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The Truth About the Fact: An International Journal of Literary Nonfiction

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Saturday, April 9, 2011

On Obama's Speech On Libya 3.28.11

By: Jordan Bunger

This speech came in response to responses to Obama’s actions in sending air strikes down onto Libya. The United States’ people were not consulted and were unable to give any feedback before the event took place. So, naturally, there have been dissenting views and widespread questioning over the issue.

The speech focused on liberating the people of Libya from Gaddafi, giving them the freedom to rule their own country. The idea is that we believe the world should operate democratically with a government of the people, by the people, and for the people. And we believe countries like Libya should be given these rights that we take for granted and classify as God-given. In our minds, they are inalienable. But the irony in this pitch is that these actions taken by the Obama administration in conjunction with Congress left absent the inclusion of a general public consensus over whether or not we should use force. The decision was made swiftly and abruptly behind closed doors.

We do not live in a country governed of the people, by the people, and for the people. It’s one of the best in the world as far as personal freedom goes, but this idealistic mentality has never evolved as laws and restrictions have. Societies will always have rules and as the system multiplies in complexity, as the US has in the last 300 years, more of them are required to keep it all together. The freedom idealized back when men justifiably wore wigs and white face make-up is not the same as it is now, yet we consistently see it in this light. We are consistently told how we as the people [out of power] are in control of the destiny of our country. But our country is run by those in power – politically, economically, and religiously. They are the few who make decisions for the many.

“For generations, the US has played a unique role as an anchor for security and an advocate of global security” (Obama). The main question I always have is do we have the right to? Are we entitled to assert our influence beyond these boundaries? I don’t think so, but I wonder about the killings in Libya, ordered by Gaddafi on his own people, and about what might have happened had we ignored the genocide in Germany during the 40s. I hate to side with using force to solve a problem in the way we see fit, in the name of promoting democracy, and I don’t know if there is justification in feeling a self entitled “responsibility to act when our interests and values are at stake” (Obama).


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