Just a Simple Arab League Action

Apparently this is what it looks like:

American and European forces intensified their barrage of Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi’s forces by air and sea on Sunday, a day after an initial American cruise missile barrage badly damaged Libyan air defenses, military officials said.

In a first assessment from Washington, Adm. Mike Mullen, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said the first day of “operations yesterday went very well.” Speaking to NBC’s “Meet the Press,” he said a no-flight zone over Libya to ground Colonel Qaddafi’s warplanes — a prime goal of the attacks — was “effectively” in place and that a loyalist advance on the eastern rebel stronghold of Benghazi had been halted.

American warplanes became more involved on Sunday, with B-2 stealth bombers, F-16 and F-15 fighter jets and Harrier attack jets flown by the Marine Corps striking at Libyan ground forces, air defenses and airfields, while Navy electronic warplanes, EA-18G Growlers, jammed Libyan radar and communications. British planes flew frequent bombing missions, and French forces remained heavily involved in patrol and airstrike missions near Benghazi, officials said.

And this is just priceless:

A day after a summit meeting in Paris set the military operation in motion, some Arab participants in the agreement expressed unhappiness with the way the strikes were unfolding. The former chairman of the Arab League, Amr Moussa, told Egyptian state media that he was calling for an emergency Arab League meeting to discuss the situation in the Arab world and particularly Libya.

“What is happening in Libya differs from the aim of imposing a no-fly zone, and what we want is the protection of civilians and not the bombardment of more civilians,” he said, referring to Libyan government claims that allied bombardment had killed dozens of civilians in and near Tripoli.

In assessing the results for the military mission so far, Admiral Mullen said the allies had made great progress toward their short-term military roles. “We hit a lot of targets, focused on his command and control, focused on his air defense, and actually attacked some of his forces on the ground in the vicinity of Benghazi,” Admiral Mullen told Fox News.

But it remained unclear just how those short-term military objectives — establishing a no-flight zone and protecting Libyan civilians, as mandated by United Nations Security Council — aligned with the political objectives of the Obama administration. Both Mr. Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton have said in recent days that Colonel Qaddafi must go.

No one could have predicted. Freedom bombs for everyone!

But it’s ok, though, because we have a coalition!






96 replies
  1. 1
    Evolved Deep Southerner says:

    Just here to see if commenting will fix the view in IE7. I have no opinion that hasn’t been done to death just today. Sorry.

  2. 2
    Evolved Deep Southerner says:

    Didn’t fix a damn thing. So doubly useless. Doubly sorry.

  3. 3
    Evolved Deep Southerner says:

    Actually, the second one did.

    And, yeah, first three comments. Even among this commentariat, Libya’s old news. We were overdue for some world policin’. Everybody understands this.

  4. 4
    Yutsano says:

    Arabs scream do something. We do something. Arabs scream that we did something. Sounds like normal discourse in the Middle East to me.

  5. 5
    Corner Stone says:

    And, oh great, we’re now supporting Akram Abdul-Wahab aka “The Butcher of Benghazi” *

    *”It was a matter of minutes and Gadhafi’s forces would have been in Benghazi,” said Akram Abdul-Wahab, a 20-year-old butcher in the city.

  6. 6
    eemom says:

    ah, another Libya thread.

    Can’t we haz thread about the circus at Quantico today, just for variety?

  7. 7

    Apparently, the Arab League walked back that statement later today.

  8. 8
    Yutsano says:

    @Corner Stone: You have issues with a well-trimmed camel steak or a nicely portioned lamb shank?

  9. 9
    FlipYrWhig says:

    On the other hand, note the source:

    “What is happening in Libya differs from the aim of imposing a no-fly zone, and what we want is the protection of civilians and not the bombardment of more civilians,” he said, referring to Libyan government claims that allied bombardment had killed dozens of civilians in and near Tripoli.

  10. 10
    Gozer says:

    I’m sure the autocrats in the Arab League care sooooo much about civilians.

