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View Diary: Contrary to POTUS, Removal of Qaddafi is the Military Objective (49 comments)

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  •  The no fly zone over Iraq lasted over ten years. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SadieB

    Considering the political situation in Libya, this will take alot of time as well.  Qaddifi could hang in for as long as Saddam.

    S.A.W. 2011 STOP ALL WARS "The Global War on Terror is a fabrication to justify imperialism."

    by BigAlinWashSt on Tue Mar 29, 2011 at 10:20:21 AM PDT

    •  I doubt that (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      BigAlinWashSt, Pozzo

      Once the Shiite rebellion in the south was suppressed following the first Iraq war, the NFZ was essentially locking the barn door after the fact.

      I'm by no means an expert on internal Libyan ethnic divisions, but what I have read leads me to believe that Gaddafi's support is more of the cult of personality variety, as opposed to Hussein, who did have a (minority) ethnic backing and party apparatus.  

      I was against the Iraq war - both of them - but not because of any idealistic leanings... simply because 'cutting off the head' didn't apply.  Over the course of decades, Hussein had effectively eliminated opposition - but remove him and you just have different players involved in some manner of stoking long-standing sectarian conflict, or, someone just pulling another Hussein and perhaps flipping the oppression coin... or as Howard Dean said in early 2004 -- "Congratulations on capturing Saddam Hussein, but it won't make Iraq any safer".

      Will the same happen in Libya?  I don't know - but I guess I lean heavily on Juan Cole when I don't have clear thought on the best course of action.... Cole seems to think UNSCR 1973 and the US/partners action was the right thing to do.  

      Doesn't mean he's right, but frankly - I'm inclined to agree with him almost universally on this one.

      I guess everyone's got their own blog now.

      by zonk on Tue Mar 29, 2011 at 10:36:41 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  There are definitely tribal divisions (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        BigAlinWashSt

        in Libya. Just how they might play out in post Qaddafi politics is yet to be determined. What we have seen repeatedly is that autocratic regimes in places like Yugoslavia and Iraq suppress all political activity including dissent and conflict. Nobody can be sure what will boil out of the pot once the lid is removed. Peaceful democracy is not guaranteed.  

        •  More so than say... (0+ / 0-)

          the tribal divisions in any other nation?

          I mean - here in Chicago you can easily walk from a predominantly Irish neighborhood to a predominantly Polish neighborhood to a predominantly black neighborhood and depending on who you are and how you act, be more or less secure depending on the location.

          My understanding of Libyan cultural, religious, and ethnic demographics is that the country is overwhelmingly - to the tune of 80-90% Berber, concentrated mainly in the population centers on the coast.  Bedouin minorities occupy the mostly barren south of the country.  In addition, Libya is overwhelmingly Sunni.

          In short - it's not Iraq, where you had a 20% Kurdish minority in the north that had long been persecuted by the Sunni 30% in the middle, to say nothing of the 50% Shiite in the south.

          I guess everyone's got their own blog now.

          by zonk on Tue Mar 29, 2011 at 11:02:43 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  How people configure (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            BigAlinWashSt

            their personal identities and when they feel moved to fight over them is not something that can be analyzed mathematically. The Balkans provided a good example of that. Multiple factors of religion, language, ethnic decent, etc. went into determine who was shooting at whom. It was impossible to make "rational sense" of it from the outside, but it exercised the power of life and death from the inside.

             

            •  Except you CAN make the same (0+ / 0-)

              rational sense of the Balkans.

              Since time began, the Balkans were a key gateway between Europe, Asia, Africa -- it's a crossroads.

              As a result imperialism ranging from the Romans to the European barbarians, from the Turks to the Tartars, from the Austo-Hungarian suppression, to Russian sphering -- the Balkans are one of the more diverse (and diversified by force, more often than not) areas on the planet.

              The only 'good' thing you can say about the messy stew that is the Balkans is that no one has clean hands... not the western Europeans, not the Russians, not the Turks, not the Greeks, not the Romans -- no one.  Pretty much everyone has taken their turn purporting to rule the area.

              That's a situation not dissimilar to Iraq - a fragmented area shoved together largely out of imperial will and geographic convenience.

              Libya doesn't seem to share that - as I said, there seems to be a supermajority culture, adhering somewhere around 95% to a single branch of Islam.

              I have no doubt that there are tribal affiliations - even in an extremely homogeneous nation like say, Japan - you can trace tribal lineage back to various shogunates.

              The question isn't whether such divisions exist, the question in terms of the future of Libya is more a matter of whether those tribal affiliations correspond to larger demographic fissures.

              Like I said - you don't have to look too far here in the US to find neighborhoods where the Irish swear under their breadth at the Italians a few blocks over and vice versa.... The question is - especially when a nation enters a sort of democratic incubation phase - whether there are largely divisions that would cause tribes to ally against other alliances of tribes.

              I just don't see that here.

              I guess everyone's got their own blog now.

              by zonk on Tue Mar 29, 2011 at 11:29:33 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  You have bought your own (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                BigAlinWashSt

                favored view of the future of Libya. You are determined to rearrange history to support it. Have fun. We will see how reality turns out.

                •  And you're chasing ghosts (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Pozzo

                  in the vain search of evidence not apparent.

                  In a nation of what - 500,000?  700,000? square miles - I have little doubt you'll find a differences in culture between say Zuwarah in the west versus say Benghazi or Tobruk in the east.

                  The issue isn't whether there are differences in the history of the people living in locales 700 miles apart, the question is whether they've tried for centuries to conquer, eradicate or displace each other.

                  I guess everyone's got their own blog now.

                  by zonk on Tue Mar 29, 2011 at 11:56:23 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

    •  who cares? (0+ / 0-)

      The no fly zone was ridiculous easy to enforce. We suffered a grand total of zero casulaties enforcing it. enforcing a no fly zone with the greatest military power in the history of the world, the US AirForce, is no big deal. It's the ground game, if there is one, that will be where the risk lies.

      •  Money is a factor tho, even if no casualties. (0+ / 0-)

        And the entire sanction thing cost alot of Iraqi lives, including up to a half million children.

        S.A.W. 2011 STOP ALL WARS "The Global War on Terror is a fabrication to justify imperialism."

        by BigAlinWashSt on Tue Mar 29, 2011 at 08:41:18 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  possible I guess (0+ / 0-)

      very unlikely. The only reason Hussein lasted as long as he did was that we let him.  It was cold and calculating, but there was a reason to leave hiim there to discourage Iranian hegemony in the Persian Gulf. Here, there's no such reason.

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