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  •  Yeah, stop picking on the military. They're doing (13+ / 0-)

    the best they can to avoid killing babies and wedding parties and poor shlubs on the way to the privy and reporters armed with oooh, TELEPHOTO LENSES, and columns of Insurgents we deem "freedom fighters" in Libya and are supposed to be the people our Military is aiding against evil dictator Daffyduck.

    Circle the wagons, Sergeant -- the natives are restless, and may finally get that we are robbing them blind, parasites that we are, making that racket called "war" all over the fucking planet. They might be catching on to the futility and stupidity of the whole stupid fucking Game of RISK!. And that would end all our self-satisfying careers...

    "Is that all there is?" Peggy Lee.

    by jm214 on Thu Jun 23, 2011 at 07:59:03 AM PDT

    [ Parent ]

    •  All I'm asking for (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Texknight, shenderson

      is substantiation of the specific assertion.
      You don't need to get all huffy.
      Around here, a link shouldn't be too much to ask for.

      •  Oh, sorry (8+ / 0-)

        it's been all over the international news. I assumed people had seen it.

        NATO on Sunday acknowledged it was responsible for civilian deaths in Tripoli after Libyan officials showed reporters five bodies, including two toddlers, they said were among nine people killed in a "barbaric" air strike.

        An alliance statement in Brussels said "NATO acknowledges civilian casualties in Tripoli strike" during action targeting a missile site.

        "It appears that one weapon did not strike the intended target and that there may have been a weapons system failure which may have caused a number of civilian casualties," the statement added.

        •  Good enough, thanks. (5+ / 0-)
          The Gaddafi regime has seized on the casualties, said to be nine people, including a mother and father and at least two young children, to score propaganda points against Nato and to bolster Libya's embattled dictator.
          The deaths are the first acknowledged civilian casualties caused by the alliance in what has so far been an accurate three-month bombing campaign and come at a time when fatigue is growing among many alliance members for a conflict that many believed would be over by the summer.
          Qaddafi Troops Fire Cluster Bombs Into Civilian Areas
          MISURATA, Libya — Military forces loyal to Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi have been firing into residential neighborhoods in this embattled city with heavy weapons, including cluster bombs that have been banned by much of the world and ground-to-ground rockets, according to witnesses and survivors, as well as physical evidence.
          Both of these so-called indiscriminate weapons, which strike large areas with a dense succession of high-explosive munitions, by their nature cannot be fired precisely. When fired into populated areas, they place civilians at grave risk.
          •  Funny how much larger numbers of death don't... (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            kestrel9000, Seneca Doane

            matter at all, when they're 1) deliberate and 2) carried out by Gaddaffi.

            There is only one side of this debate that a reality-based person with humanitarian concerns can be on.  Seizing on the one report of a misfired bomb, and ignoring the daily shelling of Misurate (that we stopped) and the assault on Benghazi (that we stopped) and the myriad other stories about the regime's deliberate slaughter of civilians is not the action of someone with a genuine concern about Libyan civilians.

            It's the action of someone with a genuine concern for using Libya civilians as poster children.  Unfortunately for him, the Libyan civilians don't seem terribly interested in playing that role for him.

            Art is the handmaid of human good.

            by joe from Lowell on Thu Jun 23, 2011 at 09:09:19 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  "There is only one side of this debate..." (6+ / 0-)
              There is only one side of this debate that a reality-based person with humanitarian concerns can be on.

              No. Not at all. Not even close.

              Corporate Dog

              We didn't elect Obama to be an expedient president. We elected him to be a great one. -- Eugene Robinson

              by Corporate Dog on Thu Jun 23, 2011 at 09:27:03 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Wow, I missed that part (6+ / 0-)

                of his comment, which makes it both offensive and stupid.

                I guess he doesn't realize that the NATO mission is hugely unpopular with leading Arab activists and intellectuals, who, having seen what imperialism has done to their countries, fear that the people's revolution has been hijacked.

