International Relations:Intervention In Libya


Over the weekend, U.S. and allied air and naval forces launched strikes on the military assets of the regime of Libyan leader Col. Muammar Qaddafi. Last night marked the third night of air strikes and the New York Times is reporting “the military campaign to   destroy air defenses and establish a no-fly zone  over Libya has nearly accomplished its initial objectives, and the United States is moving swiftly to hand command to allies in Europe, American officials said on Monday.” The intervention came following a UN Security Council resolution on Friday that   endorsed the creation of a no-fly zone  and authorized “all necessary measures” to protect civilians. The UN resolution came as Qaddafi forces were threatening to rout — and some fear massacre — anti-government forces that had retreated to the eastern city of Benghazi. President Obama also explained the decision to authorize force: “The core point that has to be upheld here , is that the entire international community, almost unanimously, says that when there is a potential humanitarian crisis about to take place, when a leader that has lost legitimacy and decides to turn his military on his own people, we simply can’t stand by with empty words, we have to take some sort of action.” The sudden US intervention has proved controversial and spawned a serious debate over the nature of the mission’s objectives and the extent of US involvement that has divided foreign policy thinkers and political leaders on both sides of the aisle. While there is legitimate debate over the merits of intervention, many Republican 2012 candidates and conservative talking heads, ever desperate to attack the President and score cheap political points, are launching absurd attacks and even  critiquing him for taking action they days before supported. As Politico noted, this is a “reminder of the dearth of foreign policy experience among the main GOP contenders.”

CONTEXT:   What began as a popular uprising, similar to Egypt and Tunisia, quickly spiraled into an armed revolt following Qaddafi’s use of mercenary forces to brutally and indiscriminately suppress the protests. Just a few weeks ago, rebel forces controlled much of the country and appeared on the cusp of toppling Qaddafi. But Qaddafi rallied and launched a furious counter-attack, which forced a rebel retreat across the country. As Qaddafi’s forces approached the eastern city of Benghazi, there were growing fears of a massacre and humanitarian and refugee crisis. This prompted the Arab League to call for Western intervention. On Friday, the United Nations Security Council authorized international action in Libya by a vote of 10-0 with five countries (Brazil, Germany, Russia, China, India) choosing to abstain. Over the past three days, the U.S. fired more than 130 Tomahawk cruise missiles and launched numerous air strikes, which have prevented the fall of Benghazi and a humanitarian crisis. President Obama said yesterday that “after the initial thrust has disabled Gaddafi’s air defences… there will be a transition in which we have a range of coalition partners, who will then be participating in establishing a no-fly zone.” Yet there is some  confusion and disagreement within NATO over who will take charge of the operations from the US. The sudden nature of the intervention has also led to complaints from congress that the President did not properly consult with congress. The New York Times noted that “lawmakers from both parties argued that Mr. Obama had exceeded his constitutional authority by authorizing the military’s participation without Congressional approval. The president said in a letter to Congress that he had the power to authorize the strikes, which would be limited in duration and scope, and that preventing a humanitarian disaster in Libya was in the national interest.”

END GAME?:   Intervention has led to a serious debate that has cross-cut party lines over the merits and objectives of the operation. Many fear the administration has not defined clear objectives or laid out an end game for its intervention. Republican Sen. Richard Lugar said, “I do not understand the mission  because as far as I can tell in the United States there is no mission and there are no guidelines for success.” One cause for confusion is that in the first few weeks of the uprising in Libya the Obama administration called for Qaddafi to go, but it is unclear whether rebel forces have the capability to oust Qaddafi. Brian Katulis of the Center for American Progress warns, “you could have this very awkward phase emerging where Gaddafi is entrenched while there’s a rump state in eastern Libya and some but not all states in the Arab world work to isolate the regime.” This has led to fears of mission creep, where U.S. forces would escalate their intervention to ensure Qaddafi’s ouster. James Fallows of the Atlantic writes, “the  most predictable failure in modern American military policy has been the reluctance to ask, And what happens then? … After this spectacular first stage of air war, what happens then? If the airstrikes persuade Qaddafi and his forces just to quit, great! But what if they don’t?” Conservative Wall Street Journal columnist noted that “the  biggest takeaway, the biggest foreign-policy fact, of the past decade is this: America has to be very careful where it goes in the world, because the minute it’s there — the minute there are boots on the ground, the minute we leave a footprint — there will spring up, immediately, 15 reasons America cannot leave.” However, Senator Carl Levin (D-MI), the chairman of the Armed Services Committee, said on Meet the Press that the President “has a  military operation with very clear mission, and that’s what the president should do is have a clear mission and to avoid mission creep…this mission has been very carefully limited.” The Obama administration has insisted that the military intervention will be limited and has rejected sending in U.S. ground troops. President Obama said yesterday in Chile, “First of all,   I think it’s very easy to square   our military actions and our stated policies. Our military action is in support of a international mandate from the Security Council that specifically focuses on the humanitarian threat posed by Colonel Qaddafi to his people. … As part of that international coalition, I authorized the United States military to work with our international partners to fulfill that mandate. Now, I also have stated that it is U.S. policy that Qaddafi needs to go. And we got a wide range of tools in addition to our military efforts to support that policy… But when it comes to our military action, we are doing so in support of U.N. Security Resolution 1973, that specifically talks about humanitarian efforts. And we are going to make sure that we stick to that mandate.”
 
