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Offline Matthew

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War begins with Libya!
« on: March 19, 2011, 05:01:12 PM »
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  • Tripoli, Libya (CNN) -- French, British and American military forces made good Saturday on international warnings to Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi, using fighter jets and cruise missiles to hammer military positions in the first phase of an operation that will include enforcement of a no-fly zone.

    More than 110 Tomahawk missiles fired from American and British ships and submarines hit about 20 Libyan air and missile defense targets in western portions of the country, U.S. Vice Adm. William Gortney said at a Pentagon briefing.

    The U.S. will conduct a damage assessment of the sites, which include SA-5 missiles and communications facilities. A senior U.S. military official, who was not authorized to speak on the record, said the missiles landed near Misrata and Tripoli, the capital and Gadhafi's stronghold.

    The salvo, in an operation dubbed "Odyssey Dawn," was meant "to deny the Libyan regime from using force against its own people," said Gortney, who declined to detail future operations.
    France convenes summit on Libya crisis
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    Libya forces advance on main rebel base
    Warplane falls from sky
    Gallery: Civil war in Libya
    RELATED TOPICS

        Libya
        United Nations Security Council
        Middle East Conflict

    Earlier, French fighter jets deployed over Libya fired at a military vehicle Saturday, the country's first strike against Gadhafi's military forces, which earlier attacked the rebel stronghold of Benghazi.

    Prime Minister David Cameron said late Saturday that British forces also are in action over Libya. "What we are doing is necessary, it is legal and it is right," he said. "I believe we should not stand aside while this dictator murders his own people."

    While there were no U.S. warplanes flying over Libya late Saturday, the coalition, which also includes Italy and Canada, was preparing for enforcement of a no-fly zone, Gortney said.

    A Libyan government spokesman said Saturday that instead of sending international observers to witness a cease-fire, the coalition of international allies chose military aggression.

    Air attacks on several locations in Tripoli and Misrata have caused "real harm" to civilians, the spokesman said.

    "I am very sorry and saddened that my country is facing a barbaric and armed attack," he said, adding that "this aggression will not weaken our spirits."

    Shortly after the first missile attacks, U.S. President Barack Obama informed the American people of the efforts by a "broad coalition."

    "The use of force is not our first choice," the president said from Brasilia, Brazil. "It is not a choice I make lightly. But we cannot stand idly by when a tyrant tells his own people that there will be no mercy."

    Obama reiterated that the Pentagon has no plans to deploy ground forces in Libya.

    Obama is planning for the U.S. portion of the military action in Libya to only last for a few days, according to a senior administration official, who was not authorized to speak about sensitive military matters.

    "In terms of the heavy kinetic portion of this military action, the president envisions it as lasting days, not weeks," the senior official said. "After that we'll take more of a supporting role."

    Coalition partners say Gadhafi has failed to adhere to a United Nations resolution that imposed the no-fly zone and ordered him to stop attacks on civilians.

    "He's clearly been on the offensive," the senior U.S. military official said of Gadhafi. "He said that he was going to do a cease-fire and he continued to move his forces into Benghazi."

    A Libyan army spokesman said on state TV that "the crusader army has bombed fuel tanks."

    The international show of force is much welcomed by besieged rebel forces who have called for backup to help them stave off a government offensive against their positions in Benghazi and other rebel-held enclaves.

    An opposition spokesman in Benghazi said Gadhafi forces that assaulted the city earlier Saturday are now positioned outside the town. However, the forces are preparing for more attacks.

    Earlier Saturday, Gadhafi issued defiant messages to international powers.

    "I have all the Libyan people with me and I'm prepared to die. And they are prepared to die for me. Men, women and even children," Gadhafi said in a letter addressed to Obama and read to reporters by a government spokesman in Tripoli.

    Obama, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Gortney used the term "unique capabilities" to describe the U.S. part of the coalition effort. Officials have said American military forces are meant to augment Arab, European and other Western troops -- but not take a lead role.

    The French Defense Ministry said its attack aircraft being used to take out tanks and artillery have deemed Benghazi and the surrounding area an "exclusion zone."

