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Passions in Poetry

Obama (Superman)

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moonbeam
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0 posted 03-18-2011 06:10 AM       View Profile for moonbeam   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for moonbeam

Just to say I really think that Obama's performance recently over Libya has been exemplary.  The intelligence and political acumen of the guy is phenomenal.  He could have waded in with all guns blazing (as his predecessor would have done) and got everyone's backs up (because after all, let's face it, after Bush's performance the US wasn't ever going to win the Miss World Tactful Competition).  

Instead of which he hung back, worked behind the scenes, and now lo and behold we have an unopposed UN Security Council resolution to kick that vicious thug Gaddafi's ass.  

The man is simply awesome, and I love him to bits.
serenity blaze
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1 posted 03-18-2011 11:15 PM       View Profile for serenity blaze   Email serenity blaze   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for serenity blaze

I think I have trust issues.

moonbeam
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2 posted 03-19-2011 05:11 AM       View Profile for moonbeam   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for moonbeam

Of course you have trust issues.

Let's face it, you would be foolish not to have trust issues.

Any set of people in a weaker position than any other set of people (human nature being what it is) would be foolish not to be wary.

But then, as Balladeer pointed out "the proof is in the pudding" - and so far the pudding is wayy better than that served up by other recent incumbents imho.


Uncas
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3 posted 03-19-2011 09:10 AM       View Profile for Uncas   Email Uncas   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Uncas

Obama has gone down in my estimation.

Interfering in the internal conflicts in Libya is a mistake in my view but even if Obama believes it's the right thing to do he still loses points for inconsistency.

I can understand doing nothing, I can even understand doing something but I can't understand doing nothing in the Ivory Coast, Sudan, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia and something in Libya - where's the consistency?

.
Bob K
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4 posted 03-19-2011 03:40 PM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K



     When I was a kid, I used to think my parents were all powerful.  I must admit, they tried their best to be.  They were limited by money, among other things.  I used to think my country was all powerful as well, but I have an understanding at this point that we are limited by, among other things, money as well.  Not to mention that having the power to destroy something, which we do have, is not the same as having the power to make everything right.

     We have only a limited understanding of what is right, in many cases, though we may believe we know more than that.  And our ability to guide the world there is fragile.  We argue with others about this all the time.

     Why would we be able to adopt or even afford Uncas' list of interventions in the world?  And who says that the attempt wouldn't destroy the world instead of saving it?  I have my own silly list, and so did George Bush.  Everybody has a list.  Why is your list better? Puh-leez, Louise!
Essorant
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5 posted 03-19-2011 03:53 PM       View Profile for Essorant   Email Essorant   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Essorant's Home Page   View IP for Essorant

I think the resolution is right in every way.  I admire Obama and Sarkozy for leading and helping put it forth so strongly.   Hesitation and words can't continue forever when you are dealing with someone that is murdering his own people.  
Uncas
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6 posted 03-19-2011 03:53 PM       View Profile for Uncas   Email Uncas   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Uncas


My list is very short - in fact there's only one country on it - my own.

Uncas
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7 posted 03-19-2011 04:53 PM       View Profile for Uncas   Email Uncas   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Uncas


The rebels are doing their fair share of murdering too Ess, there are confirmed reports that the rebels are targeting black Africans as well as any government supporters  they happen to come across.

But it gets worse. Everyone's now talking about arming the rebels and reducing the capability of the government forces in a bid to encourage a rebel push towards Tripoli where they can eradicate any pro-government supporters and ultimately topple the government. I may be wrong but that sounds way beyond a peacekeeping role to me.

Presumably, rebels' killing Libyan civilians is ok.

In the next 24-48 hours I believe that US ships will launch cruise missiles to take out Libyan air defence positions situated in heavily built up areas, there will obviously be unavoidable civilian casualties.

Presumably, the US killing Libyan civilians is ok too.

All this to protect the rebels from east Libya, the enemy of my enemy and all that stuff, well there's a slight issue with that notion. Did you know that the rebel strongholds in east Libya account for one in five of every foreign fighter currently operating in Iraq? They would be the same foreign fighters who are busily killing American soldiers. It's only a guess but what are the chances that they may turn out to be worse than the devil we know?

serenity blaze
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8 posted 03-19-2011 06:20 PM       View Profile for serenity blaze   Email serenity blaze   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for serenity blaze

I was jumping around the channels for the evening news--I like to compare p.o.v.--and I landed on BBC news.

Unlike here in the States, their lead story was Tunisia.

