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Opinion: The Death of Internationalism

xmacroxmacro Posts: 3,402
As anyone who's been watching the news lately can tell see, Gaddafi has been laying waste to Libya. The mad colonel has promised a sea of blood, and his planes have been bombing rebel-held cities to the point that they've been pushed back and lost just about every town, village, and city they took. Gaddafi's now only 1 town away from the Libyan HQ, Benghazi, and still the Obama administration says they won't take a step.

When all this started, Obama said he wouldn't do anything unless the Libyans themselves asked for a no-fly-zone - so the Libyans asked for one. Then Obama said he wouldn't do anything unless NATO supported it - NATO then said they supported it. Finally Obama said he wouldn't do anything unless the other arab countries supported it, probably knowing that anti-americanism in the region would prohibit them from doing so - miracle of miracles, the Arab Leauge said they voted and wanted a no-fly-zone as well.

I'm trying very hard not to call the President of the United States a coward, but watching the news day in and day out, and watching Libyans pleading for help as they're being bombed, I don't know what else to say about Obama.


Anyway, here's an interesting article from the WSJ - turns out Obama is following, to a tee, a plan his team cooked up way back on how the US shouldn't take the lead

Not the 28 members of NATO, not the 15-member U.N. Security Council, not the 22 nations of the Arab League could save Libya's rebels from being obliterated by the mad and murderous Moammar Gadhafi. The world has just watched the collapse of internationalism.

The world's self-professed keepers of international order, from Brussels to Turtle Bay, huffed and puffed, talked and threatened. And they failed. Utterly.

But what we've watched is not merely the failure of the gauzy notion of "internationalism." It's more specific than that. What has collapsed here is the modern Democratic Party's new foreign-policy establishment.

Barack Obama is the first Democratic president to assemble a foreign-policy team made up entirely of intellectuals who for years have developed a counter-thesis to the policies of presidents extending back to John F. Kennedy. We are in a "post-American world," they have argued, in which the U.S. is obliged to pursue its interests in concert with the rest of the world's powers, never alone.

The uprisings against autocracies in 10 separate Middle Eastern countries, a crisis inherited from no one, was their real-world test. In Egypt, they fumbled. In Libya, they have failed.

The poster boy for this internationalist view is White House deputy Ben Rhodes, who told a reporter last week: "This is the Obama conception of the U.S. role in the world—to work through multilateral organizations and bilateral relationships to make sure that the steps we are taking are amplified."

Days later, bemused Libyan rebel spokesman Essam Gheriani remarked in Benghazi: "Everyone here is puzzled as to how many casualties the international community judges to be enough for them to help. Maybe we should start committing suicide to reach the required number."

Mr. Rhodes' view isn't just briefingspeak. The new Democratic theory of the proper U.S. role in the world was articulated in a July 2008 document, "Strategic Leadership: Framework for a 21st Century National Security Strategy." It described itself as "an intellectual and policy blueprint for the next administration."

Its authors included James B. Steinberg, who is now Mr. Obama's deputy secretary of state; Ivo Daalder, now U.S. ambassador to NATO; and Anne-Marie Slaughter, until a month ago the State Department's director of policy planning. Susan Rice, who is now our ambassador to the United Nations, wrote the preface.

Their blueprint, a tour of the world's regions, counsels constant multilateral cooperation, institution-building and consultation. While it admits U.S. preeminence, it is largely a meditation on the limits of American power and authority. This is the document's final, summarizing sentence: "And such [U.S.] leadership recognizes that in a world in which power has diffused, our interests are best protected and advanced when others step up and at times lead alongside or even ahead of us."

In the Middle East, no one has stepped up, no one is leading alongside and our allies are in the rear, accomplishing nothing while they wait for . . . America.

This was a test case, and what we have seen is that a world in which the U.S. doesn't unmistakably lead is a world that spins its wheels, and eventually the wheels start to come off. When the U.S. instructs the Saudis not to intervene in Bahrain, and the Saudi army does precisely the opposite, the wheels are coming off the international order.

In an op-ed piece for the New York Times this week, "Fiddling While Libya Burns," the recently departed State Department planner Anne-Marie Slaughter wrote a cri de coeur on behalf of doing something for Libya. "The United States and Europe are temporizing on a no-flight zone," she wrote. It was a remarkable call to action—until the final two paragraphs. She concludes that the U.S. "should ask the Security Council to authorize a no-flight zone," (by asking Russia and China to abstain). If that works, then with the Arab League, we "should assemble an international coalition to impose the no-flight zone." Finally, failing all that, we should work with the Arab League to give the Libyan opposition "any assistance it requests."

