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As disturbing  the erratic/criminal behavior of Ghadafi and his bloody attempts  to suppress the opposition in Libya have been, it is more disturbing to see that a new full scale war has erupted yesterday. A new war that makes no sense.  The war in Libya was not started for humanitarian reasons.   It is a repetition of the Iraq war, except that this time it is done in a more careful way, under the coverage of the UN.    The notable absence/denial of Germany, Brazil and India to approve that resolution  shows that at least some leaders still think rationally.

Her are some basic facts that support this view:

1. The uprising in the Arab world started with demonstrations in Tunisia, followed by Egypt, Libya, Bahrain, Yemen, Jordan, Qatar and even Saudi Arabia.   In the cases of Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, Bahrain and Yemen many civilians were killed as the regimes attempted to restore order.

2. Only in the case of Libya the opposition was able to get weapons and after the defection of some army units, to create an "army of rebels".  That resulted in the beginning of a bloody civil war.   On the one hand the criminal regime of Gadhafi and tribes that support him in the west part of the country, and on the other hand the rebels in the east.

3.  In the mean time, the regimes in Bahrain and Yemen became extremely violent and indiscriminately killed unarmed civilians.  Just on Friday, the Yemen regime massacred 45 unarmed protesters.   The regime of Bahrain has been as bloody as well.  Not only did they shoot and killed unarmed civilians, they also asked the forces of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to enter their country and help them kill civilians and suppress the opposition.

4.  Now the only country for which there has been a UN resolution is Libya.  No Tunisia, no Bahrain, no Yemen, no UAE, no Saudia Arabia.  Only Libya.  Why?  Simple.  Gadhafi has been an uncontrollable, unfriendly to the west, dictator.   This is in contrast to the regimes of Bahrain, Yemen, Jodran, Oman, UAE and Saudi Arabia, which have been reliable allies.  So reliable, that UAE and Qatar have already agreed to join the multinational force that is now attacking Gadhafi's Libya.  It is likely that Saudi Arabia planes will also join the "multinational force".  

So, what is going on here? UAE and Saudi Arabia help the Bahrain government kill innocent civilians, and at the same time will help the coalition to "liberate Libyan civilians"?  Insanity or hypocrisy? Or both?   That fact alone proves that the new war in Libya has nothing to do with protecting civilians.   No one in the right mind would  invite someone who is actively killing civilians (like UAE and Saudi Arabia do in Bahrain) to help save the lives of civilians from another dictator (Gadhafi).

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The new war in Libya may be driven by the international financial crisis and the need to control international oil markets (and also to create business for war profiteers and companies like Haliburton).  Maybe the conservative leaders of France and England also think that a war like that will "stimulate" their economies.   If that war was driven by humanitarian reasons, one would expect at the very least a basic UN resolution condemning the regimes of Bahrain, Yemen, UAE and Saudi Arabia.   But nothing like that.  Not even a suggestion.  

We are now in 3 wars: Iraq-Afghanistan-Libya. For anyone who would like to think that any of these wars are happening for "humanitarian" reasons, they are entitled to do so.  But if someone checks the facts, reality points to a different direction.   The attack on Libya has many similarities to the war in Iraq.  At that time the Bush administration had argued that  they will liberate the Iraqi people from a well-known tyrant (Saddam Hussein) and will protect the international community from his weapons of mass destruction.    Many (including myself) now believe that the real reasons for that war were to control the oil resources of that country and to establish a strategic presence in the middle east.   However, things did not work well in that war and the oil resources are not under our control (something that Noam Chomsky has been arguing and I think he is right).  The selective targeting of Libya suggests that this new war may be meant to achieve what we failed to do in Iraq.   Control the oil resources of another oil-rich country in the region.  

 

Updated by Blue Wind at Sun Mar 20, 2011 at 08:12 AM PDT

I was just watching Christiane Amanpour's show on ABC and Paul Wolfowitz was arguing how Libya is different than Bahrain and Yemen and how attacking specifically Libya was the right decision.  When one of the ideological architects of the Iraq war defends and advocates for the war in Libya, it is another indication that these wars are similar in goals.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Americans do not belong there (15+ / 0-)

    This is a preemptive strike with lipstick on a pig.

    We need an American first foreign policy. We need to support American interests first, not international corporations.

    It is not in American interest to sacrifice thousands of lives, waste billions more, stretching our defenses, and bombing civilians in a war where we have no national security interest. Even George W Bush - Chimpy, backed off starting another war with Libya. Bush backed off. Libya hasn't attacked us recently.

    If this was about a Human Rights Crusade, are our troops going to Darfur, UAE, Tunisia, Saudi Arabia and other areas with less famous bad guys than Ghadafi?

    The UN in a crock, and so is this decision. I expected this from McCain, not President Obama.

    Support Fair Trade. Buy American! Keep jobs at home. Political Compass Economy -6.62, Social -4.82

    by John Lane on Sun Mar 20, 2011 at 08:19:59 AM PDT

    •  I agree (7+ / 0-)

      We are in 3 full scale wars now.    Not one, not two, but 3.

      •  So agree, Blue Wind (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        geomoo, Edger

        3 full scale wars and then there are the-  not  "full scale" wars.

        Watching the military brass banging the drums for war this morning and feeling the same sickness when I listened to them on the Iraq war. Nothing really changes, does it?

        We are now in 3 wars: Iraq-Afghanistan-Libya.

        For anyone who would like to think that any of these wars are happening for "humanitarian" reasons, they are entitled to do so.  

        But if someone checks the facts, reality points to a different direction.  

        Rhetoric has to be matched with actions. "Only actions don't lie."

        by allenjo on Sun Mar 20, 2011 at 10:27:57 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Last week, CNN had an alarmist program on (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Blue Wind, Edger

          stating that, because of our "severe budget crisis", our ability to provide humanitarian aid may be limited.  I have seen no similar concern over the cost of yet another war.  Not a peep.