Blame it on Tunisia. Attidude is contagious.

moonbeam
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9 posted 03-19-2011 06:35 PM       View Profile for moonbeam   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for moonbeam

Serenity - wayy to go!  The good old BBC, can't better it.  Ummmmm ...

I don't often disagree with Uncas, but really, "consistency" in foreign policy!!!??  You ARE joking aren't you?  Anyway I always agree with William Hague, and it was his idea to go in in the first place.  But seriously, as someone said on the Today prog this morning, how do you NOT intervene when you have a more or less unopposed international mandate to do so?  

Is that the case with all the other instances you cite?

Anyway Gaddafi is a horrible man.
Uncas
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10 posted 03-19-2011 07:01 PM       View Profile for Uncas   Email Uncas   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Uncas


I've got a pretty much unopposed mandate to paint my new garage luminous green, the kids don't care and usually don't vote and the wife has promised not to veto any colour as long as I paint the darn thing tomorrow.

I'm not going to do it though - because:

A -  it's a stupid idea
And
B - I know I'll regret it later.


Denise
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11 posted 03-19-2011 07:52 PM       View Profile for Denise   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Denise

Agreeing with Uncas here. The rebels we are encouraging and facilitating are some of the ones from East Libya who were responsible for killing U.S. troops in Iraq. And they are Islamists. In all the photos I have seen of the insurgents they are all waving the Islamic Crescent flag.

My previous suspicions are being strenghtened. If the rebels/insurgents/protestors are Islamists we are on their side against their secular dictators/rulers, as in Egypt. If they are secular protestors rising up against their Islamist dictators/rulers, as in Iran, we don't offer them encouragement or support...we let them be slaughtered and say we can't involve ourselves in the affairs of a sovereign nation.

smh
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/03/19/extremists-among-libya-rebels_n_837894.html
Brad
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12 posted 03-20-2011 04:26 AM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Brad

quote:
Just to say I really think that Obama's performance recently over Libya has been exemplary.  The intelligence and political acumen of the guy is phenomenal.


I agree, MB.

Yet, I also think Denise's suspicions are something to be taken very seriously.  I don't know enough about the people there to be certain of anything at the moment nor do I think morality or consistency (except as a tactic) should be the guiding forces in any country's foreign policy.  All country's should follow their own national interest.  It's easier to predict things that way.

Is this in America's national self interest?

Denise
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13 posted 03-20-2011 07:52 AM       View Profile for Denise   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Denise

Also, I thought Congress was supposed to vote yeah or nay on any U.S. military involvement.
moonbeam
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14 posted 03-20-2011 11:10 AM       View Profile for moonbeam   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for moonbeam

Point taken Uncas - though the parallels are a little dubious.  But I wasn't so much commenting on the rightness or wrongness of the action per se at the start of the thread, as Obama's good judgement in not "doing a Rumsfeld" and charging in, all guns blazing.  

Even now, I wouldn't presume to judge whether it is going to make matters worse or better for the majority of Libyans to go in there and dismantle the regime, I simply don't know enough.  However, it does seem evident to me that having achieved a relatively universal consensus that some action is needed, then some action should be taken.  To do otherwise kind of casts doubt on the value of  the UN and international cooperation; even more doubt than there already is I mean!

....................

On another point.  What is this fixation with using the word "Islamist" as if it is interchangeable with the word "Enemy" (you might just as well say that all Christians are the Enemy).

It's very disparaging to Islam, which is the second largest religion in the world, and one that should, I think, be respected.    

As for "Islamists" taking over the country (deja vu from the Egypt thread in the Alley where it was the Muslim Brotherhood) I just don't see what is productive about an attitude that constantly opposes change from a bad situation simply out of fear of a worse alternative.

In addition, there is a certain segment of society that hankers for the good old days of the bogey man - the "reds under the bed" syndrome.  The need to reinforce a way of life by constantly warning of the dangers of departing from tradition, precedent and the ways of our fathers.  Now that blaming the "reds" for all evils has become patently even more absurd than before, the new monsters to frighten our kids with are the "socialists in the sauna", the "liberals in the library", the "gays in the garret", and of course the "Islamists under the ivy".

It's so destructive to pigeonhole  people into a particular group or religion or sexual orientation, and then label them "bad" simply for being in that grouping.  Recognising that there are always bad and good people (and groups of people) within any set is much more constructive.

So, for instance, of course there have been reports of the rebels killing people and torturing them.  So what?

There will be bad rebels who take advantage of a volatile situation just as there are bad Christian clergy who abuse young children.  It doesn't mean that it's accurate to label all rebels with a derogatory "Islamist", or all Christian clergy "Paedophiles".

..........................

