So, we’re going to sit back and watch Gaddafi slaughter his people, are we?

It’s pretty disappointing to learn that, after witnessing the protests and clear desperation of the Libyan people to be free of Gaddafi, the rest of the world is apparently content to just sit back and look the other way while he bombs them back into submission. It’s 2011, and that’s apparently the best we can do.

Is this the ultimate result of destructive and poorly-planned invasions like Afghanistan and Iraq – that we can no longer act even when the people themselves have taken the first massive step to break free? Where are those who previously said the West had an obligation to stand up for democracy? Where are those who previously said the West had an obligation to stand up for human rights?

That includes people on my own side of politics, by the way. Guy Rundle, writing in Crikey on Friday, was quite right:

The anti-imperialist left is in a major jam over Libya. They’re falling back on a firm anti-imperialist line: to quote the UK Socialist Worker, reprinted in Australia’s Socialist Alternative — “We have to let the Libyan people make their own revolution.”

The trouble is, in making that revolution the Libyan people are, as free revolutionary subjects, asking for material support. In which case, the refusal to even consider arguing for such amounts not to non-intervention, but to a refusal of solidarity.

To “let them make their own revolution …” in such condition is not a guarantee of autonomy, but to treat a people like children. It is to go beyond respect for national self-determination, to a rigid respect for national boundaries more characteristic of realpolitik conservatives than internationalist radicals.

I think that’s very true. Preventing Gaddafi from using his power to slaughter his own people is not “imperialism” – it’s preventing the undemocratic, murderous application of state power against the Libyan people themselves. Gaddafi and his regime don’t “represent” the Libyan people – that’s why they’re bombing them!

If we’re happy to sit back and not care, our governments will be more than happy to do likewise. They’ll probably do that even if we do raise our voices, but at least we’ll be part of the solution, not part of the problem.

And while we’re on the subject – it was a surreal experience watching Insiders this morning. The panel did debate the issue of a no-fly zone in Libya – if by “debate” you mean “they talked about what it meant in terms of the supposed conflict between Kevin Rudd and Julia Gillard”. Rudd’s supposedly been pushing for a no-fly zone, and the only reason the panel could come up with for why that might be is that he’s trying to get himself a seat in the UN or something. Self-interest. Not, you know, because we all recognise Gaddafi is a murderous thug and stopping him slaughtering his own people might be, you know, the right thing to do.

Unbelievable. The tragedy in Japan was discussed through a similarly myopic prism.

UPDATE: The debate on Larvatus Prodeo.

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106 responses to “So, we’re going to sit back and watch Gaddafi slaughter his people, are we?

  1. There did seem to be an awful lot of talk about how the quake would affect the economy. While bodies were still floating in the streets.

    On that note, I also remember glancing at the business pages in the Age, and seeing a photo of a young revolutionary with a rifle crouched in the shelter of a sand dune, captioned “The conflict in Libya continues to erode investor confidence.” I mean, I know it’s the business pages and that’s what you have to write about, but sheesh. I would hate to be that writer.

  2. Libya is full of oil. I seem to remember people chanting “No blood for oil” a few years ago.

    Perhaps western governments have taken that advice to heart, and will now only intervene when there is no oil around to be “plundered”.

    Or are you saying we should invade in order to keep petrol prices down? What will Gaia think of you then, Jeremy?

  3. “Or are you saying we should invade in order to keep petrol prices down?”

    Um, no. Read the post and try again.

  4. Where are those who previously said the West had an obligation to stand up for human rights?

    Would they be the same people who also said it about Myanmar, Zimbabwe and other countries in Africa where there are despots in power?

    It generally takes large doses of state or corporate self interest for the big western powers to do more than mouth revulsion and use the UN to pass resolutions that are of little practical worth.

    “Unless your heart, your soul and your whole being are behind every decision you make, the words from your mouth will be empty and each action will be meaningless.”
    Kathleen Pedersen

  5. I suppose the difference is that right now there is a huge opportunity to help the Libyans who’ve done about all that anyone could do to rise up against Gaddafi – and if we don’t help them now, all that will have been for nothing.

  6. Today we have woke up to a disastrous situation in Japan, tens of thousands missing or dead. There are reports of one nuclear power station exploding and others in danger of melt down. What is the story of the day, whether FM Rudd should have used the word “demand”. Very little of what is happening in Japan and what we can do to help. No mention of any of the positives actions take by the PM, FM and government.

    The MSM and the Opposition do have a duty to examine and assessed what the government is doing, and no one on this earth is perfect, there will be much to criticise. At the same time it is rare for anyone not to do things that are positive as well. I believe the MSM has a duty also to report on the positives. They also have a duty to examine and assessed what Opposition actions.
    I do not need to know what journalists and others personal feelings are. It is not the role of the MSM to bring down a government.

    We have Mr. Hunt demanding that PM Gillard rein in those who are calling members on his side of being Goebbel. No one in Labor has accused any Opposition Leader of being a Nazi. What they have done is accused the Opposition of using Goebbel tactics, that is if you repeat something often enough, it will become truth or fact. Mr. Hunt had the hide to do this, in spite of many on his side, likening PM Gillard to Colonel Gaddafi or worst. It reminds me of the kettle calling the pot black.

    “Utterly cynical, he seems to have believed only in the self-justification of power. “
    http://www.psywarrior.com/Goebbels.html

    “has hit ABC News where AGW skeptic Goebbelism by a decade or more by convincing the public through a disinformation campaign that there was an ongoing debate among scientists about global warming”

    http://omniclimate.wordpress.com/2008/03/29/84-year-old-accused-of-future-deaths-extinctions-and-economic-damage/

  7. “Libya is full of oil.”

    I think I ewad somewhere in the last week that they do not export much of the oil they produce.

  8. They don’t export much oil to the US – but they export a lot to Europe. How do you think Gaddafi got all his billions?

    Shame on you Jeremy – advocating the slaughter of Libyan government troops by western governments. You do realise that taking out those troops will involve a fair bit of collateral damage? Are you ready to have the blood of innocent civilians on your hands? Don’t you think the sight of western jets pounding Muslims will cause the “Muslim street” to rise up all over the middle east? Won’t it just encourage Muslim terrorists?

    Enjoy your crusade mate. Glad to see you’re so happy to call for others to do the fighting and killing, but won’t take part in it yourself. Isn’t that what the left used to say to the neo-cons? Something about “chickenhawks”?

    No blood for oil!
    No blood for oil!
    No blood for oil!

  9. “Shame on you Jeremy – advocating the slaughter of Libyan government troops by western governments.”

    Hardly a “slaughter”. At the moment we’re just talking about enforcing a no-fly zone.

    “You do realise that taking out those troops will involve a fair bit of collateral damage?”

    We’re talking about fighter pilots, at most two to a jet. (And we’re talking fighter pilots who are bombing their own people.)

    “Are you ready to have the blood of innocent civilians on your hands?”

    What civilians? Do you think Gaddafi is going to tie them to the wings?

    And no, I’m not willing to have the blood of innocent civilians on my hands. That’s why I’m opposed to sitting by while they are slaughtered.

    “Don’t you think the sight of western jets pounding Muslims will cause the “Muslim street” to rise up all over the middle east? Won’t it just encourage Muslim terrorists?”

    The rebels are muslims, and they’re calling for our help.

    “Enjoy your crusade mate. Glad to see you’re so happy to call for others to do the fighting and killing, but won’t take part in it yourself. Isn’t that what the left used to say to the neo-cons? Something about “chickenhawks”?”

    So – you’re opposed to Iraq and Afghanistan, now?

    “No blood for oil!
    No blood for oil!
    No blood for oil!”

    I’m not suggesting invading Libya and handing over its oil reserves to Western oil companies, so that doesn’t make any sense.

