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Can Khadafy Stay, or Must He Go? Obama Wages War "On the Fly"

BEGIN TRANSCRIPT

RUSH: This is Barack Obama. This was late Monday afternoon in Santiago, Chile.

OBAMA: It is US policy that Khadafy needs to go, and we've got a wide range of tools in addition to our military efforts to support that policy.

RUSH: It's US policy Khadafy has to go. Monday afternoon, late yesterday afternoon in San Salvador, El Salvador, President Obama and the president there held a joint press conference. Unidentified reporter: "President Obama, you mentioned a few minutes ago how this mission in Libya was narrow in scope, limited in duration, but potentially it seems quite open-ended in the sense that as long as Khadafy remains in power, civilians presumably will need protection from him. My question to you is what is your exit strategy for US military involvement if Khadafy does not succumb to the international pressures to leave? Are you saying essentially the US will hang in there militarily in Libya if Khadafy hangs in there?"

OBAMA: As long as Khadafy remains in power, unless he changes his approach and provides the Libyan people an opportunity to express themselves freely and there are significant reforms in the Libyan government --

RUSH: What?

OBAMA: -- unless he is willing to step down.

RUSH: What?

OBAMA: -- that there's still gonna be potential threats towards the Libyan people.

RUSH: What? Does anybody understand? I know when I hear Obama, according to the media, I need to question my own intellect. I need to question my own ability to understand here. He's so far ahead of us, you know. He's so much brighter, the nuance. I mean I think I can read the stitches on a fastball. This guy can stop the fastball. We just don't have the ability to keep up. It sounds to me like he's saying Khadafy can stay. On Monday he needs to go, but he can stay if he doesn't go. Yeah, as long as he remains in power, unless he changes his approach and provides the Libyan people an opportunity to shout at him and whatever else they want to do, if he's willing to step down, fine, he can stay. He's gotta go but he can stay. This is our policy. You got Gates, the secretary of defense, saying, (paraphrasing) "We've never done this before. We have never had foreign policy on the fly." Grab audio sound bite number 11, Ed. This is our defense secretary in Moscow yesterday, Robert Gates, speaking to reporters. He had this to say about Libya.

GATES: This command and control business is complicated, and we haven't done something like this kind of on the fly before. And so it's not surprising to me that it would take a few days to get it all sorted out.

RUSH: Well, is that not reassuring? Here we are in the old Soviet Union, in Russia, and the KGB reporters are asking what's going on. (imitating Gates) "We don't really know. We've really never done anything on the fly like this before. Gonna take a few days to get it all sorted out." Obama says we're gonna be gone a few days. Wolf Blitzer said, (paraphrasing) "No, he's just getting bad advice. We're gonna be there longer than a few days." Obama, (paraphrasing) "He's gotta go. No, he can stay if he wants, as long as he let's people yell at him." (interruption) A question, Mr. Snerdley? That's a good question. You've asked the right person. Snerdley said all of his life he has heard, when it comes to military action that -- I mean there's five rings in the Pentagon. There are a lot of people in there, and I asked Secretary Rumsfeld, is there one person, I mean you were the secretary of defense, is there one person who knows everything going on in that building? He said no, it's not possible. Now, stop and think about that. Not one person knows everything going on.

By the way, this is not related to classified action or top secret stuff. I mean that, of course, is a factor. But you would think that there would be somebody who knows everything going on. I once asked a former DCI, Director of Central Intelligence, "Did you know everything going on there?" "No. No." Not one person in there who knows. It's not that they're all rogues. It's just massive. It is complex. It's like asking, "Is there one person who knows what's going on the Department of Health and Human Services? Is there one person who's gonna know everything going on in our health care?" No. There isn't. And yet the citizens assume that there is this all-knowing, all-present entity somewhere who knows everything the government's doing. So the question is, Snerdley says, "I've been told that we in the Pentagon have contingency plans on virtually every situation that might erupt around the world." And when Snerdley asked me that question, I said, "Well, I have thought that, too." Okay, you've got Moammar Khadafy in Libya. He's in there, what, how long has he been a colonel? Okay, 40 something years the guy has not had a promotion. That's gotta tell you something. And he's in charge of promotions. Forty-seven years.

We keep hearing about the Libyan desk at the State Department or the Soviet desk or whatever. You would think that there would be contingency plans, if this happens here, what does this mean for events in Libya, what will we do to counter if this happens, you know, what are the ABCs here. And our defense secretary is saying, "We've never kinda done this on the fly before." It's stronger than an implication. We're not doing anything we had planned here. In other words, all the contingencies that we've ever had, we're doing something we've never contemplated. This isn't in our plan book so it is on the fly. Now, remember yesterday, David "Rodham" Gergen at CNN wrote that he was puzzled that it was women in the regime who were determining our military action, and he was surprised by that because he had bought into this notion that if women had more positions of power that there would be a less contentious world, it would be a more peaceful place. Which, frankly, I've never understood that, just by virtue of real-world experience. That's an offshoot of all these stereotypes that women are soft, fragile, nurturing, understanding, relationship builders and all this, watchers of chick flicks. It's not the real world. Come on, now. Look, does that stereotype even survive when we were contemplating Hillary Clinton being president?

