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Distant Observer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-05-11 11:26 PM
Original message
You Support Rebel Call for More Strikes in Libya? Just Answer 3 Simple Questions
Edited on Tue Apr-05-11 11:39 PM by Distant Observer

So, the Rebel leader in Libya is angrily demanding more strikes against pro-Gaddafi forces. Was the true goal of intervention preventing a massacre in Benghazi, or was it aiding a military drive on Tripoli.

http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/world/la-fg-lib...

Los Angeles Times
April 6, 2011
The top general for Libya's rebels lashed out at NATO forces for not doing enough against Libyan leader Moammar Kadafi and threatened to take his complaint to the U.N. Security Council.

"I would like to say to you people that NATO did not provide to us what we need," Abdul Fatah Younis said at a news conference in the rebel capital, Benghazi.

Kadafi's forces and the rebels have reached a stalemate since the North Atlantic Treaty Organization began airstrikes in late March. The Security Council approved the bombardments to protect civilians at a time when Kadafi's fighters were on the doorstep of Benghazi. Now rebels are upset by NATO's failure to bomb Kadafi's fighters near the refinery city of Port Brega or to end his siege of the western city of Misurata.

"NATO should be with us or we will ask the to raise this to the Security Council. This is a dangerous situation," Younis said.

Those who want NATO forces to act as close air-support in the rebel drive to Tripoli should really know the answers to four questions:


Who are the rebels


The factional opposition to Gaddafi pre-dated the protest movements of the Arab Spring. It also pre-dated al Qaeda. Most evidence from the membership of the leadership and its geographic center, is that it is a continuation of the Cyrenaican power-struggle with Gaddafi that is deeply rooted in their history and culture. King Idris was both the political ruler and the religious ruler -- the Head of the Islamic Senussi Order -- and his followers and clan see themselves as the natural political and spiritual leadership country. The noble Cyrenaicans have been dispossessed of power and privilege and their children and childrens children will never have their rightful place as long as Gaddafi rules.

But the Cyrenaicans supported a theocratic monarchy and still wave the royalist flag. Their indictment of Gaddafi regime was often based its religious tolerance and its rejection of a strict application of Sharia Law. So what kind of government would a victorious rebel movement impose on Libya.


Who are we fighting -- on behalf of the rebels?


NBC s Jim Maceda recently acknowledged that there has been an "UNDER REPORTING" of the fact that the rebels are being defeated not just by regular soldiers by armed pro-Gaddafi civilians that have been joining in the fight in large numbers.

CNNs Arwa Damon reported in one city the "rebels" were shocked that when they called for the people to come out of their houses -- the came out, with and pistols and shotguns and chased them out of town.


Are we and NATO going to have to bomb and strafe pro-Gaddafi civilian fighters in order to take the rebels to Tripoli?


Are we going to have to massacre the Bedouin tribes men coming out of the desert dunes to protect their leader and their way of life even if they are moving on camel back and wield ancient daggers and pistols as their weapons of war?


How much support do they have in Libya?



The rebels seem to have solid support in the Eastern province (Cyrenaica). But with 1.5 million people in Benghazi alone, how is it that the rebel forces number only a couple thousand? And this, supposedly, includes members of army brigades based in the East that defected to the rebel side!

Do the rebels represent a MAJORITY of Libya? The Gaddafi regime has now said they are willing to submit to internationally supervised elections. Are the rebels?

Do we know of any leader among the rebels who would win a national election?

Would it not be reasonable to have answers to those questions before continuing the killing from the skies?
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sad sally Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-05-11 11:35 PM
Response to Original message
1. Add to your list the concerns of the African Nations
WASHINGTON - The military force unleashed on Libya by the U.S. and its partners upset several African nations despite the international community's widespread concerns over Moammar Gadhafi's use of force against his own people, the top U.S. commander for the continent told Congress on Tuesday.

Gen. Carter Ham, commander of the U.S. Africa Command, described the mixed reaction from the African Union to the airstrikes and enforcement of a no-fly zone over Libya, and his imperative to explain the need for swift action to perturbed nations. His comments came as the U.S. military drastically slashed the number of air and naval forces committed to the operation, now under NATO control.

