Barack Obama

Lost in Libya

Obama's quiet war against Qaddafi

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He came slithering out of his hole on Wednesday, wearing his trademark skullcap and desert sarong, to declare that Libya is being attacked by "fascists," something upon which he and Glenn Beck appear to agree. But if you thought, in the face of the military might of the West—and the not-so-mighty forces of Qatar and the UAE—that the initial offer to suspend military operations against the rebels in Benghazi meant a Grenada-like military operation, Col. Muammar Qaddafi, doing his brilliantly psychopathic Churchill impression, promised that he would "not surrender." "We will defeat them by any means," he proclaimed. "We are ready for the fight, whether it will be a short or a long one."

Neither Americans nor Europeans, he understands, are ready for the long one.  

Skirmishes continue between pro- and anti-Qaddafi forces and among those participating in what often feels like a leaderless operation. Meanwhile in Washington, D.C. there isn't much to suggest that the United States is actually at war in North Africa. Indeed, as of this writing, CNN.com isn't displaying a single Libya-related story above the scroll, despite having reporters inside the country.

If the broadcast media were criticized for following the lead of the Bush administration in 2003, the lack of in-depth reporting on this operation is, consciously or not, following the Obama administration's lead of detail minimization. Most frustratingly, there are precious few attempts by American reporters to identify the leaders (and the ideology) of the anti-Qaddafi rebels. And note the almost total absence of press conferences featuring flat-topped, medal-bedecked, lantern-jawed military men highlighting progress (or explaining how one would even define progress), and pointing to giant flat-panel televisions showing the destruction of enemy munition dumps or artillery pieces.

A handful of well-reported, off-the-record accounts suggest that President Obama was, initially, a reluctant participant in the absurdly named Operation Odyssey Dawn, having ultimately been swayed by the humanitarian arguments of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, among others. And now it appears that, in the face of opposition from his left, he would like to wage his "small war" with a small media footprint. It's a deeply political decision, of course, and one that is bound to irritate those considered his natural constituents on the left. Most Americans would likely appreciate a presidential address to the nation,  something in which a clear set of military goals is outlined (and any successes or failures highlighted and explained).

Ronald Reagan was relentlessly mocked for comparing the Nicaraguan contras to the Founding Fathers and routinely calling the Afghan mujahedeen "freedom fighters." But in this fight we're unsure who we are backing—the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group? the Benghazi Founding Fathers?—so the administration has opted to say nothing at all. Nevertheless we have thrown the might of the American military behind them, whoever they are, whether the White House offers Reagan-like comparisons to the Founders or confused silence.

This war, small scale as President Obama promises it will be ("days not weeks"), has been rather unpopular in the predictable quarters of the anti-war left and paleo-right, but it has also had rather fewer supporters among the mainstream left and right than one might have predicted. So I offer a strategy, however unlikely, for those liberals attempting to sway the anti-interventionist Kucinich left: Despite Qaddafi's pejorative use of the word "fascist," highlighted above, pro-Obama pundits might want to remind their skeptical constituents that a campaign against Qaddafi could be framed as the 21st-century's first anti-fascist struggle! An Abraham Lincoln Brigade for the millennials! Consider how popular "third positionist" Qaddafism has been with the extreme right, a curious history often overlooked by the newly minted Libya experts.

Nick Griffin, for example, the führer of the British National Party, brought his tin cup to Libya in the 1980s, when he was an up-and-coming storm trooper in the neo-fascist National Front. He returned home with a pallet-load of Green Books, though the Libyans had previously funded a "special anti-Semitic supplement to the National Front's monthly magazine." The Italian fascist Claudio Mutti, twice jailed on terrorism charges, saw in Tripoli a "third way" between communism and capitalism, and lined his pockets with Libyan cash. Tripoli's connections to Italy's neo-Nazi organizations are surprisingly deep. And before he became the darling of mainstream academics such as Benjamin Barber, Saif al-Islam Qaddafi was often spotted with his friend Jörg Haider, the former leader of the far-right Austrian Freedom Party and president of the Austrian-Libyan Friendship Society, who reportedly received significant funding from the Libyan regime.

But if we were to find a true silver lining, however slight, in this seemingly aimless military operation, besides the increasingly remote possibility of ridding the Maghreb of a lunatic mass murderer, it's the possibility of finding out the depths of Qaddafi's involvement in international terrorism—specifically in the 1970s and 80s. In the early 1980s, journalist Claire Sterling caused a firestorm of controversy with the release of her book The Terror Network, which traced much of the terrorism in the Middle East and Europe back to the Kremlin. One of the prongs of the "terror network," Sterling argued, was Qaddafi—the "Daddy Warbucks of international terrorism"—who provided arms and training to various terror groups, including the Irish Republican Army. The broad strokes of her Libya argument are right, but filling in the details would clarify many important historical and contemporary political debates.

It's not impossible that a Qaddafi collapse could help illuminate many of the mysteries of recent history—from the La Belle discotheque bombing, which prompted Reagan's 1986 aerial bombardment of Tripoli and Benghazi, to the downing of UTA flight 772. Indeed, one high ranking government official who defected recently to the opposition told reporters that he could provide proof of Libya's involvement in the Lockerbie bombing, an event conspiracy theorists have often speculated was ordered by Iran. And yesterday, The Guardian reported that a man suspected of murdering London police office Yvonne Fletcher in 1984—also the subject of conspiracy theories, promoted by a flabby documentary produced by Britain's Channel 4—was captured by anti-Qaddafi forces.

