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jpgray Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-20-11 09:50 PM
Original message
What is the Libya debate really about?
Is it about when and where the US intervenes militarily? Is it about where the intervention ends, and what we expect to gain from intervening? Is it about the opposition, who the leaders are, and what is likely to happen if Qaddafi is ousted? Is it about the rights of sovereign nations? Is it about the particular qualities of Libya, in terms of resources or otherwise? Is it about selective US action on UN resolutions?

Rather than just yell at people, calling them war mongers or pseudo-murderous bystanders, why not explain your views fully, in relation to some of these issues? Which do you think are crucial, what are the nuances to your view--how is it not absolute?
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Paradoxical Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-20-11 09:52 PM
Response to Original message
1. I think the international community should support the rebels.
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inademv Donating Member (738 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-20-11 09:57 PM
Response to Reply #1
6. Why is that exactly?
Do you know anything about their goals and intents beyond their desire to overthrow Ghadafi?
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provis99 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-20-11 09:59 PM
Response to Reply #1
9. WHAT! You warmonger!
:sarcasm:
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RaleighNCDUer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-20-11 10:08 PM
Response to Reply #1
20. That might be easier to do if we knew 'the rebels' were a coherent
group with identifiable goals beyond the ousting of Kaddafi.

Remember, we supported 'the rebels' in Afghanistan, and some of them morphed into Al Queda, while others became the Taliban, and still others became the Northern Alliance - who were not noticeably different from the Taliban other than by not being the Taliban. The pro-democracy liberals supported the pro-Soviet government which all the others fought against.

Can we please just find out WHO we are supporting before we arm them?
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Paradoxical Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-20-11 10:11 PM
Response to Reply #20
21. Actually the rebellion is fairly well coordinated.
http://ntclibya.org/arabic/first-announcement /

"Declaration of the founding of the Transitional National Assembly provisional

Libyan Republic

Declaration of the founding of the Transitional National Assembly provisional

Confirmation of the rule of the Libyan people on the entire territory land, sea and air, and in response to the demands of the Libyan people, and to the free will that created the revolution the seventeenth of February, in order to preserve the unity of the people and the country, decided to form a national council called "the Transitional National Assembly Cache" is the sole legitimate representative of the Libyan people .

Article (1)

Functions of the Council

1 ensure the safety of the national territory and citizens.

2 Coordination of national efforts to liberate the rest of the homeland.

3 Formatting the efforts of local councils to work for the return of civilian life.

4 supervision of the Military Council to ensure the achievement of the new doctrine of the Libyan National Army in the defense of the people and protect the borders of Libya.

5 supervise the election of a constituent assembly to draft a new constitution for the country; be put to a popular referendum, to derive the new constitution, its legitimacy from the will of the people and the revolution of February 17 triumphant, and respect for human rights and public freedoms are guaranteed, and the separation between the authorities and Asttqlal the judiciary, and building national institutions established to ensure participation broad and pluralistic democracy and peaceful transfer of power, the right of representation for all groups and segments of the Libyan people.

6 form a transitional government to pave the holding of free elections.

7 and guide the conduct of foreign policy, and the regulation of relations with other countries and international and regional organizations, and the representation of the Libyan people to it.

Article (2)

Structure of the Council

1 The Council is composed of thirty members representing all regions of Libya, the Libyan people and all segments of the youth membership of not less than the five members.

2 The Board selects from among its members a Chairman and a spokesperson and coordinator of the various internal and external tasks.

Article (3)

Council Headquarters

The permanent headquarters of the Council of Tripoli, the capital, to take his temporary headquarters in Benghazi until liberation of the capital.

Article (4)

The Council determine the mechanism of the periodical meetings and emergency, and to take Orteurath in the interest of the Libyan people, and not contrary to the demands of the people which declared its roof in the revolution of February 17th to drop the Gaddafi regime and the establishment of the civil state constitutional democracy.

Article (5)

Based on the compatibility between the various municipal councils in the liberated areas, the selection of Mr. Mustafa Abdul Jalil, Chairman of the Transitional National Assembly the interim, Mr. Abdel-Hafiz Abdul Qadir Gogha vice-president and spokesperson on behalf of the Council.

