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Originally posted to Comics on Mon Apr 25, 2011 at 07:00 AM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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  •  Tip Jar (296+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jethrock, Snud, Ginger1, crystal eyes, MKinTN, not4morewars, Actuary4Change, Coldblue Steele, lineatus, Sychotic1, Heart of the Rockies, blue aardvark, david mizner, MBNYC, aoeu, bob zimway, DixieDishrag, Im with Rosey, jds1978, jhop7, OLinda, greenbastard, wilderness voice, Klaus, grsplane, semiot, joanneleon, jm214, muddy boots, temptxan, teknofyl, yuriwho, Calvin Jones and the 13th Apostle, Lost Left Coaster, kevin k, rimstalker, Yellow Canary, enhydra lutris, Matilda, Detlef, glendaw271, DrFrankLives, Its the Supreme Court Stupid, GreyHawk, triciawyse, ScienceMom, wader, The Lone Apple, DanC, Corporate Dog, Sark Svemes, dubyus, belinda ridgewood, Joieau, jcrit, Josiah Bartlett, WiseFerret, hilltopper, shaharazade, socalmonk, Treg, boran2, Whimsical, raines, thomask, detroittrader, quill, paige, Pandoras Box, MJ via Chicago, TexDem, judyms9, jididly, glitterscale, bobdevo, No one gets out alive, dewtx, Joes Steven, 420 forever, milton333, pixxer, el dorado gal, Clive all hat no horse Rodeo, NearlyNormal, Exurban Mom, rubyclaire, Dopeman, sancerre2001, Maikeru Ronin, Greasy Grant, juliesie, OtherDoug, poligirl, regis, rserven, BlueInARedState, LaughingPlanet, Mr Bojangles, democracy inaction, begone, sidnora, ipsos, MikeTheLiberal, Left Coast Lib, angel d, Cardinal96, erichiro, BR Janet, Shockwave, SteelerGrrl, TomP, dirtfarmer, Sand Hill Crane, RW, melfunction, avsp, megisi, mikeconwell, SuperBowlXX, orson, pgm 01, Uwaine, billlaurelMD, mbayrob, lotlizard, Sagebrush Bob, FrY10cK, Ralph Kramden, Edger, bluicebank, zhimbo, millwood, elfling, Akonitum, Quasimodal, ethanthej, Shotput8, Alice Venturi, RFK Lives, trinityfly, envwq, roystah, strangedemocracy, BeerNotWar, TriangleNC, Thinking Fella, DSC on the Plateau, happymisanthropy, banger, oortdust, oblios arrow, citisven, CanisMaximus, Scruffy Looking Nerf Herder, Hear Our Voices, verasoie, Glen The Plumber, greycat, CT yanqui, Eric K, ericlewis0, jazzbuff, Prav duh, Friendlystranger, zerelda, Magnifico, kestrel9000, jimpharo, rhp, filby, m00finsan, Ocelopotamus, francophile, cassandraX, rhutcheson, sawgrass727, MooseHB, Free Jazz at High Noon, TrueBlueMajority, SunsetMagnolia, greeseyparrot, Woody, Pluto, edsbrooklyn, zerone, MadMs, LABobsterofAnaheim, JekyllnHyde, Johnny Q, meg, Rebecca, Betty Pinson, bluesheep, ranger995, Dom9000, msmacgyver, El Zmuenga, RLF, Temmoku, Buckeye Hamburger, shaggies2009, trueblueliberal, Bionic, Sarea, Indiana Bob, Dyana, voodoochild62, newpioneer, wsexson, aliasalias, Words In Action, LynnS, Justus, Aspe4, Bernie68, Revy, dRefractor, PSzymeczek, jhawklefty, supercereal, churchylafemme, PrometheusUnbound, flumptytail, zett, Ohkwai, Dunvegan, TokenLiberal, dewley notid, rasbobbo, foresterbob, tytalus, Kevskos, Jasont3h, Bluesee, cas2, denise b, HoundDog, rickeagle, lincoln deschain, asterkitty, SteveS Austin, Funkygal, belle1, doingbusinessas, The House, TexasTwister, radical simplicity, doinaheckuvanutjob, Larsstephens, Anak, chuckvw, Hayate Yagami, deha, expatjourno, chimene, Lefty Mama, bigjacbigjacbigjac, aufklaerer, Purple Priestess, peachcreek, Sprinkles, tommymet, buffalo soldier, RickD, joe shikspack, Polacolor, EthrDemon, Moderation, Diana in NoVa, Calamity Jean, tiggers thotful spot, rob9, neroden, Book of Hearts, SpecialKinFlag, Laughing Vergil, splashy, blue muon, ulookarmless, Neon Mama, redlum jak, Robert Naiman, soysauce, jnhobbs, Puffin, fuzed, Mary Mike, ekyprogressive, olo, Cowl, slathe, Opinionated Ed, BigVegan, IM, Sharon Wraight, kurt

    Tom Tomorrow's most recent book is TOO MUCH CRAZY from Soft Skull Press.

    by Tom Tomorrow on Mon Apr 25, 2011 at 07:00:01 AM PDT

    •  Many on this site criticized the President for not (20+ / 0-)

      intervening in Libya to stop a humanitarian crisis. The Pesident intervened in Libya to stop a humanitarian crisis bearing the blessings of the United Nations, and now the President is being crticized for intervening  in Libya to stop a humanitarian crisis (I wonder if some of these critics listen to themselves speaking out of both sides of their mouths).

      I feel the President is doing as good a job as can be expected, barring marching US soldiers into Libya and removing Gaddafi from power. The Fact that he still has the United Nations supporting him says he is not a Neocon, which is sometimes implied through some of this "damned if he does-damned if he doesn't crticism."

      In any case, I'll move along, nothing new here to see....

      •  Cut and run (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Eric K, Johnny Q

        After accusing of taking two positions.

        Evidence, please.

      •  The evidene for "humanitarian" disaster (7+ / 0-)

        was very week from the start. You need to understand that the MSM echo chamber does not exist to provide objective information. It may occasionally do that but it is mainly there to insure that the ruling elites get what they want and they wanted Libya for obvious reasons--you believe the very same media that all agreed there were WMDs because "everyone" thought so. Not only were there no WMDs in Iraq but "everyone" did not think so--those that were most familiar with the situation were not consulted by the MSM.

        The CIA was on the ground long before the "revolt" started as it was in many color revolutions. To think all this "Arab Spring" stuff is spontaneous is an exercise in the typical political naivite that is displayed on this site.

        •  Proof for this? (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Woody
          The CIA was on the ground long before the "revolt" started as it was in many color revolutions. To think all this "Arab Spring" stuff is spontaneous is an exercise in the typical political naivite that is displayed on this site.

          •  No proof--intel services operate in secret (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            bigjacbigjacbigjac

            There are some interesting characters associated with the rebel cause I leave it to you to investigate--I don't have time to do research for others. Suffice it to say that their actions have been a little unusual.

            But here's the thing you need to understand: American intel, if not CIA directly, is almost everywhere, particularly oil-rich countries. As someone who grew up in the foreign service I know that for a fact. More to the point it is my opinion (again they operate in secret and are accountable to no one) that the CIA was and is involved with the rebel faction and has been for awhile as I believe it is and was involved in the color revolutions over the years sometimes to the good sometimes not.

            To think that most of the world's major issues and conflict don't involve American intel and, btw, many other intel services sometimes working at cross-purposes, is hopelessly naive. Wouldn't you, if you were in the CIA or whatever want to set up oppositions to leaders you suspect aren't really working on your side?

            •  But the "Arab Spring" (3+ / 0-)

              was mostly agains the interests of the foreign policy establishment in Washington. E.g. it seems to be a common believe (see e.g. nyt blogging heads with Glenn Greenwald and David Frum), that Isreal needs to increase its military spending substantially as an answer to the "Arab Spring".
              As well the comments given by many people, especially Hillary Clinton, indicate, that Mubarak was seen quite positive in the domes of power.

              Of course the CIA may be stronger involved in the Lybian revolt, which was late (-> time for grapping the opportunity) and seems to be somewhat dispatched from the "Arab Spring" in general, which mostly consisted of relatively peaceful protesters, while in Lybia there was a militant rebellion from the beginning.
              Nevertheless, I don't believe, that the US or the CIA had something to do with it. Politically intervention in Lybia was driven mostly by Sarkozy for domestic reasons. The whole West seemed to had no real plan from the beginning. This would have been very different, if the Lybia revolt had been stirred by the West.

        •  Al Jazeera hardly counts as "MSM"..... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Fogiv

          And hold the Conspiracy Theory sauce, please. The CIA secretly started the Arab Spring? How ridiculous. Yeah, I'm sure the CIA had toppling the governments of Egypt and Yemen as a REAL high priority. If you want to operate under the assumption that the CIA is extremely competent (which they are NOT) and that they're secretly everywhere manipulating everything, you're more suited to a Alex Jones website than DKos.

          "See? I'm not a racist! I have a black friend!"

          by TheHalfrican on Mon Apr 25, 2011 at 01:58:58 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  didn't say they "started" anything (3+ / 0-)

            Also don't mention conspiracy theory. I'm tired of the mindless naivite that exists around here. Politics is like war--people do whatever it takes to get power including to collude together to gain power or accomplish a mission--to think anything else is to ignore history and defy logic. CIA has been messing with the internal affairs of countries since it started--that's what it has been tasked to do. They are unaccountable and have a budget that is unknowable. You believe they all wear white hats cause they're the "good guys?" Anyhow, if they didn't influence these movements then what are they good for? Also don't tell me what site I'm best suited for. Argue from real things not ad hominem bs. Power is a real dynamic in history things don't just happen randomly particularly in the information age when we have every intel service in the world listening to everything including our phone conversation and even these posts.

            •  Well we knew what the CIA does.... (0+ / 0-)

              but the fact remains that the CIA would be much more interested in saving Mubarek than toppling him. For reasons we all know.

              And again: the CIA sucks at their job. President Clinton found out about Pakistan's nukes in the NEWSPAPER. They. Suck.

              So with these two things in mind, I reject the notion that the CIA was anything but blindsided by all this. From my reading of your reply, it seemed as if you were supporting the idea that this miraculous Arab Spring was some big CIA operation. I apologize if that's not what you meant.

              Still, I'll bet you money CIA resources was being used to support Arab governments this spring, not topple them....

              "See? I'm not a racist! I have a black friend!"

              by TheHalfrican on Mon Apr 25, 2011 at 04:23:10 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  hmmm (0+ / 0-)

                Not all "Arab governments" are equally beloved by the American foreign policy establishment.  Mubarak was.  Qaddafi certainly was not.   He's been a villain to American interests since the 70s.  
                You really think the CIA didn't have people in Libya fomenting revolution?  

              •  CIA does not suck at their job (0+ / 0-)

                They know what they are doing. It is the American people, particularly liberals, who are intentionally naive. Misdirection is the essential foundation of a good intel service. Oh, they don't know what they were doing they were "wrong" about WMDs in Iraq. Bull--they knew very well there were not WMDs in Iraq anybody that knew anything about that subject knew that. I certainly did because I investigated what experts said and why.

                BTW, read history, starting with the Thucydides to see how the world really operates--Americans are no different than any other Empire.

                •  Oh, the CIA *does* suck at their job. (0+ / 0-)

                  They missed the collapse of the Soviet Union; before that they missed Gorbachev letting Eastern Europe go; before that they missed Chernobyl.  They suck.

                  I do believe that the CIA is interested in overthrowing Qaddafi, who has been a thorn in the US side for a very long time, but by the same token I'm pretty sure they're "betting on the wrong horse" and backing most of the other Arab dictators.

                  Read pp. 1-7 of Krugman's _The Great Unraveling_ (available from Google Books). NOW.

                  by neroden on Wed Apr 27, 2011 at 04:44:37 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  You're kind of making my point (0+ / 0-)

                    You think they "missed" the collapse of the SU? Not really. You have to understand that everything in Washington is political--big revelation? I've been in and around this town all my life and it is political to the core. No one wanted there not to be a "threat" from the SU since "terrorism" had not quite gained ground as a reason to have a large and bloated military (and intel) budget. The SU justified the dirty wars in Latin America particularly Central America--why would they make public that the SU was in severe decline? The decline of the SU was well-documented and well-understood by many scholars and even occasionally written about in less mainstream pubs even in the early eighties.

                    I have a question for you. Why do you believe the MSM? You think they dig into stuff like that? They don't--they take statements from their sources (really clients) and make a compendium of those opinions (all from official sources particularly intel guys trained in misinformation). When you see true revelations it's because there are dissident factions within the intel and military communities that want to get their side out. This is particularly true of someone like Seymour Hersh who has, for many years, been the spokesman for this group. Yes, the CIA has a minority of liberals in it, (though they are mainly from an older generation and retiring) they don't go along with some of the stuff but they are loyal and don't resign.

        •  On a TV show about WW2 Soviet Air Force, (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          bigjacbigjacbigjac

          a veteran said that though the pervasive propaganda would have you doubt it, they really were genuinely  patriotic and keen for the fight.

          Same here- though our involvement works to discredit the revolt, they really are genuinely resolved on freedom and independence.

          •  In a way yes (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            bigjacbigjacbigjac, aufklaerer

            You can't orchestrate these revolts with nothing--although Kermit Roosevelt did a pretty good job of it in Iran. But, these days, that sort of thing is harder. It is natural as it has been for every imperial power to play factions off each other. It is to the advantage of the West to dominate the ME by either military means or social/political means.

            You know, for example, that in Italy the CIA and others were instrumental in putting down the Communist Party in the early years after the war through various legal and illegal means. That's what intel services do. All the major powers are involved in this game to not think that they at least influence events is politically naive. I remember how the feds infiltrated radical groups during the Vietnam days by using agents provocateurs to discredit the movement--friends of mine were suckered into some stupid shit--they were genuine believers but ended up being pawns in a complicated game.

            •  That's a VERY good description: (0+ / 0-)
              It is natural as it has been for every imperial power to play factions off each other.

