The Hawks Are Winning

The UN Security Council is about to vote on a No-Fly zone for Libya, which looks like it will pass. I’ve already stated my piece on this, and appear to be in a mind-meld with Angela Merkel, who wants to know what comes next when the no-fly zone inevitably fails.

Well, we all know what comes next- FREEDOM BOMBS FOR EVERYONE:

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said Thursday that a U.N. no-fly zone over Libya would require bombing targets inside the country, and a deputy acknowledged that Moammar Gadhafi’s forces were making huge gains against the opposition.

Clinton gave her assessment during a visit to Tunisia and ahead of a planned U.N. vote, making clear the risk of possible military intervention as world powers considered broader steps to protect civilians and pressure the Libyan leader.

In Washington, William Burns, undersecretary of state for political affairs, told senators that pro-Libyan government forces were about 100 miles (160 kilometres) from the rebel stronghold of Benghazi in the eastern part of the country.

The U.N. negotiations took place against a backdrop of increasing skepticism in Congress about the Obama administration’s Libya strategy. Questions focused on what action the U.S. was willing to take to back up its strong calls for Gadhafi’s ouster and whether the crisis could lead to military conflict.

This is ostensibly being sold as an attempt to save Libyan civilians, but I would recommend everyone google the FITD technique. I mean, they aren’t being subtle about it:

The top Air Force general said Thursday that a no-fly zone over Libya would not be sufficient in reversing the momentum leader Muammar al-Qaddafi now has over rebel forces.

Appearing before the Senate Armed Services Committee, Chief of Staff Gen. Norton Schwartz told ranking Republican Sen. John McCain, “If the president assigns the mission to maintain a no-fly zone, clearly that would have an influence on the thinking of Libyan pilots.”

McCain then pressed the point that if a no-fly zone is imposed now it would be too little too late.

“A no-fly zone, sir, would not be sufficient,” Schwartz answered.

The hearing was scheduled to address budget requests by the Defense Department, but McCain made it clear he would use the opportunity to ask about his increasing frustrations with the Obama administration’s response to the month-old civil war in Libya.

“We are seeing the momentum and the success of Muammar Qaddafi and his killers massacring people while we sit idly by,” McCain said. “And one of the arguments used is that we somehow can’t do it, despite the fact that General Odierno just a few days ago said that it would take a very short period of time in order to impose a no-fly zone.”

The number one goal is not saving civilians, it is getting the no-fly zone in place so that escalation will be easier. When the no-fly zone doesn’t work, we’ll move up to shock and awe, and before you know it, we’ll have troops on the ground. After all, we’re Murrika!

I’ll let you figure out how this is in our national interest and how entering another war with no clear definition for victory or understandable mission is what we need. And someone let me know what color to change the blog to so we are not accused of being with the terrorists.

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372 replies
  1. 1
    Uloborus says:

    American intervention is STILL not part of the proposal, Cole. This is a proposal that other Middle Eastern nations be allowed to create a no-fly zone.

  2. 2
    New Yorker says:

    We need tax cuts first, John. You always cut taxes before war in the deranged alternate reality that is 21st Century America.

    Venezuela will probably be next.

  3. 3
    cathyx says:

    Is this Obama’s jobs plan? Join the military if you want to work. Uncle Sam needs you to fight in the Middle East.

  4. 4
    The Moar You Know says:

    Didn’t I just see this movie? Cause I gotta tell you, the ending sucks.

  5. 5
    BGinCHI says:

    America sees something on TV and wants it.

    That’s our whole economy and identity.

    When we institute a direct tax for Defense and military expenses, this shit will stop cold.

  6. 6
    soonergrunt says:

    For all you people who think that this is going to lead to some European/Arab League action and the US will stay out of it, you need to listen over the next couple of days for the refrain of “…the only country capable of doing…” and “…no other country can…”

  7. 7
    cyntax says:

    Ah fer f*ck’s sake.

  8. 8
    Uloborus says:

    Seriously, people, the proposal being discussed is NOT ONE FOR THE US TO CREATE A NO-FLY ZONE. It is to allow the Arab League to do so, which they’ve been requesting.

  9. 9
    soonergrunt says:

    @BGinCHI: That’s a great idea. Tie war proposals to tax increases. No authorizations for military force without taxes to pay for them.
    It’s a great idea. That’s why it will never happen.

  10. 10
    Frank Chow says:

    American Empire

  11. 11
    soonergrunt says:

    @Uloborus: see my point at #6. That is all.

  12. 12
    Martin says:

    Wait, we’re calling ourselves the U.N. now? I thought we were the U.S.

  13. 13
    BGinCHI says:

    @soonergrunt: Just like my fucking jetpack idea.

    Life isn’t fair.

  14. 14
    Frank Chow says:

    @Martin: Haven’t you seen Toys? The UN is always in the way!

  15. 15
    Uloborus says:

    @soonergrunt:
    But that’s not an argument. You’re saying you have a gut feeling that for SURE the US will leap in. The Village will squawk, absolutely, but we didn’t invade Yemen when they squawked, either.

    This proposal does nothing to advance the US to intervene in Libya. It is unrelated.

  16. 16
  17. 17

    Seriously, people, the proposal being discussed is NOT ONE FOR THE US TO CREATE A NO-FLY ZONE. It is to allow the Arab League to do so, which they’ve been requesting.

    Of the many traits of Bush-era Republicans that I despised, their determination that the actual facts of a situation didn’t matter, only their ideological conception of it, was one of the most irritating.

    Sometimes I think John is sort of like David Horowitz. He’s changed sides, but he brings the same intellectual habits to his new home.

  18. 18
    cyntax says:

    Phase 1: No Fly Zone

    Phase 2:????

    Phase 3: Greeted as Libyarators

  19. 19
    BR says:

    Gaddafi knows how to screw things up for everyone – wreak havoc in the Mediterranean, and destroy oil infrastructure. Once he does, oil prices will go back up again, and our economy will suffer. Seems like Obama should take a look at, you know, all the evidence of how oil prices -> recession -> losing re-election.

  20. 20
    beltane says:

    This blog should be colored brown, like the sand in these countries where he send our nation to die a slow, embarrassing death.

    The hawks always win the political war but have yet to win an actual war.

  21. 21
    The Moar You Know says:

    @Uloborus: Christ, get a fucking clue. I’m aware of what the proposal says. I’m also aware of what will actually happen, instead of the isolationist fantasy that you seem to be brewing up in your head.

    The British have already said that they “will be ready to be over Libya by Friday.” That’s tomorrow. Are the British part of the fucking Arab League? Thought not. Guess where we’ll be Friday? That’s fucking right, it’s even in the goddamn Marine Corps anthem. Shores of Tripoli, fucker.

  22. 22
    Cat says:

    Libya produces oil. I’m sure its just a coincidence protecting the civilians will also protect the flow of oil.

    Libya’s Oil Industry is controlled by the state as well, but I’m sure it will also just be a coincidence that as part of modernizing Libya it will be privatized.

  23. 23
    Joe Beese says:

    Not just war on another Muslim country. War on another Muslim oil-exporting country.

    Yeah, this will play well in the region.

  24. 24
    Uloborus says:

    @The Moar You Know:
    I’m sorry, I assumed the person with the fantasy was the one talking about a hypothetical situation that hasn’t been proposed.

  25. 25
    Fuck U6: A More Accurate Measure of the Total Amount of Duck-Fuckery in the Economy says:

    Neoliberal/neocon interventionism: you’re soaking in it!

  26. 26
    Joshua Norton says:

    So do they have a secret vendor on a rainy planet somewhere that manufactures troops on demand? Unless they do, it’s one thing for neocons to always want a military solution, it’s another thing to get the warm bodies to fill the boots on the ground.

    Troops, much like US dollars, are a finite resource.

  27. 27
    ThatLeftTurnInABQ says:

    Even the best case scenario has a nasty downside: if we intervene now in Libya and it works, what are we going to do the next time that Iran erupts in violent protests, and how well is that going to work out? Every bad war that fails is germinated from the seeds of the one that came before it which was judged a success. For that reason, war should be a last resort to protect our own vital national intersts, that and that only.

    Do.not.want.

  28. 28
    soonergrunt says:

    @Uloborus: I was in Bosnia and Kosovo. Neither of those places has or ever had ANYTHING that implicates US national security. And you know what we heard, over and over, and over again?
    “The only country with the power to…” and “only one country can…”

    @cyntax: I saw what you did there.

  29. 29
    Uloborus says:

    @ThatLeftTurnInABQ:
    Well, then it’s a good thing that this isn’t a proposal that we intervene. It’s a proposal that we get out of the way of the Arab League to intervene. France and Britain seem to think they have interests there, but that’s between them and the Arab League.

  30. 30
    Redhand says:

    Has there ever been a war that McCain did not want us to join?

  31. 31
    Uloborus says:

    @soonergrunt:
    …and that has to do with this situation what now? Yeah, it’s a boilerplate argument that’s going to be trotted out any time anyone wants us to intervene anywhere. That has nothing to do with whether or not we will intervene.

  32. 32
    Ken Lovell says:

    Maybe the thinking is that if we can spin the fighting out long enough, they’ll all kill each other and it will be one less bunch of friggin’ towelheads to worry about.

    I don’t know where the idea is coming from that the UN resolution would only affect Arab states. The Brits and the French have already indicated they’d be hot to start bombing immediately, and you guys couldn’t afford to let them get out in front. It’s not a good look for the empire to have to rely on satellite states to do the heavy hitting.

  33. 33

    @The Moar You Know:

    The British have already said that they “will be ready to be over Libya by Friday.”

    Last time I checked, our name is not The United States of Britian.

    More to the point — as many of us said weeks ago, there’s a HUGE difference between an Arab-led, UN-sanctioned coalition that includes Europe and/or the US, and the US diving whole-hog into blowing crap up in Libya along with another half-assed “coalition of the bought-offwilling.”

  34. 34
    Chyron HR says:

    @The Moar You Know:

    isolationist fantasies

    I’m pretty sure “US Out of Everywhere Including Places We Haven’t Even Gone Yet” is the “isolationist” position in this scenario.

  35. 35
    Sloegin says:

    It’s important that every American President gets a tiny little war all their own, or they don’t qualify for promotion and the extra retirement benefits.

    Extra credit: name the last 2 Presidents without one.

  36. 36
    Martin says:

    @ThatLeftTurnInABQ:

    if we intervene now in Libya

    Who is ‘we’?

  37. 37
    BGinCHI says:

    Italy has major interests there, but since Berlusconi is either busy defending himself over charges he fucked a minor or, alternatively, fucking a different minor, they don’t seem to be a player in this.

    Why don’t these countries who have large stakes in these countries have to either participate or foot the bill?

    Purposefully naive question. Please help.

  38. 38
    The Moar You Know says:

    @Uloborus: Really? What part of this don’t you understand? The part where it says “UK forces ‘could be in action by Friday'”?

  39. 39
    BR says:

    @Sloegin:

    Carter, Hoover?

  40. 40
    Uloborus says:

    @BGinCHI:
    They are. They’re called the Arab League. The US is not asking to participate. We’re saying ‘We support the Arab League’s request’. Britain and France apparently want to be directly involved, but that’s between them and the Arab League. It has jack all to do with us.

  41. 41
    The Dangerman says:

    Why are we in Japan today? Their earthquake is an internal matter.

    Edit: As posited in another thread, preventing a Somalia on the coast of the Mediterranean, especially one sandwiched by 2 nascent governments that might become friendly democracies, might be a good idea.

  42. 42
    Uloborus says:

    @The Moar You Know:
    The part where a ‘K’ is an ‘S’.

  43. 43
    Bob Loblaw says:

    Don’t miss early registration for next year’s workshop “COIN in Libya: applying the lessons of Afghanistan and Iraq.”

    -Marc Lynch

    I for one look forward to the Somali-fication of Libya by our joint NATO/Arab League overlords. After all, the Libyan democratization movement is just vibrant as hell. Lotta good governance to come out of that ragtag bunch of revolutionaries…

    On the plus side, nobody will pay anymore attention to events on the Arabian Peninsula. Oh wait, that’s not a side effect, that’s the main goal of all this. My bad.

  44. 44
    BarneyG2000 says:

    I don’t get it. Weren’t the same people blaming Obama for the eventual Muslim Brotherhood take over of Egypt? Now they want us to start bombing Libya?

  45. 45
    John Cole says:

    @Sloegin: Carter and Eisenhower.

  46. 46
    MattR says:

    @Uloborus: First paragraph from the Guardian

    British, French and US military aircraft are preparing to defend the Libyan rebel stronghold of Benghazi after Washington said it was ready to support a no-fly zone and air strikes against Muammar Gaddafi’s forces.

    Do you have any links to articles that assert it would be limited to the Arab League and/or Europe?

  47. 47
    Svensker says:

    I’ll let you figure out how this is in our national interest and how entering another war with no clear definition for victory or understandable mission is what we need.

    Victory = Killing Wogs

    Far as I can tell, that’s pretty much it.

  48. 48
    Cat says:

    @BGinCHI: They were dealing with a Authoritarian Asshat fine before this uprising they can deal with him after. They can make noises in public and quietly give the wink and nudge out of the public’s view.

    Italy is broke in way countries can go broke, they are part of the PIGS EURO countries that are borderline insolvent, in that they’d probably not be able to get financing for a military adventure.

  49. 49

    @cyntax:

    1. Rebels ask for No Fly Zone.

    2. No Fly Zone.

    3. Greeted as liberators.

    Seriously, isn’t anti-imperialism supposed to have something to do with self-determination? Shouldn’t the support among the Libyans for this action play some role in determining whether it is or isn’t just like Operation Iraqi Freedom?

  50. 50
    PurpleGirl says:

    @Joshua Norton: Troops, much like US dollars, are a finite resource.

    Troops may be a finite resource… but US dollars are finite only when they are to be used for social/economic safety net programs. When used for war… the powers that be are willing to borrow up the wazoo. See Iraq and Afghanistan.

