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U.S. Evacuates Embassy In Tripoli Amid Renewed Violence

Libya

While the world has been paying attention to Ukraine, Gaza, and Iraq over the past several weeks, the political and military situation in Libya has also been deteriorating. Militia groups from Misrata and other parts of the country have been battling government forces for weeks now, with much of the recent fighting centering around Tripoli’s airport. In recent days, though, it seems that the situation inside the capital itself has deteriorated to such an extent that the United States has chosen to evacuate all personnel from the embassy:

The U.S. Embassy in Libya evacuated its personnel on Saturday because of heavy militia violence raging in the capital, Tripoli, the State Department said.

About 150 personnel, including 80 U.S. Marines were evacuated from the embassy in the early hours of Saturday morning and were driven across the border into Tunisia, U.S. officials confirm to CNN.

CNN has learned the plan to evacuate the Americans was in the works for several days, but the decision to carry out the plan was made just in the last few days as the security situation around the embassy deteriorated.

State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf said the United States is grateful to Tunisia “for its cooperation and support.” She said the personnel are “traveling onward” from Tunisia.

“We are committed to supporting the Libyan people during this challenging time, and are currently exploring options for a permanent return to Tripoli as soon as the security situation on the ground improves. In the interim, staff will operate from Washington and other posts in the region,” Harf said in a statement.

“Securing our facilities and ensuring the safety of our personnel are top Department priorities, and we did not make this decision lightly. Security has to come first. Regrettably, we had to take this step because the location of our embassy is in very close proximity to intense fighting and ongoing violence between armed Libyan factions.

Militia fighting in the area of the embassy and airport has degraded security in Tripoli significantly.

(…)

The Pentagon had pressed for weeks to evacuate the embassy, especially after the Tripoli airport came under repeated militia attack, leaving Americans no way to get out via commercial air, the official said.

The decision to use vehicles to drive the Americans across the border was seen as the best low-profile approach to conducting the evacuation rather than sending U.S. military helicopters and troops into Tripoli.

Harf said the United States will work with Libya and the international community “to seek a peaceful resolution to the current conflict and to advance Libya’s democratic transition.”

“We reiterate that Libyans must immediately cease hostilities and begin negotiations to resolve their grievances. We join the international community in calling on all Libyans to respect the will of the people, including the authority of the recently-elected Council of Representatives, and to reject the use of violence to affect political processes. Many brave Libyans sacrificed to advance their country toward a more secure and prosperous future. We continue to stand solidly by the Libyan people as they endeavor to do so,” Harf said.

Instability has been the rule rather than the exception in Libya ever since the Gaddafi regime fell, of course, and in no small part is the reason behind the events that led to the attack on the U.S. diplomatic post in Benghazi in 2012. Much like Iraq after Saddam, it has seemed as though there is very little holding the nation together without the presence of a strong dictator, which leads to all the warring factions that have been fighting for virtually the last three years. In many ways, this is a reflection of the fact that there seems to have been very little discussion about what a post-Gaddafi Libya would, or should, look like either by Libyan opposition leaders or by the Western powers that intervened in the Libyan civil war in early 2011. The result was the creation of a power vacuum that militant groups rushed into, and a competition among the broad coalition that had opposed Gaddafi in the war for power. At the time, some suggested that the best alternative for the country would be either partition or a system with a relatively weak central government and regions with autonomy to go their own direction. Whether that’s the best solution or not is well above my pay grade, but it certainly seems as though the situation on the ground has gotten much worse, and that Libya is in danger of becoming the breeding ground and safe haven for terrorists that many feared it would become.

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About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May, 2010 and also writes at Below The Beltway. Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. Eric Florack says:

    Welcome to hope and change.

    wouldnt it have been better to have a CIC whose foreign policy went a little deeper than bowing and scraping, apologizing for everyone?

