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15 March 2011


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Will Reks

Arab opinion seems strongly in favor of a no-fly zone. Whether that includes bombing targets to implement the no-fly zone or embedding small units with rebel forces is not so definitive.

It seems they prefer we provide aircover, supplies, and weapons.

We should not delude ourselves into thinking this will buy us long-term goodwill with Arabs. That doesn't mean its not the right thing to do, however.

 Charles I

The boat was raising a Greek flag but it is unknown where it came from. NATO naval pieces did not see it of course.

Apparently, another arms shipment destined for some other oppressed wretches WAS intercepted. Maybe these could be transshipped to Tripoli as well.

Israel seizes Egypt-bound ship 'with weapons for Gaza'



In my opinion, Obama has sided with the dictators. "Stability" indeed, freedom is messy.

I would expect his domestic policies will take on an autocratic tinge as well, if they haven't already. For example, I don't believe there has been much Federal push - back at the anti union legislation unrolling in the various states.

However, I could be quite wrong about this and the behaviour of Three or Four Federal public servants I saw in Madison, Wisconsin some time ago suggested to me that they really needed a good kick up their unionised behinds. Be aware that older Australians know a lot about this subject. The unionised bastards here wouldn't load ships for Vietnam during the war.


Something fishy is going on in Libya, judging from the slow response of the international community.

Saudies did not hesitate from interfering in Bahrain, under whatever context they could conjure up to help out their royal cousins. “Where there is a will, there is a way” proves the reverse in Libya’s case, it is only obvious that there is no “will” to help the revolutionaries in Libya.

So they are on their own, but they can still win. So MQ has air power on his side, but as we all know, air power can not win the battles on the ground alone. The further they go on land, the harder it will become for them to carry out any kind of ground operations. Even mighty Rommel could not overcome this one crucial aspect of naval warfare on land. Swarms of Kalashnikov carrying citizen soldiers who are dead anyway if they lose, is the revolutionary’s biggest strength.

There will be no rehabilitation version 2 for Qaddafi. He will melt down from inside out regardless of the bravado and excellent media handling by his spoiled son. He must have learned something in LSE after all.

In an earlier post, I had mentioned that the Libyan revolutionaries will take some hits before they learn that a war is not fought and won by individuvals commuting to the front lines with their brothers and cousins on the back of a pick up truck. This is clear to them by now, so there are credible indications that defected senior military men are organizing an Army of sorts, from whatever they can find under the circumstances. And they will succeed, because their cause is right, and I can do nothing here but wish them successs.


Sadly, you are correct.

Will Reks


You should probably limit your anti-Obama projections to foreign policy. At least those criticisms make some sense. How does our domestic politics affect you?

Our biggest economic problem these days is employment. Not just jobs in general, but good paying jobs with decent benefits. The demise in unionization goes hand in hand with outsourcing and rising corporate profits at the expense of quality jobs.

This doesn't mean there aren't unproductive union workers or bad union practices.


"The unionised bastards here wouldn't load ships for Vietnam during the war."

And a bunch of the unionized bastards here have been voting the 'got mine' way for a couple of decades. Now they are wondering why their kids don't have decent jobs or their grandchildren decent schools. (just don't touch their Medicare or their social security)

Our (Michigan) non-union millionaire venture capitalist governor is creating a $1.8 billion problem through business tax cuts, then 'solving' said problem by a 31% tax hike on earned income. He's getting around the 'collective bargaining' problem Walker had in Wisconsin by legalizing 'emergency financial managers' who can void contacts. The key thing to remember is that for retirees the city/county/state already got the work out of you, they just aren't going to pay the deferred compensation owed. The oil/gas/ electricity and anything else needed on an ongoing basis, well they ain't cutting what they are paying, except on labor, otherwise they won't get the product.

It helps to have power, just ask any phone, gas or electric company, or if you know his number you can ask MQ.


Well, Egpyt has all those Abrams tanks sitting around, doing nothing useful. I wonder if they could spare the time for a quick dash to Tripoli and back?



Why do that now? Wait a few weeks for the eventual bloodbath and then provoke some kind of MQ military and/or mercenary action against Egyptians. Then Egypt can have a cause for a war of 'liberation' that will enable them to take over Libya and run it for a few years as a 'protectorate'. They can use the oil and the jobs their citizens had there.


I also wonder where the Arabs are. Well, that's not true, really. They're too busy writing about how hypocritical Americans are to take up arms against Qadhafi in the name of...what?

Nothing will come from Arabs acting as Arabs; they don't exist anymore. Egyptian nationalism is just that, as are the rest of the colonial legacies implanted deeply in the collctive Arab pysche.

Now Muslims acting as Muslims is another thing. Maybe a Yusuf al Qaradawi Brigade to help the rebels, or Knights of the Prophet's Banner, perhaps. But then the no fly zone would never be enforced.

Nah. Easier to crank out thousands of editorials about American hypocrisy.



The unionized bat'ards in the U.S. supported the Vietnam War? And who do you think beat the shite out of the long-haired hippies at the 68 Democratic Convention ? It wasn't management, who sat at home talking tough to the tv. My union had a lot of vets: Vietnam, Korean War and some from WWII when I first hired out. Disclaimer: I was a long-haired hippie back then.


