Send in the Clowns

It’s the end game in Tripoli.

From the Guardian’s live feed on events there:

10.45pm: Libyan rebels are now within two miles of the centre of Tripoli, AP reports…

…and this:

11.04pm: Al Jazeera is reporting that two of Gaddafi’s sons, Saif al-Islam and Al-Saadi, have been arrested and another son, Muhammad, has surrendered.

And so on.  All, as commenter Jenny points out in the last thread, without a single US casualty.

Which means that there are some folks who have some ‘splainin’ to do.  Republican folks.  Would-be presidents.  E.g:

Romney (to Hugh Hewitt, March 21, 2011):

America has been feared sometimes, has been respected, but today, that America is seen as being weak.

We’re following the French into Libya.

I appreciate the fact that others are participating in this effort, but I think we look to America to be the leader of the world. You know, the cause of liberty can endure the mistakes that are inevitable consequences of human fallibility. But liberty’s standard can’t prevail if it’s not proudly, decisively and consistently held aloft.

Bachmann, March 30, 2011:

The Minnesota Republican, who’s weighing a run for president in 2012, said had she been in the Oval Office and faced with the choice of intervening militarily in Libya, “I would not have gone in.”

Bachmann, April 16, 2011 (warning:  Politico link):

Michele Bachmann laced into President Barack Obama at a South Carolina tea party rally Saturday, saying his decision to take military action in Libya was “foolish” and that he’s “not on our side anymore.”

Pawlenty, March 29, 2011:

President Obama’s “timid” response to the crisis in Libya made it more difficult to remove Moammar Kadafi from power, former Minnesota Republican Gov. Tim Pawlenty charged Tuesday.

Pawlenty, who became the first top-flight Republican to form a presidential exploratory committee last week, said that he supported the U.S. airstrikes against the Libyan dictator, but would have acted sooner when rebel forces had “substantial momentum.”

“Now we’re in this position of having the president of the United States saying Kadafi must go, but we’re not going to necessarily make him go. And that’s untenable,” he said.

(I know that he’s out now — but Pawlenty was still a semi-seriously-taken candidate at the time.)

Rick Santorum (I know, I know…but just for giggles) winning the flip-flop award on March 20, 2011 (warning, another Politico link):

Flip: Santorum led the way among GOP presidential hopefuls in calling for airstrikes on Libya. He invoked Ronald Reagan’s 1986 bombing campaign against military targets in Libya, ordered as retaliation for an attack on a West Berlin nightclub that killed two American servicemen masterminded by the Libyan secret service.

“If you want to be Reaganesque, it seems the path is pretty clear,” he told an Iowa radio station earlier this month.

Flop:  But in a Sunday phone interview from his backyard in Pennsylvania, Santorum said that action made more sense 12 days ago because it looked like “a little nudge and a push” from the United States could tip the scale for the rebels. He’s upset that the U.S. has not been insistent on regime change and faulted the administration for making the comment that it was time for Qadhafi to give up power without continuing to insist on that over the weekend….

The former senator speculated that Obama might have only agreed to go along with the military option under pressure from Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

“He’s not decisive,” Santorum said of Obama. “He’s being the military for the [United Nations]. The French were the first ones out there. He’s following the lead.”

Backflip:  He expressed fear that rebels inside Libya may not be friendly to the United States.

“Maybe folks have better intel, but I’m not confident I know what the makeup of the rebels are,” he said. “From everything I’ve seen reported, we don’t know that.”

Ooops: And he raised the specter that Qadhafi could survive because of Obama’s early indecisiveness, which would mean potential retaliation against the U.S.

“Under any score, I don’t know how you could play this worse than this president has,” he said…

Except, just to reprise the thought with which we began:

TRIPOLI, Libya — Rebels surged into the Libyan capital Sunday night, meeting little resistance from troops loyal to Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi and setting off raucous street celebrations by residents hailing the end of his 42 years in power.

And so on.  All, as commenter Jenny points out in the last thread, without a single US casualty.

You can, and many have and will, argue hard about the merits of US action in Libya, or inaction in Syria.* But if you are a Republican — or an actually sane American, for that matter — who believes in both a robust and effective foreign policy, there is not a single clown seeking your vote on the GOP side who would seem to merit your trust.

That community organizer in the White House, though?  Unlike the all-hat-no-cattle types we are increasingly seeing over there, he may take his time, but he does seem to get his man.

Should make for interesting cognitive dissonance over on the dark side. Recall that Qaddafi outlasted Reagan and both Bushes.  Then consider that the chief alternative to crediting Obama’s administration for the crucial support that has enabled the Libyans to come to the point of ending that miserable reign is to praise — wait for it — the French…

…and you have what some might call a jalapeño suppository up your philosophical fundament.

Wouldn’t you say?

*That said, I’m betting Assad is getting a little nervous, just now.  Obama has finally called for his exit, and, as has been demonstrated again, this President may grind slowly, but he seems to do so with a certain…how to say it?…emphasis.

Image: Ernst Ludwig Kirshner, Two acrobats – sculpture, 1932-33.

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347 replies
  1. 1
    Yutsano says:

    Crow can be eaten. Teh Google has a few recipes in fact.

  2. 2
    Trainrunner says:

    Assuming Qaddafi is truly out, the American political question will be whether the Obama folks forge the narrative here you suggest:

    Slow but sure, Obama gets things done and cleans up the Republicans’ messes.

    Maybe the looming campaign has lit a fire in those people, but the past two years have not been a showcase of awesome messaging. To put it mildly.

    ETA: But all this won’t mean a thing if unemployment next summer is still over 9%.

  3. 3
    gogol's wife says:

    Okay, I’ll try a third time. Excellent post, thank you. FYWP

  4. 4
    kd bart says:

    I expect to see Sarah Palin’s bus in Tripoli any moment. She wants to show the kids “The Shores of Tripoli” from the Marine Hymn. You know, history.

  5. 5
    Cliff says:

    I’ll eat some crow. This went far better than I thought it would.

  6. 6
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Trainrunner:

    But all this won’t mean a thing if unemployment next summer is still over 9%

    I’d submit that if the only thing the GOP can come up with is one of their clown car candidates (and that means at this point anyone but Huntsman) the alternative to Obama looks worse, even at 9% unemployment.

  7. 7
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Cliff: Me too

    ETA: NTC spokesman says Qaddafi has been captured on the road to Tunisia.

  8. 8
    ulee says:

    An actual post. Not something by Cole or Ann Laurie about baking bread or the status or their gardens. This used to be one of my favorite blogs, but now it’s This is my life and my Yard. Yuck.

  9. 9
    Jenny says:

    If people like Michelle Bachman and Rick Perry had their way, Colonel Gaddafi would still be in power.

    Congratulations to President Obama on the liberation of Libya.

    He prevented a 2nd Rwanda like Holocaust in Benghazi and then he deposed a tyrant without a single US casualty.

    It’s reminiscent of Theodore Roosevelt’s action in Morocco in 1904.

    They’re singing the national anthem in the streets of Tripoli and chanting Obama Akbar.

    http://feb17.info/media/video-.....e-streets/

  10. 10
    moonbat says:

    I am happy for the people of Libya.

  11. 11
    b-psycho says:

    Tom, since you’re seemingly cheering U.S. intervention regardless of any legitimate defense reason, even going as far as suggesting Syria is next, I have a simple question:

    Where should the U.S. NOT get involved, and why not?

    Yes, the GOP is a bunch of hypocrites. Yes, these dictators, all dictators, deserve to meet untimely ends wherever possible. But where does this policing the globe benevolent bomber bullshit end? Can the empire ever cease?

  12. 12

    Obama has finally called for his exit, and, as has been demonstrated again, this President may grind slowly, but he seems to do so with a certain…how to say it?…emphasis.

    The millstones of the Obama Administration grind slowly but they grind exceedingly small.

  13. 13
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Cliff:

    I was skeptical of this entire thing as well, but so far, it’s looking good. Getting rid of Qaddafi is a good thing.

    As I indicated earlier, though, if the rebels can hang together and form a consensus that makes Libya a better place than it was before, that will be great. It remains to be seen if the coalition that toppled Qaddafi can hang together, though, in the aftermath. Fingers crossed. US and Europe, be helpful and not get involved, OK?

  14. 14
    Dennis SGMM says:

    @Jenny:

    Congratulations to President Obama on the liberation of Libya.

    Thank goodness that none of the Libyan rebels had to give up their lives fighting on the ground to overthrow Qadaffi, right?

  15. 15
    Felanius Kootea says:

    I read a news excerpt that quoted a Libyan rebel who is a dentist, clutching his rifle and overjoyed that Gaddafi is close to being gone. I have a dentist appointment on Thursday and I tried to imagine my dentist brandishing a gun and fighting in a revolution. That’s when what the Libyan rebels have achieved hit me.

  16. 16
    Cat Lady says:

    Clinton got shit for supporting NATO in Bosnia, and no casualties there too, IIRC. Does this mean we’ll hear from the PUMAs about how Obama = Clinton? Bueller? Bueller?

    People are getting tired of being shit on, and being afraid. May the lessons be learned here. When’s the American Spring?

    ETA: Cairo Speech. Read it and then explain to me like I’m five years old what the flaw is in his argument.

  17. 17
    gogol's wife says:

    @Dennis SGMM:

    Could they have done this without the help of NATO, do you think?

  18. 18
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Jenny: I will say it again here: the Libyan people are liberating Libya. The US helped. The rest of NATO helped. The French pushed very strongly for NATO involvement. Come on, though, who are the people fighting and dying here? The Libyans.

  19. 19
    Jenny says:

    Sky News live: crowd in Tripoli’s Green Square flying independence flag, pulling down Qadaffi green flag.

    Ali Obama Bumaye! (“He’s gonna get his whupp’n, but he’s gonna have to wait.”)

  20. 20
    Yevgraf says:

    Moammar Qaddafi was a fucking tool that deserves the capital punishment coming his way.

    This is the way humanitarian interventions are done – by consensus and cooperatively.

  21. 21
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @gogol’s wife: Perhaps, but it would have taken longer and been bloodier.

  22. 22
    Steve says:

    I think we need to see what Libya is like under rebel government before anyone can feel too good about this.

  23. 23
    Comrade Dread says:

    He prevented a 2nd Rwanda like Holocaust in Benghazi and then he deposed a tyrant without a single US casualty.

    I think this remains to be seen. The Rebels aren’t exactly a bunch of tree-hugging let by-gones be by-gones types either.

    We’ve likely just replaced one authoritarian regime with the foundations of another.

    Aside from this, call me whatever you like, but I’m still not jumping on board with the idea that the President of the United States can simply commit forces anywhere in the world as he sees fit without authorization from Congress and that he should do so to back one faction in a civil war where we have absolutely zero national interest.

    I’m sure a President Bachmann or President Perry would love using this precedent to back the MEK in a civil war against Iran.

  24. 24
    Violet says:

    Should make for interesting cognitive dissonance over on the dark side. Recall that Qaddafi outlasted Reagan and both Bushes.

    Of course Gaddafi is old and weak now so he’s easy to get rid of. /wingnut

  25. 25
    aisce says:

    wait, so how many us casualties were there?

    Recall that Qaddafi outlasted Reagan and both Bushes.

    and was a nominal us ally-of-convenience instead. and since the president doesn’t pursue a course of preemptive regime change, he would have stayed that way until…his own people courageously rose up against him. you know, those libyan dudes? the ones who had casualties? because it was their war for their country? no, no bells?

    Obama has finally called for his exit, and, as has been demonstrated again, this President may grind slowly, but he seems to do so with a certain…how to say it?…emphasis.

    this is complete nonsense. syria and libya are completely different situations. the us has very little agency when it comes to dealing with the problem of bashar al-assad. considering military action there would be insane.

  26. 26
    Randiego says:

    tuned to Fox as they are showing Sky News – but they furnish their own commentary. Turned it off as they went to John Bolton for comment. News anchor whining about all the money Obama spent with our huge deficit problems. psychos.

  27. 27
    slightly-peeved says:

    Since the French and English took a very strong role in this from the outset, and the US has been doing very little there since April, I think they deserve credit in any discussion of the Libyan action much as they’d deserve blame if it had become an Iraq-style action. I made no predictions when this war started, but I did point outt that the assumption that it would inevitably end up a US-run operation was pretty patronizing. Good on the US for being willing to work with the world, as opposed to ignoring it or demanding they run thhe show.

  28. 28
    Cat Lady says:

    That does not lessen my commitment, however, to governments that reflect the will of the people. Each nation gives life to this principle in its own way, grounded in the traditions of its own people. America does not presume to know what is best for everyone, just as we would not presume to pick the outcome of a peaceful election. But I do have an unyielding belief that all people yearn for certain things: the ability to speak your mind and have a say in how you are governed; confidence in the rule of law and the equal administration of justice; government that is transparent and doesn’t steal from the people; the freedom to live as you choose. These are not just American ideas; they are human rights. And that is why we will support them everywhere. (Applause.)

    __

    Now, there is no straight line to realize this promise. But this much is clear: Governments that protect these rights are ultimately more stable, successful and secure. Suppressing ideas never succeeds in making them go away. America respects the right of all peaceful and law-abiding voices to be heard around the world, even if we disagree with them. And we will welcome all elected, peaceful governments — provided they govern with respect for all their people.

