March 21, 2011

America's New Strategic Allies, Part 2

According to Google Maps, it's 1,013 kilometers from Benghazi to Tripoli. Bypassing Kaddafi's hometown of Surt by swinging through the desert adds another 100 klicks. Judging from the spectacular see-saw nature of the Desert War of 1940-1943 and the rebels' new friends' air supremacy, things could change rapidly.

On the other hand ...

From the NYT today:
Rebel fighters trying to retake the eastern town of Ajdabiya said they were driven back on Monday by rocket and tank fire from government loyalists still controlling entrances to the city. Dozens of fighters retreated to a checkpoint around 12 miles north of Ajdabiya, and rebels said at least eight others had been killed during the day’s fighting, including four who had been standing in a bloodied pickup truck that the fighters showed to reporters.

There were conflicting reports about whether the allies had attacked loyalist forces in Ajdabiya. While planes had been heard overhead, the rebel fighters said there appeared to have been no attack on the pro-Qaddafi forces holding the entrance to Ajdabiya on the coastal highway leading north to Benghazi. Ajdabiya is a strategically important town that has been much fought over, straddling an important highway junction and acting as a chokepoint for forces trying to advance in either direction.

The retreat from Ajdabiya appeared to have thrown the rebels into deep disarray, with one commander at the checkpoint trying to marshal the opposition forces, using a barely functioning megaphone, but few of the fighters heeding his exhortations. 

"Dozens of fighters retreated"? "Dozens" is not a good word in war when discussing your ally. For example, during WWII, there were downsides to having the Soviet Union as America's ally, but at least the word "dozens" didn't come up much. At this point, the rebel army sounds like they'd have trouble with the forces of The Humongous and Wez in Road Warrior.

I realize that this war comes at a busy time of the year for Obama -- March Madness! -- but there are certain basic questions that the President needs to answer, such as "Are we in it to win it?" "What does 'win it' mean?" and "Who's 'we,' anyway?"

79 comments:

Whiskey said...

I certainly would support making a useful example of a guy like Khadaffi, who has no real friends, on the theory espoused by Putin and others (Machiavelli, Sun Tzu, Clausewitz, and Musashi) that to deter adventurism in enemies it is useful to provide reminders of one's military capacities.

This is a disaster. Obama is basically launching a war and then running away from it. While putting the UN in charge of the US military, accepting the UN as a limit and controller of US military action. The US cannot use its military unless the UN (not Congress or the President) allows it, and the UN can order the US to use its military which neither the President nor Congress can decline.

This is the biggest disaster I can think of. Getting rid of Khadaffi would be a good step in making the Iranians think twice about adventures in the Gulf, but this won't even do that. Its a total disaster.

Obama cannot even manage something this simple. He's an idiot.

Anonymous said...

Gaddafi made a huge error in abandoning his nuclear program.

Let this be a warning to all third world strongmen. Go nuclear and do it soon.

Anonymous said...

Didn't Castro conquer Cuba with like 20 guys?

Anonymous said...

I don't think this is about 'allies'. Rather, it's about common interests. Consider that US and Afghan Mujahadeen had nothing in common but hatred of the USSR. US and Libyan rebels may have little in common except for loathing for Gaddafi. Libyan rebels may be pro-democratic; some may be tribalists seeking secession from Gaddafi's Libya.

If it's an 'alliance', it's one of common purpose--anti-Gaddafi--than common interests or values.

Western powers jumped on current developments as an excellent opportunity to either weaken or get rid of Gaddafi. How things will play out eventually, no one knows. As long as US doesn't get embroiled in any kind of ground-level occupation of the country, it should be much of a problem to this country.

Great changes produce some degree of violence, regrettable though it may be. The independence of India from British rule was epochal but it also led to massive slaughter between Hindus and Muslims, the poisonous legacy of which affects both nations to this day. And remember that during the time of the War of Independence, only 1/3 joined the anti-British cause while 1/3 were loyalist, and 1/3 were neutral. After the war, many of the loyalists fled to Canada due to persecution or fear of persecution from the victorious rebels.

If Libyan rebels had been able to get rid of Gaddafi weeks ago, Libya may be where Egypt is today: preparing for nation-wide elections. But things got complicated cuz Gaddafi played Tony Montana. (I give him credit for having balls.)
Since then, the rebellion has gotten fractured. Also, people who may have initially supported the rebellion might have been put off by the ensuing mob violence. Also, NO FLY ZONE is both bad and good for Gaddafi. It's bad cuz his forces are getting pounded and rebels have been given a lifeline. It's good cuz Gaddafi can now frame the war as one between Libyan patriots and infidel crusaders(dominatd by Zionists).

