Oh, yay! Eleven Libyan airliners are missing!

September 3, 2014
"x11?"

“Times 11?”

Obama’s Libya war — it’s the gift that keeps on giving. Or maybe it’s Pandora’s box:

Islamist militias in Libya took control of nearly a dozen commercial jetliners last month, and western intelligence agencies recently issued a warning that the jets could be used in terrorist attacks across North Africa.

Intelligence reports of the stolen jetliners were distributed within the U.S. government over the past two weeks and included a warning that one or more of the aircraft could be used in an attack later this month on the date marking the anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks against New York and Washington, said U.S. officials familiar with the reports.

“There are a number of commercial airliners in Libya that are missing,” said one official. “We found out on September 11 what can happen with hijacked planes.”

The author, Bill Gertz, cites experts who describe a range of frightening possibilities, from these jet liners being used themselves as guided missiles, as they were on 9/11/01, to being disguised as normal civilian flights, but carrying armed assault teams of terrorists who could then wreak mayhem. That these aren’t likely to be used against the US homeland is hardly any comfort: much of North Africa, the Middle East, and Mediterranean Europe would be in range. Imagine a multi-target strike a la September 11th (the anniversary of which is fast approaching!) that simultaneously aims at a giant Saudi oil refinery, a soccer stadium in Marseilles, and The Vatican.

And, thanks to a miserably conceived, off-the-cuff war launched by Barack Obama that served no US interest whatsoever, but did manage to overthrow a dictator whom we had tamed and who was keeping his country quiet, we may well have helped armed a future Mohammad Atta.

I’m sure our allies in the region are ever-so-grateful.

UPDATE: Snopes gives this a “probably false” rating, but Gertz is a pretty solid national-security reporter, so I’m not ready to write off his work on the say-so of a fact check site, even one with the pedigree of Snopes. Still I’m including it here for completeness’ sake. (h/t MissFuzzball)


Libya: Daffy Qaddafi dead? And the country’s future?

October 20, 2011

Let’s hope so; I can think of few people more deserving of a trip to Hell. What’s certain, though, is that his “hometown” and last major focus of resistance, Sirte, has fallen:

There are unconfirmed reports deposed Libyan leader Moamar Gaddafi has died of wounds sustained when fighters captured his home town of Sirte.

If true, his death, which came swiftly after his capture is the most dramatic single development in the Arab Spring revolts that have unseated rulers in Egypt and Tunisia and threatened the grip on power of the leaders of Syria and Yemen.

“He (Gaddafi) was hit in his head,” National Transitional Council official Abdel Majid Mlegta said.

“There was a lot of firing against his group and he died.”

Mr Mlegta said earlier Gaddafi was captured and wounded in both legs at dawn on Thursday as he tried to flee in a convoy which NATO warplanes attacked.

There was no independent confirmation of his remarks and NATO said it was still checking on the reports, which could take some time to confirm.

“We are checking and assessing the situation,” a NATO official said.

“Clearly these are very significant developments, which will take time to confirm. If it is true, then this is truly a historic day for the people of Libya.”

I’ll say it would be, if true. That sharp-dressing psychopath made the lives of most Libyans a nightmare for over 40 years and was responsible for the murder of Americans and other nationals in acts of terror. In the 70s he was a backer of the Irish Republican Army, as well as the Italian Red Brigades, the Basque ETA, and Peru’s Sendero Luminoso. While it became easy to laugh at his public buffoonery (and here’s the sad truth about his female bodyguards), let’s keep in mind that Muammar Qaddafi was a seriously evil, vile human being. If he has indeed met the fate of Saddam Hussein, Nicolae Ceaucescu, and Benito Mussolini, let no tears be shed for him.

But what of Libya’s future? This morning I caught a few minutes of Fox and Friends and watched Gretchen Carlson interview a reporter from the New York Times (sorry, can’t find a video link) and almost laughed at the man’s naivete: the Libyans were fighting for “democracy” and the “rule of law,” and that they “want the same things we do.” It was the starry-eyed “they’re just like us” argument that’s almost inevitably lead to cries of “what went wrong” a few years later.

“Just like us?” Did this reporter know of the Libyan Jew who went home to rebuild a synagogue in his old neighborhood, only to be told to flee for his life? Or how the rebels would scrawl the Star of David over pictures of Qaddafi, implying he was a Jew and thus an enemy to the Muslims?

“Just like us,” only without the religious tolerance part.

Did the reporter recall that eastern Libya, the Benghazi area, where the rebels originated, was also a hotbed for Al Qaeda recruiting? Or that at least some influential rebel commanders and their soldiers have fought for Al Qaeda? I think the “rule of law” they’re fighting for may mean something a bit different to them then it does in a Western liberal democracy. (hint: Sharia)

“Just like us,” only without that equality under the law part.

I’m not saying all the Libyan rebels are Islamists nor that there are no liberals among them; they’re not and there are. Libya may yet become a recognizable constitutional democracy instead of another Islamic hellhole. Let’s hope so, for the world would be a better place. But no one can predict a revolution’s future, and I’m not nearly so sanguine and indeed positively chirpy about Libya’s as a “sophisticated” reporter from the nation’s fish-wrap of record.

They’re not “just like us.”

RELATED: Some great photos at The Atlantic on the fall of Sirte. (via Stephen F. Hayes)

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Smart Power in Action: US and Iran on same side in Libya

August 29, 2011

Well, Obama did promise to offer an “open hand” to Iran to achieve a new era of more cooperation and less confrontation. But, somehow, I don’t think even the striped-pants set at the State Department thought that meant cooperating to overthrow another government:

Iran “discreetly” provided humanitarian aid to Libyan rebels before the fall of Tripoli, Jam-e-Jam newspaper quoted Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi on Sunday as saying.

