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>Obama Says America Is Handing Off To NATO – And Our Role Should Be Limited In Libya…Unless He lies Again

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President Obama didn’t bother to talk to Congress 
or get anyone’s approval
 for this war with Libya, except the United Nations. 
You can decide for yourself 
if he should have gone to Congress or is this just a 
little “Police Action” that is 
within the purview of an American President? If 
Congress doesn’t stand up and 
object, we can expect more of these exciting, 
expensive show of force 
extravaganzas.
Good morning,
I’m writing today with an update on the situation in Libya,
including the actions we’ve taken with allies and partners to
protect the Libyan people from the brutality of Moammar
Qaddafi. For further details, please take a moment to watch
this morning’s Weekly Address:
Watch the Video
Sending our brave men and women in uniform into harm’s way
is not a decision I make lightly. But when someone like Qaddafi
threatens a bloodbath that could destabilize an entire region,
it is in our national interest to act.  In fact, it’s our responsibility.
Our mission in Libya is clear and focused — and we are succeeding.
Along with our allies and partners, we are enforcing the
 mandate of theUnited Nations Security Council.  Working
with other countries, we have put in place a no-fly zone and
 other measures that will help prevent further violence and
brutality. Qaddafi’s air defenses have been taken out, and his
forces are no longer advancing across Libya.
As a consequence of our quick action, the lives of countless
 innocent civilians have been saved, and a humanitarian
catastrophe has been avoided.
The role of American forces in this mission is limited.
After providing unique capabilities at the beginning,
we are now handing over control of the no-fly zone to

our NATO allies and partners, including Arab partners
 like Qatar and the United Arab Emirates.
The United States has also joined with the
international community to deliver urgent
humanitarian assistance.  We’re offering support
to the Libyan opposition and have frozen tens of
 billions of dollars of Qaddafi’s assets.
Our message to Qaddafi is clear: attacks against
innocent civilians must end, his forces must be
pulled back, humanitarian aid must reach Libyans
in need, and those responsible for the violence in
Libya must be held accountable.
The progress we’ve made over the past seven days
demonstrates how the international community
should work, with many nations, not just the United
 States, bearing the responsibility and cost of
upholding international law.
Every American can be proud of the service of
our men and women in uniform who have once again
 stood up for our interests and ideals.  And as we move
forward, I will continue to keep each of you fully
informed on our progress.
Sincerely,
Barack Obama
President of the United States
P.S. On Monday evening at 7:30 p.m. EDT, I will deliver
an address at theNational Defense University in Washington,
 DC on the situation in Libya. You can watch the speech live at WhiteHouse.gov/live.

Thanks for coming. Please leave a comment. Your opinion is as valuable
as mine or anyone’s. Let’s create an active dialog. Let’s stand up for what
we want, what we think and believe America should be like. Fight for your
rights – and I don’t mean take to the street with guns. Do your fighting with
the pen and conversation – friendly persuasion. Remember, we’re Americans
living in the greatest nation on earth. Act like it. Don White

>Is America An Irrelevant World Pussy Cat?

