I’m sure if we just fire some bad teachers it will more than make up these expenses:
The first day of Operation Odyssey Dawn had a price tag that was well over $100 million for the U.S. in missiles alone. And the U.S. military, which remains in the lead now in its third day, has pumped millions more into air- and sea-launched strikes targeting air-defense sites and ground-force positions along Libya’s coastline.
The ultimate total that the United States spends will hinge on the length and scope of the strikes as well as on the contributions of its coalition allies. But Todd Harrison, a senior fellow at the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments, said on Monday that the U.S. costs could “easily pass the $1 billion mark on this operation, regardless of how well things go.”
The Pentagon has the money in its budget to cover unexpected contingencies and can also use fourth-quarter dollars to cover the costs of operations now. “They’re very used to doing this operation where they borrow from Peter to pay Paul,” said Gordon Adams, who served as the Office of Management and Budget’s associate director for national security during the Clinton administration.
However, there comes a point when there simply isn’t enough cash to pay for everything. The White House said on Monday it was not prepared to request emergency funding yet, but former Pentagon comptroller Dov Zakheim estimated that the Defense Department would need to send a request for supplemental funding to Capitol Hill if the U.S. military’s share of Libya operations expenses tops $1 billion.
It amazes me that we spend close to a trillion a year for the military, but that’s just for the “luxury” of having it. Using it will cost you a shitload more. It’s like buying a new $100k Mercedes every year, then paying $2,000 for a gallon of gas every time you want to drive it. Then we have this:
So far, the operation appears to be focused on creating a limited no-fly zone mostly targeting the capital city of Tripoli, which is Qaddafi’s stronghold, and other areas along the coast. That will require a wide range of military assets.
In a report released earlier this month, Harrison estimated that the initial stages of taking out Qaddafi’s coastal air defenses could ultimately cost coalition forces between $400 million and $800 million. But the coalition is now targeting his ground forces in an effort to protect civilians—a factor that Harrison said will drive up the initial costs of the operation.
Otherwise known as “mission creep.” And the hits keep a coming:
For now, the United States continues to lead operations, although U.S. military leaders insist that control will soon be transferred to an as-yet unnamed coalition leader.
Army Gen. Carter Ham, the Odyssey Dawn operational commander, told reporters on Monday that allies are stepping up to shoulder much of the mission. There were 60 sorties flown on Sunday, about half by U.S. aircraft. But on Monday, coalition allies were expected to fly more than half of the day’s 70 to 80 sorties.
Complicating matters, however, is the fact that most of the coalition nations’ militaries, which operate on a fraction of the Pentagon’s yearly allowance, are grappling with budget pressures of their own. While the Defense Department hopes to transfer control to coalition partners in the coming days, the longer the operations over Libya continue, the more difficult it will be for allies to take the lead.
“If it goes on more than a month, we’re going to be in the forefront [of operations] or we’re going to let Qaddafi stick around,” predicted former Defense comptroller Zakheim, who served under President George W. Bush. “The choices aren’t very pleasant.”
So basically, there appears to be a sweet spot we are shooting for to keep pretending our allies are running this. We shoulder most of the expense at the front, then try to pass it off to our allies quickly, but if we fail and it goes on a month, congratulations, America- you just bought yourself a third war. But who are we fooling- we own it already.
Pretty clearly we need another round of tax cuts for the rich to finance this.
Barack Obama is the new Dick Cheney. I truly despise that *lying* POS SOB!!!
If I had wanted a war hawk or a Wall Street fascist, I would have voted for John McCain. I didn’t, but I got one. Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr!
I blame the teacher for this! If only Obama had been properly taught (and schooled in constitutional law), we’d never be in this fix.
We are all so very fucked.
I’ve been relentlessly pessimistic and cyncial about this war/police action/WTFever since the beginning. It’s not that I’m not worried for the Libyan rebels, because I am. But the American war industry is a giant money pit, rotten to the core, that grinds the bones of the middle class to make its bread. Lindsey Graham or John McCain or any of the other hawkish dickbags will be on the Senate floor tomorrow talking about how “we can’t afford” to keep our public education or Medicare.
I want one single, newly elected teatard to stand up and complain about the cost of this. One. From either house.
I actually read that differently. I read that the Pentagon budget is padded with $1 billion in fat so we can engage in “contingency” wars on the fly as need be.
Meanwhile, teachers are dipping into their own pockets to buy supplies. Reminds me of that old poster from the 60s about how great it will be when our schools have all the money they need and the Air Force has to hold a bake sale to buy bombers. I grew up with that poster and it’s still apt today – maybe more so.
You young kids don’t know how damned disappointing it is for us old timers who grew up in the 60s and 70s.
Well Fox News has suddenly become a bastion of peaceniks.
I’m sure the “reduce government spending” teatards will be all over this lavish expenditure.
Any second now.
Also waiting for the first dickhead to say it’s appropriate to send the Marines in for a ground invasion because their official song has the lyric, “to the Shores of Tripoli”.
Apparently we have always been at war with Libya.
Also, there’s a banner ad up top about “Obama’s asset-grabbing bureaucrats.” Sheesh, fellas, at least buy me a drink first.
IIRC, the GOP has announced that they will not vote for another budget bill unless it funds the military for the rest of the fiscal year. No more stop gap measures. So, unless they plan to spring some big surprise defense budget reductions, military spending is like tax cuts, they don’t and should not count towards the deficit.
Everything about this sucks. I can’t believe they gave it some shitty name too. Are they just asking to be mocked? Are they just spitting in our faces?
Folderol & Ephemera
“Third”? Let’s see, I count Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen, Colombia, Libya — we’re still technically at war with North Korea, right? And would the Iranian “stuxnet” thing be an act of “war”? Then there’s the advisors in the Philippines, the drug war in Mexico, I think we still have some folk down on the Somali border . . . and there are probably a couple I’ve forgotten, and a couple more that nobody without security clearance knows about.
Cheaper by the dozen, I guess.
Our priorities in this country have been screwed up at least for the last 30 years. The country wanted conservative governance, and that is what they got. It will not get unscrewed in 4 or 8 or likely 10 years, if we are not in our own rebel held cities, or on the other side.
The Pentagon is a beast that is connected at the hip, or wallet with politicians, for jobs, favors, and campaign cash. It will get more so with CU, until the pangs of hunger is experienced widespread in this country, then we have a chance, but no more than a chance to turn it around.
Don’t think I’ll connect this particular dot with all of that though. There are reasons to oppose it, and reasons to support it, up to point, at least. Messy world, and a much smaller one that worships the gawd of combustible engines.
You can run, but not hide, and the choices made with these kinds of things are never neat, and also too, crazy ass dictators in this part of the world, have a track record of leveling cities and killing everything that moves when it is over.
I doubt Obama wants something like that on his conscience, and has gone along so far with this nastiness. Giving his mostly anti war base a case of the Bush acid reflux in the runup to his reelection, Clinton got by with it, but his was not after a bloody decade of misbegotten, and mis handled wars. Two of em.
Obama said “days, not weeks” and we will be handing this shit over to those who wanted it most. Fit sarkozy and the others with a flak jacket and let em have at it, we can say we did our part this time, again.
@Lolis: Really? You’re going to complain about that? I’m actually pretty grateful that we’re back to the traditional military random-words operation names, rather than the PR-driven “kickass” names that the Bush administration assigned things.
Does it count as mission creep when the very first mission was a French airstrike against Libyan armor outside Benghazi?
I originally had serious doubts about this operation, mainly because we can ill afford a third long-term nation building effort for a bunch of ingrates (not that I don’t mind seeing Libyan T72s in smoking ruins)… But after watching Cole’s and Sullivan’s continuing drama queen hysterics about the whole thing, and considering how they were both leading cheerleaders for George Bush’s far more costly Iraq adventure, I figure neither really knows shit about anything anyway so maybe this one will turn out all right afterall
Just Some Fuckhead
@Folderol & Ephemera:
Maybe we get some sorta quantity discount.
Well if we don’t go about our normal lives and go shopping, the terrorists win!
Did you you learn nothing from 9/11?
NEVER FORGET! THESE COLORS DON’T RUN!
Qadaffi’s forces were surrounding Bengazi, prepared to massacre the people of that city. Meanwhile, other Libyans have been flooding over the borders to Tunisia and Egypt. We had a clear decision on whether to allow the attrocities to take place or to take action to stop them. I firmly believe that we did the right thing and did it in the right way (i.e. getting approval from the UN and with assistance from allies).
