Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
May 23, 2016

No U.S. Troops in Libya? One Of These Things Is Not Like The Others

Another excellent piece of journalism by Borzou Daragahi ...

Buzzfeed, May 23 2016

No, U.S. Ground Troops Aren’t Headed To Libya Anytime Soon

"... there won't be boots on the ground anytime soon."

Well ...

Washington Post, May 12 2016

U.S. establishes Libyan outposts with eye toward offensive against Islamic State

American Special Operations troops have been stationed at two outposts in eastern and western Libya since late 2015, tasked with lining up local partners in advance of a possible offensive against the Islamic State, U.S. officials said.

CNN, May 13 2016

U.S. military upping anti-ISIS activity in Libya

Washington Times, May 16 2016

Special ops teams deployed to Libya in campaign against Islamic State

AFP via AlArabiya, May 17 2016

Pentagon admits US troops still in Libya

You will have noticed that one of the above things is not like the others. It is spin piece at the top in which the stenographer dully wrote down what the Pentagon told him: that U.S. special forces in Libya do not wear boots or somehow levitate above the ground. Unless someone kills then. Then the Buzzfeed stenographer will note that they died on duty vacation wearing their boots sneakers. Or whatever nonsense the Pentagon will dictate.

The general quality of journalism really isn't great right now. But to write a piece which presents obvious falsehoods dictated by the Pentagon as factual claims when everybody else already reported the opposite is way below even the now usual level.

Posted by b on May 23, 2016 at 14:42 UTC | Permalink


Journalism seems dead. Really. Its a sorry state of affairs. But that's the reality. Meanwhile, people like your good self keep on reminding us. Where is the hope?

Posted by: dan | May 23 2016 15:35 utc | 1

Buzzfeed, LOL.
A wholly owned subsidiary of the Democratic Party. Owner (((Jonah Peretti))) helped in the founding of the Huffington Post.
Reading that site I'm reminded of why traditional TV/print media is being abandoned...kissing up to the people in power and dispensing their view of things is not good if you're searching for truth.

Posted by: farflungstar | May 23 2016 15:36 utc | 2

Don't you see, b, special forces don't count as ground troops, that's why they're special. Like imaginary numbers, can't be counted, don't count.

Posted by: Cresty | May 23 2016 16:44 utc | 3

Buzzfeed, the name tells the story. The spin-meisters all cluster and buzz, and this outfit feeds it to us. No, US troops aren't headed to Libya anytime soon ... some are already there and their tiny numbers might increase another tiny bit, or two, but the rest will be held up until till after 8 November. The US/EU might have to make do with al-CIAduh-only till then Or then again, maybe not. They all tell the same 'story', just different headlines.

Posted by: jfl | May 23 2016 17:01 utc | 4

"General Dunford told reporters that there had been “intense dialogue” and “activities under the surface” aimed at bringing about the Libya intervention. This apparently referred to efforts by the US ambassador to Libya, Peter Bodde, and the State Department’s special envoy for Libya, Jonathan Winer, to wrest a formal request for military intervention from Fayez al-Sarraj, the unelected head of the Western-backed Libyan Presidential Council.

Under UN and US tutelage, Sarraj and his allies established this council in exile in Tunisia, returning to the Libyan capital, Tripoli, at the end of March. It is obvious that this new puppet regime has been created for the sole purpose of providing a veneer of legality to another US-NATO military intervention in the devastated country."

source -

Posted by: ALberto | May 23 2016 17:07 utc | 5

Pepe Escobars latest piece is a good read as always /

"Global Robocop NATO predictably discussed Afghanistan (a war NATO ignominiously lost); Iraq (a war the Pentagon ignominiously lost); Libya (a nation NATO turned into a failed state devastated by militia hell); Syria (a nation NATO, via Turkey, would love to invade, and is already a militia hell).
Afghans must now rest assured that NATO’s Resolute Support mission – plus “financial support for Afghan forces” – will finally assure the success of Operation Enduring Freedom forever.

Libyans must be reassured, in the words of NATO figurehead secretary Jens Stoltenberg, that we “should stand ready to support the new Government of National Accord in Libya.”

Stoltenberg duly confirmed, “We have already decided to enhance our forward presence in the eastern part of our alliance. Our military planners have put forward proposals of several battalions in different countries in the region. No decision has been taken on the numbers and locations.” Beware What You Wish For: Russia Is Ready For War

Posted by: Terry | May 23 2016 19:13 utc | 6

What else is new. Mixed and contradicting information is the norm for governments and the media. Perhaps in that contradiction there is a message.

