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Questions for Libya Non-Interventionists

March 11th, 2011 at 10:42 am David Frum | 135 Comments |

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George Will posed some questions for Libya interventionists the other day.  Here are some questions for non-interventionists:

* If Muammar Qaddafi violently suppresses the Libya uprising while America stands by, will Arab and Muslim opinion really believe that we were “neutral”? Or will they believe that we tacitly support Qaddafi – as they believed through the 1990s that we tacitly supported Saddam Hussein?

* What behavior can we expect from a Muammar Qaddafi who survives this uprising? Qaddafi turned to the West after 2003 because he was frightened by the overthrow of Saddam. Having crushed an uprising – and successfully defied an American president – which way will Qaddafi turn next? How confident are you that he won’t revert to terrorism, if not against Europe then against a newly volatile Egypt right next door?

* Iran crushed its uprising in 2009, with impunity. Hezbollah has seized power in Beirut. Hamas holds Gaza. The Muslim Brotherhood is rising in Egypt. Who looks like the ascendant power in the Middle East today? Iran or the United States?

* How many Libyans will flee the country after the rebellion is crushed? Where will they go?

* If you are the king of Saudi Arabia, what conclusions do you draw from the fall of American ally Mubarak and the survival of American enemy Qaddafi?

* If you are the prime minister of Iraq, what conclusions do you draw from the apparent regional ascendency of Iran and the apparent decline of the United States?

* If you are the president of Syria, what conclusions do you draw from the success of Qaddafi’s brutal suppression of revolt?

* If you are the president of Venezuela and you lose an election, how will you react when President Obama tells you that you “must” honor the election results?

* If you are a Libyan insurgent and you are offered arms by international Islamist groups, do you say yes or no?


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135 Comments so far ↓

  • llbroo49

    I used to share views similar to Tempest in a Frumpot, particulary during the Rwandan genocide. But then I got older and joined the military. While I can have sympathy for people in Libya, the Congo, and Darfur, I don’t feel that it is worth my life, nor does it improve the quality of life and standing of Americans. As a matter of fact, I would be more motivated if we were intervening in order to seize oil fields. At least control of those resources could maintain or improve our quality of life.

    Seriously, would the ability of girls to go to school in Afghanistan be worth getting YOUR balls blown off? Or perhaps being paralyzed for life so that Lybians don’t have to live under a tyrant?
    When those of you who want to intervene in Libya get back from talking to your local armed forces recruiter (or if you are too old- sign up a dear relative) , then I will take you seriously.

  • pnumi2

    @PatrickQuint” I’ll remind you that the oil coming out of Libya typically goes to China, and there’s no reason to expect that to change. So if military action is about oil interest, it’s China’s oil interest.”

    “AP
    Most estimates suggest around half of the country’s 1.6 million barrels per day (bpd) of oil capacity is out of action.
    Libya’s top oil official has estimated oil output has fallen to 700,000-750,000 barrels per day (bpd).
    Below are details on Libya’s oil production, estimates of lost output, its exports and customers:

    OPEC member Libya is the 17th largest oil producer in the world, third-largest producer in Africa and holds the continent’s largest crude oil reserves. It normally pumps around 1.6 million bpd, 85 percent of which is exported to Europe and its output is equivalent to about 2 percent of global oil consumption.”

    So you bettere check your sources about China getting more than 10% of Libya’s oil and get back to me.

    I have always found your comments to be incisive and well written. However, if in these days of ‘peak’ oil, you do not see that the world is scrambling to put the control of oil production into stable, reliable hands, that is your lookout and not mine. You have bought the company line, and why not? Weren’t we were so concerned about Iraqis living under the tyranny of Saddam, we saw weapons of mass destruction under every rock?

    So we went after the non-existent WMD tooth and nail, (and the first thing we did was secure the oil fields in the desert. hmm.)

    Plausible, I guess. But not to me. 100,000 Iraqis are dead because we liberated Iraq for them. They’d rather be alive under Saddam than where they are under the not quite democratic life that’s there 10 years later.

    And now in Libya, it’s deja vu all over again.

    Do you know what ‘peak’ oil is? Do you know when it is coming? Or if it is already here and nobody told you? Or do you just know it is coming but it’s not going to effect your life?

    Or maybe you know someone who has invented a cheap replacement for oil? Or a method of removing oil from shale and sand that doesn’t cost more energy than it creates?

    Do you know at what point in our drawing down of what’s left of the oil under this planet’s surface, the militaries of the world will say “40% of what’s left is ours.”? And then a few years later, “50%” and then “60%”?

    And if the military does claim a large share of a diminished amount of oil, what does that do to the world’s economy, whether it improves from where we are now or not?

    Of course you don’t know. The latter day Herman Kahns and Dr Strangeloves haven’t told you or me or anybody else except those for whom they work.

    So you live your life as if we are not confiscating the oil fields of unreliable governments. And I’ll live my life as if we are. And our lives will be pretty much the same as they are now.

    Until the next shoe drops.

  • hctkbt

    The thing I find fascinating about what’s happening in Libya and the other Arab states affected by the current turmoil is that we see, in plain view on CNN etc, the wholesale slaughter of people by their respective despotic governments. When you put that together with how these governments have treated their citizens in the past (gender Apartheid, summary execution for being gay and human rights abuses like that) one has to wonder where are all the Human Rights activists who have continually and falsely accused Israel of being the worlds worst abuser of Human rights? Why are these so-called Human rights groups not screaming bloody murder from the rooftops to protest the true human rights atrocities being promulgated by Libya et al? Their silence is deafening as they say! This said, one can now safely conclude that in all probability the only reason that these groups have focused their opprobrium on Israel, the world’s only Jewish state, is because Israel is… yup…. the world’s only Jewish state! Where I come from that’s called anti-Semitism. Simple.

  • Rob_654

    Here is the question that I think of – “Is this situation worth me joining the military and fighting for?”

    Is it worth me paying into a special tax to pay for?

    Or is it just worth other people going to fight for – and we’ll borrow money for it.

  • Kurlis

    This event highlights the stupidity and ignorance of President Obama. He is shallow and simple minded and cannot be relied upon for decisive action in defense of vital American interests. Decisive action, in fact, is completely antithetical to Barack Obama. He represents the very pinnacle of human stupidity. Don’t count on Obama authorizing any military action, invasion or no-fly zone. Doing so would require a decision, which is something Barack Obama is incapable of doing. David Frum is right on all counts. It is in the US national interest that Gaddafi be deposed. Any other outcome would be catastrophic to vital US national interests.