There are clearly plenty of people in Washington who believe that humanitarian motives are not enough, that we need to do whatever is necessary to remove Qadaffi by force, and of course, there are others that believe that any military action, except for self defense, is always wrong. For now, I believe that US is following the right policy.
John. You are powerful with the snark. I agree with you.
Operation Odyssey Dawn,
This is the dawn of a new Odyssey, which will spend considerable time in the land of the lotus eaters, traditionally held to be on the border of Libya and Tunisia (that is near Tripoli).
The adventurers will forget why they are there, and bitterly weep when forced to return to their ships.
I can’t believe that is a random name spit out by a computer.
I’ve read that Gates, and most of the high military brass, did not want go this route. So, sounds more like bitter snark that gave Gates a bitter chuckle.
Bah. There are a few paintings in the Musee d’Orsay and the Louvre that would easily fetch $100 million at auction. Maybe we should fetch one or two as collateral to help pay for this adventure. Dance at Le Moulin de la Galette could be confiscated and sold and would probably pay for a few rounds of missiles.
@Folderol & Ephemera: If you want to count “military presence” as war, then I believe your number would exceed 120. Wanna go for a full gross? Germany and the RoKs may disagree with your assessment of relations, but I’m sure you kind find some folks in those places who use the same metrics as you.
Mr Stagger Lee
On the Stephanie Miller show, we were told, that we must do actions like this to prevent genocides and other brutal actions by dictators, nevermind I would put King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia a dictator. When Stephanie comes back, no doubt she’ll make Rush’s defense of the Bush Wars, look like weak soup.
Just Some Fuckhead
I had no idea about what to think of a new war when we’ve already been on two fronts for 10 years with a 14 trillion dollar debt and a full austerity program underway at home so I formulated my opinion based on doing the opposite of what two random internet people said. See how fucking smart I am?
So, not only is the operation named after a pron star we are going to pay hooker level money for the pleasure of getting our rocks off in this dry hump. Good thing we have plenty of money in the budget
That’s kind of how I’m leaning, too. They don’t seem to understand what it was that was bad about the way we went into Iraq, so they’re just flailing around declaring This Is Just Like Iraq.
Apparently there’s absolutely no difference between getting reluctant UN approval based on faked photographs and the promise of very scary future events and getting a 20-0 vote in favor of your preferred action based on actual events unfolding in real time.
@Cromagnon: I think there is a noticeable difference between what I have been saying (what are we doing and how much is this going to cost?) and Sullivan’s freakout about the Imperial Presidency. I stopped reading him three days ago because I was afraid he was going to go Godwin on us all.
Folderol & Ephemera
I was only trying to count places with ongoing hostilities, shots fired and whatnot. Ramstein and Yokota don’t count, obviously. I suppose the DPRK shouldn’t really be on the list, either (but I did say “technically”!).
You mean like how we lied our way into an unending war based on bullshit about WMD and then spent a decade eating IED’s and fighting an insurgency we created, all done unilaterally?
As opposed to this, which has the blessing of the UN and is an much of an international coalition as is possible, and done with the aim of preventing a humanitarian atrocity.
I understand the damned difference. That still doesn’t mean I think it is a good idea or there is any end in sight. Christ, it’s nice to know that because I disagree with you all I’ve suddenly become a big idiot again.
Evolved Deep Southerner
When the Extreme Supermoon/Is in the second house …
And Jupiter/Something, something, something …
Dude, where you been? I distinctly remember Reagan trying to take Gaddafi out in the early 80s, and I was still in junior high. Bush II was the one who decided Gaddafi was our new bestest buddy when he agreed to give up his WMD program after 9/11.
BTW- what happens when the rebels start slaughtering the loyalists. Whose aircraft do we bomb to stop that?
If you think this is the RIGHT policy, why is this nation not in Darfur????????????????????????????
Oh, that’s right. My beloved military can only pick on small islands or nations. Darfur doesn’t matter, those people are black. Again, America is founded on a nation of WHITE Christians and the black slaves who built it, eh?
I hate Obama and his Republicans, and also all those that support them!
Fuck Obama with a rusty chainsaw. Fucking warpig hypocrite.
Parole Officer Burke
@John Cole: You’re the sanest man on the Internets, Mr. Cole.
. . .
God help us all.
John, simple answer: AF-1.
Jim, Foolish Literalist
THis is pretty much where I am. I’m against this action, but I also suspect that had Obama (the US, the UN, the West) done nothing and let the massacre happen, a lot of the people screaming that Obama is just like Cheney would be pissing on Obama with the same level of vitriol for “letting it happen”
John, the cost of this is not going to be cheap (although much much cheaper than Iraq and Afghanistan) I agree. Not sure that should be the deciding factor. And while you might be asking reasonable questions, there is also much wailing and gnashing of teeth from the left of how this makes Obama just like Bush (see the first comment in this thread) and we have Dennis Kucinich claiming this is an impeachable offense. It’s crazy. I honestly do not understand how people cannot see the difference between Iraq and Libya.
Now you’re calling Cole David Horowitz?
If you bitched about Darfur, you don’t get to bitch about Libya. Same for Rwanda.
Shits not 72 hours old and people are already hopping on board the Crazy Train. Cue me some Ozzy!
more importantly, are you back to being crabby?
Yes, that’s why you keep comparing it to Iraq — because you see all of the differences between this situation and Iraq.
If you were comparing it to Bosnia and all of our fuckups there, that would make sense, but other than Iraq and Libya both being two countries in the Middle East that have oil, I’m not really seeing the similarity between this and what Bush II did.
And if you’re going to complain about taxes not being raised for it, shouldn’t you be complaining to the Republicans in Congress who blocked the expiration of the Bush tax cuts? Of course, they’re running around whining about how we shouldn’t be in Libya, so unfortunately they’ll be able to say with some accuracy that they don’t think taxes should be raised for us to be there.
@Ron: Yeah, but I haven’t made any of those claims. Nor would I- it’s just silly.
@Jim, Foolish Literalist: I would like to know what the plan is, but I don’t think letting Qaddafi massacre pretty much anyone opposed to him is a good plan. And yes, one can point to all sorts of places where Something Bad is happening and we are doing nothing. Practicality matters.
Jesus, I though you’d finally pied me back when I begged you to?
Well, it’s not like the pie filter has to go both ways. Buh-bye.
@John Cole: I know you haven’t, John. I don’t entirely agree with you here, but at least you approach it from a reasonable point of view. I’m just disgusted at the “Obama is Cheney” point of view.
Folderol & Ephemera
Because the current AU/UN mission in Darfur appears to be stable, and the cease-fire still stands. If the situation in Sudan (either Darfur or the South) deteriorates, then this becomes a very good question. Until then, not so much.
(Unless you’re referring to paying more U.N. dues to support the current program or whatnot, which is a different subject, maybe)
Jim, Foolish Literalist
Me neither, but how could we have stopped it in some other way? Serious question, not patronizing so’s-your-old-man taunting. I don’t see what we could have done. The rebels/protesters do not seem to be a movement, there is no one we can “replace” Qaddafi with, to use Lindsey Graham’s silly master-of-the-universe language. This was a shitty call either way, I just see more downside to the path Obama has chosen.
Just Some Fuckhead
@Mnemosyne: I’d pie ya but I’m too lazy to install that shit on 12 computers. :)
Despite having spent part of the morning defending the Libya mission, my big question is how far we’re willing to go. It seems like we’re bombing just enough to allow the rebels to survive, but from the past few weeks the rebels have looked terrible (nothing to be ashamed of seeing as many have no training and little ammunition) and there’s no guarantee they will win even with our aerial cover. The good thing about the Kurds in the 90s is that they won, they beat Saddam, same with the KLA in Kosovo, they beat the Serbs. Can the rebels win? My biggest worry though is what happens if Qaddafi fights back via terrorism. This guy was the Bin Laden of the 80s, and if there’s a terror attack (even on something like an embassy abroad or something like the USS Cole)that’s tied back to Libya it will likely mean Obama is a 1 term president.
Except for the regime leaders and military leaders who supported them, it usually doesn’t happen that there is a massacre of ordinary civilians. Didn’t happen in Egypt or Tunisia, on any large scale, that was all but certain if Qhuadaffy had prevailed, or does prevail.
And is a reason why these kind of revolts, when successful, have many on the government side coming to Allah with their future, for having a future, and they often turn on those in power and control, and you get Mussolini dangling from a lightpost, feetz first.
