Ridiculous: Obama admin refuses to call US mission in Libya a war

Posted by: ST on March 24, 2011 at 11:22 am

I swear, even with the contradictory signals various members of this administration have been sending out in regards to what our mission actually is in Libya, this dodge and weave on how to classify what we’re doing  there pretty much takes the cake:

The White House held a classified briefing Tuesday with House and Senate leaders regarding the ongoing situation in Libya emphasizing the U.S. is NOT at war with Libya. Coalition forces, including the United States, are enforcing a no-fly zone after leader Muammar Qaddafi inflicted violence on innocent civilians.

Even though there are no ground troops in Libya, some are arguing that the United States has essentially entered war by invading a country with military action and expressing a desire to have Qaddafi out of power, even if that’s not necessarily part of the no-fly mission.

Technically a full declaration of war requires Congressional approval and the War Powers Act allows the president to take a limited military action, as long as he notifies Congress within 48 hours.

President Obama has held top-level meetings with members of Congress and sent a letter Monday– but some lawmakers, including Democrats, are asking for more approval. House Speaker John Boehner sent a letter Wednesday night to the president using the “w” word: “…many other members of the House of Representatives are troubled that U.S. military resources were committed to war without clearly defining for the American people, the Congress, and our troops what the mission in Libya is and what America’s role is in achieving that mission.”

So what was the administration’s reaction to the question of the day? Here’s a sampling:



I’ll tell you that nobody has to explain to the Qaddafi forces that we are conducting operations, that we’re conducting the kind of air strikes and using the kind of tools and resources that we’ve used to grade, to grade progress across Libya as we’ve done in other places, so I — I don’t know what you want to call it, Wendell, but I guarantee you that nobody in Libya, is mistaking our seriousness and our dedication to ensuring that we accomplish this very clear task that the president set out.

FOX NEWS’ JAMES ROSEN: Mark, are we at war in Libya?


We are implementing U.N. Security Council Resolution 1973. It is clearly a combat operation or a combat mission. As the president made very clear, there will be no U.S. ground forces involved in this, and that the U.S. role is — is upfront, front-loaded, if you will, on this, but that’s going to — you know, obviously, recede into a more — a broader international coalition as we move forward to — to — implement the no-fly zone.

QUESTION: So you would not say we’re at war.

TONER: I — I think we’ve — you love these — these sweeping characterizations, and I appreciate it.

QUESTION: (inaudible) I love or do not love, but the question on the table is, are we at war in Libya or not?

TONER: I would say it’s a combat mission, clearly, but beyond that you can parse that out.

“Combat mission” rather than an act of war – really? You gotta love liberal-speak sometimes.  I heard this garbage back during the Iraq war when trying to convince liberals that, like President George W. Bush, President Clinton also strongly believed that Iraq had WMD and had also waged war against Iraq – except his way of doing so was via cruise missile strikes two or three times during his eight years in office.  The typical response to that was that because ground troops weren’t involved, the missile strikes weren’t technically an act of war.  In response, I’d  usually ask them if they’d take the same view if another country launched a cruise missile attack on the US.  Of course, silence almost always followed.

It may not be a big deal to some people in the scheme of things, but the silly word games and the numerous conflicting messages this administration continues to send out on the goals, objectives, and the characterization of what we’re doing in Libya not only typifies the sheer cluelessness of this administration when it comes to “managing the message” but also exemplifies their complete disregard for the truth when it comes to being upfront with the American people – no matter the issue.  I realize that standard operating procedure on “combat missions” means that not everything about the mission is going to be revealed to the public – in the interests of our national security, but a little basic honesty, along with a coherent message, would go a long way towards satisfying many of the critics of the Obama administration’s approach to this conflict.

Needless to say, I will NOT be holding my breath.

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8 Responses to “Ridiculous: Obama admin refuses to call US mission in Libya a war”


  1. Carlos says:

    As pointed out, if another country did to us what we are doing to Libya the administration would be in front of Congress so fast it would make even Chucky Cheesy Schumer going for a photo op look like a snail!

    Typically, the administration is pulling out all the stops in mangling the language so no one can pin them down.

    Don’t get me wrong – I don’t necessarily disagree with the Libyan action (although I’ve great reservations about it), but, unlike nearly every significant action by the Obhammud sycophants, this one HAS to be OK’d by Congress because of the precedent it sets.

  2. bill glass says:

    Police action, showing the flag, demonstration of firepower, humanitarian gesture, man-caused explosions, practice plane-rides ???

  3. Chris says:

    Let’s see now, a non-kinetic military intervention would be…. what exactly?…..

    Chow time at the mess tent? (Largely depends upon what’s on the menu today!)

    Litter Patrol?

    Paint-the-rocks Detail?

    Dorm/Barracks Guard, between Taps and Reveille?

    [Dimwit/Demwit (same thing!) semantic exercise..]

  4. WarEagle says:

    Today in an effort to restore public confidence, the Obama Administration announced that it was seeking to bring additional gravitas to the administration in an effort to bolster support for foreign policy moves and strengthen re-election prospects in 2012.

    The administration stated that all options were on the table. One scenario outlined was to drop both President Obama and Vice President Biden from the ticket and replace them with SpongeBob Square Pants and Dora The Explorer. This ticket was well received among various focus groups polling significantly higher among all age groups than Obama/Biden.

    It is not clear whether Michelle Obama would remain as First Lady if Barack Obama is replaced with SpongeBob Square Pants.

    Other possible teams polling higher than Obama/Biden are Goofy/Donald Duck, Boy George/Alec Baldwin and OctoMom/Li’l Kim.

  5. Old Goat says:

    If it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck it must be a bear or a cat.

    The phrase Kinetic Military Action was used during the Bush administration. Thing is, it wasn’t being used as these liberals always seem to do, in a way which was to redefine other words or circumstances.

    I guess if being a homosexual is now gay, if being socialist is now progressive, if opposing increasing national debt is racist, then calling war a kinetic military action is perfectly acceptable. It helps keep the dumb sheep from figuring too much and actually using their brains.

  6. RM says:

    “Kinetic Military Action” as in World “Kinetic Military Action” Two which began for us with the “Man-Made Disaster” of Pearl Harbor.
    I wonder what the late George Carlin would have made of all this.

  7. PE says:

    To Obama’s real audience, “kinetic” is a sophisticated word that they don’t know the meaning of but it shows he is real smart and a real leader. In Obama’s world, “kinetic” might well be an antonym of pantomine.

  8. Glenn Bergen says:

    You’re right,ST. I would not hold my breath with this administration’s idea of transparency. I have come to classify their leadership model as “shuck and jive”.