Brotherly Leader on the Ropes

It’s hard to imagine this lovely guy massacring his own people. As Libya’s Brotherly Leader and Guide of the Revolution, Gaddafi stands for everything warm and fuzzy and his regime is based on grass roots genuine democracy, not that phony stuff you find elsewhere. Anyone who opposes his regime is obviously a reactionary and agent of imperialism.

Come to think of it, there is an uncanny resemblance to Cuba, don’t you think?

70 Responses to “Brotherly Leader on the Ropes”


  1. 1 byork

    Yes, David, very similar. In fact, Castro has just come out in support of Gaddafi. Yep, you’ve guessed it, the US is going to invade Libya, via NATO, to….. seize control of Libyan oil. http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/breaking-news/us-about-to-order-libya-invasion-castro/story-e6frf7jx-1226010585130

    Hmmm. Does sound familiar.

    Aaaahhhh, these places that are “not a supine lap dog of US Imperialism”!!!

  2. 2 Dalec

    No Barry, what is really getting you upset is that none of the revolutionaries in the ME is calling for the US to invade and “save” them. They are doing it for themselves. Every day that passes exposes your defence for the invasion of Iraq (“We had to save them from a brutal dictator”) as total bullshit and even worse, complicity in the war crimes and torture that were and still are being carried out in Iraq.
    The People of the Middle East are demonstrating that they are capable of determining their own destiny Barry.
    You are exposed as an Imperial toady.

  3. 3 barry

    Typically, dalec makes things up – this time he makes up a quote, which he attributes to me directly. I have never said (or believed) “We had to save them from a brutal dictator”. (Inverted commas indicate a quotation). I’m used to this behaviour from dalec and only waste my time on it because there might just be new readers visiting this site.

    I felt, and still feel, that it was right for the US led Coalition to support the democratic aspirations of the Iraqis by providing the superior military support that would enable them to overthrow a tyrant (who the US had previously supported) and at the same time avoid both a civil war and the regional conflagration that would have arisen from it.

    Mubarak was no Saddam. It wasn’t needed there. Mubarak didn’t/couldn’t go for the massacre option. But with Libya, in light of the strafing of protestors, foreign military intervention is urgently required in the immediate form of an externally-imposed no-fly zone. Of course, dalec opposes this. It is, after all, a violation of Libyan sovereignty. And Gaddafi, for all his faults, is “not a supine lap dog of US imperialism”. And… isn’t it always part of a conspiracy to grab control of oil anyway?

    I heard a Libyan woman on the radio, during a protest where the people were being attacked, and she was screaming out: “Where is the world?! Why are we alone?! Why won’t anyone come to help us?!” dalec can tell her that she must wait for the internal contradictions to mature more but those of us who are left-wing internationalists and revolutionary democrats will do what we can to see the world – those Willing – intervene militarily to stop the slaughter.

    Gaddafi and the other tyrants all opposed the overthrow of Saddam and the democratisation that is happening in Iraq. It was the writing on the wall.

  4. 4 davidmc

    Yes dalec. We all remember how the Iraqis successfully shook off Saddam after the first Gulf War not! They had rebelled because they thought Bush Senior was still with them. They felt a tad betrayed as they waited to be slaughtered by Saddam’s goons.

  5. 5 Dalec

    Exactly how Barry did the US Invasion of Iraq “stop the slaughter”?
    You guys are desperate for a “miliary Intervention” to prove to the world that the invasion of Iraq was justified. Apparently its OK to slaughter 100,000 or so Iraqi’s; destroy their power systems and water supplies, bring their economy to a standstil and install mercenaries and thugs to “keep the peace” while you maintain a military occupation of the place.
    You seem to be really concerned that the peoples of the ME can take control without US stormtroopers and mercenary thugs, hence your bleating for “No fly zones” as a first step for occupation.
    Dalec

  6. 6 byork

    The justification for the invasion of Iraq, in support of the Iraqis against their version of Gaddafi, is found in the democracy that is developing there. In its basic form, this is what the Tunisians, Egyptians and Libyans also are fighting for.

    Not surprisingly, dalec opposes a no-fly zone over Libya. Hey, just let the jets continue to strafe the people. But always dress it up in anti-imperialist chest-beating rhetoric.

    The pseudo-left is as bankrupt as the tyrants who are being overthrown.

    PS – Again, on TV today, another woman screaaming almost hysterically: “Who will help us?! We’re being slaughtered!”

    PSS – Anyone interested in writing somehting for the mainstream? Or helping me write something?

  7. 7 davidmc

    Obviously anyone who is not a Gaddafi supporter would be in favor of assisting the rebels. A no-fly zone looks like an excellent idea.

    Hopefully there is no need for major foreign intervention. It is politically messy. The less reliance on it the better. Besides it may fail to arrive. Gaddafi’s position is far weaker than that of Saddam so I wouldn’t expect it playing much of a role.

    Seeing Fidel Castro has predicted US intervention there is an added bonus if it does not happen.

  8. 8 Dalec

    David “A no-fly zone looks like an excellent idea.”
    How would you know? What is your expertise in such matters? Did the no fly Zones work in Bosnia?
    I claim no expertise in the matter at all and would not presume to offer a solution. I doubt if you have any expertise either, so why are you blathering about “no fly zones” ?
    I suggest you read this for some understanding of the complexity involved in NFZ’s.
    http://www.dtic.mil/cgi-bin/GetTRDoc?AD=ADA367328&Location=U2&doc=GetTRDoc.pdf
    ” A no-fly zone looks like an excellent idea.”
    You are simply talking off the top of your head.
    Dalec

  9. 9 tomb

    St dalec continues to put a price on freedom and it seems any price is too high. This is a clear attempt to undermine freedom fighters all over the world.

    According to St dalec all those people who lost their lives fighting for freedom were wasting their time and they should have accepted suffering humbly.

  10. 10 Dalec

    Tomb, If you knew any-thing about Libya you would know that the libyan air force is split down the middle between Gaddafi and the rebels.
    A No fly zone enforced by outsiders would risk shooting down rebel planes.
    I suppose that is what you want.
    Dalec

  11. 11 Steve Owens

    Dalec the informative paper that you linked to concluded that no fly zones can be effective in protecting people.
    The question is what are the progressive people of the country in question asking for? The questions for us are who are the progressives and how do we provide the assistance that they require?
    Latest information from the committee running Benghazi was that they think they can handle the situation without outside interference but if they change their minds and request help I think that we should support that request.

