Author Topic: Arab World Protests  (Read 45759 times)

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Offline nacho

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Re: Arab World Protests
« Reply #90 on: March 22, 2011, 10:33:44 AM »
Oh, but they finally put this up:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/special/world/middle-east-protests/

Got to try and catch up with Wikipedia, eh?

Offline RottingCorpse

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Re: Arab World Protests
« Reply #91 on: March 22, 2011, 02:37:09 PM »
So I just got caught up on Libya and have some thoughts.

While the U.N. has been pretty clear there will be "no foreign occupation" of Libya, I question the wisdom of getting involved. Am I wrong in that we haven't had any problem with Ghadaffi since Reagan got in his face in '86? Would we have bombed Egypt if the protests there has failed as well? What's the endgame for the US, UK, and France? Some US military commander said (and I'm paraphrasing) that he/she wouldn't be surprised if the operation ends and Ghadaffi is still in charge. What's the point of picking sides if you're just going to blow shit up and not follow through? Plus, if Ghadaffi remains in power, then what? Sanctions? Or prop him up for a chunk of Libyan oil?

Plus, Dennis the Menace Kucinich (sp?) got all haughty about Obama acting without authority. It's smoke, even with some GOPers sensing an opportunity. But doesn't Carter, I mean Obama have enough problems with his wishy-washy image without kinda sorta, but not really committing to military action with no clear goal or justification from an American interest standpoint?

I have no problem with siding with the rebels and ordering airstrikes, but at least stop trying to sit on the fence while you do it.

Offline nacho

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Re: Arab World Protests
« Reply #92 on: March 22, 2011, 03:13:39 PM »
Yeah, the whole thing is disgusting.

But I do think it's the end of Ghadaffi, one way or another.

Offline RottingCorpse

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Re: Arab World Protests
« Reply #93 on: March 22, 2011, 03:43:51 PM »
A secondary question has been raised here, though it's been on mind since long before the Arab Protest Ka-Blooie:

Is Obama a failure as president? He's certainly not the goods we were sold.

Offline nacho

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Re: Arab World Protests
« Reply #94 on: March 22, 2011, 03:52:55 PM »
A quesion for the "Fall of Obama" thread in this same forum! (My answer is: yes.)

Offline Cassander

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Re: Arab World Protests
« Reply #95 on: March 22, 2011, 10:49:42 PM »
\I can't give you too much insight into Libya at large, but I can say that I belive the officials when they say that the airstrikes are about evening the playing field between Ghadafi and the rebels and avoiding being despised for sitting on the sidelines of yet another national purge of undesirables.  The entire region hates him, he's crazy, he's got too much power, and now he's just killing people for finally being sick of it.  I think if Mubarak had started military action against rag-tag protesters people would have gotten involved to some extent...but Mubarak was our bitch and Ghadafi has long just been a tolerated annoyance. 

And as far as Obama goes, I don't see how jumping in right after NATO, the UN, and a pan-Arab alliance all green-light it is wishy-washy.  Right now his hands are tied as far as direct military intervention goes.  He can't just announce that Marines will hit the ground and help the rebels storm the capital, and he can't say "we're sitting this one out because we don't know who the rebels are and I don't care what that dictator does to them" because, well, that's insane.  Yet the media screams for action from him every hour on the hour and when he takes the even-handed approach of aiding the security of the no-fly-zone and waiting to see how sort the pretenders and crazies from helpful, purposeful rebels, our binary American brains just can't deal with it.

And beyond that I really don't see how a president who has been hamstrung from day one with a massive financial crisis and who has half the country expecting him to shut down two wars (or win one and draw the other) still finds time to redraw the rules of health funding, eliminate don't ask don't tell, ushers through a bunch of key appointments, deal with the greatest man-made disaster cleanup in our nation's history, and realign the direction of the Fed, the FBI, the Justice Department, and strengthen the FDA for the better.  All the while being burdened by both the most cowardly democratic majority Congress through 2009 and dealing with a mad-dog, barbituate hellspawn of a right-center majority Congress now without ever losing his cool gets constantly called out for not being a man of action. 
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Offline Reginald McGraw

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Re: Arab World Protests
« Reply #96 on: March 22, 2011, 11:08:55 PM »
I agree with Cass. At least with respect to Libya. The issue that caused airstrikes was Ghadafi killing protesters/rebels. World sentiment is behind it (at least for now) and I don't see any real issue with Obama getting on board with that.

I'm not happy about it, but there's no real great alternative.

Offline RottingCorpse

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Re: Arab World Protests
« Reply #97 on: March 23, 2011, 12:47:48 AM »
Okay, so we're in to level the playing field. What if Ghadafi still wins? Will there be another U.N. resolution for troops/airstrikes until he's taken out? Probably. But then the U.S. is in the terrible position of "nation building" (read: conquering) another middle east country. Yes, I understand that this action is far more justifiable than the one in Iraq, but many in the region won't see it that way.

(And talk about how the UK and France are involved too, but we're the Great Satan. People in the middle east who hate us throw any fuel they can onto the fire of "America wants to conquer us.")

