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Old 03-19-2011, 12:32 PM   #1
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Battle for Benghazi

Linkie

In the pas weeks, Kadaffi has been casually murdering hundreds (thousands?) of his own people. His own people, who want freedom.

Ironically, the French show they have brass ba...ehm...and have sent their fighter jets in advance of the main group (U.S., Canda, UK) to defend the rebel stronghold of Benghazi. As we speak, they have already destroyed several of Kadaffi's tanks and the involvement of the U.N. is official.

And face it; Battle for Benghazi sounds cool.

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Old 03-19-2011, 12:41 PM   #2
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This should probably be in Kavars....

That said, well done to the Armée de l'Air. I honestly think the French reputation for cowardice is completely unwarranted, and their actions show the critics of the UK and the US that it isn't another Iraq style adventure (it's legal, for a start).

The US Navy is reportedly gearing up to launch missiles at installations later today, in addition to blockading Libya by sea, and the RAF, RCAF and Danish fighters are en route to bases within striking distance. I only hope Gaddafi has the sense (unlikely) to realise that the UN and NATO aren't likely to back down as easily as he pushed back the rebels.






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Old 03-19-2011, 03:01 PM   #3
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This should probably be in Kavars.....
*looks around*

This looks like Kavars to me.
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Old 03-23-2011, 09:03 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Astor View Post
This should probably be in Kavars....

That said, well done to the Armée de l'Air. I honestly think the French reputation for cowardice is completely unwarranted, and their actions show the critics of the UK and the US that it isn't another Iraq style adventure (it's legal, for a start).
I don't understand how Iraq is any different than this situation. They both were led by tyrannical dictators with oppressive regimes, and they both controlled large oil reserves. The big difference is that Saddam was able to suppress his people far better than Gaddafi was able to. Saddam had killed thousands (if not millions) of his own people (most notably Kurds) and people turned their back on the facts. I'm not saying that the Iraq "adventure" (as you call it) was necessarily the best handled endeavor, but I think to put these two conflicts on different levels would be foolish.

I wish the US would stay out of the Libya conflict and just let Europe take all the blame/gratitude that comes along with being a liberator of evil - not because I'm not proud of my country's ability and willingness to help out, but because the gratefulness of the rest of the world is severely absent. I don't mind being a globalized country, but at this point, I just want to tell the rest of the world to go scratch without the US and see how things turn up. As the world's only true superpower, you just can't win I guess...they complain when you do, and they complain when you don't. I guess it's just my personality, though because I'd rather just walk away from someone who complains too much rather than turn the other cheek and keep helping out. And I stand by that.



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Old 03-19-2011, 06:19 PM   #5
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Yes, US subs and aircraft characters fully support the 2 French aircraft from the entire L'Armee de l'Aire.

Seriously, Qadhafi needs to go. Hopefully the coalition will be able to limit the bloodshed.


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Old 03-19-2011, 06:25 PM   #6
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Airpower is nice, but troops on the ground (regardless of where they come from) are likely to be the only thing short of a "lucky" stray bomb/s to put an end to Qaddafi and his regime.

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Originally Posted by mim
This looks like Kavars to me.
Quite so.


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Old 03-19-2011, 06:33 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Jae Onasi
Yes, US subs and aircraft characters fully support the 2 French aircraft from the entire L'Armee de l'Aire.
Seriously, though, the French should be commended for going in and taking out ground targets before the air defence had been taken down. It certainly shows that they meant business.

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Airpower is nice, but troops on the ground (regardless of where they come from) are likely to be the only thing short of a "lucky" stray bomb/s to put an end to Qaddafi and his regime.
A lot of news pundits here have commented on how President Obama and Mrs. Clinton have been keen to stress that no American troops would be deployed.

And while the resolution prohibits ground forces, and seeing as they seem to be the driving force for the moment, the French Foreign Legion is never far away in Africa...






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Old 03-19-2011, 06:43 PM   #8
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Seriously, though, the French should be commended for going in and taking out ground targets before the air defence had been taken down. It certainly shows that they meant business.
Probably a bit harder than taking out Ivory Coast's pitiful air force a number of years ago.


Quote:
A lot of news pundits here have commented on how President Obama and Mrs. Clinton have been keen to stress that no American troops would be deployed.