  12. 12 Dalec

    Steve, At last a rational voice.
    No fly zones may well save lives under certain circumstances and should be used if they are able to protect people. In Libya the situation vis a vis the air force is confused to say the least. We do know that pilots ordered to strafe protestors have defected instead, we do know that part of the air force has gone over to the rebellion. Would the “No fly Zone” include aircraft from the rebel forces that are attcking Gaddafi forces ?
    To sit here in the antipodes and bleat for “No fly zones” without any investigation at all, is simply posturing.
    I know supporters if the Iraq invasion desperate to “help”,an excuse for the massacre of the Iraqi people. We had to destroy Iraq in order to save it stuff. The people in Benghazi do not want to throw out one brutal dictator only to be presented woth 150,000 dead and a blasted wasteland for a country as is Iraq. They are not stupid, they see the results of “help” from the US and its “allies”.
    Dalec

  13. 13 Arthur

    The debate is about whether other countries are prepared to act on the request for a no fly zone and other military assistance made from Libyan rebels (including UN delegation and interim government in Benghazi) as well as from large numbers of others.

    Naturally one expects dalek to oppose.

    Equally naturally one expects him to lie about it and pretend no such request was made.

    Its so typical of people standing on the side of the enemy making loud noises about siding with the people against imperialism.

  14. 14 Dalec

    Arthur, I do not oppose no fly zones in principle, I simply point out that to call for them without investigation of the specifics of the situation is just empty blather. The call by various Arab bodies and intellectuals many of whom live in Europe BTW, may be mediated by a detailed study or it could just be the mirror of those from various has-beens in the US. You,of course, failed to mention that the Arabs want the no fly zone to be controlled by Arabs – not the US. If the Rebel forces call for no-fly zones I will of course support them, they are on the ground and they should know what is best. Significantly they have NOT called for US or UN intervention. No-where in the ME have the revolutionaries been waving US flags or calling for US or UN help. You would think that with Iraq as such a shining beacon of democracy in the region they would all be chanting pro US slogans, they are not.
    They in fact are making it clear to even the thickest persons that they do not want Uncle Sam his proxies.
    That is your problem Arthur, The people f the Middle East are speaking and they are telling you and your US masters to stay out of it.

  15. 15 Steve Owens

    I have come across a statement from Mustafa Abdul-Jalil that he would like the international community to enforce an air embargo to stop mercinaries entering Libya. I have come across Libya’s deputy UN representative calling for a no fly zone but I havent found any other Libyans calling for this and the reports of aircraft straffing protesters seem to have stopped.
    If anyone has better info about the views of Libyans I would appreciate them sharing.

  16. 16 Arthur

    Steve, those two are the ones I came across too. Former Justice Minister Mustafa Abdul-Jalili is, convenor of interim government council at Benghazi. UN delegation is natural center for coordinating requests for international help. Seems good enough to me. Doesn’t actually need the strenuous opposition of the usual suspects to confirm its a reasonable request.

  17. 17 Dalec

    Mustafa Abdul-Jalili makes it clear that he does not want the air space of Libya to be controlled by foreign forces, he wants the influx of mercenaries stopped, a long way away from stopping the strafing and bombing of the people who are rising in revolt. As Steve notes, the strafing of protesters seems to have stopped, I think there are two reasons for this:
    The pilots would know that this is an indefensible war crime and if Gaddafi loses they are in deep trouble.
    The air force chain of command and the air force assets are divided, thus making air attacks difficult.

    BTW Arthur, how are things in Iraq at the moment?
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2011/02/26/AR2011022603345.html

    Extract”
    Despite that, tens of thousands of Iraqis turned out for the protests, which began peacefully but degenerated as forces fired water cannons, sound bombs and live bullets to disperse crowds.

    The death toll rose to at least 29 Saturday, as officials reported that six more protesters, including a 14-year-old boy, died from bullet wounds. The deaths were recorded in at least eight places, including Fallujah, Mosul and Tikrit.

    Ssairi and his colleagues had joined the protests in Baghdad’s Tahrir Square, some wrapping themselves in white sheets in a sign of peace. As the sun set, helicopters swooped down into the crowd, signaling the start of the crackdown.

    No fly zone for Iraq Arthur?????
    Dalec

  18. 18 Steve Owens

    The no fly zone took a hit today as British Prime Minister Cameron backed down. Poor old Cameron at the start of the Libyan revolution he was in Egypt leading a team of 8 weapons manufacturers seeing if Egypt had enough instruments of death or did they need to top up.
    http://www.gaurdian.co.uk/politics/2011/mar/01/cameron-backtracks-libya-zone-us

  19. 19 Steve Owens
  20. 20 Dalec

    The US military is saying that if they implement a no-fly zone they will have to do a little bombing as well
    http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/libya-fly-zone-require-nato-military-force/story?id=13031952
    Oops we mistook that hospital for an air base;
    http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/libya-fly-zone-require-nato-military-force/story?id=13031952
    Dalec

  21. 21 Dalec

    Oops wrong URL, see how easy it is to maitake a hospital for an enemy installation?
    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/asia/us-jets-bomb-hospital-633311.html
    Dalec

  22. 22 barry

    The peoples’ committee established by workers, shopkeepers, etc. in Benghazi seems ready to call for a no-fly zone. Why wouldn’t they? Gaddafi’s jets have yet again been put to use – in Brega, outside of Tripoli, bombing the people.

    A media spokesperson for the Benghazi peoples’ committee said today (3rd March):

    ”A no-fly zone would limit his (Gaddafi’s) … ability to move mercenaries from south to north and to recruit mercenaries from sub-Saharan Africa…

    ”Providing military equipment and arms to our free army in the east will help the free army march to Tripoli. And we want surgical military strikes to target his militia and make this end swiftly and … not to shed any more innocent Libyan blood.”

    The UN estimates that already more than a thousand rebels have been killed – and Gaddafi is threatening that thousands more will be killed unless they surrender.

    Full text (SMH, “Libyan rebels call for foreign military help”): http://www.smh.com.au/world/libyan-rebels-call-for-foreign-military-help-20110302-1bevo.html

    From 28 February, four days ago (Steve Owens):
    “The question is what are the progressive people of the country in question asking for? The questions for us are who are the progressives and how do we provide the assistance that they require?
    Latest information from the committee running Benghazi was that they think they can handle the situation without outside interference but if they change their minds and request help I think that we should support that request”.

    Get ready to support it, Steve.

