Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
April 23, 2013

The Literal Diplomatic Blowbacks In Libya

Three nations led the attack against Libya's leader Gaddhafi. They supported the jihadist inspired insurgency against the Libyan government by bombing any Libyan military target they could find.

Britain and France trained for this intervention in the Southern Mistral 2011 maneuver which was eventually merged into the real war on Libya. The U.S. joined in on the campaign by providing the "break in" capability that defeated the Libyan air defense network.

The hope of all three nations was to increase their diplomatic leverage and economic advantages by installing a friendly puppet government in Libya.

Since then all three nations had to learn that there diplomats are not welcome in Libya.

On July 11 2012 the British ambassador convoy was attacked in Benghazi. The ambassador escaped the assassination attempt but two man of his protection detail were wounded.

On September 11 an attack on a U.S. "consulate" that was a cover for a large CIA station killed the U.S. ambassador to Libya.

Today a car bomb exploded in front of the French embassy in Tripoli and wounded two of the embassy security detail as well as a Libyan civilian.

The three nations that intevened all had their diplomats attacked by very same jihadist insurgents they "helped" to take over the country.

One would hope that politicians would learn a bit or two from such blowbacks. Unfortunately that is not the case. The same three key countries are now supporting the jihadist insurgency against the Syrian government. The only thing that will prevent similar blowbacks is a victory of the Syrian government over the insurgency, something that still looks likely.

Posted by b on April 23, 2013 at 13:47 UTC | Permalink


oh well, as long as oil production is up to 90 percent of prewar levels ...

At the Attahaddy gas field in Libya’s eastern desert, workers in blue jumpsuits complained about raises and promotions overdue from the Gaddafi era. At the remote Sahel gas field, employees criticized poor communications equipment and bad roads. And at the Brega oil refinery and petrochemical plant, the demands came not from employees but from local tribal leaders, who wanted jobs for their boys and compensation for war damages.

“The Libyan people now, you have to listen to them,” Arusi said later. “If you don’t listen to them, they’ll cause problems for you.”

Posted by: somebody | Apr 23 2013 14:13 utc | 1

It's probably revenge for French intervention in Mali

Posted by: clubofrome | Apr 23 2013 14:30 utc | 2

"jihadist insurgency"

convenient term, in very best tradition of imperialism.

Do you read FP? You are going to like it:,3

Posted by: neretva'43 | Apr 23 2013 14:40 utc | 3

@3 The guys name is apparently "Abu Hamza" which it just so happens is the same name as the jihadi nutter with one good eye and one hand pictured here -

Many people believe that Hamza was either working for the Brit SS or was conned into teaming up with another individual that many people are sure is a Brit SS agent. The guy I'm talking about is Haroon Aswat, who has recently been saved from extradition to the US. You can read more here if interested -

Very interesting that FP made no mention of the OTHER "Abu Hamza" - the FAMOUS "Abu Hamza"

Somehow I suspect we might be hearing more and more about this new, previously unknown, Chechen "Abu Hamza", brought to us of course by our delightfully informative MSM

Posted by: yah . . . But | Apr 23 2013 14:55 utc | 4

Allah, Muammar, Libya wa bass!!
Does anybody know if Khamis Gaddafi is really dead?
What's the real status of Saif al Islam?

Posted by: Fernando | Apr 23 2013 15:38 utc | 5

B61 gravity bombs being given new tail fins to turn them into guided weapons delivered by stealth F35 fighter-bombers:

The Obama administration is “planning to spend billions on upgrading nuclear bombs stored in Europe to make the weapons more reliable and accurate. Under the plan, nearly 200 B61 gravity bombs stockpiled in Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany, Italy and Turkey would be given new tail fins that would turn them into guided weapons that could be delivered by stealth F35 fighter-bombers…the B61 tail kit would give the weapon new capabilities, but not that it would give it a new mission.”

"What will be going back to Europe will be a guided nuclear bomb," said Hans Kristensen, a nuclear weapons expert at the Federation of Nuclear Scientists. "Especially when you combine it with F35 with stealth characteristics, that expands the targets you can hold at risk from Europe, because by placing the explosion closer to the target you can choose a lower explosive yield. That is very important as there is less radioactive fallout. For many people this is a great concern because it means making nuclear weapons more 'usable'."


Posted by: DKB | Apr 23 2013 19:32 utc | 6

"it means making nuclear weapons more 'usable'.""

So now we can nuke Terrawrists without harming ourselves

Ah yes - JUST what the world was crying out for - User-Friendly Nukes.

Posted by: yah . . . But | Apr 23 2013 19:40 utc | 7

@6 And Obama keeps the senator's votes. It's a win-win.

Posted by: dh | Apr 23 2013 19:48 utc | 8

#6 - My comment?


