Libya is starting to look like another tangled web woven

Our nation’s involvement in invading Libya is really starting to look like a boneheaded move on the part of the Obama administration.  Today, after the so called coalition has supposedly given Gadhafi’s forces a good beat down with a weeks worth of bombs and missiles, his forces overwhelmingly repel rebel gains and send them scurrying for cover.  Apparently the rebels lack not only the weapons but also training in military tactics, organization and backbone.  This means even supplying them with weapons isn’t going to be especially helpful.  The same applies to coalition air support.  As far as I can see, there even isn’t a Hamid Karzai like figure that can be propped up and made to appear to be legitimate.  Unfortunately, this thing is going to require US and coalition boots on the ground and that means an expansion of the conflict beyond just “protecting civilians”.   In recognition of this, there are reports that Obama has signed off on covert assistance to the rebels.

There is simply no way this attack on Libya can be justified.  It’s a waste of lives and money over something that is not at all in the vital interest of our nation.  Moreover, it’s a certainty that any broad based poll would reveal the lack of support of the American people generally behind this entire affair (and that’s probably why we’ve not seen such a poll).  As far as I’m concerned, the vital interests of this nation’s citizens ,without exception, resides right here in the United States, so I’ve always rejected the notion that they lie in some other nation.   In the case of Libya, the remotest connection with our vital interests can’t even be established mainly because Libyan oil mainly goes to Europe (again, I reject the idea of our national interests being at stake even if the oil was coming here and I’ll have to get into why I believe that later).   Basically, what’s happening here is that the US military and our tax money is being used to defend the interests of others.   That’s just another outrage that can go on the growing pile of outrages that have been heaped onto the American people over the last few years.

I have to be consistent and this is why I must temper getting too caught up in the liberal/conservative/democrat/republican dialectic.  When it comes to foreign policy the only difference between the current administration and  the prior one is the difference between getting slapped upside the head with a rough hewned hand versus one enclosed in a velvet glove. Either one is going to hurt and I take little comfort in a joint consensus among nations versus a go it alone attitude when either decision is dead wrong.  The result from either is people dead and the rise of the sort of resentment that winds up placing a bulls eye on the back of each American citizen as retribution is sought.

I’m against incessant meddling in the affairs of other nations and the wars that arise from that.  Not in my name.

A quick update to this post today, April 1.  There’s a story in yahoo news that I’m reading now that suggests that the opposition is setting terms for a ceasefire.  This is after getting routed by Ghadhafi only two days ago, and yet they believe they can set terms for a cease fire? This is nothing more than press manipulation of this war.  Again, this is supposed to be a UN action, yet there’s the need to shape the public’s perceptions around this story.  There’s far more here than meets the eye.



  • Anonymous

    The last time we spoke was on Japan as soon as I got off the computer and I turn on the TV… Planes? Libya? US? I’m starting to believe that US is looking for the closest thing to a world war that is possible. Well maybe not just the US or even on purpose but with the rate that we keep running into these never ending wars/ “conflicts” I just have to wonder. I think by now most Americans are immune to the fear of war. I feel a lot of this is do to the fact that war doesn’t disrupt our daily lives as much as it would have in the past.We can still runaround buying cars and “stuff” while the economy still functions where as in the past it would put strain on the economy and peoples daily lives. For this reason i don’t think people care to much anymore as long as they can continue the daily routine. you know….shopping & working

    • >>For this reason i don’t think people care to much anymore as long as they can continue the daily routine. you know….shopping & working <<

      War anymore is very asceptic. We read a few headlines about it, but we really don't feel or see the cost of it. There are no caskets of dead soldiers that we see and those who are ghastly injured are hidden from view. There's no nightly news where we see the horrors of war. We don't even feel the financial burden of war. The Fed just prints up a few dollars or the treasury just issues a few more bonds and viola!, it's paid for painlessly without any tax increases. Of course, the reality is that there are costs. They're just being hidden so people don't start raising hell.

      James, I feel this is the same way in which the economy has functioned. It had deep underlying problems that were being masked until here lately. The problems with our foreign policies and the associated wars are being similarly masked.

