US Launches Air Strikes in Libya


WAR WAR WAR WAR WAR WAR WAR WAR WAR WAR!!!! Finally something that brings both political parties together.
Kill that mutherfucker before he kills others.
War Pig hon-gry. Must feed War Pig. Nom nom nom.

The use-by date on those Tomahawks was running out. Now, they can buy fresh shiny new ones. Love that new-missile smell!
if one feels that ethics drives them to become involved in this conflict (and i believe such a case can be made), i wonder if openly supporting the opposition w/ arms shipments and potentially training would be the more ethical way to go? how much better are we likely to make things by raining down fire from above? it also seems to me there is a high likelihood that his progresses from no-fly zone to air support against military targets, which ends up including things like bridges & water towers & thus destroying their infrastructure (a la nato bombing in the former yugoslavia). why not just pick a side & attempt to provide them w/ the armaments & training that they need to win their war? when we get involved directly w/ overt military action, it becomes OUR war & we start conducting it to assure we benefit in the end. i question our ability to not make it our war once we start bombing.
* graon *

Qaddafi is undoubtedly an asswipe who well deserves to be overthrown, but I can't help thinking that the US getting involved in a 3rd middle-east war is a bad idea. With any luck, maybe we'll restrain ourselves to airstrikes. If we get sucked into another ground war, this will be an even worse quagmire than our current wars.
I'm sure that the Republicans will be opposed this, since they're opposed to anything that Obama does.

My understanding is that to institute a no-fly zone, they need to take out the air defenses. That's what these missile strikes are designed to do.
Obama takes off lavender tie, puts on red one.
"The President does not have power under the Constitution to unilaterally authorize a military attack in a situation that does not involve stopping an actual or imminent threat to the nation."--Barack Obama
hmmm, the more i think about it, the more of a pickle it is. ethically, the case for involvement is very straightforward. people are being massacred by a madman. not hard to make the argument that that should be opposed. however, historically speaking, involvement has an exceptionally high likelihood of making things much worse, for many more parties (ourselves included). that doesn't even get into what sort of additional motives we would have & goals we would certainly be pursuing during our involvement.

if you support one side against the other through arms shipments & behind the scenes support, you run the risk of creating a long term conflict that destroys their society and is a petri dish for extremism while killing hundreds of thousands of people (maybe more).

i tend to think that a truly international force that swept in & stopped the conflict, settled things down & left as soon as civil society was restored would be ideal. however, this is also a practical impossibility given the world we live in. international bodies like the un and nato are usually so bogged down by the collective distrust & scheming of their member states that they are only capable of half-measures like no-fly zones or farcical peace-keeping forces. i guess that has something to do w/ why the world sucks.
What Reverse Polarity said. No matter what our initial intentions, or how "noble" they seem on paper, I don't see this ending well, or cleanly.
I sorta think Obama was backed into this. Clearly the US wants to see Qaddafi go. And after Egypt and Tunisia we thought the people could do it. So the Obama administration backed the opposition and took a strong stance due to our dislike of Qaddafi - not necessarily based on human rights (see Bahrain and Yemen).

But then the opposition forces started losing and saying 'where is the international help'. So Obama either had to do nothing and see a massacre and lose credibility with the people in Arab countries for allowing it to happen. Or Obama had to send in airstrikes. Clearly he wants the international partners to take charge as soon as the US role of taking out of the air defenses is over.

Not to say I see this ending well. But I can see how we got into it.
@11: The UN Security Council sanctioned it. It's not the U.S. that is simply bombing Qaddafi's air defenses. If you actually read what was posted, you would have noticed that the Europeans are also involved.
Hopefully the US and international commitment is going to remain relatively limited. The enforcement of a no-fly zone, while definitely a dramatic step, still isn't full military commitment. I'd imagine that President Obama is just as wary of getting involved in a third war as everyone on this thread is.

