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Al Jazeera English is reporting that Gadaffi has rounded up some of the western journalists in Tripoli (they were already nicely contained in a hotel somewhere) and bussed them off to the fortified compound where he is holed up.

Where they would be killed by any decapitation air strike against him.

Any thoughts of a decapitation strike against Gadaffi and his sons will have to take into account his wiliness. He survived such an attack by the U.S. once before. In Reagan's 1986 U.S. air strike against Libya (in response to the Berlin discotheque bombing) Gadaffi was targeted, but he and his family escaped by fleeing their residence at the last minute (reportedly warned by the Italians when U.S. aircraft overflew Malta's airspace en route to their targets).

So he fears such an attack, but he's been preparing for it a long time. He'll make it impossible to get to him without unacceptable collateral damage.

All of which goes to show that military response can only go so far to resolve the problem. The end game would have to be a deal for Gadaffi to leave Libya. He won't agree to that until his prospects for staying have been utterly eliminated, probably after his military commanders abandon him. We're far from that yet.

It's worth noting that in 1986, the U.S. acted basically alone.  France, Spain and Italy all denied overflight permission for the raid, so the attacks had to be flown out of the UK through the straights of Gibraltar, with aerial refueling. The League of Arab States was outraged. Many bombs went astray, there were lots of civilian collateral casualties, and no regime change occurred. The raid was merely punitive, and many analysts suggest Gadaffi himself was ultimately helped, rather than harmed, by the raid.

Obama is acting wisely to proceed with more caution, to (hopefully) make this effort both more effective and less about the U.S. He's probably also wise to avoid extreme strategies like decapitation, both because they would backfire and because the specter of the U.S. assassinating world leaders is so disturbing, no matter how gross they are. The less this is about us, and the more is Gadaffi is left to the Libyans to deal with, the better. (He deserves a proper Chauchesku finish, IMHO, but I'm just an American, it's not up to me.)

And look at those women go! Hillary Clinton, Susan Rice and Samantha Power are the influences behind this response, according to the N.Y. Times yesterday. The men on the NSC argued against it!

Originally posted to samizdat on Sat Mar 19, 2011 at 10:50 AM PDT.

Also republished by Community Spotlight.

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Comment Preferences

  •  I Am Sorry But No American Service (9+ / 0-)

    member should be any part of this. Sure we can provide drones. Tactical support. Targeting info. Refueling. But not a single American should cross into Libya's airspace. I am sorry, but I am sick of this. The French or British can easily handle this on their own. Heck any other NATO nation could.

    It is time these nations, in the backyard of Libya, take care of business on their own.

    When opportunity calls pick up the phone and give it directions to your house.

    by webranding on Sat Mar 19, 2011 at 10:57:27 AM PDT

    •  I am more concerned (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      opinionated, HoundDog, Ultranaut

      by the apparent lack of enforcement aircraft and participation from any of the Arab countries.

      It is one thing to take a vote at the Arab league, but a whole different matter to actually engage.  If this thing goes south, and it may well just do that, the Arab countries will be pointing at the West as interlopers and ducking any involvement.

      I am a warrior for peace. And not a gentle man... Steve Mason, 1940-2005

      by Wayward Wind on Sat Mar 19, 2011 at 11:56:30 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  UAE and Qatar are sending around 30 (8+ / 0-)

        fighter aircraft.

        I think it'd be a bit much to ask Libya and Egypt to participate at this point... they have enough on their plate already.

        "The perfect is the enemy of the good." - Voltaire

        by Lawrence on Sat Mar 19, 2011 at 03:55:13 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Egypt (5+ / 0-)

          is almost certainly providing arms and materiel across their border. I'm not sure it would make sense for them to send planes because I'm not sure at all that they could integrate their communications and not just get shot down by mistake.

          •  They routinely do maneuvers with the U.S. (6+ / 0-)

            Communication would not be a problem.

            But they just have alot on their hands right now... forging a truly democratic state in Egypt is a daunting task.

            Plus there are hundreds of thousands of Egyptians living in Libya and Egypt overtly participating could seriously endanger them.

            "The perfect is the enemy of the good." - Voltaire

            by Lawrence on Sat Mar 19, 2011 at 04:40:52 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Egypt should participate. The symbollic value (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Ultranaut, ivorybill

              would be enormous.  

              "Fellow Arabs, we are on the way to gaining our freedom from a popular uprising.   And, now we are only too happy to join with our brothers and sisters, to help you gain you freedom."

              If we don't urgently, push a diplomatic solution in the Israel and Palestine situation our moment of truth will come when the Palestinian ask when they will be worthy of their own democratic state?    Will we respond to their call for help in gaining their own freedom?

