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Unpopular Ideas

Ramblings and Digressions from out of left field, and beyond....

Location: Piedmont of Virginia, United States

All human history, and just about everything else as well, consists of a never-ending struggle against ignorance.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Obama and Libya

When it comes to perceptions of President Obama, for a while now the formerly progressive site, "Common Dreams," has become almost indistinguishable from how I imagine teapub and other regressive sites to be, at least from the comments that appear there.   The day after the U.N. approved trying to put a clamp on the way that Gaddafi was trying to obliterate the forces rebelling against his longtime, dictatorial rule, Common Dreams, in reporting that Obama had already ordered flinging 110 Tomahawk missiles into Libya, had a large headline declaring with equal speed that it was the start of "Obama's War."

But not so  ...not yet ...so far.

First of all, I thought that the Tomahawks, for all their number and lethality, were not nearly as significant as the fact that the French were already taking a hand.   It seems to me that it's been years, since De Gaulle's time or before, since France had collaborated in a significant way militarily with the other western countries.   Usually they've gone it alone, in modest ventures usually involving their former colonies in Sub-Saharan Africa.   But here, no sooner was the ink dry on the U.N. resolution than French Mirage jets were flying over Libya and taking out a few of Gaddafi's tanks along the way.

And also the Anti-Obama raggers failed to see what he was doing.  Though the rebels begged for the West to set up a no-fly zone, for starters, against Gaddafi's  superior military hardware, Obama waited first for others, especially France, Britain, and the Arab League, to commit themselves to going in with him on restraining ol' Daffydoo.  And second, he was waiting to see if the rebels could hold back Daffy themselves.  And when it wasn't looking as if they could and when the U.N. voted "Go!" and especially when it was reported that Daffy had promised the rebels that if they didn't give up right now, he would wipe them out to a man, without mercy, I think that that kind of language destroyed the last vestige of Obama's customarily huge amount of forebearance.   It wasn't civil, and so he punched the button on the cruise missiles, a la Bill Clinton into the Afghanistan airways after the various indignities of the Middle Eastern terrorists of the early 1990's.

Meanwhile the BBC has kept saying that Britain has for a while had covert ground teams moving around in Libya, spotting good targets and the like, and they've also been overflying Libya with their fighter jets.

  All operations like this have to have a good name, and the British have been calling it "Operation Ellamy."   But that falls a bit short to what Americans are calling it, "Odyssey Dawn," though, when you think about it, that doesn't make any sense either.   Hopefully the French have something better.   I don't know what the Arab League has.   In fact I haven't read what they they've contributed as yet to try to bring on "Daffy's Discouragement."

Nevertheless, with support like that in mind, Obama has vowed to keep the U.S. strictly in the background, or as understated as having over a hundred cruise missiles on the wing can be, though the pressure on him by his friends overseas will be great to get more use out of all that military hardware that the U.S. has been driving itself to the poorhouse collecting over the years.

Joshua Holland, one of the principal writers over at Alternet, and who once took it on on himself to actually post a comment on my site here when I didn't agree with something he said, has a very good article on the various ramifications of all these shots over Daffy's bows.

I can't resist adding here that also meanwhile the Regressives, in their undying efforts to hit Obama with anything that they possibly can, have been charging him with spending more time on predicting the results of the current NCAA men's basketball tournament than he has on such pressing issues as the deficit, Japan, and Libya.   But as so often, they haven't been able to get any traction with that either.   And why should they?   What do they think a great many rock solid Americans are taking time out to do these days as well?   Trying to see if they can beat the Prez in scoping out the road to the Final Four, that's what.


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