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Tuesday, September 27, 2016

The following is an excerpt from Mother Jones Washington bureau chief David Corn’s new book Showdown: The Inside Story of How Obama Fought Back Against Boehner, Cantor, and the Tea Party published by William Morrow.

On March 15, 2011, President Obama and his top aides settled into their seats in the Sit Room for a National Security Council meeting. The forces of Libyan leader Muammar al- Qaddafi were on a roll. The ragtag rebels seeking to topple the dictator had wrested control of Libyan cities on the Mediterranean. But now Qaddafi troops were gaining momentum, and casualties were mounting.

The White House was receiving chilling accounts of the violence transpiring in areas seized by Qaddafi loyalists, and government forces were poised to overrun Ajdabiya, a town that supplied fuel and water to Benghazi, the rebel stronghold in the east. If Qaddafi’s soldiers succeeded there, Benghazi would likely fall next. And if Qaddafi took Benghazi, the uprising could be crushed. Worse, a massacre could follow. A bloodbath loomed.

The president asked how soon Qaddafi’s troops could be in Benghazi. The answer: forty-eight to seventy-two hours.

Prior to the meeting, various options had been prepared for the president, including US forces supporting a proposed no fly zone over Libya that was being pushed by European allies. Obama turned to Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs: “Would a no- fly zone do anything to stop this scenario?”

“No, sir,” Mullen replied. “It wouldn’t stop the advance of Qaddafi’s forces.”

The government troops were using tanks and ground launched weapons against the rebels, not air power. Preventing Qaddafi’s warplanes from attacking would do little to protect the rebels and civilians in Benghazi.

“So why are we discussing this?” Obama asked.

The president set aside the papers that had been drafted for the meeting. None of this, he said, will stop possibly thousands of people from being butchered on our watch.

“Give me real options,” he said.

Obama knew there was a divide within his administration. Traditionalists did not favor military action, believing there was no paramount US interest at stake. Others, particularly several senior NSC staffers, saw Libya as a case demanding military action designed not to advance a realpolitik interest but to prevent a slaughter.

Robert Gates noted that he was not keen to have another war in a Muslim nation. He was already managing two. He wondered how the United States could limit its engagement in Libya. He and others at the Pentagon worried they would be forced to shift resources from Afghanistan, which would make it harder to stick to a planned drawdown of US forces there.

Mullen also was not in favor of intervention—nor was Biden, Donilon, and McDonough. They all supported some sort of response but were skeptical of direct US military involvement. Some aides asked, Did Obama want to be sucked into another military action when his number one job was to do something about the ailing economy?

Hillary Clinton and Susan Rice, the US ambassador to the United Nations, backed aggressive action. Clinton’s earlier public comments had suggested she did not support military intervention, but recently she had been pushing internally for a more assertive stance.

Clinton, who was calling into the meeting from Egypt, believed that Libya’s instability could interfere with the democratic transitions in neighboring Egypt and Tunisia. Permitting Qaddafi to smash the uprising in his country, she argued, would send the wrong message to Iran. She also said she’d recently received assurances that Arab governments, particularly the United Arab Emirates, were willing to participate in military action against Qaddafi.

This time the Americans would not be barreling into another Muslim country on their own. During the Egyptian crisis, the Saudis had constantly complained to administration officials that Washington was unduly throwing Mubarak out. Now the message from the region was different: feel free to get rid of Qaddafi for us.

Rice, speaking via a video connection from New York, urged direct attacks on Qaddafi’s tanks and artillery. She had served on President Clinton’s NSC in 1994 when the United States did little to stop the genocide in Rwanda. Months after the mass killings there, she visited the country and walked through a churchyard where a massacre had occurred. Decomposing bodies were still strewn about. Stepping around those corpses would always be a searing reminder for her.

In her first major speech as UN ambassador, Rice declared the administration’s support for Responsibility to Protect—R2P, as foreign policy mavens called it. This principle holds that governments have a fundamental obligation to protect their populations from genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing, and the like—and that other states must take collective action if a nation cannot meet this fundamental responsibility. Qaddafi had killed thousands of his own citizens over his forty- two- year rule. It was clear what would happen to the people of rebellious Benghazi.