              I think it would be stupid to assume that the intel services AREN'T trying to manipulate things to their benefit, but I also think it would be wrong to assume that they are all-powerful, when they're actually not that competent for the most part.

              I suspect the CIA is trying to redirect the anti-Qaddafi revolution in Libya in the direction of its choosing, and I suspect it will fail.

              Read pp. 1-7 of Krugman's _The Great Unraveling_ (available from Google Books). NOW.

              by neroden on Wed Apr 27, 2011 at 04:46:37 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

        •  Uhh, excuse me.... (2+ / 0-)

          The Pro-Kadafy douchebag mercenary army has been indiscriminately shelling Misrata today after being air-attacked and rebelled out of town.  They are just randomly lobbing shells into the town.  The only reason there isn't a serious genocide there is because theyve been rendered less-powerful by outside help the rebels have recieved.

          it doesn't take much imagination to see what a powerful force unopposed would do to a city in rebellion!

          "Ronald Reagan is DEAD! His policies live on but we're doing something about THAT!"

          by leftykook on Mon Apr 25, 2011 at 04:56:30 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Agree with first point (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          aufklaerer

          The evidence for genocide is zilch. Comments from Gaddafi were taken out of context to scare. I recommend this Boston Globe Article.
          I really think, now more people died a violant death in Lybia than would have without the intervention.

          However, I extremely disagree with your second point.

      •  So Your Problem is that DKOS has a Diverse (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Guest from EU

        range of thought? You would rather us all either support the prez on this matter or not support him?

        "With those taxes in there, no damn politician can ever scrap my Social Security program."-Franklin D. Roosevelt

        by Aspe4 on Mon Apr 25, 2011 at 02:54:26 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  the best part of the thing? (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        divineorder, aufklaerer, RickD

        I remember when this shit broke and that spokesperson dude used the phrase 'days, not weeks, let me repeat DAYS, not weeks' like a dozen times.

        I knew then it was gonna be the Summer of 1990 all over again.

        I'll refresh the memory.  We didn't finish that one either and had to go back and lose more American lives.  Oil.  Is there anything it can't do?

      •  It's about the changing explanations/rationales (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        neroden

        I didn't take the criticism to be that Obama intervened in Libya (although I can't speak for the artist), so much as the plain fact that the explanation kept changing.  This sequence of escalations is one of the ways the US has become involved in too many conflicts.

      •  It never ceases to amaze me how willing some (0+ / 0-)

        people are to pretend that the two options in every crisis are:

        1) Do nothing.

        2) Blow small children into small peaces, then pat themselves on the back for their "courage".

        "We hope Iraq will be the first domino and that Libya and Iran will follow. We don't like being kept out of markets because it gives our competitors an unfair advantage." John Gibson, CEO Halliburton Energy Service Group

        by JesseCW on Sat Apr 30, 2011 at 08:33:35 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  I'm happy enough to directly (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Coss, sviscusi, TheHalfrican

      Kill capture or exile Gaddafi. From day one. No apologies or regrets.

      A Catholic, Jew, Muslim and Buddhist walk into Al Aqsa Mosque. Buddhist immediately exclaims: "excuse me I appear to be in the wrong joke."

      by Salo on Mon Apr 25, 2011 at 09:34:18 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yeah, that's nice (19+ / 0-)

        So was killing Saddam Hussein.

        The consequences however were almost nine years of absolute misery. Hundreds of thousands dead, millions of refugees, untold economic damage...

        Killing people isn't a magical solution for making things right.

      •  Snark or real? (11+ / 0-)

        Unless this is a snark then you believe on the assertion of the MSM and the President that Gaddafi should be killed because he's a "bad guy" (the use of that term by supposedly intelligent people shows to what depths of degeneration American culture has sunk). How is he different now from six months ago or five years ago when one day, like Noriega, he's on our side and the next day he's taken out? It is this kind of neo-fascist thinking that has emboldened the oligarchs to dream they can, indeed, take absolute power. All they have to do is put a bogeyman up mix with some some half-truths and exaggerated reporting from the corporate media and voila a nice war with thousands dead. Meanwhile whatever Gaddafi is doing the U.S. has done a thousand times worse in terms of creating humanitarian disasters so what gives us the right to intervene in other people's internal affairs--it is expressly illegal under the U.N charter--but then there is the great quote: "Badges? We don't need no stinking badges."

        •  I'm not coming at this from a yank perspectiv (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          TheHalfrican

          This is a convenient time to get rid of him.

          A Catholic, Jew, Muslim and Buddhist walk into Al Aqsa Mosque. Buddhist immediately exclaims: "excuse me I appear to be in the wrong joke."

          by Salo on Mon Apr 25, 2011 at 10:27:55 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  And replace him with what? (16+ / 0-)

            A series of puppets for Western powers--meaning, in reality, the bankers. Fair enough--it is the argument for empire which I'm willing to entertain. Just be clear. We have an empire and we don't like you so you're out and we'll install this or that governor. If that system works for people, maybe I'd be for it. But if the U.S. is any indicator of what the future will look like I'm not too sanguine about supporting empire. I could be wrong. If I believed that the empire was run with the intention of really helping people I might bite. The fact is that I don't believe the bankers and imperialists do mean well. I see things through that POV. The history of past half-century is the creation of a global integrated empire which exists and  is run by people I cannot support but merely endure. War anywhere just strengthens their hand and the false narratives their PR operations provide through the MSM.

            •  exactly (4+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              fidel, banger, divineorder, aufklaerer

              And the major unintended consequence is we are not going to be able to convince these countries not to pursue WMD, since we only seem to attack countries that don't have nukes.

              If Newt Gingrich were elected president, he would leave in the middle of his term for a younger, hotter country.

              by Indiana Bob on Mon Apr 25, 2011 at 02:15:18 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  Yes. (0+ / 0-)

              No reason why not.

              A Catholic, Jew, Muslim and Buddhist walk into Al Aqsa Mosque. Buddhist immediately exclaims: "excuse me I appear to be in the wrong joke."

              by Salo on Mon Apr 25, 2011 at 03:25:40 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Fair enough--then you favor the Imperial project? (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                aufklaerer

                If you do that's good--I like honesty. It's perfectly reasonable, in my view, to advocate for empire if you're a liberal. I don't happen to agree because I don't like the intentions of the imperialists which is, in my view, neo-feudalism--but that doesn't have to be that bad except for the serfs of course.

                •  I tend to forsee the consequences (0+ / 0-)

                  Of political decisions. This represents the only way of ridding ourselves of Gaddafi without Libyans hating us.

                  I also gave up on the illusions of a republic in 2008.

                  A Catholic, Jew, Muslim and Buddhist walk into Al Aqsa Mosque. Buddhist immediately exclaims: "excuse me I appear to be in the wrong joke."

                  by Salo on Mon Apr 25, 2011 at 08:07:45 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Where do you know that Gaddhafi isn't popular (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    banger

                    in Libya, at least with a plurality of people? Seriously, what do you, or anyone else, know about the preferred outcome of the Libyan people?

                    How do you arrive at the conclusion that Libyans want Gaddhafi ousted? Because you feel it's the right thing to do? Or because you repeat what the corporate media told you, that Gaddhafi is the new Hitler?

                    Your thinking clearly violates the concept of 'sovereign nation'. It means exactly what you're trying to ignore: That foreign powers must not meddle in a country's internal affairs.

                    And, before you get all Realpolitik with me:
                    What good has ever come of the US and its allies meddling in some other country's affairs after WWII (which was a war declared and started by the German Reich)?

                    Examples, please.

                    "Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it's time to pause and reflect." Mark Twain

                    by aufklaerer on Tue Apr 26, 2011 at 01:00:44 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  It's clear enough from those who study Libya (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      aufklaerer

                      That Qaddafi was supported in Western Tripoli, in Sirte, and nowhere else, at the time of the "revolution".

                      Yes, he would most likely be replaced with another dictator with only regional support.  But perhaps this can be avoided and he can be replaced with someone with more broad-based support.

                      Read pp. 1-7 of Krugman's _The Great Unraveling_ (available from Google Books). NOW.

                      by neroden on Wed Apr 27, 2011 at 04:50:15 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  Thank you for earnestly answering questions. (0+ / 0-)

                        I'm not trying to suck up or something, but it has become increasingly hard for me to argue in civil fashion around here.

                        I'm willing to learn and adjust my position, but I'm not willing to endure ad hom and yelling in my face.

                        So I totally appreciate whenever it is possible to voice different positions without becoming antagonistic.

                        "Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it's time to pause and reflect." Mark Twain

                        by aufklaerer on Wed Apr 27, 2011 at 11:14:51 AM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                  •  Gave up in '08? Why not '00? (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    aufklaerer

                    2000 was when the curtain was pulled back in the US and we saw that the powers were willing to openly steal elections when they didn't go the way of their choosing.

                    Read pp. 1-7 of Krugman's _The Great Unraveling_ (available from Google Books). NOW.

                    by neroden on Wed Apr 27, 2011 at 04:48:37 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

      •  "Go big or go home"? (0+ / 0-)

        I had that view.  The US should either have done nothing or openly joined the war on the side of the rebels, a.k.a the Legitimate Government of Libya.  Same for each of the other countries involved.

        Frankly, France seems to be taking that attitude, and just getting as involved in the war as they can.  This sleepwalking into wars with half measures isn't helpful to anyone.

        Read pp. 1-7 of Krugman's _The Great Unraveling_ (available from Google Books). NOW.

        by neroden on Wed Apr 27, 2011 at 04:52:58 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  The cartoon would convince me... (0+ / 0-)

      ... If you had Obama and Hillary on the inclined slope speaking the gibberish.

      I say this as someone who reckons the responce by the west  was late and not strong enough.

      Until you can puncture the fiction of Obama's antiwar credibility, illustrate the dissembling of his PR machine, your just as stuck as you were in 2000-1999 when you were coyly failing to take on issues in your cartoons. Bush was a sitting duck. Obama you have failed to hit even once.

      A Catholic, Jew, Muslim and Buddhist walk into Al Aqsa Mosque. Buddhist immediately exclaims: "excuse me I appear to be in the wrong joke."

      by Salo on Mon Apr 25, 2011 at 09:47:21 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I'm with Juan Cole on this. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Fogiv, divineorder

      "See? I'm not a racist! I have a black friend!"

      by TheHalfrican on Mon Apr 25, 2011 at 02:09:48 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  This is one of the brighter reasons to (0+ / 0-)

      open the DK every day, instead of randomly --- always appreciated TT.

      movin' to DK4 soon, gonna be a dental floss tycoon ...

      by alliedoc on Mon Apr 25, 2011 at 06:40:06 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  They're torturing children in Syria (18+ / 0-)

    The government arrested children for writing 'anti-government' stuff and they tortured them.  When people got mad, they sent the military out to shoot into their homes.  But no one can do anything about it because then we'd be doing the same thing as in Libya.  Where the government drives around and shoots into people's homes.  

    Maybe the world does need police.  I'm not saying we've got it together AT ALL, in that regard.  But it's not so simple as just saying, "Hey, leave these countries alone to solve their own problems."  People don't become the property of other people just because those other people have guns and claim to be their government.  Stalin killed as many people as Hitler but no one seems to remember it because they were "his own people."  It's a hell of a concept and I don't see it being so cut and dried that the international community shouldn't be struggling to find an answer to it.  

    We are not enemies, but friends. We must not be enemies. Though passion may have strained it must not break our bonds of affection.

    by Sun dog on Mon Apr 25, 2011 at 07:07:53 AM PDT

    •  And there are so many factors (16+ / 0-)

      So Obama has one thing right - there is no "Obama doctrine", because there's no simple, easy for schoolkids to learn in 2nd grade rule that says when the world should, or should not, do something.

      Rwanda? Bosnia? Cambodia? North Korea? Darfur? Uganda? Angola?

      Anyone got a simple rule that lets a simple aardvark know which of those situations we should do something about?

      In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice; but in practice, there always is a difference. - Yogi Berra

      by blue aardvark on Mon Apr 25, 2011 at 07:20:20 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I remember agonizing over Kosovo (22+ / 0-)

        and the fact that the guy I voted for was bombing people.  I wanted my political morality to be clear-cut and bombing people is just out of bounds.  I was so Clean and Pure!  But then Milosevik, rightly, gets hauled off to the can and a genocide is averted.  Since then I made friends with one of the guys who was rescued from a camp where he was being starved to death for the crime, as he put it, of "not wanting to shoot his own people."  And, since then, Clinton cites as his worst failing the fact that he didn't do anything to stop genocide in Africa.  If he got us into that, would we have hammered him for the 'slippery slope' logic of intervention?  

        I'm not saying I have any answers to this.  I'm just saying that it seems a bit of a luxury to be in a position outside the actual decision making process in these things and make broad, clear cut, moral statements.  It smacks of sanctimony.  It's not like the Iraq invasion where the reasons were obviously false and the results were obviously going to be different from what was being sold.  

        I'm with Tom T on this in terms of how bad the communication has been from the administration regarding Libya.  While the morality of different decisions feels damnably ambiguous, I have really wished the decisions themselves weren't being left so ambiguous.  

        We are not enemies, but friends. We must not be enemies. Though passion may have strained it must not break our bonds of affection.

        by Sun dog on Mon Apr 25, 2011 at 07:35:44 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I was so confused that Bush attacked (6+ / 0-)

          Iraq.  I thought that Libya was way more terrorist.  But I found out that wasn't what Iraq was even about.  

        •  Same shit, different country (6+ / 0-)
          It's not like the Iraq invasion where the reasons were obviously false and the results were obviously going to be different from what was being sold.  
          You're forgetting about all the bullshit about Qadaffi's impending slaughter of Benghazi.

          Milosevic's crimes were being inflated at the time as well. And the killing in Kosovo actually accelerated with the bombings.

          Aside from that, there's the obvious hypocrisy in attacking one murderous regime, but meanwhile propping up other ones in other countries.

