U.S. and Allies Strike Libya - Page 13 - U2 Feedback

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Old 08-22-2011, 02:21 PM   #181
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gosh, not only did Obama kill Bin Laden (Bush couldn't) but he's ended Qaddafi (Reagan couldn't).

am glad he's in charge for that 3am phone call rather than one of those ineffectual Republicans.
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Old 08-22-2011, 02:32 PM   #182
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Unlike a lot of other Arab dictatorships, which were based primarily on tribal allegiances and other forms of bribery, Gadhafi's was largely based on eliminating any and all forms of opposition, including any kinds of governmental organizations that could challenge him. Mubarak's exit showed that he was ultimately just a ripple in the nation's power base. Libya is a lot more worrisome in that respect, as the rebels will basically have to start from scratch in establishing a government there; Gadhafi ensured that he was Libya and that Libya was entirely dependent on him.
The point is that his regime had stakeholders in it, people who benefited from his rule and are therefore not necessarily predisposed to join hands sing kumbaya and enter a coalition government with the rebels. Whether they can be integrated is an awfully serious question for post-war Libya. You just blithely dismissed that with a "Gadhafi's ugly and stupid and smelly and no one likes him anyway". It's certainly easy to reach that conclusion living in the comforts of an advanced Western democracy, but as anitram pointed out, we have an awful record of recognizing local dynamics.
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Old 08-22-2011, 02:37 PM   #183
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The point is that his regime had stakeholders in it, people who benefited from his rule and are therefore not necessarily predisposed to join hands sing kumbaya and enter a coalition government with the rebels. Whether they can be integrated is an awfully serious question for post-war Libya. You just blithely dismissed that with a "Gadhafi's ugly and stupid and smelly and no one likes him anyway". It's certainly easy to reach that conclusion living in the comforts of an advanced Western democracy, but as anitram pointed out, we have an awful record of recognizing local dynamics.
You needn't take my word for it, I guess. Here's a more detailed description of Gadhafi's power structure:

http://www.cnn.com/2011/WORLD/africa...html?hpt=hp_t2

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In 42 years as Libyan leader, Moammar Gadhafi purged Libyan society of any alternative voice or real discourse.

His Revolutionary Committees were ubiquitous, silencing dissent and enforcing the eccentric orthodoxy of the "Brother Leader's" teachings.

In such a warped society, there has been little space for the emergence of a professional, qualified middle-class, and none for trade unions, opposition groups or other symbols of civil society.

The only organized group not tied to the regime was the Muslim Brotherhood, driven underground by Gadhafi.

As in Iraq in 2003 or Syria now, there is no recognized opposition figure or group that transcends tribal, regional and sectarian rifts.

Gadhafi survived as long as he did, according to Libyan scholar Mansour O. El-Kikhia, by breaking up the power bases of Libya's largest and most influential tribes.

Lands and influence were redistributed to more "dependable" tribes such as the Warfalla, Qadhadfa and Megarha.
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Old 08-22-2011, 02:38 PM   #184
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.



When I read these kinds of arguments, I generally see the spectre of Iraq, yes?
No, actually.

There is a long and illustrious history of interventions, overt and covert, in the Middle East which have propped up petty dictatorships, or have been counter-constructive generally. Iran is a good example. Israel/Palestinian territories is another example of failed Western foreign policies, by more than one country, and in more than one way.

I am not any sort of an expert on the area and I readily admit that I don't understand the cultural implications, the tribal relationships, the deep historical animosities, the religious struggles and so on. Maybe you feel differently, but I have very little confidence that we have any idea what's going on there at all.
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Old 08-22-2011, 02:38 PM   #185
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Right, so the next big question is, how do the Warfalla, Qadhafa and Megarha tribes feel about the National Transitional Council? It sounds like if benefits are distributed on a population basis they've got a lot to lose to those tribes Gadhafi tried to reduce the power of. And the opposite question of course: how do other tribes feel about the Warfalla, Gadhafa, and Megarha?

