Anyway, this is not one of those times. The no-fly zone established over Libya actually made me think about a number of things like:
1) What is the point? Unlike Egypt, there is no established movement in Libya touting democracy - or even the most minor of human rights - to take over or work with if Khadafy is removed from power. And, while I doubt such efforts will easily succeed in Egypt, I think they are well nigh impossible in Libya. If all that's going to happen is a) chaos followed by b) more violations of human rights with a combination of c) the additional influence of islamists, I'd be more inclined to stick with d) the devil we know and just finally isolate his ass as the terrorist he is instead of continuously pretending he can be redeemed. The world eventually figured it out with Arafat and, once he was shut away in his compound and unable to practice terrorism freely, the palestinians were far better behaved. After he died and the hamassholes got ahold of Gaza, the situation quickly reverted to what we see today because everyone pretended you could work with a "democratically elected" palestinian government. Well, everybody but Canada, anyway, where our Prime Minister, forever to his credit, told hamas to shove it from day one.
Is it not time we learned from recent history - say Afghanistan and Iraq - that getting into military actions in muslim or arab countries where we don't know who the players really are, where we don't understand the tribal culture or the "society" is just a recipe for expensive, drawn out disasters? Of the three, only Afghanistan really required our attention.
The way I see it, war needs to be fought - especially in muslim countries - with only one goal: to defeat the enemy as severely and quickly as possible to make them realize fighting on will only get them killed. Our wishy-washy western perspective on life is counterproductive to the way we need to wage war in these places because they do not have the respect for life, liberty and rights that we do and yet we repeatedly pretend they do. It's stupid, wasteful and ends up with needless western deaths. Do it fast and do it right or don't do it all.
2) France? Really? F-r-a-n-c-e? Are you freakin' kidding me? One think about Nicholas Sarkozy: he's got some balls. Certainly more then Barack Obama has ever had or will have. Who would have thought the French - the great capitulators of the 20th Century - would take a lead role in an effort that they know will require military action? Or, maybe it's not so unusual - the chances of any Frenchmen actually dying for the cause are pretty small (it's air and missiles only - no boots on the ground).
3) What is Barack Obama doing? I doubt even he can answer that question. Here you have the situation in Libya, the desperate situation in Japan and the leader of the free world is off in Brazil touting its democracy as a model to the arab world...as opposed to, say, the United States' democracy which for 225 years or so has led the world in, well, democracy.
The Obama administration has badly misplayed this - either they should have taken the lead role or stayed out all together. Now, they've put themselves in a position where the US is involved in some kind of military action in 3 muslim countries, it's going to come down to the US taxpayer to fund these shenanigans and the US has no real say in how the effort is conducted or how it will end. My two cents? This is one time the US could have just said to the world, "nah. We'll pass. There is nothing to be gained here and no one, really, worth defending. France? You want it, you got it."
I've taken a fair dose of crap from my more Democrat-leaning friends over the past few years for my instinctive dislike of Obama. But, I think as time goes on, I'm being proven absolutely correct - this man reached his personal Peter Principle level the day he graduated from being a "community organizer".
4) Who chooses the names for these things? Okay, Operation Iraqi Freedom I get. Desert Storm is understandable. This one's called Operation Odyssey Dawn. WTF is that? Sounds like a band one of my kids might listen to. Oddysey Dawn would be better...after all, France is involved and that is odd...
5) When Operation Odyssey Dawn is done can we have Operation Shut Chavez the Fuck Up? The Venezuelan strongman, a close ally of Khadafy's (of course), is whining about the intervention, claiming civilians are being killed. Other than Chavez, the only person claiming this is...Khadafy. Well, both of them know quite a bit about killing civilians but the evidence is thus far lacking that any are being killed by the recent actions over Libyan airspace. Mark my words, Chavez will leave office either in chains or in a coffin. He will never go as a result of a democratic election which he loses. NEVER. I think the UN should pass a motion to drop Sean Penn and Danny Glover from 30,000 feet onto Chavez's head...a three-for-one bonus blow for humanity.
6) We're listening to the Arab League? Seriously? The Arab League? Are you freakin' kidding me? Much has been made that the Arab League supported this idea. Well, that was for the first five minutes, anyway. Once a missile actually entered Libyan airspace, the arabs were back to their normal ways - decrying western butchery.
7) Lessons from China and Russia? Are you freakin' kidding me? Oh, yeah, Putin and the Oriental oligarchs are screaming to the heavens about this horrible intervention in the lives of Libyans. Well, one thing is for sure: when the western world needs some guidance on human rights and messing around in other nations' politics, the first people we will most definitely want to consult head the governments of those two countries. And, the next time I need information about good investing, I'll contact Bernie Madoff.
8) You say Libya, I say Iraq - let's call the whole thing off. With the US State Department already admitting the end goal of this little process is not necessarily to remove Khadafy from power are we not just setting Libya up to be the next Iraq? Let's see: conduct a military action against a despot, ostensibly to get him to stop a military action against innocents and then leave said despot in power for a further indeterminate period of time so he can continue crushing and killing dissenters. Anyone remember how that worked out for the Iraqis and the rest of the world? Which brings me full circle back to point #1...what is the point?