The massacres of Somalia, Bosnia, Rwanda, and Darfur were on the ambassador’s mind. After all that, she had resolved that in any similar situation she would speak her mind so that no matter what happened she could sleep well afterward. “I would come down on the side of dramatic action,” Rice once said, “going down in flames if that was required.”

As far as Rice sussed it out, the president’s national security team was split into a do- nothing camp and a do- something camp. She believed that the options presented to the president had been designed to prevent rapid action. But Obama had impressed her by shoving that all aside and moving to the fundamental matter: Would the United States use its mighty but overstretched military to prevent a bloody nightmare?

Rice proposed seeking a UN Security Council resolution that would go beyond endorsing a no- fly zone and authorize the United States and other countries to mount direct military assaults against Qaddafi’s war machine. Winning approval of the measure would be tough—the Russians and Chinese might block it—but she was eager to try.

Obama then polled the backbenchers—the aides who didn’t sit at the table. Not surprisingly, Samantha Power backed military action. In 2005, when Obama was a freshman in the Senate, he had asked Power, then a Harvard professor, to meet with him. He had read A Problem from Hell, her Pulitzer Prize–winning history of the US government’s generally tepid responses to genocides in the twentieth century. During a conversation that lasted hours, the two bonded, and Power soon joined Obama’s Senate staff.

In the White House, Power was a leader among aides who favored muscular but multilateral idealism. In early December 2009, when Obama was about to fly to Oslo to accept the Nobel Peace Prize, he summoned Power at the last minute to journey with him on Air Force One so she could work on his unfinished acceptance speech.

Her mark on that address was clear, at least in one passage: “I believe that force can be justified on humanitarian grounds, as it was in the Balkans, or in other places that have been scarred by war. Inaction tears at our conscience and can lead to more costly intervention later.”

That had been theory—this was the real thing. Power was nervous about what might happen if military action led to the fall of Qaddafi’s regime. There was a risk that fundamentalists or al- Qaeda would be empowered. Yet the United States and its allies could not let thousands of people die, if such a tragedy could be prevented.

Obama also asked Tony Blinken, Biden’s national security adviser, for his opinion. Blinken disagreed with his boss—for whom he’d worked nearly a decade—and said he favored military action. It was a brave move. Ben Rhodes also sided with the advocates for intervention.

The president wasn’t surveying these aides because he was having trouble making up his mind. He was leaning toward intervention, and he was looking for more voices that reflected his own view.

Later on, published accounts would contend that Obama had been nudged toward intervention by the women on his national security team: Clinton, Rice, and Power. But there was more of a generational divide than a gender split among his advisers. Rice, Power, Blinken, and Rhodes were a younger breed of foreign policy wonks, each now driven more by policy beliefs than the institutional concerns that Gates and Mullen had to consider.

Obama told his aides he had not come to the White House to be a leader who turned the other way. He noted that the United States was not in a position to intervene whenever a massacre loomed somewhere in the world. But in this instance it could—and with backing from the region.

Obama departed the meeting with an order: “I want to see all the options.”

He meant military options.

  • I’m having trouble to concentrate reading the content as my mind keep going back to what it has happened during the day. Let me share what are on my mind here.