And while the resolution prohibits ground forces, and seeing as they seem to be the driving force for the moment, the French Foreign Legion is never far away in Africa...
I'd be quite fine w/the FFL and the Arab League/African nations providing the ground muscle. America doesn't always have to provide the cannon fodder.


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Old 03-19-2011, 10:34 PM   #9
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Arab League and Africans fighting on the Anti-Qadaffi side... now that's irony.


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Old 03-19-2011, 10:45 PM   #10
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Why call it a No-Fly Zone when they're in all reality wiping out all of Gaddafi's forces minus infantry?

In all honesty though, kudos to the UN for getting its balls back. This speed and seriousness is highly unusual for them and deserves a round of applause.

Now...if only we could do the same thing here with North Korea....


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Old 03-19-2011, 10:52 PM   #11
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Here's the full resolution, the one that's colloquially being called the No-Fly Zone.

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The resolution, adopted under Chapter VII of the United Nations Charter:

demands the immediate establishment of a ceasefire and a complete end to violence and all attacks against, and abuses of, civilians;
imposes a no-fly zone over Libya;
authorises all necessary means to protect civilians and civilian-populated areas, except for a "foreign occupation force";
strengthens the arms embargo and particularly action against mercenaries, by allowing for forcible inspections of ships and planes;
imposes a ban on all Libyan-designated flights;
imposes an asset freeze on assets owned by the Libyan authorities, and reaffirms that such assets should be used for the benefit of the Libyan people;
extends the travel ban and assets freeze of United Nations Security Council Resolution 1970 to a number of additional individuals and Libyan entities;
establishes a panel of experts to monitor and promote sanctions implementation.

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Now...if only we could do the same thing here with North Korea....
You'll have to wait till Kim starts lobbing missiles and fighter-strafing his own people. And then deal with one of the world's largest armed forces.


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Old 03-20-2011, 01:00 AM   #12
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You'll have to wait till Kim starts lobbing missiles and fighter-strafing his own people. And then deal with one of the world's largest armed forces.
Well the South Korean people are Koreans so in technicality when he bombarded that island a few months ago he attacked his own people.

As for one of the world's largest armed forces, he might have a lot of people. The US, on the other hand, has a lot more cruise missiles. If it wasn't for North Korea being China's puppy dog the US could have had Jong-Ill's regime in the garbage can at every moment since the Korean War, including now. I wish there was something we could just give the Chinese so they'd stop protecting North Korea.

Admittedly North Korea does have their own missiles and supposedly nukes so they could make it sting...provided they had time to launch them and they weren't shot down by brave men and women in the armed forces....


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Old 03-20-2011, 01:24 AM   #13
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Well the South Korean people are Koreans so in technicality when he bombarded that island a few months ago he attacked his own people.
...who are not part of his government and nation, so no, they're not his "own" people anymore.

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As for one of the world's largest armed forces, he might have a lot of people. The US, on the other hand, has a lot more cruise missiles. If it wasn't for North Korea being China's puppy dog the US could have had Jong-Ill's regime in the garbage can at every moment since the Korean War, including now.
Like how America put Saddam and the Taliban in the garbage can and restored peace and stability there?


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Old 03-20-2011, 02:36 AM   #14
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...who are not part of his government and nation, so no, they're not his "own" people anymore.
Except he claims them as his own in the same way Gaddafi claims the rebels in Benghazi.
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Like how America put Saddam and the Taliban in the garbage can and restored peace and stability there?
In the case of Saddam, we did put him the garbage can. We had peace in Iraq until Al-Qaeda came in large numbers and triggered mass sectarian violence. When we got our *** in gear and made the troop surge, peace was restored.

As for the Taliban, we could wipe them out right now if Pakistan would let us invade the Islamic Emirate of Waziristan for them. That's the only real reason why the Taliban even exist. They keep having to bring in more people from the east into Afghanistan to cause trouble.


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Old 03-20-2011, 06:49 AM   #15
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Except he claims them as his own in the same way Gaddafi claims the rebels in Benghazi.
Not really... Gaddafi has been claiming for weeks now that the rebels are foreign fighters from Al Qaeda and the Islamic Brotherhood.






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Old 03-20-2011, 05:05 PM   #16
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I have little experience with French civilians, but their military does not deserve a reputation of cowardice. Quite the opposite in fact.

Gaddafi deserves to be gone, but it'll probably take boots on the ground to remove him fully. Glad the US isn't supplying them though, we'd just get blamed for any problems. Again. Of course, people will complain now (maybe not here, but IRL), saying the US should send troops. We can't win with some people.