  11. 11
    maya says:

    Well, it isn’t like we haven’t been there before.
    Some old campaign maps must still exist.

  12. 12
    salacious crumb says:

    BBC is reporting that smoke was seen coming from Gaddhafi’s residence. So much for Obama’s and Mullen’ assurance that this isnt regime change.

  13. 13
    JC says:

    There are lots of ways that this action can create something worse.

    So far though, the air capacity of el-Qaddafi is done. That’s good.

    We’ve prevented protesters from getting crushed. That is good.

  14. 14
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @eemom: Remember how Bradley Manning was reported to be happily watching Harold Ford on “Meet the Press”? What if Bradley Manning supports American military action in Libya?

  15. 15
    kdaug says:

    How can you reasonably expect to have an MIC if the ordinance is sitting in a depot?

  16. 16
    Chyron HR says:

    And yet we still haven’t sent in hundreds of thousands of troops to occupy Libya for a decade or more. But it’s exactly the same as Iraq because UNITED NATIONS IS A COALITION OF TEH WILLING AMIRITE?!

  17. 17
    Delia says:

    No one could have predicted. Freedom bombs for everyone!

    But it’s ok, though, because we have a coalition!

    Ah, but is it a Coalition of the Willing? And is Poland on board?

  18. 18
    Dave C says:

    @arguingwithsignposts:

    Really? I hadn’t heard. Do you happen to have a link?

  19. 19
    salacious crumb says:

    @Yutsano: not sure where you are going with this, but its fairly predictable that the Arabs would start to paint this as western imperialism once shit hits the fan and chaos ensues in Libya….

    btw, I have been thinking about this…any chance the Americans may pay the rebel fighters (or the Brits/French accidentally bomb the residence) to assasinate that cancer stricken guy who was held responsible for the Lockerbie bombing but was set free by the Scots a bit early bcause of his health condition? I mean the American govt wasnt happy with his release and I wonder if they will use this opportunity to assasinate him?

  20. 20
    Comrade Mary says:

    @salacious crumb: Bet you a loonie the smoke has nothing to do with the bombing. Gaddhafi may have to destroy (part) of his palace in order to save it.

    (I’m really, really torn about this operation, and I think it’s a horrible choice for lot of reasons — the risk of civilian casualties and deaths, contributing to the Arab world’s view of the West as destructive invaders, the horrendous financial cost of the bombing, the risk to coalition forces — but OTOH, Libyan rebels are in grave danger and have repeatedly asked for help, and the Arab League has joined in.)

  21. 21
    Brachiator says:

    @Yutsano:

    Arabs scream do something. We do something. Arabs scream that we did something. Sounds like normal discourse in the Middle East to me.

    Sigh. Sad, but true. The essence of the “no win” situation.

    It ranks right up there with calls for the Arab world to solve their own problems, followed by yelps when the Saudis entered Bahrain.

  22. 22
    salacious crumb says:

    @Delia: Forget Poland..we dont even have Palau on board. Palau was on board when we invaded Iraq. thats how little support this pitiful little band of right wing imperialists (ie France and Britain) have

  23. 23
    Yutsano says:

    @Comrade Mary: I don’t bet loonies, only timbits.

    (Dating a Canadian changed my language in such beautiful ways.)

  24. 24
    PIGL says:

    @Gozer: They are Arabs, and so, needless to say, their stony indifference to the deaths of innocent civilians is, by cultural stereotype, the very mirror image of your tender-hearted loving concern.

    Listen to yourself sometime, why doncha, before posting.

  25. 25
    Ron says:

    John, the Arab League asked for a no-fly zone and then appear to be shocked, SHOCKED I tell you that creating a no-fly zone requires military action. I don’t know what they thought would be involved in one. Were they proposing countries fly aircraft to enforce a no-fly zone without trying to take out the anti-aircraft?

