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Obama’s Libyan Quandary

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Posted on Mar 18, 2011
White House / Pete Souza

President Obama throws down the gauntlet, kind of, in his speech about Libya on Friday at the White House.

By Stanley Kutler

Onward ride the old familiar horses of colonialism. France and Britain have enthusiastically endorsed the U.N. resolution calling for a “no-fly zone” over Libya. Within hours of the vote both countries announced that their planes were at the ready. British Prime Minister David Cameron told Parliament that Britain had deployed warplanes, along with aerial refueling and surveillance aircraft. “To pass a resolution like this and they just stand back and hope someone in the region would enforce it is wrong,” Cameron said (emphasis added).

The United States, a relative newcomer to Western imperialism, seemed more hesitant, more reluctant, but nevertheless endorsed the resolution. The U.S. indicated its support for the air operations and offered the usual complement of 400 Marines offshore. Perhaps the Pentagon is eager to give new life to the Marines’ hymn and have the Marines return to “the shores of Tripoli.” Italy, the old colonial master of Libya, has been strangely silent, undoubtedly because Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi is preoccupied with other things.

U.N. intervention has come when Libyan rebels apparently are on the verge of collapse. Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi had threatened to invade Benghazi, “closet by closet” to find and kill the rebels. But shortly after the U.N. vote the Libyan foreign minister declared “an immediate cease-fire” in “all military operations” against the rebels—an announcement which Prime Minister Cameron scornfully dismissed. Why are these Western nations so determined to impose their hand and footprints on Libya? Could the prize be the all-too-familiar one of oil?

The Libyan rebellion, part of a general Arab uprising against despotic regimes, naturally should be welcomed, particularly by the United States and its “democratic, anti-colonial” tradition. But Gadhafi’s regime has enormous power and resources to quash the disparate, poorly armed rebels, and it is unlikely that a no-fly resolution will succeed in stopping him from brutalizing his own people.

The heavy patrolling and bombing over Bosnia and Serbia in the 1990s did nothing to prevent the massacre at Srebenica and other places. Even more significant, and strangely absent from commentary now, is the destruction the U.S. and its allies visited upon Iraq, also in the 1990s, in a futile attempt to bring down Saddam Hussein. What we destroyed instead was much of the professional and middle classes in Iraq. That nation’s medical delivery system,  arguably the best in the Arab region, was destroyed and denied to the Iraqi people by coalition attack. The military tactics combined with heavily enforced sanctions shattered the Iraqi infrastructure and economy, and the invasion in 2003 only visited further disaster on what was a shell of a nation.

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Recent events raised the possibility of an alternative, although probably not to the liking of David Cameron. On March 14, the Arab League called for imposing a no-fly zone over Libya. What welcome, but largely overlooked, news. Remembering the political adage “watch their feet, not their mouths,” we know there is no substance to the Arab League position. What the Arabs really were asking is that the United States, now the world’s foremost mercenary, do something about their despised Arab colleague, and perhaps incidentally aid the Libyan rebels. 

The Arab League behaved as a mouthpiece for the seemingly discredited Paul Wolfowitz and his band of merry neocons (the Arab League and Wolfowitz—there is irony for you!), now anxious to wade into Libya with guns blazing and with what available troops, ordinance and airplanes can be mustered. For them, the march for empire is inevitable, inexorable and withal indubitably beneficial to us and the world. Wolfowitz defies F. Scott Fitzgerald’s dictum, as unfortunately there are bad second acts in American life.


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Anarcissie's avatar

By Anarcissie, March 25, 2011 at 12:17 am Link to this comment

Well, I think ‘Loony Left’ is one of those compact verbal weapons, like ‘feminazi’ or ‘Judenbolschewik’ whose payload is not the perhaps minimal intersection of the terms but rather the linkage between them, left behind in the less attentive hearer’s mind when the gibe has been forgotten.  I wonder if either you or Lafayette are aware of that sort of vampire’s bite.

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By Inherit The Wind, March 24, 2011 at 4:08 pm Link to this comment

It’s up to Lafayette to agree with me or not as he chooses.  I’ve given MY working definition.  If there’s a formal one, like the Merriam -Webster’s Dictionary definition of ‘bigot’, I’ll be glad to adopt that one.  In lieu of a commonly accepted definition, I will use mine, which IS well-defined and clear.

By the way, my definition for Right-Wing-Nuts is virtually the same, other than the context. Their equivalence are, for example, the “Birthers”.  Also the “Pro-Lifers” who advocate murdering doctors who perform legal abortions.

Same irrationality. Same acceptance of easily disproven fantasy false “facts”.

Same church, different pew.

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Anarcissie's avatar

By Anarcissie, March 24, 2011 at 1:27 pm Link to this comment

Inherit The Wind, March 24 at 5:10 pm:

Anarcissie, March 24 at 3:09 am Link to this comment

  Inherit The Wind, March 23 at 5:43 pm:

  Anarcissie:
  Did you READ my definition of “Loony Left”? Or like so many others do you simply assume to somehow know what I said? ...

Yes; I noted that it was different from Lafayette’s.  It’s not? You think asserting that the U.S. exhibits imperialist behavior is lunacy?

***********************

Did I say that?  Did I ever imply that? There’s no rational way I can see that you could have inferred such an absurdity from my posts.

I didn’t.  What I said, which seems to have gotten you excited, was ‘ITW—You and Lafayette are using the term ‘Loony Left’ in two different ways.  As Loony-Left specialists, maybe you should sort your differences out.’ (Emphasis added.)

If you and Lafayette are going to continue to abuse people you disagree with as lunatics, using the identical childish vocabulary, I think you should at least get your acts together.

Report this

By Inherit The Wind, March 24, 2011 at 1:10 pm Link to this comment

Anarcissie, March 24 at 3:09 am Link to this comment

  Inherit The Wind, March 23 at 5:43 pm:

  Anarcissie:
  Did you READ my definition of “Loony Left”? Or like so many others do you simply assume to somehow know what I said? ...

Yes; I noted that it was different from Lafayette’s.  It’s not? You think asserting that the U.S. exhibits imperialist behavior is lunacy?

***********************

Did I say that?  Did I ever imply that? There’s no rational way I can see that you could have inferred such an absurdity from my posts.

How could I possibly have condemned the Iraq incursion from day one, (which I did) if I held that opinion.

As I said: Clearly you don’t read what I write, you merely make inaccurate assumptions about it and then “judge” me by those absurdly inaccurate assumptions.

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Anarcissie's avatar

By Anarcissie, March 23, 2011 at 11:09 pm Link to this comment

Inherit The Wind, March 23 at 5:43 pm:

Anarcissie:
Did you READ my definition of “Loony Left”? Or like so many others do you simply assume to somehow know what I said? ...

Yes; I noted that it was different from Lafayette’s.  It’s not?  You think asserting that the U.S. exhibits imperialist behavior is lunacy?

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Hollywood Russ's avatar

By Hollywood Russ, March 23, 2011 at 9:15 pm Link to this comment

It’s more than a little ironic to see Obama supporting the unspoken ideology of the
now discredited White Man’s Burden. Of course I am painting with broad strokes.
The only reason we are intervening in any way in Libya is because of the oil. What
could be more plain? Does anybody take this human rights b.s. seriously. Just as
Iraq was an oil grab, so is Libya. I hope Saudi Arabia is taking notes. Crush
opposition and the Western media will be quiet, as long as it is done quickly. (See
Bahrain) to copy the author’s style of supporting his arguments. Very post GenY.

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fearnotruth's avatar

By fearnotruth, March 23, 2011 at 2:55 pm Link to this comment

for perfect clarity, the citations below do not constitute an ‘attack’ on any
contributor to this blog thread - rather ‘contested’ history pertinent to the issue
at hand

http://100777.com/node/101

German TV exposes CIA, Mossad links to 1986 Berlin disco bombing

created 26/05/2003 - 10:46, updated 06/07/2004 - 17:40 by cybe
Printer-friendly versionSend to friend
http://www.wsws.org/news/1998/aug1998/bomb1-a27.shtml
By a German correspondent
27 August 1998

A documentary broadcast August 25 by German public television presents
compelling evidence that some of the main suspects in the 1986 Berlin disco
bombing, the event that provided the pretext for a US air assault on Libya,
worked for American and Israeli intelligence.

The report, aired by Zweites Deutsches Fernsehen (ZDF television), is of the
greatest relevance to events of the past three weeks, in which attacks on US
embassies in Kenya and Tanzania have become the justification for US missile
strikes against Afghanistan and Sudan, and a shift in American foreign policy to
an even more unbridled use of military force internationally.

[...]

http://ariwatch.com/OurAlly/Libya.htm

The following is from Victor Ostrovsky’s The Other Side of Deception,
(Harper Collins, New York 1994) pages 113 to 117. [*]

[...]
A Trojan was a special communication device that could be planted by naval
commandos deep inside enemy territory. The device would act as a relay
station for misleading transmissions made by the disinformation unit in the
Mossad, called LAP [LohAma Psicologit – psychological warfare], and intended
to be received by American and British listening stations. Originating from an
IDF navy ship out at sea, the prerecorded digital transmissions could be picked
up only by the Trojan. The device would then rebroadcast the transmission on
another frequency, one used for official business in the enemy country, at
which point the transmission would finally be picked up by American ears in
Britain.

