Latest from The Spokesman-Review
Mitt Romney's criticism of President Obama's handling of the attacks on American outposts in the Middle East does not appear to have resonated with voters, according to a new survey released Monday. While 26 percent of Americans approved of Romney's comments critical of the president's response to the attacks, which left four American foreign service officers dead, 48 percent of those surveyed disapproved and an additional 26 percent did not voice an opinion, according to a poll from the Pew Research Center. Meanwhile, 45 percent of those polled said they approved of the president's handling of the situation, versus 36 percent who disapproved/Justin Sink, The Hill. More here.
Question: Why did Romney fail to gain traction on Libya?
Marc Johnson of The Johnson report sez Republican Mitt Romney would have been wise to heed the advice of Arthur Vandenberg, a Republican U.S. senator from Michigan who helped Harry Truman pass the Marshall Plan and believed “Politics stop at the water's edge.” More from Marc: “Romney has spent most of today cleaning up after a statement he issued too quickly and without all the facts as the awful events in Libya were spinning out of control late yesterday. His midnight statement condemning the Obama Administration is being widely regarded as an amazing piece of amateur hour time for someone who hopes to be Commander-in-Chief. Ronald Reagan’s gifted speechwriter Peggy Noonan said Romney wasn’t doing himself any favors with his hair trigger attack.” More here.
Question: Is a bipartisan approach to foreign policy in this day when the extremes of both parties push away from consensus and compromise?
The United Nations strongly condemned on Wednesday an attack that killed the U.S. ambassador to Libya and three embassy staff and said the “horrific and tragic attack” further spotlighted the security challenges facing Libyan authorities. “The United Nations rejects defamation of religion in all forms, but there is no justification for violence such as occurred in Benghazi,” U.N. Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs Jeffrey Feltman told the U.N. Security Council during a regularly scheduled briefing on Libya. The U.S. ambassador to Libya Christopher Stevens (shown in 2011 AP file photo) and three embassy staff were killed on Tuesday as they rushed away from a consulate building in Benghazi that was stormed by al Qaeda-linked gunmen blaming America for a film they said insulted the Prophet Mohammad/Reuters. More here.
Question: How should America respond to this attack?
Holly Pickett takes pictures in the Gaza strip in January of 2009. The Butte native has been a photojournalist in the Middle East for the past three years based in Cairo, Egypt. (Ben Curtis AP Photo)
A Butte woman may have been the first Westerner to see former Libya dictator Moammar Gadhafi's dead body. Photojournalist Holly Pickett raced to the ambulance carrying his bullet-riddled body Thursday. “I was a little afraid that this would turn into another undocumented rumor. That's why I chased the ambulance with Gaddafi's body,” Pickett wrote on her Twitter page. Shortly after noon Thursday, Pickett was in a residential area behind a field hospital when an ambulance carrying Gadhafi's body raced past her. “We chased,” she tweeted. “All I could think when I found out they had Gaddafi was, 'I am the only journalist who knows what happened. I have to get a photo'”/Kristen Inbody, Great Falls Tribune. More here.
Question: Would you have the courage to cover revolutions in far-flung countries?
Holly Pickett, former Spokesman-Review photographer who saw Moammar Gaddafi's body Thursday, just tweeted: “I am in #Misrata and the front-line medics just celebrated because the field hospital was dismantled and returned from #Sirte. War is over.” You can follow her other tweets on this compelling day here.
Watching the Libyans celebrate the death of Moammar Gadhafi Thursday by shooting their guns in the air made me cringe. I worried that innocent folks would be killed from those bullets raining down on the celebrants.
Turns out others worry, too. A Google search showed several bloggers wondering the same. And the show MythBusters studied the phenomenon in 2006 and concluded:
If a bullet is fired upward at a non-vertical angle… it will maintain its spin and will reach a high enough speed to be lethal on impact. Because of this potentiality, firing a gun into the air is illegal in most states, and even in the states that it is legal, it is not recommended by the police. Also the MythBusters were able to identify two people who had been injured by falling bullets, one of them fatally injured.
(AP Photo/Manu Brabo)
Good morning, Netizens…
There is an abiding battle occurring around the world, even here in Spokane, between good and evil. In my years of writing for Community Comment, I have spoken of it with some degree of hesitation, lest I become overly enamored of hearing myself reiterate the same message over and over again. As much as I would like to believe that essential goodness is winning in the race for domination, it does seem, at times, as if evil is still holding all the trump cards, given the number of tyrants, dictators and various other persons who would do evil as part of their domination of their portions of the world.
While I do not always agree with cartoonist David Horsey's point of view, I do have to state with absolute conviction that he often states opinions which truly need to be heard, whether you nor I are accepting of them or in agreement thereto. This morning, he depicts Gadhafi in death, by stating all tyrants stand on shifting sand which, when you come to think of it, is both pretty concise and accurate.
The rest of living life as a tyrant is how long you manage to survive before someone bigger comes along and puts you out of commission. So the real question about life and living is are we willing to stand on that evil foundation of shifting sand or do we always search for the solid ground of goodness?
Libya's future seems all the more uncertain despite Gadhafi's death. Of course your interpretation of this may differ.
In this Sept. 1, 1987 file photo, Libyan leader Col. Moammar Gadhafi, holds a baton as he sits to review Libyan troops during the 18th anniversary celebration of Libya's revolution in Tripoli. Libya's information minister said Gadhafi was killed Thursday when revolutionary forces overwhelmed his hometown, Sirte, the last major bastion of resistance two months after the regime fell. Story here. (AP Photo/John Redman)
Question: Good riddance to bad rubbish?
