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Libya: The case for non-intervention

Gavin Hewitt | 09:47 UK time, Wednesday, 2 March 2011

As I was leaving Malta for Brussels the buzz on this tiny island, that has witnessed so much history, was whether it would be used to provide a platform for enforcing a no-fly zone against Libya.

Two American amphibious assault ships, the USS Kearsarge and the Ponce, are heading into the Mediterranean. One is capable of carrying 2,000 Marines.

David Cameron has ordered his defence chiefs to draw up plans to see whether Britain's soon-to-be-depleted armed forces can be involved.


USS Kearsarge - file pic

All of this talk took my mind back to when I witnessed outside intervention first-hand. It was back in 2003 and I sat on a Bradley as the American Third Infantry rode into the Iraqi city of Karbala.

This is what I wrote back then: "We patrolled. They waved. But there was a space between us. The American soldiers did not want the people close. They were liberated but not trusted. The people also held back. They were restrained, guarded, a half-smiling crowd... The men on the tanks had the power and the street knew that. What they did not know was what the Americans would do with their power."

That was the point: the overthrow of Saddam was "Made in America". There was no coherent plan for what came after. Out of terrible violence a democracy of sorts eventually emerged. But the Iraqis could never pretend this was their uprising.

The key fact about the Arab Awakening is that it is the work of Arabs themselves. It started with a street vendor in Tunisia who simply refused to be pushed around anymore. His sacrifice released a tide of anger across North Africa and the Middle East. It was rage against corruption, against leaders who enriched themselves and were bent on establishing dynasties. Crucially it was rage against shame.

As Fouad Ajami wrote in the New York Times this week: "There is no overstating the importance of the fact that these Arab revolutions are the works of the Arabs themselves. No foreign gunboats were coming to the rescue, the cause of their emancipation would stand or fall on its own."

The outcome of the Jasmine Revolution is far from certain, but it is Made in North Africa. From what I have heard, the opposition don't want foreign intervention. They are gradually putting together units that over time may be able to take the battle to Tripoli. They are forging the destiny of their own country. It is empowering, the moment that years of servitude are being thrown off.

However well-intentioned, any outside military intervention would rob the protesters of ownership of their future. If democracy emerged it would have been partially delivered by outsiders.

In Pakistan I am always struck by the politics of victimhood. I have listened to numerous politicians who say that all would change if only the Americans left their neighbourhood. It is, of course, a convenient excuse. It absolves them of taking responsibility.

Now the Senate in the United States has passed a resolution urging the UN Security Council to impose a no-fly zone zone. Others are much more cautious. The new French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe is among them.

Most European nations would only contemplate action if there was a clear UN resolution, although the UK Foreign Secretary William Hague said "there have been occasions in the past when such a no-fly zone has had clear, legal, international justification, even without a Security Council resolution".

It is tempting for leaders to intervene. Sending in the military seems to flow in the life-blood of power. David Cameron, having previously opposed the liberal interventionism of Tony Blair, is now urging his defence chiefs to draw up plans. Military action may become necessary if Gaddafi threatens to use chemical weapons. The Italians believe he might do something desperate to defend the regime. Slaughter may reach a point where it becomes morally impossible to stand aside.

But overwhelmingly those who know the Middle East argue that this is a time to let them carve out their future.

There is much that Europe and the EU can do, particularly with its "soft power". Next week the EU will hold a summit where it can sketch out what it might do for those countries on the Mediterranean's southern rim.

The UK Deputy Prime Minister, Nick Clegg, is coming to Brussels. He will say all of this is "happening in our backyard". It is "a defining moment for Europe". His vision is of a Europe offering advice to build civic institutions, using trade to bolster democracy. It is less dramatic than patrolling the Libyan desert or Marines shipping arms to the opposition, but it enables the young men and women of North Africa to retain ownership of their revolution.

Comments

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  • 1. At 10:33am on 02 Mar 2011, sevenstargreen wrote:

    If the Libyans are happy with "non intervention" then their wish will be
    fulfilled,at least by the EU.A meeting planned for next week eh? No doubt
    there has been a meeting to plan for that,then there will be another meeting to discuss that one which will lead to yet another meeting to put
    in place an agenda for the next one,and so on ad nauseum.Theres always the possibility that Cathy whatsername will pop up on our screens telling
    us....er....No,scratch that it will be the usual platitudes illustrating
    just how much she is out of her depth,and as usual no-one will remember a
    word she said thirty seconds afterwards.

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  • 2. At 10:50am on 02 Mar 2011, Menedemus wrote:

    ... and even if Mad-as-a-duck Gaddafi uses his Oil Revenues/Foreign Aid monies (despicably donated) to fund his military/mercenaries to bomb, shell, shoot, gas and/or biologically infect the rebellious Libyans in 'their retention of ownership of their revolution", we, the civilised Europeans(?), should do nothing to help?

    My inclination is to say that we, Europeans, should have nothing to do with the Libyan revolution but I am willing to bet there will be military intervention as soon as any excuse is provided by Gaddafi or his minions to 'justify the action taken' ... the Oil of Libya is too precious to Europe and America.

    Politicians are always too willing to have blood on their hands but it is never their own blood!

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  • 3. At 11:26am on 02 Mar 2011, Freeborn John wrote:

    The case for intervention is not Iraq 2003, but Iraq 1991 when Sadaam Hussein brutally crushed the uprisings in his country after he was ousted from Kuwait.

    There are only two 'non-interventionist' outcomes in Libya now. Either (i) the uprising succeeds in ousting Gadaffi, or (ii) he reasserts control over Benghazi and all the other areas where the protesters have temporary control. The latter currently seems more likely and the consequences would be fatal for the protesters there. There is no balance of forces between Gadaffi and the Libyan people. This is not a fair fight. It is no use saying it would be great if Libyans could do this on their own in the face of despot prepared to use force. That is like wishing Leyton Orient would beat Manchester United with a 5-man team. As with Iraq 1991 the despot has all the resources of an oil-rich state and the military hardware its oil-wealth buys and the protesters are massively out-gunned.

    This is no time for Obama to go wobbly. One minute he says he wants the world to speak with one voice, but settles for a travel ban and slow-acting sanctions! Sanctions take years to work by which time many of today’s Libyan protesters could be in their graves. There has been a travel ban on the Burmese generals in Rangoon for years, but totally ineffective when they never left their country in their lifetimes. The next minute Obama says he is ready to offer "any type of assistance" to Libyans seeking to oust Gadaffi. And the next that there should not be a no-fly zone to stop him using helicopter gunships on them.

    Intervention does not mean American or british troops going in. There should be a 3rd-option in Libya, i.e. preventing Gadaffi from reasserting control over the entire country by enforcing a no-fly zone over Libya and persuading peacekeeping forces from the new regimes in neighbouring Tunisia and Eygpt to come in to protect the existing territory that Libyan protesters have won and free-up the Libyan forces to move against Gadaffi en masse in Tripoli.

    It seems to me Western leaders are making the old mistake of learning the lessons of the last war, when they need to remember those of the last but one. Obama needs to unlearn the weasel Brussels words about ‘speaking with one voice’ while taking lowest common denominator action. The liberal tradition of the English-speaking world is that we are responsible not just for the actions we take, but also for the negative consequences of the actions we do not take. The Libyan uprising must not be crushed now like the Iraq uprising was in 1991 while an American president turns a blind eye to a state’s mass killing of its own citizens.

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  • 4. At 11:38am on 02 Mar 2011, RWWCardiff wrote:

    Yes I agree with European caution for once. All the former colonial powers have pretty poor record in N. Africa and their future should be decided by themselves. It's time to use that pithy Americanism and 'butt out'. What we should be doing is what we have become quite good at lately and that is humanitarian assistance. That would coincide with Maltese sensibilities especially since using Malta as a a military base is forbidden by their constitution.
    Regards, etc.

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  • 5. At 12:29pm on 02 Mar 2011, Freeborn John wrote:

    The French approach here illustrates what is wrong with the Continental (Kantian) version of liberalism, where one rules out action on moral grounds irrespective of the consequences. President Sarkozy is apparently sending the Libyan opposition humanitarian supplies while arguing against a no-fly zone. Nice job, Mr. President! Send them painkillers and bandages to tend their wounds from Gadaffi’s helicopter gunships while doing nothing to stop them flying. What will you do for an encore Mr. President? Send them free coffins?

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  • 6. At 1:12pm on 02 Mar 2011, jr4412 wrote:

    Gavin Hewitt.

    "The key fact about the Arab Awakening is that it is the work of Arabs themselves."

    it remains to be seen whether or not there were no covert outside influences.

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  • 7. At 1:15pm on 02 Mar 2011, Race_Equality_Inspector wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 8. At 1:23pm on 02 Mar 2011, jr4412 wrote:

    Freeborn John #5.

    "..illustrates what is wrong with the Continental (Kantian) version of liberalism.."

    I take it then that you consider the current state of the world (war and strife, half of the global population in abject poverty and without clean water or food, etc) a ringing endorsement of Bentham's utilitarianism?? just asking.