  • Raskolnik

    Look, if an American AWACS or F/A-18 or something gets shot down–which is more or less a statistical impossibility given the state of Libya’s air defenses, but let’s leave that aside for the moment–if there are American pilots in a “Black Hawk Down” situation, it still wouldn’t be nearly as ugly as Somalia, to say nothing of Iraq. First, there is every reason to believe that Qadaffi would be willing to negotiate for the release of any hypothetical shot-down American aircrew; the whole reason we were in Somalia in the 90s is that there was no such central authority figure to negotiate with, so when the chopper went down there was no one clearly in charge to talk to about it. (Also, despite our losses in the Mogadishu action, we didn’t recover our pilot until months later, and it was because of successful negotiation with the hostage-keepers).

    Second, in any case of “foreign” intervention in Libya it is going to be AL or AU or UN troops who do the dirty work. The U.S. Army has neither the capability, nor the desire, nor the logistical support necessary for a sustained action in Libya. Fortunately, no one is asking the Army to intervene.

    This isn’t about chickenhawks who are eager to send other people to die for oil. Again, nobody is asking the United States to fight the Libyan people’s battle(s) for them, least of all the Libyans themselves. What the Libyan rebels are asking for, from anyone who will listen, is strategic and diplomatic support. As long as we can give it to them without putting ourselves in harm’s way, I don’t see why we shouldn’t. We can jam the regime’s communications and prevent strikes on rebel formations within rebel territory, more or less with the flip of a switch. The situation does get slightly more complicated when you talk about taking the fight to Tripoli, but again–for the third time now–no one is asking the Marines to storm the beaches.

    I disagree with a lot of David Frum’s politics, especially when it comes to his hawklike foreign policy stance, especially especially especially when it comes to Iran. But he has it absolutely right here: if Qadaffi survives this insurgency and crushes the rebel army underfoot, what kind of a message will that send the world? This isn’t “just” about oil, any more than it’s “just” about humanitarian good will. This is also about regional and global security, both of which will be done irreparable harm if Qadaffi is allowed to win this civil war. Because, at the end of the day, that is what our inaction will mean–that we allowed Qadaffi to win.

    • llbroo49

      No disrespect, but I doubt you have even been in a fight in your life. Statement like ” all we gotta do is…” carry little weight with me. And that statement “As long as we can give it to them without putting ourselves in harm’s way, I don’t see why we shouldn’t” is truly rich. News flash- flying aircraft over SAM sites are a clear example of harm’s way. Hell, if we are limiting ourselves to just doing things that keep us out of harms way, a strongly worded letter would cover that.

      Also, if you could tell me exactly who we are supporting exactly in Libya, maybe, just maybe I might consider it an option. A lot of volunteers that fought US troops in Iraq came from eastern Libya. This type of knee jerk reaction led to us arming Islamic fighters in Afghanistan in the 80′s.

      And when was the last time AL, AU or UN troops done dirtier work than US troops? Hell, the bulk of UN troops in Afghanistan are US.

      No one has ever entered or started a war believing it is going to be difficult or long drawn out. Every war from the Civil War in America to Germany’s invasion of Russia in the Second World War was supposed to last no longer than a couple of months. Hell, no country intentionaly goes to war with another if they think the chances of losing are greater than winning. So by its very nature a majority of all wars have started with the phrase “ALL WE GOTTA DO…….”

  • talkradiosucks.com

    I think I’ll take Wesley Clark’s assessment of the risks and costs here over Raskolnik’s. He has a bit of experience in this area.

  • Raskolnik

    TRS, with all due respect (and then some), as I understand it General Clark’s objection to getting involved isn’t that it would bog us down or that it would be operationally infeasible, it’s that it doesn’t meet the criterion of being a “vital national security issue” as per the Powell Doctrine.

    Which is fair. In fact, in terms of the current state of global affairs, and the current security challenges we face, it’s absolutely accurate.

    My main point is that if we don’t get involved, and Qadaffi hangs on to power, then what? It’s hard to see such an outcome making the region more secure. If anything, it buys some temporary stability at the expense of whatever happens once he dies–organizations based on a cult of personality centered around a charismatic leader are notoriously unstable, meaning that in the resulting chaos we’re likely to see non-state actors aka terrorists become more influential. Meanwhile, in the shorter term, we hand al Qaeda another propaganda victory, and piss off even more Muslims.

    I think one of George Will’s strongest points was the one he made first: if Libya wasn’t a vital security issue a month ago, why is it now? But to that very astute and pointed question, I venture a reply: because a month ago there weren’t bombs falling on civilians who, fairly or not, see that we have the power to prevent those bombs from falling on them and blame us for not doing anything to stop it. Civilians who, by their death or the death of those around them, will eventually become a very real security threat.

    My heart is torn on this issue because I understand the reluctance to get involved in yet another conflict on yet another set of distant shores. I am presenting what I consider to be the best argument in favor of limited intervention, but it’s not as though I don’t see all the potential problems.

    llbroo, since you asked who we would support, precisely, how about: the provisional government in Benghazi. The provisional government recognized by both France and the Arab League, which has made a point of distancing itself from militant (or even just political) Islamism.

    • llbroo49

      First, I hope don’t come off as if I am attacking you or anybody else.

      But do we know what the Provisonal government stands for? Freedom alone, isn’t good enough for me. People in the Gaza Strip used their freedom to vote in Hamas.

      When brutal fighting was going on in Sierra Leone, Liberia, the Congo, and Darfur (where a no fly zone might have made a difference), no one asked for military intervention (limited or otherwise). Are those peoples lives less significant or are their feelings about the lack of American intervention irrelevant? What about the people in Iran and North Korea?

      If Qaddafi does hang on to power, we are no worse than we were a month ago – and concievabley better off. Hell, Qadaffi is blaming Al Queda for the unrest in his country. Please let me know where Quadaffi has been supporting terrorist in the last decade. Again since 2003, he was suppossed to be our ally- remember how he gave up his nuclear ambitions?

      On TV and in revisionist history tough talk and cowboy diplomacy work. If that was all it took the speeches from Baghdad Bob during the Iraq invason would have had us running for the hills.

      Lastly, supposing a No Fly zone is instituted, what happens if the rebels are still getting thrashed? Do we cut our loses or do we begin air strikes against Qaddaffi’s troops? If you want air strikes someone (american servicemen) have to be on the ground to coordinate our air strikes to make sure we arent attacking rebel forces using captured governemnt equipment. And if those American’s get captured or killed, do we cut our loses or ………?

      Because if they lose, no matter what level of support we put in, those Lybians are going to blame us for not doing more. And if you are concerened about how we look doing nothing, think how bad we will look when the people we backed get routed.

  • talkradiosucks.com

    “TRS, with all due respect (and then some), as I understand it General Clark’s objection to getting involved isn’t that it would bog us down or that it would be operationally infeasible, it’s that it doesn’t meet the criterion of being a “vital national security issue” as per the Powell Doctrine.”

