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29 March 2011

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clifford kiracofe

On the ground today:

"Bays, outside Ajdabiya, also notes that it might be difficult for coalition pilots to discern Gaddafi's irregular fighters and mobile mortar teams riding in jeeps and the backs of trucks from the rebels fighting with them.

"Bays also describes the tactics being used by Gaddafi's forces. They send mobile mortar teams several kilometres off the main road, flank the disorganised rebel columns, and begin shelling them from a distance. Almost without fail, the mortar fire - possibly combined with long-range Grad rocket attacks - has forced rebels to retreat.

"Perhaps more ominously, Bays says he thinks there could be plainclothed regime spies traveling on the main road with the rebels, feeding information back to Gaddafi's troops.

"Al Jazeera's Hoda Abdel Hamid, reporting from near Ras Lanuf, notes there was a sandstorm yesterday, which could account for the lull in air strikes. She said she expects a "renewed intensity" from the coalition effort today."
http://blogs.aljazeera.net/live/africa/libya-live-blog-march-30

jonst

To me, who opposed this venture from the start, the following is basic logic...if you said you were gonna do something, you have to do it. He who strikes the King...so to speak. He who goes, loudly, after dragons (even insane dragons) had better be sucessful.

Unless, unless, unless some group is reconciling themselves to a Sudan Solution. i.e. divide up the country...and have the side you back get the oil regions. And before anyone notes it, I don't think this 'all about oil' for many factions (most?). But for SOME factions, it is always about oil, first and foremost. And that is what this outcome, so far, is starting to look like.

On the other Obama will get so much heat from this that, perhaps, even his empty suit will be propelled forward.

Redhand

Obama believes in nothing and advocates for nothing. He only shows up to strut at maximum visibility moments and then disappears like a termite.

My sentiments exactly.

shepherd

Forgive me, but all presidents engage in ceremonial nonsense like picking basketball brackets. They show up for photo ops. With modern technology (or the technology of 20 years ago), they could do their job just as easily on Nauru as they could in Washington. If you dislike Obama's vacillating and seemingly incoherent policy or Bush's recklessness, that's one thing. But when they do ordinary political stuff, well, they are politicians.

Patrick Lang

somebody

At some point you Germans should recover from your guilt and stop inflicting it on the rest of us. An ability to distinguish between big, hard things to do and small, easy things to do would be helpful. pl

Fnord

Its going to end up with a split Libya. Since we cant have any groundtroops, not to mention vehicles there to explot the air superiority. You have untrained infantry against entrenched positions. We end up with a two units to do business with and a massacre avoided. French mission accomplished.

William R. Cumming

Reliable reports are that the US air effort did not include any FACs! Hoping this is NOT TRUE!

Patrick Lang

fnord

Not necessarily. these people are not "troops" nor should they be. They have to be trained enough to shoot, move and communicate, not to do close order drill or wear uniforms correctly, No saluting or other conventional army crap. That and the amount of air that s available would defeat Qathafi. pl

arbogast

If MQ loyalists take Benghazi and slaughter civilians, the result of that event in the United States will be cataclysmic. There will be no easier way to elect a dangerous fool President.

Obama must be needing medication to sleep these days.

dh

Forward air control William? I imagine they were relying on rebels with cell phones. It would be much too risky to have Americans close to such a fluid situation. Assuming the rebels would even want them there.

William R. Cumming

Note for the record the third reactor has been confirmed in core melt status in Japan.

RELEVANCE to this blog! Three reactors will be shutdown permanently as of today with up to three more possibles.

Oil, oil oil! Japan will need to buy more oil and LPG! Not to mention fresh water if current ground water contamination proves out.

Again who, where, when, how does Libya get its drinking water? Oasis after Oasis?
Saudi Arabia has the world's largest desalinization operation. Unfortunately also a wonderful target from any standpoint.

aara

 Charles I

William R. lets hope you're wrong on the FAC's. Perhaps in an effort to avoid boots on the ground the Brits are doing the FAC ops - this is a Nato Mission de facto, now de jure.

Canadian F18's have carried out strikes, reporting no collateral damage, no casulaties. In my ignorance I find it hard to credit that a government as cautious as ours would operate w/o FAC, notwithstanding that Prime Minister Harper is an irredeemable Dispensationalist.