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  • 9. At 1:36pm on 02 Mar 2011, Sasha Clarkson wrote:

    Sadly, parts of the European establishment, not only from the UK, had invested heavily in Gadaffi. Here's a very interesting article from 'Der Spiegel' about Berlusconi and the Italian-Libyan relationship.

    http://www.spiegel.de/international/europe/0,1518,747745,00.html

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  • 10. At 2:07pm on 02 Mar 2011, RoundRockMike wrote:

    This was a well thought out article mirroring many of my thoughts about the Jasmine Revolutions. The UK and the US may need to intervene in a limited way by supplying the air power defense that revolutionaries in Libya lack, but intervention in Libya by European or American ground troops should not occur. Egypt and to a much lesser extent Tunisia could provide ground and air support more effectively from a political perspective, but Tunisia is very vulnerable to Libyan government attacks, and neither country has completed its own Jasmine Revolution yet. News this morning suggests that Gaddafi bombed cities last night. Let us all hope the Italians are wrong about desperate actions and chemical weapons. That could indeed be a "game-changer" for Western participation.

    An aside...some of our local media has recently changed the admittedly variable spelling for the name of the Libyan leader. It is now spelled Gho-Daffy.

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  • 11. At 2:50pm on 02 Mar 2011, bogatty wrote:

    I am glad to see that America and the EU are taking a much more pragmatic view of what is required in view of the complete overturning of the status quo in North Africa and beyond. Much credit must go to Obama and Hillary Clinton for their restraint and common sense. A far cry from the 'gung ho' politics of G.W. Bush. Diplomacy, standing-by to help in a humanitarian crisis, but basically letting the Arab nations decide their future without the West crashing around with all kinds of troop & weaponry has to be the civilised way forward. Yes, there may be problems ahead, and bloodshed and mass migration may be two of them. However, there is a better chance of the issues on the ground resolving themselves without the West piling into the fray, with no idea of how/when an exit strategy will present itself.

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  • 12. At 4:32pm on 02 Mar 2011, kaybraes wrote:

    There is little chance of the US intervening in Libya while Obama and or Ms Clinton are around. If it doesn't affect petrol prices in America it will not stir their stumps, and the principles enshrined in their makeup does not run to assisting anyone or anything not to their own advantage. Britain should also leave well alone, let Ghaddafi solve the problem or let the Libyan people hang him. It's not our problem, our only problem in this regard is the price of oil. Whoever comes out on top , we will have to make overtures to , if we wish to secure oil supplies or our friends in the east will mop them up.

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  • 13. At 5:09pm on 02 Mar 2011, Manneken wrote:

    It must be a terribly difficult choice for US and EU leaders.

    Intervene too much, and it could maybe kill the moral side of the uprising.

    Intervene too little, and it could maybe kill the physical side of the uprising.

    And no-one knows where the lines of too much or too little are, or whether there is a "goldilocks" zone in between.

    I wish those leaders lots of wisdom and intelligence in their decision making process - history will judge them.

    I wish the Libyan people the strength to obtain what they want.

    Maybe, what can be done, is ensure that they have more access to communication, the internet, social media. That way, the people of Libya could have a voice (many voices, preferably) to express what they want. I'm sure that's something Qaddafi would be very afraid of, and it would not be an "intervention", but rather enabling the Libyans to liberate themselves.

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  • 14. At 5:15pm on 02 Mar 2011, maliman wrote:

    For once can we do away with the sabre rattling and macho posturing and actually wait to see how things pan out before doing anything daft. What we don't need is yet another military involvement which will solve nothing. If you can't get The States on board then it's not going to work. It always annoys me that politicians are very keen for their armed forces to get involved in conflicts that don't really concern them, but then it's not them who do the fighting, or get shot at. I think Clauswitz got it right when he said something along the lines that armies fight when politicians fail.

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  • 15. At 6:18pm on 02 Mar 2011, frenchderek wrote:

    Latest news is that Nouri al-Mismari (a former Gaddafi minister) says the revolutionaries would like only that the Libyan air-force be neutralised. They do not want ground-forces; saying they already have sufficient ex-Army personnel and weapons to deal with Gaddafi's ground forces themselves.

    Also, the Arab League have called on the African League to join them in promoting a no-fly-zone.

    Things are changing by the minute, it seems. But here are two obvious calls for action. Over to the UN .... Oh no .... can we wait that long???

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  • 16. At 7:23pm on 02 Mar 2011, Buzet23 wrote:

    #15. At 6:18pm on 02 Mar 2011, frenchderek

    "Over to the UN",

    You're right, there will be a veto for sure from one of the security council and objections from all the other dictators, as has already been seen many times.

    It is no coincidence that every dictator these days aligns themselves far left or communist and claims to be leading a revolution of the people, and then the Chinese or Russians veto any motion. We have seen this more than a few times in recent years, Zimbabwe and Mugabe is a shining example of a despot who milks his population yet he receives support from other like minded leaders. Castro is passing his sell by date but Chavaz is taking his place as the hero of the 'revolution' or in other words 'screw the population and live in opulence'.

    If there is one lesson to be learnt from this it is that too much power should never be invested in leaders, and especially those who call for defence forces to protect their grand scheme. Oops, does that not sound like the current EU scheming. Power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely.

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  • 17. At 7:54pm on 02 Mar 2011, ronnieboy1 wrote:

    what has libya got to do with us anyway?..lets sort out our own problems.we poke our noses in other countries affairs all the time.if we worry about getting gaddaffi how about getting mugabe as well.the truth is we havnt a clue how to deal with gaddaffi or anyone else, long gone are the days of a proper leader..ie churchill.

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  • 18. At 8:12pm on 02 Mar 2011, ronnieboy1 wrote:

    also the media ,who are to blame for most of this ,are absolutly itching for some kind of revolt in saudi, so the oil companies and various other rip off merchants can get as much as possible from the hard pressed uk tax payer.I bet if 1 person revolted in saudi the price of a barrel of oil will rocket.

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  • 19. At 8:54pm on 02 Mar 2011, phillipwest wrote:

    Hopefully not too off topic, the response of the EU leadership to the growing immigrant humanitarian crisis in both Greece and now Italy is mind-numbing. A number of detained illegals in Greece are hospitalized after a prolonged hunger strike and in Italy according to La Repubblica riots are occurring in the CIE detention centers in Bologna, Turin and Bari from Tunisian boat people that don't like their accommodations. If we are now "citizens" of the EU, then we should expect some forethought, planning and transparency regarding implementation of the EU Asylum Plan particularly now when Europe is faced with hundreds of thousands of potential asylum seekers now fleeing Libya. Looking at Europa, the EU information website, curiously this topic is not mentioned at least as far as I could see. The immigrants deserve better and so do EU "citizens."

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  • 20. At 9:12pm on 02 Mar 2011, Buzet23 wrote:

    #19. At 8:54pm on 02 Mar 2011, phillipwest

    'The immigrants deserve better and so do EU "citizens."'

    The EU and the member states that compose it are struggling with a financial crisis, it is unreasonable and foolhardy to expect the member states in this sort of crisis to be home for 'as you say' hundreds of thousands of immigrants. There is not the money to afford it, the housing to house them, the jobs, the services etc, and the long suffering EU 'citizens' do not deserve to be downgraded even more.

    These immigrants are coming from populations that are very troubled and they too will be, it is hard but the reality is that they should solve their own problems in their own lands. Allowing them into the EU will resolve nothing and just create more fuel for the growing feeling that the ordinary citizens of the EU member states are now the deprived underprivileged ones.

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  • 21. At 9:41pm on 02 Mar 2011, Ulkomaalainen wrote:

    Hi Buzet #23

    I will resist the temptation to repeat my ideas on the benefits of immigration into the EU. I wish instead to draw attention to articles such as this:

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-12571597

    Russia is looking for 1,000,000 immigrants a year. I wonder if they would be interested in a few from Libya, Tunisia and Egypt?

    If Russia wants them, the EU doesn't and the refugees are willing to give Russia a try then would it be a worthwhile use of EU funds to help them on their way?

    Manneken #13. Nice post.

    To make matters worse all the leaders in the West have oppositions many of which are eager to make political capital from the mistakes that they will inevitably make.

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  • 22. At 9:51pm on 02 Mar 2011, DestroytheEU wrote:

    Malta must not be used for any military operations by anyone. We don;t want to be embroiled in others wars.

    Article 1 of the Constitution of Malta.

    (3) Malta is a neutral state actively pursuing peace, security and social progress among all nations by adhering to a policy of non-alignment and refusing to participate in any military alliance. Such a status will, in particular, imply that:

    (a) no foreign military base will be permitted on Maltese territory;

    (b) no military facilities in Malta will be allowed to be used by any foreign forces except at the request of the Government of Malta, and only in the following cases:

    (i) in the exercise of the inherent right of selfdefence in the event of any armed violation of the area over which the Republic of Malta has sovereignty, or in pursuance of measures or actions decided by the Security Council of the United Nations; or

    (ii) whenever there exists a threat to the sovereignty, independence, neutrality, unity or territorial integrity of the Republic of Malta;

    (c) except as aforesaid, no other facilities in Malta will be allowed to be used in such manner or extent as will amount to the presence in Malta of a concentration of foreign forces;

    (d) except as aforesaid, no foreign military personnel will be allowed on Maltese territory, other than military personnel performing, or assisting in the performance of, civil works or activities, and other than a reasonable number of military technical personnel assisting in the defence of the Republic of Malta;

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  • 23. At 9:52pm on 02 Mar 2011, phillipwest wrote:

    #20 Buzet23

    I may agree that we don't need more immigrants , however if I understand Giorgio Napolitano, Pres. of Italy, correctly, the immigrants there will be processed and distributed throughout Europe(La Repubblica today). The overarching EU commitment to human rights appears to trump any practical issues so these people are coming but the EU leadership appears to be hiding under their desks as far as communicating this plan to its "citizens". Further just leaving these people in judicial limbo is inhumane. The EU needs to staff up its legal system to adjudicate asylum claims and either accept or repatriate these people expeditiously. Imo, the EU should take control of the immigration issue and formulate an asylum policy that will meet both humanitarian objectives but also consider the resources available and the impact on its "citizens" as an unlimited asylum policy will eventually fail under its own weight and take the EU with it.

