Posts tagged ‘Libya’

August 31, 2011

How Do You Spell “Deposed Crazy Dictator?”

by Vince


Have you ever seen numerous spellings for the name of the fading leader of Libya?

In Arabic, Qadhafi’s name is spelled القذافي which if you drop the article, means
ق – ذ – ا – ف – ي or q – dh – a – f – i. The “q” letter is almost unique to Arabic (sometimes called “the language of the qaf” — sorry, it’s the language of the dhad, not qaf!) and often transliterated as a “k”, since its pronounciation can be difficult for non-Arabic speakers.

It is standard in classical Arabic and places like Fes in northern Morocco, but northern Egyptians, urban Syrians and others often pronounce this letter as a glottal stop, while southern Egyptians and Bedouins most often pronounce as a “g”, as in “go”. (This is why in Syria upscale Damascenes call the regime “the government of the Qaf”, because pronouncing the letter is a country bumpkin thing to do, and Eastern Sunnis and Alawites — long dominant in the regime — often do it). Hence you see Qadhafi, Kadhafi or Gadhafi. The “dh” sound also has no equivalent in many languages as a standalone letter, and to top it off is made emphatic by a shedda — a kind of accent that indicates the letter should be doubled, which is why academics use the unwieldy “Qadhdhafi.” And the “dh” is often not pronounced as such — in most colloquial Arabics, it is pronounced “d”. I’m not sure why it might be pronounced “th”, but perhaps this was used in Qadhafi’s passport because it is close to the English sound in “the”, which sounds very much like “dh”.

H/T: The Dish

June 24, 2011

Ripping Obama to Shreds

by Vince

Victor Davis Hanson does a great job of it:

Barack Obama’s cries from the heart as a senator about the possibility of a Bush intervention in Iran being a de facto violation of the War Powers Act have been widely circulated — juxtaposed to his sophistic gymnastics about bombs over Libya not really being much more than “kinetic action” and thus exempt from the Act. Then we have another doublet with Hillary Clinton, who said this month:

. . . the bottom line is, whose side are you on? Are you on Qadhafi’s side or are you on the side of the aspirations of the Libyan people and the international coalition that has been created to support them?

Yet said in May 2003 in the context of Iraq:

I am sick and tired of people who say that if you debate and you disagree with this administration somehow you’re not patriotic. We should stand up and say we are Americans and we have a right to debate and disagree with any administration.

The point is not that the Obama administration is two-faced, hypocritical, and shameless. Most administrations are; they act quite differently once they are in the White House and governance requires adult responsibility quite different from the cheap rhetoric of the campaign trail.

Rather, the significance in Obama’s case is twofold: Obama suffers the wages of hypocrisy far more keenly because he set himself up as a new-style politician, promising to buck the “establishment” with his hope-and-change agenda, only to govern in the worst style of a Chicago brass-knuckles machine-made pol, humiliating those who actually believed the planet-cooling/seas-receding nonsense of 2008.

Second, Obama has utterly embarrassed the entire liberal attack on the Bush’s administration’s efforts in Iraq and against terrorism. The venom between 2003 and 2008 was both cruel and nasty, and yet it was always presented as principled rather than partisan, not a grasp for power but the product of deeper respect for the American civic traditions. Now we see that entire era as a complete fraud — on matters of dissent, skepticism of the War Powers Act, Guantanamo, renditions, tribunals, preventive detention, wiretaps, intercepts, Iraq, and predator targeted assassination. The hysterical commentary was never based on the merits of those acts, but simply because George Bush, a political opponent, embraced them. How do we know this? Through hypocritical couplets like those above — and the almost complete silence of the antiwar Left. Where now is Cindy Sheehan, the award-winning Michael Moore, the New York Times discounted ads to Moveon.org, the impassioned floor speeches from a Senator Reid or Kerry?

That is the real legacy of the Obama administration: In a way the most extreme right-wing nut could not, Obama has humiliated, embarrassed, and rendered bankrupt seven years of prior dissent, showing it up for what it was all along.

No words or comments on my end could follow up that assault.