At Home Depot I was looking for hardwood flooring. They were having a sale. Domestic hardwood flooring was more expensive than the product imported from China. The sample boards put out for the domestic hardwood were beautiful. The ones put out for the Chinese imports, scratched, chipped, warped. On the surface, the message seemed to be do you want the worst of the best or the best of the worst? I got the message and bought the domestic flooring. As I installed that flooring I realized I had bought seconds. Sometimes you can't trust Home Depot, the government or your own thought process. Next time I'll still by domestic but I'll go through every box and negotiate a different price or reject the seconds.

As someone recently was reported as saying, "If you believe government you are stupid." That also applies to the media and of course Home Depot.

Posted by: Bob Huntley | May 23 2016 20:03 utc | 7

The general quality of journalism really isn't great right now. But to write a piece which presents obvious falsehoods dictated by the Pentagon as factual claims when everybody else already reported the opposite is way below even the now usual level

yeah b, but the AFP via AlArabiya link is from May 17th...that's almost a whole week ago, i mean, don't you realize that the internet never sleeps? it's a blinking insomniac. and when tomorrow never comes, what happened yesterday is irresolute. it's an endlessnooze cycle, the ENTER NET, the most formidable mind control yet devised by man.

Posted by: john | May 23 2016 20:19 utc | 8

So, could people still please stop saying that the current murderous chaos in Libya is a US "failure".

As if getting Libyan groups to slaughter each other wasn't the evil US Empire's plan all along. Weaken, then control or dominate. It's empire 101.

The US head near zero loyal opposition when Gadaffi was the leader. So Start a war, support tyrannical jihadis, and then move in.

Not saying that the evil US Empire will succeed in Libya, because you know Afghanistan for example, but mass murderers chaos when you don't have control on the ground or strong opposition, was always the plan.

Posted by: tom | May 23 2016 20:52 utc | 9

Hear! Hear! TOM @ 9!

The empire of chaos struck again! The US only wants there to be chaos ... all the rhetoric aside. The goal is chaos first, then after a while either through surrogates or minions (France, GB, et al)rape what is left for profits by the 0.0001% and their lackies! We've turned it into an art form ... and it is even ingrained in the mythology called "American History" ... Manifest Destiny was at the very least blatant. R2P is the current language for Manifest Destiny. Never just the continent, but the whole friggin' world!

Posted by: rg the lg | May 23 2016 21:06 utc | 10

Includes universally applicable "Are You Boots On The Ground" flow chart:

Posted by: jsn | May 23 2016 21:10 utc | 11

As the ICC Report on Libya, now thoroughly discredited, paved the way for all the revolting devastation which followed (much as the propagandist Bryce Report into German Atrocities in Belgium paved the way for all the devastation of the 1914-18 Anglo-Saxon Civil War), shouldn't the ICC indict itself for war crimes?

Posted by: Bob Jackson | May 24 2016 4:55 utc | 12

@9 tom - I would call your comment the definitive backgrounder on the Libya situation, including the qualifier, "not saying they'll succeed."

The US has the initiative with Libya, and has had, up until about now. There are now two forces arraigned in this theater, the US force for evil and the universal force for good. And the latter hasn't strongly appeared yet, so laypersons such as myself don't have a clue how this is going to shake out.

I will watch to see how far into the ground the US can drive this nation, and take note of the turning point when Libya begins to arise despite and against its oppression, which must surely be. And this will be a litmus test of sorts, a measure of the failing power of the US.

The last time the US screwed Libya, no one was really paying attention. Now, it's on the global charts as a strategic marker of imperial rapine. I don't perceive that the multi-polar world has an opinion yet as to what should happen in Libya, but I believe the morality of the situation is well understood.

The tragedy of Libya seems to hang in the air without sounding, like dust after collapse, like the fall of debris from a catastrophe that didn't quite hit the ground yet. There is a dimension to Libya that matters very much in the global culture, but the world has not recognized it yet. Perhaps it's coming.

