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How Cameron's Libya coup could turn toxic

Mark Urban | 16:44 UK time, Friday, 18 March 2011

The passing of UN Resolution 1973 creating a Libyan no-fly zone has suddenly created a plethora of possibilities as well as risks for the British government.

In a sense, Prime Minister David Cameron's championing of the plan is pure Tony Blair - it is precisely the type of liberal intervention envisioned in the former prime minister's speech to the Chicago Economic Club in 1999, which put forward a case for dispensing with the usual rules about non-interference in the affairs of another country if its people were being brutally repressed.

Indeed, the new resolution is such a striking example of this doctrine (which was enshrined in changes to the UN Charter in 2005) that many people may be asking why similar plans are not afoot to sweep the skies of Zimbabwe, Iran, Burma, or indeed Bahrain.

Of course that is not about to happen, but the reason it will not is not connected with the political or legal dimensions of this doctrine but with the harsh real politik that determines that one UN Security Council veto power or other would step in to stop something similar happening in any of those cases.

It seems odd that Mr Cameron should be acting this way since he had gone to such lengths to reassure the electorate that he would take a longer and harder look at any case for the commitment of British forces overseas than his Labour predecessors had done.

Of course the new prime minister's message was partly one about not following the United States blindly into military intervention, and he can certainly say with some justice that this initiative has been driven by the UK and France, not by the US.

However, by championing the case for the Libyan intervention when offers of US support have been lukewarm, Mr Cameron has raised the stakes in almost every way.

If the Libyan regime collapses quickly, then the UK prime minister and France's President Nicolas Sarkozy will, quite rightly, be able to claim much of the credit.

It has been clear from the outset of this crisis though that Colonel Muammar Gaddafi is not going to skip off in the style of President Ben Ali of Tunisia.

If he is able to survive the next few weeks - with or without airstrikes - questions will soon multiply about the how long the no-fly zone can be maintained, what the price for its lifting needs to be, and whether the US role in sustaining or expanding it will become central.

There are dangers, then, that Mr Cameron and Mr Sarkozy may be writing cheques that could be difficult to honour.

The idea of a British prime minister dragging America into a new war would be an impressive political feat, and a fertile subject for comedians, but ultimately would probably not do him or US President Barack Obama much good politically in the long term.

These risks are all the more complex for the British government because it is engaged in cutting its armed forces under the Strategic Defence and Security Review.

The retirement of Harrier jets and the Ark Royal, that could have been very useful in imposing a no fly zone, has already attracted widespread comment.

Now the RAF is being asked to send its people into battle at the same time that it is making hundreds of aircrew redundant.

The RAF is of course doing everything possible to send endangered aircraft types such as the Tornado, or Sentinel, and Nimrod R1 surveillance planes. It may hope to earn parts of its fleet a reprieve.

So, just as success will offer Mr Cameron the chance of a major diplomatic coup, the
possibility of it not going to plan could be toxic.

It is one thing to act energetically, and independently in ones diplomacy, but quite another if doing so creates for the military taxing additional missions which your own government has undermined their ability to fulfil.

Comments

  • Comment number 1.

    ..the possibility of it not going to plan could be toxic...

    but is there a plan?

    the chilcot model requires for there to be an objective, a plan for the aftermath, funding of that plan and a single minister with overall responsibility?

    the prospect of gaddafi forces going house by house through benghazi with an attitude of no mercy presents that same sort of dilemma with taking children into care from abusive parents? we do that with mixed results? but we do it anyway.

    the fact that you can't help everywhere doesn't mean you shouldn't help no where?

  • Comment number 2.

    "PURE TONY BLAIR" THE OXYMORON TO CAP THEM ALL

    Dave played a 'good' Gobopoly move: first to shout 'No Fly Zone', and the Westminster ciphers brayed approvingly. Maggie will be mumbling 'I rejoice'.
    But now he has his head in the clouds, he will probably fall down a Gaddafi man-hole.

    Deja vu anyone?

  • Comment number 3.

    ww2 was about someone else's rights?

  • Comment number 4.