    This morning, I went to have a morning tea, the Chinese style around 11:30 pm. Over there, I didn’t read at all. My mind was busy retrieving scattered data that were regarding various “gang activities” in HK thru controlling food business. For instance, I noticed one type of buscuit called “Tai Ping” is made by Kraft and another company. Since I haven’t paid attention to which one, therefore, I skipped it here. The more crucial point is I have been looking for this type of buscuit, particularly the one in the red packet is my favorite. However, I wasn’t able to find it over 2-3 weeks from the Wellcome supermarket at all. Then, very occassionally I could get it from the Parkn supermarket. Nevertheless, what I could get was only the small size. The bigger size which is double the size of the small one has been totally absent from the market at all. This evening, after hiking, I intended to get a cracker for myself. I noticed that the plastic seal box of mine was being opened, as the lid didn’t cover well as I used to be. At the time I ate this cracket in the red packet from the brand of Kraft, I noticed that it was much salty than the one I got before. The reason I could say that as I bought two small size together. They should come out from the similar time frame. However, this 2nd pack was much more saltier than the 1st pack I had. In addition, I bought another two big size of the brand from “First Choice” yesterday. After eating some of them, I returned them to the Wellcome supermarket. The reason was that the whole buscuit was too oily and too crispy. Since I didn’t like the feeling of chewing something that might become the additional burden of my LDL, so I returned them to Wellcome. What I intent to say is, over the last few weeks, at least I visited various Wellcome mainly and then the Parkn supermarkets to see if I could find the type of buscuit I love. At least over 7 various locations of the Wellcome, what I saw was only two brands, one from the “first choice,” and the other was “Four Seas,” in Chinese this brand name carries a very different meaning, ie called 四洲. I also discussed my concern with various supervisors and or managers. I was told that they sold out and they were waiting for new stocks. For this particular issue is that no matter what I enjoy, the ccp and ccp gangs will take them away for NO REASON at all. This ccp and ccp gangs enjoy tremendously to ROB other people’s rights and priveliage (sp).

    Another serious gang activities I have aware of was no matter where I go for the Chinese tea, either in the morning or in the afternoon, almost all food and drinks (the Chinese tea) have been either added some additional stuff inside, and or gave me less than other customers, and or gave me the worst qualities, eg could be most in fatty tissue instead of have real meat. Like last night, after leaving the library, I went to a fast food shop, Cafe de Carol, at the Tin Hau area. When I ordered a two small dishes option and paid, the staff from the kitchen told me that they SOLD OUT this order at all. What they could do was to give me the one small item + some other stuff. No matter what they were SMILING in the HELPLESSNESS way. In practice for this type of fast food shop, the kitchen, ie the chef will inform the cashier what items are being sold out and they stop selling additional meal ticket. Thus, I was EXTREMELY ANGRY last night and I told customers inside the shop that “it was how the ccp and their gangs – fooling me around.” Then I left and I walked home. After about 10 mins, I saw two policemen. I then told them what had happened. Three of us were SIGNING – as we all disagree with this type of DISRESPECTFUL ACT. You know, according to the ccp and ccp gang’s HIDDEN AGENDA, they enjoy ABUSING their own power over those they don’t agree upon. Most of the time it isn’t because the person having whatever “problem” at all. Instead, it is based on the VERY UGLY HUMAN INNER QUALITIES of these types of gang activities of the ccp, so that whenever someone is becoming their ‘”TARGET, this person will have trouble. In fact, this type of folk usually carry a much better personal qualities and or education and or mindset than the ccp and their gangs.

    Another type of gang activities is about my landlord. I noticed that last night and this morning, there was a middle age guy from Mainland sitting at the entrance of where I usually entering the building. I met him pretty frequent in the past. He’s a heavy smoker and all of his teeth turned deep brown. Until last night I put him together with the fact that I haven’t paid rent and bills for two months. He might be there to “intimidate” me so that I paid what I still owe my landlord. The major reason that I REFUSE to pay as my landlord MADE me move out when I owed her nothing. She even looked down upon me by saying abusive and insulting statement towards me in front of other neighbors inside the elevator. In addition, she and her peers and neighbors are all coming from the Mainland China. They have a very “weird” practice when I was looking for a place to stay and I found out that. They would place all of their own stuff in the flat/room they rent to others. However, they kept coming in and out of the flat/room to get their own stuff. In my small room I rent from this landlord, they keep illegally coming in and out of my room either conducting deliquent crimes and or setting up sexual plot thru practicing various types of spiritualisms. They also switching my plants, cooking utencils, damaged my original decoration, such as putting additional nail holes at the ceiling, flooding the floor of my restroom from time to time, additing some raw rice into my toilet bowl…. Their purposes were to ENTERTAIN various gangs from different discricts. For instance, if I went to the A district to have morning tea and I refused to take some dim sum that was not in a reasonable qualities, this Chinese tea restaurant might inform the gang’s host of where I live. Then, I might have to walk on the watery floor as they know that my sports shores are thin at the bottom, and or cutting something inside my room…. Meaning that she and their teammates are not able to look at how much they are unfair to others. Instead they MAKE me pay as soon as possible. In fact where my room is located is the roof top of the 16th floor. Due to the illegal construction, my landlord was able to include my room into her own “property.” When she bought me to the Lands Tribunal, she DARED to tell the Judge that this particular rooftop belonged to them legally. She and the property agent even lied to me at the time I was looking for a room in a hurry. They told me that my room was a “balcony room.” In fact, it was a totally illegally built. My landlord even cut off the sealing between the window pane and the frame, so that when it rained after the 1st few months I moved in, the raindrops rushed into my room thru those “man-made gaps” + the larger holes they drilled at the base of the window frame + they without my consent to put an additional layer of cement on the top of the outside wall so that when it rained, the water had no way to run but rushed into my room. These first few months made me scare and I dared to sleep nor go out if it rained. They also using various “biochemical” stuff additing to my 14 A-$ boxes of books, curtains, blankets, and inside my used humidifier…. Still there are at least another 50 more items of them.

