« #Portraying Jesus and Mary: Picturing the Bible's Ethereal and Human Prophets- Michael Brenner | Main | #Iraq, once again. »

03 April 2011


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Patrick Lang


You simply do not wish to act against this bad man and government. In most of these places we have little real ability to affect the governmental situation without a huge intervention. Libya is different because of demography and geography. We couuld make some improvement in that situation but you have no sense of altruism at all in this. pl


ttg.....I don't doubt that enormous time, money and effort went into preparing that manual. However getting sucked into an Arab civil dispute by two French egomaniacs fits my description of simplistic.

Patrick Lang


What manual? pl


ttg cited an army manual...


as an example of complex thinking I guess. It wasn't what I meant by simplistic. I'm thinking more of the tendency to categorize everybody as good guys and bad guys.

Ken Hoop

Why should non-interventionists, libertarians and other "Republic Not an Empire" tradcons care if "forces of reaction" believe the US was "defeated" in the Libyan venture in the Mideast? Do these "forces of reaction" threaten the nation's standard of living or security hereabouts?

Patrick Lang

ken hoop

Ah, an isolationist. pl

Ken Hoop

Not the pejorative it once was, hopefully in the same vein as "antisemite."

William R. Cumming

Libyan involvement dominated the Sunday talk shows. Question I have is why? The Obama speech was parsed as to whether it was doctrinal is scope. Personally I don't think so as I believe that Obama's caution in the face of complexity has some merit. But also indicates his still learning on the job. Sincce no one in the TEA PARTY or the Republican Party seems to want to deal with foreign affairs this oddly might give Obama the advantage of at least understanding that what the US does abroad is not a reflection of US domestic policy but in fact a reflection of the other nation-states having a comprehensive understand of what makes the US tic on foreign relations. Clearly all others now understand it is watch what we do not what we say that is most important in understanding how the US will and does conduct its affairs. Thus the words are largely ignored. Am I missing something? Are we now OUT of Libya?

Patrick Lang

WRC et al

Halellujah! Hallellujah! We be's out o'barbaree! The day o'jubilo hab come at last. pl


Michael Scheuer takes on the CNN and the Libya narrative: "You're just carrying water for Obama:"

He won't be invited back. Speaking truth to power is never lucrative.


i saw that. banana skin moment.
care to comment re Scheuer's CNN appearance, sir ?


has anyone else seen this ?

i have no reason to doubt the accuracy of the reporting.

Michael Brenner

Some incurable optimists in and around Washington are posing the question of what we may expect from newly promoted Deputy Secretary of State William Burns on the heavy Middle East agenda. The hope is that he animates initiatives that move American policy away from the strategic dead ends of its Palestinian and Iranian policies. A further hope is for a less inhibited and qualified embrace of the popular reformist movements sweeping the Arab world.

Although I do not know Mr. Burns personally, there is good reason to doubt that he will change anything of consequence. He has been an integral member of this administration’s foreign policy team that has so assiduously dug the holes in which we find ourselves. I can recall no incident where there was as much as a hint of his thinking deviating from that of senior principals. That is one. Secretary Clinton remains his boss whose own attitudes are pronounced and who listens to people of higher rank than Mr. Burns whose views she surely is familiar with. That is two. Mr. Burns is something of an Arabist. He speaks the language and was Ambassador to Jordan and Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern affairs. So he will not be engaging Middle Eastern issues with the freshness and curiosity of a new comer to the regime. That is three. Burns said this in his confirmation hearing: “In Bahrain and Yemen, we will continue to press vigorously for serious political reform.” We have been doing anything but that. On the record, Mr. Burns is a dissembler like his superiors. That is four.

Hope springs eternal.

But reality is reality.

Mr. Burns doubtless would be a good man to have on board - if the United States had a wise and cogent strategy in the Middle East that awaited implementation. We don't have one, though.



"Qumu served in the Libyan Army from 1979 until 1990, but his service was marred with trouble. He was "arrested and jailed multiple times for drug and alcohol offenses, going absent without leave and attempted rape."

"Levinson reports that Qumu, who was imprisoned in Libya after his transfer from Guantanamo, was released by Qaddafi's regime as part of its reconciliation effort with Islamists in 2008. "

Seems Qathafi saw the handwriting on the wall a couple of years ago, and with men like this in his army it is no surprise the people of Libya to revolted. When they get rid of him, they can get rid of this guy too.

The comments to this entry are closed.

My Photo

February 2021

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
  1 2 3 4 5 6
7 8 9 10 11 12 13
14 15 16 17 18 19 20
21 22 23 24 25 26 27
Blog powered by Typepad