Posted by: L Bean | Apr 23 2013 21:23 utc | 9

Sorry L.Bean. That was supposed to be an addendum to #7. A feeble attempt to make light of yah...But's comment about User-Friendly Nukes.

(I should know by now that sarcasm doesn't work on the internet)

Posted by: dh | Apr 23 2013 21:32 utc | 10

Sorry again L.Bean.....another misunderstanding on my part.

Posted by: dh | Apr 23 2013 21:38 utc | 11

You've got company -- I've made the same mistake. New England background.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Apr 23 2013 23:17 utc | 12

@6 Now watch as we cry foul when the Russians put Iskanders in Kaliningrad...

Posted by: guest | Apr 24 2013 1:09 utc | 13

The hope of all three nations was to increase their diplomatic leverage and economic advantages by installing a friendly puppet government in Libya.

Actually, in Gaddafi, the U.S. HAD a friendly puppet government in Libya, which was the poster child for negotiated denuclearization. Gaddafi had agreed to decommission all of his weapons of mass destruction. He had signed the more stringent protocol with the IAEA. He had set up a $2.5 billion fund for the Lockerbie bombing. And also he had contributed $1.2 billion to a special fund that would protect people doing business with Libya in the United States from lawsuits. And in response to that, both the Bush–George W. Bush and Obama administrations did education and counterterrorism cooperation with Gaddafi. Libya was a friendly puppet government.

US Ambassador Gene A. Cretz, Jun 4, 2010:

The U.S.-Libya relationship has rapidly expanded to include much more than cooperation in nonproliferation and science and technology. Today, Libya remains a strong ally in countering terrorism in a volatile region. It has fought the expansion of Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, has condemned kidnappings, and has taken a position against the paying of ransom to kidnappers.

There's no obvious concern that an ally of the U.S. has been lost, along with economic opportunities. Now we have:
March 11, 2013-- The Department of State warns U.S. citizens of the risks of traveling to Libya and strongly advises against all but essential travel to Tripoli and all travel to Benghazi, Bani Walid, and southern Libya, including border areas and the regions of Sabha and Kufra. Because of ongoing instability and violence, the Department’s ability to provide consular services to U.S. citizens in these regions of Libya is extremely limited. This Travel Warning supersedes the Travel Warning dated January 4, 2013.

I think they enjoyed the war, the bombing, the acting big -- and then forgot about it. Bunch of jerks.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Apr 24 2013 2:04 utc | 14

b says: One would hope that politicians would learn a bit or two from such blowbacks. Unfortunately that is not the case.

They might be slow learners but I think they are learning something. After Ambassador Stevens got offed in Libya it seemed that the administration began to back off, rhetorically at least, from their fervent desire to see Assad removed. Hilary and Susan Rice were the hawks over Libya and we should note the former is gone and the latter did not get her promotion to SoS. There are small shifts in Kerry's statements suggesting he might be willing to accept a compromise where Assad will remain in power. The Gulf emirate led insurrection in Syria seems to be losing steam and, let us hope, Obama is trying bring that horrible war to an end without escalating it.

Posted by: ToivoS | Apr 24 2013 2:28 utc | 15

Right, there's no comparable R2P movement for Syria, despite the helpful "massacre numbers" from Rami Abdul-Rahman,the Coventry clothier AKA "Syria Observatory for Human Rights."

Posted by: Don Bacon | Apr 24 2013 2:52 utc | 16

I don't think they've given up on the chemical weapons yet though. That chlorine must be giving Chuck Hagel a headache.

Posted by: dh | Apr 24 2013 3:03 utc | 17

Hagel gives me a headache. Who knew he could be worse than the idiot Panetta? Panetta (like Gates) warned Israel not to do something stupid and attack Iran, whereas Hagel said "go for it, Izzies."

Posted by: Don Bacon | Apr 24 2013 3:24 utc | 18

#18 Bacon. I too noticed that stupidity coming from Hagel. Yet I still have faith in his judgement. He is not blazing new lines of US FP here. Other officials have said that if Israel wants to go to war against Iran then that is their prerogative. But they have not added that the US would support them in such a war. Biden made a similar statement when he was in Israel last year.

The danger with Biden's and Hagel's statements is that the Israelis will take them literally and start a war. They know that the US Congress will join in after such a conflict and pressure the administration to join with Israel in that war.

It is extremely dangerous. I don't really understand why Hagel would engage in such dangerous rhetoric. I suspect that he is being too political. He is playing to neocon/Republican crowd back home trying to establish his credentials without realizing he might be setting in motion things that he does not want to see.

Posted by: ToivoS | Apr 24 2013 4:04 utc | 19

@TS #19

But the bottom line is that Iran is a threat. It's a real threat. . . It is clear that, as I said, Iran presents a threat in its nuclear program. And Israel will make the decisions that Israel must make to protect itself and defend itself.

