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Zhivvy

Following the middle east

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Here...to shake you out of your conspiracy-mongering and give you some sense of what leaders are actually thinking about.

Cripes.....having to engage in this sort of conspiracy-busting gets so f*cking old and tiresome!

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Realistic options for ousting Gadhafi look limited

By ROBERT BURNS and MATTHEW LEE, Associated Press â€“ 39 mins ago

WASHINGTON – Short of a U.S.-led military offensive, international options to quickly force Moammar Gadhafi from power now appear to be highly limited, and Defense Secretary Robert Gates called for an end Wednesday to "loose talk" about steps that would amount to an act of war.

There are still hopes that U.N. sanctions and other diplomatic moves can undermine Gadhafi's authority, and Libyan rebels pressed their fight against troops loyal to Gadhafi on Wednesday.

But while a leading U.S. senator urged the Pentagon to be prepared to provide air cover for the rebels, there was little evidence of an appetite by the U.S., Europe or other powers to risk the consequences of military intervention.

Gates captured the mood in telling a congressional panel, "Let's call a spade a spade: A no-fly zone begins with an attack on Libya" to destroy its air defenses. His point: To ground Libya's air force in a way that minimizes risk to U.S. or coalition pilots would mean initiating an act of war in an Arab land.

The unspoken subtext is that with U.S. forces already deeply committed in Afghanistan, still winding down military operations in Iraq and on the watch for surprises in Iran and elsewhere in the suddenly volatile Persian Gulf region, the risks associated with military action in Libya might be unacceptable.

Alluding to Gates' announcement a day earlier that he had ordered two U.S. warships into the Mediterranean in case they were needed for civilian evacuations or humanitarian relief, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said in separate testimony that the crisis could call for a mix of diplomacy and more.

"We are taking no option off the table so long as the Libyan government continues to turn its guns on its own people," she said.

Clinton said she feared the prospect of Libya becoming infested with al-Qaida or affiliated terrorist groups on the scale of Somalia, the Horn of Africa country where the al-Shabab terrorist organization has gained a foothold.

"One of our biggest concerns is Libya descending into chaos and becoming a giant Somalia," Clinton said. "It is right now not something that we see in the offing, but many of the al-Qaida activists in Afghanistan and later in Iraq came from Libya and came from eastern Libya, which is now the so-called free area."

Gates, in testimony before a House committee, decried "loose talk" about military options in Libya, noting that even a no-fly zone would be a major undertaking. He said it could be accomplished if ordered by the White House, but it would require more airplanes than are found on a single U.S. aircraft carrier, which typically carries about 75 planes.

"So it's a big operation in a big country," he said, adding that the U.N. Security Council has not yet authorized any form of military action in Libya.

In support of Gates' point, Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told the committee that despite media reports of Libyan aircraft attacking rebel areas, the Pentagon as of Wednesday had not confirmed any such attacks. He also said it must be assumed, in planning for the possibility of establishing a no-fly zone, that Libya's air defenses are substantial. Neither he nor Gates said explicitly whether they support or oppose such an operation.

White House Press Secretary Jay Carney, asked about Gates' comments, said, "The fact that the no-fly zone idea is complex does not mean it's not on the table."

Egyptian officials said two U.S. warships passed through the Suez Canal on Wednesday on their way to the Mediterranean Sea, closer to Libya. The amphibious assault ships USS Kearsarge and USS Ponce entered the canal from the Red Sea. The officials, speaking on condition of anonymity because they weren't authorized to talk to media, said the Kearsarge carried 42 helicopters.

There has been no consensus call from Congress for U.S. military action in Libya. However, Sen. John Kerry, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said Wednesday that while a no-fly zone over Libya is "not a long-term proposition," the Pentagon should be prepared to go that route if so ordered.

"The people of Libya do not ask for or need foreign troops on the ground," Kerry said. "They are committed to doing what is necessary, but they do need the tools to prevent the slaughter of innocents on Libyan streets, and I believe the global community cannot be on the sidelines while airplanes are allowed to bomb and strafe."

Senators, meanwhile, worked on an aid package to Arab countries to solidify democratic gains and improve relations with citizens in a part of the world accustomed to U.S. support for questionable rulers.

