Dog Brothers Public Forum

Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities => Politics & Religion => Topic started by: Crafty_Dog on February 16, 2011, 04:33:04 AM

Title: Libya
Post by: Crafty_Dog on February 16, 2011, 04:33:04 AM
WSJ: Bahrain

MANAMA, Bahrain—Protests in Bahrain entered their third day on Wednesday, as tens of thousands continued to occupy a major intersection in the capital and thousands more marched to mourn a second man killed in Tuesday's clashes with security forces.

A committee set up by seven opposition groups to coordinate the protests called for a massive demonstration on Saturday, forecasting a gathering of at least 50,000 people.

Crowds massed at the hospital morgue, as the body of the man killed on Tuesday was ferried out on top of a land-cruiser in a coffin covered with green satin. Thousands of men followed the coffin, many holding pictures of the deceased, beating their chests and chanting "God is great" and "Death to the Al Khalifa," a reference to the country's ruling family. Security forces remained withdrawn from protest areas, stationed in large battalions around a kilometer away.

At the Pearl roundabout, a central traffic circle in the financial district of the capital which has been claimed by the protesters, more tents and makeshift food stalls sprung up Wednesday, with those who spent the night there in a festive mood. Young men, many carrying Bahraini flags, chanted and danced, while a loudspeaker broadcasted a steady stream of speeches from activists.

The mourners are expected to march to the central roundabout later in the day, further swelling the numbers there.

"It was cold last night, but we'll be here until the government meets our demands or the police come to send us to hell. More people are coming now...All of Bahrain is here," said Jelal Niama, an unemployed university graduate.

WSJ's Charles Levinson and Jerry Seib report on how public protests in Egypt have sparked protests throughout the Middle East, namely Bahrain, Libya, Algeria, Yemen and Iran.

Bahrain's King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa, in a rare television address, offered condolences for the two deaths on Tuesday. He promised a probe into the killings and into the security-services' response to the protests, and pledged to make good on previous promises of reforms, including loosening media controls and providing special social-welfare payments.

Seven political opposition groups, including the leading Shiite bloc Al Wafaq, announced Wednesday that they have formed a committee to help coordinate protest activity and unify the demands of the protesters. The committee, which includes Sunni as well as Shiite politicians, will meet at least once a day starting Wednesday.

"We need to unify the demands of the people on the square without telling the protesters what to do...In its objectives this is a national unity movement, we have to convince citizens on the sidelines to join us," said Ebrahim Sharif, a Sunni Muslim and former banker who heads the secularist National Democratic Action society.

On Tuesday, Al Wafaq suspended its participation in Bahrain's parliament, where it holds 18 of the 40 seats, in solidarity with the protesters.

The protests and clashes that erupted on Sunday have turned Bahrain into the latest flashpoint in a wave of Arab rebellion that has already unseated regimes in Tunisia and Egypt and has triggered large protests in Algeria, Jordan and Yemen. It has also raised wider worry about the rapid spread of the unrest, and sharpened the dilemma for the Obama administration as it struggles to shape events in ways that don't harm U.S. interests in the region.

Bahrain is a tiny, island kingdom in the oil-rich Persian Gulf, best known for its banking prowess and bars that cater to nationals from alcohol-free Saudi Arabia next door. While it pumps little crude itself, its neighbors are some of the world's biggest petroleum producers.

Its position straddling the Gulf has made it a longtime, strategic ally of Washington. The U.S. Navy's Fifth Fleet is headquartered in Bahrain, though no American warships are actually home-ported here.

Bahrain's Sunni Muslim rulers have long faced a restive Shiite population that alleges economic and political discrimination. Shiite leaders have pushed, sometimes violently, for more political rights over the years, though they have stopped short of trying to remove the ruling family from power.

Not all the protesters are unemployed or poor. Some of Bahrain's young professionals have joined the gatherings, vowing to keep numbers high. "I will go to work for a few hours then come back to the roundabout," said Jelal Mohammed, a 25-year-old who works as a banker at the local office of France's BNP Paribas. "We can get our rights."

But some Bahrainis are unnerved by the protests, fearing that instability could lead to economic difficulties and to further violence. "These people want the same as in Egypt. They want to destroy this country," said an elderly lady who declined to be named.

Although the latest protests often have an overtly Shia choreography, with chanting, chest slapping and references to martyrdom, some activists are eager to stress that the movement is not linked to Iran, the most populous Shia nation. "There is no single pro-Iran statement or slogan. This is people from both sects. We want genuine democracy, not clerical," said Abdulnabi Alekry, chairman of Bahrain Transparency Society.
Title: POTH's Kristoff on Bahrain
Post by: Crafty_Dog on February 17, 2011, 04:50:31 AM

The gleaming banking center of Bahrain, one of those family-run autocratic Arab states that count as American allies, has become the latest reminder that authoritarian regimes are slow learners.

Bahrain is another Middle East domino wobbled by an angry youth — and it has struck back with volleys of tear gas, rubber bullets and even buckshot at completely peaceful protesters. In the early-morning hours on Thursday here in the Bahrain capital, it used deadly force to clear the throngs of pro-democracy protesters who had turned Pearl Square in the center of the city into a local version of Tahrir Square in Cairo. This was the last spasm of brutality from a regime that has handled protests with an exceptionally heavy hand — and like the previous crackdowns, this will further undermine the legitimacy of the government.

“Egypt has infected Bahrain,” a young businessman, Husain, explained to me as he trudged with a protest march snaking through Manama. Husain (I’m omitting some last names to protect those involved) said that Tunisia and Egypt awakened a sense of possibility inside him — and that his resolve only grew when Bahrain’s riot police first attacked completely peaceful protesters.

When protesters held a funeral march for the first man killed by police, the authorities here then opened fire on the mourners, killing another person.

“I was scared to participate,” Husain admitted. But he was so enraged that he decided that he couldn’t stay home any longer. So he became one of the countless thousands of pro-democracy protesters demanding far-reaching change.

At first the protesters just wanted the release of political prisoners, an end to torture and less concentration of power in the al-Khalifa family that controls the country. But, now, after the violence against peaceful protesters, the crowds increasingly are calling for the overthrow of the Khalifa family. Many would accept a British-style constitutional monarchy in which King Hamad, one of the Khalifas, would reign without power. But an increasing number are calling for the ouster of the king himself.

King Hamad gave a speech regretting the deaths of demonstrators, and he temporarily called off the police. By dispatching the riot police early Thursday morning, King Hamad underscored his vulnerability and his moral bankruptcy.

All of this puts the United States in a bind. Bahrain is a critical United States ally because it is home to the American Navy’s Fifth Fleet, and Washington has close relations with the Khalifa family. What’s more, in some ways Bahrain was a model for the region. It gives women and minorities a far greater role than Saudi Arabia next door, it has achieved near universal literacy for women as well as men, and it has introduced some genuine democratic reforms. Of the 40 members of the (not powerful) Lower House of Parliament, 18 belong to an opposition party.

Somewhat cruelly, on Wednesday I asked the foreign minister, Sheik Khalid Ahmed al-Khalifa, if he doesn’t owe his position to his family. He acknowledged the point but noted that Bahrain is changing and added that some day the country will have a foreign minister who is not a Khalifa. “It’s an evolving process,” he insisted, and he emphasized that Bahrain should be seen through the prism of its regional peer group. “Bahrain is in the Arabian gulf,” he noted. “It’s not in Lake Erie.”

The problem is that Bahrain has educated its people and created a middle class that isn’t content to settle for crumbs beneath a paternalistic Arab potentate — and this country is inherently unstable as a predominately Shiite country ruled by a Sunni royal family. That’s one reason Bahrain’s upheavals are sending a tremor through other gulf autocracies that oppress Shiites, not least Saudi Arabia.

Bahrain’s leaders may whisper to American officials that the democracy protesters are fundamentalists inspired by Iran. That’s ridiculous. There’s no anti-Americanism in the protests — and if we favor “people power” in Iran, we should favor it in Bahrain as well.

Walk with protesters here, and their grievances seem eminently reasonable. One woman, Howra, beseeched me to write about her brother, Yasser Khalil, who she said was arrested in September at the age of 15 for vague political offenses. She showed me photos of Yasser injured by what she described as beatings by police.

Another woman, Hayat, said that she had been shot with rubber bullets twice this week. After hospitalization (which others confirmed), she painfully returned to the streets to continue to demand more democracy. “I will sacrifice my life if necessary so my children can have a better life,” she said.

America has important interests at stake in Bahrain — and important values. I hope that our cozy relations with those in power won’t dull our appreciation that history is more likely to side with protesters being shot with rubber bullets than with the regimes doing the shooting.

Title: Stratfor Special Report-1
Post by: Crafty_Dog on February 17, 2011, 01:45:20 PM
Unrest in the Middle East: A Special Report
February 17, 2011 | 1949 GMT

STRATFORRelated Special Topic Page
The Egypt Unrest: Full Coverage
Footage of self-immolations in Algeria, clashes between police and protesters in Yemen and Bahrain, government reshufflings in Jordan and fledgling street demonstrations in Iran could lead to the impression of a domino effect under way in the Middle East in which aging autocrats are on the verge of being uprooted by Tunisia-inspired revolutionary fervor. A careful review of  unrest in the Middle East and North Africa , however, exposes a very different picture.

Many of the protests sprouting up in these countries have a common thread, and that alone is cause for concern for many of the region’s regimes. High youth unemployment, a lack of political representation, repressive police states, a lack of housing and rising commodity prices are among the more common complaints voiced by protesters across the region. Social media has been used both as an organizing tool for protesters and a surveillance enabler by regimes. More generally, the region is witnessing a broad, public reaction to the layers of corruption that have become entrenched around these regimes over the past several decades.

Regime responses to those complaints also have been relatively consistent, including subsidy handouts; changes to the government, in many cases cosmetic; promises of job growth, electoral reform, and a repeal of emergency rule; and in the case of Egypt, Yemen and Algeria, public dismissal of illegitimate succession plans. Anti-regime protesters in many of these countries have faced off with mostly for-hire pro-regime supporters tasked with breaking up the demonstrations, the camel cavalry in Egypt being the most vivid example of this tactic.

(click here to enlarge image)
While the circumstances at first glance appear dire for most of the regimes, each of these states also has unique circumstances. While Tunisia can be considered a largely organic, successful uprising, for most of these states, the regimes retain the tools to suppress dissent, divide the opposition and maintain power. In others, those engaging in the civil unrest are pawns in behind-the-scenes power struggles. In all, the assumed impenetrability of the internal security apparatus and the loyalties and intentions of the army remain decisive factors in determining the direction of the unrest.

Egypt: The Military’s ‘Revolution’

In the past several days Egypt has not witnessed a popular revolution but a carefully managed succession by the military. The demonstrations, numbering around 200,000 to 300,000 at their peak, were genuinely inspired by the regime turnover in Tunisia, pent-up socio-economic frustrations (youth unemployment in Egypt stands out around 25 percent) and extreme disillusionment with former President Hosni Mubarak’s regime.

It must be recognized that the succession crisis in Egypt was playing out between the country’s military elite and Mubarak well before protests began in Egypt on Jan. 25. The demonstrators, encouraged by both internal and external pro-democracy groups, were in fact a critical tool the military used to maneuver Mubarak out while preserving the regime. So far, the Egyptian military has maintained the appearance of being receptive to opposition demands. Over time, however, the gap between opposition and military elite interests will grow, as the latter works to maintain its clout in the political affairs of the state while also containing a perceived Islamist threat.

Tunisia: Not Over Yet

Though Tunisia had some domestic pro-democracy groups before unrest began in December 2010, Tunisia saw one of the region’s more organic uprisings. Years of frustration with corruption and the political and business monopoly of former President President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali’s regime, high youth unemployment (estimated at around 30 percent in the 15-29 age group), and rising commodity prices fueled the unrest. The self-immolation of an educated young man who was trying to sell fruits and vegetables started the unrest, helping break down the fear that Tunisia’s internal security apparatus had maintained for decades.

The ouster of Ben Ali and his family and a reshuffling of the government for now have calmed most of the unrest. A sense of normalcy is gradually returning as Tunisians look ahead to as-yet unscheduled elections due sometime in 2011. Since Tunisia won its independence from France in 1956, the Constitutional Democratic Rally (RCD) party — which served as Ben Ali’s main political vehicle — has dominated the country. This leaves opposition groups with little to no experience in managing political, much less business affairs. RCD politicians have been quick to seek to disassociate themselves from the Ben Ali name in hopes of retaining their wealth and political clout while the opposition remains unorganized and divided. Unlike Egypt, the Islamist opposition, led by the formerly exiled leadership of the Ennahda party, remains largely marginal. In all likelihood, Tunisia will end up with another government dominated by many of the former Ben Ali elites, albeit with a democratic face.

This creates the potential for another wave of unrest, raising the question of the Tunisian army’s motives. The military dropped its support for Ben Ali less than a month after the uprising began, and only three days after Ben Ali called for the army to maintain order in the streets of the capital. The Tunisian army is likely looking to the Egypt model, in which the military is now standing at the helm and benefiting from a number of political and economic perks as a result. Ultimately, the situation in Tunisia remains in flux, and an army intervention down the line should not be ruled out.

Algeria: The Power Struggle Behind the Protests

Many of the same socioeconomic factors afflicting its North African neighbors like Tunisia and Egypt have fueled Algeria’s protests. (Youth unemployment in Algeria is around 20 percent, and high food prices were causing riots even before the regional unrest began.) Thus far, the major protests have averaged in the hundreds as the internal security apparatus has resorted to increasingly forceful measures to restrict demonstrations in Algiers and to the east in the Kabylie region’s Bejaia province.

Thousands of riot police have been deployed ahead of mass demonstrations planned for Feb. 18 and Feb. 25. The protests are primarily youth-driven, and are being organized through channels like Facebook in defiance of the country’s ban on demonstrations in the capital. The Rally for Culture and Democracy party led by Said Sadi, the National Coordination for Change and Democracy and Algeria’s League for Human Rights have coordinated the protests. Critically, a number of the country’s most powerful trade unions are taking part. The banned Islamic Salvation Front (FIS) has also reportedly called on Algerians to take part in the march to demand “regime change,” prompting Algerian authorities on Feb. 11 to arrest hardliner FIS second-in-command Ali Belhadj.

While the civil unrest will continue to capture the cameras’ attention, the real struggle in Algeria is not playing out in the streets. A power struggle has long been under way between the country’s increasingly embattled president, Abdel Aziz Bouteflika, and the head of the Military Directorate of Intelligence and Security (DRS), Gen. Mohamed “Toufik” Mediene. After ending a bloody civil war with radical Islamists led by the FIS, Bouteflika came to power in 1999 as a civilian leader. He relied on a combination of accommodation and force to stabilize the country. Widely regarded as the chief power broker in Algerian politics, Mediene has held his post since 1990 and consequently lays claim to a wide network of political, security business and trade union connections. Bouteflika relied heavily on Mediene to both contain the Islamist threat and also to reduce the clout of the army in Algerian politics. The president then started running into serious trouble when he attempted to expand his own influence at the expense of Mediene and his allies.

The power struggle between the two has intensified in recent years, with state-owned energy firm Sonatrach even getting caught in the fray. Bouteflika, age 73, won a third term in 2009 after abolishing Algeria’s two-term limit. His current term is set to expire in 2014. Numerous hints have been dropped that the aging president either would hand power to his younger brother or to the prime minister, plans that Mediene strongly opposes.

Not by coincidence, one of the main organizers of the demonstrations, Saeed Saidi (a Berber) is known to be on excellent terms with Mediene, also a Berber. The call for Berber rights — Berbers make up roughly one-third of the Algerian population — has been one of the leading drivers of the demonstrations thus far. A large portion of Algeria’s majority Arab population, however, has yet to show an interest in taking to the streets in protest against the regime. The country’s powerful trade unions, which have strong political connections and a proven ability to twist Bouteflika’s arm through crippling strikes demanding more limits on foreign investment and better wages, are a critical element to the demonstrations.

Overall, while the roots of Algeria’s civil unrest are like those in Tunisia and Egypt, the youth demonstrators are not the decisive factor in determining the course of events in the country. The timing appears ripe for Mediene to lay pressure on Bouteflika to meet his demands on the coming succession. How far Mediene goes in undercutting (and perhaps attempting to remove Bouteflika) remains to be seen.

The Algerian military must also be watched closely in the coming weeks. Bouteflika has a number of close allies in the military elite to counter Mediene, but there are also a number of disaffected soldiers in lower ranks who have seen the military’s profile decline under Bouteflika’s rule. Bouteflika has attempted to pacify the opposition with subsidies (aided by the current high price of oil) a vow to lift emergency rule by the end of February and promises of (limited) political reforms. But the president is likely to rely more heavily on force against protesters and quiet concessions to trade unions while trying to cope with the bigger threat posed by the country’s intelligence chief.

Morocco: Regime Confident Amid the Strife

Morocco has been quiet during the recent wave of unrest. Though it has yet to experience any mass demonstrations, small protests have occurred and at least four cases of self-immolations have been reported since the first incident in Tunisia on Dec. 17, 2010. Now, however, a recently-created Facebook group known as “Moroccans for Change” has called for a nationwide protest Feb. 20, something the government of King Mohammed VI has responded to by meeting with opposition parties and promising to speed up the pace of economic, social and political reforms.

Just as in Egypt, there are many strands in the Moroccan opposition, from secular pro-democracy groups to Islamists. Those planning the Feb. 20 protests are not seen as having much in common with the Islamist Justice and Development Party or the largest opposition force and main Islamist group in the country, the banned Justice and Charity party — which is believed to have a membership of roughly 200,000. Where Morocco differs from Egypt, however, is in the fact that the opposition is not calling for regime change, but rather a greater say in the political system, i.e., from within the constitutional monarchy.

In one of its main demands, the opposition has called for a new constitution that would strip power from the monarchy and from the network of state and business elites known as the Makhzen. Demands for higher wages and state-subsidized housing are also opposition priorities, along with calls for less police brutality, a common source of animosity toward governments in the Arab world.

In a sign of the Moroccan government’s confidence in managing the situation, the government has given its formal approval to the Feb. 20 protest march. Moroccan Foreign Minister Taieb Fassi Fihri has meanwhile expressed fears that Algeria may seek to take advantage of the current state of upheaval in the Arab world to stir up unrest in Western Sahara, a buffer territory bordering Morocco, Algeria and Mauritania held by rebel group opposed to Moroccan control of the region, known as the Polisario Front. The Polisario Front has long been supported by Algeria, Morocco’s neighbor and rival. Raising the threat of Algerian meddling could also be a way for Morocco to justify a strong security presence in containing potential unrest.

In sum, the planned demonstrations in Morocco are illustrations of opportunism as opposed to a serious potential popular uprising — much less regime change.

Jordan: The Accommodationist Approach

The Jordanian opposition, led by the Jordanian Muslim Brotherhood, was quick to seize on the Tunisian and Egyptian unrest and organize peaceful sit-in demonstrations in their ongoing  push for electoral reform and fresh parliamentary elections . The Hashemite monarchy, however, has had much more experience in accommodating its Islamist opposition. The political arm of the Muslim Brotherhood, the Islamic Action Front (IAF), is allowed political representation, albeit not at a level they deem sufficient. King Abdullah II acted quickly to pre-empt major civil unrest in the country by handing out millions of dollars in subsidies and by forming a new government.

While making concessions, Abdullah has worked to avoid giving in too much to Islamist demands, making clear that there are limits to what he will do. Former general and now Prime Minister Marouf al-Bakhit heads the new government. His Cabinet, sworn in Feb. 9, includes some figures with an Islamist background. Even though the IAF announced that it would not participate in the new government and called for fresh elections, it also said it would wait before judging the new government’s sincerity about reform plans, and would continue to hold peaceful demonstrations. In other words, the IAF understands its limits and is not attempting a regime overthrow, meaning the situation is very much contained. Meanwhile, opportunistic tribal leaders, who traditionally support the Jordanian regime, recently decided to voice complaints against regime corruption to extract concessions while the situation was still tense. The Jordanian government quickly dealt with the situation through quiet concessions to the main tribal leaders.

Title: Re: Other Arab countries
Post by: G M on February 17, 2011, 01:55:57 PM
The common thread is the MB and other jihadists slithering around, ready to pounce.
Title: 2
Post by: Crafty_Dog on February 17, 2011, 01:57:42 PM
Bahrain: A Sunni-Shiite Struggle with Geopolitical Implications

Long-running sectarian strife between Bahrain’s Shiite majority and ruling Sunni al-Khalifa monarchy is the driving force behind civil unrest in Bahrain. Bahrain was the first among Persian Gulf countries to witness significant demonstrations, and protesters clashed with riot police early on. After two days of demonstrations led by Shiite opposition groups, a heavy crackdown was launched on Pearl Square in the heart of Manama late Feb. 16 on mostly Shiite protesters who were camping overnight.

Most of the protesters’ demands initially centered on political reform, the demands of some (though not all) gradually escalated to the removal of the prime minister and then the king. Pearl Square, the focal point of the protests, has been cleared and is being held by Bahraini security forces. (Roughly 90 percent of Bahrain’s security apparatus is Sunni.) Even after this show of force, the potential for further sectarian strife between Shiite protesters and security forces remains, especially as funeral processions are likely to add to the current unrest.

The ruling Sunni family may be a minority in the Shiite-majority country, but some 54 percent of the population is made up of foreign guest workers, who are notably not taking part in the demonstrations. Energized by the crackdown, seven opposition groups, including both Shia and Sunnis, reportedly are forming a committee to unify their position with the aim of getting at least 50,000 people to the streets Feb. 19. Young, enraged men may feel the compulsion to face off against security forces again, but they are unlikely to be able to mobilize enough people to overwhelm the security apparatus.

The al-Khalifa family is no stranger to communal strife, and appears capable of putting down the unrest, but the events of the past few days will make the task of managing the tiny country’s demographic imbalance that much more difficult for the regime.

Sectarian tensions in Bahrain bear close watching, as the country is a significant proxy battleground in the broader geopolitical struggle between Saudi Arabia and the United States on one side and Iran on the other. Bahrain is home to the U.S. 5th Fleet, while for its part, Saudi Arabia fears that a regime turnover to the Shia in Bahrain would encourage the Shiite minority in Saudi Arabia’s eastern province to follow suit. Iranian media and STRATFOR Iranian diplomatic sources appear to be making a concerted effort to spread stories of Saudi special operations forces deploying to Bahrain to help crack down on Shiite protesters. Such stories could enable Iran to justify assistance to the Bahraini Shia, particularly to Al Wefaq, Bahrain’s main Shiite opposition group, turning the country into a more overt proxy battleground between Saudi Arabia and Iran. Iran may be attempting to amplify the Sunni-Shiite conflict at a time when the United States is already particularly stressed in the region to boost its negotiating position, but Iran is also facing problems of its own at home.

Iran: Standard Operating Procedure

Following the 2009 post-election uprising and subsequent crackdown, Iranian opposition groups are using the unrest in the Arab world to fuel an attempted comeback against the clerical regime. Protests Feb. 14 numbered in the thousands and remained concentrated in Tehran (smaller protests also were reportedly in Esfahan and Shiraz), with embattled opposition leaders Mir Hossein Mousavi and Mehdi Karroubi encouraging protesters to mobilize. The regime used the deaths of two student protesters to call for the hanging of Mousavi and Karroubi for inciting the unrest that led to the protesters’ deaths. More unrest is expected during the protesters’ funeral processions and on Feb. 18 following Friday prayers, but Iran’s experienced security apparatus and Basij militiamen have resorted to their usual, effective tactics of breaking up the demonstrations and intimidating the opposition.

Poor socio-economic conditions, high youth unemployment (around 26 percent) and disillusionment with the regime are all notable factors in the development of Iran’s opposition movement, but as STRATFOR stressed in 2009, the primarily youth-driven, middle- and upper-class opposition in Tehran is not representative of the wider population, a significant portion of which is supportive of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. The more apathetic observers have yet to demonstrate a willingness to put their lives and their families’ lives at risk by opposing the government. Rather than posing an existential threat to the Ahmadinejad government, the Iranian opposition largely remains an irritant to the regime.

Libya: Crowd Control, Gadhafi-Style

Demonstrators in Libya planned a “Day of Rage” on Feb. 17 as a rare show of protest against the regime of Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi. Media coverage in Libya is severely limited, but reports and eyewitness videos trickled out showing deadly clashes between protesters and security forces in the cities of Benghazi and Al Bayda. In Tripoli, meanwhile, footage of Gadhafi blowing kisses and towering above a crowd of his supporters dominated Libyan state television. Violent clashes between protesters and police earlier broke out late Feb. 15 in Benghazi, where demonstrators demanded the release of human rights activist and lawyer Fathi Turbil.

Libya’s youth unemployment is the highest in North Africa, averaging somewhere between 40 and 50 percent. This is compounded by the regime’s gross mismanagement of efforts to develop the non-oil sector economy. Calls for jobs, basic access to services, housing and media and political freedoms have been made by fledgling opposition groups with leaders based abroad, groups that have nudged demonstrators on via social media.

Public demonstrations in a police state like Libya are notable, but the Gadhafi regime is also extremely adept at putting down dissent in the sparsely populated desert country. While the regime will rely on its iron fist to contain the unrest, it has also made limited concessions in releasing Turbil while promising further prison releases. Pro-government demonstrators have been unleashed, subsidies are likely to be doled out, and security forces are cracking down hard while Gadhafi is doing an effective job in making a mockery of the unrest by taking part in his own pro-government demonstrations. Most important, the Gadhafi regime has had success in pardoning and re-integrating members of the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group to guard against the Islamist militant threat and has maintained a close relationship between the army and the country’s main tribes.

The civil unrest in Libya is unlikely to pose a meaningful threat to the regime, but it could impact the country’s ongoing power-struggle between Gadhafi’s two sons. The younger and reform-minded son, Seif al Islam (along with his ally, National Oil Corporation chairman Shukri Ghanem), has been put on the defensive of late by his brother, Motasem, who is Libya’s national security adviser and has the support of many within the political and military old guard. Seif al-Islam has sought to distinguish himself from old guard politics and to build his credibility in the country, even going so far as having his charity organization publish a report on Libyan human rights abuses that harshly criticized the regime. The old guard has since pushed back on Seif al-Islam, but the current unrest could strengthen his case that limited reforms to the system are required for the long-term viability of the Gadhafi regime.

Yemen: No Relief for Sanaa

Even before the current spate of opposition unrest, Yemen already faced immense challenges in creating jobs (youth unemployment is roughly 35 percent and unemployment overall is estimated around 16 percent), developing the economy without the petrodollar cushion its neighbors enjoy, containing a secessionist movement in the south and the al-Houthi rebellion in the north, and fighting Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, a threat exacerbated by the fact that jihadist sympathizers have penetrated Yemen’s intelligence and security apparatus.

After taking a gamble in recent months in making limited political concessions to the main opposition coalition Joint Meetings Party (JMP) led by the Islamist party Islah, Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh now faces daily protests in the capital city of Sanaa and Aden. Over the past month, most of the demonstrations have numbered in the hundreds and on a couple occasions in the low thousands. The protests started out peacefully, but have turned more violent in recent days as protesters and security forces have clashed. (One young protester was reportedly shot dead Feb. 16.)

In attempt to take the steam out of the political opposition, Saleh has announced that he will not run for re-election in 2013, and that he would do away with pending amendments that would have abolished presidential term limits. Those moves helped stymie complaints that Saleh would try to hand the presidency to his eldest son, Ahmed Saleh, who currently commands the Republican Guard, the elite military force that serves as the president’s first line of defense. Saleh has also called on the main opposition parties to form a unity government and has been offering a number of political concessions behind the scenes. Those moves, while making Saleh appear weak and politically vulnerable, appeared to be working Feb. 13, when the JMP announced it would drop out of the demonstrations and resume dialogue with the government. The JMP has since reversed its decision, feeling that there is no better time to pressure Saleh into making concessions than now.

The multitude of threats the Saleh regime faces put Yemen at higher risk than most of the other countries experiencing unrest. Saleh’s ability to survive depends on two key factors: the tribes and the army. Saleh has long been effective at co-opting the country’s main tribes and in keeping the military elite loyal. The army still stands behind the president, but STRATFOR sources in Yemen have indicated that the regime is growing increasingly nervous about tribal loyalties.

The demonstrators on the streets meanwhile remain relatively limited in number. That dynamic could change if the situation further deteriorates and people start recalculating their estimates of Saleh’s ability to survive. Should Saleh become too big of a liability, a contingency plan is in place for Vice President Abd Rabbo Mansour al-Hadi, who has been the main interlocutor between the regime and the opposition, to take over. Saleh for now has some staying power, but his grip is showing increasingly serious signs of slipping.

Syria: Maintaining the Iron Fist

Soon after the unrest in Egypt broke out, Syrian opposition youth activists (most of whom are based outside the country) attempted to organize their own “Day of Rage” via social media to challenge the al Assad regime. Like Bahrain, Syria’s ruling elite faces a demographic dilemma: It is an Alawite regime in a Sunni-majority country. Fortunately for the regime, the demonstrations scheduled for Feb. 4-5 in the cities of Damascus, Homs, Aleppo and Al-Qamishli quickly fell flat. The demonstrations were sorely lacking in numbers and interest. Even the Syrian Muslim Brotherhood, likely reflecting on the violent consequences of the 1982 Hama insurrection, stuck to issuing statements with their demands instead of risking participation in the demonstrations. Syrian plainclothes police promptly harassed the dozen or so who did show up.

Nonetheless, the Syrian regime appears to be taking the threat of regional unrest seriously, and has moved quickly to build up its security presence and dole out subsidies to keep a check on further protest attempts. In a rare interview, Syrian President Bashar al Assad indicated to The Wall Street Journal that he also would implement political and media reforms with an aim to hold municipal elections this year. While social media tools like Facebook have been widely celebrated as the catalyst for revolution, the Syrian case illustrates how such tools act as enablers of the regime. Confident in its ability to put down protests, the Syrian government lifted a five-year ban on Facebook and YouTube in February, thereby facilitating its ability to track any opposition plans in the works.

Though Syria got a scare early on in the wave of Mideast unrest, it appears to have all the tools in place to maintain the regime’s grip on power.

Saudi Arabia: House of Saud is Safe, for Now

Virtually any spark of unrest in the Middle East will turn heads toward Saudi Arabia, where the global price of oil hangs precariously on the stability of the House of Saud. Though feeble opposition groups have called for greater political and press freedoms, no demonstrations have erupted in the oil kingdom. Saudi petrodollars continue to go a long way in keeping the population pacified, and the regime under Saudi King Abdullah in particular has spent recent years engaging in various social reforms that, while limited, are highly notable for Saudi Arabia’s religiously conservative society.

Critically, the House of Saud has had success since 9/11, and particularly since 2004, in co-opting the religious establishment, which has enabled the regime to contain dissent while also keeping tabs on AQAP activity bubbling up from Yemen. The main cause for concern in Saudi Arabia is centered on the succession issue, as the kingdom’s aging leadership will eventually give way to a younger and more fractious group of royals. Saudi Arabia will offer assistance where it can to contain unrest in key neighbors like Bahrain and Yemen, but for now is largely immune from the issues afflicting much of the region.

Title: Oh shiite!
Post by: G M on February 17, 2011, 03:30:14 PM

**What could go wrong?
Title: Bahrain
Post by: Crafty_Dog on February 17, 2011, 03:32:19 PM
Thread discipline please!  That belongs either in the Egypt thread or the Islam Theocracy thread.

Analyst Kamran Bokhari explains how the sectarian-driven civil unrest in Bahrain could serve as a proxy battle between Iran and Saudi Arabia.

Editor’s Note: Transcripts are generated using speech-recognition technology. Therefore, STRATFOR cannot guarantee their complete accuracy.

After Egypt, Bahrain has become the most significant place where street agitation is taking place in the Middle East. Bahrain is significant because it is the only wealthy Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) country where we are seeing mass protests and a government crackdown. The country being a proxy battleground for Saudi Arabia and Iran makes it even more significant.

Pro-democracy street agitation is not a stranger to Bahrain. There have been such protests, going as far back as the early 1990s, with the opposition forces demanding that the monarchy make room for a more constitutional framework and a much more democratic polity. So, what is happening is not entirely new. What makes this significant — this latest round of unrest — is that it comes in the context of the overall regional unrest that started in Tunisia and moved to Egypt (in both Tunisia and Egypt we saw the fall of the sitting presidents). What makes this even more significant is that in Bahrain you have a sectarian dynamic; the country is ruled by a Sunni monarchy that presides of an overwhelmingly large Shiite population, estimated to be about 70 percent of the country’s total population.

It’s not just the sectarian dynamic that makes the protests significant in Bahrain. There is also a wider geopolitical contest between Saudi Arabia and Iran that has been going on for several decades and, more recently, since the fall of the Saddam Hussein regime in Iraq. Since then, Saudi Arabia has been very worried about Iranian attempts to project power across the Persian Gulf into the Arabian Peninsula. And with Bahrain having a heavy Shiite population, this is a cause for concern in Saudi Arabia, as Saudi Arabia is neighbors with Bahrain and has its own 20 percent Shiite population.

From the point of view of the United States, Bahrain is also significant because it is home to the U.S. Navy’s 5th Fleet. The 5th Fleet is one of the key levers that serve as a counter to Iran, or any movement on the part of Iran. It is not clear at this point to what degree Iran is involved in the uprising Bahrain. There are linkages, but to what degree Iran is playing those linkages is not clear at this point. Nonetheless, it is one of those flashpoints between Shiite Iran and the largely Sunni Arab world, and Bahrain is going to be very interesting in terms of how both sides battle it out in the form of a proxy contest.

Should Bahrain succumb to unrest and the monarchy has to concede to the demands of the protesters at some point in the future, this becomes a huge concern for the security of countries like Saudi Arabia, particularly where there is a 20 percent Shiite population that has been keeping quiet for the most part, but could be emboldened, based on what they have seen in Egypt and now what they are looking at in terms of Bahrain.

Title: WSJ: With nary an American in sight , , , Libya
Post by: Crafty_Dog on February 17, 2011, 03:49:18 PM
Local media and human-rights groups monitoring Libya reported at least four protesters killed in recent clashes with security forces and regime supporters, as Col. Moammar Gadhafi mobilized large pro-government demonstrations across the North African country on Thursday.

Anti-Gadhafi groups reported on social-media sites late Thursday that Libyan protesters took to the streets in four cities Thursday afternoon.

Farnaz Fassihi has the latest on the military crackdown in Bahrain following three days of protests. Plus, unrest continues in Libya, Yemen and Iraq. Also, Egypt says Iran has asked for permission to allow its warships to pass through the Suez Canal.

It was impossible to verify the accounts, but videos circulated on Facebook showed demonstrators burning a security detention center Wednesday night and hundreds of protesters marching Thursday afternoon on a main road in Benghazi chanting anti-Gadhafi slogans. Protests were also reported in Zentan, Rijban, and Shahat.

The violence in Libya, one of the Arab world's most repressive regimes, has ratcheted up pressure on a dictator whose hold on power had seemed more secure than other leaders in the region just a few days ago. Expatriate human-rights groups and opposition activists had called for demonstrations on Thursday against Col. Gadhafi, amid Arab revolts in neighbor Tunisia and Egypt, and unrest across much of the Arab world.

The violence in Libya is still relatively limited, and a clear picture of the extent of the clashes may not emerge for days, with local media closely circumscribed and foreign reporters all but barred from entering the country. But some analysts had expected Col. Gadhafi to better weather the regional unrest.

Government supporters shout slogans and hold portraits of Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi during a pro-government gathering in Tripoli on Thursday.
Demonstrators demand the release of a detained human rights campaigners in a rare show of unrest in the eastern city of Benghazi. Video courtesy of Reuters.

Libya has a number of advantages that leaders elsewhere in North Africa don't: A very small population—about 6.5 million—and brimming coffers, thanks to recently high oil prices.

Col. Gadhafi has ruled Libya since taking power in a bloodless coup in 1969, keeping the peace through a heavy-handed security force that tolerates very little dissent. He has also allowed the country's tribal leaders a measure of self-governance, and has been generous doling out oil revenues to win allegiances.

Significant unrest could further shake oil markets, already jittery about deadly protests in Bahrain, in the oil-rich Persian Gulf; unrest in Algeria, another big oil producer; and the revolution in Egypt, through which a large share of global supply passes on its way to world markets.

Libya, a member of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, pumps just under 2 million barrels of oil a day, making it one of the world's largest producers.

"If the situation continues to grow worse and gains more momentum, and the regime loses ground, prices will be impacted," said Riad Kahwaji, at the Institute for Near East and Gulf Military Analysis, a Dubai-based think tank.

Tawfiq Alghazwani, a Dublin-based member of the National Congress of Libyan Opposition, said that during protests this week one protester was killed in central Benghazi and two more in an eastern part of the city. Another death was reported in a village near the capital, Tripoli, he said.

The online edition of the Benghazi-based Quryna newspaper, which is pro-Gadhafi, confirmed two of those deaths, reporting two youths were shot by security forces on Wednesday in the eastern regions of the city. It also said the regional security chief had been fired for his handling of the unrest there, citing security sources.

Benghazi, Libya's second city, with a population of about a million, has long been a hotbed of anti-Gadhafi activism. It has been the site of several crackdowns on dissident, including the execution of a group of young Libyans accused of treason in 1987 and the violent suppression of a riot outside the Italian consulate in 2006.

Human Rights Watch, the U.S.-based group, said it had confirmed the death in central Benghazi and accused Libyan security forces of rounding up activists ahead of demonstrations planned for Thursday, the anniversary of the 1987 and 2006 crackdowns.

A small protest in Benghazi Tuesday night, calling for the release of a human-rights lawyer, flared into an anti-Gadhafi demonstration that was violently ended by police and government supporters, according to local media reports and a human-rights group monitoring the event.

Libyan government spokesman Abdulmajeed Eldursi said Thursday he had seen reports of the four deaths, but couldn't confirm them. He denied security forces used violence.

"There is no use of violence (by the authorities) or anything that is not justified," he said. "When there is a crowd, the security will try to disperse them but there is no excessive use of violence at all."

Mr. Eldursi said Benghazi was quiet Thursday, and that pro-government rallies were taking place across the country.

Thousands of pro-Gadhafi loyalists spent the night camping in tents in the main sports stadium in Benghazi, said Mr. Alghazwani, of the opposition group.
Title: Re: Other Arab countries
Post by: G M on February 17, 2011, 03:49:49 PM
GM's post moved over to the Islam theocracy thread.
Title: Re: Other Arab countries
Post by: The Tao on February 18, 2011, 12:00:12 PM
If the Saudis are scared now, wait until tomorrow when Qaradawi leads the region-wide democracy parade.[/b] Exit question: There’s no way the U.S. wants this guy seizing the moment in Egypt, especially with our “friends” in Riyadh getting nervous. Is this the best proof yet of how little leverage we have left over the Egyptian military?

I'm wondering why the US has anything to do with having "leverage" over any foreign military. If we don't like them, occupy them and change the name of the country. I know that people think that it sounds wacky, but I actually prefer the days when it was still acceptable to go take over a rival, without being politically correct for the UN, as though the same things don't already go on. Just do it and be upfront about it.

In a perfect world...
Title: Libya on the brink
Post by: G M on February 20, 2011, 05:13:09 PM
**Good thing Pres. Bush (W) ended the Libyan nuke program, eh?

Title: Re: Other Arab countries
Post by: Crafty_Dog on February 20, 2011, 05:28:39 PM
Amen to that!

Also worth noting that the Libyan case would seem to refute the notion that what is going on throughout the region is all a reaction to the US.  Ditto Iran.
Title: Libya
Post by: Crafty_Dog on February 21, 2011, 08:38:53 AM
Clashes In Tripoli
February 21, 2011 | 1118 GMT
Emerging reports early Feb. 21 indicate the unrest in Libya might have spread from eastern Libya to the capital of Tripoli. According to initial reports, heavy gunfire was heard in central Tripoli and in other districts with Al Jazeera reporting 61 people killed in Tripoli on Feb. 21. Other unconfirmed reports say that protesters attacked the headquarters of Al-Jamahiriya Two television and Al-Shababia as well as other government buildings in Tripoli overnight. According to Saudi-owned al-Arabiya, the government-owned People’s Conference Centre where the General People’s Congress (parliament) meets when it is in session in Tripoli was set on fire. U.K. energy firm British Petroleum reportedly said it would evacuate its personnel from Libya and suspend its activities due to massive unrest. Spain’s Foreign Minister Trinidad Jimenez said on Feb. 21 that the EU member states are coordinating possible evacuations of European nationals from Libya. A Turkish Airlines flight was arranged to evacuate Turkish citizens from Benghazi but was denied the opportunity to land by Libyan authorities and returned to Turkey.

Details are sketchy as to the number of protesters and severity of the clashes in Tripoli. Clashes have been going on between the protesters and security forces in mostly eastern cities of the country and in Benghazi in particular, where opposition against Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi is concentrated. Signs of protests spreading to Tripoli emerged late Feb. 20 and apparently intensified following a speech made by Ghaddafi’s son Seif al-Islam In that speech, Seif al-Islam was attempting to present himself as the new and untarnished face of the regime, reiterating the political, social and economic reforms that he has long advocated were needed to hold Libya’s tribal society together. Though in his speech Seif al-Islam carefully distanced himself from old-regime tactics, protesters in Tripoli reportedly rejected the young Libyan leader and began chanting slogans against Seif al-Islam’s address.

Critically, Seif al-Islam implied in his speech that he had the the approval of his father and elements within the military, and that the army and national guard would be relied on to crack down on “seditious elements” spreading unrest. However, unconfirmed reports of army defections in Benghazi and Baida in eastern Libya from Feb. 20 and now spreading unrest to Tripoli Feb. 21 is casting some doubt on the regime’s ability to count on the full loyalty and ability of the army to contain the situation.

Title: Re: Other Arab countries
Post by: G M on February 21, 2011, 08:40:24 AM
Here's hoping that Saddam and his sons soon have company in hell.
Title: WSJ: Morocco
Post by: Crafty_Dog on February 21, 2011, 09:17:47 AM
Five people died as a result of looting that accompanied demonstrations demanding changes to the constitution in Morocco, the country's interior minister said Monday, as the thousand year old North African monarchy became the latest government subject to demands for greater democracy that are sweeping the region.

The protests attracted 37,000 people around the country Sunday and were generally peaceful, Interior Minister M. Taieb Cherqaoui said at a press conference. He said looters had damaged more than 100 buildings, including a bank in the port town of Al Hoceima, where five people died in a fire. He also said 128 people were wounded, mostly police. It wasn't possible to verify those figures independently Monday.

Several thousand people rallied in Moroccan cities on Sunday demanding political reform and limits on the powers of King Mohammed VI, the latest protests demanding change that have rocked the region. Video courtesy of AFP.

In Rabat, the capital, a crowd of as many as 10,000 people marched through the streets Sunday chanting: "Down with autocracy" and "The people want to change the constitution," as well as slogans against the government, corruption and state television.

Smaller crowds also gathered in Casablanca, the nation's business center. Video clips uploaded to Youtube overnight showed what purported to be protesters in Tangier, Fes, Marrakesh and other cities. A clip from Al Hoceima, a port in northern Morocco, showed a building gutted by fire and young men milling around among broken glass from the blown-out windows. A clip from Sefrou, near Tangier, showed a group of police severely beating one protester with clubs.

Morocco is one of the last of the so-called Maghreb countries of Northern Africa where protesters have taken to the streets in the wake of the fall of Tunisia's president this year, and many analysts had predicted it would prove an exception.

Indeed, as protests began Sunday, there was virtually no visible uniformed police presence in Rabat. By 4 p.m., there was no sign of the state violence witnessed in Egypt, Libya, Bahrain or Iran, and the crowd had dwindled to around 1,000.

Stores were largely unshuttered and cafés open along the protesters' route toward the parliament, as patrons watched from their sidewalk tables sipping café au lait in the partly Francophone capital.

Yet Sunday's demonstrations, triggered as in Egypt by a Facebook campaign, underscore the potential for political tension. Morocco has seen some steps toward democracy over the past decade, including two elections that international observers declared largely free and fair, but most powers remain with the king and his appointees.

A crowd that included Islamists, leftists carrying Che Guevara banners and the apolitical uniformly stopped short of calling for the removal of King Mohammed VI. The king, who took the throne in 1999 and dramatically improved Morocco's once notorious record on torture, as well as on women's rights and some other areas, is widely popular. There were similar protests Sunday in Casablanca, Morocco's much larger business center.

Protesters march during a protest and wave the Moroccan flag in Rabat, Morocco Sunday Feb. 20, 2011. At least 2,000 people are marching in Morocco's capital to demand a new constitution that would bring greater democracy in the North African kingdom.
But as elsewhere in the Middle East and the Maghreb, a younger generation is demanding systemic change. If granted, it would transform the distribution of power in this nation of 32 million, stripping influence from what a U.S. diplomat described as Morocco's "monarchical autocracy" in a 2008 U.S. State Department cable published by WikiLeaks.

"People don't take part in elections in Morocco, they are meaningless. We want a monarchy, but like in Spain or England," said Aharahi Fawzi, a 30-year-old IT specialist with a university degree, who has been unemployed for three years—a common complaint in Morocco. Spain and England both have largely ceremonial monarchs who have limited powers.

Bystanders, generally older, looked on with disapproval. "This king works for the people. He has done a lot for the poor," said a 67-year-old who said he was a landscape artist and gave his name only as Mohammed. "I don't know what these young people want, we who are older have seen a lot."

Protest organizers put out a video to promote the demonstrations, in which a group of young people, one after the other, say in a single sentence why they want to take part. The reasons include "so that I can get a job without bribing," and "so we can hold accountable those who ruined this country."

The government's main spokesman had said it looked on the prospect of demonstrations with "serenity." Protests in Morocco are relatively common.

But the government appears to have been rattled. Several government ministers sought to taint protest leaders as foreign agents, homosexuals or other claims in public comments; Twitter campaigns sprang up apparently spontaneously to persuade young people not to attend; and an online rumor was spread that the protests had been canceled. Protest organizers put out a second video to counter that rumor.

Many diplomats and analysts, as well as ratings agencies, have predicted that Morocco would prove the least susceptible country in the region to unrest, a prediction still supported by Sunday's light police presence. They cited the comparative tolerance of a regime where thousands of nonprofit organizations operate freely, and where there have been relatively free elections over the past decade.

"This just isn't the same country as 10-15 years ago," said Robert M. Holley, a retired U.S. diplomat and executive director of the American Moroccan Center for Policy, a lobby in Washington, D.C. "The point is that if people want to change the government in Morocco, they just have to wait a couple of years until elections and do it."

Morocco scores the highest of all countries in the region on Freedom House's indexes of political representation and civil liberties. At the same time it scores among the lowest on economic indicators, ranking 114th in the 2010 United Nations Human Development Report, compared with Egypt at 101st, and Bahrain at 39th. Morocco's gross national income per capita of $2,770 and literacy rate 56%, according to World Bank data, are particularly low. Libya, Iran, Jordan and Bahrain have GNI per capita ranging from $4,000 to $25,000, and all have literacy rates above 80%.

There is growing frustration at the slow, and some say slowing, pace of political reform in Morocco. Though parliaments are elected, the king appoints the prime minister, as well as the ministers of justice, foreign affairs, defense, interior and religious affairs, as well as all regional governors. He also has the right to block laws.

As a result, election turnouts have fallen steadily, dropping to 37% at the 2007 parliamentary elections, from 58% 10 years earlier. Similarly the PJD, an Islamist party that chose to participate in the democratic process and didn't take part in Sunday's demonstrations, has lost support to the harder-line Justice & Charity movement.

"People in the U.S. and Europe always say Morocco is free. But if you look here, it isn't true. We want real elections where the people get to choose what they want," said Nabil, a 24-year-old protester and supporter of Justice & Charity, who declined to give his surname. He said he feared reprisal.

Title: Libya
Post by: Crafty_Dog on February 21, 2011, 02:31:52 PM
Dispatch: Crisis in Libya
February 21, 2011 | 1856 GMT
Click on image below to watch video:

Analyst Reva Bhalla examines Libya’s spreading unrest and the threat of civil war.

Editor’s Note: Transcripts are generated using speech-recognition technology. Therefore, STRATFOR cannot guarantee their complete accuracy.

Libya is facing its biggest internal crisis to date with reports trickling out of the country indicating that unrest is now spreading to the capital of Tripoli. Government buildings are being attacked, prisons are being broken into and energy firms like BP are evacuating their personnel.

The ability of the Libyan regime to hold itself together depends on two key factors: the loyalty of the tribes and the loyalty the army to the regime. Now those are the two factors that are the most in flux and the threat of civil war is thus very real.

Late last night, one of Gadhafi sons Seif al-Islam gave a long, rambling and impromptu speech in which he said that Libya is not another Egypt or Tunisia and that his father Moammar Gadhafi, who has ruled the country for more than four decades, is not another Ben Ali are Mubarak. In other words, Seif al-Islam was saying that the military is not about to drop the regime’s leader and Gadhafi was not about to flee the country. But Seif al-Islam has long been at odds with the military old guard of the regime and thus he can’t be seen as the one to necessarily hold the army together. Saif al-Islam has long avoided the political spotlight preferring to use his charity organization to push for ideas on political, social and economic reforms, which he saw as the key to the long-term survivability of the regime.

For a long time, however, Seif al-Islam and his allies like the National Oil Company Chairman Shokri Ghanem have been pushed against a wall by the military old guard, which is led by his brother Mutassim, the national security advisor who has the trust of many within the army elite. Now with the country in crisis, Seif al-Islam is trying to present himself as the untarnished face of the regime, but with reports of unrest now spreading to the capitol of Tripoli, it seems as though many Libyans just view Seif al-Islam as another Gadhafi that needs to be ousted.

The problem with that scenario is that there is no real alternative to the Gadhafi regime that has ruled for more than four decades. This is not a situation like Egypt or even Tunisia where the Army as an institution is in a position to step in and seize control of the situation. In fact there are already signs of the Army splitting, with reports of army defections in the East, where the regime has had a lot of trouble holding onto support in the past and with reports of even the army chief being placed under house arrest. If the regime can not pull the loyalty the army, then power in the country falls to the tribes, many of which have already reportedly been turning on the regime in the past couple days. Seif al-Islam specifically warned in his speech that the fall of the regime could lead to civil war. Given how serious the situation has become and given the signs of the army splitting, that is a threat should be taken very seriously.

Title: Re: Other Arab countries
Post by: Crafty_Dog on February 22, 2011, 07:11:11 AM
What a pathetic statement yesterday from Secy Clinton on Libya-- in contrast to BO et al on Mubarak, she simply denounced "violence" as Kadaffy Duck starts gunning his people down.
Title: Libya
Post by: Crafty_Dog on February 22, 2011, 01:15:29 PM
Analyst Reva Bhalla discusses a group of army officers’ reported plans to oust Gadhafi, and explains why the situation in Libya is a far cry from that of Egypt. 

Editor’s Note: Transcripts are generated using speech-recognition technology. Therefore, STRATFOR cannot guarantee their complete accuracy.

After a brief and bizarre TV appearance late last night, Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi appeared again on state TV to reaffirm that he is not leaving the country and that he will die as a martyr in Libya.

Gadhafi’s speech doesn’t really surprise us — he is after all a very proud leader who came to power in a military coup more than four decades ago as a mere junior officer in the army. His personality, his life, is enmeshed in this country, in other words he’s no Ben Ali. This is a leader that is not likely to flee, but that does not mean that Gadhafi will necessarily be able to hold onto power. Over the course of the past two days, three major red flags have been raised in Libya. The first is that the regime has lost control of the eastern part of the country where a lot of Libya’s oil wealth is located. The second is that a number of prominent tribes in Libya have reportedly turned on the regime. And the third and most critical is that the army is splintering. Without the support of the tribes, without the support of the army and without control of the East it’s very difficult to see how Gadhafi is going to be able to project military power into the east to retake control of the country and ultimately save his regime.

In looking at what lies ahead for Libya, STRATFOR has been hearing about plans in the works by a group of army officers planning to oust Gadhafi, move into Tripoli and reinvent a Revolutionary Command Council to take authority over the country. Now the names that are being thrown around to lead this Revolutionary Command Council include many of the original free officers that helped bring Gadhafi to power in the 1969 military coup. This group is currently lobbying for the U.N. Security Council which is currently in session to approve a no-fly zone that can be enforced by the United States. The army officers trying to lead this coup want to ensure that Gadhafi can’t rely on remaining loyal air force units to bombard them as they make their way into Tripoli. Now Gadhafi is likely betting that global concerns over energy cutoffs from Libya and fears over regime collapse in Libya leading to civil war will likely deter any such plans for a no-fly zone to be enforced by the United States. Still, the opposition, including many of these army officers, appear willing to call that bluff.

One thing to remember is that the Libya situation is very different from the military managed secession that we saw play out in Egypt. For one thing the military in Egypt was actually welcomed by the populace and the opposition demonstrations were used by the Egyptian military to ease Mubarak out. In Libya, by contrast, the military is strongly disliked by the populace and would not have that kind of support.

Now, the situation is still very opaque but we are seeing some very serious signs of the army splintering. Without a strong regime at the helm to hold the army together the loyalties of many army officers will fall to their respective tribes, and at that point the threat of civil war in Libya considerably increases.

Title: Baraq Hamlet Obama's statement yesterday
Post by: Crafty_Dog on February 24, 2011, 08:33:31 AM
I felt so proud yesterday that our President, having cleverly said nothing during days of mass killing by the serial terrorist killer Kadaffy and the loyal portion of his armed forces, came out with the forthright warning shot across the bow that he was sending Secretary of State Hillary "Atilla the Hen" Clinton to Geneva to meet with the UN Human Rights Council there , , , including Council member Libya.  How shrewd of him to have reversed President Bush's policy of not participating in the HRC because of the presence of states such as Syria and Libya!  But for that, maybe they would not be deigning to talk with Secretary Clinton right now!

How shrewd of him to have not responded to the events in Tunisia and Egypt by not ordering a US aircraft carrier into the Mediterranean!  Had he done so we now would be capable of imposing a no-fly zone so that the Libyan airforce would not be able to continue strafing its people as requested by defecting military and diplomats and wouldn't that be terrible!  Had he done so, Iran would have had to think twice about sending its navy ships through the Suez Canal-- and we wouldn't want that! My heart beats with pride at his eloquent denunciation of "violence" while subtly not mentioning its perpetrator (sp?) by name!  After all, we wouldn't want to make He Who Shall Not Be Named mad the way Reagan did when Reagan tried killing him, or Bush 2 did when our overthrow of Hussein in Iraq intimidated him into giving up his secret nuke program.  This subtle hammering Mubarak, our ally of 30 years, while not naming He Who Must Not Be Named, will make our President's positions "perfectly clear" to one and all.  After all, in troubled times, it can be so very important to not be mistaken for being weak. 

Otherwise someone might think to try us and serious wars can get started that way.
Title: Re: Other Arab countries
Post by: G M on February 24, 2011, 08:40:17 AM

Flashback: Louis Farrakhan, Jeremiah Wright Foster Gaddafi Alliance

    * Posted on February 24, 2011 at 8:04am by Meredith Jessup Meredith Jessup
During the 2008 presidential race, then-Sen. Barack Obama worked to distance himself from his old pastor, Chicago‘s Trinity United Church of Christ’s Rev. Jeremiah Wright. The Washington Post’s Richard Cohen wrote at the time how Wright had granted a lifetime achievement award to radical Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan.

    …[Farrakhan] has vilified whites and singled out Jews to blame for crimes large and small, either committed by others as well or not at all. (A dominant role in the slave trade, for instance.) He has talked of Jewish conspiracies to set a media line for the whole nation. He has reviled Jews in a manner that brings Hitler to mind.

And yet, as Cohen noted at the time, Obama’s pastor and spiritual adviser “heaped praise” on Farrakhan in awarding him the Dr. Jeremiah A. Wright Jr. Trumpeteer Award, claiming Farrakhan had “truly epitomized greatness.”

In response, Obama was forced to release this statement:

    I decry racism and anti-Semitism in every form and strongly condemn the anti-Semitic statements made by Minister Farrakhan. I assume that Trumpet Magazine made its own decision to honor Farrakhan based on his efforts to rehabilitate ex-offenders, but it is not a decision with which I agree.

But Wright’s relationship with the controversial Farrakhan extended far beyond an award.  In 1984, Wright personally accompanied Farrakhan to Libya to meet with Muammar Gaddafi in Tripoli. In 2008, Wright even predicted his association with Farrakhan and Gaddafi may cause political headaches for Obama’s presidential aspirations: “When [Obama's] enemies find out that in 1984 I went to Tripoli to visit [Gadhafi] with Farrakhan, a lot of his Jewish support will dry up quicker than a snowball in hell,” he said.
Title: Re: Other Arab countries
Post by: G M on February 24, 2011, 05:52:47 PM
If you translate "Tony Montana" into arabic, does it come our as "Moammar Gadhafi"?
Title: Libya's split
Post by: Crafty_Dog on February 24, 2011, 09:50:31 PM
Libya's Split Between Cyrenaica and Tripolitania
Compared to the past few days in Libya that were marked by aerial bombardments on opposition strongholds, bizarre speeches by Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi and deadly clashes between protesters and African mercenaries, Wednesday was eerily quiet in the North African country.

The reason behind this apparent sense of quietude is because Libya is currently stuck in a historical east-west stalemate, with the threat of civil war looming.

The Gadhafi regime has effectively lost control of the east, where opposition forces are concentrated in and around the cities of Benghazi and Al Baida. The opposition is also encroaching on Libya’s dividing line, the energy-critical Gulf of Sidra, with the directors of several subsidiaries of the state-owned National Oil Corporation announcing they were splitting from Gadhafi and joining the people.

To the west, Gadhafi and his remaining allies appear to be digging in for a fight. Residents in Tripoli, many of whom turned on Gadhafi after witnessing the gratuitous violence used on protesters, are reportedly stockpiling arms, unsure of what will come next, but expecting the worst.

“Without a clear alternative, and with Libya fundamentally divided, there is no Plan B for the Gadhafi regime that generates much enthusiasm.”
A swath of nearly 500 miles of desert lies between the opposition and Gadhafi strongholds. And herein lies the historical challenge in ruling Libya: the split between ancient Tripolitania and Cyrenaica. The Cyrenaica region has a long and rich history, dating back to the 7th Century B.C. This is a region that has seen many rulers, including Greeks, Romans, Persians, Egyptians, Ottomans, Italians and British, and has long been at odds with the rival power base of Tripolitania, founded by the Phoenicians. At the time of Libya’s independence and through the reign of King Idris I (whose base of power was Cyrenaica), Libya was ruled by two capitals, Tripoli in the west and Benghazi in the east. For most Cyrenaics, Benghazi — and not Tripoli — is seen as their true capital.

It was not until Col. Moammar Gadhafi’s 1969 military coup that overthrew the monarchy that the Tripolitanians could truly claim dominance over the fledgling Libyan state. But in a country divided by myriad dialects, tribes and ancient histories, Tripolitanian power could only be held through a complex alliance of tribes, the army’s loyalty and an iron fist.

Gadhafi thus finds himself in a serious dilemma, with what appears to be a winnowing number of army units and tribes remaining loyal to him in Tripoli and Sirte, his tribal homeland located on the western edge of the Gulf of Sidra. Under such circumstances, it is difficult to see how Gadhafi will be able to project power militarily to the east to retake the resource-rich territory and ultimately save his regime. It is equally difficult at the moment to imagine a contingent of opposition forces from the east charging across the desert and successfully retaking Tripoli. Even if a coup is attempted by Tripolitanians in the west against Gadhafi, the successor will face an extraordinary challenge in trying to exert control over the rest of the country to resolve the east-west split. When it comes to the Tripolitania-Cyrenaica divide, neither side is likely to make a move until they feel confident about their ability to co-opt or destroy enough forces on the enemy side.

A period of negotiations must first take place, as the Cyrenaica-based opposition forces attempt to reach a political understanding with forces already in Tripoli, who may already have ideas of their own on how to eliminate Gadhafi. That way, if they do move forces, they will at least have prior arrangements that they are not going to be challenged and ideally can be logistically supported from stocks in Tripoli. This explains the current quietude, as each side maneuvers in negotiations and conserves forces.

Whether those negotiations actually lead somewhere is another question. Gadhafi may be losing more credibility by the day, but he appears to be gambling on two things: that he can retain enough military and tribal support to make the cost of invading Tripoli too high for the opposition to attempt, and that the foreign bystanders to this conflict will be too fearful of the consequences of his regime collapsing.

The fear of the unknown is what is keeping the main external stakeholders in this conflict in limbo at the moment. From the U.S. president to the CEO of Italian energy firm ENI, nobody appears willing to rush a regime collapse that could very well result in civil war. This may explain the notably vague statements coming out of Tuesday’s U.N. Security Council meetings that focused on condemning the violence and not much else, as well as U.S. President Barack Obama’s statement on Wednesday, in which he said, “I have asked my administration to prepare a full range of options. This includes unilateral options, those with partners and those with international organizations.”

It is no coincidence that to this day, not a single leading opposition figure in Libya can be named. This is a testament to Gadhafi’s strategy of consolidating power: to prevent the creation of alternative bases of power and keep the institutions around him, including the army, deliberately weak. Without a clear alternative, and with Libya fundamentally divided, there is no Plan B for the Gadhafi regime that generates much enthusiasm.

And so we wait. Opposition forces in the east will conduct quiet negotiations in the west to determine who will defect and who will resist; the United States and Italy will be lobbied endlessly by the opposition to enforce a no-fly zone over the country; the external powers will continue to deliberate among a severely limited number of bad options; and Gadhafi and his remaining allies will dig in for the fight.

If neither side can acquire the force strength to make a move, Libya will return to its historic split between Tripolitania and Cyrenaica with separate bases of power. If one side takes a gamble and makes a move, civil war is likely to ensue. Sometimes it really is that simple.

Title: POTH: Rebels seek to establish governance
Post by: Crafty_Dog on February 25, 2011, 06:44:35 AM
BENGHAZI, Libya — The rebels here said they caught a spy in the court building, the nerve center of the uprising, recording insurgent plans on a cellphone camera. The response was swift. Prosecutors interrogated the man on Thursday, and the rebels said they planned to detain him, for now.

“We want to know if he’s alone,” said Fathi Terbil, the lawyer whose detention set off Libya’s rebellion and who is now one if its leaders.
In the city where the Libyan uprising began, lawyers, prosecutors, judges and average citizens who oppose the rule of Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi are adjusting to unfamiliar roles: they are keepers both of an evolving rebellion, as well as law and order in Libya’s second largest city.

And they fret that their gains will be reversed, by people and groups sympathetic to Colonel Qaddafi, who still maintain a presence.

Since Sunday, when government forces withdrew and Benghazi became the first major city to fall under rebel control, residents and rebels here have been left to hammer out a new way of life and governance.

On Thursday, the fruits of that effort were beginning to take a rough shape. A judge, still wearing his robes, wandered through traffic, ordering drivers to put on their seat belts. At another intersection, three young men helped an elderly police officer direct a traffic jam.

Dozens of banks opened for business, and by late afternoon, stores shuttered for days had started to open as well.

In Benghazi’s new order, the court building overlooking the Mediterranean has become both a seat of rebel power and the town hall.

A battery of newly formed committees meet there to discuss security, negotiate with the army and sort out how to get people back to work. “We needed something temporary, to manage the day-to-day life,” said Imam Bugaighis, an orthodontist who has become a spokeswoman for the caretaker administration.

She said her sister, a lawyer, is also an organizer of the effort, whose leadership remains very loose. Lawyers and judges were at the vanguard of the uprising.

“They are in charge,” Dr. Bugaighis said. Then she added, “Nobody is in charge.”

After Libya’s revolt began here on Feb. 15, there was intense fighting for several days. The local hospital is still coping with the influx of those who survived. At the height of the uprising, about a hundred people a day were admitted with bullet wounds and other injuries, according to the chief surgeon, who gave his name only as Dr. Abdullah because the government’s agents were still lurking. “We’ve been under threats for 40 years,” he said.

Badly wounded men lay in the hospital’s intensive care unit, and doctors confided privately that they did not expect them to live. They included a 30-year-old man whose chest was filled with bullet fragments. “He’s deeply comatose,” Dr. Abdullah said.

Dr. Abdullah said that 140 people died during the unrest here, while local rebel leaders said the number could be as high as 300. The doctors said many patients arrived with bullet wounds to the chest and the head. Many of them are paralyzed.

In the morgue, nine green bags contained charred remains. Dr. Abdullah said that they had been recovered from the local military base, and that he was told they were soldiers who were executed and then burned by their commanders after they refused to fire on civilians. But he could not be sure.

“It was chaos,” he said.

The chaos had started with the detention of Mr. Terbil, a lawyer who represents families of those killed in a massacre of more than 1,000 inmates in Abu Slim prison in Tripoli in 1996. The families planned to be part of a protest on Feb. 17, and Mr. Terbil said that the authorities detained him on Feb. 15, hoping to head off the demonstrations.

During an interview in a second-floor office in the court building on Thursday, Mr. Terbil said his interrogation stretched out over two days, as his supporters protested outside the security building where he was detained. Using carrots and sticks, the authorities told him to find a way to end the demonstrations.

“I told them it’s already on Facebook and Twitter,” he said he told the officer interrogating him. “We can’t stop it. We can make it peaceful.”

The interrogator’s response, Mr. Terbil said, was: “We cannot allow protests like that to take place. Blood will be shed.”
Title: Get out in front on Libya
Post by: Crafty_Dog on February 27, 2011, 07:48:36 AM
Intuitively this makes sense to me:

Title: Re: Other Arab countries
Post by: G M on February 27, 2011, 07:55:42 AM
Makes sense to me. I'm sure we have US operators more than happy to go in and do the job. But what of Obama's spiritual leader of 20+ years? Will he approve of his friend getting whacked by US forces?
Title: Brit soldiers held by rebels?
Post by: Crafty_Dog on March 06, 2011, 06:40:28 AM

Further developments:
Title: WTF on British SAS mission in Libya?
Post by: Crafty_Dog on March 06, 2011, 04:17:41 PM

A British diplomatic effort to reach out to Libyan rebels has ended in humiliation as a team of British special forces and intelligence agents left Benghazi after being briefly detained.

The six SAS troops and two MI6 officers were seized by Libyan rebels in the eastern part of the country after arriving by helicopter four days ago. They left on HMS Cumberland, the frigate that had docked in Benghazi to evacuate British and other EU nationals as Libya lurched deeper into conflict. The diplomatic team's departure marked a perfunctory end to a bizarre and botched venture.

"I can confirm that a small British diplomatic team has been in Benghazi," said William Hague, the foreign secretary. "The team went to Libya to initiate contacts with the opposition. They experienced difficulties, which have now been satisfactorily resolved. They have now left Libya."

Audio of a telephone conversation between the UK's ambassador to Libya, Richard Northern, and a senior rebel leader was later leaked.

Northern suggested in the call that the SAS team had been detained due to a misunderstanding.

The rebel leader responded: "They made a big mistake, coming with a helicopter in an open area."

Northern said: "I didn't know how they were coming."

Despite the failure of the mission, Hague indicated that Britain would continue to try to make contact with the opposition.

"We intend, in consultation with the opposition, to send a further team to strengthen our dialogue in due course," he said. "This diplomatic effort is part of the UK's wider work on Libya, including our ongoing humanitarian support. We continue to press for Gaddafi to step down and we will work with the international community to support the legitimate ambitions of the Libyan people."

According to Guardian sources, the British intelligence and special forces unit were caught near the al-Khadra Farm Company, 18 miles (30km) south-west of Benghazi. A senior member of Benghazi's revolutionary council said: "They were carrying espionage equipment, reconnaissance equipment, multiple passports and weapons. This is no way to conduct yourself during an uprising.

"Gaddafi is bringing in thousands of mercenaries to kill us, most are using foreign passports and how do we know who these people are?

"They say they're British nationals and some of the passports they have are British. But the Israelis used British passports to kill that man in Dubai last year."

Rebel leaders said claimed the captives had been treated well and would be released as soon as the British government vouched for their identity with the rebel command.

The news follows Sunday Times claims that an SAS unit was being held by rebel forces it had approached in an attempt to open up diplomatic channels to opponents of Muammar Gaddafi.

Whitehall sources said on Friday it needed to learn more about the leadership of the anti-Gaddafi forces and find out what logistical support they needed, but would not give arms to the rebels, as an international arms embargo was in place.

British officials during the day declined to comment on reports that special forces were being held but defended the objective of the mission.

The defence secretary, Liam Fox said: "It is a very difficult situation to be able to understand in detail. There are a number of different opposition groups to Colonel Gaddafi in Libya who do seem relatively disparate. We want to clearly understand what the dynamic is here because we want to be able to work with them to ensure the demise of the Gaddafi regime, to see a transition to greater stability in Libya and ultimately to more representative government.

"So getting a picture of that is relatively difficult, as is widely reported. Communications are being interrupted, there are difficulties with mobile phones, with the internet potentially being interfered with.

"So we are trying to build a picture – it's essential that the government does that and it's essential that all western governments do that so we are able to get a clearer idea of what we are able to do in terms of helping the people of Libya."

David Cameron, speaking at the Tory party spring conference in Cardiff, repeated his call for "Gaddafi to go". "On Libya, our strategy is clear," he said. "We will continue to intensify pressure on the regime. We will continue to state clearly that international justice has a long reach and a long memory, and that those who commit crimes against humanity will not go unpunished. We will continue to provide humanitarian assistance to those affected by this crisis, and continue to demand access for aid agencies to reach those in need.

And we will continue to plan, with our allies, for every eventuality. "

The Sunday Times reported Libyan and British sources confirming the SAS unit had been detained by rebel forces it had approached to secure a meeting with a junior diplomat to offer help in their fight against Gaddafi. The mission backfired when rebel leaders in Benghazi objected to foreign interference from governments which had not yet formally recognised them as Libya's legitimate rulers, it said.
Title: No-fly zone for Libya?
Post by: Crafty_Dog on March 08, 2011, 11:23:22 AM
How a Libyan No-fly Zone Could Backfire
March 8, 2011 | 1550 GMT

JOHN MOORE/Getty Images
Libyan rebels on March 7 load an anti-aircraft gun near oil facilities in Ras LanufBy George Friedman

Calls are growing for a no-fly zone over Libya, but a power or coalition of powers willing to enforce one remains elusive.

In evaluating such calls, it is useful to remember that in war, Murphy’s Law always lurks. What can go wrong will go wrong, in Libya as in Iraq or Afghanistan.

Complications to Airstrikes

It has been pointed out that a no-fly zone is not an antiseptic act. In order to protect the aircraft enforcing the no-fly zone, one must begin by suppressing enemy air defenses. This in turn poses an intelligence problem. Precisely what are Libyan air defenses and where are they located? It is possible to assert that Libya has no effective air defenses and that an SEAD (suppression of enemy air defenses) attack is therefore unnecessary. But that makes assumptions that cannot be demonstrated without testing, and the test is dangerous. At the same time, collecting definitive intelligence on air defenses is not as easy as it might appear — particularly as the opposition and thieves alike have managed to capture heavy weapons and armored vehicles, meaning that air defense assets are on the move and under uncertain control.

Therefore, a no-fly zone would begin with airstrikes on known air defense sites. But it would likely continue with sustained patrols by SEAD aircraft armed with anti-radiation missiles poised to rapidly confront any subsequent threat that pops up. Keeping those aircraft on station for an extended period of time would be necessary, along with an unknown number of strikes. It is uncertain where the radars and missiles are located, and those airstrikes would not be without error. When search radars and especially targeting radars are turned on, the response must be instantaneous, while the radar is radiating (and therefore vulnerable) and before it can engage. That means there will be no opportunity to determine whether the sites are located in residential areas or close to public facilities such as schools or hospitals.

Previous regimes, hoping to garner international support, have deliberately placed their systems near such facilities to force what the international media would consider an atrocity. Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi does not seem like someone who would hesitate to cause civilian casualties for political advantage. Thus, the imposition of a no-fly zone could rapidly deteriorate into condemnations for killing civilians of those enforcing the zone ostensibly for humanitarian purposes. Indeed, attacks on air defenses could cause substantial casualties, turning a humanitarian action into one of considerable consequence in both humanitarian and political terms.

Airstrikes vs. Ground Operations

The more important question is what exactly a no-fly zone would achieve. Certainly, it would ground Gadhafi’s air force, but it would not come close to ending the fighting nor erode Gadhafi’s other substantial advantages. His forces appear to be better organized and trained than his opponents, who are politically divided and far less organized. Not long ago, Gadhafi largely was written off, but he has more than held his own — and he has held his own through the employment of ground combat forces. What remains of his air force has been used for limited harassment, so the imposition of a no-fly zone would not change the military situation on the ground. Even with a no-fly zone, Gadhafi would still be difficult for the rebels to defeat, and Gadhafi might still defeat the rebels.

The attractiveness of the no-fly zone in Iraq was that it provided the political illusion that steps were being taken, without creating substantial risks, or for that matter, actually doing substantial damage to Saddam Hussein’s control over Iraq. The no-fly zone remained in place for about 12 years without forcing change in Saddam’s policies, let alone regime change. The same is likely to be true in Libya. The no-fly zone is a low-risk action with little ability to change the military reality that creates an impression of decisive action. It does, as we argue, have a substantial downside, in that it entails costs and risks — including a high likelihood of at least some civilian casualties — without clear benefit or meaningful impact. The magnitude of the potential civilian toll is unknown, but its likelihood, oddly, is not in the hands of those imposing the no-fly zone, but in the hands of Gadhafi. Add to this human error and other failures inherent in war, and the outcome becomes unclear.

A more significant action would be intervention on the ground, an invasion of Libya designed to destroy Gadhafi’s military and force regime change. This would require a substantial force — and it should be remembered from Iraq that it would require a substantial occupation force to stabilize and build a new regime to govern Libya. Unlike in Egypt, Gadhafi is the regime, and sectarian elements that have been kept in check under his regime already are coming to the fore. The ability of the country to provide and administer basic government functions is also unknown. And it must also be borne in mind that Gadhafi clearly has substantial support as well as opposition. His supporters will not go without a fight and could choose to wage some form of post-invasion resistance, as in Iraq. Thus, while the initial costs in terms of casualties might be low, the long-term costs might be much higher.

It should also be remembered that the same international community that condemned Saddam Hussein as a brutal dictator quite easily turned to condemn the United States both for deposing him and for the steps its military took in trying to deal with the subsequent insurgency. It is not difficult to imagine a situation where there is extended Libyan resistance to the occupying force followed by international condemnation of the counterinsurgency effort.

Having toppled a regime, it is difficult to simply leave. The idea that this would be a quick, surgical and short-term invasion is certainly one scenario, but it is neither certain nor even the most likely scenario. In the same sense, the casualties caused by the no-fly zone would be unknown. The difference is that while a no-fly zone could be terminated easily, it is unlikely that it would have any impact on ground operations. An invasion would certainly have a substantial impact but would not be terminable.

Stopping a civil war is viable if it can be done without increasing casualties beyond what they might be if the war ran its course. The no-fly zone likely does that, without ending the civil war. If properly resourced, the invasion option could end the civil war, but it opens the door to extended low-intensity conflict.

The National Interest

It is difficult to perceive the U.S. national interest in Libya. The interests of some European countries, like Italy, are more substantial, but it is not clear that they are prepared to undertake the burden without the United States.

We would argue that war as a humanitarian action should be undertaken only with the clear understanding that in the end it might cause more suffering than the civil war. It should also be undertaken with the clear understanding that the inhabitants might prove less than grateful, and the rest of the world would not applaud nearly as much as might be liked — and would be faster to condemn the occupier when things went wrong. Indeed, the recently formed opposition council based out of Benghazi — the same group that is leading the calls from eastern Libya for foreign airstrikes against Gadhafi’s air force — has explicitly warned against any military intervention involving troops on the ground.

In the end, the use of force must have the national interest in mind. And the historical record of armed humanitarian interventions is mixed at best.

Title: France is recognizing the Libyan opposition: Italy is probably next
Post by: ccp on March 10, 2011, 12:34:32 PM
is they have their own illegal immigration problems.  From the Economist:

****Fear of foreigners

The Italian government worries about a huge influx from north Africa
Mar 3rd 2011 | ROME

 All washed up and ready to goNOWHERE has the Libyan uprising caused greater anguish than inside Silvio Berlusconi’s Italian government. Distress at the death of so many protesters? Sympathy for the prime minister’s friend and erstwhile ally, Muammar Qaddafi? Neither, really. What has prompted reactions ranging from alarm to hysteria is the prospect of a sharp increase in immigration from the Maghreb. The foreign minister, Franco Frattini, feared “an exodus of Biblical proportions”. It would bring Italy “to its knees”, said the interior minister, Roberto Maroni. Mr Frattini talked of 200,000-300,000 arrivals, creating a future that was “impossible to imagine”.

The government has good reason to worry. The achievement of which it is perhaps proudest is a sharp cut in the flow of illegal migrants across the Mediterranean (from 36,951 in 2008 to only 4,406 in 2010). It managed this by striking deals with Libya in 2008 and Tunisia in 2009 under which both countries were paid to clamp down on human trafficking. The danger is that these agreements will be rendered null by the chaos. On February 26th Italy declared that its friendship treaty with Libya was “de facto no longer in operation” (though that was probably to free it from an obligation not to use force against its former colony: as later became clear, Italy supports a no-fly zone).

The earliest tear in the diplomatic membrane shielding Italy came after the uprising in Tunisia. More than 5,000 people fled to the little Italian island of Lampedusa, which is closer to north Africa than to Sicily. The Italians elicited an outraged response from Tunis when they suggested intervening militarily to block the boats. But the Tunisians seem to have tightened their grip and this, assisted by bad weather, stopped the landfalls until March 1st, when the first of 413 people, mostly Tunisians, arrived on Lampedusa and a nearly island. Unsurprisingly Mr Maroni failed to convince his European colleagues in Brussels on February 24th that Italy was facing a “catastrophic humanitarian crisis”.

His real worry is Libya. The total estimated foreign population there is put as high as 1.5m. There have been reports of sub-Saharan Africans being attacked and even killed by anti-Qaddafi protesters who mistook them for mercenaries. Yet it would be absurd to claim that all foreigners in Libya will go to Italy; most would prefer to return home. There is little evidence of their fleeing northward so far. The UN High Commissioner for Refugees says that, of 55,000 people who crossed into Egypt between February 10th and 28th, all but 6,900 were Egyptians or Libyans. Most others were Asian.

The Italian government’s fear is that hundreds of thousands may yet take advantage of the disorder to embark for Europe. But the disruption may affect people smugglers as much as anyone. For the moment, the numbers seem bearable in a country of 60m. Germany’s outgoing interior minister, Thomas de Maizière, noted that Sweden, with a population of only 9m, took 30,000 asylum-seekers last year.

Where there is a real and immediate humanitarian emergency is on Tunisia’s border with Libya. On March 1st, in an abrupt and welcome change of tack, the Italian government announced that it was putting some money into a humanitarian mission to the area. Mr Maroni said it would provide food and shelter for 10,000 people, “but also stop them from leaving”.****

Title: French outmacho BO
Post by: Crafty_Dog on March 10, 2011, 02:05:51 PM
The French government said on March 10 that it would recognize the Libyan National Transitional Council as the sole representative of the Libyan people. It will soon move its ambassador to Benghazi from Tripoli. This comes as French President Nicolas Sarkozy said he would call for airstrikes against Libyan forces at the March 11 EU Council meeting.

France has been one of the most vociferous supporters of a no-fly zone in Libya. However, the issue for French involvement is the capacity of Paris to enforce such a zone on its own. The French aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle is the only aircraft carrier in the Mediterranean Sea at the moment. However, its (around) 35 aircraft alone would be insufficient to set up the initial zone. Therefore, the question is: To what extent can France enforce the zone on its own?

The logic for the call to an intervention is largely a domestic one for Paris. Initially, France took a lot of criticism for how it responded to the wave of protests in Tunisia and Egypt. France’s then-Foreign Minister, Michele Alliot-Marie, took a lot of criticism not only for vacationing in Tunisia by flying in a private jet of a businessman close to the regime, but also for offering the regime help from French security forces in repressing its protesters three days before the Tunisian president fled the country. Sarkozy ultimately had to replace Alliot-Marie with veteran Alain Juppe. The replacement was a considerable embarrassment for Sarkozy and for the French government. Therefore, one aspect of the logic for France’s support of a no-fly zone is the compensatory for the earlier lack of clarity on French policy toward change in the Middle East.

Another reason for the support of the no-fly zone is, of course, the French role in EU affairs. With Germany’s rising clout in economic and political policy of the eurozone and the wider European Union, Paris wants to maintain its leadership in foreign affairs and any military initiatives of the Europeans. Therefore, leadership on this issue is very important for Paris. Furthermore, what aids Paris in its diplomatic push for a no-fly zone is an actual lack of interest in Libya.

That is not to say France has no interest in the country; it does import 10 percent of its oil from Libya. However, it has nowhere near the level of interest in Libya as its Mediterranean neighbor, Italy, has, which imports about 20-25 percent of its oil from the North African state. Therefore, France has less of a need to hedge its policy toward the Gadhafi regime. It can be far more forceful in supporting an intervention because it is not as worried as Italy about its energy assets and investments in Libya.

Ultimately, Paris understands that no one is going to ask France to enforce a no-fly zone on its own. It is comforted by the fact Germany and Italy are very carefully considering their steps, and France knows that it can essentially support an aggressive interventionist approach without being called to do it on its own. This gives France considerable liberty in how its treats the Libyan situation, and it allows Sarkozy to gain political points at home.

Title: What if Qaddafi Wins?
Post by: G M on March 13, 2011, 04:28:39 PM

What if Qaddafi Wins?
Michael J. Totten 03.13.2011 - 6:51 AM

If something doesn’t change soon, Muammar Qaddafi will kill his way back into power over all Libya’s territory. His forces are retaking rebel positions. The opposition is crumbling. And it looks like the United States and Europe will stand back and just let it happen.

This isn’t the first time an Arab tyrant has made a startling comeback after an uprising nearly swept him away. Saddam Hussein lost control of most of Iraq after the 1991 Gulf War, but tens of thousands of dead bodies later, he was firmly and ruthlessly back in the saddle.

There are good arguments against getting involved. Not even the most hawkish interventionist would have chosen a war against Qaddafi a month ago. There aren’t many worse human-rights abusers out there, though there are some. And there are certainly countries where the West has more national interests at stake, the most obvious being Iran. But let’s not pretend there won’t be consequences beyond the shores of Tripoli if Qaddafi butchers his way back to Benghazi.

He’ll emerge meaner and more isolated than ever and hell-bent on revenge. We can forget about going back to the status quo ante when his relations with others were more or less “normal.” Whatever reluctance he felt against acting out will be eroded, if not lost entirely, now that he knows the West has little appetite to move against him, even when he is cornered and at his most vulnerable.

If the only Arab rulers to be deposed by revolution are the nominally pro-American “moderates,” while the mass-murdering state sponsors of terrorism hang on, change indeed will be coming to the Middle East and North Africa, but it won’t be the change we were hoping for. One thing, however, will not have changed an iota: the Middle East will be governed by violence just as it always has.

If the Caligula of North Africa survives by fighting to the death and prevailing, he will surely inspire the other hard rulers to take the same strategy, especially after the humiliating and mostly nonviolent defeats of Egypt’s Hosni Mubarak and Tunisia’s Ben Ali. The killers of the resistance bloc — Iran’s Islamic Republic, Bashar al-Assad’s Baath Party in Syria, Hezbollah in Lebanon, and Hamas in Gaza — won’t likely be overthrown by peaceful demonstrations but by massive internally  or externally driven wars.
Title: The UN springs into action!
Post by: G M on March 15, 2011, 06:06:29 PM

Days after it might have done some good, UN finally introduces resolution on no-fly zone in Libya

posted at 7:52 pm on March 15, 2011 by Allahpundit

How pathetic is this? The foreign minister of France, which was spearheading the push for a NFZ initially, flatly admitted today that it’s probably too late now. Qaddafi rolled over the rebels in Ajdabiya last night and is poised to utterly devastate the last rebel fortress in Benghazi, so by the time the Security Council passes a resolution and NATO scrambles to begin operations against Libyan air defenses, the entire country may be back in Qaddafi’s hands. (So quickly are the regime’s troops advancing that when Newsweek published this piece last night about a “decisive” battle to come, that battle was already basically over. Already the news has shifted to Benghazi’s defenders “bracing for death.”) Even the rebels know it’s too late for a NFZ: Yesterday they expanded their requests from a no-flight zone to include airstrikes against Qaddafi’s compound in Tripoli. They’re not strong enough anymore to take him out so they’re begging us to do it for them.

Essentially, rather than tell them flat out that intervening in Libya is too much risk for too little reward, Obama and the EU have spent two weeks jerking them around with stern words about how Qaddafi must go while evidently intending all along to do nothing militarily to help. It’s good domestic politics — the public may like anti-Qaddafi rhetoric but they’re awfully chilly about bombing Libyan air defenses, a necessary precondition to a NFZ — but it’s amazingly cynical.

    “It may prove to be too little too late,” says Robert Danin, a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations. “It could be of some assistance in creating humanitarian sanctuaries, but if the goal is to roll back Qaddafi’s forces, it is likely to have little military effect, especially with the rebel stronghold of Benghazi on the brink of falling.”

    Even though the U.S. is now backing the draft Libya resolution, Danin believes the Obama administration should have pushed harder for action much earlier. “Obama should not have called for Qaddafi to step down if the U.S. was not willing to back up that call with a real sense of an ‘or else’ … consequences for failing to step down.”

    The resolution comes amid criticism of the Security Council’s failure to react more forcefully. French U.N. Ambassador Gerard Araud said he is “deeply distressed” by the Security Council’s failure to act and is pushing for the resolution’s passage. But Western diplomats tell Fox News they expect tough negotiations over the days ahead.

France and Britain lobbied diplomats at today’s meeting of the G-8 to at least include a passage about Libya in their final statement — to no avail. (Your quote of the day: “Col Gaddafi, in an interview, said Germany, Russia and China would now be rewarded with business deals and oil contracts.”) Libyan rebels met with Hillary last night in Paris and begged her for airstrikes — to no avail, just three days after The One surreally claimed that we were “tightening the noose” on Qaddafi. I understand the interventionist argument, I understand the noninterventionist argument, but what I don’t understand is the tactic of talking tough while fully intending to let this cretin steamroll his opponents. What does it amount to if not an admission of western paralysis? As Larry Diamond puts it at TNR, “If Barack Obama cannot face down a modest thug who is hated by most of his own people and by every neighboring government, who can he confront anywhere?”

That said, and contrary to those on the interventionist side, I don’t think any “lessons” will be drawn from this in, say, Riyadh about how to deal with protesters that weren’t already learned long ago. After watching Khamenei consolidate power two years ago by crushing demonstrators and then watching Mubarak sent into exile after the Egyptian army refused to fire, every autocracy in the region knows how to deal now with its own dispossessed. Letting Qaddafi win reinforces the lesson, but even had we acted against him, there’s no chance of NATO intervention against Saudi Arabia or Yemen or Bahrain or any other friendly regime. If there’s any “lesson” to be learned here, it’s that official U.S. rhetoric on Middle Eastern uprisings is farcically meaningless. We already knew that too, actually, from the White House’s rolling embarrassments during the Egyptian revolution, but in case there was any doubt, this should clear it up. Don’t trust a thing we say about whether X should go or Y should stay or there should be an “orderly transition” from X to Y over the span of blah blah blah. We don’t mean a word of it. We’re simply following events and trying to pander simultaneously to the democracy and “stability” factions in the region.
Title: Stratfor: Libya
Post by: Crafty_Dog on March 17, 2011, 01:33:47 PM
Military Analyst Nathan Hughes discusses Libyan rebel forces’ inability to mount a meaningful resistance against loyalist forces, as well as the effect this has on the international community’s options for dealing with Libya.

Editor’s Note: Transcripts are generated using speech-recognition technology. Therefore, STRATFOR cannot guarantee their complete accuracy.

Gadhafi’s forces are rolling back rebel positions in sustained military operations, simultaneously consolidating control over former rebel strongholds along the western coast while advancing eastward along the Gulf of Sidra.

At the beginning of the month, signs of indecisive skirmishes and a potential stalemate began to emerge between Gadhafi’s forces in the west and opposition forces in the east. Since then, loyalist forces have begun to seize the initiative and gain momentum in their operations pushing eastward. As Gadhafi’s forces have advanced eastward through Ras Lanuf and to Marsa el Brega, while simultaneously consolidating control over Zawiya, and closing on Misurata in the west. There has been little sign of meaningful military resistance from the rebels. What initially appeared like indecisive thrusts and raids into rebel-held territory are increasingly looking like sustained and decisive assaults backed by armored artillery.

What isn’t exactly clear right now is what sort of resistance these forces have faced. Clearly, the rebels have not produced sustained resistance or slowed the advance of Gadhafi’s forces. However, it’s not clear how much fighting there has been, compared to how much Gadhafi’s forces are merely continuing to move eastward and consolidating a route where there has been little resistance at all.

The place to watch right now is the town of Ajdabiya. From there, nothing stands between loyalist forces and the rebel capitol of Benghazi. From here, the road actually splits, running directly to Benghazi, and, also, the rebel-held stronghold at Tobruk. This is the last energy export facility still decisively in rebel hands. It also complicates the battle problem for the rebels, whereas Gadhafi’s forces have been advancing eastward on a single axis: the road along the coast. This now gives the loyalist forces the opportunity to advance on two separate axes, and it very seriously complicates the rebel’s defensive problem.

Even if Gadhafi does pacify the cities in the east — and that alone could well take months — the rebels retain the opportunity of turning to an insurgency, especially now that they’ve become well-armed with Libyan military supplies. Meanwhile, the international response has gotten more vocal, but the incentive remains to talk big and act small. It’s far from clear what military intervention of any sort, or military support of any sort, might actually achieve in Libya. The situation is rapidly evolving, and the rebel defensive lines have already collapsed in many cases. So it’s not clear what’s to be gained from any sort of actual involvement at this point.

The problem for the international community is that at the beginning of the month, they were beginning to see a split stalemate scenario between east and west or even post-Gadhafi scenarios. The reverse is becoming increasingly possible, where Gadhafi may again return to power and control of the entire Libyan state. And so, the challenge may now be for the international community to backtrack, if they want to be able to deal with the consolidated Libya controlled by Gadhafi once more.

Title: Re: Other Arab countries
Post by: Crafty_Dog on March 17, 2011, 10:41:03 PM
Libya and the U.N. No-Fly Zone

The U.N. Security Council voted on Thursday to authorize “all necessary measures … to protect civilians and civilian populated areas under threat of attack in the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, including Benghazi, while excluding a foreign occupation force of any form on any part of Libyan territory.” The resolution banned “all flights in the airspace of the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya in order to help protect civilians,” essentially setting up a no-fly zone. The resolution — and specifically the U.S. administration — are calling for the participation of Arab League members, with diplomatic sources telling AFP hours before the resolution passed that Qatar and the United Arab Emirates might take part. Five Security Council members abstained from the resolution: Russia and China (both permanent members holding veto power) joined by Germany, India and Brazil.

The Security Council resolution clearly invites concerned member states to take the initiative and enforce a no-fly zone over Libya. The most vociferous supporters of the resolution — France and the United Kingdom from the start and the United States in the last week — will now try to build a coalition with which to enforce such a zone. Including members of the Arab League appears important to all involved to give the mission greater legitimacy — and to keep the intervention from appearing like another Western-initiated war in the Muslim world.

As U.S. defense officials have repeatedly stated — and as Secretary of State Hillary Clinton reiterated on Thursday while in Tunisia — enforcement of the no-fly zone will require more than just combat air patrol flights and will have to include taking out Libyan air defenses on the ground. With the nearest U.S. aircraft carrier, the USS Enterprise, still in the Red Sea and the French carrier Charles de Gaulle in port in Toulon — both some two days from Libya — French forces in southern France and potentially select air assets using Italian NATO bases, as well as six Marine Harriers aboard the Kearsarge (LHD-3), would have to make any initial strikes if actual military action is to happen soon. Italy has reversed course from its ambiguity on whether it would allow its air bases for enforcement of the no-fly zone, making available the U.S. Naval Air Station at Sigonella, Sicily, and the U.S. Air Base at Aviano. The U.N. support for airstrikes has made it difficult for Italy to keep hedging its policy on Libya.

