Posts Tagged ‘double-talk’

LIBYA: Double-Talk = Tripoli Trouble

Monday, March 28th, 2011

The following is a hypothetical, impromptu interview:

Q: After weeks of apparent dithering, why did the USA suddenly begin creating a “no-fly zone” in Libya?

A: For humanitarian reasons.

Q: We’re attacking targets on the ground as well in the air . . . true?

A: Yes, well . . . in order to enforce the “no-fly zone”, we have to attack and destroy all Libyan, governmental anti-aircraft sites on the ground.

Q: Don’t these actions constitute acts of war?

A: In the traditional sense, possibly.

Q: Pursuant to the Constitution, the Administration neglected to ask Congress for a declaration of war against Libya ( Why?

A: No need. We’ve placed our military actions under the authority of the United Nations and under the control of . . . well, we’re not quite sure who’s in control entirely at the moment . . . NATO is partly, I think. I’ve been traveling out of the country, you know. Other than NATO, who knows? We’re sorting it out through international committees.

Q: Wasn’t NATO created for the defense of Western Europe against an attack by the now-dismantled Soviet Union?

A: Ancient history.

Q: Initially, the Administration spoke only of a “no-fly zone”. Yet, we’ve also implemented a naval blockade. Doesn’t that, too, constitute an act of war?

A: As I said, possibly.

Q: Pursuant to the Constitution, the Administration again neglected to ask the Congress for a declaration of war. Why?

A: The Administration did notify Congress just before I left the country.

Q: In addition to the “no-fly zone” and naval blockade, we’ve attacked Libyan armor, artillery, and lines of supply on the ground. Furthermore, economically, we’ve frozen Libyan financial accounts and seized Libyan assets in the USA even though we’ve not declared war against Libya. Did we afford the Libyans due process in the courts before the freeze and the seizure?

A: No need. The President is the President. Look, why’re you making such a fuss over such trivial issues. I’ve already told you, we’re protecting civilians in Libya for humanitarian reasons.

Q: But not civilians in Iran nor Syria. Why the distinction?

A: The reasons are too complicated for most Americans to understand. Anyway, those reasons have been labeled “top-secret”.

Q: Aren’t many of these so-called Libyan civilians actually armed rebels fomenting a bloody civil war albeit ostensibly in the name of democracy?

A: They’re human beings who need our protection from a dictatorial lunatic.

Q: Maybe so but does their armed uprising represent a threat to American national interests? Before we attacked, did the Libyan government represent such a threat? The U.S. Secretary of War . . . .

A: You mean . . . Secretary of Defense.

Q: Sorry. The Secretary of Defense has said no.

A: (Silence.)

Q: I’ll take your silence also as a “No”. Several years ago after our invading Iraq, the Libyan government voluntarily ceased attempting to develop nuclear weapons. Aren’t we teaching small countries that, without nuclear weapons, they remain prey to the whims of American presidents? Would we, for example, have invaded Serbia if then-President Slobodan Milošević had had nuclear weapons?

A: The same issue held then as now . . . protecting civilians. Of course, as our actions showed in Serbia, the primary goal is that no American personnel get hurt . . . even if we ourselves have to engage in civilian bombing.

Q: No American military hurt in war?

A: Especially in war.

Q: And tactical nuclear weapons can inflict quite a lot of hurt?

A: Obviously.

Q: What are the long-term goals for this current invasion?

A: This isn’t an invasion. American troops are not on the ground . . . at the moment, anyway. We rescued the airpersons who were. With regard to long-term goals, those remain to be determined. I can tell you this, however, they do not . . . I repeat . . . they do not include “regime-change”.

Q: Yet, you’ve said that Col. Muammar Muhammad al-Gaddafi, the self-proclaimed “King of Kings”, must go. Is that true?

A: Absolutely.

Q: Long-term goals aside, what are the long-term plans?

A: Those also remain to be determined.

Q: By whom?

A: That, too, remains to be determined, but make no mistake, it will be done in full consultation with our allies . . . and even with our adversaries. In fact, personally I’m willing to include those who don’t give a damn one way or another.

Q: Some critics are accusing the Administration of using double-talk as a smokescreen for a deficit in understanding and an excess of indecision and weakness . . . much-delayed televised appearances notwithstanding.

A: The Attorney-General’s office says those critics are racists and has turned the matter over to the FBI as a possible conspiracy to commit a hate-crime . . . oh yes, and to the IRS, also.

Q: Why the IRS?

A: Why not?

Q: Would you agree, nevertheless, that we’ve gotten ourselves into a third military adventure on Mohammedan territory . . . the consequence of which could be a prolonged military stalemate with prolonged American military presence? The Secretary of Defense, for example, couldn’t guarantee that we’d be out of Libya by the end of the year. Worse, aren’t we doing it on borrowed money from our self-proclaimed adversary, Communist China, which could be the main beneficiary of Libyan oil no matter who wins . . . kind of like in Iraq?

A: Stop . . . enough already! Can’t you see that we’re acting in accordance with American military tradition since World War Two? We don’t declare wars. We try to act through international agencies, preferably the United Nations even though the majority of its members despises America. We attack only countries without nuclear weapons, preferably weak ones that really can’t fight back . . . like Libya. Most importantly, we fight not to win. Now, I’ve gotta run. I’m due on the golf-course. Have a great day.