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USS Bataan: Mission uncertain?

Mark Mardell | 16:52 UK time, Thursday, 24 March 2011

Norfolk, Virginia

Two tugs play around the USS Bataan, guiding her out of port, the beginning of her long journey to the Mediterranean off the coast of Libya. Sailors and Marines line her decks, standing to attention while relatives say their goodbyes from another ship on the quayside. One woman rubs her hands up and down the arms of her young son, comforting herself with the repetitive motion as much as him. Another waves as the ship departs, waves as it moves into the open waters, and is still waving as it shrinks into the distance. There are tears, as those who remain behind hug each other in support.

One woman tells me: "Every time they go it is like a little bit taken out of a puzzle. That puzzle is your life. And they never come back the same."


The pain of parting for probably around a year must be great. But this mission is not like Afghanistan, or in the past Iraq, where those leaving would definitely see action. Indeed, no-one seems certain what they are going to do.

Not, as is sometimes the case, because they are unwilling to discuss a military operation. They really don't know.

I ask a couple of Marines if they think they will be landing.

"Couldn't really tell you," says one.

Do they know what the mission is? They shake their heads.

Several tell me they are surprised. They were due to go out to the area soon anyway but the Libyan crisis has cut short their time at home.

"Yes, sir, honestly a little bit surprised, but you're ready for anything in the navy."

"We only got two weeks' notice, it's really sudden," said another.

"I am a little surprised, they're very surprised too, it's a Libyan civil war, I don't quite know what we're doing there," one mother, here to see off her son, tells me.

They are, at least, designed to be ready for anything.

The USS Bataan, along with the USS Mesa Verde and USS Whidbey Island make up an amphibious ready group. The Bataan, which looks to my untutored eye like a small aircraft carrier, is an amphibious assault craft. On board are about 800 Marines (2,200 in the three ships), 26 aircraft, mostly helicopters, and a 600-bed hospital.

They would have been going out to the Med anyway, later in the year, to replace the USS Kearsarge. She's used to being a jack of all trades, delivering troops to the Iraq war, then acting as a Harrier carrier, and helping with the crisis after Hurricane Katrina and the Haiti earthquake. Minutes before he boarded the ship I asked the Commodore of Amphibious Squadron Six, Capt Steven Yoder, if he knew what the mission was.

"Right now it's undetermined. We arrive on station, we will be asked to do any of the missions we're trained to. They run from humanitarian assistance to maritime and security operations," he says.

I ask the Marines' commanding officer, Col Eric Steidl, what their mission will be, given that the UN resolution and President Barack Obama have been quite clear that there will be no boots on the ground, especially not American boots.

"I don't make policy decisions, I do what 'higher' tells me to do. Does that mean they will have nothing to do? That's not for me to say," he tells me.

In any war, the individual fighting men and women and their units don't know exactly what they are going to be doing and how that might change. It is a cliche to say no battle plan survives contact with the enemy. But in the Libyan crisis, there is greater uncertainty. The natural evolution of any conflict is further fogged by the uncertainty of what happens if Col Muammar Gaddafi doesn't lose quickly, and fears that the mission will change.

Nonetheless, those 2,200 Marines had better be prepared for a dull and uneventful trip. If they ever come off the front ramp of this landing craft, if they are ever deployed, it will be in defiance of the UN's resolution.

Mr Obama's words are clear, but the US military likes to be prepared for anything.

Comments

Page 1 of 4

  • Comment number 1.

    It's very possible that there is no plan now for using the Marines aboard the Bataan, it may be about giving the president options in case the situation changes.

  • Comment number 2.

    Well they're not going there just for a Club Med cruise, and there are quite a lot, so..
    Maybe they won't go in with boots on. That should do it. They could go in with Arabian sandals, thus Obama can get round the resolution of no boots on the ground. One has to be flexible when one advocates democracy. We've seen good examples of this already.
    But one thought that the US was going to hold back on the Libyan do. Maybe they're bound for the East Mediterranean. Of course.. they're going to free Syria.

  • Comment number 3.

    Ref 2 Nostrano-

    "Well they're not going there just for a Club Med cruise, and there are quite a lot, so.."

    As long as we're speculating; maybe they are just going for malts on Malta...club sandwiches in Turkey...bagels in Tel Aviv...baklava in Greece...pasta in Italy...

    Or, as Scott0962 suggested in post #1, "...it may be about giving the president options in case the situation changes.". Which would be a sensible, and common deployment of forces when there is turmoil in a region, such as North Africa and the Mid-east are experiencing at this time.

  • Comment number 4.

    Let us hope it is indeed a very 'dull and uneventful trip' and that they return safely.

    No one knows what is going on or why we are there. Washington is not giving answers as to what the obective is, or why Libya has been chosen as opposed to all of the other nations that are also ruled by dictators.

    This is simply a repeat of Iraq, although for some unidentified reason our former 'allies' such as France and Spain and Norway (!) have decided this is worth doing, while Iraq was the focus of hysterical anti-American insults. General opinion of Americans in Britain is terrible - anti-Americanism is pervasive and deep - yet the British government decided to join Americans again in yet another 'intervention'. Why?

    No one seems to know why this is different from Iraq - except that Obama is more popular than Bush (for now). In both cases there are plans to push out a dictator of an Arab nation and a 'regime change'.

    Only the Germans have held on to their pacifism and passivity and have joined the Russians and the Chinese in denouncing the war. Germany certainly will never join Americans in a war - although their clear separation from NATO policies may produce difficult relations in Europe.

    Germany has been a strong supporter of the current regime in Libya - and yet so have Britain and Italy. This was makes no sense from any perspective, for any reason.

  • Comment number 5.

    #4

    timr1944

    "General opinion of Americans in Britain is terrible - anti-Americanism is pervasive and deep "

    A complete and total lie.

  • Comment number 6.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 7.

    If they ever come off the front ramp of this landing craft, if they are ever deployed, it will be in defiance of the UN's resolution.

    Not necessarily. The resolution says there shouldn't be an 'occupation' force. Not all ground troop deployments are 'occupation', especially if they're brief.

  • Comment number 8.

    Mark Mardell should check the wording of UN resolution 1973 if he thinks it rules out ‘boots on the ground’. It allows ‘all necessary means’ to protect civilians. It only rules out an ‘occupation force’. Skilful wording: if (say) the Marines he has been talking to, come ashore in Misrata for a day, clear the place of Gadafi’s troops, and disembark, it would be impossible to describe them as any kind of occupation force.

  • Comment number 9.

    And the winner of the daftest comment is (wait for it) TimR144 for the following:
    "General opinion of Americans in Britain is terrible - anti-Americanism is pervasive and deep - etc..etc."

    Unfortuantely, as this is the BBC you will not be getting a prize.

  • Comment number 10.

    #8 Dulcot

    Mark Mardell should check the wording of UN resolution 1973 if he thinks it rules out ‘boots on the ground’. It allows ‘all necessary means’ to protect civilians. It only rules out an ‘occupation force’. Skilful wording: if (say) the Marines he has been talking to, come ashore in Misrata for a day, clear the place of Gadafi’s troops, and disembark, it would be impossible to describe them as any kind of occupation force.

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

    Yes, true - but doing it in one day would be quite an accomplishment, and that is taking nothing away from the Marines

  • Comment number 11.

    Well may be they are just to ensure a siege, cut off of supplies to Kaddaffian shore.
    Water Libya has own but food must arrive from somewhere.
    Though, one may say, kind of over-equipped a bit :o))))) for simply blocking a supply chain.

  • Comment number 12.

    2. publiusdetroit

    Of course I'm aware of all that. Just being light about what perhaps one shouldn't be light about. Although it's hard to take Gaddafi and clan that seriously, or believe we need half the world to clobber him.

    4. TimR1944

    What makes you think that this is 'simply a repeat of Iraq'. Iraq has a population of 20,000,000, Libya- less than 6,500,000. It's not a post 9/11 vendetta war either. The Libyan people asked for help, and it would seem logical that most of them would prefer democracy instead of continuing with their dated, megalomaniac vestige of a leader with his glossy cut-out cardboard uniform who wouldn't hesitate to kill all those who oppose him and have killed all those he pays to support him.

    I'm not in England but I would be surprised if there are anti-American sentiments there. There aren't any in France. There are always some from a certain political tendency in Italy. If you are English, in GB, you would know better than I.

    I think at the time of the incursion in Iraq, Bush was far more popular than Obama is now. Everyone was raring to go, even if they pretended it wasn't the case. His popularity diminished when the al-Qaida backlash started, after the first Iraqi elections, when in fact the war had been won. All those who pretended to be against the war, yet didn't shout too loud at the beginning, and were surprised how quickly it went, were only too please to blame Bush for all the evil that was perpetrated by radicals trying to create a civil war that never happened. That episode of history is full of sad hypocrisy, especially as it's obvious that enemy in Afghanistan is virtually the same that of Iraq, dated, die-hard radicals bent on destroying democracy where they still think it might be possible.

