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18 March 2011

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Will Reks

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704360404576206992835270906.html

Looks like Egypt has started arming the rebels. Maybe we can give them some crew-served weapons?

walrus

I agree 100% Col. Lang, Ghadaffi needs to be issued with an ultimatum couched in terms that he cannot accept.

FB Ali

Col Lang,

I detest Qaddafi as much as you do. I would like to see him ousted as much as you do. But, I’m afraid it can’t be done now.

There was a time when a few discreet air sorties against the right targets could have enabled the rebels to finish MQ off. Now, arming the rebels in Eastern Libya would only lead to a protracted civil war that would be much worse for the Libyan people than a Qaddafi chastened and under scrutiny. I doubt very much if the Arab League would go for this method.

Equally counter-productive would be a bombing campaign to force MQ out. Such an operation would kill many civilians and destroy a lot of Libyan assets. A lot of people in Libya support Qaddafi; many more would rally round him if their country was under attack. Such a Western attack on an Arab and Muslim country is not going to win many friends and allies in the Arab and Muslim world.

Especially when it is clear that all the hoopla about the no-fly zone and MQ is actually going to distract people from what the ‘good guy’ Arabs are doing to their civilians in Bahrain, Yemen, Algeria and Saudi Arabia. People in the West may be distracted (the MSM will ensure that), but the Arabs and Muslims won’t be.

bth

I don't understand why the removal of MQ isn't stated as such. Does the administration anticipate that we would wound in halves or that he would transfer power to his sons? We are at a point where he must go in a box or in a plane.

Patrick Lang

bth

The composition of the UNSC made that impossible. That does not mean that our policy should be limited by this. It was suggested today that NATO be put in charge of this. The French objected as do I. The Germans are effectively under the control of Israel in such matters and Israel want Qathafi to remain on the principal that they prefer the evils they know. If you listened to Natanyahu blowing smoke at Piers Morgan last night it was quite clear under the surface of his blarney that Israel is doing everything it can to advance that policy. pl

Patrick Lang

MJ

He begs for it. pl

Patrick Lang

FB Ali

We will have to disagree. I think that this can be done and want to see it done. pl

Mike C

Is there anything that would have stopped us/ our allies from having a strike package loaded and waiting for the announcement of the UNSC resolution? Does the President understand what the implications are of saying "The United States is not going to deploy ground troops into Libya." Did he really just tell us that they're only now starting to coordinate on the enforcement of the resolution?

Have any of these people ever heard the word "contingency?"

Patrick Lang

mikeC

"Is there anything that would have stopped us/ our allies from having a strike package loaded and waiting for the announcement of the UNSC resolution?"

Not a damned thing except Obama's vapidity and the blindness of the political apparatchiks around him. pl

john siscoe

"Qathafi's removal is the goal." Succinctly put. And if that isn't the goal, acknowledged or otherwise, we're at best wasting our time.

William R. Cumming

The President has given some kind of speech. Can it be translated for this blog as to its meaning?

I vote with FB Ali! Too late by UN and US and now a full fledged civil war! Hoping PL is correct and we are wrong!

Odd how little population in Libya--aroundd 5 Million?

The beaver

Col. and Brigadier Ali

With your permission I will link a thread of a former British diplomat that explains the UNSC resolution and also gives some answers as to what can be done or not:

http://craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2011/03/military-action-against-libya-is-not-illegal-not-about-democracy-and-very-limited/

Approval of the Arab League - to calm down the fear of the Muslims and Arabs and move the focus from the Gulf to Libya.

Michael Brenner

FB Ali,

With all respect and due deference to you experience of the Islamic world, I beg to differ as to the consequences of action vs inaction. Reports from across the region indicate that anger at the United States is due to our abandonment of the democracy movements and our own declared principles. Certainly, there is latent anger about our ill-conceived interventions. But the latter only will add to the hostility created by our betrayal. As to the practical questions of how we might inflect the course of developments in Libya, I recall your comments a few days back that a few well-placed anti-tank missiles would send Gadhaffi"s forces scurrying back to Tripoli. I don't see what has changed that psychology.

As to his popular support, what is its basis - ideological, sectarian, nationalist? None appear to exist except for the tribal loyalties of those he has taken into his inner circle. The die hards could pose some trouble. But isn't it overshadowed by the nefarious consequences of a protracted civil war cum political strife if we temporize?

On another issue, I don't quite buy the notion bruited about that Obama was hamstrung by some deal with the Russians. Some sort of deal probably was struck. The continued Libyan military action today, however, could have served as an excuse to hit the bastard hard. Are we to allow these vague diplomatic niceties to dictate our prevaricating so as to ensure the kind of quagmire that the Kremlin would delight to see us in?

best regards,
Michael Brenner

elkern

So why aren't the UK & France prep'd for the contingency? I expected to wake this AM to the news that they'd already eliminated the Libyan AF.

Are they incapable of projecting force that far? Or unable (read chicken) to act independently of the US? Is the paralysis political, diplomatic, or military? Or are there real technical reasons to wait?

Will they/we have access to air bases in Tunisia & Egypt? At least that choice would be mostly independent of Israeli influence.

Et bien, ou est le Charles de Gaulle? (sorry, my keyboard only has question marks, no accents, grave or otherwise).

I agree that going along with Qathafi's "cease-fire" would be a slow-motion train-wreck. He strikes me as the kind of guy who holds grudges, and not someone who keeps promises.