  23. 23 Dalec

    Barry,
    “The air force bombing of Brega was significant as over the last week Colonel Gaddafi has three times ordered air force pilots to bomb opposition strongholds but they had refused and either defected to Malta or ejected themselves and let their planes crash.” The Australian.
    There are serious internal contradictions in the Libyan air force, your off the top of the head plan for NFZ’s will unite the air force – well done.
    It is clear that Gadddafi is gradually losing control of both the air force and the army, bomb the place with your NFZ and you will unite them.
    Any-way Barry you are in good company:
    The following have called for intervention in Libya:
    Among the letter’s signers were former Bush deputy defense secretary Paul Wolfowitz; Bush’s top global democracy and Middle East adviser; Elliott Abrams; former Bush speechwriters Marc Thiessen and Peter Wehner; Vice President Dick Cheney’s former deputy national security adviser, John Hannah, as well as FPI’s four directors: Weekly Standard editor William Kristol; Brookings Institution fellow Robert Kagan; former Iraq Coalition Provisional Authority spokesman Dan Senor; and former Undersecretary of Defense for Policy and Ambassador to Turkey, Eric Edelman.
    It was Kagan and Kristol who co-founded and directed PNAC in its heyday from 1997 to the end of Bush’s term in 2005.
    Warning that Libya stood “on the threshold of a moral and humanitarian catastrophe,” the letter, which was addressed to President Barack Obama, called for specific immediate steps involving military action, in addition to the imposition of a number of diplomatic and economic sanctions to bring “an end to the murderous Libyan regime”.
    Now why would these arseholes call for intervention ? Is not the blood of thousands of Iraqis enough for them ?
    Dalec

  24. 24 Steve Owens

    Barry Im still happy to support any demand that the anti Gaddafi organisations put forward. Just as I was with the anti Saddam forces.
    Did you hear the BBC corespondant last night? His opinion was that the Libyan air force was deliberatly missing it’s targets.
    If he’s correct he shouldn’t say this as Im sure Gadaffi has some one listening to battle field reporters.

  25. 25 byork

    Good heavens – how many have to die before you guys will support real action against this fascist regime? The strafing and bombing have happened and there’s every reason to believe Gaddafi when he says thousands more will die. dalec, you’re not just to the right of G W Bush and Wolfowitz et al, you’re even to the right of Kevin Rudd. To his credit, in proposing a NFZ over Libya, Rudd has urged the world not to forget Guernica. http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/opinion/bloody-final-chapter-looms/story-e6frg6zo-1226014954268

    Having entered into ‘debate’ with you for several years now, I can only say you have become utterly shameful and you’re on the wrong side. That’s the fundamentals of it – on this and Iraq too.

  26. 26 Arthur

    Yes, we are in good company with people who ended Sadaam’s regime and Dalek is in good company with those defending the sovereign right of dictators to massacre their people without interference and especially their “traditional” right to use war planes supplied by their “allies” to bomb and strafe the people as well as transport troops and mercenaries.

    The lines of demarcation are the same on both Iraq and Libya. What’s different is the relative strength of the two sides.

    Fortunately support for armed intervention in Libya is now much wider in ruling class circles than was the support for invading Iraq, while opposition to armed solidarity with the people is much weaker than it was when the West maintained its non-interference with the air assault on Spain’s Guernica. This is especially striking since the Libyan regime is nowhere near as bad as the Iraqi regime was, and Western interests in ending it are far less significant.

    The counter current may cost a few thousand lives by dithering to a point where civil war takes root. But even that seems unlikely. The delay so far is being used to ensure that sufficient forces to take out Libyan air defences are being assembled in case the regime doesn’t collapse quickly enough.

    All the “anti-imperialist” isolationists appear able to achieve with their insistence on UN legalities etc is a long enough delay to ensure the intervention can be done without risk of air force casualties (at the cost of a few hundred or perhaps a few thousand more “unimportant” Libyan casualties).

    This can be compared with their role in encouraging a “force protection” orientation in Iraq that cost a lot of Iraqi lives to reduce coalition casualties. But the scale of the damage looks like being vastly smaller.

    The record breakingly pathetic nature of such arguments as claiming that intervention would unite the Libyan air force in support of Gaddafi indicates that the “experts” of the US foreign policy establishment haven’t even had time to provide the Daleks of the world with a supply of remotely plausible sounding “arguments” for maintaining the status quo.

  27. 27 Dalec

    Barry,
    At a time when you were sitting around in Australia blathering about how great was the invasion of Iraq I was arrested and interrogated by the Saudi secret police on suspicion that I was a communist revolutionary. It was neither polite nor brief. So shut the fuck up Barry, you have no idea of what really goes on in the world.
    All I know about the Libyan revolution is that the people will triumph with or without the assistance of US Imperialism. It will be a road with many twists and turns but they will win.
    Your Crypto Fascist Neocon heroes are desperate to find a corner in the coming struggle, hence the pleading with Obama to bomb the shit out of Libya.
    Do you think for one tiny moment that the revolutionaries in Libya want are-run of the blood bath and destruction that was visited upon Iraq by your heroes?
    Dalec

  28. 28 Steve Owens

    Libyan oppositionists who have some leadership role inside Libya have not called for intervention by foriegn forces. If the answer is so obvious that intervention is the way forward we must ask why isnt it obvious to the Libyans on the ground?
    Hafiz Ghoga who is spokesman for the Libyan National Council has opposed any foriegn interventions.
    An Opposition Military Council is being formed but is yet to call for anything.
    Former Interior Minister Gen. Abdel Fatah Younis has been speaking to British Foriegn Minister Hauge. If Younis had called for intervention Hauge would have said so.
    My belief is that the decision should be made by Libyan leaders in Libya, if you think that you know better than them well what can I say.
    The Libyans still have lots to sort out, prominent figures like Gen Younis and Brig. Gen Ahmed Qatrans arn’t even members of the Oposition Military council.
    Yesterdays battle for Brega really does read like accounts of the defense of Madrid.

  29. 29 Arthur

    Actually Hafiz Ghoga explicitly called for international air strikes against the mercenaries he described as a foreign intervention.

    Meanwhile supporters of the Iraqi “resistance” who mass murdered Iraqis are once again pretending that anyone intervening against mass murders is responsible for the mass murder that follows.

  30. 30 Steve Owens

    Arthur I think your confusing the Security Council spokesperson Abdul Hafiz Guqa with the National Council spokesperson Hafiz Ghogha

  31. 31 barry

    The revolutionary committee, or defacto government of Benghazi, continues to call for air strikes against Gaddafi.

    A report from today’s ‘Australian': In Benghazi, the unofficial capital of “liberated” Libya, the pro-democracy forces called on the international community to carry out air strikes against Colonel Gaddafi’s forces.

    “We officially asked for a tactical strike against any place that Gaddafi holds,” Mustafa Geryani, an official in the new revolutionary committee, said after the de facto government’s first full meeting. The Benghazi committee also appealed to Algeria, Nigeria, Mali and Kenya to stop the recruitment of mercenaries in their countries.