Long live free unified Libya

Glory to the martyrs of the revolution February 17

Libya free in March 2, 2011
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Abq_Sarah Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-20-11 10:45 PM
Response to Reply #21
30. The council
Took advantage of the uprising to step into the void. The chairman is/was Gaddafi's minister of justice.
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Boojatta Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-20-11 09:52 PM
Response to Original message
2. Isn't it obvious?
Either resentment over the way toilet training was conducted or sexual frustration.

;)
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BeFree Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-20-11 09:59 PM
Response to Reply #2
8. You ought to know?
This whole thing is just this: Doing the same thing and expecting different results.

Fuck it. War is insane and this country is going insane.
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WatsonT Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-20-11 09:55 PM
Response to Original message
3. I'm content to let the international community handle this, without our active support
We're broke and this should be an easy war.

Let someone else handle it for a change.
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Paradoxical Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-20-11 09:56 PM
Response to Reply #3
4. I'm pretty certain that everyone is broke.
If you're willing to negate any moral necessity simply because we are running a deficit, then I question whether or not you had morals in the first place. Just saying.
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WatsonT Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-20-11 09:58 PM
Response to Reply #4
7. For what it's worth
Edited on Sun Mar-20-11 10:02 PM by WatsonT
I don't think we are obligated to bomb other countries for their own benefit whenever we deem it necessary.

However most people seem intent on getting us involved in this war for whatever personal reason.

So I offered another reason not to do so.

/wasn't Saddam murdering his own people too?
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Paradoxical Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-20-11 10:03 PM
Response to Reply #7
14. We are obligated to follow UN security council resolutions.
Especially when they are legitimately addressing a humanitarian crisis.

Have you forgotten the time only a few weeks ago when death squads were roaming the streets of Libya killing protesters?
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WatsonT Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-21-11 09:30 AM
Response to Reply #14
37. No we are not obligated to
nor are we obligated to vote for such an attack.
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Telly Savalas Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-20-11 10:14 PM
Response to Reply #3
23. We're not broke. We just choose to have very low tax rates for high income individuals.
Yeah, there's an obvious disconnect between the willingness to fund military adventures and the cries for belt-tightening on domestic programs. This doesn't mean we're broke. We just have a lot of stupid people in positions of authority.
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bahrbearian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-20-11 11:59 PM
Response to Reply #3
35. +1 . Why do we sell arms to Others , Then become Policemen
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Davis_X_Machina Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-20-11 09:57 PM
Response to Original message
5. There's a choice to be made....
Edited on Sun Mar-20-11 10:13 PM by Davis_X_Machina
...in this fallen world, until the millennium comes and we all live in peace and brotherhood.

You could be content to have the individual nation-state be the top of the violence-and-coercion totem pole, with no entity or entities over and above it, or beside it. What happens next is what we have today: everything that takes place within a state is unreachable by more than gestures -- sanctions, freezing assets, e.g. -- from the outside world. Stand back, and let people power do the rest, and hope for the best. Manage the refugee flow if it doesn't. The consequences are potentially quite grim, but there are a lot of people who are happy with this regime.

You could try to put something besides individual nation-states at the top of the violence-and-coercion totem pole. The various somethings haven't had a chance to make themselves very clear yet -- the UN, NATO, EU, OAU, OAS, etc regime is only 65 years old, or less, not long in historical terms. As they stand, they are clearly not the optimal solution. The consequences from this aren't automatically less grim than the alternative, but they aren't inherently grimmer either.

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jpgray Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-20-11 10:00 PM
Response to Reply #5
11. Are you comfortable that there is a consistent standard, or are there lapses?
Where do the lapses originate? What compels them?
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Davis_X_Machina Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-20-11 10:07 PM
Response to Reply #11
19. There'll never be a consistent standard.
Bringing real leverage to bear on a superpower will be tough, always.
Some countries, for better or worse, will get a pass because of their own ability to apply leverage in return, like Saudi Arabia.