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NEW YORK – America Doesn't Matter AnymoreAs Europe takes the lead on the Libyan intervention, it’s a powerful signal of America’s weakening global influence. Peter Beinart on Obama’s Jeffersonian turn—and the end of an empire.
Some commentators love the Libya war; others hate it. But most agree that it’s profoundly unnatural that we were pushed into it by… France. Welcome to the post-American world. In the age we’re entering, most of the time, the choice will no longer be between humanitarian interventions controlled by the United States and humanitarian interventions where other nations take the lead. The choice will be between humanitarian interventions where other nations take the lead and no humanitarian interventions at all.
A comparison with the 1990s illustrates the point. In the early 1990s, when the former Yugoslavia began breaking up, and Slobodan Milosevic decided to try to put it back together via genocide, the governments of Western Europe insisted that they would handle things. But they couldn’t handle things, partly because of their disunity and military weakness, and partly because they refused—in a clash of civilizations sort of way—to make clear moral distinctions between the murderers and the murdered. In the summer of 1995, when the Clinton administration—after more than two years of deference—forced the Europeans into a humanitarian war against the Serbs, then-Lieutenant General Wesley Clark exulted “The big dog barked today.”
Back then, the big dog was not fighting any other wars. It was unchallenged in East Asia; its economy was beginning to boom and its fiscal problems were melting away. And even then, Americans only supported the Bosnia war, and its kid brother Kosovo, on the condition that no Americans died.
Today, by contrast, America’s fiscal condition is terrifying and the Pentagon is fighting wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, trying to stay out of one with Iran, and keeping one eye on a rising China. I don’t know what it took to convince an obviously reluctant Robert Gates to permit American involvement in the Libyan no-fly zone, but it’s a reasonable bet that had Barack Obama not been able to promise that it would be a mostly European affair, Gates would now be a military analyst on Fox News. It’s not the 1990s anymore. The American public’s appetite for humanitarian war has always been meager. And now the American government’s capacity for waging it is meager, too.
But in a strange twist, Europe’s appetite has grown. The continent’s military capacity is still tiny compared to America’s, and it still lacks unity, but the shame of European inaction in Bosnia lingers in British, French, Italian, and German minds. Overall, Western Europeans remain more dovish than Americans, but when it comes to genocide, the gap narrows. In the U.S., for instance, anti-terrorism is the only rationale that sustains public support for the Afghan War. In Europe, by contrast, the humanitarian argument sells best.
Libya is also a Mediterranean country. For France and Italy, it’s the equivalent of Mexico, or at least Guatemala. Economically, geopolitically, and culturally, Europe is also the dominant outside force. European countries, especially Southern European ones, have a lot more to gain, and lose, in Libya than we do, so it’s normal—indeed, healthy—that they’re trying to take the military lead.
Whether they’ll be able to—whether they have the capacity and stomach for what it would take to push Gaddafi from power—is another question. But it’s not surprising that Barack Obama is giving them a chance to try. Obama is what you might call a roundabout Jeffersonian. Jeffersonians, to borrow Walter Russell Mead’s phrase, believe that preserving America’s economic and political solvency requires reining in American empire. Presidents usually become Jeffersonian in times of economic crisis, public exhaustion, and unpopular war. The problem is that Jeffersonianism—which in different ways both Richard Nixon and Jimmy Carter embraced as a result of Vietnam—is perilous politics. Retrenchment can look a lot like cynicism, if not defeatism.
The White House’s humanitarian hawks don’t want a Srebrenica on their watch, but they know they need other countries to bear more of the load. Enter Nicolas Sarkozy.
So Obama is trying to do it on the sly, to reduce the costs of American foreign policy without reining in our ambition. In Afghanistan, he’s moving inexorably toward greater reliance on drones—just as Nixon turned to air power in the latter stages of Vietnam—because it’s cheaper in blood and treasure. And he’s trying to burden-share, just as Nixon tried to get regional allies like South Vietnam and the shah’s Iran to do more of the work of containing the USSR. The Libya operation is a good example of this. The White House’shumanitarian hawks don’t want a Srebrenica on their watch, but they know they need other countries to bear more of the load. Enter Nicolas Sarkozy.
Will it work? Beats me. But it’s an illusion to believe we could have done this the old way. One of the crucial questions of our age is whether America’s liberal ideals can flourish despite the decline of American power. Libya will be one of the places we find out.
Peter Beinart, senior political writer for The Daily Beast, is associate professor of journalism and political science at City University of New York and a senior fellow at the New America Foundation. His new book,Twitter and Facebook.
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>Inaction by NATO and The EU Caused The Georgian War?

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War in Georgia: What’s Happening?

One blog said, during the Russian-Georgian War that it was :”a little difficult to figure out precisely what’s happening in Georgia.”

Before the war Lili Di Puppo failed to get all the straight scoop from a Georgian official, but she got enough of it and drew the right conclusion as evidenced by her headline:“What is Happening in Georgia Is A Clear Attempt By Russia to Redesign Eastern Europe”

It’s not difficult to blog there, The Caucaz europenews. Before the war she conducted an interview with Temur Iakobashvili, Georgia’s State Minister for Issues of Reintegration which we will reprint:

You declared in Brussels that the risk of war with Russia is close. Was this declaration intended as a wake-up call for the European Union or is the Georgian government genuinely considering military action?