    I’m not sure if that was a real compliment or a back-handed one. ;)

    Clark’s piece is here: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2011/03/11/AR2011031103244_2.html

    I think he’s making both the point about whether this is a fight we should be getting involved in, and also the risks associated in doing so.

    “My main point is that if we don’t get involved, and Qadaffi hangs on to power, then what?”

    Then we have renewed motivation to work towards his ouster in other ways. I mean, the guy’s been in power for decades, so what’s the sudden urgency in getting rid of him? Was he any less Qaddafi in 2010 than he is in 2011?

    Frankly, I’d much prefer having to figure out “then what?” with him still in power than the sort of “now what?” questions we’ve been trying to answer in Iraq and Afghanistan for the last 10 years.

    “I think one of George Will’s strongest points was the one he made first: if Libya wasn’t a vital security issue a month ago, why is it now?”

    Heh, yep.

    “But to that very astute and pointed question, I venture a reply: because a month ago there weren’t bombs falling on civilians who, fairly or not, see that we have the power to prevent those bombs from falling on them and blame us for not doing anything to stop it. Civilians who, by their death or the death of those around them, will eventually become a very real security threat.”

    It’s true that this is a big difference for the Libyans, but it doesn’t really address how the security issue may have changed in that time, or our national interest in intervention here.

    “My heart is torn on this issue because I understand the reluctance to get involved in yet another conflict on yet another set of distant shores. I am presenting what I consider to be the best argument in favor of limited intervention, but it’s not as though I don’t see all the potential problems.”

    Hey, I understand. On an emotional level, I’d love to barge in there and hang high Qaddafi and his friends.

    But I’d also like to see the same done to Kim Jong Il. And the leaders of a dozen other countries, many of which are theoretically our “friends” or “allies”.

    Americans MUST learn to accept that we CANNOT solve all of the world’s problems.

    • Traveler

      Hey TRS,

      Pretty sure it was genuine compliment. Same perspectives from me, although I had come down more on Tempest’s and Raskolnik’s point of view until now. From what I can gather, it’s just too late. Even if we provide air cover, those butchers are still going to come in now that they realize the rebels are outgunned and have no support. And there is no way I could support more than no fly. If that had been done from the gitgo while the army was vacillating, then might have got enough bullies to throw down their weapons, plus the ammo dump would still be available to the rebels. Now I am pretty doubtful. The Arab League just took too long to ask, which was essential. Still a pretty remarkable development. Fact is, we have no idea who the rebels are, and whether they would be any better than Hamas.

  • pnumi2

    “To beleaguer or not to beleaguer — that is the question:
    Whether ’tis nobler in the mind to suffer
    The slings and arrows of doing nothing
    Or take arms against a sea of government forces…”

    Yes, Kurlis, Obama, and his indecisiveness, is in good company with Hamlet, the first Prince of English Literature. Indecisive and unimpeachable. Don’t you agree?

    Maybe you don’t think the President of the United States should be compared to a tragic figure in a play? How about the 8 years of George Bush and “A Comedy of Errors”? (A Tragedy of Errors?)

    I like the Hamlet comparison, tho. Here’s Horatio at the end of the play:

       ”And let me speak to the yet unknowing world
        How these things came about: so shall you hear
        Of carnal, bloody, and unnatural acts,
        Of accidental judgments, casual slaughters,
        Of deaths put on by cunning and forced cause,
        And, in this upshot, purposes mistook
        Fall’n on the inventors’ heads: all this can I truly deliver.”

    From My Lai to arming the Taliban, from ‘peak oil’ to unintended consequences:

    It’s all about American foreign policy and being hoist on our own petard.

  • Tempest in a Frumpot

    “Lastly, supposing a No Fly zone is instituted, what happens if the rebels are still getting thrashed? Do we cut our loses or do we begin air strikes against Qaddaffi’s troops? If you want air strikes someone (american servicemen) have to be on the ground to coordinate our air strikes to make sure we arent attacking rebel forces using captured governemnt equipment.”

    This is not true, we don’t need American servicemen on the ground. It is an open desert there. And we sure as hell have not used American servicemen on the ground during our drone attacks in Pakistan where half the time we are bombing innocent families. No one has been raising a stink about that. So a tank column marching across open desert we can’t bomb, a potential Taliban hideout in Pakistan though we can bomb the hell out of.

    As I have said way above, the inconsistencies are maddening. We can bomb Pakistan…PAKISTAN (an ostensible ally), but not come to the aid of the rebel government in Benghazi…one that now has explicit approval of the Arab league.

    • llbroo49

      Now you are calling for more than a No Fly Zone. But I am willing to go along with drone strikes.

      As to your comment about air strikes on tanks in the desert- you do realize that the rebels have tanks too, right? So what if your first airstrike takes out Rebel tanks because the drone we sent up can’t tell the difference?

      More importantly, in Pakistan it can only be assumed that we are making these strikes with the support of the Pakistan Government. You do realize they could just shoot our drones down if they wanted to? They are a nuclear power, if they stated that continued strikes over their territory was considered an act of war- that would be the end of drone attacks.

      Lastly, if it’s so easy to do as you say- then shouldn’t you be more upset with the leaders in Europe and the Middle East than Obama for the lack of a No Fly Zone or air strikes?

      Oh, and you really think there are no American Servicemen in Pakistan? Nothing personal, but I don’t think you have any idea of the capabilities of the military.

  • Tempest in a Frumpot

    by the way, one other solution is to have a no conflict zone around Ras Lanuf. No fly zone for either side, and no convoys from either side going in any offensive operation, state it is in order for peaceful negotiations to be brought about. This would give the Benghazi side time to organize into an effective government with a cohesive military structure. If they prove to be a viable pluralistic Democratic mini state then we can recognize them and arm them. From then on it would just be a matter of time. This would also create the possibility that Gadhafi and his sons will retire off to Saudi Arabia with a few billion in loot. Let them go.

    • llbroo49

      Out of curiosity, what makes the rebels in Libya worth saving , compared to say the people in Darfur? Why would you be willing to spend our money on one set of unfortunates versus another?

      Also, what happens if the rebels violate the “no conflict zone”?

  • Traveler

    I agree with drones too. No problem coordinating them either, since our satellites can easily tell what armor is coming from where. Its not like there is a lot of cover. I mean if Reagan bombed him in 1986 for general purposes (the Munich bombings etc), what is different today? His ambassador just admitted that he ordered Lockerbie in retaliation. Maybe we could have our “allies” the Italians to make up for their selling us out back then when they warned Qadhafi?

    http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=newsarchive&sid=asdtPeIfTReg&refer=us

    Marcus, what makes these rebels important is two things: 1) They are the enemy of our enemy, and 2) we look good in the eyes of the Arabs for once. We could make a major difference if we drone aggressively. BTW, I don’t know how it is claimed that drones kill civilians half the time. Frankly, if the Talibs continue to take up with civilians (willing ones in this case), I couldn’t give a shit. We lost plenty of our own, remember?