As well, we have finally seen reports of A10's and yesterday I heard somebody on CBC radio explaining an AC-130 Spectre claiming it was in use. That's close ground support.

Can anyone tell us if they let those things go off in these circumstances w/o any FAC?

Last night Obama mused and Clinton clarified that the effect of the UN resolutions was to not preclude arming the rebels.

Until we provide counter-arty and a few howitzers to these people, then as PL says, Ham will have to destroy MQ's forces piece by piece from close up. Amidst the blithering, Nato has made noises about keeping up the tempo of strikes. Lets hope the sand clears and the old platforms are set to the task.

par4

Electing a Republican or a Democrat doesn't matter one bit. Both parties only mission is protecting the entrenched oligarchy.

Basilisk

I am amused by the learned discussions of the "flickerings of al-Qa'ida and Hezbollah" among the rebels.

The identification of organizational affiliations of individuals is hardly a science. I'm afraid it's not even an art. Right now the "flickers" result from what is laughably called "name matching."

"We had a guy at Camp Cropper--somebody said he was a Libyan. His name just showed up in a list of rebel fighters-- at least most of it."

"Yeah, what was the name?"

""Mohammed abd al-Aziz. Same as the guy we had."

"What was the rest of the name?"

"Oh, it wasn't the same, but it's probably him, don't you think?"

Yeah, sure, definitely a "flicker."

Nobody, I repeat, nobody, can tell political affiliation from a list of names.

There may be some guys who fought against the US in Iraq. They did call it "the resistance" after all.

If there are, should we let Qathafi win because he is our friend, helped us in the "war on terror," and gave us a whole warehouse full of stuff we pretended had something to do with nuclear weapons?

Ken Hoop

Cliff

"2. Does anyone believe there are more than a couple hundred or so AQ in the entire Maghreb?"

One hundred, arguably by the boobs even removed to Pakistan, are enough to keep docile Americans in their homes and not out on the streets demanding exit from Afghanistan.

Thomas

Marcus,

"What do you honestly think is worse for 4-more-years, $4 gas or MQ staying in power?"

4 years of Qathafi in power because he said he is going to seek vengeance for this, and I take a madman at his word. Every cruel vicious and destructive person with an agenda and the will would recieve the means.

(Muammar to his henchman: "Go out and find C-4 on the black market and pay them 100 times the asking price. Those two faced world leaders come into my tent to feast and then the situation changes and they call me a Drag Queen? Well we will see whose azzes are crowned.)


Thomas

Sir,

"He and his political cronies in the WH and in Chicago are, to say the least, unenthusiastic about regime change in Libya or anywhere else in the ME. Why is that?"

My guess for Libya, is they don't want the names of certain people to be known who made small fortunes with Qathafi in West Africa running diamonds and other "things".

Mike

*these people are not "troops" nor should they be. They have to be trained enough to shoot, move and communicate, not to do close order drill or wear uniforms correctly, No saluting or other conventional army crap. That and the amount of air that s available would defeat Qathafi. pl*

Mmmmm. But surely training is important and takes time, and time is not what the rebels have. Can the fight against Gadaffi, and the defence of Benghazi, be sustained long enough to get the rebels sufficiently proficient in their tactics to eventually drive to Tripoli? There is a lot of talk now from Cameron and Sarkozy about supplying arms to the rebels. Not sure about Obama's position. I know little about military matters. But is it not a simply a matter of supplying weapons to the rebels? - "Here you are lads - here's a few weapons - go on and overthrow Gadaffi. This week." Surely the Benghazi and Tobruk grocers and students and dentists and so forth will need a bit of training? Not just how to aim, what buttons to press or triggers to pull - but how to use the weapons effectively. Tactics, in other words - how to beat the mad colonel's fanatics. What sort of time scale does that involve? One week? Ten weeks? Do the raggle taggle rebels - ebthusiastic but disorganised - have that time? In a week, Gadaffi could be in Benghazi. And training - surely that means specialists - advisers from the Coalition. Effectively - military personnel. Which means at least some troops on the ground. i.e. this is talking escalation. So why not full scale military intervention? The probability of Brega and Benghazi falling within the next few days should be considered. Only full scale military intervention by NATO could prevent that. Ground troops. American, French, British. Whose troops? Certainly not the UK's. The Cameron Government has decimated - literally - Britain's armed forces - we no longer have aircraft carriers or assault ships from which to send troops into Libya. What troops we do have are fully stretched in Afghanistan. The US? From what I understand, neither Congress nor American public opinion will easily contemplate committing troops to yet another ground war. France? They do have a carrier in theatre amd a substantial army and air force not far across the Mediterranean. And maybe Sarkozy has sent throught he orders to his forces to be ready. But could the French do it alone? Would NATO ot the UN or whatever allow them?