But Benghazi will be dead by the time this calibration grinds down to Ms. Slaughter's bottom line. After Mr. Obama met with his national security team Tuesday, with Gadhafi one demolished town from Benghazi, the White House said, "The President instructed his team to continue to fully engage in the discussions at the United Nations, NATO and with partners and organizations in the region." Barack Obama is following their blueprint to a tee.

In a better world, James Steinberg, Ivo Daalder and Susan Rice would join Ms. Slaughter in resigning and calling for action to save Benghazi from outside the government. Being inside is manifestly useless. They are defaulting the U.S. into a dangerous irrelevance.

Libyan rebel commander Mohammed Abdallah, in bombed-out Ajdabiya, put the spike into them Tuesday: "The hands of the international community are covered in blood." But the "international community" was never much more than a academic abstraction, and blood, as always, can be washed off.
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Comments

  • VulchorVulchor FloridaPosts: 4,826 ✭✭✭
    Im not sure about this, but I have heard the same from Hannity last night and just dont get it. The right used to be the people of ---STAY OUT of foreigh affairs. Now, Obama is the coward. All he has done in office is beefed up on the people we had in Afganistan and stayed the course in other areas in basically the same way Bush had been handling the 8 years prior to his innaguration (sp?)

    I for one say let the Libyan's handle their own. We get invovled in too much overseas, and now we want to take sides again. Isnt our side taking what put leaders like Mubarek and Hussein in power many years ago? I think our track record with dictators shows that perhaps staying the hell out for once is the most courageous thing a leader for the U.S. can do.
  • laker1963laker1963 Posts: 5,046
    I promised to stay out of political discussions and will not vary from that. I will say on this point however that it is NOT the responsibilty of the US alone to do something about this situation. I don't blame Obama one bit for his position. Where the hell is the rest of the world on this issue, including Canada? The Brits and French want to go in but until these pencil pushers have wasted more time then they are worth nothing is going to happen. People dying at the hands of their "Leader" just isn't enough to cause an international reaction. The discussion should not be about who does or does not lead this operation, the discussion should be about the killing of people who thought the world would support them in their fight for freedom. As usual talk and perception win out over reality everytime in our society. We talk the talk but don't walk the walk. Shame on all of us.
  • xmacroxmacro Posts: 3,402
    Vulchor:
    Im not sure about this, but I have heard the same from Hannity last night and just dont get it. The right used to be the people of ---STAY OUT of foreigh affairs. Now, Obama is the coward. All he has done in office is beefed up on the people we had in Afganistan and stayed the course in other areas in basically the same way Bush had been handling the 8 years prior to his innaguration (sp?)

    I for one say let the Libyan's handle their own. We get invovled in too much overseas, and now we want to take sides again. Isnt our side taking what put leaders like Mubarek and Hussein in power many years ago? I think our track record with dictators shows that perhaps staying the hell out for once is the most courageous thing a leader for the U.S. can do.
    It was the Left that thought the surge was a mistake before Bush ever went forward with it, and it was the Left that said we should pull out of Afghanistan, repercussions be damned. The Right was the one urging Bush to see the surge through to success. I never saw the Right burning effigies of Bush and calling him a war monger.

    To be fair, a lot of the people who supported the war suddenly have a change of heart when they realized things weren't going their way and that Baghdad wouldn't be throwing roses at our feet; these same people suddenly found out that Afghanistan wasn't a cake walk, so they changed again and turned against that war as well - so hypocrisy and cowardice is found on both sides of the aisles

    But at any rate, the situation in Libya shouldn't be decided among party lines - have you watched the news recently? Ghaddafi is rolling through prior rebel-held towns, and there are reports of his forces entering hospitals and just killing everyone - men, women, and children, because they lived in a rebel-controlled city. His forces are bombing everything they can, he's rolling in tanks to level anything that stands against him, and he's killing everyone his forces meet. How is it courageous to stand by and watch people be slaughtered?

    Wasn't it too long ago that people in the US were holding protests about Rwanda and Darfur, holding signs saying "Never again"? What happened to that? It's easy to talk a big game after a genocide is over, but when one is about to begin or going on, suddenly those same people are nowhere to be seen.

    But even now, there's bipartisan support for a no-fly-zone, and maybe more - hell, even John Kerry has come out alongside John McCain in support of helping Libya - how is it courageous to just stand by and watch people be slaughtered? Obama says "Ghaddafi must go", but then never lifts a finger to help that happen - how is that leadership?
  • xmacroxmacro Posts: 3,402
    laker1963:
    I promised to stay out of political discussions and will not vary from that. I will say on this point however that it is NOT the responsibilty of the US alone to do something about this situation. I don't blame Obama one bit for his position. Where the hell is the rest of the world on this issue, including Canada? The Brits and French want to go in but until these pencil pushers have wasted more time then they are worth nothing is going to happen. People dying at the hands of their "Leader" just isn't enough to cause an international reaction. The discussion should not be about who does or does not lead this operation, the discussion should be about the killing of people who thought the world would support them in their fight for freedom. As usual talk and perception win out over reality everytime in our society. We talk the talk but don't walk the walk. Shame on all of us.
    Bingo

    I disagree with you in that I think the US ought to be more willing to go it alone, at least with a no-fly-zone and not risk any personnel, but I agree with you about everything else. Everyone, the US, Canada, French, Brits, etc - they all talk a big game, but then they stand by as people are slaughtered and don't lift a finger to help. Even as there are Libyans on the news, telling camera crews "we don't have the weapons to fight them, they're killing us, please help", the world just sits by and watches.

