April 11, 2011

"Libyan rebels reject African Union peace plan"

Today, from Reuters:
Libyan rebels reject African Union peace plan 
BENGHAZI, Libya | Mon Apr 11, 2011 2:01pm EDT 
(Reuters) - Libyan rebels rejected an African Union peace plan on Monday because it did not address their main demand that Muammar Gaddafi quit and because it proposed reforming a ruling system they want removed. 

This is a ceasefire plan put together by Jacob Zuma of South Africa and other African leaders.
"The African Union initiative does not include the departure of Gaddafi and his sons from the Libyan political scene, therefore it is outdated," rebel council head Mustafa Abdel Jalil told a news conference in Benghazi. 
Earlier on Monday, Muammar Gaddafi accepted the African initiative to put a stop to fighting in Libya, including a ceasefire. ... "

Who, exactly, is calling the shots in America's war with Libya? I thought Obama said we started this war at the UN's mandate, which was not supposed to be about regime change? But now, Lord Humongous here says regime change is nonnegotiable, and he's got several dozen armed pickup trucks at his disposal, and that makes him the embodiment of democracy, so we'd better listen up.
[Rebel council head] Abdel Jalil said he had raised the issue of Gaddafi's use of African mercenaries with the delegation [from the African Union]: "We let it be known to the delegates that there exist mercenaries that came from African and Arab countries.

As I said weeks ago, the most likely way this will play out is that Obama will drop bombs on Libya until Gaddafi is gone, while the press will fly air cover for Obama.

42 comments:

Anonymous said...

"As I said weeks ago, the most likely way this will play out is that Obama will drop bombs on Libya until Gaddafi is gone, while the press will fly air cover for Obama."

If Obama does SHOCK AND AWE on Libya and kills a lot of people to get rid of Gaddafi, it's not gonna be pretty, even with media air cover. And he will lose his standing in the world community whose media are not controlled by Americans.

Anonymous said...

Let us assume... what Obama wants is a quick end to war, a strong coalition between US and its allies, Gaddafi gone, rebel victory, and nascent democracy in Libya.

The stumbling blocks are...

1. As time passes, the coalition becomes strained and divided.

2. Rebels are weak and incompetent.

3. The Libyan opposition is made up of crazies, thugs, ignoramouses, and/or tribalists.

4. Gaddafi is more resilient and resourceful than expected.. and also has genuine popular support among sufficient number of Libyans--just as Mussolini did in WWII.

5. American public doesn't want another ground war in the Arab world.

-----

The question then is...

Will Obama do everything possible to obtain his core objectives...

or will he settle for some compromise or middle-ground solution?

My guess is the latter given the slippery character of Obama and the more wishy-washy nature of liberal interventionists(than the more bullheaded conservative interventionists).

Anonymous said...

I would love to see some peace loving group in the USA exercise their 1st Amendment Freedom of Speech rights and commit to burning one Koran per week until the Obama administration commits to ending all the wars in Muslim countries and bringing all American servicemen and woman home.

James N.S.W said...

I've been following it for a while now but I'll admit it has started to get boring. I love how the press has been constantly referring to it as a "stalemate" despite the fact that the rebels have been for the past few weeks consistently been pushed out (or are being pushed out) of every city that they have occupied and things are approaching how they were before the NATO bombings began.
Al-Queda/The rebels (whoever they are) have shown themselves to be nothing more than an incompetent, ragtag group that is utterly dependent upon allied air superiority in order to hold or take any ground over Gadaffi, and even that hasn't proven enough most of the time.

Whatever you may say about Gaddafi, unlike the craven poltroon Mubarak, he isn't rolling over and dying or taking this lying down. He might even win. Hey, might as well try, right? You can always step down if it looks like you're about to lose, but the chance of you not having to do that is zero if you step down before even putting up a fight. The allies messed with the wrong guy.

I can't help but sympathise with Gadaffi in some twisted way. I just want to see the three stooges with eggs on their faces.

