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What now in Libya?

March 31, 2011 Leave a comment

CBS News is reporting that despite advances made by the rebels, with the help of coalition air-strikes, the rebels are being pushed back:

Libya’s rebel forces continued to struggle against Muammar Qaddafi’s superior firepower on the ground, as the United States and other allies consider whether to supply them with weapons.

The rebels have given up nearly all the ground they have gained after allied airstrikes took out some of Qaddafi’s heavy weapons. Now government forces are changing tactics, leaving behind the armed military vehicles and moving in armed pickup trucks like the opposition does, reports CBS News correspondent Mandy Clark. That makes it difficult for coalition forces overhead to distinguish who’s who on the ground.

Faced with a series of setbacks after recent gains, the rebels now are starting to show their combat fatigue, reports Clark Outgunned and often outflanked in the field, they lack any sort of military strategy or leadership. They are eager to take ground, but are quick to flee when they face any real fighting. The reality is that a rebel military victory seems increasingly unlikely.

That’s just fracking great.  It seems the question that lingers in debating Obama’s War in Libya kinetic military action is what now?

The bogus humanitarian spin to this war is wearing thin as we learn more about its uncomfortable realities, and the nature of our ever-increasing involvement.

CIA operatives in Libya

March 30, 2011 Leave a comment

So much for the “humanitarian” kinetic whatchamacallit:

The Obama administration has sent teams of CIA operatives into Libya in a rush to gather intelligence on the identities and capabilities of rebel forces opposed to Libyan leader Moammar Gaddafi, according to U.S. officials.

The information has become more crucial as the administration and its coalition partners move closer to providing direct military aid or guidance to the disorganized and beleaguered rebel army.

Although the administration has pledged that no U.S. ground troops will be deployed to Libya, officials said Wednesday that President Obama has issued a secret finding that would authorize the CIA to carry out a clandestine effort to provide arms and other support to Libyan opposition groups.

In President Obama’s “we are not at war although we are bombing Libya” speech on Monday night, he assured us that our involvement would be extremely limited and short-lived.  With boots on the ground in Libya, I guess that makes Obama somewhat of a liar.

Will the House Republicans blink on spending cuts?

March 30, 2011 2 comments

It’s looking more and more likely.  But it’s still early, and the choice for the GOP is clear:

Congressional Democrats are holding out against substantive spending cuts, confident that they and the liberal mainstream media have so spooked Republicans with fear of “another government shutdown” that the GOP eventually will cave and settle either for minimal cuts or promises of a political fig leaf like a vote on a balanced budget amendment. [...]

Congressional Republicans have a choice to make. On the one hand, they can do what many of their leaders expect, which is to continue business as usual on Capitol Hill by agreeing to such a sham. That course will keep the country stumbling toward the fiscal disaster, economic ruin and national humiliation that inevitably result from such political irresponsibility.

But then I read stories about GOP leaders looking to cut deals with Blue Dog Democrats on bogus spending “cuts”, and I feel like pulling my hair out.

Elections have consequences for members of both parties.  If the message of the 2010 midterms wasn’t made clear to establishment Republicans (as well as Democrats), if the Tea Party didn’t give them a political smack upside the head, then I’m not sure what would.

Defense Secretary Gates acknowledges that Libya was not a threat to the US

March 27, 2011 Leave a comment

Everyone knows this, or should know it anyway:

Secretary of Defense Robert Gates said that Libya did not pose a threat to the United States before the U.S. began its military campaign against the North African country.

On “This Week,” ABC News’ Senior White House Correspondent Jake Tapper asked Gates, “Do you think Libya posed an actual or imminent threat to the United States?”

“No, no,” Gates said in a joint appearance with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. “It was not — it was not a vital national interest to the United States, but it was an interest and it was an interest for all of the reasons Secretary Clinton talked about.  The engagement of the Arabs, the engagement of the Europeans, the general humanitarian question that was at stake,” he said.