Also... it's only ok to topple a dictator who's slaughtering his people once an internal rebellion has been launched? If people are dying without a fight, it's wrong to help them? Trying hard here to see how the UN sees this as any different from Iraq.

N.B: I was actually against the war in Iraq starting (though once it started, fully in favor of following through and finishing it), for the following reasons:
A: We were already in A-stan (why add another front?)
B: It would make everyone expect us to eliminate dictators they should get rid of themselves, and blame us if it didn't go as planned.
C: The average US citizen now lacks the necessary grit to get the country through a double (perhaps even single) war, despite the fact that it affects their daily lives less than any previous war in our history. Sadly those of us who are actually directly involved in the war are easily drowned out by the whining of the masses.

Apologies if this came off a bit rant-ish, I'm recovering from surgery, and lack of physical activity has turned me more irritable than usual.



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Old 03-23-2011, 02:51 AM   #17
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I'm a little skeptical as Ghaddafi did comply with the no-nukes treaty and even bit the bullet with sanctions. Why exactly would someone, otherwise compliant with the international scene, participate in brutality? It just doesn't make sense to me.

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I have little experience with French civilians, but their military does not deserve a reputation of cowardice. Quite the opposite in fact.
Hey, their fencers have some of the best techniques. Right up there with portugese, spaniards, italians, and germans. Besides, Andre the Giant was born in the french alps. There would not have been a Hulk Hogan nor a Vince McMahon if there hadn't been an Andre the Giant.

Besides we both know a certain lady who speaks french, though she speaks English to us.


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Old 03-23-2011, 03:57 AM   #18
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It's cool that the US is now at war with at least 3 nations, all of them without first being declared by congress.
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Old 03-23-2011, 11:54 AM   #19
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It's cool that the US is now at war with at least 3 nations, all of them without first being declared by congress.
I'm not sure if this one can be called a war just yet; so far it's an uprising with a UN intervention in it.

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I'm a little skeptical as Ghaddafi did comply with the no-nukes treaty and even bit the bullet with sanctions. Why exactly would someone, otherwise compliant with the international scene, participate in brutality? It just doesn't make sense to me.
Think husbands who engage in domestic violence.

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Well I feel obliged as a European to say that this primarily about oil and not the people in Libya., the fact that Sarkozy owes Gaddafi money also comes into frances willingness to get involved imo.
While it seems to be safe thing to say, I'm not entirely sure how this will work, since no UN troops will setting foot on Libyan soil (unless they eject or crash).

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I mean there's other places in Africa who need military assistance far more than Libya but these countries aren't sitting on oil so go figure.
I honestly can't think of an African country that has more need of military assistance than Libya at the moment. I'd really prefer to hear that the UN is stepping into Libya than to hear that Libyans are getting slaughtered by Qaddafi while their calls for help are falling on deaf ears.

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Don't take this as a pro-gaddafi post btw i'm just fed up of seeing the US invading other countries.
As has been mentioned before, this is neither US-led nor an invasion.

Yet.


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Old 03-23-2011, 02:32 PM   #20
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As has been mentioned before, this is neither US-led nor an invasion.

Yet.
Yeah, I was looking at that one with my eyes all crooked... I was thinking to myself, "Self... Why would VVV call it a US led invasion when it was the French who led the way, under a UN mandate, and no soldiers are actually invading?"

The response was
"I.. it's simple. Anytime the US is involved it has to be US led. And the missiles are the invaders... I guess..."


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Old 03-23-2011, 01:54 PM   #21
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Quote:
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As has been mentioned before, this is neither US-led nor an invasion
But we are #1 Overlord of the West?!?! No other countries get involved in the affairs of other nations right?!

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Originally Posted by Working Class Hero View Post
Good point. I suppose this is just shelling practice for our troops...can't get rusty, they must be ready to blow up the next nation for
oil.
Though generally even a relatively unfriendly stable nation is easier to trade with than an unstable one... 'War for Oil' is a silly concept. Nations have ulterior motives for humanitarian intervention (they'd be fools not to), but they're a bit more complex than that.

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Hey, their fencers have some of the best techniques. Right up there with portugese, spaniards, italians, and germans. Besides, Andre the Giant was born in the french alps. There would not have been a Hulk Hogan nor a Vince McMahon if there hadn't been an Andre the Giant.

