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26 January 2016


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Patrick Bahzad

I would seriously challenge the allegation about trustworthiness of some vs others and I' can only agree with TTGs assessment about feeling safe with the Nafousa mountain tribes.


With regards possible European occupation of Libya lasting decades, they did do exactly that, starting in 1912, only to yield tribalism, then bizarro dictatorship (built on top of tribalism), followed by anarchy with heavy radical Islamist mix. Why should we expect it would be any different?


Thanks for this record. I think McConnell is evil. He knew damn well in 2009 that Obama could offer Main Street a stimulus equal to the Fed's relief to the banks--WITH NO DEBT TO "CHILDREN AND GRANDCHILDREN"--but he actively stopped it so he could bury Obama. Screw what that would do to small businesses, retirees, and university students.

A. Pols

One of the major problems is Libya is not really a country in the sense of the word as we'd use it. Foreign authoritarian rule or rule by strongman is all they've ever had, but we fixed that now, didn't we?


What mechanism did McConnell use? The filibuster has the legal standing of a gentleman's agreement and was reauthorized by the Democrats in 2009 anyway. Let's not pretend Obama's embrace of Larry Summers and his support of a small fiscal stimulus isn't well documented.

McConnell is still evil, but Obama isn't a victim of mean old Republicans and their craftiness.


Egypt failed badly in Yemen, I doubt they would do any better in Lybia,

And Egypt has enough domestic problems already.


Something like this will be passed on a Friday late in the day and buried in with some other news event.


Remember what Hillary said about Libya: "We came, we saw. he died...cackle.."
That sure sounds like a confession of U.S. involvement in the over throw
of the Gaddafi regime to me. How can we now just walk away? And what then, let ISIS &/or AQ take over, let them over run Tunisia next?

I'm leery of sending in the USMC but can't the US Navy & Egyptian Air Force
at least contain this mess? Gaddafi vowed if he fell the hordes of Africa
would invade Europe & they're sure giving it a try. How many North Africans,
Syrians, Iraqis, Afghans, etc can Europe indulge until it falls? The U.N
& Doctors Without Borders, the Church, the Left, advocates for an endless stream into perpetuity I guess. Ditto the same players in the U.S. I don't
know how to fix it but ignoring it/walking away doesn't seem like an option.

Babak Makkinejad

I think the war in Libya would be different as Egyptian forces will only need to capture the main cities.

Applying their normal brutality - murdering 2000 protestors in a single day in Cairo - and they would be able to suppress resistance.

While they train their light infantry using Toyota trucks, motorcycles, and towed artillery - the degradation of every-day life in Libya will cause the Libyan people to welcome the first ones who can make a believable promise of Law and Order.

I think this is a historical opportunity for Egypt.

I would have taken it; who would be in the opposition?

EU? No way, they would welcome Egypt's conquest of Libya as long as Egypt keeps the riff-raff of Africa from their Disney Land.

US? Hardly - why, US would bomb Egypt to save ISIS in Libya?
I do not think so.

Russia? "Go for it Sisis, we are with you."

Iran? Verbally only - if at all.

The only country that might actually do anything would be Algeria - but then the part of Libya close to Algeria does not have much oil as far as I know.

Conceivably, "The International Community" - with whom so many weak-minded Arab intellectuals seem to be enamored - could pass a UNSC resolution and "authorize" Egypt to restore order in Libya.

Egypt will be paid in kind and in cash by the NATO states as well all the oil that she can pump out for the duration - 19, 30, 60 years.

Babak Makkinejad

Because Egyptians are Muslims and would be much more acceptable to Libyans than Europeans or North Americans or Russians.



Not that long ago, an SOF "mission" flew into Lybia for an agreed upon "training" mission, only to be confronted on the Lybian Airforce Tarmac by one of the "other" Militia's there, who objected to their presence, mission and sent them back.

So, which of the three "Governments" do we fight for and which two do we fight against?

Of the roughly 13 Militia "Alliances" do we fight for, and which ones do we bomb, and how many of those "Alliances" will fracture into disputes over "our" presence?

What defines "victory" and how do we create "unity" other than to unite them against us?


In reply to elaine 26 January 2016 at 10:23 PM

"How can we now just walk away?"

Iraq, Libya, Syria.

The results of American intervention in every country America has intervened in the Middle East (and arguably South Asia too) has been a country whose descent into chaos and barbarity has been order of magnitude worse of the status quo ante.

Then there's the catastrophic results of American meddling in Ukraine.

It would seem that "You break it you own it" turns out to mean "We break it and then we smash it so comprehensively to smithereens that it can never put together again."

That's why you should just walk away. What you do in America and the American near abroad is your affair it's a genuine strategic interest. But for everywhere else a long long long period of American isolationism would be best for America and for everyone else too.


I'd appreciate some serious isolationism per George Washington's fine & wise advice, however it's rather late in the game when
you find yourself up against transnational terror groups like
ISIS & AQ or do you honestly think if we simply withdraw they'll
leave us alone?


When ISIS "took" Ramadi, it was with the help of Iraqi Sunni Tribal Militia's, who by their accounting, said ISIS Forces amounted to 5 to 7% of the forces involved. Ramadi had a population of roughly 450,000, of whom 400,000 were of one Sunni Tribal group.

By the time Iraqi Forces were in position to attack Ramadi, the city's population was down to roughly 4,000 and the "Tribals" we're all refugees.

That is how ISIS get's defeated.


In reply to elaine 27 January 2016 at 07:39 PM

Would you ever stop and think what you're saying.