Another key difference between Libya and Egypt is that the protesters took control of Cairo from the beginning. Since Cairo is most of Egypt, it was from the beginning a contest between the people and Mubarack. In Libya, the rebels took over outlying cities while Gaddafi maintained control of Tripoli. Also, sufficient number of Gaddafi supporters materialized in Tripoli and nearby cities, thereby complicating the conflict as not so much between the dictator vs the people but loyalists vs rebels. It has the making of a genuine civil war.
And people in Tripoli may support Gaddafi cuz they fear secession in farflung areas which actually has most of the oil. Also, the 'tribes' of Tripoli may not have much in common with 'tribes' in outlying areas.

Anonymous said...

"Didn't Castro conquer Cuba with like 20 guys?"

With the help of NY Times, it grew to 20,000 guys.

Anonymous said...

"I realize that this war comes at a busy time of the year for Obama -- March Madness! -- but there are certain basic questions that the President needs to answer, such as "Are we in it to win it?" "What does 'win it' mean?" and "Who's 'we,' anyway?""

First, Obama needs to answer the more fundamental questions,"Who am I? What am I doing here?"

Anonymous said...

The main problem with overseas military adventures by the US is it takes our attention from problems at home. During the Bush era, conservatives dropped the ball on domestic policies cuz we were so focused on what was happening in Iraq.
There is an invasion taking place in the US from Mexico. There are high rates of black-on-white violence. The global elites dominated by liberal Jews are dispossessing white folks. These are the issues we should concentrate on.
I can understand sympathizing with the Arab masses, but remember that US is ruled by an elite that disdains and despises white masses, e.g. the Tea Party.

Obama knows that the American Right is a sucker for militarism. So, as he calls for strikes on Libya, he silences opposition from the Right which goes, 'uh duhhhh, support the troops!'
The Left may oppose recent actions but they learned from the 60s. Its opposition to Johnson led to rise of Nixon. Also, Obama is a historic black guy president, so it's just wrong to organize protests against His Highness. And since the attacks are ostensibly to save 'civilians', many liberals may support NATO actions as they did during the Kosovo War.

My guess is Obama will call for strikes just enough to distract the attention of rightwing dummies--for whom no US military venture is wrong--but then step away and not commit ground troops to Libya. Remember Reagan removed ground troops from Lebanon.
Obama will jab but he will not wrestle. He will play politics.

It's still funny that US did nothing for Sudan, though far worse atrocities took place.

Anonymous said...

But then... Sudanese are black, so I guess it would have been less palatable for whites to attack blacks than to attack Arabs.

Anonymous said...

Maybe we should call him Kadaffy Duck.

Hail said...

Didn't Castro conquer Cuba with like 20 guys?

Castro had several dozen on the Granma (a crude pleasure-craft setting off from Mexico, filled with revolutionaries), but upon landing some were lost in a massacre by the army. Che Gueavara himself narrowly escaped that massacre.

The Batista regime was so corrupt and hated that all Castro had to do was keep an army in the field, and his ranks swelled.

But consider:
Castro's original group had almost no Blacks on it. Cuba is ~25% black or mulatto. Therefore, today Castro would be accused of Racism, and B.H. "Nobel-Peace-Prize" Obama would start raining bombs down on Cuba to eliminate Racists...and "protect civilians".

Hail said...

Anonymous wrote:
during the time of the War of Independence, only 1/3 joined the anti-British cause while 1/3 were loyalist, and 1/3 were neutral

Benjamin Franklin is the source of this often-repeated idea, and he did say it, but regarding the French Revolution, not the American Revolution.

1/3rd of Americans, Franklin claimed, were with Jefferson in supporting the French Revolution, 2/3rds were either opposed it or didn't care...which shows George Washington had overwhelming support for his non-interventionism.

B.H. "Peace-Prize" Obama is no George Washington.

Roland said...

Very interesting that you bring up the desert war of 1940-43. I have been thinking about this since it started. To my naive eyes it seems crazy to get involved in this conflict. Do we need another Mideast conflict? I do think that Obama has been astute in enlisting European help, though.

Anonymous said...

From what I can see, nobody is actually in charge of this war

The UN isn’t, though they did authorize it but they did not authorize anyone to be in charge
NATO isn’t, they are divided and need all 28 members to agree to join in as an organization
The Arab League isn’t, they can’t decide from hour to hour if they even support it
The EU isn’t, their shiny new President and Foreign Minister seem to be missing.
The US isn’t, its hard to tell but US policy appears to be fire a bunch of missiles and drop a few bombs and then let someone else figure out what to do next.

Even the countries involved can’t agree on a name for the operation
The US calls it Operation Odyssey Dawn
The British call it Operation Ellamy
Canada calls it Operation Mobile
The French call it Operation Harmattan.

And of course the rebels in Libya seem to have no organization at all.

DJF

Anonymous said...

Lord Humongous.

beowulf said...

"there were downsides to having the Soviet Union as America's ally, but at least the word "dozens" didn't come up much."