  10. I imagine we would be looking at something like what happened in Yugoslavia. Some type of Peace Troops. It seemed to have worked before, why not now.

  11. Splatterbottom

    Back in the day the old-school leftist would get out and join a popular uprising, putting their lives on the line to fight the good fight. George Orwell took a bullet for the cause in Spain. Looks like the modern leftist has less courage and less conviction.

    There are a few issues with leaping in – what happens if all you do is to enable a worse dictator to take over? Do you ignore those voices calling for the west to keep out? I think they are risks we should take, but it is not straight-forward.

  12. Ah!!! Conservatives, what strange logic they do have. To justify the Iraq fiasco, they’re now taunting the left with a load of rhetoric spawned on the alter on a collective of guilty conscience’s. The left was against the invasion of Iraq for obvious reasons. Uno numero, there were no weapons of mass destruction, and the jury is still out on how many people Saddam actually killed. But hey now there is prima facia evidence Gaddafi is killing hundreds if not thousands of his own people, lets all prevaricate.

  13. Warmonger.

    Babykiller.

    How many kids have you killed today, Jeremy? You do realise that war is messy, and it often goes in directions that were never expected when you first went in?

    By the way, whilst Libyan air power is certainly frightening to an untrained rabble, there’s also Gaddafi’s armour to worry about. The best way to take that out is to use the A-10 warthogs – except they fire depleted uranium slugs. You know – the sort that are supposedly causing birth defects in Fallujah.

    If Gaddafi sends in the tanks and they start squashing rebels left, right and centre, will you also endorse the use of depleted uranium rounds on his armour?

    Yes, Gaddafi is killing quite a few people. Why not ask Lancet to go and tally them up? I’m sure they’ll tell you he’s up to about a million by now.

    Frankly, I’d like the yanks to send in a few carrier groups and to annihilate the furry little weird beard and all his military, and then send in the Marines to bayonet any loyalists too stupid to have died the first time. I just find it hilarious that you’ve found a cause worth killing for.

  14. “You do realise that war is messy, and it often goes in directions that were never expected when you first went in?”

    Indeed. That’s why it should only be engaged in as the lesser of two evils. When the cost of inaction is higher.

    And where you’re going to make sure that it doesn’t need to happen again. (See: Iraq, failure to plan the rebuilding of.)

    “By the way, whilst Libyan air power is certainly frightening to an untrained rabble, there’s also Gaddafi’s armour to worry about. The best way to take that out is to use the A-10 warthogs – except they fire depleted uranium slugs. You know – the sort that are supposedly causing birth defects in Fallujah.

    If Gaddafi sends in the tanks and they start squashing rebels left, right and centre, will you also endorse the use of depleted uranium rounds on his armour?”

    Not if there’s an alternative munition they could use that doesn’t have that effect.

    “I just find it hilarious that you’ve found a cause worth killing for.”

    Protecting innocent life? I’ve always supported that.

  15. There isn’t an alternative munition. The density of depleted uranium is required to penetrate modern tank armour.

    I see in the paper today that the rebels got kicked out of a town after being hammered by artillery and tanks. Best thing to use against artillery is cluster bombs – except there are always a few cluster rounds that fail to go off.

  16. jordanrastrick

    There isn’t an alternative munition. The density of depleted uranium is required to penetrate modern tank armour.

    Wikipedia doesn’t seem to agree with you: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Armor-piercing_shot_and_shell#Modern_day

    Is it badly in need of an update?

    I see in the paper today that the rebels got kicked out of a town after being hammered by artillery and tanks. Best thing to use against artillery is cluster bombs – except there are always a few cluster rounds that fail to go off.

    So your argument is more or less “if you endorse any form of military action, you must endorse only the (dubiously asserted to be) tactically best option, even if it has terrible consequences for civilians and there’s no need for it anyway given an overwhelming force advantage?”

    I believe that war is messy and usually goes in directions you don’t expect it to, and that innocent people die, and as Jeremy said should only be engaged in with an awareness that is at best a lesser evil.

    I supported the invasion of Afghanistan, opposed the invasion of Iraq, and am in favour of at least a no-fly zone over Libya. If Gadaffi starts doing serious damage with tanks, we can cross that bridge when we come to it (I’m sure the Pentagon are planning that contingency as we speak.)

  17. There’s little point engaging boaboab further Jeremy since he appears unable to differentiate an anti-Iraq war viewpoint from a generic anti-war viewpoint. However sensible your responses are they can never be sufficient to penetrate his simplicity.

    He’s discovered a contradiction in the strawman version of ‘Leftist thought’ that exists in his head, and nothing you say can dislodge it.

    The truth is that progress towards positive change regularly requires bloodshed, particularly when the incumbent has military power at its disposal. The idea that change is illegitimate simply because violence is required is idiotic and a total denial of human history – change is change. The issue has always been, and will always be, one of when a military solution is justified, not whether one can ever be justified.

    If you’re interested in real hypocricy you should look no further than the western media’s utterly shameless double standards in reporting this conflict. Watch as tactics employed by the under-resourced and outgunned rebels, such as roadside bombs and indiscriminate rocket attacks, are conspicuously not described as terrorism. Watch as our fearless media’s brave reporting changes when the overwhelming military force being fought by insurgents is not us.

  18. Splatterbottom

    Lynot, what we see playing out in Egypt and Tunisia and Libya is the desire of people for democracy spoken of and promoted by George Bush. The outcome of the current demonstrations may be the first stirrings rather than the final triumph of democratic ideals, and maybe things would have been better if Mubarack had listened to Condoleeza Rice’s appeals for a more democratic process in Egypt, but the tide has now turned.

    Obama, the anus-fingering leftist, is sitting on his hands – confused, perplexed and unable to lift a finger so to speak.

  19. jordanrastrick

    Lynot, what we see playing out in Egypt and Tunisia and Libya is the desire of people for democracy spoken of and promoted by George Bush.

    I’ve never been one to completely write-off the democracy argument in for instance the Iraq debate. We did get rid of Saddam, and that’s a Good Thing, regardless of whether you think of the overall merits of the war.

    However, if we’re talking about the military actions (as opposed to the endless rhetoric every politician is capable of) that the Bush government took to promote democracy, there are really important differences between them and the current situations in Libya et al.

    One, in both Afghanistan and Iraq, the primary justification given for the war was security – self-defence in Afghanistan and, uh, “pre-emptive” self defence in Iraq. Which turned out to be based on largely false evidence. Democracy for the people was often mentioned on the agenda, but largely as an afterthought.

    Two, neither of the countries had an active mass revolt of its own people going on at the time of the invasion. Not only did this means liberation had to be imposed largely unilaterally by foreign troops instead of citizens aided by Western firepower, it also meant that there weren’t really plausible opposition figures to take over from the existing reigime. Which spelled power vacuums, which in turn meant chaos and instability and people taking over who weren’t a lot better than the bastards who were replaced. And in the Afghanistan case the corrupt tinpot warlords are still more or less running the show.

    Three, nothing like an international consensus was there for Iraq. Here we have the Arab League endorsing action, and the UN security council is probably not far off.

    Obama, the anus-fingering leftist, is sitting on his hands – confused, perplexed and unable to lift a finger so to speak.

    If Obama’s hands are tied by anyone’s anus, its arguably Bush’s – he brought the idea of Western millitary action in the Islamic world thoroughly into disrepute, in American public opinion, the international community, and the countries that are getting the bombs dropped into them.

  20. Jordanrastrick, there are a number of different ways of defeating armour, but the most effective is DU. You can use a HEAT round, but you need a 120mm cannon to fire them, and your maximum rate of fire is about 6 rounds per minute – not very useful when used in an aircraft like the A-10. The A-10 carries a 30mm cannon that fires at 4000 rounds per minute – HEAT isn’t useful in that calibre. DU is the only way to go.

