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The Libyan War
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Madigan



Joined: 15 Oct 2010

PostPosted: Sun Mar 20, 2011 6:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

caniff wrote:
What's a "hondaicivic"?


It is either a Prole or an SWPL depending on the year and model, I believe.

To digress, I was just listening to the Senate's greatest asshole, Sen. Lindsey Graham (Douche-SC) and what he had to say was rather predictable. A person who would shriek and scream like a little girl at the very sight of a pistol or rifle went on to say that you had better support our military action or you must hate America, blah, blah, ect... or something similar. Really, I don't know why I waste my time listening to such garbage.
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beck's



Joined: 02 Aug 2006

PostPosted: Sun Mar 20, 2011 7:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

This military action will almost certainly aid Islamic supremacist pro-Sharia forces. Eastern Libya, where the anti-Gaddafi forces are based, is a hotbed of anti-Americanism and jihadist sentiment.

Jihadists are entering Iraq from Libya daily. Many of them come from the region that is now spearheading the revolt against Gaddafi.

What we are doing is aiding these Islamists who oppose Gaddafi, we are helping to establish another Islamic republic in the ME. What else can we expect from America's Kenyan president with the dodgy birth certificate. The same guy who bowed to Saudi royalty.
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Madigan



Joined: 15 Oct 2010

PostPosted: Sun Mar 20, 2011 7:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Richard Haass, president of the Council on Foreign Relations, penned an op-ed in the WSJ a couple of weeks ago cautioning on military intervention in Libya:

Quote:
A good many people across the political spectrum—including some members of the Obama administration—are pressuring the president to intervene militarily in Libya. Much of the commentary has focused on establishing a no-fly zone, but there have been calls as well for enforcing a no-drive zone, or for arming or otherwise assisting regime opponents.

Those making this case appeal to a mixture of morality and realpolitik. They argue that by intervening we will prevent the slaughter of innocents and at the same time demonstrate our willingness to make good on expressions of support for freedom and security.

Secretary of Defense Robert Gates has taken the opposite position. Testifying before Congress last week, Mr. Gates pointed out that the first step in establishing a no-fly zone that would ground Libyan aircraft and helicopters would be to suppress Libyan air defenses that could threaten U.S. or allied aircraft. This would entail attacking selected targets. In other words, to establish a no-fly zone would be to go to war.

Mr. Gates was and is correct in reminding people of what implementing a no-fly zone would actually mean. But the reasons for questioning the wisdom of establishing such a zone, or taking other military action, go well beyond his warnings.

To begin with, there is no reason to believe a no-fly zone would be decisive. In fact, we have every reason to believe it would not be, given that aircraft and helicopters are not central to the regime's military advantages. The regime could defeat the opposition without resorting to attack planes and helicopter gunships simply by exploiting its advantages in terms of foot soldiers and light arms.

...

There are political reasons to question the wisdom of the U.S. becoming a protagonist in Libya's civil war. It is one thing to acknowledge Moammar Gadhafi as a ruthless despot, which he has demonstrated himself to be. But doing so does not establish the democratic bona fides of those who oppose him. And even if some of those opposing him are genuine democrats, there is no reason to assume that helping to remove the regime would result in the ascendancy of such people.

To the contrary. Removing Gadhafi and those around him could easily set in motion a chain of events in which a different strongman, with the backing of a different tribe, took over. Or it could create a situation in which radical Islamists gain the upper hand. Either way, significant areas of the country would be beyond any government control, creating vacuums exploitable by al Qaeda and similar groups.


Wall Street Journal

There is no guarantee that any of the opposition would be better than Gadhafi. Better to go with the Devil we know than roll the dice on the Eastern Opposition. Do we even have enough intelligence on what to expect from the opposition?

Richard Haass was also on Meet The Press. He made a point in which intervening in countries may actually prolong the violence as opposed to bringing the conflict to a quick resolution.

Meet The Press Video
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Ya-ta Boy



Joined: 16 Jan 2003
Location: Established in 1994

PostPosted: Sun Mar 20, 2011 9:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Better to go with the Devil we know than roll the dice on the Eastern Opposition.


