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Too much or too little?

Mark Mardell | 22:14 UK time, Friday, 25 February 2011

jay_carney_sanctions.jpgThere had been deep worries at the White House that American citizens would be taken hostage in Libya. This is a moment haunted by history. Echoes of Iran informed the caution of the last few days.

But now most US nationals seem to be out, the embassy has been closed and diplomats evacuated - the rhetoric has been ramped up and concrete action announced.

New White House spokesman Jay Carney said Col Muammar Gaddafi had zero credibility with his own people and announced the US would impose unilateral sanctions.
A few hours later, President Obama signed an executive order freezing the assets of the colonel and some of his close family.

The US is also hoping other countries, particularly the EU, will join in, while seeking multilateral ones. But some regard this wish as wimpish. When they look to history, they want Serbia, not Rwanda.

Politicians, including John McCain and former, mainly Republican, officials from the left and right have written to president Obama, urging him to take tougher measures including introducing a no-fly zone over Libya, using the US Air Force to stop Col Gaddafi's jets from bombing their own people.

The White House has ruled nothing out, but President Obama may be loath to use American military might in this way. This is a testing moment for those who believe in liberal interventionism. It is also a testing moment for those who don't believe that wherever possible, the West should keep its nose out of other countries' affairs.

Defence Secretary Robert Gates, who also served under President George W Bush, has told cadets at West Point military academy any future president who send troops to a third world country, like Iraq or Afghanistan, would need his head examined. Of course, no one is advocating anything like that in Libya. But it is against that historical backdrop that this White House is agonising about doing too little or too much.

Comments

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  • 1. At 06:54am on 26 Feb 2011, Curt Carpenter wrote:

    If the White House is agonizing about doing too little or too much, I for one am well pleased. It represents a wonderful change from the Bush-era approach, which always led to either to doing far too much or doing absolutely nothing -- both without any preliminary agonizing (or should that be "planning"?) at all.

    Taking "tougher measures" unilaterally would, in my opinion, be a horrible mistake. The EU, whose national interests are far more at stake here than ours, should take the lead in this, and we should follow in train. If the U.S. even appears to adopt a leadership posture, it will be seen in the region as just one more instance of an American oil grab -- and Surely the American people (despite Exxon, BP, Shell and Big Oil generally) have had enough of that.

    McCain and the Republicans -- with the amazing exception of Mr. Gates -- are always hot in support of military interventions, but way, way cold on paying for them. They should be ashamed of themselves.

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  • 2. At 07:06am on 26 Feb 2011, BBCLegend wrote:

    I don't think it would be right to send US troops into the Libya. America isn't the most popular country in the middle east, and they could easily become part of the problem. But it is very important that a message has to be sent to Libya, and to other countries in the region, that violence against the people will not go unpunished. A no fly zone in addition to targeting some military strongholds as was done in Kosovo would be the best solution. Taking this step would make countries like Iran think twice about targeting their own people.

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  • 3. At 07:35am on 26 Feb 2011, Steven Chan wrote:

    It takes courage to act when one should, and it also takes courage to NOT to act when one should NOT. It is possible to worsen the situation and be harmful to both Libyan people and US armed force by stepping in (openly) when one should not.

    The world is a stage, and politics and war is a game. Not every future change is predictable, but the best guess is always based on positivist facts and analysis, and not by ideological gut feelings.

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  • 4. At 07:50am on 26 Feb 2011, The Cool Ruler Rides Again wrote:

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

  • 5. At 07:57am on 26 Feb 2011, CraigMorecambe wrote:

    "This is a testing moment for those who believe in liberal interventionism. It is also a testing moment for those who don't believe that wherever possible, the West should keep its nose out of other countries' affairs."

    Surely that should read, "This is a testing moment for those who believe in liberal interventionism. It is also a testing moment for those who believe that, wherever possible, the West should keep its nose out of other countries' affairs"?

    That "don't" makes the people who believe one thing believe the same thing as the people who believe the other thing. You might want to remove the "don't" for this to say what you probably meant it to say Mark.

    Also, since when is the EU a country? ("The US is also hoping other countries, particularly the EU, will join in.") You might want to rephrase that sentence too.

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  • 6. At 08:09am on 26 Feb 2011, blefuscu wrote:

    It is 'easy' to put them in, but getting them out is the hard bit.

    After 1991, Saddam was reasserting his 'authority' over the Shia in the South and the Kurds in the North.

    The Shia were calling out for US intervention.

    There was the no-fly zone and then sanctions for twelve years.

    Finally the Bush Junior invasion of 2003.

    How popular was that despite the toppling of Saddam and the Baathists?

    That is the Middle East.

    Ask Mohktader Sadr.

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  • 7. At 08:29am on 26 Feb 2011, blefuscu wrote:

    It's up to Egypt and/or Turkey....they are the regional powers with big, well-equipped militaries and they are, we are told, either fully democratic or on the way.

    There would be no question then of imperialism or 'colonialism'!

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  • 8. At 08:44am on 26 Feb 2011, Pancha Chandra wrote:

    Of course the safety of all Americans and foreigners in Libya should be a top priority. In the same breath, no time should be lost as capturing Gadaffi should be equally important. He has no qualms about spilling blood: all he is interested is staying on in power and believing he is invincible. The added danger is that he could do something very rash that could engulf the whole region in turmoil and bloodshed. That is why an effective surgical strike to remove him from the seat of power is so essential. World peace is at stake here!

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  • 9. At 08:54am on 26 Feb 2011, monkeypuzzletree wrote:

    Part of the problem with America, is that it thinks it should be doing something, but as in the case of Libya, not sure what to do. And exercising control of Libyan airspace, and perhaps popping of a military target or two is an act of war, not benign interference. And a war that might have unforseen consequences for the rest of us, not just good I am in your face, and in your country, Uncle Sam.

    Of course Obama would like the EU involved. If we are going to foul up, let's be in this together, Liberal Democracy and all. Just like Iraq, and of course that other place Afghanistan. If our boys are going to die, you better believe yours will too.


    America, sort out your own problems and get out of the rest of the world's face. Not everybody wants the American dream/ nightmare coming to a place near them.

    You have bequeathed the world with fast food, etc. But as a Canadian friend of mine once remarked," no nation on earth has done as much to destroy the quality of life as the USA"

    As a European, I hope not see further European blood shed for our good friend America.

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  • 10. At 09:03am on 26 Feb 2011, Bob Ezergailis wrote:

    Mark, there is a lot of misleading rhetoric going on, and a lot of failed leadership. A basic principle of the American constitution is separation of church and state. Surely an American president would choose to fight for it. In fact the U.S.A. is risking loss of face on major issues, in regard to its stance on Libya. Colonel Gaddafi has chosen to abandon his tightrope walk between the west, inclusive of his communist / socialist ideals and alliance, versus the Islamists. He has chosen to become a hero, and risk his own life, and everything he has done and hope for as to his nation's future, in respect to upholding the fundamental principle that he is opposed to the mosques dictating Libya's future and being the source and decider of its politics. Separation of church and state, of mosque and Libyan politics, is what the civil war in Libya is now about. Unfortunately Obama has either failed to realize this, or has been ill advised to the contrary. Now it may depend on Russia, for whom the issue is even more essential, and who is the oldest, strongest, ally of Colonel Gaddafi's attempt at progressive idealism in Africa. While we may question some aspects of that, in terms of results, we cannot question the initial idealism and we cannot possibly deny Colonel Gaddafi's resolve in support of the fundamental principle of division of religion and state. If Gaddafi is to become a martyr it is a martyr for a progressive ideal, not for the retrogressive Islamist cause. Hopefully, this will be realized before it is too late, as it may risk new polarization where unity of purpose would have been better in terms of future destiny. This is a fundamental question as to whether anyone can legitimately use military force in support of a principle that is enshrined in the United States constitution as a fundamental and inalienable legal and human right. It is that human right which is now the cause of bloodshed. and America risks becoming the hypocritical in its failure to acknowledge that most fundamental fact of that and other new conflicts in the region. Surely President Barack Obama does not want to sell out North Africa and the Mideast entirely to Iran style religious governance, where politics is ultimately decided, even dictated, from the mosques, from religion, rather than as separation of church and state. If Mr. Obama chooses wrongly in this he will be a very failed president, when history recounts his role in the probable future. After all, if separation of church and state is unsupported in other parts of the world, it will become unsupported in the United States. The constitution itself will be made void as the result of that failure.

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  • 11. At 09:12am on 26 Feb 2011, wolfvorkian wrote:

    Why is it the concept of "tertium gaudens" seems to baffle so many people? Why are so many of the talking heads nothing but 'signifying monkeys'?

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  • 12. At 09:23am on 26 Feb 2011, TechSing wrote:

    Sending in ground troops would probably be a bad idea, but enforcing a no-fly zone would be relativity easy and fairly free of risk, after-all the opposition forces have requested that the west to it.

    Gaddafi may have chemical and biological weapons, but in any event he has plenty of conventional weapons, are bleeding heart liberals really happy to sit back while thousands of men women and children are wiped out?

    Those who say we should not interfere in other countries to prevent these sort of atrocities are essentially saying that people in those countries don't deserve the same rights and protections that we give ourselves.

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  • 13. At 09:38am on 26 Feb 2011, champagne_charlie wrote:

    "The US is also hoping other countries, particularly the EU, will join in, while seeking multilateral ones."

    Frankly, with sentences like that, this blog is doomed before it began.

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  • 14. At 09:40am on 26 Feb 2011, Mirandola wrote:

    I have no time for terrorist activities, and I abhore political assassination, but it seems there is no other way this man will be stopped.

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  • 15. At 09:49am on 26 Feb 2011, Mirandola wrote:

    I fear it has gone on too long, he will stay in control, as he still has the 'security forces' with him, and our Western governments are just spineless dolts.

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  • 16. At 10:09am on 26 Feb 2011, threnodio_II wrote:

    "The US is also hoping other countries, particularly the EU, will join in, while seeking multilateral ones".

    Then why an earth are NATO not gathered to hammer out a joint strategy? It is quite obvious that any hope of a common EU foreign policy in this or any other crisis is cloud cuckoo land stuff. However, NATO still has clout and broad general consensus. It is the only way forward unless the States goes it alone. Worth noting in this context that both Britain and France stepped up to the plate pretty quickly. The UE has a long way to go but NATO is still fit for purpose.

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  • 17. At 10:34am on 26 Feb 2011, powermeerkat wrote:

    MM: " Politicians, including John McCain and former, mainly Republican, officials from the left and right have written to president Obama, urging him to take tougher measures including introducing a no-fly zone over Libya"





    Worked pretty well in Iraq, protecting Iraqi Kurds from Saddam's thugs during the Operation "Provide Comfort".

    BTW. Thank you you Turks, for letting us use your Incirlik base!

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  • 18. At 10:39am on 26 Feb 2011, powermeerkat wrote:

    13. At 09:38am on 26 Feb 2011, champagne_charlie wrote:
    "The US is also hoping other countries, particularly the EU, will join in, while seeking multilateral ones."

    Frankly, with sentences like that, this blog is doomed before it began.







    What do you you expect me to do, charlie?

    To comment on formidable combat-tested EU crack troops?

    Or on testicular fortitude of Brussels Commi-ssars?

    You know better than that. :-)

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  • 19. At 10:44am on 26 Feb 2011, powermeerkat wrote:

    Since so many world leaders are dumping now on Muammar Gaddafi, I'd like to point out that at least Fidel Castro, Cuba's threatened dictator, has chosen to defend him.

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  • 20. At 10:49am on 26 Feb 2011, ConBunk wrote:

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

  • 21. At 10:52am on 26 Feb 2011, Andre wrote:

    Could I suggest that those powers that have the capability of enforcing a no-fly zone will offer their services to ideally the UN, or otherwise in this case the Arab League. This would not only show concern for the Libyan people at risk, but also respect for the sovereignty of the Arab population as a whole. In that way they can never be blamed for dodging responsibilities, nor for neo-colonialistic hegemonism.

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  • 22. At 11:35am on 26 Feb 2011, Cloud-Cuckoo wrote:

    While Obama and the US are still in headless chicken mode, some other leaders are reacting a bit faster - but I don't think any of them are going to win the Al Gaddafi Prize for Human Rights (seriously, it exists!) over this.

    Main thing is to get Gaddafi's support to give up now. The War Crimes/ICC threat for his cronies and the army is a good one and Cameron delivered it well, if rather late - but we need to focus on the mercenaries as well (and their countries of origin). They need to know that in theory they could be up for war crimes if caught and identified - which OK is somewhat unlikely, but there is a chance and it does need saying.

    BTW I notice that Gaddafi's 'great friend' Tony Blair has been rather quiet of late. I thought he was meant to be in charge of the Middle east?

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  • 23. At 11:43am on 26 Feb 2011, Anagach wrote:

    7. At 08:29am on 26 Feb 2011, blefuscu wrote:

    It's up to Egypt and/or Turkey....they are the regional powers with big, well-equipped militaries and they are, we are told, either fully democratic or on the way.

    There would be no question then of imperialism or 'colonialism'!


    I take it you are jesting.

    Both Egypt and the old Ottoman Empire dominated North Africa.
    Relations between those countries and the peoples that comprise
    modern Libya are probably more complex and steeped in historical
    intervention than those between Libya and the 'Western' powers.

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  • 24. At 12:31pm on 26 Feb 2011, superkraut wrote:

    In 6 month after that mad man Gaddafi dumped WMD on his people and killed them by th3e thousands, the western world will build committees, to find out what went wrong in Libya, why didn’t we step in sooner.

    Too late then and all western leaders should then be put up for trail in Brussels for war crimes.

    Pull your finger out NOW, start with a NO Fly Zone, and give some intelligence to the free people of Libya, so then know what them dictator is up to.

    In times like this I am missing the old CIA from 30 years ago, send in a team and eliminate the whole stealing Gaddafi clan.

    Problems sorted!!!!!!

    How many more people have to die because the western world and, of course those Mid East countries with organized armies, wake up and do something.

    Freedom for Libya.

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  • 25. At 12:32pm on 26 Feb 2011, JackLancaster wrote:

    The US needs to take a backseat in this issue. The countries who are closest, geographically, and historically to Libya should be the ones intervening. Its time for Turkey, and the Middle-East in general, to show it is responsible for upholding human rights.

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  • 26. At 12:35pm on 26 Feb 2011, rammie1962 wrote:

    I see Barack Obama has signed an executive order blocking property and transactions related to the country, including transactions involving assets of Muammar Gaddafi and some close associates were blocked. As Libya and Gaddafi have few assets in the US... More sound bite than anything of substance here... but at least he will get his headline of doing something lol

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  • 27. At 12:38pm on 26 Feb 2011, quietoaktree wrote:

    #21 Andre

    "Could I suggest that those powers that have the capability of enforcing a no-fly zone will offer their services to ideally the UN ---"

    --good idea, but a no-fly zone may prevent Gadaffi from leaving by air on a one-way ticket.

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  • 28. At 12:43pm on 26 Feb 2011, Chryses wrote:

    superkraut, (#24. At 12:31pm on 26 Feb 2011)

    ”... Too late then and all western leaders should then be put up for trail in Brussels for war crimes ...”
    On what War Crimes charges might they be prosecuted - if you don’t mind me asking.

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  • 29. At 12:48pm on 26 Feb 2011, ziggyboy wrote:

    The only way forward in my view is through the UN it is not for Western Powers to deal with this at this point in time otherwise we will end up in another situation like Iraq.

    The people of Libya are making their voice heard and until they call for international help the US and Britain should stay well clear.

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  • 30. At 12:55pm on 26 Feb 2011, McJakome wrote:

    9. At 08:54am on 26 Feb 2011, monkeypuzzletree wrote:
    Yea, yeah, yeah, America is evil, America always does the wrong thing, America is a.......

    The broken record of the anti-American crowd has, as always, been heard loud and clear.

    BUT what should be done and by whom? What is your solution? If not the US [and I sincerely hope the US does not get involved, not least because you and your ilk will always portray it in the worst possible way, whatever the real intent] then who? If not military intervention, then what?

    I think you and the ilk should charter a jet, cover it with peace and socialist slogans, and fly into Libya to reason with MR. Q.

    Go on, I dare ya!

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  • 31. At 12:55pm on 26 Feb 2011, RWWCardiff wrote:

    It would be the best option to go down the sanctions path, preferably in concert with the UN. After all, thus far the people seem to be doing pretty well on their own, overcoming heavily armed militia and mercenaries with little more than their bare hands. As soon as his closest henchmen, including his own family, see their foreign assests about to be seized I can't see them putting up with him much longer. Any outside interference will only strengthen his hand.
    Regards, etc.

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  • 32. At 1:03pm on 26 Feb 2011, Miche Norman wrote:

    Western Europe seems to be suffering from myopic optimism. There are a few precedents for democracy in the Moslem missle east - Gaza, where Hammas won the vote, Lebanon where Chi-Zvallah is now the power broker and Iraqi where an Islamic party is on the verge of taking over. There is voter apathy throughout the region which enables Islamic parties to obtain power far beyond their regions - if you want a good example look at Iran where the secularists revolted and the Islamists took over. These parties are incable of providing what their people need - Iran has failed despite its oil wealth - Egypt's problem is a massive population that it cannot feed - Gaza is a basket case that needs massive investment and peace and Lebanon needs peace both internally and externally. Islamist parties preach hatred of non-moslems and one only has to look at the daily massacres in Iraq to note the hatred of the wrong sort-of moslem. The only unifying force is hatred for non-moslems - Israeli is explained as a European colonialist entity despite the fact that more than 50% of its population is made up of jews forced out of the Arab world and the British actively supported the Arab side before during and after the 48 war. The facts are immaterial - perception is everything and the only unifying force is that Islam is the only truth and the West is corruption - the fact that the West did not interfere but did business with the old rulers is perceived as support for them

    Democracy in Bahrain means a shiite takeover and an alliance with Teheran - Teheran which will have nuclear weapons within a year or two and ballistic missiles capable of hitting Europe - the optimistic outlook is that oil will hit $150 a barrel - the pessimistic one is 1926.

    Does the West have the leadership to deal with this?

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  • 33. At 1:04pm on 26 Feb 2011, Interestedforeigner wrote:

    I don't believe that President Obama is "agonising" about this decision at all, right now. I think that ended days ago, likely on Monday or Tuesday. It may not have required all that much agonising: President Obama is a human rights kind of guy.


    In any case,

    1. At 06:54am on 26 Feb 2011, Curt Carpenter wrote:

    "If the White House is agonizing about doing too little or too much, I for one am well pleased. It represents a wonderful change from the Bush-era approach, which always led to either to doing far too much or doing absolutely nothing -- both without any preliminary agonizing (or should that be "planning"?) at all."

    ----------

    Gosh, do I ever agree with this paragraph, other than the word "is" rather than "was".

    By the way, quite aside from the issue of "duty to protect", the US has ample grounds to intervene: the death of 289 people aboard a US registered aircraft, by itself, is way more than enough. The French have been an awkward ally on that point this week, because they have very similar grounds, but seem to have demured.

    --------

    First, once again, John McCain is a good man. He's doing the right thing.

    Second, it seems to me the decision has already been made. I believe it was made before David Cameron went to Cairo, or confirmed immediately thereafter.

    President Obama is also a good man, and, until I see evidence otherwise, I believe he decided to do the right thing several days ago, or, at the very least, to be prepared to do the right thing if required. I believe that the required military units are in place, and they are now merely waiting.

    We'll see what happens in the streets of Tripoli today, and whether Libyans can, by themselves, throw off this burden.

    I'm not sure what the deadline is, and whether it is measured in time, or in bloodshed, but if Muammar Khaddafi, Quadaffi, Kaddafy, Gaddafi, (or just plain 'Daffy, I suppose) is neither captive nor dead at this time on Monday morning, I'll be surprised.



    And those foreign mercenaries?
    Well, their fate could be very, very ugly.
    They should pray very hard for outside military intervention so that they can surrender to western troops.

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  • 34. At 1:13pm on 26 Feb 2011, McJakome wrote:

    21. At 10:52am on 26 Feb 2011, Andre wrote:
    "Could I suggest that those powers that have the capability of enforcing a no-fly zone will offer their services to ideally the UN,.."

    Could I suggest calling in Santa Clause, the Tooth Fairy and the Easter bunny [but not Superman, he's American]?

    You UN believers are incredible. The UN is so corrupt they put the Qadaffi regime on the Human Rights commission. The corrupt African dictatorships [and others] that put him there [for Libyan cash] would foil any UN attempt to deal with the issue [for Libyan cash]. Whatever else you can say about the Madman of Tripoli he still has plenty of cash.

    I am quite surprized that you folks haven't tried to blame the US for the situation in Libya, you know, your usual "if it's bad the US is behind it" rants. Mr Q is really working for the CIA and Wall Street, and we are secretly shipping him more weapons to do the dirty work, right?

    I am slowly coming to the conclusion that, despite the certainty of your insane anti_american reaction, the US will probably have to intervene to save the Libyans from their thugocracy. I really don't think the US should be involved, but would it be moral to stand back and watch genocide just because we fear criticism from the Idiots' Brigade?

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  • 35. At 1:19pm on 26 Feb 2011, McJakome wrote:

    26. At 12:35pm on 26 Feb 2011, rammie1962 wrote the expected anti-Obama rant. Whatever President Obama does or doesn't do it is WRONG! If he heped an old lady across the street, it would be labelled political posturing, if he stoped a war, it would be labeled EU centric internationalism, if he actually promoted peace in the Arab-Muslim world he would be accused of being anti-Israel.

    You evil clowns make me sick.

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  • 36. At 1:19pm on 26 Feb 2011, Amr wrote:

    7 blefuscu
    "It's up to Egypt and/or Turkey....they are the regional powers with big, well-equipped militaries and they are, we are told, either fully democratic or on the way."
    - things are much more complicated than they may seem. Although it is more 'possible' for Egypt, compared to USA for exmaple, to offer help to Libya, this does not include military support. Egypt has its hands full at the moment (for obvious reasons). the situation is not very stable in Egypt yet. Also, it's up to the army to decide whether it is possible to offer help to Libya or not (and we have full trust in the army here)
    (my personal opinion: i don't think it will be possible.) the Egyptian army is already in a critical position in Egypt and there is the fact that Libya consists of several tribes (i think?) which means that helping out won't be necessairly appreciated by everyone and could even lead to worse results. (and i'm talking about Egypt. as for the USA, my personal opinion is that Libyans would not accept any military interference at all. i'm not sure if this opinion is still valid since the situation seems to be deteriorating very quickly there already)
    there are millions of Egyptians that we're trying trying to evacuate from Libya (i heard the number is in millions, but i don't know the real number of Egyptians in Libya)

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  • 37. At 1:21pm on 26 Feb 2011, A Realist wrote:

    I am at a loss to understand why, when the evidence is overwhelming, the political class are unable to act swiftly and decisively. I don't need them to act covertly - I want them to send in the armed forces (NATO) to arrest the miscreants and put them on trial in an international court. I want those decisions made in public, within a 24 hour period. (Why does it need to be stalled, once agreed?) Either we are all equal under the law - or we are not. Perhaps this is the moment in history when we can sweep ALL dictators and hereditary monarchs out of power. I realize that it is “we the people” who are at fault here – we continue to allow self-serving politicians to use reporting systems, designed hundreds of years ago, to retain power. The one thing these recent revolutions have taught us is that the internet age has smashed these barriers, hopefully for all time.
    Therefore I suggest a list of criminal leaders “we the people” want arrested should be assembled immediately. People on the list who are adjudged by a tribunal to be culpable, should be arrested by the end of 2011.
    This list should include:
    1) Mugabe of Zimbabwe Age 85
    2) Bashir of Sudan Age 65
    3) Kim Jong-Il, North Korea Age 67
    4) Than Shwe, Burma (Myanmar) Age 76
    5) King Abdullah, Saudi Arabia Age 85
    6) Hu Jintao, China Age 66
    7) Sayyid Ali Khamenei, Iran Age 69
    8) Isayas Afewerki, Eritrea Age 63
    9) Gurbanguly Berdymuhammedov, Turkmenistan Age 51
    10) Muammar al-Qaddafi, Libya Age 66 (He should be arrested & put on trial for PA103)
    11) Islam Karimov, Uzbekistan
    12) Bashar al-Assad, Syria
    13) Raúl Castro, Cuba
    14) Teodoro Obiang Nguema, Equatorial Guinea
    15) Aleksandr Lukashenka, Belarus
    16) Meles Zenawi, Ethiopia
    17) Idriss Déby, Chad
    18) King Mswati III, Swaziland
    19) Paul Biya, Cameroon
    20) Putin and the entire Russian Mafia
    However, we here in the UK, we need to address “dynastic rulers” too, in order set an example. For that reason, we need to become a Republic. The “Royal” family need to step down.
    Can you explain to me Mark, why solely based one family’s ability to hold a gun to someone’s head, the rest of the world need to capitulate to them for all time?
    The Game’s up! Time has run out for them. All thanks to the internet. Amazing.

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  • 38. At 1:21pm on 26 Feb 2011, escapedfromny wrote:

    5. At 07:57am on 26 Feb 2011, CraigMorecambe wrote:

    Surely that should read, "This is a testing moment for those who believe in liberal interventionism. It is also a testing moment for those who believe that, wherever possible, the West should keep its nose out of other countries' affairs"?
    --------------------------------

    Yeah - the West should keep their noses out of place like, Israel and Serbia and Myanmar and Dafur and Zimbabwe. YEAH!

    Oh, wait, those are places where liberals LOVE to, well, kind of intervene, as long as it does not take too much effort and people like George Clooney or Sean Penn can get good photo ops.

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  • 39. At 1:25pm on 26 Feb 2011, Chryses wrote:

    JMM, (#34. At 1:13pm on 26 Feb 2011)

    "... I am quite surprized that you folks haven't tried to blame the US for the situation in Libya, you know, your usual "if it's bad the US is behind it" rants. Mr Q is really working for the CIA and Wall Street, and we are secretly shipping him more weapons to do the dirty work, right? ..."
    You left out George Soros, but I digress ... it would seem that WJ is otherwise occupied! LOL!

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  • 40. At 1:25pm on 26 Feb 2011, escapedfromny wrote:

    31. At 12:55pm on 26 Feb 2011, RWWCardiff wrote:

    It would be the best option to go down the sanctions path, preferably in concert with the UN.

    ----------------------------

    Of COURSE!

    Just look at how successful sanctions have been at stopping oppressive regimes in Iran and North Korea!

    In fact, here is a list of places where UN sanctions have forced a nation to peacefully evolve into a stable, productive member of the international community:




    Interesting list, right?

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  • 41. At 1:31pm on 26 Feb 2011, Stephen J Webb wrote:

    Whist the US and EU agonise over the actions in Libya, when the decision is made, perhaps a little thought on common standards of response for ALL countries in the ME would not be amiss.

