Day Five Update

Sounds like things are slowing down a bit:

Amid differences among allies about how to manage the five-day-old military campaign in Libya, air strikes continued to rock Tripoli early on Wednesday while some units loyal to Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi were reported to have ceased firing on a key rebel-held city after allied airplanes attacked loyalist tanks and artillery.

At sea, news reports said six NATO warships started patrolling off Libya’s coast Wednesday to enforce a United Nations arms embargo, but Germany, which has opposed military intervention in the Libya crisis, said it was withdrawing four of its ships in the Mediterranean from NATO command. To offset the impact of its action on other NATO allies, Germany said it would send 300 more troops to Afghanistan to help operate surveillance aircraft, German officials said.

Colonel Qaddafi himself made a brief but defiant appearance on Libyan television Tuesday night, appearing at what reporters were told was his Tripoli residence to denounce the bombing raids and pledge victory. “I am here. I am here. I am here,” he shouted from a balcony to supporters waving green flags. It was his first known public appearance since the allied bombing began on Saturday.

“We will not surrender,” he told supporters. “We will defeat them by any means. We are ready for the fight, whether it will be a short or a long one. We will be victorious in the end,” he said. “This assault is by a bunch of fascists who will end up in the dustbin of history.” The speech was followed by fireworks in the Libyan capital as crowds cheered and supporters fired guns into the air.

The man is just delusional.

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74 replies
  1. 1
    General Stuck says:

    Don’t remember where, but was reading a report on the loony tune going on about how “we are laughing at your rockets” and I wondered if Michael Gass was writing his schtick.

  2. 2
    Redshirt says:

    What’s that “Baghdad Ali” guy up to these days? I sense a job opportunity.

    “The Romans are not in Carthage. The ground will never be salted!”

  3. 3
    Stefan says:

    Hey, what happened to that Angry Black Lady post about the League of Nations and Libya that was up earlier?

  4. 4
    mclaren says:

    Why didn’t Gadaffi speak in front of a giant banner reading MISSION ACCOMPLISHED?

    He missed a bet on that one.

  5. 5
    Joe Beese says:

    This assault is by a bunch of fascists who will end up in the dustbin of history.

    Can’t argue with that.

  6. 6
    General Stuck says:

    @Joe Beese:

    Now that Beese is mind melding with Mummar Quadify, I figure his onion is nearly peeled.

  7. 7
    slag says:

    @General Stuck: Joe Beese is just delusional.

  8. 8
    Valdivia says:

    Can’t recommend this guy enough. Both his daily reports on FP as well as his Twitter (yes, I just said that, shoot me please) because it links to all the reports from the ground and gives updates as to what is going on, not just in Lybia but also in Yemen, Syria, Bahrain etc
    I would also plug Marc Lynch, from GWU, who was on Fresh Air yesterday talking about Lybia. A skeptic without the hysteria and (regional)ignorance of someone like Sully.

  9. 9
    Valdivia says:

    @General Stuck:

    LOL. I still think of that thread as the most epically funny in BJ history.

  10. 10
    Zach says:

    The biggest lesson of this whole thing for me is realizing how incredibly successful the Iranian self defense strategy is… have ties to militant opposition groups in all relevant countries in your neighborhood and something of a nuclear and/or biological weapons program and you’re bulletproof.

  11. 11
    Yevgraf (fka Michael) says:

    For a moment, lets recap recent history on the disposition of those dictators who shake their fists and act like complete assholes.

    Hussein, dead
    Pinochet, multiple arrests, died under home incarceration
    Milosevic, in prison
    Noriega, in prison in France
    Ceaucescu, dead

  12. 12
    MattF says:

    Delusional? I’d say he has a fluid relationship with reality.

  13. 13
    cat48 says:

    Slow down in Libya SO let’s bomb near a bus stop in Jerusalem & see how we can escalate the game they’ve been playing a while now. Gaza sends Israel rockets and that nite Israel bombs the Hell out of Gaza nightly. I’m used to the regular game, but setting off a bomb in Jerusalem & injuring abt 25 may mean war.

    Glad I’m not prez.

  14. 14
    Jamie says:

    Fighting Crazy people can get really ugly.