    I also aware of that if I would like to have a pumper come to fix my pump for example. I can’t look for anyone across another district. In the past before Hong Kong is going back to the China, we had freedom to look for any pumper from any district at all.

    Meaning that the more I thought about all types/levels of human daily activities, the more I feel HOW DARE the ccp and ccp gangs are expolitating our human and legal rights?

    In the afternoon, I went hiking as I badly need some quiet time myself so that I could read and think. However, no matter where I was, someone would be there “visiting.” For instance, a staff from the 5/F computer room of the Central library “RAN INTO ME” when I was reading the “obama’s” picture book at the shade in the resting area of the Mt Parket. Thus, I asked this Mr. Wong if he was sent by the dab?

    Late in the afternoon, I met another three persons, a male and a female as they were dating couple and they spoke the HEAVY accent of cantonese + another single guy. This couple intentionally spoke loud when I was contemplating nature and read. They even demonstrated some types of sexual acts between them. When I informed them in HK they shouldn’t do anything like that in public. They said I was “crazy!” The single middle age male was also around this resting area from the outside on and off for at least 45 mins. I was not sure if they werre stalking me or not. Then I decided to leave.

    After watching the news, I left to the library. At the street corner, a red car drove in fast without turning any signal. I saw that the window was opened so that I politicely remained the driver, a chinese male with a pony tail at the top of his head, to turn on the turning signal. He didn’t like that as he turned his head towards me. While walking to the MTR station, I saw this read car again. This time the driver was with a female inside. However, he intentionally slowed down the car and poked his head to “LOOK” at me. The plate of this car is PG 597. I found him EXTREMELY INTIMIDATING.

    Again, in the evening news, the news about the nuclear conference at Korea, President Obama was being seen at all. Then, I put together the three female legco councillors’ statement of today + the new CE’s visiting the 中聯辨together. I also didn’t like that how come the MTR could increase the ticket fair when they made lots of profits last year. How come the HK gov’t can’t own this corporation at all? This could be also another delinquent means.

    Ching-wah Lo, from Hong Kong

  • I’m having trouble to concentrate reading the content as my mind keep going back to what it has happened during the day. Let me share what are on my mind here.