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  • 24. At 10:18pm on 02 Mar 2011, Buzet23 wrote:

    #21. At 9:41pm on 02 Mar 2011, Ulkomaalainen

    An interesting article about what Russian leaders are proposing and also several contrary opinions stating how it could turn out to be disliked by the people. All to familiar from the way the EU and member state governments talk as against what most people are thinking. I listened tonight to a number of Belgian people I know talking about immigration, social policy, politicians etc and it shows how out of touch EU politicians are as the Belg are probably the most pro-EU people you can imagine (or were).

    As for immigration into the EU it should be only where there is a defined need of a particular skill set, whilst there are unemployment rates ranging from 5% to 40% (I think), there is no need for unskilled workers, and arguably very little need for semi skilled people. Allowing already disgruntled immigrants into a member state where it is unlikely they will find official work is just plain crazy, they will become even more dissatisfied with life and having to work in the black economy. Knowing a bit about the Horeca sector I can tell you that they lose out on health care, welfare, pension rights, holidays etc, in fact the EU legislation will be largely unknown to them.

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  • 25. At 00:19am on 03 Mar 2011, Nik wrote:

    21. At 9:41pm on 02 Mar 2011, Ulkomaalainen wrote:
    """I will resist the temptation to repeat my ideas on the benefits of immigration into the EU. I wish instead to draw attention to articles such as this:"""

    There are NO particular benefits of massive immigration apart for those few (and it is not even the industrialists, it is mainly bankoinvestors).

    """http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-12571597"""
    """Russia is looking for 1,000,000 immigrants a year. I wonder if they would be interested in a few from Libya, Tunisia and Egypt?"""

    Apparently not. Inside the article you propose you find the answer:

    """Mr Valentey believes that lessons learnt from multiculturalism policies in Germany, France and other European countries could now provide a good starting point for Russia in terms of developing its own effective migrant integration policy."""

    """At the same time, Russia has its own rich history of building Russian and Soviet state identity, and some of the best practices can undoubtedly be utilised," he says.But despite a very low level of competition between locals and migrant workers, Russian public opinion does not really favour labour migration."""

    """If Russia wants them, the EU doesn't and the refugees are willing to give Russia a try then would it be a worthwhile use of EU funds to help them on their way?"""

    If Russia needs workers it will certainly not look at Libyans, Egyptians or Algerians. Arabs are reknowned as some of the worst workers you can have around by all accounts (and this is not extended to all muslims - eg. Turks (in Turkey at least) are fairly good workers and very disciplined, Indonesians are very good workers etc. etc.). Russians do not dream in becoming the human dustbin that Europe has become.

    I cannot understand why some people feel responsible for the fate of random people around the world. I would rush to shut the door to all that human misery. Not my fault, not my responsibility. Let others deal with the snake.

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  • 26. At 01:34am on 03 Mar 2011, WebAliceinwonderland wrote:

    We are slightly fed up with immigrants true, because it happened last 20 yrs, a huge influx, all at once. (In USSR all sat in own partitions, for the most part). Then all like went mad ;o))))))) and travelled to central areas.

    Must say Russians will be curious about Libyans, Algerians or Egyptians, because the kind of immigration we are having is all the same boring known people :o)))))), nothing new. It's all our ex or children of our ex who are coming, no real foreigners. For it is hard to see a Tajik or an Uzbek as a "foreigner", to say nothing of Georgia, Armenia and Azerbajan of which half I think have double local-Russian citizenship, for convenience.
    But I think real foreigners will be scared and won't come.
    With Libyans just forget about it ;o))))))) - have you seen my post where Russians working in Libya describe their salariesandbenefits -they live better than we do, and I think these wont come.

    But overall yes, Kremlin is looking for more people. Having driven own ones to neglectable amounts and poor condition :o)))))) - they want new blood!

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  • 27. At 02:20am on 03 Mar 2011, WebAliceinwonderland wrote:

    Re interferance in Libyan things.

    I think we are kind of fatalistic in expectations, in evaluating the situation overall.
    Those things like, just happen. Unpredictable, and develop uncontrollable. The revolutionary cascade in these countries. It's providence, to put it simply :o) You cant do nothing to start it or stop it or improve it.
    Today was Gorbachyovs 80 year birthday - we know :o). If it weren't him -it'll be someone else taken by the current.

    I respect Russian historian Lev Gumilev with his "passionarity" theory.
    I think the wave size is like 350 yrs, when a nation gets energetic and starts doing something. The bigger wave is I think 1,200 years. so some are always resting, from the prev. big bang :o), while others are accummulating energy for the up. Plus there are many more consistuent parts in that theory, incl. what not I think even being geographically at some earth magnetic lines shift. Which interesting position serves as a trigger. It's been all calculated by Gumilev, he counted back and forward many nations. And for him a nation is not a country or a nationality but the enclosure, the borders of a nation, also include its life-style as influenced by geographic location. How they get water, how they warm or cool themselves up, what grows as food in their habitat area. He absolutely refused taking locality factors out of history :o) Said climate and food base and whether you are a sea-side or inside a continent - it all influences your life-style and what you see as "yours" and "your people" and what as alien.
    (technically many are mixed up:o), political borders do not correspond to his "nations")
    Anyway.

    By Gumilev, either time is right or it is wrong.
    I think the whole 6th US Fleet either already hanging or planning to be there by Libya shores shortly :o) can't change the direction.

    It is a bigger picture of change there to think about, not Libya alone.
    Libya, like, what? Just one of several, and in the focus of attention currently only because Gaddafi is really how to say insane and focused :o)))))), and got stuck, and does not plan to surrender alive.
    He is real devoted ;o). A wholesome personality.

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  • 28. At 06:18am on 03 Mar 2011, Stevenson wrote:

    That is an interesting post, Web Alice,

    Guess what I have a facebook page--I'm David Stevenson--do you have one or is that a moderator thingy?

    Also, my song Lush Life on there is sung by a great singer :)))

    But, also,

    I've been wondering about these revolutions like this? There were many in the 19th century alongside the one in France. And those many in Eastern Europe--remember how the leaders just fell one by one? I'm not patronizing in superiority..because I'm no one who did anything about anything except read about it.

    But, one also wonders about economic concerns..do you think that is the big deal here--a bunch of revolutions about "economic rights" to a living standard that is similar to other nations? (that have been read about by citizens---they are simply changing regimes to ensure that better governing leads to economic success? Perhaps trying to emulate the EU?)

    No offense to EU dislikers :)))

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  • 29. At 06:21am on 03 Mar 2011, powermeerkat wrote:

    Gaddafi: I am the asset of Libya, not the American dollar."



    The difference is:

    If a value of American dollar goes down I start buying it.

    When a value of Gaddafi goes down, well...


    [Perhaps that's why I've never had to file for bankrupcy]

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  • 30. At 06:27am on 03 Mar 2011, powermeerkat wrote:

    GH: "Now the Senate in the United States has passed a resolution urging the UN Security Council to impose a no-fly zone zone. Others are much more cautious. The new French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe is among them."





    Alain Juppe is anything but new (same tainted ol', same tainted ol').

    Whereas doctor von und zu Guttenberg can't be, alas, with us anymore. ;-(

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  • 31. At 06:55am on 03 Mar 2011, Ulkomaalainen wrote:

    Hi Buzet #24

    A defined skill set, you say. How about medical services?

    http://www.learn4good.com/jobs/search/europe/healthcare/jobs2/

    Lots of jobs for those trained in medicine even in these hard times.

    The high youth unemployment rates are to some extent due to problems in education. How many media study graduates would now have work if they had chosen to study nursing instead?

    I have never argued in favour of unskilled migrant workers. I have argued in favour of skilled migration and the idea of supporting education in the countries that export migrant workers to enhance the skills of the immigrants arriving in the EU.



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  • 32. At 07:00am on 03 Mar 2011, Ellinas wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 33. At 07:09am on 03 Mar 2011, powermeerkat wrote:

    jr4412 wrote:
    Gavin Hewitt.

    "The key fact about the Arab Awakening is that it is the work of Arabs themselves."

    it remains to be seen whether or not there were no covert outside influences.





    SVR?

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  • 34. At 07:15am on 03 Mar 2011, powermeerkat wrote:

    AiW : " For it is hard to see a Tajik or an Uzbek as a "foreigner", to say nothing of Georgia, Armenia and Azerbajan of which half I think have double local-Russian citizenship"




    Alice, in case you haven't noticed: about one third of Islamic Republic of Iran's citizens are Azeris.

    One third of Georgians are now 'citizens' of S. Ossetia. :-)

    And half of Armenians live in America.

    Although I doubt they'd like to become citizens of Russian Federation.

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  • 35. At 07:21am on 03 Mar 2011, Ellinas wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 36. At 07:23am on 03 Mar 2011, powermeerkat wrote:

    GH: " Two American amphibious assault ships, the USS Kearsarge and the Ponce, are heading into the Mediterranean. One is capable of carrying 2,000 Marines."



    What does it means?

    That they're capable of carrying couple of thou of "the proud".
    No more than that.

    [some not versed in military matters might want to check coordinates of Sigonella Navy Air Base]


    It's time for the mighty EU force to demonstrate its mettle for a change.