  51. 51
    Martin says:

    @MattR: Don’t have any articles to assert that it won’t exclude martian invaders as well. I don’t know why everyone is so eager to assume that the Weekly Standard is the defacto foreign policy manual for the US. Why don’t we stick to what is actually being said and then bitch when it doesn’t happen, rather than bitch about us doing what we haven’t indicated we’ll do, and which in fact, Obama said we wouldn’t do.

  52. 52
    Joshua Norton says:

    @John Cole: Eisenhower had Korea to deal with.

  53. 53
    Dennis SGMM says:

    Gadhafi was caught by surprise and that enabled the rebels’ initial successes. He has counterattacked with armor and artillery. Although creating a no-fly zone will give the rebels some relief it is no counter to someone who’s willing to use artillery and armor to flatten an entire city. The rebels neither have nor would know how to use crew-served weapons – which are the exact counter to armor and artillery. Absent bombing of ground targets, Gadhafi’s forces will mop them up. It will just take him a bit longer without air support.
    We will get sucked into this and it will get ugly.

  54. 54
    wengler says:

    The dynamic of the fight of the Libyan people against Gadaffi is about to change. I think this is an overall recognition of the fact that the entire US governmental policy toward that country has been screwed up for the past three decades.

    Libya was a dissenting rogue state, then a beautiful prosperous corporate client state, and now it is back to being rogue. Have no doubt this is about all of those transnational corporations losing oil contracts once Gadaffi reimposes control. In fact I wouldn’t be surprised if the US and European powers are subverting any nascent democratic systems set up under the rebels for a single person that will be elevated as the face of the rebellion.

    You gotta feel for our corporate governments though. When this whole thing started they were caught between a new client that they didn’t trust, and a rebel movement that they didn’t control. It’s good to see that such uncertainty is now a thing of the past.

  55. 55
    cyntax says:

    @joe from Lowell:

    Shouldn’t the support among the Libyans for this action play some role in determining whether it is or isn’t just like Operation Iraqi Freedom?

    Well, if the only measure of whether we should do something is that some of the locals want us to, then we should also be launching a military intervention in the Ivory Coast.

    Odd, that doesn’t seem to be happening.

  56. 56
    Martin says:

    @joe from Lowell: No. All brown people are the same and hate America no matter what.

  57. 57
    Sophist says:

    Britain and France apparently want to be directly involved, but that’s between them and the Arab League.

    And the advisers we send along with the British, just to “keep an eye on things”. And the midair refueling planes we’ll let them make use of because, hey they were in the area already, right? And the hand full of fighter/bombers, really just a couple, we’ll send along to back them up on an important sortie, but only just the once, because of our special relationship with the UK. And…

  58. 58

    @Bob Loblaw:

    After all, the Libyan democratization movement is just vibrant as hell. Lotta good governance to come out of that ragtag bunch of revolutionaries…

    Gotta love this reasoning. Absolutely nobody had a bad word to say about the Libyan protesters for the past two weeks, or yesterday even. In fact, when wingnuts denounced the protesters in Egypt, Libya, and Tunisia, we derided them for the racist bastards they are.

    However, the moment the US or its allies might become involved, they become this shady force of skeery Mooslim revolutionaries that we must have nothing to do with.

  59. 59
    4tehlulz says:

    which looks like it will pass.

    Based on what?

  60. 60
    Cat says:

    @joe from Lowell:

    Seriously, isn’t anti-imperialism supposed to have something to do with self-determination? Shouldn’t the support among the Libyans for this action play some role in determining whether it is or isn’t just like Operation Iraqi Freedom?

    Uhm, support of which Libyans? I’m sure there just as many that don’t want to be bombed by foreign fighters as there are those who want us to bomb those other Libyans.

    It is a civil war. Is the world going to stop at a No Fly Zone? What will the world do if/when the Rebels ask for munitions or troops?

    How many Libyans constitute a legitimate rebellion and the will of the majority of the Libyans or a bunch of extremists trying to overthrow a legitimate government?

  61. 61

    @MattR: I’ll concur with that. I don’t see a no-fly flying w/o US aircraft in the mix. People asserting the US won’t get into this after the rresolution passes are fooling themselves, I fear.

    That said, again — there’s a difference between the US leading the fight, and what I’m reading of the UN’s proposal. And that’s not an unimportant point in this; I think a lot of “not another war!” folks should note that, esp. since the resolution bars ground troops. I think that’s unrealistic, but given how esp. China would likely feel about it, it’s not bloody likely the UN would assert ground troops without the situation changing drastically.

    And I think everyone here grasp the Obama Administration, like them or not, is extremely unlikely to act unilaterally in this mess.

  62. 62
    cyntax says:

    @Dennis SGMM:

    Although creating a no-fly zone will give the rebels some relief it is no counter to someone who’s willing to use artillery and armor to flatten an entire city.

    Bingo.

    And this is why the Air Force is already pushing the need for airstrikes.

    And once airstrikes aren’t enough, we’re back to the whole “shores of Tripoli” thing.

  63. 63
    ThatLeftTurnInABQ says:

    @Uloborus:

    Well, then it’s a good thing that this isn’t a proposal that we intervene. It’s a proposal that we get out of the way of the Arab League to intervene. France and Britain seem to think they have interests there, but that’s between them and the Arab League.

    @Martin:

    Who is ‘we’?

    Sorry, but I don’t believe that inter-state hostilities once started will be so easily compartmentalized. Britain appears to be gung-ho about assisting the Arab League with this little project. Britain is a NATO member, to whom we have formal treaty obligations if they are attacked, and also a nation who is currently assisting us in Afghanistan. What happens when Libya either shoots down British planes, or worse yet retaliates by attacking the shipping of a variety of NATO countries in the Med? Do we say “love to help out old chap, but remember, this is your fight, not ours. We just helped get the ball rolling by giving you our okey-dokey.”

  64. 64
    BGinCHI says:

    @Cat:

    in that they’d probably not be able to get financing for a military adventure.

    You saying Berlusconi can’t afford this? He could just write a check.

  65. 65

    @cyntax:

    Well, if the only measure of whether we should do somethingis that some of the locals want us to , then we should also be launching a military intervention in the Ivory Coast.

    And if my aunt had wheels, she’d be a bus.

    Good thing nobody has suggested that the only measure of whether we should do somethingis that some of the locals want us to.

  66. 66
    John Cole says:

    @joe from Lowell: Horowitz? Really? Go fuck yourself.

    And put your money where your mouth is. 50 bucks to Charlie’s Angels if, should a no-fly zone pass, the US becomes more involved than just words. Another 50 if the usual suspects start with the war drums saying the no-fly zone isn’t enough.

    If neither happens, I’ll throw in 50 for each.

  67. 67
    MattR says:

    @Martin: Is it really too much that someone who comes into a thread posting repeatedly about how we all have it wrong and explicitly saying that American intervention is still not part of the proposal be asked to provide some kind of documentation for those claims? It’s not like I’m asking when he stopped beating his wife.

    As for what is being said, the articles John linked to as well as the Guardian piece that I did all indicate some level or another of interest/acceptance by the administration that American forces will get involved.

  68. 68
    Alex S. says:

    I would guess that this will be a replay of the very beginning of the Afghanistan war. Back then, the Northern Alliance controlled about 10% of the country and managed to conquer Kabul within a month with the help of NATO airstrikes. And Libya is a far easier country to conquer than Afghanistan. As soon as there is an international action against the Gadhafi regime, the mercenaries on his side will abandon him. And in contrast to the Taliban, Gadhafi will not be able to hide in the mountains. He can’t abandon Tripolis since he can’t hide in the desert. The tribes on Gadhafi’s side support him because he is able to sell their oil. However, they can probably be bought off. The question is if Gadhafi’s regime is going to lose enough power to implode. Because if not, ground troops will have to fight in the cities and that will lead to a lot of civilian casualties.

  69. 69
    The Dangerman says:

    @Dennis SGMM:

    The rebels neither have nor would know how to use crew-served weapons – which are the exact counter to armor and artillery.

    Mostly true, but the Libyan military, such as it is, has reportedly splintered. The rebels have some heavy weapons (see pictures of burned out tanks in the Z city near Tripoli).

    Hopefully, their military will decide that turning on Gaddafi is their best chance of “victory”. It would appear to me that the only chance this ends “well” (I can’t define what well is here) is that Gaddafi gets popped by his own military. Given he’s in a nuclear hardened bunker, I don’t see any other way for this to end happily.

  70. 70
    John Cole says:

    @Joshua Norton: But he didn’t start it. I thought that is what we were dealing with. Because hell, every President has had troops on the Korean peninsula.

  71. 71
    John W. says:

    What comes next? The same thing that comes if Europe doesn’t act, the equivalent to the Haiti boat people of the 90s in America, with a flood of refugees:

    http://www.voanews.com/english.....85729.html

    This may not be the right way to act, but let’s not pretend there’s no security interests for Europe either.

    I don’t want the US to be involved in anything substantial (being part of a blockade is the most I’m willing to advocate) but the British and French aren’t just crazy hawks for disagreeing with Merkel.

    Let’s say Haiti in the90s was happening right now. Should the US stay out of that completely?

  72. 72
    Zifnab says:

    Call me crazy, but I’m actually split on this. On the one hand, American Interventionism has historically been a Bad Thing(tm). On the other hand, Kosovo was one of those regions I think we actually had a very positive impact in.

    In this particular case, you’ve got a group of rebels attempting to overthrow the Libyan government, and failing. If the world stands by, Gadhafi has a good chance of obliterating the rebel stronghold. With the rebels killed or scattered, it’ll be a few years of regional genocide as his paramilitary forces massacre anyone suspected of joining the insurgency. That’s how these uprisings typically end when the man in charge has all the guns.

    On the flip side, the moment foreign powers get involved, Libya will be a de facto colony of the liberators. The Western powers can slap a puppet government on the throne, seize the oil, and screw the newly liberated country sideways, if they so choose. All while running up a new set of massive war debts to match the ones we’ve been piling up for the last ten years.

    So it’s two bad options, and I seriously don’t know which is worse. But I can’t completely fault the UN for embracing military action, since its a lot easier to try and fuck up than to stand around watching the slaughter.

  73. 73
    Sloegin says:

    @39, @44, yeah I was thinking Hoover at first, but Eisenhower didn’t have any outright shooting matches that he started; though he had his skulduggery calendar full with Cuba, Iran, Guatemala, Vietnam, etc.

  74. 74

    @Martin:

    No. All brown people are the same and hate America no matter what.

    Both the neocons and the “anti-imperialists” believe this.

    The only difference is, the neocons hate them for it, while the “anti-imperialists” put their pictures up in their bedroom next to their David Cassidy posters.

  75. 75
    cyntax says:

    @joe from Lowell:

    Well then what the hell is your point exactly? That if we do go into Libya it won’t go badly?

  76. 76
    Brachiator says:

    The number one goal is not saving civilians, it is getting the no-fly zone in place so that escalation will be easier. When the no-fly zone doesn’t work, we’ll move up to shock and awe, and before you know it, we’ll have troops on the ground. After all, we’re Murrika!

    I don’t think that there is a chance in hell that US troops will be involved in any Libyan conflict.

    In fact, I am surprised that the Tea Party People in Congress is not fighting the GOP more about any proposed military intervention.

    @wengler:

    In fact I wouldn’t be surprised if the US and European powers are subverting any nascent democratic systems set up under the rebels for a single person that will be elevated as the face of the rebellion.

    What nascent democratic systems? The political opposition in Libya seems far less coherent than that in Egypt. There were Libyans who opposed Gadaffi and who put themselves at risk in openly calling for his ouster, but there doesn’t seem to be much for the West to either support or subvert.

  77. 77

    @Cat:

    Uhm, support of which Libyans?

    Really?

    That’s a hard question for you?

    Tell me, did you have difficulty figuring out which Egyptians we should support – the protesters or the pro-Mubarak forces?

  78. 78
    MattR says:

    @Brachiator:

    In fact, I am surprised that the Tea Party People in Congress is not fighting the GOP more about any proposed military intervention.

    This implies that you believe that Tea Party People actually care about fiscal conservativism or the deficit or anything else they have been ranting about over the past two years.

  79. 79
    Bob Loblaw says:

    @joe from Lowell:

    If you don’t consider their military incompetence to be a harbinger of things to come, then I don’t know what to tell you.

    And for the record, Libyan opposition has never been described as anything other than fractured, unprofessional, and tribal since the beginning. I wouldn’t trust them to operate a 7/11.

    People despise Qaddafi that damn much, they’ll take a complete power vacuum just to see the last of him.

    Oh and just so we’re clear, if you have to resort to calling your opponents racists and religious bigots, you’re losing. Skary Mooslims indeed, way to reveal yourself champ.

  80. 80
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    @Joe Beese: It’s like a twofer.

  81. 81

    @joe from Lowell:

    they become this shady force of skeery Mooslim revolutionaries that we must have nothing to do with.

    I don’t know much about Libya’s internal tribal politics. And neither does anyone else outside the damned country! We knew a thousand times more about the Northern Alliance, and that worked out so well for us…a-hem.

    There’s a big leap from the kind of Islamophobia you rightly denounce, to assuming any concern about the potential post-revolution (if they win!) makeup of a Libyan government is racially charged. Not because one thinks they’re going to repay us with bombs, but because not even China really wants to swap G-Money with someone even more authoritarian and asinine.

    One hopes and prays there’s a true vox populi in that mess, but it’s not wrong to have some concerns that we can’t really tell.

  82. 82

    @John Cole:

    Horowitz? Really? Go fuck yourself.

    Yes, really, and in precisely the way I described, which you don’t seem to have understood.

    Oh, well.

  83. 83
  84. 84
    stuckinred says:

    china abstains

  85. 85
    stuckinred says:

    5 abstains, sounds like we go,

  86. 86
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    I’m sure the arguments will be the same ones used to invade Iraq. Can someone make a bingo card so we can play along at home?

  87. 87
    eemom says:

    @Zifnab:

    If the world stands by, Gadhafi has a good chance of obliterating the rebel stronghold.

    from what I understand it’s more a foregone conclusion than a good chance at this point.

    I concur in your analysis.