    This morning, I went to have a morning tea, the Chinese style around 11:30 pm. Over there, I didn’t read at all. My mind was busy retrieving scattered data that were regarding various “gang activities” in HK thru controlling food business. For instance, I noticed one type of buscuit called “Tai Ping” is made by Kraft and another company. Since I haven’t paid attention to which one, therefore, I skipped it here. The more crucial point is I have been looking for this type of buscuit, particularly the one in the red packet is my favorite. However, I wasn’t able to find it over 2-3 weeks from the Wellcome supermarket at all. Then, very occassionally I could get it from the Parkn supermarket. Nevertheless, what I could get was only the small size. The bigger size which is double the size of the small one has been totally absent from the market at all. This evening, after hiking, I intended to get a cracker for myself. I noticed that the plastic seal box of mine was being opened, as the lid didn’t cover well as I used to be. At the time I ate this cracket in the red packet from the brand of Kraft, I noticed that it was much salty than the one I got before. The reason I could say that as I bought two small size together. They should come out from the similar time frame. However, this 2nd pack was much more saltier than the 1st pack I had. In addition, I bought another two big size of the brand from “First Choice” yesterday. After eating some of them, I returned them to the Wellcome supermarket. The reason was that the whole buscuit was too oily and too crispy. Since I didn’t like the feeling of chewing something that might become the additional burden of my LDL, so I returned them to Wellcome. What I intent to say is, over the last few weeks, at least I visited various Wellcome mainly and then the Parkn supermarkets to see if I could find the type of buscuit I love. At least over 7 various locations of the Wellcome, what I saw was only two brands, one from the “first choice,” and the other was “Four Seas,” in Chinese this brand name carries a very different meaning, ie called 四洲. I also discussed my concern with various supervisors and or managers. I was told that they sold out and they were waiting for new stocks. For this particular issue is that no matter what I enjoy, the ccp and ccp gangs will take them away for NO REASON at all. This ccp and ccp gangs enjoy tremendously to ROB other people’s rights and priveliage (sp).

    Another serious gang activities I have aware of was no matter where I go for the Chinese tea, either in the morning or in the afternoon, almost all food and drinks (the Chinese tea) have been either added some additional stuff inside, and or gave me less than other customers, and or gave me the worst qualities, eg could be most in fatty tissue instead of have real meat. Like last night, after leaving the library, I went to a fast food shop, Cafe de Carol, at the Tin Hau area. When I ordered a two small dishes option and paid, the staff from the kitchen told me that they SOLD OUT this order at all. What they could do was to give me the one small item + some other stuff. No matter what they were SMILING in the HELPLESSNESS way. In practice for this type of fast food shop, the kitchen, ie the chef will inform the cashier what items are being sold out and they stop selling additional meal ticket. Thus, I was EXTREMELY ANGRY last night and I told customers inside the shop that “it was how the ccp and their gangs – fooling me around.” Then I left and I walked home. After about 10 mins, I saw two policemen. I then told them what had happened. Three of us were SIGNING – as we all disagree with this type of DISRESPECTFUL ACT. You know, according to the ccp and ccp gang’s HIDDEN AGENDA, they enjoy ABUSING their own power over those they don’t agree upon. Most of the time it isn’t because the person having whatever “problem” at all. Instead, it is based on the VERY UGLY HUMAN INNER QUALITIES of these types of gang activities of the ccp, so that whenever someone is becoming their ‘”TARGET, this person will have trouble. In fact, this type of folk usually carry a much better personal qualities and or education and or mindset than the ccp and their gangs.

    Another type of gang activities is about my landlord. I noticed that last night and this morning, there was a middle age guy from Mainland sitting at the entrance of where I usually entering the building. I met him pretty frequent in the past. He’s a heavy smoker and all of his teeth turned deep brown. Until last night I put him together with the fact that I haven’t paid rent and bills for two months. He might be there to “intimidate” me so that I paid what I still owe my landlord. The major reason that I REFUSE to pay as my landlord MADE me move out when I owed her nothing. She even looked down upon me by saying abusive and insulting statement towards me in front of other neighbors inside the elevator. In addition, she and her peers and neighbors are all coming from the Mainland China. They have a very “weird” practice when I was looking for a place to stay and I found out that. They would place all of their own stuff in the flat/room they rent to others. However, they kept coming in and out of the flat/room to get their own stuff. In my small room I rent from this landlord, they keep illegally coming in and out of my room either conducting deliquent crimes and or setting up sexual plot thru practicing various types of spiritualisms. They also switching my plants, cooking utencils, damaged my original decoration, such as putting additional nail holes at the ceiling, flooding the floor of my restroom from time to time, additing some raw rice into my toilet bowl…. Their purposes were to ENTERTAIN various gangs from different discricts. For instance, if I went to the A district to have morning tea and I refused to take some dim sum that was not in a reasonable qualities, this Chinese tea restaurant might inform the gang’s host of where I live. Then, I might have to walk on the watery floor as they know that my sports shores are thin at the bottom, and or cutting something inside my room…. Meaning that she and their teammates are not able to look at how much they are unfair to others. Instead they MAKE me pay as soon as possible. In fact where my room is located is the roof top of the 16th floor. Due to the illegal construction, my landlord was able to include my room into her own “property.” When she bought me to the Lands Tribunal, she DARED to tell the Judge that this particular rooftop belonged to them legally. She and the property agent even lied to me at the time I was looking for a room in a hurry. They told me that my room was a “balcony room.” In fact, it was a totally illegally built. My landlord even cut off the sealing between the window pane and the frame, so that when it rained after the 1st few months I moved in, the raindrops rushed into my room thru those “man-made gaps” + the larger holes they drilled at the base of the window frame + they without my consent to put an additional layer of cement on the top of the outside wall so that when it rained, the water had no way to run but rushed into my room. These first few months made me scare and I dared to sleep nor go out if it rained. They also using various “biochemical” stuff additing to my 14 A-$ boxes of books, curtains, blankets, and inside my used humidifier…. Still there are at least another 50 more items of them.