    As Libyans are being killed in their hospital beds, it's supposed to be breaking news that the UN just agreed to start talking about a draft resolution. It's just sheer cowardice - after the danger is passed, and there's no one left to defend, then we'll start seeing the cheap talk and the Darfur-like protests. Countries promising "never again" only when there's no one left to help.

    Which brings me back to the article I posted - the argument that the international community can handle emergencies, as opposed to a few countries (unfairly, I might add) footing the bill, is discredited with Libya. It's total bullsh1t that the US should have to foot the bill, with blood or treasure, to help the Libyans, but in the end, the US is the only one with the Will or ability to do anything to help - the international community is feckless and useless; despite their protests for the need for coalitions, they never do anything when the time to act is at hand

  • beatnicbeatnic Posts: 4,133
    Who? USA? Hellooooo?
    If you can, you are morally obligated to do so. Of course we can. Period.
  • lilwing88lilwing88 ChitownPosts: 2,812 ✭✭✭
    My evil conspiracy twin brother tends to believe that there's more to all of this than meets the eye. There's gotta be a back-story to this that none of us are privy to. Qaddafi has been way too bold during this whole thing. I don't buy the whole "lunatic dictator" argument. This guy has been around a while. He's shook hands with every known leader in the free world.

    He's promised retaliation on any nation who steps in. I don't think he's bluffing. Whether or not we jump into this thing is a 50/50 debate for me. Either way, if we go in, it's gonna be another long war, for sure.
    Guns don't kill people, Daddies with pretty daughters do…..
  • The SniperThe Sniper Posts: 3,910
    It is absolutely right to stand by while this is happening in Libya. Morally reprehensible. Period. End of discussion on that.

    To play devil's advocate, is this not what the international community was screaming it wanted in the not-so-distant past? An America who wasnt an "international bully" and didnt "unilatereally advance its own agenda" on nations and who allowed them their own right to self determination?

    Methinks perhaps the international community (then) forgot that its the law of the jungle out there - the strongest rule, and prey on the weak. Now that they're starting to remember, all of a sudden a benevolent super power who intercedes on behalf of the weak doesnt seem like such a horrible ideal anymore.

    Let the roasting of my comments & I begin! :-D

  • DSWarmackDSWarmack Posts: 1,426
    The Sniper:
    It is absolutely right to stand by while this is happening in Libya. Morally reprehensible. Period. End of discussion on that.

    To play devil's advocate, is this not what the international community was screaming it wanted in the not-so-distant past? An America who wasnt an "international bully" and didnt "unilatereally advance its own agenda" on nations and who allowed them their own right to self determination?

    Methinks perhaps the international community (then) forgot that its the law of the jungle out there - the strongest rule, and prey on the weak. Now that they're starting to remember, all of a sudden a benevolent super power who intercedes on behalf of the weak doesnt seem like such a horrible ideal anymore.

    Let the roasting of my comments & I begin! :-D


    I AGREE! It is Morally reprehensable.

    So... I think that we need to go back to the original way of doing things. Our way!

    Look at it this way: if there was a country invading America (far fetched I know...), say China for instance. NO ONE comes to our aid, we won't loose, but we'd take some massive caualties. Men, women and children died becuase nobody wants to stick their neck out to help their neighbor. Better yet go with the neighborhood version. If someone was shooting people three houses down and you knew about it... Would you sit in front of the picture window in your house? Because I know dam good and well that I'd go kick in the back door. The least you can do is call the cops (ie. No fly zone)! Never hurts to have friends that feel like they owe you one.
  • fla-gypsyfla-gypsy Posts: 3,024 ✭✭
    The Sniper:
    It is absolutely right to stand by while this is happening in Libya. Morally reprehensible. Period. End of discussion on that.

    To play devil's advocate, is this not what the international community was screaming it wanted in the not-so-distant past? An America who wasnt an "international bully" and didnt "unilatereally advance its own agenda" on nations and who allowed them their own right to self determination?

    Methinks perhaps the international community (then) forgot that its the law of the jungle out there - the strongest rule, and prey on the weak. Now that they're starting to remember, all of a sudden a benevolent super power who intercedes on behalf of the weak doesnt seem like such a horrible ideal anymore.