“We were in touch with many of the rebel groups in Libya before the fall of (Moamer) Kadhafi, and discreetly dispatched three or four food and medical consignments to Benghazi,” Salehi told the daily.

“The head of the National Transitional Council (NTC), Mustafa Abdel Jalil, sent a letter of thanks to President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad for having been on their side and helping,” he added.

And so, for the price of some food and medicine (1), we and NATO did Iran a favor by removing a rival for influence in the Middle East and giving them easy access to eastern Libya and the Benghazi area, a region well-known as a fertile recruiting ground for Al Qaeda and other Islamic radical groups. (2)

That’s “Smart Power” for you. Real smart.

Don’t get me wrong; I’m not saying Daffy Qaddafi wasn’t a bad man — far from it, and I hope the Libyans catch him and string him up. But, from the point of view of American interests, there was no point to this war. Qaddafi had given up his nuclear program in the wake of our liberation of Iraq, there was intelligence cooperation against Al Qaeda, and he had largely stopped sponsoring terrorism. In other words, he had been tamed, and there was no pressing reason to go after him.

On the other hand, in Syria, where we have a great opportunity to weaken or even overthrow one of the key clients of our avowed enemy, Iran, an event that would greatly weaken the Mullah’s power in the region and genuinely serve our strategic interests, for weeks we did… effectively nothing. We clucked our tongues and wagged our fingers, even called the dictator a “reformer,” while the Assad regime, with the assistance and advice of Iranian Revolutionary Guards, slaughters thousands.

If that’s “smart power,” I’d hate to see what their idea of “dumb” is.

via Bryan Preston

LINKS: More from my friend Michael Ledeen, who argues that this is a big regional war with Iran at the center (which the Obama administration may be finally and belatedly starting to grasp), and then draws some lessons from Libya.

Footnotes:
(1) And if you believe the “humanitarian aid” was nothing but rice and bandages and the Iranians accompanying it weren’t Iranian Revolutionary Guards, I have just the bridge to sell you.
(2) Don’t fall for the “Sunnis and Shiites won’t cooperate” myth. Yes, they have a bloody internecine history, but Iran and Sunni radical groups are more than happy to cooperate to strike at us.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Sarah Palin: We deserve an explanation about Libya

April 26, 2011

I’m having cognitive dissonance here. On  the one hand, I’m assured by the Left and the major media (but I repeat myself), and by many on the Establishment Right, that Sarah Palin is a chillbilly airhead who has no idea what she is talking about and would be a disaster as president.

But then, after expressing puzzlement over the administration’s conflicting reasons for going to war (kinda-sorta) in Libya,  she goes and writes something like this:

At this point, to avoid further mission creep and involvement in a third war – one we certainly can’t afford – you need to step up and justify our Libyan involvement, or Americans are going to demand you pull out. Simply put, what are we doing there? You’ve put us in a strategic no man’s land. If Gaddafi’s got to go, then tell NATO our continued participation hinges on this: We strike hard and Gaddafi will be gone. If, as you and your spokesmen suggest, we’re not to tell Libya what to do when it comes to that country’s leadership, and if you can’t explain to Americans why we’re willing to protect Libyan resources and civilians but not Syria’s, Yemen’s, Bahrain’s, Egypt’s, Israel’s, etc., then there is no justification for U.S. human and fiscal resources to be spent.

I would also ask you to better explain your thinking on Libya. We can’t afford any actions that don’t take care of crucial U.S. needs and meet our own interests at this point. You are the Commander in Chief, so please explain what you believe is our “interest” there and not elsewhere.

Mr. President, your hesitation and vacillation in the Middle East breed uncertainty. It’s symptomatic of the puzzling way you govern. See, uncertainty is one of the factors over which you have control, and I would think you’d want to eliminate that additional element that helps breed problems like higher oil prices. Higher oil means exorbitant gas prices weighing down our economy.  Consistency and strength – and greater domestic energy production – will help fix higher gas prices and help heal the economy. But only with leadership. These sorts of problems don’t fix themselves.

Uncertainty breeds higher prices because those who thought themselves our allies suddenly find that may not be true(1), they may not be as secure as they thought and their oil supplies may not be as safe, all of which leads more risk being associated with Mideast oil, and contributes to higher costs passed on to us at the pump. Basic economics and common sense, both of which are alien to our president.

It seems to me the woman dismissed as a “Caribou Barbie” and a quitter(2) has a better grip on our national interests than the Smartest President in History ever will.

Darn her for confusing me by being right when our Cultural Elites (all bow) insist she’s wrong.

Go, ‘Cuda!

TANGENTS:

(1) Hey, if we unceremoniously dumped Mubarak, who, while a bloated dictator, at least often served our interests and wasn’t as bad as a lot of them, then who’s next? You can bet a lot are worried.

(2) An argument I no longer treat as serious, unless it can be made in the context of the Alaskan ethics law as it existed at the time of her resignation.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Libya: Just who-the-heck is running things?

April 22, 2011

A few weeks ago, I wrote about the administration’s decision to look into the composition and leanings of the Libyan rebels — after we decided to go into battle for them.

That was stupid odd then, but now it’s taken an even stranger twist: two rival generals, one a CIA protege, claim to lead the rebel forces. And, while we’ve put drones into action against Qaddafi, we’ve cut off non-lethal aid … to our “allies?”

Ed Morrissey has video and analysis:

It’s no small matter to the US, either. Haftar appears to be the reason that the US feels sanguine enough to provide military and diplomatic support to the rebellion. After his defection, Haftar reportedly worked with the CIA to create and maintain a militia in Libya, according to a French book titled Manipulations Africaines.  He only returned to Libya in the last few weeks, reportedly to “knock the rebel force into some kind of shape.”