Hagel is dangerously, criminally wrong:
1. DNI Clapper and the intelligence community are in the business of assessing threats. Hagen isn't qualified nor authorized to do that. Clapper, recently: "We assess Iran is developing nuclear capabilities to enhance its security, prestige, and regional influence and give it the ability to develop nuclear weapons, should a decision be made to do so." Nothing about Iran being a "real threat."

2. No nation, and that includes Israel, has the legal right to "make a decision" to electively attack another country. People over sixty years ago worked hard to make elective war illegal.
The UN Charter:

To maintain international peace and security,
# All Members shall settle their international disputes by peaceful means in such a manner that international peace and security, and justice, are not endangered.
# All Members shall refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state, or in any other manner inconsistent with the Purposes of the United Nations.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Apr 24 2013 4:20 utc | 20

@6 For many people this is a great concern because it means making nuclear weapons more 'usable'...

And One f*cking Billion for those Tail Fins alone...! Wtf, over...?

Posted by: CTuttle | Apr 24 2013 4:55 utc | 21

Again this microfine interpreting/guessing of what this or that american secretary of war and terror (which includes the sec. of state although he, pro forma, doesn't wear a military uniform) said, might think or ...

What for? About the only nations giving a birds shit about what the usa thinks (haha), plans or whatever are those who either stupidly or d'usance (or both) stay friends, read "puppets".

It's simple: Neither israel nor the usa will attack Iran.

They didn't do it years ago when considering the usa the super power with frightening military capabilities wasn't considered dumb and without grounds - and when Russias and Chinas determination (and/or capabilities) were doubted.

Today the usa have shown that they can't win a war against third class weakened countries (and that although they spent billions for climate systems, PXs and burger kings for their camps ...).
Russia and China have shown and are understood to be serious parties with very considerable capabilities.

israel (militarily) has two options: They could strike conventional (if their planes ever arrive) - and, as a consequence be destroyed. Or they could go nuclear which enhances their chances to do serious harm to Iran - and be the ugly pariah even for those who today are stupid enough to believe the "our friends, the only democracy in the region" fairy tale - and be destroyed.

Let's face it. While israel is a criminal terror-state they will - in their own vital interest - not go nuclear. Their nuclear arsenal was never meant to be pro-actively used; it was to be their life insurance.

As for Libya I see another interesting aspect. What happened there sent a very clear message: Do not ever trust the usa. No matter what they say, do not trust them. Never ever.

Posted by: Mr. Pragma | Apr 24 2013 5:06 utc | 22

". The Gulf emirate led insurrection in Syria seems to be losing steam and, let us hope, Obama is trying bring that horrible war to an end without escalating it."

The phrase "Totally Fucking Delusional" springs to mind when reading that

Posted by: yah . . . But | Apr 24 2013 5:39 utc | 23

" Who knew he could be worse than the idiot Panetta? "

me me me me me me me . . . can I answer this one??

Posted by: yah . . . But | Apr 24 2013 5:40 utc | 24

"I too noticed that stupidity coming from Hagel. Yet I still have faith in his judgement."

Face meet palm

Posted by: yah . . . But | Apr 24 2013 5:43 utc | 25

#23 repeats me and adds: "". The Gulf emirate led insurrection in Syria seems to be losing steam and, let us hope, Obama is trying bring that horrible war to an end without escalating it."

The phrase "Totally Fucking Delusional" springs to mind when reading that"

OK keep that thought in mind. I am totally aware that many here would find my suggestion objectionable, but it seems to be the direction our policy in moving towards. This is predicting the future, and that is treacherous to be sure.

Posted by: ToivoS | Apr 24 2013 8:52 utc | 26

On 5 march 2013:

Mohamed Al-Megaryef, was shot at in his car (escaped unharmed.) > National Front and Prez. of the Congress.

Attack was provoked, according to press etc., by the voting in or not of the banishment from politics (no other exclusions/penalties) of some 350 ppl (?) connected to the Gaddafi regime, which created a huge, angry mob demonstration. Reportedly, the crowd had explosives to hand as well - it was a kind of siege around the deputies who were to vote. The crowd was FOR the projected law. Because it would ?, knock away Mahmoud Jibril (amongst about 30? others presently sitting) who served under Gaddafi valiantly for many years. He became head of the Transitional Council, his exact position right now I don’t know, except that he is Head of one pol. party., National Forces Alliance. US and Fr press calls him PM on occasion.

On 7 March 2013:

An armed group attacked the seat of a private (read neo-lib, following Mahmoud Jibril) TV station, *Alassema*, in Tripoli. They abducted the director and 4 journos. One was subsequently released, others thereafter. A good part of the building was destroyed. A group called something like “The ex-rebels of Tripoli” claimed responsibility.

see e.g. In French,

In Eng. from the Guardian, a bit garbled:

Posted by: Noirette | Apr 24 2013 16:28 utc | 27

"The Gulf emirate led insurrection in Syria seems to be losing steam and, let us hope, Obama is trying bring that horrible war to an end without escalating it."

but it seems to be the direction our policy in moving towards. This is predicting the future, and that is treacherous to be sure."