"I think frankly as we proceed I'm going to have the responsibility, as I engage with our African partners, to have a very frank discussion about what U.S. Africa Command's role was and why we did what we did and just be as truthful and forthright as I can," Ham told the House Armed Services Committee.

He added: "There is an impact and there will be an impact in the region."
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Distant Observer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-11 07:19 AM
Response to Reply #1
9. Really perverted how US pretends African Union supported intervention -- when Opposite is true
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Hugabear Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-05-11 11:48 PM
Response to Original message
2. K&R
Good, solid questions
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sabrina 1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-05-11 11:50 PM
Response to Original message
3. Those are all good questions. There was a lot we did not know
Edited on Tue Apr-05-11 11:54 PM by sabrina 1
about this situation in the beginning. It is not the same situation as Ebypt and Tunisia.

This 'top general' eg, Abdul Fatah Younis who is 'demanding' more NATO airstrikes was a top military guy in Qaddafi's forces until just recently. I have read that some of the rebels have said he should not be leading this revolution, he 'should have been arrested'.

And yes, we thought a majority of the people, as in Egypt and Tunisia were supportive of the uprising, but more and more it seems that may not be the case at all.

Good quesion about why it's so few people being sent out every day risking their lives, many have died already, when there may never have been a chance of them winning.

I'm getting the feeling that was orchestrated back in the Fall by people outside of the country, maybe backed by France to some extent and while some of the rebels are sincere, I've had the feeling for a while they are just being used.

Here's some info on what the rebels think of the 'top general' who seems to have taken over:

On the Ground in Libya

At the 7th of April Army base here, a major rebel army headquarters, Ibrahim, 57, says any appearance of organization is illusory. He said he's too embarrassed to invite reporters inside because, he said, he doesn't want the world to see "all the rubbish we have."

A tank leaving the base isn't on its way to war, he said, but to pull a civilian car from a ravine. A rusted tank returning will be pillaged for parts.

"All the tanks here are for show only. We don't have ammunition. We don't have weapons. We don't have anything," he said, the exasperation evidence in his voice.

He openly distrusts the man who had, until Thursday, been charged with running the rebel army, Abdel Fatah Younes, Gadhafi's former interior minister, who defected last month. Until then, he'd spent nearly five decades at Gadhafi's side, including playing a key role in the 1969 revolution against King Idris, which brought the then 27-year-old Gadhafi to power.

Ibrahim said the rebels should have prosecuted Younes for his crimes during the regime, not chosen him as their leader. He's not the only person Ibrahim doesn't trust.


According to this and other articles I've read, no one trusts anyone anymore and many have gone home now worried only about guarding their homes. And now they are afraid that there will be even more divisions and distrust after this is over. Iow, they may have been better off before.

Poor people, for a long time now I have been worried about who was really behind all this. As for Younes, hard to know what he is doing there. He certainly hasn't helped them.

Very sad, it could all end up with NATO deciding to agree to Saif taking over from his father because there is no one else to stabalize the country and if the regime falls completely, there could be an all out civil war.

"The continuous unrest that is happening in Benghazi has never happened before. We are not used to it. I am afraid people will lose hope living under that pressure and turn on another," Ojadee said. "We need a leader."


Someone seems to have misled these people. I heard one rebel on Democracy Now last week saying he doesn't trust these military guys at all, and that they have been infiltrated. He was coming back from the front and said they were sent to fight and told they had enough arms when in fact they were completely vulnerable and ended up running for their lives.

I'm beginning to wonder if all these military defectors are not devectors at all.





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EFerrari Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-11 01:23 AM
Response to Reply #3
6. This seems like a screwed up CIA op to me and one from the
Cheney/Rumfeld wing of the CIA at that. Only they could screw something up this royally.

My heart breaks for the young people fighting for their futures because they seem to be in very cynical, inept hands.
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sabrina 1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-11 02:43 AM
Response to Reply #6
7. I too feel so sad for the young people who thought it was
Edited on Wed Apr-06-11 02:48 AM by sabrina 1
their revolution and that they had a chance of success. But when your realize how powerful the Libyan govt is, the only way that was possible was if a majority of the people in the country was with them. That is what they had expected. They hoped as they went from town to town they would pick up more support. Instead, it looks like many civilians were not with them at all.