    Re. Germany. Their reluctance seemed to have first been driven by a Foreign minister who, by all accounts, appears to be a bad choice. His comment regarding Sarkozy was inadmissible. Secondly I don't think Germany feels yet ready to fight alongside Europeans. 67 years may not yet be long enough to fully come to terms with such a particularly fatal past. It's natural. They are in Afghanistan, which is already significant.

    That this war to you makes no sense, is difficult to understand. If ever one could qualify war as making sense, certainly this one scores high, for obvious reasons. The principle reason is simply that it would have been wrong not to react, and it's time the democratic world got rid of this old terrorist and his acolytes who can't be trusted.

  • Comment number 13.

    Tim's right on the money. Britain's a cesspool of anti-Americanism. I direct your attention to BBC Question Time, Sept. 13, 2001. The former U.S. ambassador to the UK appears on stage. He's greeted by an English crowd with hisses, boos, insults, invective and obscenities. You still can't access this video on the Internet, by the way. Too inflammatory for the BBC censors. I'm sure some bright bulb here will agree that the ex-amb "deserved" it and that we "deserved" Sept. 11. That would just drive home my point.

  • Comment number 14.

    13. ScottNYC

    By all accounts your post is anti-UK. I've never heard so much rubbish. You make a sweeping judgement on the strength of a one occasion with obviously an uncivilised, paltry and noisy rabble half of which could have been of any nationality
    in any case. It would seem that you know absolutely nothing about the UK or the English.

  • Comment number 15.

    As a former Marine myself, and having been on these 'floats', I can tell you what their primary mission is. It is to be ready to evacuate civilian non-combatants from embassies if things are getting too hot. Since overall the region seems to be collapsing into chaos, I'm sure the powers that be in the Pentagon want to get this fresh group into place before allowing the out-going group to stand-down.

  • Comment number 16.

    Once again we are looking at a an Arab state that is facing enforced regime change by, possibly, Western forces. Mr Gaddafi is indeed a dictator and having spent 18 months working in Libya I can personally attest to the fear that the ordinary people have of him. However is this really our business. The last time I looked libya is an independent state gripped by a potentially nasty civil war and maybe we would do more harm to our reputation by once again interfering in Arab affairs. After all when Mr Mugabe was killing the white farmers in Zimbabwe along with all who opposed him politically, allowing his country to go to rack and ruin, we did nothing. When Idi Amin was indulging his love of exterminating his political rivals we did nothing. When the Burmese regime was also killing and arresting all who opposed them we did nothing.
    Come on let's get real here, What has Libya got that these other states do not, OIL, Libya is an oil rich state both on land and offshore and in my humble opinion that is the only reason that we are getting involved. To secure oil rights, hence the involvement of our unlikely allies, France Spain and Norway. I am a little surprised Italy is not more involved as ENI have a huge commitment in the Libyan oil fields.
    We are all poised to go down the "Iraq route" which was most definitely about OIL.

  • Comment number 17.

    Nostrano: I think that TimR1944 is making what come be termed 'a value judgement' ie it is a statement that lacks a shred of tangible evidence. I am English (British) live in England (Beverley) and I can honestly say that I have never seen or heard much in the way of anti-Americanism in this country. Other than the rent-a-mob brigade who only come out to protest about anything that will get them on the TV. Don't be taken in by the spectre of mass anti-US sentiment in the UK. There isn't any. Not that I totally agree with everything the US does or my own government for that matter, but I, like 99% of my countrymen, don't shout about it from the rooftops.

  • Comment number 18.

    It started with a kiss.

  • Comment number 19.

    #13

    Scottnyc;

    Accepting your view on the British is akin to accepting Joseph Fritzls on childcare. Would you care to complete the Question Time story? You know, where thousands of British people complained to the BBC and newspapers, resulting in a public apology? No , I didnt think so.

    #17

    Agree entirely, some moans about US foreign policy (which we inevitably get involved in) but thats about it. Where I am ,I meet US service personnel regularly, know a couple of families from RAF Molesworth very well, and they love living in Britain and have never faced anti-Americanism.

    I'll take their opinions and those from people who actually live in the UK and know British people, over the rants of a couple of obsessive-compulsives who've probably never left their home town.

  • Comment number 20.

    @ TimR1944. I don't have a dim view of all Americans, some of my best friends are Peruvians. The folks from the USA get on my nerves a bit at times, particularly when they steal the name of two sub-continents for their personal use. :P

  • Comment number 21.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 22.

    13 @Scottnyc

    Greetings from Britain, "He's greeted by an English crowd with hisses, boos, insults, invective and obscenities"

    and Please dont outstay your (welcome????).

  • Comment number 23.

    AngleseyKev said:
    "@ TimR1944. I don't have a dim view of all Americans, some of my best friends are Peruvians. The folks from the USA get on my nerves a bit at times, particularly when they steal the name of two sub-continents for their personal use. :P"

    Really? What a tired argument to make. Our personal use? You know that it's actually called "anti-Americanism", right? That's the actual term. It refers to the US, not to two continents. The official demonym of people from the US is "American" and this is the case in almost every single country on the planet, including countries that are in the Americas. It's "American" or the dialectic equivalent. Germans say "Amerikaner". Mexicans and other Latin American people say "Americano". So who are you to say Americans are using it incorrectly and for our "own personal use"?

    It's really funny when non-Americans who themselves use "American" as the demonym for the US will only momentarily abstain from using it, just long enough to disingenuously bash the US for supposedly monopolizing the term.

    Get a grip.

  • Comment number 24.

    All this posturing by the u/s president and the most flashy uniformed bosses of the u/s military about not "really" wanting to go into Lybia,makes me chuckle. Of course they cant wait. These wars make glorious hollywood brave america epics. Not the same anymore though, since John W is not around to win anymore.

  • Comment number 25.

    "Tim's right on the money. Britain's a cesspool of anti-Americanism"
    Oh please. referring to one example a decade ago does not even closely resemble the above statements claims. I think many of the British don't like to be seen, as the French have put it, as the USA's attack poodle but this is as much a complaint to their own government as to yours.
    Most people who have a problem with the States have a problem with the hypocrisy and war mongering of the Bush administration. The so called "War on Terror". Iraq, as far as I know, had little to do with September 11th. It was unfinished business.
    As for why Britain is there well......earlier comments that Britain and Italy were strong supporters of the current regime, if correct, is a recent development. Anyone remember Lockerbie? Sadly that plane crashed on British soil. It being an American company doesn't give the States exclusivity in being angry about it, but also the UK.
    Libya's status improved as Gaddafi changed some of his policies. Also, of course, Libya has oil and certain large oil companies in both France and Britian (as well as others I expect) have made huge profits there in recent times. Hence the slightly more buddy buddy attitude to the regime in Libya.
    There are many countries on this Earth that have the kind of regimes that massacre their own populations. But, as has been said in comments above, they don't have OIL!!

    "I am a little surprised, they're very surprised too, it's a Libyan civil war, I don't quite know what we're doing there," one mother, here to see off her son, tells me.

    Erm......well what is Afghanistan? Why are the West there? Where were the "weapons of Mass Destruction" that the West invaded Iraq for?

    Where was a UN mandate for those situations, Iraq in particular? Or was the UN ignored when certain countries didn't get what they wanted to hear and so went ahead anyway. Oil concessions and rebuilding contracts was what most of it was about in Iraq. Keeping the American Dream alive, the remnants of the European Empires alive. A touch poetic maybe but no less true for it.
    War on terror. The IRA were supplied with dollars for years by organisations in the States and then the UK listened to a Bush speech about stopping the funding of terrorism.
    I think there are probably more subversives, terrorists, freedom fighters, whichever title suits you best for these groups, in the Middle East now than before the so called War on Terror.
    Libya is out in the cold. It's not an ally of the States like some other Arab states and therefore a nice juicy target for old fashioned revenge (Lockerbie), and oil. Just go back to Kuwait and when the US forces arguably became a mercenary group at the command of Bush senior and his oil partners in Saudi Arabia.

  • Comment number 26.

    I wouldnt read too much into this at present it gives options as has been said.

    It would be no surprise if one of our commando carriers turns up there as well.
    I have never heard of any conflict being solved without troops on the ground.

  • Comment number 27.

    which looks to my untutored eye like a small aircraft carrier

    That's because they are small aircraft carriers. They have a different name now, but in a different age they might've been called escort carriers.

    It is also my understanding that amphibious assault ships always carry Marines regardless of their mission, so I probably wouldn't read too much into that.

