Moammar Gadhafi Dead

It's a little early to tell, but

http://content.usatoday.com/communities/ondeadline/post/2011/10/al-arabiya-libyan-tv-reports-gadhafi-arrested/1

Looks like he was captured and then killed

The exact circumstances of his demise are still unclear with conflicting accounts of his death circulating. But the footage, possibly of the last chaotic moments of Gaddafi's life, offered some clues into what happened.

Gaddafi was still alive when he was captured near Sirte. In the video, filmed by a bystander in the crowd and later aired on television around the world, Gaddafi is shown being dragged off a vehicle's bonnet and pulled to the ground by his hair.

"Keep him alive, keep him alive!" someone shouts. Gunshots then ring out. The camera veers off.

"They captured him alive and while he was being taken away, they beat him and then they killed him," one senior source in the NTC told Reuters. "He might have been resisting."

As I tweeted...its a bad year to be a wingnut leader...eh?

I was listening to the BBC on the drive in to work.

I'm trying to imagine my whole country unable to find the words to express their sheer joy that I died.

How many of his kids got killed this time?

From the AP:

Libya’s information minister said Moammar Gadhafi was killed Thursday when revolutionary forces overwhelmed his hometown, Sirte, the last major bastion of resistance two months after the regime fell. Amid the fighting, a NATO airstrike blasted a fleeing convoy that fighters said was carrying Gadhafi.

But I copied that from another site and don't have a link to an actual AP article. Apologies.

Good riddance, although I would have loved to hear more about the deals he made throughout his reign with the pragmatic side of our Western democracies. No chance of that happening now, so I'm sure many Western leaders will sleep more easily tonight.

I wonder what the dictators of Syria and Yemen think of this. Will they back down out of fear, or double down on the repression out of well, the same fear?

Looks like both and in alphabetical order.

TheArtOfScience wrote:
How many of his kids got killed this time?

If Awlaki is any indication, they're next. After all:

DISSOLVE TO: A remote mountainside area of Sicily. We hear a marching band playing in the background. The introduction is overlaid:

THE GODFATHER WAS BORN VITO ANDOLINI IN THE TOWN OF CORLEONE IN SICILY. IN 1901 HIS FATHER WAS MURDERED FOR AN INSULT TO THE LOCAL MAFIA CHIEFTAIN. HIS OLDER BROTHER PAOLO SWORE REVENGE AND DISAPPEARED INTO THE HILLS, LEAVING VITO, THE ONLY MALE HEIR, TO STAND WITH HIS MOTHER AT THE FUNERAL. HE WAS NINE YEARS OLD.

[The marching band is followed by a procession of mourners including VITO and his MOTHER. There is a casket, apparently containing the body of VITO's father. Two gunshots ring out; all run for cover. People are screaming.]

WOMAN (in Sicilian)

They've killed the boy! They've killed young PAOLO - they have killed your son PAOLO! Murders! Murders!

[Young VITO and his mother run over to PAOLO's body, in a prone position on the rocky ground]

VITO's MOTHER CICCIO (in Sicilian)

My son -- My son [more]

[She begins to cry. GAFFE: The actor who plays "dead" PAOLO moves his hand as he's hugged]

CUT TO: Young VITO and his mother approach the gate to DON CICCIO's villa and it is opened for them.

CUT TO: VITO and his MOTHER walking down a path.

CUT TO: DON CICCIO sitting drinking wine.

CUT TO: VITO and his mother walk down the path some more.

CUT TO: DON CICCIO puts down his glass and looks at VITO and his MOTHER.

CUT TO: VITO's mother kisses DON CICCIO's hand

VITO's MOTHER (in Sicilian)

All my respect DON CICCIO. DON CICCIO you killed my husband because he wouldn't give into you. And his oldest son PAOLO -- because he swore revenge. But VITO is only nine. And dumb-witted, He never speaks.

DON CICCIO (in Sicilian)

It's not his words I'm afraid of.

VITO's MOTHER (in Sicilian)

He's weak - he can't hurt anyone.

DON CICCIO (in Sicilian)

But when he grows, he'll grow strong.

VITO's MOTHER (in Sicilian)

Don't worry - this little boy can't do a thing to you.