          Don't believe everything you think.

          by geomoo on Sun Mar 20, 2011 at 02:08:49 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  At least the Pres (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      collardgreens, rhutcheson, Blue Wind

      could have gone to Congress to get approval.  I know he technically doesnt have to for this kind of action but it would have been the right thing to do given the current situation.

      "The President does not have power under the Constitution to unilaterally authorize a military attack in a situation that does not involve stopping an actual or imminent threat to the nation," - Barack Obama.

      by Puffin on Sun Mar 20, 2011 at 09:17:47 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  US foreign policy has been consistent (3+ / 0-)

      in backing corporations. Here's a photo from an anti-war protest yesterday in St Paul, MN

      AA Corporate America Sucks

      Be ashamed to die until you have won some victory for humanity. Horace Mann (and btw, the bike in kayakbiker is a bicycle)

      by Kayakbiker on Sun Mar 20, 2011 at 09:21:18 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  but that's exactly (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      John Lane, Edger

      what we do  have

      We need an American first foreign policy. We need to support American interests first, not international corporations.

      American interests are corporate interests.

      Oh, wait. You're talking about We, The People . . .

      Things are not what they seem to be; nor are they otherwise. -- The Lankavatara Sutra

      by Mnemosyne on Sun Mar 20, 2011 at 10:31:07 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  from watching the news here (in France)... (10+ / 0-)

    I felt that this (below) was when the line into military action was crossed:

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/...

    When Gaddafi threatened "all air and maritime traffic in the Mediterranean Sea" as targets, suddenly there was a dramatic shift.

    I don't think people necessarily buy the humanitarian reasons or the support for the rebels, but threats like those above make it impossible to have Gaddafi stay in power.

    In a way, it's the same mistake Saddam made, when he hinted he might have WMDs after all and played into his enemy's hands, whereas in actuality he was rather harmless.

    Gaddafi's threats to shoot civilian airplanes or ships in the Mediterranean Sea basically insured his removal.

    OVER HERE: AN AMERICAN EXPAT IN THE SOUTH OF FRANCE, is now available on Amazon US

    by Lupin on Sun Mar 20, 2011 at 08:38:11 AM PDT

    •  How about the monstruous dictators of Yemen and (5+ / 0-)

      Bahrain.  They killed massively unarmed protesters.   Why are n't they also being removed?

    •  Since you bring up the foreign press... (7+ / 0-)

      I realise that this action is being portrayed in the American press as the US taking a back seat to the rest of the world on this.

      However here in London its the other way around.  Yesterday's "Guardian" headline something like "Obama enforces No Fly Zone in Libya"

      "The President does not have power under the Constitution to unilaterally authorize a military attack in a situation that does not involve stopping an actual or imminent threat to the nation," - Barack Obama.

      by Puffin on Sun Mar 20, 2011 at 09:21:52 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  The BBC is pushing a cooperative analysis (5+ / 0-)

        of the war, but noting that the US has the largest military and hence that is why it is leading the charge. But given how much Cameron was beating the drums of war to argue that  this suddenly became an american lead mission is a bit strange. The US/US/France are all in this together and the US has the largest military and is leading the charge.

        History always repeats itself, the first time as tragedy, and the second time as farce. Karl Marx, The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte .

        by NY brit expat on Sun Mar 20, 2011 at 09:50:02 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  The attack was commanded by a a US Admiral (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Blue Wind, Puffin, geomoo, Edger

        but the Pentagon says, the US will be handing over control to the allies, uh, didn't say when.

        There is no mistake, this was an American enterprise, initiated by the USA.

        This above all: to thine own self be true...-WS

        by Agathena on Sun Mar 20, 2011 at 09:57:01 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Here's another view of the immediate cause (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Edger

      source

      Ghanem said the North African country had no intention of breaking commitments with foreign companies and called on them to send their employees back to resume work. Libya may otherwise award new oil and gas concessions directly to companies in countries such as China, India and Brazil in order to raise production, which “could reach a halt,” he said.

      Within hours of Ghanem’s remarks, war planes and naval vessels from the U.S., Canada, France, the U.K. and Italy began bombing Libyan air defenses and other military targets to enforce a United Nations-authorized no-fly zone.

      Don't believe everything you think.

      by geomoo on Sun Mar 20, 2011 at 02:12:00 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I don't understand why so many (11+ / 0-)

    here seem so gung-ho about this Libya assault by the "allies." There seems to always be compelling reasons for us to start bombing other countries. Yes, Ghaddaffi is a monster, no doubt, but the world is full of them. Our military should be used for peace-keeping and home defense, in case we, this country, is attacked. So here we go again. And the argument that this will be a quick strike without use of ground troops...well, let's wait and see.

  •  there are no humanitarian interventions... (9+ / 0-)

    in which "national interests" are not part of the mix of issues driving events. None. Even in the face of a ongoing genocide, the worst crime we know of, only a tiny minority will advocate for military intervention on humanitarian grounds.

    The question is, if the politics of intervention are unavoidable, does this invalidate the irreducible human and societal right of individuals and nations to intervene to prevent/alleviate atrocity? Just because the motives are not pure?

    On the other and, you've a point. Is any gunman kind?

    "The cure for bullshit is fieldwork."
    Robert H. Bates, Eaton Professor of the Science of Government, Harvard University.

    by papicek on Sun Mar 20, 2011 at 08:52:19 AM PDT

  •  Good questions you've raised (7+ / 0-)

    The entire body of Congress wasn't consulted about this new war either.

    I work with B2B PAC, and all views and opinions in this account are my own.

    by slinkerwink on Sun Mar 20, 2011 at 08:52:33 AM PDT

  •  plus de guerre (9+ / 0-)

    "No more war" from an anti-war protest in St Paul Minnesota yesterday

    AA no more war French

    Be ashamed to die until you have won some victory for humanity. Horace Mann (and btw, the bike in kayakbiker is a bicycle)

    by Kayakbiker on Sun Mar 20, 2011 at 09:00:28 AM PDT

  •  Saw a bumper sticker the other day: (7+ / 0-)

    IM ALREADY AGAINST THE NEXT WAR. Of course, there's always a "next war." Now it's Libya.