  15. 15
    Davis X. Machina says:

    Wait a month — the interim solution is already starting to emerge….

    Partition into Tripolitania and Cyrenacia, and the half in which Gadaffi’s writ still runs becomes an official non-state, the other half is ‘Libya’ and gets his frozen assets, etc. as well as a modicum of security assistance, and we buy all the oil the new statelet pumps, while Gadaffi’s production goes unsold under embargo.

    Then you wait. A lot of people will get killed in reprisals in the western half of the country, but a lot of other people are o.k. with that.

  16. 16
    cleek says:

    The man is just delusional.

    why’s that?

    are we now committed to removing him ?

  17. 17
    WarMunchkin says:

    Then at the news conference here later in the day, Obama faced questions from reporters about whether he adequately prepared the American people before jumping into the difficult mission and whether he could articulate how such an operation is in the national interests of the U.S.
    “Where a brutal dictator is threatening his people and saying he will show no mercy and go door-to-door to hunt people down, and we have the capacity to do something about it, it is in our national interest to do so,” said Obama.

    I don’t actually enjoy criticizing Obama, and I don’t think this is exactly like Iraq, but come on, that’s just begging for it.

  18. 18
    Valdivia says:

    @cat48:

    yep. I just read in one of the links above about what this means more generally for the tide of ‘revolutions’ in the area, specially given that Syria was supposed to have a day of rage on Friday and Assad looked to be in trouble. Now the conversation will be somewhere else. Sigh.

  19. 19
    Corner Stone says:

    @cleek:

    are we now committed to removing him ?

    As Chuckles Todd explained to me yesterday, the politics part is committed to removal but the military part is not.
    So go figure.

  20. 20
    Corner Stone says:

    @WarMunchkin:

    I don’t actually enjoy criticizing Obama, and I don’t think this is exactly like Iraq, but come on, that’s just begging for it.

    Broad proclamations by candidates and/or Presidents aren’t really ever very useful for purposes of consistency.

  21. 21
    General Stuck says:

    @Davis X. Machina:

    I was going to post something similar. It is looking like a partitioned state, with the Rebels holding most of the economic cards. Maybe a ceasefire of sorts with blue helmets along a demarcation line, or something like that. Then let Quadafy stew in his juices until a possible solution from within his inner circle. I don’t know a lot about the tribal breakdown in Libya, but I suppose it is complex, and how a partition would shake out relative to those questions, remains to be seen.

  22. 22
    cleek says:

    @Corner Stone:
    is there a resolution or authorization or statement of intent anywhere that says this is the official US policy ?

    seems like everyone is assuming regime change is our un-official policy, but i don’t see anything that makes it official. if i was Obama, i’d make it clear were we stand on the matter – if everyone assumes regime change is the policy and it doesn’t happen, that’s going to be marked Fail.

  23. 23
    Valdivia says:

    This is pretty interesting on Sarko and his quest for glory in Libya.

  24. 24
    Corner Stone says:

    @cleek: Mr. Todd didn’t cite any, and I’m personally not aware of any.

    ETA, I see your edit and would just add that MSNBC showed a couple quotes/clips saying Gaddafi had to go. No resolution was read from, just rhetoric to this point AFAIK.

  25. 25
    Davis X. Machina says:

    @General Stuck: It’s suboptimal to all maximalist positions. It’s not withdrawl of all western imperialist oil-grabbers, which will infuriate some. It’s not the forced removal of Gadaffi, his officer class, his civil service, Uncle Tom Cobley and all, with a new government for all Libya, which will infuriate others. It will even piss off the Libyans themselves, who would have either wanted more, less, or nothing of what they get.

    No one will like it, which is why it’s what will happen.

  26. 26
    cat48 says:

    @Valdivia:

    I don’t like Blake! Just reported Portugal govt is expected to collapse today because they won’t accept austerity & the PM refuses to accept a Natl. Bailout! Welcome Home, Mr President! There goes the economy.

  27. 27
    Bob Loblaw says:

    Hey, I’m just glad the words Palestinian intifada are slowly rumbling again.

    I can’t decide if the terrorists are brilliant heighteners-of-contradictions vis a vis the Western response to Libya, or dumbass thugs with the worst possible timing.

