Free Markets, Free People


So, let’s talk some more about Libya

For instance, did you know that Libya has about as much of a tribal problem as does Afghanistan?   Or perhaps “problem” isn’t the best choice of words.  Are you aware of the tribal politics involved in Libya?

Yeah, neither are most folks – in fact, I dare say that lack of knowledge may even extend to, ahem, our government experts.

First, let’s look at the military operations side of this potential debacle.  What and where are the coalition members striking?  Well here’s a graphic from the Washington Post that provides a fairly extensive overview of how Libyan government forces are arrayed.

w-Libya

 

That gives you a pretty good representation of the lay of the land.  Note the “opposition held” cities and their location.  Almost all of them are in the east.  That will come into the discussion a bit further on.  As it stands, those air fields noted on the map and the air defense system of Libya have been the primary target of the coalition attacks.  There have also been some attacks on armored columns, the one specifically reported was headed into Benghazi.

How effective has all of this been?  Well again, reports out of Libya before the “intervention” were sparse about the effectiveness of Libyan air power.  But what had been reported didn’t seem to paint Libyan air support as very decisive. 

Meanwhile in the coalition, some dissention.  ABC’s “The Note” notes:

"The biggest obstacle to the Libyan intervention right now isn’t the Arab world but rather differences among France, the U.K. and the U.S. about who’s in charge," Jan Techau, director of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace in Brussels and a former NATO defense analyst, said in an interview with Bloomberg News.

The Obama administration continues to emphasize the operation will be short in duration and scope, and that the U.S. will hand over authority to its coalition partners soon. The transition will happen in a "matter of days, not a matter of weeks," President Obama said on Monday. "How quickly this transfer takes places will be determined by the recommendations of our commanding officers."

That and how well the coalition holds together.  For instance, according to Jake Tapper:

Members of the Arab League have also expressed skepticism. There were several calls from some members of the Arab League this weekend to stop the strikes, given reports of civilian deaths being broadcast by Libyan state TV. The United Arab Emirates, which was to be a key participant, has decided not to send military aircraft.

France is pushing hard to have command handed over to them.  But Italy’s Foreign Minister Frattini has said Italy will rethink the use of its bases if NATO isn’t given command.  Norway has suspended its participation until the command issue is resolved.  Meanwhile, we have the football.

Obama responds to the criticism:

Obama today sought to temper some of the concerns about the mission, saying the United States’ advanced military capabilities and initial leadership "shapes the environment in which a no-fly zone would be effective."

"After the initial thrust that has disabled Gadhafi’s air defenses, limits his ability to threaten large population centers like Benghazi, that there is going to be a transition taking place in which we have a range of coalition partners… who will then be participating in establishing a no-fly zone," Obama said in Chile. "So there will be a transition taking place of which we are one of the partners."

And someone else will be in charge, supposedly, deciding how to “shape the environment in which the no-fly zone would be effective” according to their interpretation of the effective UN resolution 1973.  It could, of course, be a much more aggressive interpretation than the US has committed too.  Then what?

So, what is the proposed end-state to all of this?  When does this coalition stop flying.  Well that’s the most important unanswered question there is.  And there’s a reason it is unanswered – there is no “exit strategy” as we speak.

Which brings us to a little of the background of the Libyan situation.  Ted Galen Carpenter, of CATO lays a little history on us:

[T]he United States and its allies are wandering into a murky political and demographic minefield in Libya. Western media and policy types have a fuzzy image of the rebels as brave, democratic insurgents determined to liberate the country from a brutal tyrant. But there are other, perhaps far more important, elements involved. Libya itself is yet another fragile, artificial political entity that the European colonial powers created. Italy cobbled together three disparate provinces to establish its Libyan colony. Those areas consisted of Cyrenaica in the east (centered around on the cities of Benghazi and Tobruk), Tripolitania in the west (centered around Tripoli, which became the colonial capital), and less populous and less important Fezzan in the south-southwest.

The key point is that the various tribes inhabiting Cyrenaica and Tripolitania had almost nothing in common. Indeed, they sometimes had an adversarial relationship. Yet, when the victorious Allied powers took control of Libya from Italy during and after World War II, they maintained this unstable amalgam instead of separating it into its more cohesive constituent parts.