  •  Good diary... (8+ / 0-)

    ..what gets me is scores of Kossacks seem to believe this military movement against Libya is framed in pure moral reckoning instead of typical, cynical political motive.

    The same president who is torturing Bradley Manning in order to teach Julian Assange a lesson is not bombing Libya because it's good politics; he's doing it because his moral outrage demands the demise of Ghadafi's regime?  Right.

    I remember how us lefties were always making fun of the keyboard wingnuts who possessed loads of military acumen, yet inexplicably refused to go to Afghanistan or Iraq & fight in Bush's divine quest to rid the planet of terrorists.

    Well, I am saying to all you lefties who think this Libya thing is right down your militaristic wheelhouse:

    Unless you live 50 miles out in the country, in America, there is an  army/navy  recruiting facility within driving distance of your home.

    Put you patriotism where you keyboard is & go join whatever branch of the military you think best offers you the chance to assist Obama in this endeavor.

    When Fascism comes to America it will be wrapped in excess body fat and carrying a misspelled sign.

    by wyvern on Sun Mar 20, 2011 at 09:14:44 AM PDT

    •  pure moral reckoning and "typical.......... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ElizabethRegina1558, worldlotus

      cynical political motive" is kind of a false dichotomy.

      There is no doubt bits of both going on. Sometimes interests and perceptions of "the right thing" coincide. Sometimes they clash, sometimes its more mixed.  It is why most nations foreign policies are hardly what one would always call "consistent".

      The context is different, the situations are different, the repercussions for us are different in each situation and country...do you really think countries only act purely from interests or purely from morality?

      As for the chickenhawk thing: I never liked that form of argument in the past, and I still don't today.  I mean logically that leads to a nation where only soldiers and ex-soldiers can opine on issues of war and peace, and where by extension, the only people who can hold office are military or ex-military.  Consistency demands it.

      Help restore democracy to California today: http://www.CAMajorityRule.com

      by oyka1 on Sun Mar 20, 2011 at 10:00:05 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Consistency only demands (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        geomoo, wyvern

        that people who advocate fighting wars of choice (which this is) be willing to fight them. Nothing more. If you dislike the "chickenhawk thing" it's because you want to be able to politically decide that others should die in unnecessary wars you think are a good idea, but aren't willing to risk your life for.

        This is no different than any of the other situations where we socialize risks and losses and privatize profits -whether from defense spending or oil.

        Consistency, on the other hand, would demand that if we are to serve as the world's policemen and war is a good solution, we should be actively fighting wars in Bahrain, Yemen, Burma and North Korea, and if we're really fighting for human rights, we should be in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Iran, and most of Africa as well.

        We choose to go to the Moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard. - John F Kennedy

        by badger on Sun Mar 20, 2011 at 12:00:48 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  yes I do (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          ElizabethRegina1558, Anne Elk

          Because I think I have a right to have those opinions.  I'm no soldier and I think most interventions are bad ideas, with some exception. But when I think something may be the right policy, I don't feel the need to go to the recruiting station and join the Army simply because only then will my opinion be valid.

          That's just idiotic.  

          As for consistency in foreign policy...consistency as you demand would really be dangerous for the world! Lord have mercy. Just imagine the choices.

          Either we never do anything anywhere, or we fracking bomb all the worlds despots into submission and plunge the world into World War III!

          Lets leave this black and white simplistic and unnuanced mentality to world affairs behind.

          Are you really asking for complete consistency regardless of context of the situation and of the actors?  

          That can't be. That would be madness.

          Help restore democracy to California today: http://www.CAMajorityRule.com

          by oyka1 on Sun Mar 20, 2011 at 12:22:46 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Change of heart? (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            geomoo, wyvern
            Consistency demands it.

            That was your statement, not mine. Apparently consistency doesn't appeal to you in your most recent post. Maybe you should decide how you feel about consistency and then be a little more - um - consistent?

            I didn't say I thought we should be consistent, only what a consistent policy would look like. I don't believe in wars of choice, I don't believe in military action on three fronts when we can't afford the two nearly-10-year wars we're still fighting, and I largely don't believe in militarily meddling in the internal affairs or civil wars of other countries. And I don't believe Ghaddaffi was our buddy last week and is our enemy this week, same as we did with Sadaam and even Osama to an extent.

            I do believe we should drop any pretense that this war has any motivation beyond oil and colonialism. Muamar was just as insane and oppressive last week or last year as he is today, and whatever our policy, we should have dealt with that a little more consistently all along.

            We choose to go to the Moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard. - John F Kennedy

            by badger on Sun Mar 20, 2011 at 01:27:35 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I thought the context would make (0+ / 0-)

              clear that consistently was used sarcastically but words don't translate how you say them in your head.  

              And I actually don't believe in foreign policy consistency btw. It would be nice if you could but nations need flexibilty to act differently if mitigating circumstances demand it.  Kind of like how while "crazy" (I'm not sure how crazy he is) before, he wasn't doing what he's doing to protesters (who turned to rebels) until recently.  Not that he hasn't done bad things, just that circumstances and the context is different now, so why should we act as if being his friend should be the same reaction...just to be consistent?

              And war and colonialism as the only pretense is much too simplistic and cynical, so we will disagree on this aspect. There will be no convincing one another here so why bother fighting on it.

              Help restore democracy to California today: http://www.CAMajorityRule.com

              by oyka1 on Sun Mar 20, 2011 at 02:13:43 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  One thing that seems quite consistent (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                wyvern

                is that the U.S. is always arming people and in many cases is fighting those same people a decade later.  Our good friends the Taliban are now our sworn enemies.

