Libya News Roundup

Richard Seymour (20 August 2011): “I think we would see a recomposition of the old regime, without Qadhafi but with the basic state structures intact.  The former regime elements would become regime elements, within a pro-US, neoliberal state with some limited political democracy.  In addition, those calling for intervention in Syria would be strengthened, as the Pentagon’s faith in military power would have been revived.  This would be a significant regroupment for the US and allied states after recent setbacks.  It doesn’t matter how ridiculous this war has been, or how much of a mockery the process has made of the revolutionary process that instigated it.  And it doesn’t matter what subsequently happens inside Libya as long as it isn’t outright civil war.  Problems can be glossed over.  The only thing that would register in the spectacle is that the US and its allies had successfully piloted their own model for the Middle East, with the word ‘quagmire’ barely uttered.”

Blake Hounshell (22 August 2011): “It required little from American taxpayers: As of Thursday, NATO operations had cost the United States around $1.1 billion, according to CFR’s Micah Zenko — a rounding error.”

John F. Burns (22 August 2011): “[E]lements of Colonel Qaddafi’s presidential guard [were] reported as having defected in accordance with a deal cut earlier with rebel leaders. . . .”

Jody McIntyre (21 August 2011): “I do not believe what we are being told about Libya or Syria.”

Jody McIntyre (21 August 2011): “Did the people now supporting the NATO-led invasion of Tripoli also support the US-led bombing of Iraq?”

Jody McIntyre (21 August 2011): “I will never cheer imperialist intervention, no matter how attractively it is packaged. . .”

Dennis Kucinich (21 August 2011): “I have recently received several reports indicating that a settlement was close, only to be scuttled by state department officials.  Given that the department of state seems to have taken a singular role in launching the US into this war, it is more than disconcerting to hear that the same agency has played a role in frustrating a resolution to this conflict.”

Lolita C. Baldor (22 August 2011): “Diplomats acknowledge that covert teams from France, Britain and some East European states provided critical assistance.  The assistance included logisticians, security advisers and forward air controllers for the rebel army, as well as intelligence operatives, damage assessment analysts and other experts, according to a diplomat based at NATO’s headquarters in Brussels.  The diplomat spoke on condition of anonymity due to the sensitivity of the issue.”

Antoun Issa (22 August 2011): “Democracy is futile without sovereignty.  In whose interests will the new #Libya be formed?”

Ali Abunimah (21 August 2011): “It seems a lot of supporters of Saudi tyranny and Israeli apartheid are jubilant for freedom this morning . . . But only in Libya.”

Ali Abunimah (21 August 2011): “Here’s what Libyans are up against: Sen John McCain wants US to ‘help’ Libyans build ‘democracy.’

Ali Abunimah (21 August 2011): “#DisasterCapitalism McCain wants Libyan assets ‘released’ to NATO-backed TNC for ‘reconstruction’

Ali Abunimah (21 August 2011): “Sen McCain wants US to help Libya write a constitution (they will put in a clause making love for Israel mandatory)

As’ad AbuKhalil (22 August 2011): “Who governs Libya?  Here is the answer: ‘The United States is already laying plans for a post-Qaddafi Libya. Jeffrey D. Feltman, an assistant secretary of state, was in Benghazi over the weekend for meetings with the rebels’ political leadership about overseeing a stable, democratic transition.  A senior administration official said that the United States wanted to reinforce the message of rebel leaders that they seek an inclusive transition that would bring together all the segments of Libyan society.'”

Michael Prysner (21 August 2011): “If this was a popular revolution, the streets of #Tripoli would look like Tahrir Square right now.  #Libya

Michael Prysner (21 August 2011): “Where are the masses celebrating in Green Square?!?  All I see are a few dozen men with guns!  #Tripoli #Libya

Maximilian Forte (21 August 2011): “NEWSFLASH: @NATO doesn’t support revolutions, make countries ‘free.’  You just traded yourselves in for rule by a global dictatorship.  #Libya

Maximilian Forte (21 August 2011): “Jalil, Libya’s new dictator, will certainly use ‘Gaddafists’ and Al Qaeda as a ‘security’ excuse to perpetuate his hold on #Libya — watch.”

