Former Bush officials agree: Obama clueless

posted at 8:48 am on March 25, 2011 by Ed Morrissey

Actually, I’m a little surprised by this report from Byron York at the Washington Examiner.  If anyone benefits from the casual, off-hand manner in which Barack Obama started a war with Libya, it’s the crew from the Bush administration.  After having been beaten over the head by the accusation “rush to war” regarding Iraq after taking nine months to convince Congress and the nation, Obama’s reversal within days and neglect of Congress makes Bush seem almost akin to George McClellan.

Of course, that’s their point:

“I am completely mystified,” says former top Bush aide Karl Rove, who supports the Libya intervention, “that this administration, of all administrations, makes a decision on a Tuesday night and does not bother to call anybody in Congress until Friday morning, 90 minutes before the policy is going to be executed, to tell them what is going to happen. Can you imagine what would have happened if we had tried to do that? We’d have been barbecued!”

There’s also the question of why Obama did not explain his decision to the public in a forum that conveyed the gravity of the situation. After ordering troops into action, the president headed off to South America with his wife, daughters, mother-in-law, and mother-in-law’s friend in tow. There was no solemn, reasoned speech to explain why the U.S. was going to war.

“We would have marked that in a very significant way,” says Dan Bartlett, the former White House communications director. “We would have built a whole, for want of a better word, campaign to articulate what was happening.” The president would have given a speech, probably from the White House, and in following days would likely have visited a military base from which some of the forces were deployed. Other high-ranking administration officials would have been dispatched to defend the effort.

I’m pretty sure that they would have restrained Bush from going abroad as the war started, doing photo-ops of playing soccer in the street and samba chair-dances in Rio, too, although I’m also pretty sure that Bush wouldn’t have thought to do that in the first place.

Had Bush started a war in this fashion in 2007 or 2008, when Democrats controlled both chambers of Congress, Democrats wouldn’t have stopped at a barbecue.  Nancy Pelosi would almost certainly have started impeachment proceedings, which would have failed as Republicans rallied to the President.  The hearings alone would have been brutal, though, and it might have claimed a few heads in the administration before the House moved to other business.  And given their public statements about Bush’s rush to war in Iraq, two of the leading voices in the upper chamber cheering that process on would have been Barack Obama and Joe Biden, the latter having pledged in 2007 to push impeachment under the exact same set of circumstances with Iran, a nation that actually does pose a threat to the US.

Speaking of the “rush to war,” you have to just love Obama’s response to John Boehner, too:

The White House fired back Thursday at criticism over the Libya military mission, saying lawmakers were briefed and consulted at length before air strikes began.

White House press secretary Jay Carney read off a list of dates when administration officials briefed members or testified on the Hill during an off-camera briefing held the day after President Obama returned from a trip to South and Central America.

The press secretary also said the U.S. had to act quickly when air strikes began Saturday because further delay would have “cost lives.”

Since it took the President more than four weeks to make up his mind, their argument can also be reflected back on the White House.  The delay and vacillation cost lives as well. In fact, since they missed an opportunity to keep Moammar Gaddafi penned up in Tripoli, it cost even more lives and put the lives we’re saving now at risk from our own attacks on Gaddafi’s forces in Benghazi.  Furthermore, it also provided plenty of time for Obama to consult with Congress while deciding to take the nation to war for whatever reason.

Let’s also not forget that Saddam Hussein was also slaughtering his own people in genocidal actions against the Marsh Arabs and Kurds, and attempting to do the same with the Shi’ites in the South.  Yet Obama and his political party spent years screaming about the “rush to war” of the Bush administration.  Small wonder jaws are agape among former Bush administration officials.

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Next stop is Syria. Assad is murdering hundreds there.

JimP on March 25, 2011 at 9:51 AM

Spot-on Jim.

I posted the following links in a previous post on Syria, but unfortuately, that thread did not get a lot of traffic. Too bad, Syria is important right now.

Read this Vogue article on Asma Asad, the wife of Dictator Bashar al-Assad. It will curl your hair if you know anything about Middle Eastern Dictators.

I was dismayed how many people didn’t see or express outrage over the article, but here is a good article from the WSJ about how outrageous it was.

I know on this site one has to be very careful what they post when they criticize Islam, but part of the problem is that before we even get to the Jihadists, we have to get through the useful idiots that prop them up.

Gob on March 25, 2011 at 12:51 PM

To get a sense how important this type of discussion is, I was watching O’Reilly on Monday and in his opening he commented that “Obama, like Bush in Iraq, did not go to Congress for approval”. Huh? WTF? Luckily Rove came on as guest and corrected a very embarrassed Bill’O. If O’Reilly’s forgotten, likely due to drumbeat of “rush to war, rush to war” ever since, then can you imagine how most FEEL about what actually happened?