    How Cameron's Libya coup IS already toxic, in fact part of world toxicity!
    The US is THE source of instability and THE enemy of democracy.
    For the sake of its imperalist policies, the US government financed an almost endless list of dictators, among which (but not exclusively are):
    - Augusto Pinochet in Chile
    - François Duvalier and his son Jean-Claude (“Baby Doc”) in Haiti
    - Rafael Trujillo in the Dominican Republic
    - Ferdinand Marcos in the Philippines
    - Mobutu Sese Seko of the Democratic Republic of Congo
    - Shah Reza Behlavi in Iran.
    This is not all in the past; the sad saga continues
    - King Abdullah of Jordan,
    - Zine Bin Ali in Tunisia,
    - the oil-rich Gulf Sheikhdoms (such as Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Oman, and if course Saudi Arabia),
    Again, this is not ALL, but I'm trying to restrain myself.
    It's as though any-old, murderous, cut-throat dictatorship will do just as long as it is prepared to bend over and serve American imperialism. In countries throughout the world, the US has worked to destabilise and undermine democratically-elected governments; that is, Governments that people have duly elected.
    Want a few more:
    1. Iranian Government of Prime Minister Mohammed Mossadegh (replaced by Shah).
    2. Salvador Allende toppled in a US (replaced by Augusto Pinochet).
    3. Haiti’s first democratically-elected President Jean-Bertrand Aristide was kidnapped by CIA agents (replaced by Duvaliers)
    4. Since 2000, the US has spent millions trying to destabilise the Venezuelan Government of President Hugo Chávez, one of the world's most popular, democratically-elected Presidents.
    5. And then in 2006, the Palestinian Resistance Movement (HAMAS) was democratically elected. This was the time, the time for Americans to get in there and compel Israel to deal with a democratically-elected Government. What did it do instead? It allowed Israel to carry out an unprovoked aggression against Gaza that killed more than 1,450 Palestinians, most of them civilians, including some 350 children.
    CIA DESPOTS IN
    - TUNISIA,
    - YEMEN,
    - JORDAN,
    - ISRAEL,
    - BAHRAIN AND
    - IRAQ
    And all these countries are fighting for liberty, their democracy!
    While the U.S. government and its allies have attacked the Libyan Government, it is onloy because Gaddafi does not suit their imperialistic demands.
    But the Americans remain silent on the ongoing violent attacks against peaceful protesters by regimes elsewhere, including Tunisia, Yemen, Jordan, Israel, Bahrain and Iraq. The hypocrisy and contradictions are revolting.
    On 25 February 2011, at least 29 Iraqi civilians were killed when security forces belonging to the US-installed colonial dictatorship in Iraq fired live bullets on thousands of Iraqi protesters.
    What did these Iraqis want?
    An end to the US murderous occupation.
    The American affair with butcherous dictators will continue unless people smarten up, stand up, and say NO. The goal of the world should be to eradicate US-imposed butchers. Only in this way will the world finally come to peace and democracy.

  • Comment number 5.

    the flip side is if it works any reasonable sense then it could restore some of what iraq lost?

    iraq was lost in the first few weeks of the aftermath. until then many iraqis saw the troops as liberators.

  • Comment number 6.

    I agree Mr Urban, that the operation could be a blessing in disguise for the R1, but if the mission extends more that a couple months it will stretch the RAF to breaking point.
    the Real problem will be in Tanker asserts, already in short supply. even the USAF has a shortage, as they in very heavy demand around the Globe.
    It's pity we got rid of the Harrier Gr9's and the Ark Royal, this type of deployment was tailor-made for Carrier air power.

  • Comment number 7.

    ACUMEN DAVE AND ACOLYTE NICK

    We are back to 'unknown unknowns' again. These political suits do not have the maturity to RESPECT what they don't know - worse - what they can't even sense might be out there, TO be known. They have no idea that HomSap is a Great Ape (in every sense) and VISCERALLY TERRITORIAL. Add all the cultural differences, and a West East cosying, inside 10 generations, is as insubstantial as Dave's respect for Nick.

    As if THAT were not enough, as BluesBerry points out above, there is a much larger game (Mega Globopoly) being played below Dave's radar (though not below Tony's) - a schizophrenic mix of THE LAST BATTLE and BEGGAR MY NEIGHBOUR. They have not an iota of wisdom between them.

    It will end in tears - bitter tears.

  • Comment number 8.

    It must be abundantly clear that the UK cannot play force majeur on the world stage while simultaneously stripping its defense capabilities to the bare bones. Cameron may be many things but an idiot he is not(we hope). Investment in what the country can do well financed by scrapping the ridiculous nuclear ambitions is the only intelligent answer.

  • Comment number 9.

    NONE SO IDIOTIC AS THOSE WHO CANNOT SEE THEMSELVES (#8)

    Idiot Dave had HIS FACE ALTERED for an election poster, and either thought it was OK for an aspiring WORLD LEADER (his self-description today) so to do, OR that NO ONE WOULD NOTICE THE DECEPTION!

    Meanwhile Joe IDIOT Public, LET HIM GET A WAY WITH IT. He is now PM! Hillary 'misspoke' Dave messed-up. They are all the - pathetic - same.

    http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/top-stories/2010/01/16/cam-pain-posters-115875-21971434/

    NB. Even then, it was spun further. Media called it 'airbrushed' but in reality it was PHOTO SHOPPED - the underlying BONES are not Dave's! Now that IS an idiot!!!!!

