Moving Right Along

Hohum:

President Barack Obama has signed a secret order authorizing covert U.S. government support for rebel forces seeking to oust Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, government officials told Reuters on Wednesday.

Obama signed the order, known as a presidential “finding”, within the last two or three weeks, according to government sources familiar with the matter.

Such findings are a principal form of presidential directive used to authorize secret operations by the Central Intelligence Agency. This is a necessary legal step before such action can take place but does not mean that it will.

The CIA and the White House declined immediate comment.

News that Obama had given the authorization surfaced as the President and other U.S. and allied officials spoke openly about the possibility of sending arms supplies to Gaddafi’s opponents, who are fighting better-equipped government forces.

***

People familiar with U.S. intelligence procedures said that Presidential covert action “findings” are normally crafted to provide broad authorization for a range of potential U.S. government actions to support a particular covert objective.

In order for specific operations to be carried out under the provisions of such a broad authorization — for example the delivery of cash or weapons to anti-Gaddafi forces — the White House also would have to give additional “permission” allowing such activities to proceed.

Former officials say these follow-up authorizations are known in the intelligence world as “‘Mother may I’ findings.”

The Arab League no-fly zone mission keeps getting bigger and bigger.

*** Update ***

Now I don’t want 500 people coming in stomping their feet and telling me this isn’t Iraq, but seriously, what is the first name that comes to mind when you read this:

The new leader of Libya’s opposition military spent the past two decades in suburban Virginia but felt compelled — even in his late-60s — to return to the battlefield in his homeland, according to people who know him.

I know the name that popped into my head… And no, it wasn’t Jane Mayer.






351 replies
  1. 1
    BGinCHI says:

    Well, this settles it.

    The only thing to do is send war hero and war lover John McCain back to Tripoli — he was just there a year ago or so — with poison fingernails or lipstick or something so that he can give the Colonel the Kiss of Death.

    If you want American Exceptionalism, motherfuckers, you are going to have to start doing some exceptional shit.

    You have your orders.

  2. 2
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    Mission creep…it’s what for dinner! And breakfast! And lunch! And second breakfast! And elevenses! And high tea!

  3. 3
    srv says:

    Maybe we can import some Hmong into Libya.

    Good to know they didn’t really think the clown-car AK-47 wielding brigade was up to the task. Or maybe they’re just engaging in CYA after this weeks surrender-art performance.

  4. 4
    cyntax says:

    Wow, that was quick.

    I really thought it’d be another couple weeks before we started running black-ops.

  5. 5
    jo6pac says:

    This is good for Jobs right?

  6. 6
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @BGinCHI:

    so that he can give the Colonel the Kiss of Death.

    How’s he going to convince Qaddafi to put Sarah on the ticket? The Colonel reads the papers (all of them!) and watches CNN, you know…

  7. 7
    Superluminar says:

    But what about the jet fuel? For those who don’t know who is responsible for this raping of Gaia, three initials: B H O.

  8. 8
    cyntax says:

    @srv:

    You can’t spell CYA without CIA, or is it the other way around?

  9. 9
    joes527 says:

    I smell Blackwater Xe!

  10. 10
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @jo6pac:

    This is good for Jobs right?

    Anyone checked with Cupertino to see if there are enough iPhones in a warehouse to handle all this?

  11. 11
    AAA Bonds says:

    Oh, lord.

  12. 12
    cleek says:

    Obots ! man your positions!

  13. 13
    FlipYrWhig says:

    I am not an expert, but I think I would prefer something like a partition into West and East Libya, with a cooling-off period, and an international force of some kind keeping the warring sides apart. Is that possible? Too naive?

  14. 14
    Hermione Granger-Weasley says:

    John Cole, I might be w…wr…..wrrr…….wrong.
    It seems the Obama Doctrine is not at all what I thought.
    :(

  15. 15
    Lev says:

    I just don’t see how we get out of this gracefully. The rebels are losing. Are we going to let them lose now? Of course not. So we keep propping them up, and maybe it makes a difference for a while, but in the end the fundamentals suck for the US/UK/UN/France mission without actual ground troops. A rag-tag bunch of volunteers versus a professional army? There is no evidence the rebels can hold anything. And once “advisers” show up, it really is an invasion.

    Obama struck me as smarter than this. He should have listened to Gates and Mullen.

  16. 16
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @cleek: Can we please try to talk about what’s going on without reheating the tribal feuds?

  17. 17
    cyntax says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    Depends how you define “international force;” cause I’m pretty sure the Arab League ain’t gonna participate.

  18. 18
    JC says:

    I’m not surprised at the ‘secret ops’ thing – we didn’t go into Libya to watch the insurgents lose, after all. We prevent the massacre, and then…what?

    However, this info about the ‘leader of the rebels’ that has been in the U.S. for two decades?

    Yeah, that raises ALL types of questions. Double ratf*ck types of questions, that I’ll be seriously pissed about, if they come to be true.

  19. 19
    AAA Bonds says:

    http://www.north-africa.com/na.....teen46.txt

    Here’s a question: isn’t it a big, big deal for France that Niger, the country on which they’re entirely dependent for uranium oxide (something like 80% of France is nuclear-powered), has been courted by Qaddafi’s Libya?

    And wouldn’t a rebel-held, France-friendly Libyan south control the Libyan uranium north of the Aouzou strip?

  20. 20
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @cyntax: I dunno, I have no idea. I was thinking about examples like Korea and the Kurdish region in Iraq… probably others… Indonesia/East Timor?

  21. 21
    Calouste says:

    The Lybian foreign minister has defected to the UK. Gaddafi might not last that long if people that close to him are defecting.

  22. 22
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    Now I don’t want 500 people coming in stomping their feet and telling me this isn’t Iraq

    No, this is clearly the most unique thing that has happened in the history of mankind, with no lessons to guide us, and an outcome that can never be known.

  23. 23
    Joe Beese says:

    Foggy Bottom rides again.

    “The new leader of Libya’s opposition military spent the past two decades in suburban Virginia but felt compelled — even in his late-60s — to return to the battlefield in his homeland, according to people who know him. … Since coming to the United States in the early 1990s, Hifter lived in suburban Virginia outside Washington, D.C. Badr said he was unsure exactly what Hifter did to support himself, and that Hifter primarily focused on helping his large family”.

    http://www.mcclatchydc.com/201.....h-of.html#

  24. 24

    @JC:

    Since coming to the United States in the early 1990s, Hifter lived in suburban Virginia outside Washington, D.C. Badr said he was unsure exactly what Hifter did to support himself, and that Hifter primarily focused on helping his large family.

    Badr says he’s known Hifter all of his (presumably, Badr’s) life, but he doesn’t know what he did for a living.

    Yeah, this bodes well.

  25. 25
    FlipYrWhig says:

    “Hifter” is rather easy to misread.

  26. 26
    Alex S. says:

    I’m generally pro-Obama which is why I don’t condemn this decision right now, BUT, I’d really like to know what these covert actions entail. I have no problem with a few men trying to bribe some tribes to abandon Gadhafi, but if we’re in secret kill group-territory I might jump ship.

  27. 27

    @FlipYrWhig: Innit?

    @Calouste: A Maltese journalist on Twitter is also reporting that these officials have defected: Omar Abu-Said Durdah, Dr Shukri Ghanim, Abu Al Qassim Al-Zawi, Abdulati Al-Ubaidi.

  28. 28
    General Stuck says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    I am not an expert, but I think I would prefer something like a partition into West and East Libya, with a cooling-off period, and an international force of some kind keeping the warring sides apart. Is that possible? Too naive?

    This is almost certainly the end game of this adventure. Without introducing troops on the ground from the US or elsewhere, the rebels are not strong enough to control the entire country and especially Quadaffy’s tribal lands.

    Seems to me in places, or MENA countries with strong tribal divisions and loyalties mostly stronger than a combined nation state, it would make some sense to form countries along those lines, and possibly avoid this iron fist dictator spiral needed to keep it all together, and usually with some tribes getting royally fucked if their strongman isn’t running things. But what do I know?

    And I am only surprised the CIA hasn’t been doing covert shit already in Libya. Wonder if there are any of those Castro special cigars laying around Langley?

  29. 29
    cyntax says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    Yeah, I know what you meant. I just mean that if there’s to be a ground force, it’ll be the US, the UK, and France. None of the ME countries will want to be involved, and if we weren’t seen as the bad guy by the Arab street before, we will be very soon with boots on the ground, even if it’s just “advisors.”

    OTOH, if we suddenly start running very effective close air support, you’ll know what those advisors (Special Forces & SEALs) are up to.

  30. 30
    Calouste says:

    @cyntax:

    NATO should push Turkey to do the bulk of the work on the ground. They have a pretty big army and have run out of Greeks to beat up. Drawback is that it is a century ago this year that the last Ottoman soldiers left Libya.

  31. 31
    Bobby Thomson says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    “Hifter” is rather easy to misread.

    I call Gowdin.

  32. 32
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    “Hifter” is rather easy to misread.

    Ya know who else’s name was easy to misread?

  33. 33
    Alex S. says:

    @Hermione Granger-Weasley:

    Doctrines are just slogans to keep underemployed intellectuals busy.

  34. 34
    patroclus says:

    Didn’t Nostradamous predict Hifter in one of his quatrains?

  35. 35
    AAA Bonds says:

    @General Stuck:

    [Partition] is almost certainly the end game of this adventure.

    If so, called it.

    @General Stuck:

    And I am only surprised the CIA hasn’t been doing covert shit already in Libya.

    Do you really think they haven’t? They caught that British MI5 “diplomat” team and sent them back. No way we aren’t already there in a “civilian capacity”.

  36. 36
    cyntax says:

    @Calouste:

    Your lips to ceiling cat’s ears. I’ve got my fingers crossed he walks away.

  37. 37
  38. 38
    Brachiator says:

    Now I don’t want 500 people coming in stomping their feet and telling me this isn’t Iraq, but seriously, what is the first name that comes to mind when you read this.

    I keep getting hung up on the strange ridiculousness of the leader’s name: Khalifa Hifter.

    I had to increase the font size to make sure I was getting it right.

    But no, this does not seem like a Chalabi clone. He might even be worse. This is almost old style Eisenhower or John Kennedy style covert assistance.

    And yes, it is worrisome. It may be bad, very bad. About the only thing that might make it a reasonable cause of action is the number and quality of former Gaddafi supporters who are separating themselves from the Colonel.

    Libyan Foreign Minister Moussa Koussa arrived in London Wednesday and told the government there that he has resigned

    I don’t think you saw this kind of thing with Iraq.

    Note that I have serious doubts about this obvious step-up of American involvement in Libya, but it is clear that the Obama administration is trying to shore up credible opponents to Gadaffi in addition to any military action. This may be futile or misguided, but it is not a blind repeat of past mistakes. It may be a new kind of mistake.

  39. 39
    mr. whipple says:

    The only thing to do is send war hero and war lover John McCain back to Tripoli—he was just there a year ago or so—with poison fingernails or lipstick or something so that he can give the Colonel the Kiss of Death.

    As a friend suggested, he can crash(another) plane into Gaddafi’s palace.

  40. 40
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Bobby Thomson: Nice. Raise a snifter for Hifter!

  41. 41
    Martin says:

    You’re right, Cole. You don’t see everything through Iraq lens.

  42. 42
    joes527 says:

    @Alex S.:

    but if we’re in secret kill group-territory I might jump ship

    You’d really like to know what these covert actions entail?

    Fuck you
    Sincerely,
    Your Government

  43. 43
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    @patroclus:

    Didn’t Nostradamous predict Hifter in one of his quatrains?

    No, that was Noftradamus.

  44. 44
    Chyron HR says:

    Now I don’t want 500 people coming in stomping their feet and telling me this isn’t Iraq

    So now it’s back to being exactly like Iraq again? That was quick.

  45. 45
    Violet says:

    I feel like I’m living in 1984. “We’ve always been at war with Eastasia The Taliban Saddam Hussein Gaddafi.

  46. 46
    cyntax says:

    @Calouste:

    Cripes, Turkey didn’t want NATO in charge of the air campaign; I don’t what leverage would be needed to convince them of that, the threat of recognizing a free Kurdistan?

  47. 47
    AAA Bonds says:

    @Calouste:

    NATO should push Turkey to do the bulk of the work on the ground.

    Yeah, that’s a wonderful fantasy you have going on there.

  48. 48
    Hermione Granger-Weasley says:

    @cleek: They aren’t obots i think. They are R2Pers.
    I hadn’t read about Right to Protect Doctrine.
    And I am not sure I can support Humanitarian Imperialism.
    John Cole is right and I am w….wr…..wr…..wrrr……….wrong!

    Libya was picked mostly because it was an easy target, and because Muammar Gaddafi has no real friends left in the world, a fact brought home by the fact that neither Russia nor China did anything to stop UNSCR 1973. Everyone dislikes Gaddafi, which, combined with the geography of Libya itself, makes him an easy target. The “Responsibility To Protect” Doctrine, therefore, seems more like an excuse for Europeans and Americans on the left to support intervention not because it protects the vital interests of the nations they live in, but because it makes them feel good.
    There’s another similarity between the R2P crowd and the neo-cons, of course. In both cases, there is an absolute sense of certainty that causes people to ignore the facts on the ground. For the neo-cons, the certainty that we’d be greeted as liberators by the people of Iraq and Afghanistan caused them to discount the necessity for any kind of post-war planning, and to believe that merely introducing “democratic” institutions into nations that had never known democracy would lead to an immediate transformation that took decades, if not centuries, in the West. For the R2P’ers, it’s absolutely certainty that merely being guided by the desire to “help” people is sufficient to accomplish their goals, meaning that there’s no need to worry about the fact that the rebels you’re protecting are allied with a terrorist group, or that the conflict your’re intervening in may be more tribal than political. Finally, for both the neo-con and the R2Per there is the overwhelming certainty that they are better judge’s of the future of a nation than the people who actually live there.
    __
    This kind of smug moralism usually leads to disaster when it runs headlong into reality, but it’s also a sign that, hypocrisy notwithstanding, the “Responsibility To Protect” Doctrine marks a significant shift in course:
    We have entered a new age – the age of humanitarian imperialism. Humanitarian imperialists are besotted with fantasies of the West’s inherent goodness. As American writer David Rieff puts it, they have promised that, from now on, all wars will “noble wars of altruism.” To them, the facts on the ground don’t matter much. What really matters is their good intentions.
    And we all know the ultimate destination of a road paved with good intentions.

    Yikes.
    Is this what you were trying to tell us Cole?

  49. 49
    Calouste says:

    @General Stuck:

    And I am only surprised the CIA hasn’t been doing covert shit already in Libya.

    Probably because the French have been doing that already ever since Gaddafi thought it would be a smart thing to meddle in France’s back garden in Chad (it wasn’t).

    France and the UK (IRA, Lockerbie, 1984 Libyan embassy shooting) both have quite a few scores to settle with Gaddafi, and they are not going to let this opportunity go to waste.