                If U.S. decisions in these areas had a history of being a mixed bag of supporting democracy and protecting national interests, then I would applaud your sensibility.  You describe the kind of thinking that would be workable; you do not describe the kind of thinking underlying U.S. foreign policy, which has been consistently anti-democratic for several decades now.  In Iraq after the invasion, when Iraqis began spontaneously holding neighborhood elections, thrilled to have the right to vote, local military commanders were told to put an end to such behavior at once.  There would be no spontaneous arising of democracy in Iraq, just as the U.S. will not support democracy in Libya.  There is nothing in recent U.S. history to suggest that our foreign policy is a complex mix of idealism and self-interest.

                One can only grieve what might have been had the U.S. been supporting the longed-for modernization and democracy in the ME.  What we have done instead, since at least the 1952 coup in Iran, is exploit regions through the use of strongmen backed by police force.  If we had been wise, however, we would have recognized that our self-interests would have best been served by supporting the development of democracy in the ME.  Now the last thing people want in the region is to emulate the West.

                Don't believe everything you think.

                by geomoo on Sun Mar 20, 2011 at 02:29:48 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  I actually agree with you (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  geomoo

                  interests, as much as what is right/wrong, are often just as subjective.  And how those interests have been pursued has often been counterproductive in the long term.

                  But ideas (good and bad), just like material interests, also guide policy makers.  I also agree that our interests are better served now, and would have been better served in the past if we were more true to our domestic values and had less misguided and short-sighted views of what our interests were.  

                  Yet I think that since the end of the Cold War - more so than in the past when the realist school of international relations was really the ONLY school of thought seen as legitimate - our values are taking more weight in the balance between values/ideas and interests.  I still think interests may have a bigger advantage but it is definitely not as it used to be.  

                  Help restore democracy to California today: http://www.CAMajorityRule.com

                  by oyka1 on Sun Mar 20, 2011 at 04:45:55 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

  •  The slaughter of the Yemen protesters (6+ / 0-)

    has hardly even been mentioned here or in the media...like it never happened. They were shot down, even children, their escape route cut off with burning tires. Where's the outrage about this event?

  •  that's some shallow analysis (4+ / 0-)

    This in particular left a bad taste:

    I was just watching Christiane Amanpour's show on ABC and Paul Wolfowitz was arguing how Libya is different than Bahrain and Yemen and how attacking specifically Libya was the right decision.  When one of the ideological architects of the Iraq war defends and advocates for the war in Libya, it is another indication that these wars are similar in goals.

    Really? That's just shallow analysis in my view.  

    The attack on Libya has many similarities to the war in Iraq...Many (including myself) now believe that the real reasons for that war were to control the oil resources of that country and to establish a strategic presence in the middle east....

    We are all so eager to compare every war to Iraq, it is so strange.  Lack of ground troops, a UN mandate prior to action. Yeah, much different.  I'm more on board with Daniel Serwer of the Atlantic on this.

    The Strikes on Libya: Humanitarian Intervention, Not Imperial Aggression

    The intervention is to protect civilians, although at this point I think they see eventually getting rid of Gaddhafi and protecting civilians as one and the same.  The only way for that perception to end is if Gaddhafi actually called back all his forces and withdrew from rebel areas.  

    But to the wider question of whether interests are at play here?

    Simple answer: Most likely, yes.

    It's no coincidence that the country that houses one of our fleets is only getting lectured for reform. Just as it is no coincidence that China only gets words to stop treating some of citizens like crap (and even then sometimes we don't say anything).

    Bahrain houses a fleet; China is a powerful country with a powerful military, nukes, and deep economic relations with us. Interests always mingles together with a sense among policy makers of "the right thing."  The mingling and constraints/incentives that interests add to "the right thing" most likely explains why most countries foreign policies are never consistent; why sometimes we act, and in others we don't (or we act differently).

    A sad thing, but are we really surprised that "doing the right thing" (or what they perceive is the right thing) is easier/harder to do depending on how much our action/inaction will effect us in some way?

    So the international community is not always consistent in its intervention...does that mean it should not intervene were it summons the will to do so?  Unless the motive is pure altruism, should humanitarian intervention be an option?

    Of course, you mention oil flows (which is important), although I would argue that if keeping the oil flowing was really the most important aspect for the international community, they would have allowed Gaddhafi to crush the rebels and more or less have stayed out of even talking about his violent suppression of protests.  I mean, say what you will about him but he has been keeping the oil flowing.

    Help restore democracy to California today: http://www.CAMajorityRule.com

    by oyka1 on Sun Mar 20, 2011 at 09:16:44 AM PDT

  •  Sanity, at long last, comes to DailyKos (13+ / 0-)

    Thank you, Blue Wind.

    Others here are suffering from PRDD. Pattern Recognition Deficit Disorder, and willful ignorance, and simplistic thinking.  As if there is no open space between doing nothing and Tomahawk missiles.

    The French are very enthusiastic this time around too.  Curious, that.  I wonder why.  No, it couldn't be that their oil contracts are threatened, could it?  In Iraq, their oil contracts with Saddam were threatened and they opposed the invasion.  This time, their oil contracts are threatened if Gaddafi stays in power, and they are for the attacks.  Oh, how curious, that.

    •  This is Day 2 of undeclared war (5+ / 0-)

      on Libya. Those that keep contending there will be no ground troops are probably going to be surprised. Day 2, folks. I pray they are right and this action will be short and confined to air strikes.

        •  It seems very premature to (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          joanneleon

          be assuring everyone there will be no ground troops needed against Ghadaffi. It's only Day 2, and wars seem to go on and on. Maybe this will be another Granada. We can only hope. But I think it's naive to believe we won't go in...

          •  the resolution did not support regime change (5+ / 0-)

            yet here we are hearing how many people advocate such. There is no way that this will happen w/o a full scale invasion. Even american military leaders recognise that a stalemate is the obvious solution w/o this invasion proper; all the resolution said was that no occupation was possible ... how long does an invasion have to last before it is called an occupation? hmm

            History always repeats itself, the first time as tragedy, and the second time as farce. Karl Marx, The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte .

            by NY brit expat on Sun Mar 20, 2011 at 10:03:51 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  It's impossible to imagine this being a problem (4+ / 0-)

            It's obvious that we should go there.

