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10 June 2011

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shanks

I have to disagree, sir. I don't see an endgame at all. Short of balkanising Libya along the major tribal lines, the internal legitimacy of the rebel win(if it comes at all) is going to be the same as Qathafi, isn't it?

The west may recognise some random sap but what's the point of that without the same guy controlling anything internally? What happens when some other power broker in Qathafi's tribe decides to stake a claim?

The Twisted Genius

It's about time we move towards recognizing the TNC as the legitimate government of Libya. What's the alternative? Qathafi and his Revolutionary Nuns? From the linked article, I see DOS officials cite "legal difficulties associated with the shift" to justify their reluctance to recognize the TNC. The biggest immediate advantage to being recognized as the legitimate government of Libya is the ability of the TNC to tap into all the Libyan assets that Qathafi squirreled away around the world. My cynical opinion is that the "legal difficulties" mentioned by the DOS consist of vigorous efforts by thieving international bankers to keep those Libyan assets for themselves.

arbogast

The problem with Libya is that it's a distraction from Afghanistan, which is probably what it is intended to be.

Crocker:

"The U.S. can’t afford to abandon the region and let terrorists regain a haven for planning violence like the Sept. 11 attacks.

We will not repeat the mistakes of the past.

Much work remains to be done to ensure that al-Qaeda can never again threaten us from Afghanistan with the Taliban providing safe haven.

So I think you can already see what we’re trying to do — in province by province, district by district, establish the conditions where the Afghan government can take over and hold ground.

[We want to] leave behind governance that is good enough to ensure that the country doesn’t degenerate back into a safe haven for al-Qaeda.

In many respects, the debates currently occurring in Iraq are akin to those surrounding our civil rights movement or struggle over states rights. I do believe that Iraq's leaders have the will to tackle the country's pressing problems, although it will take longer than we originally anticipated because of the environment and the gravity of the issues before them.”

Okay. That's what he said. Here's who he is:

"He served as deputy director of the Office of Israel and Arab-Israeli affairs from 1985 to 1987 and was political counselor at the American Embassy in Cairo from 1987 to 1990.

On January 8, 2007, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice announced that the Bush administration would nominate Crocker as the new American Ambassador to Iraq.

On December 4, 2009, The Bush School of Government and Public Service at Texas A&M University, in College Station, Texas, announced the appointment of Ambassador Crocker as its next Dean, effective January 25, 2010."

Now, let me see. This guy is actually being asked for testimony about policy by the Senate?

He is the shill's shill. A button man. The doorman for the brothel. I'm supposed to listen to what this man has to say?

That's where we are. We're recognizing a group of people who I'm sure we don't even know their names in Libya, and we're destroying the United States in Afghanistan, and we're asking Ryan Crocker for advice on what to do.

Ryan Crocker. Not Patrick Lang. Is that because Patrick Lang's opinions are based on ignorance and superstion? Or is it because Patrick Lang can't be bought? Ryan Crocker sure as hell can be bought.

How is this going to end? Because it is going to end. The dog is going to get tired of being wagged by the tail.

William R. Cumming

PL agree but would make you sentence that reads "This effort is beyond our strength and means, especially in bad economic times" to add the words "beyond our competence"!

Fred

Shanks,

"what's the point of that without the same guy controlling anything internally?"

The TNC seems to be most of the other tribes in Libya. The 'same guy' controlling things internally is Qathafi and he's fouled up things so bad his own people want to get rid of him. Our efforts and cost in that regard are very low.

dh

Unlike some posters here I don't really understand the situation in Libya. Is Ghadaffi as evil and unpopular as we are told? Are the rebels enlightened democrats? The concern for the Libyan people is touching of course but it seems to me it's become a question of Western military prestige.

Thomas

Shanks,

"the rebel win(if it comes at all)"

A dollar down on Libya earning Independence by the summer solstice of 2011.

Matthew

Expect to see this model repeated: Freeze foreign assets of odious regime. Hold international conference where Western governments choose new "legitimate government" of all or part of an oil-rich country. Then allow afore-mentioned legitimate government access to frozen assets to buy American and European goods, particularly, weapons.

This might actually be an improvement over the Western model for Palestine. Mr. Fayyad got only 2% of the vote in Palestinian elections but he garnered a 100% vote of confidence from the World Bank, so he is the "legitimate" PM of the PA.

dh

Noble sentiments Thomas but Libya became independent on December 24, 1951.

Ken Hoop

Khadafi made a perhaps significant hit today on the rebels. At any rate the precedent for any "successful" Mideast intervention on the part of the US now only encourages it to do more damage (almost always in Israel's interests.)

