The Word - The Defining Moment

  • Aired:  06/22/11
  •  | Views: 23,930

President Obama could end all wars by using the executive power of meaningless semantics. (4:28)

>> Stephen: WELCOME BACK,

EVERYBODY.

THANK YOU.

[CHEERS AND APPLAUSE]

NATION, TONIGHT, PRESIDENT OBAMA

REVEALED HIS PLANS FOR

AFGHANISTAN, AND I TIVO'D IT, SO

DON'T TELL ME HOW THE WAR ENDS.

[LAUGHTER]

WITH OSAMA BIN LADEN CONTINUING

HIS CROWD-PLEASING DEATH, MANY

IN CONGRESS ARE PRESSURING THE

PRESIDENT TO END THE WAR.

UNFORTUNATELY, WE CAN'T JUST

DUMP AFGHANISTAN IN THE OCEAN.

[LAUGHTER]

BUT THERE IS A QUICK WAY OUT OF

THIS WAR, AND IT'S THE SUBJECT

OF TONIGHT'S WORD:

THE DEFINING MOMENT.

[CHEERS AND APPLAUSE]

CONGRESS ISN'T ANGRY ABOUT JUST

AFGHANISTAN, THEY'RE ALSO UPSET

ABOUT LIBYA.

>> THERE IS GROWING BIPARTISAN

FRUSTRATION IN WASHINGTON THIS

MORNING OVER THE PRESIDENT'S

HANDLING OF MILITARY ACTION IN

LIBYA AND HIS DECISION NOT TO

SEEK AUTHORIZATION FROM CONGRESS

UNDER THE WAR POWERS RESOLUTION.

YOU HAVE MANY MEMBERS OF

CONGRESS, WE'RE TALKING

REPUBLICANS, WE'RE TALKING

SPEAKER JOHN BOEHNER, BUT ALSO

TALKING A LOT OF LIBERAL

DEMOCRATS, TELLING PRESIDENT

OBAMA THAT THEY THINK HE SHOULD

BE SEEKING CONGRESSIONAL

AUTHORIZATION.

>> Stephen: AT ISSUE HERE IS THE

1973 WAR POWERS RESOLUTION,

WHICH, LIKE MANY THINGS FROM THE

SEVENTIES, IS TOTALLY IRRELEVANT

BUT REFUSES TO GO AWAY.

[LAUGHTER]

YOU SEE, BACK THEN, LIBERALS

WERE UPSET BECAUSE PRESIDENT

NIXON WAS SECRETLY BOMBING

CAMBODIA -- AND HE DIDN'T TELL

CONGRESS.

HEY, THE GUY WAS BUSY.

[LAUGHTER]

SO CONGRESS PASSED A LAW

REQUIRING THE PRESIDENT TO

INFORM THEM WITHIN 48 HOURS OF

BEGINNING A MILITARY MISSION,

AND REQUIRED THEIR APPROVAL TO

CONTINUE THAT MISSION PAST

90 DAYS.

WELL, LIBYA'S 90-DAYS WAS UP

LAST WEEK, AND OBAMA TOLD

CONGRESS TO SUCK IT.

[LAUGHTER]

FINAL, FOLKS.

FINALLY, HE'S ACTING

PRESIDENTIAL.

HE SENT A CLEAR MESSAGE THAT THE

WAR POWERS RESOLUTION DOES NOT

APPLY TO THESE HOSTILITIES

BECAUSE THEY'RE NOT HOSTILITIES.

>> OUR CURRENT ACTIONS IN LIBYA,

IN THIS MISSION, DO NOT FALL

UNDER THE WAR POWERS RESOLUTION

BECAUSE THEY DO NOT MEET THE

THRESHOLD OF HOSTILITIES

ENVISIONED IN THE WAR POWERS

RESOLUTION.

THE MISSION WE'RE ENGAGED IN

DOESN'T MEET THE HOSTILITIES

THRESHOLD.

>> YEAH, IT DOESN'T MEET THE

HOSTILITIES THRESHOLD.

IT ISN'T EVEN HOSTILE.

IT'S MORE LIKE LASER-GUIDING

CONSTRUCTIVE CRITICISM.

BESIDES, THERE ARE "NO TROOPS ON

THE GROUND" AND A LOT OF THIS IS

BEING DONE BY "REMOTELY PILOTED

DRONES."

AND THE PILOTS ARE SITTING

SAFELY AT AIR FORCE BASES IN

NEVADA.

[LAUGHTER]

NO AMERICANS ARE IN HARM'S WAY.

IT'S JUST FLYING ROBOTS KILLING

LIBYANS.

YOU KNOW, PEACE, OF COURSE,

[LAUGHTER]

SEC-DEF GATES LIKES TO PUT IT

ANOTHER WAY.

>> WAY I LIKE TO PUT IT IS FROM

OUR STANDPOINT AT THE PENTAGON,

WE'RE INVOLVED IN A LIMITED

KINETIC OPERATION.

IF I'M IN GADHAFI'S PALACE, I

SUSPECT I THINK I'M AT WAR.

>> Stephen: AND IF CONGRESS SAYS

WE'RE AT WAR, THEY'RE SIDING

WITH GADHAFI.

I THINK CONGRESS MIGHT NEED A

LITTLE "LIMITED KINETIC

TALKIN'-TO."

I SAY, INSTEAD OF SOME HALF-ASS

MEASURE LIKE BRINGING HOME

33,000 TROOPS OVER THE NEXT TWO

YEARS, OBAMA COULD END THE

AFGHAN WAR TONIGHT.

BY CALLING IT SOMETHING ELSE.

NOW, "LIMITED KINETIC OPERATION"

IS ALREADY TAKEN, SO AFGHANISTAN

COULD BE CALLED A "TARGETED

ARMAMENT DISBURSEMENT," OR A

"MOBILE TACTICAL MUNITIONS

DEPLOYMENT" OR "A HEAVILY ARMED

SEMESTER ABROAD."

[LAUGHTER]

WHATEVER.

ANYTHING BUT WAR.

[LAUGHTER]

IN FACT, USING THE EXECUTIVE

POWER OF MEANINGLESS SEMANTICS,

PRESIDENT OBAMA COULD END ALL

WARS.

[LAUGHTER]

THEN HE WILL FINALLY HAVE EARNED

HIS NOBEL PEACE PRIZE.

OR, MORE ACCURATELY, HIS NOBEL

"LIMITED KINETIC OPERATION"

PRIZE.

AND THAT'S THE WORD.

WE'LL BE RIGHT BACK.

[CHEERS AND APPLAUSE]