    • llbroo49

      Traveler,

      Re: the enemy of my enemy- see US support for Islamic Fundamentalist in Afghanistan in the 80s. Also see US support for Ho Chi Minh near the close of WW2.

      Re: looks good in the eyes of Arab- see White House press releases and Dick Cheney comments circa 2002-2003.

      Lastly, you state that we can tell the difference between Loyalist and Rebel tanks in the desert, but then acknowledge the civilian casualties in Pakistan. Either we have the technology to prevent these mistakes or we don’t.

      • Traveler

        This site sucks in terms of stability. Backspace means your comment goes to oblivion….

        Marcu$:

        “Re: the enemy of my enemy- see US support for Islamic Fundamentalist in Afghanistan in the 80s. Also see US support for Ho Chi Minh near the close of WW2.”

        The former was a typical Red Menace realpolitik. It doesn’t apply here. In the latter instance, the OSS and Ho were very close during the fight with the Japanese. It was only after the war when we sold Ho out to the French who supposedly “won” the war with us that the Viet Nam war started. And then those self righteous assholes have the temerity to hold their noses in the air while we lost 60,000 lives fighting a war that had no business happening in the first place. Either way, totally irrelevant to the current instance.

        “Re: looks good in the eyes of Arab- see White House press releases and Dick Cheney comments circa 2002-2003.”

        Didnt you see my post? The ARAB LEAGUE asked for a no fly zone. Unanimously. What do these press releases and Cheney comments have to do with this price of eggs?

        “Lastly, you state that we can tell the difference between Loyalist and Rebel tanks in the desert, but then acknowledge the civilian casualties in Pakistan. Either we have the technology to prevent these mistakes or we don’t.”

        Normally I don’t get into personal sniping, but what are you thinking? :) Trying to peer into a mud brick house to identify individuals is a little different from being able to tell the origin of a column of armor. You wouldn’t believe what remote sensing can do these days.

        But hey I agree with you much more often than not, even in many of your perspectives here. But those arguments really don’t fly in this instance.

  • Tempest in a Frumpot

    “Also, what happens if the rebels violate the “no conflict zone”?”

    Then they will die, if they march off to a Gadhafi stronghold they will be destroyed by Gadhafi.
    There certainly wouldn’t be any large scale convoys. I am not talking about shooting pick up trucks, but tank and artillery convoys. That requires a very high level of coordination from the top. They aren’t stupid. I am not calling for a no fly zone over all of Libya, just along the line of demarcation, so theoretically once they even got past that no conflict zone (presuming they would want to risk pissing us off) then they would be crushed by Gadhafi and his own airforce since we would be well aware of what was happening we would not even need to intervene.

    Essentially this will lead to a stalemate. A stalemate benefits the rebels. You will see a daily run of Libyans into Tunisia, they could then be transported to the east and Gadhafi will be a mini dictator of a society of shadows.

    Southern Sudan is now free. Darfur was also a hell of a lot more complicated situation then you let on. Due to increasing desertification the Jamjaweed wanted to drive farmers off of what they wanted to be their grazing lands. I am not justifying the actions, but far and away most of the killing was done by small groups of Arabs on horseback shooting up a small village. There is nothing we can do about that. This is a whole other situation. We know full well how war can be fought there. We did it already during WW2. Airpower was critical. Rommels lines were stretched thin and his convoys came under withering fire.

    Gadhafi also ordered the bombing of an American airliner. Tell me what Arab herder ever did so in the Darfur region? There is self interest involved in this as well. We can and do pick and choose our fights based on part ideology and part naked self interest. This fulfills both.
    Darfur, or the Congo, or the Ivory Coast, they don’t.

    • llbroo49

      You left out another component that factors in America’s decision to go to war: the likelihood for us to win at an acceptable cost. That why Iran wants a nuclear bomb and, Qadaffi (of he was ever close to nuclear bomb development) is wishing he had kept at it.

      But obviously we don’t have a clear picture of the situation in Libya. A week ago we were expecting the Qaddaffi regime to fall within a matter of hours – without our intervention. Now yourmbest case scenario is down to a partition- which I am sure Qaddaffi will accept as long as he has control of all the oil fields..

      But you really want to go to war over an attack (Lockerbie) that happened decades ago? War is horrible and ugly- and yet sometimes necessary. Cooler heads must prevail or we will remain in a perpetual state of war.

  • Tempest in a Frumpot

    A week ago we were expecting the Qaddaffi regime to fall within a matter of hours – without our intervention.

    Maybe you were, but I saw plenty of commentators who stated that Gadhafi had an enormous amount of firepower and the backing of his own tribe and that it could go on. Of course, that is not to say we hoped for the best. I was perfectly happy to see if the rebels could pull it off on their own, obviously they can’t. It was Obama who interfered a lot already, he seized assets, brought up an Aircraft carrier and assault ships, said Gadhafi had to go, etc. If had no intention of ever intervening he should have said simply this is an internal affair of the Libyan people and left it at that. I would have disagreed because of the inconsistencies of being in a war in two (and a half, ie drone bombing in Pakistan) Muslim countries to try to bring about the process the Libyan people themselves are ostensibly rising up to create on their own but at least after all was said and done we still could have done business with Gadhafi, as we did with the Chinese after Tiananmen. But now Obama has created the worst of both worlds, intervening enough to push Gadhafi out of all restraint but not enough to oust him. Lockerbie is likely going to be nothing to what mischief he and his spawn will likely bring about for the next 50 years. They might not be able to go to St. Barts anymore, but I am sure they will be welcome in Macao and Beijing.
    Gadhafi will likely imagine himself invincible and chosen by God. He will claim he defeated the entire west and he will reward China, Syria, Russia with untold billions in contracts buying himself respectability there all the while funding whatever radical groups he can.
    Oh, and when Gadhafi does finally die of old age, expect to see western countries bring Libya in from the cold lavishing praise on whichever son emerges in power after he states he “regrets” some of the “incidents” of today, not that I think it will matter in modifying his behavior.

    • llbroo49

      I’ll try to address bOth of your points.

      1. In your opinion Obama should have done nothing at all or should have committed himself fully to the ouster of Qaddaffi. Again, this goes way beyond a No Fly Zone and drone strikes since neither could guarantee the desired outcome.

      2. Concern that Qaddaffi will become emboldened if he survives. I believe this is unfounded as well. After Regean bombed Libya in the 80s, Qaddaffi went quiet. As a matter of fact you would have to go back to the 80s to find solid evidence that he was involved with the support of terrorism. Qaddaffi will understand that he survived without significant intervention from the US because we had no interst in the issue. Furthermore , we would use this episode as exhibit 3 on why we would go after him in the event he did something we disliked in the future. Despite how we portray despots and tyrants on tv, most are not as dumb as we think. They may be eccentric, but stupid people don’t stay in power for decades.

