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CapitalistSwine
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Perhaps you should read more on what is actually going on first. Obama has no intention of spearheading this with our military, nor does the Pentagon. Second, this is not a full-fledged war, it is setting up a no flight zone, which is something very very different. Third, we hardly have our hands tied, we don't even need to use humans in combat zones to play an effective role in this. The Pentagon stated we are likely to employ unmanned drones, arming rebels, and signal jamming. I am not sure how excluding "a foreign occupation force of any form on any part of Libyan territory," equates to having our hands tied.

You have listed a series of measures, and called them "effective". But you never said what purpose they are "effective" for. What exactly are you saying they're going to achieve?

If it's to remove Qaddafi from power, I don't see how any of the things you listed and call effective will achieve that. Those measures are going to achieve the continuation of the civil war, with both sides entrenched among civilians in their strongholds, not the defeat of Qaddafi.

Obama, in his 10 minute speech yesterday, did not set any goals for this intervention. He didn't define what would constitute victory, and there was no mention of Qaddafi's removal.

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I'm still undecided as to the proper course of action in this matter. However, for those who want to do this to preserve the free flow of oil, I don't see any evidence that oil would not begin flowing again after things settle down. If Kaddafi stays in power, he will need to sell oil in order to maintain power and to rebuild. If the rebels (whoever the hell they are) take over, they will need to sell oil for the same reasons. In any event, the oil in Libya will eventually make its way back into the international markets after the situation cools. The oil piece of this equation really shouldn't be a reason for our intervention, as any disruption is likely just temporary.

On the other hand, it is disturbing to watch the slaughter of civillians and fighters attempting to depose an insane, scumbag dicatator who undeniably has American blood on his hands. As usual, Obama looks indecisive and timid. Now, while Kaddafi has publicly agreed to the cease fire, his soldiers continue to attack and will likely have taken over Benghazi before the UN can get the necessary resources in place to establish a no-fly zone. Lets face it, America is impotent by choice in this matter.

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The fact of the matter is, that if Libya ceases exporting oil to the EU, the EU will have to buy it elsewhere, possibly from someone who does export oil to the US currently, and that will cut into our supply (and/or drive prices up). And if it isn't someone who exports to us, they will end up "bumping" another customer who will go to our supplier... or the chain could be longer, but it is there. Oil is fungible.

The point is _any_ disruption of oil supplies will affect us, regardless of whether we buy oil from whatever country is having the problem.

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So, you would advocate simply standing by and doing nothing? I hope I'm never in serious trouble and you're the only one nearby who could help.

The US military is for defending the lives and freedom of Americans. If you want to help, go organize a voluntary force and have at it or volunteer yourself, but you can have no claim on using the US military for this. Do the Libyan people have a right to be protected by the US military? If so, where does that right come from? If you're in trouble and you're a Libyan rebel, then no. What are you going to do force me to help you? Whether or not someone helps someone else is their decision to make, a right that comes from their right to exist for their own sake. Since the military involves the governmental apparatus of coercion, it is not to be used for any purpose other than the lives and freedom of Americans.

Besides, last I checked, the Constitution says “The Congress shall have Power... To declare War...” (Section 8 “The Powers of Congress”)

Those words haven't been amended or erased. They're still there. It doesn't say “The UN Security Counsel shall have Power To declare War,” or “The President and/or Secretary of State shall have Power To declare War,” or “The Congress shall have Power To declare War, except if some depressed peoples in a foreign country are in trouble and you're the only one nearby who could help, then you can just go to war whenever.”

So if you claim to support the Constitution, you have no business supporting this action until such a declaration is made by the Congress.

In order for this operation to be altruistic, as you assume, it would mean that we get nothing out of the deal other than feeling good about ourselves.

