Anti-war liberals shoot us in the foot.

    So, Obama went to war. Well. Sort of. Obama launched a bunch of missiles against Libya and is trying to get out of it as quickly as possible. Or at least that's the "let's not call it war" way of presenting it. Past protests of Bush and his followers not withstanding, launching missiles on an army is war. So Obama went to war.

    Somewhat predictably, those who are always against war no matter what instinctively moved to condemn American hegemony (as did those who are against America doing pretty much anything no matter what). Some of the criticism is valid in my opinion. Some of the argument against action, notsomuch.

    Kucinich has a clear point when he protests Obama cutting congress out of discussion prior to taking action. Starting out with a nuanced discussion of the War Powers Resolution makes the mistake of judging our politicians based on the minimum standard required to avoid criminal complaint and also ignores how Obama himself professed a president should (and he would) behave.

    “The President does not have power under the Constitution to unilaterally authorize a military attack in a situation that does not involve stopping an actual or imminent threat to the nation.”

    For myself, I support the both the premise behind the actions being taken and the actions themselves at this point. But that doesn't change the fact that I strongly do not support a unilateralist executive. There should have been communication and it is unsettling that Obama's team apparently did not include congress in deciding if we're going to carry out military action in a situation where threat to Americans was clearly not imminent. Bad policy, it continues a bad precedent and it sure isn't what Obama said he'd do. Valid criticism.

    But this isn't about Obama. This is about anti-war liberals and shooting us in the foot.

    I don't know if anyone remembers, but prior to last Friday we Americans found ourselves engaged in a multi-front conflict of our own. In the depths of a banker-induced financial crisis, powerful interests have aligned to assault the most basic structures of civil society. They have created cash shortages in government by decimating the revenue base (not paying their taxes) and are now hollering at the top of their lungs as the money they've been shoveling from the treasury into their own private bank accounts has mysteriously resulted in shortfalls of epic proportions.

    I have heard it argued time and time again, with convincing math on full display, that the basic strategies promoted by Keynes are the most effective way to address a severe economic downturn if the goal is to see a lot of Americans return to work and start making money again. This is a cornerstone of the entire premise in opposition to the GOP/Corporatist strategy of feeding those at the top of the finance chain and hoping it trickles down to the productive sectors of society. In a nutshell, deficits are the wrong focus in the face of an overwhelming national need for jobs.

    So how is it that the entire liberal blog-o-sphere awoke Friday morning last as newly minted budget hawks?

    It is probably uncomfortable to admit, but shooting off Tomahawks creates jobs. Not the sort of jobs a windmill loving anti-war political activist wants to see us spending on, but jobs none the less. Say what you will about the MIC, and there is much negative to say, at least when we dump money into that hole someone somewhere has to make something. Keynes says: Win. Those of us making the argument for a Keynesian approach to the American economic disaster have got to embrace the action if the argument is going to be mounted on economic terms. Jobs are jobs. And we need them. Sure, argue it's ineffectiveness as stimulus. But the deficit?

    So, do progressives favor the long-term investment and growth of John Maynard Keynes and Dean Baker or sacrificing workers to deficit fears and earning statements as Milton Friedman and Tim Geithner propose? I know which one I prefer, but I'm also pretty sure I'm not a progressive (and before anyone who doesn't know me gets excited ... DAMN SURE I'm not a centrist). How this debate is carried out will be integral to how Social Security and Medicare approached ... and certain people seem determined to have that fight.

    I'm happy to debate if the action in Libya is a good idea. There are so many real pros and cons and I could very well be convinced I'm wrong. But is "winning" the debate on if we're going to let Qaddafi slaughter members of a populist uprising (with the liberal position boiling down to "hell yeah, despot! Kill those DFHs!") really worth conceding a primary essence of the argument against the most anti-worker agenda to manifest across America in at least a generation? Quick rundown.

    Why do we have to bust public unions? Deficits.

    Why do we have to gut social security? Deficits.

    Why can't we invest in [insert smart investment here]? Deficits.


    The Republicans are wrong in prioritizing the deficit over jobs. The Republicans are wrong in their approach to reducing the deficit in general. Presenting an argument that implies the Republicans are correct on either of these points is by definition wrong. I'm not willing to cede Social Security because some people think that every time America launches a missile the target morphs into two puppies in the lap of a poor little girl sniffing a daisy and find using the Republican's own argument against "Republican" type actions is just the most delicious of ironies. It isn't. It's simply agreeing with them by default. Again. They are wrong.



    No takers?  LOL!

    Some time ago I read a piece (can't remember who or where) attempting to do the math on unemployment figures if a wand were waved, and all wars were ended, and the defense industry unwound.  It was high, of course. 

    I would imagine that some economists consider this idea of your regularly, but it would need to be someone/s with no dog in either side of this fight, as it's easy enough to manipulate numbers.  And I won't take issue with your characterization of Keyensian economics, but even proponents of different bents argue over some of the points.

    But one thing I would offer you to think about is that not all expenditures that create jobs give the same effect, and that may be the thing folks call 'multipliers' (Help, Obey!).  What I'm thinking is that in the defense industry, the costs of the products the government pays are often very inflated compared to what workers are paid to produce the product, as in: cost overruns, re-negotiated contracts higher than initial deals made, etc. 

    I found this study about it which said in conclusion:

    "We have shown what are the employment effects of spending on the military in contrast with five domestic spending categories. Specifically, we have shown that spending on personal consumption, health care, education, mass transit, and construction for home weatherization and infrastructure repair all create more jobs per $1 billon in expenditures relative to military spending.

    It is true that jobs generated by military spending tend to pay relatively well, which is part of the reason why fewer jobs are created per dollar of expenditure than through alternative spending targets. However, we have also seen that $1 billion in spending on education, on average, generates more than twice the number of jobs as military spending as well as higher-paying jobs. Spending on health care, mass transit, and home weatherization/infrastructure creates jobs at a lower average level of pay than military spending. But these three spending targets do create substantially more jobs than military spending, with an overall level of pay, combining all workers’ paychecks and benefits, higher than the military. Moreover, a substantial majority of the jobs generated through a health care, mass transit or construction spending expansion will pay more than $32,000 per year, our rough threshold for a minimally decent income level. The majority of jobs pay between $32,000 - $64,000, a rough middle-income pay range. Health care, mass transit, home weatherization, and infrastructure repair are all also high priority areas for social spending. More spending in these areas could be combined with improving the average level of pay, while still creating more jobs per dollar of expenditure than the military."

    and this from Dean Baker about military jobs and GHG emission reductions and jobs:

    It's been a nightmare trying to get this all pasted in correctly; sorry I can't make it better.

    [it was nightmare removing the span, /span, span, eggs, bacon and /span]

    Exactly. It's terrible stimulus. But still, from a pure mathematical standpoint when you stack $1 billion in military spending up against $0 in education, green energy, transportation or whatever ... the comparative benefits go through the ROOF. In an argument of vs. deficit.deficit.deficit seems like a win for jobs.

    I'm just saying. If one week we assert deficits are counterproductive to worry about then next week we say don't go to war because of deficits, we aren't exactly making a whole hell of a lot of sense. So if the idea behind political activism is to actually present a coherent reason people should think a plan makes sense both idea-for-idea and when the ideas are all brought together in the same place - that argument is a big heap of fail in the middle of a decent intellectual framework.

    It would be one thing if I thought those making the argument really were worried about the deficit-as-primary-economic-concern. I don't perceive this to be the case. And honestly I should probably post this over on FDL ... as those are the folks what really bugged me.

    First, in terms of economic stimulus, you might as well dump a container of G Notes in the ocean and create jobs moving sand around on the beach to watch the bills wash away - just as effective, the only issue is how much you pay the sanddiggers - i.e. "good jobs" or "makework".

    There's little multiplicative effect, vs. providing a real durable service or product, so it's rather dumb.

    Regarding opposing the war, look, Russia invaded Georgia to protect civilians, Germany invaded the Sudetenland to protect civilians, we went into Iraq partially to protect civilians, we went into Kosovo to protect civilians (somehow never found those mass graves...).  Meanwhile, civilians are dying by much larger numbers around the world - e.g. in Congo where 5 million people died in their war, but didn't see any liberal calls to military action, and in Sudan where we still haven't fired in Tomahawks despite years of civilian suffering.

    When "civilians" take up armed revolt, they're often not called "civilians". You might sympathize with their cause. But they're rebels. Of course Qaddafi likely fired first and most on peaceful protesters, but our decision was based on an armed uprising that had taken over cities and then was being pushed back.

    What's completely lacking is a universal principle or set of principles to balance. It's just finger-in-the-air diplomacy. We never contemplated a no-fly zone in Bahrain or Yemen despite the murder of civilians. We've been hands-off on Afghani and Iraqi leaders behind atrocities against civilians because somehow we have to maintain stability.

    But Qaddafi is our eternal boogey-man - who would complain about taking out Qaddafi? Only a knee-jerk irrational antiwar liberal.

    So next time Russia wants to invade Chechnya, they just invoke the Libyan principle: "we don't like the way the ground game's going, somewhere a civilian is dying, so voila ("Bot!" in Russian) Regime change!!!

    Hope the Baltic states are protecting their Russian population well, I smell fire.

    OK, I have clearly totally screwed up the point I'm trying to make. Perhaps irreperably.

    Obviously, compared to almost anything, military spending sucks as stimulus ... except zero. Which in the current instance would be the baseline for comparison in terms of "we expend resources on war" or "no resources expended on war". None of the other things you rightfully observe would be better are on the table. It's not like we can cash in a Tomahawk and buy a new train car. I still think ultimately it's impossible to intellectualize advocating a Kenysean response to the economy while arguing austarity as reason not to intervene in Lybia.