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  • 37. At 07:35am on 03 Mar 2011, powermeerkat wrote:

    "To me, Guttenberg mostly is the minister who abolished the unfair and unconstitutional system of conscription in Germany"





    Let me get it straight:


    So expecting all capable citizens of Bundesrepublik to defend their homeland is not only unfair, but unconstitutional as well?

    [Inquiring minds want to know]

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  • 38. At 07:40am on 03 Mar 2011, Ellinas wrote:

    #19 phillipwest

    The whole story in 5 pics: and 1 video

    1) illegally occupy the Athens Law School

    2) moving from the Athens Law School to Villa Ipatia without any problem

    Villa Ipatia 1 & Villa Ipatia 2 & Villa Ipatia 3

    and the current situation described by the leftist propaganda who promote this & the their strike coordinator...enjoy

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  • 39. At 07:57am on 03 Mar 2011, champagne_charlie wrote:

    #36

    powermeerkat;

    "It's time for the mighty EU force to demonstrate its mettle for a change."

    Which "EU force" are you referring to?

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  • 40. At 08:05am on 03 Mar 2011, Ellinas wrote:

    For the moderators...

    I'm still waiting for my #35 post to be referred...

    ...otherwise nothing is been explained from my #38 post story

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  • 41. At 08:19am on 03 Mar 2011, Buzet23 wrote:

    #38. At 07:40am on 03 Mar 2011, Ellinas

    The blanket issue of papers to legalise people who come illegally should never happen and Spain were wrong some time back. Now these 300 think they can act illegally and profit by blackmailing Greece and the EU, if they wish to die then so be it, let them, but give them an official public opt out that at any point they can be returned to their home country.

    I am not surprised you say it is leftists that are supporting them, it has always been the Socialists that ask for papers to be given to the clandestine illegal workers in Belgium. They are naive enough to think Muslim Moroccans will integrate and vote Socialist and certain areas of Brussels are now no go areas because of that.

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  • 42. At 08:42am on 03 Mar 2011, powermeerkat wrote:

    champagne_charlie wrote:
    #36

    powermeerkat;

    "It's time for the mighty EU force to demonstrate its mettle for a change."

    Which "EU force" are you referring to?





    Ahh, hope springs eternal. :-)
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    "MAN CANNOT LIVE WITHOUT DREAMS" (Vladimir I. Lenin)



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  • 43. At 08:50am on 03 Mar 2011, powermeerkat wrote:

    "I am not surprised you say it is leftists that are supporting them, it has always been the Socialists that ask for papers to be given to the clandestine illegal workers in Belgium."





    3 hundred? Three HUNDRED?

    Buzet, please, relax.

    In the U.S., we have roughly 20 MILLION of illegal alie...err...'undocumented immigrants' and our current Administration hopes to legalize many of them before 2012 presidential election.

    [Guess why. :-)))]
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    ONE PARTY'S ILLEGAL IMMIGRANT IS ANOTHER PARTY'S VOTER.

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  • 44. At 09:11am on 03 Mar 2011, Ellinas wrote:

    #41 Buzet23

    --✄-- Now these 300 think they can act illegally and profit by blackmailing Greece and the EU --✄--

    This story is even more grotesque than it seems and i already explain everything in my #35 post (Moderators wake up - i think i have to repost it again)

    in January, 300 illegals economic migrants from North African countries - more than 250 from Morocco - took the Ferryboat from Crete (8 hours trip) to the port of Piraeus and mostly by foot (10 km) without anyone stopping or seeing them, went to the Athens Law university in order to occupy it (with the help of the Greek leftists extremists - Syriza leftist party).

    Because lessons were then stoped, Constantinos Routzounis offered his property (Villa ipatia) as temporary accommodation for the migrants to break the impasse at the Law School and as a personal favor to Athens University Rector Theodoros Pelegrinis...

    So they are now living at Villa ipatia. Many huddle on the polished wooden floors wrapped in blankets, under porphyry columns and decorative marble statues. The rest live in half a dozen tents on the mansion's lawns, amid portable toilets and stacks of plastic water bottles with assistance of a team of medics given by the Health Ministry that is constantly monitoring their health.

    So the story evolved as it is:

    1) A prosecutor brought criminal charges of dereliction of duty against Athens University Rector Theodoros Pelegrinis in connection with the sit-in by more than 200 undocumented migrants at the Athens Law School last month.

    2) the same prosecutor charged another eight people (Leftist activists), believed to have been involved in getting the migrants into the Law School’s premises, with disturbing the peace and causing damages to public property.

    3) The owner of Villa Ipatia, Constantinos Routzounis, has appealed to a prosecutor to evict the migrants, saying he offered his property as temporary accommodation for the migrants to break the impasse at the Law School and as a personal favor to Pelegrinis.

    4) None of the migrants have any kind of charges and none of them is detained. Only Greeks

    5) The absurd is that they start hunger strikes not because they demand their own legalization but instead the legalization of everybody (as the video in my #38 post demonstrates) that are in the same situation in Greece as them (officially 500.000 - but the exact number is unknown)

    6) Even if the Greek government wish to give to them legal status they simply can't since at 2004 the EU nations signed a directive to forbid any mass migrant legalization.

    7) and most important (as the president of the Moroccan group said) is that most of them are in the current situation because they presented to Greek immigration office false papers, obtained, by paying a corrupted functionary of the Moroccan embassy. This stupid functionary put for more than 250 people the same day/month/year on such papers(obviously by using the same date stamp...i think). So now haven't got the status to get legal papers.

    8) They must all be expelled, go to Morocco and make there hunger strike for their corrupted system of their own embassy.

    Now just tell me...in which worldwide nation...illegal migrants are treated like that and can do what ever they like? To nowhere

    That's madness!...No! This is Greece.

    --✄-- but give them an official public opt out that at any point they can be returned to their home country. --✄--

    There is already an opt out, long time ago, for everybody wish it and with the blessings of the EU & Greece. They also took money from the EU/Greek state (before the economical crisis were 3000 euros but today no more than 600 - 1000 if i'm not wrong). Advertising on the public TV inform them of everything

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  • 45. At 09:33am on 03 Mar 2011, champagne_charlie wrote:

    #42

    powermeerkat;

    Phew, I thought for a moment you had fallen for the Eurocorps deception:

    This is what Eurocorps looks like (you will need to use your imagination as to the force composition as they only have 1 standing brigade. I recommend reading up on Montgomerys use of inflatable and plywood tanks before Alamein and D-DAY as a benchmark)

    http://www.eurocorps.net/home_page/organisation/organisation.php?lang_default=ENG&id_video=23

    This is what a combat ready European division should look like:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:3rd_Mechanized_Division_(UK).png

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  • 46. At 10:03am on 03 Mar 2011, powermeerkat wrote:

    "This is what Eurocorps looks like (you will need to use your imagination as to the force composition as they only have 1 standing brigade"




    charlie, is this a remnant of the famous Red Brigades?

    Or merely of German RAF?


    P.S. Prior to D-day U.S. had also built and deployed on U.K.'s coast quite a few rubber subs.

    So if in need we could possibly ship quite a few inflatable aircraft carriers. [Goodyear would be more than happy to get extra GI orders)

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  • 47. At 10:06am on 03 Mar 2011, Buzet23 wrote:

    #45. At 09:33am on 03 Mar 2011, champagne_charlie

    If anyone wants to see how an European Defence Force would function they need look no further than the history of the Belgian army and how it is impossible to have multiple languages being used. Each of the French and Dutch speakers have long claimed only their language is being understood and should be used and numerous combat deaths were attributed to misunderstood commands. Yet the clowns want 27 different Nations involved.

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  • 48. At 10:08am on 03 Mar 2011, powermeerkat wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 49. At 10:41am on 03 Mar 2011, Chris Chittenden wrote:

    Non intervention what does that mean? Military, humanitarian, financial, moral in some way they are all connected although some are more acceptable and necessary as means of influencing events and saving lives.

    Another way may be to encourage the leader to vacate his office. Colonel Gadaffi has been there a while and he is not getting younger but the game is up as he fights the tides like Canute. Guaranteed safe exile, perhaps a beautiful Italian villa on an island near Sicily where his next vocation could be as a writer, or commenting on the Great Arab Awakening, after all isn't that what retired leaders do-write their Memoirs. He can even take his buggy and play golf. Maybe Silvio Berlusconi will be a welcome house guest too, they are good friends so we are told. Yes its time for Gadaffi to retire with grace and encourage rather than try and prevent the inevitable then he will be truly loved by his people as a far sighted man who not only swam but raced with the tides of history and helped give birth to a new democratic order in his beloved country, isn't that what revolutionaries do like Mandela. He needs to see the light,get a new job description and quickly too. In time he could pay visits to his beloved country as a sage and visionary.

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  • 50. At 11:23am on 03 Mar 2011, WebAliceinwonderland wrote:

    a beautiful Italian villa on an island near Sicily where his next vocation could be as a writer, or commenting on the Great Arab Awakening, after all isn't that what retired leaders do-write their Memoirs."

    Muamar Gaddafi writing Memoir Gaddafi :o)
    ____

    powermeer, "haven't you noticed that.."

    yes, I have. that's why hard to see some our ex as workable countries :o)), because the minimum for a country I think is that there are more of some folks at home than abroad :o)))))

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  • 51. At 11:35am on 03 Mar 2011, Sasha Clarkson wrote:

    aljazeera: "Evidence of Libya torture emerges "

    http://english.aljazeera.net/video/africa/2011/03/20113122102545671.html

    Also, I wonder who made the equipment?