How does the White House reconcile this with the fact that President Obama has authorized the use of US military in the war on Libya?  The War Powers Act allows for the deployment of our military when the country is threatened.  Our Secretary of Defense has acknowledged no such threat exists.  So exactly when did we elect Barack Obama as King?

From the same Jake Tapper interview, this time from Secretary of State Clinton:

Tapper asked Clinton, “Why not got to Congress?”

“Well, we would welcome congressional support,” the Secretary said, “but I don’t think that this kind of internationally authorized intervention where we are one of a number of countries participating to enforce a humanitarian mission is the kind of unilateral action that either I or President Obama was speaking of several years ago.”

And then there’s this from the same interview (via Drew M):

Clinton jumped in to offer an extended justification for going to war.  “Did Libya attack us?” she asked.  “No, they did not attack us.  Do they have a very critical role in this region and do they neighbor two countries — you just mentioned one, Egypt, the other Tunisia — that are going through these extraordinary transformations and cannot afford to be destabilized by conflict on their borders?  Yes.  Do they have a major influence on what goes on in Europe because of everything from oil to immigration?”

At that point, Clinton suggested that the U.S. went to war to repay NATO allies for support in Afghanistan.  “We asked our NATO allies to go into Afghanistan with us ten years ago,” she said.  “They have been there, and a lot of them have been there despite the fact that they were not attacked.  The attack came on us…They stuck with us.  When it comes to Libya, we started hearing from the UK, France, Italy, other of our NATO allies…This was in their vital national interest…”

This is the real Obama Doctrine of American non-exceptionalism in action.  Having no sense of exceptionalism means not having to take action, and not having to take any leadership role in what goes on.  Oh, but we will send our military when other countries interests are at stake.  

Isn’t it amazing how this new brand of non-exceptionalist, leftist Democrats suddenly have the backbone to use our military, the same military they loathe so much, at the drop of a hat?  Or at least, when there’s an election in less than two years? 

Are there protests in the streets yet calling for an end to this imperialist Presidency?

Libyan rebels include Al Qaeda fighters

March 26, 2011 Leave a comment

This should come as no surprise to anybody:

Abdel-Hakim al-Hasidi, the Libyan rebel leader, has said jihadists who fought against allied troops in Iraq are on the front lines of the battle against Muammar Gaddafi’s regime.

In an interview with the Italian newspaper Il Sole 24 Ore, Mr al-Hasidi admitted that he had recruited “around 25″ men from the Derna area in eastern Libya to fight against coalition troops in Iraq. Some of them, he said, are “today are on the front lines in Adjabiya”.

Mr al-Hasidi insisted his fighters “are patriots and good Muslims, not terrorists,” but added that the “members of al-Qaeda are also good Muslims and are fighting against the invader”.

His revelations came even as Idriss Deby Itno, Chad’s president, said al-Qaeda had managed to pillage military arsenals in the Libyan rebel zone and acquired arms, “including surface-to-air missiles, which were then smuggled into their sanctuaries”.

Was President Obama aware of any of this before he started a war with Libya?

The pricing for the NY Times’ new paywall is delusional

March 25, 2011 Leave a comment

It seems that the New York Times’ new pay-wall structure is a bit off kilter:

Here’s what The Times doesn’t seem to get: sooner or later readers are going to cancel their print subscriptions and go digital. The Times’ pricing scheme is only going to encourage them to go with someone else’s digital.

I don’t like to make predictions, but I have a hard time imagining their current “pay labyrinth” scheme even lasting til the end of the year. I sure hope it doesn’t last long. It’s sad that instead of competing for the future by pricing for the digital age, The Times has opted to fight an inevitably doomed battle to hold on to the past.

The President’s agenda for today

March 25, 2011 Leave a comment

Transparency and openness:

No public statements on Libya. We’ll presume the senior advisor meeting at 10:30 deals with that.