That's life. Not being able to do something consistently is not a reason to never do it, as my doctor keeps reminding me about exercise...
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JVS Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-20-11 09:59 PM
Response to Original message
10. I think people who support the rebels should go to Libya themselves and do the fighting.
I resent their using the military that my tax dollars pays for as a proxy for their political desires.
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Paradoxical Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-20-11 10:04 PM
Response to Reply #10
16. Not political desires. Humanitarian desires.
Edited on Sun Mar-20-11 10:05 PM by Paradoxical
I resent isolationists who think it's okay to watch the world burn simply because we're too greedy about our tax dollars.
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JVS Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-20-11 10:05 PM
Response to Reply #16
17. Ok fine, if they want to call going over there and shooting people their humanitarian desires.
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Paradoxical Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-20-11 10:06 PM
Response to Reply #17
18. An international force attacked strategic military targets.
Including Libyan tank squadrons and airfields.

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BeFree Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-20-11 10:00 PM
Response to Original message
12. What is it about?
A bunch of gawd damned crazy people running the asylum and wanting to bomb everyone. Duh!
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Ramulux Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-20-11 10:01 PM
Response to Original message
13. Here is what this debate is about
The world is not in great shape as a whole. We are suffering from a world-wide economic recession and things like over-population, failed trade policies, starvation, and totalitarian/corrupt governments are making things very hard for everyone on this planet. Obviously, we would like to solve all these problems, we would like to help the millions of people living in poverty and suffering under brutal dictatorships.

But we cant help everyone and whenever we try to help in a militaristic/violent fashion it just happens to almost always turn out terribly. The USA and the UN have been meddling in other countries affairs for a very long time. You could make the argument that we do so with good intentions, but it almost always results in a negative change for the population. Look at the history of our relationship with various South American countries. We have subjugated an entire continent and only in the past 2 decades or so have a handful of the countries there attempted to bring about economic independence and security.

The point is that we fuck shit up all the time. We make impassioned, eloquent speeches about the suffering of people in these nations and then we go in whether its with economists and politicians or soldiers and tanks, and we fuck shit up. The reality right now is that Gaddafi is in charge of Libya, he is the leader of the country. Regardless of whether we like the fact that he placed himself there during a military coup, doesn't change the fact that he is legally and politically in charge. What that means is that we have 2 options, we can respect the sovereignty of the Libyan nation or we can ignore the existence of the Libyan government as a legitimate entity and declare war on them. We can make whatever excuse we want about why we are doing it, but bombing a nations military is an act of war.

This begs the question, why are we declaring war on Libya and not any of the other nations with leaders who have engaged in atrocities similar to what Gaddafi has done. It needs to be asked and many people on this website just ignore this basic important question. If we invade Libya and not Bahrain even though there is little difference between the situations there, we are making the case that Libya is somehow more important and more deserving of the attention of the international community. From there you can extrapolate that the international community cares more about the suffering of the Libyan people than that of say, the N. Korean people who have lived in a nation-wide concentration camp for decades. Why is Libya important? Why do they deserve the attention and resources that other countries maybe need even more than them?

As a nation we have to understand the consequences and implied statements of belief that stem from decisions like choosing to declare war on one country and not another.

My belief is simple, what is happening in Libya is horrible but it is no more horrible than what citizens of a dozen other nations on this planet have faced for years. I do not believe it is right of us to expend precious resources and currency to invade and topple a foreign government in Libya, I believe it implies that we are choosing favorites and making ignorant, callous, politically motivated, wrongly utilitarian, decisions that show our lack of regard for the suffering of people in other nations, suffering that in many cases has gone on longer and in a more extreme fashion than that of Libya.
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BeFree Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-20-11 10:12 PM
Response to Reply #13
22. Nice work, Ramulux
Too bad you will just be ignored by the damned warmongering fools who think America has every right to do what ever the fuck America's idiot leaders deem necessary.

But I loved it. You nailed spot on.
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Ramulux Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-20-11 10:22 PM
Response to Reply #22
24. Thanks man
I really cant express how frustrated this entire situation has made me over the past 3 days. I have never felt more isolated politically, its like all of the sudden every liberal on this website literally forgot what it means to be anti-war.

