over there(s)

Liveblogging President Obama’s Announcement of Total War On Africa

Haaaappy talk, keep talking, happy talkTonight, the president of the United States addresses the nation on Libya. Have we invaded yet? Is Poland sending three or four guys to help us out? Will Obama have to trade jobs with Gaddafi according to a weird cease-fire settlement the White House took pains to stay out of planning? Though this war has gone on for more than a week now, Obama finally feels pressured to tell the American people about it. But it’s still not a serious serious war speech. He’s not doing this from his desk, and he’s just bumping Wheel of Fortune and America’s precious Two and a Half Men reruns at this hour, so he’s still trying to keep this war mellow and chill and no big deal and whatever. Or maybe that’s just a trick to sneak up on Gaddafi and invade all of Africa?! We shall soon find out!

7:29 PM — What Barbary War are we on now? Third? Fourth? Ninth?
7:29 PM — Joe Biden has sat down. The journalists can be let out of the “free-speech closet” now.
7:30 PM — A blue curtain! Obama is giving us a blue curtain. Is that his message? What does it mean? (THAT WAS A GREAT SPEECH!)
7:30 PM — Oh, there he is.
7:31 PM — A blood-red tie. Haven’t seen this one. Michelle must have bought him a special new war tie.
7:33 PM — The U.S. is reluctant to go to war? Joe Lieberman must be readying a Republican Response to this.
7:34 PM — Oh, the Libyans on the street have Hope. That’s where Obama put it.
7:34 PM — “A serious of Swiss steps”? Are those Sound of Music lyrics?
7:35 PM — “Mosques were destroyed.” OH YEAH, HIGH FIVE, G-daffi!
7:37 PM — “Benghazi, a city nearly the size of Charlotte”—oh, good place to put the next Democratic convention!
7:39 PM — “Tonight, I can report we have stopped Gaddafi’s deadly advance.” Thanks for the breaking update. That was in the New York Times days ago though, bro.
7:40 PM — Obama’s bragging that it only took a month to get the international community to go to war here. Wow, that Internet sure makes things quick! A month! Like one transatlantic Mayflower journey!
7:42 PM — What’s this about communications jam? Sounds delicious. Selling that should be able to pay for this war, easy.
7:43 PM — What’s this about giving the Libyan people Gaddafi money we took from him? Do you want to keep Amtrak funded or no, Obama?
7:45 PM — “America should not be expected to police the world.” Oh, we like this section of the speech! Wait, never mind. He’s criticizing that.
7:47 PM — It “would have been a betrayal of who we are” to not go into Libya. He’s right. Invading and getting stuck running other countries is pretty much what we’re known for these days.
7:48 PM — Not acting on this would have “crippled” the ability of the UN to call itself a peacekeeper. Yeah, that would have done it. Wouldn’t want to have people start questioning the capability of the UN.
7:49 PM — “Blah blah, I don’t feel like looking at mass graves when they’re in this particular bloody country, blah blah.”
7:50 PM — “We will deny the regime arms.” Oooh! That will save all those people from dying Obama seems so concerned about suddenly!
7:51 PM — PRO TIP: Don’t follow up 10 minutes about how evil and murderous this dictator is by saying you’re not going to take out the dictator, just going to wait and hope he falls.
7:54 PM — Everybody who decided to go to war with Libya should pay their fair share, Obama says. So how do you judge that? How big the country is, or how warmongery it was? What do you do when France skips out on the check? Bomb them? Oh, right, “leadership” … “leadership” will fix everything.
7:55 PM — “We can make a difference.” Wow, that must be inspiring to the Libyan rebels. This war is going to be waged with the same effort and purpose as switching to energy-efficient light bulbs.
7:56 PM — What’s with this guy and this dumb “North Star” metaphor these days? Who took the man who was good at speeches?
7:59 PM — So that was twenty-seven minutes of confused logic, tired, repurposed rah-rah rhetoric, and—never mind, let’s make fun of Chuck Todd’s dumb face. What a dumb face! That face looks like it was a canned good.