              We will be better off pushing much harder for a negotiated outcome, even if that involves a transitional recognition of a unilaterally declared Palestinian state.

              Fayyad should declare July 4, 2011 as independence day for Palestine, with exact border TBD.  Then invite the Boston Pops and Obama to celebrate the unveiling of statues of George Washington, and Mahatma Gandhi.  

              Proclaiming non-violence, and equality for women, and religious freeom, could probably push this strategy over the top for them.

              Immediate recognitions for 40 Arabs states followed by EU, and many asian states.   The US would be in an ackward position of being asked how much we believe in our own ideals.

              I think this is what Clinton, Rice, and Power's have figured out, and given Obama the heads up on.  

              A secular human rights based uprising in the middle east, from Morroco, all the way to Afghanistan would be the best possible outcome we could hope for.  

              And, total, emasculate and neutralize al Quaeda, and the Shite clerics in Iran, and elsewhere.

              Yemen, UAE, Saudi Arabia, Algeria, Tunusia, Lybia, Egypt, Bahrain and now Syria, and Lebanon, are all now in play.

              And, now we can play and win at a much more advantageous way, that previously, where Hezzballah, Al Quaeda, and other more extreme groups held all the cards.  

              The means is the ends in the process of becoming. - Mahatma Gandhi

              by HoundDog on Sat Mar 19, 2011 at 06:23:19 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

        •  Do you have a reliable source for this? (0+ / 0-)

          I have searched fairly extensively for a reliable source for this assertion, and find either blog posts similar to yours with no attribution to source, or a couple of vague statements by an unnamed diplomat after the UNSC meeting.

          There is not a word about this in any of the top three English language UAE newspapers.  In fact, the stories in those newspapers all start with some version of "Western Aircraft Invade Libya."

          I am a warrior for peace. And not a gentle man... Steve Mason, 1940-2005

          by Wayward Wind on Sat Mar 19, 2011 at 10:55:41 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  The Bahranians, who are also oppressing... (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        HoundDog, Libertaria, slatsg, protectspice

        their people by the way, are going to take a short time out from destroying symbols of liberation to go shoot some symbolic missiles at Mr. Gaddaffi.  Bad Gaddaffi!

    •  Less European involvement, please! (0+ / 0-)

      The more we force Europe to get involved, the more we force them to build up their own military capability.

      I would much have a militarily weak Europe that was dependent on the USA. Even if this means we must spend more "blood and treasure".

      Don't forget the lessons of the 20th Century! Europeans have a poor track record when it comes to handling weapons. Let France and Italy talk and issue Sternly Worded Memos. Let the actual high explosives come from us, please.

      •  65 years or so, after the end of WWII (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        I think we should declare over.  

        And quickly renegotiate our treaties so we can withdraw 95% of our troops, weapons, and expenditures from Europe and Japan.  

        I just read we still keep 58,000 troops in Japan.

        We simply can not afford this.  

        We need to take at least $200 billion a year out of the defense budget if we are going to retain any level of social programs in our future.

        It's simply not possible for us to keep expanding the military budget, continueously, upwards, with never an end of previous programs.

        I wonder how many Civil War bases we still keep in America?   I bet we can find some.

        The means is the ends in the process of becoming. - Mahatma Gandhi

        by HoundDog on Sat Mar 19, 2011 at 06:28:13 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Not that I disagree with your main point, but... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          The troops in Japan are not there to watch the Japanese, and to make sure they don't go all militarist again.  There is almost no chance of that, and we probably make it more likely by being there.

          We are still in Japan to keep an eye on the North Koreans and the Chinese, to stabilize the area in general, and to reassure the Japanese and others that we are committed to help them out if things get sticky.

          Whether this is worth the cost may be debatable, not to mention whether it really makes the overall situation better or worse.  Still, let's try to make sure the debate is about what is really going on.

          Nobody actually reads these things, do they?

          by Babbling Hill on Sat Mar 19, 2011 at 06:59:05 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Japan pays for it (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            It's not so much an American imperialist outpost as it is a mercenary army. The older Japanese generation especially trust(ed) the US military more than their own. Japan pays about half the cost of basing the US military in Japan, two thirds or more if you don't count the salaries the US pays.

            I would have agreed with your point about little chance of Japan going militarist before General Tamogami's remarks. China may be using the threat of Japanese resurgence for domestic consumption, but I don't think the Japanese themselves are completely wrong to be afraid.

            •  Hey Danjuma, the Japanese are going to have (0+ / 0-)

              take full responsibility for 100% of their defense costs, because we cannot afford to keep paying for it.

