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Thistleboy1980 user not visiting Queenzone.com
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Posted: 09 Mar 11, 18:55 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

I bet you thought this would be something newsworthy, the start of an interesting debate, an intellectually challenging question or even a profound speech.....all I want to know is, wtf is that wee bit of dust just above his top lip?


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Posted: 09 Mar 11, 21:50 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

What I really want to know is why hasn't the no-fly zone been established? Why isn't my president saying something about what's happening over there? I support this president and believe things are being handled behind the scenes, but the world needs to know The President of the United States is taking an active role in helping to stop the massacre there. The longer intervention takes - as people plead for it - the more people will be slaughtered and the less chance people in other countries will be encouraged to fight for their own freedom. Shouldn't the international community - shouldn't the USA - already be involved? Or... am I missing something?


"The others don't like my interviews. And frankly, I don't care much for theirs." ~ Freddie Mercury



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Posted: 10 Mar 11, 06:44 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

The international community is not welcome on the ground, the resistance movement has made that very clear. They do support a no-fly zone, but so far the Russians have been blocking that. As to further intervention, the only organizations with any right to do so are the African Union and the Arab League. The latter is currently planning their course of action, the former is essentially locked down by the fact that its current leader is Mbasogo of Equatorial Guinea, a dictator who is terribly afraid of democracy. Mali is likely to push for action, though, because Ghadaffi is arming the Tuareg, a people notoriously bellicose and currently infested by Al Qaeda.

What bothers me terribly is the mixture of truth and illusion Ghadaffi is spewing. He incessantly refers to Al Qaeda drugging the nations youth - and while that is not the cause of this uprising, it is not a lie either. Al Qaeda is active in the vast South of Libia, and has been for decades. The west has painted an image of Ghadaffi as a leader friendly to terrorist cells, but this is not exactly true. Ghadaffi has always kept up that appearance, because the truth is far more humiliating from his point of view: he has no power whatsoever in the South of Libia, and never had. Those terrorist cells are there despite him, not because of him.

Until recently, Ghadaffi was the least objectionable of all African dictators. He suppressed political opposition, but allowed the Libians a reasonable degree of personal freedom, and while he gained decadently from the proceeds of oil, he also spent enough on the population to give Libia the highest standard of living of any African country except South Africa. It is only since the Tunisian protests started that he has turned on his own people, which is bizarre, because his strategy has always been to respond to unrest by spending money on the people to keep them quiet for another few years. That is not exactly moral, but it is essentially no worse than what the west does. However, something must have changed, because the violence he uses now is completely out-of-character. The current situation might seem like the last desperate act of a madman, but I am reasonably convinced something more complicated and possibly even less savoury lurks below the surface. I don't buy into the idea that Islamists are the driving force behind the protests (if they were, the people on the front line wouldn't be clean-shaven young men as is largely the case, and they certainly wouldn't be flying the monarchist flag), but from reports on the first three days of the Libian protests, I get the eerie impression that not all foreign 'mercenaries' who poured into Libia are on Ghadaffi's payroll. It seems to me like Al Qaeda c.s. are making use of the fighting in the north to consolidate their power over the south west of Libia, near the Malinese border.


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Posted: 10 Mar 11, 07:58 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Wow. Thank you for that, TQ. I really need to watch more BBC or Al Jazeera. CNN has said nothing about Russia blocking the no-fly zone proposal. If anything, the CNN commentators are angrily asking when President Obama is going to do something. I still wish he'd make some type of statement.

About the change in Ghadaffi's tactics - could it be that it's no longer him in control but his son or sons?


"The others don't like my interviews. And frankly, I don't care much for theirs." ~ Freddie Mercury



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Posted: 10 Mar 11, 08:35 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

I'm glad to be of help. BBC reports are changing very rapidly today, and indeed I see that the Russia-references (the Russian ambassador to the UN had made clear he would veto a resolution for a no-fly zone by the permanent council) BBC World had about four hours ago have now gone. The Dutch media still repeat those, but they are probably just being slow. It might be that Russia has resumed talks on a resolution of some kind, but that's just speculation. Obama can't act without a UN resolution, because at this stage, that would mean it's an illegal war like the one in Iraq. Obama would be in Bush Jr.'s position. There are AWACS craft flying over Libia already, so a no-fly-zone could theoretically be implemented at a moment's notice.

Germany has now frozen all Libian accounts, and France now recognizes the National Council of the resistance in Benghazi as sole legitimate authority in Libia (usually, the spelling Libya is used in English, but the original Latin is more authentic and IMHO looks better). Even though I think France is moving a bit fast, considering the fact that they are moving on their own, this seems to be one of those rare instances in which Germany and France both seem to be on the right track.

The problem with Ghadaffi in the power structure is that he doesn't have an official job. He used to be president, but he stepped back in 1979, and now his function is largely as an honorary head of state. Nobody is really sure how much influence he has, we only know that his sons are mostly in powerful positions. Probably the most powerful right now, and quite possibly the person at the buttons, is his fourth son: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Al-Mu%27tasim-Billah_al-Gaddafi

Right now, it seems that the counter-offensive by pro-Ghadaffi forces is succeeding in driving the resistance back, so international pressure is going to be very important.


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Posted: 10 Mar 11, 08:42 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

This extract from Wikipedia is a reasonable description of Libia's political system and Ghadaffi's position in it. He is the author of the so-called "Green Book", which is a little like Mao's "Red Book" in form, though the relation is superficial.

