libya, monday

Around one hundred Libyans in front of the White House celebrating Libyan rebels surging into the heart of Tripoli. They sang: ‘USA, USA, Kadhafi has gone today’ ‘Kadhafi left Tripoli’, ‘Libya is free’, and ‘Merci Sarkozy, Merci Sarkozy, thank you Obama, thank you Obama’.


Live updates on the BBC site


Steve Kornaci (Salon): …if this is, in fact, it for the Libyan strongman, it should do damage to a particularly obnoxious anti-Obama talking point from hawks on the right – the idea that he’s excessively deferential, naïve and just plain weak on the world stage and that his foreign policy can only lead to failure and humiliation.

The Libyan mission was supposed to be proof of this. “Leading from behind” is actually a phrase that an Obama advisor used in a New Yorker piece this spring to describe the administration’s approach to toppling Gadhafi. The idea was that the president was seeking a sensible balance by trying to boost the rebel cause while minimizing the U.S. footprint, but the right giddily trumpeted the phrase as proof that Obama was only too willing to let America get bullied around….

…. That it (the end of Gadhafi) is now on the brink of being achieved five months after the implementation of the no fly zone would seem to suggest that, just maybe, there was actually some wisdom to “leading from behind.” At the very least, it exposes the attacks of Krauthammer, Romney and others for what they were: overheated efforts to reinforce the Obama-as-Carter caricature they’ve been pushing since the start of his presidency. Nor is it the first time Obama has defied this caricature: Remember when our “weak” and “naïve” president announced that Osama bin Laden – the man who had eluded George W. Bush for nearly eight years – had been killed?

It’s worth repeating that Gadhafi’s fall hardly would hardly guarantee that history will smile on Obama’s handling of Libya. What would come next for the country is an open question, and the possibility that the void created by Gadhafi’s departure will be filled by violence and chaos is all too real. There are plenty of people on both the right and the left who have insisted all along the U.S. had no business intervening, and the latest developments do not necessarily prove them wrong.

But they seem to be a blow to the right-wing hawks who still dominate the GOP’s foreign policy discourse. Not for the first time, they’ve spent months the past few months crowing that Obama was too incompetent to achieve a goal that he and they shared. But suddenly that goal is on the verge of being realized.

42 Responses to “libya, monday”

  1. 1 COS
    August 22, 2011 at 7:33 am

    Good morning Chips and TOD friends.

    • August 22, 2011 at 7:39 am

      Morning COS, morning everyone 😉

      • 3 Hachikō
        August 22, 2011 at 11:24 am

        That video made me cry. Did Americans celebrate ANYTHING outside the WH during Bush’s 8 years?

        Imagine the impact of that video around the Arab world.

        Thank you, President Obama. You are beloved, and will be forever, by so many.

  2. 4 Bill
    August 22, 2011 at 7:36 am

    Michael Steele is on Morning Joe commenting on Libya and criticizing President Obama’s policy. He has no experience with foreign policy and is nothing but a Republican hack. They are letting him go on and on about this very important event. It is one of the most pathetic things I have ever seen on television.

    • 5 Keith in C-bus, Ohio
      August 22, 2011 at 7:46 am

      I’m sure Michael is being payed handsomly for his black on black CRIME. 🙄 Absolutely disgusting. 😡

    • August 22, 2011 at 7:48 am

      Not to worry, Bill. At this point, the pundits, the TeaParty/Republicans, the MSM, and other haters are “gonna do what they’re gonna to do.” But the fact is, that beautiful picture above says it all: The Libyan people and the World at large know that we’ve got someone really SPECIAL in the White House—President Barack Obama, World Leader, extraordinaire!

    • 7 cuphalffull
      August 22, 2011 at 7:51 am

      I think we need to take back our media. In Libya one thing that seemed so familiar was the propaganda that was being played by the regime’s media outlets in the face of a completely different and observable reality. We need to wrack our collective brains on how to “talk back” to our media, get the monopolies to be broken up eventually, and to shame those who engage in propaganda to the point that people will not tolerate the lies any more. I don’t think we should accept the unacceptable.

    • August 22, 2011 at 8:24 am

      Libyan Americans standing in front of the White House chanting, “‘Merci Sarkozy, Merci Sarkozy, thank you Obama, thank you Obama” tells me all I need to know about foreign policy.

      Translation: Steele and the Morning Joe crew are upset because once again they bet against the President and lost.

    • August 22, 2011 at 1:25 pm

      Steele doesn’t have any darn sense, after they kick his butt out as GOP chairman he still is running around being the good little boy.

  3. August 22, 2011 at 8:24 am

    Morning Family . . . just up and about getting ready to jump in the day and the first thing I see is an article in the NYTimes about folks in the Anthony Weiner’s district upset with Obama. One of them called Obama a ‘moron’ for not cutting Medicare and that he as ‘mishandled EVERYTHING’. After my WTF moment, I had to remember that: 1. this is typical when Obama goes out of town. There is a general, negative pile on of complaints and criticism. Then as soon as he’s back and walks across that South Lawn, the chatter goes back to ‘normal’. 2. These folks in this ‘typically strong’ democratic district who are pissy are probably strong Weiner supporters and Weiner has been pushing these negative angles for months. STILL family…it bothered me, especially with Maxine Waters out and about being a complete asshole.

