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April 08, 2011

Smart Power: NATO Bombs Rebels' Tanks; "We Didn't Know They Had Tanks"

On one hand, I didn't know that either.

On the other hand, I'm not being paid to run this war.

The deputy commander of NATO forces in Libya acknowledged Friday that the alliance struck rebel tanks outside the eastern oil town of Brega a day earlier but blamed the deadly incident on a lack of communication from the rebels.

Rear Adm. Russell Harding said "it would appear that two of our strikes yesterday may have resulted in the deaths of a number of TNC forces," referring to the Transitional National Council, the rebels' de facto government. Doctors said that at least five people were killed in the Thursday morning strike, the second friendly fire incident in less than a week involving NATO forces and the rebels battling Libyan strongman Muammar Gadhafi.

"I'm not apologizing," Harding told reporters in Naples, Italy. "The situation on the ground was extremely fluid and remains extremely fluid. And up until yesterday we had no information that the TNC or the opposition forces were using tanks."

What the hell.

And if you think that's dumb, how about a general proposing US ground troops in Libya?

Asked if the U.S. would provide troops, Ham said, I suspect there might be some consideration of that. My personal view at this point would be that thats probably not the ideal circumstance, again for the regional reaction that having American boots on the ground would entail.

Um, no.

As I wrote before I had counted on Obama's feckless (if inconstant) pacifism to keep him from making the same mistake as LBJ and deciding his ego was on the line and so better men than him should die to prove how "tough" he is.

I'm not sure of that anymore.

This general really should get his head on straight. We cannot piss away good American troops' lives everywhere. We cannot and must not put troops in another civil-war situation.

If the answer is stalemate, so be it. If Obama wanted to cleanly win the war he missed his opportunity by delaying so long to rain airstrikes on Qadaffy's mercenaries. If it's now to be a divided state, then so be it.

Who the hell cares? If Qadaffy acts up we bomb the crap out of Tripoli.

What is this absurd sentimentalist regard for world maps with countries that have constant borders? Do we care if Libya breaks up into West Libya and East Libya? Is learning a new contour on a map so difficult for us?

No more using soldiers just to spare the lives of foreigners.

Yes, it would be better if the rebels won, but they're not strong enough for that. All we can do is keep Qadaffy from winning.

And that's all we should do.

By The Way: I don't think there's any question that putting ground troops into a live war would require a Congressional resolution.

That's full commitment. That's solemn war.



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posted by Ace at 02:33 PM

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