  • Comment number 28.

    @ Kent. You really replied in a serious and angry way to the comment by AngelseyKev? Wow it is true that yanks, Americans, people of the USA don't get British humour. I think he might be aware of the content of your comment. I think it's called irony, sarcasm, one of those :) I don't think he was making a tired argument or any other kind of argument. It's called banter, a "wind up".

    Of course I could be wrong and maybe he just is one of a cess pool of anti americans suffering from "anti-americanism". Let's send in the marines immediately to stamp this critter into the dirt....go go go......

    phew, sorry got a bit carried away there ;p

    Get a grip. Learn to laugh a bit.....it helps, it really does :)

  • Comment number 29.

    They are equipped to do humanatarian relief. I believe humanatarian relief and adding civilian humatarian effort is probably their most likely mission.

  • Comment number 30.

    @kent 23

    It's so easy isn't it? Actually have you heard the term estadounidense? It means from the United States. I usually say Yanks, however I realise I'm probably being anti-confederate. :p

  • Comment number 31.

    NATO's purpose is to defend any member-state from an attack on any other member state. It's a defense pact. Libya didn't attack any NATO country and has diplomatic relations with many of them. The UN wasn't created to authorize wars, but exactly the opposite, to prevent wars by mediation.That wasn't done. It violates the United Nations charter to interfere in another country's internal affairs. The current proclamation 1973 was to protect civilians from violence.These are armed rebels trying to overthrow the government of Libya.There is a big difference between the two. Name me one nation that wouldn't use force against an armed rebellion. Wake up America and Britain,you're broke and in debt,and trying to cut back on your own peoples health and education.You need to rethink your priorities and quit turning a blind eye to much worse situations in the world such as Saudi Arabia(no women rights, a theocracy with no democracy),Yemen,The Gaza Strip,The Ivory Coast, Burma,The Congo and many more.

  • Comment number 32.

    @ onlythetruth

    "Wake up America and Britain,you're broke and in debt,and trying to cut back on your own peoples health and education.You need to rethink your priorities and quit turning a blind eye to much worse situations in the world such as Saudi Arabia(no women rights, a theocracy with no democracy),Yemen,The Gaza Strip,The Ivory Coast, Burma,The Congo and many more."

    I totally agree with you about this on all but one point. Why specify Britain and America? Is this because you feel that these two countries have the sole responsibility of turning a blind eye? What about France? Italy? Japan? China? Or Russia? In fact any country with enough economic clout to be heard.. And a reply that as these countries don't generally get involved, or are not in Iraq/Afghanistan or something similar wouldn't add up either. It just means they have different foreign policies, but it certainly doesn't mean they can take the moral high ground by doing nothing either. (I have no wish to put words in your mouth) Which is worse? No involvement or the wrong kind of
    involvement?
    To take a higher moral attitude but to do nothing............

    All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing

    Was Burke right?

    Poor poor Tibet. Let's give China the Olympics. Yep that'll help........pfffff

  • Comment number 33.

    #19 Champagne Charlie

    To be on the safe side -- one could say the Brits love the Brits and the Yanks love the Yanks. That would avoid any discussions of their recent and past history --and possible justifiable condemnations ?

  • Comment number 34.

    This American has mixed feelings about all of this and many thoughts, so I think I'll rant :)

    I hate Gaddafi and am acutely aware of his brutality throughout his years of rule, but yet I'm war-weary. We really can't afford yet another war with the U.S. government approaching financial insolvency just like Greece, Ireland, etc.

    I'm convinced that the Western leaders in this coalition seriously miscalulated in thinking that the rebels could quickly take down Gaddafi if only they had a little air support. It looks like that gamble may blow up in the coalition's face. The rebels simply aren't equipped and organized enough to capture the country from Gaddafi.

    And this UN resolution is the dumbest thing ever! The entire threat to Libyan civilians stems from the Gaddafi regime, yet removing that regime isn't put forth in the resolution. It's an oxymoron and the problem can't be solved. It's like telling a doctor, "Try to stop the cancer, but don't remove the tumor that is causing it all." Phenomenal stupidity from the UN, but is anyone really surprised at its incompetence?

    Another idea running through my head is that I really don't care about Middle East suffering much anymore. No matter what my country's intentions, all the Arabs do is complain and whine. The vast majority of their problems are self-created due to moronic leaders, masochism, and corruption rather than U.S. foreign policy, no matter how flawed. I'm becoming really indifferent to the fate of the "Arab street."

    On top of this, we don't even know who these Libyan rebels are or what their intentions are besides getting rid of Gaddafi. For all we know, a lot of them could be sympathetic to Al Qaeda that is known to have a large share of Libyans making up its ranks.

    I'm also suspicious about why France is so enthusiastic about Libya considering they so vehemently opposed the Iraq invasion in 2003. Is it about THEIR oil supply this time? And if so, where are all the leftists who trumpeted in 2003 about American oil conspiracies in Iraq now? Hypocrisy and naked anti-Americanism I say! Part of me wanted to see the U.S. join Russia and China in vetoing the UN resolution and pay back the French for 2003.

    But my other side says that this is a golden opportunity to get rid of one of the worst regimes on earth, and one that has killed plenty of my countrymen and has no place whatsoever in the 21st century. Heck, if leftist, pacifist countries like Belgium are even sending military forces to support the effort, maybe we shouldn't hold back either! :)

    I look at Libya like this: either we (America, since no one else can militarily do it) remove Gaddafi or we have no business doing anything at all. I say that the coalition stop worrying about the ineffective UN, its murky resolutions, and its failure to bring about real solutions to the world's problems and just take out Gaddafi. If it requires ground troops, so be it.

    Like in Texas Hold 'Em poker, go All In or fold. Obama and the rest of the coalition's leaders apparently didn't consider the possibility that they might have to fold their cards. HUGE mistake.

  • Comment number 35.

    I'm sure there are many possible contingencies for the early launch of the amphibious group apart from boots on the ground- which would transform a potential Arab Spring into a "Retrograde Revolution"-- wet dream of neocons and those romantics viewing war as pageant, but not likely something Obama would be so daft as to propose.

  • Comment number 36.

    Despite all the lofty words of purpose and all the carefully vague language of the rules of engagement in Libya, the fact remains that you can't take and hold ground without those "boots on the ground". Air power is all well and good for limiting Gadhafi's use of his aircraft and can be effective against tanks and troops in the open desert but it can't stop Gadhafi's men from going house to house in urban areas. Even attacking tanks in urban areas is very difficult and likely to cause civilian deaths (e.g. when the ammunition within a destroyed tank cooks off). Countering Libyan boots on the ground in these cases will require trained military opposition, something missing at present.

    A look at the normal training of an MEU includes urban sniper, raiding, humanitarian assistance, and combat search and rescue. Given the current conditions in Libya and the wider region, any or all of these skills may be needed.

  • Comment number 37.

    12. At 21:13pm on 24th Mar 2011, Nostrano wrote:
    “I think at the time of the incursion in Iraq, Bush was far more popular than Obama is now. Everyone was raring to go, even if they pretended it wasn't the case. His popularity diminished when the al-Qaida backlash started, after the first Iraqi elections, when in fact the war had been won. All those who pretended to be against the war, yet didn't shout too loud at the beginning, and were surprised how quickly it went, were only too please to blame Bush for all the evil that was perpetrated by radicals trying to create a civil war that never happened.”

    This must be humor or a put on. You are far too knowledgeable to actually believe this. Bush was not that popular because not a few people thought [some still think] the election was stolen.

    The war was not that popular, either. The “popularity” [outside the red warmonger states] of the war rested on post 9/11 trauma and patriotic outrage at the attack. The Bush propagandists were hammering home the Saddam = Al Qaida Lie and the WMD lie almost from the very beginning.

    FOX [I think] showed a training film showing a Boeing 747 being taken over by people said to be Al Qaida practicing Airplane takeovers. This was said to be in Iraq. Then there were the WMDs that Saddam was thought to have and to be ready to hand over to our enemies [i.e. Al Qaida]. I was taken advantage of, but I saw the deception, soon enough, and am now angry about it and hold it against the Bush people and the Neocons. I never trust a proven liar again.

    And when was the war actually won? When bush stood under that “Mission Accomplished” banner? It is still not over, and neither is the Afghan War, and I am angry about that. If President Obama’s popularity is slipping, it is because people want those unnecessary wars that are bleeding our country white E N D E D.

    Your last few lines are almost incomprehensible; you should switch to a nice Merlot and give up the hard stuff, and with more moderation, please.

  • Comment number 38.

    #19 Champagne Charlie

    I'll take their opinions and those from people who actually live in the UK and know British people, over the rants of a couple of obsessive-compulsives who've probably never left their home town.