My biggest worry is if we've avoided a big cable-news-network moment like an attack on Benghazi while just setting up longer, low level conflict the West goes on to ignore.
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Old 08-22-2011, 02:51 PM   #186
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There is a long and illustrious history of interventions, overt and covert, in the Middle East which have propped up petty dictatorships, or have been counter-constructive generally. Iran is a good example. Israel/Palestinian territories is another example of failed Western foreign policies, by more than one country, and in more than one way.
I generally see a difference between the Cold War-era "anti-communist" interventions, which Iran is a good example of, where we overthrew an elected government in favour of an autocrat. Even then, admittedly, situations like Iran or many of the nations of Latin America, for instance, are fraught with complicating circumstances--Mosaddegh, for instance, could easily have become like Chavez in Venezuela, so it's sheerly up to speculation as to whether Iran would have been a democratic paradise today or not had he remained in power. But, leaving aside such speculations entirely, we're dealing with local resistance movements that have needed a push in the right direction; that's a far cry from the Cold War by any respect, as I see it.

Quote:
I am not any sort of an expert on the area and I readily admit that I don't understand the cultural implications, the tribal relationships, the deep historical animosities, the religious struggles and so on. Maybe you feel differently, but I have very little confidence that we have any idea what's going on there at all.
I see it as a once-in-a-generation moment that needs to be seized upon properly. Gadhafi isn't immortal, and if he'd stayed in power, he could easily have died suddenly and then we're either dealing with a new and unpredictable despot or having to deal with a new civil war then that has all the same questions and complications as now. The tribal struggles and animosities will have to be dealt with, sure, but that was a certainty regardless unless we're willing to accept from a moral standpoint a population being under the strong arm of a dictatorship forever. Presently, we have a population that is willing and ready for change, so why not deal with it now? I guess I hope for the best.
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Old 08-23-2011, 04:59 PM   #187
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Nato, and EU stepping up. US couldn't afford a third war.

Just as long as some good leader, and not another West approved dictator is in power next.
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Old 08-23-2011, 05:34 PM   #188
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some good leader


there are so many of these.
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Old 08-24-2011, 04:45 AM   #189
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gosh, not only did Obama kill Bin Laden (Bush couldn't) but he's ended Qaddafi (Reagan couldn't).
Careful, careful. No champagne popping or victory laps. Certainly not from the US.
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Old 08-24-2011, 08:38 AM   #190
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Careful, careful. No champagne popping or victory laps. Certainly not from the US.


you did see the release from aging lesbian power couple John McCain and Lindsey Graham?


Quote:
“The end of the Qadaffi regime in Libya is a victory for the Libyan people and for the broader cause of freedom in the Middle East and throughout the world. This achievement was made possible first and foremost by the struggle and sacrifice of countless Libyans, whose courage and perseverance we applaud. We also commend our British, French, and other allies, as well as our Arab partners, especially Qatar and the UAE, for their leadership in this conflict. Americans can be proud of the role our country has played in helping to defeat Qaddafi, but we regret that this success was so long in coming due to the failure of the United States to employ the full weight of our airpower.

as ever, Obama did nothing. they even congratulated France, and not the president.
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Old 08-24-2011, 09:26 AM   #191
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“The end of the Qadaffi regime in Libya is a victory for the Libyan people and for the broader cause of freedom in the Middle East and throughout the world.
Yes.

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This achievement was made possible first and foremost by the struggle and sacrifice of countless Libyans, whose courage and perseverance we applaud.
Yes.

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We also commend our British, French, and other allies, as well as our Arab partners, especially Qatar and the UAE, for their leadership in this conflict.
Oui.

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Americans can be proud of the role our country has played in helping to defeat Qaddafi,
Yes.

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but we regret that this success was so long in coming due to the failure of the United States to employ the full weight of our airpower
Dumbarse. Thank God you're not the US President.

They don't mention Obama, but it's not like they did mention Cameron or Sarkozy. The last sentence is loaded though. Obama was pretty much dragged into it, and the US did play a lesser role - or more to the point, played the part of playing a lesser role (if that makes sense). But the point would be that this was a good thing. Whether Obama played it that way or not (more likely he didn't want to get dragged too far in only because of domestic concerns) the fact that the US was seen to need to be 'forced' into it, and then while necessary and important and no doubt the major player behind the scenes, were publicly very much not-seen and not-heard, that was important. In general, NATO have played it out fairly well. It will be great if the back slapping is very restrained and only brief, and they shuffle off quietly, and continuing from now, the support for whatever comes next is very strong, but equally subtle.
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Old 08-24-2011, 11:40 AM   #192
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leading from behind FTW.
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Old 08-24-2011, 01:13 PM   #193
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Sara Sidner's brave reporting from Muammar Gaddafi's compound in Libya is turning heads.