  • [quote]Moreover, it’s a certainty that any broad based poll would reveal the lack of support of the American people generally behind this entire affair (and that’s probably why we’ve not seen such a poll).[/quote]

    Brother Greg L – peace be upon you.

    With regard to your comments above – What FORCE, do you believe, is responsible for suppressing the opinion polls that you speak of?

    * What gain do they seek by keeping it at bay?

    * How do they justify their support for US Military action at a time of economic distress?

    • CF,

      This thing is beyond conventional political ideology. That only exists for us plebs to fight about to the benefit of those who set up the game. There is however another ideology that does not sit in plain view but is there nevertheless and is executed on regardless of conventional political ideology. This is why from a foreign policy perspective, IMO, there’s little difference between conservative/liberal/republican/democrat. All ideologies move in lockstep when it comes to foreign policy. This is why an ostensibly “liberal” administration operates much like the cowboy Bush with the main difference being between the “velvet glove” versus the “rough hand”.

      Wars are rarely about politics, although that’s generally the reason given. They are frequently about economics. And since they’re financed, win, lose or draw (and preferably draw for the financiers and weapons manufacturers), those who finance them grab our tax money and the wealth of nations to do so; wealth that could be used to build productive capacity, cure illness, educate people and all manner of other things that would benefit people at large. However, those needs compete the needs of the military industrial Wall Street finance complex in that it lessens their “cut”.

      Let’s think about this for a minute and get beyond the half story told in the press. How did Gadhafi get his qualitative advantage militarily? How did his military get trained? Where did he get his munitions and planes? Why would someone who was supposed to be a terrorist get back in our good graces and now back on the outs again? The answer to the first three questions lies in who’s attacking him now. European governments along with our own provided the training and weapons that he’s now using on the rebels.

      The question that needs to be asked is why? This thing is way beyond domestic political ideology.

      • Brother Greg L:

        I do not disagree with your assessment.

        Please note that I have previously set up the notions of “The American Political Domain” and the ‘Community Cultural Consciousness & Competency Development Domain”. The political parties clearly reside in the former.
        I stated that the Black community should invest our emotional attachment in the later.

        Here is my challenge to you – While you are obviously correct about the American war-machine. It has no particular ideological or political face – I think that it is important that we make note of those forces who operate WITHIN our circle of consciousness as a community and not allow them to HIJACK our cause as a community/race for their efforts in the American Political Domain.

        Notice how many of the people who claim to be carrying the torch for Dr King who are now going along with this war effort. King prioritized his aversion to imperialist war-making as the ultimate “Social Justice” violation. Now those $500K Tomahawk missiles don’t appear to be taking money out of the mouth of babes.

        Unlike King, they figure that in criticizing the Commander In Chief about war, they might harm his chances of reelection so they choose to be silent OR be supportive.

        Notice that I am identifying ARCHITECTURE and asking that our people enforce the integrity of it LEST they compromise themselves in the process (same as Separation of Church and State).

        • >>>Notice how many of the people who claim to be carrying the torch for Dr King who are now going along with this war effort. King prioritized his aversion to imperialist war-making as the ultimate “Social Justice” violation. Now those $500K Tomahawk missiles don’t appear to be taking money out of the mouth of babes.

          Unlike King, they figure that in criticizing the Commander In Chief about war, they might harm his chances of reelection so they choose to be silent OR be supportive.<<<

          To be sure, there are those who are silent so as to remain visibly supportive of Obama, even though some might find this war disquieting. But, it can be equally argued that some of the same republicans who were dead set against Obama's domestic initiatives have also fallen largely silent here and that's actually the more interesting question. It can be expected that people within a given political party might be loyal, but why are those in the opposition also silent or supportive? I think that's also very telling and speaks to a source of power and control that silences both sides when it comes to certain foreign policies.

          As I suggest, this thing is beyond parties as both basically are moving in lockstep here as is normally the case in this area.

          • Brother Greg L:

            There is no question that there are Republicans who are big time hypocrites.