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

    This is just abuse. Why are your insulting comments allowed while a very mild comment by me that had no personal content was removed? It seems that someone is asleep at the switch...

    I have no intention of lowering myself to personal invective. Regarding your observations - I have spent about three months, altogether, in Britain - England, not Scotland. Most of my travels have been to Germany and to Canada. My traves abroad have not been as extensive as I would like but your comments about me are - once again - false.

  • Comment number 39.

    #34 Roast Chicken

    "No matter what my country's intentions, all the Arabs do is complain and whine."

    ---- you forgot Israelis --who are much better at complaining and whining and who care about our intentions even less !

  • Comment number 40.

    #20 AngleseyKev
    @ TimR1944. I don't have a dim view of all Americans, some of my best friends are Peruvians. The folks from the USA get on my nerves a bit at times, particularly when they steal the name of two sub-continents for their personal use. :P

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

    And it is even more amusing when the British insist on using the term 'America' when we almost always use US or United States. No doubt your Peruvian chums are up all night working on their own chosen title. Hours of fun...

  • Comment number 41.

    #37 JMM

    -- well said !

  • Comment number 42.

    It is not true, as Mardell writes, that any deployment of Marines would be "in defiance of the UN's resolution." Resolution 1973 prohibits "... a foreign occupation force of any form on any part of Libyan territory, ...." Not every mission which puts marines on the ground would be "occupation."

  • Comment number 43.

    #25 Mellow37

    Oh please. referring to one example a decade ago does not even closely resemble the above statements claims. I think many of the British don't like to be seen, as the French have put it, as the USA's attack poodle but this is as much a complaint to their own government as to yours.
    ....................................

    "Oh please" indeed....I went on to read your references to Lockerbie. I certainly do remember it, and your references to 'juicy revenge' seem a bit tasteless. But not nearly as tasteless - or appalling - as the release of the Lockerbie bomber to delighted crowds carrying British flags, and thrilled by the benevolence of Scotland - with the blessings of London - while Americans stared in astonishment at this disgusting act. The absurdly smug and self-congratulatory pronouncements of Scotland's government only completed the insult.

    Your reference to it being an "American company" and the fact that we don't have "exclusive rights" to anger about it might miss the point that the majority killed were Americans. I would never claim 'exclusive rights' to anger. But anger is indeed a reasonable response.

    I find it very odd that Britain is now at war with a dictator they tried to hard to woo and please and appease.

  • Comment number 44.

    #12 Nostrano

    That this war to you makes no sense, is difficult to understand. If ever one could qualify war as making sense, certainly this one scores high, for obvious reasons. The principle reason is simply that it would have been wrong not to react, and it's time the democratic world got rid of this old terrorist and his acolytes who can't be trusted.

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

    That is precisely the argument used to defend the war in Iraq. It was "time for him to go". Let the Libyans take care of it. The legacy of Hussein was just as terrible. The size of the populations of the countries are irrelevant.

    We do not have the money anymore for this. And comments to the contrary notwithstanding, anti-Americanism is extremely strong. Pew polls and research are available for anyone to look at. We should not be involved in any more foreign wars that do not have a direct bearing on our own lives, and unless we are attacked.

  • Comment number 45.

    #17 Edward de Bonehead:

    I think that TimR1944 is making what come be termed 'a value judgement' ie it is a statement that lacks a shred of tangible evidence. I am English (British) live in England (Beverley) and I can honestly say that I have never seen or heard much in the way of anti-Americanism in this country. Other than the rent-a-mob brigade who only come out to protest about anything that will get them on the TV. Don't be taken in by the spectre of mass anti-US sentiment in the UK. There isn't any. Not that I totally agree with everything the US does or my own government for that matter, but I, like 99% of my countrymen, don't shout about it from the rooftops


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

    Mr. Bonehead: Personal observations (and invective) are not a substitute for research and polls. Look at the Pew Research, which is readily available to anyone. In recent years - for almost a decade - about half of Britain's population, on average, have a negative view of Americans. That is a lot of anti-American sentiment by any standards.

  • Comment number 46.

    The USS Bataan is basically a very similar kind of ship to Britain's HMS Ark Royal, (now decommissioned). Both ships are excellent at dealing with this kind of conflict and are capable of deploying Harrier Jump Jets from locations almost anywhere around the world. I bet Obama phoned Mr Cameron asking for our fabulous Ark Royal to join the Mediterranean fleet only to remember we trashed it last month! If only Cameron had kept the Ark in service, if any more conflicts start we'll be too stretched, our navy is just way too weak to be of any use in this modern world now.

  • Comment number 47.

    #36 JMB72

    Despite all the lofty words of purpose and all the carefully vague language of the rules of engagement in Libya, the fact remains that you can't take and hold ground without those "boots on the ground". Air power is all well and good for limiting Gadhafi's use of his aircraft and can be effective against tanks and troops in the open desert but it can't stop Gadhafi's men from going house to house in urban areas. Even attacking tanks in urban areas is very difficult and likely to cause civilian deaths (e.g. when the ammunition within a destroyed tank cooks off). Countering Libyan boots on the ground in these cases will require trained military opposition, something missing at present.

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

    Well said, and a painful truth. That is what concerns me: the inevitability of troop involvement. Obama has jumped into this without looking, in a spirit of idealism and naivete. That is very troubling.

  • Comment number 48.

    31. At 23:15pm on 24th Mar 2011, onlythetruth wrote:
    “NATO's purpose is to defend any member-state from an attack on any other member state. It's a defense pact. Libya didn't attack any NATO country and has diplomatic relations with many of them.”

    Then how about some truth? The NATO pact requires defence of a member from ANY source. The plane over Lockerbee was destroyed on orders of Col. Q, an offence against two NATO countries, US and UK. The disco bombing was again an attack on two NATO countries, Germany and the US.

    Change your moniker to “only the falsehood” or something else correct and truthful.

  • Comment number 49.

    Post 44 (TimR1944) represents the isolationist viewpoint, somewhat popular in the US prior to WWII, but a curiosity since. Following thr recommendation in Tim's final sentence would require withdrawing from both the UN and NATO. Perhaps the "1944" portion of his moniker denotes opposition to any ideas conceived after that year, which would include the UN and NATO.

  • Comment number 50.

    @TimR1944

    If you read the statement of mine you quoted (Oh please etc) well you would see that I said some Brits blame their OWN govt. as much as they do yours.

    As to releasing the Lockerbie bomber, I sat back in shock and disbelief as the whole sick affair unfolded. A new Scottish Parliament showing it's newfound teeth possibly, but definitely in the wrong place. The whole sorry episode did indeed add insult to injury.

    My "juicy revenge" comment was meant as black irony. I don't hold that view. Tasteless is right, therefore the irony.

    Yes anger is a reasonable response. Lockerbie was a tragedy full stop is my point, and it's repercussions were felt in many quarters around the world.

    "Also, of course, Libya has oil and certain large oil companies in both France and Britain (as well as others I expect) have made huge profits there in recent times. Hence the slightly more buddy buddy attitude to the regime in Libya."

    Maybe you missed this. I also have said that Britain now has oil interests in Libya, and I meant the word slightly as understatement. Possibly a bad habit of being British! More irony....

    I also find Britain's current action in Libya (as you put it, at war with a dictator) odd considering.

    It's amazing how past wrongs can be forgotten with a little liquid gold......

  • Comment number 51.

    #49

    Post 44 (TimR1944) represents the isolationist viewpoint, somewhat popular in the US prior to WWII, but a curiosity since. Following thr recommendation in Tim's final sentence would require withdrawing from both the UN and NATO. Perhaps the "1944" portion of his moniker denotes opposition to any ideas conceived after that year, which would include the UN and NATO.

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

    No, that is not true. Staying out of foreign wars that do not concern Americans is not isolationism. I would suggest that you check on the definition of that term. If that were the case the vast majority of the world would be considered isolationist.

    We have had many years of whining, moaning and complaining about Americans being involved in the affairs of other nations. We have lost too many military to those wars. NATO was created in response to the post WWII, Cold War world. That world no longer exists. We are no longer the wealthy nation we once were. We must face this and adjust.

    And in case you are unaware - Americans were fighting and dying along with the military of other nations in 1944. If you are going to choose an isolationist year for the US, 1944 would be perhaps the worst choice you could make.

  • Comment number 52.

    CynicalScot (16) asks "is this really our business?". I don't who "our" refers to, but it is the business of any member of the United Nations under the doctrine of "Responsibility to Protect."

    Responsibility to Protect

    This doctrine was developed as a response to the failure of the UN to act in cases such as those mentioned. There has been much debate in the UN about the doctrine, and there will surely be more, arising out of this application of it.

  • Comment number 53.