That sanguine feeling appears to be dissipating, however.  Foreign Policy reports that the White House has blocked the transfer of $25 million in “non-lethal” aid to the rebels, but isn’t sure why:

  • On April 15, the State Department notified Congress that it wanted to send $25 million of non-lethal military aid to the Libyan rebels, but as of today that money is being held up by the White House and no funds or goods have been disbursed. …
  • “One of the reasons why I announced $25 million in nonlethal aid yesterday, why many of our partners both in NATO and in the broader Contact Group are providing assistance to the opposition – is to enable them to defend themselves and to repulse the attacks by Qaddafi forces,” Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said on this morning.
  • “There’s an urgent situation here and they need our help,” State Department spokesman Mark Toner told reporters on Wednesday.

Suddenly, though, something more urgent has come up which has delayed that assistance.  FP tried to find out why, but the White House won’t comment.

I’d be surprised if the White House did comment; presumably the CIA or another intel agency found out something they didn’t like. Perhaps they uncovered corruption, as in the diversion of aid to the pockets of one of the generals and his followers. Or maybe “our guy,” doesn’t have the influence he claimed, and we’re reluctant to support the other, who was Colonel Quackers’ Interior Minister? We were burned a bit by Iraqi exiles making big claims and failing to deliver after the liberation of Iraq, so maybe we’re gun-shy here? Perhaps the situation is so unclear, it’s impossible to tell right who is in charge. Or, maybe, the credible reports of an al Qaeda presence have turned out to be truer than we feared, and we’d just be funneling money to our sworn enemies?

There’s just no way of knowing why promised aid has suddenly been held up, without an explanation from Washington, which we’re unlikely to get. This does, however, bring up again a problem I pointed out in my earlier post and elsewhere: the decision to intervene in Libya was undertaken in a casual, haphazard, and slapdash manner with no real prep work or intelligence investigations beforehand. We went in with one eye closed, and now it looks like we’re uncovering things that… give us pause. There was no need for this rush, and proper leadership on the part of the people in charge (supposedly) would have seen that the preliminary work was done first, before committing American prestige, treasure, and lives to battle.

As I wrote on the day after this started:

If there’s one thing Obama’s efforts overseas have shown us, it is that he is a Leftist ideologue who lacks a strategic vision and is in over his head. Whether it’s because of an innate passivity, a disinterest in foreign affairs,  or a Left-liberal reluctance to act like an “imperial” and “colonial” power, our policy lacks any sense of coherence or strategy. I seriously doubt he has asked himself and his advisers “What outcome do we want?” From that one question would come answers that would shape the nature of our intervention, giving it direction and logical consistency. We would know how to proceed.

But I just don’t see that from Barack Obama, which means the outcome is likely to be muddled and costlier to reach than if we had acted with clarity and decisiveness when Daffy Qaddafi was still on the ropes.

And it looks like we’re seeing that play out.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Libya: British officers to advise al Qaeda? — Updated!

April 19, 2011

Yes, you read that right. While the United States and Great Britain are in a global war against the jihad terror group, while we are in active combat against them in Afghanistan, and while al Qaeda is still plotting massacre in Britain, Great Britain has decided to send advisers to Libya to assist the rebels — who include al Qaeda:

British military officers will be sent to Libya to advise rebels fighting Colonel Muammar Gaddafi’s forces, the UK government has said.

Foreign Secretary William Hague said the group would be deployed to the opposition stronghold of Benghazi.

The BBC understands 10 officers will provide logistics and intelligence training in a UK and French operation.

Mr Hague said it was compatible with the UN resolution on Libya, which ruled out foreign military ground action.

He stressed that the officers would not be involved in any fighting and the move was needed to help protect civilians.

The UN Security Council resolution, passed in March, authorised a no-fly zone over Libya.

Her Majesty’s Government claims they’re sending advisers to Benghazi only to advise the rebel leadership on organization, logistics, and how best to help the civilians under their control(1), but… Come on, don’t play us for dumb, okay?

Britain and her allies (including us) have invested tons of their prestige in this effort to oust Qaddafi(2) and they can ill-afford to let the rebels lose. Air power alone isn’t sufficient, as the fighting at Misrata shows, and especially after the US picked up its combat planes and went home and NATO started running low on ammunition. The rebels are few in number and don’t seem able to hold any gains made against Qaddafi without NATO’s help. The whole public purpose of this mission was to protect civilians from Qaddafi, so how do you do that when your “allies” on the ground are incompetent?

The logic is inexorable: if the goal is to protect civilians and if it can’t be done from the air alone, then these “logistical advisers” are eventually going to find themselves “at the front” advising in combat. And when that doesn’t turn out to be sufficient, the pressure will grow for the introduction of Western ground forces. And when simply cordoning eastern Libya off isn’t enough because Daffy Qaddafi wants revenge, the need to “protect civilians” will reach the point that anyone who thought about this for more than a few seconds saw long ago: the West has to take out Qaddafi himself.

“When you strike at a king, you must kill him.”

Instead of admitting this truth now and getting it over with(3), Britain (and NATO) is stumbling deeper into this war with no clear plan, no forethought, and no strategic goal in mind. And unless Obama is willing to throw them under the bus (which wouldn’t surprise me), there will be heavy pressure for us to re-enter combat.

For all the Democrats and Euros lambasted Bush and Blair for rushing and stumbling to war in Iraq, I seriously doubt those two would have “done Libya” in such an offhand, amateurish, and strategically dunderheaded fashion.

They especially wouldn’t be aiding  al Qaeda(4).

via Undhimmi

UPDATE: I’m not the only one decidedly unimpressed with the US-NATO handling of Libya. From today’s Los Angeles Times:

“We rushed into this without a plan,” said David Barno, a retired Army general who once commanded U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan. “Now we’re out in the middle, going in circles.”

