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16 May 2011


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Cloned Poster

the fact that Q remains safe

Cloned Poster

a war was never won with airstrikes

William R. Cumming

Terrific post!



The rebels are the ground element. NATO is their air wing.

Norbert M Salamon


And the cost of the air wing will destroy the economies of the owners of the planes. For all empires die, and the XXII- century does not allow for such foolishness in the miod or long run. Smae reason Israel will fail within 5 years at the most.

FB Ali

The many people on SST who, to their credit, have voiced support for the Libyan rebels, and their announced aims of liberty, democracy etc, should perhaps be prepared to face some considerable disappointment in the months (and, possibly, years) to come.

Unfortunately, big powers do not send in their militaries just for the achievement of these noble goals by deprived peoples. There are numerous countries with problems similar to those of the Libyan people. The reason the US and NATO have engaged there may have something to do with the sea of oil lying beneath Libya’s barren sands. There will be bills to pay for the military, political and financial resources they are expending in support of the rebels. Already, promises are being made and, perhaps, IOUs signed.

When, as Col Lang predicts, the Qaddafi regime soon falls and the rebel council takes over in Tripoli, the town will be inundated with Western diplomats, advisers, oil company executives, spies, etc, all seeking to influence the policies of the new regime, and call in the IOUs. These pro-West policies and actions are not likely to be popular with the people who did the fighting and the dying, and this will add to the turmoil inevitably facing the council because of the circumstances under which they will come into power, to say nothing of the intrigues being mounted by the wannabees left on the outside.

After a period of instability and change, it is likely that one of the hard men hanging around the council will take over. Goodbye, then, to liberty and democracy. Though the oil will likely flow in the right directions.

Norbert M Salamon

Off topic, but some would be interested

Mr Cumming et al:

The new LEAP forcast is out at:

Cold War Zoomie

"A greater degree of patience than that exhibited by teenagers is necessary to understand this process."

Now that made me laugh hard!

I remember reading in one of Hackworth's books or essays that a lot of firefights will go full bore then all of a sudden stop. And it is difficult to predict when the final moment is coming.


FB Ali:

The Americans were supremely fortunate in having George Washington as the leader of our revolution precisely because of his lack of interest in becoming a dictator and dedication to democracy as way of registering the will of the people.

On November 25, the British evacuated New York City, and Washington and the governor took possession. At Fraunces Tavern on December 4, Washington formally bade his officers farewell and on December 23, 1783, he resigned his commission as commander-in-chief. Historian Gordon Wood concludes that the greatest act in his life was his resignation as commander of the armies—an act that stunned aristocratic Europe.[83] King George III called Washington "the greatest character of the age" because of this.[84]

We can hope.

The Twisted Genius

Brigadier Ali,

Although I'm under no illusion that North Africa will suddenly become a land of unicorns and glitter, I have considerably more faith in the ability of the Libyans to make a decent go at something other than another strongman dictatorship and/or vassal state to the West.

William R. Cumming

Thanks for link NMS!

William R. Cumming

STuck somewhere between TTG and General Ali in my hopes and beliefs for Libya. Are there any books analyzing the very few cases where after revolutions those possessing the sinews of organized violence did not end up dominating their national government? Was Washington the only exception? No wonder the USA feared Standing Armies until the Civil War! inlrgace

FB Ali


It is not about the ability of Libyans. If they had been able to topple Qaddafi on their own, they may well have stumbled through, after the inevitable teething troubles, to a reasonably free and stable country.

The problem is the considerable investment the West is making in ensuring that Qaddafi goes. They will expect a decent return on it. This will inevitably cause instability in an already shaky setup. Finally, one or more of the 'investors' will get fed up and will help into power someone who can deliver.

That said, I will continue to hope with you and Jane (and the many others who have so genuinely supported the aspirations of the young people of Libya - and, indeed, the Arab world).


As a long time reader, I have learned to defer to the wise colonels predictions (Q gone) rather than my initial gut thoughts.

Responding to a question posed:

Why did Obama not recognize the junta when he met with their leader this week?

and borrowing from FBI Ali's comment, perhaps Obama was holding out for a higher (strategic) IOU price? Or for all the wrong reasons, who knows.

FB Ali


The answer may well be: because the US wishes to keep its options open as to who it will finally back when the rebels take over. The concern with the present council members may not be so much about Islamists in their midst, but about how much various people are already (secretly) committed to France or Italy or Britain.

Qaddafi will go because NATO has finally made up its mind that he must. They will continue to bomb until that happens.

William R. Cumming

MQ safe from bombing but not ire of Libyans opposing him or his allies turning against him. I still think this has several months to run before the end whatever that is in fact.


So what is the connection to Strauss-Kahn? He was one of Sarkozy's biggest political rivals:




Well it looks like the Oil Minster read the writing on the wall.



not a complaint addressed to anybody here, but i get irate when people dismiss the rebels as being nothing but a "disorganized mob." no credit is given for average people risking all in order to fight to win their freedom. their inexperience is even used as an excuse not to support them. what do critics expect? everday citizens to suddenly rise up and magically turn into rambo in seconds flat? movies have warped our sense of expectations that defy common sense. critics may scoff, but let's remember, the afghan rebels were once derided as a disorganized mob. look at what they did. they ousted the soviets.

Patrick Lang


I couldn't agree more. pl

The Twisted Genius


Amen to that. The rebels are shopkeepers, students, mechanics and such armed with scrounged and jerry rigged weapons taking on a mercenary engorged, heavily armed ruthless foe. NATO airpower has been a big help, but what the rebels have managed to achieve in combat has been impressive.

I think Qathafi is afraid to use his forces still in Tripoli against the Misrata rebels because that would give the rebels in Tripoli just the chance they need to rise up. Qathafi could very well end up hanging in front of a gas station if that happens.

William R. Cumming

TTG! Upside down?

Ken Hoop


Well,Obama's speech today vowed the US would not tolerate "aggression beyond ones own borders" in the Muslim world and Middle East. How do you say "what a hoot" in Arabic, Pakistani and Afghan languages, as I'm sure they are saying much worse-even those who abhor Khadaffi and the Taliban...and Saddam.

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