    -BHO 6/4/2009

  29. 29
    Violet says:

    @Randiego:
    I’m getting the live Sky News feed here: http://go.sky.com/vod/page/tvListing.do

  30. 30
    clayton says:

    Our civil war took much longer.

    I’m so happy — reserved so — for my Libyan friends.

    It’s amazing when things work out just right.

    Why can’t more Americans understand that a nuanced touch is better than a hammer?

  31. 31
    Irving says:

    @b-psycho: I’ll go with “Anywhere that genocide isn’t being committed” for $500, Alex.

  32. 32

    I certainly don’t know what kind of government will be established next but I’m sure there will be twists and turns ahead. If it’s true that the road to true love did never run smooth, it’s certainly true that the road to democracy isn’t an easy road, either.

    Assuming that this is the end of the Gaddafi regime, congratulations to the people of Libya!

  33. 33
    Cermet says:

    Last I checked, the US lead the first NATO airstrikes and took out all the missle air defense systems and only then, (after two days) let the brits and french do the close air support = we also supplied the tankers and suppied the missles.

  34. 34
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Comrade Dread:

    Aside from this, call me whatever you like, but I’m still not jumping on board with the idea that the President of the United States can simply commit forces anywhere in the world as he sees fit without authorization from Congress and that he should do so to back one faction in a civil war where we have absolutely zero national interest.

    Excellent, let’s beat this dead horse too. No one has said that the President “can simply commit forces anywhere in the world as he sees fit without authorization from Congress.” This was a UN authorized action, pursuant to authority granted by treaty and Congress could have stopped it quite quickly had they chosen to do so.

  35. 35
    ppcli says:

    @Randiego:

    Fox….News anchor whining about all the money Obama spent with our huge deficit problems.

    Fox must be worried, if they are going so far as to openly admit that war costs money.

  36. 36
    boomshanka says:

    uh… mission accomplished?

  37. 37
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    I think it’s important to review the historical analogy I’ve been seeing hereabouts…that the US/NATO role in Libya is similar to that of the French in the American Revolution.

    On the surface, perhaps. But keep in mind that the French were not assisting the American rebels out of any sympathy for their politics, but as a means of getting back at the Brits for what happened during the Seven Years’ War, in which the French colonial empire was substantially reduced. The French lost all their territory in North America except for a couple of islands (St. Pierre and Miquelon) and most of their holdings in India. It was payback time.

    Also note that the support of the American rebels, while satisfying to the French in getting back at the Brits, also set up a financial crises that resulted in, well, more excitement than you can shake a stick at in 1789.

    So, the motives of the French were not exactly in line with the motives of the Americans. Just a caution as that comparison is made with Libya.

  38. 38
    Yevgraf says:

    Same experience as Randiego. When I heard life failure Bolton bitching about Obama’s actions in Libya, I had to overcome the urge to get a rifle or two to shoot my TV.

  39. 39
    Dennis SGMM says:

    @gogol’s wife:
    The rebels would have been cut to pieces absent NATO support. I objected to the omission of the sacrifices made by the rebels and their supporters.

  40. 40
    Mr Stagger Lee says:

    I never heard once what kind of people the anti-Ghaddafi opposition was. Are they democrats? Another branch of Ghaddafi Revolutionaries? God help President Obama if they turn out to be Radical Islamists allied to Iran or Wahhabist branch to Saudi Arabia. On the subject of Syria, I would not want to be a Alawite Shia Muslim for all the whiskey in Ireland. Lastly I wonder if there will be a Libyan version of the movie Downfall?

  41. 41
    Jenny says:

    “We knew that if we waited one more day, Benghazi – a city nearly the size of Charlotte – could suffer a massacre that would have reverberated across the region and stained the conscience of the world.”

    “It was not in our national interest to let that happen. I refused to let that happen. And so nine days ago, after consulting the bipartisan leadership of Congress, I authorized military action to stop the killing and enforce UN Security Council Resolution 1973. We struck regime forces approaching Benghazi to save that city and the people within it. We hit Gaddafi’s troops in neighboring Ajdabiya, allowing the opposition to drive them out. We hit his air defenses, which paved the way for a No Fly Zone. We targeted tanks and military assets that had been choking off towns and cities and we cut off much of their source of supply. And tonight, I can report that we have stopped Gaddafi’s deadly advance.

    Politically, he took all the risks, politically, he deserves all the credit.

  42. 42
    Mark S. says:

    @Trainrunner:

    Assuming Qaddafi is truly out

    If he ain’t, it’s one hell of a rope-a-dope he’s doing.

  43. 43
    Danny says:

    I’m all for what Tom said, if for no other reason because the republicans has had a good smackdown coming for a long time on foreign policy. They’ve been talking a good game for years and b-llshitted everyone to go along with their stupid -ss schemes. We’ve all paid dearly.

    The larger takeaway from Libya though, is that this has been libyans ceasing the right of self-determination for themselves. This is a victory for them, albeit a victory that was facilitated by assistance from a functional global community. IOW, this is the role the UN can play under ideal conditions – enabling and facilitating the citizens of a country to win their own future. What remains is rebuilding Libya into a working democracy; another task for the libyan people.

  44. 44
    Comrade Dread says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: If you really think future presidents will see it as nuanced as this, you have far more faith in our political leaders and establishment than I do.

    He ignored the War Powers act and expanded executive power is what the GOP will take away from this.

  45. 45

    republican meme:
    its bush’s reign of war on terror in libya, etc, but its obama’s economy.

    rinse repeat.

  46. 46
    Randiego says:

    @Violet: Awesome. thanks. Have been checking Al Jazeera English as well. CNN is solid too.

  47. 47
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: I have made the analogy, and I agree with what you are saying. No historical analogy is ever perfect.

    @Jenny:

    Politically, he took all the risks, politically, he deserves all the credit.

    What about those who took risks with their lives?

  48. 48
    Professor says:

    @Mr Stagger Lee: Please define who your ‘democrat’ is?

  49. 49
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Fucen Pneumatic Fuck Wrench Tarmal:

    Yeah, the fuckers already insisted that the “Arab Spring” is all due to the groundwork of the deserting coward.

    Total bullshit.

  50. 50
    licensed to kill time says:

    So there I am breathlessly giving my coverage of the coverage I’m watching on CNN Int’l on the other Libya thread and y’all are up here.

    My favorite line so far is rebels hoarsely shouting “We’re coming for you, frizz-head!”

  51. 51

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    The other dissimilarity being that during the American Revolution, the French “put boots on the ground” and suffered casualties in both their army and- probably more importantly- their navy.

  52. 52
    John Cole says:

    There is nothing contradictory with not wanting the US involved in yet another foreign civil war and being happy that Gaddafi is gone. He was scum, but I don’t want us involved. Look- I just held both ideas in my head at the exact same time! Also, get back to me after the turmoil and the revenge killings are over.

    Finally, every time we exert military force and have a “successful” outcome, it makes it more likely we will do so again. And again. And again.

  53. 53
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Comrade Dread: It is my take on the law. I don’t really have a problem with the law being changed, but as I read it and from the analyses I have read, that is the current state of the law.

  54. 54
    Davis X. Machina says:

    When tyrants tremble, sick with fear,
    And hear their death-knell ringing,
    When friends rejoice both far and near,
    How can I keep from singing?

    I’m not that interested in praise, blame, or prophecy right now. Tonight at least, I’m just happy.

  55. 55
    Mnemosyne says:

    @b-psycho:

    Where should the U.S. NOT get involved, and why not?

    I would say that Libya was pretty much the textbook case of a “good” intervention: a genuinely international effort, approved by the UN, and spearheaded by countries other than the US. By most accounts, the US operated almost entirely in a supporting role and let the other NATO members make the decisions, especially France. It could still all go horribly south, but it wouldn’t primarily be the fault of the US if it did.

    Iraq was the textbook case of a “bad” intervention: ignoring the UN’s clear directives, pressuring allies into helping us against their better judgement, and leading the whole damn thing straight into a ditch with our half-assed efforts to re-make the country without having to put any work or expertise into it. The parallels to Vietnam are obvious.

    I don’t think you can make a geographic determination of where the US should or shouldn’t get involved given the nature of globalization. The West Coast of the US is a good 6,000 miles away from Beijing, but it would be hard to argue that events there wouldn’t directly affect the US even if there was no threat of a physical attack on the US.

    On the other hand, AFAIK the US didn’t participate in the recent French intervention in Cote d’Ivoire, but we don’t have the cultural or economic ties that France does with that country, so our intervention would not have had the same effect.

    Since Bush II decided to go in and stir up the shit in the Middle East, I think we may well have to intervene in Syria since what’s happening there is partly the fault of the US. To deny that is to deny how intensely damaging the mess we made of Iraq was to the entire region.

  56. 56
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Mnemosyne: I was with you right up to the Syria part.

  57. 57
    aisce says:

    @ stagger lee

    I never heard once what kind of people the anti-Ghaddafi opposition was. Are they democrats? Another branch of Ghaddafi Revolutionaries? God help President Obama if they turn out to be Radical Islamists allied to Iran or Wahhabist branch to Saudi Arabia.

    so, so ignorant. the war’s been going since february. there are no islamists. there are no radicals. there’s a bunch of regular guys 16-40 years old who were willing to take up arms to deliver their own freedom. it was a true people’s revolt.

    @ jenny

    Politically, he took all the risks, politically, he deserves all the credit.

    compared to congress? sure. i am eternally glad we have barack obama and the collection of advisers he’s assembled controlling military and foreign policy instead of anybody in congress, or 99% of pundits across the country.

    but part of understanding multilateralism is understanding that the president deserves more credit for the process, than for the results. the result could not be had without the process, but there were other more important actors over the last six months.

    if you want to talk about people taking risks, france recognized the transitional government in march. they went all in. and if you want to talk about people taking risks, talk about the protesters who went up against anti-aircraft guns in benghazi.

  58. 58
    Violet says:

    @Randiego:
    I can’t believe that MSNBC won’t cut into its prison shows or whatever they’ve got on tonight to show the Libya stuff. What the hell is Richard Engel doing? CNN has the reporter inside the hotel with the other reporters. Isn’t Engel there?

  59. 59
    Samara Morgan says:

    ’m betting Assad is getting a little nervous

    not because of us.
    Syria has a border with Israel.
    the shaitan bargain we had with Assad is that we wouldn’t try to destabilize him as long as he kept the border quiet.

  60. 60
    Suffern ACE says:

    Meh. Dems are weak on defense and that will remain CW in most places and that will remain CW until we spend ourselves into oblivion. Most Dems in Congress have never met an intervention or a military project they couldn’t enthusiastically support and only the blowhard nature of the Republicans masks that fact.

    Glad he’s gone, but as long as the leaders of one party are convinced that there is an Iranian-Venezuelan-FARC-Narco Central American Sharia plot streaming over our borders from Mexico, the other party seems more than happy to go along with it as long as there are contracts and machismo to gain from it.

    Glad the regime is crumbling. Look forward to seeing y’all again soon.

  61. 61
    Josie says:

    @Comrade Dread: Oh, good grief. American presidents have always been able to do this. See “Bush, George W. and Iraq.” Congress has never had the balls to stop an American president when he decides to commit troups. If they didn’t stop Obama, whom they despise, they will never stop anyone. At least this time, it was done with full diplomacy and cooperation with other NATO allies, and it achieved (we think) a desired end.

  62. 62
    b-psycho says:

    @Irving: What ethnic or religious group was Qaddafi specifically targeting by having those protesters murdered?

    I seem to recall redefining every tin pot dictators routine slaughter of political opposition as The New Holocaust (thus justifying U.S. entry into war with them) as a trend Dems rightfully laughed at neo-cons about. Is it really as simple as whose in charge?

  63. 63
    Mnemosyne says:

    @slightly-peeved:

    I made no predictions when this war started, but I did point out that the assumption that it would inevitably end up a US-run operation was pretty patronizing.

    Yep, I remember all of the assertions at the time that Sarkozy was just Obama’s puppet and the US had secretly orchestrated the entire thing behind the scenes. I think it was the total ignorance of the fact that other countries have their own leaders and agendas that don’t necessarily conform to what the US wants that was so frickin’ irritating — and it was coming from ostensible lefties!

    I will, however, join the chorus pointing out while that the NATO support was helpful, it was really the Libyan rebels’ fight. If they hadn’t come through, there was very little NATO could have done to overthrow Qaddafi short of a full-scale invasion, and even that had little chance of working.

  64. 64
    Martin says:

    Well, we had a limited role in the final outcome, but Obama and Clinton deserve a lot of credit for how they handled this. IMO, this is so far pretty close to a textbook example of how progressives should want US power projected – when the US was in a position to act, we acted. When allies were in a position to take over, we insisted they take over and we remained available to assist in ways that the US is uniquely capable. The UN and NATO were asked to own this, and the US played the role of UN and NATO participant quite well.

    This can still all blow up on us, but so far it’s going to be damn hard for anyone to be realistically critical of how the Obama administration handled this. I know Dems have a hard time doing this, but between this and Bin Laden, they have a LOT to crow about on the national security front.

