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View Diary: Bob Gates calls criticism of response to Benghazi attack 'cartoonish view of military capabilities' (95 comments)

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  •  my focus has been on other issues (7+ / 0-)

    like climate change. and hoping that we don't get into a war with syria. but any sensible person wants libya to be democratized and economically stabilized. kind of like what we want for this country. but citing ron paul, and continuing to focus on the ongoing problems without at least acknowledging that many more innocent lives were saved than were lost, and that the polls in libya show a highly anomalous approval of americans, is deliberately missing the point.

    The cold passion for truth hunts in no pack. -Robinson Jeffers

    by Laurence Lewis on Mon May 13, 2013 at 11:08:00 AM PDT

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    •  Funny (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      divineorder
      any sensible person wants libya to be democratized and economically stabilized
      For all the sensible people here, few are talking about it. There was only support for the invasion, premature celebration and then....nothing. But I'm glad I got you talking about the real issue here, if only for a comment.

      As for the juvenile, anti-intellectual notion that one shouldn't cite the correct ideas of someone who also holds incorrect ones, well, it refutes itself.

      •  actually (7+ / 0-)

        you can cite pretty much any crazed lunatic ever, if you want to. pretty much anyone who has ever been able to talk has said something reasonable, once or twice. but sensible people find sensible people to cite. others have blind spots and make weak rationalizations for their blind spots.

        we're all very touched by your concern for the libyans. although it would have been nice to see some of that concern for the people of benghazi, when a massacre was imminent and there were no truly good options. and it would be nice to see some of that concern for countless other peoples around the globe. like the hundreds of millions who will become climate refugees.

        the fact is, you were wrong about getting involved in libya, it didn't turn into a full invasion or occupation or iraq jr. and because you were wrong, and refuse to acknowledge that you were wrong, you instead cite every ongoing problem as emblematic of something larger. which they are not.

        libya isn't suddenly going to become paradise. no one ever thought it would. it's a troubled country, but the people rose up, on their own, as they did throughout the arab spring. the difference was that qaddafi had the means of slaughtering people, and would have. and the people fighting him asked for help.

        The cold passion for truth hunts in no pack. -Robinson Jeffers

        by Laurence Lewis on Mon May 13, 2013 at 11:38:10 AM PDT

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        •  I don't believe I wrong (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          divineorder

          (Your claim I said it would become a full-blown occupation is just a lie.) But I think it's far too early to draw any sweeping conclusions about the wisdom/morality of going in, but the refusal to pay attention to what's happening there is shameful, not least because, good bad or indifferent, what's happening is the result of US actions.

          It's bizarre, but not unexpected, the millions of words spilt on this event in Benghazi but barely a handful about the context in which and the reasons it occurred. An example of the same American exceptionalism that led to regime change operation.

          •  here's a clue (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            4CasandChlo, kyril

            regime change operations tend to be about imposing what we want on another country. the libyans fighting gaddafi asked for our help. in the aftermath, libyans approve of america at anomalous rates. it is no more too early to say that libya is better off without qaddafi than it is to say that egypt, despite its ongoing problems, is better off without mubarak.

            The cold passion for truth hunts in no pack. -Robinson Jeffers

            by Laurence Lewis on Mon May 13, 2013 at 11:57:41 AM PDT

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            •  It is, in fact, too early to say this (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              divineorder, eparrot
              egypt, despite its ongoing problems, is better off without mubarak.
              It'll be years before we know what comes next in these countries. Believe me, I work with activists in Egypt who, though they celebrated and celebrate still, Mubarak's fall are greatly fearful about what's happening there.

              The difference, of course, is that in Egypt, the people rose up against a U.S. backed-dictator and overthrew him. In Libya, the US and NATO illegally entered into a civil war to overthrow a dictator.  

              •  believe me (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                kyril

                i have an egyptian activist friend who is quite happy that mubarak is gone.

                and once again you're just flat wrong. libya was just like egypt, except that qaddafi was ready to do what mubarak wasn't. and the libyans fighting qaddafi asked for help. you somehow keep ignoring that.

                The cold passion for truth hunts in no pack. -Robinson Jeffers

                by Laurence Lewis on Mon May 13, 2013 at 12:17:33 PM PDT

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                •  My last comment (0+ / 0-)

                  You can both be happy that a dictator is gone and uncertain that what comes next will be better.

                  The fact that Libyans, to the extent that this can be gauged, asked for our help is relevant, as are the lives saved immediately in Benghazi (even if the number is often exaggerated; Qaddafi, despite his rhetoric, didn't engage in mass slaughter in other places he'd captured.) Contrary to your claims, I've never denied the arguments for intervention. But to me those just didn't and don't outweigh the likely downsides, given the history of military interventions, esp. in this part of the world.Gary Younge:

                  The call from Libyan rebels for a no-fly zone matters. Those who are resisting Qaddafi deserve our support. But they don’t single-handedly determine the nature of it. Solidarity is not a process by which you unquestioningly forfeit responsibility for your own actions to another; it involves an assessment of what is prudent and what is possible. The left should not be in denial that nonintervention could have meant defeat for the Libyan revolution...