    Source: The Australian 4 March 2011: http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/world/cold-feet-on-no-fly-zone-for-libya/story-e6frg6so-1226015590602

    Steve, you did say (28 Feb): “Latest information from the committee running Benghazi was that they think they can handle the situation without outside interference but if they change their minds and request help I think that we should support that request”.

  32. 32 Steve Owens

    Barry, if the Libyan national council has requested that the UN organise bombing of Gadaffi’s forces then the UN should be organising this. I thought that I made that clear in my post of 28 Feb.
    Looks to me as if Gadaffi is having trouble getting any planes into the sky for fear that the pilots will just fly away.

  33. 33 barry

    Steve, I checked both your emails of 28th and you don’t mention the UN. You do refer to the “international community”. From the point of view of those being bombed, of course, it makes no difference whether a No Fly Zone is enforced by the UN, by the international community, or by the US, Britain and/or NATO. It does, however, make a lot of difference to the crumbling Libyan regime as to the seriousness of the commitment of any of the above to speed up its overthrow. Already 6,000 people are reported to have been killed.

  34. 34 Arthur

    The link I provided makes it quite clear the only confusion is from Steve.

    The essence of that confusion is that it is bloody obvious the Libyan people want armed support against Gaddafi, at least by air strikes but Steve would feel much less discomfort if they did not.

    While Brega is under attack from Gaddafi’s air force it “looks to Steve” as though Gaddafi cannot get planes into the sky, because that would be more convenient and make Steve feel less uncomfortable.

  35. 35 Steve Owens

    “….it is bloody obvious the Libyan people want armed support…”
    Well if that is true why doesnt the National Council put in a formal request to anybody that can supply armed support?
    Why can’t the Libyans see what is so “bloody obvious” to you?
    Im happy to support any plan that the democratic forces of Libya come up with to forward their struggle but it is their struggle. I’m in no position to tell them what to do.

  36. 36 Dalec

    The US is desperate to get a corner in the Libyan revolution here is why.
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/michael-t-klare/middle-east-oil-economy_b_830932.html
    Thus the propaganda campaign, extending to even the most insignificant of their agencies, for NFZ’z that has now morphed into a bombing campaign.
    Now Barry and Arthur will strenuously deny that oil has any part at all to play in the US Imperial adventures in the ME. We know that the US is driven entirely by concern for the safety of the people of the middle east.
    Only thing is that millions of people in the ME obviously do not want the US to intervene. But,hey when did that stop you guys?
    Dalec

  37. 37 tom

    If this be an example of a US Imperial adventure in the Middle East it is a very timid one. The imperial mouse that roared perhaps?

  38. 38 Arthur

    I already provided a link showing that the spokesperson specifically named by Steve had explicitly called for a no fly zone.

    Instead of backing off, Steve pretends to be illiterate. Here’s a video of another spokesperson with the same request that Steve needs to pretend to himself hasn’t been made.

    At least the US ditherers are openly admitting their delay is due to their own reluctance, while Steve has to pretend he doesn’t know its been requested.

  39. 39 byork

    ABC report half an hour ago (4 March at 8.25pm) – Gaddafi launches renewed aerial attack on rebels.

    “Members of the opposition who have set up a National Libyan Council in the east of the country say they are open to talks to stop the bloodshed only on Mr Gaddafi’s resignation or exile.

    “Ahmed Jabreel, an aide to ex-justice minister Mustafa Abdel Jalil who heads the council based in Benghazi, said international air strikes to set up a no-fly zone were needed to help rebels topple Mr Gaddafi, who has refused to step down despite a revolt”.

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2011/03/04/3155699.htm?section=justin

  40. 40 Steve Owens

    You guys, Arthur produces a guy in a red hat and Barry produces a comment made by an aid to a guy on the National Council. I think this is a follow up to a woman Barry saw interviewed on a street.
    When the National Council endorses a no fly zone it will be big news we won’t have to search U tube to find someone to back you up.

  41. 41 Steve Owens

    If you google Libya no fly zone, it’s very hard to find any comment by anyone in Libya and finding a couple of comments by a couple of people even if one wears a red hat is hardly convincing evidence, unless the only evidence that you are interested in is that which supports your flimsy case.
    The Economist points out that the opposition to Gadaffi hasnt an opinion on no fly zones because opinion within the opposition is divided.
    http://www.economist.com/node/18291539

  42. 42 Steve Owens

    Firstly Dalek you were a 100% correct when you claimed that the no fly zones were much more complex than they look. Second Arthur it was my mistake to think that you had confused Hafiz Ghoga with Abdul Hafiiz Guqa.
    In the Telegraph an article titled Libya : Britain to step up support for rebel forces fighting Gaddafi. It has some interesting stuff about internal workings of the rebel military council but the kicker is right at the end. David Cameron suggests supplying the rebels with weapons only to be told by officials that he can’t because and wait for this …there’s an international arms embargo on supplying weapons into Libya. Spain anyone?

  43. 43 Steve Owens
  44. 44 byork

    “Abdullah al-Mahdi, a rebel spokesman, told Al Jazeera opposition fighters would attack the capital once a “no-fly” zone was enforced by international powers to try to shatter Mr Gaddafi’s grip on the country of six million people”.

    From ABC News report of 87 minutes ago.

    Full report: http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2011/03/05/3155936.htm

    Keep on pretending, Steve…..

    How many more have to die before ‘the international community’ adopts meaningful and effective military action in support of the democratic forces?

  45. 45 Steve Owens

    Barry hundreds of mercinaries are going to Libya from Mali
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-12647115
    The international community can’t/won’t stop them yet you think that the international community will do something much harder than stopping mercinaries traveling from Mali to Libya.
    Now you present us with a quote that states a “rebel spokesman” My question is what is the status of “rebel spokesman” does it mean that this person is presenting the view of some rebel organisation or is it just the title that the interviewer thought sounded good?
    You have decided that no fly zones are the way forward and every time someone from Libya agrees you point it out, so what!
    The organisations that are leading the Libyan revolution have yet to come to a decision about requesting no fly zones despite Arthur stating that the decision is blooy obvious. I am prepare to believe that the people leading the revolution know the situation better than me and I am prepared to wait for their lead. You occupy a different position and Im sure that you are prepared for the leadership of the Libyan revolution to catch up.

  46. 46 byork

    The latest on the Libyan National Council’s support for a No Fly Zone (from a few hours ago):

    “Tripoli/Cairo – A national council formed by Libyan opposition forces called on the international community Saturday to enforce a no-fly zone over the country, while rejecting foreign military presence inside Libya.