It took me a while to write this post because I was trying to be as comprehensive, detailed and non-combative as I could be, but it just pains me that I have to write an entire page explaining why as liberals we should be against this kind of military action.
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BeFree Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-20-11 10:32 PM
Response to Reply #24
26. Yeah, me too
I can hardly believe the crap I am reading here.
And then there is wisdom such as yours.

Spread it around. Make an OP of it, and repeat it for days and days til it sinks in. Please.
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Tx4obama Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-20-11 10:50 PM
Response to Reply #24
31. I am against the war that Gaddafi is waging on the Libyan people.
I support the UN decision to impose the no-fly zone in order to protect the folks over there in Benghazi.

Stopping Gaddafi from bombing the people of Libya is a GOOD THING.

I support ALL the protesters in Libya, Yemen, Alergia, Bahrain, Syria, Morocco, Tunisia, Egypt, Wisconsin, Michigan, Indiana, Ohio, etc.



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Gregorian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-20-11 10:41 PM
Response to Reply #13
27. I love the points you have made.
I think you see things clearly. And you raise a point I seem to have put in the background. Why not North Korea, and such places. One of the answers to that question may lie in the fact that our Executive branch, and Congress are dynamic, and can't be relied on for consistent responses.

I look at this as if we are starting fresh. I'm not wearing my Obama sweatshirt any more, but I still believe he is uniquely brilliant as a president. So why haven't we cleaned up places like North Korea. I suppose it does have something to do with empire, and energy resources.

If I were a Libyan I would want to see US help. I was kind of hoping for something along those lines when Bush and Cheney had a stranglehold on us. That's sort of in jest, but I think we all did.

There are other ways besides using cruise missiles, I suppose.

I guess we'll see what happens.
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jpgray Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-20-11 11:21 PM
Response to Reply #13
34. This should provide reservations for everyone
And it's a large part of the reason I can't quite believe those who support this action with no doubts of any kind. I am convinced they harbor doubts, but have some strange concern about message control or public relations, even though their posts are only read by a handful of people, largely friends.
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myrna minx Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-21-11 09:42 AM
Response to Reply #13
38. I really appreciate your thoughts. My nature is to be anti-war, but knowing
Edited on Mon Mar-21-11 09:44 AM by myrna minx
how complicated this situation is has made this difficult for me to reconcile. My heart aches for the people of Darfur and yet their pleas for help went unheeded. Why is that -yet we are swift to swoop into Libya? I believe I am in agreement with you but I'm not completely resigned. My opinion is clear as mud at this time.
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joe_sixpack Donating Member (655 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-21-11 09:49 AM
Response to Reply #13
39. I have to weigh in too....
Great post.
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TreasonousBastard Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-20-11 10:04 PM
Response to Original message
15. There is no "Libya debate" We are working with much of the rest of the world to...
stop a maniac from killing his people instead of doing the right thing and going away. Case closed.

(Some people just can't avoid getting their knickers in a knot when reminded how insane the world really is.)
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leftstreet Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-20-11 10:27 PM
Response to Reply #15
25. much of the rest of the world...accept the BRIC countries and Germany

I think the tiny Republic of WeCanHostPipelines-istan is sending 2 submarines and a handful of glocks

:eyes:
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Old and In the Way Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-20-11 10:42 PM
Response to Original message
28. I think there's a right way, a wrong way, and a no way.
Right way - the UN multilateral action in Kosovo. A bunch of Nazi's doing ethnic cleansing. The focus was clear, the duration was short, the objective was met, and the results (for the most part) have brought a reasonable level of peace to the region.

Wrong way - Bush's Operation Iraqi Liberation.

No Way - Ruwanda.


Actually, I kind of think we, as Americans, have a bit more moral obligation than we are willing to admit. Our MIC has had a pretty decent market share (certainly not the only one, obviously*) in delivering the military technology that's killing the citizens of Libya pretty effectively. These weapons, when controlled by a dictator like Gaddahfi with an army of paid mercenaries, negate the ability of the populace to realize democratic aspirations. Perhaps if weapons/weapons technology weren't our #1 export, our obligation to intervene and level the playing field would not be so necessary.

