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Tripoli Falls


DKStories

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Since the story is ever changing right now, I'm not going to link to it. More than likely over the next few days you can find it on the front page of every news website. As of this moment, when I am typing this at 5:30 pacific time Sunday, most of Tripoli is in the hands of the rebels. Two of Khaddafy's sons are now in the custody of rebels, another is believed to have been killed in combat. Khaddafy himself is at large, but his days are numbered.

Over the last few months I've cringed and winced as the battles have shifted back and forth. President Obama walked a fine line with Congress over the military activity in support of those rebels. Still, as much as we give him flack for never making a decision, or leading, he's won yet again. He got OBL, and now he's gotten Khaddafy. Without United States support, this would have never happened. Just as importantly, without the exceptional diplomacy NATO would have never taken over the lead and continued air bombing as well as professoinal training and support on the ground. Both of those were necessary, combined with the determination of the Libyan people to be free, to make this possible.

Now if he could only be as successful in the economy as he has been in overseas actions, we'd be sitting golden on top of the world.

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Maybe your analysis of the cost of Afgahnistan and the benefits of spending the money at home should be forwarded to him. On the other hand, maybe sending troops to Somalia to save millions from a slow and agonizing death might be a nice alternative. One has to really wonder what the best choice really is. I know I could bankrupt my finances AND my goodwill by just pouring it into a seemingly deepening hole.

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My mother often says she doesn't know why "we" are in Afghanistan, and I point out that if that attitude had prevailed in WWII we'd all be under Nazi or Japanese rule now. I just wish people would be more loving and considerate of each other instead of seeing everyone as pawns, obstacles, or something to be exploited.

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My mother often says she doesn't know why "we" are in Afghanistan, and I point out that if that attitude had prevailed in WWII we'd all be under Nazi or Japanese rule now. I just wish people would be more loving and considerate of each other instead of seeing everyone as pawns, obstacles, or something to be exploited.

Afghanistan and Libya are two totally different scenarios. Perhaps the biggest difference between the two is that Libya had a group of rebels dedicated to the overthrow of the regime and strong support for that change in government from the populace. There was no need for an invasion force, only for the technology, training, and air/naval support that was provided by the same military forces that are with us in Afghanistan.

Neither Iraq nor Afghanistan had such an indigenous support for the overthrow of the government. In Afghanistan we had support from certain forces in the northern part of the country, but they were far from being as 'popular' as what we saw in Libya. Further, instead of consolidating our early victories we withdrew the majority of our forces to go invade Iraq and allowed corruption to flourish in Afghanistan while we were off playing in another desert nation.

The biggest thing about Libya is that it was done largely over the opposition of the Republican party. A few prominent Republicans gave their early support but then joined others (including some Democrats) in trying to remove our forces from the continued support of the Libyan rebels. While actual strikes were conducted by NATO forces after the 60-day cutoff for the United States, it was still largely our strategic and intelligence assets that made the continued NATO support possible. The administration knew a congressional vote would have seen Tea Party budget cutters joining with anti-war Democrats to defeat any support for funding Libyan operations. Yet they also knew they were on the right course. In the end they did an run-around, bypassing Congress and making the necessary support happen anyway.

And now we see the result.

It almost makes me want to give Obama everything he asks for in this upcoming Jobs package that will be presented in September. If he's even half as successful with that as he has been in removing OBL and Khaddafy, this nation will be far better off than it is now, or it was three years ago. It's worth thinking about.

Hell, add in what's happening with Immigration, Don't Ask Don't Tell, DOMA and everything else, maybe we should all sit back and watch things play out. He's not out there in front of the troops giving a Mel Gibson Braveheart speech, or a General McArthur wading onto a Phillippine beach, but rather he's a Dwight D. Eisenhower in the bunker back in England making sure everything goes as well as possible on D-Day.

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My mother often says she doesn't know why "we" are in Afghanistan, and I point out that if that attitude had prevailed in WWII we'd all be under Nazi or Japanese rule now. I just wish people would be more loving and considerate of each other instead of seeing everyone as pawns, obstacles, or something to be exploited.

Afghanistan and Libya are two totally different scenarios. Perhaps the biggest difference between the two is that Libya had a group of rebels dedicated to the overthrow of the regime and strong support for that change in government from the populace. There was no need for an invasion force, only for the technology, training, and air/naval support that was provided by the same military forces that are with us in Afghanistan.

