What Now The Libya Intervention?

My point of view on the Libya intervention has been described in recent posts. My question is to those who support the action -- events are moving fast - how much intervention will you support in Libya? Take the poll.

< Colo. Prison Inmates to Cater High School Prom | Thursday Afternoon Open Thread >


What Actions Will You Support In Libya?
No action 44%
The No Fly Zone 16%
Air support for Insurgent military actions 13%
Independent air offensives against Gaddafi's forces 13%
Ground troops in defensive actions 0%
Ground troops in offensive actions against Gaddafi's forces 1%
Total war against Gaddafi until he is eliminated 3%
Other 6%

Votes: 59
Results | Other Polls
  • The Online Magazine with Liberal coverage of crime-related political and injustice news

  • Contribute To TalkLeft

  • Display: Sort:
    polls like this (5.00 / 2) (#5)
    by CST on Thu Mar 31, 2011 at 09:57:43 AM EST
    are why I'm glad I'm not the president.

    Here (none / 0) (#76)
    by Abdul Abulbul Amir on Thu Mar 31, 2011 at 01:45:40 PM EST
    Gates on further action in Libya (5.00 / 1) (#7)
    by MO Blue on Thu Mar 31, 2011 at 10:04:40 AM EST
    WASHINGTON (AP) -- Defense Secretary Robert Gates says that some country other than the U.S. should do the training and equipping of the Libyan opposition groups.

    He tells Congress that other countries have the ability to perform that mission, and it is not a unique U.S. capability.

    Gates says President Barack Obama has no additional U.S. military moves in mind. link

    BTW, I'm the voice in the wilderness that thinks we have taken more action than what was wise already.

    I agree (none / 0) (#8)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Mar 31, 2011 at 10:09:15 AM EST
    But having established the NFZ, I think it should be maintained for 90 days.

    Here, I'll give you some debate (none / 0) (#14)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Mar 31, 2011 at 10:20:47 AM EST
    NO!  If more than 90 days is needed give it over :)

    Not understanding (none / 0) (#18)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Mar 31, 2011 at 10:26:36 AM EST
    "give it over" means what?

    The Libyan insurgents have 90 days of NFZ wouldbe my policy.

    If France wants to do more, good luck France.


    Would you allow them (France) to use your (none / 0) (#22)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Mar 31, 2011 at 10:34:25 AM EST
    in air refueling tankers?  Can they use your surveillance systems?

    Let em use their (none / 0) (#78)
    by Wile ECoyote on Thu Mar 31, 2011 at 02:09:22 PM EST
    own tankers and awacs.  

    And I have other concerns (none / 0) (#25)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Mar 31, 2011 at 10:39:21 AM EST
    Do we leave the No Fly after 90 days but still have a place at the table of serious debate if we observe say France taking economic advantage of the Libyan people due to their situation?

    Won't we take economic (none / 0) (#87)
    by inclusiveheart on Thu Mar 31, 2011 at 02:48:43 PM EST
    advantage given the chance?  Isn't that what all super powers do this stuff for?

    What is your remedy after the 90 days? (none / 0) (#30)
    by MO Blue on Thu Mar 31, 2011 at 10:49:50 AM EST
    If after 90 days Gaddafi is still there and the rebels are still being routed on a regular basis but still resisting, what next? Do we then go to another BTD unit?

    90 days equals by a conservative estimate about $4 billion down the tubes for an endeavor that by itself (i.e. NFZ only) will only prolong Gaddafi resuming control and delay the bloodbath.

    Just more time for more and more mission creep.

    Personally, I think that Gates' has the right idea. EU oil on the line in Libya and Saudi royal family wants Gaddafi gone. If continued action including the NFZ is needed, let the EU and the Saudis enforce it and pay for it.    


    To me, the question is, if no other country/org. (5.00 / 1) (#50)
    by oculus on Thu Mar 31, 2011 at 12:19:50 PM EST
    will take over so we can depart, do we still depart?  I say "yes."  

    U.S. humanitarian priorities (5.00 / 1) (#54)
    by MO Blue on Thu Mar 31, 2011 at 12:43:32 PM EST
    Feed people or bomb them. Based on actions, the U.S. prefers bombs.

    [The poor] are -- once again -- under attack, this time in the House budget bill, H.R. 1. The budget proposes cuts in the WIC program (which supports women, infants and children), in international food and health aid (18 million people would be immediately cut off from a much-needed food stream, and 4 million would lose access to malaria medicine) and in programs that aid farmers in underdeveloped countries. Food stamps are also being attacked, in the twisted "Welfare Reform 2011" bill. (There are other egregious maneuvers in H.R. 1, but I'm sticking to those related to food.)

    These supposedly deficit-reducing cuts -- they'd barely make a dent -- will quite literally cause more people to starve to death, go to bed hungry or live more miserably than are doing so now. And: The bill would increase defense spending...link

    The thing about that argument is (none / 0) (#90)
    by inclusiveheart on Thu Mar 31, 2011 at 02:51:15 PM EST
    that it isn't likely that Ghaddafi is going to let humanitarian aide be sent into the rebels.  He'd rather eliminate them and their power than have them fed.  So, if we were to send in humanitarian aide, wouldn't those people need a pretty hefty escort for protection?  Wouldn't that just end up being a ground war with food supplies?

    I don't think that the quote (none / 0) (#92)
    by MO Blue on Thu Mar 31, 2011 at 03:14:02 PM EST
    in my comment had anything to do with food aid in Libya.

    The comment was about cuts to the WIC program which provides Federal grants to States for supplemental foods, health care referrals, and nutrition education for low-income pregnant, breastfeeding, and non-breastfeeding postpartum women, and to infants and children up to age five who are found to be at nutritional risk, Cuts to international food and health aid (18 million people would be immediately cut off from a much-needed food stream, and 4 million would lose access to malaria medicine) and in programs that aid farmers in underdeveloped countries. Food stamps are also being attacked, in the twisted "Welfare Reform 2011" bill.

    The point was we have unlimited funds for bombs and our never ending wars in the name of humanitarian aid. Yet, the U.S. has chosen to cut food aid to people who will starve without it in order to pay for dropping bombs and conducting never ending wars.


    BTW here is a little math on (none / 0) (#100)
    by MO Blue on Thu Mar 31, 2011 at 04:20:45 PM EST
    how how many people these cuts would effect.

    WIC - cuts of 10% (approximately 9.3 million received program benefits 2009)

    Loss of food stamps - no number given.

    Immediately cut off from a much-needed food stream - 18 million

    Lose access to malaria medicine - 4 million

    Aid to farmers in underdeveloped countries - no number given.

    25 - 30 million will lose life sustaining humanitarian aid to cut costs while we spend $40 million a day on bombs and war in Libya alone.    


    I misunderstood that quote to (none / 0) (#101)
    by inclusiveheart on Thu Mar 31, 2011 at 04:30:47 PM EST
    refer to International Food Aid which is something that I have heard people talk about with respect to Libya and it confused me for the reasons that I stated above.

    As for spending on the MIC trumping taking care of America - agreed that it is a real problem - especially right now with the GOP and too many Dems on the hunt for reasons to destroy important Fed programs in the US.


    Do we depart? (5.00 / 1) (#61)
    by MO Blue on Thu Mar 31, 2011 at 12:58:41 PM EST
    IMO we should depart today.

    Can't find the link.


    Whoops (none / 0) (#62)
    by MO Blue on Thu Mar 31, 2011 at 01:00:09 PM EST
    Didn't mean to hit post without deleting "Can't find the link."

    We call it a day (none / 0) (#104)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Mar 31, 2011 at 05:11:08 PM EST
    I think the NFZ (none / 0) (#35)
    by Socraticsilence on Thu Mar 31, 2011 at 11:01:21 AM EST
    and creating a buffer zone was acceptable- but then again I'm of the Clinton/Powers belief that the single biggest moral lapse of the Clinton presidency was failing to act in the Balkans and Rwanda- if we didn't act and Benghazi became a North African Srebrinca I don't know how that would have been morally acceptable when we could stop it at a relatively low cost to ourselves.

    I'm more of an interventionist than most here (5.00 / 2) (#53)
    by jeffinalabama on Thu Mar 31, 2011 at 12:42:12 PM EST
    if it stops mass murders and genocide. Of course, I also think we should have been in Darfour, and also the Ivory Coast.

    Our complete miss on Rwanda still bothers me on a deep emotional level. I'm of the mind that there are appropriate times to intervene, and that this is one of them.


    And by intervention, (none / 0) (#55)
    by jeffinalabama on Thu Mar 31, 2011 at 12:43:58 PM EST
    to make it clear, I'd land the MEU today outside of Benghazi, move along the coast, and set up blocking positions.

    Sometimes the right thing isn't particularly desirable, but it beats the alternative.


    The population of Libya (none / 0) (#74)
    by MO Blue on Thu Mar 31, 2011 at 01:28:52 PM EST
    is approximately 6,597,960. If there are approximately 1,000 rebels fighting against Qaddafi, that is .015% of the population. Not exactly an overwhelming display of active support for the rebellion.

    Not in favor of leaders killing their people, but I do not think that the situation in Libya comes close to the situation in Darfour, the Ivory Coast, or Rwanda where the U.S. chose or is choosing not to intervene.



    I think thats a bit misleading though (none / 0) (#82)
    by Socraticsilence on Thu Mar 31, 2011 at 02:37:00 PM EST
    I mean the Continental Army of the United States never had a size over 17,000 or so out of an overall population of more than 2.5 million (number doesn't include Slaves or Native Americans)-- the estmated size of the Libyan Army- in 2009 prior to the defection and purging of some of the officer corps was only around 25,000 (they claim another 25,000 conscripts but conscripts are notoriously unreliable in a politically based civil war).

    Plus the non-Libyan mercenaries. (none / 0) (#149)
    by oculus on Fri Apr 01, 2011 at 12:21:09 AM EST
    Bad number (none / 0) (#147)
    by gyrfalcon on Fri Apr 01, 2011 at 12:08:55 AM EST
    that keeps getting repeated for some reason.

    The 1,000 refers to "trained" military-- presumably guys who defected from the Gadhafi army.  There are many, many, many more primarily young people with lots of enthusiasm and not the slightest clue what they're doing.  Haven't seen a number on that, but the 1,000 refers only to*trained* military guys.


