Thursday, March 10, 2011

The risks of continued passivity

Nicholas Kristof: 'If the Obama administration has exaggerated the risks of a no-fly zone, it seems to have downplayed the risks of continued passivity. There is some risk that this ends up like the abortive uprisings in Hungary in 1956, in Czechoslovakia in 1968, or in southern Iraq in 1991.

The tide in Libya seems to have shifted, with the Qaddafi forces reimposing control over Tripoli and much of western Libya. Now Colonel Qaddafi is systematically using his air power to gain ground even in the east. As the International Institute for Strategic Studies, an arms analysis group in London, noted this week, “The major advantage of the pro-regime forces at the moment is their ability to deploy air power.”'


ChrisPineo said...

Mojo, you know I like you. But, you are way off base. If the U.S. backs an NFZ, they have to commit planes. If U.S. planes go in, Qaddafi forces fire at them from the ground while fighting them in the air. This means we lose pilots. When we lose pilots, we tend to want to get them back. That puts boots on the ground. We lose that scenario by taking it in all cavities fighting on behalf of a Libyan population that may or may not want American forces there.

Maury said...

Chris, there's an aircraft carrier loaded with jets off Libya's coast. Their planes can't compete with ours. Their pilots can't compete either. We had a no-fly zone over Iraq for 12 years. Saddam shot at our jets on a regular basis. It was like pissing in the wind.

There's no excuse for continuing to allow Qaddafi to slaughter from the air. We should also be giving the rebels military hardware. They're fighting tanks and jets with brooms and mops. And Obama is pulling a Carter on us. When things get rough, hide in the Rose Garden....LOL.

Iraqi Mojo said...

There are risks, for sure, but I would hate to see Qaddafi survive this. I just saw a video about how his money all over Africa, and that it might be difficult to get regional support, especially from the likes of Mugabi, whom Qaddafi supported.

It's not an easy decision, and I imagine the Obama admin is being cautious because they don't want to get into another Iraq-like situation.

Anonymous said...

How dare that qadhafi dude bomb civilians with warplanes. Doesnt he know thats our job. Who does he think he is doing what we do in Iraq and Afghanistan and Pakistan. Only we bomb civilians.

But we are Americans and we care about the Libyans. We really do.


Maury said...

The rebels have given up on Obama. They're begging Britain and France for help. I swear to God. I never thought I'd see the day that the US did NOTHING in a situation like this. We should all hang our heads in shame.

"If you don't want to do something, you rely on the diplomatic side. It is not enough when people are dying," said Iman Bugaighis, spokeswoman for the revolutionary council. "We need more than diplomacy. We need a no-fly zone but we need more than that. We need air strikes.

"We are sure France will stand with us. It was the first country to recognise us so they believe in our right for a free, democratic Libya," she said.

The revolutionary council is also hopeful that it can win support for military action from Britain, as the other European power with the capability to launch air strikes and potentially the political will to do so."

Iraqi Mojo said...

"I never thought I'd see the day that the US did NOTHING in a situation like this. "

But Maury, 20 years ago this month the US did NOTHING to help Iraqi rebels overthrow Saddam, even after Iraq's armed forces were decimated by 40 days and nights of non-stop bombing, even after hundreds of thousands of US troops marched into Iraq.