    I DO NOT think the deficit, stimulus or any other economic concern should really be mounted in terms of this argument at all. But of the possible economic grounds on which to oppose this, I find screaming "How can we afford this when the deficit won't even let us invest in [x]." and it's many variations entirely counterproductive. It cedes the argument that it is currently impossible to invest in [x]. As someone who wants to see jobs, infrastructure and several other investements made - adding to the deficit just like the rich people do - I am not willing to agree the reason not to be involved is because "we're broke". If the only reason we can't help people is because we're broke ... tax the rich.

    Moving on to the discussion I probably should have just gone with in the first place....

    What exactly would you shoot a Tomahawk at in Sudan ... and what do you imagine doing so would accomplish? To me situation and opportunity have a lot to do with deciding to use a military response. In this case there were tanks heading to a city where we know the people would all have been massacred. Qaddaffi's mercenaries were going house to house killing people in other cities he has a history with Bengazi that likely would have seen an exponentially more brutal revenge. In many of those houses lived women, children, the old and the infirmed ... civilians. That said, I never really claimed I support this to protect civilians. I think we should do it to help the Lybian people. As an American, I believe in an oppressed people's right to revolution. Those willing to take up arms against Qaddafi - one of the shittiest despots on a continent legendary for shitty despots - should be held in high honor, even assisted if we can.

    There was a fully active uprising with a seemingly democratic leadership body, solid tribal support and a regional consensus that something should be done to stop it which was reached with little or no pushing from us. More importantly, there were specific targets where blowing them up had a direct impact. It's not JUST that a ton of citizens were about to be slaughtered ... the conditions existed where there was something clear which could be done about it. Sorry. We can't go to war with Saudi Arabia today. But together with our partners we can save a few folks from certain death and send a message to Bahrain and Yemen that there are lines not to be crossed (notice less than 48 hours after strikes started - Yemeni officers started defecting rather than continue to assault the citizens).

    If Russia secured a UN resolution, a raft of sanctions against Chechnya, a Security Council authorization of force, a request for support from the Arab League, the EU, the AU and then joined with military assets from a dozen or so diverse nations and let Britain/France carry out the air attacks .... I'd probably back Russia up. Without Russia achieving the same footing as exists in this situation, you really are talking about apples and oranges. Russia would never be able to make the case you propose for unilateral attack of Chechnya based on the actions in Libya.

    Which brings us to universal principles. Like the requirement a nation secure a UN Security Council authorization of force before attacking another? That was done. In my mind that *is* the universal principle - democratic international consensus. What do you think we should replace that mechanism with?

    Also, it's important to note Russia had no problem putting boots on the ground and basically annexing Georgia. Didn't even need to use Libya as a justification.  The conditions you are speculating would be a negative outcome seem to already exist vis a vis Russia.

    Russia and China can veto any resolution against itself.

    While I'm not a fan of Libya, do we send Tomahawks at Mexico City because indigenous people are rioting in Chiapas?

    "There was a fully active uprising with a seemingly democratic leadership body, solid tribal support and a regional consensus that something should be done to stop it which was reached with little or no pushing from us."....   So protest is only allowed when it has "democratic leadership"? "regional consensus" sounds like a recipe for supporting civil wars and breakaway republics.

    "More importantly, there were specific targets where blowing them up had a direct impact. It's not JUST that a ton of citizens were about to be slaughtered ... the conditions existed where there was something clear which could be done about it." So we had something to shoot at, so that justifies it? I'm sure there were government buildings in Khartoum to shoot at, probably some oil wells, military bases to hit. Really, with precision bombing even half functional, a government is at a distinct disadvantage for foreign cruise missile attacks vs. rebels.

    Of course we're not just protecting the civilians, we're firing into Tripoli. It's war, and we're pretending it's just a limited engagement. Who knows. The precedent is unnerving - out of 5-6 Mideast uprisings, with a number of governments killing civilians, we decide Libya's okay to bomb, not the others. Of course we've threatened Iran over and over again with overthrow for fewer deaths than most of these countries.

    Come on - a real principle please.


    The post opened by stating this is war, so you won't get disagreement from me about that. It is war. Thing is, you don't seem to have a very clear understanding of what that means. We are attacking Tripoli to eliminate air defenses for the protection of personnel and assets as our allies start to enforce the no-fly zone. That has nothing to do with the specific objectives of Libyan rebels.

    So, which other of the 5-6 governments you refer to is actively shelling it's cities with artillery, sea power and rocket fire? Oh. None? Sad thing is, even if they were it might not be possible to impact events from our position.

    In the case of Libya, not only did we have something to shoot at ... we had something to shoot at combined with conditions where doing so had a reasonably decent chance of creating a positive outcome. What would bombing targets in Khartoum achieve? Nothing. You don't just bomb shit for the sake of saying you have some sort of "real principle" so bombs for everyone ... the purpose is to achieve a tactical result. I don't see an equivalent dynamic to Libya anywhere else at the moment.

    And no question, if we were trying to attack both it is certainly be easier to hit government assets without collateral damage than it is to hit rebels ... just ask our commanders in Afghanistan. I'm not sure why that's relevant? Are you arguing I should feel bad that this is somehow unfair to poor Qaddafi?

    Angsting about principles will get you nowhere in this dive.

    One of the things that bothers me about this war is the line-up of leaders on OUR side, and their political motivations at this moment: 1) The UK's David Cameron is a punk POS running a minority government, who is out-Thatchering Maggie in public service cuts, and who'll likely get burned at the next election. He needs a good quick war, and a head taken. 2) France's Sarkozy - one of the first to visit Gaddafi, in 2007 - is also now entering his election year. 3) Italy's Berlusconi is a-tremble politically. 4) And Harper in Canada has a minority, and an election is expected, potentially within hours. 

    So, we see 4 main allies, all of the Right, all politically extremely vulnerable. 

    Which gives them a tendency to want to play games. 

    And who better than our old bogeyman, Muammar? I know, I know, we tried rehabilitating him, what with visits by Tony Blair... and Sarkozy... and Condie Rice... and all those fine fine business deals, but now... it's been a year or two, and so... he can be our psycho enemy again. (I LOVE how we get to do this, BTW. Make somebody an enemy, then work with him, then make them an enemy again. It's like the WWF.)

    And sure, he's a monster. I agree. Why... he must have killed MILLIONS, right? Like in the Sudan or Congo. And be a powerful threat to global stability, like, say, Iran. 

    Or not. Doesn't matter much. Gaddafi's our archetypical crazy-eyed Arab, with the desert tents and the robes and the 1000 yard stare.

    But then again, what could go wrong? Not likely that a plane would crash and anything bad happen to our pilot, right? Or Gaddafi survive the initial imposition of the zone, and use his money, remaining domestic support, mercenaries, and perhaps a little secret help from his "friends" to drag this thing out for a few years? And after all, the rebel "leaders," no chance any of them would sell the good guys out, right, because none were, like, in Gaddafi's camp... for years, eh? And no way Gaddafi would ever try and extend the reach of this little war, by say, sprinting across the sea and directly hassling European nations. Nobody in their right mind would do that, right?

    Gee though, here we had peaceful President Obama, with little/no pressure from the Right on this issue, leader of a party which needs every penny for domestic reconstruction, and every soldier for Afghanistan and Iraq, a Nobel Peace Prize Winner, whose main main Bob Gates warned against this, and then... he backs the whole thing. 

    Whereas without the US, nothing would have happened. The whole UN thing wouldn't have had a chance. 

    But golly gee, wouldn't it look INFINITELY GREAT for Obama if he could help the people overthrow Gaddafi? I mean, what could possibly make him look LESS like a Muslim in disguise, than overthrowing this nutbar? And especially since there's gonna be no bright and joyous days coming out of Kabul or Baghdad.

    Yep. We got plenty of principles. Take your pick. Cheap. Going fast.

    In passing, Chechnya is part of Russia. No Security Council resolution needed.

    Point. My head often gets Chechnya jumbled up with the events in Yugoslavia.

    In retrospect, it certainly would have been more succinct to observe the Libyan intervention wouldn't entice Russia to invade itself. But I think in context "Chechnya" was arch-type for "Eastern European nation where Russia might want to intervene militarily for some random purpose".

    Well, that's effing brilliant - no, Russia didn't need Security Council approval to commit atrocities to its own people (not that "own people" really summarizes a land stolen in the worst period of European colonialism).

    And the funny thing is, even if Russia didn't have a veto on the Security Council, they could give the rest of the world the finger and say, "with all these nukes, whatcha gonna do?"

    And we'd sit by and suck eggs.

    So Qaddafi puts down a domestic uprising violently, which is what governments do whether they're Hussein or Awlaki, or the head of Yemen or Syria or Bahrain or Afghanistan (though certainly much less gruesomely than say the way Hussein did post-Iraq War I).

    And this is a new-found justification for foreign intervention including regime change and full-scale remote bombing.

    Now, just how big was this domestic uprising? Was the area around Libya's Benghazi 90% opposed to Qaddafi and wanting independence, like the Kosovars? Or was it a 40%+ minority in Texas opposed to the draconian rule of George Bush? At what point does France get to launch cruise missiles at us to protect the rights of minorities? Oh that's right, the US doesn't abide by Security Council decisions.

    Again, there's a horrible lack of definition what the excuse for intervention is and how far it should go. Yeah, the world should be nicer. And Algeria should be French forever. Perhaps we should have bombed Phnom Penh to support the rights of Pol Pot, spreading democracy in the rice paddies. Of course Hezbollah is actually a democratic party providing appreciated services to the people in the areas it dominates, and we take the exact opposite approach - we encourage Israel to bomb them.

