August 23, 2011

Libya

Libyan rebels fired at forces loyal to Qaddafi during fierce fighting in downtown Tripoli on Monday. - NYT

Can you actually hit anything firing a gun from above your head? Is the fighting really that "fierce" if you can't be bothered to get behind the car right next to you and, you know, aim?
Seif al-Islam el-Qaddafi, whose capture the rebels had trumpeted since Sunday, walked as a free man to the Qaddafi-controlled luxury Rixos Hotel in the center of Tripoli early Tuesday, boasting to foreign journalists there that his father’s government was still “in control” and had lured the rebels into a trap, the BBC and news services reported. 

That's quite a strategy Col. Qatthafi has come up with -- luring the enemy into the downtown of your capital. Amazing nobody has ever thought of that ploy before.
His appearance raised significant questions about the credibility of rebel leaders.

I'm shocked to hear of doubts about the credibility of anybody involved in this.

At the moment, whatever is going on in Tripoli is a confusing mess. But my prediction all along has been that once Obama started the "no-fly zone," he'd keep dropping bombs until Col. Gaddafi is gone. For example, I wrote on March 25:
Yet, the bottom line about what will happen isn't really all that confusing. What matters most is that Obama has an election coming up in 19 months. He can't afford to go into the campaign known as The President of the United States Who Started a War with Muammar Gaddafi and Failed to Win. ... 
I'm not saying that Obama had this all figured out from the moment he agreed to start the war or that he's even figured it out after a week, but it will eventually dawn on him that his alternatives are now: 
1) Lose to Crazy America-Hating Terrorist Moamar Khadaffy, or
2) Drop More Bombs. 
So he will choose what's behind Door #2. 
Of course, after Qadafi is gone, a whole bunch more stuff will happen in Libya, but, seriously, who cares? How much does Obama care about Libya versus how much does he cares about his fabulous career?

83 comments:

Anonymous said...

Well on yesterday's TV news the commentators were fallimg over themselves in discussing how Libya's oil concessions will be divvyed-up.
Apparently Italy is to get the lion's share (duplicity rewarded), and Qatar is to be favored.
China and Russia could go to Hell.
I'm pretty sure BP will do very nicely out of it, as will France's Total.

Antioco Dascalon said...

I am disappointed that you spelled Q'ahtaffi the same way twice in your post. I was hoping for more and more outrageous transliterations: Kuttoffee! Qotaffy! Ghaddaffee!

B.A. Baracus said...

No wonder Qaddafi is back on his heels.

That's Mr. T. in the foreground sporting salmon colored polo. He must've landed with all those US and NATO special forces.

eh said...

Libya = The Rat Patrol. Somehow.

CJ said...

My first impression seeing that photo was that it was a picture of Mr. T with the A-Team that Steve had put up for laughs.

There's been a report (with no verification I know of) that the Colonel has escaped to Venezuela where he is living under the protection of Hugo Chavez.

Now that is reality TV material.

John Craig said...

You may not be able to hit anything by shooting from above your head, but you can sometimes hit something by shooting into the air. Yesterday the "victorious" rebels were reported to be celebrating by shooting their guns up into the air.

Here's my theory: the future success of a government is inversely correlated to the extent that its victorious army celebrates that way. There is this little thing called gravity which pulls those bullets back to earth after they've reached their apogee, and when they descend from that great height they can easily pierce a skull. Those too dumb to figure this out -- or too reckless to care -- are unlikely to be able to effectively run a government for any length of time.

Marlowe said...

The execution of bin Laden seemed like a bit of an anti-climax. Do most Americans care about the fall of the Mad Dog? Will it improve Obama's prospects?

Anonymous said...

Obviously a posed photo for the reporter. This entire war has been stage managed by the media, just as they stage managed what was going on in Egypt by interviewing the vanishingly few Egyptians with iPhones and command of the English language.

Chicago said...

War photos are often staged and could be taken anywhere. It's dangerous to try to take pictures where there's real action going on. The viewers have no idea anyway.
So what are the qualifications of the rebels to run the country? It's rather murky. Possibly they'll have to import foreign advisors to help administer things.
Upon winning will the rebels fall upon each other with different factions vying to get the upper hand? There's billions of dollars worth of oil there and everyone will be eager to get their piece of the action.

Black Death said...

