“Soft despotism is a term coined by Alexis de Tocqueville describing the state into which a country overrun by "a network of small complicated rules" might degrade. Soft despotism is different from despotism (also called 'hard despotism') in the sense that it is not obvious to the people."

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

We are in Libya for Strictly Humanitarian Reasons

Hat Tip: Doug


  1. Cui Bono?

    Good job, Doug. Great map.

  2. I'm gonna bet that Khaddafi was threatening to sell that light sweet to China.

    We've upgraded most of our refineries to where they can process the heavy, sour crap from Venezuela, and Saudi Arabia. I don't think the French, and Italians (and English) have.

    They still need that light, sweet such as is found in Libya.

  3. The prices of coal, and nat gas aren't spiking this time like they did during the last oil spike, and I think I know why.

    Wind, and Solar are starting to "catch hold."

    Alternatives work; that's why the fossil fuel companies, and their sock-puppets are spending millions daily in their massive, global disinformation/lobbying campaign to discredit, and destroy them.

    They're in the middle of a monumental campaign in Congress to try to kill cellulosic ethanol. Coburn (from Oklahoma, natch) is leading the charge.

    They could set us back ten years, and cause us untold hardship if they are successful. And, there's a 50/50 chance they will be.

  4. But our longevity keeps going up.

    Though Obamacare might take care of that

  5. it occurred to me last night that the speech Obama gave will come back to haunt him. He took full possession and he will certainlyhave to live with bothe the consequences and the youtube videos of his speech:

    WASHINGTON – President Barack Obama wanted to tell a hesitant America why he launched a military assault in Libya, and he wanted to describe it on his terms — limited, sensible, moral and backed by international partners with the shared goal of protecting Libyans from a ruthless despot.
    Trouble is, the war he described Monday doesn't quite match the fight the United States is in.
    It also doesn't line up with the conflict Obama himself had seemed to presage, when he expressly called for Moammar Gadhafi's overthrow or resignation. Obama's stated goals stop well short of that. And although Obama talked of the risks of a long war, he did not say just when or on what terms the United States would leave Libya.
    Obama never directly mention the Libyan rebels seeking Gadhafi's overthrow, even though the heavy U.S.-led firepower trained on Gadhafi's forces has allowed those rebels to regain momentum and push toward Gadhafi's territory.
    "We have intervened to stop a massacre," Obama said.
    Ten days into a conflict many Americans say they do not understand, Obama laid out a moral imperative for intervening against a murderous tyrant, and doing so without the lengthy international dithering that allowed so much blood to be spilled in Bosnia. His address at the National Defense University echoed campaign rhetoric about restoring U.S. moral pride of place after squandering it in Iraq.

  6. OOPS. Speakin' a de Debil.

    Rebels on the Run

    (sounds like an early 60's rock song)

    The "rebels" are getting their asses handed to them in some Godforsaken town over there.

    The "road to Tripoli" just got a lot tougher, it seems.

  7. This aint about oil folks...

    It's about Obama's plan to make islamists government's legit.

    Notice the pattern of "secular" dictators being brought down and now the "people powered" democratic islamic nations are being formed?

    This is all setting the stage to bring about the birth of

    Hamas and Obama are not strangers. Obama violated US LAW and met with Hamas BEFORE being elected as POTUS.

    This was and is impeachable.

    He will not be impeached. He is changing the direction of US policy. He supports the concept of a Caliphate.

  8. There does seem to be a "pattern" there, Whit.

    We better get our Army out of Afghanistan mucho quicko.

    It's likely to be needed elsewhere fairly soon.

  9. I dunno, call me cynical if you like but OIL, black gold, bubblin' crude seems to play a decisive role in US foreign actions these days as opposed to the lovely rhetoric of 'freedom'. All those places to choose from for our interventions but it must be coincidence that OIL just happens to be there.

  10. ahhhh google doesn't like my post. Try again:

    2 sides of the same coin:

    BUSH: “Our country has accepted obligations that are difficult to fulfill, and would be dishonorable to abandon. Yet because we have acted in the great liberating tradition of this nation, tens of millions have achieved their freedom. And as hope kindles hope, millions more will find it.”

    OBAMA: “For generations, the United States of America has played a unique role as an anchor of global security and as an advocate for human freedom. Mindful of the risks and costs of military action, we are naturally reluctant to use force to solve the world’s many challenges. But when our interests and values are at stake, we have a responsibility to act.”