Well Steve, that's not precisely true: :o)
German intelligence had already submitted reports to Hitler about dozens of Soviet tank divisions which were grouping on the borders of Germany and Romania...
Stalin used this extremely important information to withdraw dozens of Soviet divisions from the Far Eastern frontiers and to throw them into the fighting near Moscow, thereby changing the strategic situation in his favour.

http://www.jrbooksonline.com/HTML-docs/suvorov_icebreaker_ch29-33.htm

Polichinello said...

The Ayatollah of Rock and Rollah would definitely take on some meaning there.

josh said...

20 guys and the NYtimes, Anon.

Bob said...

On the other hand, the non-immigrant population of Libya is about 4.5 million, the same as Alabama. Huge armies should not be expected.

Kylie said...

"I realize that this war comes at a busy time of the year for Obama -- March Madness! -- but there are certain basic questions that the President needs to answer..."

I thought that's what he had Bill Clinton for.

Dave said...

"I certainly would support making a useful example of a guy like Khadaffi..."

Reagan did that in the 80's. Then Khadaffi abandoned his WMD program and stopped supporting terrorism after Bush invaded Iraq. The only reason we're bombing him now, as far as I can tell, is that some Libyans have risen up against him (which raises the question of why we're not bombing Bahrain, for example).

jody said...

this could turn into a clusterfuck. not that it will for sure, but it could. it is evident that the US forces don't have a clear mission in mind here.

the UK and france are just kind of firing at targets randomly. you don't shoot at tanks and buildings in a no fly zone.

Anonymous said...

I certainly would support making a useful example of a guy like Khadaffi, who has no real friends, on the theory espoused by Putin and others (Machiavelli, Sun Tzu, Clausewitz, and Musashi) that to deter adventurism in enemies it is useful to provide reminders of one's military capacities.


What "adventurism" has Khadaffi engaged in? In the last dozen years?

If the answer is "none" then he fails to provide the example you speak of.


Getting rid of Khadaffi would be a good step in making the Iranians think twice about adventures in the Gulf


Getting rid of Khadaffi and replacing him with the Muslim Brotherhood, which seems like the likely outcome of our meddling, is exactly what the Iranians would like to see happen.

Anonymous said...

Consider that US and Afghan Mujahadeen had nothing in common but hatred of the USSR.

Countries, especially superpowers, are supposed to operate on slightly more grown-up grounds than emotion and "hate". If getting rid of Khadaffi and replacing him with Libyan Mujahadeen is in our best interest, we should do it. Is it in our best interest? None of the people operating on "hate" can be bothered to even consider the question.


How things will play out eventually, no one knows.

That's a good argument for doing nothing.

If Libyan rebels had been able to get rid of Gaddafi weeks ago, Libya may be where Egypt is today ..

.. about to be taken over by the Muslim Brotherhood. Remind me again why that is a outcome we should be striving for, in Libya or in Egypt.

Thrasymachus said...

Qadafi was unorganized to begin with because he didn't think anybody in Libya was going to catch the fever. The early successes of his opponents are probably only due to this. I think he and those loyal to him have shaken off the shock and are now going to do what they do best, which beating people into submission. They have at least some military organization, discipline, and command and control; not much by our standards but clearly more than the "rebels".

But if our efforts prolong the conflict and weaken both Qadafi and the Islamists, it might be worth it. I suspect that is what the Europeans have in mind, along with cheap oil for themselves.

RS said...

> Didn't Castro conquer Cuba with like 20 guys?

I don't know how many. It was very few, but they escaped inland and stirred up revolution. So they were more like a cadre of leaders than a force unto themselves.

Whiskey said...

Yes this is the mother of all clusterfucks. A disaster. Showing that the US can reach out and touch someone, with bad results for the someone (they get tossed out of power) is always useful but this won't even get THAT.

It's Operation Desert Fox, 1999-2000, all over again, except with the UN now able to order the US military around to do or not do things, under the rubric of "Responsibility to Protect" (R2P).

Harry Baldwin said...

Whiskey said...I certainly would support making a useful example of a guy like Khadaffi . . .

I thought Saddam was the useful example, after which Quadaffi (I like to spell his name a new way every time) abandoned his WMD program and was generally regarded as cooperative.

Betcha we end up with another mess on our hands.

Whiskey said...

Libya is just a disaster, better not to have gone in than doing so piecemeal and being willing (supposedly according to some in the Obama Admin) to leave Khadaffi in power.

The real reason we are bombing Libya is: 1. Get the oil back in production, 2. Sarkozy doesn't want France flooded with Libyans, and Obama is likely afraid of the comparisons to the Mexodus in the US. [He could clearly care less about France and Sarkozy.] Basically "re-elect Obama" Operation, along with the fact that he's weak and whoever talks to him last gets him to do something.

Whiskey said...

