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28 February 2016

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b

The story NYT published is mostly a fairy tale.

The attack on Libya was conceived way before the official decision in March. French intelligence was on the ground in February. The French/British air maneuver "Southern Mistral" was conceived in 2010. It was in preparation of the attack and "converted" into it before the actual maneuver would launch.
http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2015/06/libya-gadhafi-french-spies-rebels-support.html#
https://web.archive.org/web/20110322143434/http://www.southern-mistral.cdaoa.fr/GB/">http://www.southern-mistral.cdaoa.fr/GB/">https://web.archive.org/web/20110322143434/http://www.southern-mistral.cdaoa.fr/GB/

A do not believe for a minute that U.S. intelligence did not know what was happening. No one was watching the jihadis in Benghazi?

It's a fairy tale exculpating the NYT itself, which marketed the war, and Clinton. A sorry whitewash. That Clinton does not distance herself from her earlier decision makes her, in my view, unelectable.

Interesting that just today a documentary about the current Libya received a total of six Oscars. Plenty of beef left in the story to do remakes all over north Africa.

Jackrabbit

ISIS has become the 'storm troopers' of the Empire. Obama claims that wherever they go, we will follow. Perfect.

USA, Israel, and KSA decided to use extremists as a weapon in 2006, as described by Seymour Hersh in "The Redirection": http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2007/03/05/the-redirection

I suppose that makes "eye-washing" a necessity: http://www.counterpunch.org/2016/02/29/the-redacted-truth-how-the-cia-lies-to-its-own-employees/

ISIS needs off-the-books funding. Libyan and Syrian oil fields allow for that.

I suspect that Libya and Syria are just the beginning: Africa, Caucasus, Central Asia await.

SmoothieX12

"Much of the "information" is said to have come from news stories."

Considering the state of US media and, the so called, "journalism"--the outcomes in Libya or elsewhere should not be surprising at all.

Margaret Steinfels

"A do not believe for a minute that U.S. intelligence did not know what was happening. No one was watching the jihadis in Benghazi?"

If so, why would anyone claim intelligence came from new stories. No one in the State Dept. wants to admit that they had intelligence from the CIA. Or no one in the State Dept. wants to admit that the CIA wouldn't share intelligence. Fishy.

The story focused on Clinton and the State Department does not go near the French and British intelligence or lobbying.

Margaret Steinfels

"The story focused on Clinton and the State Department does not go near the French and British intelligence or lobbying."

Though at the time, there was much made of French lobbying in the person of Bernard-Henri Levy.

Valissa

I no longer consider the New York Times a credible source on foreign policy issues. They are devoted to supporting the Dem establishment. Sure there is the occasional flash of realism and even criticism of leaders, but mostly it's PR.

On Jan 30th the NYTimes officially stated their support for Hillary as president http://www.nytimes.com/2016/01/31/opinion/sunday/hillary-clinton-endorsement.html

The NY Times is a major media member of the Borg.

Bill Herschel

There is only one question that needs to be asked about Hillary Clinton. Who does she serve? Her actions with regard to Libya can not possibly be colored as serving the American people. If they were supposed to protect the Libyan people, and I believe that was the band aid placed on her machinations, billions spent to protect the Libyan people is something the American people should have a say in, is it not? Particularly when it involves going to war.

No, she does not serve America. Nor did her sister Nuland serve America when she fomented a coup d'état in Ukraine.

Now, we learn that the Secretary of Defense, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and the CIA Director are unanimously opposed to the cessation of hostilities in Syria. This article from Russia Insider contains the text of an article from the Wall Street Journal detailing this opposition.

http://russia-insider.com/en/politics/syrian-peace-plan-us-seethes-its-humiliation-russia/ri13097

Who are these men serving? The American people? No. From the Wall Street Journal:

"Mr. Carter had publicly voiced support for the negotiations led by Mr. Kerry. But while the talks were under way last week, Messrs. Carter and Brennan, and Gen. Dunford, privately warned the White House they risked undermining Washington’s standing with regional partners in the two U.S.-led coalitions—one in support of anti-Assad rebels, the other fighting Islamic State, the senior officials said."

So, it is our "standing with regional partners" that is being served. But the benefit to the American people from that standing is not even remotely evident. Our standing with Saudi Arabia? The American people are being asked to die on a battlefield thousands of miles away, to send manpads to jihadists which will be used to shoot down commercial airliners, for our standing with Saudi Arabia, a brutal dictatorship if ever there was one.

"Treason doth never prosper: what's the reason? Why, if it prosper, none dare call it treason."

Well, Messrs, Carter, Brennan, and Dunford all directly prosper from military aid and involvement in Syria, perhaps Mr. Brennan most of all, the former Section Chief in Riyadh. Are they guilty of treason?