    The French are using surveillance aircraft and two frigates in the operation to protect civilians. The aircraft carrier Charles De Gaulle will soon depart Toulon, France.

    "Our air force will oppose any aggression by Colonel Gadhafi against the population of Benghazi," said French President Nicolas Sarkozy, speaking after an international, top-level meeting in Paris over the Libyan crisis.

    "As of now, our aircraft are preventing planes from attacking the town," he said, calling the intervention a "grave decision."

    Canada will be one of four principal partners helping to enforce the no-fly zone over Libya. Six Canadian CF-18 fighter jets are en route to an Italian base in Sicily and the HMCS Charlottetown will be in position to help with the naval blockade against Libya.

    "America has unique capabilities, and we will bring them to bear to help our European and Canadian allies and Arab partners to stop further violence against civilians including through the effective implementation of a no-fly zone," Clinton said.

    Sarkozy said Gadhafi still has time to stop its activities. As of Friday, France, Britain, the United States and Arab League nations passed along a warning for Gadhafi to stop his operations immediately.

    But "Gadhafi has totally ignored the warning" and "in the last few hours his forces have stepped up their deadly offenses," Sarkozy said.

    The international coalition meeting in Paris -- which included Western and Arab partners -- focused on how to take on a Libyan government bent on destroying the fledgling opposition movement under the U.N. resolution authorizing force to protect civilians against the Gadhafi government.

    Herman Van Rompuy, president of the European Council, said the European Union is ready to give a "new Libya" economic help and aid in building new institutions.

    In Rome, Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi's office confirmed to CNN that Berlusconi has proposed the use of the NATO base in southern Italy as a command center for allied action in Libya.

    After Gadhafi forces earlier Saturday assaulted Benghazi, the opposition said the military repositioned itself far outside the city.

    Earlier Saturday, incoming artillery rounds landed inside the city, and pro-Gadhafi tanks rolled into the town firing rounds, witnesses said. Plumes of smoke rose in Benghazi as civilians said buildings came under small arms fire. Many fled their homes in fear of a full-blown assault there.

    A flaming fighter jet plummeted from the sky, nose-diving to the ground. Khaled el-Sayeh, the opposition military spokesman, said the plane was an old MiG-23 that belonged to the rebels.

    As night fell over Benghazi on Saturday, the city became quiet and calm. While plumes of smoke could be spotted, the pro-Gadhafi tanks seen earlier were not in sight. El-Sayeh told CNN that "tens" have been killed in Benghazi on Saturday and opposition forces found 13 men clad in Libyan military uniforms bound and executed in a building that had been used by pro-Gadhafi forces to launch artillery assaults.

    He said Gadhafi forces have withdrawn from the city and that they are now positioned 50 kilometers (31 miles) outside Benghazi on the road east to Ajdabiya. CNN could not independently verify those details.

    In western Libya, pro-Gadhafi forces subjected the city of Misrata to heavy shelling, an opposition member said.

    In Tripoli, Gadhafi's supporters took to the streets.

    Libyan state TV now showed images of pro-Gadhafi demonstrations, and broadcast pictures of fireworks by pro-Gadhafi demonstrators over the Libyan leader's military compound in Tripoli. On the streets in Tripoli, people were waving green Libyan flags and singing pro-Gadhafi songs.

    Fighting has raged in Libya over the last day despite the government's announcement of an "immediate" cease-fire on Friday.

    The declaration -- which came hours after the U.N. Security Council resolution authorized the use of force, including the no-fly zone -- was seen by rebels as simply a move to buy itself time.

    Gadhafi -- in a separate letter addressed to Sarkozy, Cameron and U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon -- called the U.N. moves "invalid" because the resolution does not permit intervention in the internal affairs of other countries.

    "Libya is not yours. Libya is for all Libyans," said the letter, also read by the spokesman. "You will regret it if you take a step toward intervening in our internal affairs.

    "It is not your country. We could never and would never fire one bullet against our people," the letter said.