    Africas (none / 0) (#81)
    by Socraticsilence on Thu Mar 31, 2011 at 02:31:20 PM EST
    Basically a special case scenario- it wouldn't be if Somalia had turned out differently (it'd still be under-covered- and would lack the bonus that a lot of dangerous regions have-- that of a large immigrant population which still has ties to its home country--) but unlike virtually every other major region of the world with Africa there's no really successful intervention we can point to as a counter to the "its going to be a quagmire" counter-argument- heck, there aren't a lot non-US African interventions that work as counters either- Chad maybe?

    Actually, France and Belgium (none / 0) (#113)
    by jeffinalabama on Thu Mar 31, 2011 at 06:53:04 PM EST
    havew intervened on numerous occasions into French-speaking Africa, a notable exception being Rwanda.

    I must be the other one (none / 0) (#15)
    by ruffian on Thu Mar 31, 2011 at 10:21:53 AM EST
    Though I was torn in the poll - if the NFZ was really necessary to save Benghazi, I can muster up some support for it.

    But it reminds me too much of the pre-TARP talk - we must do TARP NOW or the financial system will collapse!!! Really? Not sure I buy either argument.


    Geez (none / 0) (#148)
    by gyrfalcon on Fri Apr 01, 2011 at 12:10:26 AM EST
    the financial system was inches away from implosion, and Gadhafi was on the verge of retaking Benghazi.

    And oh, by the way, the sun actually does rise in the east, too.


    The first part is not true... (none / 0) (#164)
    by ks on Fri Apr 01, 2011 at 09:59:43 AM EST
    The "financial system" was not inches away from implosion.  The banksters were on the verge of going belly up.  Big difference.  The Banksters were and are not the whole "financial system".  They just worked the "implosion" angle as part of a scam to hustle up a boat load of public money to bail them out of the mess they created.

    Well, you are convinced that those would (none / 0) (#169)
    by ruffian on Fri Apr 01, 2011 at 11:32:40 AM EST
    have been the outcomes. I'm not. We'll never know.

    We have been lied to so many times maybe it is impossible to convince me.  At the outset of this Libya episode I said we have to elect people whose judgement we trust and let them do their jobs, hoping they do the right thing. That's where I'm at on this - I disagree, but realizing I don't have all of the informaiton I'm hoping they are right and I am wrong.


    There are a couple of us speaking (none / 0) (#114)
    by KeysDan on Thu Mar 31, 2011 at 06:57:30 PM EST
    from the wilderness.  Others will join, but later.  And, the repentant ones will be the ones we will listen to the next time, and there will surely be a next time.

    Why I like you, (none / 0) (#127)
    by me only on Thu Mar 31, 2011 at 08:47:04 PM EST
    you are consistent.

    I will come visit you in the wilderness.  It looks to be the right place.


    Air support for insurgent (5.00 / 1) (#20)
    by Buckeye on Thu Mar 31, 2011 at 10:27:17 AM EST
    military actions.  I have gone back and forth on this.  But after thinking about it, if I were President and three things were developing in front of me:

    1. the rebels in Libya were about to lose and a mass slaughter was about to unfold
    2. we could stop it
    3. we would have the support of the international community

    I would have stopped it and tried to make it look like it was being driven by others - i.e. England, France (even if it is a fiction).  I would then support the insurgents with air power without committing ground troops and try to get Qaddafi out of power without it looking like another regime change initiative lead by the US (even if it is a fiction).  Qaddafi's regime collapses with the opposition providing a decent government.  We look great by stopping a disaster and get a better government in Libya without Bushlike nation building.

    From an IR (none / 0) (#38)
    by Socraticsilence on Thu Mar 31, 2011 at 11:06:24 AM EST
    perspective the US not acting in the face of allied pressure to do so would be nearly unprecedented (worse than Bosnia- because in this case there weren't really any major power counters).

    Pretty soon this will be similar to U.S. (5.00 / 1) (#46)
    by oculus on Thu Mar 31, 2011 at 12:07:49 PM EST
    in Pakistan.  Our drones killing innocent people.  Let's encourage Pres. Obama to have a very public passing of the baton to France followed by U.S. forces leaving Libya--air and land.

    As long as the people making the decisions (5.00 / 4) (#48)
    by Anne on Thu Mar 31, 2011 at 12:12:58 PM EST
    feel free to keep okey-dokin' the American people, saying one thing, doing another behind the scenes, taking a we-can-do-what-we-want-and-justify-it-later attitude, it obviously just doesn't matter what we think - until election season, when we will be expected to accept what they say happened instead of our own memories of what we know actually happened.

    But, but, we need to do something to help the Libyan rebels, don't we?  Who the hell are these rebels - do we even know they represent a movement that, if helped, will be to the benefit of the larger population, and not end up biting us in the ass?

    I don't trust the people making the decisions to keep their word.  Oh, yes, I know that there isn't always time to consult the people - but here's a question: has Obama - or Clinton or Gates - made any effort to meet with the Congress on this?  Does making a few phone calls to let people know what they're doing - not what they want to do, or what they think is the best thing to do, but what they are already doing - count?

    If I thought they could conduct a no-fly zone the way it was intended to be conducted, I wouldn't be opposed to that; but are they?  Have they?  Will we find out this afternoon or tomorrow - in the Friday news dump - that, oh, gosh - we almost forgot to tell you - we decided to do X, Y or Z?  How many media outlets are sitting on information because the government told them to?

    I've just had it up to here with these people, acting with impunity because no one ever holds them accountable.

    I particularly agree with the 2nd paragraph. (5.00 / 1) (#66)
    by observed on Thu Mar 31, 2011 at 01:05:02 PM EST
    Qaddafi is bad, but why will the rebels be better? That is not the usual course of events after a revolution.

    The rebels' identity (none / 0) (#77)
    by christinep on Thu Mar 31, 2011 at 01:48:03 PM EST
    A key question, isn't it? It is a key question in every potential & real revolution? It is a key question that cannot usually be answered in fairness until after the rebellion/revolution/uprising. A good question, a necessary question...but, one that should not be used to put the kibosh on the ability to provide degrees of support. That question is one to ask, to toss around, to gather what info is available to make an educated guess; and, to make a decision. And, it should be asked in every case and examined with some dispassion initially...Tunisia? Egypt? Etc. Etc.

    It's a question which should be (5.00 / 2) (#79)
    by observed on Thu Mar 31, 2011 at 02:11:14 PM EST
    answered BEFORE a commitment, which is not what happened.

    You really have to be kidding (5.00 / 1) (#80)
    by MO Blue on Thu Mar 31, 2011 at 02:16:24 PM EST
    I can understand how some people may consider a NFZ might help civilian but this is way beyond what I think is rational.

    A good question, a necessary question...but, one that should not be used to put the kibosh on the ability to provide degrees of support.

    No need to have facts prior to committing the U.S. to another hundred million dollar or trillion dollar war. Guesses are just fine and dandy. If after the fact, the U.S. finds out that they have supported financially and militarily al-Qaida in their take over of Libya, no big deal the people in charged just guessed wrong and we can just launch another endless war to correct our mistake. Also we can make sure that the war is deficit-neutral by eliminating all domestic programs. Let them eat bombs is our new motto.  


    No (none / 0) (#85)
    by Socraticsilence on Thu Mar 31, 2011 at 02:43:14 PM EST
    she has a point-- simply acting to stop the imminent massacre of civilian non-combatants in Benghazi was justifiable without knowing much about the Rebels- in the same way I could justify say stopping the Janjaweed in the Sudan without knowing the virtues of their intended victims- further support does however require justification.

    I really (none / 0) (#102)
    by lentinel on Thu Mar 31, 2011 at 04:37:10 PM EST
    don't want young people sent into war on the basis of a so-called "educated guess".

    We are talking air strikes, coalition air support, (none / 0) (#105)
    by christinep on Thu Mar 31, 2011 at 05:24:38 PM EST
    humanitarian aid, food & medicine, etc. Nowhere--at least for me--to date are we talking a repetition of the Korean "war", Vietnam "war", Afghanistan "war", Iraq I and Iraq II "wars," etc.  What I tried to point out is that there are occasions that justify intervention to prevent mass killing and for humanitarian reasons. Limited intervention.  Very, very limited. There are no troops being sent into war...except in imagination and in replays of the past and in other horror conspiracy theories.

    Look, I don't want to be harsh, but it does appear that so much of the quips related to the "who are the rebels" don't really stand up in light of the strong push at this site by any number of people to help the Egyptian rebels. And, in all honesty, we really didn't know the true intent or composition at the time. The same can be said in most rebellion situations...so, yes, it is an educated guess as to whether something is a civil dispute, civil war, or an uprising of a downtrodden people. More & more I am reminded of the former Yugoslvaia--of Serbia & Bosnia (and the almost forgotten Croatian situation); in that situation, there were many voices cautioning against humanitarian aid as well; Clinton et al made an "educated guess" in many ways & went in for humanitarian reasons...belatedly.

    And, finally: About war, and not about quips about war...I also agree that we should not send troops into a country based upon an educated guess or based upon almost anything at this point. President Obama has clearly, publicly, strongly stated that we will not send troops into Libya.


    Who (5.00 / 1) (#111)
    by lentinel on Thu Mar 31, 2011 at 06:47:57 PM EST
    are flying the planes and dropping the bombs?

    I think the argument is (none / 0) (#83)
    by Socraticsilence on Thu Mar 31, 2011 at 02:40:43 PM EST
    that even if the Rebels are essentially the KLA to Kadaffi's Milosevic, the cost of not acting justified the initial intervention (though it doesn't really justify more than providing a buffer force)- I mean is the current leadership of Kosovo any better than it was when the nation was under Serbian control? Not really, but the intervention and overthrow of Milosevic was still justifiable on humanitarian grounds in order to prevent mass killings.

