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  • 11th hour intervention in Libya

    From the BBC:
    The UN Security Council has backed a no-fly zone over Libya and "all necessary measures" short of an invasion "to protect civilians and civilian-populated areas".

    The UK, France and Lebanon proposed the council resolution, with US support.

    Meeting in New York, the 15-member body voted 10-0 in favour, with five abstentions.

  • #2
    Re: 11th hour intervention in Libya

    Let me get this straight.

    Qaddafi, regardless of one's personal opinion of him, is the executive of the governing body.

    The rebels are attempting to overthrow the government.

    The government is fighting back.

    Few seem to know who the rebels are.

    The US has been hostile to Libya since they nationalized their oil resources (the bastards! I clearly remember the media coverage.) at the beginning of the Qaddafi regime.

    The US, along with other Euro/Brit forces, will now begin bombing Libya.

    Did I miss anything?

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: 11th hour intervention in Libya

      Originally posted by don View Post
      Let me get this straight.

      Qaddafi, regardless of one's personal opinion of him, is the executive of the governing body.

      The rebels are attempting to overthrow the government.

      The government is fighting back.

      Few seem to know who the rebels are.

      The US has been hostile to Libya since they nationalized their oil resources (the bastards! I clearly remember the media coverage.) at the beginning of the Qaddafi regime.

      The US, along with other Euro/Brit forces, will now begin bombing Libya.

      Did I miss anything?
      Yes -- you missed the state sponsorship of terror, the nuclear proliferation, the rehabilitation after Gadaffi gave up his nuclear program and fingered the Abdul Khan proliferation network and assisted with intelligence on Islamic terrorists, the re-entry of Western oil companies into Libya, and the methods employed by Gadaffi to subdue unrest in Tripoli. You also missed the Arab League asking for intervention (providing in some minds a 'figleaf' that this isn't yet another 'war against Muslims'). (To clarify, this isn't a 'war against Muslims' per se, but there is political sensitivity about how it will be perceived.)

      I think this is compounded both of some genuine moral shame, and of the interests of companies like BP and Shell. The moral angle would probably necessitate Western governments banning their oil companies from continuing to do business with Gadaffi. The business angle is that there is some oil -- and some investment -- in Libya from which it is tough to walk away. There is probably a small component of "Gadaffi is a crazyfucker", but probably that is of minimal concern.
      Last edited by ASH; 03-17-11, 06:44 PM.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: 11th hour intervention in Libya

        And now I guess we can expect that we will throw open the doors to a whole bunch of new hyphenated Americans, this time Libyan-Americans. They can settle a nice big colony of 10 or 20 thousand of whichever side loses this Libyan civil war in Sioux Falls or Portland or Cincinnati where they can start building some mosques, take over the taxicab trade (refusing to transport infidels carrying alcohol), get on the dole, and begin forming their own specialized grievance lobby.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: 11th hour intervention in Libya

          And now I guess we can expect that we will throw open the doors to a whole bunch of new hyphenated Americans, this time Libyan-Americans. They can settle a nice big colony of 10 or 20 thousand of whichever side loses this Libyan civil war in Sioux Falls or Portland or Cincinnati where they can start building some mosques, take over the taxicab trade (refusing to transport infidels carrying alcohol), get on the dole, and begin forming their own specialized grievance lobby.
          Post of the day. Really made me laugh. You're a realist I'll give you that.

          I think there are very good reasons to be leery of this move. I remember thinking, when the 2nd Iraq war was being contemplated how insane it was that Britain and the US had been acting as guarantors - via a similar no-fly-zone - of the safety of Iraqi civilians for so many years. Why not just get rid of the guy?

          The results were a little more complicated.

          So why should this be any different?

          First, I really think this is a popular, widespread revolt. I've been glued to the events in the ME for the past two months and, squinting hard, what I see is a very positive, western-tinged demand for personal freedom very similar to what I experienced in '89 in eastern Europe. The idea that the secret police of Egypt has been dissolved seems - beyond being kind of unbelievable - like a carbon-copy of the sudden walking anachronism of the Stasi or the Czech version or any of the others. There really seems to be a cultural barrier here: these people are simply fed up - to the point of being willing to be shot in the street - with being preyed upon.

          I really think the west needed badly to get on the right side of this and I was frankly very relieved that at least the UN-logjam had been negotiated and the threat of doing something in support of these very brave people was a big step closer to being realised with concrete action.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: 11th hour intervention in Libya

            Originally posted by don View Post
            Let me get this straight.

