Uneasy about Libya?

First, let me say that I am absolutely delighted that Qaddafi is no longer with us. Good riddance! For me it’s personal, as I had many Libyan college mates that were refugees from and victims of the early days of his dictatorship. I wish them well in building a bright future for their country.

Still, I feel somewhat uneasy about how this played out. For decades (centuries?), countries have operated under a written or unwritten rule that you don’t assassinate other heads of state in a “we don’t do it to them so that they don’t do it to us” understanding. Kings don’t kill kings. Technically, it is illegal for the U.S. to assassinate political leaders with whom we are not in a state of war, if I recall my history properly. If I am wrong on this point, please correct me (DQ? Book? You’re both attorneys…help me out).

Now, this does not apply to illegal terrorist groups, such as al-Qaeda, of course. In Libya, however, Qaddafi was the leader of a government with whom we had diplomatic relations and upon which war had not been declared. In the case of Saddam Hussein, he was arrested by the U.S. army in a theater of war, approved by Congress and operating under a United Nations mandate. He was put on trial by a legitimate Iraqi government. The case of Diem in South Vietnam was also highly problematic.

Now, technically, we didn’t kill Qaddafi…he was killed by a Libyan citizen. However, the argument could be made that we (i.e., NATO) set up the killing, especially if his convoy was hit by a U.S. drone or British warplane. We may not be dealing so much with the letter of the law as with the intent of the law.

Again, I don’t mourn Qaddafi. However, my unease about what transpires stems from the fact that the official and unofficial international rules on war, political killing and assassination appear to have undergone a major phase change.

Am I right or wrong to be concerned on this issue? Please let me know.


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    Describing himself as surprised and deeply humbled, Obama said he would accept the award as a “call to action” to confront the global challenges of the 21st century.
    “I do not view it as a recognition of my own accomplishments but rather an affirmation of American leadership on behalf of aspirations held by people in all nations.”
    Libya was not suspended from the UN-HRC until March 2011.
    Danny, I am clueless about the legalities. Maybe if you’re a Nobel Prize winner and the enemy has been suspended from the club – you get a pass. Then again, Obama demanded that Mubarak step down ….

  • jj

    I agree, Danny, I’m not real big on the idea that Our Little Jugears seems to think part of the job is to tell other countries who should lead them.  Kind of makes you wonder how he – or any of us – would react if China announced: “You know what, America, we own you, and your President is a Goddamed fiscal halfwit, not fit to be in charge of anything that involves our money- so he goes.  Hit the road, Barry; we own the Presidency and you don’t have the job any more, from right now.”  I wonder if he’d find that swell?
    Removing, or assisting in the removal of, the leadership of any nation with whom we are not at war doesn’t require a legal opinion: it’s wrong on its face.

  • http://ymarsakar.wordpress.com Ymarsakar

    U.S. to assassinate political leaders with whom we are not in a state of war, if I recall my history properly. 

    It’s official Justice Department policy, as a result of certain Executive Orders signed by Carter. But those can be rescinded, if another President signs a counter order. Obama, however, does his Obama gig. Which is basically, whatever he wants and to hell with formal rules. 

    Diem and Khadaffi both expired under Democrat rule. Notice the difference. People think this is a coincidence? Think again.

     The point is, the Left thinks they own you. You are not allowed to exercise any such thing as free will, if it goes up against the Left’s modus operandi or anti-human goals in this world. That’s about it. Khadaffi by cutting ties with AQ and working with Bush just so happened to get in the way of the Left. Diem by effectively fighting Communists in Vietnam, just so happened to get in the way of the Leftists in the State Department. And now

    they just so happened to no longer be an issue. That’s the Left for you. And that’s why America is losing. 

  • http://ymarsakar.wordpress.com Ymarsakar

    Btw, all the things people said about America being an Empire and dominating/occupying less powerful countries for selfish reasons like greed or power… they were talking about the Left. IT’s the Left that gives America that reputation, you know. And if you didn’t know, just ask the Left. They’ll tell you straight out what they think of America…

  • http://bookwormroom.com Bookworm

    I read somewhere that John McCain started saying no dictators are safe — and that the started naming names. Was it his plan to paint a target on the back of the American president, current and future?

