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#584408 - 03/22/11 02:00 AM Re: So we can just fire off random missiles at Libya? [Re: Lawson]
Stephen Parkes Offline
Member

Registered: 09/24/09
Posts: 390
Loc: The Bristol, Cuba St
Lawson,
If you believe the stated reasons for the action (and maybe you don't) then this seems quite different to Iraq. In this case the US isn't invading, it IS actually legal and approved by the UNSC. The allegation is that civilians were in urgent need of protection from Gaddafi's regime. If so, it doesn't make much sense to say the US should "wrap up one of our other wars first".

Anyway, here's an article on the left's division over this action.

Quote:
Helena Sheehan, an Irish Marxist activist, well-known in Africa for her solidarity work there with the most radical movements, was invited by the Qaddafi regime to come to Libya to lecture at the university. She arrived as turmoil broke out. The lectures at the university were cancelled, and she was finally simply abandoned by her hosts, and had to make her way out by herself. She wrote a daily diary in which, on the last day, Mar. 8, she wrote: “Any ambivalence about that regime, gone, gone, gone. It is brutal, corrupt, deceitful, delusional.”


Edited by Stephen Parkes (03/22/11 02:03 AM)

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#584417 - 03/22/11 05:22 AM Re: So we can just fire off random missiles at Libya? [Re: Lawson]
Allen Montgomery Offline
Member

Registered: 05/08/00
Posts: 7071
Originally Posted By: Lawson
Spend less on missiles and you have more money for Pell Grants

Naive.



My opinions on the Iraq invasion shifted drastically once we were there. The UN made the decision to hit Libya, and our president even had to be convinced. Maybe the dynamic of this situation will change over time as Iraq did, or maybe it will become a mire like Afghanistan. Who knows.



(My idea for what needs to happen in Afghanistan — abduct all their adolescents, say ages four-to-ten, and take them on a trip to Disney World. Show them what life would be like with electricity, running water, TV, candy, comic books, etc. Show their next generation there's something other than goat-herding and the drug trade. Two weeks later, take the kids back to Afghanistan and all our military leaves. Twenty years later, it'll be a way different country)
_________________________
"The trouble with being a ghost writer or artist is that you must remain anonymous without credit.
If one wants the credit, one has to cease being a ghost and become a leader or innovator."
— Bob Kane

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#584419 - 03/22/11 10:11 AM Re: So we can just fire off random missiles at Libya? [Re: Stephen Parkes]
Lawson Offline
Member

Registered: 11/11/02
Posts: 11978
Loc: Lexington, Ky.
Originally Posted By: Stephen Parkes
The allegation is that civilians were in urgent need of protection from Gaddafi's regime.


Civilians are in urgent need of protection from the Bahraini regime. Like Libya, Bahrain is using brutal force to suppress protests. People have died; blood has run in the streets. Unlike Libya, Bahrain is our ally. We park the U.S. Navy's Fifth Fleet there when we're not using it to bomb places like Libya.

All sorts of thugs brutally suppress their people. It's terrible. But we support some thugs, oppose others and ignore most of them. (Hello, half of Africa.) Our record of defending oppressed peoples is wildly inconsistent, to put it charitably. My argument is -- and evidently I'm a minority of one here -- that unless we're attacked, we don't bomb or invade another country.

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#584421 - 03/22/11 10:34 AM Re: So we can just fire off random missiles at Libya? [Re: Allen Montgomery]
Lawson Offline
Member

Registered: 11/11/02
Posts: 11978
Loc: Lexington, Ky.
Originally Posted By: Allen Montgomery
Originally Posted By: Lawson
Spend less on missiles and you have more money for Pell Grants

Naive.


How so?

The United States government raises a given sum of money every year. Then it decides how to spend it.

Since World War Two, we have spent a staggering sum on weapons and soldiers, even when we weren't at war with anyone. We now devote most of the federal budget to "defense" and the big three entitlement programs, Social Security, Medicaid and Medicare. What we call "discretionary domestic spending" -- i.e., education, science and medical research, arts, transportation, housing, environmental protection -- is now a small portion of the budget, and yet it's where we're making most of the budget cuts.

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#584424 - 03/22/11 02:50 PM Re: So we can just fire off random missiles at Libya? [Re: Lawson]
Alexander Ness Offline
Member

Registered: 09/17/03
Posts: 3853
Loc: Minnesota

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#584430 - 03/23/11 03:42 AM Re: So we can just fire off random missiles at Libya? [Re: Lawson]
Stephen Parkes Offline
Member

Registered: 09/24/09
Posts: 390
Loc: The Bristol, Cuba St
Originally Posted By: Lawson
All sorts of thugs brutally suppress their people. It's terrible. But we support some thugs, oppose others and ignore most of them. (Hello, half of Africa.) Our record of defending oppressed peoples is wildly inconsistent, to put it charitably.