Neither Iraq nor Afghanistan had such an indigenous support for the overthrow of the government. In Afghanistan we had support from certain forces in the northern part of the country, but they were far from being as 'popular' as what we saw in Libya. Further, instead of consolidating our early victories we withdrew the majority of our forces to go invade Iraq and allowed corruption to flourish in Afghanistan while we were off playing in another desert nation.

The biggest thing about Libya is that it was done largely over the opposition of the Republican party. A few prominent Republicans gave their early support but then joined others (including some Democrats) in trying to remove our forces from the continued support of the Libyan rebels. While actual strikes were conducted by NATO forces after the 60-day cutoff for the United States, it was still largely our strategic and intelligence assets that made the continued NATO support possible. The administration knew a congressional vote would have seen Tea Party budget cutters joining with anti-war Democrats to defeat any support for funding Libyan operations. Yet they also knew they were on the right course. In the end they did an run-around, bypassing Congress and making the necessary support happen anyway.

And now we see the result.

It almost makes me want to give Obama everything he asks for in this upcoming Jobs package that will be presented in September. If he's even half as successful with that as he has been in removing OBL and Khaddafy, this nation will be far better off than it is now, or it was three years ago. It's worth thinking about.

Hell, add in what's happening with Immigration, Don't Ask Don't Tell, DOMA and everything else, maybe we should all sit back and watch things play out. He's not out there in front of the troops giving a Mel Gibson Braveheart speech, or a General McArthur wading onto a Phillippine beach, but rather he's a Dwight D. Eisenhower in the bunker back in England making sure everything goes as well as possible on D-Day.

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Are we jumping the gun? Following the news here, it seems it's far from a done deal as I type...

I agree with Bruin (and the BBC). It's nearly over, but not quite.

Besides, Gaddafi's probably swilling sherry in Switzerland. He's let his sons take the fall.

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  • 1 month later...

Well, it seems it took two months (almost from the day) to go from taking the capital to eliminating the dictator. The man of many spellings for his name is now dead - in part thanks to repeated attacks by NATO fighters and Predator drones on his convoy. This whole operation has cost the United States of America around $1 Billion. That's a lot of money until you look at what we spent to take out Saddam Hussein under a different President. That price tag was about $1 Billion PER DAY and is now over $2 Trillion.

So let's see, since coming in to office three years ago - Obama has racked up an impressive kill list including not only Osama bin Ladin but most of the al-Quaeda leadership after him as well. Now he adds Khaddaffy to the list.

He's done so well abroad while domestically things have stalled. I couldn't help but notice that when it comes to foreign policy he doesn't have to really deal with Republicans all that much. All they've done is stopped any appointments he's made and so he just makes temporary appointments to get around them. Unfortunately it's not that easy when it comes to domestic policy. Maybe if we swept the Republicans out of the way we might actually fix things here at home the way we've been fixing them overseas - more success for a lot less $$.

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Well, yes.

Not sure how appropriate it is even to talk about who gets the 'credit' for killing Mr Gaddafi, but it appears that it was accomplished by Libyan fighters who were supported by technology and other stuff from various western nations, principally the USA. In the USA, President Obama will naturally take the credit, while in the UK our prime minister will do the same, as will the French, the Italians, and anyone else who can legitimately or otherwise claim to have been involved. I wouldn't be surprised if the Israelis claim a victory.

But that's politics. That's what they do. We shouldn't be surprised, and our outrage should probably be muted on the basis that vociferous outrage we might have expressed last time something similar happened didn't make any difference and neither will our outrage this time.

Am I jaded? Cynical? Pessimistic? Or just a realist?

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The leader of the interim government announced that Libya would be an Islamic Republic with Sharia law.

Way to go Obama, Clinton and EU.

They all got played like a rube trying three card Monty.

http://blog.foreignpolicy.com/posts/2011/10/23/libyas_new_leader_declares_an_islamic_state

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The leader of the interim government announced that Libya would be an Islamic Republic with Sharia law.

Way to go Obama, Clinton and EU.

They all got played like a rube trying three card Monty.

http://blog.foreignp...n_islamic_state

Oh, wonderful. Just what we need! Another one of those. The people in that country may well be less free now than they were under their former tyrant.