RIGHT WING NOISE:   For days, many conservative presidential hopefuls and political pundits had called for U.S. intervention in Libya, but following the international community’s action, few took to the airwaves to back the President. Politico reported,   “After  demanding for weeks that he be more decisive on Libya, not one candidate in the field of 2012 GOP hopefuls has expressed support for President Barack Obama since he began bombing the North African nation. The GOP’s presidential prospects either sharply criticized the commander-in-chief this weekend or avoided weighing in.” For those GOP hopefuls and pundits that attacked the President, the critique centered on the premise that he waited too long and shouldn’t have sought international support — apparently it is preferable to go to war without international support. Sarah Palin said she wouldn’t criticize the President while she was abroad in India, but then went on to criticize the President saying if she were there would have been “less dithering.” John Bolton said on Fox News that the Obama administration was “wrong to base its decision to use force” due to the support of the Arab League or the United Nations. HBO’s Bill Maher noted on Friday, “Republicans don’t know what to do  with this because they wanted this to happen, the no fly zone, so that’s good, but now Obama wants it so it’s bad. … Fox News today just put up a test pattern that said, ‘Please be patient while we figure out how this makes Obama the worst president ever.'”

Don’t let your tax dollars pay for discrimina​tion …


This is how Congress is spending its time.

Right now, behind closed doors, Republican House leaders are deciding exactly how they’ll use our tax dollars to protect the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA).

And more than 90 right-wing lawmakers are wasting Congress’s time on a resolution condemning President Obama and declaring that same-sex couples should be denied equal rights. Some are even talking about impeaching the president for his principled stance against DOMA.

Meanwhile, as right-wing groups vilify gay members of Congress, we’re showing every lawmaker that a majority of Americans – both straight and LGBT – want DOMA repealed.

We need 535 more straight allies to join HRC in the next 24 hours so that we have the resources to get our message to all 535 members of Congress. Can you help fund this fight?

www.hrc.org

Join HRC in the next 24 hours with an urgent gift to fight DOMA and stand up for equality.

DOMA’s sole purpose is to deny married, same-sex couples the protections straight married couples enjoy: Social Security survivor benefits, joint tax filing, taking leave to care for a spouse, and more.

In the past few weeks, we’ve sent more than 170,000 letters to Congress calling out this discrimination. We’ve also released a new poll showing that a majority of Americans have no patience for these antics.1 They want Congress to focus on creating jobs – not defending DOMA.

Straight allies’ voices are critical in our fight to show Republican House leaders that they’re out of step with the American majority.

We refuse to be quiet. We’re standing up to right-wing ideologues, rallying support and fighting for DOMA repeal bills in the House and Senate. We’re continuously highlighting the scary truth about DOMA in the press. And we’re making sure your voice is heard in Congress on this issue.

This is not a test – equality for loving couples and families is on the line.

Declare your support as a straight ally. Stand up to hate – chip in now.    www.hrc.org

I know you’re disgusted by our opponents’ hypocrisy and that you’re eager for progress. From the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. hate crimes law to “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” repeal, we’ve shown we can get things done together. I’m hoping you’ll stand with us today.

Keep up the fight,

Joe Solmonese

President

1 A new poll from HRC and Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research shows 51 percent of Americans oppose DOMA while 34 percent favor it. 54 percent of Americans want Congress to focus on jobs and only 32 percent would prefer Congress spend time defending DOMA.

From Gallup.Com: One Year Later, Americans Split on Healthcare Law


One year after President Obama signed the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act into law, Americans are divided on its passage, with 46% saying it was a good thing and 44% saying it was a bad thing. Most Americans are skeptical that the law will improve medical care in the U.S. or their own personal medical care.

Read more at www.GALLUP.com

http://www.gallup.com/poll/146729/One-Year-Later-Americans-Split-Healthcare-Law.aspx?utm_source=alert&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=syndication&utm_content=morelink&utm_term=Healthcare

Thurs. Telebriefi​ng for members w/ Wisc. Sen. Chris Larson


This Thursday, March 24 at 3:00pm Eastern Time, please join People For the American Way, Wisconsin State Senator Chris Larson and Michelle Ringuette of the Service Employees International Union to discuss the Right’s relentless attacks on workers’ rights and the middle class in Wisconsin and across the country.

