On the August 24 broadcast of Fox News' Fox & Friends, co-host Steve Doocy, while teasing an upcoming segment, claimed that President Bush went to the United Nations before invading Iraq while President Obama did not before intervening in Libya. Doocy then asked, "Why did Bush get abused, but Obama being [sic] applauded and lauded?" From the broadcast:
DOOCY: Straight ahead, coming up, a tale of two presidents. President Bush went to the United Nations before he ordered an invasion on Iraq and use of force. President Obama did not when he went into Libya. So, why did Bush get abused, but Obama being applauded and lauded?
But Doocy's teaser obscured the fact that the U.N. Security Council did not back Bush's invasion of Iraq, while it did approve military action in Libya.
As The New York Times reported in March 2003:
Diplomats who had failed for the last two months to agree on a unified approach to the Iraq crisis met here today, with the foreign ministers of France, Germany and Russia offering angry post-mortems on the diplomatic debacle and arguing that the planned American-led invasion to disarm Iraq and oust Saddam Hussein had no basis in international law.
Speaking of various Security Council resolutions on the Iraq crisis, Foreign Minister Igor S. Ivanov of Russia said ''not one of these decisions authorizes the right to use force against Iraq outside the United Nations charter.''
In 2004, U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan suggested to the BBC that the Iraq invasion was "illegal":
The United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan has told the BBC the US-led invasion of Iraq was an illegal act that contravened the UN charter.
He said the decision to take action in Iraq should have been made by the Security Council, not unilaterally.
And it should have been up to the Security Council to approve or determine the consequences, he added.
When pressed on whether he viewed the invasion of Iraq as illegal, he said: "Yes, if you wish. I have indicated it was not in conformity with the UN charter from our point of view, from the charter point of view, it was illegal."
And while Doocy suggested that Obama didn't seek U.N. approval for military action in Libya, the U.N. Security Council overwhelmingly authorized action. As The New York Times reported:
The United Nations Security Council voted Thursday to authorize military action, including airstrikes against Libyan tanks and heavy artillery and a no-fly zone, a risky foreign intervention aimed at averting a bloody rout of rebels by forces loyal to Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi.
After days of often acrimonious debate, played out against a desperate clock, as Colonel Qaddafi's troops advanced to within 100 miles of the rebel capital of Benghazi, Libya, the Security Council authorized member nations to take "all necessary measures" to protect civilians, diplomatic code words calling for military action.
Diplomats said the resolution -- which passed with 10 votes, including the United States, and abstentions from Russia, China, Germany, Brazil and India -- was written in sweeping terms to allow for a wide range of actions, including strikes on air-defense systems and missile attacks from ships. Military activity could get under way within a matter of hours, they said.