About the author

Jack Stuef is your loyal editor and a freelance satirist or something like that. He is a contributing writer for The Onion. E-mail him or whatever.

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  1. undeterredbyreality

    "For the first time, we finally have hope" say the Libyans. That's what we said about 2 1/2 years ago here. Hope it works out for them.

    1. PocketsTheClown

      We can help them get some amendments, coupla bills of rights for passengers or something, pat 'em on the butt, off they go.

  2. Come here a minute

    We're invading Poland? It must be true that once you taste blood, you can't stop.

  3. DustBowlBlues

    WTF? I've been a fucking Best Buy all day waiting for my new, overpriced but cool Imac to be done up and the war has gone on without me.

    BTW–The guy playing on the computer next to this one is the only person who knows my true identity. Shit.

    So, is Barry knockin' 'em dead?

      1. HistoriCat

        Nah – we'll just rendition the shit out of his ass and park him in Guantanamo forever.

  4. J Rbt. Oppenheiner

    Mosques destroyed? Public water supplies destroyed? So then Ghadaffi = .. teabaggers.

  5. NorthStarSpanx

    Send Joe the Plumber, Sarah Palin, Mike Huckabee and Michele Bachmann in, they've been dying to show the world how tough they are.

  6. Worthly[♬♪♬♪♫♪♬]Skum

    This is all just a cover operation for his true purpose – destroying his Libyan birth certificate!

  7. SayItWithWookies

    "Behgnazi — a city nearly the size of Charlotte…"

    Well at least we didn't save Charlotte.

    1. Dudleydidwrong

      Charlotte who? How did she get involved?

      There once was a lady named Charlotte
      Whom the guys all said was a harlot…

      Aw, fugeddaboudit. I hate limericks. Is Barry into limericks?

    1. Lost_Teabaggers

      Yes, what's funny about that quote is that msn or somebody stupid decided they'd go into the urban legends of political quotes to show us the real quote, dagnabbit. The real quote actually looks even worse in context: a smug bush after John Kerry ridiculed his ridiculous "coalition" corrected him on not mentioning Poland…but the way he did it suggests even dumbass knew his "coalition of the willing" was a pile of shit.

      That's more so…"coalition of the willing"…why didn't they just say "countries who ain't pussies" as smug of a name as that is. It was as if anyone who disagreed with Bush's war plans didn't have viable reasons, they were just pussies (when reality really showed those reasons weren't just correct, but Bush was a fucking grade of liar above Reagan or even Nixon). No wonder after eight years of smug neocon fuck yous to anyone who was CORRECT about their nonsense that Barry had to go around the world and issue mea culpa's to try and smooth things over…and these dumbass neocons had the nerve to be upset he was doing this! the fucking unmitigated gall of these assholes!…anyway, just thought I'd share, carry on.

    2. Lost_Teabaggers

      I think I'm just going to have to start saying "I fucking hate wingnuts" for every post until you guys banhammer me to put me out of my misery…fair warning but with these teabagger shitbag, asswipe Governors, the day is nigh….

  8. SayItWithWookies

    Whoah — naming names in the coalition — I thought coalition partners were all supposed to be weak, ineffective and anonymous. Where's Micronesia Barry?

  9. Come here a minute

    7:37 PM — “Benghazi, a city nearly the size of Charlotte”—oh, good place to put the next Democratic convention!

    I hear they have great ribs!

  10. undeterredbyreality

    "Much of the debate in Washington has put forth a false choice." Who'd a thunk it?

  11. JoeBiteme

    This is all fine, and I'm sure we'll all sleep better tonight, but how come we never get to be part of Italy or Turkey's fucking coalition? Why do we always have to pick the fucking restaurant?

    1. HateMachine

      Yeah, and then Germany always bitches about how they don't like the soup there. DON'T FUCKING ORDER ANY, THEN.

  12. SayItWithWookies

    "40 years of tyranny has left Libya fractured and without strong institutions."