The Sheriff's A Ni-
The plan is, at least from what I gather with the UN being involved, is to either bring Gaddafi to the table with the rebels or – more likely given how he’s slowly devolving into Jim Jones – depose Gaddafi and bring someone else to the table with the rebels. At the least, buy the rebels some breathing space to organize their political front.
@John Cole: well….it would be far more productive to GTFO Iraq and A-stan, and save a hella lot more $.
We are only Doing Very Bad Things in A-stan that make MOAR muslims hate us.
A-stan costs nearly 1 billion per month. Could buy heap many tomahawks with that.
I think Obama is opportunistic and exploitive and the situation dynamics are case-driven, and no one should treat Operation Odyssey Dawn as setting policy for anything else.
For example Obama would probably like to intercede in Yemen, but since he recently asked “President” Saleh to let the US secretly swarm suspected al-Q camps with predators and reapers I doubt he can get Saleh to stop cracking student skulls. But guess what? Since Res 1973 passed, Yemeni generals and diplomats are joining the protestors.
But it is indisputable that many Benghazi lives were saved when the Brits and the French scrambled jets to bring the rain to Qaddafis massed armor columns last night.
Obama just signed us on to do what we do best— airpower strike force. Its what we did in Gulf I and Gulf II. Every one seems to forget that Gulf II was a success….It is what happened afterwards, with OIF and the occupation and COIN and the “surge”. Now those were all epic disasters, and COIN continues to be an epic fail in A-stan to this day.
But Res 1973 states EXPLICITLY no invasion, no occupation, no boots on the ground.
We get to be the good guys for once, and the smoking scrap lot outside of Benghazi is testimony. You know damn well Qaddafi agreed to the ceasefire while never stopping the shelling and trying to get tanks into Benghazi so he could use opposition citizens as human shields.
So stop your handwringing and pearl clutching. You sound just like Sully.
Obama is waay too smart to try to impose judeochristian democracy on Libya.
Libya is 97% muslim, just like Iraq.
Sure conservatism is selection for stupid, but there will never be another OIF or OEF.
And we really need to be the good guys. We can use the global PR right now.
@Jim, Foolish Literalist: I think ideally these sort of actions could have happened when the protesters/rebels/whatever had more momentum. That being said, it wasn’t like we went out there and pushed everyone to do this. The Arab League asked for a no-fly zone over a week ago. The French and British wanted this for a while too. This (to me) is what makes this so different than Bush’s actions. Like others, my biggest concern is trying to see how this ends. I don’t see Qaddafi just conceding.
Just Some Fuckhead
Here’s yer plan, same as all the other plans:
1. Blow a bunch of shit up and kill a bunch of people.
Barb (formerly Gex)
@John Cole: Eventually people will realize that if you take the power from the oppressors and give it to the oppressed you haven’t necessarily changed the dynamics of the bloodbath. You have to have a better plan than that. For a nation that doesn’t believe in nation building, we sure do sign up for a lot of it.
@Just Some Fuckhead: Are you freaking kidding me? There may be a question of how this goes from now on but there seems no question as to what the limited objective is NOW and what they are doing to accomplish it.
Barb (formerly Gex)
@The Sheriff’s A Ni-: We are really, really good at military action that makes space for political reconciliation in a country.
Just Some Fuckhead
@Ron: I’m pretty sure I wrote that, Spock.
Well, that would be the spot of bother then, wouldn’t it?
@Mnemosyne: I’m still waiting for you to apologize to me re: all tax cuts were extended.
Can’t let you slinkerwink off til that occurs.
Barb (formerly Gex)
@Corner Stone: Yeah, I was going to protest that too. That IS the core issue here. Apart from the shooting, how was the play?
Can we please stop pretending that Qaddafi has maintained power for 30 some years without any support at all in Libya. It is likely that at a significant portion of the population (if far from a majority) has benefited from or been part of his rule. Considering that this situation has devolved into a civil war (unlike the Egypt and Tunisia which were civil matters) who are we to say there aren’t lots of scores that will be settled. Its not like we didn’t see massive sectarian cleansing in our most recent model of this (i.e. Iraq). This is to say nothing of the the vast natural resources (in oil _and_ water) the spoils of which are at play.
This fantastical thinking that some how there is one big bad boogeyman who we just need to “take out” is what, more than anything else, gives me bad flashbacks to the run-up to Iraq.
@Corner Stone: Sure, it’s an issue. If I was granted my wishes, the no-fly zone would allow the rebels to mobilize and take out Qaddafi themselves. Whether that will work, I don’t know. For now, the immediate goal is to protect people from being massacred by Qaddafi. I personally think that’s worthwhile in and of itself.
@bourbaki: Unlike Iraq, there seems to be some organized resistance to Qaddafi’s forces. Iraq was a very different situation.
Gee, it seems as though it was only a decade ago that we had the limited objectives of overthrowing the Taliban and deposing Saddam.
@Dennis SGMM: Those were “limited objectives”?
@Southern Beale: You old timers have no clue how disappointing it is to us young ‘uns that your generation changed exactly squat, leaving the heavy lifting to us. /end rant
joe from Lowell
I agree, someone is making a funny.
The invasion of Southern France from Italy – an action Churchill didn’t want to take – was originally called “Anvil.”
Churchill, who was compelled to go along with the plan by the Americans, pointed out that, with the troops already having landed in Normandy, the name gave away too much about the mission, so he got it changed to…Dragoon.
Ha ha ha.
Who gives a rat’s ass? It’s not like us internet gnomes have any say in this anyhow.
$1B = 10 hours of DoD budget
I beg to differ, the Sadr movement was certainly active, if underground. Indeed, they were, allegedly, one of the main driving forces of sectarian violence in the post-invasion.
strawman, didn’t say that. And the fact that Quadafiy decided to fight the protests, does not diminish the fact that there were regime supporters in both Tunisia and Egypt. Nor that there won’t be some score settling, but what I stated was true, that these kinds of revolts, if successful, usually don’t turn into mass murder, or genocidal like massacres. And I stand by the assertion that it was highly likely such large scale killing would have in fact occurred if Quadafiy had maintained his operational military integrity. He still might, but it is much less likely, or seems so. Though nothing is for certain in these kinds of things, you just weigh all the possibilities and act to what you think is the best course, all things considered.
I really don’t know where you got the “take out” line in anything that I have written about this event on this blog. I haven’t addressed the reports of attempts by the west to kill Quadify, but if true, I think it is a bad idea, and usually is with dictators. If you miss, you grant even more stature to your target, with that target’s core supporters. And these assholes, have likely put a lot of planning into not getting taken out, by their own citizens, or some foreign power. So it almost always is miss.
joe from Lowell
Our recent model of what?
If you recall, there was absolutely no involvement of local Iraqi forces in the overthrow of Saddam, and we tried to install Ahmed Chalabi and call what we were doing “spreading democracy.” That was roundly condemned ’round the liberal blogosphere, because we aren’t supposed to dictate other countries politics, and democracy has to come from the people themselves.
So now, when the nasty, imperialist west is putting the future of Libya in the hands of Libyans – the protesters, the equivalent of the people in Tahir Square and in Tunisia, that everyone here sided with and wished the best – we’re supposed to see that as regrettable, too?
That we aren’t going to be dictating what happens in Libya post-Khadaffy is a GOOD THING. It’s not an argument against the operation. The opposite – “we’ve got a plan for just what we’re going to do with the government after the war, and do it OUR way” – would be an argument against the operation, in my book.
joe from Lowell
Not only were those not “limited,” but they weren’t even the extent of the objectives.
Uncle Clarence Thomas
The Nobel Peace Prize was never so fiercely deserved.
The Sheriff's A Ni-
Davis was right. It really is Spitfire Summer Forever.
joe from Lowell
Indeed, both the Badr Brigades and SCIRI militias approached us about joining into the fight at the beginning of the invasion.
We responded that any Iraqi opposition forces seen on the battlefield would be engaged as the enemy.
So, not exactly what’s going on with Libya.
@Suffern ACE: The Mona Lisa ought to cover the cost of at least a couple of the bombs dropped.
Instead of mpg, is there any reason not to start measuring gas usage in terms of DFBPG: Dead Foreign Brown People Per Gallon?
@joe from Lowell:
That’s not what I heard. They may even have been the actual objectives – at the start.