No public statements on the uprising in Syria. Nothing on hundreds gathering in Amman to protest the Jordanian government. Nothing on President Saleh stepping down in Yemen, a potential loss of a key ally in the war against al-Qaeda. Nothing about new shelling from the Gaza Strip into Israel. Nothing on the continuing worries about radiation in Japan.

No public statements on jobs or the economy. No statements on the deficit, or the $14.2 trillion in public debt, or the budget crises in most states, or the latest problems in Afghanistan (a NATO helicopter gunship accidentally mistook children for insurgents and killed nine of them).

Over two years into this administration, and suffice it to say that the hypocrisy from these people is glaring.  I don’t hear a peep from the left and the administration’s complicit lapdogs in the media about the need to be “open”, about not having press conferences, about not being transparent, about being aloof to the crises of our day.   All of the same issues they had with the previous President.    And it’s especially damning now, with the President having deployed our armed forces to war in Libya.

“Kinetic Military Action”

March 24, 2011 Leave a comment

That’s the Obama administration’s new moniker for starting a war with Libya and hoping nobody notices:

In a briefing on board Air Force One Wednesday, deputy national security adviser Ben Rhodes took a crack at an answer.  “I think what we are doing is enforcing a resolution that has a very clear set of goals, which is protecting the Libyan people, averting a humanitarian crisis, and setting up a no-fly zone,” Rhodes said.  “Obviously that involves kinetic military action, particularly on the front end.”

Rhodes’ words echoed a description by national security adviser Tom Donilon in a briefing with reporters two weeks ago as the administration contemplated action in Libya.  “Military steps — and they can be kinetic and non-kinetic, obviously the full range — are not the only method by which we and the international community are pressuring Gadhafi,” Donilon said.

The Bush administration tried a similar tactic in 2005, with the War on Terror, but was quickly dropped.

Both instances are equally dumb in their own way, and insulting too.  The implication being that the American people won’t consider American jets bombing Libya as what it is–a military action, a war, if we just call it something else.  Will the left step up and renounce this hypocrisy by their beloved Obama administration?

South American trip is over early for POTUS

March 23, 2011 Leave a comment

Fox News reports:

With the situation escalating in Libya, President Obama scrapped Wednesday’s his public schedule. He was expected to visit the San Andres Mayan Ruins and meet with US Embassy staff. But instead, he will now spend the entire day at the American Embassy, where he is expected to participate in at least one conference call on Libya before returning to Washington a few hours ahead of schedule.

Those internal polling numbers must have been awful, because that’s what this cancellation was all about.  Plain and simple. 

[Hat Tip: Memeorandum]

Libya’s endgame

March 23, 2011 Leave a comment

The President last Friday, before the bombs started falling:

“Muammar Qaddafi has a choice,” Obama said.  “The resolution that passed lays out very clear conditions that must be met. The United States, the United Kingdom, France and Arab states agree that a cease-fire must be implemented immediately. That means all attacks against civilians must stop. Qaddafi must stop his troops from advancing on Benghazi; pull them back from Adjadbiya, Misrata and Zawiya; and establish water, electricity and gas supplies to all areas. Humanitarian assistance must be allowed to reach the people of Libya.”

That’s pretty emphatic.

As of a few hours ago, the Washington Post ran a piece with this inevitable headline:

Allied strikes pummel Libya’s air force but do little to stop attacks on civilians

From said story:

The Libyan military’s attacks and the mounting civilian deaths call into question whether the internationally imposed no-fly zone can achieve its goal of protecting civilians, let alone help loosen Gaddafi’s grip on power. It seemed unlikely that the coalition, which has argued in recent days over the scope and leadership of the allied mission, would countenance a significant escalation.

President Obama was clear in what the original mission was for his Libyan adventure–the protection of civilians and a cease-fire.  Now we read that the stated goal is not being achieved with the no-fly zone these targeted air strikes.  

So now what?  Marines wading onto the shores of Tripoli?  Really? I’m hoping that this is over and done with as soon as possible, because the longer this goes on, the more the likelihood that the Obama plan is not working and then things will really start to get ugly.

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