    Let the roasting of my comments & I begin! :-D


    The Snipers assessment of the world view is correct in my estimation. I am a self professed ultra conservative (fiscal) and I am more and more thinking we need to stay out of anything that does not pose a direct threat to our national security. I know all the arguments about why we are where we are now but it is time to pull back some, regroup, retool our economy, rearm our military complex, and be the superpower that no one will mess with and chart our own course of what we want this nation and our allies who choose to engage with us, to be. We don not need to get into every fight that breaks out in the world. We do need to keep stability in our part of the globe and project our protection to our known and demonstrated friends whoever they may be. We need to secure our own hemisphere and create an economy that does not depend on unstable and unfriendly nations. This would start with seriously persuing a greater independence with our energy needs through developing better and more predictable sources of energy.
  • xmacroxmacro Posts: 3,402
    I'm not sure what Sniper said; I thought, if anything, he supported intervention. At any rate, the problem is, unless America projects power, no one takes us seriously. Take the Saudi's - since Obama is feckless and not doing anything with Libya, they just sent a few tanks and military troops into Bahrain, after the Obama administrations specifically told them to stay out. Why should they listen? If America isn't going to impose a no-fly-zone on a dictator, what're we gonna do against Saudi Arabia?

    We don't have to send troops into every conflict around the world - I agree with you there, but there's a reason we have aircraft carriers stationed around the world, why we have troops in Germany and South Korea, why the US maintains bases in the middle east - it's to project power and let America's enemies know we can respond quickly if provoked. That's something we can't do if we just circle the wagons and say "screw the world, we're only out for ourselves".

    EDIT - UN security counsel just voted, 10-0 to impose a no-fly-zone and take other actions - but I wonder what Obama would've done if the UN security resolution had failed? Would he have mustered the leadership to intervene and stop the slaughter of women and children in their hospital beds, or would he have deferred to the "international" community and let Ghaddafi move into the very last rebel-held city tonight? Another thing I wonder about - since the resolution just passed, it's said it'll take "days" to impose a no-fly-zone - what happens if, when a no-fly-zone is put up, there's no one left to defend?

  • The SniperThe Sniper Posts: 3,910
    Very well put gypsy. America was once an isolationist nation where foreign policy was concerned. We freely traded and did business with nation's who wished to do so, but we kept to ourselves on the world stage until WWI, and then still to a large degree until Japan dragged us into WWII, which we otherwise would NOT have gotten involved with.

    I think (and its only my opinion) that we need to get closer to that. With our economy in the shape its in, enemies of our nation owning crippling amounts of our debt, and the shambles our government is in, can we even consider ourselves a superpower at this point?

    We need to clean our own house up first, then worry about the rest of the world. You know - the way the rest of the world does it.

  • lilwing88lilwing88 ChitownPosts: 2,812 ✭✭✭
    xmacro:
    EDIT - UN security counsel just voted, 10-0 to impose a no-fly-zone and take other actions - but I wonder what Obama would've done if the UN security resolution had failed? Would he have mustered the leadership to intervene and stop the slaughter of women and children in their hospital beds, or would he have deferred to the "international" community and let Ghaddafi move into the very last rebel-held city tonight? Another thing I wonder about - since the resolution just passed, it's said it'll take "days" to impose a no-fly-zone - what happens if, when a no-fly-zone is put up, there's no one left to defend?

    Right. Ghaddafi promised to move tonight (3/17). What good will a no-fly zone be come Mon when there's nothing left of the rebels.
    Guns don't kill people, Daddies with pretty daughters do…..
  • Amos_UmwhatAmos_Umwhat West TNPosts: 5,586 ✭✭✭✭✭
    The Sniper:
    It is absolutely right to stand by while this is happening in Libya. Morally reprehensible. Period. End of discussion on that.

    To play devil's advocate, is this not what the international community was screaming it wanted in the not-so-distant past? An America who wasnt an "international bully" and didnt "unilatereally advance its own agenda" on nations and who allowed them their own right to self determination?

    Methinks perhaps the international community (then) forgot that its the law of the jungle out there - the strongest rule, and prey on the weak. Now that they're starting to remember, all of a sudden a benevolent super power who intercedes on behalf of the weak doesnt seem like such a horrible ideal anymore.

    Let the roasting of my comments & I begin! :-D

    There is no denying the truth of what you say here, Sniper. There is also no denying the truth of what Vulchor said, concerning the creation of dictators as a result of our taking sides. Is it possible to intervene to such an extent as to stop the Madmans military, at least cripple it on a major scale, and then support only the Libyan elements that come forward with propositions of free democracy, free in the sense that diverse views are held in respect?