    #50 Mellow 37

    As to releasing the Lockerbie bomber, I sat back in shock and disbelief as the whole sick affair unfolded. A new Scottish Parliament showing it's newfound teeth possibly, but definitely in the wrong place. The whole sorry episode did indeed add insult to injury.

    My "juicy revenge" comment was meant as black irony. I don't hold that view. Tasteless is right, therefore the irony.

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

    Alright, fair enough. I'm sorry I assumed too quickly.

    It is encouraging and affirming to hear anyone from Britain - English or Scots - disagree with the Lockerbie bomber release. That act, and the accompanying attitude and tone and complete absence of concern for Americans, had a stunning impact here, perhaps more than is realized there. I would never have thought the British would allow that, especially because the people of Lockerbie were so wonderful to the families and loved ones of the victims.

    So any voice of disagreement is welcome.

  • Comment number 54.

    I would like to think that some issues shouldn't or don't (always) come down to the place of one's birth.
    Right and wrong is a very grey area, however sometimes some things are more wrong, than right.
    Let's hope that no more lives are lost and this situation doesn't get any more out of hand than it already is.

  • Comment number 55.

    11. At 21:07pm on 24th Mar 2011, WebAliceinwonderland wrote:

    Never mind about that...

    WebAliceinwonderland, I am writing to warn you not to argue with Maria Ashot or Nostrano.

    Maria is a Major in God's Secret Police ("GSP," (a branch of the GRU?)), so everything you say to her she reports to her Bureau, and they put it into your file.

    And your file, I think, is probably big enough already!

    Nostrano is only a Corporal in the GSP, but be careful anyway. He says things like "The essence of beauty is in its ephemerality, which is why life is so beautiful" -- which is crazy talk from someone that is so enthusiastic about making dead Libyans
    (Muammar, his uncles, sons, cousins... Everyone that will have to be killed to save the innocent (but well-armed) civilians!)

    So Maria is high ranking, Nostrano is crazy. Watch out what you write! Better to say soothing words to these people, like "Muammar will die soon and the world will be safe for you again!"

  • Comment number 56.

    We should also remember that Marine Amphibious Units have been routinely deploying to the Med since the 1950's -as have USN carrier battle groups/strike groups. They have often 'sailed into harm's way' with the crisis of the moment.

  • Comment number 57.

    One thing no one is asking is how much will this cost?

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/libya_diplomacy
    An excerpt:
    The operation cost the U.S. close to $1 billion in less than a week, and has drawn criticism in Congress from members of both parties.
    --------
    One billion per week?

    Clearly, just like Iraq, Libya, and war in itself, regardless of being defensive or humanitarian, is expensive, even in groups...in a time of recession, when millions of Americans are starving and can't afford health care, millions of illegal immigrants invading, can and do we even want to pay for a third war when America can't even take care of Americans?

    Especially when our closer than Libya friend Japan is suffering and can use extra help, is this not also major catastrophe that our military is dealing with?

    (So our military is dealing with three wars and one major natural disaster- one of hte worst since WWII...that's a LOT to handle, even for superduperpower like us)

    And its hard to tell what will come next, we need to preserve and conserve our troops and so forth, its not worth it to overdo ourselves...b/c these have happened in other countries, what if USA gets a huge natural disaster- after all, we get lots of tornadoes, earthquakes, droughts, freezes, icestorms and so forth here as well...

    This needs to be as short as possible- I agree with Roast Chicken- do it or don't do it, but make it quick, cause' its very expensive and we may need our forces and definitely could use the money elsewhere...

  • Comment number 58.

    Here's a link to a lengthy discussion of isolationism, for those who like to quibble about semantics. I'm comfortable with my use of the term, except perhaps "neo-isolationism" would be more precise.

    http://www.encyclopedia.com/topic/Isolationism.aspx

  • Comment number 59.

    Another major breaking story:
    After Israel had that terrorist bus attack, now this:

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20110325/ap_on_re_mi_ea/ml_israel_palestinians
    An excerpt:
    Palestinian militants in Gaza fired a new wave of rockets that landed deep inside Israel Thursday, defying Israeli retaliatory attacks and threats. As the violence threatened to escalate the day after a deadly Jerusalem bombing, Israel got a boost from the visiting U.S. defense chief, who said no country could tolerate the "repugnant" attacks on its soil. "Israel, like all nations, has the right to self-defense and to bring to justice the perpetrators of these repugnant attacks," he said. Citing gag orders, Israeli security officials have said little about the investigations into Wednesday's bus stop bombing or the knife killings two weeks ago. Officials identified the victim of the Jerusalem bombing as Mary Jean Gardner, a 59-year-old British tourist who had been taking courses at Jerusalem's Hebrew University. In Washington, the State Department said five of the wounded were Americans, one of whom remains hospitalized.
    --------
    So as you can see this does involve us and it involves one of our closest allies...

  • Comment number 60.

    Why all these countries are quick in implementing the UN resolution against Col Muammar Gaddafi ?
    How many THOUSANDS of innocent civilians and children are suffering in Gaza ?
    How many THOUSANDS of innocent civilians and children were killed and forced to leave the homes and forced into camps in Sri Lanka?
    How many THOUSANDS of civilians are suffering with out their basic Human Rights in Saudi ?
    etc. . . etc. . . etc. . .
    WHY ONLY IN LIBYA ? ? ? WHY NOT IN OTHER COUNTRIES ? ? ?
    The UN resolution was to implement " NO FLY ZONE " . . .NOT to attack the military bases and tanks ! ! ! If Libyan fights take off then they could have attacked. . . But what is happening here ? Not only A U was fooled the entire world was fooled by US / UK and other countries in this attack.
    Why can't they go and implement UN resolution against Israel which was passed several times in the past ?
    OR at least after Libya will they go there DIRECTLY ? ? ? NO. . . .
    THIS IS WHAT YOU CALL THE LAW OF THE JUNGLE . . . FITTEST WILL SURVIVE . . .

  • Comment number 61.

    Who are these rebels ?
    Are they protesting like Egypt people OR FIGHTING ?
    They are not PROTESTING . . . They are FIGHTING . . .
    So the Libyan Govt. have every right to use their forces to control ( Whether the rebels are right or wrong is a different question ) the rebels. . .
    Why US / UK and other EU Countries banned the L T T E ? Why they did not bomb Sri Lanka ? Why the SL Govt. was not referred to I C C ?
    Why different treatment for different countries ? This is called Hypocrisy. . . Even these countries couldn't provide HUMANITARIAN ASSISTANCE to THEIR OWN PEOPLE IN NEED. . . They are spending BILLIONS of Dollars in Unnecessary War. Atleast these Billions of dollars and all these ships and Flights and Personals Could have helped Japan to over come their situation.
    All waste ? ? ? OR IS IT AN INVESTMENT ? ? ? To capture the Oil in Libya. . . . .
    YES . . . THIS IS AN INVESTMENT. . . . .PLEASE UNDERSTAND . . .
    DON'T MAKE NOISE OR BE READY TO GO TO GUANTANAMO. . .
    BE PATRIOTIC AND SUPPORT THE WAR .

  • Comment number 62.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 63.

    #62

    "Adressed to M Kuruparan: you are obviously a misguided, inferior indian. You fail to understand the basic fact of humanity: white people are superior to all others: why do you think that only white countries are developed and powerful?"



    Kekekeke. This will go over about as well as my Mexican comments have....

  • Comment number 64.

    The Achiles heel of western society is our political "leadership" and the systems that keep these con men, jackals and fools in power.....

    the NON-critical nature of the media towards anything liberal is part of the problem, but not the whole thing....

    .....Obama, Bush, Clinton, Bush, Reagan, Carter, etc....

    How about the long line of "greatness" for British leadership?....

    We will continue to sit dumbfounded at the obvious stupidity and foolishness of politican after politican....until we change the system and process of picking our leadership...

    ---We MUST fix this fundamental structural problem---ANY system that depends on men and women of QUALITY to run the system...is DOOMED to failure....

    The system MUST force the wrong people to do the right thing....until then....we citizens are doomed to suffer....and the rest of the world by extention...

  • Comment number 65.

    62. At 02:43am on 25th Mar 2011, Mohammed134 wrote:
    Adressed to M Kuruparan: you are obviously a misguided, inferior indian. You fail to understand the basic fact of humanity: white people are superior to all others: why do you think that only white countries are developed and powerful? We have the right to colonise and enslave any civilisation we wish, including Libya, and you should be lucky that we havent decided to go back to your pathetic country. So next time you make a comment such as your last one, ensure that you adress your masters, the US, UK and france, as well as the other European coalition forces, in a respectful tone, you ungrateful inferior!
    -----------------------------------------------

    ............Your're almost there.........but with one important clarification.......

    substitute "Western liberals" vs. "white people".....then you will be on the money.