  • Comment number 10.

    NONE SO IDIOTIC AS THOSE WHO CANNOT SEE THEMSELVES (#8)

    Dave had HIS FACE ALTERED for an election poster, and either thought it was OK for an aspiring WORLD LEADER (his self-description today) so to do, OR that NO ONE WOULD NOTICE THE DECEPTION!

    Meanwhile Joe IDIOT Public, LET HIM GET A WAY WITH IT. He is now PM! Hillary 'misspoke' Dave messed-up. They are all the - pathetic - same.

    http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/top-stories/2010/01/16/cam-pain-posters-115875-21971434/

    NB. Even then, it was spun further. Media called it 'airbrushed' but in reality it was PHOTO SHOPPED - the underlying BONES are not Dave's! Now would a bright person do that?

  • Comment number 11.

    Very shortly, the armed forces currently loyal to Gaddafi will be hit.

    Then the survivors will need to decide if they really want to continue to die for this grotesque family, who treat Libya as their personal fiefdom.

    I think we'll soon see quite a bit of switching sides.

    It will be messy and tragic but it is already that, and I suspect that most of the slaughter so far has not yet been reported.

    The Gaddafi family must end up at The Hague to face justices for their crimes against humanity.

  • Comment number 12.

    FOREIGN FIELD - FAMILIAR ATROCITY (#11)

    But what if Gaddafi's fighters are mercenaries, doing the job they love, with death and injury combining to give it that edge? Just like ours.

    What if they choose not to look to hard at the nature and morality of their ruler's war-mongering? Just like ours.

    War is always messy and tragic - certainly not civilised and laudable - and always dishonestly reported. Just like ours.

    Gaddafi is a typical delusional head of state. Just like ours. The mix of mercenaries, and target lives, is different, but the evil that men do is the same.

    Maggie knew she was right - Tony knew he was right - Dave knows he is right - I strongly suspect Gaddafi is 'in the cohort of the righteous’, going forward.

    The Ape confused by Language picks leaders on animal grounds - and is rewarded by animal behaviour.

    WE ALWAYS GET OURSELVES ANOTHER ONE

  • Comment number 13.

    this is going to go pear shaped...how do I know, well I have the experience of Iraq and Afghanistan as examples and the reasons given then were identical to what is being trotted out now...

  • Comment number 14.

    Whatever Cameron practises as diplomacy is diplomacy. So how can he act 'independently 'of a diplomacy that he embodies. And although it may seem 'odd' to Newsnight to want to protect life diplomatically, it is not so oddly toxic as not caring to protect it all;unimpressive or impressive as political feats.

  • Comment number 15.

    The infamous 1981 Defence Review had some of it's major plans made out of date within 9 months - (June 1981 to March 1982). Had Argentina waited another year they'd have kept the Falklands.
    The recent Cameron government one is looking out of date in half that time.

    While Harrier GR.9's would have been of little use for a purely NFZ, for a fast reaction close support role that seems to be what will be needed, they'd be ideal.
    Notable too that the Nimrod and Sentinel R.1's (the latter almost brand new) are suddenly vital.
    As are those Typhoons that all those 'experts' from Lewis Page to Max Hastings have said are of no use.
    (Retire the Tranche 1 Typhoons half way or less through their service life?)

  • Comment number 16.

    'How Cameron's Libya coup could turn toxic'

    One supposes it 'could'. Always keen to explore all possibilities, but do wonder when reporting becomes more wish-fulfillment. Especially with a £4B PR budget and dept. to deploy.

    This reads almost like a set-piece to get back Mr. Alexander to 'lead' the opinion, again, on account of how he seems to be the go-to guy on all things, now no-go areas.

    Just not sure his record thus far supports such lavish attention much.

    But then, the BBC's record on natural disasters seems pretty guided by certain man-made agendas, so why change the habit of a unique lifetime?

    Viewing the illumination cast through a prism is pretty inevitable to be coloured I guess, but the sole hue one is inevitably subjected to can get trying, and in this case rose-tinted is proving a real downer to this national public member. Not to mention hard to stomach in its tribal inevitability.

  • Comment number 17.

    I wish I knew what the aims of this intervention were.

    Removing Gaddafi by force now seems unlikely. It might be too late even to protect Benghazi and create a de-facto partition. I do not know enough to guess whether a long stale-mate might induce the Libyan army to stage an anti-Gaddafi coup. And what would happen then?

    There is no point to military intervention unless one has a well-thought-out plan and the resources and determination to finish the job. There have been many examples where ill thought out military intervention has made things worse and not better. The most extreme example was Kissinger's bombing of Cambodia.

