Gadhafi Flees into Chavez’ Arms?

There are unconfirmed reports on Twitter (quoting Al Jazeera) that Col. Muammar Gaddafi has fled Libya for South America, possibly Venezuela.

Comments, or further developments, may be posted below.

Update: Gadhafi’s Son says his father is still in Libya and will fight until the last bullet.


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Monotreme is an unabashedly liberal dog lover, writer, and former scientist who now teaches at a University in an almost-square state out West somewhere. http://www.logarchism.com | http://www.sevendeadlysynapses.com
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103 Responses to Gadhafi Flees into Chavez’ Arms?

  1. Monotreme says:

    Protesters may have taken over Libyan State TV: http://bit.ly/hsSQyM

    CNN reports city of Benghazi now in rebel hands: http://bit.ly/hbiFGg

  2. Pingback: Tweets that mention Gaddafi Flees into Chavez’ Arms? | 538 Refugees -- Topsy.com

  3. Jean says:

    As Najla Abdurahman, a Libyan dissident, noted in response to Saif El Islam Gadaffi’s address:

    “He’s threatening Libya and trying to play up on their fears. I don’t think anyone in Libya who isn’t close to the Gaddafi regime would buy anything he said. And even if there is any truth to what he said, I don’t think it’s any better than what the people of Libya have already been living with for the past 40 years. He promised that the country would spiral into civil war for the next 30 to 40 years, that the country’s infrastructure would be ruined, hospitals and schools would no longer be functioning – but schools are already terrible, hospitals are already in bad condition.”

    The situation in Libya and all across the middle-east reminds me of the James Baldwin quote, “The most dangerous creation of any society is the man who has nothing to lose.”

  4. Mainer says:

    The Libyans do appear to have reached that critical mass that we have seen before around the world. Even if the regime survives for now its days are clearly numbered. The next sound we hear will be the pitter patter of little feet as they loot what is left and then beat those same feet out of the desert. I suspect the smart ones are already gone. As the regime finds itself more and more isolated it will get more and more beserk in its reactions. That it has already seen the need to bring in mercenary thugs to prop itself up is rather telling. Watch for the day or hour when that band of mothers bags out and tries to shoot their way to safety. When that occurs the camera crews should stake out the closest available lamp posts for what elements of the former government that remain will most likely soon be hanging from them.

    If I was a betting man I would suspect that dad daffy/quadaffy has a plan. I suspect he will hand the keys to his son or sons and be gone before the lamp post with his name on it can be utilzed. They do not appear to be as agile as the old man and will provide just enough cover to allow pops to get away with a few dozen wives, a trunk full of Swiss bank books and his favorite goat. Talk about taking one for the team.

    Where might he go? The opinion that he might go to Chavez land is not crazy talk because there is almost no place in the Muslim world that he would be welcome at this point in time. You know Hugo could go a long way towards balancing his budget if he would set up a gated very private resort for deposed middle eastern despots as it appears to be a potential growth industry.

  5. Monotreme says:

    Malta reports Libyan jet fighters and helicopters have landed there. Ironically, I obtained this as a bit.ly link.

    http://bit.ly/flqM1o

  6. Monotreme says:

    You heard it here first. See the 1626 update.

    http://bbc.in/e29Rho

  7. Mainer says:

    So Quadaffi is apparently, maybe, could still be there………the military is in disaray, the demonstrators are apparently not going away, the new face of the regime struck out royaly……..and the death toll climbs. There is about zero leverage we or any Western country can use to effectively help. Libya has apparently even jammed the Al-Jazerra sat brodcasts over much of the region…….ohhhhhh apparently the truth hurts………the regime is blaming foreign terrorists for their troubles (now that is rich if completly bogus when one considers much of the killing has been done by mercenaries hired by the government), the oil companys are shutting down so the checks will be stopping. Yeah I would say that the place is a mess.

    Some statistics to keep in mind from the CIA Fact book:
    33% of the population is under 14 years of age the under 25% is closer to 60%
    78% of the population is urban
    82% of the population is actually literate

    Much is made of the possible effect of the tribes there. It is tribal every thing I can find says that but also says the power of the tribal leaders has lessened and with so much of the country now living in the cities and mostly educated the young are no longer listening.

    It now appears that Momar probably isn’t going to go to South America and more the pity. Maybe a cruise ship chartered and brought in to take them away with a destination to be anounced.

  8. mclever says:

    I’m still enjoying the image of Venezuela developing a niche industry for palatial bunkers for deposed middle-eastern despots.

  9. Mainer says:

    Me too mclever, me too. Hell they could even put it down wind from a refinery to make them feel more at home.

    I do see some draw backs though. It now appears that Egypt may go after big chunks of Mubaraks stashed away wealth and could well get it. The Bahrain Royals apparently have been living on a Saudi credit card and any one from Yemen or Tunisia is probably already broke as their countries. So maybe growth industry was a poor term.

  10. Mr. Universe says:

    I wish the world would settle on how spell his name properly.

  11. Mainer says:

    Couldn’t agree more Mr. U. I have been reading around the net this day and I find it interesting the number of ways it is spelled……or misspelled.

    I could be wrong but I think there is a high potential for either he or his son to be refered to shortly as DRT………my many police friends refer to that as Dead Right There. The more his military bags out on him the sooner it could happen. For some reason I’m not seeing this end well for Libya……..or Quadaffi or his lunatic son. Does any one else look at many of his pictures and not see the same puffery posturing of El Douce? Wonder if there is a lamp post in the future for him as well?

  12. Mr U,

    I wish the world would settle on how spell his name properly.

    They have. It’s معمر القذافي‎.
    It’s not their fault that Roman text doesn’t map perfectly to Arabic. 8)

  13. Mainer says:

    Another bloody night/day in Libya. Reports being as scatter shot as they are it is very hard to gauge what is going on. Am I the only one to think that Gaddafi is relying more and more on certain airforce elements that his tribe control, and increasingly more on paramilitary units and mercenaries from sub saharan Africa? That would seem to indicate a growing problem on the regime side.

  14. mclever says:

    Mainer,

    No, you’re not the only one. From what I’ve heard, it looks like the other tribal leaders are actually uniting against Gaddafi, or at least that was what was implied in the article that the BBC had up yesterday. It’s difficult to know what’s really going on.

  15. Mainer says:

    I’m probably at this point one of the few on this site still innterested in the fact that Libyans are actually being killed to gain their freedom while we have elements here in this country that are busy trying to produce the same situation here.

    So I shall talk to myself as I apparently do most of the time here recently. Hmmmm a very long vacation Fili is on that seems to have aligned with the departure of one Bartalus……but what they hey we now have an rgb or what ever that is like a Bart on steroids.SO no fili more cowbell……makes one wonder if the pitch is in to take down even little progressive sites. Ah I’m just suspicious I guess.

    From as many of the web sites as I could access today from the VA parking lot some things are starting to sort out. Gaddafi has apparently lost western Libya. He also has apparently lost several major elements of his armed forces hence the increasing reliance on a few naval units, air units and militia units that are becoming more apparent to be hired mercenaries from Sub Saharan Africa. From some of what I have been able to gleen hired unemployed thugs from the former Congo and Eastern Africa. Serious thugs. They will kill any thing for a buck or most likely a fxxk if their record is correct.

    So what next? Gaddaffi has now stated he will not leave, proclaims the desire for marytdom. Says he has not ordered any one to attack his people, yet again proves his claim to daffy quadaffy or the lieing Lybian. It isn’t just his son that is nuts coconuts don’t fall far from the trunk in that part of the world.

    There are so few good options here. One the UN could do with the stroke of a pen would be to make Lybia a no fly no float zone. Our assets in the area with Italian and French assets could reduce the killing in the same way we did for years in Iraq. That would start to level the field. Allowing our new Egyptian military friends to show they are for freedom not just at home but around them could buy the Libyan people room, friends and the Egyptian military some freedom chops.

    This needs to lay out quickly before the trillions of wealth over here looking for a home can push oil to 200 dollars a barrel. Oh lets just give the rich more wealth to spend so productively. In the mean time the oil fields are unharmed the workers for the most part safe. Give Gaddaffi his wish for marytodom and send in folks to help guids and rebuild. But right now it must suck to be a Lybian.

  16. You’re not the only one interested in what’s going on over there. I don’t see at this point that there’s a question of if he will leave but when and under what conditions.

  17. Mainer says:

    Thank you Michael. You seem to be the only one that actually reads any thing I post any more so on other posts I will try to emulate Mule…..at least he got responses.

    It now looks like the UN is a dead end. Russia and China will block any attempt to take their apparent buddy Quaddafi out. Or support the Libyan people or stop the killing or……….get in their way when they have to do the same damned thing……hard thing this democracy.

    Ok if the UN is side linned then it will have to fall to the Egyptian military to become the defender of democracy in the area. What is the down side? They earn some chops with the folks back home, they gain favor with the real west and they get to help put down an even worse dictator and build bridges to a country with oil and M O N EY.

    We supply them with sat intel, maybe some parts and gear, a few precision munitions a little enhanced AWACS coverage and we get to look like good uncles. Many ways to play this but the Fox blog world of send in the Marines being the dumbest. US Marines no, Egyptian Marines yes.

  18. Mr. Universe says:

    @Mainer

    Don’t take an absence of response personally. We tend not to argue with sane people 😉

  19. mclever says:

    Mainer,

    You’re not the only one interested… Just not sure what to say right now. I agree with Michael that “daffy quadaffy’s” days are numbered, but it’s difficult to predict exactly how things will play out.

    Frankly, I have a brother in one of the countries that’s seeing unrest, and I’ve been a tad too worried to really speak sanely on the subject…

  20. mclever says:

    @Mainer

    Many ways to play this but the Fox blog world of send in the Marines being the dumbest. US Marines no, Egyptian Marines yes.

    I agree completely.

  21. Mainer,
    Is all of that really necessary? When the “leader” of a country has to bring in mercenaries to protect him against his own army, he’s done. It’s only a matter of time. And, sadly, many lives.

