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Title: why are some presidents of USA wild about waving wars in other countries? such as the one in Lybia.

Conversation: I used to appreciate the democracy, liberty and alike values promoted by politicians in America. But casting our mind back on the recent decades, you would see that America has taken military actions in other countries for a lot of times, from President Colinton to the current President. It is as a matter of fact bare invation!!! why America troops stride into Lybia since it's the business of citizen in Lybia to deal with their own demonstic affair? I kwow there is a profit-related reason. BUt then why do America pomote values of Freedom, demoncracy, Literacy, Fair and alike to the world while they are acting totally against their own belief? I feel like being fooled~~~I want to know how people in America view the deeds of their government in this regard? and How could they merge what they say and what they do?
Or even , unluckily, the so-called demoncracy you have advocated is only limited to Ameirca citizens rather than Earth citizens? If that is so, the world itself is actually a big lie and there is no reason for existence of website like TED, though i love it so much!!

PLUS: Friends in America please do not resent me for this question, as we are communicating on a liberating and open mind TED.

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      May 4 2011: how you sneak in these brief little pointers to what we really should be looking at..tx Richard
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    Mar 31 2011:

    About three minutes long, will explain this whole idea.

    Edited: Should of stated the situations of Libya and our other two wars are completely different.
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      Apr 4 2011: Fabulous..everyone should post it on their websites and facebooks..a simple and truthful explanation of the plutonomy. Also Michael Moore's film :Capitalism: A Love Story " is an excellent insightful analysis of the plutonomy and its grip on our legisltaive's grip on us.
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      Apr 4 2011: [citation needed]
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      May 3 2011: Here's a non-cartoon video on this topic:

      It's an interview with John Perkins author of "Confessions of an Economic Hit Man". A bit longer then three minutes, but a worthwhile listen for the patient.

      Nicholas - I'm baffled at how you came to the conclusion that our three wars are different.
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        May 3 2011: Libya = no fly zone reinforcement. (Whether we are going to turn guns around to take resources isn't apparent to me yet.)

        Iraq/Afghan = weapons of mass destruction/ establishing democracy/ 'terrorist threats'

        Libya, people are trying to take over the government, but the government has guns and the people don't. Originally America was working with the tyrant, now we have help the people we were originally helped oppressing. I think it's only fair, although I feel we should be using those resources fixing out government, but hey that's just me.

        Iraq began because the weapons we gave out were turned around on us, because we didn't want to give more money per barrel. We wanted it at OUR price, so we spent billions taking it instead of millions buying it. Crime of the century. There is profit in war and cleaning up war.

        The media does not cover these situations with justice. Reading the deaths of civilians in Iraq//Afghan is why I started investigating, and wikileaks dictates I am not far off from the entire truth.

        If you feel we are taking advantage of the middle east, I would agree but give some credit where some credit is due. Saying Libya is the same, is like being upset with Obama for being a "bad" president because he didn't follow through with his changes. However if any presidents learned from JFK it is not to f*** with the money. You mess with profit margin, you die, it is up to the people to mess with profit margins, not one non-bullet proof man.

        I source unbiased news that exist on the internet. I will be glad to post 10 - 15 websites for news that proved unbiased to me and/or hold extremely liberal positions. Our media some how gets across the globe also although it is poor media coverages, I hope non-Americans see the silly lies also.

        What I take from these middle east countries rioting, is that we should riot. Heed the advice of founding fathers and put the government back into the hands of the people. It is nothing like it should be
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          May 3 2011: Nicholas: There is no such thing as an unbiased news source. Your best off trying to hear every biased view that you can.
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        May 3 2011: Well, I rather the bias be on the opposite side of government influence than in the corporate American side.

        Which is why I made sure to dictate the 10 - 15 websites and the "and/or" in which considers the fact they may not be all truly unbiased.

        When I say unbiased though I am thinking in terms of actual journalism to get the news out and not to get ratings up.