  26. 26
    Valdivia says:

    I am very conflicted about this but I have been reading those who actually report from the area or are experts. The whole Arab League statement was indeed walked back, also reports from the ground from the opposition seem to be that the casaulty reports are from Ghadaffi not to be trusted.

    http://mobile.twitter.com/abuaardvark

  27. 27
    Suck It Up! says:

    @salacious crumb:

    heh? So all those times Obama said “Ghaddhafi must go” was what exactly?

  28. 28
    MikeJ says:

    @salacious crumb: We can hope so.

  29. 29
    salacious crumb says:

    @Comrade Mary: and who exactly are the rebels? we know nothing of them or their leadership structure…will it be another dictator that they will try to install as long as he guarantees oil supplies? I mean yemen and bahrain just plowed through a couple of their citizens..I dont exactly hear any calls to bomb them

    and now the Arab League, which the Arab public never looked favorably upon in the first place, is bitching about the air raids. so much for their support!

  30. 30
    Valdivia says:

    This is another link with specifics about the on the ground reaction
    From a regional journalist doing good work

    http://mobile.twitter.com/blakehounshell

  31. 31
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Valdivia: But taking Libyan government statements at face value helps us complain about imperialism and how Obama is just like Bush! No fair!

  32. 32
    salacious crumb says:

    @Yutsano: It would be a French style revolution if any one took out the Canadians beloved Timmies!

  33. 33
    MikeJ says:

    @salacious crumb: Would you be happy if we did start bombing other places, especially with no international support?

  34. 34
    Dave C says:

    So, basically the Arab League (with an assist from the Libyan Government) is concern-trolling the West. Lovely.

  35. 35
    salacious crumb says:

    @Suck It Up!: I dont recall that being the original goal of this campaign. Even Mullen assured that on ABC this morning.

  36. 36
    Davis X. Machina says:

    @Delia: Polish navy, IIRC.

  37. 37
    Martin says:

    Bombardment of civilians? What retard is taking Tripoli Bob’s statements at face value?

    UAE is sending planes. Turkey has announced they’ll assist as well.

    I imagine that Yemen, Somalia, Syria, and Bahrain – all Arab League members – are having mixed feelings about this. Interesting times.

  38. 38
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @salacious crumb:

    I mean yemen and bahrain just plowed through a couple of their citizens..I dont exactly hear any calls to bomb them

    Isn’t that at least in part because (as I understand it) there are clearer conventional “battle lines” in Libya?

  39. 39
    Mart says:

    We have a Coalition of the Drilling – Exxon, BP and Total.

  40. 40
    malraux says:

    For what its worth, there is arguably a difference between a no-fly zone, where-in anything that takes off is destroyed and anything that targets the aircraft enforcing the no-fly zone is destroyed and establishing air superiority, wherein you destroy the enemy’s ability to send anything into the air. When we ran the no fly zone in Iraq for a decade, we would only blow up radar sites that turned on and targeted our aircraft.

  41. 41
    Yutsano says:

    @Dave C: I’m trying to figure out why anyone is shocked by this. Arab governments are famous for looking out for No. 1 first all the time, especially when it comes to involvement from the West. Predictable as BillO’s tides.

    @salacious crumb: There is no Tim Horton’s in Seattle. I consider this a crime against nature.

  42. 42
    salacious crumb says:

    @MikeJ: At least we would be consistent. No calls of hyprocrisy

  43. 43
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Martin:

    Bombardment of civilians? What retard is taking Tripoli Bob’s statements at face value?

    Apparently, many people who you’d like to think were smarter than that but who are eager to show how cynical they are about American power, because the more cynical you are, the more you get bragging rights the next time a war turns bad.

  44. 44
    Valdivia says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    Agreed. I really like Marc Lynch. His take is skeptical but at least he sees things for what they are not as a political drum to bang about how obama=bush.

  45. 45

    @Dave C: Think I saw it on Al Jaz English, but can’t find the link at the moment. will update if i can find it.

  46. 46
    Bob Loblaw says:

    Personally, I’m proud of the Arab League for making it a whole two days before starting in on the double-crossing and sabotaging behavior. That might be a record from them.