At this point we jumped without knowing if the rebels are hard-core Wahabbists or fucking Methodists. Coming to their support without knowing a bit more about them in advance seems like a good first step on the road to folly.
@Hermione Granger-Weasley: welcome back, m_c.
The Sheriff's A Ni-
Well, you might not know, but how do we know the guys at the Pentagon, Langley, and Brussels don’t know?
Jeezus, Cole. You are so desperate to sound like an anti-war zealot that you are now quoting from a W “Defense Comptroller” from the Natl Journal ????
You are not better than the other front-running no-faith losers @ FDL.
If you think Obama hasn’t got in him to get in there, save the Libyans from Ghadafi’s massacre and then get out, whey the H3LL did you support Obama in the first place??
joe from Lowell
@Dennis SGMM: I can’t speak to what you heard.
In Afghanistan, the objectives at the outset including routing al Qaeda from their bases, destroying the Taliban as a fighting force (not just removing them from power), gaining operational control over the territory of Afghanistan, and installing a government capable of maintaining that control which was also an ally of ours in the War on Terror.
In Iraq, the objectives at the outset included establishing military control over the territory of Iraq, installing a government that would be an ally in the War on Terror, and establishing military bases to replace those that we were vacating in Saudi Arabia.
Okay, maybe it is time to stop being real and get in to the game.
GWB started Operation Iraqi Freedom on March 20th 2003 and was able to declare Mission Accomplished on May 1st 2003. By my accounts the time for Obama to beat with Operation Odyssey Dawn is 50 days.
Who wants the Over and who wants the Under on April 30th?
ps. No need to worry about the cost of this thing. There are literally bazillions of government union thugs making HUGE piles of cash we can take back. The anti-union thing makes Operation Odyssey Dawn pay for itself!!
joe from Lowell
Did we know anymore about the oppositions in Egypt and Tunisia before we started working to get rid of those dictators?
Why is it different in Libya? Because Khaddaffy was more brutal with them? Because we decided to back them?
joe from Lowell
@Dennis SGMM: A last thought: we knew exactly who Ahmed Chalabi was, and we knew exactly what the plan was for Iraqi politics after the fall of Saddam.
@joe from Lowell:
I thought I was pretty clear…the model is the fall of a highly repressive ruler via military means. I was responding to the somewhat ridiculously optimistic claim that this was likely to turn out “just like Tunisia and Egypt”. According to Wikipedia something on the order of 20% of the Libyan populace are thought to work as informers and the fact that Qaddafi was able to marshal enough forces to shoot at their own people does not bode well.
Whatever, the US will be out of this by next Sunday right?
That’s what I thought the point of this was, which is why I’m wondering why we are shooting 200 missiles a day at Tripoli.
@The Sheriff’s A Ni-:
If the Pentagon has a clear idea that these are Care Bear Rebels that we can count on to be friendly and liberal democrats, than as a civilian I’d like to see that proof rather than be patted on the head and assured it’s there.
The Sheriff's A Ni-
If it had turned out just like Tunisia and Egypt, Gaddafi would be out of a job right now. I think the comparison was that the rebels and what they were fighting for was like the protesters in Tunisia and Egypt.
joe from Lowell
And I thought I was perfectly clear – that’s a definition so vague as to be useless, because there are a whole host of vastly different things that could fit under that heading.
I think next Sunday is a bit optimistic for the complete end of our role.
joe from Lowell
You haven’t read about the mercenaries?
He’s had to bring in thousands of mercenaries from other parts of Africa.
That’s actually a pretty key point.
Just curious, but has anyone criticizing this effort as yet another American Muslim intervention, destined to piss off the world actually talked to either a Muslim, or better yet a Muslim Arab about this?
Because as far as I can tell, from a community of people that are more than happy to protest over such overreaches as some guy in Europe drawing a picture of Mohammad, I’ve not heard of a single protest against this action other than from Gaddafi’s press office.
For the record I’ve talked to at least 3 dozen colleagues originally from the middle east, all who I believe have family there still. One is from Libya. Several from Egypt. One from Tunisia. Many from Syria, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Palestine. Some also from Iran, Iraq, Pakistan and Afghanistan. Not one of them was opposed to this. Some were uncertain, but no clear opposition, and quite a bit of support. The comment that I think best captured the attitude was (paraphrasing) “When you live with a good dictator, surrounded by bad dictators, it’s easy to become complacent. But sooner or later everyone starts to realize that good or bad, they’re still dictators.” The point being that there isn’t a Muslim nation in the middle east not going through this to one degree or another – with the noted exception being Palestine.
joe from Lowell
To destroy air defense systems, and to destroy the command and control of the Libyan military, so they can’t continue their operations against the rebels.
@joe from Lowell:
Are you seriously comparing mild diplomatic pressure with shooting $100 million dollars worth of ordinance into a country in the course of a couple of days?
Anyway we know who was the next in line in Egypt–the military–you know the guys we give $3-4 billion a year.
joe from Lowell
Nope, I’m comparing the opposition in Egypt to the opposition in Libya.
Unless you’d care to explain how “$100 million blah blah blah” makes a difference in the nature of the Libyan opposition, you’re just dodging.
@joe from Lowell: @The Sheriff’s A Ni-:
That would have been great. But he didn’t, and his generals didn’t tell him to pound sand when he called in the artillery, so now where here. You know where its going to end?
Now for a musical interlude….
Welcome my son, welcome to the machine.
Where have you been?
It’s alright we know where you’ve been.
You’ve been in the pipeline, filling in time,
Provided with toys and ‘Scouting for Boys’.
You bought a guitar to punish your ma,
And you didn’t like school, and you
know you’re nobody’s fool,
So welcome to the machine.
Welcome my son, welcome to the machine.
What did you dream?
It’s alright we told you what to dream.
You dreamed of a big star,
He played a mean guitar,
He always ate in the Steak Bar.
He loved to drive in his Jaguar.
So welcome to the Machine.
@bourbaki: So what you’re saying is that we spent $60B or so for regime change in Egypt, but the $200M lobbed into Libya is what’s outrageous about this?
Said it the other night. I’ll say it again.
Eisenhower warned us, but nobody listened. Don’t know why, doesn’t much matter now. Only thing that’s changed is the frequency. Instead of the grinder every 10 years, now it’s every 3.
Good for the bottom line, and all that, I’m sure.
But ordinance don’t fire itself. Need a man in a trailer with a joystick for that.
I’d be investing in weapons corps, but I’m too fucking broke.
We’re not the first to go down this way.
joe from Lowell
He didn’t bring in thousands of African mercenaries?
I believe you’re mistaken.
Or, did you only mean to reply to the Sheriff?
None of us do. Nor do we know for sure what would have happened absent intervention.
I could pretend that this isn’t a deleted double post, but that would be dishonest.
Dude, if you were referring to your comment to me, then that is just more reading comp fail, as I said no such thing.
@Mark S.: If you want to enforce a no-fly zone it helps to take out the anti-aircraft weaponry first.
Fix’d. It’s not like we didn’t know what was going on or were helpless to stop it. We helped it along with the decisions we made.
@The Sheriff’s A Ni-:
Given our spectacular failures of information-gathering in the Middle East in the past, I don’t think that’s quite as comforting as you mean it to be.
@Martin: Hermone Wesely-Granger up thread has, I’ll bet. Just ask her. I’m led to believe she’s something of an expert on the topic.
joe from Lowell
I think we can be pretty sure what the streets of Benghazi would have looked like after a few days of “No Mercy.”
@joe from Lowell: Reasonable certainty, yes. On the other hand, Qaddafi could have changed his mind and gone for root beer instead.
I think it would be Pom, instead of root beer. And a lot better for his health, which could well suffer in the near future.
John - A Motley Moose
The BJ fact-checkers are overpaid. It didn’t cost $100,000,000 for missiles on the first day. Tomahawks cost $600,000 or less (don’t have the latest figures, but the cost has been trending down). And we didn’t fire all the missiles. Some were fired from a British submarine.
@Uriel: Well, I’m not really interested in whether Ms HW-G thinks that they’re of sufficient IQ stock to deserve our attention.
@The Sheriff’s A Ni-:
I’m sure there are some good libraries in that area. Maybe they checked out a book or three.
In Kosovo the US drafted a peace plan they knew Serbia would never accept so they could start the bombing and protect the Kosovar. The problem is the Kosovar refused the peace plan as well. They wanted full independence right now. Madeleine Albright made it very clear (with lotsa cursing) to the Kosovar diplomats what the consequences would be for spitting in the hand of the United States. The Kosovar accepted the peace plan.
