10 thoughts on “Today in News

  1. My position has been the same as Juan Cole’s (at least, I think so if I’m reading him right). I’ve been OK with supporting the rebels from the beginning. I’d also like to see this method applied to Iran and Syria so that the people who live their can relieve themselves of their current odious regimes.

    This is the way Dubya should have handled Iraq. Saddam Hussein was a brutal dictator and very unpopular, but any Iraqi who said so publicly could look forward to being tortured to death. If overthrowing the dictator was deemed the correct thing to do, then the USA should have supported the rebels with guns, ammo, training and occasional air support. Much preferred to what we did: invading the country, permanently occupying with US troops and mercenaries, installing a viceroy, and trying to run the country like a colony.

    If Obama resists the urge to send in US troops and trying to run Libya like we’ve been doing with Iraq, then I’ll give him praise for how he handled it. I doubt that the wingnuts will give Obama any praise at all no matter how well it might turn out. But if it turns out badly, they will have plenty to say.

  2. I’m not so much in agreement with you candide; the”uprising” in Libya seems a bit more “engineered” than those in Egypt and Tunisia.
    The events unfolding in Syria (and Libya) fit too well in the neocon plan to “reshape” the Mid East and near by African Muslim states.
    I don’t like the idea that the US and NATO have the freedom to drop bombs anywhere on anyone just because.
    Part of revolution to overthrow one’s government is the risk that you will not succeed.
    Getting rid of Kadaffi is far deeper than getting rid of the personality.
    Big oil and finance are champing at the bit……

  3. erinyes,
    I’m with you in that the uprising did seem a bit more engineered. And also more, I don’t know how to say what I’m thinking… more organized, more quickly/ more violently? Does that make sense?
    And then, all of a sudden, whereas in other places we took a back seat and watched, here we were droning and bombing tactically. Sure, I’m glad we didn’t go in alone, but I still wonder why here and not other countries?
    I also wonder what role big oil and finance really had?
    And in how many situations around the world, now, do they ever NOT have a role?

  4. Its entirely possible that we will be out of Iraq and the Lybia conflict before the GOP primaries are over. That narrows that war aspect of the election to Afghanistan. If the president will commit to a fixed timetable for withdraw, we can wind down the military drain on our resources. Which should also play well with voters.

  5. Congressional Republicans want to raise your taxes – what’s new. The tax burden of the richest 1% has fallen 36% compared to what they would have owed in ’79. On the other hand, families in the middle of the income ladder have seen a 7% increase in their tax burden.

    Sort of the Right wing version of the New Deal. Enormous wealth of the federal government has been showered on the wealthy. Either way, Right or Left, the effects will show up in deficits, debts, and taxes.

  6. If you think back to our own uprising in 1775, our revolutionaries sought and got lots of help from Britain’s enemy, France. And so I don’t quite buy the argument that our’s or NATO’s involvement somehow sullies the events in Libya.

    There will be increasing pressure, both fiscally and electorially to wind down our outstanding wars, and I’m very certain a number of them will draw to a conclusion soon. I’ve read over the last few months about our attempts to negotiate with the Taliban in Afghanistan, for example. Declare victory and go home.

  7. Jim Kunstler:

    …we have a sort of Man-Who-Would-Be-Gaddafi fresh out of the woodwork right here in the USA. I speak of Texas Governor Rick Perry, the Bush-Without-a-Brain clone who pulled off a kind of “hat-trick” of cretinism last week by 1.) announcing his disbelief in climate change science; 2.) announcing his disbelief in evolution science; and 3.) more or less threatening to lynch Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke. The nation has not seen such a puffed up rogue take the stage since the days of Huey Long, but the rural idiocy that saturated Louisiana in the 1930s has finally seeped all over the country so that even people in once-literate Minnesota are represented by reality-averse evangelical maniacs. Candidates like Perry and Bachmann make a plain vanilla narcissist like Sarah Palin look at least capable of running a student council. What a low moment in America’s history. Don’t lose sight of the fact that there’s room for the bar to go further down.

  8. moonbat – speaking of Perry, when Michael Steele was asked to comment on the lies, distortions of the truth and outright creation out of whole cloth that Perry’s dishing out on public airwaves, Steele’s answer was that Perry was “speaking to his base.”

    I can only gather from Steele’s answer (said it multiple times) that when a Republican candidate is speaking to his ‘base’ the truth of what he says is unimportant, beside the point, not up for scrutiny. In fact, the look on Steele’s face when the question was posed to him was, what-a-stupid-question. One might also gather that the ‘base’ could also care less about what their candidate says when it comes to whether something is true or false.

    I have to repeat what I said previously – Republican candidates are operating like cult leaders and the members of their cults are acting like cult members always act – they believe every word their leader says.

  9. Felicity – you’re exactly right about the cult leader part. Perry’s got to elbow his main competition for Meanest Baddest Wingnut, Michele Bachmann out of the picture before key primaries in the Moron Crescent (the south), and this continual serving up of red meat (“Calling All Wingnuts!!”) is what it’s all about at this point. Whether it’s true or not is besides the point (hence Michael Steele’s “are you obtuse?” reaction).

    What’ll be interesting is, should Perry succeed at this – and I suspect Michele cannot hold a candle to him in terms of viciousness (a prime wingnut attractor) – is when Perry will then need to deal with a more reality based candidate such as Romney. That’s when people will start to call him out on his BS (I hope). But for now, it’s just to win the King of the Wingnuts crown, and any unsupported nonsense will work.

  10. Libya was an attractive target; the leader is like the clown prince of the Arab world, Libya abounds with light sweet crude, and Libya has no debt.
    I hope it comes out OK for the Libyan people.

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