  88. 88

    @Alex S.:

    I would guess that this will be a replay of the very beginning of the Afghanistan war. Back then, the Northern Alliance controlled about 10% of the country and managed to conquer Kabul within a month with the help of NATO airstrikes.

    Right.

    The important differences being, there is no other operation (getting bin Laden/routing al Qaeda) to keep us engaged in military operations after the government is toppled, and Obama does not appear to have Bush’s hard-on for stationing American troops in as many countries as possible, Risk-style, out of an antiquated belief in Great Game theory.

  89. 89
    Litlebritdifrnt says:

    @joe from Lowell:

    Oooooh is that showing your age or what? (My posters were Donny Osmond so there)

  90. 90
    MattR says:

    @joe from Lowell: What percent of a country’s citizens have to want us to intervene for it to outweigh the percent who don’t want to be bombed by foreigners? I think that is where Cat was going with the “which Libyans” question.

    @stuckinred: Did you happen to find the actual text of the resolution anywhere? (EDIT: Oh well. Thanks. I am guessing it should be readily available tomorrow, if not sooner)

  91. 91
    HyperIon says:

    @MattR supplied a link to an article in the Guardian

    From the link:

    William Burns, the US under secretary of state, said Washington supported international measures in Libya that are “short of boots on the ground”.

    Which sounds like there could be plans for “aircraft carriers off the coast” and “planes in the air”.

    Uloborus, what say you to this, that is, “no boots but…”?

  92. 92
    Dr. Squid says:

    Are the PUMAs still pushing Hillary as a primary challenger in 2012?

  93. 93
    stuckinred says:

    @MattR: don’t see it on the UN Page

  94. 94
    Cat says:

    @BGinCHI: I know you are being snarky, but no, he couldn’t.

  95. 95
    4tehlulz says:

    >china abstains

    Huh. That’s surprising.

    Russia too?

  96. 96

    @Zifnab:

    On the flip side, the moment foreign powers get involved, Libya will be a de facto colony of the liberators. The Western powers can slap a puppet government on the throne, seize the oil, and screw the newly liberated country sideways, if they so choose. All while running up a new set of massive war debts to match the ones we’ve been piling up for the last ten years.

    Only if the Western powers put a substantial number of boots on the ground.

    If we’re only using air power to support ground forces that consist entirely, or almost entirely, of Libyans, then it remains their war and their country.

    There’s a difference between what the French navy did at Yorktown, and what the American military did in Iraq.

  97. 97
    Dennis SGMM says:

    @joe from Lowell:
    Do you have the slightest idea what the anti-Gadhafi forces stand for? Are they Sunni or Shia? Do they favor the establishment of an Islamic state governed by Sharia law or are they in favor of a secular democracy? You don’t have the slightest fucking idea of the true answers to those questions yet you’re advocating that real people who could get their asses shot clean off go in and intervene for the plucky rebels. If you feel so strongly about it, go into Libya via Egypt or Algeria and put your ass on the line.

  98. 98
    stuckinred says:

    @4tehlulz: There were 5 but I didn’t get em all.

  99. 99
    John Cole says:

    Yes, really, and in precisely the way I described, which you don’t seem to have understood.

    Oh, well.

    I’m not sure there is much to misunderstand about “Sometimes I think John is sort of like David Horowitz. He’s changed sides, but he brings the same intellectual habits to his new home.” I’m reasonably sure that was not complimentary, and meant to state that I am rigid and unswayed by facts.

    Care to explain to me what exactly I have missed?

  100. 100
    Arclite says:

    @BGinCHI:

    When we institute a direct tax for Defense and military expenses, this shit will stop cold.

    I like this idea. Instead of making it mandatory, we could, like Sully suggests for union dues, make defense spending voluntary. Not only in whether to give, but how much. Whatever that is, that’s how much defense we get.

  101. 101
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Zifnab: I remember going around and around in the early-’90s “humanitarian intervention” wars myself. Rwanda, Somalia, the former Yugoslavian states. Trying to figure out The Right Thing To Do was difficult. It led to the skepticism about “nation-building” that Dubya Bush voiced in the 2000 election, all of which he recanted to fight the Iraq war. My instinct is typically to say that if American military power should be used for anything, it’s to protect vulnerable people from overwhelming power… but then without an “exit strategy,” any military involvement can so easily become a quagmire. I find myself pulled in multiple directions.

  102. 102
    cyntax says:

    @Alex S.:

    I would guess that this will be a replay of the very beginning of the Afghanistan war. Back then, the Northern Alliance controlled about 10% of the country and managed to conquer Kabul within a month with the help of NATO airstrikes.

    Two things:

    I would be very skeptical of equating the readiness of the Libyan military with the Taliban.

    You do know that those airstrikes in Afghanistan were so successful because we had troops on the ground, right?

  103. 103
    Jay B. says:

    Here’s another way it can play out: We bomb the hell (*we being some combination of interested parties) out of Colonel Quackerjacks. He retreats to his strongholds — since we’re not going to be on the ground, he can ride the bunker circuit while his army fights toe to toe with the rebels. The varied interests of “the rebels” would then be jockeying for position with the interested parties who bring the most power to their position.

    Who would they turn to if they were looking to really cash in? The British? The fucking Egyptians? We’re the easiest mark in the world and we lose $6 billion dollars without even knowing where it went. Or telling where it went.

    One of the last times we ‘intervened’ on behalf of rebels without troops on the ground — to ostensibly bleed our enemy — we ended up creating the mujahdeen. Some of whom were completely retrograde but “Northern Alliance”, others who were merely psychotic and turned into bin Ladenites.

    I’m sure the rebel players in Libya, though are all in it for the right reasons and would be shining allies in the coming years* (*note again that we held up Quadaffi as a model despot after Iraq) as they sought to gain control over the oil money.

    It’s funny that most of you point to Serbia as the model for this kind of thing, but completely dismiss any comparisons to any one of a half-dozen other Arab and Middle Eastern uprisings in which we’ve participated (troop-free) to some degree. For the person who said we didn’t “help” Saddam, you’re completely wrong. The CIA most certainly helped the Baathist coup in 1963 and you’re a fool to think otherwise. Hussein was in exile in Egypt, came back after the coup and became the head of the Iraqi Secret Service. We paved his way.

    Do you think this is the more or less logical way this will play out?

  104. 104
    Viva BrisVegas says:

    There is really nothing to worry about. Gaddafi will be in Benghazi chopping off heads before the first UN sanctioned overflight gets off the ground.

  105. 105
    Joe Beese says:

    Not that it’s an infallible guide to anything…

    But the fact that all the neocon assholes who got hard-ons for invading Iraq are cheerleading this move should give one serious pause.

  106. 106
    Martin says:

    @Zifnab:

    If the world stands by, Gadhafi has a good chance of obliterating the rebel stronghold.

    Never should have let that guy get a Death Star.

  107. 107
    stuckinred says:

    Fuck it, the Un Rez passed, ain’t no time to wonder why.

  108. 108
    Nick says:

    Protesters against Gaddafi in Benghazi cheer, let off fireworks to celebrate UN support of no-fly zone – Al Jazeera

    but they don’t want us there, I get it

  109. 109
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    @Joe Beese:

    But the fact that all the neocon assholes who got hard-ons for invading Iraq are cheerleading this move should give one serious pause.

    This time will be different, baby. I’m sorry I fucked up. I love you.

  110. 110
    Martin says:

    @MattR:

    What percent of a country’s citizens have to want us to intervene for it to outweigh the percent who don’t want to be bombed by foreigners?

    I don’t know. Why don’t we set up a democracy and have them vote on it?

  111. 111
  112. 112
    Amanda in the South Bay says:

    @Dennis SGMM:
    Well shit, even little old me knows that Shia are a very, very small minority in Libya, the country is very much nominally Sunni. And I suppose the Ibadi’s but they are a very small minority as well and not really Sunni or Shia.

    ETA: I’m a bit on the “lets not stick our noses where they don’t belong” school of foreign policy, but disagreeing with the Bush Administration’s actions doesn’t mean we should automatically default to the libertarian party’s foreign policy views, or maybe Larison’s (since when is a neo-Confederate a fucking liberal icon?) when he’s not waxing poetic about the Confederacy.

    I mean, stop pleading ignorance about stuff like religious differences in Libya. Adopting a skeptical attitude about foreign intervention doesn’t mean we have to profess total ignorance about everything. How about we take each situation its own merits and not hobble ourselves with intellectual straightjackets?

  113. 113
    Alex S. says:

    @Zifnab:

    It’s not crazy to be of two minds about this. We’re all cynics on this blog, so we assume that this will be a total mess, no matter how well-intended. On the other hand, Bush isn’t responsible anymore, maybe Obama can do better.

  114. 114

    @cyntax:

    Well then what the hell is your point exactly?

    That the question of how an intervention will be welcomed by the locals depends on the locals themselves.

    The possibility of a hostile reception by the locals is a good argument against staging such an intervention. Therefore, how the locals feel about that intervention is an important point to consider. When you fail to account for local feeling, and simply assume that the locals will be horrified, you’re missing a rather significant point.

    The receptions our troops got in Belgium in 1944 was rather different from the one they received in Iraq in 2003. Would you care to hazard a guess why?

  115. 115
    Ebie says:

    @Uloborus: Foot. In. The. Door. strategy. Weren’t you listening?

    Obama will go along to get along too, you watch. And so will all the lame-ass Democrats. The Republicans magically will stop caring about the deficit because We Must Do Something. Why these clowns love military action so much is beyond me. Oh wait — it’s because the soldiers are in someone ELSE’S family.

  116. 116
    Nick says:

    @Joe Beese:

    But the fact that all the neocon assholes who got hard-ons for invading Iraq are cheerleading this move should give one serious pause.

    Joe, the neocon assholes get a hardon for anything that remotely involves using big warplanes and bombs. It doesn’t mean they’re always wrong. It just means they’re usually wrong.

    I don’t base my beliefs on whether or what my opponent thinks.

  117. 117
    dave™© says:

    @Uloborus:

    You really are a fucking idiot.

  118. 118
    Dennis SGMM says:

    @Amanda in the South Bay:
    My point was that we don’t know much about those on whose behalf we want to intervene. Whether or not the majority believes that Islam should be governed by a direct descendant of Mohammed or otherwise isn’t, at this juncture, important.

    ETA: We don’t know the first thing about the intentions of the rebels other than that they want to dump Gadhafi. Committing blood and treasure to an unknown seems like a march to folly.

  119. 119
    Bob Loblaw says:

    @John Cole:

    The part where, in addition to your lack of intellectual dexterity and curiosity, you also hate and fear all Muslims and perhaps even masturbate to David Cassidy, you silly homo you.

    It’s been a real tour de force from our good pal from Lowell, Mass.

  120. 120

    @Bob Loblaw:

    If you don’t consider their military incompetence to be a harbinger of things to come

    I’m supposed to assume “military incompetence” on the part of a movement that, without air power, and with vastly fewer military resources of all kinds, was able to drive the Libyan state’s military, at one point, into two small enclaves, and capture several major, fortified oil terminals?

    Why am I supposed to do that, exactly?

    Oh and just so we’re clear, if you have to resort to calling your opponents racists and religious bigots, you’re losing.

    Thanks, Rush. When exactly did you become a teabagger? Nice 7/11 quip, btw.

    But if it makes you feel better, I don’t think you’re actually a racist. I think your sudden demonization of the Libyan resistance is utterly cynical and calculated.

  121. 121
    Cat says:

    @joe from Lowell:

    Tell me, did you have difficulty figuring out which Egyptians we should support – the protesters or the pro-Mubarak forces?

    Not at all, but you do seem to be unable to tell the difference between a broad nationwide uprising,Egypt, vs a civil war, Libya.

    Getting involved in a civil war injects your opinion into a countries politics where a large portion of them would rather you didn’t.

    I doubt the rebel’s will stop at just liberating the people who want liberating. A lot of Libyans will be on the receiving end of freedom bombs and liberating bullets who wanted neither.

  122. 122
    cyntax says:

    @joe from Lowell:

    My point was that this won’t be as straight forward as the interventionists are making it. In point of fact we know nothing about the rebels other than that they oppose Gaddafi.

    Oh and here’s Gaddafi on the resolution:

    This is craziness, madness, arrogance. If the world gets crazy with us we will get crazy too. We will respond. We will make their lives hell because they are making our lives hell. They will never have peace.

  123. 123
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    @Bob Loblaw:

    and perhaps even masturbate to David Cassidy

    I don’t do this any more since seeing him on Celebrity Apprentice. What a pampered little shit.

  124. 124
    The Dangerman says:

    From reports, the main depot for chemical (and biological?) weapons is known; I wouldn’t want to be the security guarding that depot right about now.

  125. 125
    stuckinred says:

    @cyntax: Baghdad Bob!

  126. 126

    @Just Some Fuckhead:

    I’m sure the arguments will be the same ones used to invade Iraq.

    You’re sure that the arguments for providing air support to the rebels will be “Libya is about to attack us with WMDs” and “Libya is working with al Qaeda?”

    OK.

  127. 127
    Joe Beese says:

    @zinfab

    So it’s two bad options, and I seriously don’t know which is worse

    When in doubt, err on the side of not starting a 4th war.

    [In case anyone forgot, we’re merrily blowing up shit in Yemen too.]

    As someone else pointed out, whenever you hear anyone use the phrase “American interests”, you must mentally substitute the more precise “the enrichment of the miltary-industrial complex”.

    So when Hilllary hits the Sunday Windbags circuit to explain how our going to war against Libya “serves American interests”, understand what she is really saying.

  128. 128
    HyperIon says:

    @joe from Lowell wrote:

    Therefore, how the locals feel about that intervention is an important point to consider.

    So given that we don’t know how the locals feel (or even how many locals feel this way), how does this affect the choice to do no-fly or not?

    Seems like this is a “known unknown”.

  129. 129
    The Dangerman says:

    Too tired to look it up; is it no-fly or all short of boots on ground?

  130. 130
    stuckinred says:

    Well, FDL is against it so it can’t be that bad of an idea.