  65. 65
    Jenny says:

    Juan Cole > John Cole

  66. 66
    Samara Morgan says:

    @aisce:

    there are no islamists. there are no radicals.

    liar liar pants on fire.
    the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group is part of the NTC, as is the Libyan Muslim Brotherhood in exile.
    Egyptian spec ops guys have been training the rebels in rocket launching.
    Every Arab Spring revolt has a franchise of the Muslim Brotherhood and student federations involved. Every Arab Spring protest is organized with facebook and social media.
    Pax Americana is dust and ashes.

  67. 67
    b-psycho says:

    @John Cole: This. Thank you.

  68. 68
    Danny says:

    And w/r/t the merits of Obama’s approach: now it looks like things will turn out pretty good. But had we not been so fortunate (or if things take a turn for the worse) this would still be a collective effort in support of a domestic uprising. There is joint ownership, shared stakes and the people with the highest stakes in this are libyans. That’s exactly how it should be. Odyssey Dawn has been the polar opposite Iraqi Freedom in many ways, not only in terms of money spent or number of american soldiers in the line of fire. It is imho the ultimate repudiation of the Bush administrations approach to foreign policy…

  69. 69
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Martin: This. Exactly this.

  70. 70
    Samara Morgan says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    I think we may well have to intervene in Syria

    we can’t. they have a border with Israel.

  71. 71
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again):

    True true.

    Note also that one thing the French intervention did was cause the Brits to move forces out of the North American theater and into the Caribbean, to protect the much more important (at the time) sugar islands from French predation.

    One of the reasons for the American Revolution in the first place was the high cost of the Seven Years’ War to the Brits, who wanted the Americans to help pay for the greater security that conflict purchased for them. The Americans, in turn, wanted some representation (no taxation without representation, you know) in British policy.

    As I indicated in my original post, the French too paid a high price for this adventure…in that the cost of the intervention resulted in their own financial problems that led to their own revolution.

  72. 72
    Samara Morgan says:

    @John Cole: so put up a post on humanitarian interventionism and right to protect doctrine.
    you have the bloody pulpit.

  73. 73
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    I haven’t made up my mind about Syria, but I definitely would not support a US-led intervention, only another fully international one led by other NATO countries.

    I think NATO is hoping the same thing I am, namely that Qaddafi’s capture will get al-Assad to start negotiating a nice, cushy exile somewhere.

  74. 74
    Jenny says:

    Quaddafyi outlasted 7 presidents, including Maximus Ronaldus, but fell to a community organizer.

  75. 75
    Josie says:

    @Violet: Engel is out in the street with the rebels. I saw him give a report on NBC news. He was speaking to them and translating their answers.

  76. 76
    moonbat says:

    @John Cole: Way to patronize the Libyans there, Cole. Stand aside while they are massacred because we can’t get involved, cheer when the dictator is deposed but deplore our limited involvement, and then smear them all as vengeful savages!

  77. 77
    Samara Morgan says:

    @Mnemosyne: we cannot intervene in Syria or Jordan, we made Lebanon into a failed state with our intervention(s), and the border is why we couldn’t intervene in Egypt.
    Because as much as muslims hate the US occupier, they fucking hate Israel a hella lot more.

  78. 78
    John Cole says:

    @moonbat: Someone help me out, this was spoof, right?

  79. 79
    quannlace says:

    Getting rid of Qaddafi is a good thing.

    So, where’s this charmer going now?

    How soon before we see him in a Doonesbury cartoon?

  80. 80
    Jenny says:

    Fascinating.

    On the Right: They think the US government can do no good domestically.

    On the Left: They think the US government can do no good overseas.

    Fascinating how they dislike the US government, but from different angles.

  81. 81
    Heliopause says:

    Yes, bravo. It’s patently clear that if an Imperial power’s invasion/intervention is nominally successful then it was the correct policy.

    FUCK YEAH!

    Oh, by the way, since the morality of the whole enterprise is meaningless to so many of you as long as it can be used to score domestic political points, and since this will embolden the Peace Prize Winner to try it again elsewhere, can I have your Social Security and Medicare money? The Peace Prize Winner has to pay for the Empire somehow, so it’s only fair you keyboard heroes give up yours in service to the Land of the Free and Home of the Drone. TIA.

  82. 82
    steve says:

    The larger takeaway from Libya though, is that this has been libyans ceasing the right of self-determination for themselves.

    You meant seizing. Ceasing gives your sentence the opposite meaning.

  83. 83
    Dennis SGMM says:

    @John Cole:

    Finally, every time we exert military force and have a “successful” outcome, it makes it more likely we will do so again. And again. And again.

    This. And future presidents, no matter what party they’re from, will be able to quote the Obama Doctrine; “Libya is not hostilities.”

    Now that blowing shit up and killing people from the air don’t amount to hostilities, what does?

  84. 84
    Mnemosyne says:

    @John Cole:

    Finally, every time we exert military force and have a “successful” outcome, it makes it more likely we will do so again. And again. And again.

    Because our unsuccessful outcome in Vietnam prevented the US from ever exerting military force again?

    I do think there’s a big difference between the US charging in unilaterally and the US acting in genuine concert with other countries. Despite the trappings that Bush II tried to add, Iraq was absolutely a unilateral action. This one was not.

    Obviously, you can still have disastrous consequences when acting in concert with other countries, but I would argue that it’s less likely given the amount of negotiating required, as opposed to Bush’s “Fuck Saddam — we’re taking him out” method of planning.

  85. 85
    Mr Stagger Lee says:

    @aisce: A true people’s revolt? I’ll believe it when I see it. I heard that shissen when Saddam fell, when the Taliban fell also. 16-40 year olds may start revolutions, but who is in the background? I doubt a Libyan JFK or a Lech Welsa, I wouldn’t mind a Libyan Chavez, but probably a similar bastard to Ghadaffi.

  86. 86

    Obama should get credit for restraint and responsible presidenting, to thread the needle between US leadership and much needed delegation and insistence that the rest of the world pony up to the bar when they should, for situations like these.

    On the right, the neo cons were screaming to send in the 82nd airborne and get us mired in another ground war on the other side of the world. On the left, it was Bush 2 all over again, and FITD speak that turned out to be untrue.

    All of it posturing by ideologues of one stripe or another, of which, Obama proves once again, he is not of that stripe. And that the US may be the only superpower, but there are others in the world that can do policing of humanitarian disasters, when they are imminent and in their neighborhoods.

    Whether it was the administrations intent, or just flying well by the seat of their pants, we have a new doctrine that is anti neo con, and puts some space betwee their bullshit with Bush, and the here and now. Obama’s Doctrine, that we are willing to help others when called on, but not to take over and run the whole show. Of doing things as a world action, and not as some neo colonial asshole types tearing around the world looking for the shit.

    This time we are on the sides of the people, to right a wrong we helped create, not only in Libya, but throughout MENA. Whether or not the Libyan people use wisely this new opportunity, is up to them. We can help, but not dictate how the Libyans choose to govern themselves.

    We are fortunate to have this man, Barack Obama, leading us now, rather than anyone else I can think of. If you have others that could do better, let’s hear about it, make your case. Otherwise, yawn.

  87. 87
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Dennis SGMM:

    Now that blowing shit up and killing people from the air don’t amount to hostilities, what does?

    I’m pretty sure that hasn’t counted as hostilities since Cambodia at a minimum, but I guess YMMV.

  88. 88
    moonbat says:

    @General Stuck: This. Thanks, General.

  89. 89
    magurakurin says:

    @John Cole:

    what a bunch of crap. I like you, but your radar on intervention is broken. You were wrong about Iraq, and now you are wrong about Libya. You can get all pissy about it or sanctimonious or call me names or let the dogs out, but you were still wrong about both. Obama was against the Iraq war from the first rumblings. So that makes it Obama 2 Cole 0. Deal with it.

  90. 90
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Heliopause:

    Yes, bravo. It’s patently clear that if an Imperial power’s invasion/intervention is nominally successful then it was the correct policy.

    And in this case you’re referring to the French, correct? Because otherwise you’re falling for that fallacy I referred to in #63 where you assume that the only possible reason that sweet and innocent pacifist countries like France, Germany and Italy would decide to intervene in Libya would be because the evil US bamboozled them into it.

  91. 91
    drkrick says:

    @Comrade Dread:

    I’m sure a President Bachmann or President Perry would love using this precedent to back the MEK in a civil war against Iran.

    I agree with you, but if you think the existence or absence of this precedent would make any difference to Bachmann or Perry’s if they decide they want to back the MEK, you haven’t been paying attention. No Congress has been willing to interfere with a President who wants to go to war for a couple of generations now. It was galling to see somebody who’s supposed to be a Con Law professor continue the trend, but let’s not pretend he’s covered any new ground here.

  92. 92
    Jenny says:

    No wonder top generals refer to him as ‘Cool Hand Luke’.

    http://img600.imageshack.us/im.....orizon.jpg

  93. 93
    Josie says:

    @General Stuck: Well stated. Thank you.

  94. 94
    aisce says:

    @ stuck

    your “yawn” gimmick is out of place when you keep posting these impassioned eight paragraph posts every day…

    @ john cole

    um, no. moonbat is right. your behavior is churlish and inconsistent. libya != iraq or syria or afghanistan or anywhere else. there’s no “one size fits all” approach to foreign policy. if you don’t actually know anything about the country or its people, you have nothing to form judgments on but your own reactionary ideologies.

  95. 95
    Belafon (formerly anonevent) says:

    @John Cole: Just like I can hold the idea that this was a very specific instance backed by a UN resolution but I don’t accept a general “go after every evil dictator” declaration, a la Iraq. Moral questions don’t tend to parse very nicely.

  96. 96
  97. 97
    Alex S. says:

    @John Cole:

    I see… Success is bad.

    In my opinion, Obama has now deserved his Nobel Peace Prize, not only by supporting the successful overthrow of a dictator, but by doing so through the rule of law, the arm-twisting that made the UN resolution and NATO involvement possible. As far as the evaluation of Obama’s actions goes, this chapter is over. Everything that follows will have to be watched through a different prism. And anyone who wants to blame future developments on Obama will imply that the dictatorship under Gaddafi was better.

  98. 98
    Samara Morgan says:

    @Jenny: did you know green is the color of Islam?

  99. 99
    PaulW says:

    There’s a lot of bluster on the breaking news front, but at best we can say that the rebels have partial control of Tripoli, which is huge. There aren’t many places left in Libya proper for Mr. Q to run and hide.

    As for the political hosannas about who was right and who isn’t… can we wait to make sure Libya is a stable friendly country after all the bombing and shooting is hopefully done?

  100. 100
    JPL says:

    Obama akbar… Congratulations to the people of Libya and just remember Freedom isn’t free. Keep up the good fight.

  101. 101
    Alex S. says:

    @magurakurin:

    I think Cole and a lot of lefties are sort of traumatized by the Iraq War. Also, I guess the whole issue hits close too close to home for him.

  102. 102
    Samara Morgan says:

    @Danny: bravo.

    did you ever think that through, and put that out there as a transparent position?

    Cole had ample opportunity to engage me at least on humanitarian interventionism and the UN right to protect doctrine.
    He preferred to endlessly whine about that slippery slope.

  103. 103
    Belafon (formerly anonevent) says:

    @Heliopause:

    It’s patently clear that if an Imperial power’s invasion/intervention is nominally successful

    We don’t exactly have a lot of measuring sticks, actually. And the argument that we don’t interfere in countries that aren’t bothering us is bunk, not because of any imperial history, but because there are things that might be going on in the country that need our intervention. This is no different than the right to privacy unless something is happening in your neighbors house, like people being killed.

    What we don’t want, I’m sure we both agree, is for a single person to be making these decisions, which is why, as Jenny noted above, Obama talked with Congress and followed the UN mandate.

    It’s also why it is hard to decide if something should be done about Somalia, or other countries. The answer right now is no, because there hasn’t been enough consensus. And I know why some people will argue we intervened in Libya.

  104. 104
    aisce says:

    @ stuck

    hooray, you have a sense of humor after all!

  105. 105
    Samara Morgan says:

    @PaulW: i betcha Libya will like us a hella lot better than Iraq and A-stan do.
    :)

  106. 106
    Danny says:

    @General Stuck:

    On the money.

  107. 107
    opal says:

    @Mr Stagger Lee:

    I doubt a Libyan JFK or a Lech Welsa

    As long as it’s not a Lybian Ralph Nader, I’ll be cautiously optimistic.

  108. 108
    eemom says:

    @boomshanka:

    uh… mission accomplished?

    no shit. I’m reading this thread and wondering if I got into some bizarro time-space-sanity warp here.

    Um, hello? Let’s not suck each other’s dicks just yet

  109. 109
    Samara Morgan says:

    @Belafon (formerly anonevent): the answer is NO because humanitarian interventionism and right-to-protect doctrine are just more fucking colonialism.

    Big White Christian Bwana GTFO.
    /sideways smile
    while you can.

  110. 110
    Jenny says:

    Some people can’t deal with ambiguity, so they paint in black and white.

    Juan Cole

  111. 111
    Hal says:

    One more notch in Obama’s belt he will be credited for somewhere around 2030.