I made a longer statement and in this longer version I provided rationale to explain why I think we are close to war. The information I gave was that we know Russia’s behaviour very well. We are enormously alarmed when we see quite intensive anti-Georgian propaganda in the Russian media, when we see not only talk, but also very active actions from the Russian side such as illegally moving troops to Georgian territory and violating all sorts of agreements. For example, I do not know since when paratroopers are considered peacekeepers…

Russians refer to an agreement allowing them to have a certain number of peacekeepers on Abkhaz territory…

Yes, it is true that they have an opportunity to increase the number of peacekeeping troops to 3,000, but the first question is what sort of troops. Second, there is a procedure on how this troop increase should happen. Third, the equipment Russians can have is limited and none of the documents talk about having artillery. When we see Russian offense forces entering Georgian territory, it is a violation of all possible agreements. We see anti-Georgian propaganda in media, we see that these troops were deployed based on false information such as Georgia having increased its troops in the Kodori valley. It is not true and this information has been verified by the UN agencies. Of course, it is very alarming.

Is the Georgian government considering military action in response to these moves?

No, the Georgian government is not considering military action as a response to these Russian deeds. We showed our restraint, we will continue to show our restraint and we still have a lot of opportunities to avert war. In this regard, important steps should be taken not only in Georgia, but also outside of Georgia, particularly by Europe.

What were the outcomes of your discussions in Brussels? What concrete steps does Georgia expect from the EU?

These steps are under discussion. Generally, the most important thing now is to avert war and second to think about new forms of negotiations and new formats for negotiations. The EU has already endorsed President Saakashvili’s new peace plan, but we have to see more concrete developments. We believe that it would be very important to deploy another type of ground operation other than Russian peacekeepers. We have several ideas. All of them are under discussion and we will see which ones prevail.

Why do you think it is in the EU’s interest to support Georgia?

It is the EU’s job to support Georgia because we are talking about the European Neighbourhood Policy, the European Energy Security Policy and all other policies that are important for the EU. In this regard, what is happening in Georgia is a clear attempt by Russia to redesign Eastern Europe. This is why I think the EU cannot remain neutral on the sidelines.

At the same time because of energy interests, the EU refrains from adopting a confrontational position towards Russia…

They do not have to confront Russia. They just have to avert Russia’s irresponsible actions.

Do you see a link between Russian actions in Abkhazia and the fact that Georgia was not granted a NATO Membership Action Plan at the Bucharest Summit?

It is a combination of different factors. The question was not only concerning Georgia’s NATO membership, but also Kosovo, domestic Russian policy and definitely issues related to Georgia’s realistic peace plans with regards to South Ossetia and Abkhazia. The combination of these factors is bringing about the Russian behaviour we are facing today.

Do you see the new Saakashvili peace plan as a good basis for negotiations even if the Abkhaz side does not see it this way?

I do not think the Abkhaz side does not see it this way, I think the peace plan has elements that were elaborated together with the Abkhaz side over the past eight years at least. So there is an Abkhaz ownership there and in these circumstances we have to find other negotiating formats besides the UN’s Group of Friends, where the Abkhaz can and should participate.

Since the war, here’s where we stand:

Frederick Kagan has been posting regular updates here In his update yesterday afternoon, he offered the following analysis:

• Russia has announced a unilateral ceasefire because its operations have achieved their aims.

• Medvedev and Sarkozy have drafted a document that encapsulates all of Russia’s demands in return for a ceasefire—but not a final settlement, which must still be negotiated [The so-called “final settlement” has not been drafted, but a settlement was signed by both Medvedev and Saakashveli which Russia has already broken. They are masters of deceit and should be thrown in jail.] Sarkozy is discussing that deal with Saakashvili right now.[As we know France’s Sarkozy did broker a deal, and Condi Rice of the U.S. participated and convinced Saakashvili to sign it. The deal requires all parties to go back to the positions they had before the war, which Russia has violated. In addition, Russia has voted to recognize Abkahzia and South Ossetia as independent countries, which is an illegal move. Russian troops, not peacekeepers, are stationed in those provinces which are legally still part of Georgia. In addition, Russia has brought in missiles and aimed them at Tblisi].

• So the situation on the ground now legally is that there are two unilateral ceasefires, although the Georgians claim that Russian forces continue their attacks, and the Russian military has laid the predicate for those and further attacks in public statements today [i.e., Tuesday]. The Russian military has also made plain that if a formal ceasefire agreement is not reached, then Russian forces will not withdraw from Ossetia or Abkhazia.

