Would Arming Libyan Insurgents Be A Humanitarian Intervention?

This news - Libyan Rebels Retreat Further, will heighten the focus on this issue - Washington In Fierce Debate On Arming Libyan Rebels:

The Obama administration is engaged in a fierce debate over whether to supply weapons to the rebels in Libya, senior officials said on Tuesday, with some fearful that providing arms would deepen American involvement in a civil war and that some fighters may have links to Al Qaeda.

President Obama said the other night that the objective of intervention in Libya is not regime change. He said the US had important interests in Libya, but regime change was not necessary to protect those interests, although regime change would be a preferred outcome. He also said the intervention was "humanitarian" in nature. So here's my question - is providing arms in a civil war "humanitarian?"

Speaking for me only

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    Sounds like mission creep to me (5.00 / 1) (#2)
    by MO Blue on Wed Mar 30, 2011 at 10:39:31 AM EST
    The question of whether to arm the rebels underscores the difficult choices the United States faces as it tries to move from being the leader of the military operation to a member of a NATO-led coalition, with no clear political endgame. It also carries echoes of previous American efforts to arm rebels, in Angola, Nicaragua, Afghanistan and elsewhere, many of which backfired. The United States has a deep, often unsuccessful, history of arming insurgencies [...]

    Not to mention the fact that you can't just hand over weapons, you'd have to teach rebels how to use them. That means "trainers" on the ground. And there's the point that, if you arm the rebels, they kind of stop becoming "civilians." This really looks like it falls outside the UN mandate.

    ...If the Arab public has cheered taking up arms against Gadhafi, how will they think about a civil war and the death of Arabs at the hand of US-supplied weapons? Clearly the rebels wouldn't turn in the arms, even if Gadhafi left. link

    Me too. and in all those examples (none / 0) (#4)
    by ruffian on Wed Mar 30, 2011 at 10:53:24 AM EST
    when has more arms alone actually brought about the desired result?

    No need to openly arm them however - I'm sure there is an enterprising marine like Ollie North someplace working out a third party arms for hostage swap.


    Well, we did (5.00 / 2) (#7)
    by Zorba on Wed Mar 30, 2011 at 11:12:02 AM EST
    arm the mujahideen against the Soviets in Afghanistan.........and that had, shall we say, unforeseen consequences which turned out to be very unpleasant for us and for the Afghan people.  We never seem to look ahead to what might happen "if we do such-and-such."

    In that documentary on Marjah (5.00 / 1) (#33)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Mar 30, 2011 at 01:28:30 PM EST
    when the troops had the sniper shooting at them and taking out something like 4 soldiers before they discovered his position, it is even talked about there that it is likely we had something to do with training that sniper.  He had a great position he was firing from, he hid his muzzle flash, he did everything perfectly, he was deadly....and most likely U.S. trained.

    We trained some people to fight (none / 0) (#157)
    by TeresaInPa on Fri Apr 01, 2011 at 12:38:40 AM EST
    the takeover of their nation by Russia.  What they decided to do with that training and those arms later on is totally on them.  Being fully functional human beings, they alone are responsible for the choices they made later. Another consequence of arming and training the Afghan rebels was that the war with the Russians broke the Russians and in part ended the cold war.

    unforeseen consequences? (none / 0) (#9)
    by MO Blue on Wed Mar 30, 2011 at 11:17:31 AM EST
    There is enough history available that IMO makes the excuse of "unforeseen consequences" very weak tea.



    That is why (none / 0) (#10)
    by Zorba on Wed Mar 30, 2011 at 11:31:15 AM EST
    I said "shall we say"- just being snarky.  But the various US administrations always use this as an excuse.  "I don't think anybody could have predicted that ..."  Uh huh, right.  
    Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.
     George Santayana  

    How... (5.00 / 1) (#5)
    by lilburro on Wed Mar 30, 2011 at 10:58:08 AM EST
    do we not know who the rebels are?

    I realize it's not the easiest question on the planet but WTF.

    Almost no one (5.00 / 1) (#76)
    by Edger on Wed Mar 30, 2011 at 05:17:02 PM EST

    I assume the answer (none / 0) (#127)
    by lilburro on Thu Mar 31, 2011 at 12:21:49 AM EST
    is that we've stopped torturing the uninvolved.

    Some people do a lot of digging (none / 0) (#137)
    by Edger on Thu Mar 31, 2011 at 08:55:13 AM EST
    The initially stated aim of this bombing was to diminish Libyan civilian casualties. But many senior figures in Washington, including President Obama, have indicated that the US is gearing up for a quite different war for regime change, one that may well be protracted and could also easily expand beyond Libya.1 If it does expand, the hope for a nonviolent transition to civilian government in Tunisia and Egypt and other Middle East nations experiencing political unrest, may be lost to a hard-edged militarization of government, especially in Egypt. All of us, not just Egyptians, have a major stake in seeing that that does not happen.

    The present article does not attempt to propose solutions or a course of action for the United States and its allies, or for the people of the Middle East. It attempts rather to examine the nature of the forces that have emerged in Libya over the last four decades that are presently being played out.

    To this end I have begun to compile what I call my Libyan Notebook, a collection of relevant facts that underlie the present crisis. This Notebook will be judgmental, in that I am biased towards collecting facts that the US media tend to ignore, facts that are the product in many instances of investigative reporting that cuts to the heart of power relations, deep structures, and economic interests in the region including the US, Israel, and the Arab States as these have played out over the last two decades and more. But I hope that it will be usefully objective and open-ended, permitting others to draw diverse conclusions from the same set of facts.2

    I wish to begin with two ill-understood topics: I. Who Are the Libyan Opposition, and II. Where Are the Libyan Rebel Arms Coming From?

    Who are the Libyan Freedom Fighters and Their Patrons?
    Peter Dale Scott


    Lose-lose (5.00 / 1) (#6)
    by CST on Wed Mar 30, 2011 at 11:05:41 AM EST
    situation here.

    Personally I'd err on the side of no arms.  But I was ready to err on the side of no no-fly zone too.  That being said, I don't necessarily disagree with it so much as I wonder about it's effectiveness - and I think what we're seeing is that it's not effective enough and now they are asking for more.

    I think one big difference that I see in this case with regards to why there might be support for action here, is that it is clearly an international effort.  And that adds legitimacy to any actions we take there.  You can't discount the role of the UN and Arab league.  None of them ever asked us to invade Iraq...

    I think the president will draw a line on ground troops.  It's clear that that will be a huge political loser.  I'd greatly prefer if he drew the line before arming anyone.  Frankly, more "made in U.S.A." weapons is the last thing that region needs. Wherever they go today, in 5-10 years they will be in the hands of someone else.

    Agree, and will add that (5.00 / 1) (#17)
    by ruffian on Wed Mar 30, 2011 at 11:59:21 AM EST
    if the Arab League wants to take sides in a civil war in their back yard, they are free to arm the rebels on their own. Lord knows there are plenty of weapons to go around over there.  

    to be honest (5.00 / 1) (#20)
    by CST on Wed Mar 30, 2011 at 12:06:14 PM EST
    my initial reaction to this was - how could they possibly need our arms?

    There has got to be some big money in the rebels somewhere.  They have way too much support for it to be any other way.  The Iraqi and Afghanistan resistance has managed to figure it out without our help.


    The American Left is as organized (none / 0) (#25)
    by MKS on Wed Mar 30, 2011 at 12:37:47 PM EST
    as the Libyan rebels....

