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Mon Apr 20, 2015, 08:01 AM

Should the US help Save These People? - Italy, Migrants, and Libya - some things to consider

I know we have Italian Nationals and American Expats in Italy at DU who are hip deep in the situation with the migrants every day - but I thought perhaps we could have a discussion regarding the Migrant situation apart from the emotional/silent threads.

A few things -

On February 15th Italy closed its embassy in Libya.

Italy has a long history with Libya - they were once an Italian colony (that adds layers to the relationship).

The Fed Gov is relatively filled with newbies - they are pretty much untested. And that was good thing for the people of Italy in terms of their internal interests.

Many of the mandatory military service era have recently 'aged' out. This leaves them with fewer soldiers and fewer soldiers with the experience in Africa - as it is now a volunteer service. In my husband's family - only one person is serving with 20 years - and he's Navy.

Renzi (the Prime Minister) initially called for a intervention in Libya - but then back tracked when no other country volunteered to lead the effort.

About two years ago - due to the Austerity - the Italian Military budget was cut by 40%. We can't think 'ground troops'and air force - we have to think Navy AND Coast Guard as well. There was supposed to be a large by of F-35 jets - that has not happened. They just aren't prepared to go in balls to the walls in Libya. On home turf yes - but abroad nope.

Where some of the migrant boats are sinking - it's about 70 miles off the coast of Libya. There was also an incident at the end of March where the Coast Guard was fired at by Traffickers trying to get back their cheap flimsy boat. It's assumed they hauled the non sea worthy vessel back to wherever they came from to reload it and try again. These traffickers are not in good faith people - they aren't nice guys and they don't play patty cake.

The "Northern League" (a far right political party) is spouting off nonsense about ISIS invading Italy and getting people worked up over that. They also have this approach of - We should be helping but not allowing them to disembark in Italy.

Finally this weekend France and several other countries leadership - Finally stepped up to the plate and at least said - we need a summit/meeting to discuss.

Doesn't mean the problem is going to get solved - seems like they want to just have a discussion about the problem without real solutions.

So what are the solutions? Would we as Americans be willing to send troops to Libya as part of a UN Mission? Or have we done enough damage in North Africa and the Middle East? If brought to the UN - would we be willing to fund a rescue mission that when it was effective cost Italy approximately 12 Million per month?

I'm trying to wrap my head around the concept that the internal issues of Libya are causing migrants from across that part of the world to flood Southern Europe's shores. One of the folks interviewed from last nights (4/19) disaster was from Bangladesh. Is the answer to only allow in minors and those who can prove persecution? That with the understanding that there will be a global financial initiative to assist the landing countries with the processing and more important . .. the basic needs of all human beings?


There is a great deal of hand wringing going on around the world (not DU focused). At some point we need to acknowledge the 'this is so sad' came from the Arab Spring.


Thoughts anyone? What would you call your Senators or Member of the House and say if you could?

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Arrow 15 replies Author Time Post
Reply Should the US help Save These People? - Italy, Migrants, and Libya - some things to consider (Original post)
JustAnotherGen Apr 2015 OP
marym625 Apr 2015 #1
JustAnotherGen Apr 2015 #2
marym625 Apr 2015 #4
Renew Deal Apr 2015 #3
marym625 Apr 2015 #5
Renew Deal Apr 2015 #9
marym625 Apr 2015 #11
Renew Deal Apr 2015 #13
Octafish Apr 2015 #6
Renew Deal Apr 2015 #10
Octafish Apr 2015 #12
JustAnotherGen Apr 2015 #7
Renew Deal Apr 2015 #14
JustAnotherGen Apr 2015 #15
pampango Apr 2015 #8

Response to JustAnotherGen (Original post)

Mon Apr 20, 2015, 08:14 AM

1. absolutely, without a doubt, two things

1. No boots on the ground.

2. Save these people.

Fund a rescue mission and take in anyone that has risked their lives to get out. I don't care if they can prove political persecution or not. If taking the chance of dying is the brighter way to go, then let's help them live. Let's be true humanitarians.

K&R

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Response to marym625 (Reply #1)

Mon Apr 20, 2015, 08:23 AM

2. I updated my title to reflect the question as you suggested



I'm trying to figure out if I'm going to reach out to Booker and Menendez and shame Leonard Lance (NJ - 7th).