“A hastily assembled no-fly zone with a clear limit to its mandate might simply push Gadhafi into a more aggressive posture toward the rebels and sow the seeds for long-term conflict in Libya.”
The question now is how quickly the United States, France and the United Kingdom can array their air forces in the region to make a meaningful impact on the ground in Libya. An anonymous French government official told AFP earlier on Thursday that bombing missions could begin within hours of the resolution’s passage. Whether this actually will be the case remains unclear, however. Gadhafi loyalists apparently are closing in on Benghazi and Tripoli has offered the international community a deal under which it would not engage rebels in Benghazi militarily, but instead would move police and counterterrorist forces into the town to disarm the rebels “peacefully.” Considering that Gadhafi’s forces have crossed the long stretch of desert between Tripoli and Benghazi and are threatening the rebel’s de facto capital, it is not clear how quickly any potential array of forces might rapidly assemble to change the situation on the ground from the air alone.

In fact, a hastily assembled no-fly zone with a clear limit to its mandate — no boots on the ground — might simply push Gadhafi into a more aggressive posture toward the rebels and sow the seeds for a more aggressive or long-term conflict in Libya. The rebels’ defensive lines have crumbled in the face of the loyalist onslaught, so the prospect of taking the already fractured rebels and forming a coherent offensive force from them is questionable at best. Even arming them better (and arms are not their primary problem) might well not change anything. If the no-fly zone and airstrikes fail to push Gadhafi’s forces back (and the prospects of that are also questionable), any alliance of air forces will have to begin targeting Gadhafi’s armored and infantry units directly, rather than just limiting themselves to striking air assets and air defense installations if there is to be any meaningful impact on the ground. This could rapidly draw the West deeper into the conflict, which could easily spur Gadhafi into a more violent approach against the rebels in Libya’s east. The no-fly zone thus might prevent Gadhafi from winning but not unseat him either, potentially drawing the conflict into a longer and deadlier affair. With the coalition, the mission and the degree of commitment by each contributor still so far unclear, there is also the real problem of how far each individual member wants to take this.

Another open question relates to Western unity on the decision. While France and the United Kingdom have been eager for such a step throughout, Italy and Germany have not.

For Italy, the situation is particularly complex. Rome has built a very strong relationship with Gadhafi over the past eight years. The relationship has been based on two fundamental principles, namely, that Italy would invest in Libyan energy infrastructure and that Tripoli would cooperate with Rome to ensure migrants from North and sub-Saharan Africa do not flood across the Mediterranean toward Italy. When it seemed as if Gadhafi’s days were numbered, Rome offered the use of its air bases for any potential no-fly zone. Italy was hedging to protect its considerable energy assets in Libya in case Gadhafi was overthrown and a new government formed by the Benghazi-based rebels took power. But as Gadhafi’s forces scored several successes over the past week, Rome, before the vote at the United Nations, had returned to its initial tacit support for the legitimacy of the Tripoli regime while still condemning human rights violations so as not to be ostracized by its NATO and EU allies. That Italian energy major ENI continues to pump natural gas to — as the company has alleged — provide the Libyan people with electricity, highlights this careful hedging. Now that Rome has thrown its support for the U.S.-French intervention, the stakes will be high for Italy. Gadhafi will have to be removed, as his continued presence in the country would put Rome’s considerable interests in Libya at risk.

For Germany, the issue is simple. Three German state elections are coming up in the next 10 days, with another three later in the year. German Chancellor Angela Merkel is facing an electoral fiasco, with a number of issues — from resignations of high-profile allies to mounting opposition over the government’s nuclear policy — weighing down on her government. With German participation in Afghanistan highly unpopular, it makes sense for Berlin to be cool toward any intervention in Libya. Germany abstained from the resolution, and its ambassador to the United Nations reiterated Berlin’s line, refusing to participate in the operations and calling any military operation folly that may go beyond airstrikes. This creates a sense that Europe itself is not entirely on the same page in Libya. Considering that the sinews that hold the NATO alliance together have begun to fray, it is not clear that a French-American intervention without clear support from Berlin is the best thing for the alliance at the moment.

Furthermore, it is not clear that Tripoli really needs an air force to reach the rebels, nor that Gadhafi’s forces are sufficiently exposed, enabling surgical airstrikes to cripple them. Airstrikes are not a tool with which one can resolve urban warfare, and Gadhafi may very well decide to precipitate such warfare now that the West is bearing down on him. This may mean that for the U.S.-French intervention to work, the West would have to become far more involved.

Now that the West has decided to square off with Gadhafi, it may not be able to disengage until he is defeated. A Libya — or even only Western Libya or even just Gadhafi stewing in his Tripoli fortress — ruled by a Gadhafi spurned by his former “friends” in Western Europe could be quite an unstable entity only few hundred miles from European shores. Gadhafi already has threatened to turn the Mediterranean into a zone of instability for Western military and civilian assets if foreign forces attack him. He has a history of using asymmetrical warfare — i.e., supporting terrorism throughout the 1980s — as a strategic tool. A belligerent Gadhafi looking to strike across the Mediterranean is not something Europe can permit. The decision to enforce the no-fly zone may therefore very quickly devolve into a need to remove Gadhafi from power via more direct means.

Title: Re: Other Arab countries
Post by: Crafty_Dog on March 18, 2011, 06:18:26 AM
Following up on the preceding piece, I'm not saying I agree or disagree, but here's this from Roger Cohen, usually a reliable useful idiot for Pravdad on the Hudson, in a rare lucid moment:

LONDON — For years I watched a “no-fly zone” in Bosnia. I watched Bosnian Muslims being slaughtered as NATO patrolled the skies. The no-fly zone was created by the United Nations Security Council in October 1992. The Srebrenica massacre took place in July 1995. Enough said.

The Bosnian no-fly zone was an attempt to assuage Western consciences after the Serb killing spree against Muslims in the first six month of the war. It was not about saving lives: Lifting the grotesque arms embargo on Bosnia might have achieved that. It was about allowing politicians in Washington and Paris to feel they’d done something, however feeble, about genocide.

Having witnessed hypocrisy most foul in Bosnia — the West, in Margaret Thatcher’s words, became “accomplice to a massacre” — I refuse to will similar hypocrisy on the brave resistance fighters of Benghazi who face Muammar el-Qaddafi’s superior tanks, now moving relentlessly eastward. No-fly zones are for the birds.

The real question must be put up-front if the West’s Bosnian shame, its smokescreen of useless agitation, is not to get a Libyan re-run: Should President Barack Obama lead a coordinated, Arab League-backed Western military intervention in Libya to stop Qaddafi?

That’s a tough question. I would have found it easy right after Bosnia, when — like Leon Wieseltier of the The New Republic, but unlike him now — I was a passionate interventionist. I don’t today.

Life must be lived forward but can only be understood backward, as Kierkegaard noted. He might have added: “And if not, you’re in trouble.” Iraq and Afghanistan have provided powerful lessons in the cost of facile planning (or none), the ease of going in, the agony of getting out, and the limits of Western firepower.

But there’s another historical lesson. Rwanda paid the price for the botched U.S. intervention in Somalia. The 1994 Rwandan genocide took place as America did nothing in part because the fiasco of Somalia disinclined the United States to intervene. Can we then allow the fiasco of Iraq to prevent a Western intervention in Libya as the Qaddafi clan delivers “rivers of blood”?

It’s a prosaic exercise, but let’s set forth arguments for and against a Western military intervention:


1) The riveting moral power of the Arab Spring comes from its homegrown quality. This is about Arabs overcoming fear to become agents of their own transformation and liberation. Nothing would more quickly poison this movement at its wellspring than Western colonialism in new form (that’s how Qaddafi will portray it, and he will have an audience.)

2) U.S. intervention in Libya will reinforce the old argument that America only gets involved in the Middle East to secure its oil interests. It will end up hardening regional anti-Americanism.

3) The United States cannot afford a third war in a Muslim country. The very talk of Western intervention betrays a profound misunderstanding of the West’s declining power. When the Bosnian war broke out, major Western nations accounted for about 70 percent of the global economy. Now that figure is just over 50 percent — and falling. The “white man’s burden” is not history; it is ancient history.

4) Intervention will turn into a long military stalemate that will distract the West from what must be its core strategic objective: A decent democratic outcome in Egypt that, with more than 13 times the population of Libya, is the pivot of the Arab awakening.

5) The legality of any intervention may be dubious.


1) Obama and other Western leaders cannot declare the objective of removing Qaddafi and then sit idly by as people rising to oust him get massacred. That’s as criminal as encouraging the Shiites of Iraq to resistance in 1991 and then watching them be slaughtered by Saddam.

2) Obama’s repeated pledges that he stands for universal human rights will be shredded if Qaddafi prevails. Just as the bombarded people of Sarajevo deserved American-backed firepower — which finally proved decisive in 1995 — so do the people of Benghazi.

3) Qaddafi, like Milosevic, is a weak bully. He’s fighting along a narrow strip of coastline. His support is shallow. Crater coast roads from warships in the Mediterranean, jam his communications, provide weapons and money and training to the ragtag resistance, and he will quickly crumble.

4) The Arab Spring across North Africa will be undercut at a critical juncture if Qaddafi is allowed to recover. Wounded, a cornered beast, he may then do his worst.

5) Qaddafi is a mass murderer who brought down Pan Am 103 (270 people aboard) and UTA 772 (170 aboard), crimes now reconfirmed by his justice minister. He has slaughtered thousands of his own people over decades. There could scarcely be a more powerful moral case for the elimination of a leader.

What’s clear to me is that there is no halfway house. Spurn conscience-salving gestures. The case against going in prevails unless the West, backed and joined by the Arab League, decides it will, ruthlessly, stop, defeat, remove and, if necessary, kill Qaddafi in short order. I’m skeptical that determination can be forged. Only if it can be does intervention make sense.

Title: Re: Other Arab countries
Post by: G M on March 18, 2011, 06:48:25 AM

1) Obama and other Western leaders cannot declare the objective of removing Qaddafi and then sit idly by as people rising to oust him get massacred. That’s as criminal as encouraging the Shiites of Iraq to resistance in 1991 and then watching them be slaughtered by Saddam.

If anyone is dumb enough to take Obama seriously at this point, you deserve what comes to you.
Title: Re: Other Arab countries
Post by: Crafty_Dog on March 18, 2011, 10:27:20 AM

Libya’s government announced an immediate cease-fire on March 18, a day after the U.N. Security Council approved a no-fly zone over the North African country. The move complicates European efforts to spearhead a campaign against Libyan government troops. Assuming Tripoli follows through on its declaration, the affect on operations against the Libyan rebels remains in question.

Libyan Deputy Foreign Minister Khaled Kaim said March 18 that Libya would positively respond to the U.N. Security Council resolution calling for a no-fly zone over Libya. The statement was soon followed by a declaration by Libyan Foreign Minister Moussa Koussa of an immediate unilateral cease-fire and halt to all military operations. Tripoli added that it was ready to open “all dialogue channels with everyone interested in the territorial unity of Libya,” that it wanted to protect Libyan civilians, and that it was inviting the international community to send government and nongovernmental organization representatives “to check the facts on the ground by sending fact-finding missions so that they can take the right decision.”

The Libyan declaration comes as members of the NATO military alliance were ramping up for airstrikes authorized by the United Nations against troops loyal to Moammar Gadhafi. French diplomatic sources have been quoted as saying airstrikes could start “within hours.” Libya’s move potentially throws a wrench in plans to establish and enforce a no-fly zone — and take additional military action — against the Gadhafi government.

France and the United Kingdom have led the international community in its push to intervene in Libya. Washington had signaled that it would let the European nations lead. Italy, formerly a strong Gadhafi supporter, announced March 18 that it would consider supplying aircraft to the intervention, as did Norway, Denmark and Belgium.

By offering a cease-fire and inviting nongovernmental groups to conduct fact-finding missions, however, Gadhafi is betting that the European nations will lose the political justification for an attack and that political disagreements over military action within European nations can further weaken their already weak resolve. Europeans in general are war-weary from their involvement in NATO’s operations in Afghanistan. They only will support an intervention in Libya if Gadhafi clearly is committing gross violations of human rights. It will be difficult for Paris and London to prove that Gadhafi is indeed committing such acts or to ignore the cease-fire announcement or the invitation to verify it. The immediate reply from France was that it would deal with the cease-fire declaration with caution and that the threat on the ground was unchanged. But the backlash at home against an intervention in light of Gadhafi’s comments is not something European governments can overlook easily, especially since the most powerful EU member state, Germany, already has buckled under the domestic political strain and expressed skepticism toward a military operation.

Assuming Gadhafi follows through with the cease-fire, how it will affect his operations against the rebels remains in question. Gadhafi may feel the rebels have been suppressed such that he can mop up the remainder through police actions in urban settings. Alternatively, he may feel the rebels are so thoroughly entrenched in their stronghold of Benghazi that he cannot dislodge them under the threat of Western airstrikes — and is therefore cutting his losses and preserving the integrity of his forces from potential Franco-British-American air attacks. Ultimately, the cease-fire could be a delaying action while Gadhafi builds a stronger position around Benghazi. This would not be without risks, however, as it will give French and British air assets time to deploy in air bases in the Mediterranean, better positioning them to enforce a no-fly zone.

That said, the Security Council has authorized a no-fly zone, which means that while assaulting Gadhafi’s ground forces directly may be stalled by the cease-fire statement, establishing a no-fly zone is not. It is also likely that Europeans will respond to the statement with further demands on Gadhafi, such as that he must resign as leader of the country or that he must withdraw his troops from eastern Libya and possibly even other cities in the west that have seen fierce resistance, like Misurata and Zawiya. Both of these demands would be difficult for Gadhafi to accept. The establishment and enforcement of the no-fly zone may still go ahead, but attacking Gadhafi’s forces directly will become difficult in the immediate term.

Read more: Libya Crisis: Implications of the Cease-Fire | STRATFOR
Title: Re: Other Arab countries
Post by: G M on March 18, 2011, 10:52:12 AM
Maybe not a real cease-fire, just a head-fake.

Gaddafi forces shell west Libya's Misrata, 25 dead

By Tarek Amara and Mariam Karouny

TUNIS | Fri Mar 18, 2011 2:46pm GMT

TUNIS (Reuters) - Forces loyal to Muammar Gaddafi bombarded the rebel-held city of Misrata on Friday with tanks and heavy artillery, killing at least 25 people, residents said.

"Gaddafi's forces are bombing the city with artillery shells and tanks. We now have 25 people dead at the hospital, including several little girls," Dr Khaled Abou Selha told Reuters by satellite phone.

"They are even bombing ambulances. I saw one little girl with half of her head blown off," he said, crying.

The doctor and another resident, Mohamed, said the city was still being heavily shelled despite a rebel claim that the attack had been defeated and the announcement at around 1230 GMT by the foreign minister of a ceasefire.

"There are 20 tanks in the city, they are killing everybody because they want to recapture the city by this evening," Mohamed said. The sound of heavy artillery could be heard in the background.
Title: Re: Libya and other Arab countries
Post by: Crafty_Dog on March 19, 2011, 06:41:03 AM
An interesting report from Pravda on the Hudson:

WASHINGTON — In a Paris hotel room on Monday night, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton found herself juggling the inconsistencies of American foreign policy in a turbulent Middle East. She criticized the foreign minister of the United Arab Emirates for sending troops to quash protests in Bahrain even as she pressed him to send planes to intervene in Libya.

Only the day before, Mrs. Clinton — along with her boss, President Obama — was a skeptic on whether the United States should take military action in Libya. But that night, with Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi’s forces turning back the rebellion that threatened his rule, Mrs. Clinton changed course, forming an unlikely alliance with a handful of top administration aides who had been arguing for intervention.

Within hours, Mrs. Clinton and the aides had convinced Mr. Obama that the United States had to act, and the president ordered up military plans, which Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, hand-delivered to the White House the next day. On Thursday, during an hour-and-a -half meeting, Mr. Obama signed off on allowing American pilots to join Europeans and Arabs in military strikes against the Libyan government.

The president had a caveat, though. The American involvement in military action in Libya should be limited — no ground troops — and finite. “Days, not weeks,” a senior White House official recalled him saying.

The shift in the administration’s position — from strong words against Libya to action — was forced largely by the events beyond its control: the crumbling of the uprising raised the prospect that Colonel Qaddafi would remain in power to kill “many thousands,” as Mr. Obama said at the White House on Friday.

The change became possible, though, only after Mrs. Clinton joined Samantha Power, a senior aide at the National Security Council, and Susan Rice, Mr. Obama’s ambassador to the United Nations, who had been pressing the case for military action, according to senior administration officials speaking only on condition of anonymity. Ms. Power is a former journalist and human rights advocate; Ms. Rice was an Africa adviser to President Clinton when the United States failed to intervene to stop the Rwanda genocide, which Mr. Clinton has called his biggest regret.

Now, the three women were pushing for American intervention to stop a looming humanitarian catastrophe in Libya.

Senator John Kerry of Massachusetts, one of the early advocates for military action in Libya, described the debate within the administration as “healthy.” He said that “the memory of Rwanda, alongside Iraq in ’91, made it clear” that the United States needed to act but needed international support.

In joining Ms. Rice and Ms. Power, Mrs. Clinton made an unusual break with Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates, who, along with the national security adviser, Thomas E. Donilon, and the counterterrorism chief, John O. Brennan, had urged caution. Libya was not vital to American national security interests, the men argued, and Mr. Brennan worried that the Libyan rebels remained largely unknown to American officials, and could have ties to Al Qaeda.

The administration’s shift also became possible only after the United States won not just the support of Arab countries but their active participation in military operations against one of their own.

“Hillary and Susan Rice were key parts of this story because Hillary got the Arab buy-in and Susan worked the U.N. to get a 10-to-5 vote, which is no easy thing,” said Brian Katulis, a national security expert with the Center for American Progress, a liberal group with close ties to the administration. This “puts the United States in a much stronger position because they’ve got the international support that makes this more like the 1991 gulf war than the 2003 Iraq war.”

Ever since the democracy protests in the region began three months ago, the Obama administration has struggled to balance America’s national security interests against support for democratic principles, a struggle that has left Mr. Obama subject to criticism from all sides of the political spectrum. And by taking a case-by-case approach — quickly embracing protesters in Tunisia, eventually coming around to fully endorse their cause in Egypt, but backing the rulers in Bahrain, Saudi Arabia and Yemen — the administration at times has appeared inconsistent. While calling for Colonel Qaddafi’s ouster, administration officials indicated Mr. Obama was more concerned with unfolding events in Yemen, Bahrain and Egypt than with removing the Libyan leader.

There was high drama right up to the surprising Security Council vote on Thursday night, when the ambassador for South Africa, viewed as critical to getting the nine votes needed to pass the resolution, failed to show up for the final vote, causing Ms. Rice to rush from the chamber in search of him.

South Africa and Nigeria — along with Brazil and India — had all initially balked at authorizing force, but administration officials believed they had brought the Africans around. Mr. Obama had already been on the phone pressing President Jacob Zuma of South Africa to support the resolution, White House officials said. Eventually, the South African representative showed up to vote yes, as did the Nigerian representative, giving the United States one vote more than required. Brazil and India, meanwhile, joined Russia, China and Germany in abstaining.

The pivotal decision for Mr. Obama came on Tuesday though, after Mrs. Clinton had called from Paris with news that the Arab governments were willing to participate in military action. That would solve one of Mr. Gates’s concerns, that the United States not be viewed on the Arab street as going to war against another Muslim country.

Mrs. Clinton “had the proof,” one senior administration official said, “that not only was the Arab League in favor, but that the Emirates were serious about participating.”


During a meeting with Mr. Obama and his top national security aides — Ms. Rice was on video teleconference from New York; Mrs. Clinton from Paris — Ms. Rice sought to allay Mr. Gates’s concern that a no-fly zone by itself would not be enough to halt Colonel Qaddafi’s progress, recalled officials attending the meeting.

“Susan basically said that it was possible to get a tougher resolution” that would authorize a fuller range of options, including the ability to bomb Libyan government tanks on the road to Benghazi, the rebel stronghold in the east, administration official said.
“That was the turning point” for Mr. Obama, the official said. The president was scheduled to go to a dinner with military veterans that night; he told his aides to draw up military plans. And he instructed Ms. Rice to move forward with a broader resolution at the Security Council.

She already had one ready — drawn up the week before, just in case, officials said. Besides asking for an expanded military campaign, Ms. Rice loaded up the resolution with other items on the American wish list, including the authorization to use force to back an arms embargo against Libya. “We knew it would be a heavy lift to get any resolution through; our view was we might as well get as much as we could,” Ms. Rice said in a telephone interview.

On Wednesday at the Security Council, Russia put forward a competing resolution, calling for a cease-fire — well short of what the United States wanted. But the French, who had been trying to get a straight no-fly resolution through, switched to back the tougher American wording. And they “put it in blue” ink — U.N. code for calling for a vote.

“It was a brilliant tactical move,” an American official said. “They hijacked the text, which means it could be called to a vote at any time.”

On Thursday, the South Africans, Nigerians, Portuguese and Bosnians — all of them question marks — said they would support the tougher resolution.

Even after getting the Security Council endorsement, Mr. Obama made clear that the military action would be an international effort.

“The change in the region will not and cannot be imposed by the United States or any foreign power,” the president told reporters at the White House on Friday. “Ultimately, it will be driven by the people of the Arab world.”
Title: More from POTH
Post by: Crafty_Dog on March 19, 2011, 06:48:15 AM
WASHINGTON — President Obama on Friday ordered Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi to carry out an immediate cease-fire, withdraw his forces from rebel-held cities and stop all attacks on Libyan civilians or face military action from the United States and its allies in Europe and the Arab world.

“Let me be clear, these terms are not negotiable,” Mr. Obama said from the East Room of the White House. Those terms, particularly lifting the siege of opposition-held territories, would give the rebels a reprieve, if not a military advantage.
Libya had pledged a cease-fire hours before. But reports from rebel-held territory indicated that the attacks by Qaddafi militias continued unabated in the east and west.

Government forces continued to advance on Benghazi, the rebel’s capital in the east, and people fleeing nearby Ajdabiya said troops were shelling and conducting assaults in the afternoon. The western city of Misurata was under siege, its electricity and water cut by the government, and doctors reported that at least 25 people were killed, including 16 unarmed civilians. In Tripoli, the repression of peaceful protests continued, and gunfire was heard late in the evening.

President Obama said he was sending Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton to a meeting in Paris on Saturday to consult with France, Britain and members of the Arab League on further action. An allied military strike on Libya did not appear imminent on Friday night.

Mr. Obama spoke 18 hours after the passage of a United Nations Security Council resolution authorizing military action against Colonel Qaddafi, and as violence raged across the Middle East. In Yemen, security forces and government supporters shot and killed at least 45 protesters. In Bahrain, the government tore down the monument adopted by the country’s rebel movement, the pearl in the middle of Pearl Square in Manama. In Syria, a police state where protest is rare, large demonstrations broke out in four cities.

In contrast to the military intervention in Libya, the administration has restricted itself in those countries to statements condemning the violence and urging restraint.

Mr. Obama used tough language that was at times reminiscent of President George W. Bush before the war in Iraq.

“If Qaddafi does not comply with the resolution, the international community will impose consequences, and the resolution will be enforced through military action,” Mr. Obama said, laying out a policy decision made after several weeks in which the administration sent conflicting signals about its willingness to use force to aid the rebels at a time of upheaval throughout the Arab world.

But unlike Mr. Bush, Mr. Obama cast the United States in a supporting, almost reluctant role, reflecting the clear desire of the Pentagon, which has been strongly resistant to another American war in the Middle East. He said that Britain, France and Arab nations would take the lead, and that United States ground forces would not enter Libya.

The White House and the Pentagon offered no other details on what the precise role of the United States military would be in any strikes against Colonel Qaddafi’s forces, but an administration official said late Friday that the United States might take the lead in an attempt to destroy Libya’s air defenses at the beginning of operations.

“We may do the shaping on the front end,” the administration official said. The official was referring to the ability of American forces, greater than that of the allies, to strike targets precisely from long distances, whether by missiles launched from submarines, surface warships or attack jets.

The official said that the goal was to limit American military involvement to the initial stages of any action, and that it was the administration’s expectation that the allies could control the skies over Libya once Colonel Qaddafi’s air defenses are destroyed.

Mr. Obama’s remarks at the White House capped a day of diplomacy mixed with military threats in Washington, London and Paris, where the allies forged a united front against Colonel Qaddafi. Britain, France and then the United States responded with almost identically worded skepticism after Moussa Koussa, the Libyan foreign minister, announced a cease-fire, his hands shaking, and European officials indicated that they were prepared to move quickly if a decision was made to take military action.

“We will judge him by his actions, not his words,” Prime Minister David Cameron of Britain told the BBC in London.


Page 2 of 2)

A few hours later, Mrs. Clinton said in Washington that the United States would be “not responsive or impressed by words.” She said that the allies would “have to see actions on the ground, and that is not yet at all clear.”

(Foreign Minister Moussa Koussa's hands shook as he announced the cease-fire.)

In Paris, the French Foreign Ministry spokesman, Bernard Valero, said that Colonel Qaddafi “begins to be afraid, but on the ground, the threat hasn’t changed.”
Obama administration officials said that action against Libya had to include the Arab countries, and they were insistent, as one senior official put it, that the “red, green and black” of Arab flags be prominent in military operations. As of Thursday night, the United States said that it had commitments from Qatar and the United Arab Emirates to contribute fighter jets, and that Jordan had also agreed to take part, although the extent of its participation was not clear on Friday.

Conditions on the ground remained confused and tense in Libya on Friday night. Several hours after Mr. Moussa had declared a cease-fire, explosions could be heard about 30 miles away from Ajdabiya. Residents who left the city after the cease-fire declaration said the announcement of an end to hostilities had in fact caused no break in the fighting.

Two doctors in the city of Misurata said that 25 people were killed on Friday, including 16 civilians.

“What cease-fire?” said Mohamed, a spokesman for the rebels in Misurata. “What lies, what murder!” After watching Mr. Obama’s speech on a generator-powered television at the Misurata medical center, he said, “We are very heartened by Mr. Obama’s words. We feel that he finally grasped the situation and grasped the urgency.”

A spokeswoman for the rebel ruling council, Iman Bugaighis, said on Friday that Colonel Qaddafi’s troops were moving toward Benghazi. “They are using their grenades to shoot up to 30 kilometers,” she said.

But Khalid Kaim, the deputy foreign minister, said emphatically, “We have no intention of entering the city of Benghazi.”

On Friday, residents of Ajdabiya described a vicious battle for their city that had lasted days, killed scores of people and wrecked neighborhoods, including large parts of an area called Seventh of October. They said that Colonel Qaddafi’s loyalists attacked Tuesday from a ring around the city’s outskirts with tanks, missiles and other heavy artillery.

“The houses were shaking,” said a woman named Fatima, who fled with her family on Friday. “We thought it would stop but it didn’t.”

On Wednesday doctors at the hospital in Ajdabiya said 38 people had died in the fighting. By Friday, residents guessed at a far higher number, saying they saw bodies in the streets. Moussa al-Dulaimi, a police officer who fled the city on Friday, said seven neighbors died in the fighting.

The residents described intense shelling around the post office, and especially in the north of the city. Residents were shot at checkpoints and by snipers, they said.

Thousands of refugees have settled about twenty minutes outside of Ajdabiya, on the road to the eastern city of Tobruk, in tents and abandoned homes in the desert. Volunteers from Tobruk bring food, water and fuel to the refugees, who cook on campfires or share small power generators. “The situation is very dangerous. Nobody is going back to the city,” said Khaled Gabally, who left Ajdabiya on Thursday.

By Friday, government tanks were posted most of the city’s entrances, residents said. As people left, soldiers checked for guns and cellphone videos of the violence. A few residents said the soldiers made them repeat an oath: “Only Muammar, God and Libya.”

By early Saturday morning, the Qaddafi government appeared to be laying the groundwork for a potential strike against the rebels in the name of self-defense.

Khalid Kaim, the deputy foreign minister, said government intelligence showed tanks, artillery and weapons from Benghazi attacking a town in the east. Government forces, he said, were holding back to observe the cease-fire.
Title: WSJ: US politics
Post by: Crafty_Dog on March 19, 2011, 07:12:34 AM
third post

WASHINGTON—President Barack Obama has toughened his stance on Libya and threatened military action, but some of his potential Republican 2012 challengers said Friday he had waited too long to confront Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi, making it harder to topple him.

The sharp reaction from some 2012 hopefuls contrasted with that of prominent GOP leaders in Congress, who have been more reticent on the administration's response to the conflict in Libya.

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Rogers praised the administration for winning what he called "unprecedented" international cooperation in going after Libya. "We're doing it exactly the right way," said the Michigan Republican.

Republicans eyeing a presidential run were much tougher in their response. Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, who is exploring a 2012 run, suggested Friday that the president had spent more time completing his NCAA basketball bracket than on focusing on Libya.

"We posture, we talk, we have diplomatic meetings. …This is very weak," Mr. Gingrich said of the president's approach. Speaking on television Thursday night, he accused Mr. Obama of being "spectator in chief instead of commander in chief."

Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum, another likely GOP contender, said in an interview Friday that Mr. Obama had "played this about as badly as you can. You either stay out and let events move forward as they will, or you get in decisively and lead. Obama has done neither...We have missed our opportunity."

Sarah Palin, Tim Pawlenty and Mitt Romney—the former governors of Alaska, Minnesota and Massachusetts, respectively—have also criticized the president for his handling of Middle East crises this year. Nearly all of the potential 2012 challengers have called for a no-flight zone over Libya, and several have singled out what Mr. Santorum called Mr. Obama's "deference to international organizations."

Mr. Obama discussed his administration's actions in public remarks Friday, saying the U.S. had worked with European and Arab partners to increase pressure on the Libyan regime and eventually to craft "a strong international response." He praised Thursday's United Nations resolution, which authorized military action against Libya's security forces.

Not all the potential 2012 contenders have urged quicker or sterner action against Libya. In a speech in Iowa this week, Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour essentially sided with Mr. Obama, saying the U.S. had "to be cautious about being quick on the trigger."

GOP congressional leaders have also trodden softly on the subject. House Speaker John Boehner (R., Ohio) participated by phone in a White House meeting on Libya that Mr. Obama hosted with a bipartisan group of lawmakers Friday. But he didn't speak during the meeting, people familiar with the events said, and made no statement afterward.

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R., Va.), who also took part by phone, has said several times that foreign policy is the president's responsibility.

Democrats have their own divisions. Lawmakers advocating strong U.S. action in Libya applauded Mr. Obama's statement.

"If Gadhafi does not comply with the requirements of the U.N. resolution, we must be prepared to take robust action with our NATO partners and the Arab League to enforce it," Sen. John Kerry (D., Mass.), who leads the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said after Mr. Obama's Friday appearance.

But the Democratic Party also includes a contingent wary of overseas military entanglements. Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D., N.Y.) warned that Mr. Obama must get Congress's approval for any military action in Libya.

Title: U.S. starts with 110 missiles
Post by: prentice crawford on March 19, 2011, 02:51:27 PM
 Now the question is are we in it to win it? (

Title: Re: Libya and other Arab countries
Post by: G M on March 19, 2011, 03:00:50 PM
Libya or March Madness?
Title: Re: Libya and other Arab countries
Post by: prentice crawford on March 19, 2011, 03:08:37 PM
 And speaking of March Madness, Morehead State's team, from a small town of 6,000 just up the road from me, beat Louisville in the first round and are playing Richmond right now. The place is nuts around here!
Title: Re: Libya and other Arab countries
Post by: G M on March 19, 2011, 03:14:27 PM
"No blood for oil!"

Oh, wait. A democrat is in office. Nevermind!

Title: Re: Libya and other Arab countries
Post by: prentice crawford on March 19, 2011, 03:34:40 PM
 Bush is dancing in front of a mirror saying, "Who's your daddy?"
                    P.C. :lol:
Title: Re: Libya and other Arab countries
Post by: G M on March 19, 2011, 03:41:43 PM
See, the left isn't upset as those weren't "Bushchenyhaliburton" warmongering missiles. Those were missiles of peace, built by GLBT collectives in the Bay area, using only recycled, vegan friendly components.

Totally different scenario.
Title: Re: Libya and other Arab countries
Post by: G M on March 19, 2011, 04:02:19 PM

OH-oh, Buraq is pissing off Louis Farrakhan with this aggression. I hope Bill Ayers stays the course!
Title: It's like totally different!
Post by: G M on March 19, 2011, 04:57:14 PM
From Drudge:

MARCH 19, 2011
OBAMA: 'Today we are part of a broad coalition. We are answering the calls of a threatened people. And we are acting in the interests of the United States and the world'...

MARCH 19, 2003
BUSH: 'American and coalition forces are in the early stages of military operations to disarm Iraq, to free its people and to defend the world from grave danger...
Title: Stratfor: The Libyan War
Post by: Crafty_Dog on March 19, 2011, 05:17:57 PM
By George Friedman

The Libyan war has now begun. It pits a coalition of European powers plus the United States, a handful of Arab states and rebels in Libya against the Libyan government. The long-term goal, unspoken but well understood, is regime change — displacing the government of Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi and replacing it with a new regime built around the rebels.

The mission is clearer than the strategy, and that strategy can’t be figured out from the first moves. The strategy might be the imposition of a no-fly zone, the imposition of a no-fly zone and attacks against Libya’s command-and-control centers, or these two plus direct ground attacks on Gadhafi’s forces. These could also be combined with an invasion and occupation of Libya.

The question, therefore, is not the mission but the strategy to be pursued. How far is the coalition, or at least some of its members, prepared to go to effect regime change and manage the consequences following regime change? How many resources are they prepared to provide and how long are they prepared to fight? It should be remembered that in Iraq and Afghanistan the occupation became the heart of the war, and regime change was merely the opening act. It is possible that the coalition partners haven’t decided on the strategy yet, or may not be in agreement. Let’s therefore consider the first phases of the war, regardless of how far they are prepared to go in pursuit of the mission.

Like previous wars since 1991, this war began with a very public buildup in which the coalition partners negotiated the basic framework, sought international support and authorization from multinational organizations and mobilized forces. This was done quite publicly because the cost of secrecy (time and possible failure) was not worth what was to be gained: surprise. Surprise matters when the enemy can mobilize resistance. Gadhafi was trapped and has limited military capabilities, so secrecy was unnecessary.

While all this was going on and before final decisions were made, special operations forces were inserted in Libya on two missions. First, to make contact with insurgent forces to prepare them for coming events, create channels of communications and logistics and create a post-war political framework. The second purpose was to identify targets for attack and conduct reconnaissance of those targets that provided as up-to-date information as possible. This, combined with air and space reconnaissance, served as the foundations of the war. We know British SAS operators were in Libya and suspect other countries’ special operations forces and intelligence services were also operating there.

War commences with two sets of attacks. The first attacks are decapitation attacks designed to destroy or isolate the national command structure. These may also include strikes designed to kill leaders such as Gadhafi and his sons or other senior leaders. These attacks depend on specific intelligence on facilities, including communications, planning and so on along with detailed information on the location of the leadership. Attacks on buildings are carried out from the air but not particularly with cruise missile because they are especially accurate if the targets are slow, and buildings aren’t going anywhere. At the same time, aircraft are orbiting out of range of air defenses awaiting information on more mobile targets and if such is forthcoming, they come into range and fire appropriate munitions at the target. The type of aircraft used depends on the robustness of the air defenses, the time available prior to attack and the munitions needed. They can range from conventional fighters or stealth strategic aircraft like the U.S. B-2 bomber (if the United States authorized its use). Special operations forces might be on the ground painting the target for laser-guided munitions, which are highly accurate but require illumination.

(click here to enlarge image)
At the same time these attacks are under way, attacks on airfields, fuel storage depots and the like are being targeted to ground the Libyan air force. Air or cruise missile attacks are also being carried out on radars of large and immobile surface-to-air (SAM) missile sites. Simultaneously, “wild weasel” aircraft — aircraft configured for the suppression of enemy air defenses — will be on patrol for more mobile SAM systems to locate and destroy. This becomes a critical part of the conflict. Being mobile, detecting these weapons systems on the ground is complex. They engage when they want to, depending on visual perception of opportunities. Therefore the total elimination of anti-missile systems is in part up to the Libyans. Between mobile systems and man-portable air-defense missiles, the threat to allied aircraft can persist for quite a while even if Gadhafi’s forces might have difficulty shooting anything down.

This is the part that the United States in particular and the West in general is extremely good at. But it is the beginning of the war. Gadhafi’s primary capabilities are conventional armor and particularly artillery. Destroying his air force and isolating his forces will not by itself win the war. The war is on the ground. The question is the motivation of his troops: If they perceive that surrender is unacceptable or personally catastrophic, they may continue to fight. At that point the coalition must decide if it intends to engage and destroy Gadhafi’s ground forces from the air. This can be done, but it is never a foregone conclusion that it will work. Moreover, this is the phase at which civilian casualties begin to mount. It is a paradox of warfare instigated to end human suffering that the means of achieving this can sometimes impose substantial human suffering itself. This is not merely a theoretical statement. It is at this point at which supporters of the war who want to end suffering may turn on the political leaders for not ending suffering without cost. It should be remembered that Saddam Hussein was loathed universally but those who loathed him were frequently not willing to impose the price of overthrowing him. The Europeans in particular are sensitive to this issue.

The question then becomes the extent to which this remains an air operation, as Kosovo was, or becomes a ground operation. Kosovo is the ideal, but Gadhafi is not Slobodan Milosevic and he may not feel he has anywhere to go if he surrenders. For him the fight may be existential, whereas for Milosevic it was not. He and his followers may resist. This is the great unknown. The choice here is to maintain air operations for an extended period of time without clear results, or invade. This raises the question of whose troops would invade. Egypt appears ready but there is long animosity between the two countries, and its actions might not be viewed as liberation. The Europeans could do so. It is difficult to imagine Obama adopting a third war in Muslim world as his own. This is where the coalition is really tested.

If there is an invasion, it is likely to succeed. The question then becomes whether Gadhafi’s forces move into opposition and insurgency. This again depends on morale but also on behavior. The Americans forced an insurgency in Iraq by putting the Baathists into an untenable position. In Afghanistan the Taliban gave up formal power without having been decisively defeated. They regrouped, reformed and returned. It is not known to us what Gadhafi can do or not do. It is clear that it is the major unknown.

The problem in Iraq was not the special operations forces. It was not in the decapitation strikes or suppression of enemy air defenses. It was not in the defeat of the Iraqi army on the ground. It was in the occupation, when the enemy reformed and imposed an insurgency on the United States that it found extraordinarily difficult to deal with.

Therefore the successes of the coming day will tell us nothing. Even if Gadhafi surrenders or is killed, even if no invasion is necessary save a small occupation force to aid the insurgents, the possibility of an insurgency is there. We will not know if there will be an insurgency until after it begins. Therefore, the only thing that would be surprising about this phase of the operation is if it failed.

The decision has been made that the mission is regime change in Libya. The strategic sequence is the routine buildup to war since 1991, this time with a heavier European component. The early days will go extremely well but will not define whether or not the war is successful. The test will come if a war designed to stop human suffering begins to inflict human suffering. That is when the difficult political decisions have to be made and when we will find out whether the strategy, the mission and the political will fully match up.

Title: Nobel Peace Prize Winner Enters Third War
Post by: G M on March 19, 2011, 06:07:21 PM

Nobel Peace Prize Winner Enters Third War
Tommy De Seno · 3 hours ago

The American Tomahawks have been launched.  Congressional approval of the action against Libya is as easy to find as hen's teeth.  Mick Jagger is writing a song about the President called "sweet neo-con" (oh wait, only Republicans can be neo-cons).

Good thing a Peace Prize winner is in charge.

Who can forget his beautiful words on limiting presidential war powers that gave us such hope for change to finally come to the way America waged war, like this:

"The president does not have power under the Constitution to unilaterally authorize a military attack in a situation that does not involve stopping an actual or imminent threat to the nation."  December 20, 2007

Or this:

"Now let me be clear: I suffer no illusions about Saddam Hussein. He is a brutal man. A ruthless man. A man who butchers his own people to secure his own power. The world, and the Iraqi people would be better off without him. But I also know that Saddam poses no imminent and direct threat to the United States, and that in concert with the international community he can be contained until, in the way of all petty dictators, he falls away into the dustbin of history."  March 27, 2007

Or this:

"I think the first question is whether we should have gone into the war in the first place. Six years ago, I opposed this war because I said that not only did we not know how much it was going to cost, what our exit strategy might be, how it would affect our relationships around the world, & whether our intelligence was sound, but also because we hadn’t caught bin Laden."  Septmeber 26, 2008

Or this gem about priorities:

"What I am opposed to is a dumb war. What I am opposed to is a rash war....What I am opposed to is the attempt by political hacks like Karl Rove to distract us from a rise in the uninsured, a rise in the poverty rate, a drop in the median income." October 2, 2002

Oh and here is a glimpse into the money you and I will be expected to spend later on:

"We have to have humanitarian aid now. We also have two-and-a-half million displaced people inside of Iraq and several million more outside of Iraq. We should be ramping up assistance to them right now. But I always reserve the right, in conjunction with a broader international effort, to prevent genocide or any wholesale slaughter than might happen inside of Iraq or anyplace else."  February 11, 2008

Barack Obama - He's George Bush with a Peace Prize.
Title: Re: Libya and other Arab countries
Post by: Crafty_Dog on March 19, 2011, 08:50:10 PM
But isn't Hillary Commander in Chief now?  :evil:
Title: Re: Libya and other Arab countries
Post by: G M on March 19, 2011, 09:00:10 PM
I thought it was Bill.

Must be that "co-president" thing the left used to coo about in the 90's.
Title: What I like about Obama
Post by: G M on March 19, 2011, 09:07:39 PM
What I like about Obama

Obviously, the biggest problem with Bush was sending the military into an Arab Muslim country that hadn't even attacked us. Among the several things that made that offensive were

* the rush to war - it was only several months after the possibility of military involvement was raised that combat operations began
* lack of United Nations sanction - only 17 relevant resolutions were ever passed before they were enforced
* lack of Congressional oversight - the President authorized the use of military force based on the flimsy pretext of a bill passed by Congress titled "Authorization of the Use of Military Force", rather than seeking a document that had the words "declaration of war" in it; that's every bit as bad as getting no Congressional approval at all
* obvious financial motives - clearly no one approved of the murderous dictator or sought a normal working relationship with him besides the French; at the same time, one couldn't help but be suspicious of the fact that the population we were ostensibly protecting was located conveniently near the oil fields
* stretching our military - we were overburdened as it was, and our brave military despite its courage lacked the resources for yet another operation
* inflating our military - the only way to keep the bloodthirsty Pentagon beast fed was to give it the hordes of jobless young men who had no prospects in an economy that saw unemployment skyrocket above 4% in most states
* ignoring our generals - the decision to go to war was made by political hacks who had never worn a uniform
* inflaming the Arab Street - despite some touchy-feely talk about Islam, it was impossible for the Muslim world not to notice how the President made repeated, insistent proclamations of his Christianity, how he only ever used the military against Muslim targets, and how at the time the war started he'd kept the concentration camp at Guantanamo open for over a year
* wasting money - it was completely irresponsible to commit the military to an expensive mission when the President's fiscal mismanagement had resulted in a budget deficit of over $150 billion in 2002

But anyway, what I really like about Obama is that he's gone 29-3 in his bracket picks over the first two days. You have to spend a lot of time watching college basketball to be that good.
Title: Re: Libya and other Arab countries
Post by: JDN on March 19, 2011, 10:22:17 PM
I don't get it: what is this, let's make fun of Obama for doing something?   GM, I thought that is what you wanted??? d Oh yeah, whatever Obama does, isn't right...  I forgot...
Personally, I could care less about Libya.  I agree with Gates.  A lot of Americans do too.  But GM seems (I thought) to be carrying the flag to intervene.  GM should be happy!   :-D

According to GM's previous posts.....

GM: "Here's hoping that Saddam and his sons soon have company in hell."

GM: "Makes sense to me. I'm sure we have US operators more than happy to go in and do the job. But what of Obama's spiritual leader of 20+ years? Will he approve of his friend getting whacked by US forces?"

GM posted: "If something doesn’t change soon, Muammar Qaddafi will kill his way back into power over all Libya’s territory. His forces are retaking rebel positions. The opposition is crumbling. And it looks like the United States and Europe will stand back and just let it happen.

This isn’t the first time an Arab tyrant has made a startling comeback after an uprising nearly swept him away. Saddam Hussein lost control of most of Iraq after the 1991 Gulf War, but tens of thousands of dead bodies later, he was firmly and ruthlessly back in the saddle.

There are good arguments against getting involved. Not even the most hawkish interventionist would have chosen a war against Qaddafi a month ago. There aren’t many worse human-rights abusers out there, though there are some. And there are certainly countries where the West has more national interests at stake, the most obvious being Iran. But let’s not pretend there won’t be consequences beyond the shores of Tripoli if Qaddafi butchers his way back to Benghazi."

GM: "the public may like anti-Qaddafi rhetoric but they’re awfully chilly about bombing Libyan air defenses, a necessary precondition to a NFZ"

GM: "Obama and other Western leaders cannot declare the objective of removing Qaddafi and then sit idly by as people rising to oust him get massacred. That’s as criminal as encouraging the Shiites of Iraq to resistance in 1991 and then watching them be slaughtered by Saddam.

If anyone is dumb enough to take Obama seriously at this point, you deserve what comes to you."

GM: "Libya or March Madness?"

So I ask GM, why not say "thank you" President Obama?  Is that so hard?

Title: Re: Libya and other Arab countries
Post by: G M on March 19, 2011, 10:35:18 PM
So, then it's ok to use military force to remove a middle eastern dictator when sanctions fail?

You'll note that I'm for directly killing Ka-daffy and his sons. No-fly-zones? Not so much. Obama's half-assed involvement? Not so much. As usual, he's found a way to vote "present" while working on the important things, like college basketball, golf and vacations.

Title: Re: Libya and other Arab countries
Post by: G M on March 19, 2011, 10:39:44 PM

A former top CIA official who helped oversee the agency’s investigation into the 1988 bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland, tells NBC News there is "no doubt" that Moammar Gadhafi personally approved the bombing.

"There are two things that you can take to the bank," said Frank Anderson, who served as the agency's Near East affairs chief between 1991 and his retirement in 1995. "The first one is, Pan Am 103 was perpetrated by agents of the Libyan government. And the second thing is, that could not have happened without Moammar Gadhafi's knowledge and consent.

"There is no question in my mind that Moammar Gadhafi authorized the bombing of Pan Am 103." 

Now JDN, directly targeting Ka-daffy is quite different than a NFZ. Where are the "No blood for oil" chants?
Title: If I called Obama impotent.....
Post by: G M on March 19, 2011, 11:06:23 PM
I take it back.

Title: Re: Libya and other Arab countries
Post by: JDN on March 20, 2011, 08:56:12 AM
So, then it's ok to use military force to remove a middle eastern dictator when sanctions fail?

You'll note that I'm for directly killing Ka-daffy and his sons. No-fly-zones? Not so much. Obama's half-assed involvement? Not so much. As usual, he's found a way to vote "present" while working on the important things, like college basketball, golf and vacations.

I thought assassination of a foreign leader was illegal?

As for it being "ok to use military force to remove a middle eastern dictator when sanctions fail", I suppose it is, but then I don't and I don't think very
many Americans think it's worth it to lose American lives and use American money.  We're tired.  And broke.  Yeah, Hussein is gone, but the world is full of bad guys; where do we stop?
We have lost thousands of lives in Iraq and Afghanistan, spent billions upon billions of dollars we don't have for basically nothing in return in my opinion. 
The region was tribal before, it will be tribal after we leave.  I admit I don't get it, nor do I agree, but the people overwhelmingly seem to want Sharia Law. 

Our conception of democracy, while noble is not going to stick.  It's been one debacle after another.  I agree with Gates; let's try to never get involved again.  I am tired of us being the world policeman, judge, and jury.  We intervene in Libya because he's a bad guy (this is suddenly news?) and that there might be a mass slaughter, but we don't intervene in Rwanda, N. Korea, etc.  Better I think we work through the UN and/or we simply stay out.  America has enough problems to address at home.  Let's save our military for direct threats against us and/or
or our allies.  Sometimes I think these foreign wars are a distraction and an excuse not to solve our problems at home.
Title: Re: Libya and other Arab countries
Post by: G M on March 20, 2011, 09:18:38 AM
He's a military leader. Note the Col. in front of Ka-daffy, thus very much fair game.

"As for it being "ok to use military force to remove a middle eastern dictator when sanctions fail", I suppose it is,"
Like when President Bush removed Saddam?

"The region was tribal before, it will be tribal after we leave."
You are correct. Much of the Libyan rebels are AQ members or another strain of jihadist. Nothing good will emerge from Libya if the rebels win. Still, Ka-daffy has lots of our blood on his hands and no longer feels restrained, so he needs to die. As I've said elsewhere, this doesn't mean we try nationbuilding or boots on the ground, and it sure doesn't mean a decade of a NFZ over Libya either.
Title: Lefties react to Libya
Post by: G M on March 20, 2011, 09:37:13 AM
Anyone remember how we were told that if we voted for McCain, that we'd have 4 more years of Bush? They were right!

Lefties react to Libya
March 20, 2011 by Don Surber

I have all along wished for Barack Obama’s success because I knew the only way for him to be a successful president would be to adopt the policies of President Bush.

So this silliness about civilian trials for combatants and for closing Gitmo or pulling out of Iraq — all this manure that lefties wallow in — has been cast aside.

Of course.

Obama wants a second term.

We will not re-elect a pussyfooter.

So we have the president joining the allies in Libyan adventure. He did not find the time to break from his Spring Break in Rio to come home and explain to the American people why he is putting our soldiers in harm’s way.

He mimics only Bush’s policies — and not Bush’s class, honor or humility.

The Left finds itself betrayed.

From Andrew Sullivan, who took the You Hypocrite route and regurgitated an Obaman quote: “The President does not have power under the Constitution to unilaterally authorize a military attack in a situation that does not involve stopping an actual or imminent threat to the nation.“

Actually, he does. It’s called the War Powers Act. It has been around since 1973. Liberals. Think they know everything.

From Robert Dreyfuss of the Nation, who took the misogynist route: “So Obama’s women wanted war against Libya. We’d like to think that women in power would somehow be less pro-war, but in the Obama administration at least it appears that the bellicosity is worst among Hillary Clinton, Susan Rice and Samantha Power. All three are liberal interventionists, and all three seem to believe that when the United States exercises military force it has some profound, moral, life-saving character to it. Far from it. Unless President Obama’s better instincts manage to reign in his warrior women — and happily, there’s a chance of that — the United States could find itself engaged in open war in Libya, and soon. The troika pushed Obama into accepting the demands of neoconservatives, such as Joe Lieberman,  John McCain and The Weekly Standard’s Bill Kristol, along with various other liberal interventionists outside the administration, such as John Kerry. The rode roughshod over the realists in the administration.”

So basically women are all Jezebels and Delilahs to He Men like Robert Dreyfuss.

From FOQ (Friend of Qaddafu) Louis Farrakhan: “Who The Hell Do You Think You Are?”

Frrakhan, Jesse Jackson and Jeremiah Wright are friends of Qaddafi and they talked him into releasing an black American pilot in 1984. I mention race because none of those three race-baiters would have lifted a finger for a white pilot.

Well, maybe the middle one.

From Michael Moore lame jokes. Poor John Nolte, forced to follow Michael Moore on Twitter. I’d rather clean toilets.

From the Associated Press:

NEW YORK — An anti-war demonstration in Times Square Saturday that was meant to mark the eighth anniversary of the invasion of Iraq quickly became a protest against the military strikes launched by the U.S. and other countries against Libya’s belligerent government.

About 80 protesters gathered near the U.S. military recruiting center in Times Square, chanting “No to war!” and carrying banners that read, “I am not paying for war” and “Butter not guns.” A quartet of women in flowered hats who called themselves the Raging Grannies sang: “No more war, we really mean it!”

Other protesters carried placards showing pictures of women with bleeding children in their arms.

U.S. Rep. Charles Rangel , D-N.Y., joined the protesters, saying he’s undecided on whether the military action against Libya was justified. He said he was angry that Congress was not consulted beforehand.

Gee, maybe these lefties should vote in one of their own… oh.

Title: Re: Libya and other Arab countries
Post by: JDN on March 20, 2011, 09:46:16 AM
Yes, as far as I'm concerned, it was "ok", i.e. for Bush to have removed Saddam (he was "tried" convicted and put to death), I just don't think
the Iraq war was worth it in lives lost and money spent.  But then I don't think Afghanistan is worth the lives or cost either.

As for assassination, and the Col. being a military leader, well most dictators were military leaders; how else did they get in power?  Castro too. For that matter our
President is Commander in Chief.  President Eisenhower, Grant, et al were military men.  Assassination?  Either we follow the law, vote to change the law, or we
are no better than those who disobey the law.

Frankly, I don't care if the Col. dies or not (but good riddance), he is not a nice guy.  I just hope we don't put boots on the ground and our involvement is over in days, not weeks or months or years...
As you point out, nothing good is going to happen if the rebels win and AQ takes over.  I believe in democracy, but I have the same concerns in Egypt and the entire middle east' "democracy" movement.  Next, we should be happy the King is overthrown in Saudi Arabia?  I don't think so....  We eliminate a dictator, but rather than thanks, we gain another strain of jihadist who support Sharia Law and hate America.  I say stay home.
Title: Re: Libya and other Arab countries
Post by: G M on March 20, 2011, 09:52:23 AM
If you really want to get into the legal details related to targeting heads of state, go read the analysis below.

Attacks on Designated Personnel.

Additionally, targeting of designated officers have been
allowed and the legitimacy of such attacks have been accepted
without considerable dissension. As previously stated all
belligerents are liable to attack at any time so long as the
means utilized are compatible with the law of armed conflict.
It is irrelevant whether the belligerent is enlisted, officer, or
the king. The implementation of this theory was portrayed by
two events that took place in World War II and the Korean War.
One occurred on 18 April 1943, when the United States received
evidence involving the exact time Japanese Admiral Osoruko
Yamamoto would travel from Rabaul. Because Admiral Yamamoto was
deemed essential to the Japanese war endeavor, the United States
decided it would attempt to attack his plane. A number of
United States planes were deployed for that objective and Admiral
Yamamoto was killed. Since he was a belligerent, the attack was
lawful under international law. The next event took place on
30 October 1951 when a naval airstrike killed 500 senior Chinese
and North Korean military officials involved in a war meeting at
Kapsan, North Korea. (33) (34) (35)
Title: Re: Libya and other Arab countries
Post by: DougMacG on March 20, 2011, 09:55:38 AM
To JDN's question: "why not say thank you President Obama?  Is that so hard?"  

My take is a little different.  I agree with the no fly zones.  I think the process might lead to removal of Ghadafy.  Marginally better to take him alive than dead but I place no moral value on that, taking a phrase from Marianne Pearl, he is a 'nuisance to humanity'.  Down a civilian jetliner like beheading a journalist, if we can't take action against things that egregious, our species doesn't deserve the oxygen we breathe on the planet. The reason I don't give immediate and full credit to Obama is the delay.  Power that shifted during the delay, ground was lost and lives were lost.  He captured back most of the country while we argued within the administration, evaluated brackets and waited for return phone calls from Europe.  Maybe this will all turn out so well that the delay was insignificant to the result.  In Iraq, the 6 months notice we gave our enemy while we dithered with ally and international approvals were extremely costly.  

Consultations and cooperation of allies is great.  That process needs to happen faster - hours, not weeks and months.
Title: Re: Libya and other Arab countries
Post by: G M on March 20, 2011, 09:58:51 AM
Remember when Ka-daffy was surrounded in Tripoli? Would have made things much easier had somebody acted then.
Title: Re: Libya and other Arab countries
Post by: JDN on March 20, 2011, 10:04:55 AM

Executive Order 12333
2.11Prohibition on Assassination. No person employed by or acting on behalf of the United States Government shall engage in, or conspire to engage in, assassination.

I understand there are nuances.
Title: Re: Libya and other Arab countries
Post by: G M on March 20, 2011, 10:09:31 AM
Major nuances. Also, as the president, Buraq can modify any EO as he wishes.
Title: The Saturday Skedaddle
Post by: G M on March 20, 2011, 10:29:10 AM

Friday, March 18, 2011
The Saturday Skedaddle

UPDATE//19 March//The U.S. Navy is denying that our 5th Fleet has departed Bahrain. But western diplomatic sources the the World Tribune that only a "skeleton staff" remains at fleet headquarters in Manama. Likewise, those sources also confirm our assessment: the U.S. has written off the current government in Bahrain, and is preparing for its near-term collapse. We should also note that the USS Enterprise carrier battle group remains in the Red Sea, despite the start of No-Fly Zone operations over Libya.

The presence of the Enterprise in that area suggests that Washington is focused on the situation in Yemen and Bahrain. If the governments in those countries collapse, the U.S. would need the "Big E" to support evacuation operations in one (or both) locations. Put another way, you don't keep a fleet carrier (with dozens of fighter aircraft) out of the Libya operation unless you're worried about other contingencies.

Almost without notice, ships of the U.S. 5th Fleet in Bahrain slipped from their berths and headed into the Persian Gulf early Saturday. An "extended" exercise with Oman was the official reason given, but few believe it. As the security situation in the Manama continues to deteriorate, the Navy cannot afford to have even a single vessel--and its crew--in a port that may be hostile in a few days (or less).

Radio talk show host John Batchelor was among the first to report the news. Experts he spoke with said our relations with key Middle East allies have reached the breaking point:

The news from Manama, the capital of the small island state of Bahrain, is that the Fifth Fleet HQ has gone on maneuvers to Oman for an indefinite time frame. In sum, bug-out from the proxy war in Bahrain between Riyadh and Tehran. Am told that the IRGC has staffed and funded the so-called protesters. The social media messaging that now floods the web, #bahrain, is suspect of being an IRGC disinformation campaign. Of most significance, am told the Bahrain confrontation marks the breakdown of the 65-year-long alliance between Washington and Riyadh. The Kingdom has now turned away. China through the Pakistan connection looks like the choice to replace the US. Spoke Barry Rubin, GLORIA, to learn that Egypt is also tumbling away from the US. Pat Lang, Sic Semper Tyrannis, said that Cairo is looking for another sponsor. What has caused this break between Washington and its allies in the Middle East? Am told that the White House is deaf to experienced diplomats in the region. That the White House is piously ideological in supporting so-called democratic-leaning youth protesters despite the evidence that the "yuppie bloggers" are either naive ideologues themselves, without experience in governance or diplomacy, or else they are tools of the anarchists, Islamists and Twelvers. Asked Barry Rubin if the US is on the brink of losing Egypt. Answer: over the brink. Asked Pat Lang if there was any repairing break with Riyadh. Answer: no.

We should point out that both Lang and Rubin represent the minority viewpoint in these matters, but they are not alone in their thinking by any means. With American vacillation and weakness on display throughout the Middle East, long-time allies are maneuvering for their own survival, and looking for anyone (read: not Iran) who can guarantee their security.

Also of interest is the claim that Tehran is fomenting the unrest, through its IRGC. Before readers dismiss that as a conspiracy theory or crazy talk, remember: Hillary Clinton said essentially the same thing during Congressional testimony last week. Oddly enough, the MSM has yet to follow up on Mrs. Clinton's claim.

Given our retreat across the region, moving ships U.S. Navy vessels (and their crews) of Manama was the prudent thing to do. Now, the speculation is over when they might return. At the moment, the optimistic answer is "no time soon." The worst-case scenario is "never."

We're waiting to hear if the 5th Fleet Commander has shifted his flag to sea. That move, along with the sudden departure of our ships, suggests we have no confidence in the ability of security forces to contain the unrest, and we're preparing for a likely collapse of the Bahrain government.

Meanwhile, our commander-in-chief is reportedly having a swell time in Rio.
Title: Re: Libya and other Arab countries
Post by: Crafty_Dog on March 20, 2011, 10:47:38 AM
That is very big news GM.  Lets take it over to the Saudi/Arabian peninsula thread.

Amen to GM's comments on the costs of having dithered.

For me the larger point is the larger war that is going on.  Is it between Islam and the West, or is it between Barbarism and Civilization?  IMHO this is a choice that has not yet been determined.

(This question is being presented now in the context of moving from a unique unipolar moment in history back to a multi-polar world.  Unlike the militarily bi-polar and economically multi-polar world of the 50s-80s and the unipolar 90s-00s, we are now entering a multi-polar world on both the economic and military fronts.)

OBL and AQ sought an Islamist uprising against the various governments of the Arab/Muslim world.   This has not happened , , , yet something IS happening!

Even allowing for the deceptions of our Pravdas, as best as I can tell, the various uprisings around the Arab world have not had anti-America attitudes and sloganeering taking the lead.  Indeed, there have been calls upon us to support democratic aspirations (and even in some quarters a re-examination of the Iraq War and the neo-con aspects to its motivations!) by defecting Libayn military, diplomats, and officials.

Baraq failed to speak for freedom and democracy in Iraq and bowed to the King of Saudi Arabia; he failed to speak for freedom and democracy when the people of Iran sought to rise up yet spoke up for them against our long time strategic ally Mubarak; he sabotages our free and democractic ally Israel yet weeks went by before he could even speak Kadaffy's name.

IMHO it would have made great sense for him to wish the rebels well from day one, and to have provided humanitarian support (perhaps across the border in Tunisia and/or Egypt)-- (and maybe some ammo too.) and maybe have provided air cover over rebel held cities (which is not the same thing as a NFZ)-- and told the rebels that they would have to win or lose from there.   The Arab/Muslim world would see the US being consistent with its Freedom/Democracy agenda-- and we would not be entangled.

Instead what we have now has many of the ingredients of an incoherent clusterfcuk.  Baraq says Kadaffy has to go but does nothing to make it happen, until, as predicted by Intel Chief Clapper, Kadaffy is about to win.  WTF is our strategy?  Where is our spare bandwidth should anything start happening with Iran, Bahrain, and Saudi Arabia?  Or if Iran stirs things up in Iraq? Or , , , ?

As much as we may regret it, Baraq is our Commander in Chief and we must wish for success for America and the good things for which it stands.
Title: Oh great.......
Post by: G M on March 20, 2011, 10:50:34 AM

The U.S.-led international military assault on Libya could achieve its stated goals without forcing Moammar Gadhafi from power, the top U.S. military officer said Sunday as the bombing campaign continued.

After a barrage of attacks by sea-launched Tomahawk cruise missiles Saturday, an array of U.S. warplanes — including several Air force B-2 stealth bombers — followed in the pre-dawn hours Sunday with a coordinated assault using precision-guided bombs, according to a U.S. military official.

The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss sensitive military missions, said the planes included Air Force F-15s and F-16s, Navy EA-18G electronic warfare planes and Marine attack jets.

Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staffs, described the campaign's aims as "limited," saying it "isn't about seeing him (Gadhafi) go." Appearing on NBC's "Meet the Press," Mullen was asked whether it was possible that the mission's goals could be achieved while leaving Gadhafi in power.

"That's certainly potentially one outcome," he replied.

Pressed on this point later in an interview on CNN's "State of the Union," Mullen was more vague. "How this ends from the political standpoint, I just can't say," Mullen said. He said it was too early to speculate.

U.S. officials said at the outset of the missile strikes on Saturday that the goals are to prevent Gadhafi from inflicting further violence on his own people and to degrade his military's ability to contest a no-fly zone. Mullen said Sunday that the no-fly zone was now in place, with Gadhafi having put no aircraft in the sky.
Title: Gratitude!
Post by: G M on March 20, 2011, 11:22:08 AM
Didn't take long, did it?

Arab League criticizes allied airstrikes on Libya

(AP) – 4 hours ago

CAIRO (AP) — The head of the Arab League has criticized international strikes on Libya, saying they caused civilian deaths.

The Arab League's support for a no-fly zone last week helped overcome reluctance in the West for action in Libya. The U.N. authorized not only a no-fly zone but also "all necessary measures" to protect civilians.

Amr Moussa says the military operations have gone beyond what the Arab League backed.

Moussa has told reporters Sunday that "what happened differs from the no-fly zone objectives." He says "what we want is civilians' protection not shelling more civilians."
Title: P. Townsend: Who are you? Who? Who?
Post by: Crafty_Dog on March 20, 2011, 04:26:44 PM
Libya's Opposition Leadership Comes into Focus
March 20, 2011 | 2222 GMT


Libya has descended to a situation tantamount to civil war, with forces loyal to Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi in the west pitted against rebels from the east. However, one of the biggest problems faced by Western governments has been in identifying exactly who the rebels are. Many of the rebels, including former Libyan Justice Minister Mustafa Abdel-Jalil and former Interior Minister Gen. Abdel Fatta Younis, defected early on from the Gadhafi regime and represent what came to be the Transitional National Council (TNC), which promptly lobbied Western government for support after its formation. In light of logistical and maintenance capabilities militarily, further defections would certainly help the rebels achieve victory, though there has been no sign of such defections.

Editor’s note:This analysis was originally published March 8 but has been significantly updated with current, accurate information.


Identifying the Opposition

One of the biggest problems Western governments have faced throughout the Libyan crisis has been in identifying who exactly the “eastern rebels” are. Until the uprising began in February, there was thought to be no legitimate opposition to speak of in the country, and thus no contacts between the United States, the United Kingdom, France or others. Many of those who now speak for the rebel movement headquartered in Benghazi. There have been several defections, however, from the regime of Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi to the eastern rebel leadership, and it is men like these with whom the West is now trying to engage as the possible next generation of leadership in Libya, should its unstated goal of regime change come to fruition.

The structure through which the Libyan opposition is represented is formally known as the Interim Transitional National Council, more commonly referred to as the Transitional National Council (TNC). The first man to announce its creation was former Libyan Justice Minister Mustafa Abdel-Jalil, who defected from the government Feb. 21, and declared the establishment of a “transitional government” Feb. 26. At the time, Abdel-Jalil claimed that it would give way to national elections within three months, though this was clearly never a realistic goal.

One day after Abdel-Jalil’s announcement, a Benghazi-based lawyer named Abdel-Hafidh Ghoga held a news conference to refute his claims. Ghoga pronounced himself to be the spokesman of the new council, and denied that it resembled a transitional government, adding that even if it did, Abdel-Jalil would not be in charge. Ghoga derided the former justice minister as being more influential in the eastern Libyan city of Al Bayda than in Benghazi, which is the heart of the rebel movement.

The personality clash between Abdel-Jalil and Ghoga continued on for most of the next week, as each man portended to be running a council that spoke for the eastern rebel movement in its entirety. It was significant only insofar as it provided just a glimpse of the sort of internal rivalries that exist in eastern Libya, known historically as Cyrenaica. Though Cyrenaica has a distinct identity from the western Libyan region historically referred to as Tripolitania, that does not mean that it is completely unified. This will be a problem moving ahead for the coalition carrying out the bombing campaign of Libya, as tribal and personal rivalries in the east will compound with a simple lack of familiarity with who the rebels really are.

The TNC officially came into being March 6, and (for the moment, at least) has settled the personal and regional rivalry between Abdel-Jalil and Ghoga, with the former named the TNC head, and the latter its spokesman. Despite the drama that preceded the formal establishment of the council, all members of the opposition have always been unified on a series of goals: They want to mount an armed offensive against the government-controlled areas in the west; they want to overthrow Gadhafi; they seek to unify the country with Tripoli as its capital; and they do not want foreign boots on Libyan soil. The unity of the rebels, in short, is based upon a common desire to oust the longtime Libyan leader.

The TNC asserts that it derives its legitimacy from the series of city councils that have been running the affairs of the east since the February uprising that turned all of eastern Libya into rebel-held territory. This council is, in essence, a conglomeration of localized units of makeshift self-governance. And while it may be centered in the east, the TNC has also gone out of its way to assert that all Libyans who are opposed to Gadhafi’s rule are a part of the movement. This is not a secessionist struggle. A military stalemate with Gadhafi that would lead to the establishment of two Libya’s would not represent an outright success for the rebels, even though it would be preferential to outright defeat. Though it has only released the names of nine of its reported 31 members for security reasons, the TNC has claimed that it has members in several cities that lie beyond the rebel-held territory in the east (including Misurata, Zentan, Zawiya, Zouara, Nalut, Jabal Gharbi, Ghat and Kufra), and promised membership to all Libyans who want to join and asserted that the council is the sole representative of the whole of Libya.

The TNC’s foremost priorities for the past several weeks have been garnering foreign support for airstrikes on Gadhafi’s forces and the establishment of a no-fly zone. Absent that, they have long argued, none of their other military objectives stood a chance of being realized.

It was the lobbying for Western support in the establishment of a no-fly zone that led the TNC’s “executive team,” also known as the crisis committee, to go on a tour of European capitals in mid-March designed to shore up support from various governments and international institutions. Mahmoud Jebril, an ally of Abdel-Jalil, and de facto Foreign Minister Ali al-Essawi, the former Libyan ambassador to India who quit in February when the uprising began, comprise the executive team. The result of this trip was the first recognition of the TNC as the legitimate representative of the Libyan people, which was provided by France on March 10. France, as we were to see in the following days, was to become the most vociferous advocate of the international community coming to the aid of the TNC through the use of air strikes.


Before the decision was made to implement a no fly zone, the Libyan opposition forces collapsed in the face of Ghaddafi’s onslaught, and have shown little sign of coalescing into a meaningful military force. While the loyalist eastward thrust was against a disorganized rebel force, Ghaddafi’s forces have demonstrated that they retain considerable strength and loyalty to the regime. That means that even with coalition airstrikes taking out armor and artillery, there will still be forces loyal to Ghaddafi inside any urban center the rebels might encounter in a westward advance, meaning that the rebels would be forced to fight a dedicated force dug in in built up areas while operating on extended lines, a difficult tactical and operational challenge for even a coherent and proficient military force. So the even though the coalition airstrikes have since shifted the military balance, the fundamental challenges for the rebels to organize and orchestrate a coherent military offensive remain unchanged.

It is important to note that little of the territory that fell into rebel control in the early days of the insurrection was not actually occupied through conquest. Many military and security forces in the east either deserted or defected to the opposition, which brought not only men and arms, but also the territory those troops ostensibly controlled. Most fighting that occurred once the situation transitioned into what is effectively a civil war, particularly in the main population centers along the coastal stretch between Benghazi and Sirte, consisted of relatively small, lightly armed formations conducting raids, rather than either side decisively defeating a major formation and pacifying a town.

Just as the executive team represents the TNC’s foreign affairs unit, the council also has a military division. This was originally headed by Omar El-Hariri, but the overall command of the Libyan rebels has since reportedly been passed to former interior minister Gen. Abdel Fattah Younis. Younis’ name arose early on as the man with whom the British government was engaging as it tried to get a grip on the situation unfolding in rebel-held territory. He was not included in the original TNC membership, however, despite several indications that he did in fact retain widespread support among eastern rebels. This, like the clash between Abdel-Jalil and Ghoga, was another indication of the rivalries that exist in eastern Libya, which paint a picture of disunity among the rebels.

Younis, however, now appears to have been officially incorporated into the command structure and is presiding over a TNC “army” that, like the TNC itself, is the sum of its parts. Every population center in eastern Libya has since the uprising began created respective militias, all of which are now, theoretically, to report to Benghazi. Indeed, the most notable of these local militias, created Feb. 28, has been known at times as the Benghazi Military Council, which is linked to the Benghazi city council, the members of which form much of the political core of the new national council. There are other known militias in eastern Libya, however, operating training camps in places like Ajdabiya, Al Bayda and Tobruk, and undoubtedly several other locations as well.

Younis has perhaps the most challenging job of all in eastern Libya: organizing a coherent fighting force that can mount an invasion of the west — something that will be difficult even after an extensive foreign bombing campaign. More defections by the military and security forces in the west, like the earlier defections in Zawiya and Misurata, would perhaps benefit the TNC even more than the bombing campaign under way. There is no sign that immanent defections from the west, however, which will only reinforce the military and geographic challenges the TNC is faced with.

Libyan society is by definition tribal and therefore prone to fractiousness. The Gadhafi era has done nothing to counter this historical legacy, as the Jamihiriya political system promoted local governance more than a truly national system of administration. Ironically, it was this legacy of Gadhafi’s regime that helped the individual eastern cities to rapidly establish local committees that took over administration of their respective areas, but it will create difficulties should they try to truly come together. Rhetoric is far different from tangible displays of unity.

Geography will also continue to be a challenge for the TNC. The Libyan opposition still does not have the basic military proficiencies or know-how to project and sustain an armored assault on Tripoli; if it tried, it would run a serious risk of being neutralized on arrival by prepared defenses. Even Gadhafi’s hometown of Sirte — almost certainly a necessary intermediate position to control on any drive to Tripoli — looks to be a logistical stretch for the opposition. An inflow of weapons may help but would not be the complete solution. Just as the primary factor in eastern Libya’s breaking free of the government’s control lay in a series of military defections, the occurrence of the same scenario in significant numbers in the west is what would give the newly created National Libyan Council its best chance of overthrowing Gadhafi.
Speaking of gratitude, here is an oldie but goodie-note date:

Kuwaiti official praises Hurricane Katrina as "Soldier of Allah"

Kuwaiti: 'The terrorist Katrina' is a soldier of Allah'

Special to World
Thursday, September 1, 2005
Muhammad Yousef Al-Mlaifi, director of the Kuwaiti Ministry of Endowment's
research center, published an article titled "The Terrorist Katrina is One
of the Soldiers of Allah, But Not an Adherent of Al-Qaeda."(1) the Aug. 31
edition of the Kuwaiti daily Al-Siyassa. Following are excerpts:


"...As I watched the horrible sights of this wondrous storm, I was reminded
of the Hadith of the Messenger of Allah [in the compilations] of Al-Bukhari
and Abu Daoud. The Hadith says: 'The wind is of the wind of Allah, it comes
from mercy or for the sake of torment. When you see it, do not curse it,
[but rather] ask Allah for the good that is in it, and ask Allah for shelter
from its evil.'

"When the satellite channels reported on the scope of the terrifying
destruction in America [caused by] this wind, I was reminded of the words of
[Prophet Muhammad]: 'The wind sends torment to one group of people, and
sends mercy to others.' I do not think — and only Allah [really] knows —
that this wind, which completely wiped out American cities in these days, is
a wind of mercy and blessing. It is almost certain that this is a wind of
torment and evil that Allah has sent to this American empire.

"But I began to ask myself: Doesn't this country [the U.S.] claim to aspire
to establish justice, freedom, and equality amongst the people? Isn't this
country claiming that everything it did in Afghanistan and Iraq was for
truth and justice? How can it be that these American claims are untrue, when
we see how good prevails in the streets of Afghanistan, and how it became an
oasis of security with America's entrance there? How can these American
claims in the matter of Iraq be untrue, when we see that Iraq has become the
most tranquil and secure country in the world?"

"But how strange it is that after all the tremendous American achievements
for the sake of humanity, these mighty winds come and evilly rip [America's]
cities to shreds? Have the storms joined the Al-Qaeda terrorist

"How sad I am for America. Here it is, poor thing, trying with all its might
to lower oil prices which have reached heights unprecedented in all history.
Along with America's phenomenal efforts to lower the price of oil in order
to salvage its declining economy and its currency — that is still falling
due to the 'smart' policy America is implementing in the world — comes this
storm, the fruit of Allah's planning, so that [the price of] a barrel of oil
will increase further still. By Allah, this is not schadenfreude.

"Oh honored gentlemen, I began to read about these winds, and I was
surprised to discover that the American websites that are translated [into
Arabic] are talking about the fact that that the storm Katrina is the fifth
equatorial storm to strike Florida this year... and that a large part of the
U.S. is subject every year to many storms that extract [a price of] dead,
and completely destroy property. I said, Allah be praised, until when will
these successive catastrophes strike them?

"But before I went to sleep, I opened the Koran and began to read in Surat
Al-R'ad ['The Thunder' chapter], and stopped at these words [of Allah]: 'The
disaster will keep striking the unbelievers for what they have done, or it
will strike areas close to their territory, until the promise of Allah comes
to pass, for, verily, Allah will not fail in His promise.' [Koran 13:31]."

Endnote: (1) Al-Siyassa (Kuwait), August 31, 2005.

Title: Not Jeffersonian
Post by: G M on March 20, 2011, 05:00:07 PM

For weeks as international pressure built against him, Muammar al-Gaddafi insisted again and again that the rebel forces that he was fighting in eastern Libya were linked to al-Qaeda. The mere fact that Gaddafi said it was seemingly enough for virtually all commentators to dismiss the claim out of hand. And in case doubts about the source were not enough, then we had the New York Times to send a reporter to Darnah, one of the eastern Libyan towns at the heart of the supposed Islamist uprising, and to assure us that there was nothing to see there, “move along.”

But the problem is that it is not only Muammar al-Gaddafi who has identified the coastal cities of Libya’s eastern Cyrenaica region as al-Qaeda strongholds. The analysts of the Combating Terrorism Center at the United States Military Academy at West Point have as well. The findings of the latter are based on the so-called Sinjar Records: captured personnel records identifying foreign combatants who joined al-Qaeda in Iraq between August 2006 and August 2007. (The full study is available online here. The relevance of the study to the current situation in Libya was first pointed out by Andrew Exum in a blog post  here.)

The West Point analysts’ statistical study of the al-Qaeda personnel records comes to the conclusion that one country provided “far more” foreign fighters in per capita terms than any other: namely, Libya. Furthermore, the records show that the “vast majority of Libyan fighters that included their hometown in the Sinjar Records resided in the country’s Northeast.”

The contributions of two cities in particular stand out. One of these has in the last month become a household name: Benghazi. The second is precisely Darnah: the city in which, according to Libyan government sources, an Islamic emirate was declared when the unrest started in February and that thereby earned a visit from the New York Times to prove that it was not so. Darnah lies to the east of Benghazi, behind the battle lines created by the furthest advance of Libyan government forces prior to the announcement of Thursday’s UN Security Council resolution.

While in Darnah, New York Times reporter Anthony Shadid even spoke with Abdul-Hakim al-Hasadi: the man who, according to Libyan government sources, had declared the Islamic emirate. Shadid found al-Hasadi “running Darnah’s defenses.” According to Shadid’s would-be reassuring account of their conversation, al-Hasadi “praises Osama bin Laden’s ‘good points,’ but denounces the 9/11 attacks on the United States.” (One must read backwards from the introduction of al-Hasadi’s name into Shadid’s narrative to realize that these quotes come from him.)

A report from Benghazi in the French daily Le Figaro identifies the same al-Hasadi as the “voice of Libya’s Islamists” and claims that a transitional government could only be formed with his approval. The New York Times — or the Obama administration — might remember that the Osama bin Laden whom al-Hasadi “praises” has declared war on America.

According to the West Point study of the Iraqi Sinjar Records, of the 440 foreign al-Qaeda recruits whose hometowns are known, 21 came from Benghazi. This makes Benghazi the fourth most common hometown listed in the records. Fifty-three of the al-Qaeda recruits came from Darnah. That is the highest total of any of the hometowns listed in the records. The second highest number, 51, came from Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. However, the population of Darnah (80,000) is less than 2% the population of Riyadh. This is to say that in per capita terms more the fifty times more foreign fighters joined al-Qaeda in Iraq from Darnah than from Riyadh. As the authors of the study put it, Darnah contributed “far and away the largest per capita number of fighters.”
Title: It may not be Cricket
Post by: G M on March 20, 2011, 07:39:15 PM
MI6 knows hardball.

British intelligence is warning Colonel Gaddafi’s generals that it could be fatal to remain loyal to the Libyan leader.

MI6 spies and military officials are contacting commanders in Tripoli trying to persuade them to defect, the Daily Mail can reveal.

Their message is blunt: ‘General, we’ve got the GPS co-ordinates of your command post. They are programmed into a Storm Shadow missile. What do you want to do?’

As Gaddafi vowed to wage a long war with the ‘crusader alliance’, British officials said the intelligence services had the telephone numbers of many key military officials in his regime.

A senior source said: ‘They will be doing their best to get in touch. This is a situation where success breeds success. Once you get air superiority it becomes suicidal for Libyan army commanders to want to move tanks or to use artillery.

‘That’s pressure. It worked in Iraq.’

Former Army chief Lord Dannatt said: ‘If I was a Libyan military commander I’d be thinking very closely about my loyalty.

‘What about loyalty to my country, my tribe? I think it’s those ground commanders’ loyalty we expect to see changing when they realise they have no hope against the international air forces.’

Read more:
Title: The Big Dither
Post by: G M on March 21, 2011, 08:39:11 AM

“If it were done when ’tis done, then ’twere well it were done quickly.” Macbeth’s famous line before he kills Duncan came to mind last week, when President Obama belatedly changed his mind about military intervention in Libya. Like Obama, Macbeth fervently hopes that “this blow might be the be-all and the end-all”:

But in these cases … we but teach
Bloody instructions, which, being taught, return
To plague the inventor: this even-handed justice
Commends the ingredients of our poison’d chalice
To our own lips.

The president has been more Hamlet than Macbeth since the beginning of the revolutionary crisis that has swept the desert lands of North Africa and the Middle East. To act or not to act? That has been the question. The results of his indecision have been unhappy. Hosni Mubarak, for so long an American ally, has been overthrown in Egypt. Muammar Gaddafi, the erstwhile sponsor of terrorism so foolishly rehabilitated by the West just four years ago, has—until now—lived to fight another day in Libya. Meanwhile, in Bahrain, another insurrection is being quelled with the help of Saudi Arabia—an American ally even more important than Libya.
Alex Majoli / Magnum for Newsweek

Photos: Libyan Conflict
Libya at War: Clashes from Benghazi to Ras Lanuf

Obama, a novice in foreign affairs, is a president without a strategy. Once a critic of American military intervention in the Middle East, once a skeptic about the chances of democratizing the region, he now finds himself with a poisoned chalice in each hand. In one there are the dregs of the last administration’s interventions: military commitments in Iraq and Afghanistan that he is eager to wind down. In the other is a freshly poured draft of his own making.

Make no mistake. Whatever the wording of the United Nations Security Council resolution, the United States is now at war with the Libyan government, and the aim of this war is the overthrow of Gaddafi. In the words of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton: “If you don’t get him out and if you don’t support the opposition and he stays in power, there’s no telling what he will do.” She doubtless remembers more clearly than Obama what happened in Bosnia, when her husband took years to approve effective military intervention. Had she been president, my guess is we’d have taken swifter action. But in this play, she’s Lady Macbeth, urging Obama to get tough.

This was the right thing to do. Was. But it should have been done weeks ago, when it first became clear that Gaddafi, unlike Mubarak, was able and willing to unleash military force against his opponents. Now, with loyalist forces approaching the rebel stronghold of Benghazi, it may well be too late. It certainly seems unlikely that an exclusively aerial intervention in Libya’s civil war can topple the mad dog of Tripoli. And even if it’s still possible to tip the balance in favor of the rebels, then what? When the news of the no-fly zone reached Benghazi last week, it was relayed from mosque loudspeakers, and the crowds responded with cries of “Allahu akbar!” not “God bless America!” Significantly, the rebel spokesman quoted by The New York Times was an imam.
Title: POTH op-ed: A very liberal intervention
Post by: Crafty_Dog on March 21, 2011, 09:55:23 AM

A Very Liberal Intervention
Published: March 20, 2011
In its month-long crab walk toward a military confrontation with Libya’s Muammar el-Qaddafi, the Obama administration has delivered a clinic in the liberal way of war.

Just a week ago, as the tide began to turn against the anti-Qaddafi rebellion, President Obama seemed determined to keep the United States out of Libya’s civil strife. But it turns out the president was willing to commit America to intervention all along. He just wanted to make sure we were doing it in the most multilateral, least cowboyish fashion imaginable.

That much his administration has achieved. In its opening phase, at least, our war in Libya looks like the beau ideal of a liberal internationalist intervention. It was blessed by the United Nations Security Council. It was endorsed by the Arab League. It was pushed by the diplomats at Hillary Clinton’s State Department, rather than the military men at Robert Gates’s Pentagon. Its humanitarian purpose is much clearer than its connection to American national security. And it was initiated not by the U.S. Marines or the Air Force, but by the fighter jets of the French Republic.

This is an intervention straight from Bill Clinton’s 1990s playbook, in other words, and a stark departure from the Bush administration’s more unilateralist methods. There are no “coalitions of the willing” here, no dismissive references to “Old Europe,” no “you are with us or you are with the terrorists.” Instead, the Obama White House has shown exquisite deference to the very international institutions and foreign governments that the Bush administration either steamrolled or ignored.

This way of war has obvious advantages. It spreads the burden of military action, sustains rather than weakens our alliances, and takes the edge off the world’s instinctive anti-Americanism. Best of all, it encourages the European powers to shoulder their share of responsibility for maintaining global order, instead of just carping at the United States from the sidelines.

But there are major problems with this approach to war as well. Because liberal wars depend on constant consensus-building within the (so-called) international community, they tend to be fought by committee, at a glacial pace, and with a caution that shades into tactical incompetence. And because their connection to the national interest is often tangential at best, they’re often fought with one hand behind our back and an eye on the exits, rather than with the full commitment that victory can require.

These problems dogged American foreign policy throughout the 1990s, the previous high tide of liberal interventionism. In Somalia, the public soured on our humanitarian mission as soon as it became clear that we would be taking casualties as well as dispensing relief supplies. In the former Yugoslavia, NATO imposed a no-flight zone in 1993, but it took two years of hapless peacekeeping and diplomatic wrangling, during which the war proceeded unabated, before American air strikes finally paved the way for a negotiated peace.

Our 1999 intervention in Kosovo offers an even starker cautionary tale. The NATO bombing campaign helped topple Slobodan Milosevic and midwifed an independent Kosovo. But by raising the stakes for both Milosevic and his Kosovo Liberation Army foes, the West’s intervention probably inspired more bloodletting and ethnic cleansing in the short term, exacerbating the very humanitarian crisis it was intended to forestall.

The same kind of difficulties are already bedeviling our Libyan war. Our coalition’s aims are uncertain: President Obama is rhetorically committed to the idea that Qaddafi needs to go, but Adm. Mike Mullen, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, allowed on Sunday that the dictator might ultimately remain in power. Our means are constrained: the U.N. resolution we’re enforcing explicitly rules out ground forces, and President Obama has repeatedly done so as well. And some of our supposed partners don’t seem to have the stomach for a fight: It took about 24 hours for Amr Moussa, recent leader of the Arab League, to suggest that the organization’s endorsement of a no-flight zone didn’t cover bombing missions.

And the time it took to build a multilateral coalition enabled Qaddafi to consolidate his position on the ground, to the point where any cease-fire would leave him in control of most of the country. Hence Admiral Mullen’s admission that our efforts could end in a stalemate, leaving the Libyan dictator entrenched.

The ultimate hope of liberal warfare is to fight as virtuously as possible, and with the minimum of risk. But war and moralism are uneasy bedfellows, and “low risk” conflicts often turn out to be anything but. By committing America to the perils of yet another military intervention, Barack Obama has staked an awful lot on the hope that our Libyan adventure will prove an exception to this rule. 
Title: Re: Libya and other Arab countries
Post by: G M on March 21, 2011, 10:05:09 AM
So if there is a uprising in Iran, we going to provide "missiles of peace"/NFZ as well?
Title: Al Qaida commander backs Libyan rebels in message
Post by: G M on March 23, 2011, 09:01:08 AM

Al Qaida commander backs Libyan rebels in message
03/13/2011 22:54

Abu Yahya al-Libi urges anti-Gaddafi forces not to retreat; reports of mutiny among Gaddafi forces slowing attack on rebel-held Misrata.
Talkbacks (4)
A senior member of al Qaida urged Libyan rebels to continue their fight against Muammar Gaddafi and warned of the consequences of defeat, in a videotaped message posted on Jihadi websites, the Qatar-based Gulf News reported on Sunday.

The message from Libya native, Abu Yahya al-Libi, marked the first time a top ranked al Qaida commander had commented on the uprising in Libya. Gaddafi has repeatedly blamed al Qaida for inciting the unrest against him.

“The Libyan people have suffered at the hands of Gaddafi for more than 40 years ... He used the Libyans as a testing ground for his violent, rambling and disgusting thoughts,” Abu Yahya stated.

He warned that "Retreating will mean decades of harsher oppression and greater injustices than what you have endured.”

Abu Yahya also accused the West, and the US in particular, of having supported oppresive Arab regimes at the expense of the people.

The taped message could not be independently authenticated, according to the Gulf Times report.
Title: George Will
Post by: Crafty_Dog on March 23, 2011, 09:16:53 AM
As a good American I wish us and the people of Libya success--even if Baraq gets credit-- but there is much to worry about here.

Blithely off to war


NY Post

Posted: 11:10 PM, March 21, 2011

The missile strikes that inaugurated America's latest attempt at regime change were launched 29 days before the 50th anniversary of another such -- the Bay of Pigs of April 17, 1961. Then, the hubris of US planners was proportional to their ignorance of everything relevant, from Cuban sentiment to Cuba's geography. The fiasco was a singularly feckless investment of US power.

Does practice make perfect? In today's episode, America has intervened in a civil war in a tribal society, the dynamics of which America does not understand. And America is supporting one faction, the nature of which it does not know.

"We are standing with the people of Libya," says Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, evidently confident that "the" people are a harmonious unit. Many in the media call Moammar Khadafy's foes "freedom fighters," and perhaps they are -- but no one calling them that really knows how the insurgents regard one another, or understand freedom, or if freedom (however understood) is their priority.

But, then, knowing is rarely required in the regime-change business. The Weekly Standard, a magazine for regime-change enthusiasts, serenely says: "The Libyan state is a one-man operation. Eliminate that man and the whole edifice may come tumbling down." Then good things must sprout?

In Libya, mission creep began before the mission did. A no-fly zone wouldn't accomplish what President Obama calls "a well-defined goal," the "protection of civilians." So the no-fly zone immediately became protection for aircraft conducting combat operations against Khadafy's ground forces.

America's war aim is inseparable from -- indeed, obviously is -- destruction of that regime. So our purpose is to create a political vacuum, into which we hope -- this is the "audacity of hope" as foreign policy -- good things will spontaneously flow.

But if Khadafy can't be beaten by the rebels, are we prepared to supply their military deficiencies? If the decapitation of his regime produces what the removal of Saddam Hussein did -- bloody chaos -- what then are our responsibilities regarding the tribal vendettas we may have unleashed? How long are we prepared to police the partitioning of Libya?

Explaining his decision to wage war, Obama said Khadafy has "lost the confidence of his own people and the legitimacy to lead." Such boilerplate seems designed to anesthetize thought. When did Khadafy lose his people's confidence? When did he have legitimacy?

American doctrine is that governments derive their just powers from the consent of the governed. So there are always many illegitimate governments. When is it America's duty to scrub away these blemishes on the planet? Is there a limiting principle of humanitarian interventionism? If so, would Obama take a stab at stating it?

Congress' power to declare war resembles a muscle that has atrophied from long abstention from proper exercise. This power was last exercised on June 5, 1942 (against Bulgaria, Romania and Hungary), almost 69 years, and many wars, ago.

It thus may seem quaint, and certainly is quixotic, for Indiana's Richard Lugar -- ranking Republican on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee -- to say, correctly, that Congress should debate and vote on this.

There are those who think that if the United Nations gives the United States permission to wage war, the Constitution becomes irrelevant. Let us find out who in Congress supports this proposition, which should be resoundingly refuted, particularly by Republicans insisting that government, and especially the executive, should be on a short constitutional leash. If all GOP presidential aspirants are supine in the face of unfettered presidential war-making and humanitarian interventionism, the GOP field is radically insufficient.

On Dec. 29, 1962, in Miami's Orange Bowl, President John Kennedy, who ordered the Bay of Pigs invasion, addressed a rally of survivors and supporters of that exercise in regime change. Presented with the invasion brigade's flag, Kennedy vowed, "I can assure you that this flag will be returned to this brigade in a free Havana."

Eleven months later, on Nov. 2, 1963, his administration was complicit in another attempt at violent regime change -- the coup against, and murder of, South Vietnam's President Ngo Dinh Diem. The Saigon regime was changed, so perhaps this episode counts as a success, even if Saigon is now Ho Chi Minh City.

Title: What next?
Post by: Crafty_Dog on March 23, 2011, 10:18:51 AM
What is Next in Libya?

As the air campaign over Libya enters its third night, command of military operations will soon transfer from the United States to either the Europeans or NATO. By most accounts, the opening gambit of the air campaign went well and was effective in achieving initial objectives — destroying or suppressing air defenses and destroying what remained of Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi’s air force. The loyalist drive toward Benghazi appears to have been halted, and the rebels have made tentative movements toward Ajdabiyah. There were no reports of combat losses; also, the coalition has not acknowledged responsibility for any civilian casualties.