The Sheriff's A Ni-
Negotiations, conferences, elections, baby blue helmets.
The last guy put a horse trader in as head of FEMA. I’m placing my trust that the guys in charge now know their shit a lot better than he did.
@joe from Lowell:
The word you’re looking for is ‘Grozny’.
@Uriel: hyere thar be Moozlems. and hyere thar be moar Moozlems.
@Corner Stone: Have you liberal wizards and wizardettes heard of teh Google?
Its quite magickal.
@Hermione Granger-Weasley: Quite the hotbed of commentary. The former has exactly 4 posts on Libya this month. The latter has 1.
@joe from Lowell:
well there is the problem right there!
Islamic terrorism is a response to western interventionism. The more the US tried to install a “democracy” that would be an ally in the WoT the more terrorists were created. The more hostiles we kill with drones the more hostiles we create. Its like the Dragon’s Teeth Charm we teach the fifth-years at Hogwarts.
The only governments we “installed” that were anti-islamist were Mubarak and the Shah. See how that turned out?
@Martin: Indeed. These are amerimuslims. There are far more posts on Peter King than Qaddafi.
I could link some MENA sites– do you read arabic or farsi?
I noticed that too.
Here’s an analysis of Libya’s air defense system. Long story short, it’s decrepit, relying mostly on fifty year old Soviet technology. Obama should be able to keep his promise of winding down major US involvement in a matter of days.
@Martin: ‘Aqoul speaks brit. The Lounsbury is not actually a Moozlem, but the other aqoulites mostly are.
@Hermione Granger-Weasley: According to your link:
I for one welcome our new National Transitional Council overlords.
They were elected to nothing, represent no one, and have zero legitimacy on the world stage. IOW, they will be the ones who loot whatever wealth the country has just as soon as we kill/depose Gaddafi.
Fucen Pneumatic Fuck Wrench Tarmal
while i appreciate the efforts of the left to try to count the cost of this latest conflagration, who are we kidding?
we don’t have the reproductive organs to push the issue far enough that it gains traction.
besides complaining about the cost of various missions is a 5 times higher mountain that the insurmountable task of taking on the regular ole defense budget.
i would love to be appointed designated assasination target long enough to say to the congress, the pentagon and the rest of the world we are cutting by half, the military budget, you all are smart people, you can prioritize, have at it, of the savings we split it on deficit reduction on half, and infrastructure education and entitlements…when we get to the point where the deficit is in reach, then we talk about tax cuts….
and rest of the world, hold on tight, it will be a bumpy ride.
@Corner Stone: the NTC has been recognized by France.
Would you sign our petition please?
Dear Wizard Cornerstone…I do not have your accumulated wisdom of the ages, but it seems to me that if Odessey Dawn levels the playing field the rebels can take care of Qaddafi and their country themselves. Self-government would be good, I think..like….ummm….democracy?
Do you really want more COIN disasters?
Another OIF or OEF?
Using Old Sully’s logic, New Sully is now, objectively, pro-Qaddafi and a fifth column element in America.
As for me, I’m glad Benghazi has not turned into another Rape of Nanking. But I’m not glad about much else about U.S. involvement in yet another war. Obama is taking a riverboat gamble. I hope it turns out well but I’m very skeptical.
Giving the Lybian opposition a fighting chance to keep a diabolical dictator from rubbing them out in a lopsided blood-bath is the right thing to do.
I am fascinated by how many of the left do not feel compelled to aid those who are fighting for their lives against tyranny.
So much for idealism.
@Hermione Granger-Weasley: It’s a 31 member body, from what I can tell, largely populated by ex-military.
After we whack Gaddafi this “voice for all of Libya” will cut sweetheart deals with France and Italy to keep the oil flowing. All the while teaching Karzai a thing or two about graft.
What I want is obviously irrelevant as the US has made a decision to entangle itself with no clear vision for what outcome we will accept, or who exactly it is that makes up the “to be announced after Gaddafi”.
@Keith G: There are major costs to taking action, and I’m not talking about financial ones. Lots of good arguments both for and against intervention here, which is probably why I’m undecided in this one (as opposed to the last intervention…)
I’m sure King George was proclaiming the same thing about those colonial assholes, selling their resources to France.
You might well be right, but few revolutions start out any differently.
@Keith G: Not to mention that we are responding to a REQUEST for help from the UN, NATO and Libyan people.
@Mark S.: Doesn’t matter. People like Cole and Sullivan are faux supporters of Obama.
They like the IDEA of Obama but can extend enough trust in him that we’ll knock out his defenses and leave.
source please? Where has the Wizard-in-chief committed us to anything other than bringing the rain down on Qaddafi’s mecha and coms?
It isnt our bidness “what happens next”.
That way lies the Madness of COIN and the Bush Doctrine.
Davis X. Machina
There’s a principled case for non-intervention from a nation-state, Westphalian position –it’s not our fight, internal affair, national sovereignty.
There’s also a realpolitik case for non-intervention — cost, uncertain outcome, etc.
And there’s a for the want of a better word pacifist case for non-intervention. The violence you’ve got, as bad as it is, doesn’t warrant any action that increases it.
They’re all respectable, debatable positions. They have merit. The problem comes when people run all of three of them at the same time, on the theory that if one doesn’t win the debate, one of the other two other does.
Lots of cake being had, and being eaten.
@Martin: No doubt tyrants say many things in their own service.
@Hermione Granger-Weasley: We’ve clearly taken a side in a Civil War. What do you think will come next?
Fucen Pneumatic Fuck Wrench Tarmal
idealism? how about the idealism of not playing whack-a-mole, and being goaded into doing it, just because we have done it before?
how about the idealism of stopping the global police act we really can’t afford, before the only job left becomes being the global police?
how about the ideal that you have to preserve yourself, before you can be any use to anyone else?
Barb (formerly Gex)
@Keith G: People are going to die whether we intervene or not. It is not known which will cause greater deaths. Pretending to know doesn’t change that fact. One way also guarantees some Americans will die and a lot of coin will be spent.
I’m not decided on the issue. But to act like this is an open and shut case because the cost benefit analysis is so bleeding obvious is bullshit.
@Jim, Foolish Literalist:
Why the “but”? Do you mean that this somehow lets Obama off the hook because the DFHs would be bitching at him either way? I understand that it could be seen as a hard choice, because we’re Mighty Mouse, and how can we not “save the day”? That I get, even if I disagree with it. But just because one segment of his critics are compulsive whiners doesn’t make him more right in this.
@Corner Stone: I think Qaddafi will leave. Like Mubarak left. Like Ben Ali left. I dont think Qaddafi has much popular support from his citizenry, and mercs are only loyal to their paychecks.
There is one thing the US is very, very good at. And it isnt nationbuilding or standing up/installing westernstyle democracy.
We are good at bringing the rain.
Within two weeks I think.
I don’t care how this intervention reflects on Obama, 2012, the teatards, the Democrats, the Republicans, etc., all I know is this: based on history these forays never work out as intended/planned. In fact, they almost always turn out exponentially worse.
So for those who support this, when do I get to say “I told you so”? I’m not trying to be an asshole, but when do we get to punish you for believing “this time will be different” and “this time” won’t have unintended consequences and/or costs which we, in the end, will not be willing to bear? You’re asking for this so please tell me what’s the definition of fail. The burden is on you, not us who oppose.
What happens if Kadaffi wins? What happens if the country is effectively split and low level insurgency warfare exists between the sides? What happens if we have to play a larger role because the coalition decides they don’t want the leadership burden? What happens when this drags on to months instead of weeks? What is success and what is fail because when we are holding the inevitable bag of flaming shit I want to be able to point out “we told you so”. That way maybe, just maybe, next time we will learn (of course we won’t learn, but we can try).
Do I believe the run up to this intervention is different, more well meaning, more deliberate or more worthy than other adventures in the past? Sure. And none of that will change how it plays out on the ground. Best intentions and all.
Sure, I’d love to save every baby seal from a-clubbing and for every one to be rich Unicorn and gumdrop farmers with free awesome education, healthcare, infrastructure, hookers and blow. But we have limits and those limits suck at times like this. Issues like this are always best resolved by those closest to the action as they have real interests in the pain/outcome, not far away unrelated empires.