"That's quite a strategy Col. Qatthafi has come up with -- luring the enemy into the downtown of your capital. Amazing nobody has ever thought of that ploy before."

....

Sort of like how the Germans lured the Russians into Berlin in 1945. or how the Japanese lured the B-29's into Tokyo in that same year. How'd those work out?

Anonymous said...

I'm not even sure Obama cares a whole lot about his career right now. I suspect he's currently in one of his depressive phases, and if he wants to win next year he'd better get back on the manic bus.

Bill said...

if you can't be bothered to get behind the car right next to you and, you know, aim?

Not to be a dick, but aiming has not been a part of regular infantry tactics in a long time. Snipers aim. Everybody else sprays and prays.

The US made the transition from trying to hit things one round at a time to spray and pray during Vietnam, more or less.

It's particularly ironic, given the rifle the rebels are using. Spray and pray goes with assault rifles generally and the Kalashnikov more specifically. The whole point of that rifle is that any untrained idiot can be kind of effective with it since a) it works well even dirty and unmaintained, b) it is easy to use, and c) it will put lots of lead in the air in a hurry (obviating the need for aiming).

Anonymous said...

Those too dumb to figure this out -- or too reckless to care -- are unlikely to be able to effectively run a government for any length of time.

Anonymous said...

There is this little thing called gravity which pulls those bullets back to earth after they've reached their apogee, and when they descend from that great height they can easily pierce a skull.

Happens all the damn time in the Middle East, actually. It even happens once every couple of years in Appalachia. Usually at weddings.

Dutch Boy said...

The photo was a posed shot, of course.

Nanonymous said...

These pictures are pure comedy! All Qaddafi needs to do is to hire few good mercenaries (from the look of it would appear that a company or two might be enough). American, French, Russian - does not really matter. Someone experienced. They would take the punks off the streets in now time.

Anonymous said...

The little one's kinda cute.

nobol said...

Most of what goes for fighting in Africa and the ME, excepting Israel, is of this calibre. Neocons, Zionists, Christian-Zionists and Israelis like to boast about the formidable Israeli army facing hordes of vicious Arab fighters, yet most of what they have been facing throughout the decades has been of this sort of quality. It's no wonder Arab armies started running when Israelis, using western arms and Wehrmacht tactics, confronted them. Somehow I think Israel would not be so victorious in a Stalingrad type of environment, but it's Uncle Suckers job to make sure that never happens.

Currahee said...

Assuming this is over soon, will our government media complex add up the butcher's bill?

When the mohammaden loonies take over, will anyone ask why this was done?

No and no.
-C

Anonymous said...

Gaddafi's toast, and it makes no sense pretending otherwise. (Just like it makes no sense to pretend that the MLK statue is not a great victory for the left and black power.)

Some say the rebels are not pure idealists and have 'selfish' motives. Well, so did the Founding Fathers, many of whom were rich guys who didn't wanna pay taxes.
Some way the rebels won with the aid of NATO, a foreign power. Well, American revolutionaries wouldn't have won without French and German support. American freedom fighters won with the crucial backing of kings even more repressive than George III.
This is how history works. So, all this harping about rebels and how bogus they are is just a lot of churlish petty talk. The fall of Gaddafi is huge, even bigger than the fall of Mubarack.

Gaddafi wasted his yrs. He could have done much for Libya. He didn't do shit but build up his ridiculous cult of personality. Good riddance.

Will there be civil war between the rebels? Maybe. But remember that after 50 yrs after the American Revolutionary War ended, Americans fought a bloody fraternal war. And German states fought one another in the 19th century to created a larger united Germany. Such things happen. It took blood and iron to create the modern west, and it may well happen in places where much still needs to be done.

Whatever problems lie ahead, good riddance to Gaddafi, Mr. Idiocy and Vanity.

stong said...

i'm glad Gadfly could not assert himself with the help of those israeli operatives who moved in early in the game to manage his mercenaries. that outcome would have been unpalatable.

ELVISNIXON.com said...

Egypt attacks Israel; Obama's "Arab Spring" working according to plan.

Libyan refugees invade Europe a la Jean Raspail's "Camp of the Saints"

It all seems to be working nicely for somebody- the question is "whom"?

Crawfurdmuir said...