  50. 50
    Superluminar says:

    @Alex S.

    Doctrines are just slogans to keep underemployed intellectuals busy.

    nice! Great example of your point…

  51. 51
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Brachiator: Well, there _were_ all those Iraqi exile groups in the 1990s.

    @AAA Bonds: I could never decide how I felt or should feel about partition in the Balkans or in Iraq. On one level it’s very Great Game-ish to redraw maps for the benefit of the benighted locals. On another it seems like a good way to stop people from killing each other, as long as it’s patrolled and enforced somehow. Fuckin’ International Relations, how does it work?

  52. 52
    Dave says:

    So wait…one of the objections to this action was that we didn’t know anything about any of the players on the ground. So we send our civilian foreign intelligence service into Libya to do just that…and it’s a bad thing?

    What would you rather we do? Read wikipedia?

    That said…what an unfortunate last name.

  53. 53
    General Stuck says:

    Now I don’t want 500 people coming in stomping their feet and telling me this isn’t Iraq,

    Thank you, and would there be any further instructions for a debate on this that meets your approval? Wouldn’t want to offend the blog gawds and John Cole’s building anti war warrior creds. I personally think it resembles the battle for Chosin Reservoir myself, though not as much snow.

  54. 54
    BGinCHI says:

    What the hell happened to the Costanza Doctrine?

    (It’s where you do the opposite of what George Bush did.)

  55. 55
    cyntax says:

    @Violet:

    I feel like I’m living in 1984. “We’ve always been at war with Eastasia The Taliban Saddam Hussein Gaddafi brown people.

    This way, we won’t have to change the slogans as often.

  56. 56
    AAA Bonds says:

    @Brachiator:

    Shoring up defectors from an enemy government isn’t new.

    We want successors, and there’s no reason for these folks to not gamble on succession. If they gamble and lose, they’re the US-funded opposition for the rest of their lives. And their friends won’t be quite sure how they make a living . . .

  57. 57
    beltane says:

    You know what? The whole region was better off under the caliphate. With all the Libyans Qaddafi has persecuted over the years it makes no sense that the US is looking to Hifter to save the day.

  58. 58
    srv says:

    @cyntax: Maybe remind them again that they weren’t good enough for the EU.

  59. 59

    @Dave:

    So wait…one of the objections to this action was that we didn’t know anything about any of the players on the ground. So we send our civilian foreign intelligence service into Libya to do just that…and it’s bad thing?

    I have no objection to gathering intelligence. It’s when it starts looking like we are either installing leaders or being led around by the nose that I get itchy.

  60. 60

    Obama signed the order, known as a presidential “finding”, within the last two or three weeks, according to government sources familiar with the matter.

    So…BEFORE the “Arab League No Fly Zone” was adopted by the UN, and in line with the regime change policy Obama first articulated five weeks ago.

    I don’t understand why the concept that the UN military mission and the US non-military policy are two different things is so difficult for people to understand, and I don’t understand why I’m supposed to feel differently about the non-military means being used to try to oust Gadaffi and the non-military means used to try to oust Mubarak.

  61. 61
    Joe Beese says:

    @Alex S.:

    I’m generally pro-Obama which is why I don’t condemn this decision right now, BUT, I’d really like to know what these covert actions entail.

    Silly rabbit… if you knew, they wouldn’t be covert. Just trust in the goodness of Obama’s heart and the wisdom of his advisers.

    And remember: This is a humanitarian mission.

  62. 62
    Dave says:

    @FlipYrWhig: Worked in Cyprus more or less.

  63. 63
    Barb (formerly Gex) says:

    @JC: By all means, why would the media mention this *prior* to the US committing forces? Sigh.

    I hate the playas and the game.

  64. 64
    cleek says:

    @FlipYrWhig:
    after a week of being called all manner of names by those who insisted that this kind of thing would never happen ?

    fuck that shit.

  65. 65
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    @BGinCHI:

    What the hell happened to the Costanza Doctrine?

    If you need a north star to steer away from, you can hardly do worse than Bloody Bill Kristol.

  66. 66
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Hermione Granger-Weasley: Does it ever _not_ happen that you read something for the first time, notice that it contains an acronym, and immediately begin to repeat that acronym until it becomes something between a shibboleth and a secret twin language?

  67. 67
    Lolis says:

    This whole thing has stunk from day one. I am not happy.

  68. 68
    Dave says:

    @TooManyJens: I agree. But by all accounts we are on the ground trying to get an accurate assessment of what is going on and who is doing it. Which is a good thing in my book. Now, if they start straying into Tripoli…yeah, not good.

  69. 69
    cyntax says:

    @srv:

    Promise them membership if they just do this one thing…?

  70. 70
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    @cleek: Have you been skipping yer OFA meetings?

  71. 71
    Social outcast says:

    So far Libya seems closer to 1999’s Serbian war than Iraq. But it’s still got time to grow itself into the big leagues.

  72. 72
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @cleek: I’m pretty sure most of the name-calling was by anti-interventionists against pro-interventionists, but, YMMV.

  73. 73
    Scott P. says:

    The new leader of Libya’s opposition military spent the past two decades in suburban Virginia but felt compelled — even in his late-60s — to return to the battlefield in his homeland, according to people who know him.

    George Washington?

  74. 74
    John W. says:

    As an unabashed supporter of intervention, I’d rather cut and run at 90 days or whenever. At some point there or shortly thereafter, I’d stop supporting it.

    And I hope to god that Virginia guy isn’t a part of the decision making process.

    This is a good military action as far as I’m concerned – but that doesn’t mean I think it’s being run in the right way.

  75. 75
    Barb (formerly Gex) says:

    @Joe Beese: BTW – I love skimming the text you provided. I had to do a double take and make sure the dude wasn’t Godwinning himself.

  76. 76
    eemom says:

    Where’s Joe from L? We need someone to explain why this is a good idea.

  77. 77
    beltane says:

    @Calouste: I don’t really buy the score settling thing with regards to the UK. Many British institutions such as the London School of Economics have received substantial largess from the Qaddafi family over the years. They certainly had no problem dancing to his tune as long as he was paying the piper. This is doubly true for Italy.

  78. 78
    Calouste says:

    @AAA Bonds:

    Yeah, I didn’t word that well at all. Turkey could be there as a peacekeeping force, not as an intervention force. Maybe that if there is a massive humanitarian crisis on the Egyptian border (more massive than there is now anyway with about 200,000 refugees) that Egypt will do something, other than that I can’t see boots on the ground until there is a ceasefire.

  79. 79
    AAA Bonds says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    Yes, I think it’s without a doubt true that if the mission had been laid out as partitioning Libya, no American would have gotten behind it in the first place. Good point.

  80. 80
    General Stuck says:

    @AAA Bonds:

    Do you really think they haven’t? They caught that British MI5 “diplomat” team and sent them back. No way we aren’t already there in a “civilian capacity”.

    It was sarcasm. Of course the CIA is operating at some level in most if not all MENA countries, and have been for some time.

    If so, called it.

    I have no idea what you meant by this

  81. 81
    Alex S. says:

    @joes527:

    I am surprised that we even know these actions exist.

  82. 82
    Martin says:

    @FlipYrWhig: Won’t work. The people in the west are every bit as eager to get rid of Gaddafi – it’s just that Tripoli is in the west and it’s easier to put down revolts over there. And a fair bit of the oil is in the east, and Gaddafi won’t let that go.

    I’m curious how people square this situation with the fact that we’ve been giving Egypt money and selling them arms, and Egypt has been sending arms into Libya. If we just continued with the policy of the last 30 years or so, is that now also unacceptable?

  83. 83
    eemom says:

    @joe from Lowell:

    oh. There you are.

    Please say some more mean things to Cole and drive him into another spluttering hissy fit whilst I munch my popcorn. kthxbai

  84. 84
    Optional says:

    Oh for fuck’s sake. Yes, of course we have CIA in the country providing support. I sincerely believed all of you people would have been smart enough to realize that, obviously we do. It would have been irresponsible NOT to, given the circumstances.

    I hope I don’t give anybody a case of the vapors, but I’m guessing we also have some special forces on the ground as well, primarily acting as forward observers.

    And yes, of course we’re contemplating arming the rebels. That was the obvious next step.

    I thought all of THAT was what all you people were basing your objections on!

    All of THAT is the minimum possible involvement we could have had, once it was decided that there would be any involvement at all.

    My question is whether or not we expand from THAT baseline, particularly if the rebels continue to lose ground. At some point we’ll have to either escalate or just give it up if that happens.

    My read is that there is no way Obama is going to escalate, primarily because we don’t have the actual military capacity to do any escalation. It’s possible the French might, but if they do they will be on their own.

    For the record, I think the decision to get involved in the limited way we have was a good one, and the right one. I remain cautiously optimistic about ultimate sucess, but if it doesn’t work out I won’t go back and change my mind about whether or not we should have tried.

    If Obama surpises me and actually lands troops in Libya, then I’ll join the doom crying brigade, but I sincerely doubt that’s gonna happen.

    -me

  85. 85
    BGinCHI says:

    @Just Some Fuckhead: Sooo truthy.

  86. 86
    cyntax says:

    @cleek:

    Hell, I remember arguing with someone here last week who was telling me that Gaddafi’s forces were the equivalent of the Taliban and would fold as quickly.

    But who knows, if we’re lucky (really lucky) this just keeps the pressure up on Gaddafi and he leaves the country.

    Now whether that means his forces become the insurgents–who knows.

  87. 87
    Hermione Granger-Weasley says:

    @FlipYrWhig: isn’t that one of the chief complaints against me? That I use acronyms and code and write in dialects and slang?
    My position is hone your googlefu.

    The ‘Net is vast and infinite.

  88. 88
    AAA Bonds says:

    @Optional:

    I agree that anyone who didn’t realize that we have black ops squads in the field is really painfully naive.

    We are doing all sorts of things that would get us in trouble if they were laid bare. That was always part of getting involved with Libya.

    Did y’all somehow miss the Brit SF/intelligence team getting shuttled back with their tails between their legs? Do you really think that the Brits were in there and we weren’t?

  89. 89

    So the “news” is that Obama has laid the legal groundwork for the CIA to arm and train Libyan rebels? Why am I supposed to be shocked and/or appalled by this?

  90. 90

    @Calouste:

    NATO should push Turkey to do the bulk of the work on the ground.

    There should be no outside troops on the ground. If we’re helping East Libya not be overrun by West Libya until they get their act together or Gadaffi’s West Libyan government falls, like we protected the Kurds before Operation Iraqi Fuckup, that is vastly preferable to foreign troops being inserted into the country.

  91. 91
    BobS says:

    @Calouste: What leads you to believe Turkey would go along with your plan?

  92. 92
    Hermione Granger-Weasley says:

    @cyntax: umm…the Taliban havent folded. There are more of them today than ever.
    And they are winning.

  93. 93
    AAA Bonds says:

    @General Stuck:

    I meant exactly what it said: I predicted weeks ago that Americans would be satisfied with a partition of Libya, although, of course, the Libyans will not be.

  94. 94
    Lysana says:

    @joe from Lowell:

    So…BEFORE the “Arab League No Fly Zone” was adopted by the UN, and in line with the regime change policy Obama first articulated five weeks ago.

    Forget it, Joe. Much as reality tries to intrude, those who need Obama to be wrong on this will ignore it.

  95. 95
    General Stuck says:

    @cleek:

    What do you mean “this sort of thing”? Surely not the CIA doing covert ops, cause that has and is occurring, and this article only announces the obvious. The primary “this sort of thing” that has any real substance as to anything remotely resembling Iraq, is introduction of US ground forces. And not CIA guys that were already there. The way the air strikes involvement will end is when the planes stop taking off from US bases.

  96. 96
    Okwhatokno says:

    Oh my god! The CIA is being told to do…exactly what they always do?

  97. 97
    cleek says:

    @FlipYrWhig:
    i take it the differences between the two seem sharper to you than they do to me ? mileage, etc..

  98. 98
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @AAA Bonds: I only used the word “partition” because I was importing it from other discussions about foreign policy in the 1990s. It was touchy then too. Particularly the example of Kurdistan and the oil fields, IIRC. I seriously have no idea what I’m talking about and I’m trying to use this space to get information.

  99. 99
    cleek says:

    @General Stuck:

    The primary “this sort of thing” that has any real substance as to anything remotely resembling Iraq,

    yeah, i didn’t say anything about Iraq. so, umm, wha?

  100. 100
    Joe Beese says:

    @Optional:

    All of THAT is the minimum possible involvement we could have had

    Our UN-mandated responsibility to protect the lives of Libyan civilians allows – nay, demands! – that we unleash the boys from Foggy Bottom.

    With the CIA involved, our success is assured.

  101. 101
    General Stuck says:

    @AAA Bonds:

    I called it weeks ago too. What date and time of day did you call it? This is very important. not.

  102. 102
    AAA Bonds says:

    “East Libya” and “West Libya”. That just rolls off the tongue, don’t it?

    How about “demilitarized zone” and “permanent presence”. Not quite as poetic, maybe?

  103. 103
    Calouste says:

    @beltane:

    The LSE isn’t the government or the military/security establishment. The previous government got a huge backlash when the guy behind Lockerbie was released because he had cancer and subsequently refused to die. Brits are quite good at holding grudges, they still haven’t really got over the Falklands war for example.

  104. 104
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    @Martin:

    The people in the west are every bit as eager to get rid of Gaddafi – it’s just that Tripoli is in the west and it’s easier to put down revolts over there.

    lolwut? How do we know how many people support one side of this civil war versus the other side? It appears the pro-Gadaffi side has the numbers or we wouldn’t have put our thumb on the scales for the ragtag rebels, right?

  105. 105
    cyntax says:

    @Optional:

    I thought all of THAT was what all you people were basing your objections on!

    Exactly so, but I didn’t read one post from a supporter that allowed this was the case. Course now that it is, it’s like pointing out the sky is blue.

  106. 106
    AAA Bonds says:

    @General Stuck:

    Man, you are super-ultra-sad whenever I make a fool of you.

  107. 107
    Adolph Jones says:

    I was going to guess Juan Cole.

  108. 108

    The new leader of Libya’s opposition military spent the past two decades in suburban Virginia but felt compelled — even in his late-60s — to return to the battlefield in his homeland, according to people who know him.

    This is precisely – precisely! – like the years-long campaign prior to the Iraq War, prior to 9/11, to set up former CIA asset Ahmed Calabi as the George Washington of Iraq, carried out in the pages of the Washington Post, National Review, and the Weekly Standard.

    Because the most salient facts of the Chalabi episode were his presence in the US before the war, and his return to Iraq. After all, exile Libyans could possibly return to the country to support the uprising unless it’s all a secret plot by the Pentagon.