In Wisconsin, Ohio, Indiana Florida and other states, right-wing governors and legislators have been using budget shortfalls as an excuse to pursue corporate interests’ longtime goals of busting unions, gutting vital programs that serve the poor and middle class and doing away with other protections for working families. Along the way, these lawmakers have led a campaign to demonize public employees and blame them for the economic mess that Wall Street and big corporations caused.

Can you join us on the phone this Thursday for an important PFAW member telebriefing on the national fight to save the middle class and the American Dream? RSVP now.

www.pfaw.org

Space is limited so don’t delay. We’ll email confirmed participants with the call-in information before Thursday.

Senator Chris Larson of Milwaukee was one of the 14 Democratic state senators who heroically crossed state lines in a last ditch effort to prevent Republicans in the Wisconsin legislature from passing Gov. Scott Walker‘s infamous attack on the basic collective bargaining rights of Wisconsin’s public employees. Ultimately, Senate Republicans did an end run around the rules to ram the Governor’s anti-worker plan through, and now an effort to recall some of those senators is underway. Sen. Larson, a true leader in this fight and a member of PFAW Foundation’s Young Elected Officials Network, will provide an update on the situation in Wisconsin.

In addition to Sen. Larson’s Wisconsin update, we’ll hear from SEIU’s Michelle Ringuette about the national landscape and how similar fights are playing out in other states. And PFAW’s leadership will provide an update on some of our activities and involvement on the state level.

Please don’t miss this opportunity and join us this Thursday at 3pm Eastern.

Thank you for your ongoing support.

www.pfaw.org

— Diallo Brooks, Director of Field Mobilization

tempest Tuesday &some News


 I will admit the last couple of days actually felt like spring but only because my nose told me. The NW high 50’s only last a couple of hours a day so ok it’s Spring but it’s still 40’s and high 30’s most of the morning and comes back right around dinner time. That is still a cold day to me but the sunshine definitely is nice.

Good news, VP Biden speaks on the Importance of investing in Education at 10amET if you have a little time tune into President Obama’s and President Funes Press Conference which will start at 4:55pmET and Wednesday, there will be an Open for Questions: Start Up America: Reducing Barriers. These events can be viewed on whitehouse.gov/live …I say stay informed, keep your heart open to other opinions from other places for information aside from cable News and mainstream News especially if  you can hear the news from President Obama and or V.P. Biden -from the source the deciders … so to speak. If you miss the events just go to whitehouse.gov and find the schedule.

In response to an article i posted “Help protect the right to choose” …written by MoveOn.org

3/22 My final response to the question …So, when do you believe life begins? 3/22

I believe it probably is when a heartbeat can be heard, which is about at 9weeks depending on the woman. I do not know what you want from me but even with the facts about when life begins does not change my mind about abortion. I believe women should not lose the right to choose be treated as intelligent enough to decide and contrary to popular thought doctors actually do counsel and discuss options but those choices options have been taken away by the Republican Tea Party under the platform of family values when in reality it is family enforcement. It makes no sense to think this is anyone’s business except for the woman and her doctor, it baffles my mind to think a member of congress, a stranger thinks my uterus should be controlled by them because of their own personal beliefs, religion, values. I do believe that the Senate will respect a woman’s right to choose though Republicans feel women should be seen and not heard i guess with the cutting slashing and burning of safe, clean and truly great facilities that help girls, young women and older women on a daily basis for all kinds of things not just abortion. The fact is that places like Planned Parenthood also talk to young men about their responsibilities too regarding contraceptive etc. trying to keep a strong hold on information, procedures and personal choice can only be detrimental to the progress in the realm of women’s health –

3/18 I received a comment. I definitely like getting comments and appreciate comments with a different opinion it makes you decide why you feel the way you do ,stand up, speak out and this current war being waged on us women will take all of us because the alternative is not an option.

3/18 Choosing to kill a baby is not a right. http://www.abortiontruth.com/pictures.html

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3/18 My response …

…I can only say that we can debate at what point a fetus becomes a baby and at what point a fetus becomes anything after conception. Then we have to ask at what point is conception and if you believe a baby or life begins at conception, then we have nothing to discuss because i do not believe that at conception whenever that is, creates a baby. I believe an egg becomes a fetus then after the first tri-mister, a baby is developed. Even with all this rhetoric i do not believe you or anyone else has the right to tell me what to do with my body-and if you do feel comfortable telling me what to do with my body; what could be bigger Government then that? The fact is and just so you know desperate women have used instruments, back alley doctors, drugs to abort and suicide when it becomes too much. It is my wish that legal, safe and credible places remain available for all women because no one should have to feel so stressed out about a personal choice and no woman chooses abortion because it is fun believe me.