  112. 112
    MikeJ says:

    @Alex S.:

    In my opinion, Obama has now deserved his Nobel Peace Prize, not only by supporting the successful overthrow of a dictator

    Not just helping get rid of a dictator, but helping stop a genocide that was about to happen. I don’t really see how anybody with a conscience could say we should have stood by and allowed it to happen.

  113. 113
    Belafon (formerly anonevent) says:

    @Alex S.: There are people who oppose military action for a number of different reasons. It should never be an easy thing to decide, and we should always be arguing over it if it doesn’t not involve our being directly attacked.

  114. 114
    burnspbesq says:

    @b-psycho:

    Tom is certainly capable of answering for himself. However, I would ask you the following question in response: if not us, who?

    And yes, if we choose to do something about Mugabe, I will support that wholeheartedly.

  115. 115
    Belafon (formerly anonevent) says:

    @Samara Morgan: Really? And busting down a door for domestic violence is just slavery, isn’t it?

  116. 116
    JPL says:

    Does it really matter who thought what and when and how? Gaddafi is a murderer and needed to go and by all accounts he is and it is a time for celebration and a time to hope that Libya can rebuild.

  117. 117
    burnspbesq says:

    @Samara Morgan:

    Of course they will. Unlike Total and ENI, Exxon Mobil pays its bills on time.

  118. 118
    Alex S. says:

    @Belafon (formerly anonevent):

    That’s true. In this case though, it always seemed to me that the people against the intervention had fewer and worse arguments. Sometimes I couldn’t tell if Cole was serious or just trolling his own blog.

  119. 119
    Maude says:

    @General Stuck:
    When you see the Libya outcome turning positive, you can see why a lot of malcontents hate Obama. He has proven with actions that he knows what he’s doing. It’s been a long time since we have seen a president act on principle.

  120. 120
    Samara Morgan says:

    @Jenny: no, dimbo, its that domestic IS OUR FUCKING BIDNESS.
    Shit going down over seas is not.

    get used to it,
    the powerless hyperpower can’t do jack anymore.
    Kralizec is coming, and its fueled by social media and years of injustice.

  121. 121
    Samara Morgan says:

    @Belafon (formerly anonevent): only if you do it in someone else’s house, in a neighborhood on the other side of town, whithout being ASKED.
    that is is what fucking right to protect doctrine is.
    the “right” to tell the whole world what to do.

  122. 122
    eemom says:

    without a single US casualty.

    holy shit. No really — the blog has been taken over by cyborgs, right?

    I mean, I’m certainly glad there weren’t any US casualties…..but to make that statement in triumph, when so many Libyans lost their lives…….oh boy.

    hey Cole — looks like it’s time for an “America — fuck yeah!!” tagline.

  123. 123
    Dennis SGMM says:

    @Mnemosyne:
    My mileage on taking sides in a civil war hasn’t changed since the early Seventies.

    I was in the Delta in ’71-’72. If anyone didn’t know that we were bombing the shit out of Cambodia then they weren’t paying attention. It was almost a shuttle run for b-52’s based at NKP (Nakon Phanom), Thailand. One of the reasons for the bombing was a desperate attempt to interdict troops and supplies being sent from (then) North Vietnam.

    The higher echelons of the US command were never able to grasp the simple truth known to those of us on the ground: the Ho Chi Minh Trail was never a single route. It was a distributed series of bicycle paths, covered roads, and footpaths – some of which had been in use for hundreds of years. The Vietnamese were patient enough and motivated enough to disassemble heavy weapons and drag the pieces to where they were needed. I respect them to this day.

    So I mistrust presidents jumping into civil wars and I mistrust the judgement of our military commanders as to the best resolution for those wars. You can’t deny that I came by this POV honestly.

  124. 124
    Happy Dog says:

    Yeah, and fuck Huntsman, too. He can go on about how he’s the “sane” one, but until I hear him acknowledge the insanity of the last 3 years of attacks and obstructionism directed against his boss by his party and their propaganda arm at FoxNews, it’s just empty posturing.

  125. 125
    opal says:

    @Samara Morgan:

    Big White Christian Bwana GTFO

    Given recent events, one would hope that is a shrinking mindset.

  126. 126
    Belafon (formerly anonevent) says:

    @Alex S.: Not to belabor the point, but the fact that it didn’t affect us directly was an argument that the intervening side had to win, not the other side had to lose. For me, it took the UN resolution, because we are obligated by US law. If we had a Congress that did it’s job – rather than voting to be against the intervention and yet continue supporting – the proper debate could have occurred in this country. Since it didn’t happen there, it’s got to happen somewhere.

  127. 127
    Danny says:

    @John Cole:

    Finally, every time we exert military force and have a “successful” outcome, it makes it more likely we will do so again. And again. And again.

    This is extremely specious. Some preconditions that Obama staked out as justification for going into Libya (off the top of my head):

    1) A humanitarian crisis that was unfolding, with a clear potential to get much worse.
    2) Consensus in the global community that intervention was warranted and necessary.
    3) Regional stability in jeopardy.
    4) There were partners and shared ownership and a shot at legitimacy.

    We can argue all night about whether malevolent demagogues in the mold of the Bush administration can lie and manufacture 1 and 3 in the future, but condition 2 and 4 is what’s been at the heart of mainstream democratic foreign policy for a long time.

    The global community can at times agree that humanitarian intervention is warranted and when the global community agrees then the intervention has legitimacy and there’s shared ownership. We didnt have that in Iraq because the case was bullsh-t and the UN wouldnt sign on.

    Your protests doesn’t make sense unless you’re about to support across the board non-interventionism. That’s fine, but then you should come out and say so, instead of pretending there were ever circumstances particular to OD that you couldnt stomach.

  128. 128
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Samara Morgan:

    ESPECIALLY if it’s to rescue school girls caught in a fire. That’s really bad form.

  129. 129
    Mnemosyne says:

    @eemom:

    I mean, I’m certainly glad there weren’t any US casualties…..but to make that statement in triumph, when so many Libyans lost their lives…….oh boy.

    It was a civil war with Libyans fighting Libyans. Who did you think was going to be getting killed?

    I think the “not a single American killed” is in response to the hysterics like Cole who insisted this couldn’t possibly be resolved without American boots on the ground. Fortunately, it looks like the Libyan rebels were, in fact, able to get the job done themselves once they had some NATO assistance to even the odds against Gaddafi’s mercenaries and didn’t need the US (or anyone else) to rescue them.

  130. 130
    Suffern ACE says:

    @Mnemosyne: Yep. We’re the only country with bankers and oil companies with any influence on political decision making.

  131. 131
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Alex S.:

    I was just thinking about that Nobel Peace Prize this afternoon and thinking he was getting pretty close to having earned it. I have always thought that the award was a huge embarrassment to him and he felt obliged to live up to and exceed expectations. He’s well on the way.

  132. 132
    Belafon (formerly anonevent) says:

    @Samara Morgan: So you willfully choose to ignore the UN resolution, huh? And I’m sorry, your analogy still fails, because if I am driving by someone’s house and hear a gun go off, I am still going to call the police.

  133. 133
    Samara Morgan says:

    @opal: not really.
    2.5 million iraqis just signed a petition telling America to GTFO.

    this is an activist blog, right?
    you liberal activists best be mailing O and tellin’ him to GTFO Iraq in december.
    i read the jihaadi websites and if 10k troops stay on there is going to be an epic bloodbath.
    unless of course you really WANT to see american soljah corpses multilated and burnt hanging from bridges or being dragged through the streets of Bagdhad on Al Jazeera english live.
    it will make Vietnam look like a garden party.

  134. 134
    Samara Morgan says:

    @Belafon (formerly anonevent): calling the police is not kicking in the door.
    is the UN the police in this analogy?
    im confused.

  135. 135
    The Sheriff's A Ni- says:

    @John Cole: Which is why Hillary is trumpeting ‘on to Damascus!’

    Oh wait.

  136. 136
    Belafon (formerly anonevent) says:

    @Mnemosyne:
    We definitely shouldn’t be making decisions based on whether American’s will or won’t get killed. Our decisions should be based on whether American’s getting killed is worth the cost, and that cost is not just whether we win or lose.

  137. 137
    steve says:

    Danny – August 21, 2011 | 8:11 pm · Link
    @John Cole:
    I do think it’s fair though to ask this: If your position is, and always was that you didn’t wan’t the US involved in yet another intervention, did you ever think that through, and put that out there as a transparent position?

    apostrophe fail.

  138. 138
    Svensker says:

    @John Cole:

    This. And why I read your blog. Well, and the pets. And the domestic catastrophes.

  139. 139
    Alex S. says:

    @Belafon (formerly anonevent):

    I agree. The UN resolution was very important. Also, the whole War Powers Act debate could have been avoided if the Obama government had recognized the Benghazi government two weeks before they actually did.

  140. 140
    The Dangerman says:

    The argument for or against intervention is missing one very important fact; after taking out the Air Defenses way back when, the U.S. did very little. The heavy lifting was done by other NATO forces and (obviously) the TNC and the Rebels.

    Obama should get credit for lighting the fuse, but the fireworks going off should be credited to others, not us.

  141. 141
    JPL says:

    How could Bush recognize this creep?

  142. 142
    Dennis SGMM says:

    Could we save some of the triumphalism for the day when Libya holds open elections?

  143. 143
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Dennis SGMM:

    So I mistrust presidents jumping into civil wars and I mistrust the judgement of our military commanders as to the best resolution for those wars. You can’t deny that I came by this POV honestly.

    I don’t disagree. My POV would be that this was not the US jumping unilaterally into a civil war the way we did in Vietnam or fomenting a civil war the way we did in Iraq. This was the UN intervening and the US participating in concert with other countries. To me, this really seems like the polar opposite of Vietnam (unlike Iraq, which was more like a Vietnam clone, with all of the same mistakes repeated twice).

    IMO, the success of this operation seems like an indicator that the US military can do a very good job if they have good leadership, but unfortunately for them we have crappy leadership, and it’s been like that since at least Vietnam (and more like Korea) when we somehow decided that Eisenhower won WWII all by his lonesome so therefore we could prance around acting unilaterally if our allies thought that action was a bad idea.

    Basically, I think things turned out okay in this case because we weren’t in charge, unlike the stupid interventions where we acted alone.

  144. 144
    Samara Morgan says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: WTF?

    how about Tulsa?

    it aint America’s bidness. take your panty sniffing missionary democracy and go look up lynching.

  145. 145
    Alex S. says:

    @SiubhanDuinne:

    IIRC, he even said something like that in his acceptance speech.

  146. 146
    Danny says:

    @steve:

    Thank’s for pointin’ that out

  147. 147
    magurakurin says:

    @eemom: And how many more would have lost their lives after Gaddafi had rounded up the last of the rebels into a soccer stadium to finish the job? Yesterday you were claiming that things weren’t much different in Libya than February and then you admitted you didn’t know what was happening but were sure it was just more endless tribal war that those savage Arabs are so famous for. You do realize that the Libyan people rose up in armed rebellion and Gaddafi then became to attack his own people with jet fighters, and that’s when the UN and NATO stepped in, don’t you?

  148. 148
    Baud says:

    @Alex S.: How would early recognition have changed the War Powers issue?

  149. 149
    The Dangerman says:

    @Dennis SGMM:

    Could we save some of the triumphalism for the day when Libya holds open elections?

    I see we’ve reached DeafCon II:

    I. (Previously) Could we save some of the triumphalism for the day when Kaddafi isn’t in charge?

    II. (Now) Could we save some of the triumphalism for the day when Libya holds open elections?

    III. (Future) Could we save some of the triumphalism for the day when Libya holds open elections where we like the people that win?

  150. 150

    i apologize if some one has said this better, but this is like john mccain’s “we are all georgians” of course you are, you and your staff are paid to be georgians.

    the gop met k’da’phe’s(my own spelling preference, because i made it up) price to denounce terror and make it look like asshole bush actually did something ok in iraq, because as an unintended consequence, k’da’phe became a good guy.

    fucen +who’s counting.

  151. 151
    steve says:

    We definitely shouldn’t be making decisions based on whether American’s will or won’t get killed. Our decisions should be based on whether American’s getting killed is worth the cost, and that cost is not just whether we win or lose

    apostrophe…what’s the word I’m looking for…?

  152. 152
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Jenny: Oh bullshit. I think the US did well in the way it handled the Libyan situation. I think the US was right to get involved. I also think the Libyans are liberating them-fucking-selves. Is it really that complicated?

  153. 153
    John Cole says:

    Cole had ample opportunity to engage me at least on humanitarian interventionism and the UN right to protect doctrine.

    Why yes, Matoko/Hermione/whatever the hell you call yourself these days. Sometimes I had up to 50-60 “opportunities” per thread, and upwards of a 100 times a day to “engage” you.

    I’m thinking I made the right decision to not do that.

  154. 154
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Samara Morgan: Green is also the color of my eyes.

  155. 155
    steve says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: gotta agree.

  156. 156
    Yutsano says:

    @John Cole: Oh Jesus JC. Why the hell did you give the child your attention? Three hundred blog posts from just her coming forthwith. I’m gonna go hide now.

  157. 157
    Alex S. says:

    @Baud:

    I don’t have the links anymore that cite the legal analysis. But I guess the crude and easy explanation is that Gaddafi would not have been the head of state anymore. A declaration of war would not have been necessary. Gaddafi could have been declared a terrorist.

