Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
January 06, 2015

Wishing Back Ghaddafi

Libya is now split along tribal and religious lines with two governments claiming to rule the country. The war between them is also a proxy war between the Saudi and Qatari governments who finance the various warlords.

The economy of the richest African country before the "western" war against Libya is now in shambles and its bankruptcy in sight. The last airline connecting to Libya, Turkish Airlines, suspended all further flights.

While many "western" politicians were happy to take down Ghaddafi none of them are now willing to take responsibility for the consequences.

The plan seems to be to let the conflict "burn out" - that is to make enough Libyans kill each other until no one is left to fight. Those who then control the oil, under "western" supervision of course, will rule the country.

Was that the plan all along?

Posted by b on January 6, 2015 at 17:28 UTC | Permalink


And the Nobel Peace Prize goes to ...

Posted by: Martin Finnucane | Jan 6 2015 17:48 utc | 1

The west has no plan and has had none for some decades. All the conspiracy theorists believe in the tinfoil of an omniscient west and in particular the US. No one is willing to accept that the west is ruled by a bunch of incompetent blow hards who have a completely self-inflated view of their own power. Not to mention that the citizens of the west have also been dumbed down to such an extent that they are happy to be propagandized. They have become essentially cheerleaders and spectators for whatever game their foolish but hubristic leaders present. As long as they receive their handouts and football is on TV and they get beer for their tailgate parties what do they care about the mayhem. It's only Eyerakis and moooslims being killed.

And those that believe that China is really astute and is going to take the catbird seat, wait until their gargantuan credit edifice topples of its on weight.

Posted by: ab initio | Jan 6 2015 18:21 utc | 2

Gaddafi was so demonized and so maligned for years that taking him out was easy. The propaganda machine that western countries have are really good. Libya was the number one topic in for a time in 2011. Then nobody cared, nobody cares right now, not anymore. Gaddafi was once a force to be reckoned with and helped bring the west to it's knee's once. Libyan terrorists we're the baddest of the bad, when you heard "Libyan" you knew shit was going down.
The Libyans were the best terrorists for awhile, Back to the Future, GI Jane and I'm sure dozens of other movies and literature featured the Libyans as the prime for of the west.
But little did we know that Gaddafi was spending money on scholarships, feeding the hungry, infrastructure, uniting africa, putting a satelite in space, setting up an airline. So many things that were simply ignored because the west wanted to use him as their bad guy du jour.
Farewell Gaddafi, may God keep you in his memory.
Allah, Muamar, Libya wa bass...
Wither Libya.

Posted by: Fernando | Jan 6 2015 18:58 utc | 3

Of course it was the plan all along. Same strategy applied to offering free land out West to immigrants so they would be enticed to settle and duke it out with the Indians for several decades taking the brunt of the hostilities — then the Elite/Aristocracy swoop in and take it all back for next to nothing after the region's been pacified. The Elite/Aristocracy believe they are a breed/being apart and above. We're not much more than beasts of burden to them and sometimes pets if you're lucky.

Who’s Afraid Of Virginia Roberts?

Posted by: Cold N. Holefield | Jan 6 2015 19:33 utc | 4

As a side note, what was it General Wesley Clark, said, four, five even seven countries that was to be under the five years pnac attack plan?

General Wesley Clark: The US will attack 7 countries in 5 years
lebanese porn star...

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Jan 6 2015 19:54 utc | 5

watch this people - Philip Agee laying it all out in 1995

Posted by: jisdj | Jan 6 2015 20:12 utc | 6

Was that the plan all along? Of course not. Incompetence rules.

When "Arab Spring" first appeared 3 years ago the US saw an opportunity to depose Khadaffi. We sent J. Christopher Stevens, as "special representative", to coordinate US actions with the Libyan peoples "uprising". This involved him contacting those forces on the ground and providing them with Nato air power. It worked out well. Khadaffi was killed. For his great work Stevens was promoted to be ambassador to Libya. That silly fool somehow came to believe that the Islamist militias he supported during the "people's uprising" were his allies. Things started to unravel in Benghazi in 2012. So he traveled there to work out a deal with his former allies. They killed him. The US government immediately dismantled the CIA facilities in Benghazi, quickly withdrew 25 CIA

Posted by: ToivoS | Jan 6 2015 20:13 utc | 7

OF COURSE that was the plan all along and moreover, not just in Libya. I think our cancerous late stage capitalism is in "burn out" phase.

Posted by: 1968ES330 | Jan 6 2015 20:18 utc | 8

oops, this posted in the middle of my comment. To continue.

The US government immediately dismantled the CIA facilities in Benghazi, quickly withdrew the 25 Benghazi CIA agents and decided that maybe we should not try to control events on the ground.

That has to be a fiasco however it is spun. But what surprises me is that this blunder is not recognized anywhere inside the US. Even Juan Cole, who often has sensible things to say about the ME, just this last week was defending his support for the Nato war against Libya.

Posted by: ToivoS | Jan 6 2015 20:20 utc | 9

I think the original plan for ousting Gaddafi was pushed by Libyan elites who wanted to oust the regime before Gaddafi died and a fight broke out between members of the regime, family loyalists/cultists, and the various tribes. They piggy-backed on popular protests. The various barons and politicians jumped on board for the obvious reasons. Western leaders expected a quick resolution. The concept of a "Democratic smart war" had been pushed going back to 2004, and the Team Blue establishment was eager to try it to get a notch in their belt. From the perspective of Western leaders who represent the dregs of society, Libya would be an easy victory with a class of people ready to take control and handle any problem. Once they had videos of Gaddafi's body being dragged, they moved onto the next target because it was easy. There aren't many available targets where drones can be effective without risk of retaliation. I think the story about Dempsey explaining to Kerry that U.S. planes can be shot down by Syrian air defense is telling. Kerry and his gang think knocking over the Assad regime would be a cake walk with high fives all around.