          Finally, the whole operation has the makings of another huge clusterfuck.

          •  Bullshit (5+ / 0-)
            Milosevic's crimes were being inflated at the time as well.

            You're bullshitting to try to make your oversimplified take on this work.  I guess I envy the ability to ignore the moral ambiguities of these situations and just feel all clean and pure about it.  But I lost that ability a couple of decades ago.  

            We are not enemies, but friends. We must not be enemies. Though passion may have strained it must not break our bonds of affection.

            by Sun dog on Mon Apr 25, 2011 at 09:22:51 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Damned if we do, damned if we don't (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              greengemini, Inoljt

              with some people.

              Not intervening in Rwanda - bad.

              Intervening in Kosovo - bad.

              Not intervening in Syria - bad.

              Intervening in Libya - bad.

            •  Not really (4+ / 0-)

              I was referring to the pretty specific wartime propaganda with regards to Kosovo:

              "The appalling accounts of mass killing in Kosovo and the pictures of refugees fleeing Serb oppression for their lives makes it clear that this is a fight for justice over genocide." On CBS' Face the Nation Cohen claimed, "We've now seen about 100,000 military-aged men missing... they may have been murdered." Clinton, citing the same figure, spoke of "at least 100,000 (Kosovo Albanians) missing". Later, talking about Yugoslav elections, Clinton said, "they're going to have to come to grips with what Mr. Milošević ordered in Kosovo... they're going to have to decide whether they support his leadership or not; whether they think it's OK that all those tens of thousands of people were killed...". Clinton also claimed, in the same press conference, that "NATO stopped deliberate, systematic efforts at ethnic cleansing and genocide." Clinton compared the events of Kosovo to the Holocaust. CNN reported, "Accusing Serbia of 'ethnic cleansing' in Kosovo similar to the genocide of Jews in World War II, an impassioned President Clinton sought...to rally public support for his decision to send U.S. forces into combat against Yugoslavia, a prospect that seemed increasingly likely with the breakdown of a diplomatic peace effort." Clinton's State Department also claimed Yugoslav troops had committed genocide. The New York Times reported, "the Administration said evidence of 'genocide' by Yugoslav forces was growing to include 'abhorrent and criminal action' on a vast scale. The language was the State Department's strongest yet in denouncing Yugoslav President Slobodan Milošević." The State Department also gave the highest estimate of dead Albanians. The New York Times reported, "On April 19, the State Department said that up to 500,000 Kosovo Albanians were missing and feared dead."

              http://en.wikipedia.org/...

              Eventually the slaughter was "limited" to about 10,000 Kosovo Albanians.
            •  Not at all simple-minded (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              francophile, aufklaerer, poxonyou

              "Crimes" are ubiquitous. Milosevic, like many in that sad war were caught up in insanity and not in control of events. It's always the losers who get tried for war-crimes--what about American atrocities in Iraq? They were frequent and well-documented and the war was illegal and officials knew they were lying about it as did much of the MSM. We have to stop believing the stories we are told that drive us into war--look at history and all the atrocity stories and false-flag operations that have brought war (Gulf of Tonkin anyone?). Are we so much better? There's reason to be skeptical of the reporting from the region at that time when it was in the direct interest of Western intelligence services to create tensions in that region. You think the world is a battle between "bad guys" and "good guys" it isn't. The situation is complex and there are crimes and mixed motivations on all sides. Just as Bush/Cheney were not the villains so many on the left believe, neither is Obama and his operatives "good."

            •  I'll take the U.S. government's commitment (7+ / 0-)

              to stopping the mass slaughter of innocent people seriously when it prosecutes people like Bush, Cheney, Kissinger, etc.

              "R's big lie: Too much govt spending created Grt Recession, and cutting spending will get us out. O and Ds refuse to rebut the lie." -- Robert Reich

              by Sagebrush Bob on Mon Apr 25, 2011 at 11:26:27 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  I'd happily see Gaddafi with bullet in his brain. (0+ / 0-)

            I've already examined my conscience with this question. He's in the middle of a hot civil war and he's vulnerable. Get him now.

            A Catholic, Jew, Muslim and Buddhist walk into Al Aqsa Mosque. Buddhist immediately exclaims: "excuse me I appear to be in the wrong joke."

            by Salo on Mon Apr 25, 2011 at 09:39:03 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  After the separation of Kosovo (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          aufklaerer

          a similar number of Serbians were murdered by Albanians as Albanians were murdered by Serbians before the NATO action.

          NATO offered a peaceful resolution, that would have averted genocide as well, in Rambuille before the bombing started, Milosevic agreed, but the mafia organisation CLA declined.

          Rwanda started and was over in about 6 weeks. Can Clinton please come up with a credible plan, what the US should have done. Considering many of the details of the Rwanda genocide, I think exactly nothing could have been done.

          But Clinton could have saved a couple 100000 Iraqis, if he hadn't vetoed a UNSC resolution cutting some sanctions without any military usefulness, but huge harm to the civilian population.

          •  CLA = KLA (Kosovo Liberation Army) = (0+ / 0-)

            a gang of thugs. Drug dealers, child traffickers, mafia killers. These were the allies of the West. These were the people that - as we were told - would bring freedom and democracy to the Kosovo.

            I have the suspicion the Libyan 'rebels' will turn out to be of the same mold - if they're not mercenaries.

            "Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it's time to pause and reflect." Mark Twain

            by aufklaerer on Tue Apr 26, 2011 at 01:31:04 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  do we hang out with the oppressors? (3+ / 0-)

        and does the country have stuff we care about?

      •  Obama doesn't need a doctrine of his own. He still (9+ / 0-)

        has the Bush doctrine to work from. Intervene only on the basis of American corporate interests.

        •  How very cynical (7+ / 0-)

          And it does nothing to explain Libya.
          Qaddafi was cheerfully selling all the oil he could pump.

          In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice; but in practice, there always is a difference. - Yogi Berra

          by blue aardvark on Mon Apr 25, 2011 at 07:57:24 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  So was Saddam Hussein (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            socalmonk, Betty Pinson, divineorder

            It's about guaranteed access.

            And in Libya's case, banksters.

            Another provocative bit of data circulating on the Net is a 2007 “Democracy Now” interview of U.S. General Wesley Clark (Ret.).  In it he says that about 10 days after September 11, 2001, he was told by a general that the decision had been made to go to war with Iraq.  Clark was surprised and asked why.  “I don’t know!” was the response.  “I guess they don’t know what else to do!”  Later, the same general said they planned to take out seven countries in five years: Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, and Iran.

            What do these seven countries have in common?  In the context of banking, one that sticks out is that none of them is listed among the 56 member banks of the Bank for International Settlements (BIS).  That evidently puts them outside the long regulatory arm of the central bankers’ central bank in Switzerland.

            •  OK, now that's just weird (7+ / 0-)

              56 nations have signed. The UN has 192 members. So 136 nations have not signed, including most of the non-OECD ones. Given that the OECD has 34 members, of the non-members there are 22 who have signed, and 136 who have not.

              Citing a list of 7 non-OECD members and claiming that there is deep significance to the fact that they are not BIS members when in fact it is 86% likely that any particular non-OECD member is not, is just disingenuous. In fact a random selection of 7 non-OECD members gives you a 35% chance that none will be a BIS member.

              Further, Muslim nations often have different rules on banking, and all 7 of those countries are Muslim.

              You argument that we're in Libya because of the BIS is hereby dismissed as just silly.

              In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice; but in practice, there always is a difference. - Yogi Berra

              by blue aardvark on Mon Apr 25, 2011 at 08:21:42 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  He also was trying to move away from the dollar (3+ / 0-)

            This war is much more about Western central banks than about Gaddafi. Why do people believe the MSM when it has lied about every military adventure in the past half century? Why? Why? Look deeper than what they say on the news.

        •  Noam Chomsky writes about the (9+ / 0-)

          long held history and goals of our imperialism here

          If anyone wonders why we still seek involvement in these types of things, the script and direction for our doing so is all in Chomsky's article.

          "Get up, Stand up" ~ Bob Marley

          by trinityfly on Mon Apr 25, 2011 at 10:02:56 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  Generally, the ones we tend to get involved (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Johnny Q

        with are the countries with military hardware that we can blow up. And an official army that's easy to distinguish from civilians.

        Of course it would help if they always played by our rules.

        But countries like Uganda, Rwanda and Angola, the only way to even try and intervene there would be deployment of personnel who would then go about hunting down...whomever. A mess to be sure with no easy solution. Been there, tried that (Somalia).

        North Korea? Seriously, you're talking a major land battle. For what?

        Libya started out with plenty of targets that seemed if destroyed could turn the balance of power, and at least prevent mechanized slaughter. It also started out as a no-brainer that appears to have underestimated both the will of the regime to fight on and the ability of the opposition to right effectively. And perhaps over estimated the likelihood of a coup.

        Syria is levels more complex, but the UN should take serious measures against the regime.

        Destabilizing the region is also a factor.

        •  We successfully intervened in the Balkans (0+ / 0-)

          which didn't really fit those standards.

          I think the key, usually, is whether a country seems to be destablizing anything the powerbrokers in the US care about.  The Balkans were.  Libya was (Qaddafi actually threatened Mediterranean shipping, among other things.)  Rwanda wasn't.

          Read pp. 1-7 of Krugman's _The Great Unraveling_ (available from Google Books). NOW.

          by neroden on Wed Apr 27, 2011 at 05:28:40 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  The reason people don't equate Hitler/Stalin.. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      judyms9, Dopeman, Enzo Valenzetti

      The vast majority of the people killed under Stalin's rule died from government-sponsored famine.  Stalin killed 900K in political and religious purges, and 1.5 million in forced relocation to Siberia, but 16 million died from famine, which could have been prevented if saving lives had been a political goal.  It wasn't.  They were exporting grain while entire regions starved.

      If you want to become a world police force, then the first thing you have to do is devise a complete list of potential crimes.  Does 'mismanaging the food supply' count as a crime?  If not, the total dead in Russia would hardly have been changed, even if someone else had been able to step in and stop it.

      "To pass these defendants a poisoned chalice is to put it to our own lips as well." Justice Robert Jackson, Chief Prosecutor, Nuremberg.

      by Wayward Son on Mon Apr 25, 2011 at 07:24:15 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  You're letting him off (6+ / 0-)

        Stalin 'mismanaged the food supply' in much the same way as the Third Reich's intentional starving of populations.  It was a policy decision to kill those people.  Starving is actually a very efficient means of murder for a government but they shouldn't be let off the hook for genocide just because they didn't use bullets.  

        We are not enemies, but friends. We must not be enemies. Though passion may have strained it must not break our bonds of affection.

        by Sun dog on Mon Apr 25, 2011 at 07:38:16 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I never let anyone off the hook. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Enzo Valenzetti

          I said..

          The vast majority of the people killed under Stalin's rule died from government-sponsored famine.

          I am simply pointing out that being the world's policeman doesn't always involve bullets or drones.. if you are attempting to stop genocide, you've got to be clear that intervention is required regardless of the method chosen to implement that genocide.

          "To pass these defendants a poisoned chalice is to put it to our own lips as well." Justice Robert Jackson, Chief Prosecutor, Nuremberg.

          by Wayward Son on Mon Apr 25, 2011 at 09:25:29 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  My point (0+ / 0-)
            but 16 million died from famine, which could have been prevented if saving lives had been a political goal.  

            was that saving lives was not only not a political goal but killing those people was.  It wasn't that he failed to save them.  He intentionally killed them.  

            If you push someone off a building people aren't going to say, "He didn't kill that guy, he just didn't catch him.  It was the ground that killed him"  

            Stalin was into getting rid of people.  

            But I completely agree with you on the point at hand,

            I am simply pointing out that being the world's policeman doesn't always involve bullets or drones

            We are not enemies, but friends. We must not be enemies. Though passion may have strained it must not break our bonds of affection.

            by Sun dog on Mon Apr 25, 2011 at 03:00:48 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  The famines had a natural component. (0+ / 0-)

              He did nothing to prevent them, and made the impact worse by selling the grain they were able to make.

              It is relatively easy to determine Stalin's motives NOW.. after successive regimes from the Soviet Union presented the data that made it clear what had happened.  

              But no future world-policeforce will have such data at hand.. it will be a judgement call.  Mismanagement of the food supply will have to be reason to invade, or another Stalin will succeed.

              "To pass these defendants a poisoned chalice is to put it to our own lips as well." Justice Robert Jackson, Chief Prosecutor, Nuremberg.

              by Wayward Son on Tue Apr 26, 2011 at 05:37:01 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

        •  How about Britain during the Irish potato famine? (4+ / 0-)

          How much was that also a "policy decision to kill those people" morally equivalent to Stalin and the Third Reich?

          The Dutch kids' chorus Kinderen voor Kinderen wishes all the world's children freedom from hunger, ignorance, and war.

          by lotlizard on Mon Apr 25, 2011 at 09:32:20 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  I think it was Andrei Kodrescu (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        mrblifil

        ..either stating his view or quoting someone else with the sentiment that History should define Hitler as "a petty tyrant in the time of Stalin"

      •  No, the reason they don't equate Hitler and Stalin (0+ / 0-)

        is because for some reason I have never understood people are more frightened of extremely organized, efficient, German mass murders and slave labor, than of sloppy, casual, half-assed Russian mass murders and slave labor.

        It's quite clear.  What shocks many people about Hitler is not the inhumanity of his behavior but the fact that they were so orderly and "modern" about it.

        What shocks me is precisely that that is what shocks people about Hitler, not the inhumanity.

        Read pp. 1-7 of Krugman's _The Great Unraveling_ (available from Google Books). NOW.

        by neroden on Wed Apr 27, 2011 at 05:08:07 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Absolutely (30+ / 0-)

      we-they should struggle to find an answer to it, but we shouldn't buy into the lie that invasion-occupation-bomb dropping is the answer.

      There are numerous ways that the United States could be helping the people living in oppression, but most of the time those would require the west to abandon its narrowly-viewed national interests. To cite on obvious example, the United States could, this second, stop propping up and selling arms to hated repressive regimes.