            CIA Director George Tenet, Dec. 21, 2002

            It's a slam-dunk case!

            It will definitely be short.

            Donald H. Rumsfeld, U.S. Secretary of Defense, 2/7/03

            It is unknowable how long that conflict will last. It could be six days, six weeks. I doubt six months.

            Probably no American will be injured.

            President Bush, discussing the Iraq war with Christian broadcaster Pat Robertson

            Oh, no, we're not going to have any casualties.

            We can only hope we are not too successful too quickly.

            President Bush, Aug. 2004

            Had we to do it over again, we would look at the consequences of catastrophic success, being so successful so fast that an enemy that should have surrendered or been done in escaped and lived to fight another day.

            Of course, the U.S. action will be surgical, relying on our best intelligence.

            Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, March 30, 2003, discussing WMD's in Iraq

            We know where they are. They're in the area around Tikrit and Baghdad and east, west, south and north somewhat.

            Naturally, the burden of proof is on those of us who think this is about oil, not humanitarian intervention.

            White House Press Secretary Ari Fleischer, July 9, 2003

            I think the burden is on those people who think he didn't have weapons of mass destruction to tell the world where they are.

            I expect nothing less than complete success.  There will probably be a democratic government in Libya by Easter.

            President Bush, May 29, 2003

            We found the weapons of mass destruction.

            And consolidation will be simple.

            Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz, Feb. 27, 2003

            It's hard to conceive that it would take more forces to provide stability in post-Saddam Iraq than it would take to conduct the war itself and to secure the surrender of Saddam’s security forces and his army. Hard to imagine.

            Of course, now that Obama is President, everything is completely different.

            Don't believe everything you think.

            by geomoo on Sun Mar 20, 2011 at 02:59:05 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  if their oil contracts were threatened (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      worldlotus

      perhaps they would have been better served to shut their mouth and not criticize Gaddhafi as he cracked down on his protesters, and also say and do nothing as he crushed the rebellion.

      In fact, perhaps the international community should have shut up and done nothing if it was really just as simple as keeping the oil flowing? After all, he did keep the oil flowing.

      It makes little sense to say oil effected this, while neglecting to also mention that if this was really the biggest thing, the international community would have shut its mouth and kept its nose out of Libya's affairs.

      I'm not arguing that interests were not involved, just that it is more complex than is being painted.

      Help restore democracy to California today: http://www.CAMajorityRule.com

      by oyka1 on Sun Mar 20, 2011 at 09:40:22 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  US based oil company contracts only (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        joanneleon, Blue Wind

        amount to 9% of natural gas and oil from Libya. The vast majority goes to ENI of Italy and oil is owned by the government. To not understand that they do not want to be dependent upon the Libyan government and Ghaddafi and that they do not want to get all contracts renegotiated is similar to sticking your head in the sand.

        History always repeats itself, the first time as tragedy, and the second time as farce. Karl Marx, The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte .

        by NY brit expat on Sun Mar 20, 2011 at 10:05:54 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  why not? perhaps I'm not understanding your point (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          ElizabethRegina1558

          The oil is flowing for the Europeans, and instability will likely mess with the flow if it goes on too long (by prolonging the viability of rebels), in addition intervening risks the wrath of Gaddafi (he'll suspend contracts with those who oppose his policies).  I mean we deal with the Saudi's and Venezuela no matter how distasteful we find them.  

          I'm not arguing that this is some purely altruistic endeavor by any means. I'm just saying there is more to it than just oil.  There is other selfish reason too (the refugees, the threats to Mediterranean security and commerce he promised), although I'm also not so cynical as to believe "doing right" might not also weigh in. I'm sure it does as well.  Things are just more complex than it is being painted in most quarters here.

          Help restore democracy to California today: http://www.CAMajorityRule.com

          by oyka1 on Sun Mar 20, 2011 at 10:38:32 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Hate to tell you, but we do not do humanitarian (4+ / 0-)

            missions; whenever we intervene it is due to economic or geopolitical interests only. So, you may think that it is humanitarian and that is what they are telling you, but if that is the case, why are we not intervening in other countries where the government is killing or has killed civilian protesters?

            The resolution passed by the UN prevented the military bases being set up by an occupying power (which was an objective), but clearly our interests are both economic (forced privatisation of Libya's oil and natural gas, renegotiation of contracts for these resources) and political (getting Ghaddafi out of power has been a long-term objective; so even if regime change has not been endorsed by the UN resolution, that is what they are going for; in fact, that is why Libyans supporting Ghaddafi have surrounded the presidential palace to die with him).

            History always repeats itself, the first time as tragedy, and the second time as farce. Karl Marx, The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte .

            by NY brit expat on Sun Mar 20, 2011 at 10:51:29 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  "clearly" they are (0+ / 0-)

              I'm not disagreeing with you that interests of various kinds are at stake although the privitization oil part seems kind of like a stretch. The rest (we would rather not have Gaddhafi) is probably a big reason why it was so "easy" to get the political will to actually do the right thing (doing good coinciding with what is in our interest is sometimes rare).

              Regime change is entirely up to Gaddhafi though: If he persists in his attacks out east than he is basically giving the coalition the justification to rightly claim that getting rid of him, and destroying his military hardware is part and parcel of "defending civilians" from slaughter.  If he pulls back and negotiates with rebels for powersharing and for political reforms, than those two are divorced. He can't claim a ceasefire while attacking at the same time.

              My question is: is the only justified humanitarian intervention that in which the intervenor(s) have no interest in?  What if the intervenors have something to gain (oil flow continues, refugees crisis and refugees will not become a regional problem, think of anything here....etc) but a good outcome results nonetheless? What if a slaughter is stopped before it can start? Is it therefore unjustified to contemplate because the motives were not purely altruistic?