    I also aware of that if I would like to have a pumper come to fix my pump for example. I can’t look for anyone across another district. In the past before Hong Kong is going back to the China, we had freedom to look for any pumper from any district at all.

    Meaning that the more I thought about all types/levels of human daily activities, the more I feel HOW DARE the ccp and ccp gangs are expolitating our human and legal rights?

    In the afternoon, I went hiking as I badly need some quiet time myself so that I could read and think. However, no matter where I was, someone would be there “visiting.” For instance, a staff from the 5/F computer room of the Central library “RAN INTO ME” when I was reading the “obama’s” picture book at the shade in the resting area of the Mt Parket. Thus, I asked this Mr. Wong if he was sent by the dab?

    Late in the afternoon, I met another three persons, a male and a female as they were dating couple and they spoke the HEAVY accent of cantonese + another single guy. This couple intentionally spoke loud when I was contemplating nature and read. They even demonstrated some types of sexual acts between them. When I informed them in HK they shouldn’t do anything like that in public. They said I was “crazy!” The single middle age male was also around this resting area from the outside on and off for at least 45 mins. I was not sure if they werre stalking me or not. Then I decided to leave.

    After watching the news, I left to the library. At the street corner, a red car drove in fast without turning any signal. I saw that the window was opened so that I politicely remained the driver, a chinese male with a pony tail at the top of his head, to turn on the turning signal. He didn’t like that as he turned his head towards me. While walking to the MTR station, I saw this read car again. This time the driver was with a female inside. However, he intentionally slowed down the car and poked his head to “LOOK” at me. The plate of this car is PG 597. I found him EXTREMELY INTIMIDATING.

    Again, in the evening news, the news about the nuclear conference at Korea, President Obama was being seen at all. Then, I put together the three female legco councillors’ statement of today + the new CE’s visiting the 中聯辨together. I also didn’t like that how come the MTR could increase the ticket fair when they made lots of profits last year. How come the HK gov’t can’t own this corporation at all? This could be also another delinquent means.

    Ching-wah Lo, from Hong Kong

  • Ching-wah Lo

    I’m surprised to find my own documentry has become the extended page of President Obama’s book excerpt. One of the themes was about Qaddafi. Then I remember when I lived in the following “illegal room at the roof of the 16th floor,” four sides of my entrance door had HUGE gaps. I therefore inserted newspapers to fill those gaps. On the top of this door, I put the news about Qaddafi at the surface as I hoped Tien of Confucian Spirituality would help to trigger some constructive impact to make the Place peaceful and civilized. I’m not sure if such a correlation might be adequate correlation. In fact, I lived in this “tiny room” for 15 months. During the process, michelle robinson kept persuading my landlord and her family to bully and or abuse me. Then this family needed to compensate me with a large amount of money – I received not even a penny yet. They might go to m/r to make complain about me. For some unknown reason(s), the attack at the US consulate at Bengahazi might be related to m/r’s suggestion to take a revenge towards me.