Not only do we get nothing out of it, we lose in the situation. If we offer help the Libya under the condition that they turn over all their oil to Western business and pay for every penny of the operation, and adopt some kind of Japanese-style constitution, then it would be a different situation. But as it turns out, invasions aren't free, and there is a huge economic and human cost involved in putting our airmen at risk over the skies of North Africa for the sake of the dissidents in a civil war. Since we are not the beneficiaries of this action, it is self-sacrifice. These reasons stated thus far do not fit the standard of proper action for foreign policy (the lives and freedom of Americans), it is acting entirely on the standard of the interests of others, and asking that we place theirs above ours.

As far as this "but the oil might stop flowing" business from several posts in here: Neither Kaddafi nor the rebels are so stupid as to commit national suicide by ceasing to sell oil to Europe. That is a terrible reason for the US to get involved. At the most, it can be taken as a reason for Europe to intervene. The fact that someone is now buying a good or service from the same person you buy the good or service from is not a reason to go to war.

We may not be the "world's policemen" as some have put it, but we did assume a leadership role in the world after WWII.

So we're not the world's policeman, except that we are the world's policeman. Okay that makes sense.

To abdicate that responsibility and retreat into Isolationism would create a power vacuum, into which China would gladly step.

That is laughably absurd. Us not invading Libya is not going to cause China to take over the world.

Edit: Oh, and forgot to reply to this argument point:

From a moral standpoint, preventing the slaughter of innocent lives increases our standing in the world, which has suffered greatly up to this point by Obama's prevarication.

This is a terrible reason because it is complete primacy of consciousness subjectivism. The point of war is not to increase your standing with the world, i.e. to affect the opinions of others positively toward you. The point is nothing less than to defend your life and ensure your freedom from force initiators.

Secondly, it's a terrible reason because not only because the end sought is inappropriate, but it will even fail to attain the end sought. Having the United States invade another Muslim Arab country will end up being seen by the average Muslim Arab as something completely opposite from what you claim to want.

Edited by 2046
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I am sorry but anyone that thinks intervention in Libya is about the oil is a moron and doesn't understand the details of Libya or our oil situation, Phd or not. 6. Angola

I dare say that Dr. Hurd, with a Phd, is no moron.

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You have listed a series of measures, and called them "effective". But you never said what purpose they are "effective" for. What exactly are you saying they're going to achieve?

If it's to remove Qaddafi from power, I don't see how any of the things you listed and call effective will achieve that. Those measures are going to achieve the continuation of the civil war, with both sides entrenched among civilians in their strongholds, not the defeat of Qaddafi.

Obama, in his 10 minute speech yesterday, did not set any goals for this intervention. He didn't define what would constitute victory, and there was no mention of Qaddafi's removal.

You forget that we are in a SUPPORTIVE role for this. Meaning that other countries will be taking care of the rest. Also, did you listen to Clinton's press talk? Obama isn't the only one that says things that are relevant.

I also find this interesting that we are discussing this force taking of money to support altruistic wars in this case, but I have rarely seen that same issue mentioned with regards to either of our other two wars.

I can agree however, with the statement in one of the posts below mine that Europe could easily handle this on it's own, UNLESS this evolves into a long-term air superiority campaign, in which case U.S. assistance would likely be needed. I agree that there was no particular reason the U.S. needed to get military involved in this situation, this is part of the new Obama policy for how to deal with the middle-east in general, and so far they have acted consistently with that policy, for good or for worse.

"So if you claim to support the Constitution, you have no business supporting this action until such a declaration is made by the Congress."

You can still support something in the abstract without having to wait for all of the legal formalities to take place. Careful. I don't recall him ever stating that Congress should be ignored on this issue, if I have missed that somewhere then I apologize.

That is laughably absurd. Us not invading Libya is not going to cause China to take over the world.

Amen to that. I also don't understand why people always seem to see the spectrum as isolationism<---->world police. There are a hell of a lot of foreign policy positions in between those, such as, oh, I don't know, the one the founding fathers promoted.

I dare say that Dr. Hurd, with a Phd, is no moron.

I know very little about this Dr. Hurd, but if he thinks one of the defining factors in this situation is the oil, then this specific opinion of his is certainly moronic, and I almost guarantee you anyone else with a respectable track record for knowledge of that region and general U.S. policy will tell you the same.

