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Thread: Obama Warns Libya on Allied Action

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    Re: Obama Warns Libya on Allied Action

    Quote Originally Posted by Catawba View Post
    Yes, we have been so wise to spend ourselves into a hole in 2 wars with nothing to show for it! Brilliant plan!
    I particularly like the strategy of putting the costs of the war on the collective MasterCard so we wouldn't have to raise taxes until the next administration, don't you? Brilliant. That, and going in with no exit strategy or clear goals in mind. That way, the war can last as long as we'd like it to last.
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    Re: Obama Warns Libya on Allied Action

    Quote Originally Posted by Catawba View Post
    Yes, we have been so wise to spend ourselves into a hole in 2 wars with nothing to show for it! Brilliant plan!
    What exactly are you looking for here? Cheaper oil? If so, then start rallying for the dictators more honestly. That fact that gasoline isn't free yet should tell you that your "War for Oil" was little more than a bumper sticker's rallying cry to defy what he refused himself theability to understand. If you are looking for a future without 9/11s then giving these people throughout the region the opportunity to voice their political grievances via more peaceful means (democracy) is the answer....and every Arab nation isgoing tohave it's own path to the same place. Like it or not, you have always been behind the power curve, in the dark in your criticisms, and on the wrong side of history. From Bush and now to Obama you don't know what to think anymore do you? With almost the entire Arab (lump the Shia's Iran along for the ride) world screaming out for political change and democracy today, I would say that denial has to be becoming a harder chore than it used to be for you.

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    Re: Obama Warns Libya on Allied Action

    Quote Originally Posted by Dittohead not! View Post
    I particularly like the strategy of putting the costs of the war on the collective MasterCard so we wouldn't have to raise taxes until the next administration, don't you? Brilliant. That, and going in with no exit strategy or clear goals in mind. That way, the war can last as long as we'd like it to last.
    But...the next administration didn't raise taxes...did it? With Obama leading the same charge into the same decrepit world Bush did, perhaps it's time some of you recognize that the world is offering us one hand to deal with and no amount of liberal whining or utopian dreams of "change" is going to change that hand.

    I always loved this kind of twisted and confusing criticism. Criticizing the idiot civilians in Washington for what they did with Iraq as if their plan was the only way, makes sense to you? You hate them, yet give them every credit for their wisdom as if Iraq's events were set in concrete? Perhaps like the rest of your critical ilk you should start recognizing what this region is themeing around right now. One should wonder if a 9/11 would have even happened if we had rid this region of their dictators and forced social changes through certain governments (Saudi Arabia) way back in 1991.

    So far, you Bush whiners have pretty much resorted to simple statements that have far outlived their expiration dates. With the entire region crying out for democracy and freedom from their dictators, you are all left dumbfounded and quiet, aren't you? Something about democracy never being achievable by Arabs ring a bell? Something about we can't force democracy on them? How near sighted and shallow the lot of you were.

    The end goal is to reduce this region's radicalism to a managable level. But you still thinkIraq was about Iraq, huh? And that Afganistan was about Afghanistan? And that Libya is just about Libya? Is Egypt just about Egypt too? With the whole Arab world following suit one after another, I would say that missing the boat is an over statement for your kind of critic.

    Your problems are that you were so caught up in your media and commentator spoon fed ignorance that you don't know how to dig out.

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    Re: Obama Warns Libya on Allied Action

    Quote Originally Posted by MaggieD View Post
    I was very surprised to hear him say "no troops on the ground." Not that I would support that, but why in the world would the leader of the free world tip his hand like that? It makes no strategic sense to me at all. We were coming out and announcing we were in full support of, and would coordinate, a no-fly zone. That's alllll that needed to be said. (If he was worried about what other countries would think, he could have picked up the phone.) Very strange.
    He's not worried about what other countries think, it's the Americans he cares about - namely the left which is his electoral base. For him to have support, or at least to avoid a massive protest like the one Bush ignored but he can't, he has to argue that he is not waging war. I found the whole maneuver about passing the command to NATO quite entertaining. It's clear that America is the lead actor but they (Gate, Clinton, Obama) have to do a dance with their words to say otherwise. The whole "don't tip our hand to the enemy" thing is a Bush Administration myth - it's not like saying "no troops on the ground" is giving away anything, or establishing deadlines embolden the enemy and so on.
    Quote Originally Posted by Free_Radical View Post

    And I wasn't making an appeal to authority, I was making an appeal to the philosophical body of work of the founders, the worth and content of which should be well-known to anyone with a cursory understanding of basic history and philosophy.

