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Thread: The new Libya: various aspects

  1. #201
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default Losing Libya’s Revolution

    Bayonet Brant's previous post refers to a war game 'Game Over', after reading the linked NYRB article earlier today the situation is more like 'Game is not Over':http://www.nybooks.com/articles/arch...o_Tz2i.twitter

    Some classic passages, sometimes with Islam at the centre, others are legacy issues. Here is one:
    Benghazi, a city that farms out refuse collection to Bangladeshi and Sudanese migrant workers, still has five thousand Libyan garbage collectors on payroll. When an overconscientious official tried to stop paying them, hundreds stormed the municipality and chased out the councillors.
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  2. #202
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    Default U.S. Raids in Libya and Somalia Strike Terror Targets

    U.S. Raids in Libya and Somalia Strike Terror Targets

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    Read the full post and make any comments at the SWJ Blog.
    This forum is a feed only and is closed to user comments.

  3. #203
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default Tripoli protest: brings out HMGs

    Sadly the crazies, a Misrata militia this time, reacted badly to an un-armed protest calling for them to leave the city, amidst the weapons a "technical" with a heavy machine gun - which is shown firing at the crowds.

    Photo:https://twitter.com/Morning_LY/statu...129537/photo/1 The photographer's FB has more:https://www.facebook.com/ejjawkolla

    Some of the protestors went home and came back:
    Demonstrators, some of which had been carrying white flags, fled but then returned, heavily armed, to attack the compound, where the militiamen remained holed up until early morning as fighting continued. Rocket-propelled grenades could be heard.
    Link to news report:http://worldnews.nbcnews.com/_news/2...n-tripoli?lite

    Libya has dropped out of view of late, although I am sure SWC readers known it is unstable.
    Last edited by davidbfpo; 11-22-2013 at 10:48 PM. Reason: Merged into main thread, was a stand alone post.
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  4. #204
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default Making sense of Libya: cheering Humvees

    An IISS Strategic Comment which IMHO describes the chaos that is the new or is it the old Libya:http://www.iiss.org/en/publications/...-militias-d401

    Here is an illustration:
    The withdrawal of Misratan units was followed by that of other non-Tripoli militias, their place taken by the army's 151 and 166 brigades, newly trained and deploying with American equipment including tan-coloured humvees. Crowds cheered their arrival on the streets, though others remembered that the Misratans themselves had been cheered when they liberated the city two years before.
    davidbfpo

  5. #205
    Council Member carl's Avatar
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    A Washington Post story

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/...y.html?hpid=z1

    about the Senate Benghazi investigation has this paragraph in it:

    The report also noted, chillingly, that the FBI’s investigation of the attacks has been hampered in Libya and that 15 people “supporting the investigation or otherwise helpful to the United States” have since been killed in Benghazi. The report said it was unclear whether those killings were related to the inquiry.
    Our ineptitude would be comical if it didn't result in so many people getting killed.
    Last edited by davidbfpo; 01-19-2014 at 11:51 AM.
    "We fight, get beat, rise, and fight again." Gen. Nathanael Greene

  6. #206
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default Libya’s Fractious South and Regional Instability

    I noted some reporting via Twitter on the infighting in Southern Libya, but did not look further. Today this linked paper appeared and it opens with:
    A multitude of armed groups and smuggling networks with transnational reach are driving southern Libya’s integration into the Sahel–Sahara region. Contrary to widespread external perceptions, the extremist presence remains a marginal phenomenon in the southwest (Fezzan), at least in relation to the political struggles. Rivalries over the control of borders, smuggling routes, oilfields, and cities, as well as conflicts regarding the citizenship status of entire communities, are of far greater significance. These conflicts are centred on southern Libya, but have a regional dimension because of the transnational links of the parties involved.
    Link:http://www.smallarmssurvey.org/sana/...ispatch-3.html

    There is a section on the Tuareg's too. Yet more to read.
    davidbfpo

  7. #207
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    http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/...A2709K20140308

    Libya threatens to bomb North Korean tanker if it ships oil from rebel port


    Libya threatened on Saturday to bomb a North Korean-flagged tanker if it tried to ship oil from a rebel-controlled port, in a major escalation of a standoff over the country's petroleum wealth.

    The rebels, who have seized three major Libyan ports since August to press their demands for more autonomy, warned Tripoli against staging an attack to halt the oil sale after the tanker docked at Es Sider terminal, one of the country's biggest. The vessel started loading crude late at night, oil officials said.

