We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
The carnage meted out upon the rebel forces in Libya is terrible. However, it does not come anywhere near to a genocide in scope or in numbers. Libya itself is not a strategic concern of the US, although there are implications in the severity of repression encouraging other extremely repressive regimes like Iran and Syria who are foes of the US. US or European military intervention would most likely garner little lasting thanks among radicalized Arabs or among the Arab satrapies that wink in private but enrage their publics. And, the US military is stretched enough already. We still have the capabilities to mount a no-fly operation, the weak Europeans as usual requiring US forces to do much effective, but there is no compelling national interest really to do so.
I've been searching for indications and information that the Arab states themselves could handle a no-fly zone, after their Arab League endorsed one but did not say they would undertake one. At Real Clear World this morning is a piece from a Dubai, UAE think tank that says they should do the job themselves and can do it, A Joint Arab Force Could Better Enforce a Libya No-Fly-Zone. Worth reading, and repeating regardless of who argues the US should do it.
With well over 240 F-16s in Egypt's inventory, and over 150 F-15s in Saudi service, plus the AEW and WACS goog-gahs to support it all, the Arabs could do it all themselves (and no expensive aircraft carriers required when a couple of your countries actually border Libya).
But Gaddafi is over his initial speed-wobble now; he has seized the initiative from the rebels and is gathering momentum as he moves westward towards Benghazi and Tobruk.
A clear "campaign plan" has emerged here and I suspect that it was put together by son Saif al-Islam and a coterie of smart guys within the regime. The protestors likely thought they had "history on their side" and could just roll eastward, carrying the country along in the tidal wave of revolution, pushing the Mad Colonel aside as they did so. Instead, they simply created a civil war - and they're completely outgunned.
Where the hell is the rebel military leadership? Surely there were Libyan Army formations and/or units in and around Benghazi that could have formed the nucleus of a respectable rebel force?
No, it's "Advantage Gaddafi" now.
And by the time anybody - the UN, the EU, the US, the Arab League - sorts out a response, the rebellion will likely be history.
How I yearn for a President like Ronald Reagan! I well remember how he sorted out Ghadaffi the last time he got really out of line. Sent over a flight of American warfighters one night, he did, and bombed all of Ghadaffi's palaces [he's got a lot of them]. For the next ten years Moammar was so busy going from place to place to sleep in a different palace every night, so he wouldn't get caught, he didn't have time to slaughter his own citizens.
Those were the days when our American President didn't dither around failing to make decisions.
When obama was campaigning for POTUS he was asked, after he demanded our withdrawal from Iraq, if he was concerned about the genocide that would most certainly occur if we followed his demands. He replied, not at all. That being the case, and now years later after seeing what a cold-hearted man he is, is it any surprise that there is no help on the way?
It's damned hard and getting harder not to be ethnocentric and maybe downright racist sounding, when you look at Europe's collective inability to mount more than a token peacekeeping force, or the Arab world's inability to mount more than a terrorist campaign. Makes a man question whether or not saving the lives of peoples who apparently go on to hate us in short order, is worth shedding the blood of our finest young men & women simply out of shallowly held moral convictions akin to the Save Tibet and Save Darfur sloganeers. Not saying that cold hearted pragmatism is the way to go but warm hearted save-the-world-ism is a pretty damn cheap philosophy as long as is somebody else's kid shedding the blood. I served, have buddies still serving, and have friends whose kids are serving. I'd ask first, "to what end?" That said, covert aid to help where we have humanitarian and potential political interests is maybe a good choice - this is the kind of thing the CIA was born to do. The POTUS should ask it to do its core mission here. And by "core" I don't mean giving tepid conventional wisdom situational awareness briefings to Gen. Clapper.
The “no-fly zone” concept is yet another naïve notion that entails a military adventure with no possibility of success. If Libya’s entire air force were permanently grounded starting today, their government tanks would still crush the rebel resistance. Nevertheless, if anyone should fall for it, let it be other Arabs.