    It used to be called the "white man's burden" now its the "liberal's burden" to improve your life(make you a good western liberal with no god or tradition), even if it kills you.....


  • Comment number 66.

    @TimR1944

    "I find it very odd that Britain is now at war with a dictator they tried to hard to woo and please and appease."
    Different political regime here back then. Blair now gone and strangely quiet.

    As for Britain being called, "the USA's attack poodle", I wouldn 't worry too much about that or any other comments like it. They are usually originated by the media when they want to stir up public opinion.

    For what it's worth, I'm not aware of any anti American sentiment here in the UK. America does what it does, Britain does what it does, and as long as it all adds up to a decent end result, that's what counts.

  • Comment number 67.

    WHAT is it about western liberals that they can't be happy with destroying their own happiness?..........They have to insert and insist themselves and their world view on everyone else...by force if necessary (and most often) against the express will of others who are screaming at the top of their lungs "LEAVE ME ALONE"

  • Comment number 68.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 69.

    "General opinion of Americans in Britain is terrible - anti-Americanism is pervasive and deep "

    Ummm. I'm an American living in the UK and have not experienced any poor treatment while here. I'm not sure where you have gotten this idea to be honest. I've lived in the UK off and on and in different regions for a number of years now. Never had a problem. It hasn't been so many years that I've lost my accent or anything like that. I'm still very much an American and it is probably still pretty obvious. So it isn't a case of people not realizing where I am from or thinking I'm from the UK.

    Regarding...'Tim's right on the money. Britain's a cesspool of anti-Americanism. I direct your attention to BBC Question Time, Sept. 13, 2001.'

    I had just moved to the UK for the first time in September 2001 and the treatment I experienced as an American after 9/11 was beyond kind. People would hear my accent and talk to me about how sorry they were and how much they wished the US well. It was lovely. Too bad Bush then wasted all that international goodwill...

  • Comment number 70.

    Re post 67 (CuriousAmerican) about liberals and happiness. My observation is that liberals generally tend to be happy, while it is the conservatives, especially the more extreme sort, who are always angry about something. Post 67 is a good example of this phenomenon.

  • Comment number 71.

    #37 JMM

    This must be humor or a put on. You are far too knowledgeable to actually believe this. Bush was not that popular because not a few people thought [some still think] the election was stolen.

    The war was not that popular, either. The “popularity” [outside the red warmonger states] of the war rested on post 9/11 trauma and patriotic outrage at the attack. The Bush propagandists were hammering home the Saddam = Al Qaida Lie and the WMD lie almost from the very beginning.

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

    I think you need to reevaluate what you're putting forth, JMM. Nostrano #12 is right.

    Bush had an approval rating in America at the time of the Iraq invasion in 2003 of around 60%, higher than Obama's current rating of around 46%. I just looked it up on the Wall Street Journal's website and they are a reputable news source in the U.S.

    As for Operation Iraqi Freedom (the invasion) itself, more than 70% of Americans approved of it when it began in March of 2003. That was reported by multiple U.S. media outlets like CNN, FOX, and MSNBC. American citizens' approval of the Iraq adventure only gradually declined later on over the years to the eventual point that more people disapproved than approved. And this was mostly because the whole thing wasn't going well, not because the majority of Americans rejected the original idea of going into Iraq to oust Saddam's regime.

    I don't want to get too far off the Libya subject of this board and I'm not here to defend George W. Bush, but I do have to speak out when assertions are patently false. Look it up if you don't believe me, everything I've said can be verified to be true.

  • Comment number 72.

    Yeah I agree, The UK is America's b**ch.
    The US is not broke btw.

    Nato should just kick out Germany and all the useless members. The US, UK, France and Canada all the members supporting the UN resolution should block China, Russia, Germany from Libyan oil.

    Just like in Iraq, China will be the first in line for drilling permits. Typical cheats.

  • Comment number 73.

    The reason 70 % of American population supported was they were fooled by the then Govt. They said Sadam is having W M D and ready to deploy it in 45 min. etc etc.
    Another reason was Bush's policy of . . . . " EITHER YOU ARE WITH US . . . .OR. . . YOU ARE WITH THE ENEMY " . . . That is why people supported it.

  • Comment number 74.

    70. At 03:40am on 25th Mar 2011, GH1618 wrote:
    Re post 67 (CuriousAmerican) about liberals and happiness. My observation is that liberals generally tend to be happy, while it is the conservatives, especially the more extreme sort, who are always angry about something. Post 67 is a good example of this phenomenon.
    -----------------------------------------------
    ....brother you just ain't pay'n attention....or not willing to look at "your" team...

    ...Even Obama bemoans the "professional left" who are never endingly unhappy about everything...

    ...It is my personal obsevation and experience that taken in total...liberals are incapable of looking around and seeing the "bright" side of things...and are in general adult children who's logic skills never developed past high school...and are never satisfied with what they have and always want more of my money, freedom and traditions....to force their point of view on me using the power of govt. to do it...While all along telling me how greedy I am to feed my family....

    ..they live with a deep sense of superiority of others...especially against those evil people who dare have a different point of view..they would sooner give the benefit of the doubt to a know mass-murdering tyrant on the other side of the planet than their own countrymen who vote differently than them...

    .....but go ahead and tell me that it's really those evil people who don't agree with liberals that call their political opposition Nazi's, racits and all sorts of evil characters...

    I guess it's too hard for them to engage in the exchange of ideas...or maybe it's because if they engage their brain instead of their mouths they would have to admit the failure of policy and be forced to rethink their world-view....

  • Comment number 75.

    #69 Bonebiddy

    I had just moved to the UK for the first time in September 2001 and the treatment I experienced as an American after 9/11 was beyond kind. People would hear my accent and talk to me about how sorry they were and how much they wished the US well. It was lovely. Too bad Bush then wasted all that international goodwill...

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

    I am confused by your post - you claim that there is no anti-Americanism in the first part of your post and then go on to talk about Bush being responsible for them turning against Americans.

    So there IS anti-Americanism.

    I have heard that many, many times: after 9/11 'everyone liked us' and then Bush turned the world against us in a frenzy of anti-Americanism. That is a chilling commentary on how changable and easily prejudiced too many human beings are - across the world. We have a president they don't like, and they turn against us because of our birth-place. The pendulum of emotions swings so easily.

    Depressing and sad, but an unpleasant truth.

  • Comment number 76.

    73. At 04:03am on 25th Mar 2011, M Kuruparan wrote:
    The reason 70 % of American population supported was they were fooled by the then Govt. They said Sadam is having W M D and ready to deploy it in 45 min. etc etc.
    Another reason was Bush's policy of . . . . " EITHER YOU ARE WITH US . . . .OR. . . YOU ARE WITH THE ENEMY " . . . That is why people supported it.
    -------------------------

    You are obviously not an american.....let me help clear some things up....

    The real answer is alot more simple....We where still VERY PISSED about 9/11 and looking for some payback against the people who did it....and to settle unfinished business for everyone else....

    ...I'm not saying its a nice reason...but it's the real reason...We weren't fooled by any of the WMD stuff...That was for the rest of the world to build a UN coalition...

    At the time, we didn't need a reason....we just needed to kick some @ss to blow off some steam....Sadam was just the lowest hanging fruit available....again, not nice...but honest...

  • Comment number 77.

    75. At 04:14am on 25th Mar 2011, TimR1944 wrote:
    #69 Bonebiddy

    .......... We have a president they don't like, and they turn against us because of our birth-place. The pendulum of emotions swings so easily.

    Depressing and sad, but an unpleasant truth.

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

    ..........Sadly the wllling cognative disconnect you observe is the rule rather than the exception.........

    most people's emotions lead their world view and opinions...therefore......However the FEEL about a situation is the TRUTH...plus...throw in the idiot box telling the masses HOW to feel and think and selectively giving you the information that fits their pre-existing conclusions....and WHAALAA..."public opinion"

    NO wonder Madison Avenue (advertsing world)makes so much money...we are soooooo much like sheep....BAAAAA....

  • Comment number 78.

    Re. Roast chicken #71

    As I recall it, The Bush II presidency polled weakly until Sept. 11, when it became virtually 'Un-American' to express dissent. Likewise with the war in Iraq, I recall no credible poll showing majority support for it until the order was actually given, when, once again, dissent seemed 'Un-American' and the polls, only at the point of the war's initiation, showed overwhelming support.

  • Comment number 79.

    #76 Curious American
    ...I'm not saying its a nice reason...but it's the real reason...We weren't fooled by any of the WMD stuff...That was for the rest of the world to build a UN coalition...

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

    Well, I am an American and I must admit that I was stupid enough to believe the "WMD stuff". I was obviously a fool, but I don't think I was the only one.

