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Total number of comments: 5 (since 2013-11-28 16:44:21)

Simon

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  • How to Avoid Bush's Iraq Mistakes in Libya
    • bush-the_liberator:

      My, my! Aren't conservative memories short! As Wolfowitz would point out: "We didn't remove Saddam Hussein to impose democracy". Remember those things Bush called WMD, the things that didn't exist?

      Iraq was not "the epicenter of the ME's religious faultlines" until our invasion turned the country into the cause célèbre for al-Qaeda types.

    • Shashank Joshi of the Royal United Services Institute had an interesting piece in The Guardian today:

      "[M]ost cynics overlook Libya's advantages. Foremost is the absence of a predatory military establishment overseeing the transition, as in Egypt. The regular army has dissolved and the regime's special brigades are far smaller than Iraq's foolishly disbanded army of 2003.

      Second, the TNC mercifully lacks a Hamid Karzai – a charismatic statesman whose ambition can all too easily congeal into venal oligarchy. Article 29 of the interim constitution even forbids TNC members from assuming ministerial or legislative office – a remarkable abdication of ambition.

      Third, the location of oil in the interior limits the ability of either east or west to coerce the central government.

      Finally, the suggestion that Islamist militias amount to a north African Taliban is absurd."

  • New Libya, Welcomed in Mideast, Rejects NATO Bases
    • Ignoring the inflammatory language, I'd reply that it would have been politically impossible (Lockerbie, for starters) for us to openly back Qaddafi against his own population. Can you imagine us backing Assad now, for example? My understanding is that something like 90% of Syrian oil comes to us in the EU, and you've seen how slow we've been to really criticise Assad. Contrast that with the way we jumped on Qaddafi.

      Contrast it also with the foot-dragging, equivocal backing given to the Egyptian revolution, and the non-action against our oil-rich client states in the Middle East, and it beggars belief that in Libya alone we were motivated by an unblemished desire to see a people free of its dictator.

      Qaddafi needed stopping, and the bulk of the population appeared to want him stopped, which is why I was happy to back the restricted mandate of Resolution 1973; but I didn't doubt, once we breached the terms of the resolution, that 1973 was simply a cynical way in for us to dominate Libyan oil and gas, with bonuses like bases.

    • If NATO was looking for bases, they wouldn’t have agreed so readily to keeping out ground forces. In the case of the US, we absolutely insisted on there being no ground forces.

      As I understand it, the resolution would only forbid boots on the ground during the lifetime of the resolution. If we managed to arm and support a rebel leadership sufficiently sympathetic to our post-revolution goals, there's nothing to stop the new and sympathetic Libyan government we helped install inviting us in.

      I hope to god they say no to having our bases there.

    • If the new government can continue to resist Western pressure, surely we have achieved the best possible outcome: a Libya free of its wretched dictator, but also as free as possible from domination by our centres of power.

      Richard Haas is an imperialistic maggot.

      Like many Lefties who supported the original resolution to protect civilians, I groaned at my own naivety as our bombing campaign moved into regime-change mode, and as stories about rebel-leadership meetings with Western officials surfaced. I don't want to see Libya made into another one of our oil-rich client states--who does?

      I'm sure Libyan oil and gas is the primary reason why we were so eager to get involved--noble pretext notwithstanding--and why people like Haas want boots on the ground. The Chinese are naturally concerned about Western domination. There is, however, nothing inevitable about upsetting the Chinese by having their Libyan oil dry up--that really would make resolutions in similar scenarios impossible to get--something that would also be sad as I thought the Chinese showed great faith by not vetoing Western-led military involvement in one of their major oil suppliers.

      And there's also nothing inevitable about us dominating post-revolution Libya. Iraqis managed to resist total post-war domination by the US, so why not Libyans?

      Anyway... Well done, Libyans!

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