But at this point, who expects a Qaddafi collapse? The administration says that while it would welcome his ouster, "regime change" isn't a war aim. So if not that, then what? Like everything related to Obama's small war, that too is unclear.

Michael C. Moynihan is a senior editor at Reason magazine.

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  1. The administration says that while it would welcome his ouster, “regime change” isn’t a war aim.

    /facepalm

    1. joshua Conring

      /double facepalm

      1. Don’t feel bad, I made like thirty posts one time with a misspelled handle.

        A “doh!” moment.

        1. Was that “capitlol l”? I thought that was intentional.

    2. Libya is a very glass country. Should the country for control of. buy rift gold

  2. “The administration says that while it would welcome his ouster, “regime change” isn’t a war aim. So if not that, then what?”

    As stupid and impossible as it might be, even the ‘War on Drugs’ has the stated aim of a ‘drug-free America’.
    As stupid and impossible as it might be, even the ‘War on Poverty’ had the stated aim of ending poverty.
    WIH are we doing here? Is the aim to kick him in the nuts so he hurts? Get him to buy his clothes from a better tailor? What?

    1. Get him to buy his clothes from a better tailor?

      I dunno, I thought the beret/turban(?) + sunglasses combo was pretty slick. Not Nazi-uniform slick, but not bad.

      1. “I dunno, I thought the beret/turban(?) + sunglasses combo was pretty slick. Not Nazi-uniform slick, but not bad.”

        Looks to me like the guy you wished you never saw on US 50 through Nevada. And you were very happy you were prepared to…..

      2. Nobody rocks the fascist dictator look better than Qaddafi. Nobody.

    2. So if not that, then what?”

      To win the next election

      1. You mean Kwadduffi and not Obama, right? ‘Cause it looks to me like the Big O Boy might just have finally screwed the pooch.

        Of course, the Big R’s are entirely capable of running an old tired and ungroomed poodle against him, so anything is still possible.

        1. Obama wins.
          He has the ‘Muslim’ cover if this war-not-war goes south but if it ends happily ever after, we will hear all about the master plan.

          Or, you can read about it early in my blog 😉

        2. I’ll be giving expert political coverage of this event from my apartment. I’ve trained my hundreds of cats as spies, they report to me. What’s that Mr. Snufflebottoms? Clashes in Cyrenaica? I’ll notify everyone who reads my blog right away! Visit my blog for more in depth coverage.

        3. Never underestimate how bad the Republican candidates are.

          1. Exactly. I mean Donald Trump? Are you freakin’ kiddin’ me?

            1. “Are you freakin’ kiddin’ me?”

              Yes.
              The Donald

    3. “Bring me the head of Muammar Qaddafi” would have sufficed, but no, we can’t have any mission as simple and easy to explain as that, can we?

      1. By freezing all his funds, he has not place to go. Ergo, they have signed a warrant

        1. ‘Ergo’, that’s my favorite word.

          1. Actually I change my mind, it’s pickle-cunt.

      2. If you don’t explain the aims of the mission, it’s easier to declare it accomplished later down the road.

        1. The mission is to win and announce to the Republicans this is how you do it bitches!

          1. Win what? What exactly does victory entail? Stopping Qaddafi from killing so many people? Removing him from office? Instituting a democracy?

            1. Qaddafi will die. He will be taken out by one of his own. He doesn’t have any ‘outs’ because all his foreign money is confiscated. He tried to kill one of the Saudi Royals and he isn’t going to any Arab country. His choice is to kill himself or wait for his assassination.

              1. Fair enough, but has Obama actually stated a goal for US involvement in this conflict?

                1. Both he and Clinton have said ‘Qaddafi must go’. I’m certain the media will portray him as a strategic genius when this happens, and he will the next election

                  1. Yes, if they oust Qaddafi, then what? We leave, even if the country falls apart? Install someone we like better? Install anyone? Try to build a Democracy?

                    As we learned in Afghanistan and Iraq, topping the leadership is merely the beginning, and certainly not the road to popularity for the President who started it. True, Bush won the re-election, but I doubt anyone, least of all Obama, wants his legacy.

                    1. The UN is the key to walking away. He can blame any unintended consequences on their mismanagement but if they have even a moderate success he still gets to claim it-brilliant

                    2. Hmmm. May or may not work. People aren’t (quite) as dumb as he thinks they are.

                    3. Hmmm. May or may not work. People aren’t (quite) as dumb as he thinks they are.

                      Some are – they voted for him.

                    4. will blame “that woman”, Hillary.

                    5. Help me Cass! R2P Cass! R2P! Susan, a little help here, my Weird Sister war pig!?

                    6. I say either his gamble works, and the republicans look like fools, or it doesn’t, and he still is untouched by responsibility. There will be no need to blame Hillary woman for the iniquity, unless she ‘s been rocking her cleavage lately

              2. Correct me if I’m wrong here… but…. doesn’t Qaddafi have a shitload of gold? I’m pretty sure “freezing his funds” isn’t gonna do the job. And by the looks of his buying off numerous mercenaries, it sure hasn’t worked yet.

                So yeah… I’m pretty sure Rather is just totally incorrect.

                1. I’m sure Rather has accounted for all — ALL — of what I suspect are Qaddafi’s numerous stashes of cash hidden all over the world.

                2. You can have all the gold in the world but it ain’t worth jack shit unless you can spend it outside of Libya. How much couscous can you buy?

                  1. Are you really so retarded that you think there aren’t hundreds of places that wouldn’t be happy to take Gaddafi’s gold?

                    Geesh.