  158. 158

    @Samara Morgan:

    that is is what fucking right to protect doctrine is.
    the “right” to tell the whole world what to do.

    Yeah. The UN’s “right”, granted it by (nearly) the whole world.

  159. 159
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Samara Morgan:

    im confused.

    We know.

  160. 160
    JPL says:

    Can’t we all just get along? lol..
    Congrats to the folks of Libya and hopefully forming a new government does not cause more blood.

  161. 161
    licensed to kill time says:

    @John Cole:

    oh damn, you may have just gassed her up for the next 27,369,452 opps…

  162. 162
    Baud says:

    @Alex S.: Thanks.

  163. 163
    JPL says:

    My 24/7 news is AlJazeera because I don’t have cable but do have roku. Somehow I feel like I’m better informed.

  164. 164
    Trapped in SC says:

    I see Andrea Mitchell is readying the wingnut talking points, that the operation was led by the (gasp!) French, British and NATO (like we aren’t most of fucking nato, anyway). This will be the talking point parroted on Fox News tomorrow, I guarantee it.

  165. 165
    Baud says:

    @Trapped in SC: Huh? I thought they did lead the operation. That’s the whole point of why Congress didn’t need to authorize the action

  166. 166
    eemom says:

    @magurakurin:

    yes, I realize those things; and the fact that I haven’t been following the Libya situation every single day while THIS country is collapsing around my ears doesn’t mean I have no idea what the fuck this is all about.

    Also, unlike more than a few of the international observers here, I admit ignorance where I am ignorant.

    These are the specific problems I have with the attitudes here:

    1. Crowing about this as a triumph — when, as has been repeatedly acknowledged over the last 24 hours by people more immune to your level of mockery — NOBODY knows how this is going to turn out, even with Quadaffi gone. Nobody has the slightest fucking idea — much, much less than they did with Mubarak/Egypt — and that wasn’t, and still isn’t, much of an idea.

    The difference between this moronic crowing and GWB’s “MIssion Accomplished” banner is one of degree, not of kind.

    2. Treating this as some sort of hagiographic vindication of Obama. See #1 above.

    3. The 800 Pound Oil Elephant in the room.

    Yes, it is well and good to congratulate ourselves — and Obama — as angelic saviors of the Libyan people from genocide.

    The fact is, we — and NATO — NEVER would have gotten involved to prevent this genocide if Libya had no oil — and anyone who doesn’t admit that is either hopelessly naive or a liar.

  167. 167
    Mike G says:

    Shorter Romney:
    It’s more important to stoke our blimpish national ego by demanding the US be in charge, than to get the job done with minimal resources and casualties.

    Not a word of justification as to why this would be better, just that his ego demands he be in charge. I can imagine what kind of a buffoonish boss he was.

    Which could be the motto of the dogmatic Repuke party on almost everything from Iraq to abstinence education to climate change. Their whole motivation is to impose the ideologically correct policy, regardless of its ineffectiveness, dismal results or disconnection from reality. When it all fucks up, it’s hoocoodanode, “Nobody could have expected” and “Shut up, I was following Jesus”.

  168. 168
    Dennis SGMM says:

    @The Dangerman:
    That’s really clever. Almost. Obama committed forces solely on the basis that they were opposed to the evil dictator.

    Is it unreasonable to hold the high fives until we see what comes next? Or are you so needy of a triumph for Obama in a shit economy with continuing high unemployment that you’ll jump on whatever you can get?

  169. 169
    Suffern ACE says:

    @Baud: When you have a nation full of big dicks, they need to swing at every opportunity. These talking points should make polite people blush and lead to gross indecency charges.

  170. 170
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    I have begun to try and view the regular trolls (including, but not necessarily limited to, m_c, DerffreD, and Onkel CT) the same way I try to view mosquitos: as incredibly noisy, insistent and annoying little pests, who may sometimes draw a little blood but when all is said and done, are not worth much more than a casual swat, followed by paying no additional attention to them. I try never to engage mosquitos in reasoned discourse, nor do I insult or argue with them. I might swear at them as I swat, but that’s about it.

    (Sometimes, of course, they are just Too. Fuckin. Annoying. To. Be. Ignored. Then all bets are off.)

  171. 171
    Trapped in SC says:

    @Baud

    I’m aware of those facts. My point is that to think that the US didn’t have a primary role in this is naive. The president’s detractors would have wasted no time criticizing the President had the rebels failed in their mission.

  172. 172
    eemom says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    none of that justifies crowing about the “only important lives” “only lives that matter” American lives that were spared — with nary so much as a backward-glancing, three word lip service of decency to the tragedy of those that were lost.

  173. 173
    soonergrunt says:

    Well, I stop by here to see the take on the good news, and I see that we’ve all got the knives out for each other. Wow.
    I’m glad that the Libyan rebels appear to have won or nearly so. I’m glad that they did it themselves (with a little help). That fact alone will lead in the long run to a more stable country.
    I’m glad that we didn’t have boots on the ground any more than absolutely necessary to support the very limited role we played.
    Some of you people don’t know how to use an apostrophe.
    Here’s some help.
    Put the knives away for a few minutes, and let’s all be happy for the Libyans–well, the ones that are winning, anyway.

  174. 174
    Cacti says:

    My problem with “good” interventions is that they are almost without exception used to justify the next bad intervention. I can’t imagine this will be any different.

  175. 175
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Cacti: Do you advocate a policy of never intervening anywhere? I do not, but I see it as a valid stance to take.

  176. 176
    soonergrunt says:

    @Cacti: And conversely the “bad” interventions are, without exception, used to taint the next “good” intervention. Like Iraq.

  177. 177
    eemom says:

    also too — to deliberately garble the real and important issue of the Libyan intervention and whether it was justified and what it says about Obama into yet another episode of the no-brainer 24/7 reality show Republicans Suck, as this post does — is really doing that issue, and people with reasonable disgreements about it, a disservice.

  178. 178
    Samara Morgan says:

    @John Cole: you sure did.

  179. 179
    moonbat says:

    @Cacti: There’s as concise an argument for moral paralysis as you are likely to find anywhere.

  180. 180
    Dennis SGMM says:

    @Cacti:
    Does anyone in any way believe that a future president won’t make use of this precedent? “Libya is not hostilities” my ass. If Bush had said something that manifestly bullshit any non-troll commenter here would have been all over him.

  181. 181

    Why does anyone engage the kook?

  182. 182
    The Dangerman says:

    @Dennis SGMM:

    Or are you so needy of a triumph for Obama in a shit economy with continuing high unemployment that you’ll jump on whatever you can get?

    Typing the words “triumph for Obama” must have been tough for you.

    I agree, the economy is in the shitter, but I don’t hold Obama accountable for the mess left over from him from W; given the polls the show him being re-elected fairly easily, neither do most voters, apparently.

  183. 183
    Danny says:

    @eemom:

    But most republicans didn’t disagree reasonably, on principle. They disagreed just to disagree. Ron Paul disagreed on principle. Bachmann disagreed because she’s a republican and Obama’s a democrat. Bachmann deserves scorn because she gambled that there’d be political points to score and she “lost”.

  184. 184
    Jenny says:

    @eemom:

    The fact is, we—and NATO —NEVER would have gotten involved to prevent this genocide if Libya had no oil—

    What makes you say that? The US intervened in Kosovo and there was no oil there.

    And if it was a matter of oil, we’d help Ghaddfyi stay in power, as he’s always been a willing gas station attendant.

    Also too, the US doesn’t buy any oil from Libya.

  185. 185
    opal says:

    @Samara Morgan:

    it will make Vietnam look like a garden party

    Right, because modern Libya is exactly like Southeast Asia in the ’60s/’70s with a Cold War underpinning.

  186. 186
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @John Cole: How about you? Are you now a down the line non-interventionist? If not, where would you draw the line?

  187. 187
    Dennis SGMM says:

    @The Dangerman:
    You’re so precious. I’d have loved to be able to type “triumph for Obama” again and again. What I’m not going to do is type that phrase when it’s yet to be a triumph.

    “Most voters”? Give me a fucking break. Do you think that in ’12 most voters will give a flying fuck about Libya as they continue to be liberated from their jobs and homes? Yeah, Obama inherited a shitty situation. Most voters will note that his administration has failed to make it any better. There are plenty of excuses for that but excuses make for shitty bumper stickers.

  188. 188
    CaseyL says:

    There is no news so good that at least one person will not feel an uncontrollable urge to shit on it.

    Tomorrow’s problems are for tomorrow. Another Arab tyrant has fallen, and I’m rejoicing.

    The professional killjoys? Man, it has to suck to be them.

  189. 189
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Cacti:

    My problem with “good” interventions is that they are almost without exception used to justify the next bad intervention.

    Unfortunately, the bad interventions are also used to justify the next bad intervention, which is how we ended up funding death squads all over Central America in the 1980s, so we may as well try to emphasize what’s good about the “good” ones so Republicans can’t justify the bad ones by saying, “Hey, everyone knows all interventions are bad, so we don’t have to be bothered planning to do it right.”

  190. 190
    Cacti says:

    @Jenny:

    What makes you say that?

    Sudan?

    Cote d’Ivoire?

    Bahrain?

    Syria?

  191. 191
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @soonergrunt:

    We can’t do that.

    We just can’t be happy for the Libyans.

    We can’t. We have to drag our own domestic politics into this every single fucking time.

    Of course, if a Republican were at the helm, dragging domestic politics into it would be tantamount to treason.

  192. 192
    eemom says:

    @Danny:

    my issue is not with the substance vel non of the republicans’ “disagreement” — a word which accords them a dignity they don’t deserve, but whatever.

    It’s just that one of the few things almost all of us here agree on is that the republicans are liars, hypocrites, and/or idiots — so I don’t see why this major event in Libya, and the actually complex and challenging issues it raises — should be used as a vehicle to make that tired old no-brainer of a point — that we all agree on — AGAIN.

  193. 193
    Anne Laurie says:

    @John Cole:

    Someone help me out, this was spoof, right?

    You’re not supposed to be thinking, Cole — you’re supposed to be thrusting your codpiece waving your Terrible Towel. Our Guy, Fuck Yeah!

    I’m on your side; premature celebrations are premature. Also, the whole “but, but, genocide!” argument makes me nervous, because the Republicans have spent the last 40 years turning that word into an all-purpose excuse for doing whateverthefvcktheywant. Never mind PNAC screaming genocide every time a Palestinian kid throws a rock, I can totally imagine a not-distant future where Shadow President Bachmann, via her Majority Leaders Cantor & McConnell, demand that “we” need to carpet-bomb Planned Parenthood because, as President Obama established, GENOCIDE! eleventy-one!

    I wish the Libyan people all the best, and I don’t think “we” are smart enough or omniscent enough to tell them what that best out to be.

  194. 194
    eemom says:

    this blog makes strange bedfellows. Tee hee.

  195. 195
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @soonergrunt:
    @Villago Delenda Est: I can be happy for them. I am doing it right now. I also hope like hell that they can get something good out of all the blood they have shed.

  196. 196

    Jeebus, The ODS runs deep in some on this blog. Sad to see.

  197. 197
    The Dangerman says:

    @Dennis SGMM:

    Most voters will note that his administration has failed to make it any better.

    I seem to recall the financial markets being in such turmoil in Fall, 2008, that McCain suspended his campaign; yes, those days prior to Obama were so deeply swell. I miss the days of the Big 3 automakers all about to go under nostalgically.

    Same answer as the previous one; the economy sucks, but Obama will be re-elected (and Libya and OBL will have absolutely nothing to do with it; there, you are quite correct).

  198. 198
    eemom says:

    @CaseyL:

    OT: I have it on good authority that you’re a gorgeous redhead. : )

  199. 199
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Cacti:

    Cote d’Ivoire?

    I don’t think you’ve been keeping up — the intervention in Cote d’Ivoire has been quite successful (here’s a second copy of the link I posted above). There is no UN resolution on Sudan, Bahrain or Syria like there is with Cote d’Ivoire.

    Given that the French handled the Cote d’Ivoire intervention quite handily and with minimal loss of life for the Ivorians, I’m not quite sure what your anti-intervention argument is. Are you against all interventions or only US interventions?

    ETA: Here’s a recent article about prosecutions of the former president of Cote d’Ivoire.

  200. 200
    Anne Laurie says:

    @soonergrunt:

    I’m glad that the Libyan rebels appear to have won or nearly so. I’m glad that they did it themselves (with a little help). That fact alone will lead in the long run to a more stable country.
    I’m glad that we didn’t have boots on the ground any more than absolutely necessary to support the very limited role we played…
    Put the knives away for a few minutes, and let’s all be happy for the Libyans—well, the ones that are winning, anyway.

    Quoted for Truth.

  201. 201
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Anne Laurie:

    and I don’t think “we” are smart enough or omniscent enough to tell them what that best out to be.

    Who here is saying we should?

  202. 202
    eemom says:

    @quannlace:

    OMG — isn’t that story line hilarious? That and Sorkh Razil.

    40 years and Garry Trudeau’s still going strong. Awesome.

  203. 203
    Jenny says:

    @Cacti: You’re contradicting yourself. Sudan has oil and there was no intervention. See, as in Kosovo, Sudan, and Bosnia, intervention is independent of oil.