  8. #208
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Bill,

    I've relied on twitter for updates. First there was a report the Libyan Air Force refused to attack the tanker. Just seen a reliable source, Omar Ashour report:
    Libyan navy controls oil tanker, leads to government controlled port. Finally, #GNC shows some teeth.
    davidbfpo

  9. #209
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default Making sense of chaos and a little oil

    A little more reporting. AJ's headline 'Libyan parliament sacks PM after tanker escapes rebel-held port', although the story is based on Reuters, which starts:
    Libya's parliament voted Prime Minister Ali Zeidan out of office on Tuesday after rebels humiliated the government by loading crude on a tanker that fled from naval forces, officials said, in a sign of the worsening chaos in the OPEC member state.

    Libyan gunboats later chased the tanker along Libya's eastern Mediterranean coast and opened fire, damaging it, a military spokesman said. Italian naval ships were helping move the tanker to a Libyan government-controlled port, he said. But Italy denied any of its vessels were in the area at the time and the reported firing incident could not be confirmed.
    Link:http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/...A2A0R820140311

    With a backgrounder on the bubbling along civil strife in Libya:http://www.theguardian.com/commentis...rea?CMP=twt_gu
    davidbfpo

  10. #210
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default Southern Libya (Fezzan): backgrounder

    This hitherto remote region, known as Fezzan, has become a "hot spot" with rival militias, militants, arms smuggling and oilfields. An excellent backgrounder, using open sources and field interviews comes from the Swiss-based Small Arms Survey:http://www.smallarmssurvey.org/filea...uous-South.pdf

    They conclude:
    Southern Libya is set to remain a source of regional instability for the foreseeable future, and is also likely to become a growing concern for the emerging Libyan state.
    How this squares with the clear issues of control = where most Libyans live, along the coast - is not clear. The report had noted, just before this sentence:
    ...the Libyan government appears preoccupied with developments in the country’s northwest and east.
    I was fascinated by this paragraph:
    Most Tuareg soldiers of Sahelian origin stayed in southern Libya. Defectors from the Maghawir Brigade set up the first ‘revolutionary’ Tuareg armed group after Tripoli’s fall: the Ténére Brigade. The Brigade’s entry into Ubari in September 2011 was considered the town’s ‘liberation’, and the group emerged as one of the two largest units in the town. The largest was the Maghawir Brigade—renamed the Tendé Brigade—which kept its structure and its status as an official unit of the Libyan Army. According to the Tendé Brigade’s commander, the vast majority of Maghawir soldiers who escaped to Mali in 2011 have since returned to the unit. The commander cited several reasons for their return: their families had stayed in Libya, the political situation in Mali (where the MNLA was overtaken by extremist groups), and the dissipation of the threat of retaliation against Sahelian Tuareg.
    If there is one takeaway it is that business is good, even if shared.
    davidbfpo

  11. #211
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    See also the 24 February 2014 USIP report Illicit Trafficking and Libya’s Transition: Profits and Losses. Although it is concerned with Libya as a whole, it does tie in activities in the south with the bigger picture, and makes for a useful read in conjunction with the SANA paper.

  12. #212
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default aking sense of chaos and a little oil: a film clip

    Watch and draw your own conclusions - what did NATO do? Link to a short film clip and the English language used:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BxB4...T6N1Z_Lk8ztP_Q
    davidbfpo

  13. #213
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    Carl,

    Stumbled across this interview by Charlie Rose the other day.

    Michael Morell, former deputy director of the CIA.

    Covers the Bengazi fiasco and at the end touches on 'interrogation techniques' which is also interesting.

    Must admit that I am still in agreement with Daniel Patrick Moynihan about the CIA.




    Quote Originally Posted by carl View Post
    A Washington Post story

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/...y.html?hpid=z1

    about the Senate Benghazi investigation has this paragraph in it:



    Our ineptitude would be comical if it didn't result in so many people getting killed.

  14. #214
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default Cleaning up Benghazi; stalled or failed?

    That little 'small war' which rarely gets MSM reporting, so a welcome update and hat tip to WoTR:http://warontherocks.com/2014/07/lib...mist-campaign/
    davidbfpo

  15. #215
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default Libya and the robbers: bankers and militias

    A fascinating article 'How Libya Blew Billions and Its Best Chance at Democracy' that reveals that Libya's riches have been stolen on a huge scale amidst the chaos of militias vying for control:http://www.businessweek.com/articles...ational-wealth