I’ll gladly be proven wrong because I don’t want to see us fail or people die and suffer, but I believe the nature of outside intervention in armed conflict will rear it’s ugly head like it always does and we will end up with something none of us would have ever supported. And even if it does work out as planned, I’ll still argue against the next one.
@Fucen Pneumatic Fuck Wrench Tarmal:
but we are ALREADY playing whack-a-mole.
There are islamist parties in every state in MENA — Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, AKP in Turkey, Hizb’allah in Lebanon, Libyan Islamic Fighting Group in Libya, PKS in Indonesia, the Sadr Movement in Iraq, Muttahida Majlis-e-Amil (MMA) and Jamaat-e-Ismali (JI) in Pakistan, and of course, the Taliban in A-stan. These islamist parties all are or will be part of the governments of their respective countries. Even Hamas in the Occupied Territories of Palestine.
The MB, Hizb’, and the AKP are the majority parties in Egypt, Lebanon, and Turkey respectively.
All the populist arab revolutions have islamist elements. The future governments of MENA will be islamic democracies.
We can’t kill all the islamists in the world.
@Hermione Granger-Weasley: I gave little consideration to Gaddafi leaving, either on his own or under the auspices of the UN. It remains a possibility, I guess.
But IMO, he’s a deadman once he’s out of power. Unlike Mubarak, who may have got a little rowdy with his people (not discounting their suffering), Gaddafi went full military on his citizens.
Darnell From LA
Your website has officially crossed the Rubicon of Firebagger-dom and is not worth the virtual paper it’s printed on.
John: You should really abstain from trying to appraise the real world effect and costs of military action. Whether it was your completely swiss cheese brained approval of the obvious disaster that was the Iraq invasion / occupation, or your failure to place this military action in the same category as Clinton’s cruise missile attacks, and instead somehow being so misguided as to place it in the same category as a monumental fuck up as Iraq, proves you need mental glasses when it comes to judging military action.
If this is a disaster, then Clinton’s cruise missile attacks on terror camps, the Sudan, and Iraq (Operation Desert Fox) were a disaster too (which they obviously weren’t).
Seriously, only the folks who were somehow incapable of seeing how misguided Iraq was (you) could possess the same bizzarro, fish eyed lense view of this operation in Libya.
Also, too, congrats…your blog has become another haven for folks who like to call the President a “fucking son of a bitch”. That language is totally acceptable, of course, unlike pointing out white liberal racism towards the President, which of course is completely beyond the pale and unacceptable. (we all know white liberals all have “black friends” — translated: they work with a black person)
If the government ever wanted to systematically reduce the average IQ of United States citizens, it would need only to force the populace to read the comments section of Dailykos, Firebaggerlake, and now Balloon-juice 2 hours a day. In no time we would become a nation of upper middle class, white liberals, who all think we have a “black friend”, regardless of whether our “black friend” knows that fact or not.
Fucen Pneumatic Fuck Wrench Tarmal
i don’t like doing it, and i wish we would stop.
but, i can see how we can’t stop all at once, we have the whole rest of the world relying on us to be world police. we have to taper down. our fault, going back decades.
as long as we don’t go boots on the ground, i can tolerate this one, at least it is progress.
When the ruler of Libya in 6 months is either Qaddafi or someone arguably as bad.
@pattonbt: what do you know about Gulf I? We studied it in Wargames 101.
The pan-arab coalition took out Saddams coms and the Republican Guard in one night. The retreat from Kuwait turned into a rout. Drivers abandoned their vehicles and ran. There was a ginormous parking lot of T-72s, BMPs and arty at the border. Whole squadrons surrendered.
And then we folded our tents and left, and Kuwait has been a loyal ally ever since.
And I think that is what will happen in Libya.
Just Some Fuckhead
@Martin: Oooh, only one Friedman unit? I like your swagger.
Just Some Fuckhead
Darnell is exactly why I won’t have any black friends.
Since the U.S. has not always been at the vanguard of the struggle to end global tyranny in the past, I think a little skepticism of the claims of its leaders, as well as the leaders of the auterity caucus in Europe is warranted. Were this a private fundraiser to help the cause of freedom against tyranny in the middle east, it would be different matter.
One of the advantages that the Right seems to have over what passes for a left in this country is that the Right actually does long-term strategic thinking and has made great stides in dismantling what it doesn’t want. The left is led about from situation to situation and thinks it has won something only to find that it has nothing. Again. Again. Again.
It is very possible that some of our problems long term stem from having an oversized military and global ambitions to use that military forcefully. The military is not a benign tool, even when it is used for good. It has its own interests and those interests do not always neatly with some kind of struggle against tyranny. At some point, if we wish to reign in the power that that instituion has over our politics (Congress can barely even muster a vote to cut funding for an engine for a jet that no one claims to want!), we need to stop using it. That is going to be painful in these situations. But perhaps the anti-imperalists are wrong in those concerns and we can hope that the whole damn thing just collapses someday without so much as a peep. I can see their point and it might be worth debating those principals. Perhaps it makes a difference that France and the UK are “leading.”
There are also liberals who may feel that domestically, the oil industry has way too much influence over our politics, and those industries need to be checked somehow. They might also feel that connecting our national interests abroad directly with the oil industries interests will only make it difficult to check that power domestically. If the line does not get drawn in the sand after Iraq, when do you expect to draw that line? Perhaps it isn’t a line worth drawing and we’ll get around to doing that someday. Those who are arguing that it is funny that we aren’t more forcefully in the Ivory Coast or Darfur because of Oil interests are trying to argue that.
The American debating style on bloggs is simply to make a hyperbolic claim, impute the worst possible motives to your adversaries and call it a win. We aren’t actually debating anything to come to some kind of consensus. Perhaps that’s why we lose, too.
@Corner Stone: Qawadiri put a fatwah on him I think.
There will be many units of hasanat to whoever sends Qaddafi to gehenna.
@Darnell From LA: Thank you for being here Darnell. I agree with a lot of what you say and think a lot of the commenters here probably don’t understand some of the deeper truths you’re sharing. They probably don’t even have a true black friend. As for me, some of my best friends are black. So I can hear what you’re saying, and respect that.
Come on, this isn’t W’s Excellent Iraq Adventure. Why wasn’t Clinton out there lying to the UN? Why no Libyan Chalabi to grease the skids? Why the reluctance? Why no cowboy swagger?
I’m not too happy about this. I could imagine deeper and better motives than FR/UK/IT oil interests, but having (51%, barely) supported our idiot invasion of Iraq in 2003, I don’t know enough to make this call. I don’t like the way it feels, it seems well.. iffy.
That’s how war is. Clausewitz and Bismarck and Sun Tzu figured that out a long time ago, and yet it’s hard to find an American statesman post 1960 who…
Well, we’re Special. We’re Exceptional, and just just because wars are easier to start than to end, hell, that rule only applies to the other countries. I have heard too many sane people tell me that they really believe god loves America, that we are a chosen nation and some such. It’s worse now, but this is pretty much how we roll post WW II. Not new. I mean, Glenn Greenwald just heard of the War Powers Act now?
Look up Robinson Jeffers’ “Be Angry at the Sun”, if these things… anger you (sorry). We’ve been something between a Republic and Empire for a while now, been tilting the wrong way most of my life.
As for the President? Hell, I loved Clinton. Much better than the alternatives. Oh, and he screwed us real good with bank and media deregulation, but I never heard any squeals of BETRAYAL! back then. If you think Obama sold out the Democrats/working people/Liberalism/whatever, I guess you took a long nap sometime in the 30’s or 40’s.
If you thought that was going to change any time soon? If you think this is The Betrayal of American Democracy… by Obama? Jesus, I guess I owe you a pony or a rainbow or something.
@Davis X. Machina: Thank you. I notice that too, only not as schematically.
Here’s the thing. If you want to keen and wail about how appalling this is and how disillusioned you feel, what’s the cost? Nothing. So that’s the tenor of the whole discussion. Who’s most dismayed. If it goes well, you can be dismayed because it was still the wrong thing to do. If it doesn’t go well, you can be dismayed because you proved it was the wrong thing to do but nobody listened. Evidence doesn’t matter. What’s the fucking point? Apart from settling old scores from and/or atoning for how you felt in 2002.
It’s right to be skeptical. Be skeptical about all wars. What’s the point of all the histrionics? Who are you convincing? Everyone is ALREADY SKEPTICAL. Even people who _think_ that there _might_ be something _slightly_ redeemable about this… ARE ALSO SKEPTICAL. This day-by-day grabbing at statements by Qaddafi and Bush spokesmen, why, why would you do that? Why do you want to keep a daily account of how worried you could become?
