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Tunesia, Egyt and now Yemen: a domino effect in the Middle East?

 
 
msolga
 
  1  
Reply Thu 3 Mar, 2011 01:11 am
@georgeob1,
Quote:
I recognize that you may hope it evolves into something better over time. However I see nothing in the long record of human history that suggests that is possible. Instead it will remain the cynical tool of the least common denominator, doing harm in the process. It is for that reason that I oppose our approval or acceptance of it. I would certainly never voluntarily accept its jurisdiction over myself or my countrymen.


George, my concern right now is an extremely urgent situation Libya.
Primarily, what options are available to "the west" to avert an even worse humanitarian crisis in Libya than that which already exists, at the hands of Gaddifi's regime?

This conversation began in response to the list of options detailed in the Independent article I posted this morning:

What can the West do now – and can anything really hurt Gaddafi?:
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/politics/what-can-the-west-do-now-ndash-and-can-anything-really-hurt-gaddafi-2229688.html

The ICC? Sanctions? No-fly zone? Military action? Asset confiscation? Etc ...

We became side-tracked by discussing the US decision to choose not become a signatory to the ICC ... whether a united front (including the US) on the ICC would would have strengthened the ICC's influence or not. I still strongly hold to my view that it definitely would, but you have argued for US sovereignty.

So where to from here in this discussion? What real options could the west effectively employ to support the beleaguered people of Libya, to avert a worsening of the humanitarian crisis there? Surely that is our primary concern?

Personally, I can't see that military intervention, of the type that occurred in Iraq, would be of any assistance to them at all. Look at the horrendous statistics of civilian casualties in Iraq, following the invasion. Far more civilians died than those engaged in combat.That sort of intervention just worsened the lot of ordinary Iraqis. It simply added further layers of horror, death, destruction & despair to their lives.

So are there better inventions?
What are they?

My view is that some sort of intervention is necessary. But the form of that intervention should not be decided by separate nations, or the EU. Surely there is some common ground, based on urgent human rights concerns, that can be met collectively between the nations which could have an impact on what happens next in Libya?

















msolga
 
  1  
Reply Thu 3 Mar, 2011 01:14 am
@dyslexia,
Quote:
For some of us the very idea of optimism, hope, idealism etc is not in contradiction to harsh reality but rather a direction we would seek. A utopia is not a place but it can be a goal, changing the world just means changing ourselves to be slightly more humane than we were the day before.


Yes, yes indeed, dys.
dlowan
 
  1  
Reply Thu 3 Mar, 2011 01:44 am
@dyslexia,
dyslexia wrote:

For some of us the very idea of optimism, hope, idealism etc is not in contradiction to harsh reality but rather a direction we would seek. A utopia is not a place but it can be a goal, changing the world just means changing ourselves to be slightly more humane than we were the day before.


Good way of thinking about personal change, that....and I think it kind of happens in some ways on the world scene.
0 Replies
 
Ionus
 
  0  
Reply Thu 3 Mar, 2011 06:28 am
@dyslexia,
Quote:
wow, what a testy lot we have tonight.
???We are eating cattle's testicles tonight ??
0 Replies
 
Ionus
 
  0  
Reply Thu 3 Mar, 2011 06:29 am
@georgeob1,
Quote:
I'm rarely testy, Dys.
???You dont like cattle's testicles ???
0 Replies
 
Ionus
 
  0  
Reply Thu 3 Mar, 2011 06:30 am
@cicerone imposter,
Quote:
You're all hat and no cattle.
You cant blame the cattle for not hanging around though, can you ??
0 Replies
 
Ionus
 
  0  
Reply Thu 3 Mar, 2011 06:32 am
@JTT,
Quote:
You've got out of cattle and you still like to wear cowboy hats.
I know women who gave up stripping and pole dancing but they still like to wear clothes.....not sure what that means though.....
0 Replies
 
Lash
 
  -1  
Reply Thu 3 Mar, 2011 06:37 am
@georgeob1,
Well said.
0 Replies
 
Lash
 
  1  
Reply Thu 3 Mar, 2011 06:48 am
The US joining the ICC is like the US president calling France and Germany and asking them what they'd like us to do with our bank account and military.

The US I know would never consider doing such a thing.

But, lately we've taken quite a left turn, so I guess the decision hinges on how left we float.

It seems a bit preposterous.
hingehead
 
  1  
Reply Thu 3 Mar, 2011 07:10 am
@Lash,
Quote:
The US I know would never consider doing such a thing.

I take it you mean being accountable to anything except itself?
revelette
 
  1  
Reply Thu 3 Mar, 2011 07:44 am
@msolga,
I agree with you

Quote:
George, my concern right now is an extremely urgent situation Libya.
Primarily, what options are available to "the west" to avert an even worse humanitarian crisis in Libya than that which already exists, at the hands of Gaddifi's regime?


I also agree that the US or any other country shouldn't act on their own but come to agreement with collective nations. If the US should invade like we did in Iraq (for no urgent reasons I might add) then like Iraq we own what happens next. On the other hand, we can't just sit back and wait for Gadhafi to something horrendous in his effort to hold on to power in Libya.