  131. 131
    Amanda in the South Bay says:

    @Dennis SGMM:

    Well, yes, but you mentioned the Sunni-Shia rivalry! Sure, the religious motivations behind the revolutionaries are important, but stop trying to draw a parallel with Iraq by bringing up Shia.

  132. 132
    cyntax says:

    @stuckinred:

    This really is starting to feel like a bad rerun.

  133. 133
    Alex S. says:

    @cyntax:

    Actually, I guess that the Taliban were far more ready than Gadhafi’s troops are right now. The Taliban were religious fanatics, with up to 20 years of active battle experience, partly trained by the US. Gadhafi’s troops are partly mercenaries and loyal Libyans with only limited battle experience. The rebels aren’t experienced either, but they are fighting against annihiliation and possible mass-murder.

    If I recall correctly, foreign ground forces were slow to trickle into Afghanistan. There shouldn’t be any in Libya now, so that’s definitely a counter-argument. But the easier terrain and the closeness to Europe should counter that.

  134. 134
    Mr. Poppinfresh says:

    I sure am glad we stayed out of Rwanda during the genocide, since any and all involvement by Western powers to stop disproportionate use of force = Iraq.

    It would have been like Iraq, but in 1993! PRE-IRAQ IRAQ!

  135. 135
    Litlebritdifrnt says:

    I don’t know what Cameron is thinking here, from what I understand the UK peeps are getting really tired of this “boots on the ground” thingy. Especially seeing as said boots end up going through Wootten Bassett in a hearse.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v.....re=related

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v.....re=related

    You see anything similar in the US? Nope. The people of the UK know what is happening. The people of the US? They are too busy following Charlie Sheen on Twitter. Only about 1% of people in the US are engaged in the wars in Iraq or Afghanistan, and that is because they have “boots on the ground”, the rest of the US could not give a shit.

  136. 136
    Calouste says:

    The abstainees were Brazil, China, Germany, India and Russia, which means that the Arab Security Council member Lebanon voted for it.

    BBC says that “Earlier reports suggested that if the resolution was passed, air attacks on Col Gaddafi’s forces by the British and French air forces could begin within hours.”

  137. 137
    Blue Carolinian says:

    Why are people shocked by China abstaining?

    You do realize they drive more cars and consume more energy than we do now, right? They are extremely dependent on oil.

  138. 138
    Nick says:

    @Calouste: Lebanon cosponsored it

  139. 139
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    Time to start working on the bingo card:

    Free center square: USA! USA! USA!

    Despot leader
    Killing his own people
    Chemical and perhaps biological weapons
    Oil
    Freedom
    Democracy
    Whiskey
    No fly no working
    Sanctions ineffective
    Greeted as liberators
    Causing instability in Middle East
    Israel
    Has financed terrorists
    Has harbored terrorists

  140. 140
    Cat Lady says:

    Oh goodie, another week another crisis. I was getting bored with the Japan thing anyway/

  141. 141

    @MattR:

    What percent of a country’s citizens have to want us to intervene for it to outweigh the percent who don’t want to be bombed by foreigners?

    Depends on why we want to invade. There were virtually no Japanese who wanted us to intervene in 1942. In a situation like this, there need to be enough that they can provide the boots on the ground necessary to topple the government.

    Anyway, I don’t think that’s where she was going. I think she was making an argument that it is invalid for us to decide that the Libyan opposition is morally superior to the Gadaffi forces.

  142. 142
    cyntax says:

    @The Dangerman:

    No-fly only.

    For now.

  143. 143
    Dennis SGMM says:

    @Amanda in the South Bay:
    If I wanted to draw a parallel with Iraq I would have done so. My point, one more time, is that committing the US to the support of people whose long term intentions we know little about is folly.

  144. 144
    stuckinred says:

    @Calouste: Doesn’t seem like there is a whole lot of reason to fuck around now.

  145. 145
    eemom says:

    @Amanda in the South Bay:

    Adopting a skeptical attitude about foreign intervention doesn’t mean we have to profess total ignorance about everything. How about we take each situation its own merits and not hobble ourselves with intellectual straightjackets?

    I concur in your analysis too.

    It’s truly amazing how many unthinking, knee-jerk party-liners there are on this blog.

    @Uloborus:

    I really liked your comment earlier about facts, subtlety and nuance not even having walk-on parts in this production (paraphrased). Spot. the fuck. On.

  146. 146
    Joe Beese says:

    @Litlebritdifrnt

    I don’t know what Cameron is thinking here, from what I understand the UK peeps are getting really tired of this “boots on the ground” thingy. Especially seeing as said boots end up going through Wootten Bassett in a hearse.

    The American government used to ban the media from showing that until experience showed it that no one cared.

    The military famlies actually believe they’re serving something honorable and everyone else’s family is too preoccupied with finding a job… any job.

  147. 147
    Jay B. says:

    Again, like Iraq and Afghanistan, I’ll ask — what happens next? What does the US want to have happen? The end of civilian casualties? Then what? The rebels win in no small part because of a No Fly Zone. OK, then what?

  148. 148
    The Dangerman says:

    @cyntax:

    No-fly only.

    WaPo is saying no-fly and extra measures to protect civilians. “Extra” isn’t defined.

  149. 149
    NobodySpecial says:

    @Nick: Truer words were ne’er spoke by you, Nick.

  150. 150
    cyntax says:

    @Alex S.:

    Actually, I guess that the Taliban were far more ready than Gadhafi’s troops are right now. The Taliban were religious fanatics, with up to 20 years of active battle experience, partly trained by the US. Gadhafi’s troops are partly mercenaries and loyal Libyans with only limited battle experience.

    The Taliban weren’t trained in maneuver warfare and I’d bet they have much better equipment and supply lines than the Taliban. The terrain is easier, but as I pointed out, the effectivity of the airstrikes was a direct result of having Special Forces and Navy SEALs on the ground. And by the way, I’m pretty sure the UN res was for no-fly only, not airstrikes.

    I see the two as inapt comparisons.

  151. 151
    Bob Loblaw says:

    @Calouste:

    The abstainees were Brazil, China, Germany, India and Russia, which means that the Arab Security Council member Lebanon voted for it.

    Once again, of course the Arab League wants this action. Very, very much so. Qaddafi makes for a perfect target and boogeyman to draw attention away from their own recent instabilities.

    It would help if people in this thread had something to actually say about Libya, circa 2011, instead of Iraq, circa 2002. Just throwing that out there..

  152. 152
    David Koch says:

    @stuckinred:

    Well, FDL is against it so it can’t be that bad of an idea.

    Heh!

  153. 153
    cyntax says:

    @The Dangerman:

    Sounds like air-strikes may be in the cards.

  154. 154
    Mnemosyne says:

    @HyperIon:

    So given that we don’t know how the locals feel (or even how many locals feel this way), how does this affect the choice to do no-fly or not?

    The current leader of the rebel forces has been asking for a no-fly zone for a couple of weeks now, which is why it went in front of the UN after it was voted on by the Arab League. That doesn’t mean it’s a good idea for the US to participate (for the record, I think it’s a terrible idea) but it isn’t exactly a mystery what the rebels involved in the fighting are asking for.

  155. 155
    BR says:

    My pragmatic complaint is that the more the Libyan situation gets messy, the higher oil prices go, the worse the US economy does, and the greater chance a wingnut will beat Obama next year.

  156. 156
    David Koch says:

    ♫♪ All we are saying…. is give Khaddafi a chance…. ♪♫

  157. 157
    eemom says:

    @stuckinred:

    ah, veteran mideast war-moron Siun has weighed in? Glad to hear it.

  158. 158
    Nick says:

    @BR: It’s gonna get messy regardless.

  159. 159
    stuckinred says:

    @cyntax: How bout a little Arc Light on their fucking airfields?

  160. 160
    Dennis SGMM says:

    @Bob Loblaw:
    Just this once, I have to agree with you. The last thing that the hereditary monarchies in Jordan, Saudi Arabia and Bahrain want is a democratic rebellion.

  161. 161

    Military hardware in relation to the economy is seldom stressed. It is virturally a one way expenditure. You do have some R&R results, but almost everything that enters the military stream is one way. A new car later becomes a used car, pick your larger ticket item and the same is true. Service is a one way, your local garage is not repairing Humvees and tanks. What you get is huge expenditures that vanish out of the economy.

    It isn’t as though we don’t have huge one way ependitures in the private sector – where does that toaster go? What I’m getting at is that the problem with our vast military goes much farther than the Federal budget. I’m deliberately leaving out what a large portion of military training is useful for in the private sector and addresses the human value.

    None of this is anti-military, it is about the scale.

  162. 162
    BR says:

    @Nick:

    I guess we should give the boulder a push, then.

  163. 163
    Dave says:

    Okay…so suppose there is no “no-fly” zone. After Kahdaffi takes Benghazi and slaughters its inhabitants – and you KNOW that is what would happen – what then? The UN shows itself to be absolutely useless.

    This is precisely what the UN is supposed to be about. If the UN isn’t going to defend civilians from being massacred by a lunatic, then what the fuck good is it?

  164. 164

    @Dennis SGMM:

    Do you have the slightest idea what the anti-Gadhafi forces stand for?

    The overthrow of the Gaddaffi regime.

    Are they Sunni or Shia?

    Somewhere in the vicinity of 95%+ Sunni.

    Do they favor the establishment of an Islamic state governed by Sharia law or are they in favor of a secular democracy?

    There are numerous different factions involved in the uprising, but Islamic fundamentalism doesn’t have very deep roots in Libya.

    You don’t have the slightest fucking idea of the true answers to those questions

    Chuckle. It’s a really, really, really, really bad idea to assume that I don’t know what I’m talking about. As you’ve just learned.

    If you feel so strongly about it, go into Libya via Egypt or Algeria and put your ass on the line.

    And if you feel so strongly about universal health care, become a nurse’s aid in a community health center. And if you feel so strongly about homelessness, go work in a shelter. And if you feel so strongly about public education, go teach in an inner city school system like me.

    Oh, wait. I’m sorry. The idea that you have to personally undertake every cause you support doesn’t make any sense at all.

  165. 165
    cyntax says:

    @stuckinred:

    Oh hells yeah, From 30,000 feet the Air Force never misses–

    the ground.

    If there are any pilots on the board: I kid, I kid.

  166. 166
    celticdragonchick says:

    @ woodrow (since the link function isn’t working)

    Last time I checked, our name is not The United States of Britian.
    More to the point—as many of us said weeks ago, there’s a HUGE difference between an Arab-led, UN-sanctioned coalition that includes Europe and/or the US, and the US diving whole-hog into blowing crap up in Libya along with another half-assed “coalition of the bought-offwilling.”

    I agree. An awful lot of folks here are going off completely half cocked on this. Britain and France can cover this one just fine.

  167. 167
    virag says:

    now that’s it has been authorized, there are just so many ways for this to turn into a clusterfuck.

  168. 168
    stuckinred says:

    @cyntax: I think they can hit an airport!

  169. 169
    Cat says:

    @joe from Lowell:

    it is invalid for us to decide that the Libyan opposition is morally superior to the Gadaffi forces.

    How do you decide to get behind Rebels? How much of a critical mass must they have? Do they have to share your values?

  170. 170
    celticdragonchick says:

    @virag:

    now that’s it has been authorized, there are just so many ways for this to turn into a clusterfuck.

    Or not.

  171. 171
    stuckinred says:

    What the fuck do people think we should have done, VETO the goddamn thing? jesus

  172. 172

    @Jay B.:

    The CIA most certainly helped the Baathist coup in 1963 and you’re a fool to think otherwise. Hussein was in exile in Egypt, came back after the coup and became the head of the Iraqi Secret Service. We paved his way.

    Saddam Hussein came to power over a decade later, in a coup AGAINST that Baathist regime.

    So, no, pointing out that we helped the 1963 coup does not mean we helped Saddam come to power.

  173. 173
    BR says:

    Oil prices have just spiked several dollars on news of the UN resolution. Just wait until the bombing starts. And until Gaddafi starts a counterattack.

  174. 174
    Nick says:

    @Bob Loblaw:

    Once again, of course the Arab League wants this action. Very, very much so. Qaddafi makes for a perfect target and boogeyman to draw attention away from their own recent instabilities.

    It’s a risky move though, should Libya succeed, I can see the Arab countries going “hey, even if we fail, the UN will help us” and go for it anyway

  175. 175
    BR says:

    @stuckinred:

    Um, a security council resolution wouldn’t even have come up if we had told the UK and France we were against it.

  176. 176
    Dennis SGMM says:

    @joe from Lowell:
    IO work in a homeless shelter and I volunteer at a local school. There’s a world of difference between advocating for better health care, better schools or better resources for the homeless and advocating that others should go into harm’s way.

    And you still don’t know what you’re talking about. You can be as smug as you like but, you’re still advocating that real people on both sides, or no side at all, be killed (And they will be)so that you can feel that you’ve advanced the cause of freedom.

  177. 177
    stuckinred says:

    @BR: Yea, great.

  178. 178
    Ebie says:

    @Joe Beese:

    When in doubt, err on the side of not starting a 4th war.
    [In case anyone forgot, we’re merrily blowing up shit in Yemen too.]

    I can’t wait to help our Saudi pals quell the unrest in Bahrain. Save the bankers!

  179. 179
    Suffern ACE says:

    @celticdragonchick: I know history isn’t always a guide, but I believe that Chad was able to muster enough resistence to defeat Libya with French assistance, and that was when there were Soviets for Libya to buy weapons from. Not to be opposed or in favor of no fly zones one way or another, but if Britain and France can not handle this, we really need to start thinking about exiting alliances with them.

  180. 180

    Since tanks and artillery don’t fly, I don’t see this taking a real good turn.

  181. 181
    Urza says:

    There’s totally an upside to this. Obama can break out a campaign slogan that will absolutely draw in more conservative voters.

    “4 More Wars, For More Wars”

  182. 182
    Nick says:

    @Dave:

    The UN shows itself to be absolutely useless.

    oh only NOW the UN shows itself ot be absolutely useless?

    the UN isn’t a military force, it’s supposed to be a place for nations to gather, discuss issues and come together to figure out how to fix them. It’s a diplomatic forum. If what you say happens, then they’ll return and say “what went wrong?”