“Control of the skies over Libya can help defend Benghazi from loyalist formations of armor but it does not provide control of the streets in Tripoli.”
This is not a surprise. The coalition air campaign, with ready, uncontested access to regional air bases, has become a hallmark of U.S. and NATO military operations. Though complex, it is a discipline of warfare that has been carefully refined, and there was little doubt that within days, the coalition would get to this point. The issue was never the ability to apply airpower to Libya. The problem of Libya is twofold. The first is what the coalition seeks to achieve and what forces it is willing to dedicate to that end, a subject about which there has been glaring contradiction from the United States, the United Kingdom and France. The second is the the applicability of airpower to that problem, however it is ultimately defined.

Airpower alone cannot force Gadhafi from power unless his position can be pinpointed and he can thereby be killed. Even if Gadhafi is killed, forces loyal to him cannot be removed from built-up urban areas without the risk of massive civilian casualties. At its core, Gadhafi’s forces are not tanks or artillery pieces — and certainly were not combat aircraft before they were destroyed. Gadhafi’s forces remain a ruthless internal security force loyal to the regime and oriented toward the management of internal dissent. At its heart, this is a light infantry force.

Dismounted forces in an urban area are difficult to target by fast moving aircraft even when forward air controllers are on the ground and are able to talk to and guide aircraft. Doing so still entails a significant risk of civilian casualties and in any event, aircraft are not the ideal tool for that job unless the entire area can be declared hostile.

So, the coalition is rapidly running up against a fundamental incompatibility with the air campaign. The objective is to prevent civilian casualties. Even setting aside the fact that airpower is not a precise tool and that its continued application will in all likelihood entail civilian casualties, the problem is that the danger to civilian lives is ground forces loyal to Gadhafi. While some of those forces were caught in the open in readily identifiable armor, others will continue to move in civilian vehicles and perhaps not even wear uniforms. For example, with troops on the ground in Afghanistan, Western military forces struggle to distinguish between and protect local populations from Taliban intimidation. It is not possible to do this from the air.

The question was never one of establishing air superiority over Libyan skies. The question remains what the coalition will do with that air superiority to further its objective. Control of the skies over Libya can help defend Benghazi from loyalist formations of armor, but it does not provide control of the streets in Tripoli. With or without Gadhafi, the country remains fractious and divided. The coalition has stepped into the fray in support of a loosely affiliated opposition that has thus far failed to coalesce into a meaningful military force capable of challenging Gadhafi. The removal of Gadhafi ‘s air force and the reduction in his ability to move conventional military vehicles do not fundamentally alter the underlying tactical equation: Loyalist forces have proved dedicated and capable; the opposition’s forces have not.

It is at this point in the air campaign that the question of “what is next” begins to become much less abstract and much more real.

Title: WSJ: An AF General's analysis
Post by: Crafty_Dog on March 24, 2011, 05:21:43 AM
The military operations against the Gadhafi regime in Libya appear to be going well. But going where? To succeed, military leaders need clearly defined goals that can be achieved by the use of force. You need to know what you are tasked to accomplish, and then you can evaluate pertinent factors such as friendly and enemy capabilities, terrain and weather to define a strategy.

In 1990-91, coalition forces confronting Iraq had two objectives: to protect the Gulf Cooperation Council nations from Iraqi attacks, and to liberate occupied Kuwait. Some argue that these objectives were too narrow to do such things as topple Saddam's regime or bring representative government to Iraq, both desirable goals from a coalition standpoint. Regardless, we knew we could achieve the goals set forth by our political leadership with military force, and we went on to prove it during Operation Desert Storm.

The air strikes in Libya are aimed at the objective of "protecting civilians," but the U.S. has not defined whether the rebel forces are civilian, military or both. If they go on the offensive, do they deserve our protection (and inherent support)? Furthermore, our political leaders have stated that "Gadhafi must go," but they altered their pronouncements upon recognizing that ousting Gadhafi might not be achievable under the use-of-force rules set by the United Nations Security Council resolution.

Other unstated coalition goals likely relate to the fact that it is in the national interests of Britain and France to have continued access to Libyan oil. Disruption of the status quo in the Arab world may also work for or against the interests of Israel. So one's view of the desired outcome in Libya can hinge on factors independent of the best interests of the Libyan rebels. Failure to precisely define the objectives of military operations can lead to confusion regarding the best ways and means to achieve them.

Fortunately, because of the relative strength of the competing militaries, it may be possible to live with the current lack of focused political leadership.

The forces supporting Gadhafi are vulnerable to coalition air operations due to their weaknesses, the terrain and the weather. This was evident from the ease with which the coalition seized control of the air. While the coalition leaders announced that they will not provide air support to rebel ground forces, they have already done so during very effective operations at Ajdabiya. Finally, the command of air operations is coordinated but diffused, a situation that could not be tolerated if confronted by a more capable opponent.

U.N., NATO, European, Arab League and U.S. leaders may yet come to agreement on the objectives of our military operations in Libya. They are likely to include the need to protect civilians, replace the Gadhafi regime, and be willing to accept the uncertain end state that will come about.

In Afghanistan, we demonstrated that an inferior indigenous ground force can prevail if supported by modern air power. In Kosovo, we saw an undefeated Serbian army depart because of effective air power alone.

Air power in support of rebel ground forces can defeat Gadhafi's fielded forces. This will require putting tactical air-control parties on the ground to advise the rebel forces and control air strikes. This will also result in civilian casualties, an unfortunate side effect of any armed conflict. It may also result in an end state that we may come to regret. At a minimum, failure to define the operational objectives could result in the protracted conflict Gadhafi promised.

But the shooting has started, and now we must seek a strategy to end it. The Libyan army relies more on artillery and armor than on air power. The "no-fly zone" concept of operations deceptively promised to end civilian suffering but did not provide the range of options needed for coalition forces to do it. Apparently, the rebel forces are not capable of defeating the forces loyal to Gadhafi in the absence of overwhelming air support. It may not be sporting to take out tanks with precision munitions dropped from a stealth bomber above 25,000 feet, but it is effective.

Failure to fully unleash air power will allow Gadhafi to play for time, exploit tribal loyalties, and otherwise frustrate the coalition's attempts to protect Libyan civilians. The actions to date against Gadhafi have failed to bring about the desired end state. The start of this war was characterized by half-measures, ill-defined thinking, and conflicting political objectives. Now, to end it, we need to build on our remaining strengths.

Gen. Horner (Air Force, ret.) commanded coalition air forces during Desert Shield and Desert Storm and flew F-16 sorties in the southern no-fly zone over Iraq.

Title: Stratfor: Kadaffy's terrorism options
Post by: Crafty_Dog on March 24, 2011, 08:49:42 AM
Libya's Terrorism Option
March 23, 2011

By Scott Stewart

On March 19, military forces from the United States, France and Great Britain began to enforce U.N. Security Council Resolution 1973, which called for the establishment of a no-fly zone over Libya and authorized the countries involved in enforcing the zone to “take all necessary measures” to protect civilians and “civilian-populated areas under threat of attack.” Obviously, such military operations cannot be imposed against the will of a hostile nation without first removing the country’s ability to interfere with the no-fly zone — and removing this ability to resist requires strikes against military command-and-control centers, surface-to-air missile installations and military airfields. This means that the no-fly zone not only was a defensive measure to protect the rebels — it also required an attack upon the government of Libya.

Certainly, Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi has no doubt that the U.S. and European military operations against the Libyan military targets are attacks against his regime. He has specifically warned France and the United Kingdom that they would come to regret the intervention. Now, such threats could be construed to mean that should Gadhafi survive, he will seek to cut off the countries’ access to Libyan energy resources in the future. However, given Libya’s past use of terrorist strikes to lash out when attacked by Western powers, Gadhafi’s threats certainly raise the possibility that, desperate and hurting, he will once again return to terrorism as a means to seek retribution for the attacks against his regime. While threats of sanctions and retaliation have tempered Gadhafi’s use of terrorism in recent years, his fear may evaporate if he comes to believe he has nothing to lose.

History of Libyan Reactions

Throughout the early 1980s, the U.S. Navy contested Libya’s claim to the Gulf of Sidra and said the gulf was international water. This resulted in several minor skirmishes, such as the incident in August 1981 when U.S. Navy fighters downed two Libyan aircraft. Perhaps the most costly of these skirmishes for Libya occurred in March 1986, when a U.S. task force sank two Libyan ships and attacked a number of Libyan surface-to-air missile sites that had launched missiles at U.S. warplanes.

The Libyans were enraged by the 1986 incident, but as the incident highlighted, they lacked the means to respond militarily due to the overwhelming superiority of U.S. forces. This prompted the Libyans to employ other means to seek revenge. Gadhafi had long seen himself as the successor to Gamal Abdel Nasser as the leader of Arab nationalism and sought to assert himself in a number of ways. Lacking the population and military of Egypt, or the finances of Saudi Arabia, he began to use terrorism and the support of terrorist groups as a way to undermine his rivals for power in the Arab world. Later, when he had been soundly rejected by the Arab world, he began to turn his attention to Africa, where he employed these same tools. They could also be used against what Gadhafi viewed as imperial powers.

On April 2, 1986, a bomb tore a hole in the side of TWA Flight 840 as it was flying from Rome to Athens. The explosion killed four American passengers and injured several others. The attack was claimed by the Arab Revolutionary Cells but is believed to have been carried out by the Abu Nidal Organization (ANO), one of the Marxist terrorist groups heavily sponsored by Libya.

On the evening of April 5, 1986, a bomb detonated in the La Belle disco in Berlin. Two U.S. soldiers and one civilian were killed in the blast and some 200 others were injured. Communications between Tripoli and the Libyan People’s Bureau (its embassy) in East Berlin were intercepted by the United States, which, armed with this smoking gun tying Libya to the La Belle attack, launched a retaliatory attack on Libya the night of April 15, 1986, that included a strike against Gadhafi’s residential compound and military headquarters at Bab Al Azizia, south of Tripoli. The strike narrowly missed killing Gadhafi, who had been warned of the impending attack. The warning was reportedly provided by either a Maltese or Italian politician, depending on which version of the story one hears.

The Libyan government later claimed that the attack killed Gadhafi’s young daughter, but this was pure propaganda. It did, however, anger and humiliate Gadhafi, though he lacked the ability to respond militarily. In the wake of the attack on his compound, Gadhafi feared additional reprisals and began to exercise his terrorist hand far more carefully and in a manner to provide at least some degree of deniability. One way he did this was by using proxy groups to conduct his strikes, such as the ANO and the Japanese Red Army (JRA). It did not take Gadhafi’s forces long to respond. On the very night of the April 15 U.S. attack, U.S. Embassy communications officer William Calkins was shot and critically wounded in Khartoum, Sudan, by a Libyan revolutionary surrogates in Sudan. On April 25, Arthur Pollock, a communicator at the U.S. Embassy in Sanaa, was also shot and seriously wounded by an ANO gunman.

In May 1986, the JRA attacked the U.S. Embassy in Jakarta, Indonesia, with an improvised mortar that caused little damage, and the JRA conducted similar ineffective attacks against the U.S. Embassy in Madrid in February and April of 1987. In June 1987, JRA operatives attacked the U.S. Embassy in Rome using vehicle-borne improvised explosive device and an improvised mortar. In April 1988, the group attacked the USO club in Naples. JRA bombmaker Yu Kikumura was arrested on the New Jersey Turnpike in April 1988 while en route to New York City to conduct a bombing attack there. The use of ANO and JRA surrogates provided Gadhafi with some plausible deniability for these attacks, but there is little doubt that he was behind them. Then on Dec. 21, 1988, Libyan agents operating in Malta succeeded in placing a bomb aboard Pan Am Flight 103, which was destroyed in the air over Scotland. All 259 passengers and crew members aboard that flight died, as did 11 residents of Lockerbie, Scotland, the town where the remnants of the Boeing 747 jumbo jet fell. Had the jet exploded over the North Atlantic as intended instead of over Scotland, the evidence that implicated Libya in the attack most likely never would have been found.

But the United States has not been the only target of Libyan terrorism. While the Libyans were busy claiming the Gulf of Sidra during the 1980s, they were also quite involved in propagating a number of coups and civil wars in Africa. One civil war in which they became quite involved was in neighboring Chad. During their military intervention there, the Libyans suffered heavy losses and eventually defeat due to French intervention on the side of the Chadian government. Not having the military might to respond to France militarily, Gadhafi once again chose the veiled terrorist hand. On Sept. 19, 1989, UTA Flight 772 exploded shortly after taking off from N’Djamena, Chad, en route to Paris. All 156 passengers and 14 crew members were killed by the explosion. The French government investigation into the crash found that the aircraft went down as a result of a bombing and that the bomb had been placed aboard the aircraft in Brazzaville, the Republic of the Congo, by Congolese rebels working with the Libyan People’s Bureau there. Six Libyans were tried in absentia and convicted for their part in the attack.

The Current Situation

Today Libya finds itself once again being attacked by an opponent with an overwhelmingly powerful military that Gadhafi’s forces cannot stand up to. While Gadhafi did take responsibility for some of Libya’s past terrorist attacks and publicly renounced terrorism in 2003, this step was a purely pragmatic move on his part. It was not the result of some ideological epiphany that suddenly caused Gadhafi to become a kinder and gentler guy. From the late 1980s to the renunciation of terrorism in 2003, Gadhafi retained the capability to continue using terrorism as a foreign policy tool but simply chose not to. And this capability remains in his tool box.

Unlike his views of past crises, Gadhafi sees the current attacks against him as being far more dangerous to the survival of his regime than the Gulf of Sidra skirmishes or the French military operations in Chad. Gadhafi has always been quite cold and calculating. He has not hesitated to use violence against those who have affronted him, even his own people. Now he is cornered and fearful for his very survival. Because of this, there is a very real possibility that the Libyans will employ terrorism against the members of the coalition now implementing and enforcing the no-fly zone.

Gadhafi has a long history of using diplomatic staff, which the Libyans refer to as “revolutionary committees,” to conduct all sorts of skullduggery, from planning terrorist attacks to fomenting coups. Indeed, these diplomats have often served as agents for spreading Gadhafi’s revolutionary principles elsewhere. Because of this history, coalition members will almost certainly be  carefully monitoring the activities of Libyan diplomats within their countries — and elsewhere.

As illustrated by most of the above-mentioned terrorist attacks launched or commissioned by the Libyans, they have frequently conducted attacks against their targeted country in a third country. This process of monitoring Libyan diplomats will be greatly aided by the defection of a large number of diplomats in a variety of countries who undoubtedly have been thoroughly debriefed by security agencies looking for any hints that Gadhafi is looking to resume his practice of terrorism. These defectors will also prove helpful in identifying intelligence officers still loyal to Gadhafi and perhaps even in locating Libyan intelligence officers working under non-official cover.

But diplomats are not the only source Gadhafi can tap for assistance. As noted above, Gadhafi has a long history of using proxies to conduct terrorist attacks. Using a proxy provides Gadhafi with the plausible deniability he requires to continue to spin his story to the world that he is an innocent victim of senseless aggression. Perhaps more important, hiding his hand can also help prevent reprisal attacks. While most of the 1980s-era Marxist proxy groups the Libyans worked with are defunct, Gadhafi does have other options.

One option is to reach out to regional jihadist groups such as al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), while another is to cultivate already improving relationships with jihadists groups in Libya such as the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG). Indeed, Gadhafi has released hundreds of LFIG members from prison, a process that continued even after the unrest began in February. It is doubtful that the LIFG really feels any affinity for Gadhafi — the group launched an insurgency against his regime in the mid-1990s and actually tried to assassinate him — but it could be used to funnel funds and weapons to regional groups like AQIM. Such groups certainly have no love for the French, Americans or British and might be willing to conduct attacks against their interests in exchange for weapons and funding from Libya. AQIM is desperate for resources and has been involved in kidnapping for ransom and drug smuggling to raise funds to continue its struggle. This need might help it overcome its disdain for Gadhafi.

In the long run groups like AQIM and LIFG certainly would pose a threat to Gadhafi, but facing the very real existential threat from the overwhelming military force now being arrayed against him, Gadhafi may view the jihadist threat as far less pressing and severe.

Other potential agents for Libyan terrorist attacks are the various African rebel and revolutionary groups Gadhafi has maintained contact with and even supported over the years. Many of the mercenaries that have reportedly fought on the side of the Libyan loyalist forces have come from such groups. It is not out of the realm of possibility that Gadhafi could call upon such allies to attack French, British, Italian or American interests in his allies’ respective countries. Such actors would have ready access to weapons (likely furnished by Libya to begin with), and the capabilities of host-country security services are quite limited in many African states. This would make them ideal places to conduct terrorist attacks. However, due to the limited capabilities exhibited by such groups, they would likely require direct Libyan oversight and guidance (the kind of direct Libyan guidance for African rebels demonstrated in the UTA Flight 772 bombing) if they were to conduct attacks against hardened targets in Africa such as foreign embassies.

Also, as seen in the wake of al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula’s Christmas Day bomb plot in 2009, which originated in Ghana, passenger and cargo screening at African airports is not as stringent as it is elsewhere. When combined with Libya’s history of attacking aircraft, and placing bombs aboard foreign aircraft in third countries, the possibility of such an attack must surely be of grave concern for Western security officials.

Terrorism, however, has its limitations, as shown by Gadhafi’s activities in the 1980s. While the Libyans were able to launch several successful terrorist strikes, kill hundreds of people and traumatize many more through terror multipliers like the media, they were not able to cause any sort of lasting impact on the foreign policies of the United States or France. The attacks only served to harden the resolve of those countries to impose their will on Gadhafi, and he eventually capitulated and renounced terrorism. Those Libyan-sponsored attacks in the 1980s are also an important factor governing the way the world views Gadhafi — and today they may be playing a large part in the decision made by countries like France that Gadhafi must go. Of course, it is also this attitude — that Gadhafi must be forced out — that could lead him to believe he has nothing to lose by playing the terrorism card once again.

Title: Re: Libya and
Post by: ccp on March 24, 2011, 05:38:23 PM
"What Next?"

We simply send our young men and women to remove all the despots of the Middle East.  Then Asia, Then Africa.

Sound absurd?  It would have some years ago. 

Not now.

Throughout history countries with our power would have taken over the conquered.

Now we risk our blood and treasure to free everyone else?

I don't get it.  Have those calling for us to get involved in Libya lost their minds? 

Why we are f?)&*^%g broke!   Get out in front of what I ask Gates who lectured that comment to Israel?  Getting out of every one of these messes jump in the middle and spend the next multiple generations building their countries?

I am finding myself agreeing with Pat Buchanan more and more.
Title: The enemy of my enemy....
Post by: G M on March 25, 2011, 07:39:01 AM
Can be my enemy too.

Rebel Commander in Libya Fought Against U.S. in Afghanistan
On his own admission, rebel leader Abdul-Hakim al-Hasadi fought American troops in Afghanistan and recruited Libyans to fight American troops in Iraq.
March 25, 2011 - by John Rosenthal   

Shortly after unrest broke out in eastern Libya in mid-February, reports emerged that an “Islamic Emirate” had been declared in the eastern Libyan town of Darnah and that, furthermore, the alleged head of that Emirate, Abdul-Hakim al-Hasadi, was a former detainee at the American prison camp in Guantánamo. The reports, which originated from Libyan government sources, were largely ignored or dismissed in the Western media.

Now, however, al-Hasadi has admitted in an interview with the Italian newspaper Il Sole 24 Ore that he fought against American forces in Afghanistan. (Hat-tip: Thomas Joscelyn at the Weekly Standard.) Al-Hasadi says that he is the person responsible for the defense of Darnah — not the town’s “Emir.” In a previous interview with Canada’s Globe and Mail, he claimed to have a force of about 1,000 men and to have commanded rebel units in battles around the town of Bin Jawad.

“I have never been at Guantánamo,” al-Hasadi explained to Il Sole 24 Ore. “I was captured in 2002 in Peshawar in Pakistan, while I was returning from Afghanistan where I fought against the foreign invasion. I was turned over to the Americans, detained for a few months in Islamabad, then turned over to Libya and released from prison in 2008.”

Al-Hasadi’s account is largely confirmed by investigations conducted by Praveen Swami, the diplomatic editor of the British daily The Telegraph. Swami originally wrote about al-Hasadi’s background in the Afghan jihad in a March 21 column. In response to a query from the present author, Swami was able to obtain confirmation of al-Hasadi’s arrest and transfer to Libya from what he describes as a “senior source” in the Afghan government.

According to a separate UK intelligence source contacted by Swami, al-Hasadi was released by the Libyan government as part of a deal that was struck with the al-Qaeda-affiliated Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIGF). The LIGF has long opposed the rule of Muammar al-Gaddafi in Libya.

On February 25, al-Hasadi had issued an ambiguous statement claiming that he had been a “political prisoner” and accusing the “Dictator Gaddafi” of spreading “lies.” Al-Jazeera provides an English translation of the statement here. (Scroll down to “12:46pm”.) A video of al-Hasadi reading his statement is available here.

In his more recent remarks to Il Sole 24 Ore, al-Hasadi admits not only to fighting against U.S. troops in Afghanistan, but also to recruiting Libyans to fight against American forces in Iraq. As noted in my earlier PJM report here, captured al-Qaeda personnel records show that al-Hasadi’s hometown of Darnah sent more foreign fighters to fight with al-Qaeda in Iraq than any other foreign city or town and “far and away the largest per capita number of fighters.” Al-Hasadi told Il Sole 24 Ore that he personally recruited “around 25” Libyans to fight in Iraq. “Some have come back and today are on the front at Ajdabiya,” al-Hasadi explained, “They are patriots and good Muslims, not terrorists.” “The members of al-Qaeda are also good Muslims and are fighting against the invader,” al-Hasadi added.

The revelations about al-Hasadi’s involvement in the anti-American jihad are particularly troubling in light of clear evidence that Western forces are coordinating their attacks on Libyan government targets with rebel forces.

Title: Sen. Kerry: The Case for
Post by: Crafty_Dog on March 26, 2011, 07:58:41 AM

The seas of people who thronged Cairo's Tahrir Square are gone now. But walking across its now-celebrated ground this week, I couldn't help but remember the inspiring scenes of Egyptians from all walks of life peacefully demanding freedom and dignity. The world watched in awe as the protesters and their young leaders changed the direction of a country and, together with Tunisians, perhaps the whole Arab world.

On Monday I shook hands with young Egyptians and listened to them speak of their hopes for their country. At a town-hall meeting I could sense some questioning whether the United States would really be there when it counted. I was proud that our answer came this week in Libya.

Everything I believe about the proper use of American force and the ability of the community of nations to speak with one voice was reaffirmed when the world refused to stand by and accept a bloody final chapter of the uprisings sweeping across North Africa and the Middle East. With a mandate from the Arab League and the Gulf states, the United Nations Security Council approved a limited military intervention to avoid a massacre. Multilateralism may be messy, but it's powerful when diplomacy pays off.

Make no mistake, neither the U.N. nor any nation should be drawn into military intervention lightly. But there were legitimate reasons for establishing a no-fly zone over Libya and forcing Gadhafi to keep his most potent weapons out of the fight. If you slice through the fog of misinformation and weigh the risks and benefits alongside our values and interests, the justification is clear and compelling.

What is happening in the Middle East could be the most important geostrategic shift since the fall of the Berlin Wall. Absent U.N./NATO resolve, the promise that the pro-democracy movement holds for transforming the Arab world could have been crushed.

Other dictators would have seen the world's failure to challenge Gadhafi as a license to act with impunity against their own people. The vast majority of the protesters in these countries are crying out for the opportunity to live a decent life, get a real job, and provide for a family. Abandoning them would have betrayed not only the people seeking democratic freedoms but the core values of the U.S. and other democratic nations. It would have reinforced the all-too-common misperception on the Arab street that America says one thing and does another.

View Full Image

AFP/Getty Images
A Libyan man takes part in a march in Benghazi to show support for the no-fly zone, March 23.
.We are already spending billions of dollars to fight increasing extremism in many parts of the world. We didn't choose this fight; it was forced on us, starting with 9/11. To fail to see the opportunity of affirming the courageous demand of millions of disenfranchised young people for jobs, respect and democracy would be ignorant, irresponsible and short-sighted. It would ignore our real national security interests and help extend the narrative of resentment toward the U.S. and much of the West that is rooted in colonialism and furthered by our own invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan.

Remember, the pleas for help came not just from the Libyan rebels, but from the Arab League and the Gulf states. Silently accepting the deaths of Muslims, even at the hand of their own leader, could have set back relations for decades. Instead, by responding and giving the popular uprising a chance to take power, the U.S. and our allies sent a message of solidarity with the aspirations of people everywhere that will be remembered for generations. Rather than be forced to debate "who lost Libya?" the free world is poised to say "remember Tripoli" every time demagogues question our motives.

The particular nature of the mad man who was vowing to "show no mercy" to the "dogs" who dared challenge his rule demanded that his threats be taken seriously. Gadhafi is after all the man behind the bombing of Pan Am 103, which claimed the lives of 189 Americans.

The military intervention in Libya sends a critical signal to other leaders in the region: They cannot automatically assume they can resort to large-scale violence to put down legitimate demands for reform without consequences. U.N. resolve in Libya can have an impact on future calculations. Indeed, the leaders of Iran should pay close attention to the resolve exhibited by the international community.

Every potential conflict is unique, and there is no simple formula for when to weigh in with force. It is fair to ask, why Libya and not other humanitarian situations? The truth is that we must weigh our ideals, our interests and our capabilities in each case when deciding where to become involved.

We must not get involved in another lengthy conflict in a Muslim country. With French and British willingness to lead, we do not need to take on the primary ownership of this conflict—and the Obama administration has made clear we will not. (With the burden we are already carrying in Afghanistan and across the globe, no one can legitimately doubt America's sacrifice.) So the risks are manageable and, in my view, the rewards are potentially enormous.

The military intervention was not directly intended to force Gadhafi from power, but the international community will remain united in maintaining diplomatic and economic pressure on a thug who has lost any legitimacy he ever possessed. There are many options and tools available to us to achieve our ultimate desire of seeing Gadhafi go. While it is impolitic perhaps to suggest it, I'd underscore that destroying his Soviet-era military capacity has been the biggest step towards that goal.

By supporting the Libyan opposition and keeping alive the hopes of reformers across the Arab world, we can counter the violent extremism of al Qaeda and like-minded groups, encourage a new generation of Arab youth to pursue democracy, and transform the way the U.S. is perceived by Muslims world-wide. This is a moment where we are able to advance our values and protect our interests at the same time.

The Arab awakening began in Tunisia and flowered in Egypt. Saving lives in Libya is the least we can do to give those dreams the opportunity to flourish and change the history of the entire region—as well as our relationship with its people.

Mr. Kerry, a Democrat from Massachusetts, is chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

Title: He's for it now.....
Post by: G M on March 26, 2011, 08:21:09 AM
"The seas of people who thronged Cairo's Tahrir Square are gone now. But walking across its now-celebrated ground this week, I couldn't help but remember the inspiring scenes of Egyptians from all walks of life peacefully demanding freedom and dignity. The world watched in awe as the protesters and their young leaders changed the direction of a country and, together with Tunisians, perhaps the whole Arab world."

They did, but not in the way this idiot thinks.

Title: What could go wrong?
Post by: Crafty_Dog on March 27, 2011, 05:33:52 AM

Libyan rebel commander admits his fighters have al-Qaeda links



In an interview with the Italian newspaper Il Sole 24 Ore, Mr al-Hasidi admitted that he had recruited "around 25" men from the Derna area in eastern Libya to fight against coalition troops in Iraq. Some of them, he said, are "today are on the front lines in Adjabiya".

Mr al-Hasidi insisted his fighters "are patriots and good Muslims, not terrorists," but added that the "members of al-Qaeda are also good Muslims and are fighting against the invader".

His revelations came even as Idriss Deby Itno, Chad's president, said al-Qaeda had managed to pillage military arsenals in the Libyan rebel zone and acquired arms, "including surface-to-air missiles, which were then smuggled into their sanctuaries".

Mr al-Hasidi admitted he had earlier fought against "the foreign invasion" in Afghanistan, before being "captured in 2002 in Peshwar, in Pakistan". He was later handed over to the US, and then held in Libya before being released in 2008.

US and British government sources said Mr al-Hasidi was a member of the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group, or LIFG, which killed dozens of Libyan troops in guerrilla attacks around Derna and Benghazi in 1995 and 1996.
Even though the LIFG is not part of the al-Qaeda organisation, the United States military's West Point academy has said the two share an "increasingly co-operative relationship". In 2007, documents captured by allied forces from the town of Sinjar, showed LIFG emmbers made up the second-largest cohort of foreign fighters in Iraq, after Saudi Arabia.

Earlier this month, al-Qaeda issued a call for supporters to back the Libyan rebellion, which it said would lead to the imposition of "the stage of Islam" in the country.

British Islamists have also backed the rebellion, with the former head of the banned al-Muhajiroun proclaiming that the call for "Islam, the Shariah and jihad from Libya" had "shaken the enemies of Islam and the Muslims more than the tsunami that Allah sent against their friends, the Japanese".
Title: Bolton: "Kill Ka-daffy"
Post by: G M on March 27, 2011, 09:40:20 AM

The former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations—and possible GOP candidate in 2012—tells Lloyd Grove of his decidedly undiplomatic solution to the crisis in Libya: Assassinate the dictator. Plus, Babak Dehghanpisheh reports from Libya on the rebels' key victory in Ajdabiya.

Former ambassador John Bolton, President Bush's decidedly undiplomatic envoy to the United Nations who is considering running for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination, has a decidedly undiplomatic solution to the crisis in Libya: The United States should terminate Muammar Gaddafi with extreme prejudice.

Speaking Saturday afternoon in Des Moines, Iowa, at Republican Rep. Steve King's Conservative Principles Conference—a cattle call for presidential prospects in the first-in-the-nation Iowa caucuses—Bolton said: "Our military has a wonderful euphemism called 'national command authority.' It's a legitimate military target. In Libya, Muammar Gaddafi is the national command authority. I think that's the answer right there."

Title: Re: Libya and
Post by: Crafty_Dog on March 27, 2011, 02:32:26 PM
AL-QAEDA'S offshoot in North Africa has snatched surface-to-air missiles from an arsenal in Libya during the civil strife there, Chad's President says. Idriss Deby Itno did not say how many surface-to-air missiles were stolen, but told the African weekly Jeune Afrique that he was "100 per cent sure" of his assertion.

"The Islamists of al-Qaeda took advantage of the pillaging of arsenals in the rebel zone to acquire arms, including surface-to-air missiles, which were then smuggled into their sanctuaries in Tenere," a desert region of the Sahara that stretches from northeast Niger to western Chad, Deby said in the interview.

"This is very serious. AQIM is becoming a genuine army, the best equipped in the region," he said.

His claim was echoed by officials in other countries in the region who said that they were worried that al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) might have acquired "heavy weapons", thanks to the insurrection.

"We have sure information. We are very worried for the sub-region," a Malian security source who did not want to be named said.

AQIM originated as an armed Islamist resistance movement to the secular Algerian government.

It now operates mainly in Algeria, Mauritania, Mali and Niger, where it has attacked military targets and taken civilian hostages, particularly Europeans, some of whom it has killed.

"We have the same information," about heavy weapons, including SAM 7 missiles, a military source from Niger said.

"It is very worrying. This overarming is a real danger for the whole zone," he added  "AQIM gets the weapons in two ways; people go and look for the arms in Libya to deliver them to AQIM in the Sahel, or AQIM elements go there themselves."

Elsewhere in the interview, Chad's president backed the assertion by his neighbour and erstwhile enemy Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi that the protests in Libya have been driven in part by al-Qaeda.

"There is a partial truth in what he says," Deby said.

"Up to what point? I don't know. But I am certain that AQIM took an active part in the uprising."

After years of tension between the two nations, which were at war during part of the 1980s, Deby has more recently maintained good relations with Gaddafi.

The Chadian leader described the international military intervention in Libya, launched a week ago by the United States, France and Britain, as a "hasty decision".

"It could have heavy consequences for the stability of the region and the spread of terrorism in Europe, the Mediterranean and the rest of Africa," he cautioned.

Deby denied assertions that mercenaries had been recruited in Chad to fight for Gaddafi, though some of the several thousand Chad nationals in Libya may have joined the fight "on their own".

Read more:
Title: National Transitional Council
Post by: ccp on March 28, 2011, 12:27:34 PM
I wonder if it has ties to Soros,

****March 24, 2011
Notes from the Pentagon

U.S. backing Libyan council
The Obama administration is beginning to throw its support behind Libya's recently formed National Transitional Council (NTC), a combination of rebel groups that is viewed as the most likely successor to the regime of Col. Moammar Gadhafi.

The issue of who succeeds Col. Gadhafi came up during a recent White House briefing by senior officials from the State Department, Pentagon and Office of the Director of National Intelligence.

According to officials familiar with the briefing, the main speaker was a senior State Department official and career Foreign Service officer well-versed in Libyan affairs who said the NTC leadership appears pro-democratic, while questions remain about some of its members.

If the council's military forces lose the current war against Col. Gadhafi's military, their fate is certain to be dismal, according to the official.

The State Department regards the NTC leadership to be an “honorable group” committed to democratic principles. But the department's knowledge of the group is limited to its leadership. As for the rank-and-file, "There are probably some wild cards and independent players still to be heard from," said one official familiar with the briefing.

Some in the Pentagon are wary of the NTC based on assessments showing that the Libya's opposition forces include many Islamists who are anti-Western and are masking their views to gain Western support.

A White House spokesman had no immediate comment.

Last week, White House press secretary Jay Carneysaid the administration still was assessing the NTC. France's government has extended diplomatic recognition to it.

A U.S. official familiar with intelligence reports said Wednesday: "This group is a key touchstone for engagement with the Libyan opposition -- and not just for the United States, but for other countries, too."

Outside Libya, expatriates are rallying to support the NTC, and former military officers who recently defected from Col. Gadhafi's forces are joining the fight against the Tripoli regime by supporting the NTC.

Militarily, rebel forces fighting for the NTC have extensive problems that make the likelihood of their prevailing in the fight uncertain. Problems include poor equipment, lack of organization and a shortage of troops.

Still, the U.S. intelligence assessment is that the fight is not over, and the rebel forces appear to be getting stronger, according to materials presented at the briefing.

Army vice chief hacked
Computer hackers tried to break into the bank account of Army Vice Chief of Staff Gen. Peter W. Chiarelli but were blocked by bank security detectors, according to defense officials familiar with the incident.

The hacking was discussed during a recent Pentagon briefing on threats posed by groups that conduct thousands of attempts each day to get inside Pentagon computer terminals and networks.

During the attempt against Gen. Chiarelli's bank account, the hackers were prevented from getting into the account, and the bank later alerted the four-star general of the attempt.

No other details were available, and no group has claimed responsibility.

Asked about the incident, Army spokesman Col. Thomas W. Collins said: "We acknowledge that hackers have previously attempted to access the personal information of some senior Army leaders." The goal of the bank hackers is not known, but computer security specialists say the attempt may have been focused on stealing his credit information or money, or sabotaging his account. Hackers routinely target bank computers in order to obtain financial data, specifically numbers for credit and debit cards.

Hacking against banks has been traced in the past to crime groups in Russia, Eastern Europe and China.

The Army briefer -- Maj. Gen. Mark Bowman, director of architecture, operations, networks and space for the Army's chief information officer-- also told defense officials that cybersecurity specialists recently were alerted to a group called that is behind a cybercampaign to avenge the arrest and detention of Army Pfc. Bradley Manning, the soldier suspected of providing hundreds of thousands of classified documents to the anti-secrecy website WikiLeaks.

Russians seek hit-to-kill
Russia's government plans to exploit the Obama administration's eagerness to conclude a missile defense deal as a way to obtain valuable technology from advanced U.S. missile defenses, according to U.S. national security officials.

The Russians specifically are seeking a defense technology cooperation deal with the Pentagon that will permit them to gain access to U.S. hit-to-kill missile defense know-how, the key technology for the most current strategic long-range and tactical short-range defenses that were developed at a cost of billions of taxpayer dollars over the past two decades.

The reason, the officials said, is that Moscow knows it can offer very little in the way of cooperative missile defense with the U.S. The current strategic anti-missile interceptors around Moscow are armed with nuclear warheads -- tactical weapons that Moscow is not expected to use against an Iranian missile attack.

Additionally, the nuclear-tipped interceptors are supposed to be the subject of follow-on U.S.-Russian tactical nuclear arms reduction talks based on the recently ratified New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty.

The notion that Moscow will share sensor data also is doubtful. Missile defense experts say Russia's key radar are designed and deployed to detect U.S. submarine-launched missiles and are not useful in detecting Iranian missile launches, the main goal of the administration's European-based missile defense plan.

Moscow also has problems getting U.S. technology because current law limits the transfer of technology under U.S. anti-proliferation law, specifically related to Iran, that bars Russia's government from access to U.S. high-tech exports based on its past and ongoing arms proliferation to Iran.

The Obama administration is loosening export controls as part of a major reform effort, and administration arms-control officials, including Undersecretary of State Ellen Tauscher, are hoping the reforms will make it easier to reach her long-sought goal of concluding a missile defense or defense technology deal with Moscow.

"It's the perfect storm: loosened export controls, reset with Russia and arms control fever by the administration," said one official concerned about the pending Russian technology cooperation.

The Pentagon is said to be lukewarm at best over missile defense cooperation because of concerns the technology will be used to counter U.S. systems or sold covertly to U.S. adversaries.

Ms. Tauscher did not respond to emails seeking comment, and her spokesman, Jonathan E. Kaplan, declined to comment. Ms. Tauscher, undersecretary of state for international security, told a conference Monday that talks with Russia on missile defense cooperation were progressing but that a final agreement was not assured.

According to the U.S. officials, Russians close to the government stated in recent talks that their main interest in any U.S. deal is getting access to military technology generally and missile-defense know how specifically.

The interest in U.S. technology followed a sharp turnaround in Moscow policy several months ago, when the Russians said they were no longer opposed to U.S. missile defenses. The Russian military hopes its engagement and a missile defense agreement will lead to obtaining strategic hit-to-kill missile technology.

Hit-to-kill involves ultra-high-speed, non-explosive guided warheads that destroy targets -- such as missile warheads in flight -- by slamming into them.****

Title: Re: Libya and
Post by: Crafty_Dog on March 28, 2011, 02:01:16 PM
Some important stuff there; please post the relevant portions of that in the Military Science thread and/or the Russia-US thread.
Title: WSJ editorial on BO speech
Post by: Crafty_Dog on March 29, 2011, 08:16:07 AM

President Obama made a substantial case for his Libya intervention for the first time Monday evening, and however overdue and self-referential ("I refused to let that happen"), we welcome the effort. Perhaps it will give Republicans a reason to emerge as constructive, rather than partisan, foreign-policy critics as well.

We say "perhaps" because the instinctive temptation for some Republicans has been to oppose the Libyan mission led by a Democratic Commander in Chief. Some object to the operation's cost amid record deficits, others gripe about Mr. Obama's reflexive bow to the "international community," while still others are responding to a part of the GOP cable-TV and Internet base that wants fewer foreign interventions after Iraq and Afghanistan.

A few prominent Republicans are already throwing out that last pitch. "What are we doing in Libya?" asked Mississippi Governor and possible Presidential candidate Haley Barbour last week in Iowa. "I mean, we have to be careful in my mind about getting into nation-building exercises, whether it's in Libya or somewhere else. We've been in Afghanistan 10 years."

Yes, America has, and for national security reasons that the last two Presidents have found persuasive. As for "nation-building" in Libya, we have yet to notice a U.S. official who has advocated the deployment of American ground troops, much less a long-term mission rebuilding a Libyan state.

Mr. Barbour's glib resort to this trope of the isolationist left suggests he hasn't thought very hard about foreign policy. It is the kind of politics Americans have come to expect from Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid—"this war is lost"—not Republicans who have since Reagan been the party of robust nationalism.

This is not to say that Mr. Obama's policy is above criticism, which he invites by so overtly disavowing American global leadership. Republicans instinctively recoil when they hear a President put greater moral stock in the Arab League and U.N. than in Congress before using military force.

House Speaker John Boehner's questions to Mr. Obama last week concerning the Libyan mission's goals are certainly appropriate, and it was clear from Monday night's speech that they have influenced the Administration's argument. Mr. Obama was at pains to portray the Libyan effort as the product of U.S. leadership, though the French, Arabs and Libyan rebels all had to plead the U.S. to act.

This is what we mean by constructive criticism by a loyal opposition whose goal is to help the U.S. succeed in its mission—as the American military is well on its way to doing, by the way. Despite the diplomatic confusion of last week, the expansion of a no-fly zone to target Moammar Gadhafi's forces is already paying benefits on the ground. The rebels have retaken several cities and yesterday were moving on the Gadhafi hometown of Sirte. Gadhafi's loyalists must be recalculating the cost of their allegiance.

Republicans ought to prod Mr. Obama to push for a faster resolution that ends with the toppling of Gadhafi and his sons from power. Any result short of that guarantees a divided Libya that may well require international peacekeepers to separate the warring factions. If there's any leader whose terrorist nature the American people understand, it is Gadhafi. Rather than predict doom for the Libyan exercise, Republicans should insist that Gadhafi must go for it to be successful.

Republicans also have a chance—and for GOP Presidential candidates the obligation—to put Libya in the context of the larger changes in the Middle East. One reason to intervene in Libya is to show the Assads and Ahmadinejads that the West is willing and able to act against tyrants who slaughter their own people and foment terrorism. Hillary Clinton's weekend howler that Syria's Bashar Assad is different from Gadhafi because he is a "reformer" is the kind of thinking that deserves rebuttal, if not ridicule.

The credibility of U.S. power is essential to maintaining our influence in a Middle East that is erupting in popular revolt against decades of injustice. The U.S. should be working actively to influence events so that the Middle East that emerges is freer and less hostile to American purposes. Yet our sense is that President Obama has been needlessly, and perhaps dangerously, passive in the face of this major strategic upheaval. Republicans should challenge Mr. Obama on the subject of U.S. leadership, especially in the Middle East.

We understand the instinctive mistrust of this most political of Presidents, a man whose every decision now is rooted in his desire for re-election. This is not a President who leads from the front—on the budget, or on Libya. But that doesn't mean that Republicans should wash their hands of American global leadership. Their opportunity is to make the case for what American leadership should look like.
Title: The Sun Tzu of Dithering
Post by: Body-by-Guinness on March 29, 2011, 08:31:20 AM
MARCH 26, 2011 4:00 A.M.
The Art of Inconclusive War
Why is it that the United States no longer wins wars?

It is tempting and certainly very easy to point out that Obama’s war (or Obama’s “kinetic military action,” or “time-limited, scope-limited military action,” or whatever the latest ever more preposterous evasion is) is at odds with everything candidate Obama said about U.S. military action before his election. And certainly every attempt the president makes to explain his Libyan adventure is either cringe-makingly stupid (“I’m accustomed to this contradiction of being both a commander-in-chief but also somebody who aspires to peace”) or alarmingly revealing of a very peculiar worldview:

“That’s why building this international coalition has been so important,” he said the other day. “It is our military that is being volunteered by others to carry out missions that are important not only to us, but are important internationally.”

That’s great news. Who doesn’t enjoy volunteering other people? The Arab League, for reasons best known to itself, decided that Colonel Qaddafi had outlived his sell-by date. Granted that the region’s squalid polities haven’t had a decent military commander since King Hussein fired Gen. Sir John Glubb half a century back, how difficult could it be even for Arab armies to knock off a psychotic transvestite guarded by Austin Powers fembots? But no: Instead, the Arab League decided to volunteer the U.S. military.

Likewise, the French and the British. Libya’s special forces are trained by Britain’s SAS. Four years ago, President Sarkozy hosted a state visit for Colonel Qaddafi, his personal security detail of 30 virgins, his favorite camel, and a 400-strong entourage that helped pitch his tent in the heart of Paris. Given that London and Paris have the third – and fourth-biggest military budgets on the planet and that between them they know everything about Qaddafi’s elite troops, sleeping arrangements, guard-babes, and dromedaries, why couldn’t they take him out? But no: They too decided to volunteer the U.S. military.

But, as I said, it’s easy to mock the smartest, most articulate man ever to occupy the Oval Office. Instead, in a non-partisan spirit, let us consider why it is that the United States no longer wins wars. Okay, it doesn’t exactly lose (most of) them, but nor does it have much to show for a now 60-year-old pattern of inconclusive outcomes. American forces have been fighting and dying in Afghanistan for a decade: Doesn’t that seem like a long time for a non-colonial power to be spending hacking its way through the worthless terrain of a Third World dump? If the object is to kill terrorists, might there not be some slicker way of doing it? And, if the object is something else entirely, mightn’t it be nice to know what it is?

I use the word “non-colonial” intentionally. I am by temperament and upbringing an old-school imperialist: There are arguments to be made for being on the other side of the world for decades on end if you’re claiming it as sovereign territory and rebuilding it in your image, as the British did in India, Belize, Mauritius, the Solomon Islands, you name it. Likewise, there are arguments to be made for saying sorry, we’re a constitutional republic, we don’t do empire. But there’s not a lot to be said for forswearing imperialism and even modest cultural assertiveness, and still spending ten years getting shot up in Afghanistan helping to create, bankroll, and protect a so-called justice system that puts a man on death row for converting to Christianity.

Libya, in that sense, is a classic post-nationalist, post-modern military intervention: As in Kosovo, we’re do-gooders in a land with no good guys. But, unlike Kosovo, not only is there no strategic national interest in what we’re doing, the intended result is likely to be explicitly at odds with U.S. interests. A quarter-century back, Qaddafi was blowing American airliners out of the sky and murdering British policewomen: That was the time to drop a bomb on him. But we didn’t. Everyone from the government of Scotland (releasing the “terminally ill” Lockerbie bomber, now miraculously restored to health) to Mariah Carey and Beyoncé (with their million-dollar-a-gig Qaddafi party nights) did deals with the Colonel.

Now suddenly he’s got to go — in favor of “freedom-loving” “democrats” from Benghazi. That would be in eastern Libya — which, according to West Point’s Counter Terrorism Center, has sent per capita the highest number of foreign jihadists to Iraq. Perhaps now that so many Libyan jihadists are in Iraq, the Libyans left in Libya are all Swedes in waiting. But perhaps not. If we lack, as we do in Afghanistan, the cultural confidence to wean those we liberate from their less attractive pathologies, we might at least think twice before actively facilitating them.

Officially, only the French are committed to regime change. So suppose Qaddafi survives. If you were in his shoes, mightn’t you be a little peeved? Enough to pull off a new Lockerbie? A more successful assassination attempt on the Saudi king? A little bit of Euro-bombing?

Alternatively, suppose Qaddafi winds up hanging from a lamppost in his favorite party dress. If you’re a Third World dictator, what lessons would you draw? Qaddafi was the thug who came in from the cold, the one who (in the wake of Saddam’s fall) renounced his nuclear program and was supposedly rehabilitated in the chancelleries of the West. He was “a strong partner in the war on terrorism,” according to U.S. diplomats. And what did Washington do? They overthrew him anyway.

The blood-soaked butcher next door in Sudan is the first head of state to be charged by the International Criminal Court with genocide, but nobody’s planning on toppling him. Iran’s going nuclear with impunity, but Obama sends fraternal greetings to the “Supreme Leader” of the “Islamic Republic.” North Korea is more or less openly trading as the one-stop bargain-basement for all your nuke needs, and we’re standing idly by. But the one cooperative dictator’s getting million-dollar-a-pop cruise missiles lobbed in his tent all night long. If you were the average Third World loon, which role model makes most sense? Colonel Cooperative in Tripoli? Or Ayatollah Death-to-the-Great-Satan in Tehran? America is teaching the lesson that the best way to avoid the attentions of whimsical “liberal interventionists” is to get yourself an easily affordable nuclear program from Pyongyang or anywhere else as soon as possible.

The United States is responsible for 43 percent of the planet’s military spending. So how come it doesn’t feel like that? It’s not merely that “our military is being volunteered by others,” but that Washington has been happy to volunteer it as the de facto expeditionary force for the “international community.” Sometimes U.S. troops sail under U.N. colors, sometimes NATO’s, and now in Libya even the Arab League’s. Either way, it makes little difference: America provides most of the money, men, and materiel. All that changes is the transnational figleaf.

But lost along the way is hard-headed, strategic calculation of the national interest. “They won’t come back till it’s over/Over there!” sang George M. Cohan as the doughboys marched off in 1917. It was all over 20 minutes later and then they came back. Now it’s never over over there — not in Korea, not in Kuwait, not in Kosovo, not in Kandahar. Next stop Kufra? America has swapped The Art of War for the Hotel California: We psychologically check out, but we never leave.

— Mark Steyn, a National Review columnist, is author of America Alone.
Title: Sun Tsu and China are all laughing
Post by: ccp on March 30, 2011, 08:30:36 AM
Oh we are sooo humanitarian!

Well if true how humanitarian is it to have let Ghadday kill some people and gain back control vs what we are seeing now - a *more prolonged* back and forth war?

At this point more people will die then if we had not done the "no-fly" thing.

Yes playing coy with Momar buys time to "get to know" the opposition (Clintons now notorius "getting to know you" rant), but dithering on what to do with Ghaddaffy probably will turn out to be worse.  We should just get rid of this one guy or stop the half assed stuff altogether.  This total chirade of trying to help other kill the guy or pray he flees even though we are also saying he must stand trial for war crimes - the whole rational is confused and is dithering.  Kill him - the one guy holding this whole country at bay or don't get involved at all.

More people are now dying as we speak.
Title: Covert support for Libya rebels!
Post by: Crafty_Dog on March 30, 2011, 04:33:49 PM
Title: Cognitive dissonance of the American voters
Post by: ccp on March 31, 2011, 02:52:01 PM
" Last week, 45% of all voters supported the president's decision to take military action in Libya."


"Just 21% Say U.S. Has Clearly Defined Mission in Libya"

So nearly half of likely voters support his military action in Lybia yet barely one in five have a clue as to why we are there? :?  And these are likely voters, the ones who are more likely to keep up with current events.. I think.  Can anyone imagine the confusion and ignorance of unlikely voters? :cry:

****Just 21% Say U.S. Has Clearly Defined Mission in Libya
Thursday, March 31, 2011 Email to a Friend ShareThisAdvertisement
Despite President Obama’s address to the nation Monday night, most voters still aren’t clear about why the U.S. military is engaged in Libya.

A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that only 21% of Likely U.S. Voters think the United States has a clearly defined military mission in Libya. Fifty-six percent (56%) disagree and say the military does not have a clearly defined mission. Nearly one-in-four voters (23%) are not sure. (To see survey question wording, click here.)

The president apparently did not close the sale with his address explaining his decision to commit U.S. forces to Libya. The survey was taken Monday and Tuesday nights, and the findings from the first night prior to the speech and the second night after the speech showed little change.

The numbers also didn’t change over the two nights when voters were asked if Libya is a vital national security interest for the United States these days. 

While the president is hopeful that longtime Libyan dictator Moammar Gadhafi will step down, it is not a stated U.S. policy aim. But 62% of voters think it is at least somewhat likely that Gadhafi will be removed from power as a result of the military action now being taken by the United States and other countries. Just 23% say it’s unlikely. These findings include 30% who say Gadhafi’s removal is Very Likely and only three percent (3%) who believe it’s Not At All Likely. Fourteen percent (14%) are undecided.

(Want a free daily e-mail update? If it's in the news, it's in our polls). Rasmussen Reports updates are also available on Twitter or Facebook.

The survey of 1,000 Likely Voters was conducted on March 28-29, 2011 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. Field work for all Rasmussen Reports surveys is conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, LLC. See methodology. 

Prior to the president’s decision to commit U.S. forces to Libya, Americans were lukewarm to the idea of involvement in the political situations in Arab countries like Libya.  But, at the same time, 76% of voters feel it’s generally good for America when dictators in other countries are replaced with leaders selected in free and fair elections. 

Male voters feel more strongly than female voters that America does not have a clearly defined military mission in Libya. But men are more confident that Gadhafi will be removed from power because of the military action by the United States and other countries.

Seventy-three percent (73%) of Republicans and 67% of voters not affiliated with either of the major political parties feel the United States does not have a clearly defined mission in Libya. A modest plurality (38%) of Democrats disagree and think the mission is clearly defined.

Democrats also feel strongest that the Libyan mission will drive Gadhafi from power, although a majority of GOP voters also think it’s likely. Unaffiliated voters are more skeptical.

Sixty-two percent (62%) of the Political Class feels the United States has a clearly defined military mission, but 67% of Mainstream voters don’t share that assessment.  Both groups are in general agreement, however, that the military action in Libya is likely to remove Gadhafi.

Last week, 45% of all voters supported the president's decision to take military action in Libya. Thirty-four percent (34%) disagreed with that decision, and another 21% were not sure about it.

In early December, just 28% of voters believed the United States has a clearly defined military mission in Afghanistan.  Forty-nine percent (49%) said the mission in the nine-year-old war is not clearly defined, and 23% more were not sure.

Thirty-one percent (31%) of Americans described Libya as an enemy of the United States in August 2009 when the British released the terminally ill terrorist convicted of blowing up a Pan Am jet over Lockerbie, Scotland so he could return home to die.  Only two percent (2%) viewed the North African country as an ally. For 52%, it fell somewhere in between an ally and an enemy.

Even before America’s stepped-up involvement in Libya, 58% of Americans worried that the political unrest in Arab countries like Egypt and Libya may get America into another big war.**** 

Title: Re: Libya and
Post by: DougMacG on March 31, 2011, 08:45:41 PM
"these are likely voters... imagine the confusion and ignorance of unlikely voters?"

Very funny - if it wasn't true.  We don't get the intelligence to know all the subtleties, we just hire the best and the brightest and trust them with these things (what were his grades at Columbia?) and we rely on congressional authorization (oops) and oversight (whoops again), and we know we have our very best commanders in the field in charge (NATO/Arab league?).  What could possible go wrong?

BTW, why are we there?
Title: Re: Libya and
Post by: G M on March 31, 2011, 09:55:47 PM

You want the reason they are saying or the real reason?
Title: Re: Libya and
Post by: Crafty_Dog on April 01, 2011, 04:24:43 AM
OK coy one, I will bite.  What is the real reason?
Title: McCain and Lieberman
Post by: Crafty_Dog on April 01, 2011, 05:03:09 AM

Not that I agree with this, but worth noting.  Tangential reflection is to wonder what kind of a President McCain would have been , , ,


President Obama made a compelling case for our intervention in Libya on Monday evening, and U.S. actions there deserve bipartisan support in Congress. As the president rightly noted, failure to intervene militarily would have resulted in a humanitarian and strategic disaster. Because of our actions, the Gadhafi regime has been prevented from brutally crushing its opposition.

The president was also correct in framing what is happening in Libya within the broader context of the democratic awakening that is sweeping across the broader Middle East—the most consequential geopolitical realignment since the fall of the Berlin Wall.

If Gadhafi is allowed to hang onto power through the use of indiscriminate violence, it will send a message to dictators throughout the region and beyond that the way to respond, when people rise up peacefully and demand their rights, is through repression and slaughter—and that the rest of the world, including the U.S., won't stand in the way.

What is needed now is not a backward-looking debate about what the administration could or should have done differently, but a forward-looking strategy that identifies America's national interests in Libya and works to achieve them.

As President Obama has rightly and repeatedly insisted, a successful outcome in Libya requires the departure of Gadhafi as quickly as possible. It is not in our interest for Libya to become the scene of a protracted stalemate that will destabilize and inflame the region.

While both Arab leaders and public opinion are hostile towards Gadhafi personally—a fact that helps explain the Arab League's unprecedented decision to support intervention in Libya—we are concerned that regional support will waver if Western forces are perceived as presiding over a military deadlock. We cannot allow Gadhafi to consolidate his grip over part of the country and settle in for the long haul.

View Full Image

Zuma Press
A Libyan rebel
.There are several steps urgently needed to prevent this outcome. First, while we understand the diplomatic reasons behind the Obama administration's reluctance to make Gadhafi's removal an explicit goal of the coalition military mission, the reality on the ground is that our coalition's air strikes against his forces must work toward this objective.

In the days ahead, it is imperative that we maintain and if necessary expand our air strikes against Gadhafi's ground forces, which pose a threat to civilians wherever they are. In doing so, we can pave the way for the Libyan opposition to reverse Gadhafi's offensive and to resume their quest to end his rule.

The battlefield reversals suffered by the opposition this week, when weather conditions hampered coalition air strikes, underscore the need for a more robust and coherent package of aid to the rebel ground forces.

The U.S. should also expand engagement with the Libyan opposition, led by the interim Transitional National Council currently based in Benghazi. We have been encouraged by the Obama administration's growing rhetorical support for the opposition, but we hope to see more tangible manifestations of it in the days ahead.

In particular, we and our allies should be providing the council with the communications equipment, logistical support, training, tactical intelligence and weapons necessary to consolidate rule over the territory they have liberated and to continue tilting the balance of power against Gadhafi. We do not need to put U.S. forces on the ground precisely because the Libyans themselves are fighting for their freedom. But they need our help, and quickly, to succeed.

Another immediate priority should be getting humanitarian assistance into eastern Libya and restoring telecommunications access there, where Gadhafi has cut off land lines, mobile networks and the Internet. While top opposition leaders have satellite phones, we have both humanitarian and strategic interests in restoring the ability of people in liberated parts of Libya to communicate with each other and the rest of the world. We should also take steps to get Gadhafi's satellite, television, and radio broadcasts off the air, while helping the opposition air its broadcasting.

Finally, we should follow France and Qatar in recognizing the Transitional National Council as the legitimate government of Libya, and we should encourage other allies and partners to do the same.

Some critics still argue that we should be cautious about helping the Libyan opposition, warning that we do not know enough about them or that their victory could pave the way for an al Qaeda takeover. Both arguments are hollow. By all accounts, the Transitional National Council is led by moderates who have declared their vision for (as their website puts it) Libya becoming "a constitutional democratic civil state based on the rule of law, respect for human rights and the guarantee of equal rights and opportunities for all its citizens."

If there is any hope for a decent government to emerge from the ashes of the Gadhafi dictatorship, this is it. Throwing our weight behind the transitional government is our best chance to prevent Libya's unraveling into postwar anarchy—precisely the circumstance under which Islamist extremists are most likely to gain a foothold.

We cannot guarantee the success of the Libyan revolution, but we have prevented what was, barely a week ago, its imminent destruction. That is why the president was right to intervene. He now deserves our support as we and our coalition partners do all that is necessary to help the Libyan people secure a future of freedom.

Mr. Lieberman is an Independent Democratic senator from Connecticut. Mr. McCain is a Republican senator from Arizona.

Title: Libya: What’s Really Behind the U.S. Action
Post by: G M on April 01, 2011, 05:13:38 AM

Libya: What’s Really Behind the U.S. Action
By LIZ PEEK, The Fiscal Times
March 30, 2011Self interest is at the core of diplomacy. Therefore, the acknowledged lack of apparent U.S. self interest in containing Gaddafi’s troops in Libya has led some to question our military intervention in that country. Last night President Obama defended our engagement in Libya, suggesting that the United States is “different” from those countries that can stand by and witness atrocities; unlike others, Mr. Obama said, we have a moral mandate to protect innocent citizens. Naturally, we are led to wonder whether that same obligation extends to Syria or to Bahrain, or to any other country where a desperate government decides to slaughter its own people.

Is there something that President Obama is not telling us? Is it possible that we have a greater vested interest in squashing Gaddafi’s belligerence than we are letting on? Could it be that Gaddafi’s reported threats to bomb his country’s oilfields lit the fuse under the leaders of France and Britain who all but shamed us into climbing aboard? Or was it Gaddafi’s prediction that a flood of immigrants would “swamp” Europe that aroused Sarkozy’s energies? 

It is possible that the U.S. is more vulnerable to chaos in Libya than is generally known. Our economic recovery is hanging by a thread — a thread which weaves through the EU and also through Asia. Our modest recovery has been threatened repeatedly — by the government debt crisis in Europe last year and more recently by the tsunami in Japan. Rising oil prices and the prospect of more wide-spread inflation appears to be taking a toll. The recent swoon in consumer confidence presages a fall-off in all-important spending while the housing numbers continue dismal.

Europe’s leaders might have convinced Obama that
Gaddafi’s threats to attack oilfields or create chaos
through disruptive immigration could sow the seeds of a
double dip in Europe.

As important as the consumer is in the U.S., it is also essential that our major export markets remain healthy. As in our country, the OECD members are challenged by fiscal difficulties and more recently by inflation. Consumer prices rose 2.4 percent in the OECD in February — the highest rate of increase since October 2008. Concerns about price hikes are likely fueling anxiety among consumers in Europe as well as in the U.S.

All of these developments mean that the upturn from the banking crisis remains fragile. Fed Chair Ben Bernanke repeatedly has used this uncertainty to argue for the quantitative easing program (QE2) that many view as dangerously encouraging inflation. Bottom line: It is not a stretch to imagine that Europe’s leaders might have convinced President Obama that Gaddafi’s threats to attack oil fields or create chaos through disruptive immigration could sow the seeds of a double dip in Europe.

They could have made the case that a slump would have pulled the U.S. down as well — the worst of all possible preludes to the 2012 election for Mr. Obama. Were that case made, it is equally believable that Obama would engage all possible measures to thwart such a development.

In Europe, Italy is especially vulnerable to threats by Gaddafi to bomb his own oilfields and to unleash a massive wave of illegal immigrants. Because of its location, that country is already dealing with the exodus of large numbers of Tunisians and would be the natural entry point for Libyans as well. Italy, like other countries in the E.U., is already struggling and in no position to support a wave of dependent newcomers. At the same time, Italy has sizeable economic interests in its former colony — its state-owned oil company is the largest in the North African nation.

Title: Re: Libya and
Post by: Crafty_Dog on April 01, 2011, 05:44:55 AM
I suppose that could be a not insignificant contributing factor, but personally I place more weight on what Glenn Beck is developing:  The establishment of "The Duty to Protect" when authorized by the UN, the subordination of the US to the UN, "getting on the right side" of the Arab world and towards that end, the decoupling of the US from its alliance with Israel.

Prediction (hat tip to Beck):  We will see many forces in the UN try to use the "duty to protect" against Israel.
Title: Re: Libya and
Post by: G M on April 01, 2011, 05:54:14 AM
I don't think the eagerness shown by France and the UK to go into Libya is motivated by this. Our leadership is a different story.
Title: Re: Libya and
Post by: Crafty_Dog on April 01, 2011, 06:04:17 AM
Fair enough, but perhaps we can wonder who our true leader is in all this.  Is it Baraq?  Is it Hillary?  Is it Samantha Powers and Cass Sunstein and their patron George Soros?

What Koussa's Defection Means for Gadhafi, Libya and the West

Wednesday marked nearly two weeks since the beginning of the Libya intervention. While the day’s most important headline came as a surprise, others were more expected, and some confirmed what STRATFOR had been saying since the earliest days of the intervention. The most significant event was the defection of the country’s long-time intelligence chief turned foreign minister. The continuing retreat of eastern rebel forces added fodder to the ongoing discussion in Washington, Paris and London as to whether or not to arm them. A pair of anonymous leaks from the American and British governments revealed that CIA and British Special Air Service (SAS) agents have been on the ground in Libya for weeks now, while an unnamed European diplomat admitted that the no-fly zone had been nothing but a diplomatic smokescreen designed to get Arab states on board with a military operation that held regime change as the true goal.

Related Special Topic Page
The Libyan War: Full Coverage
The defection of Libyan Foreign Minister Moussa Koussa to the United Kingdom came after a “private visit” to neighboring Tunisia, where he reportedly held meetings in his hotel room with four unidentified French officials. (Why it was that Koussa, who has as much blood on his hands as any Libyan official who has been around for as long as he has, wasn’t on the U.N. travel ban list remains unknown.) From there, he flew to London, and news that Koussa had resigned and officially defected followed shortly thereafter. The move creates the possibility that more high profile members of the regime could follow suit if they feel that the writing is on the wall. For the West, Koussa is quite a catch, as he was the long-serving chief of Libya’s External Security Organization – and thus, the de facto head of Libyan intelligence – during the heyday of Libyan state-supported terrorism. Koussa moved (or, some would say, was demoted) to the foreign minister’s post in 2009 and he will be an invaluable resource for the foreign intelligence services that will be lining up to debrief him in London. Though there had been whispers in recent years that Koussa had lost favor with the regime, he was still in a very high profile position, and is surely a treasure trove of information on the inner workings of the regime of Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi.

“Koussa can attain immunity, but Gadhafi cannot – it is politically impossible at this point.”
Koussa will have information on the bombings of Pan Am Flight 103 and UTA Flight 772, arguably the two most famous acts of Libyan state terrorism carried out during Gadhafi’s rule. It is ironic that Koussa chose the United Kingdom as his destination for defection, as he will now be (temporarily at least) residing in the same country in which Lockerbie is located. It is likely that a deal was reached between Koussa and the British government, with the French acting as interlocutors, giving him immunity from prosecution in exchange for intelligence on the Gadhafi regime and his silence on the details of the negotiations that led to the release of Abdel Basset Ali al-Megrahi, the Lockerbie bomber. The intelligence Koussa provides will aid Western governments in getting a better handle of where Libya’s secret agents are stationed abroad, thereby helping them deter the specter of the return of Libyan state terrorism.

His defection will also only further convince Gadhafi that exile is an inherently risky option. The British and French are the most vocal proponents of pursuing an International Criminal Court investigation against the Libyan leader, and their coordination in bringing Koussa from Tunisia to the United Kingdom has given them a source of testimony for use against Gadhafi in any proceedings that may commence in The Hague one day. Koussa can attain immunity, but Gadhafi cannot – it is politically impossible at this point.

This development will likely only solidify Gadhafi’s resolve to regain control of territory lost since February, or go down with the ship. Indeed, after seeing rebels advance to within a short distance of Gadhafi’s hometown of Sirte on March 28, the Libyan army (reportedly with Chadian mercenaries’ help) pushed the enemy back all the way to the east of Ras Lanuf, a key oil export center on the Gulf of Sidra. The air campaign did not stop their advance, and the rebels were openly admitting that they are no match for the much better organized and equipped forces fighting on behalf of the regime.

On the second day of steady rebel losses being reported in the international media, an anonymous U.S. government official leaked that the CIA has been on the ground in Libya for weeks. Similar leaks from a British government source said that the SAS had been on the ground helping coordinate targets for air strikes for a similar amount of time. This news was hardly a revelation at STRATFOR, but it is clear that the leak was intended for the ears of the general public, with the intention to give people the sense that Western forces are somehow in control of the situation and establishing contacts with those who are the potential substitute for Gadhafi. Covert operations have a way of not counting in the public’s mind as “boots on the ground” since they are not seen, only spoken about. They are thus viewed as acceptable to a public that would not accept a true deployment of combat troops. Leaking that the CIA and SAS have long been on the ground in Libya also serves as a form of psychological warfare against Tripoli, as it displays the resolve of those that are indeed pushing for regime change in Libya.

Successfully toppling Gadhafi is now one of the core political imperatives at home for the leaders of the United States, the United Kingdom and France. For U.S. President Barack Obama in particular, though he is nowhere near having an Iraq moment, Libya still represents his boldest foreign policy move to date. If Gadhafi is still in power as the 2012 presidential campaign heats up, Obama could have a lot of questions to answer.

Title: Libbyian rebels in Yiddish
Post by: ccp on April 02, 2011, 11:19:28 AM
The Libyan rebels are "students, engineers, doctors, lawyers, businessmen, professors, bankers, etc"

Let me coorect his nonsense in Yiddish:

More like shmucks, shnooks, shtummies, shtunks, shmoigers, shmoes, shmendricks, shmegegees, shlumperdiks, shlumpers, shkukhs, shlocks, shleppers, shlemiels, shikkers and shlenazls.

For a better understanding go here:

Title: Re: Libya and
Post by: Crafty_Dog on April 02, 2011, 04:21:49 PM
That is very funny (and I mean that!) but I also must say that based only on the footage I see of these guys on FOX (not a very scientific menthod!) I like what I see.  I see real people with real hope for a freer life and trying to figure out how to make it happen.  Remember, when they started it took a lot of testicles to do so.  All they knew, and know, is 42 years of Daffy. Of course they look like idiots when they pee away ammo shooting holes in the sky, but ultimately it is easy for us to mock them from the comfort and safety of America.
Title: Re: Libya and
Post by: G M on April 02, 2011, 06:54:06 PM
Yeah, the english speakers tend to be more western-oriented, Our media gravitates towards them. They are not the typical rebel.

I recall watching a Gunga-Dan documentary on the Afghan mujahadeen fighting the Soviets when I was quite young. I remember watching them carefully dig up a soviet mine and disassembiling it for the explosives inside and admiring their obvious courage.

How did that turn out again?
Title: Re: Libya and
Post by: Crafty_Dog on April 02, 2011, 07:45:44 PM
Your point is a fair one (as anyone who has seen "Rambo 3" can attest  :lol: ) but what do you make of just how much of the region wide upheaval is NOT based upon AQ's  "God, Guns, Bombs, and Burkhas"?
Title: Re: Libya and
Post by: G M on April 02, 2011, 07:57:11 PM
Remember, the middle east is about tribes, not borders. Tell me about what tribes are fighting, not their alleged political ideals.
Title: Re: Libya and
Post by: G M on April 02, 2011, 08:05:21 PM
In performing intelligence analysis, one should seek to avoid what is called "mirror imaging". In other words, do not project your beliefs and ideals upon those who operate from very different paradigms. The Libyan rebels are not us.
Title: Re: Libya and
Post by: G M on April 02, 2011, 08:13:18 PM
We’ve got to get the job done there and that requires us to have enough troops so that we’re not just air-raiding villages and killing civilians, which is causing enormous problems there.
–Barack Obama 2007
Title: Re: Libya and
Post by: Crafty_Dog on April 02, 2011, 09:05:01 PM
None of which contradicts what I am saying , , , nor answers the question I am putting to you.
Title: Re: Libya and
Post by: G M on April 02, 2011, 09:38:58 PM
There is a tangible frustration among the people of that region for many legitimate reasons, however I think it is more a literal hunger in their bellies rather than a hunger for Jeffersonian democracy that has lit the fuze.

For decades, a common bit of grafitti that could be found across the middle east said "Islam is the answer". In the various thugocracies there, the mosque was the one place where political speech had some degree of protection. So, as they saying goes, when your only tool is a hammer, everything looks like a nail. These disfunctional societies have.....islam.

Salafists tell the masses that if they'd only return to the purity of the islam from when Mohammed walked the earth, every problem facing them would be resolved and islamic culture would again dominate the world.

Remember when the marxists of various stripes tried to remake their countries into "worker's paradises"? This will play out much the same way, only with much less restraint when it comes to the use of WMD. When the eutopias fail to materialize, the frustration will be projected further outwards as will as internally. It will get very ugly.
Title: Re: Libya and
Post by: G M on April 02, 2011, 09:44:41 PM
I'm going to take a guess that you'll find that the average Libyan will be much closer to the average Egyptian than the other countries polled.

July 25, 2008

Many Turks, Iranians, Egyptians Link Sharia and Justice

Egyptians most likely to make positive associations with Sharia

by Magali Rheault and Dalia Mogahed

Page: 12


The first article analyzed public attitudes about the role of Sharia as a source of legislation, concluding that although perceptions vary greatly across the three countries, most Iranians and Egyptians (and even many Turks) believe Sharia should be a source of legislation.
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Gallup asked respondents who had an opinion about the role of Sharia as a source of legislation (those for whom Sharia should be the only source, one of the sources, or not a source) whether they associate certain attributes with Sharia compliance. Ninety percent of Iranians, 91% of Egyptians, and 74% of Turks expressed an opinion about the role of Sharia in national law. The following analysis focuses on the subgroups of individuals who say Sharia should be a source of legislation to better understand why they think Sharia should influence legislation.
Overall, the poll results show that among those who think Sharia should be at least a source of legislation (either as the only source or as one of the sources), Egyptians are far more likely than Iranians and Turks to make positive associations with Sharia compliance.
Title: Massacre, what massacre?
Post by: Crafty_Dog on April 03, 2011, 08:26:55 AM

Remember when a crusading president, acting on dubious intelligence, insufficient information and exaggerated fears, took the nation into a Middle Eastern war of choice? That was George W. Bush in 2003, invading Iraq. But it's also Barack Obama in 2011, attacking Libya.


For weeks, President Obama had been wary of military action. What obviously changed his mind was the fear that Moammar Gadhafi was bent on mass slaughter -- which stemmed from Gadhafi's March 17 speech vowing "no mercy" for his enemies.

In his March 26 radio address, Obama said the United States acted because Gadhafi threatened "a bloodbath." Two days later, he asserted, "We knew that if we waited one more day, Benghazi -- a city nearly the size of Charlotte -- could suffer a massacre that would have reverberated across the region and stained the conscience of the world."

Really? Obama implied that, absent our intervention, Gadhafi might have killed nearly 700,000 people, putting it in a class with the 1994 genocide in Rwanda. White House adviser Dennis Ross was only slightly less alarmist when he reportedly cited "the real or imminent possibility that up to a 100,000 people could be massacred."

But these are outlandish scenarios that go beyond any reasonable interpretation of Gadhafi's words. He said, "We will have no mercy on them" -- but by "them," he plainly was referring to armed rebels ("traitors") who stand and fight, not all the city's inhabitants.

"We have left the way open to them," he said. "Escape. Let those who escape go forever." He pledged that "whoever hands over his weapons, stays at home without any weapons, whatever he did previously, he will be pardoned, protected."

Alan Kuperman, an associate professor at the University of Texas' Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs, is among those unconvinced by Obama's case. "Gadhafi," he told me, "did not massacre civilians in any of the other big cities he captured -- Zawiyah, Misratah, Ajdabiya -- which together have a population equal to Benghazi. Yes, civilians were killed in a typical, ham-handed Third World counter-insurgency. But civilians were not targeted for massacre as in Rwanda, Darfur, Burundi, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Bosnia or even Kosovo after NATO intervention."

The rebels, however, knew that inflating their peril was their best hope for getting outside help. So, Kuperman says, they concocted the specter of genocide -- and Obama believed it, or at least used it to justify intervention.

Another skeptic is Paul Miller, an assistant professor at National Defense University who served on the National Security Council under Bush and Obama. "The Rwandan genocide was targeted against an entire, clearly defined ethnic group," he wrote on the Foreign Policy website. "The Libyan civil war is between a tyrant and his cronies on one side, and a collection of tribes, movements, and ideologists (including Islamists) on the other. ... The first is murder, the second is war."

When I contacted Miller, he discounted the talk of vast slaughter. "Benghazi is the second-largest city in the country, and he needs the city and its people to continue functioning and producing goods for his impoverished country," he said.

Maybe these analysts are mistaken, but the administration has offered little in the way of rebuttal. Where Bush sent Colin Powell to the United Nations to make the case against Saddam Hussein, Obama has treated the evidence about Gadhafi as too obvious to dispute.

I e-mailed the White House press office several times asking for concrete evidence of the danger, based on any information the administration may have. But a spokesman declined comment.

That's a surprising omission, given that a looming holocaust was the centerpiece of the president's case for war. Absent specific, reliable evidence, we have to wonder if the president succumbed to unwarranted panic over fictitious dangers.

Bush had a host of reasons (or pretexts) for invading Iraq. But Obama has only one good excuse for the attack on Libya -- averting mass murder. That gives the administration a special obligation to document the basis for its fears.

Maybe it can. Plenty of experts think Obama's worries were justified. But so far, the White House message has been: Trust us.

Sorry, but we've tried that before. In 2002, National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice waved off doubts about Saddam Hussein's nuclear ambitions, saying, "We don't want the smoking gun to be a mushroom cloud." Right now, the Benghazi bloodbath looks like Obama's mushroom cloud.

Title: Re: Libya and
Post by: Crafty_Dog on April 04, 2011, 09:10:16 AM
Pravda on the Beach with a favorable article about the rebels:,0,3750535.story

It does resonate with the impressin I have from watching Fox News , , ,
Title: ‘Cut Gaddafi’s Throat, Then Establish an Islamic State’
Post by: G M on April 04, 2011, 02:17:48 PM
Plucky, secular freedom fighters, hardest hit.    :roll:

Libyan Rebel Commander: ‘Cut Gaddafi’s Throat, Then Establish an Islamic State’

While American intelligence experts search for “flickers” of jihadist involvement in the Libyan rebellion, a French reporter on a brief visit to eastern Libya had no problem finding numerous jihadists on the front.

April 4, 2011 - by John Rosenthal

“The Jihadists Go to the Front.” This is the title of French journalist Julien Fouchet’s report from eastern Libya that appears in the latest edition of the French Sunday paper Le Journal du Dimanche (JDD). Whereas American officials have been straining to make out “flickers” of intelligence suggesting a jihadist influence in the eastern Libyan rebellion against the rule of Muammar al-Gaddafi, Fouchet encountered a flagrant jihadist presence and met with participants who talked openly about their dedication to jihad and/or their desire to establish an Islamic state.
On the front near the oil-producing town of Brega, for instance, Fouchet spotted a bearded commander on a sand dune giving orders by satellite phone. The man wore the traditional robe favored by the Salafist current of Islamic fundamentalism and had a Kalashnikov slung over his shoulder. “You can’t speak to him,” rebel fighters told Fouchet. “He is not fighting for Libya. If he is fighting today, it’s for Allah.” Fouchet describes seeing imams driving among the ranks of the rebel fighters in a pick-up truck and reciting prayers over a loudspeaker.
Further to the east in Darnah, one of the strongholds of the rebellion, Fouchet met a certain Sheikh Choukri Al-Hasy, the director of the town’s principal mosque: the al-Sahaba mosque. As previously reported on PJM, according to captured al-Qaeda personnel records, Darnah furnished more foreign fighters to al-Qaeda in Iraq than any other foreign city or town — this despite the fact that the town’s total population is only 80,000. According to Fouchet’s account, the mosque contains a mausoleum where some 70 companions of the prophet Mohammed are reputedly buried. Seventeen rebel fighters are now buried nearby. “Those who followed the prophet Mohammed were the first jihadists,” Al-Hasy explained. “So, it’s normal that we are burying our martyrs next to them….”
Photos taken by Fouchet for the French photo agency Abaca Press show a wall of the mosque covered with portraits of the town’s “martyrs.” The captions to the Abaca Press images reveal a detail that is not mentioned in Fouchet’s JDD report. The “martyrs” commemorated at Darnah’s Al-Sahaba mosque also include locals who died fighting in Iraq. (Thumbnails of the Abaca Press photos are viewable here.)
In Darnah, Fouchet also spoke to a rebel commander whom he identifies as “Hakim al-Sadi.” The commander in question is presumably in fact Abdul-Hakim al-Hasadi, who, as reported on PJM, has admitted to fighting on the side of al-Qaeda and the Taliban in Afghanistan, as well as to recruiting Libyans to fight with al-Qaeda in Iraq. The biographical details attributed by Fouchet to “al-Sadi” correspond to the known details of the biography of al-Hasadi. These include his settling in Afghanistan prior to the 9/11 terror attacks and the subsequent American-led invasion, his detention by American forces in Pakistan in 2002, and his transfer to and imprisonment in his home country Libya.
Interestingly, Fouchet says that he spoke to “al-Sadi” as the latter was “leaving for the front to coordinate operations.” “In the past,” the rebel commander told Fouchet, “I didn’t like NATO. They fired missiles on Afghanistan. Now that they are helping us in Libya, it’s different. But if there are problems with them, if they begin to occupy our country, we can turn on them in the click of your fingers.”
As to his goals, “al-Sadi” explained to Fouchet that he had rejoined the jihad in order to “cut Gaddafi’s throat and establish an Islamic state.” Libyan government claims that al-Hasadi had declared an “Islamic emirate” in Darnah have been widely dismissed as propaganda by Western observers.

John Rosenthal writes regularly on European politics for such publications as The Weekly Standard, Policy Review and The Daily Caller. More of his work can be found at
Title: Re: Libya and
Post by: Crafty_Dog on April 04, 2011, 11:14:28 PM
Well, this looks to get even more interesting.  I've heard that Daffy is moving to exile with his beloved nurse in Crimea.
Title: Re: Libya and
Post by: G M on April 05, 2011, 11:35:04 AM
Well, this looks to get even more interesting.  I've heard that Daffy is moving to exile with his beloved nurse in Crimea.

Not if NATO throws in the towel first.

"Coalition of the ailing"
Title: Attitude of Gratitude
Post by: Crafty_Dog on April 05, 2011, 03:46:43 PM
BENGHAZI, Libya (AP) — A rebel military leader lashed out at NATO Tuesday, saying it was falling short in its mission to protect Libyan civilians. The alliance said ruler Moammar Gadhafi's forces position heavy weapons in populated areas, preventing some airstrikes.

Abdel-Fattah Younis, chief of staff for the rebel military and Gadhafi's former interior minister, said he was asking the opposition's leadership council to take their grievances to the U.N. Security Council, which authorized force in Libya to stop government troops from wiping out the anti-Gadhafi uprising that began Feb. 15.

NATO forces "don't do anything" even though the United Nations gave them the right to act, Younis said. He said bureaucracy means that NATO strikes sometimes come eight hours after rebels' have communicated targets.

"The people will die and this crime will be on the face of the international community forever. What is NATO doing?" Younis said.

NATO last week took control over the international airstrikes that began March 19 as a U.S.-led mission. The airstrikes thwarted Gadhafi's efforts to crush the rebellion in the North African nation he has ruled for more than four decades, but the rebels remain outnumbered and outgunned and have had difficulty pushing into government-held territory even with air support.

The government pushed back rebel forces in a strategic oil town to the east Tuesday, while rebels claimed they fended off an attack by Gadhafi's forces in one of a string of opposition-controlled towns southwest of Tripoli, the capital. The rebels have maintained control of much of the eastern half of Libya since early in the uprising, while Gadhafi has clung to much of the west.

Gadhafi has been putting out feelers for a cease-fire, but refuses to step down as the opposition is demanding. On Tuesday his government announced a new foreign minister: Abdelati al-Obeidi, who has been in Europe seeking a diplomatic solution. He replaces Moussa Koussa, who defected last week.

Al-Obeidi's deputy Khaled Kaim said the opposition council doesn't represent most Libyans and that al-Qaida is exploiting the crisis. He accused nations supporting the airstrikes of supporting terrorism "by arming the militias, by providing them with materials, and the coalition's decision to starve 85 percent of the Libyan population, while there was another course for solving this crisis, which was the political course."

Kaim said "history will not forgive" Libyans who sought foreign help to change the regime. "People will reject them whether they are with or against Moammar Gadhafi," he said.

Some nations, including the U.S., have considered arming the rebels but have not done so.

Brig. Gen. Mark Van Uhm of NATO said Tuesday that airstrikes have so far destroyed 30 percent of Gadhafi's military capacity.

On Monday, the alliance said it carried out 14 attacks on ground targets across the country, destroying radars, munitions dumps, armored vehicles and a rocket launcher. Three-quarters of Monday's scheduled strike missions, however, had to return without dropping their bombs or launching their missiles because Gadhafi loyalists made it more difficult for pilots to distinguish between civilians and regime troops, Van Uhm said.

The general and a doctor in besieged western city of Misrata said Gadhafi's forces had recently changed tactics in there by moving tanks and other heavy equipment to civilian areas.

"They snuck their anti-aircraft weapons and tanks into the city. They are between the apartment buildings and the trees," said the doctor, who spoke on condition of anonymity for fear of reprisals.

Younis, however, said civilians have cleared out of areas of Misrata occupied by Gadhafi's forces and that NATO "would have lifted the siege days ago" if it wanted to.

"Children are dying every day and women and men are dying every day from shelling. If NATO waited another week, that will be the end of Misrata. There won't be anyone left."

Asked for a response, NATO spokesperson Oana Lungescu said: "The facts speak for themselves. The tempo of operations has continued unabated."

Younis' press conference — a rare public appearance by the top commander — was a sharp break in diplomatic protocol as the opposition seeks more airstrikes and other support, including arms, from the international community. The rebels' political leadership also seeks recognition of its council as the only legitimate government in Libya.

The rebels were holding talks with White House envoy Chris Stevens in Benghazi, their de facto capital in eastern Libya. Stevens was trying to get a better idea of who the rebels are, what they want and what their capabilities are, said a U.S. official who spoke on condition of anonymity pending an announcement of the visit by the White House.

Stevens' visit could pave the way for U.S. recognition of the Transitional National Council as Libya's legitimate government, although no decision is imminent, the official said. Three countries — France, Qatar and Italy — already have recognized the council.

The Libyan government took foreign journalists to the western city of Zawiya, where an uprising was put down in weeks of battles and the government claimed stability had returned.

Journalists were taken to see a hospital where rebels sought treatment. Nurses there staged a pro-Gadhafi rally for the press corps' benefit.

Massoud al-Deeb was among the many doctors who helped treat the rebels and said that many of them were Libyan locals from Zawiya — which goes against much of the government line that the rebels were expatriates from Egypt and Algeria.

"They are all our people. I helped both sides (rebels and Gadhafi forces)," said al-Deeb. "We had 20-30 injured people every day, mostly with gunshot wounds. We have no statistical data. The injured were sometimes brought in by their families."

The city remained essentially a ghost town, with most of the shops shuttered and buildings pockmarked with bullets and shell fire.

Near the main square, the rebels' former base in Zawiya, a dirt lot was all that remained of a mosque that served as their hospital, jail and meeting place. The government razed it, leaving little but bulldozer tracks deeply scratched into the soil.

Some locals told reporters that the rebels' acts had desecrated the mosque, but a businessman named Mohammad, sitting in cafe, said many people were in fact unhappy with the decision.

"How can you remove a mosque in a central square just like that? It's a Muslim country," said Mohammad, who wouldn't give his last name for fear of reprisals. Even so, he said he wants Gadhafi to stay.

"When the revolutionaries were here, more than 50 percent of people supported them. People thought things would change and improve," he said. "Then the revolutionaries were defeated and they ran away to the west. ... Now I think Gadhafi should stay because I want stability and I want to keep my shop."

Also in the west, a rebel said Gadhafi's forces had attempted to take the mountainous town of Yefren, about 80 miles (130 kilometers) southwest of Tripoli, on Monday, but that by Tuesday the rebels had regained control.

Shaban Abusitta, a rebel leader from the town of Nalut, about 125 miles southwest of Tripoli, said youths from Nalut and Zintan farther southwest infiltrated Yefren and helped rebels there fight for the town.

He said that the armed forces had surrounded the town and began launching rockets into Yefren. The rebels, armed with Kalashnikov rifles, attacked the armed forces' lines and were able to push them farther away from the town.

In eastern Libya, Gadhafi loyalists and opponents have fought a tug-of-war for weeks on the road from Benghazi to Tripoli, with a few main towns and oil ports changing hands repeatedly. Though Gadhafi's forces are stronger, airstrikes have helped the rebels hold back an onslaught.

The rebels had managed to take part of the oil town of Brega on Monday, but the rocket and artillery salvos unleashed on the rebels Tuesday indicated the government's offensive capabilities remain very much intact.

"When you see this, the situation is very bad. We cannot match their weapons," said Kamal Mughrabi, 64, a retired soldier who joined the rebel army. "If the planes don't come back and hit them, we'll have to keep pulling back."

Rebel attempts to fire rockets and mortars against the government forces were met with aggressive counter bombardments that sent many of the rebel forces scrambling back all the way to the town of Ajdabiya, dozens of miles (kilometers) away.

Rebel forces have been helped by the arrival on the front of more trained soldiers and heavier weapons, but they are still struggling to match the more experienced and better equipped government troops. In a step toward getting more money for weapons and other needs, a tanker arrived Tuesday near the eastern city of Tobruk to load up the rebels' first shipment of oil for export in nearly three weeks.

The tanker can carry 1 million barrels of oil, less than the 1.6 million barrels Libya produced every day on average before the crisis. Analysts viewed the delivery as a symbolic step forward for a country that had been 17th among the world's oil producers.


Al-Shalchi reported from Zawiya. Associated Press writers Ryan Lucas in Benghazi, Slobodan Lekic in Brussels, Matthew Lee in Washington, Jane Wardell and Cassandra Vinograd in London and Slobodan Lekic in Brussels contributed to this report.

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
Title: "Fly some of the time" zone?
Post by: G M on April 07, 2011, 09:58:30 AM

Gadhafi plane evades NATO no-fly zone, bombs rebel tanks

By Shashank Bengali | McClatchy Newspapers
AJDABIYA, Libya — Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi's air force evaded the U.N.-ordered NATO-enforced no-fly zone on Thursday and destroyed three rebel tanks parked along a key highway here, triggering a rebel retreat that seemed to pave the way for a full pro-Gadhafi assault on the city of Ajdabiya.

Read more:
Title: WSJ: Rebels hijack Daffy's phone network
Post by: Crafty_Dog on April 13, 2011, 06:40:56 AM
MARGARET COKER in Abu Dhabi and CHARLES LEVINSON in Benghazi, Libya
A team led by a Libyan-American telecom executive has helped rebels hijack Col. Moammar Gadhafi's cellphone network and re-establish their own communications.

The new network, first plotted on an airplane napkin and assembled with the help of oil-rich Arab nations, is giving more than two million Libyans their first connections to each other and the outside world after Col. Gadhafi cut off their telephone and Internet service about a month ago.

That March cutoff had rebels waving flags to communicate on the battlefield. The new cellphone network, opened on April 2, has become the opposition's main tool for communicating from the front lines in the east and up the chain of command to rebel brass hundreds of miles away.

While cellphones haven't given rebel fighters the military strength to decisively drive Col. Gadhafi from power, the network has enabled rebel leaders to more easily make the calls needed to rally international backing, source weapons and strategize with their envoys abroad.

To make that possible, engineeers hived off part of the Libyana cellphone network—owned and operated by the Tripoli-based Libyan General Telecommunications Authority, which is run by Col. Gadhafi's eldest son—and rewired it to run independently of the regime's control. Government spokesman Moussa Ibrahim, asked about the rebel cellphone network, said he hadn't heard of it.

A Libyan rebel stood guard Tuesday on a checkpoint between Brega and Ajdabiya. Rebels now can use cellphones to communicate between the front lines and opposition leaders.

.Ousama Abushagur, a 31-year-old Libyan telecom executive raised in Huntsville, Ala., masterminded the operation from his home in Abu Dhabi. Mr. Abushagur and two childhood friends working as corporate managers in Dubai and Doha started fund-raising on Feb. 17 to support the political protests that were emerging in Libya. By Feb. 23, when fighting had erupted, his team delivered the first of multiple humanitarian aid convoys to eastern Libya.

But while in Libya, they found their cellphones and Thuraya satellite phones jammed or out of commission, making planning and logistics challenging.

Security was also an issue. Col. Gadhafi had built his telecommunications infrastructure to fan out from Tripoli—routing all calls through the capital and giving him and his intelligence agents full control over phones and Internet.

On March 6, during a flight back to the United Arab Emirates after organizing a naval convoy to the embattled city of Misrata, Mr. Abushagur says he drew up a diagram on the back of a napkin for a plan to infiltrate Libyana, pirate the signal and carve out a network free of Tripoli's control.

What followed was a race against time to solve the technical, engineering and legal challenges before the nascent rebel-led governing authority was crushed under the weight of Col. Gadhafi's better-equipped forces. After a week of victories in which the rebels swept westward from Benghazi toward Col. Gadhafi's hometown of Sirte, the rebel advance stalled and reversed on March 17, when the United Nations approved a no-fly zone and government forces kicked off a fierce counterattack.

In a sign of deepening ties between Arab governments and the Benghazi-based administration, the U.A.E. and Qatar provided diplomatic support and helped buy the several million dollars of telecommunications equipment needed in Benghazi, according to members of the Libyan transitional authority and people familiar with the situation.

Meanwhile, rebel military commanders were using flags to signal with their troops, a throw-back that proved disastrous to their attempts at holding their front lines.

"We went to fight with flags: Yellow meant retreat, green meant advance," said Gen. Ahmed al-Ghatrani, a rebel commander in Benghazi. "Gadhafi forced us back to the stone age."

Renewed signal jamming also meant that rebel leaders and residents in Benghazi had little warning of the government forces' offensive across east Libya and the March 19 attempted invasion of Benghazi, which sparked panicked civilian evacuations of the city.

.Mr. Abushagur watched the government advances with alarm. His secret cellphone operation had also run into steep problems.