  • http://bookwormroom.com Bookworm

    Or was it Herman Cain? Damned if I can remember! Either way, it was a foolish thing to say — especially if it was from the mouth of a man who wishes to be president.

  • Mike Devx

    I believe we can remove a dictator from office and even kill him, but only after a declaration of war.  Libya troubles me because I find UN action to be arbitrary without that declaration of war.

    No matter how much I detest Achmadinejad, Chavez, and whoever leads Hamas and Hezbollah, I don’t want them assassinated without a declaration of war against them.  I believe too strongly in the rule of law, not the rule of Man.

    The only exception I’d make to that is when my own country falls into tyranny.  Then violent revolution can be called for.  No, Obama is not there.  His government is extremely harmful and worships power (think of his innumerable czars, who effectively rule us) – but it is Congress that has voluntarily ceded that power to Executive Branch bureaucrats, and Congress can take that power back anytime it wishes to.  Of course, *then* we might see a very interesting (constitutional) confrontation were the Executive Branch to refuse to give the power back.  And then the tyranny question would become highly relevant.

    So, yes, I too am glad the bad actor Khadaffi is dead, but it makes me very uneasy as well.  To the best of my recollection, there was never a declaration of war against him.  Yet he is dead due to the actions of France, the United States, and other countries.


    Diem and Khadaffi both expired under Democrat rule. Notice the difference. People think this is a coincidence? Think again.
    Shouldn’t Pahlavi be part of the short list above?

  • Spartacus

    Whether Qaddafi was specifically targeted or just bonus points in collateral damage is of little concern, provided that we were engaged in a properly authorized military operation.  We weren’t.  That’s disturbing.
    The hastening of Awlaki’s hajj to the infernal regions is also of little concern, provided that his US citizenship was properly rescinded with due process and notice, or otherwise squared away with appropriate anti-terror legislation.  It wasn’t.  That’s disturbing.  Even more disturbingly in that case, Congress would likely have been quite willing to make everything all nice and legally tidy, had they been asked, but Barack didn’t feel the need to ask.  Instead, we are told that some unnamed guys from the NSC [1] made the recommendation; and somebody at the DOJ wrote a legal opinion blessing it, but since that document deals with published US laws, it is of course classified information.
    It is difficult to shed tears for the passing of either man [2]: they were nasty buggers.  But in each case, we departed from the rule of our own laws, which is disturbing.  What is more disturbing is the reaction of our “government by the people,” which has been a largely muted combination of confusion, frustration, indifference, and resignation.  What is encouraging, thoiugh, is that while no one with even half a brain expects any better from this Gangster Government, neither the Right not the Left tolerates this sort of lawlessness from any Republican administration. [3]
    [1] Those on the Left have objected to the reference to the Cossacks of Obamacare as “Death Panels.”  Can we at least agree that some shadowy committee of unnamed officials working somewhere within the bowels of the NSC and preparing lists of US citizens that it would be OK to skewer with a Hellfire missile qualify as a “Death Panel”?
    [2] In the abstract, anyway.  In practice, we have helped to replace a largely cowed dictator who had given up his nuclear program, and worshipped the Religion of Himself and His Own Safety, with a bunch of zealots from the Religion of Peace looking for that elusive Twelfth Imam; and released 20,000 very portable anti-aircraft missiles into the terrorist marketplace.  Probably not a good trade.
    [3] Are Republicans inherently more legal and ethical in government than Democrats?  Probably, but it’s an academic question.  In practice, legally and ethically deficient Republicans have a much lower survival rate during elections, and so, by natural selection, they are the species which exhibits traits of legality and ethics in much greater abundance.  It’s a lazy rule of thumb, but it usually works.

  • Mike Devx

    Somewhat off-topic: While I’m uneasy about Qadaffi and Libya, I’m depressed about Iraq and the fact that all of our troops will be gone from Iraq by the end of this year.

