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Old 02-28-2011, 11:50 AM   #196
piercehawkeye45
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Originally Posted by Kaliayev View Post
Joe Biden and Hillary Clinton describe themselves as personal friends of Mubarak, and Blair of course famously holidayed in Sharm-el-Sheikh (where Mubarak is allegedly in a well timed coma right now). Blair and Third Wayists were taking money from the Gaddafi regime. Tunisia's dicator was hailed as a "progressive leader" in western capitals. It's all very cosy, isn't it?
Although, to their defense, publicly mentioning that our countries are giving money to sadistic dictators doing everything in their ability to keep power because of foreign policy reasons doesn't make a real good campaign speech.

One positive aspect of wikileaks showed that the US has at least some competent people over in other countries. They will publicly state that our allies are good people but the leaks show that for the most part they knew differently.
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Old 02-28-2011, 11:59 AM   #197
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They seemed to have regained some measure of self-respect by demanding the bombing of Libya, but that is really just a reflexive Decent pose when threatened by uncertainty: up with the war planes! Never mind that such planes would be flying from Italy
Only because there are no carriers in the Mediterranean right now, Sparky! Now since Gquaddafiy is sending aircraft to bomb his subjects, what would you say to establishing a no-fly zone and limiting his options without dropping a single bomb?
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Old 03-02-2011, 12:26 PM   #198
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Man, I'd love to go cruising with SleazySilvio! With MadBadVlad along in case of trouble. You'd be sure of an awesome night.
There is a very amusing story about Berlusconi and Putin hunting a deer together, out there on the internet. I highly recommend googling it, because it just says so much about those two leaders, as if we needed to know anything more about their skeezy and somewhat disturbing personalities.
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Old 03-02-2011, 12:29 PM   #199
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Originally Posted by piercehawkeye45 View Post
Although, to their defense, publicly mentioning that our countries are giving money to sadistic dictators doing everything in their ability to keep power because of foreign policy reasons doesn't make a real good campaign speech.

One positive aspect of wikileaks showed that the US has at least some competent people over in other countries. They will publicly state that our allies are good people but the leaks show that for the most part they knew differently.
Ah, but I am not interested in letting leaders make good public speeches.

And yes, the State Department has some competent personnel, but as things stand, it is almost entirely irrelevant to the actual foreign policy making process of the USA. The Pentagon, and in particular the regional commanders, are where grand foreign policy deals and bargains are made. The State Department is left to negotiate the less glamourous and more technically difficult aspects of day to day diplomacy with foreign states. Even SecDef Gates has voiced concerns about the hegemonic status of the Pentagon in determining the foreign relations of the USA.
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Old 03-02-2011, 12:41 PM   #200
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Only because there are no carriers in the Mediterranean right now, Sparky! Now since Gquaddafiy is sending aircraft to bomb his subjects, what would you say to establishing a no-fly zone and limiting his options without dropping a single bomb?
I'd say "that no-fly zone definitely stopped Saddam from slaughtering his own people, eh!"

The no-fly zone would be a pretext. Something would "happen"* to an aircraft, which would then justify further intervention, which would either undermine the revolution or put troops inbetween two warring parties, neither of which are helpful or useful.


* Like this. Or this. Or as Jackson Pollack suggested with Iraq:

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Assembling a [] coalition would be infinitely easier if the United States could point to a smoking gun with Iraqi fingerprints on it—some new Iraqi outrage that would serve to galvanize international opinion and create the pretext for an invasion... There are probably [] courses the United States could take that might prompt Saddam to make a foolish, aggressive move, that would then become the "smoking gun" justifying an invasion. An aggressive U.S. covert action campaign might provoke Saddam to retaliate overtly, providing a casus belli...Other means might also be devised.
The thing about reflexive interventionists is that they are classic addicts. Letting have "just one more cigarette" will invariably lead to them smoking the entire pack.
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Old 03-02-2011, 01:19 PM   #201
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Can you make the argument without involving Iraq or knee-jerk thinking? Because we're talking about an entirely different country with entirely different conditions. For example, all the decision-makers you mention are no longer in office.

And while history repeats itself, it never repeats itself exactly. Predicting a future exactly like the past is generally a failure.

This post is not as intelligent as your previous ones and we like the intelligent ones better. Thank you.
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Old 03-02-2011, 01:37 PM   #202
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Can you make the argument without involving Iraq or knee-jerk thinking? Because we're talking about an entirely different country with entirely different conditions. For example, all the decision-makers you mention are no longer in office.

And while history repeats itself, it never repeats itself exactly. Predicting a future exactly like the past is generally a failure.

This post is not as intelligent as your previous ones and we like the intelligent ones better. Thank you.
Oh dear, please don't do that Undertoad. You are not as smooth a baiter as you'd like to believe.

