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Document Friday: Now THAT is How You Announce Air Strikes on Libya.

March 25, 2011

Newt Gingrich’s recent Shaquille-O’neal-size flip flop on why the US should/should not use military force against Libya (as well as ubiquitous calls in the opeds for further clarity and explanation from Obama)  reminded me that planning and carrying out military operations is just part of the package.  You also have to make Americans feel good about doing it.  As The War Nerd wrote more than seven years ago, Reagan’s speech announcing his attack on Libya was one of the best pep talks a president has given in recent times.

President Obama’s Brookings Institution-esque announcement, just doesn’t get you “Ramboed Up” like Reagan’s prime time smack down of Gaddafi from the Oval Office did.

And here is a Russian Today mashup of former presidents announcing military force (although the actions in Grenada, Panama, Somalia, and Rwanda are missing).  The song remains the same.  After President H.W. Bush invaded Panama, R.W. Apple Jr. wrote that new military action was a “Presidential rite of passage” born from their “need to demonstrate their willingness to shed blood to protect or advance what they construe as the national interest.”

For daily beneath-the-surface news of the situation in Libya, I’ve been following the War Nerd‘s blog at Exiled.  Currently he’s speculating that pictures of the F15E that “malfunctioned” show that it might not have actually “malfunctioned.”

I also recommend Seymour M. Hersh’s 1987 piece “Target Qaddafi” (there we go with the spellings again) for the most readable account of Reagan’s attack on the country.  (Which the CIA gave a “better than even” chance of toppling Gaddafi.)

Finally, here’s an AP report about Gaddafi’s plastic surgery.  His plastic surgeon alleges that the Leader and Guide of the Revolution in Libya paused the surgery in the middle to eat a hamburger.

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