Besides we both know a certain lady who speaks french, though she speaks English to us.
I wasn't casting any doubt on the bravery of French civilians, merely stating that I don't know enough of them to make a judgement. I've met French soldiers that are among the bravest men I've ever met.

French Canadians, such as the lady in question, are cool in my book. Any culture that has the vision to invent the combination of fries, cheese curds, and gravy is one worthy of respect.



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Old 03-23-2011, 07:11 PM   #22
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@ astor/saber: So essentially what you're saying is once a predator/wifebeater, always a predator/wifebeater?

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I wasn't casting any doubt on the bravery of French civilians, merely stating that I don't know enough of them to make a judgement. I've met French soldiers that are among the bravest men I've ever met.
I was actually agreeing with you.

Quote:
French Canadians, such as the lady in question, are cool in my book. Any culture that has the vision to invent the combination of fries, cheese curds, and gravy is one worthy of respect.
I would have settled for french toast, and maybe a link to Heywood Banks' "Yeah Toast!" song. ...and maybe their maids, hookers, and lingerie too...Which Saber doesn't seem to want to share anymore...


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Old 03-21-2011, 05:36 PM   #23
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Of course the French reputation for cowardice isn't earned. I thought everyone already knew it was a joke.

I figure next time Gaddafi makes a broadcast, it'll be that the rebels are being lead by a charismatic parasite called a Goa'uld.


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Old 03-21-2011, 09:02 PM   #24
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Been watching this on Al-Jazeera along with a few others on IRC, interesting happenings. As for Goa'uld, I'd expect him to mention something along the lines of Scientology before outright Star Gate :P

And I was always of the opinion that most everybody figured the whole French thing was a joke :<


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Old 03-22-2011, 04:39 PM   #25
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Of course the French reputation for cowardice isn't earned. I thought everyone already knew it was a joke.

I figure next time Gaddafi makes a broadcast, it'll be that the rebels are being lead by a charismatic parasite called a Goa'uld.

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Old 03-22-2011, 08:55 PM   #26
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Actually I'm waiting to hear him say that they are infected with Charlie Sheen's blood.

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Old 03-22-2011, 11:56 PM   #27
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Well I feel obliged as a European to say that this primarily about oil and not the people in Libya., the fact that Sarkozy owes Gaddafi money also comes into frances willingness to get involved imo.

I mean there's other places in Africa who need military assistance far more than Libya but these countries aren't sitting on oil so go figure.

Don't take this as a pro-gaddafi post btw i'm just fed up of seeing the US invading other countries.


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Old 03-23-2011, 05:25 AM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VeniVidiVicous View Post
Well I feel obliged as a European to say that this primarily about oil and not the people in Libya., the fact that Sarkozy owes Gaddafi money also comes into frances willingness to get involved imo.
If this were solely about Oil, we wouldn't be attacking Gaddafi - we'd more than likely be continuing our business deals with him.

Quote:
Originally Posted by VVV
I mean there's other places in Africa who need military assistance far more than Libya but these countries aren't sitting on oil so go figure.
As has been pointed out, the Libyan people asked for intervention - as far as I'm aware no other countries have asked the international community for assistance in such a manner.

Besides, is it not right that we rid the world of a man who has killed not only hundreds of his own people, but hundreds of US, UK and other citizens? And even armed terrorist groups, allowing them to kill even more people?

Quote:
Originally Posted by VVV
Don't take this as a pro-gaddafi post btw i'm just fed up of seeing the US invading other countries.
The French were the first to suggest a NFZ, and indeed the only country so far to recognise the Libyan Transitional Council as the legitimate government of Libya, so it's arguably their lead on this.

And it's not an invasion. It's humanitarian intervention. With cruise missiles.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GTA
I'm a little skeptical as Ghaddafi did comply with the no-nukes treaty and even bit the bullet with sanctions. Why exactly would someone, otherwise compliant with the international scene, participate in brutality? It just doesn't make sense to me.
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Old 03-23-2011, 09:09 PM   #29
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As has been pointed out, the Libyan people asked for intervention - as far as I'm aware no other countries have asked the international community for assistance in such a manner.
It's pretty hard for some group of extremely oppressed people to organize and contact the UN on an international scale and just say "hey, this guy's not being real nice to us, so can you send some planes?" Gaddafi just lost control of his people, and they took advantage.

I think if North Koreans could ASK for help they would...