My first encounters with Menendez were surrounding activism in Sudan. And Leonard Lance is a typical little Republican - big 'talk' about Muslims Terrorists and their supposed actions against Christians abroad -

But when push comes to shove nowhere to be found.

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Response to JustAnotherGen (Reply #2)

Mon Apr 20, 2015, 08:31 AM

4. I hope it helps

As far as your reaching out, the worst that can happen is nothing. Might as well give it a shot.

I am going to check Durbin's website then call his office. Probably will call kirk too, but that will get me nowhere. Quigley might actually acknowledge the situation.

Thanks for the thought provoking post

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Response to JustAnotherGen (Original post)

Mon Apr 20, 2015, 08:30 AM

3. Why can't Europe handle its own problems?

It seems that Europe like the Saudis and others want the US to do its dirty work over and over and over.

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Response to Renew Deal (Reply #3)

Mon Apr 20, 2015, 08:35 AM

5. This is a worldwide problem

We are all part of this. Just by being human it affects us.

And it's Africa/Asia/Europe that are involved. Syria is in Asia. With your logic, why should Europe do anything? Why should anyone do anything?

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Response to marym625 (Reply #5)

Mon Apr 20, 2015, 08:42 AM

9. There are a lot of sad stories in the world

Tons of them. And the US helps when needed. A great example is Ebola. But there are also too many problems for the US to solve.

This is a problem for the meditaranian countries (Italy, France, Greece, and to some degree Spain and Turkey). They have the ships, personnel, money, and interest to deal with it. My question for you is why can't it be left to them?

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Response to Renew Deal (Reply #9)

Mon Apr 20, 2015, 08:52 AM

11. Why can't we help?

I already answered that question. Because we are fellow humans and we are capable of giving the help.

There are plenty of times we have helped and plenty we did nothing. This is extraordinary. There's no reason we shouldn't give aid.

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Response to marym625 (Reply #11)

Mon Apr 20, 2015, 09:25 AM

13. We can help and let the Europeans lead.

If they want to take people in we can help them and if they want to blockade Africa we can help them with that too.

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Response to Renew Deal (Reply #3)

Mon Apr 20, 2015, 08:39 AM

6. Like in Ukraine?

Anything in relief work that could serve the neocons and PNAC?

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Response to Octafish (Reply #6)

Mon Apr 20, 2015, 08:44 AM

10. Ukraine is another good example

Though I'm not sure what you're trying to say about neocons.

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Response to Renew Deal (Reply #10)

Mon Apr 20, 2015, 08:57 AM

12. They make money off war.

They gain power off war.

Peace, not so much.



Neocons and Liberals Together, Again

The neoconservative Project for the New American Century (PNAC) has signaled its intention to continue shaping the government's national security...

Tom Barry, last updated: February 02, 2005

The neoconservative Project for the New American Century (PNAC) has signaled its intention to continue shaping the government's national security strategy with a new public letter stating that the "U.S. military is too small for the responsibilities we are asking it to assume." Rather than reining in the imperial scope of U.S. national security strategy as set forth by the first Bush administration, PNAC and the letter's signatories call for increasing the size of America's global fighting machine.

SNIP...

Liberal Hawks Fly with the Neocons

The recent PNAC letter to Congress was not the first time that PNAC or its associated front groups, such as the Coalition for the Liberation of Iraq, have included hawkish Democrats.

Two PNAC letters in March 2003 played to those Democrats who believed that the invasion was justified at least as much by humanitarian concerns as it was by the purported presence of weapons of mass destruction. PNAC and the neocon camp had managed to translate their military agenda of preemptive and preventive strikes into national security policy. With the invasion underway, they sought to preempt those hardliners and military officials who opted for a quick exit strategy in Iraq. In their March 19th letter, PNAC stated that Washington should plan to stay in Iraq for the long haul: "Everyone-those who have joined the coalition, those who have stood aside, those who opposed military action, and, most of all, the Iraqi people and their neighbors-must understand that we are committed to the rebuilding of Iraq and will provide the necessary resources and will remain for as long as it takes."

