Free Markets, Free People


Meanwhile in Libya …

“Arab Spring” lurches on:

The country that witnessed the Arab world’s most sweeping revolution is foundering. So is its capital, where a semblance of normality has returned after the chaotic days of the fall of Tripoli last August. But no one would consider a city ordinary where militiamen tortured to death an urbane former diplomat two weeks ago, where hundreds of refugees deemed loyal to Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi waited hopelessly in a camp and where a government official acknowledged that “freedom is a problem.” Much about the scene on Wednesday was lamentable, perhaps because the discord was so commonplace.

This is the result of not knowing who we were supporting.  Apparently we assumed that nothing could be worse than Gadaffi. 

It may turn out that we were wrong. 

“Where is the rule of law?” asked Ashraf al-Kiki, a vendor who had gone to a police station, the Tripoli Military Council and a militia from Zintan in pursuit of compensation after militiamen shot holes in his car. The scent of the kebab he grilled wafted over speakers playing the national anthem. “This is the rule of force, not the rule of law.”

Out of the frying pan and into the fire. 

It’s hard to pretend that our intervention improved the lives of Libyans or significantly advanced their freedoms given the current situation. 

Bashir Brebesh said the same was true for the militias in Tripoli. On Jan. 19, his 62-year-old father, Omar, a former Libyan diplomat in Paris, was called in for questioning by militiamen from Zintan. The next day, the family found his body at a hospital in Zintan. His nose was broken, as were his ribs. The nails had been pulled from his toes, they said. His skull was fractured, and his body bore signs of burns from cigarettes.

The militia told the family that the men responsible had been arrested, an assurance Mr. Brebesh said offered little consolation. “We feel we are alone,” he said.

“They’re putting themselves as the policeman, as the judge and as the executioner,” said Mr. Brebesh, 32, a neurology resident in Canada, who came home after learning of his father’s death. He inhaled deeply. “Did they not have enough dignity to just shoot him in the head?” he asked. “It’s so monstrous. Did they enjoy hearing him scream?”

The government has acknowledged the torture and detentions, but it admits that the police and Justice Ministry are not up to the task of stopping them. On Tuesday, it sent out a text message on cellphones, pleading for the militias to stop.

“People are turning up dead in detention at an alarming rate,” said Peter Bouckaert, the emergencies director at Human Rights Watch, who was compiling evidence in Libya last month. “If this was happening under any Arab dictatorship, there would be an outcry.”

Hard to call that success, isn’t it?

~McQ

Twitter: @McQandO

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93 Responses to Meanwhile in Libya …

  • “Hard to call that success, isn’t it?”

    No, at least not for post-modern fools who have deep experience redefining terms, moving goalposts, and anything else needed to defend their political allies.

    When the foreign adventures of their political allies are going badly, they’ll coo that it’s just a transitionary phase and we should just “wait and see”, decades if necessary. When there’s the barest hint of something ambiguous that might be interpreted as good news if you squint your eyes enough, they’ll crow about it at the top of their voice and claim it completely validates everything they’ve ever said.

    On the other hand, when those vicious Republicans try interventionism, they define at the outset that it was a mistake, and no amount of evidence can ever, ever vindicate it.

    Because they’re not interested in what’s right or what works – just what helps them gain power and influence, with a side dish of reassuring themselves that they’re smart and caring.

    • It’s always interesting to come back after a comment like this and see it exemplified in later comments by, um, someone with limited self-awareness.

      For someone who supposedly doesn’t understand the left’s motivations or the way they think, it’s surprising that I seem to be able to regularly predict what they will actually do. Just lucky, I guess.

  • LOL! You so want to spin Obama’s clear success in Libya into failure that you neglect the benefits of removing Gaddafi and focus on the natural difficulties of transition. That’s not going to work. There will always be difficulties after overthrowing a brutal thuggish totalitarian regime – no matter when it happens. Your argument amounts to: “There will be bad things happening in the transition away from brutal dictatorship, so let’s support brutal dictatorship.” How utterly hypocritical.

    Of course, Iraq had much worse. Where were you then? And Iraq had a high cost to the US in money, lives and prestige? Where were you then? This had very little cost. Again, it’s hypocrisy. The Arab Spring is a good and in fact inevitable thing (unless you think obsolete 20th Century dictatorships could continue there given globalization and demographic upheaval – and who would want that?)