    Yet again, I am reminded of a passage from Clavell's 'Shogun':

    “Toranaga: “There are no ‘mitigating circumstances’ when it comes to rebellion against a sovereign lord!”

    Blackthorne: “Unless you win.”

    Toranaga looked at him intently. Then laughed uproariously. “Yes, Mister Foreigner…you have named the one mitigating factor.”


    For "rebellion against a sovereign lord" substitute "foreign military intervention", and by "win" I would mean winning the peace and actually making things better.

    I suspect that in this case our leaders have yet again been influenced by what they would like to think rather than by a realistic analysis. I would describe the longer term strategy as "military Mickawberism" - hoping that "something will turn up" to make everything all-right.

  • Comment number 18.

    'THERE IS NO POINT TO MILITARY INTERVENTION UNLESS' (#17)

    Unless you are enacting feudal behaviours as a proxy monarch.

    Intervention scores well on the Globopoly Board Sasha. I have pointed to Dave's self-labelling as 'A World Leader' - he means 'Globopoly Player'.

    Westminster 'games' us and Dave goes gaming at the Globopoly Table, with his deluded megalomaniacal 'friends', where his Trident, GDP, Armed Forces, and lingering Big Lie of British Status in all things, make him a (bogus) Big Player. But the bottom line is

    IT IS ALL A GAME.

  • Comment number 19.

    @19 It's certainly a game in one sense Barrie, in that Western leaders who play it will not have to suffer serious consequences from their own failure, unlike the unfortunate pawns on the real-world board.

    On the other hand, Clavell's Toranaga (real life Tokugawa Iyeyasu) knew that his own failure would mean his own death, by suicide if he was lucky, and the extinction of his family, as well as death and ruin for his many thousands of retainers.

    If/when everything goes pear shaped, our leaders retire to their megabuck book/lecturing contracts and spend the rest of their lives pontificating that black was really white.

  • Comment number 20.

    DID TRAVEL DEEPEN THE PERCEPTION? (#19)

    If we accept the 'out of Africa' paradigm, what happened to the proto Far-Easteners, en route, to make them inclined to 'right living' philosophies, rather that our 'Devil take the hindmost' religions and social structures?

    If we knew how to bring the world to honour and integrity - what a difference! But the default state of HomSap seems to be carp.

  • Comment number 21.

    For information Mark, a British military view:

    http://english.aljazeera.net/indepth/opinion/2011/03/2011319214917473860.html

    Meanwhile, over in the US they are training Saudi air pilots. One retired US officer said "I think it's an awesome thing for the free world forces..."

    http://english.aljazeera.net/indepth/features/2011/03/2011316131230188238.html

    It's nice to know that Saudi Arabia is part of the "free world", but I notice that the Libyan situation has pushed Bahrain off the news. How very convenient!

  • Comment number 22.

    #18 - its all a game.

    ''Life's but a walking shadow, a poor player
    That struts and frets his hour upon the stage
    And then is heard no more. It is a tale
    Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury
    Signifying nothing''

    Is it possible to opt out?

    Or in attempting to do so are you merely substituting one game for another?


    Who is to say which version of any game is the most fitting and satisfactory for monkey's spoiled by language.


    Which comes first? The game or the monkey spoiled by language. Is the tail trying to wag the dog, is one a natural product of the other? Which one leads and which follows?

    These are the questions which we are afraid to look upon directly and in that so being the case we invite mother nature to stoutly walk up into the attic and look upon it directly on our behalf, yet she is the most ruthless of decision makers and unconscious in her actions and in being so is all the more terrible in aspect. She has looked upon its face and is now in the process of rolling up her sleeves and furrowing her brow at the antics of a troublesome species of self aware monkeys.

    Perhaps these things are best left to the gaze of mother nature alone and it is folly to imagine otherwise lest we become as she and be likened to beasts.

    Take thee away, her work will be done anyway with or without our protestations which bring no joy to anyone least ourselves in playing our own infernal internal game of words destined to fall upon deaf ears.

    Take thee away and build an ark, fill it with 2 of everykind according to useful trade and like minded gentle countenance.


    None of this is new, the words change but the music we dance to remains the same.

    So dance I say and be done.


    The above courtesy of;

    William Shakespear

    Barrie Singleton

    Oscar Wild

    The Bible

    and

    mother nature.


  • Comment number 23.

    #22 NICE! MEANWHILE IN ANOTHER PART OF THE WOOD: 'HE KILLS HIS OWN PEOPLE'

    Right now, no one knows to what degree bread and circuses are going to be unaffordable in Britain - at least, to the ordinary masses. Add the unassimilated, multicultural, proto-Balkan sub-mass, and we have a potential for anything from unrest to disorder. But I am not finished adding: Those who are (at least partially) awake, know that money, media, Mammon and Westminster are cahoots, in the supply of bread and circuses, and in the elevation of the rich, powerful and famous. They will fight to keep 'what is theirs'.