The photo reminds me of an old story dating from John J. Pershing's service as an intelligence officer during the Moro rebellion in the Philippines. A captured Moro was brought to then-Capt. Pershing for interrogation. The Moro said he wanted to ask a question, and Pershing granted permission. The Moro pointed to rear sight of the Krag rifle carried by one of his guards, and asked "what's that for?"

Not surprisingly, the Moros' marksmanship was notably poor. Perhaps the tendency to "spray and pray" is widespread in Muslim cultures.

Eric said...

Well, sometimes what you want to do is just fire a whole bunch of bullets in the enemy's general direction to keep him from moving. That gives other units a chance to maneuver to his flank, or it could be part of a strategy to box him in while you bring the pain with artillery.

Of course, I would bet money there's nothing like that going on here.

Anonymous said...

Wonder what the average IQ in Libya is?

Anonymous said...

A few weeks ago, I read somewhere that "Law & Order: SVU" was going to do a "ripped from the headlines" episode on the DSK case. The accused is going to be an Italian politician. They must have figured "Franz Josef-Strauss" as Steve suggested a while back too obvious.

They'll probably make the accuser into a totally credible and saintly immigrant. On TV, you can always make the hunt for the Great White Defendant come out the way it should.

David said...

OT

Comedy gold keeps on giving!

David said...

>Apparently Italy is to get the lion's share (duplicity rewarded), and Qatar is to be favored.
China and Russia could go to Hell.<

The American taxpayer, who footed the bill for this unconstitutional war, will not see a penny. Guaranteed.

David said...

John Craig said

>There is this little thing called gravity which pulls those bullets back to earth.[...] Those too dumb to figure this out -- or too reckless to care -- are unlikely to be able to effectively run a government for any length of time.<

And unlikely to give Israel any effective trouble, too.

josh said...

Yep I saw Mr. T too. I guess its like that test where the guys bounce basketballs and a guy in a gorilla suit walks by.What do you see? I am always surprised when they talk about this or that city in Libya "falling":where did they get CITIES?? Right on,Libyan dudes! Lots of cars,too. So what happens if your drivers license needs to be renewed? Who do you go to?

Anonymous said...

To me, the real, but secret story here is the one of the Incompetence that didn't bark.

How did the rebels go from being so laughably incompetent that they would sometimes show up for battle with plastic gun, to becoming a force that took over the entire country, including Tripoli, with scarcely even a demurral from the Ghaddafy forces?

I can only assume that the real story is one of extensive, but mostly well hidden, "help" from friendly NATO forces. These hapless rebels didn't get smart and sophisticated and organized overnight.

Kylie said...

"How much does Obama care about Libya versus how much does he cares about his fabulous career?"

His fabulous career--love it.

Lord Humungus said...

Steve, I am gravely disappointed. Once again you have doubted the prowess of my dogs of war and their mighty Toyota pickup trucks, even as they crush Gaddafi and his puny plan.

There has been too much blogging, too many words. None here are without sin. But I have an honorable compromise.

Just walk away, Steve. Just give me your 1998 Accord, the gas, the owner's manual, and the keys, and I'll spare your life. Just walk away and I'll give you safe passage through the wasteland. Just walk away and there will be an end to the horror. Just walk away.

Dennis Dale said...

Looks like Miami in the eighties.

That idiot apparently doesn't realize he's not standing behind something--what's the point of holding the rifle up like that if not to fire around the obstacle behind which you're hiding?

Whiskey said...

Obama is not very smart. He may want to desultory drop bombs (it's been what, about 7 months now since the rebels have been fighting Khadaffi?) but he could easily wind up with Khadaffi in exile somewhere in a place like Chad, with a pile of gold, paying mercenaries to blow stuff up in Libya, ala Saddam.

How'd that work out for George W. Bush again?

Meanwhile who would take over from Khadaffi? Oh yeah. Al Qaeda.

What Americans want is a cheap and easy victory with mostly air power, no real killing or dying, and no skyrocketing gas/oil prices either. That's not really possible, but Obama has no credibility left since he's become Captain Bullshit with the American People on the economy. George Herbert Walker Bush conducted a cheap/easy victory over Saddam, but a reluctance to engage ground forces left Saddam in place and what amounted to a US defeat (which was one reason he was bounced out by Clinton).