  204. 204
    CaseyL says:

    @eemom: Er. Uh. (blushes furiously) Thank you!

  205. 205

    @Anne Laurie:

    Never mind PNAC screaming genocide every time a Palestinian kid throws a rock, I can totally imagine a not-distant future where Shadow President Bachmann, via her Majority Leaders Cantor & McConnell, demand that “we” need to carpet-bomb Planned Parenthood because, as President Obama established, GENOCIDE! eleventy-one!

    As if they couldn’t have referenced Clinton in Bosnia and Kosovo, or Churchill, Stalin & FDR? Or, ya know, any post-WWII conventions concerning genocide?

  206. 206
    MikeJ says:

    @Anne Laurie:

    Also, the whole “but, but, genocide!” argument makes me nervous,

    Your nervousness doesn’t mean that genocides never actually happens. Should we stand by and wait like we did with Rwanda?

    As I’ve posted elsewhere, this wasn’t dreamed up by the US. The fighting was happening without the US, without France, and without the UN. Once the fighting started it was a matter of helping the people or helping Gaddafi. Act and help the people, don’t act and help Gaddafi.

  207. 207
    opal says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    Were you copacetic with Big Dawg’s intervention in Europe?

  208. 208
    WaterGirl says:

    @soonergrunt: Well said. Nice to hear your voice in this today.

  209. 209
    Cacti says:

    @MikeJ:

    Once the fighting started it was a matter of helping the people or helping Gaddafi. Act and help the people, don’t act and help Gaddafi

    That sounds an awful lot like…

    “You’re either with us or against us in the fight on terror.”

  210. 210
    JPL says:

    Question.. Most have commented on Syria or Yemen being next but no mention of Saudi Arabia. If we talk about women’s rights Saudi has to be the most egregious. It would be among the most dangerous to overthrow because of their support of wahhabism but why support them. oh yeah..the oil..blood money indeed.

  211. 211
    Danny says:

    @eemom:

    Well, they’ve been behaving in an unprincipled, irresponsible way, playing politics with foreign policy. So they should receive some flack. You think they deserve a pass on this one because you’re tired of talking about their stupidity? Fair enough, but I don’t think they deserve a pass at all.

    (And on the merits: some of them supported putting boots on the ground – because mmurica cant lead from behind – which quite probably would have ended up killing many more libyans.)

    They’re not serious on foreign policy and they should suffer the consequences – or else maybe someone gets elected president who brings all the old neocons back into the white house and starts talking axis of evil, crusades and shit.

  212. 212
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Anne Laurie:

    I’m on your side; premature celebrations are premature. Also, the whole “but, but, genocide!” argument makes me nervous, because the Republicans have spent the last 40 years turning that word into an all-purpose excuse for doing whateverthefvcktheywant.

    Name any argument of any kind that the Republicans haven’t turned into an excuse to do whatever they want. It’s kind of what they do.

  213. 213
    Dennis SGMM says:

    @The Dangerman:
    That’s kind of facile. McCain suspended his campaign (Without really suspending it) because he didn’t know whether to shit or go blind after parroting the GOP line that the fundamentals of the economy were in great shape.
    Chrysler and GM dug their own graves by building low-quality cars that no one wanted. Ford didn’t need help, did it? It was good that Obama propped up those two and better that at least one of them learned from their near-death experience.

    Now, what’s happened since then? I have stated before, in these threads, that I believe Obama could have been a great president at any other time than this. At this time his early legislative priorities doomed him.

  214. 214
    superaisce says:

    @ baud

    clearly you don’t understand us political math. it’s pretty fucked up, i know. here’s how it goes:

    1. the french, the british, the united states, and certain members of the gulf cooperation council joined forces to lobby for (and pass) a unsc resolution justifying military action to protect the libyan people from gaddafi.

    2. the united states, having more tomahawk missiles floating around the world than everybody else combined, led the initial attack on gaddafi’s air and sam defenses.

    3. president obama, not wanting the us to take public ownership of the mission, declared that the us would only take mission command for “days not weeks” and then transfer command to nato.

    4. republicans call obama a pussy who is “leading from behind.” left-isolationists call him an oil-driven warmonger.

    5. command is transferred to nato. they proceed to fly almost 20,000 sorties over the next six months. the us maintains an integral, though non-attacking, supportive posture. it also puts its unmanned uav assets in play in the theater.

    6. gains on the ground are slow at first. the eastern rebels can’t fight for shit and get stymied at brega. the western rebels were decisively cracked down before the unsc resolution could be implemented and had to regroup.

    7. republicans call obama a pussy for “leading from behind.” left-isolationists mock the president’s war.

    8. western rebels finally start to make progress, repelling the siege of misrata and liberating small berber mountain cities. gaddafi still controls most of the country. nato makes several mistakes in bombing civilian areas and going after gaddafi’s family instead of working with the rebels on the ground.

    9. republicans call obama a pussy for “leading from behind.” left-isolationists congratulate themselves on their savvy. nato bickers amongst itself, before the british abandon the effort to decapitate gaddafi’s leadership and seek better coordination with the freedom fighters.

    10. western rebels make steady gains on the ground. international media refuses to deviate from its declaration of military stalemate.

    11. republicans call obama a pussy for “leading from behind.” left-isolationists mock the administration’s “hypocrisy” on syria.

    12. ramadan. western rebels catch fire. liberate all over the place. gaddafi on the ropes. tripoli is besieged. government topples. hooray freedom!

    13. republicans, left-isolationists (simultaneously): “oh. shit.”

    14. republicans, left-isolationists: “well, obama said it wasn’t a us effort after all! leading from behind! multilateralism! global effort! france did it! and nato! not america! besides, not over yet! savage arabs! reprisals! insurrection!”

    15. administration defenders immediately leap into action. at no point does anybody care about the actual libyans.

    the end.

  215. 215
    Mnemosyne says:

    @opal:

    Were you copacetic with Big Dawg’s intervention in Europe?

    I was fine with it. I’ve never been a pacifist. I’m not anti-war, I’m anti stupid wars.

  216. 216
    Jenny says:

    I think the bottom line is people don’t mind intervention per se. No one objects to sanctions and boycotts, or to providing relief. All which are forms of intervention. But rather, there’s a natural concern with armed conflict.

    I think that’s reasonable concern.

    We should be caution when turning to armed forces, and I appreciate how carefully and cautiously the President laid out and restricted involvement.

  217. 217

    @Cacti:
    It may sound a lot like that to you but its not. There were only for possible positions:
    1. Support Gaddafi
    2. Support the rebels
    3. Don’t know or don’t care
    4. Pray for magic ponies

    Which side were you on?

  218. 218
    patroclus says:

    Frizzhead’s going down tonight! America, fuck yeah!

  219. 219
    Jenny says:

    Meanwhile, MSNBC just played a clip of Obama being mobbed on the streets. I guess the progressives on Martha’s Vineyard approve of the intervention.

  220. 220
    ChrisNYC says:

    Love it that from Cole and others the problem now is that this was successful. After all those sure predictions of boots on the ground and American dead. I seem to remember a comparison or two to Iraq and Vietnam as well. So, basically, when Obama acted, the bitch was “this will FAIL — any minute now there will be Da Nang Part Deux.” When it succeeds, the bitch is “this WORKED.” Impressive back flip!

  221. 221
    Cacti says:

    @gocart mozart:

    Which side were you on?

    America, fuck yeah!

  222. 222
    Danny says:

    @Anne Laurie:

    But what is your position, and Cole’s? You’re feeling skeptical, suspicious. Jingoism and premature celebration grinds your gears. Where do you stand on foreign interventions; shouldnt you transparently account for that so that all your readers know under what conditions you’ll support US participation in hostilities abroad?

    E.g., If one is a non-interventionist or pacifist and faced with the prospect of Odyssey Dawn, all one needs to say really is: “I don’t support it because I don’t support US military doing anything else than maybe defense and retaliation, that’s it. Here’s why…”.

  223. 223

    @Cacti:

    Sudan?

    The US- or any other country dominated by non-Muslims- goes in their and it’s painted as a crusade against the Muslims who have been committing the genocide.

    Cote d’Ivoire?

    The French, who have intimate knowledge and ties in the nation said, “Yo la tengo!” and made the put-out.

    Bahrain?

    Get involved in a Sunni-Shiite thing again? Forget about it, Jake. It’s Chinatown.

    Syria?

    Libyan population: ~6.5M
    Syrian population: ~22.5M

    Syria’s also got the Sunni-Shiite thing going, plus it’s still got it’s Assyrian Christian population, plus it’s got closer ties to Moscow than anyone else mentioned here, plus it’s got a tenuous relationship with Turkey (who, in turn, has a tenuous relationship with Russia)…I could probably come up with twenty other “Why not..?” reasons for Syria…

  224. 224
    opal says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    I’m not anti-war, I’m anti stupid wars

    Then you were just peachy with Bill Clinton deploying B2 bombers over a “sovereign” country.

    Gee, I wonder what’s different now.

  225. 225
    The Dangerman says:

    @Dennis SGMM:

    Now, what’s happened since then?

    You mean like a reasonable stock market rebound (discounting the recent post-DL instability) and record corporate profits? Sadly, jobs are always a lagging indicator; it would be nice if the Right were to decide that it wasn’t in their 2012 interest to make the economy as shitty as possible.

    As for the Big 2 (or Big 3; I recall Ford having some tough times, too), Obama could have let the Big 2 (or 3) fail, but Michigan and the Rust Belt is probably glad he didn’t do so. That’s what has happened since then.

  226. 226
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @opal: Just off hand, do you think Mnem was/is against the intervention?

  227. 227

    @Cacti:
    Actually, Go Rebels!

  228. 228

    @opal:

    Then you were just peachy with Bill Clinton deploying B2 bombers over a “sovereign” country.

    I thought the sovereign right of a nation to murder its ethnic minorities went out the window in about 1945.

  229. 229
    Danny says:

    @Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again):

    The French, who have intimate knowledge and ties in the nation said, “Yo la tengo!” and made the put-out.

    This was actually AFAIK a UN intervention with french troops. A UN intervention, just like Libya

  230. 230
  231. 231
    WaterGirl says:

    Great comment by Bazooka Joe at Booman:

    It’s true, whenever I hear news of thousands of people winning their liberation from an oppressive lunatic, I find myself consumed with pettiness and a desire to find people on the internet to sneer at.
    __
    Good on ya, Libyan people. Glad we could be of some small service in your revolution.

  232. 232
    Samara Morgan says:

    @opal: im talking about IRAQ, dimbo.

  233. 233

    @Danny:

    You’re right, it was. But the French said that they’d take on the responsibility rather than asking us to join in.

  234. 234
    Origuy says:

    The Moor Next Door blog has the draft constitution. Among other things, it guarantees rights for non-Muslims and non-Arabs.

  235. 235
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Samara Morgan: I’ll fix it for her then: Right, because Iraq is exactly like Southeast Asia in the ‘60s/’70s with a Cold War underpinning.

  236. 236
  237. 237
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    I also hope like hell that they can get something good out of all the blood they have shed.

    Amen.

    We can hope for the best, and not be too crestfallen when it fails to work out like the end of some movie.

  238. 238
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @opal: Without speaking for someone who can speak for herself, you may have grasped the wrong end of the stick.

  239. 239
  240. 240
    Samara Morgan says:

    @John Cole: and i just cant resist…..I WUZ RIGHT! iwuzrightiwazrightiwuzright

    and i was RIGHT about Qaddafi and i was RIGHT about Kain.

    and your dogs are F.A.T.
    :)

  241. 241
    WaterGirl says:

    President Obama’s statement on Libya: (reposted from Libya thread)

    Tonight, the momentum against the Qadhafi regime has reached a tipping point. Tripoli is slipping from the grasp of a tyrant. The Qadhafi regime is showing signs of collapsing. The people of Libya are showing that the universal pursuit of dignity and freedom is far stronger than the iron fist of a dictator.
    __
    The surest way for the bloodshed to end is simple: Muammar Qadhafi and his regime need to recognize that their rule has come to an end. Qadhafi needs to acknowledge the reality that he no longer controls Libya. He needs to relinquish power once and for all. Meanwhile, the United States has recognized the Transitional National Council as the legitimate governing authority in Libya. At this pivotal and historic time, the TNC should continue to demonstrate the leadership that is necessary to steer the country through a transition by respecting the rights of the people of Libya, avoiding civilian casualties, protecting the institutions of the Libyan state, and pursuing a transition to democracy that is just and inclusive for all of the people of Libya. A season of conflict must lead to one of peace.
    __
    The future of Libya is now in the hands of the Libyan people. Going forward, the United States will continue to stay in close coordination with the TNC. We will continue to insist that the basic rights of the Libyan people are respected. And we will continue to work with our allies and partners in the international community to protect the people of Libya, and to support a peaceful transition to democracy.”

  242. 242
    Mnemosyne says:

    @opal:

    Then you were just peachy with Bill Clinton deploying B2 bombers over a “sovereign” country.

    Since he did it as part of a NATO operation, yes.

    Gee, I wonder what’s different now.

    Since Libya was part of a NATO operation just like Kosovo was, there isn’t a difference. I’m really not sure what your point is, except that I think that Iraq and Libya are two completely different situations and you seem to think they’re the same thing except for, you know, the international support or some shit.