DanM

I support the NATO intervention over Libya. I spent a fair bit of time in Benghazi and points around there this spring. I agree with Col. Lang that Qaddafi will go soonish (i'd say maximum 6 months) and at a cheap price. I do not worry particularly about the "tribal" red herring in Libya. (It aint Yemen. It aint even Syria). Nevertheless, I'm not sure that i would "recognize" the "TNC" at this point. They are a largely self-appointed group of rich folks from the East. Some of them, with a combination of naivete and ruthlessness, might seek to split Libya for personal interest when it becomes clear they aren't going to grab the brass ring in post-Qaddafi Libya. I am not particularly worried about the east/west civil war scenario, but i do think early recognition could give some of these friends of "freedom" ideas. Help them get rid of Qaddafi, but constantly whisper in their ear that some kind of reasonable process should yield his successor, would be my approach.

bth

We passed the point of no return months ago. Recognize the rebels, the sooner the better. Arm them. Given them an immediate but moderate loan against impounded assets. Negotiate the outline of a longer term relationship while we have their attention. Help the rebels finish the job and win freedom.

shanks

@Fred
I believe we've sort of chosen the rebels we want to deal with(Chalabi type expats) and not someone(s) which Libyans themselves organised around. So, we probably have a legitimacy problem.

@thomas
I probably should take you up on the bet; it's already off the front pages and heading into random attacks by both parties to a stalemate of some sort. And it will soon become a contravention of UN law if there are more visible support to the rebels. Lastly, the economic blockade affects entire Libya(food, security, jobs) and the (future) ability of NATO to be amazing accurate in hitting innocent civilians (schools, weddings etc) will sort of ensure that rebels/western support will be welcome with open arms. NOT.

optimax

After Khadafi falls let's send Ken Blackwell to Lybia along with Ohio's electronic voting machines and call it a democracy. It's working well for us. Better yet, let's do a trade for some tar and feathers.

Thomas

dh

And lost it on September 1, 1969.

Thomas

Shanks

In the end we will see. There is alot going on behind the scences that is not being reported. With the state of the MSM in the US it is probably a good thing.

In my view, the shelling of the frontlines in Misrata yesterday was the beginning of the Last Gasp offensive by Madman Qathafi and his bunker boys. It was interesting on Tuesday, during the daylight air raids, that Crazy Q lost his cool called the media, went into raving bitch and moan session and then promptly hung up after a closeby explosion. The real question for the regime is how much does Saif al-Islam value his life?

As for the Libayns, once they stood up against Qathafi, they discovered the literal meaning of "Live Free or Die". And they have been willing and able to pay the price.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eHmy3JZ6WUM&feature=player_embedded

Thomas

DanM,

I hear what you are saying. The folks in the Western Mountains and Misrata may not take too kindly to a naive and ruthless poacher.

Would not the succesor be a Constitutional Republic with everyone getting their fair share (even Sitre)? What were the ideas being floated about on this subject when you where there?

dh

"And lost it on September 1, 1969."

Clearly Thomas you regard an internal coup as a loss of independence. The UN didn't see it that way.

DanM

Thomas,

I heard a lot Jeffersonian prattle from the TNC and believed none of it. I don't believe the TNC will have anywhere near as much influence in a post-Qaddafi Libya as they expect they will. I think the weight of culture and history will guide what Libya becomes next. I'm pessimistic that "everyone will get their share."

The Twisted Genius

I think those who think the situation in Libya is a stalemate are wrong. Qathafi's forces are definitely on the defensive in western Libya. The recent pounding of rebel forces in Dafniya, just west of Misrata, was as much an attempt to stop the rebels advance towards Tripoli as it was to try to capture Misrata. Remember only weeks ago Misrata was on the verge of being overrun by Qathafi. The Misrata rebels stated that they would not advance towards Zlintan, enroute to Tripoli, until the rebels in Zlintan rose up. It appears they have done so in the last few days. We'll see what happens now on that front. The rebels control the towns along the Nafusa Mountains south of Tripoli including Yafran some 50 kilometers south of Tripoli. The rebels are also on the attack in Zawiyah 30 kilometers to the west of Tripoli along the coastal road. This fighting has cut Tripoli off from resupply... a serious blow to Qathafi's forces. All these rebel advances have been slow, bloody and fitful, but that's the nature of guerilla warfare. Will they win by the Summer Solstice as Thomas wagers? I don't know, but I'm confident the rebels will prevail.

What happens after the rebel victory? DanM's doubts about the political structure that will emerge are well taken. The war will not have been won just by those in Benghazi. The Nafusa Berbers, those in Misrata and other rebel groups in western Libya will, no doubt, have their own thoughts on how Libya will be governed. I also doubt those who remained loyal to Qathafi will just go quietly into the night. I still think we should recognize the TNC now and keep an open mind in the future.

In comments to another post, bth linked to an article from his local news about the speech made by Reverend Gibbons at the commemoration of "pole capping" prior to this year's Patriots Day celebration. I suggest everyone reread bth's comment (07 June 2011 at 07:41 AM) and Reverend Gibbons' inspiring words. It brought a tear to my eye when I first read it.

Reverend Gibbons' words at http://www.bedfordtowntaxi.com/?p=5132

Thomas

DanM,

Thanks for the perspective.

William R. Cumming

Would it be possible with the computer age to research how vague with respect to mouthing of democratic sentiments and how vague with respect to free and open elections a polity or organization can be in order to gain or keep US recognition without actually accomplishing either? Perhaps starting with FDR's recognition of Russia in 1933?

Anna-Marina

The proliferation of nation-less armies (does not seem that the US supports democracy in ME):

http://www.fpif.org/articles/bigger_than_blackwater_arming_the_uae

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