The spot WTI oil price in 1995 was around $17 a barrel, I suspect Obama's foreign policy success will be tied to similar prices (around $25 a barrel or so).

Anonymous said...

I was also watching the news and just amazed at how many rebels there were running around in bright clothes and white t-shirts. Much easier targets for anyone taking their time to aim.

I actually don’t mind seeing this, as it is good to know if the US forces had to face these guys it wouldn’t be much of a battle!

Anonymous said...

"Sort of like how the Germans lured the Russians into Berlin in 1945. or how the Japanese lured the B-29's into Tokyo in that same year. How'd those work out?"

I agree that the 'luring in' business is so much bogus Gaddafi spin.
But Germans were lured deep into USSR, to be encircled, especially at Stalindgrad. US was lured into North Korea, to be attacked by Chinese hiding in the bushes.
And Americans were lured into Baghdad, and then the insurgency began.

But it won't work in Libya cuz Libyans have lost confidence in Gaddafi. I don't think Libyans actually wanna die for him. If the Taliban at least have some core value system--however odious it may be--, supporters of Gaddafi only have Gaddafi. Gaddafi ruled for 4 decades by showing he was the strongman. But now that he looks weak and desperate, who respects him anymore?

Anonymous said...

"I'm not even sure Obama cares a whole lot about his career right now. I suspect he's currently in one of his depressive phases, and if he wants to win next year he'd better get back on the manic bus."

Obama participated but didn't own this war. He didn't go for all or nothng. He went for partial blame or partial credit. That's his style.

Eric said...

That idiot apparently doesn't realize he's not standing behind something--what's the point of holding the rifle up like that if not to fire around the obstacle behind which you're hiding?

The most likely explanation for this photograph, of course, is these guys are miles behind the front line mugging for the cameras. No real need for anything to hide behind.

Anonymous said...

"How did the rebels go from being so laughably incompetent that they would sometimes show up for battle with plastic gun, to becoming a force that took over the entire country, including Tripoli, with scarcely even a demurral from the Ghaddafy forces?"

It happens. Watch the underrated movie REVOLUTON by Hugh Hudson. How did Alfred Pacinsmith go from an apathetic farmer to a committed soldier for freedom? Crises like this transform men, bringing out the best and worst in them.

The Libyan fighters began as ragtag rebels mocked and ridiculed by the world. But they didn't give up. They fought on, cleverly used world media, made the right diplomatic moves, and now they have victory. I rather admire them. I wish we had men like that in the West. But I suppose talking big on internet blogs makes us 'real big heroes'.

Mind you, I have no illusions about rebels as saints or pristine idealists. Among them are sadists, lunatics, extremists, criminals, etc. But the overriding concern was to end the 40 yr tyranny of Gaddafi and thank heaven for that. Gaddafi had his chance for greatness; he blew it.

Dennis Dale said...

Everybody else sprays and prays.

Spoken like a true Army shit-bird.

Anonymous said...

Ma main man ain't bin dissed by no Moafo Gwadaffee, Aiight?
Gilbert P.

Anonymous said...

Whiskey is back!

Anonymous said...

OT

Obama orders agencies to develop plans to increase workforce diversity

http://www.govexec.com/dailyfed/0811/081811kl2.htm

Anonymous said...

Gaddafi had his chance for greatness; he blew it.

By befriending the United States.

Anonymous said...

Not to be a dick, but aiming has not been a part of regular infantry tactics in a long time. Snipers aim. Everybody else sprays and prays.

Not to be a dick either but aiming still helps. You are more likely to hit somone earlier, thus stopping them hitting you.

Anyone firing over their head gangsta style will hit somebody eventually but it might take a 30 round magazine or two.

But if the other guy gets you first with a couple of three round bursts, well then, you never get the chance to let the statistical logic of firing large numbers of bullets to work in your favour. Plus he's got a useful ammount of ammo left over.

Basically if both sides are using the same spray & pray weapons - AK-47s - but one side is aiming better, they are the guys, on average, who are going to win.

Note: MR T in the forground is not using an AK-47. Thats a Belgian FN-FAL rifle which is 7.62 NATO. Its got greater range and stopping power than an AK-47 and is just wasted as a spray & pray weapon

Anonymous said...

But Germans were lured deep into USSR, to be encircled, especially at Stalindgrad.