The listeners would have no doubt they had intercepted a genuine
communication, hence the name Trojan, reminiscent of the mythical Trojan
horse. Further, the content of the messages, once deciphered, would confirm
information from other intelligence sources, namely the Mossad. The only catch
was that the Trojan itself would have to be located as close as possible to the
normal origin of such transmissions, because of the sophisticated methods of
triangulation the Americans and others would use to verify the source.

[...]
By the end of March, the Americans were already intercepting messages
broadcast by the Trojan, which was only activated during heavy communication
traffic hours. Using the Trojan, the Mossad tried to make it appear that a long
series of terrorist orders were being transmitted to various Libyan embassies
around the world ... . As the Mossad had hoped, the transmissions were
deciphered by the Americans and construed as ample proof that the Libyans
were active sponsors of terrorism. What’s more, the Americans pointed out,
Mossad reports confirmed it.

[...]

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By Inherit The Wind, March 23, 2011 at 1:43 pm Link to this comment

Anarcissie:
Did you READ my definition of “Loony Left”? Or like so many others do you simply assume to somehow know what I said?

There are so many examples of TDers assuming things to be true, debating with each other about them, when their fundamental assumptions are blatantly contradictory.

But if there’s a way to imagine a CIA/Mossad conspiracy, no matter HOW it stretches the bounds of logic, they’ll go for it.

Imagine that Britain plots, plans and executes the shooting down of 10 US passenger planes and leaves evidence that it’s from a wing of the IRA that hasn’t accepted the peace talks.  The object is to allow the UK to stomp on Northern Ireland, HARD, and will US help. If discovered, it will irrevocably damage US/UK relations for a hundred years.

The scenario I’ve laid out is so friggin’ loopy that only a nutcase could buy into it.

Yet this is EXACTLY the case made by the “Loony Left” that Israel did exactly that: Attacked their BEST ally and tried to foist it off on Al Qaeda.

It makes no sense.

Nor does its alternative: That Bush and the CIA engineered it as a justification to go into Iraq, despite the fact that even the “salted clues” led to Afghanistan, Al Qaeda and the Taliban, but not to Iraq.

It’s loony.

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Anarcissie's avatar

By Anarcissie, March 23, 2011 at 11:33 am Link to this comment

ITW—You and Lafayette are using the term ‘Loony Left’ in two different ways.  As Loony-Left specialists, maybe you should sort your differences out.

Or not.  I usually stop reading anyone who characterizes those he disagrees with as insane.  The mental-health model of political analysis has some very unpleasant connections, for example the bad old Soviet Union used to lock up dissidents in mental hospitals.  Anyone who thought the Soviet system needed improvement was clearly crazy.

From my point of view, imperialism is the extension of the theory of the state, that some can and should rule others, to the field of relations between states.  Thus, if the United States ruling class decides to forcibly regulate the affairs of Libya (or Iraq, Afghanistan, Yemen, Somalia, Serbia, Croatia, Kosovo, Lebanon, Angola, Grenada, Nicaragua, Honduras, Cuba, Vietnam, Cambodia, etc. etc. etc.) regardless of whether it absorbs these states into an explicit colonial system, it’s practicing imperialism.  You may disagree with this definition, but characterizing it as ‘loony’ is not an argument, it’s a confession of the inability to make such an argument.

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By Inherit The Wind, March 23, 2011 at 11:18 am Link to this comment

I rest my case!

I, in no way defended the US incursions into, say
Cuba
Viet Nam
Dominican Republic
Chile
Panama
El Salvador
Nicaragua
Grenada
Iraq
or Iran,
Just to name a few.

Nor do I defend our support of dictators, like the Saudis or various Latin American “Generalissimos”, or for decades, Franco.

Yet the denizens of the “Loony Left” attack me for JUST THOSE THINGS! Is it any wonder they are loony?

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By firefly, March 22, 2011 at 10:39 pm Link to this comment

Rereading my piece, it looks as though I’m suggesting
that Salvadore Allende was a rightwing dictator. Of
course he wasn’t; he was the left wing democratically
elected leader that was ousted in a CIA backed coup
that installed General Augusto Pinochet who went on to
murder, torture and ‘disappear’ tens of thousands of
Chileans. Gee… thanks America!

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By firefly, March 22, 2011 at 10:30 pm Link to this comment

Inherit the Wind describes a category of person I’m
completely unaware of. The fact is that since WWII
the world became divided into two camps (the Soviet
Camp and the US camp) and both sides became obsessed,
yes absolutely categorically obsessed with opposing
the ideology of the other, to such extremes that
anyone who supported a left wing system (Nelson
Mandela and the ANC) were imprisoned (yes, the CIA
WAS instrumental in imprisoning Nelson Mandela for 27
years) or overthrown and replaced by extreme
rightwing dictators (Salvador Allende) who murdered
their own people, but supported the extreme rightwing
ideology of the US. The Soviet Union did the same in
Eastern Europe, and the rest of the world just were
porns in this game. Today, America’s battle is about
oil and radical Islam. In 50 years, it’ll be
something else.

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By Cliff Carson, March 22, 2011 at 8:30 pm Link to this comment

MY, MY Inherit The Wind
So the Looney Left believes all that you’ve just written?  Really, do you believe that?  Or are you just looking for a made up excuse to somehow support your evil heroes?
To deny that the United States, Britain, and France have done no wrong in all the “Wars to protect the citizens” since WWII is at best lying to yourself.  If you know how to read you certainly should know the truth about what you hold up as the “Good Guys” in all this War mongering and Kleptocracy.  To support killing innocent citizens as an excuse to save innocent citizens should be recognized for what it is:  a perfect example of what has occurred in Iraq, Afghanistan, and just about anywhere else the “Good Guys” have commenced to drop bombs.  And people who support this insane activity are spewing nothing but barnyard droppings.
Yes Kaddafi is a horrible and bloody dictator.  Since when has the US, Britain, or France shied away from embracing horrible, bloody, dictators who will be their lackeys?  As to doing something humane to protect innocent citizens where are these “Good Samaritan” Nations when their Lackeys are murdering uncounted innocents?  You can always find them in the UN protecting their Lackeys from the wrath of the rest of the world.
Quit using Agenda words and become a real Good Samaritan - speak truth.
ICW, the truth is that all evil is evil, whether it is your heroes or “Looney Left” heroes.

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By Inherit The Wind, March 22, 2011 at 5:47 pm Link to this comment

“Loony Left”

A simple definition is a fool who convinces himself or herself that NOTHING evil happens in the world, from the Lockerbie bombing to the WTC bombing to assassinations in Pakistan that aren’t engineered either by the CIA, or Mossad, or both together.

The “Loony Left” believes that the CIA and (maybe) Mossad killed both Kennedys, MLK, Malcolm X, and probably Medger Evers.  They even believe that FDR engineered the attack on Pearl Harbor.

Combine this with an apologism for EVERY dictator who isn’t a US/Israeli ally.  If they are “against” the US or Israel, they must be OK and lied about, including the Islamic leadership in Iran, the Taliban, and Al Qaeda.

Nothing evil happens that isn’t a conspiracy by CIA and Mossad.

THAT defines the “Loony Left”.  You figure out what posters here fit.

Report this

By firefly, March 22, 2011 at 2:51 pm Link to this comment

This article really annoys me. While I have very
mixed feelings over the whole issue of going to war,
I also feel that we have to be completely honest
about what is going on here.

Does Stanley Kutler now believe that ALL intervention
is wrong? Should we now stand back and watch, Bosnia,
Rwanda and even Hitler’s holocaust unfold without
doing anything?

However wrong, this particular intervention is NOT
colonialism!! There will be no colonization or
occupation. There won’t even be ‘boots on the ground’
as Obama says.

The hypocrisy here is of our making - ours, as in the
insatiable consumers of oil! Until we in the West
ween ourselves off our addiction to oil, we will
continue to lay the ground for greedy, self-enriching
despots in oil rich countries.

Our governments will continue to befriend them, arm
them and do all kinds of business with them in
exchange for their oil. We can then continue to live
our privileged existence at the expense of ordinary
citizens in those oil-rich countries who end up being
denied their basic human rights.

Why should we care? As long as we can drive our fuel
guzzling cars, enjoy a high standard of life and be
kept ‘safe’ by the most powerful weapons on earth,
who gives a damn about the people of Libya? Is that
it Kutler?

Why are we surprised when sick-in-the-head dictators
who have become rich because of us and powerful
because of us, want all the wealth for themselves?
Why are we surprised when our need for an oil fix
creates a breeding ground for terrorism/freedom
fighters (take your pick)?

If we in the West demanded that our governments spend
money on research for alternative, sustainable and
renewable energy sources, rather than spend billions
on war, perhaps we wouldn’t need to come to the
rescue of people in Libya, because maybe there
wouldn’t be a Gaddafi, or a Mubarak, or a Ali
Abdullah Saleh or a Bashar al-Assad or even a King
Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud.

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By tedmurphy41, March 22, 2011 at 12:10 pm Link to this comment

Why doesn’t everyone have the honesty to state it as it really is, justified or not, which is regime change; this course of action can be described as nothing else.
An independent UN my a**e!

