U.S. and Allies Strike Libya - Page 11 - U2 Feedback

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Old 04-14-2011, 08:42 PM   #151
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I appreciated that Daily Beast article because of the optimism displayed in the quote you placed in bold, yolland.

I take it for granted as well that the future of the Middle East is one that will not see delusional autocrats like Ghadaffi in power. Sure, it's good to be skeptical of the motives of the US and its NATO allies, but I am 100% convinced that the alternative - not intervening in that affair - would have had terrible consequences even without a horrible massacre in Benghazi. I don't even want to imagine the results of Ghadaffi victory in this war. It would basically be delaying the inevitable, prolonging the suffering. What do people think would have happened if the rebels failed? Everyone just goes back to business as usual? Give me a break.

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I stand behind my support of NATO in this conflict, and I look forward to it's conclusion.
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Old 04-14-2011, 09:46 PM   #152
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^ There isn't any truly solid data on that at this point, due to the lack of reliable sources inside Libya. Most estimates from major human rights NGOs I've seen (AI, HRW, IFHR etc.) put civilian deaths in the mid-to-high hundreds, with most of them occurring in late February.
Really? Well that's not too bad. I thought it was in the thousands; the media was real excited to throw about the claim that there were 10,000 dead.

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I stand behind my support of NATO in this conflict, and I look forward to it's conclusion.
I support them as well, but NATO needs to step up it's game if it wants to win. Right now they're dithering.
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Old 04-14-2011, 10:47 PM   #153
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Remember that was only the civilian count I was citing. Almost all sources agree that several thousand have died by this point when combatant deaths (overwhelmingly on the rebels' side) are included. I think that 10,000 figure came from the rebels' council itself (NTC), whose figures have consistently run far higher than the highest Western estimates. Missing persons estimates also run into the thousands. It is possible that if/when the dust settles, civilian death tolls will ultimately be determined to have run into the thousands, but from what I understand there isn't presently evidence for that. Again, an extremely difficult situation in which to obtain reliable counts.
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Old 04-15-2011, 03:42 PM   #154
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The HRW report from here is concerning:

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EVIDENCE IS now in that President Barack Obama grossly exaggerated the humanitarian threat to justify military action in Libya. The president claimed that intervention was necessary to prevent a “bloodbath’’ in Benghazi, Libya’s second-largest city and last rebel stronghold.

But Human Rights Watch has released data on Misurata, the next-biggest city in Libya and scene of protracted fighting, revealing that Moammar Khadafy is not deliberately massacring civilians but rather narrowly targeting the armed rebels who fight against his government.

Misurata’s population is roughly 400,000. In nearly two months of war, only 257 people — including combatants — have died there. Of the 949 wounded, only 22 — less than 3 percent — are women. If Khadafy were indiscriminately targeting civilians, women would comprise about half the casualties.


Obama insisted that prospects were grim without intervention. “If we waited one more day, Benghazi . . . could suffer a massacre that would have reverberated across the region and stained the conscience of the world.’’ Thus, the president concluded, “preventing genocide’’ justified US military action.

But intervention did not prevent genocide, because no such bloodbath was in the offing. To the contrary, by emboldening rebellion, US interference has prolonged Libya’s civil war and the resultant suffering of innocents.

The best evidence that Khadafy did not plan genocide in Benghazi is that he did not perpetrate it in the other cities he had recaptured either fully or partially — including Zawiya, Misurata, and Ajdabiya, which together have a population greater than Benghazi.

Libyan forces did kill hundreds as they regained control of cities. Collateral damage is inevitable in counter-insurgency. And strict laws of war may have been exceeded.

But Khadafy’s acts were a far cry from Rwanda, Darfur, Congo, Bosnia, and other killing fields. Libya’s air force, prior to imposition of a UN-authorized no-fly zone, targeted rebel positions, not civilian concentrations. Despite ubiquitous cellphones equipped with cameras and video, there is no graphic evidence of deliberate massacre. Images abound of victims killed or wounded in crossfire — each one a tragedy — but that is urban warfare, not genocide.

Nor did Khadafy ever threaten civilian massacre in Benghazi, as Obama alleged. The “no mercy’’ warning, of March 17, targeted rebels only, as reported by The New York Times, which noted that Libya’s leader promised amnesty for those “who throw their weapons away.’’ Khadafy even offered the rebels an escape route and open border to Egypt, to avoid a fight “to the bitter end.’’