            Qaddafi, regardless of one's personal opinion of him, is the executive of the governing body.

            The rebels are attempting to overthrow the government.

            The government is fighting back.

            Few seem to know who the rebels are.

            The US has been hostile to Libya since they nationalized their oil resources (the bastards! I clearly remember the media coverage.) at the beginning of the Qaddafi regime.



            The US, along with other Euro/Brit forces, will now begin bombing Libya.

            Did I miss anything?
            That's pretty much how I see it Don. Ash throws in some serious details in between, but for all I can see, this is potentially a lame brained poorly thought out attempt at some sort of populist move to appease the human rights crowd. Most of whom are making some huge wild ass guesses at what they think is going on there. The Oil Company angle I hadn't considered, but Ash is probably right about that too. The US certainly has no real interest in this, other than to get it over with so the oil starts flowing again. Yeah, yeah, Qaddafi's a bad guy. So are dozens of other bastards like him around the world. This same stuff goes on all the time, only there aren't reporters covering it, nor black gold lurking under their soil. So nobody cares. Qaddafi is a brute, but since Reagan bombed his tent and killed some of his family, he's cooled it with the terrorism and been a good boy, for the most part, as far as the US is concerned. This could have serious unintended consequences. It may cause other despots to crack down hard on any hint of rebellion, knowing if it gets a start the UN will jump in and possibly support it.

            I admit I have mixed feelings about this, but from what I can tell, this may simply be a tribal power struggle for Libya. It would not surprise me if this was nothing more than opportunism spawned by what happened in Egypt and Tunisia. Who says there is not some other bad guy behind this, waiting to become the next Qaddafi? I hope that is not the case. But what I've seen of these "Rebels" tells me they are not much more than an unorganized mob who raided an armory, probably some trained militia, and a few regulars who went over to the Rebels. But these student types, they line themselves up along the roads in the desert and wait for Loyalist planes to bomb them. One rebel was holding a SAM missle thinking it was a RPG! Fact is, this no-fly zone will probably just prolong the unrest and misery in Libya. So now what? With no air power Qaddafi will still win, but it will take longer and probably be bloodier. The same type of chaos that overcame Iraq after Sadaam was forced to go on the run could take over Libya. Facilities will be looted, women raped, etc. Its not like it will take that much effort to ground the Libyan AF. But is this really what the US needs right now? And it may feel good to help the "rebels", but how do we really know that most Libyans aren't huddled in their homes just wishing this will all just stop?

            If this "rebel movement" had a chance in hell I could possibly see it. But from what I can tell, the steam is out of it, and the Loyalist troops I saw looked like the Grenadier Guard in comparison. And what the hell is Saudi Arabia thinking right now? Are they next? If this doesn't give hope to their potential rebels I don't know what would. Is that really in the best interest of the US right now? To see SA go down in a wave of rebellion? I'd say we need to get our energy situation straightened out first. Not risk blowing it out of the water while in the middle of a serious recession/depression.

            Some Libyan pics
            http://www.militaryphotos.net/forums...tos-and-Videos
            Last edited by flintlock; 03-18-11, 12:56 AM.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: 11th hour intervention in Libya

              There was an open clause about being able to attack ground troops, that are attacking civilians. Its going to be pretty hard to discriminate between civilians and rebels. What happens when the first Nato plane goes down? Does that mean a bombing of air defenses. If Qadaffi starts to lose does he pull his sunburn missle out of his back pocket, and put a carrier on the sea floor?

              What the heck he's an old man it would be great to go down in a blaze of glory.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: 11th hour intervention in Libya

                Yes -- you missed the state sponsorship of terror, the nuclear proliferation, the rehabilitation after Gadaffi gave up his nuclear program and fingered the Abdul Khan proliferation network and assisted with intelligence on Islamic terrorists, the re-entry of Western oil companies into Libya, and the methods employed by Gadaffi to subdue unrest in Tripoli.
                I think you missed the last trip of Gadaffi's son to visit with Hillary. He sure looked slick next to her. Then the Cozy relations with EU. The the fact that Libya is a sovereign state. Where was the no Fly Zone help for Sudan and other African cases not to mention that tricky one with the Tutsis and the Hutus? Man, no one came then but here the help arrived like lightning. Lets just call it what it is, a Grab for the Oil and Gas before the Chinese get there. Most Libyans just didn't get the full message.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: 11th hour intervention in Libya