    Which will probably end up being blame on “Obama was too afraid of liberal peaceniks to move on this earlier”

  183. 183
    celticdragonchick says:

    @Suffern ACE:

    I know history isn’t always a guide, but I believe that Chad was able to muster enough resistence to defeat Libya with French assistance, and that was when there were Soviets for Libya to buy weapons from. Not to be opposed or in favor of no fly zones one way or another, but if Britain and France can not handle this, we really need to start thinking about exiting alliances with them.

    Pretty much.

  184. 184
    HyperIon says:

    @Dennis SGMM wrote:

    My point, one more time, is that committing the US to the support of people whose long term intentions we know little about is folly.

    it’s so quaint that you seek knowledge before action.
    /snark

  185. 185
    Cat says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    The current leader of the rebel forces has been asking for a no-fly zone for a couple of weeks now

    Why does everyone assume he speaks for the majority of Libyans? We can assume he speaks for the majority of rebels.

    We have had such a bad track record of meddling in the internal politics of countries that I’d think we’d want more then a few weeks to make decisions. This is coming down the line like a freight train.

  186. 186
    Dennis SGMM says:

    @Chuck Butcher:
    I have the ominous feeling that the words “collateral damage” will have new currency within the next few weeks.

  187. 187
    Nick says:

    @BR:

    Um, a security council resolution wouldn’t even have come up if we had told the UK and France we were against it.

    which we did until the situation escalated and the protesters were under extreme threat.

  188. 188
    Jay B. says:

    @Dave:

    If the UN isn’t going to defend civilians from being massacred by a lunatic, then what the fuck good is it?

    You are getting your wish. Now tell me how long the engagement will be, who will be leading it, how this may or may not help the rebels, who benefits the most, and what happens to Quadaffi? Does a no fly zone mean the massacres end? Does it mean he no longer has tanks to use? Or, using the logic of “a despot is killing his own people”, can you afford to keep him in check — or do you have to oust him too? Because, surely, that’s what the Libyan people want, and the rebels are asking for. Of course, if he is ousted, who takes over? Does this improve the lives of the people? Is he a good guy, a bad guy, a guy who can be dealt with, a nationalist, an Arab pan-nationalist or an Islamist?

  189. 189

    @Cat:

    Not at all, but you do seem to be unable to tell the difference between a broad nationwide uprising,Egypt, vs a civil war, Libya.

    Cat, what does the fact that so much of the Libyan armed forces has defected to the rebels that Gaddaffi is importing foreign mercenaries mean to you?

    That the country is more or less evenly divided?

  190. 190
    The Sheriff's A Ni- says:

    So who wants to go tell the Bosniaks and Kosovars that it was a mistake to get involved in their civil wars?

  191. 191
    Nick says:

    @Cat:

    We can assume he speaks for the majority of rebels.

    Whom you’re telling me don’t represent the majority of Libyans.

    Funny how that changed as soon as we threaten military action.

  192. 192
    The Dangerman says:

    @BR:

    And until Gaddafi starts a counterattack.

    Almost literally “him and what army”; his military has been historically limited – much more than enough to slaughter civilians, but a counterattack of any consequence is unlikely (unless he wants to try another Pan Am 103, I suppose).

  193. 193
    Stillwater says:

    @joe from Lowell: Joe, I smell the scent of charred google-fu on this comment. Wonder why that is?

  194. 194
    Dennis SGMM says:

    @HyperIon:
    I know. I’m old and a Vietnam vet so I have twisted notions about using ordnance to foster peace.

  195. 195
    David Koch says:

    @Chuck Butcher: the resolution covers tanks and artie.

  196. 196

    @Cat:

    A lot of Libyans will be on the receiving end of freedom bombs and liberating bullets who wanted neither.

    They already are.

    Libya is a war zone. This isn’t like Iraq 2002, which, while repressive, was more or less at peace. The country’s major populated cities are being shelled. The proposal is for international forces to deny the government the ability to do that shelling.

  197. 197
    BR says:

    @Nick:

    The irony is that we wouldn’t have given a rats ass if Libya didn’t have oil – there are plenty of nations’ civil wars we’ve ignored because they weren’t strategically important. And yet our action is likely to increase, not decrease, the price of oil and hurt our economy.

  198. 198
    stuckinred says:

    @The Dangerman: But, but, but it might not turn out perfectly. . . .

  199. 199
    Dave says:

    @Jay B.: So your solution is what? Map out every scenario and have a plan for everything before you start? He’d be dancing on corpses in Benghazi before the first draft got finished. Right now it’s “keep his planes down and bomb his armor/artillery”.

    And how does it help the rebels? Really? I’d think that’s pretty obvious.

  200. 200
    Brachiator says:

    @MattR: RE: In fact, I am surprised that the Tea Party People in Congress is not fighting the GOP more about any proposed military intervention.

    This implies that you believe that Tea Party People actually care about fiscal conservativism or the deficit or anything else they have been ranting about over the past two years.

    Doesn’t imply that at all. Some Tea Party People have spouted the non-interventionist libertarian line. Some have previously called for defense spending cuts, even though the mainstream GOP just loves themselves some military industrial complex. So I’m just wondering if they are willing to put their money where their mouths are.

  201. 201
    celticdragonchick says:

    @Chuck Butcher:

    Since tanks and artillery don’t fly, I don’t see this taking a real good turn.

    Certainly not for the Libyan military still betting on Khaddaffi winning this one.

    I would bet that the rats will jump off his ship real quick if and when Panavia Tornados start blasting apart the runways and leaving calling cards on the T-72’s at the front line. Fear is the biggest motivator here according to what I have seen and read, and the army and air force will leave his ass to twist in the wind if they think he is a lost cause.

  202. 202
    Amanda in the South Bay says:

    @The Sheriff’s A Ni-:
    Ooh, I know, how about Orthodox convert and every liberal’s favourite conservative, Daniel Larison? The fact that Islam still exists with in the former Yugoslavia is a result of Western intervention.

  203. 203
    Nick says:

    @BR:

    The irony is that we wouldn’t have given a rats ass if Libya didn’t have oil – there are plenty of nations’ civil wars we’ve ignored because they weren’t strategically important. And yet our action is likely to increase, not decrease, the price of oil and hurt our economy.

    you’re probably right that we wouldn’t have cared if Libya didn’t have oil, and that;’s a shame, but then again, we didn’t. We were not entertaining the idea of a no fly zone until France, Britain and the Arab League pushed it. Also, we get basically no oil from Libya, Europe does.

    And beyond that, the price of oil is going to increase anyway as long as this goes on, whether we intervene or not.

  204. 204
    The Dangerman says:

    @stuckinred:

    But, but, but it might not turn out perfectly. . . .

    It won’t end perfectly; these things never do, but greater good and all that…

  205. 205
    Cat says:

    @stuckinred:

    What the fuck do people think we should have done, VETO the goddamn thing?

    Abstain and not do anything to support the No Fly Zone. If we get involved it will snowball.

  206. 206
    stuckinred says:

    @celticdragonchick: Watch the video of the “Libyan Army” on CNN as they prep for an assault. Can you say di di mau when the shit starts.

  207. 207

    @HyperIon:

    So given that we don’t know how the locals feel

    Bullshit.

    If you want to play dumb, you’re going to have to do so by yourself.

    Feigning ignorance is not the move of someone confident in his argument.

  208. 208
    stuckinred says:

    @Cat: if?

  209. 209
    BR says:

    @Nick:

    Actually the market as of a week ago had priced in Libyan instability in the price of oil – it had stabilized. If nothing else, uncertainty and air strikes will cause speculators to drive the price up beyond where it was before. This was not a foregone conclusion.

  210. 210
    David Koch says:

    Can’t we just let Quaddaffyi commit mass murder. These people are brown, their lives are meaningless.

  211. 211
    Suffern ACE says:

    @Cat: The President has stated that he wants Qadaffi to leave the country. I don’t think it would be plausible to abstain in that vote.

  212. 212
    The Dangerman says:

    @celticdragonchick:

    …and the army and air force will leave his ass to twist in the wind if they think he is a lost cause.

    The turrets of tanks are spinning 180 degrees right now. Or whatever tank commanders do to show they are no longer in the fight or, at least, on Gaddafi’s side.

  213. 213

    @Bob Loblaw:

    It would help if people in this thread had something to actually say about Libya, circa 2011, instead of Iraq, circa 2002.

    Finally, something I can agree with Bob about.

    Fucking “Shia.”

    Morans.

  214. 214
    celticdragonchick says:

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/.....ml?hpid=z2

    A French foreign ministry official said France and Britain, with cooperation from one or two Arab countries, would be prepared to start carrying out a resolution as soon as it was approved, within a matter of hours. NATO planners this week presented alliance political leaders with final plans for various military options in Libya.

    The United States has five warships off the Libyan coast in the Mediterranean, and it was unclear what role, if any, U.S. forces would play in any initial enforcement actions. The French official, who spoke anonymously under conditions laid out by the foreign ministry, said Britain and France were prepared to act without U.S. direct participation, or with a limited U.S. role.

    Italy last week told NATO that its land bases could be used for enforcement of a no-fly zone.

  215. 215

    This is so fucking depressing.

    But hey, unemployed people and former union workers, there are thousands of new good government jobs now available with plenty of benefits. Kindly apply at the nearest military recruitment branch, now reopened as Uncle Sam’s Funtabulous Freedom Factory, where everything is free.

    (Unless you get shot and live or develop psychological problems, in which case, you will magically cost the government money again and be kicked to the curb to pull yourself up by your own bootstraps.)

    So there’s that.

  216. 216
    HyperIon says:

    @The Dangerman: The turrets of tanks are spinning 180 degrees right now.

    linky or are you just getting your war pron on?

  217. 217
    Cat says:

    @Nick:

    Funny how that changed as soon as we threaten military action.

    You do realize there is a distinction from “willing to protest” and willing to “fight in a rebellion” right?

  218. 218
    Stillwater says:

    @joe from lol: Feigning ignorance is not the move of someone confident in his argument.

    I can’t believe you’re actually saying this out loud, for everyone to hear. I mean, this is your tried and true pattern of argument, isn’t it?: independent of what the facts might show, appear confident and certain (CERTAIN!) in your determination of A COURSE OF ACTION.

    Only fools think like this. And you just became the standard bearer.

  219. 219

    @Brachiator: Ron Paul will bitch about it.

    Rand might too.

    Everyone else will STFU and break out the yellow ribbons.

  220. 220
    celticdragonchick says:

    @The Dangerman:

    The turrets of tanks are spinning 180 degrees right now. Or whatever tank commanders do to show they are no longer in the fight or, at least, on Gaddafi’s side.

    We will see.

    Whatever stupid fucking jokes the conservatives used to make about the French, there is no way in hell I would want to be in the targeting reticle of a Mirage 2000 or Rafale HUD. The French make some seriously nasty hardware.

  221. 221
    The Dangerman says:

    @HyperIon:

    linky or are you just getting your war pron on?

    I’m not sure how hypothesizing tank turrets spinning, or being taken out of the fight, ergo those tank people live and no ordnance is wasted on them, equals war pron; please, do tell.

  222. 222
    cs says:

    If anyone’s worried about the locals and what they think, here’s a reaction from Benghazi.

    If you haven’t been following twitter for this, check out #Libya for some other opinions on this.

  223. 223
    Cat says:

    @joe from Lowell:

    The proposal is for international forces to deny the government the ability to do that shelling.

    No its not. Unless you mean the government bombing or you interpret the no fly resolution very broadly to mean they are able to do air strikes against Gadaffi Loyalists and Mercenary positions.

    Which is a lot more then a ‘no fly zone’ and is that mission creep everyone is warning against.

  224. 224
    David Koch says:

    If only Khaddafyy were dumping raw sewage and chemicals into a river, then I would support intervention.

  225. 225
    Jay B. says:

    @joe from Lowell:

    So, no, pointing out that we helped the 1963 coup does not mean we helped Saddam come to power.

    Holy shit that’s dense. The CIA backed his assassination attempt of Quasim. The Baathists had a successful coup in 1963, then there was some internal dissension and they sent Saddam to prison. He escaped, there was another coupe (Baathist on Baathist), he became second in command to Al-Bakar and positioned himself to take over.

    You can say those chain of events didn’t start with CIA involvement, but that would be wrong. But even if you didn’t believe that there is some correlation between the CIA involvement and Saddam’s eventual power grab, it’s pretty easy to point out that it was the law of unintended consequence in action. The CIA wanted Quasim gone. He soon was gone. And shortly, Saddam became entrenched as the man behind the throne, and then was in power and we helped arm him against our then-common enemy Iran.

    Likewise, we are, for all intents and purposes, encouraging a coup in Libya. To what end? Who comes out of this with power? Will things be better or worse for people? There are tribal loyalties in play. Whose side wins? Does anyone know?

    Maybe since no one, at all, seems to have an idea, the law of unintended consequences has no role at all. Because nobody knows what’s intended to happen in the first place.

  226. 226
    Gian says:

    @John Cole:

    as to Korea, Ike made it clear he’d be willing to go nuclear to end it. He campaigned in part on “I will go to Korea” which for the guy who ran the greatest invasion by sea since 1066…

    An often forgotten part of his military plan for the US was essential reliance on Nukes to protect what we now call the “homeland” and cutting back on other military spending.

    An often unknown fact about Teddy Roosevelt was that he resigned a job as asst secy of the navy to raise a volunteer army and go get shot at in cuba.

    today’s GOP is full od chickenshits who aren’t worthy of the legacy of their past – and it started with Ronnie

  227. 227
    Cat says:

    @Suffern ACE:

    The President has stated that he wants Qadaffi to leave the country. I don’t think it would be plausible to abstain in that vote.

    I wasn’t asked what was a plausible foreign policy for Obama, I was asked what *I* wanted.

  228. 228

    @Cat:

    How do you decide to get behind Rebels? How much of a critical mass must they have? Do they have to share your values?