    (And it's interesting that many who support this right of Benghazi to rise up with the backing of the UN would oppose say the Confederacy leaving the union peacefully, or say Texas deciding by neocon logic that it wanted to seceded through plebiscite, not cruise missiles. Principles - where are they?)

    You realize, Desider, that I wasn't disagreeing with anything else you said, just pointing out to you and to kgb why Russia-Chechnya wasn't a relevant comparison to make? I said nothing about the rightness or wrongness of Russian behavior toward the Chechens.

    Hey there. On the multiplier issue, the central parameter is the marginal propensity to spend of the recipients. So food stamps get spent, money to retirees and the unemployed gets spent, money to rich people does not get spent. And my half-assed guess is that the money paid out for tomahawk missiles goes mainly to the holders of the relevant intellectual property rights, and some crumbs to assembly-line workers. I'm happy to be educated otherwise, but if that is roughly correct, it's got a low multiplier. And so has little stimulative effect.

    If Kgb wants to go down this particular rabbit-hole, he should really advocate a massive land invasion, with as much in the way of cannon-fodder infantry, and preferably incompetent so the war lasts a few years. But this whole train of thought, that the dearly departed Broder initiated in the last throes of his late term dementia, really does not work for me. I think it's pretty disgusting to be frank. More people on these boards should meet people who have been on the receiving end of US 'precision bombing' missions. Just playing russian roulette with other people's lives. Nice work if you can get it.

    I'm out.

    Reminder to others: Broder suggested invading Iran as a jobs stimulus:

    And the pdf file proved you right about more jobs for the bucks, and better, anyhoo.  But thanks for reminding us of the crassness of the argument.

    Bringing an economic argument into the debate is not the best approach at all IMO. Stimulative benefit sure as hell isn't why I support the action. I'm complaining that a certain argument is counter-intuitive and seemingly unhelpful in light of our domestic objectives. If someone *really* wants to go there and argue it on economic grounds and if they give a damn about some pretty core objectives in our own domestic struggle ... maybe they could find am argument hook with a bit of heft beyond the GOP's favorite whipping child of deficit-hysteria.

    My position in favor isn't based on an economic argument at all. I'd just be happy to see the "anti" side not undermine our larger domestic fight as they articulate a perfectly valid opposition to the actions. It's bullshit to pretend like we're going to get extra funding for teachers based on opposing action on fiscal (or any other) grounds - even if that opposition were to prevent spending a single dollar here.

    The deficit isn't a serious argument  but they know that and don't care. Any stick to beat a dog.

    I'm less disturbed that its use constitutes an endorsement of this know nothingish  argument than that its employment deprecates  more relevant arguments they ignore. The consitutional one, for starters. And the added motivation for the next generation of terrorists. No would-be terrorist would have been inflamed by our inaction had  we left Odyssey Dawn.on the drawing board. .Whereas , Arab League pronouncements to the contrary some will be by our deploying it.

    That's not to be read as a dissent on my part . I think Obama was right. But I'm disappoined by the arguments against him. Our side should be able to do better than that.. .

    Actually, since he’s notified Congress, and so long as he pulls out all US armed forces within 90 days, he’s well within what the War Powers Act of 1973 allows:

    The War Powers Resolution requires the president to notify Congress within 48 hours of committing armed forces to military action and forbids armed forces from remaining for more than 60 days, with a further 30 day withdrawal period, without an authorization of the use of military force or a declaration of war.

    If you are for 'it', and those against it, then you seem to be on different sides, yes?  It seems to not be 'our side' whose arguments you deplore.  I haven't read these many arguments about deficits and Libya.  And plenty of people speak to the whole misadventure in the ME as counter-productive as it creates more anger towards us, (and potential retributive acts), especially the clear occupational nature of Afghanistan and Iraq, and the drone kills also in Yemen and Pakistan. 

    If the notification was made it within the the 48 hours, it made it by minutes. I haven't really done much research into the specifics, but my understanding of the major problem with Obama's move is that the constitution grants congress exclusive authority to make war. The war powers act grants the President authority to take action without congress' prior approval only in the case of active or imminent attack on America. I'm pretty sure he must pass the "imminent threat" bar to take any unilateral military action at all and doesn't just have the power to start killing people at random for 60 days any time it strikes his fancy (he's using the AQ AUMF to justify the random drone attacks). During his campaign, Obama himself decried actions such as the one we just undertook (see the quote I highlighted).

    If you are "against it" several people sharing your overarching opinion have indeed made the deficit argument - or included it as a tertiary point in a larger criticism. You are not necessarily one, but if you are placing yourself on a "side" with all others who oppose the action, your "side" has offered the argument. I humbly offered this rebuttal.

    But as to the reason your "side" opposes this, who do you see getting more angry with us that wasn't terminally angry with us already? Even AQ couldn't come right out and condemn the action ... they are just warning the Libyans not to trust us. Not sure why, but it kind of looks like they can't plausibly condemn us and still be seen to support the people they claim to support. As far as the freedom movements sweeping the region go (made up of the youths seen as most at risk for radicalization on the planet BTW), this pretty much makes us pro-democracy heroes. I understand the argument, but when you strip away the primary "America has been fucking up for the last ten years so this is obviously wrong" non-argument ... none of the dynamics in this situation seem to suggest the sort of outcomes assertions that this is a bad move appear to be premised on.

    Turns out you may be right, and the 'imminent threat' argument that Obama's making is what Dave Dayen and others are calling 'a bank shot', being the threat to stability of Libyans streaming over borders and 'destabilizing the region', etc. being the indirect threat tot he US, and tying it to UNSC 1973 making it officially okey-dokey.  Clinton got away with in Kosovo and Haiti, Truman in Korea.  The irony is that Republicans seem to get Congressional approval for their wars...

    Michael Lind and Glenn Greenwald think it's crap, and even quote Obama's take on the illegality of executive war.  And it looks as though Ron Paul and John Conyers are going to try to make Obama understand he needs to seek Congressional approval for Libya.  (Oops; I did forget to click your link; sorry.)

    If I were to say that there is always money for war and occupation and military action, and yet we are asked to share in the pain of cuts to education, social safety nets, infrastructure repair, does that mean I'm making an austerity argument?  I don't think so, but that's just me.  I'm not using it as an argument not to be involved there, just being bitter about the cavalier use of multiple millions of dollars our leader pretends we don't have.

    One way the US could have handled this is to have abstained from the SC vote and allowed the French and the British to take the lead for real, and if Rice and Clinton wanted to get other nations and the African Union and the Arab Union to sign on, fine.  Plenty of people want to pretend that Obama wasn't in charge, but he was reportedly holding back the French pilots until after Clinton had her meetings in France on Saturday.  Oops!  Did the French hit the air too soon on Friday?  Yup, he'll try to be outta there and hand it over, so what could possibly go wrong?  Rummy's war in Iraq was going to be a quickie, too, that one they started 8 years ago.

    'Pro-democracy heroes'?  I suppose some hope for that, and I sure do wonder what conversations between Clinton and the opposition leaders was about.

    The 'sides' argument was just totally illogical, IMO.

    Oh, yeah, plus this: "America has been fucking up for the last ten years so this is obviously wrong"!   

    If I were to say that there is always money for war and occupation and military action, and yet we are asked to share in the pain of cuts to education, social safety nets, infrastructure repair, does that mean I'm making an austerity argument?  I don't think so, but that's just me.  I'm not using it as an argument not to be involved there, just being bitter about the cavalier use of multiple millions of dollars our leader pretends we don't have.

    Exactly. ... at least up to the point where you deny it constitutes an argument against involvement.


    Of course it's an argument against involvement. All arguments use background assumptions, here the relevant assumptions include the Beltway decision to limit the Overton window surrounding the budget debate to the question "should we cut 30 bn or 100 bn off the '12 budget?"

    And given that window - i.e. a cap on discretionary spending at, say, 1.3 tn - then you have to do some ordering of your priorities, where progressives will tend to prioritize heating subsidies or food stamps over Susan Rice's latest attempt at channelling her inner Albright. Seems perfectly sensible to me.

    That isn't to deny that Kgb should be free to write all the blogs he wants about how we should be moving that window, and he is probably right to question whether progressives actually believe the austerity argument behind the placement of that Overton window. But I also think progressives are right to believe that this Libyan adventure is going to send Obama's accountants back to the budget draft to see what welfare program they can cut in order to pay for it. They've got orders to come up with a budget headline number under X trillion, and more spending on war is going to mean less elsewhere. They are, and should be, up in arms about the inevitable trade-offs the administration is going to make here.

    The battle progressives are, and should be, engaging in on the budget is a defensive one: protecting the remaining welfare programs and funding for regulatory agencies. They can maybe accessorily try to make some noise about keynesian stimulus, but it strikes me as a quixotically wrongheaded focus at this point.

    Okay, I get your drift that my griping contained the background argument about cost; I won't try to explain my fuzzy thinking except to say that I don't even believe that any of the asshats really believe that it's true budgetary math that necessitates allows them to claim needs to cut the budget in ways that make our lives worse individually, and make our nation worse in the longterm.  In the same ways that Gates can just shuffle items from one heading in the military budget to another and claim 'military austerity'.  Done!

    While I was fighting with the comment box last night (and losing) answering kgb, I was also dreaming of the unwinding of defense plants, maybe re-tooling for ploughshares, thinking that would present some emploment lag that would need to be addressed in the short run...but I realized it was really such a pipedream as to hardly be worth the mention.

    I just listened to Dylan Ratigan asking Bernard Henri Levy that now that he got his way on Libya, when France would take over and pony up half the costs of ******* (sorry; I think naming these actions and wars is about the sickest, fuckiest thing we do.  Well, not really: sickest, fuckiest is doing them.)