And even by those standards, Libya is a failure. Getting oil production back on line, requires a quick victory which means ground troops to push out Khadaffi, and continued occupation as the rebels couldn't organize a cigarette run. It is well within the US capacity, even with Iraq (which has far less soldiers) and Afghanistan. In fact, this was the Rumsfeld argument, commit rapid deployment troops to third world fly-infested zones that have critical resources and/or resources.

Obama can't even do that, and the criticism of Farrakhan must sting. Expect Obama to "prove his Blackness" by being more radical at home. I.E. explicitly anti-White. This will also keep Kucinich from primary-ing him.

Whiskey said...

The real lesson of Khadaffi: hold gold. His foreign bank accounts are seized, but he has a pile of gold according to the FT, able to pay mercenaries for years.

Anonymous said...

What "adventurism" has Khadaffi engaged in? In the last dozen years?

Actually after he gave up sponsoring terrorism against Western whites, he was up to his eyeballs in supporting various factions in civil wars in the Horn of Africa, including Ethiopia, what used to be Somalia, and probably even Uganda. A huge body count, by all accounts, but since these were black people being slaughtered by other non-whites, the MSM couldn't be bothered.

Chief Seattle said...

I think the allies must have the Serbia model in mind when they planned this air-based offense to protect the rebels. That wasn't a pretty war, or a very principled one, but at least it was pretty much won, the "bad guys" were rounded up, and life on the ground went back to normal.

Anonymous said...

and life on the ground went back to normal.

Except, of course, for all those Serbs who were displaced from their own homeland by alien immigrants.

Polistra said...

Just ask Cui Bono, and you'll get the answer. The purpose of this war is the same as the purpose of the Iraq war, and the same as the purpose of American "green" energy policy.

All American foreign and energy policy has one purpose: to remove all competition to Saudi oil.

So we can safely predict that the Libya war will create long-term chaos in Libya, just as the Iraq war creates long-term chaos in Iraq.

The Anti-Gnostic said...

In fact, this was the Rumsfeld argument, commit rapid deployment troops to third world fly-infested zones that have critical resources and/or resources.

Anything to keep them away from the Mexican border.

gcochran said...

Whiskey said "This is a disaster."

I suspected so already, but now we _know_ that it will work out fine.

Mr. Anon said...

It'd be nice if we could at least get some allies who don't celebrate by firing their guns up in the air.

Why was it that we didn't try to kill Khaddafi after Lockerbie? He seemed to get a pass for that. As I recall, there was some speculation at the time that Iran was responsible for bombing Pan Am 103. Libya however recently formally admitted guilt for it. We're our intelligence guys that clueless?

Anonymous said...

Whiskey, your logic skills are pretty, pretty weak.

Anonymous said...

Given everyone here's assertion that Obama is motivated by pan-Africanist anti-white animus, how do you account for the big pile of black African mercenary corpses, dead at the hands of French fighter pilots?

Nanonymous said...

Off-topic:

Xenophobia is probably hard-wired. No big surprise, really.

The Evolution of Intergroup Bias: Perceptions and Attitudes in Rhesus Macaques. Quote:

macaques, like humans, automatically evaluate ingroup members positively and outgroup members negatively ... these studies suggest that the architecture of the mind that enables the formation of these biases may be rooted in phylogenetically ancient mechanisms.

Anonymous said...

Obama can't even do that, and the criticism of Farrakhan must sting. Expect Obama to "prove his Blackness" by being more radical at home. I.E. explicitly anti-White. This will also keep Kucinich from primary-ing him.

Only Farrakhan's approval can save Obama from the devastating electoral insurgency of Dennis Kucinich!

Anonymous said...

Whiskey,

Come down you little neocon. You are making it sound like the red army has reached our shores. The world is not going to end just because we are not obliterating bunch of backwards desert dwellers.

Laban said...

"Sudanese are black, so I guess it would have been less palatable for whites to attack blacks than to attack Arabs"

No. Northern Sudanese are Muslim and mostly Arab, though there are black Muslim tribes. Southern Sudanese are black and Christian or animist.

There is oil in Sudan. The US invoked sanctions against companies operating there, as oil profits fuelled the repression of the South.

"The pressure of sanctions has kept American firms out of Sudan, although Canadian company Talisman Energy is still operating in the Sudan. Talisman Energy has also purchased Araxis' share in GNPOC. Current players in Sudan include GNPOC, Lundin Oil (IPC Sudan Ltd), Petronas, Sudapet, Gulf Petroleum Corporation (GPC), China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC), National Iranian Gas Company, OMV, Royal Dutch / Shell, and Talisman Energy. TotalFinaElf are reportedly looking to return to their concession in the Bor Basin and are listed as being the most likely partners to Petronas in their permit for Block 5B."

Anonymous said...

