March 26, 2011

Bob Wright says that because the attack on Libya "is truly multilateral... it not only diffuses the literal cost ... but the blowback that you get from intervention inherently."



But it doesn't work, does it, for the United State to try to spread the responsibility around? It reminds me of getting stuck in a group project at school, when you're the GPA-protecting A+ student and everyone else knows it. In school, the A+ student knows this is a bad deal. He's not thinking: I love this diffused responsibility! He's thinking: These other students are dragging me down, and if this project gets a D, I'm getting a D, so I'll do everything I can to get the A for everybody. And all the other students are thinking about how they will take advantage of this arrangement. There's no diffusion illusion in school. Does it get any better in military maneuvers? Those other countries are already flaking out, and the United States will be exposed as having the full responsibility it always had. Was there ever any serious hope of diffusion of "blowback"? I doubt it. If there was, it was naive and, really, quite ugly. We'll go to war if we can hide behind France?!

32 comments:

shoutingthomas said...

That was truly a bravura blowhard performance!

What else can you say about that kind of quacking?

Let's leave foreign policy aside and move on to Wisconsin.

Maguro said...

You have to admit that having Al Quaeda on our side kind of makes this the ultimate exercise in multilateralism.

PETER V. BELLA said...

We are at war hiding behind France.

Bender said...

Diffuses the blowback??

Win the Future?? What kind of nonsense is that?

So Khadaffi will be befuddled and not know who to retaliate against? He'll think, well, my initial response would be to just launch terrorist strikes against the U.S., but now I can't because it's been diffused?

What an ignorant statement. Of course he will blame us and go after us (and maybe Israel too).

Only someone of Obama's consummate skill could take someone who wet his pants with George W. and make him strong and dangerous again.

Beldar said...

Actually I think I've read that the NATO commander may be Canadian, operating from a base in Italy.

Life again imitates South Park: Blame Canada.

virgil xenophon said...

A Brit on another blog says that in the UK newspapers Obama is now being labeled the "On-looker in-Chief." LOL!

shoutingthomas said...

I gotta work on some tunes for an audition with a country band today, so let's speed this up.

On Wisconsin! Let's fight about the public employee unions.

The country band's pretty good. Voted best country band in the XXX area last year.

Foreign policy really brings out the doofus blowhard in everybody. Although, I admit, it's fun to watch liberals torture themselves into supporting Obama, when they'd be screaming Bush was a war criminal for doing the same thing.

kathleen said...

Not so much "ugly" as "deeply stupid"

Pete said...

If it's the right thing to do, why do we care if the effort is mulilateral? Either we do the thing or we don't; what the rest of the world thinks about us doing the right thing doesn't matter.

Beldar said...

Oops -- gosh, I was wrong. It appears that:

"Lieutenant-General Charles Bouchard will initially run only the no-fly zone over Libya. An Italian admiral will command the multinational naval blockade offshore. The punishing and controversial bombing runs and air-to-ground strafing [i.e., the real military stuff] will remain under U.S. command until NATO establishes rules of engagement acceptable to reluctant alliance nations such as Germany and Turkey."

It's good of those brave Natonians to take Obama off the hook on this one. I'm sure all the Arabs will understand that this is not an American occupation coming up, nor another Crusader invasion, but rather, the limited-duration limited kinetic-action Natonians running the show.

Fen said...

Bush had TWICE as many nation in the coalition to liberate Iraq.

So why does Bob think this is "truly" multi-lateral?

David said...

Actually, the French, when they see a true self interest, can be quite ruthless in the application of force. They are especially interested in North Africa, and their vigor may surprise us.

However, the military resources--weapons, logistics, communication, electronic intelligence--are predominantly American. It's a fantasy to think Europe can wage this war without our leadership.

Fen said...

Somolia became "truly multi-lateral". Too the UN "leadership" EIGHT FRICKEN HOURS to decide and organize a TRAP mission.

Perhaps Bob's definition of "truly multilateral" is "hand decisions off to the incompetents".

traditionalguy said...

Defeating enemies will give the USA a big head. So wise Obama wants to redistribute the credit for American triumphs. From each according to their ability and to each according to their need. I have heard that somewhere. And Obama thinks that the USA has no needs.

virgil xenophon said...

The academic "group-project" free-rider syndrome is perfect, Ann. In 7th grade we were grouped with our desks abbuted together all facing inward six to a group for the entire school year '56-57. (we had the kind with a substantial separate square hinged desk-like top with an ample storage well underneath and separate detached chairs.) Every damned subject was a group project, so I well know the experience. (Fortunately ours was a Univ. Lab school, and most were faculty members children who pretty much pulled their own weight)

Hide behind the French? Well, don't recent press reports informed by WH "leaks" hint that Sarkozy is now the Obammassiah's new BFF?

N J Forde said...

So Khadaffi will be befuddled and not know who to retaliate against? He'll think, well, my initial response would be to just launch terrorist strikes against the U.S., but now I can't because it's been diffused?

Spot on.

We are, and will always be, labeled "The West" as an enemy. The West cannot be diffused unless...uh...we support and are supported by al 'Qaeda.

Hmm...nah, that could never happen.

Paco Wové said...

"We'll go to war if we can hide behind France?!"