    As for how Libya is going to play out – there are too many unknown unknowns to tell.

  21. Anyway, I’m interested in seeing your argument for a Just War and the passing of multiple UN resolutions.

  22. jordanrastrick

    @boaboab: You said “There isn’t an alternative munition” and now one comment later you say “there are a number of different ways of defeating armour”. That’s, ah, a pretty fast turn around there.

    Jeremy wasn’t saying “If there are alternatives for the A-10 aircraft…”. There was no discussion of the platform for the delivery of munitions until you brought it up just now . His point, which is legitimate, is that if there are reasonable alternatives to the use of DU, they should be explored.

    I think everyone here would agree that there is a lot of uncertainty in Libya about how things will play out.

    On UN resolutions – they have to be the “we explicitly authorise the use of force” variety to, you know, authorise the use of force. And they have to come from the security council, because that’s what the security council is for – establishing consensus on security matters among the major powers. Surely a dinky-di right winger such as yourself wouldn’t want all the pissy little undemocratic and corrupt likes of Zimbabwe, Kazakhstan et al being able to have order airstrikes against Israel by a simple majority vote of the General Assembly.

  23. jordanrastrick

    P.S. Jeremy,

    Unbelievable. The tragedy in Japan was discussed through a similarly myopic prism.

    Arguably, your first post in response to the New Zealand quake being about Abbott’s mindset is, ah, a similarly myopic prism.

  24. Hmm. There’s certainly a difference with the Libya situation – because it’s ongoing, and there’s apparently little momentum to go and help them, whereas with NZ and Japan we’re happy to do that – but you might have a point with Me vs Abbott over NZ and Bolt v Rudd over Japan. Although I think my point is more reasonable – Bolt’s attack is on Rudd for doing precisely what a foreign minister needs to do; my criticism of Abbott was from a few days later when he was expressing some disturbing sentiments in the House of Reps.

    But I can see that they’re not all that far apart, and will think about it.

  25. jordanrastrick

    FWIW I didn’t entirely agree with what you said about Abbott but I didn’t think it was completely unfair either, and I actually thought there was merit to Bolt’s criticism of Rudd – which was a strange and faintly horrifying feeling. Of course he rescued me from that dark place by spouting some disgusting horseshit on some other issue 35 seconds later, thank heavens 🙂

    My existing views on Rudd and nuclear power obviously affect my outlook here, of course.

  26. Splatterbottom

    CU: “What is the story of the day, whether FM Rudd should have used the word “demand”.”

    The word “demand” was not used by Rudd. It was used by Barrie Cassidy to paraphrase him: ” BARRIE CASSIDY: Now you would have heard Kevin Rudd there saying that he’s demanded of the Japanese an urgent briefing on the precise status of these reactors.

    Rudd actually said that he said to the Japanese FM: “we and the rest of the international community need urgent briefings on the precise status of these reactors’’

  27. “Lynot, what we see playing out in Egypt and Tunisia and Libya is the desire of people for democracy spoken of and promoted by George Bush.”

    SB I’m all for democracy every where, that I am a leftist does not change that ideal, we just differ on how the pie of democracy is carved up. Having said that, please spare me any reference to George Bush as some type of paragon of virtue, he was/is an A grade moron of the highest order. He will have intellectuals of both political persuasions baffled for the next hundred years, on how he got to the highest office on the planet.

    As for any involvement in Libya by the west, bring it on. I unlike some of my leftist friends, do believe some wars are necessary, notwithstanding Gadaffi was/is still a stooge for the west, he has reached his use by date.

  28. Splatterbottom

    Lynot: Gadaffi was/is still a stooge for the west”

    If you were a good little leftist you would likely have stopped off in Libya on the tour of Soviet tributary states so commonly taken by the morally-challenged morons of the time. Until he renounced nukes, Gaddafi was no friend of the west. Even then, extorting favours from oil companies and corrupt politicians does not make him a friend.

  29. jordanrastrick

    Granted, SB, he didn’t use the word demand. But what he said sounds a little like a demand, particularly given his tone in the interview. And the use of the word “need”. Korea or China might reasonably state that they “need” briefings, but Australia?

    Now if. as they’re spinning it, he was saying “we (Australia) need urgent briefings so that we can provide you the most possible assistance in dealing with this situation”, sure. But it sounded more like “we (Australia) need urgent briefings so we can know if a couple of hundred of our expats might be in some danger, two days after you’ve lost probably well upwards of ten thousand of citizens to an unprecedented disaster and are in the middle of search and rescue” Or even worse, “we (Australia) need urgent briefings, coz oh noes the nuclear, what happens if it blows up 3,524 times worse than Chernobyl and the fallout reaches Darwin? WHAT THEN MR JAPANESE FOREIGN MINISTER?”

    Diplomats need to watch their (public) words. Its easy to give Rudd’s statement the latter of the three interpretations. In which case its pretty hysterical and despicable. Especially given that of all countries, this is Japan, who you know, are kinda the only people to have ever been attacked with nuclear weapons.

  30. Splatterbottom

    Jordan, Rudd is just a sad loser trying to get a UN sinecure. Unlike Doc Evatt his mental problems seem to have surfaced before he even makes it to his UN career. Still it is a shame that the press needed to re-characterise Rudd’s comment to attack him. There is enough to dislike without that.

  31. ” Until he renounced nukes, Gaddafi was no friend of the west. Even then, extorting favours from oil companies and corrupt politicians does not make him a friend.”

    Yea sure he was a friend. I know you just can’t handle that your mob of like wise morons could be doing business with Gaddafi, Hussein, the royal family in Saudi Arabia. Of course we could go on to add South America, well the list of rabid fascist governments we have done business with is endless really isn’t it? But you already know all that. But the best bit, extorting money from oil company’s!!! Tee hee that’s a doozey SB. Fancy that, the owners of said oil wanting paying for it. But I guess when old Rumsfeld was shaking hands with old Saddsam, they were just discussing how hot the desert can be at that time of year.

    You really must get over your fixation with lefty’s SB. It makes you say the darnedest of things.

  32. Splatterbottom

    Lynot, money I understand – business is business. But the unalloyed devotion of the pious poltroons of the left as they graced his gaping anus with their warm slavering tongues is a different matter entirely.

    Trade between nations is a good thing in itself. Worshiping tyrants not so much.

  33. There seems to be reaosnable grounds for intervening in Libya, even if in a limited way. While Gaddafi has a clear advantage with his planes, the Libyan Airforce really isn’t much, and could be dispatched with relative ease. That would not be the end of things as Libya has quite a stockpile of equipment, but it would at least level the playing field quite a bit.

    The main issue, I think, is the difficulty the US has in squaring action against Libya with its past support of him and the on-going policy of supporting ‘friendly’ dictators.

    What kind of message does it send to dictators when one minute everything is OK, and the next your esrtwhile benefactor is threatening ‘no-fly zones’ etc, when you haven’t done anything at all to them??

    From a natural justice / democratic perspective the choice is relatively easy, but from the realpolitik angle, this is a thorny problem for the US et a l.

  34. Still it is a shame that the press needed to re-characterise Rudd’s comment to attack him.

    The only bit of your contribution today that I agree with!

    It’s hardly petulant for Rudd to note that the international community needs updates on the status of several nuclear facilities that are currently in partial meltdown.

    It’s perhaps a little presumptuous of him to actually speak on behalf of the international community, but that’s hardly a firing offence. Those attacking Rudd for this have absolutely no interest in whether Japan has actually been offended (and there is no evidence that they’ve even given it a moment’s thought) – their only interest is in scoring domestic political points.