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fearnotruth's avatar

By fearnotruth, March 22, 2011 at 8:07 am Link to this comment

not offered as a ‘defense’ of anyone, rather…
as a point of interest worth considering

LOCKERBIE DIARY: GADHAFFI, FALL GUY FOR CIA DRUG RUNNING
By Susan Lindauer, Former U.S. Asset covering Iraq and Libya

For years I was told the terrorist who placed the bomb on board Pan Am 103, known as
the Lockerbie bombing, lives about 8 miles from my house, in Fairfax County, Virginia.

His life-time of privilege and protection, gratis of high flyers in U.S. Intelligence, has been a
reward for silence on the CIA’s involvement in drug trafficking in Lebanon during the 1980s.

As sources go, I was more than a casual observer. From May 1995 until March 2003, I
performed as a back channel to Tripoli and Baghdad, supervised by my CIA handler, Dr.
Richard Fuisz, who claimed from day one to know the origins of the Lockerbie conspiracy and
the identity of the terrorists. He swore that no Libyan participated in the attack.

[...]

In December 1988, infuriated Defense Intelligence agents issued a formal protest, exposing
CIA complicity in Middle East heroin trafficking. When teams from both agencies got
summoned back to Washington to attend an internal hearing, they boarded Pan Am 103. A
wing of militant Hezbollah led by Ahmed Jibril, his nephew Abu Elias, Abu Talb and Abu Nidal
took out both teams in order to protect their lucrative cartel.

Classified Defense Intelligence records show that Jibril and Talb had been toying with a
conspiracy to bomb a U.S. airplane during the 1988 Christmas holidays anyway. They planned
to bomb a U.S. airliner in revenge for the U.S.S. Vincennes, which shot down an Iranian
commercial airliner loaded with Hajiis returning from Mecca in July, 1988. However the
Defense Intelligence threat to expose their heroin network put the bombing plan into action.
Islamic Jihad’s ability to discover actionable intelligence on the flight schedules would
definitely confirm that somebody at CIA was operating as a double agent, keeping Islamic
Jihad a step ahead of the rescue efforts.

That’s the dirty truth about Lockerbie. It ain’t nothing like you’ve been told.

Wait a darn moment—I anticipate your confusion. Libya got blamed for the Lockerbie attack.
Daddy George Bush told us so! The United Nations imposed sanctions on Libya, demanding
that Colonel Moammar Gadhaffi hand over two Libyans for trial. One of the two, Lameen
Fhima got acquitted immediately. The other Abdelbasset Megrahi got convicted (on the most
flimsy circumstantial evidence that overlooked endless contradictions). Libya paid $2.7
billion in damages—amounting to $10 million per family death— to make the U.N. sanctions
go away, and expressed a sort of non-apology for the deaths—while never acknowledging its
involvement in the conspiracy.

So Libya was innocent the whole time? In a word, yes.

[...] - complete article - http://tinyurl.com/4khkm4l

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Lafayette's avatar

By Lafayette, March 22, 2011 at 7:53 am Link to this comment

LOONY LEFT ORIGINS

Anar: I’ve called Lafayette (or someone of some similar persuasion) on his usage of the term ‘loony left’

This term is an old one, rarely used in the US. In fact, it is idiomatic English-English employed in British Politics at the end of the 1980s.

So, from a dictionary within its language of usage comes this: Loony Left = Left-wing politicians or activists whose policies or ideas are considered to be either ridiculous or too politically correct, or both.

American Imperialism is just that sort of term. It is brazen usage of a word by an American journalist who hasn’t the foggiest notion of the word imperialism and what it has meant specifically in the history of mankind.

To wit, Imperialism is the use of military force for purposes of the colonization of peoples (as occurred in Rome and much of Africa) and entails usually an autocratic emperor. It is also the regime from which we sought to liberate ourselves, so it should mean something very particular to Americans.

Has Iraq been colonized by the US? Afghanistan?  Puerto Rico? The Philippines? Cuba? What nations, in which the US had combat activities, has ever been colonized by the US?

Thusly, the notion is “loony” or ridiculous. And should not be used to grab eye-attention by an American journalist. IMHO.

POST SCRIPTUM 1

Language is the vehicle of culture. If we abuse our language, we abuse our intellectual capacities to discuss ideas and exchange opinion.

Of course, Americans use language 50 ways to Sunday. American-English is very elastic. Which is why there can be so much confusion in debates and/or arguments.

POST SCRIPTUM 2

I can also give the definition of “Rabid Right”, which I employ with amusement.

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By Gordy, March 22, 2011 at 7:41 am Link to this comment

Anarcissie, yeah, I mean greed is irrational in the first place - a product of egotism/egomania - so the tyrants and kleptocrats can only ever be pseudo-rational actors.  Ultimately treating life as a game of chess is futile and therefore not ‘pragmatic’ at all.  Happy, sane people love and accept that they are part of nature and not driven to rule it or strive for delusory forms of immortality.  Who would trade places with them?  It’s fool’s gold.  A glut of wealth and power isn’t a rational desire - even from a purely self-preserving perspective - any more than a glut of food is.  In fact, too much can get you killed.

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Anarcissie's avatar

By Anarcissie, March 22, 2011 at 7:26 am Link to this comment

Gordy—I’ve called Lafayette (or someone of some similar persuasion) on his usage of the term ‘loony left’, inviting him to specify the particular lunacy he had in mind, but to no avail.  I don’t think the term has much content.

I regard the present immiseration of the working class in the U.S. as a fairly serious error on the part of the ruling class.  But in the U.S. the ruling class seemed to lose its mind in the early 1960s, and has never quite gotten it back.  The people actually in charge of the government, especially since 1980, seem to be mostly kleptocrats, and they are not taking care of business.

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By Gordy, March 22, 2011 at 7:06 am Link to this comment

No Lafayette, Western nations like Britain and the US are the ‘degenerate democracies’ I was referring to. 

I am amused that a commenter might think that he could possibly win hearts and minds on Truthdig by throwing around terms like ‘Loony-Left’. 

There is nothing loony about recognising the grotesque cynicism and gamesmanship operating at the heart of the Western powers - there is plenty of evidence for it.  There is nothing loony about recognising that as bad as characters like Gadaffi are, our leaders are opposed to him only as the moment’s strategy dictates, not by principle.  The US’s oldest and greatest ally is brutal and fundamentalist Saudi Arabia.  ‘America’ is a chess-player forced by its relatively free people to pay some dues to morality and various historic ideals. 

We can do better than this - and there is nothing loony about aspiring for better than this. 

I think that it would on balance be the best decision to heavily support the Libyan rebels without mounting another occupation.  I’m sure there are many intelligent and highly motivated people there who could set up a just state.  But will their voices prevail?  We don’t know. 

I think that for all the noise Western powers make, they are only ousting this guy now because he’s become TOO embarrassing and they can’t be seen to ignore the situation.  I don’t think they specifically wish for the rebels to show the world that ordinary people can rise up and change the system for the better.  Nooo, I don’t think that’s the message they’ll want to send, at all.

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By Gordy, March 22, 2011 at 7:06 am Link to this comment

No Lafayette, Western nations like Britain and the US are the ‘degenerate democracise’ I was referring to. 

I am amused that a commenter might think that he could possibly win hearts and minds on Truthdig by throwing around terms like ‘Loony-Left’. 

There is nothing loony about recognising the grotesque cynicism and gamesmanship operating at the heart of the Western powers - there is plenty of evidence for it.  There is nothing loony about recognising that as bad as characters like Gadaffi are, our leaders are opposed to him only as the moment’s strategy dictates, not by principle.  The US’s oldest and greatest ally is brutal and fundamentalist Saudi Arabia.  ‘America’ is a chess-player forced by its relatively free people to pay some dues to morality and various historic ideals. 

We can do better than this - and there is nothing loony about aspiring for better than this. 

I think that it would on balance be the best decision to heavily support the Libyan rebels without mounting another occupation.  I’m sure there are many intelligent and highly motivated people there who could set up a just state.  But will their voices prevail?  We don’t know. 

I think that for all the noise Western powers make, they are only ousting this guy now because he’s become TOO embarrassing and they can’t be seen to ignore the situation.  I don’t think they specifically wish for the rebels to show the world that ordinary people can rise up and change the system for the better.  Nooo, I don’t think that’s the message they’ll want to send, at all.

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Lafayette's avatar

By Lafayette, March 22, 2011 at 5:49 am Link to this comment

GIVE DEMONCRACY A CHANCE

Gordy: I know it seems bad here and my sympathies definitely extend to anyone trying to bring a humane anarchist influence to these degenerate democracies,

I concur with your wishes and let’s get the nomenclature right.

Not all Arab States are Degenerate Democracies. Though some have a semblance of demoncracy, by which legislatures are hand-picked by the country’s monarch - who still maintains more or less absolute rule. So, the legislature has purely an advisory role.

There are definitely states of Degenerate Despotism, run by an autocracy, typically tribal-based found in many of Arab nations. Their cultures are extremely conservative, since they refuse to delineate religion from the state. Many of them firmly believe that religion should be the foundation of the state.

(Much like, one must add, Europe believed up to and including the 19th century.)

As a culture, Muslim people have little experience with democracy. Only one Muslim country has a functional democracy and it is not Arab but Turkish.