That is not merely a matter of historical interest. The sharp divide between Cyrenaica and Tripolitania persisted after Libya became independent, and it persists to this day. It is no coincidence that the current uprising against the Qaddafi regime began in the east, with rebel forces quickly seizing Benghazi and other cities in Cyrenaica. Virtually all previous (unsuccessful) anti-regime movements began in the same region. Qaddafi is from Tripolitania and has long depended on western tribes and his western-dominated security forces as his power base. And as easily as rebel demonstrators and troops seized major targets in the east, they predictably faltered as they pressed deeper into Tripolitania.

So what’s the message here?  This is mostly tribal warfare that has historical precedence and is unlikely to – in and of itself – see Gadhafi ousted from power.  He is the titular head of the tribe which populates the area in which he lives.  Again, note those “opposition controlled” cities and where they’re located.  What we’re messing in is a civil war with one side/tribe warring against the other.  The question is, with the change of command among the coalition, will the new command eventually pick a side.   Right now the mission is ostensibly to protect civilian lives.  But what if the new coalition commander decides air strikes in support of a rebel offensive is the best way to “protect civilians”?  What then?

Carpenter also asks what we know about the rebels:

The agenda of the rebels remains uncertain, but the two leading possibilities both pose major problems for the United States and its allies as they launch their intervention. One possibility is that insurgent leaders want to keep Libya intact and simply reverse the power relationship with their Tripolitanian adversaries. In other words, a victory over the Qaddafi regime would be time for payback. The other possibility is that they wish to split the country and secure independence for Cyrenaica. There is historical precedent for such an objective. Libya’s monarch, King Idris, told the United States and the other Allied powers after World War II that he wished to rule only Cyrenaica, because he thought that trying to control the larger amalgam would be too difficult and lead to dangerous instability.

So should the mission creep to the extent that the coalition is aiding the rebels in their quest to overthrow the Gadhafi regime, what’s the possible outcome?

Assisting the Cyrenaica-based rebels to oust Qaddafi will almost certainly provoke resentment from the people of Tripolitania. If the rebels split the country, that will become a focal point of resentment for those defeated tribes — and a new grievance against the West throughout much of the Muslim world. Even if the rebels attempt to keep Libya intact, the Tripolitanians are bound to resent Washington for their new, subordinate status. Either way, the United States and its allies are in danger of stumbling into a situation in which they are almost certain to acquire new enemies. That is the last thing that America needs.

And there are other questions about the rebel forces as well:

According to a cache of al Qaeda documents captured in 2007 by U.S. special operations commandos in Sinjar, Iraq, hundreds of foreign fighters, many of them untrained young Islamic volunteers, poured into Iraq in 2006 and 2007. The documents, called the Sinjar documents, were collected, translated and analyzed at the West Point Counter Terrorism Center. Almost one in five foreign fighters arriving in Iraq came from eastern Libya, many from the city of Darnah. Others came from Surt and Misurata to the west.

On a per capita basis, that’s more than twice as many than came from any other Arabic-speaking country, amounting to what the counter terrorism center called a Libyan “surge" of young men eager to kill Americans.

During 2006 and 2007, a total of 1,468 Americans were killed in combat and 12,524 were badly wounded, according to Pentagon records.

Today, there is little doubt that eastern Libya, like other parts of the Arab world, is experiencing a genuine burst of anti-totalitarian fervor, expressed in demands for political freedom and economic reforms. But there also is a dark history to eastern Libya, which is the home of the Islamic Libyan Fighting Group, an anti-Gaddafi organization officially designated by the State Department as a terrorist organization.

Yes, so far this is shaping up to be quite a little mess.  Obama may think he can hurl a few Tomahawks at the “bad guys”, hand it all over to someone else and walk away, but that’s not a reality I see in the cards for this one.  And it is certainly a reality we have little national interest in or should have involved ourselves in.

But here we are …

~McQ

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67 Responses to So, let’s talk some more about Libya

  • McQObama may think he can hurl a few Tomahawks at the “bad guys”, hand it all over to someone else and walk away, but that’s not a reality I see in the cards for this one.

    Why can’t The Dear Golfer walk away?  Who will hold him accountable?

    “Let me make it clear, that, as I’ve said before, our only goal in Libya was to protect innocent civilians in accordance with UN resolutions and our own national values.  This was what I directed our armed forces to do, and they have succeeded in the mission that I assigned to them.  [Il Duce chin tilt] Now, the United Nations is in charge of bringing peace and stability to that region.  As I’ve said, our mission would be of short duration, and it was.  We have realigned our national values with our interests, and saved or created tens of thousands of innocent Libyan lives.”