The Rebels want a no fly zone to help remove the threat of an air attack. The Pan Arab press does not want outside intervention.

Quote:
The BBC is reporting that Qaddafi’s forces were numerous and well-armed, and had intended to take Brega first and then roll on to Ajdabiya. The less well-armed pro-Benghazi forces nevertheless contained many ex-military and had superior esprit de corps, and reinforcements from Ajdabiya allowed the Brega citizen militia to beat off the attackers.

Aljazeera English reports that people in Brega and Ajdabiya very much want a no-fly zone to be established by the outside world over Libya to remove the threat of air attacks from Tripoli. In contrast, the pan-Arab press outside Libya is extremely critical of the idea of Western intervention in Libya, even where it is virulently anti-Qaddafi.


Gadhafi is cut off from many of his assets and his bank accounts is froze and the rebels have control of 80% of the petroleum fields and apparently his military capabilities are over-estimated.

Quote:
The attack by pro-Qaddafi forces on Brega underscores the contest between the Tripoli government and the Benghazi rebels over Libya’s petroleum revenues.

Qaddafi’s hopes of surviving and of reconquering the east depend heavily on his access to monetary resources. With many of his assets abroad frozen and his banks closed, and 80% of the petroleum fields and facilities in rebel-held territory, he is not well-positioned for a war of attrition. Hence the attempt to retake Brega quickly.

As in Iraq under the oil embargo of the 1990s, likely gasoline and kerosene will start being simply smuggled by Qaddafi’s forces, to provide him a lifeline. It is not lucrative to smuggle raw crude, so the real question is Qaddafi’s control of refineries. Gasoline, once produced, is easy to transport and has a high value, so it is ‘fungible’– easily exchanged for cash anywhere, and gasoline is increasingly the hope for revenue of both sides. According to the LAT, the Benghazi rebels say that they don’t need the petroleum revenue to function, since the regime had not earlier been spending much of it in their region anyway. But this assertion is mere bravado. If the standoff between east and west Libya continues, they will need to purchase arms on the international market, and will need big money to do so.

Aljazeera English reports that the strength of Qaddafi’s military has been over-estimated. For instance, his jets seem mostly not to be able to fly (sophisticate jets even in the West spend as much as 50% of the time being repaired and serviced on the ground, out of service, and the proportion is likely much, much higher in Tripoli). Only a few planes have flown missions against the rebels.


Links at the
source for both articles.
cicerone imposter
 
  1  
Reply Thu 3 Mar, 2011 07:47 am
@revelette,
Seems like sound-thinking to this a2ker; never go it alone - ever again. The only exception is a given.
0 Replies
 
Lash
 
  1  
Reply Thu 3 Mar, 2011 10:28 am
@hingehead,
That's exactly what I mean. Most other countries would espouse the same view. I think a country's size and economic strength will be a reliable indicator on whether or not they subject themselves to shared rule.

I don't think the reasons a country would join - or refuse - is a big mystery.

Would joining gain you power - or diminish it?
0 Replies
 
Lash
 
  1  
Reply Thu 3 Mar, 2011 10:30 am
Quote:
My view is that some sort of intervention is necessary. But the form of that intervention should not be decided by separate nations, or the EU. Surely there is some common ground, based on urgent human rights concerns, that can be met collectively between the nations which could have an impact on what happens next in Libya?

Why, YES! What an IDEAL solution!! (It's just that every other time the world has desperately needed the UN or some other self-important, global body to do something smart and quick - they took 8 months to decide the color of their stationary...)
georgeob1
 
  1  
Reply Thu 3 Mar, 2011 10:35 am
@msolga,
msolga wrote:

George, my concern right now is an extremely urgent situation Libya.

This conversation began in response to the list of options detailed in the Independent article I posted this morning:

We became side-tracked by discussing the US decision to choose not become a signatory to the ICC ... whether a united front (including the US) on the ICC would would have strengthened the ICC's influence or not. I still strongly hold to my view that it definitely would, but you have argued for US sovereignty.

OK, but a rather strange reply considering your request that I elaborate on my reasons for skepticism with respect to the potential of the ICC. I responded honestly to your request for my views, and merited a bit more courtesy than you have shown here.

msolga wrote:
So where to from here in this discussion? What real options could the west effectively employ to support the beleaguered people of Libya, to avert a worsening of the humanitarian crisis there? Surely that is our primary concern?
Who is "our". The nations of the world? Are the ongoing events in Libya Australia's primary concern? I doubt it. Neither are they the primary concern of the EU nations, The United States or China or any other nation (except perhaps Libya's immediate neighbors).

Consider how long the massacres and ethnic cleansing continued in Croatia and Bosnia before their European neighbors - already well prepared with ample collective organizations and political structures - chose to do something about it.

msolga wrote:
Personally, I can't see that military intervention, of the type that occurred in Iraq, would be of any assistance to them at all. Look at the horrendous statistics of civilian casualties in Iraq, following the invasion. Far more civilians died than those engaged in combat.That sort of intervention just worsened the lot of ordinary Iraqis. It simply added further layers of horror, death, destruction & despair to their lives.