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  • 42. At 1:34pm on 26 Feb 2011, BluesBerry wrote:

    New White House spokesman Jay Carney said Col Muammar Gaddafi had zero credibility with his own people. Which Libyans has he spoken to? How many Libyans has he spoken to?
    Politicians, including John McCain and former, mainly Republican, officials from the left and right have written to president Obama, urging him to take tougher measures including introducing a no-fly zone over Libya, using the US Air Force to stop Col Gaddafi's jets from bombing their own people. The implementation of this suggestion could prove interesting: Would the American media tell us if they found no planes in the sky except "mercenary" airplanes?
    The White House is agonising about doing too little or too much. Don't the Americans have enough to keep themselves budy at home? Do they need to go so far away to kill people, main people, destroy land, drop white phosphorous and otherwise fight for democracy?
    I feel that Gaddafi is destined to face the same fate as Iraq and Saddam Hussein - the west is your friend today, but watch out: There will come a day when the west is no longer your friend. When the west is running out of money, it will turn to other nefarious methods like propaganda; it will turn brother against brother to disrupt Muslim Nations.
    There seems to me to be a strategy afoot - an evil strategy. The strategy is to deprive all Islamic Nations of any real power. Secondarily, of course, there is the motivation of back gold, the oil.
    In my opinion, Libya has been infiltrated by external forces, and therefore one must ask: who are these forces, who is paying these forces, who is arming these forces?
    If you think my opinion is somewhat extreme, then ask: Since when did the west care so much about freedom & democracy among Islamic nations?
    The west does not like Gaddafi, has never liked Gaddafi, but catered to Gaddafi only to get what it wanted; in fact, I would go as far as to say, the west doesn't like Islamic Countries. The west wants everything that these Islamic Nations have - gold, rich minerals, oil reserves; and the west will do anything, ANYTHING TO GET Islamic resources.
    This western strategy is very clever and evil. Islamic Countries are marked for revolution & chaos; thye will accomplish western pirposes all by themselves. Vive liberte! If not, the west will be called upon to "save the people", "intervene", while other western nations cheer and mark the day as "a step forward for democracy".
    I have a name for this new strategy; I call this strategy: "When you run out of money and cannot afford to send your own troops, or or drop your own bombs, this is how you REDUCE YOUR COSTS - get the Nation's own people to do your dirty work." The core of the strategy is to accuse a leader - without any verifiable evidence, of butchering his own people.
    The so-call International Community (western community) is attempting a no-fly zone, establishing a position where only western flights will be authorized. Do you think the MOSSAD and/or thr CIA will not then be in an open-sky position to assassinate Gaddafi?
    What can Gaddafi do? If he doesn't control the so-called revolutionaries, they will eventually kill him. If he fights back, he will be wasily accused of violating human rights and of course Humantarian Laws. He may be killed outright or dragged into the World Court, though personally I don't the west wants Gaddafi's mouth in the World Court.
    Black People, Red People, People of colour have been used and abused by white establishments since recorded history began. Natives literally wiped out with the few remnants left dumped onto unlivable patches of land to drink & drug themselves to death.
    Let's not forget that Mubarak's dictatorship was supported by the US. Now, one of the few leaders who has both sought to unite Africa, who fought to establish a United States of Africa, who had the courage to stand up to the West is being lumped/dumped with the rest of the dictators.
    I guess this is the same type of freedom and democracy that the Coalition of the Willing has brought to Afghanistan and Iraq, both of which are so much better of! If Libya falls, the western success will spread like dry-grass fire. Even in African countries where elections have been upheld by their own Supreme Court, the decisions will be pooh-poohed, and the west will act to establish its own dictator. If the west wants you, it will get you. e.g. Africans in Ivory Coast will likely face bloodshed as the West tries to install its own puppet.
    Under Obuma, the Americans are trying again through calls for democracy and freedom to get coloured people to kill coloured people. Where were such calls when they were giving billions to Mubarak?
    Gaddafi - idiosyncratic, truly Arab, proud and defiant - is one of the few pillars of strength still left in Africa.

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  • 43. At 1:38pm on 26 Feb 2011, somersethills wrote:

    Too much of this discussion appears to be blinded by irrational dislike of the US (e.g. "You have bequeathed the world with fast food", and what has this got to do with deaths in Libya?). This is not about the US, this is about the plight of the Libyan people.

    Speaking to my friends in Libya, they want safety and security for their families. This will not be achieved by us sitting on our hands.

    I agree that sending "Western" troops onto the ground in Libya would complicate matters and send the wrong message. However, enforcing a no-fly zone would be a positive step from the international community, especially if other Muslim nations agree to become involved as was the case when Kuwait was invaded.

    Surely it is better to act as we did in Kosovo, rather than stand back and watch the murder of civilians as we did in Bosnia, or as we did in Southern Iraq when we argued that semantics prevented us from using the no-fly zone to prevent the Iraqi use of helicopters in killing civilians.

    Otherwise, will we really feel that we have acted as a civilised peoples if Ghadafi retains murderous control over a large part of the Libyan people (remember even now he proberly controls the lives of a third of Libyans).

    Remember the famous words of Pastor Niemöller against political apathy, ending in "Then they came for me and there was no one left to speak out for me".

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  • 44. At 1:42pm on 26 Feb 2011, AllenT2 wrote:

    Mark Mardell wrote:

    "American citizens would be taken hostage in Libya. This is a moment haunted by history. Echoes of Iran informed the caution of the last few days."

    If they are American then obviously they are American citizens.

    "But now most US nationals..."

    As opposed to Americans?

    Or do you prefer American citizens?

    Why the sloppy writing?


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  • 45. At 1:42pm on 26 Feb 2011, Amr wrote:

    40 escapedfromny
    "Interesting list, right?"
    i think they only reason they take 'the sanctions path' is that it sounds better than doing nothing.
    even though my opinion does not count in this case, i think the USA is doing the right thing.
    i'm not sure what the 'right' solution is and Egyptians here are very sad about the situation in Libya.

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  • 46. At 1:58pm on 26 Feb 2011, Interestedforeigner wrote:

    37. At 1:21pm on 26 Feb 2011, arealist wrote:

    "I am at a loss to understand why, when the evidence is overwhelming, the political class are unable to act swiftly and decisively. I don't need them to act covertly - I want them to send in the armed forces (NATO) to arrest the miscreants and put them on trial in an international court. I want those decisions made in public, within a 24 hour period."

    ----------

    Why not?
    Try these two words:

    China
    Russia

    Or maybe just one word: China.

    ---------

    The other day on the "Patriotism" string Pinko (i.e., Chronophobe) made a whole list of the reasons why western military intervention is dangerous. Every one of his reasons was valid.

    In the last week I don't think anyone would accuse me on the basis of my postings of being soft on bad guys, but you've got to recognize the dangers. This isn't kid's stuff.

    Do you really think it is a good idea to try to use western military forces to remove tyrants in any former Soviet republic unless Russia is onside? In Belarus? Are you kidding?

    Do you really think the removal of the government of China is a good idea right now?

    China is like a huge oil tanker, fully laden. It is difficult to steer. It takes a long time to start or stop. It takes a long time to change direction.

    Stop for a minute and think: Think what China was like 110 years ago. Think what China was like in the inter-war. Think what China was like 30 years ago. Now think what China is now, and try to imagine where China will be 20 years from now, or 50 years from now.

    Is it an evil government? In some ways yes, absolutely.
    Does it deny civil rights. Undoubtedly yes.
    Does it persecute ethnic minorities in Tibet and central Asia? Yes it does.
    Does it intimidate its neighbours around the South China Sea, and elsewhere? Yes it does.
    Are all of these things disgraceful and destabilizing? Yes, they are.
    Would we like them to stop? Yes we would.

    Is China's manner of conducting international diplomacy infuriating? Oh, boy, is it ever.
    Is China's mercantilist approach to trade destablizing the world economy? Yes, without a doubt.
    Is it's refusal to let the Yuan float freely causing a lot of trouble?
    Clearly. (They may not be convinced, however, that the sufferings of people who live in rich OECD countries are worse that the sufferings of many of China's citizens who live on less than $2/day.)

    ----------

    But when you take a look at the larger picture, governing China is no walk in the park.

    What do you do with 300m transient workers? Think that's an easy problem? How do you handle rapid social change where real incomes for close to half a billion people have jumped by a factor of 10, or more, in a generation? How do you handle the vast economic inequalities that have arisen? Think you could do better than the current government is doing? Do you think that there is any other plausible leadership in China currently that could do much better?

    Be careful what you wish for.

    Democracy is coming to China, and, notwithstanding current 19th-century Prussian instincts and habits, eventually China is going to be a force for good in the world. Maybe democracy is coming slowly. Maybe it isn't exactly what we might be used to. But it's coming.

    Overthrow that government right now? You'd have to be crazy.

    I wouldn't change the government of China right now for "all the tea in China" so to speak.

    --------

    Tin-pot dictators like, Robert Mugabe, sure. Gone before noon today if I had my way.

    But even brutes like Hugo Chavez? No. He may have played fast-and-loose with democratic norms (but so have others, much closer to home), and bent the rules into a pretzel, but he hasn't quite broken them yet. No matter how much we dislike him, it is up to Venezuelans to decide. Just imagine what your own reaction would be if the armed forces of another country removed your government. Ask again if he starts shooting his own people, and the answer may be different.

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  • 47. At 2:06pm on 26 Feb 2011, Interestedforeigner wrote:

    #
    1131: Flash from Reuters: Italy's Prime Minister, Silvio Berlusconi, has said it seems that Col Gaddafi is no longer in control of Libya. Mr Berlusconi has been one of the colonel's few friends among European leaders.

    As John in Dublin might say, this reminds me of a phrase that includes the words "no" and "Sherlock".

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  • 48. At 2:07pm on 26 Feb 2011, Interestedforeigner wrote:

    Don't you wish you lived in a country whose economy didn't depend on oil?

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  • 49. At 2:12pm on 26 Feb 2011, JackLancaster wrote:

    40. At 1:25pm on 26 Feb 2011, escapedfromny wrote:
    In fact, here is a list of places where UN sanctions have forced a nation to peacefully evolve into a stable, productive member of the international community:


    Interesting list, right?
    ----

    i think you missed a few:

    Namibia, El Salvador, Eritrea, Mozambique, Nicaragua, South Africa and East Timor.

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  • 50. At 2:30pm on 26 Feb 2011, somersethills wrote:

    I have never understood the argument that "we should not intervene in the removal of one dictator, because we are not prepared to remove all other dictators".

    Surely it is better to assist in the removal of one nasty, murerous dictator (and I am advocating contributing to no-fly zones not sending in ground troops), rather than do nothing.

    I doubt the Libyans currently care whether we would be helping only them or if we have a wider moral agenda to rid the whole world of dictators. They just want help and are ssking for it.

    Sadly, the world is full of nasty dictators and we cannot possibly remove them all, as not all of them are propped up by the West (as much as some commentators would like us to believe). We must try to take a balanced view of a varied world.

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  • 51. At 2:30pm on 26 Feb 2011, goldfinger wrote:

    I think a no fly zone has to be imposed as soon as possible and a combined NATO quick reaction force has to be sent in immediately for a change when so many innocents are dying.

    All troops to be outfitted in UN colours and the people of Libya would be eternally grateful.

    For a start the tripoli airport has to be taken over to gurantee safe departure for all those trying to get out.

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  • 52. At 2:34pm on 26 Feb 2011, Nikos_Retsos wrote:

    I hope that the U.N. Security Council (UNSC) will produce something substantial today to put Gadhafi on notice that he won't escape unpunished - if he slaughter more civilians. In addition to the expected asset freezing and embargoes, I would like to see a "no-fly zone" over Tripoli, and a referral to the International Criminal Court (ITC) to investigate Gadhafi, his son Saif, and his "Special Forces" -in which his son Al-Saadi is a colonel and top commander, that have done most of the civilian killing, for crimes against humanity. The Press Association has just reported that Gadhafi is now arming his supporters - probably in a "calculated gimmick" to distance himself from civilian deaths by claiming that he cannot be responsible for deaths in fighting between his supporters and opponents of his regime!

    The UNSC should not allow Gadhafi to absolve himself from orchestrating the genocide of his opponents under any ruse! In other words, a strong message to Gadhafi that he will stand to account for the murder and mayhem he is committing against his people in a last ditch effort to maintain his bloody regime in power! And that strong message is needed because Gadhafi's son was bragging on video yesterday that he and his father would not leave Libya for exile, and they were ready to die for in Libya - if they fail to regain control.

    The urgency that I and the international community see, therefore, is: Gadhafi is not "falling fast enough!" And that extended time of protests and killing raises the question: "How many hundreds or thousands of Libyan people would have to die before that lunatic is dislodged from power? I believe this question should be at the top of the agenda in today's UNSC "special session.

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  • 53. At 3:09pm on 26 Feb 2011, escapedfromny wrote:

    49. At 2:12pm on 26 Feb 2011, JackLancaster wrote:

    40. At 1:25pm on 26 Feb 2011, escapedfromny wrote:
    In fact, here is a list of places where UN sanctions have forced a nation to peacefully evolve into a stable, productive member of the international community:


    Interesting list, right?
    ----

    i think you missed a few:

    Namibia, El Salvador, Eritrea, Mozambique, Nicaragua, South Africa and East Timor.
    ----------------------------------------

    Sanctions? Or the determined will of the people INSIDE the nation to make something better for themselves?

    And when did the UN enforce sanctions against any of these except South Africa?

    UN sanctions against Mozambique? What year was that?
    Against El Salvador? What year?
    Eritrea? Have the 2009 sanctions created a democracy there?
    Nicaragua? The UN sanctioned Nicaragua?
    East Timor? Was that UN sanctions, or Australian troops?

    And it took 20 years for South Africa to change.

    So, are you suggesting we wait 20 years for things to turn around?

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  • 54. At 3:17pm on 26 Feb 2011, Chryses wrote:

    BluesBerry, (#42. At 1:34pm on 26 Feb 2011)

    "New White House spokesman Jay Carney said Col Muammar Gaddafi had zero credibility with his own people. Which Libyans has he spoken to? How many Libyans has he spoken to? ..."
    You might find it more useful to consider this public, official expression of the Administration's position as a political speech, rather than as an expression of an individual's opinion.

    "... The White House is agonising about doing too little or too much. Don't the Americans have enough to keep themselves budy at home? Do they need to go so far away to kill people, main people, destroy land, drop white phosphorous and otherwise fight for democracy? ... "
    No, we do a fair job of killing and maiming each other here at home, thanks. As for advancing democracy throughout the world, well one does that where the action is, yes?

    "... I feel that Gaddafi is destined to face the same fate as Iraq and Saddam Hussein ... "
    While I am unsure how an individual can face the same fate as a country, I would be delighted to watch Col Gaddafi face the same fate as President Hussein.

    "... the west is your friend today, but watch out: There will come a day when the west is no longer your friend ..."
    Such has always been true ...
    "Therefore I say that it is a narrow policy to suppose that this country or that is to be marked out as the eternal ally or the perpetual enemy of England. We have no eternal allies, and we have no perpetual enemies. Our interests are eternal and perpetual, and those interests it is our duty to follow."
    Lord Palmerston, Speech to the House of Commons (1 March 1848),
    ... I'm surprised that you were unaware of that.

    "... When the west is running out of money, it will turn to other nefarious methods like propaganda; it will turn brother against brother to disrupt Muslim Nations ..."
    Hey! That's great stuff!

    "... There seems to me to be a strategy afoot - an evil strategy. The strategy is to deprive all Islamic Nations of any real power ..."
    What is this "real power" whereof you speak, for I know it not. Neither shall I let bald assertions pass unremarked.

    "... Secondarily, of course, there is the motivation of back gold, the oil ..."
    There is? What countries were motivated to support the liberation of the tens of millions of Arabs along the southern coast of the Mediterranean by the "back [sic] gold?"

    "... In my opinion, Libya has been infiltrated by external forces ..."
    Evidence please.

    " ... and therefore one must ask: who are these forces, who is paying these forces, who is arming these forces?..."
    One "must" do so only after one has established that Libya has been infiltrated, not before.

    "... If you think my opinion is somewhat extreme, then ask: Since when did the west care so much about freedom & democracy among Islamic nations? ..."
    That's a bit of a non sequitur, the relationship between the west's preference for democracy and your opinion being extreme.

    "... The west does not like Gaddafi, has never liked Gaddafi, but catered to Gaddafi only to get what it wanted ..."
    Dang! There it is in black and white! Why haven't I seen this truth before?

    "... in fact, I would go as far as to say, the west doesn't like Islamic Countries ..."
    How does Turkey fit into this thesis?

    "... The west wants everything that these Islamic Nations have - gold, rich minerals, oil reserves; and the west will do anything, ANYTHING TO GET Islamic resources ..."
    Like ... say ... putting up with Col Gaddafi for 40+ years?

    "... This western strategy is very clever and evil ... The core of the strategy is to accuse a leader - without any verifiable evidence, of butchering his own people ..."
    It would seem that you have not read or listened to the news from Libya of late.

    "... he will be wasily accused of violating human rights and of course Humantarian Laws. He may be killed outright or dragged into the World Court, though personally I don't the west wants Gaddafi's mouth in the World Court ..."
    I daresay that very few people want his mouth anywhere, much less the World Court.

    "... Black People, Red People, People of colour have been used and abused by white establishments since recorded history began. Natives literally wiped out with the few remnants left dumped onto unlivable patches of land to drink & drug themselves to death ..."
    And this is relevant to anything in what way?

    "... Let's not forget that Mubarak's dictatorship was supported by the US ..."
    Is this about Libya or Egypt, or merely another anti-West rant?

    "... Now, one of the few leaders who has both sought to unite Africa, who fought to establish a United States of Africa, who had the courage to stand up to the West is being lumped/dumped with the rest of the dictators ..."
    Have you considered the notion that he was so lumped and dumped because he was, and remains a dictator?

    "... I guess this is the same type of freedom and democracy that the Coalition of the Willing has brought to Afghanistan and Iraq, both of which are so much better of! ..."
    Other than this insurrection occurring from within, and being the will of Libyan nationals, rather than coming from without, and being imposed by foreigners, I'd say you hit the nail on the head!

    "... If Libya falls, the western success will spread like dry-grass fire ..."
    One can but hope that will come to pass. Unless, of course, one is opposed to people governing themselves.

    "... Even in African countries where elections have been upheld by their own Supreme Court, the decisions will be pooh-poohed, and the west will act to establish its own dictator. If the west wants you, it will get you. e.g. Africans in Ivory Coast will likely face bloodshed as the West tries to install its own puppet ..."
    Which Ivory Coast are you talking about? The one where the winning candidate is being prevented from assuming power by the incumbent? LOL!

    "... Under Obuma [sic], the Americans are trying again through calls for democracy and freedom to get coloured people to kill coloured people ..."
    What?! Evidence please.

    "... Where were such calls when they were giving billions to Mubarak? ...
    Ah, It seems you are unaware of MENA. Read and learn: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_democracy_promotion_in_the_Middle_East_and_North_Africa

    "... Gaddafi - idiosyncratic, truly Arab, proud and defiant - is one of the few pillars of strength still left in Africa."
    We all have our heroes, the people we look up to and try to emulate. I understand that.

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  • 55. At 3:39pm on 26 Feb 2011, hms_shannon wrote:

    Just by the by,the vessel HMS Cumberland that helped get folk out of Libya & her three other sister ships type 22 frigates all kept in A1 condition along with half of the RN amphibious force are to be scrapped.This is not counting the Ark Royal & all the Harriers again all in top condition.
    What can one say,what can one do???.Don`t get me started on the SA80 our lads have to fight with.

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  • 56. At 4:23pm on 26 Feb 2011, scott9040 wrote:

    Obama should watch and wait. And to the British trolls making their usual snide remarks, remember, that it is you, not us, who are doing business with Gaddafi and arming him to the teeth. It's the Made in Britain logo that's on the bullets and shells he's using to mow down his own people. It was Tony Blair who staged multiple photo ops with this monster and set up the quid pro quo to free Megrahi. If Gaddafi wants a safe house to cool his heels for a while I can think of no more appropriate place than "Great" Britain. The Brits have no business criticizing anyone when it comes to the issue of coddling dictators and undermining the rights of oppressed peoples around the planet.

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  • 57. At 4:52pm on 26 Feb 2011, excellentcatblogger wrote:

    56 scott040

    Obama should watch and wait. And to the British trolls making their usual snide remarks, remember, that it is you, not us, who are doing business with Gaddafi and arming him to the teeth. It's the Made in Britain logo that's on the bullets and shells he's using to mow down his own people.

    =======================================================================

    How I wish it was only confined to arms sales. Whilst it is common for such sales to include a bit of training for such equipment Blair had a brainwave. Why not include a transfer of Special Forces experrtise?

    The SAS and SBS regiments were appalled. But Blair did not stop there. All their trade secrets garnered since WWII were also to be passed over as well. This is the biggest disgrace as it puts the world's terrorists on an even par with our elite forces. If the Libyans have assimilated all this knowledge western intervention could be very costly.

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  • 59. At 5:01pm on 26 Feb 2011, adjutant wrote:

    If I was President Obama, the only think I would be agonizing over is the EU's failure to act.

    This is a curious case of the US waiting for the EU to go first and the EU waiting for the US to go first. There have been situations like these in the past.

    However, this time it's different. This time, Libya is in Europe's backyard. Many people here, correctly, wish for the EU to take the lead and not the US. I agree with that. However, the problem here is not the US, but the EU.

    Come on Europe! For all your talk of human rights and EU defense procurement, you guys don't really seem all that excited to finally prove yourselves.

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  • 60. At 5:11pm on 26 Feb 2011, hikertom wrote:

    #42 BluesBerry wrote:
    "Gaddafi - idiosyncratic, truly Arab, proud and defiant - is one of the few pillars of strength still left in Africa."
    ---------------------------------------------------------
    HA HA HA!!!!! It was a joke, right?

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  • 61. At 5:23pm on 26 Feb 2011, Martin wrote:

    This has to be a test for NATO. It has to be done with agreement and swiftly. History will record that a military dictatorship killed its own people. Time is running out for a swift intervention. These people are so close Europe it just wrong not to help them in their hour of need. Lets see this deluded dictator removed from power and a return to peace for northern africa.

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  • 62. At 5:25pm on 26 Feb 2011, Chryses wrote:

    The Cool Ruler Rides Again, (#58. At 4:57pm on 26 Feb 2011)

    ”... Some of y'all Yanks are too scared to partake in a reasonable balanced debate ...”
    Feel free to begin whenever you feel ready to engage in one.

    “... All I can say USA, is what free speech USA, what?”
    If that is all you have to say, then I suppose that we will wait a while longer, eh?

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  • 63. At 5:40pm on 26 Feb 2011, Oldloadr wrote:

    55. At 3:39pm on 26 Feb 2011, ukwales wrote:
    What can one say,what can one do???.Don`t get me started on the SA80 our lads have to fight with.
    __________________________________________

    Not a damn thing since you all just had an election last year and won’t have another one (baring a no-confidence vote) for another 5 years. Yeah, it looks like Kabuki Theater the way the US federal gov’t is run, but at least this last time, it worked the way it was supposed to. The majority of the people were fed up and so the House changed hands. Maybe you all should consider by-elections to keep your political class honest (relatively speaking).

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  • 64. At 5:51pm on 26 Feb 2011, scott9040 wrote:

    It's also worth noting that the lion's share of the British media coverage of Libya so far has been devoted not to concern for the Libyan people, and the British weapons killing them, but to the repatriation of British expat spivs who are stuck in Libya. More evidence of Britain's high ethical standard, I guess.

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  • 65. At 5:54pm on 26 Feb 2011, Oldloadr wrote:

    A new thought, well, not new, I suppose but just new here, maybe. How about we all agree:

    1. The UN is as useless as tits on a boar hog.
    2. The rest of the world will scream about neo-colonialism and hegemony if the US does anything on the ground (or possible in the air for that matter).
    3. The EU (that actually buys oil from Libya) is paralyzed by its own fragile state… or it just hopes the US will bail it out.
    4. Khadafy ain’t going away alive.
    5. Just like in every other despotic regime there are/were winners and losers. The winners under Khadafy are going to either fight or flee since they know they are toast as soon as Libya is no longer controlled by Khadafy or his kin.
    6. Khadafy still has people and weapons and ammunition. He holds sources of food and water (if you have never lived in a desert, you will never understand how important this is). The opera ain’t over until the fat lady sings.

    Now; think of those thoughts as you all frame you thoughts. I didn’t make this crap up; just

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  • 66. At 5:55pm on 26 Feb 2011, The Cool Ruler Rides Again wrote:

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

  • 67. At 5:56pm on 26 Feb 2011, nynyuse10021 wrote:

    Annoying, all the anti-US sentiment.

    I agree, Libya should be the problem of those geographically closest, and I suppose those with the greatest economic interests.

    So, Europeans, stop buying their oil, get off your anti-america high-horse, and go do something about it. Ok, we are waiting. Take a leadership role - for once - hurry up, it's only gonna get worse. Get going!

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  • 68. At 5:59pm on 26 Feb 2011, Oldloadr wrote:

    My #65: I forgot NATO, well… hmm. NATO is busy therefore it may authorize the US to send a carrier group, but then we are back to US interference (in the Arab mind). However, if anybody has the gonads to go with a NATO response, starting with a no-fly zone, that would free up and provide assets not available in any other scenario.

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  • 69. At 6:04pm on 26 Feb 2011, bnichola wrote:

    The US needs to stay out of it.

    I am happy to see these revolutions, if for no other reason than the middle east can take responsibility for itself instead of constantly whining and blaming the west, and the US in particular, for its problems. The US had to shed blood for its independence. As did the French, who had a very bloodly revolution. The middle east is not immune. Let them shed blood for their freedoms.

    Now, instead of inane ignorant statements like "the US supported Mubarek" (because it entered into treaties with Egypt and worked with Mubarek as the leader of Egypt), they can get rid of their governments when it does not do what they want.

    Breaking news alert - soverign nations work in their self interest.

    The middle east cracks me up. Their flow chart for the US's actions and their reactions to those actions looks like a jumbled mass of wires. You intervene and you are being imperalist or after their oil, you dont intervene and you are a hypocrite not supporting democracy.

    You isolate the abusive governemnt, you are imperalist and harming the people, you work with the abusive government you are a hypocrite and responsible for all the peoples problems.

    What is missing in huge doses in the middle east: any sense of personal responsibilty. Finally, I hope this will change.

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  • 70. At 6:05pm on 26 Feb 2011, Oldloadr wrote:

    A new thought, well, not new, I suppose but just new here, maybe. How about we all agree:

    1. The UN is as useless as teats on a boar hog.
    2. The rest of the world will scream about neo-colonialism and hegemony if the US does anything on the ground (or possible in the air for that matter).
    3. The EU (that actually buys oil from Libya) is paralyzed by its own fragile state… or it just hopes the US will bail it out.
    4. Khadafy ain’t going away alive.
    5. Just like in every other despotic regime there are/were winners and losers. The winners under Khadafy are going to either fight or flee since they know they are toast as soon as Libya is no longer controlled by Khadafy or his kin.
    6. Khadafy still has people and weapons and ammunition. He holds sources of food and water (if you have never lived in a desert, you will never understand how important this is). The opera ain’t over until the fat lady sings.

    Now; think of those thoughts as you all frame you thoughts. I didn’t make this crap up; just observed…



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  • 71. At 6:26pm on 26 Feb 2011, Chryses wrote:

    The Cool Ruler Rides Again, (#66. At 5:55pm on 26 Feb 2011)

    Chryses [sic] I was not speaking to you
    who (yoo hoo?) ..."

    Ah, but you did post on a public board, did you not? Keep that in mind.

    "... I was speaking to
    (a) pmk or
    (b) mardell ..."

    OK.

    "... Please don't bother speaking to me, and review your and my god given first amendment right to speak loud and proud about whatever I wish ..."
    Do you deny to others the "rights" you claim for yourself? LOL!
    Hmmmm. "god given first amendment right" I was, until now, unaware of Divine Involvement in what I believe is your reference to the U.S. Constitution. In fact, your suggestion is decidedly odd. You do know that the test of the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution reads
    "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."
    ... don't you?
    Now if God gave that amendment, it would seem on the face of it to be a tad contradictory, yes? What with the "no law respecting an establishment of religion," and the Almighty being the object of worship of Abrahamic religions and all that.

    "... I believe it is unconstitutional to complain about roots rock reggae like the klu klux klan ..."
    Now that is an interesting reading of the U.S. Constitution. Wouldn't that run afoul of the First Amendment rights of freedom of speech? Do explain yourself please, it is all so confusing! LOL!

    "... for example I give pmk / mardell / but not you cjryses [sic], 2-3 minutes to take this out with their dirty dirty tricks"
    Well, the clock is ticking. Let us see if you are correct about this prediction!

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  • 72. At 6:42pm on 26 Feb 2011, Apeon Lnu wrote:

    Dear monkeyPuzzlTree---the only reason that you are able to Freely Express your Opinion is because the Yanks Saved your ASS----go back up your Tree and eat some fruit!!

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  • 73. At 6:43pm on 26 Feb 2011, Apeon Lnu wrote:

    Curt Carpenter "the Face of 21st Century Appeasement!!"

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  • 74. At 6:55pm on 26 Feb 2011, Apeon Lnu wrote:

    Dear JMM------Whatever Obama does IS wrong because HE is Wrong!!

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  • 75. At 6:56pm on 26 Feb 2011, Interestedforeigner wrote:

    70. At 6:05pm on 26 Feb 2011, Oldloadr wrote:

    "1. The UN is as useless as teats on a boar hog."
    [Like your phrasing, certainly.]

    "2. The rest of the world will scream about neo-colonialism and hegemony if the US does anything on the ground (or possible in the air for that matter)." [Pretty sure it will be fairly muted this time.]