Sarkozy doesn't want France flooded with Libyans

And France doesnt have to be flooded with Libyans whatever happens in Libya. He just has to not let them in, its very simple.

Anonymous said...

Hail - Castro's original group had almost no Blacks on it. Cuba is ~25% black or mulatto. Therefore, today Castro would be accused of Racism, and B.H. "Nobel-Peace-Prize" Obama would start raining bombs down on Cuba to eliminate Racists...and "protect civilians".

A good time to dredge up this quote by the people's hero:

“We’re going to do for blacks exactly what blacks did for the revolution. By which I mean: nothing.” - Che Guevera

Anonymous said...

"Dozens of fighters retreated"? "Dozens" is not a good word in war when discussing your ally. For example, during WWII, there were downsides to having the Soviet Union as America's ally, but at least the word "dozens" didn't come up much. At this point, the rebel army sounds like they'd have trouble with the forces of The Humongous and Wez in Road Warrior.

Steve, that's your funniest bit maybe ever..... So true, where's Bruce Dern and his air superiority?

But Obama was in the 99th percentile in the brackets!!!! That's got to get him a 2nd term. He also filled out a women's bracket being the first person to do so in the history of civilization.

Dan in DC

beowulf said...

Whiskey, your comparative advantage lies with defending the beta male against all enemies foreign and domestic.

elvisd said...

How powerful are the tribes in Libya? Is tribal society still that strong there? It seems to vary in the Arab world, and what constitutes a "tribe" varies as well. Lebanon and Yemen, for example would seems to be vastly different conceptions of ethnicity and tribal identity. Is there a Berber/Arab split that's particularly strong? I also wonder if southern border issues will come to play in the next few months.

Big bill said...

The only obvious outcome is increased liberal guilt.

If Gadafi wins, the immigration lobby will cry out that America "cannot abandon it's allies in Libya who sacrificedso much for the cause of peace and freedom".

Jewish, Catholic, and Lutheran immigration agencies will push for Libyan resettlement money and they will conspire with local lefty social workers to dump them on America.

There will be no Libyans settled in Israel, the Vatican, or Germany.

J said...

Lord Humongous and Wez (if unchained) could take over Libya in 48 hours. Imagine those vast deserts, excellent roads, super-cheap gas + female bodyguards, Ucrainian blonde nurses, billions in metallic gold = Lord, take me with you!

corvinus said...

Given everyone here's assertion that Obama is motivated by pan-Africanist anti-white animus, how do you account for the big pile of black African mercenary corpses, dead at the hands of French fighter pilots?

Obama likes Gaddafi. It's obvious... they have the same anti-colonialist anti-white European pro-African Marxist-lite philosophy; and Obama, until Hitlary and the French (!) cajoled him into going along, held off on condemning Gaddafi directly, praising him with faint damns. Obama is not really a willing participant in this; he just succumbed to peer pressure.

Kylie said...

"Given everyone here's assertion that Obama is motivated by pan-Africanist anti-white animus, how do you account for the big pile of black African mercenary corpses, dead at the hands of French fighter pilots?"

Everyone? Hardly. I have always claimed that Obama is first and foremost a narcissist, motivated primarily by concern for his own image and his sense of self-esteem. Identifying as black and redistributing wealth from whites to blacks is, for him, merely a vehicle--the medium, not the message.

Besides, I don't think most blacks are political in a "pan-Africanist" sort of way, at least, not in the US. Their political concerns seem less abstract and more immediate and concrete; that is, less "I'm passionately committed to the well-being and freedom of my black brothers everywhere" and more "I got to get me some of that" Even if Obama were a pan-Africanist, he'd know that it wouldn't get him much political capital at home to make an issue of it. And I have no doubt that right now is chief concern is not the suffering of his black brethren in a foreign land but the reelection of Barack Obama right here in the USA.

David Davenport said...

the UK and france are just kind of firing at targets randomly. you don't shoot at tanks and buildings in a no fly zone.

Are you the same "Jody" who has bragged about belonging to Mensa?

Anonymous said...

"This is a disaster. Obama is basically launching a war and then running away from it."

Welcome to bi-polar America.

Hail said...

Anonymous wrote:
A good time to dredge up this quote by the people's hero: “We’re going to do for blacks exactly what blacks did for the revolution. By which I mean: nothing.” - Che Guevera

Fidel Castro himself wrote the following broadside against B.H.Obama published today in Cuban media:

________________________________
[Begin quote from Fidel Castro]
While the nuclear reactors continue to expel radioactivity in Japan, and monstruous-looking planes and nuclear-submarines launch remote-controlled missiles at Libya, a North-African country of the Third World with not but six million people, Barack Obama was telling meaningless stories to Chileans similar to those I heard when I was four years old.[...]

Some of the audience at the "Cultural Center" in Santiago, Chile were stunned.