[DON CICCIO stands up.]

DON CICCIO (in Sicilian)

When he is a man he'll come for revenge.

"He might have been resisting."

This is the authoritarian version of "It's coming right at us!"

My only question is this: why is his name, both first & last, spelled in such wildly different ways, depending on the news source?

I've seen Gadhafi, Khaddafi, among others. Muammar, Moamar, Momhar, etc.

You'd think there'd only be one way to spell a name, but I've seen this with other Arab names in the news as well.

Because Arabic is not based on the Greek alphabet, it has to be transliterated. Different dialects have different pronunciations, and different translators use different representations. As an example of how difficult this can be, English does not even have the sound in the first syllable of his tribal name, so representing that is a matter of interpretation.

Jeff-66 wrote:
My only question is this: why is his name, both first & last, spelled in such wildly different ways, depending on the news source?

I've seen Gadhafi, Khaddafi, among others. Muammar, Moamar, Momhar, etc.

You'd think there'd only be one way to spell a name, but I've seen this with other Arab names in the news as well.

We hear you.
IMAGE(http://cdn.someecards.com/someecards/filestorage/libya-gaddafi-rebels-spelling-somewhat-topical-ecards-someecards2.png)

Aetius wrote:
Robear wrote:
Because Arabic is not based on the Greek alphabet, it has to be transliterated. Different dialects have different pronunciations, and different translators use different representations. As an example of how difficult this can be, English does not even have the sound in the first syllable of his tribal name, so representing that is a matter of interpretation.

Yep. ABC News has a more detailed explanation of the precise problems if you're interested.


See, this is why we all just need to learn to write in IPA.

Robear wrote:
Because Arabic is not based on the Greek alphabet, it has to be transliterated. Different dialects have different pronunciations, and different translators use different representations. As an example of how difficult this can be, English does not even have the sound in the first syllable of his tribal name, so representing that is a matter of interpretation.

Yep. ABC News has a more detailed AP explanation of the precise problems if you're interested.

http://lockerz.com/s/148995619

Cover of the New York Post... warning his dead picture...

Khadafy Killed by Yankee Fan. Gunman had more hits then A-Rod.

I laughed then felt morally disgusted.

Looks like unhcr is looking into the mob execution.

Thanks for the replies on the spelling thing. But you'd think the MSM could come to an agreement, kind of like we gamers do with game abbreviations

As a side comment..... now that we turned a no-fly zone into actively aiding and abetting a revolution, which resulted in the assassination of a foreign leader, I think Russia and China will absolutely prevent any resolution of this kind from ever passing again.

If we'd done what we'd claimed we'd do, just enforced a no-fly zone instead of actively attacking targets on the ground, the UN might have remained a body able to coordinate some forms of military intervention. But I suspect, at this point, there's not going to be much coming out of the Security Council for many, many years.

And, note once again: it's a country with oil, and mysteriously, somehow, we ended up using military force to prop up a government we preferred over the alternative, while ignoring the exact same things in governments all over the world. France and Britain were the primary drivers, but it's the same basic effect.

Just remember that, the next time you hear someone say 'it's not about oil'.

I'm waiting for the final price tag of this little exercise. We were close to a billion dollars two weeks into it and that was months and months ago. I have to imagine that beyond the actual costs of planes and ships and whatnot there was a sh*tload of cash channeled into arming and training the 'rebels'.

I wouldn't mind the US military playing this role if we actually got something out of it, like $1.00 gas for 20 years. If we're going to be democracy's mercenary then we best get paid.

Honestly, that's pretty much chump change compared to our other military spending. That's not what worries me so much as the consequences of twisting the language of the UN resolution to say that it meant more than it clearly was intended to mean. Bush did this too, to get us into Iraq, and I think Russia and China now believe that America is no longer trustworthy, and should never be given permission that even implies military action of any kind.

Obama is just a personable face on Bush. Our actions here are largely indistinguishable from what we'd have done six or seven years ago.

Malor wrote:
Honestly, that's pretty much chump change compared to our other military spending. That's not what worries me so much as the consequences of twisting the language of the UN resolution to say that it meant more than it clearly was intended to mean. Bush did this too, to get us into Iraq, and I think Russia and China now believe that America is no longer trustworthy, and should never be given permission that even implies military action of any kind.