  109. 109
    D-Chance. says:

    Cole, just chill. It’s OK as long as it’s a Democrat doing it. Learn to love the new Kinetic Military Action, aka Obama’s Turd Sandwich (which needs to be the tag for these posts).

  110. 110
    El Cid says:

    An optimistic possibility — more optimistic than I’m willing to be at the moment, at least regarding what I think is good evidence and precedent — is that such figures as Hifter are interested in returning to Libya to “fight” precisely because they believe that Qaddafi is so weakened and undercut as to be soon losing power.

    If a lot of influential and well-connected expatriate Libyans sense a post-Qaddafi opportunity arising, it would be best to get on the ground and attempt the best association with the opposition and rebel groups as possibile.

  111. 111
    jwb says:

    @cyntax: The black ops would have been in well before the bombing. At the very least they had to discern whether the bombing was feasible and the tactical level of the rebel fighting force.

  112. 112
    Dave says:

    @Joe Beese: So the fact we don’t know enough about the situation on the ground is bad. And when we use our civilian intelligence service to find out about the situation on the ground…it’s also bad.

    Can’t win for trying…

  113. 113
    cbear says:

    @BGinCHI:

    The only thing to do is send war hero and war lover John McCain back to Tripoli

    Hell, let’s send in the super troika…McCain, Lindsey, and Lieberman…those boys will have this mess handled lickety-split.

    Worse case scenario is they come back looking like T.E. Lawrence after that unfortunate incident with the Turks.
    (Of course in Lindsey’s case that might be the best case scenario.)

  114. 114
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @cleek: I’m just not sure about why there’s this need to stick it to people who spoke up in favor of some kind of intervention by citing their angry remarks, when the vast majority of angry remarks have been flung in the other direction.

  115. 115

    @Optional:

    My read is that there is no way Obama is going to escalate, primarily because we don’t have the actual military capacity to do any escalation. It’s possible the French might, but if they do they will be on their own.

    In addition, there’s the fact that the UN Resolution forbids an occupying army, and the certainty that the UN/Arab League/NATO coalition would splinter if ground troops were introduced.

    Look back at the Kosovo War. We were constantly designing our policies around the objections and concerns of coalition members. The wingnuts consider this a bad thing, but I think it’s a healthy brake on overreach.

  116. 116
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Just Some Fuckhead: I thought the Qaddafi side had superior firepower but not popular support. Who knows if that’s right, but that was the sense I had.

  117. 117
    Joe Beese says:

    @Dave:

    So the fact we don’t know enough about the situation on the ground is bad. And when we use our civilian intelligence service to find out about the situation on the ground…it’s also bad. Can’t win for trying…

    The only way to win is not to play.

    I guess your “NO BLOOD FOR OIL” t-shirt doesn’t fit you as well as it used to.

  118. 118
    beltane says:

    It’s not looking too good. The Guardian’s live blog says that Qaddafi’s troops just reclaimed several key towns.

  119. 119
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @El Cid: That was the line on Chalabi too, wasn’t it?

  120. 120
    cyntax says:

    @Hermione Granger-Weasley:

    Yes true, but he meant relative to the initial success of the air campaign, ignoring the insurgency that resulted. Essentially the argument ran: “What are you worried about? Gaddafi’s troops are as poorly equipped and trained as the Taliban.” The opposite is true, his troops are the only ones on the field (outside of defectors) that are trained in maneuver warfare.

  121. 121
    General Stuck says:

    @cleek:

    I didn’t say you did. I made a general statement that is true. Then wtf is your beef here and baiting Obots? YOu said “this sort of thing” meaning the CIA is operating in Libya was what you were insulted about, or something like that. I don’t remember such a thing being a significant part of the debate, that centered around US ground troops going into Libya. So do you have examples of people saying stuff to you about “this sort of thing” of the CIA being active in Libya, or are you just wanking to start a fight?

    And for the record, it is my recollection that the opposition to this action are the ones unhinged. Not the reluctant and tentative supporters .

  122. 122
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    Who knows if that’s right

    Martin, apparently. Christ.

  123. 123
    Hermione Granger-Weasley says:

    @D-Chance.: the tag should be Humanitarian Imperialism.

  124. 124
    General Stuck says:

    @AAA Bonds:

    Man, you are super-ultra-sad whenever I make a fool of you.

    Yea, right. Like that has ever happened here. Are you in high school?

  125. 125
    Jennifer says:

    President Barack Obama has signed a secret order authorizing covert U.S. government support for rebel forces seeking to oust Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi…

    Doesn’t sound all that “secret” to me.

  126. 126
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Just Some Fuckhead: Well, that _has_ been being said: Qaddafi, fewer guys, some of them mercenaries, and better weapons; rebels, more guys and crap weapons. I got that from cable news coverage. I don’t think Martin was claiming any special knowledge.

  127. 127

    @cyntax:

    Hell, I remember arguing with someone here last week who was telling me that Gaddafi’s forces were the equivalent of the Taliban and would fold as quickly.

    They are – perhaps a bit less skilled at warfare, but better-armed – and they were, when NATO was providing air support comparably helpful to the rebels’ advance that we provided to the Northern Alliance in 2001.

    But, contrary to the confused people who keep shouting “Mission Creep” because they can’t read a calendar, it looks like the bombing mission isn’t being used as close air support for the rebellion’s advance, since there was little to no aerial bombardment in the past two days of Gadaffi’s forces in and around Sirte, or counter-attacking the rebel military formations.

    It would be great if it was, in my opinion as someone who still wants to see protesters overthrow tyrants just as much I did a month ago, but that’s just not what the UNSC resolution says.

  128. 128
    cyntax says:

    @jwb:

    True, but with the signing statement, I think we can say they’re expanding the scope to coordination with the rebels.

  129. 129
    Lev says:

    Well I, for one, think Jane Mayer has no business leading any armed resistance movements. She’s too valuable here.

  130. 130
    Martin says:

    @Just Some Fuckhead: Well, maybe you’ve missed that the rebels had taken most of the cities west of Tripoli, and that Gaddafi is shelling those cities as well. Are they motivated toward the same goals as those on the east beyond ousting Gaddafi? Don’t know. But splitting the country seems premature.

    And yes, it’s a bit shocking that the rebels, armed with what they can scavenge are having trouble against Gaddafi’s 2000 tanks and artillery.

  131. 131
    Dave says:

    @Joe Beese: Sure…better to watch a city burn and pat ourselves on the back for our supposed moral superiority.

  132. 132
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Hermione Granger-Weasley: Are you in a cult? Because you go from never having heard of something to totally accepting it as self-evidently correct in, like, nanoseconds.

  133. 133
    Barb (formerly Gex) says:

    Guys, save some powder for the next war/intervention.

  134. 134

    @cleek:

    after a week of being called all manner of names by those who insisted that this kind of thing would never happen ?

    Uh, could you name some of these people who insisted, prior to the UN resolution, that Obama wouldn’t use non-military means to help bring about Gadaffi’s ouster?

    Because that would be a very silly claim for someone to have made.

  135. 135
    Joe Beese says:

    @Jennifer:

    Doesn’t sound all that “secret” to me.

    I’m sure the leaker will be subjected to the Bradley Manning treatment.

    Or not.

  136. 136
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Martin: I only knew about the east/west thing… I need to learn more.

  137. 137
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    Well, that has been being said: Qaddafi, fewer guys, some of them mercenaries, and better weapons; rebels, more guys and crap weapons. I got that from cable news coverage. I don’t think Martin was claiming any special knowledge.

    Yes, there’s a lot of stupid shit being made up out of whole cloth to advance an agenda of permanent war.

  138. 138
    Dave says:

    @Martin: It is premature, but don’t be surprised if it happens. The ethnic makeup almost divides right down the line. And they have been separate before: the first couple of decades as an Italian colony Libya was in two parts, with Tripoli and Benghazi as the two capitals.

  139. 139
    The Sheriff's A Ni- says:

    Now I don’t want 500 people coming in stomping their feet and telling me this isn’t Iraq, but seriously, what is the first name that comes to mind when you read this:

    That with such weak dot-connecting even the guys behind Loose Change would go ‘what the hell?’

    Wake me up when Paul Bremer changes his address to Tripoli, until then its nothing than more sound and fury signifying the continuing Iraq/Afghanistan Spitfire Summer.

  140. 140
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Joe Beese: Maybe it _was_ Bradley Manning! It’s all related!

  141. 141
    jwb says:

    @Lev: What sucks is that he would sure have have lost had he not gone in as well. We’d be subject to story after story about the Gaddafi systematically killing every last one of the rebels and so how Obama was complicit in the genocide.

  142. 142

    @AAA Bonds:

    How about “demilitarized zone” and “permanent presence”. Not quite as poetic, maybe?

    For a “permanent presence,” one would have to be “present.”

  143. 143
    cyntax says:

    @joe from Lowell:

    They are – perhaps a bit less skilled at warfare, but better-armed – and they were, when NATO was providing air support comparably helpful to the rebels’ advance that we provided to the Northern Alliance in 2001.

    Sorry, I’m having trouble parsing this. They who?

    And no, we’re not doing CAS yet, but it sounds like we will be soon.

  144. 144
    Suffern ACE says:

    Pisses me off, but I’m still pissed at the French more. Two weeks in and I’m still hoping that the French are forced to give up Toulon as reparations or sell naming rights to the “Best Buy Eiffel Tower” when this is over.

  145. 145
    Martin says:

    @FlipYrWhig: No special knowledge. I just read a lot. I’m also assuming that publications such as AlJazeera aren’t tire swinging for US interests.

  146. 146
    cbear says:

    @joe from Lowell:

    I don’t understand why the concept that the UN military mission and the US non-military policy are two different things is so difficult for people to understand, and I don’t understand why I’m supposed to feel differently about the non-military means being used to try to oust Gadaffi and the non-military means used to try to oust Mubarak.

    There’s a lot you don’t understand Joe, as you have made so painfully obvious to virtually everyone that has had to suffer through your endless ruminations on virtually every aspect of virtually every subject for what seems a very long fucking time now.

    Perhaps you should take a break, go on a Vision Quest or maybe an Odyssey, and then you can come back in several years and share you’re newfound understanding with the group.

  147. 147
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Barb (formerly Gex):

    Guys, save some powder for the next war/intervention.

    I’m already sure THAT one is just like Iraq!

  148. 148

    Now I don’t want 500 people coming in stomping their feet and telling me this isn’t Iraq, but seriously, what is the first name that comes to mind when you read this:

    But, of course. We all know a Presidential finding is exactly the same as mounting a full invasion, just like Iraq. There’s no way they should be doing this until it is absolutely necessary. Why plan ahead when we can react at a moment’s notice? And, of course, every ex-pat is exactly the same as Chalabi. Look at the Dalai Lama, for instance.

  149. 149
    jwb says:

    @General Stuck: Oh, the CIA almost surely has been in Libya, and longer than that directive says. The question to ask is why the directive was leaked now. Because this has all the hallmarks of an official leak, meaning somebody very high up wanted the information out.

  150. 150

    @Just Some Fuckhead:

    lolwut? How do we know how many people support one side of this civil war versus the other side?

    Because prior to the civil war (that is, prior to Gadaffi sending his tanks and air force against the protesters), there was a protest movement that took over almost every city in Libya. The policy/security forces couldn’t stop it, despite increasing crackdowns, leading Gadaffi to order in the troops.

    It appears the pro-Gadaffi side has the numbers or we wouldn’t have put our thumb on the scales for the ragtag rebels, right?

    A disparity in equipment and professionalism explains this just as well.

  151. 151
    jo6pac says:

    I wonder if this finding has anything to do with the Libyan expat resident of Northern Virginia, 10 miles from Langley, showing up in Benghazi to command the rebel army?

    Nope he just happens to be in town for a vacation I’m sure. I’m sure he stopped a radio shack to pick up a few satellite phones/computer equipment for friends back home.

    Oh this is starting to look like Iran in the 50s

  152. 152
    Martin says:

    @Dave: Oh, I wouldn’t be surprised. The Libyan people can work this out however they like. But I don’t see splitting the country and leaving half of them with Gaddafi, eager to invade the other half as a solution to the current scenario.

  153. 153
    El Cid says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    That was the line on Chalabi too, wasn’t it?

    Well, if Chalabi’s backers are being discussed, then, no Chalabi was hailed as a magical unifying figure whose arrival would draw the disparate groups of the devastated Iraqi nation-state together.

    Chalabi was only able to reap benefits because he was so forcefully supported by admirers and liars (the same crowd) and the US.

    He wasn’t going back to try and get in with the new power structure. Both because everyone hated him over there, and also because there was no power structure over there worth mentioning — outside the Bush Jr.-installed government there to pillage as much loot as possible while dismantling any of the government services and resources left.

  154. 154
    Lolis says:

    WH is now saying they have not decided on whether they will be arming the rebels.

  155. 155
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @jwb: Could be that, as a warning to Qaddafi that this shit’s about to get real! Or it could be the reverse, a leak that steps all over the speech.

  156. 156
    cyntax says:

    @jwb:

    …meaning somebody very high up wanted the information out.

    Well here’s hoping it’s meant to speed up some ongoing backroom negotiations with Gaddafi’s people to get him the hell out of there.

  157. 157
    jwb says:

    @Brachiator: “It may be a new kind of mistake.” You can almost bank on the fact that if it doesn’t involve repeating old mistakes, it will entail an entirely new class of mistakes. We can only hope their consequences are not as bad.

  158. 158
    The Sheriff's A Ni- says:

    @jo6pac:

    Oh this is starting to look like Iran in the 50s

    Kadaffy as Mossadegh? Really?

  159. 159
    cleek says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    I’m just not sure about why there’s this need to stick it to people who spoke up in favor of some kind of intervention by citing their angry remarks

    really?

    honestly, i’m not so upset about the concept of the intervention (as opposed to what i predict will be its bloated, everlasting implementation), as i am about the constant assumption of bad faith or lack of sympathy by many of the pro-interventionists of the anti-‘s.

    when the vast majority of angry remarks have been flung in the other direction.

    i haven’t kept count. but i’ve been insulted enough to want to insult back. that’s the way these things go.

  160. 160
    Dave says:

    @Martin: Yeah…it’d be Cyprus, with a heavy UN presence on a demarcation line, or it wouldn’t work.

  161. 161
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @El Cid: OK, thx. It was that “loot”/deal-making aspect I was thinking of re: Chalabi.

  162. 162
    BGinCHI says:

    OK, let’s review.

    Doesn’t this situation come down to whether or not anyone inhabiting the office of POTUS can do anything other than go down a neo-con road?

    Seriously.

    We are arguing about whether Obama is doing something different from Bush/Iraq or not.

    Either he is doing something different: smarter, more humanitarian, more multi-lateral. Or he’s only pretending to and actually falling into the same mindset as his predecessor, which either means he has fooled us or the POTUS is just locked into these kinds of actions because we are an Empire with fingers of foam.

  163. 163

    @cyntax:

    True, but with the signing statement, I think we can say they’re expanding the scope to coordination with the rebels.