                  Originally posted by Shakespear View Post
                  I think you missed the last trip of Gadaffi's son to visit with Hillary. He sure looked slick next to her. Then the Cozy relations with EU. The the fact that Libya is a sovereign state. Where was the no Fly Zone help for Sudan and other African cases not to mention that tricky one with the Tutsis and the Hutus? Man, no one came then but here the help arrived like lightning. Lets just call it what it is, a Grab for the Oil and Gas before the Chinese get there. Most Libyans just didn't get the full message.
                  I thought that was what "rehabilitation" meant. And I did mention oil.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: 11th hour intervention in Libya






                    Noam Chomsky

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: 11th hour intervention in Libya

                      I heard a rumor that the KC-10s left McGuire AFB already. With France on board we won't have to refuel this time over the Atlantic and fly through the straights of Gibraltar like we did back in 1985. During Operation "ElDorado Canyon" pilots had to fly nearly 4,400 nm round trip. Gaddafi survived because he had advance warning. Two days before the Italian Prime Minister Bettino Craxi warned about the coming bombing and on the bombing night of April 15th then Maltese Prime Minister Karmenu Mifsud Bonnici phoned Gaddafi informing him that unauthorized planes were flying over Maltese air space, heading south towards Tripoli.

                      This time the weapons are smarter the French are on board and Gaddafi's palaces and hideouts were burned out by the rebels. He may have nowhere to hide if we go for him this time.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: 11th hour intervention in Libya

                        Quaddafi as I used to know him is a crazy fucker, but he's been a pretty predictable and well behaved one since the US blew up his house and son, and carved a few chunks out of him while he was strapped in a chair in 86 (allegedly)...

                        I simply want to vomit as a result of the complete and total moronery and confusion in the US government today... of course, it is as bad as I expected. You elect a man who has never done or accomplished anything, whatsoever, to lead the nation, and then watch chicago mafia, harvard elitists, socialist ex hippies, and FIRE industry cronies crawl out of his sleeves into all nooks and crannies of government... well, the results were certainly going to be bad.... It is as if every single category of person that should never be allowed to decide ANYTHING, were suddenly in charge of everything...

                        If the "UN" (snicker) wanted Quaddafi gone, then the time to act was at the start of the rebellion... and there should have been contingency plans in place as succession was never going to be far away...this situation is now a complete joke and will only make the US look as stupid as it actually has become these days.

                        the only reason for hope is Gates, he and Hillary are the only competent individuals around. Gates actually probably is the best man for the job, though I'm not sure anyone is listening to him. And not that I like or approve of Hillary at all, but at least she has demonstrated some pragmatic competency in the field of politics, if not policy.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: 11th hour intervention in Libya

                          Hillary is angling to be the new Secretary of Defense?
                          She is going to be the most feared woman in the Middle East.

                          I bet King Adubulla will met with her now without Bill Clinton in the room.

                          Obama is now all for a "greater focus on democracy and human rights." as the reason to intervene in Libya.

                          http://thecable.foreignpolicy.com/

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: 11th hour intervention in Libya

                            My feelings are mixed on Libya.....

                            I'm not a big fan of intervention......

                            But besides Qaddafi's VERY long history of openly and directly supporting terrorism(or state sponsored asymmetric warfare if you're tired of the T word) with enough examples to fill an encyclopedia over the last 4 decades, initiating and engaging in various African conflicts....with Egypt and Chad as well as supporting Amin's invasion of Tanzania, and stirring up trouble in Sudan, open ambitions and numerous failed efforts to become the African "King of Kings", and lastly...but possibly most importantly, Qaddafi's recent over response treatment of Switzerland......

                            One of Qaddafi's kids was reportedly busted in Switzerland for beating his wife and or staff...in France they let him go for doing the same thing.....must be that "global oil baron diplomatic passport get out of jail free card" thing or just the French and their better appreciation of discreet realpolitik.

                            The Swiss took things a bit further when it happened on their soil...and offended the sensitive sensibilities of the Qaddafi family......and Libya's response was off the charts for a privately controlled nation state and bordered on sociopathic revenge for such a relatively minor slight.

                            In my opinion, I think that same mentality would reemerge towards the UK/US/EU as the price of energy and the value of energy rises.

