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G M
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« Reply #100 on: April 01, 2011, 07:13:38 AM »

http://www.thefiscaltimes.com/Columns/2011/03/30/Libya-Whats-Really-behind-the-US-Action.aspx

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.

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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #101 on: April 01, 2011, 07:44:55 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.
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G M
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« Reply #102 on: April 01, 2011, 07:54:14 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.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #103 on: April 01, 2011, 08:04:17 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?
====================
Stratfor:

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.

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ccp
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« Reply #104 on: April 02, 2011, 01:19:28 PM »

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:

http://www.hebrew4christians.com/Glossary/Yiddish_Words/yiddish_words.html#Sh

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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #105 on: April 02, 2011, 06:21:49 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.
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G M
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« Reply #106 on: April 02, 2011, 08:54:06 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?
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #107 on: April 02, 2011, 09:45:44 PM »

Your point is a fair one (as anyone who has seen "Rambo 3" can attest  cheesy ) 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"?
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G M
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« Reply #108 on: April 02, 2011, 09:57:11 PM »

Remember, the middle east is about tribes, not borders. Tell me about what tribes are fighting, not their alleged political ideals.
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G M
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« Reply #109 on: April 02, 2011, 10:05:21 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.
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G M
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« Reply #110 on: April 02, 2011, 10:13:18 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
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #111 on: April 02, 2011, 11:05:01 PM »

None of which contradicts what I am saying , , , nor answers the question I am putting to you.
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G M
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« Reply #112 on: April 02, 2011, 11:38:58 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.
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G M
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« Reply #113 on: April 02, 2011, 11:44:41 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.

http://www.gallup.com/poll/109072/many-turks-iranians-egyptians-link-sharia-justice.aspx

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.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #114 on: April 03, 2011, 10:26:55 AM »

http://townhall.com/columnists/stevechapman/2011/04/03/obamas_bloodbath_can_we_believe_the_hype/page/full/

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.

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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #115 on: April 04, 2011, 11:10:16 AM »

Pravda on the Beach with a favorable article about the rebels:

http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/world/la-fg-libya-rebels-portrait-20110404,0,3750535.story

It does resonate with the impressin I have from watching Fox News , , ,
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G M
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« Reply #116 on: April 04, 2011, 04:17:48 PM »

Plucky, secular freedom fighters, hardest hit.    rolleyes

http://pajamasmedia.com/blog/libyan-rebel-commander-cut-gaddafi%e2%80%99s-throat-then-establish-an-islamic-state/?singlepage=true

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 www.trans-int.com.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #117 on: April 05, 2011, 01:14:28 AM »

Well, this looks to get even more interesting.  I've heard that Daffy is moving to exile with his beloved nurse in Crimea.
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G M
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« Reply #118 on: April 05, 2011, 01:35:04 PM »

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.
http://hotair.com/archives/2011/04/05/nato-runs-short-on-attack-jets-in-libya/

"Coalition of the ailing"
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #119 on: April 05, 2011, 05:46:43 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.
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« Reply #120 on: April 07, 2011, 11:58:30 AM »

http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2011/04/07/111660/nato-jet-bombs-rebel-tanks-in.html

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: http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2011/04/07/111660/nato-jet-bombs-rebel-tanks-in.html
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« Reply #121 on: April 13, 2011, 08:40:56 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.
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« Reply #122 on: April 16, 2011, 12:15:29 PM »

Coalition of the ailing

http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/nato-runs-short-on-some-munitions-in-libya/2011/04/15/AF3O7ElD_story.html?hpid=z1

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.
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« Reply #123 on: April 19, 2011, 05:47:01 PM »

http://hotair.com/archives/2011/04/19/nato-admits-it-cant-stop-qaddafi-from-shelling-misrata-as-rebels-call-for-foreign-troops/

Coalition of the ailing.
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« Reply #124 on: April 20, 2011, 11:07:13 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.