Obama is just a personable face on Bush. Our actions here are largely indistinguishable from what we'd have done six or seven years ago.

I disagree. I think there is a great deal more foreign policy competence in the White House now than there was in the previous regime. I also think that our actions now better reflect our political interests. We are less driven now by ideology than we were and more driven by our interests. All in all, I think it is a massive victory for Realists.

Take the two examples of Iraq and Libya.

In Iraq, the status quo ante was a weak Saddam Hussein who was selling oil on the open market for cheap. He had a stable government, was presenting a military and ideological backstop against Shiite expansion from Iran, and was largely well-behaved in the international sense. He tended to be brutal toward his own people. This was especially true of the Shiites and the Kurds, but our allies didn't think much of them anyway (the Sunnis fear the Shiites and the Turks fear the Kurds).

The entire world objected to our invasion to the point that we had to bribe minor countries that even educated people couldn't find on a map to form a "coalition of the willing". We squandered mountains of goodwill we received for our defense of Kuwait and the attacks of 9-11 and turned whatever "democracy agenda" we may have had into a tragic joke. We invaded a nation and radicalized the population against us and hand delivered it to our regional rivals.

The net result of our invasion of Iraq was a trillion dollars lost, 4,500 Americans killed and countless badly injured, the loss of our backstop to Iranian hegemony, and the near complete loss of Iraqi oil capacity. The Shiites ended up taking power, the Sunnis joined al Qaeda, and our military ended up getting chewed up for nine years of sand eel wrestling. By the end of it, just getting out was in itself a sort of victory.

In Libya, we recognized a low risk opportunity to back a winning horse. The world begged us to help, it cost us next to nothing, and it took less than a year. We committed no troops to the ground. This prevented us from risking American lives AND the possibility of alienating the population. Any atrocities committed would be and were entirely Libyan. The damage done to the country and its oil infrastructure was minimal. The population has not fled and the professional capacity remains intact.

It was a crapshoot with loaded dice.

Well, I suppose Bush could have screwed it up even worse, but very simply, we exceeded our mandate by a huge margin, and I think, as a consequence, we will get no further mandates.

Malor wrote:
I think Russia and China now believe that America is no longer trustworthy, and should never be given permission that even implies military action of any kind.

Depends on if China gets the oil contracts. As long as we're busy running around plowing soil they can come behind us and farm, that's what the Chinese--and everybody else on the planet--calls a 'win-win' situation.

The idea that Russia and China care one bit about us exceeding the authority of a UN resolution...yeah I just don't think they care all that much about the UN's high-minded mission.

Malor wrote:
Well, I suppose Bush could have screwed it up even worse, but very simply, we exceeded our mandate by a huge margin, and I think, as a consequence, we will get no further mandates.

I think the Chinese and Russians probably think they were sold a bill of goods, but the whole gaming of the security council is part of the business of international politics. We do what we do because it benefits us. We get away with it because we can. They do similar stuff when they can. Politics is not a game of ideals, but rather the art of the possible.

My point is that there is a substantive difference between Bush and Obama foreign policy. The former was all ideals and no math. It was driven by the sincere belief that sincere belief was all that mattered. He and his staff derided "reality based policy" and demanded the substitution of reality with stuff they plain just made up.

Make whatever criticisms you want of Obama, but the one that doesn't stick is that he is the same as Bush. If anything, the exact opposite is probably a lot more accurate. If anything, he is a bit too much of a Realist to conform with an American ethic. Folks view his foreign policy as deeply cynical and entirely powered by the preservation and expansion of American interest, power, and influence. If there is a comparison to be made between Obama and Bush, it is with the first Bush, not the latter.

Well, they've certainly made a lot of noise to that effect. Whether or not they actually DO care, I don't know, but they CLAIM to care.

edit: it looks like British and French companies are going to get all the oil contracts... as far as I can see, the Russians and Chinese won't get much, if any. That may be why they're actually upset. Or they might be upset because we did so much more than we said we would do. We claimed 'no fly zone', but actually conducted a full air war against ground troops.