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Supportive of what? Effective action by "some other country"? Could you be more specific than that?

It is a coalition that comprises nations such as France, Britain, now Italy, Qatar, the UAE,etc. Our President, secretary of State and the admiral in charge of this operation have stated we are not in a spearheading role in this action. Sorry, I am not sure how this is so confusing to people, as if this has never happened before.

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This is exactly why hard core fundamentalist Objectivists are considered to be heartless bastards, and why it will never catch on with the wider public.

Why should we give a damn about what catches on with irrational people?

If men turn to reason, if they are not destroyed by dictatorship and precipitated into another Dark Ages, if men remain free long enough to have time to think, then Objectivism is the philosophy they will accept.

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It is a coalition that comprises nations such as France, Britain, now Italy, Qatar, the UAE,etc. Our President, secretary of State and the admiral in charge of this operation have stated we are not in a spearheading role in this action. Sorry, I am not sure how this is so confusing to people, as if this has never happened before.

I'm not sure I see what the point is here. So saying that that makes it okay to violate the Constitution and the War Powers Resolution?

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I think we can appear strong and decisive without running to the aid of every country that falls apart.

Absolutely. The US should focus on dealing with Iran with every weapon necessary. Iran is the primary engine of war, nuclear proliferation and instability in the Middle East, and of terrorism in the West. An powerful attack on Iran will be a warning to all other countries of what will happen if they continue to threaten Western countries.

Edited by tripod fish
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Why should we give a damn about what catches on with irrational people?

... Seriously? Your approach to the rest of the world is simply to write most of it off as irredeemably worthless? Do you think this approach is conducive to the furthering of your own life?

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... Seriously? Your approach to the rest of the world is simply to write most of it off as irredeemably worthless? Do you think this approach is conducive to the furthering of your own life?

If Objectivism is ever to catch on with the wider public, we must stand up for what is true, and not for what irrational people want to be true. If telling the truth makes us come across as heartless bastards for the wider public today, so be it.

Edited by tripod fish
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If Objectivism is ever to catch on with the wider public, we must stand up for what is true, and not for what irrational people want to be true. If telling the truth makes us come across as heartless bastards for the wider public today, so be it.

There's a difference between standing up for what is true and writing off everyone who doesn't presently agree with you. I'm only arguing against the latter. If, as you suggest, anyone in the wider public who does not agree with Objectivism's rejection of altruism is irrational, and if furthermore we shouldn't care what such people accept, then who exactly is left to try to convince? Either they agree with us already or we don't care what views they hold.

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I'm not sure I see what the point is here. So saying that that makes it okay to violate the Constitution and the War Powers Resolution?

I am not sure how you ever came to that conclusion from what I have posted in this thread thus far. The War Powers Act is nonsense, and I of course agree that declarations of war, etc. should follow the requirements laid forth in the Constitution. However if you are just going to put words in my mouth then there is not much point in me posting further is there?

Edited by CapitalistSwine
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I am not sure how you ever came to that conclusion from what I have posted in this thread thus far. The War Powers Act is nonsense, and I of course agree that declarations of war, etc. should follow the requirements laid forth in the Constitution. However if you are just going to put words in my mouth then there is not much point in me posting further is there?

Don't get me wrong, I'm not putting words in your mouth. I'm just saying isn't the whole line of thought that says "Well, we aren't 'spearheading' this effort, we're only in a supportive role" really a red herring with regard to the fact that it is illegal to put US forces into action against a foreign nation without first attaining a declaration of war by the Congress. The Constitution doesn't differentiate between "spearheading" and "supporting," it doesn't limit the President to authorizing only being in "supportive roles" of no-fly zones before requiring a majority of both houses of Congress.

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If, as you suggest, anyone in the wider public who does not agree with Objectivism's rejection of altruism is irrational, and if furthermore we shouldn't care what such people accept, then who exactly is left to try to convince?