              I'm not going to agree to cut Social Security or Medicare in the US, to assuage Japanese fear of China.

              China is not going to invade Japan with a military strike.  Why should they when they will be able to buy it for a lot cheaper.

              Modern warfare is now economic.  And, it's not even primarily controlled by governments, but corporate syndicates.  

              China has just surpassed Japan as the second largest economy in the world, now.  And, they plan on surpassing us in the next decades.  They are not going to squander their economic investments fighting a stupid war.

              The richest Chinese can just go in and buy whatever real estate they wont their.   Until this nuclear nightmare, Japan was looking like a nice place to have one of your retirement estates.  

              Folks, they are laughing at how backward we are we can't even see which way is up.

              The means is the ends in the process of becoming. - Mahatma Gandhi

              by HoundDog on Sat Mar 19, 2011 at 07:36:39 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Yes, your image of old Japanese saying they need (0+ / 0-)

                military to protect them from a Chinese attack, are so far out of it, I just realized that they don't don't realize yet, that the Chinese are urgently trying to figure out how to keep radiactive, and desparate Japanese refugees trying to become illegal aliens in China.

                I'm quite certain that those companies that just lost the contract to build our wall against Mexico, are already in China making their pitch for a wall along the entire coast of of the South China seas.

                And, I am also quite certain, that even as we speak, some entreprenueral movie producer is making a pitch for the latest Chinese Zombie movie.

                But, this time, the zombies will be radioactive, and mutated Japanese trying to illegally immigrate into China to get jobs working on the farms.  

                If not, I better start looking for my passport, because I need to rustle up a quick million dollars for my retirement fund, PDQ.  

                And, I would prefer this involving as little "real" work as possible.

                PS Sorry if radioactive zombie thing seems a little insensitive at such a tragic time.   But, its necessary to mention for folks to grasp the incredible crises we are under even as we speak.

                We need to rethink everything, ASAP.  

                No assumption  of the past is safe from re-examination, or challenge.

                The entire wealth of our country is at risk, as robber-barrons are transferring as much of it as they can overseas, to finance their new financial empires.

                And, to add insult to injury they are asking us to pay for it.

                Go figure...

                Sheesh!   Do they think we are idiots????

                (I wonder if that would look more dramatic if I bolded the whole thing, just the Do they think we are idiots part, not the whole comment!  What do you think I'm one of those manic trolls?   What's wrong with you folks?)


                The means is the ends in the process of becoming. - Mahatma Gandhi

                by HoundDog on Sat Mar 19, 2011 at 07:48:37 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

          •  Good points Babbling Hill. I've heard this (0+ / 0-)

            arguments before.  

            And that our troops, in North Korea are there as a trip wire, so if the North Koreas vaporize the whole area, they know for sure we will retaliate with an overwhelming nuclear strike.

            And, yes, I've heard the argument that the basis in Europe, are actually over the horizon extensions to give us a quick leap into the middle east.

            But, I want to hear a line by line debate and defense against every one of this assumption.

            And, I want to do it side by side against the cuts to our social programs that will be necessary if we keep these military expenses.

            Like for example, "OK, folks we can either close Ramstein Airbase, or we can cut those with childhood disabilities off from Social Secuirty or Medicare because they didn't work long enough to pay into the fund."

            I can tell you how I'm going to vote right now.

            Until we have guarentee universal health care for all Americans, and visitors,

            And until we guarrentee senior citizens they will not starve in old age, or have to choose between eating cat food, or getting your prescriptions,


            I will vote for military cuts first.

            We already have excellent data on the amount we have to cut as well.

            President Clinton handed Bush a budget in surplus, with debt projected to decline and eventually be paid off.

            Bush, launched a totally irresponsible tax cuts for the wealthiest 2%, and then increased post 9/11 defense spending first by about $100 billion a year, and then climbing rapidly during the two unfunded wars.

            What no one, not even some cowardly Democrats wants to discuss, is that we are now asking poor,  and needy Americans to pay for this.  And, zeroing out all the much needed investment in our social infrastructure.

            I am no longer going to sit here in silence as this incredible GOP scam is used to dupe everyone else.  

            And, folks, the sad news is a whole lot of Democratic leaders know this and are going along with it.

            Well, not me!

            I'm going to dedicated the rest of my life to making sure the American people, and other earthlings know exactly what is happening.

            Hello!   Has anyone else noticed that we are now playing a pain game of which social programs shall we cut to balance the budget?

            This is crock of bull puckey!

            I'm not going to go here until we first discuss how we are getting the surplus $200 billion  a year out of the military budget, and restoring or even expanding taxation of the richest 2%.

