Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
July 11, 2011

In Libya France Is Suing For Peace

Sarkoleon thought he could to do a quick job grabbing Libya's riches. That turned out to not be possible. War is expensive. Fighting a stalemate in the desert is neither fun nor does it make for good headlines. Time to give up:

France's defense minister said it was time for Libya's rebels to negotiate with Muammar Gaddafi's government, signaling growing impatience with progress in the conflict.
"We have ... asked them to speak to each other," Longuet, whose government has until now been among the most hawkish on Libya, said on French television station BFM TV.

"The position of the TNC (rebel Transitional National Council) is very far from other positions. Now, there will be a need to sit around a table," he said.

Asked if it was possible to hold talks if Gaddafi had not stepped down, Longuet said: "He will be in another room in his palace with another title."

The French plan now: Gaddhafi will stay and the rebels will be pressed into a ceasefire.

But the French made the mistake to earlier invite the U.S. in on this war. The "liberal interventionists" in Washington, who have little to lose in this game but their reputation, will want to keep the war going:

Soon after, the State Department in Washington issued a message that gave no hint of compromise.

"The Libyan people will be the ones to decide how this transition takes place, but we stand firm in our belief that Gaddafi cannot remain in power," it said in a written reply to a query.

The Libyan people will of course not be allowed to decide. The chance of them deciding that Gaddhafi should stay is too high. Washington will prevent that.

I expect the war to continue for another few month with no decisive victory for either side. Only when the British and French together withhold their troops from continuing the war will Washington agree to negotiations. Even after that it will try everything to spoil any decent compromise.

Troops on the ground? That would change the picture. But I doubt that Congress will agree to allow for such. It seems as this war, like man other before it, will end with a whimper instead of a glorious bang.

Posted by b on July 11, 2011 at 07:53 AM | Permalink


Gaddaffi does appear to have a knack for sticking it to the Europeans and Americans. I think the main reason why this is good news is that if Gaddaffi remains in power NATO will have been dealt a blow from which it will not recover. Already there are questions being asked about whether NATO will continue and failure in Libya will make them alot louder. The collapse of NATO would be great news for all Anti-Imperialists.

Also I can't wait for the French to boot Sarkozy out. Worst political leader in Europe. Roll on May 2012.

Posted by: Colm O' Toole | Jul 11, 2011 9:28:24 AM | 1

My gut still tells me the West won't give in, and let Mr. Q stay. Not without some control over resources. Down the road, we'll find out how much autonomy Europe has within NATO. I believe the US really drives policy in NATO, so, I think whatever the US wants,will happen.

Posted by: ben | Jul 11, 2011 10:20:58 AM | 2

The Prince of Andorra, aka Sark the First, wanted to kill a dictator. Join the ranks of the like of Blair. I read he was pissed as all hell when Obama killed Osama.

After being best buddies with Kadhafi! And the Kadhafi clan adopting the then wife, Cecilia, as a friend for life (or what not.)

Meaning, capturing Lybia’s oil riches was not, I surmise, a real aim at all. The example, after all, of Iraq, is stark.

Meanwhile, all deals are on halt, France’s investments in the country are all muddled and not performing, and France’s image is taking a beating, something that has not escaped the voting public. Different parties must be putting on boiling pressure to halt this folly and get back to biz as usual.

Axis of logic has an article saying that the last demo in Lybia was the biggest in the world ever. (Tripoli, pro K.)

Posted by: Noirette | Jul 11, 2011 10:27:43 AM | 3

NO i don't think so the reason as follows:-
1] GS will have to pay Libya $1.2B it lost in its casino gambling
2] The central bank gold is probably smelted and used to cover shorts of JPM
3] The Central Bank money which was confiscated is probably lost into the black hole of the American Debt System

So you see the USA will only agree to a ceasefire if some if not all of the above will be forgiven!

Posted by: hans | Jul 11, 2011 10:53:41 AM | 4

After the state department made some noise against the French defense minister calling for negotiations, France is peddling back:

Defence Minister Gerard Longuet said on Sunday the rebels should start direct negotiations with Gaddafi's camp.

However Foreign Minister Alain Juppe said on Monday that the NATO-led alliance still needed to keep up its military pressure on Gaddafi's army and reiterated that Gaddafi's standing down is a necessary condition for an end to the conflict.

