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Since 2008 – Progress Through Politics

Pray for the people of Libya

Not really a diary.  I just read on the BBC that the Red Cross is pulling out of Benghazi while pro-Qaddafi forces are advancing.  

Hear HRC from Tahrir Square on NPR on my drive home tonight.  People were begging her for the US to help the Libyans.  I’m not saying we should have sent in a division or anything.  But I really wish we had found more meaningful ways to support these people.  I mean, when the Arab League requests a no-fly zone over a member state…

It’s not over.  But things look very very scary, and I’m already very very sad.


  1. jsfox

    When the Arab states request a no fly zone. I am curious as to why if they wanted one they did not mount it themselves? They want a no-fly zone but they don’t want to dirty their hands doing it.

    And because the region has not stepped up to help, now we are talking about more than a no fly zone but air strikes. And we know how well those can go.

  2. creamer

    But is the enemy of our enemy always our friend? Maureen Dowd wrote an op-ed recently about a US led intervention. I’m sure you can find it at the NY Times. She reminds us how well our interventions in Iraq and Afghanistan have gone. She seems to suggest that we don’t even know who we would be helping. A young Osama bin Laden? Another Gadafi?


     This is not our fight. Humanitarian aid is good.( we can borrow money from China to pay for it) But dropping bombs?

    I would love to see oppresion, hate, poverty etc. gone from this world. I would like to see Gadafi brought to justice. But its not our job.  

  3. seems to have swung the U.S. administration squarely on the side of intervention. The U.S. seems to be taking the lead in pushing for the NFZ. The wording of the resolution suggests that it will go beyond a NFZ to include strikes against Gadaffi forces and resources. The only thing it prohibits is an occupation force, so no troops on the ground, but military advisers would probably be OK.

  4. jsfox

    from Sullivan


    I think the basic underlying division today among foreign policy elites is simply between those who have internalized America’s relative decline and the limits of hard power revealed in the last decade … and those who haven’t. And what’s remarkable to me about those who haven’t is that, in inveighing on Libya, they don’t even mention the Iraq and Afghanistan precedents, or reduce them to an aside. You can read Leon Wieseltier’s screed and find not one mention of the past ten years, as if they had not happened, as if he had not endorsed both, as if we have gone from 1994 to 2011 with nothing in between. And so he can write a sentence like the following:

    Why is Obama so disinclined to use the power at his disposal?

    Really: is the amnesia and lack of intellectual responsibility that deep? The same could be said for Wolfowitz’s 2003 replay. These people have simply wiped the last ten years off the map, or reduced it to this:

    After the Iraq War, we are all mindful of the risks inherent in any military action. The caution of a Robert Gates is understandable, although it’s wrong to assume every U.S. operation must go astray. If we can’t establish a no-fly zone over Libya and stop Qaddafi’s drive toward Benghazi, we really are tapped out as a world power. It’s the least we can do to tip the fight against a dictator with American blood on his hands.

    Now unpack this for a minute. The point, it seems, of going to war with Libya is to prove that America is still a world-power and to get revenge on Qaddafi. Have they learned nothing?

  5. …Britain, France and the US are going to throw a ring of steel round Benghazi. The rumour is that it’s made the security council

    All the rebels need is time to concentrate their forces. Gaddafi will be pushed back, and with sanctions, the Arab League and the rest of the world against him, his days are numbered.

    I know everyone is dubious about military intervention, but this seems much more like Bosnia to me than Iraq. Here we have a small number of oppressors with most the heavy weaponry, and the bulk of the population poorly armed, but ready to fight.

    There will be no need for ground troops. This is a large but sparsely populated desert country: communications are everything. Without air support, and with some military support against tanks, the rebels will win.

    A good day for democracy, the Middle East, and the world.  

  6. fogiv

    Earlier reports suggested that if the resolution were passed, air attacks on Col Gaddafi’s forces by the British and French air forces could begin within hours.

    It is not thought that the US would be involved in the first strikes, but the British and French are likely to get logistical backup from Arab allies.

  7. jsfox

    I can’t say I am over joyed about this move. I certainly hope the US only offers a support role and France, Italy and the Arab states take the lead. It is time for others to step up if they are concerned.

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