Posted by: NotTimothyGeithner | Jan 6 2015 20:27 utc | 10

USians (my preferred term; duly noted the PC issue vis using term "Americans") are the dumbest of the dumb (I am one of those) and are blissful know-nothing dingbats ever willing to spew whatever propaganda comes their exceptional little ways (and even believe some of it is "conservative" v. "liberal" - go figure).

Libya was demonized for a long time. It helped the PTB that Ghaddafi had a somewhat strange appearance (more so than some of those other "rag heads over there"), and of course the propaganda Wurlitzer had field days and made much of his "strange doood" looks, etc. Needless to say the chumps bought it hook, line and sinker. And no, the vast majority of USians remain clueless about what Ghaddafi did for his nation and Africa because, per usual, we were sold the bill of goods that Ghaddafi was this "terrorist" and a brutal evil dictator totally oppressing his people blah de blah blah...

When the propaganda machine went into hyper drive over the "kinetic action" which was ever so "needed" to "liberate" the Libyan peasants from this horrid truculent dictator, even somewhat better educated people who should have known better duly lined up to gulp down the Kool Aid that this "kinetic action" was truly - THIS TIME for sure - for the "good" of the people to whom - via bombs and stuff - we, the White Hats, were "delivering" Democracy. Ohmigawd, blargh puke.

Didn't Gaddafi threaten to move from dollar currency or something? Wasn't that the trigger that drove these insane f*ckers even crazier. I swear Hillary couldn't WAIT to gun that sucker DOWN like a dog and stat. disgusting. Plus doesn't Libya have some really good underground water tables? And minerals. Plus Gaddafi was - perish the thought - actually looking out for his citizens & attempting to be a real leader for Africa. Can't. Tolerate. That.

Yes, it's a damn crying shame what happened there. But cue up the conservative festivus of shrieking about Benghazi!!!!!1111!!!!! Ask me if I give a sh*t about CIA Spook Stevens getting dusted. Please. Let's just call Just Deserts.

Posted by: RUKidding | Jan 6 2015 20:28 utc | 11

But, but now with the Republican regime change of US Congress, looking at a blight future:

Republicans quietly set to approve continuation of controversial Benghazi committee in 2015
Reagan's CIA Man General Hifter Now Employed by Obama In Libya

Posted by: Oui | Jan 6 2015 20:30 utc | 12


Nice summary. US doesnt seems to understand that if you play tough you will get the same thing in return. Looking at US and EU actions around the world it is perfectly clear they know nothing, they dont even know what they are doing. People outside the west must think western leaders are absolutly crazy. I know I would.

Posted by: Anonymous | Jan 6 2015 20:33 utc | 13

It may have been the plan. Or not - hard to tell. For a better understanding of the inner workings of US diplomacy (if one may call it that), I really recommend Magnificent Delusions by Amb. Haqqani (Pakistan). Not sure what his intention was when writing the book, but he gives a comprehensive overview of the US/Pak relationship from 1947 until ab 2011. It makes one's hair stand on end (part. if one thinks through all the implications, including the ultimate blowback of 9/11, and the picture of absolute incompetence). Using that as a guide, Libya may have been both - a plan and a serious f...-up (as in - nothing on this scale can ever be done w/o serious (and seriously damaging) unintended consequences).

Posted by: GoraDiva | Jan 6 2015 20:35 utc | 14

RUKidding - Nice little nugget at the end there.
Reading between the lines one can potentially argue that the Benghazi scandal may have been the lid on the jar as far as the topic of Libya in the USA media circus is concerned.
Notice how the entire Libya narrative just vanished after the Benghazi episode. Repubs tried briefly milking it for some partisan mileage, but the media lost interest even more rapidly!
As far as western governments and their servile media are concerned, the less said about Libya, the better - nothing to see here folks, just move along!

Posted by: spinworthy | Jan 6 2015 20:52 utc | 15

Someone over a year ago posted a list of Gaddafi's accomplishments in Libya, a long list. I looked for it several times but couldn't find it. Could someone find it? I'm not very good at archive search.

Didn't Gaddafi threaten to move from dollar currency or something?

Yes, he was trying to get the African Union to adopt the African Gold Dinar. When it was looking like the AU was about to adopt it that's when the attack on Libya began. We've never heard about the Gold Dinar since.

Also, the first thing the US did was to establish a new Central Bank in Libya - before there was even a interim govt.

Posted by: okie farmer | Jan 6 2015 21:01 utc | 16

Just like Saddam before him, with his idea of denominating Iraqi oil in Euros, Gaddafi did make the mistake of promoting his gold dinar... one facet that hasn't been mentioned, but should be, was the rebels' first official act after establishing themselves as the "legitimate" govenment of Libya, is that they established a Central Bank tied into the international bankers' cartel. it was one of the few holdouts, and besides Iran there are few juicy targets left for the oligarchs to sink their fangs into...