  35. Lynot, money I understand – business is business. But the unalloyed devotion of the pious poltroons of the left as they graced his gaping anus with their warm slavering tongues is a different matter entirely.

    SB well hang out the flag. At last condemned by your own rhetoric.

    Business is business so that makes it all just alright, hunky dory.

    The left is only tooooo aware of the depths some right wing toady capitalists will go to make a buck, and if a few hundred dumb schmucks get killed in the process, what do they call it ? That’s right collateral damage I believe. How does that old but prophetic joke go? Who killed more Indians than John Wayne? Union Carbide. That is why most of us on the left hate the capitalist bastards and the horse they rode in on.

  36. Splatterbottom

    So Lynot, we shouldn’t use oil that comes from Iran or Burma or any other place that doesn’t have a government you approve of? Or trade with them at all? What is your position on this?

    Trade itself is a civilising influence on humans. It is not bad per se to trade with tyrants.

    Fawning over tyrants is another matter entirely.

  37. jordanrastrick

    SB and Mondo, I know Bolt et al are only out to make Rudd look as bad as possible. It doesn’t mean they’re automatically wrong.

    It’s hardly petulant for Rudd to note that the international community needs updates on the status of several nuclear facilities that are currently in partial meltdown.

    But its not (just) the international community. Its we and the rest international community as in we, Australia, and the rest of the international community (there’s no other plausible interpretation of what he means by “we”.)

    As in I, Kevin Rudd, one of 160 Foreign Ministers in the world, have not merely liaised with the UN nor the IAEA on this, but rather have personally spoken to the Japanese Foreign Minister himself directly about this issue, even though it is of no direct concern to Australia whatsoever except to the extent that there might be expatriate Australians in the at-risk area, which is the exact same issue any nation has when a disaster occurs in a foreign land and hardly warrants this kind of diplomatic communication.(Imagine – Dear NZ Cabinet, I need an urgent update on your response in to yesterday’s earthquake in Christchurch. I hear some Australians are at risk of being hurt, and I think you need to give me information about this right now? Its clearly a top priority for your government. )

    If ALL of the Japanese plants were to go Chernobyl – and only one of them is at any real risk of anything approach that – then only Japan, Russia, China and the Koreas can reasonably expect to suffer any ill effects to their population. Sure, its important that the IAEA and other global experts are kept in the loop. Kevin Rudd does not speak on behalf of any of the above.

    If Rudd’s interview reflects the actual discussion that took place between him and his counterpart, he’s gone a fair way beyond petulant or presumptuous. If it doesn’t, well then he’s distorting what was said preumably to try to look “tough on Nuclear” for the sake of political gain, either in UN circles or the domestic arena – either way, its totally inappropriate at a time when they are starting to count the thousands of bodies of Japanese people being washed ashore after a disaster that started in a time still measured reasonably measured in hours.(if the Nuclear crisis was occuring three weeks after the quake and Rudd was then demanding updates, that might qualify as merely presumptuous and petulant.)

    Now I agree that even in the worst case its probably not a sacking offence, and that his detractors have misrepresented the situation to make him look worse. But its still pretty fucking insensitive and shitty in my book, and Rudd has form.

  38. jordanrastrick

    There are many ways to defeat armour. You can stop or destroy it with anti-tank mines. You can use shoulder launched guided missiles like the Milan. You can use shoulder launched unguided recoilless rifle like the Carl Gustav. Trouble is, you need infantry on the ground the dig holes and bury the first, and infantry on the ground to lug around and few numbers 2 and 3.

    You can also use TOW missiles mounted on tracked vehicles like the Bradley, or HEAT rounds fired from a 120mm Abrams tank cannon. However, those require you to have armour trundling around on the ground doing shooty things.

    When it comes to destroying armour from the air, you can also use hellfire missiles mounted on attack helicopters, but the helicopters don’t have a great deal of range. You can drop smart bombs on them too, but they tend to be fearsomely expensive and there aren’t huge stockpiles of them.

    Best thing for the job is the purpose built tank destroyer, the A-10 warthog. The best ammunition for the job is a 30mm depleted uranium round. If it isn’t firing DU, it’s wasting its time. You might as well throw snowballs at a tank if you’re not firing DU.

    So yes, there are lots of way to defeat armour. It’s just that most of those ways require you to land troops. If you want to do it from the air, you just have to get used to the idea of firing a lot of DU rounds at tanks.

    Does that clear things up?

  39. It is not bad per se to trade with tyrants.

    Fawning over tyrants is another matter entirely.

    Seems to be a total double standard to me. Pretty hard to take a stand morally while still doing business with them.

    Judging from your link (yet another conservative website), by “fawning over”, you mean “having your photograph taken with”. So the problem wasn’t the US’s supplying Saddam with arms, but rather Rumsfeld allowing himself to be photographed smiling and shaking Saddam’s hand. Got it.

  40. jordanrastrick

    So yes, there are lots of way to defeat armour. It’s just that most of those ways require you to land troops. If you want to do it from the air, you just have to get used to the idea of firing a lot of DU rounds at tanks.

    Does that clear things up?

    Yes, crystal, thanks. You clearly know more about military tactics and equipment than Jeremy or myself (the last time I read much detail about armour penetration was a Dr Karl article about it in early high school). DU obviously has several advantages for this purpose, although its not the only option. Given Jeremy’s lack of military expertise, consider that if we substitute the word “tactics” or “weapons” for “munitions” in his original comment, his intended point remains both valid and important – that if there are alternative options, and as it turns out there are, they should be explored. Likewise for my response to your follow up comment, although I was slightly unfair to paint your turnaround the way I did given there’s technically no contradiction between saying there are no alternative munitions to DU, in the likely practical context of this particular conflict at least, and saying there are lots of ways to defeat armour. At least, if you somewhat arbitrarily say that helicopters are a bit too hard to use due to their limitations, etc

    But you were trying as Mondo points out to score points off a non-existent strawman left-wing viewpoint, you did a really bad job of it despite your superior grasp of the nuances of fighting a war, you deserved to be called on it, so I stand by the gist of what I said 😉

    For the record, as a nuclear-loving arsehole I tend to errrr on the side of believing that Depleted Uranium isn’t actually as harmful as is made out by teh hippies. But people don’t seem to like having it scattered about their country in used anti-tank shells, and so I also tend to errr on the side of saying that, maybe if the Libyans like most other people would prefer us not to scatter DU or for that matter cluster bombs everywhere in their country, we should look at spanking Gadaffi hard using all the other fancy military toys we have that aren’t those things. Even if its a bit more expensive or makes planning slightly more difficult.

  41. Splatterbottom

    Buns: “Seems to be a total double standard to me. “

    Didn’t think you would be able to tell the difference.

  42. Got a substantive response, or just lame abuse?

  43. “So Lynot, we shouldn’t use oil that comes from Iran or Burma or any other place that doesn’t have a government you approve of? Or trade with them at all? What is your position on this? ”

    Trade with them? You are joking right? I wouldn’t piss on any members of the governments of Iran or Burma if they were on fire. But hey tell me go on, you know you want to. They’re governments made up of rampant socialists aren’t they? Yea right sure they are.

    I mean I can really dig a government that hangs its homosexuals on the end of a crane, stones women for adultery. Or a junta that would imprison a women for just being a heavens to murgatroyd dare I say it? A progressive.

    Here you’ll get a right chuckle out of this, Iran getting the bomb, is like, has the equivalence of, is tantamount to, chucking a load of razor blades over the wall of a kindergarten. SB do try and keep up. The right doesn’t have a mortgage on common dog.

  44. Bring the troops home now! We should cut and run, the only brave thing to do.

  45. What’s that about boaboab? I don’t see anyone saying we should kidnap random Libyans so we can sexually assault and drown them.

