Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
March 21, 2011

War On Libya

The question that should have been asked before attacking Libya but wasn't: How will this end?

Please let us know your prediction.

Posted by b on March 21, 2011 at 12:35 UTC | Permalink


Libya will be transitioned from #3, slipping to #4 to #2 on my chart, which is essentially a purposefully failed state. They probably envisioned such a eventuality years ago and decided what they'd do when the time came, and that plan would include a base.

My chart once again for those who were wondering:

I believe the strategy of the West as it relates to areas of strategic interest around the globe, is as follows, in order from highest preferred outcome to lowest.

1.) Controlled Order - This was Egypt for the last 30 years. You secure a dictator, or dictatorial government, ply it with all manner of bribes, arm it to the hilt and have it do what it needs to do to keep its population in order so that geopolitical strategy can be executed without restraint.

2.) Contained/Controlled Chaos - if #1 fails, or has no possibility of manifesting, then actions are taken to collapse the state and create an environment of contained/controlled chaos, to include special ops on the ground to factionalize the population of the target country and inculcate violent clashes, thus inducing the semblance of a civil war, the parameters of which can be contained and manipulated. Afghanistan, and even Iraq, are prime examples of this strategy, and Egypt too, will be, if the youth refuse to do the West's bidding with their wished for Government.

3.) Uncontrolled/Uncontained Chaos - If #1 and #2 have proved impossible, or too costly from a cost/benefit standpoint, uncontrolled/uncontained chaos will be tolerated as opposed to #4, so long as the target country has no nuclear capacity or heavy Western resource extraction investment. Somalia is a prime example of this.

4.) Uncontrolled Order - This must be avoided at all costs. This means that the target country is truly independent and free from manipulation and coercion by Western forces. Iran is an example. If #4 manifests, every effort must be made to move the target country to # 1, 2, or 3 above.

Note I use the term the West, and I'm going to keep using that term. This is where slothrop has kept me honest. I believe it was Copeland who discussed the shift of the Global Plutocracy's operations from the UK to the US after WWII. I agree with this assessment, but we are now in a time when the Nation-State increasingly has no validity except to create a false illusion amongst the somewhat sentient in order to prevent them from looking behind the curtain or seeing a curtain, at all.

Posted by: Morocco Bama | Mar 21 2011 12:52 utc | 1

No prediction except the obvious one that it will end badly, very possibly so for all concerned, and certainly so for all those killed or maimed as modern weaponry is tested. This, perhaps already noted exegesis of the diplomatic maneuvering
leading up to the Western intervention, may be worth repeating.

Posted by: Hannah K. O'Luthon | Mar 21 2011 12:53 utc | 2

Different yet deeply flawed because collectively we are one fucked up species.

Posted by: par4 | Mar 21 2011 12:58 utc | 3

It won´t finished properly! the democratic forces for the real liberty or the allies (A.K.A the legal terrorists (UK,SPAIN,FRANCE,US,DENMARK,QATAR) will win of course. But don´t forget that this war is a little scenary of training and an conductism experiment for the real enemy called Iran!
After libya they can perform another operation called "opening eyes" for Qatar and Saudi Arabia (real dictatorships) .....
They sucked Gadaffi´s money (lockerbie and arms trade (5,8 B$ to france, 2 B$ to spain and so on) and after they have blocked Libya´s foreign assets they don´t need anymore Gadaffi...
They will try to kill as They killed another son of him.

What I wish is that Iran needs nuclear weapons (a lot) to prevent any liberty attack..........

This time the sUKUS have improved their intelligence techniques with the freedom and democracy excuses......
Long live coronel!!!!

Posted by: matalaz | Mar 21 2011 12:59 utc | 4

i have no idea

Posted by: annie | Mar 21 2011 13:51 utc | 5

Too soon to tell. It has the potential to last long. Bombing Gaddafi's palace was a message for the clan to leave (that they can be killed by the US whenever they want), and perhaps the groups in Libya still loyal to them to switch sides, but I'm not sure there is a deal that would make that happen (not with the ICC around and the way the western powers always break their agreements).

Will the western airforces bomb the Gaddafi forces around, or at this time likely inside, Ajdabiya? The rebels are weeks or months away from the required capability and weapons. Misrata and the Zintan region could fall any day. But this is giving ground, with the wording of the the UN resolution, to increased participation of western forces in the war. But this isn't the North Alliance well equipped (or at least on the same level than the Taliban) and with decades of fighting experience. A few SF units and spotters won't give the rebels enough of an edge.

Gaddafi controls all major pipelines (other than the one going up to Tobruk, but that one could be hit with 'terrorist' attacks by 'infiltrators'), refineries, oil and gas wells at this point. They could make a good bargaining tool with the Europeans but not so much with the US (the Russian would be actually quite happy to see them burned, more influence and money from Europe for them).

I think the plan is sanctions, partition and a slow civil war (paid by the Saudis), may be eventually removing Gaddafi from the west Iraq-style or Afghanistan-style.

Posted by: ThePaper | Mar 21 2011 13:57 utc | 6

I think MB @ 1 is very close, if not right on target. The end game being the West's hegemony over the region, by ANY means.