The younger generation, whose minds are not yet totally corrupted. I know of very few people who confronted and changed their poisonous ideas after the age of 35.

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Don't get me wrong, I'm not putting words in your mouth. I'm just saying isn't the whole line of thought that says "Well, we aren't 'spearheading' this effort, we're only in a supportive role" really a red herring with regard to the fact that it is illegal to put US forces into action against a foreign nation without first attaining a declaration of war by the Congress. The Constitution doesn't differentiate between "spearheading" and "supporting," it doesn't limit the President to authorizing only being in "supportive roles" of no-fly zones before requiring a majority of both houses of Congress.

Thomas Jefferson also took the hardline against the President's ability to act without consulting Congress, up until he was the President and he sent the U.S. Navy into action against the Barbary pirates (modern day Libya, btw.) Sorry, this objection is not persuasive.

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Thomas Jefferson also took the hardline against the President's ability to act without consulting Congress, up until he was the President and he sent the U.S. Navy into action against the Barbary pirates (modern day Libya, btw.) Sorry, this objection is not persuasive.

It's not presuasive because a president contradicted himself? I find that objection to the objection not persuasive.

Besides, both houses of Congress authorized Jefferson to act against Tripoli:

http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/natsec/RL31133.pdf

President Thomas Jefferson, in response to attacks on U.S.

commercial shipping in the Mediterranean Sea by vessels under the control of the

Bey of Tripoli, noted in his message to Congress of December 8, 1801, that it would

be prudent for Congress to authorize the use of U.S. Navy forces to protect U.S.

shipping against Tripoli, including permitting them to take offensive action against

Tripolitan vessels.13 Congress responded by passing legislation, enacted on February

6, 1802, that authorized the President to “equip, officer, man, and employ such of the

armed vessels of the United States as may be judged requisite by the President of the

United States, for protecting effectually the commerce and seamen thereof on the

Atlantic ocean, the Mediterranean and adjoining seas.” The President was also

authorized to utilize the U.S. Navy “to subdue, seize and make prize of all vessels,

goods and effects belonging to the Bey of Tripoli, or his subjects...and to cause to be

done all such other acts of precaution or hostility as the state of war will justify, and

may, in his opinion, require.” The President was further granted the authority to

grant special commissions to “owners of private armed vessels of the United States,”

to permit them to lawfully subdue and seize “any Tripolitan vessel, goods or effects”

with the same authority as U.S. Navy vessels, subject to instructions given by the

President.

Protection of the Commerce and Seamen of the United States

Against the Tripolitan Cruisers

(Act of February 6, 1802, ch. 4, 2 Stat.129)

CHAP. IV. — An Act for the protection of the Commerce and Seamen of the United

States, against the Tripolitan Cruisers.

Whereas the regency of Tripoli, on the coast of Barbary, has commenced a

predatory warfare against the United States:

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States

of America in Congress assembled, That it shall be lawful fully to equip, officer,

man, and employ such of the armed vessels of the United States as may be judged

requisite by the President of the United States, for protecting effectually the

commerce and seamen thereof on the Atlantic ocean, the Mediterranean and

adjoining seas.

SEC. 2. And be it further enacted, That it shall be lawful for the President of

the United States to instruct the commanders of the respective public vessels

aforesaid, to subdue, seize and make prize of all vessels, goods, and effects,

belonging to the Bey of Tripoli, or to his subjects, and to bring or send the same into

port, to be proceeded against, and distributed according to the law; and also to cause

to be done all such other acts of precaution or hostility as the state of war will justify,

and may, in his opinion, require.