I have to disagree with this.

There is revolutionary fervor from one end of the Moslem world to the other. It is uncertain if we had anything to do with starting it, but we have a choice with how to deal with it. We don't have a choice to remain neutral.

We can either support the repressive anti-democratic forces of the status quo in its various forms, or we can align ourselves with the progressive democratic forces. I know which side I want my country on.

It was Qaddafi's repression that was producing the religious extremists from Libya. If the rebellion fails, his repression is going to be vicious and produce more religious extremists in opposition. Going in, although risky, holds out the hope of a decent government for the people of Libya and the end of one source of the world's jihadists. Going in and failing will probably be no worse than not going in.

Quote:
Yes, but the 'democratic' part does not end with the election, it only begins there. The public servant chosen by constituents must continue to be responsive to them; he cannot just do whatever he wants for the next four years.


Hence: "In the next election the constituents endorse the decisions made--or throw the bums out." I do not want my representatives to merely read the polls and follow the ever-shifting winds of public opinion. I want some statesmanship. The ideal statesman knows when to follow and when to lead.
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Butterfly



Joined: 02 Mar 2003
Location: Kuwait

PostPosted: Sun Mar 20, 2011 4:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

beck's wrote:
This military action will almost certainly aid Islamic supremacist pro-Sharia forces. Eastern Libya, where the anti-Gaddafi forces are based, is a hotbed of anti-Americanism and jihadist sentiment.


I wouldn't say that. I worked in Benghazi, Shahat and Darnah for the best part of 2010, and never encountered any hostility of an Islamic kind, just the occasional bullshit from grubby teenagers. They are deeply religious, and also have a deep hatred of Israel (I allow them that) but by and large I was invited into people's homes regularly, and never encountered any hostility from adults. They universally despise Ghaddaffi.

Quote:
Jihadists are entering Iraq from Libya daily. Many of them come from the region that is now spearheading the revolt against Gaddafi.


Well, I heard that there had been a lot of people joining the fight in Iraq from Darnah and Tobruk but that it had long since abated.

Quote:
What we are doing is aiding these Islamists who oppose Gaddafi, we are helping to establish another Islamic republic in the ME.


I think you need to rethink this idea, but I don't suppose you will. Benghazi is a really friendly city, only embittered by Ghaddaffi, i lived there for about seven months. I think their bitterness is largely centred around how they are actually a hugely rich country and they don't get any of the country's wealth. They want to be like the Emiraties rather than the Jihadists, they want to get paid lots for doing nothing.

Quote:
What else can we expect from America's Kenyan president with the dodgy birth certificate. The same guy who bowed to Saudi royalty.


Oh I see, you're silly.

Ya Ta Boy wrote:
There is revolutionary fervor from one end of the Moslem world to the other.


Yes, quite. People forgetting this already? Egypt has organized a referendum already, which was successfully concluded today. This is fantastic; we can't have that bastard Ghaddaffi next door messing everything up.
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bigverne



Joined: 12 May 2004

PostPosted: Sun Mar 20, 2011 4:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
progressive democratic forces


What evidence is there that the anti-Gaddafi forces are 'progressive democrats'? What regime will they usher in should they topple Gaddafi?
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Ya-ta Boy



Joined: 16 Jan 2003
Location: Established in 1994

PostPosted: Sun Mar 20, 2011 5:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I hope we hear more from butterfly and bucheon bum because both have lived in the area and I'm interested in their insights.

Jason Pack published the following in Foreign Policy in response to Richard Haass: Libya Is Too Big to Fail. It's the best overall argument I've seen so far:

"But a brief review of Libya's history demonstrates that Britain, France, Italy, Russia, the United Nations, and the United States have long had a great deal at stake in Libya, even before oil was discovered in 1959. Today, it is a paramount American interest that Libya not return to being a rogue state or descend into civil war. If Libyan leader Muammar al-Qaddafi reasserts control over the east or even if he fails and the country is cleaved in two, U.S. interests in the region would suffer a major setback...