  22. Bartbuster says:

    The Egyptians are not going into Libya. That would be a big mistake. The Libyans will decide this on their own.

  23. Mr. Universe says:

    It appears that Libyans have turned on Ghadhafi and are intent on taking Tripoli.

  24. Armchair Warlord says:

    BB,

    What mistake exactly would that be? That of supporting a freedom-loving people in overthrowing a tyrant? One should of course make sure that intervention is necessary first but it’s not an inherently bad option as you imply.

    Now, at this stage launching a foreign intervention by any party would be unwise simply because of the absolute chaos on the ground in Libya. If Qaddafi manages to cling to power in the west of Libya by his fingernails and the situation develops into a civil war I’m sure we could spare the people of Libya some air support.

  25. Bartbuster says:

    What mistake exactly would that be?

    That the Egyptians (or anyone else doing something like that) would be seen as trying to take advantage of the unrest to get their hands on Libya’s oil. That seems pretty obvious. Not to mention that the Libyans haven’t asked for any help.

    That of supporting a freedom-loving people in overthrowing a tyrant?

    What makes you think they are “freedom loving”? Many probably want their tribe to take over and would gladly become the next tyrant.

    One should of course make sure that intervention is necessary first but it’s not an inherently bad option as you imply.

    Yes, it’s as bad an option as I imply. Spending the last 8 years in the middle of Iraq’s civil war should have made that pretty obvious.

  26. Bartbuster says:

    If we sent our military into Libya their hatred for Gaddafi would very quickly be turned on us.

  27. Mainer says:

    It is obviously a situation with few good answers but for the time being nothing should be off the table. Our direct intervention with out UN backing is out. Our involvement even with UN backing should as I stated earlier be limited to things like enforcing no-fly zones.

    An interesting if some what vague piece is attached by link.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-12558066

  28. rgbact says:

    Its amazing watching CNN report on the “freedom fighters” in Libya. Heart wrenching tales from people living in oppression. Where was CNN during the Iraq War? Libya seems like a carbon copy of Iraq—only differnce being Saddam was more antagonistic to the West. Were cellphones not around 8 years ago? Where were CNN’s interviews with Iraqis fearing for their lives living under Saddam? No, then it was Bush was attacking people living in peace. Now with Obama in charge, CNN will be praising him as a liberator when he bombs Libya.

    Btw, girl in Tripoli interviewed on CNN says everyone was disheartened by Obama’s remarks today.

  29. Monotreme says:

    Apparently, the former Justice Minister of Libya (who just resigned) claims Gaddafi ordered the bombing of Pan Am flight 103 over Lockerbie in 1988.

    http://abcnews.go.com/International/libya-justice-minister-accuses-gadhafi-personally-ordering-pan/t/story?id=12982205

  30. rgbact,

    Where was CNN during the Iraq War?

    Riding along with the troops using embedded reporters, as I recall.

    Where were CNN’s interviews with Iraqis fearing for their lives living under Saddam?

    The couldn’t get interviews because the Iraqis who feared for their lives were unwilling to talk to reporters as long as Saddam was in charge. Unlike this week in Libya, there wasn’t any question about who was in charge in Iraq prior to the invasion.

    OBTW, where were CNN’s interviews with Libyans over the past forty years? Why is this week different? The answer to that question would help you understand better.

  31. Bartbuster says:

    Libya seems like a carbon copy of Iraq

    Yes, except for our idiotic decision to invade Iraq because of imaginary WMD, it’s EXACTLY the same.

  32. rgbact says:

    MW-

    Its been awhile, but whenver I watched CNN embedded with our troops–the impression was “our poor troops are fighting in this needless war and Iraqis hate us”. Now its nonstop “we want freedom” photos in all these countries. Did all these people suddenly open their eyes?

    Just shows how media can shape world reaction to these crises. In Kosovo and Libya–CNN was pushing us to be liberators, in Iraq we were the bad guy.

  33. Bartbuster says:

    In Kosovo and Libya–CNN was pushing us to be liberators, in Iraq we were the bad guy.

    We didn’t invade Kosovo. We haven’t invaded Libya. Do you understand the difference between invading and not invading?

  34. Bartbuster says:

    Seriously, you have to be pretty stupid to look at the situation in Libya and think “gee, that’s just like Iraq.” The only thing Iraq/2003 and Libya/2011 have in common is that there is no WMD in either country.

  35. Armchair Warlord says:

    BB,

    That the Egyptians (or anyone else doing something like that) would be seen as trying to take advantage of the unrest to get their hands on Libya’s oil. That seems pretty obvious. Not to mention that the Libyans haven’t asked for any help.

    You seem pretty knowledgeable about how Libyans would see foreign intervention… oh, wait, you’re copy-pasting liberal talking points from 2003. Which have been proven wrong hundreds of times.

    What makes you think they are “freedom loving”? Many probably want their tribe to take over and would gladly become the next tyrant.

    Maybe because this is a broad-based social uprising rather than a clan war? You’re remarkably cynical, BB.

    Yes, it’s as bad an option as I imply. Spending the last 8 years in the middle of Iraq’s civil war should have made that pretty obvious.

    If we sent our military into Libya their hatred for Gaddafi would very quickly be turned on us.

    Beep, wrong. Try again. Throw some more WMD boilerplate in there while you’re at it, as though Saddam lacking them made the Iraq War any less legal or justified.

    It’s pathetic that leftists are unwilling to bear any price to help free people from tyranny and keep the world safe. Do you just have a problem with America being benevolent and strong? Leftists like you empower tyrants – your crocodile tears did nothing for the people of Iraq and they do nothing for the people of Libya today.

    Now, I wonder how the emergence of a free and democratic Iraq and the discrediting of jihadists during the Iraq War has fueled this movement.

  36. Armchair,

    Throw some more WMD boilerplate in there while you’re at it, as though Saddam lacking them made the Iraq War any less legal or justified.

    It does, given that claims of WMDs formed the basis for both the support of the United States Congress and the United Nations Security Council.

  37. Armchair Warlord says:

    Mike,

    The international legal basis of the Iraq War was enforcement of UNSC 1441 as the culmination of a long string of UNSC resolutions. Whether the Iraqis did or did not have WMDs was essentially irrelevant by that stage – they were in violation regardless and we were fully cleared to stomp them. I doubt the Republican Congress at the time would have blinked in authorizing the use of force even if George W. Bush had gone up in front of them and said that he wanted to invade Iraq because he thought Saddam Hussein was better-looking than him.

    On a personal, moral basis I always thought the WMD thing was kind of weak anyways, but that doesn’t change the fact Saddam Hussein was a horrifically brutal dictator and needed to pay for numerous crimes against humanity – many of which involved the chemical weapons he had disposed of by 2003.

  38. Armchair,
    Oh, yes…UNSCR1441. The resolution that says: “Recognizing the threat Iraq’s … proliferation of weapons of mass destruction … poses to
    international peace and security…” as a basis for deciding that Iraq was in violation of UNSCR687.
    Clearly “Whether the Iraqis did or did not have WMDs was essentially irrelevant by that stage…”
    Or not.

    On a personal, moral basis I always thought the WMD thing was kind of weak anyways, but that doesn’t change the fact Saddam Hussein was a horrifically brutal dictator and needed to pay for numerous crimes against humanity – many of which involved the chemical weapons he had disposed of by 2003.

    I get that, but we have a world filled with such people. Why this one? And why is it the responsibility of the United States to depose them? Particularly this one?

  39. Armchair Warlord says:

    Mike,

    The Iraqis were in violation of a WMD inspections regime with severe enforcement mechanisms. If they had wanted us to not attack they could have come clean (which they had no intention of doing) – Saddam’s crucial miscalculation was assuming, even when US tanks were rolling north, that the United States would never depose him over the issue and hence he could continue to play games.

    I get that, but we have a world filled with such people. Why this one? And why is it the responsibility of the United States to depose them? Particularly this one?

    Good question – I asked it myself at the time. If you’re expecting me to defend the strategic rationale for the Iraq War – it’s not very defensible. At the time Iraq did not pose a clear and present danger to the region, although it was certainly a menace and a future danger. I will, however, point out that the war was neither illegal nor immoral.

    I think there’s an interesting discussion here about promoting freedom, disposing of authoritarian regimes and hard and soft power – we’re seeing a neoconservative wet dream in the Middle East right now and we haven’t fired a shot. At the same time, the situation did not arise from nothing – somehow in the middle of a decade and then some of American interventionism in the Middle East a lot of Mideasterners who supposedly HATE AMERICA (because of Iraq, right?) have decided to revolt for freedom and democracy.

  40. shortchain says:

    “somehow in the middle of a decade and then some of American interventionism in the Middle East a lot of Mideasterners who supposedly HATE AMERICA (because of Iraq, right?) have decided to revolt for freedom and democracy.”

    That it’s happened in countries which, until now, at least, have been allies of the USA and whose civil liberties problems have been at best overlooked by the USA is not an issue for some people, I guess.

  41. Bartbuster says:

    You seem pretty knowledgeable about how Libyans would see foreign intervention… oh, wait, you’re copy-pasting liberal talking points from 2003. Which have been proven wrong hundreds of times.

    AW, “you’re wrong” isn’t nearly as compelling an argument as you seem to think it is. There are countless examples of native populations turning on their “liberators”. Iraq and Afghanistan are just 2 recent examples.

    Now, I wonder how the emergence of a free and democratic Iraq and the discrediting of jihadists during the Iraq War has fueled this movement.

    Given the ongoing civil war in Iraq, the mess that Afghanistan has become, and our support for several of the regimes being overturned, it seems more likely that we’re an example to avoid.

  42. Bartbuster says:

    On a personal, moral basis I always thought the WMD thing was kind of weak anyways, but that doesn’t change the fact Saddam Hussein was a horrifically brutal dictator and needed to pay for numerous crimes against humanity – many of which involved the chemical weapons he had disposed of by 2003.

    We support plenty of brutal dictators (see House of Saud). There was nothing special about Hussein.

