditry.

    I don’t post often but I always read. Love you all. God bless President Obama.

  156. The speech was out of the park or better still a Wining three pointer at the buzzer. Also more to the point our President always stands in front a live audience when lays out his facts. He looks the country in the eye and not behind a desk prop or closed room,but up front and out there. As if to say too all here I am I have got right on my side now what you going to do. Like grandmother use say loud and clear watch for the quiet ones they have steel in the backbone than you think. You hear all this about our President does not have the backbone for a fight well people if I had to really go to war again President Obama could lead me through the jungles any day. I would know for a fact we had a real reason for fight and no lies being told to get us to fight.

  157. Like you Gn, I hate war and violence and believe that it should always be the last resort in dealing with problems. But what I’ve witnessed in my lifetime with power hungry leaders who have absolutely no shame in waging war to annihilate their own people, I’ve become more pragmatic about military action. I’ve been turned off by American leaders who routinely violate international law but at the same time look the other way when faced with potential genocide. The President’s speech, which I read, but have yet to view it, was very impressive across the board. But the the thing that really stood out for me was his reaffirmation of the importance of the U.N., and the importance of the international community to come together to enforce International humanitarian laws.

  158. Exactly! I sometimes feel sorry for those who can’t see what a gift President Obama is. We are living through this wonderful time and they can’t feel the historic significance or the joy of it. I am filled with such pride tonight and I know my President is a man of honor and I can respect him. How sad for those who are not able to share in that.

  159. Well said Norbrook! I also hope that all those people who revere FDR would now realize that President Obama has strongly re-affirmed FDR’s vision of the U.N., and the importance of International collective action to prevent atrocities.

  160. I have yet to see his speech, but reading that part of the speech effectively brought it home for me what exactly was at stake when he made his decision.

  161. I completely agree with you majji. The President showed a great deal of respect for the people of Libya in particular, but also for the people in the entire region, who are the real engineers of the change that is taking place. The people who are crying imperialism are really out of touch. The President is not taking credit for the change that is going on in North Africa and West Asia. In his speech today, and in other speeches he delivered before on this subject, the President has consistently praised the grass roots people who are leading the change. At no time has the President ever advocated imposing Democracy on any country. What he has done is cheer people trying to create democracies in their countries.

  162. Hopefully the speech puts an end to the whiny media saying all the time – “our goals in Libya are confusing!”

    It was never confusing to people who listened to the Commander in Chief a couple weeks back but not they have no excuse to whine!

  163. Yes, thanks a million to bwd from the bottom of my heart. I’m also hoping that this isn’t a one-time thing, and that as time goes by, people are less inclined to discuss pundits, haters, etc. in the pundit-free threads. I think that these are going to suit a lot of people who just don’t want to read what g described as “the angst” any longer and just prefer to look towards the positive.

  164. I hope this is not taken the wrong way, but is there any way that you guys can move this discussion of Farrakhan’s remarks to the thread for the pundits and criticizers?

  165. Bravo PoliticalJunkessa! I love this site because I learn so much from people who post here. But the most important reason I love this site is because people who post here, especially the site creator BWD, are not afraid to express their genuine and well founded admiration of the President. Moreover, I like the fact that more people on this site have decided that they will no longer waste their time and energy trying to argue with irrational haters of Obama.

  166. Hey everybody..I got caught up reading all the great comments here 😀

    From my twitter timeline:

    RT @thinkprogress: NOTE: “U.S. intelligence… has found no organized presence of Al Qaeda or its allies among the Libyan opposition” http://thkpr.gs/fbui3s

  167. I liked your comment Sunshine! But lets not jump the gun. 2012 comes before 2017. Until we bring him home in 2012, I don’t want to think about 2017. I am sure some other incredible person will appear in the future just as President Obama did in 2004. I plan on working ten times harder than I did in 2008, to ensure that this great man is re-elected in 2012. After he is re-elected, I will start looking to 2017. Please don’t give up yet about the possibility of another great leader. The future is, for the most part, unknowable and very hard to predict with 100% certainty.

  168. Exactly right.

    Obama didn’t make any news, he just stated the facts that have been known to anyone paying attention for a week and a half now. The media’s either too dumb or too lazy to figure it out themselves.

  169. I totally agree with you GN. It belongs on the pundit thread! I plan on trying to find out exactly what Minister Farrakhan said. Until id that, I really don’t know how to respond. I am sure after I find out what he actually said I would be in a much better position to comment. My focus, after reading the President’s speech on Libya, was primarily on my take on his speech. I think as an adult of 60+ years, I should be able to formulate my own views about a Presidential speech without listening to pundits/critics.