    Yeah, I know, downvotes and all that, but frankly I dont much care, because nobody can even come close to explaining how all these issues are not the direct result of a feckless and supine foreign policy.

    and that doesnt even touch on the rest of what the left, with the help of the entrenched GOP moderates, has bungled since 08.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 10 Thumb down 19

  2. Tillman says:

    It seems as if borders drawn a century ago are not working out like we thought they would.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 2

  3. Tillman says:

    @Eric Florack:

    Yeah, I know, downvotes and all that, but frankly I dont much care, because nobody can even come close to explaining how all these issues are not the direct result of a feckless and supine foreign policy.

    Perhaps you could start by explaining how they are?

    As Doug notes, you can draw direct lines between the removal of dictators (Saddam in Iraq, Gaddafi in Libya) and the unrest that followed. Removing dictators isn’t usually described as a supine move.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 16 Thumb down 4

  4. Mu says:

    So, what would you like our CIC to do? Pull a Clinton a la Somalia? Act like Bush and Iraq? How many trillions are you loaning the treasury to give the Lybians a united enemy to use for target practice while CNN wines over civilian casualties?
    It’s not our place, they’re just doing the same old tribal fighting they’ve been doing for 1300 years.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 2

  5. anjin-san says:

    nobody can even come close to explaining how all these issues are not the direct result of a feckless and supine foreign policy.

    Don’t I know it. The world was a peaceful, stable place before Obama took office.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 18 Thumb down 7

  6. Ron Beasley says:

    The lesson here is that we have artificial countries in areas that have been by nature tribal since the beginning of time it usually takes a tyrant to hold them together. When you overthrow a tyrant like we did in Iraq or aide in the overthrow tyrant as we did in Libya we shouldn’t be surprised if the country comes apart at the seams afterwords.
    When I worked for the DIA in the early 70s we often had discussions on how the old Yugoslavia was likely to come apart when Tito died. Tito was a bit of an exception – he was what we would refer to as a benevolent tyrant and treated all of the ethnic and religious groups equally. Indeed when he died the country erupted in civil war and eventually broke up on ethnic and religious lines.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  7. bill says:

    @Tillman: more likely it’s the savages being unable to govern themselves without a heavy handed dictator!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 5

  8. President Camacho says:

    Just think of all the educational and cultural exchanges we will lose out on now. All the scientific breakthroughs that won’t happen. The advances in science. The list is endless. Let’s dedicate our economy and army and future to saving this nation. Only we, ‘Merica, know how to save them. We can do it bc we are ‘Mericans

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  9. stonetools says:

    In the end, what the USA, Britain and France did when it aided the overthrow of Gadaffi was (1) to forestall a threatened massacre(2) give the Libyans a chance to set up a modern, democratic regime. The Libyans seem to be screwing up their chance, but that’s on them.
    One of the things a study of revolutions teaches is that revolutions often fail or are subverted when the victors fall out and fight out among themselves. I know Americans (who arguably have had the most successful revolution in history) are often dismayed by the frequent failure of revolutions, but there it is.
    I think the best analogy to Arab Spring is 1848 and the flurry of revolutions that broke out all over all Europe demanding democracy and freedom. They succeeded at the first-then the forces of counterrevolution set in and they all collapsed. By 1850 the old order had been restored- yet the revolutionary spirit wasn’t extinguished, and eventually, democracy came to Europe.


    The European Revolutions of 1848, known in some countries as the Spring of Nations, Springtime of the Peoples[3] or the Year of Revolution, were a series of political upheavals throughout Europe in 1848. It remains the most widespread revolutionary wave in European history, but within a year, reactionary forces had regained control, and the revolutions collapsed.