                  But neither should we be browbeaten with accusations that by opposing military intervention, we are in effect supporting Qaddafi—particularly not by supporters of states who were until recently arming him.... If Qaddafi goes, we have no idea what ethnic and regional rifts will emerge. What victory looks like under these circumstances is anybody’s guess.

                  Far from being a knee-jerk response to Western military action, opposition to the bombing marks a considered reflection on the West’s knee-jerk impulse to mistake war for foreign policy. This impulse follows a well-worn circular logic in three parts: (1) Something must be done now. (2) This is something. (3) So we must do it. And that something invariably involves bombing.

                  •  some of us (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    wadingo, aimeehs

                    are capable of taking situations case by case.

                    and maybe you don't remember that qaddafi's security forces already had massacred hundreds, in benghazi itself. maybe you don't remember his speech urging his supporters to attack the "cockroaches" who were opposing him. maybe you don't remember where we had previously heard that kind of language.

                    the only knee-jerk response has been by those who continue to look for every possible reason to criticize what's happening in libya, including citing racist loons to back their case. the only knee-jerk response has been by those who need to be dragged into acknowledging that it's a good thing the brutal dictator is gone.

                    The cold passion for truth hunts in no pack. -Robinson Jeffers

                    by Laurence Lewis on Mon May 13, 2013 at 12:46:34 PM PDT

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          •  This is not true. . . (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Laurence Lewis, KenBee, wadingo

            What is happening in Libya is not the result of US actions.

            I am not saying that the US's actions have not contributed to where Libya is today but your sweeping statement laying "fault" (100% apparently) on the US is just a non-starter.

            Blessed are the peacemakers, the poor, the meek and the sick. Message to Repug Fundies: "DO you really wonder "what would Jesus do?" I didn't think so.

            by 4CasandChlo on Mon May 13, 2013 at 12:26:39 PM PDT

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            •  No, the US would never instigate a civil war (0+ / 0-)

              in another country.  
              Blessed are the peacemakers.

              "I'm an antiwar propagandist as accused by democrats. Not even republicans have called me that."

              by BigAlinWashSt on Mon May 13, 2013 at 01:13:05 PM PDT

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              •  Are you saying that the U.S. instigated... (4+ / 0-)

                ...the civil war in Libya?

                Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

                by Meteor Blades on Mon May 13, 2013 at 01:27:56 PM PDT

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              •  That is exactly what is more needed Big al (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                WB Reeves

                More black and white thinking and personal attacks.

                Perhaps if you read my comment as cleverly as you applied my sig line you would note that that was not what I wrote.

                I acknowledged that the US had contributed to where Libya is currently, my issue was stating that it was the US - period - who is responsible for where Libya is. I guess you are much more sophisticated than me and know better.

                Blessed are the peacemakers, the poor, the meek and the sick. Message to Repug Fundies: "DO you really wonder "what would Jesus do?" I didn't think so.

                by 4CasandChlo on Mon May 13, 2013 at 01:28:34 PM PDT

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                •  The adrenalin high of self righteous indignation (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  4CasandChlo

                  has a tendency to cloud the faculties of reason and judgement.

                  Nothing human is alien to me.

                  by WB Reeves on Mon May 13, 2013 at 03:16:46 PM PDT

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                •  I agree. The US can influence events in Libya, (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  4CasandChlo

                  but can't control them and better not think they can.  Libya is  experiencing the divisions and conflicts that reliably emerge when a brutal dictator rules for a long time and then is overthrown.  Suppressed divisions and emnities resurge, fueled by years of bitterness.  Different agendas compete, often in the street. Things tend to be a mess for a while, until some faction or coalition becomes dominant and begins rebuilding on their chosen terms.  We can hope the winning factions won't be jihadist fanatics, will lean towards democracy and human rights, and will be able to resist dominance by multinational corporations.  If the US acts skillfully -- and if the US is favoring democratic forces at the moment -- we might be able to give some valuable help to the better factions.  BUt we can't guarantee a "win."

                  Many people don't want to accept that foreign policy, at best, is a series of trade-offs and gambles.  If based on knowledge, skill, and good judgment, those gambles will STILL produce negative effects some of the time, because the US doesn't actually rule the world, even if some of our leaders (and some progressives) seem to think it does.

                  --------------------- “These are troubling times. Corporation are treated like people. People are treated like things. …And if we ever needed to vote, we sure do need to vote now.” -- Rev. Dr. William J. Barber

                  by Fiona West on Mon May 13, 2013 at 03:35:04 PM PDT

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