    We are constantly told (with arguable validity) that electronic networking and 'viral' spread of ideas, information and plotted actions, endangers the power that 'they' have over us. It would be illuminating to know how prepared our rulers are to block, or remove, the people's intranet. Are they prepared at all?

    For the purposes of this thought-experiment, let's assume nationwide unrest is triggered. Perhaps after 9/11 proved a structured lie, but ‘he’ got away with it; or Westminster was belatedly found to be ill-structured, inept, and self-serving; or Europe was shown to be a political deception, with a hidden agenda - probably all of these.

    Now, it happens, that America has spawned a new group of dissenters; they hark back to allegiance to the people through the Constitution - not obedience to Obama. They say they are ready to defend 'liberty' in those terms. Potential revolution? Could something similar happen here, in the light of the above? When enough people are 'past caring', i.e. dumped out of the rat race, they are free to gather, protest, resist and to be a 'threat' to the established order, without further loss.

    This is the point where the Westminster Citadel pulls up the drawbridge. The cipher-ninnies unite in self-preservation (a small step from self-interest) and declare a State of Emergency. All violence from the people is now ‘Terrorism’ (the laws are in place) and military head-cracking, supplants the police kind. Confrontation escalates, Belfast style.

    At what point does the proxy King of England, dictating from the Royal Palace of Westminster, call on the militia, with the customary nod and wink, to KILL HIS OWN PEOPLE?

  • Comment number 24.

    #23

    Hope falsely rings more true in the ears of men such that the way of best virtue be obscured by skilful use of hope until all hope is gone.

    Then change will come.

    Has it not been ever so in the affairs of men.

    We are long past the point of killing, one has to be awake, one has to be alive to be killed or one may be mistook for being dead already.

    They walk, they talk but do they yet live or have they been killed and maimed in unimaginable numbers already while still within a living breathing body.

    Nothing stands still, in days of old the killing of a man was measured in his physical death. Yet we kill our vital youth in more subtle ways now, they may be no blood to see but the vacant eyes and shuffling gate tell otherwise of a spirit more dead than alive.

    Yet hope says they can be awakened.


    I hope so.


    But only mother nature will know how to awake them and she is a merciless alarm clock for those whom do not arise at the first striking.


  • Comment number 25.

    BILLY THE SPUD SAYS UN RESOLUTION ON LIBYA IS BIBLICAL

    How about 1514 and the forgotten Chagossians stuck in their No Flee Zone?

    http://www.theargument.org.uk/archives/556

  • Comment number 26.

    OH WHAT A TANGLED WE WE WOVE - BRITISH INTEGRITY WRIT LARGE (#25 more)

    To our Globopoly-playing leader-ninnies (over elevated cipher-politicians) IT IS ALL A GAME - a game played with CHEAP FOREIGN LIVES (as currently in Libya).

    http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm200910/cmselect/cmfaff/memo/overseas/ucm42302.htm

    To quote Mike Thompson: ('Document' Radio 4 8.00pm tonight) "Britain is as dirty as the rest."

    We are feudal, brutal, arrogant and unprincipled. Nuff said.

  • Comment number 27.

    It is very depressing that amidst all the natural calamities that is happening, say for instance earthquakes and tsunamis, people on high powers still find it hard to gain peace. What is happening to Libya is not what the people living there wants to happen. Who would want to live at war? If this will not stop, many will be affected especially the children with innocent minds.

  • Comment number 28.