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Old 03-29-2011, 04:34 PM   #30
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I find the NATO's intervention to be lacking in moral and legitimacy grounds. If this tricky concept of humanitarian war was true then it should be applied at every occasion it's necessary, not use it sparsely and selectively as it has been. That is if we're really accepting that sovereignty is an aging precept with no room in the modern world.

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Why call it a No-Fly Zone when they're in all reality wiping out all of Gaddafi's forces minus infantry?
Because, as it was proven in the Bosnian War, a no-fly zone can't properly be achieved without taking out targets such as airports, runways and refuelling stations. Just a formal written prohibition won't do much good. That's why a no-fly zone equals to a war declaration.

Gaddafi accuses NATO and the UN of not just "protecting Lybian civillians' "human rights" and actively helping the overestimated rebel forces to win the, what now has become, conflict. He's not wrong.

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In the case of Saddam, we did put him the garbage can. We had peace in Iraq until Al-Qaeda came in large numbers and triggered mass sectarian violence. When we got our *** in gear and made the troop surge, peace was restored.
Just because they're not all over the news now it doesn't mean there are still almost daily terrorist acts going on Iraq.

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If this were solely about Oil, we wouldn't be attacking Gaddafi - we'd more than likely be continuing our business deals with him.
Agreed. It has a lot do with witness elimination of sorts.

When Gaddafi said earlier this month - before NATO took action - that he had "compromising evidence" about Sarkozy's election and later Gaddafi's son gave an interview claiming that Lybia helped funding his campaign, France was nimble to propose more serious action to be taken against Lybia.

Some other recent news regarding Berlusconi (he's facing underaged prostituition charges and impeachment threats) and the London School of Economics fiasco, ties Italy and England to the list of countries that have something to lose if Gaddafi does not come down or, in Berlusconi's case, if there's no war involving his country to divert those claiming for an impeachment.

It's not like those facts are not public now but finally, after years out of NATO and UN's black list, Gaddafi is being a nuisance again. It's political.


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Old 03-22-2011, 11:59 PM   #31
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Actually, we aren't invading. No Coalition troops are putting their boots on Libyan soil, we're just bombing them back to the stone age. Also, the United States is just one member in a sizable coalition.


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Old 03-23-2011, 04:17 AM   #32
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Does it count as a war when they're equipped with little more than 40-year old Soviet tech and put up about as much of a fight as the things I found in my toilet yesterday?


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Old 03-23-2011, 06:12 AM   #33
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Does it count as a war when they're equipped with little more than 40-year old Soviet tech and put up about as much of a fight as the things I found in my toilet yesterday?
Good point. I suppose this is just shelling practice for our troops...can't get rusty, they must be ready to blow up the next nation for
oil.
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Old 03-23-2011, 11:14 AM   #34
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Good point. I suppose this is just shelling practice for our troops...can't get rusty, they must be ready to blow up the next nation for
oil.
Well, you could always offer yourself up as fodder, er I mean help, to those countries that fall through the cracks (Sudan, etc...). Right up there in the tradition of the Lafayette Escadrille, Flying Tigers and Eagle Squadrons of the 20th century.


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Old 03-24-2011, 06:47 AM   #35
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Does it count as a war when they're equipped with little more than 40-year old Soviet tech and put up about as much of a fight as the things I found in my toilet yesterday?
You have no idea how good 40-year old soviet tech is if you think they are not usable. Their strenght lies in the ruggedness of the engineering, most of the soviet weapon technology is pretty much unbreakable, AK:s never get jammed for instance, whereas modern western assault rifles are like delicate flowers... Of death. Dont response with "we havez missiles", as everyone here understands, the actual fighting happens on the ground in this situation.

Damn im an idiot for taking part in a Kavar´s thread once again...


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Old 03-24-2011, 10:05 AM   #36
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You have no idea how good 40-year old soviet tech is if you think they are not usable. Their strenght lies in the ruggedness of the engineering, most of the soviet weapon technology is pretty much unbreakable, AK:s never get jammed for instance, whereas modern western assault rifles are like delicate flowers... Of death. Dont response with "we havez missiles", as everyone here understands, the actual fighting happens on the ground in this situation.

Damn im an idiot for taking part in a Kavar´s thread once again...
Usable, yes. Effective against more advanced weapons, not do much. We have weapons that are more accurate over a longer distance. But I understand that less advanced weaponry can overcome high tech. I mean the US tanks were not anywhere near the level of German tanks during WWII. But then we had the advantage of having a whole lot of them.