The Chinese company Huawei Technologies Ltd., one of the original contractors for Libyana's cellular network backbone, refused to sell equipment for the rebel project, causing Mr. Abushagur and his engineer buddies to scramble to find a hybrid technical solution to match other companies' hardware with the existing Libyan network. Huawei declined to comment on its customers or work in Libya. The Libyan expats in the project asked that their corporate affiliations be kept confidential so that their political activities don't interfere with their work responsibilities. Without Huawei, the backing from the Persian Gulf nations became essential—otherwise it is unlikely that international telecom vendors would have sold the sophisticated machinery to an unrecognized rebel government or individual businessmen, according to people familiar with the situation.

"The Emirates government and [its telecommunications company] Etisalat helped us by providing the equipment we needed to operate Libyana at full capacity," said Faisal al-Safi, a Benghazi official who oversees transportation and communications issues.

U.A.E. and Qatari officials didn't respond to requests for comment. Emirates Telecommunications Corp., known as Etisalat, declined to comment.

By March 21, most of the main pieces of equipment had arrived in the U.A.E. and Mr. Abushagur was ready to ship them to Benghazi with three Libyan telecom engineers, four Western engineers and a team of bodyguards.

 After 42 years under Moammar Gadhafi's rule, it's hard to imagine what Libya could look like without the dictator in power. WSJ's Neil Hickey reports from Washington on the cloudy outlook for the north African nation.
.But Col. Gadhafi's forces were still threatening to overrun the rebel capital and trying to bomb its airport. Mr. Abushagur diverted the team and their equipment to an Egyptian air base on the Libyan border. Customs bureaucracy cost them a week, though Egypt's eventual approval was another show of Arab support for rebels. Egypt's governing military council couldn't be reached for comment.

Once in Libya, the team paired with Libyana engineers and executives based in Benghazi. Together, they fused the new equipment into the existing cellphone network, creating an independent data and routing system free from Tripoli's command.

The team also captured the Tripoli-based database of phone numbers, giving them information necessary to patch existing Libyana customers and phone numbers into their new system—which they dubbed "Free Libyana." The last piece of the puzzle was securing a satellite feed through which the Free Libyana calls could be routed—a solution provided by Etisalat, according to Benghazi officials.

On April 2, Mr. Abushagur placed a test call on the system to his wife back in Abu Dhabi. "She's the one who told me to go for it in the first place," he said.

International calling from Libya is still limited to the few individuals and officials in eastern Libya who most need it. Incoming calls have to be paid for by prepaid calling cards, except for Jordan, Egypt and Qatar.

Domestic calling works throughout eastern Libya up until the Ajdabiya, the last rebel-held town in the east. An added bonus of the new network: It is free for domestic calls, at least until Free Libyana gets a billing system up and running.

—Loretta Chao, Shireen El-Gazzar and Sam Dagher contributed to this article.
Title: Pathetic
Post by: G M on April 16, 2011, 10:15:29 AM
Coalition of the ailing

Less than a month into the Libyan conflict, NATO is running short of precision bombs, highlighting the limitations of Britain, France and other European countries in sustaining even a relatively small military action over an extended period of time, according to senior NATO and U.S. officials.

The shortage of European munitions, along with the limited number of aircraft available, has raised doubts among some officials about whether the United States can continue to avoid returning to the air campaign if Libyan leader Moammar Gaddafi hangs on to power for several more months.

U.S. strike aircraft that participated in the early stage of the operation, before the United States relinquished command to NATO and assumed what President Obama called a “supporting” role, have remained in the theater “on 12-hour standby” with crews “constantly briefed on the current situation,” a NATO official said.

So far, the NATO commander has not requested their deployment. Several U.S. military officials said they anticipated being called back into the fight, although a senior administration official said he expected other countries to announce “in the next few days” that they would contribute aircraft equipped with the laser-guided munitions.
Title: Bet on CATS
Post by: G M on April 19, 2011, 03:47:01 PM

Coalition of the ailing.
Title: 4/13 Stratfor
Post by: Crafty_Dog on April 20, 2011, 09:07:13 AM
French President Nicolas Sarkozy and British Prime Minister David Cameron will meet in Paris on Wednesday over a dinner to discuss the situation in Libya, according to a French government source quoted by the AFP on Tuesday. The announcement comes after London and Paris leveled criticism at NATO, saying that the alliance was essentially not doing enough in Libya to have an impact on the ground. It also follows an EU foreign ministers’ meeting in Luxembourg on Tuesday where the European Union endorsed the basic outlines of an EU “military-humanitarian” mission that has no identified purpose or mission structure, but is the first foray into at least introducing the idea of a potential mission shift that would necessitate “boots on the ground.”

“The situation in Libya is quickly becoming Europe’s very own Middle East ‘quagmire.’”
The situation in Libya is quickly becoming Europe’s very own Middle East “quagmire,” to borrow the term used to describe the Iraqi and Vietnamese conflicts. France and the United Kingdom pushed for an intervention in Libya, but are now faced with a situation that has quickly devolved into a stalemate, with Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi set to rule western Libya and with eastern Libya under some level of control of a yet undefined rebel movement, tangentially represented by the Libyan National Transition Council. The main distinction between where Europeans are today and where America was in Vietnam and Iraq is that the sunk costs of a ground commitment have not yet been made, which makes it easier, albeit politically unpalatable, for France and the United Kingdom to quit.

There are three primary reasons for the stalemate. First, the ultimate goal of the intervention, despite not being cited by the U.N. Security Council resolution authorizing the military operation, is regime change. However, this cannot be achieved solely via airstrikes. Second, the rebel forces that were supposed to provide the ground troops to topple Gadhafi and provide an element of authority following his ouster are inadequate as a fighting force. Third, while the strikes have not brought down Gadhafi or even prevented him from attacking Misurata, they have proved effective in preventing an eventual attack on Benghazi.

How did the Europeans find themselves in this predicament? France and the United Kingdom were emboldened by a slew of early Gadhafi loyalist defections and examples of relatively quick ousters of neighboring Tunisian President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali and Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak to pursue a limited military intervention in Libya. Their motivations were diverse, but what unites London and Paris today is that a stalemate in Libya will be perceived as a failure on the part of both, and Europe in general, to make and execute effective international security policy. This is an issue of reputation both regionally and domestically, particularly for Sarkozy, whose approval rating has not benefited from the overall popularity of the intervention among the French public.

France has, for example, begun leveling criticism against NATO primarily to absolve itself of the ineffectiveness of the current mission. On Tuesday alone, French Defense Minister Gerard Longuet and Foreign Minister Alain Juppe hinted at everything from the idea that certain NATO member states are preventing the French air force from conducting aggressive airstrikes, to the suggestion that the United States has removed its ground strike capacity too quickly and withdrawn into the background before the mission was accomplished.

The question now is where do the Europeans go from the current predicament. The statements from Paris seem to suggest that some sort of a stalemate is becoming acceptable and that the French government is working hard to absolve itself from responsibility of the failure to enact regime change, setting the stage to lay the blame on the less aggressive NATO allies.

Yet even a stalemate will not be easy to maintain. While it is true that with significant coalition airpower in place, Gadhafi will ultimately be unable to cross the desert that separates the Gulf of Sidra from the rebel stronghold of Benghazi (and all that is east of it), the problem remains that the rebels will not be completely secure. Enforcing some sort of a demilitarized zone would be largely ineffective. While it would be simple to place a small number of foreign troops on the main coastal highway, it is not as if Gadhafi loyalists would not be able to go through the desert south of the highway with small sabotage teams to harass the rebels’ command and control, as well, energy-producing facilities. Furthermore, foreign troops separating the two sides would become targets. This leaves the rebels holding on to the northeastern portion of the country with no safe link to the energy fields in the south. It also leaves Gadhafi in control of the western portion of the country with all the security implications that will have for the Mediterranean.

This leaves Europe where it started, almost 20 years to the day in the emerging conflict in the former Yugoslavia, with a reputation for not being able to resolve security problems in its own neighborhood. That is exactly the perception that Paris set out to change with an aggressive policy in Libya. Paris and London understand this, which is why they have the incentive to spread the blame to other NATO member states and to make sure that the stalemate is ultimately resolved. However, it is becoming clear that the only way to do the latter, considering the woeful inadequacy of rebel forces, is to engage in a war against Gadhafi via ground forces. This is why the issue is being floated via the yet undefined “military-humanitarian” missions and through various leaks to the European press. The Europeans are testing the public perception to the idea, while trying to bluff Gadhafi into thinking that the stakes are about to become higher.

The current state of affairs in Libya is ultimately the product of Europeans, and the United States along with them, having not pursued an aligned military strategy consistent with political goals. Military objectives were based on a loosely worded U.N. Security Council resolution that defined defending civilians as the primary goal of the intervention. Setting aside our argument that the real political goal has from the beginning been regime change, the military strategy wasn’t wholly capable of accomplishing the humanitarian goal either. This is primarily because the intervening countries placed an upper limit of how much effort they would exert in the pursuit of such a humanitarian goal. Namely, as was the case with Kosovo, no Western soldiers would be put in harm’s way in a ground invasion. This limit on effort merely meant that Benghazi was saved from Gadhafi’s heavy artillery so that Misurata could be destroyed through urban combat two weeks later.

Title: Stratfor: Euro
Post by: Crafty_Dog on April 22, 2011, 04:59:26 AM
Europe's Libyan Dilemma Deepens

Italian Defense Minister Ignazio La Russa said on Wednesday that Western forces might need to increase their involvement in Libya. La Russa added that Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi would only leave power if forcibly removed, and that Rome would consider sending 10 military instructors to help train rebels. The pledge from La Russa comes after the United Kingdom announced it was sending 20 military advisers and France stated that it would also send military liaison officers.

Talk of deploying military advisers to Libya has sparked speculation that the Europeans are contemplating increased involvement in Libya on the ground. U.N. Security Council Resolution 1973 authorizing military intervention specifically prohibits ground-troop involvement for occupation, but by definition leaves open the possibility of ground forces being used for some undefined purpose.

The Libyan intervention has proved that international organization mandates and government rhetoric can shift from day to day. For example, two days prior to his Wednesday comments while in Rome, La Russa said while in the United States that it was too early to talk about sending advisers to Libya.

“The imposition of a no-fly zone and airstrikes are generally popular across the Continent, but once the question shifts to a ground-force intervention, Europeans are wary of Libya becoming their own Iraq.”
Meanwhile, the situation on the ground has continuously overtaken official statements and apparently firm policy stances. There are two reasons for this.

First, the Libyan intervention has no clear leader. While London and Paris have been the most vociferous about the need to intervene, their enthusiasm and capacity are not properly matched.

Second, the intervening countries clearly have regime change in mind as the ultimate goal, but have thus far limited their operations purely to the enforcement of the no-fly zone and the targeting of Gadhafi loyalist forces from the air. Regime change is not going to be effected from the air, and the use of fighter jets will not be able to prevent civilian casualties in urban areas. European countries leading the charge in Libya are therefore confronted with the reality that the forces they have brought to bear on Libya are incompatible with the political goals they want to achieve.

Nowhere is this incongruence between goals and military strategy and tactics more clear than in the ongoing situation in Misurata, a rebel-held city in western Libya that is besieged by Gadhafi forces. Rebels in Misurata asked for a ground force intervention on Tuesday to prevent being overtaken. But air power alone is not capable of preventing the city from being overrun, as was the case in Benghazi, where geography was more favorable.

Paris, London and Rome find themselves between a rock and a hard place. On one end they want regime change and are faced with Misurata, which is beginning to look like the 21st century version of Sarajevo as it was besieged during the four-year Bosnian Civil War. Sarajevo symbolized the inability of the West, especially Europe, to change the situation on the ground in Bosnia-Herzegovina.

The failure to evict Gadhafi from power and standing by while Misurata gets pounded presents a political problem, especially after so much political capital was spent in Paris and London on getting the intervention approved in the first place, specifically for the purpose of preventing civilian casualties. Yet again Europeans will look impotent and incompetent in foreign affairs, just as the Yugoslav imbroglio illustrated in the 1990s.

On the other hand, there does not seem to be any support in European countries for a ground intervention. The imposition of a no-fly zone and airstrikes are generally popular across the Continent, but once the question shifts to a ground-force intervention, Europeans are wary of Libya becoming their own Iraq. Especially dreaded is a scenario in which European forces become targets of a counterinsurgency, something the French in particular can vividly remember from their own experiences in the neighborhood.

Can a middle ground be found? Would a limited intervention made up of special operations forces, expeditionary forces and advisers save Misurata in the short term and help coalesce the Benghazi-based rebels into something akin to a fighting force in the longer term? As if on cue, British officials have confirmed that three ships carrying 600 marines are on their way to Cyprus. Their mission supposedly has nothing to do with Libya, and is a previously planned training exercise. But the location and timing are difficult to ignore and their position and capabilities as a naval infantry mean that they can be called upon in a contingency.

Some sort of a role for ground troops may very well be a scenario that the Europeans are beginning to seriously consider. If that is the case, and Gadhafi proves yet again to be difficult to dislodge with a token ground force contingent, Europe risks finding itself stuck in an ever-expanding mission in Libya that is increasingly difficult from which to extract itself.

Title: Re: Libya and
Post by: G M on April 22, 2011, 05:04:29 AM
"Coalition of the ailing"

Title: Re: Libya and
Post by: Crafty_Dog on April 22, 2011, 05:15:19 AM
Not entirely a bad thing for the Euros to experience what it takes to pull something off and to get a realistic reading of what they can and can not do.
Title: Re: Libya and
Post by: G M on April 22, 2011, 05:18:19 AM
They should title this little misadventure "When accordions go deer hunting".
Title: WSJ: What would President McCain do?
Post by: Crafty_Dog on April 22, 2011, 05:32:10 AM
WASHINGTON—U.S. Sen. John McCain, one of the strongest proponents in Congress of the American military intervention in Libya, said Friday that Libyan rebels fighting Col. Moammar Gadhafi's troops are his heroes.

The top Republican on the Senate Armed Services Committee made the remark after arriving in Benghazi, a city that has been the opposition capital in the rebel-held eastern Libya.

Mr. McCain said he was in Benghazi "to get an on-the-ground assessment of the situation'' and planned to meet with the rebel National Transition Council, the de-facto government in the eastern half of the country, as well as members of the rebel military.

"They are my heroes,'' Mr. McCain said of the rebels as he walked out of a local hotel in Benghazi. He was traveling in an armored Mercedes jeep and had a security detail. A few Libyans waved American flags as his vehicle drove past.

Mr. McCain's visit is the highest yet by an American official to the rebel-held east and a boost to anti-Gadhafi forces. Details of the trip were shrouded in secrecy due to heightened security in a country fiercely divided by the two-month-old anti-Gadhafi rebellion.

Mr. McCain's trip comes as Defense Secretary Robert Gates announced Thursday that President Barack Obama has authorized the use of armed Predator drones against forces loyal to Col. Gadhafi. It is the first time that drones will be used for airstrikes since the U.S. turned over control of the operation to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization on April 4.

The rebels have complained that NATO airstrikes since then have largely been ineffective in stopping Col. Gadhafi's forces.

Invoking the humanitarian disasters in Rwanda and Bosnia in the 1990s, Mr. McCain pressed for U.S. military intervention in Libya in February, weeks before the United Nations Security Council authorized military action to protect civilians and impose a no-fly zone.

When Mr. Obama acted with limited congressional consultation, Mr. McCain defended the president, saying he couldn't wait for Congress to take even a few days to debate the use of force. If he had, "there would have been nothing left to save in Benghazi,'' the rebels' de-facto capital.

But as the U.S. handed operational control over to NATO—and withdrew U.S. combat aircraft—Mr. McCain criticized the administration.

"`For the United States to withdraw our unique offensive capabilities at this time would send the wrong signal,'' McCain said. He said the U.S. must not fail in Libya and said he spoke as someone experienced in a lost conflict, a reference to his time as a prisoner of war in Vietnam.

Mr. McCain also has pushed for arming the rebels, saying the U.S. and its partners can't allow Col. Gadhafi to consolidate his hold on one section of the country and create a military deadlock.

Title: Mounting Evidence of Rebel Atrocities in Libya
Post by: G M on April 22, 2011, 05:40:27 AM

Mounting Evidence of Rebel Atrocities in Libya

Video clips depict summary executions, lynching of an alleged mercenary and a beheading. Black African prisoners are singled out for abuse.

April 20, 2011 - by John Rosenthal

While the International Criminal Court has announced that it is investigating charges of war crimes against Muammar al-Gaddafi and other members of the Libyan regime, harrowing video evidence has emerged that appears to show atrocities committed by anti-Gaddafi rebels. Among other things, the footage depicts summary executions, a prisoner being lynched, the desecration of corpses, and even a beheading. The targets of the most serious abuse are frequently black African prisoners. The ultimate source of the footage appears to be rebel forces or sympathizers themselves.
(Warning: Due to the graphic nature of the videos linked below, viewer discretion is advised.)
Title: Re: Libya and
Post by: Crafty_Dog on May 12, 2011, 09:12:23 AM
I have seen reports that the rebels are evolving into a more competent force and have taken a city?
Title: WSJ: The TNC
Post by: Crafty_Dog on May 19, 2011, 10:07:46 AM

Mahmoud Jibril, the interim prime minister of the Libyan opposition government, is a desperate man with a fondness for medical metaphors. "If you're bleeding to death, you need a tourniquet, not another diagnosis," he told the diplomats, lobbyists and pro-democracy activists invited to a reception at the Libyan ambassador's elegant house in Washington, D.C., last Thursday.

This was the first official visit by Mr. Jibril and other representatives of the Transitional National Council (TNC) who are struggling to manage Libya's transition from 42 years of Moammar Gadhafi's dictatorship to a democratic future. The delegation left Washington over the weekend with lots of goodwill but without the "tourniquet" Mr. Jibril was seeking—access to $3 billion of the $32 billion in Libyan assets that the U.S. froze in February.

After almost two days of nonstop meetings between the Libyans and members of Congress, officials at the State Department and the Pentagon, and National Security Adviser Tom Donilon, the White House issued a terse statement calling Mr. Jibril and the TNC he co-chairs "credible and legitimate." Privately, the White House also pledged to help speed legislation suggested by Sen. John Kerry (D., Mass.), and supported by Sen. John McCain (R., Ariz.), to give the rebels access to some $180 million of Libyan funds.

But legislation takes time. And Indiana Sen. Richard Lugar's reluctance to get more deeply involved in Libya—the ranking Republican on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee did not attend Friday's meeting with the Libyans—does not bode well for quick action. Time is an all-too-precious commodity for the rebels, who say they are running out of money.

Ali Tarhouni, the interim government's finance minister, said that even if Mr. Kerry's relief package were approved, the money only would cover the cost of feeding and providing power to Libya's liberated areas for 10-12 days. "We really appreciate everything the U.S. is doing," Mr. Tarhouni told me. "But it doesn't solve my problem. I'm basically trying to run a war economy without resources. We're not asking for American taxpayer money," he said, "just access to our own frozen funds, or loans using them as collateral."

Mr. Tarhouni said he hoped that Qatar and the United Arab Emirates would provide some more interim relief. Support from both countries—which along with France, Italy and a few African states have recognized the TNC as Libya's legitimate government and sent fuel to the rebels—has been "outstanding," he said.

View Full Image

Associated Press
Mahmoud Jibril
.Although the delegation left Washington empty-handed, it made some progress, according to Libyan and American sources. The delegation's visit reminded America that while Washington dithers, Libyans continue to die. Mr. Jibril told me that, based on hospital estimates, more than 11,000 Libyans have already been killed in the 12 weeks of fighting. The United Nations says that more than 800,000 people have fled Libya and that 1.6 million inside the country need assistance.

The visit has also allayed some concern that the rebel leadership is infiltrated and unduly influenced by al Qaeda or its longtime affiliate, the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG) —a standard theme of Gadhafi's narrative about the TNC.

Messrs. Jibril and Tarhouni acknowledge there are LIFG members and some other militants' voices represented in the council. Since the TNC represents all anti-Gadhafi elements of the country, "they are included," Mr. Jibril says. But he insists they are not in leadership positions and will not determine foreign or domestic policy if and when Gadhafi is overthrown, if the TNC survives.

Mr. Jibril got his masters and a doctorate in strategic planning from the University of Pittsburgh in 1985. Though he served from 2007-09 as the chair of the Gadhafi's National Economic Development Board and led the Libyan National Planning Council, Libya experts never considered him part of the dictator's inner circle.

Mr. Tarhouni's democratic credentials are more impressive. He was a university student in Libya decades ago when his antiregime activities landed him on a Gadhafi hit list and forced him to flee. An economics professor at the University of Washington, he abruptly left his family and students to join the Libyan uprising, apologizing to his students for his departure. "I told them I had been waiting 40 years for this moment. In fact, I had almost lost hope that I would ever live to see it," he said.

Both men express gratitude toward the U.S.—as well as their growing frustration—in vivid, colloquial English. Mr. Jibril, for instance, explaining why the rebels have been unwilling to declare themselves Libya's government, articulated his dilemma this way: If the TNC took such action, Gadhafi would accuse them of being a separatist movement. "Damned if you do, damned if you don't," he told an audience at the Brookings Institution on Thursday.

It is this legalistic never-never land that has complicated the TNC's effort to secure more concrete support from Washington. But that alone does not fully explain Washington's hesitation. Some in Congress and within the White House continue to warn of "mission creep" in Libya. What began, belatedly, as an effort to protect the population of Benghazi in eastern Libya has become a grueling stalemate. With no obvious vital strategic interests at stake in the vast, oil-rich land of 6.5 million, and with two other wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, some American analysts warn ominously about the dangers of "imperial overreach."

The Obama administration has repeatedly called for Gadhafi to relinquish power, and it has been quietly searching for a country that will host him. The State Department has not permitted Gadhafi to replace his ambassadors in Washington and at the United Nations. Both have defected to the rebels. But the U.S. has not recognized the TNC as Libya's legitimate government either.

After their meetings in Washington, neither Mahmoud Jibril nor Ali Tarhouni seemed worried about tomorrow's War Powers Act deadline—which requires President Obama to end the use of force absent a Congressional decision to keep going. "The message we got is that this is not going to be a problem," Mr. Tarhouni said.

The administration "is not going to pull the plug on this engagement," says Dirk Vandewalle, a Libya expert and professor of government at Dartmouth. "We may not know who will lead Libya after Gadhafi falls," he added, "but the TNC has emerged as a coherent force that is reaching out to a wide range of Libyans and thinking seriously about the future."

Ms. Miller is an adjunct fellow at the Manhattan Institute and a commentator for Fox News.

Title: Stratfor: Repoart from the Libyan-Tunisia Border-2
Post by: Crafty_Dog on May 19, 2011, 10:17:15 AM
second post of the morning

Report from the Libyan-Tunisian Border, Part II
May 19, 2011 | 1219 GMT
PRINT Text Resize:   


Libyan rebels inspect a vehicle in the border city of Wazin on April 23The following is the second and final installment of a field report written by a STRATFOR source who recently visited the Libyan-Tunisian border. While Libyan rebels in the coastal town of Misurata have made significant gains in recent weeks against the Libyan army, the other remaining outpost of rebellion in western Libya — mainly ethnic Berbers holding out in the Nafusa Mountains — has seen no significant change in the tactical situation since rebels seized the Wazin-Dehiba border crossing April 21.

Forces loyal to Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi launch Grad rockets and other forms of artillery at the string of rebel-held towns along the mountain range on a daily basis, but they have been unable to retake the elevated positions, which give the rebels access to a strategic redoubt in neighboring Tunisia. Control of the border crossing — one of only two official outposts between the two countries, and the only one in the vicinity of the Nafusa Mountains (also known as the Western Mountains) — affords the rebels the luxury of an unimpeded supply line from Tunisia. Were the rebels to lose control of the border post, they would be forced to smuggle materiel through the mountains. Though local tribes know the terrain well and are used to smuggling subsidized gasoline from Libya into Tunisia during the days before the Libyan conflict broke out, this is still a less-secure proposition than simply driving across the border on the main road and would make it more difficult for the rebels to sustain their guerrilla fight against Gadhafi.

(click here to enlarge image)
The fighting between the Libyan army and the rebels in the Nafusa Mountains has caused strains recently between the governments of Tunisia and Libya. Reports of stray Libyan artillery rockets landing on Tunisian soil are frequent, and though the damage has been minimal — a few injuries, but no deaths — there have also been instances in which Libyan soldiers fled into Tunisia during firefights with rebel forces, which Tunisia sees as a violation of its sovereignty. At the time STRATFOR’s source was leaving Dehiba, dozens of artillery rockets allegedly fell in the vicinity of the town once again, prompting the Tunisian government to issue a communique in which it threatened to report Libya to the U.N. Security Council for “committing acts of an enemy.”

Editor’s Note: What follows is a field report from a STRATFOR source in the region.

“I crossed onto the Libyan side again May 16 and talked to a bunch of traders from Zentan who sell sheep in Tunisia and bring gasoline back to Zentan the next day. They told me Zentan is being hit by an average of 20 artillery rockets — considered by everyone to be 122 mm Grads — each day, sometimes as many as 100. Only four struck on May 15, and there were none during the two or three previous days. I tend to consider the numbers rhetorical exaggerations on their part, but then again I heard heavy machine gun fire and at least 15 artillery rockets target the mountains during the two nights I was in Dehiba. As far as the military situation in and around Zentan is concerned, there seems to basically have been no significant change over the last three months, of course with the exception of the border post having been taken and its effect on the rebel supply lines. Before, everything had to go through the smuggling routes in the mountains — actually more like big hills, but pretty steep.

Both on the Tunisian and Libyan side, everyone was smuggling even before the war. Dehiba is a sort of bay surrounded on two sides by the mountains behind which lies Libya. Before the unrest, people were bringing gasoline from Libya into Tunisia because it was so much cheaper. Now the direction of the traffic has changed but the intensity only has picked up. There are rundown pickup trucks all over the place that have no license plates and are only used to cross the mountains. The soldiers and border control guards know this, of course; they can actually see it because the main point of commerce to trade sheep brought in from Libya is just behind the border post. This makes the whole situation kind of odd as cars going through the post are subject to a close scrutiny. But at the same time, everyone knows you can just go around. I guess the idea is that only locals can avoid the posts because they know the routes you have to take, while foreigners from al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb — who are the ones people are worried about, especially since the arrests in recent weeks — have to go through the controls.

In Zentan, the rebels hold the city center and families and old men are in the outskirts or accompanying villages. These men claimed that only 25 percent of residents had left, and after seeing the relatively low amount of refugees on the Tunisian side of the border I would believe that. Gadhafi’s troops shell downtown Zentan from down the mountain, though there does not seem to be much of a discernable pattern to their targeting. The rebels there claim to have killed 200 soldiers and imprisoned 250. At the same time, they claim there are only 500 soldiers encircling Zentan. Among the prisoners, according to the two supply runners I spoke to, there are mercenaries from Mali, Chad, Algeria and Sudan. Also, the families of local officers on Gadhafi’s side supposedly are being held hostage in Tripoli in order to ensure the officers’ obeisance.

I believe most of what those two told me, except some of the figures. They were guests of the man with whom I was staying. We ate, had tea and smoked together. This kind of stuff means everything down there. I had previously tried to talk to people from Zentan in a refugee camp while with an American working for an international nongovernmental organization and no one wanted to talk to us. The local who introduced me changed everything in that sense.

On the Libyan side of the border, I ventured into the first rebel-held town, Wazin. I was unable to go farther, as I had no one to translate for me and was worried about not getting back to Tunisia before nightfall (when the shelling usually starts). I talked to a group of young men from Jadu there. There were maybe seven or eight of them hanging out at a bombed-out gas station where they also sleep. The rebels have formed troops by locality of about 20 men each. They take shifts up on the mountains in three units — two days up there defending their front, one day in the valley to relax. Underequipped, they are forced to hand off their arms to the ones coming up when they switch. They claim they have taken all their weapons from Gadhafi’s soldiers.

All the rebels I met were former students or university graduates with low-paying jobs, one truck driver with a geology degree, for example, who had never fought before. I doubt very much their claim that the rebels are composed of about 40-50 percent former professional soldiers. I didn’t see nor talk to a single rebel who fit this description.

One of my new friends, a youngster living in Dehiba, called me when I was on my way back to Tunis and told me Gadhafi’s forces had started shelling more intensely, including during the day, which didn’t happen when I was there. It seems they also targeted Wazin, which also hadn’t been happening. The rebels on the mountain road they are holding seem to have moved back their positions some. Maybe that rumor that Gadhafi’s troops had received reinforcements a few days ago was true after all. The new rumor (as of May 17) is that Gadhafi has given his troops 48 hours to take the border post again, but then again, we’ve seen self-imposed deadlines like this from Gadhafi before in other theaters of the war, and they typically don’t mean much.”

Title: POTH: Americans & Euros well-liked in rebel zone
Post by: Crafty_Dog on May 29, 2011, 07:37:14 AM
BENGHAZI, Libya — Frustrated by the gridlocked traffic, the young man in fatigues was leaning on the horn of his old Chevrolet Impala, the one with the front and rear windshields shot out. The shrillness of the pointless noise made a foreigner in the car next to him wince.

What popular Arab movement has ever flown the flags of not only the United States, but the European Union and France?
Then came one of those Free Libya moments.

“Sorry, sorry,” the horn-blower called apologetically, in English. The young man riding shotgun, also in fatigues and carrying a Kalashnikov, grinned sheepishly and apologized as well. Then he saluted, bringing his wounded right hand into view, a giant mitten of a bandage on it, blood soaking through in places.

“Thank you, thank you,” he said. “America No. 1.”

Americans and, for that matter, all Westerners are treated hereabouts with a warmth and gratitude rarely seen in any Muslim country — even those with 100,000 American troops — in probably half a century or more. People smile and go out of their way to say hello to them, and are almost shockingly courteous. It is that oddest of oddities, an Arab war zone where foreign joggers are regarded, not with hostility or even that sympathetic puzzlement reserved for the insane, but with a friendly wave or a toot on the horn.

Here, even taxi drivers do not rip off foreign visitors, and when a taxi cannot be found, some passing driver will soon volunteer a ride, and will be likely to refuse any offer of payment. A big problem for non-Arabic speaking journalists who visit is trying to find a translator who will accept payment for his or her services. The rebels’ press office has signed up all the English translators it could find, and ordered them to work for free.

In some restaurants, they seem almost reluctant to accept a foreigner’s money. It is a society chronically short of change, so a lot of the coffee bars will just say skip it, and serve up an espresso for whatever loose change is handy, if any. Espresso is one of the welcome surprises of Libya, and while no one would confuse it with Tre Scalini, it is pretty good for a region where the standard stuff is either instant Nescafe or Turkish coffee so thick that a toothpick is needed afterwards.

The pizza, too, is respectable, especially at Pisa Pizza in Benghazi, where the pies are about a yard in diameter. Proof that Italian colonialism accomplished something after all.

In other parts of the Mideast, one refrains from advertising American nationality, if only just in case. This is a part of the world where, other than outside American embassies, the Stars and Stripes are most often spotted ablaze and stomped upon.

Here, crowds of chanting youth fly it proudly, alongside their own new flag, a tricolor with red, black and green horizontal stripes and a crescent and star in the center. (It was widely and quickly adopted by the rebels to replace the Qaddafi government’s hated green flag, an unadorned panel so plain that it has been derided as a putting green.) What popular Arab street movement has ever flown the flags of not only the United States, but the European Union, NATO, Italy, France and Qatar, all at once?

Many Libyan parents with newborn girls are reportedly naming them Susan, in honor of Susan E. Rice, the Obama administration’s ambassador to the United Nations, for her vote in the Security Council in favor of establishing the no-fly zone. French visitors find an even warmer reception, and accolades to President Nicolas Sarkozy are graffitied on walls everywhere.

It may be a long time before any other Muslim press officer tells an American journalist, as Col. Ahmed Bani, the spokesman for the Libyan rebel military, did recently, “You are a mujahedeen and journalism is your jihad!” (The exclamation mark was his.)

So it is easy to let the guard drop, especially since the last time anyone was killed by Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi’s forces in Benghazi was March 19, when they made their final attempt on the city before NATO fighter-bombers put an end to that.

Now the loyalists are far from the city — the eastern front is 100 miles south of here — and NATO controls the skies. Can they all really be gone, though? While the rebels talk constantly about the danger of a Fifth Column of Qaddafi supporters, it is hard to imagine, so universal is the apparent acclaim for Free Libya.

Still, it may explain why the rebels’ Transitional National Council has so far refused to reveal the identities of most of its members. (This is a big issue for the United States, which has not recognized the rebels, at least in part out of concern over who its leaders really are.)

The Qaddafi government must have had some supporters, even here in the alienated east. In every town and city, there are row after row of new apartment buildings, with units that were in effect given away by the government to families in exchange for only token mortgage payments. While people here deride those blocks as “made in China” for their apparent poor quality of construction, free homes have got to win some enduring support, somewhere.

Perhaps such residual loyalty explains the bullet that whizzed just over one foreign jogger’s head, on the seafront Corniche early on a recent morning, a single shot on an otherwise quiet day. The sound of the rifle’s report came a second later, as it would with a high-velocity round. Whoever fired it was not about to show himself, at least not yet.
Title: Stratfor: Russia's Chess Match in Libya
Post by: Crafty_Dog on June 16, 2011, 05:28:05 AM

Russia's Chess Match In Libya

Russian businessman and politician Kirsan Ilyumzhinov told Russian media Tuesday that Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi is ready to begin immediate talks with NATO and Benghazi-based rebels over the settlement to the Libyan civil war. Ilyumzhinov claims Gadhafi told him this during their recent meeting in Tripoli, when the pair were filmed playing chess by Libyan state television. Ilyumzhinov, the president of the governing body of the international chess world and who has ties to the Kremlin, claims that he offered Gadhafi a draw in the match, not wanting to offend his host. In the same vein, the Russian government is trying to facilitate a draw for Gadhafi in the Libyan conflict, as it asserts itself as a mediator, and more importantly, positions itself to exploit the Libyan crisis for its own geopolitical aims.

“Moscow appears to be setting itself up as the mediator in the Libyan conflict, not only between Tripoli and the rebel opposition, but more importantly, between Tripoli and the West.”
Gadhafi has never displayed any intention of leaving Libya, a point he reportedly reiterated to Ilyumzhinov during his visit. The Libyan leader may still think he can one day reconquer the territory he has lost since February. But in reality, the best option he can hope for at this point is maintaining power of a rump Libya following a partition of the country (a course of action neither side has advocated publicly). Gadhafi is hoping he can outlast the political will in Washington and in Europe to maintain the bombing campaign, at which point he could force talks aimed at ending the conflict through a negotiated settlement — one that leaves him with a sizable chunk of the country under his control.

What no one can say for sure is how long he can hold out, and how long NATO can maintain the political will to continue the operation against him. What is known is that no serious effort is being taken to arm and train rebel forces to do the job for the West. This means hopes for regime change ride on NATO planes or the possibility that members of Gadhafi’s own regime might overthrow him. Otherwise, negotiations will eventually have to take place, because no one is prepared to invade Libya or keep bombing it forever.

Moscow knows this, and appears to be attempting to set itself up as the mediator in the Libyan conflict, not only between Tripoli and the rebel opposition, but more importantly between Tripoli and the West. Russia voiced its opposition to the intervention in Libya from the outset. Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin once said that the Western push for military action against Gadhafi’s regime was “reminiscent of a medieval call for a crusade.” NATO’s air campaign against Libya has presented Moscow with an opportunity to return to a familiar confrontational stance with the West. But Russia knows how to turn on the charm offensive when it wants to, and can also utilize its position as mediator.

No other country is as well placed as Russia to fulfill this role, and Moscow is eager to take advantage of the opportunity. The Germans’ refusal to take part in the air campaign has exposed a major rift in the alliance that works in the Russian interest. Russia also has a strategic interest in positioning itself to be able to exploit Libya’s energy assets: By acting as a mediator to all sides, it can work toward its ultimate aim of scuttling European hopes that North Africa may present an opportunity to lessen the dependence on Russian energy supplies. But Libya isn’t the only dispute Russia has attempted to mediate as of late: Moscow has also tried in the past year to mediate between Israel and the Palestinians. Overall, Russia doesn’t really care about these issues, but wants to show an ability, real or imagined, to remain a player in global politics.

The NATO air campaign has gone on for three months, with only eight countries participating. The French and British militaries have made pointed comments in recent days about the toll the effort is taking, a theme hammered home last week by outgoing U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates. Attempts to induce other NATO members to join in the airstrikes have been unsuccessful, meaning those doing the fighting now will have to push on without outside help.

Credibility is on the line, and that will be a powerful driver for these countries to succeed in their mission of regime change. It came as no surprise last Thursday to hear an anonymous NATO official concede that efforts are being made to assassinate Gadhafi in the course of selecting targets for bombing. And, the Italian defense minister said as much in May. But if air power is the only tool NATO has at its disposal — along with the hope that the regime simply crumbles under the pressure of economic sanctions, military pressure and political isolation — the Russians may eventually find themselves perfectly situated to serve as a go-between in talks aimed at ending the conflict without its main goals having been accomplished.

This is where Ilyumzhinov’s visit becomes important. A former president of the Russian Republic of Kalmykia, he has ties to the Kremlin as well as Russian intelligence. He claims his visit was not mandated by Moscow, yet admits that he informed President Dmitri Medvedev’s personal envoy for Africa, Mikhail Margelov, of his trip in advance. Margelov recently visited Benghazi, and plans to travel to Tripoli soon. Ilyumzhinov’s role as the president of the World Chess Federation, meanwhile, provides him with a somewhat believable alibi for traveling to Tripoli in the first place. He claims he was invited by Gadhafi’s son Mohammed (who is president of the Libyan Chess Federation and Olympic Committee), with whom he has a prior relationship dating back just under a decade.

Ilyumzhinov may rival Gadhafi for personal eccentricity — Ilyumzhinov is famous for declaring that he was once taken aboard a UFO, and for claiming he can communicate through telepathy — but he is acting as a tool of Russian foreign policy in his dealings with Gadhafi. Moscow is testing the waters with an “unofficial” delegate from the Kremlin for many reasons. Moscow probably used Ilyumzhinov to check on Gadhafi’s status. But they will also gauge international reaction to Ilyumzhinov’s visit.

Should his words be taken seriously, this opens the door for Moscow to officially start working in the country. If no one cares, then Russia can chalk Ilyumzhinov up as an eccentric who was never working for the Kremlin. On the flip side, Moscow wants to show the Libyan leader that it can be a useful friend to his government at a time in which his allies are few and far between.

When asked about their chess match, Ilyumzhinov told one Russian media outlet: “Of course, I could have won, for he sacrificed his knight to me. But I did not take it, and I myself proposed a draw. He tried to struggle, to fight. He has a warrior’s spirit.” High praise from a Russian official, certainly, but also symbolic of the position his government is trying to stake out for the coming months in Libya.

Title: No need for War Powers Act
Post by: ccp on June 16, 2011, 12:18:23 PM
In Mark Levin's opinion (and others as noted by Bigdog) this is how Congress should deal with military actions it finds objectionable and not with a Constitution ammenment that was a political move to absolve Democrats for the Vietnam war:
Boehner says House could move to cut off funding for Libya
By Russell Berman - 06/16/11 10:40 AM ET
Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) on Thursday said the Obama administration failed to answer all his questions about the U.S. mission in Libya and raised the possibility that the House would move to cut off funding for the operation.

In response to demands from the House, the administration released a 32-page report arguing that the Libya mission does not need congressional authorization because the U.S. military engagement there doesn’t amount to “hostilities.”

Boehner said that explanation doesn't fly with him.

“The White House says there are no hostilities taking place, yet we’ve got drone attacks under way, we’re spending $10 million a day, [and] part of the mission is to drop bombs on [Libyan dictator Moammar] Gadhafi's compound,” Boehner said. “That doesn’t pass the straight-face test, in my view, that we’re not in the midst of hostilities.”

The Speaker said the White House did not answer one of his questions — outlined in a letter he sent this week — as to whether the Office of Legal Counsel, an advisory entity within the Justice Department, agrees with its analysis of the 1973 War Powers Resolution. He said he wanted an answer to that query by Friday.

White House press secretary Jay Carney said that the president "absolutely respects" Congress's desire to be consulted on Libya, but Carney said that the report should suffice.

"I don't anticipate further elucidation of our legal reasoning because I think it was quite clear," Carney said.

Boehner said the House was considering its options to exert authority over the administration and that next week the chamber “may be prepared to move on those options.”

The “ultimate option,” Boehner said, is that “Congress has the power of the purse” and could cut off funding for the mission. “Certainly that is an option as well,” he said.

Title: Re: Libya and
Post by: Crafty_Dog on June 16, 2011, 09:08:00 PM
Arrgh!  Just had a post vaporize.

a) Until Baraq, US presidents have refused to acknowledge the C'l validity of the WP Act (or is it a Resolution?).  Now Baraq concedes the point but says a NATO operation, of which the US is the alpha partner, which is trying to kill Kaddaffy and wipe out most of his military assets, is not a war and therefore the WPA does not apply?  WTF?  In other words, isn't Baraq conceding the validity of the WPA so as to appear consistent with his previous bleatings on the subject as a Senator and/or community organizer?  And Boener, in search of the obvious posturing ploy of the moment, now concedes the WPA to the detriment of future Presidents?  The correct analysis is offered in Boener's final comment in the last sentence of CCP's post (also see BD's recent posts in the C'l Law thread on the SCH forum for more scholarly detail)/

b) We need to keep in mind that Kaddaffy is under a lot of pressure.  Someone could betray him, a drone could get him, something could happen-- and Peacock Baraq will strut to the rapture of the chattering class and the Pravdas.   We need to handle ourselves in a way that protects us from looking foolish and churlish in such an eventuality.
Title: Re: Libya and
Post by: G M on June 16, 2011, 09:17:46 PM
Killing Ka-daffy would be great, although the question is who then occupies his place in the tent? The OBL bump is long gone and the swing voters are much more concerned about the search for JOBS than Ka-daffy's head. I do like that every precedent this president sets can then be used by us in the future.
Title: War Powers Plays
Post by: Body-by-Guinness on June 17, 2011, 05:04:30 AM
The Growing Conflict Over the Legality of the Libya Intervention
from The Volokh Conspiracy by Ilya Somin
(Ilya Somin)

A bipartisan group of ten members of the House of Representatives recently filed a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the US military action in Libya. Meanwhile, Speaker of the House John Boehner has sent a letter to the president stating that the Obama Administration will be in violation of the 1973 War Powers Act unless they get congressional authorization by June 19.

It is unlikely that Kucinich’s lawsuit will prevail in the courts. Judges will probably throw it out because it raises a “political question” or on other procedural grounds, such as standing. Nonetheless, I think Kucinich and his allies are right on the merits. The Libya intervention has long since passed the point where it is large enough to be considered a war. And only Congress has the power to declare war under the Constitution. Therefore, the war is unconstitutional unless and until the president gets congressional authorization. This is true regardless of whether or not the judiciary issues a ruling on the subject. Congress and the President have an independent duty to obey the Constitution even when the courts do not force them to do so. Then-Senator Barack Obama got it right back in 2007, when he wrote that “[t]he President does not have power under the Constitution to unilaterally authorize a military attack in a situation that does not involve stopping an actual or imminent threat to the nation.” I discussed the relevant constitutional issues in more detail here, here, and here. This is one of the rare issues where Dennis Kucinich and I agree.

Boehner’s War Powers Act argument raises a different set of issues. The Act requires the president to get congressional authorization for any deployment of military forces in “hostilities” abroad within 90 days of the start of the conflict. It’s pretty obvious that the Libya intervention involves the kind of “hostilities” covered by the Act, and that the administration will therefore be in violation of the Act if it doesn’t get congressional authorization soon. The Administration argues that the War Powers Act does not apply because “U.S. operations [in Libya] do not involve sustained fighting or active exchanges of fire with hostile forces.” This argument is barely worthy of response. US warplanes have been bombing Libyan forces for weeks, and the Libyan troops have returned fire (even if ineffectively). This state of affairs sure looks like “sustained fighting” and “active exchanges of fire” to me.

However, there is a longstanding dispute over the constitutionality over the War Powers Act itself. Numerous presidents, legal scholars, and even members of Congress have long argued that it usurps the constitutional prerogatives of the executive. The latter include Speaker Boehner himself, who previously questioned the Act’s constitutionality and even voted for its repeal. In my view, the Act is constitutional because it exercises Congress’ Article I power to “make rules for the Government and Regulation of the land and naval Forces.” This authority includes the power to regulate the time and place of the armed forces’ deployment. But there are serious arguments on the other side of this dispute as well. Be that as it may, the Libya intervention is illegal regardless of the legal status of the War Powers Act. Even in the absence of that law, the president still could not start a war without congressional authorization.

Legal questions aside, the growing willingness of Congress to challenge Obama over Libya illustrates the political dangers of waging war without congressional approval. If anything goes wrong, the president ends up taking all the political blame. That’s why most presidents have in fact sought congressional authorization for major military actions, whether or not they believed it to be legally necessary. President Obama can reduce his political exposure if he now gets congressional support or if he quickly brings the conflict to a successful conclusion. If he does neither, his political problems are likely to get worse. Boehner’s new-found willingness to challenge Obama on this issue could be a sign of things to come.

UPDATE: The full text of the Administration’s report to Congress defending the Libya intervention is available here. While the report makes a reasonable policy argument for the administration’s actions, the legal argument (pg. 25) is extremely weak. In addition to the point analyzed above, the report emphasizes that the majority of air strikes are now being flown by European planes, rather than American ones. However, it acknowledges that US forces are still launching airstrikes for “the suppression of enemy air defense and occasional strikes by unmanned Predator UAVs against a specific set of targets.” That sure sounds like armed “hostilities” and “sustained fighting” to me.

UPDATE #2: The full text of Boehner’s letter to the president is available here [HT: commenter David W.].
Title: Re: Libya and
Post by: DougMacG on June 24, 2011, 11:08:55 AM
Votes today regarding de-fund of Libya, we'll see.  War powers act ignored, 'does not apply'.  Public support for kinetic action in Libya is about 20%.  Dangers remain if Kadafy loses.  Republican candidates looking opportunistic (e.g Pawlenty) with oposition to Obama's war.  That said, losing looks bad for French American prestige around the world and on the 'Arab street'.  Kadafy out sends a message to Syria, Iran ...  Danger abounds with all outcomes.  I am inclined to support victory.  I am not in a position to know if that is possible - "in days and not weeks".

Two pro-war views worth reading,  PAUL WOLFOWITZ WSJ today:
If the link doesn't work I can post text here.

Also Joe Lieberman And Marco Rubio, yesterday in the WSJ:

Victory Is the Answer in Libya

We're engaged now whether we like it or not, and the only acceptable outcome is the end of the anti-American dictatorship.

By Joe Lieberman And Marco Rubio

The deepening confrontation between the White House and Congress over Libya is both counterproductive and unnecessary. Whatever one thinks about the constitutional questions surrounding the War Powers Resolution, or the wisdom of the original decision to intervene in Libya three months ago, the strategic reality is that our nation is now engaged in a fight. It will either end in the demise of a brutal anti-American dictator, or in his victory over us and our allies. The latter would be an extremely harmful outcome for the U.S.

For this reason, we have an unequivocal national interest in ensuring Moammar Gadhafi's regime is defeated as quickly as possible. To guarantee the mission's success, it is vital that the U.S. officially recognize the Transitional National Council, provide additional resources to support the council, and intensify strike operations to target the Gadhafi regime.

Yet rather than push the Obama administration to do what is necessary to bring this conflict to a successful conclusion, members of Congress are pushing to restrict our military campaign. If we withdraw from our air war over Libya, it will lengthen the conflict, increase its cost to American taxpayers, and raise doubts about U.S. leadership among friends and foes alike.

If the U.S. were to withdraw from operations against the regime in Tripoli, the coalition would quickly unravel. Gadhafi would emerge triumphant, even more dangerous and determined to seek his revenge through terrorism against the countries in NATO and the Arab League that tried and failed to overthrow him. U.S. withdrawal would also mean a bloodbath inside Libya, as Gadhafi unleashes unspeakable horrors against the Libyan people who sought their freedom. And it would have ripple effects across the Middle East: Pro-democracy movements from Iran to Syria would conclude that the U.S. had abandoned them, and dictators would be emboldened.

American disengagement would also inflict irreparable damage on the NATO alliance, a pillar of U.S. security in which we have a vital national interest. Having walked out on our European allies in the middle of a battle, we can expect them to do the same to us in Afghanistan.

Some may claim the current congressional proposals to curtail operations in Libya are largely symbolic. Since the proposals are unlikely to become law, their backers insist they are simply intended to "send a message" to the White House.

The problem is that these measures also send a message to Gadhafi and those around him. That message? The coalition is breaking and his regime might yet persevere. Although we know this is not the intent of our colleagues' actions, it risks being their effect.

There is a better way forward. For those on Capitol Hill who think the president requires congressional authorization to continue operations in Libya, there is a simple solution: Congress can and should pass a resolution explicitly backing these activities. It is precisely for this reason that we support a Senate resolution, put forward by Sen. John McCain (R., Ariz.), to do this.

We share the frustration of those who argue that the Obama administration has not done an adequate job making a public case for our intervention and its objectives. Instead of denying we are engaged in "hostilities" (we are) or that the aim of our military operations is "regime change" (it is), the White House owes Congress and the American people a better explanation of why Libya is in our national security interest and why we and our allies must win the fight there. Here, too, however, our job in Congress is to push the administration to do a better job explaining our war effort in Libya—not to undermine or weaken it. Members of Congress owe the White House the time and space to make that case.

The cruel irony is that these congressional efforts take place just as the tide in Libya appears to be turning against Gadhafi. In recent weeks, the moderate, pro-American opposition in Benghazi has succeeded in expanding the territory under its control, breaking the siege laid by regime forces on Misrata, the country's third largest city. At the same time, the Gadhafi regime has been shaken by further defections and collapsing international support.

At this critical hour, both our values and our interests demand that we stand fast. Rather than abandoning the cause of freedom in Libya and throwing a lifeline to a vicious dictator—one who has American blood on his hands—we should push toward the only acceptable outcome: the removal of the Gadhafi regime and, with it, the opportunity for the Libyan people to build a free and democratic society.

Mr. Lieberman is an Independent Democratic senator from Connecticut. Mr. Rubio is a Republican senator from Florida.
Title: Re: Libya: WOLFOWITZ
Post by: DougMacG on June 24, 2011, 11:19:06 AM
Posting what I just mentioned in its entirety.  Wolfowitz is a well known 'neo-con', out of favor because Iraq was difficult.  I'm not endorsing anyone's view, but this one should be in the mix of discussion.  The war powers debate is important, but a separate question from what the right policy should be right now in Libya. 

Seems to me that if we have the means of doing this at relatively low cost in blood, treasure and time, if we have support inside Libya, and if we have international cover / justification, then anti-American madmen like Kadafy should go. 
Why Gadhafi's Fall Is in America's Interests

It would inspire the opposition in Syria and perhaps even Iran, whereas his survival would embolden other brutal regimes across the Middle East.


The U.S. has a large stake in the outcome in Libya. Not because of its oil production but because of the dangerous nature of the Gadhafi regime—made far more dangerous by the current conflict—and because of the effect that Libya can have on the rest of the Arab world at a critical time in history.

Libya may not rise to the level of a "vital interest," as Secretary of Defense Robert Gates and others have assured us, but preventing it from becoming a haven for terrorists if Gadhafi survives comes very close. And while Libya is not as important as Egypt, as Vice President Joe Biden has told us, what happens in Libya affects Egypt and much of the Arab world. The Libyan fighting has burdened Egypt's weak economy with tens of thousands of additional unemployed that it can ill-afford. The same is true for Tunisia.

Gadhafi's fall would provide inspiration for the opposition in Syria and perhaps even Iran, whereas his survival would embolden the regimes in power there to cling on. The sooner Gadhafi goes, the greater the impact will be.

In Libya itself, the U.S. might gain a much-needed friend in the Arab world. A British diplomat in Benghazi, the unofficial temporary capital of free Libya, has said that it is the first time during his many years in the Arab world that he has seen American flags displayed in appreciation. Even in Tripoli, still under Gadhafi's control, people go to the rooftops to whistle in celebration during NATO bombing raids. After a visit to Benghazi last month, Assistant Secretary of State Jeffrey Feltman wrote: "Imagine walking in the main square of a teeming Arab city and having people wave the American flag, clamor for photographs with a visiting American official, and celebrate the United States as both savior and model."

Appreciation for the United States in the Arab world is something to be welcomed at any time, but particularly now when demands for freedom are sweeping across the Middle East. Yet here in the United States, there seems to be little appreciation for this or for the brave Libyans who are fighting for their freedom with such courage.

Earlier this month, 168 members of the House of Representatives—including 87 Republicans—voted for the antiwar Kucinich amendment that demanded an end to all U.S. military operations in support of NATO in Libya. That resolution might have gained a majority of House members had Speaker John Boehner not offered a different resolution that was a milder rebuke of the administration's Libya policy. All told, 330 members of Congress showed their unhappiness by voting for one or both of the resolutions.

View Full Image
Joseph Eid/Agence France-Presse/Getty Images

Moammar Gadhafi in Tripoli earlier this month.

That should have been a wake-up call for President Obama, telling him that he needs to make a better case to Congress and the public for the American stake in Libya. Instead, the administration has inflamed the congressional situation further by submitting a response to the Boehner Resolution asserting that the War Powers Act of 1973 does not apply to Libya because the U.S. is not engaged in "hostilities" there.

This assertion—which overruled the advice of the senior lawyers at the Justice and Defense Departments—was like waving a red flag in front of Congress. If its purpose had been to provoke outrage, it could not have been better designed to do so. Democrats may restrain their anger somewhat, in deference to the president. But Republicans feel no such compunctions and may even sense an opportunity for partisan advantage. If so, they should be careful what they wish for.

If congressional opponents of U.S. action in Libya actually succeed in withdrawing U.S. support for the NATO military operation, they risk being blamed for the survival of a murderous dictator and a deep sense of betrayal on the part of those struggling for freedom in Libya, plus the millions who sympathize with them throughout the Arab world.

Perhaps some members of Congress think they are making a purely symbolic statement of their unhappiness, as the administration will ignore Congress or the Senate will block any action that has teeth (such as defunding the operation). If so, they are setting themselves up—when the Libyan opposition does eventually triumph—for the president to claim a foreign policy success that they tried to prevent.

In either case, those opponents will bear some responsibility for prolonging the conflict and the suffering of the Libyan people. The American public may be unhappy with our military engagement in Libya, but some of that unhappiness stems from its indecisiveness. A recent Fox News poll recorded opposition to U.S. military involvement in Libya at 58% to 30%. But in the same poll, 53% of respondents thought that the U.S. and NATO should make it a priority to immediately remove Gadhafi from power (31% said otherwise).

Instead of weakening the president and our allies—and lending de facto support to a murderous dictator whom they abhor—members of Congress should be criticizing the administration for its failure to support the military effort with nonmilitary actions that could secure a positive outcome and gain broader support from the American people. While demanding that the president come to Congress for approval of the ongoing military operation, Congress should also point out that—despite the administration's professed belief in "smart power"—it has thus far failed to take many nonmilitary actions that could hasten an end to this bloody stalemate.

The conflict in Libya is as much psychological as it is military. The key to Gadhafi's removal is convincing those still fighting for him that they are fighting for a lost cause.

• One of the most powerful ways to send that message would be for the U.S. to de-recognize the Gadhafi regime and to recognize the Transitional National Council (TNC) as the provisional government of Libya. If that seems a step too far because we're unsure of who the TNC actually represents—although France, Italy and more than a dozen other countries have already recognized it—then we should at least establish an embassy-size mission in Benghazi headed by someone with the rank of ambassador (perhaps even Gene Cretz, who was until recently our ambassador in Tripoli). That would send a powerful message and would enable much more effective interaction with the TNC concerning the opposition's needs, its future plans for Libya, and the support it may need from the international community once Gadhafi goes.

• Another use of smart power would be to get the wealthy Arab countries— including Qatar and the United Arab Emirates, who have already recognized the government in Benghazi—to fund the costs of the U.S. operation in Libya. Those costs, projected at roughly a billion dollars for the year, are small compared to other items in the U.S. budget, but they are also small compared to the roughly $1 trillion gross domestic product of the six Arab Gulf countries. Getting their financial support would provide a sense of fairness that would help recover public support here in the U.S. It would also send a powerful message in Libya.

• For some reason, Gadhafi continues to be able to use Egyptian-owned Nilesat communication satellites to broadcast his propaganda, incite violence, and support his military. We should consider jamming Libyan State Television, but a much better alternative would be to persuade the Egyptians to stop carrying the channel.

• The best alternative to greater NATO military activity is to strengthen the forces of the opposition. Yet the Obama administration seems determined to repeat the mistake of Bosnia, where the U.S. imposed an arms embargo on the Bosnian Muslims while their Serb enemies had no shortage of weapons. It makes little sense to argue that we don't know what might become of our weapons down the line. Once Gadhafi is defeated, the opposition will have billions of dollars with which to purchase virtually anything it wants on the international arms market. In the meantime, it's not preferable to make them dependent on weapons from other Arab countries.

At a minimum, the administration should support the creation of a NATO training command to enable the opposition to make better use of the weapons it has. Such a facility would also give us insight into who makes up the opposition and allow us to help build the nucleus for effective security in a post-Gadhafi Libya. To avoid the administration's self-imposed prohibition on "boots on the ground," such a training facility could be based nearby in Italy.

• There is much more that could be done with nonlethal support as well. Announcing the delivery of halal military meals when the opposition was pleading for arms had the quality of a cruel joke. The opposition could clearly use better communications tools, better body armor, and better mine-clearing equipment. The latter would also serve an important humanitarian purpose.

• So too would provision of hospital beds for the severely wounded—both civilian and military—onboard NATO ships in the Mediterranean. During the humanitarian support mission for Haitian earthquake victims, the U.S. Navy provided as many as 1,400 hospital beds and was treating as many as 543 patients at once. A significant fraction of that assistance came from the hospital ship USNS Comfort, which is currently on a goodwill cruise in South America and might be temporarily diverted to the Mediterranean to meet this urgent need.

While the administration continues to hope that NATO will get lucky and Gadhafi will be gone soon, it seems to have done little to encourage the opposition to prepare for the day after. It doesn't help that there are very few Americans on the ground in Benghazi. But by engaging with opposition leaders now, we can help them develop realistic plans to implement the excellent eight-point "Vision for a Democratic Libya" that they announced in March.

So far, the Libyan opposition seem to have behaved quite responsibly, but there are still many questions about who they are and what will they do if they win. However, unless we want Gadhafi to win—which no one advocates—we will have to deal with a victorious opposition at some point. Hastening their victory will improve the chances for success afterwards, since the longer the blood-letting continues, the more scores there will be to settle and the more capable future Libyan leaders will be killed.

Instead of opposing U.S. support for NATO's military operations, Congress should be criticizing the administration for its failure to support that effort with nonmilitary actions that could bring the conflict to a more rapid and successful conclusion. The mood in Congress in part reflects a public that is understandably weary of wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. But Libya is not Afghanistan or Iraq. No one is suggesting sending in foreign ground troops, and the Libyans have made clear that they don't want them. What they do want are the means to win their own fight for themselves. The sooner that happens the better.

Mr. Wolfowitz, a visiting scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, was the deputy secretary of defense from 2001 to 2005.
Title: Re: Libya and
Post by: Crafty_Dog on June 24, 2011, 11:40:46 AM
Those are both sensible pieces.

I would add a political point-- that if BO gets lucky and Kadaffy gets killed (and this is not a small possibility) A LOT of the Republican Party is going to look foolish and the Dems will crow about Baraq killing OBL and Kaddaffy.

As I have alluded to elsewhere, the Reps are skating on some very thin ice on foreign affairs-- which traditionally has been a strong suit.  It would be pretty amazing that Baraq could do all the blithering stupidities that he has done, only to be outdone by the Reps and thus come out smelling like a rose.
Title: Re: Libya and
Post by: G M on June 24, 2011, 11:42:30 AM
If we had acted when Ka-daffy was trapped by the rebels, killing him would have been worthwhile and much easier than it is now. I'm all for killing him as an object lesson, as well as the released Pan-Am bomber, though it's much easier said than done at this point.

Speaking of the Pan-Am bomber and our esteemed president who promised the "most transparent administration EVER".

White House backed release of Lockerbie bomber Abdel Baset al-Megrahi

Jason Allardyce and Tony Allen-Mills
From:The Australian
July 26, 201012:00AM

THE US government secretly advised Scottish ministers it would be "far preferable" to free the Lockerbie bomber than jail him in Libya.

Correspondence obtained by The Sunday Times reveals the Obama administration considered compassionate release more palatable than locking up Abdel Baset al-Megrahi in a Libyan prison.

The intervention, which has angered US relatives of those who died in the attack, was made by Richard LeBaron, deputy head of the US embassy in London, a week before Megrahi was freed in August last year on grounds that he had terminal cancer.

The document, acquired by a well-placed US source, threatens to undermine US President Barack Obama's claim last week that all Americans were "surprised, disappointed and angry" to learn of Megrahi's release.

The US has tried to keep the letter secret, refusing to give permission to the Scottish authorities to publish it on the grounds it would prevent future "frank and open communications" with other governments.
Title: Re: Libya and
Post by: G M on June 24, 2011, 11:47:01 AM
Those are both sensible pieces.

I would add a political point-- that if BO gets lucky and Kadaffy gets killed (and this is not a small possibility) A LOT of the Republican Party is going to look foolish and the Dems will crow about Baraq killing OBL and Kaddaffy.

As I have alluded to elsewhere, the Reps are skating on some very thin ice on foreign affairs-- which traditionally has been a strong suit.  It would be pretty amazing that Baraq could do all the blithering stupidities that he has done, only to be outdone by the Reps and thus come out smelling like a rose.

Crow all they want, the swing voters care much more about finding cheaper food and gasoline. The OBL bump in the polls has deteriorated faster than a tapped oil storage salt cavern. Ka-daffy is a trivia question, not a visible threat the public worries about.
Title: Re: Libya and
Post by: Crafty_Dog on June 24, 2011, 12:22:52 PM
Not really responsive GM.  I am well aware of the domestic/economic issues.  I speak to the role of foreign affairs.  If BO can say he killed OBL where Bush failed, brought us home, and killed Kaddaffy where Reagan and others failed, it helps him politically AND more importantly, leaves him in a position to keep damaging and sabotaging the US in the world.
Title: Re: Libya and
Post by: G M on June 24, 2011, 12:27:10 PM

Joe and Jane likely voter are much more concerned about the jobs and cost of living than Ka-daffy. Obama could show up at the presidential debates with OBL and Ka-daffy's heads on spikes like a Roman emperor's victory parade and it means little to nothing. Barry better hope there is a strategic coffee and bread reserve he can tap into.
Title: Re: Libya and
Post by: DougMacG on June 24, 2011, 12:50:02 PM
"If BO can say he killed OBL where Bush failed, brought us home, and killed Kaddaffy where Reagan and others failed, it helps him politically AND more importantly, leaves him in a position to keep damaging and sabotaging the US in the world."

Agree, but of course both are tainted.  The OBL-kill was 99% completed by others.  He made a correct decision after dithering.  No one would argue that McCain, Romney et al would have scrapped the mission.  Killing Kadafy literally poses its own questions.  (Let's put him in Guantanamo instead :-)) The Libya effort, if successful, was led by others. That has pluses and minuses to it.  If he has grown in strength as a foreign policy leader, that is better than the alternatives considering he is still President.  I wish he would grow in his economic views too, learn pro-growth views and turn this ship around.  That might help him politically as well.

GM is about right IMO on the politics, economics looks certain to be front and central, but who knows. If Libya goes well, our small effort looks good in a small way.  The Middle East mostly likely will still be an explosive powder keg at the time of the next election, no matter how Libya looks, and Libya won't look that good no matter what happens.  Per Crafty, all the challengers need to show strength and wisdom on foreign affairs starting now.  The final candidate will need to be at least as strong a military leader as Barack Obama is right, a fairly low bar to clear.  People aren't ready for another learning curve like we just went through.
Title: back to my post of march 30
Post by: ccp on June 24, 2011, 02:17:09 PM
****Oh we are sooo humanitarian!
Well if true how humanitarian is it to have let Ghadday kill some people and gain back control vs what we are seeing now - a *more prolonged* back and forth war?

At this point more people will die then if we had not done the "no-fly" thing.

Yes playing coy with Momar buys time to "get to know" the opposition (Clintons now notorius "getting to know you" rant), but dithering on what to do with Ghaddaffy probably will turn out to be worse.  We should just get rid of this one guy or stop the half assed stuff altogether.  This total chirade of trying to help other kill the guy or pray he flees even though we are also saying he must stand trial for war crimes - the whole rational is confused and is dithering.  Kill him - the one guy holding this whole country at bay or don't get involved at all.

More people are now dying as we speak.****

NOW;Fast forward to more recent estimates of the dead thanks to Bamster's dithering.  He has mucho blood on HIS hands.  Like many including myself have said since day one - kill ghaddafy and get it over with or stay out of Libyia altogether:
****Casualties of the 2011 Libyan civil war
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
  (Redirected from Casualties of the 2011 Libyan Civil War)
Jump to: navigation, search
Estimates of deaths in the 2011 Libyan civil war vary with figures from 2,000-13,000 given between March 2 and June 18.[1][2] An exact figure is hard to ascertain, partly due to a media clamp-down by the Libyan government. Some conservative estimates have been released. Some of the killing "may amount to crimes against humanity" according to the United Nations Security Council[3] and as of March 2011[update] is under investigation by the International Criminal Court.[4]

Contents [hide]
1 Deaths caused by Loyalist forces
2 Deaths caused by Anti-Gaddafi forces
3 Deaths caused by Coalition forces
4 Legal status
5 Timeline of reported deaths per event
6 Deaths overall
7 Notable deaths, disappearances and other cases
8 References

[edit] Deaths caused by Loyalist forces
On February 22, the International Coalition Against War Criminals gave an estimate that 519 people had died, 3,980 were wounded and over 1,500 were missing.[5]

Human Rights Watch have estimated that at least 233 people had been killed by February 22.[6]

On February 23, Italy's Minister of Foreign Affairs Franco Frattini stated that according to his information 1,000 people had died so far.[7][8]

On February 24, the IFHR said that 130 soldiers had been executed in Benghazi and al-Baida, after they mutinied and sided with the protesters.[9]

On February 25, Navi Pillay, the High Commissioner for Human Rights of the United Nations, said that reports indicated that "thousands may have been killed or injured".[10]

On March 20, Abdul Hafiz Ghoga, spokesman for the National Transitional Council, stated that "more than 8,000" people are killed as a result of the uprising.[11]

[edit] Deaths caused by Anti-Gaddafi forces
Among the security forces there had been more than 750 dead, including civilians in support of the government, alleged mercenaries [12] and government soldiers. There have been many reports that members of the security forces have been killed by both the government and the opposition.

On February 18, two policemen were hanged by protesters in Benghazi.[13] Also, on the same day, 50 alleged African mercenaries, mostly from Chad, were executed by the protesters in al-Baida. Some of them were killed when protestors burned down the police station in which they locked them up[14] and at least 15 were lynched in front of the courthouse in al-Baida.[15] The bodies of some of them were put on display and caught on video.[16][17] By February 23, the government confirmed that 111 soldiers had been killed.[18]

On February 23, a group of 22 government soldiers attempted to make a breakout from an air base near Derna, which had been under siege for days by rebel fighters. Within hours, all of them were captured and eventualy 12 of them were shot execution style while a 13th was hanged by the opposition forces.[19] Between February 15 and May 22, 37 former government loyalists were killed in Benghazi in revenge killings by some opposition groups.[20]

Toward the end of the Battle of Misrata, at least 27 sub-Saharan Africans from Mali, Niger or Chad, who were accused of being mercenaries, were executed by rebel forces.[21]

[edit] Deaths caused by Coalition forces
The Libyan official sources claimed that at least between 64 and 90 people were killed during the bombardments on the first two days of the U.N. intervention and another 150 had been wounded.[22] The Vatican news agency confirmed that in Tripoli alone, at least 40 civilians died as a result of the bombing campaign.[23] According to the Libyan Health office, the airstrikes killed 718 civilians and wounded 4,067, 433 seriously, by May 26.[24]

On April 1, NATO airstrikes killed 14 rebel fighters and wounded seven more on the frontline at Brega.[25]

On April 7, news reports surfaced that NATO bombers killed 10-13 rebels and wounded 14-22 near the eastern oil town of Brega.[26]

On April 27, at least one NATO warplane attacked the Libyan rebel forces position near the besieged city of Misrata, killing 12 fighters and wounding five others.[27]

On June 19, at least nine civilians were killed in a NATO airstrike on Tripoli. Reporters saw bodies being pulled out of a destroyed bulding. NATO acknoledged being responsible for the civilians deaths.[28]

On June 20, 15 civilians including three children were killed by another NATO airstrike on Sorman. [29]

[edit] Legal status
On February 26, 2011, the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) stated in UNSC Resolution 1970, "the widespread and systematic attacks currently taking place in the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya against the civilian population may amount to crimes against humanity"[3] and referred "the situation" in Libya since February 15, 2011 to the International Criminal Court (ICC),[3] a permanent tribunal that presently can prosecute individuals for genocide, crimes against humanity or war crimes. On March 4, the ICC assigned investigation of the case to Pre-trial Chamber I, consisting of Judge Cuno Tarfusser from Italy, Judge Sylvia Steiner from Brazil and Judge Sanji Mmasenono Monageng from Botswana.[4]

NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen stated on March 28 that NATO was impartial and that it interpreted the terms of UNSC Resolution 1973 on the protection of civilians to apply to both rebel and government forces. The BBC stated that "the rebels felt they had a 'private understanding' of the NATO mission, [believing] that the western world has joined them in a campaign of regime change." The NATO Secretary General described the possibility that NATO would attack rebel forces who endanger civilian populations as "hypothetical" as of the date of the interview.[30]

[edit] Timeline of reported deaths per event
Date Opposition fatalities Government fatalities Detail
February 16 1 None reported Protests in Roujdane.[31]
February 17–20 332-479 163 First Battle of Benghazi
February 17–25 300-700 None reported Tripoli clashes
February 17 4-10 None reported Protests in Ajdabiya.[32]
February 18 2 None reported Protests in Qubah.[33]
February 18–May 15 358 358-545 Battle of Misrata
February 20 4 None reported Protests in Tobruk.[34]
February 20 3 None reported Protests in Zintan.[35]
February 20 1 None reported Protests in Zuwarah.[36]
February 21–May 22 None reported 37 Revenge killings against loyalists in Benghazi.[37]
February 22–24 9 None reported Protests in Gharyan.[38][39]
February 23 2 13 Capture and execution of loyalist fighters at Derna.[19]
February 24–March 10 148 65 Battle of Az Zawiyah
February 26 22 None reported Capture and execution of rebel fighters at Sirte.[40]
March 1–ongoing 299-307 386 Battles of the Nafusa Mountains
March 2 14 2-10 First Battle of Brega
March 4–12 71-81 4-27 Battle of Ra's Lanuf
March 4 34-100 None reported Explosion at an arms depot in Benghazi.[41][42]
March 6 12-60 1 First Battle of Bin Jawad
March 13–15 5 25 Second Battle of Brega
March 14 4 None reported Government re-taking of Zuwarah.[43]
March 15–26 136 41 Battle of Ajdabiya
March 15 1 None reported Rebel fighter plane crashes.[44]
March 17 None reported 1-2 Bombing run on the Benghazi military air base.[45]
March 18 3 None reported Fighting in Zueitina.[46]
March 19–20 120 27-30 Second Battle of Benghazi
March 20 1 None reported Killing of a rebel activist in Benghazi.[47]
March 22–24 None reported 19-28 Coalition air-strikes on Tripoli.[48]
March 26–30 12 7 Late March rebel offensive
March 28 1 None Execution of captured rebel at Sirte.[49]
March 31–April 7 46-49 28 Third Battle of Brega
April 6 None reported 3 Attack on Sarir oil field.[50]
April 8–June 14 75-87 91-92 Battle of Brega–Ajdabiya road
April 17 None reported 20 Rebel attack on a military headquarters in Zawiyah.[51]
April 21–May 25 27 3 East Libyan Desert Campaign
May 4 1 None reported Rebel fighter dies of wounds in Benghazi.[52]
May 12 1 None reported Rebel French mercenary killed in Benghazi.[53]
May 16–ongoing 215 82-85 Battle of the Misrata frontline
May 29 2 3 Suppression of an opposition protest in Tripoli.[54][55]
June 2 None reported 2 NATO air-strike in Al 'Aziziyah.[56]
June 4 None reported 3 NATO helicopter strike in Brega.[57]
June 7 None reported 1 NATO air-strike in Tripoli.[58]
June 9–16 22 None reported Zliten uprising
June 11–12 30 2 Az Zawiyah raid
June 11 1 None reported Fighting in Sabha.[59]
June 13 6 None reported Fighting west of Az Zawiyah.[60]
June 16 None reported 1 Attack on a military patrol in Tripoli.[61]
June 17 3 None reported Suppression of an opposition protest in Tripoli.[62]
June 18 None reported 1 Rebel sniper fire in Tripoli.[63]
June 19 None reported 4 NATO air-strike in Sabha.[64]
June 23 None reported 9 NATO air-strike near Zliten.[65]

Based on the numbers, 2,334-3,029 opposition members/fighters (including some civilian supporters) and 1,403-1,637 Gaddafi loyalists have been killed by June 23, 2011.

In addition, another 370 opposition fighters and activists have been confirmed as missing in the fighting in the east by the end of March,[66] 1,174-2,000 are reported to be missing in the Battle of Misrata and 74 were missing following the Battle of Brega–Ajdabiya road, for a total of 1,618-2,444 rebels reported missing. However, this number could be higher since there was one report that 700 rebels were missing following the First Battle of Bin Jawad.

Date Civilian fatalities Detail
February 24–March 10 87 Battle of Az Zawiyah
February 18–May 15 707 Battle of Misrata
March 6 1 Shooting in Bayda.[67]
March 12 1 Killing of Al Jazeera cameraman near Benghazi.[68]
March 15–26 25-30 Battle of Ajdabiya
March 18 3 Fighting in Zueitina.[46]
March 19–June 7 856 NATO bombing campaign.[69]
March 26–30 7 Late March 2011 Libyan rebel offensive
Late March–early May 1,400 Sinking of refugee boats while they were trying to reach Italy.[70]
April 5 1 Third Battle of Brega
April 8–May 21 26 Battle of Brega–Ajdabiya road
April 12 1 Woman refugee dies before reaching Malta.[71]
April 21–May 25 5 East Libyan Desert Campaign
May 16–ongoing 6 Battle of the Misrata frontline
May 22 4 Fire at a refugee camp in Tunisia near the border.[72]
May 24 2 Clashes at a refugee camp in Tunisia near the border.[73]
May 31 1 Refugee dies before reaching Malta.[74]
June 2 272 Refugee immigrant boat sinks while it was trying to reach Italy.[75]
June 2 1 One person killed by loyalists in Tripoli.[76]
June 5 1 One person tortured and killed by rebels in Benghazi.[77]
June 11-12 1 Az Zawiyah raid
June 19 5-9 NATO air-strike in Tripoli.[78][79]
June 20 19 NATO air-strike on Khouidli Hamidi's house in Surman.[80]

There have been at least 3,432-3,441 reported civilians killed by June 20, 2011. However, it should be noted that a number of civilians were also killed during the Second Battle of Benghazi and during the campaign in the Nafusa mountains, so the number could be far higher. Also, the number of civilians reported to had been killed in NATO air-strikes could be smaller because it was proven that some of the previous government-announced tolls from individual strikes were exaggerated.

In the end, according to the numbers presented, a total of 7,161-8,105 deaths have been reported, of which some have not been independently confirmed, and 1,618-3,144 people have been reported as missing.

[edit] Deaths overall
The total number of people killed includes protesters, armed belligerents, and civilians:

Source Libyan casualties Time period
World Health Organization 2,000 killed[81] February 15 - March 2, 2011
International Federation for Human Rights 3,000 killed[82] February 15 - March 5, 2011
Libyan League for Human Rights 6,000 killed[82] February 15 - March 5, 2011
National Transitional Council 10,000 killed[83] February 15 - April 12, 2011
UN Human Rights Council 10,000-15,000 killed[84] February 15 - June 9, 2011
Al Jazeera English 13,000 killed[85] February 15 - June 18, 2011

[edit] Notable deaths, disappearances and other cases
Ali Hassan al-Jaber, journalist of Al Jazeera, killed
Mohammed Nabbous, journalist and founder of Libya Alhurra TV, killed
Kais al-Hilali, artist famous for painting anti-Gaddafi mural, killed
Tim Hetherington, British-American photojournalist, killed[86]
Chris Hondros, American photojournalist, killed[86]
Ahmed Eyzert, engineer who discovered and masterminded the 'invaluable' technique of using Google Earth Maps satelite imagery with coordinates to enhance artilary accuracy, killed[87]
Saif al-Arab al-Gaddafi, son of Muammar Gaddafi, killed along with three of his children in a NATO air-strike
Iman al-Obeidi, alleged rape case with media and governmental response
Rana Akbani, Syrian journalist in government custody from March 28 to April 14[88]
Anton Hammerl, missing South African photographer and presumed killed on April 5[89][90]
Manu Brabo, Spanish photographer in government custody from April 5 to May 18[91]
James Foley, United States journalist in government custody from April 5 to May 18
Clare Morgana Gillis, United States journalist in government custody from April 5 to May 18
Nigel Chandler, British journalist released from government custody on May 18
[edit] References
^ Staff writer (2 March 2011). "RT News Line, March 2". RT. Retrieved 15 March 2011. 
^ Libyan rebels continue push towards Tripoli
^ a b c United Nations Security Council (2011-02-26) (pdf). Resolution 1970 (2011). ICC. Archived from the original on 2011-03-15. Retrieved 2011-03-15. 
^ a b International Criminal Court (2011-03-04). "Situation in the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya assigned to Pre-trial Chamber I". International Criminal Court. Archived from the original on 2011-03-15. Retrieved 2011-03-15. 
^ "Live Blog – Libya Feb 22". Blogs. Al Jazeera. 22 February 2 011. Retrieved 22 February 2 011. 
^ "European nationals, companies flee Libyan unrest". Agence France-Presse. Philippine Daily Inquirer. 22 February 2 011. Retrieved 25 February 2011. 
^ Dziadosz, Alexander (9 February 2011). "Fear stalks Tripoli, celebrations in Libya's east". Reuters. Retrieved 23 February 2011. 
^ "Live Blog – Libya Feb 23". Blogs. Al Jazeera. 2011-02-22. Retrieved 23 February 2011. 
^ "Libya – 130 soldiers executed: News24: Africa: News". News24. 18 February 2011. Retrieved 24 February 2011. 
^ BBC News (25 February 2011). Libyan crackdown 'escalates' – UN.
^ "Libya Live Blog - March 20". Al Jazeera English. 20 March 2011. Retrieved 20 March 2011. 
^ "Black men mistaken for mercenaries". 6 March 2011. Retrieved 19 June 2011. 
^ "Two policemen hanged in Libya protests". 19 February 2011. Retrieved 24 February 2011. 
^ Ian Black and Owen Bowcott (18 February 2011). "Libya protests: massacres reported as Gaddafi imposes news blackout | World news". London: The Guardian. Retrieved 24 February 2011. 
^ Hauslohner, Abigail (23 February 2011). "Libya's Alleged Foreign Mercenaries: More Gaddafi Victims?". TIME.,8599,2053490,00.html. Retrieved 25 February 2011. 
^ 1:50. "African Mercenary Killed in Libya". YouTube. Retrieved 24 February 2011. 
^ "African Mercenary Killed in Libya 2". YouTube. 22 February 2011. Retrieved 24 February 2011. 
^ 7:15 pm. "Libya says 300 dead in violence, including 111 soldiers". The Asian Age. Retrieved 24 February 2011. 
^ a b Smith, Graeme (1 April 2011). "A rebellion divided: spectre of revenge killings hangs over eastern Libya". The Globe and Mail (Toronto). 
^ "Killings of Gadhafi agents in Benghazi raise fears of reprisal killings in rebel-held Libya". 
^ Libyan rebels hand out rules on POW treatment; some 300 in custody, including 10 foreigners
^ "Libya says 64 killed in western military strikes". The Times Of India. 2011-03-20. Retrieved 2011-03-21. 
^ "“At least 40 civilian deaths in air raid on Tripoli,” complains Apostolic Vicar of Tripoli, repeating the urgency for a diplomatic solution". Agenzia Fides. 2011-03-31. Retrieved 2011-03-31. 
^ "NATO bombing killed 718 civilians: Libya". 1 June 2011. Retrieved 1 June 2011. 
^ Meo, Nick (2 April 2011). "Libya: Nato warplanes kill 14 rebels". London: Telegraph. Retrieved 2011-04-04. 
^ "“NATO checking report of air strike on Libya rebels". AFP. 2011-04-07. 
^ Chivers, C.J. (27 April 2011). "NATO Strike Kills 12 Libyan Rebels in Misurata". New York City: The New York times. Retrieved 2011-04-28. 
^ NATO acknowledges civilian deaths in Tripoli strike
^ "Nato protection 'applies to both sides' in Libya". BBC News. 28 March 2011. Retrieved 29 March 2011. 
^ The Times Of India. 
^ Black, Ian (17 February 2011). "Libya's day of rage met by bullets and loyalists". The Guardian (London). 
^ "Exclusive - Tobruk celebrates, Libya's east abandons Gaddafi". Reuters. 23 February 2011. 
^ Daragahi, Borzou (23 April 2011). "Libyan rebels firmly in control in mountainous west". Los Angeles Times. 
^ Libya: Fewer Police Abuses in Zuwara, Under Control of Anti-government Forces
^ "Killings of Gadhafi agents in Benghazi raise fears of reprisal killings in rebel-held Libya". 
^ Libyan Soldiers Executed by Foreign African Mercenaries for Refusing to Kill Civilians (Feb. 2011)
^ Protesting continues during funeral procession of Gharyan Martyr (Feb. 24)
^ Fadel, Leila; Sly, Liz; Faiola, Anthony (27 February 2011). "Rebel army may be formed as Tripoli fails to oust Gaddafi". The Washington Post. Retrieved 2011-02-28. 
^ Los Angeles Times. 
^ "Air and ground: Gadhafi, rebels each claim control". March 14.,_rebels_each_claim_control. 
^ "Photo: Pilot Mohammed Mokhtar Osman who crashed into Baab Al Aziziyah". March 15. 
^ "Gadhafi forces bombing Benghazi: witnesses". CBC News. March 17. 
^ a b "As it happened: Libya crisis". BBC News. March 18. 
^ Writing on wall for street artist
^ Brigade commander killed (March 22),[1] 9 killed/rebel claim (March 23),[2] 18 killed (March 23/24)[3], total of 19-28 reported killed
^ McGreal, Chris (April 17). "Saved from Gaddafi's torturers – by a simple gesture of kindness". The Guardian (London). 
^ "Libya says NATO air strike hits major oil field". Reuters. April 6. 
^ "Misrata shelled again, casualties seen". April 19.,_casualties_seen. 
^ "Relatives mourn during the funeral of Abdul-Gader Al-Faitori, a rebel fighter who died after being injured a month ago during combat in Benghazi on May 4.". The Boston Globe. May 16. 
^ "Libyan rebels seek US recognition". May 13. 
^ Activist video shows big anti-Gaddafi protest in Tripoli
^ Libyans chafe under Gadhafi's rule in Tripoli
^ More NATO strikes hit Libya
^ Ugly 5-1 and Ugly 5-2... Apaches on the attack! Gaddafi's radar HQ is destroyed in first blitz by helicopters from Prince Harry base
^ Gadhafi defiant in face of heaviest NATO airstrikes in Libya
^ Gadhafi offered way out
^ Libyan rebels receiving arms from Qatar and Tunisians?
^ In Libya, More Novice Soldiers in Defense of Qaddafi
^ What's really going on in Gadhafi's Tripoli?
^ Libyan Media Minders Nervous After Guard Death
^ Nato admits Libya bombing error
^ Nato chief says alliance will finish job in Libya
^ "Libya: At Least 370 Missing From Country's East". 30 March 2011. 
^ "Libyan doctors put themselves on front lines, and in government gunsights, to serve as medics". April 4. 
^ Al Jazeera: Cameraman Ali Hassan Al-Jaber Killed In Libya Ambush
^ NATO condemns fiery speech by Libyan leader
^ "600 feared dead in Libya refugee boat sinking: UN". 10 May 2011. 
^ "Ethnic Berbers Flee Conflict in Western Libya, Reach Tunisia". 12 April 2011. 
^ "Fire kills four at Tunisian refugee camp". 22 May 2011. Retrieved 22 May 2011. 
^ "Rights watchdog urges Tunisia to protect refugees after 6 killed". 24 June 2011. Retrieved 24 June 2011. 
^ "Maltese patrol boat rescues 76 migrants". 1 June 2011. 
^ "U.N.: At least 150 drown when boat from Libya capsizes". CNN. 4 June 2011. 
^ Libyans chafe under Gadhafi's rule in Tripoli
^ "Libyan rebels accused of arbitrary arrests, torture". CNN. 5 June 2011. 
^ "Nato raid in Tripoli kills five, say Libyan officials". BBC news. 19 June 2011. 
^ NATO strike in Tripoli kills 9 civilians, Libya government says
^ Libya: NATO kills 19 civilians in air strike
^ Staff writer (2 March 2011). "RT News Line, March 2". RT. Retrieved 15 March 2011. 
^ a b Adams, Richard (2011-03-10). "Libya uprising - Thursday 10 March | World news". London: Retrieved 2011-03-19. 
^ Qatar conference urges Gaddafi to quit
^ Up to 15,000 killed in Libya war: U.N. rights expert
^ Libyan rebels continue push towards Tripoli
^ a b "Two photojournalists killed in Libyan city of Misrata". BBC News. 21 April 2011. Retrieved 21 April 2011. 
^ Google points way for Libyan rebel artillery in fight against Gaddafi
^ Journalists under attack in Libya: The tally
^ "Family believes South African journalist dead". 19 May 2011. Retrieved 19 May 2011. 
^ "Obit of the Day: Anton Hammerl". 21 May 2011. Retrieved 19 May 2011. 
^ "No word on fate of Hammerl". 18 May 2011. Retrieved 18 May 2011. 
[hide]v · d · e2011 Libyan civil war
Part of the Arab Spring · Timeline
Forces Anti-Gaddafi forces (National Liberation Army – Free Libyan Air Force – NCLO) • Military of Libya (Libyan Army – Libyan Air Force – Libyan Navy) • Revolutionary Guard Corps
Battles and operations First Battle of Benghazi • Tripoli clashes • Battle of Misrata • Battle of Az Zawiyah • Nafusa Mountains Campaign (Battle of Wazzin) • First Battle of Brega • Battle of Ra's Lanuf • Battle of Bin Jawad • Second Battle of Brega • Second Battle of Benghazi • Battle of Ajdabiya • Late March rebel offensive • Third Battle of Brega • Battle of Brega–Ajdabiya road • East Libyan Desert Campaign • Battle of the Misrata frontline • Sabha clashes • Zliten uprising • Az Zawiyah raid

Operation Ellamy • Operation Odyssey Dawn • Opération Harmattan • Operation Mobile • Operation Unified Protector
Places Bab al-Azizia • Green Square • Maydan al-Shajara
People Muammar Gaddafi • Saif al-Islam Muammar Al-Gaddafi • Mustafa Abdul Jalil • Abdul Fatah Younis • Abdul Hafiz Ghoga • Hussein Sadiq al Musrati • Mohammed El Senussi • Idris bin Abdullah al-Senussi • Fathi Terbil • Mohammed Nabbous • Mahmoud Jibril • Khalifa Belqasim Haftar • Ali Tarhouni • Ali Abd-al-Aziz al-Isawi • Iman al-Obeidi
Impact International reactions • Domestic responses (Gaddafi government response) • Casualties • Human rights violations
Title: Libya: Sen. Jim Webb
Post by: DougMacG on June 28, 2011, 07:00:59 AM
Sen. Jim Webb on Meet the Press:

SEN. WEBB:  We--nobody wants to see Khaddafy remain in power, but that's totally--a totally different question as to how the United States should be involved.  With respect to the United Nations resolutions, the, the Security Council vote was taken with the abstention of Brazil, Russia, India, China and Germany.  This wasn't the U.N. saying this is a great thing to do.  And the president did not come to the Congress, and he also--the, the reasons that he used for going in defy historical precedent.  We weren't under attack, we weren't under a imminent attack, we weren't honoring treaty commitments, we weren't rescuing Americans.
Title: POTH on Harold Koh's testimony; Stratfor
Post by: Crafty_Dog on June 29, 2011, 07:50:18 AM
I note that, as I have said here before, Harold Koh is IMHO an enemy of American sovereignty and is well positioned at the State Dept to do major damage-- but that is not the point here-- here he stands for an imperial presidency:
WASHINGTON — A resolution authorizing American intervention in Libya was approved on Tuesday by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, hours after members skeptically grilled the administration’s legal adviser over his assertion that airstrikes and other military measures did not amount to hostilities.

Enlarge This Image
Philip Scott Andrews/The New York Times
Harold H. Koh, a legal adviser to the State Department, testified on Tuesday.
Libyan Base Falls to a Rebel Ambush in the West (June 29, 2011)

The resolution, approved 14 to 5, would allow President Obama to continue for one year the involvement of United States military forces in the NATO-led operation in Libya; it now heads to the full Senate. A similar measure failed in the House last week, underscoring that even in a divided government, the Senate remains a more interventionist body while the House is increasingly dubious about foreign ventures and their cost.

For weeks, tensions have escalated between members of Congress and the Obama administration over the president’s decision not to seek Congressional authorization for the mission in Libya. The Vietnam-era War Powers Resolution stipulates that presidents must terminate unauthorized deployments into what the law calls hostilities 60 days after notifying Congress that they have begun.

In testimony before the committee Tuesday, Harold H. Koh, the legal adviser to the State Department, insisted that the resolution did not apply to Libya, a position that the administration has expressed repeatedly.

“From the outset, we noted that the situation in Libya does not constitute a war,” Mr. Koh said. He cited four factors — ground troops and significant non-air forces have not been involved, the lack of American casualties or a significant threat of them, a limited risk of escalation, and the limited use of military means — as the central points of logic in the administration’s decision to essentially ignore Congress beyond providing largely perfunctory information.

That logic was rejected by many members of the committee.

Senator Jim Webb of Virginia, a Democrat, said, “When you have an operation that goes on for months, costs billions of dollars, where the United States is providing two-thirds of the troops, even under the NATO fig leaf, where they’re dropping bombs that are killing people, where you’re paying your troops offshore combat pay and there are areas of prospective escalation — something I’ve been trying to get a clear answer from with this administration for several weeks now, and that is the possibility of a ground presence in some form or another, once the Qaddafi regime expires — I would say that’s hostilities.”

A Republican senator, Bob Corker of Tennessee, went further, accusing the administration of “sticking a stick in the eye of Congress” and saying it had done “a great disservice to our country.”

Mr. Koh did concede that the administration could have handled the situation differently. “If we had to roll the tape back, I’m sure there are many places where some would have urged — and I would have been among them — coming up with, coming up earlier for more briefings and to lay out these legal positions,” he said. Officials from the Department of Defense and Department of Justice declined to provide witnesses for the hearing.

The resolution that the committee voted on was sponsored by Senator John Kerry, the Massachusetts Democrat who is chairman of the committee, and Senator John McCain, Republican of Arizona. In arguing for its passage, Mr. Kerry pressed his colleagues to look beyond the issue of how the White House had conferred with Congress and to support the mission, which he said was largely aimed at saving Libyan civilians from massacre. “The rationale for being there is compelling,” he said.

Several amendments attached to the resolution were also adopted, including one offered by Senator Richard G. Lugar of Indiana, the ranking Republican on the committee, which explicitly prohibits the use of ground forces in Libya.

Other approved amendments included provisions stating that any war reconstruction costs in Libya should be borne by that government and the Arab League nations, which requested American assistance in the region, and another that would reopen an inquiry into the Pan Am 103 bombing over Lockerbie, Scotland, in 1988. The Libyan government took responsibility for the bombing in 2003 as part of a broader settlement in which Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi agreed to give up his nuclear and chemical weapons programs.

Another amendment offered by Mr. Lugar, which failed, would have further restricted the United States’ role in Libya, essentially ending airstrikes and the use of drones.

