RUSH: This is stenographer Jonathan Alter who was on Andrea Mitchell this afternoon on MSNBC, and Jonathan Alter is fretting that Libya presents problems for Obama. Here is her question. “The intelligence community is expressing concerns that Khadafy will not be forced out that easily. If he remains, doesn’t that weaken the United States in terms of the eyes of the world and the rest of the West?”
ALTER: This whole situation, Andrea, is fraught with political peril for the president, at least in the short term. We don’t know where it’s going, as Bob Gates just said. It could be that we get lucky that somebody in the Khadafy government puts a bullet in his head and, you know, everything comes out fine. More likely we’re gonna have a bloody stalemate that’s gonna go on for a while, and they will do what the Reagan administration talked about when they bombed Libya in 1986, tried to put Saddam back in his box. That was the formulation that was used in the 1980s, to basic — excuse me. Saddam. I meant Khadafy.
MITCHELL: You mean Khadafy, right.
ALTER: Back in his box. So that, you know, he cannot threaten people.
RUSH: Right. So the same people — the same people! — who want to give, like, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed a fair trial, Bin Laden a fair trial, are hoping somebody shoots Khadafy to save Obama from political embarrassment! Jonathan Alter: Hopefully somebody will put “a bullet in his head” and save Obama from political embarrassment. But we’re gonna make sure that Khalid Sheikh Mohammed gets his fair trial in New York.
Here’s one more Jonathan Alter. Still fretting, ladies and gentlemen.
ALTER: Yes, he’s, ahhhh, a lunatic. So that’s one of the (chuckles) imponderables that we’re dealing with, it’s very hard to make policy when you’re dealing with somebody who’s an irrational terrorist on the other side. So this is the problem with war. It’s easy to get into and a lot harder to get out of, and I think that the president understood this. He was a reluctant warrior. He made the decision only at the last minute. We still don’t know all the details of how he came to his decision. But moving forward, it’s very unclear how this is gonna play out — and whether it’s the American people, the international markets, our allies, the administration itself, uncertainty really sets people’s teeth on edge.
RUSH: Oh, he’s a reluctant warrior! (crying) He made the decision only at the last minute! We don’t know all the details. Would somebody please shoot Khadafy and save Obama? (sobbing)
RUSH: Cliff in Las Cruces, New Mexico, welcome, sir, great to have you on the EIB Network.
CALLER: Well, thank you. Big time dittos to you. You’ve got a great avenue for free exchange of ideas on your program.
RUSH: Thank you very much, sir.
CALLER: I’m kind of in favor of actually taking action here, but more along the Bush doctrine, that is we should get ahead of the — I don’t call it the mob, but the people and sort of lead them to some ideas of democracy, whether they seize it or not, that’s for the future to hold. But more worrisome is if we don’t do anything, he’s just gonna (unintelligible) more closely and take all his money and ally more closely with the axis of evil, North Korea, Iran, and Syria, so not to do nothing is, unfortunately, worse. I wish they’d actually just go in there and take care of it and just call it what it is and take him out.
RUSH: Do you think this administration has even one person in it that ponders the possibility of a democratic Libya?
RUSH: No. They’re not thinking that at all. All you gotta do is listen to Jonathan Alter. What they’re all thinking is, “Would somebody put a bullet in Khadafy’s head so we can say we won and get outta here?” That’s all that’s on their mind. Democracy and Libya, these people don’t go that far. We’ve got the French, everybody dropping missiles. We’ve got people firing bullets all over there, and he’s asking for somebody to put a bullet in Khadafy’s head. There are millions of bullets being fired over there, could not one of them be aimed at Khadafy?
CALLER: That would be nice. I wish they would support the people, just explicitly say it.
RUSH: Well, the problem is we don’t know who the people are. Likely the rebels are being advised and paid for by Al-Qaeda.
CALLER: Well, it’s an opportunity to shape it, shape the debate.
RUSH: In Libya?
CALLER: (Unintelligible) if we lose, at least worth a try.
RUSH: Well, I know that’s what the Bush doctrine is, and it may well be that the Bush doctrine’s playing a role here in some of these outbreaks. We don’t know yet. Only time will tell. But I don’t think anybody is saying that any of this uprising in Libya is a democracy movement. They said it in Egypt, and we know that the Iranian uprising is oriented around democracy, but this I don’t think is. I’ll tell you who the two competing rebels are: Al-Qaeda and Iran. You got Shi’ites and Al-Qaeda. That’s what you’ve got here, trying to get rid of Khadafy. There’s no question that’s what’s going on. And those two are not interested in democracy in any way. But what happens is a bad outcome, what happens is a bad outcome, yeah. The least bad outcome is Khadafy surviving this assassination attempt that Jonathan Alter is hoping for. But they’re not looking at it that way. They’ve got a whole different view of this. They look at Khadafy as being mean to his people, can’t happen, we can’t put up with that. Not when people are starting to complain about it.