                •  So now you're changing the subject. (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  kestrel9000, Sun dog

                  Funny, you used to make an attempt to argue that the mission was a net humanitarian loss, in terms of the civilian deaths its caused vs. prevented.

                  Now, you want to talk so-called-anti-imperialist ideology.

                  That's fine, if you want to argue that case.  To tell the truth, it's where your actual position and argument come from anyway.

                  Just don't pretend that you're basing your opinion on "killing babies."  This operation is saving many, many thousands of lives.  If you want to argue that it isn't worth it to do that because of a political concern, go ahead.

                  But don't go throwing dead babies the faces of those who are on the side of saving them.

                  Art is the handmaid of human good.

                  by joe from Lowell on Thu Jun 23, 2011 at 09:42:28 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Why not? (0+ / 0-)
                    But don't go throwing dead babies the faces of those who are on the side of saving them.

                    It's so darn satisfying.

                    This whole thread is a serious cloud of smug.  They could have slammed Obama equally hard for doing what he's doing or doing the exact opposite.  And many would.  

                    Forget it, he's rolling.

                    by Sun dog on Thu Jun 23, 2011 at 11:49:04 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

            •  I was opposing (13+ / 0-)

              Gaddafi's regime back when Condi was Tripoli and when President Obama was shaking hands with him. And I suspect I'll be opposing whatever bad strong man the west installs in his place.

              You're entitled to support this mission in the name of helping Libyans, but you're not entitled to claim, neocon style, that those with differing views don't care about them.

              •  Objectively, you are *not* opposing him (3+ / 0-)

                Deal with it.

                To protect the Latino "community of interest" in redistricting Orange County, Santa Ana, eastern Garden Grove, and central Anaheim must be in the same legislative districts.

                by Seneca Doane on Thu Jun 23, 2011 at 09:39:00 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  ? (9+ / 0-)

                  So you didn't oppose Saddam, I guess. It's a scary proposition, that the only way to oppose a regime is to support war against it.

                   I'll quote one of the best pieces on this:

                  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. If the balance of forces on the ground could not sustain the resistance on their own, this may well have been a consequence. The spontaneous, organic nature of these uprisings over the past few months has shown that democratic revolutions are a messy, unpredictable and complex process whereby shifts in collective popular confidence can translate into rifts between political, military and state establishments.

                  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. Because arguments against Qaddafi are not the same as arguments for bombing. Since the allied forces insist that neither regime change nor occupation is the goal, it is difficult to fathom what the goal is. If Qaddafi remains, the country will be split. If the bombing stops, Qaddafi, all the more dangerous for being depleted, will likely finish the job. 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.

                  Such sophistry treats “now” as its own abstract point in time: a moment that bears no legacy and carries no consequences. Amnesia and ignorance are the privileges of the powerful. But the powerless, who live with the ramifications, do not have the luxury of forgetting. They do not forget Shatila, Falluja, Abu Ghraib or Jenin—to name but a few horrific war crimes in which the West was complicit.

                  •  If Saddam had had his forces (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:

                    bearing down on Kurdistan after a successful liberation struggle, able and intending to massacre the populations of Kirkuk and Mosul within a day, Iraq would have been an entirely different matter, wouldn't you say?

                    But, he didn't.  I could therefore oppose Saddam on human rights grounds without calling for immediate military action.  He was neutralized.  Qaddafi -- not so much.

                    To protect the Latino "community of interest" in redistricting Orange County, Santa Ana, eastern Garden Grove, and central Anaheim must be in the same legislative districts.

                    by Seneca Doane on Thu Jun 23, 2011 at 10:12:27 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Um, what? (4+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      dgil, Johnny Q, willibro, PhilJD

                      As if Saddam didn't put down a rebellion from the Kurds and the Shiites after Desert Storm.  So...what's your point?  That we should only step in and 'save people from brutal dictators' if the rebels are successfully making life difficult for said dictator?  So if Gaddafi had simply crushed opposition from the outset, you'd then agree that we shouldn't have gone to war?

