Black and White Sea Coast Clouds wallpaper – Some Thoughts on Foreign Policy

Black and White Sea Coast Clouds wallpaper


How did conservatives respond to intervention in Libya. This handy chart from back in March of 2011 by Alex Pareene is a classic case of the non-existence of principled conservatism – Need to attack President Obama’s handling of this complex situation but don’t know how? Our flowchart can help. Limbaugh’s declaration that Obama was “nagged” into intervention by women and Newt Gingrich’s crystal ball moment declaring Obama would give up before the job was finished give you an idea of the range of unhinged analysis by the Right. That things turned out alright is cause for celebration or at least a sigh of relief. Though Glenn is right about the use of the military in such adventures without a declaration by Congress is illegal. Just because things ended well does not mean the the legal issues do not matter. One thing about Glenn’s post that is problematic until he offers up some evidence, the US lead the way to using military force. Not that it justifies the illegality, but one can see why Obama did not seek what would have been Republican support for intervention. Just as they used the debt ceiling to take hostages they would have voted against intervention for purely political reasons. That is just where we are as a country. Conservatives generally have put a full stop of even pretending to go through the careful consideration phase, they go right into the reactionary phase: they’re against anything Obama does, even if it was previously a conservative policy, simply out of maliciousness. If anti-Americanism is to act in a way that is contrary to the country’s interests than what better example could we have than the punish America to get at Obama crowd. Libya: Huge Win for Libyans, A Win for Obama, Challenges Next

As it turns out, the combination of intelligence support provided by the US, the technical and financial and logistics support provided behind the scenes by Qatar and the UAE, the military interventions by French and British forces, and more helped give the Libyan rebels an opportunity to regroup after early setbacks and push Qaddafi’s forces back steadily and firmly to the battle inside Tripoli that we saw last night.  A key part of the success were the Berbers organizing their village militias west of Tripoli and pushing towards Qaddafi from one direction while the Benghazi-based rebels pushed from the other — putting Tripoli in a vise.

Barack Obama’s gamble in providing limited support for a conflict, in which other countries played lead roles, now seems like a winning move.  It’s hard to replicate the conditions of Libya in other cases because Qaddafi had a habit of making unnecessary enemies — most importantly in the Arab League, whose vote in favor of imposing a No Fly Zone over Libya was the trigger that led to everything else that has been possible.

Not so much from critics on the liberal isle, but conservatives could be grouped into two major camps. Those who were against any intervention because of X or Y, or those who thought along the lines of its too late or not enough force was being used. Declaration of war issues aside Obama was on time and used just the right amount of force. The US did not lead in the way we usually do, but did not follow. It was a Goldilocks moment. We were right in the middle of an international support effort that allowed Libyans to determine their own destiny. No action on this scale goes perfectly, but this is a good example of the way change is made. Libya stands in very stark contrast to Iraq – the way not to conduct military interventions.

Wingnuttia keeps having to spin new narratives for Obama the Marxist Kenyan anti-Christ who doesn’t believe in American exceptionalism. Two professional know-nothings John McCain(R-AZ) and Lindsay Graham(R-SC) serve up an example of the kind of spin to expect from the Right – The right’s bizarre response to Libya events

Senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham, among the earliest voices calling for intervention in Libya, wasted little time in congratulating the rebels and slamming Obama for not intervening earlier:

The end of the Qadaffi regime in Libya is a victory for the Libyan people and for the broader cause of freedom in the Middle East and throughout the world. This achievement was made possible first and foremost by the struggle and sacrifice of countless Libyans, whose courage and perseverance we applaud. We also commend our British, French, and other allies, as well as our Arab partners, especially Qatar and the UAE, for their leadership in this conflict. Americans can be proud of the role our country has played in helping to defeat Qaddafi, but we regret that this success was so long in coming due to the failure of the United States to employ the full weight of our airpower.

McCain and Graham, both of whom had warm personal interactions with Gaddafi in the past, have now gotten exactly what they wanted from the administration’s decision to intervene. But GOP partisanship demands that they not acknowledge the president’s role in assembling the global coalition that aided the rebels. Indeed, with the Republican Party wedded to a contradictory image of the president as foreign policy weakling and iron-fisted domestic dictator, we’re going to see a lot of bizarre rationalizing of what happened in an attempt to preserve this narrative of the Obama presidency.



For those keeping score. Bush/Cheney and the neocons spent about $4 trillion dollars responding to Islamic extremism – They squandered victory in Afghanistan and Iraq ( The latter of which was both supposedly the center of the kind of extremism responsible for 9-11 and the fly paper with which we would catch all the world’s terrorists). President Obama elbowed the authoritarian Hosni Mubarak out of office, helped put Libya on the path to a more democratic state and helped bring Bin Laden to justice. Conservative could learn something from this just as they could have learned something from the financial collapse caused by conservative policies, but we all know they will not. Conservatives have that commonality shared by all extremists, such as communists or fascists. When they fail it is never because of the fundamental flaws of their beliefs, it is because the enactment of their policies was not pure enough.

Not a good reason to become involved in a conflict, but a nice incidental benefit of helping Libya – Oil Prices Will Tank, Stock Prices Will Soar

Watch what happens to oil prices if and when the Qaddafis lose and leave.

In short order, Libyan oil production will ramp up.  As it does, oil prices in world markets will fall and oil futures markets will reflect the expected increase in production of oil from Libya.  The key prices to watch are those trading in Europe, like Brent.  US oil prices (WTI) are no longer the leading indicator of world prices intersecting with world supply/demand.  Excess inventory at Cushing, OK is complicating the pricing structure.

We expect oil prices to fall when highly desirable, sweet Libyan crude production is fully resumed and enters the pipeline.  Maybe, they are going to fall by a lot.  This will come as a much-needed boost to the US economy and to others in the world.


Not only gas prices, but food commodity prices should fall as well. Business Insider is also of the opinion that we are not slipping back into the first recession or a new one, but simply a very slow growth period. Lower energy prices might be just the boost we need to rev things up a bit. Though don’t expect gas prices to drop significantly for months.