            My first suggestion is let the European Union absorb full and complete responsibility for their own defense.   And the US will be glad to remain in NATO, but we are reducing our troops and NATO budget by 95%.

            Bring these troops home.

            The idea that we have to stay there to prevent them from militarizing and challenging us on the battlefield is absurd and obsolete.

            The battle is now economic and in full force.

            The richest 1% do not care which country they list on their residence forms.    They have residences all of the world.

            Donald Trump warned us if we tried to raise taxes on rich people they would just transfer their assets overseas.

            Well a lot of them already have.

            Putting their investments in the Far East.

            While milking the US like a cash cow.

            The means is the ends in the process of becoming. - Mahatma Gandhi

            by HoundDog on Sat Mar 19, 2011 at 07:29:31 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  The U.S. is firing missiles from a ship and has (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      HoundDog, libnewsie, wishingwell

      said it will not put troops on the ground.

    •  So far they haven't (0+ / 0-)

      We've sent off a bunch of Tomahawks, but as far as I can tell no planes or ground troops are involved from our side.

    •  I think that is the plan (0+ / 0-)

      From what I can tell, Obama is only kick-starting this.  We plan to fade into the background as soon as we can.

      Egypt is arming the rebels now.  Once they get rolling, they can finish this themselves.  They are enthusiastic, numerous and willing to die for their freedom.  All we need to do is level the playing field and then stand back.

      "Hidden in the idea of radical openness is an allegiance to machines instead of people." - Jaron Lanier

      by FDRDemocrat on Sat Mar 19, 2011 at 10:38:10 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Gadaffi does his best Saddam imitation (0+ / 0-)

    "We do not inherit the Earth from our Ancestors, we borrow it from our Children"

    by Lefty Coaster on Sat Mar 19, 2011 at 11:09:14 AM PDT

  •  Decapitation Attack? (6+ / 0-)

    Is this mentioned somewhere in the UN resolution?

    Or is this one of those "bait and switch" thingies?

    violence is the status quo...nonviolence is the revolution

    by ehrenfeucht games on Sat Mar 19, 2011 at 12:53:59 PM PDT

    •  I think the diarist is making an assumption. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      auron renouille

      An incorrect one.

      Ideology is an excuse to ignore common sense.

      by Bush Bites on Sat Mar 19, 2011 at 05:07:34 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I just read that Gadaffi has rounded up a (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        all foreign journalists and have brought them to his compound to prevent a decapitation attack.

        We need to separate his miliary support, by letting them know if they do not cease and desist defending him, or get rid of him themselve, they will either be killed in war, or indicted for war crimes.

        If we can peel this off, a "non-denominational" group of special forces can land in the palice and put an end to this quickly.

        Gadaffi, and his son, have a remarkable sense of "self-preservation."   If we even just talk up this possibility, I'll bet he'll negotiated his exhile, to some island if we let him keep a billion of his loot.

        People, including me, have criticized the sloppy nature of the attack on his camp decades ago, but we have to admit, he suddently got real quite and became more helpful behind the scenes.

        But, he needs to go quickly now, or we loose credibility as a global  power player.   But, I agree we shouldn't use US troops.  

        Preferable middle eastern.

        The means is the ends in the process of becoming. - Mahatma Gandhi

        by HoundDog on Sat Mar 19, 2011 at 06:34:33 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  How about Turkey? (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          I think Turkey would be of assistance and might be better accepted with their troops then would be the US or UK.

          You could be listening to Prog Talk Radio! Listen to The Julianna Michigan Show - Thursdays 8-10PM PST on Prog Talk Radio

          by libnewsie on Sat Mar 19, 2011 at 07:08:56 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Decap is out of the "specs", but does show (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    auron renouille

    what a fucknut this guy is. Mini-Sadam.

    “Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.”, Theodore Roosevelt

    by the fan man on Sat Mar 19, 2011 at 03:04:28 PM PDT

  •  Once Libya is liberated we need to get the (3+ / 0-)

    hell out of there.  There should be no American boots on the ground.  Help enforce the no-fly zone but once the rebels have accomplished their mission get the hell out of there.  Our Soldiers, Sailors and Marines take an oath to defend the United States against an attack.  It does a disservice to our Country if we are constantly the World's policemen.

    If you have selfish, ignorant citizens, you're gonna get selfish, ignorant leaders --- George Carlin

    by winter outhouse on Sat Mar 19, 2011 at 03:31:36 PM PDT

    •  I don't think that anyone is even remotely (3+ / 0-)

      inetersted in seeing American boots on the ground in Libya.