Who do I hate and why again? said...

My guess is that Obama is currently trying to put a bullet in Gaddafi's head as quietly as possible.

That would mean having CIA and other specialized assasination teams on Gaddafi search and destroy missions and trying to bribe anyone around him with anything and everything.

BTW, what exactly was Gaddafi purportedly doing to kill his citizens before this flare up and how many did he kill? There are no catchy monikers like "rape rooms" and I've never seen it laid out.

Gaddafi seemed pretty tame compared to most of the 3rd world and compared to our ME allies. His rep seemed to be on the mend over the past few years cooperating in tracking down Al Quada (which seems an overly broad catch all term these days for any anti-Western Muslim fundamentalist).

Nim M said...

The rebels have turned out to be a complete bust.

I mean, I understand they have next to no military training but how does that explain their extraordinary ability to flee in a speed of light like fashion at the first sound of gunfire? This despite the fact they now have total air cover!

AmericanGoy said...

If there ever was a scumbag anti-American dictator, Quaddafi is him.

He is responsible for acts of terrorism against this country, including the La Belle disco bombing in Berlin, as well as other outrages - the bombing of that airplane over Scotland comes to mind.

Kill him.

Kylie said...

"African Union peace plan"

That's like something out of The Onion.

headache said...

Just like you said Steve. Obummer is going to deal with this from afar and the US media will give him glory for every bomb dropped on Gadfly and even the rebels.

In addition:Earlier on Monday, Muammar Gaddafi accepted the African initiative to put a stop to fighting in Libya, including a ceasefire.

Gadfly initiated and mostly financed this club of dictators, in order to call himself the King of Africa. The first meeting was in his hometown Sirte. So it is the Gadfly Fan Club, and you even get money for attending.

Of course they are not going to hurt him. One of the funny aspects of post-colonial Africa is watching all these dictators, thugs and anti-Human-Rights characters who would make the Apartheid operators blush, look out for each other and treat each other with silk gloves. And the media pretending they are statesmen or whatever. Such a fucking farce.

Wes said...

It's taking longer for Gadaffi to go than I would have thought. I did have some reservations that the bombing only approach would work, but now I really doubt it will be effective by itself.

Basically, the rebels are idiots, so they can't be counted on. And Gadaffi must be keeping himself in places the US gov't doesn't dare bomb. So this may go on for a long time.

Anonymous said...

In the eyes of the current "leaders" of the West, Gaddafi's major crime is that he is anti-Brotherhood, not that he took out a Pan-Am airliner and half of Lockerbie.

Obama,Cameron,and Sarko, for reasons best elucidated by a psychiatrist, want to deliver the Middle East to religious fundamentalists in the guise of "democracy and freedom".

The MSM is totally pushing this line, and is obviously part of the folie-a-deux.

Although I am tempted to believe that a forensic accountant could shed light on the matter, a darker visions now seems possible: that our "leaders" are actually acting out of a deep sense of conviction.

Anon.

Difference Maker said...

"If there ever was a scumbag anti-American dictator, Quaddafi is him.

He is responsible for acts of terrorism against this country, including the La Belle disco bombing in Berlin, as well as other outrages - the bombing of that airplane over Scotland comes to mind.

Kill him."

As likable as he is, and as hated by the Jews, there can be no absolution. The man must die (or we GTFO)

eh said...

To make a point by stating the obvious: Obama will not personally do any bomb dropping (not that there's a lot of risk entailed in that when Libya is the target). In fact, he would never in a million years have gone into the military.

eh said...

OT

Vdare letter: A Reader Says America Is Replacing Its First World Population With A Third World One

Duh.

And this is exactly the problem with Social Security, a problem that will slowly but surely become (more) apparent. These massive entitlement programs will simply not be finance-able...without further dollar-destroying QE.

Dean Baker recently broached the subject of targeted defaults.

Anonymous said...

eh,

are you a veteran?

none of the above said...