    Violence has raged in Libya following protests calling for democracy and freedom and demanding an end to Gadhafi's almost 42-year-long rule. It's a conflict spurred by anti-government protest and resulting regime violence against civilians -- which the U.N. resolution cites as "outrageous" and Sarkozy calls "murderous madness."

    But Gadhafi defended his actions in his note to Obama. He said his opponents are from al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, the group's North African wing, and asked Obama what he would do if such an armed movement controlled American cities.

    "Tell me, how would you behave so I could follow your example?"
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    Offline Matto

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    War begins with Libya!
    « Reply #1 on: March 19, 2011, 05:17:30 PM »
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  • That is a good question at the end of the article. What would Obama do if rebel forces took control of American cities? I wonder why we are suddenly against Gadhafi after so many years in power. I thought the same thing about Egypt. I figure this is bad news. I wonder what the people in charge are planning and why they are supporting regime change in North Africa all of a sudden.
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    Offline Baskerville

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    War begins with Libya!
    « Reply #2 on: March 19, 2011, 06:37:32 PM »
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  • Quote from: Matto
    That is a good question at the end of the article. What would Obama do if rebel forces took control of American cities? I wonder why we are suddenly against Gadhafi after so many years in power. I thought the same thing about Egypt. I figure this is bad news. I wonder what the people in charge are planning and why they are supporting regime change in North Africa all of a sudden.


    My guess is new world order. These dictators are in the way of the secular humanist playground of Obama and his minions so they have got to go. :good-shot:

    Offline Baskerville

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    War begins with Libya!
    « Reply #3 on: March 19, 2011, 06:38:49 PM »
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  • As to what he would do if terrorists took over US cities my guess is that being that he is a closet muslim nothing.

    Offline RomanCatholic1953

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    War begins with Libya!
    « Reply #4 on: March 19, 2011, 07:36:19 PM »
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  • It looks like the start of WW3. War on a third front.


    Offline Telesphorus

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    War begins with Libya!
    « Reply #5 on: March 19, 2011, 08:09:58 PM »
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  • Before the internet to Libya was cut off I was speaking a lot with a Libyan woman from Tripoli.  She watches a lot of Al Jazeera, but it was clear that most Libyans were incensed by Qaddafi bringing in black mercenaries to shoot protesters.  She never spoke of politics with me, but it was clear that she and many people like her are now heartily sick of Qaddafi.

    Offline stevusmagnus

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    War begins with Libya!
    « Reply #6 on: March 19, 2011, 11:41:22 PM »
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  • So now we're fighting a third war? What US vital interest is at stake?

    Did we expect Gadahfi to just roll over and let rebels bump him out of power?

    Offline Raoul76

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    War begins with Libya!
    « Reply #7 on: March 20, 2011, 02:22:02 AM »
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  • This story is a big deal in ( what little remains ) of France.  It's considered Sarkozy's war, like Iraq was considered Bush's war, and it is unleashing lots of tirades about how Europe is a vassal of America. No surprise, both are run by Jewish lobbies.

    We are in a new stage in history, I think.   Everything is becoming more ambiguous.  The excuse for the Iraq War was clearly trumped up, 9/11 was clearly not done by Muslims with boxcutters.  But now we're in this situation where certain government actions seem half-good, half-bad, or else just totally incomprehensible.   Those who support the government seem like shills or naifs, those who don't come off like fearmongers and paranoiacs.  It's like everyone is wrong, everything is in chaos, there's no rhyme or reason to anything.  I can't help but comment that the political situation exactly mirrors the spiritual one, with the paroxysm of Modernism under Ratzinger where truth and error are almost perfectly blended so that it is impossible to sort it out -- unless you just walk away and pay no attention.

    There are several takes on the Libya strike that I've seen:

    ( 1 ) Sarkozy is extremely unpopular, and this war is an attempt to give him a boost for the upcoming elections.  America is merely tagging along.

    ( 2 ) It's a distraction from what's going on in Japan and a way to take attention off the protests against nuclear power ( really, this isn't as implausible as it sounds ).