The failure of the international air campaign to force Kadafi’s ouster, or even to stop his military from shelling civilians and recapturing rebel-held towns, poses a growing quandary for President Obama and other NATO leaders: What now?

That’s a darned good question.

UPDATE II: And right on cue, the rebels are now calling for foreign ground troops.

(1)Which is accomplished precisely how, as long as Qaddafi remains in power?

(2)Which is just what this is. Be honest.

(3)Really. Does anyone seriously think Colonel Quackers would last a day against 1,000 French Foreign Legionnaires backed by US airpower?

(4)In fairness, there seem to be some genuine liberals among them, too. But it’s hard to tell, since we didn’t bother to vet them before this started.

LINKS: More at Pirate’s Cove.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Great Moments in D’oh! History: Libya edition

April 18, 2011

Starting a war when you don’t have the ammunition to sustain it because you starved your defense budgets to feed the gaping maw that is the welfare state.

D’oh! 

via Big Peace


Libya: the art of war, Smart Power-style

April 1, 2011

If anything illustrates the half-baked manner in which the administration took us into war kinetic military action in Libya, it’s this quote from Politico’s Roger Simon:

We are currently doing everything we can to bomb, strafe and use missiles to carry the rebels into power in Libya. We want them to win. We just don’t know who they are.

This is not merely my opinion. It is the statement of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, our point person in meeting with the rebels.

Emphases added.

But, don’t  worry; we’ve finally –weeks after the Libyan revolt began and days after we went to war on the rebels’ behalf– told the CIA “Hey, maybe it’s a good idea we find out who these guys are!

The Obama administration has sent teams of CIA operatives into Libya in a rush to gather intelligence on the identities and capabilities of rebel forces opposed to Libyan leader Moammar Gaddafi, according to U.S. officials.

The information has become more crucial as the administration and its coalition partners move closer to providing direct military aid or guidance to the disorganized and beleaguered rebel army.

Although the administration has pledged that no U.S. ground troops will be deployed to Libya, officials said Wednesday that President Obama has issued a secret finding that would authorize the CIA to carry out a clandestine effort to provide arms and other support to Libyan opposition groups.

The officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, insisted that no decision has been made.

Because, Lord knows, there’s no way you need this information before taking sides in a civil war, deciding to drop (so far!) a billion dollars  of ordnance on a country, and putting our pilots at risk. I wonder how our flyboys like knowing they weren’t worth the effort of a little advance work?

Maybe I’m overreacting. We do know some things about our new Libyan BFFs. For example, apparently some of them are al Qaeda. That shouldn’t be surprising since eastern Libya provides, per our Secretary of State, a large number of al Qaeda’s recruits. But, are they are a serious threat, or a minor nuisance? We just don’t know, since we’ve only started looking into it.

In other words, does this mean we’re fighting for al Qaeda in Libya and fighting against them around the rest of the world? Now that’s flexible, smart power!

Oh, one other thing Secretary “I know nothing! Nothing!” Clinton and her boss, the Smartest President with the Best Judgment Ever, might liked to have known or at least had a good estimate of before starting this little adventure: there are only around 1,000 of these rebels. No wonder they can’t hold any territory unless we bomb the tar out of Qaddafi’s army — this isn’t a revolution: it’s a tribal uprising!

If there’s any bitter satisfaction to be taken from this, it’s that the Democrats and the Left (but I repeat myself) are stumbling and rushing blindly into war in just the way they falsely accused George W. Bush of doing in Iraq.

It’s not that they were wrong so much as they were predicting their own future.

RELATED: If Secretary Clinton would like to know more about these people for whom we’ve gone to war, she couldn’t do much better than starting with Michael Totten: Who are the Libyan Rebels? If, as Totten’s colleague suggests, the majority of rebels are “…mainly young, educated, middle class, urban people with a powerful wish for democracy…”, then maybe we should be taking steps to make sure they come out on top in a post-Qaddafi government, rather than the aggressive, experienced al Qaeda cadres. I’d like to think that’s what we’re doing, but with this bunch in charge… .

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Gates: No vital US interests at stake in Libya

March 27, 2011

I’m not averse to the use of force in foreign affairs, in cases where it’s the best available option and clearly seen American interests are at stake.  I also am not against going “John Wayne” on a maniac dictator and helping his people be free of him when, again, demonstrable American interests align with the desire to give said maniac what he deserves. I argued, and still do, that Iraq presented such a case in 2002-2003.

Otherwise, in the absence of vital American interests, there seems little reason to commit American blood and treasure.

So what am I to think when, on national television, the Secretary of Defense says he can’t think of any vital American interests in Libya, where we’ve just gone to war?

As the war in Libya moves into its second week, tag-team Sunday talk show appearances by the Secretary of Defense and the Secretary of State suggest the Obama administration remains divided over the fundamental question of whether the war is in the United States’ national interest.

On NBC’s “Meet the Press,” Gates was asked, “Is Libya in our vital interest as a country?”  He answered, “No, I don’t think it’s a vital interest for the U.S., but we clearly have interests there, and it’s a part of the region which is a vital interest for the U.S.”  Gates’ statement wasn’t an entirely convincing rationale for a major military commitment, and moderator David Gregory responded by saying, “I think a lot of people would hear that and say well, that’s quite striking — not in our vital interests and yet we’re committing military resources.”

Emphasis added.

In that case, Mr. Secretary, let me ask a question: In a time of national fiscal distress when we’re borrowing 40 cents of every dollar we spend and when we already have major commitments in Iraq and Afghanistan, the latter involving frequent combat, why in Heaven’s name are we attacking Libya? If you and your boss can’t articulate a coherent reason for starting a war, what possessed you (and him) to think this would be a good idea?

And, no, “I dunno” doesn’t cut it.