    I don’t exactly have a “critical mass meter” or a number I can give you, but let’s say for the record that the situation before Ghadaffi brought in the mercs indicates that the rebels cleared the bar.

    As for “share your values,” that depends on how bad the regime they’re toppling is (I’d take a stability-seeking monarchist comparable to Lee Kwan Yoo over an evil madman like Khaddaffi, for instance). Certainly, we shouldn’t get in bed with anyone who is flat-out opposed to our values (Stalin, religious fundies in Afghanistan) unless there is a severe threat to our well-being.

  229. 229
    stuckinred says:

    @cs: Oh, how can we be SURE that this is real.

  230. 230

    @stuckinred:

    I think they can hit an airport!

    I think they can hit an armored column.

  231. 231
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    I hope if nothing else comes out of this mess, we can at least all eventually settle on a standardized spelling of Gaddafi’s name.

  232. 232
    David Koch says:

    @Cat: yes it is. it’s built into the resolution.

    to take all necessary measures, notwithstanding paragraph 9 of resolution 1970 (2011), to protect civilians and civilian populated areas under threat of attack in the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, including Benghazi… http://www.guardian.co.uk/worl.....resolution

    tanks and artie will be toast.

  233. 233
    stuckinred says:

    @Cat: Your pony is in the mail.

  234. 234
    celticdragonchick says:

    @cs:

    If anyone’s worried about the locals and what they think, here’s a reaction from Benghazi.

    They certainly seem happy. I would be too if I was a rebel and was just told my side gets the French Air Force, the RAF and whatever else goes along with them all for free.

  235. 235
    David Koch says:

    US out of UN — NOW!

    Bolton was right. Time to defund the UN!

  236. 236
    Alex S. says:

    @Just Some Fuckhead:

    Hehe….

    although…. that guy isn’t worth the hassle anymore.

  237. 237
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Cat:

    Why does everyone assume he speaks for the majority of Libyans? We can assume he speaks for the majority of rebels.

    Wow, that’s spectacularly dumb. Yes, it’s true, when there’s an ongoing civil war in a country, and the leader of the rebels says something, you can generally assume he’s speaking for a majority of the rebels.

    As other people have pointed out, Gaddafi has had to hire mercenaries to fight this battle because his own army refused to do it. And you’re still confused about how the majority in Libya might feel about it?

    We have had such a bad track record of meddling in the internal politics of countries that I’d think we’d want more then a few weeks to make decisions. This is coming down the line like a freight train.

    Massacres tend to be like that, yes. Given that Gaddafi’s army is made up of mercenary non-Libyans, the death toll when he wins is going to be very high, because they will have absolutely no qualms about killing people.

    If people want to argue that going in is, on balance, a bad idea, make that argument. Don’t argue that not going in is somehow morally neutral because we just don’t know what the people fighting Gaddafi’s mercenaries want.

  238. 238
    stuckinred says:

    @David Koch: arty not artie

  239. 239

    @Dennis SGMM:

    There’s a world of difference between advocating for better health care, better schools or better resources for the homeless and advocating that others should go into harm’s way.

    Says you. Isn’t that so wonderfully convenient? Everything you want done, you can advocate making people do or pay to do, but everything you don’t want done, it’s immoral to support without doing it yourself.

    So, since you want police services, I trust that you’re a cop? Hello?

    And you still don’t know what you’re talking about.

    I answered every question you asked, asshole.

    You can be as smug as you like but, you’re still advocating that real people on both sides, or no side at all, be killed (And they will be)so that you can feel that you’ve advanced the cause of freedom.

    I love this reasoning. We don’t need to actually think about whether helping the Libyan people overthrow their dictator will advance the cause of freedom. It’s all just, like, your opinion, man. In fact, the fact that I feel this action would advance the cause of freedom is a reason not to do it.

  240. 240
    David Koch says:

    BREAKING:

    FDL has just announced a boycott of French Fries.

  241. 241
    cat48 says:

    Egyptian soldiers are already on the ground; training Rebels and they’re supplying Rebels arms…

  242. 242
    celticdragonchick says:

    @Dennis SGMM:

    Wanted to let you know I sent some stuff to you by email. Hope you enjoy it :)

  243. 243
    Shadow's Mom says:

    Libyan foreign minister speaking now on Al Jazeera English in response to UN resolution. Basically, no comment without full text. Preliminary comment. Grateful for the 5 who abstained (china, russia, india, brazil, germany).

    Focusing on two elements

    1)Protection of civilians (welcomed)
    2)Integrity and unity of Libya (territorial sovereignity)

    Challenge before int’l community make sure separatist and rebels will not get any support by arming them. Any country doing that is inviting libyans to kill each other.

    Finally, will deal positively with resolution and will reaffirm intention through protection of civilians everywhere in the country and intention of libyan armed forces and security police to protect the civilians and ensure medical and food supplies. [Note: AJE has documented Gaddafi forces conducting air strikes on civilians] We will cooperate as we said before to secretary general of UN. We sent letter to SG of UN to give assurances we care about our people and territorial unity of country. Thank you. leaves/comes back

    Regarding ceasefire, we told SG that we are ready immediately to do that, we need to talk to someone to agree on technicalities of the decision as there are a lot of technical details to that decision.

    More: We are still insisting on need to have fact finding mission here as soon as possible. If int’l community cares about civilians, then they should get committee on ground as soon as possible.
    Listened to Gaddafi threatening to search in every closet. Now Deputy Foreign Minister says will deal positively. AJE is saying DFM failed to mention war crimes /crimes against humanity (basis for resolution)

    WSJ is reporting the Egypt has started sending arms across the border to the Libyan revolutionaries

  244. 244
    cs says:

    @celticdragonchick:

    I think you’d be thrilled too if you were a resident of that city and you had thought your near future was going to be days and possibly weeks of urban warfare at the hands of an army which has shown very little mercy of late.

    The video gave me goosebumps. I think we did the right thing. Your mileage may vary.

  245. 245

    you’re still advocating that real people on both sides, or no side at all, be killed

    You’re advocating the real people on both sides, or no side at all, be killed, too, in this ongoing war.

    You just want the ratios of which side gets killed to be a little different, and to keep your hands clean.

    You aren’t making an aregument based on killing people. You’re arguing that we should do nothing to change what all the killing results in.

  246. 246
    BR says:

    @joe from Lowell:

    I have a much simpler complaint. Our action will directly lead to harder economic times for regular folks here at home (via higher oil prices).

  247. 247
    Jay B. says:

    @Dave:

    And how does it help the rebels? Really? I’d think that’s pretty obvious.

    Sure, it helps them gain power. Do you think they’ll be looked upon as Western puppets at that point or as liberators? Jesus, we aided the Bosnian Muslims (eventually) and that gained us exactly zero credibility with the Islamic world at large, even if it was the right thing to do. How does the reliance on Western military forces (or even Arab League) help bolster the rebels’ legitimacy?

    You also, amazingly, wrote:

    So your solution is what? Map out every scenario and have a plan for everything before you start?

    Yes! I think when bombing the fuck out of a country (as you’re proposing — even their tanks and guns — instead of ensuring the Libyan Air Force doesn’t bomb from above) SHOULD require, at the very least, a detailed understanding of what we’re doing and why and to whom. Or in your terms, mapping out all potential scenarios. Jesus Christ, man.

  248. 248
    stuckinred says:

    @David Koch: The great middle east expert Siun seems to be sticking to “nothing but the facts” on the NFZ. If the resistance loses her, what’s next?

  249. 249
    David Koch says:

    @stuckinred: I was talking about Artie Khadaffy (the Colonel’s nephew). Btw, how is it Quaddafie never made general?

  250. 250
    celticdragonchick says:

    @cat48:

    Egyptian soldiers are already on the ground; training Rebels and they’re supplying Rebels arms…

    Not a surprise. We may see Egyptian armoured units actually advancing towards Tobruk and Benghazi now that they have UN sanction. The Rebels could use that.

  251. 251

    @Cat:

    Why does everyone assume he speaks for the majority of Libyans?

    Please, for God’s sake, google “Libya mercenaries.”

    I’m begging you here.

  252. 252
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Cat:

    You do realize there is a distinction from “willing to protest” and willing to “fight in a rebellion” right?

    That choice was taken from them a couple of weeks ago. Unless you have a time machine so you can go back and change those events, that horse left the barn long ago.

  253. 253
    celticdragonchick says:

    @cs:

    I think you’d be thrilled too if you were a resident of that city and you had thought your near future was going to be days and possibly weeks of urban warfare at the hands of an army which has shown very little mercy of late.

    I would tend to agree.

  254. 254
    Suffern ACE says:

    @David Koch: Well, we can agree on that. I believe that people should stop insisting that a “No Fly Zone” has been declared and that that will lead to greater involvement. Permission has been granted for that next step from the beginning.

  255. 255
    Cat says:

    @joe from Lowell:

    I don’t exactly have a “critical mass meter” or a number I can give you, but let’s say for the record that the situation before Ghadaffi brought in the mercs indicates that the rebels cleared the bar.
    __
    As for “share your values,” that depends on how bad the regime they’re toppling is (I’d take a stability-seeking monarchist comparable to Lee Kwan Yoo over an evil madman like Khaddaffi, for instance). Certainly, we shouldn’t get in bed with anyone who is flat-out opposed to our values (Stalin, religious fundies in Afghanistan) unless there is a severe threat to our well-being.

    Having a ‘if X happens it means they have a critical mass’ is fine, I wasn’t looking for a number or whatever, just what you think is a ‘critical mass’ as it were.

    The mercenary thing is a good point, but I’m wary as using that because I’m not aware of any mass defections of the military to the Rebels. If the military was defecting in major numbers to the rebels I would expect them have the hardware to fight back, rather then having to have collections for weapons to help supply their troops.

    You lose me in the second paragraph though. I’m not very thrilled with being part of oppressing people less in lieu of freedom.

  256. 256
    Canadian Observer says:

    Who has killed and tortured the most innocent people in the last decade:

    A) Al Qaeda

    B) Kim Jong Il

    C) Mahmoud Ahmadenijad

    D) Mummar Ghadaffi

    E) Millitary actions by the American Empire.

    Answer? E!

    The biggest threat to world peace is the American Empire, not nationalist dictators.

  257. 257
    The Sheriff's A Ni- says:

    @BR: It was going up regardless. Gadaffi’s hegemony in Libya’s broken, even if he did re-take Benghazi he was looking at a long-term insurrection and relying on paying off mercenaries with a dwindling checking account. Somalia on the Mediterranean would’ve become a matter of if and not when.

  258. 258
    El Cid says:

    @joe from Lowell: There’s always a need for whatever evidence you can gather. There is a problem in that governments pressing for war / military action will portray that opinion as favorable based on any evidence.

    In addition, there’s the question of a generic intervention and what is actually done. If there is a really great and soundly based assessment (and not optimistic cheerleading) that whatever list of targets like airstrips and craft and so forth can be taken out with only typical amounts of collateral damage, then popular opposition calls for intervention may not change post-intervention.

    But it’s already been made a foreign conflict in the civil war in a major sense: Qaddafi clearly brought in foreign (presumably hired) mercenaries to fight against his own population.

    A civil war is a civil war, and it is that now, but a lot of Libyans are going to remember that.

    Still, though, divisions of not just loyalties but regional “tribal” power centers seems like it will be a big factor whether or not Qaddafi were to fall. It’s pretty clear to everyone watching that it’s the eastern ‘third’ of Libya which is the base of opposition to Qaddafi, while areas of the West much less so — and the “tribal” (mainly ethnic or ethno-cultural) populations vary from those who are interested in a central government, those who are going to focus more on power for their areas, and even those who never have cared much about the borders drawn around Libya, even though a good deal of them were set more or less before the Europeans. The Tuareg have seen themselves as inhabiting a general area they travel through. It gets pretty messy at the Libyan / Chadian border.

    And of course Qaddafi’s from the center region of tribal groups from whom he gets his surname.

    Hell, it wasn’t even a clean division for the Ottomans, because various movements including the Muslim scholar/monarchy which, well, led to the king whom Qaddafi overthrew.

    Or maybe that all means nothing, and there’s not the same sectarian divisions like Iraq, the Shi’a and Sunna ethnically cleansing their different areas of Baghdad, reinforced to this day. So maybe a reasonably unified state is possible.

    I think it’s very that if Qaddafi falls / is removed, it will be a good deal messier than the more unified states of Tunisia and Egypt. Maybe precisely because of the changes wrought by having to fight an actual war.

  259. 259
    David Koch says:

    ♫♪ All we are saying…. is give genocide a chance…. ♪♫

  260. 260
    El Cid says:

    @David Koch: Genocide?

  261. 261

    @Stillwater: I matter waaaaaaayyyyy too much to you. I have a pattern?

    Whatever, man. Let me know if you manage to gin up any sort of an argument.

    I won’t be holding my breath.

  262. 262
    cat48 says:

    @celticdragonchick:

    I bet we see their pilots, per guy who called msnbc; stated not good for US to do anything but backup at this point due to our History of attacking Arabs. France, England, Egypt, & another Arab country to do NO FLY at this point.

  263. 263
    Cat says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    That choice was taken from them a couple of weeks ago. Unless you have a time machine so you can go back and change those events, that horse left the barn long ago.

    Are you being obtuse or do you really not know how human warfare works???

  264. 264
    stuckinred says:

    @Canadian Observer: Aw motherfucker I thought we lost you.

  265. 265
    The Dangerman says:

    @Canadian Observer:

    Who has killed and tortured the most innocent people in the last decade?

    Wouldn’t it be more intellectually honest to ask that question over the time period since Obama was inaugurated? Yeah, Bush was a fuck-up; on behalf of all Americans….

  266. 266
    Canadian Observer says:

    How about a no fly zone and some air strikes in Baharain?

    Oh, wait….that oppressive government is being propped up by a Satellite State of the American Empire (Saudi Arabia) so THAT’S ok!

  267. 267
    Stillwater says:

    @Canadian Observer: Oh man, that’s a real buzz killer. Specially since we were all hopped up to use American Power to good ends for a change! Flowers and all that.

  268. 268
    Canadian Observer says:

    Or how about a no fly zone over the West Bank and Gaza?

