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The Expansionist
Wednesday, February 23, 2011
 
More Ammunition for Liberals. An AOL News story about President Obama's statements on Libya, February 23rd,brought out the usual rabid anti-Obama, Radical Right loons, posting comments at the end of that story. I counterattacked on a range of topics related not just to Libya but also to foreign policy more generally and even domestic policy dragged into the discussion by the RadRiters. I present, below, most of the substantive comments I left. Mind you, I did this in the middle of the nite, ESTime (AOL is headquartered in NYC, about 18 miles from me), and "Comments Moderation" was on, so none of my comments appeared right away. I trust they will all appear Thursday after the moderators review them. In any case, here are 63 of my comments (at about 3,400 words), in fiting the good fite against the Radical Right. Other Liberals might like to use some of that argumentation, or thoughts it stirs, in their own combat against the Nation's enemy within.



What are you talking about? [Claim was made that Obama said nothing about Somali pirates who killed Americans on yacht.] The U.S. NAVY was in negotiations with those very pirates when the hostages were killed, were on board that yacht within minutes after the shooting, and KILLED some of the pirates and took the others into custody. Even when Obama DOES act, the Radical Right claims he didn't! Amazing.
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Instability in the Middle East DOES matter to us, in a number of ways, not least in the speculation-exaggerated increase in the cost of oil, which could give us $5/gallon gasoline by the summer.
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There are 1.2 million uniformed U.S. military. We are NOT stretched thin. And we could simply move a fleet out of Bahrain to the coast of Libya, and if we need ground forces to escort refugees, we can move some of those 50,000 troops out of Iraq, which Obama said when running for office he would do in the first place.
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If Obama launched a decisive military strike, you'd condemn him for precipitate and rash behavior. No matter WHAT he does, you will condemn him.
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He's not just talking. He is consulting with the military and with other governments as to what, as a practical matter, the international community can do.
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You plainly know NOTHING about world petroleum reserves. What we do have is RENEWABLE energy aplenty, and that is the way to go. Then our motives in the world will not be sullied by consideration of oil supplies.
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How is a U.S. military of 1.2 million "stretched thin" by an Afghan commitment of 90,000?
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Actually, some Middle Eastern societies are very much up-to-date. The United Arab Emirates are very modern. As regards economic conditions and jobs, we have a lot of work to do in those regards ourselves.
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I'm surprised that the Radical Right is so desperate to attack the Obama Administration that it is voting thumbs-up on the claim that China is the richest country in the world. Obama is in fact consulting with other countries as to how to proceed, and multilateralism seems presently to have the lead in considerations as to how to proceed.
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The U.S. has not given billions of dollars to Libya. Total U.S. foreign aid is 1% of our budget, or less. The U.S. did NOT stand idly by while millions died. NOBODY outside, at very best, a tiny number of intelligence officers and policymakers knew about the so-called "Holocaust" -- the German PEOPLE didn't even know -- and the U.S. was in the Great Depression. We started to rev up production of war materiel for the British Empire and Soviet Union, but were in no position to go to war until very late in the game. I am so tired of people who complain about the U.S. doing 'nothing' about this or that, from slavery (we fought a war that killed 600,000 Americans to end slavery, the most that ANY country in the history of the world has done to end slavery) but get no credit for it. We arm the enemies of Nazism and Japanese militarism to the teeth and send U.S. forces to Europe, Africa, Asia, and Oceania -- the U.S. being the ONLY major power to fite the War in the Pacific against the Japanese -- but are condemned for doing 'nothing'. Outrageous. Further, if the problem in Libya is one man and his family, why on EARTH would we want to turn the entire country into "rubble", hurting the very people we should free? We should remove/kill Qaddafi and his forces, not the people of Libya. You are not making any sense.
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So the world doesn't need a police force. Very interesting thinking. Perhaps we should abolish all our own domestic police forces and just let what happens, happen.
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Oh, you're right. Nobody in the Arab world cares what the U.S. thinks. They have completely forgotten that little Iraq unpleasantness.
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If the U.S. helps establish democratic government in these Arab countries, and those governments all prevail upon the United States, as friends, to end its one-sided policy in support of Radical Zionism, we U.S. might finally be freed from control by the Zionist lobby and be able to act as honest broker for freedom and justice in the Middle East, including in Palestine.