  • Tempest in a Frumpot

    “the likelihood for us to win at an acceptable cost.”

    I don’t understand this. We are already spending an enormous amount of money, an aircraft carrier battle group is parked right off the coast, and for what? And the humanitarian nightmare of feeding and supporting what might be a million Libyans who flee to Egypt will cost us billions for who knows how many years. Or do you propose that Egypt shoot any refugees? Of course we will pick up a big chunk of that tab.

    We have already bought these airplanes, we have the drones. A modified no fly zone over Eastern Libya will not be that expensive, especially when a nice chunk of it can be done with our allies (the French and British are already on board)

    The cost benefit analysis of getting rid of Gadhafi I think far outweigh the temporary cost (and yes, billions of oil contracts given by a grateful post Gadhafi regime DOES factor into it, you can’t bitch about costs and then discount rewards)

    • llbroo49

      Again, this where you are unfamiliar with Military operations. That aircraft carrier is on it’s 6 months med cruise, meaning no extra money or resources are being used while sitting in international waters.

      As far as the refugee issue is concerned, while we will make a significant contribution for release efforts- look for the UN to handle the bulk of that operation.

      The cost benefit analysis would be clearer on whether or not to get rid of Qaddaffi if you had an ideal replacement in mind. But if the new Libya takes on a crazy ideaogy- like spreading it’s version of freedom throughout Africa and the Middle east, well dealing with Qaddaffi is way cheaper.

      I am not arguing that our intervention will be bad, but you are really optimistic that our intervention can be nothing but good for Libya and the US.

  • KrazyJay

    Legitimate concerns all, but the more contemporary question is how long can the United States afford to be the World Sheriff?

  • Tempest in a Frumpot

    KrazyJay

    Nobody is making that claim. Again, this meets the criteria of ideology and naked self interest.
    Darfur, the Ivory Coast, the Congo do not.

  • Tempest in a Frumpot

    1. In your opinion Obama should have done nothing at all or should have committed himself fully to the ouster of Qaddaffi. Again, this goes way beyond a No Fly Zone and drone strikes since neither could guarantee the desired outcome.

    No, he should have called for a no conflict zone separating the East and West so peaceful negotiations can ensue. I had no idea a truce in the midst of a civil war would be so bad. This doesn’t even mean committing himself to Gadhafi leaving. If the tribes in Western Libya want him so then perhaps a peaceful settlement could have been brought about with Eastern Libya being akin to Kurdistan in Iraq.

    “After Reagan bombed Libya in the 80s, Qaddaffi went quiet.” This is a lie (not lie, falsehood), after Reagan bombed Libya he ordered the bombing of Pan Am. The bombing in Libya was in retaliation to a Libyan bombing of a West German disco. So if your initial contention is not factual why should I assume your present line of thought is correct?

    • llbroo49

      I dont feel like looking it up, so I will give you the benefit of the doubt and assume you are correct in your assertion that the Pan Am attack was retaliation for us bombing Libya.

      But again, your cause for war is a decades old terrorist attack?

      I will admit that I have a bias. I remain in the military reserves and I don’t mind fighting wars of and by itself (particulary if its furthers American interest). But our desire to mess with the Russians by supporting Islamic Fundalmentalist or to help them just becasue we felt sorry for them left us with a mess we are still cleaning up.

  • Tempest in a Frumpot

    “Tempest,

    Under your criteria, why are we not invading Iran?”

    For the same reason we did not invade China after Tiananmen or Russia after Hungary in 1956.
    Naked self interest takes into account a complete cost benefit analysis. Invading Iran does not meet that criteria. As neither did WW3.

  • pnumi2

    @Ilbroo49 “Out of curiosity, what makes the rebels in Libya worth saving , compared to say the people in Darfur?”

    @Tempest in a Frumpot: “Gadhafi also ordered the bombing of an American airliner. Tell me what Arab herder ever did so in the Darfur region? There is self interest involved in this as well. We can and do pick and choose our fights based on part ideology and part naked self interest. This fulfills both.”
    So it’s all about the oil. I said that since before we invaded Iraq. Thanks for making my point. There is no ideology here.

  • Tempest in a Frumpot

    By the way, long term a truce would have brought about the ruin of Gadhafi, especially if everyone recognizes the Benghazi government as being the legitimate one. Maybe he might have, in the end, wanted to order a full scale invasion of the East in the face of certain annihilation, but ordering it then would have likely brought about his own death at the hands of the units ordered to go out to die. Attrition of his money, his supplies, his very citizenry would have made his position untenable. Again, I could be wrong but is really your main objection that Libya (an artificial construct of colonial powers) must remain unified absolutely under every condition? Do you oppose what happened in Southern Sudan then? (and this is with official partition, and not a defacto one)

  • SpartacusIsNotDead

    There is absolutely no good reason whatsoever for the U.S. to intervene in what is, at most, a Libyan civil war. The death toll in Libya as of last week was barely 1,000 people, some of whom were almost certainly killed by rebels who oppose Gaddafi.

    The thought that the U.S. should implement a No-Fly Zone on account of 1,000 deaths is extraordinarily myopic in light of all the civil conflicts around the world that have produced death tolls far in excess of 1,000. Moreover, if the goal of a No-Fly Zone is to limit the number of deaths, then it will almost certainly fail because a NFZ would only serve to embolden the rebels to continue their violent uprising. Increased violence will necessarily result in increased deaths.

    If the goal of a NFZ is to produce regime change, then it will fail on this point as well. There is no historical precedent whatsoever for a NFZ producing regime change anywhere in the world. It’s rather childish to think this time will be different.

  • Tempest in a Frumpot

    pnumi: We can and do pick and choose our fights based on part ideology and part naked self interest. This fulfills both.”
    So it’s all about the oil. I said that since before we invaded Iraq. Thanks for making my point. There is no ideology here.

    Did you not read the part about ideology? It is not all about oil. I said for intervention to take place it should at least fulfill BOTH criteria. You can choose to ignore one of those criteria as being valid simply because the second is also valid, but according to your philosophy then there are no conditions ever to engage anywhere.

    So if there were no self interest involved and this was purely done as a humanitarian operation to save hundreds of thousands of Libyans, you would support it then? I take it the answer is STILL no.

    So under no conditions should the US become involved in the internal affairs of another nation (unless in clear self defense). This is what you are saying.
    I have no objections if you are advocating an absolutist isolationistic view point. You can vote for candidates that advocate it.