Then you had cement plugs in your ears. This falsehood has been thoroughly debunked here, over and over.
And I love how in some eyes here that anyone who doesn’t support this adventure automatically supports people dying. That’s me, I just absolutely love to see people die. Couldn’t be more excited about it.
There seem to be many here who support this who have unrealistic beliefs of how things will play out if things get tougher than planned. We’ll just “bring the rain”, Kadaffi will roll, benevolent masses will take over the country and we’ll happily walk away with our “Mission Accomplished” banner waving proudly over our heads? Really?
What world do some of you live in? It sure isn’t the world with a plethora of recent examples of how this is set up for FAIL from the beginning or anything like that.
Again, when have any of these interventions gone off without a hitch or come anywhere near what was originally planned?
No, you won’t “gladly be proven wrong.” You’re already sure you’re right, and you’ve already promised never to change your mind.
Can we please not impeach Obama, like Kucinich wants to? That will only be a horrible thing.
Can we agree on this much?
@Fucen Pneumatic Fuck Wrench Tarmal: but they dont want us to be the world police.
They hate us for that, not for our “freedoms”.
@Corner Stone: i just spit green dragon jasmine tea all over my keyboard. You are precious.
@Hermione Granger-Weasley: What do I know about it? I was in the Army then and have a ton of direct history from participants (even though I wasn’t in theater). I do not doubt that we have the capability to take massive action and destroy Libya’s C and C infrastructure. But we can not stop street fighting, and that’s what’s next and it gets really ugly. That’s where this all falls apart. If we had tried to go further in ’91 we would have seen a much different outcome than we did. We won a mechanized army battle that lasted 15 minutes in the desert. When that battle ended, we stopped. We stopped because we knew going further would be disastrous.
So if Libya will gladly put there mechanized army in an open battlefield against ours, sure, I’ll take our side and we would cream then in 10 seconds. Then what? Walk away? Kadaffi surely isn’t going to be in that lineup. So his men get killed or surrender. We still don’t control the country or outcome. Once we go into the city, all bets are off. Did you not watch Iraq 2 Electric Boogaloo?
We will have to kill Kadaffi (or entice him to leave) before this ends. And if he is stubborn, this goes down an ugly path.
Does that answer your question?
@newhavenguy: but OIF was not a war. It was an occupation and an attempt at installing westernstyle democracy in a 97% muslim nation.
Gulf II might have had a sketchy rational, but it achieved the goal of deposing Saddam and making sure no WMDs fell into terrorist hands.
Gulf I and Gulf II were wars. OIF was not a war. It was nationbuilding.
@Just Some Fuckhead: Well, considering it took us 13 years to get our shit together, 6 months is downright speedy, no?
Just Some Fuckhead
@Martin: I think it’s great. Let us know if you need another 6 as soon as you know.
My counter-question for you before I tackle the other ones is, At what point did you say “I told you so” with the UN intervention in Bosnia? There were a whole lot of places to do so, including the discovery that US contractors were trafficking in child sex slaves, so I have to assume you said it. Did you oppose it from the very beginning, or did you decide later that intervening in Bosnia was a mistake?
IMO, the point of this exercise is to stabilize the situation in Libya. If Gaddafi stays in power but the immediate crisis is put to rest and he doesn’t start massacring his enemies, that’s a win. If Libya splits into parts that are able to co-exist without open warfare or genocide, that’s a win.
If Gaddafi had the support of his army and just happened to be winning, I’d probably be completely against intervention in this case, but his use of paid mercenaries because he couldn’t get his own army to fully back him seems like cheating, frankly. It’s one thing to have two factions fighting one another — it’s another to bring paid outsiders in because you can’t win any other way. To me, in some ways the UN intervention is leveling the playing field since now both sides have outside forces to help them. Libya has been a fairly stable country for decades now, unlike Afghanistan, so the likelihood of it devolving into a completely failed state as a result of this is relatively low (unlike, say, Yemen, where the likelihood of it failing completely is pretty high).
Iraq didn’t have to be a total clusterfuck — it was carefully built into one by Bush, Cheney and the neocons by all of the extremely bad, ideologically-driven decisions that they made (Put Heritage Foundation interns fresh out of college in charge of the country’s currency? What could go wrong?)
I don’t think that all peacekeeping and nation-building efforts are doomed by definition, so I prefer to look at them one by one. Iraq was doomed from the start. This could be doomed, but it’s much too early to decide that. The fact that it is happening with a genuinely international coalition with the full backing of the UN is a point in its favor.
So let’s agree that if the US has ground troops in Libya through, say, September of this year, we can all agree that it’s a clusterfuck and you were right. Are there any circumstances under which you would admit an intervention was right despite the inherent flaws of violently intervening in violence?
To restate, I will gladly admit if I am wrong in this instance for the reasons I stated. I’m not hoping for failure, I just think it’s pretty much assured. If I was really callous I’d ask to take wagers on the outcome and I wouldn’t hesitate to back my opinion.
And yes, even if this one comes out grand, it will be an anomaly amongst many other counter examples. So, yes, I’d still bet against “the next one”.
But I’ll give you this, if the next 3 or 4 US interventions go swimmingly, I’ll change my mind and accept that we have mastered it and can be trusted to do it right in the future. Until then, I’ll back what history seems to prove over and over.
But I’m really curious why I have to prove why “this time will be different” when I am not arguing that case? I don’t think it will be different, I think it will go just as all others have. So why is it I who has to disprove history when I argue it’s side?
As I said, the burden of proof is on those who seem to think “this time will be different”.
Just Some Fuckhead
We are all neocons now. Anyone look through PNAC’s archives to see if we’re on timetable with Libya?
@pattonbt: but I dont think we will see urban warfare. Qaddafi’s extra-tribal population largely hates him, and the mercs will split.
I think..the rebels could just wall up Qaddafi’s compound and leave him in there if he doesnt kite.
The reason the Egyptian protests succeeded was because the army sided with the protestors.
What I understand Odessey Dawn is all about is taking out Qaddafi’s coms and mecha to level the playing field.
I think the Libyans will do the rest.
@FlipYrWhig: You’re already sure you’re right, and you’ve already promised never to change your mind.
But it could also be the correct view of things. There is a very good argument that simply engaging constitutes a mistake since the likelihood of success is slim, and the risk or getting entrenched is high. Even if the result were best case scenario, one could still argue that it wasn’t worth the risk.
Btw, the lower part of this thread is the best discussion I’ve seen here about this Libyan mess. No mudslinging, no hyperbole (well, some). Lots of good argument.
Name any human endeavor, anywhere, of any kind, that went off without a hitch. Hell, my tiny 40-guest wedding had plenty of hitches, including the florist showing up late and forgetting to bring half of the flowers.
If perfection is your standard, you are going to be disappointed by your fellow human beings over and over and over again.
I am, by nature, a person prone to worrying. Sometimes what I was worried about happening, happens. Sometimes it doesn’t. Does the fact that what I worried about happening actually happened prove that I was right to worry in those cases? Does the fact that what I worried about happening actually happened prove that I was right to worry across the board? By making a point to worry about everything have I set things up so that I will always have been right to worry?
In MENA American peacekeeping and nationbuilding efforts are doomed by definition.
Because when muslims are democratically empowered to vote, they vote for more Islam, not less, and never for judeochristian democracy with freedom of speech and freedom of religion.
Proselytizing is forbidden under shariah law.
Freedom of speech legalizes proselytizing.
Therefore freedom of speech and al-Islam are incompatible.
Do you think you can change the religion of 1.8 billion people?
You do realize you’ve blown your cover and will end up getting yourself banned again as soon as JC sees this thread, right?
@pattonbt: we are not going into the city.
Res 1973 explicitly says no invasion, no occupation, no boots on the ground.
@pattonbt: Thanks for the clarification, but I still think what you’ve said doesn’t really adhere to the spirit of “gladly admitting” very much.
@Mnemosyne: Absolutely I will admit if Libya goes right. I do believe that there is a chance it can go well (even if it crosses beyond our original intentions). As I said, if you asked me I would say “Yes, the run up to Libya seems better than previous ones and there are better reasons (in my opinion) for us to get involved”, but “there seems to still be a ton of unanswered questions and there is a lot of room for disaster”.