    Once again, the order was signed before the UN even voted on the resolution.

  164. 164
    jwb says:

    @Violet: The only difference is that we don’t have the strikethroughs and so are trying to be at war with everyone at the same time.

  165. 165
    cyntax says:

    @cleek:

    the constant assumption of bad faith or lack of sympathy by many of the pro-interventionists of the anti-’s.

    That has gotten old.

  166. 166
    My Truth Hurts says:

    It’s just the usual US Policy of Perpetual War. Nothing to see here. Move along, buy some foreign made crap and shut the fuck up.

  167. 167

    @jo6pac:

    I wonder if this finding has anything to do with the Libyan expat resident of Northern Virginia, 10 miles from Langley, showing up in Benghazi to command the rebel army?

    Did he show up 2-3 weeks ago, when the order was signed?

  168. 168
    General Stuck says:

    @jwb:

    The question to ask is why the directive was leaked now.

    Maybe the obvious, Obama doesn’t want it to be secret, though officially, directives involving the CIA always are. The same as when he announced the capture/kill directive of Al Aswari in Yemen.

  169. 169
    jo6pac says:

    @The Sheriff’s A Ni-: we never install some one like MLK just another bad guy who is Amerikas guy for awhile

  170. 170
    cyntax says:

    @joe from Lowell:

    With the leaking of the signing statement…

  171. 171

    @cyntax:

    They who?

    Gadaffi’s army. Not as good at warfare as the Taliban – who is? – but better equipped.

  172. 172
    jo6pac says:

    @joe from Lowell: I don’t know but it would be fun to find out.

  173. 173
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @cleek:

    the constant assumption of bad faith or lack of sympathy by many of the pro-interventionists of the anti-’s.

    Well balanced, to say the least, by counter-accusations about imperialism, bloodlust, naivete, blind adoration of Obama, etc. I mean, whatever, it’s fun to retaliate, I just wanted to make a point that it’s not like the anti-intervention side hasn’t been getting its licks in since this whole thing started.

  174. 174

    @cbear:

    There’s a lot you don’t understand Joe, as you have made so painfully obvious to virtually everyone that has had to suffer through your endless ruminations on virtually every aspect of virtually every subject for what seems a very long fucking time now.

    So, in other words, you can’t rebut a single thing I’ve written, but your gut tells you I’m wrong.

    Tell me…can you read a calendar?

  175. 175
    Martin says:

    @El Cid:

    Well, if Chalabi’s backers are being discussed, then, no Chalabi was hailed as a magical unifying figure whose arrival would draw the disparate groups of the devastated Iraqi nation-state together.

    But we knew a lot about Chalabi at the time, and he was obviously a douchebag and completely unable to perform that role. He was a criminal banker.

    I’ve met Chalabi’s wife, and a close friend of mine has been a friend of hers for decades and visits her regularly in Lebanon. His wife stated clearly that the whole arrangement was bullshit, that Chalabi was lying on behalf of the government in exchange for the US to arrange a pardon for Chalabi so he could return to Jordan.

  176. 176
    cleek says:

    @General Stuck:

    YOu said “this sort of thing” meaning the CIA is operating in Libya

    the CIA “operating” in a country that is in the midst of a civil war in which we have taken a side… that doesn’t sound to me like the start of anything good. maybe you see differently.

    And for the record, it is my recollection that the opposition to this action are the ones unhinged. Not the reluctant and tentative supporters .

    then we see things differently.

  177. 177
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @joe from Lowell: To be fair, waiting a bit probably saved a lot of money on Priceline.

  178. 178
    cleek says:

    @cyntax:
    indeed it has.

  179. 179
    J.A.F. Rusty Shackleford says:

    Libyan Foreign Minister Defects to London

    “In Libya, in the face of a new onslaught by government troops, rebel forces fled eastward Wednesday from cities and towns they had captured just days ago. But Gaddafi suffered a political defeat with the defection to Britain of his foreign minister, Musa Kusa, the most senior official thus far to break ranks.

    Kusa, one of the most senior figures in Gaddafi’s government, quit to protest attacks on civilians by government forces, news agencies reported, citing an account from an associate. Kusa served as chief of Gaddafi’s intelligence apparatus from 1994 until 2009, when he was appointed foreign minister. Kusa previously had been considered likely to stick with Gaddafi to the end.”

    This is probably a fluke. Nothing to see here. Move along.

  180. 180
    cyntax says:

    Uh no. The Taliban are not good at pitched battles or modern warfare with tanks and artillery, which is what we’re currently seeing, the Taliban are good at guerilla warfare/insurgency.

  181. 181

    @cyntax:

    With the leaking of the signing statement…

    Ah, capice.

  182. 182
    Joe Beese says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    I’m just not sure about why there’s this need to stick it to people who spoke up in favor of some kind of intervention

    I think Arthur Silber put it nicely:

    With regard to all the “humanitarian” justifications that have been revived for the gabillionth time in connection with The Glorious Liberation of Libya, I can only ask: How fucking stupid are you people? Really? That fucking stupid? To credit the “humanitarian” argument in the smallest degree, you have to be.

  183. 183

    @cleek:

    honestly, i’m not so upset about the concept of the intervention (as opposed to what i predict will be its bloated, everlasting implementation), as i am about the constant assumption of bad faith or lack of sympathy by many of the pro-interventionists of the anti-’s.

    Uh, yeah, you know what? It’s pretty fucking tiring to be told that you don’t actually believe what you believe, and are only mouthing a party line, every time you make a point that bothers people but they can’t rebut.

  184. 184
    salacious crumb says:

    @cbear: agreed. Its pointless to talk with Joe from Lowell. he makes up his own facts..in the previous, he just starts blathering about how the the United States had nothing to fear wrt to Muslim Brotherhood and how they renounced violence…its clear nothing short of Obama worship is gonna cut it for him

  185. 185
    soonergrunt says:

    Oh, look, a nation-state is rat-fucking another nation-state in order to support and extend its own perceived interests.
    This is something completely fucking new in the history of man, apparently, and is a source of much pulling of hair and gnashing of teeth. Or its something that’s always been done and is the subject of much pulling of hair and gnashing of teeth. Or its 11-dimensional chess and the reaction to it is the subject of much pulling of hair and gnashing of teeth. Or its just more proof that America is inherently greedy and evil and is the subject of much pulling of hair and gnashing of teeth. Or the people who find this to be the subject of much pulling of hair and gnashing of teeth are themselves the subject of much pulling of hair and gnashing of teeth.

    Ya’ll just keep going on with your bald, toothless selves. It’s fucking hilarious, and I’ve got beer and popcorn.

  186. 186
    General Stuck says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    Same blueprint as with HCR. The “sellout” thing, liebercrats, and all the rest, and when fire is returned it was the meany Obots hippie punching. And it should be noted, the terms “hippie punching” AND Obots was first coined by the same people leveling the same bullshit now. The only charge I have made was not one, but simply stating the reality of what would have happened if we hadn’t intervened. And no one I have heard, supporting this action has used inflammatory terms describing that consequence of not acting that is the anti interventionist position.

  187. 187
    jwb says:

    @BGinCHI: Try empathizing with the man sitting in that chair with the decision he has to make given the information he has and the political pressures he faces. When you put yourself there, at the very least, whether you agree with the decision or not, you should see that it’s a shitty call, with really bad consequences for which he is going to be held responsible, no matter what he does. And, yes, to a considerable extent it’s due to the way the neo-cons have managed to rig the politics of neverending war.

  188. 188
    El Cid says:

    @Martin:

    I’ve met Chalabi’s wife, and a close friend of mine has been a friend of hers for decades and visits her regularly in Lebanon. His wife stated clearly that the whole arrangement was bullshit, that Chalabi was lying on behalf of the government in exchange for the US to arrange a pardon for Chalabi so he could return to Jordan.

    Not to mention it was one of those things — the promotion of Chalabi as a valued information source and hopeful unifying figure upon return — which was completely obvious to anyone who gave a shit to take the tiniest bit of time to know the facts and examine the record.

    Anyone who was a grownup should have immediately laughed, or angrily screamed, or both, when it was suggested that Iraq was trying to make a deal to buy more yellowcake uranium than the thousands of tons he already had with a French-controlled and guarded mining complex in Niger so that he could take these hundreds of tons over land through much of North Africa and via ships carrying heavy cargo in order to avoid the no-fly zone, all in order to still not be able to have the technology and expertise to process low-grade uranium into weaponizeable forms.

  189. 189

    @cyntax:

    The Taliban are not good at pitched battles or modern warfare with tanks and artillery, which is what we’re currently seeing, the Taliban are good at guerilla warfare/insurgency.

    I don’t understand why you think this contradicts what I wrote. The Congolese Army is way better at ground battles with tanks than the American Air Force, but it’s still true that the Air Force is better at fighting wars.

  190. 190
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @cleek: I think the typical interaction since this began has been something like this.

    Front page: More good news from Libya. Great. [Story] Who could possibly think this is a good idea?

    Commenter P: It could be a good idea to try to save people from being slaughtered.

    Commenter C: Oh yeah, well why not intervene everywhere then, huh, we can’t be the world’s policemen, no blood for oil, this is what always happens, dumbass, why don’t you learn a damn lesson about American interference.

    Commenter P: Um, all the same, I think it still might be a good idea.

    Commenter C: What’s the matter with you, you’re a fucking moron. You can’t bomb your way to peace.

    Commenter P: OK, but that does mean that people will die because we stood by.

    Commenter C: Stop haranguing me about how I don’t care!

    Frontpage, next day: Take a look at this, Commenter P, you dumbass, this is the kind of thing I was warning about it. Defend that!

    Commenter P: Calm the fuck down.

    Commenter C: I’m tired of being barraged with testy comments from Commenter P!

  191. 191
    lawguy says:

    @John W.: Time warp: I myself was always in favor of the war in Iraq, just not the way Bush handled it.

  192. 192
    General Stuck says:

    deleted due to author not wishing to fan flames unnecessarily

  193. 193
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Joe Beese: Yeah, that’s a good example of someone being a smug, superior asshole. So was the link.

  194. 194

    @salacious crumb: The United States has nothing to fear from the Muslim Brotherhood, and they renounced violence, bed-wetter.

  195. 195
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    @joe from Lowell: @Martin:

    Neither one of you have proven your chosen side has the numbers. Indeed, neither one of you knows. Facts on the ground would indicate just the opposite as loyalists are continuing to win despite the US bombing the shit out of them.

    You need for your chosen side to appear to have the numbers, so you can claim to have sided with the majority in a popular uprising against despotism. I think it’s more complicated than your little morality play.

  196. 196
    BGinCHI says:

    @jwb: Agreed. That’s why I’m asking about the structure. This is complex and has a lot of moving parts and it’s tiring to hear people describe it in such a way that Obama can make these choices outside a context. The question I’m asking is: what IS the context? Is it something that locks him into a course of action or can he exert his will and beliefs? Is he taking the data and opinions from those around him and trying to make a call that best suits the country? If so, which version of this country? Status quo neo-con (Bush era) or Progressive change?

    I think we need to separate this from Iraq, but if it starts to look the same, then we have to be careful about blaming Obama or wondering whether the Military Industrial Complex hasn’t so totally taken over that the inhabitant of the office of the POTUS is almost irrelevant.

    Chilling.

  197. 197
    salacious crumb says:

    @joe from Lowell: I wasnt going to respond to your Muslim Brotherhood argument because it was just so far off that it was clear that it demonstrated your ignorance..but seeing how you hold urself an expert in all of this, i had to put a rebuttal..remember from the previous thread I was arguing that the whole reason the US and Israel supported Hosni was because they didnt wanna see Muslim Brotherhood in his place?

    well…

    Indeed, the Muslim Brotherhood is one of the main reasons why official Israel seems to support Mubarak so keenly. It is considered the most popular political movement in Egypt, and its position regarding the peace treaty with Israel is clear: They want it revoked immediately. “Democracy is something beautiful,” said Eli Shaked, who was Israel’s ambassador to Cairo from 2003 to 2005, in an interview with SPIEGEL ONLINE. “Nevertheless, it is very much in the interests of Israel, the United States and Europe that Mubarak remains in power.”

    http://www.spiegel.de/internat.....86,00.html

  198. 198

    @FlipYrWhig:

    Commenter P: OK, but that does mean that people will die because we stood by.

    HOW DARE YOU CALL ME OBJECTIVELY PRO-GADAFFI?!? JUST LIKE BUSH!

  199. 199
    cbear says:

    @joe from Lowell:

    So, in other words, you can’t rebut a single thing I’ve written, but your gut tells you I’m wrong.

    There is no rebuttal for someone like you, Joe. You’re in love with the sound of your own voice and engaging with you is like trying to reason with a shit-flinging monkey—the monkey enjoys the attention and all you end up with is more flung shit.

  200. 200
    salacious crumb says:

    @joe from Lowell: hey fifth grader who resorts to calling people names when he cant win an arguement read the article I posted below before you start blathering again

  201. 201
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    @FlipYrWhig: I can’t believe I’m the only one that has had enough of your meta critic shit. If you don’t like the way it is, piss off. Some other douchebag will fill the void you left behind and we’ll never miss a beat.

    Go back to Kos or wherever the hell you came from.

  202. 202
    cyntax says:

    @joe from Lowell:

    Look, the argument that the air campaign in Libya will move as quickly as the air campaign in Afghanistan is a bad comparison. Gaddafi’s forces are better trained and better equipped than the Taliban and facing a force much less experienced than the Northern Alliance was. That’s my point.

    Which you can see in action every time the rebels retreat.

  203. 203
    Joe Beese says:

    @jwb:

    Try empathizing with the man sitting in that chair with the decision he has to make given the information he has and the political pressures he faces.

    Boo fucking hoo.

    He clawed and scratched for the pleasure that sitting in that chiar would give him. And since planting his lying ass in it, he has shown no empathy for the thousands of civilians he’s slaughtered in Afghanistand and Pakistan.

    You want tears from us because people are saying mean things about him for unleashing his Foggy Bottom ratfuckers in Libya?

  204. 204
    El Cid says:

    @salacious crumb: Wait a minute — you don’t have to have a particular view of US etc intervention into Libya to have the viewpoint that the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood is not a significant threat to the US, and there are not yet signs that it will be. And by “US” I mean real people like me. In fact it has taken a number of steps and declarations that have made it the target of violent Islamic fundamentalist forces. It’s a large and complicated movement, and it is not a tightly coherent and top-down commanded organization. This is not so much a ‘defense’ of the MB as it is a recognition that there are more important layers of context than a few ‘death to America’ type quotes.

  205. 205

    @Just Some Fuckhead:

    Neither one of you have proven your chosen side has the numbers.

    Proved? No, but for the reason I just explained, which you don’t seem to have answer to, there is good reason to believe this is the case.