    KLA (none / 0) (#124)
    by Politalkix on Thu Mar 31, 2011 at 08:15:46 PM EST
    or the Kosovo Liberation Army was listed as a terrorist organization for attacking Serbian police and military targets, until 1998, and President Bill Clinton's special envoy to the Balkans, Robert Gelbard, described that same year that the KLA as, "without any questions, a terrorist group. Around 1998, some months before the war of March 1999, the US government removed the KLA from its list of terrorist organizations, and they approached the KLA leaders to make them interlocutors with the Serbs. France didn't delist it until late 1998, after strong US and UK lobbying. During the war, the KLA troops collaborated with the NATO troops, and they were qualified by the NATO as "freedom fighters". In late 1999 the KLA was disbanded and its members entered the Kosovo Protection Corps. KLA is still present in the MIPT Terrorism Knowledge Base list of terrorist groups,and is listed as an inactive terrorist organization by the National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism from the Homeland Security.



    Yes the KLA was justly listed (none / 0) (#129)
    by Socraticsilence on Thu Mar 31, 2011 at 09:01:56 PM EST
    as a terrorist group- that still didn't mean the intervention was wrong- it prevented Genocide.

    Milosevic should have been stopped in 1996-97. (none / 0) (#136)
    by Politalkix on Thu Mar 31, 2011 at 09:58:16 PM EST
    There were massive anti-Milosevic demonstrations by Serbs between Nov 1996-Mar 1997. Milosevic could have been negated totally without a war.

    Thank you. A very good rant. With which (none / 0) (#52)
    by oculus on Thu Mar 31, 2011 at 12:23:21 PM EST
    I agree.  Of course, the counter is:  we can't let anybody know what we are doing or plan to do:  it's a war!

    Wel, (5.00 / 1) (#95)
    by Ga6thDem on Thu Mar 31, 2011 at 03:24:18 PM EST
    the only thing I can say about this is that arming the rebels is something that should NOT be done.

    Our history of doing that has been nothing short of disastrous.

    Oh that's right Candidate (5.00 / 0) (#115)
    by oculus on Thu Mar 31, 2011 at 07:02:58 PM EST
    Obama promised, if elected, he'd go anyplace anytime to talk to a hostile political leader. Why didn't he?  

    Yes, well (5.00 / 2) (#118)
    by Zorba on Thu Mar 31, 2011 at 07:26:29 PM EST
    he also promised in 2007:
    If American workers are being denied their right to organize and collectively bargain when I'm in the White House, I'll put on a comfortable pair of shoes myself. I'll walk on that picket line with you as President of the United States of America.
     You didn't see him in Wisconsin walking with the public union workers, did you?  Talk is cheap.   He doesn't "walk the walk."

    Something (5.00 / 0) (#150)
    by lentinel on Fri Apr 01, 2011 at 03:49:25 AM EST
    is a giveaway about Obama's statement when he says that he'd, "put on a pair of comfortable shoes" first.

    If he had been serious, he would have just said that he's be on the line - period.


    I seem (none / 0) (#151)
    by lentinel on Fri Apr 01, 2011 at 03:53:13 AM EST
    to recall that Hillary scared the sh*t out him by calling him naive after he made that statement.

    He ran for cover and began mumbling and dissembling up a storm "clarifying" his position - which morphed into the Clinton position of first having to diligently set up conditions for the meeting - the location - blah blah blah - which morphed into the present position which is that he is going just about nowhere and talking to just about nobody.


    Talking as a family last night (none / 0) (#1)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Mar 31, 2011 at 09:37:57 AM EST
    It was strange to see what my husband predicted was going to happen with the aiding air strikes actually happen.

    Days ago when it made it into the press that we were providing air strikes during fighting, my husband said that the rebels would begin to rely on them instead of them actually fighting their fight and fighting for their freedom.  And yesterday that was fully displayed, when there were no air strikes not only did they fall back...they retreated into an abyss and almost under a rock when they called for air strikes and none came.

    So (none / 0) (#3)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Mar 31, 2011 at 09:53:53 AM EST
    What do you support?

    I vote No Fly (none / 0) (#4)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Mar 31, 2011 at 09:57:02 AM EST
    And I seem to have gotten exactly what I wanted.  All these add-ons....not for me.  I did support NATO strikes during fighting until my husband brought up what was likely to happen, so I rethought that and thought I might give him some credence since I have never actually fought in a war and he has.  Then what he predicted happened

    Not clear (none / 0) (#10)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Mar 31, 2011 at 10:10:28 AM EST
    that it stops there.

    Clearly you know there is discussion of doing more.


    Of course (5.00 / 1) (#13)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Mar 31, 2011 at 10:19:33 AM EST
    I only want a No Fly though, that's it...nothing more.  Anything more in the department of "nation building" will only be easily delegitimized and could actually get a lot of innocent people killed.  I'm fine with ending Gaddafi's abilities to mass murder, and that's where it ends for me.

    But what does it mean (none / 0) (#28)
    by brodie on Thu Mar 31, 2011 at 10:47:32 AM EST
    to "end G's ability to mass murder" if not disable his military forces.  And if you've done that, why not finish the job and take him out since he would be essentially defenseless?  Because, if left in power, he's just going to rebuild, re-arm, and wait for the day he can get his revenge, on civilians in Benghazi and other towns, and then in terrorist actions against the west.

    A better picture of what I would (none / 0) (#39)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Mar 31, 2011 at 11:09:08 AM EST
    want if I can't have Gaddafi gone through the breakdown of his inner circle would be something like the containment of Saddam.  With areas of the country largely out of his control.

    I am totally against MT's "no-fly only " (none / 0) (#131)
    by Politalkix on Thu Mar 31, 2011 at 09:32:37 PM EST
    We had this in Iraq throughout the 1990s. No-fly zones, sanctions, inspections, etc, etc! It just made Saddam Hussein the most recognizable face of "evil" among Americans and made Americans vulnerable to subsequent manipulations by GWB, Cheney, Rumsfield and Co. Without the theatretics of no-fly implementation, it would have been a harder sell for GWB to take our country to war in Iraq. The sanctions imposed on Iraq caused a lot of hardships to people in that country and created a groundswell of resentment against Western countries in the Islamic world.
    A terrorist attack initiated by Gadaffi (if he survives owing to disengagement of the USA) on American interests can easily recreate the same kind of conditions that led to war in Iraq in 2003.

    I am against putting American troops in the ground but support putting CIA operatives there along with implementation of no-fly zones with France, UK, Qatar, UAE, etc, precision airstrikes, training the Libyan rebel army, providing them air cover, partitioning Libya to provide safety zones for its people, pushing France, UK and multiple countries in the Islamic world to provide ground troops to help the rebels, splintering Gadaffi's support using force and inducements, etc. We cannot let Gadaffi survive (but I am OK with the President not mentioning this goal explicitly).


    What track record... (none / 0) (#170)
    by Dadler on Fri Apr 01, 2011 at 11:41:27 AM EST
    ...does the CIA have in these situations other than phucking things up spectacularly?  

    I really hope it doesn't happen, but my rational mind is calmly telling me: You watch, the CIA will end up creating another monster by arming and/or supporting and/or "using" the same kind of folks they have in the past.  IOW, by getting it all wrong.  Again.


    Just some "basic human rights" (none / 0) (#171)
    by jondee on Fri Apr 01, 2011 at 11:51:40 AM EST
    how is that so many are immediately convinced that this is what those who fomented the rebellion desire?

    Didn't the uprising begin the part of Libya known for being home to a lot of religious militants?  


    Tracy (none / 0) (#33)
    by Socraticsilence on Thu Mar 31, 2011 at 10:57:13 AM EST
    does your husband largely agree with the FP wonk position I've seen- that we had hoped that it would be like Afghanistan where allied air power and SOF assistance would prove decisive for the Rebels?

    No (none / 0) (#37)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Mar 31, 2011 at 11:05:19 AM EST
    In fact, I don't know anyone who has done a tour in Afghanistan that wants to even do anything ever again that resembles anything we did in Afghanistan, seriously.  I don't think my husband is capable of looking at any aspect of our involvement in Afghanistan and saying, "That was easy" :)

    My husband has largely been in line with BTDs opinion, though drawn into discussing certain aspects probably because of what he does everyday.  At the beginning though his stance was "what in the hell is our President doing?"  He thought France should provide the No Fly, and he was very concerned with our use of our Tomahawks and how there was no debate about that.


    Strange? (none / 0) (#51)
    by ks on Thu Mar 31, 2011 at 12:22:02 PM EST
    It was totally predictable.  The rebels have been calling for "international support" from almost Day One of their campaign.  It didn't take much peering into the crystal ball to see that they would come to rely on it especially since they were on the verge of being defeated without it and even with it, it's questionable at best whether they can succeed.

    Air Support and covert operations by CIA (none / 0) (#2)
    by Saul on Thu Mar 31, 2011 at 09:52:01 AM EST
    The rebels are too few.  Not all Libyans that want Gaddafi out can fight or are willing to fight so the rebels are a small group compared to the Gadaffi  military forces.  They are very disorganized and have no military training.

    That is why rebels need a lot of help.  Giving them weapons without training require too much time and time is of the essence.

    Having a handful of secret operatives with fast military knowledge can be more effective than most of the rebels.  You got to have personnel that can call in military strikes on the Gaddafi forces, and military equipment.  With the high tech equipment used by the US to call in this fire power on the ground today the Gaddafi military cannot compete.

    In the past 72 hours Gaddafi forces have regained much of the grounds captured by the rebels.  Air support has been limited due to bad weather but I feel the coalition  will  pour it on as soon as the weather permits.

    A combination of intense air support and covert operations by CIA agents should turn the tide but the coalition needs to act fast.  

    We want Gaddafi dead.   How it gets done or who does it makes no me no never mind.  Besides Gaddafi said he wants to die in Libya.  As the Arab saying goes  " God Willing"

    Let's hope so. (none / 0) (#31)
    by brodie on Thu Mar 31, 2011 at 10:51:30 AM EST
    Because the last few days have been brutal for the surprisingly weak opposition forces.  Had I known how meager the numbers of rebel troops and how poorly commanded, equipped and trained, I might not have been inclined to support this one.  (But, for some reason I was cut out of the briefing where presumably Obama was at some point told of the vast disparity in troop strength.)