  43. Bartbuster says:

    somehow in the middle of a decade and then some of American interventionism in the Middle East a lot of Mideasterners who supposedly HATE AMERICA (because of Iraq, right?) have decided to revolt for freedom and democracy

    Yeah, they think we’re such a great example that they’re tossing our favorite dictators out of power. It’s amazing how many facts you have to ignore in order to promote wingnut stupidity.

  44. Bartbuster says:

    If they had wanted us to not attack they could have come clean (which they had no intention of doing)

    That is simply a lie. They did come clean. Cheney and Dumbya didn’t believe them. As usual, they were wrong.

  45. Max aka Birdpilot says:

    AW,

    Several points:
    “The Iraqis were in violation of a WMD inspections regime with severe enforcement mechanisms. If they had wanted us to not attack they could have come clean (which they had no intention of doing)”

    Now who’s trying to rewrite history. This is a completely false statement. Period! Remember El Baradei, the good guy in Egypt the last few weeks? He was head of the IAEA and WAS IN Iraq along with Hans Blix with the IAEA DOING INSPECTIONS in 2003, at least up until early March. He’s also the one who told the UN Security Council that month the Niger documents were NOT authentic. March 7, 2003, Blix reported “accelerated cooperation” from the Iraqi’s. Peddle your fictions down at Borders, not here.

    we’re seeing a neoconservative wet dream in the Middle East right now and we haven’t fired a shot.

    Well, neocons as Kristol, Kagan, cheerleader Glen Beck, among others, all expressed doubt about an American about face against a long time ally in Mubarak. Beck going so far as to rant about the new Caliphate. (Which then brought about a feud with Kristol who said Beck was over the top on that one). Krauthammer even cautioned about the “romance” of the Egyptian revolution: “The romance could be forgiven if this were Paris 1789. But it is not. In the intervening 222 years, we have learned how these things can end.”

    In this Krauthammer IS correct. Today, we have no more idea as to how this will all shake out over the next few years than we would have standing in Paris in July 1789 or in Philadelphia in July 1776. And you, my friend, don’t seem to be considering the possible backlash by those in revolt AGAINST America for supporting the regimes that oppressed them for decades.

    Only time will tell. We BOTH hope this turns out to be a positive scenario form the American viewpoint. But, don’t count those chickens yet.

  46. Bartbuster says:

    At least five dead in Iraqi ‘day of rage’ protests

    At least five people have been killed in anti-government protests in Iraq as thousands take to the streets in cities across the country for a “day of rage”.

    Baghdad has been virtually locked down, with the authorities banning traffic in the city centre and deploying several thousand soldiers on the streets.

    Still, several hundred people gathered in Baghdad’s own Tahrir Square, calling for reform, but not regime change.

    AW is probably right about this group of freedom fighters being inspired by the US invasion of Iraq…

  47. Armchair Warlord says:

    Max,

    Now who’s trying to rewrite history. This is a completely false statement. Period! Remember El Baradei, the good guy in Egypt the last few weeks? He was head of the IAEA and WAS IN Iraq along with Hans Blix with the IAEA DOING INSPECTIONS in 2003, at least up until early March. He’s also the one who told the UN Security Council that month the Niger documents were NOT authentic. March 7, 2003, Blix reported “accelerated cooperation” from the Iraqi’s. Peddle your fictions down at Borders, not here.

    The Iraqis refused to come clean to UN weapons inspectors and had done so for a over a decade at that time. If they wished to they could have at any point between 1991 and 2003 – “accelerated cooperation” so late in the game meant nothing more than more Iraqi games with the UN. The UN inspection team themselves declared the Iraqis to be in violation.

    In fact, the Iraqi regime had for that entire time and was going to continue to promote the idea that they had WMD (and thus continue to be in violation of various UNSC resolutions) for as Saddam believed himself secure in power – something which he (insanely!) believed he was until American troops rolled into Baghdad.

    Well, neocons as Kristol, Kagan, cheerleader Glen Beck, among others, all expressed doubt about an American about face against a long time ally in Mubarak.

    Many conservatives don’t follow coherent ideology – you expect these people to now?

    Ah, BB,

    AW, “you’re wrong” isn’t nearly as compelling an argument as you seem to think it is. There are countless examples of native populations turning on their “liberators”. Iraq and Afghanistan are just 2 recent examples.

    A comment showing gross ignorance of the actual situation in Iraq and Afghanistan. We won the Iraq War (which was at no time a “civil war” and which is not ongoing, disregarding the low-level violence that insurgencies leave as they die) and are winning the War in Afghanistan with the active support of the population. Of course the population of a country can turn on an intervening force but this is not a given under any circumstances. Were we to invade Libya knowing what we now know about these kind of situations we would not allow an insurgency to rise and would carefully craft our messaging and actions to be seen as liberators rather than invaders.

    Yeah, they think we’re such a great example that they’re tossing our favorite dictators out of power. It’s amazing how many facts you have to ignore in order to promote wingnut stupidity.

    Long-term engagement with distasteful regimes can bring remarkable results, as in Egypt. We have always worked from both the top down and the bottom up to promote freedom in the Middle East – one can see the results of American engagement versus disengagement between Egypt and Libya today. After all, when the people are marching in the streets we can generally keep our favorite dictators from having them gunned down and things go from there. 😉

    AW is probably right about this group of freedom fighters being inspired by the US invasion of Iraq…

    The Iraqis are protesting the bad economic conditions that are endemic in the Mideast – they voted for their government and know they can change it if they want. 😉

  48. Bartbuster says:

    We won the Iraq War (which was at no time a “civil war” and which is not ongoing, disregarding the low-level violence that insurgencies leave as they die)

    Like hell it’s not. It’s been a civil war since we arrived in Baghdad. That’s what you call it when 2 (or more) groups of people are killing each other in order to take control. I know you wingnuts like to pretend otherwise, but the killing is still going on.

    and are winning the War in Afghanistan with the active support of the population

    Sure we are. We’ve been “winning” for almost 10 years and there is no end in sight.

    Just to be clear, the fact that the “winning” has lasted 10 years and there is no end in sight means that the local population actively despises us.

    Of course the population of a country can turn on an intervening force but this is not a given under any circumstances.

    Actually, it almost certainly is a given.

    Were we to invade Libya knowing what we now know about these kind of situations we would not allow an insurgency to rise and would carefully craft our messaging and actions to be seen as liberators rather than invaders.

    Given how “great” that strategy is working in Afghanistan and Iraq it would take a special sort of mental breakdown for us to attempt that again.

  49. Bartbuster says:

    Long-term engagement with distasteful regimes can bring remarkable results, as in Egypt.

    So, our support of despotic scum is actually a plan to make them so hated that the locals will revolt (after 30+ years of repression)? It takes an amazing capacity for self-delusion to believe that pantload.

  50. Bartbuster says:

    The Iraqis are protesting the bad economic conditions that are endemic in the Mideast – they voted for their government and know they can change it if they want.

    The government isn’t acting any differently from the one that was just removed in Egypt. They killed 5 people while attempting to crush the protest, which means they’re not too worried about being voted out. I’ll give you 1 guess why they’re not worried about this hurting them in the next “election”.

  51. Bartbuster says:

    10 years of winning in Afghanistan. That’s pretty funny.

    Doesn’t it bother anyone who supports this insanity that the bad guys keep finding replacements for their losses, but we can’t find any Afghans to replace us? It’s not like they have to fight the Soviet Union again. They just have to fight a bunch of guys hiding in caves. And yet we can’t find anyone who is willing to do it. That should tell you all you need to know about “the active support of the population”.

  52. Max aka Birdpilot says:

    AW,

    The Iraqis refused to come clean to UN weapons inspectors and had done so for a over a decade at that time. If they wished to they could have at any point between 1991 and 2003 – “accelerated cooperation” so late in the game meant nothing more than more Iraqi games with the UN. The UN inspection team themselves declared the Iraqis to be in violation.

    I have already called you out for mendacity on the previous statement you made. Repeating it again, a third time, or 100 times will not make it true. As much as repsect you and your opinion, your personal assertion is not evidence of fact.

    I gave the statements of the IAEA team, El Baradei and Blix as proof of your false assertion. Please cite the proof of your statement I highlighted in bold above that occurred in March 2003. The ONLY “violation” mentioned by the IAEA team was “18 undeclared empty 122 mm chemical rockets that were destroyed under UNMOVIC supervision.” But no, repeat: “NO”, chemical, biological or nuclear WMD!

    Here is the briefing from the UN on Blix’ March 7, 2003 report. I challenge you to find in it your above contention. But, as you will note in the 6th paragraph, the opposite is true.

    Thanks

  53. Armchair Warlord says:

    Max,

    You’re relying on a secondary source that spun Mr. Blix’s presentation to make it seem as though the Iraqis were cooperating more than they actually were. And I quote,

    “Mr. President, Iraq, with a highly developed administrative system, should be able to provide more documentary evidence about its proscribed weapons programs. Only a few new such documents have come to light so far and been handed over since we began inspections. It was a disappointment that Iraq’s declaration of the 7th of December did not bring new documentary evidence.”

    “This provision of names prompts two reflections. The first is that with such detailed information existing regarding those who took part in the unilateral destruction, surely there must also remain records regarding the quantities and other data concerning the various items destroyed.”

    “On 14 February, I reported to the council that the Iraqi side had become more active in taking and proposing steps which potentially might shed new light on unresolved disarmament issues. Even a week ago, when the current quarterly report was finalized, there were still relatively little tangible progress to note. Hence, the cautious formulations in the report before you. As of today, there is more.”

    “One can hardly avoid the impression that after a period of somewhat reluctant cooperation, there’s been an acceleration of initiatives from the Iraqi side since the end of January. This is welcome. But the value of these measures must be soberly judged by how many question marks they actually succeed in straightening out.

    This is not yet clear.

    Against this background, the question is now asked whether Iraq has cooperated, “immediately, unconditionally and actively,” with UNMOVIC, as is required under Paragraph 9 of Resolution 1441. The answers can be seen from the factor descriptions that I have provided.