    Heh (none / 0) (#26)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Mar 30, 2011 at 12:39:11 PM EST
    I can't imagine what it would be like (none / 0) (#27)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Mar 30, 2011 at 12:41:42 PM EST
    learning on the fly.  If it were my country though and I was dealing with a Gaddafi and I were a rebel, learning the fly would be my new motto.  Why are they retreating into oblivion right now though?  Did they leave all the mortar rounds way back there :)?

    I read that Gaddafi has 10,000 (5.00 / 1) (#35)
    by MKS on Wed Mar 30, 2011 at 01:52:31 PM EST
    well trained soldiers....and the rebels number about 1000.....

    It looks like a real mess....


    The rebels we have (5.00 / 1) (#42)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Mar 30, 2011 at 02:29:00 PM EST
    instead of the rebels we wish we had :)

    A thousand rebels certainly aren't (none / 0) (#44)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Mar 30, 2011 at 02:30:24 PM EST
    going to hold all the ground they had if challenged by 10,000.

    PPUS. We agree! (none / 0) (#48)
    by oculus on Wed Mar 30, 2011 at 02:39:27 PM EST
    Reading other reports coming in (none / 0) (#52)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Mar 30, 2011 at 02:50:00 PM EST
    They are very disorganized and for the most part untrained.  The majority of those retreating are untrained civilians who are now in a panic.  Some that joined the rebellion and have Libyan Special Forces training (whatever that may be) are making a stand in Bin Jawwad.

    One wonders whether (none / 0) (#47)
    by brodie on Wed Mar 30, 2011 at 02:38:08 PM EST
    those sobering soldier numbers were roughly the same figures Obama's intel people were giving him.  Or if our spooks screwed up again and gave him wildly encouraging numbers about the size of the rebel force vs a lower number for the Gaddafi side.

    And if O did get about that estimate in force size, did he expect to win such a war primarily from the air?

    Gonna be a tough slog, unless something substantial is introduced into the balance of forces equation to assist the good guys.


    See Glenn Greenwald. Obama admins. (none / 0) (#49)
    by oculus on Wed Mar 30, 2011 at 02:40:54 PM EST
    asked complaint Wash. Post to withhold publication of information regarding U.S. military from the get-go being more involved than just working to establish a no-fly zone.

    Not the way to go about getting (none / 0) (#72)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Mar 30, 2011 at 04:32:03 PM EST
    your own people behind you.  Now that that cat is out of the bag, nothing can happen other than Obama's base will now become enraged.....unless you are an Obot.  Nothing makes lefties more angry than being militarily played.  Once you've gone there and now it is on the record, he needs to quit now.  I can't imagine what political capital he things he has to spend on this and what the prize that will light the way is going to be.

    IMO, he's stuck. Can't w/d now or (none / 0) (#74)
    by oculus on Wed Mar 30, 2011 at 05:10:56 PM EST
    there may really be a humanitarian slaughter.  For years.  

    He's got a No Fly (none / 0) (#75)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Mar 30, 2011 at 05:14:28 PM EST
    Why can't he just stick with that and why can't France and Britain take the heavy lifting over on that?  They have really disabled Gaddafi, he's contained for the most part and people that fear him or are in danger of him have regions now to get away from him in.

    That would be the hope (5.00 / 1) (#85)
    by MKS on Wed Mar 30, 2011 at 06:22:27 PM EST
    But the rebels look to be in really bad shape.

    ...Air power can do only so much....

    I guess we could rent copies of Beau Geste to see what is next....


    I don't see 1000 v. 10,000 as good (none / 0) (#77)
    by oculus on Wed Mar 30, 2011 at 05:17:04 PM EST

    A No Fly worked just fine (none / 0) (#78)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Mar 30, 2011 at 05:32:33 PM EST
    keeping Saddam from genociding the remaining Kurds in the North and the Shiites in the South.  There was no armed rebellion in Iraq even giving aid when we finally did it because he had killed all of them by the time we instituted the No Fly.  A No Fly provides fine containment, and with the bombing that we already did...I'll bet it was strategically identical to what we did to Saddam.  Gaddafi has been extremely crippled.  He can take his 10,000 and hang out where he is safe, the rest of the people can hang where they are safe.  Don't think that if Gaddafi is going to move those 10,000 with whatever remaining armored vehicles they have to someplace in order to kill someone that they won't be destroyed from the air because they will and they know it.

    All that armor looks mighty (none / 0) (#86)
    by MKS on Wed Mar 30, 2011 at 06:23:39 PM EST
    pretty sitting out in plain sight on the highway or open desert....

    Each hanging out in their own place (none / 0) (#97)
    by christinep on Wed Mar 30, 2011 at 07:47:24 PM EST
    "Partition" is the word that comes to mind. Qaddafi's East; Rebels West.

    It is their slog though (none / 0) (#55)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Mar 30, 2011 at 02:53:48 PM EST
    If they have the will to do this, the rebels are going to have organize better.  Those with military training are going to have to break out of their groups and lead civilians.  Civilians are going to have to understand that if they fear death more than living with Gaddafi, they probably should not fight this fight.

    Exactly right (none / 0) (#94)
    by ruffian on Wed Mar 30, 2011 at 06:44:34 PM EST
    If there really are only 1000 people willing to fight this guy, arming them is not going to matter.

    On the news tonight they have said (none / 0) (#100)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Mar 30, 2011 at 08:14:21 PM EST
    that some of the problem is that the rebels don't know to use the arms they have.  

    Of course...that is the next step in the (none / 0) (#129)
    by ruffian on Thu Mar 31, 2011 at 06:12:04 AM EST
    process. After weapons, they will need "advisors".

    No combat troops (none / 0) (#130)
    by MO Blue on Thu Mar 31, 2011 at 08:20:01 AM EST
    Just lots and lots of trainers and advisors. If Obama makes them wear footwear other than boots, he can reinforce his claim that there are no boots on the ground.

    Wonder what footwear the covert operations people in Libya are wearing.  


    Flip-flops? (none / 0) (#136)
    by Anne on Thu Mar 31, 2011 at 08:53:29 AM EST
    Oh, maybe not - that's more likely to be the presidential footwear of choice.

    CIA probably wearing something not visible to the naked eye...or something that leaves no footprints.


    And most likely pointed in our direction. (none / 0) (#8)
    by vml68 on Wed Mar 30, 2011 at 11:12:46 AM EST
    Wherever they go today, in 5-10 years they will be in the hands of someone else.

    Would arming Libyan Insurgents be ... (5.00 / 1) (#16)
    by Robot Porter on Wed Mar 30, 2011 at 11:50:13 AM EST
    a humanitarian intervention?

    Short answer:  No.

    Long answer:  Hell no.

    For further clarification consult any dictionary.

    Would arming Obama supporters (5.00 / 1) (#39)
    by Edger on Wed Mar 30, 2011 at 02:14:52 PM EST
    to fend off republican voters at the polls in 2012 be a humanitarian intervention?

    I think it would (5.00 / 0) (#43)
    by brodie on Wed Mar 30, 2011 at 02:29:35 PM EST
    be more apt to "arm" O supporters to fend off Republican vote-suppressing operatives at the polls.  I'd favor that.  I'll fund that too.

    Plus more "armed" Dems, if possible, inside the tent making sure the GOP isn't fiddling with the vote count numbers ...


    The question (none / 0) (#46)
    by Edger on Wed Mar 30, 2011 at 02:35:09 PM EST
    wasn't "would you favor it".