    • @scotterb “There will be bad things happening in the transition away from brutal dictatorship, so let’s support brutal dictatorship.”

      Your typical false dichotomy. Funny how binary your thinking actually is, Erp. What evidence have you that Libya is moving “away from brutal dictatorship”? I mean, besides “hand-wave”…???

      • @Ragspierre @scotterb He did say clear success, didn’t he? Again, it makes you wonder what Erb thinks failure looks like if this is ‘clear success’.

        • @looker @Ragspierre @scotterb For him, “clear success” means a Democrat is calling the shots. That’s all I can conclude from his writing on the topic over the years.

        • @myweeklycrime @looker @Ragspierre Your fantasy that I’m somehow a partisan Democrat is silly. I was extremely critical of Clinton in Kosovo, and even had a very public letter to the editor published in TIME on July 19, 1999 that criticized Clinton pretty harshly. Now if I was really just for “Democrats” would I do that? Proven wrong, again, Elliot.

        • @scotterb @myweeklycrime @Ragspierre “Proven wrong, again, Elliot.”
          hardly. Day to day, you’re in the tank for progressive Democrat philosophy.

        • @scotterb @myweeklycrime @looker @Ragspierre
          No, for once I will agree with you Erpie. You are not a “partisan Democrat”. You sir are a Democratic Shill!!! Time and Time again you have entered these pages spouting Democratic Talking Points so often that I wondered if you were getting paid for it – I still wonder. Who cares that you wrote a BS OpEd about Clinton on Kosovo over 12 years ago. You yourself say you opinions have evolved over time. Funny how your evolution from Pacifist to Whatever you want to call yourself now seems to coincide with the Obama Regime coming to power.

          Coincidence? I don’t think so! Take your crap and peddle it somewhere else!

        • @sshiell @scotterb @myweeklycrime @looker @Ragspierre As I remember Clinton let bombs away in Kosovo without Congressional approval and backed up by NATO because of a claimed imminent massacre. Obama let bombs away in Libya without Congressional approval and backed up by NATO because of a claimed imminent massacre. The only difference is Libya is in Africa and Kosovo is European. Ergo, Erb is happy to bomb the darkies but is morally a pacifist when it comes to the whiteman.

          Also, Erb gets all weak at the knees for the “Obama doctrine” but is repulsed by ideology. Curiously most dictionaries define doctrine and ideology as basically the same thing, and most thesauri list them as synonyms. For example from the Cambridge Online Dictionary (and I assume that Cambridge is a proper source, if we are to believe academics):

          Ideology
          “a theory, or set of beliefs or principles, especially one on which a political system, party or organization is based”

          Doctrine
          “a belief or set of beliefs, especially political or religious, taught and accepted by a particular group”

          Scott Erb: Making things up as he goes along since 1960.

        • @scotterb @myweeklycrime @looker @Ragspierre So you stood up for principle when a lame duck president bombed a few places, but when the first-term Democrat was taking criticism, you abandoned principles and rallied to his defense.

          You are most certainly a partisan Democrat or Democrat shill, on 99% of issues. It’s obvious to anyone who reads what you write over the years.

          You’re not objective about elections, parties, legislation, or judicial appeals. And yet, you pretend to be.

          This is how you earned the moniker “disingenuous fraud”.

    • @scotterb Where’s our boots on the ground in Libya Chuck?

      “This had very little cost”
      Well, yeah, unless you’re sitting in that prison camp, or had your car ventilated free of charge, or your toe nails removed with pliers.
      What you mean, Chuck, is it cost YOU very little.

    • @scotterb I’m pretty sure the whole thing in Cambodia with the Khmer Rouge didn’t cost us much either. How did that work out?

      • (actually it cost a bundle….)

      • @looker @scotterb How much would it have cost to SPEAK UP in support of the Green Revolution in Iran a few years ago? OR SPEAK UP against the attempted coup in Honduras a few years ago? An’ demographics and globulization…an’ stuff…

        • @Ragspierre @scotterb We did speak up in Honduras! We told them it was wrong wrong wrong of them to follow their Constitution and for the Army to remove Zelaya while he was trying to subvert the government.
          I will always fondly remember that early instance of das Wunderkind demonstrating he was not fit for the job he’d been elected to.