                      Ask not what Obama can do for you, but what you can do for Obama!

                      by Uberbah on Thu Jun 23, 2011 at 11:32:42 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                •  Bullshit (3+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Johnny Q, willibro, PhilJD

                  off the rails bullshit.

              •  Your feelings are not "opposition." (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:

                You haven't done a damn thing to oppose Khadaffi.  The people who took to the streets are opposing Khadaffi.  NATO is opposing Khadaffi.  The Arab League is opposing Khadaffi.

                And I support that opposition.  You don't.  You argue vehemently against it, and call them baby-killers.

                And when you very very obviously elide the massive death caused by Khadaffi, when you ignore the salvation of thousands upon thousands of people in your analysis of the war's humanitarian impact, you are making a very clear statement about what you care about.

                When you care about something, you allow it affect your thinking and actions.  Your statements to date, your assertion that this war is "killing babies," as opposed to the truth, which is that it is saving them, demonstrates that you are shutting out those facts from your thoughts.

                Art is the handmaid of human good.

                by joe from Lowell on Thu Jun 23, 2011 at 09:47:33 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Actually for the last six years (11+ / 0-)

                  (on and off, now full-time) for an organization that supports democratic activists in the Middle East, so it's bit more than feelings. What about you? Do you do anything more than blog your opinions? Is that all you do to support human rights in the Middle East, post comments like the one above?

                  [Incidentally, the organization I worked for supported the intervention (over many objections).]

                  •  OK, good for you. Good cause. (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    What about you?

                    What about me?  I've never claimed that I've done more than express my opinions.

                    Perhaps you should listen more closely to your friends in the NGO.

                    Art is the handmaid of human good.

                    by joe from Lowell on Thu Jun 23, 2011 at 10:15:55 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                  •  Yes, supporting only ineffectual interventions (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:

                    leaves one without those horrible burdens of responsibility for one's choices.

                    A lot of the time you're right, David, but sometimes one has to accept that one must make choices that will lead to blood and death -- through action, inaction, or a combination of both.  There's no purity available when someone is intent on a mass slaughter that one has the ability to prevent.  You either act or bemoan.

                    To protect the Latino "community of interest" in redistricting Orange County, Santa Ana, eastern Garden Grove, and central Anaheim must be in the same legislative districts.

                    by Seneca Doane on Thu Jun 23, 2011 at 10:16:43 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  ? (9+ / 0-)

                      No one's talking about purity. Do you support bombing Syria?

                      What?! No, you don't? Then you support Assad?

                      There are moral, humanitarian arguments on both sides of all interventions, including Iraq.

                      We all support some and oppose some, although I will oppose more than many.

                      You support this one. I don't. I might be wrong, but that doesn't mean I support Gaddafi and oppose the Libyans.

                      All of us support the Libyans and oppose Gaddafi, the debate is over how best to exercise that view.

                      It's a simple concept, one I can't believe you don't get.

                      You'll notice that the comment that triggered this position didn't even take a position, only noted the absurdity of the claim that this didn't amount to hostilities. Even if you support this war, you shouldn't have a disagreement with that.  

                      •  We can't do much in Syria (2+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        joe from Lowell, kestrel9000

                        We could -- and did -- do something worthwhile and important in Libya.

                        You would, and are working towards with your current "activism", leaving people who have done something brave and admirable to die.

                        Objectively, you want what Qaddafi wants right now.  It would be a human rights disaster.

                        This is not the moment to be on the fence.  You protect the admirable revolution.  You can't wait.  "Staying out of it" means that they will lose and be slaughtered -- starting with resumed shelling of Misrata.

                        That's a simple concept that I can't believe that you don't get.

                        So -- which side are you on?  Sometimes it really does come down to that.

                        To protect the Latino "community of interest" in redistricting Orange County, Santa Ana, eastern Garden Grove, and central Anaheim must be in the same legislative districts.