    Look, this is the way it is for Mexico. They have an economy larger than our own that we had during WW2, and a population nearly as large. They can certainly afford to have a much larger military than they do, but Mexico has no desire to. I have no objections to Mexico’s attitude.
    They did not say Gadhafi had to go, did not seize his assets, did not park an aircraft carrier off his coast. If you want America to be like Mexico (in this regard) then state so and we can agree to disagree. I don’t want America to be this way. We tried it once and it was a disaster and in an era of global warming and lord knows what else the world needs American leadership, to stand for and defend pluralistic Liberal Democracies whether nascent or fully developed. But this is just my opinion. Disagree as you wish, but you won’t change my mind.

  • Tempest in a Frumpot

    SpartacusIsNotDead

    Have you read anything I wrote? I mean, really, at least read other people’s comments. I have called for a No Conflict zone. Are you opposed to that? Do you really think when Benghazi is razed to the ground casualty figure will remain low? And the 1,000 casualty figure is pure fantasy. Are you being paid by Gadhafi?

    pnumi, I also take it you were and are opposed to NATO, that it was just an American plot to keep commercial markets open for Coca Cola.
    Again, my point about ideology and naked self interest is that when both criteria are met we must act. You can quibble with me whether this is in our naked self interest, but sure as hell don’t you dare argue with me that there is no ideological justification.

    • llbroo49

      Wait, I must have missed something. What is the ideology justification you speak of AND what is the ideology of the rebels?

  • Primrose

    It am not opposed to a no-fly zone but I think Obama was correct to wait until it was a United Nations plan and or asked for by the Arab League or Organization of African states. It is a culture where concepts of humiliation and honor/face are very strong and a too obvious hand makes it all go bluey (as Iraq and Afghanistan have proven).

    As to an earlier post not thinking Rwanda worth it… If preventing genocide (and Rwanda was easily preventable) is not in America’s interests, we have lost our way as a people.

  • Primrose

    This event highlights the stupidity and ignorance of President Obama. He is shallow and simple minded and cannot be relied upon for decisive action in defense of vital American interests.

    Actually, Kurlis, it is shallow and simple-minded to think that decisive action must be obvious, muscle flexing. Some of the most decisive, EFFECTIVE action will never see the light of day. Did Tallyrand and Bismark make their every move known? No. How Machivelli would have laughed at your statement Kurlis. I’m not a chess player but it is my understanding that you don’t make your winning strategy known at the outset. Even in football, are there not feints and deceptions? Even villains in B-movies understand this.

    Waiting for the world to come to us and demand we put a no-fly zone into effect, is far wiser, far less simple-minded than wandering in shouting America is a superpower, do as we say.

    Foreign policy is not entertainment. We should use effective strategies regardless of their emotional satisfaction or their film-ability.

  • Tempest in a Frumpot

    “What is the ideology justification you speak of AND what is the ideology of the rebels?”

    One, as Primrose pointed out preventing an massive humanitarian nightmare which will overwhelm Egypt is a nice start. This is likely a once in a generation opportunity to bring about a Arab spring, where the people take it upon themselves to take control of their own political process. From Tunisia to Egypt we might have pluralistic functioning Democracies. The justification of Al Qaeda (whose leadership and ideology came from Egypt) was that westerners were in control of their political process via proxy. This would fundamentally ruin Al Qaeda.
    Now you might believe that Muslims or Arabs are incapable of Democracy and liberal self government. If you believe so, say so. Is there risk involved in backing the rebels, certainly. But look at the makeup of the leadership in Benghazi, they are mostly Lawyers, Doctors, many who speak English fluently, this is what the people in Benghazi have already designated as their leaders, this in the midst of a civil war (they could have selected a charismatic military figure)

    Look, the world is facing unprecedented environmental challenges in the coming decades. To leave (or allow to happen because we will not LIFT one finger) a whole region repressed, with an undercurrent of seething resentful people is insane.

    For decades after Mao took power they fed their people a steady diet of anti American propaganda, but when Mao died the leadership took a look at their country and realized they were doomed unless they were to change. Mao did not have children who were capable of leading the country so no dynasty took hold. This is not true in Libya. It will remain a kleptocratic and rogue state that has in its own interests to see to it that the rest of the Middle East remains as they are.

    I have already shown that you were wrong that after the bombing Libya went quiet, how much greater the possibility that they will do far worse next time? I don’t know. I see no reason to take that chance.

    Anyway, a no conflict zone will not push him to any wall, he will and still can maintain power in Western Libya as he assesses his own chances for long term survival. If he did try anything nuts then how much easier would it be to fully take him out instead of starting at worse than scratch, a beaten down, traumatized population who will resent the hell out of us for not doing anything when we had the chance.

  • pnumi2

    Tempest

    I certainly understand your point of view, but obviously I don’t agree with it. I’m sure it is not true in your case, but to me and those like-minded, the ideology your refer to is analogous to WMD. A rallying cry to achieve something you don’t want to admit to.

    To your credit you admitted to it.

    “So if there were no self interest involved and this was purely done as a humanitarian operation to save hundreds of thousands of Libyans, you would support it then? I take it the answer is STILL no.”

    Look at the facts: How many innocents are dead as a result of the war we brought to Iraq? What is the quality of like there absent the full return of the utilities and the qualitities of life that existed before we invaded? How long will life be this way?

    How is it possible for one human being to make a decision like Iraq, which will mean the deaths of so many people and disruption of the lives of a hundred times many more?

    No, I can not say here from the comfort of Southern California: “General, go in with Shock & Awe and rid this country of it’s ruler. Try not to hurt the innocent but if you have to, so be it.”

    And now 8 years later the road side bomb and the suicide vest are in their 3rd or 4th improvement and suicide volunteers are lining up to get work.

    I am not an isolationist. I supported or involvement in Bosnia because we were there purely for ideology. There was no mistake about that.

    I’m not sure if God created America to be the headmaster of the rest of the nations, but I don’t think the Founders saw it that way.

    @Tempest in a Frumpot: “There is self interest involved in this as well. We can and do pick and choose our fights based on part ideology and part naked self interest. This fulfills both.”

    Okay. I’ll give you and your ideology 3%.

  • Tempest in a Frumpot

    Look at the facts: How many innocents are dead as a result of the war we brought to Iraq?

    This is what precisely infuriated me about Bush, that his incompetence would petrify Americans for a generation that the next war will be precisely the same as the last one.

    Again you have not answered my question. How is a demarcation line and a no fly zone in Eastern Libya analogous to Bush’s invasion of Iraq? Hell the government in Benghazi can even pay for that no fly zone long term with oil revenues.

    A demarcation line has prevented war between North and South Korea. Shall we tear that apart and pull our troops away now?

    After the first tank convoy gets blown apart I can not see them doing that again. At worst you will get a large convoy stop short of the line and all of the soldiers defect leaving the equipment behind instead of getting blown to bits.

    We are talking about open desert here, not city streets, far from radar sites. If they shoot down a drone we take out their SAM site (hell, we also have satellite, how the hell are they going to shoot that down?)

    pickup trucks from Tripoli are not going to take down Benghazi. No artillery, no planes, and no tanks means peace.