Posted by: Hugo First | Jan 6 2015 21:31 utc | 17

Dear "b" and commentators,

Back to 2011, the French government was so keen to intervene in Libya, in order to acquire the high-quality Libyan oil. Whereas, the Italian PM Silvio Berlusconi (former) opposed the French "rush" to topple his friend, as Gaddafi normalized the relationship with Italy. Italy officially apologized to the Libyan gov't for the FASCISTIC colonization of Libya, in turn, they signed bilateral economic deals .
The Turkish position was the most predominant as it was quiet paradoxical. At the beginning, Turkish PM (now president) attacked the Western intervention in Libya (Guess the size of Turkish investment in Libya during Gaddafi era??). Thereafter, the Turkish government supported the Western-Qatari formed "Libyan Transitional Council" (Remember the Qatari-Turkish made "Syrian Opposition Coalition").

The U.S. was NOT keen to interfere in the "European Backyard" (yup, Libya is a major route for illegal immigration to Europe, in addition to the geographic location). May be to avoid the Iraqi and Afghani scenarios!

Surely, they did not expect that things would go out of control, although the European governments already have what they want from Libya (i.e., OIL).

Posted by: M. Tomazy | Jan 6 2015 21:35 utc | 18

@M. Tomazy #18:

The U.S. was NOT keen to interfere in the "European Backyard"
If the US starts a war in the middle of Europe, why would it hesitate to interfere in Europe's "backyard"? As Uncle $cam noted, according to Wesley Clark,
As I went back through the Pentagon in November 2001, one of the senior military staff officers had time for a chat. Yes, we were still on track for going against Iraq, he said. But there was more. This was being discussed as part of a five-year campaign plan, he said, and there were a total of seven countries, beginning with Iraq, then Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and finishing off Iran.
Yes, France and Britain began the aggression against Libya, but that was a case of the US leading from behind:
Leading from behind — a phrase first used by a White House adviser in a New Yorker article by Ryan Lizza — was smart policy in Libya. The United States, short on cash, bruised by Iraq and Afghanistan, did not want to head the charge into a third Muslim country, even if the Arab League had backed intervention. Discreet U.S. military assistance with France and Britain doing the trumpeting was sensible.

Posted by: Demian | Jan 6 2015 22:17 utc | 19

spinworthy @15
I do believe my crapulous "representative" known crook Daryll Issa still shakes the Benghazi!!!!1111!!!! pom-poms from time to time. Issa's district includes USMC Camp Pendleton and there's a ton of serving and ex-military in Issa's district who have been carefully taught to hate the putative "Democrats" who, of course, are entirely "different" from theoretical "Republicans."

Screeching about Bhenghazi!!!!111!!!! accomplishes a number of goals, including distracting the rubes from how horribly they, as current & ex military, are being treated by the USG (no matter who is theoretically "in charge"), as well as ginning up hatred for that rhymes with rich Hillary.

As we move towards the USA's own Battle Royale of the Roses - yet another Clinton v. Bush spectacular cage fight - I fully expect Benghazi!!!!1111!!! to be trotted out quite a bit and on a routine basis. My gym rat pals never ever get tired, it seems, of ranting about the perfidy of Hilary, Obama and the terrible terrible horror of Benghazi!!!!!111111!!!!

Of course, how many thousands of Libyans got killed? Who gives a sh*t about those dusky-hued nobodies. Let's all wank and cry about Spook Stevens, such a true true red-blooded heroic 'Murkin! Benghazi!!!!11!!!

That said, yes, we hear next to nothing about the day-to-day in Libya, but then again, we never ever really did hear about that even when Gaddafi was still large and in charge. USians were, are & will blissfully remain utterly bugf*ckingly ignorant of that country that WE, the US taxpayer, paid to bomb to sh*t. Why hooow nice, as they used to say in the South.

Posted by: RUKidding | Jan 6 2015 22:22 utc | 20

Libya was simply another nation that was crushed because it could not defend itself effectively - and they were unfortunately sitting on value others coveted. Normally both these things have to be present at the right level. For it to work, the cost/benefit ratio has to be correct. The gamed scenarios the players have give them the information. I say players because there are many and they are not using the same scenarios, or the same timelines. Its the great game, maybe the greatest- pity they can't just play it on Xbox without real death and disaster - like the good citizens

Posted by: bridger | Jan 6 2015 22:33 utc | 21

"The last airline connecting to Libya, Turkish Airlines"

Telling, I suppose.

It is hard to know what the "plan" was. I am sure there are some vaguely well-meaning people to whom the plan probably was to "bring democracy". But they did their part to bring the disaster all the same. After all, no matter what kind of intentions you match to a dirty deed like the bombing of a country, you're already a criminal.

The others - the more ruthless ones and therefore more likely to get things done - they probably wanted only to "get Gaddafi" and Libya be damned (except the oil!).

It's a stew of good and bad intentions (and no intentions at all, the air force doesn't give a fuck what happens, they just drop the bombs). But it all ends the same way. The bad intentions will always win out as there are most certainly more of them involved, and because those with "good intentions" are clearly idiots if they can match those intentions with the bombing of a country.

The question is wether any of those with good intentions will have the nerve to come out and say it, like a John Stockwell or a Phil Agee. (Assuming such people still exists inside the US government).

I heard a funny quote in that Dan Sheehan material, he was relating the story of someone's disillusion with some three-letter agency they had worked in:

"When they gave me my position, I felt almost holy. I felt as though I had been asked to play great shining pipe organ in the marble cathedral. But when I got there and saw what was going on, I realized I had been hired to play honky-tonk piano in a whorehouse."

Who is going to break the silence in the USA? Or have NSA programs routed out all of the potential whistleblowers at this point?