  46. “There are many ways to defeat armour. You can stop or destroy it with anti-tank mines. You can use shoulder launched guided missiles like the Milan. You can use shoulder launched unguided recoilless rifle like the Carl Gustav. Trouble is, you need infantry on the ground the dig holes and bury the first, and infantry on the ground to lug around and few numbers 2 and 3.”

    Jesus H Christ it’s ‘Rambo ‘ right here on Jeremy’s blog. Here’s me thinking it was just a movie made in Hollywood. Lets dispense with the three star Generals and the Pentagon, we can plan the freedom of the Libyan people right here on this blog.

    I reckon we start with bombing them with Lamington’s, Halal mind you.

  47. Give peace a chance, you mob of warmongering criminals.

    Lynot, I simply wanted to make the point that when it comes to smashing up armour, you’ll have to accept the use of depleted uranium. Now go away and wring your hands in despair, and engage in a bit of wishful thinking. If you want to defeat Gadaffi, you have to accept the use of munitions containing DU. Now get over it and go back to calling for the slaughter of his loyalist troops, sycophants, secret police and family (because if the rebels catch them, they will shoot them). And put a cover over your keyboard – all that blood on your hands will cause the keys to clog up and stick.

  48. Jordanrastrick, there might be alternative ammunition for the 30mm cannon in the A-10 that doesn’t contain DU, but it hasn’t been invented yet. The only viable stuff to use is that which has been tested, approved for use, manufactured and shipped out to the squadrons. If you want to go and bust up Gaddafi’s forces right now, you need to fight with the army (or air force) you have now, not with some mythical weapons that don’t exist.

    PS – it would be nice for parliament to sit and debate the declaration of war with Libya before commencing hostilities with a foreign power.

  49. “but it hasn’t been invented yet.”

    Tungsten hasn’t been invented yet? Better tell the Royal Navy whove been using it for ten years, they’ve phased out DU rounds because they KNOW about the potential risks. Yeah tungsten costs more but is sooooooooooo much safer.

    You might want to read up on concrete bombs too, guided by laser they are IDEAL for destroying armour and minimising civilian casualties as well as damage to buildings.

  50. OK, Lynot – how would you stop Gaddafi from slaughtering all the rebels with his artillery and armour?

  51. Splatterbottom

    Buns: “Got a substantive response, or just lame abuse?”

    Not easy to make a substantive response to an ignorant quip. Now if you tell me why you think there is a double standard I might be able to diagnose your problem.

    Lynot has at least had a go. He thinks we shouldn’t trade with countries that don’t respect human rights. The fact is that if you took that approach you would so diminish the supply of oil the world economy would grind to a halt and millions would die and lynot would be dancing on the corpses resplendent in his moral righteousness.

    I get the idea of targeted sanctions in the case of really bad countries, but to have a general rule will do more harm than good.

    As a more general proposition trade is an instrument of peace. It is means of peaceful co-existence.

  52. Lynot, I simply wanted to make the point that when it comes to smashing up armour, you’ll have to accept the use of depleted uranium.

    What an unmitigated load of rubbish. Glad to see RobJ putting this little pretend warrior back in his place.

  53. Not easy to make a substantive response to an ignorant quip. Now if you tell me why you think there is a double standard I might be able to diagnose your problem.

    It’s self-evident. I can’t help you if you are unable to see it.

  54. jordanrastrick

    What an unmitigated load of rubbish. Glad to see RobJ putting this little pretend warrior back in his place.

    Can I still list my DU alternatives?

    We could paradrop infantry anti-tank weapons into cities securely held by the rebels.

    We could use those helicopters boaboab mentioned. The only limitation he described is range, and with complete air and naval superiority I don’t see that its hard to have our helicopters get as close as they need to any costal battle. Which is convenient given it seems pretty much the whole Libyan populace lives on the coast.

    We could use a few of those expensive smart bombs to blow up some judiciously selected tanks at range, and see how many of of Gadaffi’s mercenaries mutiny in an instant (like most other armed forces seem to do if you sneeze at them when their loyalty to the cause is all fear and money.) A neo-con would probably call that shock and awe? It worked for Saddam’s forces in Iraq, and if we’re not proposing to occupy I don’t see in this case any “Commited local partisans who use IEDs instead of tanks and are neither shocked nor awed” problems arising.

  55. “The fact is that if you took that approach you would so diminish the supply of oil the world economy would grind to a halt and millions would die and lynot would be dancing on the corpses resplendent in his moral righteousness.”

    SB you are taking the piss which becomes more obvious after each burst of unmitigated twaddle. Using your logic we should be trading with our enemy’s. But being the capitalist you think you are, that would not surprise me.

    After all the British capitalists were trading through neutral countries during WW2 weren’t they? Oh you didn’t know? Sorry you probably think that’s more anti imperialist leftist propaganda.

  56. “OK, Lynot – how would you stop Gaddafi from slaughtering all the rebels with his artillery and armour?”

    Well for one, I would let the military boffins decide how that was going to happen.

    You see unlike you who has some in depth knowledge of the subject I presume, I only reached the dizzy heights of Sergeant when I was in the Army. So I Let people who were much better qualified than I to work out how wars were going to be fought, and what equipment was likely to be used. But fortunately for me I never got to fire a shot in anger in my life. So I like 99% of the population doesn’t really know. But I’m sure like you I can refer to Wiki and come up with a strategy.

  57. Splatterbottom

    A few of these in the right hands should help:

  58. I’m for an NFZ with precision bombing, though it’s probably too late.

    I’m not sure why so many are eager to arm the rebels, do we know who they are? Do we know what they stand for? How can we guarantee that any weapons or training ‘we’ provide won’t be used against ‘us’ at some point in the future?

    We need to keep Gaddhafi in his box until we work out who the rebels are.

    As I’ve already suggested laser guided concrete bombs are ideal for smashing armour. The missile in SB’s link appears to be a TOW Missile, two ways to deploy that, boots on the ground or give them to rebels we know not much about… I don’t favour either.. NFZ & precisioon bombing is the most effective, safe option.

  59. @SB

    Back in the day the old-school leftist would get out and join a popular uprising, putting their lives on the line to fight the good fight

    You mean like Rachel Corrie giving her life, for example? Or the successful direct actions of Sea Shepherd?

  60. “For the record, as a nuclear-loving arsehole I tend to errrr on the side of believing that Depleted Uranium isn’t actually as harmful as is made out by teh hippies.”

    Agree with a lot of what you have said jordan, but the risks associated with the use of DU shells are well known. Cancer rates sky rocket everywhere they are used.

    “In 2004, 500 cases of cancer were diagnosed there. That figure rose to almost 1,000 two years later. By 2008, the number of cases had increased sevenfold to 7,000”

    http://english.aljazeera.net/programmes/insideiraq/2010/01/20101371048370420.html

    “A British scientist says the Americans’ use of depleted uranium weapons in the war with Serbia is likely to cause 10,000 extra deaths from cancer. ”

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/408122.stm

  61. jordanrastrick

    Thanks Duncan. Its nice to know even the hippies are right sometimes.

    Besides I really want to conserve Depleted Uranium to put in TerraPower reactors……

  62. ““For the record, as a nuclear-loving arsehole I tend to errrr on the side of believing that Depleted Uranium isn’t actually as harmful as is made out by teh hippies.”

    We’ll see when nations start using it in defence, in their own country. Like I say if the Royal Navy have abandoned it in favour of more expensive tungsten then I guess they agree with the hippies.

    Shooting your enemy with DU in their own country is sort of a cheap way of disposing of ones nuclear waste.

  63. The MoD denies that there is any link with splattering DU everywhere and illness in soldiers or civilians, but they’d hardly admit it either. ie Who would believe them?