Eh:

Social Security is a small, fixable problem. Medicare is the piano hanging over our heads, dangling from a frayed rope.

Everyone:

It's clear that Gadaffi has to die or leave in order for Sarkozy/Cameron/Obama to claim victory. Few politicians at that level make much distinction between people who need killing for reasons of national security vs for reasons of domestic political necessity.

dcite said...

"He is responsible for acts of terrorism against this country, including the La Belle disco bombing in Berlin, as well as other outrages - the bombing of that airplane over Scotland comes to mind.

Kill him."

Yeah, right. Just like you (assuming you are serious) I sure do believe (smile) the government/MSM spin on things. After all, they never steered us wrong before. 9/11. Assassinations. Obama. They only want the truth and nothing but the truth sohelp them god even if it makes them look bad and lose their creds and power and money and stuff. They never lie. (and yes, I fully expect "conspiracy wack job, etc. etc., as well trained reations. Don't care anymore. Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice shame on me."

http://www.welfarestate.com/panam103/
How quickly Americans forget: Time Magazine, 4/27/92, cover story:
Pan Am 103: Why Did They Die? "Washington says its Libya sabotaged the plane. Provocative evidence suggests that a Syrian drug dealer may have helped plant the bomb- and that the real targets were intelligence agents working for the CIA."

"The C.I.A. drug trade through the Syria and Iran was going pretty sweet for Syrian C.I.A. contractor Monzer al-Kassar.
He gives the suitcase, C.I.A. agents clear the suitcase through to New York. When the suitcase of drugs was switched for a bomb in Dec 21, 1988, it was cleared as usual. Central Intelligence Agent Charles McKee was aboard, as were 4 other agents, all killed. At the crash scene, CIA agents posing as Pan Am employees walked away with a suitcase.
First, the press had word of a Syrian or Palestinian suspect, but when wind of the C.I.A. involvement began to surface, the C.I.A. needed a scapegoat. The socialist isolationist country is always the best bet, because they are enemies of the U.S. by their mere existence, so bombing and/or sanctions always needs a good excuse. C.I.A. killed two birds with one stone, and pinned the Flight 103 bomb on Libya."

Anonymous said...

http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5jzDaCMbfs6awFjepxeRIpbl6e3pw?docId=CNG.864e5bdaf5e056f22152cf07470cb4b2.4a1

Gobsmackingly, the US has stopped bombing Q-dog. We stopped bombing him a week ago. I really don't think that this has penetrated into most Americans' conscious awareness--our alliance is bombing, we must be bombing and the other guys are window dressing, right?

No. The British and French are bombing, we are just fueling and surveilling. Okay, our Secret Squirrels are somewhere in the desert, but we're out of the fight.

So we made an enemy with a history of support for terrorists and playing with chemical and bioweapons, we broke the only successful agreement on record for a pro-terrorist dictatorship to reform and Play Nice, and we're making NO effort to win.

--Anonymous Coward

Kylie said...

"Obama,Cameron,and Sarko, for reasons best elucidated by a psychiatrist, want to deliver the Middle East to religious fundamentalists in the guise of 'democracy and freedom'...

Although I am tempted to believe that a forensic accountant could shed light on the matter, a darker visions now seems possible: that our 'leaders' are actually acting out of a deep sense of conviction."


I've thought for some time now that these fools actually believe the tripe they peddle. I also think that ultimately, they care more about the welfare and "rights" of these religious fundamentalists than they do about their countrymen who elected them.

Anonymous said...

Reply to Americangoy:

Have you never wondered why he did those things? What acts did he take against Canada or Mexico? Nothing. But these countries did not pursue a hostile foreign policy against him.

Svigor said...

I can't help but sympathise with Gadaffi in some twisted way. I just want to see the three stooges with eggs on their faces.

Me too. Maybe it's my contrary nature. Maybe it's my contra-TPTB nature. Maybe I should hate the guy and want to see him gone. But I just don't. I just don't care. I know he probably has blood on his hands with the airliner thing. I know that should make me want to see him gone, but it doesn't.