            MY POINT IS, however, that the next time that those who are EMBEDDED CONFIDENCE MEN within our community CLAIM that they are taking positions for the Development Of Our People – that we make note that the balance of their character places them as ideological and political operatives, while coming up short on the history of organic advancement for our community.

            My goal is to achieve SEPARATION from these two masters as we have seen that when given a choice – they always appear to choose the one that brings them most profit.

            • CF,

              Although some political challenges are unique to the African-American community, I do think that the political situation can be tied more broadly to the overall conditions politically. Hence, our community is a microcosm of what’s happening within the larger political domain and, as such, the embedded confidence men that reside within the African-American community are not unlike those that reside in DC and the state houses. The problem is the overall system whose failures happen to reflect more acutely within the African-American community. So, in that sense, I don’t separate it from the larger phenomenon of a failed political system.

              I think there’s outsized emphasis placed on the political system being able to do offer solutions. Those must come from the people most directly impacted by the problems and merely changing horses often will not get it because the common man doesn’t own the system and has little influence on it. So within the African-American community, I think our efforts are best spent addressing problems outside of the political system. Any movement that addresses any significant issue is inherently political, but that’s not the context it need be started in. Although some political challenges are unique to the African-American community, I do think that the political situation can be tied more broadly to the overall conditions politically. Hence, our community is a microcsm of what happening within the larger political domain.

  • It’s difficult to explore these issues without being philosophical. So at the outset let me establish my world view. I say “world view” because, for me, a parochial view is too narrowing: We’re all travelers, and passengers on “Spaceship Earth.”

    In our world, perspective is everything. Perspective creates our perception, and perception our experience.

    I recently said to Constructive Feedback that I have no “ideology” and that is true, but I do have values. Here are two values that I embrace–Life and Freedom. For me, they’re one and the same. It’s hard to imagine a quality of life where freedom doesn’t thrive.

    Since Life is my highest value, all that supports Life, maintains Life, and uplifts Life, becomes not only my chief focus but my major concern.

    Life exists everywhere imaginable on this planet–human life as well as other life forms. If we’re to preserve Life for all life forms, we must raise our sights to take into account Life everywhere. We might keep and preserve our little corner of the world, but the truth is, our little corner of the world is often impacted by other corners.

    For example: Radioactive plumes from Japan can drift (and have drifted) toward our shores, and although we’re told that our little corner of the world won’t be impacted, we don’t have the long-term assurance that comes with time.

    Further, the world economies are so intertwined that what happens to the world’s third largest economy in terms of GNP will undoubtedly negatively impact our GNP as well.

    The dilemma for humans has always been this: Should we take life (destroy it) to preserve it? And this: How far should we go to loose those that are bound by oppressive regimes, and are subject to the whims of tyrants.

    In World War Two we answered those questions by battling and destroying Hitler, although we might argue over the reasons why we entered the war especially when this nation first sought to take an isolationist stand.

    The taking of life is never a good idea in a cosmic sense. To do so is invite repercussions, those that are seen, as well as those that are not seen. Unseen consequences, I’m afraid, will have the greatest impact.

    And too: The taking of freedom is never a good idea in a cosmic sense. To do so is to invite repercussions.

    Yet, those of us in the West have done just that: We have been complicit in creating and perpetuating oppressive regimes (and conditions) in the Middle East and certain other places around the world. Our hands are as bloody as their oppressors, as we have given these tyrants the means to take both life and freedom so that our quality of life and freedom may continue without serious interruptions.

    We have conspired for their oil and their cheap products (out of Asia) which have resulted from near slave-like conditions. Having helped create these conditions–rather than seeking to maintain, support, and uplift life and freedom for all–we now wish to take several steps back, and insist that we cannot, should not, have a part in a people’s struggle to remove the yoke that we helped fashion about their necks.

    We all need to take a long hard look at how our individual actions, as well as our collective actions, have created the conditions under which our world struggle, and the conflagration that threatens the oil-rich regions of the Middle East.

