Getting in deeper?

So far no boots on the ground -- but shoes, and a stake in the outcome

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Moammar Gadhafi may be a creep, but there's another one that Americans revile more: Mission creep.
President Obama promised no "boots on the ground" in Libya -- but that was true only inasmuch as CIA operatives apparently wear shoes. Yes, we're on the ground in Libya.

There's also talk now of supplying the rebels; Britain is talking about "non-lethal equipment." Maybe shoes? Maybe boots? Once we're supplying one side, then what? Do we let them lose? Or do we do more than supply them?

Unless Gadhafi's regime melts down faster than a Japanese nuclear reactor -- and there is a slight chance of that, after high-level defections in the past week or so -- it's hard to see how this ends well for the Obama administration. At this point, with the CIA-aided rebels losing ground and mission creep starting to set in, it's somewhere between the Bay of Pigs and Vietnam.

The problem with part-time warfare is that you're putting your prestige on the line: Can the Obama administration be content to patrol the skies and allow the "good guys" to be routed? How invested are we in this civil war?

As much as the administration dithered on going into Libya, the end game was poorly thought out. We can't even be sure the "good guys" are all that good: Administration officials admit whiffs of al-Qaida in the rebel camp. A report on Monday claimed al-Qaida was using the Libya conflict to arm itself.

Some suggest the logical next step is for coalition forces to target Gadhafi's heavy military equipment, whether it's on the offense or not. That would help level the playing field for the rebels, and perhaps demoralize any high-ranking Gadhafi loyalists who may be quietly on the fence. But neither the United Nations mandate nor NATO policies may allow such strikes.

The idea going in was supposed to be to protect civilian populations -- but coalition strikes have killed civilians and even rebel forces stupid enough to draw attention by firing into the air.

The bottom line is, the goal of this campaign seems maddeningly elusive even weeks into it. The public knows it, too: Nearly 60 percent say the president hasn't stated a clear goal; almost half oppose the Libyan intervention; and the president's own approval ratings are at record lows. As a Los Angeles Times  blog noted, incursions into Iraq, Afghanistan and even Somalia earned more public support: 76 percent, 90 percent and 65 percent, respectively.

Mr. Obama may hope to be able to blame NATO if the handed-off operation goes awry or is seen as having been defeated by a resurgent Gadhafi.

Ask anyone from the Kennedy administration how that works.

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Riverman1
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Riverman1 04/05/11 - 05:10 am
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We're in, we're out, we're

We're in, we're out, we're leaving, we're staying. Obama doesn't have a clue. Anything outside of a ward in inner city Chicago is beyond his pay grade.

seenitB4
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seenitB4 04/05/11 - 06:39 am
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BUT..... he can play

BUT..... he can play basketball..

Fundamental_Arminian
1833
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Fundamental_Arminian 04/05/11 - 06:43 am
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We don't know enough about

We don't know enough about the rebels we're defending. They could be freedom fighters, or they could be community organizers from the Muslim Brotherhood. Given our impossible-to-pay debt, we should quit meddling in other nations' business.

copperhead
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copperhead 04/05/11 - 06:59 am
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If you want to know what is

If you want to know what is coming down the pike,google cloward-piven/obama. An outline of obama's agenda.

copperhead
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copperhead 04/05/11 - 07:09 am
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obama is the GREATEST person

obama is the GREATEST person that ever lived..he is the most honest and transparent president we have ever had the honor of serving. He has kept every promise made. He has led this country back from the brink of destruction and into the economic powerhouse we are today. All should praise and worship him for his tireless great service to our nation. We should go ahead TODAY and re-elect him to the PERMANENT position of president.

soldout
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soldout 04/05/11 - 08:43 am
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People sowed their vote into

People sowed their vote into his life and now they get to reap a crop on his actions.

Rhetor
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Rhetor 04/05/11 - 09:25 am
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A couple of weeks ago, the

A couple of weeks ago, the conservatives complained that Obama was being too weak about Libya. This editorial should have taken the tone, "We're glad he's finally seen the light." Instead, in an apparent effort to Obama-bash at all costs, you are now taking the liberals' point of view on the issue. So, my comment to the ACES is: I'm glad you've finally seen the light!