    The reason is not due to any Iraq War.  That war is over, and we won the war itself.  But post-2003, the Bush administration constructed several massive, lavish military bases in the deserts well outside of the cities.  I am convinced that the long-term strategy was for the USA to occupy those bases for decades.  They were to be as permanently in USA hands as permanent could be.  It was to be part of a large shift in our overseas military presence, from the northern hemisphere with a NATO focus to a southern hemisphere- and middle-Asian focus.

    We are not leaving Iraq by choice.  We are being kicked out, by Maliki and al-Sadr, who are marching to an Iranian tune.  Iran has won this round *completely*.  It is troubling.  We spent one hell of a lot of money in Iraq, and also in Afghanistan, to secure strategic objectives.  It now appears that we will completely fail in those objectives.

    Perhaps George W. Bush’s long-term objectives were flawed and we are actually better off getting completely the hell out of there, in both Iraq and Afghanistan (which will also happen).  Perhaps we never should have tried to establish our long-term military presence in Middle Eastern countries.  I would rather, in that case, that we had not constructed those amazing, costly military bases in the first place, then, only now to hand them over to our Iraqi and Iranian enemies.

  • suek

    >>only now to hand them over to our Iraqi and Iranian enemies.>>

    Generally agree with you. I just hope that they manage to transfer as much equipment as possible up to the Kurds. They’ll be fighting alone after we leave.

  • Mike Devx

    Great point about the Kurds, suek!  I believe they are our only ally in that area.  There’s something about the Kurds that gives them a value system where they somewhat align with American values.  You can’t say that at all about the rest of the Iraqis, the Turks, and the Iranians (for all of Iranian so-called modernity, the fundamentalist Islamists remain firmly in control).

    I’d love to see us transfer as many of our assets up into Kurdish control, as long as that bastard Maliki can’t manage to lay his hands back on the assets.  Do the Kurds have enough autonomy to prevent that?  I’d love to see it.

    Unfortunately, the Kurds got split up by the British when they divided the Kurds, who then got absorbed into Turkey, Iraq and Iran.  They got the shaft.  And Maliki runs the show for all of Iraq, and he is an Iranian proxy.  Perhaps not as bad a proxy as al-Sadr, but a proxy nonetheless.  The Kurds are in danger in all three countries as Erdogan of Turkey allies himself more closely with Iran.  The Kurds sure seem to deserve independence, but how could we actually ally ourselves with them?  What a nasty conflict to get dragged into once a Kurdish independence movement across those three countries morphs into an actual war.


    MoQ is dead and gone, but unanswered for me is why now ? A billion dollars bought us what exactly?
    Why did Scotland release al-Megrahi?
    Why are there any troops in Uganda?
    My understanding of the withdrawal of troops from Iraq is due to failed negotiations between al-Malaki and the administration. al-Malaki demanded that any remaining troops would come under the legal system (?) in Iraq. If anyone can shed any light on any of these questions….

  • Danny Lemieux

    Hmmm, another question: now that Ghadaffi is dead, does Switzerland get to keep his money?


    …now that Ghadaffi is dead, does Switzerland get to keep his money?
    It’s rumored that he (MoQ) stashed $200 billion somewhere.
    Have we tracked Mubarak’s stash of cash?
    While we’re discussing money…will we continue to fund Iraq after we leave?

  • http://ymarsakar.wordpress.com Ymarsakar

    I speculate now that Obama has given terrorists a great helping hand, Obama will transition to the next stage in engineered collapse of the US. Now that terrorism is now such a larger threat to the US, Obama will call for emergency rule, semi-martial la, and other “sacrifices” deemed necessary for US security.

    Or he can go play golf until the elections.

    Which one do you think is the safer bet? 

  • Mike Devx

    Ymar asks: Which one do you think is the safer bet?

    I don’t see Obama moving towards martial law.  I think he’s going to try to eke out a win instead.  Or there will be some other kind of nasty September/October surprise in 2012 that he and those behind him believe they can use as a crisis to swing the election to them. 

