The Dish quotes reasonable people, to help channel college freshman who loves Chomsky

David Frum cuts through Obama’s spin:

[T]he U.S. mission is aimed at the overthrow of Qaddafi. The U.S. is engaged in sophisticated propaganda operations urging Qaddafi’s troops to turn on him. And it’s reported that the U.S. is negotiating with Qaddafi about a secure exit from Libya.

In fact, the U.S. mission is as deeply concerned with European energy security as with the humanitarian crisis. Critics correctly point out that the US has managed to ignore many other humanitarian crises – and is in fact ignoring one right now in the Ivory Coast.

The Ivory Coast currently has the world community, and specifically the leadership of most of the African nations, trying to get the ruler to relinquish power. Western military intervention wouldn’t be helpful there. Frum has slipped up. The rest of the piece makes OK observations.

This particular crisis is occurring in a country from which NATO ally Italy buys more than one-fifth of all its net oil imports and in which Britain has a very large investment. We are not going to war for oil. But we very rarely go to war without oil.

Alex Massie nods. I sigh.

Did you hear that, people? Andrew Sullivan sighed. (Important enough to re-tweet?)

I wonder what Americans would say if told they were intervening in Libya to protect Italy’s oil supplies and BP’s investments. How many Americans should die for BP?

Americans might say, “Well, if that were exactly true, then why didn’t Italy, Britain and the United States just let Qaddafi trounce the opposition and keep doing oil business with him?”

Yeah, I’m not surprised that Obama didn’t put it quite like that.

Yeah, he’s not Chomsky or anything.

Or am I missing the point? Is the Dish accusing the Obama administration of a “bait-and-switch” or dishonesty or something?

For the record, Massie cites Frum but not about anything relating to an oil or energy motivation for intervention. Massie does not “nod” to what the Dish says he does.


Quotes of the day

“I always think of myself as an explainer. I just try and put sophisticated ideas into the news cycle and connect people with smart ideas that are relevant.” — Matthew Yglessias, as reported in the NYT on March 25, 2011


“As best I can tell, 99% of the clichés you’ve heard about Israel and Palestine are accurate.” — Matthew Yglesias on Twitter, October 10 2010 (after taking Didi Remez’s tour of the West Bank).

Cartman watch

The Dish entitles a March 23 post about the income gap in America “Keeping Up With the Joneses (But Not the Bloombergs).”

The single “Bloomberg” referred to is Michael Bloomberg, mayor of NYC, whose wealth is sui generis …. Maybe it was fun to grab onto a reason to let in that title.

Quote of the day

The cynical part of me wonders if Clinton’s war is also a means of distracting the American public as the administration continues to back regimes in the region that are brutally repressing their populations – in Yemen and Bahrain – because in those other cases, the administration prefers to advance its war against al Qaeda and its isolation of Iran, rather than promote democracy. — Andrew Sullivan, 3/19/11