    However, if more direct answers are desired, I would say the following: The Iraqi side has tried on occasion to attach conditions, as it did regarding helicopters and U-2 planes. It has not, however, so far persisted in this or other conditions for the exercise of any of our inspection rights. If it did, we would report it.

    It is obvious that while the numerous initiatives which are now taken by the Iraqi side with a view to resolving some longstanding, open disarmament issues can be seen as active or even proactive, these initiatives three to four months into the new resolution cannot be said to constitute immediate cooperation. Nor do they necessarily cover all areas of relevance. They are, nevertheless, welcome. And UNMOVIC is responding to them in the hope of solving presently unresolved disarmament issues”

    “How much time would it take to resolve the key remaining disarmament tasks? While cooperation can — cooperation can and is to be immediate, disarmament, and at any rate verification of it, cannot be instant. Even with a proactive Iraqi attitude induced by continued outside pressure, it will still take some time to verify sites and items, analyze documents, interview relevant persons and draw conclusions. It will not take years, nor weeks, but months.

    Straight out of the horse’s mouth. The Iraqis were flagrant violation of UNSCR 1441 and were not fixing the situation with any kind of alacrity.

    Regards.

  54. Bartbuster says:

    AW, are you even aware that there was no WMD?

  55. Armchair Warlord says:

    BB,

    Like hell it’s not. It’s been a civil war since we arrived in Baghdad. That’s what you call it when 2 (or more) groups of people are killing each other in order to take control. I know you wingnuts like to pretend otherwise, but the killing is still going on.

    Baghdad has a lower murder rate than many American cities, you know. Substantially lower.

    Sure we are. We’ve been “winning” for almost 10 years and there is no end in sight.

    This “ten years in Afghanistan” meme from the left gets under my skin, especially considering that we did not begin seriously countering the Taliban insurgency until after Obama was elected and have only had adequate levels of troops in the country to seriously fight a war for about a year.

    But to correct you – we’ve been “treading water” or “losing” in Afghanistan for eight years, “stalemated” for about a year and a half and “winning” for the last few months.

    Oh, yeah – the Taliban have never had a higher than 10% approval rating in Afghanistan. We do polls.

    Actually, it almost certainly is a given.

    “No, you’re wrong!” Enjoying the baseless assertion here.

    In fact, there was no popular uprising against US forces in Iraq or Afghanistan. The popular uprising in Iraq was against a brutal insurgency, and the Taliban are almost universally hated in Afghanistan – their influence is based on fear, not love. Referring to history one finds that while invasions perceived to be hostile are generally linked to subsequent insurgency the strength and power of such insurgencies varies widely. A recipe for a short and victorious war is one that is seen as a friendly intervention against hated oppressors, in fact… much like Libya, now that I think about it.

    Given how “great” that strategy is working in Afghanistan and Iraq it would take a special sort of mental breakdown for us to attempt that again.

    Jihadism discredited, Al Qaeda impotent, America ascendant in the Middle East and a tide of democracy sweeping the region. Seems fine to me.

    So, our support of despotic scum is actually a plan to make them so hated that the locals will revolt (after 30+ years of repression)? It takes an amazing capacity for self-delusion to believe that pantload.

    Our support of the Egyptian military seems to have paid off quite well given that Mubarak would have been in power regardless.

    The government isn’t acting any differently from the one that was just removed in Egypt. They killed 5 people while attempting to crush the protest, which means they’re not too worried about being voted out. I’ll give you 1 guess why they’re not worried about this hurting them in the next “election”.

    The per-capita death toll in Iraq from these protests is the lowest in the region, the crowds are the smallest in the region and the “protests” where people have been getting killed have hardly been peaceful. Think “riots” instead.

  56. Armchair Warlord says:

    BB, are you even aware that Iraq was never in and is not presently in a civil war?

  57. Bartbuster says:

    Funny quote from Dumbya’s SOD today:

    “In my opinion, any future defense secretary who advises the president to again send a big American land army into Asia or into the Middle East or Africa should ‘have his head examined,’ as General MacArthur so delicately put it,” Gates said.

    Mission accomplished?

    BB, are you even aware that Iraq was never in and is not presently in a civil war?

    Maybe not in Wingnutland, but here in the real world we get to watch the civil war in Iraq every day.
    It looks like the warmongering wingnuts are not getting the keys to the war machine back any time soon.

    Baghdad has a lower murder rate than many American cities, you know. Substantially lower.

    Sure it does. Heck, there’s people blowing up police stations every day here in the states, just like in Baghdad.

    Oh, yeah – the Taliban have never had a higher than 10% approval rating in Afghanistan. We do polls.

    And yet we can’t find any Afghans to take our place. Shocking.

  58. Bartbuster says:

    BB, are you even aware that Iraq was never in and is not presently in a civil war?

    Maybe not in Wingnutland, but here in the real world we get to watch the civil war in Iraq every day.

  59. Bartbuster says:

    Baghdad has a lower murder rate than many American cities, you know. Substantially lower.

    Sure it does. Heck, there’s people blowing up police stations every day here in the states, just like in Baghdad.

  60. Bartbuster says:

    Oh, yeah – the Taliban have never had a higher than 10% approval rating in Afghanistan. We do polls.

    And yet we can’t find any Afghans to take our place. Shocking.

  61. Bartbuster says:

    “In my opinion, any future defense secretary who advises the president to again send a big American land army into Asia or into the Middle East or Africa should ‘have his head examined,’ as General MacArthur so delicately put it,” Gates said.

  62. Armchair Warlord says:

    BB,

    Maybe not in Wingnutland, but here in the real world we get to watch the civil war in Iraq every day.

    Leftists haven’t paid attention to Iraq in years – from the tone of this thread, you all tuned out before the war even started.

    But the Iraqi civil war going on in you guys’ heads must be really entertaining – it’s still keeping you folks entertained eight years later.

    While we’re quoting wise men, here’s the preceding sentence.

    “The strategic rationale for swift-moving expeditionary forces, be they Army or Marines, airborne infantry or special operations, is self-evident,”

    Context lol.

  63. Bartbuster says:

    “In my opinion, any future defense secretary who advises the president to again send a big American land army into Asia or into the Middle East or Africa should ‘have his head examined,’ as General MacArthur so delicately put it,” Gates said.

    Context lol.

    I have no idea why you think your quote changes the context of what Gates said.

    In any case, I agree on the importance of context.

    Got WMD?

    LOL

  64. Bartbuster says:

    Leftists haven’t paid attention to Iraq in years

    I’ve been paying attention since day 1. The civil war was evident to all but the most delusional nutcase.

    “In my opinion, any future defense secretary who advises the president to again send a big American land army into Asia or into the Middle East or Africa should ‘have his head examined,’ as General MacArthur so delicately put it,” Gates said.

  65. Bartbuster says:

    “In my opinion, any future defense secretary who advises the president to again send a big American land army into Asia or into the Middle East or Africa should ‘have his head examined,’ as General MacArthur so delicately put it,” Gates said.

    AW, how funny is it that the man responsible for us “winning” in Afghanistan thinks you need to have your head examined? Does it sound to you like he thinks we have “won” anything?

  66. Armchair Warlord says:

    BB,

    I have no idea why you think your quote changes the context of what Gates said.

    Because Gates was speaking about the value of light expeditionary forces versus heavy armor. Which you would understand if you weren’t quoting him out of context.

    I’ve been paying attention since day 1. The civil war was evident to all but the most delusional nutcase.

    Apparently not, given how shallow your knowledge of the war is. The only “delusional nutcase” here is you.

    AW, how funny is it that the man responsible for us “winning” in Afghanistan thinks you need to have your head examined? Does it sound to you like he thinks we have “won” anything?

    It is possible to win a war and say, “We should avoid this kind of fight in the future.” It’s an intellectually complicated position I’m not surprised you haven’t quite wrapped your head around it.

  67. Max aka Birdpilot says:

    So, AW, Blix states that they found NOTHING, the Iraqi’s were not being 100% cooperative but WERE doing so in an accelerating manner, and that in only a few MONTHS to complete the inspections. Meanwhile Iraq was NOT an immediate danger to either it’s neighbors OR the United States of Great Britain, had no delivery capacity and had been contained for 12 years.

    With all THAT, I can see how Bush just HAD to invade when he did. Costing over 4000 American heros their lives and 40000their bodies and over 100000 Iraqi civilians lives as well.

    Let’s see, Israel is and has been in violation of UN 442 for years (your principal casus belli), has committed hostile acts against its neighbors, continues to build settlement in the West Bank in spite of US opposition and possesses WMD. So why haven’t we invaded them, using your same justification?

  68. Bartbuster says:

    Because Gates was speaking about the value of light expeditionary forces versus heavy armor. Which you would understand if you weren’t quoting him out of context.

    AW, he was doing nothing of the sort. You don’t invade nations the size of Iraq with “expeditionary forces”, you use a big army. And he is quite obviously saying that anyone who wants to do something like this again (aka you) needs to have his head examined. Since Gates has the respect of most of the right, left, and all of the middle, that is a pretty devastating blow for you warmongering wingnuts.

    It is possible to win a war and say, “We should avoid this kind of fight in the future.” It’s an intellectually complicated position I’m not surprised you haven’t quite wrapped your head around it.

    Yes, they’re called “pyrrhic victories”, and they’re not the sort of thing that you want to repeat. It’s really not that complicated.

  69. Bartbuster says:

    Apparently not, given how shallow your knowledge of the war is. The only “delusional nutcase” here is you.

    I got Gates on my side. I doubt there is much of anybody still left on your side.

  70. Armchair Warlord says:

    Max,

    So, AW, Blix states that they found NOTHING, the Iraqi’s were not being 100% cooperative but WERE doing so in an accelerating manner, and that in only a few MONTHS to complete the inspections. Meanwhile Iraq was NOT an immediate danger to either it’s neighbors OR the United States of Great Britain, had no delivery capacity and had been contained for 12 years.

    They were in violation. We were clear. Additional months to chase them around in circles were not felt to be acceptable by the Bush Administration. End of discussion.