Interestingly, that question is apparently right now being answered at the ballot box. The main reason the Republican Establishment has failed to defend itself against Donald Trump (and which will lead Trump to destroy Clinton in the general election) is that they do not think it possible that the American people can figure out that they are being sacrificed to a partnership with Saudi Arabia et al that benefits a tiny minority of the population. The South's Evangelicals are voting for Trump not because he is an Evangelical but because they are not brain dead, which is what the Republican Establishment is and has been counting on.

Margaret Steinfels

The editorial endorsement of Clinton for president doesn't mean that the news stories posted above endorse her.

I'm sorry you haven't read them. The stories may not get all the details right, but they certainly raise questions about the foreign policy of a Hillary Clinton presidency.

Valissa

Honestly Margaret, I tried to read them. I started to read them... but just couldn't. Partly because I've already read many, many articles about the Libyan situation, and also Benghazi and Hillary the past couple of years. There was nothing new or fresh that jumped out at me and they are too long to read just for politeness sake when I'm already burned out on the topic plus the fact that the NYT is a Borgian mouthpiece.

I noticed you did not comment on either the recent Neocon post or the Borg post. I am curious what you think of PL's label "The Borg" to the US establishment. Or what you think of the US establishment/power elites in general, whatever you want to call it.

Valissa

Very insightful comment... a pleasure to read and think about :)

Jackrabbit

The answers to your questions start here:

http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2007/03/05/the-redirection

Has no one read this? Does no one see the problems that this end-run around democratic governance entails?

USA, Israel, and KSA teamed up to support extremists/terr0r!sts as a weapon. They use covert action plus foreign government financing and resources take action with no oversight or accountability.

Croesus

"They use covert action plus foreign government financing and resources take action with no oversight or accountability."

Iran Contra redux

b

@Bill Herschel

"There is only one question that needs to be asked about Hillary Clinton. Who does she serve? Her actions with regard to Libya can not possibly be colored as serving the American people."

Hillary Clinton's biggest sponsor is Goldman Sachs.

Now consider this:

"Goldman Sachs lost 98% of Gaddafi's $1.3bn investment "
http://www.theguardian.com/business/2011/may/31/goldman-sachs-libya-investment

/quote/
A bitter rift has opened up between the world's most powerful bank and one of its most fearsome dictators after Goldman Sachs invested $1.3bn (£790m) of Colonel Gaddafi's money – and lost virtually all of it.

According to an investigation by the Wall Street Journal, Goldman offered to make Gaddafi one of its biggest investors as compensation for losing 98% of the money the Wall Street firm invested on behalf of the Libyan Investment Authority (LIA). This left the $53bn Gaddifi-controlled sovereign wealth fund, which elsewhere has stakes in companies such as Financial Times-owner Pearson and BP, with just $25.1m of the money it entrusted to Goldman.
/endquote/

I believe that answers your questions.

Margaret Steinfels

Commenting on Neocon or Borg post. When I have nothing to say, I try not to say it! Don't always succeed.

Neoconservativism is a well-known analysis, especially in this household; they are real; and they come with some variations. The Borg? I'll let others more knowledgeable talk about it.

I tend to look at DC as three branches of government with two of them consumed in internecine warfare and in the current party arrangement representing different political outlooks and goals. They are united on very little, except maybe Israel though I think Obama has tried to create some distance at least between himself and Netanyahu. Clinton will close the gap, if she becomes president; but then so will Trump. I think that will be bad for the U.S. and for Israel.

And apropos of Semour Hersch; I have as much confidence in his reporting as you seem to have in the NYTimes.

Now you know everything!

red brick

In support of b's contention, the Canadian military was well aware that a western intervention would sow a civil war and end up operating as "Al Qaeda's air force."

Before the bombing began, Canadian military intelligence offered the government a clear prediction of the likely outcome, which unfortunately has become reality. The neocon government of course ignored this intel.

Hard to believe that HRC and the White House didn't have access to the same intel.

Story here:

http://news.nationalpost.com/news/world/canadian-military-predicted-libya-would-descend-into-civil-war-if-foreign-countries-helped-rebels-overthrow-gaddafi

EZSmirkzz

I've been reading this blog for ages, and Moon of Alabama ever since the comment section was opened up for BillMon's post when he tired of the BS of the interconnected tubes. So I'm familiar with b's opinion, which you can read at his blog, and please, do follow the links. That governments lie to the people, or that agencies lie to each other is, or should be, at this point a foregone conclusion.