    Nato should be conflicted over desire to intervene in Libya and so-called underlying pacifism...so should the entire western world.
    Statements by President Obama, British Prime Minister Cameron, French President Sarkozy, and other leaders have stressed the humanitarian intervention in Libya.
    What a croc!
    Many have noticed the questionable nature of the rebels that comprise the anti-Qaddafi Transitional Government which emerged in Benghazi. This Transitional Government has already been recognized by France and Portugal as the sole legitimate representative of the Libyan people.
    Really?
    Did someone hold an election and fail to declare the results to the world?
    The rebel council seems composed of @ 30 delegates; in addition, the names of more than a dozen members of the rebel council are unknown (secret?). This anonymity is supposed to protect them from the vengeance of Qaddafi.
    But I believe there are other reasons for the anonymity.
    Despite the secrecy, the UN and several key NATO countries, including the United States, have pushed forward to assist the armed rebels.
    How?
    By air strikes, leading to the loss of one or two coalition aircraft and the prospect of heavier losses to come (especially if there should be boots on the ground).
    So, as you can see, the identification of these rebels is extraordinarily important; after all, they represent a democratic/humanitarian alternative to Gaddafi.
    The rebels are clearly being armed. How can we gain insight into the nature of these rebels?
    There was a West Point study that examined the background of foreign jihadis or mujahedin, including suicide bombers who had been crossing the Syrian border into Iraq during the 2006-2007, under the name of the international terrorist organization Al Qaeda. This study is based on a mass of about 600 Al Qaeda who were captured by US forces in the fall of 2007.
    It appears that Darnah, northeast Libya is a hub of Jihadis. The most striking finding which emerges from the West Point study is that the corridor which goes from Benghazi to Tobruk, passing through the city of Darnah represents one of the main biways of jihadi terrorists to be found anywhere in the world!
    Further, Darnah, with one terrorist-fighter sent into Iraq to kill Americans for every 1,000 to 1,500 persons of Iraq population, can easily be seen as a "suicide-bomber" haven.
    Saudi Arabia took first place as regards absolute numbers of jihadis sent to combat the United States and other coalition members in Iraq; Libya, a country less than one fourth as populous, took second place.
    Saudi Arabia sent 41% of the fighters.
    Libya sent 19% of the fighters.
    The Al Qaeda files contain the residence or hometown of the fighters; therefore, we can easily perceive that the desire to travel to Iraq to kill Americans was not evenly distributed across Libya; rather, it was highly concentrated in the areas around Benghazi which is today the center of revolt against Colonel Gaddafi which the the US, Britain, France, Nato, etc. are so eager to support.
    Why? Is western intelligence really this bad??
    What can explain this concentration of anti-American fighters in Benghazi and Darnah? The answer seems related to extremism. The West Point Report: “Both Darnah and Benghazi have long been associated with Islamic militancy in Libya.”
    The vast majority of Libyan fighters resided in the country’s northeast, particularly the coastal cities of Darnah 60% and Benghazi 24%. One group—the Libyan Fighting Group (jama-ah al-libiyah al-muqatilah)—claimed to have Afghan veterans in its ranks.
    Another feature of the Libyan contribution to the war against US forces inside Iraq is the propensity of the northeastern Libyans to choose the role of suicide bomber as their preferred contribution to the struggle.
    The anti-Qaddafi Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG) merged with al Qaeda, 2007.
    During the course of 2007, the LIFG declared itself an official subsidiary of al Qaeda, later assuming the name of Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM). As a result of this 2007 merger, an increased number of extremist fighters arrived in Iraq from Libya.
    The West Point Report makes it clear that the main bulwarks of the LIFG and of the later AQIM were the twin cities of Benghazi and Darnah. This is documented in a statement by Abu Layth al-Libi, the self-styled “Emir” of the LIFG, who later became a top official of al Qaeda.
    The December 2007 West Point Report concluded by formulating some policy options for the United States government.
    1. The United States should cooperate with existing Arab governments against the terrorists. The Syrian and Libyan governments share the United States’ concerns about violent salafi-jihadi ideology.
    2. The West Point Report also offers another, more sinister plan. It might be possible to use the former LIFG components of Al Qaeda against the government of Colonel Qaddafi in Libya, thereby creating a de facto alliance between the United States and a segment of the terrorist organization. Wasn't this already tried with failure in Afghanistan?
    The West Point report notes:
    Looking back at the tragic experience of US efforts to incite the population of Afghanistan against the Soviet occupation in the years after 1979, it should be clear that the policy of the Reagan White House to arm the Afghan mujahedin with missiles and other modern weapons was nothing short of self-destructive.