Oh, but then acting-President and Secretary of State Clinton jumped in to offer a reason:

At that point, Clinton suggested that the U.S. went to war to repay NATO allies for support in Afghanistan.  “We asked our NATO allies to go into Afghanistan with us ten years ago,” she said.  “They have been there, and a lot of them have been there despite the fact that they were not attacked.  The attack came on us…They stuck with us.  When it comes to Libya, we started hearing from the UK, France, Italy, other of our NATO allies…This was in their vital national interest…

Emphasis added.

So, our European allies asked us to attack Libya because they went to war when we were attacked, so we agreed to bomb Libya because they were… Wait. Did I miss a Libyan raid on Naples or something??

Hey, I can see a vital interest for some European countries in Libya — they get quite a bit of oil from there, much more than we do. But that’s their vital interest, not ours. And al Qaeda’s attack on the US triggered the Article V mutual defense clause of the NATO treaty, which is in play in Libya… how, exactly?

Clinton’s “explanation” reminds me of this corker from her boss:

And that’s why building this international coalition has been so important because it means that the United States is not bearing all the cost.  It means that we have confidence that we are not going in alone, and it is our military that is being volunteered by others to carry out missions that are important not only to us, but are important internationally.  And we will accomplish that in a relatively short period of time.

And again, emphasis added.

What, did this all start because of a phone call from Europe? “Congratulations! We’ve just volunteered your military for a little war in Libya! And, hey, Barry, you owe us.”

I’m all for allies sticking together, but, if intervening in Libya is a vital European interest, maybe the European states should start spending the money to create the forces they would need to defend those vital interests and not “volunteer” us.

Meanwhile, someone needs to give the administration lessons in not sounding like clueless idiots.

LINKS: More at Hot Air

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Tough-talking Libyan psycho-family looking for a deal?

March 27, 2011

Remember, Dad promised to crush the rebels’ army, while his son (supposedly the reasonable one) said it would all be over in 48 hours.

So, why am I not surprised when news comes this morning that the lions of North Africa are secretly looking for a way out?

Independent Arab and Libyan sources have informed Asharq Al-Awsat that Libyan leader Colonel Gaddafi is seeking to convince the coalition forces to accept a deal that is being secretly discussed between Gaddafi delegates and a number of Arab and American parties. This deal would see Gaddafi stepping down from power, only to be replaced by his son Saif al-Islam, with a deadline being put in place for a peaceful transition of power.

A well-informed Libyan source told Asharq Al-Awsat that Saif al-Islam Gaddafi has held a number of secret meetings with officials in the French and British governments, discussing the idea of his replacing his father for a transitional period of between 2 – 3 years, in return for a comprehensive ceasefire and negotiating with the anti-Gaddafi rebels.

The sources also revealed that Saif al-Islam Gaddafi is pushing for assurances that Colonel Gaddafi and his family will be granted immunity from prosecution, and will not be legally punished in any manner.

The sources revealed that Saif al-Islam Gaddafi’s plan would see him take over control of Libya from his father during a transitional period during which Libya would transform from a revolutionary state to a democratic state that enjoys public and economic freedoms.

How convenient: “Sure, Dad will go, you leave me in charge, no prosecution for any of us for anything we did and, okay, I promise democracy and all that stuff. What do ya say?” And I’m sure this offer has nothing to do with the rebels regaining momentum and retaking towns under cover of NATO airstrikes.

Lest anyone be of a mind to grant these thugs immunity, here’s a reminder of how they treat their own people.

Sorry, Saif. The only deal you and your crackhead-in-drag father deserve is a choice of which lampposts the rebels hang you from.

Like I said before, once this action started there was no way these goons could be left anywhere near power.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


A liberal explains the difference between Libya and Iraq

March 25, 2011

It’s simple! Obama is awesome!!

Makes perfect sense.

via Jonah Goldberg

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Palin on Libya and how one uses armed force

March 24, 2011

She was interviewed by Greta van Susteren last night; it’s worth watching.

Part One:

Part Two:

As we can see, the not-a-serious-and-can’t-win* potential candidate from Alaska has a far more coherent view on Libya and the employment of military force than anyone in the White House†.

But she’s the dummy.

via Ed Morrissey, who has some analysis.

*I’m being a wee bit sarcastic.

†She also has more intestinal fortitude than anyone at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.


How The One screwed up in Libya: let VDH count the ways

March 24, 2011

Like most people outside the moonbat Left and isolationist Right, I supported the idea of intervening in Libya’s civil war, even though that support was qualified. And now that we’re in battle, my opinion is that we don’t stop until Qaddafi is gone; he’s too dangerous to leave behind, angry and vengeful.

But, well, Obama and his underlings have gone about this in about the most feckless, dunderheaded, and incompetent way possible. From dithering over getting involved until it was almost (and may still be) too late to stating goals that not only change, but are mutually exclusive, to coming up with the lame-brained idea of placing US forces under the command of an international committee of bureaucrats, this administration has done about everything one can think of to make sure it loses support for this kinetic military action war.

At National Review, Victor Davis Hanson enumerates the ways Obama is screwing this up. As with anything from VDH, read the whole thing, but here’s one in particular that stuck with me:

7) Leadership: This is a Potemkin coalition, far smaller than the one that fought in either Afghanistan or Iraq, notwithstanding loud proclamations to the contrary. We are not even done with the first week of bombing, and yet no one seems in charge: What body/country/alliance determines targets, issues communiques, or coordinates diplomacy? The U.K. goes after Qaddafi, and we plead “They did it, not us”? Again, fairly or not, the impression is that Obama dressed up preponderant American intervention under a multicultural fig leaf, earning the downsides of both. A loud multilateral effort could be wise diplomacy, but not if it translates into a desire to subordinate American options and profile to European and international players that are not commensurately shouldering the burden — and not if all this is cynically used to advance a welcomed new unexceptional American profile.