      And it looks like there are so many other countries sending fighter planes that hardly any U.S. fighters will be needed.

      I would like to see a massive U.S. relief effort for cities like Misratah and Zawiyah, though.

      "The perfect is the enemy of the good." - Voltaire

      by Lawrence on Sat Mar 19, 2011 at 03:57:29 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  This is all good news for John McCain.... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Libertaria, dnpvd0111, slatsg

    I am no utterly convinced that it doesn't matter who we vote for, the military gets to have a field day.

  •  Juan Cole reports that French jets (10+ / 0-)
    have destroyed 4 tanks on the outskirts of Benghazi, the center of the provisional government opposing dictator Muammar Qaddafi. The tanks were involved in a concerted attack on Benghazi launched by Qaddafi’s military Friday and Saturday.

    French President Nicolas Sarkozy surprised observers by announcing that French fighter jets were patrolling Libya’s skies already. The deployment was expected later on Saturday or on Sunday, in the wake of the meeting of a 22-nation spontaneous alliance formed to meet the UN Security Council’s mandate to protect Libyan civilians from Qaddafi loyalists’ military attacks on them.

    Aljazeera Arabic interviewed Brigadier Gen. Safwat El Zayat (rtd.), an Egyptian military analyst and supporter of the Egyptian revolution, on the military situation in Libya. He was asked about the report that French fighter jets had taken out 4 Libyan tanks near Benghazi. Zayat said that pro-Qaddafi armor had moved up from Ajdabiya toward Benghazi in two columns, with the intent of breaching the rebel stronghold’s defenses and occupying the city center. The 32nd Special Forces Brigade, supported by tanks and led by Qaddafi’s son, Khamis, attacked on Friday and Saturday from the southwest. Another brigade, supported by tanks and heavy artillery and led by another Qaddafi son, Saadi, attacked from the southeast.

    The French were attempting to deprive these elite brigades of their armored support and so level the playing ground for the rebel defenders of Benghazi. Given this air intervention, Gen. Zayat said, the strategy pursued by Qaddafi’s military in the past week could turn out to have been an enormous error. The pro-Qaddafi forces are stretched out over hundreds of miles, far from their supply lines, and are vulnerable to aerial bombardment because they are exposed in the desert....

    •  Thanks for the link (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Lawrence, ybruti

      I think the Qaddafi troops near Benghazi are in trouble.  If they fight their way into the city, they're in an urban environment with a hostile population (armed) and no supply lines.  If they don't, they're in the open desert.

      I'm special. Everyone is.

      by lilnev on Sat Mar 19, 2011 at 09:38:03 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Poorly armed rebels drove back (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      a column of 12 Gadaffi tanks attacking Benghazi, even capturing one of them.  This was before the French fighters attacked tanks near Benghazi.

      The Battle of Benghazi: City seemed lost to Gaddafi forces but was retaken by rebels

      Read more:

      "Thanks a million!" WI Gov. Scott Walker to "David Koch" (Ian Murphy)

      by rsmpdx on Sat Mar 19, 2011 at 09:54:28 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  24 hours later, still the most illuminating (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      ..comment I have read. thanks so much

      IMHO, it intimates that air attacks can in certain circumstances wage a war of attrition against ground troops, and, it so happens, troops whose vulnerability effects Q and Sons, inc.
      and since they are vulnerable in the desert, it also advances an answer to the Wes Clark view of air strikes limited power, based on Bosnia. No deserts in Bosnia, IIRC.

      Which leads to the simple question, which I will pose elsewhere too, any other tanks attacked?

      "Are you bluish? You don't look bluish," attributed to poet Roger Joseph McGough, for the Beatles' Yellow Submarine (1968).

      by BlueStateRedhead on Sun Mar 20, 2011 at 03:18:15 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  No problem, I have the solution! (5+ / 0-)

    Stephen Decatur

    Expert at dealing with piratical Tripoli types!  

    (Been dead since 1820, that's his only weak point.)

    You have exactly 10 seconds to change that look of disgusting pity into one of enormous respect!

    by Cartoon Peril on Sat Mar 19, 2011 at 04:04:45 PM PDT

  •  Western journalists exist? n/t (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I just upgraded internet speed. Now I can be late to the best diaries, faster.

    by mississippi boatrat on Sat Mar 19, 2011 at 04:55:53 PM PDT

  •  I really don't think they want to take him out. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    It would be a hell of a mess to put that country back together -- and right on Egypts border too.

    Ideology is an excuse to ignore common sense.

    by Bush Bites on Sat Mar 19, 2011 at 05:06:00 PM PDT

  •  we expected Gaddafi to do these things (0+ / 0-)
  •  I've heard this "human shield" thing before... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Libertaria, slatsg

    Gee, I can't remember where.

