Periodically, Jon Stewart and I agree — most recently in his biting criticism of the Obama administration’s refusal to treat the action in Libya with the appropriate rhetorical significance. Clearly, he wants to avoid discussion of the war we are now deeply engaged in. Aside from Constitutional issues being raised by critics on the left and the right, the President and his spokespeople are dodging the important questions with linguistic formulations verging from technical obfuscation to silliness.
Among the gems, highlighted by Stewart is Jay Carney’s reply that we are not at “war,” we are engaged in a “time-limited,” “scope-limited military action.”
Shades of an earlier president and his spokesman, Ron Ziegler’s obfuscation and Richard Nixon’s Cambodian “incursion.” But even Nixon addressed the nation directly to make his case.
President Reagan addressed the nation from the Oval Office after firing a few missiles at Qaddafi in 1986, an action miniscule in comparison to what is now underway. Obama’s refusal to do the same is inexcusable.
As Jon Stewart commented, all we are hearing from the administration is the “what” of the situation — how many missiles have been fired, by whom, and at what targets.
What we are not hearing much about is the “why.”