    AW, he was doing nothing of the sort. You don’t invade nations the size of Iraq with “expeditionary forces”, you use a big army. And he is quite obviously saying that anyone who wants to do something like this again (aka you) needs to have his head examined. Since Gates has the respect of most of the right, left, and all of the middle, that is a pretty devastating blow for you warmongering wingnuts.

    As usual your shallow knowledge of how war actually works shines through.

    If we were going to go intervene in Libya we would use light expeditionary forces and aim to leave quickly – fully in compliance with Gates’ guidance. His message (which you would understand if you actually paid attention to military affairs) is that big land wars needing the full weight of American arms (the “big land army”) can be counted on to be long, difficult and expensive in blood and money and should be avoided unless they are absolutely necessary.

    Of course someone saying that we should go invade Iran should “have his head examined” – there’s nobody credible who wants to. That doesn’t mean situations don’t change with remarkable speed and we should be ready for such things – Gates has set the Army and Marines up to be successful in big, long and difficult wars for many years to come.

    Yes, they’re called “pyrrhic victories”, and they’re not the sort of thing that you want to repeat. It’s really not that complicated.

    To quote Pyrrhus of Epirus, “If we are victorious in one more battle with the Romans, we shall be utterly ruined.”

    Iraq free, Afghanistan on the way, jihadism discredited, Al Qaeda weakened and scattered to the winds and a tide of democracy sweeping the Middle East. America ascendant when all others thought we were on the verge of collapse. All on less than 1% of the US GDP per year. I don’t see any “utter ruin”.

    Your knowledge of the English language is remarkably shallow as well – our victory here is decisive, not pyrrhic.

  71. Bartbuster says:

    If we were going to go intervene in Libya we would use light expeditionary forces and aim to leave quickly –

    We aimed to leave Iraq quickly. 8 years later we are still there. What part of “we’re not doing this again” are you having so much trouble understanding?

    His message …is that big land wars needing the full weight of American arms (the “big land army”) can be counted on to be long, difficult and expensive in blood and money and should be avoided unless they are absolutely necessary.

    Which is EXACTLY the same as saying that anyone suggesting anything similar to the Iraq Disaster should have their head examined. His message was quite obvious. Idiotic adventures like the Iraq Disaster are not going to happen again.

    Your knowledge of the English language is remarkably shallow as well – our victory here is decisive, not pyrrhic.

    Sure it is. I have lost count of the leaders who have announced after a great victory: “What a decisive victory!! Anyone who suggests that we do that again should have his head examined.”

    Do you honestly not realize that Gates is kicking you in the balls? Or are you so invested in this disaster that you’re willing to say anything before you’ll admit it was a mistake? Rhetorical question…

  72. Bartbuster says:

    AW, great victories are not followed by the SOD saying “holy sh!t, we better not do that again!” There isn’t enough lipstick on the planet to make that pig look good.

  73. Max aka Birdpilot says:

    AW

    You have refused to answer as to, if nominal violation of a UN Resolution is sufficient grounds for a US invasion, why we allow Israel to be in continued violation of UN 442? Especially when you throw in the facts I pointed out above. Aren’t you inconsistent?

    Sounds like it. Not to mention the cheapness of which you value the life of the American service person and the carelessness of the spending of America’s treasury.

  74. Armchair Warlord says:

    BB,

    We aimed to leave Iraq quickly. 8 years later we are still there. What part of “we’re not doing this again” are you having so much trouble understanding?

    No, we aimed to stand up a democratic government in Iraq and see the Iraqi nation through into good health, then leave. Your knowledge of the Iraq War is as usual lacking. Given the current situation in Libya an intervention there would look a lot more like Panama than Iraq.

    Which is EXACTLY the same as saying that anyone suggesting anything similar to the Iraq Disaster should have their head examined. His message was quite obvious. Idiotic adventures like the Iraq Disaster are not going to happen again.

    So you agree with me. Excellent! I knew left-right consensus was here somewhere.

    Sure it is. I have lost count of the leaders who have announced after a great victory: “What a decisive victory!! Anyone who suggests that we do that again should have his head examined.”

    I think you’re forgetting that this is the same Secretary Gates who fought for 70,000 more American troops in Afghanistan. It is absolutely necessary to win in Afghanistan so we committed the big land army. It was absolutely necessary to win in Iraq (once we got in), so we committed the big land army. But anyone suggesting that we start a land war in Asia when it’s not absolutely necessary to the national interest should have his head examined – which is what Gates’ message was.

    Do you honestly not realize that Gates is kicking you in the balls? Or are you so invested in this disaster that you’re willing to say anything before you’ll admit it was a mistake? Rhetorical question…

    Gates is a lot closer to my position than yours, friend. Do you hate America so much that you are willing to see our enemies ascendant just to spite your own flag? Rhetorical question.

    You have refused to answer as to, if nominal violation of a UN Resolution is sufficient grounds for a US invasion, why we allow Israel to be in continued violation of UN 442? Especially when you throw in the facts I pointed out above. Aren’t you inconsistent?

    Our policies for dealing with our friends and our enemies do not need to be consistent. Deal with it.

    Sounds like it. Not to mention the cheapness of which you value the life of the American service person and the carelessness of the spending of America’s treasury.

    I am an American service member. I back my words with my life.

    Your accusation is unacceptable. Are you actually trying to claim to support or care for the American soldier, you who have never done or sacrificed anything for your country, whose words give solace to our enemies? Have you no shame, sir?

  75. Max aka Birdpilot says:

    AW,

    Shame is a silly point to bring up. Particularly where your lack of understanding as to one of the principal reasons respect for this great country is at an all-time low in the world is because of the inconsistency you brag about. Please don’t lower yourself to the stupidity of arguing “comfort and solace . . .”. You only demonstrate your lack of understanding of the concept and it’s context.

    You and our other fine service people (and while we may disagree, I always show full respect and support to you all) represent some of the finest of this country. You are there to do the job your country demands, no questions asked! It is NOT for you do decide policy, but to implement that policy, once determined, without question and to the fullest extent of your ability. The difference between the duty to country of a serving member of the military and a civilian, in political debate is substantial. When you stuck your right hand in the air and took that Oath, you freely, and for a purpose, gave away certain rights as a citizen. So never conflate the standards, rights and responsibilities between civilian and soldier, both serving America.

    But for a political leader (you will be wise to remember that your Commander-in Chief and Defense Secretary are civilians, by the Constitution, and political in fact) to be more than willing, or in the case in which we are discussing, even eager, to spend the currency of our assets, people and treasury, unless and until there is a “clear and present” danger to the United States is doing the country, the military and our dedicated soldiers a great disservice. As we have seen on several occasions in the past 60 years.

    Deal with it.

    No! As a civilian and participant in this democratic republic that is the United States, is is my responsibility NOT to simply “deal with it”. It NOT my responsibility to follow orders. It IS my responsibility to demand proper and reasonable action of my politicians and to point out when that does not occur.

    That, my good friend, in a nutshell, is the difference between the active soldier and the civilian. For the soldier, when they have a difference with the policy, they MUST “deal with it” or violate that Oath. They don’t get a vote on the implementation.

    Understand that difference.

  76. Mainer says:

    Do you hate America so much that you are willing to see our enemies ascendant just to spite your own flag? Rhetorical question…………………………..

    Arm Chair that calls for the mauve bullshit flag to be thrown. Don’t you ever try to wrap yourself in the flag to win an argument. While I openly applaud your service as I did to Bart don’t ever think that having a right leaning view gives you one iota more validity than say me or any one else on here. I am perfectly willing to put my retired military id and DD-214 up as evidence and I sure as hell would put my quite progressive son’s military records up.

    We missused our military, we squandered their lives and their bodies, our treasury and our standing for what? We went after Afghanistan very correctly and we did so with brains and out standing military actions and then………..we fucked up and went on an adventure. We chucked what actually might have been a win and neoconned our way into debacle. I hope and pray every day that Iraq turns out ok, I really do for to do any thing else would be akin to going and pissing on the graves of those that earned a win that they may never ever see. No one on here wants to see Iraq fail…..no one in all the posts here and on the old site have ever even suggested that. Have we not already unbalanced that part of the world enough?

    The best military in the world is the one where all of its members reach retirement with out ever having fired a shot in anger because the reat of the world sees them training and practicing and decides that maybe another round of talks might not be such a bad idea. Leaders that have a military and want to use it up to the hilt just because they can are no leaders. We provided every nut case in the world with the perfect lab for years to find ways to denigrate our militaries strenghts. And did they learn. Just look at EFP’s. Our troops paid with their lives so that tin horn dictators could figure out how to wear them down and take them out.

    This isn’t a time to again show w are nothing but brawn. Lets use our heads we all want a win here…that some of us would rather not see any more of our best pay for our mistakes does not mean we don’t want to come out on top or the oppressed people of the middleeast to get a chance, far from it but I still would like to think we can prevail with out more American blood in the sand. An American service person should never be the first option to any thing, not if we actually value them.

  77. Bartbuster says:

    No, we aimed to stand up a democratic government in Iraq and see the Iraqi nation through into good health, then leave. Your knowledge of the Iraq War is as usual lacking. Given the current situation in Libya an intervention there would look a lot more like Panama than Iraq.

    No, we aimed to have most of our army out of Iraq in a few months. We were not planning to keep an army there. Don’t try to pretend that we were. I have no idea why you think sending an army into Libya would end any differently.

    But anyone suggesting that we start a land war in Asia when it’s not absolutely necessary to the national interest should have his head examined – which is what Gates’ message was.

    It’s what you’re suggesting we do in Libya. Calling it “an expeditionary force” does not hide the fact that you’re proposing that we send an army into Libya.

    Gates is a lot closer to my position than yours, friend.

    Gates obviously thinks the invasion of Iraq was a mistake. I have no idea why you think that position is close to yours.

    Do you hate America so much that you are willing to see our enemies ascendant just to spite your own flag?

    I don’t hate America. I hate warmongering scum who want to piss away lives and money for nothing.

  78. Bartbuster says:

    Do you hate America so much that you are willing to see our enemies ascendant just to spite your own flag?