ked

diff clue,
Your hope for a centrist infusion into the GOP is a shot far too long (contemplating Barbour "the hope of the party" confirms).
I'd guess I'd rather pay the price of Obama getting a 2nd term than enable the GOP to survive in their current guise. Not only are the extremists in charge, they are righteous, authoritarian, exclusionary, anti-intellect & far too excited about wielding power. {dems are just bland & unfocused - they'll go next.}

Sometimes things have to get worse before they can get better - if one is a conservative, it is past time to can the GOP.

As to the '12 elections, the wholesale picture is Big $$$ & the hack's game, at retail (like almost all pres elections) voters focus upon the domestic, economic & personal. On MQ & Libya, worst case, the Dems will point out, "we did the best w/ what we had under the circumstances."

And at the rate we're going, we'll have a few more crisis by then anyway.

Patrick Lang

mike

Any competent SF officer will tell you that he and a few of his people can make the "grocers" into enough of a fighting force in a few weeks to be useful in this situation, given the amount of aerial fire support available. we don't need your brigade of guards and all that parade ground bull for this. If you don't want to believe me I could care less. pl

TamBram

Seeing reports today that the rebels are getting outflanked by desert manuevers of MQ's troops--rebels reported to be sticking to the coastal road only.
Also, no air-support for the rebels again today. That mystifies me--political wrangling by the allies? If so, they'd better narrow the alliance ASAP!

Buzz Meeks

Time to start supporting Dennis Kucinich and building new parties outside the two mainstream Fifth Columns. As I said during the last "election" people would vote for Obammy because of the state of the economy in 2008. Shuck and Jive and his biggest donor was Goldman Sucks, along with two new wars. Pakistan may become a bonus war.

Gordon Duff called it- time for national strikes although it is may already too late to wrest control of our country back to justice, the rule of law and the defense of the Constitution.

We are going to have to come up with some extremely strong candidates and get the message out taking a lesson in social networking from the Arabs instead of playing Farmersville. I held my nose and voted for Obama as the lesser evil as did the majority of the people I know. That ain't going to happen again.

I loved the Obama as termite analogy by John H.

Nancy K

Buzz Meeks, I will hold my nose this time and vote for Obama. There really is no party that is for the regular people, those of us not in the top 1% bracket. Palin, Bachman, Gingrich etc etc, definitly do not care about us. They seem to be more concerned about what Israel thinks than about us.

clifford kiracofe

Ken Hoop,

Yes the AQ thing is something of a bogeyman useful to those in the military-industrial complex profiteering on Afghanistan. Yes there are some bad guys who need to be removed from the scene, but...

President Obama was misled into escalating there by the COIN industry and its political allies. CT, as Col. Lang has said, is the proper approach.

somebody

Dear Colonel Lang,

somehow I do not think it is easy. Remember Israel's attempt of getting rid of Hamas in Gaza? And they did enter the place. And they had no problem coordinating their planes with their soldiers.
A very pale faced Tony Blair is on film explaining how small Gaza is, so that there, no way, the mission could not possibly fail. Well, it did. Shock and awe did not work in Iraq, did not work in Lebanon, did not work in Gaza.
Libya has 1,759,541 km2 compared to Iraq's 438,317 km2. And 6,420,000 Libyans compared to 31,234,000 Iraqis. You want to bomb the sand? You say you can distinguish between good and evil (I would debate that this can be possible as we all are made of both materials, and have a lifespan where we can do one and the other) I am confident you do not claim, however, to be able to distinguish from a plane who is pro or contra Gaddafi. So even if you decide that being pro Gaddafi is a crime punishable by death (a very undemocratic attitude), you would not be able to find out, this would be complicated by people's ability to change their opinion, switch sides or lie.
When you see people shooting at each other, how do you decide, who is the agressor, who defends?

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