    But now that we're in, the mission should be to relentlessly pressure and increasingly isolate Gaddafi and weaken his military and political strength.  US/Nato air strikes with US/Brit intel on the ground, is where I draw the line on our backing; providing more arms is problematic w/o improved rebel leadership and clearer understanding of the people getting such weaponry.  

    Other countries like France or Italy, with Libya in their backyard, should be the ones, if any, to bring ground troops into the equation.  Obama, wisely, has clearly said no to US troops, and I don't see how he could weasel out of that commitment and later Lyndon his way into sending in American troops.  Not likely to happen, and it would be politically catastrophic for him domestically.

    No question too that the coalition cannot permit Gaddafi to remain in power -- much too dangerous to his own citizens and to future terrorist reprisals against the west.  How he's ousted will matter less if the outcome, in a reasonable period of time, results in the dictator no longer around.  


    Not surprising, the media is at it again... (none / 0) (#57)
    by ks on Thu Mar 31, 2011 at 12:49:27 PM EST
    Why so few rebels?  After all, according to the media, don't they represent the "Libyan people"?  I think part of the perception vs reality problem is that the media reporting has been just carrying the usual suspect narratives.  The reality is that the rebels support is not anywhere near as wide as imagined and, as strange as it may sounds to us, Gaddafi has real support in the country.

    Insofar as endgames, Gaddafi may be ousted but it's very unlikely that the rebels will fully control the country.


    Kaddafi (none / 0) (#86)
    by Socraticsilence on Thu Mar 31, 2011 at 02:46:45 PM EST
    has quite a bit of not support but apathy- he's like the House of Saud- he provides a very high living standard relative to his country's economic development(free education and healthcare) for his people in return for complete political control- he's essentially what Castro would be if Castro had unlimited Oil Money- a murderous autocrat who has improved his society and was at one point a step up from the alternative but whose time has long passed.

    This poll is a bit off base (none / 0) (#6)
    by Abdul Abulbul Amir on Thu Mar 31, 2011 at 10:01:15 AM EST

    Polling means but not the ends is beside the point.  What are our end goals"

    1. Khaddafi gone?
    2. Division of country with rebels ruling the east and Qaddafi in the west?
    3. Endless civil war?
    4. Ghadaffi crushes rebellion?
    5. We don't care?
    6. Other.

    Means is beside the point (none / 0) (#9)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Mar 31, 2011 at 10:09:55 AM EST
    is the fallacy of those who support the intervention imo.

    Means must be considered in deciding the end.


    Perhaps so, (none / 0) (#75)
    by Abdul Abulbul Amir on Thu Mar 31, 2011 at 01:30:01 PM EST

    but it would be good to inform your decision to use a bicycle or an airplane to know if the chosen destination were across the block, or across the Atlantic.

    Politically speaking (none / 0) (#11)
    by Saul on Thu Mar 31, 2011 at 10:16:39 AM EST
    Obama has no choice but to see that Gaddafi is ousted or killed.  He will never hear the end of this in 2012 if Gaddafi is still there.  

    "El Lawrence is better"

    I don't know... GWB managed to get (none / 0) (#12)
    by ruffian on Thu Mar 31, 2011 at 10:19:21 AM EST
    reelected with OBL still out there, despite the wanted posters.

    It won't happen twice (none / 0) (#16)
    by Saul on Thu Mar 31, 2011 at 10:22:20 AM EST
    I remain unconvinced (5.00 / 1) (#19)
    by ruffian on Thu Mar 31, 2011 at 10:26:51 AM EST
    How many presidents have said we don't like Khadaffi and yet let him sit there?

    I'm sure some will try to make an issue of it, but I don't think it will have any traction.


    I gather U.S. didn't really really (none / 0) (#43)
    by oculus on Thu Mar 31, 2011 at 12:00:25 PM EST
    "like" Qaddafi after he ceased with the nuclear stuff, but we didn't bad mouth him after that.  Until now.

    Probably - who knows anymore? (5.00 / 1) (#59)
    by ruffian on Thu Mar 31, 2011 at 12:53:18 PM EST
    We will have to search the wikileaks archive to find out anything real.

    I just know that no president ever lost many votes letting Khadaffi stay in power, no matter what the public position was at the time.


    Bin Laden (none / 0) (#36)
    by Socraticsilence on Thu Mar 31, 2011 at 11:03:52 AM EST
    was so much worse from a US perspective its not funny- I mean Bush got re-elected with the guy who ordered the deaths of thousands of Americans still at large- Khaddafi by contrast would have been like Clinton trying to get re-elected with Milosevic still in power- annoying but not really a big deal.

    The feelings were differnet at that time IMO (none / 0) (#40)
    by Saul on Thu Mar 31, 2011 at 11:19:16 AM EST
      Most of the American people were still in this patriotic frenzy that someone must pay for 911 at that time.

    Yes OBL did order the hit but he was hoping that the US. would strike Arabia who ousted him and allowed the US military to be in Saudia Arabia which was he main gripe for ordering the hit IMO. The infidels do not belong in Arabia.  

    I have always said that OBL made sure  that 97 percent of the hit men were from Arabia.  He never bargained that the U.S. president would not use logic on who to attack.  Like if the 911 attackers were from Arabia then let's attack Mexico or how about Iraq.


    someone on here (none / 0) (#17)
    by CST on Thu Mar 31, 2011 at 10:22:23 AM EST
    the other day was talking about how they almost caught Bin Laden again.

    Can you imagine?


    IMO OBL is dead (none / 0) (#23)
    by Saul on Thu Mar 31, 2011 at 10:35:22 AM EST
    They keep saying there is a recent recording of him talking but no one can prove without a shadow of  doubt that it's him.  Anyone can try to imitate his voice.   They use old videos IMO to show he is still alive or videos that hand not been previously shown.

    Alqueida will never want you know that he died.  That would be just too much of  victory for the infidels.  IMO he died and they made sure no one would find traces of his body.  As long as they can keep it a secret the terror remains in their favor.


    I missed it (none / 0) (#24)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Mar 31, 2011 at 10:36:16 AM EST
    that was me (none / 0) (#26)
    by Capt Howdy on Thu Mar 31, 2011 at 10:46:08 AM EST
    they are supposedly closing in.   again.   couldnt find the link.  no time to google.

    You always find the cool stuff (none / 0) (#29)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Mar 31, 2011 at 10:49:11 AM EST
    I'm going to go hunt now

    And Bush 41 leaving Sadaam in place (none / 0) (#21)
    by Buckeye on Thu Mar 31, 2011 at 10:28:59 AM EST
    did not cost him in 1992 (his approval ratings soared after Desert Storm).  It was the economy and a Perot insurgency that cost him.

    Economy always trumps (none / 0) (#34)
    by brodie on Thu Mar 31, 2011 at 10:57:31 AM EST
    all else, unless the war is of the type that is killing Americans by the hundreds each week, which didn't happen in the first Gulf War and wasn't happening by the time Junior went for re-elect in the second Iraq war.

    Bush (none / 0) (#49)
    by Ga6thDem on Thu Mar 31, 2011 at 12:14:26 PM EST
    would have lost even if Perot was not in the picture. I don't know why these myths persist.

    says who (none / 0) (#58)
    by Capt Howdy on Thu Mar 31, 2011 at 12:50:42 PM EST
    clinton got, what, 43%

    By t he end of the race, Perot was taking (none / 0) (#63)
    by ruffian on Thu Mar 31, 2011 at 01:03:10 PM EST
    poll ratings away from Clinton, not Bush, according to the NYT analysis via wikipedia.

    Even given that however, the electoral math does not support that Bush would have won even if Perot was not there. It was an electoral landslide.


    Electoral college is set up that way, (1.00 / 1) (#73)
    by Buckeye on Thu Mar 31, 2011 at 01:28:19 PM EST
    to give the illusion of a landslide whether one exists or not.  43% Clinton, 38% Bush, 20% Perot is hardly a landslide.

    And what looking at just the exit polls fails to see is how important Perot's candidacy was to help Clinton sell the American people on the pressing need for "change."  Would it have been a change election without Perot?  Do not know - the economy was bad and Republican fatigue had set in with 12 years of Reagan/Bush.  But we have no idea what impact not having Perot in the election would have meant if only Clinton was selling the need to change horses (the opposite party challenging the incumbent will always voice the need for change - people have to really believe it is necessary to unseat one).

    Furthermore, by 1996 with a roaring economy, Clinton still only got 49% with Perot getting 5%-6%.  Clinton was never a strong candidate.  We could see that when he lost Congress, Gore could not beat junior, and he could not help his wife win the primary.  Obama is a much better candidate than Bill Clinton.


    Just silly (5.00 / 1) (#107)
    by Yman on Thu Mar 31, 2011 at 06:21:04 PM EST
    Clinton was never a strong candidate.  We could see that when he lost Congress, Gore could not beat junior, and he could not help his wife win the primary.  Obama is a much better candidate than Bill Clinton.

    So the fact that Gore lost in 2000 and Hillary lost the 2008 primary is supposed to show that Bill Clinton was "never a strong candidate"?  You realize they're separate people (and candidacies), right?

    BTW - As far as midterms, Obama lost almost 20% more seats in his first midterm than Clinton did in 1994.


    I know Clinton was not on the ballot (none / 0) (#121)
    by Buckeye on Thu Mar 31, 2011 at 07:56:15 PM EST
    but if you think his presence, influence, voice, actions, and strategery was not a major factor in 1996, 2000, and 2008 Democratic primaries, I think you are wrong.  Just my opinion.

    Didn't say he wasn't an influence (5.00 / 1) (#126)
    by Yman on Thu Mar 31, 2011 at 08:26:31 PM EST
    But to conclude that he wasn't a strong candidate because other candidates lost is just silly.  He won (handily) in both '92 and '96, and left office with the highest approval rating of any POTUS ever.  Obama won the GE in a year in which anyone should have been able to beat the Republican candidate.  Since then, Obama has since substantially more seats in Congress than Clinton lost in '94, has dropped from a historic high entry approval rating to dead even numbers, and has taken Democratic party identification numbers from a 22-year high in 2008 to a 22-year low in 2010.

    At the rate he's going, we all better hope that Obama's "presence, influence, actions and strategery" aren't even a minor influence on any other Dem's candidacy.


