October 24, 2011
By all means, Mr. President, take full credit for the Libyan “victory.” Wallow in it. Savor it. Brag about to the voters. Despite the fact that you downplayed our participation to the point that you said it wasn’t even a “war,” you own it, Barry.
Now stew in it:
Mustafa Abdul-Jalil, the chairman of the National Transitional Council and de fact president, had already declared that Libyan laws in future would have Sharia, the Islamic code, as its “basic source”.
But that formulation can be interpreted in many ways – it was also the basis of Egypt’s largely secular constitution under President Hosni Mubarak, and remains so after his fall.
Mr Abdul-Jalil went further, specifically lifting immediately, by decree, one law from Col. Gaddafi’s era that he said was in conflict with Sharia – that banning polygamy.
In a blow to those who hoped to see Libya’s economy integrate further into the western world, he announced that in future bank regulations would ban the charging of interest, in line with Sharia. “Interest creates disease and hatred among people,” he said.
Barry has labored long and hard and brought forth…a 12th century Islamic prison where women will be neither seen nor heard, and all the delightful accoutrements of Sharia compliant society will put the Libyan people in a straitjacket that only Gaddafi could have admired.
Leading from behind, leading from the front – who cares? Obama has participated in the creation of another society ruled by zealots who will be dedicated to our destruction. So by all means, Mr. President, chalk up another foriegn policy “success” for your re-election.
I’m sure the American people will respond correctly to your “achievement.”
Update: Andrew G. Bostom writes:
“Liberated” Libya Re-Institutes Sharia-Based Polygamy
Islam is the Religion of the State, and the principal source of legislation is Islamic Jurisprudence (Sharia).
He [Abdul Jalil] also announced the annulment of an existing [secular] family law that limits the number of wives [a] Libyan [male] can take, contradicting the provision in the Muslim holy book, the Quran (i.e., Koran 4:3), that allows men up to four wives.
Thus “liberated” Libya has formally re-instituted Sharia-based polygamy, in pious conformity with Koran 4:3. Is this a development Secretary of State Clinton will also celebrate-perhaps stated as, “We came, we saw…polygamy re-applied”?
August 20, 2011
President Obama committed America to the cause of the Libyan rebels based on the theory of R2P — a responsibility to protect innocents, the innocents of Benghazi and other rebel strongholds, who presumably faced slaughter at the hands of loyalist forces of Col. Gaddafi. This is the dreamy theory of diplomacy pushed by Obama advisor Samantha Power.
But now that the rebels appear to be surging, if they take Tripoli, will they slaughter the enemy tribesman who supported dictator Gaddafi? If that threat were imminent, wouldn’t the United States have an obligation to switch sides under the R2P doctrine?
Adam Garfinkle considers the possibilities on The American Interest:
There are reasons for thinking that the likelihood of the slaughter in Benghazi was far lower than the likelihood of a slaughter coming soon in Tripoli. Gaddafi may have thought back then that just the threat of mass violence could dissipate the rebellion, or weaken it fatally. Arabic is very good for threat making, and Arabs over the years have become masters at using language as votive acts. (There is a long tradition, just by the way, of leaders hiring poets to curse their enemies. There is as a result a whole genre of Arabic literature of this sort. And to those familiar with the Hebrew Bible, it will occur that this is not just an Arab hobby, but one practiced widely in the ancient Near East as well, as the used-to-be-very-well-known story of Balak and Bilaam attests.) Westerners eavesdropping on this internal conversation frequently take what is being said much too literally.
The Obama administration, in other words, naively interpreted overblown rhetoric, and now fails to comprehend the tribal dynamics:
NATO is not in a position on the ground to do anything about it. NATO, fighting without the United States, has not been in a position to do very much about anything, which raises a point I will follow up just below. Clearly, the rebels who might be soon advancing on Tripoli do not recognize a clear distinction between civilians and combatants. Tribal rules say that all adult males are fair game. Given the widely available military technology of our time, however, and the Libyans’ lack of training in using that technology surgically, it is very unlikely that women and children will remain safe regardless of traditional prohibitions against harming them.
There are no good options for Obama now. I guess that smart diplomacy is working out about as well as hope and change. Garfinkle concludes:
All I know is that when a government engages in military activity on the basis of a nonsensical premise, there is a price to be paid always down the road. We are now pretty much down the road.
Muammar Qaddafi’s son, Seif al-Islam, has announced that the regime has struck a deal with its Islamist opposition to turn Libya into a Sharia state and crush the secular rebels. This comes as the top rebel commander, Abdel Fateh Younes, was murdered, possibly by Islamists. The Islamist opposition, however, says Qaddafi is just trying to divide the rebels. Libya is now facing a civil war between a dictator who seeks Islamist support, and rebels with Islamists among them.
