Wednesday Shores Of Tripoli Open Comments

Well, Obama promised us that if he were elected, we’d no longer be in two wars at the same time, so he started another one. We have yet to hear from The One We’ve Been Waiting For exactly what Vital National Interest is being served by being drug into enforcing a no-fly zone over Libya. The French and British seem to feel that it is Of The Utmost Importance that Qadaffi be prevented from putting an end to the current uprising. The Germans wanted no part of the action whatsoever. The Arab League were all for it until they found out that it involved bombing a fellow Arab nation by non-Arabs, so they’ve been in full retreat.

France has also now declared that she does not want to lead this effort, nor does she want some sort of NATO-led effort. What France is proposing is some sort of supra-NATO committee composed of representatives of the belligerents, plus the Arab League and who knows who else.

What remains the most unclear is “Why Libya?” Obama had this to say:

Obama explained that the U.S. is acting as part of a broad international coalition that agreed Qadhafi — who answered a pro-democracy rebellion against him with brutal violence — must be stopped.
.
“Our military action is in support of an international mandate from the [United Nations] Security Council that specifically focuses on the humanitarian threat posed by Colonel Qadhafi to his people,” the American president said. “Not only was he carrying out murders of civilians, but he threatened more.”

Left unsaid is exactly how the situation in Libya differs from that in Iran last year or in Bahrain now. Qadaffi/Libya is a known state sponsor of terrorism, but then so is Iran. Qadaffi is violently suppressing a popular rebellion, but then so is Bahrain and so was Iran, yet we remain spectacularly uninvolved in either.

Meanwhile, our pilots have a herculean task ahead of them, and I’m not talking about merely avoiding antiaircraft fire.

Once committed to hitting enemy forces on the ground, though, U.S. leaders faced a problem built into the U.N. mandate to protect civilians. Are opposition fighters civilians? Are they military? What about civilians who are loyal to Gadhafi? Do they warrant protection, too? Gen. Ham, speaking to reporters from his headquarters in Stuttgart, Germany, on Monday, had some difficulty sorting it out.

Essentially, they are required to somehow divine the intentions of groups of people they see on the ground while flying past them at several hundred mph.

What this all boils down to is we’ve managed to become entangled in some multinational feel-good group hug whose strategic intent has yet to be determined and whose overall goal is completely unknown. The Chicagoboyz (no relation to the President or his fellow travelers) have come up with a set of outcomes ranging from total American victory

1) Qadaffi dead or fled and,
2) A stable successor state that is not a terrorist haven, and,
3) A democracy.

to total American defeat.

1) Qadaffi survives in power

We all need to pray for our great nation; she’s gonna need it.

n.b. The above really only discusses pretty high-level foreign policy aspects of Obama’s Excellent Libyan Adventure. More info can be found at:
http://www.stratfor.com/weekly/20110321-libya-west-narrative-democracy (always a good source)
http://tigerhawk.blogspot.com/2011/03/morning-read-stratfor-on-libya-west-and.html (very link-rich)
http://www.jpost.com/Opinion/Columnists/Article.aspx?id=213195 (the always informative Caroline Glick)
http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/world/war/libya-civil-war-nfz.htm

Here are a couple of links for some domestic policy (such as it is or is not) discussion:
http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0311/51687.html
http://www.webb.senate.gov/newsroom/interviewtranscripts/2011-03-21-01.cfm

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54 thoughts on “Wednesday Shores Of Tripoli Open Comments

  1. Here is the breakdown of the Americans for Prosperity look into Cy Fair ISD’s spending sprees that Sam Malone talked about yesterday. Disneyland? Laser hair removal? Nail Salons? Are you kidding me?

    Deplorable, DEPLORABLE !!

  2. I saw a very confused individual on the roads yesterday, a SmartCar with the old KSEV bumper sticker I Don’t Believe the Liberal Media. The car looked newer than the sticker (was the SmartCar even around then? I don;t think), so she must’ve had a stash.