    Do you really think that MiniTru, which has been remarkably uncurious about why we’re there in the first place much less what the actual situation is, will bother itself too much with any problems in the country after we’re “gone”?  They certainly won’t blame The Dear Golfer.  “Hey, he tried his best!  The UN just… well, you know how THEY are, don’t you?  We can’t do everything, you know.  Do you really want to be involved in another endless war like Bush?  We can’t enforce democracy on the Libyans any more than we could on the Iraqis.  Etc., etc.  And what about that Charlie Sheen, huh?”

    • According to a White House readout of a Monday night call between Obama and Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the two leaders ..

      “underscored their shared commitment to the goal of helping provide the Libyan people an opportunity to transform their country, by installing a democratic system that respects the people’s will.”

      But in Cairo Obama said

      The fourth issue that I will address is democracy. I know there has been controversy about the promotion of democracy in recent years, and much of this controversy is connected to the war in Iraq. So let me be clear: no system of government can or should be imposed upon one nation by any other.

      Winning !!!

  • Yeah, but the UN endorsed this, so it’s “legitimate”

    • It will be legitimate until suddenly its not. I don’t wish ill on this mission, and probably it will turn out well or even so-so. I’m trying to avoid schadenfreude here. I didn’t like it when some Dems did that so I shouldn’t do it back.
      Gawd, do you remember when Move On actually ran ads that said “General Betray-Us”?
      Now, of course, he’s the president’s top general. LOL.

      • It will be legitimate until suddenly its not.

        >>>> In other words, when they can somehow pin it on a Republican…

    • That’s fortunate, since in the unlikely event that things go wrong (heh!) we can claim that “We were just following orders”.

  • My questions:
    1) Any functional seaports actually held by the rebels?
    2) Any oil production at all still going on? With the Colonel having gold supply, the rebels may run out of money quickly.
    3) Wasn’t Cyrenaica once belonged to Egypt? I think Libya and Egypt had clashes before. Could be a flash point where Egypt comes in to create a protectorate-like creature.
    4) I believe there are actually other rebel held cities in the west. Other maps showed more than just one city.
    5) I thought the problem of handing it over to NATO was Turkey is refusing to agree. I also note Obama basically confirmed that we are just doing the initial phase and then he can wash his hands of this (right….)

    • “Libyan rebels in Benghazi said they have created a new national oil company to replace the corporation controlled by Qaddafi.”

      Sounds like they could start producing again and are thinking about this issue.

    • Yeah, Benghazi is a port. So is Tobruk and Derna.

      What I understand is oil production is halted.

      Pretty sure you’re right – I did a post on Egyptian commandos being in there and the article referenced did say that the area had once been a part of greater Egypt.

      There is a fight going on over Misurata in the west but Zuwarah (another port and closest city to Tunisia) is supposedly in “rebel” hands.

      That’s NATO’s internal problem. External to that, if the French get command the Italians are making noises like they won’t play anymore. And you have to wonder if Norway would come in if France was in command as well.

  • My god, this war has the craziest photos ever. If its not rebels wearing crazy clothing or firing at jets from office chairs, its a gaggle of reporters fleeing explosions complete with people flying in the air. Check out the shot of a bunch of journos taking photos of guys with RPGs!

    • Proving either that nothing is really going on, or they’re a collection of soon to be dead idiots.

      I smell posed photo-op, and someone else wrecking the moment taking a photo of the photogophers shooting the pose.

      • Exactly. That RPG shot is posed for sure. Some photographer was just way too tempted to break the “myth” around those kinds of photos.
        I’m imagining these guys finding the dumbest/bravest rebels in Beghazi, then driving with them out close to the lines to see what happens.

        • this is like a guided tour of war for photographers – look at all of em.

          I picture them getting out of the Land Rover with some Aussie accented bush guide -
          “Ovah heah we have a faylee common Russian ZU-23-2  towed anti ayacraft gun, manned by a no doubt bahley trained crew…let’s have a bita fun with em eh?  Toss this grenade simulatah theya way…”

    • I don’t think they’re really flying in the air. It appears they’re bailing off a AAA piece.

      • Actually I looked again and I agree they are bailing. But still, some of those explosions seem freakin’ close.
        I saw some other photos in different stories that showed actual shrapnel landing, and some very close in shots of the French air strikes. As in, I would not personally want to be that close.
        I think this is what you get when the press is given free access.