Posted by: Ben | Mar 21 2011 14:15 utc | 7

Sarkozy and Cameroon want their "Mission Accomplished" moment.

I think UN NATO peacekeeping ground troops are inevitable (mostly French led with token Brits and Italians) when it looks like oil concessions will be reneged upon this blows up into full scale civil war.

The USAF will "reoccupy" their old base at Wheelus Air Base.

Interim Government led by old Military heads, the King is dead, long live the King, promise of elections etc.......

So eventually (1) above after 4, 3 and 2 for two years.

Posted by: Cloned Poster | Mar 21 2011 14:39 utc | 8

Hannah's link to the diplomatic outlines of UN Resolution 1973 are a place to start.

The prohibitions against ground invasion, no authorization of violent regime change, and no authorization for arming the rebels, are certainly interesting provisions. These are provisions which I predict were meant to be broken or bent from the beginning. Well, b has passed on reports that the Egyptian military is funneling arms from the east already. So that's one provision down.

Amy Goodman is reporting today that the delegation from the African Union, has been denied entry into Libya, by the military authorities who are running this war.

As far as violent regime change, or regime change with no questions asked, I think Cameron is all in favor of that, and has said so. Admiral Mullen and US military officials deny Gadhaffi is being targeted in the missile strikes; and yet the Colonel's compound in Tripoli is going up in smoke and the tent he once used for receptions and ceremonies has been bombed. If Gadhaffi gets blown to bits it will be an accident, or the result of his own carelessness or imprudence, according to the Top Brass.

Well, I say that between the fog of war, and the fog machine of war, we will be seeing more of the latter. And I would say that it's not so much that the US will be handing the operation over to the poor European saps, as it will be that they are dropping the hot potato of this war into their hands.

Posted by: Copeland | Mar 21 2011 14:53 utc | 9

@Copeland The prohibitions against ground invasion

There is no such prohibition. There is no prohibition to follow an "invitation" or "request for help" of the "government" in the east that Sarkozy for one has already recognized. That would not be an "occupation" - at least not on paper.

Posted by: b | Mar 21 2011 14:59 utc | 10

no prediction of the end results, but, among other things, expecting to see

  • invading military forces make efforts to shore up physical protection of oil infrastructure

  • an initial partitioning of libya, but efforts to preserve the borders rather than inflame irredentialism in & around the region

  • africom attempts to expand their footprint on the continent - though could backfire by reopening the issue throughout africa now that the imperial command has chosen a major oil producer for its first war action

  • a split in the AU along lines of support for & against neo-colonial initiatives and an increase of interest in pan-africanism and pan-arabism

    Posted by: b real | Mar 21 2011 15:09 utc | 11

  • You're right, Bernhard. That's a loophole the French can drive a convoy through!

    Posted by: Copeland | Mar 21 2011 15:10 utc | 12

    Adventures of this sort have a myriad consequences. And they have half lives measured in centuries. But some of these consequences are inevitable.

    1/ Wrecking a country, smashing its infrastructure and impoverishing its people will lead quickly to massive migrations. If Europe was worried about refugees last week it should look out, there are many more coming. And not just from Libya.

    2/Unless they are even more idiotic than they seem the Camerons and Sarkozys know this. They probably relish it. Both live off islamophobia and xenophobic reactions against "illegal" imnmigrants.

    3/ Then there is terrorism. This is inevitable because it is written into the script. It really doesn't signify whether any Libyans decide to take revenge on the imperialists, because the imperial authorities will be cooking up plots as fast as it can think of them. The remarkable appetite in the media for the work of agent provocateurs and frame-ups makes years of terror alerts, ever enhanced surveillance and all the other bells and whistles of corporate authoritarianism that would make Mussolini, Franco or Hitler green with envy.

    4/ More neo-liberalism. Libya will be rebuilt on reformed modern lines, Ghadaffi's relatively enlightened social programmes and patronage networks will be replaced by laissez faire income re-distribution to benefit rich foreigners and their collaborators. A real kleptocracy will be built, amid rapidly declining living standards, producing anger and protests, necessitating death squads and concentration camps.

    5/ (and as the weary reader will be guessing we could go on and on)Enhanced political consciousness in both the African and Arab worlds. It is becoming increasingly clear that, for individuals in these lands to identify with the "west" and its values they must recognise that they have deserted their own communities, turned against their own people.

    In the "west" too it is surely becoming impossible to sustain illusions about the nature of this Empire, its malignity and the inescapable fact that this is the Barbarism that Rosa warned us of. We are the enemy. The culture has slipped from being merely murderous into embracing suicide.

    Posted by: bevin | Mar 21 2011 15:14 utc | 13

    CP, The USAF will "reoccupy" their old base at Wheelus Air Base.

    i didn't know about that old base.

    b real, africom attempts to expand their footprint on the continent - though could backfire by reopening the issue throughout africa now

    have we given up finding a permanent base country for africom?