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3/21 An additional comment/question …

When do you believe life begins? Let us start with your measuring stick for life.

FYI: The word fetus (plural fetuses) is from the Latin fetus, meaning offspring, bringing forth, hatching of young. It has Indo-European roots related to sucking or suckling, from the Aryan prefix bheu-, meaning “To come into being”.

I prefer to speak English and just call the developing life form in women, I don’t speak Latin in my daily use of language.

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3/21 And my response

Again, do you believe in less government? If so, my uterus should be outside your control, especially if i pay for the abortion it is my personal business –you really should mind your own business right. It is my opinion that the Hyde amendment is enough for everyone to accept and has been for years. The question for you is why you feel it is your right to dictate to a woman as it relates to woman’s health or contraceptive choices. It is this kind of attitude by folks with that family values platform that most if not all Republicans subscribe to in the House of Representatives that wanted to defund Planned Parenthood. First, it makes no sense to take social services away from those who are in need then say if you become pregnant, you might have to go full-term. In my opinion, life without places like  Planned Parenthood,would mean more young women suffering unwanted pregnancies, diseases, and or worse. I do not think you get it, you are using words Latin words instead of emotions, and that is because you have no idea what it takes to decide and or go through. While you may think abortion services are used improperly, the point is women are smart enough to decide on their own; having a choice to make a personal decision that is definitely not the same for all women is the point. I do not think most women have abortions for fun but it is far more than the clinical crap you are spewing. The fact is women girls desperate enough to use coat hangers drugs or fake doctors is a reality-having unwanted births is not the answer and a woman’s body does not belong to you or the government. I think the current laws rules and attitudes are so disgusting …just read your comment you act like the decider the guy/gal who thinks women should be pregnant & barefoot -pure BS- i don’t understand this logic. The clinical and or professorial attitude you seem to have shows just how little you know about the topic and or experience and giving up my personal control to you or my government is definitely a definition of big Government.

Other News …

**US jets crash but the 2crew members are OK

**As bombs fall the criticism of Gaddafi increases

**CBS wants Charle Sheen back

**DWTS premiered on Monday night and my pick is Kristy -been a fan of hers for awhile very impress by wax on wax off guy and whoever that chelsea person … no idea

**FOX has bit off more than they can choose with their criticism of CNN reporter Nic Robertson-given we never never see a Fox reporter on site reporting

**AL is holding a meeting on Libya …   http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/world/2011-03/22/c_13792552.htm

**Bahraini foreign minister meets Egyptian leaders, Arab League chief

http://www.monstersandcritics.com/news/middleeast/news/article_1627885.php/Bahraini-foreign-minister-meets-Egyptian-leaders-Arab-League-chief

**Seawater damage worse than first believed

**Former Israeli Prez sentenced to 7yrs in prison

**Yemen leader/gen discusses transition of power

**Stocks waver as investors take a pause

CSPAN

Coalition Airstrikes In Libya Expand To Tripoli

http://c-span.com/Events/Coalition-Airstrikes-In-Libya-Expand-To-Tripoli/10737420395/

Canada and UK Roll-out Budget Plans

Canadian parliament hears from Finance Minister

http://c-span.com/Events/Canada-and-UK-Roll-out-Budget-Plans/10737420394/

Nuclear Regulators to Enhance U.S. Safety Protocols

Japanese continue stabilizing plants

http://c-span.com/Events/Nuclear-Regulators-to-Enhance-US-Safety-Protocols/10737420398/

As President Obama’s health care overhaul law, the Affordable Care Act, approaches its one year anniversary, the Cato Institute held a conference today examining the current and future impact of the law.  http://c-span.com/Events/Scholars-Debate-quotThe-New-Health-Care-Law-What-a-Difference-a-Year-Makesquot/10737420376/

President Obama gave a speech on U.S.-Latin America relations in Chile while traveling through Latin America. He was in Chile for talks with President Sebastian Pinera and an official dinner at La Moneda Palace.

http://c-span.com/Events/Pres-Obama-Remarks-on-Latin-America/10737420392/

Egyptian voters went the polls recently and approved constitutional changes that set the country on a path for parliamentary and presidential elections later in the year. One of the leading political movements in Egypt is the Muslim Brotherhood. The Foundation for Defense of Democracies here in Washington hosted a panel discussion looking at the role of that group in the future of Egypt, and what the rise of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt might mean for international politics. Speakers include a former Middle East specialist with the CIA, and a former Treasury Department counterterrorism analyst.

http://c-span.com/Events/Discussion-on-the-Muslim-Brotherhood/10737420405/