  3. One outcome not listed above:

    History offers a number of sign posts that an insurgency will occur. Unfortunately Libya has almost all of them. At this point the political objectives of the government and anti-government forces are irreconcilable. Each side wants total victory—either Qaddafi will retain total power or he will be gone. Both sides are intensely devoted to their cause; passions are high. Both have thousands of men with military training, all imbued with a traditional warrior ethos which Qaddafi himself has stoked. The country is awash with arms. Libya has extensive hinterlands with little or no government control that could serve as insurgent bases. Neighboring states are likely to provide insurgent sanctuary whether deliberately—as an act of policy—or inadvertently because a government is unable to control its territory. North Africa has a long history of insurgency, from the anti-colonial wars of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries to more recent conflicts in Chad, Algeria, and Western Sahara. Where insurgency occurred in the past, it is more likely to occur in the future. All this means that there is no place on earth more likely to experience an insurgency in the next few years than Libya.

    What may unfold is what occured in Iraq between the First Gulf War and the Second, with some differences. Enforcing a No Fly Zone without further offensive action on behalf of either side will eventually result in a condition of stasis, most likely with the Rebels controlling the Eastern half of Libya and Momo controlling Tripoli and the western half. Tbe UN excels at not ending wars, just getting them to a point where nobody is winning, thus insuring they go on forever. The Rebels will sell what oil they have, Momo will sell his under an “Oil for Food” program, and the rest of the world will be happy with that outcome—–for a while.

    That is similar to the situation we found ourselves in prior to the Second Gulf War. No Fly Zones had been established in the south of Iraq and over Kurdistan. The Kurds had been running an effectively semi-autonomous state under that umbrella. The only reason there wasn’t an insurgency is that Saddam was able to quell it at its birth immediately after the cessation of hostilities in Kuwait. Al Queda was beginning to move in, and the Iranians were gaining power and influence over the Shiites. Saddam was going to fall, it was just a question of time and who would take over. We went in to give him a nudge and to make sure we had a role in seeing who took over the country (which WAS in our National Interest).

    Essentially, a similar outcome is likely to occur in Libya.

    What is not clear is whether the coming insurgency will involve Qaddafi loyalists fighting against a new regime or anti-Qaddafi forces fighting to remove the old dictator and his patrons.

    We’ll spend kajillions of dollars and perpetuate a condition that will keep oil prices artificially high—something which will not break Obama’s heart as higher gas prices is what he wants to urge Americans to buy cars powered by unicorn farts, but this way he can’t be directly blamed for it. But eventually, somebody has to be there when Momo takes his bitter pill to make sure the Libyan equivalent of the Taliban—or the Muslim Brotherhood—don’t take over.

  4. Good morning Hamsters. Windy and 66 at 6, another unseasonably warm and rainless day ahead, several breeds of trees now dumping monstrous quantities of pollen to bedevil noses and sinuses far and wide.

    Spouse’s brother and wife had a great time visiting for 6 days from Madison, WI. It was a great relief from the dismal late-winter cold/dirty, sometimes-melting snow/more snow routine we fled 42 years ago. They returned Monday to temps in the upper 50s; Tuesday it snowed.
    We took them to Brenham/Chappell Hill and Bever’s; the Texas exhibit at the Museum of Natural Science (do not miss it); Brazos Bend State Park. We gals went shopping in Brenham, later at home to quilt stores and a nursery nearby. Celebrated brother-in-law’s birthday at Taste of Texas. So that’s where I’ve been for about a week.

    Barackie’s not-so-excellent adventure in Libya is a disaster at his doorstep–he owns it. What a coalition–Ethelred the Unready Obama, Duck Dodgers of the 24th and 1/2 Century, Tthe Gang That Can’t Shoot Straight, and the Keystone Kops. Can you say impeachment out loud now? And somebody please make Moammar a general before he croaks. Eeek.

  5. #4

    Al Queda was beginning to move in

    Now wait just a derned minute, Iraq was one of the few places on earth, including the U.S., where Al Queda wasn’t. I know, I heard it on CNN.

  6. #7

    .

    There are reports that each of the 13 uniforms were embroidered with the surname ‘Perez’

    I used to work at a place that had about 10 Gonzales’, what’s so weird about that?

    /ducks and hauls bob

  7. Now wait just a derned minute, Iraq was one of the few places on earth, including the U.S., where Al Queda wasn’t. I know, I heard it on CNN.