    Seems like it was awhile back.

    But damn, I've heard the same story before.  I know it'll come to me.  Give me a little while to think on it.

    Solidarity: The GOP inadvertently lit the fire in Madison, and we must now carry the torch, for as long as it takes.

    by Richard Cranium on Sat Mar 19, 2011 at 05:27:14 PM PDT

  •  the 86 raid (0+ / 0-)

    was a bureaucratic turf battle between the USAF and USN.

    The whole thing could have been done by USN.

    George Bush is Living proof of the axiom "Never send a boy to do a man's job" E -2.25 S -4.10

    by nathguy on Sat Mar 19, 2011 at 05:55:07 PM PDT

  •  I'm Just Going to Ask the HARD QUESTION (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    If we have eyes on target and can take him out at the cost of killing the journalists... should it be done?

    No doubt the question alone will enrage some, but by any objective standard it's a valid one. Let's start with the fact that no matter what, people are going to die (and have been dying). Even if the UN does nothing at all people will continue to die. With UN action people are going to die.

    Whether or not people are going to die isn't even a question. The only real unknown, is the cold question of - how many? Would killing him along with is shields save more lives in the end?

    Disclaimer: No trees were harmed in the making of this post, but millions of electrons may have been severely inconvenienced.

    by USArmyParatrooper on Sat Mar 19, 2011 at 06:10:57 PM PDT

    •  The answer is Yes (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      USArmyParatrooper, wishingwell

      In the current circumstances, if we can get him we should not hesitate.  He has made it clear he intends to go out in a bloodbath and take as many people as he can with him.

      This is not a hard and fast rule.  In most hostage situations, you wait the criminal out and try and talk him/her down.  

      But with a maniac who is conducting a killing spree, it is a sad but necessary step to prevent even more deaths.  

      No one ever wants to be placed in the position of making this kind of decision.  But someone has to make the call - and live with it.

      You don't want a situation where Gaddafi is sitting around surrounded by human shields while he gives his orders to liquidate people.

      Remember, this is a guy who has no problems blowing civilian airliners out of the sky and killing 1,200 prison inmates in a day.

      You give in to his little game and pretty soon he will have women and children strapped to the tops of his tanks.

      "Hidden in the idea of radical openness is an allegiance to machines instead of people." - Jaron Lanier

      by FDRDemocrat on Sat Mar 19, 2011 at 06:35:40 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  The answer is no... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      If we have eyes on target and can take him out at the cost of killing the journalists... should it be done?

      My answer is no. We should not take him out. Period. What we should do instead, and I suspect that is the plan, is to weaken his power sourcers. He is but one man. Without his military and the devotees he has no power. Taking out of his air force and the army would 'cause defections. You may use the analogy of 'defanging him,' instead of killing him to describe this approach. Without his fangs, he won't be able to bite anyone. Then it should be left to the people of Libya to bring him to justice.

      We really aren't in this to kill Gaddafi. It would not be beneficial to us if we did. Besides, this is not Iraq and Obama is no George Bush. We want to take away Gaddafi's guns however so that his people can properly deal with him. That's it. Otherwise, he is going to slaughter every last one of them.

      "Corruptio Optima Pessimi" (Corruption of the best is the worst)

      by zenox on Sat Mar 19, 2011 at 08:38:44 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  The rebels were voting with guns (0+ / 0-)

        before this UN thing.

        What makes Gaddafi' worse than the rebels?

        •  Gaddafi drew first blood (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          As much as I hate to quote a Rambo movie.

          Disclaimer: No trees were harmed in the making of this post, but millions of electrons may have been severely inconvenienced.

          by USArmyParatrooper on Sat Mar 19, 2011 at 08:50:49 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  That claim is always made by both sides (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            in every war.

            •  Uhh.... no (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              zenox, Pozzo

              First of all I'm going by news reports, not anything that Gadaffi said (which is 99% nonsensical)

              The Japanese claim we attacked them first?

              Did Saddam claim Kuwait attack Iraq first?

              Did the US claim Saddam attacked us first?

              Shall I go on?

              Disclaimer: No trees were harmed in the making of this post, but millions of electrons may have been severely inconvenienced.

              by USArmyParatrooper on Sat Mar 19, 2011 at 11:13:48 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  Today's wars are different in the sense... (0+ / 0-)

              ...that we get fresh info via internet. There are videos and live streaming to show the world who started the fire first.

              In this case, Gadhafi did. Not just by saying but by proof.