    The revolutionary wave began in France in February, and immediately spread to most of Europe and parts of Latin America. Over 50 countries were affected, but with no coordination or cooperation among the revolutionaries in different countries. Five factors were involved: widespread dissatisfaction with political leadership; demands for more participation in government and democracy; the demands of the working classes; the upsurge of nationalism; and finally, the regrouping of the reactionary forces based on the royalty, the aristocracy, the army, and the peasants.[4]

    The uprisings were led by shaky ad hoc coalitions of reformers, the middle classes and workers, which did not hold together for long. Tens of thousands of people were killed, and many more forced into exile. The only significant lasting reforms were the abolition of serfdom in Austria and Hungary, the end of absolute monarchy in Denmark, and the definitive end of the Capetian monarchy in France. The revolutions were most important in France, the Netherlands, Germany, Poland, Italy, and the Austrian Empire, but did not reach Russia, Sweden, Great Britain, and most of southern Europe (Spain, Serbia,[5] Greece, Montenegro, Portugal, the Ottoman Empire).[6]

    Now it may be just misguided idealism to imagine that the Libyans are on the same trajectory, as, say, the western Europeans were in 1848. But I think it is at least a possibility. What this means though is that we have to take a long view of history. Those who wonder why Libya hasn’t achieved Austria on the Mediterranean by 2014 should understand that the Austria of today is the product of many failed revolutions, successful counterrevolutions, mishaps, and turmoil.Realistically, Libya may be a generation or two away from achieving modern democracy-and they may never actually make it. But we did give them a chance, and that’s a good thing.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 1

  10. ratufa says:

    @stonetools

    Do you think that the overall point of your post applies to Iraq, too?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  11. Jeremy R says:

    @Eric Florack:

    Welcome to hope and change.

    wouldnt it have been better to have a CIC whose foreign policy went a little deeper than bowing and scraping, apologizing for everyone?

    Do you think McCain was lying about his Libya foreign policy preferences back in ’11? Because if you took him at his word, the only difference (if he was CiC) would be he would have gone in earlier, without the UN / Arab League / African Union mandate.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  12. Lounsbury says:

    @Eric Florack:
    Apparently suppine in your provincial dialect means “not supportive of permanent war and poorly thought through imperial ambitions.”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 3

  13. Lounsbury says:

    @stonetools: Yes quite.

    The 1848 analogy is quite spot on, both relative to the relative development of various national identities and the political system framing.

    Libya was worth a shot – it was not going back to pre Tunisia revolution state regardless – the best case without intervention was likely Libya would look rather like Syria does now.

    Of course American comment tends to forget the French were going in regardless of the Americans and were rather active with their own special forces. Not all rode on what Americans did.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  14. anjin-san says:

    @ Lounsbury

    Florack is always in favor of war, as long as he is not one of the folks getting shot at.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 3

  15. Eric Florack says:

    actually, i prefer actually winning the wars brought to us.
    Negotiation does not bring peace, only more war, @anjin-san.

    @Lounsbury same comment to you. One would think youd have figured that after watching the continuous war waged on Israel, despite all the consessions she has made… of late mostly at the behest of US leftists, such as the Clinttons.

    @Jeremy R: As ive said repeatedly, McCain is an idiot I want nowhere near the white House. The man is nowhere near being a conservative. I am on record as only marginally supporting the man as being a somewhat smaller worldwide disaster than Obama has bee.

    @stonetools: Of course its on them. Youre quite right, but it has gone down that way each time. appears to me that there is something to the idea that not all cultures are equal, huh?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 7

  16. Eric Florack says:

    @Ron Beasley:

    When I worked for the DIA in the early 70s we often had discussions on how the old Yugoslavia was likely to come apart when Tito died. Tito was a bit of an exception – he was what we would refer to as a benevolent tyrant and treated all of the ethnic and religious groups equally. Indeed when he died the country erupted in civil war and eventually broke up on ethnic and religious lines.

    Hmmm. Excellent point. In fact, it sounds rather like what I suggested over a decade back…

    Culture is by far a more powerful force than government, over time. Indeed; Where governments have gotten themselves into problems over the centuries, is invariably where governments have tried to alter the culture artificially, by means of law. Culture eventually triumphs.