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The Obama Administration spent TRILLIONS trying to prevent a Great Depression, but you say it did NOTHING? You people have to make up your mind: did Obama do too much and spend too much, or did he do nothing and spend nothing? You can't have it both ways.
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How is it that everybody forgets that the UN defended South Korea?
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"c" -- no sitting President has oil stocks, as far as either he or we know. All sitting Presidents' stocks, if any, are in BLIND trusts, which means that no matter what might once have been in their portfolio, it might have been changed around by the trustees. In any case, if Obama has stocks in a blind trust, he would have absolutely no idea whether those stocks included oil stocks.
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Jimmy Carter is a decent man who wanted the U.S. always to be on the side of human rights. But Carter has been out of office a LONG time, and there seems to most people to be absolutely no similarity between his foreign policy -- and can you remember ANYTHING of his foreign policy except the Iran hostage-taking? and I'm sure you FORGET that he sent a military rescue mission that failed, thru no fault of his but only of the Pentagon's -- and Obama's.
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Liberals used to say "Freedom is indivisible", and wherever freedom is under threat, free people must act to defend it. That's the way most Americans feel.
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It seems very unlikely that terrorists will ever control much of the world's oil supply, but if they did, that would prove powerful incentive to us to develop renewable energy, so it might not be the disaster you might think, but an actual boon, to us and the planet.
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Yes, [Qaddafi] is [shaking in his boots]. I suppose you don't remember another dictator, Saddam Hussein. Google that name and see what happened to him. Even if you don't remember, Qaddafi does.
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Exactly how much of our Federal budget do you think goes to the rest of the world as foreign aid? Try less than 1%. For 7 BILLION people, in countries that can adversely affect us in astonishing ways, such as little, landlocked Afghanistan 9,000 miles from us being able to train terrorists to blow up the World Trade Center and devastate Downtown Manhattan. Isolationism is a non-starter.
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Tax the rich at 1978 rates and we'll have more money than we know what to do with.
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jmbrassfie, it seems you are making that up. Obama has actually avoided being seen with Qaddafi, even when protocol would seem to make it necessary: http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/europe/article6841917.ece
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Apparently you have complete[ly] forgotten the Iraq War. That scared the HECK out of Middle Eastern tyrants.
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U.S. oil supplies are nowhere near adequate to keep our economy going. Most of the oil we import, however, comes from the Western Hemisphere. U.S. efforts to force out dictators in Libya and Egypt have NOTHING to do with oil.
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Diplomacy is not as simple as you would have people think. In Sri Lanka, INDIA was the major power that needed to be considered, and India did indeed intervene to end that civil war. Sometimes U.S. action is not needed, nor wanted. Had we intruded into that civil war -- on whose side? -- we risked alienating India, which is by no means a trivial matter.
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Actually, France has intervened militarily a LOT in its former African colonies, invited or not. Indeed, France limited Qaddafi's aspirations to take over or at least dominate Chad.
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The crisis in Libya is what? a week old?! The U.S. has made statements of support for the people there as in Egypt. The people of Egypt took 18 days to take out Mubarak. And we didn't have to send one combat soldier in. The U.S. can provide air cover to demonstrators with a no-fly zone for military aircraft, but anything we do must be nuanced, not bull-in-the-china-shop clumsiness.
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The Obama Administration was put into office by a democratic election, and won office by almost 10 million votes. It is legitimate, no matter how many Radical Rightwingers insist that it is not. And as to that sneering "we know what you are", why don't you just say what you mean [that Obama is a Moslem] and be held accountable for it? The President's approval ratings disprove your assertion about the respect given to his Administration within the Nation, and the bulk of the world community ADORES President Obama. Get used to it.
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Yes, we should not just speak but also act strongly for freedom everywhere. But there are limits to U.S. power, and there is sometimes a fine line between defending human rights (which people praise) and "American imperialism" (which people condemn). Is Obama doing the right thing? Let's wait and see. If the Libyan people and military oust Qaddafi without U.S. intervention, that would be better for everyone. It will give Libyans a sense of power over their own destiny, and it might cost many fewer lives than would an outside intervention, be it by the U.S., NATO, UN, Arab League, African Union, European Union, or anyone else.