Of course, maybe I'm naive to think that this commitment will remain limited. That being said, I have a hard time arguing that the Security Council fucked up here.
@8: Libya is very much in Africa. It's kinda sorta OK to lump Egypt in with the Middle East, what with the Sinai peninsula, but not so much with Libya.
@15 I did know the Europeans were involved--"unilateral" means the President doesn't decide without asking Congress for the declaration of war or at least authorization of force. UN still doesn't have the power to authorize the allocation of US forces. Read the fucking constitution sometime.
Do we Americans stand by and watch our fellow world citizens get gunned down by their own government? Are we forgetting our forefathers who ignored the slaughter in Germany during the "you know who" period? Are we going to be accused of the same?
@19 Ah, Welcome back 2002-2003 we missed you. Yes, evil dictator, yada, yada. All I'm saying is if we intervene in bumfuck countries, we should be ready to go after the big boys too. Let's start bombing Chinese forces in Tibet.
This is a fuckin boon for Obama's 2012 election, barring any huge loss of American lives. When Republicans try and accuse him of not being tough enough he can say, "Look, I bombed the shit out of Libya. Eat it."
Bush wins again.

Go in, extirpate the autocrats, move in and establish a beachhead for democracy.

Our actions in Iraq will go down in Arab history as the part of the birth of a Free, and Equitable AU, Arabic Union.
It is too soon to make absolute judgments. This situation is not like Iraq and it's not like WW2. It is wholly unique.
The coalition is supplying arms and training, actually.

W/ your excellent command of geopolitical realities, and the intricacies of international relationships that are a product of centuries of history, how you could you not come to this conclusion?

Or, maybe you're just another nutjob who has no idea of what he's talking about and just imagines war as something he saw in movies & video games.

Nah, that *couldn't* be it......
@22 Bill Kristol called. He wants his wrong back.
@7: We're blowing up AA defenses so that our planes can prevent Gadhafi from raining down fire on his own people. Next

@11: The President doesn't need Congressional approval for deployments shorter than 60 days.
For fucks sake, obvs the President didn't want to get involved in this. Calling US support of a UN sanctioned No Fly Zone "Obama's War" is pretty damn far off the mark.

Fail Goldy.
@27, Wow you're brilliant! I get that there's a War Powers Act, which completely undermines the constitutional authority of the Congress so let's just move past that. Where is the imminent attack on or actual danger to US interests? If we're using humanitarian assistance/protection as an excuse, why have we not intervened in the countless real genocides all over the world especially places like Africa or Burma/Myanmar?
maybe this is uncouth but... fuck this shit.
Don't blame me, I voted for Ron Paul.
I'm with #14. This is a very complicated situation. If Obama just played pure Realpolitick and ignored Gadhafi he basically sends a big FU to all these democratic movements in ME and confirms the Arab streets assumption that the US will always back a stable dictatorship over an uncertain reform movement. The whole thing people forget about Wikileaks is that the cables showed our diplomatic corps was sick of dealing with terrible despots and said they WISHED we'd back the reformers more strongly. This is one of things that emboldened the Eqyptian and Tunisian movements.

My insticts say involvement in a civil war is going to end badly. But. Comparing it to the invasion and occupation of Iraq in 2003 is pure knee jerk as is stating this is purely about oil since our oil corporations LIKE dictators and would rather we back Gadhafi and get back the status quo.

I'm conflicted. People screamed about Rwanda. They screamed about Darfur. And now... thier pissed we're trying to stop a slaughter in Libya?

There are no easy solutions.
sorry 32, it's all about, and only about oil. The Saudi wells have surpassed peak, Libya is set to out-pace their production and become the largest oil exporting Arab nation. The West need that oil to survive and they don't care who they have to kill to get it.