        Glad to hear this was the only issue with my response though.
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        May 4 2011: @ Tim You Are best off listening to evry biased news source you canBrilliant! and oh so true!!! but not so obvious to all and too important to just let it slip passed ..could you say a bot more on why that is? On how we learn and calibrate from opposing and sometimes extreme views?
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    • Mar 30 2011: I wrote the title that day out of anger when i read those annoying news. Hence sorry that what i stated might somewhat go to extremes and may sound a little offensive for some America people. I do not mean to say that. I know there are many good people who love peace, and try to contribute to people living on this whole planet, such as those i found on TED. "The reason why i respond so aggresively is because I was raised by the history when Chinese was invaded by the foreign powers. We have read a lot books and watched a lot of movies about what happened in wars, and I was scared and felt really bad. So i am angry with any kinds of wars, especially unjustified wars. Unfortunately we are small potatoes with little control over the case.That is also one origin of my anger.
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    Mar 28 2011: The Arab league asked for the support. And, atleast the USA will try to do something about human rights. China just ignors it. Maybe China should get out of Tibet. Maybe Europe should look at its own histoy on human rights.

    If the US was so crazed about oil then we would drill more. Why would we risk human life if we can make money on it by drilling at home?

    The US has stood up for human right with military without taking over. Kuwait, Yugoslavia, WW2, korea. Not to mention the US have over come its own human rights issues in many ways. The US is not perfect, but at least it is not a coward.
    • Mar 29 2011: I have heard about of talks about the danger of listening only one story. As it goes, Paul you said China just ignores the human rights and China should get out of Tibet. I guess you get to know the story of Tibet from the propagandizing of western media or the Dalai Lama. Have you ever listen to the voice of the Chinese government?
      TO be honest,when in primary school I was taught by the government that tibet, the same as the other provinces like Sinkiang, Fujian etc are part of China. As i am not an expert on this area, and also, to avoid that i might be missled by the sole story told by the Chinese government, I have checked this issue with one of my classmate who is quite an expert on this aspect. He told me that it was a rather complicated issue. Before the foundation of the new China, the social system in Tibet was still slavery, and people in TIbet lead a misery life. During the national domestic war, the communist party turned over the governing of the slave owners and setted those massive slaves free to establish the new China, as they did in other provinces. Such a revolution definitely hurted the profit of the slave owners. Currently, tibet is one of the autonomous region in China. He also mentioened that actually most of the people in Tibet now are leading a better life now than they did in the slavery society. Hence there are only a samll fraction of the people whose interests have been undermined protesting against the Chinese government.
      that is the story i heard, and again, as i do not know much about the real situation, i can not decide the extent of the authenticity of the story. But i would like to share some of my personal experience. There are 56 nationalities in China, Han nationality is the major nationality having a large population, and the other 55 are minor nationalities, lncluding those in Tibet. I remembered that in my high school, there are also about 20 students from TIbet, the school provides a lot of previleges for
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        Mar 29 2011: I would have more faith in the Dalai Lama than the government of china that would not even allow Google to freely operate an internet search.

        Here is a link about what I am talking about in relation to human rights:

        And here are some articles about tibet:
        • Mar 30 2011: I have read what you recommend. And as it goes, people believe what they want to believe. First impression might be strongest, but not necessarily right. I could feel the hostile emotion the writers hold for Current Chinese government. I think you can tell that from their tones

          And i know it is difficult to change your first impression. but i still wanna say, when a writer or jounalist hold kind of emotion or prejudice , what he write could be objective.