    Take communism, as an example. Communism attempts to over-ride the culture and basically outlaw many facets of it.

    But, (and this is important) everywhere you saw Communism.. Russia, Cuba, Korea, East Germany you saw the same treacherous *political* ideology, not the cultural values of those societies. And in those places where communism has been overthrown, the former USSR for example, the original culture invariably springs back to life.

    Now… translating that to the middle east… well, you get the idea.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 4

  17. Dave says:

    What happened to “you break it, you bought it”?

    Oh yeah, that only applies when a Republican is president.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  18. Ron Beasley says:

    @Eric Florack: I think this is probably true:

    Culture is by far a more powerful force than government, over time.

    I think you miss a few important points. Russia under the Czars was a tyranny and a majority of the population suffered. The same can be said for Cuba under Batista, the top 1% of the population held most of the wealth and it too was a tyranny. They basically traded one tyranny for another. In the case of East Germany you are probably right and I really don’t know much about the history Korea. As for the Middle East it remains culturally a tribal society and I don’t see how that can be changed overnight.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  19. Lounsbury says:

    @Eric Florack:
    How very amusing:

    actually, i prefer actually winning the wars brought to us.
    Negotiation does not bring peace, only more war, @anjin-san.

    In short, then you are one of those ill-learned provincial Americans that have been duped into believing that every conflict must follow your Great Moral Story of WWII mythology.

    Of course any proper reading of history indicates rather clearly your opinion on negotiations is utter bollocks without any grounding in proper history.

    @Lounsbury same comment to you. One would think youd have figured that after watching the continuous war waged on Israel, despite all the consessions she has made… of late mostly at the behest of US leftists, such as the Clinttons.

    US Leftists like Clinton….

    Amusing, it does tell me you are one of those dim wits who repeats empty-mindedly ideological cant. Formerly an endemic disease of the Hard Left (the real Hard Left not your bizarre readings) in particular, in the USA, the former conservatives in USA have rather been infectec by Bolshie style ideological cant.

    Israel has done bugger-all in concessions, and the idea that the country has been conceding anything much at all is only something believed by apparently Americans and Israelis of the Hard Right. Complete bollocks.

    Of course, I’ve actually been there and to the territories, for reasons business and investment, so need not rely on lapping up AgitProp.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 1

  20. Lounsbury says:

    @anjin-san:

    Yes that does come through now. Someone who has lapped up the Bolshy Ancien Trotskite thinking that your NeoCons ported over to your right.

    Bloody surreal, your Right Bolsheviks.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 1

  21. Lounsbury says:

    @Ron Beasley:
    Libya is no more artificial than Belgium nor Germany nor Italy. The two main parts of Libya, Cyrenaica and Tripolitania are really quite ancient ‘identity units’ and rather more ancient than your country.

    Nations are made, not natural entities.

    What can be said is that is that it is hard to build a national cohesion on the backs of a personalised family/tribal dictatorship (the Gaddafa), that itself hesitated between pan-National identity (pan-Arabism, Pan-Africanism) and did a piss-poor job of creating any proper institutions at all. For all that it sometimes made quite amusing TV if one could tolerate watching the Libyan national channel – Gaddafi personally reviewing ‘moussassa’ accounts on TV, going off on odd rant-tangents and occasionally accepting a correction had a most surreal quality. Crap as governance, but amusing at some level.

    The North African nations are not the same as the Middle Eastern one in their histories.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  22. Eric Florack says:

    @Dave: Indeed so, and this thread seems to demonstrate that clearly.

    @Ron Beasley: Oh, there is no question in my mind it wont be. indeed, I said as much… that it was going to be a long task to turn things around…. and took a lot of heat for it…. complaints I was supporting perpetual warfare, from the usual suspects. Defeat is inevitable when you withdraw before the task is completed.d

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1

  23. Eric Florack says:

    @Lounsbury: Yes, like Clinton.