    The Left isn’t amenable to explicit martial law.  The last time they tried anything like that was with Wilson in 1917.  People who didn’t support Wilson on WWI were beaten in the streets.  That one ran under the guise of patriotism, but it was really fascism: Support Our Great Leader and His War!  Wilson used the same rough tactics actually against women as well when he tried to suppress the suffragette movement.  It *is* violence and the threat of violence that they relied on then, and that Obama could attempt to rely on now.  You hear the rhetoric right now setting up support for their violence in 2012; they easily could move into actual violence at some point as summer begins next year.

    Obama “going golfing” throughout 2012 would mean he’s checking out of the game and has given up.  I don’t see that happening either.  That would be too much like Carter “hiding in the Rose Garden”, for which he received huge amounts of criticism.

    Obama just thinks he’s more brilliant and more wonderful than he actually is.  I’m relying on that kind of complacency to help us carry the day in 2012 and deliver a thorough beating to the whole far-left.   As alfonso Rangel said recently on his ZoNation on PJTV, Obama and the presidency itself isn’t so critical, it’s that we need to Nuke The Narrative.  The whole far-left narrative is what Obama perfectly represents.  If our presidential nominee for the GOP is an effective messenger, we not only take down Obama, we Nuke The Narrative too, and that’s so very important.

    So as to your binary choice, Ymar, I’d go with the portion of your first choice, where Obama comes after us with “other sacrifices” deemed necessary for US Security (and Keynesian economic so-called success).   And since I believe the housing/financial crisis was triggered deliberately to erupt in early October of 2008 to ensure his election – it was going to happen no matter what, but the timing of the triggering was under their control – I expect some similar trick to occur in September/October of 2012.


  • Spartacus

    The Brits inked an oil deal with Libya immediately after Megrahi was released.  They denied any quid pro quo… but of course they would deny it.
    And crikey, I hadn’t even stopped to wonder about Qaddafi’s Qash.  But obviously, someone knows where it is (Switzerland?), and it really is a head-scratcher what Rubicon Qaddafi crossed that Assad, or Ahmad’s Dinner Jacket, or several dozen other nasty little dictators haven’t.  That could explain it.  No idea about Mubarak’s Mounds of Millions, either.

  • notomarx

    I am glad Qaddafi is dead, but the method does not sit well with me.  Where is the respect for individual life and the rule of law.  To be killed in battle is one thing, to be brought to trial is another.  The man was an animal and would of killed on the spot but the wildness of blind killing solves one thing but it will feed more killing.  I am for capital punishment but where is the trial.
    We captured Hussian and sent him to trial by his country.  Why is everything the left does so bloody?


    Yes, I knew about the oil for Lockerbie body count, but I am damn sure that dirty deal didn’t get played without the US getting something out of it. It’s the “it” that I don’t know. I am only guessing, but according to my map, Libya is our first foray into N. Africa and now with a 100 (so they say) troops in Uganda (east central Africa) there is more to the eye than I can see without a magnifying glass.


    Suprised? No. Appalled and pissed. Absolutely.
    Afghanistan would support Pakistan in case of military conflict between Pakistan and the United States, Afghan President Hamid Karzai said in an interview to a private Pakistani TV channel broadcast on Saturday.

  • Danny Lemieux

    To tell the truth, SADIE, I assumed that when Obama was elected that he would “lose” the war in Afghanistan but that it was unlikely that he could reverse the win in Iraq. I was far too optimistic. 

    This will be a repeat of the Democrat’s Vietnam-Cambodia-Laos betrayal. 


    ….there is more to the eye than I can see without a magnifying glass.

    I found it.

    “Soros sits on the executive board of an influential “crisis management organization” that recently recommended the U.S. deploy a special advisory military team to Uganda to help with operations and run an intelligence platform, a recommendation Obama’s action seems to fulfill. The president emeritus of that organization, the International Crisis Group, is also the principal author of “Responsibility to Protect,” the military doctrine used by Obama to justify the U.S.-led NATO campaign in Libya.”

    A Who’s Who of vermin. I suggest clicking on the links to: Louise Arbor, Anne Richard and Lynne Davidson.


  • http://ymarsakar.wordpress.com Ymarsakar

    Evil doe what evil is. If an enemy nation ever kidnapped Americans, Obama would support the actions of the enemy nation under the table.