    Posted by: annie | Mar 21 2011 15:47 utc | 14

    @annie - they had to put it on hold (damage control) indefinitely in order to try & gain control of the narrative, but i would suspect that, all public stmts to the contrary, there is still the very real desire to get a physical HQ on the ground somewhere to coordinate, control & command everything that is and will be taking place there.

    Posted by: b real | Mar 21 2011 16:07 utc | 15

    my guess: Libya will become a failed state;
    my hope: Camerun, Sarkoszy and Clinton will be punished for staking their political fortunes on a war (for Clinton, it'd be the second time!)

    I partially agree with posts by jdmckay on previous thread, that this war began differently than Kosovo-Iraq-Afghanistan; but the mechanism put in motion are essentially the same, and so the ending will be too

    I have a very faint hope that all those forces opposing regime change (Germany, Turkey, African Union, partially Arab league) might change, this time, the dynamics of the game, but it's just that, a very faint hope

    Posted by: claudio | Mar 21 2011 16:11 utc | 16

    How will this end? Badly.

    Generally, this strikes me as another example of the complete and utter strategic incoherence and disfunctionality of the US and its allies.

    Posted by: dan | Mar 21 2011 16:32 utc | 17

    I don't think they have thought out what happens next. It's a big problem for their game-plan.

    If Gaddafi is not discouraged - which he won't be - it means yet another quagmire, a war going on for years.

    The only appealing part of it all is that there will be no forces left to attack Iran. Israel must be seething. It looks like the US was always planning to leave it all to the Europeans, after a bit. Whether they will be able to is another question.

    Posted by: alexno | Mar 21 2011 17:33 utc | 18

    Russia and China will have this to point to when they veto any other schemes. Putin is already using this 'crusade,' as he has put it, to gain support. China will find African doors easier to open for resources.

    Military threats against Iran and Venezuela eased a bit in the short term.

    Commodity prices increase. Oil and arms companies clean up.

    American and EU citizens targets of retaliation.

    If possible, UN, Arab league and Western leaders further discredited.

    Posted by: Biklett | Mar 21 2011 17:41 utc | 19

    badly, perhaps catastrophically

    Posted by: remembereringgiap | Mar 21 2011 17:47 utc | 20

    Gadaffi and sons will be assassinated by one of his underlings. Peace will be made between the rebels and the government. US, UK and French troops will be invited to march through the streets of Tripoli to resounding cheers, stepping across the massed flowers cast before their marching feet by a grateful free people. A democratic constitution will be established, followed by elections, in which a free liberal secularist pro western government will be formed. Libya will become a shining beacon of freedom and prosperity - an inspiration to all the Arab and Muslim nations who, knowing that the West will support their aspirations and efforts for freedom and justice, will overthrow their tyrannical masters and follow the example of Libya to embrace true democratic ideals. The oppressed people of Iran and Syria in particular, heartened by the upsurge of the popular will of the Libyan people, will cast off the shackles and claim their rightful inheritance of freedom. Sarkozy and Obama and Cameron will be revered as the champions of human rights and the dignity of the Arab and Muslim peoples.

    AND, as they do in all fairy tales, EVERYONE WILL LIVE HAPPILY EVER AFTER.....

    Posted by: hilerie | Mar 21 2011 18:12 utc | 21

    civil war in yemen

    Posted by: remembereringgiap | Mar 21 2011 18:27 utc | 22

    I think there's too many moving parts to predict.

    If NATO forces *just* disable Q, and if rebels choose their leaders wisely and similarly identify worthwhile goals, I think there's a good chance of better Libyan society for all.

    Frankly, I'd just like to see Hillary/BO/Sark et'al just shut up/be quiet, and let this play out.

    The rapidity w/which Egypt is moving to elections and re-writing constitution... & those on the ballot who have had a voice through this... this looks encouraging to me, perhaps even a model to follow.

    Posted by: jdmckay | Mar 21 2011 18:38 utc | 23

    A mafia don weakened by internal strife, loss of "territory", or displacement by a rival is an open invitation or opportunity for a more powerful better established external don to move in on the "territory" in order to sell a new order of protection.

    The Iraq/Afghan/Somalia/Honduras/Columbia model will do just fine.

    Government in a box.

    Posted by: anna missed | Mar 21 2011 18:44 utc | 24

    & john negroponte has got another job until he finds his home in hell

    Posted by: remembereringgiap | Mar 21 2011 18:49 utc | 25

    the state of emergency we live in, is not the exception but the rule
    walter benjamin

    Posted by: remembereringgiap | Mar 21 2011 19:01 utc | 26

    Biklett @ 19

    Putin is already using this 'crusade,' as he has put it, to gain support.

    Medvedev has chastised Vlad on that one according to Bloomberg.

    Posted by: jdmckay | Mar 21 2011 19:06 utc | 27

    Seems there are already some recrimination about this jump into war. The U.S. wants NATO to take over the lead. Turkey vetos that (to the happiness of several other NATO countries). Sarkozy opposes that too, he seems to want to take the lead himself. The U.S., UK and France have all different names for this operation and no common understanding on how this should go on or end. None of the announced Arab figleafs showed up for the fight.