    Ya really have to stop listening to Bernard Henri Levy! Who the hell keeps booking that guy, anyway? He's pretty universally recognized as a clown in France, God knows how he got US media to pay attention to him. When I asked around the Ecole Normale how they feel about their darling demented alumnus, they all assure me that he actually wasn't a total idiot 40 years ago. They just don't know what happened to him over the years.

    God, Obey; there has to be some fun in all this!  And he did the job, didn't he?  Well, Cameron, too, but still.  Even his accent sounds like a put-on; I love it!  Like he's trying to imitate Charles Boyer, and not quite getting it right...   Cool  And he's The face of Frahhhnce in the teevee world, aiding late-night and American pundit French jokes and all...

    And ackshuuallee, my impression of Levy isn't half bad, though not as good as my East Indian God.

    Yeah, that's actually my running theory - they book Levy just to make the French look like dumb pompous gits.

    Seriously, you've got the world's greatest experts on the Arab world from France, guys like Gilles Kepel or Olivier Roy, and who do they book...? Fucking clueless Levy. Don't let that smoooooth accent and those enticingly open shirts fool you there. He's clueless and casually dishonest intellectually. He gets away with it because ... he doesn't actually need a paying job. He's independently fabulously wealthy. (hm, maybe another reason academics hate his guts...)


    LOL!  Shoot; I wasn't even watching, missed that open shirt, but as I remember from ahile back, he was uh...rather homely wis zee great black eyebrows, non?  I was sitting on my bed eating toast while he 'heh-heh-heh-ed on the laptop in the other room.  Expected him to break out with 'Taank heavvven for leettle girls'...the old pervie song...

    Ack!  I just got it!  Maybe Levy pays them so he can do the teevee gigs, oui?

    A couple of fun links on BHL

    - a review of his book American Vertigo, an attempt at being the 21st century's Tocqueville

    - his latest in a series of literary scandals, where he gets punk'd by a comic writer

    LMAO!  Thanks, I needed that. 

    My stars, the first one was hilarious.  I'm not a Keillor fan, but it was great reading.  'He missed the Sturgis motorcycle rally somehow' and the section on paradoxical pronouncements was delicious.  I think Tocqueville might object to his aspirations...  And yup, the photo was almost as I'd remembered him, though a few years younger, maybe a few botoxes earlier...who doth know?

    'L'ecole Botulisme' or something?  Oo-la-la!  That musta been pretty humiliating; dude must have zero sense of humor?

    Yup; he must pay the shows to be on...

    In return, not as funny, but I answered the phone yesterday and a woman wans hunting my husband.  Apparently she has a communuity teevee show in the college/tourist town 30 miles west of here.  Somehow she knew he'd been at a peace walk there on sunday, and wanted him to do her show.  She rapid-fired about 12 minutes of conspriracies before I could demure at all, then fired off some more (No!  They are SCIENTISTS!!! sort of rants about contrail mind-poisoning and such) and sent me to this webiste.  Turns out she's 72, Hispanic, first name Florida.  (kinda think he'll pass on the show.)  I'll see if I can find the site again...hang on...

    Here:         Be sure and send it to 'BHL", okay?

    haha, of cooooourse you have not been targeted, Stardust. Don't be silly...

    [nervous laughter hahah shifty eye shift]

    LOL!  Here I thought it mighta given me some plausible reason for being I am...  Hey--let go o my lead hat, ya asshole!

    But I also think progressives are right to believe that this Libyan adventure is going to send Obama's accountants back to the budget draft to see what welfare program they can cut in order to pay for it.

    Exactly my point. This action is already underway and any argument brought at this point has ZERO chance of actually changing our course now. Faced with that reality, what line of argument puts us in the best position to leverage a situation that is OBVIOUSLY on the horizon? I would argue bitterness which basically locks us into the GOP's preferred frame is not it.

    It feels like Liberals are fighting a battle they already lost rather than girding for the next shoe to drop. It also feels like they didn't even start fighting until after the bombs were already falling and it was FAR to late to register opposition. One day FDL was all like "Yay! Freedom in Libya!" and then the very next it was like "Fuck those guys ... they are a bunch of armed rebels anyhow - Qaddafi is right to slaughter them." Totally knee-jerk and totally intellectually dishonest. The anti-war folks probably should have been a bit more clear from the get-go instead of cheering on the Libyan opposition only to say "Oh. Nevermind. Too messy." If you want to talk like you have someone's back ... sometimes they look to be backed up. Jane doesn't usually leave people with their dicks out in the wind like that.

    I'm not saying war opposition is wrong although I do disagree. It's just not really our biggest problem as Americans right now - by a long shot. I'd love it if folks I agree with on other stuff could avoid nuking our strong positions to nominally advance their anti-war angst. Not worth it IMO.

    Firstly, I'm against the military intervention, and I can't identify with any of the arguments/postures you're attributing to the anti-war camp. Try to avoid the overgeneralization, maybe.

    Secondly, on this bit

    This action is already underway and any argument brought at this point has ZERO chance of actually changing our course now.

    That is wrong. The costs are probably around 50 mn a day, a rate that can accelerate or slow or stop depending on how Obama decides to react to events on the ground. So it matters WHEN we extricate ourselves from the situation. And it matters that the population realize that four days of warfare there is going to cut a million families off food stamps, or cut their winter heating, or their medicaid. etc.

    The course that Obama takes is going to depend on how much opposition there is to the war, and that is and should be driven to some extent by an understanding of the costs he is promising to inflict on the poor and vulnerable to have his war.

    Sorry on the generalization ... if it wasn't clear, I was referring to the anti-war media operation not specific posters per se.

    How long do you envision this going on? We aren't invading anyone. The event horizon given is "days, not weeks". Aren't you trying to "force" Obama to do something he's already publicly agreed to? I dunno. I'm a pretty big Obama critic ... I don't think he lives to just drop as many bombs as he can for as long as he can until the American populace forces him to stop.

    But like I said. I think choosing that argument helps to ensure Social Security gets gutted. Sorry to see you so dedicated to mounting it.

    How long do you envision this going on? We aren't invading anyone. The event horizon given is "days, not weeks".

    That seems optimistic. Our last no-fly zone policy lasted 12 years. Not that I expect this one to last that long, but it seems like an open-ended policy, that will end only if and when Gadhafi falls.

    Or maybe I've misunderstood something.

    And I don't believe "he lives just to drop as many bombs as he can for as long as he can..." I do believe his future decisions will be sensitive to popular opinion. That is my more modest take.

    I don't know who you are arguing with here. I'm obviously missing some background.

    I think this is the crux. How mad/concerned is right now depends a lot on how much faith one has in Obama's statement that it will last "days, not weeks". If the lost faith is valid, how long do we wait before we call BS? At this point, I'm cautiously optimistic, but I can often be quite naïve that way.

    Yeah, I have Mencken's little line in mind with this intervention

    "Love is like war: easy to begin but very hard to stop."

    Much like this thread.

    I guess what I'm hearing the plan as being is that we're taking out the hardened air defenses and then the EU is taking over providing resources and logistics for the no-fly crap. If it doesn't happen like they said, yeah I'll be pissed. But I'm not going to get myself all worked up angry about saving a group of people that I'm happy aren't dead *until* that happens.

    I get it. I'm totally a minority opinion and don't really expect to change minds. I was just hoping to influence tactics.

    Q's got me grumpy ... he's trolling the shit out of this. Didn't mean to take it out on you.

    No worries.

    Well if it is all over in a jiffy, there won't be much in the way of costs to spin either way. In which case this whole discussion is just much ado about nothing.

    I think we can all agree on that: lets hope its over quickly and cleanly.

    Possibly. I'm not happy with where we're taking the narrative and feel like that part in full swing at this very moment. They're making the bed. I feel like we're offering to help put on the pillow cases.

    How long do you envision this going on? We aren't invading anyone. The event horizon given is "days, not weeks".

    It seems that we're already shifting to "weeks, not months". I hope that's the last shift.

    Starting to understand "hope, then change..."

    Ha, and then Gates says, "no one thought this would be done in 1 week, 2 weeks, 3 weeks...."

    Just because I was skeptical that anyone could be that tone deaf, I had to ask the holy Google if you were just messing with me. Alas, you were not.

    Gates says no one thought the assault would last only two or three weeks, but he could not say how the coalition operation might be resolved.

    Sad how much they play us for suckers even when we try to give them the benefit of the doubt.

    But even sadder to think these same people probably wouldn't support a peaceful protest in the US because it would threaten the sanctity and stability of a bank somewhere.

    (At least that was the attitude both in Bahrain and the US (Wall Street) bailout)

    kgb: "One day FDL was all like "Yay! Freedom in Libya!" and then the very next it was like "Fuck those guys ... they are a bunch of armed rebels anyhow - Qaddafi is right to slaughter them."

    Really?  I hadn't read that except occassionally that I can remember.  Also, Jane has been mainly concerned with Bradley Manning events; can't remember her writing on Libya.  I got smacked by her for griping about Obama putting Trumka on his 'Jobs Council' once unions got juice from Wisconsin, though.  Ouch!  Cool  Her version of 'don't tread on labor'; mine was 'stay on the outside throwing rocks!'; that's your job.

    I just went and read through half the comments on DD's Libyan-war-consitutionality blog of the 21st, didn't see people pissing on the rebel forces.  The comment strings can get pretty sheep-suck-up, though, i.e., who can outdo the other is Obama vitriol with no FDL action on it.

    Dayden and Walker have mostly been covering Libya (with attaturk and others pitching in sometimes). Hamsher provides the editorial direction and story assignments - so like Obama, in my mind the buck stops with her.