    Well wait — we ostracized, embargoed and bombed Iraq for ten years and nothing bad happened to it — why can't we adapt our brilliant plan there to Libya? Why is Obama snubbing Bush by not using his genius to help humanity?

  13. SkinnyNerd

    As President, I refuse to wait for the images of slaughter and mass graves before taking action.

    Um, dude, Bahrain, Ivory Coast?

    1. ApplesauceRobot

      Or perhaps Obama saw an opportunity to, I don't know, improve the UN's credibilty? No, we've collectively decided that he's a DINO so no more benefit of the doubt.

  14. SayItWithWookies

    Addressing the Bill Kristol criticism — if half a war is so great, why not a whole one? Uh — 'cause that wouldn't be legal or helpful Bill. Not that he would find that a reasonable argument. Oh, and more Americans would die. Oh, and he mentioned Iraq. Now he's jabbing Dubya.

  15. friendlyskies

    This is so totally why I voted for Obama, so we could pay for three (3) Middle Eastern wars feeding a nightmarish neocon agenda while transferring the wealth from the working class to military-industrial complex executives and bankers! Hope, change, stuff.

    1. rp_mo

      I don't think that's a remotely accurate description of the Obama presidency, but hey, at least you're getting upvotes!!! You guys sound like a bunch of fucking babies on here. WTF happened to Wonkette?

    2. GunToting[Redacted]

      The frightening issue here is that we are in the best case scenario. If Mumbles and Shrieky got elected, we'd also be in a shooting war with Russia, North Korea, and, uh, Hawaii.

      1. friendlyskies

        Indeed, I do take comfort in watching the Neocon Defense League, including McCain and BFF Leiberman, support Obama's Brave New War; having voted McPain would not have changed a thang. Still, can you blame my bitterness? Having the wool sheared from my eyes by the guy I thought would invest a few dollars here at home…. I haz a sad. And an embarrassed. And a general feeling of helpless betrayal that not even the sparkling illusion of democratic elections will be able to sooth. In short, I'm going emo.

  16. SayItWithWookies

    Here it comes — the general statement that everybody's going to start calling the Obama Doctrine. What will it be? "There will be times when our safety is not directly threatened, but our interests and values are…responding to natural disasters, keeping the peace…maintaining the flow of commerce…" Obama wants to be a nation builder! Here comes the screaming…

  17. 教授 Zoom

    I just want to point out that the Kenyan Usurper didn't once invoke the name of Our Lord, Jesus Christ.

    I weep for our once-great nation.

  18. undeterredbyreality

    "…natural disasters, preventing genocide, preserving peace and, oh yeah MAINTAINING THE FLOW OF COMMERCE…"

    Glad to see he got that last one in there as an important national interest. "Last, but not least" as they say.

  19. JustPixelz

    "…sometimes our interests are at stake…"

    Repubicans and TP'ers can't hear the nuance! Repeat after me: "nuke 'em from space, it's the only way to be sure."

  20. SayItWithWookies

    ABC panned the audience and it's almost all military officers. If you're gonna speak to people about a difficult topic, do it in front of folks who are required to applaud.

  21. Chet Kincaid

    Should one need a textbook definition of "Nihilism", one need only consult this sterling commentary from Stuef. In mere days, automated academic plagiarism-busting software will be flagging this post like a motherfucker.

    1. 教授 Zoom

      Nihilists! Fuck me! Say what you will about the tenets of National Socialism, Dude, at least it's an ethos.

        1. Limeylizzie

          Rachel Maddow is praising the speech and I have great faith in her bona fides as a voice of reason and progressivism.

    2. imissopus

      Shoveling shit against the tide around here these days, Chet.

      EDIT: I mean, apparently because we haven't prevented disaster in Bahrain or Syria or the Ivory Coast, we shouldn't be preventing it in Libya, or something? Even when the country's ruler has called out the tanks and warplanes to bomb the civilian population like it's Europe in World War II, I guess? And at the very least we shouldn't do anything until Barry talks Congress into raising taxes and fixing schools and generally saving the middle class? Perhaps the Libyans could just hang on until all that happens?