    The labels are all that important (none / 0) (#61)
    by MKS on Wed Mar 30, 2011 at 03:32:40 PM EST
    That brodie favors it is the real issue--and he does!!

    We should discuss that very interesting idea....The pros and cons.....I will withhold judgment and remain objective pending your view on the merits of this very "Modest Proposal."


    labels are "not" that important (none / 0) (#63)
    by MKS on Wed Mar 30, 2011 at 03:33:20 PM EST
    Well, it wasn't a proposal (none / 0) (#70)
    by Edger on Wed Mar 30, 2011 at 04:22:23 PM EST
    It was a question that no one seems to want to touch, other than poking at it gingerly while circling it from out of range like they're afraid it might bite them.

    You mean whether to arm the rebels? (none / 0) (#83)
    by MKS on Wed Mar 30, 2011 at 06:14:42 PM EST
    As to that question, again labels are not the issue imo....The issue is whether we should do it or not.

    I'd rather the French do it.....


    Did you have trouble reading the question? (none / 0) (#88)
    by Edger on Wed Mar 30, 2011 at 06:25:40 PM EST
    No, I read your question accurately (none / 0) (#93)
    by MKS on Wed Mar 30, 2011 at 06:41:10 PM EST
    You wrote:

    "Would arming Obama supporters to fend off republican voters at the polls in 2012 be a humanitarian intervention?"

    That was your question.  

    brodie answered with a Swiftian response--which I thought clever and deliberately steeped in ambiguity with his quotation marks ....and I responded in kind....

    You then jump back to the question in the diary...fine by be....

    But, yes, I did read your question accurately....


    No (1.00 / 1) (#95)
    by Politalkix on Wed Mar 30, 2011 at 07:14:08 PM EST
    but if the TL community raises money to send you to a logic class, we may call this act "humanitarian intervention" for you as well as all of us.

    Are the republican voters (none / 0) (#141)
    by CST on Thu Mar 31, 2011 at 09:43:00 AM EST
    trying to kill us?

    Imho (5.00 / 2) (#41)
    by lentinel on Wed Mar 30, 2011 at 02:26:58 PM EST
    if Obama arms the "rebels", he will be doing so to save his own countenance. "Humanitarianism?" Please. Don't make me laugh.

    I guess it could be... (none / 0) (#1)
    by kdog on Wed Mar 30, 2011 at 10:36:30 AM EST
    considered humanitarian...giving somebody starving for liberty a gun is comparable to giving somebody starving for food a fishing pole.

    The rub is the guns hang around long after the revolution is over...who wields them then?  The next batch of tyrants?

    Cash assistance is spent and gone, food or medical supplies used and gone...guns stick around.  May be wiser to stick to cash, food, medical assistance.

    Cash More Than Not Equals Guns... (none / 0) (#12)
    by ScottW714 on Wed Mar 30, 2011 at 11:44:51 AM EST
    ... for people who need/want guns.

    True enough... (none / 0) (#18)
    by kdog on Wed Mar 30, 2011 at 12:01:56 PM EST
    but ya get a little conscience buffer by giving cash...self-delusional I guess.

    one of the other countries in the "coalition" so that they would provide arms, not us.

    I'm amazed that it's even being discussed publicly at high levels.


    That's Democrats for you (none / 0) (#29)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Mar 30, 2011 at 12:51:01 PM EST
    As it was said above, we are as organized as the Libyan rebels.

    Exactly (none / 0) (#22)
    by ScottW714 on Wed Mar 30, 2011 at 12:21:14 PM EST
    If there were an easy answer, we wouldn't be having this discussion.

    From one of the "very serious people" (none / 0) (#3)
    by MO Blue on Wed Mar 30, 2011 at 10:49:41 AM EST
    of Iraq fame: { :-( }

    I don't know Libya, but my gut tells me that any kind of decent outcome there will require boots on the ground -- either as military help for the rebels to oust Qaddafi as we want, or as post-Qaddafi peacekeepers and referees between tribes and factions to help with any transition to democracy. Those boots cannot be ours. We absolutely cannot afford it -- whether in terms of money, manpower, energy or attention. But I am deeply dubious that our allies can or will handle it without us, either. And if the fight there turns ugly, or stalemates, people will be calling for our humanitarian help again. You bomb it, you own it. link

    Another advertisement from AEI (none / 0) (#38)
    by Edger on Wed Mar 30, 2011 at 02:10:22 PM EST
    Oh please (none / 0) (#11)
    by jimakaPPJ on Wed Mar 30, 2011 at 11:33:18 AM EST
    There is no such thing as humanitarian aid when you give weapons.

    You give weapons so that "your" side can win. And that means people get killed. Maybe justly so, maybe not.

     And yes, "getting what you want" as opposed to "wanting what you get" applies.

    Maybe maybe not (none / 0) (#13)
    by Saul on Wed Mar 30, 2011 at 11:46:36 AM EST
    Remember Charlie Wilson war.   We gave Afghanistan rebels fighting the Soviet Union  tons of weapons.  Osama Bin Laden who was receiving these weapons while fighting the Russian  thanked Charlie and the U.S for these weapons.

    Then they used these weapons against us.

    Not saying that Libya is the same situation but giving them arms without knowing exactly who they are is not a good idea.

    I propose sending in secrete operatives (CIA etc) to commingle with the rebels  who know how to call in fire power on tanks and military personnel hiding in the main cities next to public buildings and homes.  Give the rebels weapons would require training and that takes too much time and right now time is of the essence.   The need to keep the air strikes going full blast and take out as  many tanks and equipment.  

    Maybe maybe not (none / 0) (#14)
    by Saul on Wed Mar 30, 2011 at 11:48:57 AM EST
    Remember Charlie Wilson war.   We gave Afghanistan rebels fighting the Soviet Union  tons of weapons.  Osama Bin Laden who was receiving these weapons while fighting the Russian  thanked Charlie and the U.S for these weapons.

    Then they used these weapons against us.

    Not saying that Libya is the same situation but giving them arms without knowing exactly who they are is not a good idea.

    I propose sending in secrete operatives (CIA etc) to commingle with the rebels  who know how to call in fire power on tanks and military personnel hiding in the main cities next to public buildings and homes.  Give the rebels weapons would require training and that takes too much time and right now time is of the essence.   The need to keep the air strikes going full blast and take out as  many tanks and equipment.  

    I Made the Arguement Yesterday... (none / 0) (#15)
    by ScottW714 on Wed Mar 30, 2011 at 11:49:30 AM EST
    ... that weapons can in no way, shape, or form be considered humanitarian aid.

    Killing people, even the bad guys, is not humanitarian.  If they want to give them weapons, fine, but don't call it humanitarian, call it what it is, weapons of defense.

    But that don't play so hot on the political meters, so they will wrap it up as puppy breath and of baby giggles.

    In no way, (none / 0) (#96)
    by Matt v on Wed Mar 30, 2011 at 07:39:15 PM EST
     shape or form?  I think Eman al-Obeidy would disagree with you.

    And the Obvious (none / 0) (#19)
    by ScottW714 on Wed Mar 30, 2011 at 12:02:00 PM EST
    In all of the history of this country, when has it ever been beneficial to arm our enemy's, enemy.

    Backfires every single time and I remember a time when this President bragged about reading this or that(usually Lincoln) to embellish to his ability to learn from the past.

    I will promise you this, if we arm them, this will be the point in time we are arguing in 20 years when that region becomes another problem child, wild beast, or flat out enemy of the United States.