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  • 52. At 11:46am on 03 Mar 2011, champagne_charlie wrote:

    #46

    pmk;

    "So if in need we could possibly ship quite a few inflatable aircraft carriers"

    We could definitely use a couple of inflatable carriers...better go easy on the sabre-rattling in case we burst one though.

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  • 53. At 12:00pm on 03 Mar 2011, powermeerkat wrote:

    Buzet23 wrote:
    #45. At 09:33am on 03 Mar 2011, champagne_charlie

    If anyone wants to see how an European Defence Force would function they need look no further than the history of the Belgian army and how it is impossible to have multiple languages being used. Each of the French and Dutch speakers have long claimed only their language is being understood and should be used and numerous combat deaths were attributed to misunderstood commands. Yet the clowns want 27 different Nations involved.



    "... you know my intentions are good

    Oh, Lord, please don't let me be misunderstood".





    ["lay -do not drop!- a B-61-11 dialed down to 25kT south of Natanz at 1100 Zulu; repeat..." :)]

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  • 54. At 12:04pm on 03 Mar 2011, powermeerkat wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 55. At 12:07pm on 03 Mar 2011, Andrew Dundas wrote:

    Time is on the Rebel Libyan's side. The longer it takes for Gadaffi to assert his control, the more of his money runs out and his supporters decide they need to switch sides.
    Besides that it's an iron rule of warfare that attacking requires much more resources than defending. All the Rebels have to do is consolidate, fend off his puny attacks and creep forward in the lulls.

    There's no need for Lord Snooty to climb on this band-waggon.

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  • 56. At 12:08pm on 03 Mar 2011, powermeerkat wrote:

    Alice, since we seem to agree on Azeri issue, what does Iran do in what is and historically has been an Azeri territory?


    Merely producing Caspian beluga caviar?

    Or would it have something to do, by any chance, with the region's OIL?

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  • 57. At 12:19pm on 03 Mar 2011, powermeerkat wrote:

    AiW: Muamar Gaddafi writing Memoir Gaddafi :o)


    Alice, reminds me of a (ficticious) People's Guard [AL] partizan's memoir (with PGp's number multiplying with time even faster than a number of "Mayflower" Pilgrims' descedants and of Armenian victims of Ottoman Turks' atrocities):


    "August 21, 1944: Kicked out Germans out of the woods.

    August 27, 1944: Germans kicked us out of the woods.

    September 1st, 1944: forester's wife got mad and kicked all of us out of the woods."

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  • 58. At 12:24pm on 03 Mar 2011, AlphaPhantom wrote:

    Why is it that when something's going on, America and other western countries insist on being at the forefront of the situation?

    I see nothing wrong with intervention if the intervention is used in the right way. Unfortunately, as we have seen far too often by most western leaders, they generally do things the wrong way and then wonder why people have issues with them and the actions they take.

    I agree that this is their fight, they should take full credit and responsibility for what's happening but how long can others just stand by and watch the massacre of innocents who are just wanting to stand up for the future of their countries?

    As has been seen, the military play the most important roles in these uprisings. In Egypt, the military said they would not use force on their people, which was a brave and courageous decision to choose to fulfill their obligations towards their people who they serve.

    However, in Libya, we have military forces on either side and not only that, but Gadaffi in charge of the greater share of the military capabilities of the country, which he can use to destroy the Libyan people as he continues to do. We shouldn't simply stand by and let Gadaffi murder these people and the longer it goes on the more people will die, while the international community debates what action to take. Is this really all the international community can muster to take on Gadaffi?

    Yet, the most important issues still remain that if military intervention were necessary in any way, why should America and Europe be leading the charge?

    What we need to do is to agree an international mandate should action need to be taken but only if the Middle Eastern countries agree that action should be taken in their back yard and should be prepared to commit their own forces in leading the way. This is a Middle Eastern issue and, as such, needs a Middle Eastern solution led by the Middle Eastern leaders who wish to seek peace and a stable future for all the countries and the people in the region.

    All this talk by leaders is rather pointless because the talking that really matters should be coming out of the mouths of other leaders in the Middle East, they should be taking the lead in these events and instead all the media and spot lights are on America and Europe, who should not be making decisions unilaterally at all or even discussing agendas before first talking to the leaders of the region and the international community.

    The West has enough problems with how it constantly intervenes in the affairs of others without consent, now it's time for our leaders to recognise that they should think first, preferrably in a rational manner, before letting the thought of going to war get to their heads. Yes, action can save lives and inaction can cost them but there are consequences of actions and if the wrong actions are taken simply to satisfy the egos of a few western leaders then i fear the consequences could haunt us for many years to come.

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  • 59. At 12:32pm on 03 Mar 2011, powermeerkat wrote:

    champagne_charlie wrote:
    #46

    pmk;

    "So if in need we could possibly ship quite a few inflatable aircraft carriers"

    We could definitely use a couple of inflatable carriers...better go easy on the sabre-rattling in case we burst one though.







    During an inquiry as to why a massive introduction of condoms into a specific sub-Saharan Africa's region has not resulted in a reduced number of HIV infections, investigators found out [no, it's not a joke!] that the users punctured holes in their French Letters in order not to deprive their partners of their "vital bodily fluids".

    [to use USAF gen. Jack T. Ripper's parlance]


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  • 60. At 12:39pm on 03 Mar 2011, Sasha Clarkson wrote:

    Re "covert outside influences", the biggest in all of the current unrest is aljazeera. This channel is something of a contradiction: a liberal experiment by an absolute monarch. I certainly find its coverage to be honest, in that, compared with RT say, what bias there is is a result of honestly held opinion rather than a deliberate decision to slant news.

    Marc Lynch, a professor of Middle East Studies at George Washington University commented on the current revolts: “They did not cause these events, but it’s almost impossible to imagine all this happening without Al Jazeera”.

    When/if the dust has settled, the fate of aljazeera will be a litmus test at to whether or not any changes are real. or just cosmetic. In the latter case, I would expect severe pressure to be put upon the organisation to tone down its coverage of events.

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  • 61. At 12:59pm on 03 Mar 2011, powermeerkat wrote:

    charlie re German Herr Doctor Guttenberg obsession:

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/programmes/from_our_own_correspondent/9410282.stm

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  • 62. At 1:01pm on 03 Mar 2011, Sasha Clarkson wrote:

    A very forthright view from Spiegel online that "The EU Has Failed the Arab World":

    "..."It's bizarre that we achieved more on the Security Council, with Russia and China, than we did on the European Council," commented Werner Hoyer, the senior German Foreign Ministry official....."

    http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/0,1518,748074,00.html

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  • 63. At 1:03pm on 03 Mar 2011, DurstigerMann wrote:

    @37 powermeerkat

    "Let me get it straight:


    So expecting all capable citizens of Bundesrepublik to defend their homeland is not only unfair, but unconstitutional as well?

    [Inquiring minds want to know]"


    I was talking about universal conscription of males.
    After the cold war, there was no need for it to be maintained from a military perspective. The cheap labour for public health provided by an increasingly popular alternative service was a major reason why it was maintained.
    However, the Bundeswehr constantly cut the percentage of conscripted males of one age group.

    Whether you were conscripted or not became completely arbitrary.
    Also, women were never forced into conscription.
    Both issues are violations of the tenet of equality anchored in the German constitution.

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  • 64. At 1:22pm on 03 Mar 2011, DurstigerMann wrote:

    This opinion will not be popular, I guess:

    Europe should not intervene in Libya under any circumstances.
    Gaddafi will be overthrown. And when that happens, the northern borders to Europe will be wide open.
    Instead of speeding up that process, European nations should combine and intensify their efforts to fortify the southern borders, if necessary by military means.

    Significant migration movements from Africa are only gaining momentum slowly, but they will be in the tens of millions.

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  • 65. At 1:34pm on 03 Mar 2011, Tim wrote:

    How about a no-fly zone over Libya - paid for by Europe and the US, but enforced by the Egyptian and Tunisian air forces?

    The Libyans would still have foreign jet fighters flying over their heads, but they would at least be Arab jet fighters, not Western.

    The Tunisian air force is tiny, with only 12 ancient F-5E fighters, but Egypt has 350 jet fighters in its inventory including F-16s and Mirage 2000's, and is certainly capable of protecting eastern Libya.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Egyptian_Air_Force#The_EAF_today

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  • 66. At 2:08pm on 03 Mar 2011, champagne_charlie wrote:

    #61

    powermeerkat;

    "charlie re German Herr Doctor Guttenberg obsession:"

    Haha, great link! Thanks, that shall be whipped out on several occasions on future blogs I reckon :)

    But, the question is, whose obsession are you talking about....theirs....or mine? :)

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  • 67. At 3:28pm on 03 Mar 2011, WebAliceinwonderland wrote:

    Alice, since we seem to agree on Azeri issue, what does Iran do in what is and historically has been an Azeri territory?


    :o)))) Don't even try.

    In the order of appearance, "Azeri territory" has never been a country but simply Persia. At least, when Russia noticed it :o)

    Then Persia mis-behaved to Armenia and Georgia who were Christian and who complained to Russia. (to be honest, Persia always mis-behaved and these two always complained :o) So I don't know what was the trigger.

    Apart from mis-behaving to brotherly eh Armenians and Georgians, Persia then has also mis-behaved to us. (Though some say it was a Britain- encouraged thing.) Namely, Persia killed our Ambassador to them, Alexandre Griboedov, who wasn't an ordinary ambassador the likes of which nobody ever remembers, heaps of them always around, but a prominent writer and poet, a St. Petersburger, and a spy to that of course as well, Foreign affairs' dpt a good big figure. Well, to be again honest, all ambassadors in tsar time were part of Foreign Affairs read kind a bit of the english Foreign Office department.