    One thing looking back (none / 0) (#89)
    by Socraticsilence on Thu Mar 31, 2011 at 02:51:04 PM EST
    Perot while crazy, was dead-on as far as the Impact of NAFTA- if you rewatch the Gore-Perot talk on NAFTA or listen to Clinton and Bush talk on it then listen to Perot- he's the only one who is anywhere near correct.

    That's false (none / 0) (#103)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Mar 31, 2011 at 05:08:27 PM EST
    OK, what Clinton states would Bush have carried (none / 0) (#96)
    by ruffian on Thu Mar 31, 2011 at 03:24:58 PM EST
    without Perot in the race? I submit to you - none.

    You mix your opinions with (none / 0) (#99)
    by hairspray on Thu Mar 31, 2011 at 03:51:34 PM EST
    facts and make a number of assumptions that many do not agree with.  The Perot candidacy was a wash but began to hurt Clinton toward the end.  NYT analysis and others documented it. You have documentation?  Clinton lost the congress not because he was a weak candidate, but because the right wing was ascending and blamed Clinton for raising taxes and cutting military spending. He wanted to reform health care and rebuild American infrastructure (read Robert Reich's book "Locked in the Cabinet").   What was the reason Obama lost the House?  Did he take any strong positions?

    Come on. (none / 0) (#119)
    by Buckeye on Thu Mar 31, 2011 at 07:51:19 PM EST
    Obama inherited a economy in free-fall (the worst economy in 70-80 years) and two wars.  I agree with most on the board Obama did not drive a bold enough agenda (and has a real weakness in Geitner) that contributed to his problems, but Clinton did not have to deal with the problems Obama did.  Clinton benefitted from the collapse of the USSR and multiple bubbles (dot.com, housing, consumer credit, oil price deflation, etc.) that he benefitted from beyond his policies.  Clinton lost Congress and hurt Gore's ability to get elected in spite of world peace and a roaring economy.  Clinton was also not trying to be America's first black President.  It is a matter of opinion, but I find what Obama accomplished more impressive than Clinton.  I am waiting for Obama to impress me as much with his governance, but I have a feeling he is going to come up short.

    So . . . . (none / 0) (#143)
    by nycstray on Thu Mar 31, 2011 at 10:50:32 PM EST
    I'm guessing you want WJC to sit out the 2012 election as a motivator . . . . ?

    I think his political "genius" is (none / 0) (#157)
    by Buckeye on Fri Apr 01, 2011 at 06:40:10 AM EST
    overrated that is all.

    We've (none / 0) (#94)
    by Ga6thDem on Thu Mar 31, 2011 at 03:17:44 PM EST
    been over this a hundred time. Perot's 20% would have been split 50/50 according to the exit polls so Clinton would have gotten 53% and GWB about 47% had Perot not been in the mix.

    Yes, I know what the exit polls say (none / 0) (#120)
    by Buckeye on Thu Mar 31, 2011 at 07:53:35 PM EST
    But you are not considering how Perot's candidacy impacted the way voters viewed the election and what the final polls would have looked like without his money and mouth railing against Reagan/Bush's trickle down economics.

    You're right, good point, well taken (none / 0) (#122)
    by ruffian on Thu Mar 31, 2011 at 07:59:12 PM EST
    And you think that w/o (none / 0) (#128)
    by brodie on Thu Mar 31, 2011 at 08:54:33 PM EST
    Perot in the race that Clinton wouldn't have picked up his game wrt taking it to Poppy on economic matters, the key issue of that year?  

    Also, you neglect to mention that Poppy in 1992 was vulnerable not just because of the economy but a) because he wasn't well liked by the conservative GOP base and b) because his campaign didn't enjoy the creative efforts of one Lee Atwater, recently deceased.  Atwater -- the key to Poppy's 1988 victory, but no longer around, and w/o him, Poppy's campaign floundered.

    Finally, it was the 12 year mark of the same party in power in the WH, and historically at that point voters are looking for a change.  Bill Clinton, in that time and with the end of the Cold War, was the right fresh candidate to come along for us and make the case for responsible and progressive change.

    I submit that Perot was helpful but not necessary for Dems in 92.


    Helpful but not necessary (none / 0) (#132)
    by ruffian on Thu Mar 31, 2011 at 09:33:38 PM EST
    is about right I believe.

    Perhaps, we will never know (none / 0) (#156)
    by Buckeye on Fri Apr 01, 2011 at 06:37:35 AM EST
    I knew several people (anecdotal I realize) that normally vote conservative but liked Perot and were heavily influenced by him ("trickle down didn't trickle," "if I ran my business the way government is run, I would be broke in 5 seconds" "giant sucking sound" "lets just life up the hood and fix it").  By the time election day came around, they said if Perot was not on the ballot, they would have voted for Clinton.  They were going to vote for Clinton when he dropped out because he helped convince people of the need for change.

    I do not hate Clinton.  But I look at him and see a very overrated politician.  In spite of world peace and a roaring economy (neither of which had anything to do with him and we learned later were both an illusion), there were significantly fewer democrats in washington when he left office than when he arrived.  He never got over 50% in either election.  Lost house and senate in 1994.  Got reelected with less than 50% against an extremely weak GOP candidate.  His party lost the white house in 2000.  I also think his presence was deleterious to Hillary in 2008.


    True on the race as run (none / 0) (#88)
    by Socraticsilence on Thu Mar 31, 2011 at 02:49:26 PM EST
    the equation changes a bit if Perot doesn't meltdown and leave the race in the early fall- he was ascedent at the time and while there's no way he could have won (he would have been at best second in a bunch of states- its possible he could have been extremely close in terms of popular vote- but would have ended the race with 0 electoral votes).

    agreed (none / 0) (#27)
    by Capt Howdy on Thu Mar 31, 2011 at 10:46:43 AM EST
    and I say killed

    I'm thinking you are too "into" (none / 0) (#44)
    by oculus on Thu Mar 31, 2011 at 12:06:17 PM EST
    video games.  (snk.)

    we will (none / 0) (#45)
    by Capt Howdy on Thu Mar 31, 2011 at 12:07:26 PM EST

    Can I only support (none / 0) (#32)
    by Socraticsilence on Thu Mar 31, 2011 at 10:54:47 AM EST
    Ground troops as so far as they were used in the initial phase in Afghanistan- slightly more than they are currently being used and were used in Kosovo (in both cases largely for target location and strike direction).

    They are still retreating ?!?! (none / 0) (#41)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Mar 31, 2011 at 11:21:33 AM EST

    In for a penny, in for a pound (none / 0) (#42)
    by souvarine on Thu Mar 31, 2011 at 11:36:31 AM EST
    I support intervening in Libya, and I grant that no-fly was likely to lead to deeper intervention. It seems to me that once we've committed to using force we should be willing to use the amount of force required to achieve our goal.

    Gaddafi appears to have a thin layer of support in Libya, no support in the world, and very broad domestic opposition. He can't hold out for much longer than months. Removing him from power appears to be an achievable goal.

    Intervening on behalf of the people against a dictator, when we have a good chance of success and the support of the world, is entirely defensible. The Libya intervention also has the advantage of confounding Al Queda (who oppose Gaddafi) and showing the U.S. acting on behalf of Arab people.

    Pretty soon this will be similar to U.S. (none / 0) (#47)
    by oculus on Thu Mar 31, 2011 at 12:07:49 PM EST
    in Pakistan.  Our drones killing innocent people.  Let's encourage Pres. Obama to have a very public passing of the baton to France followed by U.S. forces leaving Libya--air and land.

    It is naive to think (none / 0) (#109)
    by Politalkix on Thu Mar 31, 2011 at 06:44:06 PM EST
    that if America passed the baton to France and left Libya, America would not be blamed (internationally and domestically) if things turned bloody.
    France can play a leading role but America should support it with the help of a truly international force (including those from countries with predominantly Muslim populations).

    I think it is a little naive to not (none / 0) (#159)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Apr 01, 2011 at 08:04:17 AM EST
    understand that no matter what we do someone is going to blame us for something :)

    In the end it comes down to what our leaders can live with being blamed for.

    Blaming me for something no longer has the same affect on me now that I survived and came out on the other side of my daughter's teen years :)  I've come to understand that anyone can blame me for everything, blame is easy.  Building windy circumstantial speeches about how I'm to blame is ALMOST as easy.


    Not just blame, please seriously address (none / 0) (#162)
    by Politalkix on Fri Apr 01, 2011 at 09:32:05 AM EST
    What are we going to do if
    (1)France screws up totally and large scale massacres happen on both sides (remember Algeria), Sarko gets frustrated (he is not even the most stable person under normal circumstances) and starts using racist language against Arabs to vent his frustration and inflame a difficult situation, the chaotic cafe French politics takes over and casts its influence on the war, Paris suburbs (home to a lot of North Africans)start burning, Arab League support splinters, Muslim countries start demanding that the US rein in France and the eventual result is an "honorable ceasefire" between Gadaffi and the rebels.
    (2) a terrorist attack (initiated by either Gadaffi or France, neither of whom categorize France and United States as separate nations in their rhetoric, both are "western powers" colluding against Islam or Arab interests)against US interest occurs for the US supposedly "not reining in France" in Libya. Are we going to go after Gadaffi or Al Qaeda at that time or condemn France or get into a squabble in our domestic politics for giving up total control of the Libya operations to France?
    (3) Gadaffi decides to team up with the Iranian dictatorship to obtain nuclear arms (remember Libya broke ranks with most Arab countries when it supported Iran during the Iran-Iraq war, so they have a long history of supporting each other), starts funding Hezbollah operations and reverts to being the "mad dog" of the ME once again.

    Correction (none / 0) (#163)
    by Politalkix on Fri Apr 01, 2011 at 09:35:19 AM EST
    It should read
    (2) a terrorist attack (initiated by either Gadaffi or Al Qaeda, .....

    2 & 3 sounds like shades (none / 0) (#188)
    by MO Blue on Sat Apr 02, 2011 at 11:02:28 AM EST
    of "mushroom clouds" to me.