And in the very unlikely event that we just let Ghadafi take the country back after the rebels lose?  Then there's political backlash from all sorts of different factions. The pro-democracy rebels will say the U.S. abandoned them. Iran will be on that shit like white on rice too. So will all the other Arab fiefdoms afraid of losing their hold. Extremists will use it to feed anti-west sentiment. In fact, it seems whether it wants to or not America and the U.N. has now committed to take Libya from Ghadafi no matter what.

Why is it wishy-washy? Because Obama is trying to leave himself a convenient political exit in case the wind blows the wrong way. He tries to keep everybody happy and in the end makes almost nobody happy. Do you really think the U.S wanted to participate in air-strikes? I don't. I think there was pressure to do so. He's got a lot of smart people around him, right? Didn't somebody think about the dozens of ways this could go really badly? Are they ready for multiple scenarios, or just the one where the rebels win after these initial airstrikes and the U.N gang are heroes?

Just come out and say, "We're throwing in with the rebels." Tell Ghadafi that his days as Libya's leader have come to end, and try to negotiate a peaceful transition to whatever government comes next. (Also a problem as not clear cut opposition leaders has been able to rise from the chaos.) But this whole, "We're going to launch some airstrikes and hope for the best" reeks of political spinelessness. You think Dubya or Clinton would have been so non-committal about it? They wouldn't have given a fuck. Hell, Dubya would have  known that he was pissing off half the country. Obama is trying to stay in a place where maybe, hopefully he doesn't have to piss off anybody.

(I was going to bring up how his, "Afghanistan is the right war. Iraq is not." will be thrown in his face. However, I like to think any sane American will see that Iraq and Libya are apples and oranges. Still, if it gets bad...)

Is he doing what any other politician would do? Of course, but that's what makes it so sad. We were promised a new of way doing things and what we've gotten is business as usual.

I'm not knocking his accomplishments. I'm SO glad he's not Dubya. He's made some cool things happen and is certainly a great speaker. I believe that at his core he's a good person who wants to do the right things.  

However, he's also letting the system run him instead of the other way around. Libya is a perfect example.
« Last Edit: March 23, 2011, 12:54:10 AM by RottingCorpse »

Offline Disco Dust

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Re: Arab World Protests
« Reply #98 on: March 23, 2011, 07:08:03 AM »
Though your truly for one believes in "no Mo" for Libya, the hypocrisy of what is happening now in terms of foreign military intervention is also a key fact that needs to be pointed out.


The protesters in Yemen, Iran or Bahrain have just as solid a beef with their regimes and have also been brutally repressed. But some are let off the hook because of their strategic location or the fact that their despots are long-time allies of Washington and the EU. In the case of Iran, it is just a matter of knowing it to be "biting off more than ...".


Offline nacho

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Re: Arab World Protests
« Reply #99 on: March 23, 2011, 08:15:19 AM »
See, that's what gets me. We get wet in Libya but we ignore troops walking rough-shod over protesters elsewhere. The Saudis can invade Bahrain in support of ultimate evil, and we don't bat an eye.  But oh-no! Disrupt our oil supply for 13 seconds and it's time to send in the combined forces of ultimate destruction.

As for Obama being Wishy-Washy, at least on this topic, the first three days of the action read like: "we'll only take a supporting role," then "We're taking the lead," then "we're scaling back to a supporting role."

The impression is that everyone at the White House is racing in circles screaming.

Of course, it doesn't help when the media reports a mechanical accident resulting in no deaths as "JET GOES DOWN IN INFIDEL LANDS!!! WE MUST CONTINUE TO FIGHT TO AVENGE IT!!!"

The good thing about when we did this in 1986 is that it happened while we slept and there was no news coverage till we got the paper.

Offline Disco Dust

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Re: Arab World Protests
« Reply #100 on: March 23, 2011, 12:16:44 PM »
Hmmm...beg to differ on the facts of the flashback, Nach.

I was living in an EST area, and distinctly remember the attack happening when we just had wrapped up our dinner.....no later than 21:00 or 21:30.


We had CNN on, when a bloke named Donovan (John Donovan I think....he was with that outfit for many years, but I have not seen him anywhere for at least a couple of years now), was on the phone from Tripoli reporting the air raid live. A harbinger of things to come in Baghdad a few years later with Shaw and co.

Offline nacho

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Re: Arab World Protests
« Reply #101 on: March 23, 2011, 12:19:54 PM »
Yeah, it was 8pm EST.

We didn't have cable in 1986 at my house because we're real Americans.

Offline Reginald McGraw

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Re: Arab World Protests
« Reply #102 on: March 23, 2011, 06:05:58 PM »
Our oil supply has little to do with Libya. Saudi Arabia stands at the ready to boost production if there is any blip.

Offline monkey!

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Re: Arab World Protests
« Reply #103 on: March 23, 2011, 07:00:49 PM »
Yeah, Libyan oil only counts for something like 2% of global production.
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Offline Cassander

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Re: Arab World Protests
« Reply #104 on: March 23, 2011, 09:03:55 PM »
If you want me to admit that our relationship with each country in the Middle East is different and that we keep sticking our limbs inside a giant Tar Baby, then I more than certainly will.  But our current hypocrisy with Libya vs. Bahrain isn't much different than our hypocrisy with Vietnam vs. Cuba or, hell, even the NFL Players Union vs. the state employees in Wisconsin.  It's ever present. 
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