      The west answers problems that were created in part by militarism and imperialism with more militarism and imperialism.

      Far from being a knee-jerk response to Western military action, opposition to the bombing marks a considered reflection on the West’s knee-jerk impulse to mistake war for foreign policy. This impulse follows a well-worn circular logic in three parts: (1) Something must be done now. (2) This is something. (3) So we must do it. And that something invariably involves bombing.

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

      This time around, however, there is no need for historical references, because the hypocrisy is playing out in real time. When protests started in Tunisia in January, the French foreign minister offered the Tunisian police training to “restore calm.” The day before Libya was attacked, dozens of protesters were shot dead in Yemen. Less than a week before, Saudi forces invaded Bahrain, where many protesters have been killed. These are American allies.

    •  damned if you do, damned if you don't (7+ / 0-)

      If we intervened in Syria you can bet there would be a boatload of diaries here opposing it.  If we had failed to intervene in Libya there would be diaries here calling for intervention.
      ------
      I for one am will aware of that criminal Stalin's mass murders.  Mao was no slacker in that regard either.
      ------

      Be all that as it may, welcome, Tom Tomorrow, to our community!

      Scientific Materialism debunked here

      by wilderness voice on Mon Apr 25, 2011 at 07:29:16 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Oh, I do (6+ / 0-)

        I've been a Tom Tomorrow fan, probably, longer than almost anyone on this site.  He helped get me through the Reagan/Bush years.  I met him at a reading he did when Old Bush was a lame duck waiting for Clinton to take office.  Someone asked him, "Now that Bush lost, are you going to have anything to write about?"  He had a good laugh over that one.  I've thought about it a lot in the years since.  

        We are not enemies, but friends. We must not be enemies. Though passion may have strained it must not break our bonds of affection.

        by Sun dog on Mon Apr 25, 2011 at 07:42:09 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  And the cool thing about all those boatloads of (3+ / 0-)

        diaries, and comments, including this one, whichever polarity of indignation they hammer on, is that they don't really make any more difference than a old man's fart in a windstorm. To the people who "make policy" by "making weapons" and "making deals." Or to the people whose blood and bodies are "on the ground," right next to those "boots" and often because the "boots" SHOT them, http://www.rollingstone.com/... or some band of warlord's "warriors" who "are friendly to US interests," or Hellfired them, http://morallowground.com/... , or buried them with a Rome plow (most of you will find the next link full of "valor-" I find if full of the mindless idiocy of warcraft, the self-congratulatory medalsn'ribbons, the whole endless futility of it -- http://www.2nd34tharmor.freeservers.com/... what-ever.

        Ever was it thus, ever will it be. World without end? Well, obviously not that...

        "Is that all there is?" Peggy Lee.

        by jm214 on Mon Apr 25, 2011 at 08:06:25 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  You're kind of missing the point (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Johnny Q
        If we had failed to intervene in Libya there would be diaries here calling for intervention.
        "The West had no choice but to intervene, lest they attract the wrath of a couple Daily Kos diarists!"

        There's no good reason to go into any of these countries. And a whole bunch of reasons why it's an awful, awful idea. The action that need to be taken is the stopping of support for these regimes.

        •  US has never abandoned its policy of endless war (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Enzo Valenzetti
          Military bases R U.S.
          Or so it seems.  After the invasion of 2003, the Pentagon promptly started constructing a series of monster bases in occupied Iraq, the size of small American towns and with most of the amenities of home.  These were for a projected garrison of 30,000 to 40,000 U.S. troops that top officials of the Bush administration initially anticipated would be free to hang out in that country for an armed eternity.  In the end, hundreds of bases were built. (And now, hundreds have been closed down or handed over to the Iraqis and in some cases looted).  With present U.S. troop strength at about 47,000 (not counting mercenaries) and falling, American officials are now practically pleading with an Iraqi government moving ever closer to the Iranians to let some American forces remain at a few giant bases beyond the official end-of-2011 withdrawal date.

          Meanwhile, post-2003, the U.S. went on a base-building (or expanding) spree in the Persian Gulf, digging in and enlarging facilities in Kuwait, Qatar, Oman, the United Arab Emirates, and Bahrain, “home” to the U.S. Fifth Fleet.  In that island kingdom, an Obama administration preaching “democracy” elsewhere has stood by in the face of a fierce Bahraini-Saudi campaign of repression against a majority Shiite movement for greater freedom.

    •  we should - but does it have to militarily? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Sun dog, Enzo Valenzetti

      And aren't the countries essentially auditioning for international help?  I am not saying Syria or Libya is not suffering - but that does not make them unique ... but it comes down to which oppressive regimes we (the US) hang out with and which we don't ... and that's realpolitik for you.  As policy, it is fair - but the moralizing over it is forked tongue at best.

    •  We shoot into peoples (11+ / 0-)

      homes. We do business with the Saddam's and Quadafiis  We send drones to kill people. We kill them at weddings or tribal gatherings.  We call the people we kill insurgents or terrorists. We also torture them and throw them in dark places, and use their torture chambers to do our dirty work. . We install our own puppets to 'stabilize' them.   We empower these monster regimes with money and weapons for our geopolitical national interests. The international community? lol. The coalition of the willing? Gimme a break, this is so damn hypocritical it is sickening.      

      •  So nice for you (0+ / 0-)

        to be so clear on all this.  But of course no one here was condoning any of the atrocities you cite.  If you'd read what people are talking about instead of just being sanctimonious you might see that the people around you are just as sickened by all this as you are.

        We are not enemies, but friends. We must not be enemies. Though passion may have strained it must not break our bonds of affection.

        by Sun dog on Mon Apr 25, 2011 at 08:29:33 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  So why do you believe (5+ / 0-)

          the propaganda about this war and don't read a little deeper about just who the "rebels" are. Why do you believe the MSM when it has lied deliberately about every single military adventure the U.S. has gotten itself into for the past half-century? I am always astonished about how much respect there is here for the MSM narrative--doesn't anybody have a memory? You actually believe the "objective" self-description of the MSM? Ever heard of Chris Hedges? Might take a look at what he has to say.

        •  I can read (3+ / 0-)

          and what your talking about is war is peace strength is ignorance. Rationalizing endless war and putting a white  hat on the  neocon dark side now that Obama's calling it humanitarian. I feel for the Libyans from the frying pan into the fire. If Bush was sending drones and the CIA, would that make it clearer? The atrocities I cite are exactly what your condoning a whole new round of fighting evil doers and building a nation that suits our interests. They even have a Ahmed Chalabi all ready to go. How many people  will we kill in order to save them from Qaddafi?        

          •  I'm condoning something? (0+ / 0-)

            Sometimes it's like talking to a bunch of twelve year olds around here, everyone just trying to score points.  Fuck your sanctimony and superiority here.  You don't listen to the person talking to you, even when it's in these one paragraph sound bites.  At least you don't listen beyond looking for a piece to latch onto and attack.  I grew up in the shadow of the Vietnam war and have spent my life in opposition to atrocities and injustice and imperial idiocy.  Seriously, fuck you and your assumptions.  

            We are not enemies, but friends. We must not be enemies. Though passion may have strained it must not break our bonds of affection.

            by Sun dog on Mon Apr 25, 2011 at 12:42:44 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Then why insist that this (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              divineorder

              time it's different? Why curse at me? If you are opposed to atrocities why insist that what this administration is doing in Libya or anywhere else, globally is humanitarian? This particular 'slippery slope' has gone on for more then a decade. It's not that hard to grasp the nature of this game. Latching on and attacking huh? Well not really just refuse to do the two legs better two step. Qaddafi is a bad dude always has been, but spare me the concern for the people who must suffer, die, live in tyranny and be subjected for our ass backward version of humanitarian aid.

              So what's puzzling you after all these years? The nature of the game is clear at this point, the enemy changes but after all it is you and me.... so if you meet me....  

                     

    •  I'm sure we'll make things so much better (4+ / 0-)

      in Syria when WE'RE killing kids with predator drones . . .

      I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just; that his justice cannot sleep forever. ~Thomas Jefferson

      by bobdevo on Mon Apr 25, 2011 at 08:10:38 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I'm not (0+ / 0-)

        .

        It was people pretending to be so sure about any of this that I was commenting about in the first place.  

        We are not enemies, but friends. We must not be enemies. Though passion may have strained it must not break our bonds of affection.

        by Sun dog on Mon Apr 25, 2011 at 08:26:08 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Who would police the world police? (4+ / 0-)

      We already have death panels. They're called insurance companies.

      by aztecraingod on Mon Apr 25, 2011 at 08:52:51 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Damned good question (0+ / 0-)

        But power gets wielded one way or another.  The 'normal' situation of anyone with power slamming around in their own self-interest might be what we've always had but it's hard to believe it's ever going to stop producing atrocities like clockwork.  

        We are not enemies, but friends. We must not be enemies. Though passion may have strained it must not break our bonds of affection.

        by Sun dog on Mon Apr 25, 2011 at 09:26:52 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  After two regime change operations gone horribly (8+ / 0-)

      wrong. You'd think people would know better than to support a third one.

    •  Syria has no oil (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      pgm 01, Johnny Q, divineorder

      Libya has lot's of oil.

      Why are we in Afghanistan again?

      I am confused.  Very confused.

      Dailykos.com; an oasis of truth. Truth that leads to action -1.75 -7.23

      by Shockwave on Mon Apr 25, 2011 at 09:06:20 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Afghanistan was the hangout for the group (4+ / 0-)

        that attacked us on 9/11.  That group was protected by the theocrats that run the country.  Most of that group is somewhere else, probably Pakistan, but the theocrats, some of whom are also in Pakistan, want to take back the country.  It was decided that the theocrats cannot be trusted to not work with the terrorists and therefore we must not allow them back in power.  However, no group in Afghanistan has enough power to hold back the theocrats so we need to create the opposition group to fight the theocrats to keep the terrorists out.  Most of the people who have power in Afghanistan who are not theocrats are drug producing war lords.  This means we need to create a Democratically elected party of drug-producing war lords to act as an opposing power against the theocrats so the terrorists won't find safe haven in the country again.  I hope that clears things up.

    •  But how can you know exactly what is (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Enzo Valenzetti, divineorder

      happening there? When the U.S. was making propaganda for the first Gulf War they trotted out atrocity stories that proved to be true--same thing about German atrocity stories in WWI. Of course we ignore the massive slaughter of civilians in Iraq based on lies. How do you imagine that the U.S. has a right to judge other countries? We have 2.5 million people in jail in this country with thousands dying every year because they are denied health-care. Do you suppose the world should adopt our ways of life? Have you ever travelled? Lived in non-wester societies? Things aren't so cut and dried and the AMerican media and intelligence services have their own agenda here and the truth is never part of that agenda.

    •  Behind every dictator is a superpower (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Sun dog, neroden

      Or today, a coalition of powers as well. The dictators have rarely risen up and maintained their power without support from bigger powers. The same is the case in NA and the ME.

      These dictators get their military weapons and ammunition from somewhere. Major powers buy their resources that keep them wealthy. They may even train their military or directly help install them into power. The US isn't alone to blame. Europe, Russia, China, and other countries are also part of the problem. One reason the Security Council is a sick joke.

      Atrocities and dictators can rise without any outside help, but if you look at many of these countries, that's not the case. The solution is to address the root of the problem.

      Please donate to help Japanese tsunami and earthquake relief efforts.

      by PoxOnYou on Tue Apr 26, 2011 at 05:41:39 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I completely agree (0+ / 0-)

        about the long term solution.  But a much of that entails going back in time and undoing a lot of shenanigans.  Going forward, there needs to be a true humanistic standard for the way nations deal with each other.  But part of that includes standards of how governments treat "their" people.  It can't be as property where leaders believe they can just blow them away whenever they get unruly.  I wish to hell my nation had more moral authority to deal with this and we could actually be a leader instead of a sort of random Force to be Reckoned With.

        My point in my comment here was simply that, if I was a guy in power now, with the resources of the US at hand, it would be rather complicated to look at some of these situations where scumbag governments are literally torturing little kids and other atrocities, and just saying, "Hey, it's hands off.  We can't meddle."  Having the power to stop a thing like that and then not using it is far more complicated than the sanctimonious people sneering about it are really acknowledging.  It's easy to feel Pure about it when the onus of the decision doesn't actually fall to you.  

        We are not enemies, but friends. We must not be enemies. Though passion may have strained it must not break our bonds of affection.

        by Sun dog on Tue Apr 26, 2011 at 06:26:58 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Oh, the world does need police. (0+ / 0-)

      Unfortunately, just as in the US, it needs police people can trust and respect.

      Who's gonna fill that role?  Not the US military, not with its record!

      Read pp. 1-7 of Krugman's _The Great Unraveling_ (available from Google Books). NOW.

      by neroden on Wed Apr 27, 2011 at 05:02:27 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  This is why sometimes it is better to stay home (11+ / 0-)

    We already have war on two fronts and could little afford a third.  Dreams of empire come at too great a cost.

    If you think education is expensive, wait until you see how much stupid costs

    by Sychotic1 on Mon Apr 25, 2011 at 07:14:38 AM PDT

  •  I'm a fan with a quibble on this one. (8+ / 0-)

    Tom T,

    I love your work and look forward to reading it every week, but in fairness to Obama, the "days, not weeks" comment is being used out of context, I believe.

    As I remember it, Obama was talking about American leadership of the NATO coalition forces, not about the overall timeline for NATO action.

    OTOH, it clearly is a slippery slope, and we need to be careful which ones we choose to stand on.

    Numbers are like people . . . Torture them enough and they'll tell you anything.

    by Actuary4Change on Mon Apr 25, 2011 at 07:14:48 AM PDT

    •  Yes (0+ / 0-)

      NATO planners drew up a 3-month campaign enforcing the no-fly zone and protecting Libyans from Gadhafi forces.