    • >>>Yet, those of us in the West have done just that: We have been complicit in creating and perpetuating oppressive regimes (and conditions) in the Middle East and certain other places around the world. Our hands are as bloody as their oppressors, as we have given these tyrants the means to take both life and freedom so that our quality of life and freedom may continue without serious interruptions.

      We have conspired for their oil and their cheap products (out of Asia) which have resulted from near slave-like conditions. Having helped create these conditions–rather than seeking to maintain, support, and uplift life and freedom for all–we now wish to take several steps back, and insist that we cannot, should not, have a part in a people’s struggle to remove the yoke that we helped fashion about their necks.<<<<

      BD,

      Today, I was listening to a talk radio show with a guest from Haiti on and the discussion revolved around recovery from the earthquake and how Haiti might fare in recovery versus Japan. During the course of the conversation, Jean Bertrand Aristide's return to the country came up and it appears that our state department was attempting to pressure South Africa to detain him and not allow him to return because he'd "complicate" matters. According to the guest on the show who was knowledgeable about such matters, the "complication" revolved around Aristide's popularity and the upsetting of the political applecart in Haiti. Apparently, Haiti has a thorny law that makes it illegal for non citizens to own land. Our government has the Haitians under pressure to change this law as a condition to releasing money for reconstruction and it's known that Aristide would reject this. It's thought that earthquake might have revealed previously hidden oil and natural gas resources from rock formations that were cracked.

      A couple years ago, I had an opportunity to pick up a book entitled "Confessions of an Economic Hit Man" written by John Perkins. Perkins was employed by consulting firm Charles T. Main of Boston and his primary job was to scour the globe and convince the political leadership of third world nations to take on huge development loans from the World Bank–loans that they couldn't possibly repay, cripple their economies as a result and set up a situation where these nations were compromised politically and economically. The recipients of the loan proceeds were American companies who were building dams or otherwise involved in other sorts of infrastructure development and they generally overcharged for the work. After knowingly loading them with more debt than they could pay, the solution was to privatize control of state resources by selling off assets mainly to the same people who overcharged them to begin with. Hence, these resources was effectively gotten for nothing while at the same time the state, because its overburdened with debt and stripped of assets, can do nothing for it's people. According to Perkins, if they can't buy off cooperation with this sort of thing, they just simply send in the "jackals" to take care of business. That "business" includes coups and murders. In Libya, there's been a decision made to send in the jackals.

      Today, in our own nation, state governments are in crisis owning to mainly to excessive debt. The same applies to the federal government and many businesses and individuals. There is talk of privatizing things like state utilities, toll roads and anything else that might generate cash to pay down debt. Various governments are hard pressed to do much for the people and things like education, unions, pensions and etc are on the chopping block. Abrogating debt is a no no, but taking from the people is ok. And it's clear that our politicians have been purchased lock, stock and barrel.

      I think there's an illusion all of us Americans suffer under. We've been told we live in a democracy and I think this makes us perceive foreign policy as separate from domestic policy. I've come to believe that there's no longer a line between the two and the practices that are pursued abroad are also pursued here. I think that much of this is being driven by two things; resource scarcity and the awakening of the various peoples around the globe. As they awaken, they will nullify many of the deals their corrupt leadership has signed onto. As they take back their natural resources, I believe that will drive a number of things on the domestic front as margins are protected. I think we're seeing that even now.

      For me, this mean foreign policy is of immense importance. Of course, the obvious concern is from a moral perspective of what's right and wrong. But that's not the only concern. What happens abroad is a mirror of what will occur here and our silence or unawareness will doom us to the same fate. Given that, it's extremely important that we be engaged and aware of what's done in our name.

      A tiger is a tiger in all times and in all environments. If he hunts game abroad, he'll hunt also in his back yard if he's hungry enough.

  • Anonymous

    Greg
    I’ve got another film for you to checkout
    Zeitgeist: Moving Forward
    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1781069/
    It’s a little over 2 1/2 hours but definitely one of the best I’ve seen(I’ve watched it 2 days in a row)
    If only we could adopt the ideas in this film
    If you do watch post back here and let me know what you think

    • James,

      That looks really intriguing and I’ll definitely watch and post back here to let you know what I think.

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