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Well, the G8 has released its statement from its final meeting today.

Prospects of the swift establishment of a no-fly zone over Libya receded today after members of the G8 group failed to give their backing at a summit in Paris.

Various "leaders" in Washington are dithering.  Some say a no-fly-zone is "no problem".  Others "express concern" about arming and supporting a group of rag-tag rebels with no government established, and no known leaders to "deal with".  The specter of Afghanistan is raised, with the memory of the armed fighters morphing into Al Queda, and the disaster that is Iraq becoming the defining model for US intervention.

Britain has joined with France to push for military  intervention by the international community to stop dictator Muammar Gaddafi using his air power to bombard towns held by the opposition.

But, the US opinion was absent from the final communique, and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is off to Egypt and Tunisia, to check on things there.

I heard a fragment on the BBC World broadcast, last night, from a former State Department Official, (sorry I did not get his name) who pointed out the root of all the fear and trembling we are witnessing.  He said, "The last time we bombed Gaddafy we got Lockerbie.  If we do anything, we had better make damned sure we take him out."

Once again we see American Exceptionalism, writ large.  If we do it it's Okey Dokey.  If we decide for what ever reason not to do it, why that just OK, too.

The moral cowards on display in our government branches is profoundly disappointing.

Better to leave a mad man who murders his own people in place than risk giving assistance to a rag tag group of men and women who have demonstrated such courage, and resourcefulness in trying to bring down the monster, against a formidable military machine.

When even the Arab League asks for a no fly zone, what kind of moral failure allows western nations to look away?

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Comment Preferences

  •  I am so profoundly troubled by the wests (15+ / 0-)

    failure to assist the rebels, I could just spit.  We parade and preen, along with other nations, the formidable war machine we build and maintain.  Then, we use it stupidly, and in the wrong places.  And, we fail to use it when it would further the aspirations of a desperate people, trying to establish a modern state.

    As the years roll by I keep thinking that I can get no more cynical.  I am wrong in that, too.

    "Marijuana. The drug that makes teenage boys drive slow" P.J. O'Rourk

    by Granny Doc on Tue Mar 15, 2011 at 12:53:14 PM PDT

  •  Yes (4+ / 0-)

    the "Sorry about your luck" US policy strikes again.

    Truth can often be cynical.

    When will our consciences grow so tender that we will act to prevent human misery rather than avenge it? Eleanor Roosevelt

    by IndyRobin on Tue Mar 15, 2011 at 01:11:23 PM PDT

  •  From all I have heard, (5+ / 0-)

    the US is supporting a no-fly zone, but it is Germany and Russia that have blocked it. Russia is making money off the resulting high oil prices. Germany...who the hell knows, but Angela is against it. Could be the tightwad doesn't want to spend the money to help the Libyans, or something else.

    "We have cast our lot with something bigger than ourselves" - President Obama, July 30, 2010

    by Overseas on Tue Mar 15, 2011 at 01:19:14 PM PDT

  •  Doesn't it come down to the assumption that (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Granny Doc, ferallike

    if the rebels lose, Libya will give preferential treatment on oil shipments to countries that did not support the no-fly zone?

    I don't dislike all conservatives... mainly just the ones that vote Republican.

    by OHdog on Tue Mar 15, 2011 at 01:39:23 PM PDT

    •  No doubt. But, Russian has banned (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      OHdog, ferallike

      the Gaddafy family and top leaders from it's soil, and only Mali seems willing to provide any kind of support.  How much light, sweet crude do they use, annually?

      "Marijuana. The drug that makes teenage boys drive slow" P.J. O'Rourk

      by Granny Doc on Tue Mar 15, 2011 at 01:47:59 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Gaddafi, for all his (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Granny Doc, tomjones

    eccentricities and cruelty, is smart, I'll give him that. After 2001, he made himself an ally of the West, which makes the West reluctant to remove him. Furthermore, since he has oil, no one wants to be on the receiving end of an embargo if Gaddafi manages to hold on to power.

    Iuris praecepta sunt haec: Honeste vivere, alterum non laedere, suum cuique tribuere. - Ulpian, Digestae 1, 3

    by Dauphin on Tue Mar 15, 2011 at 01:56:21 PM PDT

  •  So now attacking Middle Eastern countries... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Granny Doc, fizziks, tomjones

    ...that haven't attacked us is a good thing?  Now, while I personally am cautiously in favor of a no-fly zone, am I the only person here that understands why Obama is reluctant to get involved in yet another war in the Middle East?

  •  umm, no (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Granny Doc, tomjones

    Look, there are good arguments for and against intervening right now.  I would not want to be in Obama's shoes.

    It is a very complicated situation.  There is a good case to be made that any western aid on behalf of the rebels might strengthen Gadhafi's position.  

    I think you are wrong, very wrong, in ascribing such sinsiter motives to people who think intervention would, on balance, be the wrong thing right now.

    PS.  I am pro-intervention in this situation.

  •  The time to act has long passed... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Granny Doc, Priest Valon

    It's far too late to do anything at this point.  Gaddafi has control of his military and it would take a significant force of boots on the ground at this point to stop him.  

    It's all over but the rounding up of examples.