The Green Book rejects modern liberal democracy, "free press", and capitalism. Democracy in Libya is based on direct democracy in the form of popular committees. (However this system is limited by the fact that Gadaffi himself appoints
a cabinet and departamental ministers, and the influence of unelected revolutionary committees throughout the government.
Freedom of speech is based on state ownership of all book publishers, newspapers, television and radio stations, on the
grounds that private ownership would be undemocratic. (At least one observer has called the resulting media "dull" and
lacking in a "clash" of ideas.) Libya's economic system is based on the premise that all employees must be "partners not
wage-workers", and forbids paying employees a wage in return for labor.

Some of it works, most of it doesn't. In all, it's a reshuffling of the USSR with a little more wealth for the people and nepotism in stead of bureaucracy. It was better than most African countries to live in, but worse than some.


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Posted: 10 Mar 11, 09:45 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

The US will impress me the most if they stay out of it.  It's not that I don't want someone to stop the slaughter; it's that I've yet to see an intervention that was a good idea in the long run.  Y'know the old saying, "First - do no harm".  Or something like that.


"Your not funny, your not a good musician, theres a difference between being funny and being an idiot, you obviously being the latter" - Dave R Fuller
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Posted: 10 Mar 11, 12:47 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

yeah yeah, all good.....but what about that wee bit of dust on his top lip?


It ain't about how hard you can hit, it's about how hard you can get hit: how much you can take and keep moving forward. That's how winning is done!
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Posted: 10 Mar 11, 12:55 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

You've heard of a playoff beard, right?  Well that's just an insurrection 'stache.   Give it time!

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Posted: 10 Mar 11, 18:05 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Thistleboy 1980 wrote:


I bet you thought this would be something newsworthy, the start of an interesting debate, an intellectually challenging question or even a profound speech.....all I want to know is, wtf is that wee bit of dust just above his top lip?


Its probably carpet burns....... :)


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But as soon as I step in dog shit, I can moonwalk better than Michael Jackson."
Thistleboy1980 user not visiting Queenzone.com
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Posted: 10 Mar 11, 18:09 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Its probably carpet burns....... :) =============================================================================================

LMFAO.


It ain't about how hard you can hit, it's about how hard you can get hit: how much you can take and keep moving forward. That's how winning is done!
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Posted: 11 Mar 11, 07:07 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

ThomasQuinn wrote: Right now, it seems that the counter-offensive by pro-Ghadaffi forces is succeeding in driving the resistance back, so international pressure is going to be very important.


But what kind of international pressure? Ghadaffi has already been called illegitimate, and sanctions have been put in place yet, as you said above, pro-Ghadaffi forces still drive back the resistance. I understand the Libyan people don't want boots on the ground but world leaders have (outwardly) taken only a watch and wait stance. If the international community wants democracy for all people then by not acting are they not encouraging other cruel leaders to squash hints at revolt in their own countries? This was a movement spread by momentum and if the international community fails here - which it looks like they will -  then they effectively stop that momentum.
.
I guess what's most upsetting is how the Libyan people are using live newscasts to beg the US for help, mentioning the president by name. This was our chance to extend a hand of friendship to a part of the world where hate for the US is the norm. I wouldn't want us to instigate an unjust war (again) but fear we've missed a great opportunity here.


"The others don't like my interviews. And frankly, I don't care much for theirs." ~ Freddie Mercury



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Posted: 12 Mar 11, 06:18 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

I agree that the list of options is getting shorter by the minute, and I also agree that the west is fast losing an opportunity to do the right thing here. There are a few things, though, I think the world, particularly Europe, can still do to help:
1) immediately impose a full naval blockade; the British have intercepted a ship full of Libian cash meant to pay for Ghadaffi's mercenaries. He is undoubtedly getting other supplies by sea as well.
2) establish a no-fly zone. Not only will this stop fighter raids on the resistance, it will also hinder Ghadaffi's efforts to fly in mercenaries.
3) enforce a demilitarised zone in Libia's coastal waters. This is legally complex, but not illegal, as a very confusing and inexact set of laws governs naval law whereas laws for military force on land are far more closely defined. This, incidentally, is one of the most important reasons why the commander of the nazi navy, admiral Dönitz, was acquitted of most charges at Nuremberg. It would involve disabling Libian military vessels bombarding the resistance from sea, as is apparently happening.
4) get a UN declaration stating that the Ghadaffi regime is waging illegal civil war; this would make it legal to perform precision airstrikes on, for instance, armoured units.


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Posted: 12 Mar 11, 12:40 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

I think precision strikes should be an option, once the US demonstrates that they are actually capable of them.  For such a fighting force, there seems to have been an awful lot of mishaps in the past;  although I suppose the term 'mishap' is conditional on one's idea of what constitutes acceptable collateral damage.

Obama is not helping his case at the moment.  I saw something on a news ticker to the effect of "Obama : noose is tightening around Gadaffi", or some such.  What kind of noose is this, exactly?  The "Gee I Hope This Goes Well" Noose?  The "I Can't Quite Remember Where Libya Is But Let's Hope For The Best" Noose?  Get off your arse, Obama, and do something already.  A few phonecalls to the UN and we can make it all nice and legal.


"Your not funny, your not a good musician, theres a difference between being funny and being an idiot, you obviously being the latter" - Dave R Fuller
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Posted: 12 Mar 11, 14:38 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Well, finally! The Arab League has just endorsed a no-fly zone. Maybe now, if it's not too late, we can get in there and help these people.


"The others don't like my interviews. And frankly, I don't care much for theirs." ~ Freddie Mercury