Yeah I know. To be clear, I'm in no way congratulating the US for a consistent or well thought out approach to foreign policy over the decades. But I'm not opposed to all overseas military intervention by US and allied forces per se. You seemed to be suggesting that the US shouldn't involve itself in what is arguably an appropriate action because you guys still had troops on the ground in Iraq. You don't even have to use those troops in this instance. There may be other better reasons to oppose any involvement at all, but that one seemed specious.

Quote:
My argument is -- and evidently I'm a minority of one here -- that unless we're attacked, we don't bomb or invade another country.


As a rule of thumb (as you put it originally), yeah sure. As an absolute stance, not so much.

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#584437 - 03/23/11 06:14 AM Re: So we can just fire off random missiles at Libya? [Re: Lawson]
Allen Montgomery Offline
Member

Registered: 05/08/00
Posts: 7071
Originally Posted By: Lawson
The United States government raises a given sum of money every year. Then it decides how to spend it.

Your premise presupposes a balanced budget, which we haven't had in many years.
_________________________
"The trouble with being a ghost writer or artist is that you must remain anonymous without credit.
If one wants the credit, one has to cease being a ghost and become a leader or innovator."
— Bob Kane

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#584441 - 03/23/11 09:31 AM Re: So we can just fire off random missiles at Libya? [Re: Allen Montgomery]
Lawson Offline
Member

Registered: 11/11/02
Posts: 11978
Loc: Lexington, Ky.
Originally Posted By: Allen Montgomery
Your premise presupposes a balanced budget, which we haven't had in many years.


As we speak, Congress is proposing deep cuts to the federal Head Start program, which, at the local level, provides education, recreation and nutrition to hundreds of thousands of poor children, with proven results in terms of improving their school test scores and quality of life.

Congress says it's nothing personal against Head Start, but we no longer can afford to keep spending at these levels.

So our funds apparently are limited.

Given that limit, I vote for Head Start rather than $3.7 million Tomahawk missiles lobbed into foreign cities.

You, on the other hand, want the missiles.

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#584442 - 03/23/11 10:25 AM Re: So we can just fire off random missiles at Libya? [Re: Stephen Parkes]
Lawson Offline
Member

Registered: 11/11/02
Posts: 11978
Loc: Lexington, Ky.
Originally Posted By: Stephen Parkes
You seemed to be suggesting that the US shouldn't involve itself in what is arguably an appropriate action


What exactly is the "appropriate action" in Libya? What are we doing? Are we ourselves going to kill or overthrow Qaddafi? Are we going to help the rebels in eastern Libya to march west and kill or overthrow Qaddafi? Are we merely providing air cover for the rebels so Qaddafi can't bomb them, creating an indefinite stalemate with the country split in two?

I don't see any definitive answers because the U.S. and its bickering allies so far don't agree on what our mission is, who is in charge or when we'll be finished.

Right now, we're just bombing shit and killing people.

This is similar to our "appropriate actions" in Iraq and Afghanistan because we don't seem to have any clear mission or exit strategy in those countries, either. We're just ... there. Year after year. At an incredible cost in fortune and blood. And we never can leave because, we are told all the time, we're just turning the corner, we're just now making valuable progress, if we leave now, it all will have been for nothing.

How many open-ended military adventures can we be in at once?

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#584443 - 03/23/11 10:57 AM Re: So we can just fire off random missiles at Libya? [Re: Lawson]
MBunge Offline
Member

Registered: 07/19/01
Posts: 3386
Loc: Waterloo, Iowa, United States
Originally Posted By: Lawson
Originally Posted By: Stephen Parkes
You seemed to be suggesting that the US shouldn't involve itself in what is arguably an appropriate action


What exactly is the "appropriate action" in Libya? What are we doing? Are we ourselves going to kill or overthrow Qaddafi? Are we going to help the rebels in eastern Libya to march west and kill or overthrow Qaddafi? Are we merely providing air cover for the rebels so Qaddafi can't bomb them, creating an indefinite stalemate with the country split in two?

I don't see any definitive answers because the U.S. and its bickering allies so far don't agree on what our mission is, who is in charge or when we'll be finished.

Right now, we're just bombing shit and killing people.

This is similar to our "appropriate actions" in Iraq and Afghanistan because we don't seem to have any clear mission or exit strategy in those countries, either. We're just ... there. Year after year. At an incredible cost in fortune and blood. And we never can leave because, we are told all the time, we're just turning the corner, we're just now making valuable progress, if we leave now, it all will have been for nothing.

How many open-ended military adventures can we be in at once?


These are perfectly legitimate concerns. However....

1. The U.S has withdrawn a great many troops from Iraq and essentially all of them are scheduled to be out of the country by the end of the year. There's still a lot of question about what that "essentially" is going to mean, but U.S. troops are no longer really fighting a war in Iraq and the overwhelming majority of them are clearly going to be withdrawn. There are similar plans for Afghanistan, though how well they work has yet to be seen. I think it's fair to say that Barack Obama was handed two enormous clusterfucks and he has been working to extricate America from them while trying to keep things from going totally to hell.

2. Rwanda?

Mike

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