Friday, March 04, 2011

It Is A Shame

That we've spent the last decade squandering our military might instead of saving it for special occasions, occasions such as a modern -day return to the shores of Tripoli.  We could send in the Marines and Colonel Cracked would be gone within days; peace would be restored and countless civilian lives would be saved.

Or would they?

For the sake of argument, let's say we intervene and take out Qadafi and his loyalist thugs. What happens after that?   Is there a rebel leader willing and able to step in and fill the enormous power vacuum that is left? Libya has no real internal government or constitution , just local councils under the authoritarian oppression of one man, a war criminal who has ruled since a military coup in 1969. There is no system in place that can  maintain Libya's integrity as a country. Unless outside powers intervene, there is likely to be a period of violence and chaos as the Libyans wrestle with the sudden responsibility of sovereignty, living together in a land that has been internally divided by tribal conflicts for centuries.

Italy took control of Libya following the demise of the Ottoman Empire in the early 20th century, then lost it after Mussolini's defeat in WWII. The legendary and bloody campaign fought between Rommel and Montgomery was for control of Libya's oil, which was vital to Hitler's war in Europe. The U.N. maintained control until 1951 and was a monarchy until 1969, its only real period of national identity.

Libya has never really had a chance to sort itself out. Should we put boots on the ground to assist with the re-building of a nation? Our two current enterprises aren't exactly roaring successes, after all. With Iraq and Afghanistan as precedent, it doesn't seem like intervening in Libya would be anything less than a complete and utter clusterfuck with our troops just adding to the bodycount on both sides.

In hindsight, it is a shame that we didn't just wait for a populist revolt and/or the death of Saddam Hussein instead of launching a military invasion and occupation of Iraq. How exactly would things have been worse?

Where are the Rat Patrol when you need them?

It is a shame that Charlie Sheen is such a universally fascinating topic. Is it because addiction and mental illness are subjects that touch almost everyone's life in one way or another, or is it because we are a drab nation of imagination-deprived voyeurs with nothing better to obsess over than one man's incoherent crack-fueled flame-out?  In case you didn't already know, smoking crack will make you permanently insane. Money can't save you from that and fame just makes it worse. Yawn.

I was going to say that it was a shame, albeit an inevitable one, that 20-yr old  police chief Marisola Valles Garcia was compelled to flee Mexico under death threats from drug gangs...but now I read that Mexican authorities are denying it. And if you can't count on CNN and Mexican authorities to get the story right, then who can you count on? Nothing fishy here, move along.

If drugs were legalized we'd still have druglords, they'd just be called things like Phillip Morris and Coors instead of Los Zetos and La Familia, but at least Phillip Morris won't send you a human head in a box no matter how many Marlboro Miles you collect.

If drugs were legalized would you rush out to try this awesome 'crack' stuff that you've heard so many good things about?


Susan said...

True. I thought about that with Qadafi--we are in two wars that don't mean jack, whereas we could enforce the no fly zone and rid the world of a dictator AND let the people choose their own government. Didn't we say we were doing that in Iraq? Such bs.

Charlie Sheen opened his mouth at the right time. People are bored. They are also afraid. Charlie is nuts, but like every crazy person, he makes sense. It's true that his salary is nothing compared to what the show gets. It's true that CBS screwed over a lot of people by finally refusing to enable Charlie; before they were content to just screw him over. I don't feel sorry for him--he is an egotistical monster. Drugs exacerbated a very unpleasant personality.

Charlie Sheen is saying stuff that most people wish they could say. He also has the means and the time. Behind all that insanity lies a cunning mind--a Dancing With the Stars reality show mind.

What else?

billy pilgrim said...

when they were showing photos of the good colonel holding his umbrella it was as if michael jackson had returned and taken possession of another host body.

i must say those protesters are infinitely braver than i could ever dream of being.


might be one of my favorite and best posts you've done.

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