I can't imagine he inspires much loyalty from competent, intelligent people. There must be players in the remaining Libyan military who could serve MQ up on a platter, no?

Just give him an out: a free one-way ticket to Kiev, maybe.

Lysander

I must agree with General Ali,

once you open the bottle, you have no idea what kind of genie will come out.

I hope this ends well, but I suspect more Libyans will die under the NFZ and the accompanying bombardment than have died in the last month.

Meanwhile, true massacres are occurring in Yemen and Bahrain. There are reports of demonstrations in Syria today following Friday prayers. Occasional protests even in Saudi Arabia.

If the latter erupts we are looking at the end of the Middle East as we know it.

FB Ali

Col Lang,

Of course, Qaddafi can be removed. But the cost will not be worth it. Either for the Libyan people, or the West.

As I said, there was a time when it could have been done easily and painlessly. Not now.

WILL

PL "an ultimatum .. couched .. cannot accept"

BHO>Qathafi
" Qaddafi must stop his troops from advancing on Benghazi; pull them back from Adjadbiya, Misrata and Zawiyah, and establish water, electricity and gas supplies to all areas. Humanitarian assistance must be allowed to reach the people of Libya."

If he were to pull back from the conquered towns then Senor Luis Moreno-Ocampo, the International Criminal Court's prosecutor, would be soon in those towns personally or thru agents taking depositions. Either way, the Captain (honorary Colonel) is fried.

Jose

Sir, since we are going to be at war throughout MENASA, what message are we sending the Islamic Civilization other than Indonesia be on your best behavior?

I believe this is the critical point because we are looking the other way when other countries do similar MQ.

Neither FoolBama or Shillary have do develop a message to explain our actions when they 't match our words.

BTW, MQ and his sons should be left in Libya and not sent to The Hague IMHO.

Patrick Lang

jose

"since we are going to be at war throughout MENASA"

Not the case. pl

Bruno

@F B Ali:

I have to admit that I am reluctant to comment when you speak out. I have been following your writings on here with great interest, and was always humbled by them.

But I have to disagree with you regarding the reaction of the Arab and Muslim world, should the "West" get directly involved.

If there is one thing on which Arabs and Muslims around the globe agree, for varying reasons, it is the evil of Qadhafi and the necessity to see him done with ASAP.

To all Arabs I have spoken to, from Algiers to Dubai, from Khartoum to Damascus, they are all unanimous: MQ is a public disgrace to the Arab pride. And they would love nothing more than to see him gone. It is no surprise that the usually beleaguered Arab League was for once able to unanimously agree on the no-fly zone. They all want MQ gone.

As for the Muslims, especially the politically and religiously engaged ones, he is the worst Pharaoh ever. With his green book and innovative religious cult, he crossed a line for which many in the Muslim world would love to see him die. No matter who does the job for them.

Indeed "the Arabs and Muslims won’t be." distracted by MSM and will still view the situation in Bahrain for what it is: a sectarian conflict and nothing else. And 90% of the world Muslims who are Sunni could care less of what happens to the remaining 10% that is Shi'ite. Especially when the 90% are convinced that this minority is out to get them one way or the other.

So don't expect Arabs and Muslims to give any support to MQ just because it is the West that is trying to get rid of him.

Arabs and Muslims all want MQ gone. And what happens in Manama, Algiers or Sana'a will not change their mind nor their opinion of MQ. He is no Saddam Hussein.

Patrick Lang

mj

To do what? pl

JohnH

Iraq started out with that same simple proposition--regime change. What started out simple turned into an exorbitantly expensive occupation, a major disruption in oil production, and an increase of Iranian influence.

It all starts out so innocently. Unfortunately it seems you can count on the leaders of the "international community" to botch it all up.

BTW, who's paying for whatever American involvement there is? Shouldn't that be a topic of discussion, too? Will Congress require intervention to be "budget neutral?"

seydlitz89

Col. Lang-
Very well stated and your comments on moral literacy (or lack thereof) have convinced me as well. Bravo sir.

What I don't understand is why we do not use MQ's own no so clever propaganda against him? He claims to have no leadership position at all, that Libya is "a state of the masses". If that is the case, than he is simply a private citizen and given the chaos in the country should not "international security forces" be brought in, not to occupy as you have pointed out, but to clear the area of "criminal elements" so that "local legitimate authorities" may take control?

Sometimes propagandistic excess should suffer the consequences . . .

Bruno

@Michael Brenner:

"Reports from across the region indicate that anger at the United States is due to our abandonment of the democracy movements and our own declared principles. "

What reports are you talking about Sir?

Arabs and Muslims around the world could care less about any other country's strict adherence to their own principles. They don't share those principles with them to begin with, do they? So why should they care?

The reports I get from talking to the Moe in the streets of Beirut, Algiers or Abu Dhabi, all indicate that what really gets them angry is Israel. From their perspective, it is the broken promise made by our administration to the them [ ie: Roosevelt and following administrations to Ibn Saud] to never recognize Israel at the UN that angers them the most.

@Elkern:

"Et bien, ou est le Charles de Gaulle? (sorry, my keyboard only has question marks, no accents, grave or otherwise)."

To bad you don't have any "accent grave"! Because your question is serious. So I'm asking the question again but with an "accent grave" this time: where is their Charles de Gaulle?

And maybe we can see now the beginning of an answer to your question regarding the Lybian AF.

Patrick Lang

JohnH

I'll pay.pl

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