    “The council, formed in the eastern rebel-held city of Benghazi, also asked for a ban on the southern airports that bring mercenaries to the country.

    “Despite ruler Moamer Gaddafi’s denial, witnesses said that paid militants from African countries had attacked and killed protesters. Others said mercenaries were present at the border with Tunisia.

    “‘They insist on enforcing a no-fly zone over the airports to prevent Gaddafi’s security from shelling rebels or from shooting at people,’ Nezar, one of the protesters, told the German Press Agency dpa.

    “‘However, they reject any foreign military presence inside Libya,’ added Nezar.

    “The council, which aims to give a political face to the uprising against Gaddafi, also demanded international recognition of its legitimacy as a representative of the people.

    “The council chose Abdulraman Shalgam to be the country’s ‘legitimate representative’ at the United Nations.

    “He was Libya’s ambassador to the UN before he defected to the opposition camp last month. Beforehand, he had appealed to the UN Security Council to impose sanctions against Gaddafi and spare the Libyan people”.

    http://www.monstersandcritics.com/news/africa/news/article_1623897.php/Libya-opposition-urges-international-enforced-no-fly-zone

  47. 47 Steve Owens

    Thats excellent, Ok Barry we are now on the same page. Lets hope that the international community fully support the demands of the Libyan National Council.

  48. 48 byork

    No way, Steve. You and I are not on the same page at all. It was you, not I, who said they would support a no fly zone if the National Council did. I support a NFZ because I am partisan – unequivocally and uncompromisingly in favour of the democratic forces against Gaddafi. That’s why I have been citing examples like the woman in the street screaming out “Where is the world?!” and the aide to Mustafa Jalil and, now, the National Council.

    One could, presumably, find a woman somewhere in Libya who would cry out “We love Gaddafi”. But, why should I bother to quote her when I think she is on the wrong side? And, unlike your logic, were the National Council to declare that Gaddafi should remain in power, I would still support those Libyans who are opposing him. And I would still be more impressed with Cameron, McCain, and Rudd than I am with Obama who has been dithering way too long.

    But, now that you support a NFZ, I hope you will dissuade those among your friends who will take to streets under banners like “No foreign interference” or “No more blood for oil” once the international community imposes one.

    Military intervention on the side of the revolutionaries by the US, NATO, Britain, etc, initially in the form of a NFZ, is now the best way to support the people and to quickly and finally defeat Gaddafi and avert the civil war that could kill scores of thousands.

  49. 49 Steve Owens

    Thats ok Barry Im happy to be on the same page as the organisation that has been leading the Libyan revolution. If you decide to be on another page I respect your right to do so.

  50. 50 byork

    Steve, I’m actually advocating thinking for one’s self.

    You’ll be in an interesting situation if the National Council splits.

  51. 51 Steve Owens

    Barry, Future events in Libya wont cause me too much trouble because Ill be guided by the idea that I will support whichever political group is leading the struggle for democracy.
    Barry I can’t let the “I’m actually advocating thinking for one’s self” comment go although I probably should.
    I have been arguing with you now for what 6 years? We have argued about the Iraq invasion, show trials, bogus genetics, the great leap forward, the American revolution, Soviet Nazi co operation, Soviet actions in Poland, the Soviet invasion of Hungary and much more. In every instance Barry you have argued the “party” line.
    Barry you were a long term member of a Stalinist communist party yes? My understanding is that you didn’t leave the party but that the party left you. (in as much as their ideas changed but yours didn’t)
    Your writings here do not vary one dot from this sites orthodoxy yet you still think that your advocating thinking for one’s self.
    Barry your a caricature of dogmatism.
    I know that this is harsh but sometimes the truth is harsh.
    Your saving grace is that you in the spirit of communists are on the side of the people and you have admirable terrier like qualities.

  52. 52 barry

    Steve, that’s about as wrong as it could be. It would be off topic to pursue it. You clearly don’t know my story and, should we meet in perosn over a coffee one day, I’d be happy to bore you (and put you straight) with it!

  53. 53 patrickm

    In a previous thread Steve said he was wrong about the issue of a no fly zone with respect to Iraq. http://strangetimes.lastsuperpower.net/?p=926 Steve now thinks he ought to have advocated that the U.S. engage in all the required acts of war that this NFZ policy required. Good.

    Well now he supports a NFZ with respect to Libya. Very good! He has now found the leaders of Libya that he is apparently obliged to listen to in order to defend the Libyan people’s revolution against the Gaddafi dictatorship. I am glad he finally found them.

    The enemy for now is the Gaddafi forces and Steve is involved to the extent of advocating that the U.S. make limited war on behalf of the people on the other side. Steve is disregarding the civil war aspect of this fighting and has backed taking sides and uniting with the ‘great Satan’. Well done.

    If we are not on exactly the same page, we are now at last on the same side of the fighting and are both prepared to see western sailors and aircrews selectively inflict deaths and injuries on the enemy with the full knowledge that things can go very wrong in any war fighting.

    There is no doubt in 2011 that there is no grand plan of western imperialism to seize control of Libyan oil etc. We all ought to know that the outcome of this revolutionary war, really truly generated by the examples of the neighbours will be a country that has a bourgeois democratic system, and that will have BTW something we don’t. They will of course get a system of proportional representation. That’s how it always works in this era. They will demand and get a system very similar to the one that the Iraqi peoples have. So it seems Steve and the rest of us will be delighted to see the required elections as and when they arrive country by country in the region.

    IMV the armed forces of the western world and the still ‘disoriented’ Egyptian military ought to act ASAP and this war could be stopped in its tracks and instead the revolution go nation-wide in a matter of days. If the best Gaddafi can do is get a couple of thousand demonstrating support in Tripoli then the fight ought to be taken to Tripoli as quickly as enemy air power can be suppressed. At this point we may have to say good bye to Steve, as U.S. air forces ought to then attack any and all enemy armour and hard points that block our side’s advance. For the sake of all concerned, including those in the enemy held territory, western Special Forces ought to coordinate the work from the ground, irrespective of any supposed propaganda coup this provides to the enemy. Events ought to be made to move too fast for this to be the issue. The immediate issues ought to be water and medical assistance to the people of Tripoli.

    That is not enforcing a NFZ on ‘all’ but the U.S. etc., unmistakably taking sides in this civil war and destroying the enemy that is preventing the ‘democrats’ advancing. Once it gets into a street fight in Tunisia I would expect a rapid collapse, but if it drags on then that would only demonstrate the importance of the west providing greater ground attack capacity. I am not an advocate of protracted war for the sake of protracted war!

