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Old 08-25-2011   #41
Rex Brynen
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Are we to assume that democracy will emerge naturally in post-Gadhafi Libya?
No one is assuming this, least of all the Libyans who want it who are well aware of the magnitude of the task.

We can, however, say that the chances of some form of representative and responsive government are infinitely higher than they were when Qaddafi was ruling the place.
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Old 08-25-2011   #42
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Ken, Dayuhan, Rex,

Ok, thanks for putting things in perspective.

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Old 08-25-2011   #43
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I guess we'll do something similar as we did with the Palestinian authorities, except with a bit more personal attention by the French president.

The situation is quite different. Palestinians have no oil, and there is no Israel with its own power and policy.
In Libya (and Tunisia) the only international player with great opportunities and great risks is Europe and european countries. Europe could start a narrative closing its past and building better future.

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Now some relevant humour...
To see what CNN has become is really depressing.


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One refrain I heard quite often in Libya was that the prolonged struggle to overthrow Qaddafi may have helped to build a stronger sense of national identity and purpose. This isn't to say the challenges aren't serious--they are, given the factionalism that already exists. However it was striking to hear people say "perhaps its a good thing we didn't win in a week, and instead had to work together to achieve this outcome."
Strongly concur. In another forum I wrote some months ago that I thought better for everyone a very slow evolution of miliary operations that could make possible a poltical manouvering of differet actors internal and external. We should also sayy that slowness is possible oly if risk of retaliation is little. This lack of any retaliation is the piece of the puzzle that is difficult to understand.
Rex do you know anything about the central bank situation? It seems strange to me that TNC, with its need for money, has not occupied it and take possession of the caveau.
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Old 08-25-2011   #44
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From my understanding, it seems unlikely to me that the future of Libya is going to be determined by anyone who actually lives there. Gaddafi did a really thorough job of pacifying most of his population--primary evidence for which being the hilarious ineffectiveness of the 'revolution'. The rebels had to be wheeled into Tripoli like an invalid. Now that they're there, I don't see them suddenly getting the healing power of Jay-sus and miraculously being able to walk again. The only question is who's going to be the power behind the wheeled throne. Given the US's disinterest, it seems like it'll come down to Britain and France versus the Arab League. And the AL has the money...

I mean, granted that running a war and running a country are two very different things--but if you can't beat the guys who couldn't beat pickup trucks with tanks, I'm not sure what you're going to have what it takes to run a country, either.

Last edited by motorfirebox; 08-25-2011 at 02:47 PM.
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Old 08-25-2011   #45
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To see what CNN has become is really depressing.
Some 'relief' after all that depression...

CNN and Fox News are regular contributors for screenshots with geography or science fails.


BBC World News and German TV News ain't immune to that, either.

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

Again: Look at Kosovo and the Palestinian authority.
Now subtract the transfers and look only at the know-how transfer (since Libya can pay its bills with oil).
We will send policemen for police training, lawyers, judges, bureaucrats, 65-80 yrs old politicians, some corporate CEOs...

I doubt that France's government is dumb enough to become heavily involved. It's more likely that they will do just enough to get some special relationship and a good reputation in Libya - and some photo ops for the French president.

Quite the same for Britain.

Berlusconi is probably too busy to care much about Libya (unless he gets a faible for bellydancers, of course).
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Old 08-25-2011   #46
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But will "just enough" be enough? It seems like Libya, with its proven inability to mount a real revolution, is ripe pickings to be somebody's pet oil field. Will whoever ends up running the place be willing to share with anybody that doesn't take a continuing active role?
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Old 08-25-2011   #47
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But will "just enough" be enough? It seems like Libya, with its proven inability to mount a real revolution
What does a "real revolution" look like? I imagine it's seeming pretty real at the moment to Qaddafi.
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Old 08-25-2011   #48
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Six months later, I still contend there is not an ounce of real as opposed to presumed or wanna-be assumed US interest in Libya.
Libyan forces possess, or possessed, SA-24s. It is very much in our interest that those missiles be gotten control of. I imagine it would be easier for us to do that given that we are involved in an important way. This may not be a big picture consideration, but if those things showed up in the wrong place it would be bad.
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Old 08-25-2011   #49
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Libyan forces possess, or possessed, SA-24s. It is very much in our interest that those missiles be gotten control of. I imagine it would be easier for us to do that given that we are involved in an important way. This may not be a big picture consideration, but if those things showed up in the wrong place it would be bad.
France, Italy and the UK are fairly trustworthy -- in the eyes of many, more so than is the US...