* While we are the world's #1 exporter, I'm not sure how big a % the US share of the pie is in Libya's total military spend, directly or indirectly.
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MedleyMisty Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-20-11 10:44 PM
Response to Original message
29. I don't know what to think
I see a lot of Libyans online saying that they wanted the NFZ, and that they're still happy with it. I realize that they don't represent 100% of Libyans though, and that there's always a chance the accounts could be sock puppets - although Anonymous seems to trust them.

For what it's worth - they are also very very anti-ground troops, and very determined to keep their country. They're not stupid. They know about Iraq. They know the risks of intervention. They have been adamant that they will fight any attempts to install a puppet.

However, I also see Catherina's point that it could be a Western imperialist attempt at a counterrevolution, a way to install a friendly ruler in Libya and then use Libya as a base to put down other revolutions in the region.

For me - it's about the Libyan people. I want them to win their revolution. I want them to determine themselves, to have the government and the future that they want. If they need help from the UN to do that, I'm cool with it. As long as the UN provides the help asked for and then leaves.

I think it's a bit racist to just automatically assume that the revolutionaries are evil Islamist extremists - also, you know, that's always a danger. It's not like we don't have our own Christian extremists here. And it's our job to be wary of them and to get them out of our government if we don't want them there (which I might add we're not doing such a good job of that), and that's what the Libyans would have to do too. I think being scared of democracy in Arab countries because they might end up with Muslim governments is pretty imperialist itself.

Honestly - I had enough information to know that both Afghanistan and Iraq were wrong and evil and would end like they have. Here, with Libya, I don't feel like I have enough information to judge or to predict. For all I know - maybe both theories are right. Maybe some in the UN thought they were doing the right thing, and others thought oh hey, we could take advantage of this and get our hands on this Arab revolution thing and stop it. I know full well that the US government and the UN aren't helping the other revolutions, that in Bahrain the US is pretty much on the side of the government and the Saudi troops that are trying to put down the revolution there. I know that our government never has the best interests of anyone except multinational corporations in mind.

I am on the side of the Libyan people. I am on the side of freedom and the right of people to determine their own government. I don't know what in the world is going on with this or how it will turn out, but I hope that eventually, one way or the other, the Libyans will be free.

And yeah - this is weird. This whole not being able to collate information and connect the dots and see motives and predict results is new to me. I think it's because this is an incredibly complex situation, whereas with Iraq it was pretty darn obvious that the neocons were just looking for an excuse to invade and occupy the country. Here - there's just so much going on that it's hard to see it as a plain outright opportunistic invasion, with the wave of revolution across the region and the Libyans seemingly asking for the NFZ themselves and everything.

I'm just keeping up with the news and hoping that things turn out for the best, while being aware of the worst.
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PurityOfEssence Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-20-11 11:17 PM
Response to Reply #29
32. What a very honorable response
It is a very, very complex and fluid situation, and the puffery of certainty is most alarming, both here and on the world stage.

Your response, like a few others' here, gives me some confidence that we're not all just at the whim of those who would have us believe how simple everything is and how ugly and unfit those who disagree are.

I have a very bad feeling about all this, and I would at least like our leaders to be frank about what they're doing: they're playing favorites and trying to implement a regime change.
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jpgray Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-20-11 11:19 PM
Response to Reply #29
33. Great response, and exactly of the sort I was hoping to see.
Thanks. I'm in much the same boat--there is a lot of uncertainty as to the particulars that made Iraq so clearly a terrible mistake.
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ohheckyeah Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-21-11 12:13 AM
Response to Original message
36. Who knows what it is really about.
I'm still reeling from information overload about Japan and frankly I haven't had the energy to do the research on Libya. I haven't had time to absorb what details I have seen.

One of the sad realities is that very few of us really trust our government to make a good decision and to tell us the truth. If we can't believe what we are told how are we supposed to make an informed decision?

I don't know what Libya is really about and I don't know how I feel about the US intervening.
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