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    Re: Obama Warns Libya on Allied Action

    Quote Originally Posted by MSgt View Post
    Bush put every dictator in the world on notice with Iraq. Why do you think so many of them publicly condemned it? Why do you think the UN was enslaved to supporting the dictator's position? It was up to future Presidents to use that threat to lean on brutal monsters, especially in this region. Of course, most of the West couldn't bring themselves to see it this way and they were too caught up in desinging excuses for their lack of integrity, morality and lack of vision...and blaming Bush because they had to do it. Just the threat of the military would have been enough to back Gudaffi and others off their people. But over the last two years the entire world has heard the Oval Office apologizing and ensuring that "we now know our place." Would we have had to do anything over Libya had we a President that Gudaffi took serious? In the end, it's our troops that have to go and re-teach the lesson.
    What does it take to get Gadaffi to take anyone seriously? Bombing the country? Been there, done that by Reagan. Gadaffi doesn't talk like a sane man, why would anyone assume that he would like one?
    Quote Originally Posted by Free_Radical View Post

    And I wasn't making an appeal to authority, I was making an appeal to the philosophical body of work of the founders, the worth and content of which should be well-known to anyone with a cursory understanding of basic history and philosophy.

    Brian

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    Re: Obama Warns Libya on Allied Action

    Quote Originally Posted by MSgt View Post
    What exactly are you looking for here?
    Providing humanitarian assistance by joining an international effort with the Arab states to police their own for a change. We turn over leadership of the action on Wednesday!

    Excellent!
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    Re: Obama Warns Libya on Allied Action

    nato's in control!

    excellent!

    but whose planes are gonna be dropping the bombs?

    and why can't that humanitarian assistance be provided to the rebel forces who are this morning halted outside sirte?

    exactly who ARE these rebel forces, by the way?

    we know that, yes, they are humans

    but beyond that?

    are you UP for a little NATION BUILDING, anyone?

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    Re: Obama Warns Libya on Allied Action

    As noted previously, while I could support a no fly zone, I do not support offensive operations that go beyond a no fly zone, as no critical U.S. interests are involved. The recent air strikes in the vicinity of Sirte, for example, indicate that there is an offensive component involved in the mission, even if NATO has denied it. Sirte is a Gadhafi loyalist city. Gadhafi’s forces there pose no threat to civilians. They do, however, stand in the way of potential advances by the anti-Gadhafi elements. The underlying rationale, which substantively allows for the ongoing close air support without describing it as such, goes as follows: Gadhafi’s forces have had a history of brutality against civilians. Wherever they exist, they pose a threat to civilians, as they could relocate elsewhere. Therefore, their armor, equipment, and personnel should be targeted when opportunities for such targeting exist. Indeed, President Obama hinted at just such rationale in describing Libya as remaining “dangerous” so long as Col. Gadhafi remains in power. Needless to say, the expansive language of UNSC Res. 1973 permits such use of force.

    In his speech last night, the President stated his case for U.S. intervention. As eloquent as the speech was, it could not overcome the absence of a critical U.S. interest to justify U.S. military intervention with an offensive component. A critical U.S. interest is something that would, if damaged, pose a significant and imminent threat to the U.S. and its key allies for which non-military alternatives were not viable.

    If one reviews the President’s speech, the key themes were as follows:

    • Libya was faced with “brutal repression and a looming humanitarian crisis.” Heart-wrenching as this might be, such a situation did not pose a credible risk to critical U.S. interests. Indeed, there have been worse humanitarian catastrophes e.g., Darfur, that drew no U.S. military intervention. A no fly zone strictly limited to protecting civilians in areas opposed to the Gadhafi dictatorship would have addressed that issue. Close air support should depend on critical U.S. interests.

    • “The Libyan opposition, and the Arab League, appealed to the world to save lives in Libya.” Both those parties have far stronger interests than the U.S. What is revealing is that the Arab League passed a hollow no fly zone declaration. It committed no resources whatsoever to enforcement. Only after the Western Coalition took on the burden of neutralizing Gadhafi’s air defenses did the Arab League commit planes. In other words, the party with far stronger interests left the risktaking to those with far fewer interests.

    • Benghazi faced “a massacre that would have reverberated across the region and stained the conscience of the world.” A strict no fly zone was sufficient. The massacre was avoided. The issue is whether the U.S. has justification to participate in an operation that includes close air support for one of the parties in what is a de facto civil war in Libya. Again, the humanitarian issue does not rise to the level where critical U.S. interests are threatened. Hence, a narrower approach that avoided the humanitarian issue would be adequate. Offensive air support aimed at securing a given outcome in the de facto Libyan civil war goes beyond that approach. Moreover, it is not nor should not be U.S. policy to use military force whenever a situation could ‘stain the conscience of the world.’ That is far too expansive a mission. It is an invitation for overreach.

