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11 March 2011


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The abandonment of the Libyan rebels by the US will signal the beginning of the end to American power in the Mediterranean. pl

"Change you can believe in."

A weak emperor is always a bad thing in the closing days of an empire.


Why doesn't the Egyptian army help them?

Not instead of us, not beside us, but just as themselves.

How much money do we give to the Egyptian army each year? We know that we give them expertise in discovering and destroying tunnels used to supply humanitarian aid to Gaza. Why can't we advise them how to help the Libyan rebels?

Bill H.

I'm inclined to think that Iraq was beginning of the end to American power in the entire Middle East.



'France became the first country to formally recognize the Libyan
opposition – the Interim Transitional National Council – as legitimate
representatives of the Libyan people on Thursday, pledging to exchange
ambassadors with the country’s newly created transitional council in a major diplomatic victory for the Libyan opposition.

The announcement followed a meeting between French President Nicolas Sarkozy
and two representatives of Libya’s Interim Transitional National Council in
Paris Thursday

Reacting to the news of France’s diplomatic recognition, Imane Boughaighis,
media organizer for Libya’s Interim Transitional National Council, said the
Libyan people were “very grateful” to the French government.

“We thank the French government and the people of Libya will never forget
that they (the French government) were the first country to recognize us and they stood with us in our difficult time.”
“We will not forget the role of France. We will remember it long after the
revolution is over.”

France and the UK are going to the UNSC in their own but Germany, Italy and Russia are against it for various reasons.

The US is history in the ME and North Africa.
Obama and Bush should get together and write a book about how to alienate the world and become irrelevant.

William R. Cumming

This was another interesting take on events by PL and sidekick.
Well perhaps tomorrow the Saudi situation and the Japanese tsunami will blot out the demise of the Libyan insurgency.



Only the neocons think the US is an empire.

Will Reks


Do you see this struggle as good versus evil?

I'm not sure why not getting involved in this civil war means we no longer have power in the region. We influenced events in Egypt to some degree. Libya's oil production is nothing that can't be replaced by Saudi Arabia raising output just a bit.

If this boils down to removing Qadhafi because he's a tyrant who is slaughtering his own people then I suppose we should have intervened in places like Sudan, Rwanda, Iran, and even Belarus

I think I haven't come across a clear case for why its imperative that we intervene. Indeed, it seems certain people think we should because this is an easy fight we can win quickly. And then go home.

I am hesitant because I see this becoming Iraq after 1991 facing sanctions and a no fly zone with an entrenched dictator. Meaning our foreign policy eventually leads to the hawks clamoring for regime change in Libya until someone gets elected who will do the job.

If they institute a no fly zone then they must also force him out and quickly. You either go all in or you stay out. That's prudent.

Patrick Lang

Wil Reks

Yes, that is how I see it. We encouraged these people to revolt and it will be easy to finish freeing them. If we do not help them then our standing in the Middle East will be totally destroyed. We already have a damaged credit rating because of what is seen as our unjust one sided adherence to the Zionist cause. This would finish us off. We would have zero credibility anywhere. Iraq was justified as being necessary as vengeance for 9/11. That was a lie. It was also justified as needed to stop Iraqi WMD, another lie. I knew better because I helped get rid of Iraqi WMD after the first Gulf War. If liberation of Iraq had been sold as just that I might have signed up for the effort. I told Wolfowitz and Khalilzad that right after Bush was elected. I don't back lies. Liberate people? I'm for that. I didn't serve in the government all those years because I thought of myself as a mameluke for Wall Street. pl

Sherry Long

Col. Lang:

I agree with you about our not deserting the Libyan rebels after all the encouragement our government and our European allies seem to have been giving them.

I have the same question as Aborgast about Egypt not helping the rebels militarily. Is it because of the Saudi influence?



I finish concrete, repair brick and stone joints, and install expansion joints in Philadelphia and surrounding areas, why does this Libya crisis involve me at all? How does it affect the regular American?

Why should my tax dollars pay for another war that affects me so minimally?

I voted for Ron Paul last time, if Obama sits this one out, He may get my vote for the next one.

Bacevich's book, "The Limits of Power", outlines my point. There is only so much we can do, wogs will be wogs. Best thing to do is to keep them out of our country.