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« Reply #125 on: April 22, 2011, 06:59:26 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.

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« Reply #126 on: April 22, 2011, 07:04:29 AM »

"Coalition of the ailing"





 rolleyes
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« Reply #127 on: April 22, 2011, 07:15:19 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.
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« Reply #128 on: April 22, 2011, 07:18:19 AM »

They should title this little misadventure "When accordions go deer hunting".
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« Reply #129 on: April 22, 2011, 07:32:10 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.

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« Reply #130 on: April 22, 2011, 07:40:27 AM »

http://pajamasmedia.com/blog/mounting-evidence-of-rebel-atrocities-in-libya/?singlepage=true


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.)
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« Reply #131 on: May 12, 2011, 11:12:23 AM »

I have seen reports that the rebels are evolving into a more competent force and have taken a city?
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« Reply #132 on: May 19, 2011, 12:07:46 PM »

By JUDITH MILLER
Washington

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.

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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.

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« Reply #133 on: May 19, 2011, 12:17:15 PM »

second post of the morning

Report from the Libyan-Tunisian Border, Part II
May 19, 2011 | 1219 GMT
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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.”

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« Reply #134 on: May 29, 2011, 09:37:14 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.
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« Reply #135 on: June 16, 2011, 07:28:05 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.

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« Reply #136 on: June 16, 2011, 02:18:23 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.

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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #137 on: June 16, 2011, 11:08:00 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.
« Last Edit: June 16, 2011, 11:28:21 PM by Crafty_Dog » Logged
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« Reply #138 on: June 16, 2011, 11:17:46 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.
« Last Edit: June 16, 2011, 11:46:05 PM by G M » Logged
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« Reply #139 on: June 17, 2011, 07:04:30 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.].

http://volokh.com/2011/06/16/the-growing-conflict-over-the-legality-of-the-libya-intervention/
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« Reply #140 on: June 24, 2011, 01:08:55 PM »

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: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702304791204576402050123596100.html?mod=WSJ_Opinion_LEFTSecond
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.
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DougMacG
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« Reply #141 on: June 24, 2011, 01:19:06 PM »

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.

By PAUL WOLFOWITZ

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.

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Joseph Eid/Agence France-Presse/Getty Images

Moammar Gadhafi in Tripoli earlier this month.
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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.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #142 on: June 24, 2011, 01:40:46 PM »

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.
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G M
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« Reply #143 on: June 24, 2011, 01:42:30 PM »

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".



http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/world/white-house-backed-release-of-lockerbie-bomber-abdel-baset-al-megrahi/story-e6frg6so-1225896741041

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.
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G M
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« Reply #144 on: June 24, 2011, 01:47:01 PM »

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.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #145 on: June 24, 2011, 02:22:52 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.
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G M
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« Reply #146 on: June 24, 2011, 02:27:10 PM »

