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Feckless in Libya

What’s this you sayNew Yorker? Libya’s not working out too well?

The smoke had not yet cleared when the victory was being touted as a shining example of what Western powers could do on a modern battleground without ever putting “boots on the ground.”

With no further need for war and with Western powers fussing over what was being vaunted as the oil-rich nation’s new democracy, Libya should have once again achieved peace and stability. Instead, the country, of more than six million people, seems to have been fatally destabilized by the war to remove its dictator, and it is increasingly out of control.

Who could have guessed this would happen?

The article ends by noting that on Tuesday the US Department of Justice issued sealed criminal charges against several Libyans including Ahmed Abu Khattala, founder of Libya’s Islamist militia Ansar al-Sharia, for the death of Ambassador Chris Stevens in the attack on the Benghazi consulate.

Abu Khattala, who has acknowledged being at the compound that night but denies any responsibility for Stevens’s death, has openly mocked the U.S.’s attempts to hold him accountable for the murders. In Benghazi on Wednesday, Suliman Ali Zway tweeted, “I met Abukhattala twice, and I’m very familiar with the Benghazi military dynamics/environment; good luck getting any1 to arrest him.”

It’s as if there’s a consensus forming out there in MSM-land that things aren’t going too well for the Obama administration’s foreign policy.

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  • ljgude

    As WIGWag has been pointing out at length of late both the liberal internationalists and the Neo-cons seem to have much the same foreign policy. I would add that domestically, establishment Republicans and Democrats seem to have the same economic policy – Keynesian deficit spending. Taken together this approach might be called the Blue View. It goes back to the FDR era and has worked out well for the US, so it isn’t surprising that Washington keeps doing the same thing regardless of who is in power. For me the biggest single reason for this Blue view is economic. Since the industrial revolution World GDP per capita has doubled every 50 years after remaining pretty much flat for the previous 100,000 years. (Based on Brad deLong’s work) With one exception – the past 50 years. It quadrupled and the US was the leader of that amazing growth. One of the consequences of that much success is that Washington has had the luxury for far too long of detaching from reality. Closing 19 embassies? That any American administration of either party would even consider it compels me to say – ‘You have to show the flag, boys and girls’.

    • Andrew Allison

      They did, and it’s white!

      • bpuharic

        Ever hear of the hysteria around Benghazi? The right cost us 2 trillion dollars and 4400 US lives in Iraq but, as Peggy Noonan said, the greatest disaster in US history was Benghazi

        Shows the delusion of the right.

        • Rick Caird

          No, bpuharic, it shows that Obama can screw up foreign policy even without putting boots on the ground. He has managed to have no influence in the Middle East, watch Japan rearm, see Australia cozy up to China, and hear the laughing and pointing at him by Russia and China. He has made Carter look like a roaring success by comparison.

          • Tom

            He hasn’t managed to pull that yet. There’s still time, but I don’t even Obama can make Carter look like a success story.

          • bpuharic

            What does ‘no influence’ mean to the right? How many dead bodies consistute ‘no influence?

          • bpuharic

            How many funerals of soldiers count as ‘no influence’? The right wing murdered 4400. We got nothing.

        • effinayright

          Like many LIVerals, you forget that Congress overwhelmingly voted to authorize the Iraq war. Whole lotta dems voted for it, including the current and former SecState.

          Who are they, you ask?

          Kerry and Hillary.

          And oh yes, let’s forget the current SecDef Hagel.

          He voted for it too.

          • bpuharic

            Like many right wingers you forgot Bush lied about WMD’s. Funny how that works.

          • effinayright

            Like all LIVerals you refuse to acknowledge that ALL Western intelligence services agreed that Saddam had chemical weapons — after all, he had used them to kill 5,000 Kurd in Helabja. And he used them in the Iraq-Iran war before that.

            But I guess you didn’t know that either.

            What a fumduck.

          • bpuharic

            Like all right wingers you ignore the evidence. The evidence that the CIA was told by Bush to find WMD’s and they couldn’t. The fact the French couldn’t find them. The fact Hans Blix ON THE GROUND in Iraq found none and Bush STILL invaded.

            No one cares that he gassed the Kurds. There are massacres every day. Why should we spend our blood and our treasure in pursuit of dragons to slay?

            Conservatism is a failure that glories in its failures.

          • effinayright

            “No one cares that he gassed the Kurds”.

            Whew! I’m sure Jimmy Carter, who pushed “human rights” very very hard during his administration, would love to talk to you.

            In any case, the fact that the Kurds were gassed was strong evidence that Saddam had WMD, whether you “care” about them or not.

            The fact that he hid them, or moved them to Syria, or destroyed them does not mean that Bush “lied” about them being there.

            What all this has to do with conservatism is something only you and the voices rattling around your head can sort out.