    Lastly, I though they has secured jets, tanks, entire bases, which I can only assume have multitudes of munitions, why do they need more ?

    Are there any lessons from Serbia in (none / 0) (#40)
    by hairspray on Wed Mar 30, 2011 at 02:20:24 PM EST

    Sadly the rebels are already armed (none / 0) (#21)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Mar 30, 2011 at 12:16:30 PM EST
    My husband said that the jet that was shot down and the footage shown over and over again is now believed to have been scouting for the rebels too and was not being flown by Gaddafi forces.  The rebels seized several military bases too and have those arms.  I think what is happening spells something larger than lack of arms and is more like a lack of military organization, knowledge, and will.

    But (none / 0) (#23)
    by ScottW714 on Wed Mar 30, 2011 at 12:30:11 PM EST
    There were plenty of military 'defectors', including pilots, so it seems like they have to have some people in play that understand military strategy.  Training is time consuming, but if you have generals that understand  their hodge-podged forces, that should over come the lack of training, rather easily.

    It's so hard to believe/understand the reports coming out.  At one point it seemed like the rebels had control of half the county, then were pushed back, then regained, and on and on.

    If they control a good deal of the country, they are either armed to the teeth, or the unrest is so prevalent, pro Qaddafi people just ran.  I tend to think they were well armed.


    So, have they revised upwards from (5.00 / 1) (#34)
    by Anne on Wed Mar 30, 2011 at 01:34:07 PM EST
    the numbers I heard last week, that the rebels only numbered about 1,000?

    Something's not right here.  Big surprise.

    And this is troubling, too:

    First, The Washington Post yesterday reported that "the U.S. military dramatically stepped up its assault on Libyan government ground forces over the weekend, launching its first missions with AC-130 flying gunships and A-10 attack aircraft designed to strike enemy ground troops and supply convoys." The Post article aptly explained the significance of this development:

    The use of the aircraft, during days of heavy fighting in which the momentum seemed to swing in favor of the rebels, demonstrated how allied military forces have been drawn deeper into the chaotic fight in Libya. A mission that initially seemed to revolve around establishing a no-fly zone has become focused on halting advances by government ground forces in and around key coastal cities. . . . AC-130s were used to great effect during the two U.S. offensives in Fallujah, a stronghold of the insurgent group al-Qaeda in Iraq in the early days of the Iraq war.


    That the war expanded that quickly and that substantially is an obviously significant fact to know. But, as FAIR's Peter Hart notes, the Post knew about this development for at least a week but concealed it from their readers at the Government's request; The article included this sentence: "The Washington Post learned of their deployment last week but withheld reporting the information until their first missions at the request of U.S. military officials."

    The classic case for when newspapers justifiably withhold war information is "troop movements" -- learning but not reporting in advance where the U.S. intends to deploy troops or mount an attack. But this was not that case. The fact that the U.S. intended to deploy AC-130s was obviously known to the Libyan forces targeted by them; the true significance of reporting this would have been to reveal that the U.S. was involved in a more extensive war effort than was being suggested, and that it extended beyond merely creating a no-fly zone to protect Benghazi. To me, this concealment is more justifiable than, say, the NYT's concealment of Raymond Davis' CIA employment or its year-long non-disclosure of the Bush illegal NSA program -- at least there's an argument to make that disclosing this in advance could help the Enemy by revealing war plans in advance -- but it still seems to be a clear case where an American newspaper is acting "patriotically" by withholding newsworthy information to help the U.S. Government propagandize its citizens.

    Huh.  Not only did the Post know about it, but obviously, the president knew, too, when he stepped out to that podium and delivered that speech about our "limited" mission...

    Having more than a little deja vu, myself...


    Sigh....please go away and leave me alone (3.50 / 2) (#24)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Mar 30, 2011 at 12:31:36 PM EST
    Grow Up Already (2.67 / 3) (#56)
    by ScottW714 on Wed Mar 30, 2011 at 02:55:53 PM EST
    I am so sorry you don't like what I have to write, but I have never been disrespectful to you, even after you accused me of lying about my military service.

    I will continue to post to whomever I want, whenever I want, because as an actual Veteran, I think I've earned the right to speak my mind about my opinions/experiences in the military.  But more importantly, this is a place where ideas are freely exchanged and any hindrance is something that I believe would be contrary to the intent of this website.

    If you don't like it, you are free to state that, not post, or a multitude of other options, but you don't have the right to dictate to whom I post to, that is something I leave to the curators of the site.

    So save your little digs and innuendos that I am personally attacking you, it's not true, I am posting to topics I feel like posting to and will continue to do so.


    LEAVE ME ALONE...NOW! (2.80 / 5) (#57)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Mar 30, 2011 at 02:57:35 PM EST
    And another thing (none / 0) (#30)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Mar 30, 2011 at 01:00:14 PM EST
    If France wants them armed why doesn't France arm them?  How can a new U.N. resolution make it okay for us to arm them but not France?

    Well, France certainly (5.00 / 1) (#31)
    by Zorba on Wed Mar 30, 2011 at 01:10:16 PM EST
    seems to make plenty of military hardware- they didn't have any trouble selling a bunch to Qaddafi.  It would only seem reasonable for them to be the ones arming the rebels.  French weapons vs. French weapons.  There's a certain symmetry to that.  (Italy can cough up some arms for the rebels, too.)

    I agree (none / 0) (#32)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Mar 30, 2011 at 01:24:01 PM EST
    The French (5.00 / 1) (#36)
    by Zorba on Wed Mar 30, 2011 at 01:54:43 PM EST
    seem to be very determined about arming the rebels.  From the article:
    A European diplomat said France was adamant that the rebels be more heavily armed and was in discussions with the Obama administration about how France would bring this about. "We strongly believe that it should happen," said the diplomat, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss internal deliberations.
     Sounds like France is talking about how they would accomplish this.  I hope that's what the diplomat meant, and not that France's plan to "bring this about" is to let us do it.

    Good news, if it (5.00 / 2) (#45)
    by brodie on Wed Mar 30, 2011 at 02:32:55 PM EST
    pans out and is more than just empty bluster.  Apparently the French have been arming Gaddafi for years, so it would be fitting if they could compensate for previous missteps with a similar gesture to the anti-Gaddafi freedom fighters.

    Plus the incentives for the French:  immigration problems with fleeing Libyan civilians leeking into France (via Italy), and it might help with Sarko's popularity in France, which has been not very high lately.


    The Italians (5.00 / 1) (#53)
    by Zorba on Wed Mar 30, 2011 at 02:50:30 PM EST
    have also been arming Qaddafi for years.  They should pony up, too.  I doubt that they will, though.

    France (none / 0) (#58)
    by star on Wed Mar 30, 2011 at 02:59:01 PM EST
    did not arm Gadaffi for charity. they made billions out of arms trade. When it comes to dishing em out for free...well not interested.. it is going to be our burden and our war unfortunately.

    Somebody needs to read the text of his (none / 0) (#37)
    by observed on Wed Mar 30, 2011 at 01:54:53 PM EST
    2003 speech on which wars the US should fight.

    You must mean the later written text (5.00 / 1) (#50)
    by oculus on Wed Mar 30, 2011 at 02:43:07 PM EST
    of the speech Obama purportedly delivered in 2003.  

    You know me well enough to know that (none / 0) (#149)
    by observed on Thu Mar 31, 2011 at 11:13:21 AM EST
    was exactly what I meant. The text of which, by the way, was removed from his web-page around 2004, when the Iraq war was clearly a "success".