Maybe that's because I suspect that having him gone will cause more problems for Libyans than having him stay, said (likely) suffering outweighing the revenge urge over white folks long dead. Well, that, combined with the fact I don't trust TPTB and their mission.

Maybe I just think it's time to ease up on bombing people in the ME.

Anonymous said...

I suspect there is more than a little bit of simple race hatred here.

We call everything and everybody on that continent African, but there are big rifts in their Pan African brotherhood.

Historically of course Libya and Tunisia were what the ancient world called Africa and they were inhabited then as now by Caucasians. Scipio's invasion of Africa was to fight the Semitic Carthaginians. North Africa is still dominated by Semites like Arabs and Berbers. Or Hamites like Egyptians.

These civilized northern Africans feel little connection to the Blacks who come from further south. So why should they honor the wishes of the African Union?

Muslims have long considered Blacks to be the least valuable slaves. Why would anyone expect the Libyan rebels to pay special attention to "Jacob Zuma of South Africa and other African leaders"?

Albertosaurus

Svigor said...

Yeah, it's Libya, not Ghaddaffey. If there'd been no civil unrest, no civil war, no headlines, and then BAM some sniper put a bullet in his head, or they blew him to bits with a smart bomb, I'd have raised a glass. One of his sons would have taken over, and that would be that. And if the son lost the reins, well, that's his problem; it's not like Ghaddaffey was going to live forever.

It's the bombing and the regime change and the interventionism that I can't get behind.

Anonymous said...

"I would love to see some peace loving group in the USA exercise their 1st Amendment Freedom of Speech rights and commit to burning one Koran per week until the Obama administration commits to ending all the wars in Muslim countries and bringing all American servicemen and woman home."

Here's a start: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=riSJcZC89Hc

headache said...

Difference Maker said...
As likable as he is, and as hated by the Jews, there can be no absolution. ..

I read on some army site that Israel is actually arming and managing his counter-offensive, in return for big bucks and probably lower future oil prices.
Apparently IDF operatives working for Israeli Security companies are managing the logistics of importing the mercenaries and obtaining weapons. And Gadfly is apparently a private admirer of Israel and has ties to their security outfits.

Kylie said...

"To make a point by stating the obvious: Obama will not personally do any bomb dropping... In fact, he would never in a million years have gone into the military."

Obama would never in a million years have succeeded in any habitat other than the hothouse environment of AA created by whites.

Anonymous said...

This ignores the significant probability that NATO will simply lose.

I think Obama's strategy is to make the responsibility for results in the war diffuse enough to vote present and slip away in the night. Hence fobbing it off on NATO, where who exactly is in charge, to what end?

Chicago said...

On a somewhat related matter it seems the French have become somewhat belligerent in matters concerning Africa. They've been fighting in the country of Ivory Coast, backing the Ouattara faction. Their clients seem to have been committing massacres and various atrocious acts, not a group one would want to be publicly associated with. It seems they've tried to deflect culpability for this by blaming it on "mercenaries" from other African countries, which has a familiar ring to it.
The French backed group is also reported as mainly Muslim; the losing side being ousted described as Christian. What the implications of this are is hard to puzzle out. I wonder what the French are hoping to accomplish by becoming militarily involved in this obscure conflict and ushering into power this odious group; it couldn't be something as mundane as grabbing the cocoa supply, could it?

jody said...

what is the evidence that gaddafi is deliberately killing bystander civilians who had nothing to do with the rebellion?

i continue to hear that this is happening and that this is the reason it makes sense for the US to start a war with libya. but so far all i see is gaddafi infantry, armor, and artillery killing rebels. not random libyan civilians who were minding their own business, but the guys who starting the shooting in the first place, the guys who want to kill gaddafi, the guys who gaddifi is fighting back against.

you would imagine US television news would be all over this, bringing sweeping visions of bystanders getting mowed down into american homes. so far, nothing of the sort. lots of legitimate video of actual force-versus-force engagement though. well, to be more accurate, 30 seconds of the rebels firing a few soviet machineguns in the general direction of...something...then running away in their trucks.