    ( 3 ) It's about securing access to oil, as was said of the Iraq War

    ( 4 ) It's about the tyranny of Khaddafi and the liberation of the peoples of Libya  :dancing:

    If this war does help people in Libya -- and I'm not sure how because in these areas, it seems like one dictator is just replaced with another -- that would appear to be collateral... What's the opposite of collateral damage?  Collateral benefit?

    Of course, there are gaping holes in the official story.  The two big questions are "Why do they suddenly care now?" and "Why is it so important to get rid of Khaddafi and not the multitude of other tyrants around the world?"  Khaddafi has been in power for 42 years.  I don't know the situation on the ground in Libya, but some say he is nowhere near as unpopular as he is made to appear in the Western press.  

    I haven't been following this story until today, and I have no idea about what's really going on in Libya, but some say there is no proof that Khaddafi is massacring people and that the press just keeps re-using the same canned images Wag the Dog-style.  Others say that he is massacring people, but that the "alliance" waited until almost all the rebels were dead before taking any action, so that it's pointless.  Others say that this is a great action that restores honor to France and that this is what democracy is supposed to be all about, that this is a victory for human rights.  Others say that the rebels are not going to thank the West and that this is going to inflame the Muslims even more.

    Conclusion:  I have no opinion about this, except to say that the world has just become chaotic and that it's like it has a fever that has to burn itself out.
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    Offline Raoul76

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    War begins with Libya!
    « Reply #8 on: March 20, 2011, 02:33:54 AM »
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  • Actually, I shouldn't call him a tyrant, that shows you how easy it is to be infected by the press.  Franco was called a "fascist" in the press, not that I'm comparing the two.  I'm just saying that these labels are dangerous.

    Whoever fits the NWO / UN plan is a hero of democracy, whoever is against it is a tyrant or fascist.  Nevertheless, Khaddafi may really be a tyrant, for all I know.
    As I was a new convert when posting here, my posts are often full of error, even unwitting heresy and rash judgment, all of which I renounce, and all my writings are best avoided -- MDLS

    Offline Jehanne

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    War begins with Libya!
    « Reply #9 on: March 20, 2011, 07:59:10 AM »
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  • I just wonder when Americans will get sick of war.  As a nation, we have been fighting almost constantly now since WW II.  To add to your list, Raoul, how about 5)  More money for defense contractors?  Each cruise missile costs $600 K:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cruise_missile#Deployment

    Offline Matthew

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    War begins with Libya!
    « Reply #10 on: March 20, 2011, 01:12:09 PM »
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  • Tripoli, Libya (CNN) -- Libyan ruler Moammar Gadhafi called the allied nations bombing his country "terrorists" Sunday, a day after the United States, United Kingdom and France began to enforce a United Nations-mandated no-fly zone to protect Libya's civilians from their leader.

    There was violence across the country on Sunday, with Gadhafi apparently shelling rebels in the west while allied airstrikes destroyed one of Gadhafi's convoys in the east, according to rebels.

    Gadhafi said the strikes were a confrontation between the Libyan people and "the new Nazis," and promised "a long-drawn war."

    "You have proven to the world that you are not civilized, that you are terrorists -- animals attacking a safe nation that did nothing against you," Gadhafi said in a televised speech.

    Gadhafi did not appear on screen during the address, leading CNN's Nic Robertson in Tripoli to speculate that the Libyan leader did not want to give the allies clues about his location.
    Fighter jets hit Libyan army convoy
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    Gallery: Civil war in Libya

    Throughout the address, an image of a golden fist crushing a model plane that said "USA" filled the screen -- a monument in Tripoli to the 1986 American bombing of Libya, in which one U.S. plane was downed.

    At the same time Gadhafi spoke, his regime was shelling the city of Misrata on Sunday morning using tanks, artillery and cannons, a witness said.

    "They are destroying the city," said the witness, who is not being identified for safety reasons. He said rebels were fighting back.

    Sounds of heavy gunfire could be heard during a telephone conversation with the man. There was no immediate word on casualties.