Seif al-Islam claims that a joint statement between the regime and its new Islamist friends will soon be released. He said that the agreement was reached when the regime agreed to make Sharia the law of the land. The rebel city of Darna will become “like Mecca” and has already become “Waziristan on the Mediterranean.” After winning the war, he said that “Libya will look like Saudi Arabia, like Iran.” As for the secular rebels, “The liberals will escape or be killed…We will do it together.”
The announcement comes on the heels of the assassination of the top rebel commander, Abdel Fateh Younes. A minister with the opposition’s National Transitional Council claims that a rebel-allied Islamist militia called the Obaida Ibn Jarrah Brigade was responsible. However, others suspect that the Katiba Yussef Shakir militia was behind the murder. The group recently attacked a prison in Benghazi and freed 300 inmates that were on the side of the regime. The rebels have since battled the militia, accusing it of being a “fifth column” that infiltrated their ranks on behalf of Qaddafi.
The Islamist identified by Seif al-Islam as the regime’s new ally, Ali Sallabi, says the regime is lying. He says he supports a civil constitution, and is committed to overthrowing Qaddafi. Indeed, the Islamists have invested their hopes in the rebel cause. The Muslim Brotherhood is active in rebel-controlled Libya now, and Sheikh Yousef al-Qaradawi has issued a fatwa permitting the killing of Qaddafi. Al-Qaeda is against Qaddafi, and members of the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group are in the fight. There are also indications that Hezbollah is helping the rebels, but the terrorist group denies this claim.
If it is true that Qaddafi has mended ties with some of the Islamists by offering to make the country a Sharia state, it wouldn’t be surprising. The regime orchestrated numerous terrorist attacks in the 1980s, such as the 1986 disco bombing in Germany and the Lockerbie bombing of 1988. In 2003, Qaddafi used an American member of the Muslim Brotherhood, Abdurahman Alamoudi, to reach out to Al-Qaeda. He was used to pay the Movement for Islamic Reform in Arabia $1 million to kill then-Crown Prince Abdullah of Saudi Arabia following a public spat. The plot was foiled before the attack took place. In recent years, the regime tried to bury the hatchet with the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group, saying it wanted to “end a tragic period.”
In 2008, one of Qaddafi’s sons, Hannibal, said, “If I had an atom bomb, I would wipe Switzerland off the map” after Swiss authorities arrested him for assault. Qaddafi then used the Swiss ban on mosque minarets to declare jihad “by all means.” “Those who destroy God’s mosques deserve to be attacked through jihad and if Switzerland was on our borders, we would fight it,” he said. Qaddafi later said he was only asking for non-violent retaliation. That same year, Iraqi officials stated that Seif al-Islam was sending suicide bombers to their country.
In February 2010, Qaddafi gave a pro-terrorism speech, saying, “They [the West] want to prevent Muslims from undertaking jihad which means ‘struggle’ by calling it terrorism.” He justified attacks on Israel and violence to “defend” Muslim land from occupation. “We will not abandon jihad because it is Islamic duty,” he vowed. Since the civil war in Libya began, Qaddafi said he’d wage jihad alongside Al-Qaeda, and warned the days would return “where we bomb our cars or put explosive belts around our beds and around our women.”
It is still difficult to see the Islamist opposition switching sides and fighting on behalf of Qaddafi, given the atrocities of the regime and the fact that the rebels are still the most likely victor. Seif al-Islam may very well be simply trying to scare the West, and to divide the ranks of the regime’s enemies. After all, a clash within the opposition is inevitable. On the one hand, the vice chairman of the National Transitional Council flatly states, “There is no place for an Islamic state in Libya.” On the other, some rebel commanders like Abdel-Hakim al-Hasidi have waged jihad and fought the U.S. in Iraq. He said that “members of Al-Qaeda are good Muslims and are fighting against the invader.”
On Sharia law, al-Hasidi said, “No Islamist revolution has ever succeeded. Only when the whole population was included, did we succeed and that means a more inclusive ideology.” That does not mean that he is against Sharia-based governance, but that he views democracy as a means to attaining a popularly-supported Sharia state. In any case, there cannot be a long-term reconciliation between the goals of the Islamists and the rebel leadership. A break is inevitable, and Qaddafi is likely trying to make it happen as soon as possible.
