View Poll Results: Are we doing the right thing in Libya?

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Thread: Are we doing the right thing in Libya?

  1. #41
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    Re: Are we doing the right thing in Libya?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kandahar View Post
    Our involvement is a bad idea for many conflicts. Let's go down the list

    1. THE REALPOLITIK ARGUMENT - Is it really such a no-brainer that the successor government will be better than Gaddafi's? Perhaps it only looks like that because the opposition is relatively amorphous at this point, unlike in Egypt. You can assign whatever motives you want to the opposition, but nothing about Iraq or Afghanistan convinces me that the US has a good grasp of nations' internal politics before intervening.
    There are no guarantees, but it would likely be better, and almost certainly no worse. Sometimes it is worth taking a chance for improvement.

    2. THE HUMANITARIAN ARGUMENT - Are we sure that our involvement will actually stop a slaughter? If so, will it save more lives than the air strikes cost?
    Sure? Of course not. Will it likely suppress actions against rebels? Very likely yes.

    3. THE MISSION ARGUMENT - What exactly is the goal of our mission - to protect civilians or to depose Gaddafi? If it's the latter, why not just come out and say it? If it's the former, are we going to bomb rebel sides that attack Gaddafi's forces too?
    It's possible that the goals are being formulated and part of the reason for taking action when we did was to ensure we had time to make a decision.

    4. THE PRACTICAL ARGUMENT - What makes it so clear-cut that air strikes and bombings will be sufficient to win this conflict? Saddam Hussein survived those for 12 years.
    You are assuming that this is all that will be done. With rebels on the ground already in the country, the likelihood of air strikes to support them is high.

    5. THE OPPORTUNITY COST ARGUMENT - Every dollar spent on Libya and every soldier deployed to Libya is one less dollar and one less soldier that we have for somewhere else. Is Libya the most pressing humanitarian conflict in the world? Is Libya the conflict where American interests are most at stake? No and no.
    Any increased stability in the middle east is likely very valuable as well.

    Questions are good, but simply asking questions and deciding that since there are questions we should not act is a quick way to reach paralysis.
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  2. #42
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    Re: Are we doing the right thing in Libya?

    Quote Originally Posted by Redress View Post
    There are no guarantees, but it would likely be better, and almost certainly no worse. Sometimes it is worth taking a chance for improvement.
    Better for whom? Gaddafi hasn't screwed with us since 2003, and in fact he was cooperative keeping terrorists at bay since then. The opposition, on the other hand, is rank with Islamists, it's internally divided, and democracy seems to be a much lower priority for them than it was for the Egyptians. And I'd be much more inclined to take a chance for improvement if we didn't have such a horrendous historical track record in that department.

    Will a rebel government be better than Gaddafi's? I'd say the odds are slightly in their favor, yes. I'm rooting for them. Is it such a slam-dunk certainty that it's worth injecting ourselves into the conflict? Absolutely not.

    Quote Originally Posted by Redress
    Sure? Of course not. Will it likely suppress actions against rebels? Very likely yes.
    And why is that inherently desirable for anyone other than the rebels?

    Quote Originally Posted by Redress
    It's possible that the goals are being formulated and part of the reason for taking action when we did was to ensure we had time to make a decision.
    Every minute that goes by without us having a clear-cut mission is one more minute where mission creep takes place. The no-fly zone has already evolved into air strikes, which I'm sure would have escalated into special forces if our plane had crashed near Tripoli instead of Benghazi today. Meanwhile, our goal has already changed from preventing a massacre, to serving as the rebel air force, to installing a democracy.

    We don't need a Somalia-on-the-Mediterranean, which is what this is sounding more and more like with each passing hour.

    Quote Originally Posted by Redress
    You are assuming that this is all that will be done. With rebels on the ground already in the country, the likelihood of air strikes to support them is high.
    There were rebels on the ground in Iraq when we authorized the no-fly zone after Desert Storm. Yet Saddam Hussein held out for 12 years.

    Quote Originally Posted by Redress
    Any increased stability in the middle east is likely very valuable as well.
    Libya is far from the Middle East. And if "stability" is our concern, then why are we supporting the overthrow of Gaddafi's government? If we demand Gaddafi's ouster and he won't go peacefully, then by definition we are ENCOURAGING a civil war, rather than preventing one.

    Quote Originally Posted by Redress
    Questions are good, but simply asking questions and deciding that since there are questions we should not act is a quick way to reach paralysis.
    It's not the questions I'm worried about, it's the fact that none of them have favorable answers.
    Last edited by Kandahar; 03-22-11 at 08:05 PM.
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  3. #43
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    Re: Are we doing the right thing in Libya?

    I completely agree. The masses way outnumber the authority in any case, they'll win eventually. But we are not the police of the world and have no right to go americanizing more and more countries. Maybe we should focus on that trillions of debt and using the money we could be spending on interference with another country's conflict on government programs instead.

  4. #44
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    Re: Are we doing the right thing in Libya?

    Quote Originally Posted by MaggieD View Post
    I think our president has gone crazy. Absolutely Looney-Tunes.