    Facts on the ground would indicate just the opposite as loyalists are continuing to win despite the US bombing the shit out of them.

    Actually, it was only when NATO ceased bombing the shit out of the loyalists that they began to win. When we were bombing the shit out of them, the rebels were winning.

    Which certainly demonstrates that the loyalists have military superiority, but since we know they have better equipment and professionalism, assuming they have a larger following among the populace is baseless.

    Anyway, thanks for jumping right over my argument entirely and going straight for the psycho-babble. Very worthwhile.

  206. 206
    lawguy says:

    @joe from Lowell: I’d suggest that someone who has lived in the US for the last 2 decades is not the most impressive person to put in charge of a revolution.

  207. 207
    Brachiator says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    Well, there were all those Iraqi exile groups in the 1990s.

    Not quite the same as the defection of those who were actively part of the government. When your incumbent foreign minister defects, this is a big f*ing deal. Note that this does not say that the Libya intervention is all sunshine and lollipops, but people need to get off the “everything is exactly the same as what happened before horse.”

    @AAA Bonds:

    Shoring up defectors from an enemy government isn’t new. We want successors, and there’s no reason for these folks to not gamble on succession. If they gamble and lose, they’re the US-funded opposition for the rest of their lives.

    Or they’re dead. The risks may be much more considerable than you allow.

  208. 208
    General Stuck says:

    @Just Some Fuckhead:

    I can’t believe I’m the only one that has had enough of your meta critic shit.

    I’m sure there are a few other miscreant shitweasels from the same sewer as yourself who do. That was a meta critique, btw.

  209. 209
    jwb says:

    @General Stuck: It’s a few days late, I think, for transparency to serve as a primary justification. I don’t think the motive is necessarily nefarious, but I do think the timing is meaningful. And the fact that it was leaked this way means that it was designed primarily for Village and/or international consumption rather than for We, the People.

  210. 210
    John Cole says:

    So wait…one of the objections to this action was that we didn’t know anything about any of the players on the ground. So we send our civilian foreign intelligence service into Libya to do just that…and it’s a bad thing?

    What would you rather we do? Read wikipedia?

    LOL. That isn’t what this authorizes. For goodness sakes, we’re talking about the CIA. They haven’t been sitting around in blissful ignorance, just waiting to be told to find out what is going on in Libya. They’ve been monitoring Libya since the CIA existed. This order doesn’t say “Hey guys, go find out who the bad guys are.” They are doing that already (or should have been), and it is a safe bet they have and have had considerable assets on the ground for a long, long time. If they don’t, we need to wonder just what the hell they are doing with the billions of dollars we give them every year.

    This authorization has nothing to do with that, as the article states.

  211. 211
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Just Some Fuckhead: The nerve I have, going into comments on a blog to comment on the subject matter of the post with other people who feel like commenting on the subject matter of the post! I should learn my lesson and come in at the ends of threads to play Tough Dude Who Takes No Shit.

  212. 212
    salacious crumb says:

    @El Cid: El Cid, I never said the Muslim Brotherhood is our enemy. you have to read a previous posting in a different thread between myself and Joe before u start offering opinions.

    It doesnt matter whether u think the MB is our enemy or whether they renounced violence. I agree with you that they did, but the US govt and Israel clearly donta agree and they continue the presence of the MB in Egypt as a threat.

  213. 213
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    @joe from Lowell: Yeah, because the loyalist tanks, artillery and weapons are just driving themselves around magically with no human intervention or planning. I bet Gaddafi has them wired up with a neural net so he can control his military apparatus with nothing but brainwaves.

  214. 214

    @salacious crumb:

    remember from the previous thread I was arguing that the whole reason the US and Israel supported Hosni was because they didnt wanna see Muslim Brotherhood in his place?

    Yes, and I remember not disputing this.

    Our country makes a lot of bad judgments when Israel is involved.

    The Muslim Brotherhood is not our enemy, and they’ve renounced violence. There is absolutely nothing in your quote that even suggests otherwise.

  215. 215
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    @FlipYrWhig: Just piss off. It should be pretty fucking obvious by now that no one likes a hall monitor in teh threads.

  216. 216
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Just Some Fuckhead: You know what’s totally NOT like being a hall monitor? Trying to make someone go away and stop talking about something!

  217. 217

    @cbear:

    There is no rebuttal for someone like you, Joe.

    Sure there is. In this case, you could demonstrate that the order wasn’t signed before the UN resolution.

    Or, you could demonstrate the the US and UN don’t have different policies.

    The thing is, you can’t. If you could actually demonstrate that I was wrong about something, you’d be shouting it from the heavens and turning cartwheels.

    But, instead, you write about what a terrible, terrible person I am, and commiserate with other people who find themselves in the same pickle.

  218. 218
    salacious crumb says:

    @joe from Lowell: ok but who cares what u think..Obama isnt making policy based on your perspective of MB..the US govt clearly seems to think they are still a threat, especially vis a vis Israel…so they are not our friend…

    I agree they renounced violence, but so what….policy is being made as if they didnt…and u made it look like it was official govt policy that MB is our friend. if that wasnt ur intention then fine..but I had to put it out there for the record.

  219. 219
    Joe Beese says:

    @joe from Lowell:

    The Muslim Brotherhood is not our enemy, and they’ve renounced violence.

    More than you can say for us.

  220. 220

    @salacious crumb: I did.

    You do know that we’re not Israel, right?

  221. 221

    @salacious crumb:

    hey fifth grader who resorts to calling people names when he cant win an arguement

    Fucking irony: how does it work?

  222. 222
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    @FlipYrWhig: You appear to know what a hall monitor is. Now stop please or go fuck up some other blog.

  223. 223
    Martin says:

    @Just Some Fuckhead:

    You need for your chosen side to appear to have the numbers, so you can claim to have sided with the majority in a popular uprising against despotism. I think it’s more complicated than your little morality play.

    Why do I need to do that? I don’t know if the rebels have the numbers and I never claimed that they did. I did claim that the majority of Libyans want Gaddafi out, and there seems to be quite a bit of evidence to support that.

    The rebels may get crushed. But they were definitely going to get crushed without us intervening. So it’s possible all of this is for naught and that Gaddafi will simply extend his stranglehold on the country and turn the place into the North Korea of Africa. But that was happening anyway. We haven’t made this worse, we just forced it to happen without aerial bombing and tanks.

    Taking the global view, even if this effort fails, Gaddafi will emerge as even more of a pariah as he was before. But we’ll have robbed him of his heavy arms and limited his ability to militarily influence his neighbors.

    I don’t know if the rebels will succeed, but if the people of Libya want to try and oust Gaddafi, I’m not going to suggest they shouldn’t try. The only electoral process the nation has is force. Should we arm them? I don’t think we should. Should we look the other way while Egypt and Qatar and others do? Yep. One thing I do trust is that they have a much clearer picture of what is likely to happen by the Libyan people than US intel does.

  224. 224
    El Cid says:

    @salacious crumb:

    you have to read a previous posting in a different thread between myself and Joe before u start offering opinions.

    It’s a great theory, but I’m not going to make it all the way through the 300-comment posts and spot each context.

    Agreed that a major motivation of the US and Israel were to maintain a compliant tyrant in power. The prospects of the MB, in my view, is only one factor, but one which is really easy to talk about in public as a more acceptable explanation.

  225. 225
    salacious crumb says:

    @joe from Lowell: man are u deluded or what…

    we are not israel sure, but our policies towards the Middle East have been shaped in the form of whats best for Israel is best for us….and yes we are not israel

  226. 226

    @cyntax:

    Look, the argument that the air campaign in Libya will move as quickly as the air campaign in Afghanistan is a bad comparison. Gaddafi’s forces are better trained and better equipped than the Taliban and facing a force much less experienced than the Northern Alliance was. That’s my point.

    I hear you, but I disagree. My point is, the difference isn’t in the quality of the opposition force, but in the level of air support being provided. When we were bombing the forces in front of the rebels, like we were bombing the Taliban military, the rebels advanced quickly. When we laid off, they were driven back.

    I’m saying, it’s the air support that’s the difference.

  227. 227
    jo6pac says:

    http://thealphanews.com/news-a.....opposition

    Read down a few sentences and it talks about how long we have been in the nation. Sorry can’t stay there’s a bottle of wine calling me.

  228. 228
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Just Some Fuckhead: I’ll have you know, it was like that when I got here. :P

  229. 229
    General Stuck says:

    @jwb:

    It is an order for additional action than what has been occurring which was mostly just finding out wtr is going on and who are we dealing with, so it goes beyond belated transparency that the CIA is active in Libya. But it is not troops on the ground, as they (CIA) likely were already there, and most likely for providing logistic support/coordination and intelligence to the rebels. As I understand it, it would take another directive, or even act of congress to give them arms at some point.

    It was a finding, and no doubt done first to get an idea of who these people are and should we be helping them more than just not letting them get slaughtered. That was apparently satisfied enough to offer this help, but I doubt the CIA is going to be trying to kill Quadaffy, or anything more than what I mentioned.

  230. 230

    @lawguy:

    I’d suggest that someone who has lived in the US for the last 2 decades is not the most impressive person to put in charge of a revolution.

    That’s the wonderful thing – well, one wonderful thing – about not putting ground forces in: questions like that aren’t our call.

  231. 231
    lawguy says:

    @joe from Lowell: Actually, I think that for all effects and purposes we are Israel in what we do in the Middle East.

  232. 232
    salacious crumb says:

    @El Cid:

    . The prospects of the MB, in my view, is only one factor, but one which is really easy to talk about in public as a more acceptable explanation.

    not sure i follow you…

    anyways my larger point here is point out the inconsistencies in joe`s argument…like the MB example

  233. 233
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    @Martin:

    I did claim that the majority of Libyans want Gaddafi out, and there seems to be quite a bit of evidence to support that.

    Great, where is it?

    I don’t know if the rebels will succeed, but if the people of Libya want to try and oust Gaddafi, I’m not going to suggest they shouldn’t try.

    I said they need to water their own tree of liberty. There are ~ three million adults of fighting age in Libya. That’s a far cry from the 1000 – 15000 troops the rebels are claiming.

  234. 234
    lawguy says:

    @joe from Lowell: You think he got over ther on a magic carpet? You think we didn’t do it?

    Listen contact me privately I have some penny stocks I’m sure you’ll be interested in.

  235. 235

    @John Cole:

    This authorization has nothing to do with that, as the article states.

    John’s right. This isn’t an intelligence-gathering mission. It’s the use of non-military resources to advance our month-plus, pre-intervention policy of regime change.

    So, anyway, now that people have looked at the calendar, can we all hold hands and agree that signing this order prior to the UN military action is not mission creep in the UN military mission?

  236. 236
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    @FlipYrWhig: I appreciate you trying to be reasonable in the face of my assault. But I stand by what I said. I am sick to death of the fucking meta shit. It’s not your fucking blog, or eemom’s, or Allan’s and the rest of us have been here a helluva lot longer. The reason people come and stay is because of the freewheeling nature of the comments, the snark, the trolling, the insults and the banter. If you can’t handle that, shove off.

  237. 237

    @salacious crumb:

    It doesnt matter whether u think the MB is our enemy or whether they renounced violence. I agree with you that they did

    Then why the holy hell do you keep bitching at me for writing that the Muslim Brotherhood is not our enemy and has renounced violence?

    Beyond the fact that I dare to disagree with you on Libya, that is?

  238. 238
    salacious crumb says:

    @joe from Lowell: what exactly, do you think we have the CIA doing there..please be articulate and clear…

  239. 239

    @Just Some Fuckhead:

    Yeah, because the loyalist tanks, artillery and weapons are just driving themselves around magically with no human intervention or planning. I bet Gaddafi has them wired up with a neural net so he can control his military apparatus with nothing but brainwaves.

    Sooooo…your argument here is that, because there are crews in Gadaffi’s tanks, that means most of the population supports him.

    Tell you what…I’m going to put your idea in the maybe pile.

  240. 240
    Joe Beese says:

    @joe from Lowell:

    It’s the use of non-military resources to advance our month-plus, pre-intervention policy of regime change.

    For a “non-military resource”, the CIA is sure good at killing people with drone bombers.

  241. 241
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    @joe from Lowell: There are ~ three million adults of fighting age in Libya. That’s a far cry from the 1000 – 15000 troops the rebels are claiming.

  242. 242
    srv says:

    The CIA is not a relevant agency anymore. Rummy saw that DoD built its own HUMINT, and has always had their own policy and analytical orgs. And of course, they have all the toys for war already. They don’t need blue badgers for a single thing, except maybe propping up a Hifter or two and managing his wardrobe for TV appearances.

    Leon Panetta’s main effort this month was saying nice things about Broder.

  243. 243

    @salacious crumb:

    ok but who cares what u think..Obama isnt making policy based on your perspective of MB..

    If that was the case, then Obama would not have helped to bring about Murbark’s ouster and elections in which the MB can run, and quite possibly win.

    the US govt clearly seems to think they are still a threat, especially vis a vis Israel…so they are not our friend…

    No, they’re not our friend. Nor are they our enemy. I’d put them into a category comparable to “opposition” or “competitor.”

  244. 244
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Just Some Fuckhead: I don’t want to clamp down on comments. I didn’t mean to give that impression. I get tired of fighting the same fights and prefer to fight new ones. But I say that in the spirit of snarking and insulting and generally being a dick. You fucker! See, like that.

  245. 245
    salacious crumb says:

    @joe from Lowell: because you presented your argument in the previous thread as if it was official govt policy that MB isnt a thread…

    im not a fuckin 5 yr old that if you dont agree with me, then im going to harass u on this blog…you are mixing your feelings with facts and that is what im bitching about…

    btw when ur mad, feel free to call people bedwetters and whatever else u call others…

  246. 246

    @Joe Beese:

    More than you can say for us.

    I don’t care who you are, that’s a funny comment.

    Nicely done.

  247. 247
    salacious crumb says:

    @joe from Lowell:

    If that was the case, then Obama would not have helped to bring about Murbark’s ouster and elections in which the MB can run, and quite possibly win.

    Obama couldnt afford to support Hosni because he had no other choice this time…what was he gonna say..oh yes mow down ur people while US is your friend…but the admin flipped flopped in the early days precisely because they were terrified of MB..

    No, they’re not our friend. Nor are they our enemy. I’d put them into a category comparable to “opposition” or “competitor.”

    man you are deluded. its pointless arguing with you.

  248. 248
    cyntax says:

    @joe from Lowell:

    I’m saying, it’s the air support that’s the difference.

    Nope. The Northern Alliance was able to take and hold ground working in concert with the air support. The Libyans can’t do that because they’re completely inexperienced, untrained, ill-equipped, and unorganized. That’s the difference.

  249. 249

    @salacious crumb:

    we are not israel sure, but our policies towards the Middle East have been shaped in the form of whats best for Israel is best for us….

    Agreed, especially with the verb tense “have been.”

