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TODAY'S QUESTION: Should the U.S. military have attacked Libyan forces?

Monday, March 21, 2011 | 11:02 a.m. CDT

The U.S. military attacked Libyan ground forces and air defenses Saturday and Sunday.

As of Sunday night, the U.S. and British military had fired a total of 124 Tomahawk cruise missiles at Libya’s air defense sites, according to CNN.

The U.N. Security Council passed a resolution Thursday calling for a no-fly zone and demanding a cease-fire. It authorized a coalition of 22 countries including the U.S. to take all necessary measures to protect Libyan civilians from attacks by Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi.

In response to the strikes, Gadhafi promised a war.

Gadhafi’s compound was bombed Sunday, and his whereabouts are currently unknown.

The Libyan government claims 48 people have been killed in allied attacks, but American and French government officials said they have had no indication of any civilian casualties.

Arab League chief Amr Moussa criticized missile strikes, saying that was not what the Arab League wanted in supporting a no-fly zone.

U.S. officials said they are planning to hand over operational control of the military mission soon.

Do you think the U.S. should have attacked Libyan forces?  Why or why not?

 


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Comments

Kevin Gamble March 21, 2011 | 3:10 p.m.

There are no good options in situations like these - this mess is the inevitable price that everyone is paying for this dictator being propped up for so long by the rest of the world. After decades of oil-hungry nations looking the other way, his power has become so entrenched that there is no good outcome to be had. This is just the latest in a long line of decisions the U.S. has made about Libya, and only when those earlier and more fundamental decisions are questioned will anything be learned.

(Report Comment)
frank christian March 21, 2011 | 5:27 p.m.

Having long supported, as well as instigated terrorism,Mr Gadhafi refuted and turned away from terrorism and WMD after Bush caused governmental change in Iraq, because in his words, "I am afraid". Clearly with the Bush replacement, Gadhafi is no longer "afraid".

Also clear is the damage, loss of life and time that could have been saved had Mr. Obama immediately gotten approval from Congress and acted, rather than seeking approval from only the Security Council of the United Nations. The U.N. got approval of Arab League whom now have backed out, not participating and you can bet will never pay a dime.

We, as an "oil-hungry" nation that wants to stay sovereign, need to see the U.N. as it is, stay away from it and quit electing those not willing to do so.

(Report Comment)
Paul Allaire March 21, 2011 | 6:57 p.m.

Frank, you are an embarrassment to the people of your own country. Do us all a favor and just shut up.

(Report Comment)
Lancelot Lightfoot March 22, 2011 | 7:03 a.m.

Well said Frank,

every country should have the right to declare war on any other country for any reason. You might want another crack at Canada, who knows could be third time lucky? Good reason too, 160 billion beautiful barrels of shale oil.

Lightfoot

(Report Comment)
Ellis Smith March 22, 2011 | 8:16 a.m.

The Canadians might well kick the crap out of us (with hockey sticks). Fortunately, except when in an ice rink, Canadians tend to be a peaceful people.

[Two Canadian men meet by accident in a Toronto bar. They exchange names and where they're from. One is from Timmons, Ontario. The other man says, "Hell, all Timmons is known for is whores and hockey players." Just then a huge angry man rushes up. "Hey you," he shouts, "my wife is from Timmons!" "And what position on the hockey team does she play, sir?"]

On a more serious note, it's becoming clear that the country which has most benefited from NAFTA is Canada. Consider their present economy. Part of that is that Canada is prospering from selling electric power, natural gas and oil to its southern neighbor. And it can be argued that Canadians sell us automobiles (American brands, but made in Canada), not the other way around.

(Report Comment)
frank christian March 22, 2011 | 8:22 a.m.

Lance L. - I note you refer to the rights of a "country", no mention of it's people. There is a crowd of those around here. When they say "we", they are referring to the government.

I'd prefer we visit Canada for the scenery and get busy with our own shale, offshore, on shore, oil and gas. You must be of the "stay at home,if you can't get there on a bicycle, don't go" element. There is a crowd of them around here as well.

(Report Comment)
Tim Dance March 22, 2011 | 8:40 a.m.

We are getting our own gas Frank. However the method of extracting gas called fracking has been causing a lot of environmental damage, including earthquakes in Arkansas. Smog in pristine areas of the west, polluted water supplies in the great plains, and the like. Simple minded energy policy thinks that drilling more will solve our problem, it won't. Only reducing our demand for it will. It is sad that those who don't have a lot of money defend the harmful practices of those you do. Why? Maybe if they talk the "liberty" line they will be rich too.