    So here is my best guess:

    The U.S. will try to push the hot potato to someone else but does not want to give it to France. There are no other takers, so Obama is stuck with it.

    On the ground the rebels will make some advances to the next city to the west, but will be stopped right there and beaten back. They might get some weapons and try again, to be stopped again.

    Then Clinton and her girlgroup of interventionists will then demand ground troops. First special forces insertion (some are likely already there) then more airstrikes which will destroy some cityblocks. Some marines will arrive (the marines hymn includes the line "to the shores of Tripoli") and do their usual brutalities. At that point Egypt will deny all further cooperation with regards to Libya. As soon as real troops are on the ground there will be 25 insane reasons why they can not leave and why this has to be "finished". The provisional government Sarkozy recognized will turn out to be a ragtag band of thieves, ferocious Islamists, some tribal idiots.

    Gaddafi will put some soldiers into civilian cloth, send them to the east and wreak havoc under the rebels. The U.S. response with more bombing on Tripoli. The Libyan state will be destroyed including most infrastructure. Eventually a full invasion will need to happen which will be met an insurgency. Ten years later ... who knows.

    Meanwhile the Chinese and Russians are laughing their asses off ...

    Posted by: b | Mar 21 2011 19:14 utc | 28

    If NATO forces *just* disable Q, and if rebels choose their leaders wisely and similarly identify worthwhile goals, I think there's a good chance of better Libyan society for all.

    c'mon, jdmckay @23

    on this line of thought, we might just bomb the capital city and the army of any country of the world, then sit by and watch if something better than before materializes (hey, now that I think of it...)

    Posted by: claudio | Mar 21 2011 19:20 utc | 29

    The answer to the question is not one considered of any weight or importance by the present Western (USuk, FR, It, NATO .. ) actors.

    Possible outcomes:

    Lybia might become the new Iraq, a desolating hell-hole, with oil-users knocked away, the ppl genocided, to starve, despair, on the Palestinan model. (Low probability)

    The rebels might win, Kadafi killed or removed, very speedily, with elections in 6 months, some new structure set up, friendly to the West. (High p)

    Imposed puppet Gvmt, e.g. Maliki or Karzai type, on the Iraq/Afgh. model. (High p)

    Civil war plus foreign interference might rumble on underground for years, death and destruction, with the powerful making extravagant statements, yada. (Medium to low p)

    Lybia might be partioned, into two, or even three, if negotiations with K take place. (Possible)

    To the West, it doesn’t matter terribly.

    The Spin can be spun no matter what, and foreign cos, oil, etc. in all the scenarios, will maintain contracts, or new ones will be made, in time.

    Facing the uprisings in NA + ME, erupting all over the place, rebel bubbles boiling, most alarming, the West let Egypt and Tunisia go their own way (for the moment, and in a controlled fashion, waiting in the wings), but a halt had to be put after that.

    A show of domination and strength HAD TO BE MADE, no matter in what form, shape, or against whom. Others *cannot* be allowed to decide their own destiny. Verboten.

    Lybia, through accidents of timing, unfolding events, became the target. The West was not happy about it, as K was finally “their bastard”. The advantage was that he/Lybia is an easy target.

    (see also Morroco Bama above who used a different classification in terms of Chaos)

    Posted by: Noirette | Mar 21 2011 19:29 utc | 30

    Saudi Arabia is the one pulling the strings and paying for this attack on Libya. Look at Arab League chief Amr Moussa how he changed his tune today, somebody gave him the orders. Why is Syria mum on criticism, because the Wahhabi's can cause immense damage for Syria. China, Russia it's the crazy Wahhabi's. The bottom line if Saudi's stop even a bit of production none of the NATO countries will survive. So I say first Yemen, then Bahrain and finally KSA. Where is AQ when you need them!

    Posted by: hans | Mar 21 2011 19:34 utc | 31

    The U.S. will try to push the hot potato to someone else but does not want to give it to France.

    Yeah, yeah. Poor France. I can imagine the scene, in one of those opulently gilded french drawing rooms, in which sarko is lightly beaten by Hilary's warm leather whip until he submits his country to the authority of Empire.

    Sounds like bs to me, b. Got some good links?

    Posted by: slothrop | Mar 21 2011 19:54 utc | 33

    pepe escobar

    Posted by: remembereringgiap | Mar 21 2011 20:04 utc | 34

    Personally, I think they're stuck, unless they've got a way of getting rid of Gaddafi.

    Gaddafi is wily, and not easy to get rid of.

    It sounds to me like war by committee. Three leaders who have little experience of war, Obama, Sarkozy and Cameron. They were offered a spectacular opening by the military, and accepted. That part is easy. The other part, disabling the Gaddafi regime, is more difficult, if it is going to be done without offending every Arab in sight, and staying within the UNSC rules.

    The rebels don't seem to have the organisation to recover the towns lost, even if Gaddafi loses his heavy weapons to air-strikes. So it would be a question of training up the rebel army, feeding in weapons from covert sources. A long job.