  • Comment number 80.

    No, I wouldn't say there is anti-Americanism in the UK. I think the last bit I wrote was not as clear as it should have been.

    There was such a feeling of unity and benevolence in early 2001. Sadness as well of course. I was living in an international dorm (250 people from all over the world) and there was a sense seeing everyone as people first and citizens of specific countries second. The UK students and people in the city I where was living were also very kind and welcoming. When Bush and Blair got seriously busy the love-feast bubble burst and I think people in the UK became anti-Bush and anti-Blair. Not anti-American! The Brits or at least all the ones I've met seem to know the difference between governments and people. Though there was some exasperation with us when Bush was elected for a second term and I did get tired of trying to explain it to people. Even then people in the UK were nothing but nice.

    I feel like I'm still not explaining myself very well. In early 2001 it seemed like the world was poised for a great development in human history. The international community was coming together in a common understanding and it felt like something very positive was going to come from something horrible. Instead we ended up with wasted opportunities, two very internationally divisive wars and global financial ruin. Oh, for a time machine...

    I hope that helps explain what I wrote at the end of my previous post.

  • Comment number 81.

    #69 Bonebiddy

    I had just moved to the UK for the first time in September 2001 and the treatment I experienced as an American after 9/11 was beyond kind. People would hear my accent and talk to me about how sorry they were and how much they wished the US well. It was lovely. Too bad Bush then wasted all that international goodwill...

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

    I always hear that "Bush wasted that international goodwill" by invading Iraq and believe it to be true. But I submit that the goodwill never really mattered when it came to true positive change in the world. Wasting the goodwill to get rid of Saddam was worth it and a good decision for the long term.

    I appreciated the 9/11 goodwill, but what was it really getting the United States in the way of measurable improvements in the world? Just because a lot of countries were temporarily filled with sympathy for America over 9/11 never meant that they were all going to send thousands of troops to Afghanistan to help in that effort. It was all just a mirage that was going to quickly evaporate.

    I prefer action over words.

    Even though the process has been ugly and there were horrible unintended consequences, Saddam's murderous regime is gone forever and Iraq at least now has a chance of becoming a decent place in the future. Numerous international problems were solved by his regime's destruction - many more than have been created by the invasion. I see a glass half full, not half empty.

    I think that's more important than temporary international goodwill towards the U.S. that probably wouldn't have led to any real changes for the better to the world landscape.

  • Comment number 82.

    I guess it proves once again the usa and britain will be breaking international law as they have no mandate for waging war which is clearly what they are doing when they attack ground troops and non miltary buildings. unfortunatly once again the BBC will not allow the truth to be told they have a mandate to enforce a no fly zone not wage war. How long till the yanks go in and start killing them for fun too like they have in the last two conflicts?

  • Comment number 83.

    #80 Bonebiddy
    The international community was coming together in a common understanding and it felt like something very positive was going to come from something horrible. Instead we ended up with wasted opportunities, two very internationally divisive wars and global financial ruin. Oh, for a time machine...

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

    That seems a bit much - If not for Americans the world would have moved to a new chapter of international understanding? The war in Iraq was enough to irreparably derail the progress of the entire globe? We have been plunged into chaos and ruin because of the US?

    I was betrayed and angry about Iraq, but that just seems way over-the-top. I will take responsibility for what we have done wrong, but to say Mea Culpa and beat my brest of a lost Golden Age due to the evils of Americans is taking guilt and self-hatred outside reality and into imagination.

  • Comment number 84.

    79. At 04:41am on 25th Mar 2011, TimR1944 wrote:
    #76 Curious American
    ...I'm not saying its a nice reason...but it's the real reason...We weren't fooled by any of the WMD stuff...That was for the rest of the world to build a UN coalition...

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

    Well, I am an American and I must admit that I was stupid enough to believe the "WMD stuff". I was obviously a fool, but I don't think I was the only one.
    ---------------------------

    .......brother.....you gotta look beyond what they are talking about....and see what is happening....You have to collect your OWN data, don't wait to be spoon fed...

    You want to know when I "knew 100%" the fix was it?.........When I saw train after train of tanks and support tankers being shipped to from Fort Hood (home of the 4th ID) to the docks in the Port of Houston.....and they where re-painted for desert camo...(they've been dark green and black camo for the eastern european theatre for as long as I can remember)

    You don't commit to that kind of mobilization without KNOWING you are going to use it....

    like I've said...That whole WMD thing was a solution in search of a problem...You've got to pay more attention...

  • Comment number 85.

    80. At 05:06am on 25th Mar 2011, Bonebiddy wrote:
    ............. The international community was coming together in a common understanding and it felt like something very positive was going to come from something horrible. Instead we ended up with wasted opportunities, two very internationally divisive wars and global financial ruin. Oh, for a time machine...
    --------------------------------------------------

    ...so to be clear....It was the natural disgust and typical "nails across the chalkboard" reaction of from liberals about Bush not being a Coastal, big city, european-style big govt. liberal that lead to their slanderous, vile and outrageous claims linking him to the most evil people in human history?.......I read the BBC blogs then....don't tell me that wasn't the case....

    .....So americans are "acceptable"....if they vote and think like socialist europe liberals...but if not...then they are detestible evil demon spawn?.....

    That clearly describes our own home grown liberals attitudes towards other americans who think differently than them too....it must be lib thing...

  • Comment number 86.

    @CuriousAmerican

    Well. I'm a proud bleeding heart liberal and am probably guilty of a whine or two...or ten. That is human nature. The funny thing is I could so easily see much of your post coming from a liberal. Change a few words and there you go with a post about how horrible conservatives are. We aren't so different really. We just don't necessarily agree on how to get things done. That doesn't make anyone stupid or inferior. It certainly isn't any reason to hate someone. I bet if we sat down and had a beer and mostly stayed off the topic of politics we would probably have a great time. I think there are people on both sides of the political spectrum trying to whip us up into a frenzy of mistrust and dislike. It is to their benefit, not ours. Without constructive political discourse there is no winner except the politicians and cable news shows (I'm not just pointing the finger at Fox). Clearly we have one thing in common and that is enjoying the BBC website and staying up far too late to read and post! Yikes, I have to get up in 2 hours!!!!

  • Comment number 87.

    81. At 05:10am on 25th Mar 2011, Roast Chicken wrote:
    #69 Bonebiddy


    I think that's more important than temporary international goodwill towards the U.S. that probably wouldn't have led to any real changes for the better to the world landscape.
    -----------------------------------------------------------

    The rest of the world "just don't understand" how the USA thinks and reacts....

    We really are DIFFERENT...we expect decisive winning action and expect it quickly...Talk is all fine and good IF it leads to the proper ACTIONS being taken...

    Talking for the sake of talking is a waste of time for us....If you really want to KNOW how americans think...look at our sports...ALL of them...How many other countries or cultures could support so many college and professional sporting events?

    We DEMAND TO WIN....losing is hateful to americans...in everything we do. We all want to be millionaires and rock stars...Living a "safe life" on the govt. dole is seen in this country as a place for LOSERS, QUITERS, the LAZY and the CON-MEN....

    ....I get the feeling that living off the govt. for the Euros is expected and just fine...Which is accepting personal defeat and shame in the eyes of many americans...

  • Comment number 88.

    82. At 05:14am on 25th Mar 2011, Darren Shepperd wrote:
    I guess it proves once again the usa and britain will be breaking international law as they have no mandate for waging war which is clearly what they are doing when they attack ground troops and non miltary buildings. unfortunatly once again the BBC will not allow the truth to be told they have a mandate to enforce a no fly zone not wage war. How long till the yanks go in and start killing them for fun too like they have in the last two conflicts?

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

    If international law is going to defend the likes of Saddam and Gaddafi, then the decent people of the world shouldn't have any use for it.

  • Comment number 89.

    LOL! It was a bit over the top what I wrote, but it did feel that way at the time.

    I don't think of it as if not for America the world would have moved to a new chapter of international understanding, but more of if not for Bush behaving rashly maybe things would be a bit better. Maybe...

    To answer your question, 'The war in Iraq was enough to irreparably derail the progress of the entire globe?'

    No, probably not, but it certainly didn't help. The wars also feel pretty enormous when living in not one but two countries involved. Having American and British friends with family members in both Iraq and Afghanistan keeps it ever present. Plus many of the UK soldiers killed are repatriated through near where I live. Nothing like lots of dead brave young people to make one long for a time before the wars.

  • Comment number 90.

    86. At 05:39am on 25th Mar 2011, Bonebiddy wrote:
    ............ Clearly we have one thing in common and that is enjoying the BBC website and staying up far too late to read and post! Yikes, I have to get up in 2 hours!!!!
    -------------------------
    ......sleep.......who needs sleep?......

    damn this mammal body of mine....sleep is such a waste of time....I've got things to do and deadlines to make....