BTW Reagan did not seek any consent whatsoever when he bombed Libya in 1986. According to Frank, President Reagan was wrong as well. Watch out frank, they might pull your curmudgeon tea party card away from you.

(Report Comment)
Lancelot Lightfoot March 22, 2011 | 9:53 a.m.

Frank,

Your first point I believe was that The US should bypass The UN and leave the decisions to declare war up to Congress and in a broader context ignore the UN altogether. Every democarcy I believe, requires the consent of its legislature (and thus its people) to go to war; although technically we (US, GB, France et al) are not at war with Libya, so no such domestic consent is therefore required. If you believe that the US should withdraw from the UN back into isolationism and so not interact with the rest of the world; (you are of course entitled to this view and indeed to vote for it)then I think you are barking mad.

Remember the US was one of the founding members of the UN, for good reason. For all its faults and inabilities it operates on largely democratic principles and makes an attempt to apply international law. Without such a framework, we (homo sapiens) would be up an even bigger sh*t creek without a paddle. Since we would have a free-for-all, with nations doing what they liked and the devil taking the hindmost. It is likely in my opinion that we would have had a very serious global conflict in the last 65 years without the UN.

Your second point on energy - The US does not have enough oil production and reserves to meet its demand, so you have to make a different set of choices.

Ellis - you are right the Canucks are by and large peaceful - but they do know how to have a scrap when they want to. If they have done well out of NAFTA, that is down to their resourcefulness and good fortune. A state of affairs America has enjoyed for nearly 200 years.

(Report Comment)
frank christian March 22, 2011 | 10:29 a.m.

tim dance - "We are getting our own gas" we are "getting" less than a third of it. Your 2nd sentence would be closer to truth if it had read,fracking has been causing Concern among "environmentalists" about damage. Arkansas has had "swarms" of quakes since early 80's. They do not come from production wells and injection wells, to store the used water are being investigated. Smog in L.A.? Every water complaint in CO has been proven to be from other reasons. This is the truth,, but, does not work well with your scary posts of gloom and doom, unless we save our selves by "reducing our demand for oil". What model economy should we shoot for in our reduction? Our President seems to like Greece. Brought this along,have you directed any attention to these errant people, seemingly bent on the destruction of our planet?

Across Europe, a host of energy companies are exploring for unconventional deposits in what some are comparing to the great oil and gas rushes of the past. Exxon Mobil has bought up concessions in Germany and Poland. Shell is active in Sweden and Ukraine. Chevron is in Poland. Total is in Denmark and France. And Cuadrilla is also exploring in the Netherlands and the Czech Republic.

(Report Comment)
Paul Allaire March 22, 2011 | 11:00 a.m.

Wow.
That sounds like a bunch of drilling.
I bet the problem is solved now.
So we don't have to hear about this anymore then.
Right?

(Report Comment)
Tim Dance March 22, 2011 | 11:07 a.m.

Nice cut and paste job.

http://www.alternet.org/water/150211/%27...

Next time, try to attribute to your sources and don't plagiarize someone else's work.

Frank, tell me why else would someone's water become flammable after a fracking site was built? You are a great minion for the energy companies. They laugh at people like you because they can crap in your yard, tell you it's patriotic and you dutiful live through their glory. LOL, you are a real piece of work.

(Report Comment)
Jack Hamm March 22, 2011 | 11:30 a.m.

@ Tim

You are going to have to give Frank a break on the plagiarism; if you have not already noticed he is not big on thinking for himself. He prefers to let other people tell him what to think.

For future reference, if his post has correct spelling and grammar while lacking rambling and run-on sentences it is most likely copied from a website. If his posts has these qualities you are most likely looking at a thought straight from Frank (beware of these; the lunacy and lack of reality can be scary and are not appropriate for children and people who have both heart conditions and souls).

(Report Comment)
Paul Allaire March 22, 2011 | 11:31 a.m.

It's a shame he didn't post the whole thing including all the parts that he didn't want you to see. Why wouldn't he post the parts he didn't want you to see?

(Report Comment)
frank christian March 22, 2011 | 11:50 a.m.

lancelot - I am admittedly thick. Have I got this right? Every country has to have legislature approval to go to war, unless it is not "at war" with the subject country? I'm kind of mixed up, unless raining over 100 missiles on it is not considered an act war.