Posted by: Grieved | May 24 2016 9:05 utc | 13

Syria blames Turkey, Qatar and Saudi Arabia for deadly bombings
The Syrian government has accused Turkey, Qatar and Saudi Arabia of being behind a wave of bombings in the coastal cities of Tartous and Jableh.
The Amaq news agency, which is linked to IS, quoted an IS source as saying militants had targeted "gatherings of Alawites", a reference to the heterodox Shia sect to which President Assad belongs.
US Secretary of State John Kerry also spoke to his Russian counterpart, Sergei Lavrov, by phone and urged him to put pressure on the Syrian government to stop attacks on Aleppo in the north and Daraya near Damascus.

A state department spokesman said Russia had "a special responsibility" to rein in Syrian government forces.

Posted by: okie farmer | May 24 2016 13:21 utc | 14

Bob Huntley @ 7

You're right about the big-box hardware stores. It's not just Home Depot. Their crime is supplying the countless cells of terrorist residential contractors that have sprung up as the economy disintegrates.

I have much to say about this, but will save it for the next open thread.

Posted by: Ken Nari | May 24 2016 14:12 utc | 15

Uri Avnery compares what is going on in Israel now with the last days of the Weimar Republic that he experienced as a boy. Israeli Weimar: It Can Happen Here.

Posted by: lysias | May 24 2016 14:30 utc | 16

Ok, I'm a few days behind in keeping up with my usual reading. I found this ... and I think it relevant to the discussion:

I am NOT advocating Trump. What I am suggesting is that the 5 questions are critical IF you believe there is hope. I don't, frankly, because these 5 questions will never be addressed ... along with the #1 question as outlined in the following:

Finally, my apologies to b, et al, for two referrals to other places.

Posted by: rg the lg | May 24 2016 15:27 utc | 17

@14 This is just beyond the pale - terrorists have again hit 'soft' targets, alleging suicide bombers [which I don't believe - more like remote detonations on known vehicles] and ISIS, when other reports are that this is the work of Ahrar Al-Sham(one of the groups that the US, France, and GB maintain are moderates!).
So, the very groups that the Western 'Alliance' is backing seems to be the very ones conducting murder of civilians and mayhem on Syrian streets - rather than partaking in peace-talks. At the same time Kerry is threatening 'Russian aggression'(yawn) over Aleppo, maintaining Syrian and Russian forces should be reined in, from attacking the poor 'rebels'.

You just couldn't make it up - unless you were the most rogue nation on the planet, that is!

Posted by: fredjc | May 24 2016 18:15 utc | 18

21st Century Wire has a moving report from a Syrian journalist in Damascus - it gives a real glimpse of what life is like in the war-torn country - I recommend a listen...

In the second hour, we’re joined by a special guest via our live link from Damascus with journalist Jamila Assi, editor of Shababeek Souria, for a powerful and candid discussion about the true situation on the ground in Syria and where this devastating conflict is heading in the next 12 months.

Posted by: fredjc | May 24 2016 18:44 utc | 19

Comment left at the article linked to by fredjc @ 18:

colinjames71 • a day ago

Hey where's all the world holding "je suis Tartus" signs and changing their Facebook pics to Syrian flags? The media reaction is disgusting. The horror of the attacks I can't begin to comprehend let alone describe, not really.

Good question, colinjames71.

And the press's attitude seems to be that it's all to be expected since these victims aren't rebels...or maybe were rebels but sought safety along the coast so fuck'm. Takes me back to the early days of the "rebels" taking over communities and telling Christian Syrians they could convert, pay taxes, flee, or die. Like ISIS, iirc. And a nun reported on this and that got very little coverage. That was in 2023, again iirc.

Because...US chooses who are "valid" victims and who are just collateral damage to the hegemon's drive for power.

Posted by: jawbone | May 24 2016 18:55 utc | 20

@20 jawbone - exactly - show me the rebels - they certainly aren't the one's turning up at the Vienna 'peace-talks' [war-party].

Posted by: fredjc | May 24 2016 19:28 utc | 21

@7 Bob Huntley & @15 Ken Nari. It is not just the big box stores. Everywhere I go, you have too pick through half a pallet to find a dozen boards with no twist and little or no warp. I see lots of evidence of shoddy millwork and inadequate curing. I'm convinced the US & Canada mills suffer from brain drain after thirty years of treating their skilled workers like crap. Not that I've worked at one, I just figure treating workers well is something that no corporation does these days, as it does not pay.

Posted by: frijoles junior | May 25 2016 0:32 utc | 22

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