    Still, it was a bad Persian idea, really unthoughtful of them, as Alex Griboedov writings Russian children study as part of school curriculum, and he is not boring but was a very witty and bright and good-hearted and an elegant man. Intelligencia one of the best. Really, a big loss, of a young talented Russian.

    So, to put it short :o))))), Russia grabatised half of original Azerbajan from Persia, and it became Russian Empire. Later on, in the USSR, it became Azerbajan sov. sosialist Republic.

    Why we haven't grabatised back then the whole of it can't tell. Just the bordering, most annoying part, to where they always carried away their catch, captive Armenians and Georgians, to put in ground pits barred on top and extract out for daily work and then back for the night into the hole.

    By the way our Ambassador was killed because run-away Persian slaves kept hiding in the Russian Embassy, out of which Griboedov shipped them all back home with Russian army convoys for years. This Persia tolerated but on one nice day a whole Shah harem of Armenian girls (that sub-division of the harem) ran away to the Russian embassy! Griboedov knew it's a bad idea but admitted about 20 girls. And was stoned to death together with the whole embassy and girls and himself after some time, still. there is an idea that say eh soeone winded the Shah towards decisive action, as there was a time interval, not the next day reaction.

    In about a week the Shah apologised to Russia, but it was too late.
    In the Kremlin treasury you can watch the biggest diamond in our collection, a scratchy pencil0like thing i would say, well, a thick pencil-cut type diamond, called Shah, with many inscriptions of prev. owners, years 1200 and what not - that's an attempt of recompense, from Persia to Russia for Griboedov's death, on the knees. (minor presents did not survive to this day :o)

    And if you go to the Hermitage museum, the subway stop the nearest, to go out, is Griboedov Canal, in St.Petersburg.

    He is buried in Georgia, as was married to a Georgian princess, who married him, he went away to this Ambassador mission, and she was like 17 and cried her eyes out on his grave and then died as well. All who go in Georgia to their combined grave are weeping ;o(, our Romeo and Juliet story.

    In the other half of Azerbajan we were never interested, it stayed in Persia now Ahmadinejad.

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  • 68. At 4:24pm on 03 Mar 2011, gedguy2 wrote:

    It's interesting to read that so many posters believe we have the right to interfere militarily in the human rights of another country. Who gave you the right to interfere? There will be the argument that atrocities are being committed there; strange how I didn't see the world's military powers lining up to send in troops to Rwanda at the height of the massacres. Could it be that the chance to control another 3% of the world's oil is, potentially, up for grabs.

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  • 69. At 5:11pm on 03 Mar 2011, DorsetJane wrote:

    Thanks for this update Gavin.It seems that your posts are getting very militaristic but in some ways that is just a sign of the times.

    I have just been perusing a good blog post entitled "The President of the European Central Bank raises the possibility of an interest-rate rise in April."

    As this would be quite a quantum change in Europe I thought I would draw it to your attention as the article highlights quite a few implications from this.

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  • 70. At 5:23pm on 03 Mar 2011, The_Black_Knight_Strikes_Again wrote:

    I know this may fan some flames, but I felt the need to play the grouchy Devil's Advocate.

    @68

    Pray tell, who doles out these rights? Why does one require "the right"? Did Gdafy, or however it is spelled in that particular dialect, petition for the right to lord over and oppress his own countrymen? Why does the West not have the right to enter other countries and interfere in matters that affect it (backlash on Euro economy and borders), while those from points elsewhere can enter "the West" and interfere (read: claim the right to ignore soverign borders and the rights of those within)? See #44 et all above regarding the protests by illegal immigrants in Greece and other points in the med. Who gave them the right?

    What I am getting at is, are we to base decisions on some vague "perceived rights" or on the practical reality of the situation.

    Secondly...
    This may have been an occurance before my time, but I also did not see the world's military powers lining up to send in troops to Sudan at the height of the darfur massacres, even though what is now S. Sudan (check me on this, I never cought on to the new name) has crude reserves.

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  • 71. At 6:53pm on 03 Mar 2011, margaret howard wrote:


    53 powermeer writes:
    " Oh, Lord, please don't let me be misunderstood".
    ["lay -do not drop!- a B-61-11 dialed down to 25kT south of Natanz at 1100 Zulu; repeat..." :)]"

    And it's not just different languages that can lead to dangerous confusion. I remember that one of the American Mars probes crashed because of the American habit of still using two different mathematical systems - meters were confused with yards I believe. Even the catastrophic Challenger disaster was rumoured to have been caused by these errors.
    According to the director of the US Metric Programme this is because of '.....ineffective attempts at public education and awareness..', in other words the public is too thick. Still, you are in good company - the only other two states in the world that still use your system are Burma and Liberia.

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  • 72. At 7:32pm on 03 Mar 2011, Sasha Clarkson wrote:

    @61, @67 Of course it's not Herr Doctor Guttenberg any more: it's the "former so-called Doctor Guttenberg", just as it's the "former so-called German Democratic Republic".

    As for Stephen Evans piece, I think it's lightweight, inaccurate, patronising and offensive. I'm sending the link to my Berlin/Erfurt relatives for their comments. I somehow doubt they'll be impressed. (They include Doctors of Psychology, Statistics, Economics and Mechanical Engineering.)

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  • 73. At 7:44pm on 03 Mar 2011, Buzet23 wrote:

    #62. At 1:01pm on 03 Mar 2011, Sasha Clarkson

    The title is crap but the story is spot on, firstly why should it be considered Europe failed the Arab world, absolute rubbish, they failed themselves, blame is easy to accuse others of to excuse your own faults.

    Secondly the article is indeed forthright and also more importantly very accurate, especially about EU member states vested interests. All they need now to do is admit that the EU is an unmitigated disaster, and since this is from a pro-EU German source that seems not too far off judging by the fact they are now criticising.

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  • 74. At 7:47pm on 03 Mar 2011, Buzet23 wrote:

    #69. At 5:11pm on 03 Mar 2011, DorsetJane

    It has to happen sooner or later, the artificial manipulation of the ECB has been a disgrace for a long time, but then sited in Frankfort and run by Trichet, a French, what was ever expected. The merde has been hitting the fan for a long time now.

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  • 75. At 7:55pm on 03 Mar 2011, WebAliceinwonderland wrote:

    David, do we have Star Wars listed in films and Eminem listed in "music"? There are very many of you there :o))))))))) If I find the right David I will register; so far I am not there. Don't need publicity! ;o))))))

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  • 76. At 8:14pm on 03 Mar 2011, threnodio_II wrote:

    What on earth has this blog descended to? What is the issue here?

    The internal politics of Libya - or any other country for that matter - are entirely a matter for the people who live there unless and until one or other party in a conflict situation resorts to methods which are unacceptable either in terms of the rules of engagement if there is a war situation or in terms of the use use of unacceptable force against civilians in a civil conflict situation.

    Who comes out of this situation on top is a question for the Libyans alone. How they seek to achieve it is the question which should concern the wider world. If a no fly zone is put into place to protect innocent civilians, then we should support it 100%. If it is put into place in order to influence the outcome, one way or other, in what is essentially an internal affair, we should have nothing to do with it.

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  • 77. At 8:16pm on 03 Mar 2011, margaret howard wrote:

    60 Sasha Clarkson writes:
    "When/if the dust has settled, the fate of aljazeera will be a litmus test at to whether or not any changes are real. or just cosmetic. In the latter case, I would expect severe pressure to be put upon the organisation to tone down its coverage of events."

    I hope the sever pressure you talk about doesn't include America bombing their offices for a third time! And isn't it to be recommended that the Arab world has at long last found its own voice? It is certainly not as gung-ho as many English speaking newspapers and we find it a very interesting way to hear their interpretation of events. Furthermore their journalists and on-the-spot reporters are of the highest quality.

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  • 78. At 8:17pm on 03 Mar 2011, threnodio_II wrote:

    Alice.

    It would be difficult not to list Star War movies as film but I promise you that any connection between Eminem and music is entirely coincidental.

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  • 79. At 8:28pm on 03 Mar 2011, ronnieboy1 wrote:

    in libya the rebels have no chance of unseating gaddaffi in tripoli, they have no discipline, no leaders, no weapons(except for a bloke revolving a machine gun around a low loader). they look a rabble. even a half decent army would destroy a baffoon like gaddaffi, these rebels look what they are, a bunch of numpties, and i must agree with #76 why are we bothered anyway? who really gives a stuff what or who runs libya, how about worrying about the energy companies ripping us all off...now theres a real war.

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  • 80. At 8:45pm on 03 Mar 2011, Nik wrote:

    79. At 8:28pm on 03 Mar 2011, ronnieboy1 wrote:

    I am constantly amazed mate as to how shallow people can be on such events.

    If there was anyone that would not care who governs Libyea that had to be Berlusconi who was glad to make business with a funny-rogue figure like Gaddafi.

    The ones who care very much about who rules in Libya are Americans and the whatever pro-US forces inside Europe.

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  • 81. At 8:59pm on 03 Mar 2011, threnodio_II wrote:

    #79 - ronnieboy1

    I am afraid you entirely misunderstand me. We should all be interested in who runs Libya. What we should not do is intervene directly except for the specific purpose of humanitarian ends.

    To put it in very simple terms, we have to business with whoever eventually ends up in power. If it turns out to be Gadaffi, so be it. But if, in order to achieve that, he bombs his own civilians, it becomes our business and we have to do something about it.