June 21, 2011

Barack W. Obama and Libya

by Vince


“Obama displays one of the worst tendencies of his predecessor. Yale law professor Jack Balkin has a superb post illuminating the convergence of White House occupants 43 and 44. “There is almost always a prominent and skillful lawyer in the Administration who will tell the President pretty much what he wants to hear,” he writes. “If the President can simply canvas the opinions of enough such lawyers he is not restrained very much by the law.”

Conor Friedersdorf gives quite a few reasons to reconsider voting for Barack in a year:

In critiquing Bush’s policies, Obama articulated the value of adhering to protocol even in trying times, the folly of circumventing the law, and the importance of reestablishing its rule. Thus the promise his presidency held. Over the last two years, the promise has faded. Obama failed to close Guantanamo Bay, persisted in legally questionable spying on American citizens, made himself complicit in the mistreatment of Bradley Manning, pushed for the re-authorization of the PATRIOT Act without common sense provisions to protect civil liberties, and asserted the right to assassinate American citizens without due process. These aren’t small matters. Civil libertarians have long been outraged.

May 26, 2011

Arab Spring Wrap-Up

by Vince

This doesn’t mean it’s over, but just a general wrap-up of what has gone down so far.

May 26, 2011

Picture of the Day

by Vince

Pictured: Libyan men react as the main fuel depot in Misrata, Libya burns after a bombing by pro-Qaddafi forces early Saturday, May 7, 2011. Witnesses say Qaddafi forces have bombed the main fuel depot in Misrata, intensifying the regime’s campaign against the rebel-held city that has been under siege for over two months. (AP Photo/ Ricardo Garcia Vilanova)

April 1, 2011

Rand Paul: Newt Gingrich Has More Positions On Libya Than He’s Had Wives

by Vince

This is an epic quote from Rand Paul:

>PAUL: I was happy to see that Newt Gingrich has staked out a position on the war, a position, or two, or maybe three. I don’t know. I think he has more war positions than he’s had wives. […]

There’s a big debate over there. Fox News can’t decide, what do they love more, bombing the Middle East or bashing the president? It’s like I was over there and there was an anchor going, they were pleading, can’t we do both? Can’t we bomb the Middle East and bash the president at the same time? How are we going to make this work?

Rand Paul continues to surprise me, especially with his shots at Fox News. I am starting to like him more and more.

H/T: Outside the Beltway

March 31, 2011

Political Cartoon of the Day

by Vince

H/T: Tony Auth

March 29, 2011

The Obama Doctrine

by Vince

PM Carpenter explains how we wish things were with foreign interventions:

I suppose at the root of such resistance is an aversion to human ambiguity. We don’t want answers so much as we demand predeterminations; we’d like to think that global politics and its occasional corollary of regional conflict resemble a kind of preestablished moral physics. Event A occurs, which sparks B, which then results in C — each and every time.

This we demand — or I should say, some demand it — of commanders in chief. Unfortunately they sometimes deliver it, even though each Event A is distinguishable from other Events A, which either should or should not spark B.

Not to go all Rumsfeldian on you, but how is one to know, until A happens and all its knowable elements are known?

He goes on to connect it to the Bible:

Yet what strikes me as most incongruent is that so many of our yearning, anguished absolutists of doctrinaire diplomacy are undoubtedly also Sunday religionists who somehow find peace and mental comfort in worldly contradictions of literally biblical proportions. Their Judeo-Christian God wasn’t — and still isn’t, I assume, since He has sent unto us no exacting editors — fussy about consistency; He could say one thing one millennium and the confounding opposite the next, yet somehow it all blends together in acceptable text.

In other words, they cut God some slack, but for this U.S. president, they don’t.

I disagree with his 2nd point but his first point provides clarity to many of our inner desires.

March 29, 2011

President Obama on U.S. Intervention in Libya

by Vince

Watch, enjoy, discuss, and get informed.

March 26, 2011

Tell Me Why, Barack.

by Vince

He gives his reasoning behind intervening in Libya, but I still want to know why not also intervene in the Ivory Coast, Bahrain (here, here, here, and here), Yemen (here, here, here, here, here, here) , SyriaIran (2 years ago – here, here, here), Congo, or even Burma?