SEC. 3. And be it further enacted, That on the application of, the owners of

private armed vessels of the United States, the President of the United States may

grant to them special commissions, in the form which he shall direct, under the seal

of the United States; and such private armed vessels, when so commissioned, shall

have the like authority for subduing, seizing, taking, and bringing into port, any

Tripolitan vessel, goods or effects, as the before-mentioned public armed vessels may

by law have; and shall therein be subject to the instruction which may be given by the

President of the United States for the regulation of their conduct; and their

commissions shall be revocable at his pleasure. Provided, that before any

commission shall be granted, as aforesaid, the owner or owners of the vessel for

which the same may be requested, and the commander thereof, for the time being,

shall give bond to the United States, with at least two responsible sureties, not

interested in such vessel, in the penal sum of seven thousand dollars; or, if such

vessel be provided with more than one hundred and fifty men, in the penal sum of

fourteen thousand dollars, with condition for observing the treaties and laws of the

United States, and the instructions which may be given, as aforesaid; and also, for

satisfying all damages and injuries which shall be done, contrary to the tenor thereof,

by such commissioned vessel; and for delivering up the commission, when revoked

by the President of the United States.

SEC. 4. And be if further enacted, That any Tripolitan vessel, goods or effects,

which shall be so captured and brought into port, by any private armed vessel of the

United States, duly commissioned, as aforesaid, may be adjudged good prize, and

thereupon shall accrue to the owners and officers, and men of the capturing vessel,

and shall be distributed according to the agreement which shall have been made

between them, or, in failure of such agreement, according to the discretion of the

court having cognizance of the capture.

SEC. 5. And be it further enacted, That the seamen may be engaged to serve in

the navy of the United States for a period not exceeding two years; but the President

may discharge the same sooner, if in his judgment, their services may be dispensed

with.

APPROVED, February 6, 1802.

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It's not presuasive because a president contradicted himself? I find that objection to the objection not persuasive.

When a man contradicts himself, what a man does has more weight than what a man says in establishing his true opinion.

Besides, both houses of Congress authorized Jefferson to act against Tripoli:

http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/natsec/RL31133.pdf

... Congress responded by passing legislation, enacted on February

6, 1802,

Protection of the Commerce and Seamen of the United States

Against the Tripolitan Cruisers

(Act of February 6, 1802, ch. 4, 2 Stat.129)

APPROVED, February 6, 1802.

U.S.S Enterprise engaged and defeated the Tripoli pirate ship August 1, 1801. These legislative acts were after-the-fact approvals of the President's policy, meant to ensure the war could be carried through to a successful conclusion by using Congress' power to establish and fund the navy.

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When a man contradicts himself, what a man does has more weight than what a man says in establishing his true opinion.

U.S.S Enterprise engaged and defeated the Tripoli pirate ship August 1, 1801. These legislative acts were after-the-fact approvals of the President's policy, meant to ensure the war could be carried through to a successful conclusion by using Congress' power to establish and fund the navy.

Okay. Great. I'm still not seeing how this casts into doubt the fact that the Constitution and the War Powers Resolution are pretty clear in not granting the President the power to go to war without approval.

And besides again, Jefferson does not appear to believe he was contradicting himself, and the Enterprise was attacked by the Tripoli, not the other way around. Jefferson did not authorize the Enterprise to engage in offensive actions in North Africa.

Thomas Jefferson DECEMBER 8, 1801:

Unauthorized by the Constitution, without the sanction of

Congress, to go beyond the line of defense, the vessel [the Tripoli], being disabled

from committing further hostilities, was liberated with its crew. The

Legislature will doubtless consider whether, by authorizing measures of

offense also, they will place our force on an equal footing with that of

its adversaries. I communicate all material information on this subject,

that in the exercise of this important function confided by the

Constitution to the Legislature exclusively their judgment may form

itself on a knowledge and consideration of every circumstance of weight.

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, and the Enterprise was attacked by the Tripoli, not the other way around. Jefferson did not authorize the Enterprise to engage in offensive actions in North Africa.

The Enterprise was only there to enforce a blockade, a decidedly offensive act. The blockade was instituted at the orders of President Jefferson, who only later informed Congress.

This is all going to come down to what the meaning of "war" is.

edit: Enterprise had the tactical advantage of surprise according to this account of the battle, inconsistent with the conclusion that the Tripoli attacked first.

Edited by Grames
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