    Sorry. Think "broken record." (none / 0) (#153)
    by oculus on Thu Mar 31, 2011 at 12:41:43 PM EST
    Is that even a phrase anymore?  Probably not.

    Comments to this post at TL differ (none / 0) (#51)
    by oculus on Wed Mar 30, 2011 at 02:45:19 PM EST
    significantly from comments to the identical post at DK.  Query:  what motivates the commenters at DK who strongly support U.S. intervention in Libya?  Surprising to me.

    IMO (5.00 / 0) (#59)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Mar 30, 2011 at 03:08:37 PM EST
    The doctrine of thoughtless Obama support vs. thoughtful Obama support :)

    They're more inclined (none / 0) (#54)
    by Zorba on Wed Mar 30, 2011 at 02:53:35 PM EST
    to be strong Obama supporters, so if it's something, anything, that Obama is doing, they favor it.  We have a few like that here, but we also have many more who are willing to criticize the Obama administration.

    Zorba, your analysis is wrong (none / 0) (#67)
    by Politalkix on Wed Mar 30, 2011 at 03:49:03 PM EST
    For eg: If you go back and read my posts, you will see that I was blasting the Obama administration about not helping more in Egypt. The same thought process that guided my posts regarding Egypt is guiding my posts regarding Lybia. I am sure that is happening with a lot of other posters in DKos and with the more idealist posters here. Many of us are ahead of the President on these issues, so it is wrong to say that we are being influenced by BHO.
    I have noticed that idealism plays lesser role among the majority of posters in Talk Left. They are more influenced by what is there for them on all policy issues. The only thing that excites them are free and cheaper healthcare, more assistance with home loans, unemployment benefits, medicare and social security benefits, etc.  

    One may be idealist and also support (none / 0) (#68)
    by oculus on Wed Mar 30, 2011 at 03:51:28 PM EST
    availability of health care, etc.  

    Correct (none / 0) (#69)
    by Politalkix on Wed Mar 30, 2011 at 04:06:54 PM EST
    That I do as an idealist. If you go back, you will also see my criticisms of the Obama administration on its tax policies (even though I would personally have to pay more in taxes if he discontinued the tax cuts of the previous administration)because I want our country to invest more in health care, infrastructure and education for its citizens.

    Actually, Politalkix, (none / 0) (#73)
    by Zorba on Wed Mar 30, 2011 at 04:44:34 PM EST
    You are not the one of whom I was speaking.  I am aware that you have criticized certain actions of Obama.  There is, however, at least one commenter on this blog (and he has a little support) who accepts that every single thing that Obama does can be justified.  You are not that person, and I am sorry if I left you with the impression that you were.

    No Problem, Zorba (none / 0) (#81)
    by Politalkix on Wed Mar 30, 2011 at 06:07:52 PM EST
    I will however say that IMO, a very significant portion of DKos posters are also doing their own thinking and not blindly following the President. In TL, there is hardly any blind support for Obama, except for the 1 (or 2)commenter(s)that you mentioned. Those 1-2 people have also been very open about their motivations for supporting the President.

    There are (none / 0) (#92)
    by Zorba on Wed Mar 30, 2011 at 06:39:04 PM EST
    more than a few DKosers who are not, as you said, "blindly following the President," but I find a significant proportion who basically are "for" anything Democrats and Obama do.  This is not necessarily surprising- Markos himself made it clear from the start that he was working to get Democrats elected, period.  Many of his followers feel the same, naturally- this is to be expected.  I used to visit and post fairly regularly on DailyKos in the earlier days, but I found myself turned off by much of the blind Obama allegiance over there in the past two years.      

    I've seen more signs (none / 0) (#60)
    by brodie on Wed Mar 30, 2011 at 03:12:27 PM EST
    at DK of the split on Libya that exists in the public at large, compared to here where it's 95-5 against intervention.

    Big city there gives you greater chance at diversity of views, ideally, when freedom of expression isn't stomped out by overly aggressive moderators.  Small towns by their nature tend to produce likeness of thought.


    My survey, informal: 95% of comments (none / 0) (#62)
    by oculus on Wed Mar 30, 2011 at 03:33:08 PM EST
    re this post at DK are pro-do-whatever-it-takes in Libya.  

    Actually when I was over there (none / 0) (#87)
    by brodie on Wed Mar 30, 2011 at 06:24:25 PM EST
    earlier, I didn't find many FP or recc'd diaries about Libya.  Lots of domestic issues and Japan.  Libya not so much.  I had to look hard to find something.

    Badabing tends to be a little over the top (none / 0) (#104)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Mar 30, 2011 at 08:31:41 PM EST
    but she had a very critical diary up that stayed up for quite awhile.  Another diary I saw on the recc list was being critical of those being critical and I saw many comments in that one critical of Obama and those who say that being critical of Obama is a sin.  Who am I missing reading?  Have I missed some frontpage writings?  I'm not there very often.

    BREAKING NEWS! (none / 0) (#64)
    by Saul on Wed Mar 30, 2011 at 03:39:25 PM EST
    Barack Obama has signed a secret order authorizing covert U.S. government support for rebel forces seeking to oust Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, government officials told Reuters on Wednesday.

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

    Check Huffing Ton Post

    This is exactly what I previously posted (none / 0) (#65)
    by Saul on Wed Mar 30, 2011 at 03:41:10 PM EST
    that would happen or had happen in the secret war rooms before the attack on Libya

    If we can off the U.S. citizen (none / 0) (#66)
    by oculus on Wed Mar 30, 2011 at 03:44:42 PM EST
    imman I guess we can off Gaddafi.  But I do object strenously.

    If the rebellion in Libya (none / 0) (#71)
    by Edger on Wed Mar 30, 2011 at 04:31:09 PM EST
    is a CIA manufactured or usurped one along the lines of 1953 Iran as many have suggested, then would it be a "humanitarian" intervention?

    There also appears to be an unspoken inference from Obama and from "humanitarian intervention" supporters that Ghadafi supporters are somehow not as much "Libyan people" as are the "Libyan people" Ghadafi and his supporters are attacking.

    Like Ghadafi and his supporters the rebels want power in Libya.

    The main difference is the only Libyan people the rebels seem to want to kill are Ghadafi supporters.

    If they take power in Libya with US/NATO  and French support I don't imagine they'll face any shortage of "rebels" wanting to bring them down.

    How are the rebels different from Ghadafi and his supporters?

    Why is the US there? Self interest, obviously. Obama spoke of US "interests" six times in his speech. The rest of Obama's speech was blowing smoke, imo.

    If it is a CIA manufactured rebellion (none / 0) (#103)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Mar 30, 2011 at 08:26:24 PM EST
    They are doing a super crappy job right now Edger :)

    They do do that often, don't they? :-) (none / 0) (#106)
    by Edger on Wed Mar 30, 2011 at 09:03:47 PM EST
    But they are (5.00 / 1) (#107)
    by Edger on Wed Mar 30, 2011 at 09:06:00 PM EST
    part of the US government, after all, so expecting a good job from them would be a little extreme.

    CIA in Libya - it's official (none / 0) (#79)
    by Edger on Wed Mar 30, 2011 at 05:55:51 PM EST
    NYT today:
    C.I.A. in Libya Aiding Rebels, U.S. Officials Say
    WASHINGTON -- The Central Intelligence Agency has inserted clandestine operatives into Libya to gather intelligence for military airstrikes and make contacts with rebels battling Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi's forces, according to American officials.