Your view of the UN, in my opinion, is that of a typical socialist. You have recited the "goals" of the UN and ignored the total failure of promoting peace anywhere. The UN is the place where the despots of the world can gang up on the USA, UK, and other democratic governed countries, while stealing them blind. Here is why you are likened to a socialist. You appreciate their attempt to "apply international law". They also want to make theirs The international law,but ignore the total corruption that engulfs the place. C. Krauthammer, commenting on the ability of a new UN ambassador to solve problems of UN said "Winston Churchill couldn't solve problems of UN." Ronald Reagan would not pay dues because of the blatant theft of money for educational programs by the administrator of the program. The Iraqis starved while over two billion dollars were stolen from the "oil for food program. etc., etc. Yet, you point to "For all its faults and inabilities it operates on largely democratic principles and makes an attempt to apply international law." Sorry, we have plenty of criminals who operate on Demo principals, when necessary, without having added a UN to the mess.

I thot you might be Ellis' equal. Maybe not.

(Report Comment)
Jack Hamm March 22, 2011 | 11:58 a.m.

Frank,

I thought you might want to look into this...

http://dese.mo.gov/divcareered/ael_progr...

(Report Comment)
Derrick Fogle March 22, 2011 | 12:26 p.m.

We don't declare war anymore, we merely authorize the use of force. Blame Reagan and the Bush dynasty for that re-framing. But no matter how much righteous cover we get from the UN, the US is still gonna find military action in Libya a VERY sticky situation. As if it wasn't sticky already, sitting there for 2 weeks watching Gadhafi slaughter the rebels, before getting UN cover to counter attack. Now, the rebels are just using our cover to advance again. Someone, quick, pick a winner! We need to end this thing.

(Report Comment)
Lancelot Lightfoot March 22, 2011 | 12:58 p.m.

Frank, my dear fellow; firstly I never accused you of being thick. Secondly if a socialist is someone who subscribes to upholding the law, then I put it to you that the majority of Americans must be socialists as I suspect that no other country has as many law enforcement agencies, law courts and lawyers. I am an unabashed capitalist FYI.

Thirdly, as an original member of the UN, The US has had a major impact on drafting and implementing many of the statutes on International Law for the last 65 years, all of this legislation I believe required approval from Congress (I could be wrong).

Fourthly, I did not ignore the failure of the UN as you put it; re-read my original comment.

Fifthly, referencing your original point; I did not say EVERY country requires legislative approval to declare war.

May I respectfully suggest that if you are going to undertake a critique of someone else’s views, you at least read carefully what is said and try to understand the meaning of the words that are written. Failure to do so often results in faulty analysis and horrendously erroneous conclusions.

Lightfoot

(Report Comment)
frank christian March 22, 2011 | 1:00 p.m.

tim dance - "tell me why else would someone's water become flammable after a fracking site was built?"

Woah! Where's the link, or is this your own? More than likely. Water catches fire because a fracking site "was built"? Just for kicks, if there were no energy companies, how would we make those wheels turn, back to the donkeys and mules? Is Jack Hamm a new mentor? You can count on him for the crap he posted here, but expect nothing from his English language use, though, only one error here. his posts "has" these qualities. Probably a flaw in his keyboard. If you want a real piece of work, look in a mirror.

(Report Comment)
Ricky Gurley March 22, 2011 | 1:17 p.m.

All I know is that I want a name like "Lancelot Lightfoot"!

Look at my name; I have GOOD REASON to want another name! And "Lancelot Lightfoot" would be really nice; I'd tell people they have to address me as "Sir Lancelot" by the way.... LOL.

Ricky Gurley.

(Report Comment)
Paul Allaire March 22, 2011 | 1:33 p.m.

So does this mean frank isn't going to explain why he didn't post the whole article that he copied?

"Woah! Where's the link, or is this your own? More than likely. Water catches fire because a fracking site "was built"?"

http://www.alternet.org/water/150211/%27......

Whoa! There's the link. Right there.

(Report Comment)
Mark Foecking March 22, 2011 | 1:55 p.m.

Derrick Fogle wrote:

"Blame Reagan and the Bush dynasty for that re-framing."

IIRC, Korea was our first "police action", and then Vietnam. Aren't the only two declared wars we've fought since 1950 the two Gulf wars? I could be wrong here.

frank christian wrote:

"Water catches fire because a fracking site "was built"?"

I'd be interested in a source for that myself, as I hadn't heard about that. However, nonwithstanding any of the chemicals they use in fracking fluids, the mere act of injecting water under high pressure can move contaminants into groundwater from other parts of the earth.

"if there were no energy companies, how would we make those wheels turn,"

No one's suggesting there be no energy companies, and no one suggests we need to go back to animal power for transportation and agriculture. I think the oil, coal, nad gas industries do a very good job at giving us what we want at a fair price. It's just there are limits to it all, and we are pushing them more daily.