                    1. Don’t be an idiot. He tried to assassinate a Saudi Royal-no one in the Arab world fucks with them.

                      South America might touch him but he knows they would get him there. So, we know he’s the type of dictator who prefers his lifestyle,China doesn’t suit him, and Africa can be iffy. He will look to make a deal in the East.

                      He has billions in Libya but electronic banking is out of the question. Good luck trying to fly-out.

                      He’s already a marked man, and I doubt he’ll make it out of Libya before he accidently runs into a bullet

                    2. It’s going to be marginally hilarious in the abstract, but disappointing in the reality, as to how wrong about this you will be proven to be.

                      Gaddafi may very well get assassinated. I fully leave that option open, but suggesting that he doesn’t have a thousand options with which to escape Libya, much less to spend his large piles of gold is ridiculous.

              3. He doesn’t have any ‘outs’ because all his foreign money is confiscated.

                Well, he does have several tons of gold, which will no doubt prove useful.

  3. Are sunglass companies doing research there? I hope so. As I sink into geezerhood, I’m conscious of cataracts.

  4. Most Americans would likely appreciate a presidential address to the nation…

    Oh, gawd, no. Just put it in writing or tell it to Jake Trapper or something. We don’t need to see him give a speech. (It’s too late for that anyway.)

    1. We don’t need another steenking presidential address. Had far too many already. We KNOW the steenking presidential address already. It’s somewhere on PA AV or thereabouts.

      1. Hand me the teleprompter copy. I can read and wouldn’t have to listen to that unctuous twit.

        1. “Unctuous twit.” I like the sound of that. Good one, sevo.

          1. The greatest part about the word unctuous is its anagrammed form.

            1. unctuous anagrams @
              http://homepage.ntlworld.com/a…..solver.htm

              yee-ha!

    2. Let me be clear . . .

  5. Michael C. Moynihan is another Kochsucker trying to spread his capitalistic ideal of “world peace.”

    1. Whereas I spread peace through airstrikes.

  6. So when Zero declared that “Qaddhafi must go,” was he urging him to repair to the men’s room?

    1. “Zero”? Awesome. Are people using this name? Zero golfs while Rome burns.

  7. That actually does make a lot of sense dude.

    http://www.privacy-online.it.tc

  8. I am kind of disappointed by the lack of comments about Gaddafi’s female bodyguards, and by the lack of links to pics of them by the commenters here.

    disappointed.

    1. commentator.

      1. Perhaps you mean Comment Tater.

      1. berets. Fah. My female nurse/bodyguard/assassin corps will wear tophats and monocles. Steampunk style monocles.

        1. Steampunk style monocles.

          Only if they are of the Slovakian variety a la Hostel.

        1. Isn’t that a grenade pin in her navel?

          1. Nicely done AlmightyJB

            Nice picture. I hope you don’t mind me reposting that.

  9. The American public seems to accept a quite sensible distinction between air strikes and troops on the ground. We operated a no fly zone over Iraq to protect the Kurds for years, but when we invaded/occupied/liberated Iraq the opposition quite sensibly ramped up. Here I imagine the public would support air strikes to protect the rebels but draw the line at ground troops.

    1. When do we get air strikes?

      1. That’s awful cute but following your reasoning you can’t volunteer at one soup kitchen unless you agree to volunteer at all of them. So, fail.

        1. One twisted mind you have, equating charity to military action. So you have no problem with governments picking random conflict zones over other random conflict, because hey its better than nothing.

          Take your naive little head out of the ground, there is a real reason Libya was picked by governments, and not because the people were about to be taken to concentration camps, that lame excuse is for idiots like you to believe.

          1. Apparently the white house had intelligence that not acting would mean tens of thousands of Libyan deaths possibly within hours.

            But they’ve made the point more than once that Libya represented a situation where the benefits in regard to American interests outweighed the costs, which won’t be the case everywhere there’s a bad dictator.

            1. Is that the same intelligence that said that Saddam was about to launch his WMD’s ? Or the same genius community that failed to predict the uprisings in the first place ? The same people who failed to predict the fall of the USSR, the quagmire in Afghanistan, the fall of the Shah ?

              Only buffoons like you lap up cheap political tricks that thousands will die with in hours.

              1. Hey I’m not saying light, sweet crude has nothing to do with it.

            2. They would find WMDs. That one never gets old, and can be applied anywhere in the world.

              1. So are you suggesting they they acted knowing full well that the costs would outweigh the benefits?

                Or are you just grasping at straws because they taught you over at WND that anything Obama does is by definition wrong?

                1. Tony|3.26.11 @ 1:56PM|#
                  “So are you suggesting they they acted knowing full well that the costs would outweigh the benefits?”

                  That’s a good one, Tony! I’ll bet you have a million of ’em.

                2. “So are you suggesting they they acted knowing full well that the costs would outweigh the benefits?”

                  That’s been proven to be the “Obama way”.

              2. Apparently the words “uranium cakes” and “ukrainian whores” are homonyms in Arabic.

            3. Let’s see: US military assisted regime change as a solution to humanitarian abuses undertaken by a government with a history of terrorism and all linked to a firm belief that more democracy in the Arab world will lead to a more stable region that will benefit the US.

              Is the President Barack Obama? Or Paul Wolfowitz?

              1. It doesn’t matter. Even with Obama completely contradicting himself, his followers will laud his every move.

                Your question should be, in this case: Are the people supporting his intervention Democrats? Then whatever Obama does is a-ok.

                Reverse that for Republicans with a GOP President.

            4. It’s okay when Team Blue does shit.

          2. I’m not equating charity to military action but pointing out the silliness of the principle your reasoning rests on, namely that it’s somehow wrong to address one an area of concern if you don’t also address all cases that fall into that area.