    By the war, by your standards the majority of Americans hate America. Despite our “decisive victory” Americans overwhelming oppose the Iraq Disaster. Why do you think Americans hate America?

  79. Armchair,

    Our policies for dealing with our friends and our enemies do not need to be consistent. Deal with it.

    They are, in fact, consistent. They are not, however, consistent with your (or the US’s public) justifications. And that’s the crux of the problem.

    See, doing the right thing for the wrong reasons means that you do the right thing by accident. It means you’d do exactly the same thing even if it were the wrong thing, because the reasons don’t line up on the right/wrong axis.

    This is why it’s dangerous to start with a conclusion and then build a justification upon it. Except by coincidence, you end up with significant amounts of cognitive dissonance.

  80. Armchair Warlord says:

    Max,

    The reason I was extremely offended by your comment is because we have a saying in the Army, “mission first and people always.” You said that I think that the lives of my comrades are cheap, which is beyond obscene. There’s also the implication there that I would advocate for a war that was not absolutely necessary, which is simply wrong. I apologize for going off on you but I think you’ve misunderstood my actual position.

    You will all notice that throughout this thread I have treated the “invade Libya” track as a hypothetical for the sake of arguing with BB. We could do it. In my professional opinion, we could do it well. However,/b> I have said that I do not believe it is in any way necessary or wise at this time and that, in fact, the most we should plausibly have to do is drop some bombs in support of the opposition if they are unable to overthrow Qaddafi. I absolutely agree that people on the military or civilian side pushing for unnecessary conflict do this country and the world a great disservice.

    No! As a civilian and participant in this democratic republic that is the United States, is is my responsibility NOT to simply “deal with it”. It NOT my responsibility to follow orders. It IS my responsibility to demand proper and reasonable action of my politicians and to point out when that does not occur.

    I certainly understand your position, Max. American policy towards Israel is wildly inconsistent with the way we would act towards any other state that does the things they do. By saying, “deal with it,” I’m pointing out that the international scene is essentially anarchic and we do not have to have a policy that always makes sense or which always escapes cognitive dissonance – I’m not going to try to justify our Israeli policy and I think we should square it with the rest of American foreign policy, so I think our actual positions on this are quite close.

    None of this has any bearing on whether the United States violated the UN charter in invading Iraq – I think that Mr. Blix’s testimony itself proves otherwise.

  81. Armchair Warlord says:

    Can some admin fix that bold tag in the post above?

    Mainer and BB,

    Arm Chair that calls for the mauve bullshit flag to be thrown. Don’t you ever try to wrap yourself in the flag to win an argument.

    My apologies. I took offense to Max’s comments. As a serviceman I take the lives of my comrades very, very seriously.

    We missused our military, we squandered their lives and their bodies, our treasury and our standing for what?

    I have never said that invading Iraq in the first place was wise and I felt that it was unwise at the time. That being said, valid opposition to the war based on the flimsy (but NOT illegal or immoral) justification for it went out the window the instant we invaded. In the ensuing eight years our primary enemy in Iraq was not Saddam Hussein, it was Al Qaeda. The case for fighting Al Qaeda is self-evident, and the great failure of liberals in America has been continued opposition of the Iraq War based on the circumstances of its initiation after they had become completely irrelevant.

    We fought monsters in Iraq and anything less than victory would have meant that the dark days of 2006, were they found a hundred dead bodies in Baghdad every day would have gone on until there were no people left to murder. However, we, with the help of the democratic Iraqi government and the Iraqi people, eventually crushed the insurgency. Iraq is relatively peaceful now, although there is a trickle of attacks from the insurgency as its rots away.

    We provided every nut case in the world with the perfect lab for years to find ways to denigrate our militaries strenghts.

    There’s another way to look at this. For generations the way to beat a Western army was to start an insurgency. Despite incredible effort on our part, we were defeated in Vietnam because we had no idea how to fight an insurgency and the vast majority of our efforts were counter-productive. We learned how to defeat an insurgency in Iraq. This means that we now know how to defeat every nutcase in the world, even after their supporters take off their uniforms, melt into the population and start building IEDs.

    Let me pose a hypothetical – what if we never invaded Iraq and never learned how to do counterinsurgency? We’d have spun our wheels in Afghanistan as the Taliban crept back in, rather than having battle-hardened troops who fully understand how this kind of war is fought to drive them back. I believe that the second and third-order effects of the Iraq War have been quite beneficial to American power.

    No, we aimed to have most of our army out of Iraq in a few months. We were not planning to keep an army there.

    BB, this is simply untrue. Look up the history of the Coalition Provisional Authority – our desire to get out was overruled by our need to stabilize Iraq.

  82. Armchair Warlord says:

    BB and Max,

    Allow me to expand on the “giving comfort and solace to America’s enemies” track I’ve accused you two of occasionally, because it’s an ugly accusation and I haven’t given adequate context to it.

    As I have pointed out above, I believe that when we’re “in”, we should be “in to win”. The great failure of the left in America (and worldwide) has been opposition to the Iraq War when we were fighting jihadists whose only goal was to murder as many people as possible and rule Iraq under their death-cult perversion of Islam. Many on the left have claimed that we were the cause of continuing instability in Iraq (we were not), baselessly accused the US of war crimes (we committed a few, our enemies were an ongoing one), advocated for a withdrawal that would have meant millions of deaths at the hands of jihadists and subsequently created bizarre conspiracy theories explaining how the insurgency went away but we had nothing to do with it, etc, etc. These positions were based on primal hate of the war based on the circumstances around its initiation, not on anything logical.

    All of this got into politics and made it difficult to prosecute what was, after the invasion, a wholly necessary and just war. It has subsequently boiled over into opposition on the left to the continuing war in Afghanistan, which as near as I can see is nothing more than holdover emotion from Iraq. Words matter. Rhetoric matters, as we all know quite well. It should be used responsibly.

    But all that said, I apologize for going ad hominem on you two – I was angry and went too far. People should debate the facts, not accuse each other of being traitors.

  83. Bartbuster says:

    Allow me to expand on the “giving comfort and solace to America’s enemies” track I’ve accused you two of occasionally, because it’s an ugly accusation and I haven’t given adequate context to it.

    Don’t worry about it. The fact that you refuse to admit that the Iraq Disaster was a mistake makes it clear that nothing you say should be taken seriously.

  84. Bartbuster says:

    BB, this is simply untrue. Look up the history of the Coalition Provisional Authority – our desire to get out was overruled by our need to stabilize Iraq.

    The fact that our desire to get out was overruled by events does not change the fact that our desire was to get out. You act like that could not possibly happen in Libya. Considering that it has happened in both Iraq and Afghanistan, I have no idea why you think the same thing would not happen in Libya. In fact, it’s a confidence that crosses the line into delusional.

  85. Max aka Birdpilot says:

    Aw,

    Apology accepted. Say no more of it.

    On your most recent post:

    One of the reasons I find the Bush and GOP policy so offensive is that, in fact, ONLY service people and their families are truly paying a price for these wars. Meanwhile, GOP policy is NOT to cause every American to have a dog in the hunt, by cutting their taxes when there should be a “war tax” to help pay for the damned thing instead of pushing the costs down the road. That is as big a problem as what, IMHO, was an eagerness to invade a country that DID NOT pose a clear and PRESENT danger.

    Here, in South Texas, with Ft Sam, Lackland, Randolph and BAMC in close proximity, the number of doctors and group practices that WILL NOT take Tricare floors me. These doctors are not even willing to sacrifice the few dollars difference for the families and veterans who have done so. I’d ask all y’all in various parts of the country to look around and see to what extent it’s occurring in your areas. Maybe some publicity for the “patriots” would embarrass them into taking care of people like you and your family. (Yes, I know the difference between VA and Tricare benes)

    Best

  86. Bartbuster says:

    That being said, valid opposition to the war based on the flimsy (but NOT illegal or immoral) justification for it went out the window the instant we invaded.

    Sorry, but the idea that we have to support any idiotic decision made by the President is insane.

  87. Bartbuster says:

    AW, you might have to support any idiotic decision made by the President, but we don’t.

  88. Armchair Warlord says:

    BB,

    Don’t worry about it. The fact that you refuse to admit that the Iraq Disaster was a mistake makes it clear that nothing you say should be taken seriously.

    Allow me to quote myself,

    I have never said that invading Iraq in the first place was wise and I felt that it was unwise at the time.

    I’m confused.

    The fact that our desire to get out was overruled by events does not change the fact that our desire was to get out. You act like that could not possibly happen in Libya.

    It could – war assumes risk. The situation on the ground in Libya is however quite different (with a wildly unpopular leader and organic, popular and strong opposition to him) than that in Iraq or Afghanistan and would lend itself to cleaner intervention. I compared it to Panama for a reason.

    Sorry, but the idea that we have to support any idiotic decision made by the President is insane.

    Even if you opposed the start of the Iraq War quite strongly the concept that “we should clean up the mess we made” would have allowed you to support its continuation even if you quite strongly disagreed with Bush Administration policy.

    Max,

    One of the reasons I find the Bush and GOP policy so offensive is that, in fact, ONLY service people and their families are truly paying a price for these wars.

    I absolutely agree with you. The level of popular and mass-media disengagement with the war is astonishing. The idea that you can watch cable news all day and not hear a word about a conflict of this size and importance is ridiculous.

    I think that better coverage of foreign news in America would go a long way towards fixing some of our problems – it’s easy to forget when the news is all about democrats vs. republicans that Glen Beck for all his craziness =/= Ayman al-Zawahiri.

  89. Bartbuster says:

    Let me pose a hypothetical – what if we never invaded Iraq and never learned how to do counterinsurgency? We’d have spun our wheels in Afghanistan as the Taliban crept back in, rather than having battle-hardened troops who fully understand how this kind of war is fought to drive them back.