    By the way, b, you said somewhere that the rebels had lost the oil apart from Tobruk. It is the oil ports that have been lost, Brega and Ras Lanouf, and they are interdicted by the Western forces. Gaddafi is running on the money that he has - which may last quite a while. But nevertheless finite. Mercenaries have to be paid. Gaddafi's success depends on him regaining the political upper hand.

    I thought last night's raid on the "command centre" may have been intended to take out some of the Gaddafi family. We've heard that Khamis, he of the brigade, may be wounded or dead. But it is difficult to finish off the lot.

    Posted by: alexno | Mar 21 2011 20:25 utc | 35

    By the way, re Yemen. The structure of the revolt there is similar to elsewhere, a split in the regime, following relatively light demonstrations. The situation is complicated by the fact that half the tribes in Yemen are already in revolt, and outside the control of the central government.

    The situation there is outside the control of the US. The country is mountainous, not like the flat desert of Libya. A few rockets are not going to bring Yemen under control.

    The president, Ali Abdullah Saleh, is tired and doesn't have the personal sticking power of Gaddafi.

    Regime change is imminent, I would say.

    Posted by: alexno | Mar 21 2011 20:57 utc | 36

    @alexno - By the way, b, you said somewhere that the rebels had lost the oil apart from Tobruk. It is the oil ports that have been lost, Brega and Ras Lanouf, and they are interdicted by the Western forces. Gaddafi is running on the money that he has - which may last quite a while. But nevertheless finite. Mercenaries have to be paid.

    First: I never said what you attribute to me.

    Second: Those "mercenaries" are totally unconfirmed and likely just propaganda from the U.S. side.

    Black folks must be mercenaries? Ever saw some folks from south Libya?

    Posted by: b | Mar 21 2011 21:04 utc | 37

    china people's daily editorial

    Posted by: remembereringgiap | Mar 21 2011 21:18 utc | 38

    Now that the coalition of the damned are going through the un resolution with a fine toothcomb..trying to figure out if they can directly target Gaddafi-that is rather than accidentaly doing so...I see no end in sight..the revolt has been poisoned and that poison will spread.

    Posted by: noiseannoys | Mar 21 2011 21:22 utc | 39

    I expect to start hearing about the Republic of Cyrenaica soon. As soon as the borders are established it will sign contracts with Western oil companies.

    Posted by: dh | Mar 21 2011 21:58 utc | 40

    Sorry if you didn't say that, my mistake.

    The question of mercenaries. It's a question that should be discussed. I doubt that it's a US invention. They wouldn't think of that.

    The Serb pilots in the airforce. Well we haven't seen much of the airforce. Could be that they don't want to get themselves killed, or the pilots are Libyans and not very enthusiastic.

    Blacks in the ground forces. Obviously they could be southern Libyans, I've said it before. The rebels speak of people who can't speak Arabic, not a proof.

    The photos of the dead in the French air-strikes suggest they are Libyans.

    In the end, it's a question of whether you think that Gaddafi has a sufficient population base to furnish his army. That's the question I was posing.

    Posted by: alexno | Mar 21 2011 22:15 utc | 41


    Posted by: remembereringgiap | Mar 21 2011 22:49 utc | 42

    After what happened to Saddam, Qadhafi will go down fighting and perhaps take as much of the oil infrastructure with him as possible.

    Once Qadhafi is gone, a civil war will begin, most probably against the Western anointed leadership, which will be seen as representing a single tribe but not the whole country.

    Since Qadhafi didn't like government institutions and didn't form much of a government structure, the "international community" will be forced into nation building a la Afghanistan.

    Or maybe Libya will descend into a Somali or Afghanistan with oil. As in the worst days of Iraq, the various tribes will live off of their ability to tap oil pipelines and smuggle crude. And they'll probably blow them up regularly, something still happening in Iraq, to show their displeasure with whatever central authority there is.

    Maybe Obama (nowhere man) should have taken some of this into consideration...

    Posted by: JohnH | Mar 22 2011 0:01 utc | 43

    r'giap @42, that Museveni link is fascinating

    Posted by: claudio | Mar 22 2011 0:06 utc | 44

    "The rapidity w/which Egypt is moving to elections and re-writing constitution... & those on the ballot who have had a voice through this... this looks encouraging to me, perhaps even a model to follow."

    Anyone who could write that utter claptrap must be either the most deliberately ignorant contributor to this thread thus far or perhaps one of the 500 sock puppets the latest US defense budget has just approved funding to "explain our programs" .

    Not that it really matters - ignorant or deliberate, I'm sure most will pay no heed to the bland anodynes in support of a dying empire.

    One of the bigger elephants currently sequestered under yonder coffee table is that the same egyptian protesters who everyone was cheering for while the entire world looked on, have been demonstrating again, during this time when the world's attention has been shifted to Libya.
    They have been demonstrating against approving the constitutional changes. They see these changes which set many of the 'emergency measures' Mubarak used for 30 years in stone, meaning they can never be repealed, as being a step backwards that will destroy any chance of democracy.
    The Muslim Brotherhood, which is increasingly being seen as the new vehicle for foreign control of egypt is the only entity which participated in the original protests (altho belatedly) to which recommends approval of the changes to its members.