So, yes, they require really ‘n truly “Regime Change” - the only question is how? This Arab Springtime has shown, at least in Tunisia and Egypt, that it can be done without too much bloodshed. Libya is an exercise in the opposite direction.

The Gaddafis (meaning the Colonel and his sons) will never resign their despot-autocracy. And if there were a fair (and not fixed) democratic election it is quite likely that they would be voted out of power. They have been taught by their father that they can buy anything.

(It should be added that the eldest son does have a doctorate from the London School of Economics that he earned by defending successfully a thesis, so he’s no fool - just delusional.)

In fact, Libya has a rather well-educated middle-class - even if it is in a minority with regard to the rest of the population. But this means also that it does have the intellectual wherewithal to construct a democracy - once the despot is put down.

All Libya needs is a break, a bit of luck. So, Give Democracy A Chance. It could take on and change the Middle East forever, removing its shackles of autocratic family-rule.

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By Lafayette, March 22, 2011 at 4:47 am Link to this comment

HYPERBOLE

SK: The United States, a relative newcomer to Western imperialism

Bollocks to this notion, SK. This is attention-getting hyperbole of the worst kind from the Loony-Left.

The UN Security Council voted intervention in Libya was provoked by a certified nutter who has been in power for over four decades and is renowned for his brutality not only to his people but to foreign nations that cross him. (Two airliner bombings, one that brought down a French airliner with about 170 deaths and one that brought down a PanAm flight over Lockerbie,Scotland, with 267 deaths at Christmas.)

Just before the Security Council vote, he was rushing his troop to take Benghazi (the center of the rebellion) where he had promised on the radio that they would “annihilate all rebels,  finding them in their houses where we shall seek them room by room”.

What is it about the Looney-Left that they think Gadaffi is some carton-character? He’s a murderous despot, just like Hussein was.

Gadaffi has shut down a fledgling Internet and Libya has no private TV station. There are two satellite TV channels of any real consequence watched across the Arab World - the foremost of which is Al Jazeera. Gadaffi has already murdered Al Jazeera correspondents in Tripoli who were reporting in a manner that did not please him. (They were Qatari, which is why Qatar has offered 4 combat aircraft to the coalition forces.)

MY POINT

SK, as a journalist, should go to Libya to see for himself because such comments as above serve Gadaffi’s cause - who has already vilified the coalition as Christian Crusaders, so why not Imperialists as well?

And where from this notion that America should maintain a hands-off policy as regards these popular rebellions? Had that notion prevailed in 1776, there would have been no French assistance offered to the George Washington. Without which Washington would likely not have won the war and would have been hung along with all those who signed the Declaration of Independence.

And Americans would still be referred to as “the colonials” flying the Union Jack in stead of the Stars & Stripes.

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By Gordy, March 21, 2011 at 6:17 pm Link to this comment

Correction:

“America, Britain and Russia have attempted to create thriving secular MODERN NATION STATES in places like Afghanistan”

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By Gordy, March 21, 2011 at 6:15 pm Link to this comment

You know, I say all this but at the same time I am well aware that at times Western powers including America, Britain and Russia have attempted to create thriving secular democracies in places like Afghanistan - these endeavours, though extremely misguided were in some sense sincere.  So I don’t think that the Great Game is every played in just one way - it’s schizophrenic, for sure.  I think this is because politicians are rarely philosophers and they don’t have a fine moral feeling or take coherence as a priority.  This is my impression anyway. 

They can’t reconcile ‘pragmatism’ and ‘idealism’ so fail to live up to either.

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By Gordy, March 21, 2011 at 5:55 pm Link to this comment

It costs a lot more and puts the proles on a slightly more even footing - I know it seems bad here and my sympathies definitely extend to anyone trying to bring a humane anarchist influence to these degenerate democracies, but still, a LOT more money goes into the wellbeing of American proles than, say, Iranian proles.  That is money the elites want for themselves.  It’s not really reasonable.

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By Anarcissie, March 21, 2011 at 5:30 pm Link to this comment

Gordy—I think the ruling classes of the contemporary West have found the brutal-dictatorship model much too unstable.  Batista may lead to Castro, the Shah to Khomeini, Chiang to Mao, and so on.  Here in the U.S., where there is formally a democratic Republic, the working classes can be easily manipulated into cutting their own throats; no brutal dictatorship is necessary.  Why not install something similar in Egypt, Serbia, Iraq?  Or Libya?

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By Gordy, March 21, 2011 at 3:22 pm Link to this comment

Anarcissie, my best effort at an answer to your question:

There are limited resources to go around and elites want the lion’s share.  Countries like the US and Britain have to achieve this in subtle ways and give away many material, ideological and legal concessions in order to placate and control a relatively well-educated and opinionated people. 

These countries owe much of their wealth to expolitative practices carried out in other counties; practices which would be unacceptable to their own populations.  The people in these client states also do not find these practices acceptable but they have much less power to change their environment as they are oppressed by dictators who will brutally smash unions and protest-groups, etc. 

I am well aware that you do not need me to explain these basics to you, but I don’t think there’s much more to it than this.  They want depressed, brutalised serfs - preferably not in their own back yard.  If Africa had effective governments and collective bargaining we would not be able to afford all their oil and minerals, which we are presently extracting like there’s no tomorrow.  Isn’t Libya similar? 

The terrible irony is that so much is wasted in the struggle while there should be enough for everyone.

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By Inherit The Wind, March 21, 2011 at 2:45 pm Link to this comment

Mr. Khokar misses the obvious point:
Why would Saudi Arabia support a No Fly Zone?  Every dictator that’s overturned in the Arab world threatens the Suads, a family business of repression

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By fearnotruth, March 21, 2011 at 1:16 pm Link to this comment

RE: From the point of view of our great leaders, what’s the problem?

they’re not that clever - but, Tunisia and Egypt, both relatively resource poor and
still decades away from achieving Libya’s standard of living, might more correctly
be viewed as pawns in a gambit to entrap Lybia

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By Anarcissie, March 21, 2011 at 10:06 am Link to this comment

I don’t really see why the U.S. ruling class and the rest of the ‘West’ would not be happy to see the Arab states evolve into bourgeois republics—that is, political systems like their own.  Dictators are unreliable, as anyone who reads history for five minutes will understand.  Capitalism and liberalism ensure that wealth will continue to be produced and flow relatively unhindered towards those who are already rich and powerful.  Where there are elections, elections can be bought and sold.  From the point of view of our great leaders, what’s the problem?

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By A Khokar, March 21, 2011 at 8:23 am Link to this comment

The sweeping winds of Jasmine revolution in the Middle East have taken even the every cunning pundits of Intelligence services who usually keep their hands on the pulses of masses by surprise. The rein of tyranny and dictatorship ringed around the entire Middle East was seen shaking. Soon Tunisian and Egyptian dictators they went down.

The Western oppressive forces lead by US in control of this region never wanted that status quo of their installed rulers be changed. In the face of peoples’ demand US was also seen pedalling the high grounds of moral and appeared to be wishing all the best in favour of the freedom and people’s power but at Pentagon something very different was brooding.

The awakening of youth against the tyranny was also challenging the existence of US owned well sought military power bases like Airbases in Saudi Arabia; the Central US command centre, CentCom HQ at Al Hudaud in Qatar and U.S. Naval Forces Central Command base at Manama Bahrain.  US will do anything but to safeguard their assets.

@Two down : Third on his way out—please link http://www.adab-arz.co.uk/?p=3161

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By A Khokar, March 21, 2011 at 8:15 am Link to this comment

Astonishingly the OIC of Arab Muslims countries are so naive that they have not asked the Arab Forces of Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Syria or UAE to implement a No-Fly Zone over Libya but have rendered an open cheque to the western coalition to go ahead and implement.

The Western forged UN Security Council resolution 1973 is yet another rant that previously we kept on hearing after Iraqi invasion by US lead forces. Once again the usual rhetoric that western forces in the name of peace and to safeguard the civilian are moving in. This rhetoric is filling all the spaces on the media

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By A Khokar, March 21, 2011 at 8:10 am Link to this comment

I wish the Arab tyrants with mound of wealth at their hand rather than investing in their villas and filling their harem with wives have cared for education, engineering, technology and building up their defences and the manufacturing of defence arsenal and today were not to see the tomahawk missile raining bringing destructions and taking out all their military assets——that west is planning to have a cake walk when their foot soldiers land on Libyan shores.

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By surfnow, March 21, 2011 at 8:00 am Link to this comment

Budget problems?  Deficit? Whaddya talkin’ about?  There’s always enough money for yet another War in the Middle East, isn’t there?

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By Go Right Young Man, March 21, 2011 at 7:57 am Link to this comment

PHenry, - “I’ll see your Admiral Mullen and raise him a POTUS.”

-

You’re absolutely correct.

The United States is directing air traffic over Libya, a four star U.S. General is directing a U.S. devised war plan inside Libya, the bulk of hardware assets to date has been U.S. made and launched by the U.S. while the United States President and, as far as I can discern, half the media is reporting the U.S. is taking a “supportive role” regarding Libya.