    Maybe it would be kind of like seeing a group of bullies beating up some kid on the schoolground, and we knock down the bullies and make it a fair fight, without settling the final outcome ourselves. We cannot afford to continue to be the worlds only Sheriff, nor can I stomach the idea of standing idly by while these kind of atrocities take place. If we're to intervene, we need some palpable concrete assistance and financial support from a whole lot of other entities, who also have their own futures at stake. Ante up, boys, the game is on.
    WARNING:  The above post may contain thoughts or ideas known to the State of Caliphornia to cause seething rage, confusion, distemper, nausea, perspiration, sphincter release, or cranial implosion to persons who implicitly trust only one news source, or find themselves at either the left or right political extreme.  Proceed at your own risk.  

    "There is nothing so in need of reforming as someone else's bad habits."   Mark Twain
  • The SniperThe Sniper Posts: 3,910
    xmacro:
    I'm not sure what Sniper said; I thought, if anything, he supported intervention. At any rate, the problem is, unless America projects power, no one takes us seriously. Take the Saudi's - since Obama is feckless and not doing anything with Libya, they just sent a few tanks and military troops into Bahrain, after the Obama administrations specifically told them to stay out. Why should they listen? If America isn't going to impose a no-fly-zone on a dictator, what're we gonna do against Saudi Arabia?

    We don't have to send troops into every conflict around the world - I agree with you there, but there's a reason we have aircraft carriers stationed around the world, why we have troops in Germany and South Korea, why the US maintains bases in the middle east - it's to project power and let America's enemies know we can respond quickly if provoked. That's something we can't do if we just circle the wagons and say "screw the world, we're only out for ourselves".

    EDIT - UN security counsel just voted, 10-0 to impose a no-fly-zone and take other actions - but I wonder what Obama would've done if the UN security resolution had failed? Would he have mustered the leadership to intervene and stop the slaughter of women and children in their hospital beds, or would he have deferred to the "international" community and let Ghaddafi move into the very last rebel-held city tonight? Another thing I wonder about - since the resolution just passed, it's said it'll take "days" to impose a no-fly-zone - what happens if, when a no-fly-zone is put up, there's no one left to defend?

    I think that after two plus years of the Obama administration bullshit, the world has figured out we are NOT going to be getting involved in ANYTHING we're not already stuck in. Frankly, Im amazed 1) its taken them this long, and 2) more nations arent taking actions they always feared American reprisals because of - although I expect that to happen in short order. Personally I think Isreal has got to be pissing its pants right about now, as well as Iran licking their chops.

    The issues with the Saudis is an excellent example xmacro. The first thing Obama did with them after taking office was BOW before their king instead of acting as an equal. Why in the world would Saudi possibly worry about what we think? If we move against them, we get no more oil and are crippled within 6 months. They know it. We know it. And they are finally tired of playing the game with us.

    As is the rest of the world. America now is largely a toothless tiger, and everyone knows it. Not because we lack the teeth (although that is true to a point too - our military is stretched beyond the breaking point as it is), but because we lack the resolve to bite.

  • DSWarmackDSWarmack Posts: 1,426
    The Sniper:
    because we lack the resolve to bite.


    EXACTLY! But it is the corporate we, and I hate that.
  • PuroFreakPuroFreak Posts: 4,132
    Vulchor:
    Im not sure about this, but I have heard the same from Hannity last night and just dont get it. The right used to be the people of ---STAY OUT of foreigh affairs. Now, Obama is the coward. All he has done in office is beefed up on the people we had in Afganistan and stayed the course in other areas in basically the same way Bush had been handling the 8 years prior to his innaguration (sp?)

    I for one say let the Libyan's handle their own. We get invovled in too much overseas, and now we want to take sides again. Isnt our side taking what put leaders like Mubarek and Hussein in power many years ago? I think our track record with dictators shows that perhaps staying the hell out for once is the most courageous thing a leader for the U.S. can do.
    Just one point, not to argue with you, but the U.S. didn't put Saddam in power. He took control through his affiliations with the Baath Party and his former "gang" associates from his days as a thug and assassin.
  • lilwing88lilwing88 ChitownPosts: 2,812 ✭✭✭
    Well, Ghaddafi did what any not-too-drunk college junior would do.... he pulled out. So, UN votes and diplomacy appears to have worked for now. The Obama administration will count this as a "win" in their book. As they should.

    Maybe I've seen too many movies, but I have to believe that there was a covert operation behind this that halted Ghaddafi in his tracks. If so, then kudos Obama. I think we should use secret-squirrel special forces whenever possible.