Good morning, Netizens…
Pandemonium is the order of the day in Libya, which comes as no surprise, given their high level of political unrest. However this morning, depending upon your trusted news service, Muammar Gaddafi has either been captured and seriously wounded, perhaps in his legs, or from other sources, may already be dead. CNN at 5:35 AM local time just showed a picture ostensibly from AFP, of Gaddafi's dead body. His death was also independently verified by CNN, which brings us no closer to the truth.
All I can say is “good riddance”. Your results, of course, may differ.
This proves that almost anything can be mixed into a song on the Internet.
And that Moammar Gadhafi's hat may be the coolest bit of headware of 2011.
People celebrate the capture in Tripoli of Moammar Gadhafi’s son and one-time heir apparent, Seif al-Islam, at the rebel-held town of Benghazi, Libya, early today.
BENGHAZI, Libya – The long, brutal reign of Col. Moammar Gadhafi appeared to collapse Sunday as rebels swept into Tripoli, captured two of his sons and set off wild street celebrations in a capital that he’d ruled by fear for more than four decades, Libyan and NATO officials said. Full story.
Care to speculate on the fate of Moammar Gadhafi?
Getty photographer Chris Hondros walks the ruins of a building Aug. 21, 2006 in southern Beirut, Lebanon. Hondros, 41, died earlier today after being seriously wounded while on assignment in Misrata, Libya, according to Getty's director of photography, Pancho Bernasconi. 'Restrepo' director Tim Hetherington was also killed in Libya today. Story here. (AP Photo/Getty Images)
Good evening, Netizens…
If the Obama administration had chosen to ignore the potential massacre of the rebels in Libya, Republicans would right now be having a field day, condemning him for weakness and moral cowardice. The deafening howls of outrage from the Republicans would make the evening news ring like a gong.
Now on the other hand, if the president were a Republican and had organized the international coalition that stopped Muammar Gaddafi’s forces in their tracks, Republicans would right now be cheering him in the streets, and unquestionably attempting to wire him/her up for a certain reelection a year and one half from now.
Instead, Republicans in Congress are biting at Barack Obama’s Libyan efforts at every turn. They seem more interested in defeating Obama now than they are defeating Gaddaffi's forces.
The national news, it seems, is all who and what you believe. Of course, your results may differ.
Libyan rebels take a rest at a checkpoint on the frontline near Zwitina, south of Benghazi, eastern Libya, on Thursday.
WASHINGTON – The United States welcomed a partial handover for the Libyan air campaign to NATO on Thursday, but the allies apparently balked at assuming full control and the U.S. military was left in charge of the brunt of combat.
NATO agreed to take over command of the newly established no-fly zone over Libya, protective flights meant to deter Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi from putting warplanes in the air. That leaves the U.S. with responsibility for attacks on Gadhafi’s ground forces and other targets, which are the toughest and most controversial portion of the operation.
The U.S had hoped the alliance would reach a consensus Thursday for NATO to take full control of the military operation authorized by the United Nations, including the protection of Libyan civilians and supporting humanitarian aid efforts on the ground. It was not immediately clear when the allies could reach agreement on the matter. Robert Burns, AP
Does anyone think the U.S. involvement in Libya is a good thing?
Good morning, Netizens…
We seem to be in a quagmire in Libya, or so cartoonist David Horsey suggests. We are either damned if we do or damned if we don't. We cannot simply turn our backs on Gaddafi and allow him to continue killing his own people; but now that we're engaged in the No Fly Zone, just how do we get out of yet another war?
According to President Obama we are not going to be sending U.S. troops into Libya, which is probably a very astute idea on its own right. On the other hand, will the No Fly Zone prevent further killings? I am very uncertain whether the No Fly Zone will actually work, resulting in Gaddafi leaving Libya in his rear view mirror. According to several different news sources, his decision is probably not about money, as Gaddafi is worth millions of dollars already.
As we enter the sixth day of what is an undeclared war on Gaddafi coalition forces bombed a hospital in Misrata. Ostensibly the members of the No Fly Zone bombed the coalition forces into smithereens and the shelling of the hospital stopped .. for now. According to several news sources, the hospital is now eking out a strained existence on a standby generator as there is no electricity available.
This begs the issue whether this is the “humanitarian” solution President Obama had in mind, much less the United Nations when the bombing of selective targets in Libya first began.
President Obama has promised that he will discuss the duration of the bombing and its cost, perhaps within days. Congress, particularly the Republican side of the aisle, are discontented with the U.S. involvement in the No Fly Zone and want answers to some of their pointed questions.
It does seem to be a quandary of a multi-hued variety. Of course, your results may differ.
A local convenience store in Lawrence, Kan., had to improvise when fuel prices required more number two's than were on hand Thursday. Oil prices rose again Thursday as the rebellion in Libya appeared to have shut down even more oil production than previously estimated. (AP Photo/Orlin Wagner)
Question: How much higher do gas prices have to go before your driving habits are affected?
Good morning, Netizens…
We had the opportunity to take Moammar Gadafi's regime down, put it out of power, in 1996 but we couldn't get the job done. Perhaps now it is too late, as some animals will not be put down without a fight. Gadhafi appears to have lost the support of at least one major tribe, several military units and his own diplomats, including Libya’s ambassador in Washington, Ali Adjali. Deputy U.N. Ambassador Ibrahim Dabbashi accused the longest-serving Arab leader of committing genocide against his own people in the current crisis.
Libya's second-largest city Benghazi purportedly is in protesters’ control and its capital, Tripoli, is in a state of chaos and pandemonium. Pro-Gadhafi gunmen are purportedly firing from moving cars and even shooting at the facades of homes to terrify the population.
Now that Gadafi is all but cornered, according to David Horsey, like some wild animals, it appears Gadafi will not be put down without a fight. Of course, your results may differ…