Some of them are fighting because of weird conspiracy theories. One of the rebels told me today he’s fighting because he thinks Qaddafi is Jewish.
MSNBC correspondent in Libya, just now, on the Rachel Maddow Show. (via spiegelman)
Awesome. We’re providing armed backup for the Libyan Tea Party.
Of all the nutty arguments made by secretary of state Clinton for the new war in Libya was that the Arab League had signed on. We were told that military forces flying Arab flags would be at the center of the coalition. Now, we find that there are no such military forces. Worse, even the paper tiger of the Arab League has now bolted the mission, ripping the fig leaf of legitimacy off Obama’s privates. It took the Arab League less than a day to do this. And yet this was apparently Clinton’s trump card in her internal argument.
In 2006 the Security Council passed a resolution, which was also endorsed by the U.N. General Assembly, accepting that all governments have a responsibility to protect their populations from genocide, ethnic cleansing, crimes against humanity, and grave and systematic war crimes and that if they fail in that responsibility the international community has the right to intervene. This was an enormous normative step forward, akin to an international Magna Carta, even if it will take decades to elaborate and implement. It is the state corollary to the recognition of individual human rights with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1949 and subsequent more specific treaties. For would-be members of the Security Council, a willingness to stand up for this principle is a true test of leadership, the kind of leadership that a great power must be willing to exercise. By that metric, Germany, Brazil, and India just failed.
In short, while we believe we are ready to “do something” in Libya, we are having a debate over what tactics we find acceptable, rather than what strategy will succeed. This actually plays into Qaddafi’s hands. Now he knows that the air option is out. But he also knows that Western powers will be unwilling to send in troops — the only thing that would assure he is removed from power. The message he’ll take away is to go hard on the ground war.
Arizona Senator John McCain on This Week:
“Again, by a no-fly zone, by declaring our support for a provisional government, perhaps, which is being formed up now - there is a lot of steps we can take.”
House Chief of Staff Bill Daley on Meet The Press:
“Well, you know, lots of people throw around phrases of ‘no-fly zone,’ and they talk about it as though it’s just a game on a video game or something, and some people who throw, throw that line out have no idea what they’re talking about.”
I don’t know if Daley is talking specifically about McCain, but it sure sounds like he’s referring to someone who’s nonchalance about war brought us such hits as “Bomb bomb bomb, bomb bomb Iran”.