Beck Tears
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Beck Tears 04/05/11 - 10:18 am
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"As a Los Angeles Times blog

"As a Los Angeles Times blog noted" Really? Blogs? Those are considered good sources?

No one has ever answered why Muslim Brotherhood is scary.

What would have added more punch to this article was compare how Regan interfered with Afghanistan, training today's al-Qaeda.

How many people here would prefer President Obama do nothing, while we watch Gadhafi slaughter and kill hundreds of thousands of innocent people, showing other tyrants how to suppress an uprising?

copperhead
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copperhead 04/05/11 - 10:58 am
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Rhetor and Beck Tears,you are

Rhetor and Beck Tears,you are right,obama is a god. Kneel and worship!

Beck Tears
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Beck Tears 04/05/11 - 11:08 am
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I like you made that

I like you made that reasonable conclusion. You have perfect logic copperhead. I don't think blogs should be taken seriously = Obama is god. Question why people are afraid of the Muslim brothehood = Obama is god. See the possible similarities of arming people with the actions of Regan arming/training people = Obama is god. Yeah- kneel and worship is what the only answer.

Brad Owens
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Brad Owens 04/05/11 - 11:09 am
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You all said, "it's somewhere

You all said, "it's somewhere between the Bay of Pigs and Vietnam"

What a load of bovine fecal matter.

This is nothing like either of those examples and the use of two emotional charged words shows that this is not about honest assessments and all about sparking opposition to a policy that Obama has gotten right.

This is pure selective outrage, if this were Bush, they would be talking about the US standing for freedom against a terrorist.

This is a good thing we are doing and it will not turn out any way but better than it was when we started our direct support.

We need to arm, train, and support the rebels so they can win. Then we need to help them create the givernment they say they want.

Obama is right and so is this policy of supporting the freedom fighters.

What happened to your Reagan compass on supporting freedom against tyranny? I guess the Contras and this editorial page's support for them are forgotten by you all these days? Oh, that's right, Obama cannot do anything right or at least you all cannot acknowledge it. Got it.

Brad

Lookeron
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Lookeron 04/05/11 - 11:51 am
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Brad has it right. What more

Brad has it right. What more can you expect from a newsrag that is conservative in every way other than the true meaning of the word. A newspaper is supposed to report the news without adding biased political comments. Not the Chronicle though, they wouldn't want to give their readers the idea that Obama has been doing a respectful job of leading this country while the Party of No drags it's feet in order to fake talking points that the president is the one not doing his job.

justthefacts
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justthefacts 04/05/11 - 11:56 am
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Lookeron, I think you may be

Lookeron, I think you may be struggling with the definition of an "Editorial".

terminusmundi
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terminusmundi 04/05/11 - 12:57 pm
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You know that when Brad Owens

You know that when Brad Owens supports an Obama administration policy that it's a really good policy.

More importantly, ask anyone from the Kennedy administration how close we were to nuclear war. Read Michael Dobbs's book "One Minute to Midnight" before you make any authoritative statements about the Kennedy administration.

paulbaughman28
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paulbaughman28 04/05/11 - 01:45 pm
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So apparently no one realizes

So apparently no one realizes that the UN heads this operation, not the US. Yes we have operatives and fighter planes there, but the bulk of this campaign, for once, is not US troops. When was it said that this is going to be open-ended? When was it said that we (the US) are going to be funding and arming the Libyan rebels?

Gunner71
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Gunner71 04/05/11 - 01:55 pm
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we have learned absolutely

we have learned absolutely nothing from past experiences. this "taking sides" bs does not and will not work. we are in 3 shooting wars (4 if you have any sense and count Mexico) and have no intention on winning any of them. nothing in the middle east serves our interests and we have no friends in that region. we have even pushed our only ally (Israel) to the curb. it sickens me to know all of these soldiers have died for nothing more than political reasons. i'm all for retribution for 9/11, but do it right from the start. our military was never designed to be the police and we are forcing them to play by political rules while our enemy plays by none. bring our people home and focus on domestics issues for once.