• The Russian military has clearly stated that the objective of its operations was to reduce Georgia’s overall military capability so that Georgia could not again conduct an operation similar to the one it launched in South Ossetia, and for that reason has been attacking targets throughout Georgia.

• Russian leaders repeatedly say that they will not deal with Saakashvili.[He doesn’t need to, as Georgia has severed all diplomatic ties to Russia and is dealing with Russia through a third party intermediary, which Russia reportedly disdains]

• The Russian Attorney General has announced that Russian law permits the trial of Saakashvili for crimes under the Russian Federation Criminal Code.[Yet it is Russia that invaded a soverergn nation, killing innocent people, displacing 160,000 Georgians from their homes. Georgians who had lived for centuries in South Ossetia were evicted from their homes, their homes and property confiscated by the Ossetians with big brother backing them up.]

• The Russian Foreign Minister has called for an investigation of Georgian war crimes and the punishment of those ultimately responsible by international tribunals, and has said that Russian citizens victimized by Georgians will be bringing individual actions in appropriate European human rights courts.

• The Russian aim is to force Saakashvili from power, preferably using international legal maneuvers (a la Milosevic), but possibly using Russian law instead or in addition.

• The Russians are maintaining their excessive forces in South Ossetia, and continuing to control Georgia’s airspace and conduct periodic attacks in a flagrant effort to compel an immediate Georgian agreement to their armistice terms, conveyed by Sarkozy.

Russia will not permit South Ossetia and Abkhazia to return to Georgian control, and will move one way or the other to have their independence recognized, and probably soon.

Meanwhile, the U.S., NATO, the EU and the United Nations sit on their hands doing nothing. (The reason NATO does nothing is clear–they refused Georgia membership and, thus, they feel no responsibility. In the UN Russia holds veto power.

In the EU, Russia also holds veto power though they aren’t a member. It is in the form of oil. If the EU isn’t careful, their winter oil from Russia could be shut down. This is one of the tragedies of this war. That the superpower is doing little to marshal forces behind the tiny 7.5-million-people nation of Georgia (of which 2.5 million are Russian). If this is how we in the West deal with these kinds of Russian-caused crises, we are sending a message to Moscow–a green light, to go ahead and try the same in the Ukraine, where the dynamics are much different. There you have a NATO country of 60 million.

When will someone stand up and shout, STOP! Will it be after Russia has taken the tiny independent Baltic states of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania?

>Dick Morris’ Recipe For Ending The Conflict in Georgia Quickly

>August 11, 2008
Orlando–Just four days ago, on August 8, 2008–the day the Olympic Games began in Beijing–Russia invaded Georgia. Tonight, Georgian officials report the Russians have sliced through the country with its tanks, air power and ships at sea and have blockaded this tiny country, cutting it in half.

On Sunday, Ukraine warned Russia it could bar Russian navy ships from returning to their base in the Crimea because of their deployment to Geargia’s coast.

Georgian man, and others, protest before Russian embassy in Tbilisi while
we in the United States sit idly by holding our hands. President Bush has warned Russia of dire consequences if Russia does not withdraw immediately–that their invasions are not only illegal but barbarak, if not unpresidented, hearking back to Hitler’s invasion of Poland in October, 1937. At that time America and the entire free west did nothing. Here again, we do nothing except talk. “Send for the UN or NATO to sort it out. Work with the European Union. Don’t use force to stop force, and so on.”

It’s the same old sorry story. But tonight Dick Morris on the Shawn Hannity TV Show, Hannity and Colmes, had the answer, perhaps the only way the U.S. can get Putin to pull back his forces immediately, short of starting World War III and dropping atomic bombs. It is to tell Putin that either he withdraws back into his own country immediately or the U.S. on Tuesday will sponsor and assure the inclusion of Ukraine in NATO–something Russia dreads happening.

Morris suggested we could assure Putin that as long as he withdraws immediately–not tomorrow or in two weeks, but today–and makes no more moves to recapture the lost, now independent, countries encircling Russia, that we will promise never to include Ukraine in NATO.
Will it work? I don’t know, but Mr. Bush, it’s worth a try. Action speaks louder than words. And the sooner the better! Meaning now! Early on Obama told both sides to use “restraint,” while McCain accurately predicted that this was an all-out invasion and we should resist it. Typical appeasment attitude of the Obama man.