So anyway, there has been blowback, if you will, from this whole notion that the women are running the show. People don't like that aspect of it. It's in TIME Magazine: "A Woman Is Running the U.S. Air War Over Libya." TIME Magazine picks up this obsession with gender in our Libyan policy. And then the Atlantic, somebody here named Garance Franke-Ruta: "On the Idiocy of Framing the Libya Intervention as a Battle of the Sexes." This author is really miffed at the idea that only the women of Obamaville have any guts. It's funny and it's harrowing to read this stuff about what's going on in this administration and how it's happening. The defense secretary, "We've really never done this," says it to the Russians. "We'll get it figured out in a few days here. We're doing this on the fly. We've never really done this before." That's because we've never had a commander-in-chief like Obama before.

I wonder should his nickname be Obamer or Oscrama? It depends on the day, seems to be a little bit of both, depending on what day it is. One thing is true. This is probably more salient than anything. Gates out there saying, "Well, we've never done anything like this before, doing this on the fly, not surprising to me, take a few days to get it all sorted out." You know what that means? That means the Pentagon has never had a contingency plan for a president like Obama. The answer to your question, Snerdley, the State Department, Pentagon, the one thing they've never planned on is a president like Obama. That's the scary thing.

BREAK TRANSCRIPT

RUSH: Mrs. Clinton last Thursday in Tunis, Tunisia, had at a town hall meeting (yep, we did a town hall meeting in Tunisia) and she said this about Colonel Moammar Khadafy...

HILLARY: If you don't try to take him out -- if you don't support the opposition and he stays in power -- we cannot predict what he will do.

RUSH: Whoa! We don't have to remove Khadafy. "If you don't try to take him out -- if you don't support the opposition and he stays in power -- we cannot predict what he will do." Oh, I guess we will have to take him out. Then she was a little bit more relaxed about it last night on Nightline during a discussion about the attacks on Libya. She got the question (I think it was from Diane Sawyer): "Khadafy, will this intervention be a success if he's still in power?"

HILLARY: The United Nations Security Council resolution was very broad but explicit about what was legally authorized by the international community, and we are a hundred percent committed to enforcing it and helping others enforce it. There's nothing in there about getting rid of anybody.

RUSH: What has happened? What in the world changed?

"He's gotta go!"

"No, he doesn't have to go!"

"Well, if he doesn't go, and he doesn't let people yell at him, well, it's not gonna be fun -- and he's gotta go."

"No, he doesn't have to go!"

What in the world changed? Did somebody say, "Look, you can't sit here and say we're gonna target a world leader and get rid of him"? This is amateur hour. There's even a story here in Politico: "In Search of the Obama Doctrine." Now, why are they searching for one? 'Cause they're desperately trying to craft it! There isn't an Obama doctrine. They want to make it out like there is one going on there, and it's so deep that we can't see it. It's so special, so unique -- it is so above all of us -- that we can't see it. In fact, the story says, "It's difficult to succinctly describe the intellectual framework for Obama's approach." It's so nuanced. It's another way of saying... Well, this is just lethargy. It is journalistic malpractice. This is pathetic and embarrassing.

"At a briefing for reporters last Saturday as U.S. Tomahawks missiles slammed into the Libyan coast, a top aide to President Barack Obama was asked to define the 'Obama doctrine' to explain why the United States was suddenly pursuing a third conflict in a Muslim nation. Ben Rhodes, a deputy national security adviser and one of Obama's most highly regarded speechwriters, ticked off the factors that led his reluctant commander-in-chief to act: Muammar Qadhafi's threat of a massacre against his own people, support from an international coalition and 'the provision of humanitarian assistance' to rebels."

Oh, good, it's the old human rights of Jimmy Carter resurfacing here. Meals on Wheels! "That difficulty in succinctly describing the intellectual framework for Obama’s approach to U.S. foreign policy and national security issues has long bedeviled anyone trying to impute a concrete agenda from Obama..." [repeats] "That difficulty in succinctly describing the intellectual framework for Obama..." How about there isn't one? How about there isn't "an intellectual framework"? We got the defense secretary saying, "It's on the fly. We've never done this before," and we have to sit here and be so insulted by the media, constantly telling us that we're too stupid to understand?

We're just a bunch of hayseeds. Even if we were smarter, we still don't have the ability to comprehend "the intellectual framework" in Obama's approach. "Republicans, especially the neo-conservatives who gave enthusiastic support for the U.S. invasion of Iraq, have sought to paint Obama's nuanced approach as fundamentally weak." Uh, this is gobbledygook. What we have here are people who understand that we have an embarrassment as president of the United States (an embarrassment that they promoted and foisted upon us) and now they have to engage in a profound cover-up.