Yes, clearly because influential people involved in the decision-making over Iraq no longer hold office, they are utterly powerless and unlistened to by current decision makers or the media, who can drive the narrative on any decision quite easily. Furthermore, all decisions are made at the overt political level and by elected leaders, and certainly no bureaucrats, think tank members, military personnel or diplomats have vested ideological interests of any kind, or indeed supported such action before.

And of course, Iraq was an aberration in the history of intervention. Never mind that vast majority of US and NATO interventions are failures when it comes to establishing strong governments that respect human rights, I'm sure they'll get this one right.

Damn, I really should try this intelligent thinking thing a little more, shouldn't I?
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Old 03-02-2011, 02:26 PM   #203
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Nope, still not working. You've only made the same point, but drowning it in sarcasm. That's unhelpful.

How do you decide which particular history is going to determine the future? And you've raised the bar by saying the goal is producing a strong government that respects human rights; the goal here is only to prevent the mass killing of people.

Sort of, but not exactly like, how NATO stopped ethnic cleansing in Bosnia partly with a no-fly zone.
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Old 03-02-2011, 03:35 PM   #204
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You are not as smooth a baiter as you'd like to believe.
Hey! He's not just a smooth baiter, he's a master baiter!
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Old 03-02-2011, 07:36 PM   #205
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the goal here is only to prevent the mass killing of people.
The biggest concern I have with the no fly zone are the implications behind it. If it's purpose is solely to limit Gadaffi's options and force him to slaughter his own people on the ground then I have no problem with it. But, realistically, I don't see a no fly zone having too great of an effect since much of the killings have been on the ground by mercenaries and other people loyal to Gadaffi. That brings up the inevitable (yes, this is a slipperly slope) question about further obligations to stop the mass killings.
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Old 03-02-2011, 07:41 PM   #206
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Let the Russians impose a no fly zone.
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Old 03-02-2011, 10:04 PM   #207
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Only because there are no carriers in the Mediterranean right now, Sparky!
And so? There are 2 American carriers in the Red Sea, one in transit to Mediterranean Sea, one held in reserve. Is closer flight time to Libya than American aircraft in Azores, and America has one airbase in Sicily that can reach Libya in about 15 minutes.
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Old 03-02-2011, 11:16 PM   #208
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How do you decide which particular history is going to determine the future? And you've raised the bar by saying the goal is producing a strong government that respects human rights; the goal here is only to prevent the mass killing of people.
UT's questions and doubts are on target. Many lessons from history apply.

For example, for democracy to take hold, the people must ‘lead the charge’ with severe losses. Democracy is not handed to a nation by a larger power (ie Iraq, Afghanistan, Vietnam). It must be earned.

Second, a nation does not go in militarily until a smoking gun exists. Learn why Bosnia was so quickly and easily settled. It was left to fester. Then the solution was desired by all sides who wanted the solution. To understand that, find the decision that Clinton made in 21 July of that year – when military action was finally justified.

Be very careful about letting emotions force a decision. Where I am sitting, not enough Libyans have died yet. If you have better facts, well let’s see them with numbers. This is a nation with a massive power vacuum. And maybe without any clear consensus among its people as to where they want to go.

Never think military action is a solution. Always remember what the entire purpose of any military conflict is for. The negotiated settlement. The only solution. One that all parties must first want. This third reason may also say why international intervention could only be destructive.

Never let emotions appear in conclusions. Sometimes massive numbers of dead people will only create a better solution. Hard logic trumps feelings. UT's post so accurately demands actions justified by first learning lessons from history.

Ignore the carriers. Militarily, they are inert. Mostly only show. Could do almost nothing to enforce a no fly zone. To do a no-fly zone would require cooperation from either Tunisia or Algeria. And from Egypt. Are those countries ready to take sides?
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Old 03-03-2011, 08:09 AM   #209
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Only because there are no carriers in the Mediterranean right now, Sparky! Now since Gquaddafiy is sending aircraft to bomb his subjects, what would you say to establishing a no-fly zone and limiting his options without dropping a single bomb?
I heard a US military Brass chap talking about that.

To establish a no-fly zone, you send in your aircraft to shoot down their air craft.

For that, you need to destroy their air-defence system.

That involves dropping bombs.

That gets messy. Even the smartest bombs sometimes miss, or are poorly targeted.

I think TW has a point. Sometimes, freedom is expensive, and the price is human lives. The world can help, but the Libyans must bear the majority of the burden, else they will end up someone else's vassals. Freezing QGadddafffi's assests was good. If he can't pay his mercenaries, maybe they will go home or even change sides.
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Old 03-03-2011, 09:58 AM   #210
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And so? There are 2 American carriers in the Red Sea, one in transit to Mediterranean Sea, one held in reserve. Is closer flight time to Libya than American aircraft in Azores, and America has one airbase in Sicily that can reach Libya in about 15 minutes.
Can't do it with those resources and we couldn't do it by ourselves (US only). Flight fatigue, Fuel, and distance to cover would make this not only very expensive but not obtainable given we are still covering two other theaters of operation.
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