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25 February 2011

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William R. Cumming

Agree completely and wondering how US assessed letting this monster back in out of the cold to use your turn of phrase. Maybe Blair not Bush did it.

ex-PFC Chuck

Agreed. However, it would be best if any troops on the ground not be from NATO, Europe or regional neighbors of Libya, but from countries quite distant, say Latin America, India, Indonesia, South Korea, etc. USA could provide troop movement and other logistics but ideally any bombardment, etc., should be limited to attacks unlikely to be lethal to people, like airbase runway cratering for example. We should also, for once, stay out of the details of the politics of whatever will come after Qadaffi. (sp? I recall the dictator being quoted as saying he didn't care how his name was spelled in European languages so long as it was spelled correctly in Arabic.)

Patrick Lang

ex-pfc Chuck

A nice thought but unworkable. You think the Brazilians could liberate Libya? You want to unleash Koreans on the country? pl

mo

Would be great if someone came to the Libyans rescue. But what then of Americas real allies in the region, Bahrain, Yemen and Jordan? What if other friends of the US are faced with people rising up demanding the end of autocratic rule? Would such a precedent not be too dangerous considering that it is the nations closest to the US most at risk of insurrection?

Patrick Lang

mo

Your comment implies that the neocon false narrative is correct in that these siuations are all the same. they are not. pl

Paul Escobar

It seems like they've got the guy cornered. It's only a matter of weeks before he's done.

Why deny them the honour of liberating themselves?


Patrick Lang

Paul Escobar

I don't think the outcome is anything like that certain. pl

jerseycityjoan

Why don't we invite the Israelis to step up to the plate and to use some of our equipment against him?

About time they do something for us, isn't it? Also to defend the freedom lovers of Libya from the tyrant would be a wonderful chance for Israel to show what a stand-up nation it can be.

bth

I don't believe we can give people freedom; they have to fight for it themselves.

But we could give them guns and money.

Colonel how would we go about this if needs be?

J

Colonel,

Reports that Qathaafi's youngest son has joined the protesters. Saif al-Arab, Qathaafi’s youngest son whom his daddy sent to assist in the crackdown has turned on his daddy and joined forces with the Benghazi demonstrators.

Several intel and military officials in al-Bayda have stepped down , while Major General Suleiman Mahmoud, the commander of the armed forces in Tobruk has castigated Qathaafi’s regime for its heavy-handed assault on protesters.

bth

And I meant to add we should say to Qathaffi, the Brits may forgive and forget about Lockerbie but the USA does not.

nadezhda

FWIW, Debka's reporting that US/UK/Fr military "advisers" and intel inserted into Tobruk and Benghazi yesterday.
http://www.debka.com/article/20708/

Objectives are supposedly three-fold:
1. suss out dimensions of humanitarian situation & help locals organize,
2. help the locals organize the defense of the freed Eastern regions,
3. "prepare infrastructure for the intake of additional foreign troops. Egyptian units are among those under consideration" (though they Egyptian's have got their hands full with their own revolution & influx of refugees).

I'd be quite surprised if there weren't some US-NATO military/intel already in the liberated Eastern zones, at the least to report back what's really going on. Whether Debka's got their agenda right, however, is more speculative.

WILL

always take Debka.com with a grain of salt

"Hundreds of US, British and French military advisers have arrived in Cyrenaica, Libya's eastern breakaway province, DEBKAfile's military sources report exclusively. "

Off topic Cyrenaica (Cyrenaica (Arabic: برقه‎ Barqah, Berber: Berqa, Greek: Κυρηναϊκή Kyrinaïkí) is the European name- prounounced with a K- dating back from the Greek colonies of the pentapolis. The Libyans call it Bargah.

Tripoli, Libya is called that b/c it combined the three cities "of namely Oea (i.e. modern Tripoli), Sabratha and Leptis Magna."

from the wiki
"Septimius Severus was born on 11 April 145 at Leptis Magna (in modern Libya), son of Publius Septimius Geta and Fulvia Pia.[1] Severus came from a wealthy, distinguished family of equestrian rank. He was of Italian Roman ancestry on his mother's side and of Punic or Libyan-Punic ancestry on his father's.[10] "

A Carthaginian Emperor! (Cartago Delenda Est! Indeed.)

Now Tripoli, Lebanon is called that not b/c it included three cities but because it was founded by colonists from the three Phoenician cities of Tyre, Sidon, and the island of Arad.

mo

Colonel,
There may be different levels of autocracy and subjugation but the required results, a more representative system of govt. that is not simple a parliamentary system that rubber stamps the decisions of autocratic leaders, are.

While the reactions maybe different, to the people on the ground the situations are very similar. And while Qaddafi is very much the personification of dictatorship (mad, bad and corrupt) it could be argued that the Libyans had a better life than say the Shia of Bahrain.

And, while to you and I who can see the nuances of difference, if the US were to act, I do not think the administration would be able to, or be allowed to, point out the differences. The rest of the world would just see it as another example of the US judging its actions not on the basis of what is right but on the basis of which despot it likes and that's not even taking into account the conspiracy theories that will abound concerning the levels of oil in Libya as opposed to Jordan, Yemen or Bahrain. Not to forget also that once Miqati has formed his govt. in Beirut, the Obama administration is going to have to do its duty and rag on the "Hizballah led" govt., popular or not.