All the easy energy has been found, and that's what we have built a world (actually, only 1/6th of a world - that's the other BIG problem) on. The difficult ones have greater costs, financially and environmentally, and it is prudent to recognize that these difficult sources will not give us the abundant and cheap supply of energy we have grown accustomed to.

DK

(Report Comment)
Gregg Bush March 22, 2011 | 2:11 p.m.

Mark,
There is a film called Gasland produced by Josh Fox. There are videos of flaming tap water from the film that one can find on the website.
You're a science guy. And while I'm less than half of the science guy you are - the evidence that I have been presented with is compelling. Flaming tap water is not a hoax, and may very well be traced to "fracking".
Here's a link to the trailer -
http://www.gaslandthemovie.com/trailer/

(Report Comment)
frank christian March 22, 2011 | 2:12 p.m.

L. Lightfoot - I was humbly admitting to the world that I am dense as the reason for having trouble with your explanation of requirement for "every democracy" to go to war. As an accusation, however, "I think you are barking mad.", might be called into question. Just kidding. I have not heard of a criticism of socialists for not upholding the law. On the other hand ....

I don't know how many laws have been imposed by UN, but am sure, most if not all, will have been opposed by U.S, UK and other democracies. "For all its faults and inabilities" does not take account of UN's failures and corruption, in my opinion. You wrote "Every democarcy I believe",not, every country,so..? Happens all the time, Lancelot, all morning writing to liberals, they either decry my grammar or as in your case, bemoan my misunderstanding of them. It's OK, I guess when that's all they've got.

(Report Comment)
Jack Hamm March 22, 2011 | 2:22 p.m.

@ Mark

The Last declared War by the US was WWII.

Korea was a military engagement authorized by the UN; the same as Operation Odyssey Dawn (Libya). Vietnam was a military engagement authorized by congress like both wars in Iraq and the war in Afghanistan.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Declaration...

Of course, all of this is semantics. The people dying most likely do not care who approved their death.

(Report Comment)
frank christian March 22, 2011 | 3:42 p.m.

Mark - The Korean Conflict was an "action" instigated from the western world leaders plan to stop communism, the "domino theory". USSR was influencing gov'ts all over the world and not at the ballot box. The theory was, if one small country was taken, one by one they all would fall. Our leaders apparently decided that the intricacies of a declaration of war were not affordable. While doing little to stop communism, they gave great opportunity for mfg and sale of arms and all the many other needed supplies for use in "battle". I've never been sure which was the true intent, to stop communism or to swell the wealth of the industrialists.

Tim Dance doesn't seem willing to afford you the links he so desperately requires of others, so you will have to wait for Greg Bush to dig it up. Seems, he can't wait to find fault with fracking. What is your opinion of the "frozen wall" protection from fracking chemicals, now being used?

(Report Comment)
Lancelot Lightfoot March 22, 2011 | 3:50 p.m.

Frank,

If we had the right to bear arms in this country, I would have shot myself by now - good bye.

Lightfoot

(Report Comment)
Mark Foecking March 22, 2011 | 3:58 p.m.

frank christian wrote:

"What is your opinion of the "frozen wall" protection from fracking chemicals, now being used?"

It's for things like surface impoundments, because it's often cheaper and faster to freeze the ground under a hazardous waste pond than it is to build a lined pool. The obvious drawback is it is dependent on properly operating machinery to continue to work - a tank is a passive thing. It's not a technology that's practical to contain underground fracking fluids or protect aquifers.

Gregg, I've heard of Gasland but haven't watched or researched it much. I did see just now the "flaming water" was likely due to methane in well water, which could be forced in from a fracked well, or could have happened naturally. I'll look at some of what it says later. Thank you.

DK

(Report Comment)
Derrick Fogle March 22, 2011 | 4:39 p.m.

@Mark: You know I was just baiting Frank. What are you doing taking it? Anyway, it turns out @Jack wins the prize, and is hereby awarded an extra 300 characters for his next post!

(Report Comment)
David Sautner March 22, 2011 | 4:43 p.m.

U.S. forces were not deployed when Mubarack was being ousted in Egypt and I think that this is so because Egypt doesn't have large oil reserves or mountains of precieous minerals/metals like Afghanistan. Libya has large oil reserves and so the U.S. wants to use force because, like Saddam with Iraq, Ghaddafi is a military dictator who has stepped out of line with the agenda of the U.S. and has created instability in a region that the U.S. Oil giants want to use for oil. I think that this will be far less damaging to the U.S.'s reputation since 1)Obama went to the UN security council for permission as opposed to Bush who basically flipped off the UN, 2) Britain and France are also acting as intermediaries.