            1. No, the point is “Why Libya?.” Because if the answer is simply, we need to help these people, there were plenty of other places we could have saved before Libya that we didn’t. We aren’t in Libya because its the right thing to do.

              1. Again, we can’t volunteer at the soup kitchen because we didn’t volunteer there before.

                1. No, the question is why we are volunteering at this particular soup kitchen, when we have shown no interest in serving at soup kitchens in the past and when there are other soup kitchens which would marginally benefit much more from our assistance.

                  1. Oh yeah, there’s also that question of having worked at a soup kitchen that didn’t go so well, and that you yourself criticized. So there’s that.

                    1. You worked at one soup kitchen and it did not go well, therefore you conclude the same will happen at every other soup kitchen.

                      Wow, you’ve got more fallacies today than handles wingnut.

                    2. I think the point is that we are volunteering at a soup kitchen in an upper-middle-class neighborhood with few homeless people, while there are some very impoverished areas that could use help in their soup kitchens. If you are going to claim that the aims are humanitarian in nature, there is greater bang for the buck elsewhere.

                    3. Please keep spinning in favor of military strikes. It’s precious.

                      If the President conducting this operation were GOP, you would be adamantly against it, because it isn’t about the actions, it’s about the party.

                    4. That was in response to MNG @ 3.26 8:22PM

          3. Clearly, I picked Libya because it is an easy target. Those other places could turn into quagmires. I have shown myself to be a strong and decisive leader.

    2. What about us?

    3. We never got air strikes.

    4. We’re being oppressed too!

    5. Help us oh wise liberal warriors!

    6. Air strikes please?

    7. Help us!

    8. Same as above.

    9. Help please!

      1. Put us out of our misery please.

        1. Just end the restrictions on urban bow hunting, and almost overnight your city will turn into an exotic game reserve that attracts hunters from the world over.

          1. I have no doubt, none, there’s some heaping helping of racism in that remark! ‘Cause what it is, is, fancypants!

      2. Shut Up!

    10. The American public seems to accept a quite sensible distinction between air strikes and troops on the ground.

      Death from 10,000 feet above: Sensible.

      Checkpoints and panties on heads: Quagmire (giggity).

      Thanks for that distinction.

      1. Thanks for that distinction.

        That’s what the doctorate is there for, all of those distinctions that the lay individual can not easily grasp.

        At least the university got something out of it (money, money, money — MONEY!)

        1. Like I said, according to polls and recent history it seems to be a distinction that the lay individual grasps quite well, it’s partisans who seem to have trouble with it…

          1. Don’t listen to them, MNG. They are just jealous you devoted so much time to a deep and meaningful achievement that they could never attain.

            Now, how ’bout a big fat donation to the old school. Hookers and blow don’t come for free, y’know!

            1. The ol’ Meandering Goat has been backtracking ever since he read a media push poll that shows Obama just might swoon the hearts of the public with his dirty war after all. His inner warm fuzzy told him it is time to get back in line with Team Blue. How does he accomplish this without the hackery being too obvious? Well, go on the offensive and make disparaging claims about the principled opposition, be sure to confuse the matter by lumping them in with the not so principled opposition, and do it before anyone notices that you are humming a different tune.

              1. Yeah, because opposition to air strikes has always historically been as strong as opposition to invasions. But hey, don’t let such nuances get in your way.

                1. ‘Nuance.’ So, that’s what they are calling a lack of conscience these days. Whatever, bitch; you walked that shit back over the last week and everybody knows it.

                  1. Seems like someone doesn’t do well at “one of these things is not like the other.”

                    And you want to cut off funding to PBS when you’d benefit so much…

                    1. Do we really need to roll that tape back to see what MNG one week ago was saying? Do you really want to go there?

                      The jig is up. You’ve been caught. Now it is time for you to come clean.

                    2. By all means roll back, please do. I await the O’Keefian/Brietbartian analysis!

                    3. So, you are telling us that your ‘little bit pregnant’ argument has been consistent this entire time? Is that what you are telling us the record is going to show?

                      This is too much fun.

                    4. It’s always neat to see the wingnuts play “my coy mistress”…

                      Ya got’s nothing buddy…

                    5. I’ll even give you a hint since you are starting to get nervous. Look for one of the last times you argued on the subject of military spending.

                      It’s going to be a doozy.

                    6. I tell you what. I have to go get the old lady some tampons and cigarettes.

                      Take the opportunity of the time I’m giving you to get a clear conscience before I get back, ‘k?

                      I have faith you’ll either figure our your cognitive dissonance or come clean about the game you have been playing.

                    7. I repeat, as your old lady has likely says to you enough,

                      Yawn.

                    8. God damn it! My strategy of pressuring him into cracking is not working. Someone else take it from here, I’ve got toesies to paint.

                      You will ‘fess up, MNG. Time is on our side.

                    9. To paraphrase your old lady again: that’s it?

                    10. The funny thing about it, except for the comment in the budget thread, you were pretty careful not to say anything at all until Obama made his decision.

                      I remember ’cause I was wondering when you were going to chime in. Sure ’nuff. There you were. Then you gave the on one hand on the other hand in an argument with John before the CNN poll came out. Since then, there has been no equivocation. You put all your chips in now for every one to see that you have no remaining doubts about the efficacy of NFZ operation.

                      You are slick, but your story has too many holes in it for you to not slip up and confess your sins.

                      Anyways, if her toes are not done before SNL comes on, she’ll get cranky.

                    11. “Since then, there has been no equivocation. You put all your chips in now for every one to see that you have no remaining doubts about the efficacy of NFZ operation.”