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By denk, March 21, 2011 at 2:18 am Link to this comment

n where’s that prez for change, the nobel *peace* prize laureat ?

why does good man always die young ?
http://tinyurl.com/2f2nabh

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By Michael Cavlan RN, March 21, 2011 at 1:04 am Link to this comment

Test again

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By denk, March 21, 2011 at 12:49 am Link to this comment

yes, like hell the puppet master is gonna miss all the fun ala kosovo
uncle sham could hardly wait can he ?
http://empirestrikesblack.com/2011/03/first-blood-american-missiles-rain-down-on-libya/

u could almost hear obama straining on his leash over this one hehehe
http://www.psipook.com/features/darfur.html


i was initiated into the nwo by sites like antiwar.com n stephen gowans
at a time when nato was committing aerial terrorism over ex-yugo
re-reading his piece now, it seems like its only yesterday
http://www.swans.com/library/art7/gowans02.html

prez clinton *did* yugo
http://www.srpska-mreza.com/Kosovo/NATO-attack/letter-Stella.html

now prez wannabe clinton does libya
http://willyloman.wordpress.com/2011/03/19/president-hillary-clintons-shock-and-awe/

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By fearnotruth, March 20, 2011 at 11:39 pm Link to this comment

OK, rico, unsere guten Mensch
- don’t bother rethinking malformed assumptions…
yes and yes and yes — we pay the bill!

e.g. http://tinyurl.com/4njbgw3

Military Expansion Serving Economic Objectives

Author And Page Information
by Anup ShahThis Page Last Updated Sunday, September 25, 2005
[...]
Defense Secretary William Cohen, in remarks to reporters prior to his speech at
Microsoft Corporation in Seattle, put it this way, “[T]he prosperity that
companies like Microsoft now enjoy could not occur without having the strong
military that we have.”

“The defense secretary is making the case that conflicts in faraway lands such
as Bosnia, Korea and Iraq have a direct effect on the US economy. The billions it
costs to keep 100,000 American troops in South Korea and Japan, for example,
makes Asia more stable—and thus better markets for US goods. The military’s
success in holding Iraq in check ensures a continued flow of oil from the
Persian Gulf,” concluded the Associated Press dispatch reporting on Cohen’s
Seattle appearance [February 18, 1999].

— Karen Talbot, Backing up Globalization with Military Might, Covert Action
Quarterly, Issue 68, Fall 1999
[...]
_____________________________

e.g. http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=5564

The Worldwide Network of US Military Bases
The Global Deployment of US Military Personnel

by Prof. Jules Dufour
Global Research, July 1, 2007

[...]
VI. Military Bases Used for the Control of Strategic Renewable Resources

US Military Bases in foreign countries, are mainly located in Western Europe: 26
of them are in Germany, 8, in Great Britain, and 8 in Italy. There are nine
military installations in Japan (Wikepedia).

In the last few years, in the context of the GWOT, the US has built 14 new bases
in and around the Persian Gulf.

It is also involved in construction and/or or reinforcement of 20 bases (106
structured units as a whole) in Iraq, with costs of the order of 1.1 billion
dollars in that country alone (Varea, 2007) and the use of about ten bases in
Central Asia.

The US has also undertaken continued negotiations with several countries to
install, buy, enlarge or rent an addional number of military bases. The latter
pertain inter alia to installations in Morocco, Algeria, Mali, Ghana, Brazil and
Australia (See Nicholson, B., 2007), Poland, Czech Republic (Traynor, I., 2007),
Ouzbekistan, Tadjikistan, Kirghizstan, Italy (Jucca, L., 2007) and France.

Washington has signed an agreement to build a military base in Djibouti
(Manfredi, E., 2007). All these initiatives are a part of an overall plan to install a
series of military bases geographically located in a West-East corridor
extending from Colombia in South America, to North Africa, the Near East,
Central Asia and as far as the Philippines (Johnson, C., 2004). The US bases in
South American are related to the control and access to the extensive natural
biological , mineral and water resources resources of the Amazon Basin.
(Delgado Jara, D., 2006 and Maps 9 and 10).

[...]

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By Cliff Carson, March 20, 2011 at 10:47 pm Link to this comment

Yes ejreed

If I cipher and carry my naughts, the result of the calculations show that little show of stupidity the other night cost enough to give NPR their Government stipend for the next 14.5 years.

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By Anarcissie, March 20, 2011 at 10:42 pm Link to this comment

rico, suave—The evidence of history is that those who lead states are indeed driven by a desire for power.  I think any realistic analysis of their behavior will begin with this assumption.  This desire for power may be highly idealized or naked and basic, but either way it is still a desire for power.  One does not usually get to lead a state without that desire.

I’m not sure exactly what calculations led to the various wars against Iraq.  It may be that Bahrein and Saudi Arabia were not considered to be reliable—I believe more than half the population of Saudi Arabia is foreign-born, and many of them are Palestinians, people with a considerable axe to grind.

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By ejreed, March 20, 2011 at 10:34 pm Link to this comment

The Cost of the Libyan Air Strike
According to the US military, each Tomahawk missile, like those fired on Libyan targets, costs about $569,000 to launch. http://www.newslook.com/videos/299049-the-cost-of-the-libyan-air-strike?autoplay=true

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By rico, suave, March 20, 2011 at 10:12 pm Link to this comment

fearno:

No seriously. Just answer my first two questions.

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By Michael Cavlan RN, March 20, 2011 at 10:10 pm Link to this comment

There is no quandary for Obama.

Just one for the legions of “progressive” Obamabots who will be looking around for another excuse for their president Oily-Bomber.

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By Robert, March 20, 2011 at 9:53 pm Link to this comment

Shock and Awe : US, France and Britain Pound Libya

Jason Ditz

Around 120 Tomahawk Missiles Fired at Libyan Sites

“France fired the first shots in the new war with Libya, but the Obama Administration was close behind, with US warships firing upwards of 120 Tomahawk missiles at targets inside Libya. The strikes came largely overnight, and exactly what they hit is largely unknown.

The reports however, suggest that at least some of the missiles hit civilian areas, and initial reports are that the attacks have killed at least 48 civilians and wounded 150 others.

Obama termed the attacks a “limited military action” officially, but the massive series of strikes suggests the administration is already going far beyond the “no-fly zone” mandate and is well on its way to demanding Iraq-style regime change.

~~~~~~~~~

Another Arab/Moslem/African country attacked with massive weapons & the blood/deaths of Libyans is already beginning to gush…regime change is in the process to place A Puppet Dictator in oil rich Libya...meanwhile Obama & his senior zionist advisors/Israeli lobby are sitting back and most likely saying…WOW it finally happened! Hmmm…Iran next…before 2012 elections!!!

~~~~~

Click on link for details:

http://poorrichards-blog.blogspot.com/2011/03/shock-and-awe-2-us-france-and-britain.html

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By Inherit The Wind, March 20, 2011 at 8:00 pm Link to this comment

Robert continues to display both his extreme bias AND extreme ignorance.

He needs to look up the definition of a “No Fly Zone” and how it is implemented.  You don’t just declare a “No Fly Zone” and then go back to eating your pudding.

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By fearnotruth, March 20, 2011 at 7:16 pm Link to this comment

rico, good buddy - if I could answer all your questions, certainly I’d “know too much” -
nevertheless, you surely don’t expect those doing the hiring (i.e. deciding long-rage mission
goals) to actually pay; why when they’ve already go us to do it for them?

also, you might want to rethink some assumptions - we’re not all wikileak-lemmings - I’d
suggest looking at just how useful the so-called ‘leaks’ have been in advancing the
globalists’ agenda through the recent wave of so-called ‘people-power, color revolutions’

bargain basement regime change - meet the new boss, same as the old, but even more
beholding and dutiful to the overlord; and who’s that? as usual… Wall Street / City of London
- don’t make the mistake of separating them - they’ve been joined at the hip forever

as for Obamacare, hell, we’ll pay for that too; so much, in fact, it will literally finish the job
of bailing the big insurance companies out their derivatives crash craters

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By rico, suave, March 20, 2011 at 6:02 pm Link to this comment

fearno:

Are you saying that Wall Street and the City have hired the US Army, Navy and Air Force to fight? Where?

The definition of “mercenary” I think, is “soldier for hire” or something like that.

I can see how Wall Street might do it- by laundering money through the IRS. But The City? Does the Treasury get involved, or do the checks go right to the Pentagon? I did a few real world missions when I was in the Air Force, but all my checks came from the Treasury, so they must be in on the caper. Has Wikileaks or somebody obtained copies of contracts, invoices and receipts proving these allegations?

And why didn’t Gaddafi just call us if he needed mercenaries instead of some rinky-dink bunch of black Africans? After all, it’s in our interest (oil) to keep him around isn’t it? And we sure could have used the money to pay for Obamacare. Mercenaries don’t come cheap you know, especially when they bring along some of the neat toys our boys use! On second thought, maybe our price was a little high for him.

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By fearnotruth, March 20, 2011 at 4:34 pm Link to this comment

rico - hope you had a smooth landing…

as for this: ...US greed and power lust…

revisit the article: ...the United States, now the world’s foremost mercenary…

Q: who’s hiring?

