T Nation

Tomahawks Launched


As you probably already know; U.S. submarines and Destroyers have now launched more than 100 Tomahawk Cruise Missles against Muammar Quddafi's Air Defense grid.

The grid appears to be of old, (but effective) Soviet Design (similar to what was in Iraq).

Damage assessments are now being made.

Quddafi "appeared" to be "calling the U.S.'s bluff" as he continued an assault on the port city of Benghazi. However, there are many who feel that he is a madman ready and willing to die as a "martyr" at the expense of his people.

Let's discuss.



One of the best grades of oil comes from Libya. Its about time we attacked the right guy. And we did it with the sanction of the Arab League. Take the oil with full approval.

My opinion of Obama is improving! Slick stuff!!


Hope/Change or New Boss = Old Boss?

From Drudge home page:

MARCH 19, 2011
OBAMA: 'Today we are part of a broad coalition. We are answering the calls of a threatened people. And we are acting in the interests of the United States and the world'...

MARCH 19, 2003
BUSH: 'American and coalition forces are in the early stages of military operations to disarm Iraq, to free its people and to defend the world from grave danger'...

Did not fact check dates/quotes, but it's clear that "O" approved US missiles fired into Libya.

  1. Renewed Patriot Act
  2. Approved US strike in middle eastern conflict
  3. Slow response to disaster
  4. Cozy relationship with 'big oil'/'big corp'

Sound familiar? Change, indeed.


I'll tip my hat to the new constitution
Take a bow for the new revolution
Smile and grin at the change all around me
Pick up my guitar and play
Just like yesterday
Then I'll get on my knees and pray
We don't get fooled again
Don't get fooled again
No, no!

Meet the new boss
Same as the old boss



Plus ca bloody change


seriously, this is a screwed up situation. Ghaddafi will bomb his own civilians and has called on air strikes on protestors. On the other hand, European and American military forces are pretty stretched and we are in the middle of huge spending cuts in the UK. Part of me thinks we can't afford it, part of me thinks Ghaddafi is the only thing holding LIbya together and part of me thinks he's a mad dog that needs to be put down. But Saudi Arabia sent 1000 troops into Bahrain without a murmur of protest, Yement fires on its own citizens and Iran and Syria continue to suppress dissent. If we (by which I mean NATO generally) want to be the world policemen where does it end?


I love the Who quote, but this is an entirely false parallel. There are fundamental differences at play here--the opinion of the international community, the source of the call for action (from a beleaguered people rather than from within the US intelligence community). In 2003 the Bush administration basically went on TV and campaigned for the opportunity to strike. They spent time and money trying to convince the American people that action needed to be taken, and they predicated the justification for that action on shady intelligence (which not incidentally turned out to be bullshit).

Here we have a clear reason for action and widespread international consensus with regard to the necessity of that action.

As far as I'm concerned it is the right thing to do. If the UN doesn't exist to intervene when a lunatic is using his government's military against his own people, why does it fucking exist at all?

Though I agree that we would do well to carefully reflect upon the blunders we made in 2003, lest one of the darkest chapters of our recent history repeat itself.


stuff them up his ass


I agree with the bulk of your post. But I want to focus on the great similarity between Bush and company selling the Iraq war and Obama and company selling the public national health care. Bush's popularity ended up plummeting because of the badgering he took from a hostile press. And Obama, while the press loves him, will end up getting hurt because of his sales job on health care.

In the end the people wanted neither an invasion of Iraq or national health both over sold by the chief executive at the time.



You are amazing!

I mean this seriously...you ought to start a parlor game called:

"The Seven Degrees of Barack Obama"...



You gotta love Ghadaffi on this, trying to spin this as him taking out Al Qaeda, and that his people love him. The dude is no longer on planet Earth anymore.


Irrelevant. Hindsight is 20/20. US/Coalition invaded Iraq with support from domestic and international community on what was thought to be good intelligence. At the time, it was 'clear'.

It was only after the 'war' didn't end immediately, like a video game, that support waned.

Saddam Hussein did in fact in his history gas and otherwise kill en masse his own people. Did you conveniently just forget that?

The Iraqi people didn't want an oppressive dictator as much as the Libyans. However 10 years ago, the means of social networking and the wide spread communication technology that we have now didn't exist or was in it's infancy. The fact there were no mass uprisings coordinated on Twitter didn't mean the sentiment wasn't there.

The tag line we got over and over was " isn't our business, why are we there?" No difference. Now we have 3 conflicts. 3 nations to build. What happened to "The US shouldn't be the world's police? The US shouldn't be building nations?"

The justification and blind acceptance by some for this administration is unreal (Note: I could say the same for the last administration as well).



This is idiotic to the point it makes my hair hurt. The Iraq War wasn't predicated on "shady intelligence" - it was predicated on actionable intelligence vetted by the Senate.

What else - the Iraq War was authorized in a bipartisan war resolution that contained over 20 writs for invading (not just WMD). The cause was then taken to the UNSC, which voted unanimously to issue a final declaration that Saddam must comply with disarmament obligations (since he was in material breach). The difference in opinion was simply how to enforce this resolution if Saddam didn't play ball - and it was clear neither Russia nor China would authorize force to force compliance.

But ironically, when the point was raised to intervene in Iraq in order to stop Saddam from "using his military against his own people" - which he was doing - hipsters far and wide said "none of our business".

If there is a parallel at all to draw with the current situation, it is Kosovo - a military action without Congressional authorization that will be mostly air power.