When we talk of “European leadership,” we mean the U.K. and France, not Germany, Italy, or most of the EU. When we talk of the “Arab League,” we mean essentially zero military assets. And when we talk of the “U.N.,” we mean zero blue-helmeted troops. So, like it or not, there is a level of understandable cynicism that suspects Obama’s new paradigm of multilateral, international action is simply the same-old, same-old, albeit without the advantages that accrue when America is unapologetic about its leadership role, weathers the criticism, and insists on the options and prerogatives that a superpower must demand in war by virtue of its power and sacrifice.

And on this theme of leadership and American exceptionalism, let me point you to this article by Tony Katz at Pajamas Media. It goes to the heart of Obama’s Socialist “education” in New York and Chicago: that America is no better than any other nation, that the exercise of overwhelming American power is a problem — that, in the end, America herself is the problem:

[The report on human rights in the US to the UNHRC –pf.] was the “tell.” Obama does not believe in American exceptionalism. America is no better, and no worse, than any other nation. So, in his estimation, why shouldn’t America be subject to the same “ruler on the knuckles” punishment as every other nation that abuses its people … like Libya?

These are the values that Obama holds dear, and they guide his decisions on every front.  While pundits and politicos were cackling about his trip to Brazil and South America, Obama kept along with seeing the sights, dancing in Rio, and staying away from press conferences.

For what reason would the president not go on his scheduled vacation trip?  The job of the president of the United States, as he sees it, is to be a willing, bowing cog in the world machine. To be morally unambiguous would be a slight to the ruling world order, the one that only multiculturalism brings.

Obama does not see the presidency, and himself in it, as the leader of the free world. Based upon the historical perspective, it is an impediment to a better world where all are equal. The president believes that America is the impediment to a safer, better world, just as he believes that “settlements” are the impediment to a safer, better Israel.

Emphases added. We can take this as part of the foundation on which all the errors VDH* lists are based.

*It truly is an unjust world, wherein an idiot like Barbara Boxer, and not Dr. Hanson, represents California in the Senate.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Schadenfreude is oh-so sweet

March 21, 2011

For years I had to watch while the Kook Left slammed George W. Bush again and again over Iraq. While that was annoying, it was expected; they aren’t called “moonbats” for nothing. But what made it maddening was the cynical exploitation of said kooks by the Democratic party, the leaders of which put their short-term electoral fortunes ahead of the nation’s interests in a time of war. Foremost among them was one Senator Barack H. Obama, who said:

The President does not have power under the Constitution to unilaterally authorize a military attack in a situation that does not involve stopping an actual or imminent threat to the nation.

As Commander-in-Chief, the President does have a duty to protect and defend the United States. In instances of self-defense, the President would be within his constitutional authority to act before advising Congress or seeking its consent. History has shown us time and again, however, that military action is most successful when it is authorized and supported by the Legislative branch. It is always preferable to have the informed consent of Congress prior to any military action.

My, how time flies. Just four short years later, and now-President Obama has launched his own war in Libya. Sure, he got the permission of the UN Security Council and the agreement of the international community (all bow), which is all that really matters to a progressive transnationalist, but he forgot that little part about honoring the Constitution and obtaining the “informed consent of Congress.” And that has the moonbats meeping and gibbering in outrage.

I love it:

A hard-core group of liberal House Democrats is questioning the constitutionality of U.S. missile strikes against Libya, with one lawmaker raising the prospect of impeachment during a Democratic Caucus conference call on Saturday.

Reps. Jerrold Nadler (N.Y.), Donna Edwards (Md.), Mike Capuano (Mass.), Dennis Kucinich (Ohio), Maxine Waters (Calif.), Rob Andrews (N.J.), Sheila Jackson Lee (Texas), Barbara Lee (Calif.) and Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D.C.) “all strongly raised objections to the constitutionality of the president’s actions” during that call, said two Democratic lawmakers who took part.

Kucinich, who wanted to bring impeachment articles against both former President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney over Iraq — only to be blocked by his own leadership — asked why the U.S. missile strikes aren’t impeachable offenses.

Kucinich also questioned why Democratic leaders didn’t object when President Barack Obama told them of his plan for American participation in enforcing the Libyan no-fly zone during a White House Situation Room meeting on Friday, sources told POLITICO.

And liberals fumed that Congress hadn’t been formally consulted before the attack and expressed concern that it would lead to a third U.S. war in the Muslim world.

While other Democratic lawmakers have publicly backed Obama — including House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and top members of the Armed Services, Foreign Affairs and Intelligence committees — the objections from a vocal group of anti-war Democrats on Capitol Hill could become a political problem for Obama, especially if “Operation Odyssey Dawn” fails to topple Libyan leader Muammar Qadhafi, leads to significant American casualties, or provokes a wider conflict in the troubled region of North Africa.

So now the Kook Left*, which the Democratic leadership wielded like a baseball bat to bludgeon Bush, has turned on… the Democratic leadership.

Why yes, I believe I will have another helping of schadenfreude, thanks. It’s delicious!

via Jim Geraghty’s Morning Jolt

*I mean, just look at the names on that list.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Good news! Blogger unretires!

March 20, 2011

One of my favorites from the early days of my blog reading is back: The DiploMad 2.0. He (or she) is an anonymous former Foreign Service officer who’s come out of blogging “retirement” because the current administration is so inept, he can’t take it anymore. Here he is on the Obama and Clinton’s casual approach to going to war:

Does Obama consult with the US Congress?  Bush did that, remember?  Does he ask Congress for an expression of support for the use of military power?   Bush, did that, and we still hear from the left that he got insufficient authorization.  No.  Obama and Clinton get permission from the UN, the EU, and the Arab League instead.  I guess when you’re a liberal, that’s all that counts. No need to bother with the Congress or in making a case to the American people.