"We need to keep up the military pressure because apparently Gaddafi is failing to understand what is bound to happen for him," Juppe told reporters during a visit to Mauritania.

Posted by: b | Jul 11, 2011 12:49:40 PM | 5

I think Stephen Walt is wrong here

the Libyan war is important in so many ways:

1. after Nato deaths and rebel atrocities are counted, the Right to Protect will be dead

2. Europe and the US will have no role in Africa (no sane African leader will trust them)

3. Turkey is lost to Saudi Arabia

4. France will pay dearly internally, anybody remember the Algerian war? the cafe wars?
"Although it is illegal in France for a census to be taken on race or religion, Solis, a marketing company, recently estimated the numbers for ethnic minorities in France as follows[28]:

* 3.264 million North African (5.23%)
* 1.080 million Sub-Saharan African (1.73%)
* 441,000 Turkish (0.71%)
* 757,000 French overseas departments and territories (1.21%)"

4. Italy will/is paying dearly internally. The right to protect does not seem to be concerned about refugees (actually I think I read some cynic arguing that the right to protect is cheaper than looking after refugees nobody wants, i.e. Kosovo

5. Egypt and Tunisia will be/ are destabilized in a big way.

6. Gaddafi might decide to support extremist Islamism. He will cut a deal with them as they are theoretically anti-imperialist and thereby useful to him, he will not cut a deal with the Senussis, Libyan modern liberals will have to re-emigrate.

7. After Lebanon/Hizbollah, Gaza (yes Gaza), and now Libya warfare by bombing is dead (that is an European/US industry that is dying), at least for nations that seriously intend to defend themselves. Nobody will want to buy these useless Rafaele fighters. The Geneva Convention is dead, too.

Posted by: somebody | Jul 11, 2011 1:28:56 PM | 6

Speaking of wars of choice, I'm getting the feeling the Obama administration is pushing the Bush/Cheney approach to war creation: Leon Panetta seemed to tie the US invasion of Iraq to 9/11, walking it back a bit after speaking to the troops.

Defense Secretary Leon Panetta on Monday appeared to justify the U.S. invasion of Iraq as part of the war against al-Qaeda, an argument controversially made by the Bush administration but refuted by President Obama and many Democrats.


“The reason you guys are here is because on 9/11 the United States got attacked,” Panetta told the troops. “And 3,000 Americans — 3,000 not just Americans, 3,000 human beings, innocent human beings — got killed because of al-Qaeda. And we’ve been fighting as a result of that.”

His statement echoed previous comments made by President George W. Bush and members of his administration, who tried to tie Saddam Hussein’s government to al-Qaeda. But it put Panetta at odds with President Obama, the 9/11 Commission and other independent experts, who have said there is no evidence al-Qaeda had a presence in Iraq before the U.S.-led invasion in 2003.

Afterward, pressed by reporters to elaborate, Panetta said: “I wasn’t saying, you know, the invasion — or going into the issues or the justification of that. It was more the fact that we really had to deal with al-Qaeda here, they developed a presence here and that tied in.”

Over the weekend, Panetta told US soldiers in Afghanistan that Iran is responsible for arming insurgents in Iraq and will not be allowed to continue doing so:

U.S. Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta says the United States is very concerned about Iran providing weapons to militants in Iraq, as he prepares to meet with Iraqi leaders about the future of U.S. troops in the country.

Panetta told a group of U.S. soldiers in Baghdad Monday that the U.S. cannot allow the arming of Iraqi insurgents to continue, and will address the situation directly.

U.S. officials accuse Iran of supplying Shi'ite militiamen with weapons that killed most of the 15 U.S. troops killed in June. It was the deadliest month for U.S. forces in Iraq in two years.

This is now getting repeated, so it must be a main talking point for Obama et al.

But, as with Bush/Cheney, where's the proof. Leon? Oh, yeah...Bush/Cheney made shit up so Obama/Panetta/whoever can now make shit up. The Unitary Executive rules by fiat. Another way Obama is Bush III.