Like Mr. Bella said, yes, that's pretty much it. As long as we're not leading, and blame can be deflected -- 'hey, this wasn't our idea, go blame Jacques over there' -- Bob and his ilk will be ok with it. (Unless a Republican is involved, of course.)

Paco Wové said...

And as you point out, this policy has very little chance of success (with success being defined as 'hiding behind France, et al.'s petticoats').

virgil xenophon said...

ST's comment about liberals torturing themselves about supporting Obama is perhaps best viewed over at the lefty academic blog "Crooked Timber." ABSOLUTELY hilarious. In two separate posts I didn't see Obama's name mentioned once in almost 400 comments, along with the ABSOLUTE minimal of snarky America bashing. (All about "theory & practice," ya know) If Bush were still President? Just asking the question, as they say, is to answer it..

edutcher said...

Good points here. Bottom line is that Dubya's Coalition of the willing did not diffuse cost or blowback.

Next...

Beldar said...

It's good of those brave Natonians to take Obama off the hook on this one. I'm sure all the Arabs will understand that this is not an American occupation coming up, nor another Crusader invasion, but rather, the limited-duration limited kinetic-action Natonians running the show.

IIRC, there are at least 2, as many as 3, Americans above Bouchard.

traditionalguy said...

Defeating enemies will give the USA a big head. So wise Obama wants to redistribute the credit for American triumphs.

Never forget, Little Zero gets all wee-wee'd up when he thinks about MacArthur at Tokyo Bay.

(Probably Washington at Yorktown, Scott at Mexico City, and, for all we know, Grant at Appomattox, as well).

The Drill SGT said...

"Lieutenant-General Charles Bouchard will initially run only the no-fly zone over Libya.


Since Libya has no planes left, the NATO role means they wont in theory be shooting anymore.

all the bombing will be by the US operating outside of political cover from either the UN or NATO. so much for all that multi-lateralist huggies.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

The academic "group-project" free-rider syndrome is perfect, Ann

Yes it is. The experience of being the 'good' student pulling all the freight in a group project is very familiar to me personally when in school and again when my child was in school. Trying to protect your GPA so you can get those scholarships for college meant that you worked and everyone else got a free ride.

Perfect example of how the USA has been taken advantage of since WWII.

Since there are no future scholarships for the USA in the offering, there really doesn't seem to be that much downside to just withdrawing from the group project.

I say, let them (the rest of the world) try to make it without us and we concentrate on our own business. Get our own house in order so to speak.

Cedarford said...

Pete said...
If it's the right thing to do, why do we care if the effort is mulilateral? Either we do the thing or we don't; what the rest of the world thinks about us doing the right thing doesn't matter.

=================
The question is if it is the right thing to do - not for the noble Iraqis, the wonderful Libyan tribes, the plucky Georgians, suffering Congolese, the democracy-thirsty Iranians, the needy Haitians.

But US citizens.

The earlier Neocon case - for more wars of Adventure to spread democracy and not only help the locals but our "Special Friend" in the ME would not only help them but help us as the ultimate moral beacon of the world.....was based on 4 presumptions:

1. America was now the lone hyperpower with limitless resources coming to it through globalism and free trade. Debt no longer really mattered.
2. All the wars would be fast and a "cakewalk" due to our high tech wondertoys and Hero Troops.
3. Allies would flock to the Neocon banner, eager to gain some moral superiority by bringing Freedom! to the oppressed Freedom Lovers.
4. Every war would not only make our "Special Friend" happier, but create eternally grateful people in lands we went into and improved by cakewalk war and nation building. And the "Evildoers" would be rejected as the abovesaid grateful noble peoples rushed to support the US at the UN, begged to have Israel come in and establish embassies, and festoon the US and its "Coalition of the Willing" Allies with oil contracts.


We all know how the Neocon Adventure and all their presumptions turned out. Many moderate people even voted for Obama vs. McCain - because McCain was an unresconstructed Neocon that wanted even more wars of adventure if he was elected.

What is Obama's excuse?

YoungHegelian said...

Of course, BW is right that diffussing the responsibility among the NATO powers will make the Arab street think long and hard about the true nature of the Libyan intervention.

They'll think about it long and hard and then come to the conclusion that the Jews must be responsible.

Crimso said...

Napoleon (who was not French) said it was better to fight allies than to be one. As intelligent as Wright evidently is, Napoleon was much more so. Even though he lost in the end.

Lincolntf said...

In related news, the Polish Navy is reporting little success in their advance from the South.

Trooper York said...

The only president who never worried about blowback was Bill Clinton and look how much trouble he got in because of that.

bagoh20 said...

This entire administration seems like a school group project, and whether they know it or not, the entire world relies on it's competence. It can't pass into history fast enough.

If anything really challenging happens, as in more dangerous than fighting some 8th century tribes, the true lesser-of-two-evils-choice of 08 will take on a whole new seriousness. Two years left of this sword of Damocles.

WV: "putowa" I didn't say it.

bagoh20 said...

The idea that the Arab street will be forced to see things differently than they want to is just ignorant of history. They hate their targets (Israel and the U.S.) first, and then decide why afterward, and the truth serves no purpose whatsoever. The exact same is true for much of the left here and in Europe.

You have to be insane to even be able to imagine them saying the opposite of what they always have. Just think about them saying it. Ridiculous isn't it?

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TMink said...

What Fen said. Another lie by the left.

Trey

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