      • @looker You mean the genocide caused by Nixon’s policies in Vietnam and Cambodia?

        • @scotterb Yeah, the cheap bombing campaign that ‘saved’ Cambodia. What, you think I’m going to defend Nixon’s policies?

          While I don’t think even Al Queda or Fundamentalists Islamics are as insane as Phol Pot was, you’re seeing a good warm up to Somalia on the Med right now. Well, correction, people with half an ounce of non-partisan perception.

        • @scotterb @looker “You mean the genocide caused by Nixon’s policies in Vietnam and Cambodia?”

          The Khmer Rouge emptied the cities, murdered intellectuals, used a burnt earth policy to keep the Viet Minh from being able to hold territory, and thus about 2 million people starved. Two communist armies at war with one another, and somehow that’s Nixon’s fault? You believe the insane propaganda spread by apologists for the communists back in the 70s and 80s. You’re basically engaging in holocaust denial—but instead of Germans murdering Jews, you’re denying that the Cambodian communists murdered Cambodians.

          It’s too bad the Communists never were defeated unconditionally, that the mass murderers never had their Nuremberg. Instead, we get “intellectuals” like you passing off massive lies and trendy hipsters wearing Che t-shirts, and it doesn’t even rate a mention.

          The blood of 100,000,000 murder victims of communism, and the billions of people enslaved and terrorized belie your apologist propaganda.

        • @looker @scotterb “What, you think I’m going to defend Nixon’s policies?”

          This is a false dilemma. One can oppose the actions of the US government, oppose the war in Vietnam, and still recognize that the vast majority of the Cambodians who died in the 70s were either executed by Khmer Rouge guerrillas (who murdered many “enemies of the revolution” for as little reason as wearing glasses or being bilingual) or starved as a direct result of the Khmer Rogue strategies. They emptied the big cities (“Year Zero” : an insane idea to found an agrarian utopia), and then when they retreated from advancing Viet Minh, they would burn the villages and take the people with them, so the Vietnamese communists wouldn’t have any local population to feed them. To make matters worse, they shipped large amounts of rice to China to purchase armaments.

          For all the bad things Nixon did, you can’t lay the mass starvation at his feet.

        • @myweeklycrime @scotterb I was thinking more of the revealed indiscriminate bombing campaign that was larger than we were told. But you have a true point, he didn’t cause the Khmer Rouge to kill all those people.
          I need to be more aware of accepting the basis for talking points, it’s a common enough progressive ploy to offer exactly the sort of false dilemma you pointed out.

    • @scotterb You have a point. But at the same time, did anyone give this “benefit of the doubt” to Iraq? Maybe some did, but for the Left is was all about the Grim Milestones, the torture, etc.

      Your argument amounts to: “There will be bad things happening in the transition away from brutal dictatorship, so let’s support brutal dictatorship.”

      And many on the left made that argument, talking about Saddam’s time as all kite flying fun.

      p.s. Libya has about 1/5 the population of Iraq, does not have as much sectarian issues as Iraq, had a mild dictator compared to Saddam, and is far less important strategically than Iraq. These are factors in considering actions as well. I will channel bill clinton…”I’m glad Qaddafi is gone but I worry about the way we did it.”

      • Just a thought experiment: imagine if Iraq had been 99% Sunni, and 99% Arab, would there have been as much sectarian violence?

        Because that is what Libya is. Sure they have clans, but Al Qaeda probably would find it hard to exploit that.

        • @Harun It would be 100% Sunni now…

        • @Ragspierre @Harun Tsk tsk – that’s so 20th century. It would have been good and necessary, watch and learn.

        • @looker @Ragspierre @Harun
          Here comes the 21st century
          It’s gonna be much better for a professor like me
          ‘Cause I want everything I can
          But most of all I want that man, I want that man

        • @Ragspierre @Harun “It would be 100% Sunni now…”

          With risk of showers?

        • @DocD @Ragspierre @Harun Yes, and as usual, Erb will be ‘singing in the rain’ of blood.

        • @Harun If Iraq had been divided into tribes and clans like Libya is, there would have been quite a bit. But you have the reality you have. President George H.W. Bush was concerned that attacking Iraq would lead to a civil war back in 1991. It is good that Saddam is gone, but how it was done really hurt US interests and did even more damage to US national interest than the Vietnam fiasco.