Kerry, D-Mass., said at a hearing attended by Clinton that "significant financial commitment by the U.S." was crucial to help what he called a "monumental and uplifting transformation" in the Mideast.

Some U.S. allies in NATO are mulling the idea of creating a no-fly zone over Libya. But Germany cautioned Wednesday against playing into charges that the West is unduly meddling in Arab affairs.

"I would advise that we conduct the debate ... about military options with all the appropriate caution and reserve," Germany's Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle said in Berlin.

The U.N. Security Council slapped an arms embargo, a travel ban and an assets freeze on Gadhafi, his family and top associates during an emergency weekend meeting. It also agreed to refer the case to the International Criminal Court at The Hague — a permanent war crimes tribunal — to investigate and prosecute possible crimes against humanity. But the U.N. has not yet included an authorization for the use of military force against Libya.

Charles Heyman, a defense analyst and editor of The Armed Forces of the United Kingdom, said sanctions directed at the bank accounts and freedom to travel of high level Gadhafi supporters would have an impact. In his view, military intervention, including imposition of a no-fly zone, would prove to be counterproductive.

"A no-fly zone is the least bad option, but it's technically very hard to do and it costs a fortune and I don't think the U.S. or Europeans have to the money to spend now," he said.

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[quote name='mummy wrote:


security_in_anonymity']
I recall a recent history of a government (rather a coalition of governments) going in to forcefully remove a murderous tyrant--it was a most unpopular undertaking.

Gaddafi used air-strikes on his own people.  I would be fine with someone going in and forcefully displacing him.
I am just not sure it is in anyone's interest to do so (other than the Libyan people's)
.  And, I am fairly certain that if  anyone did go in to forcefully stop Gaddafi,  interest in the Libyan people would be immediately forgotten by much of  the oh-so-concerned outside world.   Instead, I do not doubt, whoever intervened would suddenly be perceived as an even more "evil" force than he. 

Eh, I can see at least one reason why people other than the libyans would be interested in going in and removing Mr. M Gadaffi.  For the same reason the "coalition of governments" removed the other "tyrant". One Word: OIL.I agree with you Mummy - as i said above - other tyrants haven't been removed by force and strangely they are in countries with no oil!

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Although I am not saying that he should not be removed especially with his comments today of he will fight to the last Libyan man and woman!

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Before you guys go and get yourselves spooled up into something stupid, please....please....take a moment to read the above article and exercise just a tad of intellectual discernment. Everything does not have to warrant a mindless call to populist arms, you know.

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Before you guys go and get yourselves spooled up into something stupid, please....please....take a moment to read the above article and exercise just a tad of intellectual discernment. Everything does not have to warrant a mindless call to populist arms, you know.

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Before you guys go and get yourselves spooled up into something stupid, please....please....take a moment to read the above article and exercise just a tad of intellectual discernment. Everything does not have to warrant a mindless call to populist arms, you know.

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Before you guys go and get yourselves spooled up into something stupid, please....please....take a moment to read the above article and exercise just a tad of intellectual discernment. Everything does not have to warrant a mindless call to populist arms, you know.
I have read the article and I agree with what is written - i agree that Gadaffi is an evil man, with too much power and is insane and needs to be removed before he kills the whole population of his country with his wild ideas.

I regard myself as having a good level of intelligence and have followed the whole of the middle east protests with great interest politically as well as showing an interest in the protecting the human at the same time.

This man does need to be removed - no doubt, but so do so many other dictators, other coutries have had civil wars (which is what Libya is coming to) and the UK has done nothing to help them. look at all the countries with dictators and are ignored by the west - unless it is charities etc... giving their people a voice and aid. Are they being helped by the UK government??? No they aren't; aid is actually being cut by huge percentages as governments in the West save as much money as possible in the face of a huge recession and the dictators contunie with their corruption etc....

But countries in which the West have a great interest in - the ones which make them money, are the ones which are shown more concern.

Yes dictators are wrong, corruption is wrong, and they need to be stopped, but not just in oil rich countries. Surely you can see the irony of the UK government planning on removing a dictator by force whilst that dictator is using weapon that they sold him

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Zhivvy,

 

The gist of the article is that nobody wants or has the means to engage in a military action against Libya. The US Defense Secretary even called for this sort of "loose talk" to stop. That is the point of the article. What are you reading??????