    The constitutional amendments passed probably due mostly to the difficulty of explaining the complex issues in such a short time compounded by the mis-information supporters put out that "this was what we had all been demonstrating for", but there also seems little doubt that the yes faction was aided by what some politely refer to as 'electoral irregularities'. evidence of ballot stuffing preparations surfaced as soon as the election began.

    The slaughter which pro ghaddafi forces were accused of loosing upon Benghazi last Sunday just prior to the start of fraUSuk carpet bombing, caused 7 deaths. Those were figures out of the anti Ghadaffi side I came across somewhere or other last night. Almost certainly most would have been fighting for the other side, since such a relatively low figure when shelling a city full of humanity tends to suggest the artillery was targeting installations rather than people. But even if they weren't does anyone seriously imagine the 100 cruise missiles in a night killed less than 7 innocents? I haven't seen the figures for the 2nd night of fraUSuk attacks but one would assume a similar number of missiles were launched since oblamblam needs to get this over quickly. They will be blowing the shit out of everything they can, before footage of maimed children surfaces.

    This is looking more and more like the bombing of Gaza. Two thousand people are murdered by zionist mass killers dropping high explosive on them under the excuse that 'they' (meaning the other side the Palestinians) had been firing rockets into israel. The facts were that 8 israelis had been killed or injured by those rockets in the previous three years, 7 that those 8 casualties could not justify the deaths of thousands, was ignored by mass media, just as the reality of ghadaffi's 'atrocities' will be ignored.

    The mess is going to be when the no fly zone doesn't result in Gaddafi's abdication.
    No fly zones failed in Iraq, Bosnia, Kosovo and everywhere else they have been used, so why would they succeed in Libya?

    Still it has been a great distraction away from amerika's friends slaughter of civilian protesters in Bahrain, Qatar and Yemen. Ghadaffi is undoubtedly corrupted by having had too much power for too long, but the military were called out after the protesters had armed themselves and burned down police stations. In those other countries the demonstrators have been sticking to non-violence protocols but that didn't stop the friends of amerika from machine-gunning them.

    I believe we have allowed ourselves to be hoist by our own petard. When we justifiably (especially in light of the revelations that the demonstrators had been captured by a cadre of power hungry neo-liberals, uninterested in participative government) pointed out that the Iranian post election protests were middle class urban kids being sore losers, unable to accept that 'the peasants' votes were worth as much as theirs, most of us copped a lot of flak here, in the media, and undoubtedly in our real lives.

    That meant we didn't look closely enough at the reactionary and elitist nature of many of those in control of the Libyan uprising, soon enough, because we wanted to believe that this dissent was what it appeared to be.

    I doubt anyone who posts here supports a political system that keeps the same clique in power for 30 years, so we naturally wanted to back the ousting of the colonel, despite his old reputation for not only speaking the truth to power, but also backing the same causes many of us had supported over the years.

    But we mustn't let that switch have us blind ourselves to mass media distortion. The colonel doesn't practise the principles he once preached, but he has never been motivated by material self interest, his flaw is in operating out of political self interest and while the time has come for him to go, that should not fool us into suubscribing to an 'anyone but ghadaffi' ploy. Nor does it mean that the colonel can be automatically judged sufficiently criminal to be executed.

    Posted by: Debs is dead | Mar 22 2011 0:36 utc | 45

    In the "west" too it is surely becoming impossible to sustain illusions about the nature of this Empire...

    Eh, not really. Many Obama fans who were leftist prior to 2008 have converted to liberal-interventionism, rather than becoming disillusioned.

    Posted by: Cloud | Mar 22 2011 1:02 utc | 46

    remembereringgiap @ 38:

    china people's daily editorial

    Good read, thanks.

    Posted by: jdmckay | Mar 22 2011 4:09 utc | 47

    Regarding the Chinese and Russian stance on resolution 1973, I wonder why they didn't force a more limited and more clearly defined text. They could have easily threatened to veto anything more than just a no-fly zone. Incompetent diplomats, wanting the West to fall into a quagmire, some undisclosed payoff, or something else?

    With or without Q, the person surviving, I think the loss of momentum of the Libyan rebels will doom their chances of ever taking over the whole of Libya. How many Challabis will be revealed in the rebel leadership?

    Posted by: Biklett | Mar 22 2011 5:23 utc | 48

    re: #42, r'giap's link to Museveni...

    It is refreshing to read such nuance. Makes me feel like a pathetic Irish mongrel dog! Museveni seems a different kind of giant, and I hope there are more out there like him.

    Posted by: Dr. Wellington Yueh | Mar 22 2011 7:03 utc | 49

    re: #42, r'giap's link to Museveni...

    It is refreshing to read such nuance. Makes me feel like a pathetic Irish mongrel dog! Museveni seems a different kind of giant, and I hope there are more out there like him.

    Posted by: Dr. Wellington Yueh | Mar 22 2011 7:03 utc | 50

    See the no-fly-zone in action. The rebels can only 'advance' through the burned remains a western build 'Death Road'.