    Seems we heard a lot in the media back then that we’re not hearing now.

    Even though the circumstances are pretty much the same.

    Except that this time we started bombing folks without Congressional approval.

    There’s a bit more support for the “Inevitable Insurgency” theory here, albeit the source is a bit more Liberal than I’d like it to be.

    Finally, the United States and its allies are wandering into a murky political and demographic minefield in Libya. Western media and policy types have a fuzzy image of the rebels as brave, democratic insurgents determined to liberate the country from a brutal tyrant. But there are other, perhaps far more important, elements involved. Libya itself is yet another fragile, artificial political entity that the European colonial powers created. Italy cobbled together three disparate provinces to establish its Libyan colony. Those areas consisted of Cyrenaica in the east (centered aroundon the cities of Benghazi and Tobruk), Tripolitania in the west (centered around Tripoli, which became the colonial capital), and less populous and less important Fezzan in the south-southwest.

    The key point is that the various tribes inhabiting Cyrenaica and Tripolitania had almost nothing in common. Indeed, they sometimes had an adversarial relationship. Yet, when the victorious Allied powers took control of Libya from Italy during and after World War II, they maintained this unstable amalgam instead of separating it into its more cohesive constituent parts.

    The principal difference between Bush and Obama is that Bush knew that eventually we’d be drawn into Iraq militarily. Rather than do it piecemeal, he went all in, and took ground the enemy (Al Queda) had declared to be essential.

    But–

    Bush administration leaders greatly underestimated the depth of the divisions among Sunni Arabs, Shiite Arabs and Kurds in Iraq, and that blunder contributed greatly to Washington’s headaches in that country. The Obama administration may be poised to make a similar blunder in Libya. Assisting the Cyrenaica-based rebels to oust Qaddafi will almost certainly provoke resentment from the people of Tripolitania. If the rebels split the country, that will become a focal point of resentment for those defeated tribes—and a new grievance against the West throughout much of the Muslim world. Even if the rebels attempt to keep Libya intact, the Tripolitanians are bound to resent Washington for their new, subordinate status. Either way, the United States and its allies are in danger of stumbling into a situation in which they are almost certain to acquire new enemies. That is the last thing that America needs.

    The uncoordinated, disjointed, and sometimes schizophrenic Foreign Policy of Obama is a result of the guiding principal of his election campaign and the beliefs of the nitwits who supported him:

    That success could be acheived by merely not doing what Bush would have done.

    Now, they will likely be unable to come to the more logical conclusion that those who can look (and did look at the time) at these events logically and fairly will come to:

    Most of what Bush did in the Middle East was the least worst choice presented to him out of an array of choices that all pretty much sucked, unless you looked at the alternative.

    For the most public example of this, one merely need look at Gitmo.

  8. I’ll add this as well:

    That success could be acheived by merely not doing what Bush would have done electing Democrats.

    Seems to be the guiding principal of the Republican Party these days.

    Both parties need to get shaken the frig up. Lets not let the disgust we feel over Obama cloud our judgement when it comes to Republicans. Its no longer enough that the guy in office is not a Democrat. When Establisment Republicans start defending themselves by saying that we need to keep our eye on the “greater goal”, make sure that their “greater goal: is yours.

    As for me, maintaining a Republican majority is a far lower goal than is cutting spending and the size and power of government—especially at the State and local level. None of this has anything to do with what the Lege is doing. If there’s anybody, from either party, not moving towards either of those goals, especially at the State and Local level, work as hard as you can to get them out of office in the primaries, and to let thier apologists know that you’re not buying any of their crap.

  9. Except that this time we started bombing folks without Congressional approval.

    And many fewer UN resolutions. And very little preparation of the population.

    The uncoordinated, disjointed, and sometimes schizophrenic Foreign Policy of Obama

    It’s become crystal clear to even the most casual and disinterested observer that Obama has no foreign policy per se (he doesn’t have much in the way of domestic policy either, for that matter, but we’ll reserve that discussion for another time). What Obama does have is a group of advisors and various hangers-on who offer opinion. He hears these various opinions and picks the one that sounds the best at that moment, without regard to its consequences.