So are there better inventions?
What are they?

My view is that some sort of intervention is necessary. But the form of that intervention should not be decided by separate nations, or the EU. Surely there is some common ground, based on urgent human rights concerns, that can be met collectively between the nations which could have an impact on what happens next in Libya?
Do you have any concrete (and feasible) options in mind that might satisfy the contradictory requirements you listed above? I certainly don't.

If the "form' of the needed intervention should not be the decision of any nation or the EU, then who should choose it ? Surely the nations that are asked to commit their forces to such an enterprise have a right, indeed a responsibility, to specify the form of what you may ask them to do.

Asserting that a "no fly zone" should promptly be established is much easier than actually doing it. Just look at a map. Moreover that couldn't safely be done without first bombing the hell out of Lybia's air defenses. But you appear to exclude that.

Stomping your foot and demanding a solution, doesn't produce one. Perhaps you are demanding something that doesn't exist and has never existed.
0 Replies
 
georgeob1
 
  1  
Reply Thu 3 Mar, 2011 10:38 am
@msolga,
msolga wrote:

Quote:
For some of us the very idea of optimism, hope, idealism etc is not in contradiction to harsh reality but rather a direction we would seek. A utopia is not a place but it can be a goal, changing the world just means changing ourselves to be slightly more humane than we were the day before.


Yes, yes indeed, dys.


Please call and let us know what its like when you get there.
JTT
 
  -1  
Reply Thu 3 Mar, 2011 10:40 am
@revelette,
Quote:
If the US should invade like we did in Iraq (for no urgent reasons I might add) then like Iraq we own what happens next.


No, in a sane and rational world, Rev, the offending parties go to an international tribunal where they are held to account for their war crimes. The same war crimes that the US practically established after WWII, then held various Japanese and Germans to account.

You're an honest enough person. Call a spade a spade. Bush and the gang should be taken to the ICC for their war crimes. You know, the rule of law, accountability, no person is above the law.
Lash
 
  1  
Reply Thu 3 Mar, 2011 10:52 am
@JTT,
Just so we get under the wire of time limited jurisdiction, hurry and round up the Queen, the last twenty Prime Ministers, and...well, hell; every leader of almost every country in civilization. We can wait our turn. Those Tutus really have it coming.
0 Replies
 
JTT
 
  1  
Reply Thu 3 Mar, 2011 11:01 am
@Lash,
The UN has many failings. I suspect that one of the largest is that there are 5 major countries that have way too much power. It's hardly a united set of nations.

But one thing that the UN hasn't done, Lash, is invade numerous sovereign nations and butcher millions of innocents simply to line its pockets.

It hasn't spread Agent Orange all over people and their environment causing numerous birth defects and increased rates of cancer.

Your country has.

It hasn't spread Depleted Uranium all over the environment of the very people that it purports to be helping. With the same disastrous effects, birth defects and increased rates of cancer.

Your country has and does.

It hasn't trained and supported terrorists to rape, torture and murder innocents.

Your country has and does.

It hasn't spread landmines and cluster bombs across the countrysides of numerous nations

Your country has.

Quote:
Cluster Bomb Facts

Cluster munitions severely disrupt the lives and livelihoods of 400 million people worldwide
85 percent of cluster bomb casualties are civilians and 23 percent are children
One cluster bomb contains hundreds of bomblets (or submunitions) and typically scatters them across an area the size of 2-4 football fields
Bomblets are small, often the size of a 'D' battery or a tennis ball and have a failure rate of up to 30 percent; unexploded bomblets become de facto landmines
At least 75 countries around the world stockpile cluster munitions and 34 are known to have produced more than 210 types of cluster munitions
Cluster bombs impede economic development, restrict access to water and deprive children of safe access to education
Cluster munitions have been used in at least 30 countries and territories
The global stockpile of cluster bomb submunitions totals approximately 4 billion, with a quarter of these in U.S. hands
Unexploded bomblets were responsible for the death of nearly 10% of the U.S. fatalities in the Gulf War
The United States dropped 19 million in Cambodia, 70 million in Vietnam and 208 million in Laos
The U.S. executed over 580,000 bombing missions over Laos, dropping, on average, an entire planeload of bombs every eight minutes, around the clock, for nine years.
The most cluster contaminated areas are in Afghanistan, Cambodia, Iraq, Laos, Kosovo and Vietnam.

http://www.landmines.org/Page.aspx?pid=796



You really need to get a bit of perspective, Lash.
0 Replies
 
spendius
 
  1  
Reply Thu 3 Mar, 2011 11:07 am
@georgeob1,
Quote:
Please call and let us know what its like when you get there.


The whole point of a utopia is never to get there. Getting there would mean nothing could be improved and life would become depressing. A sort of social and psychological post-coital flatness.

So whatever dys's goal is he doesn't want to get there. Laurel and Hardy did humane entering a door. Humane as a utopia would bring everything to a standstill. Without even a shuddering.
 

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