    Oh wait, the second one. Yeah, the second one.

  28. 28
    gnomedad says:

    “We will not surrender,” he told supporters.

    This reminds me of the old Lone Ranger / Tonto joke: “What you mean ‘we’, white man?” Wish it applied here.

  29. 29
    Valdivia says:

    @cat48:

    You don’t like him because he linked to the article in Reuters or because you think he is a bad journalist? :)

    I agree with you though. Just a ton of calamitous news all day long.

  30. 30
    Sister Machine Gun of Quiet Harmony says:

    @General Stuck:

    Maybe Joe Beese is Gadaffi? I’ve never seen the two of them together at the same time. Plus, it would explain a lot.

  31. 31
    gene108 says:

    @Corner Stone: Qaddafi made a lot of enemies over the years. I think a lot of people want him gone. I don’t know, if there’s a way to topple a dictator via external economic and political pressure. I haven’t seen embargoes and what not really force a government out of power, if there isn’t strong internal opposition.

    I don’t know what the actual end game is. Simmering in the foreign policy establishment is a desire to remove him from power, but we aren’t going to do it Bush & Co. style and invade.

    I don’t see how he gives up power, since he isn’t doing it now or a few weeks ago, when he could’ve cut out of Libya, with some of his assets still intact.

    Qaddafi did send aid to several African nations, in the African Union, so he does have a few friends.

  32. 32
    cat48 says:

    @cleek:

    The president says everytime he’s asked by the Press that Regime Change IS NOT covered by Resolution 1973. That just covers the NO FLY they are participating in now with other countries. Then, they say, “but, you said ‘he should go’ and then he says that was the Admin. Policy BEFORE they agreed to Resolution 1973……

    Then he says they will follow the Mandate of the UNSC; not Admin Policy, b/c the Resolution DOES NOT mandate going after Gaddaffi and that makes the press sad; so they keep asking!

  33. 33
    Valdivia says:

    @gene108:

    but both African countries in the Sec Council voted for the resolution of use of force. I think his friends are more along the lines of other crazy dictators. Zimbabwe maybe?

  34. 34
    cat48 says:

    The only thing I like about this War is I found out that we have a Female running the Air War. You go girl!

  35. 35
    The Moar You Know says:

    Gadaffi’s production goes unsold under embargo.

    @Davis X. Machina: I agree with most of your post, but this part gives me a rash. Oil is the cocaine of the world economy. Someone, embargo or not, will buy it. You can count on that.

  36. 36
    New Yorker says:

    The man is just delusional.

    Not any more so than your typical neoconservative Iraq War supporter.

    Apologies if this has been said by 15 above posters. I didn’t bother to read all the comments.

  37. 37
    Stillwater says:

    @cleek: Regime change isn’t part of the official plan, no. But the UN res gives the coalition broad power to do ‘all that is necessary’ (or something like that) to defend the rebels from Qaddafi’s attacks. But I would say that while the UN res doesn’t explicitly call for his ousting, that eventuality is entailed by it.

    And I don’t want to be too quick about coming to that conclusion, but how’s this supposed to play out? I guess there’s a view (not that it’s been expressed by any of the major players) that somehow the rebels and Q can live in peaceful coexistence, either under a partitioned Libya (with the oil in the rebels hands), or by exchanging heartfelt apologies, or something else. I guess it’s possible, but certainly unlikely.

  38. 38
    Hermione Granger-Weasley says:

    @cat48: The air war is officially over.
    Now the coalition can overfly and bring the rain on his arty and armor.
    I imagine they will bottle him in the west and let him stew until his advisors can convince him to skip. 80% of the Libyan oil reserves are in the East.
    No need to invade now, Cole.
    Chad might be his only choice…i think Qaddafi gave them aid…but there is still the matter of the fatwah and the war crimes.
    Some lucky muslim in Chad might be tempted by all that hasanat.
    ;)

  39. 39
    JAHILL10 says:

    Gaddfi’s people are already sending out feelers to see “IF Col. Gaddafi WERE to abdicate and MIGHT desire to retire to some tropical island nation with a billion dollar retirement fund, WHERE would NATO agree to let him die of old age?”