You know, it has been 7 years since this sort of thing went down the last time, and the government is no more sophisticated in its communications or the public any more sophisticated in its reading and analysis than they were then.  

I think I will sit this one out.  There are only so many times one can bash into a wall before finally becoming indifferent.

Honestly, a great many people in political and diplomatic decision-making capacities haven't the slightest clue what to do--they have been caught off-guard and unaware again--which is a hell of a feat considering how blindingly obvious all the hallmarks of these coming uprisings have been.  One has to work to be so blind. If all of this were not so tragic, it would be funny.

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Zhivvy,

 

The gist of the article is that nobody wants or has the means to engage in a military action against Libya. The US Defense Secretary even called for this sort of "loose talk" to stop. That is the point of the article. What are you reading??????

You know, it has been 7 years since this sort of thing went down the last time, and the government is no more sophisticated in its communications or the public any more sophisticated in its reading and analysis than they were then.  

I think I will sit this one out.  There are only so many times one can bash into a wall before finally becoming indifferent.

Honestly, a great many people in political and diplomatic decision-making capacities haven't the slightest clue what to do--they have been caught off-guard and unaware again--which is a hell of a feat considering how blindingly obvious all the hallmarks of these coming uprisings have been.  One has to work to be so blind. If all of this were not so tragic, it would be funny.

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Zhivvy,

 

The gist of the article is that nobody wants or has the means to engage in a military action against Libya. The US Defense Secretary even called for this sort of "loose talk" to stop. That is the point of the article. What are you reading??????

You know, it has been 7 years since this sort of thing went down the last time, and the government is no more sophisticated in its communications or the public any more sophisticated in its reading and analysis than they were then.  

I think I will sit this one out.  There are only so many times one can bash into a wall before finally becoming indifferent.

Honestly, a great many people in political and diplomatic decision-making capacities haven't the slightest clue what to do--they have been caught off-guard and unaware again--which is a hell of a feat considering how blindingly obvious all the hallmarks of these coming uprisings have been.  One has to work to be so blind. If all of this were not so tragic, it would be funny.

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Security, read the UK papers - at least your government seems to be having some sense. Ours seem to be a bit behind in having any sense!!! I do think that Cameron will back down - he has too. It is a pity that you don't get the BBC over there - we have a political show called 'Question Time' every week and last week and most certainly this week this is a topic which will be hotly debated. Lat week a lot of the argument was the fact that UK sold weapons to Libya etc.... and this week it will be discussed again. And the oil issue was brought up too by the opposition.

 

It is getting late over here now and almost bedtime but if you want i can post the links of the UK papers tomorrow if you want to see what the view is over here of our government!

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Honestly, a great many people in political and diplomatic decision-making capacities haven't the slightest clue what to do--they have been caught off-guard and unaware again--which is a hell of a feat considering how blindingly obvious all the hallmarks of these coming uprisings have been.  One has to work to be so blind. If all of this were not so tragic, it would be funny.
the phrase can't see the wood for the trees comes to mind!!!!

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Zhivvy, we do get the BBC over here - I've seen Question Time a few times, but a long time ago now and I cannot remember when it's on or if it still is on, but at least it used to be.

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Security, read the UK papers - at least your government seems to be having some sense. Ours seem to be a bit behind in having any sense!!! I do think that Cameron will back down - he has too. It is a pity that you don't get the BBC over there - we have a political show called 'Question Time' every week and last week and most certainly this week this is a topic which will be hotly debated. Lat week a lot of the argument was the fact that UK sold weapons to Libya etc.... and this week it will be discussed again. And the oil issue was brought up too by the opposition.

 

It is getting late over here now and almost bedtime but if you want i can post the links of the UK papers tomorrow if you want to see what the view is over here of our government!

Thanks for the offer Zhiv.  Actually, we do get the BBC over here--on TV, and naturally on the web.  I also skim the main British papers nearly daily, as well as the German, French, Israeli, and a few other countries. (Thank god for the web!)