    • Until Gadhafi “steps down…Libya will remain dangerous.” Again, that danger is largely confined away from U.S. interests. Gadhafi’s offensive capabilities have been seriously damaged. Although there is a threat of terrorism, the dictatorship is not really in a position to aggressively pursue that option given its having been weakened substantially and put in a rather precarious position. Were it to actually pose a credible and imminent threat of launching terrorist attacks against the U.S. or critical allies, then and only then, would critical U.S. interests be at stake. Then, the U.S. would have sufficient cause to use force to topple the dictatorship. The long-surviving dictator understands this reality and is, therefore, unlikely to actually pursue the terrorism front.

    • The “writ of the UN Security Council” would have been revealed to have been hollow. That’s not really the kind of serious U.S. problem, much less a responsibility, that requires application of U.S. military force. Instead, it’s a structural issue that requires fundamental reform of the UN. In its nearly seven decades of existence, the UN has, with few exceptions, contributed surprisingly little to international peace and stability. Most of the breakthroughs have occurred on the bilateral diplomatic front. The balance of power has also helped maintain stability in many regions far more than any UN action. UN operations in Lebanon, Rwanada, and Bosnia, among other places proved dismal failures. In Lebanon, Hezbollah was armed by Syria and Iran and grew into a formidable terrorist force during the period in which the UN has maintained a presence in Lebanon. In Rwanda, the UN ignored warnings of possible imminent genocide and could do nothing when the genocide unfolded. In Bosnia, the UN failed to halt genocidal activity during the three-party civil war that tore apart the Balkans. The General Assembly and its organs are forums in which radicalized voices foment divisions and undercut prospects for compromise and conciliation, making diplomacy more difficult.

    • The transition to stable post-Gadhafi governance will be “difficult” because “forty years of tyranny has left Libya fractured and without strong civil institutions.” This assessment is exactly correct. It is also the strongest argument why the U.S. should not take an expansive military role in Libya. After all, with the U.S. participating in a mission that has been facilitating the advances of the anti-Gadhafi forces (actions that undercut the words that the U.S. is not pursuing regime change), the U.S. will bear a degree of responsibility for the post-Gadhafi outcome. Merely passing off the matter on process e.g., highlighting the coming international conference, is wholly inadequate. If the U.S. contributes to regime change, it needs to have a plan in place to help prevent the outbreak of a wider civil war (a high risk in Libya given tribal rivalries, significant popular support still enjoyed by the Gadhafi dictatorship, and the Islamist/secularist divide) and reconstruction/technical/economic assistance to facilitate the rapid creation of a stable transitional government. The situations in Iraq and Afghanistan highlight the difficulties involved with such a process.

    • A potential refugee problem would have imposed “enormous strains” on the ongoing political transitions in Tunisia and Egypt. In theory, there was a potential significant risk to Egypt and Tunisia. Nonetheless, non-military alternatives were available to deal with that potential issue. For example, humanitarian aid and logistical support could have been offered to accommodate the refugees’ needs.

    In sum, the speech failed to highlight a sufficiently critical U.S. interest that justified direct military intervention with an offensive component. A purely protective no fly zone is one thing. Providing air cover to one of the parties in the de facto civil war is quite another.

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    Re: Obama Warns Libya on Allied Action

    Quote Originally Posted by Catawba View Post
    Providing humanitarian assistance by joining an international effort with the Arab states to police their own for a change. We turn over leadership of the action on Wednesday!

    Excellent!
    Well that would be the perfect world. However, we live in this one. We will be turning over control to an organization that we are 90 percent of. Face it, the U.S. Canada, and Britian is NATO. In the mean time, this new "leader" will field phone calls from AFRICOM, the Pentagon, and the White House because he will need our muscle, satellites, and intel to do anything. Wonderful. And what Arab states are going to do anything without "foriegn devil" support?
    Last edited by MSgt; 03-29-11 at 01:03 PM.

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    Re: Obama Warns Libya on Allied Action

    Quote Originally Posted by MSgt View Post
    Well that would be the perfect world. However, we live in this one. We will be turning over control to an organization that we are 90 percent of. Face it, the U.S. Canada, and Britian is NATO. In the mean time, this new "leader" will field phone calls from AFRICOM, the Pentagon, and the White House because he will need our muscle, satellites, and intel to do anything. Wonderful. And what Arab states are going to do anything without "foriegn devil" support?
    We need to be working with the Arab states and NATO for democratic change in the Middle East, it has been bankrupting us and just creating more terrorists with our trying to go it alone.

    And I have not heard Congress saying they are going to cut off funding for it, which is within their power if they choose to exercise it.
    Last edited by Catawba; 03-29-11 at 03:03 PM.
    Treat the earth well: it was not given to you by your parents, it was loaned to you by your children. We do not inherit the Earth from our Ancestors, we borrow it from our Children. ~ Ancient American Indian Proverb

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