    •  "We" don't "choose," that's done, like SS and Medi (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Enzo Valenzetti, divineorder

      care destruction, FOR us. Actually, TO "us." There is no "us" in "Kleptocracy."

      And spare me the stuff about how "we" have a "representative form of government." "Citizens United" and the 2000 election, and the Kodhing of Wisconsin and Michgan and everything that's happened since then tell "us," or ought to if we have half a brain between "us," that It. Ain't. So.

      "Is that all there is?" Peggy Lee.

      by jm214 on Mon Apr 25, 2011 at 08:11:05 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  These are Obama's choices (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        divineorder

        He's the one who put SS on the table, when he appointed the Cat Food Commission.

        He makes the decisions now (apparently we're not following the US Constitution anymore) about which countries to invade.

        Obama can't play it like Bush.  He can't engage in flawed public policy while blaming others for the fallout.  Obama's a Democrat and we hold our presidents to a higher standard.  I'm guessing there are days when Obama really regrets his choice of party affiliation.  Something to think about.

        It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it. ~ Aristotle

        by Betty Pinson on Mon Apr 25, 2011 at 01:16:17 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Nicely done (13+ / 0-)

    And the minute you start bombing someone's army you are, shall we say, putting yourself on his bad side.

    So bombing Qaddafi's troops and leaving him in power for years is really not a good outcome. The man has demonstrated the ability to cause trouble outside Libya.

    Anyone with a good suggestion as to where we go from here?

    Oh, and the CIA guys don't wear boots. Birkenstocks, mostly. So there are still no boots on the ground.

    In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice; but in practice, there always is a difference. - Yogi Berra

    by blue aardvark on Mon Apr 25, 2011 at 07:17:33 AM PDT

  •  Enough wars already. (13+ / 0-)

    You'd think two would be enough, but no. Who's next?

    Fuck me, it's a leprechaun.

    by MBNYC on Mon Apr 25, 2011 at 07:17:55 AM PDT

    •  How 'bout the older and weaker among us? (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      badger, Enzo Valenzetti, banger

      Doing a pretty good job of warring on them, now ain't we? Including "progressive" people here who have been sucked into the notions that talking about "class warfare" is "un-genteel," and don't nobody criticize The Only President We've Got, and gee, how about that inter-generational warfare that folks here find it is okay to carry on and foment and arm for, which is just one of the sucker baits the Wrongs are using to divide us, get us to dissipate our energy in useless bickering and fighting over the last cookie.

      And if you don't follow that last bit, try this:

      A CEO, a Tea Party activist, and a public employee were seated around a table. On the table, there was a plate with one dozen freshly-baked chocolate chip cookies. The CEO picked up eleven of the cookies, leaving one on the plate. The CEO turned to the Tea Bagger and said “Be careful, that public employee going to want a piece of your cookie."

      Substitute any pair or gaggle of non-Kleptocrat "claimants" 'round here to make the moral of that little story clearer, if you need to...

      "Is that all there is?" Peggy Lee.

      by jm214 on Mon Apr 25, 2011 at 08:39:25 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  There's always Yemen and Pakistan to escalate (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      MBNYC, banger, wsexson

      Or maybe the big one, Iran!

      Wait, were you being rhetorical?

    •  It's insanity (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      divineorder

      and Americans are fed up with it.  We can't afford it.

      It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it. ~ Aristotle

      by Betty Pinson on Mon Apr 25, 2011 at 01:18:20 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Three wars ago the slope was not so slippery (15+ / 0-)

    because our international stature and our diplomatic credibility were not so suspect.

    Our military industrial complex is only too happy to provide solutions that create more demand for their product.

    ........When all you have is a hammer, everything looks like it needs a good  pounding.

    If cats could blog, they wouldn't

    by crystal eyes on Mon Apr 25, 2011 at 07:18:51 AM PDT

  •  I'm glad you're here, Tom (6+ / 0-)

    Your chosen medium gets through to many otherwise resistant minds.

  •  Well Done! (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    joanneleon, Pluto, Woody, divineorder

    good to see someone being honest!!
    and also funny!!!

  •  McCain and Lieberman on Sunday talk,, (11+ / 0-)

    both rattling their imaginary sabres as were the usual suspects on Fox News Sunday. They never seem to mention how their plans for increased military involvement will be paid for. Where is all the concern for this deficit when the talk is of military action?

    You want to complain ... look at these shoes ... I've only had them three weeks and the heels are worn right through. Eric Idle

    by irate on Mon Apr 25, 2011 at 07:24:39 AM PDT

    •  Standing on the sidelines (6+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      TXdem, Sun dog, kevin k, sviscusi, Woody, Inoljt

      as Ghadaffi blew his citizens to shreds is not  exactly encouraging peace, either.  Neither option is good.  That's what happens when you take over after a sociopath held the office for 8 years.

      Sure, I'm grumpy, but I'm also a fun, fit, classy guy.

      by Grumpy Young Man on Mon Apr 25, 2011 at 08:13:54 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Ghadaffi (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        happymisanthropy, Pluto

        True, Ghadaffi will not win any peace prizes -- premature or not.

      •  Another victim of wartime propaganda (8+ / 0-)

        Qadaffi is a pretty awful guy, but no particularly different from his compatriots out of Saudi-Arabia or Bahrain or Yemen, all of which the West is happily supporting whilst they slaughter their populations.

        And really, intervening in any of these countries would be an awful idea. There's not much use in preventing the death of a couple of people, by murdering a whole lot more.

        If the West hadn't intervened, Libya's civil war might have well been over. Now the populace of Libya will probably be subjected to years of bloodshed.

        Also, Qadaffi was in power well before Bush ever came into office. You can blame that guy for a lot, but this isn't one of them.

        •  But, what's the right thing to do? (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Inoljt

          Ignore all of it?  Try to stop some of it in the most practical way possible?  Try to intervene in all of them at once?  No matter what, these people were pushing to get Ghadaffi out.  The president and the other Nato countries had to decide to act or not,  

          And, none of this means I am happy about our support of Saudi Arabia or any other dictatorships.  It also doesn't mean I want us to start bombing them.  It just means that, for now, the president made a decision I am accepting and hoping will work out for the best.  

          There's not much else I can do--and I'm not sure I have any better ideas.

          Sure, I'm grumpy, but I'm also a fun, fit, classy guy.

          by Grumpy Young Man on Mon Apr 25, 2011 at 01:06:10 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  I'm not so sure. Overthrowing the Saudi (0+ / 0-)

          monarchy and replacing it with something less insanely regressive would probably have general positive effects on the entire region, or even world; they're sort of the linchpin of regressiveness in the region.

          Of course, the US can't do it, having been propping up the Saudi monarchy for many decades.  All we really need to do is cut our support, though, it'll collapse on its own.

          Read pp. 1-7 of Krugman's _The Great Unraveling_ (available from Google Books). NOW.

          by neroden on Wed Apr 27, 2011 at 05:16:34 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  Very much so (0+ / 0-)

      No doubt the Nobel Committee is regretting their decision.

      It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it. ~ Aristotle

      by Betty Pinson on Mon Apr 25, 2011 at 01:20:54 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  My first HR ever (0+ / 0-)

      Oh well, was bound to happen, I spose.

      An example of HR abuse, methinks.

  •  sometimes ground you're on shifts (6+ / 0-)

    and you end up on an incline whether you like it or not.

    I love your comics, Tom, but occasionally life isn't a two dimensional drawing with a starting box and an ending box.

    What would you have done faced with impending massacre in Benghazi?

    Hint: there were no right answers to this question, only the necessity of answering.

    "Man is free at the moment he wishes to be." - Voltaire

    by DrFrankLives on Mon Apr 25, 2011 at 07:37:49 AM PDT

    •  Impending massacre in Benghazi (7+ / 0-)

      Like the impending massacres that are yet to happen in any of the other cities recaptured by Qadaffi?

      This remind me of Iraq, good thing the US invaded that place so they could prevent Saddam's Hussein's impending development of WMD's.

      •  From Juan Cole (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        DrFrankLives, Fogiv

        http://www.juancole.com/...

        Despite the pledges of the Qaddafi government that its troops would cease attacking Misrata, they heavily bombarded the city both on Saturday and Sunday, killing at least 32 persons and wounding dozens. Free Libya forces have taken much of the downtown area along Tripoli Street, including the central hospital, the last major bastion of the Qaddafi brigades, as the latter have been pushed to the west.

        the massacres are happening now, you stupid ideologue.

        •  32 people (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          divineorder

          that's about the same amount the Iraqi government killed during protests two months ago. Better re-invade.

          People die in wars. Further fueling the Libyan civil war isn't helping to prevent that.

          •  voting to "hide" someone (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Fogiv

            because you disagree with them is called cowardice.

            Now, on to your main point, which seems to be that the action in Libya is somehow the same as the invasion of Iraq, the very process by which Obama reached his decision, the amount of international backing it received, and the UN-sanctioned and mandated purpose of the action contradicts you.

            If you would like to point to something other than the fact that US military assets are in play to connect these two very different dots, go ahead, but if you want to play in the big leagues, you better bring some game.

            "Man is free at the moment he wishes to be." - Voltaire

            by DrFrankLives on Mon Apr 25, 2011 at 02:25:20 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  No (0+ / 0-)

              I'm saying more people are likely to end up killed by waging war on Libya, than doing nothing.

              Your right in saying the Iraq War was different. At least Bush and Rumsfeld had a plan. A very bad plan, but Obama, Sarkozy and Cameron are just making it up as they go along. Escalating further and further until the day comes that large numbers of ground troops and an occupation will be "needed".

              •  Bumbling around is good war policy. (0+ / 0-)

                If they are bumbling around that is.

                A Catholic, Jew, Muslim and Buddhist walk into Al Aqsa Mosque. Buddhist immediately exclaims: "excuse me I appear to be in the wrong joke."

                by Salo on Mon Apr 25, 2011 at 08:24:28 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  I'm not sure Sarkozy doesn't have a plan. (0+ / 0-)

                Seems to me like he's going with "Bomb any Qaddafi troops out in the desert, supply weapons and training to the anti-Qaddafi forces, then invade and help conquer the country".  Has he made any claims like Obama has of "not putting in ground troops"?

                Read pp. 1-7 of Krugman's _The Great Unraveling_ (available from Google Books). NOW.

                by neroden on Wed Apr 27, 2011 at 05:18:24 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

          •  Uprated to counter your HR (0+ / 0-)

            You can't HR someone with which you are in active disagreement.  Besides, 'stupid idealogue' is among the most innocuous insult I've seen here in recent weeks.

            Motley Moose: Progress Through Politics

            by Fogiv on Mon Apr 25, 2011 at 02:46:34 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  Great to see this cartoon (6+ / 0-)

    There has been little to zero discussion on Daily Kos lately about the rapidly changing developments in Libya. I fear that we will see ground troops involved before too long. As it is, the USA has brought in the drones, further deepening our involvement. Whether or not people support this war, there needs to be a national debate on it and more congressional involvement beyond John McCain's usual warmongering on the Sunday talk shows.

    "The pie shall be cut in half and each man shall receive...death. I'll eat the pie." Homer as Solomon

    by Lost Left Coaster on Mon Apr 25, 2011 at 07:38:04 AM PDT

  •  Indeed... (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    econlibVA, sviscusi, Woody, divineorder, Inoljt

    Obama should not be hand-cuffed by what he was already given.  It is fair to bring up the 'slippery slope', but realize that the military intervention IS preventing mass slaughter of Libyans.  Why do Libyans get special treatment?  Well, yes, they do have oil.  And we have a history with Qaddafi.  But of all the things Obama has done, this is near the bottom in the outrage meter.

    There is nothing more powerful in human existence than an idea that has been proven wrong.

    by RichM on Mon Apr 25, 2011 at 07:38:16 AM PDT

  •  I think there's room for nuance. (6+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    judyms9, neil, TXdem, Woody, Betty Pinson, Inoljt

    I've always supported the air strikes, and WOULD support arming the rebels at this point, if we chose to go that route.

    CIA on the ground? Not a fan of the concept, but it's better to have intelligence than to be operating completely in the dark.

    Specal forces units for training and advisement of rebel forces? If and only if it's requested by those forces, I can get behind that as well.

    But I draw a hard line at sending troops for combat operations. Will the slippery slope take us there? Probably. Possibly. And if does, that's when I stop supporting our efforts there.

    Maybe this puts me in a minority, but I also believe that losing in Libya IS an option. Helping the rebels win on their own terms is the preferred option, of course, but if we've given all of the support that I believe is appropriate (namely, that which is designed to put the rebels on more equitable footing with Gadaffi's forces) and they still can't make a decent go of it, then I think we have to fall back on more diplomatic options of dealing with Gadaffi.

    The second our own troops start leading the charge, the revolution loses every ounce of its validity.

    Regards,
    Corporate Dog

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

    by Corporate Dog on Mon Apr 25, 2011 at 07:41:31 AM PDT

  •  I geuss someone had to post it ;-) (4+ / 0-)

    Antemedius | Liberally Critical Thinking

    by Edger on Mon Apr 25, 2011 at 07:44:07 AM PDT

  •  The only war Obama doesn't like is Iraq. (5+ / 0-)

    Did anyone think Obama was going to get us into another war?  ANYONE?

  •  Sloperific! n/t (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    judyms9, divineorder

    Oh, there you are, Perry. -Phineas -SLB-

    by boran2 on Mon Apr 25, 2011 at 07:49:05 AM PDT

  •  Excellent cartoon! Keep up the great work (6+ / 0-)

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

    by slinkerwink on Mon Apr 25, 2011 at 07:53:32 AM PDT

  •  So glad you are here, Tom (4+ / 0-)

    Slip sliding away . . .
    Slip sliding away . . .
    You know the nearer your destination
    The more you're slip sliding away . . .