          again, maybe both of us need more stories from different backgrounds. :-D
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        Mar 29 2011: Paul - Where do you stand on the US Civil War? Was it right for the North to force the South to remain in the Union? What parallels can be drawn with China and the Tibet situation regarding slavery?
  • May 2 2011: I think it's unfair to put all the military interventions in the same bag. The principal motivator for any military intervention is economical. That been said, wars are relatively rare IF that was the only driving force of war. Secundary motivators are also important. Why? Because the economic groups still need popular support for conducting wars. So, instead on focus our attention to the leaders we should focuses on the motivations behind soldiers and supporters. That, to me, has always been the most important factor of any war in history. For instance, the Crusades were only made possible by inducing a sense of holy war on both sides. So it's important to keep people well informed, as not to be mislead by false secundary motives as in "we are going to war to search for WMDs". Clearly even the wars conducted by Former President Bush have different morals values and legitimacy: Afhegan war - necessary; Iraq war - false information.
    What we can learn from Bush is that American war crimes are simply non-existence to any US govermnent, and that does not go well to the international community. I mean, they even word played with torture and its definition to get away with waterboarding.
    As for the legitimacy of any international forces in civil wars, people tend to argue that who are we to decide what is best, in this case, for lybia when compared to the Lybian people. Well, it isn't a matter of choice. The Lybian people didn't had a choice to make, they didn't chose Khadafi or even the rebels because there were no elections. However, as human beings, it is our right and duty to defend human life everywhere.
    To conclude I support limited military intervention to "force" elections followed by respecting the decisions made on those elections: In this case, if Khadhafi had the majority he should stay in power. However, we simply can't let innocent get killed just to save us the trouble of moral dillemas.
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      May 1 2011: Oh My oh My..absolutely fascinating!!! And shocking and frightening. And much more important than oil ( that has been my best guess based in my research). A new gold backed currency by arab and african nations would absolutely turn world markets upside down and result in a signifcant shift on the balance of power, especially with dominance of middle east oil reserves in woorld markets and it absoutely would drive oil oil prices tothe ceiling and further out of control by EU/US since it would undoubtedly lead to.a valuation of oil in the new currency ( At prsent it is valued in $US and the $US is artifically low).I am awakened. I am stunned! What was at stake all along was world dominance by OPEC nations..a separate, independnet well healed international alliance outside of US/EU and even , ultimately, UN influence..

      And you are suggetsing Nato/US/EU thinks it can avert this through these thinly veiled interventions in support of "democracy" and "humanitarian relief" and if that strategy fails ( and it seems certain to me now that thi spiece of the puzzle falls into place that it will) what do we do. We haven't changed in time..We have just followed out old colonialists patterns without eve relaixing the ground was shifting under our feet the whole time.

      Oh man. I'm going to plant my sunflower seeds and think on this one.
  • Apr 25 2011: reply is inside this saying of Jesus (peace on him):
    "please forgive them for what they are doing because they don't know what they are doing"
  • Apr 23 2011: the reply of question of this conversation starts from two main point:

    2- Oil
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    Apr 2 2011: well..the latest wars have all been about oil If we take the time to use the internet to exlore questions like this it doesn't take long for the truth to surface...questioning our involvement in Libya I quickly discovered that it really is all about thwarting Libya's moves since 2009 to control its own oil resources. When you feel in your gut that truth isn't being told..take the time issue by issue to fnd out what the truth is and post it where others can to the work of others from your blog.
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    Mar 31 2011: Hi Aqi, i think this isn't just an opportunity for profit (for USA) it also means coordinating the balance of power on the Middle East. Spreading Democracy can be a true motivation too, but it isn't - for sure- the real objective.

    I don't like interventions, even less the American interventions. But that's how this country lives, not just the presidents. It's a matter of State, it's historical. I thought maybe Obama would do something different, but i was wrong. No president wants to risk losing the country's position.

    Aside that, don't blame all on Democracy. It's a good value, but for sure it isn't universal.
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      Mar 31 2011: Hi Mario,
      I don't like the way the US has intervened in the past, and I agree with you that it seems to be historically how we operate, unfortunately. I don't like wars, and as a mediator, I'd love to get everyone together and talk about our challenges, rather than engage in war.