If bloodbath was unlikely, how did this notion propel US intervention? The actual prospect in Benghazi was the final defeat of the rebels. To avoid this fate, they desperately concocted an impending genocide to rally international support for “humanitarian’’ intervention that would save their rebellion.

On March 15, Reuters quoted a Libyan opposition leader in Geneva claiming that if Khadafy attacked Benghazi, there would be “a real bloodbath, a massacre like we saw in Rwanda.’’ Four days later, US military aircraft started bombing. By the time Obama claimed that intervention had prevented a bloodbath, The New York Times already had reported that “the rebels feel no loyalty to the truth in shaping their propaganda’’ against Khadafy and were “making vastly inflated claims of his barbaric behavior.’’

It is hard to know whether the White House was duped by the rebels or conspired with them to pursue regime-change on bogus humanitarian grounds. In either case, intervention quickly exceeded the UN mandate of civilian protection by bombing Libyan forces in retreat or based in bastions of Khadafy support, such as Sirte, where they threatened no civilians.

The net result is uncertain. Intervention stopped Khadafy’s forces from capturing Benghazi, saving some lives. But it intensified his crackdown in western Libya to consolidate territory quickly. It also emboldened the rebels to resume their attacks, briefly recapturing cities along the eastern and central coast, such as Ajdabiya, Brega, and Ras Lanuf, until they outran supply lines and retreated.

Each time those cities change hands, they are shelled by both sides
— killing, wounding, and displacing innocents. On March 31, NATO formally warned the rebels to stop attacking civilians. It is poignant to recall that if not for intervention, the war almost surely would have ended last month.

In his speech explaining the military action in Libya, Obama embraced the noble principle of the responsibility to protect — which some quickly dubbed the Obama Doctrine — calling for intervention when possible to prevent genocide. Libya reveals how this approach, implemented reflexively, may backfire by encouraging rebels to provoke and exaggerate atrocities, to entice intervention that ultimately perpetuates civil war and humanitarian suffering.
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It would basically be delaying the inevitable, prolonging the suffering.
Yes, good thing we didn't choose the option with the risk of a long, protracted, drawn-out struggle.
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Old 04-15-2011, 08:43 PM   #155
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To be fair, it looks like at this point in the war Qaddafi might be opening up his arsenal:

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MISURATA, Libya — Military forces loyal to Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi have been firing into residential neighborhoods in this embattled city with heavy weapons, including cluster bombs that have been banned by much of the world and ground-to-ground rockets, according to witnesses and survivors, as well as physical evidence.

Both of these so-called “indiscriminate” weapons, which strike large areas with a dense succession of high-explosive munitions, by their nature cannot be fired precisely. When fired into populated areas they place civilians at grave risk.

The dangers were evident beside one of the impact craters on Friday, where eight people had been killed while standing in a bread line. Where a crowd had assembled for food, bits of human flesh had been blasted against a cinder block wall.

The use of such weapons in these ways could add urgency to the arguments by Britain and France that the alliance needs to step up attacks on the Qaddafi forces, to better fulfill the United Nations mandate to protect civilians.
There's always a catch:

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Human Rights Watch, the New York based advocacy group, verified the use of the cluster munitions as well, and called on the Qaddafi government to stop using them.

“It’s unconscionable that Libya is using these indiscriminate weapons, especially in civilian populated areas,” said Steve Goose, director of the organization’s arms division. “Cluster munitions are inaccurate and unreliable weapons that pose unacceptable dangers to civilians.”


....

Components from the 120-millimeter rounds, according to their markings, were manufactured in Spain in 2007 — one year before Spain signed the international Convention on Cluster Munitions and pledged to destroy its stocks. Libya, like the United States, is not a signatory to the convention. The Spanish Defense Ministry had no immediate comment.
American exceptionalism, I guess.
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Old 04-20-2011, 01:34 PM   #156
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Tim Hetherington And Chris Hondros, Photojournalists, Reported Killed In Libya

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Tim Hetherington, an Oscar-nominated filmmaker and photographer, and Chris Hondros, a Pulitzer Prize-nominated photojournalist, were reported to have been killed in the city of Misrata while covering fighting between Muammar Gaddafi's forces and Libyan rebels. Andre Liohn, a fellow photographer who was injured during the same battle, wrote on Facebook on Wednesday that the two had died "when covering the front line." Liohn initially said that Hetherington had died, but soon wrote on his wall, "Chris Hondros died now."