Given the net costs to us thus far even if those Grinches got into the hands of the Evil Enema and were to down a bird or a few, I doubt the cost benefit ratio works out well. That without adding any US efforts on the ground, post conflict (After the screaming about the US getting others to do their dirty work then stepping in at the end to hog glory, credit --and Grinches <--[the eyeroll is for those 'others' folks, not the Grinches...]). As I said, real as opposed to assumed...
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Old 08-25-2011   #50
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Libyan forces possess, or possessed, SA-24s. It is very much in our interest that those missiles be gotten control of.

Oh my god.

Where does this obsession with ManPADS come from?

This is by far not the only example.

It's just a display of a badly, badly, terribly, ridiculously distorted view of the world to even think of these things in this context.
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Old 08-25-2011   #51
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Oh my god.

Where does this obsession with ManPADS come from?
Because a single MANPADS against a fully loaded 747 at LaGuardia would have dramatic effects on US policy, and a single MANPAD used successfully against an Israeli civilian airliner at Ben Gurion could have regional strategic effects for a decade or more.

There are lots of psychological, political, and other reasons for that. But we have to deal with realities as they are, and no amount of "more people drown in their bath tubs" would make any difference.
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Old 08-25-2011   #52
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... so could a swarm of geese. So what?

I'm so tired of irrational people doing stupid things.
Especially so if it leads to people killing each other, or accepting poverty.
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Old 08-25-2011   #53
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Given the net costs to us thus far even if those Grinches got into the hands of the Evil Enema and were to down a bird or a few, I doubt the cost benefit ratio works out well.
That is just a tad glib, especially to the crews of the bird or two, especially if the bird was a C-17 climbing out of Kandahar with load of wounded soldiers. Preventing that kind of thing seems a real US interest to me. The cost benefit ratio you can argue with others. It is a US interest.

Fuchs:

That's me, looking at the world through thick lens' of distortion, thinking that a very sophisticated shoulder fired anti-aircraft missile, that was designed by some very proficient people to defeat our countermeasures, in the hands of people who would do us ill, might actually do us ill. Talk of context mystifies me. All I can think of is our ops throughout the world depend on unfettered air ops and that possession of a sophisticated missile in the hands of insurgent forces had some pretty profound consequences in the past.

There now that I've vented my spleen, I really don't understand why you think concern about this is irrational.
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Old 08-25-2011   #54
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... so could a swarm of geese. So what?
You and I both know that a swarm of geese downing an airliner would not have the same political effects as some AQ wannabe doing it.

(Unless, of course, they were jihadist geese.)
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Old 08-25-2011   #55
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...especially to the crews of the bird or two,
That's focused...
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especially if the bird was a C-17 climbing out of Kandahar with load of wounded soldiers.
That would be most regrettable. Particularly as I've got a son working out of KAF as we write but unfortunately, things like that happen in wars. It goes with the territory. He knows and accepts that and so do I.
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Preventing that kind of thing seems a real US interest to me.
Of course it does. Regrettably, while it is a minor interest, it is also virtually impossible to prevent that sort of thing. One should try to preclude things like that but this:
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The cost benefit ratio you can argue with others.
gets in the way of the precluding effort.

It's a question of priorities and of scale. As I mentioned elsewhere yesterday, we kill more people in automobile accidents OR medical misadventures in the US every year than we've had killed in 10 long years of this so-called war on whatever. Rex Brynen's 747 or your C-17 would be bad and unwanted events but either could happen if all the Grinches were scuffed up and accounted for by the French. Conversely, even if none of the missiles were located, those events might not ever occur. You may not like the cost benefit ratio but it must be considered and will be. No need for anyone to argue it, it is what it is and the decision makers are unlikely to listen to me or to you.