  40. 40

    If I controlled the future [which I don’t], it would all play out this way:

    The outcome of the present effort in Libya will be positive. I’m not exactly sure of the details, but we will agree that it turned out well.

    Then somebody will admit that it came about because Europe didn’t want to deal with a bunch of refugees from Libya.

    Then when ecologic refugees start mobilizing because of climate change, The West will decide they have the “right” to fix the home problems so those folks will stay put. They will send in food and/or water and/or desalination plants and/or whatever. And The West does this with military zeal.

    And the whole human race is better off for it.

    Well, a girl can dream, can’t she?

  41. 41
    cleek says:

    @cat48:

    that makes the press sad; so they keep asking!

    :)

  42. 42
    Hermione Granger-Weasley says:

    @New Yorker: yah. If Cole wants to bitch about policy, do A-stan. We are spending a billion a month there trying to do…..what? What the fuck is the Mission? Slaughtering muslim dads with drones while we build girls schools for their orphaned daughters?
    For 10 years and approx 400 billion dollars we have been trying to wipe out the Taliban. There are more of them now than ever and even Petraeus admits that the talibs will be part of whatever government we leave there.
    And there are REAL ATROCITIES happening there. Like Garani and the 9 kids that just got whacked by a NATO chopper while gathering firewood.

  43. 43
    General Stuck says:

    @cat48:

    Dear gawd, a woman with an Air Force. That ought to shake Mummar’s knees a little.

  44. 44
    Davis X. Machina says:

    If ever a state were partitionable, it’s Libya. There’s a whole big nothing, more or less, along the south coast of the Gulf of Sirte. And there’s an oil field in each half. Draw a line between Ras Lanuf and Sirte, and start laying barbed wire.

  45. 45
    Corner Stone says:

    @Hermione Granger-Weasley:

    Like Garani and the 9 kids that just got whacked by a NATO chopper while gathering firewood.

    But we apologized for that. So…bygones.

  46. 46
    Stefan says:

    @Yevgraf (fka Michael):

    For a moment, lets recap recent history on the disposition of those dictators who shake their fists and act like complete assholes.Hussein, dead…

    Kim Jong Il, alive and well.
    Iranian mullahs, alive and well.
    Burmese junta, alive and well.
    Alexander Lukashenko of Belarus, alive and well.
    Robert Mugabe, alive and well.

  47. 47
    Hermione Granger-Weasley says:

    @Cole
    Oh, and I forgot this.
    Kill Squad pics.
    Instead of clutching your pearls over the US following PROCEDURE on the downed F-15, why not devote a lil front page space to helping us GTFO that epic clusterfuck in A-stan?
    Use your pulpit man.
    The trial has started.

  48. 48
    Superluminar says:

    The camels are not laughing.

  49. 49
    Hermione Granger-Weasley says:

    @Corner Stone: we apolo’d for the Iraqi Rape squad too.
    Shit happens in the fog of war, right CS?
    That was Coles point yest. Odyssey Dawn BAD because……

  50. 50
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @New Yorker:

    Beat me to it on the “delusional” part.

    The reason we didn’t learn from the “mistake” of Iraq is that the neocons still don’t think it was a “mistake”.

    Of course, none of them has had their legs blown off by an IED planted by some “dead ender” (literal translation of “dead ender” into Arabic: “WOLVERINES!”) so of course all looks good from the veranda of the Heritage Foundation.

  51. 51
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Stefan:

    George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, the neocons in general: safe from the war crimes trial that they all deserve.

  52. 52
    Hermione Granger-Weasley says:

    @General Stuck: He likely lusts after her. He dreams of Hillary in camo with a riding crop.
    Havent you seen his Girl Guard?

  53. 53
    Calouste says:

    @Yevgraf (fka Michael):

    Milosevic died five years ago, before his trial was finished.

  54. 54
    Tsulagi says:

    @Redshirt:

    What’s that “Baghdad Ali” guy up to these days?

    It was Baghdad Bob. The man is a legend. Muammar has some pretty big shoes to fill if attempting to out Tripoli that guy.

