carpet bombing
Libya- stupid is as stupid does

Well, they're at it again: the contempible swine (both politicians and media) that make the big decisions for the rest of us in the west have decided that they are backing Libya's eastern tribes in their rebellion against the Quathafi-led western tribes.

Apart from the obvious problems associated with interfering in the internal affairs of a sovereign state, Daniel Larson mentions some of the more practical problems with this most recent example of neo-colonialist behaviour:

Intervening governments that have committed to providing defense for civilian areas in Libya and enforcing a no-fly zone are now stuck with that commitment for the foreseeable future. That could tie up military resources for as long as the conflict continues, and there’s no telling how long that might be. We can expect to see a lot more agitation from hawks here and in Europe that Gaddafi cannot be allowed to remain in power, and they are likely to see Gaddafi’s acceptance of a cease-fire as an unacceptable maneuver to buy time. Interventionists sold a Libyan war primarily on humanitarian grounds (“saving” Benghazi, etc.), but they will not be satisfied at all by a cessation of hostilities.

The more significant problem is that this has set a precedent that the states that were prepared to intervene in Libya will be expected to do the same in many more cases. An arbitrary, rather odd decision to treat the Libyan civil war as the greatest political crisis in the world will create the expectation of foreign support in other internal conflicts. That is likely to encourage rebellions and civil conflict. If a group believes it can win foreign support and political concessions by provoking a sufficiently brutal crackdown, that will make it more likely to rise up against its government, which may lead to humanitarian catastrophes that the “responsibility to protect” is supposed to prevent.

Apparently, the U.S. fired over 110 Tomahawk cruise missles at Libya on Saturday (at 750,000 USD per missle) and lots more ordinance is on the way. Government spending that even the most tea-steeped teabaggers will agree is money well spent.

Further, some thoughts from Stephen M.Walt:

...despite Obama's declaration that he would not send ground troops into Libya -- a statement made to assuage an overcommitted military, reassure a skeptical public, or both -- what is he going to do if the air assault doesn't work? What if Qaddafi hangs tough, which would hardly be surprising given the dearth of attractive alternatives that he's facing? What if his supporters see this as another case of illegitimate Western interferences, and continue to back him? What if he moves forces back into the cities he controls, blends them in with the local population, and dares us to bomb civilians? Will the United States and its allies continue to pummel Libya until he says uncle? Or will Obama and Sarkozy and Cameron then decide that now it's time for special forces, or even ground troops?


harper pointing at a segull
Harper is at it again

A few years ago, I noted that a) Stephen Harper really likes to point at things when he knows he is being photographed, and b) the Harperites will stop at nothing in their quest for a majority government, including modifying the language in a 1984-esque fashion.

Then, it was "Canada's New Government". Now, it is "The Harper Government".

The last time I heard something this ridiculous, it was the decision to name North York's new main square "Mel Lastman Square" after none other than North York's serving mayor, Mel Lastman.

I can just imagine the conversation between Harper and his eager young lickspittles in the PMO:

Lickspittle #1: Every focus group, every survey shows it. The people love a strong leader!

Lickspittle #2: And how better to remind the little people how strong a leader they have than titling all official Canadian communications from "The Harper Government"?

Lickspittle #1: What could *possibly* go wrong? It's a slam dunk!

Harper (visibly pleased): Well, if it is what the people want...

Lickspittles #1 and #2
: It is! It is!

Harper: Then who am I to deny them? I reluctantly acquiesce to this dignified piece of nation building...

And the rest is history!