Crafty,

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.
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DougMacG
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« Reply #147 on: June 24, 2011, 02:50:02 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 smiley) 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.
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ccp
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« Reply #148 on: June 24, 2011, 04:17:09 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
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^ 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. http://www.icc-cpi.int/NR/rdonlyres/081A9013-B03D-4859-9D61-5D0B0F2F5EFA/0/1970Eng.pdf. 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. http://www.icc-cpi.int/menus/icc/press%20and%20media/press%20releases/pr634. Retrieved 2011-03-15. 
^ "Live Blog – Libya Feb 22". Blogs. Al Jazeera. 22 February 2 011. http://blogs.aljazeera.net/africa/2011/02/22/live-blog-libya-feb-22. Retrieved 22 February 2 011. 
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^ Dziadosz, Alexander (9 February 2011). "Fear stalks Tripoli, celebrations in Libya's east". Reuters. http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/02/23/us-libya-protests-idUSTRE71G0A620110223. Retrieved 23 February 2011. 
^ "Live Blog – Libya Feb 23". Blogs. Al Jazeera. 2011-02-22. http://blogs.aljazeera.net/africa/2011/02/22/live-blog-libya-feb-23. Retrieved 23 February 2011. 
^ "Libya – 130 soldiers executed: News24: Africa: News". News24. 18 February 2011. http://www.news24.com/Africa/News/Libya-130-soldiers-executed-20110223. Retrieved 24 February 2011. 
^ BBC News (25 February 2011). Libyan crackdown 'escalates' – UN.
^ "Libya Live Blog - March 20". Al Jazeera English. 20 March 2011. http://blogs.aljazeera.net/live/africa/libya-live-blog-march-20-0. Retrieved 20 March 2011. 
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^ a b Smith, Graeme (1 April 2011). "A rebellion divided: spectre of revenge killings hangs over eastern Libya". The Globe and Mail (Toronto). http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/world/africa-mideast/a-rebellion-divided-spectre-of-revenge-killings-hangs-over-eastern-libya/article1967949/page1/
^ "Killings of Gadhafi agents in Benghazi raise fears of reprisal killings in rebel-held Libya". http://www.newser.com/article/d9nclre00/killings-of-gadhafi-agents-in-benghazi-raise-fears-of-reprisal-killings-in-rebel-held-libya.html
^ 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. http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/politics/nation/libya-says-64-killed-in-western-military-strikes/articleshow/7748763.cms. 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. http://www.fides.org/aree/news/newsdet.php?idnews=28698&lan=eng. Retrieved 2011-03-31. 
^ "NATO bombing killed 718 civilians: Libya". 1 June 2011. http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2011/06/01/3232224.htm. Retrieved 1 June 2011. 
^ Meo, Nick (2 April 2011). "Libya: Nato warplanes kill 14 rebels". London: Telegraph. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/africaandindianocean/libya/8423675/Libya-Nato-warplanes-kill-14-rebels.html. Retrieved 2011-04-04. 
^ "“NATO checking report of air strike on Libya rebels". AFP. 2011-04-07. http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5jv_sNu4z2ePkq1HOS0P_x7-rgNdA?docId=CNG.6f1a3c295003e2f3af5b879590880652.321
^ Chivers, C.J. (27 April 2011). "NATO Strike Kills 12 Libyan Rebels in Misurata". New York City: The New York times. http://www.nytimes.com/2011/04/28/world/africa/28libya.html?partner=rss&emc=rss. Retrieved 2011-04-28. 
^ NATO acknowledges civilian deaths in Tripoli strike
^ http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-13846103
^ "Nato protection 'applies to both sides' in Libya". BBC News. 28 March 2011. http://news.bbc.co.uk/today/hi/today/newsid_9438000/9438247.stm. Retrieved 29 March 2011. 
^ The Times Of India. http://iplextra.indiatimes.com/article/067LclJ7TO0gP
^ Black, Ian (17 February 2011). "Libya's day of rage met by bullets and loyalists". The Guardian (London). http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/feb/17/libya-day-of-rage-unrest
^ http://www.inewsone.com/2011/02/19/27-dead-in-fresh-protests-in-libya-opposition/29598
^ "Exclusive - Tobruk celebrates, Libya's east abandons Gaddafi". Reuters. 23 February 2011. http://uk.reuters.com/article/2011/02/23/uk-libya-protests-tobruk-idUKTRE71M0CO20110223
^ Daragahi, Borzou (23 April 2011). "Libyan rebels firmly in control in mountainous west". Los Angeles Times. http://articles.latimes.com/2011/apr/23/world/la-fg-libya-zintan-20110423/2
