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Home The Feuilleton of MilSan and MikWag
The Feuilleton of MilSan and MikWag

Asymmetrical Rules of Engagement -or- American Exceptionalism Strikes Again

MikWag’s initial reaction to the evolving story about the rescue of the two downed F-15 pilots in Libya:

 

President Obama: When the U.S. Marine Corp strafed and/or bombed civilians during a downed pilot recovery, the U.S. was in violation of U.N. resolution 1973.  The resolution gives you the authority to act to protect civilians, but you also incur a responsibility not to kill civilians while recovering aircrews.

 

Marines:  Your actions tell the world that one American life is worth the life of an entire village.  You expressed the same value proposition in Vietnam.

 

Generals:  Because the Marines have shown that they cannot handle this responsibility, the U.S. has no other choice than to change its CONOPS to “No rescue missions for pilots” or its Rules of Engagement for search and rescue missions to match the rules for bombing runs and cruise missile attacks:  Do not fire until you know that civilians will not be hit.

 

JAGs: Somebody in the chain of command between the President and the gunners exceeded his authority or neglected his duty.  You must investigate.

 

After dialectic with MilSan:

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Happy 5th Anniv. Twitter: Riz/Fall of Nth Reich updtd/cndnsd

Happy 5th Anniv. Twitter

 

William Shirer's 1245 pp. history of the Third Reich, updated/condensed to 140 characters:

 

Rise/Fall Qaddafi Nth Reich:‘69 coupD'etat/reignsTerror/is bombed/bombs PanAm/plunders$140B/kills Libyans/bunkers down in Tripoli/kills self

 

International Women's Day 2011: Обращение к Галине Колотницкой

Обращение к Галине Колотницкой

В год 100-летней годовщины Международного женского дня, Нам  предстоит  сделать еще  больше, чем в самый первый год Международного женского дня. Бедность процветает, болезнь свирепствует, рабство и изнасилования достигают угрожающих масштабов.

Мир полон горячих точек - Судан, Пакистан, Афганистан, Бирма, Тибет, Ирак, Гватемала...

Но, в этот момент, самой горячей точкой является Ливия.

Существует одна женщина, во власти которой повлиять на ситуацию в Ливии .. Просто выступив вперед. Сестры всего мира просят ее нарушить молчание.

ОБРАЩЕНИЕ: Галина, выступите вперед!

История человечества на стороне Галины. Александра Колонтай убедила Ленина сделать день 8 марта Международным женским днем.

Во власти Галины Колотницкой сделать 8 марта 2011 года днем, когда Международное женское сообщество начало обьединенную кампанию за освобождение ливийских женщин, детей и мужчин от кабалы.

Я, Мила Санина, молодой корреспондент, в настоящее время находящаяся в Вашингтоне, хотела бы поговорить с Галиной от имени Международного женского сообщества. Прошу всех, кто знает Галину лично, или знает того, кто ее знает, пожалуйста, передайте ей эту просьбу. Со мной можно связаться по имейлу This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

"Великую революцию невозможно сделать в перчатках медсестры." - Иосиф Сталин

 

An Appeal to Galina Kolotnitskaya

On the 100th anniversary of International Women’s Day, there is much work yet to be done.  Even more work than on the first International Women’s Day.  Poverty is rampant, disease is rampant, slavery and rape are rampant.

The world is filled with hot spots — Sudan, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Burma, Tibet, Iraq, Guatemala…

But, at this moment, the hottest spot of all is Libya.

There is one woman who has the power to make a difference in Libya...  Simply by speaking out.  The international sisterhood begs her to break her silence.

AN APPEAL:  Galina, Speak Out!

History is on Galina’s side.  Alexandra Kolontai persuaded Lenin to make March 8th International Women’s Day.

It is in Galina Kolotnitskaya’s power to make March 8th 2011 the day that International Women launched their united campaign for the release of Libyan women, children and men from bondage.

I, Mila Sanina, currently in Washington DC working as a young reporter, would like to speak with Galina on behalf of International Women.  I ask anyone who knows Galina, or knows someone who knows her, to please convey this request to her.  I can be contacted discreetly at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

“One cannot make a revolution in nurse's gloves.” — Joseph Stalin

 

Realpolitik - Libya

1.  The goal of most nations in the world is to minimize the death toll in Libya.

2.  Killing Qaddafi & Sons would minimize the death toll.

3.  But no individual nation will kill Qaddafi & Sons.

4.  And the U.N. won't do it because Security Council members Russia and China have veto power and want to reserve the right to use Qaddafi’s methods on their citizens.