    But wouldn’t you say that our treatment of our great, Israel-friendly ally Mubarak and support for elections, including the MB, in Egypt over the past few months represents a departure from business as usual?

    Look at what Bush did when the Pakistanis protested against Mushariff. “Ohnoes, skeery al Qaeda Mooslims are going to get nukes!” That’s what a policy of business-as-usual would have looked like when the Egyptians took to the streets.

  250. 250
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    I don’t want to clamp down on comments. I didn’t mean to give that impression. I get tired of fighting the same fights and prefer to fight new ones. But I say that in the spirit of snarking and insulting and generally being a dick. You fucker! See, like that.

    That’s complete bullshit. Joe From Libya is fighting the same fucking fight over and over and yer problem is with the anti-interventionists. eemom claims some sort of special dispensation to know blog etiquette and yet she can completely curse John out, slander him and say the most horrible things imaginable to the other commenters. Allan lobbied for a whole new set of rules that, oddly, he has complete license to violate.

    I’m drawing the line here. We’ve spent years building this special place and you fuckers are ruining it.

  251. 251

    @lawguy:

    You think we didn’t do it?

    I don’t know. I can see how that could be the case, but on the other hand, plenty of Abraham Lincoln Brigaders got to Spain without our having sent them.

    So, maybe.

  252. 252
    Hermione Granger-Weasley says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    Because you go from never having heard of something to totally accepting it as self-evidently correct in, like, nanoseconds

    .no just this. i got sent this Mataconis article and it makes sense.
    I have not changed my position on anything else.
    I have read about Humanitarian Imperialism before. (sheesh there are whole books on it) But I didnt associate it with the UN “Responsibilty to Protect” Doctrine, or Just War doctrine or colonialism. Its like the last piece of the puzzle that lets the image make sense. Its context.
    Do you know that feeling when a series of open windows aligns across your mind? That happened. It is called epiphany, and it only takes nanoseconds.
    Probably it is physically some sort of shaped connection pattern matching, but the window metaphor works for me.

    I understood what Cole was saying.
    It wasn’t what I thought he was saying, what I was arguing against…
    i understood.

  253. 253
    General Stuck says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    A little advice, I know you won’t take. Never give fuckhead an inch, unless it is on a ruler to smack his head wit.

  254. 254
    eemom says:

    @Just Some Fuckhead:

    Sheeyit. Who died and made fuckhead King of the World?

    Know what else is getting old, fuckie? Your pathetic pride in how loooooong you’ve been on this blog.

    OTOH, it probably IS the crowning achievement of your entire fuckish existence.

  255. 255

    @Just Some Fuckhead:

    There are ~ three million adults of fighting age in Libya. That’s a far cry from the 1000 – 15000 troops the rebels are claiming.

    You’re mixing apples and oranges – the number of active fighting troops the rebels claim vs. the number of people in the country supporting them.

    because you presented your argument in the previous thread as if it was official govt policy that MB isnt a thread…

    No, I didn’t. I was speaking for myself, and describing the MB, not official government policy.

    Sorry for the miscommunication. My bad: IT’S IMPORTANT TO WRITE CLEARLY, OR PEOPLE ARE GOING TO MISUNDERSTAND WHAT YOU MEAN.

    (BTW, I didn’t know that someone calling himself “Just Some Fuckhead” would be so sensitive to being called names).

  256. 256

    @salacious crumb:

    Obama couldnt afford to support Hosni because he had no other choice this time…what was he gonna say..oh yes mow down ur people while US is your friend…

    We’ve done that for years, in many different countries in the region. Of course he could do that, and hide behind a non-intervention argument.

    but the admin flipped flopped in the early days precisely because they were terrified of MB..

    That doesn’t make sense. They’re so afraid of the MB that they’d take actions most likely to put them in power?

  257. 257
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    @joe from Lowell:

    You’re mixing apples and oranges – the number of active fighting troops the rebels claim vs. the number of people in the country supporting them.

    I’m trying to get some idea of popular support for the rebels by the fact their percentage to the total population of fighting age adults is something like a half of one percent.

    On the other hand, yer just declaring popular support with nothing, no evidence, no stats, nothing. Just declaring it. It is so.

  258. 258

    @cyntax:

    The Northern Alliance was able to take and hold ground working in concert with the air support. The Libyans can’t do that because they’re completely inexperienced, untrained, ill-equipped, and unorganized.

    Wait wait wait – the Libyan rebels took all sorts of ground while exploiting the bombing campaign.

    But to your larger point, yes, there is a huge difference between the N.A. and the Libyan rebels. Absolutely, it’s as you say – but that wasn’t the comparison we were making. We were talking about the other side, the Gadaffi army and the Taliban.

  259. 259
    John Cole says:

    Just to recap:

    All the people who spent the last two weeks mocking anyone who said this would be more than just a humanitarian no-fly zone have now moved on to “See- regime change and possibly arming the rebels and more have been in the works since before we even went to the UN. You guys are so dumb. HAHAHAHA!”

    Awesome.

  260. 260
    cbear says:

    @joe from Lowell:

    But, instead, you write about what a terrible, terrible person I am, and commiserate with other people who find themselves in the same pickle

    I don’t think you’re a terrible person, Joe, and my comments haven’t made that point at all.
    I think you’re a deeply insecure attention whore and I’m beginning to feel quite sorry for you.

    Which part of “I support intervention in Libya” do you think everybody didn’t understand 200 comments ago? Which part of “We don’t agree with you, Joe” haven’t you addressed 200 comments ago?

    You think you’re displaying your awesome intellect and incomparable grasp of the subject matter (any subject) at hand, but you have only become a huge pain in the ass.

    Take a break, dude. Walk your cat, pet your dog, beat off, grab a sandwich, something—just STFU for a little while.

  261. 261
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    @John Cole:

    Awesome.

    Yeah, the good faith exhibited by this crew is breathtaking.

  262. 262
    Hermione Granger-Weasley says:

    @El Cid: Do you understand that every revolutionary movement in the “arab spring” has an MB franchise among the protestors? IAF in Jordan, JCG in Morrocco, al-Islah in Yemen, SMB in Syria, etc, etc.
    That is what is worrisome to the US.
    77.2 % of the egyptian people just deomcratically voted for shariah law.
    Do you remember how the egyptian people feel about Israel?

    For three decades, Mubarak has maintained a steadfast alliance with the United States (lubricated by about $1.5 billion in annual aid) and presided over a cold-but-durable peace with Israel. Yet, Egyptian public opinion is overwhelmingly hostile toward both countries. In Pew’s 2010 global survey, just 17 percent of Egyptians expressed a favorable view of the United States; that tied with Pakistan and Turkey for the lowest rating the U.S. received in any of the 21 countries tested. Nearly three-fourths of Egyptians said they opposed U.S. antiterrorism efforts, and four-fifths wanted the U.S. to withdraw from Afghanistan.
    __
    Egyptian attitudes toward Israel are even chillier, despite the landmark 1979 peace treaty. In a 2007 Pew survey, a stunning 80 percent of Egyptians said that the needs of the Palestinian people could never be met as long as Israel exists; just 18 percent said that the two societies could coexist fairly. That was far more pessimistic than the results in Turkey and Lebanon—and essentially no different than the attitude among the Palestinians themselves. “Of all the countries in the Middle East,” Walker says, “the population of Egypt is the most hostile to Israel.”

    The MB does not recognize the existance of Israel, and has declared the Blockade illegal. There is a very real possibility that Egypt might democratically vote to declare war on Israel.
    We will hope that doesn’t happen.

    Joe is right, America has little to fear from the MB unless we start trying to impose/install/standup/implant westernstyle democracy in some more unlucky places other than Iraq and A-stan.

    Israel?
    I’d be very nervous.

  263. 263

    @Just Some Fuckhead:

    I’m trying to get some idea of popular support for the rebels by the fact their percentage to the total population of fighting age adults is something like a half of one percent.

    What percent of our population is in the military?

    What percent of Americans support da troops?

    On the other hand, yer just declaring popular support with nothing, no evidence, no stats, nothing. Just declaring it. It is so.

    So, you’re just pretending that this comment, this evidence, doesn’t exist?

    A peaceful protest movement took over city after city, against the will of the police and security forces, and had to be put down with air power and tanks, but that doesn’t mean it has popular support?

    Whatever, man.

  264. 264
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    My fav is the “I support this entirely but if the goalposts move one more time, I’m done.”

  265. 265
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Just Some Fuckhead: Um, you’re bitching at me, and I didn’t do the things you’re bitching about, so maybe you could take it up with them, ‘K?

  266. 266
    Hermione Granger-Weasley says:

    @Just Some Fuckhead: well….with the help of David Mataconis and Haroun Moghul, Cole converted me.
    He was right all along.
    ;)

  267. 267
    eemom says:

    Also too, the concept of fuckhead as Cole’s knight in shining armor, flying to his emotional rescue……..at the same time he clutches his pearls and swoons over the terrible horrible things that *I*’ve said to other commenters on this blog, is quite hilarious indeed.

    You’re drunk, aren’t you fuckie? A drunken, snivelly little drama queen.

    Oh I’m sorry — am I being HIDEOUS again?

  268. 268
    The Sheriff's A Ni- says:

    @John Cole: No, I see all the same people who had been screeching about how this was just like Viet- er- Iraq for the past two weeks, pointing at this as an ‘A-HA’ moment despite Odyssey Dawn and the UN resolution being separate from our overall aim at helping the rebels put in a less tyrannical government in Tripoli.

    Again, wake us up when Bremer and Garner parachute into Tripoli. Until then, go on and feed your need for outrage.

  269. 269
    General Stuck says:

    @John Cole:

    Doesn’t matter. The only thing that would change the current pair-a-dime would be foreign troops to defeat Quadaffy, and there is no hint of that. The tribal lands of both parties are too much for either to conquer now that Quadaffy has lost his edge on heavy weapons. And I don’t think it is a good idea at all to arm the rebels with heavy weapons. And I don’t think Obama will do this. It would be a mistake imo, but not a catastrophic one as compared to inserting US combat troops, that would be catastrophic in all kinds of ways, including Obama’s not getting another term.

    I look for the fighting to scale down and boundaries drawn, at least for now. As long as the rebels are armed enough to defend against further Q assaults, that should balance the battle lines in Libya.

  270. 270
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    @joe from Lowell:

    A peaceful protest movement took over city after city, against the will of the police and security forces, and had to be put down with air power and tanks, but that doesn’t mean it has popular support?

    Yeah, your peaceful protest is so overwhelming ya can’t 99.5% of Libyans to participate in their own movement.

    ETA: And why not? They might die. Better we should do the dying.

  271. 271
    Alex S. says:

    @John Cole:

    Come on, there was one comment by Joe from Lowell that made such a simplification, one comment out of…I don’t know how many… You’ve been milking that one for 2 weeks now. That’s what I would call trolling.

  272. 272
    El Cid says:

    @Hermione Granger-Weasley: Yes. I do understand. Do you understand that there really are hugely important differences between the nature of those organizations in each area?

    Considering that throughout the colonial period and up into the Mubarak-type tyrannies, opposition political parties and activist organizations and non-government-controlled labor unions were banned and/or controlled, who do you think was left to combine social support work (i.e., aid to the poor) and political dissidence?

    If you’re suggesting that every place which has an organization called the “Muslim Brotherhood” — it’s a pretty generic term as well, what, are they going to be the Muslim Sisterhood? — then you’re flat-out wrong, and need to go read sources which have actually been studying these things in a manner meeting the standard of empirical research.

    If you want to discuss the MB in Egypt, then discuss the MB’s history, structure, and range of activities in Egypt, as well as the context within which they work.

    That will point out that the MB has been one of the least radical groups there, in fact, often proved useful to the Western colonial authorities.

  273. 273
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Just Some Fuckhead:

    yer problem is with the anti-interventionists

    Well, yeah. There’s like 200 of you with itchy trigger fingers hoping that one of, I dunno, 15 O-bots unsuspectingly crosses your path so you can git ’em good. That’s kind of funny, and it’s also funny how strong the sense is that you’re the brave embattled underdogs. But maybe with some air cover, the badly outgunned Balloon Juice resistance movement — 95% of the people who post here — can live to snark another day!

  274. 274
    Bob Loblaw says:

    @joe from Lowell:

    Actually, it was only when NATO ceased bombing the shit out of the loyalists that they began to win. When we were bombing the shit out of them, the rebels were winning.

    Actually, I think that means the rebels were entirely irrelevant to the process…

    Hey, remember when I said their military incompetence made me wary, and that I didn’t trust them to run a 7/11 let alone the country? And then you called me an Islamophobe and a racist? How fun.

  275. 275
    Danny says:

    That settles it – all the misguided fools that supported the Iraq war is dead set against this one, must mean that this is a good war amirite. What is Christopher Hitchens position on Libya, i wonder…?

    Seriously though John, you just gotta make up your mind on a set of consistent principles to follow that determines which wars you will support, and which you won’t.

    If you decide on the number one criteria being “if someone from the diaspora returns to his home country then it must be bad” i guess thats your choice. That will in practice make you an across the board pacifist though, just so you don’t get surprised in the future.

  276. 276
    Hermione Granger-Weasley says:

    @The Sheriff’s A Ni-: Pardon, but A-stan is Vietnam II.
    Libya has nothing to do with Iraq.

  277. 277

    @John Cole:

    All the people who spent the last two weeks mocking anyone who said this would be more than just a humanitarian no-fly zone…

    So you’re still pretending the UN military mission and American policy dating from before the UN took any action are the same thing?

    Whatever floats your boat, man.

  278. 278
    El Cid says:

    @salacious crumb: I am a person very likely to comment on things not related to a joe from lowell argument. I often don’t follow some dominant debate arising in a thread, mostly because I don’t have to, and also because if I see something really interesting, I’m likely to say something.

    What I meant by my comment was that the US and Israel aren’t really motivated by fear of ‘the Muslim Brotherhood’ as much as they are by the possibility of any leadership unlikely to follow the policies they (i.e., their political leadership) prefer.

    Describing it as opposition to potential rule of Islamic radicalism is a great way to publicly justify that sort of preference.

    Islamic radicals such as the Saudi state don’t bother us, because they do what we want, in exchange for us doing a lot of what they want. It’s not so much the Islamic fundamentalism as it is the lack of controllability.

  279. 279

    @cbear:

    Which part of “I support intervention in Libya” do you think everybody didn’t understand 200 comments ago? Which part of “We don’t agree with you, Joe” haven’t you addressed 200 comments ago?

    See, and that’s your shortcoming: you can’t understand anything anyone writes except as a statement for or against a policy. Nor can you even understand that other people do make statements that contain more content than that.

    I pity you. There is literally nothing you are capable of besides “Rah rah, go team,” and you can’t understand anything anyone says beyond that.

  280. 280
    PIGL says:

    @AAA Bonds: yes, real life is like 24 and Nikita all combined, except for the part where it is like Get Smart.