    Can we not, for once, distinguish between oil, money and politics on the one hand and common humanity on the other?

    Out of interest, are you old enough to remember the Vietcong? It's just that I seem to recall people calling them a rabble and a bunch of numpties once upon a time.

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  • 82. At 9:11pm on 03 Mar 2011, Lynn wrote:

    This is doubt standard.

    When the west made a mistake, e.g., Abu Ghraib torture and prisoner abuse by USA army, we blamed the individual Soldier.

    When the Middle East made a mistake, e.g., Iraq and Libya, we blamed the leaders - Saddam Hussein and Gaddafi.

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  • 83. At 9:20pm on 03 Mar 2011, ronnieboy1 wrote:

    #81 i certainly remember the vietcong....dont compare the vietcong to this shower in libya.....i was in the british army for 13 years between 1969 and 1982......take it from me gaddaffi wont be overthrown by internal libyan action. but there i go again ...do i really care? no....

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  • 84. At 9:37pm on 03 Mar 2011, ronnieboy1 wrote:

    the arabs are not good fighters...they have a discipline problem , i was in aden in 1969, and most arab soldiers would run away with the sight of a gun with live ammo. rem the 67 and 73 wars with israel...egyptlost both wars in the first 2 hours....no match for the highly disciplined israelis.its no good sitting around poking pictures of gaddaffi and hearing hip hop music on head fones...these rebels havnt a clue....gaddaffi would be easy meat for the israelis or a plattoon of british squaddies (id give him 3 hours at best). but there i go again do i really care...no.

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  • 85. At 9:42pm on 03 Mar 2011, WebAliceinwonderland wrote:

    threnodio I think I know what Eminem is, is it something sad electronic like bow-au-wow? Like aaah, like a wolf at the full moon? Without words, I mean. It looks philosophical as well.

    I mix it up constantly with Armenian music. Some pipe made out of some teee, very sad looong notes. Very gripping sad as well.

    Star Wars - I am unsure as well. Looks like we had Perestroyka back then and missed on them entirely. I saw once something, on TV, at night. There were big planes flying in space, very nicely and spectacularly, this I liked. And some extremely weird looking aliens who looked like ? ? big lizards? faces in ? bumps? Kind of frogs' eh faces.
    Was it them? Star Worms? :o)))))))
    I don't know how the main proper heroes there look like! were mostly some huge lizards! :o))))))

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  • 86. At 9:55pm on 03 Mar 2011, reincarnation wrote:

    84. ronnieboy1
    "most arab soldiers would run away with the sight of a gun"

    Well, that would limit the accuracy of your fire. Seems quite a clever idea to me.

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  • 87. At 10:22pm on 03 Mar 2011, ronnieboy1 wrote:

    #86 yes...it also means you dont have any opposition, because they have all run away.

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  • 88. At 10:37pm on 03 Mar 2011, Sasha Clarkson wrote:

    @77 Dear Margaret, I agree with you. I am very impressed with aljazeera English in general, both for news and features.

    This is an example of a high quality in-depth feature:

    http://english.aljazeera.net/programmes/witness/2010/01/2010110121913283565.html

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  • 89. At 11:00pm on 03 Mar 2011, quietoaktree wrote:

    Ronnieboy1

    -- for someone who repeatedly `NEVER CARES´ -- you imply you were a mercenary for 13 years ?

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  • 90. At 11:15pm on 03 Mar 2011, gedguy2 wrote:

    # 70 The_Black_Knight_Strikes_Again

    "Pray tell, who doles out these rights?"

    That's the point; no one does. People at some point feel that they have a 'right' to interfere in someone else's country because they think that this is not the way that this country should be acting. If this is the case then does another country have the right to invade the UK because we are one of the biggest money laundering countries in the world? There are billions of dollars floating around the world that are the proceeds of drug dealing, arms dealing and other illegal and immoral activities yet we make a lot of money out of this. We know that our banks are doing this but there is money to be made so we tell people to mind their own business. I believe that is what the Libyan rebels have been saying to the west. We are not, and never have been, the policemen of this world; that's what the UN was meant to sort out. We don't have the right to interfere in another country's trouble we have the UN for that.

    "Did Gdafy...petition for the right to lord over and oppress his own countrymen?"

    Your answer is in the question. This was something that happened between people of the same nation. It was their business.

    "What I am getting at is, are we to base decisions on some vague "perceived rights" or on the practical reality of the situation."

    The "practical reality" is that they started this rebellion, not us. They have asked us to stay out of it. It is only them who can change what happens in that country. It is about time that the big powers in this world stops interfering in mineral/oil rich countries and let them get on with trying to run their own lives in their own way.

    This country's troubles are bringing the adventuring Capitalist vultures from far and wide licking their lips with anticipation of the possibility of gaining control of more oil. All we hear in the media about atrocities happening means nothing because atrocities have happened before and will happen again and we have and will do nothing because there is no money to be made. Sad, but this is the world we inhabit.

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  • 91. At 11:47pm on 03 Mar 2011, margaret howard wrote:

    88 Sasha Clarkson
    Thank you for the link. Fascinating stuff - what dull, orderly lives we lead by comparison. Incidentally, I agree with you re the Stephen Evans piece at *72. Pig ignorant and badly written.

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  • 92. At 01:40am on 04 Mar 2011, Stevenson wrote:

    W.Alice in Wonderland,

    I'm the David Stevenson in the state of Missouri, and on the street named Tullis and who "likes actresses, reading, pets" (i think) (weird David lol...also i play bejeweled too much as you would see and i put songs on my page as well)

    :)))

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  • 93. At 04:10am on 04 Mar 2011, powermeerkat wrote:

    Sasha Clarkson wrote:
    @61, @67 Of course it's not Herr Doctor Guttenberg any more: it's the "former so-called Doctor Guttenberg", just as it's the "former so-called German Democratic Republic".





    It still can't beat 'Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia', although Republic of Mecedonia still exists. [unlike DDR] :-)))

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  • 94. At 06:10am on 04 Mar 2011, ronnieboy1 wrote:

    #89 i never said i was a mercenary, i said i was in the british army for 13 years between 1969 and 1982.Iam interested in libya only from a military point of view. in football terms its heading for a 0-0 bore draw.

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  • 95. At 06:36am on 04 Mar 2011, powermeerkat wrote:

    "Talks are under way to free a Dutch helicopter crew captured in Libya trying to evacuate foreign citizens, the Netherlands' defence ministry says.

    "Three Dutch Marines captured by Libya"

    The three marines landed their Lynx near the port of Sirte on Sunday, flying in from the Dutch warship Tromp, which is anchored off the Libyan coast. [BBC News)




    champagne_charlie, those three Dutch marines would not be members of the crack EU brigade you've mentioned earlier, would they?

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  • 96. At 06:58am on 04 Mar 2011, powermeerkat wrote:

    Why are there no mass protests in Syria, although as BBC reports: "Currently, Syria is run by a one-party system and has been under emergency law since 1963."?


    Elementary, dear Watson: no opposition was ever allowed by the ruling Socialist Baath Party.

    Besides: I'd rather face Hezbollah thugs than Syrian secret police.

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  • 97. At 07:24am on 04 Mar 2011, champagne_charlie wrote:

    #95

    powermeerkat;

    "champagne_charlie, those three Dutch marines would not be members of the crack EU brigade you've mentioned earlier, would they?"

    As a rule I dont criticise the Dutch - one of the few who stands up to be counted and punches above its weight on the military and EU political scene. And after the HMS Cornwall farce....

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  • 98. At 07:30am on 04 Mar 2011, Buzet23 wrote:

    #94. At 06:10am on 04 Mar 2011, ronnieboy1,

    Don't bite, QOT makes quantum leaps without foundation all the time, it's his/her trademark, plus it hates all things British and especially the forces.

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  • 99. At 07:39am on 04 Mar 2011, Buzet23 wrote:

    #95. At 06:36am on 04 Mar 2011, powermeerkat,

    "champagne_charlie, those three Dutch marines would not be members of the crack EU brigade you've mentioned earlier, would they?"

    No doubt they were trained by American Special Forces, pity really, if they had been trained by the SAS it would maybe have been different.

    As to crack EU forces, there can never be an EU defence force whilst there are both linguistic and nationalistic barriers, anyone thinking to the contrary only needs to look at the Belgian army and how language differences have caused deaths in the past. If a small country having just three languages cannot have a fully functioning army with a common language then how does anybody apart from a imbecile think 27 countries can.

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  • 100. At 07:50am on 04 Mar 2011, indus wrote:

    You are absolutely right. Outsiders, in particular the US and Europe, should not intervene in what is purely an arab/muslim probablem. Let arab and muslim contries (Turkey, Pakistan, Iran etc) do the intervention. Is the current occupant of the white house in Washington listening? I doubt.

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  • 101. At 08:19am on 04 Mar 2011, powermeerkat wrote:

    "No doubt they were trained by American Special Forces, pity really, if they had been trained by the SAS it would maybe have been different."



    Nope, Buzet, Marines are marines not commandos, and US Delta Force, Navy Seals etc., have too much to do to train other countries' outfits anyway.

    [not that I'm suggesting that those brave British sailors caught by Iranians in the Strait of Hormuz had any SAS training]

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  • 102. At 08:29am on 04 Mar 2011, powermeerkat wrote:

    Language differences don't have to prevent mutually beneficial cooperation. Unless some outsiders start to mind it.