    On the off chance that this was just good 'ol fashioned diplomacy at it's finest, then we got very very lucky.
    Guns don't kill people, Daddies with pretty daughters do…..
  • VulchorVulchor FloridaPosts: 4,826 ✭✭✭
    Been gone a few days...nice little mini vacation with the wife...anyway, heres a response or 2....first to Macro

    I agree Libya shouldnt be among party lines...neither should the other 2 you mentioned. However, you did post this article and opinion on Obama and his decision, so if not party lines, you at least made it president vs the world lines it seems. If you dont want party lines, then I wont even respond to the part about the left vs the right (although I do think there were some generalizations in your statements that were false)

    This cannot be compared to Rawanda/Darfur. In size, scale, and reliable information this is not even close. Not saying what Gadaffi is doing is right, or that I would like it to stop. Just saying Im tired of it being our "responsibility". We are in debt, we spend to much, and the #1 area we do is in military. We dont need more undertakings at this time, and CERTAINLY not in what appears to be somewhere between a slaughter (at worst) to an uprising or civil war (at best).
  • VulchorVulchor FloridaPosts: 4,826 ✭✭✭
    The Sniper:
    It is absolutely right to stand by while this is happening in Libya. Morally reprehensible. Period. End of discussion on that.

    To play devil's advocate, is this not what the international community was screaming it wanted in the not-so-distant past? An America who wasnt an "international bully" and didnt "unilatereally advance its own agenda" on nations and who allowed them their own right to self determination?

    Methinks perhaps the international community (then) forgot that its the law of the jungle out there - the strongest rule, and prey on the weak. Now that they're starting to remember, all of a sudden a benevolent super power who intercedes on behalf of the weak doesnt seem like such a horrible ideal anymore.

    Let the roasting of my comments & I begin! :-D

    Youre not wrong Sniper. Perhaps, the "do onto others as they do onto you...protet the weak...ect" idea here says we should interfere. But that same idea that got us Iraq is that. Its also the reason, as you stated, we are considered the bully of the world. While if you look at the Husseins, Gadaffis, ect. we dont really care about the good of the people----we just care about making it look like we give a damn, while ensuring our economic interests are protected.
  • VulchorVulchor FloridaPosts: 4,826 ✭✭✭
    THERE WE GO GYPSY!!!...You and I have agreed on a few things here lately. I may be thought of as the "bleeding heart", but I am really not. We get involved in toooooo much. If poltiicals was a big high school, the US would be threatened with getting its as$ kicked everyday for butting into everyones business...instead of just focusing on what effects us.
  • laker1963laker1963 Posts: 5,046
    The Sniper:
    xmacro:
    I'm not sure what Sniper said; I thought, if anything, he supported intervention. At any rate, the problem is, unless America projects power, no one takes us seriously. Take the Saudi's - since Obama is feckless and not doing anything with Libya, they just sent a few tanks and military troops into Bahrain, after the Obama administrations specifically told them to stay out. Why should they listen? If America isn't going to impose a no-fly-zone on a dictator, what're we gonna do against Saudi Arabia?

    We don't have to send troops into every conflict around the world - I agree with you there, but there's a reason we have aircraft carriers stationed around the world, why we have troops in Germany and South Korea, why the US maintains bases in the middle east - it's to project power and let America's enemies know we can respond quickly if provoked. That's something we can't do if we just circle the wagons and say "screw the world, we're only out for ourselves".

    EDIT - UN security counsel just voted, 10-0 to impose a no-fly-zone and take other actions - but I wonder what Obama would've done if the UN security resolution had failed? Would he have mustered the leadership to intervene and stop the slaughter of women and children in their hospital beds, or would he have deferred to the "international" community and let Ghaddafi move into the very last rebel-held city tonight? Another thing I wonder about - since the resolution just passed, it's said it'll take "days" to impose a no-fly-zone - what happens if, when a no-fly-zone is put up, there's no one left to defend?

    I think that after two plus years of the Obama administration bullshit, the world has figured out we are NOT going to be getting involved in ANYTHING we're not already stuck in. Frankly, Im amazed 1) its taken them this long, and 2) more nations arent taking actions they always feared American reprisals because of - although I expect that to happen in short order. Personally I think Isreal has got to be pissing its pants right about now, as well as Iran licking their chops.

    The issues with the Saudis is an excellent example xmacro. The first thing Obama did with them after taking office was BOW before their king instead of acting as an equal. Why in the world would Saudi possibly worry about what we think? If we move against them, we get no more oil and are crippled within 6 months. They know it. We know it. And they are finally tired of playing the game with us.

    As is the rest of the world. America now is largely a toothless tiger, and everyone knows it. Not because we lack the teeth (although that is true to a point too - our military is stretched beyond the breaking point as it is), but because we lack the resolve to bite.