    Also, everybody who disagrees with me is a bloodthirsty/isolationist moron who loves militarism/dictators and can’t wait to see innocent schoolchildren/freedom-loving protesters die to justify their own love/hate for the President. Yes, I believe that sums it up nicely.

  47. 47
    Martin says:

    @Suck It Up!: Well, he’s said that North Korea was a threat to global security, but that doesn’t mean that bombs are about to drop.

    In ’91 we stopped short of going into Baghdad. That shouldn’t be taken as an admission by Bush Sr. that he thought Saddam was an awesome guy.

    What you actually do operationally will almost always differ from what you wish you could do. That said, France clearly wants to overthrow Gaddafi, so I think even within the UN folks, there’s considerable disagreement of how far to go. The US may not be willing to target Gaddafi, but France may. That’s not how a coalition ought to work, though.

  48. 48
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @malraux: Serious question: how is the Iraq “no fly zone” (over the Kurdish areas, right?) generally regarded by well-informed policy experts?

  49. 49
    salacious crumb says:

    @Yutsano: It is indeed a crime against humanity to deny anyone their Tim Hortons

  50. 50
    BGinCHI says:

    @Martin: If this is true and there is a decent coalition (a Coalition of the Decent), it’s got a lot to do with the dislike of Khaddafy and the fear that his sons will take over and be even more aggressive.

    Compare to Iraq.

    The geniuses in the Bush Admin could have made a case for doing something there if they hadn’t been so busy lying and deciding to go in no matter what anyone else thought. That includes lies with heavy rhetoric from Rice (mushroom cloud) and Powell (yellow cake).

    Does a Dem administration get credit for approaching this differently? Should they?

    Anyone who expects the GOP to be completely hawk and the Dems to be completely dove is kidding him/herself.

  51. 51
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Bob Loblaw:

    everybody who disagrees with me is a bloodthirsty/isolationist moron who loves militarism/dictators and can’t wait to see innocent schoolchildren/freedom-loving protesters die to justify their own love/hate for the President.

    Sounds like the beginnings of a beautiful coalition.

  52. 52
    Comrade Mary says:

    There have been some reports that the Arab League fears retaliation from Libyan terrorists in their countries:

    But Arab League leader Amr Moussa is now distancing his organization from the resulting military action in what may be a sign he is feeling pressure in the region from member states fearful of Libyan leader Muammar Qadaffi’s reach.
    __
    “What is happening in Libya differs from the aim of imposing a no-fly zone,” he said today. “What we want is the protection of civilians and not the bombardment of more civilians.”
    __
    The comments, which preceded an emergency Arab League meeting, came less than a day after Mr. Moussa represented the Arab world at a Paris meeting designed to achieve unity.
    __
    While Moussa’s remarks have puzzled some officials and irritated others, one French analyst who met with him ahead of the Paris meeting says the Arab leader was under pressure by Arab senior officials worried about Libyan operatives working in their states that could conduct “retaliatory operations.” …
    __
    Debates in and around the Arab community over the international military action against Qaddafi’s regime in Libya continue to be intense.
    __
    Rami Khouri, editor of Lebanon’s Daily Star and a prominent voice in the Arab world, told reporters Sunday that Moussa’s statement was either “confusing or hypocritical.”

    If I’m feeling conflicted, safe here in Canada, I can see how much more frazzled and contradictory local opinions can be.

  53. 53
    John Cole says:

    Apparently, many people who you’d like to think were smarter than that but who are eager to show how cynical they are about American power, because the more cynical you are, the more you get bragging rights the next time a war turns bad.

    You learned well from the last decade. Obviously, if things go bad, it is clearly the fault of the people who said “Hey- wait a minute, you want to invade what?”

  54. 54

    @arguingwithsignposts:
    Dave C. Apparently it was a tweet from Andy Carvin. still trying to get link.