    ETA: And if you think I was originally against this intervention in Libya, I think you’ve mixed me up with someone else. I’ve been getting screamed at here for my idiocy in supporting this for months now.

  243. 243
    Samara Morgan says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: hahaha, noooooo.
    because Muqtada just spent the last three years studying to be the next Sistani in IRAN, and because he is going to raise the Mahdi army (60000) and 2.5 million Iraqis just signed his petition for Amerikkka to GTFO.
    10k troops?
    its gunna be a slaughterhouse, worse than Nam.

    dinky dau, Omnes.

  244. 244

    @Danny:

    And, quite frankly, I think they asked us to join in in Libya because we’re the only ones who have the technology needed to pinpoint Gadaffi’s weapons. Had the illegitimate government in Cote d’Ivoire possessed anything like Libya has, we might have been requested there, too.

  245. 245
    Samara Morgan says:

    @Mnemosyne: and that is what Cole thot too….right?
    he got very confused between Libya and Iraq and A-stan.
    :)

  246. 246
    opal says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    We’ll cross that bridge when we come to it.

    Over split milk.

  247. 247
    Samara Morgan says:

    @Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again): yup.
    carbon based organisms don’t return SAR sigs.

  248. 248
    Belafon (formerly anonevent) says:

    @WaterGirl: Thanks for finding that. It was good.

  249. 249
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Samara Morgan:

    its gunna be a slaughterhouse, worse than Nam.

    Your glee at the prospect is palpable. FWIW I want the troops out at the end of the year, so don’t get pissy with me about it. You know what? Unlike some, I never wanted the fucking troops to be in Iraq.

  250. 250
    CaseyL says:

    @Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again): I thought the sovereign right of a nation to murder its ethnic minorities went out the window in about 1945.

    This. Thisthisthis.

    I supported the airstrikes against Serbia.

    I even supported the war in Afghanistan at first, having loathed the Taliban since they took over the place. I stopped supporting the war when it became clear that the necessary resources and focus were never going to be devoted to it, because Boy George had a shiny new war in Iraq he really wanted.

    I supported those efforts because I do not believe that national populations are the property of whoever their rulers happen to be. I don’t think a people’s dignity and freedom should depend on the lucky accident of being born in a free country any more than their economic well being should depend on the lucky accident of having been born to well-off parents.

  251. 251
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @opal: Okay, last time I try to help when you get muddled over something.

  252. 252
    Samara Morgan says:

    @Origuy: hahaha…so pathetic. there aren’t many “non-muslims”.
    Libya is 97% sunni muslim.

    no one wants our pantysniffing jesus humper missionary democracy.

  253. 253
  254. 254
  255. 255
    opal says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    I’ve been getting screamed at here for my idiocy in supporting this for months now

    I know, I know.

  256. 256
    Belafon (formerly anonevent) says:

    @Cacti:

    That sounds an awful lot like…

    “You’re either with us or against us in the fight on terror.”

    There is another option, do nothing and pretend like you don’t know anything about what is going on. Moral choices like this are never simple. But I can think of two differences between this and your quote about being for us or against us. The first is that it was happening in Libya right now, where we’ve only had sporadic attempts from terrorists. The second is that the opposite of “your with us” is not “you’re against us” because “you don’t agree” and “even though you agree, you don’t like our methods” are also negatives. But you could narrow the original question down to “There are people being killed in Libya. Are you for or against us doing anything?” Still not an easy question to answer, though.

  257. 257
    opal says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    Don’t worry about it.

  258. 258
    Samara Morgan says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: if you recall, i said retards like Puma should stop spreading eumemes about the troops staying.
    if they stay they will be deaders.
    i said people should email O and stop that from happening.
    i email him every week
    hes at least as sick of me as Cole is.

    i recognize Obama is in a tough spot. if we pull out as per the SOFA then KSA is going to raise an army. if we stay Muqtada is going to kill the 10k troops left there.
    He says he will.
    and i believe him.

  259. 259
    Yutsano says:

    @CaseyL:

    I even supported the war in Afghanistan at first, having loathed the Taliban since they took over the place. I stopped supporting the war when it became clear that the necessary resources and focus were never going to be devoted to it, because Boy George had a shiny new war in Iraq he really wanted.

    Bingo.

    And a history lesson regarding Afghanistan: before the Soviet invasion in 1979(ish) Afghanistan was developing into a cosmopolitan and very peaceful country. In fact, at one time Kabul was known as the Paris of the East. The loya jirga was an annual unification conference where the tribes could meet and discuss out issues without bloodshed. And the major Islam of the nation was Sufi. What we are seeing now is the result of 30 years of chaos and war and foreign intervention, by both state and religious actors. It would have been even more fascinating if there had been no foreign interference and they had been allowed to settle the Communist question on their own. Alas. It really was a beautiful and amazing and ANCIENT culture. I think it could be again.

  260. 260
    magurakurin says:

    on supporting sides in a civil war and comparisons between Vietnam and Libya, it could be said that in Vietnam we took Ghaddafi’s side. The Vietcon were, afterall, the rebels. So, maybe the lesson is don’t bet against the people.

  261. 261
    Joel says:

    @Yutsano: Goalposts were moved, but crow was not eaten by many.

  262. 262
    Samara Morgan says:

    And eventually the Arab Spring will roll into KSA.
    and then oil goes to 200$ per bbl overnight.

  263. 263
    opal says:

    @Samara Morgan:

    no one wants our pantysniffing jesus humper missionary democracy.

    I certainly don’t.

    On this we can agree.

  264. 264
    AxelFoley says:

    @Jenny:

    Juan Cole > John Cole

    LOL, I used to think Juan Cole was John Cole’s attempt at a bilingual website.

  265. 265
    Samara Morgan says:

    @Yutsano: the major Islam was Deobandi Sufi.
    During the British Raj the deobandi built maddrassas for the express purpose of training student fighters to expell the British occupiers.
    The Taliban is mostly deobandi today.
    Sufis are not all the same.

  266. 266
    Samara Morgan says:

    @Yutsano: and that is all BULSHYTT.
    there is a reason the British called A-stan the Graveyard of Empires.
    they were in there waaaaay before the sovs.

  267. 267
    magurakurin says:

    @Samara Morgan:

    what’s your point? If the price for Saudi women to get some level of equal rights in their country is $10 a gallon gas(250yen per liter for me) I will gladly pay it and consider it cheap.

  268. 268
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Samara Morgan: What does that have to do with anything Yutsano said?

  269. 269
    Belafon (formerly anonevent) says:

    @Samara Morgan:
    OK, with comment 265, I am officially declaring Samara to be the output of a random sentence generating program.

  270. 270
    Samara Morgan says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: its not going to work out for AMERICANS.
    hopefully it will work out for Libyans.

  271. 271
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Belafon (formerly anonevent): Random sentence generating programs can stalk? Scary stuff people can do with computers these days.

  272. 272
    Samara Morgan says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: yut is clueless about deobandi sufis. and about history. the deobandis fought the brits way before the sovs. afghanistan has never been the peaceful paradise he describes.
    LOL

    @magurakurin: another retard heard from. We just spent 4.4 trillion taxpayer dollars and 7k soljah lives and haven’t made a dent.
    oil could go to 100$ a gallon and there still wont be any converts to missionary democracy.
    its not your bidness, panty-sniffer.

  273. 273
    Yutsano says:

    @Samara Morgan: You are also aware the British left at the same time they left India no? That was what, 1946? So who ruled Afghanistan between 1946 and 1996? Elves?

    During the British Raj the deobandi built maddrassas for the express purpose of training student fighters to expell the British occupiers.

    That would be A FOREIGN RELIGIOUS INTERVENTION. As I mentioned. Deobandi is not native to Afghanistan.

    You persist in your basic factual errors.

  274. 274
    opal says:

    @Samara Morgan:

    I like whirling sufis.

    Whirling sufis are cool.

  275. 275

    @Samara Morgan:

    The reason the Brits called it the Graveyard of Empires is because of what it did to THEIR empire. Tell Timur that it was a graveyard. Tell the Indian Subcontinent that it was a graveyard. The Greek kingdom left behind when Alexander died lasted for a couple of hundred years- longer than the second, post-American Revolution, British Empire lasted.

  276. 276
    Samara Morgan says:

    @opal: im a mevlevi
    Rumi school.
    deobandis follow Chistiyyah, Naqshbandiya, Qadriyah and Soharwardiyah Sufi schools.

  277. 277
    Yutsano says:

    @Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again): And not for nothing, but the Mongols held the area quite nicely for at least a few decades.

  278. 278
    suzanne says:

    @Samara Morgan: You need a hobby. Or a vibrator. Seriously.

  279. 279
    Samara Morgan says:

    @Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again): so? Yut is still full of it.

  280. 280
    soonergrunt says:

    @Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again): Calling Afghanistan “the graveyard of empires” was more about Great Game politics and propaganda than anything else. They had just lost the Second Afghan War. (They would win the third one–the one that stuck–in a few years).
    For domestic British consumption the tack taken was “if we can’t rule it, no one can” and the tack taken in international relations was “if you go there, (cough, RUSSIA, cough) your empire will die.”

  281. 281
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Samara Morgan: Are you familiar with the Hippie Trail during the 60s?

  282. 282
    Samara Morgan says:

    @suzanne: /yawn
    you need better insults.

  283. 283

    @Yutsano:

    Yeah, that’s why I included Timur in there. ;)

    As a personal aside: 2 1/2 weeks until kickoff!

  284. 284
    Yutsano says:

    @Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again): I was thinking of Jenghis specifically, so we’re both right. :) And you just reminded me I have a football game trip to plan out…

  285. 285

    @Samara Morgan:

    I thought that was advice, not an insult. I’d be happy to see you follow it, too.

    Consider all possible meanings there before you get me in your cross-hairs.

  286. 286
    suzanne says:

    @Samara Morgan: You need a whole lot more than I can give you, honey.

  287. 287

    @Yutsano:

    And you just reminded me I have a football game trip to plan out…

    Roadtrip with the SeaHags? What, are they playing the Browns and your boy Peyton this season? Or Paris, or whatever his name is?

  288. 288
    suzanne says:

    @Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again): Wow, that’s kinky. My taste runs more toward Regis Philbin than to the psychotic. ;)

  289. 289
    Samara Morgan says:

    @Yutsano: the Taliban are deobandis, like most Afghans. I resent having all Sufis lumped together.
    im a mevlevi.
    and your implication is that Sufis are “peaceful”.
    that is also false.

  290. 290
  291. 291

    Oh, Mr Levenson, I do love you so.

  292. 292
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Samara Morgan: I am sure the practicing Christians around here resent having you lump them all together. You lack self-awareness.

  293. 293
    Samara Morgan says:

    @suzanne: i dont want anything from you.
    use the pie filter and i wont upset you.

  294. 294
    soonergrunt says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: and an updated medication profile.

  295. 295
    opal says:

    @Samara Morgan:

    I’ve been meaning to catch up on ancient Persian poetry.

    Where would you recommend I start?

  296. 296
    Samara Morgan says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: but i dont!
    i differentiate between conservative christians and liberal christians.
    you are just still pissy over the anti-intellectualism of protestantism.
    :)

  297. 297
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @soonergrunt: That too. How have you been? Job, heart, etc.?

  298. 298

    @Samara Morgan:

    pardon, im sensitized.

    Well, you do put yourself in the position to be attacked. Maybe under your next nom de guerre you don’t make it personal with anyone and they might reciprocate- or…not?- in kind.

  299. 299
    Yutsano says:

    @Samara Morgan: The Deobandi school of Islam was founded in India. The last time I checked, India was not Afghanistan. The Deobandi are religious invaders. I suggest you read some Ahmed Rashid as he has dedicated his life to studying this area of the world. But that would burst your bubble of certitude wouldn’t it?

  300. 300
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Samara Morgan: Aren’t you going to post the reformation without the renaissance link? Since your knowledge on the subject appears to have been culled from a couple of journal articles and a blog post or two and you seem to lump all forms of Protestantism together, I really don’t think you are qualified to carry on a discussion on the intellectual underpinnings of any aspect of Christianity.

  301. 301
    suzanne says:

    @Samara Morgan:

    use the pie filter and i wont upset you.

    I’m not upset. This is amusement.
    Not to mention, you’re the one who can enjoy a nice, tall drink of go fuck yourself. I am not alone in this assessment.

  302. 302
    Yutsano says:

    @Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again): Peyton. Sheesh do I have to do everything around here?

    That’s not a half-bad idea though. Maybe I should talk to my little brother about the idea. He might just be up for a trip like that.

  303. 303

    @Yutsano:

    Hey, what, I’m supposed to remember the name of a one-year wonder who plays for a perpetual cellar-dwelling team? I’m not the one who gets hard/wet over him, like you and your wife. :P

    ETA for clarification: I’m not the one who, like you and your wife, gets hard/wet over him.

  304. 304
    suzanne says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: I really don’t think you are qualified to carry on a discussion on the intellectual underpinnings of any aspect of Christianitything.

    FTFY.

    I never address Bellatrix on her content anymore. She’s myopic if not completely wrong so often that trying to refute her viewpoint with things like facts or evidence is like trying to explain calculus to a bunch of mouth-breathing eight-year-olds. Besides, it’s much more amusing to tease her. She’s so SENSITIVE.