I think they were riled up and told they could do what the Egyptians did and although they started with unarmed protests, someone began giving them weapons. So it was totally different from Egypt.

I began to have bad feelings when I saw people on Twitter practically screaming at them to 'go to Tripoli' urging them on. I kept wondering if they knew something we did not because if not, it was clear that if they went to Tripoli they were going to be slaughtered. And who would do that, urge them to essentially commit mass suicide?

I think the whole idea was to PUT them in danger, so that the U.S. and Europe would be forced to intervene. Those who were on Twitter urging them on, it turned out were not even in Libya.

I think the plan was to start with a NFZ, bombing, and then troops. I don't know what they thought they could do, whoever was behind this. I guess they intended to set up a puppet governmet NOT made up of the real rebels, but the ex pats who were living in Virginia and elsewhere.

Not sure who was behind it. I kind of think the U.S. didn't really want to be involved, but France definitely is a #1 suspect imo.

How it will end will probably be with Saif or some General, like Younes as the 'interim' leader.

As the article I linked to said, there were thousands of Qaddafi supporters among them from the beginning. I'm sure the PNAC crowd were somehow involved also.

And to think that so many people died for something that may not have been what it seemed at all.

What a horrible mess. I'm thinking they really were better off before this started. Never thought I'd say that a few weeks ago.
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Distant Observer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-11 05:01 AM
Response to Reply #7
8. Sadly, regime repression iis likely greater that every before, as dissension becomes criminal under
Edited on Wed Apr-06-11 05:04 AM by Distant Observer
these circumstances of war and death. It looks like the Western media will use any and every public
criticism of the repressive regime as justification for more bombing. It looks like there is some quiet
agreement to pretend that MOST of the US allies in the region are not repressive regimes.
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EFerrari Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-11 11:56 AM
Response to Reply #7
11. "I think the whole idea was to PUT them in danger"
Edited on Wed Apr-06-11 11:56 AM by EFerrari
-- that's how it has seemed to me, exactly. And there are some twitter users of a type I sure didn't see in the Egyptian revolution. Really irresponsible.
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Distant Observer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-11 09:03 PM
Response to Reply #6
19. Don't think it started with Agency, so other hidden forces behind it.
Initial Defense and Intelligence reports questioned the motives of the protest/rebel movement
and argued against intervention.

State Department seems to be quietly in league with whomever planned this scam, but I wonder why.
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PufPuf23 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-11 12:18 AM
Response to Original message
4. Caveat: I am less a Gadaffi supporter than the USA
under Bush and Obama since 2003.

I thought the UN resolution was to protect civilians?

I would assume this to include thoise that liked the stability provided by Gadaffi.

Gadaffi has done better for Libya than the success of most African nations.

Gadaffi was not kind to his enemies and akin atrocities have not ocurred in the USA since the genocide of Indians and slavery.

But we sent rendition flights to Libya.

The rebels may not even be the democratic faction of Libya as most stay home and out of the wayin conflict, the stability of Gadaffi may be preferable to a majority but that is gone forever.

One would have to be naive to not realize the USA / NATO covert interference in Libya for decades.

Gadaffi is a target because of the location, natural resources, and that his regime has been relatively successful.

Relations and trade had been normalized since 2003 when Gadaffi signed on for the War on Terror.

I worry about what is going on in Egypt as well under the military.

Maybe Libya will be partitioned or be a failed state for a generation?

Maybe NATO or Egyption ground forces will force the issue?

I really do not have the knowledge but the narrative stinks. People do not want war nor political violence.