    IMV there could not have been any realistic level of preparation and planning since the reality of region change is still only dawning on the political and military players. Egypt stirred to life from the example of Tunisia in January, a no fly zone would have already been imposed if they were not well behind events. So I conclude the obvious; everyone has been caught unaware of what was only theoretically on the horizon to neo-con insiders and outsider swamp draining theorists like ourselves.

    The Egyptian and western military ought assist the revolutionary forces and not let this war get properly started. I fear they will dither even longer than they have. But even if they do it can’t last many months with a fully enforced Steve supported blockade now able to be imposed on the Gaddafi areas. Militarily they are in an untenable position.

    We know what’s at stake is the bourgeois democratic revolution and we are on the side of the revolution. Western governments will all welcome the arrival of the new Libya. So will (in the vast majority) the Palestinian peoples’ and all the progressive people of the Middle East including those in Egypt, Iran and Saudi Arabia.

    Gaddafi’s armed forces are the enemy. As the revolutionary forces approach them they will engage and lines of control will become clear. Civilians are now and will continue to be caught up in the fighting. The Libyan leadership Steve waited to hear from before he knew to support air attacks against the Gaddafi forces, have virtually zero demonstrated democratic credentials and insufficient military credentials (with no air and naval forces capable of proven cooperation with western combined forces) to run the looming air, naval, and ground war that Obama has dithered with. This is not now the case with the leadership of Iraq who want similar death spat at Al Qaeda, Baathists and Shia reactionaries until the go home date that they have required. They have solid (without being in anyway impeccable) democratic credentials demonstrated over two internationally supervised national elections.

    Arthur said a NFZ would have to be imposed as a no brain-er. That was always my view once a serious fight for power started. Militarily Libya is a vast nothing with a coast a highway and two big cities with Gaddafi in Tripoli and the rebels in Benghasi.

    I expect Steve will now find the political leadership of the Iraqi people that are fighting still against Al Qaeda, Baathists and Shia reactionaries that have called for military assistance. I suspect that he will now find the ships captains that have now called for assistance from piracy. I suspect he will now find the various leaderships of Kuwait that ALL sought assistance from a ground based pirate attack.

    Up to this point Steve only supported the U.S. and other western naval forces waging war on the coast/ borders of Libya, and he also logically admits that he ought to have in the case of Iraq. Without the naval forces and blockade the NFZ that he now said ought to have been supported could not have been prosecuted. The blockade actions have been acts of war and so is a NFZ. Steve is advocating acts of war on the strength of leaders with virtually no democratic credentials. Bravo. He is advocating this because the outcome irrespective of the leaders must be a democratic transformation. That democratic transformation is the reality in Iraq and was always going to be. There was no plan to do the impossible and try to impose puppets.

    Two months ago Steve could not have imagined that he would now be supporting sending U.S. war ships and aircraft to destroy Gaddafi’s forces as they wage war against the Libyan peoples’.

    I support these acts of war and would like to see a column of Egyptian armour head straight to Tripoli. Such a column would require air cover both Egyptian and U.S.. It would carry the revolutionary forces forward and prevent any forces of tyranny from realistically resisting. Without such a force the struggle to defeat the Gaddafi forces will be much more difficult. Just as they have been while the tyranny is permitted to fly.

    Well done to Steve for wanting the enemy aircraft shot down by the U.S. military.

    There are still a few isolated ‘anti-war’ pseudolefts sprouting theories of never uniting with imperialist forces. Steve is not one of them.

  54. 54 Steve Owens

    Pat, In your contribution you are clearly arguing for foreign ground troops in Libya.
    Today on the radio I herd Mustafa Mohamed Abdal-Jelil (the leader of the Libyam revolution) state that he wants arial suport and or a no fly zone. Then he went on to say that every Libyan is opposed to the introduction of foreign troops.
    Now I believe that you have never been to Libya, don’t speak their language and have not studied the country in any depth just like me.
    My question is what makes you so sure that your oppinion is correct while the purported view of “every” Libyan is wrong?

  55. 55 Steve Owens

    PatrickM I think that you occupy a position that makes little sense.
    In the run up to the 2003 Iraqi invasion the DAWA party,the party that stands for democracy and reflects a view of a substancial portion of the Iraqi people came out against the invasion and participated in anti war demos. You thought that you knew better than the DAWA party and supported the invasion.
    Now you support another foreign invasion this time with an imaginary Egyptian column and fighting all the way to the “streets of Tunisia”
    Why do you consider your oppinions to out rank those of the DAWA party or of the Libyan National Council. What special insight do you have that gives you this strange power.

  56. 56 GuruJane

    Steve Owens: You may not be aware but Dawa was elected the major governing party in Iraq last January, in the THIRD fully democratic election conducted since the Baath were sent packing. Would you expect they would still prefer on balance to have been left to take on the Baath by themselves?

    It does not look as though your Libyan rebels will be getting too many democratic opportunities for the long forseeable future. Quite a different fate appears to await them. References: Iraq, Saddam, Republican Guard, tens if not hundreds of thousands of corpses, 1991.

  57. 57 Steve Owens

    Hi Guru Jane I am aware that Dawa have done well in all elections national and provincial. What they said prior to the invasion was “not in our name, no to the invasion of Iraq.” Dawa are a democratic party, the Libyan National Council are promising democratic elections. My question for PatrickM is why, when Iraqi or Libyan democrats advocate one thing does he feel confident enough in his own oppinion to advocate something else?
    It’s not a hard question.

  58. 58 Arthur

    The consequences of previous US betrayal in Iraq were that Daawa, SCIRI and the Iraqi Communst Party all refrained from openly calling for a US invasion. Each of them in fact wanted it and actively worked for and cooperated with it (though not as openly as the Kurdish parties and with more hypocritical public opposition).

    In Libya the opposition forces face similar predicaments and we have less information available about their real and declaratory positions. But it is probably fair to say that they currently only want air support and oppose intervention on the ground.

    In an article for today’s London Telegraph and Melbourne Age, former UK Defence Chief General Dannatt argues that “A no-fly zone is no way to deal with Libya”.

    His truly pathetic arguments reflect the urgency of replacing the “Vietnam generation” of defeated imperialist generals with competent military leaders attuned to the 21st century global democratic revolution.

    If a clear request from a substantial part of the Libyan population was received by the Security Council, backed by the Gulf Co-operation Council, the Arab League, or perhaps the African Union, and the Security Council then passed an appropriate resolution, it might be legitimate to impose a no-fly zone.

    No doubt the William of Orange should have sought permission from the Pope before assisting the Glorious Revolution in the UK!

    But if that did not produce the desired effect, in the way the bombing campaign in Kosova and Serbia in 1999 nearly failed to achieve its aim, is the international community willing to take the intervention to the next level?