    I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just; that his justice cannot sleep forever. ~Thomas Jefferson

    by bobdevo on Mon Apr 25, 2011 at 08:09:29 AM PDT

  •  The fact that the intervention in Lybia was based (13+ / 0-)

    on a lie ("humanitarian reasons") should have raised every red flag available out there. But no - once again the public chose to ignore previous episodes ("this time it's going to be different") - and here we are right now. A "no-fly zone" shifted to a full blown regime change experiment, including no congressional authorization and the good old drones. How can someone support this circus? I have no idea.

    “In the beginning there was nothing, which exploded.” Terry Pratchett

    by 420 forever on Mon Apr 25, 2011 at 08:22:27 AM PDT

    •  Many "brain-deads" in politics, my friend (3+ / 0-)

      Look 420, there are a whole bunch of brain-dead folks on both sides of the political aisle.  These folks go rah-rah at anything and everything their favority side does...REGARDLESS.  They do the "justification" thingy within their narrow minded brains and, then, it's all good.

      Just my answer to your question about how someone can support this circus.  

    •  Full blown regime change, my ass. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      francophile, TheHalfrican

      Nobody has ever inflicted regime change by bombing military assets. There hasn't been an invasion. There's not going to be an invasion.

    •  You are wrong on 2 points (0+ / 0-)

      First, the UNSC voted 10-0 to intervene on humanitarian grounds. Neither China nor Russia vetoed because they knew it would have made them look awful. Gadhafi even used Tiananmen square as a predicate for the slaughter.

      Second, UNSC Resolution 1973 authorized the protection of Libyan civilians using "all means necessary" in addition to authorizing a no-fly zone.

      •  UN? (0+ / 0-)

        Um, the UN is even more political than the US.  I mean, they are notoriously anti-Israel and have become a pawn for the less-than-honorable of our world's countries.

        Using them as an impetus for our actions is good political rhetoric and political justifications, but the reality is, this is a world body with very specific beliefs and focus that is not always necessarily in tune with America.

      •  Just because the UN does something (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        420 forever, Eric K, Johnny Q

        doesn't automatically make it ok.

        The action of the West have gone far beyond that by the way. "All means necessary" can't be turned into "do whatever the fuck you want".

        Arming rebels for example is a clear violation of the UN resolution, as is bombing Qadaffi's forces to allow the rebels to advance.

        •  Yes, it is flexible language (0+ / 0-)

          Anything short of occupation.

          And my post citing UNSC Resolution 1973 merely rebutted 420 forever's erroneous claim that the military intervention's basis on humanitarian grounds was "a lie."

          Clearly, many people disagreed with the resolution--especially people within the Gadhafi regime.

          •  Nope, arming rebels far overshoots the resolutions (4+ / 0-)
            NATO's view of the matter appears to differ from the U.S. interpretation. In a statement issued Sunday, NATO, which has now officially taken over enforcement of the U.N. resolution, said it has "moved swiftly and decisively to enforce the arms embargo and no-fly zone" and that "NATO is impartial in this operation. The U.N. Security Council Resolution applies to all sides." And NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen told CNN: "The U.N. mandate authorizes the enforcement of an arms embargo. ... We are not in Libya to arm people, but to protect people."

            http://www.salon.com/...

            "The embargo appears to cover everybody in the conflict which means you can't supply arms to rebels," said Philippe Sands QC, professor of international law at University College London.

            ...

            Professor Nicholas Grief, director of legal studies at the University of Kent, said that to him the 17 March resolution in fact appeared to strengthen the arms embargo by calling for its "strict implementation" by member states.

            "I don't see how they can say that reading them together means they can circumvent the arms embargo," he said. "The resolution makes clear it is for the security council to decide whether to strengthen, suspend or lift the arms embargo, not for member states to act unilaterally."

            ...

            A leading expert on UN law who has advised the British government and asked not to be named said: "The attempt to take the two resolutions together to justify arming the rebels looks like an imaginative interpretation by the US. I don't think the security council had the rebels in mind when it passed the resolution. I would be interested to see what the US argument is in detail."

            "The idea of the arms embargo resolution is to limit the supply of arms to both sides, as similar UN embargoes covering Iraq and Haiti have done."

            http://www.guardian.co.uk/...

            •  That is up for debate (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              divineorder

              Some, including Secretary Clinton, have argued that the arms embargo language in 1970 is superseded by "all means necessary" in 1973 when it comes to arming the rebels to protect civilians from advancing Gadhafi forces.

              Clearly, all Gadhafi military assets are legitimate targets due to the regime's continued assault on civilian populations with indiscriminate shelling and use of cluster bombs.

              Sorry you didn't get your way, though.

  •  ... (0+ / 0-)

    Not that I don't love Tom Tomorrow, but do his comics really need to be frontpaged, featured, and recommended? One thing in three places seems kind of redundant, especially when it remains in the featured list all week.

  •  Fail... (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TXdem, ladasue, Inoljt, TheHalfrican

    Sorry Tom Tomorrow, but I think your "slippery slope"logic falls short of making sense. Why?

    For the following reasons:

    1) "We intervened in Libya to prevent a humanitarian diseaster."

    Yes we did. And it remains relevant today while we are trying to topple Gaddafi.

    Who was responsible for a possible humanitarian diseaster in Libya?

    Gaddafi and his henchmen.

    So, toppling Gaddafi is not "regime change" but the very reason (preventing humanitarian diseaster) we intervened in Libya for.

    Proof? What has Gaddafi been doing? Using his military power on civilians.

    Therefore, Gaddafi has lost his LEGITIMACY as a leader of his people. Removing him will not mean 'regime change.' Only legitimate leaders count as legitimate regimes. The people of Libya will ultimately decide on who will be their leaders.

    2) CIA IS NOT "TROOPS" ("troops" was meant by "boots on the ground")

    ps: If you wish to discredit Barack Obama, you have to come up with something more real. This one fails.

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

    by zenox on Mon Apr 25, 2011 at 08:30:00 AM PDT

    •  The war propaganda is strong in this one (11+ / 0-)
      1) "We intervened in Libya to prevent a humanitarian diseaster."

      Yes we did. And it remains relevant today while we are trying to topple Gaddafi.

      Who was responsible for a possible humanitarian diseaster in Libya?

      Gaddafi and his henchmen.

      So, toppling Gaddafi is not "regime change" but the very reason (preventing humanitarian diseaster) we intervened in Libya for.

      Proof? What has Gaddafi been doing? Using his military power on civilians.

      Barack Obama on March 28, 2011:

      "Of course, there is no question that Libya -– and the world –- would be better off with Qaddafi out of power. I, along with many other world leaders, have embraced that goal, and will actively pursue it through non-military means. But broadening our military mission to include regime change would be a mistake."

      http://www.politico.com/...

      Therefore, Gaddafi has lost his LEGITIMACY as a leader of his people. Removing him will not mean 'regime change.' Only legitimate leaders count as legitimate regimes. The people of Libya will ultimately decide on who will be their leaders.
      Sorry, but you can't just redefine the dictionary like that.

      Removing Gaddafi from power is just as much regime change as removing Saddam Hussein or the Taliban was.

      2) CIA IS NOT "TROOPS" ("troops" was meant by "boots on the ground")
      Yes, they are. They're military ground troops fighting a war. Just like these are:

      http://english.aljazeera.net/...
      http://www.dailymail.co.uk/...

    •  Oh my. (7+ / 0-)
      1) "We intervened in Libya to prevent a humanitarian diseaster."

      Yes we did. And it remains relevant today while we are trying to topple Gaddafi.

      Who was responsible for a possible humanitarian diseaster in Libya?

      Gaddafi and his henchmen.

      So, toppling Gaddafi is not "regime change" but the very reason (preventing humanitarian diseaster) we intervened in Libya for.

      That's the whole point of the slippery slope:  By taking the first step (protecting civilians) we can't stop ourselves from sliding farther down the incline (displacing Qadaffi, even though we still insist that isn't the mission).  And when the regime is displaced, then what?  The slope will still be just as slippery, and civilians will still be vulnerable as different factions battle for power.

      Therefore, Gaddafi has lost his LEGITIMACY as a leader of his people. Removing him will not mean 'regime change.' Only legitimate leaders count as legitimate regimes. The people of Libya will ultimately decide on who will be their leaders.

      wha?  The concern is about "collateral damage," not legitimacy or other ethical debate topics.  Specifically, the people who will be blown up in the process.  It's just as messy whether the bastard is legitimate or not.

      Also, who the hell are we to decide who is legitimate and who isn't?  Is everybody who comes to power in a bloody coup illegitimate, or only those who fight to hold power in the face of a bloody coup?

      2) CIA IS NOT "TROOPS" ("troops" was meant by "boots on the ground")

      Boots on the ground are, literally, boots on the ground.  Who are you to tell the cartoonist what he meant?

      ps: If you wish to discredit Barack Obama, you have to come up with something more real. This one fails.

      Not everything is about Obama!  This accurately describes where the US is now:  Sliding towards an ugly mess.

      I can't be an elitist! I have stupid friends!

      by happymisanthropy on Mon Apr 25, 2011 at 10:38:36 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Who am I? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Inoljt
        "Boots on the ground are, literally, boots on the ground.  Who are you to tell the cartoonist what he meant?"
        The cartoonist implies the sameness of CIA with the "boots on the ground" which is generally understood as the "troops" by the majority of the public.

        And no, CIA is not the "troops." We do not have to  declare war to send CIA into any place. With "troops" there has to be a declaration of war. CIA can be anyone, anywhere, including the foreign nationals.

        Who am I to tell the cartoonist what he meant?

        I am zenox, and I told the cartoonist what I think he meant.

        Do you have a problem with your reasoning?

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

        by zenox on Mon Apr 25, 2011 at 01:43:39 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  also (4+ / 0-)

      the CIA wear nice shoes, not boots so this proves...something.

  •  CIA was on the ground (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TXdem, Scrambies, Inoljt

    Question: Don't you think the C IA has been 'on the ground' in Libya long before the uprising? They're 'on the ground' everywhere -- that's what they do. Conflating intelligence work with infantry work lies somewhere on the spectrum between confused and dishonest.

  •  If all decisions included the notion that we have (4+ / 0-)

    to reinstate the draft to go forward militarily, would we go?  If the thing isn't worth every able-bodied American suiting up for it, is it worth it just because we can do it?  Every military enmeshment has the potential to metastisize into something for which were undermanned.  We must think this far out on these matters because as TT points out, there is an abyss to slide into.

  •  how many deaths in Libya would be OK? (5+ / 0-)

    Tom - I love your work, but how many deaths in Libya would be OK with you?  I'm serious.  The Obama Administration, along with our NATO allies looked at the information they had and felt that there was going to be a massacre in Libya.  So, how many deaths would it take until NATO intervened?  1,000?, 10,000? 100,000?

    A while back, I read Samantha Power's book, A Problem from Hell. That book detailed all of the genocides of the 20th Century.  Do you know that this wouldn't have been the first genocide of the 21st Century if we hadn't intervened?

    I think the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are BS, and I think that we need to bring the troops home from there.  But I'[m fine with what we're doing in Libya.  In fact, I'd be really upset if we just let those folks get massacred.  Even though they are in another country, I do care about them and don't want them to get killed.

    •  How much killing are you willing to do? (8+ / 0-)

      These sorts of questions obscure the reasons for using military force.

      •  How many people are you willing to let die? (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        greengemini, Inoljt

        When considering whether and what kind of military force to use, we should consider a lot of factors.  In a case like this, one of the factors should be how many people will die if you don't.  If a million people were to be killed by some genocidal maniac, and we could stop it with a relatively small military action, then I think we have a moral responsibility to do so.

        Now, I don't think that a million people are at risk in Libya, but it was certainly possible that 100,000 people would have been murdered by Gadhafi if we hadn't intervened.  Benghazi's tribes have long been opponents of Gadhafi, and Gadhafi seems to have very little limit on how many people he's willing to kill to maintain power.

        In the case of Libya, this was an intervention that NATO could do and has done.  It's not over yet, but we've prevented a likely massacre and will most likely continue to do so.

        I don't know if we'll get Gadhafi out of power in Libya.  I can imagine an outcome where Libya is split, and another where the rebels, with NATO help, eventually win.  As long as we stay involved, the rebels won't lose.  In any case, we've done well to intervene in Libya, and I hope the world community continues to intervene in places where people are at risk of slaughter and we can make a difference.

      •  Word. elVAnother 'liberal hawk ?" Nation article (0+ / 0-)

        http://www.thenation.com/...The Innocence of the Liberal Hawk

        n the first flush of the occupation of Iraq, shortly after the statues were pulled down, Thomas Friedman wrote, “Whether you were for or against this war…you have to feel good that right has triumphed over wrong. America did the right thing here. It toppled one of the most evil regimes on the face of the earth, and I don’t think we know even a fraction of how deep that evil went.”

        Flash forward eight years, and the Financial Times’s Gideon Rachman writes, “For all the justified anxiety about the Libyan conflict, it is important to remember the potential gains. The first goal is humanitarian. The Gaddafi regime is extremely brutal and would have extracted a horrible revenge on the people and cities involved in the rebellion. If things go well, intervening in Libya might also help to turn the tide against the gathering forces of reaction in the Middle East. A democratic Middle East remains in the long-term interests of its people, and of the rest of the world.”

        The innocence of the liberal hawk is one of the few truly renewable resources America seems to have in abundance. Liberal hawks treasure their innocence but are also very careless with it, for they keep on losing it. And each time they misplace it, they manage to find it again just in time for the next bad idea.

    •  Massacre schmassacre (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      divineorder
      Tom - I love your work, but how many deaths in Libya would be OK with you?  I'm serious.  The Obama Administration, along with our NATO allies looked at the information they had and felt that there was going to be a massacre in Libya.  So, how many deaths would it take until NATO intervened?  1,000?, 10,000? 100,000?
      Or alternatively, the Obama Administration, along with NATO allies, looked at Libya and saw a dictator they didn't like, in a country with plenty of oil, and a nice opportunity for BP, Total S.A and ExxonMobil to expand their portfolio.

      When you accuse someone of planning to massacre large amounts of people you have to provide ironclad evidence. We're talking about the worst crime in existence. Simply accusing someone just isn't enough.