Libya is lose-lose and NATO is win-status quo-lose. In any case, misery for the average Libyan.
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EFerrari Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-11 12:21 AM
Response to Original message
5. The demands from the "rebels" make me wonder
Edited on Wed Apr-06-11 12:23 AM by EFerrari
what they were promised, when and by whom. :shrug:
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David__77 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-11 12:43 PM
Response to Reply #5
15. I don't think they were promised much.
But they sure do demand a lot. First it was "no fly zone." Well, they got it. There are no loyalist planes in the air, and have not been for weeks. Then they wants arms. Not sold to them, mind you, but given, as if from heaven. Then they want more than the thousands of air raids that have already occurred. I was accused of "slandering" the rebels for saying that they'd ultimately have no problem with Western ground forces in Libya. I cannot see how that is not perfectly obvious.
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EFerrari Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-11 02:17 PM
Response to Reply #15
16. It's difficult to find a bright line between them and "us"
when the leadership seems to be stocked with expats who've spend considerable time in the United States or who have had dealings with the Pentagon as part of Gaddafi's military leadership.
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Distant Observer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-11 03:52 PM
Response to Reply #16
17. Much of the leadership panel seem constructed either by US or for Western consumption
Edited on Wed Apr-06-11 03:55 PM by Distant Observer

But who in the 'rebel" leadership could run for "President" of Libya in free elections and win?
Who in that crew can rally both the city-dwellers and the tribes?
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On the Road Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-11 11:54 AM
Response to Original message
10. I Am Sure the Administration
has answered the questions to their own satisfaction -- at least to the extent needed to conduct the current policy. Our opinions are based on much less complete knowledge. Your answers may differ, but from my point of view:

Who are the rebels?
They are a very diverse group representing most or all parts of the population, from the educated elite to students to laborers. They are not Al Qaida, anti-American, or proponents of Sharia law. They are a broad representation of the population. In Kosovo the US allied with the KLA, who were by all accounts a much worse group.

Who are we fighting -- on behalf of the rebels?
The US, UN, and NATO made it clear that they are not conducting a war against Qaddafi or the Libyan military on behalf of the rebels. NATO and a couple of other countries destroyed aircraft, airfields, armor, and other heavy equipment being used at the time for wholesale attacks on noncombatants.

Are we and NATO going to have to bomb and strafe pro-Qaddafi civilian fighters in order to take the rebels to Tripoli?
Well, if they're civilians, they're combatants, just like the rebels. The attacks so far have been against heavy equipment, and I would personally expect them to remain that way. They are, after all, being done to stop the use of aircraft against civilians. Whether the rebels successfully take Tripoli is not part of the military mission.

How much support do they have in Libya?
Certainly more than most revolts or revolutions. By all accounts, probably 80-90%.

------------

The rebels' disappointment in the US and NATO shows that Obama was not just using the UN resolution dishonestly as a cover for prosecuting a war. NATO is not acting as the rebels' air force and should not expect to be able to call in air strikes. I am personally disappointed that Misurata seems to have been ignored in the last few days, since civilians are still being shelled and starved. But in general, the UN-sanctioned force is showing admirable restraint and adherence to the UN mission.

It may very well result in a military stalemate. I hopeful that a combination of rebel military action, UN aircraft, continued defections and desertions, and various diplomatic initiatives will lead to Qaddafi leaving within a few months. The US military planned for a 90-day mission, and so far it would appear to be on schedule. Kosovo looked even worse at this stage of the game, and it turned out fairly well.

What is particularly good is that Libya, and now the Ivory Coast, may be bringing about a new international consensus on when to the UN should intervene in struggles within a country -- specifically that the use of aircraft and heavy weaponry against civilians will result in air strikes to destroy the weaponry. It is a good balance between not allowing massacres while avoiding quagmires, and it has more authority than any country acting unilaterally.

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EFerrari Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-11 12:08 PM
Response to Reply #10
12. I stopped relying on the government to know better when I was pre-teen
Edited on Wed Apr-06-11 12:08 PM by EFerrari
and Nixon went into Cambodia.

There are Islamists among the rebels, as reported by the NYTs reporters that were held by Gaddafi forces, among others.

Do you have a link for your 80-90%? I haven't seen this anywhere.

The UN, NATO and the US can say, all they want, they are not at war with Gaddafi but in fact, what they are doing are acts of war by any measure.

The dissatisfaction of the rebels with the amount of NATO "support" is not necessarily indicative of motivation.
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On the Road Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-08-11 12:11 PM
Response to Reply #12
24. OK, But from an Understandable Distrust of Government
it is not safe to draw the conclusion that Libya = Cambodia.

Of course there are Islamists among the opposition. There were in Tunisia and Egypt as well. There are also secular college professors and ex-military. They don't come anywhere near a majority, and are not about to exert control over the movement.

