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24 February 2011


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These recollections are priceless.


William R. Cumming

I was also on active duty in FRG in 1969! SLM vehicles hovering around the FRG Kaserne stationed on all the time. Glad the Fulda Gap and other Eastern approaches not tested by the Soviets. So MQ was another tradeoff from US involvement in Viet Nam. Any open source documentation of others?

s nadh

If this is to be believed it's just parts of Tripoli left:


What exile options does Kadafi have? Who would have him?


A serious question: If Mummar sobered up after El Dorado Canyon, was Lockerbie his last stab at vengeance or a fluke?

Clifford Kiracofe


Fascinating and helpful background.

Were there any indications of foreign support, European or otherwise, to Q's little coup? cliff

Clifford Kiracofe

Latest from Fisk in Tripoli. Little Leader no better than his daddy the Drag Queen:

"There is little food in Tripoli, and over the city there fell a blanket of drab, sullen rain. It guttered onto an empty Green Square and down the Italianate streets of the old capital of Tripolitania. But there were no tanks, no armoured personnel carriers, no soldiers, not a fighter plane in the air; just a few police and elderly men and women walking the pavements – a numbed populace. Sadly for the West and for the people of the free city of Benghazi, Libya's capital appeared as quiet as any dictator would wish.

But this is an illusion. Petrol and food prices have trebled; entire towns outside Tripoli have been torn apart by fighting between pro- and anti-Gaddafi forces. In the suburbs of the city, especially in the Noufreen district, militias fought for 24 hours on Sunday with machine guns and pistols, a battle the Gadaffi forces won. In the end, the exodus of expatriates will do far more than street warfare to bring down the regime.

I was told that at least 30,000 Turks, who make up the bulk of the Libyan construction and engineering industry, have now fled the capital, along with tens of thousands of other foreign workers. On my own aircraft out of Tripoli, an evacuation flight to Europe, there were Polish, German, Japanese and Italian businessmen, all of whom told me they had closed down major companies in the past week. Worse still for Gaddafi, the oil, chemical and uranium fields of Libya lie to the south of "liberated" Benghazi. Gaddafi's hungry capital controls only water resources, so a temporary division of Libya, which may have entered Gaddafi's mind, would not be sustainable. Libyans and expatriates I spoke to yesterday said they thought he was clinically insane, but they expressed more anger at his son, Saif al-Islam. "We thought Saif was the new light, the 'liberal'", a Libyan businessman sad to me. "Now we realise he is crazier and more cruel than his father."


All the chatter on my circuit was among; these senior commanders, Washington and the CO of Wheelus AFB outside Tripoli.

Time flies, doesn't it? When this went down I was a lowly military dependent and HS Senior living in Rome, Italy, where my Dad was transferred after a Vietnam tour. I was appalled that this vicious anti-American clown was shutting down Wheelus and throwing us out of Libya.

It's incredible that he's still around four decades later. Imagine if Idi Amin were still running Uganda: he seized power in 1971 and lasted to 1979.

As I said in a prior post, I hope Qathaafi exits like Mussolini.


As well as Lockerbie, didnt Gadaffi sent 4 boatloads of arms to the IRA as payback to the British for their involvement in the attacks on his tent?

Patrick Lang

Clifford Kiracofe

There did not seem to be any foreign support. it appeared to be born of tribal rivalry and Qathaafi's ambition. In fact the general populace seemed to have been dismayed with the coup. pl

William P. Fitzgerald III

Pat Lang,

Pan Am 103 over Lockerbie. On the day it happened and ever since Ive concluded that Iran was the instigator. The reason was revenge for Iran Air 655. The sequence of events provides compelling reasons for that conclusion. On July 3d, 1988 IA 655, an Airbus A300 with 290 souls on board was blown out of the sky by a missile fired by the USS Vincennes. The plane was en route from Bandar Abbas to Dubai on a published airway, in contact with ATC, and climbing to cruise altitude, probably 12,000 feet or so. The inquiry following was rather like that after the attack on the USS Liberty. In the aftermath, medals were presented the crew members and the ship recieved a commendation. In September, 1988 V.P. Bush, while campaigning for the presidency, announced that the United States would never apologize for shooting down the Airbus. And, on December 21st, 1988, PA 103 blew up over Lockerbie with 259 souls on board. Another comment, friend of my daughter's was an officer aboard a RN Frigate docked in Bahrain when the Vincennes came into port. She still had the burns from the missile firing and, on the bridge was painted an airplane. If she's still in commission, I wonder if it's still there. You mentioned that Qathaafi accepted responsibility, which doesn't necessarily mean that PA103 wasn't an Iranian operation.


Patrick Lang


I chose my words carefully. I have always thought that Iran was the answer. pl

Charles I

So because there was pre-occupation with a questionable(non-existential) war, fewer actionable options were left to deal with a latently acute currently manageable dynamics in the great gas tank of the east.

Does that seem familiar?

