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As a supporter of Obama's handling of Libya (oh, hadn't you noticed) I thought it was a good enough speech in that it passed the minimum hurdle, it  won't have created any new opposition. Neither will it have converted any existing opponents. 

To be more specific,I like his explanation that whatever we might do in other cases, the particular characteristics of the situation in this particular country in the context of our particular strengths led to an outcome that might not often be duplicated. 

Down with doctrines

I suppose it started with the Monroe doctrine, or maybe the John Smith one, but suddenly in the last two decades what was a handy icon has become a media substitute for examining the specific situation and its specific characteristics.

So the Powell Doctrine: Don't attack unless you have overwhelming force. Or Desider's doctrine in So you want to be a millionaire Libyan: Don't try to assist a revolution unless the rebels have shown that they can hold a lot of the country.

Both perfectly reasonable BTW.

Until they become doctrines.


The goal is a “no-fly” zone – a zone where aircraft is disallowed – similar to a demilitarized zone on land.  This goal is not to be confused with regime change.  Those who were looking for “boots on the ground” to rid Libya of Gadhafi will be sorely disappointed.

Charlotte Seybright


At least Juan Cole thinks

Obama got it right in Libya.

As referenced by artappraiser ,in his blog today he expands on these items (condensed and with slight revisions -for the exact text follow the link)

o The participation of the Muslim world in the United Nations no-fly zone over Libya was secured and is lasting.

o Turkey, , has agreed to use its navy to help enforce the boycott 

o Qaddafi’s air force  effectively “no longer exists.” :

Any questions

Brad Delong today is using his blog to lecture his students . Subject: how we got into this current recession , how to get out of it and why some sensible people are making dumb proposals that we should reject.

You could read it , today's installment takes about ten minutes. But here's what seems to be the key section 

It is true that the root problem was a derangement in the subprime mortgage market resulting from irrational exuberance which then triggered a derangement in financial markets more generally due to overleverage and misregulation.

Here's the Guardian Editorial

Somehow it seems like cheating to use a blog just to provide a link. But in this case it seems justified.



contrary to what you might think based on much of the US media. A survey reported in this weekend's Observer  shows that 64% of the British public are very satisfied with their health system. Which happens to be the highest result it has ever achieved on such surveys.

As the debate -shouting match -over the  Affordable Care Act (ACA )heats up it might be useful to remember that. Of course it's open to the rebuttal  that it measures popularity rather than performance.

But that, in fact ,  is even better.

Not all the middle east is pleased

by the UN decision on Libya. Turkey's bitter opposition has effectively side lined NATO.

See Juan Cole today in particular comment from Howard Eissenstat


My head tells me that a war is a war is a war and that the right policy is not to start one.But I know I want to draw a line and prevent the blood bath I fear would result if Quaddafi's troops occupied Benghazi.

Got to go and see what Juan Cole thinks.




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