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Good post, Santiago. The consequences of the hesitancy of The WestTM or Egypt*  to engage sufficiently to stop the slaughter in Libya, which could be done mostly by air power and probably in one night strike, is a testament to the importance of being able to publicly frame such arguments with coherence. Other than the oil producers, who may get a windfall for a period, I do not see how this paralysis helps any of the significant actors. Yet I can see that a prolonged period of high oil prices will do great damage to almost everyone else. The only bright spot might be were it to lead to a greater effort and urgency in the push towards renewables and energy self-sufficiency.

* (I do not know if Tunisia could bring this off even with some guidance and assistance, but if they could that should generate serious consideration. They are right next to Gadaffi's stronghold in Tripoli and have serious reason to be concerned with the refugee exodus and the instability currently on offer and also there may be considerable support for such action amongst the Tunisians - ex post facto.)

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."

by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Wed Feb 23rd, 2011 at 04:35:25 PM EST
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I'm not sure it would do good things to Tunisian political culture if the first substantive foreign policy action of the liberation government were to be a foreign military deployment.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Wed Feb 23rd, 2011 at 05:58:41 PM EST
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I think military intervention would be a very bad idea, for all kinds of reasons.

Ironically, very careful and deniable covert aid and diplomatic pressure would likely be more successful.

Not through direct contact with Gaddafi - because he's a nutjob and his actions will always be reliably psychotic - but with tribal leaders (risky...) and the military brass.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Wed Feb 23rd, 2011 at 06:21:23 PM EST
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Please don't compare that comment with what you've been saying about Gene Sharp's methods.

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Ana´s Nin
by Crazy Horse on Wed Feb 23rd, 2011 at 06:44:48 PM EST
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Ironically, very careful and deniable covert aid and diplomatic pressure would likely be more successful.

I completely agree. Material and technical assistance could be provided to a group of individuals from an opposing tribe who have been trained for special operations. This could be a feasible means for destroying or disabling Libyan aircraft, for instance.

This is a delicate time in both Tunisia and Egypt, and the only reason to consider involving them is to minimize the slaughter in Libya and the resultant impact on them of masses of refugees. But, if such actions could be successfully accomplished it could lead to greater regional stability, with three adjacent reforming societies. The danger, of course, is that the militaries in Egypt and Tunisia would have their power consolidated as ruling institutions.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."

by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Thu Feb 24th, 2011 at 09:58:30 AM EST
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