A: follow the money… Wall Street, City of London

to be clear, international globalists (the global finance oligarchy) who hold no national
loyalties, religious beliefs, ethnic identity - nothing that may stand between them and
any potentially lucrative deal… as for the rest of us; we’re all cannon fodder… but you
knew that

watch your wing, old chap

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By Cliff Carson, March 20, 2011 at 2:32 pm Link to this comment

Is anyone reminded of the Viet-Nam Massacre, My Lai, where the defense of the killing of unarmed non-combat civilians was justified by the excuse:

“In order to save the the Village we had to destroy it”?

Remember the excuse in Iraq ( after the WMD lie was exposed) was to free the Iraqis from Saddam.  And over a million were freed forever - they’re dead.  And another 2 million were wounded, many permanently, over 5 million were disposed,and although they are free from Saddam, they are equally under the yoke of their new oppressors - the ones leading the attack on Libya.

Libya will become the new Viet-Nam, Iraq, Afghanistan, Haiti, Panama, Palestine.

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By PatrickHenry, March 20, 2011 at 2:09 pm Link to this comment

GRYM,

Time magazine states France and Britian are in the lead, how can this be?  Didn’t they consult you?

http://news.yahoo.com/s/time/20110320/wl_time/08599206041200

Without the US calling the shots, maybe something good can come out of this.

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By Robert, March 20, 2011 at 2:02 pm Link to this comment

Arab League chief condemns killing of Libya civilians by Western powers

Arab League Secretary-General Amr Moussa calls for emergency meeting to discuss situation in Libya, says Arabs did not want military strike on Libya by Western powers when the League called for a no-fly zone.


The Arab League chief said on Sunday that Arabs did not want military strikes by Western powers that hit civilians when the League called for a no-fly zone over Libya.

By News Agencies


“In comments carried by Egypt’s official state news agency, Secretary-General Amr Moussa also said he was calling for an emergency Arab League meeting to discuss the situation in the Arab world and particularly Libya.

“What is happening in Libya differs from the aim of imposing a no-fly zone, and what we want is the protection of civilians and not the bombardment of more civilians,” he said.

“He requested official reports about what happened in Libya in terms of aerial and marine bombardment that led to the deaths and injuries of many Libyan civilians. He pointed out that he asked for the full data to know what actually happened,” MENA said.

Western forces have unleashed their biggest military attack in the Arab world since the 2003 U.S. invasion of Iraq, targeting Muammar Gadhafi’s air defenses and armored vehicles near the rebel stronghold of Benghazi in the east of the country.”


http://www.haaretz.com/news/international/arab-league-chief-condemns-killing-of-libya-civilians-by-western-powers-1.350608

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By Fat Freddy, March 20, 2011 at 1:36 pm Link to this comment

And where does Mr Van Rumpoy fit into all of this?

UKIP, MEP Nigel Farage:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rhSqbaJHjio

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By Fat Freddy, March 20, 2011 at 1:32 pm Link to this comment

correction:

“Oil For [Food] Program”

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By Fat Freddy, March 20, 2011 at 1:25 pm Link to this comment

I can’t wait to read Hedges’s column tomorrow. I want to see if he jumps on the “blame Wolfowitz and the Neocons” bandwagon.

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By Fat Freddy, March 20, 2011 at 1:23 pm Link to this comment

rico, suave

Saddam was selling oil to the French and Germans for a peanut butter sandwich and a diet coke. The corrupted UN “Oil For Program” was the reason for the US invasion of Iraq.

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By Cliff Carson, March 20, 2011 at 1:12 pm Link to this comment

You are right GRYM, it was a French airplane that struck first - attacking an armored vehicle, this right after Gaddafi had declared a Cease-Fire, because of the NO FLY ZONE!!
I would have liked to see an armored car that could fly.
The real catch in this fiasco is that the United States doesn’t want the Government of Libya, that’s Gaddafi, to have the right to defend themselves against the insurgents.
Anybody think there might have been a U S covert involvement in this whole North African thing?  Or has anyone noticed that only the Despot Leaders in the North African Countries are targets?

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By PatrickHenry, March 20, 2011 at 1:05 pm Link to this comment

Saving the ‘rebels” in Libya.

http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=viewArticle&code=20110319&articleId=23801

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By Go Right Young Man, March 20, 2011 at 12:51 pm Link to this comment

PHenry,

It still fascinates me how you can change the entire context of a news article or an interview to suite your narrative.

Come now. Nothing in the NPR item indicated France to be in a Command and Control position concerning Libya. The NPR story concerns French planes being used first. That’s it.

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By TDoff, March 20, 2011 at 12:20 pm Link to this comment

Finally, FINALLY, someone is doing something about a solution to the US’ unemployment and job crisis. While US Pols twiddle their thumbs, cutting taxes, slashing government jobs, and kicking women and children and the disabled out into the streets, Moammar Ghadafi, by stubbornly resisting the armed takeover of his dictatorship, has sucked the US into yet another endless war.

So now, the US’s newly graduating MFA’s and PhD’s in Social Psychology, and it’s legions of unemployed, highly-skilled thingey-makers, the production of which has been outsourced to China and KatFungGoo, instead of facing interminable, fruitless resume printing and job-searching, will be able to respond ‘Yeah, Baby’ to the ‘Uncle Sam Wants You’ posters, join the US Armed Forces, and be assured of a stable, lifetime career.

At least until a more rational party wins a US election.

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By Geoph, March 20, 2011 at 12:14 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Saudi Arabia and Libya, both considered allies by the United States in its fight against terrorism, were the source of about 60 percent of the foreign fighters who came to Iraq in the past year to serve as suicide bombers or to facilitate other attacks, according to senior American military
officials

Once again, we are arming the ones who hate us after we’ve spent years arming
and supporting their brutal dictator because he was an ally.

Also:

The Bush administration approved the sale of $3 million of materials to Libya in 2006 and $5.3 million in 2007. In 2008, Libya was allowed to import $46 million in armaments from the U.S. The approved goods included nearly 400 shipments of explosive and incendiary materials, 25,000 aircraft
parts, 56,000 military electronics components and nearly 1,000 items of optical targeting and other guidance equipment.

and

The Americans have asked Saudi Arabia if it can supply weapons to the rebels in Benghazi.

and

Obama administration made biggest ever US arms deal with Saudis


The circle of life - war profiter style.

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By Geoph, March 20, 2011 at 11:58 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Obama wanted to sell Gaddafi $77 million dollars in military equipment last year.
Fortunately he was stopped - even though Bush sold him $46 million in
armaments including nearly 400 shipments of explosive and incendiary materials.

Now, one of our largest weapons buyers is being asked by the US to sell weapons
to the rebels in Libya.

So, once again, we arm the regime, then arm the rebels and wage war - making
sure our war profiteers are making profits on all sides of the conflict. Oh, and this
has nothing to do with the exploration contract Exxon made with Libya a few
years back. Nothing.

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By PatrickHenry, March 20, 2011 at 11:51 am Link to this comment

GRYM

The U.S. Chairman of the Joint Chiefs has stated this morning that the U.S. is in the leading role, at the moment, concerning Libya. But, of course, Admiral Mullen is an American. He must be lying!

Are his lips moving?


http://www.npr.org/2011/03/19/134690961/France-Takes-Lead-In-Coalition-Strikes-Against-Libya

NPR, No more budget for you.

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By Cliff Carson, March 20, 2011 at 11:21 am Link to this comment

Wow.  What a bunch of meaningless words.  I may not have read every comment , but I did read most of them.  I saw one or two that questioned the sincerity of the “reason” for rescuing the “civilian Libyan insurgents” and I failed to see any response to the ambiguity of the “Moral Cause” that Obama has embarked on.  Obama is nothing but a mouthpiece for those who really don’t give a damn about human life except for their own.  You know who I mean, those that actually run the U S and the World for that matter - the Blood Profiteers.  What was it Ansel Rothschild said, “The time to make money is when the streets are filled with blood” , yes that’s it.
Could a Moral Government that despairs for the safety and well being of people ignore the starvation policy put on the Palestinians after they, in an election supervised by both Israel and the United States, voted wrong - meaning voted for Hamas and not the chosen lackeys desired by both Israel and the United States?  Well the United States sure could, if you remember:  Israel arrested the newly elected Hamas Government, and closed off the borders of the Palestinians, allowing nothing, that includes food, medicine, water, electricity, I repeat nothing to cross the borders. 
For about three months didn’t the United States sit silently by and allow the Palestinians to be starved and denied basic necessities, in order that they might be forced to choose the Government approved by the United States and Israel?
Libya was invaded by two long time Colonial Powers plus the new one, the good ole US of A.
Morality is not a serious word heard in the halls of those who run the World.  Invade, Kill, Suppress, Reap and Profit,  on the other hand, is considered civil discourse.
Let the poor and downtrodden serve their masters because they deserve ruthless treatment say the World masters.  Besides only the Elite deserve respect.  Isn’t that what Obama was saying?

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By Alan MacDonald, March 20, 2011 at 11:16 am Link to this comment

It is hard to believe that neither the supposedly well read Obama, the purported ‘talking-head pundits’, nor the NYT’s experienced war cheerleaders are saying anything about the clear analogy between the 1990’s PNAC plans that led to the 2003 Iraq war of aggression, and Thomas Barnett’s 2004 book and plans for “The Pentagon’s New Map” which is the similarly clear precursor to this expanded “GAP” war now starting in Libya.

