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Posts Tagged ‘Libya’

Left Hanging

Having recently passed the one year anniversary of the attack in Benghazi, Libya, where four Americans were killed, there have been voices venting their frustration that no one has been called to task for this crime.

Rowan Scarborough of The Washington Times even partially titles his column on this issue with “Where is the Justice?”

Representative Mike Rogers, a Republican from Michigan and chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, will hold hearings in the next two weeks (according to this article) to investigate the attack and, for the first time, survivors of that deadly night will testify.

While some people clamor for justice for Christopher Stevens, Sean Smith, Tyrone Woods, and Glen Doherty one year on, my follow-up question is this…

When will there be justice for Scott Helvenston, Jerko Zovko, Wesley Batalona, and Mike Teague?

Those names are most likely not familiar anymore, but in March of 2004, these four Americans were killed in Fallujah, Iraq. Their beaten and burned bodies were then strung up and put on display on a bridge in that city.

To date, nearly a decade since that heinous crime, no one has even been accused, much less brought to face justice.

So, best of luck Mr. Scarborough and Representative Rogers on your search to find justice, but don’t look to history to be your guide lest you become depressed.

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I have written before about the concept of setting aside a week to reflect back on a series of events that all happened to have occurred in that calendar week, but in different years.

At the end of January, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) honors those astronauts lost during the Apollo I fire (1967), the Space Shuttle Challenger explosion (1986) , and the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster (2003).

My previous post postulated creating a Loss and Remembrance Week during April 16 through 22 to remember those taken away and affected by the shootings at Virginia Tech (2007), the siege at Waco (1993), the bombing in Oklahoma City (1995), and the shootings at Columbine High School (1999).

This post is to offer up this current seven-day period as War Week (March 19 – 25) where we can reflect on the meanings, morality, consequences, etc., of the armed conflicts entered into by the United States of America. This week was picked because of a trio of anniversaries that fall within this timeframe:

…March 19, 2011 – The United States (along with others) begins military action against Libya;
…March 20, 2003 – The United States begins military action against Iraq; and
…March 24, 1999 – The United States (along with NATO allies) begins military action against Yugoslavia.

I understand that allies help allies because that’s what friends are for. However, I can hope that in the future that the next time some provocation comes our way that instead of firing up the troops, maybe we can just walk on by and avoid the deja vu of deaths upon deaths. For that hope, perhaps I will say a little prayer during this War Week.

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I’m switching it up today as I will post my ceditra entry first and then tie it in with the news of the day.

My process for randomly picking snippets (and I don’t use darts as they are so passe) from which I draw inspiration to opine about landed me on page 106 of Dr. Mardy Grothe‘s compilation of quotes entitled Oxymoronica, where I found this quote…

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July 6, 2011

The most radical revolutionary will become a conservative the day after the revolution

The above quote was brought to you by the political theorist Hannah Arendt.

This snippet would seem to be a decent corollary to the ceditra entry of June 1 where I spoke about how a reformer’s work is never done. Here we see the oxymoronic condition of what happens to a revolutionary, who one can think as an extreme type of reformer, when his quest is successful.

While it seems counter-intuitive to think that a radical will become a conservative overnight, it actually makes perfect sense. A revolutionary, by definition, wants to overthrow the status quo and change everything. Whether it’s in the arena of government, politics, business, or culture, the radical wants to upset the proverbial apple cart (or even, as in the case of the French Revolution, use them as barricades) and NOT keep things the way they are. The conservative, on the other hand, wants to keep things exactly as they are. So when a revolutionary succeeds in overthrowing whatever it is they didn’t like, they will become conservative because they want to keep the new status quo exactly as it is.

The Founding Fathers of the United States didn’t keep rebelling against the new country once it defeated Great Britain in war. The Leninites didn’t keep overthrowing themselves once they were in power. A new CEO for a business doesn’t keep reorganizing the company once he assumes control (well, okay, this does happen quite a bit).

Once change is accomplished, those who made the most impact for that change will likely fight hammer and tongs to resist any further change.

How else to explain Fidel Castro and North Korea.
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Back to October and I was reminded of the above ceditra entry courtesy of the following news item about the aftermath of the Arab Spring, the popular uprising that took place in Arab countries at the start of the year.

In Libya, with Muammar Gaddafi out of power, people celebrate the end of repression and oppression by…continuing to oppress and repress. This story tells the tale of David Gerbi, a Libyan Jew, who returned to this home country to help rebuild and reopen a Jewish synagogue in Tripoli.

He was unsuccessful and forced to leave the country as the newly freed citizens of Libya took their hard-fought freedom and created signs like “There is no place for Jews in Libya” and “We don’t have a place for Zionism”.

As the band, The Who, once sang, “Meet the new boss / Same as the old boss”, but this time we continue to be fooled again (and again and again).

Simply ask the people of Tunisia, birthplace of the “Arab Spring” courtesy of the action of Mohammed Bouazizi, where protests against the new regime are met with tear gas.

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I wrote earlier about how I thought it was curious that most media outlets in March were describing the fight in Libya as being between the “pro-Gadaffi forces” and the rebels.

I asked, back then, if the armed forces fighting for a country is called “an army”, why wasn’t this conflict being described as being between the “Libyan army and the rebels”.

Well, with the toppling of Gaddafi and with some bodies recognizing the legitimacy of the Libyan transitional government, I guess it’s okay again to call the armed forces fighting for a country the “army” or “government troops”.

Case in point is BBC News and this October 8 story where the first line is Libyan government troops have moved on the city from two directions.

Notice the armed forces fighting against the pro-Gaddafi forces are not labelled by BBC News as “pro-Mustafa Abdel Jalil forces”, because, well, that would be weird, wouldn’t it?

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My Son, the Comedian

You’ve met him as Cordelia and you’ve seen him as a pedantic, but now, coming to the blog stage for the first time, please put your hands together and welcome my middle child Jared as a comedian.

Here’s the set-up: During our family’s dinner time conversation, our oldest child, Christopher, mentioned that his 8th grade homeroom class watches a video every day that contains snippets from the day’s news.

Libya was on the menu and the discussion turned to the flag being used by Libya’s National Transnational Council. Christopher was trying to describe it and not having much luck.

By the way, it looks like this…

Flag of the National Transitional Council of Libya

Meet the New Boss...

I asked my children if they knew what the previous Libyan flag looked like. I have always been able to remember this flag because it is so simple. Look…

Libyan flag introduced by Gaddafi

This is why one Olympic ring has to be green

When I informed my children that the flag was changed to the “only-green” motif by Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi after he took control of the country, Jared commented that “he did this to make it easier for his children to color in their flag.”

[rimshot]

He’ll be working the Bon Mot Room at Chez-Ha-Ha on the Left Bank from September 15 through 18, with two shows on the 17th.

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This latest posting about a veridiction – the process of verifying predictions – seemed like a no-brainer.

On the February 22, 2011, edition of the radio program Marketplace, a contributing editor to the magazine Foreign Policy, Steve Levine (who also runs the blog entitled The Oil and the Glory), made the go-out-on-a-limb prediction that gasoline prices would go up because of the turmoil in Libya.

On February 18, the Lundberg Survey had a gallon of regular gasoline going for $3.18.

On March 4, it was $3.51.

On March 18, it was $3.57.

On April 8, the Lundberg Survey had a gallon of regular gasoline priced at $3.76.

I must give respect where it is due and so, Mr. Levine, congratulations on a correct prediction.

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Given the following over the past two years…

…my follow-up question is this: When was George W. Bush elected to a third term?

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