    While President Obama has insisted that no American ground troops join in the Libyan campaign, small groups of C.I.A. operatives have been working in Libya for several weeks and are part of a shadow force of Westerners that the Obama administration hopes can help set back Colonel Qaddafi's military, the officials said.

    The C.I.A. presence comprises an unknown number of American officers who had worked at the spy agency's station in Tripoli and those who arrived more recently. In addition, current and former British officials said, dozens of British special forces and MI6 intelligence officers are working inside Libya. The British operatives have been directing airstrikes from British Tornado jets and gathering intelligence about the whereabouts of Libyan government tank columns, artillery pieces, and missile installations, the officials said.


    Doesn't surprise me (none / 0) (#80)
    by brodie on Wed Mar 30, 2011 at 06:05:32 PM EST
    nor upset me.  Probably is necessary to effectively carry out more precise attacks, and so could lead to fewer civilian deaths if done right.

    Dangerous work, intel abroad, but that's what they signed up for knowing the risks.  And it looks like they have good company with the Brits.

    My concern is about not ever crossing that no US ground troops line ...


    UN Resolution 1973 (5.00 / 0) (#82)
    by Edger on Wed Mar 30, 2011 at 06:13:04 PM EST
    was passed on 17 March - 13 days ago.

    The NYT piece states C.I.A. operatives have been working in Libya for several weeks.

    Infer from that what you will.


    Of course they've been (none / 0) (#84)
    by brodie on Wed Mar 30, 2011 at 06:21:57 PM EST
    working for several weeks.  Wherever we have or had an official presence, they are there, and when the uprising began, almost certainly they would have increased their efforts to gather intel and suss out the situation re the stability of the Gaddafi regime.  The spooks aren't going to be concerned about conforming their behavior to the niceties of some UN resolution.

    the "spooks" also have a long history... (5.00 / 1) (#89)
    by Dadler on Wed Mar 30, 2011 at 06:27:36 PM EST
    ...of phucking things up beyond all imagination.  We're not talking about an organization with a track record that verges on incompetence.  Remember during Clinton's term, when we tried to land a naval ship in Haiti, but a group of thugs with sticks and pipes rioted at the dock and "prevented" the ship never landed?  Guess who funded the thugs?  The C.I.A.

    We ARE talking about an organizaton... (none / 0) (#90)
    by Dadler on Wed Mar 30, 2011 at 06:28:29 PM EST
    ..with a track record that verges on incompetence.

    Proofreading is good.


    Hey, no fan of the Company (none / 0) (#91)
    by brodie on Wed Mar 30, 2011 at 06:36:12 PM EST
    here -- not this particullar poster.  Just saying they would have been going about gathering intel with a little more urgency as the uprising there began, etc, not that they would actually gather it well necessarily, just that their efforts would be increased.

    But I did like Valerie Plame, in her day, before the Bush admin betrayed her.  Probably my favorite spy.

    James Bond for the Brits, of course ...


    NYT is too modest (none / 0) (#98)
    by Edger on Wed Mar 30, 2011 at 07:48:56 PM EST
    Several years is more like it...

    Ibrahim Abdulaziz Sahad, the Secretary General of the National Front for the Salvation of Libya (NFSL):

    NFSL was based in Sudan until 1985 when the regime of Colonel Nimeiry fell. It opposed military and dictatorial rule in Libya, and called for a democratic government with constitutional guarantees, free elections, a free press, and separation of powers among the executive, legislative, and judicial branches. NFSL launched a wide campaign to topple Gaddafi in Libya, establishing a short-wave radio station, a commando military training camp and also published a bi-monthly newsletter, Al Inqadh (Salvation). According to various sources, Saudi Arabia and the United States Central Intelligence Agency had supported the NFSL.[3][4][5][6]
    on 8 May 1984, NFSL's commandos took part in a daring attack on Gaddafi's headquarters at Bab al-Aziziyah barracks near Tripoli in an attempt to assassinate the Libyan leader. The attack was thwarted when the group's leader, Ahmed Ibrahim Ihwas, was captured when trying to enter Libya at the Tunisian border. Although the coup attempt failed and Gaddafi escaped unscathed, dissident groups claimed that some eighty Libyans, Cubans, and East Germans had been killed in the operation. However, some 2,000 people were arrested in Libya following the attack, and eight were hanged publicly.
    NFSL continued its efforts to topple Gaddafi and formed the Libyan National Army (LNA), after a group of soldiers, taken prisoner by Chad during the Chadian-Libyan conflict, defected from the Libyan Army and joined the NFSL in 1987. The LNA was later evacuated from Chad after the President Hissène Habré was overthrown by one of his former officers, Idriss Déby, who was backed by Gaddafi.

    3  Keeble, Richard. "The Secret War Against Libya" (in English). www.medialens.org . Retrieved 20 March 2011.

    4 Vandewalle, Dirk (2006) (in English). Α History of Modern Libya. Cambridge University Press.

    5 Woodward, Bob (2005) (in English). Veil: The secret wars of the CIA, 1981-1987. Simon and Schuster.

    6 Nutter, John Jacob (1999) (in English). The CIA's black opts. Prometheus Books.


    Yep--that type of "secret" operation (5.00 / 1) (#99)
    by christinep on Wed Mar 30, 2011 at 07:53:17 PM EST
    is nothing new in serious times nor is it surprising. In real ways, it makes sense. While I understand the legal implications of certain covert operations...well, the reason we are there (at least in large part) is humanitarian. A side-bar intelligence operation makes sense in that regard.

    Because of an Al Qaeda possible (none / 0) (#102)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Mar 30, 2011 at 08:25:02 PM EST
    element among the rebels, I'm not surprised that the CIA is checking it out and attempting to figure out who the leaders are and what their allegiances are.

    It's a little more than that, I think (none / 0) (#105)
    by Edger on Wed Mar 30, 2011 at 09:02:37 PM EST
    Have a look at Richard Keeble's short article: The Secret War Against Libya

    Dr Richard Keeble is director of undergraduate studies at City University's department of journalism and the author of Secret State, Silent Press (John Libbey) and Ethics for Journalists (Routledge)


    20 years ago though :) (none / 0) (#110)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Mar 30, 2011 at 09:18:03 PM EST
    I can't get that to add up to today.

    Ed is sure giving Obama hell though about no boots on the ground.  Apparently there is writing about how "that boots on the ground" includes a foreign occupying force of any form.  Seems that it is in writing where nobody on the ground was expanded beyond the deploying of a conventional force.  This President has some problems now, he has some big big problems with the citizens of the United States I think, and his Congress, and his base.  What the phuck is he thinking?  This is like watching a trainwreck.  Does he even get it that he's cracking up?  Does he not know he has destroyed his credibility on this now, and he has two other ongoing wars, and the economy of his nation is imploding?  I seriously don't know what the hell to think now about Obama.  I think he's lost his mind.


    add up to today? (none / 0) (#113)
    by Edger on Wed Mar 30, 2011 at 09:20:22 PM EST
    The CIA has been bumbling around in Libya for decades, much longer than the few weeks admitted to in the NYT article. Not hard to add up to today.

    The CIA is bumbling around all over :) (none / 0) (#114)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Mar 30, 2011 at 09:22:23 PM EST
    Sometimes more than others :)  I just can't embrace that anything remotely organized has survived the past 20 years out of the CIA.  The CIA morphs with each President.  And it is really morphing now :)

    Oh well... (none / 0) (#116)
    by Edger on Wed Mar 30, 2011 at 09:30:39 PM EST
    The thing that gets to me the most (5.00 / 1) (#117)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Mar 30, 2011 at 09:35:55 PM EST
    is that when we put our fingerprints all over things in Libya, anything that is created will be easy to delegitimize.  THAT could easily end up getting more Libyans killed.  Why are we doing this?

