I think Marc Thiessen shows us the most mendacious part of the president’s pre-“Dancing With The Stars” speech yesterday evening just before prime time.
Another moment of dishonesty came when Obama described the “transfer” of the mission to NATO:
Our most effective alliance, NATO, has taken command of the enforcement of the arms embargo and the no-fly zone. Last night, NATO decided to take on the additional responsibility of protecting Libyan civilians. This transfer from the United States to NATO will take place on Wednesday. Going forward, the lead in enforcing the no-fly zone and protecting civilians on the ground will transition to our allies and partners, and I am fully confident that our coalition will keep the pressure on Qaddafi’s remaining forces.
The president failed to mention what this means in practice: Come Wednesday we will transfer responsibility for the mission in Libya from an American general (Carter Ham, commander of U.S. Africa Command) to an American admiral (James Stavridis, Supreme Allied Commander-Europe). He might also have mentioned the other mission that we have handed over to NATO — the mission in Afghanistan. Feel like responsibility for the war in Afghanistan has been handed over to our European allies? If so, you’ll love the transfer of responsibility for the war in Libya.
So who is in charge in Libya? The US, of course – just with a different flag officer wearing a different hat while warming a different chair. This remains a US operation. It would be nice if Obama were man enough to admit that much to the American people.