    Anything can sound like mushroom clouds (none / 0) (#191)
    by Politalkix on Sat Apr 02, 2011 at 06:15:16 PM EST
    if you have already made up your mind (and ofcourse each person is entitled to make up her/his mind) about non-intervention. I had only laid out certain scenarios and asked what would we do if these happened (unlike GWB, Cheney, Rumsfield and others who sold invasion of Iraq in 2004, I did not say that I had intelligence that this would happen). I asked the non-interventionists that if we gave up total control to France and pulled out publicly, whether there was a fall back plan or a plan B should any of the scenarios that I described, occur. I am yet to receive any response that addressed my concerns in that regard.
    I will bring up one more fact
    Since the 1990s, we have got involved in 3 major wars
    (1) in kosovo (against the Serbs)
    (2) in iraq (against Saddam Hussein)
    (3) in afghanistan (against the Taliban and Al Qaeda).

    In each case, we looked away (or disengaged) when there were uprisings against the murderous regimes from within the country.

    That did not prevent a full scale war (or external invasion led by us for reasons that you can agree or disagree with) later on.


    It is naive to think (none / 0) (#110)
    by Politalkix on Thu Mar 31, 2011 at 06:44:27 PM EST
    that if America passed the baton to France and left Libya, America would not be blamed (internationally and domestically) if things turned bloody.
    France can play a leading role but America should support it with the help of a truly international force (including those from countries with predominantly Muslim populations).

    How would DK commenters vote in this (none / 0) (#56)
    by oculus on Thu Mar 31, 2011 at 12:47:43 PM EST
    poll?  Need a cross-post on this one.

    Okay,,,go ahead (none / 0) (#60)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Mar 31, 2011 at 12:58:36 PM EST
    I'll recommend your diary :)

    That would be plagiarism! (none / 0) (#64)
    by oculus on Thu Mar 31, 2011 at 01:03:13 PM EST
    We could ask (none / 0) (#65)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Mar 31, 2011 at 01:04:24 PM EST
    He won't put it up (none / 0) (#67)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Mar 31, 2011 at 01:05:08 PM EST
    He only puts up postings on legal issues

    He cross-posted the one on "is it (none / 0) (#68)
    by oculus on Thu Mar 31, 2011 at 01:07:17 PM EST
    humanitarian" to arm the rebels.

    He did? (none / 0) (#70)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Mar 31, 2011 at 01:09:01 PM EST
    I didn't see it

    Shocked (none / 0) (#71)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Mar 31, 2011 at 01:09:35 PM EST
    So he could cross post this

    Most of the commenters there (none / 0) (#72)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Mar 31, 2011 at 01:18:03 PM EST
    agreed with Armando

    If I put it up (none / 0) (#69)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Mar 31, 2011 at 01:07:40 PM EST
    I would dedicate it to my friend who is a 5-man wing of the Nexus in Coldarra :)

    The Libyan rebels look like Mad Max (none / 0) (#93)
    by Saul on Thu Mar 31, 2011 at 03:14:09 PM EST
    I am stepping back and noticing the (none / 0) (#97)
    by ruffian on Thu Mar 31, 2011 at 03:33:45 PM EST
    absurdity of the whole situation. I am going to sound pretty heartless here, but here goes.

    In January would the Libyan rebels have tried to overthrow Ghadaffi? Of course not. They were emboldened because it worked relatively easily in Tunisia and Egypt. They know their own dictator better than anyone - did they have any realistic prospects that he would back down from an insurrection at this time, or that the army would side with their cause? I doubt it.  

    They badly misjudged and we have to come to the rescue? It just seems absurd to me.

    Reply to ruffian's post (#97) (none / 0) (#106)
    by Politalkix on Thu Mar 31, 2011 at 06:06:15 PM EST
    It also seems absurd to many people in this country that tax payer money should go to rescue people who badly misjudge their situations in life, i.e. those having to foreclose for taking a home loan without adequate considerations of risks, those having to undergo abortions or drug or alcohol rehabilitation because of bad decisions they made in their lives.



    I understand (none / 0) (#112)
    by ruffian on Thu Mar 31, 2011 at 06:52:01 PM EST
    Maybe if I thought bailing out Libyan rebels would help our economy and my neighborhood, it would not seem so strange.

    I suppose you can understand now (none / 0) (#123)
    by Politalkix on Thu Mar 31, 2011 at 08:04:17 PM EST
    why the wealthy investor class in our country do not like bailing out middle class and poor people who have fallen on hard times for miscalculating risks on their home loans or retirement accounts. They do not think that bailing these people out helps their economy or their neighbourhoods.
    You have reasoned that the world is not a fair place and the Libyan people (or any group of people that does not fall into your "our" category) should learn to live without even the most basic freedoms that we in our country take for granted. The rich have also decided that since the world is not a fair place, the middle class and poor people who do not belong to their "our" category should learn to live with the humiliations and restriction of freedoms that they cannot imagine for themselves.
    Where does such thinking leave our country or the world?

    Wait a second..... (5.00 / 1) (#142)
    by ruffian on Thu Mar 31, 2011 at 10:42:55 PM EST
    The 'investor class' asked for and received the TARP bailout for the mistakes they made. Maybe they should try to understand why the middle class thinks they might be entitled to some help too.

    Wait a second, ruffian (none / 0) (#146)
    by Politalkix on Thu Mar 31, 2011 at 11:34:15 PM EST
    People in the ME (and other regions in the world) have been subsidizing the higher standards of living of middle class Americans for many decades now through cheap oil, cheap labor, etc. Maybe you should try to understand why people in Libya and some other countries think that they are also entitled to some help from Americans if they fight for some very basic human rights.

    I support all kinds of help (none / 0) (#153)
    by ruffian on Fri Apr 01, 2011 at 05:39:28 AM EST
    short of dropping bombs on them.

    Some of those people happen to be (none / 0) (#158)
    by ruffian on Fri Apr 01, 2011 at 06:53:07 AM EST
    in the Libyan Army, getting bombed at the moment. Every one of the 20,000 members of the army has his own reason for being there. I can understand that many of them are just as oppressed as their countryman, possibly being forced to stay with the army now.  Are we to be judge, jury and executioner if a soldier does not desert this week?

    Pol, it sounds as though (none / 0) (#167)
    by jondee on Fri Apr 01, 2011 at 10:56:53 AM EST
    if we weren't preparing to drop bombs in Libya, you'd like to drop a few on American middle and working class for their 'poor life choices' (as the Randite meme goes).  

    You sound like Lloyd Blankfein's cabana boy testifying before congress in your last couple of posts.


    No (none / 0) (#172)
    by Politalkix on Fri Apr 01, 2011 at 12:05:26 PM EST
    It was ruffian who interpreted the going-ons in Libya as one arising from bad choices made by demonstrators and rebels in Libya. To me the Libyan uprising has never been an issue of choice. It is one of basic human rights. People in that country are obviously desperate to take the kinds of risks they have taken and need to be supported and not blamed.
    She keeps voicing the opinion that she feels manipulated by the rebels. I am totally aghast that she feels that way. If anyone approached me for help in preserving their basic human rights and freedoms against oppressors, I would not blame the victim and say that I felt manipulated. I just provided a few examples of "choices" that were closer to home to impress on her that if everyone was only concerned about their own neighbourhoods and not others (that they did not feel to be their own), it would make for a very bad country and world.

    It was a choice. (none / 0) (#175)
    by ruffian on Fri Apr 01, 2011 at 01:55:35 PM EST
    I know they have no good options - live under tyranny or take a chance on getting killed fighting it.  For years they did the former, and a month ago they saw that maybe their odds had improved and perhaps there was less risk in the latter because the international eye was upon such efforts due to Tunisia and Egypt and their tyrant would be under pressure to leave. How could they have thought they had any chance at all without the international community getting involved?

    Why is it wrong if Libyans hoped (none / 0) (#178)
    by Politalkix on Fri Apr 01, 2011 at 02:17:59 PM EST
    that the international community would get involved if they stood up against tyrany?
    Was it wrong for African-Americans during the Civil rights movement days to hope that all Americans and even the international community would get involved in their struggle? Is it wrong for gays and lesbians to hope that their march towards equal rights will get help not just from gays and lesbians but also those who are not gays and lesbians?

    Of course not (none / 0) (#179)
    by ruffian on Fri Apr 01, 2011 at 02:34:26 PM EST
    I am obviously ignorant of the long time appeals by the Libyan freedom movement.  To me, it just appeared in the last 3 weeks as a disorganized "rag tag" group telling us it was either help them or be responsible for the massacre of thousands. I could not help but be suspicious. My bad.

    Seriously ruffian (none / 0) (#180)
    by Politalkix on Fri Apr 01, 2011 at 04:31:34 PM EST
    and you probably were also ignorant of long time appeals by East Germans for freedom till they tore down the Berlin Wall or the longings of Argentinians to throw the military junta into the dustbin of history despite some news of "rag tag" groups such as the "Mothers of the Plaza de Mayo", occasionally breaking through....

    Your argument is getting stretched out... (none / 0) (#182)
    by ks on Fri Apr 01, 2011 at 05:34:39 PM EST
    You're making pretty questionable comparisons though I get that you are exaggerating for effect.  IMO, what's going on in Libya is that MK's longtime tribal rivals in Benghazi saw a chance to ursurp him using the momentum of "The Arab Spring" uprisings in other countries though unlike Tunisa and egypt, they took up arms almost immediately. The Benghazi area has been an on and off hotbed of rebellion against MK since he overthrew the Monarch whose tribe is based, and I believe dominant, in the area.  

    The idea that this about "freedom" is a bit off.  Sure its about freedom from MK's rule but I suspect its more of a "Meet The New Boss..." type of thing. Especially when you consider that the rebel leadership is filled with ex-MK people and is "led" from what I've been reading, a probable CIA asset.