    One of my fave Baghdad Bobs…He was holding a televised outdoor press briefing telling the assembled reporters American soldiers were running away from valiant Iraqi forces or committing suicide in the desert rather than face them. Victory was assured. Already a done deal.

    Then in the background behind Bob maybe not more than 300m you see two M1 Abrams on thunder runs charge by. A reporter mentions this to Bob. Without turning around to look, without hesitating or flinching for an instant, Bob tells them only two American tanks were left from their slaughter in the desert. And those two were irresponsibly running amok on downtown Baghdad streets terrorizing drivers, but not to worry, Iraqi forces were in hot pursuit chasing them.

    There should be a statue honoring Bob at Fox News. The ideal to strive toward. There was never a fact or collection of them so strong, so irrefutably true to the entire planet that could ever force Baghdad Bob off message.

  55. 55
    opie jeanne, formerly known as Jeanne Ringland says:

    I have a friend who insists this is another war for oil, because of this article about BP from last July:

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-10751128

  56. 56
    noodler says:

    It’s been said that no war plan survives first contact with the enemy. It this the first time that the warplan did not survive first contact with the alliance?

  57. 57
    Allan says:

    @Stefan: It’s still available at Angry Black Lady Chronicles.

  58. 58
    Corner Stone says:

    @Tsulagi:

    On April 7, 2003, al-Sahhaf claimed that there were no American troops in Baghdad, and that the Americans were committing suicide by the hundreds at the city’s gates. At that time, American tanks were patrolling the streets only a few hundred meters from the location where the press conference was held, and were clearly visible behind him.[6] His last public appearance as Information Minister was on April 8, 2003, when he said that the Americans “are going to surrender or be burned in their tanks. They will surrender, it is they who will surrender”.

    From Wiki.
    Just classic stuff. IIRC, I think SNL did a brilliant parody as well.

  59. 59
    Hermione Granger-Weasley says:

    @Superluminar: No they are not.
    Another Morlock from Wasilla
    Something in the water?

  60. 60
    Hermione Granger-Weasley says:

    @Superluminar: the camels are actually weeping.

    Twelve men are currently on trial in Seattle, with five facing pre-meditated murder charges that could result in the death penalty or life in prison.
    Der Spiegel found around 4,000 photographs and videos taken by the group.
    American and Afghani officials worry the publication of the images and revelations in the article – which include stories of the “trophies” taken by the American troops – could set off riots.
    “They fear that the pictures could be even more damaging [Abu Ghraib] than as they show the aftermath of the deliberate murders of Afghan civilians by a rogue US Stryker tank unit that operated in the southern province of Kandahar last year,” the Guardian reports.

    Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com.....z1HRW3XpDp

  61. 61
    Hermione Granger-Weasley says:

    Jus’ axin’.
    Have the coalition forces KILLED any civilians in Odyssey Dawn yet?
    Have the coalition forces SAVED CIVILIAN LIVES in Benghazi and Misrata?

    did you know,

    A record number of civilians were killed in Afghanistan last year. More than 2,700 civilians were killed in 2010 – up 15 per cent on the year before.

  62. 62
    Pococurante says:

    Sounds like things are slowing down a bit:

    When quagmire slows down…

  63. 63
    Fuck U6: A More Accurate Measure of the Total Amount of Duck-Fuckery in the Economy says:

    ‘tako-chin: Just constitutionally incapable of learnin’, eh?

  64. 64
    Davis X. Machina says:

    @noodler: No. August 1914. The BEF nearly got sent to the beaches of Pomerania. As it was, they were sent over to Belgium late, and the hook-up with the French Fifth Army was botched as a result.

  65. 65
    Stefan says:

    American and Afghani officials worry the publication of the images and revelations in the article – which include stories of the “trophies” taken by the American troops – could set off riots.
    “They fear that the pictures could be even more damaging [Abu Ghraib] than as they show the aftermath of the deliberate murders of Afghan civilians by a rogue US Stryker tank unit that operated in the southern province of Kandahar last year,” the Guardian reports.

    It’s telling that they’re more worried about the pictures of the murders than they are about the murders themselves. “We worry that knowledge of the fact that our troops formed murder squads to kill innocent civilians could set of riots.” Well, yes.