              People don't do things purely out of self-interest or out of altruism in many cases, neither do nations. And at the end of the day, policymakers are still people.

              Which one is the bigger evil?; intervening when interests may play a factor in addition to what is right?; or allowing a slaughter to happen when you had the means to stop it and when you had the material and political incentive and will to actually stop it?

              Every situation is different and every situation has a different calculation

              Help restore democracy to California today: http://www.CAMajorityRule.com

              by oyka1 on Sun Mar 20, 2011 at 12:07:01 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

    •  Did you mean (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Pris from LA

      In Iraq, their contracts were not threatened?

      Saddam did threaten to start dealing oil in euros instead of US dollars. That was his WMD.

      This above all: to thine own self be true...-WS

      by Agathena on Sun Mar 20, 2011 at 10:01:20 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Lots of critics but few realistic alternatives (16+ / 0-)

    I understand the comparisons made between Bahrain and Yemen, on the one hand, and Libya on the other.  But there are some distinctions that are left out here:

    - Gaddafi's regime has a long history of intervening in surrounding countries, exporting arms to various rebels (including people like Charles Taylor in his blood diamond wars), and committing acts of terrorism like Lockerbie and the Berlin nightclub; the current governments of Yemen and Bahrain, whatever their flaws and crimes, are involved in internal conflicts not invading others; Gadaffi has threatened to start downing civilian planes and committing outright terror actions and he has a record of delivering on his threats

    - there is a refugee crisis of monumental proportions developing here due to Gaddafi's choice of suppressing protestors; this gives surrounding Mediterranean nations a real stake in what happens since the hundreds of thousands fleeing are on their soil, not Libya's

    - the diarist is incorrect in portraying the Libyan rebels as having seized arms and started the war with Gaddafi: but the Libyan protests started peacefully like all the others and only became violent as Gaddafi forces used violence far beyond reason; you then had mass defections from Libyan police and military units in disgust at his actions; if he had not acted with violence, it is very likely Gaddafi would have been overthrown by peaceful People Power

    - the US is acting in accordance with Arab League and UN requests; we are not sending ground troops and we intend, it seems, to let the British/French and others take the lead; again, remember that Libya is basically a close neighbor of the EU nations, unlike Yemen or Bahrain

    - Yes, there is a valid point to make on Saudi intervention in Bahrain, especially if it turns into another civil war; but we then, as in Libya, need to let the Arab League take the lead in deciding what they want as a response; that is the key point - the US is avoiding dictating the response and wants to have political cover for anything we do; your comments and concerns over Bahrain should first be directed to the UN and Arab League, not laid at the doorstep of Obama; that does not mean we should not criticize and try to contain the behavior of governments like Yemen and Bahrain who assault their citizens - but every response needs to be dealt with as its own situation

    - it is not as if the US is applauding the Saudi, Yemen or Bahraini actions; we are in fact continuing to urge peaceful outcomes across the region

    Bear in mind, IF the Arab League and UN had not supported the Libyan intervention, we would not be there, nor would the French or British.  Bear in mind as well that Arab publics, so far, seem to be distinguishing between Gaddafi as a special case and these other countries

    Many critics of Obama act as if imposing a rigid consistency across each and every country would somehow result in a more moral and effective US policy.  That ignores the complexity of the politics and distinctions between the situations - distinctions that are not being made by the US but by the people of the region themselves.

    Finally, none of the critics so far have proposed a workable alternative scheme that would not result in more massacres in Libya.  These are not black/white situations.  Someone has to make the tough calls and so far Obama seems to be doing the wise thing.

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

    by FDRDemocrat on Sun Mar 20, 2011 at 09:22:17 AM PDT

    •  excellent comment (nt) (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Kimberley, worldlotus
    •  I see your points BUT (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      collardgreens

      you still choose to ignore some major facts.  The Yemen regime killed 45 people on Friday by indiscriminately shooting at unarmed civilians.  So did the Bahrain regime.  He is a very simple question:  Why did n't the Obama administration (or the conservative governments of England and France) ask for a simple UN resolution condemning that behavior?  Why not?  I am not talking about military intervention in Yemen or Bahrain, I am talking about a simple resolution/condemnation by the UN.   Not even that.

      Here is a hint.   The moment we have in our coalition horrendous regimes like the UAE or Saudi Arabia, we can not condemn their actions.  The UAE forces participated in the killing of civilians in Bahrain.    They are also participating in the international coalition that is supposed to "protect Libyan civilians".   Can you rationally accept or explain that?

      •  I'm so glad you wrote this diary, (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Blue Wind, badger

        blue wind. Yesterday I felt like I was in the Twilight Zone while reading the gung-ho bomb bomb bomb Libya diaries. This is a civil war. Egypt didn't need our help. Any victory by the Libyan rebels now will be spurious.

        •  Thank you (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          badger, collardgreens

          I also felt like was in the twilight zone yesterday here reading hawkish diaries from people who should know better.  Who should have learned from the past.  

        •  I'm glad you can now decree (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Escamillo, ElizabethRegina1558

          any possible victory spurious. Egypt didn't need help, but you left out the context:

          1) successful and massive protests
          2) an army who was neutral and refused to quell protests
          3) A president who chose to resign as opposed to stay on and fight it out

          And no, I would NOT have supported an intervention in Egypt if the army had supported Mubarak.  Fighting Egypt and fighting Libya are much different things and would have much different repercussions.  And I am more sympathetic and optimistic about the Egyptian opposition than I am about the more sketchy Libyan rebel groups!

          Help restore democracy to California today: http://www.CAMajorityRule.com

          by oyka1 on Sun Mar 20, 2011 at 11:10:53 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  I would not compare the UAE with Gaddafi (7+ / 0-)

        And I would also reprise the fact that we attacking Gaddafi right now because of an Arab League resolution that led to a UN resolution.  The Arab League - not the US - went to the UN.  The British and French dragged Obama along after that.

