Thursday, March 31, 2011

The Obama Doctrine, Libya's New Face

Nicholas Kristoff

GOP Hopefuls On The Attack:
Michele Bachmann
Mit Romney
"Michele Bachmann says she will launch her Presidential campaign in either Massachusetts or New Hampshire as soon as she figures out which is which. There could be some eligibility problems for her. She has her birth certificate, but nobody can produce her high school diploma." – Jay Leno
"If Bachman and Palin get in to the presidential race, that's two bimbos. And there there's Mitt Romney, the millionaire and Newt Gingrich, a professor. We just need a skipper and a buddy and we've got 'Gilligan's Island.'" – Bill Maher

"We're fighting three wars now. Imagine how many we'd be fighting if President Obama hadn't won the Nobel Peace Prize." – Jay Leno
"Congress is mad at President Obama because he didn't consult them before the war in Libya. Congress got us into two other wars and put us 14 trillion dollars in debt. I can't imagine why he didn't consult them." – Jay Leno
"Instead of calling our mission in Libya a war, the White House is calling it a 'kinetic military action,' which sounds better than 'potentially endless quagmire.'" – Jay Leno

I forgot in yesterday's post to talk about how we have been sending in CIA operatives into Libya for the past several weeks. Then, on the news last night, it was reported that Obama officially signed a secret agreement allowing the CIA to send in the clowns to gather information. Many people who have been blindly supporting Obama during these last two years are finding it difficult to believe that Barack is getting us into another war. Ever since he made the decision to send more troops into Afghanistan, I've noticed how easily swayed Obama is by the Pentagon... So, if you start hearing stories of atrocities made by people other than Qaddafi's minions, you'll know that the CIA has arrived, to screw things up again for the military...

Now, the Wolf Blitzer's of this world are trying to define the "Obama Doctrine," and how it relates to all future military actions, or quiz questions by news anchors for potential candidates come this next election cycle... The Economist has a good analysis of the philosophical roots, saying that it is more a repudiation of Colin Powell's justifications for going into Iraq: "As soon as a president does something new in foreign policy, the world wants to know whether he has invented a new “doctrine”. The short answer in the case of Libya is that Barack Obama has not invented a new doctrine so much as repudiated an old one. What he is also doing, however, is challenging an American habit of mind."

The main cornerstone of Obama's orders into the dark heart of Libya, is that we will now be a cog, with the leadership coming elsewhere, from NATO. This is driving the hawks who feel that the US should strut proudly with its military footprints crazy and frustrated: "In Libya Mr Obama is challenging the assumption of global leadership America has taken for granted ever since the second world war. America has joined coalitions before, but never under a president quite so adamant that America is not in charge—even if the military burden-sharing is indeed a bit of an illusion.

Most Republicans and quite a few Democrats hate this. Mr Obama’s hope is that America’s low profile will make the war more palatable not only to the Muslim world but also to the economy-fixated voters at home who question whether America can still afford to play its traditional leadership role. What he may soon discover is that modesty extracts a price of its own. By sharing the leadership with others, he has made his policy hostage to the limited mandate (no use of force for regime change) imposed by the United Nations and the limited means of his allies in Europe and the Middle East. It may not be a doctrine, it should not be a surprise, but nobody can deny that it is a gamble." I look forward to many more happy nights watching CNN...

As it stands now, the Libyan rebels cannot win on their own. They don't have enough armaments and the Qaddafi mercenaries have more training. The rebels can dance and chant a lot better, and are really good at firing into the air. Unless the Qaddafi family turn on each other like rabid dogs, which could happen from being in such close quarters with their old man, they won't be giving up anytime soon. Unless we promise to hire new nurses and let Moammar keep his uniforms, which no diplomat has tried so far as I know... Has anyone suggested that it would be better if Qadddafi made a living as a clothing designer instead of being a dictator?

I'm just as conflicted on the Libyan issue as most people. I want the underdog rebels to win, and they shouldn't have had to turn into armed rebels from peaceful protesters. I hate it that the US is helping and I also love it that we are helping; I just wish that there were solutions other than military and causing the deaths of innocent civilians by both sides.

As an aside, have you noticed how bad Qaddafi's face looks lately? Worse than Michael Jackson's, right? I read where a plastic surgeon was boasting that he was the one who worked on Moammar's face, as if he were proud of his work. Poor old Qaddafi's lower lip looks like it's about to melt and run down to his chin, the rest makes him look like a space alien posing as a human being. Unless, that was the plastic surgeon's intention all along, and he wanted to be known as a hero for f**king up Qaddafi's face... OK, ok, the surgeon did say that the procedure was only good for a few years and after that he would look worse, as told to the AP:

"His assignment: to shave years off Moammar Gadhafi's appearance by removing fat from his belly and injecting it into his wrinkled face. The Libyan leader also got hair plugs.
"He told me that he had been in power for 25 years at that time, and that he did not want the young people of his nation to see him as an old man," Dr. Liacyr Ribeiro recalled. "I recommended a facelift, but he refused."

The secretive four-hour procedure in 1995 was done, at Gadhafi's insistence, with local anesthesia because he wanted to remain alert. Midway through, the Libyan leader stopped to have a hamburger.
Gadhafi was worried a facelift would be too noticeable, so he opted for the less radical procedure, the plastic surgeon told The Associated Press.
"I warned Gadhafi that the effects of the operation I performed would last for about five years, that it had an expiration date after which the skin would sag and the wrinkles would reappear," Ribeiro said.
"He said he would call me if he needed me to come back," and about five years ago there was such a request, but Ribeiro had a family obligation. "They never called me again," he said."

Which gives Qaddafi yet another excuse to leave Libya, he has another appointment with his Brazilian plastic surgeon... I wonder how he would look if the doctor didn't take the fat for the facial injections from his belly, rather used the fat around his butt crack... oh, I just know there's a fatwa in there, somewhere...

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