  66. 66
    sapient says:

    @Hermione Granger-Weasley: But most of the deaths were caused by the Taliban. Civilian deaths caused by U.S. and Afghan troops went down.

    Just to clarify.

  67. 67
    Tony J says:

    @Superluminar:

    The camels are not laughing.

    Oh, but they are. Camels have a deeply mordant sense of humour.

    It’s the tanks that aren’t laughing.

  68. 68
    Hermione Granger-Weasley says:

    @sapient: hahahaha
    riiiiight
    can you say….bullshytt? You believed the Iraqi powergrid fell down when we walked past, right?
    dumbass.

    “Just to clarify.”
    There are more Taliban now than 10 years ago. It is costing the US taxpayer 1 billion a month to make more Taliban. The Taliban will be part of the government we leave behind.

    The Der Spiegel Kill Squad photos all over the news.
    Who do you think afghanis are going to BLAME for those civvie deaths?
    Not the talibs.
    a picture is worth a thousand words.

  69. 69
    Hermione Granger-Weasley says:

    @Fuck U6: A More Accurate Measure of the Total Amount of Duck-Fuckery in the Economy: learnin’ what?
    Cole is pearlclutching over Odyssey Dawn.
    He could be putting some intellectual muscle into GTFO A-stan.

  70. 70
    Hermione Granger-Weasley says:

    @Stefan: Oh yes. And a perfect time for Julian to release the Kraken.
    Maybe this could be the Perfect Storm that gets us out of A-stan?

  71. 71
    Hermione Granger-Weasley says:

    Hey Cole.

    Look at the smiles in the slideshow.
    Chilling, isnt it?
    Those smiles are forever. Our national shame.
    We are not going to see these kind of pictures coming out of OD.
    For once we get to be the good guys.
    Can you blame Obama for wanting to do the right thing for once?

  72. 72
    Cerberus says:

    I’m more worried about the “good guys” on the equation. More specifically, how they and the necessary social good will they’ll need when (or rather now if they get in to power) will respond to us and how we will respond to them.

    Can we blow Libya back to the Stone Age? Of course. That has never been in any doubt. Can we mostly limit our “collateral damage” to Kaddafi-friendly cities? I’m also going to say yes, but of course there will still be “untidiness” in the form of heaps of the dead and so on.

    But, and here was the problem with intervention from Day One (whether it be from USA or “a coalition of Western powers”):

    The West has a shitty history in Africa. The West has a a shitty history in the Muslim world. The West has an unbelievably shitty history in Northern Africa.

    To put it bluntly, they (and by this I mean the people on the ground) have no reason to trust the West, have all good reason to hate the West, many of those reasons not just being massive exploitation during the Age of Exploration, but crimes and faux “leaders” perpetrated within living memory.

    We tend to treat African and Middle Eastern countries (we being the USA, UK, France, Netherlands, Germany, and so on) as if they were territories on a Risk board or Bonus Items we can take use of as we see fit. We complain about how “they don’t value freedom”, but we never let them go through the awkward necessary steps of founding their own democracies or being their own countries. We’re so afraid of “extremism” and more importantly, being cut off from crucial resources, that we tend to install puppet governments, encourage assassinations or slur jobs on rival leaders or popular local heros.

    The reason that Iraq is an important thing to keep in mind isn’t because it was a horrible clusterfuck in the reason that we were never able to leave. It’s important, because it’s a very loud message to everyone remotely in that region what we in the US view as a “democracy” when we’re referring to other countries. Let’s just say Iraq is an unfortunate message on that score when we have been deliberately trying to sway all outcomes to those beneficial to the US and its companies rather than the needs of the Iraqi people or their genuine wishes.

    And that brings us back to Libya.

    Now that we’re bombing, what’s the view on the street from the average Libyan? Do they still support the rebel powers? Or will we see more Kadaffi support, simply because it is the West coming down so hard on the side of the protestors (not saying it wouldn’t be great to see us on the side of the “good” guys for once, but every dictator in the region has been hoping to play the “they are just puppets of Western powers card” and our inability to contain ourselves may have just given all of those dictators credence)*?
    ;
    In short, how is this going to play in Tripoli? Sure our bombs may help the rebels and protestors militarily, but what then? If we’ve cost the protestors their moral authority and the support of the people, then we’ll just end up with another Iraq situation where we’re more trying to delay a civil war and re-authoritarianization than affect any real change. The founders of a nation and the creators of self-governance in a country have to be above all revered and remembered. Liked and honored. Else, the people don’t agree to give it a whirl.