This is the first military intervention initiated on Obama's watch. That's all I'm saying.
28-Obama was named head of the UN security council in 2009.
36…. Coverage of today's anti-war protest at Westlake.
33- we already HAD that oil. Gadhafi was dealing just fine with western oil corporations. There is absolutely zero certainty that backing the rebel faction will earn the west more - or any cheaper - oil. Your premise makes no sense. In fact if oil was the main concern here it would be far better for us to support Gadhafi. Much like we have done to so many other oil rich dictatorships. Certainly oil matters to the western powers. But if oil was the singular issue here we'd be selling Gadhafi ammo. Not bombing him.
Sending troops & ships to help Japan was also a military intervention. That is to say, our military has been doing a lot more than just shooting over the last few years.

Obama did not talk the UN into doing this, it is the other way around. We have little financial or security interest in Libya itself, this is philosophical and political. We had to pick a side, and it could turn out badly either way. So it looks like we picked the side of the "rebels" and are owning up to it.

The reason the US was mainly the one shooting the missiles is because we're the one with all the missiles (and the military finances). The UN voted on this but knew the US would have to take the largest share of enforcing the no-fly zone because we have the most resources.

The "halls of Montezuma" song is the theme for the Marines, but this involved the Navy. (Ok, now I'm being snarky...)

Who knows how this will turn out, but the "historians" would be premature in calling today's events a declaration of war, or pinning it all on Obama. Historians can wait a while before calling this one.

I hope they ran that missile strike by the Appropriations Committee first. The teabaggers will be all over this one, right?
to paraphrase condi and w, this is already a campaign of half measures. Sarkosi's dithering already allowed the loyalist to roll into bengazi earlier today, if the media is to be believed. air strikes and so forth are day late and dollar short....
obama just went from negro socialist , to white republican warmonger ala bush . the final piece has fallen into place . obama has become bush . my how dissapointed you people must be . welcome to the reality of politics , the real obama has finally stood up . i assure you the tea party is masturbaiting furiously to the sheer joy of it . obama just lost the 2012 elections with the creation of a 3rd ground war in the middle east . thanks obama , we tea baggers needed this . :) I'M SOOOOOOO HAPPPY!!!!!!
Sometimes the world should take out dictators. Those that are killing their people. Lots of commenters here fail to grasp this moral reality.

"If we're using humanitarian assistance/protection as an excuse, why have we not intervened in the countless real genocides all over the world especially places like Africa or Burma/Myanmar?"
Because we're not perfect. Often, we're bad, in fact. Same with me personally. So in general I don't give every homeless person I see a $5 bill.

But sometimes I do. By your logic, that's bad and evil because it's not 100% consistent.

Your bar is too high and would prevent all nations from ever taking humanitarian action to oust a dictator or genocidal maniac.
@41: you don't seem to understand what a ground war is, do you? But then, seems like there's a lot you don't understand.
Don't forget the drone attacks in Pakistan! Our first half-black president is a war monger. When the ruffians at Code Pink arrest Cheney and put him on trial, save a spot in the courtroom for the Purple Lipped Prince. Is the left too busy defending this "humanitarian intervention" to draw up plans for a massive anti-war rally? Yes we can bomb even more countries and get involved in even more pointless, endless wars!

"More C.I.A. drone attacks have been conducted under President Obama than under President George W. Bush."

“3 times as many U.S. soldiers killed in Afghanistan under Obama‘s 2 year watch as were under Bush’s entire 8 years”
@41: Habeeb it!

@44: Drone attacks are a good thing if the alternative is sending troops in on the ground. Especially since, with the implementation of the Griffin missile as a replacement for the Hellfire, the potential for collateral damage has been greatly reduced. Are you saying that instead of using our technological edge to rain down fire on the Taliban, we should be putting our soldiers and those of Afghanistan in harm's way?
And the rise in American casualties in recent years is due primarily to the regrouping of the Taliban. If you LOOK at the actual data, rather than simply breaking them down by Bush vs. Obama, you'll see that the upward trend in coalition casualties dates from at least the beginning of 2006. Obama hasn't magically given the Taliban superpowers; the Taliban have been regrouping for half a decade already.
And you know what? Maybe we'd still have them on the ropes if we hadn't pulled out to go play cowboys in Iraq. You mad?
Except for the fact that as the London Telegraph reports, “The West and al-Qaeda on the same side.” Libyan Al-Qaeda leaders have offered their unanimous support for the ousting of Gaddafi.…