The Islamists suddenly find themselves in a strong position. If the rebels win, then they can become a part of the new Libyan government. If Qaddafi wins, he will seek their support to stabilize his rule and hunt down his liberal opponents. It’s a good time to be an Islamist in Libya.
– Prophecy News Watch
June 4, 2011
It’s an escalation, of course. The Apaches will be able to attack targets where Gaddafi has hidden his military assets among civilians.
But helicopters are particularly vulnerable to ground fire, which means that the alliance will probably begin to pay in blood for protecting Libya’s civilians.
“This was the first operational mission flown by British Army Apaches at sea,” British Secretary of State for Defense Liam Fox said.
“The additional capabilities now being employed by NATO further reinforces the UK’s enduring commitment and NATO’s determination to… ensure that the people of Libya are free to determine their own future.”
Military analysts say attack helicopters will allow more precise strikes against pro-Gaddafi forces hiding in built-up areas than the high-flying jets used so far, while reducing the risk of civilian casualties.
But given the vulnerability of helicopters to ground fire, their deployment also increases the risk of Western forces suffering their first casualties of the campaign.
Speaking in the rebel-held eastern city of Benghazi, the head of the rebel council Mustafa Abdel Jalil welcomed NATO’s deployment of attack helicopters.
“We welcome any measures that would expedite the departure of Gaddafi and his regime,” he told reporters in the eastern rebel stronghold of Benghazi, where British Foreign Secretary William Hague later arrived for talks with council members.
NATO keeps talking about how “isolated” Gaddafi is. Considering that the dictator spent most of the 1980’s as head of a pariah state, I wonder how much more isolated he could get?
Gaddafi doesn’t need anybody or any country to stay in power. As long as he commands the loyalty of the army, the rebels will be stymied in their efforts to topple him. NATO is avoiding the implications of this fact and will continue to do so until they deploy the necessary ground troops to decisively defeat Gaddafi and drive him from power – or kill him.
April 20, 2011
British boots on the ground for LibyaAs the NATO intervention in Libya fails, escalation looms, triggering memories of Vietnam, and even more ancient interventions:British Troops Go To Libya Amid ‘Vietnam’ Warnings
– London Telegraph, 4/20/11LONDON. At least ten senior officers will be sent to Benghazi to try to forge the rebels trying to oust Colonel Muammar Kaddafi into a credible fighting force. (snip)
The deployment of military advisors is the first move to arise from [Prime Minister] Cameron’s request for “creative thinking” over Libya and officials said more moves could follow…Hmmm…British officers advising native troops in a war in the Near East. I seem to remember something about that…Wasn’t there a great Cinerama movie made about that.?..Won a lot of Academy Awards. Great cinematography..That ship going through the Suez Canal. The attack on the train. Camels.Yeah. I got it now.Lawrence of Arabia. David Lean. Peter O’Toole. Omar Sharif.That’s the ticket.The Brits better hope it doesn’t end up like that other movie.Khartoum.General “Chinese” Gordon was only an “advisor” too. The Mahdi got his head.
April 20, 2011
Al-Qaida Confirms Involvement in Libya
The American media are reluctant to report what the French media have made clear: Al-Qaida has established a beachhead in Libya and fully intends to install Sharia law once government forces are overcome.An April 19th article in the prominent French daily, Le Figaro, does not shy from chronicling the obvious. It highlights an interview that Al Qaida spokesman Saleh Abi Mohammad gave to the Saudi journal Al-Hayyat, which is published in London.According to Abi Mohammad, Al Qaida is fighting alongside the Libyan rebels in numerous cities and, in the town of Dernah, has already formed with its allies an Islamic Council, “pour gouverner la ville en vertu de la sharia.”When asked whether Al-Qaida welcomed foreign intervention, Abi Mohammad answered, (my translation), “It is always preferable to die like a martyr than to ask the help of the crusaders.” He believes that the rebels could have prevailed without assistance, and he does not consider foreign help as “positive.”The French author of the article accurately sums up the Al Qaida message as “rather disturbing, one that we err in underestimating.”
April 18, 2011
Rebels flee key city – ask ‘Did NATO take Saturday and Sunday off?’
Libyan rebels are fleeing the strategic town of Adjdabiya Gaddafi’s forces are shelling the town indiscriminately. The New York Times:
Scores of rebel pickups and other vehicles could be seen leaving the eastern approaches of Ajdabiya, and explosions could be heard in the city. They were headed toward the rebel capital, Benghazi, about 100 miles north.Their flight seemed to end a rebel push that they said had taken them to the outskirts of the oil-refinery town of Brega, about 50 miles farther west of Ajdabiya, but some rebels did remain at positions in Ajdabiya to try to prevent it from falling to forces loyal to Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi.