My lighter side says that maybe I should just be ok with the fact that the U.S. is intervening somewhere and not standing idly. I then think about the other two quagmires we are in and sigh.

On a lighter and related note, this is amazing.

March 24, 2011

Qaddafi’s Supporters v. Glenn Beck

by Vince

And we think Glenn Beck has lost his mind with his 15 chalk boards, suggestions to stock up on canned food and gold, and his progressive conspiracy theory. Then I see the above:

I’m not saying that the news on Libyan State TV is far from “fair and balanced”, but this fellow seems to out-do even Mr Glenn Beck for a unique perspective on events. In the middle of the news, he pulls out an AK-47 and declares, “In the name of Almighty God, I pledge to you, my Dear Leader, that I will sacrifice my last breath, my last bullet, my last drop of blood, last baby and child for you.”

March 24, 2011

Palin: ‘I’m Through Whining about a Liberal Press’

by Vince

So she says:

Remarking that “women are held to a different standard in all areas,” including politics, Sarah Palin talked yesterday about how she will not focus on the unfairness of double standards.

“My point is going to be ‘so what?’ Let’s just work harder, produce more, produce better, and get over it,” Palin told Fox News host Greta Van Susteren. “I am through whining about a liberal press that holds especially conservative women to a different standard because it doesn’t do me any good to whine about it. I’ve made my point.”

Can Katrina Trinko at the National Review honestly post this without calling for a bullshit alert? Palin sure doesn’t need the title of President of the United States to make a name for herself and then label it “change”. Her whole image is based off of attacking and whining about being attacked by the “liberal media” (or in her words, the lame stream media).

Outside the Beltway has the video of this crap by Palin.

March 24, 2011

Political Cartoon of the Day

by Vince

H/T: Tony Auth

March 23, 2011

Wait What? of the day

by Vince

“I think I probably have more experience of anybody… I dealt with Gaddafi. I rented him a piece of land. He paid me more for one night than the land was worth for two years, and then I didn’t let him use the land. That’s what we should be doing. I don’t want to use the word ‘screwed’, but I screwed him.” –Donald Trump, yesterday morning on Fox & Friends.

H/T: The Pajama Pundit

March 22, 2011

Ranking Our Foreign Priorities

by Vince

Jeffrey Goldberg gives a great top 7 analysis.

March 22, 2011

What are we doing?

by Vince

Charles Krauthammer (usually a war hawk) has some good words for our new war in Libya:

I would simply say the United States is not omnipotent. If we were, we would be everywhere, and we would be consistent, and we would stop every slaughter on the planet, and we would be in the Congo right now. And why aren’t we in the Ivory Coast? Ivory Coast had an election, the dictator lost the election, he refused to accept the other side, he’s been shooting people in the streets. I mean, where are we going to go with this? I think you have to have two things in order to act. You have to have a moral justification, you’re protecting slaughter, maybe preventing a genocide. But you also have to have a strategic rationale. Otherwise, we will spend ourselves into penury, into destitution, and into very great sorrow by deploying all over the world. So I mean, it seems to me we have to be extremely hard-headed as well as idealistic about this. You have to have a moral rationale and a strategic one. If you only have one and not the other, you don’t act.

H/T: Andrew Sullivan

March 21, 2011

$81 million spent yesterday…

by Vince

on 110 bombs for our new war against Libya:

A Tomahawk Missile cost $569,000 in FY99, so if my calculations are correct, they cost a little over $736,000 today assuming they are the same make and model. The United States fired 110 missiles yesterday, which adds up to a cost of around $81 million. That’s twice the size of the annual budget of USIP, which the House of Representatives wants to de-fund, and is about 33 times the amount of money National Public Radio receives in grants each year from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, which the House of Representatives also wants to de-fund in the name of austerity measures.

March 16, 2011

A Neocon Said What!?

by Vince

“What really increases terrorist recruitment is invading Muslim countries, killing Muslims there, and staying to try to build Western democracies.”

So said Andy McCarthy over at the National Review. Is the hubris gig up?

March 6, 2011

Political Cartoon of the Day

by Vince

H/T: Tony Auth

February 20, 2011

From Inside Libya…

by Vince

The last plea on the phone from the caller eerily is lingering in my head.

Much more here.

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