^ 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". http://www.newser.com/article/d9nclre00/killings-of-gadhafi-agents-in-benghazi-raise-fears-of-reprisal-killings-in-rebel-held-libya.html
^ 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. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2011/02/26/AR2011022602622_2.html?sid=ST2011022602703. Retrieved 2011-02-28. 
^ http://www.channelnewsasia.com/stories/afp_world/view/1114628/1/.html
^ Los Angeles Times. http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/babylonbeyond/2011/03/libya-toll-in-rajmeh-arms-depot-explosions-near-benghazi-may-be-as-high-as-100-.html
^ "Air and ground: Gadhafi, rebels each claim control". March 14. http://townhall.com/news/world/2011/03/14/air_and_ground_gadhafi,_rebels_each_claim_control
^ "Photo: Pilot Mohammed Mokhtar Osman who crashed into Baab Al Aziziyah". March 15. http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.php?az=view_all&address=439x656425
^ "Gadhafi forces bombing Benghazi: witnesses". CBC News. March 17. http://www.cbc.ca/news/world/story/2011/03/17/libya-red-cross031711.html
^ a b "As it happened: Libya crisis". BBC News. March 18. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-12776418
^ 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). http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/apr/17/gadaffi-torturers-kindness-sirte
^ "Libya says NATO air strike hits major oil field". Reuters. April 6. http://af.reuters.com/article/libyaNews/idAFLDE7352B620110406
^ "Misrata shelled again, casualties seen". April 19. http://townhall.com/news/us/2011/04/19/misrata_shelled_again,_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. http://www.boston.com/bigpicture/2011/05/libya_rebellion_continues.html
^ "Libyan rebels seek US recognition". May 13. http://english.aljazeera.net/video/africa/2011/05/20115139534241170.html
^ 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. http://www.hrw.org/en/news/2011/03/30/libya-least-370-missing-countrys-east
^ "Libyan doctors put themselves on front lines, and in government gunsights, to serve as medics". April 4. http://www.macleans.ca/article.jsp?content=w6461145
^ 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. http://www.globalnews.ca/feared+dead+Libya+refugee+boat+sinking/4759017/story.html
^ "Ethnic Berbers Flee Conflict in Western Libya, Reach Tunisia". 12 April 2011. http://allafrica.com/stories/201104121029.html
^ "Fire kills four at Tunisian refugee camp". 22 May 2011. http://www.trust.org/alertnet/news/fire-kills-four-at-tunisian-refugee-camp. Retrieved 22 May 2011. 
^ "Rights watchdog urges Tunisia to protect refugees after 6 killed". 24 June 2011. http://www.dailystar.com.lb/News/Middle-East/2011/Jun-24/Rights-watchdog-urges-Tunisia-to-protect-refugees-after-6-killed.ashx#axzz1QAsaqSUl. Retrieved 24 June 2011. 
^ "Maltese patrol boat rescues 76 migrants". 1 June 2011. http://www.straitstimes.com/BreakingNews/World/Story/STIStory_675280.html
^ "U.N.: At least 150 drown when boat from Libya capsizes". CNN. 4 June 2011. http://www.cnn.com/2011/WORLD/africa/06/04/libya.migrants/index.html?hpt=hp_t2
^ Libyans chafe under Gadhafi's rule in Tripoli
^ "Libyan rebels accused of arbitrary arrests, torture". CNN. 5 June 2011. http://www.cnn.com/2011/WORLD/africa/06/05/libya.war/index.html?iref=allsearch
^ "Nato raid in Tripoli kills five, say Libyan officials". BBC news. 19 June 2011. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-13826976
^ 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. http://rt.com/news/line/2011-03-02/. Retrieved 15 March 2011. 
^ a b Adams, Richard (2011-03-10). "Libya uprising - Thursday 10 March | World news". London: guardian.co.uk. http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/blog/2011/mar/10/libya-uprising-gaddafi-live#block-15. 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. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-13151490. Retrieved 21 April 2011. 
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^ Journalists under attack in Libya: The tally
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^ "No word on fate of Hammerl". 18 May 2011. http://www.thestar.co.za/no-word-on-fate-of-hammerl-1.1070736. 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
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DougMacG
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« Reply #149 on: June 28, 2011, 09:00:59 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.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/43512460/ns/meet_the_press-transcripts/
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