      1. Limeylizzie

        As someone who grew up listening to my Grandmother talk about being bombed on a daily basis , in the East End of London, I appreciate the prevention of a possible holocaust.

        1. vulpes82

          Eeek! I just accidentally downfisted you and your lovely Grandmother, Lizzie! I'm so sorry! I don't mean to imply I'm all for the bombing of British grannies. Please to forgive.

          1. natoslug

            Don't worry, I fisted her up a bit for you, even though I have not yet had enough to drink for the joy to seep back into my day.

          2. Limeylizzie

            That's ok darling, she was my meaner of the two Grannies, now if you had downfisted my other Granny you would have been in trouble.

          3. 教授 Zoom

            I, for one, would be delighted to get bombed with Lizzie. And her grandmother, if they're into that sort of thing.

      2. HateMachine

        It is seriously beginning to feel like I am just copy/pasting this in every Libya related comment thread, but it honest to god confuses the shit out of me that apparently I am supposed to hate us intervening in Libya if I want to be a good liberal.

      1. 教授 Zoom

        The word itself makes some men uncomfortable. Vagina… they don't like hearing it and find it difficult to say whereas without batting an eye a man will refer to his dick or his rod or his Johnson.

    3. Cicada

      Sometimes visiting Wonkette is like going to a party full of earnest 20 year-old poli-sci majors wearing their cynicism like an ill-fitting new hat.

      I think I've beaten that simile into submission. Off to drink more booze!

      1. 教授 Zoom

        Oh, yeah, I was at one of those parties in 1984. I was informed that my failure to drink only Nicaraguan collective-grown coffee put me on the same moral level as Augusto Pinochet, the Contras, and Ferdinand Marcos. Possibly worse since, as someone who claimed to be a liberal, I should have known better.

          1. 教授 Zoom

            It really didn't help that I started calling the guy a dupe and a fellow-traveler. Poor boy was excessively earnest, and no doubt has a thoroughly unreadable organic goat-husbandry blog today. That, or he became a commodities trader.

          2. HateMachine

            My money is on commodities trader, and good fucking lord does it ever feel like safe money.

  22. Blendergoathead

    Why can't Hopey do something refreshing, like fucking admit it's about oil? Teatard heads would explode.

    1. HateMachine

      Why would he say that, when it's not? I defer here to my bro Professor Juan Cole:

      "Another argument is that the no-fly zone (and the no-drive zone) aimed at overthrowing Qaddafi not to protect his people from him but to open the way for US, British and French dominance of Libya’s oil wealth. This argument is bizarre. The US declined to do oil business with Libya in the late 1980s and throughout the 1990s, when it could have, because it had placed the country under boycott. It didn’t want access to that oil market, which was repeatedly proffered to Washington by Qaddafi then. After Qaddafi came back in from the cold in the late 1990s (for the European Union) and after 2003 (for the US), sanctions were lifted and Western oil companies flocked into the country. US companies were well represented, along with BP and the Italian firm ENI. BP signed an expensive exploration contract with Qaddafi and cannot possibly have wanted its validity put into doubt by a revolution. There is no advantage to the oil sector of removing Qaddafi. Indeed, a new government may be more difficult to deal with and may not honor Qaddafi’s commitments. There is no prospect of Western companies being allowed to own Libyan petroleum fields, which were nationalized long ago. Finally, it is not always in the interests of Big Oil to have more petroleum on the market, since that reduces the price and, potentially, company profits. A war on Libya to get more and better contracts so as to lower the world price of petroleum makes no sense in a world where the bids were already being freely let, and where high prices were producing record profits. I haven’t seen the war-for-oil argument made for Libya in a manner that makes any sense at all."

      The whole spiel is here, 2500 words of talking sense to you guys: http://www.juancole.com/2011/03/an-open-letter-to

  23. fuflans

    oh barry i appreciate your effort at subtlety in foreign policy and attempt to explain complicated times to us, but this is america. here, it is black and white and you, alas are the former and will never be respected by far too many of the latter.

    shit. i just made myself sad.