          That said, it was probably something we had to learn the hard way. Realist theory notes that unipolarity in the international system is unstable because other states will see the unipolar power as dangerous and ally against it (look at France, Germany and Russia in early 2003), and that the unipolar power will over reach, over confident about its ability to shape the system. The temptation to think we could shape and democratize the Mideast was overwhelming, and after 9-11 seemed logical to many people. It was a mistake but understandable.

      • @Harun You actually make a fair argument, thank you. The problem in Iraq is that the US didn’t aid a revolt but initiated an all out war. Aiding a revolt against Saddam would have had less cost and probably would have had a better result. We could have done that in 1991 or 1992. I think President Bush was right about the mideast, but wrong in how he approached it — with massive US involvement and a belief we could shape the results. We can’t. We can maybe help end the repressive dictatorships and then be able to assist when asked, but the future needs to be in the hands of the people. In Egypt, for instance, the story continues — the people protest and are not yet satisfied. This process will continue, we have to be patient.

        • @scotterb @Harun “This process will continue, we have to be patient.”
          Yes yes, the cry of progressives about Russia, Korea, China, Vietnam & Cambodia.

          Weren’t you the same guy who claimed the Holocaust might not have been as bad if the US hadn’t gotten involved in World War II (we’ll skip the idea we did that voluntarily…)

    • @scotterb “unless you think obsolete 20th Century dictatorships could continue there given globalization and demographic upheaval – and who would want that?”
      Well, compared to what there Erpie? Islamic Fundamental Republics resembling Iran? Yeah, i would really trade a westward sympathsizing 20th Century-style dictator for a regime dominarted by Mullahs who spend time in their sermons dedicating themsleves to the slaughter of Jews and chanting “death to America.” Yep, y9u can’t fault the logic there!!!
      /sarcasm

      • @sshiell @scotterb As usual, Erpie provides a false dichotomy. If you’re opposed to going to war in Libya, you must support the murderous dictator Gaddafi. There is no other position.

        And, of course, those of us who opposed the invasion of Iraq (which includes Erpie) MUST have wanted Saddam Hussein to keep torturing and gassing people, right?

        It makes sense when you’re too stupid to see anything beyond two stark choices.

        • @myweeklycrime @sshiell Actually, Elliot, my point is that there is a false dichotomy. Libya was done right, Iraq was done in a way that hurt the US immensely. Ironically you’re supporting my point, even though you think you’re ridiculing me. Funny.

        • @scotterb @sshiell “Actually, Elliot, my point is that there is a false dichotomy. Libya was done right, Iraq was done in a way that hurt the US immensely.”

          You clearly do not understand the meaning of the term “false dichotomy”.

          Your false dichotomy was that a person must either (1) support Obama’s war on Libya, using bombs and missiles which result in the deaths of innocents or (2) support Gaddafi’s brutal tyranny.

          “Ironically you’re supporting my point, even though you think you’re ridiculing me. Funny.”

          No, I’m not. You’re too obtuse to understand to what I refer when I say “false dichotomy”. And, you’re too stupid to realize that Iraq vs. Libya doesn’t ever qualify as such a thing.

          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/False_dichotomy

      • @sshiell The trouble is, the dictators will ultimately be overthrown, and if the US has been supporting them, the likelihood that religious clerics will dominate increases. Your strategy, sshiell, is most likely to lead to the outcome you wish to avoid.

        • @scotterb @sshiell Sure, they’ll be overthrown, history proves that. All we have to do is wait a varying number of decades (Soviet Union, Eastern Europe) or years (Cambodia) for results. Meanwhile paint a happy face on all of it if the US Administration is Democratic and especially if it’s the current, no real accomplishments to speak of, worse than Carter, Administration.

    • @scotterb “You so want to spin Obama’s clear success in Libya…”

      When the winner of the Nobel PEACE Prize waged war on Libya, in which innocents were killed by US munitions, he was committing murder, doing evil, while you supported that war from your living room, in cowardly fashion.