    I hate to break it to you, but things are not going as well as you seem to think in Afghanistan. Right now we are withdrawing from the Pech Valley. We already retreated from Korengal. If we were winning there would be Afghan troops moving into those areas. But we can’t trust the Afghan military, so we’re just handing those areas over to the natives. Maybe that means Taliban, maybe it means local warlords. One thing is for certain, it does not mean democracy. Basically, the only reason we are still fighting in Afghanistan is because we don’t want to admit that the Afghans are going to decide their own future.

  90. Bartbuster says:

    (with a wildly unpopular leader and organic, popular and strong opposition to him)

    That description fits both Iraq and Afghanistan. Libya is composed of several tribes who only have 1 thing in common. They all hate Gadhafi. When he is gone the unity goes with him, and, like Iraq and Afghanistan, we would be stuck in the middle.

  91. Bartbuster says:

    the concept that “we should clean up the mess we made” would have allowed you to support its continuation even if you quite strongly disagreed with Bush Administration policy

    No, it doesn’t. In the end the people who live there have to clean up the mess we created. That is true in Iraq, Afghanistan, Egypt, and Libya (where we’re not even responsible for the current mess). They live there. We don’t. It’s not our place to decide what happens.

  92. Todd Dugdale says:

    AW wrote:
    That being said, valid opposition to the war based on the flimsy (but NOT illegal or immoral) justification for it went out the window the instant we invaded.

    Okay, I was confused by your invocation of Blix (“I think that Mr. Blix’s testimony itself proves otherwise”, you wrote)., so I didn’t call you on this.

    Look at Blix’s testimony at the British Iraq War Inquiry.
    Here’s some of the “money quotes”:
    But Dr Blix said most international lawyers believed these arguments would not stand up at an international tribunal.

    Some people maintain that Iraq was legal. I am of the firm view that it was an illegal war. There can be cases where it is doubtful, maybe it was permissible to go to war, but Iraq was, in my view, not one of those.

    He said he agreed with France and Russia, who argued that further UN authorisation was needed for military action.

    “It was clear that a second resolution was required,” he said.

    In the run-up to war, he said the US government was “high on” the idea of pre-emptive military action as a solution to international crises.

    “They thought they could get away with it and therefore it was desirable to do so.”

    He also testified: “Although Iraq failed to comply with some of its disarmament obligations, he added it “was very hard for them to declare any weapons when they did not have any”.

    That hardly seems to be ringing endorsement from Dr. Blix. I had thought it unbelievable that you would put Blix up as some kind of defence for the invasion.

    But that was just his sworn testimony.
    Is this interview such an endorsement?
    But, in an exclusive interview, Mr Blix said: “I don’t buy the argument the war was legalized by the Iraqi violation of earlier resolutions.”

    And it appeared yesterday that the Government shared that view until the eve of war, when it received the Lord Goldsmith’s final advice.

    Sir Andrew Turnbull, the Cabinet Secretary, revealed that the Government had assumed, until the eve of war in Iraq, that it needed a specific UN mandate to authorize military action.

    Mr Blix demolished the argument advanced by Lord Goldsmith three days before the war began, which stated that resolution 1441 authorized the use of force because it revived earlier UN resolutions passed after the 1991 ceasefire.

    Mr Blix said that while it was possible to argue that Iraq had breached the ceasefire by violating UN resolutions adopted since 1991, the “ownership” of the resolutions rested with the entire 15-member Security Council and not with individual states. “It’s the Security Council that is party to the ceasefire, not the UK and US individually, and therefore it is the council that has ownership of the ceasefire, in my interpretation.”

    Hmm, not a lot of room for nuance there. Maybe Dr. Blix isn’t the guy you want to rely on for support on the issue of the illegality or immorality of the invasion.

    I will further point out that I find it intriguing how selectively the Right invokes the authority of the U.N. For the vast majority of the time, the U.N. is cast as an evil organisation opposed to our nation’s interests. Jeane Kirkpatrick went so far as to say that we should withdraw from it altogether. Others on the Right have contended that we should remain a member, but simply not pay our dues.

    As an aside, it was the “Kirkpatrick Doctrine” that justified the U.S. support of Iraq during Reagan’s term. In a nutshell, she claimed “Traditional authoritarian governments are less repressive than revolutionary autocracies.” In that case, Saddam’s regime was merely one of those “traditional authoritarian governments” that acted as a counter to the “revolutionary autocracy” of Iran. This is, in fact, why Reagan and Kirkpatrick looked the other way when the (allegedly) “less repressive” Iraq gassed it’s own population on Reagan’s watch. Dubya, instead, invoked this relatively old atrocity as one of the pretexts for the invasion.

    In the ensuing eight years our primary enemy in Iraq was not Saddam Hussein, it was Al Qaeda.
    Al Qaeda was kept out of Iraq by Hussein. They only moved in when a power vacuum developed. Our invasion was the thing that created that power vacuum.

    Further, we also had a disturbing habit of applying a blanket label of “Al Qaeda” to everyone taking up arms against us during the occupation. It’s not as if these people carried Al Qaeda membership cards or wore Al Qaeda uniforms. It wasn’t until we started bribing militias to side with us that we even admitted Al Qaeda might not be behind every attack. We resolved this by essentially re-defining “Al Qaeda” as people who attack us but refuse to be bribed.

    In the same way, we “knew” everyone that we killed in Vietnam were VietCong by virtue of the fact that we had killed them. Obviously, nobody but “VietCong” could have a beef with us, because we were so well-loved.

    Added to this was the Bush Administration’s completely fact-free assertion that Al Qaeda’s number one desire was to take over a country and govern it.

    I’m not saying Saddam was a hero, though Kirkpatrick might have considered him to be a useful pawn. He was one of many dictators in the world that we simply got tired of supporting, and who had the ill fortune of possessing large amounts of petroleum within his nation’s borders. If he were the dictator of Tonga, he would have been left alone.

    We certainly have several past examples in Central and South America of dictators who massacred their own populations in large numbers and on a regular basis, and who threatened their neighbours. It simply was not worth it to fabricate threats in those cases, especially since they routinely placed their own countries’ interests as a much lower priority than following the script that we handed them – i.e. useful pawns.

    All of this got into politics and made it difficult to prosecute what was, after the invasion, a wholly necessary and just war.

    You are just “doubling down”. Let’s say someone tells me that neighbour stole my car and is keeping it their garage. So, I break into the garage to get my property back, but it’s not there. Instead, a burglar alarm goes off. By your “logic” it now has become “wholly necessary and just” to kill my neighbour and his entire family because it would be too much trouble and too embarrassing to admit that I was wrong and a criminal. Besides, they could have stolen the car and hidden it some place else, and if I’m in jail then I can’t find it and prove I’m right. Besides, my neighbour might not understand that my burglary is justified, and he might try to shoot me himself. So it’s really self-defence. Yeah, that’s right.

  93. Armchair Warlord says:

    BB,

    I hate to break it to you, but things are not going as well as you seem to think in Afghanistan. Right now we are withdrawing from the Pech Valley. We already retreated from Korengal. If we were winning there would be Afghan troops moving into those areas.

    Actually, Afghan troops are staying in the Pech. We have objectively better areas to put American troops than the Pech – it has not been judged to be an important district for our strategy. The Meanwhile the Taliban have been driven from their homelands in Helmand and Kandahar and we are wheeling to put greater pressure on the Afghan east.

    At lease we agree on one thing. You keep defending that disaster while saying that it was a bad decision. You’re definitely confused.

    My stance is clear. Read my posts.

    That description fits both Iraq and Afghanistan. Libya is composed of several tribes who only have 1 thing in common. They all hate Gadhafi. When he is gone the unity goes with him, and, like Iraq and Afghanistan, we would be stuck in the middle.

    So they would all start shooting at us rather than doing what they’ve been doing and set up an equitable government with our support? Tribal affiliation does not equal instant conflict – many nations are composed of various tribes which somehow manage to keep from murdering each other. Like in Iraq, actually.

    No, it doesn’t. In the end the people who live there have to clean up the mess we created. That is true in Iraq, Afghanistan, Egypt, and Libya (where we’re not even responsible for the current mess). They live there. We don’t. It’s not our place to decide what happens.

    We can sure as hell help. And these messes are not of our creation – blame our enemies for their foul deeds.

    Todd,

    Hans Blix by his own testimony declared that Iraq was in material violation of UNSCR 1441. In the American view violation of UNSCR 1441 was sufficient to attack, a view supported by extensive legal analysis which I need not go into at this time suffice to say that Dr. Blix’s legal opinion is likely tainted by his known opposition to the war.

    Further, we also had a disturbing habit of applying a blanket label of “Al Qaeda” to everyone taking up arms against us during the occupation.

    etc.

    No, we did not. Your ignorance of the conduct of the war is profound – combine this with your claim that the Awakening was the US “bribing militias to turn against Al Qaeda” (protip – if it was that simple we would have done it in 2003) and I see no reason you should be taken seriously on this subject or even engaged with.

  94. Bartbuster says:

    So they would all start shooting at us rather than doing what they’ve been doing and set up an equitable government with our support?

    In a word, yes. That’s what happened in in Iraq and Afghanistan.

    Tribal affiliation does not equal instant conflict – many nations are composed of various tribes which somehow manage to keep from murdering each other. Like in Iraq, actually.

    Yes, if you ignore virtually everything that has happened in Iraq for the last 8 years, that sounds exactly like Iraq.

  95. Bartbuster says:

    We can sure as hell help. And these messes are not of our creation – blame our enemies for their foul deeds.

    Our “enemies” didn’t invade Iraq. We did. That’s our mess. Our enemies haven’t supported Mubarak for the last 30+ years, we did. That’s our mess. Our enemies didn’t ignore Afghanistan while pissing away resources in Iraq. We did. That’s our mess.

  96. Bartbuster says:

    Actually, Afghan troops are staying in the Pech.

    Please. Not even the Afghans think they are capable of controlling the Pech Valley.

  97. Bartbuster says:

    your claim that the Awakening was the US “bribing militias to turn against Al Qaeda” (protip – if it was that simple we would have done it in 2003)

    Actually, that is exactly what happened. The reason it didn’t happen in 2003 is because we didn’t trust the Sunnis in 2003 and Bush was still in denial. We didn’t start bribing them until we got really desperate.