Club des Cordeliers (21 August 2011): “Across the globe, bourgeois #Libyan expatriates packing bags to profit from coming massive firesale of the people’s resources.  #democra$y”

Club des Cordeliers (21 August 2011): “Worth remembering US staged toppling of Saddam statue in Baghdad, along with ‘jubilant crowd,’ in 2003 #Libya

Club des Cordeliers (21 August 2011): “I’m for a revolution in #Libya.  One that will overthrow #NATO colonizers and their #NTC poodles.”

WikiLeaks (21 August 2011): “If you think getting rid of #Gaddafi was hard, wait till you see what happens when Libyans try to get rid of NATO.”

Lulu Garcia-Navarro (22 August 2011): “Feels sketchy today in #tripoli #libya.  reports of snipers, rebels going through neighborhoods catching loyalists.”

Jess Brammar (22 August 2011): “Spoke to Mahmud Nacua of Libyan NTC at Embassy, says international community could play role in Libya for up to 2 year transitional period.”

Richard Haass (22 August 2011): “Libya Now Needs Boots on the Ground.”

Clifford Krauss and Elisabetta Povoledo (22 August 2011): “Colonel Qaddafi proved to be a problematic partner for the international oil companies, frequently raising fees and taxes and making other demands.  A new government with close ties to NATO may be an easier partner for Western nations to deal with.  Some experts say that given a free hand, oil companies could find considerably more oil in Libya than they were able to locate under the restrictions placed by the Qaddafi government.”

Matthew Chance (22 August 2011): “Just had face to face with Saif #Gadhafi — he said word of his detention was a trick by rebels.  #cnn #libya

Matthew Chance (22 August 2011): “#Saif #Gadhafi told me that he had been travelling around Tripoli in an armored convoy the whole time.  #cnn #libya

Matthew Chance (22 August 2011): “Major PR coup for #Gadhafi — if the rebels lied about this — what can we believe?  #cnn #libya #tripoli

Reuters Top News (22 August 2011): “FLASH: Gaddafi son Saif Al Islam, asked if his father was safe and well in Tripoli, answered ‘of course’ — BBC correspondent.”

Cahal Milmo and Kim Sengupta (23 August 2011): “While the Ministry of Defence has been diligent in providing daily updates on the progress of ‘Operation Ellamy’, the British codename for its £250m part in the Nato campaign in Libya, a quieter London-sponsored offensive has been taking place on the ground for six months, involving an army of diplomats, spooks, military advisers and former members of the special forces. . . .  A British diplomatic source said: ‘. . . What we are talking about is offering expertise, diplomatic support and allowing others to be helpful.’  The ‘others’ in question are the small groups of former special forces operatives, many with British accents, working for private security firms who have been seen regularly by reporters in the vanguard of the rebels’ haphazard journey from Benghazi towards Tripoli.  These small detachments of Caucasian males, equipped with sunglasses, 4×4 vehicles and locally acquired weaponry, do not welcome prying eyes, not least because their presence threatened to give credence to the Gaddafi regime’s claims that the rebel assault was being directed by Western fifth-columnists. . . .  The Independent understands that the contracts for the security companies, often signed in Qatar and the United Arab Emirates, have involved funds provided by Western countries to the NTC, although much of the money has come from previously frozen regime bank accounts and assets.”

Margaret Coker (24 August 2011): “In their Western Mountains’ training facility, recruits for the rebel brigade attended afternoon classes on how to use AK-47s, FN assault rifles, heavy-caliber antiaircraft machine guns and antitank rockets.  They also learned to advance, retreat, safely raid a building and other basic tactics.  Their instructors were Libyan expatriates who had served in the Libyan military during its war with Chad in the 1980s.  They fell out with Col. Gadhafi during the war and formed what is known as the Libyan Salvation Front, one of the oldest Libyan opposition groups.  Many went to the U.S. in exile, and then returned to Libya after the uprising broke out in February, said Mr. Sbeaa, the rebel fighter.  Yussuf Mohammed, a senior coordinator for another Tripoli Brigade, the Qaqaa Brigade, said about 100 of his brigade’s 600 fighters received an advanced three-week course in urban warfare tactics given by Qatari special forces.  Qatar has publicly backed rebels and said it was training them.”

Cf. “Are you serious?  These people are using the hastag #SyriaNext . . .  Why?  You want NATO to bomb the shit out of us so we can be ‘free’ too?” (Lala Falfasi, 21 August 2011).

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