      So far there's been no evidence of serious massacres committed by Qadaffi in any of the recaptured cities.

      •  Evidence (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        econlibVA

        For one thing, how would any evidence of serious massacres emerge from a retaken city? Do you think the government media handlers would take the foreign press by the mass grave?

        Second, the massacre that's being avoided is a slow and meticulous one, where the regime tracks down its enemies, who have exposed themselves by openly protesting, and tortures and kills them, just like pretty much every dictatorial regime has ever done at some point.

        And the US can't stop all of them, but it's a happy coincidence that Gaddafi's main strength is heavy weapons in the desert, and there's nothing the US military is as good at as blowing up heavy weapons in the desert. If we could've resolved the Darfur crisis that way we would have done so a long time ago. Similar to what's going on now in Syria -- we don't have bombs accurate enough to pick government troops with machine guns out of a crowd.

        •  So you admit there's no evidence. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          divineorder
          For one thing, how would any evidence of serious massacres emerge from a retaken city? Do you think the government media handlers would take the foreign press by the mass grave?
          So yeah, no proof.
          Second, the massacre that's being avoided is a slow and meticulous one, where the regime tracks down its enemies, who have exposed themselves by openly protesting, and tortures and kills them, just like pretty much every dictatorial regime has ever done at some point.
          Sure, but violent opression in is a completely different league than genocide.
          And the US can't stop all of them, but it's a happy coincidence that Gaddafi's main strength is heavy weapons in the desert, and there's nothing the US military is as good at as blowing up heavy weapons in the desert.
          I'm waiting anxiously for the U.S. to start bombing Saudi heavy equipment.
          •  Genocide? (0+ / 0-)

            The Saudis aren't going to use heavy weapons to suppress uprisings, because their American allies wouldn't accept it, like they wouldn't accept Mubarak using his American-funded army against protesters.

            And massacre is not a synonym for genocide.

            •  If it's not flat-out genocide, (0+ / 0-)

              but "only" a dictator violently oppressing his people, it's not worth going in. Also, Obama and others alleged they had to go in to stop large scale killings, not ordinary war violence.

              And regarding Saudi-Arabia, the West doesn't mind it teaming up with Bahrain to slaughter the protesters in that that country.

      •  lots of deaths so far... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        TXdem

        There have been lots of deaths so far in the fighting in Libya and lots of atrocities by Gadhafi forces.  No, there haven't yet been any massacres because we haven't allowed there to be any.

        The rhetoric and actions coming from Gadhafi and his regime were extremely worrisome - he was engaging in dehumanization of his enemies and really moving towards what could have been a huge massacre.

        Maybe it wouldn't have happened.  But, there was enough of a chance that I wouldn't have wanted to wait to find out.

        I think that in preventing large-scale massacres, you may not have all the information you want before having to make a decision on preventing it, especially given how quickly you may have to make a decision.

        So, no, I don't think you have to have ironclad evidence that an atrocity is about to happen before you stop it.

        Your comments about oil don't make any sense.  International oil companies already worked in Libyan oil fields.  We actually had repaired our relationship with Gadhafi before the civil war started.  If all we cared about was oil, we would have let Gadhafi win so that that oil kept flowing.  Our intervention in the Libyan civil war temporarily decreases oil supplies, and doesn't have any long-term prospect of increasing them.

        •  Things (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          fidel, Code Monkey, divineorder
          There have been lots of deaths so far in the fighting in Libya and lots of atrocities by Gadhafi forces.  No, there haven't yet been any massacres because we haven't allowed there to be any.
          Bullshit, Qadaffi has had plenty of opportunity.
          The rhetoric and actions coming from Gadhafi and his regime were extremely worrisome - he was engaging in dehumanization of his enemies and really moving towards what could have been a huge massacre.
          Reports about Qadaffi's rhetoric were exaggerated. In any case, this is a dictator trying to crush his population into submission to remain in power. It's different in its intent from your average ethnic cleansing.

          Look, if war were clean things in which no people get hurt. Then hey, by all means, remove Qadaffi. But wars are terrible things, with awful and unpredictable consequences. It's looking more and more likely that this war might evolve into something that will produce far greater casualties than Qadaffi himself would ever have caused. In the similar way that removing Saddam Hussein led to a clusterfuck that killed hundreds of thousands of Iraqis.

          Your comments about oil don't make any sense.  International oil companies already worked in Libyan oil fields.  We actually had repaired our relationship with Gadhafi before the civil war started.  If all we cared about was oil, we would have let Gadhafi win so that that oil kept flowing.  Our intervention in the Libyan civil war temporarily decreases oil supplies, and doesn't have any long-term prospect of increasing them.
          Absolutely, I was being facetious. My point was that the intentions of Obama and others might not be as noble as they themselves portray them.
      •  Gaddhafi was plenty willing to sell the West oil (0+ / 0-)

        ... I have pretty mixed feelings about this whole mission, and Tom's cartoon illustrates one of the big ones: mission creep. But I find the point about oil to be silly. Gaddhafi was plenty willing to sell the West oil and BP and other Western oil companies had very lucrative contracts with his regime. If that were the main concern, it would have been best to leave Gaddhafi in power and preserve the existing arrangements.

  •  I gotta ask this again.... (6+ / 0-)

    Is Obama and his regime just "Bush lite"?  What are we doing?  What's the objective?  Why are we spending the billions on all these ventures in the ME?  What's the advantage to the U.S.?

    If I didn't know better, I'd say that our military leaders...the Joint Chiefs...are actually running our foreign policy rather than the president and his cabinet.

    Someone have a clue why we're actually doing all this stuff in the ME?  C'mon, someone has a good thought here, I just know it.

  •  A flawed metaphor (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    divineorder, Inoljt

    I've come to believe that the slippery slope is a flawed metaphor. There are two components two this metaphor. (1) when you move down the slope, you are closer to the bottom, therefore it means you are closer to doing the worst thing and (2) the slope is slippery, therefore the more you move down the slope, the easier it is to move even further down the slope.

    The implication of this metaphor is that any movement towards a position you don't like, of necessity, increases the rate of movement towards a position you don't like.

    I think this is where the metaphor is flawed. For there is often little evidence that taking the step from A to B makes the step from B to C easier. Yes, moving from A to B means you have completed half of the work of moving from A to C. But it may take just as much work to get from B to C as it does to get from A to B. So moving from A to B does not make moving from B to C any more likely.

    The domino theory that dominated U.S. foreign policy during the Cold War is a perfect example of what I am talking about. The theory was that if you let one country fall to communism, that meant that the odds on the fall of other countries to communism would increase. What this loses sight of is the fact that each step in the process takes work, and the fact that the first step was completed does not make making the subsequent steps happen any easier.

    To use another analogy, just because you've broken the eggs does not mean you have finished the recipe for a cake. Mixing in the other ingredients takes more work, not less.

    •  Are you kidding me? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Johnny Q

      You don't think that humanitarian intervention has already brought us closer to regime change?

      I can't be an elitist! I have stupid friends!

      by happymisanthropy on Mon Apr 25, 2011 at 10:44:22 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I didn't say that (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        divineorder

        Read it again. I'm saying that the effort necessary to move our position form neutrality to humanitarian intervention does not make the effort to move from humanitarian intervention to regime change any less than it was before.

        More formally: if moving from A to B takes X amount of effort and moving from B to C takes Y amount of effort. Then the total effort to move from A to C is X+Y. The fact that we have already moved from A to B does not mean that Y will be any less than it was before. It will still be Y.

        I object to the "slippery" portion of the "slippery slope" argument because it implies that, once you move from A to B, moving from B to C is almost inevitable.

  •  “boots on the ground” (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Friendlystranger, Matt Z, Inoljt

    Sorry, but this is one of my pet peeves.

    Obama has never used the phrase as far as I know. He has consistently used less hollywoodian formulations like “The United States is not going to deploy ground troops into Libya” and “we will not deploy any U.S. troops on the ground”.

    My point is that he has never excluded spies/CIA, pilot rescue operations by US Marines, or even in-and-out commando operations. The “boots on the ground” wording was a paraphrase generated by (largely critical, right-wing) journalists and bloggers, and now it is widely believed that Obama said it. But he didn't. He said something rather different, and has, as far as I know, stuck to what he said. I hope he continues to do so.

    Anyway, it bugs me to read those words attributed to Obama here.

    Just my 2¢ worth.

    Greg Shenaut

    •  A Rose (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      badger, Enzo Valenzetti

      A rose, by any other name, is still a rose.

      Next issue.

    •  The White House has used the phrase (3+ / 0-)

      Maybe Obama himself has not said it in a public appearance, but his press secretary has used those words to characterize the President's policy.

      •  I'm not sure that he has (0+ / 0-)

        I've looked and what I've seen is that there have been questions using that phrase, but not answers.

        I'm prepared to be corrected on this if you have a reference.

        Thanks,
        Greg Shenaut

        •  Reference (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Enzo Valenzetti, wsexson, divineorder
          "The president obviously was aware of this decision and supports it, and hopes and believes it will help the opposition," Jay Carney told reporters aboard Obama's official Air Force One airplane on the way to California.

          "But it does not at all change the president's policy of no boots on the ground for American troops," said Carney.

          US backs allies sending military aides to Libya, AP, 4/20/2011

          •  Interesting. (0+ / 0-)

            I agree the phrase is there.

            However, it still maintains the critical distinction between things like CIA, commando raids, and rescue missions versus the deployment of US ground troops.

            the president's policy of no boots on the ground for American troops

            In other words, the presence of the CIA doesn't contradict either Obama or Carney.

            Greg Shenaut

            •  Yes it does (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              divineorder

              CIA agents directing a war are just as bad as ordinary soldiers directing a war.

              •  No, I don't think so (0+ / 0-)

                Traditionally, the term “boots on the ground” has had a meaning very different from “standing on the ground with boots on”. It has referred specifically to the use of ground troops to consolidate and to hold territory captured by other means, such as by air power, naval power, artillery, or armor. It implies a military occupation.

                I believe that Obama has taken great pains NOT to get us involved in a military occupation of Libya, while fulfilling our treaty obligations to the UN to protect civilians and, to a more limited degree, supporting the democratic movement in Libya.

                As soon as American ground troops get deployed there, this will all change, and our commitment will become much larger.

                But the CIA has probably been in Libya since before it was called the CIA. There is nothing new or remarkable about their presence there, or about their role in the UN/NATO mission there. And it certain doesn't mean what the traditional meaning of “boots on the ground” has meant, nor does it contradict Obama's words or (I assume) his purpose.

                Of course, two things that are not the same can be equally bad, so in that sense, it is quite possible to agree with your comment and with what I've written above. (As it happens, though, I don't agree with your comment.)

                Greg Shenaut

                •  General Platt comments (0+ / 0-)

                  “Boots on the ground
                  Boots on the ground
                  Looking like a fool
                  with those boots on the ground.”

                  The C.I.A. has become an unofficial part of the U.S. military. It conducts military actings like bomb places. What they're doing exactly in Libya is unknown. But it's not that far-fetched to speculate, that they're marking targets for bombings, training and leading rebel forces, and supplying weapons. All of which are ordinary military operations.

                  With regards to more troops on the ground. Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld never meant for the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq to devolve into long term occupations and nation building exercises either but it still happened.

                  Obama is someone who has already escalated multiple wars. And the war in Iraq is being drawn out as long as possible, with the U.S. attempting to keep 10,000 troops their after the withdrawal deadline.

                  The U.S. is incapable of admitting a defeat and backing down. It will continue escalating against all odds this time as well.

        •  here you go (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Enzo Valenzetti, divineorder
          White House spokesman Jay Carney said Obama approved of France's decision to send military advisers into insurgent-held eastern Libya, with Britain and Italy set to follow suit.

          "The president obviously was aware of this decision and supports it, and hopes and believes it will help the opposition," Carney told reporters aboard Air Force One en route to California.

          "But it does not at all change the president's policy of no boots on the ground for American troops."

          http://www.google.com/...

  •  Worth paying attention to (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Inoljt

    But really, the only alternative to avoiding the so-called "slippery slope" is laissez-faire, seems to me. But there's one thing I never hear from people equating Libya, and now Syria, with Iraq and Afghanistan. The thing I never hear is what we are supposed to be doing other than what's being done. Because oil or no oil, standing by while non-violent demonstrators are murdered seems bad policy.

    •  And, how many countries is this happening in? (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Enzo Valenzetti, fidel, divineorder

      When do we draw the line where we stop this?

      Isn't that the BIG question?  And, the other question is...WHY US?

      •  Why us? (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Enzo Valenzetti, divineorder

        Chomsky explains that in a article that can be found here

        Long story short...after WW2 we decided to take over the world.

        And apparently, we think we still can...

        "Get up, Stand up" ~ Bob Marley

        by trinityfly on Mon Apr 25, 2011 at 10:06:32 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Why France and the UK? (0+ / 0-)

          They were pushing much harder in the UN, at a point when the U.S. seemed not to be interested. Are they in on it?

          •  Chomsky's article is worth a read, (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Enzo Valenzetti, divineorder

            though some of it is a little difficult because of very long sentences.

            A little about Europe and NATO from the article:

            It was always recognized that Europe might choose to follow an independent course. NATO was partially intended to counter this threat. As soon as the official pretext for NATO dissolved in 1989, NATO was expanded to the East in violation of verbal pledges to Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev. It has since become a U.S.-run intervention force, with far-ranging scope, spelled out by NATO Secretary-General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer, who informed a NATO conference that “NATO troops have to guard pipelines that transport oil and gas that is directed for the West,” and more generally to protect sea routes used by tankers and other “crucial infrastructure” of the energy system.

            "Get up, Stand up" ~ Bob Marley

            by trinityfly on Mon Apr 25, 2011 at 10:36:39 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  France has upcoming elections (0+ / 0-)

            The UK just does whatever other countries tells it to.

      •  We can only help in Libya (0+ / 0-)

        .. because Libya is the only country using tanks, artillery and airplanes against the protesters. It so happens that the U.S. military is very good at blowing up tanks, artillery and airplanes with very little manpower and risk.