    BUSH: “America will not impose our own style of government on the unwilling. Our goal instead is to help others find their own voice, attain their own freedom, and make their own way.”

    OBAMA: “The United States will not be able to dictate the pace and scope of this change. Only the people of the region can do that. But we can make a difference.”


    BUSH: “We will persistently clarify the choice before every ruler and every nation: The moral choice between oppression, which is always wrong, and freedom, which is eternally right. America will not pretend that jailed dissidents prefer their chains, or that women welcome humiliation and servitude, or that any human being aspires to live at the mercy of bullies.”

    OBAMA: “We must stand alongside those who believe in the same core principles that have guided us through many storms: our opposition to violence directed at one’s own people; our support for a set of universal rights, including the freedom for people to express themselves and choose their leaders; our support for governments that are ultimately responsive to the aspirations of the people.


    BUSH: “All who live in tyranny and hopelessness can know: the United States will not ignore your oppression, or excuse your oppressors. When you stand for your liberty, we will stand with you.”

    OBAMA: “Born, as we are, out of a revolution by those who longed to be free, we welcome the fact that history is on the move in the Middle East and North Africa, and that young people are leading the way. Because wherever people long to be free, they will find a friend in the United States.”


    BUSH: “America has need of idealism and courage, because we have essential work at home – the unfinished work of American freedom. In a world moving toward liberty, we are determined to show the meaning and promise of liberty.”

    OBAMA: “Our strength abroad is anchored in our strength here at home. That must always be our North Star — the ability of our people to reach their potential, to make wise choices with our resources, to enlarge the prosperity that serves as a wellspring for our power, and to live the values that we hold so dear.”


    BUSH: “We are led, by events and common sense, to one conclusion: The survival of liberty in our land increasingly depends on the success of liberty in other lands. The best hope for peace in our world is the expansion of freedom in all the world.”

    OBAMA: “For generations, we have done the hard work of protecting our own people, as well as millions around the globe. We have done so because we know that our own future is safer, our own future is brighter, if more of mankind can live with the bright light of freedom and dignity.”

  11. and now the reference

  12. We'll be in Saudi Arabia within a year.

    And, once there, we WILL be there Forever. Or, at least, 50 Years.

  13. In a sense we are already there rufus - it is a region split up by arbitrary lines drawn on the map by the Brits. Just another front in the same old war. The oil wars.

  14. Yeah, you're right, Ash. The "Iraq" War was much more about Saudi Arabia than it ever was Iraq.

  15. The road to Tripoli may be quite hard, when the rebs get into the other side's tribal areas.

    Who are the rebs? Maybe WiO has pointed out a pattern here.



    Hillary's War - Article argues we be aiding the jihadis.


    And an interesting article about assassination plots in days gone by.

  18. .

    I've recently read articles indicating South Carolina is one of the best states to live in. Weather, employment, health facilities, taxes, etc.

    However, it may be the following that convinces me to move there.

    COLUMBIA, S.C. — South Carolina lawmakers are taking a stand in favor of states' lights.
    With incandescent bulbs being phased out under federal law in favor of energy-efficient compact fluorescents, legislators want to exempt South Carolina from the measure, saying Washington has no business telling the state how to light its closets and countertops...

    South Carolina lawmakers have a long history of going against the federal government. In the past year they have taken up bills to stall federal health care legislation and create their own currency. Before that, of course, came slavery, states' rights, secession and the Civil War, as well as a century of foot-dragging on segregation, seat belts, drunken driving and the drinking age..."

    You Can Have My Incandescent Bulbs When You Pry Them From My Cold Dead Hands


  19. The light is horrible and out of spectrum for anything other than perhaps an operating room.

  20. As I have told you all, the US is allied with Islam, Lord have mercy, the unwashed are finally getting the message.

    Open your ears and eyes, fellas.

    It is nothing new, the US has been allied with Islam, actively, for at least the past nine years.
    Passively since FDR met with the King of Saudi Arabia, in Egypt, way back when.

  21. Marines Headed for Libya

    Uh huh.

    2,200 jarheads, to be armed with fly swatters to make Libya a no fly zone.

  22. Those Marines, rufus, are headed to the Med, not Libya per se.

    That they are rotating early, no big deal.

    They'll be home all that much sooner, leaving now, instead of later this year, as originally scheduled.

    The US maintains a Task Force in the Med, that is just more of the same, not change.