5.  And NATO could do it, but it won't.

6.  Since nobody is going to kill Qaddafi & Sons, the next way to minimize the death toll is to make it a fair fight by:

a.  NATO imposing a no-fly zone on the country to neutralize the Libyan Air Force.

b.  Blocking the entry into the country of mercenaries and arms.

c.  Freezing Qaddafi assets being used to pay for mercenaries.

7. There is precedent for each of these “fair-fight” measures.

8. The Libyan freedom fighters will triumph if the fight is fair.  There will be much bloodshed, but less than if the fight is unfair.  An unfair fight will be protracted and, if Qaddafi triumphs, horrific purges will follow.

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The ABC's of Broadcast Journalism

Today, on This Week with Christian Amanpour, ABC broadcast 'exclusive live' interviews with Colonel Qaddafi's son, Saif; the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Mike Mullen; the former Libyan Ambassador to the U.S., Ali Aujali; and the French Ambassador to the U.N., Gerard Araud. [Video: 24:40; see from 19:30 for the ambassadors]

 

in that order.

 

Someone looked up from her bowl of Fruit Loops and said: "MikWag, they're reciting the ABC's backwards!  Miss Crabtree says, 'Now children, we must always remember to introduce heads of state and ambassadors before generals.'   The French Ambassador should go first, then the general, then the civilians."

 

Mikwag was already choking on ABC's big yellow banner for the program -- "America's War" -- that kept appearing on the bottom of the screen. [Ed:  no longer present in the sanitized, on-line version]

 

Notice, if you please, dear viewer, the French Ambassador.   If you can read body language as well as a your average kindergartener, you will see that he is offended.   He sits leaning back as far as physically possible, body not square to the camera, arms tightly crossed.  At the very end of the interview, his eyes roll up and to the side in disgust.  [Ed:  largely deleted in the on-line version of the live interview.  Question: Does ABC sanitize the historical record of what they broadcast to the American public?]

 

What a huge insult to the French to run a large yellow banner with "America's War" and to compound the insult with an abrogation of journalistic ethics by removing it from the historical record.  How dare you paint the French Ambassador to the U.N. as petulant without provocation.  This distinguished Frenchman led the effort for the past month to get a world riddled with moral turpitude to do what any kindergartener knows is the right thing.  A noble descendant of the very same French who helped America win its independence in 1776.  Whose distinguished political ancestors include the Marquise de Lafayette -- who was given one of four places of honor by Thomas Jefferson -- a perch from which his bust forever looks down on Jefferson's tea room in Monticello, Charlottesville, Virginia.  Along with Paul Revere, George Washington, and Benjamin Franklin.

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Stupid is as Stupid Does

God, on the matter of events in Libya, the West is going to look on while Gaddafi emerges victorious - then the handwringing - then the business deals again, I suppose.  I find this so tragic, so absolutely gutless. Is there no single democratic leader prepared to commit force to kill Gaddafi?

Reader-commenter viewfromcairo, The Guardian, March 9 2011

 

The problem with democracy is that, by definition, half the citizens have IQ's less than or equal to 100.

One of my brothers

 

Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I'm not sure about the the universe. -- Albert Einstein

 

Let me boil it down so that stupid doesn't keep doing as stupid does.

Qaddafi is a sociopath, like Hitler.

His regime is a reign of terror, like Hitler's.   If you don't obey, you get hung by a piano wire with your family.

Hey reader, read this.  Hey New York Times, read it too.  After you read it, please stop doing as stupid does.  Stop calling the terrified-but-complicit military "pro-Qaddafi forces" or "Qaddafi loyalists."

Like Hitler, there isn't a word that comes out of Qaddafi's mouth that makes a bit of sense.  The only thing stupider than what comes out of his mouth is the puppy-like gullibility of the media that covers what he says instead of keeping it simple.

As with Hitler, the simple thing to do is kill him.   The stupid thing to do is to repeat the same old mistake that everyone makes when dealing with sociopaths, which is to play by the rules.   There are no rules when you are dealing with sociopaths.   You avoid them completely.   If they somehow get a hold of you, you take them out.

Hey U.N., stop babbling stupidly.  Anyone with a kindergarten education knows that you either knock the sociopathic bully down, or admit that you are a coward to yourself and the Libyan people.

 

New York Times' Style Sheet-- LIBYA

They are not rebels that are fighting for -- in Libya. They are pro-democracy activists that started out demonstrating on the street. And they ended up being victims of airplane bombardment, tank mortars, guns, everything you can think of.