Im not sure they were lured, Hitler made a string of crazy decisions. They got within range of Moscow then switched direction. If Moscow had fallen the Soviet regime might have crumbled.

Anonymous said...

American, French, Russian - does not really matter. Someone experienced. They would take the punks off the streets in now time.

Western mercenaries rarely end up fighting western backed movements.

Happens all the time in the movies, rarely in real life.

Anonymous said...

How did the rebels get to be good fighters: the last straight Englishmen: http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/aug/23/sas-troopers-help-coordinate-rebels

Anonymous said...

I can't believe the negativity. This is a great victory for America and our long term ally al-Quaeda!

Anonymous said...

Here's my theory: the future success of a government is inversely correlated to the extent that its victorious army celebrates that way.

I like that theory. Kinda like how fans of historically bad college football teams storm the field after one of their team's rare big victories and tear down the goal posts. They clearly don't know how to handle winning.

David Davenport said...

Not to be a dick, but aiming has not been a part of regulair infantry tactics in a long time.

Wrong, in regard to any Western army.

Snipers aim. Everybody else sprays and prays.

Says who? You?

The US made the transition from trying to hit things one round at a time to spray and pray during Vietnam, more or less.

Do you have any evidence or proof for that assertion?

josh said...

Standing with Mr. T:Stevie Van Zandt. I think he took his Sopranos character a little too seriously...

Hunsdon said...

Lord Humongous wins the internets, I think.

Marlowe: No one cares about Qaddafey, but everyone cares about losing. "Who lost China?" The GOP would have beat on Obama mercilessly about Kathafi, with the unspoken subtext of "Can't even beat an Arab!"

Bill on infantry tactics: Check out the universal prevalence of RDOs (Red Dot Optics) on US military rifles. The Army leans Aimpoint, the Corps leans Trijicon ACOG, FOR A REASON. (Hint: "Only hits count.") In Libya, OK, not so much.

Channeling Whiskey: Nothing is more beta than saying "Days not weeks" and having it drag on for months. Mouth writing a check your ass can't cash. With that said, Libya is where the US shoots itself in the foot. Iraq and Afghanistan are where the US gave itself a sucking chest wound.

Anonymous said...

I sure hope when the spit hits the fan that the guys I have to fight use that shooting stance. It doesn't really matter that this is a posed shot. If those guys were decent shooters the pose they would take would naturally be a pose that they were used to using in combat or at least in training. Mr. FAL at least has a chance to use his stock (by placing it on his shoulder ... lots of movie-going teenage types wouldn't really know what it is for), but he's not using the sights either.

That picture is pretty funny though. Out of focus "troops" in the background facing the wrong way?

And how do you know friend from foe if no one is wearing a uniform? Do you just fire randomly and hope Allah sorts them out?

Oh, yeah, I guess you do.

Third Worlders are not a military threat. Third Worlders are a demographic threat, and only because of access to First World health care and diets.

Brent Lane said...

The Libyan fighters began as ragtag rebels mocked and ridiculed by the world. But they didn't give up. They fought on, cleverly used world media, made the right diplomatic moves, and now they have victory.

With just a tiny bit of help from the military might of the most powerful strategic alliance in human history.

Eric said...

The US made the transition from trying to hit things one round at a time to spray and pray during Vietnam, more or less.

"Spray and pray" was always discouraged. In fact they took the full auto setting off of the M16/M4 for that reason. Even suppressive fire is supposed to be aimed - the Army manual says one aimed shot every 3-10 seconds at muzzle flashes and dust kickups, movement, visible targets, and known enemy positions.

Since Iraq the trend has been to make sure everyone has enough range time to be a good shot and to take advantage of that training.

kudzu bob said...

Lord Humungus said...

I've read funnier comments on this blog, but offhand I can't remember when.

Truly, you are the Ayatollah of Rock and Rolla!

Anonymous said...

Do you have any evidence or proof for that assertion?"

No, more or less, he doesn't. The US has designated marksman. Not quite snipers, but good to have around. Now if only they upped the round from 556 for everyone...

Reg C├Žsar said...

...the formidable Israeli army facing hordes of vicious Arab fighters, yet most of what they have been facing throughout the decades has been of this sort of quality. --Nobol ["Nobols at all?"]