    Ponder what I said pre-9/11.. 1999, I think this was…

    “From Oslo to Camp David, Clinton has pushed Israel to the bargaining table, and pressured her to give up vital strategic and cultural assets she has no business giving away, if survival is at all on her agenda. Ehud Barak, by his giving into Bill Clinton (who, along with his staff including Jim Carville, did much to put Barak into office), has done little more than demonstrate just how empty the Palestinians’ peace talk really is, and how desperate Clinton was to be seen as a good President, his crimes against his oaths not withstanding. Consider….

    At Clinton’s insistence, Barak offered Arafat the keys to the kingdom; just about all of the West Bank and Gaza, plus East Jerusalem and even Palestinian sovereignty over the Temple Mount. How do the peace loving Palestinians respond? Yasser Arafat turned it all down, and gave us another few nights of headlines, filled with kids in the street throwing stones, and being shot, occasionally. He also sent his armed forces, (You recall, they’re supposed to be policemen?) to fire at the Israelis, apparently hoping for an excuse to tell the rest of the world how Israel is a war-mongering nation.

    Of course that should have been a signal to about anyone with a brain that he didn’t give a damn about peace. All he and his followers are interested in is the destruction of Israel. It should have also been a signal that Clinton’s attempt at a legacy backfired, big time, and more, that it didn’t have a chance to start with…. something that Clinton should have known, did he have any understanding of the situation at all. You will recall, perhaps that back in 1992 , Clinton more or less bragged he had no understanding of matters of foreign policy. This was never quite so clear as during this monstrosity Mr. Clinton unleashed on the world.

    For Israel’s part, all of this has been laid at the feet of Ehud Barak, perhaps unfairly. No, I don’t think he was the man for the job, and clearly was only in the PM’s position because Clinton’s people worked so hard to get him there, apparently hoping to set up Clinton’s brokering a of peace deal. Easy to do when you have the PM of Israel owing you his election. But Barak apparently was under pressures he had no control of, having nothing to do with politics at home, or the Palestinians… both of which were quite out of his control to begin with, in any event.. He was concerned with Israel continuing to get support from the US. In this concern, he saw Israel as being on the controlled end of the puppet’s string… and knowing that if he did not capitulate to Clinton’s demands, that vital US support would wither as quickly as Benjamin Netenyau’s prime ministership did, when it became clear he wasn’t going to buckle to Clinton’s concession demands.

    And Barak wasn’t alone, nor was the left in Israel, in this perception of US control versus Israel’s survival. Yitzhak Rabin, hardly a liberal even by American standards and certainly not under Bill Clinton’s extortion based control to the extent that Barak was, saw the same problems. His longtime friends, according reports I’ve seen, tell us he was deeply troubled over the prospect of losing US support… and therefore bought into the ‘land for peace’ deals being brokered by the liberals in the US. This was something I predicted he wouldn’t have done.

    Israeli voters, seeing this happening, and clearly annoyed with the US control over Israel’s dealings with the Palestinians, trounced Barak in the polls. Unless one considers this anger, the election of Ariel Sharon, his replacement, is hard to fathom, since he has never been overly popular, as best I can tell. But perhaps the people of Israel are finally figuring out what the real story is.. that in truth, there is no dealing with the Palestinians, and Arifat.

    One hopes that they’ve not been too late in coming to this conclusion. If they are, world war seems fairly certain to me… possibly nuclear in nature.

    Others learned the lessons, painful as they tended to be. Chaimberlin’s England, for example,along with the remainder of the free world, learned about appeasement of a mortal enemy the hard way. The American left, apparently not having leaned the lesson taught by the infamous socialist, Hitler, was taught the lesson again, by another band of socialists, as Soviet tanks rolled into Afghanistan 40 or so years later.

    So, what has changed?
    Not a blessed thing.