    No, they aren't pissing on them in the precise fashion (clearly) hyperbolized. But once the bombs started falling it did become fashionable to observe "they aren't like the peaceful Egyptians". Folks went from supporting them to not giving a damn about their slaughter and all of three seconds flat.

    There's a difference between "not giving a damn" and wanting to create and work within a sustainable, humane internation system of justice.

    5 million people died in Congo over 5 years and the outside world did nothing. Most don't even realize there was a big war with atrocities of this magnitude. But here there's a bit of skirmishing in the middle of the desert and we're supposed to scrap all international law to go take sides after a few days?

    The reason Egypt's revolution is so attractive is because it has roots, a long-term well-defined opposition and some basic principles to wrap itself around, and does seem to be disassociated from religion. Part of the reason thinking westerners are hesitant about supporting "democratic uprisings" is we've been there before, whether supporting Osama bin Laden against the Soviets or the Ayatollah against the Shah. "Popular" or "democratic" doesn't equal "humane" or "enlightened".

    So yeah, we have to balance nation building, humanitarian intervention with sustaining friendly governments who aren't pure as the driven snow for the sake of having a few stable governments around.

    There's a difference between "not giving a damn" and wanting to create and work within a sustainable, humane internation system of justice.

    Dead is dead. Can't undo it.

    This has been implemented entirely by working within the ONLY international system of justice that exists on the planet. International law has not been scrapped in any way shape or form.

    Seeing the international legal frameworks produce an outcome you don't like doesn't mean the system has been violated.

    "Dead is dead" - and so what? People are killed all the time. Including by American troops. And in much larger scale than the 1000 people or so killed. US killed 900 civilians in Pakistan drone strikes in 2009 alone ("Year of the Drone Strike' Netted Only Five Actual Militant Leaders")

    . So "people are dying" without further qualification and placement in a larger framework simply isn't a reason to invade a country.

    "The ONLY international system of justice" is the United Nations Security Council? That's not an international system of justice. There *IS* an international court. But that thing with vetos by Russia and China and the US? Well, they managed to support the invasion of Iraq in some fashion as well, and avoid action in Rwanda.

    And regarding "the system has been violated", I think back to Apocalypse Now -

    Willard: They told me that you had gone totally insane, and that your methods were unsound.
    Kurtz: Are my methods unsound?
    Willard: I don't see any method at all, sir.

    There's a difference between "not giving a damn" and wanting to create and work within a sustainable, humane internation system of justice. [...]

    Yes, indeed there is.

    "Dead is dead" - and so what? People are killed all the time. Including by American troops. And in much larger scale than the 1000 people or so killed. [...] The ONLY international system of justice" is the United Nations Security Council? That's not an international system of justice.

    Kind of looks as if you BOTH don't give a damn and also have no interest in working within a sustainable international framework.

    When we invade a country ... you keep me posted.

    Not sure what you mean - we invaded Iraq, Afghanistan, Haiti, kinda Yemen and Pakistan (interesting we used Sharia law to get our murderous thugs out of Pakistan), and now we're air bombing our way into Libya. Of course when the bombing stops, someone will have to supply "humanitarian aid" to those poor orphaned oil wells, and I'm sure we'll step up to the plate.

    Personally, I'm loving how "bombing" is somehow not "invasion." Not a comment aimed at kgb, just a general one, on the language. I mean, kids crashing through my front door would be a "home invasion" but if they dropped laser-guided concussion grenades down my chimney (LAZORS!!!1) then it wouldn't be? What would that be? A "home no-fly zone?"

    It's all so confusing.

    And also, LAZORS!!!1

    Have you seen this story?

    Despite your consistent assertions to the contrary, words have specific meaning. That's the mechanism by which language is employed to convey ideas without confusion.

    If those kids used a potato gun and shot out all your windows or dropped grenades down your chimney but never tried to enter your home, it would not be a home invasion it would be an assault or an attack.

    If you want to oppose the intervention entirely, fine. If you just want to bitch because the US didn't sit out (thereby increasing the likelihood Canadians would be killed as they enthusiastically enforce the no-fly zone their government pushed for), fine. But at least be intellectually honest about the situation you are opposing.

    I find it difficult to believe you are genuinely ignorant of linguistics or confused over the meaning of words ... playing dumb is a shitty way to advance an argument.

    BTW: >1500 glorious views!!1!1!!!!!!


    The Security Council "managed to support the invasion of Iraq in some fashion?" I don't quite recall it that way, Desider.

    Let's just say Resolution 1441 was too clever by half, allowing all parties to claim it meant what they felt it should mean, and provide enough cover to let everyone escape responsibility.

    UN resolutions are very carefully crafted, down to the placement of commas. There are agreed meanings for such words as "reiterating, recalling, noting, urging, demanding, ordering," etc.

    Bush, Cheney and a reluctant Colin Powell wanted (and legally needed) Security Council authority for an invasion. They very explicitly didn't get it. Res. 1441 says the Council "remains seized of the matter," i.e. we'll decide where this goes from here. Secretary-General Kofi Annan bluntly stated in 2004 the war in Iraq was an "illegal act that contravened the UN charter." In less polite terms, a war crime.

    The U.S. claimed to be acting to enforce the will of the UN but, like the claim of WMDs, that was a lie.

    kgb. Either quote these people at FDL that you hate so much, or go piss down their boots OVER THERE. Because all you're doing is coming over here, pissed off at some (apparent) assholes over there, people who are (apparently) shouting "Yay! Gaddafi's gonna kill the rebels!" -- and then writing it up as all anti-war people, or all progressives, or all liberals want this shit. 

    WTF is wrong with you on this? You can't quote anyone directly, and just seem to want to run around sticking asinine phrases and arguments in their mouths.

    And the way it stands, you keep going on about how America has much bigger problems, apparently fiscal, not worth "angsting" over such little stuff. Do you understand at this point how you sound like the worst of the worst Republican-style ugly-Americans? Do you understand how anyone living outside your borders would feel that - a few hundred thousand dead bodies in - that just MAYBE Americans should stop taking other peoples deaths so lightly? And their own oh-so-important dollars and cents issues so heavily?

    Seriously man, if you guys were bombing my country and my family, and you wrote shit about it being "angst" and "too late" and "flowers and little girls," and how THE MORE IMPORTANT stuff was how you were gonna do in your retirement, I'd be really inclined to think you were just another loudmouthed, ignorant, self-absorbed piece of Rightwing American shit, circa the 2011 Republicans.

    And BTW. As a nation, you're in debt to the world, seemingly incapable of figuring out that you have to pay taxes, but rather than face any tough decisions, you'd rather spend SOME MORE OF OTHER PEOPLES' MONEY on your military, which you then follow up by WHINING about how you want to spend some more on your retirement too, and ALL WHILE YOU KILL OTHER PEOPLE WITH THE MONEY YOU BORROWED.

    And I'll bet you wonder why nobody pays attention to "tough decisions" "real world" speeches from Americans anymore. 

    Oh and I totally disagree with your take on strategy. The best way to protect the remaining welfare and regulatory funding is to make the loudest, strongest, noisiest, pork-laden push a for full on Keynesian assault on the economic issue possible ... and take it right to the people. The reason the people don't like stimulus and shit is because for every $1 in benefit they've got to give $100 to the bankers. If Democrats could ever bring themselves to just push a policy 100% targeted for the little guy, I think you'd be surprised at how the little guy responded.

    If Democrats were on the ball, this war provides a perfect pivot to do just that. Ultimately we are failing because this party lacks any vision of themselves moving the ball down the field. Either we're losing ground or desperately sitting on the football in fear of losing ground until someone takes it and invariably heads a little farther in the other direction ... then we sit on it a bit more. It's a football dude, not an egg. Pick it up and smash some teeth in.

    You're talking about Dem strategy: i.e. Obama's strategy. I agree - I'd advise him to do the same thing. But he doesn't care what you or I think. Or the left. His base is Wall Street, and they're addicted to the 30 year bond bull market, so he does their bidding. Just look at his economics team: they're all deficit-busting fanatics.If he changes that team, maybe I'll start to get a bit more optimistic about the chances he might change course.

    I, on the other hand, am talking about the strategy the disgruntled left ought to adopt given Obama's strategy. We can't move his economic team, nor that strategy, but we can raise awareness of the very immediate costs in terms of social programs that the war will inflict on the poor, and thereby heighten opposition to the war.

    I was *picturing* grass roots strategy actually.

    Since it isn't my objective to heighten opposition to the intervention, it bothers me to see those who hold this goal willing to (IMO) undermine other shared goals to achieve their purpose.

    I think you're misunderstanding me. My practical syllogism is something like this

    1. I want to raise awareness of the likely cuts to social programs due to the war

    in order to

    2. heighten opposition to the intervention

    in order to

    3. avoid those cuts happening.

    Hope that is clearer. Heightening opposition to the intervention isn't the goal in itself from this perspective. We've got an argument about means, not ends.

    Though perhaps our respective takes on what means are appropriate may be skewed by our beliefs about broader issues, inter alia the likelihood this intervention ends well. Nobody's perfect.

    Actually, I got that. I just don't see the dynamic taking you from 1 to 3.

    I see getting to point 1. Which agrees things must be cut in order to pay for the war. Ignoring point two where we disagree on the intervention as irrelevant to the shared objectives on the economy, I see it heading straight into 4 where they say "Even liberals agree we have to cut this to pay for the war" and then cut everything using our own words against us. At least that's the way they've been playing it the last 2 years.

    (hey! thanks for having the conversation I thought I was starting BTW.)


    One of the things that makes Dwight Eisenhower's prophecy about the military industrial complex so riveting is that he literally saw it take place. When Eisenhower joined the military as a young man, the United States ranked somewhere around the nadir of 35th or so in terms of global military spending. Thanks to World War II (the original job stimulus), that dynamic shifted radically and the United States saw itself a major world power.