Sidner reported live from the compound while rebels shot rounds of celebratory fire behind her. The gunfire was so loud at some points that it interrupted the segment. At one point she reported getting hit by some of the shells.

But Sidner was intent on bringing viewers the story. She and her crew had to retreat to a wall for safety, but she continued reporting even after losing audio.

It's not the first time the CNN correspondent has won plaudits for her gutsy reporting. In 2008, she was reporting on the Mumbai terrorist attacks from the Taj Hotel when she was accosted by a group of angry locals. She could be heard yelling "Stop it!" in the dark before the network cut to previously recorded material. Larry King later said that "her reporting put her right in the line of fire."

Sidner has over been in television journalism for over fifteen years. She first joined CNN as the New Delhi correspondent in late 2007, according to TVNewser. Prior to that, she was a weekend anchor and reporter for KTVU-TV in Oakland, California. She got her start in reporting as a student at the University of Florida in Gainesville, where she got a degree in telecommunications.
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Old 09-02-2011, 03:51 PM   #194
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The National (Abu Dhabi), Sep. 1
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AN NAWFALIYAH, LIBYA -- At the centre of a circle of cheering rebel soldiers near Colonel Muammar Qaddafi’s hometown this week stood an improbable figure who gives new meaning to the term “road trip”. Chris Jeon, a 21-year-old university student from Los Angeles, California,shrugging cooly, declared: “It is the end of my summer vacation, so I thought it would be cool to join the rebels. This is one of the only real revolutions” in the world.

In a daring, one might even say foolhardy, decision two weeks ago, Mr Jeon flew on a one-way ticket from Los Angeles to Cairo. He then travelled by train to Alexandria and by a series of buses to the eastern Libyan city of Benghazi. From there, he hitched a ride with rebels heading west towards the Libyan capital of Tripoli. After a 400km (248-mile) trek across the desolate North African landscape, he was now in the town of An Nawfaliyah, the toast of his comrades and a newly anointed road warrior.

“How do you fire this thing?” he asked on Wednesday as a bearded rebel handed him an AK-47. Locating the trigger of the assault rifle and switching off the safety, Mr Jeon fired it in the air in two short bursts. “I want to fight in Sirte!” he proclaimed, using hand gestures and pointing west towards Sirte. Whether the rebels understood him was far from clear. “It’s hard to communicate. I don’t really speak any Arabic,” he said. Nevertheless, the rebels have clearly taken to the mathematics student with no obvious political leanings who decided to slum it as an Arab Spring revolutionary before going back to his calculator for fall semester.

At first glance, Mr Jeon looked like someone who took a wrong turn on their way to the beach or the Santa Monica Pier. He wore a blue basketball jersey emblazoned with a script “Los Angeles” and the number 44. The rest of his outfit, including army camouflage trousers, a grey-and-black kaffiyeh on his head, clear safety glasses and a bullet hanging on a necklace, came courtesy of the rebels, he said. He had been sleeping in the homes of local families or in the open air with the insurgents.

...Although Mr Jeon did not arrive in Libya in time to catch the liberation of Tripoli, he has seen history unfold. He was aboard one of the first cars to roar into An Nawfiliyah last weekend, armed with his shotgun and a camera that no longer works because the battery is dead. “I have great footage,” he said. As with most students, money is a concern. He did not buy a round-trip airplane ticket, he explained: “If I get captured or something, I don’t want to waste another US$800 [Dh2,900].”

...Only a few friends back in Los Angeles knew his true plans, he admitted. His family? Well, they thought he was going on a different trip.

As he recalled that deliberately vague version of his itinerary, it dawned on Mr Jeon that he might be blowing his cover by speaking with a reporter on a far-flung stretch of desert more than 11,200 kms (7,000 miles) from home. “Whatever you do, don’t tell my parents,” he pleaded. “They don’t know I’m here.”
An Al-Jazeera reporter tweeted today that the rebels have apparently tired of Jeon (that didn't take long!) and sent him back to Benghazi. Just as well for him, as taking part in any attack on Sirte would've greatly increased his chances of doing something that could land him in serious legal trouble upon returning to the US.
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Old 09-02-2011, 04:08 PM   #195
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He wore a Jerry West throwback to a war.
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