    9.42am: More on those Ajdabiya air strikes – Chris McGreal has been on the phone from the outskirts of the city, where he has seen four large plumes of smoke after hearing aircraft overhead.

    The presumed air strikes occurred around 9.15 GMT after what had been a quiet morning. Chris says the rebels appear to have learned their lesson after the debacle yesterday when they rushed into the town after some air strikes only to flee in chaos when they came under fire from Gaddafi's tanks. He added that the rebels will be more careful now to make sure that Gaddafi's armour and heavy weapons in and around Ajdabiya are destroyed before they try to enter the city.

    Chris reports that the fight for Ajdabiya has been going on for 10 days now but that the rebels remain disorganised militarily and that the air strikes have proved utterly decisive; on Saturday Gaddafi's forces were fighting inside Benghazi, now they are defending Ajdabiya, 100 miles from the rebel stronghold. That is very much due to air power.

    Posted by: ThePaper | Mar 22 2011 10:38 utc | 51

    claudio @ 29

    on this line of thought, we might just bomb the capital city and the army of any country of the world, then sit by and watch if something better than before materializes


    Q was murdering his own, on large scale. Q did this to maintain leadership role vast majority of his people were voting w/their feet and voices to end. And Q is/was using riches form his country's resources to fund this. Q's efforts were becoming a slaughter.

    I have not seen one single comment here, these last couple days on this subject, which acknowledges that self evident fact. And I emphasize self evident: this was there for entire world to see, w/my sumnation close enough.

    So far, I have yet to see any evidence coalition is doing anything other then what they intended: eg. to disable Q's ability to attack/murder his populace.


    With all due respect, you misrepresent realities to impute prejudiced view... there is a chorus of this here w/the bar flys, I'm sorry to say/see. Your analogy does not fit the circumstances whatsoever, nor is anything I've said/expressed though last several days here suggest that either... not even a hint, Deb's rants not withstanding.

    I find and have found that, among other things, humans have a tendency to take overwhelming experiences of some kind, internalize them, engage in conversations w/one's self affirming the injustice until it is burned into some notion of universal "trooth", then project those maps of things... however they wire them up, upon everything they see.

    They then seek agreement on those notions... who wants to be a lonely self righteous victim, w/no justification w/in to satisfy one's self induced victim hood... especially when this experience is merely self-replicated of some one else's suffering ("I feel your pain")? So then likeminded victims seek brethren of the same ilk, coalesce, assuage/comfort/form binding agreement on the the righteousness of their beef. And before you know it, you got a self affirming crowd grounded in their commonly-shared-frozen-moment-in-time, all defining world map, all certain of their justification, and seemingly oblivious to realities in front of their eyes begging for a group reality check.

    I've read every comment here. Almost every story line reflects a doomsday outcome of imperialistic domination, all projecting failed results resembling Iraq/Afghanistan or such... every-single-comment.

    That is the agreement here.

    Interestingly (in a non satisfying way), just about everyone's "vision" of this thing is vastly different story line, but they're all from the same template w/the same outcome: it's Iraq/Afghanistan all over again, BushCo/Neocon world domination lurking behind every fighter plane in the air near oil fields.


    The circumstances of this thing are not as generally (at this point) assumed here at the bar. This was not conceived or initiated by BO, despite nearly everyone's attempts to make that notion an assumed fact.

    There were no lies mass propagated as groundwork for "liberation" by US/Western "imperialists"... that's not how this got started at all, yet it's expressed as such by almost everyone here... a seeming grounding & unifying agreement. A poignant exercise in yesterday being made today.

    There were no Zionists/Likudniks organizing this thing or planting false evidence in editorials and CIA reports world wide. Richard Pearle was not making speeches in Israel to the faithful, positioning himself in the stream of flowing Defense $$ for a nice skimming off the top while assisting misinformation campaign. Nope... not this time.

    And not in the other recent domino events across the region.


    Beyond that, it's also plain to see in previous recent long overdue toppling of ass hole learders in the region, the effects of US' loss of influence & credibility manifested starkly. Largely BTW, & oddly enough, through events which germinated the mental models in evidence at the bar in this current discussion which are projected upon this this Libyan event being discussed.

    In Egypt, our (US) torture/rendition go-2 guy, fully endorsed as preferred Mubarak successor by Hillary, was promptly dispatched by the Egyptian "rebels" w/hardly a pause. To their (rebels) credit, fatigue and rejection of their state sponsored torture shit, both instituted against their own citizens enforcing captive maintenance of status quo AND as a for-profit industry globally... for those who paid attention, rejection of this once and for all was among creeds vocalized through this group and it's emerging leadership candidates.

    Additionally, the backroom lobbying international power brokers, long fed their rewards through Mubarek's serving the real imperialistic forces in the region as a tool at expense of his citizenry... these ass holes' efforts also went pretty much toes up in their attempts to guide Egyptian outcome.

    Point (again): as in so many other arenas (global economics), the costs to US of BushCo Iraq/Afghanistan foibles have manifested significantly: we are not so much calling the shots, and much of the world has gone their own way... plotting their own path.