              "Corruptio Optima Pessimi" (Corruption of the best is the worst)

              by zenox on Sun Mar 20, 2011 at 12:44:46 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

        •  That's hogwash. (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          USArmyParatrooper, zenox, Pozzo

          The "rebels" were unarmed Libyan civilians that were demonstrating, just like in Tunisia and Egypt.  Then Gaddafi's mercenaries started mowing them down.  At that point they started using any weapon that they could get their hands on to defend themselves.

          "The perfect is the enemy of the good." - Voltaire

          by Lawrence on Sat Mar 19, 2011 at 10:46:03 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  They look like guns to me. (0+ / 0-)

            •  You really need to inform yourself. (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Sky Net, zenox, Pozzo

              Because the stuff you are posting is incredibly insulting both to Libyans and to those of us who have friends and acquaintances from and in Libya.

              Even insinuating that the anti-regime forces are in the remotest similar to a brutal dictator of over 40 years is gutter dreck.

              Here's a timeling of events in Libya, since you don't seem to be aware of it:

                 17 February: Libyan protesters start demonstrating. Security forces respond with snipers and live fire.

                  18 February: 35 protesters are reportedly shot by Libyan security forces and taken to hospital after attempting to march on one of leader Colonel Muammar Gaddafi's homes.

                  22 February: Gaddafi vows to fight to his "last drop of blood" and on television calls for his supporters to "fill the streets" and "attack (the protesters) in their lairs".

                  23 February: British government begins its delayed evacuation of Libya. A day later, the EU and Russia condemn governments in north Africa and the Middle East for using force to break up peaceful demonstrations. Gaddafi rolls out his now-familiar tactic of blaming al-Qaida for the uprisings.

                  4 March: Interpol issues an "orange notice" worldwide alert against Gaddafi and 15 associates.

                  15 March: Gaddafi's troops begin bombing the eastern city of Ajdabiya to retake it from Libyan rebels. A day later the UN security council starts debating a no-fly zone. The Arab League, Britain and France back the resolution, tabled by Lebanon, while Russia and Germany express doubts. The UN secretary general, Ban Ki-moon, calls for an immediate unilateral ceasefire in Libya.

                  17 March: The security council approves a no-fly zone and "all necessary measures" to protect civilians in Libya. The resolution is backed by 10 Security Council members, with five abstentions, but crucially there is no veto.

                  18 March: The Gaddafi regime responds to the resolution by announcing an immediate ceasefire and "the stoppage of all military operations" but its forces continue to attack the opposition-held cities of Misrata and Adjadbiya.

                  19 March: Leaders from Europe, the US and Arab League meet in Paris and switfly agree to send in the jets. The French jump the gun, sending in warplanes before the official agreement. Overnight the attacks begin on Gaddafi bases and positions.


              "The perfect is the enemy of the good." - Voltaire

              by Lawrence on Sat Mar 19, 2011 at 11:22:41 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  Yeah. They captured some of the military's (0+ / 0-)

              ...weapon depots. Those belong to Gadafi's millitary. Would you not use them for self defense if you had to?

              "Corruptio Optima Pessimi" (Corruption of the best is the worst)

              by zenox on Sun Mar 20, 2011 at 12:47:35 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

        •  The people we are now calling "rebels" (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          ...started out as "protesters." Gaddafis forces  began shooting them.

          "Corruptio Optima Pessimi" (Corruption of the best is the worst)

          by zenox on Sun Mar 20, 2011 at 12:41:16 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  I think that's a fair point of view. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        I don't know nearly enough about his inner circle or his relationship with his troops (setting aside the mercs he hired) to say for sure.

        But in many cases there's always something to be said for cutting off the snake's head. But if it turns out Gaddafi's troops lack passionate fealty to him, a few hard hits to their ranks might do the job.

        Disclaimer: No trees were harmed in the making of this post, but millions of electrons may have been severely inconvenienced.

        by USArmyParatrooper on Sat Mar 19, 2011 at 08:49:22 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  So instead of killing one... (0+ / 0-)

        ...we wipe out hundreds or thousands of his troops?  That is what I assume is meant by "power sources."  Not sure how that is better.  You can't destroy tanks and planes which are being used without killing the people in them.

        No, best to get him if we can.  The whole house of cards collapses at that point.  You save more lives that way.

        Rule number one in war in never underestimate your enemy.  Gaddafi has already declared civilian targets in the Mediterranean fair game.  He has SAM-5 missiles which can hit a jumbo jet 200 miles away.  The longer this drags on the more time he has to be creative...  