    Please answer honestly ks (none / 0) (#186)
    by Politalkix on Fri Apr 01, 2011 at 08:27:35 PM EST
    Did Gadaffi allow political parties in his country to function. Just answer with a "Yes" or "No". If the answer is "No", people are seeking freedom!
    The opposition is a motley crew of people-the college educated young, lawyers, doctors, teachers, expatriate Libyans, some people with religious motivations, etc. Why you, jondee and ruffian are choosing to discredit and prejudge them even before they have indicated what they will do is beyond my comprehension.
    And what is a stretch? Did people who opposed Gadaffi, disappear? Did people who opposed Gadaffi, get hanged? (he once hanged 1200 people on a single day). Did Gadaffi infiltrate his country with secret informants? We got a feel for how that infitration worked when a young rape victim burst into a hotel that housed foreign journalists.
    How are Gadaffi's actions different from those of dictators in the former E.Germany or Argentina?
    BTW, did the CIA never get involved in undermining the E.German dictatorship? Did the people in E.Germany and Argentina never attempt to bring to justice leaders of the dictatorial regimes they overthrew? Can you think about maligning the opposition without hard evidence in the former E.Germany or Argentina in a way that you are doing for people in Libya?

    Your exaggerations are getting more dramatic (none / 0) (#189)
    by ks on Sat Apr 02, 2011 at 04:36:03 PM EST
    ...by the minute.  Wait, I thought this was a "humanitarian mission to stop a genocide".  A Yes or No question?  Get out of here with that tactic.  What's next calling me a "Gadaffi apologist"?  As if me or anybody else here is supporting Gadaffi.  LOL.  Anyway, I've already stated that the opposition wants freedom from Gaddaffi which certainly makes sense though its somewhat amusing that your motley crew description (why not just use the usual "rag tag") of the opposition strangely left out the ex-MG goons and CIA guy who are actually leading them militarily and politically.   A few weeks ago a lot those guys were part of the evil MG's regime but now they're multi-party democracy loving freedom fighters?  Yeah right.

    Your "pre-judging and maligning" stuff is just more of your dramatic posturing.  I'm watching what happening with the opposition and, frankly, it doesn't look promising. The rounding up, and killing of some, so-called "African Mercenaries", the takeover of the leadership of the "rebels" by ex-MG goons, the historical tension between the East and West of Libya...etc...

    Actually you seem to be the one imagining what's going on which is why I guess you're insisting on such strained comparisons to East Germany and Argentina.  You also seem to be insisting on a "template" of sorts in which all dictatorships and totalitarian governments and opposition to them are the same.  Btw, speaking of undermining, I don't recall the West openly selling arms to and doing business with East Germany like we did with Gadaffi until a few weeks ago though, to be fair, we probably did with Argentina.  Anyway, what's going on now is not "undermining".  It's taking sides in a civil war.  

    Putting your romantic imaginings aside, I'll stick with my earlier assessment.  In terms of your "give-me-a-link" tactic asking for "hard evidence" about my comments on the opposition, you can look it up yourself.  The NY Times had a nice writeup.  There have been several good ones in the Guardian.  I'm sure you can find others.


    LoL (none / 0) (#190)
    by Politalkix on Sat Apr 02, 2011 at 05:21:52 PM EST
    Make up your mind

    According to you
    "A few weeks ago a lot those guys were part of the evil MG's regime but now they're multi-party democracy loving freedom fighters"

    and also

    "the historical tension between the East and West of Libya...etc..."

    These two statements are contradictory to each other but in trying to sell your narrative that this is just nothing more than a civil war, you are trying to hide and downplay these contradictions.

    I have also read articles about the opposition in US and British publications. One of the most prominent leaders of the opposition (who has received training by the CIA was originally with Gadaffi in 1969, tried to overthrow him soon afterwards had been in Gadaffi's prisons for over 25 years) had been in Gadaffi's prisons for many years. You are cleverly hiding the fact that some of the military leadership to the opposition has to come from ex-MG regime people or from outside the country because in 40 years, Gadaffi had totally eliminated anyone outside his regime who could fight him with arms.
    You are intentionally trying to hide facts like these.

    And yes, you are pre-judging and maligning the opposition. There is no doubt about it. This is
    a time tested tactic of the ideological left and the right. I do not know whether you are a Gadaffi-apologist or not but given the fact that you have tried to hide a lot of facts in articles that you have read, makes me clearly question your motivations.


    That doesn't make any sense (none / 0) (#192)
    by ks on Sat Apr 02, 2011 at 06:34:51 PM EST
    Now you're just playing silly word games.  Those statements don't contradict each other at all. They are simple statements of fact. If you are trying to imply that the historical tension between the East and West in Libya is somehow in conflict with MG's ex-goons leading the opposition, that's pretty silly.  Opportunists are opportunists.  Also, this is a civil war. That's plainly obvious. I mean, the opposition almost immediately took up arms and marched on the capital.  The regime struck back and almost defeated them.  The rebels got international help and are now in sort of a stalemate.  They control most of the East and MG controls the West. Some of the cities in between go back and forth.  Does calling it a civil war somehow lessen the "purity" of it for you?  Strange.

    I see you're still going on with the dramatic posturing.  "Hiding facts"?  Where did you get that gem from? lol. What nonsense.  We all knew that MG was a bad guy before this while we were selling him weapons which btw, he is and has been using to oppress and kill his people and when we were buying his oil.  We also know that there has been some previous revolts though none near this scale.  While those revolts have one thing in common in that they wanted to get rid of MG's regime, your seeming implication that those other ones, or this one, is an attempt to replace MG with a multiparty freedom loving democracy is, imo, wishful thinking at best.  

    More "prejudging and maligning" nonsense from you?  No, what I'm doing is watching what they are actually doing and who actually forms their leadership and making my assessment accordingly. You, otoh, appear to be wishing and hoping which is your right.


    You are intentionally obfuscating (none / 0) (#193)
    by Politalkix on Sat Apr 02, 2011 at 07:03:41 PM EST
    When MG starts sending goons with arms door to door to terrorize people, it was clear that non-violence was not going to work. So the opposition had to take up arms very quickly or get slaughtered. In Egypt, the regime did not start terrorising people with tanks and snipers from rooftops; the military stood by the side and we had a lot of control over Mubarak. That was not the case in Libya.
    You are once again intentionally hiding these facts and being very dishonest with your arguments. Also please do not put words in my mouth using "seeming implication' in my posts regarding replacement of MG with "multiparty freedom loving democracy" to set up strawmans. I have already said that the opposition (involving a varied group of people) is trying to work out a lot of things about what kind of govt they will have in the post gadaffi era and their vision is a work in progress. The fact that they are consulting with the French and the Americans, the fact that they have people with different ideological bents amongst themselves provides hope that there will be more political freedom in the post gadaffi era.
    I am getting tired with your obfuscations, I am not going to engage with you any more.

    Now that probably makes sense... (none / 0) (#194)
    by ks on Sat Apr 02, 2011 at 07:39:36 PM EST
    Since you are clearly blinded by the melodrama of the situation rather than engaging rational analysis.  Btw, I was the one who pointed out earlier in our exchange that the opposition had hoped to take advantage of the momentum of the "Arab Spring" and I guess you missed the "almost immediately" part of my last post.  As such, I'm not surprised that you're now going on about obfuscations.  I'm not blaming the opposition for taking up arms but to pretend that this is not a civil war or to imply that calling it a civil war is somehow demeaning to them is bs. And, not being clear-eyed about who the opposition is, is just dumb especially when we have committed to support that side of the war.

    But wait, this is not like Egypt?  Really, no?  Tell me another one.  Oh, that's right.  It's like East Germany and Argentina.    


    Comical Irony (none / 0) (#195)
    by Politalkix on Sat Apr 02, 2011 at 10:17:32 PM EST
    The descriptive phrase "Arab Spring of 2011" was coined after people compared the uprisings in the ME to those in Europe, i.e. "European Spring of 1848".
    To some, it is ridiculuous to say that the uprising in Libya is like that in Argentina or the former E.Germany when they can be compared  to uprisings that occured over 160 years ago in the German States, the Italian States, Denmark, Belgium, Wallachia, and the Habsburg Austrian Empire.


    The military junta in Argentina in the 1970s would intentionally term the uprisings (some peaceful, some armed) of students, journalists, trade unionists, Marxist and Peronists guerrillas as those originating from "civil war" to justify state sponsored violence (murders, assassinations torture, kidnappings) on political opponents.

    It is interesting to note that Muammer Gadaffi promised "civil war" before he let his tanks, aircrafts, snipers, informants and armed thugs and mercenaries loose on protestors.

    Dictators like using terms like "civil war" to justify any level of violence against political opponents.

    (I apologize for breaking the promise of not engaging further in this thread. I could not help but notice the irony of phrases used, so posted one more time. Enough for me!).


    Heh... (none / 0) (#196)
    by ks on Sat Apr 02, 2011 at 10:37:33 PM EST
    Yeah..ok...  I guess an "ironic" connection is better than no connection at all.  Also, if not calling what is happening now a civil war makes you feel as if you're on the side of the Angels, well, knock yourself out.  Enjoy the rest of the weekend.

    What is really absurd is me getting drawn (none / 0) (#187)
    by ruffian on Fri Apr 01, 2011 at 11:24:41 PM EST
    into arguing what is essentially a point of procedure, rather than goals. I shouldn't get peeved about the lack of  position papers and formal outreach months in advance of a revolution.

    My annoyance is not important to anything. So bombs away and I hope it ends well.


    I ask again - where do you propose we go next? (none / 0) (#176)
    by ruffian on Fri Apr 01, 2011 at 01:58:13 PM EST
    People all over would love our help. Syria? Iran? The west bank?

    It leaves the U.S. government (5.00 / 0) (#144)
    by MO Blue on Thu Mar 31, 2011 at 10:55:17 PM EST
    willing to spend trillions on war for so called humanitarian reasons and willing to cut a few hundred million from our budget for programs that provide food both here and abroad that will cause the deaths of millions of people, many who are children.

    Spending money on the WIC program, food programs here and abroad and malaria medicine saves millions of lives. OTOH, our bombs have killed more civilians in Iraq in a single decade than Saddam did during his entire regime. We are still killing civilians in Afghanistan to save them and now we are going to kill civilians in Libya to save them too.  


    Here is how I see the various situations (none / 0) (#137)
    by ruffian on Thu Mar 31, 2011 at 10:05:04 PM EST
    1. No one that got a loan they could not afford did it alone. The 'investor class' loaned them the money. At the same time the investor class also in some areas knowingly inflated the 'value' of homes to inflate the amounts of the mortgages. The higher the risk the better. They share the blame for the crisis with the homeowners, but we only bailed out the investors. I have only said the blame and the bailing should be shared.  You can hope and dream the economy will recover without that, but it will not.