In the end, he voted against the entire resolution, as did Senators Jim DeMint of South Carolina, Mike Lee of Utah, James Risch of Idaho and Mr. Corker.

Mr. DeMint said in an interview after the vote that he based his decision on the cost of the American operations in Libya, which are expected to reach $1 billion this fiscal year, and the lack of the administration’s earlier involvement with Congress.


As the intervention in Libya continues, the International Criminal Court has issued an arrest warrant for Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi. This may embolden NATO to continue using airstrikes in an attempt to assassinate Gadhafi quickly, especially as domestic considerations could cause coalition partners to begin to lose their will to carry out the mission. Should this short-term push fail, however, the inevitable track will be one that leads to a negotiated settlement, first dealing with Gadhafi’s inner circle and, failing that, eventually with the Libyan leader himself.

As the Libyan intervention exceeds 100 days, there is still no end in sight. A military stalemate persists in the east, while rebels from Misurata are struggling to push much farther west than Zlitan, and Nafusa Mountain guerrillas face a difficult task in advancing toward the coast. Moreover, the International Criminal Court (ICC) issued an arrest warrant for Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi on June 27, rendering his prospects for exile all the more unlikely.

The warrant, however, provides added impetus to NATO’s current strategy of using airpower to try to assassinate the Libyan leader as a means of accomplishing the mission: regime change. The three countries currently leading the Libyan intervention — the United States, the United Kingdom and France — are also increasing their efforts to induce people close to Gadhafi to betray him. But the longer the operation continues, the higher the chance that the West will begin to grow weary of another drawn-out war, at which point NATO will find it increasingly difficult to effect regime change. At some point, reaching a negotiated settlement will become the best of a number of unattractive options. Negotiations have already begun in an unofficial capacity, but the fact that no country involved wants to deal with a side that includes the Libyan leader will only prolong the process.

The Coalition: Weary of War?

NATO jets continue to bomb targets across Libya. In doing so, however, the coalition has run into the inevitable problem of civilian casualties. This has yet to make any demonstrable impact on public opinion of the war in countries leading the campaign, which remains consistently in favor of regime change in Libya, though against an escalation that includes the use of ground troops. For example, a poll published June 20 regarding Western countries’ opinion of regime change in Libya showed a consistently high level of approval. The longer the conflict continues, however, the higher the chance for public opinion to turn against the war.

Notably, the country whose public is most opposed is Italy, which also happens to be the first NATO country on the verge of withdrawing from the operation. Italian Foreign Minister Franco Frattini first intimated this June 22. In response to multiple reports of civilian casualties due to NATO airstrikes, he called for an immediate halt to the campaign so that humanitarian aid could be deployed. Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi reaffirmed the shift in the Italian position away from the airstrikes June 24, when he told an EU summit that Italy was “pushing for political mediation which will deliver a final solution.”

Rome’s true motivation has more to do with domestic political pressures placed upon the Berlusconi government by its main coalition partner, Lega Nord, over the cost of the intervention rather than the fear of civilian casualties. But the reason for Italy’s objections is less important than their potential consequence: The coalition of NATO countries that have signed up to participate in Operation Unified Protector is in danger of fracturing, albeit slowly, and the Italian exit could represent the first crack.

The United Kingdom’s discourse on Libya is emblematic of a deep-rooted debate over the proper level of funding its military should receive. Recent budget cuts to the armed forces have exacerbated the United Kingdom’s inability to spread its forces across multiple theaters, and the military is using the conflict in Libya — and more specifically, the argument that its forces are overstretched — as a political tool to justify its public criticism of the budget cuts. Several leading military officials have made public statements to this effect over the past three weeks, and Prime Minister David Cameron has been quick to quash any rumors that these statements reveal a faltering will to continue the mission. However, Defense Secretary Liam Fox on June 27 admitted that the United Kingdom may have to re-prioritize some of its armed forces to see the Libyan operation through. This indicates that the complaints from the military have substance.

In the United States, Congress rather than the military is showing its resistance to the operation in Libya. The U.S. House of Representatives made its stance known June 24 by voting down a bill that would have given U.S President Barack Obama authority to wage war in the North African country. Despite the fact that the House — paradoxically, perhaps — voted down a separate proposal on the same day to restrict funding for the operation, the fact that there is widespread opposition to the Libya intervention within both the Republican and Democratic parties sent a clear message: The indefinite deployment of U.S. troops will cost Obama political capital at home.

Another factor the White House may be contemplating concerns the June 23 U.S. announcement regarding the release of oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve and other International Energy Agency countries, which both cited the loss of oil output from Libya as the primary factor in their decision to pre-empt an anticipated price increase in the summer. Washington, as well as the other countries involved, thus has an interest in ending the conflict soon, but only in a way that would allow oil production to resume as soon as possible. (An anonymous British diplomat leaked to the media June 24 details of a British Foreign Office assessment that claimed that eastern Libyan oil infrastructure had not been that badly damaged and that it would take three to four weeks for oil exports to resume after Gadhafi’s fall. It is unclear whether this is true or whether it is simply intended to serve as an incentive for countries to keep pushing through until the end.)

France has the least domestic opposition toward regime change in Libya, and it is one of the leaders of the air campaign as well.  France was the first country to recognize the Benghazi-based National Transitional Council, and Paris would likely be the last country to abandon the mission that has become, among other things, a point of personal pride for President Nicolas Sarkozy. Sarkozy wants to avoid being perceived as weak ahead of the 2012 presidential election, especially as the race is beginning to heat up. One of the main Socialist presidential nominee candidates, Martine Aubry, is set to announce her candidacy June 28, and the Socialists may decide to put the Libya intervention — and the way it is being conducted — at the forefront of their anti-Sarkozy campaign.

A Failing Trust in the Rebels

The once-touted option of arming the rebel opposition to fight the Libyan army on the ground has lost traction in NATO. The monthslong stalemate in the east shows no signs of changing, while Misurata remains an island of rebellion in the western coastal region — though some of the rebel fighters from the city have been trying to push westward toward Tripoli despite currently being blocked outside of the city of Zlitan. Nafusa Mountain guerrillas, meanwhile, are making slight progress in terms of advancing northward, with some fighters having descended from the mountains to battle Libyan forces, but their chances of ever taking the capital are slim.

The real problem continues to lie in the uncertainty that surrounds the rebel council, which is officially recognized by a handful of countries as the legitimate representative of the Libyan people — it is recognized by even more countries in the West and by Russia and China as the de facto government of eastern Libya. All of the countries that have begun to develop ties with the council realize they will need to maintain good relations with Benghazi if they want to conduct business in Libya in the future, namely in the oil sector. Yet the West has been hesitant to fully arm the rebels or deliver on the hundreds of millions of dollars of aid that has been promised them in various international conferences since April. This suggests a general lack of trust for the council that prevents full-scale Western support, a distrust perhaps stemming from prior connections many of its leaders held with the Gadhafi regime, the potential existence of jihadist elements within the council, or the disbelief that any one faction truly speaks for all of Libya’s rebels.

NATO thus has few good options. The most attractive option, from NATO’s perspective, is to fulfill the mission as quickly as possible, while there is still resolve in the West. This means it will either convince regime insiders to push Gadhafi out, or increase its attempts to assassinate Gadhafi from the air, dealing with the resulting power vacuum later. Whether this strategy will work is unknown. But the longer it takes, the higher the chance that a coterie of NATO countries will eventually be forced to fully support a negotiated settlement to end the conflict.

The council is opposed to any outcome that does not include Gadhafi’s ouster. For months, it was even opposed to any solution that did not involve Gadhafi’s being forced to leave the country. But as cracks within the NATO countries participating in the bombing began to emerge, the rebels’ negotiating position began to weaken because their leverage with countries such as Qatar does not provide them much help in a military conflict with Gadhafi. This has led to a slight easing of the council’s position. During a June 24 interview in French media, a rebel spokesman said the council would be satisfied with Gadhafi’s retiring to a “Libyan oasis under international control,” provided he and his family are barred from participating in any future government. The spokesman also said the council would be willing to discuss the formation of an interim government with “any technocrat or Libyan official who does not have any blood on their hands.”

The Beginning of Negotiations

It is under these circumstances that official negotiations will likely begin. Such a path will not immediately lead to talks between the rebels and Gadhafi himself, however. The first attempt will be to separate Gadhafi’s inner circle from the regime, offering those without “blood on their hands” a share of power in the new Libya in exchange for betraying their leader. (Deciding who does and does not fall in this category will most likely be subject to negotiation, not based upon a true examination of the personal records of various regime officials.) Best positioned to lead any future negotiations will be the Russians (via the African Union), who have deep-rooted relations with both the West and Gadhafi and who have balanced their support of Tripoli and Benghazi to ensure a future presence throughout Libya.

The rebel spokesman who broached the topic of negotiations said negotiations have, in fact, already begun through intermediaries in countries such as France and South Africa. No country, however, wants to negotiate with Gadhafi himself unless all other options have been exhausted. If NATO jets are unable to kill the Libyan leader, then the alliance will attempt to undermine him from within.

The problem with this approach is embodied in the ICC warrants. Though Gadhafi, his son Seif al-Islam and his long-time intelligence chief Abdullah al-Sannousi have been the only specific targets of this round of ICC warrants, no one connected to the regime will enjoy a guarantee of continued immunity from prosecution. This makes it difficult, though not impossible, to incentivize a deal for them, especially when the rebel military threat is low, and the NATO countries participating in the operations in Libya — which are hesitant to deploy ground troops — have yet to show that their attempts at assassinating Gadhafi will prove successful.

Read more: NATO's Diminishing Options in Libya | STRATFOR
Title: WSJ: Libya's new government
Post by: Crafty_Dog on July 15, 2011, 11:32:48 AM
Interesting development.

There has been much sneering around here (with good reason!) about Baraq's handling of all this, but it is not impossible that things turn out relatively well , , ,


ISTANBUL—The U.S. and some 30 other countries declared they were recognizing Libya's opposition National Transitional Council as the country's "legitimate governing authority" on Friday, opening the way for billions of dollars in frozen Libyan assets to be released to them.

 Leaders from 30 nations and organizations convene in Istanbul to discuss a road-map to peace in Libya. U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, left, talks to British Foreign Secretary William Hague during the fourth Libya Contact Group Meeting. Video and image courtesy of Reuters.

The upgrade came in the concluding statement of a meeting of the Libya Contact Group in Istanbul. Diplomats described the move as a significant boost for opposition forces that have been fighting to topple Col. Moammar Gadhafi, as well as a clear message to the Libyan strongman to step aside.

The U.S. and many of its North Atlantic Treaty Organization allies had previously treated the Benghazi-based council, known as the TNC, as their legitimate "interlocutor" in Libya, a lesser status that had significant legal implications.

"We still have to work through various legal issues, but we expect this step on recognition will enable the TNC to access additional sources of funding," Secretary of State Hillary Clinton told reporters. However, a senior U.S. official said that it would take time to work out the simplest legal way for the U.S. to disperse the funds.

More than $30 billion of Libyan assets are frozen in the U.S. U.S. officials have been looking at two options. The first involves issuing "directive licenses" to banks in the U.S that would authorize them to release the funds to the TNC. However, that could fall foul of provisions in two United Nations Security Council resolutions on Libya, according to people familiar with the matter.

The second option, using the frozen assets as collateral for loans to the TNC would be more complex to set up, but wouldn't run into hurdles at the U.N.

The U.S. appeared to be following, rather than leading, some of its North Atlantic Treaty Organization allies with Friday's announcement. Italy said it would immediately release €100 million ($141.4 million) in credit to the TNC, using frozen assets as collateral, and had already begun taking legal steps to make that possible.

Italian Foreign Minister Franco Frattini said a contract for the €100 million would be signed "in the next few days," and that his country was in a position to offer up to €400 million in total.

France's foreign minister, Alain Juppe, later told reporters that his country was in the process of unfreezing $250 million in Libyan assets, but added that this could take time due to legal complications. Turkey, meanwhile, has already pledged a $200 million to the TNC under a collateralization scheme.

"Our loan implementation will constitute an example to other countries...we should cover the needs of our Libyan brothers," said Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, at a closing news press conference with the meeting's co-chairman, UAE Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed al-Nahayn.

The senior U.S. official said there was no immediate prospect of the U.S. releasing funds.

Mr. Davutoglu had opened Friday's conference with a call for the contact group members to loan the TNC "a percentage" of the funds frozen in their counties to meet humanitarian needs during the religious Ramadan holidays next month.

How to handle Ramadan also formed part of the discussions among diplomats, who said NATO would have to navigate between the twin dangers of granting Col. Gadhafi propaganda victories by continuing to bomb, and giving him time to regroup his forces by relenting.

Mahmoud Shamman, spokesman for the TNC, said there was "no chance" of a cease-fire before Ramadan, a position backed by France's Mr. Juppe. Mr. Shamman also said the TNC needs $3 billion over the next six months, but so far has been promised only $700 million to $800 million.

Mrs. Clinton said the decision to give full recognition to the TNC had come only after it provided "assurances regarding its intentions to pursue democratic reform that is inclusive geographically and politically, and to uphold Libya's international obligations and to disburse funds in a transparent manner, to address the humanitarian and other needs of the Libyan people."

Pressed as to why it had taken the U.S. so long to recognize the TNC, Mrs. Clinton said: "we really acted in warp time in diplomatic terms, but we took our time to make sure that we were doing so based on the best possible assessments."

Diplomats said Friday's contact group meeting, the fourth since it was formed in March, differed from previous ones in focusing on the post-Gadhafi transition, rather than on NATO's military campaign. Mr. Juppe said there was agreement that Col. Gadhafi would have to leave power ahead of any political transition, but that it was up to the Libyans to decide whether that meant his paving the country.

There were few answers, though, on how to achieve that Friday. Friday's joint statement reiterated support for actions by the International Criminal Court to bring Col. Gadhafi to justice, making any deal under which he might leave for exile difficult.

Write to Marc Champion at and Joe Parkinson at

Title: Re: WSJ: Libya's new government
Post by: G M on July 15, 2011, 03:05:36 PM
Interesting development.

There has been much sneering around here (with good reason!) about Baraq's handling of all this, but it is not impossible that things turn out relatively well , , ,

It ain't over until the lunatic in the man-dress sings. Or develops rigor mortis.
Title: Looking for the exits , , ,
Post by: Crafty_Dog on July 17, 2011, 05:13:26 AM
Libyan Coalition Shifting Toward The Exits

The international contact group on Libya will meet for the fourth time Friday in Istanbul. It will be the contact group’s first meeting since the NATO bombing campaign entered a new phase this week.

The idea of pursuing a negotiated settlement to end the conflict — once an initiative only seriously championed by players not involved in the air campaign — is no longer a non-starter with the NATO members directing the military operations. Air strikes will continue for now, but the United States, United Kingdom, France and Italy are looking for other possible avenues to end the conflict. Regime change remains the goal, but after nearly four months, the tone of the operation has changed.

No one has dropped the demand that Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi exit office. But the level of commitment to the use of force varies among the member states of the restricted NATO coalition. These countries probably did not think, when they agreed to begin bombing Libya months ago, that they would still be discussing in mid-July a Libya controlled mostly by Gadhafi. Thus, the search for alternative exit routes has begun.

“It is only a matter of time before the West seeks to begin a formal negotiation with members of the Gadhafi regime.”
After being the last of a coalition within NATO to join the air campaign, Italy was the first country to break ranks and signal in June that it wanted out. Although it has not withdrawn entirely from the NATO mission, Italy has cut funding by more than half in recent weeks. Rome also dispatched its foreign minister to Algeria, a known Gadhafi ally, where the Italian minister openly warned of the potential for Sahel-based militants to take advantage of Libyan instability to acquire weapons. Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi himself recently said that had it been up to him, he would have followed Germany’s example and abstained from the air campaign altogether. With so much of its energy supply coming from Libya, Italy seems to be regretting its push for an indictment by the International Criminal Court, and has begun a gradual return to its hedging strategy, just in case it has to deal with Gadhafi again in the future.

France was Italy’s opposite from the start. It has been the country most dedicated to the mission of regime change, and it was the first to recognize the Benghazi-based National Transitional Council (NTC) as the sole legitimate representative of the Libyan people. Alongside the United Kingdom, France played an instrumental role in bringing the United States into the war — a critical step in helping the mission get off the ground. France also has energy interests in Libya (though not on the same scale as Italy) and French President Nicolas Sarkozy has used the Libyan war to demonstrate France’s strength among European militaries.

Paris still wants Gadhafi out, but its resolve has diminished. On the weekend of July 9-10, quite a few French officials issued the first open calls for a political settlement in Libya. French Defense Minister Gerard Longuet even went so far as to say that France had proven military force alone would not work in this situation. Longuet said the NTC needed to come to the table and drop its demand that Gadhafi first step down. His stance was later complemented by similar statements from the French foreign minister and prime minister. The collective message from Paris represented a stark reminder that the resolve to bomb Gadhafi into submission is not limitless among the NATO states participating in the Libyan mission.

Although these same French officials shortly thereafter sought to reaffirm their dedication to the air campaign and to Gadhafi’s ouster, Paris has shown its hand. It is willing to accept that force alone may not complete the mission. It is only a matter of time before the West seeks to begin a formal negotiation with members of the Gadhafi regime.

The question is, what triggered France’s change of heart?

This is where Russia’s role in the matter becomes interesting. France is in the midst of developing a greater relationship with Moscow as a means of balancing the warming ties between Russia and Germany — a country with which the Kremlin is actively pursuing a relationship. France and Russia have found common interests in Libya. Russia has been trying to position itself as a mediator ever since it became clear that the conflict in Libya represented more than just an opportunity to create distractions for the Americans. If France senses a growing possibility that the bombing campaign may fail, it only makes sense for Paris to use the moment as an opportunity to work with Russia, giving Moscow a chance to wield its influence in Libya. The timing of France’s public shift gives credence to this possibility: it occurred just days before Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov traveled to the United States on July 11-12 to meet with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and President Barack Obama.

Obama used Lavrov’s visit to voice the first public U.S. support for Russia’s role as a mediator in Libya with Clinton delivering statements along the same lines. At the same meeting, Lavrov stated that Russia has unambiguously entered the camp advocating for Gadhafi to step down (it’s unclear whether or not his words reflect what Moscow actually wants). Although the United States has allowed the NATO operation to be labeled as “Europe’s war,” Washington has played a critical function in the logistics of the conflict, and like everyone else, Washington is trying to secure an alternative exit strategy should air power not suffice. Whether anyone can convince members of the Gadhafi regime (to say nothing of the leader himself) that giving up power won’t simply land them in The Hague, of course, is another matter.

Title: And so it goes
Post by: Crafty_Dog on July 18, 2011, 02:23:56 PM
Libyan rebel forces claimed Monday that they had taken the eastern town of [Marsa el] Brega, a lucrative port town home to key oil-related infrastructure. The rebel spokesman who made the claim said that rebels are currently trying to clear the city of landmines while the Libyan army continues to attack their positions with missile fire from the west. Even if the rebel claims are true, there is no evidence that they’ll be able to hold Brega, much less push further west along the coast towards Tripoli. Meanwhile, the push towards a political solution to end the Libyan war continues. The longer this goes, the more likely the NATO countries leading the campaign — France, the U.S. and the U.K. — are to seek a negotiated settlement, something to which Gadhafi will be reticent to agree.

This is not the first time that rebels have taken the town of Brega. It actually happened last April as well, shortly after the NATO air campaign began. Rebel forces made it all the way to the eastern outskirts of Gadhafi’s hometown of Sirte in April before being pushed back in April, and Gadhafi’s forces may very well push them back this time as well. There has yet to be a true military shift on the ground in Libya. NATO jets have been bombing the country for four months but the fundamental problem remains, and that is that the rebel forces are not able to make any meaningful advance on Tripoli.

There are three fronts in the Libyan war. The main one is in the east, where Brega is located. Then there is the pocket of rebellion in the western coastal town of Misurata, and finally there are the Berber guerillas in the Nafusa Mountains southwest of the capital. Rebel forces have made advances on all three fronts in the last month, but on none of these fronts do they stand any good chance of pushing through in the near future.

Problems of proper arms and equipment, sufficient military training and, perhaps most importantly, good leadership continue to create problems for the rebels. The terrain on the approaches to Tripoli also creates problems for any invasion of the capital: flat ground that is devoid of any natural defenses gives the advantage to the heavily fortified Libyan army. It’s true that Gadhafi’s forces have been degraded as well by the months-long NATO campaign, but nothing short of a complete implosion of the regime will open up the door to Tripoli.

The rebels’ military deficiencies will play a big role in the path towards finding a solution to the war in Libya. NATO has displayed a commitment to maintaining the bombing campaign for the next few months at least, but its member states are not willing to send in ground troops. And so the coalition seems to be hoping for one of two things: that an airstrike can assassinate Gadhafi, which is an unlikely scenario, or that continuous military pressure will lead to the implosion of the Gadhafi regime. This is why the western powers currently bombing Libya are simultaneously laying the groundwork for a political solution, just in case the military option doesn’t work. All of these countries are still in agreement that Gadhafi must go but the question is how to enforce this.

Certainly the issuance of an ICC warrant for Gadhafi’s arrest will only decrease his willingness to step down in any sort of negotiated settlement. And the talks that will inevitably begin, should things continue to follow the current trajectory, will most likely involve other members of the Gadhafi regime rather than the Brother Leader himself. But where it goes from there will be dictated in large part by the force the Libyan rebels are able to bring to bear.

Title: Re: Libya and
Post by: G M on July 18, 2011, 02:28:01 PM
What happened to "Days, not weeks"?
Title: WSJ: This is what leading from behind delivers , , ,
Post by: Crafty_Dog on July 31, 2011, 10:23:17 PM
NATO has had many impressive moments in its history, but its misadventure in Libya isn't one of them. Moammar Gadhafi and his mercenaries may be no military match for NATO's jets and cruise missiles, but at every turn the alliance has acted in a way that has given the dictator hope of surviving.

In the latest example, the French and British last week floated a unilateral concession: Gadhafi can stay in Libya, as long as he renounces any claim on holding power. This is a major retreat from NATO's earlier position that Gadhafi had to leave Libya.
Title: Re: WSJ: This is what leading from behind delivers , , ,
Post by: G M on July 31, 2011, 10:28:34 PM
NATO has had many impressive moments in its history, but its misadventure in Libya isn't one of them. Moammar Gadhafi and his mercenaries may be no military match for NATO's jets and cruise missiles, but at every turn the alliance has acted in a way that has given the dictator hope of surviving.

In the latest example, the French and British last week floated a unilateral concession: Gadhafi can stay in Libya, as long as he renounces any claim on holding power. This is a major retreat from NATO's earlier position that Gadhafi had to leave Libya.

Methinks someone around here called this outcome from the jump.   :-D
Title: Stratfor: The Clusterfcuk continues , , ,
Post by: Crafty_Dog on August 02, 2011, 10:35:16 PM

August 3, 2011


Four days after the announcement of the mysterious death of Libyan rebel military
leader Abdel Fattah Younis, several stories have emerged seeking to explain how he
and two of his aides were killed. Of these numerous tales, two narratives persist.
One holds that he was killed by elements of a fifth column loyal to Libyan leader
Moammar Gadhafi; the other maintains that Younis was executed by an eastern militia
acting outside the control of the National Transitional Council (NTC). What exactly
transpired may never be known, but the effect of Younis' killing on how the National
Transitional Council is perceived is the same regardless. The rebels that the West
has been counting on to replace the Gadhafi regime apparently cannot even control
their base territory in eastern Libya, let alone govern the entire country.

"The decision to frame the National Transitional Council as an optimal replacement
to the Gadhafi regime was made in haste, when policymakers had very little
information on the identity of the rebel forces."

It is known that Younis was recalled from the front line near the eastern coastal
town of Marsa el Brega sometime in the middle of last week. It is also known that on
July 28, NTC leader Mustafa Abdel-Jalil officially announced that Younis had been
killed. Since then, Abdel-Jalil has changed the details of the official story. First
he claimed that Younis was killed by an “armed gang” while en route to Benghazi to
be questioned regarding “military matters.” Abdel-Jalil then stated July 30 that
Younis had actually been ambushed after he met with NTC officials in Benghazi.
Abdel-Jalil, who like Younis is a former minister in Gadhafi’s government, has said
he does not know the exact reasons Younis was recalled in the first place. However,
it has been widely speculated that Younis, the former interior minister who defected
in the early days of the rebellion, was suspected of playing a double game and was
in contact with the Tripoli regime.

Three days after Younis’ death was announced, an NTC official stated that rebel
forces in Benghazi had engaged in a five-hour firefight with members of a fifth
column which had heretofore been feigning loyalty to the National Transitional
Council. Though NTC official Mahmoud Shammam said the event had nothing to do with
Younis’ death, it lends credence to the fifth column theory. However, allegations by
several other NTC officials create another possibility. If Younis really was killed
by one of two armed militias known to work autonomously of the rebel council, then
the notion that the National Transitional Council is the sole legitimate
representative of the Libyan people -- or even just the eastern Libyan people --
immediately comes into question. To make matters worse, evidence that these militias
are composed of Islamists (namely, former members of the Libyan Islamic Fighting
Group) who had reason to seek revenge on Younis for his actions as interior
minister, generates an entirely new set of worries for those that had placed so much
faith in the rebels.

The decision to frame the National Transitional Council as an optimal replacement to
the Gadhafi regime was made in haste, when policymakers had very little information
on the identity of the rebel forces. Not everyone rushed to formally recognize the
body -- France was the notable exception -- but a de facto recognition effectively
occurred the moment NATO began bombing the country in the unspoken name of regime

There were early expressions of doubt about the nature of the opposition --
especially the “flickers of intelligence" statement by NATO Supreme Allied Commander
in Europe U.S. Adm. James Stavridis, who said in March that elements of al Qaeda and
Hezbollah were perhaps present among the rebel ranks . Nevertheless, the countries
that pushed for the air campaign felt that anything was better than Gadhafi. This,
after all, was a war ostensibly motivated by a desire to protect civilians. It was a
humanitarian war that eventually assumed an overt policy designed to force the
Libyan leader from power.

NATO planes have now bombed Libya for more than four months, and Gadhafi remains in
power despite all the claims that he is on the verge of defeat. It is always
possible that his regime may collapse, but the confidence among those that have led
the air campaign is waning, regardless of what their public statements may claim.
Countries that really think a military victory is at hand do not openly talk about
seeking a negotiated settlement with the enemy, nor do they budge on their demand
that the target be required to exit the country as part of any agreement. France,
the United States and the United Kingdom have all done so.

With London's recognition July 27 of the National Transitional Council as the sole
legitimate representative of the Libyan people, there are few Western countries left
that have not yet recognized the rebel council. The Czechs represent a rare case of
open skepticism. While Prague has appointed a “flying ambassador” to Benghazi,
Foreign Minister Karel Schwarenzberg said July 29, “I may find them nice, but I will
not officially recognize [the rebels] until they get control of the whole country."

This sentiment may end up being the historical lesson of the Libyan war, which ranks
high on the list of countries in the region where the Arab Spring has failed to
bring about a true revolution. It would be untrue to say that no changes have
occurred in the Middle East and North Africa since the fall of Zine El Abidine Ben
Ali in Tunisia. The Yemeni president is lucky to be alive and living in Saudi
Arabia, and he may not return to Yemen at all. Egypt may still be run by the
military, but Mubarak is gone thanks in part to the actions of the protesters,
(although, they have since lost momentum). The Khalifas in Bahrain weathered the
storm quite well, but the unrest in the Persian Gulf island kingdom (and the manner
in which the United States responded) has led indirectly to a potential
rapprochement between age old rivals Iran and Saudi Arabia. The Alawites in Syria
have maintained power but could very well have laid the foundation for their demise
in the long term.

Libya, though, is the only country in which there was an armed intervention by the
West. There were many reasons Libya was the one place in which the protection of
civilians was officially deemed worthy of such a measure. Three outposts of rebel
control have been created in Cyrenaica, Misurata and the Nafusa Mountains, and one
wonders what the West will do next. The idea that rebel fighters could take Tripoli
on their own was dismissed as unrealistic long ago. The strategy of bombing, waiting
for the regime to implode and pushing for a negotiated settlement (just in case) has
been adopted in its stead. But Younis’ death has created a whole new set of
questions, the most fundamental of which is this: who exactly will govern Libya if
Gadhafi is forced to step down?
Title: POTH: Revenge and Revolt
Post by: Crafty_Dog on August 14, 2011, 07:09:15 AM
Saddled with infighting and undermined by the occasionally ruthless and undisciplined behavior of its fighters, the six-month-old rebel uprising against Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi is showing signs of sliding from a struggle to overthrow an autocrat into a murkier contest between factions and tribes.

In a tribal dispute, rebels set fire to a home in Yafran, Libya, last month after they seized the town from pro-Qaddafi loyalists.

The increase in discord and factionalism is undermining the effort to overthrow Colonel Qaddafi, and it comes immediately after recognition of the rebel government by the Western powers, including the United States, potentially giving the rebels access to billions of dollars in frozen Libyan assets, and the chance to purchase more modern weaponry.

The infighting could also erode support for the rebels among members of the NATO alliance, which faces a September deadline for renewing its air campaign amid growing unease about the war’s costs and direction. That air support has been a factor in every significant rebel military goal, including fighting on Saturday in which rebel forces were challenging pro-Qaddafi forces in or near three critical towns: Brega, an oil port in the east, Zawiya, on the outskirts of Tripoli, and Gharyan, an important gateway to southern Libya. There were also clashes a few miles from the main border crossing into neighboring Tunisia, residents told Reuters.

While the rebels have sought to maintain a clean image and to portray themselves as fighting to establish a secular democracy, several recent acts of revenge have cast their ranks in a less favorable light. They have also raised the possibility that any rebel victory over Colonel Qaddafi could disintegrate into the sort of tribal tensions that have plagued Libya for centuries.

In recent weeks, rebel fighters in Libya’s western mountains and around the coastal city of Misurata have lashed out at civilians because their tribes supported Colonel Qaddafi, looting mountain villages and emptying a civilian neighborhood. In the rebels’ provisional capital, Benghazi, renegade fighters assassinated their top military commander, Gen. Abdul Fattah Younes, apparently in revenge for his previous role as Colonel Qaddafi’s security chief.

In response, the chief of General Younes’s powerful tribe threatened to retaliate against those responsible, setting off a crisis in the rebels’ governing council, whose members were dismissed en masse last week.

The rebels’ Western backers have become alarmed at the growing rift between supporters of a group of rebels who have coalesced into a relatively unified army and the others who effectively remain a civilian band of militia fighters.

In the short term, the retaliation can serve to fortify Colonel Qaddafi’s power by reinforcing the fear that a rebel victory would bring reprisals against the many who participated in the colonel’s political machine and enjoyed his patronage. More broadly, the moral clarity of six months ago, when Colonel Qaddafi’s forces were bearing down on Benghazi and he was threatening to wipe out anyone who dared oppose him there, has been muddied.

In an interview, Jeffrey D. Feltman, assistant secretary of state for Near Eastern affairs, said that concerns about the rebels might be overblown. He acknowledged that there were some “disturbing reports” from Benghazi and the rebel front lines but credited the rebels’ governing Transitional National Council with swift steps to address the concerns. He noted that the rebel leadership — itself a heterodox mix of recent defectors and their former longtime foes — had ordered an end to abuses against loyalist tribes in the mountains, and he characterized the shake-up of the council as a move to establish a level of transparency and accountability without precedent in Libya.

After some initial gunfire by fighters from the family of General Younes, the council appeared to have persuaded his tribe, the Obeidi, to put their faith in an investigation by the rebel authorities, Mr. Feltman said. “They were able to avert a real cycle of violence,” he said. “I would give them a passing grade, given where they are starting from.” He added, “They have made commitments to us that you would never get out of Qaddafi.”

Still, questions remain about the rebel leadership’s control over its fighters. “I think that is a question they are asking themselves,” Mr. Feltman said, noting recent moves by the council to rein in various freewheeling rebel militias, which often are formed along town, neighborhood or tribal lines.

But an Obama administration official, who was not authorized to speak publicly on the subject, acknowledged some doubts. “I think the jury is out on how unified the command will be,” the official said.

Just two weeks before the mysterious assassination of General Younes raised those questions, the United States formally recognized the rebels’ Transitional National Council as Libya’s legitimate government, potentially allowing it to tap about $3.5 billion in liquid assets and, over the long term, the rest of the $30 billion of the Qaddafi government’s frozen investments.

United States officials say that rebel leaders have pledged to allocate the money in a way that is “transparent” and “inclusive,” and that the United States is encouraging its use for health care, electricity and other services in rebel-held territory. But some funds could also be used to buy weapons for the poorly trained and equipped rebel forces.

Libya before the revolt was in many ways a social tinderbox. The country, a former Italian colony long dominated by rural Bedouin tribes, had little experience of national unity before Colonel Qaddafi came to power 42 years ago. Many Libyans relied on tribal connections more than civil law for justice and security.

Colonel Qaddafi’s centralized state and oil economy deepened many divisions, rewarding or punishing both individuals and tribes primarily on the basis of their loyalty to the government.

The uprising initially broke out across the country, even driving the police from the streets of the capital, Tripoli. But Colonel Qaddafi and one of his sons, Seif al-Islam, immediately vowed to stamp out the “rats” they held responsible, predicting from the first nights that the rebellion would become “a civil war.” Then militias commanded by two other Qaddafi sons, Muatassim and Khamis, re-established control of the capital by firing live ammunition into unarmed crowds, as the International Criminal Court attested, the first steps toward fulfilling the Qaddafis’ prophecy of a civil war pitting east against west.

Many supporters of the rebels now speak of exacting their own revenge against Colonel Qaddafi’s clan.

Outside Tripoli, the Qaddafi stronghold, about 500 civilian refugees from the rebel advance have gathered in a makeshift camp that formerly housed Chinese construction workers. “If you love Qaddafi in Yafran, they will kill you,” said Abdel Kareem Omar, 25, a dental student from a village of the Mashaashia tribe near that rebel city in the western mountains.

“The rebels stole our furniture, our food, our animals and burned our homes,” he said, vowing that he, too, would take up arms. “To protect my people,” he said.

In a recent conversation with two journalists, one man in the western mountains said his neighbors often spoke of capturing Seif al-Islam el-Qaddafi alive, so they could chop off his fingers. And low-level rebel leaders talk openly of forbidding Colonel Qaddafi’s supporters from returning to their homes in rebel-held ground.

Bands of rebel fighters hunted people suspected of being Qaddafi loyalists around Benghazi for months before the killing of General Younes. And on the front lines, rebels in the coastal city of Misurata have vowed to take revenge on the black-skinned Libyans from Tawergha, accusing them of committing atrocities and driving them out of their neighborhood.

In the mountains in western Libya, local men have ransacked and burned homes in at least five villages or cities where residents had supported Colonel Qaddafi or his troops. Many of the victims were members of the pro-Qaddafi Mashaashia tribe, which the rebels openly loathe.

The fear holding together the pro-Qaddafi side is palpable. Asked in an unguarded moment about his plans, Musa Ibrahim, a member of Colonel Qaddafi’s tribe and a spokesman for his government, blurted out, “If I am alive, you mean?”

The rebel leadership in Benghazi continues to insist that it can reconcile the differences among Libyan factions and tribes. The governing council calls itself “transitional,” and it has pledged to form a new broadly representative unity government based in Tripoli if Colonel Qaddafi leaves power.

Part of the challenge facing the rebels is the pervasive reach of the Qaddafi political machine.

“In a dictatorship that lasts 42 years, it is almost inevitable that almost everyone to some extent needed to participate in the ‘revolution’ — how else could you raise a family, have a job, etc.?” Diederik Vandewalle, a Libya expert at Dartmouth College wrote in an e-mail. “That in a sense is the real tragedy of the way the Qaddafi system implicated everyone. And so it leaves virtually everyone open to retribution.”

Members of the tribes close to Colonel Qaddafi — like his own tribe, the Qaddafa, or the larger Maghraha, and small tribes associated with them — may face the greatest danger from “tribal revenge,” George Joffe, a Libya expert at the University of Cambridge, wrote in another e-mail. “And, of course, the longer this struggle continues, the more likely and bitter that will become.”

Title: Re: Libya and
Post by: G M on August 14, 2011, 07:17:02 AM
"Days, not weeks".

Pretty impressive seeing what the europeans can do without America.  :roll:
Title: Closing in on Kaddaffy?
Post by: Crafty_Dog on August 21, 2011, 07:25:03 PM
Reports are that Son #1 has been captured and many reports suggest Tripoli is under severe pressure.

As I have previously commented, it is not impossible that this end well.
Title: Re: Libya and
Post by: G M on August 21, 2011, 11:45:11 PM
No, it's not. However, O-barry won't be getting a "gutsy-call" bump from this either.
Title: Re: Libya and
Post by: Crafty_Dog on August 22, 2011, 06:34:56 AM
I can picture something like this:

He courageously led from behind to let the Euros carry a load of the sort that they normally shirk; this exercise of "smart power" is now proven smart (and contrasts nicely with the Bush team); it wins us points in the Arab world; the nattering negativism of the Reps is now proven wrong and Baraq's cool steady hand proven right; we have accomplished the overthrow of a real bad actor; blah blah.
Title: Stratfor: Now what?
Post by: Crafty_Dog on August 22, 2011, 02:44:52 PM
Analyst Bayless Parsley examines the success of the Libyan rebel forces in Tripoli but foresees problems for the rebel National Transitional Council once they begin governing Libya.

Editor’s Note: Transcripts are generated using speech-recognition technology. Therefore, STRATFOR cannot guarantee their complete accuracy.

Related Links
Libyan Rebels’ Immediate Security Concerns
Libyan Rebels Closing in on Tripoli
One day after Libyan rebel forces entered the capital of Tripoli, fighting continues with remnants of the Gadhafi regime that are entrenched in Tripoli. Though several of Gadhafi sons have reportedly been arrested, the whereabouts of the Libyan leader himself remain unknown. Gadhafi also maintains strongholds in the cities of Sirte and Sabha, indications that the Libyan war is far from over. Assuming that the Libyan rebels prevail, however, the Benghazi-based National Transitional Council will face a whole new set of problems in trying to relocate its political authority to Tripoli.

The main problem of the National Transitional Council is that it’s an umbrella group that brings together several different groups of people, who really only have two things in common. They’re collectively referred to as the Libyan rebels, and they all share a desire to oust Moammar Gadhafi from power. The second you take that common mission away from them, you immediately open the door to in-fighting.

The Council has been based in Benghazi since February and has, for the entire time, professed a desire to relocate its political capital to Tripoli. This won’t be as easy as simply packing up their car and making a 12-hour drive west. When its leaders, almost all of whom have heavy ties to eastern Libya, which is historically distinct from other parts of the country, try to assert their power in the west, it will be met with resistance.

There are a lot of different fronts in the Libyan war manned by different groups from different parts the country. Each of these groups is now going to feel as if it is entitled to a certain share of political authority, economic reward and share of power in the new Libya. Those who manned the front lines of Brega are the closest geographically to both Benghazi and the bulk of Libya’s oil fields. They will feel as if they were the vanguard of Libyan revolution. Those who staved off the Libyan army in Misurata for so many months feel as if they are the most hardened fighters and therefore worthy of a reward.

The Berbers in the Nafusa Mountains played a critical role in the final push to enter Tripoli, while the Arab rebels who joined them in Zawiya and Zabrata will argue that they actually entered the capital first and therefore drove the dagger into Gadhafi’s heart. Finally there are the people of Tripoli itself, a city which makes up about a quarter of Libya’s overall population, who may not be very receptive to the idea of the Benghazi-based National Transitional Council taking the place of the previous regime for very long.

There are also known Islamist militias who’ve been participating in the fighting in the east and who have also been providing security in Benghazi itself. The presence of these militias has caused the National Transitional Council to worry that they may attempt to fill any potential power vacuum that is left by Gadhafi’s departure. When you add all these factors together, it’s clear that the Council has a potential problem on its hand, and that, while the Libyan war seems to be nearing an end, it’s possible that the real battle has only just begun.

Title: WSJ:
Post by: Crafty_Dog on August 22, 2011, 10:52:52 PM

The fighting continues in Tripoli, and Moammar Gadhafi still hasn't been captured, but the triumph of the U.S.-backed Libyan rebels seems to be only a matter of time. Though you wouldn't know it from the reaction at the Council on Foreign Relations or among some GOP Presidential candidates, this is a victory for freedom and U.S. national interests.

A dictator with American blood on his hands is about to be overthrown by a popular revolt invoking democratic principles. Not a single American has died in the effort, and the victory would not have been possible without U.S. air power, intelligence and targeting as part of NATO. A long-oppressed people now has a chance to chart a freer future, a fact that is clear from the rejoicing in Benghazi.

What would we prefer: That Gadhafi stay in power?

Rather than wring our hands about the dangers ahead, now is the time to applaud the bravery of the Libyan people and help them build a better country. One way to start would be to respect what the rebels have accomplished and respond to their requests for assistance, rather than trying to dictate how they should act.

Yet some of the same people who said we shouldn't help the rebels now want the U.N. to send "boots on the ground," including U.S. troops. It's not clear that the Libyans want or even need such help, especially from Americans, which could complicate their own nascent attempts at self-government.

The danger of tribal reprisals in Tripoli is real, and President Obama was right yesterday to urge the rebels to pursue "reconciliation." But America's foreign policy elites have also so far misjudged the rebels, who have shown impressive persistence and coordination in maintaining a six-month military campaign. They didn't turn on each other and they didn't turn out to be a stalking horse for al Qaeda, despite the claims of many on the American political right.

The statement yesterday from the chairman of the opposition Transitional National Council, Mustafa Abdul Jalil, was impressive in calling for "a nation in which all citizens are equal" and "in which minorities have rights and can practice their culture and their way of life."

Related Video
 In an Opinion Journal video, Columnist Bret Stephens gives an update on the Libyan war and columnist Bill McGurn ponders the ethics in collegiate athletics. Also, editorial writer Joe Rago on Jon Huntsman's latest campaign strategy.
..The U.S. and especially NATO can help with military training and equipment for the Libyan security forces, if requested. The allies will also find it easier to collect the dangerous weapons on the ground, especially surface to air missiles, if we promise new, more appropriate arms in return. U.N. sanctions should be lifted immediately, so a new government can begin to tap the country's oil and financial assets.

Medical assistance should be an easy call, including opening hospital beds on NATO ships. This makes sense on humanitarian grounds, but it also builds goodwill for other issues.

One risk is if Gadhafi or his sons have been making plans to run an insurgency, as Saddam Hussein did in Iraq. This seems less likely given that Gadhafi's security apparatus is less extensive than Saddam's, and there probably wouldn't be an influx of foreign fighters. Most of the Arab world hates Gadhafi as much as most Libyans do. But the U.S. should be prepared to help the new government with counterinsurgency if it comes to that.

One disappointment is the reluctance among Republicans to praise the rebel success, perhaps for fear it will somehow help Mr. Obama. It's true the President had to be embarrassed into the fight by the French, British and even Qatar. But however belated and badly managed, the U.S. intervention has succeeded in preventing a bloodbath in Benghazi and soon in deposing a long-time U.S. enemy who could have re-emerged as a terrorist sponsor.

Michele Bachmann, who played the al Qaeda tune, now looks partisan to a fault. The Republicans who look best are Presidential candidates Rick Santorum and Tim Pawlenty (who has since dropped out) and House Intelligence Chairman Mike Rogers, who urged more forceful U.S. leadership.

The U.S. military is stretched at the current moment and we can't take sides in every civil war. But the Libyan intervention shows that when the cause is just and the means are available, the U.S. can make a moral and strategic difference.

U.S. support for the rebels won't be lost on a Middle East still undergoing its own upheavals, not least on the people and governments of Syria and Iran. NATO showed it will finish a military task it started, and soon Gadhafi will take his place with Saddam in the ranks of Arab despots who will terrorize their people no more.

Title: Illogical
Post by: ccp on August 23, 2011, 07:36:02 AM
"A dictator with American blood on his hands is about to be overthrown by a popular revolt invoking democratic principles. Not a single American has died in the effort"

No but thousands of Libyans have died.  All the US or one of the European countries had to do was assasinate Khaddafi.

Oh but "assasination" is against international law! :roll:

So intead we give them weapons, throw in a few bombs missles and let them kill each other for some crazy legal argument?

The logic is all twisted and pathetic in my view.

Title: Re: Libya and
Post by: Crafty_Dog on August 23, 2011, 09:19:20 AM
But then they would have that which comes from knowing that they did it for themselves.  Yes, yes I know without NATO support they would have been wiped the F out, nor would they have won, but the simple fact is that normal people took up arms and fought and won.

Much remains undone and undetermined (of interest to us is the location and control of Libyan chem, bio, and shoulder fired missiles-- with lots of Islamo-fascists amongst the rebels this could turn into a VERY serious problem) and there is much to criticize in how Baraq handled things, but we need to remember that, unlike progressives, liberals, and much of the Dem party, our perspective is the good of America.

That Kadaffy falls, that the America (possibly after Italy, France, and GB) is seen in a good light , , , well these are good things.
Title: Re: Libya and
Post by: Crafty_Dog on August 23, 2011, 09:41:59 AM
Following up on the last line in my previous post:

Libya’s National Transitional Council is eager to restart oil production after addressing security and political issues. When it does, Italy’s ENI will benefit because of its experience in Libya and its existing network of contacts. However, France, the United Kingdom and Qatar also stand to gain from their support of Libya’s rebels during the war.


Italian state-owned energy firm ENI immediately sent a technical team to Libya to assist the country in restarting oil production after the rebel advance on Tripoli. Italian Foreign Minister Franco Frattini said in an Aug. 22 television interview that “the facilities had been made by Italians, by [Italian oil and gas contractor] Saipem, and therefore it is clear that ENI will play the No. 1 role in the future.”

Italy pioneered Libya’s oil industry, and it was ENI’s role in Libya — and Rome’s heavy reliance on Libya for its oil and natural gas supplies — that motivated Rome to abandon its hedging strategy in April. Though Italy had scaled back its funding for military operations in the NATO bombing campaign, it never fully abandoned it. Rome was careful to separate any appearance of concern for the plight of Libyan civilians from any support for Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi once the NATO campaign began. Politically, Italy will not command nearly as much gratitude from Libya’s National Transitional Council (NTC) as France, the United Kingdom, Qatar, the United States and others. However, its prior relationship with Libyan oil industry officials — as well as other members of the Gadhafi regime who will be playing large roles in Libya’s future — will give Rome an advantage in re-establishing a foothold in Libya. This means ENI likely will be able to resume oil production faster than any other foreign actor.

France was the first country to recognize the NTC and has been viewed as the  rebels’ primary political protector since before the bombing campaign even began. It also participated in a weapons air drop program for Nafusa Mountain guerrillas that showed its support was not relegated to politics. The first foreign leader reported to have spoken with NTC foreign affairs chief Mahmoud Jibril following the rebel entry into Tripoli was French President Nicolas Sarkozy. French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe announced that Sarkozy had spoken with Jibril and said that Jibril, who has already made multiple visits to Paris, is expected to return to the French capital in the coming days. Juppe also said that Paris would host a meeting of the contact group on Libya as soon as next week to discuss the next steps. France has consistently sought to organize the international effort in Libya and is not changing its behavior now. Though its state owned oil company Total did not have the same sort of presence in Libya as ENI, Total stands to emerge as a winner in the Libyan war as well.

The United Kingdom also stands to gain, as it was one of the NTC’s most ardent defenders from the beginning. When the United States scaled back its participation in the bombing campaign, France and the United Kingdom took the lead. Though London did not officially recognize the NTC as the sole legitimate representative of the Libyan people until July 27, it did not waver as much as Italy did as the NATO campaign began to appear as if it was not making much headway in June and July. London was also one of the driving forces that led to the passage of the U.N. resolution that allowed the bombing campaign to begin.

There will also be rewards for Qatar, the Muslim country that provided more support for the rebels than any other. Doha’s support included gasoline shipments to eastern Libya, weapons shipments to all regions for the Libyan opposition, financial support and help with propaganda through the broadcasts of the Qatari-based Al Jazeera network and the hosting of a Libyan opposition satellite television station. Qatar is a major natural gas producer but does not have much crude oil and could see an opportunity now in Libya.

The NTC wants to restart production as soon as possible, but there is no way to reliably estimate a time frame. First, the war in Libya is not over; Gadhafi’s forces are still fighting and could hold out longer than most anticipate. Second, there is no clear picture of how much damage has been done to the oil facilities (this is what the ENI team is in the country investigating). Whenever oil production resumes, it will be easiest to do in the  eastern oil fields, where most production occurred before the war, though these fields were taken offline by attacks carried out by pro-Gadhafi forces. Officials with the Libyan oil firm Arabian Gulf Oil Company said Aug. 22 that the firm is “technically ready” to restart oil output immediately, but this is unlikely.

Security is the main issue regarding the resumption of oil production. Abdeljalil Mayouf, Arabian Gulf Oil Company’s information manager, said Aug. 22 that security forces hired from the former Libyan army were already at the fields and that the company was awaiting clearance to restart production. The looming political problems the NTC will face in trying to take over governance in Tripoli will delay this process.

Title: Stratfor: First Regime Change of Arab Spring
Post by: Crafty_Dog on August 24, 2011, 07:29:47 AM

Libya: The First Regime Change of the Arab Spring

Conflicting reports emerged from Libya Monday regarding the position of the rebel forces that had entered Tripoli on Sunday. A key development occurred when Moammar Gadhafi’s son, Seif al-Islam, held a press conference with several foreign journalists at the Rixos Hotel in Tripoli, essentially disproving widespread reports that rebel forces had captured him. A great deal of fog of war appears to be in play, but the fact that rebel forces are in the capital means that the situation for the Gadhafi regime does not look good.

“The fall of the Gadhafi regime, however, will likely leave the process of regime change incomplete. The regime will collapse, but that does not mean it will be replaced by a new state any time soon.”
At the moment, the issue is not if but when the Gadhafi regime will fall from power. When it does happen, Libya will become the first case of regime change since the start of the popular unrest that broke out in the Arab world this past January and February. Contrary to conventional wisdom, the ousting of former Tunisian President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali and former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak did not result in regime change.

The regimes in Tunisia and Egypt were led by the military, which survived by distancing itself from the ruling parties and heads of state dominated by presidential friends and family. The civilian political elite in both cases did not govern for decades due to any intrinsic power; instead both Mubarak and Ben Ali governed at the pleasure of the army-led security establishment. Both men ceased to be in power once the military withdrew its support.

In sharp contrast, Libya’s regime has been led by the Gadhafi family. Despite the fact that Gadhafi took power via a military coup, he did not allow a robust and autonomous military institution that could pose a threat to his authority to develop. This practice, however, seems to have resulted in sizeable defections from the Libyan army, sparking a civil war that now appears close to consuming the regime.

The fall of the Gadhafi regime, however, will likely leave the process of regime change incomplete. The regime will collapse, but that does not mean it will be replaced by a new state any time soon. Once Gadhafi’s forces are fully defeated, the rebels — being as fragmented as they are — will likely not be able to establish a new republic. A fractious rebel community obviously complicates any efforts at arriving at a power-sharing agreement.

In all likelihood though, not only will the rebels face serious obstacles in establishing a new state, the Gadhafi state will be reduced to a non-state actor, one that will likely retain a lot of firepower. This arrangement will aggravate the various rebel factions, which will already be struggling with one another for power. Therefore, it is only reasonable to consider the possibility that a new state will not be established in the foreseeable future, and that Libya should brace itself for long-term instability.

The crisis in Libya will likely play itself out over a long period of time The country’s geopolitical reality is one where the crisis within the country can continue to evolve without seriously impacting the region or beyond. Given that Libya’s small population is spread across a large country located in the center of the North African desert, its conflict is more or less a self-contained crisis. This isolation is especially true when compared to other Arab countries in similar situations such as Syria, Yemen and Bahrain where the geopolitical stakes are much higher.

Title: Time to snatch al-Megrahi
Post by: Crafty_Dog on August 24, 2011, 08:18:05 AM
Vice President of Intelligence Fred Burton explains why the current chaos in Libya is a perfect opportunity to apprehend al-Megrahi, one of the bombers of flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland, in 1988.

Editor’s Note: Transcripts are generated using speech-recognition technology. Therefore, STRATFOR cannot guarantee their complete accuracy.

Related Special Topics Page
The Libyan War: Full Coverage
While the world is focusing on the chaos in Libya surrounding the Gadhafi regime, counterterrorism agents could take advantage of this window of opportunity to capture the Pan Am 103 bomber al-Megrahi.

On Dec. 21, 1988, Pan Am flight 103 outbound from Heathrow Airport in London blew up over Lockerbie, Scotland. The bombing was carried out by intelligence agents working for the Gadhafi regime. One of the perpetrators in the attack spent many years in jail and in 2009 he was released due to humanitarian purposes. The suspect was suffering from terminal cancer and flown back to Libya where he was given a hero’s welcome. Due to all the chaos in Tripoli at the moment, this affords U.S. intelligence the opportunity to attempt to locate the suspect for a rendition.

Tactically, you would need very granular data as to a specific location for his whereabouts and usually you’re going to glean that through human assets or perhaps defectors within the Libyan intelligence and security services that would walk in or you could recruit to lead you to his specific location. The logistics challenge would be getting a team in to ferry the individual out once you captured him. You could also utilize Libyan rebels to assist you in identifying and capturing him and bringing him to a location where you could ferry him out of the country.

Operationally, what you would need from a counterterrorism perspective is proof of life, and we have that in a videotape from July 26 where the suspect was seen at an event with Gadhafi. The challenge would be whether or not our granular intelligence is good enough to locate him at this moment in time and that’s always an issue when you’re looking at terrorism renditions. The Above The Tearline aspect with his video is: the Pan Am 103 case was personal. I worked on that case, I know many others have lost friends and colleagues and fellow agents on that flight. There is a vested interest to bring the perpetrators to justice. The symbolism of reaching out inside of Libya and grabbing this individual and bringing him back to stand trial in a U.S. court for the bombing of Pan Am 103 would resonate around the world.

Title: Stratfor: The Intel War in Libya
Post by: Crafty_Dog on August 24, 2011, 10:36:37 PM
Tuesday, August 23, 2011   STRATFOR.COM  Diary Archives 

The Intelligence War in Libya

The International Criminal Court (ICC) had some explaining to do Tuesday after Seif al-Islam Gadhafi, the second-eldest son of Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi, blatantly disproved a rebel claim, confirmed by the ICC, that he had been captured by rebel forces. Seif al-Islam appeared early Tuesday morning local time at the Rixos hotel in Tripoli and gave a brief press conference to a group of foreign journalists. Within a matter of minutes, he singlehandedly discredited claims that the rebels had seized the capital while also confirming widespread fears, particularly those felt by NATO and the Libyan rebel National Transitional Council (NTC), that the war is by no means over.

“In the Libya case, NATO needed to transform an illusion — that Libya’s National Transitional Council was fit to govern and that Gadhafi was ready to capitulate — into a reality.”
The most interesting aspect of this whole episode is the earlier ICC claim — forwarded both by spokesman Fadi El Abdallah and Prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo — that the surrender and detainment of Seif al-Islam by rebel special forces had been confirmed. Both officials stated publicly that the International Criminal Court was discussing when and how the young Libyan leader would be transferred to The Hague in accordance with U.N. Security Council resolution 1970. After Seif al-Islam appeared before the cameras, El Abdallah retreated from his earlier statement, saying that “the [ICC] prosecutor said he had received information about the arrest of Seif al-Islam, which is true, but we did not receive an official confirmation of this information.” Moreno-Ocampo also issued a brief written statement from his office that reiterated his commitment to helping the Libyan rebels bring justice to the country, but he did not address his earlier, inaccurate statement on Seif al-Islam.

The question of how the ICC, an ostensibly neutral international organization, could commit such a major blunder cannot be easily answered. This incident was not simply the product of the Libyan rebel propaganda machine. Instead, it was likely one piece of a broader disinformation campaign currently being run by Western intelligence agencies operating in Libya.

When the military campaign in Libya began in mid-March, STRATFOR emphasized two main points: that air power alone would not produce regime change in Libya; and that the duration of the conflict would extend far beyond most expectations. An ideological narrative on the need for humanitarian intervention to further the cause of liberal democracy created the foundation for the NATO campaign. However, none of the allies were prepared to commit significant resources, particularly conventional ground forces, to increase the likelihood of regime collapse. Political constraints, the murkiness of the rebel movement and the simple fact that countries were not willing to expend blood and treasure on a conflict that did not directly impact them are all factors that contributed to this military reality. Thus, NATO has been fighting the war on the cheap — a circumstance that requires a great deal of creativity. In short, NATO needed to find a way to reshape the political reality on the ground without significantly increasing its military burden.

As military strategist Sun Tzu once said, “to win a hundred victories in a hundred battles is not the highest excellence; the highest excellence is to subdue the enemy’s army without fighting at all.” All warfare, as the Chinese military general said, is based on deception. In the Libya case, NATO needed to transform an illusion — that Libya’s National Transitional Council was fit to govern and that Gadhafi was ready to capitulate — into a reality. An elaborate disinformation campaign is the method for achieving these aims.

Elements of this intelligence operation could be seen in the early days of the war. Profiles of emerging rebel leaders appeared in the Western press, portraying them as liberal and benign and thus, fit to govern. The news coverage posited that these rebels were immune from ICC prosecution, despite their previous careers as leading members of the Gadhafi regime. What was more difficult to hide was the ragtag nature of the rebel forces. For that, leading NATO participants in the war decided to insert special operations forces to arm and train the rebels. These special operation forces propelled the Tripoli-bound offensive forward by eliminating key targets of Gadhafi resistance (while allowing the rebels to take credit). Key to this operation was NATO’s ability to create the perception throughout Libya, and especially within Tripoli, that Gadhafi was backed into a corner and the war was effectively over. The thought of Seif al-Islam being captured and held by rebel forces just hours into the battle for Tripoli theoretically had the power to drive people into the streets and, most importantly, compel Gadhafi’s remaining forces to abandon the fight. What better way to reinforce this thought than by feeding information through the system and having the ICC make a rare, yet potent statement, confirming Seif al-Islam’s capture?

That was the plan, at least, until Seif al-Islam showed up, discrediting not only the rebel camp (which was already taking a major credibility hit) but also the ICC. The oft-repeated demand by the West for Gadhafi and his allies to be sent to The Hague is exactly what compels them to resist capitulation — Gadhafi and his friends have everything to lose if they surrender. The events of the past 24 hours have shown that the war is clearly not over. Gadhafi’s forces are showing no signs of yielding just yet. The Seif al-Islam blunder in the intelligence war is bound to create friction within the NATO alliance, as the momentum of the Tripoli campaign wears thin over time.

At this point, Gadhafi likely understands that his forces are no match for NATO. He can choose to decline combat, rely on his existing strongholds in the central regions of Sirte and Sabha for support and wait for the war to drag on. Gadhafi’s definition for victory is simple — to survive. As long as he can hold out (and as long as NATO continues to face major challenges in obtaining intelligence on his movements), he has a chance of wearing down NATO and driving the conflict toward negotiation. This tactic may be a tall order for Gadhafi, but his staying power cannot be discounted simply by a series of rebel claims of success. The longer he can prolong the war, the more Gadhafi can erode NATO’s patience, creating the space and time needed to allow the fissures of the rebel camp to come to the fore.

Title: Oil production issues
Post by: Crafty_Dog on August 25, 2011, 11:08:54 AM
second post

Director of Analysis Reva Bhalla examines the challenges ahead for the Libyan oil sector.

Editor’s Note: Transcripts are generated using speech-recognition technology. Therefore, STRATFOR cannot guarantee their complete accuracy.

Related Special Topics Page
The Libyan War: Full Coverage
Ever since the Libyan rebels stepped foot into Tripoli, investors and energy traders all over have been trying to come up with estimates on when Libyan energy production can come back online. Those estimates range from a few days to several months up to a year. The eagerness to see Libyan oil come back online is understandable. Before the conflict started, Libya was producing roughly 1.6 million barrels per day of light, sweet crude, which is highly prized in the market. During the conflict, much of Libya’s energy production, if not all, has been taken off-line. The problem is that it’s nearly impossible to come up with a reliable estimate on when Libya can actually make a return to the energy markets. A number of traders are basing their estimates on technical criteria, when in fact the primary factors determining the future of Libyan oil production are related to the security and political climate of the country primarily.

The biggest criteria anyone will want to look at in the immediate term are the damage assessments on the fields, pipelines and ports. Any quick recovery will require well-managed fields and, before the conflict, it looked like those fields were in pretty good shape as they were handled by Libya’s national oil company and their foreign affiliates, but it’s not clear how well those shutdowns were handled when the conflict began.

It’s also going to be important to assess the internal stability and capacity of Libya’s state oil company, as these are the primary workers that are going to be relied on to bring Libyan oil production online first. We’ve seen that remaining Libyan oil workers have encountered a great deal of difficulty in trying to repair damaged facilities thus far. They are going to require a lot of foreign help, but a large number of foreign workers are not going to be able to come back into the country until the security climate improves and that remains a great uncertainty.

The problem is that no company really has solid information to come up with these damage assessments in the first place. The security situation is extremely dynamic, so a damage assessment one day can change within a matter of hours days or weeks. The good news is that there have not been reports of serious damage inflicted on Libyan energy facilities, although when eastern Libya fell into rebel hands, Gadhafi’s forces did mount sabotage operations against fields in the East.

Foreign companies haven’t really been able to venture into the East since that conflict began, but it’s estimated that production in the Far East and Marsa al Hariga region would be among the first to resume production. Since the oil fields in western Libya never really fell into rebel hands, there wouldn’t be much damage the infrastructure there, aside from damage to the pipeline that runs through the Nafusa Mountains and through Zawiya, which was the site of the rebel offensive before the advance into Tripoli.

Given that NATO forces are unwilling to increase their military burden by committing conventional ground forces to this fight, they’re having to rely a great deal on intelligence assets on the ground, special operations forces and an elaborate disinformation campaign to try and create the perception that Gadhafi’s forces are on the verge of capitulating. The events of the past days have revealed, however, that this war is far from over.

There’s a great deal of rivalry within the rebel camp and a lot of people are trying now to stake their claim in this conflict. Particularly, you have rebels in the western region who led the offensive into Tripoli, and therefore feel entitled to the spoils of this war, while you have at political establishment based in the eastern stronghold of Benghazi trying to lay their claim to this conflict and arguing that the offensive would not even have been waged had they not laid the political grounds for this fight. These are the kinds of splits we expect to emerge amongst the different ideologies, factions, tribes and religious groups within this very fractious rebel movement.

The point is that a single faction or coalition does not control the country and, until you have a single coalition or faction that controls the country, you cannot have the government. And until you have a government, you cannot have a foreign policy. Until you have a foreign policy, you cannot have an energy policy. Until you have an energy policy, you cannot have a contractual model for foreign energy firms to work with. I would look at players like Italian energy from ENI, which is the most heavily vested in this country, has been up Libya since ‘59 and has the most energy investment in the country. They have a lot at stake and are very familiar with the security climate there and are most likely to be the first to put their people on the ground to come up with these assessments.

Likewise, I would also look at Russia, which has intelligence links that go way back with the Gadhafi regime and likely have a better read on the situation than most. It is also important to note that Russia has a very close relationship with Italian energy firm ENI. Most importantly, one needs to bear in mind that a massive disinformation campaign is in play and that rebel claims of success need to be met with a high degree of suspicion. So long as the possibility of protracted conflict in Libya remains high, and we believe this is the case, the resumption of oil production in Libya will remain a significant unknown.

Title: W is the hero of Libyia
Post by: ccp on August 25, 2011, 12:35:55 PM
Well naturally Brock is going to take credit for Lybia.  He turned it mostly over to Nato and it was a no brainer that Ghaddafi, a brute with a third rate military force could be defeated at any time.  Yet now he wants credit for it. 

The truth is none of this "Arab spring" or whatever one wants to call it would have ever happened if not for W getting rid of Saddam.  So if one wants to give credit for this than give W and the neocons credit.

That all said I don't buy any of it myself.
Title: Stratfor: NATO doctrine and the Libya endgame
Post by: Crafty_Dog on August 29, 2011, 09:20:59 AM
Following months of stalemate between the Libyan rebels and forces loyal to Moammar Gadhafi, the speed of the rebel advance that breached Tripoli in a matter of days surprised nearly all observers. With airstrikes by Western powers and the fighting capabilities of rebel forces having proved insufficient to dislodge Gadhafi from power, it is unlikely that their effect was enough to cause Gadhafi’s forces to seemingly crumble so dramatically. Special operations forces have been on the ground since before the air campaign began — some have even been officially acknowledged by NATO member states by this point — while information operations to shape perceptions both inside and outside the regime have been undertaken. These efforts, however, rapidly lose their effectiveness when their targets are able to endure the initial assault, and with Gadhafi loyalists continuing to put up resistance in parts of Tripoli and hold entire cities elsewhere in Libya, victory may not be as close as it would appear for NATO and the rebels.

Related Special Topic Page
The Libyan War: Full Coverage
Related Links
Immaculate Intervention: The Wars of Humanitarianism
Libya’s Oil Production Future
Will Libya Again Become the Arsenal of Terrorism?
Rebels based in Libya’s western Nafusa Mountains region entered Tripoli on Aug. 21, pushing through what was widely anticipated to be stiff resistance by Moammar Gadhafi’s forces in the Libyan capital. The speed with which the rebels were able to enter the city was unexpected, given the months of relatively stalemated fighting between loyalist forces and the rebels, even with the aid of NATO airstrikes following the U.N. resolution authorizing the use of force in March.

Neither the cumulative effect of the Western bombing campaign nor a spontaneous improvement in the various rebel factions’ tactical capabilities — much less their ability to plan and coordinate — can sufficiently account for the rapid advance. A more compelling rationale for the apparent breakthrough by rebel forces is an aggressive clandestine campaign by NATO member states’ special operations forces, accompanied by deliberate information operations — efforts to shape perceptions of the conflict. Both of these strategies, however, have significant drawbacks, which could be exploited if Gadhafi and his loyalist forces are able to survive for an extended period.

The use of clandestine special operations teams in these circumstances is consistent with basic doctrine and operational concepts of both the United States and many of its key NATO allies. However, these special operations efforts have one significant potential shortcoming: Unless significant conventional ground combat forces are committed — forces NATO is unlikely to provide and the rebels are likely too divided and uncoordinated to provide themselves — the ability to secure their gains can be jeopardized by an opposition force able to survive the initial push. Small, elite special operations teams have little capacity for sustained, manpower-intensive security and stability operations — particularly on the scale necessary to adequately secure a city. It is not a role for which they are trained, equipped or intended.

The effectiveness of information operations also can be eroded when the carefully crafted narrative they built up — for example, that of a competent rebel army winning the universal support of the Libyan public, defeating Gadhafi and taking Tripoli with little resistance — begins to disintegrate in the face of reality. Gadhafi had likely prepared for these efforts by the West. With pockets of loyalist resistance persisting in Tripoli and pro-Gadhafi forces holding entire cities elsewhere in the country, the end of the Libyan conflict may not be as close as NATO and the rebels hope or expect.

Rebel Abilities and Airstrike Limitations

From the outset of the uprising, the rebels in the east, based out of Benghazi, never demonstrated the kind of tactical or logistical sophistication that would allow them to project and sustain combat forces across the long, open expanse of central coastal Libya (Gadhafi’s hometown of Sirte, situated in the middle of this expanse, remains in loyalist hands). Seizing a well-defended urban area from an opposition force presents enormous materiel and personnel challenges to even the best-trained and best-equipped military force. Rebels in the western city of Misurata proved to be more capable than their eastern counterparts, holding the city since April while withstanding a severe battering by Gadhafi’s forces. However, it was not until the Nafusa Mountain guerrillas farther southwest took the key city of Zawiya and joined with ethnic Arab fighters from along the coast that the march into Tripoli made any progress. (Rebels from Misurata were unable to reach Tripoli by land, but a small contingent reportedly arrived by sea during the assault from Zawiya.)

(click here to enlarge image)
The rebels were assisted by NATO air power (which served as the de facto rebel air force) during this push into Tripoli, but air power alone has a poor record of forcing capitulation by an entrenched enemy. Moreover, none of the members of the NATO alliance that participated in the air campaign against Libya were willing to match the political rhetoric of removing Gadhafi from power with the allocation of sufficient military force and resources to the country (likely meaning contingents of ground troops). Supplemented by sufficient ground combat strength, air power can be an impressive force multiplier. NATO airstrikes did destroy most of Gadhafi’s armor, artillery and command-and-control infrastructure. But by itself, air power cannot be decisive in this sort of scenario — as was shown by months of its application against Gadhafi. Meanwhile, even with an enormous influx of training and supplies, the rebel force was incapable of imposing a military reality, and with the inherent inability of air power to do so, the war was destined to — and did — quickly stall.

Gadhafi was well prepared to sustain attacks from Western air power, having survived the air campaign of Operation El Dorado Canyon in 1986. Airstrikes have long been a mainstay of U.S. strategy, and if Gadhafi did not know this before El Dorado Canyon, he certainly understood it after.

Special Operations Forces and Information Operations

Though the accuracy of precision-guided munitions has advanced significantly in recent years, target designation has long been the purview of forward air controllers. Particularly in circumstances where hostile targets are to be found in built-up urban areas close to civilian and friendly forces and remain indistinct from them, teams on the ground remain essential to striking the intended targets and minimizing civilian and friendly casualties and collateral damage.

The clandestine insertion of special operations teams trained for this task is thus in keeping with U.S. strategy (and by extension, the strategy of NATO’s most powerful military members, which share a common doctrinal legacy from the Cold War). But these covert operatives have capabilities far beyond identifying ideal targets for airstrikes that have a decapitating role, such as the command, control and communications nodes that any dictator knows may be taken out the moment hostilities break out (and likely assume to be compromised anyway). These teams also establish situational awareness and serve in an intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance role. They can identify and make contact with elements of the population hostile to the adversary, establish relationships with these groups and prepare them to play an appropriate role as the tactical situation dictates. They can also attack critical targets at decisive moments to throw the adversary further off balance. At the same time, when they determine the decisive moment has arrived, these operatives can also bring the opposition forces they have cultivated to bear against the enemy.

But special operations forces by their very nature are elite, small and extraordinarily limited in how much they can take on at once. They cannot seize, much less hold, a major target of any size — certainly not an urban center. Just as break-contact procedures dictate that a special operations team make so much noise and commotion that the adversary that happened upon it assumes it stumbled into a company of 200 men and not a 12-man team, information operations are initiated to maximize the perception and psychological impact of special operations. They do not defeat the enemy directly, but they are intended to convince the adversary that he has lost. (Feedback from this effort can often reverberate into the global media as actual effects.)

Only then are rebel fighters from outside the city introduced. These outsiders are guided to the resistance movements within the city with the intent of creating a force of sufficient size to consolidate the gains achieved by the special operations forces and information operation efforts and to reinforce the adversary’s perceptions already cultivated by previous efforts. The goal is to prepare the ground in a given location, use highly trained Western forces and the air power directed by them to smash into the city, and then occupy it with rebel forces covertly directed by teams already in the city.

With the exception of special cases like the early phases of operations in Afghanistan in late 2001 (where the United States desperately needed to demonstrate it was executing a strong and decisive response to the 9/11 attacks) and the killing of Osama bin Laden (a highly symbolic act), Western military doctrine is not to discuss or claim victory for special operations forces. There are two reasons for this. The first is that it is often politically important that domestic forces appear to have achieved victory; allowing other perceptions could politically delegitimize the group Western powers intended to assist. The second is that the special operations forces have to be withdrawn quietly and safely — as the political explanation of results on the battlefield often begins while those forces are still in harm’s way. Meanwhile, the manner of their deployment and extraction, the sources on the ground on which they relied and their tactics, techniques and practices in the field are valuable information to be protected both in the event they have to re-enter the city and for operations elsewhere in the world.

These forces, by their nature and by their training, are unknown and unseen. They choose areas of operation carefully, away from observers that might report what they see to entities capable of interpreting them for what they are. This is the art of special operations and is essential for operational security in an inherently perilous environment. This is not only an American phenomenon (though U.S. special operations forces are said to be operating in nearly a third of the countries in the world) but also a defining characteristic of French operatives (particularly in Africa) and British teams. Multiple countries, including the United Kingdom and Italy, have openly admitted at this point that they have special operations teams on the ground in Libya, though they have gone out of their way to emphasize their small size and downplay their accomplishments — seeking to emphasize that they played at most a small role in victory.

All military organizations have training and doctrines. It is very difficult to do things that you are not trained to do and to abandon doctrines that are successful. As rebel efforts in eastern Libya proved, wars are not won by untrained enthusiasts. NATO’s goal, and the goal of the resistance it supports in Libya, is to crush loyalist opposition before it becomes apparent that Gadhafi’s capitulation is not inevitable —sufficient military force has not been allocated to impose defeat. Also, as there are limits on the patience of the domestic populations of the NATO allies participating in the campaign, these loyalists must be defeated before a crisis emerges within the NATO command that makes negotiations with Gadhafi necessary.

Gadhafi’s Response

As demonstrated by the perseverance of loyalist forces in the months following the NATO air campaign, Gadhafi’s forces retained considerable freedom of action, unit cohesion and will to fight. This is merely further evidence of the fact that Gadhafi understood and planned for the Western way of war laid out above. After all, one can anticipate how to respond to a known potential adversary with a known doctrine. Whether he anticipated the beginning of the air campaign in March, it was exactly the sort of attack Gadhafi had already experienced in 1986 and had no doubt prepared for in the years since (though this round has been far longer and more intense and eventually came to include the explicit goal of regime change). Intelligence and counterintelligence efforts of his own — no doubt already focused on opposition groups — would entail continuing to monitor centers of resistance while trying to track down foreign covert operatives.

Gadhafi could have pushed for a crisis within NATO by attempting a bloody, drawn-out fight for Tripoli, but in doing so he would also run the risk of being pinned down, trapped and ultimately forced to capitulate or fight to the death. Though the status of Gadhafi, his remaining relatives and the strength and unity of his remaining forces is unknown, his alternative would be to leave Tripoli before that force is able to mass, declining combat (much as the Taliban declined combat on American terms in Kabul in 2001) and conserving his remaining strength, even as fighting continues in Tripoli and some cities remain in loyalist hands. Meanwhile, Gadhafi will likely initiate counterinformation operations to combat and reverse the perceptions NATO and the rebels have tried to create to undermine the regime. At the same time, the tactics of Gadhafi’s forces will likely shift to falling back to prepared positions in order to continue the resistance.

Searching for an Endgame

The question moving forward will be the nature and strength of loyalist resistance. A negotiated settlement will be difficult while fighting continues. Meanwhile, the persistence of active fighting and Gadhafi continuing to hold out and remain at large prevent NATO from ending the conflict. And with the rebel seizure of many parts of Tripoli, the potential exists for Gadhafi and his forces to fall back and initiate a more sustained, decentralized guerrilla resistance from prepared positions.

Perhaps more important, Gadhafi has freed himself of the costs and challenges of securing and controlling Tripoli, which are now the responsibility of NATO and the rebels. The logistical and security challenges of feeding and controlling a metropolitan area are enormous and without a sizable contingent of conventional foreign troops, the city will remain poorly secured and vulnerable to loyalist cells conducting raids and other attacks inside the city. Gadhafi may indeed be on the run, but that hardly necessarily means that victory is at hand for NATO and the rebels.

Title: WSJ: Western firms aided Kadaffy's spying on citizens
Post by: Crafty_Dog on August 29, 2011, 08:37:39 PM

The Wall Street Journal
One of countless files from Libya's internet surveillance center.
.TRIPOLI—On the ground floor of a six-story building here, agents working for Moammar Gadhafi sat in an open room, spying on emails and chat messages with the help of technology Libya acquired from the West.

The recently abandoned room is lined with posters and English-language training manuals stamped with the name Amesys, a unit of French technology firm Bull SA, which installed the monitoring center. A warning by the door bears the Amesys logo. The sign reads: "Help keep our classified business secret. Don't discuss classified information out of the HQ."

The room, explored Monday by The Wall Street Journal, provides clear new evidence of foreign companies' cooperation in the repression of Libyans under Col. Gadhafi's almost 42-year rule. The surveillance files found here include emails written as recently as February, after the Libyan uprising had begun.

More on Libya
As Gadhafi Kin Flee, Rebels Try to Secure Oil
In Letter to Tripoli, Bomber States His Case
.One file, logged on Feb. 26, includes a 16-minute Yahoo chat between a man and a young woman. He sometimes flirts, declaring that her soul is meant for him, but also worries that his opposition to Col. Gadhafi has made him a target.

"I'm wanted," he says. "The Gadhafi forces ... are writing lists of names." He says he's going into hiding and will call her from a new phone number—and urges her to keep his plans secret.

"Don't forget me," she says.

This kind of spying became a top priority for Libya as the region's Arab Spring revolutions blossomed in recent months. Earlier this year, Libyan officials held talks with Amesys and several other companies including Boeing Co.'s Narus, a maker of high-tech Internet traffic-monitoring products, as they looked to add sophisticated Internet-filtering capabilities to Libya's existing monitoring operation, people familiar with the matter said.

 .Cisco Poised to Help China Keep an Eye on Its Citizens 7/5/2011
Mideast Uses Western Tools to Battle the Skype Rebellion 6/1/2011
Iran Vows to Unplug Internet 5/28/2011
U.S. Products Help Block Mideast Web 3/28/2011
.Libya sought advanced tools to control the encrypted online-phone service Skype, censor YouTube videos and block Libyans from disguising their online activities by using "proxy" servers, according to documents reviewed by the Journal and people familiar with the matter. Libya's civil war stalled the talks.

"Narus does not comment on potential business ventures," a Narus spokeswoman said in a statement. "There have been no sales or deployments of Narus technology in Libya." A Bull official declined to comment.

The sale of technology used to intercept communications is generally permissible by law, although manufacturers in some countries, including the U.S., must first obtain special approval to export high-tech interception devices.

Libya is one of several Middle Eastern and North African states to use sophisticated technologies acquired abroad to crack down on dissidents. Tech firms from the U.S., Canada, Europe, China and elsewhere have, in the pursuit of profits, helped regimes block websites, intercept emails and eavesdrop on conversations.

The Tripoli Internet monitoring center was a major part of a broad surveillance apparatus built by Col. Gadhafi to keep tabs on his enemies. Amesys in 2009 equipped the center with "deep packet inspection" technology, one of the most intrusive techniques for snooping on people's online activities, according to people familiar with the matter.

Chinese telecom company ZTE Corp. also provided technology for Libya's monitoring operation, people familiar with the matter said. Amesys and ZTE had deals with different arms of Col. Gadhafi's security service, the people said. A ZTE spokeswoman declined to comment.

.Journal Community
..VASTech SA Pty Ltd, a small South African firm, provided the regime with tools to tap and log all the international phone calls going in and out of the country, according to emails reviewed by The Wall Street Journal and people familiar with the matter. VASTech declined to discuss its business in Libya due to confidentiality agreements.

Libya went on a surveillance-gear shopping spree after the international community lifted trade sanctions in exchange for Col. Gadhafi handing over the suspects in the 1988 bombing of Pan Am flight 103 and ending his weapons of mass destruction program. For global makers of everything from snooping technology to passenger jets and oil equipment , ending the trade sanctions transformed Col. Gadhafi's regime from pariah state to coveted client.

The Tripoli spying center reveals some of the secrets of how Col. Gadhafi's regime censored the populace. The surveillance room, which people familiar with the matter said Amesys equipped with its Eagle system in late 2009, shows how Col. Gadhafi's regime had become more attuned to the dangers posed by Internet activism, even though the nation had only about 100,000 Internet subscriptions in a population of 6.6 million.

The Eagle system allows agents to observe network traffic and peer into people's emails, among other things. In the room, one English-language poster says: "Whereas many Internet interception systems carry out basic filtering on IP address and extract only those communications from the global flow (Lawful Interception), EAGLE Interception system analyses and stores all the communications from the monitored link (Massive interception)."

On its website, Amesys says its "strategic nationwide interception" system can detect email from Hotmail, Yahoo and Gmail and see chat conversations on MSN instant messaging and AIM. It says investigators can "request the entire database" of Internet traffic "in real time" by entering keywords, email addresses or the names of file attachments as search queries.

It is unclear how many people worked for the monitoring unit or how long it was operational.

In a basement storage room, dossiers of Libyans' online activities are lined up in floor-to-ceiling filing shelves. From the shelves, the Journal reviewed dozens of surveillance files, including those for two anti-Gadhafi activists—one in Libya, the other in the U.K.—well known for their opposition websites. Libyan intelligence operators were monitoring email discussions between the two men concerning what topics they planned to discuss on their websites.

In an email, dated Sept. 16, 2010, the men argue over whether to trust the reform credentials of Col. Gadhafi's son, Seif al-Islam, who at the time was widely expected to succeed his father as Libya's leader. One man warns the other that the younger Gadhafi is trouble. "I know that you hope that Seif will be a good solution," he writes. "But … he is not the proper solution. I'm warning you."

Computer surveillance occupied only the ground floor of the intelligence center. Deeper in the maze-like layout is a windowless detention center, its walls covered in dingy granite tile and smelling of mildew.

Human Rights Watch
Activist Heba Morayef's emails turned up at Libya's internet surveillance center.
.Caught in the snare of Libya's surveillance web was Human Rights Watch researcher Heba Morayef, who handles Libya reporting for the activist group. Files monitoring at least two Libyan opposition activists included emails written by her, as well as messages to her from them.

In one email, dated Aug. 12, 2010, a Libyan activist implores Ms. Morayef to help him and his colleagues fight a court case brought against them. "The law is on our side in this case, but we are scared," he wrote. "We need someone to help." The email goes into specific detail about the plaintiff, who was a high-ranking member of a shadowy group of political commissars defending the Gadhafi regime.

Ms. Morayef, reached Monday in Cairo, where she is based, said she was last in contact with the Benghazi-based activist on Feb. 16. She said she believes he went into hiding when civil war broke out a week later.

Another file, dated Jan. 6, 2011, monitors two people, one named Ramadan, as they struggle to share an anti-Gadhafi video and upload it to the Web. One message reads: "Dear Ramadan : Salam : this is a trial to see if it is possible to email videos. If it succeeds tell me what you think."

Across town from the Internet monitoring center at Libya's international phone switch, where telephone calls exit and enter the country, a separate group of Col. Gadhafi's security agents staffed a room equipped with VASTech devices, people familiar with the matter said. There they captured roughly 30 to 40 million minutes of mobile and landline conversations a month and archived them for years, one of the people said.

Andre Scholtz, sales and marketing director for VASTech, declined to comment on the Libya installation, citing confidentiality agreements. The firm sells only "to governments that are internationally recognized by the U.N. and are not subject to international sanctions," Mr. Scholtz said in a statement. "The relevant U.N., U.S. and EU rules are complied with."

The precise details of VASTech's setup in Libya are unclear. VASTech says its interception technology is used to fight crimes like terrorism and weapons smuggling.

The Fight for Tripoli
View Interactive
.On Edge in Libya
Track fighting and city control around the country.

View Interactive
.Map: Regional Upheaval
Track events day by day in the region.

View Interactive
.More photos and interactive graphics
.A description of the company's Zebra brand surveillance product, prepared for a trade show, says it "captures and stores massive volumes of traffic" and offers filters that agents can use to "access specific communications of interest from mountains of data." Zebra also features "link analysis," the description says, a tool to help agents identify relationships between individuals based on analysis of their calling patterns.

Capabilities such as these helped Libya sow fear as the country erupted in civil war earlier this year. Anti-Gadhafi street demonstrators were paranoid of being spied on or picked up by the security forces, as it was common knowledge that the regime tapped phones. Much of the early civil unrest was organized via Skype, which activists considered safer than Internet chatting. But even then they were scared.

"We're likely to disappear if you aren't careful," a 22-year-old student who helped organize some of the biggest protests near Tripoli said in a Skype chat with a foreign journalist before fleeing to Egypt. Then, on March 1, two of his friends were arrested four hours after calling a foreign correspondent from a Tripoli-based cellphone, according to a relative. It is unclear what division of the security service picked them up or whether they are still in jail.

The uprising heightened the regime's efforts to obtain more intursive surveillance technology. On Feb. 15 of this year, as anti-government demonstrations kicked off in Benghazi, Libyan telecom official Bashir Ejlabu convened a meeting in Barcelona with officials from Narus, the Boeing unit that makes Internet monitoring products, according to a person familiar with the meeting. "The urgency was high to get a comprehensive system put in place," the person said.

In the meeting, Mr. Eljabu told the Narus officials he would fast-track visas for them to go to Libya the next day, this person said. Narus officials declined to travel to Tripoli, fearing damage to the company's reputation.

But it was too late for the regime. One week later, Libyan rebels seized control of Benghazi, the country's second largest city, and the capital of Tripoli was convulsing in antiregime protests. In early March, Col. Gadhafi shut down Libya's Internet entirely. The country remained offline until last week, when rebels won control of Tripoli.

Write to Paul Sonne at and Margaret Coker at

Title: Stratfor: Premature celebration
Post by: Crafty_Dog on August 30, 2011, 06:36:13 AM
I would have liked to have seen Friedman address the idea of the benefits of having the Libyans fight for themselves and having NATO to do something with the US in the rear guard-- maybe now the countries of NATO will realize how weak they have allowed themselves to become.

Libya: A Premature Victory Celebration
August 30, 2011

By George Friedman

The war in Libya is over. More precisely, governments and media have decided that the war is over, despite the fact that fighting continues. The unfulfilled expectation of this war has consistently been that Moammar Gadhafi would capitulate when faced with the forces arrayed against him, and that his own forces would abandon him as soon as they saw that the war was lost. What was being celebrated last week, with presidents, prime ministers and the media proclaiming the defeat of Gadhafi, will likely be true in due course. The fact that it is not yet true does not detract from the self-congratulations.

For example, Italian Foreign Minister Franco Frattini reported that only 5 percent of Libya is still under Gadhafi’s control. That seems like a trivial amount, save for this news from Italian newspaper La Stampa, which reported that “Tripoli is being cleaned up” neighborhood by neighborhood, street by street and home by home. Meanwhile, bombs from above are pounding Sirte, where, according to the French, Gadhafi has managed to arrive, although it is not known how. The strategically important town of Bali Walid — another possible hiding place and one of only two remaining exit routes to another Gadhafi stronghold in Sabha — is being encircled.

To put it differently, Gadhafi’s forces still retain military control of substantial areas. There is house-to-house fighting going on in Tripoli. There are multiple strongholds with sufficient defensive strength that forces cannot enter them without significant military preparation. Although Gadhafi’s actual location is unknown, his capture is the object of substantial military preparations, including NATO airstrikes, around Bali Walid, Sirte and Sabha. When Saddam Hussein was captured, he was hiding in a hole in the ground, alone and without an army. Gadhafi is still fighting and posing challenges. The war is not over.

It could be argued that while Gadhafi retains a coherent military force and significant territory, he no longer governs Libya. That is certainly true and significant, but it will become more significant when his enemies do take control of the levers of power. It is unreasonable to expect that they should be in a position to do so a few days after entering Tripoli and while fighting continues. But it does raise a critical question: whether the rebels have sufficient coherence to form an effective government or whether new rounds of fighting among Libyans can be expected even after Gadhafi’s forces cease functioning. To put it simply, Gadhafi appears to be on his way to defeat but he is not there yet, and the ability of his enemies to govern Libya is doubtful.

Immaculate Intervention

Given that the dying is far from over, it is interesting to consider why Barack Obama, Nicolas Sarkozy and David Cameron, the major players in this war, all declared last week that Gadhafi had fallen, implying an end to war, and why the media proclaimed the war’s end. To understand this, it is important to understand how surprising the course of the war was to these leaders. From the beginning, there was an expectation that NATO intervention, first with a no-fly zone, then with direct airstrikes on Gadhafi’s position, would lead to a rapid collapse of his government and its replacement with a democratic coalition in the east.

Two forces combined to lead to this conclusion. The first consisted of human-rights groups outside governments and factions in foreign ministries and the State Department who felt an intervention was necessary to stop the pending slaughter in Benghazi. This faction had a serious problem. The most effective way to quickly end a brutal regime was military intervention. However, having condemned the American invasion of Iraq, which was designed, at least in part, to get rid of a brutal regime, this faction found it difficult to justify rapid military intervention on the ground in Libya. Moral arguments require a degree of consistency.

In Europe, the doctrine of “soft power” has become a central doctrine. In the case of Libya, finding a path to soft power was difficult. Sanctions and lectures would probably not stop Gadhafi, but military action ran counter to soft power. What emerged was a doctrine of soft military power. Instituting a no-fly zone was a way to engage in military action without actually hurting anyone, except those Libyan pilots who took off. It satisfied the need to distinguish Libya from Iraq by not invading and occupying Libya but still putting crushing pressure on Gadhafi.

Of course, a no-fly zone proved ineffective and irrelevant, and the French began bombing Gadhafi’s forces the same day. Libyans on the ground were dying, but not British, French or American soldiers. While the no-fly zone was officially announced, this segue to an air campaign sort of emerged over time without a clear decision point. For human-rights activists, this kept them from addressing the concern that airstrikes always cause unintended deaths because they are never as accurate as one might like. For the governments, it allowed them to be seen as embarking upon what I have called an “immaculate intervention.”

The second force that liked this strategy was the various air forces involved. There is no question of the importance of air power in modern war, but there is a constant argument over whether the application of air power by itself can achieve desired political ends without the commitment of ground forces. For the air community, Libya was going to be the place where it could demonstrate its effectiveness in achieving such ends.

So the human-rights advocates could focus on the ends — protecting Libyan civilians in Benghazi — and pretend that they had not just advocated the commencement of a war that would itself leave many people dead. Political leaders could feel that they were not getting into a quagmire but simply undertaking a clean intervention. The air forces could demonstrate their utility in delivering desired political outcomes.

Why and How

The question of the underlying reason for the war should be addressed because stories are circulating that oil companies are competing for vast sums of money in Libya. These stories are all reasonable, in the sense that the real story remains difficult to fathom, and I sympathize with those who are trying to find a deep conspiracy to explain all of this. I would like to find one, too. The problem is that going to war for oil in Libya was unnecessary. Gadhafi loved selling oil, and if the governments involved told him quietly that they were going to blow him up if he didn’t make different arrangements on who got the oil revenues and what royalties he got to keep, Gadhafi would have made those arrangements. He was as cynical as they come, and he understood the subtle idea that shifting oil partners and giving up a lot of revenue was better than being blown up.

Indeed, there is no theory out there that explains this war by way of oil, simply because it was not necessary to actually to go war to get whatever concessions were wanted. So the story — protecting people in Benghazi from slaughter — is the only rational explanation for what followed, however hard it is to believe.

It must also be understood that given the nature of modern air warfare, NATO forces in small numbers had to be inserted on the ground from the beginning — actually, at least a few days before the beginning of the air campaign. Accurately identifying targets and taking them out with sufficient precision involves highly skilled special-operations teams guiding munitions to those targets. The fact that there have been relatively few friendly-fire accidents indicates that standard operational procedures have been in place.

These teams were probably joined by other special operators who trained — and in most cases informally led — indigenous forces in battle. There were ample reports in the early days of the war that special operations teams were on the ground conducting weapons training and organizing the fighters who opposed Gadhafi.

But there proved to be two problems with this approach. First, Gadhafi did not fold his tent and capitulate. He seemed singularly unimpressed by the force he was facing. Second, his troops turned out to be highly motivated and capable, at least compared to their opponents. Proof of this can be found in the fact that they did not surrender en masse, they did maintain a sufficient degree of unit coherence and — the final proof — they held out for six months and are still holding out. The view of human-rights groups that an isolated tyrant would break in the face of the international community, the view of political leaders that an isolated tyrant facing the might of NATO’s air forces would collapse in days, and the view of the air forces that air strikes would shatter resistance, all turned out to be false.

A War Prolonged

Part of this was due to a misunderstanding of the nature of Libyan politics. Gadhafi was a tyrant, but he was not completely isolated. He had enemies but he also had many supporters who benefitted from him or at least believed in his doctrines. There was also a general belief among ordinary government soldiers (some of whom are mercenaries from the south) that capitulation would lead to their slaughter, and the belief among government leaders that surrender meant trials in The Hague and terms in prison. The belief of the human-rights community in an International Criminal Court (ICC) trying Gadhafi and the men around him gives them no room for retreat, and men without room for retreat fight hard and to the end. There was no way to negotiate capitulation unless the U.N. Security Council itself publicly approved the deal. The winks and nods that got dictators to leave in the old days aren’t enough anymore. All countries that are party to the Rome Statute are required to turn a leader like Gadhafi over to the ICC for trial.

