Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
May 24, 2011

Escalating The Stalemate

The nuts take another step to escalate their war on Libya:

Britain and France are to deploy attack helicopters against Libya in an attempt to break the military stalemate, particularly in the important coastal city of Misrata, security sources have told the Guardian.

Those helicopters will of course not change the stalemate. Nor will further massive bombing of Tripoli like it happened last night. But the "western" countries involved in this do not want a political solution. We can therefore expect further mission creap.

Soon the self imposed political pressure on those who committed themselves to take down Gaddahfi, and to steal the Libyan oil, will again increase and the only escalation left will be to commit real ground troops along those special forces already there.

Meanwhile the UNSC resolution for a "no-fly zone" is getting a slight reinterpretation:

[France's foreign minister] Juppé said the helicopters would not be used to deploy ground forces in Libya and that the decision to send them was fully in line with the UN security council resolution mandating attacks in Libya.

One wonders what those veto countries who did not vote for the resolution may think of this. This reinterpretation will likely make further UN resolutions in equivalent cases impossible. That, and the damage this does to NATO, may well be the only positives coming from this conflict.

Posted by b on May 24, 2011 at 8:18 UTC | Permalink


nothing surprising here...

inner city press:

With the UK now openly saying that it will join France in deploying and using attack helicopters in Libya, the silence of the UN which is supposed to receive notice of and even coordinate such action is striking.

In UN Security Council resolution 1973, for legitimization's sake UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon was to receive notice of and coordinate action to enforce the no fly zone and arms embargo.

While the spokesmen for Ban Ki-moon have since tried to claim Ban does not coordinate, on Monday his lead spokesman Martin Nesirky acknowledged the notification role, but said no notification of the helicopters had been received.

This remained the case ten hours later [and counting], even as the UK's William Hague said openly the helicopters would be used. So who is coordinating what?

Posted by: b real | May 24 2011 13:28 utc | 1

Just wait then for when the Sudan no-longer-civil-war for the border oil region starts one of this days. Or the increasing pressure over Syria with the now the fully under 'good' control UN and IAEA 'confirming' nuclear proliferation. Same for Iran. And what is happening in Pakistan? An incredible 'taliban' commando attack that destroys two maritime surveillance planes (P3C) in a base close to the India. Meanwhile Pakistan asks for China for direct protection by offering Gwadar as China's first Navy foreign port.

'Interesting' times ahead.

Posted by: ThePaper | May 24 2011 15:48 utc | 2

One wonders what those veto countries who did not vote for the resolution may think of this.

More fiat $$$(African, Arab, Asia), more one way trade with the USA (China, Asia), some give on the missile shield (Russia). Game set and match.Viola that was easy!

Posted by: hans | May 24 2011 16:31 utc | 3

Clinton: More NATO nations must join Libya mission

Speaking ahead of President Barack Obama's scheduled two-day visit to Britain, Clinton acknowledged that additional support would help put military pressure on Moammar Gadhafi's regime.

"We have a lot of confidence in what our joint efforts are producing. We would like to see some other of our NATO friends and allies join in with us, in order to make sure that the pressure is maintained consistently," Clinton told reporters, following talks with British Foreign Secretary William Hague.
NATO said that 13 of its 28 member nations are offering equipment to the 17-nation strong alliance carrying out the air campaign in Libya.

I guess Estland will now send a Sergeant to take part in that operation. Otherwise nobody with some weight is likely to come forward.

A friend of mine thinks that this war will be the official end of NATO. Maybe he is right.

Posted by: b | May 24 2011 17:22 utc | 4

Meanwhile Pakistan asks for China for direct protection by offering Gwadar as China's first Navy foreign port.

Got a source for that? Not the base, but the, 'asking for "protection" part', of your comment.

Posted by: Uncle $cam | May 24 2011 17:34 utc | 5

My interpretation.

Posted by: ThePaper | May 24 2011 18:15 utc | 6

'One wonders what those veto countries who did not vote for the resolution may think of this.'

all those cuntries that backed the RES 1973 should be made to standtrial as accessories to mass murder.

Posted by: brian | May 24 2011 21:32 utc | 7

'In Tripoli the “journalists” of ABC asked me how long Gaddafi could last financially?
I answered them much longer than the US.
They couldn’t believe me and continued: ”no seriously, how many months can he last?”
My answer, 10/20 years, brought a very big surprised expression on their faces: “NO, impossible”.
Our society of money changers and bean counters is not able anymore to think about a solid society, not based on debt or credit.
Libya has known an embargo for decades and a real ostracism for 42 years.