    "The director of the London School of Economics has resigned over its links to Libyan leader Col Muammar Gaddafi.

    He said the decision to accept £300,000 for research from a foundation run by Col Gaddafi's son, Saif, "backfired"." (BBC News)


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  • 103. At 08:48am on 04 Mar 2011, champagne_charlie wrote:

    #101 #99

    Dutch marines most definitely ARE commandos,and for nearly 40 years have been partially trained by and exercise with the Royal Marines as part of 3 Commando Brigade. They are amongst the best in the world.

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  • 104. At 09:45am on 04 Mar 2011, powermeerkat wrote:

    Thanks for the clarification, charlie.

    In the U.S. commandos have nothing to do with U.S. Marine Corps. [Marines].



    Commandos are very small elitist units consisting often of explosive experts, communication specialists, even computer engineers, etc., who are simultaneously highly qualified divers, paras, pilots and marksmen.

    Not only is membership in such units (e.g. in Navy Seals) strictly voluntary. A soldier/sailor/airman has to actively apply, and high motivation, intelligence, mental toughness and top physical shape do not guarantee that he/she will pass final tests and be accepted.

    U.S. Army, Navy and Air Force have their own separate commandos.


    They can be detailed, attached to a particular outfit, but usually operate independently and autonomously (often incomunicado and improvising if required).

    [I don't have to mention that they use SWAT and are capable of using enemy's hardware if necessary]

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  • 105. At 10:56am on 04 Mar 2011, powermeerkat wrote:

    In an adjacent North America blog poster Nostrano reported:


    A snippet of rich info. Apparently Gaddaffi gave the 'Gaddafi human rights prize' ('Kadhafi droits de l'homme') to Hugo Chavez. A reference in itself. It must have been a very moving event.


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  • 106. At 11:11am on 04 Mar 2011, Stevenson wrote:

    Powermeerkat,

    They'll figure it out..its not our business..this is Europe's problem. I'm perfectly sure they can do this w/o our "help."

    I agree...with the premise--no intervention from the USA. Its best (for our bankrupting budget)

    And maybe its best for the UK's (rather large) budget, too.

    And I am, myself, happy--no more casualty counts, no more worrying about whether ... we are the ..um "problem solvers" (inadequate as we may be seen to be)

    Enjoy! But, say, out loud, "awwww...that's too bad. What ARE you going to do about this horrible, horrible problem? We're here to support you. Whatever you decide, we are sure Europe can handle this on their own"

    Then we act supportive (and let them spend Their money on hardware and reap the success of their very wise actions. :)

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  • 107. At 11:22am on 04 Mar 2011, Stevenson wrote:

    Actually, the above is a true feeling of empathy and desire for their collective success.

    There are big loud Republicans here squirming, now, in America, thinking "What is Obama going to do? America will lose power" Too bad.

    Maybe he will do something they--the Republicans--don't understand--something unusual and different for America--they will let someone else undertake solving Europe's backyard problems.

    That would be a nice refreshing change.

    And save our--precious--money AND reputations And sanity.

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  • 108. At 12:08pm on 04 Mar 2011, Freeborn John wrote:

    jr4412 (8): I’d don’t think anyone can say the problems of the world are due to too much liberalism. If one compares even the worst that the liberal democracies of the West have done, it is far less bad than the abuses that either fascism or communism led to. It is good to be self-critical, to admit that mistakes were made including in Iraq in 2003, but not to use those mistakes to retreat into an irresponsible turning of the blind eye to injustices.

    Yes; I am an advocate of utilitarianism (though more Mill’s than Bentham’s) because pursuing virtue or blindly following moral rules are not ends themselves but are a means to the greater end of improving human well-being. In the long-run, the well-being of Libyans would be improved if they can oust Gadaffi. The problem is that his family business will not pack up quietly, and there will be a short-term cost in human suffering to kid of him for longer gain. Minimizing that short-term cost, which will be measured in loss of life, has to be the goal here while still helping the Libyan people achieve their long-term goal of self-determination. It is not the fault of the West that there is a short-term price to pay; that is down to the Gadaffi clan perception of Libya and Libyans as some kind of personal property. Kantians offer no means for handling cases where a long-term gain can only be met at short-term cost. Nor where one has to take one morally blame-worthy action (i.e. ‘attacking’ Libyans air-defences) to prevent another, e.g. Gadaffi killing protesters.

    In ‘On Liberty’ (a book which the Liberal Democrats present to their new leader upon his election but which Nick Clegg seems not to be follow) J.S. Mill gives an example of a drowning child which one could save but doesn’t as an example of harmful non-action that is morally blameworthy. It seems to be that if the international community allows the ‘drowning child’ of the Libyan uprising to be crushed then we too are culpable. It would be nice if Nick Clegg would make this liberal argument for preventative action in Libya. Instead he betrays the liberalism of his party’s tradition in ignoring Libya completely to make a speech about the need to ‘offer advice on building civic institutions’ in Egypt or Tunisia.

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  • 109. At 12:18pm on 04 Mar 2011, WebAliceinwonderland wrote:

    Very sensible considerations, David :o)
    Especially that - who would you put instead of Gaddafi? :o))))))
    With any luck - someone nice, but it may very well end up, given the historical precedent, that someone like modern Kosovo leader.

    A European country. Whose head is deeply, profoundly suspected in human body parts' mass extraction by force and deceit (deceit - because those promised 20 thousand dollars were not paid but perished after) and profiting on the trade, and in heroin trade.
    What a sheep in European leaders' white sheep row.

    Simply funny bothering with a doctorate thesis, in comparison.

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  • 110. At 4:51pm on 04 Mar 2011, WebAliceinwonderland wrote:

    On the other hand, if to remember how Georgian war was described by English-speaking media, one can't belive anything at all :o)))

    Still, fact is heaps of countries have evacuated their folk out of Libya, 30 thousand China only. The max presence, it seems. And American and British oil companies closed up the business there temporarily at least. Gazprom took their staff out. (Gazprom works there for modest 10.5% of profit made on oil extracted by them.)

    We still have Russians there working in Libyan own oil companies, these refused to evacuate, as they are mostly in the capital and there it's alright.

    So something does happen there, if so many people leave. 100,000 crossed the border with Tunis only.

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  • 111. At 6:39pm on 04 Mar 2011, margaret howard wrote:

    106 Stevenson writes:
    "Enjoy! But, say, out loud, "awwww...that's too bad. What ARE you going to do about this horrible, horrible problem? We're here to support you. Whatever you decide, we are sure Europe can handle this on their own"


    Don't know how we Europeans managed without you in the last 3000 years! However, where would America be today without the people of Europe?

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  • 112. At 7:29pm on 04 Mar 2011, Chris wrote:

    Ufff, when will the Dutsch learn to leave fighting to others? In Bosnia catastrophy, in Libya failure! They are very good with clogs/tulips/windmills stick to that!!

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  • 113. At 7:41pm on 04 Mar 2011, The_Black_Knight_Strikes_Again wrote:

    @ 90

    "That's the point; no one does."
    "If this is the case then does another country have the right to invade the UK because we are one of the biggest money laundering countries in the world?"

    Now you are getting it. The concept of "rights" is subjective, it all depends on who you can convince with your justifications. G'dafy did not ask for the right to oppress anyone, nor was he granted such. He claimed it for himself and others (internally and externally, by consensus, bribery, force, etc) went along with it. Likewise, anyone CAN declare war on Britian and attack for whatever justification they want because external acceptance or condemnation is not required for the action to take place. Hence the buildup of arms, the formation of alliances, treaties, and groups like the UN to change the "CAN THEY?" to a "WILL THEY?".

    "The "practical reality" is that they started this rebellion, not us. They have asked us to stay out of it."

    There have been mixed reoports on that matter. Some said help, some said stay away, others welcomed the no fly zone but threatended death if any foreign soldiers set foot on thier land.

    "It is only them who can change what happens in that country."

    You are half right. They are the only ones who can change the country TO FIT THIER OWN LIKING. The discussion is about the potential actions of the West, as such, it should be shown from thier point of view. With that in mind, the practical reality is that the West has interests to protect (economy, borders, regional stability, expats). It must weigh its own priorities vs its own perceived moral opinions vs the wants of the various Libyan factions and the effects each point will have on the outcome. The West has enough power to change things, by thier action or inaction, for better or worse, but they cannot ignore thier own wants and needs. Simply turning away, saying not my backyard, and letting things fall as they may is a non-answer to a complicated issue.

    "This country's troubles are bringing the adventuring Capitalist vultures from far and wide licking their lips with anticipation of the possibility of gaining control of more oil."

    The "oil wars" idea has been blown out of proportion imho. The only risk to oil production would come if a new government (or a rouge group, an angry and victorious G'dafy, etc) stages a takeover of the oil fields and kicks everyone else out. Control is already there and it will not be lost so long as the companies running the fields are allowed to maintain thier status quo after the dust settles. If the capitalist pigs realy wanted Libyan oil, they would be helping G'dafy put down the rebellion so they could be his BFF (best friend forever to those not familiar with the slang) and get the best deals on cheap extraction; flys and honey principle.

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  • 114. At 7:50pm on 04 Mar 2011, The_Black_Knight_Strikes_Again wrote:

    @ 111

    "Don't know how we Europeans managed without you in the last 3000 years! However, where would America be today without the people of Europe?"

    Of course, there would be no "America" if the Europeans never LEFT HOME, populated the continent, and spread thier unique culture. So yes, we are all Europeans, the only difference is that some stayed in thier own nations and others left to make a bigger one. I really do not understand your vitriol.

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