Therefore, unless the U.N. Security Council publicly strikes a deal with Gadhafi, which would be opposed by the human-rights community and would become ugly, Gadhafi will not give up — and neither will his troops. There were reports last week that some government soldiers had been executed. True or not, fair or not, that would not be a great motivator for surrender.

The war began with the public mission of protecting the people of Benghazi. This quickly morphed into a war to unseat Gadhafi. The problem was that between the ideological and the military aims, the forces dedicated to the war were insufficient to execute the mission. We do not know how many people were killed in the fighting in the past six months, but pursuing the war using soft military power in this way certainly prolonged the war and likely caused many deaths, both military and civilian.

After six months, NATO got tired, and we wound up with the assault on Tripoli. The assault appears to have consisted of three parts. The first was the insertion of NATO special operations troops (in the low hundreds, not thousands) who, guided by intelligence operatives in Tripoli, attacked and destabilized the government forces in the city. The second part was an information operation in which NATO made it appear that the battle was over. The bizarre incident in which Gadhafi’s son, Saif al Islam, announced as being captured only to show up in an SUV looking very un-captured, was part of this game. NATO wanted it to appear that the leadership had been reduced and Gadhafi’s forces broken to convince those same forces to capitulate. Saif al Islam’s appearance was designed to signal his troops that the war was still on.

Following the special operations strikes and the information operations, western rebels entered the city to great fanfare, including celebratory gunfire into the air. The world’s media chronicled the end of the war as the special operations teams melted away and the victorious rebels took the bows. It had taken six months, but it was over.

And then it became obvious that it wasn’t over. Five percent of Libya — an interesting calculation — was not liberated. Street fighting in Tripoli continued. Areas of the country were still under Gadhafi’s control. And Gadhafi himself was not where his enemies wanted him to be. The war went on.

A number of lessons emerge from all this. First, it is important to remember that Libya in itself may not be important to the world, but it matters to Libyans a great deal. Second, do not assume that tyrants lack support. Gadhafi didn’t govern Libya for 42 years without support. Third, do not assume that the amount of force you are prepared to provide is the amount of force needed. Fourth, eliminating the option of a negotiated end to the war by the means of international courts may be morally satisfying, but it causes wars to go on and casualties to mount. It is important to decide what is more important — to alleviate the suffering of people or to punish the guilty. Sometimes it is one or the other. Fifth, and most important, do not kid the world about wars being over. After George W. Bush flew onto an aircraft carrier that was emblazoned with a “mission accomplished” banner, the Iraq war became even more violent, and the damage to him was massive. Information operations may be useful in persuading opposing troops to surrender, but political credibility bleeds away when the war is declared over and the fighting goes on.

Gadhafi will likely fall in the end. NATO is more powerful then he is, and enough force will be bought to bear to bring him down. The question, of course, is whether there was another way to accomplish that with less cost and more yield. Leaving aside the war-for-oil theory, if the goal was to protect Benghazi and bring down Gadhafi, greater force or a negotiated exit with guarantees against trials in The Hague would likely have worked faster with less loss of life than the application of soft military power.

Title: Stratfor: Analysis guidance: Islamist opportunities?
Post by: Crafty_Dog on August 31, 2011, 09:38:33 AM

New Guidance

Islamist Opportunities in Libya’s Chaos

We need to be watching for an emerging Islamist threat in Libya. Specifically, drill down into the factions of the Libyan opposition and anticipate where fissures are likely to reveal themselves. Remember that the Islamist landscape in Libya has changed significantly in the past years, as Moammar Gadhafi spent considerable resources cracking down on Libyan militants and in trying to prevent blowback from Libyan fighters returning home from the Iraq war. Identify the Islamist factions emerging out of the Libyan power vacuum. Which are involved with the National Transitional Council (NTC) and which are operating with a greater degree of autonomy? Put yourself in the shoes of a former Libyan Islamic Fighting Group member aligned with al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM). What are you calculating at this stage of the war? Does civil war serve your interests more than continuing your support for the NTC?

Algeria’s primary concern is the rise of Islamists in Libya. We have already seen a steady rise in AQIM activity since the start of the Libyan conflict. How is the Libya situation affecting Algeria’s ongoing political struggle with Islamist militants? What will, or rather, what can Algeria and Egypt do to contain this growing threat?

Follow the standing guidance on Libya in evaluating Gadhafi’s survival strategy. In addition, determine whether Gadhafi is able to limit the water supply into Tripoli from his strongholds in Sirte or Sabha, and if so, to what degree. As this conflict drags out and the rebel movement becomes more visible, watch for emerging disagreements among participating NATO member states — disagreements that could reveal themselves in a post-Gadhafi scenario.

Read more: Intelligence Guidance: The Islamist Opening in Libya | STRATFOR
Title: POTH: This could be awkward , , ,
Post by: Crafty_Dog on September 02, 2011, 08:56:40 AM

Note that the piece is written by Pravda on the Hudson, so caveat lector.  That said, ironies abound , , ,
TRIPOLI, Libya — Abdel Hakim Belhaj had a wry smile about the oddity of his situation.

Yes, he said, he was detained by Malaysian officials in 2004 on arrival at the Kuala Lumpur airport, where he was subjected to extraordinary rendition on behalf of the United States, and sent to Thailand. His pregnant wife, traveling with him, was taken away, and his child would be 6 before he saw him.
In Bangkok, Mr. Belhaj said, he was tortured for a few days by two people he said were C.I.A. agents, and then, worse, they repatriated him to Libya, where he was thrown into solitary confinement for six years, three of them without a shower, one without a glimpse of the sun.

Now this man is in charge of the military committee responsible for keeping order in Tripoli, and, he says, is a grateful ally of the United States and NATO.

And while Mr. Belhaj concedes that he was the emir of the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group, which was deemed by the United States to be a terrorist group allied with Al Qaeda, he says he has no Islamic agenda. He says he will disband the fighters under his command, merging them into the formal military or police, once the Libyan revolution is over.

He says there are no hard feelings over his past treatment by the United States.

“Definitely it was very hard, very difficult,” he said. “Now we are in Libya, and we want to look forward to a peaceful future. I do not want revenge.”

As the United States and other Western powers embrace and help finance the new government taking shape in Libya, they could face a particularly awkward relationship with Islamists like Mr. Belhaj. Once considered enemies in the war on terror, they suddenly have been thrust into positions of authority — with American and NATO blessing.

In Washington, the Central Intelligence Agency declined to comment on Mr. Belhaj or his new role. A State Department official said the Obama administration was aware of Islamist backgrounds among the rebel fighters in Libya and had expressed concern to the Transitional National Council, the new rebel government, and that it had received assurances.

“The last few months, we’ve had the T.N.C. saying all the right things, and making the right moves,” said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the matter’s delicacy.

Mr. Belhaj, 45, a short and serious man with a close-cropped beard, burst onto the scene in the mountains west of Tripoli only in the last few weeks before the fall of the capital, as the leader of a brigade of rebel fighters.

“He wasn’t even in the military council in the western mountains,” said Othman Ben Sassi, a member of the Transitional National Council from Zuwarah in the west. “He was nothing, nothing. He arrived at the last moment, organized some people but was not responsible for the military council in the mountains.”

Then came the push on Tripoli, which fell with unexpected speed, and Mr. Belhaj and his fighters focused on the fortified Bab al-Aziziya compound of Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi, where they distinguished themselves as relatively disciplined fighters.

A veteran of the war in Afghanistan against the Soviets, Mr. Belhaj has what most rebel fighters have lacked — actual military experience. Yet he has still not adopted a military rank (unlike many rebels who quickly became self-appointed colonels and generals), which he said should go only to members of the army.

Dressed in new military fatigues, with a pistol strapped backward to his belt, Mr. Belhaj was interviewed at his offices in the Mitiga Military Airbase in Tripoli, the site of what had been the United States Air Force’s Wheelus Air Base until 1970.

Last weekend, Mr. Belhaj was voted commander of the Tripoli Military Council, a grouping of several brigades of rebels involved in taking the capital, by the other brigades, a move that aroused some criticism among liberal members of the council.

However, his appointment was strongly supported by Mustafa Abdel-Jalil, the chairman of the council, who said that as Colonel Qaddafi’s former minister of justice he got to know Mr. Belhaj well during negotiations leading to his release from prison in 2010. Mr. Belhaj and other Islamist radicals made a historic compromise with the Qaddafi government, one that was brokered by Seif al-Islam el-Qaddafi, the Qaddafi son seen then as a moderating influence.


Page 2 of 2)

The Islamists agreed to disband the Islamic Fighting Group, replacing it with the Libyan Islamic Movement for Change, and renounced violent struggle. “We kept that promise,” Mr. Belhaj said. “The revolution started peacefully, but the regime’s crackdown forced it to become violent.”


Mr. Belhaj conceded that Islamists had no role in creating the revolution against Colonel Qaddafi’s rule; it was instead a popular uprising. “The February 17th revolution is the Libyan people’s revolution and no one can claim it, neither secularists nor Islamists,” he said. “The Libyan people have different views, and all those views have to be involved and respected.”
Forty-two years of Qaddafi rule in Libya had, he said, taught him an important lesson: “No one can make Libya suffer any more under any one ideology or any one regime.” His pledge to disband fighters under his command once Libya has a new government was repeated to NATO officials at a meeting in Qatar this week.

Some council members said privately that allowing Mr. Belhaj to become chairman of the military council in Tripoli was done partly to take advantage of his military expertise, but also to make sure the rebels’ political leaders had him under their direct control.

Many also say that Mr. Belhaj’s history as an Islamist is understandable because until this year, Islamist groups were the only ones able to struggle against Colonel Qaddafi’s particularly repressive rule.

After Mr. Belhaj and a small group of Libyan comrades returned from the jihad against the Soviets, they formed the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group and had a secret base in the Green Mountain area of eastern Libya, until it was discovered and bombed, and many of its followers rounded up.

Mr. Belhaj escaped Libya in the late 1990s and, like many antigovernment exiles, was forced to move frequently as Libya used its oil resources as a way to pressure host countries.

“We focused on Libya and Libya only,” he said. “Our goal was to help our people. We didn’t participate in or support any action outside of Libya. We never had any link with Al Qaeda, and that could never be. We had a different agenda; global fighting was not our goal.”

He said that America’s reaction to the Sept. 11 attacks led to his group’s classification as terrorist.

In the aftermath of the Sept. 11 attacks, the rapprochement between Libya and Western countries led to the apprehension of several anti-Qaddafi activists, who were returned to Libya by the United States.

While Mr. Belhaj insisted that he was not interested in revenge, it is not a period of his life that he has altogether forgotten. “If one day there is a legal way, I would like to see my torturers brought to court,” he said.
Title: Water shortages, Kadaffy not done yet?
Post by: Crafty_Dog on September 02, 2011, 11:07:57 AM

Water shortages began in the Libyan capital the day after rebel forces entered the city. The shortages have been attributed to a cutoff in supplies from the Great Man-Made River (GMR) in an area near one of the last strongholds of Moammar Gadhafi’s power. Technicians have not been able to visit the infrastructure to make repairs due to the security situation in the area. Thus, it seems the water supply from the GMR will not begin flowing to Tripoli again until the rebels have cleared out the remaining Gadhafi loyalists.

Because of a supply cutoff, water shortages began in the Libyan capital, Tripoli, the day after rebel forces entered the city Aug. 21. So far, there have not been signs of any unrest in the affected areas of Tripoli as a direct result; most people seem willing to tolerate the inconvenience of water shortages as long as the situation is not life threatening.

Humanitarian aid and a decrease in water use are helping to keep the situation from becoming hazardous, but the National Transitional Council (NTC) still has two concerns about the water shortage: first, that it will not be able to restore the flow of water to Tripoli quickly, and second, that even if water is restored soon it will not be able to prevent supply cuts from becoming a perpetual problem. The NTC is already facing several challenges as it tries to establish its political authority in Tripoli, and it does not want to add another problem to its list.

Multiple explanations have been offered for the water shortages, which are affecting more than 3 million people in Libya’s western coastal region. The cause appears to be a cutoff of the flows from the western system of the Great Man-Made River (GMR), a huge subsurface water pumping and transport system that taps aquifers deep in the Sahara and transports the water to Libya’s coast. Approximately three-fourths of Tripoli’s municipal water resources come from the GMR, with the rest coming from seawater desalinization plants, local wells and sewage treatment plants. The system has changed the face of modern Libya; since the first phase of the GMR’s construction in 1991, Libya’s population has increased by almost 50 percent, from around 4.5 million to approximately 6.5 million. Without this source of water, the population would be pressured to return to earlier levels.

The GMR is a vital piece of infrastructure for any administration trying to govern Tripoli and has many vulnerable points along its nearly 600-kilometer (370-mile) path. The GMR has an eastern system and a western system that draw water from different well fields. In the western system, water originates in 580 wells, only around 30 of which currently are online, according to reports. NTC officials and the European Commission’s humanitarian organization ECHO claim that pro-Gadhafi forces have sabotaged the system, creating the water cutoff. There are also reports of empty storage tanks and pipeline damage on the GMR between 40 and 100 kilometers from Tripoli, and the International Committee of the Red Cross has reported that the primary regional reservoir at Gharyan (the easternmost point of the Nafusa Mountains, connected to the GMR western system) has dried up.

An Aug. 30 Reuters report citing a report prepared by ECHO claimed the water cutoff had occurred in the coastal city of Sirte, Gadhafi’s hometown and a remaining stronghold for his forces. An interconnector between the GMR’s eastern and western systems runs through the city; if Gadhafi loyalists had cut off the water flow via the GMR to Tripoli, it would only increase the impetus for NTC forces to seize the city, which is situated between the NTC’s zones of control in western and eastern Libya.

However, ECHO claims that its report was misquoted and denies that activity in Sirte has anything to do with the shortages in Tripoli, insisting instead that the disruption in flow is from an area known as the Jebel Hassouna. This area is deep in the Sahara, south of Tripoli, and close to another Gadhafi stronghold: Sabha.

Securing Water Amid ‘Uncertain’ Conditions
NTC forces firmly control the territory ranging from the Nafusa Mountains northward to Tripoli but have yet to extend a strong presence into the desert regions to the south (as evidenced by the ability of several members of Gadhafi’s family to safely reach the Algerian border Aug. 29). ECHO, however, says rebel forces have been in control of the wellheads and flow stations in the Jebel Hassouna area since Aug. 24. This is unconfirmed, but even if it is true, forces loyal to Gadhafi are still a threat near Sabha. That no technical teams have been able to travel to the area to bring the wells back online — which ECHO admits is because of the “uncertain” security situation — indicates how vulnerable Tripoli’s GMR water supplies are. Linear infrastructure like this is difficult for even coherent governments to defend. Gadhafi loyalists currently retain immense freedom of action and possess both the capability and incentive to attack targets affiliated with the GMR. This will not change so long as the NTC lacks the ability to drive them out.

(click here to enlarge image)
The military situation in both the northern population centers and the desert areas to the south therefore directly affects the water shortages in the capital. As of Aug. 31, four key Gadhafi strongholds remain in Libya. Tarhouna, Bani Walid and Sirte are all to the east of Tripoli along the coastal region. Sabha is hundreds of kilometers south, in the heart of the Sahara, and connects to Sirte via a single paved road. NTC forces still do not control the area in between, and control of such an open space is never easy to maintain.

There are two main routes for NTC forces to get to Sabha: From the Nafusa Mountains or through Sirte. If ECHO’s claims about rebel forces controlling the wellfields at Jebel Hassouna are true, they likely reached the area from the mountains. NATO planes, meanwhile, have bombed Sirte continuously for the past week while the NTC keeps negotiating with the city’s remaining holdouts until a recently imposed Sept. 3 deadline passes. Meanwhile, the NTC allegedly is considering launching a military assault on Sabha in response to the reports that Gadhafi-ordered sabotage is causing the water shortages. An NTC official said the only reason for a delay in the attack is a concern over the potential to seriously damage the GMR infrastructure in the process. In reality, there is every indication that the NTC continues to lack the logistical capability to reach Sabha from its current zones of control, so an attack on Sabha is highly unlikely while Sirte remains beyond NTC forces’ grasp.

The Humanitarian Situation in Tripoli
Meanwhile, the water shortages have not yet created a crisis in Tripoli. Area residents have ramped up withdrawals from local wells, which can supply roughly one-quarter of Libya’s municipal water needs. Much of this water is being trucked in and distributed from surrounding areas, though the potability of this water is questionable, as heavy use over decades has made many wells brackish and the water suitable only for washing. In addition, freshwater wells in such close proximity to the sea are more prone to this phenomenon, which could create problems for Libya — the majority of its population resides in the coastal regions.

International organizations are scrambling to mitigate a looming humanitarian crisis, with groups such as the European Union, the International Committee of the Red Cross and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) sending water rations and mobilizing experts to assess and repair the damage. Supplementing Tripoli’s water supply is the most pressing issue. UNICEF and the World Food Program have so far delivered 213,000 liters (56,300 gallons) of water and are in the process of procuring a total of 5 million liters. The World Food Program reported on Aug. 30 that a vessel was en route from Malta to Tripoli carrying 500,000 liters of water. Greece and Turkey are also being tapped for emergency deliveries of potable water. But these deliveries, while significant, provide only a fraction of a single day’s drinking water consumption for Tripoli.

Distributing water supplies large enough to begin alleviating the shortages poses a significant logistical hurdle for the NTC. Simply loading water onto a major oil tanker would not work; Tripoli’s port is limited in the size of ships it can receive, and those tankers are too large. So far, the limited amounts of water arriving have been moved in more modular containment — such as water bottles — and distributed by truck and by hand.

The residents of Tripoli have exhibited resilience in the face of the shortages, however. Part of the solution has been a mass tactical shift in the allocation of potable water. The GMR allowed pre-war daily water use to average more than 200 liters per capita. The amount of water needed per capita for survival is much lower — humanitarian agencies have been placing the figure at 3-4 liters (assuming low activity levels) — meaning that even a massive decrease in the flow of water to Tripoli does not automatically create the danger of large numbers of deaths, so long as the situation does not deteriorate further.

None of this is to say that the situation in Tripoli is sustainable should it last for too long — at least in the eyes of the NTC. There will be a limit to the amount of goodwill the people of Tripoli hold toward the NTC, whose fight against Gadhafi has led to the current situation. At a certain point, continued water shortages in Tripoli will create rising anger toward the rebel council, and toward NATO as well, as people will begin to point fingers at those who led them into their current plight. Governing is often harder than rebellion, and the logistical challenges of bringing order to Tripoli while continuing to fight Gadhafi’s remaining forces have the potential to become a major burden. The NTC will thus seek to ensure that the GMR is brought back online as soon as possible. Experts estimate repair time to be anywhere from three days to more than a week, but this assumes technicians can reach the area without coming under attack, which will depend on the NTC’s ability to minimize the strength of the last vestiges of Gadhafi’s forces.

Read more: Libya: Water Cutoffs to Tripoli Tied to Security Situation | STRATFOR
Title: British complicity with Kadaffy
Post by: prentice crawford on September 05, 2011, 01:58:53 AM
  Devastating secret files reveal Labour lies over Gaddafi: Dictator warned of holy war if Lockerbie bomber Megrahi died in ScotlandDevastating stash of documents left in British Ambassador's residence
Britain gave Libyan secret police questions to interrogate dissidents
We even informed Gaddafi how Cobra works and MI6 budget
By Ian Birrell

Last updated at 9:49 AM on 4th September 2011

The startling extent to which Labour misled the world over the controversial release of the Lockerbie bomber is exposed today in top-secret documents obtained by The Mail on Sunday.
In public, senior Ministers from the last Labour Government and the Scottish First Minister have repeatedly insisted that terminally ill Abdelbaset Al Megrahi was freed on compassionate grounds in a decision taken by Scottish Ministers alone.
But the confidential papers show that Westminster buckled under pressure from Colonel Gaddafi, who threatened to ignite a 'holy war' if Megrahi died in his Scottish cell.
  Friendship: Letters from Gordon Brown to Gaddafi sent in July 2007 (left) and September 2007 (right)

And despite repeated denials, the Labour Government worked frantically behind the scenes to appease Gaddafi's 'unpredictable nature'.
As recently as last month, a spokesman for Scotland's First Minister Alex Salmond was insisting: 'The decision was taken on the basis of Scots law and was not influenced by economic, political or diplomatic factors.'

 More...WPC Yvonne Fletcher murder suspect claimed British benefits during two years as a student
MI6 and British Government worked closely with Gaddafi's regime (and even helped him write his speeches)
Gaddafi wanted to get him back at all costs: How Britain paved way for release of man who brought down Pan Am 103

Equally damaging, the documents also suggest that as well as sharing intelligence-gathering techniques, Britain gave Libya hundreds of suggested questions for Islamic militants detained in Libya in 2004.
This will inevitably cause widespread dismay because of the regime’s systematic use of torture during interrogation.
 Friends: Former Prime MinisterTony Blair greets Muammar Gaddafi at his desert base outside Tripoli in 2007
  Education: A letter from Downing Street reveals how Tony Blair was 'stimulated' by Said Gaddafi's PHD (left), while a second document reveals Tony Blair's New Year wishes to Gaddafi and his family (right)

The revelations come in documents – some marked ‘UK secret: UK/Libya Eyes Only’ – found strewn on the floor of the British Ambassador’s abandoned residence in Tripoli.
Many of the papers demonstrate the warmth of the relationship between Britain and Libya and, in particular, the extraordinarily close links between the Blair Government and the Gaddafi regime.
The notes show how:
Tony Blair helped Colonel Gaddafi’s playboy son Saif with his ‘dodgy’ PhD thesis while he was Prime Minister.
British Special Forces were offered to train the Khamis Brigade, Gaddafi’s most vicious military unit.
MI6 was apparently willing to trace phone numbers for Libyan intelligence.
Gordon Brown wrote warmly to Gaddafi in 2007 expressing the hope that the dictator would be able to meet Prince Andrew when he visited Tripoli.
MI6’s budget (£150 million in 2002) was readily disclosed to Libyan officials, along with details of how Britain’s Downing Street emergency committee Cobra operates.
Britain’s intelligence services forged close links with Gaddafi’s brutal security units.
Megrahi was released two years ago and transferred back to Libya, where he received a hero’s welcome from Gaddafi. Last week, it emerged he is still alive – although very ill – after he was tracked down to his home in Tripoli.
A series of documents marked ‘confidential’ and ‘restricted’ reveal that Gaddafi threatened Britain with ‘dire consequences’ if Megrahi died in Scotland.
Diplomats feared the harassment – ‘or worse’ – of British nationals; the cancellation of lucrative contracts with firms such as BP, Shell and BG; and the end of defence deals and counter-terrorism co-operation.
 Devastating: The stash of documents were left in the British Ambassador's residence
  As a result, the British Government ignored the anger of both America and the families of victims of Britain’s biggest terrorist outrage to push for the fastest release through the signing of a Prisoner Transfer Agreement with Libya.
Set against Britain’s role in the military intervention in Libya, and David Cameron’s description of Gaddafi last week as a ‘monster’, the revelations in the papers are bitterly ironic.

Yet during the concerted appeasement campaign, Britain was under no illusion about the nature of Gaddafi’s security forces or of what they were capable.
Another thick briefing paper points out that their primary objective was the protection of the Libyan leader, his family and their friends and to ‘defend the regime’s repressive politics inside and outside the country’.
Despite this, Simon McDonald, Gordon Brown’s foreign policy adviser, told the dictator’s son Saif in June 2008 how glad he was to hear of the first meeting between MI6’s head of station and the feared Libyan Internal Security Organisation.

‘I understand that this preliminary meeting focused on training,’ he wrote. ‘I look forward to hearing of progress.’
From the police to prisons, from the health service to the high court, the documents detail links and co-operation between the two countries at every level.

What appears to underpin them all is Tony Blair’s plan to bring Gaddafi in from the cold while winning rich contracts for British businesses.
Even the Department for International Development got in on the act, drawing up plans to work with Libya in Africa.
Among the most enthusiastic participants were the police, despite the shadow cast by the shooting in London of WPC Yvonne Fletcher in 1984.

In November 2005 the then Home Secretary Charles Clarke met the Libyan security minister in London to agree a series of ‘security and co-operation talks’.
Six months later, at a meeting in Tripoli, Libyan officials asked for assistance on riot control,  which they stressed was one of their ‘priorities’.
Despite the horrific reputation of Gaddafi’s jails, there was also collaboration with Libya’s prison services.
This included a trip to Libya by the former chief inspector of prisons Lord Ramsbotham, another in July 2009 by a team of British prison officials and the funding of visits to Libya by academics from King’s College, London, who were each paid £630 a day to run a two-week course in Tripoli.
Libya was notorious for corruption under the Gaddafi regime, with the dictator’s family dominating commerce and demanding a cut of most big deals.

Rivals who crossed them could have their businesses – or lives – destroyed.

But the Law Society spent 18 months working with Libyan officials to review laws on banking and the creation of a more ‘enabling’ business environment.
There were also exchange visits between British and Libyan health ministers and proposals for joint work from the Health Protection Agency.
Even former Labour leader Neil Kinnock became involved, holding discussions on education with Saif Gaddafi.
‘I am pleased that you had a successful meeting with Lord Kinnock,’ Tony Blair’s then foreign policy adviser, Sir Nigel Sheinwald, told the dictator’s son in an April 2007 letter.
The letter, updating Gaddafi on progress on several fronts, ran to four pages.

It concluded with the Prime Minister sending ‘his warm wishes to the Leader and to yourself’.
A separate cache of secret files found in Tripoli show that MI6 gave the Gaddafi regime information on Libyan dissidents living in the UK.
The documents, discovered in the Tripoli offices of former Libyan intelligence chief Musa Kusa, include a personal Christmas greeting signed by a senior spy as ‘your friend’.  
They also reveal that MI6 and the CIA had a regular contact with their counterparts in Libya, in particular Mr Kusa, who became foreign minister and earlier this year defected to the UK.
HEADER HEREBritish Special Forces have warned Libyan commanders hunting Colonel Gaddafi that he could be wearing a suicide vest – choosing to kill himself rather than be captured.

A senior security source told The Mail on Sunday: ‘The intelligence suggests it will be packed with enough explosives to take out anyone around him.’
 The incriminating documents were found in the wreckage of the British ambassador’s home in Tripoli, a three-storey house vandalised in April by Gaddafi loyalists.

There were several booklets filled with the faces of suspected terrorists, scores of personally signed letters sent from Downing Street and detailed intelligence data on the Gaddafi regime.

Incredibly, all this had lain amid the debris for four months, with no attempt made to secure the papers even in
the week after the rebels ousted the dictator from the city.

Mountains of shredded paper showed British diplomats tried to destroy many documents before fleeing.

 One of the more intriguing proposals in the papers is the idea of founding a Centre for the Study of Meteors and Shooting Stars in the middle of the Saharan desert.
Hundreds of meteorites have been found in the Libyan desert, including rocks from the Moon and Mars.
  Incriminating: The documents reveal the close ties between Gordon Brown and Gaddafi (pictured toegether on the left in 2009), and how the Libyan leader warned of a holy war if Megrahi (right) was not released

Tony Blair helped Colonel Gaddafi’s playboy son Saif with his ‘dodgy’ philosophy PhD thesis while he was Prime Minister.

The extraordinary revelation, confirmed by a leaked letter sent by Mr Blair to the tyrant’s son, demonstrates just how close the links were between the Blair Government and the Gaddafi regime.

Saif, 39, has called Mr Blair ‘a close, personal friend’ of his family. Mr Blair also had a close personal relationship with dictator Muammar, exchanging friendly notes even after he left No 10.

Typical was one sent from Downing Street on December 28, 2006. ‘Eid Mubarak!’ it begins, acknowledging a Muslim festival. ‘At this sacred time of harmony and reconciliation, recalling how our passionate God has mercy on mankind, I would like to express my personal wishes to you, to your family and to the Libyan people.’

The documents show Mr Blair’s surprising level of involvement with Saif’s 2008 London School of Economics thesis. Mr Blair sent Saif a personally signed letter on No 10 paper, addressing him as ‘Engineer Saif’ and thanking him for sending the 429-page thesis for him to read.

The PM also offered three examples of co-operation between governments, people and business ‘that might help with your studies’, including Make Poverty History, which he said worked because ‘it bought together an unusual coalition of players from Bono to the Pope .  .  . with a simple but inspiring message of hope.’

Mr Blair then discusses how to prevent corruption in oil-rich nations – even though the Gaddafis were notorious for stealing billions – and his ‘personal interest and commitment’ to the topics Saif studied.

He signed off: ‘I wish you well for your PhD and send my warm good wishes.’ Saif – who donated £1.5 million to the LSE – is said to have plagiarised much of his thesis.

A spokesman for Mr Blair said: ‘Neither Tony Blair or Downing Street officials saw Saif Gaddafi’s thesis in advance. A letter was drafted by officials giving examples of good practice which was sent in the Prime Minister’s name. It was perfectly proper to do so.’

WE HELPED TRAIN BRIGADE BEHIND REGIME'S WORST ATROCITIES Who Dares Wins: The SAS spent six months training Libyan elite troops two years ago
Britain developed astonishingly close ties with the Libyan military following Tony Blair’s 2007 deal in the desert with Colonel Gaddafi, despite its history of brutal internal repression and bloody foreign adventurism.

Among the deals revealed this weekend are the use of UK Special Forces to train the feared Khamis Brigade, run by one of Gaddafi’s sons and thought to have been behind some of the worst atrocities in the recent conflict.

The SAS spent six months training Libyan elite troops two years ago as part of what was described by the Foreign Office as ‘ongoing co-operation in the field of defence’ between the two countries. A troop of four to 14 SAS men are understood to have trained the Libyans in counter-terrorism techniques, including covert surveillance.

The training was agreed under Tony Blair in 2004 but ‘signed off’ by Gordon Brown in 2009. British officials also proposed further military collaborations including:

Training Libyan officers at the Royal Naval College, Dartmouth.
Dispatching a Royal Navy vessel to visit Tripoli.
Paying for high-ranking Libyans to visit the European Union and Nato headquarters in Brussels.
Sending 100 officers a year on English language courses.
The sale of naval ships to Libya.

It is now clear that British support for Gaddafi’s military machine went considerably further than training – and that much of it was based on ideas proposed by the deposed Libyan regime.  

In April 2007, a month before the desert accord was signed, Mr Blair’s foreign policy adviser Sir Nigel Sheinwald told Saif Gaddafi that Britain was ready to develop a partnership with Libya ‘starting with some of the ideas you set out’.

Sir Nigel said he was ‘extremely pleased’ agreement had been reached on the sale of the Iskander missile system – although it was delayed by international pressure.

In February 2008, Gordon Brown wrote to the Libyan leader: ‘I am confident that our defence co-operation can grow, building on the accord signed in Sirte last May.’

Mr Brown hoped they could conclude negotiations on two arms deals: a £147 million anti-tank missile system and related £112 million communication system, plus an £85 million deal to supply radios.

In a letter to Saif in June 2008, Mr McDonald outlined the deal to train up to 90 members of the Khamis Brigade by Arturus, a UK-based private military security company. He added: ‘The MoD would then be willing to have serving personnel from UK SF [Special Forces] visit and provide quality assurance.’

Last night, Tory MP Patrick Mercer, a former Army commander, said: ‘Today’s friends are tomorrow’s enemies as these deals show.’

Title: China offered arms to Kadaffy
Post by: Crafty_Dog on September 05, 2011, 07:06:29 AM
When the Lockerbie bomber was released this forum questioned the move vigorously.  It appears now that the truth was far worse than even we imagined.

Title: WSJ: The CIA and Kadaffy
Post by: Crafty_Dog on September 06, 2011, 05:47:09 AM

The Central Intelligence Agency and Libyan intelligence services developed such a tight relationship during the George W. Bush administration that the U.S. shipped terror suspects to Libya for interrogation and suggested the questions they should be asked, according to documents found in Libya's External Security agency headquarters.

The Regime's Inner Workings
Reams of confidential documents reveal in vivid detail the desperation and disarray at the highest reaches of Col. Moammar Gadhafi's regime this spring as power slipped through their fingers.

The relationship was close enough that the CIA moved to establish "a permanent presence" in Libya in 2004, according to a note from Stephen Kappes, at the time the No. 2 in the CIA's clandestine service, to Libya's then-intelligence chief, Moussa Koussa.

Libya's Revolution
View Slideshow

Alexandre Meneghini/Associated Press
People in the rebel-held town of Benghazi celebrated the news Aug. 22 of the capture of Moammar Gadhafi's son Seif al-Islam.
.On Edge in Libya
Track fighting and city control around the country.

View Interactive
.Map: Regional Upheaval
Track events day by day in the region.

View Interactive
.More photos and interactive graphics
. Secret documents unearthed by human rights activists indicate the CIA and MI6 had very close relations with Libya's 2004 Gadhafi regime. Video courtesy of Reuters.
.The memo began "Dear Musa," and was signed by hand, "Steve." Mr. Kappes was a critical player in the secret negotiations that led to Libyan leader Col. Moammar Gadhafi's 2003 decision to give up his nuclear program. Through a spokeswoman, Mr. Kappes, who has retired from the agency, declined to comment.

A U.S. official said Libya had showed progress at the time. "Let's keep in mind the context here: By 2004, the U.S. had successfully convinced the Libyan government to renounce its nuclear-weapons program and to help stop terrorists who were actively targeting Americans in the U.S. and abroad," the official said.

The files documenting the renewal of ties between the CIA and Libyan intelligence were reviewed and copied by researchers from Human Rights Watch during a tour of Libya's External Security agency headquarters in downtown Tripoli. Emergencies Director Peter Bouckaert said he was touring the building on Friday as part of the group's effort to help the Libyan transitional authority secure sensitive documents left by the Gadhafi regime, which collapsed in August after a five-month rebellion.

Mr. Bouckaert said he discovered the files inside the complex in a room that guards described as the former office of Mr. Koussa, who became foreign minister in 2009. Mr. Bouckaert photographed the documents, leaving the originals in their place, and gave copies to The Wall Street Journal.

Human Rights Watch has been critical of the U.S. policy of sending terror suspects to third countries for interrogation, a practice known as rendition. The practice dates at least to 1995, when Egypt began aiding the U.S. with rendition.

U.S. officials say they obtained assurances from the recipient countries that the rendered detainees would be treated humanely. "There are lots of countries willing to take terrorists off the street who want to kill Americans," the U.S. official said. "That doesn't mean U.S. concerns about human rights are ignored in the process."

In an April 15, 2004 letter to Libyan intelligence, the CIA proposed the rendition of another man, saying, "We respectfully request an expression of interest from your service regarding taking custody."

Citing "recently developed agreements," the CIA asked the Libyans to "agree to take our requirements for debriefings of [the suspect], as well as a guarantee that [his] human rights will be protected."

The files also show the close relationship that some British intelligence officials had with Mr. Koussa.

With Libya's NTC in Place, Little Sign of Leading
Washington Says It Knew of Ex-Diplomat's Libya Meet

.Mr. Koussa, who defected from Col. Gadhafi's government in March, was credited with helping negotiate Libya's rapprochement with the international community and bartering an end to sanctions in return for Libya renouncing its weapons-of-mass-destruction program.

Yet he was also one of the stalwarts of the Gadhafi regime and headed the foreign intelligence service during a time when many Western officials believed Col. Gadhafi was funding and supporting international terrorist groups. In 1980, he was expelled from his diplomatic post in the U.K. after calling in a newspaper interview for the killing of Libyan dissidents in Great Britain. Libya later claimed he had been misquoted.

By the early years of the George W. Bush administration, however, as seen in the 2004 memo, Mr. Kappes was writing to Mr. Koussa: "Libya's cooperation on WMD and other issues, as well as our nascent intelligence cooperation mean that now is the right moment to move ahead."

The intelligence services had discussed the move for "quite some time" Mr. Kappes wrote.

The files provide an extraordinary window into the highly secretive and controversial practice of rendition, whereby the agency would send detainees to other countries for interrogation, including ones known for harsh treatment of detainees. The program was ramped up for terror detainees after the Sept. 11 attacks.

When taking over the CIA at the outset of the Obama administration, then-director Leon Panetta said the agency would continue to use rendition, but would seek assurances that the detainee wouldn't be tortured—which has been the standing U.S. policy. Mr. Panetta left the CIA two months ago to lead the Pentagon.

"We are eager to work with you in the questioning of the terrorist we recently rendered to your country," Mr. Kappes wrote in the memo, adding that he would like to send two more officers to Libya to question a suspect directly.

The documents show the logistical hurdles the rendition program experienced, such as Hong Kong's refusal to allow a Libyan aircraft to land, the requirements to show valid insurance documents, and certifications of airworthiness.

In some of the documents, the CIA provided Libyan intelligence with a long list of questions it wanted to have posed to one suspect in Tripoli's custody, a Libyan-Canadian who Western intelligence agencies accused of being a leader of the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group, a now-defunct group the U.S. suspected of links to al Qaeda. The Americans wanted to know, among other things, whether the man had relationships with named individuals in Cincinnati, Seattle and Los Angeles or with companies across the U.S. from a Colorado auto-sales firm to a global shipping company in California.

Many of the questions U.S. intelligence officials wanted posed to the suspect were about other alleged members of the organization.

Another document said the CIA was aware that Libyan intelligence was cooperating with the British to bring to Tripoli a suspected militant leader who was being held in detention in Hong Kong for immigration violations.

An April 6, 2004 memo titled "Iraqi Scientists," the CIA asked Libyan intelligence to let U.S. agents interview several Iraqi scientists who were living in Libya, part of a postwar scramble to determine the fate of Iraq's alleged weapons of mass destruction.

In one memo with the subject line "ALLEGED TERRORIST CELL WITHIN LIBYA PLANNING FOR ATTACKS AGAINST U.S. INTERESTS," the CIA asked for help tracking down a suspected "operational cell" in Libya suspected of being in contact with al Qaeda operatives in Iraq. The CIA said it feared U.S. government officials and commercial interests in Libya would be attacked.

"Thank you very much for your speedy assistance," the memo concluded.

—Adam Entous and Julian E. Barnes contributed to this article.
Title: POTH: Uh oh, where's the shoulder-fired missiles?
Post by: Crafty_Dog on September 08, 2011, 06:40:52 AM
TRIPOLI, Libya — The sign on the wall reads “Schoolbook Printing and Storage Warehouse,” but the fact that the double gates in the wall have been crudely ripped off suggests that something more interesting might be inside.

Workers loaded crates of mortar shells and ammunition on Wednesday from a large cache of weapons discovered in Tripoli.
It turns out that the only books to be found in any of the three large buildings in the walled compound are manuals — how to fire rocket launchers and wire-guided missiles, among others. The buildings are actually disguised warehouses full of munitions — mortar shells, artillery rounds, anti-tank missiles and more — thousands of pieces of military ordnance that are completely unguarded more than two weeks after the fall of the capital.

Perhaps most interesting of all is what is no longer there, but until recent days apparently was: shoulder-fired heat-seeking missiles of the type that could be used by terrorists to shoot down civilian airliners. American authorities have long been concerned that Libyan missiles could easily find their way onto the black market.

These missiles, mostly SA-7b Grails, as NATO refers to them, have been spotted in Libya before and are well known to have been sold to the government of Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi by former Eastern bloc countries. The evidence at the schoolbook warehouse confirms just how large those quantities were. It also raises questions about how many of them may have been purloined by rebels, criminals or smugglers.

Matthew Schroeder, who researches heat-seeking antiaircraft missiles and their proliferation for the Federation of American Scientists in Washington, said the discovery of yet another looted arms depot in Libya was cause for concern, especially depots that contained what security specialists call Man-Portable Air-Defense Systems, or Manpads.

Western governments and nongovernment organizations have repeatedly asked and prodded the rebel government, the Transitional National Council, to take steps to secure the vast stockpiles of arms that it has inherited, apparently to little avail.

“Claims that depots holding Manpads and other dangerous weapons are still not being properly secured are very worrisome and should be thoroughly investigated,” Mr. Schroeder said. “In cases where stockpile security is found to be lacking, immediate steps should be taken to correct any deficiencies.”

In Washington, President Obama’s top counterterrorism official, John O. Brennan, said that the spread of shoulder-fired missiles and other weapons from Libya’s arsenal posed “a lot of concerns,” and that the United States had pressed the rebel government to secure weapons stockpiles. “Obviously, there are a lot of parts of that country right now that are ungoverned,” he said at a security conference.

A senior American military officer who follows Libya closely said it was puzzling that there had been so few documented instances in which Libyan loyalist troops launched shoulder-fired missiles at NATO aircraft.   “I’m not sure what that means,” the officer said.  “Fewer systems than we thought? Systems are inoperable? Few in Libya know how to operate them?”

The officer said it was also unclear whether Al Qaeda or other extremist groups had acquired the missiles, though he said intelligence analysts were assuming they had.   “But if they do, why haven’t they used or threatened to use?” the officer said.  “It’s all very murky right now.”

On Wednesday, a reporter for The New York Times, as well as a researcher for Human Rights Watch and other reporters who visited the scene, found 10 crates that had held two missiles each lying opened and empty. The crates were clearly labeled as coming from Russia.

“Other countries know these weapons are on the loose, and they will be trying to get their hands on them,” said a researcher for Human Rights Watch, Peter Bouckaert.

He was particularly concerned with one crate, labeled “9M342,” the Russian designation for the SA-24 heat-seeking missile.

“These were some of the most advanced weaponry the Russians made,” Mr. Bouckaert said. Referring to the rebels who have taken control of Tripoli and to the international community, he added, “They need to get people here to secure some of this.”


(Page 2 of 2)

The SA-24 can be mounted on vehicle-based launchers or fired from a person’s shoulder via a much smaller launcher known as a grip stock. The latter configuration, of the same class of weapon as the American-made Stinger, is considered the gravest potential danger to civilian aircraft because the weapon is readily portable and relatively simple to conceal and use.

No grip stocks for SA-24s have yet been found in Libya, and the Russian manufacturer of the SA-24 has previously said that it did not sell any grip stocks to Colonel Qaddafi’s military. The SA-24s, it said, were sold only with vehicle-mounted launchers.
The SA-7, however, is a shoulder-fired missile. A Soviet-era weapon dating to the 1960s that remains in wide use and circulation, it has been implicated in several attacks on airliners over the years, including a failed attack on an Israeli charter plane.

Former Eastern bloc nations call it a Strela, for the Russian word for arrow. Nine of the freshly emptied crates found Wednesday were marked with the Eastern bloc designation for the Strela: 9M32M.

Libyan rebels have occasionally been spotted carrying SA-7s, though the weapon has no evident practical use to them, given that the Qaddafi air force was grounded by NATO months ago and that the only military aircraft confirmed in the Libyan skies have been the NATO planes supporting the rebels’ advances.

Although only nine crates holding two SA-7s each were found in the schoolbook warehouse, those crates were a part of what evidently were nine different consignments.

In all, those consignments added up to a total of 2,445 crates delivered from Russia to Tripoli, containing 4,890 missiles, according to markings on the crates. But there was no way to ascertain whether the other crates in those consignments had previously been in this warehouse, or in some other part of the country. Many of the other missiles may have been issued to the Qaddafi forces in the field, which for months had a need to defend against aerial attack.

The Times has previously documented that 5,270 SA-7b missiles had been delivered to Libya. Some of those shipments were part of the same consignments found Wednesday. But according to the stenciled markings on the newly found crates, at least 2,322 of the missiles appear to be from previously undiscovered consignments, meaning that at least 7,592 of the missiles had been sent to Libya. Estimates of the true total run as high as 20,000 such missiles.

A spokesman for the Libyan rebel military, Abdulrahman Busin, said the rebel authorities were aware of the schoolbook warehouse, which is only about a quarter-mile from the headquarters of the Khamis Brigade, an elite loyalist military unit headed by a son of Colonel Qaddafi. Mr. Busin said the rebel “military police” had probably removed the missiles.

“The military police were aware of this and they took charge of it; they’re the ones who secured it,” Mr. Busin said.

But if that was the case, he was unable to explain why the facility remained unguarded on Wednesday. And efforts were unsuccessful in contacting the head of the military police to confirm if his forces indeed had the missing missiles.
Title: WSJ: Qatar's influence
Post by: Crafty_Dog on October 17, 2011, 06:33:00 AM
Three weeks after rebel fighters drove Libyan strongman Col. Moammar Gadhafi from power in Tripoli, military leaders gathered on the leafy grounds of an Islamic institute to hash out a way to unite the capital's disparate fighting groups. The Tripoli chiefs were nearing a deal on a unified command when two visitors stepped in.
One was Abdel Hakim Belhaj—a former Islamic fighter briefly held in 2004 by the Central Intelligence Agency, who had led one of the militias that marched triumphantly into Tripoli. Now the city's most visible military commander, he accused the local militia leaders of sidelining him, say people briefed on the Sept. 11 meeting.
"You will never do this without me," he said.
Standing wordlessly behind him, these people say, was Maj. Gen. Hamad Ben Ali al-Attiyah—the chief of staff of the tiny Arab Gulf nation of Qatar. Mr. Belhaj won a tactical victory: The meeting broke up without a deal, and efforts to unite disparate Tripoli militias, including Belhaj's Tripoli Military Council, remain stalled to this day.
The foreign military commander's appearance in Tripoli, which one person familiar with the visit said caught Libya's interim leaders by surprise, is testament to Qatar's key role in helping to bring down Libya's strongman. Qatar provided anti-Gadhafi rebels with what Libyan officials now estimate are tens of millions of dollars in aid, military training and more than 20,000 tons of weapons. Qatar's involvement in the battle to oust Col. Gadhafi was supported by U.S. and Western allies, as well as many Libyans themselves.
Qatar flew at least 18 weapons shipments to anti-Gadhafi rebel forces this spring and summer.
But now, as this North African nation attempts to build a new government from scratch, some of these same figures worry that Qatar's new influence is putting stability in peril.
At issue, say Libyan officials and Western observers, are Qatar's deep ties to a clique of Libyan Islamists, whose backgrounds variously include fighting in Afghanistan in the 1980s and spending years in jail under Col. Gadhafi. They later published a theological treatise condemning violent jihad. With Qatar's support, they have become central players in Libyan politics. As they face off with a transitional authority largely led by secular former regime officials and expatriate technocrats, their political rivals accuse Qatar of stacking the deck in the Islamists' favor.
With the blessing of Western intelligence agencies, Qatar flew at least 18 weapons shipments in all to anti-Gadhafi rebel forces this spring and summer, according to people familiar with the shipments. The majority of these National Transition shipments went not through the rebels' governing body, the National Transitional Council, but directly to militias run by Islamist leaders including Mr. Belhaj, say Libyan officials.
Separately, approximately a dozen other Qatari-funded shipments, mostly containing ammunition, came to Libyan rebels via Sudan, according to previously undisclosed Libyan intelligence documents reviewed by The Wall Street Journal as well as officials.
Qatar Connection
Enlarge Image

After fighting the Soviets in Afghanistan, he from 1995 led the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group, whose members say it is disbanded but remains on U.S. list of terrorist organizations. Captured in a CIA operation in Malaysia in 2004 and eventually handed over to Col. Gadhafi's regime after being interrogated in Thailand and Hong Kong.
Born in 1963 in Benghazi to a family with Islamist ties, he was jailed in Tripoli's Abu Salim prison among other Islamists for most of the 1980s. After studying theology in Saudi Arabia and Sudan, he joined fellow clerics hosted by Qatar.  A Libyan army veteran, he grew up in the same Benghazi neighborhood as the Sallabis. Became rebel defense minister in May with backing from the Sallabis, says a militia leader.
:His support among former army officers in the rebel ranks decreased because they felt he favored Islamist militia leaders.
Some Tripoli officials allege Qatari arms have continued to flow straight to these Islamist groups in September, after Tripoli's fall, to the open frustration of interim leaders.
"To any country, I repeat, please do not give any funds or weapons to any Libyan faction without the approval of the NTC," said Libyan Oil and Finance Minister Ali al-Tarhouni, when asked last week about reports that Qatar had sent weapons directly to Tripoli-based militias.
Qatari military and diplomatic officials deny they have played favorites or armed any rebel faction at the expense of any other. They declined to address whether they had made weapons shipments to the rebels. They say they support a democratic Libya in which all factions are represented.
Islamist leader Mr. Belhaj, in an interview, disputed the account of the Sept. 11 meeting. He said he had merely escorted Mr. Attiyah to provide security and wasn't present during the closed-door discussions. He and other Islamist leaders say they seek only their fair share of power and support a broad-based government.
Qatar's defense ministry didn't return calls seeking comment. Mr. Attiyah couldn't be reached.
Qatar's role in the Libyan uprising has been a heady diplomatic coming-out party for the emirate, located on a tiny thumb of land jutting off the Arabian Peninsula into the Persian Gulf. Fewer than 300,000 native Qataris control some of the world's largest natural-gas reserves. The country is the world's richest, per capita.
Qatar's ruler, Sheik Hamad Bin Khalifa al-Thani, has dismissed some Libyans' fears that Qatar is angling for influence over Libya's gas reserves, Africa's fourth-largest.
Instead, one of Qatar's main goals in supporting popular uprisings in the region, say people familiar with its leaders' thinking, is to promote its political vision—that in a Muslim-majority region, Islamic political figures can help build modern, vibrant Arab nations by being included in new democracies.
Qatar sees itself as a showcase for marrying Islamic ideals with modernity—a counterpoint to the more unyielding doctrine of neighboring Saudi Arabia.
Qatar, though an absolute monarchy, has helped promote a freer media in the region through the al-Jazeera satellite network, which the ruling family funded and founded in 1996 in the capital, Doha. The al-Thanis have opened branches of U.S. political think tanks, liberal-arts universities and biotech research foundations.
Politically, Qatar maintains a seemingly contradictory set of alliances. U.S. officials consider Doha a close ally. Qatar hosts U.S. Central Command and has the Gulf's only Israeli Interests Section.
But for years, Doha has also openly fostered ties with some of the region's most controversial Islamic militant groups, such as Hamas and Hezbollah.
Sheikh Hamad, in a Sept. 7 interview with al-Jazeera, said he believed radical Islamists whose views were forged under tyrannical governments could embrace participatory politics if the promise of real democracy and justice of this year's Arab revolts is fulfilled.
If so, the Qatari ruler said, "I believe you will see this extremism transform into civilian life and civil society."
Libya presents the biggest test for the Qatar model. Whether Islamist political groups can be the guarantors of democracy in the Muslim world—and whether Qatar has hitched its fortunes to individuals who will make that happen—is being closely watched in Libya and beyond.
Qatar has played "a very influential role in helping this [Libyan] rebellion succeed," U.S. Ambassador to Libya Gene A. Cretz said in an interview. Asked later about the Islamists Qatar has endorsed, he was more cautious: "We are going to have to take it step by step."

Forces loyal to Libya's new leaders began demolishing Muammar Gaddafi's former home and seat of power in the capital Tripoli. Courtesy of Reuters.
Much of Qatar's aid to the Libyan revolt has been guided by an influential Libyan cleric named Ali al-Sallabi.
Mr. al-Sallabi, the son of an eastern Libyan banker with ties to the Muslim Brotherhood, was jailed at the age of 18 for nearly eight years on charges of knowing about an alleged plot to assassinate Col. Gadhafi. He left Libya in 1988 to study in Saudi Arabia and Sudan. His younger brother Ismail, who now commands a division of rebel fighters, was also arrested and imprisoned by the Gadhafi regime.
In 1999, already something of a spiritual leader for a segment of Libyans, Mr. al-Sallabi moved to Doha to join the roster of politically active Islamic theologians hosted by Qataris.
When international sanctions were lifted on Col. Gadhafi's regime in 2003, Qatar encouraged Ali al-Sallabi to accept a reconciliation offer guaranteed by the Gadhafi regime, Ismail al-Sallabi said in an interview.
Ali al-Sallabi returned to Libya and spearheaded a "de-radicalization program" for imprisoned Libyan militants and those on the run abroad. The effort, which used theological arguments to attempt to delegitimize armed opposition to the regime, culminated in a book co-authored by Mr. Sallabi, "Corrective Studies in Understanding Jihad, Enforcement of Morality and Judgment of People," which was published with Qatari funding and promoted on al-Jazeera.
Another author was Mr. Belhaj, who had fought the Soviets in Afghanistan alongside Osama bin Laden and Ayman al-Zawahiri. From 1995, Mr. Belhaj became the emir of the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group, which waged a bloody insurgency against Col. Gadhafi until it was defeated by the regime in 1998.
This spring, the Sallabis were among the first to take up the fight against Col. Gadhafi's regime, followed by Mr. Belhaj.
Qatar was the first Arab country to recognize the National Transitional Council. It backed a United Nations resolution imposing a no-fly zone to protect Libyan civilians and, later, North Atlantic Treaty Organization air strikes on Gadhafi regime military targets.
As violence escalated in Libya, Western diplomats said it soon became clear that without an armed ground effort by the rebels, the NATO strikes would only enforce a stalemate. But U.S. and European governments thought it too risky to directly arm a rebellion against a sitting leader.
Qatar volunteered to fill that role, according to people familiar with the situation, who say Doha sent weapons to rebel factions in Libya as far back as April with the consent of the U.S., U.K., France and the United Arab Emirates.
Throughout the conflict, representatives of the four nations met regularly with Qatari officials, who kept them apprised of Doha's aid, these people said. "Everyone was quite happy" with the Qatari arms shipments, said a Western observer in Libya with direct knowledge of the diplomacy. "It's what everyone wanted to do but wasn't allowed to."
A team of about 60 Qataris helped set up rebel command centers in Benghazi, the mountain city of Zintan and later in Tripoli, according to Qatari Staff Colonel Hamad Abdullah al-Marri, who later accompanied Mr. Belhaj on the march into Tripoli on Aug. 22, broadcast live on al-Jazeera. Mr. Marri said that during the rebel training, he interacted with about 30 Western liaison officers, including Britons, French and several Americans.
Between April and the fall of Tripoli, at least 18 cargo planes left Qatar for Libya, filled with assault rifles, rocket-propelled grenade launchers and other small arms, as well as military uniforms and vehicles, say people familiar with the situation.
Qatar funneled much of its aid through Ali al-Sallabi, say NTC-allied officials. They say the cleric's aid network, manned with his associates, allowed affiliated militias to receive the lion's share of both guns and money.
Ali al-Sallabi helped to orchestrate more than a dozen of the shipments from Qatar, including 10 through Benghazi, these people say. At least three others went to the Western Mountains, where Mr. Belhaj was a top leader of rebels being trained by Qatari and Western advisers.
Ali al-Sallabi couldn't be reached for comment but has said he and his religious colleagues are working to give all Libyans fair representation. Last Wednesday, he agreed to join an organization working under NTC auspices to build bridges between political factions.
Ismail al-Sallabi said Qatari shipments came through the brothers not out of any ideological solidarity with Doha but because these militias were the most organized and effective forces on the ground.
People close to Mr. Belhaj emphasize they operated under the auspices of the NTC's Defense Ministry and that any weapons shipments were blessed by transitional Defense Minister Jalal al-Dugheily.
Qatari aid shipments soon appeared to be having unanticipated repercussions within the rebel ranks.
By May, rebel commanders outside of Mr. Sallabi's circle were openly complaining they lacked weapons and medical supplies. Defected army officers in particular said they felt they have been squeezed out of the rebel fight.
That month, an envoy from NTC Prime Minister Mahmoud Jibril set up residence in Doha to lobby for weapons supplies to be sent through him. But of the 18 planeloads from Qatar, only five were sent through this NTC-approved channel, say people familiar with the situation.
By late summer, NTC and Western officials began raising concerns to the Qataris that their aid seemed to be empowering primarily Islamist leaders at the possible expense of the embryonic rebel government.
After Col. Gadhafi's fall, Libyans renamed a square in Tripoli in Qatar's honor. In Misrata's Baraka Hotel, framed portraits of Qatar's emir and crown prince are displayed where Col. Gadhafi's portrait once hung.
But some Libyans are souring. "Our Qatari brothers helped us liberate Libya," said Muktar al-Akhdar, a military leader from Zintan. "But it's now interfering in our internal affairs."

Title: Re: Libya and
Post by: bigdog on October 20, 2011, 07:04:39 AM
Reports that Gadhafi is dead:
Title: Re: Libya and
Post by: Crafty_Dog on October 20, 2011, 08:44:31 AM
Fotos of what definitely appears to be the anus's body on FOX.   Looks like a confirmed kill to me.
Title: Re: Libya and
Post by: DougMacG on October 20, 2011, 09:30:00 AM
Whatever happened to the policy articulated so well four years ago that we can sit and and talk to these people?

Oh, here it is:
Title: Re: Libya and
Post by: G M on October 20, 2011, 09:32:18 AM
Whatever happened to the policy articulated so well four years ago that we can sit and and talk to these people?

Oh, here it is:

 :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D
Title: Re: Libya and
Post by: DougMacG on October 20, 2011, 10:08:56 AM
GM, At least he was not caught in the picture bowing.  Ghadafy was a humble man, never appointing himself past the rank of Colonel.  Had he made it to King or even Prince, the photo would be most embarrassing.
Title: Re: Libya and
Post by: G M on October 20, 2011, 10:13:44 AM
GM, At least he was not caught in the picture bowing.  Ghadafy was a humble man, never appointing himself past the rank of Colonel.  Had he made it to King or even Prince, the photo would be most embarrassing.

Yeah, you've got to give him props for that. Obama is actually treating him like a peer rather than shamelessly debasing himself and America.

For once.

I wonder if Ka-daffy got the "Fredo" kiss later?
Title: What now?
Post by: Crafty_Dog on October 20, 2011, 10:54:23 AM
Analyst Kamran Bokhari gives an overview of the challenges facing Libya after the death of former Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi.
Editor’s Note: Transcripts are generated using speech-recognition technology. Therefore, STRATFOR cannot guarantee their complete accuracy.
Related Links
•   Gadhafi Coverage
•   Libya: Gadhafi’s Death in Perspective
•   Libya’s Gadhafi Reportedly Killed in Sirte
Ousted Libyan leader Col. Moammar Gadhafi was killed Oct. 20 when rebel forces took his hometown of Sirte. Col. Gadhafi’s death is largely symbolic because it does not change the ground reality that he had ceased to be the ruler of his country when his forces left Tripoli and the capital was taken over by rebel forces. Therefore the ground realities have not changed with Col. Gadhafi’s death because the NTC, the National Transitional Council, and its other rebel allies still need to demonstrate — and now more than ever before — that they can actually effectively run the country.
The one thing that held all the rebels together was the presence of Moammar Gadhafi, even though the rebels had taken the capital and the focus was to essentially put down any form of pro-Gadhafi resistance wherever it may be, especially in his hometown, Sirte. And now that has been accomplished, and therefore the next question is whether these rebel forces will continue to be able to hold their unity and not descend into a situation of chaos and civil war.
There are two main forces that are centered in the two major cities of the country. The National Transitional Council, which was effectively a Benghazi-based entity and then relocated to the capital once the capital fell to the rebels. But in the capital there is another entity called the Tripoli Military Council that is also distinguishing itself from the NTC. And then there are ethnic differences between Arabs and Berbers, there are ideological differences between Islamists and non-Islamists.
So we have a very complex landscape that will somehow need to come together. And therefore the biggest concern right now is how to disarm all the militias that have been active in fighting the Gadhafi regime and turn them into, or integrate them into, a new military force representing the new government, if and when the new republic is formed.
Gadhafi’s death therefore moves the country into the next phase and which is the most difficult stage of this entire conflict, especially now that the country is awash with hundreds of thousands of fighters armed to the teeth and the goal of securing the country and forming a new state remains elusive.
Title: Re: What now?
Post by: G M on October 20, 2011, 11:03:01 AM
Oh, I'm sure it'll turn out to be another "Arab Spring" where everything is rainbows and unicorns. AQ won't have another base of operations and a stockpile of MANPADs or anything....
Title: Politically correct way to assassinate?
Post by: ccp on October 21, 2011, 03:42:37 PM
The whole thing is just so bizarre.   Is this the new "politically correct" way to assasinate our enemies?  Why didn't we just kill him several months ago?  So Hill could "get to know them?"

I never thought Hillary possessed a particularly funny sense of humor.  Does anyone believe that he was killed by accidental crossfire? 

***Secretary of State Hillary Clinton sits down for six consecutive television interviews in Kabul, Afghanistan October 20, 2011
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton shared a laugh with a television news reporter moments after hearing deposed Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi had been killed.

"We came, we saw, he died," she joked when told of news reports of Qaddafi's death by an aide in between formal interviews.

Clinton was in Tripoli earlier this week for talks with leaders of Libya's National Transitional Council (NTC).

The reporter asked if Qaddafi's death had anything to do with her surprise visit to show support for the Libyan people.

"No," she replied, before rolling her eyes and saying "I'm sure it did" with a chuckle.***
Title: Re: Libya and
Post by: Crafty_Dog on October 21, 2011, 07:06:35 PM
There is some footage of Hillary, in Afg I think, where she is handed some small electronic device which apparently had the crude jerky footage of the still alive Kadaffy being captured and then a shot of him dead with a hole in his temple.  The look of bloodthirsty glee on her face (for the record, I did too) as she realized what is was was quite special.

Here is the clearest footage I have seen:
Title: Stratfor: Now the uncertainty begins
Post by: Crafty_Dog on October 22, 2011, 08:22:27 AM
BTW, amidst all the chatter on the fall of Kadaffy, IMHO it is worth noting that but for Bush's Iraq War intimidating him into giving his surprisingly developed nuke program, Kadaffy may have had or nearly had nukes.

Gadhafi's Death Brings Era of Uncertainty to Libya
Libya entered a new era on Thursday, not only with the death of Moammar Gadhafi, but more importantly with the fall of his hometown of Sirte. If Aug. 21 — the day rebel fighters entered Tripoli — marked the start of the first phase of  post-Gadhafi Libya, Oct. 20 will go down as the beginning of the second phase. The National Transitional Council (NTC) is expected to declare the official liberation of the country on Friday. With that, the NTC will be pressured to follow through on its pledge to push forward the process of forming a transitional government.
“Forming an interim government that satisfies everyone, however, will be impossible, and preventing those who feel slighted from resorting to violence will be almost as difficult.”
Since the presence of a common enemy was the main factor that kept unified the various armed groups around the country who have fought Gadhafi, the two-month period between the fall of Tripoli and the fall of Sirte actually helped the NTC. It allowed the Benghazi-based council to delay having to face its main challenge: trying to form a transitional government that will not leave groups feeling that they have been treated unfairly.
An increasing number of Libyans have begun to openly challenge the authority of NTC leaders in recent weeks, angry at the slow pace of transition since Gadhafi was stripped of power. The NTC repeatedly cited the ongoing war in explaining delays in the formation of a transitional government. It promised that once the country was entirely liberated, it would move forward. With the fall of Sirte, the council is now technically expected to move its headquarters from Benghazi to Tripoli and to form a transitional government within 30 days. A few months after that, elections are planned — and from these a prime minister will be selected and a Cabinet appointed. Forming an interim government that satisfies everyone, however, will be impossible, and preventing those who feel slighted from resorting to violence will be almost as difficult.
If the rebels that once identified as part of the the NTC begin fighting one another for power, it will bear significant consequences for Libya. Such a fight would have an impact abroad as well, especially in two ways: its effect on crude oil production and its negative effect on regional security.
Libya’s pre-war oil production was around 1.6 million barrels per day (bpd), much of it of the highly prized sweet, light variety — and most of that was exported to Europe. The war cut off Libya’s production almost entirely and completely halted its exports. This stoppage caused a significant spike in the price of oil across the world, the effects of which are still being felt today. International oil companies (IOCs) who worked in Libya before the conflict have mostly returned in some capacity to the country. Many of the oil fields worked before the conflict are now back in production, currently estimated at around 400,000 bpd. For such companies, trying to understand which Libyan authorities to deal with will be much more difficult if the NTC begins to lose the credibility it holds as the sole legitimate representative of the Libyan people. However, those who control Tripoli may not control the oil fields, while those who control the oil fields may not control the export facilities.
Security conditions will impact the oil industry just as much as the political uncertainty. No IOC will feel comfortable investing large sums of money into a project when it cannot guarantee the safety of its employees.
Foreign governments, though, are also concerned about the potential for prolonged instability in Libya. European governments that would be affected by an influx of immigrants coming across the Mediterranean — most notably Italy — are especially concerned by the potential for instability. This concern was a major point of Italy’s initial opposition to NATO intervention. An unstable Libya could also become a hub of jihadist activity, which would adversely affect regional neighbors that already have to deal with the activities of al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb. An unknown number of weapons caches scattered across Libya have already led to a proliferation of high-powered weapons, which have since been smuggled across Libya’s borders. Most notable are the man-portable air defense systems (MANPADs), whose dispersal has already drawn U.S. security teams to the country. The fall of Gadhafi could bring about a far less secure country, even for many Libyans who have taken joy at his demise.
Title: Re: What now?
Post by: G M on October 23, 2011, 10:03:17 AM
Oh, I'm sure it'll turn out to be another "Arab Spring" where everything is rainbows and unicorns. AQ won't have another base of operations and a stockpile of MANPADs or anything....

BENGHAZI, Libya (AP) — Libya's transitional leader says Islamic Sharia law will be the "basic source" of all law.

Title: Pulp Fiction II: Benghazi Boogaloo
Post by: G M on October 24, 2011, 01:18:47 PM
Ka-daffy is pretty fcuking far from ok.....
Title: Wolfowitz
Post by: Crafty_Dog on November 04, 2011, 06:36:33 AM
Those who opposed NATO action to liberate Libya from Moammar Gadhafi are mostly quiet now, but some seem eager to see trouble ahead. "Now comes the hard part," they warn—and they are half right. The Libyans face complex challenges. They need help and they need American leadership.

Dismissing what Libyans have accomplished as the easy part shows little regard for what they've achieved and against what odds. It seemed almost miraculous that Misrata, particularly, held out for months against greatly superior Gadhafi forces. According to the interim government's health minister, at least 30,000 Libyans died during the revolution, in a country of six million.

True, the Libyans didn't win by themselves. Without NATO's intervention they would probably have been crushed. But even George Washington and his heroic soldiers had help from the French.

The decision to support the Libyan revolution was right, and President Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton deserve great credit for it. Nor was it wrong to refuse to commit U.S. ground forces.

But the failure of the U.S. to support the opposition more strongly in other ways was a costly mistake. The delay in recognizing the National Transitional Council, the continuing delays in getting them access to frozen assets, and the refusal to provide arms made the conflict longer and bloodier, deprived the country of some of its bravest potential leaders, and reduced our ability to secure the Gadhafi regime's surface-to-air missiles, now a major concern for us. Worst of all, having ceded leadership to others, we are less able to support those who share our values.

Enlarge Image

CloseAssociated Press
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton meets Libyan soldiers in Tripoli.
.The U.S. missed a rare opportunity to play a leading role in support of a cause that was widely admired in Libya and throughout the Arab world. Mrs. Clinton deserved a hero's welcome when she visited Tripoli, like the one that British Prime Minister David Cameron and French President Nicolas Sarkozy received. Instead she was asked why the U.S. hadn't done more. As one student said, "Many people feel that the United States has taken a back seat." That mistake should not be repeated now.

Forty-two years of despotism have left Libya with virtually no functioning institutions, a poorly educated population, and no civil society. The violence of the rebellion has created new motives for revenge and put weapons in the hands of thousands.

It was Gadhafi, not NATO, who broke Libya, and NATO doesn't own Libya. For the first time in 42 years, the courageous Libyan people own it. But they face formidable challenges.

Libya's most urgent need is to bring its many armed groups into an organized security force and to secure their enormous weapon supplies. This is a task best achieved not by force but with money, to pay the new security forces and to buy back weapons. And it could also provide jobs for dangerously unemployed armed men. The Libyans have money, but much of it is still frozen in accounts here and abroad. The U.S. should get them much more rapid access to their own funds, if necessary by advancing loans against still-frozen assets. We should also establish a security assistance program to help train and organize the new Libyan forces.

Another urgent need, given the estimated 50,000 wounded, is medical assistance. Even basic things like aspirin and antibiotics are in short supply. The U.S. has a program to fly some severely wounded Libyans to the U.S. and Germany for treatment. Much more could be done, perhaps comparable to the assistance given to Haiti after its 2010 earthquake.

That would also maintain the goodwill that Libyans feel toward the U.S. and help replace the distorted image of the West fed to them for so long by Gadhafi. The new authorities in Tripoli told Sen. John McCain last month that they would even be willing to reimburse the U.S. for the cost of this humanitarian assistance.

A third important initiative would be to encourage Libyans to manage their oil revenues so as to avoid the "oil curse" that has damaged so many countries, particularly Libya. The experience of Norway and Alaska, which have given their people a direct stake in their oil revenues, could show Libyans how the country's wealth can be shared more fairly among all the people. That would also provide a safeguard against a future ruler gaining too much power.

Finally, if Libyans want it, we should help them with basic constitutional, electoral and political issues. We may not always agree with their decisions. But we can urge that those issues be decided freely and democratically, taking into account the views of all Libyan men and women, including ethnic minorities. We should also encourage the development of civil society groups that support democratic and humane values.

Success for Libya will not come easily or quickly. But success doesn't require perfection. Even in Central Europe, where conditions are more favorable, many new democracies are still struggling 20 years after the end of Soviet rule. But the U.S. will gain much if the Libyans can create a stable, representative government that respects the rights of its people. And there are risks if Libya fails to do so.

There is much that we could have done to end the bloody fighting in Libya more quickly. Today there is much that we can do, without a costly military commitment, to help Libyans build a better future. This is leadership the U.S. can afford. In the end, we will pay a higher price if we do nothing.

Mr. Wolfowitz, a visiting scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, has served as deputy U.S. secretary of defense and U.S. ambassador to Indonesia.

Title: Wolfowitz should just go away
Post by: ccp on November 04, 2011, 02:56:43 PM
As far as I am concerned Wolfowitz should just go away.

I am sick of him.

The entire article is about what the US should do for Libyia.

I don't think I would give Brock or Hill too much credit for the Nato thing.  It is really a no brainer.  Everyone knows the last thing Europe wants is MORE arab refugees coming to an already overwhelmed continent.  Sorkosy and Merkel publically said this melting pot thing does NOT work.  So oF course it made sense to tell the Europeans to do it themselves. 

One could easily argue that Kaddafi should have been killed from day one.  We helped the Libyans just enough to get the job done while 30,000 died in the process.  Good job Brock and Hill.  What do you they want a medal for their bravery?  The glee on their faces (or at least Clintons) for something that was obviously inevitable.....

I say this, well how about lets NOT throw money to Libya for their security forces, their medicine their buying back weapons, to teach them to manage their oil, to build their infrastructure.

How about this, we SELL them our expertise!  They got plenty of money.  They pay us.  Lets stop being stupid.  If Donald Trump made some sense this is why.

And another thing Wolfowitz certainly has an ax to grind in trying to prove himself right doesn't he?  Can we please stop trying to buy the love of the world.  It doesn't work.  Enough already.

I nominate Wolfowitz to go to Libya and spend the rest of his days working for a greater Libyia.

That's my feelings.  I suspect most Americans agree with me.
Title: Moderates
Post by: G M on November 04, 2011, 03:51:36 PM

Libya: Al Qaeda flag flown above Benghazi courthouse

The black flag of Al Qaeda has been spotted flying over a public building in Libya, raising concerns that the country could lurch towards Muslim extremism.


The flag was said to be flying over the building alongside the Libyan national flag Photo: Youtube


7:00AM GMT 01 Nov 2011

The flag, complete with Arabic script reading "there is no God but Allah" and full moon underneath, was seen flying above the Benghazi courthouse building, considered to be the seat of the revolution, according to the news website

The flag was said to be flying over the building alongside the Libyan national flag but the National Transitional Council has denied that it was responsible. also reported that Islamists had been seen driving around the city's streets, waving the Al Qaeda flag from their cars and shouting "Islamiya, Islamiya! No East, nor West".

The revelation came just days after it emerged that rebels in Libya have imposed Sharia law in the some parts of country since seizing power.

Mustafa Abdul-Jalil, chairman of the National Transitional Council, said Islamic Sharia law would be the "basic source" of legislation in free Libya.
The move towards Islamic extremism is likely to alarm many in the West who supported the ousting of Muammar Gaddafi.
It comes as unrest in the country flared.

Hundreds of revolutionaries fought each other at a hospital in Tripoli early on Monday, in the biggest armed clash between allies since the fall of Col Gaddafi.
The fighting fuelled growing fears that nobody is in control of thousands of swaggering armed men who are still based in Tripoli and that the country's interim government will struggle to impose law and order.
Title: Re: Libya and
Post by: DougMacG on November 04, 2011, 09:43:49 PM
Wolfowitz says the others are half right.  Looks to me like he is about half right.  The amazing part is that Europe showed some resolve and leadership.  A rare positive feature in the world coming out of America in decline.  If one accepts as Wolfowitz does that the action was a positive thing, then Obama deserves some credit as a flip flopper - in his view in the right direction.  Remember he was chosen as the most consistently anti-war of all the Dem candidates.  In giving out credit he neglects to mention the controversy over not taking the question to congress.  Had that whole episode belonged to a Republican President, can you imagine...  What would Senator Obama's position and words have been?

Our offer to help is likely to be of no consequence if they now pledge their allegiance to al Qaida.

Hard to say we will miss Kadafy.  It will be more a question about what to do next about Libya in the future or the Caliphate when they start exporting terror and trouble.  The dragging of Kadafy's murdered body through the street was celebrated (mission accomplished?) by the same administration that believed it to be over the line to perform water tricks on the man who beheaded Daniel Pearl, to gain information to prevent mass murder.  Hard to see coherence in our foreign policy and hard to be optimistic about what will come next.  I might have supported the action as a choice between lousy choices, but I don't think I would be gloating as if all is well now.
Title: Re: Libya and
Post by: G M on November 04, 2011, 09:46:24 PM
Ka-daffy wasn't into being part of a caliphate. We'll see about his successors.
Title: We spent a billion dollars killing Ka-daffy......
Post by: G M on November 10, 2011, 04:16:20 PM
.....and all al qaeda got was his lousy weapon stockpiles.......

Al-Qaida affiliate chief tells Mauritanian site his group got Libyan weapons, as West fears

By Associated Press, Updated: Thursday, November 10, 8:08 AM

NOUAKCHOTT, Mauritania — A desert chief with al-Qaida’s North Africa branch has confirmed fears that his terror organization procured weapons from stockpiles left unguarded in Libya after the fall of Moammar Gadhafi.

Mokhtar Belmokhtar was quoted by the private Mauritanian newspaper Nouakchott Infos and its online version Nouakchott Information Agency as saying that “it’s totally natural we benefited from Libyan arms in such conditions.”
Title: Smuggled Libyan Weapons Raise Al Qaeda Fears
Post by: G M on November 12, 2011, 01:57:00 PM
**Smart power!

Smuggled Libyan Weapons Raise Al Qaeda Fears

Published November 12, 2011
The Wall Street Journal
TRIPOLI, Libya –  Weapons smuggled from Libya after the collapse of Muammar Qaddafi's government are flowing through the surrounding region, the president of neighboring Niger said, a development that threatens to destabilize a swath of the continent already struggling against ethnic unrest and a regional branch of Al Qaeda.
"Arms were stolen in Libya and are being disseminated all over the region," Niger's president Mahamadou Issoufou said following a meeting with South African president Jacob Zuma. "Saharan countries are facing terrorist threats, arms and criminal trafficking. The Libya crisis is amplifying those crises."

Read more:
Title: NYT: Anybody want to sell a Manpad Missile?
Post by: Crafty_Dog on December 23, 2011, 05:54:17 AM
TRIPOLI, Libya — The United States is discussing with the Libyan interim government the creation of a program to purchase shoulder-fired, heat-seeking missiles from militia members and others who gathered them up during the war, American government officials said.

The talks are the latest step in a multinational effort to contain the risks posed by the thousands of portable antiaircraft weapons that are unaccounted for after rebel fighters overran government weapons depots during the battle against Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi’s forces. Western security officials worry that terrorists could use this particular type of missile, which is lightweight and relatively easy to fire, to menace civilian passenger planes.

Details remain unresolved, the officials said. But in essence the United States would provide money and technical support to
Libya’s government, which would purchase the missiles, and either lock them up in government arsenals or destroy them.
“We think we have come to the point where we need some sort of special program,” one official familiar with the plans said.

The missiles, believed to command premium prices on the black market, are a limited threat to modern military warplanes but pose potentially grave dangers to civilian aircraft, which rarely are equipped with the electronic countermeasures that can thwart heat-seeking warheads.

Known as Man-Portable Air Defense Systems, or Manpads, the missiles are a class of weapon that includes the well-known Stinger. The version loose in large quantities in Libya, the SA-7, is an earlier Eastern bloc generation.
Assistant Secretary of State Andrew J. Shapiro raised the American desire to arrange a purchase program in a meeting this month with Libya’s new defense minister, according to American officials familiar with the proposal.
The United States has committed $40 million to secure Libya’s arms stockpiles, much of it to prevent the spread of Manpads. No budget has been designed for a purchase program, and the price to be paid for each missile and its components has not been determined, the official said.
If Libya agrees to a program, prices will probably be set by Libyan officials after testing the market, he added.
The official, along with others, spoke on the condition of anonymity because the program, if approved, would be classified.
Although such efforts are often called “buyback” programs, in this case even the label raises sensitivities, officials said.
After providing Stinger missiles to Afghan forces fighting the Soviets in the 1980s, the United States organized a buyback program, trying to reduce the chance that the missiles would be used against international civilian air traffic or Western military planes.
In Libya, the program would not technically be a buyback, as these weapons were not provided by the West, American officials said. They were purchased from Eastern bloc suppliers during Colonel Qaddafi’s long period of arms acquisition.
Matthew H. Schroeder, a researcher who covers proliferation of Manpads at the Federation of American Scientists, said that such purchase programs had taken missiles out of circulation in Afghanistan and Iraq.
“These programs have netted Manpads in the past, in at least quantities in the low hundreds,” he said. He emphasized that he did not know any details of the American plans for Libya, and that he could not comment on them.
The American government has estimated that Libya’s military imported 20,000 of the missiles during Colonel Qaddafi’s reign; the number now missing is a fraction of that. Precise estimates are impossible, officials say, because no one is sure how many the military still possessed at the outset of the uprising or later after months of fighting.
Some of the missiles were fired in training and in war. Others were disassembled by rebels, who used their tubes as makeshift launchers for other looted ordnance. Many of the missing missiles were looted, either by rebels or would-be profiteers. Many more were destroyed in bunkers that were hit in airstrikes.
Since the war’s end, the State Department has paid for teams of private security contractors who have been canvassing the country, examining former government arms depots and meeting with anti-Qaddafi militia commanders to try to account for and secure the remaining stock.
The United States has also sent teams to the countries bordering Libya to encourage increased inspections and vigilance for missile trafficking.
So far, the survey teams have accounted for about 5,000 missiles, the State Department said, including those destroyed or fired, held by militia groups or disabled by the teams.

Page 2 of 2)
Officials caution that given the large number of missiles presumed missing, and the limited ability of Libya’s interim authorities to police their borders or to control the militias, not all the missiles will be accounted for or secured.
The goal, they said, is to reduce the chances of large numbers turning up on the black market by finding and collecting as many missiles as they can, and ensure that as many others as possible are stored safely.
“We’re buying down risk,” Mr. Shapiro said in an interview last month, before the discussions for a purchase program began. During that interview, he explicitly refused to comment on any efforts to purchase the missiles. Through a spokesman, he declined to comment again this week.
Many factors have made precise accounting difficult, including the poor record-keeping of the Qaddafi military. The survey teams have not found detailed ledgers of inventory, or how many were issued to units or fired in training, where the missiles were kept or even whether the stock was rotated and inspected.
“We have found no databases, nothing,” said Nicholas A. Spignesi, a State Department official who supervised the effort in Libya in November.
The decision to seek Libya’s agreement for a missile-purchase program is a recognition that the efforts so far have had their limits.
As part of the assessment of problems in recent months, survey teams have found that significant quantities of the missiles are in the hands of the hundreds of armed militias in Libya. But the militias have shown little interest in turning the weapons in, participants said.
An official familiar with the proposal said that putting money or other forms of aid on the table in exchange for the missiles might create incentives for the militias.
The official said that the Libyan government could offer cash for missiles and missile components, or “in-kind support,” like jobs or other equipment for fighters looking to return to civilian life.
Although there have been news media reports of the more modern Russian SA-24 Manpads in Libya, there is no evidence yet to support the claims, American officials said. The SA-24s purchased by Libya were part of a vehicle-mounted system, the evidence suggests, and were not configured for shoulder firing. No SA-24 grip stocks or paperwork for grip stocks have been found.
Several people involved in the effort said there had been an internal debate about the merits of a purchase program, which could lead to many missiles’ being turned in, but may also make some groups hold out for higher prices.
“It is a delicate balance on when you do it and when you don’t do it,” one official said.

Title: WSJ Sit Rep & analysis
Post by: Crafty_Dog on December 26, 2011, 12:30:59 PM

President Obama often criticizes the Bush Administration for failing to "finish the job" in Afghanistan, so it's odd to see him leave himself vulnerable to the same charge in Libya. Two months after the death of Moammar Gadhafi, the cautious and reluctant White House follow-up to the NATO war resembles its approach to this year's Arab upheavals in general.

Leon Panetta offered a good gesture with last weekend's first-ever visit by a U.S. defense secretary to Libya. Mr. Panetta discussed military cooperation in general terms, but an overdue first step would be to open an Office of Security Cooperation within the embassy in Tripoli. The Pentagon says it's working on it. The U.S. is also finally pushing the U.N. to release Libyan frozen assets, including $30 billion under U.S. jurisdiction.

Yet the effort remains diffident and underwhelming. It's a small example, but U.S. officials are strongly discouraged from staying overnight in Tripoli. Few people and barely any aid are going to Libya, and U.S. officials stress that the United Nations is in the lead. The Europeans, who pushed hard for the NATO intervention, seem to care more about buying Libya's oil than midwifing a new Arab democracy.

The U.S. is also deferring too much to Qatar and the United Arab Emirates on security in Libya. This is in part a legacy of the war when the U.S. refused to arm the rebels and the Arabs filled the vacuum, with the Qataris bringing in 20,000 tons of weapons.

The Gulf monarchies now feel entitled to shape the new Libya in their image, which includes favoring harder-line Islamists such as Abdel Hakim Belhaj, Ali Sallabi and the Misurata militia. When Libyan officials publicly accused Qatar of "meddling," and Washington complained in private, we're told the Qataris scaled back their freelancing. But more U.S. involvement would be the better counterweight.

Another problem is the supply of mobile surface-to-air missiles (Manpads) that researchers from Human Rights Watch saw militias take from various weapons caches throughout the conflict—with no sign of NATO or the U.S. With the Pentagon told to keep a low profile in Libya, the State Department sent in a 15-member civilian team after the war to track them down. U.S. officials are also talking with the Libyans about a program to buy the weapons back from militias. Some 5,000 Manpads are accounted for, and a couple thousand more were destroyed during the bombing. But Gadhafi had about 20,000 before the war.

An imminent challenge for Libya's new transitional government, formed last month, is demobilizing dozens of militias. Recent clashes underscore the need for a new army and police. This too is an opening for Washington, perhaps under the NATO flag. Cost isn't the issue. Rich in oil and gas, Libyan authorities can pick up the tab. The U.S. should be able to help with the army-building skills learned in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Libyans are grateful to the U.S. for helping to topple Gadhafi and they want help to build their new country. Assisting them is in the U.S. interest—to prevent another radical regime from taking over and, more important, to show Arabs across the Middle East that a better future is possible when a dictator falls. Mr. Obama's Libyan intervention won't be a success unless he finishes this job.

Title: WSJ: Proposed electoral rules
Post by: Crafty_Dog on January 03, 2012, 01:12:23 PM
TRIPOLI—Libya's electoral commission released for public debate a draft election law that will oversee the country's first post-Gadhafi vote this summer, sparking a vigorous national discussion on Monday in a country hungry for input into their democratic transition.

The 15-page proposed law to elect the National General Committee covers important issues such as a minimum voting age and the eligibility requirements for candidates for seats in what will be a 200-person legislative body primarily given the task of creating a new national constitution.

Poll Positioning
A draft election law excluding certain candidates is sparking controversy. Among groups excluded are Libyans who:

Hold positions in the national interim government, local municipal or military councils.
Worked in Moammar Gadhafi's security agencies or as political commissars in his regime.\
Benefited monetarily or received improper educational standing from the regime.
Didn't immediately support the popular revolution to topple Gadhafi.
Source: WSJ research
 .The draft law also promises a 10% quota of seats for women, suggesting the law's authors have responded to weeks of blistering public criticism that the country's interim governing authorities have neglected women's rights.

Yet the document doesn't tackle several issues that could cloud the election, namely the formula that will be used to divide the country into voting districts and apportion seats to those districts. It also doesn't include language to create political parties, which were forbidden under Moammar Gadhafi's rule.

The interim legislative authority, known as the National Transitional Council, hasn't made public the criteria it uses for choosing its own representatives, who act in the name of specific municipal areas, or the formula to choose the number of representatives from each city.

The 200-strong body formed after the national election will be in charge of writing a new constitution, overseeing a national referendum on the constitution and overseeing governmental affairs until a third vote will be held to elect a permanent government as outlined in the new constitution.

Mustafa Abdul Jalil, Libya's acting head of state and leader of the NTC, praised the experiment in public discourse as a first step toward a more transparent Libya.

"Everything is open for discussion," Mr. Abdul Jalil said in a news conference Monday evening in response to a question about the electoral process.

The proposed electoral law appears most ambitious—and controversial—in laying out more than 20 classes of people who will be prohibited to stand as candidates in the vote, which is likely to be held in June, according to NTC members.

Among those prohibited from running for office are officials who worked in Gadhafi-era security apparatus or the political committees known as the Revolutionary Committees, which made up a key part of his inner circle; those convicted of criminal offenses and Libyans who held the rank of ambassador or consul general during the dictator's reign.

Other categories are more ambiguous, prompting questions from legal experts about whether the wording and tone of the draft law would exacerbate social tensions between Libyans who actively fought for the revolution and many who stayed on the sidelines.

For example, one article prohibits candidates standing for office if they have benefited monetarily from the regime or received diplomas or university degrees "without merit," an apparent reference to government officials who may have used their positions of power to advance their or their children's careers.

"That criteria could be used against three-quarters of the country," said Massaoud El Kanuni, a Libyan lawyer specializing in constitutional law. "How are we going to follow a path of national reconciliation if so many people are excluded from [the country's] future?"

Hours after being posted online, the draft document went viral, as the Libyan Twittersphere and local bloggers—both of which have emerged as a vital part of the civil discourse in post-Gadhafi political landscape—digested what they see as an initial step on their road to democracy.

One of the most widely discussed issues online was the quota of women, as well as imprecise language that appears to stipulate that no Libyan with dual nationality could run for election.

Many expatriate Libyans who have played prominent roles in both fund raising and fighting for the revolutionary forces posted angry comments online about what they see as a perceived bias in the draft law against the thousands of citizens living abroad after they and their families were forced into exile as political dissidents.

"They start with the wrong foot by assigning only 20 seats for women out of a total of 200 seats and end with discriminating against Libyans with other nationalities," commented one person on Facebook.

Libyans have a two-week period to register their concerns and amendments with the electoral commission—a process that will also occur online via email—with the final law expected to be announced by Jan. 23, after the electoral committee takes a week to review comments.

Title: WSJ: Militias rumble
Post by: Crafty_Dog on January 04, 2012, 05:15:06 AM
TRIPOLI—Two Libyan militias once allied against Moammar Gadhafi battled for nearly two hours in central Tripoli, leaving four dead and a renewed sense of unease across a capital where the nascent government has struggled to maintain authority.

The clash on Tuesday underscored the festering security gaps facing the country as interim leaders try to create a central military command that can embrace or shut down the hundreds of neighborhood militias that remain, armed and unpaid, after toppling Gadhafi last year.

In a step toward establishing control, the government on Tuesday named a former rebel commander to the coveted post of chief of staff of the new Libyan army.

Rival commanders had been maneuvering to get one of their own local leaders named to the position, and interim authorities were concerned that an appointment could exacerbate regional tensions.

Tensions broke out in Tripoli on Tuesday, unrelated to the announcement, when a brigade of former rebel fighters from Misrata sought to take custody of several criminal suspects held in the capital and return them to their coastal city approximately 200 miles to the east.

A militia from the Tripoli neighborhood of Sidi Khalifa forced the retreat of the Misratans, capturing at least two of those left behind when the larger unit fled with their dead. The melee stopped traffic for hours in central Tripoli and blocked access to one of the city's busiest hospitals.

By evening, military commanders sought to reassure residents of the capital that the fighting was over and that calm had been restored.

However, rebel militias from several other Tripoli districts, incensed over what they viewed as an invasion of their city, had set up checkpoints and patrols around intersections leading out of the capital. Rumors swirled that the Misrata brigade would return after nightfall to seek vengeance for their fallen.

Libya's interim government succeeded last month in forcing revolutionary militias from other towns out of Tripoli, a city of two million people. The militias had helped liberate the capital in August and then took up strategic positions around the city while their political leaders lobbied for government posts.

Interim leaders also succeeded in banning most heavy weapons from the streets of the capital.

Yet at night, the sprawling city becomes a hive of heavily guarded enclaves, most districts possessing their own weapons stockpiles and deploying their local guardsmen to stand post at the major intersections leading to their homes. Street fighters remain well armed, the city flush with weapons that were used by rebels and government forces during last year's battle.

There has been little progress by the government on consolidating and demobilizing militias into a central command, as politicians gingerly maneuver the geographic and tribal tensions that have burst forth since the fall of the former dictator.

A senior interim government official said the promotion to army chief of staff of Yousef al-Mangoush, whose family originally hails from Misrata but has strong ties with the eastern city of Benghazi, should help alleviate some regional concerns.

Mr. Mangoush quit his career as an officer in Gadhafi's army years ago, and rose to become one of the most prominent rebel commanders on the eastern front of the rebellion in 2011.

Mr. Mangoush, who has served as a deputy defense minister since last month, told Libyan television in an interview after his appointment on Tuesday that he hopes to instill pride and discipline into a new national army. "A crucial issue [missing in Libya] is organization and order" in fighting units, he said.

The U.S. has offered advice and support on the process of establishing a central security force, State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, the delineation of power between the National Transitional Council, the interim legislative body, on the one hand and the interim government and cabinet on the other is sometimes unclear. A new election commission is supposed to be announced this month and to set a date for elections, likely in June.

Security concerns haven't significantly obstructed Libya's vital oil sector, nor have scuffles between militias endangered vital infrastructure, such as refineries or ports.

Enlarge Image

CloseAgence France-Presse/Getty Images
Armed Libyan militiamen on Tripoli's Zawiya after Tuesday's skirmish.
.The country is pumping approximately one million barrels of oil a day.

But a lack of central command and control almost certainly escalated the street battle on Tuesday, as three additional military organizations descended on the Sidi Khalifa neighborhood in attempts to mediate between rivals rumbling like street gangs, albeit with heavy weapons.

The battle began before noon Tuesday on Zawiya Street in front of the office complex of Gadhafi's former spy chief Abdullah Senussi and close to one of the city's largest hospitals.

The Misrata brigade swept into central Tripoli in their distinctive black pickup trucks with antiaircraft guns mounted in the back, and gathered in front of the former spy chief's office, where Tripoli rebels have operated a makeshift prison.

Doctors at the hospital and witnesses said gunmen from the local neighborhood then swarmed into the street.

The Misratans demanded that the rebel force in charge of the building hand over several wanted men to Misrata's control, according to witnesses.

The syncopated pop of automatic rifles quickly escalated with the boom of antiaircraft weapons and other heavy machine-gun fire as pedestrians fled for cover.

Other Tripoli brigades soon arrived on the scene, closing the major intersection near the hospital complex in efforts to minimize injuries from indiscriminate fire.

Local mosques began sending amplified messages to the district. "Libyans, stop killing Libyans," sang one man on the mosque loudspeaker.

Soon after, the neighborhood militia fired off a barrage of celebratory gunfire. About 90 minutes after the showdown began, the Misrata fighters fled the scene. The men from Sidi Khalifa then paraded down the street with two prisoners. "This is Tripoli. You don't mess with Tripoli," yelled one man as he beat one of the prisoners with the butt of an AK-47 rifle.

