What I Want To Hear

I’ll be at work when President Obama gives his address tonight, but I’m going to try to catch it. (NPR ought to carry it live.) And I’ve been thinking about the kinds of questions I hope he answers.

  • What vital interest of the United States was threatened to justify ignoring the War Powers Act?
  • What differentiates the situation in Libya from that in Syria or Yemen now, Iran in 2009, or Iraq in 2003?
  • Why did Obama seek the approval of our allies and the UN before — more accurately, in place of — the approval of Congress and the American people?
  • What exactly differentiates a war from a “kinetic military action?” More specifically, from the perspective of the people being blown up?
  • If there was such a rush to action that Congress and the American people couldn’t be consulted, why did it take several weeks to start moving?
  • Wouldn’t it have been more effective to intervene when the rebels were winning, and not when they were on the verge of defeat?
  • Are there any other civil wars or purely internal conflicts that we are considering getting involved in?
  • If this crisis is so important, why does no one want to take responsibility for leading it?
  • Is K-Daffy’s removal still a requirement, as President Obama declared on March 21?
  • What do we know about the people on whose behalf we are intervening?
  • More specifically, how certain are we that they will be better than K-Daffy?
  • What, precisely, did you mean when you said the American military “was volunteered” for this action? Please address this in the context of your role as their commander-in-chief. Did you volunteer them? If not, who did?
  • n December of 2003, Libya surrendered its entire WMD program. Later, it paid reparations for its terrorist acts and moved towards being a member of the international community. (Towards, I said.) The implicit quo for that quid was that we wouldn’t invade and would let slide those offenses we’d been punishing them over for decades. With this current round of actions, how should other countries with illicit WMD programs (say, North Korea or Iran) act? Should they accept our word that if they start playing nice, we’ll let them off the hook.

That’s just a few questions, off the top of my head. If I had more time, I’d have plenty more.

And yes, I didn’t vote for Obama. I don’t anticipate voting for him next time, either. But I’m still an American citizen. He’s my president. He’s doing this in my name, with my tax money. I think I’m entitled to answers to at least a few of them.

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