  55. 55
    salacious crumb says:

    @Comrade Mary: boy there are a lot of Muslim/Arab terrorists aint there? we have the Palestinian ones, Lebanese, Syrian, Saudi, Iraqi, Yemeni, Egyptian and now Libyan…jeez I wonder how these guys keep popping up? lots of terrorists to worry about

  56. 56
    malraux says:

    @FlipYrWhig: I’m pretty much the opposite of someone who knows what he is talking about, so I dunno if you want to trust my claims. That said, my impression is that it was seen as moderately successful. That said, the kurds were easily able to defend themselves on the ground, something that doesn’t appear to be the case in Libya.

  57. 57
    Svensker says:

    @salacious crumb:

    Seattle used to have (might still do) awesome donuts, without Timmies. The Edmonds Bakery north of Seattle has the hands down best maple bars in the history of the world.

  58. 58
    Corner Stone says:

    @MikeJ:

    Would you be happy if we did start bombing other places, especially with no international support?

    I say we just say Fuck It! and roll in Strike Package Niner all across MENA.
    “Maverick, you are weapons free. I say again, weapons free.”

  59. 59
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @BGinCHI:

    The geniuses in the Bush Admin could have made a case for doing something there if they hadn’t been so busy lying and deciding to go in no matter what anyone else thought. That includes lies with heavy rhetoric from Rice (mushroom cloud) and Powell (yellow cake).

    I used to think about that a lot. If the Bushies had advocated a humanitarian-intervention kind of war in Iraq, rather than all the patent nonsense about terrorism and WMD, how would it all have unfolded, both in terms of rhetoric and in terms of policy?

  60. 60

    @FlipYrWhig:

    Isn’t that at least in part because (as I understand it) there are clearer conventional “battle lines” in Libya?

    More likely that the difference is that the Bahraini and Yemeni governments have cooperated with us in the past, while Qaddafi has been a thorn in our side. Of course Qaddafi has annoyed just about everyone nearby, so he’s finding himself critically short of friends even in the Arab world.

  61. 61
    russ says:

    I’m waiting for Mohammed Said al-Sahaf (Bagdad Bob) to weigh in on whats going on.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TrXhxmQJSS0

  62. 62
    Comrade Mary says:

    @salacious crumb: Yeah, and you think the Arab league would have noticed that, too. But somehow, despite that risk, they got together at one point and thought that the risk of leaving Gaddafi in place was greater. Damn these people for not being resolute, but for being typical, conflicted humans with a bunch of lousy choices in front of them and not much else.

  63. 63
    salacious crumb says:

    @FlipYrWhig: Yeah our intervention in Vietnam was humanitarian, but we know how that turned out civilian casualties wise

  64. 64
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @John Cole: Come on, John, I didn’t say anything about “fault.” It just seems to me that part of the tenor of the discussion this time around is that a lot of people want to be as clearly and emphatically negative about it as possible. Think of how often Matt Yglesias, Ezra Klein, and Josh Marshall _still_ get cudgeled for supporting the Iraq war. Last time, the way things played out, being cynical was correct. Past performance is useful data, but past performance is no guarantee of future results.

  65. 65
    Mart says:

    Those thinking things would have gone swimmingly well if only Bush had handled Iraq as a humanitarian intervention… ummm since when did we start going to war against countries that pose no threat to us, or our allies? What the hell is wrong with us. Also too, assume you are all on board for decimating Government programs to pay for this war machine. (Taxes are off the table, of course.)

  66. 66
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @salacious crumb: IIRC Vietnam was sold as a war to check the expansion of the Communist sphere of influence, rather than a war to stop atrocities against their citizenry.

  67. 67
    Brandon says:

    This whole operation is lose-lose. It goes badly, we lose. And if it goes well, it will just be used as evidence of how easy it will be to attack Iran. We lose again.

  68. 68
    Suck It Up! says:

    @salacious crumb:

    What I hear from Obama is that he wants Gaddhafi to step down but who/what goes in his place is up to the people of Libya. Just as it was in Egypt.

    That’s the way I understand it.