      “For instance, I am from ethical grounds a pacifist. I believe war
      for anything other than DIRECT self-defense (e.g., your house is being attacked) is
      murder, and will never engage in it.” —Scott Erb http://bit.ly/tyVVLu

      “Acts that kill innocents, maim and injure innocents and create long term
      suffering are, IMO, by definition evil. Wars inevitably do that. Thus, war
      is inherently evil. But it may be necessary to prevent a greater evil.” —Scott Erb http://bit.ly/rS4rUO

      “What really gets me are the cowards who support wars from their living rooms, not realizing the massive pain they are causing, especially when 80% of the victims are innocents. Those people are contemptible. But we’re moving away from that mentality, thankfully.” —Scott Erb http://www.qando.net/?p=2919

      “I think [US getting UN approval to wage war on Libya] was an exercise in rather brilliant foreign policy leadership from Obama and Clinton that this kind of result was achieved” —Scott Erb http://www.qando.net/?p=10538

      “Of course, Iraq had much worse. Where were you then?”

      I was opposing the war, just like I opposed the war in Libya. Unlike you, my principles don’t change based upon the political party of the POTUS.

      • @myweeklycrime @scotterb It is just MEAN of you to keep those posts…!!! Erp is evolving…

        • @Ragspierre @myweeklycrime @scotterb “Erp is evolving…”
          Pray tell what Erpie is evolving into?!?! My own take is that is more like devolving. An amoeba comes to mind!

      • @myweeklycrime @scotterb That was probably the 20th century Erb. that you’ve quoted there. This is the new 21st Century Chuck you’re talking about now. That old stuff is, old stuff. Sort of like the promises the messiah made in 2008, you know, stuff about bad wars, and special interest groups and lobbyists, and transparency and PACS and anything he wants to do now that he was against when George W was the President and he was Senator Newguy Erb is kind of the same, what you have is old Erb, new and improved Erb believes other stuff now.

        • @looker @scotterb Yeah, he used to call them “old bits” when he attempted to dismiss citing his own words as irrelevant to a given discussion.

          Google: the anti-memory hole, and the bane of prevaricators like Scott.

      • @myweeklycrime @scotterb Hey don’t forget his best one

        “I am not a crook”

        Oh wait…

      • @myweeklycrime For awhile long ago I was a pacifist, but I moved away from there, realizing that sometimes war and deadly force is necessary. That’s the problem with your obsession with looking at quotes from debates ten or fifteen years ago — opinions change. In any event, in Libya we were supporting a group that would have been slaughtered (remember Gaddafi’s quote – he would show no mercy?), that’s why Senator Dallaire supported intervention. Again your obession with me personally causes you to miss the real issues.

        • @scotterb @myweeklycrime “ten or fifteen years ago” …..uh….is that part of the new 21st century thinking you have, where 2009 and 2011 are considered 10 or 15 years?

          “Would have been slaughtered” – you don’t have a clue who these people are, the US and Europe didn’t have a clue who they were, all that was known was they were against Qaddafi and Barry could get what he thought was a quick ‘war leader, brave man’ bounce off frying them from the air like Clinton did in Bosnia.

          “show no mercy” – like the new government (hah) is showing the people in the camps, or the former ambassador you mean.

          And your obsession with blessing practically every thing the One does causes YOU to miss real issues.

        • @scotterb @myweeklycrime “…in Libya we were supporting a group that would have been slaughtered…”

          Liar. That applied to an active rebellion, which was totally optional among the rebels. GaDaffy offered an olive branch, too. Something Castro never did, for instance.

        • @scotterb “For awhile long ago I was a pacifist, but I moved away from there, realizing that sometimes war and deadly force is necessary.”

          You abandoned principles. That’s clear. It’s exactly what I was illustrating.

          “That’s the problem with your obsession with looking at quotes from debates ten or fifteen years ago…”

          Problem? There is no problem for me? You’re the one with the major problem of having to explain how you abandoned your principles.

          And, June 6, 2009 is 10-15 years ago? That was before your party’s president decided to get the US military into yet another war, so you were on your high horse about people cheering for war from their living rooms.

          The other quotes are just the first I found on Usenet when (1) I searched for your name and “pacifist” and (2) I searched for your name and “Iraq” and “war” in 2003. There were plenty of other matches to the searches, but I chose those for the sake of brevity.

          “In any event, in Libya we were supporting a group that would have been slaughtered…”

          WE weren’t doing any such thing. I was opposed to the whole matter, so you don’t get to lie and include me in what I found to be morally repugnant.