“This whole plan is based on Tom Barnett’s 2004 explosive and heavily studied by CIA/MIC book “The Pentagon’s New Map”—- in which the entire swath of countries he calls the “GAP” are to be absorbed into the “OLD CORE” (which is the Western empire), and to be prevented from falling under the influence of the “NEW CORE” (easy to guess—BRIC).

The geo-strategic plan is an up-dated version of the 1990’s PNAC plan that precipitated the Iraq and Afpak wars—- but now expanding to include N. Africa, all Middle East, and South Central Asia.

This is a MUCH bigger and more carefully planned global war map for the current global Empire (politely called the “CORE” rather than ‘Empire’) to engage in during the 2011 to 2020 time-frame.

Anyone who does not include in their research and analysis Barnett’s “The Pentagon’s New Map” is woefully underestimating the breadth, depth, and scope of this plan to expand from Iraq and Afpak wars to the full “GAP” (from Tunisia through Libya, Egypt, the whole Middle East, and all the way to the Chinese and Indian boarders).

As Cheney was infamous for saying, this is “BIG TIME” for the global Empire—- and must be stopped before it precipitates WWIII.”

Alan MacDonald
Sanford, Maine
Liberty over violent empire—People’s Party 2012

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By rico, suave, March 20, 2011 at 11:16 am Link to this comment

Anar:

PS- We already have huge bases in Bahrain and Saudi Arabia. Pretty high price to pay for redundancy, don’t you think?

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By rico, suave, March 20, 2011 at 11:08 am Link to this comment

Anarcissie:

We already had reliable pro-Western allies in the region- the Saudis, the Egyptians, the Emirates. OPEC was thoroughly competent to keep its members pretty much in line, including Saddam. Even while he was gassing Kurds, he was pumping oil, which, by the td standard, is all that matters to the US. So again, why the invasion? Since tders are incapable of accepting any rationale other than US greed and power lust, the question will keep being debated.

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By zonth_zonth, March 20, 2011 at 11:05 am Link to this comment

Ha Ha.  Hope and Change.  And a peace prize to boot

Better quickly get the military engaged in something serious like, hmm lets call it “Odyssey Dawn” for boobtube educated psychologically absent cultured nitwits to chew on.  Therefore, when fully engaged there will be less incentive to pare down, or have to defend the financial sinkhole that is the military industrial complex. And thus continue to squeeze the nonexistent middle class for our ‘bankrupcy’

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By rico, suave, March 20, 2011 at 11:00 am Link to this comment

And now, from Syria, another “have it both ways” and “damned if you do, damned if you don’t” moment for all you truthdig progressives to embrace:

If the US helps the Syrian dissidents against Assad, we’re interfering in their internal affairs. Booo!

If we don’t help them against Assad, it’s because Syria has no oil, so who gives a damn. Booo!

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By Anarcissie, March 20, 2011 at 10:40 am Link to this comment

rico, suave—According to what I have read, which I concede is spotty, the main motivation for invading Iraq was not to grab the specific oil of Iraq but more geopolitical: to set up a reliable pro-Western satellite in the midst of oil-producing country, including large bases of air and ground force quickly deployable anywhere in the vicinity.  Before he invaded Kuwait, Saddam Hussein, if not a Quisling, at least seemed to be on the team, but that invasion showed he was a loose cannon and that closer control was needed.  That control is provided now not by the government in Baghdad but by the occupation.

The loose-cannon perception is probably what has cooked Qaddafi’s goose as well.

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By Go Right Young Man, March 20, 2011 at 10:40 am Link to this comment

The U.S. Chairman of the Joint Chiefs has stated this morning that the U.S. is in the leading role, at the moment, concerning Libya. But, of course, Admiral Mullen is an American. He must be lying!

Well, wait, the Saudi and Jordanian defense Ministers are making the same claims as Admiral Mullen is. What should we make of this turn of events?

- ITW and PHenry has been correct all along. France is in the lead at the moment. wink

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By rico, suave, March 20, 2011 at 10:18 am Link to this comment

Quick take on the “It’s About Oil” argument.

Was Saddam selling oil, as a member of OPEC, to the US and Big Oil refiners prior to its invasion of Kuwait? Yes? The US and Big Oil should have been happy, right?

Why would Bush I intentionally disrupt Iraqi and Kuwaiti oil production by invading Iraq? The simplest calculus, according to truthdig progressives, would have been- “What must we do to keep the oil flowing?” Certainly “invasion” was not a good answer in retrospect.

Did Bush II’s invasion of Iraq increase or decrease Iraqi production capacity and exports?

So if td progs believe our policy is, “As long as they have oil, we’ll look the other way” when it comes to dealing with nasty despots, why did we bother Saddam? And why don’t we support Gaddafi and tell him to get his fucking oil wells flowing asap?

The answer, “So we could go in and steal their oil for ourselves” is childish and unacceptable.

Final thought along the “theft” line: What would a good td prog think if Chavez, in his gratitude for Cuban assistance, sold oil to Cuba at a deep discount? “What a prince! What generosity!” No thought that maybe Castro could be twisting an arm or two now that his minions are running most of the ministries in Venezuela? (If US bureaucrats were as intertwined with Iraqi ministries, the howl of “Imperialism” would be deafening. But I digress.)

What would the same td prog say if it was discovered that a freed Libya or Iraq, in its gratitude, contracted to sell the US oil at a deep discount for a while, to help pay for their liberation? “Robbery! The fix is in! See, the imperialists are stealing Libyan/Iraqi oil! We knew it!”

What am I missing?

And BTW, have you seen those Venezuelan oil production figures lately? Chavez is a genius!

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By Go Right Young Man, March 20, 2011 at 9:40 am Link to this comment

PHenry, - “Don’t look now but Russia isn’t communist anymore and China is communist in name only.”

-

Of course both China and Russia would disagree with you.

Russia and China have strong non-interventionist policies?  Tell that to Chechnya and Taiwan, Cuba and Venezuela, Gabon and the Philippines. - Of course these matters are not currently in the news so, they must not be real. Or, conversely, you know nothing of these global events.

You’re an interesting individual.

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By GoyToy, March 20, 2011 at 9:30 am Link to this comment

Let’s go after the House of Saud!!!

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By PatrickHenry, March 20, 2011 at 9:23 am Link to this comment

GRYM

I have asked the question numerous times. If not the United States, who would you prefer to see in the leadership role? It took you far too long to give your answer. - Two of the globe’s largest communist nations.

Don’t look now but Russia isn’t communist anymore and China is communist in name only.  They’ve been cleaning our clock in ‘capitalism’ for some time now.

I would choose either one of them to lead the way because they have a much stronger non-interventionist policy, much like the US did at one time.

In one moment we just sent the NPR budget into Libya to make holes in the desert. 

I guess we had to rid ourselves of last years cruise missles to make room for this years model.

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By Fat Freddy, March 20, 2011 at 8:41 am Link to this comment

So far, the only two members of Congress who have publicly condemned our involvement in Libya, that I have seen, are the only two members of Congress with any principles: Ron Paul and Dennis Kucinich. But they are both “crazy”, right?

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By Fat Freddy, March 20, 2011 at 8:32 am Link to this comment

Mike789

Two words for you: Justification and rationalization.

Did you support the overthrow of Saddam? You sound like “W”. The French are not leading shit. We are only using the French because our resources are tied up in Iraq and Afghanistan. We now own a third war in the Middle East. Are you happy?

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By Go Right Young Man, March 20, 2011 at 8:25 am Link to this comment

PHenry, - “I would like to have seen Russia and China intervene but they are too smart to do so.”

-

I have asked the question numerous times. If not the United States, who would you prefer to see in the leadership role? It took you far too long to give your answer. - Two of the globe’s largest communist nations.

-

Qaddafi was a Western puppet? LOL….pull your head out. wink

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By Mike789, March 20, 2011 at 8:18 am Link to this comment

Concur with Inherit the Wind when he posted: “Let’s get this straight: France and Britain are leading the charge, not the US.  We are supporting them but they are on point.  That’s OK with me.  As for Qaddaffi: what he intends to do to his people would probably shock Stalin!”

The are sins and there are sins of omission. If we were to have witnessed mass graves and executions conducted by Qaddafi’s thugs, after having done nothing, I’d say whatever credibility we have left, (and that’s about all we have, and I know some will deride that), would be deemed hypocritical.

Personally, I’ve had enough of that lying, murduring, scumbag, Qaddafi. Since 1981 he’s been a pain in the ass. I’m personally glad we’re in this. I wish it were sooner, but a coalition had to be established.

In this case we were requested, over and over again to intervene. The consequences of inaction outweigh the comfort of the sidelines.

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By Fat Freddy, March 20, 2011 at 7:55 am Link to this comment

I think it’s great that the French stepped up first and put themselves on the line in Libya.

Yeah. The French really have changed. In 1986, they refused to let US planes fly over their airspace when we bombed Libya back then.

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By Fat Freddy, March 20, 2011 at 7:53 am Link to this comment

It was the Arab League which requested the United States and the West step in.

Yeah? So what? I requested a woman at the bar give me a blowjob. It was her decision whether to do it or not.