Hetherington was a contributing photographer for Vanity Fair, and co-directed the Afghan war film "Restrepo" with author Sebastian Junger. Hondros' war photography has appeared in countless publications, and he was nominated for a Pulitzer in 2004.
Sad.
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Old 04-20-2011, 01:53 PM   #157
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Yeah. That really upset me to see.
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Old 04-20-2011, 07:25 PM   #158
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This is ridiculous. We have the kind of air support needed to break Gaddahfi (AC130's), yet Obama is refusing to do anything outside of a "support role." What the hell does that even mean? There's not going to be anything to support at this rate. Jesus, if you won't let us use our fucking gunships ourselves, then give them to Britain or France to use. If you don't want American military action, then you shouldn't have gotten us involved in the first place.

Clearly he is doing this so he still has a chance of being reelected.

But when Gaddahfi sweeps in and finally crushs the opposition, it's going to be Obama's fault for letting it happen.
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Old 04-20-2011, 07:38 PM   #159
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I watched the film Restrepo

he could have died during that
people are dying all around in these hot zones

this is not surprising, and to be honest I am a little ambivalent,
this person made a choice to take risks for rewards, many do not have that luxury.
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Old 04-20-2011, 08:00 PM   #160
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Originally Posted by The_Pac_Mule View Post

But when Gaddahfi sweeps in and finally crushs the opposition, it's going to be Obama's fault for letting it happen.
I don't understand why you're so hellbent on getting involved in another misadventure in the Middle East. Do you understand Libya? Do you have any idea who the rebels are? Do you know what you want for your end goal? One country under whose leadership? A splintered two-state nation? Two independent states? Three or four? UN peacekeepers on the ground for a decade? US $ flowing there for the foreseeable future? Their oil? What?
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Old 04-21-2011, 05:49 PM   #161
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Some telling results from a new ABC News/Washington Post telephone poll of 1001 randomly selected American adults:
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40% of Americans oppose US military participation; in this group just 27% approve of Obama’s handling of the situation, while 65% disapprove. An additional 32% support US involvement, but say the aim should be to remove Gaddafi from power, not only to protect civilians; Obama gets a higher approval rating for handling Libya in this group, but hardly a robust one–-49%. The third and smallest group, 22%, supports current policy-–military involvement limited to protecting civilians. In this group Obama’s approval rating for handling the situation grows to 61%.
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Support for allied air strikes on Libya–-whatever their aim-–do not translate into support for an increased US role in those strikes. Even among [the 32%] who favor ousting Gaddafi as a goal, a relatively small group, 24%, say the level of US military involvement in Libya should be increased. Support for an increased US role is lower still, 9%, among those who favor the current mission, protecting civilians. In both groups, sizable majorities say US involvement should be kept about the same as it is now.
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Old 04-21-2011, 06:41 PM   #162
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quick obama, say things about weapons of mass destruction!
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Old 05-01-2011, 07:58 AM   #163
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i'm sure i'm not the only one unbelievably uncomfortable with targeted strikes against gaddaffi's family home? it's state sanctioned assassination.
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Old 05-01-2011, 10:06 AM   #164
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i'm sure i'm not the only one unbelievably uncomfortable with targeted strikes against gaddaffi's family home? it's state sanctioned assassination.
You're certainly not, but would you still be uncomfortable if Gaddaffi was killed in the airstrike?

It's very regrettable his three of his grandchildren were killed in the attack, and a little less regrettable his son was killed as well.

But Gaddafi knows he's a target, so I blame him for putting his family in danger. I don't blame NATO for bombing his home. From what I read they had information that he was there (accurate information). I do blame NATO for not putting more missiles in the building to ensure Gaddafi was killed.
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Old 05-01-2011, 05:34 PM   #165
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You're certainly not, but would you still be uncomfortable if Gaddaffi was killed in the airstrike?

It's very regrettable his three of his grandchildren were killed in the attack, and a little less regrettable his son was killed as well.

But Gaddafi knows he's a target, so I blame him for putting his family in danger. I don't blame NATO for bombing his home. From what I read they had information that he was there (accurate information). I do blame NATO for not putting more missiles in the building to ensure Gaddafi was killed.
This almost certainly will get uglier before it gets better. How many misses on Gadhafi can NATO afford before there is a notable civilian death toll on NATO's hands.

Ultimately, I'm still for this action by NATO and the U.N., but it won't surprise me if Gadhafi decides to make it even more messy since he (and his family) is a target now.

Burning oil fields?
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