      That being said, I believe Obama is doing something different. The intervention was undertaken by a coalition of countries. Only 5 of 40 senior officers involved with the operation are from the US. We are told that we (US) are going to pull out within days, and are not going to intervene regarding the leadership of the country. I am giving Obama credit, until I get different information. Right now, I don't think you were "wrong" about him.
      I think the US has already lost its position in the world in some respects, and it's time to rebuild. Let's give energy to the possibility of a change?

      Obama took on some pretty big challenges when he took office. Another historic fact is that nothing changes overnight. It takes time to change practices and beliefs that have been played out for years.
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        Apr 1 2011: I really hope you are right. I lost my faith when he said that giving guns to the lybian rebels wasn't out of the plans.

        I can't foresee it, but i think he won't swim against the tide for now. It's too strong.
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          Apr 1 2011: Dear Mario,
          I just heard on the news that Kadafi wants to talk with the leaders of the coalition. He says he will withdraw his forces, if we withdraw our forces? We'll see how that goes, and I'm hopeful. Maybe it's time for everyone to swim with the tide of peace?
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        Apr 6 2011: Sorry for answering so much time later. Things are still ugly, let's wait and see. Salut
  • Mar 31 2011: freedom and democracy are separate ideas. to most people, freedom is the basic human rights recognized by the UN. while democracy is just a political system. the US government tends to be the champion of democracy and freedom but that does not mean each president will implement the idea of freedom and democracy the same. coming from a country like China you might not understand either since you were not exposed to different ways of thinking outside of China. growing up in one country for most of your life the experience is limited and controlled by the political and cultural environment. It is hard to see and understand different perspectives outside of one's country. therefore, i don't expect you to understand the action of the American president to go to war or not to go to war. i don't think some americans do either.

    as for being critical to american foreign policy, i don't think you are any different than other countries being critical of the US. it is what the US have to face when it is the only super power in the world. the only suggestion i have is that, take a look at what you have learned from the Chinese teaching when you are growing up and compare that to what other countries' historical records and teaching. if the majority of what other countries are saying about for example, Tibet, is different from what the Chinese government have said or recorded in history, then you have to decide who is the correct one. most of the time, the wisdom of many out weigh the wisdom of one. this is the only way to see the truth. and the truth is what freedom is about. and this is why people are dying in the middle east protesting. and this was why people in China died protesting many years ago.
    • Apr 2 2011: Hi, Trung le
      :a country like China you might not understand either since you were not exposed to different ways of thinking outside of China. growing up in one country for most of your life the experience is limited and controlled by the political and cultural environment"

      According to your logic, since you are not a chinese, definitely you do not know how chinese think; even if you have experience in China, you are not me, difinitely you do not know what i have experienced. Then what is your ground to come to conclusions above?

      as well, I guess you might ignore the basic fact (when you are controlled by you prejudice ), that the world today is a globalized villiage. You do not have to come to China to have access to the made-in-China products, and either you do not need to come to America to know that who is the current president. If China is as closed as you have imagined, I won't have the chance to communicate with you here.

      And, when you are make judgement on others, are you ssure that your thoughts are independent of what you are exposed to? And are you sure what you are exposed to are right?
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    Mar 30 2011: Wild about waving wars? I think ABBA answers the question perfectly: "Money, money money, it's so funny, in the rich mans world". It's all money sister. Vietnam, World Wars, Iraq, Libya...the whole shebang. Oh, and of course oil...
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      May 1 2011: Mama Mia! Mama Mia!.and Sardis did you follow Richards link above..soooo much mor ethan oil and the implication sliterally earth shaking..balance of power altering!!! Shook me to my core.

      This actually goes at richard re: john Perkins
  • Mar 29 2011: A long time ago, when I was young, I had a conversation about this, sort of, with an instructor from Annapolis. I asked, “Why do we get in so many wars?” If I remember correctly his response ran along the lines of:

    In response to WWI, the American military became absolutely committed to fighting war(s) anywhere else EXCEPT on American soil. It is the ‘Fight them over there, so we don’t have to fight them here’ principle. It was a strategy further entrenched in response to the destruction of Europe witnessed in WWII. This led to us placing military bases all around the world. The military ‘decided’, “If there is going to be a war, it’s going to be in someone else’s country, not here, not if ‘we’ can do anything about it.”