    1. Pres[ $ rm -r * ]

      It's easy.

      When St. Ronnie does it, it's a sign of American resolve.
      When Barry does it, it's a sign that his administration is weak on foreign policy and without direction.

  24. SayItWithWookies

    "Our strength abroad is anchored in our strength at home." So we're going to be cutting everyone's jobs and asking for Nicolas Sarkozy's birth certificate?

    1. friendlyskies

      I'm pretty sure it's unconstitutional, separation of church and state and all that. It might be required by the Patriot Act, though.

    2. Dudleydidwrong

      Was watching a documentary the other day on the integration of the U of Alabama during JFK's too-short term. When Kennedy addressed the nation on the matter he ended his address with "Thank you and good evening." No mention of deities or blessings. JFK probably would be dragged from the White House and burned by the Reflecting Pool or something if he were president today and had used the short ending. How far we have fallen…

      1. undeterredbyreality

        Or, considering his Catholicism, he would be burned at the stake for invoking the papish (antichrist) god.

  25. Come here a minute

    Don’t follow up ten minutes about how evil and murderous this dictator is by saying you’re not going to take out the dictator, just going to wait and hope he falls.

    At least Obama said he would cut off Qaddafi's arms.

  26. pinkocommi

    "My reasoning for US strategy in Libya is that we will do just enough to save the rebels from immediate slaughter, but not enough to help them win. So the rebels will now be free to fight to the bitter end and THEN they will all be slaughtered, but our conscience will be clear." – Barry Hussein Obama, 3/28/11

  27. rocktonsam

    "For over 2 years we have been cleaning up each and every mess Jr. Bush had made during his presidency, not to mention Wall St. and have watched the middle class approach extinction also."

      1. rocktonsam

        Gadaffy got out of Bush's doghouse after her got rid of the nuclear thingys. Stayed in Power also. It started with R-squared and continues.

  28. Serfville

    "7:56 PM — What’s with this guy and this dumb “North Star” metaphor these days? Who took the man who was good at speeches?"
    Probably went the way of Axlerod & Emanuel & Clinton,jumping from a sinking ship.
    I know, 1,000 points of wrong.

  29. SkinnyNerd

    I am sorry, but I am watching the C-SPAN feed, and is it really that hard to properly pronounce the name of a country with four letters in it? It's ee-rock, not eye-rack.

  30. user-of-owls

    About fucking time we declared war on that country. One down and six or so to go. Personally, I can't wait until we bomb the living bejeesus out of those filthy terrorist penguins in Antarctica. Black and white living together? Give me a fucking break. Like that could ever work. Learned Hand, si. Beaked Craw? No lo quiero.

  31. Oldskool_

    He didn't blame cable tv and it's all their fault. If they'd cover other kinds of things, we'd go to other places. No big deal, this little skirmish everyone has their drawers in a bind about is saving his party's chances next year, among other things. Like garnering a little goodwill from that part of the planet for once.

  32. GuyClinch

    Before the speech, I was ambivalent, willing to be convinced. After the speech, I'm a little less ambivalent, and just hoping for the best.

  33. user-of-owls

    Not acting on this would have “crippled” the ability of the UN to call itself a peacekeeper.

    Well that is hardly transcendent. Clearly he should have said it would have "differently abled" the ability of the UN to call itself a peacekeeper.

  34. undeterredbyreality

    I watch this on JustinTV and the jackass forgot to turn it back on after the speech. So: Chuck Todd's head? What happened to him, anyway? That morning show with Savannah Guthrie has gotten to him. Did he forget he used to do news?

    1. Extemporanus

      The fact that there never seems to be a halftime is the worst thing about wars.

      Well that, and the dumb fucking cheerleaders.

  35. GuyClinch

    Meanwhile, on MSNBC, Kucinich is manfully clenching his jaw while listening to Rep. Weiner. That, or his olive-pit tooth is all ouchie again.

  36. 教授 Zoom

    I see the Downfist Fairy is here again. Keep on fighting your lonely crusade, you magnificent human being! I hope you know that we're all just quaking in our Birkenstocks in fear of you. I'm so upset that I may even spill a little white wine on my brie.