    Tell me where this is wrong?

  • Tempest in a Frumpot

    pnumi: Okay. I’ll give you and your ideology 3%.

    So if pnumi were Patrick Henry it would have been “give me 3% Liberty, I am cool with just that.”
    Sorry, I couldn’t resist.

    For myself, sincerely, this is mostly ideology but I understand the limits to which we can go in support of liberty (no, I don’t have proof it will be a liberal democracy, but I have faith it can be and as such is worth the risk) so I am not averse to arguing for self interest when need be.

  • pnumi2

    Of course, a no-fly zone and a line of demarcation are not the invasion of Iraq. Do we take them down if the rebels and Qaddafi make peace? Will there be resistance to doing so?

    Unintended consequence speaks for itself.

    But worst of all, would be the deliberate sabotage causing American casualties perpetrated by Qaddafi, the rebels OR an unknown third party blaming one of the first two parties and interested in creating a hot war.

    So, no, you and your idealism are not wrong. But Realpolitik is still at work on this planet and the road to hell is paved with it.

  • SpartacusIsNotDead

    Tempest: “Do you really think when Benghazi is razed to the ground casualty figure will remain low? And the 1,000 casualty figure is pure fantasy. Are you being paid by Gadhafi?”

    Do you have any evidence the death toll of 1,000 is pure fantasy? If so, please provide a link that disputes the observations of professional journalists.

    http://www.worldthreats.com/?p=7015

    As for a no-conflict zone, you seem to have an almost fairy-tell like belief in the power of the statements of the President of the U.S. Who cares if Obama called for a no-conflict zone? That is essentially what Obama and every other world leader have been doing since the violence erupted. These leaders have deplored the use of violence on both sides and they’ve asked for a cessation of violence. Gaddafi has ignored these calls and so have the rebels.

    It’s a civil war in a country that is of no vital interest to the U.S. So far, roughly 1,000 people have died, a number which pales in comparison to many of the other civil conflicts in the world. There is no good reason for the U.S. to expend any money or lives to influence the outcome of a Libyan civil war, and neither you nor any of the others supporting intervention have offered any good reasons for doing so.

    • Traveler

      Spartacus,

      Your own link states that as of March 8:

      “The official death toll in the Libyan conflict has officially surpassed 1,000. While the actual death toll is likely much higher, these numbers come from the numbers of confirmed deaths. It has been very difficult for outside journalists to verify and [sic} of these figures.

      But they are getting worse. There are more reports of crimes by the Qaddafi regime and there is now word that the regime is killing soldiers that will not fire on protesters…”

      That was posted 5 days ago. So you still think its still only a 1000, after verified reports of mercenaries snatching up and burning bodies on the beach, wholesale torture witnessed by BBC crews and two more towns retaken since that post? Boy I would love to get a hold of what you are smoking. I too like to escape reality myself from time to time.

      But it is really unbelievable you rate rebels that have taken up arms against far superior odds in a key geopolitical arena as being no more important than farmers in Darfur. As humans, you are absolutely right, but as opponents of a regime that bombed us long before we responded with direct action on military targets, and then retaliated with Lockerbie, you make me puke. The more I write, the more I get pissed at that attitude. Why not just bend over?

  • Tempest in a Frumpot

    Do we take them down if the rebels and Qaddafi make peace? Will there be resistance to doing so?

    Sure, why not? And resistance from whom?

    “Unintended consequence speaks for itself.” So the intended consequences of doing nothing is better how?

    And what sabotage is this you are speaking of? How are they going to get onto an Italian airbase? There will be no US troops on the ground. Drones, SAMs will take care of the rest. If a Gadhafi jet managed to run the gauntlet we can intercept it with one of our planes, but this is unlikely. These are old Russian and Chinese planes and are no match for us. Far more likely random equipment failure might happen, but that happens anyhow and a US pilot bailing out over Benghazi is not likely to come to harm.

    “But Realpolitik is still at work on this planet and the road to hell is paved with it.” That I agree with, but that is what you are arguing for. I am more motivated by good intentions, not realpolitik.

    by the way thanks to pnumi and llbroo49 for not engaging in cheap insult saying I am “hysterical” and such crap.

    I am no general but I am a student of history. I know how Rommel was defeated and he was a superior General. He was stretched too far, the same logistical nightmare would face Gadhafi if we place a line in the sand for him not to cross. He would have no method to get to Benghazi or parts east.

  • pnumi2

    Why wouldn’t Patrick Henry have taken 3% death? Doesn’t it sound like a better deal?

    I too am an idealist and liberty is my ideology. But I’m beginning to think that mankind has recently passed from one paradigm into another. I think it’s only a coincidence that this passage happened at the turn of the millennium and the Mayan Calendar.

    Having said that, everything you and I are used to, hang in the balance. They’ll certainly be gone for future generations but will we see them gone in our lifetimes? I always thought the ‘future’ would bring either ’1984′ or ‘Brave New World’. It’s looking a lot like it’s the former. The other day I was ranting about ‘peak oil’ and what it meant. I’m not sure everyone considers it’s impact on our existence. I’m not sure they want to. It’s the prototype of the “game changer.”

    Sorry to end on a depressing note.

  • Traveler

    Tempest,

    Nice job of fighting a tenacious battle with pretty reasonable opposing points of view. I have to admit you still have me in your corner, as I see your position being both tenable and feasible. In support of this, see what life for Qhadafi is thought to be:

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-12720643

    This article suggests the rebellion is by no means as hopeless as I surmised. Others that know a lot more than me seem to think otherwise. In which case there is still time to assemble support for intervention. Having the Arab League already requesting a NFZ is pretty important there.

    So add a little drones and NFZ to the mix, and how can that be so bad? Sometimes we as a nation have to show a little spine. Looking at all future adventures through the lens of Bush’s total incompetence is steering by looking at the wake. We need to look ahead here folks, and there is an unprecedented opportunity if the cards are played right.

    To my thinking, BO may have just done so. If he can marshal the support of the Arab League and most of Europe that has the main skin in the game, how can a NFZ and selective droning be such a misplaced adventure? The upside is huge, while the downside seems pretty small The Chinks and the Russkies dont go along with a UN resolution? Come on, they are complete shills for totalitarianism. Let’s force their hand, and make them vote with the likes of Zimbabwe.

  • Tempest in a Frumpot

    As for a no-conflict zone, you seem to have an almost fairy-tell like belief in the power of the statements of the President of the U.S. Who cares if Obama called for a no-conflict zone?

    Who is talking about statements? I am talking about creating a demarcation line in Eastern Libya over which neither side can cross, call it a demilitarized zone. It has worked in Korea for generations. This is open desert miles between cities. I don’t think you know just how big Libya is and how few people there are.