    CNN's Arwa Damon saw the remains of a convoy of at least 70 military vehicles destroyed by multiple airstrikes Sunday, leaving at least five charred bodies, plus twisted tanks and smashed trucks as far as she could see.

    Rebels with Damon told her it was a convoy of Libyan troops loyal to Gadhafi coming to attack the rebel capital of Benghazi.

    Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told CNN Sunday there would be continuous allied air cover of Benghazi.

    The no-fly zone is effectively already in place, he said on CNN's "State of the Union," adding that air attacks by coalition forces have taken out most of Libya's air defense systems and some airfields.

    International military coalition targeted air defense positions near the capital for a second day Sunday.

    Also on Sunday, the Arab League -- whose call for a no-fly zone was an essential piece of the diplomacy leading to the United Nations resolution -- held an emergency meeting about the bombardment.

    "We are currently studying the situation and evaluating the airstrikes," Arab League chief of staff Hisham Youssef told CNN. "We have not taken any stand or reached a final decision."

    Some Libyans welcomed the American, French and British military forces.

    Others remained fearful of Gadhafi.

    Libyans are "afraid to come out because when they do, he attacked them very, very severely," a woman in Tripoli said Sunday. "This is putting terror in all neighborhoods."

    The multinational military forces launched the attacks Saturday, convinced that Gadhafi was not adhering to a cease-fire mandated by the United Nations.

    American and British ships and submarines fired more than 110 Tomahawk cruise missiles and hit about 20 Libyan defense targets in western portions of the country, U.S. Vice Adm. William Gortney said at a Pentagon briefing.
    U.S. fires missiles on Libya
    Gadhafi responds to air strikes
    Warplane falls from sky
    Libya cease-fire ignored
    RELATED TOPICS

        * Libya
        * United Nations Security Council
        * Middle East Conflict

    Nineteen U.S. warplanes, including stealth bombers and fighter jets, conducted strike operations in Libya on Sunday morning, officials said.

    Tomahawk cruise missiles are unmanned and fly close to the ground, steering around natural and man-made obstacles to hit a target programmed into them before launch.

    A senior U.S. military official, who was not authorized to speak on the record, said the cruise missiles landed near the city of Misrata and the capital, Tripoli.

    Scores of missiles were fired in the pre-dawn darkness, and the exact results of the mission were not immediately clear. The United States is expected to conduct a damage assessment of the sites.

    The salvo, in an operation dubbed "Odyssey Dawn," was meant "to deny the Libyan regime from using force against its own people," Gortney said.

    British Defense Secretary Liam Fox said the Royal Air Force deployed Tornado GR4 fast jets, which flew 3,000 miles from the United Kingdom and back -- making the venture the longest-range bombing mission conducted by the force since the Falklands conflict in 1982.

    British Prime Minister David Cameron said the international mission "is necessary, it is legal, and it is right."

    "I believe we should not stand aside while this dictator murders his own people," Cameron said late Saturday night.

    But Gadhafi remained defiant, saying Libya will fight back against undeserved "naked aggression."

    In a statement broadcast on state TV, his military said the strikes killed 48 people -- "mostly women, children and religious clerics."

    "The majority of these attacks were on public areas, hospitals and schools. They frightened the children and women near those areas that were subject to this aggression," the military said.

    CNN could not immediately confirm the claim.

    But Russia said Sunday that innocent civilians were being killed, and urged more caution.

    The Foreign Ministry in Moscow cited reports that "non-military" targets were being bombed, including a cardiac center.

    "We are calling upon respective nations to stop the indiscriminate use of force... it is inadmissible to use the mandate resulting from UN Security Council Resolution 1973, the adoption of which was quite a controversial step, beyond the intended goals of the resolution, namely the protection of the civilian population," the ministry said on its website.

    China's foreign ministry said Sunday it did not agree with the use of force in international relations. And Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez also denounced the military intervention.

    "They (the United States) want to appropriate the oil in Libya; they don't care about anyone's life in that region," Chavez said.