  69. 69
    salacious crumb says:

    @FlipYrWhig: but they painted the Commies as baddies who didnt give a hoot about the civilians…we had the save the civilians from Communism.

  70. 70
    Corner Stone says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    Think of how often Matt Yglesias, Ezra Klein, and Josh Marshall still get cudgeled for supporting the Iraq war.

    Correctly, IMO.

  71. 71
    Corner Stone says:

    I simply can’t wait til the next politician stands up and bravely declares how “broke” the US is.

    edited

  72. 72
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Mart: If you’re addressing me, I would say that “humanitarian intervention” is the next best use of a “war machine” after clear self-defense. But that is not at all the same thing as saying that humanitarian interventions will invariably “go swimmingly well,” or that the endgame of a humanitarian intervention is easy to predict. That’s why we spent the 1990s talking about “exit strategies” and so forth.

  73. 73
    gene108 says:

    I support the air strikes.

    We need to remember the reason governments exist, in places, where they have a lot of oil is to keep that oil flowing. The second reason they exist, which we don’t put much emphasis on these days, is to make sure they route contracts to our oil companies, so they can make some money.

    Otherwise those countries should just be taken over by us and pumped dry.

    The sooner we remember the order of things, the better off we will be.

    Oil is an infinite resource. In several hundred million years, as the continents form neo-Pangea, in the Eastern Hemisphere, the conditions for producing new oil will probably arise. If not, then when neo-Pangea breaks apart, the conditions will definitely arise.

    It is renewable. We may just have to wait 500 million years. So there’s no reason to try and not bother about finding substitutes for oil.

    We need to make sure people, who are major or even minor oil exporters, such as Libya, don’t dick around with our oil supply and fuck up our economic recovery by causing the price of gas to go up.

    America. Fuck Yeah!

  74. 74
    Chris Wolf says:

    The former chairman of the Arab League, Amr Moussa, told Egyptian state media that he was calling for an emergency Arab League meeting to discuss the situation in the Arab world and particularly Libya.

    Would this be akin to Kofi Annan calling for an emergency meeting of the Security Council?

  75. 75
    Martin says:

    @Brandon: Well, Libya and Iran couldn’t be more different. I don’t think we need to defend against completely idiotic arguments. After all that’s a well that never runs dry.

  76. 76
    Mart says:

    @FlipYrWhig: Ivory Coast bitches.

  77. 77
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Corner Stone: Fair enough, but I don’t think it was fair (whatever fair would mean) to scoff at the political figures who were skeptical of the first Iraq war based on how quickly it was concluded, and I didn’t think it was fair to say that people who were skeptical of the second Iraq war were “objectively pro-Saddam.” I think it’s a really thorny question, trying to determine when US military action is justified, and I don’t think there should be such a rush to start in on the “Here we go again” stuff.

  78. 78
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Mart: Atrocities are bad, and US military involvement can help prevent them. US military involvement also has a tendency to create new problems and cost billions of dollars in the long run. Both things are true. How do you decide when it’s appropriate? I don’t think I’ve gotten that figured out. I don’t think the answer is “never” and I don’t think the answer is “always.” I’d like to think we can argue about what would be the appropriate conditions without thinking that anyone has an obvious trump card to play.

  79. 79
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @efgoldman: And you see how Sullivan is so eager to show how sorry he is for how wrong he was that he’s careening around as fast and as wildly as he can to show how right he is sure to be this time. That’s also kind of sad.

  80. 80
    Mart says:

    Atrocities are bad, and US military intervention ADDS to them. And if we man up to pay for them by having China buy treasuries, my answer is never. And you leave out one element in your argument, are you willing to die to save the oppressed of the world? Seem to have no qualms shipping our fine men and woman in the military to kill and be killed in our name.

  81. 81
    BGinCHI says:

    @Mart: I still would have been against it for the reasons you cite. But that’s not the point. I was simply asking what would have been different if that kind of coalition-building for humanitarian reasons was the standard.

