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27 March 2011


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I agree Washington politics trumps any humanitarian concerns. I also think Sarkozy's reelection and personal vanity played a big part.

Patrick Lang

DanM & TTG

I have seen them in TV coverage of training. The .50 spotter rifle is unmistakable. Someone should remind them not to stand behind the thing when they fire it. pl

Patrick Lang


No. Domestic politics has played a big negative role here but this is a genuine argument over POLICY, not politics. pl

The Twisted Genius


I'll give you my take on your McLaughlin-like question. Two. Thats only because we may see advisors or forward air controllers on the ground. As untrained and disorganized as they are, the rebel ground forces will keep the pressure on the enemy and be the effective boots on the ground. Allied air strikes is all the assistance they will need. I'm pretty confident that Qathafi's forces and hold on the population will continue to disintegrate.

P.S.: I remember Father McLaughlin, or Father God as we called him, when he was still a Jesuit teacher in my prep school.



So you think the Emir of Qatar might provide "bold, forward, thinking" in the ME?

I think he'll be lucky to survive this tidal wave.

Far as I'm concerned the jet and what have you? He is simply providing his Godfather with a 'service".



The real question is will Tripoli be liberated or conquered. After the Breakout the liberation of France was easy but the conquering of Iraq was impossible.

The FACs and Europeans have to keep a low profile. The only two ways the Gaddafi regime can survive is to convince the Tripolians that the Western Rebels are Christian Puppets and force their mercenaries into the no man’s land between the regime supporters and the Rebels where the mercenaries can’t run but have to fight.

This is a tall order. In the next couple of weeks we shall see if there is a stalemate. I really don’t know if President Obama realizes it but if Gaddafi is still in Tripoli in November 2012. He will be a one term President.

Patrick Lang


You notice that he is not talking about the "Zionists," just the "Crusaders." pl



You might be right about Obama being a one term President if MQ is still in Tripoli. I'm hard pressed to see HOW MQ can survive but if he does, Obama will lose the election.

On the other hand...if WE are still in Tripoli come Nov 2011.....Obama will a be a one term President, as well.

I keep saying it (which does not make it necessarily right)...the real crap will hit the fan AFTER MQ is gone.



The Qathafis had two jets turned back from Malta and Beirut just after this started. Sub-Sahara option seems to be the only one left.

The Dubai proscription is for senior officials who would be targeted and/or could be disruptive.

The tribes would deal with their members in the negotiated truce.


"Will they still exist in these places? Yes, but they will not rule. pl

Didn't they say the same thing about the the Jewish led Bolsheviks in 1917?"

Josef Stalin

The Twisted Genius


Although I'm sure the Emir is mindful and appreciative of his Godfather's military protection, I think his support for the Libyan rebels is much more a result of his appreciation of the seismic changes that this wave of revolutions will probably bring to the Arab world... and a rather astute realization that his future may depend on being on the right side of these revolutions. I think he'll weather the storm.


Thank you Thomas. Who was on those jets? What is the Dubai proscription? Which tribes are you referring to? Sorry to sound pedantic but the devil is always in the details.



It was media stories of family members in the jets, maybe trying to scout options for an escape. By sending them back the Qathafis probably realized it was a fight to the end.

The proscription is life in exile for Senior Officials willing to end this. The UAE can provide a safe haven and Dubai currently has plenty of spare housing available.

The tribes of Libya. I believe Clifford has posted some links about them in previous threads. Once the Tyrant is gone, they will need come to a new understanding with each other in terms of their realtionships. It is their war for Independence, so the details are up to them.


Thanks. I've been looking at the Dubai proposal. A newgotiated outcome is certainly possible I think given the degree of support for Ghadaffi in w2estern Libya. I know the plan is to isolate him but I don't think it's working. It may be that the Libyans themselves will settle for a face-saving solution for Ghadaffi but I can't see NATO settling for anything less than total capitulation.

I notice Mustafa Jabril has joined the rebel leadership so in the end it will probably come down to discussions about sharing of oil revenues.


Photos of Libyan war from Reuters:


William R. Cumming

TTG! Gonzaga?

FB Ali

Haven’t been able to keep up with the thread, but have taken a quick read through now. FWIW, a few comments on the outlook ahead.

The rebels are now approaching Qaddafi territory, with Sirte being the first of his strongholds. It is likely to be defended by both loyalist troops and civilian militias, and they will likely fight in its streets if the rebels make inroads. That pattern is likely to be repeated in other towns to the West, especially in Tripoli. That will pose a problem for the coalition, since air attacks inside Sirte and other cities to support the rebels will mean taking sides openly; already voices are being raised within it against going that route. If air support of the rebels continues in these conditions, the coalition is likely to fracture.

Without such air support the rebels are unlikely to make progress, and a stalemate could ensue (I do not see grounds for believing Qaddafi will just melt away). That would provide firmer ground for the tentative proposals already being floated for a negotiated settlement. To be acceptable to the rebels and the West, such a settlement would have to include the departure of Qaddafi and his coterie (sweetened with some guarantees on their future safety and comfort).