    For all I know, there really do exist “Black Ops” capabilities of the kind you seem to imagine, and the long-standing human intelligence networks in the country needed to back them up. But we have no way of knowing for sure, and the evidence for their utter-mega-puissance is pretty slim, I’d say.

  281. 281
    Hermione Granger-Weasley says:

    @El Cid: I don’t disagree with any of that, and I have read plenty.
    I am saying the pervasive substrate of MB influence in ALL the revolutionary movements is making the US irrationally nervous, and Israel rationally nervous.
    And if there is a common theme that unites the different MB franchises besides al-Islam, it is fear and loathing of Israel.

  282. 282
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Danny: I’m not sure about “a set of consistent principles.” That always sounds appealing, but I don’t know if it’s ever going to work in practice. Sometimes it seems like a good idea to intervene, and then in a closely parallel case, it doesn’t seem like that anymore. That doesn’t bother me. I think you can follow your gut, case by case, and try to work out the reasons, and if that feeling changes or the reasons shift, you reassess.

  283. 283
    Jay B. says:

    @The Sheriff’s A Ni-:

    No, I see all the same people who had been screeching about how this was just like Viet- er- Iraq for the past two weeks, pointing at this as an ‘A-HA’ moment despite Odyssey Dawn and the UN resolution being separate from our overall aim at helping the rebels put in a less tyrannical government in Tripoli.

    How does that work exactly? After bombing the country with the OK of the UN, the CIA props up rebels, one of whom (or a few of whom) will eventually lead the “transition to democracy” or whatever bullshit we’re going to say and then what? Who will see this as legitimate in Libya? It’s the CIA.

    Then, once our CIA-trained rebel leader (who may have been living near Langley for the past 20 years) takes over, will there be a general amnesty? Will the other factions go along with the provisional government? Will the country? All of it is conjecture, but sure, say it all works out. The U.S. will have to ensure the peace and the arrangement. Our Man in Tripoli will have to simultaneously have to deal with American interests, armed Old Guards AND armed “rebels” as well as the tribal thicket which also goes along geographical lines.

    Again, now, whatever happens, whoever opposes whoever takes power in Libya will be able to point out, correctly, that the CIA helped him gain power.

    Doesn’t that faze (edited for correct spelling) you in the least?

  284. 284

    @The Sheriff’s A Ni-:

    Again, wake us up when Bremer and Garner parachute into Tripoli.

    Or, perhaps, find someone who said they opposed using non-military means to depose Gadaffi, or predicted they wouldn’t be, outside of the UN mission.

  285. 285
    Keith G says:

    @eemom: Snap.

  286. 286
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    Well, yeah. There’s like 200 of you with itchy trigger fingers hoping that one of, I dunno, 15 O-bots unsuspectingly crosses your path so you can git ‘em good.

    I’m failing to understand yer point here. If the place isn’t to your liking, move on.

  287. 287
    Hermione Granger-Weasley says:

    @El Cid:

    that the US and Israel aren’t really motivated by fear of ‘the Muslim Brotherhood’

    Interesting that you continually join the US and Israel at the hip.
    I repeat, the US has little to fear from the MB.

    That is not true for Israel.

  288. 288

    Blog Safety Workers are attempting to cool the core of Reactor Balloon Juice, but salt water appears to have damaged key equipment needed to circulate water within the reactor pools. Workers are now allowed to be exposed to only 250 libyaverts comments per day or risk permanent damage.

  289. 289

    @Just Some Fuckhead:

    Yeah, your peaceful protest is so overwhelming ya can’t 99.5% of Libyans to participate in their own movement.

    You’re doing it again! You’re deliberately eliding the difference between “supporting the rebels” and “fighting with the rebels.” Do you think almost every city in Libya was controlled by the rebels four weeks ago because only 0.5% of the population participated in the movement?

    “Several tens of thousands” of Libyans were attending just one rally in Benghazi, just one of Libya’s cities, on the day Gadaffi began shooting.

    One rally, in one city.

  290. 290
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Just Some Fuckhead: If my participation isn’t to your liking, suck it. That about right?

  291. 291
    Hermione Granger-Weasley says:

    @Alex S.: he is not trolling, he is teaching.
    he is larnin’ us.

  292. 292
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    @joe from Lowell:

    “Several tens of thousands” of Libyans were attending just one rally in Benghazi, just one of Libya’s cities, on the day Gadaffi began shooting.

    Jesus God, math much? Benghazi has a population of 700K, prolly more than a million of you count the surrounding countryside. And this represents a popular uprising?

  293. 293
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    @FlipYrWhig: Yes, but if you cross me again, I’m having you banned.

  294. 294
    mkj says:

    I would just like to add that from our experience in Pakistan during the war in Afghanistan a few decades ago that the possibility of getting cash and weapons will create a new market with different incentives. The rebels will arrange themselves in different groups and start competing for money and equipment. Each group will try to hold territories for itself and try to increase its numbers to show that they are the most deserving of military aid. Soon someone will realize that exploiting religion is a good way to get some new recruits. Someone else will respond with appeal to ethnicity or something. Perhaps when they come close to toppling the Qaddafi regime, some will like to hold on for a while so that they can consolidate their own positions vis-a-vis other groups. CIA will find itself funding ethnic militias and madrassas run by radicals ensuring that they destroy the fabric of society for at least a generation if not more. All this will be possible because CIA and other agencies will know very little about them and have few means of direct interference. Of course, all this will still happen to some extent even when their is no cash and arms coming from CIA. But while at present getting rid of Qaddafi is top priority for rebels if only to save their own lives, with cash and arms coming prolonged war will not be a bad alternative for many rebel leaders.

  295. 295
    eemom says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    but he was here fiiiiiiiiirst!!!

  296. 296
    El Cid says:

    @Hermione Granger-Weasley:

    There is a very real possibility that Egypt might democratically vote to declare war on Israel.

    Oh, and I forgot: On this point, you’re absolutely deluded. Go ask the Egyptian military what it wants to get out of war with Israel — they happen to be the actual Egyptian government, and have been since Nasser. This notion is absolutely insane, and about as ridiculous as possible. I don’t think I’d even find such silly speculation in the right wing Jerusalem Post.

    By the way, the 1979 treaty (the second part) gave the Egyptians what they wanted: the Sinai peninsula, with Israeli forces and civilians being packed up and removed, and giving Egypt back its oil fields. It was pretty much the same proposed agreement Sadat reportedly presented to the National Assembly in 1971, though at that time how serious such a discussion was — given zero likelihood of such an agreement happening, even after Sadat pushed out Soviet advisers — is disputed.

    Second, I personally think the demand that some group or nation “recognize” Israel as some sort of concept of its necessity of existence is absurd. A nation simply has to agree to international agreements and ‘recognize’ some other country as possessing the sovereignty also recognized by the international community.

    Nobody has to ‘recognize’ the US or Congo or Belize in order for there to be lawful international behavior and diplomatic relations. This bullshit about ‘recognizing’ Israel as having a ‘right’ to exist makes a travesty of an understanding of what nation-states are. Israel doesn’t have a ‘right to exist’. The US doesn’t have a ‘right to exist,’ nor does China, or France, or any other nation. They’re a political construction.

    If the US’ or Israel’s people were to choose to vote to become part of some greater federation with whatever other countries such that each individual nation would no longer exist, they would need no permission to dissolve those nations which have a ‘right’ to exist. Israel has never ‘recognized’ Palestine, or suggested that a Palestinian state in some distant future where all valuable land had already been appropriated by Israel would have a ‘right to exist’.

  297. 297
    Bob Loblaw says:

    @John Cole:

    All the people who spent the last two weeks mocking anyone who said this would be more than just a humanitarian no-fly zone have now moved on to “See- regime change and possibly arming the rebels and more have been in the works since before we even went to the UN. You guys are so dumb. HAHAHAHA!”
    __
    Awesome.

    To be fair, who could’ve expected that Qaddafi would fight back? Total dick move. How dare he not roll over in the face of UN action and jet, but instead substantially alter the simplicity of the playing field through force?

  298. 298
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Just Some Fuckhead: Civility now! Where’s the hall monitor?

  299. 299

    @FlipYrWhig:

    Well, yeah. There’s like 200 of you with itchy trigger fingers hoping that one of, I dunno, 15 O-bots unsuspectingly crosses your path so you can git ‘em good.

    Read the comments at the beginning of the thread, before I pointed out the date. Finally, they’d gotten their evidence of mission creep! Woo-hoo, in your face!

    And then I broke their little hearts.

  300. 300

    @Just Some Fuckhead:

    Jesus God, math much? Benghazi has a population of 700K, prolly more than a million of you count the surrounding countryside. And this represents a popular uprising?

    How many people attended the rallies in Wisconsin?

    More important, how many counter-protesters were there? How many cities had pro-Gadaffi protests?

  301. 301
    Jay B. says:

    So the humanitarian angle is now this?:

    It’s now cool for the CIA to help overthrow governments if those governments are thought of as bad because the President said regime change is the goal before the bombing runs?

  302. 302
    El Cid says:

    @Hermione Granger-Weasley: Israel has less to fear from the Muslim Brotherhood than any number of alternative sources. The MB has been quite practical throughout its history, and is pretty unlikely to want to deal with, say, an opened connection to Gaza bringing in armed and more radically Islamic forces that it wants; and it’s not any more crazy about things like war with Israel than anyone else.

    The US and Israel are ‘joined at the hip’ because Israel is the overwhelming focus of US policy and policy interests in that area, along with Saudi oil.

    The US’ foreign policy establishment positions are nearly identical to those of Israeli leadership, except for some whining from Israeli leaders about how every now and then the US’ policymakers say something as though they give a shit about, say, settlements. That’s not a suggestion of Israeli influence on the US so much as it is their sharing the same strategic goals.

  303. 303
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    @joe from Lowell: Alright Mr. Math Wizard, enough of this rhetorical bullshit. How is 30000 anything other than a fraction of 700K+? Hint: it’s not even close to half of half of half of half.

  304. 304
    eemom says:

    I’m having you banned.

    ooh, them’s fighting words.

    So Cole — when DID you make fuckhead your Adolf Eichmann?

  305. 305
    Donut says:

    Fuckin’ amazing.

    You assholes who are sitting in front of your computer screens saying, “well, I support the no fly zone, but if “X” happens, then it’s something different and I’m not on board with that.”

    Get a fucking clue.

    “X” is already happening.

    God damn, when did you people lose your ability to think a few paces down the path?

    Oh, and your war powers act? Mrs. Clinton says, “no thanks, we don’t want any.”

    Tools.

  306. 306
    Danny says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    Sure. I’m just the smallest bit pissed at enablers of Iraq II like Sullivan and Cole, that jumped ship on Iraq when it was going downhill, but apparently never really understood the real critique of Iraq II as it were in the beginning.

    The lessons Sullivan and Cole seem to have taken from Iraq II is some bastardization of the Powell doctrine – don’t go without an exit strategy, don’t go when success is not garantueed, and that’s about it. That was ONE critique of Iraq II, and the weakest one in my opinion.

    Far more important in my view were:

    1) Shattering global partnership and the UN framework for limited benefit.
    2) Lying to the public – especially by painting a threat were no credible threat existed – is a pisspoor way for a democratic nation to go to war. If the Bush admin had argued their case on the merits (whatever those were; still not clear, in a way “to finish what daddy started” seems not to far fetched)
    3) The notion that the US were to unilaterally decide which people deserved freedom and deliver it to them, bcuz of you know american exceptionalism. There is a WORLD of difference between Bush, Cheney, Wolfovitz et al sitting behind doors in the wake of 9/11 and deciding that the agenda will now be Iraq, and because we think so america will now deliver freedom to Iraq and we will do it by saying to the world that Saddam Hussein was behind 9/11 and he will supply nukes to Al Qaeda.

    It is a matter of legitimacy and it is not ONLY a moral issue but one of smartness.

    It is in everyones best interests that arabs win their freedom for themself to some extent, and wouldn’t you know it – they are also more likely to fight for freedom in that way and actually maybe appreciate our help, if we’re lucky.

    I could give one million more reasons, but I have already commented at length here, and on other places.

    To summarize, I support Libya because there is global support, AND there is an effort to minimize risk and get maximum payoff, AND the focus is on supporting a homegrown arab movement, to at least some extent, on their terms, thereby giving legitimacy a chance, AND there was an urgent, pressing humanitarian crisis unfolding (remember two libyan pilots defecting because they were ordered to straif civilians in the streets from fighter planes) AND the president has been forthcoming and have not at any point tried to bullshit us.

    If John would have had the sense to critically evaluate Iraq II instead of losing his head post 9/11 he would have known the principled critiques of the war from people that were actually doing it at the time, and maybe we wouldnt hear so much wining now.

  307. 307
    Hermione Granger-Weasley says:

    @El Cid:

    On this point, you’re absolutely deluded.

    Why? Egypt is a democracy isnt it?

    Nearly three-fourths of Egyptians said they opposed U.S. antiterrorism efforts, and four-fifths wanted the U.S. to withdraw from Afghanistan.
    Egyptian attitudes toward Israel are even chillier, despite the landmark 1979 peace treaty. In a 2007 Pew survey, a stunning 80 percent of Egyptians said that the needs of the Palestinian people could never be met as long as Israel exists; just 18 percent said that the two societies could coexist fairly. That was far more pessimistic than the results in Turkey and Lebanon—and essentially no different than the attitude among the Palestinians themselves. “Of all the countries in the Middle East,” Walker says, “the population of Egypt is the most hostile to Israel.”

    Is Egypt a democracy or a military junta? 14 million people just voted. The most in recorded egyptian history.
    You are throwing radar chaff anyways. I agreed with you that the MB is no threat to the US.
    They are a threat to Israel, and that is revealed truth.
    Why are you pretending?

  308. 308

    Flip through the dates on this map.

    Take a look at March 5. Take a look at what the barely-armed rebels were able to do.

    But they don’t have popular support. Heavens no.

  309. 309
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @joe from Lowell: Yeah, about that. There’s probably some ancient proverb about how he who is the hornet’s nest one day becomes the stick the next.

    I think everybody’s good and riled already. It’d be nice to turn that down a notch, so I’ll attempt to do it myself.

  310. 310
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    @joe from Lowell:

    But they don’t have popular support. Heavens no.

    It’s up to you to prove they do and you still haven’t. You cited massive demonstrations featuring a tiny percentage of protesters. I’d love to see the evidence.

  311. 311

    @Jay B.:

    It’s now cool for the CIA to help overthrow governments if those governments are thought of as bad

    Thought of as bad.

    Thought of as bad.

    Yeah, well, that’s just, like, your opinion, man.

    Thought of as bad. Please, lecture me more on humanitarian values.

  312. 312
    Hermione Granger-Weasley says:

    @El Cid:

    so much as it is their sharing the same strategic goals.

    which are? please enlighten me.