If people started complaining about Hafez al-Assad — or, no, he’s dead — Bashar al-Assad being mean to his people, and it got big and big and big, then with the same dithering, all the hand-wringing, “Oh, gosh what do we do here? Oh, jeez.” This kind of swelled out of proportion because it’s all part of the Mediterranean region, Egypt, got Tunis, Tunisia, then you have Bahrain and now Libya. I think the vision here is really narrow and self-serving and like I told you earlier, Snerdley, it’s PR oriented. I guarantee you that the endgame they’re all contemplating here is how can this ending make Obama look the best in terms of the prism of the 2012 election? That’s it. Don’t doubt me. Okay, wait, wait a second. Wait a second, wait a second, wait a second. If Khadafy stays, he’s mad, right? And then he’s going to start sponsoring more terrorism, right? And we don’t have a Reagan in the White House anymore. I think Khadafy’s terrorism activities are pretty much stripped. That may be a legitimate concern, but this is why I said last week, you really need smart people to figure this out before you commit to this kind of action because once you do, there is going to be an outcome.
In this case, one of two things is gonna happen, either these rebels, whoever they are, are gonna end up running show, or Khadafy’s gonna survive. We had the caller yesterday talking about contingencies. The defense secretary said, “We don’t have one.” What did he call it? “Doing this on the fly.” So whatever is happening is not something we planned for, yet we’re engaged anyway. This is what happens when unserious people get involved in really meaningful stuff. It’s one of the reasons why we’re being looked at here as a joke and why nobody knows who’s running this whole show, and nobody wants to raise their hand and say, “I am,” ’cause nobody’s really proud of this. Let’s see, now, Khadafy ordered the Lockerbie bomber in retaliation for the Reagan missile strikes. So you would think that he’ll find a way to get even here if he survives. He will find a way to get even. So you balance that with do you want Khadafy surviving and finding a way to get even, or do you want these rebels, who we may not really know who they are, running Libya and turning it into what have you. And note that nobody is running around saying, “This is a democracy uprising, and this we must get behind.” You don’t hear the same language that you heard vis-a-vis Egypt in this, do you? This is all about Khadafy and how rotten he is, pure and simple.
RUSH: Still looking for somebody to put a bullet in Khadafy’s head. Jonathan Alter has made the request. Well, he speculated on the pleasant outcome such a result would bring. How many people do you know who could be bought to do this? Show ’em a picture of Khadafy, put ’em on a plane to Tripoli. There’s a new poll out. It’s not good. “Only seventeen percent of Americans…” This is from Reuters. It’s a Reuters/Ipsos poll taken after the United States and its allies began the “kinetic military action” in Libya. “Only 17 percent of Americans see President Barack Obama as a strong and decisive military leader…
“Nearly half of those polled view Obama as a cautious and consultative commander-in-chief and more than a third see him as indecisive in military matters.” Seventeen percent of Americans see Obama as “a strong and decisive military leader.” The headline of the Reuters story: “Few Americans See Obama as Strong Military Leader.” But, again, the poll is not accurate, I don’t think. They need to redo the poll asking how they see Obama as a leader of “kinetic military action.” Remember, up until now… This is why, I guarantee, in the White House, they are discombobulated.
It’s because up until now Obama got his best ratings for his foreign affairs. His strongest suit is foreign affairs, and then this thing comes along. You know, they’ve gotta be asking, “What happened? How did we get here? How in the world do we end up firing Tomahawk missiles at this guy?” I guarantee you there are people asking that. It is stunning to listen to some of the sound bites we had today. Wolf Blitzer desperately trying to find out from a national security director, “Is our mission regime change?”
“Well, no, Wolf. We’re not gonna do that.”
“Well, Obama says Khadafy’s gotta go.”
“Well, that’s the military policy. What we’re talking about here at the White House…”
Wolf was obviously just bending over as far as he could: “Is it regime change or not?” They’re trying to do everything they can, because nobody on the left understands this. Seventeen percent of the American people! This is not good. They’re gonna have to do something about this poll. What will it be?
RUSH: Hey, a final thought on Libya, ladies and gentlemen. Have you noticed that we are not seeing a lot of photos in the news and not a lot of video in the news of dead, innocent civilians bombed by our forces in Libya? We’re not even seeing much footage of the damage done. Not like it was in Iraq. I wonder why that is. I wonder why those photos and that video are not being shown to us. There has to be collateral damage there. Civilians have to be wounded and dying. Why are we not seeing it?
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