    Israel is committing genocide there as we speak! Well given Obama’s treatment of Manning et al. I don’t think the US are in any position to lecture Libya about human rights, hmm?

  269. 269
    Alex S. says:

    @BR:

    In the short term you are probably right, however, also in the short term, oil prices just sank because of the earthquake in Japan. In the long term, oil prices might decrease a little, simply because the West will now gain more access to Libyan oil.

  270. 270
    The Sheriff's A Ni- says:

    @Canadian Observer: And when Gaddafi rolled over Benghazi like the Warsaw ghetto, that’s all well and good as long as its not the EEEEEEEEEEEEVIL AMERICANS doing the killing, right?

  271. 271
    stuckinred says:

    @Canadian Observer: How bout a no-fly zone on your sorry ass?

  272. 272
    Stillwater says:

    @joe from Lowell: But you didn’t refute my one specific claim: that you’re a fool. I think that stands!

  273. 273

    @Jay B.:

    Or in your terms, mapping out all potential scenarios.

    Or, in other other words, doing what we utterly failed to do when we invaded Iraq.

    I’m always reminded of the book Gen. Zinni co-authored w/Tom Clancy that came out after the War started. The last chapter, in fact, is about his utter fury at the way the war was fought, including the tidbit that the Pentagon had drawn up a detailed, complex, and costly plan for securing the peace. It was, at least according to Zinni, a plan based not just ont he best intel we had (recall we had people embedded for some time after the first Gulf War), but also on civillian expert opinion on the issues that might arise in the country if the US invaded.

    Rumsfield had the plan tossed out, and the one we all know and hate put in it’s place. It’s a clever and ugly example of how any military project, no matter how lightweight it appears to be on the surface, must be well-plotted and planned to within an inch of it’s life before troops are committed.

    It’s also my sinking feeling that this isn’t one of those plans.

  274. 274
    cat48 says:

    @Canadian Observer:

    Obama, of course!

  275. 275

    @Cat:

    Which is a lot more then a ‘no fly zone’ and is that mission creep everyone is warning against.

    It’s not mission creep; it’s in the resolution.

  276. 276
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Cat:

    Are you being obtuse or do you really not know how human warfare works???

    You seem to have a strange illusion that Libya is not currently at war. Peaceful protest is not possible for Libyans at this point, unless you want to watch as Gaddafi’s mercenaries massacre thousands of people.

    It sounds like you’re the one who’s a little confused about how human warfare works.

  277. 277
    Nick says:

    @Canadian Observer:

    Who has killed and tortured the most innocent people in the last decade:

    China

  278. 278
    Canadian Observer says:

    And why are we trusting the corporate western media and the lying US government in the way they portray Libya to us?

    These are the same people who say Hugo Chavez is a brutal dictator, and who say Saddam had WMDs.

  279. 279
    BR says:

    @The Sheriff’s A Ni-: @Alex S.:

    It’s going to be some time before we gain access to Libyan oil. What’s more likely in the short term is Gaddafi damages his oil infrastructure in a move of desperation. And no, oil prices had stabilized as I mentioned above – what was going on in Libya had pushed prices up about $10 / barrel and they were steady until the situation in Japan drove prices down temporarily.

  280. 280
    stuckinred says:

    @Canadian Observer:Canada will contribute six CF-18 fighter jets to help enforce a no-fly zone in Libya, sources have told CTV News.

    “The Canadian government has made the decision late today that Canada will send six CF-18 fighter jets to join the Americans, the British and the French and other countries that will participate in imposing a no-fly zone,” CTV’s Ottawa Bureau Chief Robert Fife reported Thursday.

    asshole

  281. 281
    celticdragonchick says:

    Wish everyone here a Happy St Pats. Check back with you all later :)

  282. 282
    Canadian Observer says:

    @Nick

    China is not an expansionist power and hasn’t invaded a foreign country for centuries, unlike another country I could name.

  283. 283
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Canadian Observer:

    You sound way too enthusiastic about watching the upcoming massacres. I don’t really like standing by watching genocide happen, but whatever floats your boat, I guess.

  284. 284
    PurpleGirl says:

    So, are we paying for this or what? Is the UN paying us? Is the Arab League paying us? Or are we going to borrow to pay for it?

  285. 285
    The Sheriff's A Ni- says:

    @Canadian Observer: When do you start your Holocaust denial act?

  286. 286
    Canadian Observer says:

    Did I say I support my nation’s status as an American Satellite?

    Yes yes, I know we play Poland to your USSR.

  287. 287

    @Canadian Observer:

    And why are we trusting the corporate western media and the lying US government in the way they portray Libya to us?

    Pray tell, is al Jazeera corporate western media, or is it the US government?

  288. 288
    stuckinred says:

    @Canadian Observer: Find some fucking Canadian blog to run your mouth on.

  289. 289

    @Canadian Observer:

    China is not an expansionist power and hasn’t invaded a foreign country for centuries…

    Your pretense of knowledge about politics is but a dream within a dream.

  290. 290
    The Sheriff's A Ni- says:

    @Canadian Observer: They see you trollin’, they hatin’.

  291. 291
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    @stuckinred: Dude, can you go yell at the clouds or something?

  292. 292
    Bob Loblaw says:

    @joe from Lowell:

    It’s odd how on the one hand you’re arguing that the Libyan army has defected en masse and Qaddafi has no internal support, and on the other saying that the poor outmatched rebels are getting obliterated by same “fearsome and oh so competent” Libyan army.

    It’s almost like you’re not arguing in good faith. But in this thread, who isn’t? It has been an eye-opener.

    I’m still looking to see if we can find a single person willing to define what the actual mission in Libya is altogether. Is it regime change or population protection? What if Qaddafi retreats back west and doesn’t move on Benghazi? Or does the French and Jordanian air forces clear the road now to Tripoli?

  293. 293
    stuckinred says:

    @Just Some Fuckhead: who asked you?

  294. 294
    Alex S. says:

    @BR:

    Exactly what I said…. Gadhafi will only destroy the oil infrastructure if he is about to lose… at which point the growing security will decrease prices. And he will not be able to destroy everything. The wells in the south-west, at the border to Niger, are in the control of Berber tribes. So far they have been loyal to Gadhafi, but not if he is going to destroy their source of income.

    @stuckinred:

    ….must…resist….fly jokes…

  295. 295

    @Canadian Observer:

    China is not an expansionist power and hasn’t invaded a foreign country for centuries…

    Uh, Tibet? Hello?

  296. 296
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    @stuckinred: Christ, you’re worse than Stuck, getting yerself all bent out of shape over what random pseudonymous commenters say on the intertoobz.

  297. 297
    Joe Beese says:

    Wouldn’t it be more intellectually honest to ask that question over the time period since Obama was inaugurated?

    In 2010, Obama killed 2,000 Muslims in Afghanistan alone.

    He’s getting up into 9/11-size numbers there.

  298. 298

    @Bob Loblaw:

    It’s odd how on the one hand you’re arguing that the Libyan army has defected en masse and Qaddafi has no internal support, and on the other saying that the poor outmatched rebels are getting obliterated by same “fearsome and oh so competent” Libyan army.

    I’m on my knees. I’m begging you people: Google “Libya mercenaries.”

    Seriously, I’m about to have a stroke here.

  299. 299
    Canadian Observer says:

    @joe from Lowell

    Tibet has been part of China for centuries. It wasn’t controlled by the central government during the Warlord Period, but than neither was Manchuria or Inner Mongolia.

  300. 300
    stuckinred says:

    @Just Some Fuckhead: How do you know I’m bent out of shape? I’m watching the hoop and petting my dog. If it bothers you just scroll on.

    eta

    this is the “dude” you need to be barkin at

    “I’m on my knees. I’m begging you people: Google “Libya mercenaries.”

    Seriously, I’m about to have a stroke here.”

  301. 301
    Canadian Observer says:

    Oh and it’s worth noting that Nationalist China also claimed Tibet, but nobody raised a peep about it until a government that wasn’t an American puppet took control. Hmmm….

  302. 302
    The Sheriff's A Ni- says:

    @Canadian Beijing Observer: So do you get paid to post by the yuan or is the government threatening to shoot your mother if you stop posting?

  303. 303
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    @stuckinred: Take yer own medicine, fool.

  304. 304

    @Canadian Observer:

    Tibet has been part of China for centuries.

    And Kuwait is really supposed to be a province of Iraq.

    Whatever, man.

  305. 305
    BR says:

    @Alex S.:

    The problem is that in the longer term, it’s not like we’re going to suddenly have lots of stability, working infrastructure, and go gangbusters pumping oil from Libya. Take a look at Iraq. It’s been almost a decade and it still has anemic oil output, despite the regular claims that it has the resources to pump 15 mbd and that any day now they’ll be pumping that much.

  306. 306
    Joe Beese says:

    @Bob Loblaw:

    I’m still looking to see if we can find a single person willing to define what the actual mission in Libya is altogether.

    You go to war with the long-term plan you have – not the long-term plan you might want or wish to have a later time.

  307. 307
    Canadian Observer says:

    @joe from Lowell–

    Why did Nationalist China, including the KMT Party in Taiwan, claim Tibet is part of China to this very day? Hmm?

    It may have been taken immorally and brutally, but so was California and Texas, but nobody talks about “Free California!”

  308. 308
    The Sheriff's A Ni- says:

    Anyone want to take bets that our ‘Canadian’ friend has an IP address from downtown Shanghai? Either that or are Canadian Maoists not as rare a breed as we thought?

  309. 309
    Canadian Observer says:

    My IP address is from Ontario, ask a mod.

    Funny you can’t address my arguments so you engage in childish ad hominems.

  310. 310
    Nick says:

    @Canadian Observer:

    Tibet has been part of China for centuries.

    snd the Ireland was part of Britain for centuries, whats the point?

  311. 311

    @Canadian Observer:

    Why did Nationalist China, including the KMT Party in Taiwan, claim Tibet is part of China to this very day? Hmm?

    Because the Chinese ambition to control Tibet is a feature of Chinese, not Maoist, political culture.

    It may have been taken immorally and brutally…

    OK, so much for “China is not an expansionist power and hasn’t invaded a foreign country for centuries…”

    which was the claim you made.

  312. 312
    stuckinred says:

    @The Sheriff’s A Ni-: Don’t mention him, it upsets people.

  313. 313
    Canadian Observer says:

    OK, so much for “China is not an expansionist power and hasn’t invaded a foreign country for centuries…”

    And it’s entirely true. Tibet is no more “foreign” to China than California or Hawaii is to the United States, and it’s been part of China for “centuries” as I said.

    So, no, they’re not an expansionist power. The US is, and a dangerous one.

  314. 314
    HyperIon says:

    @joe from Lowell:

    Google “Libya mercenaries.”

    I did (About 2,250,000 results) and I don’t get your point. Perhaps you’d care to elaborate.

    Also….if the rebels are being bombed and attacked by tanks, how do the mercenaries figure in this? The folks ID’ed as mercenaries that have appeared on TV seem to be pretty clueless, as in “we came for the money but are not trained fighters”.

    Are there actual professionally-trained mercenaries that can drive tanks and fly planes?

  315. 315
    The Sheriff's A Ni- says:

    @Canadian Observer: You’re pro-Gadaffi and anti-Free Tibet. Why would I need to argue with someone obviously for oppression?

  316. 316
    Alex S. says:

    @BR:

    Well, Iraq was (is) a fuck-up. The 7 years of continued inner turmoil didn’t help, of course, in addition to Rumsfeld’s strategy to do as little as possible.
    Before the UN resolution, Obama actually made a tactical mistake when he said that “Gadhafi has to go”. It more or less assured that the US, the UK and France would not see any oil at all. Obama probably hoped that his endorsement would lead to the immediate collapse of the regime. Now, he more or less had to back it up… Anyway, it can probably be assumed that the new government, whatever it may be, will be thankful for the help and unless the US is involved too much, there should be some economic gain, since everything is better than zero. If, admittedly a big if, everything goes well, native Libyans will rebuild the infrastructure and troops of the Arab League keep the peace during the transition period.

  317. 317
    Bob Loblaw says:

    @joe from Lowell:

    And if you hadn’t used the exact words “Libyan state’s military” (in post #120) in reference to who is attacking who, I might be inclined to take you more seriously. You plainly have no idea what or who actually constitutes the pro-Qaddafi forces, let alone what it would take to get them to lay down their arms. What corps are still in league? What tribe are they from? Who trained them? How committed are they to the Qaddafi family?

    Or are some of those Chadian mercs flying the warplanes too that the NFZ is being put in place against?

  318. 318
    El Cid says:

    @Alex S.: I don’t think Libya produced that much oil, though it was about 1/3rd of the oil supplied to Italy.

    Particularly if a number of OPEC suppliers wished to make up the difference, it wouldn’t be difficult.

    @Canadian Observer: Bahrain’s and Yemen’s murders of peaceful and innocent civilians — including that long-time favorite of shooting mourners — is no less brutal nor evil than in Libya, but doesn’t yet approach the scale of death.

    That’s not for lack of trying: Bahraini forces opened fire and shot hundreds of protesters just yesterday. That’s clearly an attempt to slaughter civilians which also falls under RTP.

    Shooting down civilians is shooting down civilians, whether Qaddafi or Saddam does it, or your kindly elder neighbor who has a bunch of armed cousins who feel like doing so. Using tanks and artillery heightens the effectiveness, but not the intent.

    Bahrain and Yemen aren’t the caricatures of totalitarian leadership that Qaddafi or Mubarak were. Bahrain’s monarchy really has carried out extensive liberalizing reforms over the past decade. That’s comparatively: compared to the prior rulers, and compared to other nations of the region.

    It is, however, still an authoritarian monarchy that will brook no challenge to its rule.

    The compromise proposals offered to protesters actually were pretty good — that the National Assembly for once would have actual legislative authority. All things considered, though; there’s no reason the country’s people shouldn’t be demanding even more.

    And there really is a loyalist population.

    The particular opposition faced in Bahrain and Yemen haven’t turned into a war between the government and much of the population yet.