    What Americans will die by the creation of a DMZ patrolled by drones, spy satellites, etc. There is no way in hell a major military convoy can slip past unnoticed day or night, they don’t have an extensive road system and travelling over open sand would be even more difficult (if not impossible)

    As to the 1,000, read the statements of the doctors in hospitals of the number of dead and wounded. You think firing into a crowd in Tripoli will result in what exactly? Anyway, Benghazi has 700,000 people, how the hell can you imagine a major city like that can be taken with few casualties, or once taken Gadhafi not slaughter the citizens. Lets not be naive here.

    “neither you nor any of the others supporting intervention have offered any good reasons for doing so.” I am sorry, but this just pisses me off, I have written dozens of posts why and because you choose to ignore them doesn’t mean that they don’t exist.

    A humanitarian crisis in Egypt can lead to a breakdown in their society, do you suggest that Egypt shoot refugees? Therefore it will cost us billions to house and feed the refugees (and you are naive if you think we won’t pick up the tab for a large chunk of it). In addition, Al Qaeda feeds off of the line that the US is utterly indifferent to the fate of ordinary Arabs. A free and Democratic Tunisia, Libya, and Egypt would undercut his rational immensely.
    Obviously you have never lived in the third world and do not understand the toxicity of resentment of subject peoples, many who do blame the US for their condition. Don’t pretend otherwise. Give them control of their lives (or better yet, aid them to win their own freedom) and we can move towards a day when Islamic radicalism is a memory. Turn your back on them and you might personally pay the price. (guarantee me that Gadhafi will not use his oil billions to buy a nuke from North Korea and then give it to some radical outfit who will pull up to NY harbor and detonate it, seriously, I want a 100% guarantee that it won’t happen. I can offer it, you can’t.) A Gadhafi who is outside of all western restraint is capable of anything. A Gadhafi who is stuck in some Saudi palace, not so much (and a DMZ will make that prospect more and more appealing as his money dwindles financing an army he can’t use)

  • SpartacusIsNotDead

    Tempest: “Who is talking about statements? I am talking about creating a demarcation line in Eastern Libya over which neither side can cross, call it a demilitarized zone. It has worked in Korea for generations.”

    It’s rather ironic that the DMZ on the Korean peninsula is your model for a no-conflict zone in Libya. The Korean DMZ was possible only after the two sides had fought a bloody war. Moreover, how do you think the DMZ was and is maintained? It’s through the use of troops on the ground. So, if you’re not talking about “statements”, then you have to be relying upon troops on the ground to enforce a DMZ and to do so at a time when neither of the warring sides want a DMZ – again, another significant difference between the Korean DMZ and your Libya.

    Whose troops are going to enforce a DMZ? How long will they stay there? Who pays for this? What is its purpose? Most importantly, why should the U.S. get involved when it has no vital interests in Libya?

    And, of course, you have yet to provide any link for your claim that the 1,000 death toll is pure fantasy.

    Your references to a humanitarian crisis in Egypt and Al Qaeda are nothing more than pure speculation.

    • Traveler

      Spartacus,

      Are you brain dead? TIAF has been talking all along about the effective use of our standoff capabilities to provide a NFZ and then cooked up the idea of an “armistice” line, supported by similar capabilities that we already have in place.

      This “DMZ” is in the middle of the fucking desert, not within artillery range of the capital of South Korea with a million plus troops amassed behind it. Yet you think TIAF and I are talking about the same thing. Your lack of comprehension is astounding. Please just read TIAFs post. You are way off base here, and you dig yourself ever deeper into lalaland with each new post. Are you trying to take over Willy’s job?

      Your own link clearly stated the opposite of what you contend, and your false equivalency approaches that of the teabaggers.

      Come on, get some mojo if you want to be taken seriously.

  • pnumi2

    tiaf

    Resistance from whom? The covert War Party.

    The unintended consequences of doing nothing will not lead to the deaths of American service men.
    The IC of doing something may lead to American deaths.

    Sabotage. If I knew what kind to expect, I’d be working in the Pentagon. Let’s just say “expect anything at any time.” That’s what a good army does.

    When you’re motivated by good intentions, eventually you will be hit over the head with Realpolitik.

  • Tempest in a Frumpot

    The unintended consequences of doing nothing will not lead to the deaths of American service men.

    Yes, but it can lead to a mushroom cloud over Manhattan. The way to get rid of Muslim fundamentalism is to allow the people to have control over their lives in a direct fashion, now perhaps that can’t work in a hellish backwater like Afghanistan but in a very rich oil state that sits on the Med., well it could be a God send. For the first time in recorded history nearly all of the countries that ring the Med. could be democracies, with 4 of them being Muslim ones.
    We are fast running out of time for this though.

    In 1946 the US left the Philippines, sadly we did not pressure the French to leave Indochina, the result was 30 years of war and millions of deaths. Not doing something can have devastating effects.

    You are relying on the goodness of Gadhafi to behave himself after he is victorious. I foresee a decade of mayhem from him in his funding every crackpot jihadist group there is, and they all see us as the enemy.

  • pnumi2

    tiaf

    ” For the first time in recorded history nearly all of the countries that ring the Med. could be democracies, with 4 of them being Muslim ones.”

    You see fostering revolution. I see trying diplomacy. You would spill blood for what might become a dummy democracy. I would try to avoid bloodshed. You know Qaddafi to be a madman bent on destruction. I know he hasn’t caused any trouble in a number of years.

    We could install someone to take Qaddafi’s place and he could turn on us. Better the devil you know than the one you don’t.

    “Yes, but it can lead to a mushroom cloud over Manhattan.”

    Isn’t this fear mongering?

    “In 1946 the US left the Philippines…”

    Bad example. What were we doing in the Philippines in the first place? After we fought a war with Spain to confiscate her coaling stations to increase the range of our war ships, we then had to slaughter the Philippines who rebelled against us, because they didn’t want us in their country. When oil became the preferred fuel for ships, we got out like we were never there. Perhaps if we hadn’t confiscated all the coaling stations from Spain (Manila, Guam, etc), Japan wouldn’t have felt threatened and entered WWII on the side of Germany. Just saying.

    The problem for America is that when you increase what you have through Manifest Destiny, you never know when Manifest Destiny is going to begin taking back what it gave you and decreasing what you have.

    What I am for in Libya is the fewest casualties; the fewest number of dead. The fewest destroyed homes and factories. The fewest maimed. The fewest crippled.

    Whatever gets me that, that’s what I want.

  • Steve D

    If ever there’s a time for black ops, this is it. This government can be decapitated. Figuratively would be nice, but literally works for me, too.

  • Steve D

    Pnumi2, read your history. We gave the Philippines Commonwealth status in 1935 with transition to independence set for within the next decade. That was interrupted by World War II but the Philippines became independent in 1946, right after the war ended.