Posted by: guest77 | Jan 6 2015 22:37 utc | 22

About a year ago 'b' said on this board that the real plan of the USA's and the West's policy on Syria is the destruction of the economy and social fabric of Syria. Today, above, 'b' asks: "Libya is now in shambles.... Was that the [West's] plan all along?"

His question shows that 'b' has still not grasped the big secret to understanding US and EU foreign policy and policmakers. "The big secret is that there is no secret", i.e., what they say is what they think -- and the exceptions to which you can point are relatively rare and relatively unimportant. The propaganda from the West contains a great many falsehoods. But very few lies. They believe the bulk of their own shite. This is the first and most essential secret to comprehending Western foreign policy.

A second secret sauce for comphrehending the Western foreign policy and policymakers is that they require of themselves to act in ways that are well-intentioned in their own minds (according to their own logic and their own information set). They do indeed sincerely believe themselves well-intentioned and they do maintain this belief for themselves in their decision-making reasoning. And their decisions are constrained by it. And their public defense of their decisions is required to be defensible by the criterion of well-intentionedness.

A third secret sauce for comprehending Western foreign policy and policymakers is that they're deeply incompentent and deeply ignorant when it comes to understanding non-Western political societies. That's a big and important fact, which has been demonstrated again and again on this board over the years. I'd like to give you two more examples of it that stick in my mind from fairly recently:

(1) A cease-fire was agreed in east Ukraine on 5 Sep 2014. President Obama said on 5 sep 2014: “The only reason that we’re seeing this cease-fire at this moment is because of both the sanctions that have already been applied and the threat of further sanctions, which are having a real impact on the Russian economy and have isolated Russia in a way that we have not seen in a very long time.” (ref).

(2) James Jeffrey (born 1946 in USA) is a former USA Deputy National Security Advisor for Middle East Affairs, former USA ambassador in Iraq, former top-level special advisor on Iraq in the US department of foreign policy, currently a scholar at the The Washington Institute for Near East Policy, currently a member of the USA Council on Foreign Relations. He can't speak Arabic. On about 19 Dec 2014 he said: "Assad and particularly Iran and ISIS are manifestations of the same problem: alternative universes.... There are people in the Middle East, including the Iranians (and the Iranians are the driving force behind Assad), and ISIS, that have an alternative universe view of the world, and they can never be our allies." (ref). In case you didn't notice it, it is deeply incompetent to say that the Iranians are the driving force behind Assad. Assad was elected president in May 2014 in an election in which 11,634,412 Syrians voted. Tens of thousands of Syrian men have sacrificed their lives in combat for the defense of the Assad government. Assad himself is the most popular politician in Syria, and the Assadists are by far the most politically powerful party. James Jeffrey is part of the cream that rises to the top in the USA foreign policy cesspit.

Saying of the wise: "Never ascribe to bad faith what can be explained by incompetence."

Posted by: Ghubar Shabih | Jan 6 2015 22:55 utc | 23

I said above, guessing, the Syrian presidential election was in May 2014. Now I see it was on 3 June 2014. There are bumpkins in the USA foreign policy cesspit who'd say the official turnout of 11,634,412 voters on 3 June 2014 was probably or definitely bogus. They don't have the tools to understand the Syrian society and Syrian government well enough to be able to see that the 11,634,412 number was for real.

Posted by: Ghubar Shabih | Jan 6 2015 23:09 utc | 24

Anybody remember Bush mentioned a Korean model for Iraq?

That is, in the long run, Iraq will be like South Korea, with prosperous economy, democracy, hosting the US military base without complaints, and without significant anti-Americanism.

When I heard that, I shuddered with fear. When Bush said that, most commentators bombarded Bush for his historical ignorance.

For example, this article

To sum up, we intervened in South Korea as a response to an invasion and as part of a broad strategy to contain Communist aggression. We intervened in Iraq as the instigator of an invasion and as part of a broad strategy to expand unilateral American power. We remained in South Korea to protect a solid (if, for many years, authoritarian) government from another border incursion. We are remaining in Iraq to bolster a flimsy government and stave off a violent social implosion.

However they might have missed the point. The first time the US army went to Korea was not in 1950 when North Korea invaded South Korea but in 1945 after the Japanese surrender, and the US presided over a bloody civil war which killed one hundred thousand people even before the outbreak of the Korean War.

The reasons for the civil war were many. Volatile situation created by sudden collapse of Japanese colonial government, the ineptitude of the US military government to handle the situation, cold war ideological divide running through Korea, the US machination of backing one faction against another. Do they sound familiar? Maybe if you substitute ideological divide with religious one.

Then the war came and millions more died. If enough people die, people will accept anything for peace and order, a truly a Hobbesian case of Leviathan. That was the ground for the four decades of authoritarian rule in South Korea and, more importantly to the US, lack of any anti-Americanism therein.

I don't know what Bush was referring to when he said the Korean Model. But surely the US has an experience of presiding over a bloody civil war that tells them if you let them kill enough of each other they will accept your rule.

And, of course, there was Wurmser, a neocon staff to Cheney, who might have taken the lesson of Korea into heart.