          There are people being slaughtered in Iran, Syria, Burma, Sudan, etc. and I don’t see you pounding the war drums for those places. Saddam Hussein was killing and torturing people. The Taliban were harsh and tyrannical, and had murdered plenty of people.

          So, clearly, that’s not the reason you picked Libya out of all of those to support.

          “Again your obession with me personally causes you to miss the real issues.”

          The issue I illustrate is how you’ve abandoned the principles you previously stated for your opposition to other wars, which coincides with a first-term Democrat president facing criticism.

          I don’t buy the excuse to go to war in Libya any more than I buy the excuse to go to war in Iraq, or the excuse to occupy Afghanistan and engage in nation building.

          I’m not a pacifist, but I have strong moral objections to warfare which harms innocents, or forcing people who oppose a war to pay for it and to (as you’ve just done) claim that such actions are done in their name, regardless of their dissent.

    • @scotterb LOL! You so want to spin Bush’clear success in Iraq into failure that you neglect the benefits of removing Saddam and focus on the natural difficulties of transition. >>>>>>>>>>>> Fixed that for ya, you flaming socialist hypocrite

      • @The Shark Bush a success! ROTFLMAO! That’s why his approval ratings were the lowest ever, the Democrats won big in 2006 and an inexperienced Democrat easily won the Presidency in 2008. But perhaps Iraq was a success in one way — it gave us President Obama! Without the Iraq war that wouldn’t have happened!

    • @scotterb
      In Libya, civilian casualties were five times higher once the US got involved than they were before we started bombing the country.
      In Iraq, the number of civilian casualties has been five times lower since we invaded than it was the decade prior.
      Yet someone that claims to ba a pacifist on the basis of valuing life argues in favor of the actions that greatly increased the number of dead and against reducing casualties. How uterly hypocritical.

    • @scotterb In Libya, civilian casualties were five times higher once the US got involved than they were before we started bombing the country. In Iraq, the number of civilian casualties has been five times lower since we invaded than it was the decade prior.

      Yet someone that claims to be a pacifist on the basis of valuing life argues in favor of the actions that greatly increased the number of dead and against actions that reduced casualties. How utterly hypocritical.

      • @CT Phil I’m not a pacifist, but of course in Iraq civilian casualties were hundreds of times higher after the US got involved. Libya was done right, Iraq was a foreign policy fiasco for the US. That’s a reality you can’t deny. Iraq hurt US interests, cost trillions, harmed US prestige, led to massive problems in the military including PTSD and destroyed families. Libya did not. If the GOP wants to make Libya vs. Iraq an issue, the Obama team will be overjoyed!

        • @scotterb @CT Shorter Erp: Hand-wave, baseless claim, unsupportable assertionSSS, stupid conclusory statements.

        • @scotterb Erb’s abanbonment of logical thinking already made it clear he needs a geometry class, but now it seems he hasn’t had the necessary prerequisites. Saddam killed about 500,000 people in the time between the liberation of Kuwait and the 2003 invasion (and Erb has been given several souces for that data on numerous occasions). That number is far greater than the estimated 100,000 killed since we invaded in 2003. In fact, the entire population of Iraq isn’t hundreds of times higher than the number Saddam killed before the US got involved. This goes beyond unsopprtable to utter fantasy. Since Erb has problems with basic math, I’ll throw him a bone -
          200 x 500,000 = 100,000,000 (that’s 100 million) The population of Iraq is roughly 30 million.

          Libya, in addition to being being done illegally (like Erb falsely claimed for Iraq), and having an increased number of casualties after we got involved, is resulting in people worse than Qaddafi in charge.

        • @CT Phil @scotterb But we support dictators if we don’t rush blindly in and support whoever is shooting up Qaddafi’s palaces. By not supporting them when Qaddafi gives another Islamic “there will be millions of unwed mothers….uh, I mean, there will be millions of fatherless children, there will be blood of rivers, your armies will die in flames, we will crush you, this will be the mother of all battles!” sorts of pronouncements we were therefor supporting Qaddafi (and I’m glad we’ve sort of finally settled on spelling his name…). Rather than supporting neither side, or taking the time to cultivate something that would approach democratic, we had to rush in and just bomb Qaddafi because it was good and necessary and proved that Arab Spring “all by itself” would overthrow dictators.