    I'm naturally a bit of a contrarian, so it comes to me a bit naturally to posit something no one is thinking of here. Considering that the United States has been the actor in most world affairs for a very long time, this Libya episode is actually a significant break and not a continuation of American policy. Instead of making speeches proposing an intervention and twisting arms to get others to join, the United States was the one who got its arm twisted in to joining in. This is a very significant break, even if it's not the one that radical leftists or libertarians would have preferred to have had occur.

    The problem, as I see it, is that culturally we are all supposedly taught right and wrong.

    No wonder there are so many writers; historians and otherwise who are seen to be existentialists.

    It is just that our President appears to be taking the Bush model.

    Get the backing of as many countries as possible; pretending to have the backing or not and proceed to war.

    Instead of losing two or three thousand troops a month; go ahead and lost a score of our soldiers at a time. Use robotic measures including missiles and robot airplanes...etc.

    It appears to me that we shall always be at war much as the Romans were for centures. And I do not see anyway out of it.

    The same way the Romans got out of it.  Only this time it won't take nearly as long.

    Swap out all our pluming with lead pipes?


    You know C gave the award to someone else; but that was technically yesterday. hahahahah


    I hereby award KGB the Dayly Line of the Day Award for this here Dagblog Site, given to all of him from all of me.


    Oh you have me laughing in the middle of the night

    And I so appreciate this!! No kidding.


    Why thankee kindly Sir Richard, sir.

    Stoked to tickle your funny bone.

    Kgb, you are such a simpleton. There are Good Deficits and Bad Deficits. Spending on Just Causes produces Good Deficits. Those don't matter (if I may quote my good friend Dick C). By contrast, spending on Evil Causes produces Bad Deficits, which are destroying the country.

    Now I get it.

    And the very best deficits are the ones that are produced by tax cuts.

    Back in the early 1970s a friend of mine and I were wondering what would happen if by some strange set of circumstances all crime were to be eliminated from this country. After making a fairly exhaustive list of all the people, industries and a like that would be effected by this we came to the conclusion that it would drive the economy into the biggest depression it had ever seem with unemployment figures in the high double digits.

    When your last 15 wars or so have been grotesque kill-fests... mad dreams and stories spun up out of fear and stuck together with lies... pilgrimage and pillage led by torturers and torture-justifiers... fed and supplied by monstrous firms who live to see others die, both during and after the battle... when, as a nation, you are already actively involved in killing Iraqis, Afghanis, and Pakistanis... when the world is still coming to terms with your troops posing for trophy shots with innocents, casually slaughtered... when money rules your "free" press and owns your "free" elections, turning clear and clean information into an historic notion... when your troops are callous exhausted brutal overextended bored and want nothing more than to come home... when the tyrant you oppose is one whom you, your allies and your undying corporate interest have secretly worked with, and for, for years... when you have escalated your most recent major war in a country where you back the drug lords... when you've just agreed to train the pilots of another medieval-torturing women-hating fanatic-teaching nation, which happened to host the killers of 9/11... when the "rebels" you support are led by the former close allies of the "monster" to be ousted... when a majority of your own citizens appear to be sufficiently blind, ill-educated, selfish or idiotic that they get taken in, again and again and AGAIN by warmongers with excellent hair, perfect teeth and well-oiled ethics... and when your "democratic" political system is too sclerotic to come up with a single party (or even candidate) capable of living up to a commitment to peace... how about you all just sit this one out? Really.

    Pull up some bench, America.

    Stay out of it with all the blah blah blah noble intentions and realist views of foreign policy.

    In most sports, you get penalties for breaking the rules in an egregious manner. In many countries, you even have penalties in business of politics. Sometimes, even for one's foreign actions.

    Well, not in America. 

    America has recently, repeatedly, and in an ongoing way, killed and robbed - both others and its own people - all the while fighting every effort to expose it, publicize it, take it to trial, or stop it.

    America has proven itself - at least in this generation - to be incapable, in both its domestic and international life, of making a serious attempt - much less seeing it through to conclusion - to try its own guilty.

    Nor will it take responsibility toward its debts, whether financial or to those killed under its hand - even though it preaches responsibility relentlessly to others.

    America is, at its core today - as described in the daily discussions on the left and right, in church and business, whether in the mass media and or civic square - a nation in deep dish financial, moral, environmental, economic, political and social distress. Nonetheless, residual knee-jerk arrogance from the imperially-minded, political positioning amongst the posers next rung down, and the fancies of a frothing media seem ready to lead the entire nation off yet another cliff. 

    Sit this one out, America.

    Remember Iraq.

    Seriously. When you can put it back together again, rebuilt, functioning democracy, and all that jazz  (shorter: that which you recently promised), then you can come forward and play a role in Libya. But til then...

    Take a load off, America.

    Well, since you put it that way......


    Now, see. That wasn't so hard was it. Not one mention of the deficit at all. Of course,  it's a 100% ad hominem point and almost entirely off topic in all but the most tangential respects ... but at least you avoided the deficit. Nicely done.

    Now, go have a drink with Seaton at the anti-America cafe and simmer down. After all, if the US gets credit for "working with" Qaddafi; let's not even ponder Canada's complacence/supporting roles in US action. Canada benefits from the spoils just like the rest of the Western world - more than many. Come talk to me with that nonsense when your shit don't stink for real.

    This piece relates spending and the economy and war.

    Loved it.

    Although, it should be noted he missed some awesome conflicts in which we really were amazingly exceptional. Unfortunate. He must not be American.

    I'd rate this piece above average for Fred. Actually, I'd rate just about half of his essays as above average for him. Wierd how that works. Anyway, he is an American expat with an interesting history and a style I like and somewhat relate to.

      I think I get the case you were making in this blog. I might argue against it tomorrow. 

    Was just funin. I enjoyed it ... his style suits me. I'll probably check him out from time to time. (And being an expat makes my "he must not be American" joke even funnier to myself ... gotta keep yourself amused, you know).

    I'd love to see what case you think I'm making here ... Q's flame job makes me wonder if I didn't miss the mark.

    Thanks for the intro to Fred Reed, LULU. Expats are expats for a reason, and it often makes them fun to read. Not always. As for you, kgb, quinn can defend himself (once he sobers up) but not a word he wrote was ad hominem. Off topic, maybe, but not ad hominem. And you say there's an anti-America cafe? Is there a happy hour?

    The entire reason he offers that America should not be involved is entirely divorced from a single fact related to the action currently being taken. Not a single mention of the actual situation we're faced with. His entire premise is that America is wrong to join the mission and should sit out because America is America (filled with ignorant moron Americans). Because America sucks so bad, it obviously must be wrong to be involved in this too.

    Isn't that pretty much the definition of ad-hominem?

    As for an Anti-America cafe ... you are Canadian. Walk into any coffee house and start talking shit; you'll have an anti-America crew rolling in about 30 seconds. (Likely riding on the highest horses in the land yet clueless to the irony as their government buys another F-16 from America and rolls on down to Mountain Home for some training ... while their compatriots blow the shit out of another Libyan tank and maybe a few civilians by mistake.)

    What I'm noticing is that those vocally opposing this don't really appear to have a valid argument to present. It's just a bunch of amorphous America-bashing waiting for the first negative turn of events to hang it's hat on.

    Without getting into any of the other stuff here (for now, anyway) I take exception to your last paragraph.

    That we have a President playing lone ranger again - without any sense of even consulting with Congress before going to war - concerns me greatly. It's a valid concern that calls into question the due diligience one would expect before committing to war. If the President fails to consult Dick Lugar for example (as has been Lugar's complaint), how are we to assume that he even received adequate counsel from his Joint Chiefs or any other "experts" who would help sort out the pluses and minuses and take a guess at the "unanticipated consequences?" 

    In addition, the fact that there seems to be a lack of any end game here is also quite troubling. I would call that a valid concern, as well, and one that might well cause someone such as me reason to be opposed to such a careless adventure of the kind we've seen too often in recent history..

    You had not yet weighed in when I wrote that paragraph. Still doesn't change my mind, but certainly head and shoulders above the inane "America has been screwing up for years so it must be wrong!" logical underpinning representing the height of certain Canadian intellects.

    Mostly I agree with you and noted my concerns along this line in the opening of my post. I think you extend the concern to absurdity when you speculate Obama didn't consult with the Joint Chiefs though, there seems to be more than a little documentation to dispute this. Likewise, we were obviously in close consultation with the other nations involved. That said, Gates seems apprehensive - which in my mind is the very best reason to be concerned. Concern just isn't translating into opposition for me yet.

    The end game seems to be we stop shooting missiles and hand it over to France. I know it is somehow "obvious" to folks that we must be the ones pushing this cart ... but that doesn't seem to be the case in reality. *If* it turns into a quagmire under our leadership and there is no longer an apparent positive that can be achieved, I'll join you in opposition. That doesn't seem a foregone conclusion or even likely to me at this point. You know how I feel about Obama and clearly he has handled this less than perfectly, but I'm giving the benefit of the doubt until it's a proven fuckup.

    Nobody's invading anything here. It isn't Iraq no matter how much people try and pretend it is.

    Oh Giant Forehead, DO tell us more about the little girl and the flowers, that argument had genius written all over it. 

    Face it. Your blog's main argument was tripe, and unsourced at that. You used it to piggyback some of your favourite name-calling against anti-war types. And now, you're piling on more about how important your pocketbook is, and the deaths of others... isn't. 


    At this point, your argument is that only cash in your pocket is relevant. 

    Stick to that high ground, bud.

    Face it. You totally missed the point of my post.