    And that brings us to the other side of the equation.

    Will we let them govern themselves? Or will we freak out if the Muslim Brotherhood seem to be the “cream rising to the top”? Will we still acquiesce if they decide to cut of all foreign oil deals? Will we give up our patterns and resist the opportunity to install Bob I’vebeentoLibyaonce because he’s really friendly to us and tells us what we want to hear and he’s the only one who knows the landscape well enough and so on? If there’s political will, will we just sit back and let whatever happen happen even if it threatens our myriad of interests there? Hell, even if Obama and Clinton and the European powers all are willing to do so, what about the various oil companies and the Republicans? You think they aren’t going to try and insert some shit or stick their foot in their mouth in a way that gets play all over Al-Jazeera? Will we really bomb and leave and resist the urge to “nation-build” to “make sure its done right?

    And frankly, I doubt there’s a person here who can say without reservations “yes” to that last one. Sure, we hope they’ll say “yes”, we may even dare to believe they’ll say “yes” to that. That we as a country will do the right thing, more or less, finally. After all, we’ve got an excellent foreign policy team with Obama’s diplomacy and Clinton’s excellent State work.

    But, we can’t say for certain.

    And that’s pretty much how it’s going to be for the average Libyan, but more so. They, bearing the brunt of Western bullshit for so long, are going to be ill-suited to giving us the benefit of the doubt. And that more than anything was why I was worried about intervention before and even more worried now.

    Trying to help, trying to do the right thing, trying to make up for all the wrong we’ve done in the region by intervening so directly may be the worst decision we could have made with a tricky situation. And it’s not even fully our fault. Most of the blame for Northern Europe lies with France and the UK. But still…but still.

    I hope the “Obama can do no wrong” crowd are right. But I don’t see a situation where even good intervention (and its so rarely good intervention without sore spots) will work to the advantage of the only groups that matter.

    *In short, in general, we may have personally slowed or stopped the momentum of a number of cross-Northern Africa/Middle East uprisings simply by intervening on one. If your goal is stability for oil prices, then that is good news. If your goal is increased justice and self-governance in that region and the creation of nascent self-governed regions trying to figure themselves out, then that is bad news.

  73. 73
    Cerberus says:

    @Hermione Granger-Weasley:

    No.

    I have the same desire. Most of us here in America have the same desire. Most in America have tried to do so through denial and trying to erase the past. Just ignore that it happened and we still get to be the “good guys”. Obama trying to be that in this situation to better our image, to let us be the “good guys” again in some small way? Yeah, fully understandable.

    Except…

    It’s not about us and our desire to be clean. It’s not about Europe trying to do right. It, in short, has nothing to do with the myriad of state powers who have been trying to leech heroism and “underdog” feelings off the developments in North Africa and the Middle East.

    And by treating this as some PR exercise, by making it about us and OUR AID, hey, did you see that, aren’t we awesome, we do great disservice to what it’s actually about.

    Moreover, we reinforce distrust that we will accept the negative consequences of genuine self-governance for the Libyan people. If it’s all about us, why would we let ourselves be punished for doing the right thing? Especially when we could have the illusion of self-governance that we could safely stop thinking about and it would even have the side-benefit of tampering down the other protests (accidentally by association) and thus keep things more or less status quo a little bit longer (i.e. doesn’t shut off the oil supply too soon causing massive Europe level hikes in gas prices).

    Even if this is all untrue, this is what’s running through the average person on the street’s head. This is lowered support for the cause of justice and all the bombs in the world won’t be able to help the protestors if they lose popular support.

  74. 74
    Hermione Granger-Weasley says:

    @Cerberus:

    Or will we freak out if the Muslim Brotherhood seem to be the “cream rising to the top”?

    That horse has left the barn.

    Article 2 of the Constitution cites Islamic law as the main basis for Egyptian law.

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