White House Credits President Obama for Libyan Uprising?
This is a rush transcript from "Hannity," March 29, 2011. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
SEAN HANNITY, HOST: Now, the president's arrogance was on full display last night as he attempted to defend his decision to go to war in Libya. Now, the not so presidential address sounded more like a victory lap than anything else.
Now, amid all of his soaring rhetoric, President Obama credited himself with stopping Qaddafi's army and preventing a massacre. But as insulting as all of that sounds, we are learning that an administration official is actually attempting to credit President Obama with igniting the Libyan uprising in the first place.
Now, in a speech on Monday, controversial White House aide Samantha Power told a crowd at Columbia University that -- quote -- "the president has argued our interests and our values cannot be separated... these values have caused the people of Libya to risk their lives on the street." Of course, this is not the first time Power's ridiculous comments have made headlines. One of her claims to fame is that she referred to Hillary Clinton as a -- quote -- "monster" at the height of the 2008 presidential campaign.
Like Samantha Power, the president chose not to deal in facts on Monday. And for proof, look no further than the Associated Press' scathing analysis of the speech. Now, the AP's fact-check tears apart his remarks line by line and flat out accuses our commander in chief of stretching the truth, particularly in regards to his claim that the U.S. will take a backseat in Libya now that NATO has taken over.
Now, according to the AP -- quote -- "In transferring command and control to NATO, the U.S. is turning the reins over to an organization dominated by the U.S., both militarily and politically. In essence, the U.S. runs the show that is taking over running the show."
And joining me now with more in studio is the one and only columnist Mark Steyn. How are you?
MARK STEYN, SYNDICATED COLUMNIST: Hey, great to be with you.
HANNITY: Good to see you. Thanks for being here.
First of all, what do you make -- the president has argued our interests and values cannot be separated. This caused what happened in Libya?
STEYN: This has nothing to do with President Obama. I mean, even this administration cannot be so narcissistic.
This is in fact the post-American Middle East we are seeing in the formation here. When people -- he sat on the sidelines in the Egyptian revolution. Obama sometimes he said Mubarak should stay, sometimes he said, he should go, sometimes he said...
HANNITY: Look -- supported them, neutral, opposed them.
STEYN: Right. Right. He took every position. And the guys in the street in Tahrir Square despised Obama for that.
In Iran, he took the side of the thugs of the mullahs and their henchmen. And in Libya, these people of sick of being, they have put up with this wacky, psychotic transvestite for 40 years and they are sick of him.
STEYN: But the idea that Obama's got anything to do with, it's ridiculous.
HANNITY: I didn't hear the mad dog ever referred to as the mad transvestite.
Here's -- what do you think the psychology is? Because I sort of study Obama and I have my own theory. But I think there's a psychology behind his lack of action, his indecision, his timid foreign policy -- what do you think it is?
STEYN: Yes. I think there's a passivity there. And that's why Obama doesn't want to do something difficult like Iran or Syria for example. Syria is more important to U.S. interests but it is more difficult.
With Libya, Sarkozy and Cameron, basically in France and Britain, suddenly decided that Qaddafi who is their big buddy, it was time for him to go. I mean, Sarkozy had Qaddafi camping out in the streets of Paris in that tent with his 32 favorite virgins and his favorite camel and everything just a couple of years ago.
And Obama decided, OK Sarkozy and Cameron seem to have got this in their nostrils, I'll string along. But there's been no -- it's the absence of American leadership in the world which is the story.
HANNITY: That's my point, but isn't that reflective of his world view? He doesn't believe in American exceptionalism -- he was asked the question. He gives an American apology a tour.
It almost seems as if he doesn't think America has the moral authority to be the leader. So, the U.N. moves forward and Hillary and other members of the administration. Then France -- ever think we'd be following the French? -- France and the Great Britain move forward. And then he's forced into doing something he doesn't want to do.
STEYN: Yes. And the idea the transnational fig leaf -- you know, war, I mean, this is serious business. We are at war. And war is about will.
HANNITY: No, no, no, this is a kinetic military action.
STEYN: Yes. That's right. Kinetic --
HANNITY: Military action. Or man-caused disaster.
STEYN: A scope-limited action. A kinetic, scope-limited, man-caused disaster.
But the point about it is that war is about will. You've got to know what the endgame is. You've got to know your war aims are. And multi-lateral war mongering actually saps at will. And this feels very much to me like that business in 1991 where we had the world's most perfect multi-lateral coalition and at the end of it, Saddam Hussein was still in power and he was regarded as the guy who stood up to the Great Satan and was still standing at the end.
If Qaddafi is still in power in a month, this communicates nothing other than American weakness.
HANNITY: I agree with you and I think that's how it's going to be perceived, but I think Obama is already perceived that way.
How could this be about winning when he said last night, America's role is limited. We are only on the front end of this. No ground troops. And we are passing responsibility, we are going to transfer it to partners.
STEYN: Yes. Yes. I believe it is a Canadian general who is actually running the show. I said I thought it should have been a Mexican general, because as far as the administration is concerned, this is clearly one of those jobs Americans won't do.
But in fact, he has deliberately decided to eliminate an American leadership role. And as the AP report said, this is a joke. I mean, America is NATO. You take America out of NATO, it is a military alliance of countries with no militaries.
HANNITY: What do you make of the fact that the president once said that under the power of the Constitution -- this is when George Bush was president -- that to unilaterally authorize military attack in a situation that doesn't involve stopping an actual or imminent threat to the nation, it is unconstitutional. Joe Biden talked about impeachment.
STEYN: Yes. Yes.
HANNITY: How did we go from there to this position? When, in some instances last night, I thought he sounded like Bush when he talked about the whole issue of humanitarian needs.
STEYN: Right. Right. Right. But, you know, what is interesting is that he feels, we don't need congressional approval, but we do need the Arab League's approval. So, they go around boasting -- the Arab League which is one of the most thuggish and despicable collections of ne'er-do-
wells anywhere on the planet. I mean, these are the most, you know, if Robert Mugabe walked into an Arab league meeting, he would be the most democratically legitimate leader at the table.
These are thugs and dictators and Obama is going around, saying, we don't need the people's representatives in Washington, we don't need their approval, we've got the Arab League's approval.
HANNITY: But I think -- I don't believe the War Powers Act, I don't think any president has followed since Nixon and similarly, honestly, I think he does have his 60 days. Congress has a congressional role, and if Congress defunds this or says no -- they still have 90 days. I don't have a problem with him --
HANNITY: But I don't believe he should have gone to the U.N., nor do I think the Arab League should have been our criteria because we missed that opportunity.
STEYN: No, the fact is, these are American forces that are going into action. They should be prosecuting the national interest of the United States. That's what an army is for. That's what an Air Force is for. And when they do that, the head of state, the commander in chief, owes it to the people to give them a rationale for the war.
The last month has been the most despicable and contemptible performance by the leader of a democratic republic. He is employed by the American people. He is not, you know, the sovereign in "Barackingham Palace" presiding over his subjects.
HANNITY: You are going to be filling in for Rush on Thursday and Friday?
STEYN: That's right.
HANNITY: All right. The Rush Limbaugh show on noon to 3 Eastern.
STEYN: You got it, that's 9 to 12 Pacific. I mastered American time zones.
HANNITY: All right. Well, first of all, great analysis, passion and analysis. Mark, always good to see you.
STEYN: Always good to see you, Sean.
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