  10. #6 hamous
    Thanks boss.

    I just wanted to prove that I could: a) be serious; and b) not go to the (very, very fertile) Florida well too often. ;)

  11. This is funny.

    Well, well, well, howzabout that. Our cowboy imperialist president has launched an illegal war without even bothering to consult Congress as required by the Constitution; a rush to war that precluded open debate, aimed at a nation that has never attacked us.

    It goes on from there.

    Bonus link at the end.

  12. I’m reminded of an old song long ago that went on about a football game. The going against the defense was tough, and the crowd was continuing to chant “give that ball to Leroy.” After a while, the quarterback calls time out, approaches the coaches on the bench, and exclaims out loud “Coach, Leroy say he don’t want that ball.”

    I think the same scenario may be playing out in regards to Libya – I don’t think Leroy wants that ball at all, and apparently neither does anyone else. Since there is no defined mission anyway, I suppose we could just go shoot the place up a little and then come on home. No one can determine if this is a US mission, a UN mission, a NATO mission, or just a chance for Big O to show that he is tough enough to pull the trigger from time to time.

  13. Since there is no defined mission anyway, I suppose we could just go shoot the place up a little and then come on home.

    I’m gonna bet that they don’t use the words “Mission Accomplished”, even though it will amount to the same thing they accused Bush of.

  14. It goes on from there.

    ooooo

    My fav so far:

    Don’t make me laugh; once again a cowboy imperialist pResident is acting unilaterally to destabilize the Middle East, a move that will undoubtedly inflame the Arab Street and create legions of new terrorists as they watch the US bomb more innocent Muslims who have done us no harm.

    That little lie was one I fought for a long time back in the good ol’ Evil Bush days.

    Here’s the difference between us and the Libs:

    We’ll admit that both Bush and Obama made the least worst choice available to them at the time.

    They’ll scream to high heaven that’s what Obama has done, but they’ll never admit it about Bush.

    Because to do so would be to exposed the fact that they were at best naive and at worst hypocritical political opportunists who played politics with the lives of American soldiers.

  15. 21 wagonburner says:
    March 23, 2011 at 9:21 am
    Oh cr@p. Things must be spiraling out of hand. Obama cut a trip to some Mayan ruins off his itinerary so he could leave a few hours early.

    I willing to bet his political advisors told him that pictures of him standing among ruins might be a bad idea given that he’s bombing folks right now.

    I would make the photoshopping of pictures that illustrate his Foreigh Policy a bit easier.

    Then, there are the inevitable anaogies that could be drawn between the Mayan ruings and that ofn his Presidency.

  16. My question on the Libyan thing is along these lines – Will we wind up apologizing for blowing up some of their stuff and offering to replace it before it is over?

  17. In support of the Wagon Flamer’s post today, I offer up this as an incitement of the Arab League in enlisting the coalition to do their dirty work. Europe wants no part of this illegal influx much like we don’t from our Southern border for all the obvious results.

    Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi says if Western leaders decide to attack his country, he’ll join with al-Qaida in a “holy war,” unleashing a flood of illegal immigrants into Europe and backing known terror fomenters, according to a report from Joseph Farah’s G2 Bulletin.

    LINK

    Then we have a couple of other should read posts HERE and HERE that offer many supporting links within. Go have a look and discuss.

  18. Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi says if Western leaders decide to attack his country, he’ll join with al-Qaida in a “holy war,” unleashing a flood of illegal immigrants into Europe and backing known terror fomenters, according to a report from Joseph Farah’s G2 Bulletin.

    Thus supporting the position that most of the terrorism is political, not religious, in nature; generally supported by despots wanting to control thier own population and preserve thier power.

    By no stretch of the imagination is Momo an islamic Religious Leader.

  19. …Speaking of hardened criminals, oral sex is still illegal in Alabama, Florida, Idaho, Kansas, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Mississippi, Georgia, North and South Carolina, Oklahoma, Oregon, Rhode Island, Utah, Virginia and Washington D.C.

    Yet another reason that I’m glad I don’t live in Louisiana anymore.