As far as the 80-90% support for the opposition, the OP made a point of asking for specific numbers. You have to approach fast-moving conflicts on a qualitative basis. Statistics like this are never going to be exact, but you can assign an approximate range.

There are certainly acts of war being committed by any international standard. But just as certainly, NATO is not conducting a war against the Libyan government. Compare Libya to Iraq and it's easy to see the difference between targeted strikes on planes and tanks and "shock and awe". Compare Libya to Afghanistan and it's easy to see the difference between destroying tanks that were attacking unarmed civilians and acting as the air force for a ground assault by the Northern Alliance.
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Distant Observer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-11 12:26 PM
Response to Reply #10
13. 80-90% ?? Find independent data on that and YOU ARE A GOD. It has no basis!
Edited on Wed Apr-06-11 12:30 PM by Distant Observer
It is frightening how little support they have. Cyrenaica is at least 2 million. How can they just muster only a couple thousand volunteers when that province is noted for widespread militancy??

If they have so much support why are they terrified at the idea of elections.
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On the Road Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-08-11 11:34 AM
Response to Reply #13
22. The Point is Not That There is Independent Polling Data
Edited on Fri Apr-08-11 11:42 AM by On the Road
The OP proposed that the questions needed to be answered. I agree. But it is specious to argue from personal ignorance and a distruct of government that the question is unanswerable, and then proceed to the conclusion that intervention is unjustified.

In conflicts like this, you are rarely able to assign exact polling data and assign statistical signficance. But drawing on knowledge of the country from the State Department, intelligence sources, the American and Libyan ex-pat communities, and a host of other information, you can a very good qualitative idea of the government's support.

As far as the 80-90% support goes:

- Qaddaffi support can be estimated by comparing him to other embattled leaders. Mubarak was by all accounts more popular, and probably had 20-30% support. Probably about the same for former Eastern European states under the Soviets. Support for the American-backed South Vietnamese government was probably in the same range, even including groups like former colonial employees, ethnic Chinese and certain anti-VPA tribes. For reasons given below, I beleive Qaddaffi's support is signficantly less than that.

- Qaddaffi has high support among government employees, the upper class, loyalist military, and his tribe. Those groups are a fairly small percentage of the population, and as shown from the defection is not 100% even within those. Qaddaffi did not spread the wealth like eg Marshal Tito, or maintain an organization like the Baath Party or Communist Party which would serve to broaden public support. Instead, he discouraged opposition by public executions, imprisonment, fear, and widespread suppression of all political organizing. That reinforces and probably lowers the 20% support figure.

- By all accounts, there are very few disinterested parties here. Apolitical people in the US are pretty common. In a 42-year dictatorship with a long history of abuses and usurpations, people with no opinion are probably no more than 5%. So most non-Qaddaffi supporters are likely to be supporters of the opposition.

- The phase of peaceful opposition showed massive opposition to Qaddaffi, even in more pro-Qaddaffi cities like Tripoli.

- The fact that Qaddaffi was forced to rely on mercenaries shows that he cannot find enough volunteers from the population to staff his own military.

- The numerous high-level defections do not indicate a divided nation. On the contrary, they indicate a country that is broadly opposed to its dictator where even the higher-ups had serious enough reservations to change sides.

- Qaddafi is not shelling Sirte, which is his home town and where he has a significant amount of support. However, the fact that he is shelling many other cities such as Misrata, Ajdabiya, and Zawiyah shows that he has abandoned any hope of support in those cities. You do not fire artillery at your friends.

------------

I think you're reading too much in to the small number of fighters. The peaceful protests at the beginning of the conlict were a much better indication of the level of opposition. It's doubtful Qaddafi has much support outside of his small core of loyalists.

After considering your question again, I think 80-90% support for the opposition is a good estimate.
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Distant Observer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-08-11 01:43 PM
Response to Reply #22
25. You realize that Gaddafi was known to have overwhelming popular support at one point
Edited on Fri Apr-08-11 01:46 PM by Distant Observer
not just in Libya but across many countries of the Sahara.

The dictator was VERY POPULAR. The question is just how much support he has lost
as a result of the interim years of sanctions and strife.