        In Syria they're machine-gunning crowds. There's nothing we can do about that besides sending in people to machine-gun the machine-gunners. That's a much more significant commitment in terms of both manpower and risk.

        •  Silly (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          divineorder

          Libya is using tanks, artillery and airplanes because it's fighting a civil war.

          Nothing prevents it from further repressing their population with machine guns.

          •  Of course they are using machine guns (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            divineorder

            And we're not doing anything about it, because that would require too much of a commitment.

            Also, calling it a 'civil war' tends to obscure the fact that all of the tanks, artillery and airplanes belong to one side. That's why Gaddafi has been calling it that since day one, while other people have been calling the use of heavy weapons against civilian population centers 'massacres.'

            •  Or you can do what aggressors usually do (0+ / 0-)

              and call civilian casualties in a war collateral damage.

              The point remains is that there's no evidence of deliberate, large-scale murder of civilians. And if there isn't a large amount of killings to prevent, you're only making things worse by fueling a civil war.

          •  In civilization we call tank on civilian killing (0+ / 0-)

            Tyranny.

            Simples.

            A Catholic, Jew, Muslim and Buddhist walk into Al Aqsa Mosque. Buddhist immediately exclaims: "excuse me I appear to be in the wrong joke."

            by Salo on Mon Apr 25, 2011 at 08:35:41 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  Sorry (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Johnny Q, divineorder, Inoljt

      But you can't bomb the world into peace.

      Bad things happen. and if the U.S. is truly concerned about these sort of things, it should start by not supporting dictators like these.

  •  The Slippery Slope (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    divineorder

    The slippery slope is, in many ways, related to the non-level playing field.

  •  The way we got into this war (4+ / 0-)

    was no more Constitutional than the way Nixon/Kissinger got our military involved in Cambodia. The difference is that in the days of Nixon and Kissinger, they knew they had to hide their violations if they were to avoid the wrath of Congress.

    "R's big lie: Too much govt spending created Grt Recession, and cutting spending will get us out. O and Ds refuse to rebut the lie." -- Robert Reich

    by Sagebrush Bob on Mon Apr 25, 2011 at 09:33:23 AM PDT

  •  Thanks Tom (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    divineorder

    Your pieces helped me get through the Bush years. Another great one.

  •  Meanwhile in Afghanistan (5+ / 0-)

    Taliban tunnel frees Kandahar prisoners, in blow to NATO and Afghan forces

    The Taliban tunneled into Kandahar’s main prison and freed more than 470 prisoners. The security breach has further undermined Afghan faith in the government.

    In one of the most elaborate prison breaks in recent Afghan history, the Taliban managed to free hundreds of inmates from Kandahar’s central prison in the early hours of Monday morning through a 1,180-foot tunnel.

    The mass escape – reportedly not discovered until hours after it was over – has further shaken Afghans’ faith in their government, and intensified concerns that the freed prisoners will bolster the insurgency in Kandahar.

    But lest we forget, we're making progress!!!

    "R's big lie: Too much govt spending created Grt Recession, and cutting spending will get us out. O and Ds refuse to rebut the lie." -- Robert Reich

    by Sagebrush Bob on Mon Apr 25, 2011 at 09:49:02 AM PDT

  •  2020, President elect Washington promises to (6+ / 0-)

    get combat troops out of Libya, Afghanistan, Iraq, Yemen, Pakistan, Sudan, Syria, and Lebanon by at least 2024.   Conditions on the ground considered.  

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

    by BigAlinWashSt on Mon Apr 25, 2011 at 09:51:59 AM PDT

  •  This is the conundrum of the "Responsibilty (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TXdem, greengemini

    to Protect" provision that the UN has come up with to deal with the moral issues of times and places like Rowanda.  In studying the issues it became clear to me that this first experience trying to implement it is important both because it was attempted at all (despite the known generic controversial aspects), and as a way to figure out the best ways to actually (not just theoretically) do it.  I applaud the President for undertaking this.  It would be a challenge whenever or whoever tried this.

    I am also very "mad" at John McCain for his opportunism.  I wish Colin Powell could be the high profile military connected Republican senator weighing in on this first attempt.

    •  R2P is missing from a lot of the discussion (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      cuphalffull, divineorder

      But it really is important to understand that the UN adopted it in 2005 and reaffirmed it in 2009. The UNSC is supposed to judge that all of these criteria have been met when considering implementing the policy in a given country:

         1. Just Cause
         2. Right Intention
         3. Final Resort
         4. Legitimate Authority
         5. Proportional Means
         6. Reasonable Prospect

      http://responsibilitytoprotect.org/...

      http://en.wikipedia.org/...

      •  Thanks so much for information (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        TXdem, divineorder

        I have been thinking of trying to drum up a discussion in our community on the topic even with a limited group.  I have a book on the subject and I really appreciate the succinct list of criteria and the links.

        •  Cool (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          divineorder

          It seems to me that the post-Cold War landscape helped push this doctrine along, since before there were so many proxy wars between the Soviets and the U.S. that caused one or the other to veto just about any UNSC resolution.

          I would assume that the vast majority of the recent U.S. vetoes in this chart have to do with Israel.

          •  Would you ever consider a full blown diary on this (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            divineorder

            I have been trying to educate myself on this topic and have been mystified why this aspect of the Libyan intervention is not brought up more.  If you have the time maybe it would be a service to the discussion as you said.

            •  Ah, I see you found it (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              divineorder

              I didn't get to far into the technical weeds since I haven't studied it extensively. I actually was just giving my opinion on sensible parameters for R2P, and then found that list on the wiki analysis after I saw your comment. I was like, hey that makes sense!

              •  You're a quick study then (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                divineorder

                Our small group discussed this topic right after we worked on a study guide about the International Criminal Court.

                 I have noted that since that time prosecutions have started in the court and convictions have been handed down.  The possibility of holding the Ghadaffi regime accountable in that court is a viable threat now.  I think eventually if the court is supported internationally this will be an important tool for human rights and justice.

                I don't think the US has signed on the dotted line to its support of the court as of yet.  I could also be not up to date.

      •  Double thanks (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        TXdem

        I just subscribed to the newsletter at the R2P site.  I didn't know it existed.  Love all the good info I get on Dkos.

  •  Obama should thank McCain. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Pluto, Johnny Q, Matt Z

    He'll always stake out the craziest position.

    Ideology is an excuse to ignore common sense.

    by Bush Bites on Mon Apr 25, 2011 at 10:05:52 AM PDT

  •  Just because Republicans support military action (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    neil, TXdem, Inoljt

    doesn't necessarily mean we have to oppose it.

    "Political Correctness" is a term coined by those who trivialize the scars of others and minimize the suffering of victims while highlighting their own wounds.

    by Coss on Mon Apr 25, 2011 at 10:08:43 AM PDT

  •  Governing is hard. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    greengemini, Inoljt

    Someone will always be mad.

    But no one is pure in this. dead Libyans are just as dead if killed by their dictator's forces.

    It is not enough to just be mad. It is not enough to just be antiwar/antimilitary/antiimperalist. You have to articulate why letting death take place in this instance was ok with you. All talk about anywhere else is not relevant as the cartoon is about Libya.

    I know there is no point in commenting on certain subjects (and the list seems to continue to grow) and matters of war is one of them. I just think there were no good choices here and some people are all up on their highest horse because, like the cartoonist, they have skipped over many details including the hard parts.

    "Most people would sooner die than think; in fact, they do so." ...Bertrand Russell

    by sebastianguy99 on Mon Apr 25, 2011 at 10:12:16 AM PDT

    •  consider the ideas put forth here (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Betty Pinson, divineorder

      http://www.thenation.com/...

      Some interesting food for thought.

      "'Things would be a lot worse without us,' is not a winning campaign slogan." Barney Frank

      by cassandraX on Mon Apr 25, 2011 at 11:37:49 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I don't get why pointing to the obvious... (0+ / 0-)

      low-traction incline down which we've slipped means one doesn't understand the complexities humanitarian atrocities.

      Did you not notice the part where we expanded the mission to include regime change, despite specific claims otherwise?

      But yes, things are just so complicated that words no longer mean anything at all. So days really are weeks. And those aren't boots on the ground, they're just the steel-toed shoes of the CIA. And maybe special-ops.

  •  Love your stuff Tom! (0+ / 0-)

    Been reading it in the Stranger for years!

  •  I like the cartoon, even though I support interven (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Prinny Squad, Matt Z, Inoljt

    tion in Libya.

    I wish we had been as decisive in Bosnia and Rwanda in terms of having the UN support action to stop a bloodbath, and I think stands as a great precedent (even though it hasn't proven much deterrence for what's going on in Syria).

    The ability to quote is a serviceable substitute for wit. Somerset Maugham

    by verasoie on Mon Apr 25, 2011 at 10:34:37 AM PDT

    •  You know, (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Enzo Valenzetti, verasoie

      I'd be more inclined to believe that this was about helping people if we helped people in countries without oil.

      That's the difference between now and then.

      The oil was being disrupted, and that couldn't be allowed, so we're taking Gadaffi out.

      An Fhirinn an aghaidh an t'Saoghail.

      by OllieGarkey on Mon Apr 25, 2011 at 10:44:50 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  We did eventually intervene in Bosnia, just after (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        OllieGarkey

        the genocide had taken place (although our presence their certainly prevented more loss of life).

        The UN precedent is tremendous and will be a useful tool in the future.

        The ability to quote is a serviceable substitute for wit. Somerset Maugham

        by verasoie on Mon Apr 25, 2011 at 03:31:25 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  That makes no sense. (0+ / 0-)

        If our objective was to minimize disruptions, we would have simply let Qadaffi crush the rebels so we could get back to business as usual.  I've said that this is not about oil.  I will insist until someone presents a single cogent argument to the contrary.

  •  If we are really concerned ... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Pluto, Enzo Valenzetti, Code Monkey

    ...about preventing humanitarian disasters -- why aren't we in Mexico.  More people get killed in Mexico than in Afghanistan and Libya combined each year.

  •  The best sob story wins the right (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Enzo Valenzetti, divineorder

    to demand outside  intervention in their war of liberation or resistance.  Of course there are cases of genuine suffering and oppression going on in the world, but none of it merits American intervention if it means depriving one resident in America of an education or health care.  Nonetheless, people will want to go out to help oppressed folk without regards to costs.  To that point it should be recalled that the now universally unpopular anti-Muslim crusades started by George Bush were initially greeted with 75% and 67% approval ratings.  And it should be remembered how embarrassingly it turned out that the Balkan fiasco was a brouhaha of one bunch of SOB's beating up on another bunch of SOB's which was only prolonged by NATO intervention.  Likewise there's sentiment now in favor of collaborating with the Libyan rebels in order to prolong the suffering over there.  It takes hard headed moral courage not to fall for the sob stories that are used to sell military intervention.

    •  Hard headed is right. (0+ / 0-)

      If you want to be a real zealot you've got to stick to your story regardless of the facts.

    •  there is another word for this... (0+ / 0-)

      It takes hard headed moral courage not to fall for the sob stories

      sociopath |ˈsōsēōˌpaθ|noun
      a person with a personality disorder manifesting itself in extreme antisocial attitudes and behavior and a lack of conscience.

      "sometimes decades pass and nothing happens; and then sometimes weeks pass and decades happen."...

      by stolen water on Mon Apr 25, 2011 at 03:17:45 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  The Balkans intervention helped. (0+ / 0-)

      I'm surprised to see anyone seriously disputing that.  Intervening in Bosnia at least prevented further genocide, intervening in Macedonia plainly prevented invasion of Macedonia by Milosevic, and intervention in Kosovo appears to have been positive as well.  Macedonia is the defining case.

      Remember that Milosevic invaded Slovenia and Croatia before moving on to Bosnia.

      Read pp. 1-7 of Krugman's _The Great Unraveling_ (available from Google Books). NOW.

      by neroden on Wed Apr 27, 2011 at 05:24:19 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  hey tom (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    divineorder

    make a cartoon out of this:

    via chomsky:

    Last month, at the international tribunal on crimes during the civil war in Sierra Leone, the trial of former Liberian president Charles Taylor came to an end.

    The chief prosecutor, U.S. law professor David Crane, informed The Times of London that the case was incomplete: The prosecutors intended to charge Moammar Gadhafi, who, Crane said, “was ultimately responsible for the mutilation, maiming and/or murder of 1.2 million people.”

    let's see you belittle murder and mayhem in a cartoon.

    "sometimes decades pass and nothing happens; and then sometimes weeks pass and decades happen."...

    by stolen water on Mon Apr 25, 2011 at 02:23:02 PM PDT

    •  If the US was actually a member of the (0+ / 0-)

      International Criminal Court, it would have a lot better standing for doing such prosecutions....

      Read pp. 1-7 of Krugman's _The Great Unraveling_ (available from Google Books). NOW.

      by neroden on Wed Apr 27, 2011 at 05:26:00 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  here's something else you can make fun of, tom: (0+ / 0-)

    "sometimes decades pass and nothing happens; and then sometimes weeks pass and decades happen."...

    by stolen water on Mon Apr 25, 2011 at 02:59:17 PM PDT

  •  When whether you support a war or not (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    divineorder, Inoljt

    is based on the party of the president who starts it, you got real problems.

    Has the US government removed Wikileaks from the Internet yet?
    Check for yourself: http://213.251.145.96/cablegate.html

    by tr4nqued on Mon Apr 25, 2011 at 04:05:59 PM PDT

  •  Were there any cartoons involving (0+ / 0-)

    Creepy Missionaries; I mean Mission Creeps?

  •  Is this self-referential? (0+ / 0-)

    Re-reading, the cartoon could just as easily be satirizing those whose argument rests on slippery slope fallacies.  With no chain on implication, the arguments presented have no logical validity and are therefore fallacious.  So which is it?  Or does Tom Tomorrow not even know anymore whether or not he's being ironic?

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