Back in the 80s we started voting a two tiered pay scale on the railroad, screwing the younger guys. I didn't like it but many of the older guys were given bonuses of up to 80 thousand severance, and they were ready to retire anyway so they voted it in. Many of the reforms implemented back then were necessary: reduced crews (we began carrying pack sets) and drug and alcohol testing. And I wish it were easier to fire poor quality and dangerous workers, though it is easier than it use to be. The Police Union in Portland will not allow drug and alcohol testing, which is absurd.

But then management has gotten progressively worse. They are hall monitors who don't know squat about the work, don't have the respect of the men like they use to and don't deserve it.



I'm no longer in a union (once IBEW as a power plant operator - the line crews generally control the contracts) and have seen both sides of the issue. Most of the bad employees could be fired if management did the necessary paperwork to document the problem, but then that is the real issue in most cases - poor employment selection up front, in-adequate training (both of hourly and salaried employees) and poor incentives. I think it is even worse in the ranks of executives (Including how they are picked and compenstate). What happens when they screw up- the golden parachute.

FB Ali


I also wonder where the Arabs are.......

Why should the Arabs be there? The Arab kings and presidents and rulers never talked about liberty and democracy and the rights of people. It wasn’t one of them who stood on the podium in Cairo University and made that stirring speech.

The Arab rulers say what they believe in, and do what they say. Witness Qaddafi, Abdullah, the Bahrain twit.


Will Reks:

"How does our domestic politics affect you?"

A simple reading of a few days worth of Wikileaks diplomatic cables will educate you as to how the domestic politics of foreign countries affect perceived American interests. It also works in reverse.

To put it another way: the trade and spillover effects of American domestic policies on foreign countries are massive, and vice versa.

For example, our stance on drug legalisation and intellectual property law are driven in a very large part by American domestic politics.

To put it another way, we wouldn't have our own troops in Afghanistan if America wasn't there.


@FB Ali,

When I say Arabs, I'm not talking about the pathetic troop of sultans, kings and rulers that passes for Arab 'leadership' but rather Arab people acting with the consciousness of Arabness.

I can't be the only person to find it odd that there are no (analagous) Abraham Lincoln Brigades stirred to movement among the Arab Left (as mythological as the israeli one). My question stands: Why has there been no effort on the part of Egyptians, Tunisians, Algerians, et al. to help their Libyan brothers?

Nor has there been any effort on the part of Muslim Arabs to act as Muslims in this fight. Although, as I said, that would be enough to guarantee intervention on behalf of Qadhaafi.

I don't support Obama but this fight is not his or ours. The Arab people need to oust Qadhaafi - that they don't is yet another indicator of the fitna that afflicts the Arabs and Muslims in general.

Byron Raum

It would seem that the Japan disaster was a great boon to Obama. Whatever reluctant support the Egyptians received from the US, it was only due to American public opinion. Between revolution fatigue and the continual coverage about the Japan disasters, Libya has been relegated to the "meanwhile in the other news" section.



I agree. I've seen managers cause massive amounts of physical damage and walk away scott free. And then ground employees fired for a few weeks for not wearing safety glasses in a driving rain. Try seeing out of wet glasses. It was BP managers that bypassed safety proceedures and caused the gulf spill. What happened to them?

Our country is suffering from a crisis in management. Obama is a good example: What does he know about the economy or the military? He (we) is at the mercy of the experts who have a corporate agenda.

Modern MBAs remind me of Border Collies instintively herding people and dogs into groups. They are wonderful, high energy dogs but need sheep to herd for their mental balnce. Agility training is a good outlet too.

FB Ali


Your starry-eyed projections of the Abraham Lincoln Brigades notwithstanding, in reality the Arab peoples have done what they could. In Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, Bahrain, even in Jordan and Palestine. But their rulers and their armies, propped up and armed by the ‘devotees’ of liberty and democracy, are too powerful.

When the people have their faces ground in the hard reality that they are too weak to rid themselves of their masters without outside help, they will perforce turn to wherever they can find it. Osama bin Laden awaits their call. He, too, says what he believes in, and does what he says.

The beaver

@ FB Ali

Sorry to say it in this post but have you heard about Davis- freed after he was pardoned by the families. Plus "blood money" of $2.3M



Pandora's Box has been slowly opening for decades but Bush tore off the top, leaving only Hope--and that is were Obama came in. His job is to destroy Hope.

The latest from Team Obama is the copyright crack down. Watching or listening to illegal streams on your computer will become a felony. I have know doubt this will become law.


I can not vote for Obama again and I don't see the Republicans fielding a sane candidate. The lesser of two evils is still evil. I just can't in good conscience go down that path any longer. It's national suicide either way.

Mark Logan

FB Ali,

The NY Times reports that Obama has suddenly decided to press for a "no drive" zone around Benghazi.


AFAIK, this is the first indication that he might be "getting it", and I thought this matched a prediction you made a few days ago.


Security Council resolution approving the use of force in Libya expected at 2200Z.

Two hours and fifteen minutes from now.

If "we" can catch Ghaddafis armour on the road to Benghazi so much the better.

By "We", I assume the French first although from Istres its about a Thousand nautical miles each way to the Benghazi region, so the turnaround times won't be that good and considerable air to air refuelling will be needed.

IF the go ahead is given, I wonder if dawn on Friday might see the first air defence site and airbase attacks.


U.N Security council resolution passed. No Fly zone plus "other measures" to protect civilians. No occupation force.


Looks like the French are going to be the Riders of Rohan after all.

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