Whiskey said...

Air power alone will have the same effect on regime change as it did with Saddam. Clinton dropped a lot of bombs on Saddam, to get him to allow inspectors back in, and Saddam just shrugged it off.

Air power is not a magic wand. It can kill armor very well in the Desert if it moves, and even kill it fairly well in non-Jungle areas. But that's all. It has failed EVERY TIME it has been used alone, without troops on the ground, to eject regimes. EVERY TIME.

Whiskey said...

Israel would prefer Khadaffi stay, since he's a known quantity and hostile to the Muslim Brotherhood/AQ who will be the only group to replace him. Just as they preferred Mubarak to the Brotherhood, and the Saudi Kings to AQ, and even Assad to AQ.

However ... Sarko must have got wind of Khadaffi's plans to Mariel Boatlift his way back to power, and doesn't want Camp of the Saints. That's why he's all hot and bothered for bombing, along with Cameron (who also fears all those Muslims in France moving north into the UK). Italy has just moved them along, and is divided anyway, with Berlusconis Bunga-Bunga trial, so the Italians don't care and can't do much even if they could (already significant parts of Southern Italy are under Muslim immigrant control). Samantha Power, Susan Rice, and Hillary all want "R2P" enshrined so they can "solve" the ME "peace problem" by using it to invade Israel to "protect" the Gazans from the predictable consequences of rocketing Israel.

Whiskey said...

Let me add, the unrest started over basic economic issues. ME populations are poor and have little margin, so food price rises hit them hard first. We'll see the same dynamic here soon enough.

Anonymous said...

Whiskey, That's an interesting thesis re R2P vis Israel. I don't see this line in mainstream neocon stuff (yet). Who knew you were a maverick ultra plus neo-con?
Gilbert Pinfold.

none of the above said...

Jody:

I think the decision to intervene in Libya just happened too fast for our propaganda mechanisms (aka respectable US media) to get fired up. Had they had a few months to work on it, we would all know the first names of Gadaffi's horrifying evil sons who tortured puppies and dissidents for fun, we'd have atrocity stories about rape rooms and plastic shredders and Kuwaiti babies dumped out of incubators and Chinese babies carried on bayonet tips and so on. Some of these stories might even have been true, but they'd have worked no better than the fake ones.

The other difference is that, with all that propaganda work done, anyone who called the war into question in public would have to hedge it five ways, to avoid being accused of being some kind of pro-rape-room, pro-plastic-shredder monster. I mean, these guys are honestly quite good at their jobs.

TGGP said...

France's dealings in Africa are nothing new.

AmericanGoy said...

"Have you never wondered why he did those things?"

Do some more research on the crazy colonel. He was a self styled revolutionary, sending his troops and agents/terrorists hither and thither,

He had troops in Uganda helping Idi Amin.

He was fighting in Chad's civil war, against Chad's army and the French.

There are many more examples of Libyans being involved all over Africa stirring s**t up.

The American bombing authorized by Reagan of Libya was as a response of hostile (and quite idiotic) acts by this madman and not the cause.

Basically, once one researches "tghe colonel" one realizes that the man had illusions of grandeur and liked to stir s**t up... for the hell of it.

none of the above said...

AmericanGoy:

I don't suppose many people here are lauding Gadaffi for his calm, rational, Lee Kwan Yew like management style. The world is full of thuggish, none-too-sane leaders, and in the nature of things, those leaders tend to do nasty things to their people. Mostly, we don't get involved, because after all, they're foreign countries, and our government's job is to look after the interests of its citizens, not to police the world.