        If you want action on Bahrain and other places, the place to start is at the Arab League, then the UN.  That is how things started with Libya - they did not start with Obama proposing a resolution.

        IF the Arab League chooses to act on Bahrain as they did with Libya, and then the UN backs them up, certainly all UN member states can consider what they would do next.  This would not necessarily require any US involvement.  Look at Russia and China - they abstained on the Libya resolution and are staying out.  If the Arab League and UN want to act to declare a no-fly zone over Bahrain, nothing is stopping any of the member states from proposing a resolution.

        People were critical of W when he did things unilaterally.  Now Obama does the opposite, and he is still getting flack?  

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

        by FDRDemocrat on Sun Mar 20, 2011 at 10:25:01 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  The Arab league today changed their mind (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          badger

          after they realized that we are in an all out attack, instead of just enforcing a no fly zone.  Check the breaking news.

          •  No, they didn't. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            worldlotus

            They spoke out against the killing of civilians.

            Which is completely legitimate, even though they and everyone else understands that, even though modern weapons have reduced civilian deaths in Great Power wars to the lowest level in history, civilians are going to be killed.

            There's no problem in pointing out that this shouldn't happen, even though it's certain that it will happen.

            That's not the same thing as saying that force should not be used. And, in fact, the Arab League did not say that.

            --Shannon

            "It is better to die on your feet than to live on your knees." -- Emiliano Zapata Salazar
            "Dissent is patriotic. Blind obedience is treason." --me

            by Leftie Gunner on Sun Mar 20, 2011 at 12:35:15 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Huh? (0+ / 0-)

              try again.  I thought the idea of getting there was to save civilians lives.  

              •  Amr Moussa causing confusion (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                worldlotus

                After his statement, the Arab League Chief of Staff reiterated that no change had occurred in the position they had taken.

                Bear in mind Amr Moussa, who is saying this, is currently a leading candidate for next Prez of Egypt.  As a former member of the Mubarak Regime, he is likely trying to convince the Egyptian voters of his Arab Nationalist credentials and make them forget he was part of the old guard.  Interestingly, Moussa was mentioned back then as "America's Plan B" if Mubarak were overthrown.

                I would add it also is important to watch what individual Arab League member states say.  So far, they are remaining pretty quiet.

                I would not call this an unraveling of the coalition just yet.  Also, Obama doesn't plan for us to be involved much longer.  In a few days, this is likely to morph into a French/UK/Arab operation.  They won't need to do much more - the rebels will get Gaddafi after that.

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

                by FDRDemocrat on Sun Mar 20, 2011 at 04:48:04 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

        •  W would have been wrong if it was UN (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          badger

          Whether it is a unilateral decision or not to me at least doesn't make it legitimate or not. What makes it legitimate is whether there was a valid American security interest.

          Iraq didn't cause 9/11. Libya hasn't attacked us in years, and even Chimpy Bush of all people backed off and used diplomacy to deal with them.

          Obama should have said that we're staying home because we have too many problems here and already involved in two wars.

          Support Fair Trade. Buy American! Keep jobs at home. Political Compass Economy -6.62, Social -4.82

          by John Lane on Sun Mar 20, 2011 at 11:43:21 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  We'll check back in November 2012 (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      collardgreens, badger

      If a new pro-Western government in Libya starts selling us oil cheap and gas goes to $1 a gallon; then, gee, wow; this war will be legal and moral all of a sudden.

      •  Checkback in 10 years (0+ / 0-)

        and see if the war in Libya is still going on, like the war in Afghanistan or the occupation of Iraq.

        I don't miss Powell, but I miss the Powell doctrine. None of these wars have defined goals or exit strategies.

        We choose to go to the Moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard. - John F Kennedy

        by badger on Sun Mar 20, 2011 at 12:14:03 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Ah! The ubiquitous oil prism (0+ / 0-)

        never fails to make an entrance. This really has nothing whatsoever to do with oil. It really requires an understanding of the oil market, clearly not a strong point here.

    •  good points (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Kimberley

      I think the others involved are looking at this as a regional problem. The Med is still very important to both France and Britain -- and to the Arab League, I imagine -- and Libya's record of mudding-up the waters, both literally and figuratively, has been troubling for a long time.

      Things are not what they seem to be; nor are they otherwise. -- The Lankavatara Sutra

      by Mnemosyne on Sun Mar 20, 2011 at 10:37:07 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Agreed on all points but one (0+ / 0-)

      I don't think it's necessarily fair to require an alternative from those that oppose this intervention abroad. It is abroad, after all, and refusing to intervene can also be a valid choice because of that.

      I am, once again, in the slim minority in supporting this intervention. And if the leaders of Bahrain and Yemen start talking about "cleansing" and "disinfecting" their respective countries, "house to house and room to room," of those that yearn to have a more representative government while they pound the hell out of their people, I will support similar interventions there too.

      The world is kind of taking off without the US, and it appears to be headed in a direction that is more closely aligned with the US of philosophical design. Can this intervention help those who've fought so desperately to help themselves and establish our relevance to that new order? I think it can.

      There are no idealists in statecraft. I concede it's proper that some national interest play a role any intervention we take part in, which goes back to some of the points you've made. I understand that, to some, this intervention reeks of hypocrisy and exploitation. On the other hand, we can't stand guard everywhere, for all oppressed people--which is what would have to be true if hypocrisy were a valid charge.

      I see both arguments for and against intervention in Libya. I respect both arguments. I hope I've chosen wisely.

      "May the fierce be with you." - RuPaul

      by Kimberley on Sun Mar 20, 2011 at 11:44:13 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Targets (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    oyka1, Pozzo

    There are military targets here, so a military response is the right course of action. Other situations are different.

    "I can live with doubt and uncertainty and not knowing. I think it's much more interesting to live not knowing than to have answers which might be wrong". Feynman

    by taonow on Sun Mar 20, 2011 at 09:27:45 AM PDT

  •  If the neo-cons support this war, then there must (3+ / 0-)

    be something seriously wrong.