So the way this is all going and the whole purpose of this "In Search of the Obama Doctrine"? At the end of the day the purpose here is to be able to say that Obama wins, regardless what happens. He can claim success or deny responsibility. That's why the Obama doctrine is open-ended, and that's why the difficulty -- the "difficulty in succinctly describing the intellectual framework for Obama's approach." I have seldom encountered... We've all seen media bias and we've all seen media cheerleading. I have seldom seen the media so eager to prostate itself -- prostrate itself! (laughing) -- in order to portray somebody in a light that they don't deserve. This is unprecedented, I think.

BREAK TRANSCRIPT

RUSH: You know what's amazing about this Politico story? Who do they go to to find out what the Obama doctrine is? They went right to a speechwriter. They went right to a speechwriter, Ben Rhodes, a deputy national security advisor, one of Obama's most highly regarded speechwriters. They side-stepped the teleprompter. No, they didn't go to the teleprompter. They went to the guy who puts it in the teleprompter. They did not go to Obama. "That difficulty in succinctly describing the intellectual framework for Obama’s approach to U.S. foreign policy and national security issues has long bedeviled anyone trying to impute a concrete agenda from Obama’s soaring pronouncements about supporting democracy and fostering international human rights." Soaring pronouncements. Soaring, intellectual. He's an empty suit. He doesn't really care. That's the big thing. They have to present the impression that he cares. Other people are coming up with the ideas, the implementations, the policies. He doesn't care.

By the way, he did cancel the trip to the Mayan ruins, part of the spring break vacation. Moochelle and the girls are gonna go and visit the Mayan ruins. Obama heading back to Washington to deal with the Libya thing that they've all tried to make out to be not too big a deal. But what's changed here? Khadafy's gotta go, he's gotta go. No, he can stay. Well, he's gottaa go. No, he can stay. As long as he let's people yell at him, he can stay. Why the flip-flop? Maybe it's one of two things. Maybe there's internal polling data. Maybe there's Libyan polling data. Maybe a majority of Libyan citizens actually favor Khadafy over the rebels. Maybe. I mean Al Jazeera's got a poll that 65% of the Arab world likes what we're doing outside of Libya. Al Jazeera: 62% of the street, the Arab street, supports what we're doing, but what are we doing? It's too nuanced and we don't have the brains to figure it out. He can stay, he doesn't have to go, or he's gotta go? I want to take you back to a moment of deep contemplation on this program. March 17th, six days ago, I, your host, raised a possibility.

RUSH ARCHIVE: In Libya, it's a tough call, which is why Obama's by no means qualified. In Libya the opposition is probably largely influenced by Al-Qaeda.

RUSH: The rebels, remember? We went through this. It's a tough call. What do you do? The popular consensus is we got this colonel and he's wiping out his own people. They're starting to talk about it as a genocide now, by the way, on the left. So, okay, he's gotta go. But then, who are these rebels? Some of them, I speculated, might be Al-Qaeda. Others might be agents from Iran. But I hold here in my formerly nicotine-stained fingers a Reuters story: "Al Qaida Commander Backs Libyan Rebels in Message -- Abu Yahya al-Libi," not to be confused with Scooter al-Libby, "urges anti-Gaddafi forces not to retreat; reports of mutiny among Gaddafi forces slowing attack on rebel-held Misurata. A senior member of al Qaida urged Libyan rebels to continue their fight against Muammar Gaddafi and warned of the consequences of defeat, in a videotaped message posted on Jihadi websites, the Qatar-based Gulf News reported on Sunday. The message from Libya native, Abu Yahya al-Libi, marked the first time a top ranked al Qaida commander had commented on the uprising in Libya. Gaddafi has repeatedly blamed al Qaida for inciting the unrest against him." He's been saying so.

BREAK TRANSCRIPT

RUSH: From Der Spiegel, German magazine: "'Gadhafi Is Facing a Coalition of the Unwilling.'" (chuckles) The international press writing: "'Gadhafi Is Facing a Coalition of the Unwilling.'" Nobody knows who's running it. Folks, you know (sigh), none of this makes me happy. None of it makes me comfortable. Nobody knows what's going on. This is totally "on the fly," and you know what? It's like I said 25 or 30 minutes ago: Whatever happens in Libya -- whatever happens -- Obama's gonna be able to claim success or deny responsibility. That's why they're all over the board here.

"Oh, yeah, he can stay."

"No, he doesn't have to stay."

"He can go, doesn't have to."

"He's gotta go!"

"No he can stay!"

"Al-Qaeda in there? Yeah, changes it a little bit. We don't know. We'll have to wait and see."

Washington Post: "Allied Strikes Pummel Libya's Air Force but Do Not Stop Attacks on Civilians." We're bombing again from 15,000 feet; it's not stopping the killing. People in the Balkans already know this. Khadafy's actually advancing. Khadafy's gaining ground. Genocide happened underneath our no-fly zone in Bosnia. This is all through the rubric, through the prism of 2012.

END TRANSCRIPT

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