Along with such neocon stalwarts as Robert Kagan, Bruce Jackson, Joshua Muravchik, James Woolsey, and Eliot Cohen, a half-dozen Democrats were among the 23 individuals who signed PNAC's first letter on post-war Iraq. Among the Democrats were Ivo Daalder of the Brookings Institution and a member of Clinton's National Security Council staff; Martin Indyk, Clinton's ambassador to Israel; Will Marshall of the Progressive Policy Institute and Democratic Leadership Council; Dennis Ross, Clinton's top adviser on the Israel-Palestinian negotiations; and James Steinberg, Clinton's deputy national security adviser and head of foreign policy studies at Brookings. A second post-Iraq war letter by PNAC on March 28 called for broader international support for reconstruction, including the involvement of NATO, and brought together the same Democrats with the prominent addition of another Brookings' foreign policy scholar, Michael O'Hanlon.

CONTINUED...

http://rightweb.irc-online.org/articles/display/Neocons_and_Liberals_Together_Again



One name to remember is Victoria Nuland, our woman in Ukraine, who is married to PNAC co-founder Robert Kagan

Robert Kagan's brother is Frederick Kagan

Frederick Kagan's spouse is Kimberly Kagan

Brilliant people, big ideas, etc. The thing is, that's a lot of PNAC. And the PNAC approach to international relations means more wars without end for profits without cease, among other things detrimental to democracy, peace and justice.

When you mentioned we need to be careful before getting involved in a humanitarian mission to protect lives trying to get into Italy, I remembered some who opposed that also were gung-ho for military intervention in Ukraine. Ironic, in a way.

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Response to Renew Deal (Reply #3)

Mon Apr 20, 2015, 08:40 AM

7. I think there are people there that DO want handle it

Without International interference. If the Italian Government collapses tomorrow - I think the Northern League is in. And they are calling for blockades/rejecting all. That means - those folks either die at sea or go back to Libya then back to their country of origin.


The previous government had agreements with Tunisia and Egypt that had them stemming the tide of migrants from those countries. It was effective. Could Mr. Kerry (in your avatar) help navigate an agreement between the two opposing governments and Libya that they too monitor their ports with rigor and make sure they stem the tide?

I think - hearing my older brother in law rant yesterday afternoon - there is a feeling even amongst even the most liberal of Italian citizens - that they don't see why they have to fix the problems in the third world . . . And even the most forward thinking there don't use the term 'emerging economy' - Libya, Bangladesh, Sub Saharan Africa, Egypt, Turkey- that's all the third world to them.

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Response to JustAnotherGen (Reply #7)

Mon Apr 20, 2015, 09:28 AM

14. It's a tough situation, but if Italy and France want to turn everyone back, what should the US do?

We can't force the Eurpeans to help these people. Politically these issues do not play well in Europe.

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Response to Renew Deal (Reply #14)

Mon Apr 20, 2015, 09:45 AM

15. No we can't - force the Europeans to help these people

But we are part of the problem in the region of origin. We are.

My greatest fear is that if Italy enters into an agreement with BOTH governments in Libya - we get uppity and interfere or try to tell them they can't play nice with so and so.

They need to play nice with whatever governments/groups they want to to solve the problem. We have a tendency of washing our hands then getting upset when people solve the problems to the best of their 'situations'.



ETA- and I thank you for your contributions in this thread.

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Response to JustAnotherGen (Original post)

Mon Apr 20, 2015, 08:41 AM

8. Certainly. As with all refugees, they are fleeing war, oppression and starvation. We care.

Just because we are farther away does not mean that we cannot do our part to help.

There's a great oped in The Guardian today that deals with this crisis.

Our political class ... has been pulled so far right ... it will not tell the complicated truth about the consequences of conflict, about a globalised economy, about our interconnected world, a world that we cannot simply step off, or stop."

The far right’s fantasy of pulling up the drawbridge to stop this great flow of desperate humanity in transit is just that: a fantasy.

Many drown anonymously. Their stories on the whole do not interest us, as they are too complex. Too many countries are involved, too much conflict, too many journeys push them out to sea. ... We feel we have no responsibility to them, still less understanding of who they are. They are simply “other”. The discourse of the BNP, the EDL, and now Ukip – which, whatever it says, attracts out-and-out racists – has contaminated public life.

How did we end up in this moral vacuum where we lose any sense of connection to other human beings? It’s fairly easy: people who aren’t human beings don’t need any rights, or any sympathy, so we dehumanise them via language both political and personal. We talk of them as disease, contagion, a virus. They are not us. They cannot become us.

http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/apr/20/immigration-language-of-genocide-british-politics

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