    Just a point here Sniper. You do know that Canada is the largest supplier of oil to the US now, right? The US is no longer as dependeant on Saudi oil as they once were.
  • stephen_hannibalstephen_hannibal Posts: 4,317
    Just to shake it up a bit. http://huff.to/hXe6Ln

  • phobicsquirrelphobicsquirrel Posts: 7,349
    xmacro:
    Vulchor:
    Im not sure about this, but I have heard the same from Hannity last night and just dont get it. The right used to be the people of ---STAY OUT of foreigh affairs. Now, Obama is the coward. All he has done in office is beefed up on the people we had in Afganistan and stayed the course in other areas in basically the same way Bush had been handling the 8 years prior to his innaguration (sp?)

    I for one say let the Libyan's handle their own. We get invovled in too much overseas, and now we want to take sides again. Isnt our side taking what put leaders like Mubarek and Hussein in power many years ago? I think our track record with dictators shows that perhaps staying the hell out for once is the most courageous thing a leader for the U.S. can do.
    It was the Left that thought the surge was a mistake before Bush ever went forward with it, and it was the Left that said we should pull out of Afghanistan, repercussions be damned. The Right was the one urging Bush to see the surge through to success. I never saw the Right burning effigies of Bush and calling him a war monger.

    To be fair, a lot of the people who supported the war suddenly have a change of heart when they realized things weren't going their way and that Baghdad wouldn't be throwing roses at our feet; these same people suddenly found out that Afghanistan wasn't a cake walk, so they changed again and turned against that war as well - so hypocrisy and cowardice is found on both sides of the aisles

    But at any rate, the situation in Libya shouldn't be decided among party lines - have you watched the news recently? Ghaddafi is rolling through prior rebel-held towns, and there are reports of his forces entering hospitals and just killing everyone - men, women, and children, because they lived in a rebel-controlled city. His forces are bombing everything they can, he's rolling in tanks to level anything that stands against him, and he's killing everyone his forces meet. How is it courageous to stand by and watch people be slaughtered?

    Wasn't it too long ago that people in the US were holding protests about Rwanda and Darfur, holding signs saying "Never again"? What happened to that? It's easy to talk a big game after a genocide is over, but when one is about to begin or going on, suddenly those same people are nowhere to be seen.

    But even now, there's bipartisan support for a no-fly-zone, and maybe more - hell, even John Kerry has come out alongside John McCain in support of helping Libya - how is it courageous to just stand by and watch people be slaughtered? Obama says "Ghaddafi must go", but then never lifts a finger to help that happen - how is that leadership?
    Actually the surge didn't really work. Sure it did to an extent but we have left that country worse than it was when we got there. We should have never went there to begin with. As with Afgan, I mean why did we not get a coalition? I'm sure one could have been made if the evidence was strong enough. I think this libya coalition is a good thing, too bad other countries get left out. It's a game that's all it is. War usually isn't the answer only an answer to a select group, everyone else ends up being screwed.
  • xmacroxmacro Posts: 3,402
    phobicsquirrel:
    Actually the surge didn't really work. Sure it did to an extent but we have left that country worse than it was when we got there. We should have never went there to begin with. As with Afgan, I mean why did we not get a coalition? I'm sure one could have been made if the evidence was strong enough. I think this libya coalition is a good thing, too bad other countries get left out. It's a game that's all it is. War usually isn't the answer only an answer to a select group, everyone else ends up being screwed.
    Going by suicide bombings and number of servicemen killed per month, as well as areas secured/held, the surge has been a phenominal success, which is why we're drawing down our troops there. Honestly - is it really that hard to give Bush his due?

    Afghanistan is still in progress, and as most generals will tell you, it can go either way at this point. On the one hand Obama went with a small surge, but less than what Petraeus recommended, so the juries still out on that one.

    As for Libya - yeah, a coalition is fine, but this one is probably too little, too late. If we had instituted a no-fly-zone 2 weeks ago, when the rebels were surrounding Tripoli, Ghaddafi would probably be dead - instead we waited for the "international community" (read: the french, brits, arabs, etc), and now the rebels are holed up inside Benghazi, having lost almost every town they previously took and horribly weakend from how they were 2 weeks ago. That's the price of fiddling and waiting for consensus.

  • xmacroxmacro Posts: 3,402
    Vulchor:
    Been gone a few days...nice little mini vacation with the wife...anyway, heres a response or 2....first to Macro

    I agree Libya shouldnt be among party lines...neither should the other 2 you mentioned. However, you did post this article and opinion on Obama and his decision, so if not party lines, you at least made it president vs the world lines it seems. If you dont want party lines, then I wont even respond to the part about the left vs the right (although I do think there were some generalizations in your statements that were false)

    This cannot be compared to Rawanda/Darfur. In size, scale, and reliable information this is not even close. Not saying what Gadaffi is doing is right, or that I would like it to stop. Just saying Im tired of it being our "responsibility". We are in debt, we spend to much, and the #1 area we do is in military. We dont need more undertakings at this time, and CERTAINLY not in what appears to be somewhere between a slaughter (at worst) to an uprising or civil war (at best).
    The reason I mentioned Obama was because Libya is his problem - nothing to really do with politics. The Constitution gives Congress the power to declare war, but it's the President's sole domain to wage war. In foreign affairs, Congress doesn't have much of any say - it's almost entirely the domain of the President.