    There's some big shifts happening on the planet, people... wake up!!!

    I can cite all kinds of hard evidence (if anybody's intereted) plotting a similar trend in both world economics & currency: US is being schooled by China, a complete flip. And, at least for me, credibly schooled... various high level Chinese policy wonks are stating real time trends backed by real time economic achievements, largely undermining fallacies still daily foisted on US public through various "expert economic media" re-expressing fading mantras crushed by the weight of their impoverishing frauds of these recent years.

    Summary: despite historically effective channels of "imperialistic" US power broker influence in dictating international outcomes, evidence abounds this long standing cycle is ending with a whimper. The US fucked up big time, and reality is catching up.

    The world is reorganizing itself. Emerging economies/nations of yesteryear have emerged. And now, some of the long stagnant ones are pecking their way out of their shells, seeing the light of day themselves, wiping the slate clean and showing real signs that moving forward w/determined & conscious intent to shed a whole lot of dumb, stupid, long held ideological shackles.

    Too bad most of our (US) citizenry is still frozen in their 9/11 exploited moment, reinforced and maintained slumber by "leaders", media and corrupt government that not only can't seem to tell the truth about anything, they seem hypnotized into believing their own propagandized delusions.


    So sure, this Libyan thing could go toes up... it could fail, it could be another quagmire. And you all could be made right by such an outcome.

    I say, look around, take a fresh inventory of things. Take note of what's changed, some of it in big ways. There are very real opportunities in this process for a much better, more widely shared real prosperity for Libya.

    It is not a done deal, there is a succession of tomorrows available in which people can execute influence, and myriad outcomes are most certainly possible. This is not pre-determined, it is not self-ordained. Sadly, agreement of enough people that it is could make it so.

    It's one thing to identify wrongs. It's quite another to become full participants in woe-is-me, full devotion... institutionalizing belief in the endurance and perpetuation of those conditions.

    History is replete with this process.

    Personally, I have approx. -0- interest in spending my days writing another book of Lamentations.

    I hope the bar can blow out the tubes a bit and get back on track... we all need to do it, as needed, from time to time.


    Note to Debs: hope you can break out of your frozen Joan Baez moment... would be a shame to spend your whole life trapped in that particular Ground Hog Day manifestation. It's a sad thing to miss one's own life.

    Nevertheless, it's also something that Creation allows, obviously... the Universe just doesn't give a rip if people chase their tail, in perpetuity, for a lifetime. Not much point in making one's life mission to be right about everything that's wrong... just a waste of time. And when it's all said and done, just about the only thing outside of themselves that humans really *have* is a space (Earth) to do stuff, and *time* in which to do it.

    *What* to do... that's the trick.

    Have a nice day all!!!

    Posted by: jdmckay | Mar 22 2011 12:24 utc | 52

    Some informative reading on Q, his siphoning of state assets/oil $$ and such into family bank accounts world wide, culled from US State Dept cables. (via Marcy Wheeler)

    I would point out this is precisely what Mubarak did... both of 'em for 30+ yrs, which largely (finally) resulted in these events.

    Just trying to add a little useful context to the discussion.

    Posted by: jdmckay | Mar 22 2011 12:39 utc | 53

    The circumstances of this thing are not as generally (at this point) assumed here at the bar. This was not conceived or initiated by BO, despite nearly everyone's attempts to make that notion an assumed fact.

    Apparently, you don't read every comment, or don't decipher pattern recognition. Truthfully, I think that's your weak point. You dive so heavily into the nuanced differences between campaigns that you lose site of the rather transparent pattern that the events, when combined, create.

    If you have read any of my comments, you would quickly decipher that my take is Obama hasn't a say in anything, anymore than Dubya had a say in anything. They're figureheads playing their part....and that part is to appear to be in appear to be the Decider, when in fact, thay are no such thing. Do you seriously believe the most powerful interests would allow their fate to be determined by the capricious whims of an unseasoned, inexperienced bozo like Obama or Dubya? Get real. Such a notion is preposterous. This is why I laugh at the "Liberal" knee-jerk reactions towards Sara Palin. It doesn't make a difference who is in the driver's seat. The thing's on auto pilot, so it could be an ape or an eggplant....the outcome will be the same, because the position is purely superficial.

    Posted by: Morocco Bama | Mar 22 2011 13:08 utc | 54

    Q was murdering his own, on large scale. Q did this to maintain leadership role vast majority of his people were voting w/their feet and voices to end. And Q is/was using riches form his country's resources to fund this. Q's efforts were becoming a slaughter.

    While in the beginning there were some demonstration for a system change, these quickly developed into a tribal revolt with parts of the army mutinying. The last two, three weeks I haven't seen any pictures of demonstrations, but heavily armed rebels with their own tanks and planes.

    Any state will fight such a rebellion. As for Qaddahfi stealing the peoples money. Have you ever seen any elite in any country that doesn't enrich itself? Qaddahfi did much more for the development of Libya than dozens of "western" protected dictators ever thought of.

    Posted by: b | Mar 22 2011 13:09 utc | 55

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