Tripoli Military Council commander Abdelhakim Belhadj declined to answer questions about who was to blame for the battle, or give details about the dispute over the wanted men. He said the Misrata fighters "didn't act in accordance with the law" in the incident.

A representative of Misrata for the National Transitional Council said the Misrata brigade had been calling for re-enforcements from the coastal city before the Tripoli and Misrata commanders met to cool tensions.

It was unclear the identities of the men whom the Misrata fighters wanted to take into custody. Some witnesses said they were criminals wanted for killing people in Misrata during the revolution. Others said the Misrata gunmen wanted to free members of their own brigade who had scuffled with the Sidi Khalifa neighborhood in the past and had been arrested by that neighborhood's fighters.

Title: Libya's elections
Post by: Crafty_Dog on July 26, 2012, 04:51:40 AM
I don't have any citations, but my readings indicate that Libya's recent elections apparently left Islamo Fascism faring rather poorly and modernisms doing rather well.

This is not what most of us here predicted.
Title: Re: Libya and
Post by: Crafty_Dog on September 12, 2012, 05:36:26 AM
In Libya, a Deadly Attack On U.S. Diplomatic Compound
September 12, 2012 | 1223 GMT


A group of armed men attacked the U.S. consulate late Spet. 11 in the eastern Libyan city of Benghazi. U.S. President Barack Obama confirmed Sept. 12 that four Americans, including U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens, were killed in the attack. According to media reports citing Libyan security officials, the consulate officials were killed when a rocket-propelled grenade was fired at their car as they were leaving the building.

Some 20 armed men raided and set fire to the U.S. consulate. After local security forces reportedly fled, the assailants were seen shooting in the air before making their way into the facility, which was reportedly occupied by 10 consulate employees. Gunshots and explosions were heard, according to several reports.
Libyan officials said the attackers staged another raid, prompting the U.S. ambassador to try to escape. As he fled the attack with three other staff members, Stevens' vehicle was struck by a rocket-propelled grenade fired from an area nearby. A picture purportedly depicting the ambassador is being circulated on the Internet. The picture shows a dead Caucasian man being carried by a group of men; Stevens' death has not yet been confirmed by U.S. authorities.
Benghazi As a Militant Stronghold
Anger over a film made in the United States and insulting the Prophet Muhammad reportedly triggered the assault. A trailer of the movie has been posted on YouTube and translated into Arabic. The film was reportedly filmed by an Israeli-American director and supported by vocal Florida-based pastor Terry Jones. The Cairo and Benghazi incidents took place on an anniversary of Sept. 11 because that is the day Jones diffused the video under his sponsorship to mark what he calls "International Judge Muhammad Day."
This is likely not the last violent incident that will be triggered by this video. Indeed, unrest is already appearing to spread to cities in Tunisia.
The attack took place only hours after a Salafist-led protest at the U.S. embassy in Cairo that drew around 2000 people. The video triggered outrage among Salafists in different corners of the Arab world, so it is no surprise that this would also manifest itself in Benghazi. Whereas the protest in Cairo was attended in large numbers and was meant to show vocal opposition, the Benghazi attack involved a small number of assailants but caused considerable damage and deaths.. Stratfor has long reported on Benghazi's role in Libya as stronghold of Islamist militants that present a security threat to transnational facilities and local officials.

The attack will raise several questions for the new government in Tripoli and for the US-Libya relationship. Chief among these will be just how much control can the central authority exert over the restive eastern half of the country and how that control -- or lack thereof -- will shape Washington-Tripoli ties moving forward.

Read more: In Libya, a Deadly Attack On U.S. Diplomatic Compound | Stratfor
Title: Re: Libya and
Post by: DougMacG on September 12, 2012, 03:14:51 PM
I thought it was our presence on the Arabian Pennisula. Now it is free speech at home.  I blame the enemy but those blaming.ourselves perhaps take a look at spiking the football, 22 more times during the DNC.

How about we defend our facities and diplomats with out 600B defense budget.

Embassies also attacked in 1979 and 1998. Not a new threat.
Title: Re: Libya and
Post by: Crafty_Dog on September 12, 2012, 06:12:34 PM

Ambassador Stevens killed at site with no Marines

 By PHILIP EWING and JONATHAN ALLEN | 9/12/12 5:29 PM EDT Updated: 9/12/12 5:55 PM EDT

The consulate where the American ambassador to Libya was killed on Tuesday is an “interim facility” not protected by the contingent of Marines that safeguards embassies, POLITICO has learned.

Ambassador Chris Stevens was killed with three other Americans in an attack on the U.S. consulate in the city of Benghazi, where Libyan rebels ousted strongman Moammar Qadhafi last year.

Marine Corps spokeswoman Capt. Kendra Motz said that Marines were not posted to the consulate, unlike the embassy in the capital, Tripoli.

A defense official told POLITICO on Wednesday that the Pentagon is sending an elite team of about 50 additional Marines, called a Fleet Antiterrorism Security Team, to reinforce the embassy.

A senior administration official Wednesday called the Benghazi consulate “an interim facility,” which the State Department began using “before the fall of Qadhafi.” It was staffed Tuesday by Libyan and State Department security officers. The consulate came under fire from heavy machine guns and rocket-propelled grenades at about 10 p.m. local time on Tuesday. By the time the attack ended several hours later, four Americans were dead and three others had been injured.

The Benghazi consulate had “lock-and-key” security, not the same level of defenses as a formal embassy, an intelligence source told POLITICO. That means it had no bulletproof glass, reinforced doors or other features common to embassies. The intelligence source contrasted it with the American embassy in Cairo, Egypt – “a permanent facility, which is a lot easier to defend.” The Cairo embassy also was attacked Tuesday.

American officials fear that a little-known Internet video linked with an extremist Florida pastor may have inflamed Muslim sentiments across North Africa. A second senior administration official said Wednesday that Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Martin Dempsey, the highest-ranking U.S. uniformed officer, called the pastor Wednesday to ask him to withdraw his support for the video, but the pastor was “noncommittal.”

The Florida religious leader, Terry Jones, has tangled with the Pentagon before – former Defense Secretary Robert Gates phoned him in 2010 to ask him not to burn a Koran in an anti-Islamic demonstration. He agreed then, but later burned a copy of the Muslim holy book earlier this year.

President Barack Obama said the United States would step up security at its diplomatic missions around the world.

According to press reports Wednesday, the attack on Benghazi may have been launched by terrorists linked to al Qaeda, who may have sparked or otherwise taken advantage of protests over an anti-Islamic video posted online. CNN reported that the U.S. could begin using unmanned surveillance aircraft to look for terrorist training camps nearby.

The second administration official said Wednesday that the Defense Department “was ready to respond with military measures as directed by the president.”

Title: Re: Libya and
Post by: Crafty_Dog on September 12, 2012, 10:25:49 PM
Recommended by an ex-SF friend:
Title: Stratfor: What went wrong in Benghazi
Post by: Crafty_Dog on September 14, 2012, 06:02:39 AM
Understanding What Went Wrong in Benghazi

September 14, 2012 | 1030 GMT

In light of the deadly Sept. 11 attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, myriad questions have emerged about the security failures that led to the deaths of U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens, three other U.S. citizens in Benghazi and eight Libyan security guards. Indeed, multiple factors, some stemming from the consulate's hasty establishment after the Libyan civil war erupted in 2011, made the diplomatic compound uniquely vulnerable to an attack. The security risks were increased by the highly charged environment and recent re-emergence of jihadist activity in Benghazi, as well as the questionable decision for the ambassador to be in such a location on the anniversary of the 9/11 attacks.
Militant Environment
The first factor to examine when analyzing the chain of events that led to the Benghazi attack is the environment in which the facility was located. There has been a long history of jihadist sentiment and activity in eastern Libya, especially in Benghazi and the longtime militant stronghold of Darnah. Former Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi's regime actively suppressed Islamist militants in the region.

Visit our Libya page for related analysis, videos, situation reports and maps.
As Stratfor discussed one month before the NATO intervention began in Libya in March 2011, concerns emerged that a collapse of the regime would provide the jihadists with opportunities to regroup and strengthen.
This resurgence became apparent in May 2012, when jihadists attacked the offices of the International Red Cross in Benghazi, and again in June, when militants attacked the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi with an improvised explosive device and attacked the motorcade of the British ambassador with rocket-propelled grenades.

Under the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations, responsibility for the security of diplomatic compounds rests with host countries, but the U.S. government has learned through other security incidents that many countries cannot be depended upon to provide adequate protections. This is especially true in a city like Benghazi, where the central government in Tripoli has very little authority over the heavily armed local militias.
Lack of Security Features
Unlike typical consulates and embassies, the consulate building in Benghazi was not constructed to U.S. Department of State security standards. It was a villa that was being rented until a more suitable facility could be constructed. There was no U.S. diplomatic presence in Benghazi prior to the Libyan revolution, and the U.S. presence in the city was established hastily while the fighting with the regime was still under way. The villa was constructed to standards typical of local residential structures. Unlike modern U.S. diplomatic compounds, it was not constructed to withstand explosive devices and rocket attacks.
U.S. diplomatic facilities that meet current security standards have heavy perimeter walls built with significant stand-off distance from the road, as well as specially reinforced walls and windows. In addition, the compounds are built with intentional, concentric layers of security features, including safe-rooms in each compound's core, that would have provided additional protection in the Benghazi attack. Since the near tragedy at the U.S. Embassy in Islamabad in 1979, when the facility was sacked and burned, the safe-rooms now feature escape hatches for cases when a fire traps occupants in the room.
Lack of Security Forces Personnel

The makeshift consulate in Benghazi housed very few U.S. employees and very little classified information, so there was less of an evident need for a detachment of U.S. Marine Security Guards than, for example, at the U.S. Embassy in Cairo (there is not even a MSG detachment at the U.S. Embassy in Tripoli due to host country sentiments). MSGs at an embassy or a consulate are charged with protecting the interior of the facility, including U.S. personnel and classified material. Working under the direction of the Regional Security Officer, a special agent with the U.S. Diplomatic Security Service, the MSGs will normally begin their defense at the interior "hardline," an interior layer of robust physical security measures, though at times they will take to an embassy roof to fire teargas or to help defend the facility. The ambassador's presence at the consulate in Benghazi was an anomaly. He would normally work from his office in the embassy in Tripoli -- a facility built to U.S. State Department security standards that opened in 2009.
The U.S. government accountability review board that will be established to investigate the Benghazi attack will undoubtedly examine the decision to take Stevens into a city with a demonstrable jihadist threat on the anniversary of 9/11. The ambassador did have a protective security detail consisting of Diplomatic Security Service agents and local security officers with him at the time of the attack, but the assailants were armed with heavy machine guns and rocket-propelled grenades. The detail quickly became outgunned and trapped in a facility with poor physical security.
Budget and Bureaucratic Issues
The U.S. bureaucracy for building new projects works very slowly. It requires funding from Congress as well as planning by the State Department's Office of Overseas Building Operations. It is almost certain that the U.S. Embassy in Tripoli had requested a new facility in Benghazi, but such a project would take years to plan and build. As Stratfor has previously discussed, funding has also become an issue because securing the huge diplomatic presence in Iraq is consuming a substantial percentage of the state department's security budget. This, combined with other budget concerns, has moved the United States into the "bust phase" of the boom/bust diplomatic security spending cycle, which has made it even more difficult to get funding for small, remote posts such as Benghazi -- although the tragedy there might once again get that pendulum swinging in the other direction.

Read more: Understanding What Went Wrong in Benghazi | Stratfor
Title: Impact of attack on US-Libya ties
Post by: Crafty_Dog on September 14, 2012, 06:15:49 AM
second post of morning

The Consulate Attack's Impact on U.S.-Libya Ties
September 12, 2012 | 2319 GMT


U.S. President Barack Obama on Sept. 12 condemned the attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi that killed U.S. Ambassador to Libya Christopher Stevens and three others, and the president vowed to bring the responsible parties to justice. Nearly coinciding with Obama's statement, the Libyan parliament on Sept. 12 selected Deputy Prime Minster Mustafa Abu Shagour, a dual citizen of the United States and Libya with close ties to the U.S. government, to serve as the country's next prime minister.
The high-profile death of Washington's top diplomat in Libya will pressure the United States to assist the government in Tripoli's security efforts to combat jihadists in Benghazi. The selection of Abu Shagour as prime minister could facilitate cooperation between the countries at the diplomatic level due to his background. The United States will likely take advantage of the situation to secure its strategic presence in the region.

In his Sept. 12 statement, Obama pledged to work with the Libyan government to find and punish those responsible for the consulate attack. However, the weak status of Libya's governing institutions poses a challenge in this regard. 
Security Concerns
Libyans in Benghazi have bristled at the centralization of authority in Tripoli, in part due to Benghazi's critical role in the ouster of former Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi, as well as historical divisions between Libya's eastern and western regions. Still, Tripoli has several advantages. The international community has recognized the city as the seat of government since Libya's National Transitional Council relocated there from Benghazi after Gadhafi's fall, and Tripoli has historically been the administrative center of Libya's oil industry, the country's primary source of revenue. Though not yet formally established, Libya's security forces will also be organized by the central government in Tripoli.

Many factors contribute to Libya's general sense of insecurity, but the most prominent source of instability is the situation in Benghazi. Clusters of Salafists and former Libyan Islamic Fighting Group members are still active in Benghazi and well equipped due to the wide availability of weapons in the wake of the country's civil war. Members of these groups or their ideological allies are likely responsible for the apparent assassination campaign against former Gadhafi officials as well as recent sporadic attacks against symbols of the West. The United States previously expressed concern over attacks in Benghazi in June against the U.S. Consulate and the British ambassador's motorcade, but the Sept. 11 killing of several staff members and the ambassador will add a renewed sense of urgency to the mission.
To combat Libyan militant groups, Tripoli will need assistance from the United States or other Western countries to gain the skills needed to infiltrate the jihadist groups operating in Benghazi, gather intelligence, interdict militant operations, and protect important facilities from similar attacks in the future. Already, the United States has dispatched the U.S. Marine Corps' Fleet Antiterrorism Security Team to reinforce diplomatic facilities in Libya, according to an AP report citing unnamed U.S. officials. Dialogue is also likely under way concerning potential operations to secure Libya's cities and track down the perpetrators of the attack on the ambassador.
Leadership and the U.S. Strategic Presence
Even before the Sept. 11 consulate attack, there were signs that Tripoli might pursue closer cooperation with the United States and the West on a range of issues not limited to security. Several former members of the Libyan opposition, many who are now prominent members of the new Libyan government, spent years in the United States under political asylum or received assistance from the U.S. government.

Visit our Libya page for related analysis, videos, situation reports and maps.
Current General National Congress President Mohammed Magariaf founded the National Front for the Salvation of Libya in 1981, a body that was widely believed to have been backed by the United States as an alternative to the Gadhafi regime. Throughout Gadhafi's rule, that group was Libya's most organized opposition body even though most of its leaders resided in the West. Additionally, the National Transitional Council's ground forces commander during the rebellion, Lt. Gen. Khalifa Haftar, lived in exile in Vienna, Virginia, during the 1990s and is widely speculated to have a close relationship with U.S. intelligence agencies. Perhaps most notable is Libya's new prime minister. Abu Shagour is a U.S. citizen (he will be required to officially renounce his citizenship before becoming prime minister) who previously worked as an engineer for NASA and the U.S. Department of Defense.
Spending significant amounts of time in the West has been a common pattern among Libya's new political leaders, due in no small part to the opposition roles played by many of them, as well as the ineligibility of Gadhafi-era politicians to hold office in the new government. Regardless, Libya's new president and prime minister were independent candidates with close ties to the West. The United States will try to use these connections to prevent the emergence of a hostile regime in Libya and check the rise of security threats from the country's jihadists and militant groups. And though U.S. companies currently do not have a significant presence in the Libyan oil industry, good relations with the Libyan government could facilitate such involvement in the future. 
While Libya is not an essential strategic partner for the United States on the level of Egypt, Saudi Arabia or even Morocco, the fledgling Libyan government's heavy need for assistance in filling the country's power vacuum presents Washington with an opportunity to expand its presence in the country. The shared U.S.-Libyan objective of containing threats posed by jihadists in Benghazi will likely offer some of the first chances to do so.

Read more: The Consulate Attack's Impact on U.S.-Libya Ties | Stratfor
Title: Re: Libya - death toll
Post by: DougMacG on September 14, 2012, 08:18:34 AM
The horrific death of the Americans is widely reported but I have not yet heard how many of the enemy were killed while trying to attack our consulate and diplomatic corps in this most dangerous place - facing a known threat.

Pres. Obama has more backup on a golf course.
Title: One of 4 dead doing intel work
Post by: Crafty_Dog on September 15, 2012, 02:40:30 PM
One of four dead doing intel work:

Title: RIP Embassador Chris Stephens
Post by: Crafty_Dog on September 16, 2012, 08:12:19 AM
Title: WSJ: Support for US expressed
Post by: Crafty_Dog on September 17, 2012, 08:02:37 AM
Amid Chants of 'Free Libya, Terrorists Out,' a Nation at a Crossroads
After the attack came antimilitant, pro-U.S. demonstrations..
Article Comments (8) more in Opinion | Find New $LINKTEXTFIND$ ».
smaller Larger facebooktwittergoogle pluslinked ininShare.0EmailPrintSave ↓ More .
smaller Larger 
Benghazi, Libya

Sept. 11 is now a date that signifies a national tragedy for Libya as well as the United States. The attack on the U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi that killed four Americans, including Ambassador Christopher Stevens, has upset the delicate political transition from dictatorship to democracy that was unfolding here. It also has obscured parliament's prudent selection Wednesday of Mustafa Abushagour—a moderate Islamist and respected technocrat—as prime minister. Yet spontaneous street demonstrations throughout the week denouncing the attack and seeking to pressure the government to act against its perpetrators suggest that Libyans are determined to build an inclusive society, free from fear.

We knew Ambassador Stevens personally and he was the best kind of American diplomat—charismatic, not bureaucratic, and fluent in Arab culture. He was in Benghazi from the beginning of last year's uprising against Moammar Gadhafi and forged irreplaceable personal ties with top rebel leaders.

On Wednesday night in Tree Square in Benghazi, we witnessed crowds expressing heartfelt disappointment, shouting slogans like, "Free Libya, terrorists out!" On Saturday, Libyan President Mohamed Magariaf told "NBC Nightly News" that non-Libyans were among those involved. The assertion dovetails with educated opinion here that the attack on the mission must have been planned by an al Qaeda affiliate in revenge for the U.S. drone killing of the Libyan-born al Qaeda leader Abu Yahya al-Libi in Pakistan in June. Few demonstrators we talked to knew about the alleged justification for storming the consulate—the hateful 13-minute YouTube video "The Innocence of Muslims." Among those who did, a minority incorrectly assumed that if the video was produced in the U.S., it must represent American public opinion or tacit government policy.

Most Libyan popular opinion is more nuanced. Based on our dozens of interviews in Benghazi, most Libyans are appalled by the consulate attack. One female medical student at a Benghazi demonstration captured the mood: "The Americans are guests in our country and Islam requires us to treat them well."

According to a recent Gallup poll, Libyans hold a more favorable attitude toward Americans than they do even toward Canadians. As days have passed since the attack, Libyan popular condemnation has increased. A meeting took place on Thursday evening at the Shbelia Hotel to coordinate citizen action against the militants. The people who attended also wanted to goad the government into reining in the myriad militias that fought Gadhafi and have deepened their hold on local politics since his ouster. According to one activist, "There is no government response—because there is no government."

There is a small anti-American minority who support using the YouTube video to advance their militant agenda. On Wednesday night, they staged a small counterdemonstration in front of the Tibisti Hotel, where most foreigners stay. It consisted of about 50 men with Salafist black banners advocating more anti-Western violence.

On Friday, there were competing demonstrations around Benghazi. Women staged a peaceful antimilitant, pro-American demonstration in front of the Tibisti Hotel. Partisans of the militant group Ansar al-Sharia confronted them, dispersing the women. The demonstrations have dissolved without further violence.

Although some Libyan police died heroically resisting the consulate attackers, it still isn't clear if the ill-trained Libyan security forces did all they could to halt the attack. Symptomatic of the good and bad in the new Libya, there was no police or governmental presence at any of the protests we attended.

Last week Prime Minister Abushagour condemned the attack, expressing solidarity with the U.S. and promising to bring the criminals to justice. On Friday Benghazi's airport was closed to try to prevent suspects from escaping. About 50 arrests have already been made, but experts doubt that Libyan authorities have the firepower or know-how to tackle all the nonstate actors involved. The attack on the U.S. diplomatic post has also added to the perception that the Libyan government doesn't control its territory. Such popular doubt fuels decreasing public willingness to cooperate with authorities.

The U.S. can respond in three ways to the attack and its aftermath. It can cut and run, as in Lebanon in 1984. It can conduct a punitive counterterror expedition in coordination with Libyan authorities—although this would have to rely on Predator drones and risks prompting revenge attacks.

Or the U.S. can help Libya build institutions to strengthen its new foundations. Although the U.S. already has a small footprint—training Libyan security personnel, engineers and English-language students—such efforts could be increased. Such an effort would help create jobs and get potential extremists and militia off the streets.

In the words of Sen. John McCain, "Libya is wealthy. It does not need our money. . . . It needs our technical expertise." Based on our observation, popular sentiment in Libya longs for increased international cooperation.

If America abandons the country or lashes out in revenge, security and stability will deteriorate, foreign investment will dry up, and the Libyan economy will stagnate.

America wisely played a supporting role in ending the Gadhafi dictatorship. In the struggle for post-Gadhafi Libya, the U.S. cannot be silent. Only intense engagement can help restore momentum to the political transition already under way.

Mr. Pack is a researcher of Middle Eastern History at the University of Cambridge. He is president of Mrs. Khalil is an associate professor at CUNY. She is currently traveling in Libya while on a Fulbright Scholarship to Tunisia.
Title: Re: Libya and
Post by: Crafty_Dog on September 17, 2012, 08:49:21 AM
Second post of morning:

"Our largest diplomatic missions have less than a full platoon of jarheads.  Most have less than a squad.  They don't have the ability to launch any sort of action beyond the grounds of the mission, and certainly don't have the ability to send a team to another town.  That would be abandoning their primary responsibility and leaving the mission completely vulnerable.

"The detachments really don't have the capability to defend mission personnel and property, much less the deluded US citizen who thinks the embassy will somehow save them when they get jammed up overseas.  MSG's generally have just enough ass to hold the hardline while the shred party gets things done.  The importance of this task will show in Libya as all those who dared to befriend our government are executed now that their identities have been compromised.

"The responsibility for QRF in these situations falls upon the FAST companies.  They are forward deployed to Spain, Bahrain, and Japan and are equipped to rapidly deploy to reinforce and evacuate missions in trouble."
Title: Sorry
Post by: Crafty_Dog on September 17, 2012, 02:03:59 PM
Third post of day.

Methinks these people are not without some courage in doing this , , ,
Title: Shifting stories State Dept; Hillary responsible for ammoless protection, more
Post by: Crafty_Dog on September 19, 2012, 05:55:34 AM
State Dept Reverses Denial of Hiring British Security Firm in Benghazi

by Michael Patrick Leahy18 Sep 2012, 8:07 PM

In her daily press briefing on Tuesday, State Department spokesperson Victoria Nuland admitted that she provided false information Friday about the State Department's hiring of private security firms for the American mission in Benghazi attacked on September 11th:

QUESTION: You also said there was no contract with a private security firm in Libya, and yet apparently some British security guards were hired. Is that your way of saying you didn’t contract with a firm but you did hire individual security guards?

MS. NULAND: Thank you for that, because there was an error in what I said. The external security, external armed security, as we have been saying, outside of the perimeter, was fully handled by the Libyan side. There was no contract – contracting out of that. There was a group called Blue Mountain Group, which is a private security company with permits to operate in Libya. They were hired to provide local Libyan guards who operated inside the gate doing things like operating the security access equipment, screening the cars, that kind of thing.


QUESTION: Just to clarify, they were contracted by the U.S. State Department or another agency – Blue Mountain?

MS. NULAND: They were contracted by the Department.

QUESTION: And Blue Mountain is a British company?

MS. NULAND: I’m going to let them self-identify on that front. But the people who were hired were Libyans.
Nuland continued with reporters, "There’s nothing else that I have that needs correcting at the moment."

Only four days earlier, at her daily press briefing on Friday, Nuland emphatically denied that the State Department had hired any private firm to provide security at the American mission in Benghazi:

QUESTION: (Inaudible) the claim was made yesterday that a company that is a spinoff of Blackwater, in fact, proposed or contracted the United States Government for this particular kind of eventuality, and it was caught up in some sort of bureaucratic --

MS. NULAND: Completely untrue with regard to Libya. I checked that this morning. At no time did we plan to hire a private security company for Libya.

QUESTION: Toria, I just want to make sure I understood that, because I didn’t understand your first question. You said – your first answer. You said that at no time did you have contracts with private security companies in Libya?

MS. NULAND: Correct. [emphasis added by Breitbart]
Solid investigative reporting by Wired's Danger Room may have forced the State Department's hand to finally disclose the truth. On Monday, Danger Room strongly contradicted Nuland's claims:

The State Department signed a six-figure deal with a British firm to protect the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya just four months before a sustained attack on the compound killed four U.S. nationals inside.

Contrary to Friday’s claim by State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland that “at no time did we contract with a private security firm in Libya,” the department inked a contract for “security guards and patrol services” on May 3 for $387,413.68. An extension option brought the tab for protecting the consulate to $783,000. The contract lists only “foreign security awardees” as its recipient.

The State Department confirmed to Danger Room on Monday that the firm was Blue Mountain, a British company that provides “close protection; maritime security; surveillance and investigative services; and high risk static guarding and asset protection,” according to its website. Blue Mountain says it has “recently operated in Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, the Caribbean and across Europe” and has worked in Libya for several months since last year’s war.
As Breitbart News reported on Tuesday, Blue Mountain Group is a British security firm hired by the State Department to provide security at the American mission in Benghazi. Blue Mountain Group was chosen by State, in part, because it was willing to accept the State Department Rules of Engagement for Libya that prohibited security guards at Benghazi from carrying weapons that contained bullets. [emphasis mine]

The State Department has refused to release the document that describes the State Department Rules of Engagement for Libya to Breitbart News. On Friday, Breitbart News filed a Freedom of Information Act request to obtain the document



by Michael Patrick Leahy 18 Sep 2012, 3:18 PM

EDITORS' NOTE: According to a source close to Breitbart News and high up in the intelligence community, the Obama administration's policy following Muammar Gaddafi's death has been to keep a "low profile" during a chaotic time.

For this reason, according to the source, American Marines were not stationed at the U.S. embassy in Tripoli or the American mission in Benghazi, as would typically have been the case. In the spirit of a "low profile," the administration didn't even want an American company in charge of private security. Blue Mountain, the British firm the State Department hired, was willing to abide by the "no bullets" Rules of Engagement (ROE), so were a logical fit for the contract. These sub-standard protections for American diplomats were signed by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in the ROE.

In essence, the Obama Administration tasked an unarmed British firm with security responsibilities that should have been handled by armed American servicemen, and it was all approved by the Secretary of State. Needless to say, the plan failed and an Ambassador was murdered, along with several others.

As of now, the State Department has not disclosed the full State Department Rules of Engagement for Libya.

Here is the full story.


The State Department selected a private British firm to provide security at the American mission in Benghazi, Libya in part because it was willing to accept the "no bullets" rules of engagement signed by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Breitbart News has learned.

On Thursday, McClatchy News reported that security on the external perimeter of the Benghazi mission was limited to a party of eight Libyan nationals, five of whom were hired by a British private security firm, three of whom were hold over revolutionary militia "now considered part of Libya's military":

The guard, who said he had been hired seven months ago by a British company to protect the compound, said the first explosion knocked him to the ground and he was unable to fire his weapon.

Four other contracted guards and three members of Libya's 17th of February Brigade, a group formed during the first days of the uprising against Moammar Gadhafi and now considered part of Libya's military, were protecting the perimeter of the compound.
One explanation for this guard's statement that he was unable to fire his weapon is simply that he had no bullets in his gun, which would be consistent with State Department Rules of Engagement for Libya.

It is unclear if the three Libyan militia members that comprised the rest of the eight-man perimeter security team were governed by the same rules of engagement as the five Libyan nationals provided by the British firm that holds the security contract at Benghazi.

The picture of who provided security inside the mission at Benghazi, how many were in this security team, and what arms, if any, they had in their posession is still unclear.

Though it has been confirmed that two of the Americans (Tyrone Woods and Glen Doherty) who were killed on the September 11, 2012 attack at the Benghazi mission were there to provide private security, it's unclear if they were permanently stationed there and hired by the British security firm or if they were independently hired by the State Department to serve in some other security capacity.

In her press briefing on Thursday, State Department spokesperson Victoria Nuland said the American security presence inside the mission perimeter was "robust." However, she declined to reveal how large that presence was at the time of the attack, whether they were armed and authorized to carry ammunition, and whether they were provided as subcontractors by the British security firm hired to secure Benghazi or if they were independently hired by the State Department.

Sources tell Breitbart News that at the time of the the September 11, 2012 attack in which four Americans, including Ambassador Chris Stevens, were murdered, there were only eight security guards for the perimeter and probably no more than four security guards for the interior of the Benghazi mission.

Under the State Department Rules of Engagement for Libya, Marines were prohibited from providing security at any U.S. diplomatic installations in Libya, including the embassy in Tripoli and the mission in Benghazi.

The State Department denied a Friday request by Breitbart News to obtain a copy of the State Department Rules of Engagement for Libya, the document that contains the answers to the security arrangements at the Benghazi mission at the time of the September 11, 2012 attack. Later that day, Breitbart News filed a Freedom of Information Act request to obtain the document. Usually, FOIA requests are processed within a month.

The Wall Street Journal confirmed Friday that the Libyan security guards provided by Blue Mountain, the British-Libyan private security firm hired by the State Department to provide security at the American mission in Benghazi, were unarmed:

There also were four private security guards, all Libyans, who weren't armed and worked inside the compound. Interviews with the Libyans indicated there also were four to eight American security guards around the compound when the attack started.

As trouble began, two Libyans posted on the outside moved inside and alerted the Libyan security forces, said Mr. Farraj, but backup didn't arrive immediately. Mr. Sharif said that he advised the armed security unit not to open fire so as to not inflame the situation...

As the compound was being overrun, the Americans started returning fire, said Mr. Farraj. "But we were totally outgunned. I called more of the brigade to come reinforce us." He said a lull developed around 11 p.m. and the Americans and Libyan military appeared to be back in control. At this point, Mr. Farraj said, he believed that the bulk of the American consulate staff were evacuated. But the ambassador was missing and the villa was on fire.
The Wall Street Journal puts the number of unarmed security guards provided by the British security firm at four, and places them in the interior of the mission rather than in the exterior perimeter.

In addition, the Journal reports that there were apparently just four Libyan military guards on the exterior perimeter of the mission, and though they may have been armed, they were ordered not to fire. It is unclear if this order was given consistent with the State Department Rules of Engagement for Libya. The Journal estimates the number of private American security forces as between four and eight.

Despite the Wall Street Journal report that a British private security firm, Blue Mountain, had been contracted by the State Department to provide security for the American mission at Benghazi, and Breitbart's source's statement that a British private security firm had been hired by the State Department to provide security at Benghazi, State Department spokesperson Victoria Nuland on Friday denied that the State Department had hired any private security firm to provide security in Libya:

QUESTION: No, I’m asking whether the State Department rejected an offer from another U.S. agency to provide greater security for installations and people in Libya anytime over this calendar year.

MS. NULAND: Well, you will not be surprised if I am not going to speak about the internal deliberations that the U.S. Government has or that the State Department has with its brother and sister agencies about how the U.S. responsibilities for security are carried out.

QUESTION: Last question: Very specifically, again, at any time in the last six months did the State Department make arrangements with one of these private security contractors to evaluate our security situation in Libya? And did, in fact, such a contractor undertake an assessment of the security situation in Libya for our installations there?

MS. NULAND: I can’t speak to that specifically. I can tell you that at no time did we contract with a private security firm in Libya – at no time. We did have some individual contracts with individual security guards, as you saw and as the Secretary spoke to.

QUESTION: (Inaudible) the claim was made yesterday that a company that is a spinoff of Blackwater, in fact, proposed or contracted the United States Government for this particular kind of eventuality, and it was caught up in some sort of bureaucratic --

MS. NULAND: Completely untrue with regard to Libya. I checked that this morning. At no time did we plan to hire a private security company for Libya.

QUESTION: Toria, I just want to make sure I understood that, because I didn’t understand your first question. You said – your first answer. You said that at no time did you have contracts with private security companies in Libya?

MS. NULAND: Correct.
As Obama's Libya narrative of a spontaneous attack based on a film begins to unravel, the cover-up begins. But when all signs point to a foreign policy failure of the highest order, hopefully the public, particularly the people who lost loved ones that day, will get the investigation they deserve.

Breitbart News has asked a spokesperson for the State Department if it considers a private American security force of between four and eight as "robust," but the State Department has not responded.
Title: Ansar al Sharia run out of town on rails
Post by: Crafty_Dog on September 22, 2012, 06:34:56 AM

Hundreds of protesters stormed the compound of one of Libya's strongest armed Islamic extremist groups on Friday, evicting militiamen and setting fire to their building as the attack that killed the U.S. ambassador and three other Americans sparked a public backlash against armed groups that run rampant in the country and defy the country's new, post-Moammar Gadhafi leadership.

Armed men at the administrative center for the Ansar al-Shariah militia, suspected to have led the Sept. 11 attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, first fired in the air to disperse the crowd, but eventually withdrew from the site with their weapons and vehicles after it was surrounded by waves of protesters shouting "No to militias."

"I don't want to see armed men wearing Afghani-style clothes stopping me in the street to give me orders, I only want to see people in uniform," said Omar Mohammed, a university student who took part in the takeover, which protesters said was done in support of the army and police.

Protesters went on to attack two more compounds after breaking off from a huge march in the center of the city, and a Libyan hospital official said Saturday two protesters were killed in overnight clashes near the headquarters of the Rafallah Sehati brigade. Mohammed al-Fakhri, manager of al-Hawari hospital, said that in addition to the two young men who died, about 30 were injured.

Tens of thousands earlier marched in Benghazi in a rally against armed militias. A vehicle was also burned at the compound, which was taken over by Libyan security forces after its occupants fled.

Earlier: Miscues Before Libya Assault
 Live: Mideast Turmoil Stream
For many Libyans, last week's attack on the consulate in Benghazi was the last straw with one of the biggest problems Libya has faced since Moammar Gadhafi's ouster and death around a year ago—the multiple mini-armies that with their arsenals of machine guns and rocket-propelled grenades are stronger than the regular armed forces and police.

The militias, a legacy of the rag-tag popular forces that fought Gadhafi's regime, tout themselves as protectors of Libya's revolution, providing security where police cannot. But many say they act like gangs, detaining and intimidating rivals and carrying out killings. Militias made up of Islamic radicals are notorious for attacks on Muslims who don't abide by their hard-line ideology. Officials and witnesses say fighters from Ansar al-Shariah led the attack on the U.S. consulate.

Some 30,000 people filled a broad boulevard as they marched along a lake in central Benghazi on Friday to the gates of the headquarters of Ansar al-Shariah.

"No, no, to militias," the crowd chanted. They carried banners and signs demanding that militias disband and that the government build up police to take their place in keeping security. "Benghazi is in a trap," signs read. "Where is the army, where is the police?"

Other signs mourned the killing of U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens, reading, "The ambassador was Libya's friend" and "Libya lost a friend." Military helicopters and fighter jets flew overhead, and police mingled in the crowd, buoyed by the support of the protesters.

Several thousand Ansar al-Shariah supporters lined up in front of their headquarters in the face of the crowd, waving black and white banners. There were some small scuffles, but mostly the two sides mingled and held discussions in the square.

The march was the biggest seen in Benghazi, Libya's second largest city and home to 1 million people, since the fall of Gadhafi in August 2011. The unprecedented public backlash comes in part in frustration with the interim government, which has been unable to rein in the armed factions. Many say that officials' attempts to co-opt fighters by paying them have only fueled the growth of militias without bringing them under state control or integrating them into the regular forces.

Residents of another main eastern city, Darna, have also begun to stand up against Ansar al-Shariah and other militias.

The anti-militia fervor in Darna is notable because the city, in the mountains along the Mediterranean coast north of Benghazi, has long had a reputation as a stronghold for Islamic extremists. During the Gadhafi era, it was the hotbed of a deadly Islamist insurgency against his regime. A significant number of the Libyan jihadists who traveled to Afghanistan and Iraq during recent wars came from Darna. During the revolt against him last year, Gadhafi's regime warned that Darna would declare itself an Islamic Emirate and ally itself with al Qaeda.

But now, the residents are lashing out against Ansar al-Shariah, the main Islamic extremist group in the city.

"The killing of the ambassador blew up the situation. It was disastrous," said Ayoub al-Shedwi, a young bearded Muslim preacher in Darna who says he has received multiple death threats because has spoken out against militias on a radio show he hosts. "We felt that the revolution is going in vain."

Al-Shedwi said some were afraid that if they don't act to rein them in, the U.S. will strike against the militias, pushing people to support the gunmen.

Leaders of tribes, which are the strongest social force in eastern Libya, have come forward to demand that the militias disband. Tribal leaders in Benghazi and Darna announced this week that members of their tribes who are militiamen will no longer have their protection in the face of anti-militia protests. That means the tribe won't avenge them if they are killed.

Activists and residents have held a sit-in for the past eight days outside Darna's Sahaba Mosque, calling on tribes to put an end to the "state of terrorism" created by the militias. At the city's main hotel, The Jewel of Darna, tribal figures, activists, local officials and lawmakers have been meeting in recent days to come up with a plan.

"Until when the tribes will remain silent," cried a bearded young man standing on a podium at one such meeting Thursday. "The militias don't recognize the state. The state is pampering them but this isn't working anymore. You must act right now." Elders in traditional Libyan white robes stood up and shouted in support.

And here is POTH's coverage
Title: Horrific Nature of Christopher Stevens' Killing...
Post by: objectivist1 on September 22, 2012, 10:58:54 AM
When will the Obama administration and/or our sickeningly hypocritical leftwing media acknowledge this???

The Sexual Pathology of the Libyan Attackers

Posted By Mark Tapson On September 21, 2012 @

Soon after the terrorist attack that left four Americans dead in Libya, reports began coming in that U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens was not only murdered by the Muslim mob, but also sodomized both before and after his death, and his corpse dragged through the streets. This grotesque defilement was willfully suppressed by the mainstream media, who were focused like a laser on a much more horrific story: presidential candidate Mitt Romney talking like a conservative at a fundraiser. Thank goodness that in these difficult times we can count on the media to cover the news we really need to know.

As FrontPage Shillman Journalism Fellow Raymond Ibrahim writes,

Sexual abuse and degradation is a common tactic used against non-Muslims, especially women, as the repeatedly raped Lara Logan found… Nor are men immune from such rapes. In fact, the photos of Ambassador Stevens—stripped of clothes, bloodied and tortured right before he was killed—very much resemble the photos of Gaddafi right before he was killed. One U.S.-supported “freedom-fighter,” for example, can be seen sodomizing Gadaffi with a rod as others dragged him along.

Ibrahim finishes by noting that “the al-Qaeda affiliated men who sexually abused and killed Gaddafi are the same men who sexually abused and killed America’s ambassador.”

This revelation about the sexual denigration of the reportedly gay Ambassador Stevens raises several questions. First, when are so-called liberals going to shed the rose-tinted goggles of multiculturalism and get in touch with a righteous anger about a pathologically anti-gay, ragingly misogynist, mob culture that sexually violates and murders innocents?

When are American progressives, who whine about a mythical Republican War on Women, going to denounce this perverse sexual pathology in Arab culture? When are leftist academics, up in arms about the Bush administration’s enhanced interrogations of hardened terrorists, going to vent their fury against a culture that routinely commits sexual torture and mutilation?

Gay rights supporters work themselves into a lather over the Chick-Fil-A restaurant chain, which discriminates against neither gay employees nor gay customers. I suppose they’re unaware that most Arab and African nations walked out of an historic UN Human Rights Council debate on gay rights earlier this year, refusing to legitimize homosexuality. When are the “liberals” going to break their monastic silence about a theocratic culture that hangs gays from cranes, as in Iran, where President Ahmadinejad famously claimed they don’t have the problem of homosexuality there?

Obviously these are all rhetorical questions designed to underscore the left’s disgusting hypocrisy, because the answer to all of them is never. Breaking free of the mental bondage of multiculturalist indoctrination would cause the entire world view of leftists to come crashing down. They must cling to their delusion or risk a complete psychological meltdown.

Another question: If suspicions of Ambassador Stevens’ homosexuality are true, why did the administration send a gay man to an unstable hotbed of Islamic fundamentalism? Did it not realize that the possible discovery of his sexual orientation could have ramped up the danger for Stevens? Kevin Dujan at Hillbuzz reports that a Serbian consulate employee named Dino

told me it was no secret that Chris Stevens was gay and that “it was stupid to send him to Libya as the ambassador when he was a known homosexual.”

Dino explained in great detail that the brutal sodomizing of Stevens’ corpse was something that Muslims do to show the “utmost disrespect to the body” and that this is “a great insult in Islam” reserved for homosexuals. ”It is like making him a woman in death and he will be a woman now after life,” the Serbian explained to me.

Women should find it pretty offensive that this process of degrading a corpse through rape is considered “making him a woman in death” and “a woman after life.” Why aren’t feminists taking to the streets to condemn this misogynist barbarism? Oh, I forgot – they’re busy picketing Washington for free birth control, costumed as vaginas.

The American left, forever screaming about gay marriage, demanding free birth control, and spewing hate at conservative Christians whom they disparage as the “American Taliban,” is shamefully silent about real evil in the world, about the most intolerant ideology on the planet and one that stands in stark contrast to the tolerance they claim to revere.

A final question: President Obama proudly announced, almost three and a half years into his tenure, that he had “evolved” far enough to support gay marriage; when can we expect him to “evolve” enough to express outrage – not just a composed, rote condemnation of violence – at a culture that condemns homosexuals to a grisly death?

Some might argue that, to avoid igniting the Middle East tinderbox, the President should stay calm and not inflame matters more. Screw that. Islamic fundamentalists have dragged an American ambassador’s mutilated body through the streets, killed three more Americans, and stormed our embassies in other countries as well. It’s long past time for the President of the United States of America to present a righteous fury to the Islamic enemy, show them not one whit of deference or appeasement, and move to protect American interests and avenge American murders.

But that won’t happen, because we have a President whose sympathies lie with the Muslim fundamentalists seeking to tear down America and the West. Because of that he will excuse their torture and killing of homosexuals, their insanely hateful oppression of women, their violent disrespect toward our embassies, and their murder of Americans. We have a President who is busy yukking it up with David Letterman, partying with former drug dealer Jay-Z at a fundraiser, and basking in the adoration of the hosts on The View to give a damn about American lives or American interests.
Title: Re: Libya and
Post by: Crafty_Dog on September 22, 2012, 11:46:08 AM
The fundamental point of your post is correct Obj, but I would love to have a citation on whether our ambassador was raped in fact or whether this is unconfirmed rumor.
Title: Re: Libya and
Post by: JDN on September 22, 2012, 12:26:41 PM
The fundamental point of your post is correct Obj, but I would love to have a citation on whether our ambassador was raped in fact or whether this is unconfirmed rumor.
:? :? :?

As usual, Objectivist1 has his facts wrong; also, further, I notice as usual, Pam Geller is a perpetrator of this false information. 
Typical.....  GARBAGE.....


"He was NOT raped NOR was he sodomized."
Title: Re: Libya and
Post by: Crafty_Dog on September 22, 2012, 03:22:17 PM
Ummm , , , your snopes citation describes this as UNCONFIRMED, so certainly it is NOT a fact that it did NOT happen.

OTOH, Obj, given the lack of a clear source or confirmation, indignation over non-covereage by the Pravdas would seem to be misplaced.
Title: Re: Libya and
Post by: JDN on September 22, 2012, 04:18:57 PM
Ummm , , , your snopes citation describes this as UNCONFIRMED, so certainly it is NOT a fact that it did NOT happen.

Actually I beg to differ.  I searched for the word, "unconfirmed" and couldn't find it.  Nothing in the Snoopes citation even implies it happened; nor do they say that it might have, could have, or that it is "unconfirmed".  Rather any report of it happening was clearly DENIED.  But when I googled, I did find "confirmed" on a long list of weird and wacko websites; Pam Geller on top.   :-o

It's a figment of Objectivist1's wild imagination (he's been seeing Martian's again) fueled by the "reliable" Pam Geller et al.

AFP said that the website report falsely quoted their news agency (regarding rape and being sodomized) and has no truth whatsoever.  They removed the report and published a clear DENIAL.

Other news accounts confirm he was "not raped".

"The hospital reported that the ambassador had bleeding in his stomach because of the asphyxiation but no other injuries."

Absolutely NO respectable source (oh, I forgot about Objectivist1 and Pam Geller et al) think or say or even imply that the Ambassador was raped or sodomized.

So yes, it IS a fact that it did NOT happen.

Objectivist1's article therefore is simply GARBAGE with no basis of fact.  Typical... as you point out, no source or confirmation; just rumors and falsities; that's Objectivist1....
Title: The failure of #Muslimrage
Post by: bigdog on September 23, 2012, 05:28:44 AM
"The failure of the Arab world to follow its assigned script really deserves as much attention as did last week's outburst."
Title: Christopher Stevens...
Post by: objectivist1 on September 23, 2012, 05:34:28 AM
The citation to which JDN refers doesn't use the word "unconfirmed," the actual word used at the top of that snopes post - in all capital letters, I hasten to add - is "UNDETERMINED."  This is an utterly meaningless distinction.

Furthermore, I conducted a thorough search of Pamela Geller's web site - - along with a Google and a Bing search, and FOUND NO SUCH STORY USING THE WORD CONFIRMED, AS JDN CLAIMS, EITHER ON HER WEB SITE OR IN THE RESULTS FROM EITHER SEARCH ENGINE.  Quite to the contrary, Geller has an update at the top of her post from Sept. 13th referencing the rape reports clearly stating that they are UNCONFIRMED.  She also notes that the story was run by the Washington Examiner and a Lebanese newspaper.  I encourage readers to verify this for themselves.

In addition, here is a story from going into more detail about the alleged sodomization.  Again - read it and form your own conclusions:

The root problem here is that the Obama administration has been lying and withholding information from the beginning regarding this incident.  We now know that Stevens was tortured before he was killed.  This is not in dispute.  In light of this fact, JDN's assertion that it is a fact that Stevens was NOT raped is simply absurd.
Title: Re: Libya and
Post by: Crafty_Dog on September 23, 2012, 07:15:19 AM
I wouldn't go that far Obj.   Your original post on the possible rape stated the matter as fact, whereas it appears to be unconfirmed/undetermined.
Title: Re: Christopher Stevens...
Post by: objectivist1 on September 23, 2012, 07:32:19 AM
Crafty: I am not disputing what the original article I posted stated.  The reports remain unconfirmed.  I stand by my assertion that in light of the circumstances surrounding this situation, it is foolish to dismiss the possibility that the story is true at this point.  Again - I encourage readers to look at the links I posted and form their own opinions.  I strongly suspect that there is more damning information yet to come regarding this incident.  We shall see.
Title: Re: Libya and
Post by: JDN on September 23, 2012, 08:27:23 AM
That's the problem Obectivist1; you represented it as FACT.  Pam Geller did too, although now in small print she has a disclaimer.  That's just her style.

As for "undetermined" well that is less than "unconfirmed".  I could say it's "undetermined" that you Objectivist1 are talking to Martians.  There are absolutely NO facts
to indicate that the Ambassador was raped or sodomized.  The only previous alleged source, retracted their statement, denied that statement, and said
it wasn't true.  So odds ARE better you are talking to Martians. 

You can't throw rumors aka $%^& against the wall, but call them "facts" and hope something sticks; then call it a "real fact" if surprise, it sticks, and merely ignore (I've never seen a retraction from you) the rest.  It just stays on the wall and continues to smell.  That is Pam Geller.  Hopefully, you are better than that.

In contrast Crafty. also being passionate, has posted some rumors.  He identified it as such, but "thought it was reliable".  If later shown to be in correct, rather than argue,
he simply says thank you.  Therefore the integrity of the Board remains.

This is suppose to be a resource board; a search for the truth.  Not a wacko rumor board.

So may I suggest you identify rumors as rumors and then after confirmation, facts as facts.  Or if it is your opinion, that's fine, but clearly label your opinion.  We may often
disagree in our opinion, but I hope we don't disagree very often on the facts.
Title: Amb. Stevens gay?
Post by: Crafty_Dog on September 24, 2012, 10:09:17 AM
Title: Re: Libya and
Post by: G M on September 26, 2012, 09:06:04 AM
Let's see, the administration has lied it's collective ass off about this incident, but the DNC operatives that practice "journolistism" are to be seen as the arbiters of truth.  :roll:

That's the problem Obectivist1; you represented it as FACT.  Pam Geller did too, although now in small print she has a disclaimer.  That's just her style.

As for "undetermined" well that is less than "unconfirmed".  I could say it's "undetermined" that you Objectivist1 are talking to Martians.  There are absolutely NO facts
to indicate that the Ambassador was raped or sodomized.  The only previous alleged source, retracted their statement, denied that statement, and said
it wasn't true.  So odds ARE better you are talking to Martians. 

You can't throw rumors aka $%^& against the wall, but call them "facts" and hope something sticks; then call it a "real fact" if surprise, it sticks, and merely ignore (I've never seen a retraction from you) the rest.  It just stays on the wall and continues to smell.  That is Pam Geller.  Hopefully, you are better than that.

In contrast Crafty. also being passionate, has posted some rumors.  He identified it as such, but "thought it was reliable".  If later shown to be in correct, rather than argue,
he simply says thank you.  Therefore the integrity of the Board remains.

This is suppose to be a resource board; a search for the truth.  Not a wacko rumor board.

So may I suggest you identify rumors as rumors and then after confirmation, facts as facts.  Or if it is your opinion, that's fine, but clearly label your opinion.  We may often
disagree in our opinion, but I hope we don't disagree very often on the facts.
Title: Buraq's lies about Libya
Post by: G M on September 26, 2012, 09:11:29 AM

Morning Examiner: Obama’s alternative Middle East reality
September 17, 2012 | 6:34 am
Conn Carroll
Senior Editorial Writer
The Washington Examiner
President Obama’s ambassador to the United Nations, Susan Rice, hit the Sunday talk show circuit yesterday to defend the administration’s Middle East policy in light of a week’s worth of spreading violence and the first murder of a U.S. ambassador since Jimmy Carter was president. In the course of defending Obama, Rice claimed: 1) that the security at the Benghazi consulate was adequate; 2) the attacks on the Benghazi consulate were not pre-planned; and 3) all of this violence is due solely to one 11-minute video on YouTube. All three of these positions are preposterous.

First, as the BBC reported this weekend, the Obama administration purposefully chose to provide substandard security at the Benghazi consulate. “US embassies and consulates in areas of the world where they are deemed liable to attack are usually offered a formal security contract called a Worldwide Protective Services Agreement … But sources have told the BBC that on the advice of a US diplomatic regional security officer, the mission in Benghazi was not given the full contract … Instead, the US consulate was guarded externally by a force of local Libyan militia, many of whom reportedly put down their weapons and fled once the mission came under concerted attack.”

Second, Libya President Mohamed Yousef El-Magariaf directly contradicted Rice on CBS’s , Face the Nation, telling Bob Schieffer, “It was planned, definitely. It was planned by foreigners, by people who entered the country a few months ago. And they were planning this criminal act since their arrival.”

Finally, no one outside the White House believes a single video caused the violence. Liberal commentator and Tufts University international politics professor Dan Drezner has called Obama’s decision to blame the YouTube clip a “radically incomplete and dishonest answer.” As The New York Times Ross Douthat points out, the riots have far more to do with internal power politics.

The reality is that Obama has failed internationally for the same reason he has failed at home: arrogance. Obama has supreme confidence in the power of his own rhetoric and his own personal story. He believes he can bend history to his will. “I would like to think that with my election… you’re starting to see some restoration of America’s standing in the world,” Obama said in 2009. “John, I’ve got great confidence in my ability to sway the American people,” Obama told Speaker Boehner in 2011. But his failures, first in the debt limit debate and now in the Middle East, show that Obama is far less effective than he thinks he is. Domestically it has cost the United States our top-notch credit rating. Internationally it cost four Americans their lives. Will the Americans people hold Obama accountable?

Post by: G M on September 26, 2012, 09:44:25 AM
At least Obama bravely carried on, attending a Vegas fundraiser, appearing on the View and Letterman and partied with JayZee and Beyonce. Churchillian in his way.

Bombshell: US knew Stevens assassination was work of terrorists within 24 hours of attack

posted at 9:21 am on September 26, 2012 by Ed Morrissey

Five days after the attack on the Benghazi consulate that left four Americans dead, including Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens, the Obama administration sent UN Ambassador Susan Rice onto five Sunday talk shows to insist that the sacking of the consulate was the result of a protest over a YouTube video that “spun out of control.”  The government of Libya was already scoffing at that story, and by the end of the next week the White House began reluctantly admitting that terrorists had attacked the diplomatic mission.  Today, however, Eli Lake reports for the Daily Beast that the Obama administration knew within 24 hours that the attack had not been a spontaneous event, but a well-planned terrorist attack:Within 24 hours of the 9-11 anniversary attack on the United States consulate in Benghazi, U.S. intelligence agencies had strong indications al Qaeda–affiliated operatives were behind the attack, and had even pinpointed the location of one of those attackers. Three separate U.S. intelligence officials who spoke to The Daily Beast said the early information was enough to show that the attack was planned and the work of al Qaeda affiliates operating in Eastern Libya. …
The intelligence officials who spoke to The Daily Beast did so anonymously because they weren’t authorized to speak to the press. They said U.S. intelligence agencies developed leads on four of the participants of the attacks within 24 hours of the fire fight that took place mainly at an annex near the Benghazi consulate. For one of those individuals, the U.S. agencies were able to find his location after his use of social media. “We had two kinds of intelligence on one guy,” this official said. “We believe we had enough to target him.”
Another U.S. intelligence official said, “There was very good information on this in the first 24 hours. These guys have a return address. There are camps of people and a wide variety of things we could do.”
A spokesman for the National Security Council declined to comment for the story. But another U.S. intelligence official said, “I can’t get into specific numbers but soon after the attack we had a pretty good bead on some individuals involved in the attack.”
In other words, either Susan Rice lied to the press, or was lied to by the Obama administration and sent out to the press deliberately.  That leaves the national media in a quandry.  Clearly, with only a couple of exceptions, the media hasn’t wanted to address the implications of a successful terrorist attack on an American diplomatic installation … at least not during the Barack Obama presidency.  Now it’s becoming very clear that the administration didn’t just tell them to “f*** off,” the White House actively lied about the attack in order to deflect further questions from the media.
Will national news organizations begin to demand answers about who told Rice to tell that story, and why?  Or will they continue the pattern of last week, in which the media suddenly developed a keen interest in economic policy when the White House narrative on Benghazi began collapsing?  I’m pretty sure I know which way I’m betting.
Title: Re: Libyan attack, Fool me once, fool me twice, now whose fault is it?
Post by: DougMacG on September 27, 2012, 07:42:36 AM
Libya thread here but writing my 2 cents about the cognitive dissonance of our national security:

Preface all criticisms of our handling of anything to do with a terror attacks with the fact that the blame first goes to the attackers, the enemy. 

However, is an attack attempt on an embassy or consulate on the anniversary of 9/11 in a country that we helped turn over to an al Qaida coalition completely unexpected?  Really??

Al Qaida also blew up our embassies in Kenya and Tanzania in 1998, pre-9/11.  They blew up the USS Cole, then the Twin Towers - again, hit the Pentagon, took a shot at the Capitol, White House and other America and western targets they found within their reach.

Yet the administration won't call it terrorism and won't take reasonable precautions.

The Ambassador who we held as our most valuable asset in the region and died of smoke inhalation started his September 11 2012 day in an al Qaida stronghold inside an American building without smoke mask or a fire extinguisher.

My daughter's bedroom in our unlocked, super secret, secure upper midwest location has more security than that.

Keep in mind that the UN Ambassador they put up to lie to us about the video, the spontaneity and the who knew defense is auditioning for the job of new Secretary of State.  How did she do? 

The 'who-knew?' defense and the straw man line that the President can't prevent rogue videos from reaching the internet (who said that he should have?) is the shiny object to see if we will look away from the fact that we have terrorism deniers in charge of security and that we left some of our best assets in harm's way unprotected.  MHO

If the argument is that we had protection but it turned out to not be enough (who knew?), I ask again, how many of the enemy were killed in the exchange?

Clint Eastwood nailed it, if they aren't up to the job you gotta let 'em go.
Title: Re: Libya: State Dept REDUCED Benghazi security leading up to 9/11/12
Post by: DougMacG on October 04, 2012, 02:25:36 PM
Despite Threats, U.S. Cut Security in Libya Before Attacks
by Eli Lake Oct 4, 2012 4:45 AM EDT
Even as American outposts in Benghazi appeared to be at risk, the State Department trimmed the number of security guards on the ground. Eli Lake reports on the latest allegations.

In the six months leading up to the assault on the United States consulate in Benghazi, the State Department reduced the number of trained Americans guarding U.S. facilities in Libya, according to a leading House Republican investigating the Sept. 11 anniversary attacks. The reduction in U.S. security personnel increased America’s reliance on local Libyan guards for the protection of its diplomats.
Title: FBI: 24 hours is all we needed
Post by: Crafty_Dog on October 04, 2012, 02:36:12 PM
*FBI came and went to Benghazi in past 24 hours
* ( (10/4/12)

WASHINGTON (AP) — A team of FBI agents arrived in Benghazi, Libya, to investigate the assault against the U.S. Consulate and left after about 12 hours on the ground as the hunt for those possibly connected to the attack that killed the Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans narrowed to one or two people in an extremist group, U.S. officials said Thursday.

Agents arrived in Benghazi on Wednesday and departed on Thursday after weeks of waiting for access to the crime scene to investigate the Sept. 11 attack.

The agents and several dozen U.S. special operations forces were there for about 12 hours, said a senior Defense Department official who spoke anonymously because he was not authorized to speak publicly about the ongoing investigation. The FBI agents went to "all the relevant locations" in the city, FBI spokeswoman Kathy Wright said. The FBI would not say what, if anything, they found.

Killed in the attack were Stevens, a State Department computer expert and two security agents who were former Navy SEALS. Al-Qaida-linked militants are believed responsible.

In the U.S., the attack has become caught up in election-year politics. Republicans accuse Obama administration officials of being misleading in the early aftermath about what they knew about the attackers and for lax security at the diplomatic mission in a lawless part of post-revolution Libya.

Immediately after the attack, officials said the consulate was stormed by protesters outraged over an anti-Muslim film produced by a California man.

U.S. intelligence and special operations forces have focused on at most "one or two individuals" in the Libya-based extremist group Ansar al-Shariah who may have had something to do with the attack, according to a U.S. counterterrorism official. But that official and two others said there was no definitive evidence linking even those individuals to the attack. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to comment on the investigation publicly.

Members of Ansar al-Shariah were recorded making boastful calls to other militants after the attack, including to members of al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb, which is suspected of having a role in the attack, one of the officials said. But that's common in the aftermath of any such attack, when different militant groups try to claim credit to build their own stature in the region, the official said.

So far, U.S. intelligence has found no evidence showing communication between militants prior to the attack, which took place on the 11th anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on the U.S.

Several Republican lawmakers have said Stevens and his staff made repeated requests for security improvements at the Benghazi consulate that the State Department denied.

The State Department has assigned an independent panel to look into the security procedures before, during and after the attack. That five member accountability review board met for the first time Thursday and compiled documents to go through, State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said. The board must submit its findings and any recommendations it may have to Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton within 60 days, unless it is determined that more time is required.

The Pentagon is conducting its own internal review to see whether the military played any role in assessing the security in Libya, spokesman George Little said.

FBI agents had been staying away from Benghazi until the city was more secure, law enforcement officials said. But agents were in other parts of the country investigating the attack since Sept. 18.

Little said it was "a matter of days" between the request for the FBI to access the Benghazi crime scene and the team's arrival Wednesday when the U.S. military airlifted them to the city. The request to the Pentagon to transport the FBI to Benghazi came a several days ago and it took a few days to get the team there, the senior Defense Department official said.

Attorney General Eric Holder said people should not assume that "all that we could do or have been doing" in the investigation is restricted solely to Benghazi.

"I'm satisfied with the progress," Holder said Thursday. He said there were a variety of other places inside and outside Libya where "all these things could be done and have been done and that the matter has been under active investigation."
Title: Re: Libya and
Post by: G M on October 04, 2012, 05:13:11 PM
I'm wondering where the autopsy report for the ambassador is? Should  be done  a long  time ago....

Title: Ambassador Stevens...
Post by: objectivist1 on October 04, 2012, 06:35:43 PM
As I posted earlier in this thread, I believe there is MUCH more to this story than we are presently being told.  G M is exactly right that there ought to have been an autopsy report released by now.  I continue to believe this unfortunate man was sent into that viper pit without proper protection, especially since it appears probable that he was gay (see my post and Crafty's earlier in this thread.)

It is common knowledge that simply BEING homosexual is punishable by death in that part of the world.  Gays are routinely executed in Iran, Libya, Syria, Iraq, et. al. (everywhere in the ME that is, except for Israel.)  If Stevens was in fact gay, the State Department certainly knew about it (as this would be documented in his security clearance file) and acted with reckless disregard in stationing him in Benghazi.  I'm not excusing Stevens' stupidity for accepting such an assignment, mind you - but regardless - this administration clearly didn't give a damn about his safety. The rumors of his brutal sodomization continue to hold weight with me given the circumstances, and this alone would clearly be reason for the administration to want to cover up the details.

Just another example (as if any more were necessary) of why I equate the idiocy of Jews who support Obama with that of his gay supporters.  Both groups might just as well volunteer to march into the gas chamber.
Title: Re: Libya and
Post by: G M on October 04, 2012, 06:51:21 PM
The most transparent administration e-var !!!

At least  we know  they  wouldn't  lie to us...
Title: Rumors of UAV strikes
Post by: Crafty_Dog on October 05, 2012, 12:47:50 PM
Senior American military and counterterrorism officials announced to The Washington Post on Thursday that the United States is working toward capturing or killing the militants behind the Sept. 11 attacks on the U.S. diplomatic compound in Benghazi that resulted in the death of Ambassador Christopher Stevens. The announcement comes two days after the same newspaper reported that the White House was discussing extending its unmanned aerial vehicle campaign to target the North African bases of al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb and other jihadists in the region. Amid the absence of a strong effort from Tripoli to seek out those responsible for Ambassador Stevens’ death, rumors are circulating that the United States may carry out unmanned aerial vehicle strikes in Libya. With the deployment of other assets to the region, it is possible that the use of fixed-wing aircraft is also being considered.

What is a Geopolitical Diary? George Friedman explains.
There are significant challenges to U.S. military action in Libya, most obviously the need for sufficient intelligence on the ground to facilitate strikes of this kind. Washington must have reliable intelligence on the location of jihadist bases and movement of personnel in Libya to maximize the effects of any action, and this has been brought into question following the attack in Benghazi. The lack of good intelligence also increases the likelihood of strikes against civilian targets, a key criticism of U.S. campaigns in Pakistan and Yemen, and a source of domestic frustration within foreign governments.
The United States must also take into account the destabilizing effects the strikes could have on the already weak central government in Tripoli. Recently appointed Libyan Prime Minister Mustafa Abushagur is a former U.S. citizen and employee of NASA. While these credentials helped assuage Western concerns during the recent political transition, many Libyans still view Abushagur with suspicion. Were Tripoli to approve U.S. unmanned aerial vehicle strikes against al Qaeda targets, it could undermine the legitimacy of the current government, resulting in the same type of domestic insurgent attacks seen in Yemen. Furthermore, while the strikes would likely be contained to Islamist militant hotbeds in the northeast of the country, the political and social backlash could ripple out to restive communities across the country.
The region’s geography also complicates attempts to bring the jihadist threat under control. Libya sits at one end of an ancient Saharan transport route that has long carried people and goods from city-states south of the Sahara to what is now northern Mali, moving through southern Algeria and sub-Saharan African states. Following the collapse of the regime of former Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi in October 2011, the regime's cache of weapons and vehicles disappeared into the desert. The United States, Europe and many African countries in the region are concerned about the ongoing instability in northern Mali, the country that bore the brunt of militant spillover following the collapse of the Gadhafi regime. Local governments have struggled to control the illicit flow of drugs, arms and human trafficking along this desert route.
Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb and other militant groups in northern Mali have used their historic ties and familiarity with the desert to their advantage. Many of these groups have nomadic Tuareg affiliations and in the past were hired out by the Gadhafi regime and used as mercenaries in Libya or to destabilize Sahelian states. The territorial advantage these groups hold is a key concern in assessing the effectiveness of any would-be foreign intervention to help Bamako regain control of its northern territory.
The collapse of the state in northern Mali, after the coup in Bamako in March, gave Tuareg militants and al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb an ungoverned territory in which to train and strategize terrorist operations. As a result, the United States and Europe must strategize an effective counterterrorism response. Western policymakers are reviewing several plans, including returning to a civilian-led government in Bamako, or mobilizing a West African-led, U.S.- and European-supported peace enforcement mission to reassert government control. Intelligence and covert operations would likely play a part, though a U.S. strike in northern Mali would likely force militants into hiding. It could also lead them to seek out regional bases in Algeria and Libya while possibly galvanizing anti-Western sentiment if civilians get caught in the crossfire.
This leads us to the question of why the West usually engages with North Africa. Algeria is a significant supplier of natural gas to Europe, as well as a regional refining hub; Libya possesses the largest oil reserves on the continent. South of the Sahel, Nigeria is Africa's largest crude oil supplier to the United States. While al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb has not yet targeted Nigeria, the spread of terrorist activity is a significant concern. The unchecked actions of al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb in northern Mali are not sustainable unless terrorist operations deepen and spread.
Algeria and Libya are OPEC members and produce some of the highest quality crude oil on the planet. U.S. action against jihadists in the region could prompt militant attacks against critical government infrastructure, mostly likely in the energy sphere, a tactic favored by militants in Yemen, Turkey and Iraq. The United States has already seen the consequences of unchecked militant activity in Northern Africa. Regional and foreign governments have all expressed a desire to see some semblance of order restored along the Sahara. The challenge is to collect adequate intelligence to support actions that won't trigger further militant violence, destabilize local governments or risk key regional energy assets.

Read more: Rumors of U.S. UAV Strikes in Libya | Stratfor
Title: So bad even the Pravdas are reporting it!
Post by: Crafty_Dog on October 08, 2012, 01:59:09 PM


*Congress to probe security flaws for Libya diplomats* (

By Sharyl Attkisson

Updated 10:43 PM ET

(CBS News) WASHINGTON - CBS News has learned that congressional investigators have issued a subpoena to a former top security official at the US mission in Libya. The official is Lt. Col. Andy Wood, a Utah National Guard Army Green Beret who headed up a Special Forces "Site Security Team" in Libya.

The subpoena compels Lt. Col. Wood to appear at a House Oversight Committee hearing next week that will examine security decisions leading up to the Sept. 11 Muslim extremist terror assault on the U.S. compound at Benghazi. U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three of his colleagues were killed in the attack.

Lt. Col. Wood has told CBS News and congressional investigators that his 16-member team and a six-member State Department elite force called a Mobile Security Deployment team left Libya in August, just one month before the Benghazi assault. Wood says that's despite the fact that US officials in Libya wanted security increased, not decreased.

Wood says he met daily with Stevens and that security was a constant challenge. There were 13 threats or attacks on western diplomats and officials in Libya in the six months leading up to the September 11 attack.

A senior State Department official told CBS News that half of the 13 incidents before September 11 were fairly minor or routine in nature, and that the Benghazi attack was so lethal and overwhelming, that a diplomatic post would not be able to repel it.

Wood, whose team arrived in February, says he and fellow security officials were very worried about the chaos on the ground. He says they tried to communicate the danger to State Department officials in Washington, D.C., but that the officials denied requests to enhance security.

"We tried to show them how dangerous and how volatile and just unpredictable that whole environment was over there. So to decrease security in the face of that really is... it's just unbelievable," Wood said.

The State Department official says there was a "constant conversation" between security details in Libya and officials in Washington D.C.

Sources critical of what they view as a security drawdown say three Mobile Security Deployment teams left Libya between February and August in addition to the 16-member Site Security Team on loan from the military. That's 34 highly-trained security personnel moved out over a six month period.

One State Department source told CBS News the security teams weren't "pulled," that their mission was simply over.

Also scheduled to appear at next week's hearing are Libya's former U.S. Regional Security Officer Eric Nordstrom and State Department official Charlene Lamb.



Title: Re: So bad even the Pravdas are reporting it!
Post by: G M on October 08, 2012, 04:26:38 PM
But, but, Buraq gave the Cairo speech and ended the global jihad!!!!!!!!!!!

We better paste a few more "Coexist" bumper stickers on our Prii!


*Congress to probe security flaws for Libya diplomats* (

By Sharyl Attkisson

Updated 10:43 PM ET

(CBS News) WASHINGTON - CBS News has learned that congressional investigators have issued a subpoena to a former top security official at the US mission in Libya. The official is Lt. Col. Andy Wood, a Utah National Guard Army Green Beret who headed up a Special Forces "Site Security Team" in Libya.

The subpoena compels Lt. Col. Wood to appear at a House Oversight Committee hearing next week that will examine security decisions leading up to the Sept. 11 Muslim extremist terror assault on the U.S. compound at Benghazi. U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three of his colleagues were killed in the attack.

Lt. Col. Wood has told CBS News and congressional investigators that his 16-member team and a six-member State Department elite force called a Mobile Security Deployment team left Libya in August, just one month before the Benghazi assault. Wood says that's despite the fact that US officials in Libya wanted security increased, not decreased.

Wood says he met daily with Stevens and that security was a constant challenge. There were 13 threats or attacks on western diplomats and officials in Libya in the six months leading up to the September 11 attack.

A senior State Department official told CBS News that half of the 13 incidents before September 11 were fairly minor or routine in nature, and that the Benghazi attack was so lethal and overwhelming, that a diplomatic post would not be able to repel it.

Wood, whose team arrived in February, says he and fellow security officials were very worried about the chaos on the ground. He says they tried to communicate the danger to State Department officials in Washington, D.C., but that the officials denied requests to enhance security.

"We tried to show them how dangerous and how volatile and just unpredictable that whole environment was over there. So to decrease security in the face of that really is... it's just unbelievable," Wood said.

The State Department official says there was a "constant conversation" between security details in Libya and officials in Washington D.C.

Sources critical of what they view as a security drawdown say three Mobile Security Deployment teams left Libya between February and August in addition to the 16-member Site Security Team on loan from the military. That's 34 highly-trained security personnel moved out over a six month period.

One State Department source told CBS News the security teams weren't "pulled," that their mission was simply over.

Also scheduled to appear at next week's hearing are Libya's former U.S. Regional Security Officer Eric Nordstrom and State Department official Charlene Lamb.



Title: There was never a protest
Post by: G M on October 09, 2012, 06:04:33 PM
It gets deeper. BTW, where is the autopsy report?

On eve of House hearings, State Department finally admits: No, there was never any protest outside the Benghazi consulate before the attack
posted at 8:41 pm on October 9, 2012 by Allahpundit

If you’ve been following the news about Benghazi, you’ll have two questions after watching this clip. One: Didn’t we already know this? Answer: Yes, “we” did, but not because our government was eager for us to find out. McClatchy published an interview with a Libyan guard wounded in the attack just two days after it happened in which he claimed that there was never any protest. Four days later, Fox News was hearing the same thing from an intelligence source on the ground. Four days after that, Eli Lake of Newsweek reported that there was intelligence early on that the attack was planned and that an Al Qaeda affiliate was involved. Right around the same time, Jay Carney started segueing from the White House’s initial ludicrous “spontaneous protest over the Mohammed movie” narrative to a “yes, of course this was a terrorist attack” admission. Not until tonight, though, I believe, did Chris Stevens’s superiors at State think to politely inform the public — not to mention Carney — that, oh right, there was never a protest. Let the fingerpointing begin:
The State Department said Tuesday it never concluded that the consulate attack in Libya stemmed from protests over an American-made video ridiculing Islam, raising further questions about why the Obama administration used that explanation for more than a week after assailants killed the U.S. ambassador and three other Americans.
The revelation came as new documents suggested internal disagreement over appropriate levels of security before the attack, which occurred on the 11th anniversary of the Sept. 11 terror attacks on the U.S…
But asked about the administration’s initial – and since retracted – explanation linking the violence to protests over an anti-Muslim video circulating on the Internet, one official said, “That was not our conclusion.” He called it a question for “others” to answer, without specifying.
Which brings us to the second question: Why did it take a month for them to mention this? I have no answer, except to wonder whether they’d have ever admitted it if Issa hadn’t called House hearings this week. Tonight’s news is simply State’s way of pushing some anticipated heat off of itself and onto the White House before tomorrow’s grilling begins. It’s a comfort to know that nothing short of public humiliation by the opposition party could get them to share info about a terror attack that ended with an American ambassador being murdered.
Two new questions for you, then, as the hearings get going. First, if State didn’t circulate the “spontaneous protest” nonsense within the administration, who did? Eli Lake traced it back to a set of CIA talking points distributed to Congress early on, but as far as I know, no one’s ever explained why the CIA was pushing that theory when there were at least a dozen intel reports within the first hours pointing to something more sinister and deliberate. And second, if State was innocent in pushing the “spontaneous protest” line, how is it that Susan Rice — a top State Department employee, don’tcha know — ended up being the administration’s chief mouthpiece for that talking point on the Sunday shows? Didn’t anyone from State think of mentioning to her beforehand, “Oh, by the way, we have zero evidence to support what you’re about to go on national TV and say”?
Title: Re: Libya and
Post by: Crafty_Dog on October 09, 2012, 08:14:17 PM

What did the President know, and when did he know it?

Bret Baier's Special Report on FOX is really going after this story.  They have a thorough time line of it all on their website.  Coincidentally enough FOX was excluded today from the State Dept's briefing (Later on, State apologized).
Title: It wasn't me!
Post by: Crafty_Dog on October 10, 2012, 12:53:37 PM

Title: We don't need security
Post by: G M on October 11, 2012, 02:43:26 PM
Obama gave speeches and bowed to everyone!

Rep. Kelly: Libya got security cuts; Vienna got Chevy Volts

posted at 5:21 pm on October 11, 2012 by Erika Johnsen

Does anybody else find it kind of fazing that House Democrats really tried to blame Republican budget cuts for the inadequate security situation in Libya? Because, as Rep. Mike Kelly (R-PA) pointed out in the Washington Times yesterday, it doesn’t look like the State Department is exactly down to bare bones on their budget allocations — they just have particular priorities about where to spend their money.
In a May 3, 2012, email, the State Department denied a request by a group of Special Forces assigned to protect the U.S. embassy in Libya to continue their use of a DC- 3 airplane for security operations throughout the country. …
Four days later, on May 7, the State Department authorized the U.S. embassy in Vienna to purchase a $108,000 electric vehicle charging station for the embassy motor pool’s new Chevrolet Volts. The purchase was a part of the State Department’s “Energy Efficiency Sweep of Europe” initiative, which included hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars on green program expenditures at various U.S. Embassies.
In fact, at a May 10 gala held at the U.S. embassy in Vienna, the ambassador showcased his new Volts and other green investments as part of the U.S. government’s commitment to “climate change solutions.”
While the embassy in Vienna was going green, the consulate in Benghazi was getting bombed, and little was done to stop it.
Ahhh, yes — it is of the utmost importance that every department stay eco-hip and have their own special “green-ifying” trophy initiatives. Climate change, you know.
As Rep. Kelly argues, this raises some serious questions about the State Department’s spending priorities. Maybe it seems like a small expenditure, but should the “Energy Efficiency Sweep of Europe” program really be receiving funding when other security threats aren’t receiving full attention?
Also, we learned last month that the federal government is beefing up the Chevy Volt’s sales numbers, as the Department of Defense plans to purchase them in an effort to “green up” their military; a.k.a., yet another way the taxpayer is directly aiding GM and their electric poster child. Apparently, the Pentagon isn’t the only one — it looks like the State Department has been helping the Chevy Volt’s sales, too.
Title: Re: Libya and
Post by: G M on October 11, 2012, 02:47:04 PM
Question: How much do burning consulates contribute to global warming? Is that offset by dead Americans who can no longer use fossil fuels?
Title: Re: Libya and
Post by: bigdog on October 11, 2012, 08:51:25 PM
Question: How much do burning consulates contribute to global warming? Is that offset by dead Americans who can no longer use fossil fuels?

I missed you while you were gone, GM. No one else makes points quite like you. You have a true gift.
Title: Re: Libya and
Post by: Crafty_Dog on October 11, 2012, 10:02:57 PM
Indeed he does  :-D
Title: Stratfor: Retaliation options?
Post by: Crafty_Dog on October 12, 2012, 09:25:38 AM
U.S. Explores Retaliatory Options in Libya

October 10, 2012 | 1554 GMT

A U.S. Air Force C-130 Hercules parked at Tripoli International Airport on Sept. 12
Stratfor previously noted some interesting U.S. military deployments to the Mediterranean, Africa and the Middle East. One deployment discussed was the dispatch of a dozen or so special operations aircraft to the Mediterranean region. These aircraft included four versions of the C-130 Hercules, namely the MC-130H, HC-130N, HC-130P and AC-130U.
It now appears that these aircraft have been staging out of Souda Air Base on the Akrotiri Peninsula of Crete, conducting day and night missions in Libyan airspace. The various types of modified Hercules aircraft operating in the area are likely transporting and supporting special operations troops on the ground who could be running reconnaissance and intelligence gathering operations in Libya. In fact, an unnamed U.S. military official reportedly told CNN that U.S. special operations forces are in Libya meeting with informants and using signals and imagery intelligence from unmanned aerial vehicles and satellites to collect information on militant networks in the country.

VIDEO: The Libya Attack and After-Action Investigations (Tearline)
.In light of the Sept. 11 U.S. Consulate attack in Benghazi, the United States has been working to enhance its retaliatory options in Libya. So far, Washington has been focusing its efforts on the collection of intelligence, but the deployment of a number of assets in the region means that the United States is positioned to conduct a wide range of kinetic operations in Libya if necessary. The inclusion of AC-130U gunships is particularly noteworthy. The AC-130U is not a dedicated intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance asset, and thus its presence over Libya indicates that special operations forces or other U.S. assets are indeed on the ground and that the aircraft are there to provide fire support if necessary. If Washington chose, the gunships, alongside armed UAVs and fixed-wing assets that can deploy from U.S. Air Force bases in Europe, could also be used to strike at compounds or high-value targets.

 But there are considerable challenges for U.S. military action in Libya. In order to mitigate the risk of collateral damage, the United States has to be very careful to ensure that accurate intelligence is collected before any strikes are carried out. Civilian casualties would only exacerbate an already delicate and unstable political situation in Libya, where the people have not yet fully accepted the government. Stratfor sources have said U.S. intelligence on Libya has been very limited -- a fact made clear by the Sept. 11 attack. The deployment of a sizable contingent of special operations forces in Libya suggests that the United States is very likely coordinating with the Libyan government and also has deployed a number of CIA personnel in the country.
The current stage of the U.S. deployment in the region involves collecting intelligence, identifying main personalities and establishing patterns of life of suspected targets. More generally, the forces are establishing a portfolio of options -- from airstrikes to snatch-and-grab missions -- for the U.S. administration to explore as it considers its response to the Benghazi attack.

Read more: U.S. Explores Retaliatory Options in Libya | Stratfor
Title: Former CIA and Marine guarding US embassies says
Post by: Crafty_Dog on October 15, 2012, 01:42:32 PM
Title: Real Time Data and who received it
Post by: Crafty_Dog on October 18, 2012, 06:44:30 AM
Sent to me by an imperfectly reliable internet friend.  Haven't had a chance to check it myself yet.

"Speaking of Libya ... ... radio interview of Col. David Hunt ... gets real interesting about 4 minutes in ... describes who all was on the real time data feed from bengazi while attack was going on ... Pentagon NMCC ... White House Situation Room ... State Dept. Situation Room ... the list goes on ... the whole chain of command ... WHILE THE ATTACK WAS UNDER WAY ...
Digital and written logs will exist of all aspects of the communication feeds, phone calls notifying higher authority ... the Pentagon NMCC -- National Military Command Center -- logs will show exactly who they notified and exactly when ... including Clinton, Obama, and Biden ... ... ...

"This was not two weeks after the attack.......this was REAL TIME!"
Title: Interesting conspiracy theory
Post by: Crafty_Dog on October 19, 2012, 08:42:47 AM
Title: US Drone captured the attack, but no one did diddly.
Post by: Crafty_Dog on October 21, 2012, 01:46:36 PM
*US ‘too slow’ to act as drone’s cam captured Libya horror* (

The United States had an unmanned Predator drone over its consulate in Benghazi during the attack that slaughtered four Americans — which should have led to a quicker military response, it was revealed yesterday.

“They stood, and they watched, and our people died,” former CIA commander Gary Berntsen told CBS News.

The network reported that the drone and other reconnaissance aircraft observed the final hours of the hours-long siege on Sept. 11 — obtaining information that should have spurred swift action.

But as Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three colleagues were killed by terrorists armed with AK-47s and rocket-propelled grenade launchers, Defense Department officials were too slow to send in the troops, Berntsen said.

“They made zero adjustments in this. You find a way to make this happen,” he fumed.

“There isn’t a plan for every single engagement. Sometimes you have to be able to make adjustments.”

The Pentagon said it moved a team of special operators from Central Europe to Sigonella, Italy — about an hour flight from Libya — but gave no other details.

Fighter jets and Specter AC-130 gunships — which could have been used to help disperse the bloodthirsty mob — were also stationed at three nearby bases, sources told the network.

When the attack began, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Martin Dempsey and Defense Secretary Leon Panetta “looked at available options, and the ones we exercised had our military forces arrive in less than 24 hours, well ahead of timelines laid out in established policies,” a White House official told the network.

Even as the administration continues to vow that the perpetrators will be brought to justice, the man identified by witnesses as a ringleader in the attack continues to walk the streets of Libya without fear of arrest.

Ahmad Abu Khattala has admitted being at the consulate during the horrific attack but has yet to be questioned by any Libyan authorities.

Abu Khattala spoke to a New York Times reporter Thursday from a hotel patio as he sipped a strawberry frappe and mocked the US and Libyan governments.

“These reports say that no one knows where I am and that I am hiding,” he boasted. “But here I am in the open, sitting in a hotel with you. I’m even going to pick up my sister’s kids from school soon.”

Lax security at the consulate was an open secret.

Stevens wrote a cable in June that there wasn’t enough security at the consulate, and he noted there had been a recent spike in attacks against “international organizations and foreign interests,” ABC News said.

The ambassador wrote another cable in August that read, “A series of violent incidents has dominated the political landscape during the Ramadan holiday.”

Stevens said that the incidents were “organized” and that the Libyan security force had “not coalesced into a stabilizing force and [provided] little deterrence.”

Several requests for additional security in Benghazi were made to the State Department prior to the attack. They were all rejected.

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton tried to deflect blame from President Obama last week, saying the decision not to beef up guards was her responsibility.

“I’m in charge of the State Department’s 60,000-plus people all over the world [at] 275 posts,” she told CNN.

“The president and the vice president wouldn’t be knowledgeable about specific decisions that are made by security professionals. They’re the ones who weigh all of the threats and the risks and the needs and make a considered decision.”

The attack has become a major issue in the presidential campaign, with Mitt Romney saying Obama’s failure to safeguard the consulate highlights his failure in foreign policy.

Romney has also hammered Obama for failing to immediately label it a terror attack and the administration for changing its story about whether the attack was a protest over an anti-Islamic movie or a coordinated strike.

The tragedy — and alleged security lapses leading up to the attack — will likely be brought up at tomorrow’s final presidential debate.

The 90-minute debate will be moderated by Bob Schieffer of CBS News. Schieffer has listed five subject areas, with more time devoted to the Middle East and terrorism than any other topic.
---End Quote---
Title: Re: Libya and
Post by: G M on October 21, 2012, 02:18:52 PM
Gutsy call I I.
Title: Nonie Darwish on Obama's Motivation with regard to Benghazi coverup...
Post by: objectivist1 on October 22, 2012, 12:45:03 PM
Nonie Darwish is an American who was born and raised in Egypt.  She is a former Muslim (convert to Christianity.)  Her story is a moving one, set forth in her 2007 book "Now They Call Me Infidel."  She offers her thoughts on the Benghazi catastrophe today in an article at

Why Obama Blamed the Video

Posted By Nonie Darwish On October 22, 2012

Most Americans reacted with horror and pain when the decent American ambassador, Christopher Stevens, was dragged and sodomized [not yet confirmed] by Libyan terrorists. To date, the autopsy report of the ambassador and three other American heroes has not been made public and is perhaps being held till after the elections.

Americans deserved the proper outrage and comfort by the US president after such a horrendous terror attack, but President Obama failed to do that. Instead, he found an excuse: a video that came out months earlier before Sept. 11, 2012. For weeks the Obama administration hammered the American people with a guilt trip over Islamic outrage; the killing and burning was because of a video insulting Islam.

But when the truth came out that this was a calculated terror attack, the American people were outraged. That was when the White House decided to quickly change the game, and without hesitation Obama boldly suggested in the second debate that he did call the attack an act of terror. How can Obama expect to get away with this? Holding Islamic outrage as a justification for violence and then changing to a wishy-washy condemnation of terror has failed to fix the damage already done. I was used to this kind of dishonest maneuvering by Arab leaders, but could never have imagined that an American president could stoop to that level. Have we been infected by Islamic illogic?

There is no doubt that it must be very difficult for any American administration to deal with a culture like that of the Muslim world; a culture that must be treated as immature spoiled children who must get their way. What America fails to understand is that Islamic scriptures forbid Muslims to take non-Muslims as friends or partners worthy of compromise and equal rights. One would think that America after Sept. 11, 2001 would have learned the lesson of the deviance of Islamic jihad and the psyche of the Muslim world, which is constantly brewing and looking for an excuse and a crack of weakness to confirm Muslims’ need to feel wronged in order to justify attacks on American interests.

By now, the US should understand that Muslims who engage in anger and terror constantly search for excuses, but we must never fall for such excuses. Islamic chatter is constantly itching for confrontation and looking for justification of terror, which prompted the U.S. embassy in Cairo to release the following statement condemning the video before any attacks on the Cairo embassy:

The Embassy of the United States in Cairo condemns the continuing efforts by misguided individuals to hurt the religious feelings of Muslims – as we condemn efforts to offend believers of all religions. Today, the 11th anniversary of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on the United States, Americans are honoring our patriots and those who serve our nation as the fitting response to the enemies of democracy. Respect for religious beliefs is a cornerstone of American democracy. We firmly reject the actions by those who abuse the universal right of free speech to hurt the religious beliefs of others.

Four hours after the release of this statement crowds stormed the embassy, destroyed the U.S. flag and replaced it with an Islamic flag. By issuing such a statement, the US embassy in Cairo took the bait and provided the excuse Islamists needed. The anger in Egypt about the 2-month-old video, which had to come out exactly on the eve of 9/11, should have been proof enough that it was only an excuse.

Having been born and raised in the Muslim world, I know that Islamic anger and terror against the West lurks and lies in wait for any excuse to explode at the culture that is the object of their jihad. Jihad, once the pride of the Islamic world, is now an international crime that Muslims have learned to camouflage as self-defense. Not one mosque Friday sermon in the Middle East is devoid of cursing the non-Muslim (kafir) enemies of Islam. Since jihad is a violation of the rights of others, nations and individuals, Muslim culture has become all too eager to assert its victimization by others, for an opportunity to exploit the weakness of its prey — a flinch or apology — which it considers a signal to engage in holy violence.

When anyone dares to say jihad means violence, the so-called moderate Muslims are outraged, but manage to look the other way when violence is committed in the name of Islam. The more some Muslims terrorize, while others stand by in denial, the more they confuse, soften and weaken their victim. While one face of Islam is doing the terror, the other face tells the world: “We love peace and don’t you dare judge us by our terrorists because if you do we will riot, burn and kill.” One fact remains: both faces of Islam work hand in glove and one cannot survive without the other.

Muslims have learned from their history that terror works. They have also learned that for terror to achieve its goal of surrender of the prey, the Islamic tender touch must accompany the terror — the Islamic father holds the stick and the Islamic mother hugs while the father inflicts the beating.

The American people have been traumatized by 9/11 but many have not found comfort and legitimization to their pain. And now we have an American president who refuses to make the American people the number one recipients of his empathy, preferring to cater to the outside world and to indulge the cat and mouse game jihadists are playing with American sensibilities. Many in the American mainstream media and government have taken the Islamic bait and turned against the victims of Islam, whether they are the American people, Coptic Egyptians or apostates of Islam. To those who think they know better, all those mentioned above are simply Islamophobes. They have denied the American people the right to identify their enemy and eradicate it. They have turned a blind eye to American victims of terror and their families and neglected that America is in need of a healing process based on justice. They have even added insult to injury by telling the American people that they are to blame and by refusing to treat Americans as adults worthy of justice, accountability and calling a spade a spade.

America, with its superpower knowledge and status, has fallen for the old tricks of Islamic culture; many Americans believe they must have done something wrong to deserve terror.

Many Americans have reacted to 9/11 as the infamous Stockholm Syndrome victims, blaming each other but never the perpetrator of the terror; America is now a polarized country unable to stand up and call the terror attack by name. That old Arab trick has always worked on many cultures. Just ask the Coptic Christians when Egypt used to be a Christian nation and a superpower.

Consciously or unconsciously, the American people elected their first president after 9/11/01, Barack Hussein Obama, a man proud of his Islamic heritage and who believes that because of his unique heritage and understanding of Islam, he is best fit for bringing about reconciliation with Islam, at least during his administration.

But when that did not happen and the 9/11 terror was repeated under Obama’s watch, both Obama’s credibility and Islamic excuses were threatened. Obama’s legacy of being the only president in recent history who managed to have no major terror attack during his presidency was destroyed. He now has nothing to show for changing the American-Muslim world relationship. He now cannot say that everything he did was worth it for the sake of peace, and that those who criticized his appeasement, for bowing to the Saudi kind and for his Cairo speech, were right.

Obama was aiming for a legacy of peace with Islam, but that legacy came crashing down with the terror attacks on 9/11/12. The Muslim world was obviously disappointed with Obama who was not appeasing them enough. The Muslim world always wants more; more than what Obama or any other president can give them. They don’t want co-existence, they want surrender.

Obama’s theory failed. He overestimated himself and his belief that he understands the Muslim world. His belief that he would show future presidents how to do it failed.

In desperation, Obama pursued a policy of denial in an attempt to save face. He went as far as telling the American people, just like many Muslims do, that terrorism is really not terrorism and that it must be because of a logical reason and that Muslims are reasonable people without an agenda of jihad.

The video became the handy excuse not only for the Egyptian people to save face, but also for the Obama administration to save face. If that came at the expense of the truth, or the lives of American diplomats, then so be it. Many Americans are proud they finally have their first black president, but to me, an American born and raised in Egypt, I see many similarities between Obama and Arab leaders I grew up with. Obama would be best described as the first Arab president.
Title: Amb. Stevens point man for gunrunning to Syrian opposition?
Post by: Crafty_Dog on October 22, 2012, 02:59:38 PM
Hat tip to our Big Dog for this:

This is a remarkable story and worthy of some serious speculation.