Enough of this stupid narrative about Iraq.


LOL!!! I'm not sure what to do about hurting hair syndrome. The Iraq war is one of the most blatant and thorough instances of revisionist history around and that within just a few years of the events. Both the brazenness of the players and the numbness of the jackasses who buy it is breathtaking. There was very wide support for the initial invasion, at least in the western world based on nearly universal multinational intelligence. In 04 the Duelfer report ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iraq_Survey_Group ) concluded that Hussein probably had every intention of waiting out the UN and by extension the international community and resuming his WMD programs. That was roundly ignored by most of the press.

The thing that people will not or maybe cannot accept is that there is simply no "good" way to handle any of these situations. All options suck and the honchos are left agonizing over which terrible path will be least so.


Shady in that it turned out to be bullshit.

The invasion wasn't predicated on the (probably true) notion that Hussein was seeking WMD or that he was going to wait UN inspectors out and then resume his nuclear program. It was predicated on the false claim that WMD were already extant in Iraq. This is not a controversial statement.


Whether I agree with the decision to intervene in Libya or not is irrelevant. My point is simply that, unlike what you said in your OP, this is a completely different situation than in 2003.

Why did we invade in 2003? WMD? Well they weren't there. Because Saddam was a bad guy? There were and are worse. Some say oil? No probably not. Whatever the real motivation was, the idea from its very inception was a top-down phenomenon. It came down to the American public (and the rest of the world) from the White House. It was 'sold' to us (not unconvincingly).

And in this case? There is a clear and CURRENT (Saddam's crimes had been years old by the time we invaded) threat to beleaguered civilians who are calling to the international community for help. The turmoil in Libya has had an entirely indigenous source--the product of a rapidly changing Middle Eastern landscape imploding from WITHIN rather than collapsing under Western pressure.

The changed political climate in the region (a phenomenon dating back only a few months) alone is enough to make your comparison largely meaningless.

And, for the record, support for the intervention in Libya is not as you say "blind acceptance for this administration." The Obama White House has exuded reluctance in discussing ways to deal with this issue. This is not "Obama's" in the way that the invasion of Iraq was "Bush's".


Going to war to protect Europe's Oil Interest, didn't the left have this catchy chant for going to war over oil when Bush was in office?

So much for the peace president, and if the Anti War left doesn't start protesting this lets just go ahead and finally call that whole movement a Partisan joke.

What was the last poll, 65% of Americans against this? So much for "Democracy" or "Republic"


Reluctance or sold, Bush pulled trigger, Obama pulled trigger. Commander-in-Chief owns the decision whether gung-ho or reluctant.


Are we at war with Libya now? I didn't read where Congress declared war on a sovereign country.

Is the US in the business of just lobbing missiles into countries now?


Don't try and squirm out of your horseshit post re: "2003 invasion of Iraq, darkest hour" nonsense. When intelligence turns out to be wrong, it isn't necessarily bad when it was believed to be right at the time.


Clever comment in a blog post worth passing along:

[i]Obviously, the biggest problem with Bush was sending the military into an Arab Muslim country that hadnâ??t even attacked us. Among the several things that made that offensive were
* the rush to war â?? it was only several months after the possibility of military involvement was raised that combat operations began
* lack of United Nations sanction â?? only 17 relevant resolutions were ever passed before they were enforced
* lack of Congressional oversight â?? the President authorized the use of military force based on the flimsy pretext of a bill passed by Congress titled â??Authorization of the Use of Military Forceâ??, rather than seeking a document that had the words â??declaration of warâ?? in it; thatâ??s every bit as bad as getting no Congressional approval at all
* obvious financial motives â?? clearly no one approved of the murderous dictator or sought a normal working relationship with him besides the French; at the same time, one couldnâ??t help but be suspicious of the fact that the population we were ostensibly protecting was located conveniently near the oil fields
* stretching our military â?? we were overburdened as it was, and our brave military despite its courage lacked the resources for yet another operation
* inflating our military â?? the only way to keep the bloodthirsty Pentagon beast fed was to give it the hordes of jobless young men who had no prospects in an economy that saw unemployment skyrocket above 4% in most states
* ignoring our generals â?? the decision to go to war was made by political hacks who had never worn a uniform
* inflaming the Arab Street â?? despite some touchy-feely talk about Islam, it was impossible for the Muslim world not to notice how the President made repeated, insistent proclamations of his Christianity, how he only ever used the military against Muslim targets, and how at the time the war started heâ??d kept the concentration camp at Guantanamo open for over a year
* wasting money â?? it was completely irresponsible to commit the military to an expensive mission when the Presidentâ??s fiscal mismanagement had resulted in a budget deficit of over $150 billion in 2002

But anyway, what I really like about Obama is that heâ??s gone 29-3 in his bracket picks over the first two days. You have to spend a lot of time watching college basketball to be that good.[/i]


And, since candidate Obama said this during his campaign:

The President does not have power under the Constitution to unilaterally authorize a military attack in a situation that does not involve stopping an actual or imminent threat to the nation.

...fair questions are being raised about the legitimacy of the President's actions.

Even if you're someone who favors this intervention, what's the rationale for not requiring a debate and vote in Congress over whether the President should be able to commit the nation to a new military conflict? Candidate Obama, candidate Clinton, and the Bush-era Democrats all recognized the constitutional impropriety of unilateral actions like this one; why shouldn't they be held to that?