    • I submit that the number of photographers covering a war is inversely proportional to its intensity`. That’s why all those staged photos exist, and why so many of those photographers were available to go to Libya. 

  • It looks a lot easier on paper. I think Gates was right to be skeptical. Despite what most people think, military operations are a blunt instrument. There is a distant echo of the old Mcnamara idea of a “surgical strike”.
    As much as I’m a skeptic of the UN, I think we declare victory and turn this problem over to “the international community”. We’ve provided the rebels with a breather by destroying Qaddafi’s current offensive. We’ve grounded the Libyan air force and likely completely degraded his capability to launch further offensive air operations. The best course of action now is to let nature take its course and see if either Qaddafi’s own people will desert him or the rebels can organize a government and a military force.
     

    • If there was a God, Gates would resign and come out with his tell-all book in October 2012, like everyone did with Bush in 2004. Of course, there is no God, or if there is he is a Democrat.

      • Nah.  While we are far from understanding how the universe works, what we do know shows it to be rational and consistent, which is about as far from “democrat” as you can get.

        I think an argument can be made the God is a libertarian: “Look, if you really WANT to do that – even though it’s bad for you – I won’t stop you.  But don’t come crying to me when you get hurt.”

        Or else he’s a really, really solid conservative: “Look, the law is the law, the penalties for breaking it are pretty stiff, and I’m not making exceptions for you or anybody else.”

  • http://pajamasmedia.com/eddriscoll/2011/03/21/why-isnt-cindy-sheehan-on-my-tv-set/

    I think we all know the answer to this, but it’s worth revisiting professional protester turned part-time actress (or is it the other way around? Janeane Garofalo response in 2003 when she asked by an interviewer why she didn’t protest Bill Clinton’s myriad foreign excursions — it’s just not hip for the professional left to protest when a fellow Democrat is in the White House. Or as Cato’s David Boaz writes:

    It’s hard to escape the conclusion that antiwar activity in the United States and around the world was driven as much by antipathy to George W. Bush as by actual opposition to war and intervention.

    Gosh, ya think…!?!?
    The Collective is ALLLLL about ideology.

    • Exactly when is everybody going to finally get it threw their collective heads that Pres**ent Obama has no particular leadership abilities to begin with. He only claimed during the campaign that he had this ability to “get people in a room” but never claimed any ability beyond that.
      Well, hookers have the same ability, but they have never lead anybody anywhere, except possibly ruin.

  • And when the ‘opposition’ forces ‘push out of Benghazi and start taking loyalist controlled cities, who is going to protect the civilians in those cities?

    What a poorly conceived mess.

    • I recommend checking Google Maps for Libya. Some of the places where fighting was raging like Ras Anulf (sp?) are basically small junctions on the Tripoli to Benghazhi highway. Remember, only 6 million in population in Libya. I think it might actually be possible for them rebels to slowly take towns while NATO claims its just hitting heavy weapons along the way. Closer to Tripoli, its gets harder.

      • “U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates said the intensity of the military campaign in Libya will ease soon after allied forces imposed a no-fly zone on Muammar Qaddafi’s regime, enabling rebels to push out of their eastern Benghazi stronghold.”

        The thing is, if NATO/Coalition/whatever is stopping offensives against rebel held ground, that’s one thing – what happens when the rebels become the offensive force?  Do they let them pound their way forward?  Do they discourage them from doing so?

        You see where this goes.  And how do they justify it?  It’s NOT okay for the Khaddif Libyans to go on the offensive, but it IS okay for the rebel ones?

        • I think they don’t justify it and hope no one can keep straight what’s going on as the rebels slowly take back towns on the way to Tripoli. That said, they aren’t doing much movement now. Maybe they are in true stalemate. In which case, the allies must think Kaddafy will negotiate an exit.

  • Excellent post, Bruce.

    Libya and Qaddafi are the tertiary issue here. The secondary issue is America’s role in the world, of which this adventure is a mangling.

    The primary issue, what this situation is really about, is Obama and his multiform peculiarities.

    Start there and this thing straightens out pretty fast. The really serious national security threats are in Washington.

    • In other words, and putting it mildly, you cannot get good faith foreign policy out of a bad faith presidency.

      • Or competent policy out of an incompetent Presidency.

        • I think that the competency is itself a secondary issue because I don’t think that the normative terms by which competency would be defined do not apply to Obama. We can stipulate that he is incompetent, but that doesn’t stop him from having an agenda. For instance, his actual foreign policy is fairly cloaked, but I don’t see any reason to think that American interests are anywhere close to the center of it.