    Why? (none / 0) (#118)
    by Edger on Wed Mar 30, 2011 at 09:43:20 PM EST
    Obama told you in his speech 6 times. "US interests". You don't think the Libyan people are Obama's "interests" any more than the American people are, do you?

    Who are the Libyan 'Freedom Fighters' and their Patrons?, by Peter Dale Scott, March 27, 2011


    It still isn't clear to me (none / 0) (#119)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Mar 30, 2011 at 09:53:46 PM EST
    what U.S. interests that Obama is speaking of, and what interests are worth where he is going?  There is a reason why Ed Schultz is the new Ollie North tonight on the tube, can it be anything less than this White House wants those rebels armed tomorrow?  Why?  It is not clear to me at all.

    Who has Obama (none / 0) (#120)
    by Edger on Wed Mar 30, 2011 at 09:57:56 PM EST
    been deferring to and enriching for the past 2 1/2 years?



    If it's oil (none / 0) (#121)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Mar 30, 2011 at 10:09:44 PM EST
    Libya only has what...6% of what is produced?  Is that worth ANOTHER war?  And if a country is in leadership chaos, who gets the oil out and how?  Taking a look at Iraq and what happened there and is still happening would be a roadmap of concern for me.  My husband said that one day they (whoever is pissed that day) blows the oil pipelines and then when everyone is fixing that they blow the powerlines the next day.  Nothing flows freely around or out of Iraq, and it has taken years to get to where anything flows at all.

    Not just oil. Much more than that (none / 0) (#122)
    by Edger on Wed Mar 30, 2011 at 10:23:08 PM EST
    Did you read Peter Dale Scott's article?

    I gone for the night - moving to a new apartment in the morning...


    It confirms my feeling (none / 0) (#143)
    by ruffian on Thu Mar 31, 2011 at 10:10:31 AM EST
    that the average Joe can not really understand what is going on by listening solely to official statements, no matter how much he may admire the speaker. Of course they use the best language - freedom, humanitarianism, etc - to justify other goals that they think we cannot understand. I personally believe the actions now are driven by a our interest in being a player in the evolving middle east, or at least as being seen as one.  There are also issues related to being a 'team player' with our allies who have their own reasons for wanting to be involved.

    Those may be worthy goals - why not explain it to us, instead of dressing it up as something else? Really, most of us can understand it.


    MT (none / 0) (#123)
    by Politalkix on Wed Mar 30, 2011 at 11:08:03 PM EST
    Please tell me that if it is about oil, why is the Prez asking for policy to reduce foreign oil imports by one-third in the next 10 years. The conspiracy theorists that you are engaging with have become such one-trick rhetorical ponies that they cannot even imagine new conspiracies any more!

    I'm good friends with Edger (5.00 / 1) (#124)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Mar 30, 2011 at 11:17:56 PM EST
    And Edger comes with good information that is needed to fully understand issues frequently.  We don't always agree on everything, so saying that I'm engaging with one-trick rhetorical ponies just doesn't fit the long haul I've had with Edger.

    As far as what our President says being anything that I can trust where Libya is concerned...gee....I'm sort of at the point that I can't take nothing he says about Libya and almost everything else he might say about anything else now at face value.  I can usually eventually find the golden needle in the haystack though that our leaders are angling for if I dig long enough.  I can't tell what is going with Libya now or why.


    Sorry for typos (none / 0) (#125)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Mar 30, 2011 at 11:19:33 PM EST
    My eyes are tired from reading all day and so am I guess.

    Well, I recently read one of the (none / 0) (#126)
    by oculus on Wed Mar 30, 2011 at 11:49:35 PM EST
    rebel leaders is signing a contract to ship the Libyan oil to Quatar.  Not sure how this fellow has any authority to sign, but, naturally, that was not discussed in the article I read.  

    Qatar (none / 0) (#128)
    by Politalkix on Thu Mar 31, 2011 at 12:23:49 AM EST
    Qatar has the world's largest per capita production and proven reserves of both oil and natural gas. What do they need the additional oil from Libya for? To transport Al Jazeera publications from the Al Jazeera headquarters in Doha by Qatar Airlines to every home in America? Maybe that is the secret Obama and Hillary plan that no one has fathomed yet!

    I doubt the rebels have the (none / 0) (#132)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Mar 31, 2011 at 08:36:54 AM EST
    infrastructure to move that oil quickly and easily, Qatar does and they can easily work out getting a nice slice of whatever pie is available moving the Libyan rebel's oil.  Qatar wants to help the rebels fight too and would probably funnel arms to them, so I'm certain that both sides of that deal see creating a closer kinship as a win in several ways.

    I caught David Sirota last night (none / 0) (#131)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Mar 31, 2011 at 08:32:12 AM EST
    Was very very tired though so not sure where, I think he was on MSNBC.  He said that we are headed back into an 80's type D.C. political culture and proxy wars via President Obama, something very similar to what we had under Reagan.  If this is going to be the outcome of having an authentically emotionless Obama, count me as NOT interested and NOT supportive.  If I wanted someone to give me an emotionless NeoCon political culture I'd work to get Romney elected.  I hope David Sirota is wrong, but I can't get what Obama is doing to make sense any other way.  Sirota's explanation seems the most feasible to me right now, that when Obama said he admired Reagan he really really meant it.

    When Obama (none / 0) (#133)
    by Zorba on Thu Mar 31, 2011 at 08:44:34 AM EST
    said that about Reagan, I absolutely took him at his word.  

    Me too (none / 0) (#134)
    by MO Blue on Thu Mar 31, 2011 at 08:52:15 AM EST
    IMO the people who played WORM with Obama's comments did everyone a disservice.  

    Do you think that all the Reagan (none / 0) (#135)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Mar 31, 2011 at 08:52:31 AM EST
    worship is actually a factor when Obama decided to do what he is doing?  If so, I don't see how he could hear any of us who are alive, he lives in a fantasy because all the Reagan worship is fantasy based and that fantasy would have never been able to be created had there been an internet during the Reagan Presidency.

    I think that (none / 0) (#146)
    by Zorba on Thu Mar 31, 2011 at 10:51:24 AM EST
    Obama does what he does not because of Reagan worship.  I think that Obama admires Reagan because Obama favors the supply-side economics and "trickle down" theories that were the operating assumptions of the Reagan Administration.  In other words, this is what Obama believes is best for the country, and that's why he does what he does.  It's who he is.  (I don't happen to believe in those economic theories.  They're good for big business and the wealthy, sure.  For the rest of us......not so much.)

    I just bought his new book (none / 0) (#138)
    by ruffian on Thu Mar 31, 2011 at 09:08:38 AM EST
    'Back to Our Future' and have started reading it. He posits that most of our current discourse and worldview was shaped in the 80's. I have not gotten far enough to see if he backs up his arguments beyond the superficial stuff he sees because he grew up in the 80's. I think all of our perceptions are shaped to some extent by the era of our childhood.

    That said, this example sure seems to apply.


    I'm going to have to get his book (none / 0) (#139)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Mar 31, 2011 at 09:28:58 AM EST
    since "O" is not readable, not even worthy :)  I always like checking out his take on things.  He certainly seemed to fully grasp the culture of the West when he lived in Montana, I easily related to much of what he wrote when he lived there.

