Saturday, March 26, 2011

Unsorted Thoughts on Libya

Jacob Sullum put it well when he wrote, “Obama claims 'we cannot stand idly by when a tyrant tells his people that there will be no mercy.' Yes, we can, and we often do."

I’d only add this: Some of “our” best friends have been tyrants (sometimes called prime ministers and presidents) who treat “their” people without mercy or justice. Must I really name them?

Empire apologist Jeffrey Goldberg excuse this under the label “strategic hypocrisy.” “We’re all he adults,” he says. In other words, those who demand principled consistency are immature.

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Anyone who thinks that Obama’s intervention in the Libyan civil war is motivated by humanitarianism is clearly unfamiliar with the history of U.S. foreign policy. Please do some reading. I modestly suggest that here’s a good place to start. On Libya specifically see Pepe Escobar’s analysis. There’s plenty more at Antiwar.com.

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Imagine that Abraham Lincoln were doing today what he did 150 years ago to prevent the South from breaking away from the Union. Would Obama (or another past president), as head of a hypothetical superpower, have intervened to stop him? Or would he have assisted Lincoln in his violence against the secessionists? It would have depended on the particular interests of the ruling elite.

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Why do the media insist on calling what the U.S. government has done a “no-fly zone”? It was far more than that from day one, unless Qaddafi has figured out how to make tanks and soldiers fly.

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The mildest thing you can say about the Libyan intervention is that it's unconstitutional. And the war powers act is a joke.

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Republicans lie us into wars with the word "security." Democrats lie us into war with the word "humanitarian." That’s the two-party system: a choice between two rationalizations for empire.

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A NATO war is a U.S. war. NATO has always been an American tool. The Supreme Commander, Europe, is an American admiral. This is not a handoff. It’s a smokescreen to serve Obama’s political interests.

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The Arab League is a bunch of autocratic nations led by Saudi Arabia, one of America’s staunchest client states. The League’s request for a Western-imposed no-fly zone in Libya means little. It is reasonable to suspect the request was part of a deal involving the Saudi intervention on behalf of the king of Bahrain, who is violently putting down a popular majority Shiite uprising. Besides, most Arab leaders despise Qaddafi. He has insulted them in the past. He’s called some of them “women” because of their robes.

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Pro-Obama commentators, the ones on MSNBC in particular, have disgracefully taken the easy way out. Instead of examining the issues involved in the intervention, they prefer to mock Republicans as flip-flopping hypocrites. Granted, they’re flip-flopping hypocrites (with one exception). But what about the intervention?! Rachel Maddow’s commentary was the most ridiculous. Obama is different from her predecessor, she said, because he was reluctant to intervene. How do we know? The White House keeps telling us, she said. Seriously! She also said that one of the best things Obama did was not to give solemn explanation to the American people from the Oval Office like all his predecessors did when they intervened in a foreign country. Really!

Do these people ever listen to themselves?

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Why doesn’t Obama bribe Qaddafi to move to Afghanistan and make him president?

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Iraqi Prime Minister Maliki apparently has Obama’s okay to violently put down popular protests against his regime. Democracy is in the eye of the beholder.

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Why are the Chinese rulers willing to lend the U.S. government money to intervene in Libya (and all the other countries it’s intervening in)? Please stop!

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I have an idea for a constitutional amendment. Before the U.S. government gets involved in any foreign matter, the public must vote on the name. Operation Odyssey Dawn is ridiculous. Someone said it’s the name of a stripper.

2 comments:

Chris Sullivan said...

In the 1930s, there was a proposed constitutional amendment known as the "Ludlow Amendment" that would have required a popular vote on any declaration of war.
It was a crazy idea, but it looks less crazy all the time. Of course, since we don't bother to declare war any more it would have little effect.

AGSCalabrese said...

Not a popular vote ..... a super-majority vote say 90%

I luv ya guys

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