So, now we are in a war with no clear objective: Is it to establish a “No Fly Zone,” or get Qaddafi out? What if we get a NFZ, which our military will establish quickly, but Qaddafi doesn’t go or continues his war without aircraft? What then? Are we on the hook to protect Libyans from Libyans? How long before the pictures of dead and dying Libyans, supposedly killed by our missiles and bombs, have the UN, the Euros, and the Arab League backing out? Guess who will get left holding the bag of sand?

Code Pink, where are you?

Welcome back, DiploMad. You’ve been missed.

(Now, if I could only get Arthur Chrenkoff blogging again…)


President Hamlet makes a decision: we intervene in Libya

March 19, 2011

Yesterday, President Obama finally made up his mind that we should intervene in Libya’s civil war — but only after passing a Kerry-esque “global test.” Fine. In this case, I happen to agree with him: America’s moral values and national interests intersect in Libya. Morally, Qaddafi is a maniacal, brutal dictator who shown in the past few weeks he is willing to slaughter however many of his people it takes to stay in power. He also has American blood on his hands, having repeatedly launched terror attacks against us. Res ipsa loquitur — the thing speaks for itself. The world will be a better place with Qaddafi gone.

Strategically, instability in even a 2% supplier of the world’s oil can lead to chaos with skyrocketing prices; it’s in our interests to see this thing ended quickly. And there is a decided national interest in seeing another state-sponsor of terrorism and possessor of WMDs removed. Beyond that, once Western and Arab nations aligned against Qaddafi, even before deciding on a no-fly zone, a line was crossed and it became clear we could not let him remain in power. As Marc Thiessen wrote a few days ago at The Washington Post:

If the Libyan dictator survives, he is not likely to resume being the benign Gaddafi of recent years, who handed over his weapons of mass destruction, renounced terrorism and made nice with the West. More likely, he will be the brutal Gaddafi of old — the state sponsor of terror who blew up Pan Am 103 over Scotland, killing 270 people; destroyed a French passenger jet over Niger, killing 171 people; bombed the La Belle discotheque in West Berlin, killing two U.S. soldiers and injuring more than 50 American servicemen; established terrorist training camps on Libyan soil; provided terrorists with arms and safe haven; and plotted to kill leaders in Saudi Arabia, Chad, Egypt, Sudan, Tunisia and Zaire. If he succeeds in putting down the rebellion, Gaddafi would probably emerge angry and emboldened — a dangerous combination.

If Gaddafi survives, he would almost certainly put a halt to the destruction of his programs to develop weapons of mass destruction, begun during the Bush administration. Since 2003, Libya has handed over the key components of its nuclear and ballistic missile programs and allowed the destruction of more than 3,300 aerial bombs designed to disperse chemical weapons. But Gaddafi still has stockpiles of chemical weapons — including mustard gas and chemicals for the manufacture of sarin and other nerve agents — that were slated for internationally supervised destruction. These are deadly toxins that terrorists are desperate to acquire.

If Gaddafi survives, his regime will probably not achieve a decisive victory. That means a stalemate in which eastern Libya could become a lawless, ungoverned area. Moderate rebel leaders — who pleaded to the West for help but failed to secure it — could be pushed aside by radical elements. Al-Qaeda could step in to furnish the weapons and training that America refused to provide — and be rewarded with sanctuary in exchange. As the United States continues to put pressure on al-Qaeda in the tribal regions of Pakistan, terrorists could migrate to eastern Libya, where several al-Qaeda leaders have roots, turning the region into a new terrorist haven.

Now, in spite of being a foaming-at-the-mouth neocon*, I recognize there are substantive arguments against intervening in Libya: we’re stretched as it is, we’re in a time of fiscal crisis, it’s not really our fight and we may in the end see an Islamist government take over, etc. And, while I respect those arguments, I cannot agree. Roger L. Simon frames it best for me at Pajamas Media:

I know there are some extreme libertarians that think Libya is none of our business — that we, and the international community, should stay out and let the locals blow each other to smithereens until the next dictator takes the throne or the old one keeps it and locks his enemies in torture chambers. Attractive and consoling as that idea may be, the world is nowhere near that simple. We live on a tiny globe that is shrinking by the moment for a myriad of reasons from instant communications to limited energy to a global economy. The bloodshed in Benghazi affects the refineries of Texas just as the tsunami at Fukushima rocks the boatyards of Crescent City. And those are only a couple of the most obvious instances this week.

We’re all in this together. Sorry.

And I have to tell you one other thing. Remember this: We’re Americans. Good is what we are supposed to do.

Thus, yes, I support our President’s decision to finally get involved and stop voting “present.”

But it’s not unqualified support, nor do I give it with equanimity. If there’s one thing Obama’s efforts overseas have shown us, it is that he is a Leftist ideologue who lacks a strategic vision and is in over his head. Whether it’s because of an innate passivity, a disinterest in foreign affairs,  or a Left-liberal reluctance to act like an “imperial” and “colonial” power, our policy lacks any sense of coherence or strategy. I seriously doubt he has asked himself and his advisers “What outcome do we want?” From that one question would come answers that would shape the nature of our intervention, giving it direction and logical consistency. We would know how to proceed.

But I just don’t see that from Barack Obama, which means the outcome is likely to be muddled and costlier to reach than if we had acted with clarity and decisiveness when Daffy Qaddafi was still on the ropes.

So I wish bon chance and good hunting to whatever forces we send into the fray; you’ll do your job well, whatever the assignment may be.

I just wish you had a leader worthy of you.

*At least in foreign affairs.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


If it was a secret meeting, why is Lindsey Graham blabbing?