    Never play cards with (5.00 / 1) (#147)
    by brodie on Thu Mar 31, 2011 at 11:08:22 AM EST
    a guy named "Doc", never eat at a place called "Mom's", and never buy a book written by someone named "Anonymous."

    Words to live by (none / 0) (#150)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Mar 31, 2011 at 11:19:15 AM EST
    I like his take on things too (none / 0) (#144)
    by ruffian on Thu Mar 31, 2011 at 10:13:35 AM EST
    and he is a good writer, which is rarer than it should be among people who write political books.

    what is 'O' about? Obama? Oprah?


    That was what Josh asked too at first (none / 0) (#145)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Mar 31, 2011 at 10:30:05 AM EST
    He asked if it was about Oprah and I asked him, "With these ears?"

    It is this book, and it is a terrible read.  I did only pay $9.95 for it and free shipping :)


    Sirota: My take (none / 0) (#152)
    by christinep on Thu Mar 31, 2011 at 12:28:14 PM EST
    Unfortunately, I believe that Sirota is in his own straightjacket. Whether it is the war or almost anything involving Obama, his whine (which, sometimes, I unwisely listen to at the 7:00am hour before walking with my dog)is persistent, unchanging, & entirely predictable. And, as some have suggested--including the Denver Post TV/book reviewer--the 80s study is too limited and too narrow.

    My lament, which happens everytime I speak about Sirota, is that he originally seemed to have so much analytical, expansive potential.  Instead...same whine every time he talks about a number of issues or any day (but Thursday.) He has positioned himself, in a somewhat self-promotional way, as the all-or-nothing epitome of truth. It is both boring...and strangely addictive. The contradiction is that some of us are still waiting for him to let loose of the past that so binds him.


    MT: Your initial reactions (none / 0) (#154)
    by christinep on Thu Mar 31, 2011 at 12:43:42 PM EST
    ...before becoming tired by being immersed in reading, other data-gathering, etc....were right on.  My little intrusive comment here: Listen to your own initial reaction that understood the UN resolution, the coordinated action, and the no-fly/no-drive implementation. The quick pace of things and of rumors/gossip/tales from all areas undermine your own experiential background.

    As for Sirota: I liked him too when he was writing from Montana. See my more negative comments about the negativist that he has become in recent times. Sirota is a self-promoter & world-class whiner. (Some of my friends think that I am a bit daft to continue sampling his morning show in Denver a few days week before dog walkies as @7:30am. He is becoming somewhat discounted, in my opinion, because his style on the talk show is my-way-or-the-highway rigidity with a snip of talk-bully. One of the side-bets we have is to predict when Sirota might have a positive comment to say about the day itself....) Clearly, he drives me up a wall...probably because I was earlier such a fan of his way with a pen, his concern for the environment, and his words about western progressivism...since then, he spews a stream of negativism and doom & gloom. Maybe that pays well.

    BTW This one is a big vent for me.


    I see and hear very little of him these days (none / 0) (#155)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Mar 31, 2011 at 12:54:01 PM EST
    He gets no radio time down here :)  I noticed though this morning that things oddly matched up as far as his new book, and then his television comments last night.  He does seem to have possibly very narrow vision of what is going on right now, now that I know what his latest book is about.  I still can't understand why our President is looking for a new war when he can't even handle the ones he has and none of us in the U.S. can really afford to stay this course either.

    I hope today that all the posturing about arming the rebels and appearing as committed as it looks like we are are only attempts to get the Gaddafi circle to crack and breakdown.


    Thanks for your comment MT (5.00 / 1) (#156)
    by christinep on Thu Mar 31, 2011 at 01:23:49 PM EST
    I, too, feel cautious & emotionally edgy about how the US could get drawn further in. For now, it is ok...and I have the same hope you expressed.  One thing that may be the big strategic draw here--in addition to the opening humanitarian reality--is this once-in-an-international-relations-lifetime opportunity to be seen as something other than the Great Satan in the MidEast. How we handle ourselves, whether we aid humanely or give short shrift...it is a perception tightrope with a large risk that can yield big diplomatic results that translate easily into concrete positives ($$ and otherwise) for years to come. IMO, that is the pursuit/strategy involved here.

    It is as surprising (none / 0) (#101)
    by Politalkix on Wed Mar 30, 2011 at 08:24:59 PM EST
    as finding surgeons and nurses in the ER of a hospital or cops and firetrucks at the scene of an accident. I am glad that they are providing information from the field and not some five star hotels in London and Paris.

    if Obama hadn't waited... (none / 0) (#108)
    by diogenes on Wed Mar 30, 2011 at 09:09:41 PM EST
    If he started the no fly zone EARLY in the rebellion, we wouldn't be worrying about this.

    Now you sound like Newt (none / 0) (#111)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Mar 30, 2011 at 09:18:44 PM EST
    The one week older Newt

    The Ed Show (none / 0) (#109)
    by PatHat on Wed Mar 30, 2011 at 09:10:29 PM EST
    Ed has drunk the Obama-aid. The hypocrisy of certain people on the left supporting this intervention is amazing to me. Ed even tries to suggest this isn't anything like Iraq.  Hmmm.

    Whether you agree with it or not (5.00 / 1) (#140)
    by CST on Thu Mar 31, 2011 at 09:42:19 AM EST
    This isn't anything like iraq.

    The UN, the Arab league, some of the actual people living in Libya - all asked us to intervene.  The leader of Libya was actively bombing his people.  So far, we have not actually invaded with our army.

    I think criticism from the left is key, but it has to be coherent and reasonable.  This is not it.  I think one of our problems is that every war is the last bad war.  Iraq/Afghanistan is just like Vietnam.  Afghanistan is just like Iraq.  Libya is just like Iraq.  None of those statements is true, and it's not useful or helpful to think of them that way.  Oppose the Libyan "intervention" by all means, just do it on it's own merits.


    Excellent comment (none / 0) (#142)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Mar 31, 2011 at 09:45:28 AM EST
    How about this? (none / 0) (#158)
    by PatHat on Fri Apr 01, 2011 at 12:18:05 PM EST
    Let's try to finish up Iraq and Afghanistan before getting involved in other areas which are not clearly in our national interest. Let the rest of the world deal with Libya, if it's just a humanitarian mission.

    Yeah, I'm watching that too (none / 0) (#112)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Mar 30, 2011 at 09:19:58 PM EST
    I'm shocked, first he seemed to be going after Obama but not now.

    Jeremy Scahill is chewing him up though (none / 0) (#115)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Mar 30, 2011 at 09:23:54 PM EST
    He called Ed Ollie North :)

    Don't worry -- (none / 0) (#148)
    by brodie on Thu Mar 31, 2011 at 11:13:02 AM EST
    Jeremy Scahill would have been grilling Obama if he'd done nothing and the slaughter promised by Gaddafi of Benghazi had occurred.

    Scahill can do some good reporting for sure, but usually he strikes an impossible-to-please morally righteous tone that's reflexively and relentlessly negative.


    That disappoints me too (none / 0) (#151)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Mar 31, 2011 at 11:34:37 AM EST
    He broke a lot of ground in exposing Blackwater, so I always have a hopeful feeling whenever it is announced that he is going to be on the air addressing certain issues.  And then I'm usually disappointed by his lack of making a compelling argument that large numbers of people can credibly get behind.  I thought he was perfect last night though up against Ed Schultz who really did go Ollie North....with Pom-Pons and a marching band.