War — Stupid is as Stupid Farce

April 6, 2011

An example of the fiscal foolishness of war.
From Stars and Stripes:

The Air Force secretary says the service has been spending about $4 million a day to keep 50 fighter jets and nearly 40 support aircraft in the Libya conflict, including the cost of munitions.
Secretary Michael Donley tells reporters that the Air Force has spent $75 million as of Tuesday morning on the war. He says the U.S. decision to end its combat strike role in the conflict will cut costs, but he could not say by how much.
He says the Air Force has spent close to $50 million on the relief effort for the Japan earthquake, including $40 million to evacuate between 5,000-6,000 U.S. personnel.
The total U.S. costs for the Libya air campaign as of March 28 were $550 million, not counting normal deployment spending.

US teachers can now get ready for either a pay cut or a pink slip.

And what all this babble about a “humanitarian” effort in Iraq?
This from Abdul Fatah Younis, the head of the Libyan opposition’s armed forces, who claimed in a press conference this week the US-led NATO forces ain’t doing the job.
From LibyaFeb27.com:

Younis: Sadly, NATO has let us down.
Myself and my officers call the NATO officers and give them the targets that if struck will protect the civilians.
But respected people, the NATO coalition has not given us what we want.
If NATO wanted to destroy the siege around Misratah, then it could have done so days ago.
They use “killing civilians” as an excuse, “we do not want to perform air strikes for fear of killing civilians”. The area that Gaddafi forces are stationed in does not have any civilians.
Plus, civilians are dying each day.
Children, women and old aged that do not have any medicine, they have no milk.
Children who do not have the most basic types of medicine.
Children are dying each day, and they die each day from bombardment.
Men and women.
If NATO will wait for another week, then Misratah will be finished.
No one will be alive.
Its people will die and it will be a crime on the forehead of the international community till the end of time. What is NATO doing?
The UN put NATO on our head like a crown and it’s not doing much.
A strike here and a strike there. Let me tell you something….translate this first…

Yeah, the translation is that the US and its so-called “allies” are full of bullshit.
Younis concludes:

We find ourselves in the parting ways of comfort.
I leave this message to you as journalists, upright and moral men and women so you can spread it to the world, so that NATO is not considered to be an “asset” helping us.

(h/t War in Context).

And the no-war Libyan front as seen through the prism of stupid.
Hence, a couple of posts from sociologist Ryan Calder, who is currently conducting field research on the revolutions across the Middle East and North Africa, and his most-excellent new blog, Revolutionology:

Benghazi, April 3.
Susanne Tarkowski, a Swedish media and communications specialist, is riding in a car with Mehdi, her Libyan assistant, bodyguard, and driver.
Susanne: “Mehdi, are you carrying a gun?”
Mehdi: “No.”
Susanne: “Under the circumstances, don’t you think that might be a good idea?”
Mehdi: “We don’t need one.”
Susanne: “Why not?”
Mehdi: “I have this.” [Rummages in the beat-up Mazda’s glove compartment and pulls out… wait for it… a hand grenade.]
Susanne (stunned): “What the hell are you going to do with that?”
Mehdi: “I’m going to throw it at Gaddafi when I see him.”

***********

It’s 2:15 pm on March 31.
We’re in a car headed toward the front, which is west of Ajdabiyah.
Muhammad, our driver, slips a CD in the car stereo. Arab house music comes on.
A photographer sitting behind me starts pumping his fist in the air to the beat.
Muhammad (in Arabic, to me): “Tell him not to do that, man.”
Me: “Why not?”
Muhammad, laughing: “The rebels will launch a rocket at us.”
Me: “Huh?”
Muhammad: “The fist-pump in the air — that’s what Gaddafi and his guys do. The rebels do this [he puts two fingers up in a “V”]. Stick with the two fingers.”
(Muhammad changes the CD.)

War ain’t pretty at all, and it can be fairly stupid.

(Illustration above found here via Google Images).

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