    As it happens wikipedia reckons:

    “Since 2001, medical personnel at the Basra hospital in southern Iraq have reported a sharp increase in the incidence of child leukemia and genetic malformation among babies born in the decade following the Gulf War. Iraqi doctors attributed these malformations to possible long-term effects of DU, an opinion which was echoed by several newspapers.[94][95][96][65] In 2004, Iraq had the highest mortality rate due to leukemia of any country.[97] The International Coalition to Ban Uranium Weapons (ICBUW) has made a call to support an epidemiological study in the Basra region, as asked for by Iraqi doctors,[98] but no peer-reviewed study has yet been undertaken in Basra.

    A medical survey, “Cancer, Infant Mortality and Birth Sex Ratio in Fallujah, Iraq 2005–2009” published in July 2010, states that the “Increase in cancer and birth defects…are alarmingly high” and that infant mortality 2009/2010 has reached 13.6%. The group compares the dramatic increase, five years after the actual war 2004, or exposure, with the lymphoma Italian peacekeepers developed after the Balkan wars, and the increased cancer risk in certain parts of Sweden due to the Chernobyl fallout. The origin and time of introduction of the carcinogenic agent causing the genetic stress, the group will address in a separate report.[99]

  64. jordanrastrick

    I think we can take it that there is a consensus that DU is neither harmless nor necessary? Good?

    Moving right along, I am also capitalist enough to want to trade with Burma et al, because empircally its been shown pretty convincingly that trade promotes peace, and that all but the most carefully designed and targeted trade sanctions hurt the oppressed far more than they hurt the oppressors.

  65. I’d say that trade can promote peace but Iraq wasn’t very peaceful when we (the Western Powers) were tradi…. selling them all that shit to kill Iranians with. We trade with Israel too, that does bugger all to promote peace (in my opinion)

    Having said that ‘they’ say that no two countries with a McDonalds have ever gone to war once they’ve got a Maccas?? Is this true, I can’t think of anything that makes this ‘rule’ untrue.

  66. jordanrastrick

    Trade with Israel seems to work pretty well at promoting peace between Western countries and Israel.

    If you mean Palenstine, that’s not how “trade causes peace” theory works. The Israeli blockade of Gaza (particularly before the West pressured them into weakening it) is such a bad idea precisely because in the long run it will probably cause far more war for Israeli than it prevents.

    The McDonalds theory is a cute way of phrasing the general idea, but I assume it has been falsified by now. E.g. I’d guess Georgia had a Maccas when they decided that to try and call Putin’s bluff…..

  67. “The Israeli blockade of Gaza (particularly before the West pressured them into weakening it) is such a bad idea precisely because in the long run it will probably cause far more war for Israeli than it prevents.”

    Fair point, going slightly off topic, if Egypt gets a govt that represents the people’s will (as opposed to a puppet palatable to the west) then the blockade on the Egyptian side will go.

  68. Those calling for a No Fly Zone in Libya should be aware that establishing one involves an initial and ongoing suppression of anti-aircraft defenses through the use of air-strikes — given that in Libya’s case these defenses are likely to be located in populated areas the probability of civilian casualties as a result of those strikes is high.

    At any rate, if the Libyan people have to wait for the UN to reach a decision on this, they might as well give up now.

    Lynot, I too would be interested to know where you think SB is displaying a double standard, you don’t have to be friends with a foreign government to trade with them — trade is merely a recognition by both parties that each has something the other needs or wants.

    “After all the British capitalists were trading through neutral countries during WW2 weren’t they?”

    Trading with who — are you suggesting they were trading with enemy governments, because if so I’d be interested to see your evidence of British companies knowingly conducting such trade.

  69. “if Egypt gets a govt that represents the people’s will (as opposed to a puppet palatable to the west) then the blockade on the Egyptian side will go.”

    If that happens, Israel is fucked.

  70. If that happens, Israel is fucked.

    Or Egypt is fucked. Palestine is already fucked, Israel can do whatever it likes because the only superpower in the world lets them . They recently vetoed a UNSC resolution condemning the building of settlements which in itself is a contravention, if Israel was a Muslim nation the US would have invaded them for their UNSC breaches.

    “At any rate, if the Libyan people have to wait for the UN to reach a decision on this, they might as well give up now.”

    The UN are useless crowd are starting to convince me though we ought to acknowledge that the UN’s failings are our failings.

  71. Gavin:

    How the Allied multinationals supplied Nazi Germany throughout World War II

    http://libcom.org/library/allied-multinationals-supply-nazi-germany-world-war-2

  72. Thanks for that Rob, I just had a quick skim through it — will read it properly when I get a chance.

    I know in the USA the Nazis had a fairly large support base, particularly in the 1930’s and prior to Pearl Harbour so it probably wouldn’t come as too much of a surprise if some of those supporters were in big business and banking. (Henry Ford was a renowned anti-Semite who published The Protocols of the Elders of Zion in The International Jew).

    Its also no secret that many Nazi businesses and bankers worked through fronts in neutral countries in order to continue business with companies in the Allied nations but I’m not sure if its definitely known wether those companies really knew who they were dealing with.

    At any rate, your link should make for some interesting and potentially very revealing reading 🙂

  73. “The UN are useless crowd are starting to convince me though we ought to acknowledge that the UN’s failings are our failings.’

    You can rest assured the UN is useless — how else can you explain Libya, (among others), being a member of its human rights council ?

    Frankly I reckon the only hope for this uprising to succeed is if the member countries of NATO and the Arab League decide to get together to intervene.

  74. jordanrastrick

    The UN exists to stop World War 3. So far, working as intended. Hopefully the model doesn’t get falsified any time soon.

    Ending genocide, hunger, disease, climate change, injustice, local wars, etc are all secondary objectives (admittedly that often have overlap with the primary objective.) Not surprisingly its not an effective world government, because it was never supposed to be, except in the very philosophical sense that all governments are basically peace treaties between parties with conflicting interests.

  75. jordanrastrick

    We could paradrop infantry anti-tank weapons into cities securely held by the rebels.

    I guess we could. But there is a difference between having a weapon and knowing how to use it, and especially knowing how to use it effectively. Since I’ve actually fired one of the anti-tank weapons that I mentioned, I can tell you that it takes quite a bit of training to learn how to operate it without killing yourself and all around you, and lots of practice to get good at using it (ie, to have a hope of hitting a target whether it’s stationery or moving). Especially against people in tanks who are driving around trying to kill you.

    Much easier to just let the warthogs zoom around and tear up the armour like they’re supposed to. Dropping infantry weapons is a nice idea, but it’s not going to stop Gaddafi.

    You can hope that a few smart bombs in the right place cause all his troops to run away, but that’s wishful thinking. If they turn out to be braver and better trained and equipped than you think, then you’re going to have to do things the hard way. Get used to it.

  76. Splatterbottom

    RM: “You mean like Rachel Corrie giving her life, for example? Or the successful direct actions of Sea Shepherd?”

    St Pancake gets an “A” for stupidity in my book. Still, she had the courage of her convictions. Its a shame Sea Shepherd don’t get treated like pirates. Goading the Japanese is one thing. Standing up to Gaddafi might take a bit more fortitude.

  77. “Ending genocide, hunger, disease, climate change, injustice, local wars, etc are all secondary objectives ”

    Which is further evidence that the UN is useless for the situation in Libya, as it was for the people of Rwanda, Somalia, the Congo, Sierra Leone, Sudan, Kosovo and virtually every other nation who’s people have faced the prospect of civil war and genocide over the last 30 years, and is the reason we need another body to deal with these sort of issues that are far more common occurrences than the threat of a third world war.

    “We could paradrop infantry anti-tank weapons into cities securely held by the rebels.’