    Israel has less to fear from the Muslim Brotherhood than any number of alternative sources.

    Relly? Like Hamas? But Hamas IS the Muslim Brotherhood in Palestine. That is what they call themselves.

  313. 313
    Midnight Marauder says:

    @srv:

    The CIA is not a relevant agency anymore

    Dubious.

  314. 314
  315. 315

    @Just Some Fuckhead:

    How is 30000 anything other than a fraction of 700K+?

    It’s a hell of a lot more than “enough tank crews to field a few hundred tanks,” which was your “evidence” for the popular support of Gadaffi.

    I’ll ask you again: what % of Wisconsin – non-totalitarian Wisconsin, that doesn’t have secret police – turned out for the pro-union rallies? But Lord knows, they don’t have any real popular support. It’s probably best to assume that ever single person who sympathized with them attended the rally.

  316. 316
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    @joe from Lowell: Alright, I’m typing this slowly so you can get it. How do protesters representing a tiny percentage of total population and rebels representing an even smaller fraction of fighting age population constitute a popular uprising? Take yer time, try not to get lost in Texas or Wisconsin. Let’s just take it as a math problem and see if we can solve it.

  317. 317
    Alex S. says:

    @eemom:

    Haha, that was exactly the right kind of over-the-top.

    Also, I remember how Fuckhead complained about Allan’s demands for civility. Now Fuckhead wants the same.

  318. 318
    FlipYrWhig says:

    Here’s one of the things that gave me pause when I was thinking about this whole situation. We certainly saw all that crazy Tea Party stuff here. We mocked their rallies, but some of them were pretty big.

    Couldn’t some foreign power say that there was a mass movement against the US government, making it evident that it had lost its legitimacy, and if there wasn’t a solution soon then military intervention was inevitable? “Well, it’s not like that,” I said to myself. “That’s just a bunch of crackpots riled up with astroturf and lies. That’s not what the population _really_ thinks.”

    Um.

    I fall hard for the romance of The People, I won’t lie, but it’s damn complicated.

  319. 319
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    @Alex S.: No, you illiterate jackass. I’m specifically arguing for incivility. Try to keep up.

  320. 320
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Alex S.: I took JSF to be being ironic.

  321. 321
    sukabi says:

    @John Cole: what? you mean our spies aren’t sitting blindfolded on the shelf waiting for someone to send them on a mission??? who knew?

  322. 322
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Joe Beese: Foggy Bottom is the fucking State Department. The CIA is Langley. Dipshit.

  323. 323
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    @FlipYrWhig: Well, yes, I wasn’t serious. I thought that woulda been self-evident. My apologies to the morons.

  324. 324
    Alex S. says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    Ah I see, I got lost somewhere between comments 238 and 250.

  325. 325
    Danny says:

    Snarking while Rome is burning is the name of the name of the game then, dear hipsters? Enjoy your snark with a healthy dose of Nader ’12.

    I’m out.

  326. 326
    fasteddie9318 says:

    @salacious crumb:

    I was arguing that the whole reason the US and Israel supported Hosni was because they didnt wanna see Muslim Brotherhood in his place?

    I’m just going to butt in here and suggest, respectfully, that American and Israeli bed-wetting fears (or, in Israel’s case, bed-wetting fears that also serve a political purpose) of the Muslim Brotherhood’s inherent evil should be taken as evidence of said alleged evil.

  327. 327
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Just Some Fuckhead: Yeah, you really spend too much time on this back-and-forth meta stuff.

  328. 328
    El Cid says:

    @Hermione Granger-Weasley: This is again nonsense.

    First, saying that the “needs of Palestinian people could never be met as long as Israel exists” I think may be a realistic empirical prediction; not a declaration of war.

    I pretty much feel the same: I see no prospects for the needs of Palestinians to be met. I believe we will see the policymakers of Israel and their settler avant garde continue to take every square foot of the West Bank and Jerusalem that they find valuable, will continue to criss-cross the remaining pathetic territories with transport corridors and security walls / gates, and all of the airspace and international borders will either be under Israeli control or under joint national control to their specifications.

    And at that point, a joke of a nation state will be allowed to be independent and everyone will celebrate freedom and with liberation achieved, Arab and Muslim nations can finally stop pretending to give a shit about them.

    To be fair, if Israel suddenly vanished (say, to a better land in a better dimension, whatever), the needs of the Palestinians wouldn’t be met, either.

    So, no, I don’t find that sort of poll chilling at all. Nor are Egyptians aren’t going to ‘vote for’ going to war with Israel; hell, Americans didn’t vote to go to war with Iraq — just as in Egypt, the political establishment (in Egypt, that is the military, and there don’t seem to be any prospects that this will be different in any new government) chose to do so.

    I don’t particularly find the MB a serious threat to “Israel”; it may represent a threat to Israeli militarist policymakers’ reliance upon Egypt to carry out nearly every enforcement of their preferred policies on Gazans, but so far the support of Palestinian militarists & terrorists have come from non-MB Islamic radicals.

    The quote about going to war with Israel was from another dude alleged to be a ‘leader’ of the MB but without evidence of his position or influence. What’s more, someone reads it, is about Egyptians being prepared to do anything to overthrow their own regime, i.e., Mubarak, since many Egyptians feared that Israel so desired Mubarak to remain in power that Israel would militarily back him. Now, that was also absurd and deluded, but is pretty typical of the wild conspiracy theories which flash through Arab nations. Nor is it false to point out the continuous asshole statements and declarations of various leaders in Arab and Muslim states of grossly anti-semitic nature. (Not to suggest the lack of disgustingly anti-Arab racism spoken by Israel or US political leaders.)

    Again, since US establishment policies happen to share the same goals as their Israeli establishment analogs, that is a major concern of both foreign policy power centers. There has been almost zero divergence between the international policy preferences of the US and Israel, in whatever order you’d like to place them.

    That there would be differentiation between what Israeli policymakers perceive as threatening to them by a post-Mubarak, or MB-involving regime, and what US policymakers perceive, is a completely wrong assumption.

    If you wish to suggest that the US has nothing to fear from the MB but that “Israel” (Israeli policymaker goals, mostly) does, then the part about them not threatening the US is irrelevant, as the policy will then be determined by the US in line with those concerns about Israeli establishment aims.

  329. 329
    Bob Loblaw says:

    Fuckhead, you’re wrong. The rebels have some legitimacy in the eyes of the people. Anybody who isn’t Qaddafi does for now. They just don’t have competency.

    Qaddafi, on the other hand, still has the ability to project force and instill fear. He has Tripoli on straight lockdown. He’s hammering Misrata and Zintan. He’s a significant threat to his people, and they know it. Very few will take arms against him, no matter how good the odds of overthrowing him are.

  330. 330
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    @Bob Loblaw: Are you claiming popular support for the rebels?

  331. 331
    eemom says:

    know what’s REALLY weird about this thread?

    Fuckhead pretending to give a shit about something besides fuckhead.

    Surely this is unprecedented in fuckhead’s reign as Firstest And Most Importantest Balloon Juice Commenter Ever In The History of the Universe.

  332. 332
    Jay B. says:

    @joe from Lowell:

    So, again, the CIA overthrow of a government, for whatever reason, is now cool AND legal? Just trying to clarify what it is I’m supposed to be supporting from a humanitarian angle here.

  333. 333
    Bob Loblaw says:

    @Just Some Fuckhead:

    I am claiming that there is popular support for the option of “not Qaddafi” just as there is support for “not the dictator” in most authoritarian regimes on the planet. There will always be those who profit from the current regime. There will always be those whose contingent loyalty has been purchased by the current regime. There will always be those whose resentments of history have been stoked and cultured by the current regime. But yes, if every Libyan adult were able to peacefully decide who should govern them by majority consent, Muammar Qaddafi would not be that choice.

    Getting people to act on this support, to put their lives and the lives of their families should they fail on this support, is difficult. Revolutions are usually hard.

  334. 334
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    @Bob Loblaw: So, no then? Which is what I said.

  335. 335
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Bob Loblaw: Off hand, does anyone know the percentage of Colonists who fought in the American Revolution?

  336. 336
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: I’ve definitely heard that there were a lot of Loyalist dead-enders who don’t make it into most US history textbooks.

  337. 337
    Hermione Granger-Weasley says:

    @El Cid:

    There has been almost zero divergence between the international policy preferences of the US and Israel again,

    example please.
    Why should US policy be yoked to Israel?

    They hurt us, not help us.

    Nor is it false to point out the continuous asshole statements and declarations of various leaders in Arab and Muslim states of grossly anti-semitic nature. (Not to suggest the lack of disgustingly anti-Arab racism spoken by Israel or US political leaders.)

    irrelevent.
    Most Egyptians hate Israel. Of course they are anti-semitic. Egyptians are sympathetic to Gazans. If there is a way to express that hatred democratically, I expect they will do it.
    You act like egyptians will care if you label them antisemitic.
    It is a compliment in islamic culture.

  338. 338
    El Cid says:

    @Hermione Granger-Weasley:

    Why should US policy be yoked to Israel?

    I never suggested it should. If you say things like ‘example please,’ it would suggest that you are aware of no policies with regard to the region around Israel or within Israel itself. None whatsoever. Because if you were, then you could suggest where there was a significant divergence.

    The Israeli war on Gaza, settlements, East Jerusalem, whatever. Apart from some mealy-mouthed phrases about how just awful we feel about those unhelpful settlements and so forth, there’s no actual policy divergence from US and Israeli leadership.

    These are the policies going on over there. They’re in the newspapers every day. You could hardly even glance at the “international” section without noting the largest issues of contention regarding the occupation, ‘negotiations’ with the jokes known as the Palestinian ‘authority’, and such as the aforementioned.

    Good grief, I mean, what do you have to ferret out to look at two of the largest international incidents in the past few years regarding Israel, the US, and relations with other nations? The 2008 war on Gaza, and the attack on a Turkish vessel with embargo-breakers delivering aid to — literally — malnutrition-suffering Gazans? The rapidly increasing number of settlements in the West Bank? On every single one of those issues the US has backed the Israeli policies.

    On more controversial issues, say, when Israel’s leveling Gaza and blowing 1500 people to hell, you see the most vehemently loud justifications of Israeli policies in Congress when Rep after Rep and Senator after Senator stand up to make resolutions in support! When there was an external investigation into war crimes and crimes against humanity in the Gaza attack by both Israel and armed Palestinian forces, the US just as vehemently condemned the report as the Israeli government when it found that there were in fact such crimes on the Israeli side? No divergence. And formerly respected South African Judge Goldstone now becomes a mean, biased, anti-Israeli for leading such a commission.

    Or when most of the world drew back somewhat offended as aid protesters were shot repeatedly by Israeli commandos in the head and back at close range on a civilian vessel, the US once again advised that ‘all sides’ should remain committed to peaceful conduct? Thankfully, a truly dedicated internal investigation by the Israeli military found that all proper procedures had been followed, and the vessel had provoked the commandos, and of course as always things get confusing and so forth.

    Name something which has happened ‘over there’, and you have policies which you can compare. And then you can name any policy on which the US and Israel have diverged in any serious way. It’s not an abstract argument.

  339. 339

    @Just Some Fuckhead: I’ve explained this to you over and over.

    If you want to play dumb, you’re going to have to play solitaire.

    I’ve gone ’round and ’round with enough global warming deniers to bother with the “you can’t make me say it” game.

    You’re right, I can’t. No matter what evidence I offer – the largest rallies in Libyan history, peaceful protesters taking over almost all of Libya’s cities. the near-complete absence of counter-rallies, the fact that the government felt the need to bring in mercenaries, even though they have all the tanks, rockets, and artillery – you can still stand there with a stupid look on your face and say “But where’s the evidence?”

    Congratulations. You can play dumb. Have fun with that.

  340. 340
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    @joe from Lowell:

    You’re right, I can’t. No matter what evidence I offer – the largest rallies in Libyan history, peaceful protesters taking over almost all of Libya’s cities. the near-complete absence of counter-rallies, the fact that the government felt the need to bring in mercenaries, even though they have all the tanks, rockets, and artillery – you can still stand there with a stupid look on your face and say “But where’s the evidence?”

    Joe, I understand you saw some demonstrations featuring tens of thousands of people and got a hardon for regime change. Fox News does the same thing whenever there’s a tea party rally.

    What I am explaining to you mathematically is that those protesters represent a tiny percentage of the total population of Libya. The rebels represent an even smaller fraction of the fighting age population of Libya. The rebels are losing, the people are not standing up. If it’s because, as a few of you swear, an overwhelming majority of Libyans are afraid to die for their freedom, why should anyone else have to?

  341. 341
    Hermione Granger-Weasley says:

    @El Cid: so. Policies that Israel wants demand US commitment.
    Lets get a divorce.

    the continuous asshole statements and declarations of various leaders in Arab and Muslim states of grossly anti-semitic nature.

    Again, you act like egyptians care if people like you call them antisemitic assholes.
    They dont. The Muslim Brotherhood doesn’t.
    You are a proselytizer.
    And if there is a way that Egyptians can democratically hurt Israel they will do it.

  342. 342
    Paul in KY says:

    @BGinCHI: I liked that doctrine.

  343. 343
    Paul in KY says:

    @Just Some Fuckhead: I agree that the rebels don’t seem to have that kind of pan-Libya ‘death to Gaddafi’ vibe that I saw in Romania years ago when they sent Mr. & Mrs. Ceaucescu to the firing squad.

  344. 344
    Paul in KY says:

    @El Cid: Excellent comment.

  345. 345
    Paul in KY says:

    @Hermione Granger-Weasley: Unfortunately and realistically, we are joined at hip due to the influence AIPAC & other Israeli advocate organizations & people have in this country at the present time.

    Obviously, if an Arab nation declared war on Israel, we would support Israel (quite overtly I would assume).

  346. 346
    Paul in KY says:

    @eemom: Eichmann?! That’s just insulting. I would say he would be more like a Heydrich (if I agreed with your conjecture).

  347. 347
    Paul in KY says:

    @Hermione Granger-Weasley: I don’t think they’re a real threat to Israel, because they would just crush them like bugs if they got into a war.

    They can make trouble by allowing the Gaza Blockcade to wither.

  348. 348
    Paul in KY says:

    @FlipYrWhig: Yes, we call them ‘Canadians’.

  349. 349
    Paul in KY says:

    @Hermione Granger-Weasley: He’s just stating the truth. As long as the God Bangers are ascendant in American politics, Israel will be able to manipulate them.

    I will also state that the tone-deafness & stupid moves of the Palestinian leadership the past 14 or 15 years hasn’t helped the cause over here at all.

  350. 350
    Corner Stone says:

    @Keith G: My fellow H-Townian, I hope to God you are not approving of anything that Cape Buffalo of Stupidity ™ eemom has to say.

  351. 351
    Corner Stone says:

    @eemom:

    Oh I’m sorry—am I being HIDEOUS again?

    When did you stop, you useless sack?

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