When the President looked nervously at the audience after mentioning Evil Cuba, he waited for an explosion of applause. Instead, there was a glacial silence. Behind him -- "Oh, what cruel fate!" -- among the other Latin-American flags, stood the flag of Cuba. [...]

When Obama was questioned about the coup against the heroic former president Salvador Allende of Chile -- orchestrated by the USA, just as have been so many others -- and about the mysterious death of former Chilean president Eduard Frei Montalva, murdered by agents of a group created by the US Government, Obama lost his composure and began to stammer.

It was without a doubt true, as the commentators on Chilean TV said at the end of Obama's appearance, that Obama has nothing to offer this hemisphere. [...]

I, for my part, do not want to give the impression that I feel hatred...for the people of the USA, as I recognize the important contributions many of them have given to culture and science. [...]

As for Obama, I wish him a pleasant trip but a bit more common-sense.

Reflections of Fidel Castro, 22nd March 2011, Cuban State Media
________________________________

Hail said...

Evlisd wrote:
How powerful are the tribes in Libya?

Blogger HBD-Chick had a series of posts up in which she claims that both Gaddafi and the rebels are primarily motivated by tribalism.

Anonymous said...

Keith Moon.
Dubbed 'Moon the Loon' and the 'wildman of rock', Keith Moon of the Who was widely acknowledged as the greatest rock drummer of all time before his untimel death at 30 through a drug overdose.
Interviewed on tV, Roger Daltrey , the Who leadsinger was almost cold and indifferent when talking of the death of bassist John Entwhistle, but his eyes streamed with tears when reminded of Keith Moon.
You see, Keith Moon made a name for himself by performing the most lunatic, outrageous 'practical jokes' (often involving high explosives)that he attracted a following of other over-grown schoolboys who wanted the reflected glory rubbed off on them.Moon was just like the kid who let off stink bombs in assembly, mad, bad and dangerous to know ,but exhillarating and exciting in a vicarious way.
Gaddafi was the Keith Moon of international politics - an overgrown schoolboy with an entire state as his toybox, and a mischievious lunatic side to his character that was cathartic frsh air in a world of pompous, stuffy functionaries.
He was the inner child let loose and running free, thumbing his nose at 'adult' repressions, censors and neuroses - and not a bad thing for it, in fact.A throwback to the ancient age of innocemce, of primeval man running across the range and actually acting like a freeborn, free breathing man and not a rpressed inhibited eunuch.The archetype resonates instictively to those forced by repression and 'social conditioning' to only live this life vicariously through the anti-hero.
Say what you like about Gaddafi, but the world will be a damn sight duller place with his passing.

ERM said...

I suspect that is what the Europeans have in mind, along with cheap oil for themselves.

I have no idea what they have in mind. I was in Rome the day the attacks started. The top news there the three days previous had been a massive influx of "refugees" into Lampedusa, which had everyone filling their shorts. Then Berlusconi went on TV and gave a confused, rambling, discrediting statement about why Italy wasn't taking part, though one of the U.S. air bases in Sicily is one of the main staging points for sorties. The basic deal seems to be that Khadaffi and the Italian gov't are into each other deep, at least partially on the basis that the Colonel would keep Italy from being overrun by black Africans transiting his territory. Meanwhile, though, the Italian line about the refugee crisis all along has been that it's France and Germany's problem, as most of the refugees will presumably filter north (judging from what I saw around Termini Station, not a completely sound assumption I think). Now the French are taking the lead at whacking Khaddafi and the Italians have no idea what the hell to do. Berlusconi I think is more worried about his hooker troubles, and on TV looked more or less caught with his pants down vis a vis the war, which is at least a new thing for him to be caught with his pants down over. There are a lot of dark rumours that the various governments involved in enforcing the "no fly zone" are mostly in it to shut up Khaddafi lest he embarrass them further with any unflattering revelations about their own dealings with him. Hence the attacks on his compound, in spite of official claims that he is not a target. Myself, I think the whole thing came together too quickly for there to be any kind of unified perspective, everybody's in it for their own muddled reasons, and pretty clearly there's no strategy for anything more than ten minutes from now, unless the goal is simply to destabilize the hell out of the place. No doubt that sounds good to elements in Washington and their Saudi paymasters but I can't imagine what's supposed to be in it for us here in Europe.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Anon.:

Why was it that we didn't try to kill Khaddafi after Lockerbie? He seemed to get a pass for that.

Two words: Cold War.

Maybe we expected Qadaffi to pull the same stunt over a Soviet city.

The Anti-Gnostic said...

Hillary Clinton, Samantha Power, Susan Rice, Janet Napolitano, Sonia Sotamayor, Elena Kagan.

Obama considers foreign policy, national security and constitutional law to be women's work.

RS said...

> Given everyone here's assertion that Obama is motivated by pan-Africanist anti-white animus, how do you account for the big pile of black African mercenary corpses, dead at the hands of French fighter pilots?