    As to Rwanda/Darfur, I agree - it's not like that - yet. If Ghaddafi crushes the rebels, the mad colonel is going to go on a purge of the entire country - he's going to seek out every man, woman, and child who isn't a loyalist and kill them. There's already reports of his mercenaries entering hospitals and killing everyone in a hospital bed, men/women/children all.

    Lastly, I agree with you that we spend too much and are overstretched - but the problem is, who else is going to do anything? Is it morally right to let people be killed by a dictator because our Congress refuses to do anything about it's addiction to spending? Do we let dictators run free because Repubs/Dems are too cowardly to cut into entitlements? I'm just wondering where the line is - how much killing can we as a nation tolerate?
  • VulchorVulchor FloridaPosts: 4,826 ✭✭✭
    Very good questions Macro, and I dont have a blanket answer (though I wish I did, as it would make life much easier). I think its a situation by situation decision, and with the info we have (reliable that is) and the numbers of people in the rebellion vs the state we are talking about----I just dont see (and I am not claiming to be the most well versed here) enough here for us to be involved. And to go even further as Gypsy stated, I dont see our interest here. I know there is the human factor, I understand----but these are tough questions and any decision will be criticised by some.
  • VulchorVulchor FloridaPosts: 4,826 ✭✭✭
    And Puro---I am aware of that, and its no problem. I was just referring to the kind of "image is everything" world we live in now---and those photos of Bush (father) and Rumsfeld shaking hands with him in the 80's just shows, in some way, its about our interest in most cases------dictator but helpful to the U.S. is USUALLY accepted by our govt.
  • Amos_UmwhatAmos_Umwhat West TNPosts: 5,586 ✭✭✭✭✭
    PuroFreak:
    Vulchor:
    Im not sure about this, but I have heard the same from Hannity last night and just dont get it. The right used to be the people of ---STAY OUT of foreigh affairs. Now, Obama is the coward. All he has done in office is beefed up on the people we had in Afganistan and stayed the course in other areas in basically the same way Bush had been handling the 8 years prior to his innaguration (sp?)

    I for one say let the Libyan's handle their own. We get invovled in too much overseas, and now we want to take sides again. Isnt our side taking what put leaders like Mubarek and Hussein in power many years ago? I think our track record with dictators shows that perhaps staying the hell out for once is the most courageous thing a leader for the U.S. can do.
    Just one point, not to argue with you, but the U.S. didn't put Saddam in power. He took control through his affiliations with the Baath Party and his former "gang" associates from his days as a thug and assassin.
    There's truth in both statements. Puro is right as to the path to power, which was then cemented by U.S. and British approval. Saddam was just the strong-man we needed to scare the crap out of the Iranians, and keep a lid on the multi-faceted Iraqis, all while keeping the oil flowing.
    WARNING:  The above post may contain thoughts or ideas known to the State of Caliphornia to cause seething rage, confusion, distemper, nausea, perspiration, sphincter release, or cranial implosion to persons who implicitly trust only one news source, or find themselves at either the left or right political extreme.  Proceed at your own risk.  

    "There is nothing so in need of reforming as someone else's bad habits."   Mark Twain
  • DSWarmackDSWarmack Posts: 1,426
    So it’s not about the US? How many of you think that the French would have bombed Libya if we weren't willing to stand behind them. Who says countries can’t change their posture in the world? Bombing is a far different posture than surrender!
  • Amos_UmwhatAmos_Umwhat West TNPosts: 5,586 ✭✭✭✭✭
    xmacro:
    I agree with you that we spend too much and are overstretched - but the problem is, who else is going to do anything? Is it morally right to let people be killed by a dictator because our Congress refuses to do anything about it's addiction to spending? Do we let dictators run free because Repubs/Dems are too cowardly to cut into entitlements? I'm just wondering where the line is - how much killing can we as a nation tolerate?
    This really is the point, isn't it. Ideally, I'd like to see an Arab country step in and do what needs to be done, but there is nothing realistic about that idea. As DSWarmack points out, the French aren't likely candidates either, at least not without us behind them. In the aftermath, the question becomes; "Who will guard the guardians?", who will help us?
    WARNING:  The above post may contain thoughts or ideas known to the State of Caliphornia to cause seething rage, confusion, distemper, nausea, perspiration, sphincter release, or cranial implosion to persons who implicitly trust only one news source, or find themselves at either the left or right political extreme.  Proceed at your own risk.  

    "There is nothing so in need of reforming as someone else's bad habits."   Mark Twain
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