    "3. The EU (that actually buys oil from Libya) is paralyzed by its own fragile state… or it just hopes the US will bail it out."
    [Just like Bosnia: Genocide 40 minutes air-time from Vienna, and the major European powers couldn’t get it done (was going to use a phrase involving two hands, and the ability to find major body parts)]

    “4. Khadafy ain’t going away alive.”
    [Hmm. It certainly seems unlikely. Why does the name “Carla Petacci” come to mind? Still, you never know. Maybe he yearns to visit The Netherlands: “So, Slobodan, how are your tulips today?”]]

    5. Just like in every other despotic regime there are/were winners and losers. The winners under Khadafy are going to either fight or flee since they know they are toast as soon as Libya is no longer controlled by Khadafy or his kin.

    [[See previous post about fate of mercenaries. These people are the ones who should really be praying, if not begging, for foreign military intervention. I wonder how large the waiting room is at the Swedish embassy?]]

    6. Khadafy still has people and weapons and ammunition. He holds sources of food and water (if you have never lived in a desert, you will never understand how important this is). The opera ain’t over until the fat lady sings.

    [The fat lady seems to be warming up:

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-12588947 ]

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  • 76. At 7:02pm on 26 Feb 2011, Interestedforeigner wrote:

    I wonder if Mr. Megrahi will be going back to Scotland by this time on Monday?

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  • 77. At 7:04pm on 26 Feb 2011, LucyJ wrote:

    uk: Just by the by,the vessel HMS Cumberland that helped get folk out of Libya & her three other sister ships type 22 frigates all kept in A1 condition along with half of the RN amphibious force are to be scrapped.This is not counting the Ark Royal & all the Harriers again all in top condition
    ----------
    Why scrap something that is in good condition?

    Even tho its not ours, its urs, it makes me sad to hear such...

    Why is UK giving up their defense and what kind of message does this send to UK's enemies?

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  • 78. At 7:09pm on 26 Feb 2011, LucyJ wrote:

    Personally, even tho its raising our gas prices every day (earlier in wk was 3.06, now it is 3.40), I do not feel USA should get involved with Libya's Civil war, as it is a war between their ppl and if the ppl r to declare victory over the dictator, then that victory should belong to the ppl there and not another country...

    I believe its only a matter of time before the protesters bring down the dictator...perhaps even in the next two days...

    But I am STRONGLY against USA or NATO getting involved...its simply not the place nor the time...

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  • 79. At 7:10pm on 26 Feb 2011, Interestedforeigner wrote:

    77. At 7:04pm on 26 Feb 2011, LucyJ wrote:

    "Why is UK giving up their defense and what kind of message does this send to UK's enemies?"

    __________

    Don't worry, the French are broke, too.

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  • 80. At 7:15pm on 26 Feb 2011, SONICBOOMER wrote:

    32, how about Turkey?
    A rather large country, increasingly gaining influence, a US/Western ally generally, (but not a vassal state), it like all nations has it's problems of course. Another is Indonesia.
    It is also the main, if unwitting, role model for those who this year have been deposing, trying to depose, this bunch of Mid East tyrants.
    Glenn Beck's fantasy world may have it as an Islamic fundamentalist uprising, he's like General Ripper in the movie 'Dr Strangelove' updated.

    To the topic, it seems that a substantial number of British and other nationals oil workers stranded in the desert, have been rescued in an operation involving the Royal Air Force, with the boots on the ground being provided by the Special Air Service and/or Special Boat Squadron - the latter essentially a Royal Marines counterpart to the Army's SAS.
    No word yet on if there was any need to use force against anyone trying to prevent this op.
    Ironic, when you consider the SAS was formed in that very part of the world in the second world war, to attack enemy airfields/supply lines, do recon, operating in what was then a most unconventional way, mainly from heavily armed trucks and Jeeps.

    The operation, the MoD say, was launched once it was confirmed that there was no 'air defence' threat, clearly it would not have happened if there were not clear and present concerns for the safety of those rescued, word had leaked out of serious shortages of supplies, including water as well as more direct fears for their safety.
    However, it also seems that there maybe as many as 500 or more left, so the operation could well have to be repeated.

    This sort of thing is the limit of what foreign powers should be doing, of course, they did not get permission from Gadaffi, a sign of his rapidly shrinking powerbase.



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  • 81. At 7:18pm on 26 Feb 2011, SONICBOOMER wrote:

    70, this oft repeated assertion from many in the US of the uselessness of the UN.
    It's a club, a club of nations, like all clubs how good it is determined by the most powerful members of it.
    Guess who that is?
    (But not just the US, plenty of blame to go around Security Council Members too).

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  • 83. At 7:37pm on 26 Feb 2011, SONICBOOMER wrote:

    56, this British 'Troll' would like to point out that large numbers of US citizens are/were in Libya, many oil workers, some rescued by the UK armed forces, by ship and quite likely, by air with Special Forces support as is now emerging.
    If you think Blair went to Libya in 2004, without US approval, you are living in an alternative universe, US oil was in there too, right at the front of the line
    A very quick check on line could tell you this, so in the light of your comments I await with interest your response to your ill considered, ill informed post.
    If not, we'll know who the 'Troll' (on a site financed by the British public you affect to despise), really is.

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  • 84. At 7:41pm on 26 Feb 2011, SONICBOOMER wrote:

    My comment above, was mostly aimed at post 56, to correct.
    Still, amusing to see some with an almost kindergarten level of holier than thou on all this, think the US hasn't sold arms/training to Libya after 2004 too?

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  • 85. At 7:54pm on 26 Feb 2011, Chryses wrote:

    Interestedforeigner, (#76. At 7:02pm on 26 Feb 2011)

    ”I wonder if Mr. Megrahi will be going back to Scotland by this time on Monday?”
    Oh no! We must pity poor, sick Mr. Megrahi, He was, after all, only a pawn in a deadly chess game played by others!

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  • 86. At 8:17pm on 26 Feb 2011, Billythefirst wrote:

    1# Bloody brilliant post - restores my faith in mankind.....and reassures me the States hasn't been overtaken by the Fox/Tea Party/Bible Belt axis.

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  • 87. At 8:25pm on 26 Feb 2011, Billythefirst wrote:

    67. At 5:56pm on 26 Feb 2011, nynyuse10021 wrote:

    Annoying, all the anti-US sentiment.

    I agree, Libya should be the problem of those geographically closest, and I suppose those with the greatest economic interests.

    So, Europeans, stop buying their oil, get off your anti-america high-horse, and go do something about it. Ok, we are waiting. Take a leadership role - for once - hurry up, it's only gonna get worse. Get going!
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Oh dear....whaddya suggest there dude ....we get in there and kick some Libyan butt?
    That'll sort it for sure...huh?

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  • 88. At 8:33pm on 26 Feb 2011, Chryses wrote:

    The Cool Ruler Rides Again, (#82. At 7:29pm on 26 Feb 2011)

    ”I think USA should try the "Jesus" approach ...”
    Is that the same Deity from whom the First Amendment was received? (The Cool Ruler Rides Again, [#66]) LOL!

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  • 89. At 8:38pm on 26 Feb 2011, SONICBOOMER wrote:

    67, if you follow the news, Europeans are, as is the US, getting it's people out.
    The rest, that's up to the Libyans.

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  • 90. At 8:39pm on 26 Feb 2011, McJakome wrote:

    43. At 1:38pm on 26 Feb 2011, somersethills wrote:
    “Too much of this discussion appears to be blinded by irrational dislike of the US...”

    You certainly got that right. Moreover, the irrational fear of the US has [IMHO] actually reached the point of being clinically diagnosable as a phobia, Americanophobia.

    “...However, enforcing a no-fly zone would be a positive step from the international community,...”

    This was not exactly, if my recollections are correct, what was done. Perhaps we should bait the Madman of Tripoli into making a fatal mistake. Inform the Libyan government that overflights would begin to monitor the situation, state that any interference with the US planes or firing at them would be regarded as an act of war resulting in immediate massive retaliation. The overflights would be numerous and noisy, buzzing Qadaffist strongholds and mock attack runs at mercenary concentration.

    At the very least it would be demoralizing, it might lead to an attack that would then result in legal retaliation. I don’t think a no-fly zone would, on its own, work any better in Libya than it did in Iraq. Bait and retaliate did work in Iraq, resulting in considerable degradation of iraqi forces.

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  • 91. At 8:41pm on 26 Feb 2011, Billythefirst wrote:

    56. At 4:23pm on 26 Feb 2011, scott9040 wrote:

    Obama should watch and wait. And to the British trolls making their usual snide remarks, remember, that it is you, not us, who are doing business with Gaddafi and arming him to the teeth. It's the Made in Britain logo that's on the bullets and shells he's using to mow down his own people. It was Tony Blair who staged multiple photo ops with this monster and set up the quid pro quo to free Megrahi.
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Throwing stones from a big glass house.....?

    Yup, Blair pulled some real stunts during his time as pm - chief amongst them being to kowtow to pressure from Rumsfeld Cheney Perle Wolfowitz and the other self serving mobsters masquerading as public servants....by "sexing up" the wmd dossier.

    As a brit I'm ashamed of him for being a US poodle and for lying......just as I'm ashamed of Thatcher's close friendship with the brutal right wing dictator of Chile General Pinochet.....remember him?

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  • 92. At 8:55pm on 26 Feb 2011, hms_shannon wrote:

    79. At 7:10pm on 26 Feb 2011, Interestedforeigner wrote:
    77. At 7:04pm on 26 Feb 2011, LucyJ wrote:

    "Why is UK giving up their defense and what kind of message does this send to UK's enemies?"

    __________

    Don't worry, the French are broke, too.
    -------------------------------
    :) many a true word spoken in jest.

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  • 93. At 9:09pm on 26 Feb 2011, The Cool Ruler Rides Again wrote:

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

  • 94. At 9:14pm on 26 Feb 2011, McJakome wrote:

    67. At 5:56pm on 26 Feb 2011, nynyuse10021 wrote:
    “nnoying, all the anti-US sentiment.

    I agree, Libya should be the problem of those geographically closest, and I suppose those with the greatest economic interests.”

    I agree, too, and it is about Europe and European states, not other countries. It must be said, however, that it displays some of the curious blindness so characteristic of the EUcentric world view. It, typically, ignores the 314kg gorilla in the center of the room. That inconvenient and to be ignored at all costs fact of life in the real world can be called either NATO or the USA.

    Do they really imagine that the countries of Eastern Europe were not equally [in some cases possibly more] attracted by membership in NATO and US protection than membership in a body seen by many as run for the benefit of France, Germany and Brussels bureaucrats? DO they imagine for a minute that Polish people are more confident in the protection of craven economic chauvinists in Paris, Brussels and Berlin than the somewhat quirky but predictably politically internationalist US? Do they think that Poland or other former victims of Russian aggression would turn down the opportunity [for military protection and economic benefits] if the US offered to move its bases from Germany to the East? Do they think the Germans would not howl loudly about that should it look likely to happen?

    Remembering the Dutch peacekeepers’ less than valiant efforts in Srebrenica, the pro-dictatorship and outright anti-democracy words and actions eminating from various EU countries, do you really think that the EU has any credibility at all? Once again, the US will be expected to charge into the breach [or rather vacuum] of EU ethics, policy and preparedness for action. And, once again, the US can expect to be roundly condemned for any action or inaction as a result.

    Some may wish the US could withdraw within “Fortress America” and let the rest of the world go to hell, but we tried that between Europe’s WWI and WWII, and we will only be dragged in again if we let things take their usual course. Once again, unfortunately, the US is going to have to sort out one of Europe’s messes.

    President Obama is doing a much more adult job than the previous gung ho, heedless, cowboy, Bush regime, and than the craven, dithering Europeans. He has given serious thought and attention to both the US interests [that is his job, not baby sitting infantile European regimes that have much less than the 244 years of successful functioning of the present US government] and the situation in Libya and the Middle East and North Africa.

    It is too early to say, but Pres. Obama's careful approach may very well earn him a spot among the more successful presidents, despite the furious efforts of his many detractors.

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  • 95. At 9:20pm on 26 Feb 2011, McJakome wrote:

    69. At 6:04pm on 26 Feb 2011, bnichola wrote:
    “Breaking news alert - soverign nations work in their self interest.”

    Europeans and most leftists would disagree. European and socialist nations only work in the common interest of humanity, and, therefore, only European and socialist nations have a right to interfere in other countries’ business. Certainly not the nasty, evil, always on the wrong side USA.

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  • 97. At 9:25pm on 26 Feb 2011, McJakome wrote:

    79. At 7:10pm on 26 Feb 2011, Interestedforeigner

    It took a moment to sink in, then I nearly fell out of my chair laughing!

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  • 98. At 9:37pm on 26 Feb 2011, scott9040 wrote:

    @ 91

    What does Pinochet have to do with anything? This discussion is about Libya, which is in North Africa. Do keep up.

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  • 99. At 9:38pm on 26 Feb 2011, McJakome wrote:

    81. At 7:18pm on 26 Feb 2011, SONICBOOMER wrote:
    “70, this oft repeated assertion from many in the US of the uselessness of the UN.
    It's a club, a club of nations, like all clubs how good it is determined by the most powerful members of it.
    Guess who that is?”
    What are you smoking? Do you know what the membership of the Human Rights Commission is? Do you know how Libya [i.e. Qadaffi], Saudi Arabia and a quorum of undemocratic, anti-human rights dictatorships got on that joke of a committee?
    Every country in the world sends a representative to the General Assembly, where majority of corrupt, undemocratic, anti-human rights countries sell their votes to the highest bidder, and put like-minded regimes on the Human Rights Commission to prevent interference in their affairs.

    Contrary to your uninformed opinion, it is the majority of corrupt, undemocratic, anti-human rights dictatorships that prevent most beneficial actions, unless they can be bribed to go along. The corrupt will never vote to end corruption, the buyers of votes will never vote to end vote buying, etc.

    I remind you, that whatever else can be said about the madman of Tripoli, he still has plenty of cash to hire mercenaries from and buy the votes of those same members of the UNGA. In addition to which, with stirling democracies like Russia and China on the Security Council there is no help there either.

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  • 100. At 9:38pm on 26 Feb 2011, Chryses wrote:

    The Cool Ruler Rides Again, (#93. At 9:09pm on 26 Feb 2011)

    ”Chryses (Christ Is) ...”
    Wrong again! LOL!
    Study your Homer!

    ”... God is everywhere*
    *(except in the Right Wing Republican (+ tea) party)”

    And you would know that HOW? LOL!

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  • 101. At 9:47pm on 26 Feb 2011, Billythefirst wrote:

    94. At 9:14pm on 26 Feb 2011, JMM wrote:

    I agree, too, and it is about Europe and European states, not other countries. It must be said, however, that it displays some of the curious blindness so characteristic of the EUcentric world view. It, typically, ignores the 314kg gorilla in the center of the room. That inconvenient and to be ignored at all costs fact of life in the real world can be called either NATO or the USA.
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    For the avoidance of doubt let's call the gorilla the US and let's accept that's it's really difficult to ignore as it's usual approach is to smash the room to smithereens unless it gets it's own way....

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  • 102. At 9:49pm on 26 Feb 2011, Billythefirst wrote:

    98. At 9:37pm on 26 Feb 2011, scott9040 wrote:

    @ 91

    What does Pinochet have to do with anything? This discussion is about Libya, which is in North Africa. Do keep up.
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Silly me, I got hung up on that whole double standards thing.

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  • 103. At 10:09pm on 26 Feb 2011, Interestedforeigner wrote:

    92 IKW, 97 JMM

    Some things are eternal.

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  • 104. At 10:53pm on 26 Feb 2011, jb48209 wrote:

    Freezing assets trivializes sanctions to economic wrist slapping with no historical moral or ethical retribution. Atrocities are reduced to gold bullion. In a world motivated by money, withholding money is expedient. If one is not careful, it encourages moral smugness.

    More needs to be done now, and for the future atrocities on the horizon. There are more to come in sub-Saharan Africa, Asia, and the Americas. If we look to recent history, atrocities seem to define the human spirit.

    The United States is one of many countries (India, Iraq, Israel, Libya, People's Republic of China, Qatar, United States, and Yemen) who have failed to ratify the Rome Statute and/or the International Criminal Court. Considering human rights, it is not a club of which I would care to be associated. President George W. Bush withdrew the United States in 2002.

    The United States would have a stronger moral leg to stand on had it continued to be a part of the International Criminal Court. That is not a call for righteous finger pointing, but rather a correction and re-alignment of ones moral compass.

    The ship of state is steered by the captain, but citizens power the oars.

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  • 105. At 11:02pm on 26 Feb 2011, Maria Ashot wrote:

    The dramatic repudiation of Ghaddafi by many of his own key men speaks volumes about the impossibility of maintaining any pretence of viability for his system.

    Former intimates have come forward with credible confirmation of Ghaddafi's direct personal involvement in the Lockerbie bombing, in which hundreds of innocents -- at least one of them a dear personal friend of mine -- had their lives & limbs sadistically blown to bits.

    In and of itself, the Lockerbie atrocity alone cries out for redress. At this point, quick action by a small crack force -- or surgical bombing as was used against Milosevic -- might seem extreme to some but it would be fully justified. Crucially, it would bring the current agony to a swift end, sparing thousands, and leading to a quicker release of untold number of wretches langushing in Ghaddafi's dungeons.

    The population of Libya is just one-fourteenth that of Egypt. That is a great advantage in addressing the reconstruction tasks imminently to unfold; an advantage that deserves to be more frequently pointed out -- and it makes up considerably for the challenge posed by lack of wholesome institutions and the habits of independence. In essence, we have a situation where build-to-suit (rather than rebuild, modify, adapt) becomes the mission directive.

    Ghaddafi's "state" was nothing more than one large concentration camp modeled on Stalinist and earlier Bolshevist prototypes. Its demise is entirely predictable. If there are any surprises at all in the present situation, it is to be found in the odd, oblique and altogether unwarranted attempts by some of the world's prominent names to suggest any kind of succour should be offered to this narcissistic butcher or his remaining entourage of sycophants.

    He has shown no mercy whatsoever to the thousands upon thousands of Arab and non-Arab families he has ordered ripped to shreds. He continues to speak of atrocities as if they were some kind of sideshow in some vast, debauched disco tent he has pitched out in the North African desert, where he gets to drink his fill of others' shrieks and tears and freshly-drained blood. Except that these are not carnival effects, nor stage blood, but the cries of living human being sacrificing all they have in the name of their children's chance to have a decent future.

    How can we simply watch & wait?

    Freezing assets and encouraging those who desert this latter-day Bolshevik is a step. But far more robust action is needed. This sparsely populated, strategically vital land that has demonstrated unequivocally the preferences of its population for freedom, decency and self-determination can be very quickly & easily rid of the vampire who still postures before some TV cameras, and hands out weapons to his hirelings urging them to invade private homes and lynch anyone too intelligent to convincingly feign loyalty.

    Get him out of there, and let's move on to better times and better answers for tomorrow's concerns.

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  • 106. At 11:54pm on 26 Feb 2011, Chryses wrote:

    Billythefirst, (# 102. At 9:49pm on 26 Feb 2011)

    ”... Silly me, I got hung up on that whole double standards thing”
    Wowsers! Do I have a poster for you!

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  • 107. At 01:00am on 27 Feb 2011, SONICBOOMER wrote:

    JMM, ever heard of the Security Council? Who the members are? Their power of veto?

    Russia and China tend to veto resolutions, even against some nasty regimes, if they have economic interests there or do not want a precedent that could one day affect them.
    The US veto's anything that restrains Israel, even when they are clearly acting excessively, even when that damages greater US security interests - as the CIA now reckon.

    The Security Council often does not work due to the actions of the major members subverting the original intent of it, as largely defined by the US at it's inception.

    Any organisation comprising of all those nations is going to have flaws, have some absurdity - though banging on about some commission with little or no power that had some thug sitting on it, is to (wilfully?) ignore the larger issues.
    I'm a great believer in giving types like Armadinajad from Iran enough rope to hang himself with, as he has showed with his risible speeches at the UN, (where quite rightly, US, UK and other officials walked out when he got into his holocaust denying BS), he got to be shown a fool to a large, international audience. So too has Gaddafi in the past, him with the speeches going four and half hours overtime to a diminishing audience.

    The UN worked pretty well in 1950 when the Korean War erupted, also in 1990 after the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait, in the latter, without it the US/West would never have been able to marshall the coalition against Saddam, which would have made that huge deployment in the region difficult to say the least, involving as it did, some unlikely bedfellows - even including Syria on the Coalition side.

    It did not work in the US interest - as then defined - in that foolhardy adventure into Iraq in 2003, too many BS detectors were activated, as since proven.

    That i think is the heart of the objection those who object to the UN, it is not an American tool, anymore than anyone else's.
    It was not set up, largely by the US, to be such a tool.

    This is also I think a factor in the sneering from some in the US, to that other very imperfect international organisation, the EU.
    This ramped up after the 2002 illegal steel tariffs imposed by the US on EU nations - though the actual damage to the US steel industry (apart from decades of under-investment), was being done mainly by competition from places like China, South Korea, some developing nations with those low wages and costs.
    One thing the EU can do, is in an instance like this, is to marshall a united front to retaliate against such things, in this case it worked.
    (Why the US included these illegal tariffs against not even the main damaging competition to US steel, who also happened to have troops fighting with the US in Afghanistan, is unclear).
    But it showed one thing, that sort of pressure may work on smaller individual nations, it won't on a bloc like the EU whose total economic power is at least as much as that of the USA.

    The world is changing, new nations are emerging as major powers, as they have throughout history, 'stop the world I wanna get off' is not a sensible response to this fact.

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  • 108. At 02:39am on 27 Feb 2011, McJakome wrote:

    104. At 10:53pm on 26 Feb 2011, 48209 wrote:
    “The United States is one of many countries (India, Iraq, Israel, Libya, People's Republic of China, Qatar, United States, and Yemen) who have failed to ratify the Rome Statute and/or the International Criminal Court. Considering human rights, it is not a club of which I would care to be associated. President George W. Bush withdrew the United States in 2002.”

    You are ignorant of some very important facts.

    1. That a list includes the US and those countries is as meaningless as the list of membership of the Human Rights commission making the European democracies on the commission equally undemocratic and corrupt as the other members.

    2. The present government of the U.S. has been in continuous operation since 1789. It predates the UN, the World Court and all of the structures that you and others hold so dear.

    3. The present Constitution of the US has been in effect since 1789 and is the undisputed law of the land. Sovereignty can not be ceded to the UN, World Court or any such institution because the sovereignty is reserved to the people of the US.

    No law or treaty can alter this, only a constitutional amendment could do so. Even if George W. Bush had signed and the congress passed that, the Supreme Court could at any time strike it down as unconstitutional, without recourse.

    4. The Bill of Rights was proposed as a condition of acceptance of the Constitution in 1789, and ten of the amendments were ratified in 1791. This preceded the international laws you are so fond of.

    In the American system, therefore, the institutions and laws you refer to have no standing as they have not been accepted by the people of the US as binding, only a constitutional amendment could do that. Our constitution does not allow any phoney, undemocratic, treaty chicanery to get around the will of the people [unlike the EU].

    5. However much you may dislike the notion, our legal system has over 200 years of operation, is the legal system of a democratic and federal republic, is controlled by our venerable and venerated Constitution and does not recognize, nor can it, the international tribunals you mention. Neither the US government nor the governments of the states can allow their citizens to be tried by courts that do not offer them the same rights and protections provided under our laws.

    We aren’t about to change to suit the increasingly bureaucratic and undemocratic European boondoggle, so just forget about it.

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  • 109. At 02:50am on 27 Feb 2011, Curt Carpenter wrote:

    105. At 11:02pm on 26 Feb 2011, Maria Ashot wrote:
    Former intimates have come forward with credible confirmation of Ghaddafi's direct personal involvement in the Lockerbie bombing, in which hundreds of innocents -- at least one of them a dear personal friend of mine -- had their lives & limbs sadistically blown to bits.

    My sympathy on the loss of your friend, Ms. Ashot. But I think your willingness to accept the testimony of "former intimates" twenty two years after the fact is credulous in the extreme -- and not up to your usual standards. I expect revelations of hidden chemical weapons laboratories and vast stockpiles of "WMD" from those same "intimates" any day now.

    I would urge you to patience -- and to ask more questions.

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  • 110. At 03:10am on 27 Feb 2011, USSilentMajority wrote:

    Personally I don't see what is so different about how the White House and their staff have pursued the Libya situation. It's a hurry up and wait game for them, hoping that someone else will jump forward. They are neither knowledgeable or competent to make constructive decisions!

    Example: There would be no need to wait for the bureaucrats in the UN, if the US would have started bringing in food and medical supplies to Benghazi.

    Is there a hospital ship in the area that can help out with the medical situation there?

    No we don’t need to use military might, and take a chance of really screwing things up!

    I've seen to much ineptness with this current administration, ok as well as with others, that it flat pisses me off.


    Oh yeh, one other thing… Interestedforeigner … Looks like Canada will have the opportunity to explain birth defects, cancer an other ailments caused by Agent Orange. I’m sorry for those who where exposed and the challenges they have been facing. It doesn’t go away!

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  • 111. At 04:09am on 27 Feb 2011, wbedwards wrote:

    I just finished working at a company's emergency response team, getting our employees out of Libya's desert. We're am American company, that got absolutely no support from the US government. No matter what we asked for, Washington seemed unable to help it's own citizens. The British could send a warship to pick up, not only their own citizens but others to. The Greeks sent C130's. The Chinese get thousands of their citizens out. The US government sent a ferry, that could not even negotiate a storm sea. At least a few of the hundreds of American got on that vessel. Every other government made multiple efforts to aid their citizens. The US government went to a MoTown concert, that shows the level of their concern. How long did it take our government to respond.Too long.
    With all the US military assets in Europe, and not a single finger was lifted to help Americans get out of Libya. Nothing worth mentioning. Brits might complain about their government, but at least they made an effort.

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  • 112. At 04:17am on 27 Feb 2011, Interestedforeigner wrote:

    This is actually quite a significant event:

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-12589434

    Notice that China voted for the motion.

    Apparently China has decided that "special circumstances" merit special steps to restore order. Perhaps China may not have cared for the treatment of its own citizens? Perhaps Chinese investments are at risk, and the government of China, like everybody else, can see that the situation just can't go on? Maybe China isn't prepared to be odd-man-out and consume a great deal of diplomatic capital merely to support a madman who doesn't realize that he has passed his "discard by" date?

    Interesting how where you stand on the "interference of the internal affairs" of another country can change when your own investments are at risk.

    ----------

    Also interesting is that they are working on establishing a provisional government that can be recognized instead of the extant government.

    That would solve any of a number of problems, and pave the way for the provision of such military aid as may be requested by the provisional government to put down the rabies infection prevailing in downtown Tripoli.

    It may take a bit longer than I had expected, but this is a piece of diplomatic footwork with which the Obama administration, and perhaps some other governments, may be reasonably pleased. It is going to permit the practical steps on the ground that are needed both to solve a military problem and to support the establishment of functioning civic institutions going forward. A neat piece of work.

    Good work all around.
    Still work to be done, though.

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  • 113. At 05:52am on 27 Feb 2011, indiansummer42 wrote:

    "It is also a testing moment for those who don't believe that wherever possible, the West should keep its nose out of other countries' affairs."

    This has my vote for worst-formed and most difficult to understand sentence of the decade. God bless the Beeb. Congrats.

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  • 114. At 06:02am on 27 Feb 2011, McJakome wrote:

    IF that is very important and a very big surprise. Is it possible that President Obama was somehow active in achieving this? The anti-Obama ranters are becoming ever more rabid themselves, possibly because every time he makes a good move their hopes of defeating him in the next election get slimmer.

    This is another proof [if such were needed] that the present administration in Washington is more professional, more competent and more effective than the last. [Just imagine, if you have a strong stomach, what a President Palin would have been like in this situation.]

    More to the point It looks like the Libyan people will be getting international support sooner than expected [though not soon enough].
    The Madman of Tripoli still has to be dealt with, and that could be bad. One hopes that some of the Mercs and thugs, realizing that the jig is up, will duck out rather than wait to be killed or captured by the real tough guys [and girls].

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  • 115. At 06:06am on 27 Feb 2011, sayasay wrote:

    78, LucyJ “But I am STRONGLY against USA or NATO getting involved...its simply not the place nor the time...”

    Me too!
    Nothing arouses my suspicion more than near-bankrupt countries anxious to get involved militarily in countries which have substantial natural resources.

