>Obama Addresses the Nation
Last night, President Barack Obama stood behind his podium at the National Defense University and addressed the nation about the conflict in Libya. President Obama’s goal became clear early, to explain why American intervention was necessary and to defend that our role is going to be very limited. The speech opened with a tribute to our troops, which the President stated that they continue to serve our country with, “Courage, professionalism, and patriotism.” He then went on to say that he is, “Naturally reluctant to use force,” but America has a responsibility to act upon what has happened to Libya over the passed six weeks. After recapping the events that have occurred in that timespan, Obama told us that Sec. of State Clinton will be going to Libya tomorrow to speak with the opposition and the transition of America playing a lesser role in the conflict is set to begin on Wednesday.
The President then went on to defend why the US is involved at all with the affairs occurring in Libya. He stated that America had an opportunity to stop violence without putting any American forces on the ground. As a world leader, he had a responsibility (a term he used frequently in this speech) to answer the pleas of the Libyan people, and with his most powerful quote of the night he proclaimed, “I refused to wait for images of slaughter and mass raids before taking action.” He affirmed that waiting any longer to intervene would have led to greater losses, not only for the Libyan people, but also for American forces. The president went on to compare Libya with the Bosnian genocide of the 1990s and delaying intervention would cause a situation similar to the current conflict in Iraq. To end his speech, the Commander in Chief, went back to stating that the US is going to playing a minimal role in the conflict, and our objective is to, “Mobilize the international community.”
Personally, I think this speech came way too late, and it relied too heavily on information we already knew. We have been hearing about the conflict in Libya for over a month now, but Hillary Clinton has been the one addressing the situation. However, we heard from our President as soon as it came time to fill out a bracket for the NCAA tournament. Obama, again, has shown a conflict of interests during his term as president.