" In war, it always helps if one can arrange to fight Arabs." -- Moshe Dayan

Grumpy Old Man said...

Fisk on the Israeli army: "In Lebanon, I've seen this indisciplined rabble of an army – as 'elite' as the average rabble of Arab armies – shooting at civilians."

Of course, they're literate, by and large, and are given some directions. This puts them way ahead.

Londoner said...

The support of Britain and the US for the overthrow of Gadaffi has much to do with Lockerbie - Gadaffi knows where the bodies are buried (perhaps literally) and for this reason he has to go, and be killed before he can speak the truth.

headache said...

Anona sez:How did the rebels go from being so laughably incompetent that they would sometimes show up for battle with plastic gun, to becoming a force that took over the entire country, including Tripoli, with scarcely even a demurral from the Ghaddafy forces?


my take as well. i'd guess some SAS with beards and bandanas. in addition the rebels have been doing some training, so the calibre of rebel turning up at the front line has probably improved.

but overall it makes sense for NATO to get the job over and done with. every extra day costs tons of money and western powers have other worries close to home, like collapsing economies and lotsa debt, so they wanna finish off and go home.

headache said...

Whiskey said...
Obama is not very smart.


He don't have to be, the MSM will turn any failure of his into success. He just has to speak into a mic and look at the teleprompter to know what he needs to say next. Being prez. Obama has got to be one of the least stressing jobs in the world, and the press will ensure his legacy, like they did with that convicted criminal Mandela.

Anonymous said...

Gaddafi is a punk but I will respect him--and even acknowledge him as a man of honor--if he dies fighting. Most tyrants run when things get hot. Mussolini ran, got caught, and was executed like a wussy with a woman.

I hope Gaddafi dies like Tony Montana.

hbd chick said...

"Is the fighting really that 'fierce' if you can't be bothered to get behind the car right next to you and, you know, aim?"

and who wears peach to a war? doesn't he know your basic black is what you're 'sposed to don for a gun-fight?!

(or maybe red to intimidate the opposing team ... er, i mean the enemy.)

hbd chick said...

re. what lord humungus said ... man, this is why i love the internet! (^_^)

ATBOTL said...

"Can you actually hit anything firing a gun from above your head?"

Yes. But it should be done only in certain circumstances, for example, when shooting over a wall at a target that is very close and you don't want to stick your head over. Remember that fire is useful for suppression even if you don't hit the target. US soldiers occasionally use this technique, but not when fighting out in the open like that.

The rebels from the West of the country appear to have fought better than the ones in the East who started it. The Western rebels had better terrain to work with, but there are probably other factors at work too.

Anonymous said...

>> luring the enemy into the downtown of your capital. Amazing nobody has ever thought of that ploy before."

> Sort of like how the Germans lured the Russians into Berlin in 1945.

otoh it worked rather well for the Russians against the French in 1812

Pigs don't fly said...

The Libyan fighters began as ragtag rebels mocked and ridiculed by the world. But they didn't give up. They fought on, cleverly used world media, made the right diplomatic moves, and now they have victory.

The "Libyan fighters" are pawns of powerful Western elites. They are demonstrably disorganized, incompentent, corrupt and, most importantly, easily manipulated by Western interests.

They certainly are not masters of diplomacy or world media. Western elites have put out an egregiously false propaganda campaign to try to make these sow ear purses look like silk.

Bill said...

@ Dennis Dale, David Davenport, Eric, and an Anonymous

The declining emphasis on marksmanship among US infantrymen after WWII and especially with the introduction of the M16 was widely commented on and argued about while it was happening. Here is an article from 2006 which has a brief history. The emphasis moved from training which produced a greater number of expert marksmen, but slowly, to training which produced a greater number of proficient marksmen, and quickly.

AFAIK, there is no controversy about the fact that Western infantry training and practice moved, after WWII, from aiming at producing lower rates of more accurate fire to higher rates of less accurate fire. The embrace of spray and pray was even more enthusiastic in Soviet bloc infantry and among commie rebel types, reflecting the general quantity over quality emphasis of the commies. Whether it was a good or bad idea, this changed clearly occurred.

It's not hard to dig up lots of information on this via google.

You guys are awfully touchy. Notice I did not say or imply that US infantrymen act or acted like the goofs pictured.

NOTA said...