I'm not against any action. I'm just saying that I think this potato would be too hot for an administration that has still not coherently reacted to the events in the Middle East.

The Twisted Genius

We've spent decades and spared no expense building the most effective and fearsome military machine in the world. No one can strike faster, harder and with the precision necessary to carry this off. We can stop the butchery. We don't have to free the country, just defang the beast and leave.

I believe this would also free us.

De Oppresso Liber!

stickler

"It seems like they've got the guy cornered. It's only a matter of weeks before he's done."

Maybe it's because I'm just now teaching the 1848 revolutions ... but this comment contains several huge problems.

First: who's "they?" We still aren't sure what's going on in Libya, and it's a pretty diverse society. Which tribes are on what side? How about the organs of the state?

Second: what happens if and when the tyrant departs? We still don't know what Egypt is going to do, and the guns have been silenced there (...for now; please revisit the "June Days" in Paris, 1848 for some context). Same applies to Libya: who or what replaces Qaddafi? A Constitutional Convention with Enlightenment-inspired Arabs in wigs? Or a Junta?

And, regrettably, I don't see what the USA can really do to influence question #2, short of boots on the ground, which would be a development our Republic really doesn't need right now.

Jon T

A Real Politik point here: I live in Cornwall, NY, nearby the United States Military Academy. Car fuel went up a lot here. If that's so here, what is happening in Europe?

How about the French, Italian, German air forces shut down the Libyan air force and 'close' their bases. How about some people like Green Beret ODA's locate the source of the mercenaries from other African countries that are persecuting and killing freedom fighters and then 'interdict' those sorry individuals. How about SEAL team 10, or an SAS group, or a European group on that level go do what they are good at. Removal. Forget the what will we do after. It's bad now. Act now.

I know, I know, I'm at a keyboard and not days away from home, hungry, smelly, tired, bleary eyed and weary and so I'm unrealistically imagining something. Having watched Marcus Luttrell and men like him interviewed and give talks, they can take care of business.

The man who sold me my auto fuel said it well " Col. K. is not a stable man." Mr. Obama did the right thing to free Capt. Richard Phillips. He can do the right here thing by bringing the EU to unify their forces and take care of this. I agree. Now IS the time. This weekend.

We, America, do not need to do this unilaterally. It's a threat to the ongoing global economic recovery.

And, I concur, strongly, that letting brave people who've chosen to give up their lives, if need be, just perish aimlessly is not all right. That does not have to stand. Absolutely.

flite

I agree with aggressive intervention in this case.

But I think we should wait quietly in the weeds until all Americans and our close civilian allies are out and safe from this unpredictable and dangerous madman, before we directly intervene.

Fred

What is the likelihood of the French and Italians deploying troops to Libya? Aren't they both closer and most immediately impacted? Perhaps they and the US 173rd Airborne could all jointly deploy. I think that would certainly help Qaddahfi's tribal relatives make up their minds.

smoke

Communications have been critical so far.

How good are the satellites? Could they find and track the Ghadaffis and their guard force; then pass this info to Libyans to act, if they can.
How to pass the information in real time?

Redhand

I don't think the outcome is anything like that certain.

Just a hunch, but I don't think he's going to survive. In this case I believe that there is a fair chance that foreign powers will intervene if the bloodshed gets too great, but I doubt that the Marines will be visiting the Shores of Tripoli as part of the effort.

I mean, we have "much more important work" elsewhere. Last night I watched the HBO documentary "The Battle for Marjah" and thought it was one of most direct and "tell it like it is" documentary films I've seen in a very long time. I would certainly be interested in your take on it.

Green Zone Cafe

Agreed on both points, as in the post below. We should exert the minimum force required to tip the balance, and we probably won't.

This is because Qadaffi let US and foreign investment in and reactivated the foreign oil contracts.

Joseph Moroco

I almost agreed with you. Then I thought; would I be willing to visit the mom's and dad's or wives of our lads (okay, and lasses) who died in the endeavor.

I am sorry for the people of Libya, and yes American policy did not help. Still, I think of the bones of the Pomeranian grenadier.

FB Ali

Col Lang,

The sentiment underlying your clarion call does you credit. However, US or Western military intervention or aid to the Libyan people would be counter-productive (that is probably why, even in their dire straits, the leaders are not calling for it).

The best course would be if some Arab Special Forces could be put into the country to prevent Gaddafi’s troops and mercenaries from attacking and retaking the towns that have risen up in revolt. If he is thus bottled up in Tripoli, his regime will crumble from within in a few days. Of course, if he attempts to use his airplanes to attack the freed towns, they should be shot down; it doesn’t matter if this is done by NATO planes.

The problem is: which Arab country would be prepared to ‘donate’ its SF for this? Most of their govts need them for their own security in these perilous times! Qatar probably would be willing, but it most likely doesn’t have any. Failing Arabs, Muslim SF would be the next best. I would hazard a guess that if Erdogan were asked, he’d say Yes (especially if his generals knew that the US was for it).

That leads to the real issue: Would the US be for intervention of this sort?

Amir

Although I don't have any military background nor do I know anything about trade, it would be a good idea to arrange for weapons transfer to the liberators, in case the international community or the US fails to take action.

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