  170. I enjoy coming here.

    I listened to the speech and I have read it here.

    Thank you.

    I truly don’t understand what the Media, Fox and the rest of the TBGOPer nut jobs have been complaining about. What this president said today, he said 2X before he left for Brazil What he said today, the president said when he went to accept his NPP.

    I get annoyed at the twisted bunch, Fox, Media and many on the far left. If we can be honest and listen to this president. Love, hate and disagree with the president, but at least, we need to learn how to listen.

    Thank you again BWD. I appreciate you a lot.

  171. I now use the Cee Lo Green’s song, Forget You, instead of the F word.

    When I use ‘Forget You”, I am, in my mind, forgetting the person or thing.

    Just my way these days.

  172. They’re confused because they don’t understand the power of democracy and global partnership. As far as they’re concerned, every problem is solved with a hammer, and they can’t figure out how Gadhafi will leave if not by force from the US. It’s a show of cluelessness.

  173. Bravo tao jones! Excellent summary and commentary. I am with you in all the points you hit. I just don’t see how the so called liberals and progressives can have it both ways. They advocate U.N. intervention to save lives and yet viciously attack the President for signing on a U.N. mission to save lives. I remember some of these bashers of the President praising Bill Clinton when he sent troops to Haiti to prevent mass slaughter. I hope to say more on this issue on the pundit site.

    In any case, I’ve yet to read any coherent suggestion of what liberals/ progressives, like Dennis Kucinich, would have done when faced with possible mass slaughter of 700,000 people in Benghazi.

    I am absolutely certain that the same so called progressives, who are bashing the President for his actions in Libya, would have been the first in line to bash him, if he had done nothing, and Qaddafi had implemented his policy to decimate the people of Benghazi and other Libyan cities and communities.

  174. I LOVE your comment.

    Can you just imagine how sometimes he must be frustrated with all the stupidity and dishonesty he has to cope with ?

  175. Ta, Nathan and Theo, was thinking of how calm I felt when the President spoke tonight, can remember listening to GW Bush on important matters and feeling angst, then despair. What a difference an election makes.

  176. BWD: “Which is why sometimes I just want to kick his butt and force him to do these speeches much more often. When he speaks directly to the people – he’s unstoppable.”

    BWD for chief of staff!

  177. I came home late, but luckily had recorded the speech.

    Watching it, I was totally mesmerized. Kind of like frozen in place.

    President Obama is remarkable, and I’m just thankful for him. Every day.

    Thanks for the pundit-free zone, BWD, and thanks to everybody else for all of the comments!

  178. I just finished watching as well, Ms.JackieO.

    PBO was great, as usual. Canada has been active in the operation since it began and I’m glad we are there to help.

    I supported Canada going to Afghanistan; it made sense.

    I supported Canada’s refusal to get involved in the “Cowboy’s” invasion of Iraq. It made no sense.

    Please work hard, everyone, to get PBO re-elected; then I can continue to feel safe & secure as an ally country.

  179. Wow. I just watched the Libya speech without any punditry, before OR after, and I can say without a doubt, that was a barn burner.

    It was not just about American values, but human rights, common sense, and the wisdom that Obama believes should be present when considering the use of force. He pretty clearly layed out an “Obama Doctrine” tonight. All the while boldly pointing to Iraq as a template for the WRONG way to use US power. (I didn’t even expect him to throw that out there!)

    All in all, it was a very clear, well written, well delivered speech that has probably done more to fill in the outline of Obama as Commander in Chief than any speech he has given thus far. I think that outline has now pretty much been filled in after this international action in Libya, and tonight’s speech explaining it.

    Also, too, somewhere tonight Tim Pawlenty and Mitt Romney closed their eyes, exhaled loudly, and in quiet voice muttered to themselves: “fuck.”

  180. Thanks Ladyhawke for highlighting that passage in his speech. The President was indeed “blunt.” But you are absolutely right: “The neocon heads will be exploding all over the place.” I am also wondering how the PL/Frustrati will be able to spin this speech negatively to prove that Obama=Bush.

  181. Mittens will write some nonsense op-ed in the Washington Times and it will be mocked for its emptiness and know-nothingness as usual.

  182. I certainly can imagine his frustration – I’m frustrated and I’m not directly involved! IMO, it’s a measure of his character(his empathy, maybe? – after all, they don’t know any better) that he is able to keep from rolling his eyes. I give him credit that he never seems condescending, even when their blather calls for it, IMO.

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