          • I mangled that first sentence with a double negative. It should end up: “I don’t think that the normative terms by which competency would be defined apply to Obama.”

          • “We can stipulate that he is incompetent, but that doesn’t stop him from having an agenda.”

            I don’t think he does, I think he’s winging it, he’s all over the map.  A drunk driving home from a bar has more of an agenda.

            If he has one, as you say, it’s really well cloaked.

          • Well, for one thing, if you’re not looking at the possibility that, at the very least, Obama does not care if things get worse, then you’re not looking at Obama. My approach with him is to never look at my own expectations of what a president should be about.

            In that context the inexplicable dithering takes on purpose. Just as letting the slobs in Congress build their own “Stimulus” bill took on the purpose of helping things get worse.

            Normative terms are what enbable Obama. Being labeled incompetent might cause him to bristle in that special way of his, but so far as I can tell he is completely impervious to and unconcerned about the failure of America.

  • We’ve gone to the effort of backing the opposition, we may as well finish the job.   What’s the alternative, blowing up the opposition’s equipment when they start gaining the upper hand?
    If we’re not there to merely encourage Libyan’s to kill each other off in a prolonged civil war, we must be there to oppose, and overthrow, Khadaffi.
    Clearly the west has cast their lot with the rebels, the outcomes can only be Khadaffi gone, or Benghazi becoming the capitol of the new country of Cyrenaica (like Khadaffi will agree to that, and like the rest of the world will think partitioning Libya is hunkydory, who’s next?).

    Either way, it’s NOT an adventure you undertake and end when you throw a couple of bombs, bow, proclaim victory, and head to Rio.

    • Yep. I was thinking Kaddafy would have no money due to oil revenue and fall quickly. Turns out he has gold.
      He still might collapse though. He’s probably made a lot of enemies in 30 years.

    • What happens if rebel forces start killing civilians in the west?

      • I’m against the whole damn intervention – and your point is but one of the many reasons I can think of for not sticking our noses into this hornets nest.

         

  • It just occured to me: does the UN have an R2P Israeli civilians, who come under daily rocket and mortar attack (when they and their children don’t have their heads cut off in their beds, that is)?

    Somehow, I’m guessing… No.

  • Your article does suggest one solution that could create a peace-with-some-honor situation: Slice the country back apart. Give the rebel Cyrenaicans (or whatever name is appropriate) their state, give Ghaddafi (or whatever name is appropriate) Tripoli, third province I have no idea but either slice it off or figure out which way it trends. Spin it as rectifying an old imperialist colonialist mistake and decent odds everybody ends up reasonably satisfied.

    • For the moment. BTW, the 3rd part is to the south.

      Of course partition could have other consequences (and may not at all be what the bulk of Libyans want despite their differences). Sort of defeats the bit about letting the people decide, doesn’t it.

      And consider this:

      Then Egypt makes the Cyrenaican part either a puppet or a province. Chad, who Libya warred against for a while, grabs the southern portion and we’re stuck with a madman still at the helm in the 3rd part with even more reason to strike out at others.

      • I believe all the oil is in the east. Without that, how would Kaddafy survive? Tourism? Foreign investment?
        I think he would flee to comfortable exile before that. He could still be crazy and say stuff, but actually running a country that didn’t have oil to fund everything would not be so fun.

      • You got a better outcome up your sleeve? There’s a reason all I shot for was “getting us out with some semblance of dignity” :-/

        In general though, on a pure realpolitick basis I suspect that while both sides would loudly claim how it is their destiny to have all of Libya that they could be convinced to split by virtue of it not being worth the continued conflict, every day of which reduces the value of what is left to fight over. The only “downside” is that there’s a lot of other countries that by the same logic ought to be split, but personally I think the trend towards smaller polities in this century is inevitable anyhow for various technological reasons so I’m a great deal less scandalized by the idea than people who don’t think that. For me it’s just the inevitable happening somewhat earlier than it may otherwise have happened. The transition may be rough but there’s just too damned many countries in the world in which some powerful minority is running the show and running roughshod over some majority that if you page back through the history books are only in the “same country” in the first place because somebody arbitrarily drew some lines 200 years ago. Maybe it’s time we stop treating arbitrary lines like holy writ.

        • Yeah, leave them alone and let them settle it.