Hi Brad.  Following national interest?  Humm.  Clearly as a matter of principle, a dubious course to chart.  But, yes, as a matter of practical expediency in the continuing chaos that is the world, perhaps the wisest way to proceed.  It's like a soccer game perhaps, where the cleanest and most boring game is produced when all the players know each other well and can predict each other's personal game, passing and tackling with precision because of it.  Thus when you do get a maverick player who is unpredictable, it allows the rest of the players some chance of a "coordinated" response, even if the coordination arises from a perverse kind of self interest.
Denise
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15 posted 03-20-2011 11:57 AM       View Profile for Denise   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Denise

Islamist is the definition of Muslims who believe in and work toward government domination through Sharia Law, ultimately throughout the world, through peacful or violent means, whatever is deemed appropriate in each situation. It isn't just a religion. Religion is just one facet of their system.

I wouldn't be so easily offended on their behalf either. They wouldn't return the favor. Our very existence offends them and they don't respect our values, religious beliefs or way of life.

Islamists are the enemy inasmuch as they want to destroy every other form of government, belief system and way of life worldwide. They are not tolerant and I don't believe it is wise to be tolerant of such an ideology as theirs.
Essorant
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16 posted 03-20-2011 01:08 PM       View Profile for Essorant   Email Essorant   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Essorant's Home Page   View IP for Essorant

Uncas

In my opinion, the wrongs you mention are also a very strong reason WHY they need help.  They need to be helped so they are not as desperate.  The more desperate people are the more likely they may resort to any/every last resort they can, using the worst of things imaginable.   If our countries can help them be less overpowered by a dictator and be less desperate when fighting for something we all deserve, freedom, and they support our help, then I think it is right that we at least do something to try to help them.  
  
Uncas
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17 posted 03-20-2011 02:25 PM       View Profile for Uncas   Email Uncas   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Uncas

Fine Ess, you think we should help the oppressed people overthrow dictators who are committing atrocities against innocent civilians. It's a very noble ideal.

When do we invade China, Yemen, Bahrain, Syria, the Ivory Coast, Sudan, Saudi Arabia, Iran Russia etc. etc?

There's an odd smell of hypocrisy when the US tries to claim the moral high ground while only taking action against leaders they don't like in countries that contain oil.

MB

I thought it was a little ironic that some commentators were demonising the Libyan government and painting them as anti-American to justify the attacks when the rebels are, if anything, about as anti-American as you can get.

Islamists?

If the people of Libya suddenly decide to start worshiping Beelzebub, it really isn't any of my business and, quite frankly, I don't care. I also don't care if one group of Libyans decide to kick lumps out of another group of Libyans either, it'll sort itself out eventually, it has in the past and it will in the future. Will some non-combatants get killed in the crossfire? Sure, and that's unfortunate, but the likelihood is  there'll be a heck of a lot more killed now that the "shock and awe"  brigade are involved. What's the score so far? 48 dead and 150 injured in the missile strikes on day one?

Here's a question for you:

Will the US fire on the rebels if they make aggressive moves towards the Libyan army positions?

I doubt it.

I predict a long drawn out civil war in Libya that forces the US/UN to put troops on the ground and an increase in terrorist activities outside Libya against the nations who are taking part.

Iraq all over again.

.
Denise
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18 posted 03-20-2011 03:50 PM       View Profile for Denise   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Denise

Obama bypassed Congress in doing this, which is unconstitutional. This won't bode well for him in the U.S. It will just highlight his disdain for the Constitutional constraints on government officials.
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19 posted 03-20-2011 06:46 PM       View Profile for Denise   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Denise

quote:
There is a catch: The Security Council is powerless to “authorize” the U.S. military to do a damned thing. The validity of American combat operations is a matter of American law, and that means Congress must authorize them.

Our Constitution vests Congress with the power to declare war. That authority cannot be delegated to an international tribunal that lacks political accountability to the American people. The decision to go to war is the most significant one a body politic can make. Thus the Framers designed our system to make certain that the responsible officials are answerable to the people whose lives are at stake and who are expected to foot the bills.

http://www.nationalreview.com/articles/262547/unwise-and-illegitimate-andrew-c-m ccarthy?page=1
Balladeer
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20 posted 03-20-2011 08:23 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

I find it interesting that anyone who opposed going into Iraq supports our participation in Libya.