    Dropping sophisticated weaponry to people who have never used it is like arming them with toothpicks, and if/when the government forces capture those weapons because those they are meant for have no idea how to use them, we have just contributed to upgrading Gaddafi’s military capacity — brilliant !

  78. jordanrastrick

    St Pancake gets an “A” for stupidity in my book. Still, she had the courage of her convictions.

    Maybe. Its interesting.

    What’s the percentage of the world’s combined textual ouput that’s been translated into Arabic? Something ridiculously low and now rapidly rising thanks to the Internet?

    Seems like maybe not enough of the firebrand leaders in the MENA have read Gandhi or Luther King. Not talking about the end; just the means. Nonviolent martyrdom has a better historical track record.

    I’m not Qu’ran scholar. Is there any incompatiblity with Islamic notions of jihad here? (it does seem to flirt a little uncomfortably with the idea that e.g. God would never have sent the prophet Jesus to die on the cross)

    Martyrdom v2.0: Like suicide bombing, but with Unrelenting Bad Press instead of Explosives as the weapon of choice.

    I don’t want to be too awful about it. But maybe if Palestinian teenagers went into cafes with placards strapped on under coats instead of explosives, and started cutting only their own throats instead of taking out a whole bunch of 5 year olds with them, they’d start getting more sympathetic coverage in Israel and the U.S. (which both count the most.)

    Or they could invite in some nosy lefty Western journalists, and walk naked, unarmed and with tied hands above their heads holding signs in Hebrew, towards the IDF checkpoints (not very modest of course, but jihadists always seem to think the worthiness of the cause overrides other bits of Islamic morality.) What are the troops going to do? Shoot them down? At the moment they always have the “he might have had a gun” excuse.

    Would peace in the middle east be likely to result? Discuss.

  79. You raise an interesting question Jordan — certainly peaceful protest worked for Ghandi and I suppose couldn’t be much less successful for the Palestinians than violence has achieved for them so far.

    Although I wouldn’t condone suicide as a protest tactic, I think the other peaceful actions you suggest could have some merit to them and would be more likely to gain them support internationally from people who are, rightly, repelled by suicide bombs and murdering families in their homes.

  80. jordanrastrick

    Well I wasn’t really intending to condone or advocate suicide as a political tactic – I take self harm very seriously. I just wanted to observe that if Jihadists think killing themselves will further their cause and gain them brownie points with God, it will be better for both them and everyone else in the world (most notably their potential victims) if they were to realise that the change of tactics I have described would probably be more effective.

  81. Peaceful protests are actually common place in the Palestinian territories, as are the violent attacks on the protesters by Hamas bully boys, the IDF and extremist settlers.

    It just doesn’t get any coverage in the MSM, as they are far too busy trying to portray Israel as the victim to actually report on what is happening.

    Like the theft of Palestinian homes and farmland by extremist settlers and the regular stonings and fire-bomb attacks on Palestinian homes, it happens every day of the week and we never hear about it.

    http://english.pnn.ps/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=9690

    “Gaza – PNN/PCHR – Eleven Palestinian civilians were reported injured by Israeli army and settlers attacks in the past week, the Palestinian Center for Human Rights said in its weekly report.”

    http://www.paltelegraph.com/palestine/west-bank/8680-israeli-army-attacks-peaceful-protest-in-nabi-saleh.html

    “West Bank, (Pal Telegraph)- Dozens of Palestinians were suffocated yesterday after inhaling poisonous gas fired by Israeli soldiers who attempted to disperse the weekly anti-wall rally held in the west bank village of El-Nabi Saleh in the north part of Ramallah to protest occupation ongoing volitions; a number of peace activists were also arrested during clashes.”

  82. St Pancake gets an “A” for stupidity in my book

    Very Christian of you.

  83. jordanrastrick

    duncan, the problem with the existing peaceful protests is that they mainly happen in occupied territories. There’s not enough journalists (especially Western ones) covering them, and they aren’t dramatic enough. For non-violent resistance to succeed, the people you’re resisting need to be forced to pay attention; if they are able to blind themselves to the injustice that is happening to you, they will.

    The walking naked toward IDF checkpoints while holding placards and a White flag, while being filmed by a television crew, could work. They’d probably get arrested. That’s good. If enough people get arrested, Israel will begin to run out of prison space.

    If they can inspire Israel Arabs to begin their own non-violent protests within Israel – while being filmed – that’s good.

    If they can convince a majority in Palestine and in the broader Arab world that these tactics will work better than those of Hamas and Hezbollah, and destroy the popular support that is the backbone of their terrorist activities, that’s good.

    If they can get more Westerners to come and join them in these actions, that’s good. Particularly if they are to start with citizens of countries other than the U.S. so that they’ll get more sympathy and support from the media and the government of their own nation. Think how much better the Flotilla worked as a PR coup than any of these other protests you talk of. Foreign powers and foreign journalists. A more open border between Gaza and Egypt as we may now get will help a lot.

  84. “The walking naked toward IDF checkpoints while holding placards and a White flag, while being filmed by a television crew, could work. They’d probably get arrested. That’s good. If enough people get arrested, Israel will begin to run out of prison space.”

    I’d pick that they’d be beaten and tortured, and when Israel ran out of prison space they’d just bulldoze a few more Palestinian homes and build new prisons, the US Taxpayer footing the bill.

    Terrorism isn’t the answer but peaceful protests do not stick a chance either. I’m picking that as long as Israel is allowed to do whatever they want by the rest of us (mainly the US though) the Palestinians won’t get anything.

    “A more open border between Gaza and Egypt as we may now get will help a lot.”

    Can you remember the outrage when Hamas breached the border, Condoleeza Rice demanded that Egypt reseal it. Now the US doesn’t have a pliable dictator in control in Egypt, next time Hamas breaches it I fear it will result in violence from Israel and the US (on Egypt and Gaza) rather than strong words.

  85. jordanrastrick

    I’d pick that they’d be beaten and tortured, and when Israel ran out of prison space they’d just bulldoze a few more Palestinian homes and build new prisons, the US Taxpayer footing the bill.

    Probably. Luther King and co were imprisoned and beaten in the fight for civil rights in America.

    But the worse it gets, and the more publicity it gets, the more public opinion amongst moderates in Israel itself and in America will demand a true and lasting solution be found. Without a broad base of support in both countries, the status quo of occupation cannot continue.

    To me, the only unilateral options Palestinians have seem to be extremist ones. Let them try extremist pacifism, since extremist violence has got them nowhere.

    Now the US doesn’t have a pliable dictator in control in Egypt, next time Hamas breaches it I fear it will result in violence from Israel and the US (on Egypt and Gaza) rather than strong words.

    Given how unpopular the war in Iraq turned out, and how unpopular the war in Afghanistan as become, do you really think the U.S. would be prepared to attack Egypt to force them to close the border?

    Do you really think they can risk the likely realignment in geopolitics? Given how it would play in Europe and Russia and China?

  86. But the worse it gets, and the more publicity it gets, the more public opinion amongst moderates in Israel itself and in America will demand a true and lasting solution be found. Without a broad base of support in both countries, the status quo of occupation cannot continue.”

    I don’t share your optimism, Israel sneers in the face of international condemnation with full US backing.

    “To me, the only unilateral options Palestinians have seem to be extremist ones. Let them try extremist pacifism, since extremist violence has got them nowhere.”

    Then you’ve already forgotten Duncan’s post. The firing of rockets by terrorists gets loads of coverage maybe that’s the problem, amplifying Palestinian sins and glossing over Isreals sins, even though Israel retaliations result in a hundred fold death toll.

    “Given how unpopular the war in Iraq turned out, and how unpopular the war in Afghanistan as become, do you really think the U.S. would be prepared to attack Egypt to force them to close the border?”

