- The Washington Times - Thursday, March 24, 2011

I’m glad we have Washington Democratic Rep. Jim McDermott to keep us up-to-date on history in presidential decision making. Mr. McDermott on Sunday spoke on Fox News to remind everyone that President Obama didn’t “rush into” the decision to attack Libya the way his predecessor, former President George W. Bush, did in Iraq.

Let’s take a look back at what really happened. In October 2002, by more than a two-thirds majority in both houses, Congress authorized the use of force to attack Saddam Hussein. In March 2003, Mr. Bush launched the attack. This was a year and a half after Sept. 11, 2001, and more than four years since Saddam kicked U.N. weapons inspectors out of Iraq. That’s not exactly rushing.

In contrast, the uprising against Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi began on Feb. 15, and the United Nations judiciously held off for just more than a month before authorizing military action against Col. Gadhafi’s forces. It seems that Mr. Obama believes congressional authority is not nearly as important as a green light from the U.N. The Obama administration deliberated for just two days before launching an attack on Libya.

Thank you, Mr. McDermott, for defining the term “rush into.” Apparently, a year and a half qualifies as rushing, but two days does not.

DARRYL BRAYMAN

Lorton, Va.