While I understood the R2P arguments and agreed with the sentiments, the most compelling argument was put forth on this blog by Colonel Lang, that of the re-assertion of American power in the Mediterranean region. Without that action I find it doubtful that Russia would have been able to convince Syria to sign on to the chemical weapons treaty, which protected Russian interests in Tartus.

As I recall readers of SST were also aware of the tribal nature of the Libyan population, so we cannot claim ignorance of the post war developments being a real possibility of the outcome. The package for intervention was enough to fool the Libyan intelligentsia, which unfortunately didn't read this blog either.

Whether Hillary was sandbagged on this or not, what was known played right into her propensity to act, rather than wait around to see if another Rwanda would develop. We like to pretend that this sort of action is outside of the American character when it suits our ideology, but let us not pretend America and Americans are a peace loving nation and people. There is a reason why pacifists are nailed on sticks, or climb up on pedestals and tut tut the world.

Fact of the matter is most of us are just best guessing, and Pat Lang just happens to be one of the best best guessers.

Valissa

Thanks for taking the time to explain a bit about your point of view. I always appreciate it when people do that, as it's helpful to have context.

One of the things I really like about this blog is the ability to have (mostly) civilized conversations among people with differing worldviews.

mbrenner

This extensive if incomplete and one-sided account does highlight for us a core reality about foreign-policy making in Washington these days. Simply put, there is a well-rooted "new normal" characterized by poor Intelligence gathering/use, absence of strategic sense, sloppy thinking, no discipline - intellectual or in terms of concertation, and amateur diplomacy. After 15 to 20 years of this, it is clear that we should except nothing better in the future. The dispositions of the leading candidates as manifest on the campaign trail suggests that the outcomes of the process are likely to be worse.

Under any leadership, there can be no effective policy when governance is incoherent, dishonest and unaccountable.

Margaret Steinfels

Ditto!

Valissa

That Seymour Hersch article has been posted at SST many times and expect most here have read it and understand all the salient points and FP implications.

I believe that Bill's question "Who are these men serving? The American people? No." was a rhetorical device to further the gist of his comment.

Margaret Steinfels

"Simply put, there is a well-rooted "new normal" characterized by poor Intelligence gathering/use, absence of strategic sense, sloppy thinking, no discipline - intellectual or in terms of concertation, and amateur diplomacy."

That pretty much sums up the Times stories as I read them! Thank you.
The only thing I would add to your list is learning from past mistakes, especially when they are known!

Nancy K

You believe that Clinton does not serve the American people, but do you honestly believe that Trump, Cruz or Rubio will serve them. Unfortunately I think we live at a time where we have to choose which candidate will do less damage. I think perhaps Sanders is the obvious choice but I think I know this country, having lived here for 69 years and a 74 year old socialist Jew is not going to win. Which is why I am voting for Clinton. Evangelicals are voting from Trump not because they are not brain dead but because they think he will win. So much for Christian values.
You believe that Trump will destroy Clinton in the general election, but I disagree. I think there will be a coalition of the young, women, minorities and perhaps union members who will support Clinton and bring about the defeat of Trump. He may find out that his money cannot buy everything, including the presidency.

VietnamVet

Margaret,

I call the western cabal that have too much money and power the New World Order. They’ve cheery picked an ideology that makes them feel good about themselves and their careers. They have nothing but contempt for workers, conscripts and assorted low lives. They are true believers on a virtue quest. Hillary Clinton is their Empress:
https://harpers.org/blog/2016/02/nor-a-lender-be/

They ignore poor white American women who are dying at an increasingly earlier age. They are spreading chaos across the world that is putting us at risk. They cause the populist fury that is propelling Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders Presidential campaigns.

Valissa

Additionally (I hit the post button too soon)... as to the question of whom Hillary serves (also a rhetorical device, IMO)... that would be herself (her ambitions) and her "tribe" or socioeconomic group.

Below, b points out Goldman Sachs lobbying money, but I think that is overly simplistic, linear and smacks of "economic determinism." I saw a YouTube clip of one of the debates where Hillary is vociferously denying that her political agenda can be bought by lobbyists such as Goldman Sachs. I actually believe her on that statement. The reason I believe her is sociological. She doesn't need financial incentives to make decisions that benefit her Borg subgroup... those financial deals merely confirm her elite status within the group. Hillary, Bill and the executives of Goldman Sachs, other Wall Street firms, and the executives of the major arms companies, etc, share a Borgian worldview (Democrat subset), particularly via the Clinton Global Initiative but in other mutual areas of interest as well.

BB

Certainly Arab Christians have no use for Hillary. I wonder how Trump's popularity among a lot of Arabs might shift MI and OH?

Trump Gains Among Christians in the Middle East
https://www.creators.com/read/ray-hanania/02/16/trump-gains-among-christians-in-the-middle-east

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