    Go fuck yourself.

    So sayeth the master of ad-hominem attacks. The irony in the above screed is simply delicious.

    Insightfully adding nothing as per usual, I see.

    Is one of the courses you teach "Trolling 101" ... if not, you should consider branching out.

    Both the above are ad hominem. This one is not. See how it works?

    I'm sorry, but "ad hominem" means whatever we want it to mean. 

    I was taught by Jason - I donno where you get YOUR ideas.

    None of these appear to be, really.

    Unless you are asserting yours couldn't possibly be simply because you are you ... in which case, actually, it kind of is.

    Canuck, I'd say a sense of fair play would dictate that a person can't just drop into a thread for the first time, and cheerlead for or against a poster.  That's crap, IMO.  Ah...those changing allegiances...

    I'm so old that not only do I remember the days when supporting institution and coverage of a no-fly-zone WAS considered being anti-war, but also the screaming of Republicans about a Democratic president using up all of our stockpiles of missiles on terrorists and war criminals that we might need for a "real" war, missiles we couldn't afford to replace because they had to balance the budget....not to mention Bob Dole being called a bleeding heart humanitarian traitor to his party.....

    My God! That means you're AT LEAST twelve..?!?!

    Never would have guessed...


    Response to kgb.

    Often, I agree with you. On this piece, I do not. It wasn't driven by anything personal. 

    That said, let's look at what you did. You have a particular view on the war. But rather than tackle that head on, you went after a really marginal, sidebar issue that some (unnamed) opponents chose to use - but used it to drive-by smear anti-war progressives. 

    I would also argue - and it's really a short argument, which you lose - that your deficit argument fails. As follows. 1. If you spend money on armaments, your political enemies will use that against you when it comes time to cut social security etc. They will declare that this was YOUR war, that tough decisions must be made, blah blah blah. 2. In addition, if you have to account for this war in the same set of figures as other expenditures (no longer seemingly a requirement) then, absolutely, yes, it competes for scarce dollars. 

    This argument is worlds beneath your usual quality of argument, which rather leads me to believe it wasn't what you really wanted to get at anyway. 

    What it sounds like you wanted to do was sideswipe anti-war types, but without officially engaging them or their arguments. I mean, you were officially arguing on the economic issue, not the pro's con's of the war. But along the way, you felt the need to make a number of cheap shots:

    - Somewhat predictably, those who are always against war no matter what instinctively moved to condemn American hegemony (as did those who are against America doing pretty much anything no matter what). * So... anti-war people move predictably, decide instinctively, etc. There's no argument here kgb, you're just smearing the thinking and decision-making processes of those against this war.

    - It is probably uncomfortable to admit, but shooting off Tomahawks creates jobs. Not the sort of jobs a windmill loving anti-war political activist wants to see us spending on.... * Well gee kgb, as a windmill loving anti-war (in this case) political activist, let me just say, it's not at all uncomfortable for me to say. Nor is it uncomfortable for me to say, as an economist, that you're talking out yer arse here, because even in a deep recession, you have to choose HOW to spend a dollar. To not see that is to live in candy-cane sparkle pony world. Hello kgb in candy-sparkle world! How's yer pony??!

    - But is "winning" the debate on if we're going to let Qaddafi slaughter members of a populist uprising (with the liberal position boiling down to "hell yeah, despot! Kill those DFHs!") really worth... * Yeah, that's a really deep point you made there kgb. I think, actually, that IS the point the anti-war types are trying to make. Gee, how did you ever manage to do such a fine and fair job of presenting it? 

    - I'm not willing to cede Social Security because some people think that every time America launches a missile the target morphs into two puppies in the lap of a poor little girl sniffing a daisy... Sooo.... "every" time and puppies and little girls with daisies. I think it was right around this point that my "what a halfwit kgb is being today" response began to rise.


    As for your comments further down, I really do think Genghis should put a sticker on people using the term "ad hominem" when they don't know how to apply it. [It reminds me of Jason after a while.] See, just because you didn't LIKE what I said doesn't make it ad hominem. I admit, I tried to make it a bit poetic, because it gets dreadfully boring, reviewing the world entirely in "liberalese." But if you think that entire comment was attacking YOU, then buddy, you got problems.

    e.g. It referenced the last 15 wars (not you), justifications for wars based on lies (Iraq), torture and torturers (again, not you), monstrous firms (Blackwater's not your employer, methinks?), active engagements in 3 other nations (none of which are named kgb-istan), the pics meaning the recent Der Spiegel story (none of you)... etc etc.... then a reference to the West's ongoing dealings with Gaddafi (gee, this HAS to be relevant, right?), then backing Karzai and his drug-dealing scum, then training the Saudis with their 9/11 link, then a reference to many of the rebel leaders having recently been allies of Gaddafi (maybe possibly relevant?)... then the fact that America going to war seems to produce majorities, but then actually fighting the war seems to reduce that majority to a minority, which lead me to believe there's a problem with some people being "sufficiently blind, ill-educated, selfish or idiotic that they get taken in, again and again and AGAIN by warmongers"... etc.

    Now, in my books, that was a whole long list of references to how America goes to war, and why, and why it should just stop for a while, and why Libya has at least a couple of worrying features. Which is not actually about you, or your character, or beliefs. It's about what has been done, real-world, by the US in its recent wars, with massive numbers of real deaths, but which you chose to discuss with... little girls with flowers. Do you have any idea how cartoonish you sounded when you wrote that?

    Still, after reading THAT, you wrote, "The entire reason he offers that America should not be involved is entirely divorced from a single fact related to the action currently being taken. Not a single mention of the actual situation we're faced with." 

    Gee, I guess you're right. After those first 15 mentions or so, I guess I did sortof run out of gas. Maybe next time I'll let loose.

    And as for the anti-American stuff, seems to me you just can't deal. I can have a long and fairly frank discussion about Canadian complacency, poor political judgment, history in wars, etc. But your arguments, even here, are weak tea. Canada "benefits from the spoils just like the rest of the Western world - more than many." Gee. I know pretty well how/when Canada benefits. But I'll bet YOU don't even know when Canada supported what war and when it didn't. So I'd suggest that since you just jumped into another ignorance patch, stop thrashing, and it'll be easier to extricate yourself. As for me being anti-American, sorry. Am not. Just incredibly sad, and really quite mad at times, about what the country's become, and how and why so many good people have ended up in such a ditch. I've seen it before in other countries. It changes. Meanwhile, best.

    I told you, kgb: quinn can defend himself when sober. Speaking of ad hominem, this line:

    the inane "America has been screwing up for years so it must be wrong!" logical underpinning representing the height of certain Canadian intellects.

    which clearly lumps me in with quinn, misrepresents my position. I initially urged against U.S. intervention, changed my mind once the Arab League and Security Council gave their blessings (I'm big on legality), and since then I've realized my initial concerns remain valid despite the fact the intervention is now legal. I have said in the past that America has been screwing up for years (who hasn't?) but I haven't cited that as an argument against intervention. Apology accepted. 

    That's really just a snide dig, not an ad hom argument.

    If you elected to self-identify with "certain" Canadian intellects despite the description not really applying to you ... apologies. Linguistically, the dig seems to disinclude all but certain Canadians ... so it *should* only include you if you choose to misapply it to yourself.

    Man, you've never been to Canada, have you. There's just Quinn, Canuck and Celine Dion up there. And since you refer only to Canadian intellects, well that leaves just the two...

    Canuck and Celine.

    Listen, pal. kgb-dude lives in Nebradaho or West Dakota some equally exciting hole in the sand, so I'd be careful who you think you're lining up with. You could end up corralled at his ranch, bound to a spit, and subjected to his endless libertarian lectures (are there any other kind?)

    And also, you, a(non)canuck and Celine all seem to have that sicko Quebec-loving thing happening, which puts you pretty much on the wrong foot, whether with (true)Canucks or even Yanks. The secret is out.

    We all know you're French.

    AND he said he's a dead ringer for Shakira; so there's that...

    mm, I wish. The things I'd do to myself...

    Ah...the imagination staggers to think...  ;o)

    You were dreaming of manicures and pedicures...and maybe a tattoo, weren't you?  Innocent

    *Desperately visualizing pugs chasing their tails*

    Aw, c'mon, man. You know you couldn't live without us.

    Who would brew your beer?

    Where would you go to have fun?

    And most importantly...

    Who would win your Stanley Cups for you?!


    Instead of making these arguments before we even know the facts of who is paying for what and how much it is costing, how about looking for coverage of and pushing for more coverage of who is paying for what and getting the facts on that?

    I have to move on to work, but I just ran across this which suggests that it's not all U.S. missiles being used:

    for just one example.

    If there isn't a lot out there on it, I know from following the news and blogs the way I have done for quite some time, I am 100% convinced that if there is a lot of buzz about something in the blogosphere, that eiditors and producers will put resources on that topic, they do pay much attention to what interests the news and blog junkie audience and alter their coverage to that.

    A cost-estimate:

    In the weeks leading to the attack, a report released by the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Analysis estimated eye-watering totals.

    “Establishing this no-fly zone could require a series of coordinated strikes to degrade Libyan air defense systems,” wrote lead author Todd Harrison. “Depending on the number of ground targets, this one-time strike operation might cost between $500 million and $1 billion.”

    Maintaining the operation, the report continued, could cost $100 million to $300 million per week.

    Yay! Exactly the narrative I was hoping we would possess the tactical sense to have a prepared alternative for.



     the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Analysis estimated eye-watering totals.


    Which were wrong.The  incremental cost is zero.

    We're not adding anyone to the payroll. We're using some more jet fuel than usual this week but we could offset that by not flying next week.

    Or maybe we'll have to skip a maneuver which would be redundant now that we've had a real time exercise.