        • “Libya was done right … PTSD and destroyed families. Libya did not.”

          So dead Libyan civilians, destroyed Libyan families, Libyans with PTSD caused by US armaments, don’t count? You only look at the cost to Americans?

          “If the GOP wants to make Libya vs. Iraq an issue, the Obama team will be overjoyed!”

          Once again, you provide evidence that you’re a Democrat partisan/shill, without any of the objectiveness you pretend to have for your “analysis”. It’s all propaganda.

          You don’t care about innocents hurt or killed by war. You care about your guy getting reelected.

        • @myweeklycrime “You don’t care about innocents hurt or killed by war. You care about your guy getting reelected.”

          More than adequately demonstrated, on an extremely regular basis. He doesn’t mentally wrestle with any of this, he just smiles his smarmy little smile, waves his hand dismissively, skips the icky parts, and goes on and on about his spiritual side.
          and I think, of many annoying things he does, that is the probably the worst.
          “good and necessary” “watch and learn” are his latest feel good gloss over phrases for another coming half century of human abuse.

        • @scotterb @CT Irac was an investment that may pay off (assuming Obama doesn’t trow it away), but Libya was a failure because we failed to control the conclusion and islamists will gain power. Americans will die as a result of Obama’s poor decision in Libya.

        • @Don S @scotterb @CT
          ““Victorious warriors win first and then go to war, while defeated warriors go to war first and then seek to win”

  • Yeah, but getting rid of one dictator who ran things from a central location and replacing him with hundreds of petty dictators lurching up and down the streets in each civilized corner of Libya was a move for ‘freedom’.

    • @looker So…democratizing dictatorship…??? Hu. Zah. Bring on the 21st Century NEW dictatorship…!!! With Facebook… Yeah, Baby…!!!

      • @Ragspierre Ah, this would be because Professor Sharpie has no clear understanding of how quickly civilization breaks down into lawlessness. He has not a clue that there’s a very real chance we’re looking at the start of Somalia, North.
        He’s out of touch with normal America, no surprise he’s just as far out on human nature.

        But you’re right, as long as they have comms, there’ll be Facebook and Twitter, so, it’s modern for the moment, and therefore it’s good and necessary and inevitable.

        And don’t you just love how our desire to understand who we were dealing with, and a realistic appraisal that it’s not a great idea to replace Torquemada with Satan even if Torquemada is pretty awful suddenly makes us ‘supporters of dictators’. Yeah, sweet.

  • Caught a discussion on France24 yesterday.
    They were discussing (something that really never happens on US TV, even on PBS) the situation in Syria. They were contrasting Syria with what happened in Egypt (remove the top guy only), Lybra (remove the top guy and his entire government with the aid of “death from above”) , and Iraq (full invasion).
    The discussion panel really didn’t think you could call any of these a “success” because they are still evolving.
    None of them thought the Iraq model was doable, but they had problems with the other two models for “regime change” as well.

    • @Neo_ But WAIT…!!! We have a wonderful, clear-cut, sound victory in Iraq. We KNOW this because we were assured by Sherf Joe and Bad Luck Barry it was so.

      • @Ragspierre @Neo_ Well, until it’s time for it to be George W. Bush’s fault again….

        • @looker @Neo_ Poor Erp. He’s getting whip-lash trying to stay current with the Collective’s talking-points…

          Ref. “Libya = wonderful success”…in violation of the War Powers Act.

          It really IS hard, since the Ministry Of Truth is so “kinetic”…

        • @Ragspierre @Neo_ I don’t think it’s hard on him, he’s a good little drone. All he has to do is keep up with the morning circular’s listing today’s updates for who we love and and who we hate TODAY and make sure that nothing he’s written contradicts today’s official party position.

          Like officially we’re angry with Assad today, but not angry enough to actually do the same thing to him that we did to Qaddaffi. This could be because someone suspects Syria’s military capabilities are a little more profound and organized than Libya’s were and we might take some losses which would be bad re-election press.

          It should be interesting to see these ‘proposals’ for action in Syria come to an end when the Iranian Al Quds forces show up to bolster the Syrian regime.

          I suppose that won’t happen though because the Iranian youth will ‘twit’ all thought out of the government’s head about sending troops to Syria, at least it will in Chuck’s universe.