    A taster:
    Of the nine companies to which the LIA entrusted its $70 billion bankroll, almost all appear to have lost incredible amounts of money while charging sky-high fees. According to an audit conducted by KPMG, Socit Gnrale managed to lose more than half of a $1.8 billion investment, while charging the Libyans tens of millions for its financial expertise. London-based investment management firm Permal Group, which received $300 million from LIA, lost 40 percent of it while earning $27 million in fees. BNP Paribas (BNP:FP) lost 23 percent: High fees have been directly responsible for the poor results, the auditor noted. Credit Suisse (CS) lost 29 percent of the funds that it managed. Millennium Global Investments, based in London, apparently lost all of a $100 million investment in its emerging credit fund, while a $300 million investment in Lehman Brothers vanished from the books after Lehman collapsed in 2008.
    davidbfpo

  16. #216
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    First this, hopefully you can access it without subscribing:

    http://theweek.com/article/index/267...-dumpster-fire

    How Hillary Clinton's 'smart power' turned Libya into a dumpster fire
    Another successful intervention. Another failed state riven by chaos and Islamist gangs

    Clinton claimed victory for her philosophy of "smart power," the self-regarding name for bombing people on behalf of rebel groups in a war that would be cheap and easily forgotten.
    The decision to launch airstrikes on Libya was made in about 96 hours, by self-described "humanitarians" who took up the emerging international norm of "responsibility to protect" as their reason for war. To the applause of Bernard-Henri Levy and other munitions-grade faux intellectuals, they argued that Western governments had a duty to use military resources to help civilians who were being abused by their governments. Not in North Korea where the masses starve, or Zimbabwe where hyperinflation was rampant and the unemployment rate was nearly in triple digits, but wherever there seems to be a winnable civil conflict, with plausible-looking good guys who can be taught to say "democracy" and "human rights."
    In the most obvious form of moral hazard, this pernicious "R2P" norm lowers the price of civil war in the developing world, encouraging rebels to make provocative attacks, then lobby for Western air support when the local bad guy punishes them for it. Uncle Sam or NATO deploys resources in a civil war these rebel groups could never win with their own blood and treasure. They often fail to win even when they do get help. The expectation of Western air power has exacerbated and intensified conflicts in Serbia, the Sudan, Libya, and Syria. As an international norm, R2P adds nothing but a noble-sounding gloss on getting more people killed than usual.
    This is true, yet many argue we should do the same in Syria. History doesn't hold the keys to what is possible in the future, but it should inform us if conditions are the same and the plans to change them are the same, then just maybe we'll see a repeat of the same.

    Fast forward to present

    http://www.nytimes.com/2014/08/26/wo...ikes.html?_r=0

    Arab Nations Strike in Libya, Surprising U.S.

    Twice in the last seven days, Egypt and the United Arab Emirates have secretly launched airstrikes against Islamist-allied militias battling for control of Tripoli, Libya, four senior American officials said, in a major escalation of a regional power struggle set off by Arab Spring revolts.
    The strikes in Tripoli are another salvo in a power struggle defined by Arab autocrats battling Islamist movements seeking to overturn the old order. Since the military ouster of the Islamist president in Egypt last year, the new government and its backers in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates have launched a campaign across the region — in the news media, in politics and diplomacy, and by arming local proxies — to roll back what they see as an existential threat to their authority posed by Islamist groups like the Muslim Brotherhood.
    American officials claim these strikes aren't helpful, but I doubt those countries that feel threatened by the Islamists give a hoot about how they feel. UAE is particularly aggressively in using military force to combat Islamists. According to some this is taking on a proxy war between UAW and Qatar which is interesting, and if you have to wonder if this extends to Syria and Iraq?

    Qatar? What does Al-Jazeera say, actually very little.

    http://america.aljazeera.com/article...-regional.html

    While the Islamist forces are accused of receiving Qatari and Turkish support, the Zintan militias are seen by their foes as the chosen allies of the Emiratis. Renegade General Khalifa Haftar, who launched his insurgency in February, adopted a narrative that dovetails neatly with the one used by the Egyptian military in defense of last summer’s coup that overthrew President Mohamed Morsi — armed forces claiming to act in the national interest to oust Islamists, whom they accuse of bringing the country to the brink of disaster.

    And in a weak state awash with weapons, the conflict is becoming increasingly deadly because none of the forces in the field has thus far been able to muster the strength to prevail over the others.
    I suspect much of the above (all articles) is half-truths, but it does illustrate how little we really understand, yet we decide to take action anyway with little thought on whether taking action is ultimately in our interests or not. I guess with smart power you can't help but win, but winning sure looks funny sometimes.