                            Qaddafi understands and respects power....he hasn't survived over 40 years by sheer dumb luck.

                            As far as how to respond to this.......thus far I think the whole mess looks like a sack of poos from the EU's perspective:

                            You have the UK government which groveled to and arranged the release of a convicted terrorist working on behalf of Qaddafi and the UK PM shaking hands with that monster on his home turf....suddenly whipping out the fangs to assist in bringing out his demise.

                            You have the French government which was until recently ready to sell Libyy any/every last bit of their best military kit for top dollar to Qaddafi now carrying the baton to bring about his demise.

                            The US?

                            It seems to be playing an important supporting role in the background....and one probably essential to any successful NFZ....as I doubt the French and the UK can sustain effective NFZ ops for an extended period without US support....UK forces in particular have been run down in recent years, the French as well to a lesser extent.....but their combined force projection capabilities have faded in recent years, with few exceptions.

                            I'm guessing the reasons for the US taking a lower profile in this(at least compared to France and the UK) is the perceived reliance on Libya as the EU's current and future easily accessible energy supplier to help offset/thwart Russia's increasing geopolitical encroachment on energy politics in the EU.

                            This is one example where I think the US seems to be taking a more cautious(if not overall cautious) approach than some EU nations.

                            My concern is that Libya has been armed to THE TEETH over the last 4 decades of Qaddafi's rule........combine that with North African tribal politics and the geography of Libya and the potential exists for a mutated version of the former Yugoslavia.....the strong man glue binding the "nation" together dissolves, add an endless supply of weapons, and we have potential for a Balkan-like civil war.

                            Personally, I'd be supportive of the US using very low footprint unconventional forces to make contact with Libyan rebel groups to assess their capabilities, their realistic chances to win, and their willingness to play ball moving forward.

                            If there is a strong opportunity for them to succeed, I don't see a huge problem with supporting them via the same very low footprint as well as via more open support thru Egypt if there is deemed to be a high likelihood of success.

                            Otherwise.....if there is no KNOWN likely outcome...it's a fools errand to get bogged down in this.....I think of military intervention as a bit like a lawyer asking a question.....if you don't know the answer to the question being asked, don't ask...if you don't know the outcome of the conflict....don't intervene.

                            The most troubling part for me is the seemingly schizophenic foreign policy of the UK and France towards Libya.......in fairly short order they both went from getting down on bended knee to kiss Qaddafi's ass to supporting aggressive regime change?

                            How do you explain THAT to a questioning citizenry?

                            Particularly for the UK and the al-Megrahi Affair and Tony Blair's visit.....just embarrassing.....

                            Or is it just increasing desperation by fading powers attempting to secure their future energy supply?

                            Just my 0.02c

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: 11th hour intervention in Libya

                              Originally posted by oddlots View Post
                              I really think the west needed badly to get on the right side of this and I was frankly very relieved that at least the UN-logjam had been negotiated and the threat of doing something in support of these very brave people was a big step closer to being realised with concrete action.
                              I think you're going to be very disappointed when you see what kind of people end up running the place if Khaddafi is deposed. They're not going to be nice European-style social democrats. They will be corrupt, they will pack into their Swiss bank accounts the ample foreign aid we send to buy their friendship, and they will adopt the same iron-fist policies to maintain control that Khaddafi did. That's just how it works in that part of the world. They get the kind of government that suits their characteristic personality/worldview. They ain't a bunch of Icelanders, they're Libyans. They will get Libyan-style government regardless of who sits in the Presidential palace.

                              And mark my words...we will get a significant load of Libyan "refugees" out of this.

                              The only possible positive to come out of our involvement in this Libyan civil war *could* be that when it turns into a disappointment, the Obama supporters who want to see it happen *may* decide we have no business trying to fix other countries. (Wasn't that what they said about how we had no business deposing Saddam Hussein, anyway?)

                              But I doubt it...Clinton promised us we would not be involved in the Balkans for more than 1 year...and that was 11 years ago and we're still there. And I've never heard a peep from a lefty about that. This won't be any different.

                              Someday a critical mass of Americans will be fed up with this interventionism and will insist our government stay the hell out of these foreign entanglements - especially in hellholes like the Middle East where success is virtually impossible by definition. Or not. We'll probably be too poor to afford a military capable of intervening before we come to that realization.

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