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The Federal Government's budget proposed by Obama is to spend $3.7 TRILLION, almost all of it within the United States and in defense of the United States. Why would you begrudge the pittance (less than 1%) that we give to the other 6.7 billion people on this planet? Yes, we have problems in this country, but we ARE working on them. Don't blame Obama for what the Republicans won't let him do to change things for the better for the poor and middle class.
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Reagan was never President except in name. He was a puppet of an invisible Collective Presidency, and he decided NOTHING. All he did was read the nice words written by the smart people who were the Real President.
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Yes, we do so love those explosions and oil spills that kill billions of animals, destroy the tourist industry, and make us ashamed of ourselves. Will you restrict oil drilling to safe area[s] on land? If not, will you consent to be thrown into the next oil spill and die like the pelicans and dolphins?
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Let's not forget that Reagan did not remove Qaddafi, but left that mess to us.
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You have a very short memory. The U.S. invasion of Iraq and hanging of Saddam Hussein certainly DOES scare Qaddafi, and every other dictator in that part of the world.
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President Obama is commander-in-chief of the U.S. military. If he gets approval from Congress, he can do all kinds of things, militarily, to remove Qaddafi -- and Qaddafi knows it. He remembers the hanging of Saddam Hussein. Don't you?
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There is no comparison between the situation in Libya and the situation in the United States. The issue in Libya is dictatorship, not economics, and NO ONE knows how to make the free market work. It goes up. It goes down. And the most that Government can do is be a sort of economic lithium: cut the top off the highs and [the bottom off] the lows. But that middle range is enormous, and great suffering can occur before a Great Recession becomes prosperity again.
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The U.S. has problems. It is NOT "in shambles". Libya is a concern for the entire civilized world.
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Politics. diplomacy, and warfare, an extension of diplomacy, are all about the POSSIBLE. During the state visit of Communist China's "President", our President spoke out about China's dismal record on human rights. China has a population of 1.3 billion, a military TWICE the size of ours, and over 600 MILLION people fit for military service, about twice the entire U.S. po[p]ulation(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/People's_Liberation_Army). It also has nuclear weapons and intercontinental ballistic missiles with which to deliver them. Are you really itching for war against Communist China [for human rights]?
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Americans need to confront that hypocrisy, and force a change in U.S. Middle East policy. Once more of the region is democratized, maybe U.S. friendship with those new democracies will produce a desire to accommodate the legitimate aspirations of Arabs in Palestine as well as Egypt and Libya.
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If you are talking about abortion, a child is NOT part of 'a woman's own body' -- and besides, the U.S. has, for the moment, unrestricted "rights" to abortion in at least the first trimester. There is absolutely no comparison to the problems of Libyans.
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What are you talking about? The Obama Administration has not just talked but actually GOTTEN serious sanctions against Iran? As for Iran sending ships thru the Suez Canal, that is its absolute RIGHT. And we hope that it is NOT Libya that falls but only its dictator.
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It's an all-volunteer military, Mac. Stop talking oil nonsense. Whether Qaddafi is in charge or a democratic government in charge, Libyan oil will flow.
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He spoke out the first day fatalities were mentioned by media, and again on Wednesday. But truth means nothing to the Radical Right, who will NEVER credit Obama with ANYTHING he does.
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You refuse to pay attention to anything you don't want to hear. You don't see the mention of air combat patrols and a U.S. aircraft carrier. Did you even read the article?
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Master Perry, you had me until you claimed that nonintervention against dictators is a Liberal value, which is exactly the opposite of the truth. It is Liberals who say things like "Freedom is indivisible". It is Conservatives who say we should mind our own business.
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Please explain how Libyan oil will stop flowing if Qaddafi is ousted, or if he remains. Oil has NOTHING to do with it.
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Let me explain something for the benefit of the simpleminded: whether a dictator or a democracy is in charge, the oil will flow.
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So if a rapist seizes a woman on the street, we should mind our own business and let her work it out for herself.
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The Secretary of State does NOT set U.S. foreign policy, but only speaks for the policy decided by the President and his advisers, INCLUDING the Secretary of State.
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Unfortunately, some techniques to extract natural gas, such as "cracking" shale, are NOT environmentally safe, so should be banned. There are cheaper ways to get a multifunction, nonpolluting gas: electrolyzing water with renewable energy to extract hydrogen.