Wurmser argued that toppling Saddam was likely to lead directly to civil war and the breakup of Iraq, but he supported the policy anyway: “The residual unity of [Iraq] is an illusion projected by the extreme repression of the state.” After Saddam, Iraq will “be ripped apart by the politics of warlords, tribes, clans, sects, and key families,” he wrote. “Underneath facades of unity enforced by state repression, [Iraq's] politics is defined primarily by tribalism, sectarianism, and gang/clan-like competition.” Yet Wurmser explicitly urged the United States and Israel to “expedite” such a collapse. “The issue here is whether the West and Israel can construct a strategy for limiting and expediting the chaotic collapse that will ensue in order to move on to the task of creating a better circumstance.”

Posted by: Puppet Master | Jan 6 2015 23:12 utc | 25

I'm not sure it matters - incompetence, or bad intent. What matters are the results - and the results are always thus.

They're dangerous one way or another, and they ought to be removed from power at the very, very least.

Posted by: guest77 | Jan 6 2015 23:15 utc | 26

@Ghubar Shabih #23:

"Never ascribe to bad faith what can be explained by incompetence."
Yuri Orlov wrote an interesting post about organizational incompetence. To quote the paper he bases his post on:
Functional stupidity is organizationally-supported lack of reflexivity, substantive reasoning, and justification. It entails a refusal to use intellectual resources outside a narrow and “safe” terrain. It can provide a sense of certainty that allows organizations to function smoothly. This can save the organization and its members from the frictions provoked by doubt and reflection. Functional stupidity contributes to maintaining and strengthening organizational order. It can also motivate people, help them to cultivate their careers, and subordinate them to socially acceptable forms of management and leadership. Such positive outcomes can further reinforce functional stupidity.
But clearly the destructive effects of US foreign policy are often deliberately malevolent. Orlov also has a post about that:
By Anglo-imperialists I mean the combination of Britain and the United States. The latter took over for the former as it failed, turning it into a protectorate. Now the latter is failing too, and there are no new up-and-coming Anglo-imperialists to take over for it. But throughout this process their common playbook had remained the same: pseudoliberal pseudocapitalism for the insiders and military domination and economic exploitation for everyone else. Much more specifically, their playbook always called for a certain strategem to be executed whenever their plans to dominate and exploit any given country finally fail. On their way out, they do what they can to compromise and weaken the entity they leave behind, by inflicting a permanently oozing and festering political wound. “Poison all the wells” is the last thing on their pre-departure checklist.

Posted by: Demian | Jan 6 2015 23:33 utc | 27

@25 Unlikely the PTB will ever admit to being evil. People like Wurmser, even Cheney, always see themselves as acting out of the highest motives. Their view of the Iraq invasion would probably be along the lines of you can't make an omelette without breaking eggs.

Posted by: dh | Jan 6 2015 23:47 utc | 28

@Demian #19
Dear Demian,
I totally agree with you. I mean the U.S. admin was not keen for direct military intervention, let's remember that the U.S. is an active member in N.A.T.O. which led the campaign side by side with Qatar and UAE.

Posted by: M. Tomazy | Jan 6 2015 23:48 utc | 29


' What matters are the results - and the results are always thus. '

I agree. For what it's (not) worth, I think there's a clusterfuck in the oval office, with some mouthing the 'spread democracy' trash earnestly and some utterly cynically - and that the goal of the latter is, minimum, devastation and chaos - but that the Nobel Peace Prize Laureate slash Manchurian Candidate, in the end as in the beginning, always dances with those who brung him, the Criminals In Action, and with their latest 'plan'.

Posted by: jfl | Jan 7 2015 0:07 utc | 30

@okie farmer #16

I posted a list as well as a video (documentary), that showed what Gaddafi had done for the people of Libya as well as the wider the M.E. in general, it was amazing (if to be believed), I'll try to look it up, however the archives seem to be not as accessible as it use to be....

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Jan 7 2015 0:12 utc | 31


Just lol

The tards are still arguing about all the never ending destruction being just the result of incompetence

Some o you people are just
Dumb as a bag o rocks

Posted by: Rogan Josh | Jan 7 2015 0:50 utc | 32

@Rogan Josh: Don't forget that the Arab League endorsed the West's military intervention in Libya. If I remember correctly, that was every Arabic-speaking country except Syria. And don't forget that some well-meaning and relatively well-educated Libyans endorsed it at the time. And the Russians didn't veto it at the UNSC, because the Russians were fooled into believing the falsehood that Ghaddifi was deliberately killing civilians at the time. @Rogan Josh: I don't understand how you can imagine that the ongoing shambles or tragedy in Libya could have been both foreseen and adjudged beneficial, by anybody anywhere, outside or inside of Libya.

Posted by: Ghubar Shabih | Jan 7 2015 1:19 utc | 33

Thanks, Uncle $cam. I'm disappointed that I didn't save it at the time.

Posted by: okie farmer | Jan 7 2015 1:30 utc | 34

@Ghubar Shabih #33:

There is the empire of chaos idea, propounded by Pepe Escobar and people at the Center for Syncretic Studies, according to which the US empire deliberately destroys countries which resist becoming its vassals.

Posted by: Demian | Jan 7 2015 1:32 utc | 35

Welcome to the National Security State of 2015
A Self-Perpetuating Machine for American Insecurity

By Tom Engelhardt
As 2015 begins, let’s take a trip down memory lane. Imagine that it’s January 1963. For the last three years, the United States has unsuccessfully faced off against a small island in the Caribbean, where a revolutionary named Fidel Castro seized power from a corrupt but U.S.-friendly regime run by Fulgencio Batista. In the global power struggle between the United States and the Soviet Union in which much of the planet has chosen sides, Cuba, only 90 miles from the American mainland, finds itself in the eye of the storm. Having lost Washington’s backing, it has, however, gained the support of distant Moscow, the other nuclear-armed superpower on the planet.