          • bpuharic

            The fact Blix didn’t find them…the fact the French said he didn’t find them…the fact the CIA under Bush said he closed down his programs, then was told to change its findings…well we’ll just ignore that

            It wasn’t liberals who invaded Iraq. YOU, above, accused ‘liverals’ of ignoring evidence

            Conservatives, it seems, make it up as needed.

          • effinayright

            Please back up the claim about the CIA being told to change its findings. Citation, pls. The fact that WMD were not found did not mean that they did not exist; absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.

          • bpuharic

            The fact no WMD’s were found is pretty strong evidence of absence. In fact that’s what ‘no WMD’s were found’ MEANS.

            No WMD’s?



          • effinayright

            An Iraqi official is the source in the first article, and two unnamed former CIA officials are the sources in the second?

            Plus a whole bunch of utter hearsay, based on what some people were alleged to have said?


            Well, you would —because you’re a flake.

          • bpuharic

            How many references…other than Fox…do you need? If Rush (PBUH) is the ONLY TRUE ™ source of info you’re going to be waiting a LONG time

          • effinayright

            AZZHOLE!! You need “references” that contain unbiased and identified sources, not people with axes to grind.

            And… Where have I cited Fox? Or Rush.

            Face it: if you were a knife in the drawer, you would be the clam knife. Dull tool, dull tool…

  • bpuharic

    The greatest feature of Obama’s foreign policy that the right ignores is that we haven’t had boots on the ground once since Obama became president.

    That’s going more than ‘pretty well’.

    • SouthwesternSongDog

      That’s easy to avoid if you are an international wuss, or if you are confused. What’s hard is to use military power judiciously at just the right time and place to achieve the foreign policy objectives of the United States. But as near as I can tell right now, we don’t really have any.

      • bpuharic

        Military power judiciously? The right wants to send in the Marines every time an Iraqi runs a red light, with the attendant body county. Failure is the right’s dogma

        • Enemy Leopard

          I originally wrote a sarcastic response to you, but I’ve deleted it in favor of something more thoughtful. I hope you consider what I say here, bpuharic.

          The tenor of comments on this blog has been disappointing me for some time. You are one of the people primarily responsible for that, although certainly not the only one. I’ve tried to call out one of the others on a different thread, but I expect that it mostly went unnoticed.

          A number of commentators here seem to have a very little bit to say about everything, but don’t have a lot to say about anything. Their comments are mostly minor variations on a theme (“Obama is an idiot and everything he does is wrong,” “Right wingers are religious nuts and murderers”). These comments add nothing to the discussion. They certainly don’t change anybody’s mind. They only drag down the discourse on what is otherwise one of the most decent and reasonable blogs online.

          Before you think that this is about your political views, let me assure you that it’s not. I would welcome thoughtful comments from you or anybody else here. I appreciate it when someone has something new or novel to say in response to a post; even when I disagree with the commentator’s point of view, I think it’s healthful to be challenged occasionally in what I believe. That’s why I continue to read the comments at all.

          From many of your comments, I’ve gathered that you’re quite a bit older than I am, which is why what I’m about to write strikes me as somewhat unnatural: There are many other sites on the internet where bloviation and hot air predominate; perhaps you’ve mistaken this for one of them. It is not. You need to start acting your age around here.

          • bpuharic

            Many of the post here, unfortunately start with something along the lines of “Obama’s latest foray into socialism is’…or “the blue state model once again destroys’…

            With absolutely NO proof offered.; If you’ve seen I generally buttress my claims with references to economic studies, or other sources rather than making unsubstantiated claims.

            Conservatives don’t do that. They either take their argument to be self evident or argue from anecdote, neither of which is a logical argument.

            And it’s characteristic of conservatives in general…in fact the phenomenon even has a name ‘epistemic closure’.

            So yes, I’m testy.I’m one of the few liberals here. And when liberals are described routinely as ‘socialist’ or Obama is referred to as the “Muslim” president, you’re GOING to see a response you wouldn’t see from a conservative.

    • Jeff H

      Let’s see, I guess you’re another one of those people who don’t count the 1630 US military casualties in Afghanistan since The One took office as “boots on the ground”.

      • bpuharic

        You right wingers decided to murder 4400 in Iraq. The body count belongs to you

        • Enemy Leopard

          Pop quiz, everyone: When someone points out that something you write is factually incorrect, what’s a proper response?

          (a) Acknowledge your mistake.
          (b) Make the broader point which you still believe to be true.

          (c) Ignore the comment.

          (d) (a) + (b)
          (e) Call the person a right wing murderer.

          There may not be only one correct answer, but there is at least one that’s completely wrong.

  • Jeff H

    Who needs “boots on the ground” when you’ve got President Pants-on-the-Ground?

  • Corlyss

    Tardy and completely useless realizations in MSMland.

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