    Leave the Libyans to solve their own mess. Doesn’t matter who wins, the oil is always available later on at ‘market’ prices. Interventionists getting involved militarily only results in their pining for paybacks after their costly initial outlays. This inadvertently leads to further intervention or meddling just to ensure that ‘returns’ are made good.

    My advice to the Libyan protestors, just go do it on your own.
    If sanctions are imposed to help you, just ensure it is unconditional. Nothing is more stupefying than being subservient to ‘Made in USA or EU’ democracy. Just go and make it yourselves, and in your own way. No reason for self-doubting. Brazil could do it, so did Chile, Indonesia and surprisingly China with their very original ‘guided capitalism' as a respond to the more revolting Maoist ideology.

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  • 116. At 08:27am on 27 Feb 2011, worcesterjim wrote:

    I think we are sliding towards a situation where our only hope of survival as a species is authoritarian/totalitarian global government of a sort which at long last tackles the chaos that is engulfing us.

    There are far too many people in the world and far too few resources for our present religious/philosophical/political/economic ideas to manage with what is happening in the world without falling back on war and genocide as coping strategies.

    For example the nation states and religious/political beliefs we have clung to for centuries have proved incapable of organising a fair and decent world for more than a relatively small fraction of humanity.

    Yet we are entering the third millenium completely indoctrinated with irrational ideas that clearly don`t solve mankind`s problems at all....unless you are part of the lucky ten per cent reading this.

    What we are currently telling ourselves is a revolution in pursuit of freedom and democracy is really something far more profound....it`s an uprising of the new global underclass of indigenous unemployed overlooked underpriveleged people.... not unlike that seen in the Europe of the 1920`s and 1930`s.A period whose lessons we continue to ignore at our peril.

    Wherever you go in the world today you find the twin influences of global religion and global capitalism with the added influence of our new global media.Alongside them is an army of "guest workers"/students/asylum seekers/members of the same religion etc (and their families) whose uninvited presence is resented by the indigenous underclasses.

    Obviously the global economic and political religious elites benefit from the presence of immigrants like those millions of (for example)... Irish/Bangladeshi/Chinese.Christian/Muslim etc people ....who now seem to have spread throughout the known world on the tidal wave of global capitalism.

    But what we also see is that wherever they go there are existing millions of unemployed indigenous people who had no say in their coming or control over the competition for local resources they create either.

    How can indigenous people fight for "their rights"? They can`t! Because a new global middle class of politicians and journalists and religious leaders have imposed a tyrrany (cleverly disguised as liberation) which we call freedom and democracy and human rights.

    The underlying philosophy of this new feudalism is that indigenous peoples are the least powerful people in "their" society with no right to object to the presence of outsiders or to organise to resist their presence either.

    North Africa is full of local born unemployed people who want "change"...but notice how those countries are also well populated with foreigners of all sorts busily extracting local resources for our benefit and doing all sorts of work which would more sensibly be offered to local people.

    And is it only a matter of time before our own societies are made aware of this new global feudal system... when China`s overpopulation and grasp of global capitalist techniques makes it possible for a Chinese aristocracy to sweep across the world enslaving us ...for a change?

    How will we resist them? We can`t!

    We will find that if we try we are "racists/xenophobes/anti-humanrights/antireligious/fascists/marxists" etc....there`s a whole vocabulary and industry designed to shut us new peasants up and keep us in our place!

    And if we persist with resisting whole armies of "peace keepers" can be mobilised to replace our politicians with a form of government that has nothing to with the the fantasy of freedom and democracy and our human rights we have clung to for centuries.

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  • 117. At 08:40am on 27 Feb 2011, KScurmudgeon wrote:

    It is beginning to look like the world's bureaucrats have been working hard behind the scenes to resolve this mess. And where was Julian Assange? Surely the presence of secrecy means something sinister is at work?

    It will be a very good thing if the good old USA was able to keep well out of any kind of interventionism this time. Better if the European Union finds its collective courage and steps into action - or into any sort of active mode. Better yet if African nations are able to step in and support Libya so that the West can keep out of it entirely - an Egyptian march to support a brother Arab democracy would be the dawn of a new day for the world. Best of all, might China actually take its place as a responsible member of the community of nations? My, my.

    I would think any student of the history of the past couple of hundred years would see that democracy simply can not be imposed from the outside. Anyone who calls for that sort of intervention is, in my humble opinion, a fool. Only the people in a nation can make democracy work, and it will be mighty hard slogging. A special kind of social and political infrastructure is required, and the people have to be, collectively, singleminded in their purpose and persistence or it will not come to be. Otherwise, a totalitarian state of one kind or another will emerge.
    As many people as condemn the USA and other Western powers for making deals with the dictators, must also condemn us for trying to impose democracy in so many places where it cannot and has not succeeded.

    We can all hope that some, at least, of the popular revolutions in the Muslim world will persist into governments in which the people have a real voice. But some nations are not now equipped for this, even when minority forces and external forces do not prevent them. Some nations are uncomfortable unless they have a 'Dear Leader' making their decisions for them. I think this is still true of the Russians, for example. Although they have the form of a republic, they still seem to prefer a strong man, a man whom they can fear, at the helm.

    the two cents of KScurmudgeon, far, far away from this, and so just my two cents.

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  • 118. At 09:22am on 27 Feb 2011, Piggyback wrote:

    This is how revolutions, or changes in the political landscape, should take place. WITHOUT AMERICAN INTERVENTION. From CIA splinter groups training and supporting rebel militia, to full scale invasions, many countries that have gone through political upheaval in the past few decades have been American influenced. At last we now see a few (Bahrain excluded, US Navy Fifth Fleet still there), one can hope it's the start of something good for the (non American led) planet.

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  • 119. At 09:28am on 27 Feb 2011, worcesterjim wrote:

    117...Poor old Curmudgeon...you Americans stole our empires from us Europeans.... and now wikileaks has finally exposed your "empire of freedom and democracy" for the piratical fascist global empire of usury and homicide it always was.

    So it`s "our turn" to step up to the plate now that your American faudulent "crusade" to liberate mankind and give us all freedom and democracy just exploded in your faces! Confounded cheek!

    Your elite can make a redemptive beginning by telling the truth to the poor deluded American folk who congregate around this blog supporting their elite through thick and thin.Go on ...tell `em the truth....your CIA and Wall Street`s finest (like Madoff and Soros)are running a corrupt secret global government that is (unintentionally) destroying the world!

    You have no right to the decent patriotism and sincerity and loyalty of the American people....yours is an evil empire built on lies and murder and exploitation... yet your elite swagger around the world like saviours....So much for your fine christian liberating ideals!

    (But perhaps humanity should apologise to you for being "anti-american" LOL!)

    The Godfather tells us far more about a world run by Americans than all Obama`s fine hypocritical speeches!

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  • 121. At 10:18am on 27 Feb 2011, KScurmudgeon wrote:

    116. At 08:27am on 27 Feb 2011, worcesterjim wrote:

    "I think we are sliding towards a situation where our only hope of survival as a species is authoritarian/totalitarian global government of a sort which at long last tackles the chaos that is engulfing us.

    There are far too many people in the world and far too few resources for our present religious/philosophical/political/economic ideas to manage with what is happening in the world without falling back on war and genocide as coping strategies."
    ________________________________

    Worcesterjim, you seem like a decent enough person, but you clearly suffer from a severe case of secular humanist hopelessness. Human beings, if you know any, are marvelously creative and productive creatures. And when things get bad enough, as we are seeing today, they find a way out.

    For your larger premise, I agree that global capitalism seems to be reshaping the world for its benefit - read that 'profit'. That has generally become bad news for those of us who are not on the profit end of the equation. As an American I don't agree that 'America' is the demonic power in this equation. Most of us here work for a living too, and our world is changing just as yours is.
    All conspiracies real or theoretical aside, in this country it is manifestly our people's growing stupidity and generational complacency that is at fault: we still have the power to reshape our society. As unlikely as it seems the Tea Party may be the first evidence of popular political movements that will change our course for the better.

    The world system the US built after WWII has about spent it's course. Europe is prosperous and mature. The Soviet Union is gone and China grows great. Much of the 'third world' is making the change from ancient ways to modern capitalism: to dynamic growth and productivity and much better standards of living for people. The American capitalist empire is now old, sclerotic, and grown rigid - without vision. Growth, that human activity essential for prosperity, has gone elsewhere. Excessive command and control will do that to any society, to any system. We can do better and we will, including in America.

    Yours,

    KScurmudgeon

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  • 122. At 10:21am on 27 Feb 2011, Alan B wrote:

    It really shows just how hypocritical the USA are.They helped to force, with all the other nations on the council, a vote against Libya. When all the other council members tried to do the same thing against Israel,earlier in the week, because Israel is doing the same thing in Palestine they vetoed it.Who would want to follow the USA.They have showed just how hypocritical they are and with no scruples at all when it suits them.

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  • 123. At 10:25am on 27 Feb 2011, Pancha Chandra wrote:

    In this case, surgical strikes are of utmost importance. Here the actions of a recalcitrant leader are threatening the very fabric of Libyan society. It is time the world stands up to terror and backs the Opposition leader Mustafa Abdel-Jalil. Colonel Gadaffi needs to be flushed out for the sake of Libyans suffering under the yolk of oppression!

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  • 124. At 10:38am on 27 Feb 2011, KScurmudgeon wrote:

    119. At 09:28am on 27 Feb 2011, worcesterjim wrote:

    "117...Poor old Curmudgeon...you Americans stole our empires from us Europeans.... and now wikileaks has finally exposed your "empire of freedom and democracy" for the piratical fascist global empire of usury and homicide it always was."

    I left something out of my last post - that American empire was built on the foundation of the empires that went before it, as you (more or less) have said. At the least, however, we didn't take title to every spit of land that we overran, as the previous empires tended to do.... We returned to our own shores and even gave up some significant territories. Trading partners do not automatically imply a 'piratical fascist global empire of usury', and without trade (including ours) those third world nations that are now growing into industrial democratic states would never have found the resources to make the leap.

    Or do you believe we steal the oil?

    KSc

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  • 125. At 10:50am on 27 Feb 2011, powermeerkat wrote:

    76. At 7:02pm on 26 Feb 2011, Interestedforeigner wrote:
    I wonder if Mr. Megrahi will be going back to Scotland by this time on Monday?




    You sound like you really want British Petroleum loose all those long term oil leases in Libya. ;-)

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  • 126. At 10:53am on 27 Feb 2011, quietoaktree wrote:

    #110 USSilentmajority


    "Oh yeh, one other thing… Interestedforeigner … Looks like Canada will have the opportunity to explain birth defects, cancer an other ailments caused by Agent Orange. I’m sorry for those who where exposed and the challenges they have been facing. It doesn’t go away!"

    169. At 02:58am on 24 Feb 2011, USSilentMajority wrote:
    **********************************************

    "Sounds almost like you and Obama's mother studied the same material. Blame whomever but never accept responsibility yourself. These where also the same lessons taught to him,,,, victim...ism.

    Freedom as well as peace comes with a price tag, however there are those like yourself who are still clicking their heals and expecting it to be freely handed to them."


    "167. At 02:50am on 24 Feb 2011, USSilentMajority wrote:


    You sound almost like Hanoi John!

    If it where not for those that honor and defend the flag here, you would be in the same boat as those in Libya, Egypt, China & North Korea are faced with."

    ----------------------------------------------------------------

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AEeHFHGqUUw

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wUZA0GAMmfI&feature=related

    --What does this have to do with honor and defending the flag ?

    --- you are giving the strong impression that human (American) damage by Agent Orange is unacceptable because American troops were (are) affected ?

    ---And not ONE word of sympathy to the following victims--

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GXu2KmzAX-A&feature=related


    --what flag are you waving --- MINE ???????


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  • 127. At 10:54am on 27 Feb 2011, powermeerkat wrote:

    escapedfromny: Just look at how successful sanctions have been at stopping oppressive regimes in Iran and North Korea!

    In fact, here is a list of places where UN sanctions have forced a nation to peacefully evolve into a stable, productive member of the international community:




    Interesting list, right?







    Are you using an invisible ink, microdot or a 1024 bit code?

    'cause I have a genuine difficulty in decoding that list.

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  • 128. At 10:56am on 27 Feb 2011, powermeerkat wrote:

    IF: I wouldn't change the government of China right now for "all the tea in China" so to speak.





    What about Chinese Tea Party? :-)

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  • 129. At 11:06am on 27 Feb 2011, powermeerkat wrote:

    To those who malign here "agressive, imperialist Yankees".


    Please, pray to Allah, Marx or any other favorite deity of yours that you never meet a true blue Confederate face to face.

    [plenty of them still around, and they don't roll over and play dead]


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  • 130. At 11:27am on 27 Feb 2011, strontiumdog wrote:

    JMM & others,
    I find strange all your convictions that Europe doesn't have the will or ability to respond to events in Libya and that they will wait for the US.. Even as I speak its seems Britain is taking the lead on this with war ships evacuating US & EU citizens. Special forces on the ground and the RAF entering Libyan airspace to air lift oil workers.
    Part of me would like to see the faces of these big, tough, brave mercenaries when faced up against the SAS instead of unarmed civilians, but this isn't Sierra Leone, so I think Britain has the right focus at the moment.

    SONICBOOMER,

    Indeed there is some irony that the SAS are back in their place of conception. So many years after Rommel was defeated.
    The British special forces units used to call themselves "The Libyan Taxi service"
    The Germans and the Italians called them the "Ghost Patrols" Rommel admitted that these units were causing him the most damage

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  • 131. At 11:42am on 27 Feb 2011, Chryses wrote:

    Alan B, (#122. At 10:21am on 27 Feb 2011)

    "... They helped to force, with all the other nations on the council, a vote against Libya ..."
    Would you prefer that the U.S. not have helped get the sanctions passed?

    "... When all the other council members tried to do the same thing against Israel,earlier in the week, because Israel is doing the same thing in Palestine they vetoed it ..."
    What is this "same thing" Israel is doing in Palestine?

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  • 132. At 11:49am on 27 Feb 2011, Chryses wrote:

    worcesterjim, (#119. At 09:28am on 27 Feb 2011)

    "... your CIA and Wall Street`s finest (like Madoff and Soros)are running a corrupt secret global government that is (unintentionally) destroying the world! ..."
    An alarming reality or an amusing fantasy?
    Evidence would help decide.
    Do you have any?
    This time?

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  • 133. At 11:55am on 27 Feb 2011, strontiumdog wrote:

    Powermeerkat,



    speaking of Confederates I once knew a French colleague who referred to them as "Steak eating surrender monkeys" who let a bunch of Yankee Liberals kick their ass. Before you get upset he said this totally tongue in cheek as a response to being called a cheese eating surrender monkey. Not that you would dare say it to his face as he was a Captain in the French Foreign Legion and a vet of numerous interventions in North Africa and also Desert Storm.. He still keeps in touch with a few US vets of the first Gulf war (Comrades in arms transcends national stereotypes) I do see his point though, 4.5 million dead in WW1 and they still refused to give up even after the battle of Ypres bled the country of a million men. As for US bashing, Powermeerkat do what I do and treat it like water off a ducks back

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  • 134. At 11:55am on 27 Feb 2011, worcesterjim wrote:

    Curmudgeon...I largely agree with you...and Americans are just people like the rest of us.

    But unless those with power face the truth and liberate themselves first how can you free the rest of us?

    The truth can only set free those able to see it for what it truly is....and our present world is a cloak and dagger opaque maze of partial truths and outright falsehoods.

    That`s why wikileaks caused such paranoia...and why the internet is such a threat in many countries.

    But I implore you Americans to see the Enlightenment through to it`s logical conclusion ...and set all of us free...rather than make a mockery of those ideals by bringing contempt and shame upon fine ideals like freedom and democracy and human rights.

    Do not mistake me for a simple anti-american....because the truth is that I clearly see America as the best society so far ....and with an enormous potential for taking us further in our development as a species.

    But the final piece in any lasting improvement is to mature away from behaving as we do....like pirates ...and to take the people of every race and creed and culture of the world and free them from all the hostility and exploitation and ignorance that has divided us for thousands of years.

    Global capitalist ideas and your multi-ethnic society are a very good start....but your politics and approach to the rest of mankind is almost prehistoric and far too nationalistic to form the basis of creating a better world.

    We horrid foreigners can`t mature for you...and there`s a real possibility that global capitalism will very soon desert you for the sort of authoritarian and corrupt regimes where it thrives most easily...taking with it your power and your chance to influence the future constructively rather than perpetuating our inglorious past.

    Please try to take what may be a brief moment of optimum possibility in a history of mankind dogged by mutual hostility and ignorance and conflict.

    Sieze the day....confess your sins as you trumpet your successes...and set us all free!

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  • 136. At 12:11pm on 27 Feb 2011, Chryses wrote:

    worcesterjim, (#134. At 11:55am on 27 Feb 2011)

    ”... But unless those with power face the truth and liberate themselves first how can you free the rest of us? . . .”
    Don’t you think it would be a good idea to first know what this “truth” is?

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  • 137. At 12:13pm on 27 Feb 2011, strontiumdog wrote:

    for those who Think Turkey should intervene don't know the neighbourhood or it's history.. Having the Ottomans marching through Arab states would cause as much anger and resentment as the US declaring a Crusade on Libya. The same applies to Italy getting involved in Libya

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  • 138. At 12:57pm on 27 Feb 2011, Chryses wrote:

    The Cool Ruler Rides Again, (#135. At 12:09pm on 27 Feb 2011)

    ”America is a few years ahead of the rest of the world (including screw ups, issues, crime etc)”
    Another piercing, penetrating analysis to assist our understanding.

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  • 139. At 12:58pm on 27 Feb 2011, worcesterjim wrote:

    136 Chryses ...you have finally come into your own and asked a really pertinent question...thank you!

    The truth has been "whatever those with most power define it to be"...rather than an absolute concept...and this has caused thousands of years of confusion and misery....as people struggled to find some absolute truths among the collection of fantasies created by different parts of mankind to promote themselves into some form of prominence or superiority.

    We are pack animals given to behaving like tribes and to creating societies that promote our narrow interests. It is sad to say that we seem most "together" when we put aside our petty differences and find an enemy to hate and vilify and destroy.

    And I assume this was a functional trait in our early development ....but it`s now getting in the way as we realise that we are a very successful species with no further need for the hostility and paranoia and false distinctions we used to have between nations and races and religions and which side of the tracks we happened to be born on.

    WE can decide what the truth is...there is NO absolute truth....everything is provisional and can be discarded when it fails to be useful any longer!

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  • 140. At 1:49pm on 27 Feb 2011, powermeerkat wrote:

    strontiumdog007 wrote:
    Powermeerkat,



    speaking of Confederates I once knew a French colleague who referred to them as "Steak eating surrender monkeys" who let a bunch of Yankee Liberals kick their ass.





    Well, strontium, not only Confederates would not call a scorch earth strategy inventor, Sherman, a 'liberal'.

    [had he been still alive, he'd probably have been hauled to Hague]

    [who put Atlanta on fire? Oh, that was a wind! ;-)]


    BTW. If South's economy had been based on hemp and not on cotton, South would have probably prevailed and even flourished. :-)

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  • 141. At 1:52pm on 27 Feb 2011, powermeerkat wrote:

    Worcestersause wrote:

    "your CIA and Wall Street`s finest (like Madoff and Soros)"






    Can you fax a copy of CIA's payroll list with Madoff and Soros' names on it?


    thank ya in advance,

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  • 142. At 1:54pm on 27 Feb 2011, worcesterjim wrote:

    Just to clarify...I am not suggesting that we can`t look back with hindsight and see certain patterns and past facts....but in the abstract world of our interpretation of events there are no truths...which is why the idea of social "sciences" is so confusing.

    There are far too many variables and unknowns and perceptual variations for us to "know the truth" about economics or politics...far less religious developments.

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  • 143. At 1:59pm on 27 Feb 2011, Billythefirst wrote:

    106. At 11:54pm on 26 Feb 2011, Chryses wrote:

    Billythefirst, (# 102. At 9:49pm on 26 Feb 2011)

    ”... Silly me, I got hung up on that whole double standards thing”
    Wowsers! Do I have a poster for you!
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Oh Goody - it's not one of those where Rumsfeld is shaking hands with Saddam when he was gassing Kurds is it? - only I've already got a few of those...

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  • 144. At 1:59pm on 27 Feb 2011, Chryses wrote:

    Another bit of Good News – Rebel forces are reported to have control of Zawiya, and that’s only 30 miles from Tripoli.

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  • 145. At 2:15pm on 27 Feb 2011, USSilentMajority wrote:

    126. quietoaktree

    John..As I said before
    "Sounds almost like you and Obama's mother studied the same material. Blame whomever but never accept responsibility yourself. These where also the same lessons taught to him,,,, victim...ism."

    I feel sorry for you and your followers who consistently choose to follow the line that the US is responsible for the woes of the world. While indeed the US has made erroneous decisions like any country, the concept a free democracy has been paramount in its direction.

    "
    --What does this have to do with honor and defending the flag?
    --- you are giving the strong impression that human (American) damage by Agent Orange is unacceptable because American troops were (are) affected ?
    ---And not ONE word of sympathy to the following victims--
    --what flag are you waving --- MINE ???????
    "

    I don't do you tube, but I'm sure there are many video's showing the results of tragedies world wide, and of course for those countries which access had been limited.... Russia, China, North Korea.... the millions who had perished (for the good of the party) are unknown.

    And there you go again "victim...ism", as if there are never casualties of war and conflict. The people of Puerto Rico and now Canada where not part of any conflict, and the point being could the herbicide “Agent Orange” been used else ware?

    Yes, my concern is about American troops having been exposed to chemicals and munitions which endanger their lives and their families after they return. Since I have first hand knowledge of the denial process which Vietnam veterans have been going through?

    FLAG.... Well I’m not really sure what yours is… But for me it’s the Stars and Stripes of this great country which Americans have shed their blood for! I regard myself as an American “NOT Hyphenated” unlike you and the media seem to prefer.

    SEMPER FI!!


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  • 146. At 2:15pm on 27 Feb 2011, MagicKirin wrote:

    ref #78
    , LucyJ wrote:
    Personally, even tho its raising our gas prices every day (earlier in wk was 3.06, now it is 3.40), I do not feel USA should get involved with Libya's Civil war, as it is a war between their ppl and if the ppl r to declare victory over the dictator, then that victory should belong to the ppl there and not another country...

    I believe its only a matter of time before the protesters bring down the dictator...perhaps even in the next two days...

    But I am STRONGLY against USA or NATO getting involved...its simply not the place nor the time...


    ___________

    I hearken back to the 3AM Hillary clinton commercial on an international crisis and Obama not knowing what to do.

    It was very prophetic.

    But what thing he should do but he is captive to the ennvironmental lobby is release the moratorium on off shore drilling that would cause the price of gas to go down quickly.

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  • 147. At 2:19pm on 27 Feb 2011, Oldloadr wrote:

    129. At 11:06am on 27 Feb 2011, powermeerkat wrote:
    133. At 11:55am on 27 Feb 2011, strontiumdog007 wrote:
    140. At 1:49pm on 27 Feb 2011, powermeerkat wrote:

    This little side bar is funny. I was about to try to run with it to hyperbolae, but it would be too, too off-topic. I know that many Brit colleagues I have worked with were always amused at how those of us from the South showed offence (in jest) when called Yanks.

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  • 148. At 2:24pm on 27 Feb 2011, ann arbor wrote:

    Qaddfi: Obama should step down.

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  • 149. At 2:40pm on 27 Feb 2011, Chryses wrote:

    Oldloadr, (#147. At 2:19pm on 27 Feb 2011)

    ... I know that many Brit colleagues I have worked with were always amused at how those of us from the South showed offence (in jest) when called Yanks.”
    Are you guys still sore about losing the “War of Northern Aggression?”

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  • 150. At 2:47pm on 27 Feb 2011, american grizzly wrote:

    Let Libya deal with its own mess. I mean billions in Iraq, Afghanistan, Kosovo, Bosnia, and too many other numerous drains on the US. Actually we cannot even defend our own borders. Perhaps the EU can send troops to protect us from the invaders from the south along this ill defended border. So do we really need to put Libya on this raging bonfire of waste of our young and capital? Lets bring the troops home, defend our own border, interests, and stay out of others messes. I think it is time for national introspection as to the future of the US by its legal citizens. Libya can sort out its own mess.

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  • 151. At 2:48pm on 27 Feb 2011, worcesterjim wrote:

    141 PMK...I refer you to my "Tinfoil Helmet Blog" which is only available to people with an IQ above 20...so you may be disqualified due to your being intellectually challenged!
    In which case google the phrase "CIA and Soros" and have a quiet afternoon reading about your secret empire of meddlesome buffoonery that looks set to cause WW3 in Europe before very much longer.

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  • 152. At 3:36pm on 27 Feb 2011, Oldloadr wrote:

    149. At 2:40pm on 27 Feb 2011, Chryses wrote:
    Oldloadr, (#147. At 2:19pm on 27 Feb 2011)

    ... I know that many Brit colleagues I have worked with were always amused at how those of us from the South showed offence (in jest) when called Yanks.”
    Are you guys still sore about losing the “War of Northern Aggression?”
    _________________________________________________________________

    For the South, to lose was inevitable. Our forebears were slaves to slavery. Slaves are OK for agriculture (I'm not talking in a moral sense, only an economical one), but history has proven that free men and women are much better at technology. Many historians have called the American Civil War (of Northern Aggression) the first modern war. Consider what all showed up for the first time: breech-loading rifles and cannon, iron clad steam only naval vessels, bullets shaped like, well... bullets, the first submarine to sink a ship. Even though the confederacy was the beneficiary of much of that technology, it couldn’t compete with Northern industry, or the size of the North’s free population.

    However, we are sore at how much Sherman, Sheridan, Custer; et al enjoyed utterly destroying everything; after all, it was a family feud.

    At least my home state got a little bit back. In 1904, Kentucky was the recipient of $1,000,000 from the federal government for damages sustained during the Civil War and for services provided in the Spanish-American War of 1898. , they used the money to build the current state capital building.

    http://historicproperties.ky.gov/hp/capitol/history/complete+history/

    Considering that Libya is now in a civil war, maybe this little rabbit run isn’t off-topic. :)


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  • 153. At 3:51pm on 27 Feb 2011, quietoaktree wrote:

    #145 USSM

    -- Nothing new in your tirade !

    -- the Vietnamese deserved the millions of tons of Agent Orange !

    --all others are collateral damage -- is that the military logic you defend ?

    -- and you blame Obama 45 years later ???????

    (and probably proud of that too ?)

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  • 154. At 4:03pm on 27 Feb 2011, worcesterjim wrote:

    150 Grizzly...could you get your elite to extend that laissez faire approach to the rest of the world rather than stop at leaving Libya to be free of your elite`s meddling?

    I suspect you would have billions of friends overnight if the CIA and my friend George S could be prevailed upon to mind America`s business and leave the rest of us alone...particularly Europe!!

    But here`s a guess...you could save trillions of dollars and make a lot of friends .....but within months your military industrial complex would have cooked up some real or manufactured threat to Israel or the Suez Canal or Nigerian oil fields or Saudi Arabia....or (what probably happened in Libya)... "discovered" that the Libyan regime were just about to do a deal with China and or Russia?

    That`s the problem Grizzly...too much secrecy and cloak and dagger and lies for our countries to be anything more than token democracies .....run by people with no investment in telling us what is going on.... in case we say "no"!

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  • 155. At 4:19pm on 27 Feb 2011, Oldloadr wrote:

    153. At 3:51pm on 27 Feb 2011, quietoaktree wrote:
    #145 USSM

    -- Nothing new in your tirade !

    -- the Vietnamese deserved the millions of tons of Agent Orange !

    --all others are collateral damage -- is that the military logic you defend ?
    ________________________________________________
    It may interest you to know (or not) that the Admiral (Elmo Zimwalt) that ordered the use of Agent Orange to defoliate the enemy’s ambush sites lost his own son at age 42 due agent orange. His son was a swift boat commander.

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  • 156. At 4:22pm on 27 Feb 2011, quietoaktree wrote:

    #150 and #154

    Perhaps this explains some of the common problems ?

    http://english.aljazeera.net/indepth/opinion/2011/02/201122414315249621.html

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  • 157. At 4:27pm on 27 Feb 2011, Interestedforeigner wrote:

    Well, not the good news I had expected, but very good news overnight all the same.