    Yeah, I know a plane crashed today ( thankfully no one was injured). But it was a mechanical failure which would have occurred tomorrow if it hadn't occured today.

    We're firing some missiles but if we hadn't , sooner or later we'd have bought new all singing , all dancing missiles and we'd have junked these ones.In fact , maybe we've saved the cost of having to disassemble them.There's a cost saving for you that'll pay to keep open a few day care centers.


    Wow, I want you as our accountant. With your methodology no war anywhere costs anything.

    Awesome! Bombs away...


    No. Many wars do.This one won't .

    Assuming  we actually comply with Obama's statement that we're going to be phasing down our participation in a few days. .

    The best evidence for that is the UK participation. If Cameron hadn't been assured it could have been handled without any impact on Osborne's budget he'd have kept his head down and left it to the French

    The mistake being made ,  probably deliberately , is to include in  that $500 Million " cost" estimate an inappropriate  allocation of sunk costs i.e. charging this mission with money which would have been spent anyway. All that should be considered is the  incremantal cost and that  can still be whatever we want it  to be, starting a zero. 

    A not identical but also valid comment is that  if Obama tells Gates that the DOD budget won't be increased to cover Odyssy Dawn, the DOD will end the year without having overspent the budget.Easily.

    Or according to an an old accounting rule In the short run all costs are fixed , in the long run all costs are variable. 

    Or to quote Hal Geneen when I said  that

    "Who the hell cares about variable costs?"

    Thanks for making the point. I really didn't have the energy but thought about this as well.

    We pay for the majority of these assets - and all the personnel - every single day regardless. A lot of it is a bookkeeping thing ... they are billing time and resources to the account.

    We're firing some missiles but if we hadn't, sooner or later we'd have bought new all singing, all dancing missiles and we'd have junked these ones.

    I think you're forgetting that we're already in the middle of (at least) two other wars. Those missiles are most likely going to have to be replaced sooner rather than later. I think you're being optimistic in your guesstimates about how many missiles we use on a regular basis. Either that, or I'm being pessimistic (and I'm not usually a pessimist).

    Could be. 

    Depends on those are the types of missiles being employed in Afghanistan.And the number in inventory etc. etc. Sure I'm overstating my position to make a point. But maybe by not that much.

    And the answer IS:

  • On 19 March 2011, 124 Tomahawk missiles[8] were fired by U.S. and British forces (122 US, 2 British)[9] against at least 20 Libyan targets around Tripoli and Misrata.[10] As of 22 March 2011, 159 BGM-109 were fired by US and UK ships against Libyan targets. [11]
  • Unit Cost: Approximately $569,000 (FY99 $). Thank you Raytheon, for providing the jobs; of course that doesn't include all the other hardware to fire the things, which by 2011 seems to be a total of a million bucks per unit, they say...times 303+ NOTHING!

    Can't find out about shelf life, but what a silly argument, IMO!  You may be thinking of Obama wanting to replace the aging nukes in the silos, though.... What do you think embassy cocktail parties are for, seriously?  They are at least in part to get defense manufacturers together with ambassadors to sell 'overstock weaponry', like the F-15 Eagle fighter jets!  ("ohhhh; they're so last year, darling....)

    I think it's not so much shelf life as upgrades. They've invented a new version that can "linger" to assess damage and be redirected to another target if the first one is already destroyed (up to 16 pre-programmed destinations plus any one specific GPS coordinate).

    When the mil wants to cycle to new models they often just use the old models in war games, training and such. (at least that's how they clear out the airplane-dropped ordinance). It's probably more correct to say this is mostly costing us money we were already spending anyhow than it is to say this isn't costing anything.

    (BTW, if you *really* want to piss yourself off, look into the Scowcroft Group and the games they played with Cheney at Lockheed by courting new NATO members and then dumping all of our crap on them as condition of joining ... gotta have a modern military to be in NATO dontchknow).

    Seriously, though; at the State Dept. parties, too.  Wikileaks.

    That's the where. I was adding a "who". ;-)

    Closer; yes.  I saw you visited DD's Kucinich defund the war diary.  I was shocked to see the vitriol, but diaires I've written hopeful of anything even Kucinich or Feingold or crap...anyone did that might give some hope if supported... were attacked.  Same thing on anything criticizing Hugo Chavez.  'My good friend Gadaffi...Huh? 

    Margaret is really Rambo-ed up lately; Canfield is a crank.  Bunch of others, and I see that if cornered, they speak cavalierly about Libyan rebels, at least on that thread.  Margaret is a transvestite who was in the Navy, I believe.  She wrote a great diary about DADT repeal not covering transvestites; it was so much good information I really just didn't know about that gender. 

    Anyway, I had decided not to get on that diary and get more riled.  Kinda idiotic if you are so cynical about every single politician, IMO.  One perceived sellout, you're OUT!  Management plays faves, which I really don't like, especially as I'm on the outs now.  ;o)


    Ha. That was kind of funny. Honestly, I thought it went pretty civil in sum - considering the crowd in general and the specific person who decided to come after me. Ordinarily I wouldn't have bothered, was just really curious if there is an argument on the anti side that resonates with me. So far, nope (well, you saw how that worked out).

    I am pissed about Obama bypassing congress. Actually, I am hoping he gets slapped down for it (yeah, right). But that doesn't change how I feel about the operation itself. I'm probably an idiot ... but I'll wait until that's once again proven. First time I've backed up Obama in a while, huh?

    I don't get too deep in participation over there usually ... and I'm often contrarian by nature it seems ... so, I've never really been "in". Makes it pretty hard to get on the outs. Honestly, those people annoy the crap out of me sometimes (EW excepted - MUCH higher class of participant there). Great people to go into battle with when you are on the same side though; they aren't *usually* the cut and run types. I am sort of heartened you got to encounter a bit of what caused my negative reaction from over there though ... I'm not 100% crazy (or at least wasn't hallucinating). I don't give a fuck what Q thinks (yeah, like I'm going to link FDL meta), but I actually didn't like you not seeing where I was coming from. ;-)

    (and jebuz ... the mod over there is annoying as hell these days ... when did that start?)

    Just deleted the whole mess; not for public consumption.  I can tell you via email if you want.  Rayne, however, appears to be gone, and has been since Feb.27.  No one will say why.  Egnor and Calvo seem to be running my.fdl, and he blogs at Kos, too.  ;o(  He's not my friend, so... 

    I often skip the comments at the front page; except for Emptywheel, sometimes Jane, and Siun.  Too boringly predictable.  Some stuff happened that took the wind out of my sails, and I haven't put up too many threads.  Bah.  Night; it's bed for me.

    To some extent you're making my argument for me.

    At least when I worked for Raytheon  weapons were replaced by the Pentagon not because they didn't work , or had deteriorated but because we'd produced a superior version . An analog of the auto industry's "planned obsolescence",  To which the perfectly rational  Pentagon response was  to order  that superior weapon otherwise they were needlessly  endangering our forces  or risking mission failure etc.So my guess is that there'll be a lot more than 124 copies in inventory when the Tomahawk is obsolete. .

    Not exactly the same thing but it  was common knowledge during my Army days  that if  a shell landed any place near  headquarters , amazingly , it always destroyed the property book.And among other benefits you could requisition shiny new equipment.

    We have an enormous 2011 military budget.If Odyssey Dawn stopped today I  doubt  there'd be any need  for the Pentagon's Comptroller to write a check for an extra  single buck .Until he does Odyssey Dawn will not have "cost" us a penny. Despite that if the DOD were asked to calculate  OD's cost to date , in all good faith it would produce a number in the many  millions including  a week or two of the carrier and its entire crew increased by an "overhead" component representing its pro rata share of the desk admirals in their  Washington swivel chairs,  and a factor covering  keeping them warm in the winter and cold in the Washington summer, And grass seed to keep the lawns pretty and janitors to scrub their  toilets.

    So my estimate will  differ from the consensus  either because I'm wrong , or it is.  I suggest using mine. . .  


    Nope, I think.  'Obsolete but not timed out', essentially.  That means someone/s just want to spend more money.  They will.  So they will be allotted more bucks for the new ones, sell the old ones, equalling profits.  A million times 300 times how many two day periods equals some serious cash.  No?  Good faith?  Whazzat inside the MIC?

    We both think the Pentagon will keep on buying new weapons..

    Without any inside knowledge I think

    o there'll be an updated version of the Tomahawk

    o the Pentagon will  buy it

    o when it's delivered we'll still  have a fairly large inventory of the current version.

    o more than 124.

    o So on this set of facts/assumtions  it will not have "cost" us anything to use  124 Tomahawks in Libya this past weekend. It  just reduced the size of the inventory we'll have under foot when that all singing , all dancing , all talking version is delivered..

    Of course that's based on  Obama's statement that we'll fade our heavy role. If this is subsequently invalidated  and we fire a lot of Tomahawks, somewhat counter intuitively  that future event will automatically result in the weekend's 124  being retroactively reclassified as a "cost".. Stay tuned.  


    I just have to acknowledge I botched this one. Ghengis is the only one who seems to have gone where I expected. Sparked interesting conversation though.

    But yeah, the Brits are shooting them too. From a sub I think. But they're European - they shoot the GOOD missiles.

    I agree about the value of buzz. I was actually trying to make a case for tamping down a certain flavor of buzz in part due to this belief. Didn't work.

    I'll disagree with Genghis, though, on this: you are no simpleton, and I almost count on you to bring some good analysis to threads.    We all get stuff wrong from time to time.  I get used to gettin' ass-kickin's here, even when I'm right!   Innocent

    Oh--and another take on the legality of the Libyan venture, via the UN particpation act:

    Latest Comments