    Dannatt knows perfectly well that both Russia and China opposed action in Kosova and Serbia and blocked any UN resolution. He knows that intervention “nearly failed” to prevent mass murder in Europe then and wants to make damn sure that at least North Africa should remain a safe haven for murderous dictators now, even though he can no longer hope for that in Europe.

    Obviously it would be harder to ignore pleas for any further assistance needed once the minimal commitment of a no-fly zone has been made. So the vital thing for maintaining the comfort of British officers is to prevent even the most minimal and least risky assistance to Libyan civilians from the air and sea.

    Many would find it hard to stomach the notion of military intervention on the ground in another Muslim country.

    Yes, it would make Dannatt and the rest of the “old guard” in the UK and US foreign policy establishment feel even more irrelevant and impotent than they did when their opinions were ignored over Iraq.

    Hopefully others have stronger stomachs and still understand the vital importance of democratic revolution throughout the region.

  59. 59 Steve Owens

    Arthur, You state in your contribution that parties such as Dawa ‘….actively worked for and cooperated with it…” the it being the US lead invasion. I can’t find any referance to the Dawa party working for and cooperating with the invasion.( here there is a distinction between invasion and occupation)
    By cooperation do you mean their participation in the Interim Governing Council? If that is the extent of their cooperation then it is misleading to say that they were in favour of the invasion as it’s no more than a sensible response to changed circumstances rather than an endorsment of changing those circumstances.
    I would be happy if you could point me in the direction of material that documents Dawa party working for an invasion at the same time that they were on the streets agitating against the invasion.

  60. 60 Arthur

    Steve, in your world being on the streets proclaiming opposition is deeply meaningful. In the real world people opposed to an invasionn don’t just make token protests and then join the administration setup by the occupying power because “circumstances have changed”.

    If you want to research the details, look for stuff on the “London conference” of the Iraqi opposition together with the coalition. Daawa and the others demanded that the opposition be constituted as an interim government (even though it was incapable of agreeing on anything much, let alone governing) and declined to formally support the invasion when told it would openly be a US occupation. The die had already been cast for an invasion with the Congressional resolution in October and everyone attending the London conference knew that they were working with the invader (“world public opinion” was still breathlessly following inspections and UN resolutions etc till March but the mobilization, including the Iraqi participation was organized much earlier).

    Only the Kurdish parties (and some small forces from the Iraqi National Congress) directly participated in the invasion. Even the KDP’s position was somewhat ambiguous until the last moment. The Iraqi Communist party actually helped organize the IGC while hypocritically proclaiming its opposition to the invasion to all its brotherly revisionist parties.

    BTW at that time even Kanan Makiya (spell?) who had been working for a US invasion for decades, thought the US would betray the Iraqi democrats because of highly successful US disinformation aimed at persuading Baathist generals and other supporters of Sunni domination that it would only be “regime change” to remove Sadaam and not free elections (which would certainly result in the Shia parties Daawa and SCIRI having a majority). It was easy for such disinformation to be successful because it was exactly what the Baathist generals, Arab “moderate allies” and US foreign policy establishment all wanted to hear, whereas the US doing the opposite of what it had always done in the past was as inconceivable to them as it was to the pseudos (who didn’t need the disinformation campaign to be persuaded of it).

    In Libya by contrast it is a matter of supporting an opposition that has already fully committed rather than invading to resolve an otherwise unresolvable situation. At present the Libyan opposition clearly does want air (and presumably naval) support and does not yet want ground forces (except for delivering supplies etc).

    It is the US that is dithering about providing that air and naval support, not the Libyan opposition trying to deny responsibility for participating in a US initiated project.

    BTW Daawa is roughly similar to Hezbollah in political outlook and the Muslim Brotherhood was the only significant Sunni party joining the Interim Governing Council. These aspects were not highlighted by the Bush administration because while providing the negligible benefit of highlighting the absurdity of pseudo-left claims about US puppets, the pseudo-left anti-war movement was never a significant problem. The opposition from the US foreign policy establishment was the real problem (shown once again in holding up support for the current revolution sweeping the region – the pseudos had no forces to mobilize and are just writing silly “anti-imperialist” articles backing the same policy as the foreign policy establishment). Highlighting matters that confirmed the administration really was serious about democracy instead of just another “moderate” Arab autocracy would only have strengthened the opposition who still cannot adjust to the idea of actually supporting the people instead of just hypocritically talking about the “free world” while preserving “stable” dictatorships as before.

    As we always said, the inevitable (and obvious) consequence of what the US was doing in Iraq would be to destabilize the region and bring down all the traditional US “moderate” allies. That was the basis for both the opposition from the US foreign policy establishment and their Arab allies and of our support.

    It is happening right now and its worth celebrating. Checkout Al Jazeera English for uplifting videos showing the actual “fesitival of the oppressed” especially in Egypt. (Incidentally AJE is getting quite schizoid about Libya with both pseudo-left “anti-imperialist” warnings against intervention together with impatience at the delay.)

  61. 61 Steve Owens

    Ah the London conference. Anti Saddam political groups held conferences in London, Tehran and Salahuddin. Is participation in a conference let alone participation in post invasion governance an indication of support for the process.
    Look at the earlier situation in occupied Germany. Take the city of Aachen the first German city taken off the Nazis. The US appointed a non Nazi as mayor. He was despised by both the Nazis and the US army as he was not any ones ideal candidate but in occupied Germany they didn’t have much choice. Now can we assert that the mayor (sorry Ive forgotten his name) supported the invasion, well no even though he co operated with the invading army theres no reason to believe that as a “good” German he was doing anything other than coping with a situation not of his own creation.

  62. 62 Steve Owens

    An example closer to home.
    When the government pushed to have awards replaced by Enterprise bargans I was against it. I aggitated within my union put up motions at mass meetings and tried as hard as I could to stop my union cooperating with the new system. Once the fight was lost I could have gone quiet on the grounds that my position had been defeated but that would be silly. Instead I become part of the unions enterprise barganing team and start to make the argument against individual contracts which was the governments next objective. Now does that mean I support EB or even awards? Hell no it means that like everyone involved in struggle you start not from the point of your choosing but from the point where you are.
    This is what I think parties like Dawa were doing, they had their real position which was to oppose the invasion but they acknowledge that the invasion is reality and as a rule its best to try and deal with reality. BTW how is the Egyptian amoured column going?

  63. 63 Steve Owens

    The mayor of Aachen was Franz Opperhoff
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Franz_Opperhoff
    Socialist Alternative have done an article about Green Left Weekly in their previous guise as Direct Action where they ran an article that praised Gaddafi to the skys, oops.