    'If this turns out to be an all out war, it will benefit no one." from Bashir, al Jazeera. The US is promising there will be no ground troops sent in, no ground war between the invaders and the Libyans. But I am skeptical about that.

    This above all: to thine own self be true...-WS

    by Agathena on Sun Mar 20, 2011 at 09:34:14 AM PDT

  •  You seem to be getting... (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    oyka1, Utahrd, Mnemosyne, worldlotus

    ...a different " take"  on the whole thing in the US media.

    In France, two days ago, much newstime was devoted to Gadaffi's threats to air and sea traffic in the Mediterranean:

    link to UK report

    That's what tipped thew scales here; I don't think people care that much about the humanitarian excuses.

    That and also the French believe (probably rightly so) that it's an attempt by Sarkozy to boost his standing after his disastrous performance re Tunisia.

    But seriously the threats to Mediterranean traffic cannot be underestimated; at this stage I see no option but to unseat G.

    OVER HERE: AN AMERICAN EXPAT IN THE SOUTH OF FRANCE, is now available on Amazon US

    by Lupin on Sun Mar 20, 2011 at 09:43:38 AM PDT

    •  That's right! (0+ / 0-)

      We have to go to war to protect Carrefour's right and duty to import crap made in Chinese prison labor factories.

      (Carrefour = Walmart with better food and much better wine.)

      •  Free passage of the seas, (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        worldlotus

        enforced by the Navies of powerful countries, is probably the very first example of "international law" in the modern sense.

        Without the international structures set up by European great powers in the 18th and 19th centuries to protect merchant shipping, modern liberal internationalism would not exist.

        So don't scoff at those ships full of cheap Chinese plastic crap... without them, the United Nations would never have existed.

        --Shannon

        "It is better to die on your feet than to live on your knees." -- Emiliano Zapata Salazar
        "Dissent is patriotic. Blind obedience is treason." --me

        by Leftie Gunner on Sun Mar 20, 2011 at 05:28:12 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Are you dense? (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        worldlotus, Mnemosyne

        The threats is/was to civilian airliners -- lots of them -- which fly just above Sicily and North of Libya when going to the Middle East and those flying over to go to Africa.

        Libya has (had?) an airforce and threats to civilian aviation (esp. after thew Lockerbie attack) just couldn't be ignored.

        As for sea traffic, these would include cruise ships and oil tankers, tho I don't think G was as well equipped to threaten them.

        It is absolutely impossible at this stage to ignore that kind of threats. G sealed his fate when he made them.

        OVER HERE: AN AMERICAN EXPAT IN THE SOUTH OF FRANCE, is now available on Amazon US

        by Lupin on Mon Mar 21, 2011 at 12:08:37 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Thank you bluewind, you beat me to (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    collardgreens, Blue Wind

    this diary.

    Is it open news that the Arab League has condemned the air strikes on Libya insisting that it only authorised a no fly zone? In fact, only Qatar and the UAE have offered to participate and Egypt (which has the largest air force) has refused to do so: http://www.bbc.co.uk/....

    The BBC's Jonathan Head reports from Cairo that the Arab League's apparent second thoughts about supporting a no-fly zone look like a worrying crack in the coalition. Public opinion in Egypt, while very sympathetic to the Libyan opposition, is suspicious of Western involvement, so without the Arab League's endorsement the no-fly zone will lose its legitimacy in this region, he adds.

    The Libyan ministry of health reports 64 deaths and 100+ wounded due to the air strikes last night http://blogs.aljazeera.net/....

    Civilians have been hit in the bombardment of sites in Libya, says Russia - which called for an immediate end to the strikes. A foreign ministry spokesman said:

        In that respect we call on countries involved to stop the non-selective use of force.

        We believe a mandate given by the UN Security Council resolution-- a controversial move in itself - should not be used to achieve goals outside its provisions, which only see measures necessary to protect the civilian population.

    He said that 48 civilians had been killed in the overnight shelling, with strikes hitting a medical facility, roads and bridges.

    Libyan state TV had also given the same casualty count earlier in the day.

    History always repeats itself, the first time as tragedy, and the second time as farce. Karl Marx, The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte .

    by NY brit expat on Sun Mar 20, 2011 at 10:00:54 AM PDT

  •  There are a number of errors (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Blue Wind, worldlotus

    in your diary, in my view.

    1. You claim that this is a "full scale war". Clearly not so. Any reasonable definition would include sufficient ground troops to achieve the objective of occupying and overthrowing the regime. The stated objectives of the allies has been merely to prevent the slaughter of people in Benghazi, applying only sufficient force to achieve that objective. Qadaffi was warned to restrain his forces from attacking Benghazi. He at first declared a ceasefire but nevertheless almost immediately launched an attack on that city, stating that there would be "no mercy" for the people there. The Qadaffi forces were then attacked and eliminated in order to save the people of Benghazi. This can hardly be called "full scale war" by any means.

    2. You claim that Qaddafi "has been an uncontrollable, unfriendly to the west, dictator." At times this has been true; he has been that indeed. Blowing up an airliner full of innocent people is a tad unfriendly. But in recent years, he became a significant aid to the USA against Al Qaeda, agreeing to eliminate a major nuclear and chemical weapons program. He also provided significant intelligence help to the USA. So the situation was very recently that we had no plans to get rid of the regime. The attempt to suggest that this is all part of some big plot by the USA to overthrow Gadaffi so we can get Libya's oil sounds right out of the Qadaffi playbook.

    •  Qadaffi is terrible (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Lady Libertine

      and I have no interest on his "playbook".   But the fact that dictators like Saddam and Gadhaffi do (did) terrible things, does not mean that we are intervening for humanitarian reasons.   There are different interests, and I believe that oil is the obvious reason.   As I explained in the diary, if the reasons were really humanitarian, we would have had at the very least try to pass a UN resolution condemning the massacre of civilians in  Yemen and Bahrain.    Why did n't we?  

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