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    Updated a little

    http://www.trust.org/item/2014082621...?source=search

    Libyan raids herald bolder Arab action as U.S. wavers

    * Some Arab states willing to police the region themselves

    * Raids seen as message to Qatar to stop backing Islamists

    * Arab states increasingly active in each others' crises

    * UAE and Egypt deny involvement, but U.S. sees role (Adds U.S. affirmation of raids)
    Emphasis is mine

    "The feeling is that America hasn't stood up for its values and policies in the region," he said, referring to a common Arab view that the U.S. administration has been hesitant in supporting rebels fighting Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

    "So these states will now take it upon themselves to act. Ironically, this is, in broad terms, what Washington has been asking them to do - solve their own problems."

  18. #218
    Council Member CrowBat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Moore View Post
    ...This is true, yet many argue we should do the same in Syria. History doesn't hold the keys to what is possible in the future, but it should inform us if conditions are the same and the plans to change them are the same, then just maybe we'll see a repeat of the same.
    Yeah, 'great solution': describe what happened at the start, so to get the argument that's in your interest - and then black out whatever happened subsequently.

    Why putting things into context: that can only disturb one, isn't that so, Bill?

    The Western intervention in Libya has opened a way for reorganization of the country - which was entirely impossible during the previous dictatorship. Between others it brought to power a government that was most cooperative and supportive with the West in the entire Middle East. Thus, that intervention was start of a specific, and usually rather 'lengthy' process, yet a very successful one.

    But no, you're not going to discuss that, aren't you? Similarly, you're not going to mention that two years later, and with another character in (supposed) charge of US foreign policy, you've got a situation where there was a military coup by somebody renowned as supported by specific 'other' circles within the USA.

    The character in question coupped himself to power with explanation that this was necessary in order to 'battle Islamists'. But, once in power, he did nothing of that sort: on the contrary, he turned against militias that were already fighting the Islamists...

    But no: let's 'blot out' the memory of the latter two facts, and return to repeating the theory that 'Libya is no good example'. Because if we ignore what happened ever since, and then repeat this nonsense only some 50-100 times, that's certainly going to make it truth...

    Wow!

    If now there would only be no people with memory better than that of the fish...

    ************

    Re. (supposed) UAEAF (and/or EAF) air strikes: there is absolutely no clarity in this regards, and most of what is reported is little more than guessing.

    Yeah, at the first look, 'it makes sense' if the UAE moved to use military force against Islamists. Especially so to all the excusers of US inaction: 'they're moving to do something on their own, we need not meddling'. How nice.

    The problem I have with this is that all of this babbling is not explaining a single atom of military aspect of this - supposed - UAEAF involvement. Is there anything about threat perception? About target intel and recce? What about clear identification of targets? What to hell was actually the target? What is with over-flight rights (there might be a few countries and thus a few borders in between the UAE and Libya, perhaps it's also so that there is some distance between these two countries...but who knows), refuelling or forward-basing? And what about results, and military- and security-political gains - whether for the UAE (all provided it was the UAE), and/or Egypt etc.?

    And what about those who say the strike was actually flown by Algerian Su-24s?

    UAE is particularly aggressively in using military force to combat Islamists.
    Interesting news. Mind offering a single example?

    I suspect much of the above (all articles) is half-truths, but it does illustrate how little we really understand...
    Please define 'we' - first.

  19. #219
    Council Member Dayuhan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CrowBat View Post
    The Western intervention in Libya has opened a way for reorganization of the country - which was entirely impossible during the previous dictatorship.
    That's true, but the reorganization has to be done by Libyans... and anyone who expected that process to be quick, easy, or peaceful was barking at the moon from the start.

    Quote Originally Posted by CrowBat View Post
    Between others it brought to power a government that was most cooperative and supportive with the West in the entire Middle East. Thus, that intervention was start of a specific, and usually rather 'lengthy' process, yet a very successful one.
    Would you care to enlarge upon that rather peculiar sentence? What exactly was "very successful" about the process?

    Quote Originally Posted by CrowBat View Post
    But no, you're not going to discuss that, aren't you?
    I don't think it's possible to discuss it until you tell us what it means.
    “The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary”

    H.L. Mencken

  20. #220
    Council Member CrowBat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dayuhan View Post
    That's true, but the reorganization has to be done by Libyans... and anyone who expected that process to be quick, easy, or peaceful was barking at the moon from the start.
    And where did I say anything else?

    You're like a horse with blinders: so insistent on your own ideas and excuses, that you entirely missed my point about origins of support for Haftar (provided by 'other' circles in the USA).

    The rest has been discussed too - and that to the length. No surprise you're coming back to ask for it for 50th time, though.

    My dear... why is there no 'ignore' function on this forum...?

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