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By Fat Freddy, March 20, 2011 at 7:49 am Link to this comment

Mr Kutler wants to blame Wolfowitz and the neocons for this? Obama is Commander-in-Chief. He ordered the 157 Tomahawk missiles, not Wolfowitz. How intellectually dishonest. Kutler didn’t even bother to make the connection between the totally discredited Wolfowitz and the Arab League. (Am I missing something?)

Blame Bush, blame the neocons, blame everybody but the person who actually made the decision; Obama. Obama owns this, not the French, not the British, not the neocons; OBAMA! And let’s not forget Hillary and her role.

Kutler, just another Obama apologist. Obama and the Democrats are owned by Wall Street. But that’s a discussion for another thread. (Why did the SEC drop the investigation into former Lehman execs over the repo 105s?)

All of the major networks, and the 3 cable news networks are waving, or as Hunter S. would say, sucking the flag. The entire MSM in this country are nothing but an unofficial public relations bureau for the Department of Defense.

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By Go Right Young Man, March 20, 2011 at 7:29 am Link to this comment

I think it’s great that the French stepped up first and put themselves on the line in Libya. But make no mistake; it’s the United States, in the lead, directing air-traffic and cruise missile targeting.

It appears the plan is to mitigate Libyan anti-aircraft facilities before turning Command and Control, if all goes to accordingly, over to NATO within days.

-

It was the Arab League which requested the United States and the West step in.

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By Spooky-43, March 20, 2011 at 5:43 am Link to this comment

A no-fly zone is only effective to provide cover for a superior ground force to complete the job of destroying an armed enemy.  No limited armed conflict can ultimately be won without a superior ground force.  Of course, if the goal is to totally annihilate an enemy, this can be done solely with air forces. 

In Libya, a no-fly zone will be useless because there is no superior ground force ready to move in when the air space has been secured.  If it is not done quickly, and Qaddafi has time to organize his forces, it will turn out to be a very long, drawn out affair, possibly another total waste of time. 

Poor planning by liberal leaders of socialist governments, not willing to use decisive actions to bring about decisive victories.  Probably because it is more about Soros, Bilderbergers and the money changers than it is about democracy in Libya, anyway.

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By PatrickHenry, March 20, 2011 at 12:32 am Link to this comment

The U.N. security council was asked to intervene not the United States.  I was OK with France and Britian as they have a long history there, it is their sphere of influence.  I would like to have seen Russia and China intervene but they are too smart to do so.

A week ago when the tide of battle was going for the rebels, they wouldn’t have us, when they started getting their ass kicked and defeat was imminient, they asked for help from the U.N.

Hell, I don’t even know what these ‘rebels’ platform is, they might be worse than Gadaffi, but with 41 years in and his people rioting, its time to go.

I just wonder who the next puppet is who is going to rule that oil.

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By bEHOLD_tHE_mATRIX, March 20, 2011 at 12:27 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Just four words come to mind here.

PROTRACTED
BLOODY
EXPENSIVE
ENGAGEMENT

....no, make that seven….

SWEET
LIGHT
CRUDE

Unless a lunatic billionaire strolls out to the Mediterranean shores with his hands behind his head.

Military contractors rejoice.  Times continue to look rosy.

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By Inherit The Wind, March 19, 2011 at 11:50 pm Link to this comment

As usual the various sides here are arguing over false premises.

Let’s get this straight: France and Britain are leading the charge, not the US.  We are supporting them but they are on point.  That’s OK with me.  As for Qaddaffi: what he intends to do to his people would probably shock Stalin! I don’t think he merely intends to slaughter his people, I think he will do it in the most horrific ways possible, such as having children raped to death in front of their parents, then not being allowed to bury them.  Or tortured and left to die, with parents forbidden to touch or comfort them. Qaddaffi will inflict every kind of pain and torture his sick mind can imagine.

There ARE fates worth than death.  He means to inflict them.

Ironically, Qaddaffi is probably Mubarak’s BEST argument next door against prosecution: “I stepped down for the good of the nation.”

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By radson, March 19, 2011 at 10:51 pm Link to this comment

Well Patrick Henry it seems that you had a ‘hards day night’ but don’t feel too bad ,after all you’re dealing with some ‘institutionalized robots’ .Now GRYM you have been harping about the Arab Community and their insistence for a No-Fly zone and how the US should send the Cavalry to save the day .I didn’t realize that so many Arabs where fans of John Wayne ,but nevertheless is it not about some Sand Princes maintaining
their power over the masses in the form of Wahabbism and some kind of warped interpretation of the Koran ,something that Western Civ. suffered for many years during the medieval period .Now i have a question for you GRYM and Rico for that matter ,since this is a ‘Humanitarian ’ operation based on the security and safety of the Libyan Civilization and all the newfangled Euphemisms which you both are well aware off ,which include the safety of the citizens and the ‘bombing ’ to save lives.Where is America’s Greatest Allie ,yes you know who I mean ;the same ones who dictate Foreign Policy and relish free military hardware in the name of regional STABILITY ,how come they haven’t offered their assistance to promote Peace and Prosperity,since every ‘tom dick and harry’ in the Arab World has asked for it ;what about your Zionist buddies don’t they believe in ‘Humanitarian Intervention’ after all they have an impressive record in their own backyard.

cheers

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By Robert, March 19, 2011 at 10:02 pm Link to this comment

“Ex-MP George Galloway talks about why the UK and other countries are interested in Libya so much…. it’s about oil, which other African despot countries don’t have.”

~~~~~~

The Arab League is nothing but a bunch of dictators & puppet monarchs / regimes...and they would kill their own people to stay in power…take a look at Yemen, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia…etc…


Click on link to view short video:

http://snardfarker.ning.com/video/george-galloway-on-wests-libya?xg_source=activity

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By Diana Chapman, March 19, 2011 at 9:55 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

C’mon - just let the allies go! They’ve been practising their military might about 8 miles from my place in northern Australia and driving everyone crazy with their house-shaking jets and Howitzers - blowing up our woodlands and other mythical things that only allies can see.

What’s a bit of war between friends - and it’s for such a good cause - getting rid of one crazy old man with nuclear warships and similarly tipped weapons. Oh, sorry, GRYM, we haven’t been told if these will be used, have we? But then, what’s a bit more radioactivity released in the world? Doesn’t really matter - what with Japan and all.

Go for it allies! Ozzie, ozzie, ozzie..!!

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By rico, suave, March 19, 2011 at 8:26 pm Link to this comment

GRYM:

I’m tickled by the td posters’ hyperventilations over Saudi Arabia’s intervention in Bahrain.

Of course they blame the US for prodding the otherwise “reluctant” Saudis. Imagine that.

It’s impossible, in their universe, for the Saudis to have any sort of independent self-interest in the disturbances roiling a neighbor which is just a few miles away.

Another “have it both ways” moment. Poor Obama, trying his damnedest to unplug the US from the rest of the world. The Saudis enter Bahrain while Obama works on his NCAA brackets, and progressives STILL blame the US for the Saudi move. (Maybe we could explore the “soft bigotry” of progressive feelings of Saudi incompetence to maturely and competently handle their own affairs!)

Now he follows France militarily (did you think FOLLOWING France militarily would ever happen?!) into Libya to help the pro-democracy rebels, and he’s vilified as being a pawn of big oil (and Paul Wolfowitz!). Fuck the rebels. If they can’t win with just Facebook, like the Egyptians, too bad.

As I posted somewhere before, the sum total of truthdig poster logic is this:

There is a problem in the world.
The US exists.
The US is to blame for the problem.
QED.

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By Go Right Young Man, March 19, 2011 at 7:36 pm Link to this comment

Rico,

You were spot on.

-

So it has begun. Lead by the United States, Britain, and France the United Nations is actively protecting Libyan opposition forces and protesters inside Libya.

The United States is in the lead with AWAC air-traffic control and cruise missiles in operations to render Libyan air defenses inoperable, thus making Libyan air-space safe for coalition forces to follow.

For the good or the bad the United States has been more than reluctant to get involved. The U.S. knew what was being asked when the first whispers of a no fly zone passed the lips of others.

The Arab League, represented by every Arab Muslim nation on the planet, knew precisely what was being requested.  - A U.S. and Western lead military effort to save the lives of those inside Libya who oppose Qaddafi.

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By Marshall, March 19, 2011 at 6:48 pm Link to this comment

Correct me if i’m wrong, but the similarities between the Libya quandary and Iraq
seem pretty plain.  Two despotic secular dictators with histories of pursuing WMD,
once allies of the US, subsequently violently suppressed legitimate internal dissent
and earned UN resolutions denouncing them…  From this I would assume that the
left in general would vehemently oppose US military action against Libya
denouncing it as the machination of an interventionist quasi-christian, pro-oil
Neocon agenda extending from the top seat of power… yet I hear little of this. 
Surprisingly little.  Does the left now openly support an interventionist policy by
choosing to frame it as a human rights issue despite having virtually ignored the
far greater human rights abuses perpetrated by Saddam’s regime?  If you opposed
US intervention in Iraq, can you legitimately support intervention in Libya?  This is
the question I’d like answered.

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By rico, suave, March 19, 2011 at 5:25 pm Link to this comment

GRYM:

Isaid earlier, “You must understand that it’s a typical example of isolationist pacifist progressives wanting it both ways.”

I rest my case.

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