Saturday, March 19, 2011

NATO forces strike Libya

Today several Allied powers attacked Libya, beginning with French jets and US cruise missiles.

Evidently the Allies are enforcing the UN resolution to establish a "no-fly zone", and also attacking Libya's defense forces and offensive capabilities.

I'm conflicted over this situation. I have little doubt that Gadhafi is a despotic leader and doesn't hesitate to kill innocent civilians, but I'm skeptical about US forces getting involved in yet another conflict unless our goals and limits of involvement are spelled out completely beyond any doubt.

As of this writing, the US has fired 110 cruise missiles from ships and submarines, but haven't had any direct involvement of military personnel within Libya's airspace. Live, international streaming video news coverage is available via Al Jazeera online.

UPDATE: Minutes after I posted this, I saw this image from Libya National TV.

OK, now I'm a lot less conflicted about this. Gadhafi desperately needs to take a dirt nap!


Anonymous said...

We all know Ghadafi is the source of this conflict and Obama needs to use his presidential powers and order the asassination of this tyrant. I dont see the need to destroy the inncocent lives of Libyan forces.

CT Bob said...

Well, the rationale is that those innocent Libyan forces are killing innocent civilians. It might be a lie, but judging from the UN Security Council's lack of a veto from any of the 15 major powers, or the Arab League not bitching about the attack leads me to think this action might actually have some validity.

I could be wrong, and the lack of Congressional approval before acting bothers me a lot. Plus, I want to be assured that no US troops will be sent in-country, regardless of what occurs.

lakezoarian said...

Several aspects bother me about this-

1.) Why the long wait? If this was inevitable, then it should have been carried out days ago, and that would have saved a lot of lives. What, did they have to wait for approval from Tel Aviv or something?

2.) Compared to what's happening in Bahrain, it stinks of hypocracy. There we have a major naval base to keep in place, so the little people can go eat sand...

3.) Without Congressional approval, it's unconstitutional. Yet again. Apparently our nation is actually administered by the military, and they are not accountable. It feels like Obama is just following orders.

4.) And speaking of Obama, it's another campaign promise broken. Apparently making McCain look like the warhawk in comparison was just a pitch device.

5.) Information Control, or whatever you want to call it. "110" Tomahawks exactly? The M.I.S.O. officers must have had a good chuckle when they thought that up. Like, "We're with the Libyan people 110%!!!" Not 109 or 111... I could be all wet on that, but we see these interesting numbers too often- "700 billion bailout"? "Buy now, it's only $99.99!"

This one is so complex. and it doesn't help when you look at that very recent photograph of Obama and Gadaffi shaking hands like a couple of old friends. WTF??? (Click on my name to see it, and read the article that says they were enjoying a banquet just two seats apart.)

lakezoarian said...

OOPS, sorry folks! The correct link for the Obama - Gadaffi G-8 banquet is here:

Bad, BAD naughty Macintosh! No soup for you!

CT Bob said...

1) I agree it took too long, but the UN needed to pass the resolution first, otherwise it would have been another case of US unilateralism, and we've had enough of that during the last decade. France fired the first shot.

2) Bahrain is also a big problem, but without the UN and the Arab League pushing for involvement, we better sit tight.

3) I agree on that, and I wrote I wasn't thrilled with it.

4) Obama's been a huge disappointment on many levels. He's a corporate shill, just like the last six or so presidents. But he's OUR shill, so let's try to fix what we can!

5) I think that one was a swing and a miss!

If nothing much good comes of this, maybe Congress will finally get around to finding a way to limit some Presidential powers.

Anonymous said...

Over 300,000 Iraqi's were found in mass graves in the desert 2003/2004. In addition, Saddam gassed whole villages in Kurdistan. Progressives didn't want to intervene then. Why now?

Anonymous said...

No blood for oil!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

"The President does not have power under the Constitution to unilaterally authorize a military attack in a situation that does not involve stopping an actual or imminent threat to the nation." Senator Obama 2008

CT Bob said...

Gee, a politician didn't live up to a campaign promise. Stop the presses!

lakezoarian said...

CT_Bob, you have a good heart. And I see you're looking on the "good side" regarding this issue. Maybe I've grown too cynical.

West Haven Bob said...

That statue is outside Ghaddafi's former compound in Tripoli, which was bombed by US forces in 1986. At that location, he narrowly escaped death because he had retired to his tent minutes earlier; but his adopted daughter died.

He left the compound untouched, and made it into a sort of shrine commemorating his "victory".

CT Bob said...

LZ, thanks! A little healthy cynicism never hurt anybody.

Bob: yeah, I blame Reagan for screwing that up! LOL!

Anonymous said...

Having just punked the anti-war left, Obama is similarly asking you — where are you going to go? He’s got you in his pocket. Going to vote Nader? I don’t think so. Hillary? She’s in too deep with the administration. Screaming about impeachment, or being duped? You’re just allowing him to rhetorically triangulate towards the center, and play the left off the rest of America.

CT Bob said...

So, what would YOU do?

Anonymous said...

Be open-minded to the reasoning, but stay true to your principles. If you are going to become a hypocrite (not saying you are) for purposes of political triangulation, then why bother to run a political forum? Are you willing to announce which points-of-view you really believe in vs those that you only say to advance your agenda?

There are the makings of civil wars in Iran, Syria, Yemen, Saudi Arabia, etc. Libya gave up pursuit of nuclear weapons in 2006. What message does bombing them send to those who have not, like Iran? If Libya had a nuke, would we bomb them?

CT Bob said...

"Why bother to run a political forum?"

I ask myself that same question on a regular basis!

First of all, this is a blog where I express my opinions. If other people want to comment about them, and either support or challenge them, that's fine. As long as someone isn't being an obvious troll or a dick, I'm pretty much fine with people having a say here.

Second, I view this blog as a way to be an activist. While I know that my time would be more productively spent making phone calls and stuffing envelopes, this gives me a creative way to do some good (hopefully).

Lastly, I am very much a fan of the "sport" of politics. It's kind of like watching football, except the players actually sometimes hear your catcalls or encouragement. Plus, the drama of it all is entertaining.

That pretty much sums me up. If my opinions are sometimes considered inconsistent or, more likely, ridiculously absurd, there's literally thousands of other forums on the internet where people can go for news and opinions that more accurately match their own views.

But I do my very best to be honest and genuine.

West Haven Bob said...

Bob - I think this "Anonymous" is asking you to delve into the very depths of your being; and to answer that existential question:

"Why can I not be an SINCERE hypocrite?"

To paraphrase this Anomymous bard, I'm "not saying you are"...I'm just sayin'.

To the Republi-Palins: this post might seem difficult to work all the way through, but eventually you should see its full meaning; the rest of you (AKA the majority) can have this explained to you by someone who finished Middle School...if you can find some such.

Does this last sound harsh? I apologize: I was only mirroring the GARBAGE spewed on Der Völkischer Beobachter (aka Fox News)

West Haven Bob said...

[Sounds of crickets]