Re Bosnia, I did not pay as much attention to the world then as I do now, but my non-interventionist beliefs have been pretty consistent throughout my life. I don’t remember being “for” or “against” it per se, but I probably fell more into the “for” category at that time. I think Bosnia is one where I think we can say we did well comparatively. I honestly do not know if it was a “success” or not, but it was the best of the US interventions in my lifetime (in my opinion). That said, at the end it was not what was envisioned and planned for at the beginning.
And it’s this that I am talking about. We know these things do not end up as we intend. They almost always become much much worse and more involved. And people at the beginning always say “this time will be different” and do not seem to bother to factor in how these things play out and determine, in advance, what is worth it and what lines we will not cross. Because the problem is, once we are in, we are in and when things go bad, as they invariably do, we end up having to make much harder decisions (cost, lives, damage) than we ever planned to have to make. When if factored at the beginning we may have said “not worth it”.
@Stillwater: Sure, it’s the “correct view of things” to feel like there are many ways it could all go wrong, and it makes sense to take that into account while deciding how you feel about getting involved at all. But I’m leery of the deck-stacking aspect, where the fact that many things can and will go wrong proves that it was wrong, and also the fact that few things go wrong _still_ essentially proves that it was wrong. It doesn’t seem like there’s a logical way to show that it ever could have been right.
@Mnemosyne: So let’s agree that if the US has ground troops in Libya through, say, September of this year, we can all agree that it’s a clusterfuck and you were right.
So now ground troops are acceptable? I wish you’d post bulletins outlining what the story is on any given day. It’d make tracking the justifications that much easier.
But look, in all honesty here, you have to admit that four days ago you were saying ‘this one’s gonna be different, no boots on the ground’, right?
@Mnemosyne: Well, I just have real high thresholds for war. I do not seek perfection, but when it comes to war, I set the bar really, really high.
As I stated in a thread a while back I basically have two criteria:
1) A direct and serious threat to our homeland, and by that I mean where our livelihoods are threatened, and
2) The same for any very close ally
So to me, WW1/2 pretty much fit that bill and not much else (at least in modern history and from a US perspective).
Wars can only be “won” (in my opinion) when you can morally have no “rules of engagement” and it is fighting for your survival (or very close to that). I believe this because the imposition of such violence requires the highest moral backing so that when war ends you can (as best possible) absolve yourself of the atrocities you had to commit to win.
I’m probably not putting that as well as I’d like, but without having that defense at your back, the outcomes start to be outweighed by the actions.
I don’t think anyone on the neutral-to-pro side thinks very differently from that. It seems to me that every time something like this happens, the clock starts ticking, and it’s very important to wrap it up quickly and decisively and with minimal casualties.
The thing that weighs heavily with me is that I just hate the idea that Egypt and Tunisia would show that the people could rise up against their repressive governments, and then in Libya–right damn between them–it could all slip away. It seems cruel. The uncertainty of the outcome and the history of botching such things isn’t trumping that spirit with me. And I know that that would be a “doctrine” that would lead to a lot of havoc. But that’s where I am.
@Hermione Granger-Weasley: I hope you are right. I hope we do not see urban warfare. But if I was Kadaffi, I would know that is my only path to victory now. If intervention goes beyond the air to the ground, Kadaffi would be wise to implement such a strategy. I think any strategist would go that route. It’s what will hurt the morale of the enemy and their supporters the most.
@Stillwater: I thought that was her point, though, that if ground troops are involved in any prolonged way, it will be indisputably clusterfucktastic. I don’t think she’s projecting that that will happen or that it would be acceptable if it did. She’s describing the hallmarks that the worst-case scenario is in fact underway.
I’m giving pattonbt his/her worst case scenario, which would be an occupation by US forces. Personally, I still do not think the US will have any ground troops in Libya but since pattonbt and I are talking about worst case scenarios, we have to talk about the most likely worst case scenario, don’t you think?
@Mnemosyne: Whoooops! Sorry.
@FlipYrWhig: Well, I don’t know how to state it otherwise. I am strongly against intervention, but since it’s too late to stop it (like I could have anyway) I definitely want only the best possible outcomes from it now. I don’t know why it would be hard to believe someone could be that way. I’m not rooting for FAIL, I just believe FAIL is pre-written. I’m not omniscient and can have no way of being certain where this will go. I do not want anyone to die and will be very happy if no one does. But I just do not believe that in the balancing equation of these things that things will work out well.
Let me put it this way, I will have a “great sigh of relief” and willingly take the “we told you so’s” from those who supported this if all goes well. I’d rather be wrong and admit it, because if I am right, then things are a lot worse than they were before. And we never need that.
Fair enough, though I would disagree with you about the necessity of US involvement in WWI (that really was a serious clusterfuck, especially once the trench warfare began).
I do feel that having competent people in charge will make it less likely to go down the toilet, but then I remember the mess that the godlike Petraeus has made of Iraq and Afghanistan and the problems he’s had with the officers under him not obeying orders and I get nervous all over again.
And with that, I have to head off to bed. Hopefully the cat will not decide to scratch at the door at 1 am again. ‘Night, all.
(Edited to fix a left-out word.)
@FlipYrWhig: And I appreciate that feeling. I feel it as well. I just not believe that the US intervening is appropriate. It seemed like intervention was going to happen with or without us, so why couldn’t we just sit this one out? By jumping in we may have made the situation worse by taking responsibility away from those actors who have actual skin in the game and to whom the outcome is more than just pieces on a Risk board. Because that is what this is for us, some random (albeit deplorable) oppression half a world away. This is an exercise (for the US) of a dying concept of us as world policeman “we have to get involved!”. Europe and other Arab states should be leading this (and they are more than capable of doing so) and the US, in my opinion, at most be going “we agree” and sitting back and watching from afar.
Condensed in the name of brevity.
“..This is the end
This is the end
My only friend, the end…
Desperately in need…of some…stranger’s hand
In a…desperate land
Lost in a Roman…wilderness of pain
And all the children are insane
All the children are insane..”.
@pattonbt: But I dont see a path for Qaddafi to exploit urban warfare.
Res 1973 EXPLICITLY states no invasion, no occupation, no boots on the ground. No OIF is what that means.
The rest of the world understands perfectly what went wrong in OIF. The resolution is written to prevent that happening. Why are Americans still in denial, still pretending?
The oilfields are all in the east. If the NTC holds the east they can starve him.
Mercs dont work without pay.
@Hermione Granger-Weasley: Wars do not follow guidelines of UN resolutions. When civilian deaths continue, even with the imposition of the no-fly zone, the mission of the coalition will evolve to intervene further. Once engaged the original rules do not mean squat.
The rules will change if needed (even if the resolutions don’t).
It’s overly simplistic to think that one UN resolution will set the board forever on a particular engagement and that the players will abide by it as if it has some magical meaning and consequences.
.well…Gulf I did. Perhaps you should give a counter example.
The UN resolution said chase Saddam out of Kuwait.
And that is all that happened.
Res 1973 says protect civilians and push Qaddafi back out of his recent gains with airstrikes.
Gulf II didnt have a UN resolution, but obviously fulfilled its goals of deposing Saddam and making sure WMDs didnt fall into terrorist hands.
The mischief was OIF, the occupation and attempted install of westernstyle democracy. Res 1973 was EXPLICITLY written to prevent that. Even if America were dumb enough to try that again, the rest of the world is not going to allow that.
If the situation is stabilized UN peacekeepers can go in.
UN peacekeepers are not American. They generally come from places like Bangladesh and Indonesia, and are paid for by the UN. Which, in this case, doesn’t mean the US, because the US just doesn’t pay its dues to the UN.
@pattonbt: I think the way you’ve explained your stance makes plenty of sense, and I think I just raised my hackles over a particular phrase.
You can do what I do and sing that cowboy song from Oklahoma:
“With me, it’s all or nothing, it caint be in-between!”
Don’t fight unless it’s self defense from deadly threat, and then fight tooth and nail.
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The thing that weighs heavily with me is that I just hate the idea that Egypt and Tunisia would show that the people could rise up against their repressive governments, and then in Libya—right damn between them—it could all slip away.
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I get that, but what weighs heavily with me is that E&T also showed it could be done without us coming in and bombing. And so the next uprisers, are they going to be banking on us as the Cavalry who has their back, when we might not [Kurds?] or are they going to be afraid we’ll come in and fuck shit up? I got the impression the Iranians were the latter, though I don’t know it all, for sure.