    • 15 Esmerelda
      August 22, 2011 at 8:41 am

      The only thing I’m thankful for is that all this crap is happening now instead of this time next year. August has always been silly season but this is ridiculous! The vast majority of democrats are still behind the President but we don’t hear from them because they don’t have the time for narcissistic posturing.

    • 17 desertflower
      August 22, 2011 at 8:52 am

      Called him a moron for NOT cutting Medicare? Those folks have heat stroke or something! Morning everyone:)

    • 25 kefauver
      August 22, 2011 at 9:03 am

      The NYT likes to run stories against Democrats every now and then. They’re not any different than the rest of the MSM. Gotta gin up some controversy to get ratings. This time last year they were swift-boating Richard Blumenthal, Democratic Senate candidate from Connecticut.

      • 26 conlakappa
        August 22, 2011 at 10:30 am

        Some times? As long as MoDo, Frank Rich, and the food critic turned pundit what’shisface are still within its employ, sure, anti-D stories, specifically anti-Obama stories will be in there. You know, when it can take time away from any introspection on its role in the run-up to the war. The Gray Lady was played, and now she’s cheaply selling her wares.

    • 27 Betsy
      August 22, 2011 at 11:24 am

      Did you see the comments from the artilcle in Salon? Unbelievablly negative, so I’m just not going to read them. I think your point about how things get negative about President Obama when he’s on vacation is a good one, so I’m going to stop reading comments.

      • August 22, 2011 at 11:29 am

        I didn’t see them but i’m not surprised about the tenor of them. It’s the craziest thing. It’s like the bad kids who are waiting for mom and dad to drive out of the driveway to go on vacation and as soon as they are out of site, they tear up the place.

  4. 29 overseasgranny
    August 22, 2011 at 8:59 am

    Three countries in 8 months going from dictatorships to democracies. I am so very proud of our President.

    • 30 JoJothecat
      August 22, 2011 at 10:29 am

      Without one american soldier killed. Making other countries put some skin in the game and lending american military know how is the new foreign military policy.

  5. 31 carolyn
    August 22, 2011 at 9:04 am

    Re Michael Steele: This may be harsh, but every time I see him I’m reminded of the old minstrel shows and how they were used by whites to insult the African Americans. He is being used, that is what my husband and I have thought since he was made head of the RNC. He is a puppet. It is sad that he can’t see it. He just keeps performing as his strings are pulled. I would never watch MJ, but those of you who can, look at Joe’s face when Steele is talking……

  6. 35 desertflower
    August 22, 2011 at 9:08 am

    Where’s UT? Time for a rundown!

  7. 36 hopefruit2
    August 22, 2011 at 9:28 am


    “The inevitable ouster of Col. Muammar Gaddafi will have been a victory for this administra­tion and the operation will provide a template for how future such troubles must be handled. It will have the added benefit of serving as the final repudiation of Cowboy Diplomacy while formally introducing the long overdue Obama Doctrine. The accomplishment will have come without the support of a loyal opposition in America. Indeed, it will have come despite a bed wetting and back stabbing disloyal opposition.” ///


  8. 37 StR
    August 22, 2011 at 9:54 am

    Canada lost it’s liberal lion today as NDP leader, and leader of the opposition, Jack Layton lost his battle with cancer. Layton almost single-handedly carried the NDP on his back to major gains the past election and was the only leader that could have united the left, which is needed to wrest power from the Harper Conservatives.

    Truly a loss for Canada, and the world.

    • 38 Betsy
      August 22, 2011 at 11:27 am

      As a former Canadian, and a long time liberal in Canada, I heard about Jack Layton when I was visiting family last week. It really is a loss for Canada as Harper is beginning to show his true self to Canadians. Some are listening, some are not. So sorry Layton won’t be there to act as a thorn in Harper’s side.

  9. 39 Debz
    August 22, 2011 at 10:34 am

    Libyans are thanking our President, Libyan Americans are thanking our President, Our MSM will probably spend the day either attacking PBO for something he did/did not do, or wont even mention his name as if he had nothing to do with this.

  10. 40 utaustinliberal
    August 22, 2011 at 10:39 am

    Morning TOD’ers. Great article by Steve Kornacki. No matter how the rightwing tries to spin this, the Libyan people know that President Obama was on their side and paid attention to them from the beginning not the GOPTeabaggers.

  11. August 22, 2011 at 12:05 pm

    The rabid dogs are out growling because they know they are wrong, wrong, wrong once again. The idea that this president has made them look so stupid without even trying. The world sees them as just anti every thing that is good about this country. Please God protect us from these greedy evil doers.

  12. 42 overseasgranny
    August 22, 2011 at 1:34 pm

    PBO to speak on Libya in about 30 minutes.

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