Posted by: brian | May 24 2011 21:35 utc | 8


Thx, thought maybe it was official.. seems a good logical prediction, anyhow.

et al...

In Afghanistan, signs of crony capitalism

KABUL -- Afghanistan's biggest private bank -- founded by the Islamic nation's only world-class poker player -- celebrated its fifth year in business last summer with a lottery for depositors at Paris Palace, a Kabul wedding hall.

Prizes awarded by Kabul Bank included nine apartments in the Afghan capital and cash gifts totaling more than $1 million. The bank trumpeted the event as the biggest prize drawing of its kind in Central Asia.

Less publicly, Kabul Bank's boss has been handing out far bigger prizes to his country's U.S.-backed ruling elite: multimillion-dollar loans for the purchase of luxury villas in Dubai by members of President Hamid Karzai's family, his government and his supporters .

Posted by: Uncle $cam | May 24 2011 22:06 utc | 9

Sorry.. about posting all that in the Libya thread, especially since Cartesian/Newtonian lovers have to compartmentalize these things...

Posted by: Uncle $cam | May 24 2011 22:15 utc | 10


A friend of mine thinks that this war will be the official end of NATO. Maybe he is right

maybe it will follow the same course as the Un: always complicit, relevant when obedient, otherwise "outflanked"

notice the parallelism of the Un and Nato decision precess over Libya: a nucleus of western colonial powers gathered around the Us declares its intentions, the UNSC + NATO make ambiguous statements but substantially give legitimacy to such intentions, an informal and interchangeable group of "allies" (i.e., "the good guys") becomes the operative center of the new front opened by the permanent war machine, other UNSC / Nato members criticize without hindering

the same happened over Iraq; France apparently opposed the war, but first it approved a UN resolution that Bush interpreted - and the Us Congress agreed - as approval for the unilateral invasion

what has changed since Bush (since Iraq, really, well before Obama) is that the Us will not go alone (if at all) any more in an expensive ground war

no more empire-building, only nation-destroying

Posted by: claudio | May 24 2011 23:23 utc | 11

again on Nato

Nato is the main cornerstone of the Us global protection racket

through Nato, european taxpayers finance the Us super-assisted military industry, in a way that excludes any public debate

other pillars of this system are the military procurements of the rich oil-producing countries of the Gulf, and of course Us taxpayers, through foreign aid (Israel, Egypt, Pakistan, etc), which for the most part is used to buy Us military equipment

who's out of this system is at risk of humanitarian bombings, separatism, etc

through Nato, moreover, the Us have full control of the European war machine

so I don't think Nato will ever become irrelevant, except if and when the Us will cease to be the global dominating power

in fact, there is a constant push to expand Nato's "responsibilities" and "streamline" its decision processes (i.e. get rid of the requisite of unanimity), like in the new UE "constitution"; this outcome is at least as probable as the "decline" scenario

Posted by: claudio | May 25 2011 7:12 utc | 12

from Ban Ki-moon’s remarks to the Extraordinary Summit of the African Union on Peace and Security Issues in Africa in Addis Ababa, 25 May

Let me now turn to the situation in Libya. I welcome the spirit of collaboration that has characterized our efforts. Recent meetings, including of the AU’s High-level Ad-Hoc Committee on Libya, have demonstrated our shared resolve to bring an end to the crisis and usher in an era of democracy and peace.


Since the adoption of resolution 1973 (2011), we have all sought to end the violence.


Last night, I spoke at length once again with the Libyan Prime Minister to listen to his concerns over the recent intensified bombing campaign. I reiterated the urgent need for a real ceasefire and serious negotiations on a transition to a Government that fully meets the aspirations of the Libyan people.


At the London Conference in March, I agreed that the United Nations would coordinate the international community’s post-conflict efforts in Libya. My Special Adviser, Ian Martin, has initiated a pre-assessment process focusing on six areas: political, security apparatus, rule of law and human rights, economic recovery, public administration and physical infrastructure. Of course, our planning will be guided by the principle that the fate of Libya is to be decided by the Libyan people...

Posted by: b real | May 26 2011 3:55 utc | 13

Craig Murray has some pertinent comments on the Libyan "adventure", and although his words are directed to Brits, they seem perfectly apt for citizens of the U.S. as well.

Posted by: Hannah K. O'Luthon | May 26 2011 10:31 utc | 14

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