Gunner71
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Gunner71 04/05/11 - 01:58 pm
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@paulbaughman28 - apparently

@paulbaughman28 - apparently you do not realize that the U.N. has no place in todays world and could not resolve a conflict if they were handed the instructions on how to do it. U.N. "control" only means they will get some of the blame when this entire operation goes in the toilet. the U.S. will get the remaining blame and rightfully so.

Crime Reports and Rewards TV
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Crime Reports and Rewards TV 04/05/11 - 03:02 pm
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You are so right Gunner. We

You are so right Gunner.
We BETTER start paying attention to the war on our southern border or as one of our top Military brass said lately it WILL come back to bite U.S in the... If anyone needs to be armed by American taxpayers it’s the American taxpayer on our southern border.

Currently Terrorist partnerships with drug cartels have OVER 100,000 boots on the ground, many of them middle eastern suicide martyr wannabes, over 100 submarines and submersibles, hundreds of aircraft, every kind of weapon known, almost a trillion $ war chest, and the ability to burn America to the ground USING own infrastructure, T-O-D-A-Y!

dani
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dani 04/05/11 - 03:11 pm
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When John Stewart makes

When John Stewart makes jokes regarding the inadequacies of the Obama administration then things have to be pretty bad.

rmwhitley
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rmwhitley 04/05/11 - 04:27 pm
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President George W. Bush is
Unpublished

President George W. Bush is responsible for the catastrophes in Japan. barry and his cronies need to sieze the moment. Hail to the master.

Gunner71
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Gunner71 04/05/11 - 05:23 pm
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@tnthomson: so you wish harm

@tnthomson: so you wish harm on our troops because of a bunch of idiots in D.C.? you might want to rethink that comment unless that's truly what you mean.

mickl
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mickl 04/05/11 - 06:26 pm
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Beck, ‘No one has ever

Beck, ‘No one has ever answered why Muslim Brotherhood is scary.’
They supported al-Qaeda for one thing. Some people are amazing.

copperhead
1035
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copperhead 04/05/11 - 07:28 pm
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We should arm al-Qaeda just

We should arm al-Qaeda just as obama wants. it is only fair.

paulbaughman28
215
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paulbaughman28 04/05/11 - 09:05 pm
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Gunner, apparently I do

Gunner, apparently I do realize just hoe the UN and NATO "work." I mean, I have only been dealing with them for the last 11 1/2 years of my life. I'm not saying that we should or should not be over there, but if it were us, we would want someone to intervene on our behalf. Now your probably going to say that no one intervened during the Revolution or our Civil War. Before you do, BOTH England and France were involved in the Civil War and Spain and France in the Revolution.

@crime reports- couldn't agree more. Terror is LITERALLY at our door. The cartels from South America need to be dealt with before mor US lives are taken.

Riverman1
82062
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Riverman1 04/05/11 - 09:14 pm
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The rebels have some tricky

The rebels have some tricky military techniques. When they see the enemy they start screaming, drive back a few miles in their pick-ups, shoot straight-up in the air and run before the bullets come back down. They're a great metaphor for the Obama administration.

Riverman1
82062
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Riverman1 04/05/11 - 09:21 pm
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Someone needs to take Obama's

Someone needs to take Obama's keys.

Iakovos, you got it wrong. Right wing is the Nazis.... Left Wing is the Communists. You have to keep your exaggerations accurate.

iakovos
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iakovos 04/05/11 - 09:26 pm
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No i got it right the left

No i got it right the left seems to be working on saving the Nation, remember the Nazis lost badly so did the Jap's evil will never win!

Riverman1
82062
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Riverman1 04/05/11 - 09:29 pm
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Iakovos, we need to take your

Iakovos, we need to take your keys, too.

iakovos
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iakovos 04/05/11 - 09:32 pm
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No problem i'll follow a

No problem i'll follow a leader anywhere as long as he or she is right and just.

paulbaughman28
215
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paulbaughman28 04/05/11 - 09:50 pm
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iakovos... your typing

iakovos... your typing privilege have been revoked

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