March 18, 2011

I think it was Ben Franklin who once said “Three people can keep a secret if two are dead.” After reading this news in Foreign Policy regarding a secret strategy meeting, we may have to coin another: “Telegraph, telephone, tell Lindsey:”

Several senators emerged from the briefing convinced that the administration was intent on beginning military action against the forces of Col. Muammar al-Qaddafi within the next few days and that such action would include both a no-fly zone as well as a “no-drive zone” to prevent Qaddafi from crushing the rebel forces, especially those now concentrated in Benghazi.

“It looks like we have Arab countries ready to participate in a no-fly and no-drive endeavor,” Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) told reporters after the briefing.

Asked what he learned from the briefing, Graham said, “I learned that it’s not too late, that the opposition forces are under siege but they are holding, and that with a timely intervention, a no-fly zone and no-drive zone, we can turn this thing around.”

Asked exactly what the first wave of attacks would look like, Graham said, “We ground his aircraft and some tanks start getting blown up that are headed toward the opposition forces.”

As for when the attacks would start, he said “We’re talking days, not weeks, and I’m hoping hours, not days,” adding that he was told the U.N. Security Council resolution would be crafted to give the international community the authority to be “outcome determinant” and “do whatever’s necessary.”

I’m surprised he didn’t live-Tweet it.

Of course, he wasn’t the only “Ooh! Ooh! Guess what I know!” senator seeking to impress the press. Freshman Mark Kirk (R-IL) also apparently never heard that other wise aphorism, “Shut the Hell up.”

Yeesh.

via Real Clear World


Dear Libyans: dance! Sing! Be happy!

March 6, 2011

Because the Leader commands it:

There’s a reason he’s called “Daffy Qaddafi,” and you just saw an example.

On the other hand, the Libyans may indeed soon find themselves singing and dancing — once this maniac is hanging from a lamppost.


Obama on Libya: pathetic and dangerously incompetent

February 26, 2011

When I vented my disgust at the administration renting a ferry to get Americans out of Libya, instead of sending in the Marines, I had missed part of the story, the instructions given to Americans desperate to get out:

In a notice sent to U.S. citizens in Libya, the department said Americans wishing to leave Libya should report to the As-shahab port in the capital of Tripoli with their passports starting at 9 a.m. local time on Wednesday. The ferry will depart for the Mediterranean island of Malta no later than 3 p.m. local time.

It said boarding the vessel would be on a first-come, first-served basis, with priority given to those with medical emergencies or severe medical conditions. Travelers will be allowed one suitcase and one small carry-on item, the notice said, adding that pets would be allowed on the ferry but that they must meet European Union requirements.

Those who want be evacuated should be prepared to wait several hours and bring food, water and other necessities to the pier, which is on the sea road across from the Radisson Blu Mahari Hotel in Tripoli.

Those who take the ferry will be expected to reimburse the government for the cost, estimated to be equivalent to the one-way commercial ferry crossing of the distance from Tripoli to the Maltese capital of Valletta, it said. Any onward travel from Malta must be paid for by the passengers, the notice said.

Immediate family members of U.S. citizens who are not themselves citizens will be able to board provided they have travel documents valid for their final destination.

So, American citizens would have to pay to get out of country torn by civil war, and the non-American wife and in-laws would be extra? Gee, why not make them sign over their life savings, too?

Oh, but the best part of this extravaganza of incompetence is highlighted above: evacuees were told to wait on a pier, in the open, water on three sides, like sitting ducks with no protection in case Qaddafi’s goons showed up for a bit of hostage-taking… or other revenge. My God, we are lucky there wasn’t a massacre.

But the British could send in the SAS to get their people out.

Pardon me, I need to go find a wall to beat my head against.

h/t Pundit and Pundette via Truth and Commonsense

UPDATE: Welcome Hot Air readers, and thanks, Ed!

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Extended quote of the day: Hitchens on Libya, Obama

February 25, 2011

Really, I wish Christopher Hitchens would stop being so shy about his feelings:

Evidently a little sensitive to the related charges of being a) taken yet again completely by surprise, b) apparently without a policy of its own, and c) morally neuter, the Obama administration contrived to come up with an argument that maximized every form of feebleness. Were we to have taken a more robust or discernible position, it was argued, our diplomatic staff in Libya might have been endangered. In other words, we decided to behave as if they were already hostages! The governments of much less powerful nations, many with large expatriate populations as well as embassies in Libya, had already condemned Qaddafi’s criminal behavior, and the European Union had considered sanctions, but the United States (which didn’t even charter a boat for the removal of staff until Tuesday. [See also. –PF]) felt obliged to act as if it were the colonel’s unwilling prisoner. I can’t immediately think of any precedent for this pathetic “doctrine,” but I can easily see what a useful precedent it sets for any future rogue regime attempting to buy time. Leave us alone—don’t even raise your voice against us—or we cannot guarantee the security of your embassy. (It wouldn’t be too soon, even now, for the NATO alliance to make it plain to Qaddafi that if he even tried such a thing, he would lose his throne, and his ramshackle armed forces, and perhaps his worthless life, all in the course of one afternoon.)

Unless the administration seriously envisages a future that includes the continued private ownership of Libya and its people by Qaddafi and his terrible offspring, it’s a sheer matter of prudence and realpolitik, to say nothing of principle, to adopt a policy that makes the opposite assumption. Libya is—in point of population and geography—mainly a coastline. The United States, with or without allies, has unchallengeable power in the air and on the adjacent waters. It can produce great air lifts and sea lifts of humanitarian and medical aid, which will soon be needed anyway along the Egyptian and Tunisian borders, and which would purchase undreamed-of goodwill. It has the chance to make up for its pointless, discredited tardiness with respect to events in Cairo and Tunis. It also has a president who has shown at least the capacity to deliver great speeches on grand themes. Instead, and in the crucial and formative days in which revolutions are decided, we have had to endure the futile squawkings of a cuckoo clock.

Ouch!