  305. 305
    Yutsano says:

    @Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again): Actually wifey told me I can haz. So neener.

    And yes they do. In Cleveland no less. But we play the Bungles on my birfday at home so it’s a toss-up.

    @suzanne: “OF COURSE APES CAN READ PHILOSOPHY OTTO BUT THEY CAN’T UNDERSTAND IT!!”

    (I’m paraphrasing. But you get the idea.)

  306. 306
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again): On that subject, well, football, I mean….

    Q: How much wood could Chuck Woodson chuck if Chuck Woodson would chuck wood?

    A: All of it.

  307. 307
  308. 308
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again): And with that, I am going to get some sleep.

  309. 309
    Samara Morgan says:

    @Yutsano:

    And the major Islam of the nation was Sufi.

    that is a meaningless statement. the “major Islam” of the nation was deobandi Sufi.
    and it still is.
    The Taliban are mostly deobandi.
    deobandis are much more warlike and nationalist than other Sufi sects.

  310. 310
    soonergrunt says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: Doing well, thanks for asking. The job is coming along nicely. I love working for the VA. I make more than market for OKC, but this is one of the few markets for IT workers where Federal jobs pay more than market.
    Heart seems to be OK for the time being. Can’t ask for more than that, really. I took a week off in San Diego, and that was very nice. I’m going to try to get a job there once I’ve been in my current position for at least a year. Wife’s family is from there so that would be nice.

  311. 311
    Samara Morgan says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: /yawn
    the word Protestant means a protest against the intellectual elites of the catholic church. Calvin and Luther both endorsed anti-intellectualism.

    that relly does bug you, right Omnes?

  312. 312
    Yutsano says:

    @soonergrunt: Republican central. At least you’ll get the pleasure of voting against Darrel Issa. In all seriousness, I could definitely live in SD. I love it there. I haven’t been in years in fact. I may have to adjust that.

  313. 313
    suzanne says:

    @Samara Morgan: Once again, a factual error. Luther wasn’t protesting against Catholic intellectualism, but what he saw as corruption.

  314. 314

    @Samara Morgan:

    Calvin and Luther both endorsed anti-intellectualism.

    As much as those two disgust me, you’ve got that wrong. The Roman Catholic Church was elitist and anti-intellectual: The Church’s hierarchy controlled the thought of worshipers. The priests lectured to the illiterate. The Protestants relied on the ability of the parish members to read.

    There are a couple of factors other than those stated by Luther that led to Protestantism: The Black Death, and the way it created a monied middle class, and Gutenberg’s movable type printing press.

  315. 315
    suzanne says:

    @suzanne: Shit, there I go again, correcting Bellatrix when she’s wrong. I really need to learn to let rabid dogs die. Or something.

  316. 316
    Brother Shotgun of Sweet Reason says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: Yes, exactly my attitude toward the trolls. I’ve gotten so I can just scroll past them. Although I have to admit it’s taken me way too much time to reach that state.

  317. 317
    soonergrunt says:

    @suzanne: I don’t know why I even bother pie filtering her. She manages to make most threads in which she participates into threads all about her. I haven’t actually read anything she’s written here, but I can tell that she’s holding forth about the Protestant Reformation–and fucking it up like she does everything else.

  318. 318

    @suzanne:

    I’m almost convinced she’s a very clever bot with an attitude problem. I was chatting to ALICE and putting Samara’s comments to her, and it’s hard to tell the two apart (although the bot knows how to both punctuate and capitalize).

    judge: pardon, im sensitized
    __
    ALICE: Try putting that in a more specific context.
    __
    judge: i dont want anything from you. use the pie filter and i wont upset you.
    __
    ALICE: What does judge want? I lost my train of thought. . What will you do instead?
    __
    judge: but i dont! i differentiate between conservative christians and liberal christians. you are just still pissy over the anti-intellectualism of protestantism. :)
    __
    ALICE: Why not? I haven’t heard anything like that before. You think I am pissy over the anti intellectualism of protestantism. I’m glad you find this amusing.
    __
    judge: /yawn the word Protestant means a protest against the intellectual elites of the catholic church. Calvin and Luther both endorsed anti-intellectualism. that relly does bug you, right Omnes?
    __
    ALICE: Thanks for enlightening me. Where are you located? I understand.

    I think we are caught up in a Turing test run by an evil genius.

  319. 319
    eemom says:

    @Samara Morgan:

    That will do, child.

    “You have delighted us long enough.” — Jane Austen

    Now go to bed.

  320. 320
    Brother Shotgun of Sweet Reason says:

    @superaisce: Interesting. So there’s actual real history going on that non one’s seen? I thought journalism was the first draft of history?

    Oh well, nice to see someone somewhere has been paying attention.

  321. 321
    suzanne says:

    @Sarah Proud and Tall:

    I’m almost convinced she’s a very clever bot with an attitude problem.

    Naaah, she’s a socially maladroit Asperger’s kid who has deeply disappointed her bourgeois Tiger parents by not being as intelligent, successful, or graceful as they wanted. She had every social privilege and squandered them all, and is attempting to compensate by fancying herself as rebellious and iconoclastic, even though she’s just another white therapy-attending trust fund revolutionary. Which means the fact that I taunt her makes me a mega-big-meanie asshole. (Surprise.)

  322. 322
    suzanne says:

    I’m still not over the distressing cultural colonialism that leads a rich white girl to think it’s OK to start calling herself a Sufi Muslim after an undergraduate survey course in religious studies.

    Like, holy crap, The jokes, they write themselves.

  323. 323

    @suzanne:

    Naaah, she’s a socially maladroit Asperger’s kid who has deeply disappointed her bourgeois Tiger parents by not being as intelligent, successful, or graceful as they wanted. She had every social privilege and squandered them all, and is attempting to compensate by fancying herself as rebellious and iconoclastic, even though she’s just another white therapy-attending trust fund revolutionary. Which means the fact that I taunt her makes me a mega-big-meanie asshole. (Surprise.)

    So, thinking she is a bot is actually the kinder option. Fancy.

    PS: I requoted your post just so I could read it again.

  324. 324
    Brother Shotgun of Sweet Reason says:

    @soonergrunt: Just wanted to say I was glad to hear from you too. Been following yer nom since the GOS days.

    San Diego’s a great town to get a job in if you’re a retired admiral. It broke my spirit ~40 years ago and I hightailed it back to the LA Basin. And eventually back east where I came from.

  325. 325
    Brother Shotgun of Sweet Reason says:

    @Sarah Proud and Tall: Oh, that’s a hoot. Thanks for running the experiment for us.

  326. 326
  327. 327

    @suzanne:

    …sigh… If that’s the case (and it might be), then why mock her? Ignore her or be prepared to deal with the Asperger’s, which means ignoring what you take as insults and correcting her “facts” where you can, to the best of your abilities to defer to her…otherness. Be bigger about it. Know what I mean?

  328. 328
    suzanne says:

    @Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again): She has Asperger’s, she’s not an idiot. She is perfectly aware that, say, for example, calling someone “fat” and “stupid” is socially unacceptable behavior.

  329. 329

    @suzanne:

    No, she’s not an idiot, but if Asperger’s is indeed the culprit, then she really has little control over the ability to function well socially, no?

  330. 330
    suzanne says:

    I have quite a few friends with Asperger’s. They all manage. Asperger’s explains her extreme fixation on a very limited set of topics, but not her ludicrous rudeness. That’s just a bad personality.

  331. 331
    soonergrunt says:

    @suzanne: Personally, I don’t buy the Asperger’s claim. It’s the current thing people use to avoid responsibility for their actions, particularly anti-social behavior on the internet, which is funny because the vast majority of Asperger’s patients are VERY rule-based. If it’s socially unacceptable or illegal, they don’t do it. They are honest to a fault, and experience discomfort with people who lie or break the rules.
    Lastly, they tend to know, in excruciating detail EXACTLY what they are talking about, and they almost always hold forth on some very arcane topic.
    My son, for example, will expound for hours on end, about video game development and the motion picture industry. Another little boy from an Asperger’s support group I know will tell you everything you ever wanted to know and a whole lot you don’t actually care about with respect to trains, both small scale models and the full-sized units. But they always know the actual information.
    About the only behavior of hers that meshes with that diagnoses is the repeated use of the same sentences and phrases and invocations within one subject. The tell is that she’s wrong all the fucking time.
    No. She’s a narcissistic little fuckwit to be sure, but if she was ever diagnosed with Asperger’s by an actual professional, trained psychiatrist, then I was an Admiral of the Royal Navy.

  332. 332
    Yutsano says:

    @suzanne: If a friend of mine can be a constable in the Royal Canadian Mounted Police with Asperger’s then she can fucking manage to act civil.

  333. 333
    suzanne says:

    @soonergrunt: I totally agree with you. I’ve never known anyone with Asperger’s to be such an asshole. Tiresome, yes. But not mean. I do think she’s emotionally fucked up from being a failure, though, and it’s made her belligerent.

  334. 334
    AA+ Bonds says:

    LET’S ROLL, LIBERALS!

  335. 335
    AA+ Bonds says:

    Jesus Christ matoko is owning the holy fuck out of this thread. You are self-trolling your own fictional characters on here now?

  336. 336
    AA+ Bonds says:

    The difference between “snark” and sarcasm is that Balloon Juice regularly forgets that its trolls are trolls every seven days

  337. 337
    fuckwit says:

    Pretty good. The guy is 3 for 3 so far on throwing autocratic, entitled assholes the fuck out the frame: Mubarak, Bin Laden, Qadaffi.

    Back during the campaign, he said it’s easy to come up with a foreign policy that sounds tough and acts dumb– which is what we had for 8 years under Shrub. It’s harder to create a policy that is actually tough and smart– and that’s what Obama and Mrs. Clinton have done these past few years. Nice work by the Prez, State Dept, and DoD.

    I’d say Assad next, then let’s go all in and try for Murdoch, Limbaugh, and Rove.

  338. 338
    fuckwit says:

    @General Stuck: “Obama’s Doctrine, that we are willing to help others when called on, but not to take over and run the whole show. Of doing things as a world action, and not as some neo colonial asshole types tearing around the world looking for the shit.”

    THIS, a thousand times, this.

    It’s called being responsible and adult. About damn time.

  339. 339
    Admiral_Komack says:

    @Jenny:

    Also, too.

  340. 340
    Admiral_Komack says:

    @Jenny:

    Were Greenwald and Hamsher there?
    Then, probably not.

  341. 341
    Admiral_Komack says:

    @suzanne:

    I do believe that will leave a mark.
    Hee, hee, hee!

  342. 342

    […] and news organizations: BBC, Sky Dancing, New York Magazine, The Heritage Foundation, Taylor Marsh, Balloon Juice, Clusterstock, Truthdig, Mish’s Global Economic …, ThinkProgress, The Moderate Voice, St. […]

  343. 343
    Bulworth says:

    But, but Libya is Obama’s Iraq!!

  344. 344
    Julian says:

    Seriously? I’m sure the Libyans who’ve had their friends and families blown up by our bombs, and the entirely innocent grand-daughters of Gaddafi that we blasted into chunks of meat, and the rebels who, ostensibly, are our allies who we’ve shelled, bombed, and strafed are all pleased as punch that there were no American casualties, because that’s the important thing. Sure the war was illegal, pursued for questionable reasons, and killed plenty of civilians who had nothing to do with the fighting, often purposely so, but, hey, none of Our People died, so mission accomplished and everything’s hunky-dory. And I’m sure that a strong, stable, democratic government, entirely independent of European interference, will quickly be established there to rule over the Libyans in the right and civilized and Western way. Truly, this is a triumph.

  345. 345

    […] Reagan and both Bushes,” and with zero U.S. casualties, is not just a boost for Obama, says Tom Levenson at Balloon Juice. It’s also an embarrassment for his 2012 GOP rivals. After their incoherent and incorrect […]

  346. 346

    […] have and will, argue hard about the merits of US action in Libya, or inaction in Syria,” wrote Tom Levenson of the blog Balloon Juice in a post entitled “Send In the Clowns”. (The circus […]

  347. 347

    […] many have and will, argue hard about the merits of US action in Libya, or inaction in Syria,” wrote Tom Levenson of the blog Balloon Juice in a post entitled “Send In the Clowns”. (The circus […]

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. […] many have and will, argue hard about the merits of US action in Libya, or inaction in Syria,” wrote Tom Levenson of the blog Balloon Juice in a post entitled “Send In the Clowns”. (The circus […]

  2. […] have and will, argue hard about the merits of US action in Libya, or inaction in Syria,” wrote Tom Levenson of the blog Balloon Juice in a post entitled “Send In the Clowns”. (The circus […]

  3. […] Reagan and both Bushes,” and with zero U.S. casualties, is not just a boost for Obama, says Tom Levenson at Balloon Juice. It’s also an embarrassment for his 2012 GOP rivals. After their incoherent and incorrect […]

  4. […] and news organizations: BBC, Sky Dancing, New York Magazine, The Heritage Foundation, Taylor Marsh, Balloon Juice, Clusterstock, Truthdig, Mish’s Global Economic …, ThinkProgress, The Moderate Voice, St. […]

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