    First on China:

    117. At 08:40am on 27 Feb 2011, KScurmudgeon wrote:

    "Best of all, might China actually take its place as a responsible member of the community of nations? My, my."

    ----------

    China has gained huge face here.

    The thing about it is, China is only doing what is in China's interest. (If it had done anything else, would any new government view China as a friendly power when renewing Chinese commercial agreements? What possible benefit could come to China in continuing to support a madman whose days are over?)

    Yet by doing what is in China's most grubby, least-altruistic, short-term commercial interest China is also acting in its most long-term see-the-big-picture diplomatic interest.

    So, by doing something that is in China's interest, anyhow, and by doing something that costs China nothing, by this one single, simple act of casting a vote, pertaining to a far-away not-very-important country that China really doesn't care very much about, China comes out smelling like a rose.

    And what has China really done?

    Do the UN sanctions matter a hoot? Likely not.
    What China has done is a lot bigger. China has said that it is on-side when it comes to solving this problem - and maybe other problems, too.

    China has given the green light to western nations, principally but not only America, to do whatever is required to sort this situation out. It has said, in effect, "do what you need to do, we're going to look the other way", or maybe even more, "do what needs to be done, we will be quietly helpful."

    That is a huge signal about how China wants to be seen in the world, and to be respected, as a mature, responsible power.

    By taking that position, it allows western governments to recognize a new provisional Libyan government just as soon as one can be organized.

    (Interestingly, that is, formally, not that different from the relationship the "illegal" provisional government of China in Beijing bears to the "legal" government of the Republic of China in Taipei. How ironic.)

    It allows the Libyan protesters to ask for, and be given, anything from humanitarian aid to military assistance, and anything in-between.

    It allows western (and any other governments that choose) to provide aid and assistance with a covering of international legality. Consequently it means that the possible need for explicit military intervention, and all the legal and diplomatic complications that go with it, has vastly receded.

    It means that any other tin-pot thugs who have a mind to hold on by the naked use of force against their own people can no longer count on China obstructing anything that could remotely be characterized as "intervention in the internal affairs of a foreign nation".

    So now it's "non-intervention with Chinese characteristics".



    We'll still have problems dealing with China. That isn't going to change overnight.

    But here, yes, at zero cost, China has gained great face.

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  • 158. At 5:02pm on 27 Feb 2011, LucyJ wrote:

    111 wrote: Every other government made multiple efforts to aid their citizens. The US government went to a MoTown concert, that shows the level of their concern. How long did it take our government to respond.Too long.
    With all the US military assets in Europe, and not a single finger was lifted to help Americans get out of Libya. Nothing worth mentioning. Brits might complain about their government, but at least they made an effort.
    -----------
    You can thank Obama for that...

    He's not really known for his effort...

    Even tho many Americans do not want to get involved in Libya's Civil War, it is a majority Muslim country and I get the feeling Obama feels a personal connection to it because he acts like he is very passionate about Libya, even whilst ignoring the Wisconsin protesters in his backyard...

    But wait, Wisconsin is majority white and majority Christian, correct?

    Well, that makes sense then...

    Anyone notice on the news how many of the Libyans are Arabic and tan while many of Gaddafi's guards are black and African?

    Interesting, eh?

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  • 159. At 5:25pm on 27 Feb 2011, LucyJ wrote:

    If: China has given the green light to western nations, principally but not only America, to do whatever is required to sort this situation out. It has said, in effect, "do what you need to do, we're going to look the other way", or maybe even more, "do what needs to be done, we will be quietly helpful.
    --------------------
    So you consider China giving the green light to America to get involved in other countries Civil wars 'great face'?

    Yeah, right...they just want us to spend more money and go bankrupt and in debt to them forever...

    Its China's way of saying let America take the fall and spend the money and possibly give loyal troops' lives for helping Libya...

    I feel no connection, whatsoever, to the Libyan ppl...and America getting involved with the Libyan Civil war would be a grave mistake...

    As Grizzy pointed out, USA can't even secure our own borders, we have millions of illegals in our countyr and more sneaking thru every day, yet here Obama wants to spend millions of taxpayer dollars helping foreigners whilst Congress is considering cutting billions of dollars for border security....

    Talk about a President who does not care about his ppl...

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  • 160. At 5:27pm on 27 Feb 2011, LucyJ wrote:

    Jim: That`s the problem Grizzly...too much secrecy and cloak and dagger and lies for our countries to be anything more than token democracies .....run by people with no investment in telling us what is going on.... in case we say "no"!
    -----------
    And haven't you considered the 'conspiracy within a conspiracy' theory?

    Ya know, like a 'dream within a dream'...

    Jim, have you ever considered that Assange could be working for al Qaida or another one of America and Western's enemies to purposefully discredit us to the world, so that terrorists can take over?

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  • 161. At 5:33pm on 27 Feb 2011, Interestedforeigner wrote:

    And then there is US diplomacy,

    114. At 06:02am on 27 Feb 2011, JMM wrote:

    "Is it possible that President Obama was somehow active in achieving this?

    "This is another proof ... that the present administration in Washington is more professional, more competent and more effective than the last."

    "More to the point It looks like the Libyan people will be getting international support sooner than expected [though not soon enough]."

    __________

    We won't know the facts for a while, but at first glance this has the look of another big diplomatic win for the Obama administration.

    First, it looks like achieving a result that would please both people like me (if innocent civilians are being killed, for God's sake, help them) and people like Pinko (avoid any more breeches of international law and the Pandora's box you open thereby).

    The people of Libya are going to have the ability to receive international support in toppling this murderous thug, now very possibly without requiring any kind of overt foreign military intervention. Even something so simple as merely knowing that the outside world is implicitly recognizing them as representing legitimacy, and condemning the madman as a criminal, has got to be a boost.

    Or, alternatively, foreign countries can now do things as un-glamorous as providing spare parts or other logistical assistance so that the military hardware now in the hands of the people of Libya can be used by the people of Libya to finish the job. There are many things that are now possible.


    Second, it allows America (and, indeed, virtually every other western nation and countries like Egypt, too) to achieve highly desirable policy objectives (a) without putting military personnel at risk; and (b) while staying within the law and on the side of the angels.

    Third, it shows that America can achieve things by effective multi-lateral diplomacy rather than relying on unilateral (or even bilateral) deployment of hard force. (Don't worry. If something goes wrong, hard military assets are still just over the horizon.)

    Fourth, it is drawing China into the club. China has signaled that it intends to be on the right side of history. That's a big deal.

    Fifth, it sends a number of very helpful messages to other autocrats and thugs - and also to others who aspire to democratic government.

    Sixth, America is well on the way to achieving its policy goals at far lower cost in blood, treasure, and international good-will than could possibly be achieved with direct military intervention.

    ---------

    This crisis isn't over yet, for sure.

    But as of now, the American government has shown that it is again able to show leadership, genuine effective, mature leadership, in a multi-lateral international context.

    That ability was noticeably absent from January 20, 2001 to January 19, 2009.

    President Obama, and his administration, didn't get everything right, but they got most things right. They have had another pretty good week.

    Big successes are often built on the slow and steady incremental accumulation of small successes. Bit by bit, small achievement by small achievement, President Obama is slowly and carefully re-building America's diplomatic strength. He is doing it notwithstanding the incredibly weak hand he was dealt by his predecessor both diplomatically and financially.

    Two weeks ago he forced the government of Israel to change policy from a very short-sighted, small-minded, stupid, stance to a stance far more consistent with the founding ideals of Israel. To force any Israeli government to change any policy, on anything, is something no American government has been able to do in decades. Yet he did it. This week he obtained a rather helpful act by China. All the while he improved relations with Turkey, and put the government of Iran on the defensive.

    This guy sees the whole board. He may not always see the details, and America is still sometimes taken by surprise and ends up reacting to events. But he gets most of the big things right, most of the time. In foreign policy, at least, he may yet end up being America's "Charles the Wise".

    China wasn't the only country to gain a lot of face this week.

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  • 162. At 5:39pm on 27 Feb 2011, worcesterjim wrote:

    156 Thanks QOT..a very good article that mirrors many of our experiences in Europe as democracies have been replaced by neoliberal dictatorships effectively run from Wall Street and influenced by global financial so called "markets"....markets that are just another name for organised (and disorganised) crime ...and gambling dens for the super-rich.

    Of course we are left with the pretence of democracies to fool the gullible....but "our" government can always afford to buy American military equipment to fight global capitalism`s wars....and to bail out banks and quantitatively ease them back into profitability..... while we get stuck with their toxic assets!

    And then there`s your CIA/Soros European Union racket costing us fifty million pounds per day...and bailing out Ireland .....and don`t get me started on "foreign aid" ....and the human rights and asylum and immigration industries!

    Yes...we can "afford" whatever Washington and Wall Street want done......shame about the ordinary British people isn`t it? Do we have any effective democratic control over this crazy regime? NO!

    Libyans will soon have much more control over their country than we have had over ours for decades!

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  • 163. At 5:42pm on 27 Feb 2011, quietoaktree wrote:

    #161

    The moral of the story appears to be-- beware of university guest lecturers.

    -- you can get ´68 and ´89 all rolled into one coming down on you --like a ton of bricks !

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  • 165. At 5:57pm on 27 Feb 2011, worcesterjim wrote:

    160 Lucy...you know I don`t believe in conspiracy theories...after all real life (with the USA running the world) is much stranger than fiction or my imagination could ever make it!

    To be serious ...if you research Bin Laden`s background and look at what happened to his hero Sayyid Qutb...it`s possible to imagine all sorts of plots and sub plots around his motivations and behaviour.

    He could still be working for the CIA or be so angry about the way he was used by them to be actively planning another 9/11...but I guess he will be like a lot of folk who worked with the USA and then became an embarrassment (like Gaddafi and Sadam Hussein and Mubarak and Marcos et al.)our media will never report what they said about the period when they were buddies with the White House....just what evil monsters they were for years!

    As an American politician might say "I did not have foreign relations with that dictator".....so that`s cleared that up then!!

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  • 166. At 5:57pm on 27 Feb 2011, MagicKirin wrote:

    ref #158

    In regard to the WI labor protesters andd their spin comparing themselves to the Egyptian protesters.

    They are actually the privlidged class who don't want to contribute to the majority and the 12 awol Senators could be regard as the paid generals.

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  • 167. At 5:58pm on 27 Feb 2011, quietoaktree wrote:

    #162 WJ

    All over Europe the infrastructure of towns has been sold to private companies --and then rented back from them. One only has to see the mess American infrastructure is in--- and the mistake is obvious.

    Neoliberalism is a TOTAL failure -no matter what flag is waved !

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  • 168. At 6:10pm on 27 Feb 2011, worcesterjim wrote:

    167 Yes QOT...and it amounts to massive global fraud ....and an abuse of the democratic process...because it has been done in such an underhand way.

    We have all been got into debt and had our assets stripped by politicians who we voted in to represent our interests ...and not the interests of global crooks and loan sharks.

    But may some major bluff calling needs to happen....and not just in North Africa either?

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  • 169. At 6:13pm on 27 Feb 2011, quietoaktree wrote:

    #166 MagicKirin

    -- perhaps only anti- neoliberals ?

    -panic-panic-panic !

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  • 170. At 6:26pm on 27 Feb 2011, LucyJ wrote:

    Mk: In regard to the WI labor protesters andd their spin comparing themselves to the Egyptian protesters.

    They are actually the privlidged class who don't want to contribute to the majority and the 12 awol Senators could be regard as the paid generals.
    -------------------
    Regardless of whether one agrees or disagrees with them, shouldn't they get more media coverage than Libya?

    Why is it that the media is ignoring them when its the most protesters since Vietnam?

    Is it b/c they are white?

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  • 171. At 6:26pm on 27 Feb 2011, Chryses wrote:

    worcesterjim, (#154. At 4:03pm on 27 Feb 2011)
    "... That`s the problem Grizzly...too much secrecy and cloak and dagger and lies for our countries to be anything more than token democracies ..."
    It is difficult to get the amount of secrecy just right. Too little and action is impeded; too much and the left hand doesn't know what the right hand is doing. It is an intractable problem, isn't it?

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  • 172. At 6:28pm on 27 Feb 2011, LucyJ wrote:

    Jim: you know I don`t believe in conspiracy theories...after all real life (with the USA running the world) is much stranger than fiction or my imagination could ever make it!
    -------------
    U could have fooled me...

    My point is, just as the old spy movies, someone should ask him...
    Who do you work for?

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  • 173. At 6:33pm on 27 Feb 2011, Chryses wrote:

    Oldloadr, (#152. At 3:36pm on 27 Feb 2011)

    ... However, we are sore at how much Sherman, Sheridan, Custer; et al enjoyed utterly destroying everything; after all, it was a family feud ...”
    Oh, all right. There may have been a few excesses here and there, but by and large everyone had a goodtime, no?

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  • 174. At 6:48pm on 27 Feb 2011, quietoaktree wrote:

    #168 WJ

    From what I understand about happenings in mainland Europe, the discussion is already in progress. There is no way the political Left will allow the neo-Fascist Right to direct national politics away from Social-Democratic principles.

    This is most apparent in the German media and the 4 main German political Parties (Left and Right )

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  • 175. At 6:52pm on 27 Feb 2011, McJakome wrote:

    149. At 2:40pm on 27 Feb 2011, Chryses wrote:
    Oldloadr, (#147. At 2:19pm on 27 Feb 2011)

    ... I know that many Brit colleagues I have worked with were always"amused at how those of us from the South showed offence (in jest) when called Yanks.”
    Are you guys still sore about losing the 'War of Northern Aggression?'”

    Actually, Chryses, they are sore at losing the War of Southern Aggression, which they started by pushing for the cancellation of the Missouri Compromise, followed by the real physical aggression in "Bleeding Kansas" [Moderators please note this is not a naughty British word but the official name of a most eggregious case of southern aggression].

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  • 176. At 6:53pm on 27 Feb 2011, Chryses wrote:

    LucyJ, (#170. At 6:26pm on 27 Feb 2011)

    ”... Regardless of whether one agrees or disagrees with them, shouldn't they get more media coverage than Libya? ..."
    Not obviously. Why do you think they should?

    "... Why is it that the media is ignoring them when its the most protesters since Vietnam?
    Is it b/c they are white?”

    It may be because that is a labor dispute involving some thousands of reasonably well-off workers and their employer in one of the fifty states in the U.S., while the Libyan developments are part of a history-making event sweeping across North Africa, liberating tens of millions of people from the authoritarian – if not dictatorial – rule of the past.

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  • 177. At 7:06pm on 27 Feb 2011, Interestedforeigner wrote:

    159. At 5:25pm on 27 Feb 2011, LucyJ wrote:

    "So you consider China giving the green light to America to get involved in other countries Civil wars 'great face'?"

    ----------

    No, that isn't what China has done, at all.

    China has just saved America a good deal of money, and a lot of trouble.
    China has also significantly reduced the likelihood that American lives will need to be put at risk in Libya.
    China has just signaled to everybody who is paying attention that China intends to be part of the solution, instead of being part of the problem.

    China has greatly reduced the chance of America, or any other western country, being involved in a civil war in Libya.

    China has, in fact, greatly reduced the chance of there being a civil war in Libya at all.

    There is no "civil war" in Libya right now. There is an heavily armed thug who is now surrounded, and who is, effectively, holding 1.5m people hostage. That is going to come to an end in the next few days, and China has just made that result a little easier to achieve.

    All of those things are exceedingly helpful, most immediately to the people of Libya, but also, and in a big, long-term way, to America.


    "Yeah, right...they just want us to spend more money and go bankrupt and in debt to them forever..."

    "Its China's way of saying let America take the fall and spend the money and possibly give loyal troops' lives for helping Libya..."

    ----------

    You couldn't be more wrong.

    If China wanted to cause America trouble here, the easiest thing to do would be to supply aid and weaponry to the madman, and then to frustrate every diplomatic effort America, NATO, and the EU might make to do something about the situation within international law.

    Instead, China is lending a hand to make things easier.
    China hasn't done that very often in the past.

    The people who should really be thankful here are the Europeans, the Egyptians, and the Tunisians. The cost of kicking over the 'Daffy government militarily, now and quickly, is minute as compared to the cost of prolonged strife, and the humanitarian disaster that would come with it.

    What China has done will greatly facilitate the recognition of a provisional government, and the supply of aid to that government on an expedited basis to stabilize the situation.

    Libya has a functioning economy. These people who are fleeing need to be able to return to their jobs and keep working. The food supply system needs to resume normal operation.

    The faster this crisis is ended, the sooner things can return to normal. That is in everybody's interest. Though you may not perceive it, China has just greased the wheels of that process.

    Keep in mind that America's long term security interests (and, indeed, the long term security interests of every other OECD country, and probably China, India, and everybody else) are best served by replacing all of these dangerous, unstable, brutal, repressive autocracies, and seeing them replaced by governments that reflect the will of their own citizens. The three biggest, most difficult problems are Saudi Arabia, Iran, and Pakistan, each of them different from the others. Then comes North Korea, followed by a string of ugly problems of lesser importance: Syria, Sudan, Burma, a belt of countries in sub-Saharan and equatorial Africa, Zimbabwe, etc., a goodly number of them supported by France.

    Almost all of these brutal governments exist because of the cold war, and continue to exist only in its long shadow. The cold war is over. The assumptions that underlay the cold are no longer valid. The injustices, corruption, repression, and economic incompetence inherent in the form, structure, and often the very existence of, these governments is a major driving force behind, for example, Islamic fundamentalism and Islamic terrorism. Those governments need to go.

    The world will be a much, much safer place when they are gone.

    To the extent that they can be pushed out, over time, with as little disruption as possible, everybody will be better off.

    China, last night, signaled that it wants that transition to be smoother, easier, and less expensive.

    Americans should be giving thanks...

    ... and realizing that the private White House dinner hosted by the Obamas for President Hu may well have been an extremely worthwhile public expenditure.

    ----------

    "Talk about a President who does not care about his ppl..."

    Again, you could hardly be more wrong.

    For the first time in eight years, governments around the world are learning that when they call the White House there will be someone on the phone who is well-informed, intelligent and thoughtful. What a change!

    I might note, in passing, that they also know that America has a hyper-active, hard-working secretary of state who, I think, has surprised many people.

    President Obama has markedly advanced the interests of the United States in the last week, and more so, since the start of the year. You should be thankful for America's good fortune in that regard.

    What is troubling, though, is that you can't see that, or give credit where credit is due.

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  • 178. At 7:24pm on 27 Feb 2011, Risforme wrote:

    Europe: America why are you messing around in the Middle East it must be all about the Oil.

    America: *sigh*

    (Now Europe's Oil supplies are threatened)
    Europe: Why aren't you messing around in Northern Africa? It must be all about the Oil.

    America: *sigh*

    Seriously guys make up your mind. We can either be the world's policeman or not. I'm against foreign interventionism but hey if you want to get NATO or UN forces involved great. However if you don't think that is what is required I'm sure there are plenty of Italian, British, French, and German, bombers in range of Libya. This is happening in your own backyard why are you looking across the Atlantic for leadership?

    I thought that was the point of the EU to provide European leadership in the World in the New Era. Obama did what his job requires he withheld criticism till Americans were out of harms way. What do you think America's role in this should be? And what do you think your own Country's role in this should be?

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  • 179. At 7:26pm on 27 Feb 2011, Chryses wrote:

    JMM, (#175. At 6:52pm on 27 Feb 2011)

    ”... Actually, Chryses, they are sore at losing the War of Southern Aggression ...”
    Oh sure! That's just Yankee revisionist history. As I heard the story told, it was a group of jackbooted hoodlums shipped down from Massachusetts whose unprovoked assault on some innocent merrymakers in Baltimore resulted in the first fatalities! Oh woe! How the civilians were persecuted! Where was free speech that day?

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  • 180. At 7:44pm on 27 Feb 2011, MagicKirin wrote:

    ref #170
    , LucyJ wrote:
    Mk: In regard to the WI labor protesters andd their spin comparing themselves to the Egyptian protesters.

    They are actually the privlidged class who don't want to contribute to the majority and the 12 awol Senators could be regard as the paid generals.
    -------------------
    Regardless of whether one agrees or disagrees with them, shouldn't they get more media coverage than Libya?

    Why is it that the media is ignoring them when its the most protesters since Vietnam?

    Is it b/c they are white?


    ____________

    I think there has been plenty of coverage what has been missing from most news sources is the little the unions are being expected to give us and that their rights are being protected.

    How come very few reports talk about how workewrs are forced to join unions?

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  • 181. At 8:46pm on 27 Feb 2011, chronophobe wrote:

    re: 119 worcesterjim

    Your elite can make a redemptive beginning by telling the truth to the poor deluded American folk who congregate around this blog supporting their elite through thick and thin.Go on ...tell `em the truth....your CIA and Wall Street`s finest (like Madoff and Soros)are running a corrupt secret global government that is (unintentionally) destroying the world!

    re: 127 LucyJ

    My point is, just as the old spy movies, someone should ask him...
    Who do you work for?


    Oh you crazy kids. You've figured it out. It's them ten foot lizards from another planet in action again.

    I mean, Obama is awfully tall, isn't he?

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  • 182. At 9:03pm on 27 Feb 2011, hms_shannon wrote:

    164. At 5:47pm on 27 Feb 2011, The Cool Ruler Rides Again wrote:

    sorry about being rude to all you americans bloggers yesterday, my girl friend wanted to finish with me..

    What does it signify if you are very complementary to Americans based on that info ??? please do not tell,just keep us guessing :)..

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  • 183. At 9:08pm on 27 Feb 2011, chronophobe wrote:

    re: 157 IF

    That is a huge signal about how China wants to be seen in the world, and to be respected, as a mature, responsible power.

    I think it's hard to overstate the significance of this, or at least the potential significance (early days, yet!). China has always adhered to the mantra that it never, ever, ever interferes in the internal politics of other states (reflecting sensitivities about its own internal doings).

    That China has taken this step seems to signal a new willingness to engage in, and be engaged on the, for lack of a better word, ideological level.

    I'm glad to live in such interesting times!

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  • 184. At 9:14pm on 27 Feb 2011, chronophobe wrote:

    re 182 ukw

    Guffaw!

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  • 185. At 9:31pm on 27 Feb 2011, hms_shannon wrote:

    178. At 7:24pm on 27 Feb 2011, Risforme wrote:

    What do you think America's role in this should be?.

    The old guard in Libya would love to have any American or captured American hard wear to sow the seed of an American plot.This just may
    cause some to waver in their support for the rebels.America must physically hold off, unless asked up front & out in the open for assistance.
    --------------
    And what do you think your own Country's role in this should be?

    The UK is sending more military flights to help get out of harms way all
    folk who wish to go,many not UK nationals.May be by releasing the Lockerbie bomber the UK military have been allowed a free hand than other wise would have been the case.Not saying this is right!.But a C130 flying low is an easy target.Again if the UK was asked for help by the Libyans who want their freedom it should be given...

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  • 186. At 9:33pm on 27 Feb 2011, worcesterjim wrote:

    178 Risforme...all that theatrical sighing is just pure ham!

    You Americans have been acting as though you run the world for decades now and the idea that events in the ME are somehow our exclusive province over in Europe is risible nonsense.

    Not only is there oil in countries like Iraq but one of your major investors is the hardly democratic Saudi Arabia...and far beyond anything else in importance to you is America`s precious project Israel... over which no expense is spared or risk taken.

    You carry on affecting perplexed irritation about our alleged ommissions if you like.....but I sense you are doing it with the intention of saddling us with the cost of yet another of your crazy foreign policies!

    It`s really time for the world to grow up and realise what sort of US escapades have gotten us all trillions of dollars in debt....and why education and health care for Israelis (and other first world countries) is so much better than it is for Americans.

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  • 187. At 10:11pm on 27 Feb 2011, quietoaktree wrote:

    #186 WJ

    --- America shoots from the hip --and buys the bullets later ?

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  • 188. At 10:26pm on 27 Feb 2011, worcesterjim wrote:

    187 QOT..."America" doesn`t exist in the form most Americans imagine it to be....the majority of Americans are fine people of the sort you find all over the world.

    But the tiny American elite that steals our money to buy "American" bullets lives in a separate global financial world with totally different objectives from those of ordinary Americans.

    If they are anything like the British elite your financial aristocracy will have their cash safely stowed off shore and far away from the US taxation system too.

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  • 189. At 10:34pm on 27 Feb 2011, Chryses wrote:

    Collateral damage! The French Foreign Minister, Michele Alliot-Marie has announced her resignation following criticism for initially offering French help to quell the uprising in Tunisia, and her contacts with the former Tunisian regime.

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  • 190. At 10:37pm on 27 Feb 2011, Chryses wrote:

    worcesterjim, (#188. At 10:26pm on 27 Feb 2011)

    ”... the tiny American elite that steals our money to buy "American" bullets lives in a separate global financial world with totally different objectives from those of ordinary Americans.”
    And what might those objectives be?

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  • 191. At 11:02pm on 27 Feb 2011, quietoaktree wrote:

    #190 Chryses

    "And what might those objectives be?"


    -- Your credit card.

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  • 192. At 11:09pm on 27 Feb 2011, worcesterjim wrote:

    190 If only I could divulge that to you Chryses I would willingly do so...but we members of the new global aristocracy move softly through the world dispensing our philanthropy quietly without wishing to draw attention to ourselves....and our altruistic good works.

    Many of us pretend to live in luxury while really spending our time(like Mr Berlusconi) in monasteries leading lives of austerity and contemplation.

    But I am sure a little research into the life of poverty led by Brother Bernard (Madoff) and his followers would suffice to make you even prouder to be an American citizen...and of America`s selfless role in taking prosperity to the entire world.... at its own expense!

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  • 193. At 11:21pm on 27 Feb 2011, Chryses wrote:

    quietoaktree, (#191. At 11:02pm on 27 Feb 2011)

    ”... ‘And what might those objectives be?’
    -- Your credit card”

    Care to give a meaningful response?

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  • 194. At 11:26pm on 27 Feb 2011, Chryses wrote:

    worcesterjim, (#192. At 11:09pm on 27 Feb 2011)

    "If only I could divulge that to you Chryses I would willingly do so ..."
    I thought that you would be unable to substantiate this ridiculousness, now we know for certain!

    "... But I am sure a little research into ..."
    Oh yes? When will you start doing that? LOL!

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  • 195. At 11:53pm on 27 Feb 2011, quietoaktree wrote:

    #193 Chryses”...

    "‘And what might those objectives be?’
    -- Your credit card”
    Care to give a meaningful response?"

    -- They buy --you pay !

    ---or have you noticed a different payment method in this financial collapse ?

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  • 196. At 11:54pm on 27 Feb 2011, Chryses wrote:

    worcesterjim, (#139. At 12:58pm on 27 Feb 2011)

    ”Chryses ...you have finally come into your own and asked a really pertinent question...thank you! ...”
    I am humbled to receive your gratitude.

    ”... WE can decide what the truth is...there is NO absolute truth....everything is provisional and can be discarded when it fails to be useful any longer!”
    If there is no Truth, then how do you know what you claim to be true is true?
    You and yours really are priceless!
    Thanks for the entertainment.
    LOL!

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  • 197. At 00:06am on 28 Feb 2011, Chryses wrote:

    quietoaktree, (#195. At 11:53pm on 27 Feb 2011)

    ”... ‘Care to give a meaningful response?’

    -- They buy --you pay !
    ---or have you noticed a different payment method in this financial collapse ?”

    I expected you to fail to give a meaningful response. Thank you for proving me correct.

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  • 198. At 00:36am on 28 Feb 2011, powermeerkat wrote:

    Interestedforeigner wrote:
    77. At 7:04pm on 26 Feb 2011, LucyJ wrote:

    "Why is UK giving up their defense and what kind of message does this send to UK's enemies?"

    __________

    Don't worry, the French are broke, too.





    It that why France, a NATO member, sells assault helicopter ships, suitable only for invasions - to Russia? :-)

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  • 199. At 00:46am on 28 Feb 2011, powermeerkat wrote:

    "As a brit I'm ashamed of him for being a US poodle and for lying......just as I'm ashamed of Thatcher's close friendship with the brutal right wing dictator of Chile General Pinochet.....remember him? "







    Yes, that's the fellow who prevented Chile from becoming another Cuba, and through imposed economic free market reforms made it into a leading free market powerhouse in S. America and a number 1 candidate to NAFTA.