Do a little googling or go to Amazon books and get some independent data.

The method you propose has no basis in logic at all.

It is double suspect in that prior to the "protest" movement their was a reform movement
in Tripoli developing a plan for constitutional reform and elections. At that time it was
folk from many of the group now involved in the "rebellion" who rejected the idea of
western-oriented DEMOCRATIC ELECTIONS and called for violent regime change.

That is just what they are attempting now under the guise of the "protest" movement.

They are using innocent protestors and activist for their own militant objectives.

IT IS A SCAM THROUGH AND THROUGH.
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On the Road Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-09-11 12:01 AM
Response to Reply #25
26. There are a Lot of Libyans
Tweeting, blogging, posting on YouTube, and communicating in various ways with the media. If you don't listen to them, listen to what Treki and other defecting ambassadors are saying all over the globe. They know.

NO ONE in Libya except Qaddaffi and his family depicts the situation like you do. No one. If there was even a fraction of the support you claim, there would be at least some evidence of it. Massive, massive rallies for the opposition countered by a few dozen unenthusiastic pro-Qaddaffi supporters once in a while. Widespread defections. Qaddaffi cannot muster an army outside his elite forces.

He may have been popular right after the coup -- most new governments have a honeymoon period. He spread money around Africa and bought lots of supporters. In his own country he did not spread the wealth, but enriched himself and suppressed opposition.

Of course the rebels opposed elections -- they're right next door to Egypt. Mubarak only allowed political opposition he believed was easy to defeat like the Muslim Brotherhood -- nevertheless, in a recent election, the opposition received 30% of seats in parliament. That wasn't good enough for Mubarak, so he decided to call a second round of elections. Then a third. At the end of the process, the opposition did not have a single seat. That's what they're comparing elections to.

The kids on pickups with automatic weapons are fighters in a revolution. Of course they want blood. They don't represent the whole movement any more than a jarhead in Iraq represents the Obama administration. There are apparently reasonable people in charge with some experience, who will make reasonable decisions.

As far as radical Islamists, the opposition represents the same group of people who protested in the countries on either side of them. If Qaddaffi had left voluntarily, they would going through the same constitution and nation-building process that Egypt and Tunisia are. And if the Egypt and Tunisia had massacred civilians like Qaddaffi did, they would be in a bloody civil war as well.


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Distant Observer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-11 05:25 PM
Response to Reply #10
18. Can you explain why DEFENCE and INTELLIGENCE assessment said NO BASIS FOR INTERVENTION

The NSC had a consistent fact-based NO_GO position until State Department, for whatever reasons,
pushed an non-fact justified, "propective humanitarian disaster" rationale for "no-fly zone."

Was the NSC totally misguided -- Lieberman and McCain called for resignations after closed briefings. In my opinion, they did not like the truth and preferred the public propaganda.
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On the Road Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-08-11 11:54 AM
Response to Reply #18
23. Well, When You Start Comparing "Truth" to "Propaganda"
it's clear you're basing your evaluation on the conclusion rather than the merits.

Of course I don't know exactly why the military and State Department disagreed, and neither do you. By all accounts, the military didn't particularly want this action. It may have reflected the intitial phase of violence, such as the army shooting into crowds. I would agree that intervention was not justified at that point, as it is not in Bahrain, Yemen, Syria, or Saudi Arabia.

What justifies it is:

- The indiscriminate use of aircraft, artillery, armor, and naval bombardment of civilian area
- Targeting ambulances, hospitals, doctors, and patients, and killing those being treated or giving treatment
- Multiple declarations of the intent to slaughter entire cities
- Overwheliming opposition to the government

I actually think the administration has shown outstanding judgment in the decision on whether and how to get involved.
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xchrom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-11 12:40 PM
Response to Original message
14. recommend
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mainer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-11 09:10 PM
Response to Original message
20. Good luck asking questions. I was told STFU when I had doubts
The pro-rebel factions here on DU will not tolerate any whispers that Ghaddafi may, in fact, be the lesser of two evils.
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Hugabear Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-11 09:32 PM
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21. A lot of us were
In fact, merely even questioning the rebels meant that you were a "Ghadaffi supporter" in the eyes of some around here
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