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To those whose replies to your comment advocate we "let George do it" and abdicate leadership on the world stage to others, think about that. Do we really want other countries to rally the international community, and be rendered irrelevant? I don't. And which country would you like to see replace the United States as the world's leader? France, the EU, Communist China, Russia? Maybe someday they will rally the world against US.
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That's a poisonous question ["who will come to the aid of america?"] that doesn't really want an answer, but let me give one anyway. When Hurricane Katrina struck New Orleans, a great many countries came to our aid. When the U.S. asked for a "coalition of the willing" in the Gulf War (ostensibly over Kuwait), Iraq, and Afghanistan, we got a whole bunch of countries coming to our aid. We are NOT alone, and we DO get help of many types from many sources, even as regards financing our budget deficit -- from China, Brazil, etc. Cut the crap.
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The President said his Administration will STOP doing something, that is, stop trying to defend a law [the Defense of Marriage Act] that has been ruled unconstitutional. I thought you people wanted him to do LESS, and here he goes and DOES less, and you complain. Nothing he can do or not-do will ever be enuf for the Radical Right.
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The U.S. spends $3.7 TRILLION dollars on and in defending the U.S., and about $14 MILLION on foreign aid, and you think that $14 MILLION is too large a part of $3.7 TRILLION. Perhaps you do not understand math.
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I guess you didn't read the article, which early on says "Obama said the 'suffering and bloodshed is outrageous and is unacceptable'." So he DID condemn the killings. What is wrong with you people? You are so eager to beat up on the black man in the White House that you don't even credit what he actually says in the article you are SUPPOSED to be commenting on but which you apparently did not bother to read.
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As for Raymond's comment, "He should have been speaking last week", the article plainly says "In his first public response to the Libyan crisis since Friday" -- so he DID speak out last week. But the Radical Right won't read or listen to anything that does not accord with their PREJUDICES, and we all know what prejudices are topmost in their minds.
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The Obama Administration just won a 33-year sentence for one Somali pirate; the U.S. Navy was in active negotiations with the pirates when they shot those fools; and a Navy force took over the yacht within minutes. Obama also freed a U.S. captain and killed his captors in 2009. But of course none of that means anything to the mindless anti-Obama crowd. I called the American yachters "fools" because THE WHOLE WORLD KNEW about Somali pirates, but they sailed into pirate-infested waters, on a yacht! Plainly, they had more dollars than sense, and now they're dead. I'm not sad.
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Your hero, Ronald Reagan, made one brief attempt to kill Qaddafi, then let it slide, for us to deal with now. That's the same Reagan who ran with his tail between his legs after some Marines were killed in Lebanon. Big tuf Republicans! What a bunch of crap.
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The U.S. received a lot of criticism from abroad over the Rodney King beating, segregation, civil unrest, etc., and all of it was justified.
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The United States is NOT the world's laughingstock under Obama, but more respected by far than it had been for the prior eight years. The world LOVES Obama, which is one reason the Egyptian and other rioters weren't burning U.S. flags in the streets. Or didn't you notice that conspicuous absence? As for claims that Obama has done nothing, tell that to the families who now have health insurance because insurers can no longer deny coverage to kids with pre-existing conditions, or whose college kids are covered under their parents' insurance until they graduate and can get a job (if there are any, what with the destruction the Republicans caused the economy); or the reforms to banking oversight that have stopped BILLIONS of dollars of unjust fees; tell gay Americans that the repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" was meaningless, and no change at all. No, maybe you shouldn't tell anybody anything at all.
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So you're blaming Obama for the lax policies of George W. Bush, are you? How very convenient. Until U.S. nationals -- and those of friendly European countries -- are OUT of Libya, there's not much the U.S. can do, lest they be seized and used as "human shields" by the Qaddafi regime. But you never thought of that, did you? The President of the United States DOES have to think about that. The U.S. in any case has NEVER "propped up" Qaddafi. He has been treated as an ENEMY for decades!
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No, of course not. Nobody pays attention to the world's superpower, which hanged the dictator Saddam Hussein. What are you smoking?
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(The current U.S. military death toll in Iraq, according to the website "Iraq Coalition Casualties", is \\ — for Israel.)



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