    A no-fly zone, in my mind, is, "Libya!! If you put military planes in the air, we are going to shoot them down." It does not mean bombing Daffy's compound, bombing military installations or anything else. We are waaaay off the mark here. If Obama puts troops into Libya, he is a one-term president for sure. And possibily a candidate for impeachment unless he gets Congressional approval. Even I will march in the streets if we put our guys on the ground. I think he's gone insane.
    There are two things at work here. One, no-fly zone. Two, protection of civilians.

    In order to enforce the no-fly zone, anti-aircraft assets must be degraded to the point that they do not pose a threat to aircraft enforcing the zone.

    Also, the resolution also authorized force to prevent a humitarian crisis, thus the attack of ground assets (i.e. tanks, artillery, etc.) is also fair game.

    Once the air defenses are dedgraded sufficiently, hand it off to the Europeans with the U.S. in a logistical support role. This is their backyard. Let them take the lead with willing Arab powers.
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  5. #45
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    Re: Are we doing the right thing in Libya?

    Quote Originally Posted by MaggieD View Post

    Bugs Bunny, huh? Well, I've certainly been called worse! *Smiling*
    Maybe he mistook the ponytails for ears... :P

    I think, however, if you didn't assume there would be attacks on anti-air assets in setting up the no-fly zone, that would be extremely naive...
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  6. #46
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    Re: Are we doing the right thing in Libya?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kandahar View Post


    Libya is far from the Middle East. And if "stability" is our concern, then why are we supporting the overthrow of Gaddafi's government? If we demand Gaddafi's ouster and he won't go peacefully, then by definition we are ENCOURAGING a civil war, rather than preventing one.


    How do you figure? It borders Egypt and many consider North Africa to be politically and culturally linked to the Middle East... something that is obvious given recent events...
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  7. #47
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    Re: Are we doing the right thing in Libya?

    Quote Originally Posted by Yukon View Post
    The US is bankrupt and cant even win the first war she entered. Give it up boys.
    The British won the Revolutionary War? First I've heard of that.
    The national security of the United States can never be left in the hands of liberals.

  8. #48
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    Re: Are we doing the right thing in Libya?

    Quote Originally Posted by ludahai View Post
    How do you figure? It borders Egypt and many consider North Africa to be politically and culturally linked to the Middle East... something that is obvious given recent events...
    There are varying defintions of what geographic region the ME consists of, but ludahai is correct in saying that generally it is not wrong to consider Libya to be part of the Middle East due to the cultural linkages. On the other hand it shouldn't be forgotten that Libya also possesses many linkages with the rest of Africa including Sub-Saharan Africa.
    Last edited by StillBallin75; 03-24-11 at 12:46 AM.
    Nobody who wins a war indulges in a bifurcated definition of victory. War is a political act; victory and defeat have meaning only in political terms. A country incapable of achieving its political objectives at an acceptable cost is losing the war, regardless of battlefield events.

    Bifurcating victory (e.g. winning militarily, losing politically) is a useful salve for defeated armies. The "stab in the back" narrative helped take the sting out of failure for German generals after WWI and their American counterparts after Vietnam.

    All the same, it's nonsense. To paraphrase Vince Lombardi, show me a political loser, and I'll show you a loser.
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  9. #49
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    Re: Are we doing the right thing in Libya?

    Quote Originally Posted by Canell View Post
    Why don't Americans obey the Constitution and declare war through Congress approval before they trow tomahawks in other peoples land? Oh, wait, it not a war, just a "protect the good people from their evil dictator" operation.
    What has happened to the world?
    I agree, but congress hasn't acted to declare war since 1942. Hopefully you had similar outrage over all other military conflicts we have been involved with since 1942. Though my memory fails me, I do remember at least one other armed conflict for which war was not declared....

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Declara..._United_States
    Last edited by upsideguy; 03-24-11 at 01:37 AM.

  10. #50
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    Re: Are we doing the right thing in Libya?

    Quote Originally Posted by StillBallin75 View Post
    There are varying defintions of what geographic region the ME consists of, but ludahai is correct in saying that generally it is not wrong to consider Libya to be part of the Middle East due to the cultural linkages. On the other hand it shouldn't be forgotten that Libya also possesses many linkages with the rest of Africa including Sub-Saharan Africa.
    I wasn't trying to argue that it is definately part of the Middle East, though a strong case can be made for it. It was a part of pan-Arabism including proposed union with other states which are undeniably Middle Eastern.

    However, the original point was made that Libya was not even near the Middle East. However, even if you DON'T consider Libya part of the Middle East, it most certainly BORDERS it as Egypt most certainly is.

    As for African linkages, those are more manufactured than anything else. Libya was not generally regarded as one of the Maghrib area states that did have significant impact with West Africa (basically being the gold-salt trade which also brought a lot of slaves into the Mediterranean world.) Libya has historically been more Mediterranean in orientation and in closer orbit with Egypt and thus the Middle East rather than the Maghrib. Libyans even at one time conquered Egypt.

    The modern ties with the rest of Africa were mostly creations of Khaddafy during one of his fits of grandeur, particularly after his dreams of dominating a pan-Arab state fell apart...
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