I know Cameron has been bungling his response to this, as has the US.  I followed the kurfluffel about the arms sales.  I am following the debate re: the proposed no-fly zone.  Naturally the people calling for this are expecting the US to provide the military cover for such a feat.  Thankfully our defense secretary has a level head--which I cannot say for the white house or state department at the moment.  Cameron's only other proposed military action that I am aware of is his announcement that that the UK would airlift 6,000 mainly Egyptian refugees stranded on the Libya-Tunisia border to Cairo.

Thanks again and Sleep well!

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Security, read the UK papers - at least your government seems to be having some sense. Ours seem to be a bit behind in having any sense!!! I do think that Cameron will back down - he has too. It is a pity that you don't get the BBC over there - we have a political show called 'Question Time' every week and last week and most certainly this week this is a topic which will be hotly debated. Lat week a lot of the argument was the fact that UK sold weapons to Libya etc.... and this week it will be discussed again. And the oil issue was brought up too by the opposition.

 

It is getting late over here now and almost bedtime but if you want i can post the links of the UK papers tomorrow if you want to see what the view is over here of our government!

Thanks for the offer Zhiv.  Actually, we do get the BBC over here--on TV, and naturally on the web.  I also skim the main British papers nearly daily, as well as the German, French, Israeli, and a few other countries. (Thank god for the web!)

I know Cameron has been bungling his response to this, as has the US.  I followed the kurfluffel about the arms sales.  I am following the debate re: the proposed no-fly zone.  Naturally the people calling for this are expecting the US to provide the military cover for such a feat.  Thankfully our defense secretary has a level head--which I cannot say for the white house or state department at the moment.  Cameron's only other proposed military action that I am aware of is his announcement that that the UK would airlift 6,000 mainly Egyptian refugees stranded on the Libya-Tunisia border to Cairo.

Thanks again and Sleep well!

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Security, read the UK papers - at least your government seems to be having some sense. Ours seem to be a bit behind in having any sense!!! I do think that Cameron will back down - he has too. It is a pity that you don't get the BBC over there - we have a political show called 'Question Time' every week and last week and most certainly this week this is a topic which will be hotly debated. Lat week a lot of the argument was the fact that UK sold weapons to Libya etc.... and this week it will be discussed again. And the oil issue was brought up too by the opposition.

 

It is getting late over here now and almost bedtime but if you want i can post the links of the UK papers tomorrow if you want to see what the view is over here of our government!

Thanks for the offer Zhiv.  Actually, we do get the BBC over here--on TV, and naturally on the web.  I also skim the main British papers nearly daily, as well as the German, French, Israeli, and a few other countries. (Thank god for the web!)

I know Cameron has been bungling his response to this, as has the US.  I followed the kurfluffel about the arms sales.  I am following the debate re: the proposed no-fly zone.  Naturally the people calling for this are expecting the US to provide the military cover for such a feat.  Thankfully our defense secretary has a level head--which I cannot say for the white house or state department at the moment.  Cameron's only other proposed military action that I am aware of is his announcement that that the UK would airlift 6,000 mainly Egyptian refugees stranded on the Libya-Tunisia border to Cairo.

Thanks again and Sleep well!

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[quote name='security_in_anonymity wrote:


Zhivvy']Security, read the UK papers - at least your government seems to be having some sense. Ours seem to be a bit behind in having any sense!!! I do think that Cameron will back down - he has too. It is a pity that you don't get the BBC over there - we have a political show called 'Question Time' every week and last week and most certainly this week this is a topic which will be hotly debated. Lat week a lot of the argument was the fact that UK sold weapons to Libya etc.... and this week it will be discussed again. And the oil issue was brought up too by the opposition.

 

It is getting late over here now and almost bedtime but if you want i can post the links of the UK papers tomorrow if you want to see what the view is over here of our government!

Thanks for the offer Zhiv.  Actually, we do get the BBC over here--on TV, and naturally on the web.  I also skim the main British papers nearly daily, as well as the German, French, Israeli, and a few other countries. (Thank god for the web!)

