Monday, April 18, 2011

Quagmire!

So with rebels and government troops often closely intermingled, NATO airstrikes have turned out to not be the Kha... Qa... Gadhafi-removin' magic wand that the rebels wanted.

(Wait... Airstrikes? Wasn't it just supposed to be a "no-fly zone"? I'm no Curtis LeMay, but I know that "Air Superiority" and "Close Air Support" are not the same mission. Anyhow...)

Anyhow, NATO appears to be unable or unwilling to effect the kind of "no-drive zone" that the rebels seem to want, and they're getting increasingly whiny. In what strikes me as a veiled call to get NATO boots on Libyan ground, Mad Moammar is being accused of genocide and worse:
Earlier, an opposition member said loyalists were using bombs that look like perfume bottles.

Photographs indicated they were shells fired from a grenade launcher that either did not explode on impact or were deliberately masked and placed in populated areas.

The lethal weapons have blown off people's limbs and killed children, the council member said Saturday.

The report came a day after Human Rights Watch reported its members saw three cluster bombs explode Thursday night in a Misrata neighborhood.
Well, heck. Genocide is bad enough, but using cluster bombs? This obviously cannot be allowed to stand! We should get the USAF back in there and cluster bomb them right back! (The US, along with other grown-up countries who actually have militaries that they might need to use, is not a signatory of the Dublin Convention on cluster munitions. It's mostly signed by cheese-eating ex-colonial powers and their ex-colonies; the kind of countries that worry more about winning Miss Congeniality than winning wars...)

I'm taking bets: How long before NATO troops are in ground combat?

21 comments:

Jimmy said...

Giggity!!!

oops, wrong Quagmire.

Joseph said...

I'm taking bets: How long before NATO troops are in ground combat?

I think you mean US troops. We know who Europe expects to foot the bill on this thing, why should THEY pay for THEIR oil when they have US to mortgage it for them?

Tam said...

Joseph,

No, they've been carrying a fair share of the water here.

The frogs have shown plenty willingness to go kill wogs when it's their own interest at stake.

McVee said...

Great, it's been like what, a whole week since O gave the nation a haughty stink eye speech.

Britt said...

Well I think what Joseph means is that the frogs should be carrying all the water. They're the ones who've made the decision to get their oil from Libya, in the main, not us. We are committed to the defense of the Saudis and the Kuwaitis, those are the wogs and the oil fields we're supposed to keep opened. It's not at all right that the US is in charge of keeping everyone else's wogs settled down.

The hypocrisy on this from the left has been pretty breathtaking though. Aside from a few true antiwar diehards, everyone on Team Blue is fully convinced that we have always been at war with Eastasia. Listening to them talk about Libya is like hearing the Iraw arguments, minus the WMD one. You know, the one that provided the whole compelling national interest thing.

The one thing we can take from this whole thing is proof that when certain people say "the will of the international community" they really mean if one country is on board, and it will continue to be a great mystery to me why the nation whose last successful military venture was over two hundred years ago is held in such esteem when it comes to matters of war.

genedunn said...

Hard to fight a war when you ain't got no bullets:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/nato-runs-short-on-some-munitions-in-libya/2011/04/15/AF3O7ElD_story.html

Paul said...

Seems NATO ran Korea and all we got from that is Tae Kwan Do. I don't think this one will yield anything like that.

Shootin' Buddy said...

Did the Libyans blow up the USS Maine, er, I mean the HMS Cornwall yet?

Shootin' Buddy

ASM826 said...

NATO troops and ground combat in the same sentence? That's an oxymoron.

Brian Dunbar said...

Wasn't it just supposed to be a "no-fly zone"? I'm no Curtis LeMay, but I know that "Air Superiority" and "Close Air Support" are not the same mission

No-fly implies blowing up the stuff that enables an air force to fly: fuel, runways, barracks, bars. Not in that order.

It's only a little bit of a stretch to include 'tanks, guns, enemy soldiers' on that list.

Anyway you're not supposed to notice stuff like that. Stop paying attention and watch CNN more.

Anonymous said...

This is the kind of mission the French Foreign Legion was made for.

Gerry

David said...

Quagmire! Quagmire!

Seriously, PresBO thought Kha...Qa...what Tam said...was ready to fall and a few airstrikes would send him scurrying off into exile, resulting in awesome-filled campaign ads in 2012. But he dithered too long and let Kha...Qa...what Tam said get his feet back under him and now it's a full blown civil war. Now the Lightbringer has to figure out a way to wiggle out of it and not look like a wuss.

Too late, once again.

Ken said...

I'm taking bets: How long before NATO troops are in ground combat?

If you include operators as NATO troops, put me down for "two weeks ago."

Seriously, PresBO thought Kha...Qa...what Tam said...was ready to fall and a few airstrikes would send him scurrying off into exile, resulting in awesome-filled campaign ads in 2012.

Pretty much what Bush the Elder thought, and every bit as scurrilous. History doesn't repeat, exactly, but it rhymes.

I tell you whut, Boomhauer, I'm fully on board with the "two wings of the vulture" meme, and about ready to throw in with the secesh.

Bubblehead Les. said...

Bets on when NATO Grounds troops are in Combat? Depends on how long it takes one of the Friends of Barry to get a Billion Dollar No-Bid contract for "Support and Logistics", I'd think. And since Halliburton is Persona Non Gratia...

J.R.Shirley said...

I don't really see the force draw-down many of my Army brothers expect...

Brian Dunbar said...

Seriously, PresBO thought Kha...Qa...what Tam said...was ready to fall and a few airstrikes would send him scurrying off into exile, resulting in awesome-filled campaign ads in 2012. But he dithered too long and let Kha...Qa...what Tam said get his feet back under him

It doesn't matter _when_ we started bombing: air planes cannot win the war.

I don't know who got the President's ear and told him that air power could suddenly do what it has never been able to do. I assume it was a general, but who knows.

Anonymous said...

Twenty-three days, Tam.

Anonymous said...

I'm betting we're already there.

Bill

docjim505 said...

Call it neo-gunboat diplomacy: the idea that you can use military force against uncivilized people (broadly defined as anybody you can easily bully regardless of race, color, or creed)* for your own economic interests IF you can get the "right" international bodies to sign on or IF you can claim "humanitarian interests" with a straight face (keeping a straight face while spouting the most transparent lie marks one as a true statesman).

Except for the gloss of "international sanction" and "humanitarian mission", the only difference between gunboat diplomacy and neo-gunboat diplomacy is the one involved gunboats and Martinis; the other uses jets and laser-guided bombs.

----

(*) "When I came into the army, we were fighting colonial wars. The sort of people we liked to take on were armed with nothing more than guava halves and dried grass." (paraphrase)

Blackadder Goes Forth
ep. 6: "Goodbyeee" (1989). dir. Richard Boden
spoken by Rowan Atkinson

Tam said...

docjim505,

Last time we played bomb tag with the Libyans, the British public got all upset, and P.J. O'Rourke wrote "great powers have been launching punitive expeditions against weedy little countries since... well, at least since the redcoats shot up Lexington and Concord."

docjim505 said...

I wonder how upset the "British public" really was vs. how much the (liberal) British PRESS was. And, of course, the professional anti-American lefties who never miss an opportunity to pile into the streets, wave signs, break stuff, and scream about how eeeeeevil America is, ESPECIALLY when there's an even more eeeeeeeevil Republican cowboy warmonger president in the White House.

Regarding O'Rourke, I like to think that the only thing that really got shot up on that April day were the redcoats!