Posted by: okie farmer | Jan 7 2015 1:56 utc | 36


Dude, you, with your "the western military and politicians fully believe their own rhetoric" are, frankly, utterly delusional

You're completly beyond all hope of redemption imo if you actually believe what you are claiming @23, regarding western rhetoric about "peace prosperity and democracy"

Posted by: Rogan Josh | Jan 7 2015 2:01 utc | 37

When the Nato intervention in Libya started, it reminded me of the story of Robinson Crusoe and Friday. You know the story of Robinson Crusoe killing two cannibals to save one and making him his slave?

When I checked the source, Robinson or Daniel Defoe was more nuanced in his approach.

These are direct quotes.

...what authority or call I had to pretend to be judge and executioner upon these men as criminals,
...these people were not murderers, in the sense that I had before condemned them in my thoughts, any more than those Christians were murderers who often put to death the prisoners taken in battle...
…It is certain these people do not commit this as a crime
...this would justify the conduct of the Spaniards in all their barbarities practised in America, where they destroyed millions of these people
. was not my business to meddle with them, unless they first attacked me...
As to the crimes they were guilty of towards one another, I had nothing to do with them; they were national, and I ought to leave them to the justice of God, who is the Governor of nations, and knows how...
...nothing was a greater satisfaction to me than that I had not been suffered to do a thing which I now saw so much reason to believe would have been no less a sin than that of wilful murder if I had committed it...
(Robinson Crusoe)

Then why did he kill two cannibals and saved Friday? Robinson Crusoe wanted to escape the island and, to do that, he needed an able and reliable guide. Rescuing a cannibal from a certain death from other cannibals is a sure way to achieve it.

Then he hesitated over his planned action. Because he thought that killing others is justified only when they are threatening your life and his plan called for killing people who were not threatening his life.

However, he performed some moral sophistry to justify his action. Now, not the action, but the presence of cannibals was a mortal danger to him, so he was justified in killing them.

...that those men were enemies to my life, and would devour me if they could; that it was self−preservation, in the highest degree, to deliver myself from this death of a life, and was acting in my own defence as much as if they were actually assaulting me, and the like; I say though these things argued for it, yet the thoughts of shedding human blood for my deliverance were very terrible to me, and such as I could by no means reconcile myself to for a great while. However, at last, after many secret disputes with myself, and after great perplexities about it (for all these arguments, one way and another, struggled in my head a long time), the eager prevailing desire of deliverance at length mastered all the rest; and I resolved, if possible, to get one of these savages into my hands, cost what it would.

With this logic, you can justify anything.

Robinson Crusoe still may have thought that he is better than the Spaniard, because he is not killing them for the hubris of moral superiority.

But did the Spaniard really do that for moral superiority? Hernan Cortes confessed to an envoy from Aztec that he and his men "suffered from a disease of the heart which is only cured by gold." As good a reason as Robinson's. But still the Spaniard needed the story of the barbarism of the Native American civilizations to justify their own barbarity.

Posted by: Puppet Master | Jan 7 2015 2:39 utc | 38

@okie farmer #36:

Tom Engelhardt is a Russophobe. (1) He writes "The first American war in Afghanistan, on the other hand, was a CIA Cold War operation that began in 1979 just after the Soviets invaded the country". (a) The CIA operation in Afghanistan predated the Soviet intervention in Afghanistan. (b) The Soviets did not "invade" Afghanistan: they reluctantly went in when asked to do so by the Afghan government to prop it up. (2) He calls Russia, still the largest country in the world and still one of the world's two nuclear superpowers, a "rump energy state". (3) He does not mention that another thing that the person from 1963 would be bewildered by is that the US orchestrated a Nazi coup in the middle of Europe.

All of that is really unconscionable. If Pepe Escobar didn't contribute to TomDispatch, it would have lost almost all its credibility by now. And for someone who writes about nothing but war and the national security state, it is strange that Engelhardt appears to be completely oblivious of geopolitics.

Posted by: Demian | Jan 7 2015 2:52 utc | 39

Empire of Chaos...ive been saying for ages the US goal is usually to induce war and chaos: in this it will always have the backking of the mass of US public and esp the intellectuals.

meanwhile, spare a thought for the poor americans, whos best media is Liberl Huff Post:
for at Huff Post(home of serial regime change artist Bernard Henri Levy) learn how Donbass is not like the US south, & how war lord 'right-wing Svoboda party's leader, Oleh Tyahnybok, has sounded remarkably like Malcom X'
just as farcical:
'The analogy with the Deep South breaks down because of Russia's annexation of the Crimea and its invasion of eastern Ukraine. Russia's presence in these regions ensures that they will remain as reactionary, intolerant and illiberal as they have always been.'..................even tho russia never annexed Crimea, and its the US thru Vicki(Fuk the EU) Nuland and McCain who have created a regime reactionary intolerant and illiberal

Posted by: brian | Jan 7 2015 3:37 utc | 40

its also the plan for syria and Ukraine and anywhere else the liberal US sinks its fangs

Posted by: brian | Jan 7 2015 3:38 utc | 41

I know Engelhardt is a Russophobe. He can't really write about Russia without revealing that. Still, this article does a pretty good job of debunking US's police state, and the extraordinary missteps in foreign policy, and makes clear that what was 'composed' by policy elites to keep Americans "safe" from terrorism has actually produced more of it.