  23. Just as was figured:

    Bloomberg - Libya Mission Cost at $550 Million for U.S. Forces So Far -

  24. I've heard reports that jihadis are being recruited from all over the islamic whirled to repel the infidels from the islamic lands of N. Africa, aka, the Maghrib.

  25. Speedos, and suntan lotion.

    Until one of them C130 Gunships gets shot down. Then things gets busy.

  26. Just another day, for those Marines.

    They were going on that cruise, regardless of what is happening in Libya.
    Changed the scheduled departure date, but nothing else, and as we both know, deployment schedules are always flexible.

  27. Now, Spectre gunships and Warthogs, they do not have much to do with keeping the Colonel's planes and copters on the ground.

    They really do bring hellfire to their targets, on the ground.
    Who's to say about brimstone, let alone redemption, though.

  28. The censorship of the Whirled Wide Web continues.

    BBC News -

    Facebook has removed a page calling for a new Palestinian uprising against Israel after more than 350000 people signed up to it. The page which appeared on the social networking site was called Third Palestinian Intifada after two previous uprisings ...

    Seen in Egypt, now in the US.
    Little wonder, what with Mr Gibbs going to work there, at Facebook.

  29. A firm President Obama gave one of the most detailed foreign policy speeches of his presidency on Monday, laying out a broad philosophy for the looming conflicts in the Middle East while responding directly to his critics on Libya.

    Much of the coverage of the speech will be devoted to what Obama said in response to those critics, and it was noteworthy, to be sure.

    But perhaps more long-lasting and significant were his more general remarks about foreign policy. As America deals with increasing uncertainty in many places overseas, Obama took the opportunity to set forth his agenda going forward and tried to clarify why some nations rise to the level of U.S. involvement, while others do not.

    Obama irritated both extremes by going into Libya (liberals disapproved) but not aiming for Moammar Gaddafi’s ouster (conservatives disapproved).


    Fifty percent of Americans in a new Pew poll said the mission in Libya is not defined, while 39 percent say it is.


    Obama is less than three weeks away from announcing his reelection campaign, according to the National Journal.

    Obama Doctrine

  30. Last night, Baroness Warsi, the Muslim cabinet minister and co-chairman of the Conservatives, said the comments about the composition of the rebel force were "very concerning".


    William Hague, the Foreign Secretary, sought to play down the concerns, welcoming a document from opposition leaders backing the creation of a free democracy in Libya. He said that there was a greater risk of terrorist threats if Britain and other countries did not intervene.

    But, Mr Hague said: "We can never be complacent about the way events like this could turn out … Of course, there is a danger, if things go wrong in the region on a sustained basis, there could be opportunities for terrorism."

    NATO Chief Fears

  31. What is not in doubt is that since the uprising various al-Qaeda spokesmen have surfaced to condemn Col Gaddafi's dictatorship and call for the creation of an Islamic state. And last week Abdel-Hakim al-Hasidi, a prominent Libya rebel leader, admitted to an Italian newspaper that many of the jihadists who had fought allied troops in Iraq were now fighting to overthrow Gaddafi's regime.

    The presence of al-Qaeda sympathisers on the front lines of Libya's rebel movement is certainly an unwelcome development for David Cameron and the other Western leaders who have publicly declared that they want to see Col Gaddafi removed from office.

    Getting rid of the Libyan leader makes sense for the West only if he is replaced by a pro-Western, secular government that is committed to the democratic process. But if his removal results in the creation of a militant Islamic state on the oil-rich shores of North Africa, then the West will have scored a spectacular own goal.

    al-Qaeda Among Rebels

  32. A 12 year-old Dutch schoolgirl gave birth to a baby girl during a school trip, according to local health services.

    "Neither the girl nor her family had realised she was pregnant, and there were no external signs to show it," a spokesman for the health services said, adding he did not know how many months pregnant the girl had been.

  33. A German boy who tossed a message in a bottle off a ship in the Baltic 24 years ago has finally received an answer.

    A 13-year-old Russian, Daniil Korotkikh, was walking with his parents on a beach when he saw something glittering lying in the sand.

    24 Years

  34. A higher open is projected Wednesday for Australia stocks. Traders saw Wall Street stocks move broadly higher overnight, despite more weak data on the US housing market.

    Commodities prices were mixed, giv ing no strong direction to Australia's key resources sector.

    On Tuesday, Australia's share market recovered from early losses to close with a gain.