You don't have any vital strategic interests in MENA or South Asia and one could make a very good argument for you having none in Europe either . America is uniquely blessed that because of where it is and all that water between America and everyone else that splendid isolation is a viable and optimal option.

All America is doing now is digging itself into ever deeper holes and expecting that to work. The simple fact is that every single instance of armed meddling that the USA has indulged in in the Middle East, South Asia, and now the Russian near abroad has gone catastrophically wrong firstly for those countries but also for the USA which has been dramatically weakened by their consistent failures.

A transnational terror group is NOT going to bring American society crashing down around your ears they don't have the capacity to do it. To bring America crashing down around your ears would take another superpower determined to do it and resigned to the fact that they too would be reduced to insignificance.

To successfully combat armed criminal gangs which is what terrorists are, nothing more and nothing less, you do police actions. What America is doing right now is providing them with motive means and opportunity. It's not working. Stop it.

William R. Cumming

What would the impact be if Russia decided to occupy and reopen the closed SAC base at Tripoli?

Or if the U.S. decided to do so?

William R. Cumming

The US Department of State has long failed to address policy generically despite the repetitive nature of the dangers of not doing so. This failure is on a policy basis both politically and legally. Disclosure: I long knew much about the Department of State's Office of Legal Counsel, its leaders and members.

One example now looms and its seed probably earlier but I use the Free French government in WWII as a starting point. First whether to recognize that government and its principal leader, General Charles De Gaulle, as a nation-state and the General as its leader.

You can see that struggle played out even when the current leader of a nation-state "democratically" elected.

I would argue that any military intervention by the US should never be to remove a democratically elected leader without a formal policy position and history by the Department of State, not the CIA, or DNI, or SECDEF, or NSC as to that person's election and recognition by the US. And why we [US] is now opposing that person! Perhaps naive but hey maybe STATE needs the work and discipline of doing so. At least theoretically the US still supports the rule of law both domestically and internationally. Then perhaps STATE can take on the SIGNATURE DRONE strike programs.

Did you kn ow the TREATY Division of LOC [Library of Congress] determines if there is a treaty lawfully entered?

Babak Makkinejad

Police action may work domestically for US but the reality of it, in the Middle East or in Africa, is that one needs disciplined military action over many years to defeat and destroy such organizations as ISIS or Boko Haram.

But that military effort, in my view, can only be exerted by the local legitimate authority, i.e. the existing governments. In practice that entails the strengthening - in the Levant - of Syria, Iran and Iraq - the "Enemies of the West". Which is not going to happen.


The US spent Big Bucks trying to strengthen the Iraqi Military &
that may well be why Pres. Obama chose not to light up ISIS when
it was marching in a nice straight line & ignored many of his own military advisers & instead sat back & coyly branded them the "j.v. team." Guess he thought they were marching right into an
Iraqi Shia buzzsaw. You know what happened: they ran & abandoned
millions of dollars worth of weaponry & abandoned their compatriots
to the head choppers.


Apparently my original post on this thread really set you off.
All I was really advocating for Libya was containment of the ISIS
encroachment into their territory by sea & air to try & stop the
infectious spread of ISIS into Tunisia & ditto Chad & Algeria.

If Egypt isn't interested in providing air support it's a no go.
Al Jazeera America is closing down its cable operation this spring
as supposedly only 20 to 40 thousand people even watch it. I'll miss it; this afternoon they did some coverage of Libya
(they had a reporter taken hostage & later released there), they
had a ME policy guy on from the region & he was advocating for
containment as well. Perhaps you should contact Al Jazeera America
before they go off the air & see if they'll have you on to do
your America is the great satan routine.


In reply to elaine 28 January 2016 at 08:04 PM

What sets me off is idiocy, it is manifest idiocy to further inflame a situation in which every single intervention by the USA makes the situation worse. It won't be you who suffers the consequences it'll be the people who live there and the people having their societies destabilised by floods of refugees.

So Elaine please tell us: How many Libyan, Iraqi, Syrian, and Afghan refugees are you personally willing to fund moving into your hometown? THere's a suitable property next door to you I'm sure.

Thank for confirming the weakness of your argument by resorting to mischaracterisations such as "America is the great satan" I admit that schadenfreude is something of a vice but nevertheless I do enjoy it when people arguing for foolishness escalate their argument from merely foolish to ludicrous.

What you originally was very clear you proposed making an already dire situation worse by having American forces yet again engage in the sort of hamfisted cackhanded military interventions that has collapsed every country they've done it to. You yourself admitted:

" I don't know how to fix it"

So you propose making it worse by indulging, and I choose that word advisedly, in precisely the same behaviour that created the blood soaked mess in the first place. Here's a little hint for you yet more self-indulgent viciousness isn't going to achieve anything good.



No argument from me weak chaotic fragmented societies which is what American policy has resulted in MENA are by definition incapable of effectively resisting a well-organised and motivated foe. Elaine is arguing for the Egyptians to become involved. The Egyptian armed forces are a bad joke. They're an internal gendarmmerie and that's all they are.

Assad père routed the Ikhwanis when they tried to overthrow him. But then he ran a strong government with internal and external legitimacy.

Babak Makkinejad

I think we need to look at this from the aspect of missing Legitimate Authority.

There was a crisis of Legitimate Authority in Iraq which was not addressed until Ayatollah Sistani - an Iranian Shia - issued a decree and urged men to fight to defend Iraq.

That decree addressed the issue of Legitimate Authority in Iraq.

The Legitimate Authority is also absent in Afghanistan, in Libya, in (Eastern) Somalia, and in South Sudan.

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