                      Like most right-wingers the concept of a nuanced stance flies over your head like one of our jets over Libya. From the beginning and now I think Obama bungled the timing of this operation so that it increases the chances of this limited operation being extended (or useless). I’m also not sold on the intervetion at all as they tend to evolve into operations of a different degree. Lastly, Obama, or any President, should go to Congress and the American people before this type of thing.

                      But apart from all that I have consistently called out nutjobs like yourself who’ve been trying to push the “this is like Iraq but lefties hated that but not this!!!” meme. It’s stupid because this operation of air strikes is pretty far from a massive invasion. It’s stupid because many on the left oppose this as well as Iraq. Limited interventions are different than full scale invasions, this is why historically there has been much less concern over the former.

                      But hey, idiots like you gotta stand up and yell about something.

                    12. Ha! He confesses at last! When he thought my guard was down.

                      From the beginning and now I think Obama bungled the timing of this operation so that it increases the chances of this limited operation being extended (or useless). I’m also not sold on the intervetion at all as they tend to evolve into operations of a different degree. Lastly, Obama, or any President, should go to Congress and the American people before this type of thing.

                      Sure he couches it in mealy mouth language, but, yeap, once you shift through the insults and dodges we got it on tape.

                      Here’s another —


                      MNG|3.24.11 @ 2:28PM|#

                      I think what Tony is getting at is this: who cares how the Founders imagined and expected provisions to be applied? What matters is what they wrote.

                      Of course given what they wrote imo Obama has violated the Constitution…
                      reply to this
                      MNG|3.24.11 @ 2:29PM|#

                      Well, unless one wants to use the argument noted above that these recent operations are “police actions” and not “wars” and so the Art. I requirement that Congress declare war doesn’t apply, but man that seems strained to me.

                      Pass out the cigars, MNG admits to being disingenious.

                    13. BTW, what’s the point of this protracted beating over our heads a point that you confess above that you do not believe in?

                      Some bullshit claim to rhetorical hand?

                    14. Wait. I got it. I finally have a complete understanding of MNG’s position. I admit it alluded me for some time, but, now, after reading a few dozen of his remarks over the past week, I now grasp the ‘nuance’.

                      Here it is:

                      MNG is against Obama’s war, but he supports the president’s hypocrisy on war in his various pronouncements over the years, and also that of the president’s followers who have repeated the same hypocritical statements over the years.

                      Makes perfect sense!

                    15. Wow, you didn’t even get Brietbartian levels with that one, but nice try.

                      There’s no disingeniousness. This is the exact position I’ve had since the beginning. Obama timed the intervention badly. These interventions can turn out badly. He should have gone to Congress.

                      But, as I’ve said all along, this operation is vastly different than the invasion of Iraq. And that’s why it has much less opposition.

                      Like most movement conservatives you can’t grasp how I can denounce some aspects of an Obama act and not all of it. In your black and white world that doesn’t fit. You’re either with us or against us type of thinking.

                    16. let’s see — you have already done ‘nuance’ so – check.

                      ‘black and white’ – check.

                      and ‘simplistic’ is down there below https://reason.com/archives/201…..nt_2202824

                      so another check.

                      It’s all there, the complete three legs of your wobbly stool of an unsustainable argument.

                      So, were you for the hypocrisy before you were against it? How does that work?

                    17. Whatever MNG. If this had happened while Bush was in office, you know you and the rest of the left would be up in arms about it. You wouldn’t all be blogging away on The Daily Kos and Huffington Post about how bombing Libya was totally reasonable and had nothing to do with oil.

                    18. Nekogirl
                      You don’t know what you are talking about. The main far left journals, the Nation, the Progressive, even the more mainstream American Prospect had headline articles criticizing the war right away. Many Democratic Congresscritters have had various criticisms of it. “The Left” is hardly of one mind about Libya. But even were they of one mind you still have this problem which is the entire point of all my posts on this thread: Libya is different from Iraq, and so one can be for one and against the other without being hypocritical in the least.

                    19. The main far left journals…had headline articles criticizing the war right away.

                      And the chaining to the fences, and the paper mache heads and faux “Big Corporation” dance teams, the drum circles, the marches….

                      Oh yeah. He’s a Democrat. Go on record, but, you know, the donations to fight this thing are for shit from our progressive sources. No collateral damage stories on the air, no shots of crying children or pressure from the left about what havoc these sanctions and no-fly zone thuggery are doing to the children!

                      Libya is different from Iraq

                      Yes. There’s a Democrat in office now!

                2. Funny, the last soup kitchen I was in did not involve murdering people from afar. But keep telling yourself that it is our duty to pick the winners of conflict across the world and blow up whoever pleases us less. Yaa war rocks, and is sooo ethical!!!

      2. You have to love how right-leaning folks are posturing as if their objection to this has to do with “death from above” to Libyans, interestingly leaving out that those people were butchering other Libyans.

        Just say you don’t like anything Obama does and get it over with.

        1. MNG|3.26.11 @ 12:21PM|#
          “You have to love how right-leaning folks are posturing as if their objection to this has to do with “death from above” to Libyans, interestingly leaving out that those people were butchering other Libyans.”

          You have to love that lefties are grasping at increasingly irrelevant straws in an attempt to put lipstick on Obama’s pig.

          1. It’s an irrelevancy that the people we are attacking were attacking others? Funny, I thought that kind of thing was a big distinction between libertarians and pacifists, that force was ok in response to other initiation of force.