Your analysis does not gell at all, with this:

Jordan Agrees: Israel Can Use Airspace to Attack Syria Deal Will Allow Israel to Avoid Lebanon Overflights by Jason Ditz, April 22, 2013

In a deal that will allow Israel to stop violating Lebanese airspace on a regular basis (if they do is another matter), Jordan has agreed two open two airspace corridors to Israeli planes and drones through their country.

The two corridors are meant to give Israel access to Syria for the purposes of drone surveillance, but Jordan has also agreed that Israel can use them to attack Syria in the future if they choose.

The deal reportedly came at the behest of US President Barack Obama, who pressed Jordan’s King to allow Israel the access. Jordan has also been hosting a growing US military presence along the Syrian border, currently focused on training rebels but also with an eye on a ground invasion to “secure” Syria’s chemical weapons.

Posted by: yah . . . But | Apr 24 2013 17:17 utc | 28


Yeah, right. After all, obama didn't get the peace nobel prize for noth'n.

And on his side, fighting for peace, are the kind people of the cia, the "we won't tolerate any terrorism but ours!" fbi heroes, the internationally renounced peace-loving drug cartells, and the "kill some palestinian children every day" israeli peace activists.

To be fair though, it should be noted that obama could continue the solid peace-loving efforts of gw bush who showed them muslim terrorists how nukulawr stuff works. Did the Iraqis dare to work on their own nuclear energy technology? No. Good people. That's why gw bush most generously provided them with lots of depleted uranium (ammunition) for a radiant future.

Iran, however, did. Those ungodly devils dared to develop their own peaceful nucular program. Didn't they get the message, did nobody ring them up to tell them that peace and everything reated to peace is solely americas thing?
So, no depleted uranium privilege for the Iranians. Take that, mullahs!

Posted by: Mr. Pragma | Apr 24 2013 18:09 utc | 29

@ ToivoS #19

I propose that the hope is "that the Israelis will take them literally and start a war".
I may be suffering from an warranted delusion that there are elements within the US government that aren't wholly owned by Israel, and who recognize that a slavish and uncritical devotion to the security of that entity is not convergent with the interests of the US. It may have indeed been at one time, but as the reliance on ME oil is waning due to declining output as well as the fracking craze, but most importantly because of large energy reserves in Central Asia, the need for a pitbull in the ME is a moot point. It may be possible that the Israelis will be given a green light to do as they please, but they'll find themselves going it alone, and that would be the end of them/it. I know, I know... they own both Houses, the Media, Hollywood, the financial sector, etc. ... but if a single treasonous act by an elected or otherwise official is brought to light and prosecuted, it won't take long for the whole cabal to be outed and deposed in a most uncivilized manner.
It's business. That's all it is, bottom line. If you're deemed to be a liability rather than an asset, you must go. They do seem to have a deathgrip on the relevant institutions, so it won't be easy, but I think inevitable. They may even be aware of their tenuous position, which would make an attack on Iran even less likely.
In any event, whatever Hagel says, I don't care. Whatever's put out there for public consumption is bullshit. Better to turn it upside down and inside out if you can't leave it alone. It's a game of chess, with all the gambits, and various moves thought out well in advance.
That said (and I'm not even American), it would be nice if in my lifetime a newly elected POTUS would not pledge an Oath of Allegiance to Israel at his inauguration.

Posted by: Sasha | Apr 25 2013 3:11 utc | 30

Needless to say, I meant "unwarranted" delusion in opening the above comment. Freudian slip exposing my darkest desires!

Posted by: Sasha | Apr 25 2013 3:15 utc | 31

Please don't deny me my dreams!
My God, I'm getting a "visual" - Chertoff, Pearle, Wolfowitz, the whole pack of them on a plane taxiing down the runway, almost flown the coop, but denied permission for takeoff at the last moment! To their horror, a mob in full howl breaks through the barriers, torches burning, stakes already sharpened for impalement... a la Gaddafi

Posted by: Sasha | Apr 25 2013 4:25 utc | 32

@ 26

Excerpt below from Asia Times completely contradicts your claims/"prediction" that the murdering scum Obama is somehow intending to "dial down" the US financed War on the Syrian people.

US Secretary of State John Kerry announced that Washington will double its assistance to the Syrian opposition to US$250 million and will expedite delivery of new US military assistance to the Syrian opposition fighters. "I'm going to make sure this is a matter of weeks. It has to happen quickly; it has to have an impact," he said.

Posted by: yah . . . But | Apr 25 2013 8:03 utc | 33

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