    Nor will it ever change, so long as we keep trying to negotiate with these unspeakable bastards. Each time we do so, particularly when a leftist is in the WH, the attempt is made to ascribe the title of “Peacemaker” to people like Clinton, and Carter before him, each of which unquestionably made the situation worse, not better, in that region.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

  24. socraticsilence says:

    @Eric Florack:

    What like a corporate raider? Yeah I don’t see how an in-depth knowledge of off-shore banking laws would help here.

    Oh I know, the Senator whose answer for every problem is more war, that would work well, man if we’d only armed the Libyan rebels more and then armed the Syrian rebel groups- then at least the people fighting in the streets of Tripoli and Tikrit would have M-16s instead of AKs that would make things better right?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  25. socraticsilence says:

    @Ron Beasley: You could make a decent argument for the latter years (pre-Revolution) Qaddafi as a relatively benevolent tyrant in the Pinochet/Tito mold– killed his enemies and suppressed dissent but didn’t wipe out tens of thousands ala Saddam.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  26. socraticsilence says:

    @Eric Florack:

    What war in the last 50 years was “brought to US” other than perhaps Afghanistan– which if you’re counting that one as being “brought to us” was won by Obama in May of 2011 when Bin Laden was killed.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

  27. anjin-san says:

    @ Florack

    Nor will it ever change, so long as we keep trying to negotiate with these unspeakable bastards.

    What do you propose? Genocide? Maintaining Gaza as a huge, eternal concentration camp?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  28. Eric Florack says:

    @socraticsilence: at what point have I ever argued for such? Straw man.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  29. Yolo Contendere says:

    @Dave:

    What happened to “you break it, you bought it”?

    Oh yeah, that only applies when a Republican is president.

    Obama “broke” Libya? Did I miss our sending in ground troops?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 2

  30. Eric Florack says:

    @socraticsilence: Radical Islam, in this context.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  31. Eric Florack says:

    @anjin-san: No, I suggest winning the war.
    see also, Germany & Japan.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

  32. anjin-san says:

    @ Florck

    see also, Germany & Japan.

    In other words, bomb them until we are simply blasting rubble into smaller rubble, and kill hundreds of thousands of non-combatants.

    Oh, and maybe use nukes.

    And when the arab countries end oil exports and our economy collapses, what is your plan?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

  33. Dave says:

    @Yolo Contendere: Obama broke Libya when he took a mandate to prevent a massacre in Benghazi and perverted it into regime change. It has been anarchy in Libya ever since. I was no fan of Ghaddafi, but even he was better than the chaos and murder of the last three years. Not to mention what is yet to come.

    Prominent Republicans cheered him on, but that’s no excuse for his massive blunder is it? At least that’s the party line when it comes to Bush and the Democrats who not only cheered, but voted to authorize his attack on Iraq.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  34. Eric Florack says:

    @socraticsilence: us, being whom?
    The United states proper, or western civ, of which we are the only superpower?,

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  35. Eric Florack says:

    @anjin-san: Not quite.
    hit them with enough force that both they and the remainder of the world cannot see themselves winning such a fight Can there be any doubt that doing this with the afore-mentioned countries turned them into stalwart freinds of peace and freedom and among our closest allies?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

  36. Eric Florack says:

    @anjin-san: as for oil… we have more than they do. You do know that, right?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

  37. anjin-san says:

    @ Florack

    as for oil… we have more than they do

    So you are going on record saying that if middle eastern oil stopped flowing tomorrow, it would not be a disaster for our economy?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 3

  38. anjin-san says:

    @ Florack

    hit them with enough force that both they and the remainder of the world cannot see themselves winning such a fight

    You keep bringing up WW2. What you are talking about is not what we did to Germany and Japan.

    In WW2. We engaged in systematic, wholesale slaughter of their citizens, and destruction of their cities and industrial plants. We wiped entire metropolises off the map. We nuked Japan, twice.

    We did not hit them hard until they understood. We took them to the brink of utter destruction. Then we took over their countries with armies of occupation. Then we rebuilt their countries.