    Now, do you remember Fidel Castro?


    A fellow who just rushed to defend a fellow long-term ruthless dictator - Muammar Gaddafi?


    And how 'bout Comical Hugo of Venezuela?

    A hero of yours by any chance?

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  • 200. At 00:54am on 28 Feb 2011, powermeerkat wrote:

    worcesterjim wrote:
    117...Poor old Curmudgeon...you Americans stole our empires from us Europeans.... and now wikileaks has finally exposed your "empire of freedom and democracy" for the piratical fascist global empire of usury and homicide it always was.








    Beginning to foam at one's mouth is a typical Pavlovian reaction.

    Although, as Pavlov has demonstrated, it's a indoctrinated response and as such - can be reversed (although with difficulty).

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  • 201. At 00:56am on 28 Feb 2011, Chryses wrote:

    worcesterjim, (#119. At 09:28am on 27 Feb 2011)

    ”... now wikileaks has finally exposed your "empire of freedom and democracy" for the piratical fascist global empire of usury and homicide it always was ...”
    Is there any reason anyone should believe this claim? Is it just another fantasy of yours? Do you have anything which can be confused for evidence for it?

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  • 202. At 01:07am on 28 Feb 2011, powermeerkat wrote:

    Oldloadr wrote:
    129. At 11:06am on 27 Feb 2011, powermeerkat wrote:
    133. At 11:55am on 27 Feb 2011, strontiumdog007 wrote:
    140. At 1:49pm on 27 Feb 2011, powermeerkat wrote:

    This little side bar is funny. I was about to try to run with it to hyperbolae, but it would be too, too off-topic. I know that many Brit colleagues I have worked with were always amused at how those of us from the South showed offence (in jest) when called Yanks.






    Reminds me of that proverbial Texan who only after leaving home at 21 found out that "damnedYankee" was actually two words. :-)


    But since this is a NORTH America blog: REMEMBER ALAMO!


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  • 203. At 01:23am on 28 Feb 2011, powermeerkat wrote:

    Re #152, "DamnedYankees", etc.

    Oldlodr wrote: " In 1904, Kentucky was the recipient of $1,000,000 from the federal government for damages sustained during the Civil War and for services provided in the Spanish-American War of 1898. , they used the money to build the current state capital building."







    Oh, Kentucky!


    GET YOU A COPPER KETTLE
    GET YOU A COPPER COIL
    COVER WITH YOU MADE CORNMASH
    AND NEVER MORE YOU TOIL

    [...]

    MY DADDY HE MADE WHISKEY
    MA GRANDDADDY HE MADE TOO
    WE AIN'T PAY NOT WHISKEY TAX
    SINCE 1792


    My kind of a country; a right-to-work state.

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  • 204. At 01:33am on 28 Feb 2011, powermeerkat wrote:

    Lucy:Anyone notice on the news how many of the Libyans are Arabic and tan while many of Gaddafi's guards are black and African?

    Interesting, eh?






    Rather typical: Derzhynski chose Latvians as personal body guards for Lenin.

    Indira Ghandi - unfortunately - Sihks.

    On a more serious note: Gaddafi relies mostly on his tribe members' loyalty; just as Saddam has ultimately relied on his Tikriti clan.


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  • 205. At 01:42am on 28 Feb 2011, powermeerkat wrote:

    IF: "Americans should be giving thanks...

    ... and realizing that the private White House dinner hosted by the Obamas for President Hu [the Butcher of Tibet] may well have been an extremely worthwhile public expenditure."




    Just as sneaking Dalai Lama in through the back door.

    [3 cheers for a Nobel Peace Prize laureat- Barack Hussein!]

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  • 206. At 01:51am on 28 Feb 2011, powermeerkat wrote:

    Chryses wrote:
    Collateral damage! The French Foreign Minister, Michele Alliot-Marie has announced her resignation following criticism for initially offering French help to quell the uprising in Tunisia, and her contacts with the former Tunisian regime.




    Well, Michele was previously a French defense minister which explains a lot.

    Not that certain Alain Juppe is remembered friendly in Africa.




    BTW. IF, Which Suddan will China be supporting now?
    [doing us a favour]

    The North (the correct, ruthless regime) or the South (plenty of oil)?

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  • 207. At 02:01am on 28 Feb 2011, wolfvorkian wrote:

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

  • 208. At 02:41am on 28 Feb 2011, escapedfromny wrote:

    42. At 1:34pm on 26 Feb 2011, BluesBerry wrote:

    "... Black People, Red People, People of colour have been used and abused by white establishments since recorded history began. Natives literally wiped out with the few remnants left dumped onto unlivable patches of land to drink & drug themselves to death ..."
    -----------------------------------------

    Normally, I would not dignify such ignorance with an answer, but it appears warranted in this case.

    So when the Mongols swept across Iran and killed 400,000 people in Persia, wiped out entire kingdoms from Iran to Egypt, swept into Russia and Poland and Hungary killing millions and then into India to set up the Mogul empires, the Mongols were white?

    That when, starting in 634AD, Arab armies crushed Persia, Egypt, kingdoms across North Africa and into Iberia and all the way up to Tours, and raided eastern Africa for slaves for over 1200 years, they were white?

    That the Bantu nations, as they spread south from their homelands in Cameroon, conquering all in the way, and wiping out populations of San and everyone else in their way, the Bantu are white?

    That the Seljuk and Ottoman Turks, after conquering Byzantium, conquered the Balkans, Hungary and Egypt, and was at the very walls of Vienna, the Turks were white?

    YOU BELIEVE THE MONGOLS, CHINESE, ARABS, BANTUS AND TURKS are WHITE? WOW. I thought US schools were bad.

    Anyone with a brain who looked at the world in 700 or 1100 or 1400 or even 1600 and thought that the nations of Europe would become dominant would have been considered crazy.

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  • 209. At 04:11am on 28 Feb 2011, Andy Post wrote:

    Interesting thread.

    Is there full over Britain right now?

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  • 210. At 04:56am on 28 Feb 2011, Oldloadr wrote:

    175. At 6:52pm on 27 Feb 2011, JMM wrote:
    149. At 2:40pm on 27 Feb 2011, Chryses wrote:
    Oldloadr, (#147. At 2:19pm on 27 Feb 2011)

    ... I know that many Brit colleagues I have worked with were always"amused at how those of us from the South showed offence (in jest) when called Yanks.”
    Are you guys still sore about losing the 'War of Northern Aggression?'”

    Actually, Chryses, they are sore at losing the War of Southern Aggression, which they started by pushing for the cancellation of the Missouri Compromise, followed by the real physical aggression in "Bleeding Kansas" [Moderators please note this is not a naughty British word but the official name of a most eggregious case of southern aggression].
    ___________________________________________________________

    According to Wikipedia: “In all, approximately 56 people died in Bleeding Kansas by the time the violence completely abated in 1859.”

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bleeding_Kansas

    1. Both sides in Kansas were political zealots who did not represent any elected government.
    2. The incidents referred to by Horace Greely as Bleeding Kansas occurred before there was a Confederacy. The war of Northern Aggression began when Washington refused to honor south Carolina Sovereignty.
    3. 54 dead on both sides can't compare to Atlanta, Vicksburg, Savannah, etc.

    I think you all more than made up for any wrongs suffered prior to 1865, so you all are free to get over it. Obviously, we did, since Southerners are disproportionately represented in the Armed Forces.

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  • 212. At 05:41am on 28 Feb 2011, KScurmudgeon wrote:


    * 210. At 04:56am on 28 Feb 2011, Oldloadr wrote:

    175. At 6:52pm on 27 Feb 2011, JMM wrote:
    149. At 2:40pm on 27 Feb 2011, Chryses wrote:
    Oldloadr, (#147. At 2:19pm on 27 Feb 2011)

    ... I know that many Brit colleagues I have worked with were always"amused at how those of us from the South showed offence (in jest) when called Yanks.”
    Are you guys still sore about losing the 'War of Northern Aggression?'”

    Actually, Chryses, they are sore at losing the War of Southern Aggression, which they started by pushing for the cancellation of the Missouri Compromise, followed by the real physical aggression in "Bleeding Kansas" [Moderators please note this is not a naughty British word but the official name of a most eggregious case of southern aggression].
    ___________________________________________________________

    According to Wikipedia: “In all, approximately 56 people died in Bleeding Kansas by the time the violence completely abated in 1859.”

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bleeding_Kansas

    1. Both sides in Kansas were political zealots who did not represent any elected government....
    --------------

    My friend JMM seems to have forgotten about John Brown.

    The hill where he kept his cannons is now the site of the University of Kansas. And it overlooks the town of Lawrence, where Quantrill spent a day burning and murdering.

    But we all make legends after the facts grow cold.

    Kansas still reflects two distinct cultures from those days.

    KScurmudgeon - inside Kansas

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  • 213. At 06:33am on 28 Feb 2011, The Cool Ruler Rides Again wrote:

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

  • 214. At 06:50am on 28 Feb 2011, Oldloadr wrote:

    211. At 05:27am on 28 Feb 2011, The Cool Ruler Rides Again wrote:
    Us Brits never tease Americans, but because you all think we do and always think you are right, I'm not going to even bother arguing with any of the United States of America American know it alls.
    _______________________________________________

    Maybe it's just the cultural differences that makes us think you all are so condescending.

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  • 215. At 09:14am on 28 Feb 2011, Ad wrote:

    Powermeerkat said: "Not that certain Alain Juppe is remembered friendly in Africa." (Words a bit mixed up there PM?!)

    Oh dear. Juppé's the new French foreign secretary following yesterday's reshuffle.

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  • 216. At 09:46am on 28 Feb 2011, MagicKirin wrote:

    ref #211
    The Cool Ruler Rides Again wrote:
    Us Brits never tease Americans, but because you all think we do and always think you are right, I'm not going to even bother arguing with any of the United States of America American know it alls.

    ___________

    Individual Brits o.k but

    the Media, the entertainment industry and the ignorant London protesters do.

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  • 217. At 09:57am on 28 Feb 2011, champagne_charlie wrote:

    Are we really going to descend into another Brit v American playground scuffle again? Any chance you could all just pack it in?

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  • 218. At 10:36am on 28 Feb 2011, Chryses wrote:

    The Cool Ruler Rides Again, (#211. At 05:27am on 28 Feb 2011)

    ”... I'm not going to even bother arguing with any of the United States of America American know it alls. “
    Is that a threat or a promise?

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  • 219. At 11:01am on 28 Feb 2011, Oldloadr wrote:

    217. At 09:57am on 28 Feb 2011, champagne_charlie wrote:
    Are we really going to descend into another Brit v American playground scuffle again? Any chance you could all just pack it in?
    ____________________________________________________

    This is what happens when we are let go too long without a new topic.

    I confess that I have OCD and cannot pass on a challenge. :)

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  • 220. At 11:07am on 28 Feb 2011, Chryses wrote:

    escapedfromny, (#208. At 02:41am on 28 Feb 2011)

    ”... YOU BELIEVE THE MONGOLS, CHINESE, ARABS, BANTUS AND TURKS are WHITE? WOW. I thought US schools were bad ...”
    That’s different. They were not Americans or Europeans, so you are not allowed to criticize them.

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  • 221. At 11:16am on 28 Feb 2011, John_From_Dublin wrote:

    # 181 chronophobe wrote: (to worcesterjim and LucyJ)

    “Oh you crazy kids. You've figured it out. It's them ten foot lizards from another planet in action again.

    I mean, Obama is awfully tall, isn't he?”

    Chrono, I really think you should be more careful about linking to theories that ‘a secret group of reptilian humanoids called the Babylonian Brotherhood controls humanity, and that many prominent figures are reptilian, including George W. Bush, Queen Elizabeth II, Kris Kristofferson, and Boxcar Willie’.

    Obviously, no reasonable person would take this type of stuff seriously. However LJ has already made it clear that she believes that Obama hates white people (such as his late mother) and favours Muslims and ‘persons of colour’, as he is seeking revenge for slavery. Ten foot tall lizards isn’t that much further of a leap.

    As for WJ – well, he tells us at # 165 ‘I don’t believe in conspiracy theories’. Which gave me a good laugh.....

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  • 222. At 12:02pm on 28 Feb 2011, crash wrote:

    Sanctions will never work,never have never will.I think sanctions are a joke,we just need to stay out of the mess that is the middle east an drill more wells here,we have plenty of oil here it is legislation that stands in our way.
    We should pull our support for Israel,which increasingly looks like the old USSR regime when it dealt with problems in the old eastern block countries.We need to pull out of the UN,NATO,instead of bailing out everyone every time let them fix their own problems and we will fix ours.

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  • 223. At 12:05pm on 28 Feb 2011, powermeerkat wrote:

    Ad wrote:
    Oh dear. Juppé's the new French foreign secretary following yesterday's reshuffle.



    PM: And that's precisely what I had alluded to.

    [One would think Sarko would choose a less tainted politician than Juppe]

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  • 225. At 12:16pm on 28 Feb 2011, Chryses wrote:

    powermeerkat, (#223. At 12:05pm on 28 Feb 2011)

    ”... [One would think Sarko would choose a less tainted politician than Juppe]”
    Now, now, don’t be uncharitable. After all, he was only convicted for the abuse of public funds.

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  • 226. At 12:30pm on 28 Feb 2011, strontiumdog wrote:

    re#152
    However, we are sore at how much Sherman, Sheridan, Custer; et al enjoyed utterly destroying everything; after all, it was a family feud.

    Oldloadr,

    Unfortunately family feuds tend to be the most ruthless and bloody. At least the divisions were drawn by geography and not so much by ideology unlike the “war of independence” also sometimes referred to as America’s first civil war. Which often pitted brother against brother or in the case of Benjamin Franklin father against son.. I’ve visited kings Monument and said a little prayer as I read all the names of the fallen.. All American. Patriots against Loyalists..

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  • 227. At 1:37pm on 28 Feb 2011, powermeerkat wrote:

    Chryses wrote:
    powermeerkat, (#223. At 12:05pm on 28 Feb 2011)

    ”... [One would think Sarko would choose a less tainted politician than Juppe]”
    Now, now, don’t be uncharitable. After all, he was only convicted for the abuse of public funds.





    But some African countries might be much more concerned that in 2008 the Rwandan government linked Juppe to Rwanda Massacre via infamous "French Connection".

    [that's what I meant by 'tainted']


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  • 228. At 1:45pm on 28 Feb 2011, powermeerkat wrote:

    Re #226


    That's nothing: if memory serves a bloody family feud between Shias and Sunnis has been going on for well over a millennium and there's no end in sight.

    [so much for dreams about pan-Arabic Union]

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  • 229. At 1:50pm on 28 Feb 2011, Oldloadr wrote:

    226. At 12:30pm on 28 Feb 2011, strontiumdog007 wrote:
    Unfortunately family feuds tend to be the most ruthless and bloody. At least the divisions were drawn by geography and not so much by ideology unlike the “war of independence” also sometimes referred to as America’s first civil war.
    ______________________________________________________________
    For some reason, Abraham Lincoln's father did not want him to take a Yankee wife, even though he moved the family to Illinois. So he got Abe hitched up (yet, that's how we still say it) with Mary Todd from the old home state of KY.

    Now, think you have ever had in-law problems? Check this out:

    Mary Lincoln's brother George R.C. Todd and her half-brothers Alexander Todd, David Todd, and Samuel Todd all fought in the Confederate Army during the Civil War. Alexander Todd was killed at Baton Rouge. Samuel Todd was killed in the Battle of Shiloh. David Todd was wounded at Vicksburg. Her half-sister Emilie Helm's husband was a Confederate general killed at Chickamauga. The husbands of her half-sisters, Martha White and Elodie Dawson were ardent supporters of the Confederacy.
    http://www.firstladies.org/biographies/firstladies.aspx?biography=17

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  • 230. At 1:51pm on 28 Feb 2011, champagne_charlie wrote:

    #228

    powermeerkat;

    "That's nothing: if memory serves a bloody family feud between Shias and Sunnis has been going on for well over a millennium and there's no end in sight."

    Add the Ottoman and European "lines in the sand" and thats the whole thing in a nutshell.

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  • 231. At 2:14pm on 28 Feb 2011, Interestedforeigner wrote:

    229. At 1:50pm on 28 Feb 2011, Oldloadr wrote:

    "The husbands of her half-sisters, Martha White and Elodie Dawson were ardent supporters of the Confederacy.
    http://www.firstladies.org/biographies/firstladies.aspx?biography=17"

    __________


    And it caused quite a fuss when her sister was given, by executive order, a pass through union lines to come and visit at the White House during the war.

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  • 232. At 2:29pm on 28 Feb 2011, modernJan wrote:

    These politicians have either been asleep when in the past the **** hit the fan in so many other dictatorships (some of them supported by those same politicans) or they're just damn evil: abusing the publicity surrounding Libya to score political points. Either way they're nothing to be proud of.

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  • 233. At 3:28pm on 28 Feb 2011, Simon21 wrote:

    228. At 1:45pm on 28 Feb 2011, powermeerkat wrote:
    Re #226


    That's nothing: if memory serves a bloody family feud between Shias and Sunnis has been going on for well over a millennium and there's no end in sight.

    [so much for dreams about pan-Arabic Union]
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Well apart from the fact that not all arabs are moslems, so the issue does not arise, this old shibboleth needs putting to bed.

    Shia/sunni differences are vastly less than those that exist between the christian sects and have occasioned vastly less bloodshed.

    The difference is on Mohammed's successsion not on essentials of the faith. Both use the Quaran (the same book), the same language of prayer, both use the same mosques.

    Compare this to christianity where members of the same faith cannot even agree on the wording of the alleged founder's own prayer and have burned each other is vast numbers over quarrels about the real presence - then even an idiot can see the difference is vast.

    There is evidence that the founders of Islam were aware of the murderous disoputes between christians as the religion was founded

    Disputes in the arab world are political and economic, not religious.

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  • 234. At 3:28pm on 28 Feb 2011, strontiumdog wrote:

    re230
    Add the Ottoman and European "lines in the sand" and thats the whole thing in a nutshell.
    --------------------------------------------
    Very true the First World War must be the most destructive family feud of all time..


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  • 235. At 3:29pm on 28 Feb 2011, Simon21 wrote:

    230. At 1:51pm on 28 Feb 2011, champagne_charlie wrote:
    #228

    powermeerkat;

    "That's nothing: if memory serves a bloody family feud between Shias and Sunnis has been going on for well over a millennium and there's no end in sight."

    Add the Ottoman and European "lines in the sand" and thats the whole thing in a nutshell.
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Leaving out the fact of the holocaust - conducted and enforced by christians, as was Rwanda


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  • 236. At 3:56pm on 28 Feb 2011, champagne_charlie wrote:

    #235

    simon21

    The nutshell I was referring to is the root cause of problems in the Middle east and North Africa, such as Shia/Sunni tribal conflict and foreign power interference, who universally misunderstood the region. I didn't make any reference to any other part of humanity or human history.

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  • 237. At 4:09pm on 28 Feb 2011, Andy Post wrote:

    Ref. 209, my own post:

    Interesting thread.

    Is there full moon over Britain right now?

    (oops)

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  • 238. At 4:16pm on 28 Feb 2011, Andy Post wrote:

    Ref. 235, Simon21:

    "Leaving out the fact of the holocaust - conducted and enforced by christians, as was Rwanda"

    Not really: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Religious_aspects_of_Nazism

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  • 239. At 4:32pm on 28 Feb 2011, Oldloadr wrote:

    235. At 3:29pm on 28 Feb 2011, Simon21 wrote:
    Leaving out the fact of the holocaust - conducted and enforced by christians, as was Rwanda
    ___________________________________________

    Do you really believe that?
    Guess you have never heard of Martin Niemöller and his colleagues.

    http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Martin_Niem%C3%B6ller

    How about Pope John Paul II…

    http://www.post-gazette.com/forum/20000305rodgers3.asp

    Maybe Cory Ten Boom

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Corrie_ten_Boom

    These are just a small sample of what Christians did during the Holocaust. There were no Christians participating in the Holocaust.


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  • 240. At 4:43pm on 28 Feb 2011, powermeerkat wrote:

    Re #233

    I don't think vicious conflicts between Shia and Sunni over who won the the Battle of Siffin (657 A.D.), who was the 1st Imam, where is te 12th one hiding and who decapitated/poisoned which Muslim sect's leader first can be described as "political and economic, not religious". ;-)


    BTW. There are conflicting reports as to where Qaddafi is hiding.

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  • 241. At 4:53pm on 28 Feb 2011, leontotsky wrote:

    It would be wise of other countries to separate themselves from American efforts. A majority of those from Morocco to Oman believe that US policy is controlled by Israel and her US lobbies, and so will reject out of hand any advice and aid coming from America no matter how beneficial it would be.

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  • 242. At 5:11pm on 28 Feb 2011, quietoaktree wrote:

    --Here we go,--- again and again and again !

    http://english.aljazeera.net/indepth/features/2011/02/2011227153626965756.html

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  • 243. At 5:35pm on 28 Feb 2011, chronophobe wrote:

    re: 221 Dublin John

    Chrono, I really think you should be more careful about linking to theories that ‘a secret group of reptilian humanoids called the Babylonian Brotherhood controls humanity, and that many prominent figures are reptilian, including George W. Bush, Queen Elizabeth II, Kris Kristofferson, and Boxcar Willie’.

    Ah, but you see, Icke fails to account for the true nature of our terrible dilemma. From my readings here, I have been lead to the real truth: not only are there ten foot extraterrestrial lizards leading us astray by tales of one world government, there are, even more insidiously, two foot trolls from the centre of the earth seeking to enslave us in their subterranean work shops.

    Led by one such who appears to us as a certain Australian billionaire, they are engaged in a clash of titans with the lizards. Well, a big lizard/gnarly little troll confrontation, at least.

    So you see, it's much worse than Icke and his fellow travellers realise. We hapless humaniods are pawns in the battle between not one, but in fact two dark forces. Our only help for salvation?

    I'm thinking of founding a 'resistance commune,' some where deep in the bush. Or maybe on a beach. Yes, definitely someplace warm, someplace inviting to the young, the wealthy, the disaffected. And with ready access to a Swiss bank account.

    Ahem. But I digress.

    Be afraid. Be very afraid.

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  • 245. At 6:34pm on 28 Feb 2011, Scott0962 wrote:

    And once again a serious topic of relevance in today's news degenerates into wrangling over tidbits that have little or nothing to do with the topic posted. Mark, I thought it was a nice piece.

    And to get my two cents worth in: President Obama is being less supportive of the Libyan protestors than I would personally like to see a president of my country but to be fair, he's tiptoeing through a diplomatic minefield where the slightest misstep would offend some group or another in Europe or the Muslim world from the unpredictable and still dangerous Colonel Gaddaffi himself to the King of Saudi Arabia who faces unrest in his own country but has still taken action to stablize the world oil market and preserve the global economic recovery. It's a very delicate situation.

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  • 246. At 6:34pm on 28 Feb 2011, dceilar wrote:

    Mark, as you are North America editor how about giving us some analysis of what's happening in America and not the State Dept's views on Arab democracy (you only have to look at what the West did after the fair and free elections in Palestine where the locals voted the wrong way to know where the US stands on Arab democracy). How about what's going on in Madison, Wisconsin, where more than 10,000—some say tens of thousands of people, teachers, students, are protesting in the Capitol building, schools closed etc.

    The great achievement in the lame-duck session for which Obama is greatly praised by Democratic Party leaders is that they achieved bipartisan agreement on several measures. The most important one was the tax cut. And the issue in the tax cut—there was only one issue—should there be a tax cut for the very rich? The population was overwhelmingly against it, I think about two to one. There wasn’t even a discussion of it, they just gave it away. And the very same time, the less noticed was that Obama declared a tax increase for federal workers. Now, it wasn’t called a "tax increase"; it’s called a "freeze."

    So he basically declared an increase in taxes for federal workers at the same time that there’s a tax decrease for the very rich.


    More here: http://www.democracynow.org/2011/2/17/democracy_uprising_in_the_usa_noam

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  • 248. At 7:21pm on 28 Feb 2011, Interestedforeigner wrote:

    The Libyan government has made repeated attempts to re-take Zawiya to the west of Tripoli. Clearly it seems to be a matter of urgency for them.

    There is an oil refinery at Zawiya. It makes you wonder what the madman's fuel supplies are like.

    It would be a really good idea for that oil refinery to stay in the hands of the protesters. The protesters in Zawiyah seem to be surrounded. How many casualties have they taken? How much food, water, and ammunition do they have? Perhaps the protesters could do with some help.

    ----------

    Much the same comment might be made about airfields.

    It would be a really good idea for flights to Byelorussia, and other Madman-air operations, to be suspended pending further notice. Military aircraft consume high quality aviation spirit. They also require a lot of spares and servicing, helicopters even more so than fixed-wing aircraft.

    They'd be pretty stuck without jet fuel and spare parts. Or a landing field.

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  • 249. At 7:58pm on 28 Feb 2011, Interestedforeigner wrote:

    1854: Guardian correspondent Martin Chulov tweets: "Rebel military leaders told me tonight they haven't enough arms and would accept foreign air force help."


    Hmm.

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  • 250. At 8:58pm on 28 Feb 2011, John_From_Dublin wrote:

    239. At 4:32pm on 28 Feb 2011, Oldloadr wrote:

    “235. At 3:29pm on 28 Feb 2011, Simon21 wrote:
    Leaving out the fact of the holocaust - conducted and enforced by christians, as was Rwanda
    ___________________________________________

    Do you really believe that?
    Guess you have never heard of Martin Niemöller and his colleagues.

    http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Martin_Niem%C3%B6ller

    How about Pope John Paul II…

    http://www.post-gazette.com/forum/20000305rodgers3.asp

    Maybe Cory Ten Boom

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Corrie_ten_Boom

    These are just a small sample of what Christians did during the Holocaust. There were no Christians participating in the Holocaust.”

    __________________

    Your exact logic escapes me. I only clicked on one of your links. Your argument seems to be that some Christians resisted the Nazis. Who could doubt it?

    You then say ‘There were no Christians participating in the Holocaust.’

    How do you know exactly?

    It took place in Europe, which was mostly a Christian continent. Not one of the Germans involved in the Holocaust was a Christian? Not one of those who collaborated in conquered countries was a Christian? (AFAIK the Vichy regime in France was a conservative Catholic one.)

    Or is your case that anyone involved in the Holocaust was by definition not a Christian? Which is a classically circular argument.

    From Wiki, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Holocaust#Compliance_of_Germany.27s_institutions

    ‘Every arm of the country's sophisticated bureaucracy was involved in the killing process. Parish churches and the Interior Ministry supplied birth records showing who was Jewish’

    And

    ‘Saul Friedländer writes that: "Not one social group, not one religious community, not one scholarly institution or professional association in Germany and throughout Europe declared its solidarity with the Jews."[36] He writes that some Christian churches declared that converted Jews should be regarded as part of the flock, but even then only up to a point.’

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  • 251. At 9:26pm on 28 Feb 2011, wolfvorkian wrote:

    John_From_Dublin wrote:

    You then say ‘There were no Christians participating in the Holocaust.’ (This is in reference to an Oldloadr post.)

    This one caught my eye too since it was so whacked out. Reminds me of the time I was about 30' from Bill Bennett, the old drug czar, and he make the statement that WoodStock never occurred. I laughed so hard and long that besides his face turning a crimson red he lit another cigarette even though he already had 2 going.


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  • 252. At 9:47pm on 28 Feb 2011, SONICBOOMER wrote:

    It does seem that both the US and UK are considering a 'No Fly Zone'.
    Even if it is symbolic, recent reports of Gadaffi's use of air power, seemed to be limited to a pilot 'bombing' a target well away actual.......well targets. Then ejected.
    I doubt if he, however deluded he truly is, can trust his armed forces, least of all the AF.
    (His distrust of the Army made him keep it weak, he should know, as an Army officer who seized power in 1969).

    However, even limited action such as a no fly zone could not be seriously planned while so many of your own citizens were there, potential hostages.
    Since that seems to have been as resolved as much as possible, things might change.
    Even so, surely a NFZ has to be the limit of any intervention, aside from extracting yours and the nationals of friendly nations.
    So far, hostile 'action' against Western forces on rescue missions has been a bullet entering the cockpit of an RAF C-130, bouncing off one of the crew's helmet. (Already a spent round?)
    The source was the rebels, who have apologised as they thought the transport aircraft was in the service of the mad Colonel.
    However minor, that is a warning about the dangers of rapidly thought out intervention into a confused and fluid situation.