C

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Let's start with the kid that put the bullet in el-Gadhafi (how the man himself spelled it in romanized letters). The 20-year old fighter was pictured after having killed the Libyan Leader while wearing his New York Yankees ballcap. That alone makes the kid an American for all intent and purposes.

Now on to a more serious response about the US involvement in the rebellion that led to el-Gadhafi being killed at last. To paraphrase our greatest Secretary of State for the last decade, "It takes a village...", and in this case it took several 'villages' to take care of this situation. First off are the Libyan people themselves who actually stood up, took up arms and put their lives on their line. Who can forget the early days of the conflict when an NBC reporter is in the field with rebels as they are attacking the Libyan army, and the fighter he was interviewing was armed with...A PLASTIC TOY GUN. He wanted his freedom so badly he would take to the battlefield with nothing but a toy so he could fight for freedom. (or maybe he was just insane).

The rebellion would have been over in those early days very quickly without international assistance. The United States was nearly paralyzed. With a do-nothing Republican House, a senate paralyzed by the 60-vote rule, and liberal doves who would move to block him, the President had very few options. He used all those options, maneuvered around the edges of what was legally permissable and sent our pilots into harms way. Along the way he got together with Britain and France (yes, that same France that Republicans have called wimps and pussies for the last decade after they refused to endorse the stupid, dumb war that was Iraq) and got them to agree to take over after Obama's legal deadlines forced him to withdraw from direct support of military action. It was this NATO effort, including a UNITED STATES PREDATOR DRONE that attacked el-Gadhafi's convoy, putting it into a position where rebel fighters on the ground could finish the job - including a 20-year old young man wearing a NY Yankees ballcap.

Where will Libya goe from here? Well, according to the same article linked above, it's not necessarily what James Saavik implied:

UPDATE: I should note that others had a different interpretation of Abdel Jalil's speech. Al Jazeera English reports him calling for "a democratic state based on Islamic law" (their paraphrase) and quote him saying, "We strive for a state of the law, for a state of prosperity, for a state that will have Islamic sharia law the basis of legislation."

Next door to Libya is a country called Tunisia. For those that don't remember, Tunisia is the country that started the 'Arab Spring' movement by getting rid of their dictatorial 'President'. Now they have had free, democratic elections where over 80% of the voting population came out and cast their vote. Whatever may come of it, it IS a democratic vote. Democracy people, and that is a damn beautiful beginning.

Now let's go back to the quote from the 'update'. First off, it's source is al-Jazeera news. Whatever their beginnings, al-Jazeera is now one of the most reliable, consistent and effective news organizations in the middle east. They are also one of the most accurate. Their translation is most likely to be the most accurate of those out there in the media today, so let's look at the key word in their translation: democratic. This is not democratic as in democratic party, but rather democratic as in the principles of democracy, government whose power is based on the will of the people, not on the will of the rulers.

I know the part about 'based on sharia law' is disturbing to most of us. It should be. Just like 'based on the bible' here in the United States should worry us just as much. Both holy books call for the killing or imprisonment of people like most of us here on this board. Fortunately we are a few hundred years further along in the democratic process and most of the debate in our country isn't about whether to kill or jail gay people, but whether we are allowed to marry or not. It's not going to be that easy in countries like Tunisia, Egypt, or Libya. Still, what is going on there now is a beginning, and since other nations have led the way with Democracy before, it won't take them two hundred years to get to this point.

Instead of reacting out of fear, let's look at this as an opportunity. Stick with these people, help them get back on their feet and to build truly democratic governments. As long as we stay engaged with them, we have a chance to help them make their countries a better place. It's what we should have done with Iraq, instead of propping up dictatorial prime ministers who have allowed sectarian strife to grow worse since the end of the surge, and who have allowed things like the continued murders of gay people in that country. Frankly, there is a lot more hope in these other countries where the United States is the country that helped them achieve their freedom as compared to Iraq where we have been their conquerors for the better part of a decade, oppressing them, killing them, torturing them in prisons and then propping up power-hungry corrupt fools who have gone on to steal and kill their own people.

There are a lot of things in Libya (and Egypt too!) that we need to be worried about and need to work on. However, by approaching these countries and their rebellions differently than we did Iraq and Afghanistan, we stand a better chance of building strong, lasting friendly relationships with those nations. We can also be a stronger voice in tempering the new nations into more civilized places.

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