I know Cameron has been bungling his response to this, as has the US.  I followed the kurfluffel about the arms sales.  I am following the debate re: the proposed no-fly zone.  Naturally the people calling for this are expecting the US to provide the military cover for such a feat.  Thankfully our defense secretary has a level head--which I cannot say for the white house or state department at the moment.  Cameron's only other proposed military action that I am aware of is his announcement that that the UK would airlift 6,000 mainly Egyptian refugees stranded on the Libya-Tunisia border to Cairo.

Thanks again and Sleep well!

Cameron bungles everything!!!!!! - you may guess that i am not a fan!!! And don't get me started on what he is doing to screw the education system - that is a whole other thread lol!

Didn't realise that you got the BBC! If you get the show it is worth a watch very interesting!

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I think it is interesting that many are trying to determine "who is in charge" of the Libyan and other uprisings--who speaks for the people, they wonder?   Who are the leaders??
I think it is just too great a leap of paradigm for systems accustomed to thinking in terms of personalities and "leaders" (and  following publics) to wrap their collective minds around the idea that nobody is in charge.  I think what is "directing" this is quite simply Zeitgeist.  What an interesting conundrum. 

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I think it is interesting that many are trying to determine "who is in charge" of the Libyan and other uprisings--who speaks for the people, they wonder?   Who are the leaders??
I think it is just too great a leap of paradigm for systems accustomed to thinking in terms of personalities and "leaders" (and  following publics) to wrap their collective minds around the idea that nobody is in charge.  I think what is "directing" this is quite simply Zeitgeist.  What an interesting conundrum. 

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I think it is interesting that many are trying to determine "who is in charge" of the Libyan and other uprisings--who speaks for the people, they wonder?   Who are the leaders??
I think it is just too great a leap of paradigm for systems accustomed to thinking in terms of personalities and "leaders" (and  following publics) to wrap their collective minds around the idea that nobody is in charge.  I think what is "directing" this is quite simply Zeitgeist.  What an interesting conundrum. 

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I think it is interesting that many are trying to determine "who is in charge" of the Libyan and other uprisings--who speaks for the people, they wonder?   Who are the leaders??
I think it is just too great a leap of paradigm for systems accustomed to thinking in terms of personalities and "leaders" (and  following publics) to wrap their collective minds around the idea that nobody is in charge.  I think what is "directing" this is quite simply Zeitgeist.  What an interesting conundrum. 
security can u help me righ this moment? i need ur help---look at ur pm right now

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There is something grotesquely ironic developing around this Libya mess.

Years ago, when the US declared a foreign policy of fostering democracy in the Middle East as a long-term strategy to counter radical Islamic terror, voices throughout the world screamed bloody massacre and, among other things, insisted that:

1.  Arab and Islamic publics are not advanced enough to handle democracy (how offensive is this?)
2.  Democracy cannot be forced from without, it must spontaneously emerge from the grassroots

Nothing in the bloody complexities of international affairs is ever a clear-cut straight line.  But, keeping the above opposition-arguments in mind, I cannot help but notice with tragic bemusement that:

A.  Democracy was not a word even spoken in the streets of that part of the world until the Iraq invasion introduced the idea into the popular local lexicon.  Now, the entire region is rising up demanding democratic reforms.  Think what one will about the Iraq invasion--there is much to criticize.  But, eight years later, its seeds appear to be sprouting.

B.  Some of the same people who damned the U.S. for its actions in Iraq are now expecting the U.S. to provide military cover for the "grassroots" movements and want the US to lead the imposition of a no-fly zone, which does require an act of war against Libya.

I think  the US must provide humanitarian and evacuation assistance to Libyans.  But let someone else lead a military campaign, if there is to be one.  These developing hypocrisies are traps just waiting to be sprung.  The White House has already primed the country to step into these traps when it demanded Gaddafi step down without first considering how to assure this happens without military intervention and without knowing who would take over once the Colonel were gone. 

I hope Defense Secretary Robert Gates' good sense will spread to some of the U.S. political voices and that they will not allow the U.S. to be cajoled or coerced into taking the lead in a military action.  I trust they will keep the strategy of "entrapment" in mind.  

If I were hostile to the US, I would be looking at the U.S. leadership right now and licking my chops over the prospects of tricking it into a real screw-up.

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There is something grotesquely ironic developing around this Libya mess.