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  • 253. At 9:53pm on 28 Feb 2011, MagicKirin wrote:

    ref #246
    dceilar wrote:
    Mark, as you are North America editor how about giving us some analysis of what's happening in America and not the State Dept's views on Arab democracy (you only have to look at what the West did after the fair and free elections in Palestine where the locals voted the wrong way to know where the US stands on Arab democracy). How about what's going on in Madison, Wisconsin, where more than 10,000—some say tens of thousands of people, teachers, students, are protesting in the Capitol building, schools closed etc.

    ______

    No reason the U.S has to give support to people who elected a group of islamic terrorists. hitler was also elected. There is no difference in that both are evil.

    In regard to the protester in WI, theyt are trying to disenfranchise the voters who elected the current govenor and legislature

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  • 254. At 10:34pm on 28 Feb 2011, McJakome wrote:

    I was going to apologize for going off topic with an excursion into theology and trip down memory lane to the Civil war. But giant lizard conspiracy and Muslim unfinished business [religious civil war] makes me believe that I am not that off topic. I do need to make an explanation and to remind you that Justin Webb actually addressed the contentious issue of religion in America.

    My reference to War of Southern aggression was to show that War of Northern Aggression was equally absurd and one sided. If you want to call it the War Between the States instead of Civil War I have no problem with that because it is defensible.

    Relevence of religion and civil war is very much a hot topic. The Blue vs Red map is frighteningly reminiscent of the Blue vs Gray maps of the past. Like the previous civil war, the situation in the US is being fanned by extremists on both sides. There were FOX "news" equivalents on both sides leading up to the Civil War, There were fanatics like John Brown and the traitors who opened fire on Ft. Sumpter.

    This is an important issue because if Americans allow the fanatics and inciters to control the debate, hostility could turn much more serious than it already has. Both sides are aggressive, those who want to officially define the US as a Christian Country and put the Bible into science classes are aggressing, and the extreme secularists return the aggression by demanding the removal of religious issues from all public spaces.

    Moderate Americans, probably still in the majority, IMHO wish both sides would cool it. However, FOX "news" keeps beating the Lambeg drum of War on Christians and War on Christmas to keep the insecure right wing in a tizzy, and their over-the-top reactions inflame the minority of secularists who have more reason to fear, since 80% of Americans identify themselves as Christian.

    Mr. Mardell could hardly ask for a topic that is so important and controversial. And making Christians look even worse are groups like the fanatics of the Westborough Baptist "Church" who stage anti-homosexual protests at American military funerals. They make Christians look like barbarians, and the Christian majority in the US has been no more successful at dealing with this than peaceful Muslims have at dealing with their barbarians.

    On top of it all, as far as the topicality of this issue for a BBC reporter, the US is the only major, highly developed nation with advanced technology in which religion is not in serious decline. It is incomprehensible and a situation of considerable fascination in Britain and Europe. Thus it seems that the issues merit more rather than less attention. With apologies to Mark Mardell for sticking my nose into his business.

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  • 255. At 10:41pm on 28 Feb 2011, Interestedforeigner wrote:

    #
    "2133: Al-Jazeera's Dima Khatib tweets: "Ms Clinton: the Libyan people do not want your country's military intervention. Please listen to them. They say it out loud&clear #libya""

    ___________

    The thing is, Dima, according to the Libyan pilots in Benghazi who have changed sides, the madman still retains the use of surface to air missiles, and apparently the use of an airfield and aircraft.


    Mass demonstrations are good for civil protest, but they aren't a very good way of taking on dug-in armour in an urban environment. They are, in fact, a fairly good way of committing suicide.


    For example, even in a tropical jungle with a very constricted field of fire, a relative handful of US marines using a very small number of 37mm anti-tank guns firing canister shot were able to beat back massed charge after massed charge of Japanese infantry on Guadalcanal.

    There were thousands of Japanese dead piled up in front of those guns.

    ----------

    As far as I can tell, there are something like 1.5m people being held hostage in Tripoli. They are apparently short of both food and water. That has all the makings of an humanitarian disaster.

    Do you really think the parents in Tripoli, who today seem to have been compelled to let their school children be used as hostages, should have to endure that any longer? How much longer do you think that should go on?

    There are also protesters in Zawiya who are surrounded, and possibly short of supplies. It is important that they get help before they are overrun. Again, that has the makings of a disaster.

    This isn't going to end until the bad guys are driven out.
    They aren't going to be driven out except by military force.

    ----------

    The Libyan protesters aren't stupid, and they sure don't lack for courage.

    All the same, it isn't at all clear that the protesters in Libya have the weapons, the transport, or the logistical support to get that job done, even assuming that enough trained military personnel have changed sides. Maybe they do, maybe they don't. Either way, it may not be all that easy a task.

    To deal with dug in armour, it is usually handy to have air support. But air support can't operate very well in a ground attack mode when there are surface-to-air missile batteries still in operation, and, further, the people trying to masse up and charge the dug in armour are vulnerable to air attack by helicopter gunships and to conventional bombing.

    This is a hard enough task, even with proper air support. Without air support, well, a lot of people could easily be killed for no good reason.



    In those circumstances, having someone who will suppress the helicopter gunships and the fixed wing aircraft might be handy.

    It is not outside the realm of possibility that America could loan the use of appropriate equipment to Libya, including drones or long range stand-off weapons that could solve several of those problems without getting the attackers killed in their hundreds or thousands.


    So the question, really, boils down to: how many Libyans would you prefer to die rather than borrow the right tools for the job?

    Dima, if you are one of the people who are prepared to stand in the front ranks and charge dug in positions en masse, then I guess you can reject help all you want.

    But if you aren't, I'd be asking the Libyan young men who are whether they would like to attack those positions with air support, or without air support.

    This is a decision for Libyans to make.



    This thing needs to end.
    It needs to end now.
    Every day it drags on, it merely gets worse. For everybody.


    If the Libyans ask for assistance, then give them that assistance right away, and get this thing over with.

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  • 256. At 10:49pm on 28 Feb 2011, quietoaktree wrote:

    #250 John_from_dublin

    "‘Saul Friedländer writes that: "Not one social group, not one religious community, not one scholarly institution or professional association in Germany and throughout Europe declared its solidarity with the Jews."[36] He writes that some Christian churches declared that converted Jews should be regarded as part of the flock, but even then only up to a point.’"

    http://www.auschwitz.dk/docu/Default.htm

    Don´t forget the Communists, Social Democrats and the ´underground railways´

    -- we do not need lies or misrepresentation on the topic.

    It is the same as saying no Israeli or Jew would help a Palestinian !





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  • 257. At 11:03pm on 28 Feb 2011, quietoaktree wrote:

    The world would be a better place if ALL honored their victims.

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/cam37/3224697673/

    --and not their heroes who murdered them.

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  • 258. At 11:53pm on 28 Feb 2011, modernJan wrote:

    @255. At 10:41pm on 28 Feb 2011, Interestedforeigner

    The Libyans don't trust Anerica on this one because they don't believe America will be truly altruistic. Also, any military intervention would be a total nightmare because Americans, being foreigners, won't be able to properly distinguish between Gadaffi's forces and those of the opposition (often wearing the same clothes and fielding the same weapons).

    A no-fly zone enforced by American (and European) fighters could make the Libyans trust Westerners a little more and also help them advance their revolution without all the negative side effect of military intervention.

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  • 259. At 01:33am on 01 Mar 2011, Chryses wrote:

    chronophobe, (#243. At 5:35pm on 28 Feb 2011)

    ”... Be afraid. Be very afraid.”
    How tall is George Soros?

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  • 260. At 01:40am on 01 Mar 2011, Interestedforeigner wrote:

    358 MJ

    They don't have to trust the Americans.

    They can ask for a no-fly zone enforced by whoever they please. It can be done under the auspices of the UN, the EU, or NATO. China has signaled that it won't make trouble, so, for once, the UN is a possibility.

    Here are some who would accept, for certain: US, UK, Germany, Canada, Australia, Netherlands.

    Here are some who might help: Norway, Poland, Belgium, Denmark, Turkey, Egypt(?)

    Here are some who might be shamed into helping: Italy, France, Spain.

    It wouldn't have to be an American show. On the other hand, though, gosh, the Americans have some pretty sophisticated whizz-bang stuff.

    ----------

    The thing is, a no fly zone isn't really what is required.

    What is required is a zone where the protesters, i.e., the legitimate representatives of the people of Libya, can use the military aircraft of Libya as may be suitable to put down a lawless gang led by a madman.

    Libya could call on its well-wishers to use air power to open the roads into Tripoli; to deny mobility to the madman; to provide intelligence; and to facilitate all of the logistical tasks of the Libyan armed forces.

    Libyans have a huge opportunity: Virtually every nation in Europe and North America, and many, many other nations around the world is on the side of the people of Libya. That goodwill is a huge resource.

    Here's their message to the people of Libya:

    You don't have to walk alone.

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  • 261. At 01:51am on 01 Mar 2011, Chryses wrote:

    Simon21, (#233. At 3:28pm on 28 Feb 2011)

    ”... The difference is on Mohammed's successsion not on essentials of the faith. Both use the Quaran (the same book), the same language of prayer, both use the same mosques ...
    You are mistaken.
    The great majority of Muslims consider Hadith to be essential supplements to and clarifications of the Koran. The two main denominations of Islam, the Shia and the Sunni, have different collections of Hadith. This is analogous to the different collections of books in the Catholic versus the Protestant Bibles.
    Sunni/Shia violence persists to this day from Pakistan to Yemen.

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  • 262. At 02:37am on 01 Mar 2011, powermeerkat wrote:

    Chryses asks: "How tall is George Soros?"




    He's almost as tall as Sarko and Gazputin.


    John Kerry, on the other hand...


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  • 263. At 02:48am on 01 Mar 2011, Chryses wrote:

    Powermeerkat, (#227. At 1:37pm on 28 Feb 2011)

    ”... some African countries might be much more concerned that in 2008 the Rwandan government linked Juppe to Rwanda Massacre via infamous "French Connection".
    [that's what I meant by 'tainted']”

    Pfui!! Mere coincidences. That people should give even a second thought to such vile canards is outrageous!
    The very notion that a Minister of the Fifth Republic could engage in unseemly behavior is absurd!

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  • 264. At 03:16am on 01 Mar 2011, powermeerkat wrote:

    Re #263 Chryses...




    "Here?! In Casablanca?! Shock! Shock!"



    P.S. It was the French themselves who called one of their leaders known for selling Saddam all the toys he wanted - Jacques Iraq. Not me.

    [Although many referred to him later simply as "Mr. 5%"]

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  • 265. At 04:16am on 01 Mar 2011, Oldloadr wrote:

    250. At 8:58pm on 28 Feb 2011, John_From_Dublin wrote:
    It took place in Europe, which was mostly a Christian continent. Not one of the Germans involved in the Holocaust was a Christian? Not one of those who collaborated in conquered countries was a Christian? (AFAIK the Vichy regime in France was a conservative Catholic one.)

    ____________________________________________________________________


    http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matthew+25&version=NIV

    According to the eternal head of the universal Church (From Matthew 25):

    34 “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. 35 For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36 I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’

    41 “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. 42 For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, 43 I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.’

    Going to church doesn’t make one a Christian any more than sleeping in the garage makes one a Mercedes Benz…

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  • 266. At 04:28am on 01 Mar 2011, Oldloadr wrote:

    264. At 03:16am on 01 Mar 2011, powermeerkat wrote:
    Re #263 Chryses...




    "Here?! In Casablanca?! Shock! Shock!"



    P.S. It was the French themselves who called one of their leaders known for selling Saddam all the toys he wanted - Jacques Iraq. Not me.

    [Although many referred to him later simply as "Mr. 5%"]
    _____________________________________________________________

    Yes, and he sold SAMs to Saddam well into 2003 (the lot numbers were 2003, no mistake since the French use NATO standardized marking and tracking systems). When the Poles discovered it, the French tried to blackmail them to stay silent (threatened to veto Poland’s entry into the EU).

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  • 267. At 04:53am on 01 Mar 2011, CuriousAmerican wrote:

    Euros and libs...this is the a pefect time to show us cowboys "how its done" and take care of this little problem in Libya. It's on YOUR back door. Why do WE need to do ANYTHING? You're buying your oil from this wack job not us.

    Oh..I forgot...its because you REFUSE to do anything.

    Lets see how many UN "harshly worded letters to Mommy, in all caps" it will take.

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  • 268. At 04:56am on 01 Mar 2011, CuriousAmerican wrote:

    266. At 04:28am on 01 Mar 2011, Oldloadr wrote:

    Yes, and he sold SAMs to Saddam well into 2003 (the lot numbers were 2003, no mistake since the French use NATO standardized marking and tracking systems). When the Poles discovered it, the French tried to blackmail them to stay silent (threatened to veto Poland’s entry into the EU).
    --------------------------------------------------------------

    ...but...but...but the media told me it was Bush, Haliburton and the Tea Party who sold him the weapons....

    How can this be?

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  • 269. At 08:19am on 01 Mar 2011, champagne_charlie wrote:

    #257

    quietoaktree;

    "The world would be a better place if ALL honored their victims. "

    The world would have been a better place if those Jews weren't deported , stuck in concentration camps and gassed in the first place. But if absolution is indeed measureable by Euros spent or numbers of memorials erected, then Berlin is now the most absolved place on the planet.

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  • 270. At 08:55am on 01 Mar 2011, SONICBOOMER wrote:

    267, 'Curious American' you are clearly not that curious, if you were, you'd know what you said was not only nonsense, it is rather offensive nonsense.
    Thanks for spitting on the graves on all the UK, Canadian, French (yes them too), German, Dutch and others have have, are, fighting and dying in Afghanistan. Add Iraq losses to the UK list too.
    In 2006-2009 Canada had the highest proportion of combat losses as a proportion of forces deployed in Afghanistan, in the very tough southern districts. An area left to fester after the US pulled what forces they did have there from 2002, to go on the Iraq adventure.

    When the NATO members you seem to despise had to fill that gap they entered a zone where Taliban forces had been effectively left to re-group, for the UK and Canada, it was to be the hardest fighting since the Korean War.

    Since a few mouse clicks could take you to sources for this information, what gives?
    Are you really that ignorant?
    As pointed out before, based on facts, US citizens have been evacuated from Libya by UK armed forces.

    Once you've found that what I've written above is in fact the case, not whatever you seem to think, an apology would be nice, this is after all a site effectively paid for by UK citizens.
    Comment is free, manners cost nothing either.

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  • 271. At 10:10am on 01 Mar 2011, Simon21 wrote:

    265. At 04:16am on 01 Mar 2011, Oldloadr wrote:
    250. At 8:58pm on 28 Feb 2011, John_From_Dublin wrote:
    It took place in Europe, which was mostly a Christian continent. Not one of the Germans involved in the Holocaust was a Christian? Not one of those who collaborated in conquered countries was a Christian? (AFAIK the Vichy regime in France was a conservative Catholic one.)

    ____________________________________________________________________


    http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matthew+25&version=NIV

    According to the eternal head of the universal Church (From Matthew 25):

    34 “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. 35 For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36 I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’

    41 “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. 42 For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, 43 I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.’

    Going to church doesn’t make one a Christian any more than sleeping in the garage makes one a Mercedes Benz…
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

    And the Devil may quote scripture, particularly christian scripture which is an utter mess depending on the translation.

    Trouble is no one knows what a christian is. However it is beyond doubt that the Holocaust was conducted by professing Christians and that the great purges were ordered by a former]seminarian


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  • 272. At 10:17am on 01 Mar 2011, quietoaktree wrote:

    #269 Champagne Charlie

    "But if absolution is indeed measureable by Euros spent or numbers of memorials erected, then Berlin is now the most absolved place on the planet."

    --- You have obviously NOT lived in Germany.

    -- flag-waving nationalism is frowned upon -- they admit its consequences.

    --and that you denigrate ????

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  • 273. At 10:18am on 01 Mar 2011, Simon21 wrote:

    239. At 4:32pm on 28 Feb 2011, Oldloadr wrote:
    235. At 3:29pm on 28 Feb 2011, Simon21 wrote:
    Leaving out the fact of the holocaust - conducted and enforced by christians, as was Rwanda
    ___________________________________________

    Do you really believe that?
    Guess you have never heard of Martin Niemöller and his colleagues."



    Sorry its a fact. Catholics were prominent in the action gruppen as concentration camp guards.

    Martin neimoller was a christian victim - so what?

    You need to learn to make an argument.
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Martin_Niem%C3%B6ller

    How about Pope John Paul II…

    How about Pope Pius who refused to condemn the nazis?
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------

    http://www.post-gazette.com/forum/20000305rodgers3.asp

    Maybe Cory Ten Boom

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Corrie_ten_Boom

    These are just a small sample of what Christians did during the Holocaust. There were no Christians participating in the Holocaust.
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------
    As an ignorant,stupid remark insulting to the victims this would be hard to beat.

    The very origins of the holocaust are christian.

    I notice you do not mention rwanda, or the Latin American genocides, etc.

    Chritainity as a religion is soaked in blood like no other.


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  • 274. At 10:31am on 01 Mar 2011, quietoaktree wrote:

    #269 Champagne Charlie

    -- Yes, the world would have been a better place if some nations never had ´Delusions of Grandeur´

    --is that your implication ?

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  • 275. At 10:40am on 01 Mar 2011, quietoaktree wrote:

    Could we have some common sense please -- when discussing the Holocaust !

    --- many flags should be at half-mast !

    http://www.historycooperative.org/journals/llt/51/pauwels.html

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  • 276. At 10:42am on 01 Mar 2011, Oldloadr wrote:

    273. At 10:18am on 01 Mar 2011, Simon21 wrote:

    Since you refuse to acknowledge the difference between a Church member and a Christian and you can't understand one of the simplest of all Biblical texts, there is nothing more to debate. I know what I know and you believe what suits you to believe.

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  • 277. At 10:42am on 01 Mar 2011, Chryses wrote:

    Simon21, (#273. At 10:18am on 01 Mar 2011)

    ”... Chritainity [sic] as a religion is soaked in blood like no other.”
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-south-asia-12605659

    If one examines the data on deaths due to ideology, I would suggest that, on balance, Christianity is soaked in blood like any other, and deaths from any religion are much lower than the death count in countries where Communism was imposed.
    http://www.hawaii.edu/powerkills/COM.ART.HTM

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  • 278. At 11:17am on 01 Mar 2011, John_From_Dublin wrote:

    Me at #250

    ‘Or is your case that anyone involved in the Holocaust was by definition not a Christian? Which is a classically circular argument’


    # 265 Oldloadr

    A long bible quote, then “Going to church doesn’t make one a Christian any more than sleeping in the garage makes one a Mercedes Benz…’

    So in short the answer is ‘yes’. Not one single Christian was involved in the Holocaust – that was essentially your original claim - because by definition anyone involved in the Holocaust could not have been a Christian? Very convenient.

    (What for example of a Christian who thought his collaboration was wrong but was too afraid to object? Are all Christians really that brave?)

    Presumably therefore, no Christian has ever eg owned slaves, been in the KKK, been in prison, or ever done anything wrong?

    Supposing an Islamic theologian said ‘it is wrong to refer to terrorists or suicide bombers as Muslims. The Koran forbids terrorism and suicide. Hence anyone who commits them cannot be a Muslim’? I somehow doubt he would be taken too seriously.

    Or is this like the conservatives who like to dub any conservative who they think isn’t conservative enough a RINO – Republican In Name Only?

    For the record, I have no doubt that there are many who claim to be Christian and have little regard for the teachings of Christ. There are no doubt many bad Christians. But it’s a bit too neat to say anyone who does something bad isn’t a real Christian.

    And surely one cannot totally separate Nazi anti-Semitism from Christian anti-Semitism through the centuries?

    Or are we saying that those anti-Semitic Christians weren’t really Christians at all....

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  • 279. At 11:17am on 01 Mar 2011, Simon21 wrote:

    276. At 10:42am on 01 Mar 2011, Oldloadr wrote:
    273. At 10:18am on 01 Mar 2011, Simon21 wrote:

    Since you refuse to acknowledge the difference between a Church member and a Christian and you can't understand one of the simplest of all Biblical texts, there is nothing more to debate. I know what I know and you believe what suits you to believe.
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------

    You cannot accept the truth about Christians, that is not surprising. I kobviously know a lot more about the subject than you.

    As for "chrurch going" I have no idea how church going members of the Action Gruppen were, but I do know large numbers described themselves as religious and were accepted by their chruches as such.

    I also know that the men (and it was largely men) who oversaw the hideous massacres in the Americas SE Asia, Australia etc were far more pious in the observance of their faith then their modern counterparts including people like you.

    Christianity became soaked in blood from the time its leaders decided to tie it to the powers that be.

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  • 280. At 11:22am on 01 Mar 2011, Simon21 wrote:

    277. At 10:42am on 01 Mar 2011, Chryses wrote:
    Simon21, (#273. At 10:18am on 01 Mar 2011)

    ”... Chritainity [sic] as a religion is soaked in blood like no other.”
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-south-asia-12605659

    If one examines the data on deaths due to ideology, I would suggest that, on balance, Christianity is soaked in blood like any other, and deaths from any religion are much lower than the death count in countries where Communism was imposed.
    http://www.hawaii.edu/powerkills/COM.ART.HTM
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

    I would disagree. We simply do not know precisely how many native Americans died from attempts to "convert" them but McNeil in Plagues and Peoples considers it to be one of the most enormous genocides and recent discoveries of annihlated cultures seem to back him up.

    And Stalin was a seminarian who repeatedly said that christian training was good for a communist.

    That of course leaves Mao, but he comes nowhere near the Taiping rebellion in terms of slaughter. And the leader of the Tai Pings was, yes you guessed it, a christian.


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  • 281. At 11:32am on 01 Mar 2011, Simon21 wrote:

    278. At 11:17am on 01 Mar 2011, John_From_Dublin wrote:
    Or are we saying that those anti-Semitic Christians weren’t really Christians at all....
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Yes carrying this to its logical conclusion there are practically no christians, and there never have been.

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  • 282. At 11:34am on 01 Mar 2011, quietoaktree wrote:

    Substitute -- Any nationality you wish !

    http://02varvara.wordpress.com/2008/11/27/the-church-reminds-us-that-the-blessing-of-weapons-does-not-contradict-the-commandment-“thou-shalt-not-murder”/

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  • 283. At 12:04pm on 01 Mar 2011, Chryses wrote:

    Simon21, (#280. At 11:22am on 01 Mar 2011)

    "... I would disagree ..."
    Nothing wrong with that at all. That's one way to learn. It is customary to substantiate, or warrant one's opinion's with data.

    "... We simply do not know precisely how many native Americans died from attempts to "convert" them but McNeil in Plagues and Peoples considers it to be one of the most enormous genocides and recent discoveries of annihlated cultures seem to back him up ..."
    Ignorance != Knowledge. You have been unpersuaded by the documentation I provided. Why? Please provide numbers to warrant your difference of opinion.

    "... And Stalin was a seminarian who repeatedly said that christian training was good for a communist.
    That of course leaves Mao, but he comes nowhere near the Taiping rebellion in terms of slaughter. And the leader of the Tai Pings was, yes you guessed it, a christian."

    Both Mao and Stalin promoted atheism as a component of Communism. That ideology has rather more blood on its hands than any religion of which I am aware.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/State_atheism

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  • 284. At 12:30pm on 01 Mar 2011, McJakome wrote:

    281. At 11:32am on 01 Mar 2011, Simon21 wrote: “Yes carrying this to its logical conclusion there are practically no christians, and there never have been.”
    Spare me! You expect logic from people who use a book full of contradictions and who deal with the contradictions either by ignoring them or by twisting the meaning around so that the contradictions agree. Logic makes no impression on closed minds, and attempting to use logic to open the minds appears to be quite futile.

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  • 285. At 1:06pm on 01 Mar 2011, MagicKirin wrote:

    As far as what other countries expect the U.S what to do.

    the late Art Buchwald (who skewered left and right) did a column many years ago about a left wing revlutionary talk to a U.S represetative.

    The gist was the U.S should humble and humiliate itself always and give in to demands for money and anything else to make up for any imigined insult.

    You could put the names of chavez, Morales, Quadaffi or Mugabe and the context would be accurate

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  • 286. At 1:10pm on 01 Mar 2011, champagne_charlie wrote:

    quietoaktree;

    "-- Yes, the world would have been a better place if some nations never had ´Delusions of Grandeur´

    --is that your implication ? "

    Yes, the plethora of statues of Bismarck and Wilhelm II reminded me of those of Victoria and Bonaparte.

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  • 287. At 1:17pm on 01 Mar 2011, strontiumdog wrote:

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

  • 288. At 1:21pm on 01 Mar 2011, powermeerkat wrote:

    Oldloadr: " he [Jacques Osirak] sold SAMs to Saddam well into 2003 (the lot numbers were 2003, no mistake since the French use NATO standardized marking and tracking systems). When the Poles discovered it, the French tried to blackmail them to stay silent (threatened to veto Poland’s entry into the EU).





    Correct.

    Polish officers - obviously not being diplomats - reported initially that Roland-3 missiles discovered by their troops in Iraq had markings indicating they were manufactured AFTER a UN embargo on arms deliveries to Saddam's Iraq came into force.



    Now, should we discuss the ' French Connection' (certain Alain Juppe comes to mind) to Rwanda Massacre?

    Or let it slide?

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  • 289. At 1:24pm on 01 Mar 2011, powermeerkat wrote:

    "Here are some who might help: Norway, Poland, Belgium, Denmark, Turkey, Egypt"





    How about mighty Russia, IF?

    Moscow has just called Gaddafi (whom it had armed for decades) "a living corpse". :-)

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  • 290. At 1:31pm on 01 Mar 2011, powermeerkat wrote:

    Re #283 Chryses...

    "Both Mao and Stalin promoted atheism as a component of Communism. That ideology has rather more blood on its hands than any religion of which I am aware"






    Both Pol Pot and The Butcher of Tibet, Hujintao, have been firm atheists.


    Now, anybody wants to discuss believes of Castro, Ceausescu, Mengistu Haile Mariam, Ulbricht, as well as Kim Il-sung and Kim Jong-il? :-)

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  • 291. At 1:34pm on 01 Mar 2011, Simon21 wrote:

    283. At 12:04pm on 01 Mar 2011, Chryses wrote:
    Simon21, (#280. At 11:22am on 01 Mar 2011)

    "... I would disagree ..."
    Nothing wrong with that at all. That's one way to learn. It is customary to substantiate, or warrant one's opinion's with data."
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Depending on the quality of data
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------

    "... We simply do not know precisely how many native Americans died from attempts to "convert" them but McNeil in Plagues and Peoples considers it to be one of the most enormous genocides and recent discoveries of annihlated cultures seem to back him up ..."
    Ignorance != Knowledge. You have been unpersuaded by the documentation I provided. Why? Please provide numbers to warrant your difference of opinion.


    I just thought I had provided you with some documentation but I fail to see any comment?

    Do you know MacNeil?
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

    "... And Stalin was a seminarian who repeatedly said that christian training was good for a communist.
    That of course leaves Mao, but he comes nowhere near the Taiping rebellion in terms of slaughter. And the leader of the Tai Pings was, yes you guessed it, a christian."
    Both Mao and Stalin promoted atheism as a component of Communism. That ideology has rather more blood on its hands than any religion of which I am aware.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/State_atheism

    As I say I do not think so and the documentation you supplied is not very convincing. The references were not very impressive. And teh conclusion about State Power was inane as was its reference to democracy.

    As Australian Koories could tell you democracies are perfectly capable of genocide.

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  • 292. At 1:36pm on 01 Mar 2011, Simon21 wrote:

    285. At 1:06pm on 01 Mar 2011, MagicKirin wrote:
    As far as what other countries expect the U.S what to do.

    the late Art Buchwald (who skewered left and right) did a column many years ago about a left wing revlutionary talk to a U.S represetative.

    The gist was the U.S should humble and humiliate itself always and give in to demands for money and anything else to make up for any imigined insult."