  64. 64 Steve Owens

    correction the mayor of Aachen assasinated by the Nazi resistance was Franz Oppenhoff
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Franz_Oppenhoff

  65. 65 Steve Owens

    So Arthur have you any evidence to back your claim or are you just going to rely on assertion?
    If post invasion cooperation is your evidence that the parties of cooperation were active participants in the invasion then your argument is thin.
    World war two again provides examples. Vichy France were not active participants in the invasion of France but post invasion collaborators otherwise it makes no sense that the USA thought that Vichy would be their colaborators after the US tanks rolled through. They had this theory at least up to the invasion of north africa where they put Dalan in charge.
    But maybe you, like Patrickm have some way of knowing things that are a mistery to people in my world.

  66. 66 patrickm

    Ten days ago Steve worked out that he could support the U.S. imposing a NFZ in Libya. He could because some revolutionary authorities in Libya asked for air support. Yet there is still no military intervention. Many more now support the U.S. military intervention even the Australian Greens.

    The French have led all with recognising the interim council as the legitimate force and they could do this because the revolutionary demands are nothing more than the centuries old demands to have and hold free and fair elections. These demands are exactly the same demands as in Bahrain and just the same as were the real demands in Iraq.

    Obama who daily orders help delivered to the people of Iraq, despite him never wanting to help, is still dithering with Libya and now furious about the absurdity that is Bahrain.

    Gaddafi got lucky with Japan being a great diversion but never mind no time to catch one’s breath; there’s a revolution going on and everybody now knows it. Even Guy Rundle.

    This revolution is region wide and defined by the demands. This revolution is imperilled in Bahrain and Libya. This revolution is not imperilled in Iraq nor is it clearly imperilled in Egypt where the struggle goes on at the political level.

    Obama must focus on where the revolution is imperilled; he must launch the military forces required to support this revolution in Libya (where push long ago came to shove,) and perhaps even proclaiming ‘the rights of man’ loud enough for the Saudi’s to hear about them. Someone ought to tell them.

    Everyone involved in the swamp draining is gaining some experience and the situation is becoming very clear. Either Gaddafi’s forces are attacked with weapon systems that the rebels currently do not possess or the enemy will soon be at the gates of Bengazi.

    Gaddafi will not (imv) launch a slaughter in Bengazi that would force the outside intervention but instead behave as reasonably as one can when demanding that the people of a country have no right to vote in free and fair elections and hand themselves over to those that have a proper army. Just like the situation in Bahrain where the rulers by divine right did have the sense to call in the Saudi troops.

    The Libyan army could hold the rebels in Bengazi and after ten more days Bengazi would be all that the rebels would control in all of Libya. The army could roll up the rest of the country and negotiate a ‘reasonable’ settlement with the rebels. That would not be the end of the matter but that situation then is not something that any progressive forces in the world ought to wait for before they advocate actions.

    The situation is now such that air power may soon not be the issue.

    IMV Obama with the British, French and Italians offering support will be obliged to take action. The Russians, Chinese and Indians have sat down smiling with Gaddaffi so this issue will now have to be resolved without international support. No international law will provide the authority for supporting the revolution. The U.S. are pissed off because while they dithered around apparently the Saudi intervention in Bahrain does have the backing of international law. Time for some new law.

    The U.S. forces that sit off the coast are capable of destroying both his air-power and armoured columns that have provided the ground mobility that has seen them take town after town on their way to the Egyptian and other borders.

    All the rebel command’s now call for air attacks against Gaddafi’s very effective military not just the imposition of any NFZ. I hope the U.S. gives a very good lesson on the use of air power to destroy ground forces and not allow any to withdraw back to Tripoli. I hope they use Tripoli as the starting point for smashing the Libyan army towards Bengazi rather than the other way round. If they do then there will be a much shorter war.

    Steve, Guy Rundle, Mark and Kim over at LP, even Adam Bandt now call for a NFZ even though it’s gone way beyond that. Slowly ever so slowly they are catching on. But they are all now catching on while declaring themselves on the side of the revolution and thus on the side of the revolutionary demands.

  67. 67 Arthur

    My guess is that full air (and presumably naval) support will be provided, with UN Security Council authorization (not just a no fly zone).That will certainly be enough to hold Benghazi and everything except Tripoli and Sirte, and the regime could not hold out for long without control of the rest of Libya including its oil.

    I don’t think Russia or China have any vital interest against this that would make them veto it against Arab League support.

    Likewise German and Turkish opposition would not be sufficient for them to block NATO action and Italian reluctance would not result in refusing access to air bases.

    So the end of US dithering seems to be all that’s needed, and I suspect that has already happened, given the draft resolution.

    Things look bad over Bahrain, with West tacitly supporting the monarchy using Saudi and UAE troops to maintain power. Not sure if this is related to the (surprising) near unanimous Arab League support for Libyan revolution.

    Anyway there’s no way the Gulf monarchies can hold out for long once Egypt is settled. Iraq won’t tolerate thorough suppression of the people in Bahrain and once Bahrain goes it will be quite difficult for its neighbours (hence their intervention).

  68. 68 GuruJane

    From Reidar Visser’s blog:

    “Today, the Iraqi parliament presented a far more nuanced take on the situation in Bahrain. True, many of the speeches in support of the Bahraini demonstrators were given by Shiite Islamists, as could perhaps have been predicted. But there were other dimensions too. Kurdish and Christian deputies added their support for the Bahraini opposition. A gathering of female deputies seconded a motion to protest against the highhandedness of the Bahraini authorities; Salman al-Jamili, a Sunni from the Iraqiyya list expressed sympathy with the [mostly but not exclusively Shiite] demonstrators who in his view had been “marginalised” by the [Sunni] regime.

    “And ultimately, it was the Sunni speaker of parliament, also from the Iraqiyya bloc, Usama al-Nujayfi, who cancelled the rest of today’s session in protest against what the [Sunni] regime in Bahrain is doing. He called the Bahraini uprising a “popular movement” and also condemned “interference” in Bahrain, which in the current situation can only mean the Saudis and other GCC states.”

    http://gulfanalysis.wordpress.com/

    The Iraqi democracy well and truly the model. George W Bush well and truly vindicated.

  69. 69 jim sharp

    Brotherly Leader on the Ropes!!!! shit!
    his rope turns out more elastic than
    war viz peace cerebral dialectics
    at hand in the noggins of the “genuine leftie”

    US looks on Libya as McDonald’s – Gaddafi’s son
    http://rt.com/news/interview-gaddafi-libya-usa/

  70. 70 steve owens

    Jim Gadaffi’s son really?
    I like this article better.
    http://www.economist.com/node/18897405

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