The news services have had a hard time working out stuff like whether the Capitol city has fallen. (Though maybe Al Jazeera did better). So any detailed description of the rebels is probably just made up from the speaker's imagination ad prior assumptions. That said, if I had to bet, I'd bet that the rebels are being massively stage managed by the French or US or British, both in terms of media and diplomacy, and in terms of fighting. (They even appear to have hired some astroturfers here in the US.)

ben tillman said...

Kuttoffee!

LOL.

Eric said...

You guys are awfully touchy. Notice I did not say or imply that US infantrymen act or acted like the goofs pictured.

Yes you did, whether or not you realize it. Right here:

The US made the transition from trying to hit things one round at a time to spray and pray during Vietnam, more or less.

If you're going to use a term like "spray and pray" you should at least understand what it means. It does not mean "higher rates of less accurate fire" except at the extreme.

Anonymous said...

Classic war photography...

Isn't that an ejected shell visible? Freshly bounced off the skull of "my dumb friend"? I believe it is.

The wince and the smile tell the real story.

jody said...

personally i'm starting to wonder how many troops the UK, france, and US actually sent in to help organize the rebel's infantry and mechanized infantry. not if they sent in units, but how many. because it's obvious they did.

the rebels look clueless most of the time. a lot of these guys appear to have zero training and don't even know how to fire a rifle or machinegun properly. there's no way they were winning many battles on their own.

jody said...

yeah, i think i'm going to mostly steer clear of the infantry doctrine argument here. i know a good amount about this. organizing squads around the light machinegun (copied from the germans), the introduction of the assault rifle (copied from the germans), downsizing rifle calibers to give every soldier an automatic weapon. there were a lot of changes between 1945 and 1975.

the US army discovered it was a mistake to give every average guy in the infantry an automatic weapon. which is why it went from the M16A1 to the M16A2.

not that infantry matters in war now, between first world nations anyway, since the army is the least important part of a modern military force, and the infantry is the least important part of the army. but i think they should go back to giving almost everybody a semi-automatic rifle. aimed fire is where it's at for the average grunt. keep the machineguns and lose the automatic rifles. develop a caliber between 6.5mm and 7mm and build all rifles and machineguns in the same caliber. ditch 5.56mm and 7.62mm for infantry work. move all snipers up to .338. and so forth.

David Davenport said...

... not that infantry matters in war now, between first world nations anyway, since the army is the least important part of a modern military force, and the infantry is the least important part of the army.

Jody, how many US Army and Marine infantrymen are currently on active duty?

What part of the US armed forces would you say is the most important part nowadays, Jody?

And what is the most important part of the Army? The Killer Kommando Software Developer Force?

Dennis Dale said...

Has the Army gone New Economy? The infantry is the "least important part"? The Army is no longer about soldiering!

I knew a guy who rocked out of Army boot camp in the seventies. He recounted with disgust how they were instructed to "spray the area" with automatic fire. I got the impression they were being trained to march en masse against oncoming Soviet troops/tanks. Probably in a post-apocalyptic nuclear wasteland. Quoth Bobby Troup in MASH: G--damn Army!

Shuh-hit buh-herds.

Justthisguy said...

Dennis, you are displaying serious Marine tendencies.

Justthisguy said...

Jody, I'm glad to see a fellow 7mm crank show up here. Did you know you you can buy a 6.8SPC upper for your AR-15 which uses standard bolt and magazines?

Anonymous said...

If Gaddafi send his army out to attack rebels, his army will just get bombed by NATO, so luring rebels into city for urban guerrilla warfare is his only choice, his troops will be blend in with the rebels, so NATO can't bomb them.

AMac said...

"The official euphoria with which the U.S. and European governments celebrated the fall of the regime of Muammar Gaddafi in Libya has given way to growing concern that many among the new Libyan leadership are radical Muslims with links to al-Qaeda. Revelations are surfacing also of a close collaboration of Western governments with the deposed dictator."

Jihadists Take Over, As Warned.

Not the most reliable-sounding source, but it sounds plausible. NPR's "Morning Edition" had a story about the jihadist, Al-Qaeda-friendly background of lead rebel Abdelhakim Belhaj, discussed at the link. Though the reporter was careful to sugar coat. Rebel Alliance Good, Qadaffi Bad. At least for a little while longer.