    What was that line from Apocalypse Now? Oh yes, “Don’t get off the boat. Absolutely fu**king right. Not unless you are going to go all the way.”

    We transformed Germany and Japan by slaughtering them until they were willing to do anything, anything at all to make it stop, including change. So don’t pretend that issuing a sound thrashing will somehow accomplish the same thing in the middle east.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 3

  39. Eric Florack says:

    @anjin-san: with Obamas “no domestic drilling” policy, hell yes. Otherwise, our becoming an oil supplier would tip the scales a bit, realisiticly. World supply would be off, but then again, that means higher prices and thereby bigger income for us. That minor point aside, however, I note once again, that when you’re arguing for liberals, you ignore profits but when arguing against conservatives, you tend to hold the dollar sign as your final moral arbitor.

    And yes, @anjin-san: it will accomplish the same thing. It works every time its tried. And before you get on that high horse again about civilian deaths, explain to us how many more people on both sides have to die because we refuse to treat an enemy as such,. How does your moral compass (choke, cough) mesh with those deaths?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  40. T says:

    @Eric Florack:

    hit them with enough force that both they and the remainder of the world cannot see themselves winning such a fight

    “Everybody’s going to the party have a real good time.
    Dancing in the desert blowing up the sunshine.”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

  41. anjin-san says:

    @ Florack

    with Obamas “no domestic drilling” policy, hell yes.

    Ah yes, well, that explains the historic energy boom we are in the middle of. Obama won’t allow drilling.

    It works every time its tried

    I remember getting smacked down for making uber-simplisic arguments like that when I was 11. I realize this sort of thing passes for wisdom with that people who read your blog, but you need to do a little better here, if you can.

    we refuse to treat an enemy as such

    What “we” are you referring to? What deaths are you referring to?

    bigger income for us

    Well, what it would actually mean is bigger profits for oil companies. I am of the opinion that the 1% is doing just fine the way things are. For the average American, it would mean living in a more toxic environment and not a lot else. Have you not noticed that the energy boom we are in has not helped consumers in the least?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 2

  42. Eric Florack says:

    @anjin-san: we are in an energy boom despite, not because of federal policy.

    Simplistic? (Shrug) Your issue is, you keep trying to read subtlety and complexity into situations that require slash and burn.

    As to oil profits, it benefits anyone who is investing in it, including most retirement accounts in the try. Not just the one percent you hate so much. IN SHORT, Americans, not just the government. That said,… It also means increased tax revenue, lest you forget. And the boom hasn’t helped consumers because taxes are too high, government too big.
    .

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 2

  43. anjin-san says:

    @ Florack

    the one percent you hate so much

    Please show anything I have said that would lead a reasonable person to conclude that I “hate” 1%ers. Understanding that the huge upflow of wealth in America to folks that are already fabulously wealthy is a bad thing does not equal hate.

    If you have to make shit up to support your argument, you don’t have much of an argument.

    And the boom hasn’t helped consumers because taxes are too high, government too big.

    When did gas taxes go up? Please be specific.

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  44. anjin-san says:

    you keep trying to read subtlety and complexity into situations that require slash and burn.

    Israel has laid many stunning military defeats on the Arabs. Crushing, historic defeats.

    Yet the violence continues.

    Killing more people and blowing more things up is simply a perpetuation of the cycle of violence and destruction.

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  45. anjin-san says:

    As to oil profits, it benefits anyone who is investing in it, including most retirement accounts in the try. Not just the one percent you hate so much. IN SHORT, Americans,

    Interesting. You are silent about the stunning gains in the market under Obama, but you are excited about profits that exist in your imagination.

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  46. Rob in CT says:

    So, was taking out Qaddafi worth it? I didn’t think so at the time and I still don’t. I think the ongoing unrest is another indicator in favor of the notion that non-intervention was the right call, and Obama’s decision to reverse his general policy (and overrule some of his advisors, who were apparently giving him good advice to stay out) was a mistake.

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