Libyan human rights activist responding to Judy Woodruff on PBS Newshour.

 

Colleagues,

The following style sheet represents correct usage at (throat clearing and dramatic pause) The Times.

A.S.

 

Style Sheet -- LIBYA


 

Mercenary from Somali:  Qaddafi loyalist

Tripoli resident waving flag and yelling in exchange for $400:   Qaddafi supporter

Pilot who knows he and his family will be executed if he disobeys:  Forces loyal to Qaddafi

Members of the secret police torturing a teenage boy:  Pro-government forces

 

Old woman washing clothing: rebel

Child playing with dog: rebel

Woman carrying poster protesting killings: rebel

Man sitting on fence: rebel

 

Two men lifting a piece of iron onto a barricade to protect old woman washing clothing, child playing with dog, woman resting after carrying poster, and man sitting on fence:  Rebel forces

 

 

IMPORTANT TIP:   The Guardian, the second most-read English-language newspaper in the world (on line), has better coverage than the NY Times.

 

Welcome to the Hotel el-Qaddafia

Welcome to the Hotel el-Qaddafia

 

I swore never to be silent whenever and wherever human beings endure suffering and humiliation.  We must always take sides.  Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim.  Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented.

Elie Wiesel

 

Mercenaries and army forces put down an attempt by protesters on Friday to break Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi’s hold on this capital city, opening fire on crowds who had taken to the streets after prayers to mount their first major challenge to the government’s crackdown, witnesses said.

NYTimes, February 25, 2011

 

 

I called Tripoli today.  The Radisson Hotel, which “boasts an enviable location in the city center, overlooking exciting Al Fatah Street.”  The very city center where a bloodbath has reportedly taken place today.  Where Qaddafi’s mercenaries and army forces reportedly opened fire on crowds, killing many and injuring more.

A young male voice picked up the phone.

— Asalamalakum…

How strange, I think, to wish me peace when anything but peace reigns in the capital of Libya.

— Kayf haalak, —I said, — How are you?  Do you speak English?

— Yes, said the man.

— How are things in Tripoli? — I jumped at the chance.

— Everything is good, weather not good.

— What are you hearing?

— Nothing but your voice, ma’am.

I thought it was a joke.  But his voice was not ironic.

— Where in Tripoli are you?

— The center.

— Are you safe?

— Yes, I am.

— Did you hear gunshots today?

Silence.

— No, everything was calm.

— What do you mean?

— Everything is quiet and calm.

— What is the government saying?

— I am not sure.  Everything is quiet.  It’s good.

It seemed for a split second that I was speaking with Qaddafi himself.  I wanted to ask whether he actually understood English. Or may be it was my fault?  Maybe I didn’t dial Tripoli but the Radisson Reagan Airport Hotel?  But he hung up on me.  I tried to get him back but was transferred to voice mail:

“Enjoy this Tripoli hotel's prime city-centre location.  This luxurious Mediterranean hotel makes the perfect base for exploring Tripoli.”

A 32-year-old Omar, whose voice I had heard on the phone from his apartment a few minutes earlier, must be living in a different Tripoli.  Omar’s voice related the story of his friends, who traveled to the city center:

“They are marching with the protesters, they pretend to be with the people and when the crowd thickens up, they open fire, no targets, they shoot at everyone.”

The government is organizing a massive propaganda campaign, Omar said.  They sent out sms messages with fatwas: It’s haram to rise up against the leader.  “They were trying to say to us, to tell the people actually that we need to stay together, this is conspiracy from the world, from America, from Ben Laden…. At the same time they are sending text messages trying to convince people to go to work, to lead normal lives, but how can you live a normal live while you hear gun shots… everywhere?”

The voice of 42-year-old Mari, a resident of Benghazi, whose voice I had also heard, spoke about his cousin who lives in Tripoli.  Mari had spoken with him by phone on Friday.  “It was so hard to get through to him, I called 10-12 times and could not get through.”  When Mari reached his cousin, the things he said were unbelievable.  Bodies were lying in the square.  Nobody came to collect them.  There were a lot of dead bodies, dozens, according to Mari’s cousin, many more than the reports say.

“People who were shooting are not Libyans, they come from other places, they are Qaddafi’s men, Qaddafi pays them a lot of money.”

Mari said it was quiet in Benghazi today, but “I worry about my relatives in Tripoli,” his voice fluttered.

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