"The president does not have the power under the Constitution to unilaterally authorize attack in a situation that does not involve stopping an actual or imminent threat to the nation." ~Sen. Barack Obama speaking about George Bush's military actions in Iraq.
Denise
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21 posted 03-20-2011 08:54 PM       View Profile for Denise   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Denise

He left out the part that Bush obtained the permission from Congress to go into Iraq. Isn't that when Kerry voted for it before he voted against it, or vice-versa? So, yeah, he did have the authority under the Constitution to do it, unilaterally, or otherwise. There were several allies, though, so it wasn't a unilateral action.
Bob K
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22 posted 03-21-2011 10:33 PM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K



     I think that if you're trying to frame the discussion in these terms, you have a point.  The President should have congressional approval.  The legal fine-points, I'm not sure about, but I'm inclined to think he should have congressional approval no matter what, and no matter whom the President may be.

     I believe the point in question may turn on either declaration of war or commitment of troops, but I'm will to admit that I don't know, and that I believe that pretty much no matter what, the President should be required to have congressional approval.  That's a personal opinion.

     I would like to point out that there is a difference between this case and the case with President Bush.  President Bush fabricated the case for war pretty much out of the whole cloth.  He knew there was no actual connection between Iraq and the 9/11 bombings from the start and he later admitted that there had been no connection.  He fabricated a case for phony nuclear weapons and used it to drum up war hysteria in this country, and he used his congressional majority to arm-twist the democrats remaining in congress at that time to either sign on or be labeled traitors to the national interest.

     I'm sad to see that my right wing friends appear to believe that the rest of us have acquired amnesia or that they would be willing to refight battles that the country itself seems to have lost because of the sad mistakes that previous Republican administrations led us into.  I would rather not refight them, myself, especially since I view active military intervention into Libya now as something of a mistake, worthy of its own critique.

     My right-wing friends are being somewhat inconsistent in their critique here, however, since the Republican position since at least President Nixon has been an attempt to expand Presidential power and to take power away from the Congress.  Witness the position the Republicans as a whole took on "signing Statements" when the president attempted to veto laws that he disagreed with or signed into law bills that he did not intend to comply with as written.  Consider Vice-President Cheney's support of such positions.

     President Obama's move in that direction is pale in comparison.  I disagree with it, even so.

     Why my Republican friends do so I can only explain by imagining that it is a Democrat that is doing it.  When President Reagan bombed Libya, the Republicans cheered; when he invaded Panama, they thought he was wonderful; and when he attempted the same sort of thing in other countries they named an aircraft carrier after him and suggested he won the cold war.

     Personally, I believe that it's all extra-constitutional; and that President Obama is having another episode of Republican Lite policy.  It may have fewer calories and it may be less filling, but it still leaves a very bad taste in my mouth.

     None of them should try to get around congressional approval.
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23 posted 03-21-2011 10:36 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

Nader: Impeach Obama for 'war crimes'
By Jordan Fabian - 03/20/11 03:47 PM ET

Former presidential candidate Ralph Nader says President Obama should be impeached for committing "war crimes" in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The consumer advocate and former presidential candidate said in an interview that aired Friday that Obama has committed "war crimes" on the same level as President Bush.

"Why don't we say what's on the minds of many legal experts; that the Obama administration is committing war crimes and if Bush should have been impeached, Obama should be impeached," Nader said in an interview with the anti-war Democracy Now! organization.

Nader's comments came before the U.S. on Saturday launched military strikes into Libya, but they are among the toughest criticisms Obama has endured from the left.

The consumer advocate participated in an anti-war demonstration outside the White House this weekend, during which more than 100 protesters were arrested.

The U.S. sought the passage of a U.N. Security Council resolution and commitments from European and Arab nations before taking action in Libya to thwart the country's leader, Col. Moammar Gadhafi, from killing civilians amidst a rebellion against his regime.

Nader's comments, however, were mainly directed at Obama's prosecution of the Afghanistan war. Some liberal activists have objected to Obama's decision to escalate the war and are unhappy with government's treatment of Bradley Manning, the Army private accused of leaking classified documents to the organization WikiLeaks.

"[Bush officials] were considered war criminals by many people. Now, Barack Obama is committing the same crimes," Nader said. "In fact, worse ones in Afghanistan. Innocents are being slaughtered, we are creating more enemies, he is violating international law."

Obama appears to be facing growing resistance from the left over his administration's foreign policy.

Anti-war filmmaker Michael Moore sharply criticized the president's authorization of military strikes in Libya and a cadre of liberal House Democrats are questioning the constitutionality of the Libya operation.

http://thehill.com/blogs/blog-briefing-room/news/150907-nader-obama-should-be-impeached-for-war-crimes
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24 posted 03-22-2011 07:31 AM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

When a democrat gets criticized by Michael Moore, the end of the world seems a little bit closer.
 
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