                        by Seneca Doane on Thu Jun 23, 2011 at 10:41:09 AM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                      •  When you cite a single event of a missed strike... (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:

                        causing civilian casualties as proof that "this mission is killing babies," without any acknowledgment at all of the thousands upon thousands of people this mission has saved, you are talking about purity.

                        That isn't an argument that the mission is, on balance, harmful to the Libyan public.  You'd actually have to weigh competing factors to conclude that.

                        Instead, what you've made is an argument that any civilian casualties whatsoever caused by this intervention make it illegitimate.

                        That's an argument from purity.

                        Art is the handmaid of human good.

                        by joe from Lowell on Thu Jun 23, 2011 at 10:55:52 AM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  Well.... (0+ / 0-)

                          "without any acknowledgment at all of the thousands upon thousands of people this mission has saved"

                          Why should somebody acknowledge something that exists only in your imagination?

                          You can't actually prove this because it is a speculation of yours. So what you are ultimately saying is how dare you show the fact of people actually dying and say you care about this without dismissing their actual deaths in favor of wringing your hands about deaths that i imagine would have taken place in an alternate future that i've speculated?!

                          You're welcome to your speculations but some prefer to operate in the world of facts. Another alternate speculation is that the war was coming to a close before the kinetic thingamajig, but the problem was the wrong side was going to win. In order to prevent that, the thingamajig was launched and has just prolonged the war and death indefinitely in order to try to bring about the opposite result (regime change) at some unknown time in the future.

                      •  You mean... (0+ / 0-)

               these tender explosive kisses of democracy.


                  •  Serious request, David: (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    kestrel9000, david mizner

                    Given your involvement with and support for pro-democracy movements in the MENA region, are you bothered by the anti-war argument, coming increasingly from the left, that the Libyan opposition are Skeery al Qaeda Mooslems that we shouldn't be supporting?

                    I've seen solid left-leaning people - John Cole comes to mind - who spent years denouncing Islamophobia who now turn around and say that we shouldn't be backing the Libyan rebels, on the grounds that people from "this region" (Middle East?  Eastern Libya?) are probably just terrorists anyway.

                    Art is the handmaid of human good.

                    by joe from Lowell on Thu Jun 23, 2011 at 10:53:20 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  I don't like that argument (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      joe from Lowell

                      I've sometimes pointed out the AQ links of (a small number of) rebels for the purpose of showing the incoherence of American foreign policy, but the Libyan rebels deserve our support. Their cause is righteous. The question is how best to support them. Tom Malinowski if HRW went to Bengazi and wrote about the rebels.It's an encouraging report. Malinowski, for what it's worth, think there's a better chance of democracy in Libya than in Egypt, because the rebels already control an area.

                      It's my view that some American human rights activists take too benign a view of military force and imperialism. Will the rebels, who have been linked to and dependent, on western force be able to shake themselves free of them if and when Gaddafi falls?

                      •  Your concern about the rebels' independence... (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        david mizner

                        is exactly why this supporter of the NATO mission doesn't want to see western ground forces in Libya, even if it would mean a quicker victory.

                        No more Iraqs.  No more Afghanistans.  No more occupations.  No more of us trying to establish other people's democracies.  I spend the entire Iraq War insisting, in the face of neocon accusations that I didn't want Middle Easterners to have democracy, that we can't export democracy to Middle Eastern nations - that democracy has to come from local reformist movements, and that our rightful role is to support them and follow their lead.

                        Well, here it is, and a whole lot of people who spent the Iraq War saying the same thing or nodding along are suddenly looking at the uprising in Libya and saying "OMG!  Al Qaeda!" because they think that Islamophobic scare-mongering would be useful for their "anti-war" position.  These are people who'd been cheering the protesters on the day before the UN uprising, and who'd sneered at Pat Buchanan for making similar accusations.