    Australia Shares

  35. Time for some Good news. Nine Republicans joined with the Dems in California to pass a Historic Vote to Require 33% of Electricity to come from Renewables.

    They are already generating 20% of their Electricity with Renewables.

    Twenty Percent, Bubba - in the World's Eighth Largest Economy.

    Oh, and Hydro, and Nuclear aren't counted.

  36. I, also, read, and posted a while back that of the 3 large utilities in Los Angeles, the one with the Most Renewable inputs, also had the Cheapest Electric Rates.

    Wind, and Solar, Bubbas. And Biomass for Ethanol. It's what's for the future.

  37. Meanwhile, China Leads the Pack.

    Most installed, most added, most production, yada, yada, yada.

    China invested $54 Billion last year. Germany invested $41 Billion. We came in 3rd at $34 Billion.

  38. F to efforts to repeal North Carolina's push for more renewable energy and energy efficiency. GOP Rep. George Cleveland has introduced a bill that calls for immediate repeal of Senate Bill 3 from the legislative 2007-08 session, which requires power companies to meet 12.5 percent of customer electricity demand through renewables and conservation by 2021.

    Report Card

  39. I'm waiting for the first reports of humanitarian slaughters by the rebs of folk from Qadafi's tribe. In the end maybe more folks will be dead because of our fooling around than would have been the case otherwise.


  40. March 29, 2011Gaddafi forces push Libya rebels back to Bin Jawad
    Angus Macswan
    BIN JAWAD, Libya (Reuters) - Muammar Gaddafi's forces attacked rebel fighters with a hail of machinegun and rocket fire on Tuesday, prompting a panicked, chaotic retreat to the town of Bin Jawad, a Reuters witness said.

    Rebel fighters waiting on the open desert road leaped behind dunes and mounds of earth and shot at the Gaddafi troops as they arrived.

    As the onslaught grew, the rebels ran to their pick-up trucks and sped off down the road to Bin Jawad, about 150 km (100 miles) east of Gaddafi's home town of Sirte.

    Bullets zipped overhead and shells landed on and near the road as they retreated, said a Reuters correspondent following the convoy.

    Gaddafi forces appeared to end their attack several kilometers west of Bin Jawad and the rebels stopped in the town to wait and regroup.

    The rebel fighters had raced along the coastline retaking several oil towns after Western warplanes began air strikes on Gaddafi positions in the east and west of the desert country on March 19.

    But their charge westwards met resistance as they neared Sirte. Gaddafi forces used rockets, rocket propelled grenades and medium-caliber weapons to push them back to the small town of Nawfaliyah.

    Tuesday began with Gaddafi's forces firing heavy artillery toward the rebels waiting east of Nawfaliyah. Dozens of civilians fled the scene in cars.

    Some residents had fired on the retreating rebels from their houses in support of the pro-Gaddafi forces, said Ashraf Mohammed, a 28 year old rebel wearing a bandolier of machine gun bullets.

    "This is a problem road," said 28-year-old rebel officer Hamad al-Awani, who appeared to be in charge of the group. "Yesterday we were hit by Gaddafi so we pulled back."

    Fleeing Nawfaliyah in a taxi, 49-year-old resident Mustafa Moussa said Gaddafi forces appeared to control the town and were backed up by armed militias formed of local residents.

  41. Later Tuesday, though, NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen questioned whether the UN resolution would allow arming of the rebels. In an interview on Sky News, he said that the task was not arming people but protecting them.

    On the sidelines of the London conference, Libya's Interim Transitional National Council (ITNC), representing the rebels, said they would welcome the supply of arms to opposition groups fighting Gaddafi in Libya.

    'We ask for political support more than arms, but if we could get both it would be great,' said Mahmoud Shammam, press spokesman for the Council.

    Libyan Rebels

  42. US President Barack Obama hasn't ruled out arming Libyan rebels as they seek to make territorial gains and overthrow Muammar Gaddafi.

    "I'm not ruling it out. But I'm also not ruling it in.

  43. Quote of the day:

    ...from Jimmy Fallon . . . referring to Prince William's
    bachelor party:

    "It's gotta be weird stuffing money into a stripper's
    bikini when every bill has a photo of your grandmother printed on

  44. Obama's to speak on Energy, tomorrow. De debil is in de details, but what I've read makes a little sense.

    More Driling, More Nat Gas, More Wind, and Solar, More Ethanol