    2. I am not saying people in Libya or anywhere else should give up trying to attain freedom.  Of course not. But in this particular case with this particular attempt it gets more apparent every day how steep the odds were.  They had to know they could not do it without help. I just feel like we were set up into the position of having to respond to a crisis.  If someone had asked you in January, pre-crisis, if we should send airplanes and bombs in to liberate Libya, would you have said yes?  there are plenty of other places that need liberation. Where do you suggest next?

    jesus, scratch an Obamite get a Newt (none / 0) (#168)
    by jondee on Fri Apr 01, 2011 at 11:19:47 AM EST
    who doesn't badly misjudge their situations in life at what time or another? And who, other than the Nietzchean ubermensch and social Darwinists whose memes Politix is suddenly dutifully regurgitating, is covered for absolutely every contingency?

    What about things like dissater relief? Those people made the choice to live in the middle of tornado alley, wildfire and mud slide susceptible areas etc..



    You could address that to me too since I am (none / 0) (#177)
    by ruffian on Fri Apr 01, 2011 at 02:09:58 PM EST
    saying the rebels made bad choices in kicking the hornet's next. That is the difference between them and disaster relief. It is one thing to live in a dangerous place - maybe you have little choice, for a variety of reasons, and every place has its own dangers and potential acts of nature. But the Libyan situation is like intentionally setting off the avalanche on yourself when you are out snowmobiling in your underwear, thinking I'll dig you out and take you to the mountaintop. I may rescue you but I'm gonna be cranky about it.  Maybe you could have arranged it with me beforehand and we could have gotten you a parka and a safer way to the mountain top.

    Jondee (none / 0) (#181)
    by Politalkix on Fri Apr 01, 2011 at 04:51:27 PM EST
    Do not know what is upsetting you about my posts. Throwing out labels like Blankfein's Cabana Boys, Randites, Obamites, Newts, is not making any of your arguments more lucid. It is just telling me that some people in the left cannot write a line without falling back on categorizing people using strawman names. That is not helpful for any discussion.

    Politakix don't mention anything about (none / 0) (#183)
    by BTAL on Fri Apr 01, 2011 at 06:20:58 PM EST
    religion or Jondee will berate you continuously with similar style posts.  Discussion is not the game, cute slights and insults are.

    I read that Uganda is offering (none / 0) (#98)
    by hairspray on Thu Mar 31, 2011 at 03:37:10 PM EST
    safe haven.  If we can keep the Ghadafi forces from destroying the resistance for a while we may get him out of there before the whole thing becomes a bloodbath.  That could make the case for military pressure applied just enough to keep Ghadafi looking for a way out.  He is so bizarre that it is hard to know what he will respond to. Saving the lives of his subjects and infrastructure doesn't seem to be an issue for him.

    Continue No Fly Zone, provide (none / 0) (#108)
    by MKS on Thu Mar 31, 2011 at 06:42:18 PM EST
    close air support for rebels, provide special forces to assist air support and to gather intelligence for rebels....

    No "advisors" a' la Vietnam.  No combat troops.

    Let the French and Brits take up the slack if they will.  Best option at this point would be for France and Britain to publicly ready ground troops for an invasion.  Getting rid of Qaddafi will be like getting rid of Milosovic....Unfortunately such a strategy means many civilian deaths in Tripoli.

    I would expand air strikes significantly--something like the Kosovo campaign.

    This is not ideal.  The assumption behind the original no fly zone was that the rebels could hold their own with some air support, that they were comprised of, at least in part, professional soldiers who had left Qaddafi and could lead volunteers in a sustained combat operation.

    This assumption turned out not to be true.  The gamble apparently has not paid off.  So we are stuck to a certain extent.  We need to continue some support while trying not to get any of our guys killed.

    Oh that is good (5.00 / 0) (#116)
    by MO Blue on Thu Mar 31, 2011 at 07:14:49 PM EST
    No U.S. combat troops just U.S. special forces. Better put the special forces in tennis shoes so Obama can claim there are no U.S. boots on the ground in Libya.

    Expand the air strikes significantly? No civilian losses will occur because this is a humanitarian effort and humanitarian bombs can tell the difference between Gaddafi's people, the rebels {whoever they are} and civilians. That has worked out so well in Iraq and Afghanistan.  


    You point out the downside (none / 0) (#133)
    by MKS on Thu Mar 31, 2011 at 09:49:55 PM EST
    I agree bombing Tripoli would not be humanitarian....but it could  force out Qaddafi

    Tennis shoes--obviously an allusion I missed.

    Special Forces and Delta units are probably already there....


    Special Forces and Delta units (none / 0) (#140)
    by MO Blue on Thu Mar 31, 2011 at 10:37:12 PM EST
    are probably already there....

    House Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Rogers (R-Mich.) said Thursday that CIA involvement in Libya is not akin to military boots on the ground.
    Intelligence agencies are supposed to collect intelligence," Rogers said, indicating that covert operations in Libya are consistent with President Obama's vow not to send in ground troops.

    "It's not boots on the ground," he said. link

    It is my understanding that Special Forces and Delta are part of the military. If they are in Libya, then Obama's strong commitment that there would not be U.S. military boots on the ground is another case of the president lying to the people of the U.S.


    Who knows, the military spotters (none / 0) (#174)
    by MKS on Fri Apr 01, 2011 at 01:23:27 PM EST
    on the ground may be Brits....

    I would not count the CIA as ground troops or boots on the ground--if this metric is of improtance.  We have CIA everywhere....

    The key, I believe, is to avoid sending in ground units.  A handful, if it stays at that, is needed.


    We are only stuck if we decide to be stuck (5.00 / 1) (#117)
    by ruffian on Thu Mar 31, 2011 at 07:25:15 PM EST
    Drawing the line on what to do (none / 0) (#134)
    by MKS on Thu Mar 31, 2011 at 09:52:28 PM EST
    is not easy.....

    I think we should try to fix this situation without sending the First Infantry Division....


    I don't even know what fixing the situation (5.00 / 1) (#138)
    by ruffian on Thu Mar 31, 2011 at 10:13:15 PM EST
    means at this point.

    That is understandable (5.00 / 1) (#141)
    by MO Blue on Thu Mar 31, 2011 at 10:40:51 PM EST
    since the president doesn't know what fixing the situation means and doesn't have a clue on how to bring that about.



    My Son In Law is SF (none / 0) (#125)
    by BTAL on Thu Mar 31, 2011 at 08:19:22 PM EST
    He wears boots MKS, even when he is not wearing an "official" uniform.  Shall I ask if he will change his footwear to tennis shoes?

    I assume he wears combat boots (none / 0) (#135)
    by MKS on Thu Mar 31, 2011 at 09:54:48 PM EST
    My Dad, who served with the Special Forces in Vietnam as a career Army officer, wore combat boots too.

    .....He wore them hiking when I was a kid......


    Was referring to his wearing of boots (none / 0) (#184)
    by BTAL on Fri Apr 01, 2011 at 06:22:13 PM EST
    when on official duty but not in uniform.  The more recent MO of SF, especially in the ME countries.

    I'm old fashioned. (none / 0) (#152)
    by lentinel on Fri Apr 01, 2011 at 03:56:54 AM EST
    When a strategy is mentioned that would result in many civilian deaths, I'm agin it.

    Sec'y Gates re status of rebels: (none / 0) (#130)
    by oculus on Thu Mar 31, 2011 at 09:29:19 PM EST
    Sounds about right from what I saw on (none / 0) (#139)
    by ruffian on Thu Mar 31, 2011 at 10:17:54 PM EST

    I sincerely hope Gaddafi just decides he will have a better life in Uganda or some other place someone is offering asylum. I don't think anything short of major NATO intervention will dislodge him if he does not want to go.


    Very generous of Amin to offer him a (none / 0) (#145)
    by oculus on Thu Mar 31, 2011 at 10:55:53 PM EST
    safe haven.  But how about the long term.  Dictator plus deposed dictator.

    There is an old Pink Floyd song (5.00 / 1) (#154)
    by ruffian on Fri Apr 01, 2011 at 05:46:56 AM EST
    about a retirement home for deposed tyrants.

    Take all your overgrown infants away somewhere
    And build them a home, a little place of their own.
    The Fletcher Memorial
    Home for Incurable Tyrants and Kings.

    Written in 1983 - Some may not agree with the inclusion of Reagan and Thatcher......and the song does suggest the use of the final solution, which is, um, deplorable.


    I watched him say this (none / 0) (#161)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Apr 01, 2011 at 08:08:37 AM EST
    He gave good testimony IMO.  He was saying everything that I wanted him to say though.  If I had different opinions about Libya I might think his testimony stank.

    Your opinion re U.S. intervention in (none / 0) (#173)
    by oculus on Fri Apr 01, 2011 at 12:06:21 PM EST
    Libya seemed to change quite radically.  Didn't it?

    What prison are we using for the (none / 0) (#155)
    by ruffian on Fri Apr 01, 2011 at 06:36:58 AM EST
    Libyans our new rebel allies turn over to the CIA as enemies of America?

    Bagram (none / 0) (#160)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Apr 01, 2011 at 08:06:07 AM EST
    I'm sure there will be swift adjudication (none / 0) (#165)
    by ruffian on Fri Apr 01, 2011 at 10:18:41 AM EST
    to determine who is a threat and who was turned in as part of a vendetta. We are humanitarians, after all.

    If they find someone they deem (none / 0) (#166)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Apr 01, 2011 at 10:42:06 AM EST
    Al Qaeda, I have no doubt they will right to Bagram.

    From Brooks in the Times today (none / 0) (#185)
    by diogenes on Fri Apr 01, 2011 at 08:15:48 PM EST
    "Libyan officials took Western reporters to the town of Gharyan this week to show them the grave of a baby supposedly killed in the multilateral bombing campaign. But the boy's relatives pulled the reporters aside, David D. Kirkpatrick reported  in The Times. "What NATO is doing is good," one said. "He is not a man," another whispered of Qaddafi. "He is Dracula. For 42 years it has been dark. Anyone who speaks, he kills. But everyone wants Qaddafi to go."