"Today we face a familiar dilemma. Libya sits atop the strategic intersection of the Mediterranean, African, and Arab worlds, and its ability and track record in destabilizing those three areas is well documented. It is laudable that the international community has combined humanitarian and geostrategic rationales to unite under a banner of multilateral airborne intervention. This intervention must balance two equally important aims: to unseat Qaddafi and to ensure that the Libyan people have agency over their lives and political system. Hopefully, the West will play a supportive, yet decisive role in the ongoing conflict. Were Qaddafi to remain in power returning to his rogue-state glory days, it is unlikely that renewed U.N. sanctions could ever weaken his grip on power. The world needs Libya, but Qaddafi has become an expert at thumbing his nose at world opinion."

http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2011/03/18/libya_is_too_big_to_fail?print=yes&hidecomments=yes&page=full

Peter Bergen published this important point: "Instead, it underlines a striking feature of the protests that have roiled the Middle East in the past several weeks: Strikingly absent from those protests has been the ritualized burning of American flags, something that hitherto was largely pro forma in that part of the world. That's because Arabs have finally been able to express publicly that their biggest enemy is not the United States, but their own rulers."

http://edition.cnn.com/2011/OPINION/03/20/bergen.libya.us/

Finally, Marc Ambinder posted the following chronology of the decision-making that went into the weekend's actions:

"It was important to the U.S. that Libyans and the world understand that this coalition of the willing was more than a U.S. rhetorical construct. An hour before bombing began Saturday, Clinton spoke to the press in Paris. Asked why military action was in America’s interest, she gave three reasons and implied a fourth. A destabilizing force would jeopardize progress in Tunisia and Egypt; a humanitarian disaster was imminent unless prevented; Qaddafi could not flout international law without consequences. The fourth: there’s a line now, and one that others countries had better not cross."

http://www.nationaljournal.com/whitehouse/obama-s-first-new-war-20110319

There are as many risks in not acting as there are in acting. Obama, clearly, thinks acting is the best policy. I agree with him.
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Ya-ta Boy



Joined: 16 Jan 2003
Location: Established in 1994

PostPosted: Sun Mar 20, 2011 5:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

bigverne wrote:
Quote:
progressive democratic forces


What evidence is there that the anti-Gaddafi forces are 'progressive democrats'? What regime will they usher in should they topple Gaddafi?


My comment was part of a post that was about the region as a whole, not specifically Libya, so it is out of context. But notwithstanding that...

In the initial demonstrations back in late February, there were no calls for an Islamic state. In none of the protests I've seen, from Morocco to Bahrain, have there been. No doubt there are segments who do hope for some variety of religious state, but so far, none have been playing a leading role in the protests. Yesterday Egypt voted on reforming their constitution. That's a pretty progressive step in my book. (I would have voted to write a new constitution, but I can't vote in Egypt.)

At this point, we cannot know who will end up ruling Libya. If we stood aside and let Qadaffi win, we would have no influence. If we stood aside and the rebels won, we would have no influence. We do know that by siding with the rebels, we will have a chance to influence who ends up on top. Some chance is much better than no chance.

Is there any evidence that Libyans don't want a democratic government?

**

There was a wonderful telephone interview yesterday with someone named Mohammed Ali, a member of the rebel government in Misrata. He was reporting heavy artillery fire from Qadaffi forces that was 'ravaging' the city and port. He said he hoped Russia and China were shamed by their failure to support the rebels.
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bucheon bum



Joined: 16 Jan 2003
Location: DC area

PostPosted: Sun Mar 20, 2011 7:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ya-ta Boy wrote:
I hope we hear more from butterfly and bucheon bum because both have lived in the area and I'm interested in their insights.