Amongst the thoughts that occur to me:

Bret Baier of FOX (who has my genuine respect) did a one hour special on the Benghazi brouhaha on Friday night and I remember him mentioning that the attackers had foreign accents.   Agents of the Asad?!?
Title: First, Aid the Living
Post by: Crafty_Dog on October 23, 2012, 08:40:28 AM

First, Aid the Living
Written by Bing West
NATIONAL REVIEW October 22, 2012
A U.S. ambassador is missing and his diplomatic team is desperately fighting off terrorist attacks. Our commander-in-chief and his national-security team in Washington are listening to the phone calls from the Americans under attack and watching real-time video from a drone circling overhead. Yet the U.S. military sends no aid. Why?
On September 11, at about 10 p.m. Libyan time (4 p.m. in Washington), Ambassador Chris Stevens and a small staff were inside our consulate in Benghazi when terrorists attacked. The consulate staff immediately contacted Washington and our embassy in Tripoli. The White House, the Pentagon, the State Department, and numerous military headquarters monitored the entire battle in real time via the phone calls from Benghazi and video from a drone overhead.
Our diplomats fought for seven hours without any aid from outside the country. Four Americans died while the Obama national-security team and our military passively watched and listened. The administration is being criticized for ignoring security needs before the attack, while the CIA falsely attributed the assault to an imaginary mob enraged by a YouTube video. But the most severe failure has gone unnoticed: namely, a failure to aid the living.
By 4:30 p.m. Washington time, the consulate building was on fire and Ambassador Stevens was missing. In response, the embassy in Tripoli launched an aircraft carrying six American and 16 Afghan security guards. Benghazi was 400 miles away.

At 5 p.m., President Obama met with Vice President Biden and Secretary of Defense Panetta in the Oval Office. The U.S. military base in Sigonella, Sicily, was 480 miles away from Benghazi. Stationed at Sigonella were Special Operations Forces, transport aircraft, and attack aircraft — a much more formidable force than 22 men from the embassy.
In the past, presidents have taken immediate actions to protect Americans. In 1984, President Reagan ordered U.S. pilots to force an airliner carrying terrorists to land at Sigonella. Reagan acted inside a 90-minute window while the aircraft with the terrorists was in the air. The Obama national-security team had seven hours in which to move forces from Sigonella to Benghazi.
Fighter jets could have been at Benghazi in an hour; the commandos inside three hours. If the attackers were a mob, as the CIA wrongly speculated, then an F18 in afterburner, roaring like a lion, would unnerve them. This procedure was applied often in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. Conversely, if the attackers were terrorists, then the U.S. commandos would eliminate them. But no forces were dispatched from Sigonella.
In the meantime, the terrorists - untrained and poorly led by American standards - were proving to be lethal. They forced the Americans to abandon the Benghazi consulate, with the ambassador still missing, and fall back to an annex a mile away. When the terrorist gang followed the Americans, looters took the opportunity to ransack the empty consulate. But when they found Ambassador Stevens unconscious on the floor, they stopped looting and rushed him to a hospital. Unfortunately, the doctors could not save his life. Not knowing who he was, they took the cell phone from his pocket and called numbers. By about two in the morning, the American embassy received word that the ambassador was dead.
About the same time, the 22 reinforcements from the embassy in Tripoli arrived at the Benghazi airport. They drove to the annex to assist in its defense against persistent terrorist attacks. Around 4 a.m. Libyan time — six hours into the fight — enemy mortar rounds killed two of the defenders on the roof of the annex. If even one F18 had been on station, it would have detected the location of the enemy fire and attacked. The fight - that began at 10 p.m. - persisted until dawn, when the Libyan militia came to the aid of the Americans.
For our top leadership, with all the technological and military tools at their disposal, to have done nothing for seven hours was a joint civilian and military failure of initiative and nerve. Secretary of State Clinton has said the responsibility was hers. But there has been no assertion that the State Department overruled the Pentagon out of concern about the sovereignty of Libyan air space. Instead, it appears passive groupthink prevailed, with the assumption being that a spontaneous mob would quickly run out of steam.
Firefights, however, wax and wane from dusk to dawn. You cannot predict ahead of time when they will stop. Therefore a combat commander will take immediate action, presuming reinforcements will be needed.
The administration wrongly blamed a mob for the attack. Yet ironically, Mr. Obama’s chances of reelection would have plummeted were it not for the human decency of a mob that took the ambassador to the hospital before the terrorists returned. If the terrorists had taken his body and, with no Special Operations Forces hot on their trail, taunted America the next day — claiming the ambassador was still alive — the Benghazi tragedy would have escalated into an international disaster.
Why did the National Security Council watch passively for seven hours while our ambassador and three other Americans died?
— A former assistant secretary of defense, Bing West is co-author of Into the Fire: a Firsthand Account of the Most Extraordinary Battle of the Afghanistan War
Title: White House knew within 2 hours that AQ group claimed responsibility
Post by: Crafty_Dog on October 23, 2012, 11:05:50 PM

*White House knew al Qaeda-linked group claimed responsibility for deadly Libya attack just TWO HOURS later, emails reveal* (

Officials at the White House and State Department were alerted two hours after attackers stormed the U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi, Libya, on September 11 that an Islamic militant group had claimed credit for the assault, emails show.

The emails, obtained by Reuters from government sources not connected with U.S. spy agencies or the State Department and who requested anonymity, specifically mention that the Libyan group called Ansar al-Sharia had asserted responsibility for the attacks.

The brief missives also show how U.S. diplomats described the attack, even as it was still under way, to Washington.

The three emails in questions were sent on the afternoon of September 11 by the State Department's Operations Center to multiple government offices, including addresses at the White House, Pentagon, intelligence community and FBI.

The first email, timed at 4.05pm Washington time - or 10.05pm Benghazi time, 20-30 minutes after the attack on the U.S. diplomatic mission allegedly began - carried the subject line ‘U.S. Diplomatic Mission in Benghazi Under Attack’ and the notation ‘SBU,’ meaning ‘Sensitive But Unclassified.’

The text said the State Department's regional security office had reported that the diplomatic mission in Benghazi was ‘under attack. Embassy in Tripoli reports approximately 20 armed people fired shots; explosions have been heard as well.’

The message continued: ‘Ambassador Stevens, who is currently in Benghazi, and four ... personnel are in the compound safe haven. The 17th of February militia is providing security support.’

At 4.54pm Washington time, a second email was fired off, headed ‘Update 1: U.S. Diplomatic Mission in Benghazi’ said that the Embassy in Tripoli had reported that ‘the firing at the U.S. Diplomatic Mission in Benghazi had stopped and the compound had been cleared.’ It said a ‘response team’ was at the site attempting to locate missing personnel.

A third email, also marked SBU and sent at 6.07pm, carried the subject line: ‘Update 2: Ansar al-Sharia Claims Responsibility for Benghazi Attack.’

The message reported: ‘Embassy Tripoli reports the group claimed responsibility on Facebook and Twitter and has called for an attack on Embassy Tripoli.’

While some information identifying recipients of this message was redacted from copies of the messages obtained by Reuters, a government source said that one of the addresses to which the message was sent was the White House Situation Room, the president's secure command post.

Other addressees included intelligence and military units as well as one used by the FBI command center, the source said.

It was not known what other messages were received by agencies in Washington from Libya that day about who might have been behind the attacks.

Intelligence experts caution that initial reports from the scene of any attack or disaster are often inaccurate.

U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans were killed in the Benghazi assault, which President Barack Obama and other U.S. officials ultimately acknowledged was a ‘terrorist’ attack carried out by militants with suspected links to al Qaeda affiliates or sympathizers.

Administration spokesmen, including White House spokesman Jay Carney, citing an unclassified assessment prepared by the CIA, maintained for days that the attacks likely were a spontaneous protest against an anti-Muslim film.

While officials did mention the possible involvement of ‘extremists,’ they did not lay blame on any specific militant groups or possible links to al Qaeda or its affiliates until intelligence officials publicly alleged that on September 28.

There were indications that extremists with possible al Qaeda connections were involved, but also evidence that the attacks could have erupted spontaneously, they said, adding that government experts wanted to be cautious about pointing fingers prematurely.

U.S. intelligence officials have emphasized since shortly after the attack that early intelligence reporting about the attack was mixed.

Spokesmen for the White House and State Department had no immediate response to requests for comments on the emails.

By the morning of September 12, the day after the Benghazi attack, Reuters reported that there were indications that members of both Ansar al-Sharia, a militia based in the Benghazi area, and al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, the North African affiliate of al Qaeda's faltering central command, may have been involved in organizing the attacks.

Fourteen hours after the attack, President Obama sat down with Steve Kroft of ‘60 Minutes’ for an interview and said he did not believe it was simply due to mob violence, CBS reported.

‘You're right that this is not a situation that was -- exactly the same as what happened in Egypt and my suspicion is that there are folks involved in this who were looking to target Americans from the start,’ Obama said.

One U.S. intelligence official said that during the first classified briefing about Benghazi given to members of Congress, officials 'carefully laid out the full range of sparsely available information, relying on the best analysis available at the time.'

The official added, however, that the initial analysis of the attack that was presented to legislators was mixed.

‘Briefers said extremists were involved in attacks that appeared spontaneous, there may have been a variety of motivating factors, and possible links to groups such as (al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb and Ansar al-Sharia) were being looked at closely,’ the official said.
---End Quote---

Title: Obama's Benghazi Investigator: An Iran Sympathizer...
Post by: objectivist1 on October 24, 2012, 05:14:56 AM
Obama’s Benghazi Investigator: An Iran Sympathizer

Posted By Matthew Vadum On October 24, 2012 -

The freshly appointed chairman of a federal investigation into the Benghazi massacre is an apologist for Islamic terrorism who has a cozy relationship with Iran, the world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism.

And to add insult to injury, at press time Tuesday evening the chairman of this new State Department panel, former Ambassador Thomas R. Pickering, was poised to participate in a panel discussion at the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C., on “what role the faith community can play in fighting Islamophobia.”

The news comes on the heels of a new report by the Investigative Project on Terrorism that found that “scores” of known radical Islamists met with senior Obama administration officials during hundreds of visits to the White House.

Pickering’s appointment as probe chairman was announced in the Federal Register on October 4. The State Department “Accountability Review Board” headed by Pickering is tasked with examining the circumstances surrounding the Sept. 11, 2012 deaths of Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens, information management officer Sean Smith, and security personnel Glen Doherty, and Tyrone Woods at the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya.

The problem is that Pickering has ties to the pro-Iran Islamist front group known as the National Iranian American Council (NIAC). NIAC lost an important defamation case in federal court last month in which it unsuccessfully argued the group was not a tool of the Islamic Republic of Iran.

Pickering is a member of the advisory board of NIAC. He was Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs from May 1997 through the end of 2000, according to a 2009 report titled “Rise of the Iran Lobby,” by Clare M. Lopez of the Center for Security Policy. He’s also vice chairman of international consultancy, Hills & Co., and co-chairman of the board of directors of the International Crisis Group (whose executive committee includes George Soros).

“Ambassador Pickering’s positions on Iran include calls for bilateral talks without preconditions and a plan for a multinational uranium enrichment consortium in Iran,” Lopez writes. “Iran has proposed a similar plan to the UN Security Council. Ambassador Pickering advocates a process leading to mutual diplomatic relations between Iran and the United States.”

“U.S. national security policy is being successfully targeted by Jihadist entities hostile to American interests,” she writes. One of these groups, NIAC, is involved in “a de facto partnership” with its better known but more notorious jihadist ally “the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) and other organizations serving as mouthpieces for the mullahs’ party line.”

This network “includes well-known American diplomats, congressional representatives, figures from academia and the think tank world.” NIAC and its predecessor group, the American-Iranian Council, have long “functioned openly as apologists for the Iranian regime.”

CAIR is an affiliate of the Muslim Brotherhood and was named by the Department of Justice as an unindicted co-conspirator in the 2007 and 2008 Holy Land Foundation trials.

The panel discussion featured Pickering, Arab American Institute president James J. Zogby, American Association for Muslim Advancement executive director Daisy Khan, and her husband, Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, chairman of the Cordoba Initiative.

Khan and Rauf are prime movers behind the proposal to build a mosque near Ground Zero in lower Manhattan.

Khan is known for her over-the-top attacks on those who question the wisdom of building a Muslim holy site so close to the place where nearly 3,000 Americans were killed in an Islamist attack on the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001.

Asked in 2010 if America was “Islamophobic,” Khan replied that “It’s not even Islamophobia, it’s beyond Islamophobia — it’s hate of Muslims,” she said.

Of course use of the word “Islamophobia” is a tool of intimidation, calculated to silence the so-called Islamophobe.

If one fears Islamist ideology as an irredentist, imperialist, totalitarian force, one is rational. “Phobia” implies that one who fears or is skeptical of the intentions of Muslims is mentally unbalanced. The term is used the same way American leftists use the word “racist” to shut down debate.

While two George Soros-funded nonprofits, the Center for American Progress and Media Matters for America, are working overtime to try to convince Americans that this make-believe mental illness of Islamophobia is a threat to American democracy and pluralism, the embattled Obama administration has been in damage control mode for weeks as the president’s foreign policy aimed at appeasing totalitarian Islamic theocrats collapses. The administration has been sucking up to the Organization of the Islamic Conference, a 57-state (56 sovereign states and the Palestinian Authority) group that considers itself the Caliphate reborn.

Americans’ civil rights and political correctness are weapons of infiltration used by our Islamofascist enemies. Just like our Soviet Communist enemies during the Cold War, Islamists are using Americans’ goodness and their sense of fair play, including an aversion to being accused of racial stereotyping, against America.

Hard data do not support claims that Islamophobia exists in the United States.

As Jonathan S. Tobin wrote in Commentary last year: “the notion of a rising wave of hatred against Muslims is unsupported by any statistical research.”

“When you consider that Muslims claim to have about the same number of adherents in this country as Jews and that anti-Jewish crimes have always far outnumbered those committed against Muslims, the media hysteria about Islamophobia is exposed as a big lie. But even if there are fewer Muslims here than their groups claim, the conclusion is unchanged.”

And there is credible evidence that Obama, who told the UN last month that “the future does not belong to those who slander the prophet of Islam,” is sympathetic to Islamists’ increasingly vocal demands for Saudi-style anti-blasphemy laws.

So, apparently, is Ambassador Pickering, which makes him unfit to head any probe of what happened last month in Benghazi, Libya.

Title: Re: Libya and
Post by: Crafty_Dog on October 24, 2012, 07:45:23 AM
Very interesting Obj.  A friend whose background in these things I greatly respect writes me as follows:

Syria’s puppet master would be Iran.  It takes a twelver (Ahmedinejad) to know a twelver (Assad the Alawi).

Obama tried to score election points by conflating the alleged motivation for the Cairo protests with the attack on the Benghazi consulate.  Recall that the Obama administration and campaign went after Romney’s quick criticism of the Egyptian embassy’s posted statement that condemned the video even after the “protesters” in Cairo had forcibly entered the embassy grounds and raised the al Qaida flag on the embassy flagpole.  In order to deflect the creepy similarity between the Cairo act and the 1979 seizure of our embassy in Teheran, Obama argued a valid provocation – just as he argued in Cairo in 2009 that the 1953 coup in Iran ousting Mossadegh and reinstating the Shah gave some sort of justification for the 33 years of state sponsored terrorism by the Mullahs-Revolutionary Guard combination that has ruled Iran since Carter permitted the Shah’s overthrow in 1979.

In reality, none of the 9/11/12 events happened by coincidence.  Was it a mere coincidence that Zawahiri’s brother was in the mob that overran the Cairo embassy grounds and raised the al Qaida flag?  These guys do not operate that way.  They did not operate that way in 1998 in Kenya and Tanzania.  They did not operate that way in 2001 when they assassinated Massound in Afghanistan on 9/9/01 and two days later attacked the US.  Massoud was a Tajik Sunni who was fighting against the Pashtu and their client militia led by Hekmatyar, the Iranian sponsored head of the Hezb–e-Islami “political party.”  If that name sounds like something else, it should.  Hezbollah.

Instead of saying nothing, the Obama administration launched a political assault on Romney by claiming that our Libyan ambassador was killed by a mob that was out of control due to a You Tube video that had a total of 505 hits when I viewed it on the morning of 9/12/12.  Isn’t it interesting that 505 hits on a video could spark tens of thousands of Muslims to riot against it and assault our embassies in Egypt and Tunisia as well as our Benghazi consulate?

Stevens very well could have been involved in efforts to retrieve arms from the Libyan rebels and ship them to the Syrian rebels.  

More importantly, it showed extremely poor judgment by the administration to speculate publicly about any hypothesis for the Benghazi assault before all of the facts were known.  They put out a false story about the mob.  Obama’s political motive was to deflect attention away from his 9/11 memorial speech at the Pentagon 7 hours before the Benghazi attack.  In that speech, he said, “Al Qaeda's leadership has been devastated and Osama bin Laden will never threaten us again.”  He also stated, "No act of terrorism can ever change what we stand for."  Seven hours later, the successors to Osama bin Laden replied.


and here's another source for this one:
Title: Re: Libya and
Post by: G M on October 24, 2012, 08:51:21 AM
Where is the autopsy?
Title: Re: Libya and
Post by: objectivist1 on October 24, 2012, 09:04:13 AM
G M:  THAT is the burning question - I agree.  WHERE are the autopsy results???  I don't trust ANYTHING being reported about how these guys died until/unless we see the autopsy reports.  It is very significant that nothing has been released regarding this.  If I were a family member, I would demand that the body exhumed for autopsy - assuming it has already been buried in Arlington - which I believe is the case.  My guess is that this administration is blocking this at every turn with whatever excuse they can come up with to get past the election.
Title: Re: Libya and
Post by: G M on October 24, 2012, 09:06:21 AM
I have no doubt the bodies were autopsied within 48-72 hours of being recovered, if not sooner. The report is being sat on, clearly.
Title: No time frame
Post by: G M on October 24, 2012, 09:12:51 AM
According to the State Department rep, there is currently no time frame as to when the results of Steven's autopsy will be released. 

Read more: PICKET: UPDATE - AFP not behind report of purported rape of murdered U.S. ambassador to Libya - Washington Times
Title: Senate Intel vice chair: We’ve been demanding these e-mails since the Benghazi a
Post by: G M on October 24, 2012, 09:23:54 AM

Senate Intel vice chair: We’ve been demanding these e-mails since the Benghazi attack
posted at 12:01 pm on October 24, 2012 by Ed Morrissey

If the scoop from Reuters last night surprised Americans with the knowledge that the intel community knew that the Benghazi attack was not a spontaneous demonstration that spun out of control, no one was more surprised than Senate Intelligence Committee vice chair Saxby Chambliss.  His committee has been requesting those e-mails for weeks, and Chambliss to Fox and Friends that the information in them shows why they demanded them in the first place.

“At the very least,” Brian Kilmeade asks, “this shows a massive disconnect [between the intel community and the administration], doesn’t it?”  “No question,” Chambliss answers, but he’s more concerned about how the White House handled the issue.  “We got pushback, both  from the White House and the intelligence community, early on.  We couldn’t figure it out.  I mean, that was really strange — because they never do that.”  Chambliss now wants hearings in the Senate to pursue why these e-mails, and perhaps other intel, have been held back from Congress:

This points to a few possible conclusions.  Either the White House and the intel community kept Congress out of the loop because they didn’t want to admit that terrorists had successfully attacked an American diplomatic mission for the first time in fourteen years, or because they didn’t know themselves what the data meant.  Neither is particularly commendatory, although the latter looks a lot less dishonest.  Nevertheless, despite having this detailed description of the attack and the fairly credible claim of credit for the attack from a leading terrorist network in the immediate area within two hours of the start of the attack, the White House chose to repeatedly claim that they had “no evidence” that the sacking was a planned terrorist attack for most of the next two weeks.  That looks a lot more dishonest with every revelation that comes out in this issue.
That leaves the questions of the provenance of the revelations themselves.  If the intel community was reticent about discussing what it knew and when it knew it, at least someone in that group wants the real story to come out.  Those e-mails didn’t get leaked by anyone who was in the Situation Room that night and received them, certainly.
Update: Dave Weigel pushes back against the assumption that the Obama administration argued that they had “no evidence of terrorist attack”:
In the same story that breaks the news and gives readers the e-mails, CBS News prints an unaired answer that Obama gave Steve Kroft on September 12. It was his first interview after the attacks.
You’re right that this is not a situation that was — exactly the same as what happened in Egypt and my suspicion is that there are folks involved in this who were looking to target Americans from the start.
The next day, Obama was in Colorado, where he addressed the killings in Libya.
A couple of days ago, for four Americans were killed in an attack on our diplomatic post in Libya… So what I want all of you to know is that we are going to bring those who killed our fellow Americans to justice. I want people around the world to hear me: To all those who would do us harm, no act of terror will go unpunished.Obama didn’t pretend that this was merely “a protest that got out of hand.” The trouble, when we look back at the timeline, is that reporters didn’t really glom onto the Libya story for a few days. When they did, by the Sunday shows and September 19, you had administration spokespeople soft-peddling the “target Americans from the start” story.
However, by the time we get to Sunday, September 16th, we have Susan Rice saying this, which has been proven categorically false:

… But based on the best information we have to date, what our assessment is as of the present is in fact what began spontaneously in Benghazi as a reaction to what had transpired some hours earlier in Cairo where, of course, as you know, there was a violent protest outside of our embassy–
SUSAN RICE: –sparked by this hateful video. But soon after that spontaneous protest began outside of our consulate in Benghazi, we believe that it looks like extremist elements, individuals, joined in that– in that effort with heavy weapons of the sort that are, unfortunately, readily now available in Libya post-revolution. And that it spun from there into something much, much more violent.
And this:
But our current best assessment, based on the information that we have at present, is that, in fact, what this began as, it was a spontaneous — not a premeditated — response to what had transpired in Cairo.
And Jay Carney saying this two days later at a White House press briefing, emphasis mine:

MR. CARNEY: No, I’m saying that based on information that we — our initial information, and that includes all information — we saw no evidence to back up claims by others that this was a preplanned or premeditated attack; that we saw evidence that it was sparked by the reaction to this video. And that is what we know thus far based on the evidence, concrete evidence — not supposition — concrete evidence that we have thus far. But there is a lot that is under investigation here, and as more facts come to light, if they change that assessment, we’ll make that clear. But there’s an active investigation for a reason — so that we actually get the facts and don’t base our policy prescriptions on suppositions about what we think we know happened as opposed to what actually happened.
Q Would the administration still say that it was spontaneous?
MR. CARNEY: Based on the information that we have now, it was — there was a reaction to the video — there was protests in Cairo, then followed by protests elsewhere, including Benghazi, and that that was what led to the original unrest. The other factors here — all factors — but the other factors here, including participants in the unrest, participants in the violence, are under investigation. And the goal of that investigation is both to find out what happened and why, but also to track down and bring to justice those who killed four Americans. And we’re working with our Libyan counterparts to ensure that that happens, as the President committed it would.
Bear in mind that since this time, we have discovered that the State Department watched this unfold in real time and has video of the attack which is still hasn’t shared with Congress. The CIA station chief told them in a cable 24 hours later that this was a terrorist attack, and that they even knew who had commanded it. Finally, we have last night’s revelation that the Situation Room got e-mails from the intel community while the attack was underway that clearly gave evidence that this was no spontaneous demonstration gone amok. They had plenty of evidence — “concrete evidence,” to use Jay Carney’s terminology — that the sacking of the consulate and assassination of our Ambassador was a planned terrorist attack.
Title: SecDef Panetta on US military non-response to Benghazi attack
Post by: Crafty_Dog on October 25, 2012, 02:43:51 PM
Title: Re: SecDef Panetta on US military non-response to Benghazi attack
Post by: G M on October 26, 2012, 03:06:18 PM

LIES. They had real time drone footage and an AC130U gunship ready to provide air support while they fought for their lives. Permission for air support denied.

AC-130U Gunship was On-Scene in Benghazi, Obama Admin Refused to Let It Fire (Updated) by
Bob Owens

October 26, 2012 - 9:50 amTweet     If you don’t get torches-and-pitchforks irate about this, you are not an American:

The security officer had a laser on the target that was firing and repeatedly requested back-up support from a Specter gunship, which is commonly used by U.S. Special Operations forces to provide support to Special Operations teams on the ground involved in intense firefights. The fighting at the CIA annex went on for more than four hours — enough time for any planes based in Sigonella Air base, just 480 miles away, to arrive. Fox News has also learned that two separate Tier One Special operations forces were told to wait, among them Delta Force operators.

There were two AC-130Us deployed to Libya in March as part of Operation Unified Protector.

The AC-130U is a very effective third-generation fire-support aircraft, capable of continuous and extremely accurate fire onto multiple targets. It has been used numerous times in Iraq and Afghanistan to save pinned-down allied forces, and has even been credited with the surrender of the Taliban city of Kunduz

It was purpose-built for a select number of specific mission types, including point-defense against enemy attack. It was literally built for the kind of mission it could have engaged in over Benghazi, if the administration had let it fire. As the excerpt above clearly shows, we had assets on the ground “painting” the targets with the laser.

An AC-130U flies in a counter-clockwise “pivot turn” around the target, with the weapons all aimed out the left side of the aircraft.

There are two state-of-the-art fire-control systems (FCSs) in a AC-130U, using television sensors,infrared sensors, and synthetic aperture strike radar. These fire control systems can see through the dark of night, clouds, and smoke.

The two FCSs on the AC-130U control a 25mm Gatling gun for area suppression, a precision 40mm cannon, and a 105mm cannon which can engage hard targets.

What this means is that we have the forces in the air and on the ground to have stopped the attack at any point, eliminating the terrorists and saving American lives.

See video of AC-130 engaging in a live fire exercise on next page.

Update (Bryan): Here is an AC-130 engaging in a live fire exercise. The crackling sound you hear is its extreme rate of fire.

Update: BlackFive confirmed with a retired Delta operator: The fact that ground personnel were painting the target says there was a Spectre on station.

Having spent a good bit of time nursing a GLD (ground Laser Designator) in several garden spots around the world, something from the report jumped out at me.
One of the former SEALs was actively painting the target.  That means that Specter WAS ON STATION!  Probably an AC130U.  A ground laser designator is not a briefing pointer laser.  You do not “paint” a target until the weapons system/designator is synched; which means that the AC130 was on station.
Only two places could have called off the attack at that point; the WH situation command (based on POTUS direction) or AFRICOM commander based on information directly from the target area.
If the AC130 never left Sigonella (as Penetta [sic] says) that means that the Predator that was filming the whole thing was armed.
If that SEAL was actively “painting” a target; something was on station to engage!  And the decision to stand down goes directly to POTUS!
Title: Father of fallen Navy SEAL Tyrone Woods: I do not appreciate cowardice, lies
Post by: G M on October 26, 2012, 03:09:42 PM

Father of fallen Navy SEAL Tyrone Woods: I do not appreciate cowardice, lies
posted at 3:21 pm on October 26, 2012 by Mary Katharine Ham

From Megyn Kelly’s “America Live” today, Charlie Woods, who lost his son in the attack on the Benghazi consulate, reacts to the latest news that CIA command refused to send help. Speaking very calmly, Woods said his son deserves the same moral courage from the country’s leaders that he displayed in giving his life to save his fellow Americans:

“This is not about politics … if it were about politics, it would dishonor my son’s death. It’s about honor, integrity and justice,” he said.

“This news that he disobeyed his orders does not surprise me. My son was an American hero, and he had the moral strength to do what was right … even if it would have professionally cost him his job, even if it would have cost him his life.”

Woods went on to say that while he forgives those who gave the orders that indirectly led to his son’s death, he wishes they would take a lesson from the young former SEAL’s courage.
The interview speaks for itself, so I’ll let it. I honor Tyrone Woods’ sacrifice, and after hearing his father speak, I’m not surprised he raised a hero.
Title: It keeps getting worse: CIA operators denied request for help during attack
Post by: Crafty_Dog on October 26, 2012, 03:46:15 PM

*EXCLUSIVE: CIA operators were denied request for help during Benghazi attack, sources say (*

By Jennifer Griffin

Published October 26, 2012

Fox News has learned from sources who were on the ground in Benghazi that an urgent request from the CIA annex for military back-up during the attack on the U.S. consulate and subsequent attack several hours later was denied by U.S. officials -- who also told the CIA operators twice to "stand down" rather than help the ambassador's team when shots were heard at approximately 9:40 p.m. in Benghazi on Sept. 11.

Former Navy SEAL Tyrone Woods was part of a small team who was at the CIA annex about a mile from the U.S. consulate where Ambassador Chris Stevens and his team came under attack. When he and others heard the shots fired, they informed their higher-ups at the annex to tell them what they were hearing and requested permission to go to the consulate and help out. They were told to "stand down," according to sources familiar with the exchange. Soon after, they were again told to "stand down."

Woods and at least two others ignored those orders and made their way to the consulate which at that point was on fire. Shots were exchanged. The rescue team from the CIA annex evacuated those who remained at the consulate and Sean Smith, who had been killed in the initial attack. They could not find the ambassador and returned to the CIA annex at about midnight.

At that point, they called again for military support and help because they were taking fire at the CIA safe house, or annex. The request was denied. There were no communications problems at the annex, according those present at the compound. The team was in constant radio contact with their headquarters. In fact, at least one member of the team was on the roof of the annex manning a heavy machine gun when mortars were fired at the CIA compound. The security officer had a laser on the target that was firing and repeatedly requested back-up support from a Spectre gunship, which is commonly used by U.S. Special Operations forces to provide support to Special Operations teams on the ground involved in intense firefights. The fighting at the CIA annex went on for more than four hours -- enough time for any planes based in Sigonella Air base, just 480 miles away, to arrive. Fox News has also learned that two separate Tier One Special operations forces were told to wait, among them Delta Force operators.

A Special Operations team, or CIF which stands for Commanders in Extremis Force, operating in Central Europe had been moved to Sigonella, Italy, but they were never told to deploy. In fact, a Pentagon official says there were never any requests to deploy assets from outside the country. A second force that specializes in counterterrorism rescues was on hand at Sigonella, according to senior military and intelligence sources. According to those sources, they could have flown to Benghazi in less than two hours. They were the same distance to Benghazi as those that were sent from Tripoli. Spectre gunships are commonly used by the Special Operations community to provide close air support.

According to sources on the ground during the attack, the special operator on the roof of the CIA annex had visual contact and a laser pointing at the Libyan mortar team that was targeting the CIA annex. The operators were calling in coordinates of where the Libyan forces were firing from.

Defense Secretary Leon Panetta told reporters at the Pentagon on Thursday that there was not a clear enough picture of what was occurring on the ground in Benghazi to send help.

"There's a lot of Monday morning quarterbacking going on here," Panetta said Thursday. "But the basic principle here ... is that you don't deploy forces into harm's way without knowing what's going on."

U.S. officials argue that there was a period of several hours when the fighting stopped before the mortars were fired at the annex, leading officials to believe the attack was over.

Fox News has learned that there were two military surveillance drones redirected to Benghazi shortly after the attack on the consulate began. They were already in the vicinity. The second surveillance craft was sent to relieve the first drone, perhaps due to fuel issues. Both were capable of sending real time visuals back to U.S. officials in Washington, D.C. Any U.S. official or agency with the proper clearance, including the White House Situation Room, State Department, CIA, Pentagon and others, could call up that video in real time on their computers.

Tyrone Woods was later joined at the scene by fellow former Navy SEAL Glen Doherty, who was sent in from Tripoli as part of a Global Response Staff or GRS that provides security to CIA case officers and provides countersurveillance and surveillance protection. They were killed by a mortar shell at 4 a.m. Libyan time, nearly seven hours after the attack on the consulate began -- a window that represented more than enough time for the U.S. military to send back-up from nearby bases in Europe, according to sources familiar with Special Operations. Four mortars were fired at the annex. The first one struck outside the annex. Three more hit the annex.

A motorcade of dozens of Libyan vehicles, some mounted with 50 caliber machine guns, belonging to the February 17th Brigades, a Libyan militia which is friendly to the U.S., finally showed up at the CIA annex at approximately 3 a.m. An American Quick Reaction Force sent from Tripoli had arrived at the Benghazi airport at 2 a.m. (four hours after the initial attack on the consulate) and was delayed for 45 minutes at the airport because they could not at first get transportation, allegedly due to confusion among Libyan militias who were supposed to escort them to the annex, according to Benghazi sources.

The American special operators, Woods, Doherty and at least two others were part of the Global Response Staff, a CIA element, based at the CIA annex and were protecting CIA operators who were part of a mission to track and repurchase arms in Benghazi that had proliferated in the wake of Muammar Qaddafi's fall. Part of their mission was to find the more than 20,000 missing MANPADS, or shoulder-held missiles capable of bringing down a commercial aircraft. According to a source on the ground at the time of the attack, the team inside the CIA annex had captured three Libyan attackers and was forced to hand them over to the Libyans. U.S. officials do not know what happened to those three attackers and whether they were released by the Libyan forces.

Fox News has also learned that Stevens was in Benghazi that day to be present at the opening of an English-language school being started by the Libyan farmer who helped save an American pilot who had been shot down by pro-Qaddafi forces during the initial war to overthrow the regime. That farmer saved the life of the American pilot and the ambassador wanted to be present to launch the Libyan rescuer's new school.
Title: Glenn Beck interviews KIA SEAL's dad
Post by: Crafty_Dog on October 26, 2012, 06:19:19 PM
Title: AC-130U Gunship was on the scene
Post by: Crafty_Dog on October 26, 2012, 06:24:38 PM
AC-130U Gunship was On-Scene in Benghazi, Obama Admin Refused to Let It Fire (Updated)

If you don’t get torches-and-pitchforks irate about this, you are not an American:

The security officer had a laser on the target that was firing and repeatedly requested back-up support from a Specter gunship, which is commonly used by U.S. Special Operations forces to provide support to Special Operations teams on the ground involved in intense firefights. The fighting at the CIA annex went on for more than four hours — enough time for any planes based in Sigonella Air base, just 480 miles away, to arrive. Fox News has also learned that two separate Tier One Special operations forces were told to wait, among them Delta Force operators. 

There were two AC-130Us deployed to Libya in March as part of Operation Unified Protector.

The AC-130U is a very effective third-generation fire-support aircraft, capable of continuous and extremely accurate fire onto multiple targets. It has been used numerous times in Iraq and Afghanistan to save pinned-down allied forces, and has even been credited with the surrender of the Taliban city of Kunduz

It was purpose-built for a select number of specific mission types, including point-defense against enemy attack. It was literally built for the kind of mission it could have engaged in over Benghazi, if the administration had let it fire. As the excerpt above clearly shows, we had assets on the ground “painting” the targets with the laser.

An AC-130U flies in a counter-clockwise “pivot turn” around the target, with the weapons all aimed out the left side of the aircraft.

There are two state-of-the-art fire-control systems (FCSs) in a AC-130U, using television sensors,infrared sensors, and synthetic aperture strike radar. These fire control systems can see through the dark of night, clouds, and smoke.

The two FCSs on the AC-130U control a 25mm Gatling gun for area suppression, a precision 40mm cannon, and a 105mm cannon which can engage hard targets.

What this means is that we have the forces in the air and on the ground to have stopped the attack at any point, eliminating the terrorists and saving American lives.

Update: BlackFive confirmed with a retired Delta operator: The fact that ground personnel were painting the target says there was a Spectre on station.

Having spent a good bit of time nursing a GLD (ground Laser Designator) in several garden spots around the world, something from the report jumped out at me.
One of the former SEALs was actively painting the target. That means that Specter WAS ON STATION! Probably an AC130U. A ground laser designator is not a briefing pointer laser. You do not “paint” a target until the weapons system/designator is synched; which means that the AC130 was on station.
Only two places could have called off the attack at that point; the WH situation command (based on POTUS direction) or AFRICOM commander based on information directly from the target area.
If the AC130 never left Sigonella (as Penetta [sic] says) that means that the Predator that was filming the whole thing was armed.
If that SEAL was actively “painting” a target; something was on station to engage! And the decision to stand down goes directly to POTUS! 
Title: Wanted for Manslaughter and Treachery...
Post by: objectivist1 on October 27, 2012, 05:58:49 AM

Posted By Daniel Greenfield On October 26, 2012 -

Charles Woods, the father of Tyrone Woods, said in an interview, “And apparently even the State Department had a live stream and was aware of their calls for help.  This was my son, he wasn’t even there.  He was at a safe house about a mile away.  He got the distress call.  He heard them crying for help.  That’s why he and Glenn risked their lives to go that extra mile just to take care of the situation.  And I’m sure that she wasn’t the only one that received that distress call: “Come save our lives.”

When I heard that there’s a very good chance that the White House as well as other members of the military knew what was going on, and obviously someone had to say, “Don’t go rescue them.” Because every person in the military, their first response is, “We’re going to go rescue them.” We need to find out who it was that gave that command.”

So who gave that command?

Fox News has learned from sources who were on the ground in Benghazi that three urgent requests from the CIA annex for military back-up during the attack on the U.S. Consulate and subsequent attack nearly seven hours later were denied by officials in the CIA chain of command — who also told the CIA operators to “stand down” rather than help the ambassador’s team when shots were heard at approximately 9:40 p.m. in Benghazi on Sept. 11.

Former Navy SEALs Tyrone Woods and Glen Doherty were part of a small team who were at the CIA annex about a mile from the U.S. Consulate where Ambassador Chris Stevens and his team came under attack. When they heard the shots fired, they radioed to inform their higher-ups to tell them what they were hearing. They were told to “stand down,” according to sources familiar with the exchange. An hour later, they called again to headquarters and were again told to “stand down.”

Woods, Doherty and at least two others ignored those orders and made their way to the Consulate which at that point was on fire. Shots were exchanged. The quick reaction force from the CIA annex evacuated those who remained at the Consulate and Sean Smith, who had been killed in the initial attack. They could not find the ambassador and returned to the CIA annex at about midnight.

At that point, they called again for military support and help because they were taking fire at the CIA safe house, or annex. The request was denied. There were no communications problems at the annex, according those present at the compound. The team was in constant radio contact with their headquarters. In fact, at least one member of the team was on the roof of the annex manning a heavy machine gun when mortars were fired at the CIA compound. The security officer had a laser on the target that was firing and repeatedly requested back-up support from a Specter gunship, which is commonly used by U.S. Special Operations forces to provide support to Special Operations teams on the ground involved in intense firefights. The fighting at the CIA annex went on for more than four hours — enough time for any planes based in Sigonella Air base, just 480 miles away, to arrive. Fox News has also learned that two separate Tier One Special operations forces were told to wait, among them Delta Force operators.

Now we know who is taking responsibility for denying support to the consulate and the safe house.

The photo, which is the official one put out by DOD, from the press conference held by Panetta and General Dempsey is horribly eloquent in terms of body language.

Defense Secretary Leon Panetta defended the failure to go in by claiming that the issue was a lack of reliable intel, despite the fact that they had multiple distress calls and a drone overhead.

Blaming a lack of reliable intel is fine if you want to pull away from intervening in Syria, but not when a US diplomatic facility and its personnel are under sustained attack. And how much intel was really needed to send two jets to buzz the area and possibly scare off some of the attackers, who would not have posed any threat to the aircraft?

Although forces were on alert and ready to launch an operation if needed, the US military commander for Africa, General Carter Ham, the chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Martin Dempsey, and Panetta all decided against any intervention as they had no clear picture of events unfolding in Benghazi, he said.

So the buck has been passed to Panetta and Dempsey and Ham. Dempsey is a soulless administration toady and Ham is deeply invested in Libya. Panetta is a Clintonite who is completely expendable, especially if the charges get pinned to Hillary. But Panetta still seems filled with self-loathing and Dempsey looks disgusted with him.

Not doing something because there is no intel is a common excuse in these circles when they don’t want to do something. Just as with Iran, there would never have been enough intel.

And how much intel was needed really? Benghazi had an extended profile and was the cause of the entire Libyan war. The consulate had an extensive intelligence apparatus and the declassified cables we’ve seen are a fraction of the actual classified cables that would have been at Panetta, Dempsey and Ham’s disposal.

They knew about the Islamist militias and had descriptions of their armament from the RSO’s reports. They didn’t know the exact number of attackers or every single possible detail, but you can never really know everything before going in.

“There’s a basic principle here, and the basic principle is that you don’t deploy forces into harm’s way without knowing what’s going on, without having some real-time information about what’s taking place,” Panetta told a news conference.

But there were already forces in harm’s way, who were trying to provide some real time intel from their point of view. What Panetta means is that the decision was made not to send aid to them, and it wasn’t about risking more lives, but about the politics of intervening in Libya and offending the Libyans. It was done for the same reason that US soldiers have at times been abandoned without air support in Afghanistan.

“I feel confident that our forces were alert and responsive to what was a very fluid situation,” General Dempsey said, which is one of those strange statements that leaders issue after a complete screw up.

The full transcript of the conference was fairly well hidden on the site, but turned up here, it shows the full exchanges.

  Q:  Can I follow up on that?  One of the reasons we’ve heard that there wasn’t a more robust response right away is that there wasn’t a clear intelligence picture over Benghazi, to give you the idea of where to put what forces.

But when there was, in fact, a drone over the CIA annex and there were intelligence officials fighting inside the annex, I guess the big question is, with those two combined assets, why there wasn’t a clear intelligence picture that would have given you what you needed to make some moves, for instance, flying, you know, F-16s over the area to disperse fighters or — or dropping more special forces in.

SEC. PANETTA:  You know, let me — let me speak to that, because I’m sure there’s going to be — there’s a lot of Monday morning quarterbacking going on here.

We — we quickly responded, as General Dempsey said, in terms of deploying forces to the region. We had FAST platoons in the region. We had ships that we had deployed off of Libya. And we were prepared to respond to any contingency and certainly had forces in place to do that.

But — but the basic principle here — basic principle is that you don’t deploy forces into harm’s way without knowing what’s going on; without having some real-time information about what’s taking place. And as a result of not having that kind of information, the commander who was on the ground in that area, General Ham, General Dempsey and I felt very strongly that we could not put forces at risk in that situation.

Q:  So the drone, then, and the forces inside the annex weren’t giving enough of a clear picture is what you’re saying.

SEC. PANETTA:  This — this happened within a few hours and it was really over before, you know, we had the opportunity to really know what was happening.
Title: Treason?
Post by: Crafty_Dog on October 27, 2012, 06:45:50 PM
The word "treason" is a powerful word, and one which should be used with great care.  Perhaps I am too emotional in this moment, but frankly I genuinely seethe at what genuinely appears to be the lies of Orwellian magnitude of Obama et al in all of this; therefore I paste the following even as I sincerely admit to the possibility that it goes to far.

“A nation can survive its fools, and even the ambitious. But it cannot survive treason from within. An enemy at the gates is less formidable, for he is known and carries his banner openly. But the traitor moves amongst those within the gate freely, his sly whispers rustling through all the alleys, heard in the very halls of government itself. For the traitor appears not a traitor; he speaks in accents familiar to his victims, and he wears their face and their arguments, he appeals to the baseness that lies deep in the hearts of all men. He rots the soul of a nation, he works secretly and unknown in the night to undermine the pillars of the city, he infects the body politic so that it can no longer resist. A murderer is less to fear. The traitor is the plague.”
 -Marcus Tullius Cicero

The following URL has some relevant video clips on it, but I paste the text here in case somehow the page is disappeared down a memory hole.

Weekend Edition: IT WAS TREASON – Arrest Obama
 By Craig Andresen on October 27, 2012 at 5:13 am

Last Thursday, I wrote an article titled, “Obama & Libya – A Case Study in Treason” and in that article I stated, “When a president fails to lift a finger to protect Americans, at home or abroad, in the face of overwhelming intelligence and evidence, by ignoring obvious warning signs and the advice of those entrusted to offer such protection…”
“It is treason.”
I meant every word and yes, I am well aware of the weight of the word, “treason.”
I do not nor have I ever used it lightly. I see that word bandied about on social media and while I understand full well the passion of those who use it, I rarely, if ever, believe that the issues to which it is applied, truly rise to that level.
This situation, in Libya, I am convinced…Does.
To explain, let’s first look at the legal definition and it’s context within our Constitution.
Definition of Treason in the Constitution:
“Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying War against them, or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort. No Person shall be convicted of Treason unless on the Testimony of two Witnesses to the same overt Act, or on Confession in open Court.”
Legal Definition of Treason:
The betrayal of one’s own country by waging war against it or by consciously or purposely acting to aid its enemies.
Under Article III, Section 3, of the Constitution:
Any person who levies war against the United States or adheres to its enemies by giving them Aid and Comfort has committed treason within the meaning of the Constitution. The term aid and comfort refers to any act that manifests a betrayal of allegiance to the United States, such as furnishing enemies with arms, troops, transportation, shelter, or classified information. If a subversive act has any tendency to weaken the power of the United States to attack or resist its enemies, aid and comfort has been given.
Day by day…Nearly hour by hour, we learn more about what transpired in Benghazi on 9-11-12.
Yesterday, we learned a truly horrific truth.

As the first shots rang out at our Consulate, the calls for help, coming from the “safe” annex were sent to Washington.
Not once.
Not twice.
Three times, Tyrone Woods and a CIA operative, at the annex, called for help and asked permission to go TO the Consulate to offer assistance…To fight.
Washington denied them.
Not once.
Not twice.
Three times, Washington denied them help or permission to join the fight.
After the third denial, Ex Navy Seal, Tyrone Woods, went against the direct order to stand down and, he stood up.
Tyrone Woods went to the Consulate defying a direct order and he got as many of our personnel out of there as he could…Including the body of State Department officer Sean Smith.
Tyrone Woods could not find Ambassador Stevens.
Tyrone Woods took those he rescued and the body of Mr. Smith back to the annex where he was joined shortly after by Glen Doherty, another Ex Navy Seal who had just arrived from Tripoli.
A few hours later, that annex came under fire from terrorists now believed to be Ansar al-Sharia, a well known affiliate of al Qaeda.
We also learned yesterday that Woods and Doherty were on the roof of the annex and from their vantage point, could see the position of the mortars being fired at them. They “painted” that position with a laser used to guide weapons from military aircraft.
Military aircraft that were not coming to help.
Those aircraft, from Italy, which could have included Blackhawk helicopters and a C-130 gun ship, had also been ordered, from Washington, to stand down.
For those unfamiliar with a C-130 gunship, it is one of the most feared weapons in our military. The C-130 is specifically designed for close air support roles include supporting ground troops, escorting convoys, and flying urban operations. Air interdiction missions are conducted against planned targets and targets of opportunity. Force protection missions include defending bases and other facilities.
As far as the enemy is concerned…When a C-130 gunship comes into the picture…Hell comes with it.
Defense Secretary Leon Panetta spoke on Thursday and, as a reason for NOT sending help, stated: “The basic principle is that you don’t deploy forces into harm’s way without knowing what’s going on, without having some real-time information about what’s taking place. And as a result of not having that kind of information…[we] felt very strongly that we could not put forces at risk in that situation.”
The problem is this.
We DID have real-time information. Those in the State Department were literally watching the terrorist attack happen live via video link AND we had what we now know were 2 unmanned drones over the attack site in Benghazi. If that’s not enough, at the annex, less than a mile away, we had a Navy Seal, Tyrone Woods AND a CIA operative.
By the time the second wave of the attack began, at the annex, we had the CIA operative and 2 Navy Seals, Woods and Doherty and THEY were “painting” the position of the mortar launches with a laser used to guide the very weapons that a Blackhawk or C-130 could have brought to bear.
If that’s not enough, our military is the most highly trained military on earth. Those who fly those ships of war train each and every day for exactly the sort of eventually that was transpiring that night in Benghazi. Their very job is to go into harm’s way.
Combined…all of this lays waist to Panetta’s explanation and reduces it to nothing but a bald faced, unadulterated lie.
Back to treason.
For an act of treason to occur, a state of war must exist.
We are indeed at war. In Afghanistan, we are currently engaged in war against al Qaeda.  Ansar al-Sharia IS a well-known al Qaeda affiliate and Ansar al-Sharia was attacking our consulate and annex, both considered American soil.
For an act of treason to be committed, one must manifests a betrayal of allegiance to the United States, such as furnishing enemies with arms, troops, transportation, shelter, or classified information.
There are some 20,000 shoulder fired rockets, RPG’s and other heavy weapons MISSING that were provided to Libyan rebels in the attempt to oust Gaddafi from power. We didn’t know WHO those rebels were at the time we armed them and, in fact, within hours of Gaddafi’s death, the flags of al Qaeda were flying in Benghazi.
Furthermore, in cables from security personnel in the months leading up TO the fatal attack, it was clearly stated that those al Qaeda flags were still flying over several government buildings in Benghazi.
Also, regarding an act of treason, If a subversive act has any tendency to weaken the power of the United States to attack or resist its enemies, aid and comfort has been given.
The order for Navy Seal Tyrone Wood to stand down, the orders to our military in Italy to stand down and the repeated…not once…Not twice but…Three denials of help from Washington does, by any definition, equate to a “weakening of the power to resist its enemies.”
During the 2nd debate, when a question regarding Libya was posed, Obama responded:
“Secretary Clinton has done an extraordinary job  but, she works for Me. I’m the president. I’m always responsible.”
The State Department was watching the attack live, in real-time.
Emails were sent to some 400 people in Washington DURING the attack, in real-time.
Among the recipients of those emails was the White House Situation room.  At the time those emails arrived at the White House Situation Room, Obama was meeting with his Security Team.  Obama says that HE is the president and HE is responsible.
I am sensing a very, very…VERY short chain of command here.
The calls for help from the CIA operative and Tyrone Woods were NOT ignored and did NOT go unanswered. The requests to enter the fight from bases in Italy were NOT ignored and did NOT go unanswered.
All were DENIED.
That shows a purposeful action.
All of those calls for help and requests for deployment were DENIED purposefully.
The result was that our enemy, those conducting the operation against our Consulate, our annex, our assets and our personnel in Benghazi, was aided…AIDED…by a purposeful lack of response…DIRECTED FROM THE HIGHEST LEVELS IN WASHINGTON.
Our Consulate in Benghazi was destroyed while Washington officials watched, received emails and denied calls for help in real-time.
4 Americans were killed while Washington officials watched, received emails and denied calls for help in real-time.
Whatever confidential papers or records contained in that Consulate were either destroyed or went missing while Washington officials watched, received emails and denied calls for help in real-time.
“…such as furnishing enemies with arms, troops, transportation, shelter, or CLASSIFIED INFORMATION…”
Who gave the willful and purposeful order to deny help when Navy Seal Tyrone Woods called?
Who gave the willful and purposeful order for Tyrone Woods and the CIA Operative to Stand Down?
Who gave the willful and purposeful order for our highly trained, apt and heavily armed military in Italy to stand down?
“Secretary Clinton has done an extraordinary job but, she works for ME. I’m the president. I’m always responsible.”
For the very life of me, I cannot conjure a single conclusion other than treason, brought about by political cowardice, for denying help not once, not twice but, three times in the midst of a terrorist attack and not one reason but treason, brought about by political cowardice, for the willful and purposeful order to those in a position to offer needed help in the midst of a terrorist attack, to stand down.
2 quotes come to mind. The first, from Marcus Tullius Cicero, describes the sort of man who would issue orders not to send help and for Tyrone Woods and Glen Doherty to stand down in the face of the attack.
“A nation can survive its fools, and even the ambitious. But it cannot survive treason from within. An enemy at the gates is less formidable, for he is known and carries his banner openly. But the traitor moves amongst those within the gate freely, his sly whispers rustling through all the alleys, heard in the very halls of government itself. For the traitor appears not a traitor; he speaks in accents familiar to his victims, and he wears their face and their arguments, he appeals to the baseness that lies deep in the hearts of all men. He rots the soul of a nation, he works secretly and unknown in the night to undermine the pillars of the city, he infects the body politic so that it can no longer resist. A murderer is less to fear. The traitor is the plague.”
And the second, from John15:13, is the precise description of the last hours and minutes of the lives of Woods and Doherty.
“Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.”
Ultimately, only one person could have issued the orders not to help and for the military not to deploy.
Only one. Barack Obama.
Will ANY Member of Congress show the moral clarity and courage of Tyrone Woods and Glen Doherty? Will ANY Member of Congress stand AGAINST political cowardice and call this what it was?
An Act of Treason.
Craig Andresen
The National Patriot
Weekend Edition 10/27/12
Title: Ret. Lt. Col: Baraq was in the room watching Benghazi attack
Post by: Crafty_Dog on October 28, 2012, 07:48:39 AM
Title: KIA SEAL's dad on Hannity
Post by: Crafty_Dog on October 28, 2012, 08:05:13 AM
IMHO, Hannity is an ass, but here's an interview with the dad:
Title: RumInt: The hidden real truth?!?
Post by: Crafty_Dog on October 28, 2012, 08:41:22 AM
Third post:

Quite a bit of this is quite far out there, but there is so much about all of this that does not make sense and we have beeen lied to so much that we are left to try out different notions for size:


*The hidden real truth about Benghazi (*

- Doug Hagmann (Bio and Archives)  Friday, October 26, 2012

Most people know that we’ve been lied to about the attacks in Benghazi, but few realize the extent of those lies or the hidden secrets they cover. After all, the lie is different at every level. Thanks to a well placed source with extensive knowledge about the attack, the disturbing truth is slowly beginning to emerge and is lining up with information contained in my previous articles published here weeks ago (Here, Here and Here). The truth reveals the most serious situation in the world today as it involves the interests and destinies of us all.

*A mosaic of lies*

According to the U.S. government, Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans were killed during a spontaneous protest at the consulate office in Benghazi by a frenzied crowd of Muslims outraged over an obscure internet video. Recently released “sensitive but not classified e-mails” from Stevens to the U.S. Department of State painted a picture of poor security for U.S. personnel and the embassy, which was obviously true but had little to do with the events of September 11, 2012. The failure to dispatch an extraction team or otherwise rescue the men during a firefight that lasted upwards of nine grueling and tortuous hours was not the result of any intelligence failure, but caused by our unwillingness to widen the conflict and expose the nature and scale of our true mission in Benghazi.

Based on information provided by my source and corroborated elsewhere, the official account by administration officials is a mosaic of lies that were necessary to cover the unpalatable truth of covert actions taking place in Libya, Syria, Turkey, Jordan and Lebanon. The primary objective of our covert actions was to secretly arm anti-Assad “rebels” in Syria by funneling arms from Libya to Syria via Turkey, with other destinations that included Jordan and Lebanon.  Regarding the threat to Stevens and the other murdered Americans, the truth will reformat the persistent question posed to government officials, from UN Ambassador Susan Rice to White House Spokesman Jay Carney and others from “how could you not have known” to “how could you have done these things?”

First, it is important to understand that Ambassador Stevens, Sean Smith, Glen Dougherty and Tyrone Woods were not killed at a consulate office in Benghazi—as there is not such office there. They died at one of the largest CIA operations centers in the Middle East, which was located in Benghazi and served as the logistics headquarters for arms and weapons being shipped out of the post-Qaddafi Libya.

Although the U.S. government insisted that Stevens was involved in securing and destroying the numerous caches of arms and weapons once under the control of Qaddafi, the operation was more complex than that. The visual accounts of weapons being destroyed were indeed real, but those weapons were not operational. The working weapons were actually separated and transported to holding facilities for their eventual use in Syria. Russia was fully aware of this operation and warned the U.S. not to engage in the destabilization of Syria, as doing so would endanger their national security interests. Deposing Assad, as despotic as he might be, and replacing him with a Muslim Brotherhood-led regime would likely lead to unrestrained Islamic chaos across the region.

*The Turkish warning*

According to my source, Ambassador Stevens was in Benghazi on September 11, 2012 to meet with his Turkish counterpart, who reportedly warned Stevens that the operation was compromised. They met in person so that Stevens could be shown overhead satellite images, taken by the Russians, of nefarious activities taking place in Turkey. But just what were these nefarious activities?

It is reasonable to suspect that these activities were more dire than just your average “gun running” operation. Since the overthrow of Qaddafi, it is estimated that upwards of 40 million tons of weapons and arms were shipped out of Libya to Syria. But it was also known inside intelligence circles that Qaddafi possessed chemical weapons in addition to numerous surface-to-air missiles. Could it be that Russia obtained unmistakable surveillance footage of the anti-Assad “rebels” being shown how to load chemical payloads onto missiles inside Turkey near the border of Syria? Weapons, of course, that were shipped from Libya by the CIA in conjunction with various Muslim Brotherhood rebel groups.  If so, such weapons could be used as a “false flag” type of operation—one that would be implemented to “set-up” Assad by making it appear that he was using these weapons on forces dedicated to his overthrow.

The blowback by the international community would be swift and punishing, and the entirety of the civilized world would be demanding his overthrow. NATO would then be used to expedite his ouster, and Russia’s moral position within the international community would be weakened. Was the meeting held to show Stevens that the operation was compromised and that they had to stop?

*A Nation/State sponsored attack?*

While the administration asserts that the attack in Benghazi was conducted by a group of rebels acting alone, the facts seem to indicate otherwise. The level of coordination was such that we did not deploy military assets, located just an hour or two away by air, to rescue Stevens and the others at the CIA operations center in their time of need. If, as the administration contends, that the attack was perpetuated by a group of frenzied rebels, our military could have easily handled them in short order. So why was there no rescue operation?

Perhaps the statements made yesterday by Leon Panetta, U.S. Secretary of Defense provides some insight if one analyzes the essence of those statements. Among other things, Panetta said that “...the basic principle is that you don’t deploy forces into harm’s way without knowing what’s going on…” Well, it has been confirmed we did know what was taking place on the ground in Benghazi, so exactly what did Panetta mean by this statement?

Against the backdrop of the official story, it makes little sense. If, however, one considers the alternative, that the attack was coordinated and was a nation/state sponsored attack, then it becomes clearer. Panetta and the highest levels of this administration likely knew exactly what we were doing, and knew that the operation was compromised. They knew, or had reason to believe, that the attack was being conducted at a nation/state level in response to our covert operation in Libya and arming the anti-Assad Syrian opposition.

Although Russia figures prominently here, Iran now comes into focus as Russia is not likely to directly engage U.S. forces. They must, however, protect their interests. Much like we were using anti-Assad forces to advance our objectives in Syria, Russia was using Iranian-backed forces to protect theirs. It appears that the attacks were conducted or facilitated by Iranian assets—perhaps as many as three teams of assets in Benghazi.

As the White House and other agencies monitored intelligence in real-time, they faced a dilemma. They knew that the nation/state sponsored attack teams were lying in wait for U.S. rescue forces to arrive, which is the reason the fight did not conclusively end sooner. They did not know exactly where all of the attack teams were, but knew they were present based on signal communication intercepts. Could they risk such exposure by deploying a rescue team to Benghazi, only to end up with another Black Hawk down type scenario? In addition to that scenario, the entire operation now becomes exposed for what it is. Take another look at Panetta’s statement in that context. Does it now make more sense? Bad PR in an election year, no?

As daylight approached with no response from the U.S. and no aid to the Americans under fire, the attack teams had to disperse into the cover of the remaining darkness, but not before their mission was accomplished. And sadly, it was.


From the day of attack in Benghazi, Iran has been engaged in a full spectrum attack on the U.S. and NATO across the board involving embassies, bombing and even cyber attacks. All of this is the fallout from the arms and weapons smuggling operation, which was far greater than understood by the Western media.

Russia has now moved their contingent of S-400 missiles into much of Syria in anticipation of NATO establishing an “air cap” over Syria. A ten-mile “buffer zone” along Syria’s border has been created for Syrian refugees, but it also acts as a catalyst for the encroachment into Syrian territory. It sets the stage for further advancement and erosion of Syrian land, incrementally, of course.

It is also of critical importance to note that last weekend, Russia completed large-scale exercises of their Strategic Nuclear Forces under the watchful command of President Vladimir Putin. These were the first such nuclear exercises conducted since the fall of the Soviet Union.

To those with discernment, it is obvious that we are at the precipice of World War III. Putin himself stated as much, noting that WW III will not start in Iran but Syria, his own “red line in the sand.”
Title: Is general losing his job over Benghazi?
Post by: Crafty_Dog on October 28, 2012, 09:36:47 AM
Fourth post

TRR: Is a General losing his job over Benghazi?
By James S. Robbins - The Washington Times
October 28, 2012, 12:32AM
Is an American General losing his job for trying to save the Americans besieged in Benghazi? This is the latest potential wrinkle in the growing scandal surrounding the September 11, 2012 terrorist attack that left four men dead and President Obama scrambling for a coherent explanation.
On October 18, Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta appeared unexpectedly at an otherwise unrelated briefing on “Efforts to Enhance the Financial Health of the Force." News organizations and CSPAN were told beforehand there was no news value to the event and gave it scant coverage. In his brief remarks Mr. Panetta said, "Today I am very pleased to announce that President Obama will nominate General David Rodriguez to succeed General Carter Ham as commander of U.S. Africa Command.” This came as a surprise to many, since General Ham had only been in the position for a year and a half. The General is a very well regarded officer who made AFRICOM into a true Combatant Command after the ineffective leadership of his predecessor, General William E. "Kip" Ward. Later, word circulated informally that General Ham was scheduled to rotate out in March 2013 anyway, but according to Joint doctrine, "the tour length for combatant commanders and Defense agency directors is three years." Some assumed that he was leaving for unspecified personal reasons.
However on October 26, "Ambassador" posted the following RUMINT on TigerDroppings (h/t Jim Hoft):
I heard a story today from someone inside the military that I trust entirely. The story was in reference to General Ham that Panetta referenced in the quote below.


"(The) basic principle is that you don't deploy forces into harm's way without knowing what's going on; without having some real-time information about what's taking place," Panetta told Pentagon reporters. "And as a result of not having that kind of information, the commander who was on the ground in that area, Gen. Ham, Gen. Dempsey and I felt very strongly that we could not put forces at risk in that situation."


The information I heard today was that General Ham as head of Africom received the same e-mails the White House received requesting help/support as the attack was taking place. General Ham immediately had a rapid response unit ready and communicated to the Pentagon that he had a unit ready.

General Ham then received the order to stand down. His response was to screw it, he was going to help anyhow. Within 30 seconds to a minute after making the move to respond, his second in command apprehended General Ham and told him that he was now relieved of his command.

The story continues that now General Rodiguez would take General Ham's place as the head of Africom.
This version of events contradicts Mr. Panetta’s October 25 statement that General Ham advised against intervention. But so far there is nothing solid to back it up. Maybe Ham attempted to send a reaction force against orders, or maybe he simply said the wrong thing to the wrong people. Perhaps he gave whomever he was talking to up the chain a piece of his mind about leaving Americans to die when there was a chance of saving them. At the very least U.S. forces might have made those who killed our people pay while they were still on the scene. The Obama White House is famously vindictive against perceived disloyalty – the administration would not let Ham get away with scolding them for failing to show the leadership necessary to save American lives. The Army's ethos is to leave no man behind, but that is not shared by a president accustomed to leading from that location.
The question remains why the repeated requests – which is to say desperate pleas – to send a relief force were refused. Perhaps Mr. Obama and his national security brain trust thought the terrorist assault would be a minor skirmish and quickly blow over. When it became clear that the attack was something more serious, they may have had visions of the rescue team getting involved in a Mogadishu-like firefight, a “Blackhawk Down 2.” This would have been too much for the risk-averse Mr. Obama, particularly in a Muslim country, and less than two months before the election. Instead they simply watched the live video hoped for the best. If there were American fatalities, they felt they could shift blame for the circumstance to the supposed Youtube video which they had already blamed for the riot at the U.S. Embassy in Cairo hours earlier. In fact the Embassy had sent out its “apology” tweets even before the Cairo riot commenced.
Hillary Clinton’s freakishly bizarre statement on September 14 is also worth noting. At a memorial service to the fallen she told Charles Woods, father of slain former Navy SEAL Tyrone Woods, that “we will make sure that the person who made that film is arrested and prosecuted." In that situation one would expect her to vow to take down the terrorists who killed Tyrone, not the supposed instigator of the spontaneous mob action that never happened.
But since when does the Secretary of State feel it is her duty to promise to have an American filmmaker who has committed no crime arrested? For all the bowing and scraping to Islam that has gone on in the last four years, blasphemy against that or any other faith is still not illegal in this country. The First Amendment still exists. It is strange that Mrs. Clinton believed that the parents of the slain Americans would empathize with her outrage at the filmmaker, rather than reserve their anger for the extremists who actually did the killing. But as Mr. Woods said, he "could tell that she was not telling me the truth." Indeed the truth has been the fifth casualty in this entire tragic affair.
Title: DOJ: Flight 103 documents
Post by: bigdog on October 28, 2012, 01:57:50 PM
Title: Epic Heroism
Post by: G M on October 28, 2012, 02:31:05 PM
Crafty, can any of your Tier 1 contacts corroborate what is posted below?


Earn your Trident every day…
About the two Navy SEAL’s killed in Libya:

Quite an astounding tribute to the courage and bravery of the two former Navy SEAL’s that went to the aid of Ambassador Stevens and Embassy staff. Courageous!

Recently I was teaching a class in my church on the biblical character, Joshua. You remember him – he’s the one who took over for Moses to lead the Israelites into the Promised Land. God made several promises to Joshua in the opening verses of this book of the Bible named after him. Three times God instructs Joshua to “be strong and courageous.” In fact, one of those times God instructed him to be “very courageous.” The road ahead was a tough one and Joshua would need to be up to the task.

The news has been full of the attacks on our embassies throughout the Muslim world, and in particular, the deaths of Ambassador Chris Stevens and three others in Benghazi , Libya . However, apart from the shameful amount of disinformation willingly distributed by the Main Stream Media and the current administration, there’s a little known story of incredible bravery, heroics, and courage that should be the top story of every news agency across the fruited plain.

So what actually happened at the U.S. embassy in Libya ? We are learning more about this every day. Ambassador Stevens and Foreign Service officer Sean Smith, along with administrative staff, were working out of temporary quarters due to the fact that in the spring of 2011 during the so-called Arab Spring, the United States cut ties with then president Moammar Gadhafi. Our embassy was looted and ransacked, causing it to be unusable. It is still in a state of disrepair. Security for embassies and their personnel is to be provided by the host nation. Since Libya has gone through a civil war of sorts in the past 18 months, the current government is very unstable, and therefore, unreliable

A well-organized attack by radical Muslims was planned specifically targeting the temporary U.S. embassy building. The Libyan security force that was in place to protect our people deserted their post, or joined the attacking force. Either way, our people were in a real fix. And it should be noted that Ambassador Stevens had mentioned on more than one occasion to Secretary of State, “Hillary Clinton”, that he was quite concerned for his personal safety and the welfare of his people. It is thought that Ambassador Stevens was on a “hit list.”

A short distance from the American compound, two Americans were sleeping. They were in Libya as independent contractors working an assignment totally unrelated to our embassy. They also happened to be former Navy SEALs. When they heard the noise coming from the attack on our embassy, as you would expect from highly trained warriors, they ran to the fight. Apparently, they had no weapons, but seeing the Libyan guards dropping their guns in their haste in fleeing the scene, Tyrone Woods and Glen Doherty snatched up several of these discarded weapons and prepared to defend the American compound.

Not knowing exactly what was taking place, the two SEALs set up a defensive perimeter. Unfortunately Ambassador Stevens was already gravely injured, and Foreign Service officer, Sean Smith, was dead. However, due to their quick action and suppressive fire, twenty administrative personnel in the embassy were able to escape to safety. Eventually, these two courageous men were overwhelmed by the sheer numbers brought against them, an enemy force numbering between 100 to 200 attackers which came in two waves. But the stunning part of the story is that Tyrone Woods and Glen Doherty killed 60 of the attacking force. Once the compound was overrun, the attackers were incensed to discover that just two men had inflicted so much death and destruction.

As it became apparent to these selfless heroes, they were definitely going to lose their lives unless some reinforcements showed up in a hurry. As we know now, that was not to be. I’m fairly certain they knew they were going to die in this gun fight, but not before they took a whole lot of bad guys with them!

Consider these tenets of the Navy SEAL Code: 1) Loyalty to Country, Team and Teammate, 2) Serve with Honor and Integrity On and Off the Battlefield, 3) Ready to Lead, Ready to Follow, Never Quit, 4) Take responsibility for your actions and the actions of your teammates, 5) Excel as Warriors through Discipline and Innovation, 6) Train for War, Fight to Win, Defeat our Nation’s Enemies, and 7) Earn your Trident every day (

Thank you, Tyrone and Glen. To the very last breath, you both lived up to the SEAL Code. You served all of us well. You were courageous in the face of certain death.

And Tyrone, even though you never got to hold your newborn son, he will grow up knowing the character and quality of his father, a man among men who sacrificed himself defending others. God bless America !

Dr. Charles R. Roots Senior Pastor Former Staff Sergeant, USMC Captain, U. S. Navy Chaplain Corps (Ret)

This should be passed on and on and on.

Title: Re: Libya and
Post by: Crafty_Dog on October 28, 2012, 06:08:25 PM
No sources are given (and it was a consulate, not an embassy as he misstates) so I know not how he knows what he states.  My understanding is that the SEALs were working for the CIA and I find it quite implausible that they arrived unarmed.
Title: Why Our Forces Were Told to "Stand Down" in Benghazi...
Post by: objectivist1 on October 29, 2012, 04:43:35 AM
Why Our Forces Were Told to ‘Stand Down’ in Benghazi

Posted By Daniel Greenfield On October 29, 2012 @

To understand what went wrong in the Benghazi mission, it’s important to begin by looking at what was so unique about it.

When the Islamist mobs began their September 11 rampage, they found embassies with high walls, heavy security and police protection. Even in Tunis and Cairo, where the Arab Spring Islamist regimes have been accused of collaborating with their fellow Salafists, there were credible military and police forces capable of preventing the kind of full scale assault that took place in Benghazi.

The mission in Benghazi, however, was an American diplomatic facility with few defenses in a city where the police were virtually helpless against the Islamist militias and where the national government had announced that it would allow the Salafists to destroy Sufi tombs rather than intervene.

On September 1, I wrote that the real implication of these remarks was that the Libyan government had given the Islamists a free hand and would take no action no matter what they did. And bloodshed was sure to follow. Ten days later it did.

After the fall of Saddam, American diplomatic facilities in Iraq did not remain unguarded or protected only by local militias. It was always understood that American diplomatic facilities in a country whose government had recently fallen were sitting ducks and needed heavy protection. The State Department cables show that this was something that quite a few of the Americans on the ground also understood. The Benghazi consulate had been attacked, and its next attack would only be a matter of time.

When Al Qaeda decided to commemorate September 11 with a wave of attacks on American diplomatic facilities across the Muslim world, from Tunis all the way to Indonesia, in a recreation of its own 1998 embassy attacks, its planners paid special attention to the one facility that was a soft target and surrounded by jihadist fighters. A facility that was a perfect target because it was completely exposed.

Benghazi should have either had the same protection that a similar facility in Iraq would have or it should have been closed down. Instead the State Department chose to rely on its friendly relations with the jihadists, having forgotten the story of the scorpion and the frog, trusting in an Islamist militia linked to the Muslim Brotherhood and to its future Al Qaeda-affiliated Ansar Al Sharia attackers to protect it.

The State Department was not being cheap. Its budget had climbed steadily under Obama and it could have set up another Green Zone in Benghazi if it chose to. But that would have been a flashback to the Bush era that represented everything the appeasement lobby had hated about those eight years.

Libya was meant to be a new kind of war. Not a display of American arrogance and unilateralism, but a show of submissiveness to the goals and ambitions of the Muslim world. In post-American diplomacy, the Americans did not arrive with a show of force, surrounded by Marines and heavy fortifications, but bent humbly under the defensive shield of the Islamist Ummah. Rather than exporting the Dar Al Harb, the Americans would ask for the protection of the Dar Al Islam.

The reason that the Navy SEALS were denied the support of a Spectre C-130U gunship was the same reason that the consulate had been left nearly unguarded. And it was the same reason that so many soldiers had died in Afghanistan because they had been denied air and artillery support or even the permission to open fire.

What happened in Benghazi was only extraordinary because it caught the attention of the public, but American soldiers in Afghanistan had been suffering under the same conditions ever since it was decided that winning the hearts and minds of Afghan civilians was more important than the lives of American soldiers.

The four Americans killed in Benghazi lived and died by the same code as thousands of Americans in Afghanistan. And that code overrode loyalty to one’s own people in favor of appeasing Muslims. The two former SEALS broke that code, violating orders by going to protect the consulate and were abandoned in the field by an administration that prioritized Muslim opinions over American lives.

From the post-American diplomatic perspective, the lives of a few Americans, who knew what they were getting into, was a small sacrifice to make when weighed against the potential of turning the entire Muslim world around. A Spectre gunship blasting away at an Islamist militia in the streets of Benghazi would have ended the fiction of a successful war in Libya and infuriated most of the Islamist militias. Worst of all, it would have made Americans seem like imperialists, instead of helpful aides to the Islamist transition of the Arab Spring. It would have ruined everything and so it was shut down.

Glen Doherty and Tyrone Woods were not the first Americans to be abandoned by their country for diplomatic reasons. They will not be the last. And while we investigate and expose the decisions that their government made, it is important for us to remember that such decisions come out of a mindset that says there are diplomatic goals that are more important than American lives. This mindset did not begin with the War on Terror and it will not end until it is exposed for what it is.

During Israel’s descent into peace madness, its left-wing government coined a phrase for those Israelis killed in terrorist attacks, calling them, “Sacrifices of Peace.”

Christopher Stevens, Sean Smith, Glen Doherty and Tyrone Woods are our government’s sacrifices of peace. They died so that we might go on in our futile effort to win over the Muslim world. And they are not the only ones. There is no way of knowing how many of the 1,500 Americans who were killed in Obama’s surge died because they were prevented from firing first or denied air support. But the number is likely to be in the hundreds.

Similarly 3,000 died in the attacks of September 11 because our diplomatic relations with Saudi Arabia were too important to close the revolving door that allowed the terrorists such easy access to our country. They too were sacrifices of peace, burned on the altar of appeasement by a diplomatic establishment that puts the opinions of our enemies first and American lives last.

What went wrong in Benghazi is the same thing that went wrong in Afghanistan. It is the same thing that went wrong on the original September 11. It is the same thing that has gone wrong throughout the War on Terror. If we are to learn any lesson from what happened in Benghazi, it should be that American lives come before Muslim diplomacy and that any government which does not put American lives first, which does not take whatever measures are necessary to save their lives, regardless of what Muslims may think, is not an American government, but a post-American government.
Title: Re: Libya and
Post by: Crafty_Dog on October 29, 2012, 02:05:02 PM
Obama's perfect storms
Center for Security Policy | Oct 29, 2012
By Frank Gaffney, Jr.

Barack Obama faces not one but two perfect storms. He may actually be grateful for the meteorological one if it predictably helps obscure the political one at least for the next week.

Hurricane Sandy is, of course, a disaster no one would welcome. Untold numbers of Americans are having their lives endangered, or at least severely disrupted, and the potential economic harm is unimaginable at this point.

The president could nonetheless see a silver lining in this horrific "weather event." For one thing, he gets to posture as the leader of the nation in a terrible time of testing, the doler-out of federal emergency assistance and the great consoler around whom we instinctively rally in such circumstances.

Perhaps more importantly for Team Obama, many voters are going to have many other things on their minds for the next few, critical days instead of thinking about the evidence that their Commander-in-Chief was seriously derelict regarding the murderous attack in Benghazi. The President's reelection bid cannot afford in the closing days of a putatively very close election to have his fraudulent claim to successful stewardship of the national security portfolio be as exposed as his dismal economic record.
It remains to be seen, however, if Frankenstorm Sandy will do more than simply defer the day of reckoning for Mr. Obama. Whether it occurs on November 6th or afterwards, the rising popular revulsion at what happened in Libya on September 11, 2012 and the Obama administration's dissembling, deflections and outright lies in the weeks that followed should blow this presidency away. Consider a sample of the damning information that has come to light so far:

•   As the attack was underway, the President knew what was going on. Thanks to two unmanned drones, real-time intelligence was being fed to as many as eight different critical civilian and military nodes - including the White House. Published reports indicate that Mr. Obama himself, as well as his senior subordinates, were exposed to those video feeds.

•   Consequently, it was apparent in the actual course of the event that jihadists were engaging in a murderous military-style assault on a U.S. diplomatic mission, not simply demonstrators running amok. There had been no demonstration in Benghazi. Period. Yet, administration spokesmen, up to and including Mr. Obama himself, said otherwise repeatedly.

•   There had been requests for improved security at the Benghazi facilities and other sites in Libya. There had also been requests simply to retain the security forces that had been in place in-country up until summer's end. The Obama administration denied those requests and then prevaricated about having done so. Think Vice President Joe Biden in his debate with Rep. Paul Ryan.

•   Within an hour of the start of the attack, Mr. Obama met with his national security team's senior civilian and military national security leaders. The President has claimed he issued an order to "make sure that we are securing our personnel and doing whatever we need to." It is not clear at this writing to whom that order was given. What is clear, though, is that serial requests for supporting fire and reinforcements from some of those personnel were denied.

•   Reportedly, Ambassador Christopher Smith chose on September 11th to be in Benghazi, even though he had expressed growing concern that it and the rest of Libya were becoming increasingly dangerous. He had a first-hand appreciation of just how dangerous since he had, for over a year, helped arm, finance and otherwise support Libya's most aggressive Islamist elements in the interest of achieving the overthrow of Muammar Qaddafi.

What was so important as to prompt our top diplomat in Libya to make such a dangerous foray? It seems the ambassador felt compelled to meet with the Turkish consul general that evening for the purpose of damage-limitation following the compromise of the secret weapons pipeline Chris Stevens was then running to Syria. By some accounts, the Russians, Iranians and others had discovered that he was covertly providing automatic weapons, rocket-propelled grenades and even shoulder-fired, man-portable anti-aircraft missiles to "the opposition" there, including known jihadists associated with the Muslim Brotherhood and al Qaeda.

The revelation that Barack Obama was presiding over an operation involving gun-running to our enemies - including weapons virtually certain to be turned against us, later if not sooner - could have been fatal to his reelection bid. Add to that the evidence that a serious U.S. military response to the violence in Benghazi would provide of the fatuousness and mendacity of the administration's "Arab Spring" and "lead-from-behind" in Libya narratives. Toss in, too, Mr. Obama's refusal to act to save American lives and you have a perfect storm for a president.

In the crisis, President Obama was evidently paralyzed, not decisive let alone courageous. Regrettably, the loss of four of our countrymen that fateful night and the cover-up that followed will come to be seen by history as simply the leitmotif of a Commander-in-Chief whose record is a virtually unmitigated disaster for the United States.
It behooves all of us, and most especially the mainstream media, to stay focused - despite the devastating impact of hurricane-force winds, widespread blackouts and massive flooding - on the insights and lessons of the still-unfolding Benghazigate firestorm.
Title: Re: Libya / Benghazigate
Post by: DougMacG on October 30, 2012, 07:41:54 AM
Right when I thought it was just me I keep seeing more coverage - in places only right wingers will look.  This one is PJ Media.  Goes from great coverage of what is thought to be known right now to conjecture about how and why it happened.  page through as you please and stop if you want before he gets to the "T" word, treason.

Questions for White House Over Benghazi Just Beginning
We have two likely possibilities for what occurred, plus a subplot involving arms to al-Qaeda, which could be treason.

(4 internet pages, read at the link or I can come back later to post it all here.)
Title: Re: Libya and
Post by: Crafty_Dog on October 30, 2012, 08:02:29 AM
FWIW just in case something were to happen to the site in question it might not be a bad idea for the contents to be recorded elsewhere.
Title: VDH on Benghazi
Post by: Body-by-Guinness on October 30, 2012, 08:57:36 AM

The Wages of Libya
By Victor Davis Hanson
October 30, 2012 4:00 A.M.
We have had ambassadors murdered abroad before, but we have never seen anything quite like the tragic fate of Chris Stevens. Amid all the controversy over Libya, we have lost sight of the human — and often horrific — story of Benghazi: a U.S. ambassador attacked, cut off and killed alone, after being abused by frenzied terrorists, and a second member of the embassy staff murdered, as two American private citizens rushed to the rescue, heroically warding off Islamist hit teams, until they were overwhelmed and also killed.

Seven weeks after the tragedy in Benghazi, new government narratives just keep appearing, as various branches of government point the finger at one another. Now the president insists that “the minute” he “found out what was going on” he gave “very clear directives” to “make sure that we are securing our personnel and doing whatever we need to.” The secretary of defense argues that he knew too little to send in military forces to save the post. Meanwhile, we are hearing from other sources that the beleaguered compound in extremis was denied help on three separate occasions, and there are still more contradictory accounts.

When the government systematically misleads and cannot establish a believable narrative, almost everyone involved is eventually tarred. The final chart of those officials in the Nixon White House who were devoured by Watergate was vast — and so it is becoming with the disaster in Libya. If we have learned anything from Watergate and Iran-Contra, it is that the longer officials deceive and obfuscate, the greater the number of wrecked careers and reputations.

Most likely, the political wing of the White House almost immediately made a decision that the attack on our Benghazi consulate should not endanger the conventional narrative of a successful commander-in-chief — ahead in the polls in part because he had highlighted a supposedly successful foreign policy. Key to that story was the notion that the hit on bin Laden and the drone attacks on other Islamists had rendered al-Qaeda all but impotent. In addition, the administration’s supposed lead-from-behind strategy in Libya had served as a model for energizing a democratic Arab Spring. Commander-in-Chief Obama was intent on reminding the country of his competence and toughness as an international leader, and especially of his wise reluctance to rush into areas of instability.

In such a landscape, Ambassador Stevens and three other Americans were brutally murdered. And almost immediately it was clear that the ambassador had earlier warned that Libya was descending into chaos and that Americans were not safe there — only to have his requests for further protection rejected.

During the actual assault on the consulate, a real-time video, streams of e-mail exchanges, and surveys of Islamist websites confirmed that al-Qaedists were carrying out a preplanned assassination — and over the next seven or eight hours it became clear that our staff was in dire need of military assistance that was somehow never sent. Then for nearly two weeks, the president, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, Press Secretary Jay Carney, and U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice advanced a counter-narrative that simply could not have been true: A spontaneous demonstration over a two-month-old video — just happening to coincide with the anniversary of 9/11 — got out of hand as some disruptive protesters showed up with machines gun, mortars, and RPGs and began killing Americans. Since it was an American religious bigot who had prompted such terrible but “natural” riots with his video that ridiculed and injured Islam, we should apologize for the uncouth among us in the strongest terms.

Obama, Clinton, Clapper, Rice, and Carney strove to outdo each other in damning the obscure video maker — to such an extent that he was summarily arrested on a supposedly outstanding probation charge. The message? Ambassadors die and careful U.S. foreign policy is undermined when right-wing bigots abuse their free-speech rights.

Yet almost all of that story is untrue, and it will come back to haunt all those who either by intent or through ignorance engaged in the cover-up. Review the following spinners.

President Obama still does not grasp the significance of Libya. When he calls the attacks there and in Egypt “bumps in the road” or “not optimal,” and asserts that they will not play much of a role in the final weeks of the campaign, he sounds either callous or naïve or both. Collate the administration’s statements over the two weeks following the attacks, and they simply cannot be true. The months-old video proved just too much of a temptation for the president to resonate the themes of his Cairo speech in damning uncouth Americans for offending Muslims. When the president claims that he ordered everything to be done to save the compound, he must be aware that subordinates who did not in turn give orders that relief be sent will eventually come forward to either affirm or deny his statement. His further problem is that lax security, administration misdirection, and hesitancy to aid the beleaguered all feed into the earlier attitudes framed by “overseas contingency operations,” “man-caused disasters,” “workplace violence,” promises to try KSM in a civilian court, the al-Arabiya interview, the Cairo speech, and other efforts to contextualize and airbrush radical Islam’s terrorist assault on the West. In other words, fairly or not, we can discern a logic to why the president would not be candid and accurate about Benghazi.

Secretary Clinton will have to explain why the State Department did not heed requests for greater security, both before and during the attack. And she is beginning to grasp — and so especially is her husband — that the administration is hanging the disaster around her neck. She crudely blamed the attacks on our embassies in the Middle East on the video (with caskets of our dead as backdrop), reminding us that a few months earlier she had crudely giggled about the murder of Qaddafi (“We came, we saw, Qaddafi died”). All in all, her performance during this disaster has been disappointing, and more so with each new disclosure.

Then we come to Ambassador Rice, who apparently was being groomed to succeed Secretary of State Clinton. As part of that trajectory, she was to be point woman for the administration’s spontaneous-mob narrative. That meant that on at least five different occasions Rice hit the Sunday talk shows, apparently to showcase her rhetorical skills, insisting that the attacks in Cairo and Benghazi were ad hoc assaults that had nothing to do with U.S. foreign policy, anti-American animosity, or mistakes in American security preparation. Whether through ignorance or by design, Ambassador Rice repeatedly told an untruth, and did so with energy and dogmatic insistence. Her problem, then, is not just that what she insisted was true was clearly not, but also the unambiguous and forceful manner in which she wove her story. That she suddenly appeared from obscurity to play the sophist, and then retreated back into anonymity, suggests that her diplomatic career will be soon coming to an end.

Next is the matter of Director of National Intelligence James Clapper. His insistence that a mob had caused the mayhem is one untruth or mischaracterization too many — and a wrong assessment that trumps even his earlier absurdities, such as that the Muslim Brotherhood is largely a secular organization or that Qaddafi would not fall from power. Politicians and bureaucrats err all the time; but when intelligence officers do not appear to have intelligence, then they too usually quietly disappear into comfortable retirement.

Chairman of the Joint Chiefs General Martin Dempsey at some point supposedly received information about the attack in real time. Why — given the supposed directive of the president to do “whatever we need to” to save our people — he did not order military assistance will have to be explained. Uncertain conditions will not do, because that is what militaries do: go into uncertain conditions to save lives and defeat the enemy. Armchair tacticians will argue that planes and teams could have been sent and then called off near arrival time if that was what circumstances seemed to warrant; that option would have been wiser than sending no one and thereby ensuring that the compound and annex would be overrun. And because General Dempsey has not been shy in weighing in on matters political by warning retired servicemen not to comment on contemporary politics (General Wesley Clark apparently excepted), and because he has phoned a Florida pastor to tell him to tone down his anti-Islamic rhetoric, the public will all the more expect an explanation. If the chairman can lecture both civilians and retired officers on proper behavior, then he should be able as well to explain why he did not heed the president’s order to do “whatever we need to do.”

CIA Director David Petraeus is now by implication being faulted. A brief communiqué that the CIA did not refuse pleas for assistance was prompted by anonymous administration officials’ allegations that it was our intelligence agencies, not the State Department or White House officials, that prevented assistance to our diplomatic mission. At some point Petraeus will probably have to use all his influence and power to correct the administration’s narrative, which is apparently intended to shift culpability to him and his agency. General Petraeus, by his singular record, probably should have been made either chairman of the Joint Chiefs or NATO supreme commander; he apparently received neither offer. After pulling off the surge in Iraq, he was redeployed into Afghanistan under far different — and more difficult — circumstances that limited his range of options, and he had to give up his nominally superior billet as CENTCOM commander. When he took on the CIA job, he apparently was asked to retire from the military. There is a pattern here: selfless service to the United States, but recently in the context of a politicized administration that has used the enormous prestige of Petraeus in ways that have reduced his influence. Directing responsibility away from the administration to the CIA is more of the same, and it puts a historic figure like Petraeus in an unfair predicament.

Benghazi was a disaster, whose graphic details most Americans do not fully know and, in some sense understandably, do not wish to relive. Still, we await two simple clarifications: an administration timeline of exactly who was notified, in what manner, and when on the night of the attack, and a full release of all information detailing the administration reaction to the murders, from the hours in which the attack occurred to the present day.

Without that honesty, those responsible will only continue to weave their tangled Libyan web.

— NRO contributor Victor Davis Hanson is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution and the author, most recently, of The End of Sparta, a novel about ancient freedom.
Title: Re: Libya and
Post by: Crafty_Dog on October 30, 2012, 10:04:36 AM
Title: Bret Baier of FOX: Syrian rebels receiving Libyan-US guns? Warning from Putin?
Post by: Crafty_Dog on October 30, 2012, 02:22:29 PM

Sometimes paranoids can be right , , ,  How much merit to this?
Title: Drones were unarmed.
Post by: Crafty_Dog on October 30, 2012, 06:50:02 PM
Title: Re: Libya, Selective Disarmament and Unarmed military vehicles...
Post by: DougMacG on October 30, 2012, 09:25:23 PM
"Drones above Benghazi were unarmed"  because ... _____________________________?

Because there was no threat in Libya, Benghazi?  No, that wasn't the reason. 

Disarmament is one of our strategies:  "Please tell Vladimir I will have more flexibility [to disarm] after my reelection."

Disarmament and appeasement turns enemies into peace seekers, so the naivete goes.

Why cover it up?  This is our strategy in Libya at least. With no American arms, no one will get hurt, right?

The administration does not explain the dichotomy.  The drones in Yemen and Pakistan do not been fly unarmed.  Recalling this map of "Obama’s 284 Drone Strikes in Pakistan":

They fly ready to kill with the purpose of killing.  Even the furthest left regime in American history knows you don't stop terrorists with unarmed aircraft.  Yet they chose unarmed for defending American resources in Libya.  Very odd.  And unexplained.

UAV, FYI, refers to unmanned, not unarmed, aerial vehicle.
Title: LOFF: Libyan Operation Fast & Furious?
Post by: Crafty_Dog on October 30, 2012, 11:05:03 PM
I find myself reflecting on the implications of LOFF:  Libyan Operation Fast & Furious.

If I have this right, and I readily accept that for where we are on the totem pole there may be more to come, Stevens was an arms conduit with the rebels of eastern Libya against Kaddaffy.  As was readily noted during the days of the rebellion against Kaddaffy, eastern Libya was THE largest source of AQ fighters against the US in Iraq.  In other words, there ain't no fg surprise that AQ flags were flying in Benghazi after Kaddaffy was killed, on the night that our four were killed, and since our four were killed.

Stevens was there in an unprotected consulate anyway despite attacks that caused the British to leave town, and two attacks on the US consulate an attempted hit on Stevens (please correct my memory if I have any of this -- or anything else for that matter-- wrong).  There was a substantial SF-type team in town (Bret Baier interview the Light Col. in charge of it in depth) asking for increased strength, but instead of being increased, the team was sent home in its entirety (!) in August.

Why was Stevens in Benghazi at all?

It seems reasonable to think that he was there as the US's point man for running guns on the ship that ran arms to the Syrian rebels via a port in far eastern Turkey (hence the meeting with the Turkish consul).  One might argue that AQ-types were a lesser part of the rebellion in the beginning, but that seems unlikely at this point.     

I am now seeing reports that MANPADs are part of what is being sent to the Syrian rebels.   Remember, Kaddaffy had 20,000 of the things and concerns were expressed by serious people of very serious consequences should such weaponry fall into the hands of the AQ types who dominate in eastern Libya.  These serious people said that MANPADs could effectively wipe out much of US air superiority (e.g. vs. a C-130), shoot down airliners so it seems quite logical that should Baraq want the AQ type rebels in Syria to get them that he would not want it known at all.  It would have to be very, very secret.

It seems plausible to me to wonder if the true reason for letting our four die (and according to RumInt reassigning two generals who did not want to go along with this cowardly betrayal)

Seen thus, all the clumsy lies about disgruntled video viewers make sense as desperate spontaneous improvisations.

What does the fact of LOFF tell us? 

What does it tell us about our President that he would send MANPADs to the AQ-type dominated rebels? 

In light of other things he has and has not done, what does this tell us about his overarching vision for the US viz Islamic Fascism in the mid-east and in the world?

Title: Shoebat: Al-Qaeda "Brother" Placed in Charge of U.S. Embassy in Tripoli...
Post by: objectivist1 on October 31, 2012, 07:41:25 AM
Libyan Leaks: Secret Document reveals Al-Qaeda ‘brother’ put in control of U.S. Embassy in Tripoli

by Shoebat Foundation on OCTOBER 31, 2012

Walid Shoebat and Ben Barrack

A treasure trove of secret documents has been obtained by a Libyan source who says that secularists in his country are increasingly wanting to see Mitt Romney defeat Barack Obama on November 6th. This charge is being made despite Muslim Brotherhood losses in Libyan elections last July which resulted in victory for the secularists. One of those documents may help explain this sentiment.

It shows that in supporting the removal of Gadhafi, the Obama administration seemed to sign on to an arrangement that left forces loyal to Al-Qaeda in charge of security at the U.S. embassy in Tripoli from 2011 through at least the spring of 2012.

The National Transitional Council, which represented the political apparatus that opposed Gadhafi in 2011 and served as the interim government after his removal, made an extremely curious appointment in August of 2011. That appointment was none other than Abdel Hakim Belhaj, an Al-Qaeda ally and ‘brother’. Here is a copy of that letter (translation beneath it):

Translated, the document reads:

National Transitional Council – Libya

Code: YGM-270-2011

Mr. Abdel Hakim Al-Khowailidi Belhaj


We would like to inform you that you have been commissioned to the duties and responsibilities of the military committee of the city of Tripoli. These include taking all necessary procedures to secure the safety of the Capital and its citizens, its public and private property, and institutions, to include all international embassies. To coordinate with the local community of the city of Tripoli and the security assembly and defense on a national level.