The other possibility on the war front is Pakistan. Given how the US is now dissing and undermining the Pakistani government (at times with good reason, perhaps), I get the feeling we will soon be told it is an "ungovernable" or "rogue" nation and will need to be invaded to protect the world from terrorists getting hold of their nuclear bombs.

There's also more negative and more aggressive criticism of Syria's government, so they may be on the menu for invasion.

And, there's a new bomb scare that the MCM was playing up last week: Surgically inserted Belly Bombs and Boob Bombs (breast impants filled with explosive). Descriptions did not make clear how powerful the bombs could be while still having room for the detonators, etc. Sounded like pure Bush/Cheney scare tactics to me.

But, surely, Obama will not take on more than one at a time...right? Or, is this just part of his reelection campaign? He's doubling, make that tripling down or more, on "changes" to SocSec and Medicare, cuts that "strengthen" the programs, and the public hates what he's doing. So, perhaps, he thinks that be continually ignoring the public they'll be ever so happy to reelect him? He's also sounding more and more like a Republican, with budgets leading to growth during a recession/depression, etc.

I realize he does not work for the masses in the US; he has paymasters far up the wealth scale, but, really? Does he think he will get reelected? Or is he tryint to do as much damange possible before a Republican gets the presidency and perhaps has to deal with another Democratic Congress? Except his actions are undermining Democrats.

Stop the world, I want to get off!

Posted by: jawbone | Jul 11, 2011 1:40:22 PM | 7

Obama has the instincts of a conformist brought up in Suharto's Indonesia. His view of liberals and liberalism reflects his sense that his mother was weak and liberalism was a symptom of her weakness. He worships strength and ruthless men; he 'knows' that there is no sensible alternative to submission to them.

He is surrounded by counsellors who have fought their way to the front after lives spent excelling in rat races(most of which they joined half way through and at the front). They know everything about manipulation and sharp dealing; they are devoid of any illusions about humanity. But they know nothing about life. They have never had to learn anything because they grew up in a period in which it was seriously held that History had Ended, a period of social decay and selfishness, of unprecedented public opulence and the crumbling of Trade Unions, Socialist parties and the Balance of Power.
This crumbling was, if anything, overdue: Social Democracy was riddled with corruption, careerists and traitors; the Unions, after the Cold War, were empty shells ruin by bureaucrats in cahoots with capitalism and the thugs who had come to power by breaking rank and file movements, expelling communists, breaking strikes. The Soviet Union was brittle, corrupt and aimless. It was all inevitable, salutory and of relatively little significance.

But you couldn't tell the right wing ideologues this: in their view they had slain the dragon, their ideology had trumped socialism, their use of police force and the courts had smashed solidarity and mass organisation. All the battles that had been lost in the 1930s and 40s they believed that they had reversed. Bernanke, Greenspan and Friedman all saw themselves as brilliantly proving the New Dealers wrong, and the sort of people who surround Obama, such as Geithner, Rubin and Summers agree with them, or pretend to.

And now, when it is clear that they were all mistaken or, more likely, simply greedy careerists paying lip service to the theory de jour, they have no idea what to do. The only people who do are the fascists, who are making all the running: they call for lower living standards, labour firmly subordinated to capital, strong policing to nip any resistance in the bud, perpetual warfare, individualism within the totalitarian culture, private charity rather than social provision, hierarchy, obedience and constant vigilance towards the external enemy.

Obama is very lucky that the Constitution has been amended to limit Presidential terms, or he could be looking at a lifetime of re-election campaigns, decades of pointless exertion, spattered with the blood of innocents, in the service of the Man and the Street.

Posted by: bevin | Jul 11, 2011 3:05:55 PM | 8

Goldman Warns That Tight Supply Will Lift Oil Prices (do a google search of the title to get around the WSJ paywall)

Goldman Sachs Group Inc. said oil supplies will become "critically tight" in 2012, largely because production leader Saudi Arabia won't be able to pump as much extra oil as many people believe.