Barry expanded war in Afghanistan, and now Libya, because he couldn’t figure out a way not to. Remember that story about the tar baby and briar patch and stuff that sticks? Now what is he gonna do about Syria? Yemen? Bahrain. S. A.?

What exactly will he develop, for temporary political advantage, as the Obama Doctrine.

Shivas Irons on March 25, 2011 at 12:59 PM

Shivas Irons on March 25, 2011 at 12:59 PM

Great post Shivas. O’Reilly is a disgusting, effing tool. His show was so good after 9/11 and it has devolved into an utter, embarrassing mess. He thinks he is so smart and cool, but those intelligent FORMER watchers know he is zooming us these days…and NOT in a clever way, even.

Oh yeah BOR. I have NOT forgotten your loofah/fallafel imbroglio…even though you want us too. And the way you treat women is nausiating…and I have NO PATIENCE with feminists and NOW members.

Gob on March 25, 2011 at 1:10 PM

Back on topic…

This Administration is really a bunch of amateurs… Rank amateurs…

Khun Joe on March 25, 2011 at 1:32 PM

Here are two links for some people (like Bill Kristol, Dana Perino…) who also thought that overthrowing Mubarak would be a better move for Egypt.

Torture and Virgin tests for female protesters in Egypt HERE .

Rise of Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt HERE.

Gob on March 25, 2011 at 1:40 PM

Can you imagine what would have happened if we had tried to do that? We’d have been barbecued!”

And Obama knows he will not be barbecued. He does it because he knows he can.

mbs on March 25, 2011 at 1:41 PM

Gob, I wonder if Vogue was around to run stories about great Nazi Beauties. I have a Life article that raved about some woman on the fuhrer’s arm, but I don’t know if there was a Vogue to do that in 1940

clnurnberg on March 25, 2011 at 1:45 PM

clnurnberg on March 25, 2011 at 1:45 PM

Cin, it is SHAMELESS how they printed that disgusting article. I saw the rag over a month ago and bought it at Costco because thought it weird how a fashion rag would do an expose on a first lady of a dictatorship. I was thunderstruck by the whole puff-piece and had to read it TWICE to believe it. Then when hardly a peep was said about it, I got even more angry!

If you go directly on the site, most of the comments take Vogue to task for such a horrible article. So disturbing how they could have a tin ear to it all.

Is this was feminism wrought? When writers from first-world countries would fawn and fake about a Muslim dictatorship? SHAMEFUL!!! And NO…the world will NOT be better if females ran it. I hope that old axiom gets buried.

Gob on March 25, 2011 at 1:53 PM

GOB at 12:51 PM

Thanks for the links!

Shivas Irons on March 25, 2011 at 12:59 PM

Funny you mentioned BOR. He has really jumped the shark this week with his rationalizations for doing the NFZ. I cracked up the night he named a poll with 70% favoring the NFZ to support his position that we should do it. Then the next night he was trying to guilt people into supporting the NFZ by asking the hypothertical ‘Would you stand by while someone committed murder’ question. LOL What a lameazz. When people resort to this kind of ‘argument’, you know that they know they are wrong, but their emotions are in charge.

JimP on March 25, 2011 at 2:22 PM

Obama went to Latin America first because, unfortunately, on this one he can’t blame Bush. So, when things go “kinetically” wrong at least Barry O can “Blame it on the Bossa Nova!”

jeannieology on March 25, 2011 at 2:24 PM

There is a reason Obama is called “Duh Won”

Roy Rogers on March 25, 2011 at 3:15 PM

Webb, Lieberman, Akaka, Bingaman, and a few others have already announced they aren’t running for re-election

teke184 on March 25, 2011 at 9:51 AM

Hehehe. You said Akaka. Just what got George Allen into trouble.

Lanceman on March 25, 2011 at 3:17 PM

What does he mean they would have been barbecued if they did what obama did? They DID get barbecued, and handled it exactly opposite of the way obama is handling it now, to great praise from the same leftists who hated bush for rushing to war in 9 months instead of 4 days!!!

runawayyyy on March 25, 2011 at 4:17 PM

Or, in other words, you should have no expectation your comments will be quasi-private or fleeting.

It’s a public blog, so no one should have that expectation to begin with.

xblade on March 27, 2011 at 4:00 AM

The thing is Bush was a President and a Leader, Obama is a Community Organizer (tells people how white Republicans have stolen from them).

old war horse on March 27, 2011 at 10:54 AM