  • “Where is the rule of law?” asked Ashraf al-Kiki, a vendor
    —-

    Isn’t that awesome though? Instead of just assuming he had no rights, he tried to stick up for his, and the rule of law.

    I doubt any hot dog vendors in the US, if they were allowed, would even know what the rule of law was. “I think corporate got a waiver from that from the Feds.”

    p.s. Is anyone else seeing the “Mutually Beneficial Arrangements” ad in the sidebar? Truly, this is a libertarian blog!

    • @Harun Bad succubi…messing with my concentration…and WITH a Cobra…

    • @Harun “Is anyone else seeing the “Mutually Beneficial Arrangements” ad in the sidebar? Truly, this is a libertarian blog”

      Every time I read and post – tells me I’m not nearly close to dead yet.

      Cobra? Is there a car in that photo? OH!!!!! there IS!!!!!!!!

      • @looker @Harun It definitely is distracting.

        The picture is sexy, but the services aren’t, at least not to me. Women pretending to be attracted to you for money is about as unsexy as it gets. Not that I want to prohibit anyone from engaging in that sort of thing.

        • @myweeklycrime @looker @Harun Gotta concur. My sugar needs to go to my family. A “sugar daddy” relationship would be debasing to everyone involved.

        • @myweeklycrime @Harun Think of the whole thing like Obama’s many promises and pronouncements – the fantasy, versus the actually sad reality.

    • @Harun Nice, errmmm, headlights.

      • @DocD @Harun When I see that picture I can only think of Zero Mostel’s line from “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum” when he’s discussing the house next store – of Marcus Lycus, the ‘procurer’, with his young master “Hero”.

        Pseudolus – “Master Hero, you must never know what goes on in that house.”
        Hero – “But I do.”
        Pseudolus – “Isn’t it Amazing!!!!!

        • @looker @Harun Really? All I can think of is hot women!

        • @DocD @looker @Harun I think of the Dan George character in Little Big Man…

          “Does she show pleasant enthusiasm?” (if memory serves).

          That chil’ is DELIGHTED…!!!

  • WASHINGTON — The Iraqi branch of al Qaida, seeking to exploit the bloody turmoil in Syria to reassert its potency, carried out two recent bombings in the Syrian capital, Damascus, and likely was behind suicide bombings Friday that killed at least 28 people in the largest city, Aleppo, U.S. officials told McClatchy.

    Now this is an interesting twist. I’d like to see the org chart on this alliance.

  • Well, excellent… The Maldivian followers of the religion of pieces just torched a centuries-old collection of Buddist antiquities.

    Way to go. It was probably necessary an’ good, an’ stuff. I’ll just have to watch and learn. Trouble is, ashes all look alike to me…

  • And peaceful Iran has dispatched explosives experts around the world (one with a bad temper, three grenades, and short two legs in Thailand) to test Israeli diplomatic security measures.

    • @looker Saeid “Stumpy” Moradi, Iranian, was identified as the victim of premature explosive ejaculation in the Thai incident. Iranian officials named unidentified members of the Zionist conspiracy as his attackers, vowing revenge…and surgical removal of the Zionist entity.

      • @Ragspierre @looker
        One night in Bangkok makes a hard man humble
        Not much between despair and ecstasy
        One night in Bangkok and the tough guys tumble
        Can’t be too careful with your company
        I can feel the devil walking next to me

      • @Ragspierre I wish all his associates similar success in their ventures.

  • That crazy Ott Scerb, coming into this thread and trying to fool us by posting as “Scott Erb.” Once again, he has lured us into his hall of mirrors of parody. You didn’t have me fooled, Ott. I immediately saw the lies within lies within lies fronted by that flat affect with the frozen clown grin inside the flat affect, and I knew it was you. Nice try, though!

  • Meanwhile in Libya? The Libyan “rebels” are trying to keep up with the Jones in Egypt. Meanwhile in Syria, it looks like the Duty2whatever has fallen through the storm sewer grate. This period of history in the Middle East will be known as Death Race 2012. Samantha Power call the Situation Room: Do you want anchovies or sausage on your pizza? Meanwhile, Sammy, you left your handbag, and Hillary (aka the monster) is going through it. She hasn’t much talent for foreign policy, but that lean and hungry look of the infighter is back.

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