Politics is not a game of ideals, but rather the art of the possible.

And it is primarily that that makes the world such a sick and twisted place. The laws of ethics and morality apply to countries just as much as they do to people. Pretending otherwise is the cause of most of the misery in the world for the last hundred years.

Malor wrote:
Well, they've certainly made a lot of noise to that effect. Whether or not they actually DO care, I don't know, but they CLAIM to care.

Governments claim a lot of things--we shouldn't just take a government's word for something because they repeat it often and loudly ; D

Paleocon wrote:

Make whatever criticisms you want of Obama, but the one that doesn't stick is that he is the same as Bush. If anything, the exact opposite is probably a lot more accurate. If anything, he is a bit too much of a Realist to conform with an American ethic. Folks view his foreign policy as deeply cynical and entirely powered by the preservation and expansion of American interest, power, and influence. If there is a comparison to be made between Obama and Bush, it is with the first Bush, not the latter.

Paleo, you often compare him to St. Ronnie, and people forget how Reagan 'cut and run' after a barracks full of Marines was blown up in Lebanon in order to invade...Grenada?

NO BLOOD FOR NUTMEG!

Malor wrote:
Politics is not a game of ideals, but rather the art of the possible.

And it is primarily that that makes the world such a sick and twisted place. The laws of ethics and morality apply to countries just as much as they do to people. Pretending otherwise is the cause of most of the misery in the world for the last hundred years.

That's possible, but it is also the world we live in.

The Realist question to be asked in all of this is how much did it really cost us. It appears that the short term cost of the victory over Gadhafi was pretty much in the budgetary statistical noise. Zero American lives, a rounding error in the defense budget, and some light damage to the oil infrastructure that can be repaired in 3 months or less.

The long term costs are yet to be determined, but you seem to be making the case that it will likely make future UN mandates for intervention more difficult to obtain. My counter to that is that this was probably a one-off anyway. The fact that we were able to get away with it was pretty amazing (and a credit to Obama's diplomacy btw) and that getting a mandate from China and Russia is unlikely in the future regardless of our actions here. So, in my estimation at least, it isn't like we lost a lot in regards to the UN.

The only thing I'm concerned about is the atmosphere of political uncertainty in Libya now. Lacking any coherent opposition party, the political future of Libya is really a toss of the dice. We benefit greatly by the fact that we bet right on the outcome of the revolution, but it isn't entirely clear who ends up running the country from now on. It's pretty unlikely that it will be the straw man Western liberal democracy that critics of the war demand that it be in order to be considered a success, but it really doesn't have to be THAT much better than Gadhafi for it to be a demonstrable improvement over the status quo ante.

CheezePavilion wrote:

Paleocon wrote:

Make whatever criticisms you want of Obama, but the one that doesn't stick is that he is the same as Bush. If anything, the exact opposite is probably a lot more accurate. If anything, he is a bit too much of a Realist to conform with an American ethic. Folks view his foreign policy as deeply cynical and entirely powered by the preservation and expansion of American interest, power, and influence. If there is a comparison to be made between Obama and Bush, it is with the first Bush, not the latter.

Paleo, you often compare him to St. Ronnie, and people forget how Reagan 'cut and run' after a barracks full of Marines was blown up in Lebanon in order to invade...Grenada?

NO BLOOD FOR NUTMEG!

I think his right/left alignment on the political spectrum is pretty close to Reagan, but he is very much a different sort of politician. He's a lot more like Bush 41 in his foreign policy realism. If Kissinger weren't such a partisan, I'm pretty sure he'd love Obama.

That's possible, but it is also the world we live in.

The argument against change from time immemorial. It's only that way because we collectively choose to make it so. We could choose differently.

"But why can kings just execute people, even nobility?" "That's just the world we live in, son. Now eat your groats and get ready for archery practice."

Governments claim a lot of things--we shouldn't just take a government's word for something because they repeat it often and loudly ; D

Oh, sure -- they could be just playing to the cheap seats back home, perhaps. But the fact that they've blocked any resolutions about Syria suggests that it's not just noise, that they're representing their actual position, and that getting any further resolutions through the Security Council that involve military action may be impossible.