  82. 82
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Mart: I have posted nothing but “qualms.” We should all have qualms. We should have qualms about faraway people dying because of ruthless autocrats, AND we should have qualms about American soldiers dying because of wars without clear objectives, AND we should have qualms about faraway people dying _because_ the US got involved. And then, having processed those qualms, we then try to figure out what the fuck to do, fully aware that both action and inaction are going to result in death and devastation. Look into feeling a few “qualms” of your own.

  83. 83
    Sapient says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    “I don’t think I’ve gotten that figured out. I don’t think the answer is “never” and I don’t think the answer is “always.” I’d like to think we can argue about what would be the appropriate conditions without thinking that anyone has an obvious trump card to play.”

    I believe that one constructive way to look at it is the UN Resolution. Sure, some of the parties who voted on that resolution were self-interested. But when the situation was compelling enough that there was a vote of 10-0, with abstentions but no vetoes, that says something (to me, at least) about the legitimacy of the cause. That’s a rarity in the UN. Much different than the “coalition of the willing” who were selected (and in some cases bought) in order to support a war of choice.

    The UN, despite its flaws, is the most legitimatizing institution that we have for foreign military action. I was very skeptical until the UN resolution occurred. At that point, it became a duty of the United States to assist.

  84. 84
    Dave C says:

    @arguingwithsignposts:

    Thanks! Don’t expend too much effort trying to find it–I was just a little curious.

  85. 85

    Well, at least we’ve united both the Left and the Reicht.

    Foreign policy disagreement ends at the water’s edge, of course, but puling goes on forever.

    Huzzah!

    Now, where’s the Birth Certificate?

  86. 86
    Sm*t Cl*de says:

    Portions of the Arab League have their own coalition forces (the Peninsular Shield Force) to defend themselves from unstable neighbours, but why would they risk their troops sending them into battle against external threats?

    This way the US and Europeans do all the expensive work while freeing up the PSF to crush the democracy movement in Bahrain.

  87. 87
    Barb (formerly Gex) says:

    @John Cole: Well, it is difficult to see what could spin out of control just because we start a tiny little military action. Once we liberate them from their oppressors, infrastructure, and life/limbs, they will greet us with flowers and candy.

  88. 88
    COB says:

    Magical ponies for everyone, unless you are undeserving. And guess who gets to decided who’s deserving – it ain’t us dfhs.

  89. 89
    COB says:

    Magical ponies for everyone, unless you are undeserving. And guess who gets to decided who’s deserving – it ain’t us dfhs.

  90. 90
    Mnemosyne says:

    @salacious crumb:

    Flight 103? The La Belle bombing?

    Yes, clearly they’re paranoid fools if a guy with a history of siccing his agents on countries that displease him says that he’s going to do it again.

  91. 91
  92. 92
    El Cid says:

    @Sapient: It’s pretty much standard for the other security council members to abstain rather than veto when the US tells them not to.

  93. 93
    Sapient says:

    @El Cid: Not China and Russia.

  94. 94
    Marlene says:

    @Sm*t Cl*de: You mean the democracy movement being promoted by Iran for their own reasons?

  95. 95
    El Cid says:

    @Sapient: Actually, yeah. The thing is, the ones that China & Russia really oppose never come to a vote. Same as with the US. The permanent members know very well when one or more members will veto. The preferred solution, then, is to not bring a subject to a vote. China has actually issued so few vetoes it’s almost like background noise. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, Russia has pretty much done the same. Russia, the UK and France are ghost presences as far as vetoes go.

    Most times it’s the US vetoing a resolution against various Israeli violations of international law.

    Since 1996, Russia has used the veto 3 times; China 3 times; and the US 12. Britain and France, zero.

    Look, if the US wants something big, and wants it bad, it gets it in the Security Council. It’s got enough weight to get Russia & China to abstain.

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    […] are also playing up Arab League Secretary-General Amr Moussa’s recent statement – since walked back, but apparently not to the pundits’ liking – that the UN countries enforcing the zone […]

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