    Oh yeah, the US is going to be very wary of launching any attacks.. Israel on the other hand wouldn’t miss a beat and when the UNSC attempts to condemn them guess which nation (permanent UNSC Member) will strike it down?

    “Do you really think they can risk the likely realignment in geopolitics?”

    Wouldn’t surprise me where Israel is concerned, just look at their track record.

  87. Well bugger me the UNSC has indeed voted for action against Lybia.

    I’ve also read this morning that the rebels have MIGs and have sunk a couple of loyalist war ships. They should make the most of it before an NFZ is imposed.

  88. Splatterbottom

    This is what you get from a culture built on jihad and Jew-hatred: 12 year old Tamar Fogel came home to find her parents, Ruth and Udi Fogel, two brothers Yoav (11) and Elad (four), and her 3 month old sister Hadas murdered in their beds. They had had their throats cut and been stabbed through the heart.

    The Paleostinians could have accepted the UN offer in 1948 they would have a bigger country than will ever get now. Instead they choose to fight a war to drive the Jews into the sea. That war is still going on today. Over the years they have lost more and more territory. That is a just reward for their violence.

    There will never be peace until the Paleostinians suffer a defeat catastrophic enough to make them renounce violence, as was the case with the Germans and the Japanese. Their religion and their culture do not allow them to accept a Jewish state on land once ruled by sharia law.

  89. “This is what you get from a culture built on jihad and Jew-hatred……The Paleostinians could have accepted the UN offer in 1948”

    Resisting occupation is “jew hatred” from a culture built on jihad, eh?

    So what’s your excuse?

    “The Paleostinians….just reward for their violence”

    You truly are a ‘centrist’ SB. I wouldn’t at ALL say you were a racist, bloodthirsty chickenhawk and complete fucktard.

  90. Splatterbottom

    Duncan: “Resisting occupation” Is that what you call slitting children’s throats? I bet you were down in Gaza when the celebratory sweets were being handed out. Don’t get too excited though – you have to stab a baby before they name a street after you.

    Paleostinians love terrorism and hate Jews. No wonder they are so popular in leftist circles!

  91. I love the way you condemn Palestinian terrorism while pretending that Israel itself wasn’t founded with terrorism SB, it really shows you up as a complete fucking hypocrite.

    But we all knew that.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zionist_political_violence
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jewish_terrorism

  92. LOL! I can play that game too SB.

    On February 25, 1994, Baruch Goldstein entered a room in the Cave of the Patriarchs that was serving as a mosque. He then opened fire, killing 29 prayers and wounding more than 125.

    The assassination of Yitzhak Rabin took place on November 4, 1995 at the end of a rally in support of the Oslo Accords at the Kings of Israel Square in Tel Aviv. The assassin, Yigal Amir, a right-wing religious Zionist strenuously opposed Rabin’s peace initiative and particularly the signing of the Oslo Accords.

    Yep, ALL Jews love terrorism, oppose the peace process and hate Palestinians.

  93. Still no answer as to why you think its acceptable to throw racist slurs like ‘paleostinian’ around SB?

  94. Splatterbottom

    That wasn’t a racial slur. There is no such thing as a Palestinian race. Infact there never has been a country called Palestine. I use the term ‘Paleostinian’ to refer to the sadly large terror-loving section of the Palestinian people.

    My slurs are directed to the vile religious beliefs that are behind the actual racism that pervades Palestinian culture, education and society.

    And don’t bother with any more links. I’ve read it all, and I know that Jews kill Muslim and Christian children and make matzos out of their blood.

  95. “Paleostinians love terrorism and hate Jews. No wonder they are so popular in leftist circles!”

    SB, while we are smearing an entire race, culture or religion for the sins of a minority…

    “Carl Sutphin was a problem priest who left ministry in the Roman Catholic church just before being charged nearly a decade ago with 14 counts of molestation for sexually abusing six children.”

    This predators behaviour is surely representative of ALL Catholics.

    Im disgusted with you SB….

    How can you sleep at night?

    http://www.salon.com/news/feature/2011/03/07/catholic_church_priests_abuse_unmonitored/index.html

  96. “There is no such thing as a Palestinian race.”

    Terra nullius?

    Yeah your right SB, those stinking marsh arab’s aren’t REAL people at all.

    “in fact there never has been a country called Palestine.”

    Actually SB, the land was first referred to as Palestine in the 5th century BC, and was renamed by Hadrian as “Syria-Palaestina” about 600 years later.

  97. Splatterbottom

    Duncan: “while we are smearing an entire race, culture or religion for the sins of a minority”

    No. I was actually defining a particular group. Given how many Palestinians support debased terrorist acts, I am not sure you can define them as a minority.

    I sleep very well thank you. That happens when you ditch the ideological blinkers. Try it.

  98. “That happens when you ditch the ideological blinkers. Try it.”

    YOU!? Ditch your ideological blinkers? LOL! You are a hell of a comedian SB, I’ll give you that!

    “No. I was actually defining a particular group.”

    Bullshit SB. Go back and read what you have written.

  99. That happens when you ditch the ideological blinkers. Try it.

    You first. Nobody without ideological blinders would say Paleostinians love terrorism and hate Jews. No wonder they are so popular in leftist circles!. Well, possibly a troll would. Perhaps you’re just a troll.

  100. “The Paleostinians could have accepted the UN offer in 1948″

    I thought you said the term ‘Paleostinian’ only referred to those who “support debased terrorist acts”, not the Palestinian people as a whole?

  101. Count me as another surprised that no-one vetoed the UNSCR – I thought for sure Russia would.

    But is it too late? With Gaddafi back in control of most of the country it will be hard for them to oust the regime even with a no fly zone.

  102. Splatterbottom

    Yep, and the Paleos were right there in 1948. In fact they were there much earlier, having promoted massacres in 1929, and having helped Hitler and Eichmann design the final solution. Unfortunately they did not have to pay the price the Nazis did. They came back and ensured that the UN peace plan failed, and a have continued to pursue a violent solution ever since.

    It takes a bit of effort to dig through the detritus of past jihads , but no doubt there are some Palestinians who would prefer peace. The trouble is that if they stick their heads up they are attacked. Once you have more than 10% jihadists in your midst, civilisation is in a death spiral. Look at Lebanon as a guide to the future for those countries that tolerate this nonsense. Egypt Tunisia and Libya hunger for freedom at the very same time Lebanese democracy is crushed under the heel of Hezbollah.

  103. And now they’ve called a ceasefire – nicely consolidating their gains, and hoping it staves off any US/NATO bombing.

  104. jordanrastrick

    My prediction:

    A lot of Gadaffi’s “loyal” forces might think twice now that the overwhelming superior of air power is against them rather than for them. Especially if NATO starts going after the tanks (with Tungsten or DU or cruise missiles or whatever) in a serious fashion.

    If the rebels get sufficiently well armed and organised on the ground, the only thing that will possibly save Gadaffi’s life is if NATO lets him surrender to them. If OTOH the rebels can’t win the ground war, there will probably be a ceasefire that eventually leads to UN peacekeepers followed by a peaceful transition or maybe a two state situation (but the latter seems unlikely unless Gadaffi has international backing from somewhere.)

    The odds of the current regime regaining control of anything east of Benghazi seem exceedingly low.

  105. So, we’re going to sit back and watch western airpower slaughter his soldiers, are we?

    “Vice-Admiral William Gortney, staff director for the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said the US was hitting Libyan targets with Thunderbolts and AC-130 gunships, aircraft that can fly low enough to support ground operations.”

    http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/world/battle-looms-in-muammar-gaddafis-bastion/story-e6frg6so-1226030334354

    the rest of the world is apparently content to just sit back and look the other way while we bombs him back into submission.

    Spooky gunships – cool.

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