  98. Todd Dugdale says:

    AW wrote:
    In the American view violation of UNSCR 1441 was sufficient to attack, a view supported by extensive legal analysis

    Look, you were the one who invoked Blix as some kind of defender of the invasion. Now you say he was biased. I’m sure “in the American view” it was all fine, as long as you strictly define “American” as “the Bush Administration”.

    Hans Blix by his own testimony declared that Iraq was in material violation of UNSCR 1441.

    I think I showed that Blix’s testimony did not mean the things you ascribe to his testimony. Let’s repeat that part:
    Mr Blix demolished the argument advanced by Lord Goldsmith three days before the war began, which stated that resolution 1441 authorized the use of force because it revived earlier UN resolutions passed after the 1991 ceasefire.

    Blix “demolished” the argument that you propose before the invasion even began. He said it was a Security Council issue, not an American or British issue.

    So, except for all of those words he said that contradict your contention, he was in complete agreement with you, right?

    Blix:“It’s the Security Council that is party to the ceasefire, not the UK and US individually, and therefore it is the council that has ownership of the ceasefire, in my interpretation.”

    Seriously, you invoke Blix, you invoke the U.N. resolutions, and then you turn around and say that all of that can be ignored if the Bush Administration disagrees. It’s more than a little dishonest.

    It is, however, par for the course as far as conservatives’ relation to the U.N. goes. If they say what you want to hear, then you are “standing up for the U.N.” If they say what you don’t want to hear, then they are biased, weak fools who have nothing worthwhile to say.

    I see no reason you should be taken seriously on this subject or even engaged with.

    Oh, that’s bloody rich, isn’t it? All you do is gainsay and call me ignorant, and then say that I am the one who shouldn’t be taken seriously.

    Great. Now the wingnuts demand that you agree with them. I guess this is what “reasonable political discourse” has become here lately. Truly pathetic.

  99. Armchair Warlord says:

    BB,

    Actually, that is exactly what happened. The reason it didn’t happen in 2003 is because we didn’t trust the Sunnis in 2003 and Bush was still in denial. We didn’t start bribing them until we got really desperate.

    Paying someone to work for you is not bribery. Our arrangement with the Suuni tribes was that we would pay them to provide security for their areas and we would both help each other fight Al Qaeda, whom they thoroughly hated by that point. The reason this didn’t happen earlier was because we had not proven ourselves capable of conducting effective counterinsurgency and defeating Al Qaeda, which allowed us to successfully engage with and convince Suuni tribes that had formerly been coerced into cooperation with Al Qaeda to side with us.

    Yes, if you ignore virtually everything that has happened in Iraq for the last 8 years, that sounds exactly like Iraq.

    Iraq was never a tribal conflict. The real bloodshed was driven by sectarianism.

    Our “enemies” didn’t invade Iraq. We did. That’s our mess. Our enemies haven’t supported Mubarak for the last 30+ years, we did. That’s our mess. Our enemies didn’t ignore Afghanistan while pissing away resources in Iraq. We did. That’s our mess.

    The US did not make jihadists start trouble in Iraq and Afghanistan. That was their own decision and they deserve the blame for it – even if we contributed to the circumstances surrounding it, the burglar is to blame for the theft if you leave your door open and your TV gets stolen. We have, however, worked tirelessly to kick them back out again.

    Please. Not even the Afghans think they are capable of controlling the Pech Valley.

    Well, they don’t seem to be intent on leaving.

    Todd,

    Look, you were the one who invoked Blix as some kind of defender of the invasion. Now you say he was biased. I’m sure “in the American view” it was all fine, as long as you strictly define “American” as “the Bush Administration”.

    No, Blix is definitely biased – I invoked him as a hard-to-refute source on Iraq being in violation of UNSCR 1441, not as the be-all, end-all legal authority on the overall legality of the invasion.

    Blix “demolished” the argument that you propose before the invasion even began. He said it was a Security Council issue, not an American or British issue.

    Are you sure you are reading this correctly? I believe this was Dr. Blix “demolishing,” in testimony eight years after the fact, an argument that Lord Goldsmith made three days before the invasion.

    Seriously, you invoke Blix, you invoke the U.N. resolutions, and then you turn around and say that all of that can be ignored if the Bush Administration disagrees. It’s more than a little dishonest.

    Regarding the claim that additional resolutions were necessary to invade Iraq following Iraqi noncompliance with UNSCR 1441, no additional resolutions were seen as necessary for previous American operations against Iraq such as Desert Fox in 1998 and I have heard no serious contention of the issue. Why is 2003 any different?

    Oh, that’s bloody rich, isn’t it? All you do is gainsay and call me ignorant, and then say that I am the one who shouldn’t be taken seriously.

    Well, I’ve already hit you bit about the Awakening above. Regarding your claim that Al Qaeda doesn’t seek a state, it’s right there in their goals that their end state is a global Islamic Caliphate under their interpretation of Islam.

    The rest of your post was kind of rambling and made my head hurt – I hope you’re not expecting me to defend the entirety of Reagan-era foreign policy point by point. If you want my stance on these kind of things much of it can be found on earlier posts in this thread.

  100. Bartbuster says:

    Paying someone to work for you is not bribery.

    It is when you’ve been telling everyone for years that they’re the new Nazis, only to discover that you need to pay them off to stop a civil war.

    The US did not make jihadists start trouble in Iraq and Afghanistan.

    The “jihadists” live there. We don’t. The problem didn’t exist until we invaded. It certainly wasn’t a problem for me. I have no Fing idea why you think it was a problem for you. But if you do think it was a problem, you should be paying to clean it up. I sure as Fing hell have no interest in paying for it.;

  101. Todd Dugdale says:

    AW wrote:
    Are you sure you are reading this correctly? I believe this was Dr. Blix “demolishing,” in testimony eight years after the fact, an argument that Lord Goldsmith made three days before the invasion.

    Are you being deliberately obtuse? Goldsmith’s position is virtually the same as yours – which is why I termed it “the argument you propose”.

    Goldsmith’s position was “that resolution 1441 authorized the use of force because it revived earlier UN resolutions passed after the 1991 ceasefire”.

    You then write:
    “Regarding the claim that additional resolutions were necessary to invade Iraq following Iraqi noncompliance with UNSCR 1441, no additional resolutions were seen as necessary for previous American operations against Iraq such as Desert Fox in 1998 ”

    So both of you contend that UNSCR 1441 was some kind of “blank cheque” that could be invoked perpetually without further mandates.

    Of the Security Council, the only ones who thought that Desert Fox was authorised by UNSCR 1441 were the U.K. and the U.S. The other three Member States were so outraged that they made serious efforts to undermine the embargo and disband UNSCOM. In fact, the only rationalisation that the U.S. offered was that Desert Fox was restricted to “degrading” Saddam’s manufacturing of WMDs – and that elimination of the WMDs was off the table. As was “regime change”, ostensibly. Even Clinton knew that would require a Security Council mandate, after all.

    I have heard no serious contention of the issue.
    Well, it seems to me that you did today, and from Dr. Blix in sworn testimony. Frankly, I have no idea where you get this idea that 1441 authorised force.

    Why is 2003 any different?
    The Security Council was involved in neither Desert Fox nor the invasion. So, they were both illegal. No force was authorised by UNSCR 1441, because that is the domain of the Security Council. Thus, your premise is false.

    As I showed in Blix’s testimony, even the British government didn’t think they had authorisation to use force.

    Once again: “Sir Andrew Turnbull, the Cabinet Secretary, revealed that the Government had assumed, until the eve of war in Iraq, that it needed a specific UN mandate to authorize military action.
    Goldsmith was the only one with any stature who seriously contended (in the UK) that force was authorised, and even he said that UNSCR 1441 did not authorise force as late as 1-03. His considered opinion was, at that time, that “UN Resolution 1441 did not sanction the use of force and that a further resolution would be required before military action”.

    Again, only the Americans and Goldsmith (reluctantly) held the belief that UNSCR 1441 was a “blank cheque”. So how did Goldsmith’s legal opinions hold up? Look here.

    Money quote:
    “It was not plain that Iraq had failed to comply in a manner justifying resort to force and there were no strong factual grounds or hard evidence to show that it had.

    “Hans Blix and his team of weapons inspectors had found no weapons of mass destruction, were making progress and expected to complete their task in a matter of months.”

    Lord Bingham also criticised Lord Goldsmith for failing to make clear that only the UN Security Council could judge whether there had been compliance and, if appropriate, authorise further action.

    “If I am right that the invasion of Iraq by the US, the UK and some other states was unauthorised by the Security Council there was, of course, a serious violation of international law and of the rule of law,” he said.

    Pretty much everyone in HMG, upon reviewing Goldsmith’s opinion, said he was wrong – completely and utterly. And his opinion is virtually the same as yours – i.e. that 1441 was a “blank cheque”.

    Look at UNSCR 1441 as an indictment. An indictment is neither a conviction, nor a sentence. It did not say that “anything goes”.

    Well, I’ve already hit you bit about the Awakening above.
    Yes, you said I was ignorant. Well played. It certainly was persuasive.

    Of course, between the two of us, I am the only one producing linked evidence to back up my positions. You have chosen the bold course of repeating “Nuh-uh!”, which is exceedingly hard to refute.

    The rest of your post was kind of rambling and made my head hurt

    Yes, those are called “facts”. Apparently they are what “ignorant” people use in discussions. Let me simplify it for you: The only time that Saddam had WMDs was during the Reagan Administration, and Reagan approved of it because he was using them on Iran in a brutal trench war. The U.N. said, at that time, “Hey, this isn’t really legal, and it sets a very bad precedent”. Reagan told the U.N. to shut the hell up and stay out Iraq’s internal affairs. Ironic, isn’t it?

    Now, for extra credit, guess which country sold Iraq the technology to make those WMDs? Hint: It was a country that Reagan was President of at the time. What a head-scratcher, eh?

    Are you getting the idea that things aren’t quite as black-and-white as you have made them out to be?

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