          Bring in the “international community” and all you do is set the situation up for more problems in the future – especially if you start arbitrarily splitting things up. Whatever happened to letting the people decide? If that’s what they choose to do (break away) and can pull it off, more power to them. But in reality, it’s none of our business.

          • I meant a better outcome starting from where we are today, not last week. I agree with your position last week, but, well, here we are. We already discarded letting the people decide.

          • Kind of a bad situation to be in isn’t it? Now you have to carry something through whether it ends up being in the best interest of the US or not.

  • Ah, now, it’s regime change and install democracy, but…..we don’t want to remove Khaddafi….


    bwaaahahahahahahahahahahah


    Confusion; we has it.

  • I’m ok with helping to keep the sides even so that Libyans can kill each other. I hoped that the Iran/Iraq war in the 80s could have been kept going for another 20 years. I was fine with the Nazis fighting the Soviets. I feel for the children though who are too young to have any responsibility.

  • The Arab world:  family quarrels with borders.  And once again, we’re in the position of some big dumb cop who answers a domestic violence call to find himself in the middle of a fight between Hatfields and McCoys, McCoys and McCoys, Hatfields and Hatfields, and anyone else who wandered in.
    Why are we doing this again?

  • This little adventure is, in my opinion, an illegal, immoral, stupid, incoherent clusterfumble. A pox on those who got us into it. Despite the BS about this only being enforcement of a no-fly zone, we all know it is a war against the Kadaffy regime. We should either finish it or get out now.

    I read somewhere that the Norwegian contingent is not flying until they know who is in charge. Smart folks, those Norwegians.

    This whole misbegotten clusterf*** is making me rather testy, and in that spirit I wish to pose a question. Does my total lack of support for this mission mean I don’t support the troops? 

  • The Obama administration scrambled to define the U.S. mission in Libya on Tuesday amid congressional criticism that it has not clearly explained its endgame for the war-torn country. The White House strongly denied that regime change is part of its mission after a statement earlier in the day characterized the goal there as “installing a democratic system.”

    OMG, he truly is in over his head. I figured he might actually grow in the job, but no, he is still clueless … must be time for a state dinner.

  • The US will offer support, but not get too deep in this.   The splits aren’t as bad as in Iraq, and it seems a lot of you ignored those back in 2003 (when US national interest was also not at stake).  Obama will smartly keep the US role limited.  Moreover, this also signals a US embrace of multipolarity – we’re not going to lead, we’re expecting not only burden sharing but more EU responsibility, and recognize that the unilateralism that brought two disastrous wars under the last President was a failure.

    • Shut up warmonger.

    • So, when the EU drops the ball as they argue over approach, and command, and God knows what else, we’ll walk away.

      RIGHT?  RIGHT?

      US national interest not at stake, my my, how easily you’ve written off AlQueda and the Taliwackers.  Uniilateralism – the British and others who participate, currently, in Afghanistan and Iraq will be thrilled to know, they are doing so at the behest of their Imperial American Masters who unilaterally decided it was time for a war.

      “The US will offer support, but not get too deep in this”  – ah, and the French are involved….sounds vaguely familiar to me…..ah, yes, QUAGMIRE, VIETNAM!!!!!!!!!

    • Well Scottie…here’s more of your EU RESPONSIBILITY – The Germans are pulling forces from NATO, etc, etc, etc.

      Gee, who could have seen THAT coming?   Must be that highly advanced degree you have in political science.

    • When Bill Clinton waged war on Yugoslavia, you opposed the action, IIRC.  You often cited that as an example of your non-partisan pacifist stance.
      Have you stopped being a pacifist?  Are you going to take a position, pro-war or anti-war, or just stay hands off?  Is your silence because you don’t want to criticize Obama?

    • when US national interest was also not at stake


      It could be argued that given that Iraq was at the time firing on US planes enforcing the no-fly zone, and was providing cash and logistical support to international terrorist organizations, that in the context of the Global War on Terrorism, there was a US national interest at stake in 2003.

      But it’s very difficult to argue anything of the sort with Libya in 2011.

    • Is there some sort of argument in that mess?

      Sounds like there’s another error in the program.

      • I think he’s trying to justify why he’s behind the President on this clusterfarb – you know, it has all the right feel good things – multinational, no Bush, consensus, no Bush, done by Obama.

        I guess “Christ like visage’ and “think like me” didn’t come up in a table lookup off the randomizer.

    • hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaahaha
      God Erb you are an piece of work