    1. Limeylizzie

      Oh Darling, I may be a proud liberal/commie but you wouldn't catch me dead in a pair of Brkenstocks.

    1. vulpes82

      I think it's gotten to the point where we can't even laugh through the pain anymore, just gently weep on our keyboards as the world implodes. We don't even have the strength to chooch, just silently sob.


    2. user-of-owls

      God I feel old. Remember when the comments on this blog were funny?

      Do you read them? Seriously, do you? The sharper the knife, the keener the cut and we've been pretty spectacular bleeders of late.

  37. vulpes82

    It was an okay speech. I was conflicted before and am conflicted now, but at least Barry's soothing tones made me feel better for a nanosecond.

  38. ApplesauceRobot

    Oh for fucks sake. CNN and Co are saying we need to consider the cost of jet fuel we're using in this operation.

    Double standard doesn't even, even, even… oh for fucks sake.

    1. HistoriCat

      You are fucking kidding me. How much does each wedding party in Afghanistan cost us to blow up? How much do the interminable Iraq parliamentary negotiations cost? Oh wait – those are Republican wars so that's OK.

    2. user-of-owls

      Well this is at least the second time today that Immense Debate has been a cunt and not allowed me to comment on some posts while allowing me to do so on others. So forgive this misplaced response to your despairing post in the previous post.

      Just wanted to say I concur completely with the sentiment and the assertion that being a liberal in Arkansas takes just a wee bit more gumption than being one in California, or Mass, or nearly anywhere. I will never forget my first semester here when I spontaneously joined a march against the first fucking Iraq War. Marching silently through the downtown square I was shattered to see one of my grad students…grad students screaming the most vulgar epithets I'd heard since my days in a foundry, red-faced and vein-popping. A few days later, there he was in class, I no more than a vague abstraction of the "enemy within."

      So yeah, Russelville or Conway or somesuch, we know the trenches. In a perverse sense, it makes the struggle that much sweeter. Hang tough, amigo, hang tough.

      1. cheaphits

        I have to take issue with that. From the 1950's and the advent of television the U.S.A. has become more and more homoplastic. Cally has more than it's share of rednecks and MA a quota of Tea Partiers. I've lived in Arkansas different times for a total of 10 or 12 years. Lots of old yellow dog democrats and Clintonistas. Plenty of conservatives, sure, but even they tend to be nice friendly folks. And with students who knows, they change, that same guy is probably somewhere today protesting the war in Libya.

        I've lived in Conway, Hot Springs, F'ville and Eureka Springs – traveled the whole state from the Delta, to the timberland of the southwestern part of the state, rice country, The Rock, The Ozarks and the rolling hills around Jonesboro – I've also lived in San Francisco, Florida, Baghdad, Quito, London and now Toronto. The world is pretty much the same all over. Sometimes it's heaven, sometimes it's hell…and sometimes I don't even know.

        Arkansas is no tougher on us libs than anywhere else, L.A. no more accepting. It's a pretty level playing field…the point is we have to begin to win the fuckin' game.

  39. PublicLuxury

    One time I was as wasted as Hopey. I thought I was gonna die the next day from the hangover. I just didn't know I had started another war, removed a dictator and got a tattoo. Stay away from the Tequila man.

  40. Radiotherapy

    I'll bet it sounded more impressive and so much more presidential on a 80 inch, high def, Mitsubishi, surround sound, Bose, home theater.

  41. weejee

    Barry shoulda mentioned that he has special ops on the ground who are going to short sheet Guhdaffy's bunk and put Atomic Balm in his codpiece. That'll show 'em more than any silly UN can of Raid making a no flies zone.

  42. Guppy06

    We've always been at war with West Libya.

    EDIT: In fact, I can see this turning into a 50-year Korean-style DMZ thing.

  43. Jim89048

    Wait 'til the wingers start blasting those admiralty flags–illegitimate preznit, illegitimate war!

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