    After that it became ‘easy’ to consider many ‘threats’ to American corporations as threats to ‘American interests’. After all, we already had military facilities in place worldwide. A lot of the logistics issues were ‘solved’. A military intervention was low hanging fruit. It was cheaper, faster, and quicker. That is if you don’t count lives and use taxpayer money instead of shareholder money. And this is back when corporations didn’t own the U.S. Government quite as much as it does now.That was his explanation as best as I can remember.

    Add to that the principles of Destruction Economics and other supporting circumstances and situations, how could it have been otherwise? I’m not proud about it, but that’s ONE of the reasons for American military interventions.
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    Mar 29 2011: Aqi: Thanks for starting this conversation. I saw the previous conversation you started on "understanding between the West and the East", however, it ended before much got said. Hopefully this one will become deeper.

    You make very good points concerning the hypocrisy between what American leaders say and what they do. But before addressing that, I'd like to ask you a question.

    When the issue of Libya came up in the UN, China and Russia abstained from the vote authorizing the use of military force to create a no-fly zone (they both had veto power). If the Chinese are so opposed to the action, why didn't they vote against it? One speculation I read was they wanted to see the West get entrenched in another fruitless battle. Do you think this could be true?

    If you're not sure how to answer please ask people you know who might have an opinion. I'd be very interested in hearing the response. Thanks.
    • Mar 30 2011: Tim: thanks for you attention. to be honest, I do not know much about the world wide military actions. And i make judgement based upon my own understanding and knowldge of right and wrong. when i was a child i learned from the book that in the history of China we were invaded by troops from west world, especialy European countries and Japan , especially in the Qing dynasity. When i saw those pictures, I sufferred a lot. And at that time I felt so lucky to be born in an era of peace--I thought unjust wars only happend in history. I never expect that they happen when i am alive. --It is horrible to experience wars. Based upon these history, I believe we chinese people never wanna to experience that again, and we also hope that all the people on this planet would never have the chance to experience the war. However it happens.

      As for your question, I discussed with some of my friends who know more than me in this regard. I asked why China did not make a justic voice to help people in Lybia. He told me that it is all about the profit. Because China have great investment such as huge construction projects In Lybia. If China vote against America and the west military union, China would suffer a great economic loss once if the people in Lybia supported by the America and the west win the war and take the control of Lybia. They would take disadvantages actions aagainst China as kind of revenge. I do not know whether i got it clearly or not. But He said it is the main reason why China finally failed to make voice of justice. It is a pity we can do little for people in Lybia. And I am ashamed that our government prefers profit rather than the justice.

      and you asked it seems many Chinese people are against the war. Yes, indeed, peple who know the war are all every angery, just like me. but what i can do is only complaining here, which actually works little for people in Lybia. And others, they were anger for a while, then they just forget it. what your opinion Tim?
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        Mar 31 2011: Wow, that's fascinating Aqi. Yes it does seem that there is always a profit motive behind wars.

        Personally I think the west should have stayed out of the conflict. As you pointed out the motives tend to be profit and not justice. The precedent is one that doesn't have a firm basis and will cause problems in the future. And it is giving the signal to people all over the world that force will be used to impose our view. And this will result in a loss of good will and trust.