Yes, you're right about the false chronology in Afghanistan - simple truth about him being a Russophobe.

Posted by: okie farmer | Jan 7 2015 3:52 utc | 42

@okie farmer #42:

Right, I agree that that article has the merits you describe.

@brian #40:

Haha, the usual Ukrainian nationalist nonsense. But you're right, the HuffPost has a pattern of publishing that: I was surprised when they published an ultranationalist rant by Yulia Tymoshenko.

The claim made by the article you linked to that "Most residents [of Donbass] viewed Ukrainian as a 'foreign' tongue" is a typical expression of Ukrainian delusions of grandeur. Russians, whether they are citizens of Russia or the Ukraine, do not view Ukrainian as a foreign tongue: they (correctly) view it as a dialect of Russian. And a Ukrainian who is a Ukrainian patriot but lives in the southern US and is open minded told me recently that Ukrainian is to Russian as black English is to standard English. I think that analogy is perfectly correct. It makes no more sense to call Ukrainian a language than it does to call black English a language.

Speaking of Ukraine, Robert Parry has another good piece on how the NY Times covers it: NYT Still Pretends No Coup in Ukraine

Just thought I'd post that to show that not all "liberal" US blogs are as reactionary as the HuffPost.

Posted by: Demian | Jan 7 2015 4:19 utc | 43

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Jan 6, 2015 7:12:57 PM | 31

Take a look at What's Left (gowans wordpress) and see if his archives suit your purpose. They're indexed in the r/h column on his homepage. There are probably Gadaffi & Libya headings.

Gowans wrote a piece headed 'Al Qaida's Air Force' soon after NATO returned Libya to the Stone Age. His current article, on North Korea, drew high praise from Greg Elich, a staunch and long-standing critic of the West's grossly dishonest criticisms of NK.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Jan 7 2015 4:20 utc | 44

achievements under #Gaddafi

Posted by: brian | Jan 7 2015 4:28 utc | 45

The standard of living of the people of Libya

Before NATO bombing of Libya, the United Nations was preparing to bestow an award on Colonel Muammar Gaddafi, and the Libyan Jamahiriya, for its achievements in the area of human rights. (see document).
The Green Book by Muammar Al Gadhafi (1975)
Part 1: The solution to the problem of Democracy;
Part 2: The solution to the Economic Problem;
Part 3: The Social Basis of the third Universal Theory.
Gaddafi asserts, "True democracy exists only through the direct participation of the people." (download .PDF)
Demoralized with wars in Iraq in Afghanistan, oil hungry West decided to discredit and depose Gadhafi at a time when he was fighting Al Qaeda terrorism. In fact, Gadhafi was the first world leader to condemn Al Qaeda as a terrorist group in the early part of the 2000s. Not only that, the Libyan leader has even adopted progressive or humanitarian policies in the domestic and international arenas such that he was even scheduled to receive a humanitarian award from no less than the Human Rights Council of the United Nations in March of this year. He was to be cited for his human rights record, including his stand on women's rights, his opposition to the more oppressive features of Islamic Sharia law, and his record on religious and ethnic tolerance and social inclusion.
The UN Human Rights Council working group report released on January 4, 2011 virtually serves as a glowing praise of Qaddafi's leadership in Human Rights. Additionally, it is worth noting that based on human development indicators, Libya Arab Jamarihiya has been many notches higher than the rest of the world, much more the Arab states.
The Libyan war: Unconstitutional and illegitimate
The Anglo-French-American war on most prosperous country in Africa is opposed by countries representing majority of the human race regardless of massive propaganda by NATO puppets Al Jazeera, The New York Times, CNN, BBC and the rest of the western media.

There is no doubt that U.S. participation in the Anglo-French-American attack on Libya is completely unconstitutional.
Before becoming president Barack Obama, a graduate of Harvard Law School and a former law professor, accurately described the limits of a president's authority to initiate a war in cases where the U.S. has neither been attacked nor is in imminent danger of attack:
The President does not have power under the Constitution to unilaterally authorize a military attack in a situation that does not involve stopping an actual or imminent threat to the nation.
The current aggression against once independent Libya is a perfect case of "a situation that does not involve stopping an actual or imminent threat to the nation." While the president is limited by the Constitution to repelling or forestalling attack, Congress can declare war for a variety of purposes beyond simple defense
In the case of the Libyan war, the presidential power grab is even more blatant, because weak, poor countries on the Security Council have acted as ventriloquists' puppets for the U.S., Britain and France.
Including the United States, the Security Council nations that voted for the no-fly zone resolution have a combined population of a little more than 700 million people and a combined GDP, in terms of purchasing power parity, of roughly $20 trillion. The Security Council countries that showed their disapproval of the Libyan war by abstaining from the vote have a combined population of about 3 billion people and a GDP of around $21 trillion.
If the U.S. is factored out, the disproportion between the pro-war and anti-war camps on the Security Council is even more striking.. The countries that joined the U.S. in voting to authorize attacks on Libya, including Britain and France, have a combined population that adds up to a little more than 5 percent of the human race.
The truth is that the U.S. is joined in its war on Libya by only two second-rank great powers, Britain and France, which between them carved up North Africa and the Middle East a century ago, slaughtering and torturing many Arabs and Blacks Libyans in the process. Every other major power on earth opposed the Anglo-French-American attack in North Africa, registering that opposition by abstentions rather than "no" votes in the Security Council (in a fear of been trashed and demonized by obedient to NATO western media that basically controls 80% of worlds information space).