Robust global economic growth will continue to drive oil demand that outstrips supply, so "it is only a matter of time before inventories and OPEC spare capacity become effectively exhausted, requiring higher oil prices to restrain demand," Goldman said.

well, that explains everything... and how long has goldman known about OPEC's "spurious reserves"? (do a google image search of: OPEC reserves) ...anybody's who's been paying attention has known about OPEC's doofus reserves since the mid-eighties...

so, if looming oil shortages were the reason the PNAC/AEI neocons needed a new pearl harbor and got one, why is goldman sachs spilling the beans? ...or is goldman spilling fake beans to manipulate the market? ...if you're a powerhouse like goldman sachs, you can invest biilions in a market, jawbone that market up and down, and make millions a day from whichever side of the curve you're pushing, up or down... is this just more jawboning, more cashing in on deead cat bounces?

or is goldman telling the truth? ...are they so confident in their power that they sneeak this info out to other insiders, (via a WSJ article behind a paywall) and this indormation will have such limited distribution --to people who already know what's going on, anyhow-- that nobody will be surprised or pissed off?

does goldman sachs figure that anyone who'd be outraged (once they connect the dots --peak oil to 9/11) doesnt have enough juice to cause any trouble? the system so corrupt that everyone who matters has already connected the dots, and supports the PNAC land and oil acquisition project?

will libya's oil stay in the neocon bank, or will the dread yellow peril resume its presence in libya?

Posted by: groundresonance | Jul 11, 2011 3:25:48 PM | 9

goldman sachs seems to have been a key player in the housing bubble, too...

here's how it would work... the whole neocon contraption could have been put together by goldman sachs... if anyone had had an idea of the timing of peak oil, it would have been neocon allies exxon, who finally gave up on their nuke power plans after the chenobyl disaster in 1986, and later teamed up with the neocons of the AEI/PNAC..

so once they nail down the timing of peak oil (with a little help from their exxon friends), the PNAC "new pearl harbor" plan is hatched, but it's pretty obvious: if they wait too long to stage their new pearl harbor, people will conncect the dots --peak oil to 9/11...

insurance comes in the form of a housing bubble, deliberately pumped up (by selling houses to people who cant afford them), the bad loans are packaged and sold globally, and the global economy becomes vulnerable to the housing bubble... which is a good thing if you got to crash the global economy to disguise the fact that global oil production has peaked...

...and more importantly, popping the housing bubble, crashing the global economy, and destroying demand for oil would disguise the fact that your solution to peak oil was a new pearl harbor.

if demand for oil crashes to the point it's no longer bumping up against production limits, you can successfully deny that you had motive to stage 9/11 in response to peak oil.

it's the same old problem... how paranoid is too paranoid? ...given the performance of all these people in the years since 9/11, the threshold of unacceptable paranoia seems to be getting higher.

Posted by: groundresonance | Jul 11, 2011 4:16:43 PM | 10

But it put Panetta at odds with President Obama, the 9/11 Commission and other independent experts

very crude attempt at writing. what do the first two have to do w/ independent experts? anyway, panetta understands as well as anyone the importance of manipulating soldiers.

Posted by: b real | Jul 11, 2011 4:37:13 PM | 11

'The Libyan people will of course not be allowed to decide. The chance of them deciding that Gaddhafi should stay is too high. Washington will prevent that'

yes the latset coalition of the killing wouldnt want the libyan people to exercise the democratic voting rights: Libya has to be the way the crusading dicatators want.

Posted by: brian | Jul 11, 2011 5:46:49 PM | 12

'6. Gaddafi might decide to support extremist Islamism. He will cut a deal with them as they are theoretically anti-imperialist and thereby useful to him, he will not cut a deal with the Senussis, Libyan modern liberals will have to re-emigrate.'

this shows western intellectuals(real bad guys) are unable to think in Gadafi in any other terms than as a 'bad guy'. Thats the way these robots are made to think.

Posted by: brian | Jul 11, 2011 5:48:43 PM | 13


Air power alone is not enough! Who could have guessed?

Posted by: joseph | Jul 12, 2011 7:45:14 AM | 14

well they better find out how to finance half a country they occupy by proxy

Posted by: somebody | Jul 13, 2011 2:47:29 AM | 15

African immigrants rescued at sea by Libyan ship, July 13 2011

guess who they support?

Posted by: brian | Jul 14, 2011 5:32:35 PM | 16

African immigrants rescued at sea by Libyan ship, July 13 2011

guess who they support?

Posted by: brian | Jul 14, 2011 5:32:36 PM | 17

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