            And, of course, “lefties” seem pretty well divided on whether they are for or against this operation, but hey, don’t let that mess up your childishly black and white view of the world 🙂

            1. And, of course, “lefties” seem pretty well divided on whether they are for or against this operation

              This is truthful; though, it is entertaining seeing all the racism from the left second guessing the newly minted War Pig Obama. Or they get caught up in sexism since the brainchildren behind this little stunt was the Weird Sisters. Quite a conundrum: criticize The (erstwhile dove) Obama and risk a racial bigot charge, or lay blame at the The Triumvirate and get branded a sexist. Criticize them both and throw in an unhealthy dose of Bush hate and you hit the trifecta of partisanship.

            2. It’s an irrelevancy that the people we are attacking were attacking others? Funny, I thought that kind of thing was a big distinction between libertarians and pacifists, that force was ok in response to other initiation of force.

              Yes, because intentions are irrelevant when we are judging what is actually happening. You know that thing called collateral damage? That’s what happens when we bomb people.

            3. MNG|3.26.11 @ 1:29PM|#
              “It’s an irrelevancy that the people we are attacking were attacking others?”

              Seems it’s an irrelevancy most of the world over, until a lefty grasps it as a straw for justification in one specific location.
              But you knew that, didn’t you?

              1. Again, how can you volunteer at that soup kitchen when there are poorer people in other parts of the world that you have not volunteered to feed?

                1. MNG|3.26.11 @ 5:08PM|#
                  “Again, how can you volunteer at that soup kitchen when there are poorer people in other parts of the world that you have not volunteered to feed?”

                  How…………………..
                  cute!
                  Actually, it would probably embarrass those struggling to come up with some *believable* justification. Simple-minded appeals to emotion tend to do that.

                  1. There obviously is not a no-fly zone over your head as points keep zooming by…

                    The justification is to prevent the massacre of those struggling against a despot. When we can do that without putting many of our lives at stake the US public tends to support that.

                    Saying that justification doesn’t fly because there are other places we could save people is like saying one can’t work at a soup kitchen because there are other soup kitchens one doesn’t work at.

                    1. MNG|3.26.11 @ 8:33PM|#
                      “There obviously is not a no-fly zone over your head as points keep zooming by…”
                      There is obviously a hole in your head, as reality keeps zooming by your propaganda.
                      —————–
                      “The justification is to prevent the massacre of those struggling against a despot.”
                      Yep, just like, well, what was that place? Iraq? I think it was Iraq.
                      Or maybe it was North Korea.
                      Oops. That ‘soup kitchen’ hasn’t gotten liberal approval yet; can’t be that.
                      You must have heard about that term ‘consistency’ some time in your life; you ought to look it up.

                    2. Yep, just like, well, what was that place? Iraq?

                      What do you think you are proving with this? Most people supported our NFZ to protect the Kurds there too. It was the invasion they objected to.

                      If we invade Libya tomorrow and I applaud then you might have some kind of point other than the one on your head…Until then you are just slinging stuff on the wall hoping something sticks, you know, usualy movement conservative tactics..

                    3. MNG|3.26.11 @ 8:33PM|#
                      “Saying that justification doesn’t fly because there are other places we could save people is like saying one can’t work at a soup kitchen because there are other soup kitchens one doesn’t work at.”

                      BTW, your ‘soup kitchen’ bullshit is ‘way beyond tired.
                      I may choose to work in a ‘soup kitchen’ since I see it as worthwhile, but that doesn’t mean I use tax dollars to force others to do so. Nor does that allow me to force others to suffer the risks of working in that ‘soup kitchen.
                      Your specious claim that Libya is a ‘soup kitchen’ is false on the face of it; you can’t begin to identify the ‘hungry’ involved, nor those ‘nourishing’ them.
                      Further, you didn’t give a shit about any sleazy ‘soup kitchen’ claim until Obama put his stamp on a particular war.
                      To make it clear, you’re nothing but an obvious hypocrite with a fig leaf smaller than that tiny thing you’re trying to hide.

                    4. Yea, yea, you oppose this because it uses your tax dollars. Or whatever. Take your goal post moving business elsewhere.

                    5. You now, I might not know how to spell too good, and I might have to look up a lot of words, and, sure, I didn’t make it pass the ninth grade, and maybe my polyester pastel collection doesn’t impress the folks who play queeny up in the city there, but one thang I knows is when there is a disassembling going on. MNG, you is a disassembling all over the place. If use don’t support the Obama teh buttfull’s war then why the blue fuck do you defend it at such great length? If you do support it, than why do you say you don’t? What’s up in your head there, is it clogged with shit?

                      ‘Nuance?’ Fuck, man. You paid 100k fer yer da gree when you could a just bought a fookin thesaurus and you would have made a better impression on everybody and not just yer selfs. But instead, you look like an idjut who can’t keep his story straight.

                    6. “If use don’t support the Obama teh buttfull’s war then why the blue fuck do you defend it at such great length?”

                      What a simplistic, pathetic way to live in life, either Obama (or whoever your movement opposes at the moment) is a complete Devil or a complete Angel. There can’t be some aspects of any given policy that you support and some you oppose because, you know, the world is complicated.

                      I actually pity you more than I loathe you.

                    7. MNG’s conscience bothers him so badly, he feels the need to answer to even a commentator name HillBilly Crossdresser who goes out of his way to be lowly and insignificant. Lol! Get right with your bad self, girlfriend. You’ll feel much better after you come clean.

                    8. What do you say about it, Shakespeare? You think MNG protesteth too much? Yeah, he do.

                    9. MNG|3.26.11 @ 10:47PM|#
                      “Yea, yea, you oppose this because it uses your tax dollars. Or whatever. Take your goal post moving business elsewhere.”