Many of the fighters in the vehicles criticized NATO as failing to give them enough support and also said that they had insufficient weapons to match those of government forces.
In Benghazi, a spokesman for the rebels, Mustafa Gheriani, also expressed frustration with NATO airstrikes. “Maybe NATO took off Saturday and Sunday,” he said, adding that the rebels were unaware of any airstrikes by the alliance in the past two days.
“Where are the NATO forces?” asked Absalam Hamid, who identified himself as a rebel captain. “We don’t know why they didn’t bomb them.”
With British PM David Cameron reiterating NATO’s decision not to employ ground forces, it’s very difficult to see how this is going to end well for the alliance – and the rebels.
April 15, 2011
NATO says it needs more planes for Libya operation
To that request I say “duh.” Of course they need more planes. But not just any planes; they need sophisticated, all weather strike aircraft with smart bombs and missiles to take out Gaddafi’s armor currently being used in close quarters with civilians.
Mmmmmm…know anyone who might have a few of those kind of aircraft lying around not doing anything?
Of course, this is a plea to the US to re-enter the conflict with both feet. Even though NATO has 28 members, only France, the UK, Canada, Belgium, Norway and Denmark are contributing air craft to the fight against Gaddafi’s forces. Spain and Italy – both with considerable air assets – have decided to sit this one out. As has Germany and Turkey who also could contribute air craft but oppose the strikes against Gaddafi in the first place.
The BBC report quotes NATO downplaying the crisis:
Some assessments suggest that Nato only needs about a dozen or so extra strike aircraft to maintain the tempo of operations.Only a few of Nato’s 28 members – including France, the UK, Canada, Belgium, Norway and Denmark – are conducting air strikes.
Washington withdrew its fighter jets as it scaled back its role in the mission, although US planes are still targeting Col Gaddafi’s air defences and it says it has still been flying a third of the missions.Asked on Thursday if American forces could resume ground strikes, Mr Hague said the US was already making “a huge contribution”.
“It’s not unreasonable to ask other nations… to make additional contributions,” Mr Hague added.
Several major Nato member countries, including Spain and Italy, have not taken part in attacks on ground targets.
With NATO finally facing reality about the rebels – that they are unorganized and unable to coalesce around a single group – they are realizing that they are not going to get much help in getting rid of Gaddafi. This is a formula for stalemate and eventual partition with Gaddafi still in charge of most of the oil and population.
Expect continued silence on the war from the administration. They would rather leave their NATO allies in the lurch that get involved in this politically toxic war.
April 12, 2011
NATO attacks ineffectual as Misrata continues to bleed
Pro-government forces continued to pound the western city of Misrata yesterday despite NATO sorties seeking out and trying to destroy Gaddafi’s heavy weapons.
Hundreds have been reported killed in the shelling by the Libyan army. Reuters:
Echoing rebel complaints, Juppe told France Info radio, “It’s not enough.”He said NATO must stop Gaddafi shelling civilians and take out heavy weapons bombarding Misrata.
Foreign Secretary William Hague also said NATO must intensify attacks, calling on other alliance countries to match London’s supply of extra ground attack aircraft in Libya.
NATO, which stepped up air strikes around Misrata and the eastern battlefront city of Ajdabiyah at the weekend under a U.N. mandate to protect civilians, rejected the criticism.
“NATO is conducting its military operations in Libya with vigour within the current mandate. The pace of the operations is determined by the need to protect the population,” it said.
Libyan state television said on Tuesday a NATO strike on the town of Kikla, south of Tripoli, had killed civilians and members of the police force. It did not give details.
As expected, the peace initiative by the African Union fell apart as the rebels rejected any negotiated solution that would leave Gaddafi in power.
This is bad news for NATO who would love nothing better than a quick exit from the developing stalemate. With no negotiated solution in sight, and ground forces still out of the question, NATO must continue its relatively ineffectual bombing until they either get lucky and Gaddafi is overthrown by his own people, or the rebels demonstrate a lot more competence than they have to this point and win through to victory.
Neither scenario seems likely at this point.
April 07, 2011
Gaddafi writes ‘Dear Son’ letter to Obama
Libya’s Mu’aumer Qaddaffi sent President Barack Obama (D) a letter asking
Our dear son, Excellency, Baraka Hussein Abu oumama, your intervention is the name of the U.S.A. is a must, so that Nato would withdraw finally from the Libyan affair. Libya should be left to Libyans within the African union frame.
For more of the Leader of the Revolution’s thoughts, read the whole thing.