Well I will defer to butterfly since I am not familiar at all with Libya. I will say this much though: the Islamic fundie threat is always overblown (except in perhaps Pakistan, which I think is more of a danger to the world than any other country by a long stretch). I also expressed my thoughts on our actions in regards to Libya on the ME thread. I haven't been following this weekend's events that closely but I am glad the world is uniting to put a dictator in his place. It is a shame we can't show our support for Bahrain as well. It is very gutless of us. I am not saying we should intervene there, but we most definitely should speak out more vocally.
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rollo



Joined: 10 May 2006
Location: China

PostPosted: Sun Mar 20, 2011 8:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think it is important news that China condemned the air strikes! They know their own population is not happy and the young Chinese are becoming restless. They want to be free to exterminate their own dissidents when the time comes with out the threat of the world intervening. Butchering Tibetans apparently does not qualify as a humanitarian crisis.

I think aiding the rebels is the best bet for the Libyan people and for the middle east as a whole. It is a messy situation. I hope that good things come of this. They need to give Mo an out; a place he can go into exile , maybe Brazil or Paraguay.
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Butterfly



Joined: 02 Mar 2003
Location: Kuwait

PostPosted: Mon Mar 21, 2011 12:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ya-ta Boy wrote:
There was a wonderful telephone interview yesterday with someone named Mohammed Ali, a member of the rebel government in Misrata. He was reporting heavy artillery fire from Qadaffi forces that was 'ravaging' the city and port. He said he hoped Russia and China were shamed by their failure to support the rebels.


Yeah, I saw that; I think the people who really appreciate this intervention are too busy fighting or too scared to go out and express it (which would be the majority of people in Tripoli, I would say).

On the TV we're seeing tonnes of people adorned in green in Green Square etc but most of those people are shipped in from Serte. I was in Benghazi when Ghaddaffi gave his address in which he declared 'Jihad' on Switzerland, and there were scores of coaches coming in from Serte. He does this, or his people do. The journalists covering this conflict are not allowed access to anywhere outside the centre, if they did they would find the majority of people despise Ghaddaffi.

But the people of Tripoli are under phenomenal oppression now, I would not be surprised if we find mass graves when all this is done. I was working in Tripoli until the evacuation, and got this from my student (she's only eighteen), among many others:

Quote:
Teacher,

we all appreciate all ur support here ....... the only thing we want is to help us reach our voice to the world .......we are suffering here ......
iam living in area u know any guy or man go out after 8 pm ....he got shoote .......yesterday at 6 am 2 guys of our neighborer get out to pray in mosque whn they are cming back they just write smthing on the wall ....they shoote them wa take their dead bodies to burn them so no one know about them ........and my friend is dead whn she is out int he balcony to call her young brother .....and sooo many stories i cant just tell u all of them here ..........
they are really killing wa taking guys from their family with out any mercy........
all of us here are fighting with out any weapon ....... all the weapon are with the Gaddafi supporters ......with huge cars wa all kind of weapon with them ...........

we hope this war end soon ....... we really want this to end wa enoght loosing ppl ........

prayers for us plllz.....wa hope see u soon with the new free libya ...
take care wa keep in touch


A*** B****


The world will see what's been happening.

rollo wrote:
They need to give Mo an out; a place he can go into exile , maybe Brazil or Paraguay.


As much as I want to see that bastard's head on a pike in Green Square, I'd agree with this.
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Ya-ta Boy



Joined: 16 Jan 2003
Location: Established in 1994

PostPosted: Mon Mar 21, 2011 1:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
But the people of Tripoli are under phenomenal oppression now, I would not be surprised if we find mass graves when all this is done.


That's a heart-breaking letter from the student.

Back at the beginning of this in Feb. there were scads of demonstrators in Tripoli. I'm sure security forces were filming them. Once Qadaffi forces regained control of the city, those people must be in hiding...or worse.

China has condemned and the Arab League has become all dithery about the bombings. One reporter mentioned that one rumor is that Qadaffi rounded up corpses that his own supporters killed and is trying to pass them off as casualties of the coalition bombing. It's plausible. A pundit said the Arab League guy who did the denouncing did so with his eye on his own presidential campaign in Egypt. Also plausible.

Quote:
I think it is important news that China condemned the air strikes! ... They want to be free to exterminate their own dissidents when the time comes with out the threat of the world intervening.