        Tell me more about what you think about the war. Do you think the people have a right to revolt against Gaddaffi? And if it is true that Gaddaffi used his military to defeat peaceful protests, do you think it is right for outsiders to give support to the rebels?
        • Apr 2 2011: dear Tim:i do not think it is right for outsiders to interfere with demonstic affairs of other countries, especially when military forces are used. Because we could tell from the history that such kind of meddling is very often not so righteous as it declared. When the war was fueled, it is the people who finally take the price of the war. It is similar with the case when we try to stop two people from fighting each other. We can not help the one to beat the other.cause no body is the true judge when there is a profit there. Such kind of interfering behaviours would easily expand into invading. There is no country which could stay neutral in such cases. And also, waving a war costs a lot. So i do not belive those outsiders would be so kind and generous to pay such a big price just for helping the vulnerable group or promoting justice. do you believe that Tim? So If we can not assure the justice of the war, then i prefer there is no war, cause the common people are the scarificial lamb of the war. If indeed Gaddaffi do treat his people cruelly, like some of the emperor in Chinese history, I believe there should be a channel to revolt against Gaddaffi. And it happend a lot in chinese history. There is a famous sentence in Confucianism. It is about the relationship between the emperor and the common people: 得民心者得天下meaning that the leader who is loved by his people would have a superpower over the whole community, otherwise, he would finally be deserted by his people and lost his power. It emphasizes importance of the will of the common people, and indicates that people have the right to rebel their leaders. If most of the people hold a hostile emotion towards their leader, i believe the leader is in danger. If, it is just a small fraction of people, which is actually very common and unavoidable in every society, i think the leader is sitll a not so bad. And i know little about the reason why people in Lybia to fight against their leader,
        • Apr 2 2011: Sorry tim. I might be some how verbose. But it is really a complicated issue. In Chinese history, when revolt happened, wars were unavoidable, and bloody. New power established based upon the bones of numerous people. So, i believe there should be a peaceful channel to solve the conlict between a leader and his people. when it comes to this, Tim, I have to mention a true story happening during the Drastic changes in Eastern Europe. I forget the exact country and the name of the emperor(It is hard for me to remember foreign names), in general It is like this: due to poor management, the people protest their leader through peaceful demonstration. Then one day, the leader gathered all of his people on a big suqare, and he intended to give his people a moving speech to baffer their conflicts ( the leader was amzingly confident in his talents in preaching). But, during the speech, at the edge of the square, some guy setted off a lot of firecrackes, and shouted loudly: Run for your lives! he want to kill us! he is a lier ...words like this, accompanied by the firecrackers which sounds like the gun firing voices. This was terrible. Thousands of people believed this and lost their rationaliy and begun to run. the result was many people were trampled to death, and the leader lost his power.

          Hence, A PEACEFUL DEMONSTRATION BY A LARGE GROUP OF PEOPLE, WHEN IT WAS MADE USED OF BY SOMFORCES WITH BAD MOTIVES AND STRATIGIES, WOULD EASILY TURN INTO A BLODDY REVOLT, because the broad masses of the people actually tend to lose their judgement and their reason much more eazily than a individual. this is the potential danger of peace demonstration.
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        Apr 1 2011: There's a really interesting debate on our subject here:
        • Apr 2 2011: Dear Tim: I would like to know the response of the masses people in Lybia about the US military intervention. Do you know anything about it? I think their voice are the best judger to decide whether the intervention is right or wrong. do you think so?
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        Apr 5 2011: Aqi: I've been trying to find information which might answer your question about the Libyan people's feelings about the revolt, but haven't found much. We are really relying on very questionable information here.

        It is interesting how different the revolt in Egypt was. There was much information coming out at that time with many interviews of people in the street. To me that was a true illustration of the power of the people when the means of communication are open. You could see there that even though the US was trying to manipulate the situation (first saying that Mubarak should stay, then that Suleiman should rule), in the end the people's voice was heard.

        One criticism of the US involvement in the Libyan conflict is that the military support of the rebels is giving more power to the militant factions than to the grass-roots movements such as those that brought about change in Egypt. Another reason why the west should have stayed out.
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          May 3 2011: actually the peoples transition goverbment is an excellent source Libyan Trasnition council ( I'll paste the link herer)..Aljazeera is ecellent and i ususlaly typr "libya today" in googl sercah and come up with quite a good list
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        May 3 2011: Lindsay:

        Although I often watch Al Jazeeera and find their reporting an informative alternative viewpoint, it is naive to consider them unbiased. Their major funding comes from the government of Qatar and Qatar has political interests in the region. In fact, Real News had a segment specifically on this issue:

        A quote:

        "Qatar is now playing the role of exporting and marketing oil from Libya through the rebel-held territories in Benghazi."
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          May 4 2011: yes Qartar, Italy and France all recognized the Libyan Transition Council as the official new power in Libya and those countries had treid to allow te resumption f oil shiments via the new governmnet using ports protected by Qatar. And of course Aljazeera vcarries a bias..just like the Post, The NY Times, The Guardian, .US News & Wolrd Report.its part of the filter we apply when we use thise news sources..but I have found Aljazeera often very accurate on reportung facts about the history of the Libyan Civil war and the actual history and facts of events ledaing uo to NATO involvement. Ther has been almost none of that in US and European papers. So I find on a day to day really want to know whats happening basis Aljazerra, the Libyan Transition Council's Web site and my "Libya Today" sercah give me at least a better picture of what is really going on than I get from US news or even the BBC.
    • Mar 30 2011: In addition, actually, a lot of chinese tend to consider our current government leader kind of coward--their response towards Lybia is just a tip of iceberg. They are currently focused on economic development, hence peace and stability are the most important factors that those leaders are working for.
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        May 4 2011: yes,China is driving the price of oil in many ways now as the fastest growing demand center in the world The Chinese had planned, in fact, to get their own oil foot hold in Libya through purchse of a Canadian company sitting on top a major new oil field discovery. Libya intervened excercising its option to purchase and ddi so at a price well below what the Chinese had offered squeezing the Chinese out of their own direct foothold in Libya's rich oil fields. In fact, as I write at my blog, I believe this 2009 event is really what started the ball rolling in the inevitable direction of NATO involvement. The the plutonomy wants..the last thing America wants is full nationalization and control of Libyan oil and this move on this deal was a further show of power and intent in exactly that direction. Also ( as brought for discussion in another recent TED Conversationon the worldwide impact of an OPEC currecncy) Libya was vigoouslyrsly and with some growing momentum tryng tiorganize all the African nation s under one currency, the gold dinar, and making that the currency for all trade..including oill. That would absolutely break the back of the US and possibly also break the back of the plutonomy.
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    Mar 28 2011: I think it's important to at least get the title right : )
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      Mar 30 2011: It is easy to make condescending remarks to people who are using another language, How's your Chinese?
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    Mar 28 2011: i don't know, honestly, but isn't it the same for all who has power? power wants more power. i mean, what business does china have in tibet? what business did the brits have in india? should i mention attila, the hun?
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    Mar 28 2011: First of all, I'm really glad that you're not making the common mistake of conflating the policies of the American government with the desires of its people: so often when I get into discussions with citizens of other countries, they don't bother making any distinction between those two things. It's really important to realize that just like every other society, we Americans have a limited control over the actions of our government and their leaders. Just because we live in a democracy does not mean that we draft the laws or the executive agenda. In reality, our control over Washington is limited to the few months out of the years where we can elect officials, including the President. Outside of that privilege, we are pretty much powerless over subsequent actions taken in our name abroad.

    The values of freedom and fairness that our leaders espouse are part of an idealistic national ethos which stretches back to the founding of this country--once upon a time, Americans fought and died die these principals, but now they are simply platitudes for politicians to preach to us. In the past few decades, some of the wars that we have been involved in have been concerned with issues such as human rights, whereas others were motivated solely by a desire for profit, and others for some geopolitical gain, or to preserve our position in important parts of the globe. The aims of the government differ depending on what administration is leading it--some are humane and just in the use of military force, while others only care about preserving US power at any cost. I can't answer why American troops are flying over Libya now; only the President and his men know, and perhaps we will find out later.

    As for your last question: Our govt. will advocate democracy to whichever countries we feel it is in our interests to. It's all cheap political calculation, nothing more, sadly =( I'm pretty ashamed of my country sometimes for paying lip service to noble ideas and then betraying them.