Years ago, when the US declared a foreign policy of fostering democracy in the Middle East as a long-term strategy to counter radical Islamic terror, voices throughout the world screamed bloody massacre and, among other things, insisted that:

1.  Arab and Islamic publics are not advanced enough to handle democracy (how offensive is this?)
2.  Democracy cannot be forced from without, it must spontaneously emerge from the grassroots

Nothing in the bloody complexities of international affairs is ever a clear-cut straight line.  But, keeping the above opposition-arguments in mind, I cannot help but notice with tragic bemusement that:

A.  Democracy was not a word even spoken in the streets of that part of the world until the Iraq invasion introduced the idea into the popular local lexicon.  Now, the entire region is rising up demanding democratic reforms.  Think what one will about the Iraq invasion--there is much to criticize.  But, eight years later, its seeds appear to be sprouting.

B.  Some of the same people who damned the U.S. for its actions in Iraq are now expecting the U.S. to provide military cover for the "grassroots" movements and want the US to lead the imposition of a no-fly zone, which does require an act of war against Libya.

I think  the US must provide humanitarian and evacuation assistance to Libyans.  But let someone else lead a military campaign, if there is to be one.  These developing hypocrisies are traps just waiting to be sprung.  The White House has already primed the country to step into these traps when it demanded Gaddafi step down without first considering how to assure this happens without military intervention and without knowing who would take over once the Colonel were gone. 

I hope Defense Secretary Robert Gates' good sense will spread to some of the U.S. political voices and that they will not allow the U.S. to be cajoled or coerced into taking the lead in a military action.  I trust they will keep the strategy of "entrapment" in mind.  

If I were hostile to the US, I would be looking at the U.S. leadership right now and licking my chops over the prospects of tricking it into a real screw-up.

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There is something grotesquely ironic developing around this Libya mess.

Years ago, when the US declared a foreign policy of fostering democracy in the Middle East as a long-term strategy to counter radical Islamic terror, voices throughout the world screamed bloody massacre and, among other things, insisted that:

1.  Arab and Islamic publics are not advanced enough to handle democracy (how offensive is this?)
2.  Democracy cannot be forced from without, it must spontaneously emerge from the grassroots

Nothing in the bloody complexities of international affairs is ever a clear-cut straight line.  But, keeping the above opposition-arguments in mind, I cannot help but notice with tragic bemusement that:

A.  Democracy was not a word even spoken in the streets of that part of the world until the Iraq invasion introduced the idea into the popular local lexicon.  Now, the entire region is rising up demanding democratic reforms.  Think what one will about the Iraq invasion--there is much to criticize.  But, eight years later, its seeds appear to be sprouting.

B.  Some of the same people who damned the U.S. for its actions in Iraq are now expecting the U.S. to provide military cover for the "grassroots" movements and want the US to lead the imposition of a no-fly zone, which does require an act of war against Libya.

I think  the US must provide humanitarian and evacuation assistance to Libyans.  But let someone else lead a military campaign, if there is to be one.  These developing hypocrisies are traps just waiting to be sprung.  The White House has already primed the country to step into these traps when it demanded Gaddafi step down without first considering how to assure this happens without military intervention and without knowing who would take over once the Colonel were gone. 

I hope Defense Secretary Robert Gates' good sense will spread to some of the U.S. political voices and that they will not allow the U.S. to be cajoled or coerced into taking the lead in a military action.  I trust they will keep the strategy of "entrapment" in mind.  

If I were hostile to the US, I would be looking at the U.S. leadership right now and licking my chops over the prospects of tricking it into a real screw-up.

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The Republicans are bungling as well.   They criticized President Obama for not acting aggressively enough and early enough with Mubarak in Egypt.  However, President Obama did well with Egypt, and Egypt is an entirely different case from Libya. Among other attributes--most notably a more sophisticated populace--Egypt also has a military with strong ties to the U.S.   There was always the luxury of assuming some stability in the aftermath of Egypt's uprising.

Libya is an entirely different story, and essentially a dysfunctional state. Pressuring President Obama into responding with aggressive calls for Gaddafi to step down was not a wise course of action.  Allowing himself to be pressured is even less wise. Stop it.

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