I can't find my original (still looking) but this is close approximation, with something missing... b real are you around? Any comments on this?

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Jan 7 2015 5:09 utc | 47

"The Plan", once the Coup of 2001 was a fait accompli, and Cheney's Pipelinistan War in Afghanistan was fully engaged, was to find pretext to end Saddam's 'Food for Oil', that had driven crude oil prices to $15 a barrel and lower. Iraq has cheap sweet crude and Libya has the best sweet crude in the region. Prince Bandar is on record, you can watch him on news video, stating that the House of Saud would be satisfied with *$25 a barrel*. Then Saddam started blah, blah, blah about gold dirhams replacing of petro dollars, which was a direct threat to the USA/Sheiks. Cheney baked a Yellow Cake, House of Saud became trillionaires.

It's that simple. Cheney is a war criminal, and the House of Saud are a menace to humanity. Once Chavez demanded Venezuala's gold bullion back, Gaddhafi was a dead man. Where did that 250 tons of gold bullion in the Libyan vaults disappear to, anyway? And Saddam's 450 tons?

MoAs have fallen for the 'incompetence' meme as their Occum's Razor analysis of US foreign policy, but did it ever occur to you that State and USAID are merely charades, with people selected for their breeding and incompetence and willingness to not get in the way? A John Kerry koob is certain no proof that a Dick Cheney can't exist. Your logic is incompetent.

Nor can you state that because Cheney and the NeoCons failed to achieve their Triumphal End of History, that they are incompetent. Far from it. USA is now -$18 T+ in Perpetual Debt. The International Bankster Fed Mafia 'owns' everything in the USA. That's not incompetence.

We're witnessing an Anti-Christ Feast of the Apostles, where they're partaking of the flesh and blood of Every Man. Sure, it's allegorical, sure it's just taxes, fees and surcharges, sure health and human services is being torn out and eaten raw, ...that's not incompetence.

Posted by: ChipNikh | Jan 7 2015 11:23 utc | 48

I would guess Algeria or Egypt would be the wealthiest African countries

Posted by: scottindallas | Jan 7 2015 13:29 utc | 49

Yinon/Clean Break is still the plan. Incompetence is the meme that resonates now that BoA's most colorful participants have all been purged. Nothing all that interesting, however, in one more echo chamber. Bring them all back. Let the fur fly. Untidy, no doubt, but the heat will sharpen everyone's game.

Posted by: skelly | Jan 7 2015 14:00 utc | 50

Posted by: Demian | Jan 6, 2015 9:52:02 PM | 39

That's the second swipe you've taken at Tom, recently. Don't you understand where he's pitching his blog? He's a 100% All American (of the admirable, not the dumbass, variety) and he wants an America "of the people, by the people, for the people." He's much subtler than you or I and he's making a much bigger impact than you + I. It doesn't matter what he says about Russia. It's what he says, AND DOES about the US of A that wins him respect (from people like ... Pepe).

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Jan 7 2015 16:44 utc | 51

Plan A, plan B, or even C, who knows, different parties with different ones.

There is rivalry, there is hegemony trying to maintain itself (US, plus poodle EU), there is the ‘chaos at any cost as a last ditch measure’ crowd; the military and the war economy in the US needs ‘wars’ of any kind; there are vague failed attempts to take over ressources … geo-politically, the countries attacked are socialist and nationalist (practise national cohesion and re-distribution), entertain cordial (or better) relations with Russia. Iraq, Lybia, Syria are typical examples..

All these impulses coalesce on the the most radical and violent option - take him, the ‘bloody dictator,’ out. Either because it is imposed by the world-PTB .. nobody has a counter proposal .. it is the only thing that can be agreed on. Then what? Well nothing really, mission accomplished.

The new world order, apologies for using such a hackneyed expression, is to be corporate, is to be run by the strongest men amongst the strong men, those who have proved themselves. The concept of a Nation-State that practises solidarity or adheres to ideas of collective functioning or destiny - for all of its people - is at best passé

Yet, the moves towards the new state of affairs are stumbling, confused, wrapped in contradictory clashing discourse, shaky temporary alliances, quarrels and power-plays, as the goals aren’t really formulated and the end-point is not spelled out. In fact, such haplessness is a sign of weakness, imho. Mafia bosses in a small territory fight it out like that - often to their collective loss.

Posted by: Noirette | Jan 7 2015 19:27 utc | 52

Rogan @37 Couldn't agree more. Every 'innocent criminal' to qualify their actions (or lack of action) will argue that they were doing (or not doing) what they thought was the right thing at the time. Pleading ignorance or lack of bad intent is no excuse when addressing criminal culpability. Claiming to be consciously doing good when actuality doing bad is just pre-emptive lying.
Creating the illusion of plausible deniability (preparing a back door) is the politician's basic insurance policy for saving face in the event of future failure.

Posted by: spinworthy | Jan 7 2015 20:27 utc | 53

Absolutely right... the french "philosopher" Bernard Henri-Levy used to call the islamic fundamentalists imported by Saudi Arabia, Turkey, NATO and the CIA "democrats" and "freedom fighters" (reagan style) trying to avoid a "genocide"... where is the french clown now? Laughing, laughing just the same obscene way hillary clinton was laughing after Khadaffi was lynched...

Posted by: guy moyssen | Jan 11 2015 5:49 utc | 54

The destabilization of the middle east was no mistake. Cui bono ? "Answer: one nation, one leader, one party. Israel, Sharon[-Netanyahu], Likud."

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