This would not settle Libya’s problems; rather it would be the beginning of a whole new phase of turmoil and uncertainty. Qaddafi has destroyed all state institutions in Libya. There are no political parties or other civil society institutions to fill the power vacuum. The rebels are united on getting rid of Qaddafi, but little else. This would be fertile ground for outside powers to play the usual games, leading to instability for an extended period.

Patrick Lang

FB Ali

With the greatest of respect, as you know, "and they will likely fight in its streets if the rebels make inroads." I think this is incorrect, I think that if pushed the Qathafist regime will "crack." pl


Who'd you have in mind here, PL, if not nasty ole Islamists:

"Am I concerned about an Islamist "takeover" in Libya? No. The chance that Islamist parties are likely successors in power in any of the presently disputed countries is minimal. There are far too many non-Islamist political forces in all these coutries for the Islamists to rise to power. Will they still exist in these places? Yes, but they will not rule."

Who are these "non-Islamist" political forces?

Does Libya have as many "non-Islamist" political forces in the wings as the GOP has non-Christian zionist candidates for pres?

What if the shoe were on the other foot -- would you want some ME state like Saudi Arabia or Israel demanding that only "non-Christian" forces run US government?

We Americans want all people to be free to choose the government we think they should have.

The Twisted Genius


Fairfield Prep. Of course we had the obligatory Gonzaga and Xavier Halls common to most Jesuit institutions.


Is Thierry Meysan at Voltairenet

credible in his claim that Israeli company Global CST is supplying mercenaries to Qaddafi?

The Twisted Genius

Brigadier Ali,

All those demonstrators that filled the streets of Tripoli in the early days of this revolution are still in Tripoli. They're just staying home while Qathafi's thugs now patrol the streets. I'm confident they will take to the streets again when the time is right. The fact that Misrata is still holding out is testament to the degree of anti-Qathafi sentiment in that city. I firmly believe these people will fight in the streets, but not on the side of Qathafi.

Patrick Lang


I have no one in mind. pl

FB Ali

Col Lang,

You may well be correct. I am viewing this more from intuition (based on what I read in the news media) than any close knowledge of the situation.

It does seem to me that there exists in Libya a substantial constituency which benefitted from Qaddafi's rule, and which would be prepared to fight to preserve their position (if not wholly, at least in some modified form).

The 'crack' you refer to would undoubtedly occur if Qaddafi himself were to fold and depart. But his options in that direction have been so blocked that he has little choice, under present circumstances, but to fight to the end. That is why I sense that countries like Turkey, some Arabs and Africans, are moving towards giving him that option. Of course, it is entirely possible that he is crazy enough to refuse to depart even if given a half-decent way out. That is when the chances of someone in his circle stepping in would increase.

clifford kiracofe

1. Pleasant news:

"The U.S. military dramatically stepped up its assault on Libyan government ground forces this weekend, launching its first attacks with AC-130 flying gunships and A-10 attack aircraft, which are designed to strike enemy ground troops and supply convoys, according to senior U.S. military officials."

2. The Libyan opposition is building from the grass roots up. There have been anti-Q opposition groups in exile for many years. In Libya, volunteers and voluntary committees have come forward not just in Benghazi but in many other towns. There is an educated population there and professionals, students, workers, and so on are organizing. Women have played an important role.

3. My contacts in Tripoli indicate that support for Q in his own tribe is "fragmenting."

4. Libyans from different walks of life who have been in exile are returning from the US, from the UK, and elsewhere to support the national liberation movement. For example,

"WASHINGTON - The new leader of Libya's opposition military spent the past two decades in suburban Virginia but felt compelled — even in his late-60s — to return to the battlefield in his homeland, according to people who know him.

"Khalifa Hifter was once a top military officer for Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi, but after a disastrous military adventure in Chad in the late 1980s, Hifter switched to the anti-Gadhafi opposition. In the early 1990s, he moved to suburban Virginia, where he established a life but maintained ties to anti-Gadhafi groups.

"Late last week, Hifter was appointed to lead the rebel army, which has been in chaos for weeks. He is the third such leader in less than a month, and rebels interviewed in Libya openly voiced distrust for the most recent leader, Abdel Fatah Younes, who had been at Gadhafi's side until just a month ago." http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2011/03/26/111109/new-rebel-leader-spent-much-of.html#ixzz1HwKTWjx2

5. There are about 6 million or so Libyans. They are sitting on massive hydrocarbon reserves. They are now receiving assistance from Qatar in marketing oil from the eastern sector. No doubt the Qatari role will increase in Libya and be a positive factor.

Bless the leader of Qatar and his wife. (Some may not have noticed a putsch was attempted against him in recent weeks by an extremist Wahhabi faction.)

There should be no financial problems for Libya if the vast national patrimony is wisely managed.

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