    Gadhafi vowed to open weapons depots and said the U.N. charter provides the nation the right to defend itself in a "war zone." He has also issued messages to international powers and said Libyans are ready to die for him.

    Some residents said they could receive weapons to fight back.

    "We received a phone call around 3 a.m. that everyone should head out in the streets," a woman in Tripoli said. "Normal civilians are being able to have machine guns and take anti-aircraft machine guns ... to fire back at the airplanes."

    In Misrata, a witness said Gadhafi's forces are targeting fuel and power stations to make citizens believe the damage is being done by coalition forces. The witness, who was not identified for security reasons, said people celebrated allied airstrikes on loyalist positions in the city.

    CNN could not verify the account.

    U.S. President Barack Obama is planning for the U.S. portion of the military action in Libya to only last for a few days.

    "After that, we'll take more of a supporting role," said a senior administration official, who was not authorized to speak about sensitive military matters.

    Obama authorized U.S. military force on what happened to be the eighth anniversary of the start of the war in Iraq.

    In the next few days, U.S. military officials expect to hand over control to a coalition commander. Canada and Italy are also part of the coalition.

    Violence has raged in Libya following protests calling for democracy and demanding an end to Gadhafi's almost 42-year-long rule. The protests have been met by force from the Gadhafi regime, and some members of his military defected to the opposition.

    Another witness in Tripoli said she's terrified about how Gadhafi might respond to the airstrikes.

    "We're scared. We're not sure what will happen next," she said. "To be honest, I'm scared for my life."
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    Offline Matthew

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    War begins with Libya!
    « Reply #11 on: March 20, 2011, 01:15:29 PM »
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  • Isn't it strange that "democracy" is breaking out in popular movements across the Middle East right now -- just as Peak Oil would be rearing its ugly head with the reality that we can't keep increasing oil output year-over-year forever?

    It's common sense that the earth (and its resources) is finite.

    If we didn't have a Depression underway, Peak Oil would already be felt at the gas pump.

    The next step is to "secure more sources of oil" by "rescuing the people of various middle eastern nations from the dictators that threaten them". Oh, and while we're at it, we'll take charge of these oil fields.

    Making the world safe for democracy Exxon.
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    Offline Zenith

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    War begins with Libya!
    « Reply #12 on: March 20, 2011, 05:10:30 PM »
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  • War is a wonderful boost for the economy and I suppose thats just what America need right now. Nth Africans will be happy that their lives have been sacrificed for them for a "good" cause. "We will take your lives and your oil! How dare you Libyans defend your own country!"

    Gadaffi should declare a no-fly zone over the entire US and Israel and shoot down every plane that breaks it.

    Offline TraceG

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    War begins with Libya!
    « Reply #13 on: March 20, 2011, 06:38:15 PM »
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  • Quote from: Matthew
    Isn't it strange that "democracy" is breaking out in popular movements across the Middle East right now -- just as Peak Oil would be rearing its ugly head with the reality that we can't keep increasing oil output year-over-year forever?

    It's common sense that the earth (and its resources) is finite.

    If we didn't have a Depression underway, Peak Oil would already be felt at the gas pump.

    The next step is to "secure more sources of oil" by "rescuing the people of various middle eastern nations from the dictators that threaten them". Oh, and while we're at it, we'll take charge of these oil fields.

    Making the world safe for democracy Exxon.


    Going by the last sentence, "and who is in bed with politicians, spin doctors?"  The politicians enable all this.  The greedy exxons of the world just cater to the greedy politicians.  

    Offline Catholic Samurai

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    War begins with Libya!
    « Reply #14 on: March 21, 2011, 11:43:11 AM »
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  • Quote from: TraceG

    Going by the last sentence, "and who is in bed with politicians, spin doctors?"  The politicians enable all this.  The greedy exxons of the world just cater to the greedy politicians.  


    In reality it's the other way around. No one in office is ever going to make as much money as someone who sits on the board of directors in an oil company.
    "Louvada Siesa O' Sanctisimo Sacramento!"~warcry of the Amakusa/Shimabara rebels

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