Basically he (like the rest of the left) is on the side of everyone but Whites. Some of them are against NE Asians, too, but might still use them to attack Whites, who are target #1. So, N Africans are just as 'good' as Black Africans. He isn't racist in that sense - he is racist against the the two most successful or powerful races, but the other races are equal.

The focus on NE Asia is not very strong at this point. There is a terrible holdup at the very first step, namely filling those lands with hostile foreigners, which is terribly despiriting. The main focus is on bringing down the Chinese government with a barrage of critique, since that would at least lay China open to attack, like Japan already is and has been. But despite getting onshore in Japan, the attack there has failed so far. Those f***ing Japs have so far believed their lying eyes, rather than falling into the gossamer Nicholas Kristoff matrix in which their government is "third-rate". Renegade Jap dirtbags have so far had the strength of character to evaluate their own land vs the lands they visit on vacation - the audacity of some people. Kristoff got onshore without a hitch, but he had a really frustrating battle - uh, I mean, visit.

And the new cold, or at least cool war against China will be a big flop. China is far more economically productive than the Warsaw Pact, both per capita and in total, and its economic motor is Han, rather than consisting largely of captive nations (Poland, Baltics, E Germany, Czechoslovakia, Hungary) that long to migrate to another metropole. China's also not full of, nor does she or will she need, 'worldwide revolutionary' nonsense that accomplishes little while making it easy for others to oppose and attack her.

Anonymous said...

"No. Northern Sudanese are Muslim and mostly Arab, though there are black Muslim tribes. Southern Sudanese are black and Christian or animist."

Sudanese 'Arabs' are mostly black. And the Janjewid is 'Arab' in culture only. They are mostly black.

Anonymous said...

The great irony of all this: Sarkozy is a French Jew who never had good relations with French Muslims. Now, he attacks a Muslim country in the name of saving Muslim civilians. Muslims in France must be confused. It's bad that a Jew is attacking a Muslim country, but many Libyan Muslims are fighting for freedom against Gaddaffy.

If NATO bombed Libya in the absence of recent mass uprisings, I'll best most European Muslims would be condemning the actions--as they did against the American invasion of Iraq. But with the recent mass uprisings, the West has an window of opportunity to attack Muslim governments without opposition from Muslims in Europe and elsewhere. After all, Gaddaffy is killing his people while Western nations are saving 'civilians'.
Crisis is a terrible thing to waste. West has the green light under the umbrella of Arab-demand-for-democracy to intervene in the Middle East and fix things to their liking--and settle old scores--in a big way.

And I'll bet US is 'backing down' in rhetoric only. It will continue to play a major role in real terms. Never trust political terminology. 'No Fly Zone' is anything but. It's the Libyan War--like Algerian War, Korean War, Vietnam War.

Looking at this, if Bush had been more accommodating and nicer, he might have gotten France on board as well. French still have the imperial pride thing and don't wanna play no second fiddle to Anglo/American power. Give them equal status, and they'll go and kick butt too. What a vain bunch of pricks.

Anonymous said...

"Gaddafi was the Keith Moon of international politics - an overgrown schoolboy with an entire state as his toybox, and a mischievious lunatic side to his character that was cathartic frsh air in a world of pompous, stuffy functionaries."

I dunno. Gaddaffy lasted a hell of a lot longer than Moon. In this regard,he must be more like Charlie Watts or Mick Jagger--though he dressed more like Michael Jackson(who also died rather young).
But in terms of taste, I think Gaddaffy is more like Tony Bennett or Tom Jones.

Reginald Biggins said...

Speaking of Obama impoverishing America, I heard on the radio this morning that Obama is giving monetary assistance (from the taxpayer, natch) to Brazil to assist Brazilian oil companies to deep water drill in the US Gulf of Mexico which he had forbidden US companies to do (which is especially bad given all the unemployment now in that region of the US). Makes you wonder if this guy really has internalized the 'US evil empire' meme of the left and is doing his best to throw a monkeywrench in the system here.

Anonymous said...

Hillary Clinton, Samantha Power, Susan Rice.

The three witches to Obamacbeth?

Anonymous said...

But in terms of taste, I think Gaddaffy is more like Tony Bennett or Tom Jones.

An Arabic Tom Jones? The mind boggles. The whole country is his dinner table and wine cellar (Islamic prohibitions of alcohol be damned); the entire female population, his harem.

Anonymous said...

From the information in the article linked below, what would you say are the odds that this is a hoax and not a real hate crime? It's not a noose, and it's not on a college campus.

http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/2011-03-22-cross-burning_N.htm

none of the above said...