The UN-backed air strikes have absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with protecting the human rights of “protesters”. The air strikes and Tomahawk missiles have been launched in support of terrorist cells so that the US military-industrial complex can repeat its age-old trick of installing a radical Islamic regime which they can later overthrow, giving them strategic access to the region and allowing them to control the largest oil reserves on the African continent.
And yes, still against vaccines Hobbes.
@46: Your link must be broken. The story it leads to doesn't mention black helicopters at all!
@47: Enjoy your AIDS.
45, Yes, I am mad, mad that people are still using that meme so often, mad that we're still in Afghanistan , mad that we ever went into Iraq and mad that we're now getting blood on our hands in Libya so the oil tycoons can get even richer. Meanwhile, Steven Chu said today that gas prices will keep going up.

And you're right, having a robot drop bombs killing innocent people who couldn't point America out on a map is so much more humane than traditional warfare.

how is your boy Barack any different from W?

you Liberal Democraps told us the world would love us and we would all talk our problems away and wear flowers in our hair if bad bad W was gone....
The UN fianlly thinks it's time for evil Carlos Santana to go.
The UN finally thinks it's time for evil Carlos Santana to go.
anybody still here? dude..2011- still the most interesting thing ive heard is when kissenger was on charlie rose maybe 2 weeks ago. talking about the mid-east uprisings, charlie asked him to explain the sustained protests, and kissenger said, so honestly, he had no idea what the fuck was going on. he mumbled something about new communications, which charlie filled in with 'social networks', and kissenger just shrugged. something new is fucking actually happening and the younger, globalized, information savvy generation is coming of age.
2- for this, well, part 2 of 2011 is that did you say no fly zone? sure, while were at it we just nonchalantly precision bombed another government out of power. did you say no fly zone?
3- liquefaction?
basically, this is not bush, and/or an ideology (neocon) or oil( we had it). this is new territory. this is the fucking internet. this is the theater of a new age. and the more automatic, the more precision, the more Anonymous, that is where it's heading.
it's almost a coin toss if force will be used in your favor at this point, unless you are a right winger whose principal doctrine is Might Makes Right. good luck out there from that which hasn't changed.
>implying you are an oldfag
>implying that the MQs are firing AGMs at civvies
>implying that the uprisings in Libya will somehow benefit American energy companies
>implying implications of implicators implying implications
i know all about ground war , i am a combat vet with a purple heart . this is 5 days from boots on the ground if not all ready . some body is there on the ground laser tagin missile shots . don't be fooled , he just a black bush now . deal with that libs .
56 - maybe you dont get it. you can have obama, hes not one of us. whats your point?
@56: Dude, have you HEARD how much the Obama Administration is backing away from involvement? They're going to assist with setting up the NFZ and then they're getting the hell out and letting France etc. maintain the patrols. Remember, the rebels, the Arab League, and the UN all approved the NFZ but made it clear that there would be no foreign forces on the ground.
Frankly, I'm skeptical that you're a combat veteran. Where and when did you serve?

@57: Were you dropped on your head as a child?
58 in regards to?
"The President does not have power under the Constitution to unilaterally authorize a military attack in a situation that does not involve stopping an actual or imminent threat to the nation."
-- Sen. Barack Obama, 12/20/2007.

Stop defending these assholes like battered housewives.
@59: Branding Barack Obama as a conservative.

@60: See: UN resolution, Arab League decision to authorize no-fly zone, etc.
See also: List of countries that have sponsored international terrorism
61 depends on what passes as conservative these days. crazy? no. retrograde troglodyte flat earther? no. but socially, pragmatically, fiscally, in temper? by my definition, yes.
Wow. The crazy is strong in this thread.

Clearly The Stranger should consider implementing a (Metafilter like) $10 fee to register to comment.