    /wonders about the length of the statutes of limitations…

  20. Without saying exactly what we’re hoping to do or why Libya is such a Problem Which Must Be Solved By Us Immediately, Obama has stated an “exit strategy” (of sorts):

    “The exit strategy will be executed this week,” President Obama said, “in the sense that we will be pulling back from our much more active efforts to shape the environment. We will still be in a support role. We will be supplying jamming, intelligence and other assets unique to us.”
    .
    Planes in the air? Ships in the Mediterranean? Intelligence being provided? Doesn’t sound like an exit strategy at all.

    SecDef Gates, who seems to be an otherwise level-headed guy, seems to be confused about what we’re doing:

    Defense Secretary Gates, talking about who would take over for the US and when, said, “this command and control business is complicated. We haven’t done something like this, kind of on the fly before. And so it’s not surprising to me that it would take a few days to get it all sorted out.”

    Sounds like Obama just up and decided that We Must Do Something and left it laying in Gates’ lap while he took the kids, the She-devil, and her mother on vacation.

  21. For a guy who hopes to get reelected in 2012, Obummer sure seems to be going at it the wrong way in more ways than one. He clearly flip/flops on his words about the authority of a President to go to war. And now everybody seems to have “bailed out” on him leaving the USA to go it alone, again. The economy is definitely headed in the wrong direction. The foundation of an economic recovery, housing, is definitely not in a recovery mode. The unemployment numbers that his administration is trying to manipulate has not yet to felt the effect of all those levels of government and the school districts that are expected to add to the layoff numbers. What, is his “teleprompter” broken or what? Because it certainly isn’t giving him good advice or he is reading the wrong material. Whose running the show now that Axelrod left to run the reelection stuff? Heck,even his NCAA Final Four Men’s bracket is already wrong.

  22. We haven’t done something like this, kind of on the fly before. And so it’s not surprising to me that it would take a few days to get it all sorted out.”

    Nope.

    Used ta be we planned this crap out and knew what we were doing and why before we started out, even if after we did it the Democrats lied about it and twisted things all around so that they could elect a much better President.

    In fact, we used to be lots better at getting Momo’s attention.

  23. Looks like Beck might have opened up a can of worms.

    Dear Attorney General Holder:

    Recent media reports suggest that the former director of the Service Employees International Union’s (“SEIU”) banking and finance campaign has threatened to seriously endanger the welfare of the United States. In a forum at Pace University earlier this month, Stephen Lerner, the former SEIU official, revealed a “secret plan” to “cause a new financial crisis . . . destroy J.P. Morgan . . . and weaken Wall Street’s grip on power” by using “civil disobedience” to create “the conditions necessary for a redistribution of wealth and a change in government.”[1]

    The Federal Bureau of Investigation (“FBI”) defines terrorism as “the unlawful use of force or violence against persons or property to intimidate or coerce a government, the civilian population, or any segment thereof, in furtherance of political or social objectives.”[2] The escalation of Mr. Lerner’s threats would clearly constitute domestic terrorism and pose substantial harm to the American people and the economy. I am therefore requesting that you investigate Mr. Lerner’s terrorist plans and notify me how the Department of Justice plans to respond to these threats.

    The Committee on Oversight and Government Reform is the principal oversight committee of the House of Representatives and may at “any time” investigate “any matter” as set forth in House Rule X. An attachment to this letter provides additional information about responding to the Committee’s request.

    If you have any questions regarding this request, please do not hesitate to contact [redacted]. Thank you for your attention to this matter.

    Sincerely,
    _______________________
    Jason Chaffetz

    cc: The Honorable Darrell Issa, Chairman

    cc: The Honorable Elijah E. Cummings, Ranking Minority Member

  24. Straight out of my email…

    HOW IS NORMA?

    A sweet grandmother
    telephoned St. Joseph ‘s Hospital. She timidly asked,
    “Is it possible to speak to someone who can tell me how a patient is doing?”

    The operator said,
    “I’ll be glad to help, dear. What’s the name and room number of the patient?”

    The grandmother in her weak, tremulous voice said,
    “Norma Findlay, Room 302.”

    The operator replied,
    “Let me put you on hold while I check with the nurse’s station for that room.”

