On March 28, President Barack Obama addressed the nation to answer the questions surrounding why the United States is taking part in the airstrikes in Libya.
In a recent interview with NBC News, Obama defended his decision for the U.S. to intervene in Libya by stating that actions had to be made quickly to save civilian lives.
This need for immediate action is the reason why Obama did not seek authorization from Congress beforehand.
However, many are still questioning Obama’s rash tactics in joining NATO with this coalition.
“When our men and women in uniform are sent into harm’s way, Americans and troops deserve a clear mission from our commander-in-chief, not a speech nine days late.” Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas said.
“President Obama failed to explain why he unilaterally took our nation to war without bothering to make the case to the U.S. Congress,” Cornyn said.
While defending his support on the airstrikes in Libya, Obama maintains his stance on avoiding a full-scale invasion like in Iraq.
Furthermore, he holds to his morals by saying that the airstrikes in Libya are being done to protect innocent civilians.
Hiding behind the premise that the lives of civilians are the main priority for the U.S. is beyond laughable at this point.
If reducing the death toll of innocent lives is really the aim of the U.S. government, then why has no action been taken in the crisis in Syria or the more recent crisis in the Ivory Coast where a reported death toll is much higher compared to Libya?
A recent report on CNN counted a total of 398 Libyans killed over the period of one month, when the crisis began.
However, the International Committee of the Red Cross reported a massacre in the Ivory Coast where 800 people were shot to death in the cocoa-producing town of Duekoue which included civilians and mercenaries.
While campaigning in 2007, in response to the handling of the Iraq war, Obama said that a president should only authorize military action to stop actual or imminent threats to the nation.
This leads one to wonder if he is still holding the position of president up to the same standards as he did in 2007. It is obvious that the situation in Libya is not an imminent threat to the United States, unless one considers the vast amount of oil Libya contains.
As of Monday, CNN reports that the rebel forces have the oil town, al-Brega, surrounded which sheds light on the real reason foreign nations are taking an interest in the plight of Libya.
“Oil is seen by the west as a more strategic commodity than cocoa if we’re to be quite blunt,” said Knox Chitiyo, head of the Africa program at UK’S Royal United Services Institute for Defense and Security Studies, when asked why the issue in Libya was chosen over that of the Ivory Coast.
Rather than hide behind the stereotypical American mask that claims to put humanity before business, Obama should be honest with his people and say that oil is the driving force in this situation. Furthermore, the president should not have the only voice when it comes to taking the nation to war on a last minute decision.