        "Hidden in the idea of radical openness is an allegiance to machines instead of people." - Jaron Lanier

        by FDRDemocrat on Sat Mar 19, 2011 at 10:31:08 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Wow! (0+ / 0-)

          So you  think it is a bad thing to shoot at a tank or a plane that are bombing and killing civilian population just because there are people in them? What do you thing a bomber plane or a tank is? An ice cream truck? They are machines made to be "killing" people. And the ones who sit in them are trained to kill. That's what they do.

          So it is a bad thing to stop a killing machine? I hope you never have to defend yourself from one of those. I wonder if you would just sit there and let them kill you just because killing the people in them is a bad thing...

          Weird stuff...

          "Corruptio Optima Pessimi" (Corruption of the best is the worst)

          by zenox on Sun Mar 20, 2011 at 12:56:44 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  My answer to that would be a no. (0+ / 0-)

      I think the Libyans need to do that part themselves.

      And once Gaddafi's heavy armour has gotten flattened by the air strikes, I'm confident that the Libyans will be able to take care of that part themselves.

      "The perfect is the enemy of the good." - Voltaire

      by Lawrence on Sat Mar 19, 2011 at 10:43:24 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Where's (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Picot verde

    our cracker jack CIA? (Spying on Americans no doubt)

    Michael Holder said their budget has doubled since 911.

  •  Tipped and Reccomended (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    We are not acting here to be punitive.  Ghadaffi's own people want him gone.  They want democratic self-governance.  And he has responded by slaughtering his own people.  Those who have responded by fighting back are doing so bravely but they are outgunned.  With the threat of his own citizens being massacred, we are responding with an international police action.  We are not going alone and shouldn't.  

    I'm not surprised by his use of journalists as foreign shields.  

    R.I.P. Warren Christopher (1925-2011), statesman, diplomat, reformer, and friend.

    by SoCalLiberal on Sat Mar 19, 2011 at 09:06:10 PM PDT

  •  This is all BS (0+ / 0-)

    If Bush was still Prez, people on this forum, and other supposed progressive forums would be screaming bloody murderer at the elite piece of crap. Now everyone thinks it's all just hunky dory cuz it's Obomber doing the wars. Did I spell that wrong? Apparently not, the way he's killing masses of pretend terrorists, and now bombing Libyans and killing them to bring them freedoms. Ya, love all the fake concern. Gaddafi, Qaddafi or however you want to spell it is pure evil. Oh so evil. Why he is using human shields I tell ya! We know, cuz our intelligence says so, and when oh when have they ever lied to us?? Man, the US is so full of idiots. The blowback is going to be deserved, even though I don't advocate violence.

    •  We know because they are telling us... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Lawrence, Sky Net

      Gaddafi's own news outlets are putting out that human shields are being deployed.

      People need to check their knee-jerk reactions that Obama has morphed into Dubya.   We got dragged kicking and screaming into this.  

      Unlike Dubya, Obama has an Arab League and UN go-ahead.  And he does not intend to commit US ground forces (not that we have any to spare at present).

      And yes, Gaddafi is an evil bastard.  It is shameful so many world powers, including the US until very recently, were kissing his oil-producing backside.  But his track record is that he makes good on his bloodthirsty threats.  Ask the Lockerbie survivor families if you have any doubt...

      "Hidden in the idea of radical openness is an allegiance to machines instead of people." - Jaron Lanier

      by FDRDemocrat on Sat Mar 19, 2011 at 10:35:49 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  It does not matter (0+ / 0-)

        How evil he is. How does killing hundreds, thousands, or more, make any difference?? We pounded the "shock and awe" out of Iraq to show how evil Saddam was. There hasn't been any blowback from that one yet, but there will be. There always is. We pounded the "shock and awe" out of Afghanistan to get Al Qaeda/Taliban/?...There hasn't been blowback from that one yet, but there will be. Both used similar methods of disinformation from "people who knew" etc, and both were outright lies.

  •  Never underestimate a Khadaffi. (0+ / 0-)

    We've tried to get him many times in the past, but he's always gotten away.
    I believe he now has 9 (??) sons + plus 1 daughter.  They've got to be at least as wily as the old man.  

    It might be a trap, he probably has a few billion still hidden away, he might just have the staying power to hang in there a while longer.

  •  Using human shields at many (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    strategic sites, not just against decapitation:

    Jana, the official Libyan news agency, reported pro-Gaddafi volunteers were heading to strategic sites that might be targeted by foreign attacks to act as human shields.

    Read more:

    Of course, most of the human shields are Libyan "volunteers" rather than Western journalists.

    "Thanks a million!" WI Gov. Scott Walker to "David Koch" (Ian Murphy)

    by rsmpdx on Sat Mar 19, 2011 at 09:49:44 PM PDT

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