                        I think that's disgraceful, and I hope that someone like you, who opposes the military mission, can get through to them.

                        Art is the handmaid of human good.

                        by joe from Lowell on Thu Jun 23, 2011 at 02:44:48 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  I'm hoping to be wrong about this (1+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          joe from Lowell

                          Hoping that the rebels can form a government without too much more death, hoping my organization, Juan Cole, and others are proved right, in which case I'll have to reevaluate my ideas of military interventions, especially interventions in oil-rich Muslim nations.

                          But, probably needless to say, we're a long way from that point.  

                          •  Let's just say, I can appreciate skepticism... (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            david mizner

                            about an operation that involved a bunch of western nations using military force against a Middle Eastern nation, that has oil, in the hopes of a positive political outcome.  Skepticism is a good thing.  Skepticism is a demand for more solid information before drawing a firm conclusion.

                            But you must admit, there is a lot going on here that doesn't fit the script we both know so well.

                            A UN authorization that sets meaningful limits on what we can do?  The Arab League requesting the action and endorsing the use of military force by the west?  Action against an oil dictator that was selling us oil and signing fat contracts with our drilling companies and playing genial host to John McCain?  A genuine, honest-to-God, not astroturf popular uprising that preceded, by months, even the idea of western intervention?  A formal commitment not to put in ground troops?

                            You must admit, this isn't what it usually looks like when we decide to "kick their ass and steal their gas."

                            Art is the handmaid of human good.

                            by joe from Lowell on Thu Jun 23, 2011 at 03:04:32 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Yes, different in some ways (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Meteor Blades

                            Which is why for me, it wasn't a no fucking way kind of deal. I had to weigh both sides. It mattered that humanitarian concerns were part of the motivation, that Samnatha Power (not, say, Dick Cheney) was in the White House pushing this, and that some people I normally agree with (Meteor Blades, here, for example) supported it, and that most importantly, there was a call from the rebels for a no-fly zone.

                            Different enough, though, to overcome the difficulty of getting from here to there? Different enough to negate the imperialist tendencies that, even if not there at the outset, will emerge as the western countries consider their strategic interests? My feeling is no, but time will tell.

          •  Except (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Johnny Q, PhilJD, aliasalias, Nada Lemming

            they don't count the family of Gaddafi's youngest son.  Nor do they count the three errant strikes in one week where they killed rebels.  Very, very questionable that these were the first civilians killed.  Were the one and two year old grandchildren civilians?

      •  All I'm asking for is for people to recognize the (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        shaharazade, blue in NC, aliasalias

        groos stupidity and futility of "modern warfare," which not only seems to suck our brains out through our dicks and other orifices, but sucks currently what, $2.2 trillion in various currencies, mostly dollars, of which a little less than  HALF is out of the US "economy." what's left of it.

        Here's your cite for that big number:

        which also understates the actual US all-in "security" number, of course. And gee, even "serious" people are starting to ask "Can we afford to let the War Managers keep working toward eating ALL the world's wealth to create and counter the infinity of possible threats and weapons that the universe makes possible?"

        On the other hand, all the armchair and retired and active generals and geopolitical jerkmeats who profit fromor get off on turning the whole fucking planet into nothing more than a "Networked Battlespace," subdivided into "Commands" and "Areas of Operatioin," where testosterone-poisoned young men and of course young women play out the tragedy of "Call of Duty."  We kill some of them so they kill some of us so we kill some of them so they kill some of us...

        Not to worry, all you wargames, your RACKET is safe from any reduction in the predatory draining of our blood and brains... On accounta humans are too stupid to survive. Oh, and Global Climate Change is now morphed into nothing but a matter of National Security, to be addressed by being able to kill anyone whose resources "we" need to make more dumb-shit piloted fighter/multimission really good airplanes and "smart weapons" to be operated by "dumb GIs..."

        "Is that all there is?" Peggy Lee.

        by jm214 on Thu Jun 23, 2011 at 09:26:54 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

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