And in between the wars, the fatigue, chagrin and regret tend against violence that judiciously applied might obviate future wars.

Where would we be if we'd only bombed the shite out of Afghanistan, come home, set the spooks and special forces on them. What would our economies and politics look like? Obviously as presently configured, war is imperative, irresistible. Unlike taxation to pay for it, conscription to man it, those critical feedbacks that might check a monger a moment.

Oh Pat what have you done with the bleeding heart liberal who first stumbled here?

Who cares, SST is humming along at such a clip it is downright heroic what one "ill-tempered . . .old man with a laptop" has got up. The synergy of analysis and service anecdotes is ever compelling.

You deserve a medal, maybe one of those Medals of Freedom bullshitting Presidents hand out, though the esteem a trifle before your merit.

Patrick Lang

Charles I

Welcome to the Edmund Burke fan club. pl

Carl O.

I'm surprised no one, here, mentioned the role of Tony Blair in the rehabilitation of Qadhafi. the british rpess is full of stories about the infamous "Deal in the Desert" in 2004, where Blair brought Qadhafi in from the cold. The giant oil delas that were awarded to BP and Royal Dutch Shell were one result. And, of course, there was the whole Megrahi affair, as well. It seems, also, that Blair has been engaged in business dealings in Libya ever since, although with at least some plausible deniability, based on the fact that he's employed by JPMorgan, which has (or maybe now it's "had") extensive business dealings in that country.


Charles I

Where would we be? Allot of people at the bottom would be better off, the rich at the top would still be rich, but with a zero less in their bank accounts perhaps. But then again the Tea Party wouldn't be around, Dick Armey would be just another K street lobbyist and Sarah Palin would be one heck of allot poorer and Barack would still be a Senator from Illinois. Oh, and plenty of people now dead wouldn't be.

R Whitman

Interesting that the price of "freedom" in Libya is about 50 cents a gallon of gas in the USA. I wonder what the price is for the "liberation" of Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Iran will be??


Taki Theodoracopulos, Taki's Magazine fame has always railed against the younger Gaddafi who apparently hangs out in Gstaad Switzerland "beats the servants" and other uncouth behavior. Taki absolutely hates this guy.

Medicine Man

That sounds horrible, Fred. Thank God we avoided that.


Charles I,

I second the praise. And echo the sentiments.

Why the revolt against Mummar? Why now?

A Very Old Tyrant? Yes, in Egypt too. But Tunnisia’s Ben Ali who started it all is 53.

The biggest factor is a revolutionary generation came to age when the foundations of their society was shaken by the 2008 economic collapse and the promise of a better life was proven to be a lie. The Youngsters have nothing left to lose and were willing and able to take down the leaders who don’t give a damn about them. This revolt against neo-liberal deregulated capitalism is worldwide.

Watch PBS's Mexico's Monterrey Becoming 'City of Massacres'. Not reported, is that if you’re young and Mexican, you have no job, nothing to lose, you join a gang. Also, not reported, “Soon coming to Southwest USA”.


The Old Libyan Flag of King Idris incorporated the flag of the Senussi religious order of which he was the chief
"Idris, GBE (Arabic: إدريس الأول‎), born Sayyid Muhammad Idris bin Muhammad al-Mahdi as-Senussi (12 March 1889 – 25 May 1983),[1] was the first and only king of Libya, reigning from 1951 to 1969, and the Chief of the Senussi Muslim order."



A very moderate religious outlook.

Doug Tunnell

Col. Lang, WPFIII
In the immediate aftermath of PA103 there was considerable evidence pointing to a joint Iranian-Syrian operation. There were reports to this effect in the US MSM...but like so many things Syrian at that time, these reports seem to have been swallowed up in an odd, multifaceted disinformation campaign with the resulting finger pointing to MQ...Never fully understood it, but the notion that Abdel Basset al Megrahi was the sole perpetrator always struck me as not merely unlikely but downright absurd.

Patrick Lang


Me too. pl

Clifford Kiracofe

Had lunch today with a friend who has a relation in Tripoli. The relation told my friend yesterday that Q's support within his own tribe is "breaking up."


I wonder where Megrahi is right now?

Green Zone Cafe

The thing which always perplexed me was that I remember the Germans broke off relations with Syria over the LaBelle Disco bombing in West Berlin, targeting American GIs there.

I presume the Germans knew something about a bombing which happened in West Berlin.

In trying to find a reference to that, I found numerous references online to Victor Ostrovsky's assertion in "By Way of Deception" that the Mossad had planted a transmitter in Tripoli which sent the messages intercepted by the NSA implicating the Libyans.

Now that Gaddafi has opened Libya to foreign investment and revived the foreign oil contracts, I think our governments in the USA and Europe will let the people of Libya die on the streets. A shame, since it would only take a slight effort to save them, as in 1969.

Not really much comedy in it, no matter how Gaddafi dresses or rants and raves.

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