    Today, it is clear that the United States is providing modern weapons for the Libyan rebels through Saudi Arabia and across the Egyptian border with the active assistance of the Egyptian army and of the newly installed pro-US Egyptian military JUNTA.
    This is a direct violation of UN Security Council resolution 1973, which calls for a complete arms embargo on Libya. The assumption is that these weapons will be used against Gaddafi, but that does not make what is illegal legal.
    But, given the violently anti-American nature of the population of northeast Libya that is now being armed, there is no certainty that these weapons will not soon be turned against those who have so willingly provided them.
    Does the Coalition of the Willing really want to deal with a future Libyan government dominated by the current rebel council? To the extent that such a regime will have access to oil revenues, obvious problems of international severity are obvious.
    What the Heck is the CIA doing? Al Qaeda was founded by the United States and the British during the struggle against the Soviets in Afghanistan. Many of its leaders, such as the reputed second-in-command Ayman Zawahiri and the current rising star Anwar Awlaki, are apparently double agents of MI-6 and/or the CIA. The basic belief structure of Al Qaeda is that all existing Arab and Moslem governments are illegitimate and should be destroyed, because they do not represent the caliphate which Al Qaeda asserts is described by the Koran. u.e. These current Arab Governments are not extreme enough!
    Al Qaeda emerged from the cultural and political milieu of the Moslem Brotherhood or Ikhwan, itself a creation of British intelligence in Egypt in the late 1920s. The US and the British used the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood to oppose the successful anti-imperialist policies of Egyptian President Nasser. The Muslim brotherhood provided an active and capable fifth column of foreign agents against Nasser, in the same way that the Islamic Maghreb is vocalizing its support for the rebellion against Colonel Qaddafi.
    Al Qaeda, I point out, is seriously motivated by a deep hatred of the United States and a passionate desire to kill Americans, as well as Europeans. The Bush administration used the alleged presence of Al Qaeda as its pretext for direct military attacks on Afghanistan and Iraq.
    The Obama administration is now doing something far more dangerous: intervening on the side of a rebellion. This policy is too dangerous and must be abandoned.
    Rebel Leaders Jalil and Younis, Plus Most of Rebel Council are Members of the al Qaeda-linked Harabi Tribe.
    The ethnic base of the Libyan Islamic fighting group is apparently to be found in the anti-Qaddafi Harabi tribe, the tribe which makes up the vast majority of the rebel council including the two dominant rebel leaders:
    - Abdul Fatah Younis and
    - Mustafa Abdul Jalil.
    The rebellion against Qaddafi is toxic.
    Obama is foolish to have taken this side in what was an internal rebellion, the rebels of which Gaddafi likely would have stomped into Kingdom Come.
    When Hillary Clinton went to Paris to be introduced to the Libyan rebels by French President Sarkozy, she met the US-educated Libyan opposition leader Mahmoud Jibril. While Jibril might be considered presentable in Paris, the real leaders of the Libyan insurrection would appear to be Jalil and Younis.
    Given what we know about the extraordinary density of LIFG and all Qaeda fanatics in northeast Libya, we have to question why so many members of the council are being kept secret. Is it
    a) to protect them from Qaddafi, or
    b) to prevent them from being recognized in the west as al Qaeda terrorists or sympathizers.
    I'll place my bets on "b".
    Some names released so far include:
    - Ashour Hamed Bourashed of Darna city;
    - Othman Suleiman El-Megyrahi of the Batnan area;
    - Al Butnan of the Egypt border and Tobruk;
    - Ahmed Abduraba Al-Abaar of Benghazi city;
    - Fathi Mohamed Baja of Benghazi city and
    - Abdelhafed Abdelkader Ghoga of Benghazi city;
    The US and European media have not taken investigated the rebel crew. We are thus witnessing an attempt by the Harabi Tribe to seize dominance over the 140 tribes of Libya. The Harabi are already practically hegemonic among the tribes of Cyrenaica. The relevant regional tradition is that of the Senussi or Sanussi order, an anti-western Moslem sect. In Libya the Senussi order is closely associated with monarchism, since King Idris I, the ruler installed by the British in 1951 who was overthrown by Gaddafi in 1969.
    The Sanussiyah represented a political force in Cyrenaica that preceded the creation of the modern state of Libya, and whose reverberations continue to be felt to this day. It is no coincidence that this region is the home of Libyan jihadism, with groups like the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG). The Gadhafi family has thus been calling the current uprising an elaborate Islamist plot or an Al Qaeda plot….
    The world guffawed, but Gaddafi was/os DEAD RIGHT!
    Libya ranks 53 on the UN Human Development Index as the most developed country in Africa, ahead of Russia, Brazil, Ukraine, and Venezuela. Qaddafi’s stewardship has objective merits which cannot be denied.
    So, I must ask what kind of deal Obama has made with these rebels and why?
    I have to remind what happened in Afghanistan?
    But mostly I have to wonder at the lack of media investigation into this entire extremely dangerous marriage between the west and these Islamic extremists.