(Report Comment)
frank christian March 22, 2011 | 5:42 p.m.

Derrick - You can't even be honest with Mark. As is usually the case with libs, you started where convenient, in the middle, with Reagan and Bush and forgot Truman and Johnson, for my benefit?

What do you think of the misinformation of Mr. Sautner, above? Precious metals in Afghanistan? Why then are we leaving? Saddam and Gaddafi stepped out of line? Bombing of the Lockerbee jet was certainly not with the agenda of the U.S. Bush wasted months getting resolution from UN. Had the votes, but French veto because of Chirac's business deals with Saddam was apparent. This is not flipping the bird at UN.

(Report Comment)
frank christian March 22, 2011 | 6:38 p.m.

Derrick - Thinking about 300 character award for Jack. Would he have to create a word before reading it on the internet? Next to impossible for Jack.

(Report Comment)
Derrick Fogle March 22, 2011 | 7:21 p.m.

Frank's epitaph: "Next to impossible for Jack."

My wife's father fought in that first Korean "conflict" (cough, cough). They're even still called "wars" but constitutionally, they're... um... not. Nor have they been, for a couple generations. Catching a whiff of "Bill of Goods" yet?

I'm surprised you admit to waffling between assigning blame for that series of wars to either ideological anti-communism or plain old greed. It was the money then, it's the money now. Duh.

Egypt, and Tunisia, didn't have nearly as much violence as Libya. The leaders in the former were quick to grab the golden parachute; Only Gadhafi had the power or stupidity or whatever to fight. Now we've waded into the cesspool, because the civil war really IS rather horrifying to watch. (Ignoring, of course, twice as many gun violence deaths in the US annually as in the entire Libyan conflict so far)

I hope Gadhafi comes to his senses and hops in the escape pod soon.

(Report Comment)
Tony Robertson March 22, 2011 | 7:43 p.m.

If you look at all the various times in our Nation's history that our military and naval forces have been sent into harm's way, from Adams' Quasi-War with the French Navy, to the present, actual Congressional declarations of war have been the exception, not the rule.

One such action early on, featured a Democratic president sending forces into Libya, with the mission of changing the regime, and overthrowing the ruler who fomented terrorism in the region.

The prez was Jefferson, the ruler was the Bashaw of Tripoli, and the instruments used were the US Navy and Marine Corps, the latter's hymn including the familiar reference "to the shores of Tripoli."

(Report Comment)
frank christian March 22, 2011 | 8:52 p.m.

derrick - Your wife's father? I was in the Korean conflict, previously admitted, a radio operator on an Air Rescue crew in a tri-phibious airplane called SA-16 or Grumman Albatross - in Europe. I doubt the sincerity of Harry Truman and a Democrat Congress for the war, but you, afforded the internet, know all about it, now, but can't mention it in your posts when you thot no one was looking. This really is getting boring. My thanks to Tony. No way could these guys include another Democrat President in their "blame Bush, blame America, peace at all cost", tirade. Did not that action take 10 years, possibly longer than Iraq?

(Report Comment)
Derrick Fogle March 22, 2011 | 9:09 p.m.

@Frank: I'm my own Grandpa: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eYlJH81dS...

(Report Comment)
Tony Robertson March 22, 2011 | 9:31 p.m.

Derrick Fogle wrote: "Blame Reagan and the Bush dynasty for that re-framing."

I'd say that's pretty short-sighted analysis, Derrick. I have already pointed out two very early American military interventions, above. There are tens, if not hundreds, of other examples, from the late 1700s on.

I'd recommend two books for you, on this subject: The Savage Wars of Peace by Max Boot, and Dangerous Nation by Robert Kagan.

So much for blaming Reagan and the Bush dynasty.

(Report Comment)
Derrick Fogle March 23, 2011 | 4:01 p.m.

@Tony: Two strong hits on my troll bait! I claim a win. Unfortunately, Frank gets a point, too, for not taking the bait intended for him.

Discussion board scoreboard, to date:

The h4x354x0r: 42
Frank Christian: OVER NINE THOUSAND!

(Report Comment)
Tony Robertson March 23, 2011 | 5:01 p.m.

I blame Reagan and the Bush dynasty for my biting on your "troll bait."

(Report Comment)
Paul Allaire March 23, 2011 | 6:44 p.m.

Send the troll bait to IRAQ!!!

(Report Comment)
frank christian March 24, 2011 | 8:14 a.m.

derrick - I had a friend that when he was, without question, caught spouting misinformation, would declare, "I made you think, didn't I? Much better than, "I was trolling".

(Report Comment)

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