I would be shocked if there were some coherent, well-thought-out plan behind the scenes here. Nobody among the experts (including real experts like local secret police) seems to have forseen the wave of protests going through the Arab world, so it's not like there's been some long effort to think through what to do in this situation. Despite the best rhetorical efforts of neocons, we don't actually have some USSR-like powerful enemy that can unite different nations and force them to work together to defeat it.

Instead, my guess is that various countries' leaders found it profitable to support the war. Presumably, Sarkozy and Obama and Cameron think this will help them politically. The folks who supply the incredibly expensive missiles and bombs, and the militaries that want to justify their expensive toys, surely must add in a lot of automatic support for this sort of thing.

It seems like there is no grand plan, not because the grand plan is too deep for you to see, or too well hidden, but because that's just not the kind of situation we're in.

In any given intervention, we're not likely to pay much of a price, because we really are massively stronger than the people we're kicking around. But each time, there's a chance for some unforseen utter f--king disaster--perhaps we manage to destabilize the whole region and get two or three decades of war, perhaps we discover that Libya stockpiled smallpox and has agents in place in the US and Europe who can effectively re-introduce it, maybe we find out that AQ Khan made at least one previously undetected sale. Or something else unforseeable. The point is, each time we do one of these things, we run low but nonzero risks that we will get some 9/11 scale kick in the nuts from it. But the political benefits and the ready money in the hands of defense contractors and the chance to play the Great Game with real lives, those are available right now with high probability, whereas the consequences are far away (more Americans coming home blind or missing limbs or otherwise permanently f--ked up to improve some worthless politician's re-election chances) or low-probability.

none of the above said...

I love the attempts to map this action into some previous narrative about Obama. This is one of the oddest things about politics, a kind of software bug of the brain when dealing with partisanship--people get a story or image in their mind about a politician, and then they almost can't accept when reality doesn't fit their image.

Obama is, of course, neither especially liberal nor a secret Muslim nor an anti-colonialist Kenyan. He's a cynical, amoral Chicago politician, the sort of guy who gets power in the US. He's doing what powerful people in the US do--protecting other powerful people from consequences (those are for the little guys), bombing random third-world countries for hard-to-fathom reasons, spreading the loot around to get re-elected and help his allies get and keep power.

On national security issues, he's basically Bush with a tan. On domestic issues, he's rather like Bush with a tan, but shifted a few points to the left. He supports the same affirmative action crap and non-enforcement of immigration law, but phrases his support in slightly different ways to keep his base happy.

There's simply no way to hammer this into a narrative that fits the partisan smears from the right, or the partisan fairy tales from the left (where he was playing 11-dimensional chess with super-progressive goals, and we were going to end up with single-payer health care and Bush and his henchmen in jail for their crimes).

In related news, Bill Clinton doesn't *really* feel your pain, George W Bush isn't *really* a regular fella from Texas, etc.

Anonymous said...

On domestic issues, [Obama is] rather like Bush with a tan, but shifted a few points to the left.

He's more like Nixon with a tan.

Svigor said...

Even the countries involved can’t agree on a name for the operation
The US calls it Operation Odyssey Dawn
The British call it Operation Ellamy
Canada calls it Operation Mobile
The French call it Operation Harmattan.


Maybe the Canadians got us into the ballpark: Operation Mobil?

Svigor said...

There will be no Libyans settled in Israel, the Vatican, or Germany.

Thanks for the idea. I will from now on join Israel and Germany at the hip in pointing out the media & political elite's immigration hypocrisy.

jody said...

David Davenport, i'm interested to hear your ideas on what a no fly zone is.

David said...

>Obama cannot even manage something this simple. He's an idiot.<

Maybe he feels reluctant to be associated with bombing black people in Africa to please the -ahem- outside agitators there.

Farrakhan gave him a surprisingly well-reasoned call-down on a radio talk show (search YouTube). If even Rev. Louie makes sense in opposition to this war, you know something is off.

Was Gaddafi threatening to shut down the oil? Was he threatening to provide it less inexpensively than he already did? I don't think so. So why did the "social media adepts" decide it was time for another groovy "revolution" in Israel's backyard? Your guess is as good as mine, or Obama's.

David said...

>Obama considers foreign policy, national security and constitutional law to be women's work.<

Just think of what the majority of American voters considers the work of the Executive Branch of government to be.

David said...

>I would be shocked if there were some coherent, well-thought-out plan behind the scenes here.<

http://www.movements.org/pages/the-summit

At least this is behind the "spontaneous" uprising that precipitated the whole thing.

What's especially interesting is to see who some of the sponsors of the first one in 2008 are (page down), and to research the interlocks they have. The rest of the site is instructive as well.

Remember, a conspiracy theory is only a statement about a conspiracy that hasn't made the official history books yet.

Dutch Boy said...

The Libyan rebels are not an army. They lack the training, weapons and leadership to merit such a title. The word "rabble" dose come to mind, however.

none of the above said...

Operation "I'm bored, let's go blow some shit up."