  • Comment number 29.

    The British government is facing serious questions over admitting the former Libyan Foreign Minister, Musa Kusa, and THE TRUE MOTIVATIONS THAT LAY BEHIND IT.
    The former member of Libya's Gaddafi regime has been involved in controversies for at least the past 30 YEARS some of them directly linked to Britain's national security.
    The former Libyan ambassador to Britain who is referred to by media as Libya's "terrorism chief" has chosen the country he was forced to leave in the 1980's. Kusa was formally expelled as the Libyan ambassador from Britain in 1980 after he backed death sentences given to Libyan dissidents (REBELS) then taking refuge in the UK.
    Now I have a questionS:
    Why did Kusa choose Britain “under his own free will”, as British Foreign Secretary William Hague has put it?
    Who is plotting?
    - The British Government,
    - The Libyan Government, perhaps even
    - the American Government re Lockerbie?
    This seems to me like an espionage operation likely under the control of "MI6”.
    Kusa was IMMEDIATELY taken into a safe house by M16 after his arrival at Farnborough airport. Purpose: debriefing.
    M16 added that the former Libya ambassador to Britain has been “a key MI6 contact since 2004 when they brokered the deal for Libya to give up WMDs”.
    Kusa is also believed to have been the MASTERMINDED
    - the 1988 bombing of Pan American flight 103 over the Scottish city of Lockerbie, which killed 270 people, as well as
    - the explosion the following year of a French airliner in central African in which 170 people died.
    Lastly, he was a key negotiator to the 2010 release of Lockerbie bomber Abdel Basset al-Meghrahi who was imprisoned in Scotland. Kusa had travelled to Britain for officials meetings with British and Scottish authorities at least twice before Meghrahi's release in the capacity of Minister of Security.
    The Libyan defector's past records show support for the IRA's bombing campaign in England in the 1970's and 1980's.
    Against this dark history, his defection to UK and British Foreign Office comes with denials that he has been offered immunity from court trial; one comes to ask whether Kusa has secrets that could cost Britain dearly in case of a disclosure, like the truth about Lockerbue.
    Is Britain once more giving a murderer immunity from justice to protect its own interests and why has Kusa headed for the country where he may be prosecuted?
    According to Former MI6 officer Harry Ferguson, the agency has negotiated Kusa's escape from Libya and he has been given promises he would be looked after - enough to keep him silent?
    The question about the role of Britain in Kusa's escape remains as the country seems to be trying to use parts of his confessions and reveal other sectors to create more ambiguity about London's cooperation with the regime of Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi and THE TRUTH BEHIND THE LOCKERBIE BOMBING.
    Oh that the truth re Lockerbie could be revealed! The victims, deceased as well as those still living with the agony, deserve the unbridled truth, and like 9/11, I do not believe that the real truth has ever been revealed.
    Now would be a good time, except for those who were up to their necks in the blood: Britain, Scotland, the United States, Italy...Gaddafi. Gaddafi is shrewd; Kusa is a Loyalist. Kusa is in Britain to threaten something or someone, but who?

  • Comment number 30.

    What's this?
    The UK military will dispatch
    - 600 marines from its Royal Navy taskforce and
    - at least 6 ships to Libya this week IN DEFIANCE OF THE UN MANDATE.
    The NATO-led alliance has been attacking targets in Libya for two weeks, under the UN resolution, which authorized military strikes to protect civilians. This alliance has killed civilians and destroyed infrastructure, and clearly Gaddafi has been trageted.
    How stupid do the UN, the US and the UK believe the world is!
    As if this was not enough, now the UK military is sending 600 marines to Gibraltar later this week with the mission to protect ports where future medical and food supplies will be unloaded for rolutionary forces fighting Qaddafi troops.
    Due to leave in the next two days, the mission will include the landing platform Albion, the type-42 destroyer Liverpool and four support ships.
    Britain is also under pressure to double the number of Royal Air Force planes available to attack the Libyan army after the withdrawal of US combat aircraft.
    NATO is currently operating in the Libyan conflict under a United Nations' (UN) mandate that allowed the Western military alliance to establish a no-fly zone to save lives. What a joke!
    NATO's warplanes have already exceeded this humanitarian directive by continuing to fly missions directly hitting targets inside the North African country, resulting in the death of dozens of civilians.
    British politicians fully deny a possible troop deployment to Libya, with Prime Minister David Cameron saying “there is not going to be a land invasion.”
    Cameron also told MPs at the Commons that the UN mandate did not allow for any foreign ground forces.
    While Cameron insisted that Britain would adhere to the terms of the mandate, he and other NATO leaders, almost from the start of the conflict, have said Gaddafi must go. So, in this fight, I guess you could say; ANYTHING GOES 9INCLUDING WORKING WITH TERRORIST ORGANIZATIONS) AS LONG AS GADDAFI GETS GONE.

  • Comment number 31.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 32.

    Well, from the on-going crisis happening around the world, it has become evident that it is not a good idea to allow any foreign country in the involvement of the internal affairs of another, unless the country’s government itself feels that an intervention is necessary. The internal affairs of a country, especially the most sensitive issues such as the security of a country must be managed by that country itself carefully. Any country that is under a serious threat such as security or political crisis must be capable of handling the situation brilliantly.

    However the case might be the complete veto power for the governance of the country lies in the hands of that country’s government only. The internal affairs of any country must not be disturbed by the indulgence of any other foreign country. Armed forces play a very important role in maintaining peace and harmony of the country. Their service is incomparable and is for a social cause. Refer: http://forces.psdiscounts.com/

 

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