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View Diary: Heck of a job, Obama, Clinton, Power, Rice! (250 comments)

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  •  So I have a question. (13+ / 0-)

    What do you think Libya's condition would be today had there been no intervention?

    Libya was already in a civil war when the multilateral force that included the United States intervened as implementation of UN Resolution 1973.

    The complaint cited by the diary smacks of blaming the doctor for treating a cancer patient who died despite the treatment.

    The reality seems to be that the worst-case scenario is that the military intervention yielded no benefit -- but it could hardly be argued that it made things worse.

    "Much of movement conservatism is a con and the base is the marks." -- Chris Hayes

    by raptavio on Wed Dec 04, 2013 at 10:30:24 AM PST

    •  Part of the issue (6+ / 0-)

      is the Rice/Power meme of aggressive military intervention as humanitarian acts of mercy. All of the missiles launched killed people on a far more "efficient" scale than if the civil war were left to run its course. So in that sense it can be said to have made things worse.  

      •  Killing 1000 people in 2 months (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        askew

        may be more "efficient" than killing 10,000 people in two years, but I can't really say it's worse.

        "Much of movement conservatism is a con and the base is the marks." -- Chris Hayes

        by raptavio on Wed Dec 04, 2013 at 10:47:19 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  It's ain't humanitarian as advertised. n/t (6+ / 0-)
          •  And chemotherapy makes you sick. (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Lawrence, sviscusi

            It's a tenuous analogy, admittedly.

            But one thing you have to understand is that military intervention -- even including the use of deadly force -- can in fact be humanitarian.

            The results of failing to act are littered throughout our history. A fairly recent example is what Bill Clinton said was the greatest failure of his presidency: the Rwandan genocide.

            The international community did nothing and Hutus butchered just south of a million Tutsis, in what may be the worst genocide of our lifetimes.

            Could you really say that if by the use of international military force, even at the cost of ten thousand lives, we could have saved half the lives lost in the genocide, that it wouldn't be humanitarian?

            Now, that illustrates a generality. The specific situation in Libya is, of course, another question. But it's important to understand that, paradoxical though it seems, military force can be used for humanitarian ends. The question, then, is whether what happened in Libya was 1) with humanitarian intent, and 2) with humanitarian effect.

            And those are very complicated questions.

            "Much of movement conservatism is a con and the base is the marks." -- Chris Hayes

            by raptavio on Wed Dec 04, 2013 at 11:06:16 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  omg (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              lostinamerica, 4kedtongue

              I can't even believe you used a chemotherapy analogy.


              "Justice is a commodity"

              by joanneleon on Wed Dec 04, 2013 at 12:20:50 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  omg (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                sviscusi, jdsnebraska, DisNoir36

                I can't even believe you found an excuse to be outraged. Oh wait, I can.

                It was an extension of the cancer analogy above.

                You and I both, I'm sure, have seen what chemo and radiation do to a cancer patient. I took my mother in law three times a week to her treatments. They made her sick. Yet they were her best shot at defeating her cancer -- and today, she's cancer-free, ten years later.

                I see it as an analogy to a nation facing a crisis due to evil men waging war or even genocide. They're a cancer that threatens to do immeasurable harm where they spread. Faced with that, sometimes the options are to sit back and let it run its course (as we did in Rwanda) or to intervene, inflict immediate harm with the intended effect of halting the much greater long-term harm. As we did in Kosovo, as we did in Libya. See the analogy here?

                So please -- if you don't like the analogy, feel free to ignore it and argue the rest of it. Or, you know, not.

                "Much of movement conservatism is a con and the base is the marks." -- Chris Hayes

                by raptavio on Wed Dec 04, 2013 at 01:12:52 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

      •  Civil wars running their course (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        raptavio, Lawrence, sviscusi, jdsnebraska

        can be quite costly in terms of loss of life, particularly for civilian bystanders. See, e.g., Syria.

        I've seen vicious criticism here on the left for the Obama administration's intervention in Lybia, and for their threatened intervention in Syria over the use of chemical weapons.

        And I've seen equally vicious criticism here for the Obama administration's policy of nonintervention in Egypt and the ongoing civil war in Syria.

        Damned if they do, damned if they don't.

        •  Well said. (0+ / 0-)

          "Much of movement conservatism is a con and the base is the marks." -- Chris Hayes

          by raptavio on Wed Dec 04, 2013 at 11:06:53 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  There is the fact that (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          divineorder, joanneleon, gulfgal98

          American intervention without a declaration of war—without even a fig-leaf AUMF—was unconstitutional.

          Government and laws are the agreement we all make to secure everyone's freedom.

          by Simplify on Wed Dec 04, 2013 at 11:54:37 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Well, if that's true (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            raptavio

            then that particular aspect of the constitution has been violated more than 100 times by many different presidents. I suppose that doesn't make it constitutional, exactly, but it's a pretty clear assessment that lawmakers over the history of this country have not considered it otherwise.

          •  So you say (0+ / 0-)

            but you have no support in the courts for that interpretation.

            There is nothing in the Constitution that requires a formal declaration of war to engage the US Armed forces, and even the Founders themselves, when serving as President, did such - Adams, Jefferson and Monroe all did so.

            "Much of movement conservatism is a con and the base is the marks." -- Chris Hayes

            by raptavio on Wed Dec 04, 2013 at 04:38:22 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

    •  Except the cancer patient isn't dead. (8+ / 0-)

      It's actually alive and kickin', which can be seen in the fact that protesters have been kicking the Islamist Ansar Al Sharia out of Benghazi and Derna lately and that militias, in general, were kicked out of Tripoli.

      It's a really complex and multi-facetted situation there right now and this move by the now pretty much undemocratic transitional Congress may be a reaction to Libyans hating on the Islamists so much.

      "A candle loses nothing by lighting another candle" - Mohammed Nabbous, R.I.P.

      by Lawrence on Wed Dec 04, 2013 at 10:39:39 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

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