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03 June 2011

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The Twisted Genius

The revolution in Libya is indeed progressing nicely. The Berbers in the Nafusa Mountains are firmly allied with the Feb17 rebel fighters. They are making increasingly good progress against Qathafi's forces. Misrata is a genuine rebel success story. French advisors are on the ground there as well as other unidentified western-looking advisors probably hired by Qatar. Rebels and rebel sympathizers in Tripoli are becoming more surly each day. Those who think Qathafi controls western Libya are sadly mistaken. The NATO airstrikes may not be"shock and awe," but they're apparently effective.

The rebels are becoming better organized and combat hardened. Considering the situation and the behavior of Qathafi's forces, the rebels' discipline is remarkable. They are doing their best to adhere to the laws and customs of war. They treat captured and dead enemy soldiers well. Obviously there are some exceptions, but they are just that... exceptions. They seem to be keeping their anger focused on Qathafi and not on their battlefield adversaries. That will be very important once the revolution is won.

I think Qathafi and his boys are running out of both tricks and luck. They may make it to trial or the whole lot of them may end up hanging upside down in front of a Tripoli gas station.

The Twisted Genius

Every jackass despot in the world screams that the al Qaida bogeyman is out to get him. There must be legions of mighty ten foot tall al Qaida warriors hiding out there! I like the recent MI6 response to the threat. They replaced an article in an online jihadist magazine on how to make a bomb in your mother's kitchen with a yummy article on cupcakes featured on the Ellen Degeneres Show... p0wned!!

William R. Cumming

So Saleh has departed YEMEN?

Patrick Lang

WRC

Salih? What? Who?

Well, how would you go from Concord to Boston? fly?

You don't like people using roads? Do you think that a 100,000 man force can fly everything around? that's the beauty of guerrilla warfare. If you are the guerrillas the enemy will always have to move most of his logistics around on roads. pl

jonst

Suddenly (all things relative)I've had encounters with people I come across in my daily life, where said people are concerned that Obama is "going to throw Israel under the bus". Ok, no great mystery. These are people that pick 'thee talking points' on a weekly basis. And then spit them out in near unison during the subsequent days. But in this case, this week...I note the 'under the bus' point is at the top of the list. Curious timing. Ok, ok, I follow daily events. I know what has been going on the past couple of weeks. Still, it seems to me that the bus meme has been spread with unusual efficiency. These people express general concern with Israel's very existence. And to offer ANY commentary back, that comes near the reality on the ground, is to inspire looks of bemused contempt or downright hostility. Like I had on a Palestinian keffiyeh

Fred

TTG,

It's still terrorist condition yellow in every square inch of the USA, unless they've changed the terms. Certainly they haven't decided the threat to Wasilla, AK is zero - especially since the most famous resident is off getting lost elsewhere in the Republic.

John Kirkman

Stephen Walt recently pointed to the obvious about our Congress; it is For Sale, and not necessarily to the highest bidder, but to the smartest bidder. http://walt.foreignpolicy.com/posts/2011/06/03/do_the_american_people_support_the_special_relationship
“Whether the issue is farm subsidies or foreign policy, in short, special interest groups often wield disproportionate political power. Because countervailing forces are much weaker (as is the case when it comes to Middle East policy), groups like AIPAC and others have the field to themselves. Consider that in the 2010 election, "pro-Israel" PACs gave about $3 million to candidates from both parties. By comparison, Arab-American PACs gave less than $50,000. You can buy a lot of applause when the balance is stacked that way.”
I am one of many on this site who would like to see balance restored to our Middle East foreign policy. That money talks is not a new revelation in our society; the puzzle is why those who oppose AIPAC, for instance, do not organize a counterforce to their tactics. J Street tried but only half-heartedly, and remains a minor voice.
We created Israel, and the wisdom of that cannot now influence the fact, and we must honor that obligation. However, we are not beholden to endanger our own country to support the special interests of Israel when those interests become dangerous to the United States, as they now have become.
Given the nature of contemporary communication methods, the obvious bias of the main stream media could be bypassed, might even serve as rallying point. The question is not whether, but why not? Where is the leadership to correct a direction that endangers us all, including Israel?


Ken Hoop

http://angryarab.blogspot.com/2011/06/libyan-opposition-leader-mustafa-abdul.html

Angry Arab not impressed with rebel.

Thomas

"Angry Arab not impressed with rebel."

So?

Where do you stand on Liberty for Libya?

Walrus

With respect, AIPAC does not "get people elected", what AIPAC ensures is that anyone who does not swear fealty will lose.

Get labelled as "unfriendly and unsupportive" of Israel and you will suddenly find an array of PAC's spouting BS about you.

This, "negative contribution" to someone's re-election prospects would not appear as a reportable campaign contribution to their opponent would it?

Fred

Walrus,

No, that's not reportable as they are always 'issues' based, there's no mentioning vote for Joe, it's alway Bob thinks X,Y,Z.

Ken Hoop,

So what? From his bio he's (Angry Arab) been in academia in California for over 20 years. There's a big difference between teaching political science and forming a functioning government. I think China's opinion matters more than some poly-sci professor's.

http://www.miamiherald.com/2011/06/03/2248852/china-confirms-contact-made-with.html

Mark Logan

I'm beginning to suspect Bibi doesn't have a great deal of respect for the current President...

"In a move that comes as gesture of deep gratitude, the Israeli government permitted an extreme rightwing Israeli association to name a new settlement "Obama"."

http://english.ahram.org.eg/News/13353.aspx

elkern

TTG - pardon the linguistic quibble, but the "word" is "pwned" (no "o")...

http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=pwned

Far more importantly, thanks for your sharing your knowledge & perspective with us here.


Walrus - that's a great point, that AIPAC doesn't "get people elected"; it gets them "non-re-elected". One way is to get them "primaried" (icky neologism), which can double the cost. That's how they got Cynthia McKinnick (ex-D-GA) out of Congress. Subsequently, only us Greens were crazy enough to make freinds with her. Who else? Chuck Percy? William Fulbright? It's a very effective political protection racket.

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