Were it up to me, we would have left Gadaffi and his rebels to solve their own problems as best they were able. And we'd similarly be out of Yemen, Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan. Our response to international terrorist attacks would have very little nation building, and a lot of refusing visas and police work, with a side order of absolutely knocking the shit out of countries whose governments were plausibly connected to terrorist attacks. Whiskey is correct that you can't do nation building or win civil wars from the air. But you can turn the capitol city of the country into a smoldering ruin from the air, and that's the sort of thing that makes an impression on leaders of other governments.

This would provide less opportunity for gold-plated defense contracts and neocons who think they're Kimball O'Hara playing the great game, but it would probably work better than what we're doing now.

Evil99Whiskey said...

EvilNeoCon/Whiskey/Testing99

Air power alone will have the same effect on regime change as it did with Saddam. Clinton dropped a lot of bombs on Saddam, to get him to allow inspectors back in, and Saddam just shrugged it off.

Air power is not a magic wand. It can kill armor very well in the Desert if it moves, and even kill it fairly well in non-Jungle areas. But that's all. It has failed EVERY TIME it has been used alone, without troops on the ground, to eject regimes. EVERY TIME.


I'm impressed by the facts you seem to know and how artfully you misconstrue, omit and outright lie about them to weave your narrative.

The 1999 NATO bombing campaign successfully ended that conflict. Air power may be less effective against hardened Afgan mountain warriors, but Libyans have repeatedly shown themselves to be worse fighters than their former Italian colonizers.

UN inspectors were withdrawn for their own safety in preparation for plann US airstrikes. Clinton did not start bombing to force Saddam to let the inspectors back in.

Saddam desperately sent invitations to the UN and the US to have them inspect anything they wanted to stave off the US-led invasion.

Similarly, Bush got inspectors pulled out because they were not finding the WMDs he wanted and said they were not likely to find any.

neil craig said...

Gaddafi would have to be really stupid to ever accept any ceasefire that puts him out of power. Immediately he did so the same NATO governments would be demanding his extradition to put on a show trial (a la Milosevic). Perhaps NATO would promise not to do so but we already promised that if Gaddafi gave up his wmds we would let him back into the club of friendly dictators so the market value of a western political promise is not high.

Note the way that Britain, with no visible opposition from the US, decided not to charge Moussa Koussa with the Pan Am bombing. He was Libya's intelligence chief at the time so if Megrahi and Libya were involved (something I dount, I think it was always Sytia bit they became our ally in Iraq 1) he is certainly guilty.

But hey - he is now part of the democratic opposition, along with our al Quaeda pals so lets not argue and bicker about who killed who. Replacing Gaddafi with these scum is now a pressing national need because if he isn't the politicians are going to be seen as incompetent, corrupt, buffoons.

Harry Baldwin said...

headache said...And Gadfly is apparently a private admirer of Israel and has ties to their security outfits.

Under the matrilineal descent of Judaism, Khadafi is a Jew--sort of. He was born of a Jewish mother who converted to Islam at age nine.

One of the Libyan rebels told an American journalist that their gripe with Khadify if that "He's a Jew."

David said...

>BTW, what exactly was Gaddafi purportedly doing to kill his citizens before this flare up and how many did he kill? There are no catchy monikers like "rape rooms" and I've never seen it laid out.<

I asked that question on another blog. The clueless response was: "He killed [x number] of the rebels this week!"

Jody said

"what is the evidence that gaddafi is deliberately killing bystander civilians who had nothing to do with the rebellion? i continue to hear that this is happening and that this is the reason it makes sense for the US to start a war with libya. but so far all i see is gaddafi infantry, armor, and artillery killing rebels. not random libyan civilians who were minding their own business"

Oh, Jody. Look up "collateral damage" and "civilian casualties." Plenty of innocent people are killed in battles. That's business as usual: war is hell. And yes, it's no reason for us to step in and start an even bigger battle.

David said...

>The Libyan opposition is made up of crazies, thugs, ignoramouses [sic], and/or tribalists.<

Sounds like democracy to me.