Producer Robert Greenwald, critical of President Obama’s Afghanistan policy almost from the start, expresses dismay at the U.S. involvement in Libya, joining with a handful of other entertainment activists, like Michael Moore, who are skeptical of efforts to bolster rebel forces there and enforce a no-fly zone.
Greenwald turns his attention to the cost. He writes in a post, “The American people want Congress and the administration to be ending the wars which we were already fighting before this weekend, not starting new ones. We couldn’t afford the other two wars we were already fighting before the cruise missiles started flying over Libya. This new war makes us less safe and spends precious resources on a war with an alarmingly vague end-game.”
An Obama fund-raiser warns that it’s just way, way too early to be passing judgment on the military action — or to be gauging the politics of the moment, even if it is a fact of life in today’s media environment. Keith Olbermann plans a special comment on the Libyan action this evening on his FOK News Channel.
Another view of the turmoil comes from Marty Kaplan of the Norman Lear Center, who writes that following the bewildering number of crises in the world has posed a challenge to a public that may just declare ignorance and tune it all out. He calls it “information sickness.”
He writes, “There’s no comparison between the suffering the people of Japan are enduring, and the anguish of watching and reading about it. Here, Libya raises wrenching conflicts between our ideals and our interests; there, it’s simpler: life or death. The risk isn’t that we’ll confuse our anxieties with their catastrophes; it’s that we’ll mistake being informed with being empowered, and being exhausted with being defeated. Citizenship is doing something, not watching something. The hundred thousand people who rallied in Madison the other weekend knew that; so did the protesters of Tahrir Square. The antidote to information sickness isn’t less information. It’s more politics.
More Donald Diatribe: Donald Trump, prospective presidential candidate, tells CNNMoney how he’d deal with Gadhafi. He says in an interview with CNNMoney, “First thing I’d do with Gadhafi is I would go to the Arab League and I’d say, ‘We’ll do things because this is not a good guy…we’ll do plenty of things, but you’re going to pay us for it… We’re not going to spend 500 million dollars on getting rid of Gadhafi and then you guys go home to your 747s.’ … We’re spending all this money for Saudi Arabia, we are spending all this money for China – you know who’s Libya’s biggest client is? China – and they are not spending anything.” Asked what he did with the money that Gadhafi gave him for the lease of his property, Trump said, “I gave that money to charity.” (CNNMoney).
Lawford Appointment: Christopher Kennedy Lawford has been appointed UN Goodwill Ambassador for Drug Treatment and Recovery. White House drug policy director Gil Kerlikowske says that Lawford “Has worked tirelessly to reduce the stigma associated with the disease of addiction, and to give voice to the millions of Americans who struggle with drug and alcohol dependence.”
Bush Honored: Kid Rock, Brad Paisley and Reba McEntire were among those who performed at the tribute to former President George H.W. Bush at the Kennedy Center on Monday night. Some $30 million was raised for the Points of Light Institute, and the event will be broadcast by NBC on March 28. (Mediabistro).