    I'm banging away thru the night on my computer once again...jumping back and forth between work and posting my diatribes on the BBC website, trading comments with people who don't think like I do....

    ...ohh well...If didn't want to gather my OWN data and come to my OWN conclusions about the news of the day....I would be watching the entertainment news channels (which is ALL of them by the way)........Always remember.."news" is a product designed to get you to watch so they can sell advertising......

    Whatever you get for "free" is worth what you pay for it....that includes the clever "buy my crap" machine they call TV....

    Turn off the TV for a month...its amazing what you've been missing...and how much it screws up your thinking....It's like the first burst of spring after a LONG and brutal Winter stuck inside.....

    ---I still think liberal theology (yes theology) is dangerous, wrong and its long-term results lead to destruction of the human spirit....but I promise...I'll just think you are wrong..not evil incarnate...

    ....ok...back to work for me....

  • Comment number 91.

    88. At 05:50am on 25th Mar 2011, Roast Chicken wrote:

    If international law is going to defend the likes of Saddam and Gaddafi, then the decent people of the world shouldn't have any use for it.

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

    Libya (Gaddafi) is still on the UN panel for Human rights......if THAT tells you anything 'bout how credible that organization is...NOTHING WILL....

    ..If you got enough money....you can "buy" yourself a seat just about anywhere....

    ...oh...Don't forget...Obama has REFUSED to give back is Nobel Peace Price...I don't care who you are...thats funny right there...


  • Comment number 92.

    Timr1944;

    Well then, not only have you heard from Brits in the UK, but Americans as well. All say anti-Americanism is NOT rife in the UK. You still dont believe it I see, apparently you dismiss theirs and my decades of personal experiences and prefer to believe polls and newspaper headlines. You even twisted bonebiddy's remarks to suit your own agenda, even though he represents the normal experience of Americans in the UK, the same as I said.

    You say you spent 3 months in the UK? Why am i SO sceptical about that!?Tell us how the nasty Brits treated you. Go on, tell us how you were hounded out of your hotel by villagers with pitchforks. If you'd personally experienced anti-Americanism it would have been plastered all over these blogs by now. But if you have, I want to hear about it and like 99.9% of my fellow residents will condemn it unreservedly.

    And please dont play the self-pity card with me. If you hijack a blog about the USS Bataan, which includes no reference to the UK whatsoever, by insulting all British people then you deserve everything you get. And not for the first time, this is a regular occurrence every month, several times a month. At least you haven't descended to scottnyc's level, if you dont believe Americans can be congenitally racist towards the British then spend 5 minutes trawling through his post history. If you make it beyond "fat limey" on the first page you'll be doing well.

  • Comment number 93.

    Nobody knows how Libya may pan out. The prospect of Gadaffi continuing a vicious long drawn out genocide against his own people even using chemical weapons is one possibility. That would change the game completely. But maybe ground troops are looking like they may be needed to clean up the mess in Libya, or at least to defend civilians in some cities.

    Of course the most outrageous thing is that the Arab League 'talks the talk' about Libya but won't 'walk the walk' as regards sending in mass air support and ground troops.[Just 8 planes from Qatar out of 240?] Seems they are happy to let the West solve their problems for them,and just snipe at the side now and then to satisfy Arab public opinion. One day these guys are going to have to take responsibility for themselves. But not yet,it seems.

  • Comment number 94.

    And don't take any notice of anti-American posters from the UK. The British are pretty well disposed to Americans. Have a touring holiday round the UK and see! You'd be made very welcome wherever you go. Just a tiny number of vociferous characters from the left who blame Americans for everything here. And as a Brit visiting the States I have never come across anything even resembling hostility. Quite the contrary,in fact.

  • Comment number 95.

    once again the US plays policeman, World handle your own problems, would like to see Q strung up, just like all dictators but stop a moment and study history Q was liberator when he overthrew the libyan goverment, all revolutionarys become dictators, for the Brits Cromwell, who is to say that the people overthrowing Q are going to be better, I mean ever third world countrie does this like clock work, have a civil war or revolution then the other guy is just as bad, The world was better when the small countries were parts of western empires, The worst thing the US did was forcing the Europeans to give up there empires before the people in them were ready!! I cant wait to see the the no fly resoultion applyed when the turks riot in germany and the arabs riot in France, and the IRA starts up in the UK, wonder what england would have done if the UN would have declared a no fly in the 1970s or in the Flalklands, or a no fly when the paratroops were dropping on Paris in 1964, or in the US during the 70s and 60s, or how about a no fly in checen where the soviets are raping and murdering thousands of innocents, THIS INTERVENTION IN LIBYA IS FOR BP'S BENIFIT, SO THAT THEY CAN HAVE THE OIL, ODUMA HAS STOPPED BP FROM DRILLING OFF THE COAST OF THE US SO THEY NEED A SURE SOUCE OF OIL. BP GOT THE TERRORIST RELEASED, AND IT DIDNT WORK SO THEY CREATED A OPPOSITION AND WHEN THAT STARTED TO GO SOUR, THEY GOT MOTHER ENGLAND TO HELP AND THE US NEED TO PAY ITS DEBT TO THE SOCIALIST CAUSE BY LENDING ITS HALF WAY SUPPORT!!!! PLEASE DO A POLL ON THE US OPINION OF EUROPE TO INCLUDE ENGLAND YOU WILL FIND A LOT OF ANTI EUROPEAN FEELING, WWI ALL OVER AGAIN, US BLOOD BEING SHED FOR EUROPEAN MISTAKES!!! QUIT BUYING LIBYAN OIL AND THE PROBLEM ENDS SIMPLE SOLUTION AND EUOPEANS GET JOBS IN YOUR OWN COUNTRIES AND YOU WOULDNT HAVE TO BE RESCUED, DONT GET IN THE OCEAN AND YOU WANT DROWN!

  • Comment number 96.

    Hate to way in on a fight between people on the blog, but to help explain some of the anti-UK hate by some americans, the person saying a lot of anti UK maybe like my self of Irish descent or Indian in which we have brought from our ancestors a distrust and hate of all things british, and of the british in general, sometimes this hate comes out and has nothing to do with the current sit, sorry but most Irish were kicked out of their homes by 1% of the british and came to the US as a last resort before dying or living in slavery, only to be persucted here in the US by WASPs, who in fact were the direct decendents of the 1% who stole our land and culture, forced into a war that we didnt start or want to fight, We spent the next 100yrs trying for equality and all we got was a drunken orgy in March! Sorry that we dont trust england sometimes after all we have saved englands butt more than the other way around, WW1 and WW2. To paraphrase Joseph Kennedy "England I would trust Hitler better than England at least he is honest about being a power mad dictator". and off we go to war again for english oil and european socialism just like WW1

  • Comment number 97.

    ref #86

    From your post, i would say unlike some other on this board you are a rational liberal. In the way of an Alan Colmes, Juna williams, Kristen Powers or Diane Sawyer.


    And allthough they are extremists on both sides , the left has has given them main stream recogniztion.

    There is no one in congress as despicable on the right as Shelia Jackson Lee

    Nor is their any people who lie and slander like Rachel Maddow, Ed Shultz and Bob Hebert

    Nor would conservative ever put on something as blood libel like as Israel Arpathied week.

  • Comment number 98.

    Please all of you Britians dont call us Yanks my people killed thousands of Yanks, it is the same as calling you limeys, to clarify you can call any one from the northern US (east coast all the way to the miss, a Yank or Yankee especally if they are from New England it is a term of enderment to them, ( one of their National Guard Div is the Yankee Div) but down south we are rebels and conferates no matter what ABE lincon be saying! oh and if some one from up North lives in the South they are A Damn Yankee and its ok to call them that, they deserve it, and all of the small carriers you see the marines in the us deploy on are old ww2 aircraft carriers, nothing in the navy goes to waste!

  • Comment number 99.

    I think the most obvious use of 800 Marines would be to secure a port or ports for a corridor for humanitarian supplies, and on the more conspiratorial note the shipment of military supplies. They could also be used to take airstrips or airports for the same reason and used for recovery of downed aircraft and evacuation of foreigners (like journalists) and high ranking defectors. I would not be surprised if at some point they move into secure ports in Benghazi or Tobruk.

  • Comment number 100.

    http://www.navytimes.com/news/2011/03/ap-libya-nato-takes-on-part-of-mission-032411/

    BRUSSELS — NATO agreed late Thursday to take over part of the military operations against Libya — enforcement of the no-fly zone — after days of hard bargaining among its members. But the toughest and most controversial portion of the operation — attacks on the ground — will continue to be led by the U.S., which has been anxious to give up the lead role.

 

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