  •  Right or wrong, another casuality of W. (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Granny Doc, tomjones, Kevskos, ferallike

    If he hadn't ignored warnings pre-911.  If he'd finished Afghanistan instead of leaving an open, bleeding, oozing wound to suck us dry.  If he'd not played Conquering Cowboy in the desert.

    Our options are not good, our power is diminished, our competitors/enemies are ascendant.

    Thanks W, Foukoffer-in-Cheif Cheney & Rove.

    Rot in Hell and do it quickly.

  •  No to a "no-fly zone". Who's doing the training (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    tomjones, Egalitare, Granny Doc

    in 'boot camps' for the rebels to get them up to speed in opposing Gaddafi's ground troops where the battle will be won or lost?

    Are we helping turn the rag-tag rebels into a fighting force?

    Just 'cause the media luv's the "No-Fly Zone" question does NOT make it the only or the correct answer.

    Personally, I'm following rather closely our troops in Japan, Af/Pak, Iraq with the Saudi's heading into Bahrain, and all the ships at sea.

    "...fighting the wildfires of my life with squirt guns."

    by deMemedeMedia on Tue Mar 15, 2011 at 03:12:12 PM PDT

    •  The problem of no-fly zones (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      tomjones, Egalitare, Granny Doc

      The US has created 2 famous no-fly zones, and each of them morphed into a crypto-state that became an embarassment to us.  Kosovo came to be seen as a bandit state and an extension of Albania, which is not a good thing.  Kurdistan helped lure America into further intervention, but under our occupation its warlord rulers have continually acted against the interests of Iraq as a functioning country, looking to seize every oil field under our guns, provoking violence by Arabs and Turkmen, and providing shelter to Kurdish rebels who attack our democratic NATO partner.  These crypto-states acted irresponsibly because the no-fly zone created the benefits of sovereignity without many of the responsibilities- they can hit the people they don't like and then run back under the American umbrella.

      The problem is, because we waited so long in the Libyan crisis, a no-fly zone will again produce only a stub of a country held by rebels who will be seen to lack legitimacy in the country at large.  If we'd done it a week ago, it might have allowed rebels to cross the desert in safety and finish the job.  

      But I think it would have been cleaner and more honest to simply have recognized the Benghazi regime and slipped it a few hundred TOWs and Stingers, and then offered Libyan pilots $1,000,000 to defect with their planes.  No US faces anywhere; no long-term commitments to a partitioned, suffering country.
      It's probably too late to help Libyans now, or until the next uprising.

      •  I wrote my comment below... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Granny Doc

        ...before I read this one. There are no good choices here, but some are less bad than others. There simply isn't time right now for the planet to "sort Libya out" - especially with the Nuclear Power Plant disaster in Japan sucking up a great deal of focus and energy.

        I'm grasping for something that gives the "Opposition" time to regain attention for deeper scrutiny and evaluation - even if in the result is that we find that they are even worse than Qaddafi.

        The so-called "rising tide" is lifting only yachts.

        by Egalitare on Tue Mar 15, 2011 at 04:31:52 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  So now what do we do with Libya? (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    tomjones, Egalitare, Granny Doc

    When we decided to let Qaddafi win, we stuck ourselves in the impossible situation of not being able to do business with him.  After his crimes, we have to impose embargoes on his regime, or he will be able to reward the states that sided with him with 2,000,000 barrels of oil a day.  But with an embargo, we remove that two million from global markets when supplies are getting critically tight again, ever closer to causing another depression.

    Didn't anybody think about this?

    •  I suppose that supplying Benghazi... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Granny Doc

      ...with what a PR firm might coin "Robust Humanitarian Aid" is not even on the table: supplying the Opposition with whatever supplies (including but not limited to Stingers & RPGs, as well as a regular flow of "normal" humanitarian stores) allow them to hold off Qaddafi's forces until the international community can better focus on the longer term stakes.

      I realize that this is not much different from arming the Contras (other than doing it without the shroud of military/security-imposed secrecy), but that's the thought that occurs to me after a few minutes of uninformed reflection.

      The so-called "rising tide" is lifting only yachts.

      by Egalitare on Tue Mar 15, 2011 at 04:18:57 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I think we should stay out of it (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    tomjones, Priest Valon, Granny Doc

    right now because we don't know if the anti-Qaddafi forces are pro-US or not.

  •  Correct me if I'm wrong: (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Kevskos, Granny Doc

    but Arab League countries have a whole lot of (American-supplied) fighter jets they could use to set up a no-fly zone.

    So why is it incumbent on the West to intervene, in a region that has had it's fair share of Western intervention?

    Why can't the Arab League put up or shut up?

    Progressivism, like conservatism, cannot fail. It can only be failed.

    by tomjones on Tue Mar 15, 2011 at 04:11:56 PM PDT

  •  Libyan oil accounts for only 3% of US and 4% of U (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Granny Doc

    K imports.  An embargo just wouldn't hurt either...  so Gaddafi "getting back at" these, is just not a significant threat.  Its a bigger deal for continental europe, russia and china.  If Gaddafi playes favorites what you'll see is merely a re-juggling of light sweet oil futures, but its simply musical chairs and won't have significant market impact for "low import" countries.  "Aramco" companies might adjust investments elsewhere.

    Gaddafi might punish France... but its their problem not ours.

    As for the Libyan civil war in general, looks like it might be finally starting to wind down, and the regime can move to mop-up and suppression, soon.

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