President Obama’s prime time address Monday night did more than justify the current conflict in Libya. The president also used the opportunity to lay out a global humanitarian mission for America’s armed forces.
While avoiding use of the term ‘war’, Obama made clear that military force will be an option to stop atrocities around the world – but only in countries whose leaders U.S. officials don’t like.
“This mission does not end with the current military-based intensive strike action taking place against the Gadhafi regime in Libya,” Obama said. “We must take concerted action to stop human rights abuses wherever we can…unless it’s a country who owns a massive amount of our debt or with whom we are conflicted allies.”
Some foreign policy analysts say the Obama Doctrine promises to address a range of internal disputes in other countries. Everything from voter intimidation to outright massacre could trigger a military response, said Chuck Westcott of the Strategic Defense Policy Institute in New York.
“The bottom line is, if there’s a problem somewhere in the world, we have a responsibility to act – unless, of course, we find a reason we don’t want to,” Westcott said.
All day Tuesday, members of Obama’s administration were busy making the cable news rounds to elaborate on the Selective Outrage Doctrine. Several nations have already made the unofficial list:
Syria: not only is Syria near Libya, it has the same number of letters and syllables;
Congo: election fraud has tainted the democratic process, which threatens the vital interests of the United States;
Western Eastern Northwest Democratic People’s Republic of West Angola Version 2.0: a months-long delay in shipments of “I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter” as well as a hard-hitting new reality show have prompted controversy in this small nation, thereby inviting U.S. action.