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Old 03-24-2011, 05:31 PM   #37
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Originally Posted by Drunkside View Post
You have no idea how good 40-year old soviet tech is if you think they are not usable. Their strenght lies in the ruggedness of the engineering, most of the soviet weapon technology is pretty much unbreakable, AK:s never get jammed for instance, whereas modern western assault rifles are like delicate flowers... Of death. Dont response with "we havez missiles", as everyone here understands, the actual fighting happens on the ground in this situation.
Actually, there are no Coalition troops putting boots on the ground in Libya, we're only utilizing aircraft and missiles. At least officially, we might have special forces deployed over there.

And no, contrary to popular belief, western assault rifles are not delicate flowers. When they're properly maintained and cleaned, they're quite reliable.


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Old 03-24-2011, 10:06 PM   #38
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Originally Posted by Drunkside View Post
You have no idea how good 40-year old soviet tech is if you think they are not usable. Their strenght lies in the ruggedness of the engineering, most of the soviet weapon technology is pretty much unbreakable, AK:s never get jammed for instance
The AK47, and the more commonly encountered AKM, while indeed rugged, do jam. Most opinions to the contrary are taken from films or dubious secondhand knowledge.

The AK has aged far more gracefully (largely due to its purpose of cheaply arming a huge number of people with a weapon that they could figure out despite poor training) than most other Soviet military tech. The vast majority of it is painfully outmoded, often to the point of uselessness.

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whereas modern western assault rifles are like delicate flowers
Hahahahahahahahahaha.... no. Books, films, games, ignorant journalists, and fobbits greatly exaggerate the problems. As long as a soldier has a modicum of training and common sense, they're not going to have a problem. With some of the more recent guns we've got to play with, even those requirements all but disappear.

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Damn im an idiot for taking part in a Kavar´s thread once again...
Nah, we all make that mistake now and again. By the way, if you have any doubts regarding the truth of what I've said, or the extent of my experience, feel free to shoot me a PM and I can give you a rundown of what I'm basing these claims on. (Don't want to drag this too off topic)



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Old 04-07-2011, 04:12 PM   #39
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Originally Posted by Liverandbacon View Post
The AK47, and the more commonly encountered AKM, while indeed rugged, do jam. Most opinions to the contrary are taken from films or dubious secondhand knowledge.

The AK has aged far more gracefully (largely due to its purpose of cheaply arming a huge number of people with a weapon that they could figure out despite poor training) than most other Soviet military tech. The vast majority of it is painfully outmoded, often to the point of uselessness.



Hahahahahahahahahaha.... no. Books, films, games, ignorant journalists, and fobbits greatly exaggerate the problems. As long as a soldier has a modicum of training and common sense, they're not going to have a problem. With some of the more recent guns we've got to play with, even those requirements all but disappear.
Agreed. Unfortunately the media (books, films, journalists as you stated) has to criticize the military for some reason. The M16, for example has been in use for 40+ years (albeit upgraded) because it's an effective rifle.

The following is mostly an educated guess on my part. Just going to go ahead and say that.
As far as troops on the ground in Libya goes, it's obvious to me that some country has to have some kind Special Operations Forces on the ground. The rebels are (out of necessity) are using similar or identical vehicles and equipment to the Libyan military. Discerning who is who from the air is extremely difficult without the aid of some kind of direction from the ground. According to USA Today last week, A-10s and AC-130s have been deployed. The AC-130 in particular is an SOF support craft, which reinforces my belief that someone has boots on the ground.
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Old 04-07-2011, 06:37 PM   #40
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Quote:
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As far as troops on the ground in Libya goes, it's obvious to me that some country has to have some kind Special Operations Forces on the ground. The rebels are (out of necessity) are using similar or identical vehicles and equipment to the Libyan military. Discerning who is who from the air is extremely difficult without the aid of some kind of direction from the ground. According to USA Today last week, A-10s and AC-130s have been deployed. The AC-130 in particular is an SOF support craft, which reinforces my belief that someone has boots on the ground.
Various news sources have already reported confirmation from government officials that the CIA and the UK's SAS and SBS have people on the ground. I don't know what's being said on the UK side, but the official Agency response is 'no comment'. However, if it was intended to be hidden from the public, the media wouldn't have found out at all.



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