                      Yea, yea, you support this because Obama can’t do wrong.
                      Take your mobile goalposts elsewhere, liar,

        2. Cool story, bro.

          So, when do we bomb Sudan?

        3. interestingly leaving out that those people were butchering other Libyans.

          Yes my young apprentice, come to the Neocon Side.

        4. …I don’t like anything Obama does.

        5. Guess we don’t count, then?

          1. We had a no-fly zone protecting the Kurds for years. There was little public outcry against it.

            This proves my point, the US public sensibly makes a distinction between limited involvement to protect people from massacre by despots and invasion/occupation. It’s a distinction so obvious to most that one suspects only Obama hatred or the usual partisan hackery is involved in ignoring it.

            1. This proves my point, the US public sensibly makes a distinction between limited involvement to protect people from massacre by despots and invasion/occupation.

              Why do you keep saying that this is simply enforcement of a no-fly zone?

              We’re bombing Libyan military and political facilities. We’ve openly stated that we want the rebels (whoever the hell they are) to win.

              These actions are in support of a attempted overthrow of the Libyan government in a civil war. And we’re supporting those forces that will, if the government is overthrown, be running Libya.

              This is completely different than the Kurds no fly zones and far more complex and far-reaching.

              1. Look, my point is that there is a difference between air strikes and troops on the ground. They have different levels of risk, involvement, and such. The military knows that, the dictionary knows that and the public knows that. I’m boggled at why you guys continue to conflate the two.

                If you want to say we should be against all military operations not in defense of our nation I can understand that. It’s the “this is just like Iraq” meme that I’m getting at, like I said last week this is much more like Bosnia.

                1. A person can be against the Iraq war and for this operation without any shifting given that there are differences between the two in degree at least.

                  1. MNG|3.26.11 @ 9:03PM|#
                    “A person can be against the Iraq war and for this operation without any shifting given that there are differences between the two in degree at least.”

                    Whoa!
                    That’s a good one, MNG! Did you hear the one about the Rabbi, the Priest and the…………

                    1. What, you think there is no difference in degree (at the least) between this operation and Iraq? We had over a quarter of a million ground troops involved in the latter.

                      You are a colossal fool.

                      World, witness the best the right can do!

                    2. MNG|3.26.11 @ 10:51PM|#
                      “What, you think there is no difference in degree (at the least) between this operation and Iraq?”
                      Oh, you bet! Would that be one degree F or C?

                      “You are a colossal fool.”
                      You’re a sleazy propagandist. Your ‘clever’ sophistry may fly with worn-out lefties, but not here.

                2. Sorry, but you keep mis-stating what our actions are in Libya. We’re not simply enforcing a no-fly zone to protect Libyan civilians. We’re actively supporting Libyan forces trying to overthrow their government.

                  That’s not simply protecting civilians; that’s favoring one side in a civil war.

                  The concern isn’t about ground troops. The concern is about the aftermath of any regime change and our involvement in building some sort of post-Qaddafi government.

                  Because we simply can’t walk away.

                  1. What does any of this discussion you are having matter? All you Americans know how to do is war. It doesn’t matter what party you belong to either. One side feigns for peace, when the other side goes to war, and then you switch your rolls for the next war, hoping nobody notices.

                    1. Clementina 2:46PM

                      One side feigns for peace, when the other side goes to war, and then you switch your rolls for the next war, hoping nobody notices.

                      Agreed.

                3. MNG|3.26.11 @ 9:02PM|#
                  “Look, my point is that there is a difference between air strikes and troops on the ground. They have different levels of risk, involvement, and such.”

                  Shades of Yamamoto. He was wrong.

            2. There was little public outcry against it.

              Bullshit – Sanctions and no-fly against Saddam were listed as genocide that was killing innocent children in the ramp up to the Iraqi invasion. (Remember the Lancet study? 500K dead children?) Zero investigation into the Kofi UN Oil for Cash and weapons scandal.

              You prefer Democrats. We get it.

        6. Sorry, are you seriously arguing that if if Bush or McCain were doing this the folks here would be supporting it?

          It’s all about Obama?

          C’mon, you’ve been making some arguably good points but this one is silly.

          1. i agree. the only way this war could have less support here was if it was a joint operation of LAPD, NYPD, the FBI and BATFE.

            1. Whaaaaat?! We want in, too!

              1. i hear qaddafi snorts cocaine off the naked torsos of his hawt ukrainian bodyguards. DEA, You’re IN!

  10. This war, small scale as President Obama promises it will be (“days not weeks”), has been rather unpopular in the predictable quarters of the anti-war left and paleo-right

    And you’re not predictable, motherfucker?

    1. Grrr, I’m so angry about this plainly stated, inoffensive fact!

      1. Dismissing objections to the war with “they’re sooooo predictable” is a plainly stated, inoffensive fact? Then why are you offended by my plainly stated view that Moynihan is a predictable neocon warmonger hack? Fuck off, heller.

        1. “Then why are you offended by my plainly stated view that Moynihan is a predictable neocon warmonger hack?”

          Uh, because Moynihan opposes the war? Is that enough reason?
          Did you read the article?

  11. When he said “days” strictly speaking 1000 days is still days, albeit a lot of them.

    1. Let me be clear.

      Psst! Ixnay on illingspay the eansbay on my easelway ordingway.

      1. No, it can’t go past seven days, then it would be “weeks.” So, I have six-plus days before you can call me “Lyin’ BushPig Obama”.

  12. The administration says that while it would welcome his ouster, “regime change” isn’t a war aim. So if not that, then what?

