Thursday, October 27, 2011

Glee

Dead People - The NEW American Entertainment Venue
glee noun \ˈglē\

1: exultant high-spirited joy : merriment

2: a part-song for usually male voices

Being completely honest, I could have gone a couple more weeks without tackling this one.  As it is, I've sat on it for over a week and I feel no better about it now than I did one week ago.  

It's time to exorcise the demon who's been riding me since I heard the news that Muammar Qaddafi was dead.  Time to shake it off into the daylight so the sun's rays can scorch it into dust and let the wind carry its tattered carcass away. 

Before I begin the actual post though, I have one question for you: 


Who have WE become? 

Feel free to answer this inquiry quietly to yourself. 


No written response is requested, nor is it required.



ABC News Online March 18, 2011: 
In his meeting with Members of Congress today, sources tell ABC News, President Obama said he expected that the period that the US would be involved in heavy kinetic activity would be "days, not weeks," after which he said the US would then take more of a supporting role.





Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton
The following excerpt is from CBS News Online, October 20, 2011: 
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton shared a laugh with a television news reporter moments after hearing deposed Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi had been killed.

"We came, we saw, he died," she joked when told of news reports of Qaddafi's death by an aide in between formal interviews.

Clinton was in Tripoli earlier this week for talks with leaders of Libya's National Transitional Council (NTC).

The reporter asked if Qaddafi's death had anything to do with her surprise visit to show support for the Libyan people.

"No," she replied, before rolling her eyes and saying "I'm sure it did" with a chuckle.



Excerpts from President Obama's speech to the Nation, October 20, 2011:  
We’re under no illusions — Libya will travel a long and winding road to full democracy. There will be difficult days ahead. But the United States, together with the international community, is committed to the Libyan people. You have won your revolution. And now, we will be a partner as you forge a future that provides dignity, freedom and opportunity.

For the region, today’s events prove once more that the rule of an iron fist inevitably comes to an end. Across the Arab world, citizens have stood up to claim their rights. Youth are delivering a powerful rebuke to dictatorship. And those leaders who try to deny their human dignity will not succeed.


President Obama speaks of human dignity?

For whom?

Gaddafi Chillin' (with Dignity)
Article Excerpt from Reuters, October 21, 2011: 
MISRATA, Libya — Muammar Gaddafi’s body lay in an old meat store on Friday as arguments over a burial, and his killing after being captured, dogged efforts by Libya’s new leaders to make a formal start on a new era of democracy.

With a bullet wound visible through the familiar curly hair, the corpse seen by Reuters in Misrata bore other marks of the violent end to a violent life, still being broadcast to the world a day later on looping snatches of gory cellphone video.

The interim prime minister offered a tale of “crossfire” to explain the fallen strongman’s death after he was dragged, still alive, from a storm drain in his home town of Sirte. But seeing him being beaten, while demanding legal rights, to the sound of gunfire, many assume he was simply summarily shot.



The Atlantic Online, October 21, 2011: 
Call him the billion-dollar man. One billion for one dictator.

According to the Pentagon, that was the cost to U.S. taxpayers for Muammar el-Qaddafi's head: $1.1 billion through September, the latest figure just out of the Defense Department.

And that's just for the Americans.

The final totals will take some time to add up, and still do not include the State Department, CIA, and other agencies involved or other NATO and participating countries. Vice President Joe Biden said that the U.S. "spent $2 billion total and didn't lose a single life."

NATO does not track the operational costs to each member country, but the funds directly taken from a common NATO account for Libya operations have totaled about $7.4 million per month for electronic warfare capabilities and $1.1 million per month for headquarters and command staff, a NATO spokesman said.


What did we get for the $1 BILLION?

Mustafa Abdul-Jalil AND [Bonus!] Sharia Law

The Telegraph Online, October 23, 2011:
Libya's interim leader outlined more radical plans to introduce Islamic law than expected as he declared the official liberation of the country.

Mustafa Abdul-Jalil, the chairman of the National Transitional Council and de fact president, had already declared that Libyan laws in future would have Sharia, the Islamic code, as its "basic source".

In a blow to those who hoped to see Libya's economy integrate further into the western world, he announced that in future bank regulations would ban the charging of interest, in line with Sharia. "Interest creates disease and hatred among people," he said.
...
Mr Abdul-Jalil's decision - made in advance of the introduction of any democratic process - will please the Islamists who have played a strong role in opposition to Col Gaddafi's rule and in the uprising



The Economist, October 29, 2011:
Unlike neighbouring Tunisia, which already had a constitution worth amending, Libya is starting from scratch, since the colonel abhorred such things. In a speech to announce Libya’s liberation, Mr Abdel Jalil said the country’s laws would be based on sharia, that “usury” would be banned and polygamy allowed. This raised eyebrows among some of the council’s Western backers and dismayed many secular-minded Libyans, who chided him for pre-empting decisions that will be the purview of the constituent assembly.

Meanwhile Mahmoud Jibril, who has been the de facto prime minister in his role as head of the council’s executive committee, stepped down on October 23rd. His deputy, Ali Tarhouni (pictured with Mr Abdel Jalil behind him), who holds the oil and finance portfolios, is set to replace Mr Jibril. But the Misrata faction is also lobbying for one of its own to have the job. Mr Abdel Jalil’s future is also unclear. He previously said that he too would step down once the liberation was declared. But many people, including Western diplomats, hope—and guess—he can be persuaded to stay on as a calming influence.
...
Rivalry between Benghazi and Tripoli for control of the oil sector persists. Libya’s oil men are getting production back on stream a lot faster than many expected. Investors are already returning in droves but it is not yet clear who is empowered to oversee the contracts. Such uncertainties are inevitable in the early days of the new order.

Bottom Line:  Seven Months of military action - at least $1 Billion in unfunded war costs (without so much as a 'nod' to the War Powers Act) - one dead dictator - and one more unstable, fledgling Sharia-based Islamic nation in the Middle East. 

You get what you pay for, President Obama.

Don't get me wrong, Gaddafi was a really 'bad man'.  But this Administration 'joking' about his death and taking a Victory Lap on the occurence of the Gaddafi's demise, well, it's beneath us. 

We are diminished in our 'Glee' over the death of one man.

This is the post which I didn't want to write. 

The events of the past few weeks have shown the ugly side of 'America' that I didn't want to see.  I find no joy in the constant barrage of video clips and still-photos of death.   For each day I awaken, I'm one day closer to my ultimate destination.

I pray that upon my departure - no one finds 'glee' in it. 

As far as how Libya turns out?  It'll be a Thriller.

Take it away, MJ... 

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