James ben Goy

Apparently the administation doesn't want to provide missles or antitank weapons, for fear of 'Islamists' getting grips on them. I'm not military but it seems to me a relative handful of shoulder-fired missles could knock down enough aircraft to discourage bombing runs. I agree with the others that Egypt should be pressed to aid the freedom fighters, and anti-armor weapons would be a good start. Otherwise, this fight will be over real soon, & the end will be ugly. But, the dawdling could also be a way to facilitate western military intervention, after the destruction of the nationalist rebels, since they would likely violently oppose any foreign occupation. What really irritates me about the situation is those handwringers in DC will be giving the mad colonel a victory when he could be ousted for chump change, far less than is spent for, say, watering their golf courses, and there would be no need to put our boots on the ground.

Richard K. Armstrong

When has the United States ever militarily intervened on behalf of a popular uprising in another country except when the the primary beneficiaries were either United States corporations or the United States government?

This is not a snark. It is a serious question.

Clifford Kiracofe

"Libya's insurgent leader warned that any delay in imposing a no-fly zone could let Gaddafi regain control.

"We ask the international community to shoulder their responsibilities," Mustafa Abdel-Jalil, head of the rebels' National Libyan Council, told the BBC.

"The Libyans are being cleansed by Gaddafi's air force. We asked for a no-fly zone to be imposed from day one, we also want a sea embargo," he said.

William R. Cumming

RKA! Dominican Republic 1965?

Charles I

Victor Bout and a half a dozen moderately sober pilots could have helped sort this out weeks ago. By the time Obama pries a resolution out of the UN, there'll be an all out artillery and tank attack on Benghazi, and a reduction in the fighting/procreating cohorts of young revolutionaries.

An emperor without empire, without clothes dithers for legal cover.

psc "why does this Libya crisis involve me at all?

Because your government, the singular power, has for so long meddled with these satraps, mostly to keep them in a miserable constrained stasis, that when a singularly easy early call to suppress harm/do good comes at a time of historical political, social, economic and environmental foment one should consider it as an opportunity, and not a cost.

James ben Goy

Sorry to veer away from the topic but . .

To psc:
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

"Wog . . is a slang word with a number of meanings, most if not all considered derogatory and extremely offensive. Its modern usage is overtly racist and is not used in polite conversation."

You should be ashamed of yourself, coming from the city of 'brotherly love,' but I doubt you have any shame. Racist labels and anti-immigrant sentiments identify you as a bigot, and bereft of language skills sufficient to argue without resorting to them, not to mention your obvious attempt to drag the discussion down to your low intellectual level. I am blue collar but not like you - I fix cars - and am wondering how your ancestors got here.

Richard K. Armstrong

WRC, thank you.

William R. Cumming

If my understanding of UN procedure is correct other dictatorships have blackballed any UN support for Libyan insurgents. So US cannot succeed in getting any kind of UN support.

Perhaps time for UN to recognize only nation-states where some semblance of democracy?

Is this what John Bolton was trying to say but did not?


A different and convincing view of Sarkozy's motivation... and maybe Obama's counter-motivation.


Patrick Lang

arbogast et al

In fact I know from sources in and around Sarkozy's cabint that he did this against cabinet advice and without support. So much for total and "the bread." pl

Patrick Lang

ben Goy

"Wog? That bothers you? How about "dink?" Does that bother you also? words are just words, man. I am variously French, Irish, Scottish, English and German. "Froggy," "Paddy,""Scots?" "Limey," "Kraut, Squarehead." There, I am quite happy to be called any of those things, as opposed to a-----e. don't be so damned sensitive. pl

William R. Cumming

Professor Brenner! I wish you were correct that the US could take advantage of what in fact might be a major opportunity to stand up and be counted for something of value! Unfortunately, I don't believe the elites in the US are competent to accomplish that due to their greed and insularity from their common man. For who the Bell Tolls does not ring loudly when the leadership elites are deaf. I think even the WWII history needs to less triumphalist and more focused on the Duke of Wellington's take on Waterloo--It was a close run thing. The American leadership and polity want guarantees and as Pat Lang so skillfully points out from time to time those don't occur in either foreign relations or military operations often or even at all. There might have been a time when good motives, hard work, and competence were more available to the US for implementing its initatives, but even then there were no guarantees. That is why I like the way the 2012 Presidential election is shaping up. Nothing is guaranteed for any potential candidate even a first term President who clearly loves the perks of office. The printing of money by the FED is the real story of the 2008 financial collapse not the efforts of BUSH or OBAMA. The President's other successes may well not exist after judicial review of many of those efforts. Where I live in a largely black rural agricultural area it is a depression for the 25-45 year olds with no job prospects and little to support themselves even as corporate farming continues to extract from the land as others have for the last 400 years. According to many last years harvest was the worst in 50 years. Almost no irrigated agriculture except by Mother Nature. PLeas of food for work not unknown here.

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