I too worry about thing like loose missiles but I can do the math -- and that does not favor putting US forces on the ground in Libya. It does not preclude it but it certainly doesn't make it desirable...
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It is a US interest.
As you said, it is -- to you. More correctly, it is a US interest that to you merits our intervention on the ground. The problem with which you're confronted is that the planners and policy maker will look upon that as an ancillary issue if there is a decision to send folks in. It is an item to consider if force are there, it is not significant enough to justify a big effort on its own merits. Add all the potential issue and IMO, there is not adequate interest to send troops to Libya. YMMV.

I do not propose to speak for Fuchs but this merits a response based on your perception of my comment.
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I really don't understand why you think concern about this is irrational.
it's not irrational, it's sensible but like it or not, you bump into the cost-benefit ratio. You're suggesting certain and relatively easily calculated costs and impacts be absorbed to possibly prevent a possible harm. Two possibles don't outweigh a negative.

Last edited by Ken White; 08-25-2011 at 11:49 PM.
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Old 08-26-2011   #56
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What does a "real revolution" look like? I imagine it's seeming pretty real at the moment to Qaddafi.
I think what's real to Gaddafi is the NATO intervention that carried the revolution forward.
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Old 08-26-2011   #57
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I think what's real to Gaddafi is the NATO intervention that carried the revolution forward.
Both widespread domestic rebellion and external support (NATO and Arab) were necessary, but not sufficient, conditions for toppling Qaddafi.

But foreign support for successful insurgencies is hardly atypical. Indeed, part of successful insurgency is framing your struggle to external audiences in such a way that wins support and/or neutralizes support for the insurgent regime. Insurgents who do that and win are still successful insurgencies. Certainly the NTC enjoys a great more authenticity and legitimacy from having had to fight for liberation than either the Afghan or Iraqi governments initially enjoyed, post-US intervention.

The NTC faces enormous challenges. They may well find them too much. However, I don't think that the history of NATO air support necessarily makes them less able to succeed. Leaving aside Ken's wholly appropriate question of whether this was in the Western or US interest (reasonable people can disagree on that), I'm happy that the Libyan people have a chance to try to succeed. It's more than they've had the last 42 years.
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Old 08-26-2011   #58
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I too worry about thing like loose missiles but I can do the math -- and that does not favor putting US forces on the ground in Libya..
I would go further, Ken--I think putting US forces on ground would actually be counterproductive. The Libyans certainly don't want them (a point that seems to have escaped some recent commentators on the issue).

Instead, I think we're likely to see a lightweight, integrated MILOBS/CIVPOL mission similar to MINUGA, complemented by bilateral assistance from the French, British, Qataris, Jordanians, and others. Whether the security situation comes together or falls apart will be in large part a function of adroit local politics, not boots on the ground. In this respect, the rather anomalous Iraqi and Afghan cases have rather skewed perceptions of how post civil war transformations are usually facilitated (which is NOT through a large US or NATO presence).
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Old 08-26-2011   #59
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...and then there is the real reason the NTC won: the secret AQ-NATO alliance:

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Then, a NATO warship sailed up and anchored just off the shore at Tripoli, delivering heavy weapons and debarking Al Qaeda jihadi forces, which were led by NATO officers.

Fighting stared again during the night. There were intense firefights. NATO drones and aircraft kept bombing in all directions. NATO helicopters strafed civilians in the streets with machine guns to open the way for the jihadis.
I thought this was supposed to be kept a secret, dammit! What is it with all the OPSEC violations these days?
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Old 08-26-2011   #60
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Where do you guys find these porn sites???

P.S.

Agree with you, Rex, on personal pleasure that the Libyans are in process of removing Qaddafi. I'm even happier that Sarko and Cameron -- as well as the Dutch, Qataris and others including you Great White North types, the RCN and the RCAF (think that's the first time I've written that in over 40 years... ) stepped up and aided. I do not object terribly to the fact that we assisted a bit even though I believed and still do that we had no pressing interest there, as opposed to the Europeans who did and do...
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