    After a few minutes, the operator returned to the phone and said,
    “I have good news. Her nurse just told me that Norma is doing well.. Her
    blood pressure is fine; her blood work just came back normal and her
    physician, Dr. Cohen, has scheduled her to be discharged tomorrow.”

    The grandmother said,
    “Thank you. That’s wonderful. I was so worried. God bless you for the good news.”

    The operator replied,
    “You’re more than welcome. Is Norma your daughter?”

    The grandmother said,
    “No, I’m Norma Findlay in Room 302. No one tells me sh!t.”

  25. I’m a draftsman. Have been for 35 years. I’ve gotten to the point where I don’t mind having to draw a picture telling people they need to pick fly poop out of pepper, but its getting to the point where I’m having to show each terd in 3D.

    Guys—the computer doesn’t make drawing this crap any easier or faster. It just makes it look better and easier to change.

  26. #34,

    And the fact that you have a parametric solid model DOES NOT mean you get to ignore drafting rules / standards.

    /pet peeve

  27. Here is another Pajams Media article which articulates very well my apprehension in supporting rebel fighters in Libya.

    There seems to be a huge general assumption that anti-Gaddafi forces are pro-American forces that should be armed and organized by the United States, but as you will see below there is documentary proof that at least some of the anti-Gaddafi forces are anti-American and pro-jihadist.

    Eastern Libya’s Tribes, Jihadism: Did U.S. Consider Its Own Libya Intel?

    Now that we’ve struck Libya and assuming we continue I fully favor taking out Gaddafi (he’s phsychotic and has killed Americans) either by killing him or exhiling. Preferably the former but I’d take the latter.

  28. Dang. And here I thought I was a right-wing authoritarian nutjob.

    Your PERSONAL issues Score is 60%
    Your ECONOMIC issues Score is 100%

    Who knew?

  29. Your PERSONAL issues Score is 80%

    Your ECONOMIC issues Score is 100%

    According to your answers, the political group that agrees with you most is…

    Libertarian

    So did I pass the audition?

  30. Guess I was wishy/washy on the corporate welfare question, I do think there are times gubment should provide incentives to business.

  31. Mharper #39;

    I was going to present it as bob42′s cat before I knew the feline had the perfect name for being bob42′s cat!

  32. Your PERSONAL issues Score is 70%
    Your ECONOMIC issues Score is 100%

    We gots us lots of Libertarians — cuz it was not an unbiased quiz.

  33. Some cats do purr louder than others. I think purring is one of the main things cat people like about cats, and I am sure domesticated cats have been selected for their purring tendency. Just like all the various breeds of dogs have been selected for traits their breeders and owners like.

  34. The bad news: My adopted little sister Sarah has dropped out of choir for the rest of the season because singing causes her pain due to a medical condition. This is sad because she loves to sing, and she is darn good at it. I mean, really, really good at it.

    The good news: She still joins us every week for the pre-rehearsal “milk and cookies” (beers and snacks) at BJ’s.

    The name of the place is a running joke for us. One of the crew texted everyone, asking “r u up for some BJ’s?”

    Last week, the other soprano (also a good vocalist) and I were uncertain if a third beer would be appropriate, so I took the lead, ordered, and when it arrived, I poured half of it into her glass. There was a lot of foam at the top, and her facebook status the next day went something like, “There was lots of head at BJ’s last night.”

    Tonight we were in a similar situation; two wasn’t quite enough and three would be too many. The server took my order and asked her if she wanted another as well. I replied, that’s OK, I’ll give her some head.

    It’s a fun crew.

  35. Adee, it was good to see your post today. I noticed the long absence and was glad to hear you got to spend time with relatives.

  36. #52 M42, as far as choirs go, we’re a pretty small group, but (myself excepted) talented. Three members teach music in schools, three others have degrees in music, and one of the altos has played Cello with the Houston Symphony.

    We have fun before and during rehearsal, but we’re serious as well. The songs we’re working on for the rest of the season (we take summers off) are pretty ambitious and challenging. The tenor line in a couple of the pieces is so high I may need to switch to bass for them, or wear my ex-wife’s panties to be able to hit the high tenor notes.

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