    It would be a good idea to wait for requests before bribing bloodthirsty dictators and selling them torture devices.
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

    You could put the names of chavez, Morales, Quadaffi or Mugabe and the context would be accurate


    Or you could choose the Colombian death squads and their attempted genocides,using guns supplied by the US, Pol Pot who was supported in his resistance to the Vietnamese

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  • 293. At 1:39pm on 01 Mar 2011, PartTimeDon wrote:

    Ref#282 quietoaktree
    _________
    Worthy considering that when first applied "Thou shalt not murder" really meant "Thou shalt not murder members of your own tribe - but its okay when it comes to foreigners, slaves or anyone who does something bad enough".
    Thou shalt not kill applying to all humanity is a fairly modern idea.

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  • 294. At 1:40pm on 01 Mar 2011, Simon21 wrote:

    289. At 1:24pm on 01 Mar 2011, powermeerkat wrote:
    "Here are some who might help: Norway, Poland, Belgium, Denmark, Turkey, Egypt"





    How about mighty Russia, IF?


    Mighty Russia seems to handle its wars a bit better than the mighty US. Georgia - 1 week, US in Afghanistan er 8 years

    What did Mr Gates say about using the US army again? One sadly must agree with him given the current fiascos.


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  • 295. At 1:41pm on 01 Mar 2011, Simon21 wrote:

    286. At 1:10pm on 01 Mar 2011, champagne_charlie wrote:
    quietoaktree;

    "-- Yes, the world would have been a better place if some nations never had ´Delusions of Grandeur´

    --is that your implication ? "

    Yes, the plethora of statues of Bismarck and Wilhelm II reminded me of those of Victoria and Bonaparte.
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

    I have seen very, very few statues of Bismark, Napoleon and none at all of Willhelm II.

    Where are these numbers to be found


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  • 296. At 1:52pm on 01 Mar 2011, The Cool Ruler Rides Again wrote:

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

  • 297. At 2:09pm on 01 Mar 2011, Simon21 wrote:

    290. At 1:31pm on 01 Mar 2011, powermeerkat wrote:
    Re #283 Chryses...

    "Both Mao and Stalin promoted atheism as a component of Communism. That ideology has rather more blood on its hands than any religion of which I am aware"






    Both Pol Pot and The Butcher of Tibet, Hujintao, have been firm atheists.


    Is that true? Pol Pot raised his beliefs to the status of a religion and the concept of "true beleivers" is a religious one.


    Now, anybody wants to discuss believes of Castro, Ceausescu, Mengistu Haile Mariam, Ulbricht, as well as Kim Il-sung and Kim Jong-il? :-)

    Any time. Would you like to discus Hitler? Stalin, Franco, Charles V, Hong Xiuquan, Torquemdada, Mugabe (a catholic), Haile Selasie, Queen Victoria, Willhelm II every ruler before 1915?

    Lot of bodies

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  • 298. At 2:10pm on 01 Mar 2011, powermeerkat wrote:

    "Mighty Russia seems to handle its wars a bit better than the mighty US. Georgia - 1 week, US in Afghanistan er 8 years"




    Mighty Russia has most certainly not conquered little Georgia, nor has it managed to topple its pro-Western government.

    [nay, it looks like it's getting quite a payback now for its crimes in Chechnya and Dagestan and doesn't know what to do about it]

    And as for what Russia got in Afghanistan: I'd rather be in Brisbane.

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  • 299. At 2:18pm on 01 Mar 2011, powermeerkat wrote:

    "Cuba's plans to lay off half a million state workers by the end of March are behind schedule, President Raul Castro has acknowledged.

    Mr Castro, quoted by state television, said the timetable for the cuts would be altered to soften their impact.

    The redundancies form part of plans to revive Cuba's struggling economy, an issue due to be discussed at a rare Communist Party Congress in April.

    The Cuban government currently employs about 85% of the official workforce." (BBC News)




    It seems Fidel and Raul don't want to share their friend Muammar's plight.


    Now, 'bout that yet another artificial famine in North Korea....



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  • 300. At 2:28pm on 01 Mar 2011, powermeerkat wrote:

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

  • 301. At 2:56pm on 01 Mar 2011, champagne_charlie wrote:

    #295

    simon;

    http://www.worldlingo.com/ma/dewiki/en/Kaiser-Wilhelm-Denkm%C3%A4ler

    http://www.worldlingo.com/ma/dewiki/en/Liste_der_Kaiser-Wilhelm-II.-Denkmäler

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bismarck_monuments

    A comprehensive list of Bonaparte monuments is best researched yourself as they are disperate and often in French. But one needs look no further than the Arc de Triomphe, glorifying Napoleonic battle victories, and showing brave (naked) French youths defending France from Germanic invaders. Hence why Bismarck decided to march German troops through it in 1871 and Hitler in 1940.

    We are all as bad as each other.

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  • 302. At 2:59pm on 01 Mar 2011, Simon21 wrote:

    298. At 2:10pm on 01 Mar 2011, powermeerkat wrote:
    "Mighty Russia seems to handle its wars a bit better than the mighty US. Georgia - 1 week, US in Afghanistan er 8 years"




    Mighty Russia has most certainly not conquered little Georgia, nor has it managed to topple its pro-Western government."


    Beat it though eh and stationed a permanent gasrrison on is territory.



    [nay, it looks like it's getting quite a payback now for its crimes in Chechnya and Dagestan and doesn't know what to do about it]


    Really? bit of a fantsy there Chechnya and Dagestan. Both with pro Russian Governments
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

    And as for what Russia got in Afghanistan: I'd rather be in Brisbane.

    So would the Afghans and US army. Lessee genl Petreaus apparently wants to cut and run (can't find enough mercenaries to do the fighting?). How many US commanders does that make?


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  • 303. At 3:02pm on 01 Mar 2011, Simon21 wrote:

    299. At 2:18pm on 01 Mar 2011, powermeerkat wrote:
    "Cuba's plans to lay off half a million state workers by the end of March are behind schedule, President Raul Castro has acknowledged.

    Mr Castro, quoted by state television, said the timetable for the cuts would be altered to soften their impact.

    The redundancies form part of plans to revive Cuba's struggling economy, an issue due to be discussed at a rare Communist Party Congress in April.

    The Cuban government currently employs about 85% of the official workforce." (BBC News).


    How many is the US laying off? Or taking on? Oh Dear!

    It seems Fidel and Raul don't want to share their friend Muammar's plight."

    Well the US trades with Muammar. Castro should have discovered oil



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  • 304. At 3:11pm on 01 Mar 2011, Interestedforeigner wrote:

    From the BBC:

    " #
    1434: French European Affairs Minister Laurent Wauquiez has said freezing the assets of Col Gaddafi's family and associates would be a more effective way of halting the repression of protesters than a military no-fly zone. "Libya is twice the size of France. So is it even possible to set up a no-fly zone quickly, and would it be effective?" he asked."

    [[What a load of crap. They only have to control the airspace over the Mediterranean littoral from Benghazi to the Tunisian border, and principally from Sirte to Miserta. The guy only has a handful of functioning aircraft. Break the main spar in the fixed wing aircraft, disable the engines in the rotary wing aircraft, make his airstrips inoperable and deny him fuel and spare parts. Use ECM to shut down his ability to communicate or to operate air-defense weapons. It isn't that difficult. All of it can be done with stand-off weapons, or drones, without risk to allied airmen.]]

    ----------

    "Instead, he said, the priority should be "cutting off Gaddafi's money because the main risk is that he uses this money to pay an army of mercenaries."

    [[Yeah, that's going to work really well. That won't take more than, oh, thirty more years to work. In the meantime he'll just have to get by with his Belarus ATM.]]

    #
    1431: France has said humanitarian aid must be the priority in Libya rather than diplomacy or military action to oust Col Gaddafi. The country has sent to planes with medical equipment and staff to the opposition-controlled city of Benghazi and more will follow. "We are absolutely horrified by what's happening," government spokesman Francois Baroin said. "We are co-ordinating with other members of the European Union on humanitarian aid."


    [[Bunch of cheeze-eating surrender-monkeys.]]

    [[Humanitarian aid is good, and necessary, and is needed immediately, fair enough. But it is no substitute for solving the problem at its root.

    Why is it that the French are so determined to make every possible excuse not to take any kind of concrete step to end this bad farce? How many different ways can they find to do nothing?]]

    ----------


    The Libyan opposition is disorganized. The madman acts with, well, "single-mindedness". Allowing him to regain his balance and to take the initiative is a terrible mistake. A week ago the only thing protecting him was a tan-coloured umbrella. Now he's gone back on the offensive. to both the west and east of Tripoli.



    Best way to stop the humanitarian disaster from getting worse is to end this thing today.

    Best way to stop more Libyans from being killed is to end this thing today.

    Best way to stop the madman from re-gaining the initiative and re-establshing his hold in the communities in Tripolitania is to end this thing today.

    Best way to prevent Libya from descending into civil war is to end this thing today.

    Best way to get Libya's economy back working normally is to end this thing today.


    Quit pussy-footing around.

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  • 305. At 3:38pm on 01 Mar 2011, MagicKirin wrote:

    ref #292
    It would be a good idea to wait for requests before bribing bloodthirsty dictators and selling them torture devices.
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

    You could put the names of chavez, Morales, Quadaffi or Mugabe and the context would be accurate


    Or you could choose the Colombian death squads and their attempted genocides,using guns supplied by the US, Pol Pot who was supported in his resistance to the Vietnamese

    ______________

    but today there are no Columbia death squads and Pol Pot is gone, so why not be relvant?

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  • 306. At 4:03pm on 01 Mar 2011, Simon21 wrote:

    305. At 3:38pm on 01 Mar 2011, MagicKirin wrote:

    but today there are no Columbia death squads and Pol Pot is gone, so why not be relvant?


    Really? that will be news to Amerinds who the death squads tried to annihlate and how many have been brought to trial?

    And teh effects of Pol Pot are still felt (like his landmines) - like jews still feel the effects of Adolph - Where is the US apology and compensation?

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  • 307. At 4:07pm on 01 Mar 2011, LucyJ wrote:

    Simon: Mighty Russia seems to handle its wars a bit better than the mighty US. Georgia - 1 week, US in Afghanistan er 8 years
    --------------
    Only b/c our forces have held back...way too much...
    ---------------
    John: The Koran forbids terrorism and suicide
    --------------


    What about the verse about how its okay to lie or kill infidels for your religion?

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  • 308. At 4:11pm on 01 Mar 2011, LucyJ wrote:

    Jmm: This is an important issue because if Americans allow the fanatics and inciters to control the debate, hostility could turn much more serious than it already has. Both sides are aggressive, those who want to officially define the US as a Christian Country and put the Bible into science classes are aggressing, and the extreme secularists return the aggression by demanding the removal of religious issues from all public spaces.
    --------------

    Well, the best way to ease tensions between Americans would be to vote Obama out of office next election....

    In this time when Americans need to come togehter, President Obama is trying to push us further apart by taking controversial stances on religious and moral issues...

    President Obama is what I personally call "the Great Divider"

    If America wants to be united, vote for anyone besides Obama!
    (Dem or otherwise)

    If America wants to be divided, who do you call?

    Obama!

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  • 309. At 4:12pm on 01 Mar 2011, Simon21 wrote:

    304. At 3:11pm on 01 Mar 2011, Interestedforeigner wrote:
    From the BBC:

    " #
    1434: French European Affairs Minister Laurent Wauquiez has said freezing the assets of Col Gaddafi's family and associates would be a more effective way of halting the repression of protesters than a military no-fly zone. "Libya is twice the size of France. So is it even possible to set up a no-fly zone quickly, and would it be effective?" he asked."

    [[What a load of crap. They only have to control the airspace over the Mediterranean littoral from Benghazi to the Tunisian border, and principally from Sirte to Miserta. The guy only has a handful of functioning aircraft. Break the main spar in the fixed wing aircraft, disable the engines in the rotary wing aircraft, make his airstrips inoperable and deny him fuel and spare parts. Use ECM to shut down his ability to communicate or to operate air-defense weapons. It isn't that difficult. All of it can be done with stand-off weapons, or drones, without risk to allied airmen.]]

    ----------

    "Instead, he said, the priority should be "cutting off Gaddafi's money because the main risk is that he uses this money to pay an army of mercenaries."

    [[Yeah, that's going to work really well. That won't take more than, oh, thirty more years to work. In the meantime he'll just have to get by with his Belarus ATM.]]

    #
    1431: France has said humanitarian aid must be the priority in Libya rather than diplomacy or military action to oust Col Gaddafi. The country has sent to planes with medical equipment and staff to the opposition-controlled city of Benghazi and more will follow. "We are absolutely horrified by what's happening," government spokesman Francois Baroin said. "We are co-ordinating with other members of the European Union on humanitarian aid."


    [[Bunch of cheeze-eating surrender-monkeys.]]

    [[Humanitarian aid is good, and necessary, and is needed immediately, fair enough. But it is no substitute for solving the problem at its root.

    Why is it that the French are so determined to make every possible excuse not to take any kind of concrete step to end this bad farce? How many different ways can they find to do nothing?]]

    ----------


    The Libyan opposition is disorganized. The madman acts with, well, "single-mindedness". Allowing him to regain his balance and to take the initiative is a terrible mistake. A week ago the only thing protecting him was a tan-coloured umbrella. Now he's gone back on the offensive. to both the west and east of Tripoli.



    Best way to stop the humanitarian disaster from getting worse is to end this thing today.

    Best way to stop more Libyans from being killed is to end this thing today.

    Best way to stop the madman from re-gaining the initiative and re-establshing his hold in the communities in Tripolitania is to end this thing today.

    Best way to prevent Libya from descending into civil war is to end this thing today.

    Best way to get Libya's economy back working normally is to end this thing today.


    Quit pussy-footing around.
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

    It is by no means so easy as you might think. If you remove a government you become responsible for the country concerned. And given that the only sort of miliatry ction contemplated would be bombing, collateral casualties could be severe.

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  • 310. At 4:35pm on 01 Mar 2011, Simon21 wrote:

    307. At 4:07pm on 01 Mar 2011, LucyJ wrote:
    Simon: Mighty Russia seems to handle its wars a bit better than the mighty US. Georgia - 1 week, US in Afghanistan er 8 years
    --------------
    Only b/c our forces have held back...way too much...


    Yes like Genl Hooker et al used to explain to Lincoln, again and again.

    By the time US forces got their trousers on Georgia had been conquered.
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    ---------------
    John: The Koran forbids terrorism and suicide
    --------------


    What about the verse about how its okay to lie or kill infidels for your religion?

    Didn't know you read Classical Arabic.

    But there are plentyof authorised translated verses from teh bible advocating blood and thunder.

    The Bible contains far more calls to violence and admiration of bloodshed then practically any other holy book.

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  • 311. At 4:38pm on 01 Mar 2011, powermeerkat wrote:

    "Really? bit of a fantsy there Chechnya and Dagestan. Both with pro Russian Governments"


    Promulgating Kremlin propaganda doesn't work anymore.


    Even Russians know by now that mafia-type regimes imposed in Chechnya, Dagestan, Ingushetia, etc., by Moscow maybe nominally pro-Kremlin, but their populations clearly aren't.

    [any Moscow metro, Moscow- St.Peterburg express train or Domodedovo airport user is aware of that by now]

    It seems comrades' pipe dreams about seeing Motherland of the World Proletariat restored to its former might are just...well... pipe-dreams.

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  • 312. At 4:40pm on 01 Mar 2011, Simon21 wrote:

    308. At 4:11pm on 01 Mar 2011, LucyJ wrote:
    Well, the best way to ease tensions between Americans would be to vote Obama out of office next election....

    In this time when Americans need to come togehter, President Obama is trying to push us further apart by taking controversial stances on religious and moral issues..."

    Well he hasn't gone around shooting congresswomen and nine year old girls, prattling about blood guilt and issuing rascist threats.

    Neither has he ranted about a "performing negro"

    has he.
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------

    President Obama is what I personally call "the Great Divider"

    If America wants to be united, vote for anyone besides Obama!
    (Dem or otherwise)

    If America wants to be divided, who do you call?

    Obama!
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Yes people "like him" should know their place - in the cleaning room or parking cars.

    In fact his handling of he Arab spring has been masterful. If Bush had been there they would have already started counting the US casualties and wondering where on the map these countries were.

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  • 313. At 4:42pm on 01 Mar 2011, powermeerkat wrote:

    " Well the US trades with Muammar"



    Oh, really?

    I thought U.S. has bombed Muammar and froze his personal assets. :-)

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  • 314. At 4:56pm on 01 Mar 2011, Simon21 wrote:

    311. At 4:38pm on 01 Mar 2011, powermeerkat wrote:
    "Really? bit of a fantsy there Chechnya and Dagestan. Both with pro Russian Governments"


    Promulgating Kremlin propaganda doesn't work anymore."


    Oh? Like pretending as you still do that Georgia won its week long war?

    That goes beyond propaganda into the world of fantasy.

    I live the real world, come and join us some time Mr Birch
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Even Russians know by now that mafia-type regimes imposed in Chechnya, Dagestan, Ingushetia, etc., by Moscow maybe nominally pro-Kremlin, but their populations clearly aren't.


    Yes but the trouble they cauae Moscow is less than a band of Mexican gangsters is causing the US. Mind you I beleive the US/Mexican border is the last place you can see actual cruxifictions.

    Can't remember when the US won a land war in only seven days, was it Grenada?
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------

    It seems comrades' pipe dreams about seeing Motherland of the World Proletariat restored to its former might are just...well... pipe-dreams.

    Yes yes very profound. But the Moscow ministry of defence hasn't just told its troops that anyone who deplaoys them needs their heads read.

    Very morale boosting that comment. Very sad also sic transit gloria

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  • 315. At 4:59pm on 01 Mar 2011, Simon21 wrote:

    313. At 4:42pm on 01 Mar 2011, powermeerkat wrote:
    " Well the US trades with Muammar"



    Oh, really?

    I thought U.S. has bombed Muammar and froze his personal assets. :-)"

    And sold him his oil drilling equipment. Did you forget that? You know when US oil businessmen were lining up to get a "slice of that action."

    Amnesia is a terrrible thing, you have my sincere sympathy.

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  • 316. At 5:30pm on 01 Mar 2011, LucyJ wrote:

    Simon: The Bible contains far more calls to violence and admiration of bloodshed then practically any other holy book.
    ----------------

    You mean like the simple verse, Thou shall not kill?

    I can't think of any Bible verses in which it says it is okay to lie and kill and be terrorist for ur religion, can u?

    ----------------
    Simon: Well he hasn't gone around shooting congresswomen and nine year old girls, prattling about blood guilt and issuing rascist threats.
    ---------------
    So now you want to talk about Arizona shooter?
    What does that have to do with Obama?

    Possibly preventable if the school had turned it into police why they kicked him out or if someone had reached out to help him or if we have more good mental institutions in USA and someone had referred him...and what about the fact that he lived with his parents, who neighbors described as hermits?

    I don't look down upon ppl who are mentally ill, like schizo and whatnot, but I do look down on ppl who hurt others, whehter they are mentally ill or not...

    Anyway, that was not political, it was a case of someone who went psychologically insane toward the dark side and chose negativity rather than positivity...
    -------------
    Simon: Yes people "like him" should know their place - in the cleaning room or parking cars.
    -------------
    Ur stance...not mine...never said such...
    ---------------
    Simon: In fact his handling of he Arab spring has been masterful. If Bush had been there they would have already started counting the US casualties and wondering where on the map these countries were.
    -------------
    And ur supposing is an if, Simon...

    Regardless, Bush's term was up...it would have been what McCain would have done...or even possibly Palin...

    If it was McCain, he is former military man, he knows what its like and he probabaly would be doing much better job...

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  • 317. At 6:23pm on 01 Mar 2011, SONICBOOMER wrote:

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

  • 318. At 10:42pm on 01 Mar 2011, chronophobe wrote:

    re: 91 LucyJ

    USA is a democracy...

    That means majority rules...

    What is more important- to be a democracy or to have non-democratic equality?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Same-sex_marriage_in_the_United_States

    An excerpt:
    As of November 2009, when a same-sex marriage law in Maine was repealed by referendum, same-sex marriage had been defeated in all 31 states in which it had been directly put to a popular vote.


    US democracy is not simply a question of 'majority rules.' The question of fundamental rights, as spelled out in the Constitution and embedded in the law, are not subject to the whims of a majority vote.

    The issue is to my mind that the Constitution and its subsequent interpretations over time have consistently upheld freedom (for example of speech, of religion, and yes, of sexuality) to be the highest good of public policy.

    And this is a very good thing. Given the choice between freedom and 'truth,' in public policy, I will take freedom every time. The highest truth, the guiding star of our secular democracies, is that each individual should be allowed a maximum of freedom to explore his or her own interests and develop his or her own potentials.

    There is no single 'moral compass' that is suitable for all.

    If the freedoms protected by law offend you, you have an almost unlimited right to disagree, to voice your disagreement, and to proscribe behaviours you find objectionable within the practice of your particular belief system.

    You cannot, however, expect the particular values of your belief system, no matter how fervently you might believe them to be absolutely true, to override the imperative of public freedom.

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  • 319. At 11:08pm on 01 Mar 2011, Chryses wrote:

    Simon21, (#291. At 1:34pm on 01 Mar 2011)

    "... Depending on the quality of data ...
    Will you be supplying any to substantiate your opinion?

    "... I just thought I had provided you with some documentation but I fail to see any comment?
    Do you know MacNeil? ..."

    No, you did not, and no, I do not. Please provide useful references to sources you rely upon.

    "... As I say I do not think so and the documentation you supplied is not very convincing. The references were not very impressive. And teh conclusion about State Power was inane as was its reference to democracy ..."
    Which references were unsatisfactory? Upon what do you base your opinion that the conclusion was "inane," as in silly, absurd, ridiculous, idiotic, etc.?

    "... As Australian Koories could tell you democracies are perfectly capable of genocide."
    The truth or falsehood of that claim does not change the fact that the Communist ideology, and its associated State Atheism, is responsible for many millions more deaths than any other ideology (the body of doctrine, myth, belief, etc., that guides an individual, social movement, institution, class, or large group), which includes all religions.

    You will need to provide some substantiation for your opinions and claims if you want people to take them seriously.

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  • 320. At 11:30pm on 01 Mar 2011, quietoaktree wrote:

    #286 Champagne Charlie

    "Yes, the plethora of statues of Bismarck and Wilhelm II reminded me of those of Victoria and Bonaparte."

    I wholly agree with you.

    The problem arises when present Foreign Policy is a continuation of Victoria and Bonaparte.

    Germany does not have this failing --because of WWll -- the other mentioned do.


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  • 321. At 11:45pm on 01 Mar 2011, quietoaktree wrote:

    #319 Chryses


    "The truth or falsehood of that claim does not change the fact that the Communist ideology, and its associated State Atheism, is responsible for many millions more deaths than any other ideology (the body of doctrine, myth, belief, etc., that guides an individual, social movement, institution, class, or large group), which includes all religions."

    What ?????

    Prove It !

    500 years of world colonialism with the accompanying Capitalism, religion and slavery is responsible for fewer deaths --you must be American ?

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  • 322. At 01:05am on 02 Mar 2011, McJakome wrote:

    319. At 11:08pm on 01 Mar 2011, Chryses wrote:
    Simon21, (#291. At 1:34pm on 01 Mar 2011)
    "... As Australian Koories could tell you democracies are perfectly capable of genocide."

    Chryses, my friend,
    I am surprised you didn’t ask for a definition of democracy and a list of "true" democracies who have engaged in genocide.

    Note the word “true.” When the US engaged in what, in some cases, could be termed genocidal actions, it might be argued that the US was only a proto-democracy. I think that might be true of Australia, as well. When a country becomes a true democracy, does it engage in such things?

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  • 323. At 01:41am on 02 Mar 2011, Chryses wrote:

    JMM, (#322. At 01:05am on 02 Mar 2011)

    Chryses, my friend,
    I am surprised you didn’t ask for a definition of democracy and a list of "true" democracies who have engaged in genocide ...”

    I focused on the Red Herring.

    ”... Note the word “true.” When the US engaged in what, in some cases, could be termed genocidal actions, it might be argued that the US was only a proto-democracy. I think that might be true of Australia, as well. When a country becomes a true democracy, does it engage in such things?”
    True, the frequency of those excesses does then drop rapidly.

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  • 324. At 02:18am on 02 Mar 2011, Chryses wrote:

    quietoaktree, (#321. At 11:45pm on 01 Mar 2011)

    "... 'The truth or falsehood of that claim does not change the fact that the Communist ideology, and its associated State Atheism, is responsible for many millions more deaths than any other ideology (the body of doctrine, myth, belief, etc., that guides an individual, social movement, institution, class, or large group), which includes all religions.'

    What ????? . . "

    My claim is uncomplicated. The Communist ideology, with its associated State Atheism, is responsible for many millions more deaths than any other ideology.

    "... Prove It ! ..."
    OK. If you follow the link I provide below, you'll be able to read the assessment of the cost, in human deaths, of the Communist ideology. A low figure is ~40 million. A midpoint figure is ~100 million. A high figure is ~260 million.
    http://www.hawaii.edu/powerkills/COM.ART.HTM
    Selecting the midpoint of 100 million places the Communist ideology at the top of the list of ideological killers. Do feel free to provide your own research, with references of course, contesting Dr. Rummel's data or inferences.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rudolph_Rummel
    Take your time. I'll wait.

    "... 500 years of world colonialism with the accompanying Capitalism, religion and slavery is responsible for fewer deaths ..."
    If you read what I wrote, not what you want to believe I wrote, you would have noticed that I wrote "many millions more deaths than any other ideology," and not "many millions more deaths than all the other ideologies combined," which is, of course, what you have done in your example I quote above: added Colonialism + Capitalism + Religion (adding all religions together there!) + Slavery.
    Fail.

    "... you must be American ?"
    Not only am I an American, but I'm correct, and you are mistaken.

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  • 325. At 03:33am on 02 Mar 2011, powermeerkat wrote:

    268. At 04:56am on 01 Mar 2011, CuriousAmerican wrote:
    266. At 04:28am on 01 Mar 2011, Oldloadr wrote:

    Yes, and he [Chirac] sold SAMs to Saddam well into 2003 (the lot numbers were 2003, no mistake since the French use NATO standardized marking and tracking systems). When the Poles discovered it, the French tried to blackmail them to stay silent (threatened to veto Poland’s entry into the EU).
    --------------------------------------------------------------

    ...but...but...but the media told me it was Bush, Haliburton and the Tea Party who sold him the weapons....

    How can this be?






    You've obviously been listening to Fox News rather than to NPR/PBS. :-)))

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  • 326. At 03:58am on 02 Mar 2011, powermeerkat wrote:

    "... you must be American ?"


    Chryses: "Not only am I an American, but I'm correct, and you are mistaken."




    PM: Chryses, if you're an American you can't possibly be correct.

    A least not in the eyes of those politically correct.

    [no 'duplicitous, greedy Yankee imperialist' can possibly ever be right]

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  • 327. At 7:10pm on 02 Mar 2011, CuriousAmerican wrote:

    270. At 08:55am on 01 Mar 2011, SONICBOOMER wrote:

    You've taken offense to my remarks to effectiveness of the UN and European "leadership"....Note I didn't say anthing about NATO, which is effective and real.

    ...My apologizes to the British service men and women....You are awesome and great...The Brits are the ONLY country we can really count on when the bullets start flying. Despite the efforts of the libs

    However it would be accurate to conclude that I have UTTER contempt for the UN and EU professional debating society.

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  • 328. At 7:17pm on 02 Mar 2011, CuriousAmerican wrote:

    325. At 03:33am on 02 Mar 2011, powermeerkat wrote:
    268. At 04:56am on 01 Mar 2011, CuriousAmerican wrote:
    266. At 04:28am on 01 Mar 2011, Oldloadr wrote:

    Yes, and he [Chirac] sold SAMs to Saddam well into 2003 (the lot numbers were 2003, no mistake since the French use NATO standardized marking and tracking systems). When the Poles discovered it, the French tried to blackmail them to stay silent (threatened to veto Poland’s entry into the EU).
    --------------------------------------------------------------

    ...but...but...but the media told me it was Bush, Haliburton and the Tea Party who sold him the weapons....

    How can this be?
    ----------------------------------------------------------------

    You've obviously been listening to Fox News rather than to NPR/PBS. :-)))
    ----------------------------------------------------------------

    Yes, the Democrat/Liberal media establishment told me that ALL war with an "R" is bad and WAR with a "D" is good...so it must be true...

    Global Warming is now "Climate Change"...In other words weather changes temperatures....who knew?


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