    1. Get UN resolution
    2. Blow shit up
    3. ???
    4. PROFIT!

    What’s so hard to understand about this?

    1. Raytheon, General Dynamics, etc

  13. The administration says that while it would welcome his ouster, “regime change” isn’t a war aim.

    The administration says that while it would welcome a strong economy, “a balanced budget” isn’t a national aim.

    1. The administration says that while it welcomes high corporate taxes, GE and Goldman Sachs isn’t a national aim.

      1. Silly libertarians…. don’t you realize high corporate taxes are meant to destroy poor mom and pop accounting shops that file subchapter-S while considerable green energy subsidies are meant to eradicate any taxes paid by our oligarchical elite.

        1. But no well connected organizations are getting waivers from ObamaCare rules! Oh wait…

  14. Why in the hell would you tell the enemy how long you plan on waging war? Oh yeah, if you can just survive a few weeks we’ll be gone. It’s like when the media was demanding an exit date from Iraq. Regardless of how you feel about the war, you don’t tell your f*ckin’ enemies when you’re going to leave. Unless, you are an idiot (like the politicians that listen to the media) or want to lose (like the media).

  15. The Abraham Lincoln Brigade was only appealing to idealists because the Republic side was getting its butt kicked and had no real helpful allies.

  16. I partook of the cowboy hat. It was a nice feeling. I even uncorked the sour mash Rahm gave me when we exchanged going away presents. Swoosh. Hot, like a fire in the gut. I went with my gut. I said, ‘fuck it. Let’s start a war.’

    1. OMFG! I had the same experience! LOL!

      1. Can we not talk about HIllary’s bush, inner or otherwise?

        1. Why does it make you masturbate more?

  17. my problem with it is, all other shit aside, WHY US? let all those fucknuts on the other side of the pond deal with it. we have our wars already. and those have been such a rousing success! (rolls eyes)…

    granted, i’m not a weaponry expert (hi hmm..!) is it our tomahawks that are so frigging necessary?

    1. The tomahawks are made is the USA

      1. i’m aware of that. that’s why i said OUR tomahawks. my point is , is our involvement necessary for some reason like that (iow no other nation has an equivalently effective weapon)?

        other than THAT, i say – let those fucknuts deal with it

        1. You realize, of course, that Fwench cruise missiles can be turned away from their targets by speaking gruffly to them in German.

          1. I would capture that missile by its tail and then make it do disgusting nasty things to my ass in a Berlin sex show.

            1. one of these guys

  18. “The tomahawks are made is the USA”

    And the Euro politicos have spent all their dough on buying votes while free-riding on the US defense structure.
    You want France to actually provide for France’s defense? How silly.

    1. i have a relative who helped program the tomahawk. and he was the one who taught me how to properly organize software design. Waaaaaay back in the days when 64k of ram was a luxury.

      a LOT of countries signed on to this thing. somebody’s gotta have something effective, nu?

      1. iow no other nation has an equivalently effective weapon

        In fact, the US gives aid indirectly by using our superior military resources. During the Libya conflict, the UK just deployed 14 of their 64 Tomahawks and we inaugurated with over a hundred.

        http://rctlfy.wordpress.com/20…..#more-5065

        IOW, NO

        1. does ward connerly consider a missile called a “tomahawk” is RACIST?

          1. Only the uncle tomahawk

  19. Just flew in from Jersey. Whew, my arms are tired!

  20. Of course, when the rebels refuse to attack Tripoli because why-the-fuck would they when the USA is on their side, we’ll send in ground troops.

    And MNG will defend it.

    1. I don’t get why some people on here think that MNG has a more nuanced political philosophy then Tony or Chad. He’s just as much of a Team Blue sycophant as every other troll on this board.

    2. i think the marines are always justified in unleashing the dogs of war in tripoli. it’s in their contract for fuck’s sake

      1. on tripoli’s shores, specifically

  21. I will not drag this nation into a war of choice with Syria. Clearly, Assad is a reformer with a lovely, European-educated wife.

    1. “I will not drag this nation into a war of choice with Syria. Clearly, Assad is a reformer with a lovely, European-educated wife.”

      But I might authorize air-strikes, since I say those aren’t “war” and (change the teleprompter page!)….

  22. It’s okay when WE bomb brown people!

  23. I will not drag this nation into a war of choice with Syria. Clearly, Assad is a reformer with a lovely, European-educated wife.

  24. i have a relative who helped program the tomahawk. and he was the one who taught me how to properly organize software design. Waaaaaay back in the days when 64k of ram was a luxury.

    a LOT of countries signed on to this thing. somebody’s gotta have something effective, nu?

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  27. “In affairs of state one must never retreat, never retrace one’s steps, never admit an error – that brings disrepute. When one makes a mistake, one must stick to it – that makes it right”
    Napoleon at Moscow.

    The echo resounds in the Republican Party today – and it still does not make it right.

  28. “Indeed, as of this writing, CNN.com isn’t displaying a single Libya-related story above the scroll, despite having reporters inside the country.” (With screen capture link embedded)

    Second story listed on the left hand side of said screen capture…

    “NATO’S NEW ROLE IN LIBYA NO-FLY ZONE”

    Great article and CNN usually sucks and all, just sayin’.

  29. Am still wondering why this man can’t accept that people don’t want him as their president?
    He should be pressed completely.
    It is ok if the CNN will not show us but after the battle is over i believe they will show was is happening to the libyansdirecttohomeappliances directtohomeappliances.com

  30. I’ll be giving expert political coverage of this event from my apartment.

    http://www.wholesale-order.com

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