There's another angle to this and part of it is amusing (and with all the carnage and violence, a little amusement is welcome). Peter Lee has a piece up at Asia Times Online where he says:

"Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah detests Muammar Gaddafi and expects all of the kingdom's solicitous oil allies - of which China is now the foremost - to lend a hand in compassing his overthrow.

"The most recent iteration of bad blood between Gaddafi and Abdullah goes back to 2003.

"Gaddafi confronted then Prince Abdullah over Saudi Arabia's cooperation with the West in the overthrow of Saddam Hussein.

"Gaddafi said that Abdullah had made ''a deal with the devil''.

"Abdullah riposted that Gaddafi's ''lies were behind him and his grave was before him''.

"Although the Western press apparently regarded Abdullah's remarks as little more than a pithy Arabic aphorism, Gaddafi not unreasonably interpreted them as a death threat.

"Gaddafi apparently decided to strike first.

"Libyan security services allegedly staged an inept but extremely well-financed assassination attempt. The intent was to barrage Abdullah's Mecca apartment with RPG fire and blame his murder on al-Qaeda.

"The plot suffered from a dearth of dedicated and capable Saudi co-conspirators. One courier, confronted with the enormous stash of cash earmarked for the attempt - over $1 million - simply abandoned the money and fled in panic."

http://atimes.com/atimes/China/MC19Ad01.html
**
Amidst all the impersonal forces of history, it's nice to see there is still room for personal animosity and venom. Very Happy
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beck's



Joined: 02 Aug 2006

PostPosted: Mon Mar 21, 2011 4:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The 'blowback' from the attacks on Libya are starting already according to an AP article.


"The head of the Arab League has criticized international strikes on Libya, saying they caused civilian deaths.

The Arab League's support for a no-fly zone last week helped overcome reluctance in the West for action in Libya. The U.N. authorized not only a no-fly zone but also "all necessary measures" to protect civilians.

Amr Moussa says the military operations have gone beyond what the Arab League backed.

Moussa has told reporters Sunday that "what happened differs from the no-fly zone objectives." He says "what we want is civilians' protection not shelling more civilians."



This little midguided foreign adventure will be seen as another crusade against Moslems. It will encourage the Islamist rebels and make possible their coup.


Meanwhile, El Baradei had stones thrown at him by Islamists when he tried to vote in the recent referendum on the Egyptian constitution.

The rebellions have nothing to do with 'democracy.' The ME has no democratic traditions. It is all about the establishment of the caliphate.
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rollo



Joined: 10 May 2006
Location: China

PostPosted: Mon Mar 21, 2011 4:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great post by Butterfly! . Apparently France is taking the lead on this. The U.s. does not need to appear behind this.

Somebody needs to make Mo an offer of a place to live and maybe he will flee and this will end soon.

Off topic: Syria seems to be blowing up! I worry that from Libya the U.N forces could get drawn into Syria or Yemen, Where would it stop.
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Ya-ta Boy



Joined: 16 Jan 2003
Location: Established in 1994

PostPosted: Mon Mar 21, 2011 5:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
The rebellions have nothing to do with 'democracy.'


Are you so sure? If democracy is coming to even these guys, then surely the Arabs can get it, too:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vHI9BTpGkp8&feature=related

Quote:
This little midguided foreign adventure will be seen as another crusade against Moslems. It will encourage the Islamist rebels and make possible their coup.



See my previous post. It is possible both AP and you have fallen for a line of propaganda.

Quote:
Syria seems to be blowing up! I worry that from Libya the U.N forces could get drawn into Syria or Yemen, Where would it stop.


I don't think it is going to stop. (it = the Arab Spring) The genie is out of the bottle. I think the next 25 years or so are going to be one of the truly exciting, inspiring times in history. It ain't gonna be smooth and it ain't gonna be pretty, but the end result is going to be very positive for a whole huge swath of humanity, or the dictatorship of the corporations for all of us.

(I also think those who are calling for support of dictators overseas are just projecting--if they spoke openly would admit they want a dictator of their political view at home. This is more their song: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3FzM_XrgtPo&feature=related )


Last edited by Ya-ta Boy on Mon Mar 21, 2011 5:18 am; edited 2 times in total
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