    But who knows? It’s possible that in certain areas the Shi’a majority — which is 75% of the population, has no role in gov’t, and generally scares the shit out of the regime — will forcibly resist the Saudi troops arriving to back the Bahraini regime.

  319. 319
    Canadian Observer says:

    I’m not “pro-Gadaffi”, I’m anti-American Empire. The Empire is a far bigger threat to world civilisation and peace than Gadaffi or the Chinese.

  320. 320
    Canadian Observer says:

    Ex., the United States has 700+ military bases occupying foreign countries.

    China has ZERO military bases in foreign countries.

  321. 321
    Nick says:

    @Canadian Observer:

    China is not an expansionist power and hasn’t invaded a foreign country for centuries, unlike another country I could name.

    No, they don’t need to.

  322. 322
    El Cid says:

    @HyperIon: I think the mercenaries’ role was most significant in the very beginning, presumably when Qaddafi thought that the rebels were capable of very little. I don’t know, haven’t heard, but I wasn’t thinking that they’d be playing much of a role now.

  323. 323
  324. 324
    The Sheriff's A Ni- says:

    @Canadian Observer: You’re claiming innocence on Gadaffi’s part, and are vehemently against the UN intervention. An intervention that the French, British and Arab League are leading, by the by. That makes you pro-Gadaffi, no matter how many mental gymnastics you make about it.

    But Its OK If You’re An Anti-American, right?

  325. 325
    Canadian Observer says:

    @Nick

    Canada doesn’t have an Empire, it’s merely a satellite to yours. Just like Poland was to the USSR.

  326. 326
    Merkin says:

    @Canadian Observer:

    I’m anti-American Empire.

    Well it’s a good thing the Americans aren’t leading this no-fly zone.

  327. 327
    Canadian Observer says:

    @The Sheriff’s A Ni- –

    So I’m “objectively pro-Saddam”, that’s what you’re saying?

  328. 328
    El Cid says:

    @joe from Lowell: It’s one thing to believe that Tibet should have the status of an independent nation. It never has been. Unfair or not, China did not as a nation-state expand by ‘taking’ the territory of Tibet. It’s Chinese territory as internationally recognized.

  329. 329
    Nick says:

    @Canadian Observer:

    Canada doesn’t have an Empire

    Well it looks like they’re trying to create one by sending planes to Libya, amirite?

  330. 330
    The Sheriff's A Ni- says:

    @Canadian Observer: I worded that horribly wrong, and promptly wound up with my edited comment in moderation. I don’t want to throw those who have legitimate arguments about intervention in the wrong pool.

    But you’re the one who went above and beyond claiming he’s being framed by the American media, which apparently includes Al Jazeera. That does pretty much put you in Gadaffi’s corner.

    But again: Its OK If You’re An Anti-American!

  331. 331
    Doug in Canada says:

    I think opponents of stopping Ghadafi (and that’s what opposition to using US forces in Libya is) are forgetting some history: the US went into Afghanistan to get the people behind 9/11. Then, at the behest of the worst president ever and his war crazed advisors, the focus, and the war, moved to Iraq, which had nothing to do with 9/11. Afghanistan, forgotten and ignored, went on being a corrupt, feudal gathering place for true terrorists. The first war: good. The second war: bad (and illegal and, while it got rid of Saddam, left us with a becoming corrupt government that is leaning toward Iran…good job!). Stopping Ghadafi will be a good war, sanctioned not only by the many Libyans who oppose him, but also the Arab League and the UN Security Council. And how is it in America’s interests? Does America want to stop being despised by millions of people in Muslim and Arab countries (there are more Muslims than Arabs, BTW)? To earn some respect from those who used to think that America stood for freedom and justice? I think those are good reasons.

  332. 332
    HyperIon says:

    @El Cid opined:

    I think the mercenaries’ role was most significant in the very beginning

    So any ideas why i need to goggle “libyan mercenaries”?

  333. 333
    The Dangerman says:

    @Doug in Canada:

    Does America want to stop being despised by millions of people in Muslim and Arab countries (there are more Muslims than Arabs, BTW)?

    America is and will be despised until the Palestinian problem is resolved. Nonetheless, perhaps incrementally less despised would be a fine thing.

  334. 334
    Joe Beese says:

    @Canadian Observer:

    the United States has 700+ military bases occupying foreign countries. China has ZERO military bases in foreign countries.

    Yeah, but we’re doing it for FREEDOM.

    I don’t know if you’re from Canada or China. But your failure to understand this obvious distinction proves that you’re not American.

  335. 335

    I guess one thing the rebels agree about for sure, is a real serious dislike of Qhaddafi. Since they’re willing to take real risks in opposition – I’d say they’re serious about that. The Question becomes where from there?

    Revolutions are messy affairs and who rises to the top isn’t neccesarily reflective of common will or mean that there is a common will. Some of you are real aware of the diversity of views within the Democratic Party – this would be that on steroids even ignoring those who’ve benefitted from the current regime.

    I’m real sure that things will be real messy in Libya and I’d laugh at anybody who proposes to predict who the winners will be or how they’ll act. That, of course, leaves you with the question of over all benefit of military action and its extent. It sure isn’t as though ordinance isn’t being expended right now.

    From the end of the Battle of the Bulge through Gulf War and Iraq it has been shown that absent air cover a tank is just a big fat target and no place to be. It is also a pretty intrusive act to start in on them. I’m glad it isn’t my responsibility to make this call because I can see all kinds of ways this doesn’t stay particularly limitted.

  336. 336
    Joe Beese says:

    Some priceless hypocrisy on display from the Secretary of State…

    … Mrs. Clinton said Thursday that the Western powers had little choice but to provide critical military backing for the rebels. “We want to support the opposition who are standing against the dictator,” she told an applauding audience in Tunisia on Thursday. “This is a man who has no conscience and will threaten anyone in his way.”

    But not the dictator whose foreign minister just announced that the regime would “cut off any finger” raised against it.

    That dictator and we have an understanding.

  337. 337
    Cat says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    Peaceful protest is not possible for Libyans at this point, unless you want to watch as Gaddafi’s mercenaries massacre thousands of people.

    Yeah, because there are only 2 choices, protest or take up arms, when your country is in the midst of a civil war.

    /rolls eyes.

  338. 338
    priscianus jr says:

    @Martin:

    Wait, we’re calling ourselves the U.N. now? I thought we were the U.S.

    My impression is that it’s John that’s calling the U.N. the U.S. That would be on analogy with Bush I and Bush II, but I don’t think it’s so this time.

  339. 339
    Cat says:

    @Joe Beese:

    That dictator and we have an understanding.

    Wow, seriously? This has been US foreign policy since as long as I can remember. You really do have ODS.

  340. 340
    cs says:

    Leaving Tibet aside for a moment, here’s a couple of examples of China’s peaceful policies in this past century.

    Sino-Vietnamese War – China invades Vietnam, largely because they were pissed that Vietnam invaded Cambodia and forced the Khmer Rouge out of power.

    Sino-Indian War – China invades India over a border dispute.

    There’s also their border war with the USSR, which China started with an ambush, and the invasion of Korea during the Korean War. Saying China has been non-aggressive for centuries isn’t remotely true.

  341. 341
    virag says:

    @celticdragonchick:

    the nots would be fine. but it would be a first.

  342. 342
    srv says:

    I predict Libya will turn out slightly better than Iraq. Maybe only 100K dead in two years.

  343. 343
    Nick says:

    @virag:

    the nots would be fine. but it would be a first.

    Panama, Kosovo

  344. 344
    Person of Choler says:

    Noooo blooood for oooyyul!

  345. 345
    virag says:

    @Nick:

    now THAT’S funny. you should take your act to the carson show.

  346. 346
    srv says:

    @cs:

    invasion of Korea during the Korean War

    That’s an interesting way to look at it.

  347. 347
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Cat:

    Yeah, because there are only 2 choices, protest or take up arms, when your country is in the midst of a civil war.

    Uh, what other options are you picturing people have during a civil war other than fighting or getting the fuck out? It’s not like you can yell out the window and tell Gaddafi’s mercenaries to keep it down because you have to work in the morning.

  348. 348
    Andrew says:

    It’s call the United Nation, you dope.

    And it worked in Bosnia and Kuwait, so don’t be a knee jerk pansy ass jerkoff.

    Maybe we could send Mohomar some flowers, and say pretty please?

  349. 349
    Joe Beese says:

    @srv:

    I predict Libya will turn out slightly better than Iraq.

    No, dude, I swear… it’s gonna be totally different this time.

    This time we know what we’re doing.

  350. 350
    cs says:

    @srv:

    Based on their treaty with the North Koreans, this was perhaps a justified invasion, though the residents of Seoul weren’t too thrilled at their arrival.

    But, justified or not, it was still an intervention into tha affairs of another country and therefore should be mentioned in the context of their other military moves in the 20th century.

  351. 351

    @HyperIon:

    I did (About 2,250,000 results) and I don’t get your point. Perhaps you’d care to elaborate.

    OK. So much of the Libyan military has defected that the government had to bring in mercenaries to fight for them.

    Also….if the rebels are being bombed and attacked by tanks, how do the mercenaries figure in this?

    As infantry/security goons.

  352. 352
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Canadian Observer:

    Somebody should probably tell Germany, Italy, Japan, Brazil and Spain that they’ve been conquered by the US and are not actually independent countries. They don’t seem to have noticed it yet since they keep on governing their own countries and holding elections and stuff.

  353. 353

    @Bob Loblaw:

    And if you hadn’t used the exact words “Libyan state’s military” (in post #120) in reference to who is attacking who, I might be inclined to take you more seriously.

    No, you wouldn’t, and I’m not interested in playing the little semantic games you’ve decided to hide behind.

  354. 354
    Suffern ACE says:

    @Mnemosyne: There’s that option of being rounded up for your own protection. Or shot for helping the other side.

  355. 355
    Mr Stagger Lee says:

    How many f.u.’s (Friedman Units) will it take for the US to do the job, declare mission accomplished then go home?

  356. 356

    @Canadian Observer:

    Canada doesn’t have an Empire, it’s merely a satellite to yours. Just like Poland was to the USSR.

    Hence, Canada’s full-throated support, backed up by troops, for the Iraq invasion.

    Oh, wait…

    @HyperIon:

    So any ideas why i need to goggle “libyan mercenaries”?

    Because you seem baffled at how an unpopular government that has seen a large part of its military defect to the rebels could continue to wage war.

  357. 357
    srv says:

    @cs:

    But, justified or not, it was still an intervention into tha affairs of another country

    Me thinks they had as much an invitation to the party as MacArthur did.

    And since MacArthur was clearly on record wanting to go farther than the Yalu River, it was as clear a Preventive War as any (pre-Bush definition, not the modern re-imagination).

  358. 358

    Me thinks they had as much an invitation to the party as MacArthur did.

    Mac had a UN resolution.

  359. 359
    Bob Loblaw says:

    @joe from Lowell:

    You’re right, asking you to actually put yourself on record and define the identities and positions of the forces involved in this civil war is just a silly semantic game I’m playing. Say something else about nebulous mercenaries. It’s been a real stitch so far.

    Your understanding of the situation extends about as far as “Qaddafi is bad! Let’s get rid of him!” Just cop to it and stop trying to domineer everybody. You look like a fool.

  360. 360
    cs says:

    @srv:

    You’re quite correct. The Chinese had their own defensive reasons as well as offensive ones. If I had been Mao, the thought of MacArthur on the border would have made me angry and nervous as well.

    But they didn’t stop at the 38th parallel. At that point, the justified counter attack becomes more of a pure invasion into a place that didn’t want them around. Probably the same could be said for MacArthur’s push northwards to the Yalu.

  361. 361
    Captain C says:

    @Joshua Norton: I would also disqualify Eisenhower on the grounds of Operation Ajax in Iraq and the Guatemala Coup the following year. I think he sent some advisors to Vietnam, also.

  362. 362
    Gus says:

    @Dennis SGMM:

    If you feel so strongly about it, go into Libya via Egypt or Algeria and put your ass on the line.

    Exactly. Form yourself an Abraham Lincoln brigade and go nuts.

  363. 363

    […] here we go again. See Jonathan Cole – “I’ll let you figure out how this is in our national interest and how entering […]

  364. 364
    Prasad says:

    Whatever decision has taken by the U.N. is absolutely correct

  365. 365
    crin says:

    Libya is string of city islands with nothing in between. The terrain is ideal for a no-fly zone and interdiction of the coastal highway and would easily stop Qaddafi from using air strikes and artillery against rebels and civilians. Then its a fair fight between the rebels and Qaddafi.

    Just War theory and such, see India’s intervention into the Bangladesh Liberation War, 1971.

  366. 366

    It does not surprise me that many of you like and support Colonel Qaddafi and want to see him win.

    It does surprise me that you pretend to want the bad guy to win because it costs too much money or you say you care about people or something.

    It does not surprise me that many of you support a tyrannical dictator who abuses people’s life, liberty, and property.

    It does surprise me that you don’t realize that you are wrong for doing so.

  367. 367
    Social Outcast says:

    It does not surprise me that many of you support a tyrannical dictator who abuses people’s life, liberty, and property.

    Dubya, is that you? This line takes me back to the internet of 2003. Good times…good times….

  368. 368
    Berial says:

    @A Conservative Teacher: Pathetic troll is pathetic, but now enjoys pie.

  369. 369
    virag says:

    @Nick:

    thousands of innocent dead might take issue with that.

  370. 370
    virag says:

    @Nick:

    thousands of innocent dead might take issue with that.

  371. 371

    If you can’t handle someone on the internet making smartass remarks or don’t have the ability to ignore them or deal with them, I have no idea how you function in society…But that’s your problem, and not mine, and I’m not going to let you make it mine.

    – John Cole, yesterday.

    So much for Mr. Thickskin.

  372. 372
    Mike in LA says:

    Hey, Uloborus, where are you now? You assured us that the US would not be enforcing the no-fly zone. Wrong much? Note to all the warmongers on here: funny how right now I hear from right wingers “we’re broke!” yet we always have money to bomb brown people on the other side of the world.

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