Applebaum warns Libyan war may weaken NATO

Anne Applebaum, who is both a columnist for the WaPo and the spouse of the Foreign Minister of NATO member Poland, writes today that

    when Western leaders talk about the Libyan campaign as a “NATO operation” they are, at the very least, being economical with the truth.

She notes that many NATO members aren’t participating in hostilities in Libya. (Poland is one of these, though strangely she makes no mention of it. Even stranger: That the WaPo makes no mention of her national/sentimental affiliations when she writes about foreign policy issues for them.)
She notes, further, that Sweden, Netherlands, Norway, and Italy are among those NATO countries that are participating militarily but are doing so under tight restrictions imposed by their national governments, and that the U.S. government has cut back its military activities considerably since it “handed over command” of the operation to NATO.
Her conclusion?

    Yet neither Britain nor France wants responsibility for the operation — and neither feels comfortable relying on the other… This failure to cooperate is hardly surprising. This, after all, is the first Anglo-French military operation since the Suez escapade of 1956 — and that one ended rather badly.
    But if this historically unreliable Anglo-French coalition proves unable to sustain a long operation, what then? … If Britain and France run out of planes, fuel, money or enthusiasm, it’s over. And NATO — an organization that, I repeat, did not plan for, prepare for or even vote for the Libyan operation — will shoulder most of the blame. The use of NATO’s name, in Libya, is a fiction. But the weakening of NATO’s reputation in Libya’s wake might become horribly real. In truth, the Libyan expedition is an Anglo-French project and has been from the beginning.

Now of course it is impossible to say how much of Applebaum’s analysis is shared either by her husband, the Polish foreign minister, or the rest of the Polish government. But it is probably fair to suppose that she would not knowingly publish a piece of public commentary with which her husband would strongly disagree or that could embarrass him in his public life in Poland.
By way of reference, here was Polish PM Donald Tusk recently asking a Warsaw newspaper,

    isn’t the Libyan case yet another example of European hypocrisy in view of the way Europe has behaved towards Gaddafi in recent years or even months?

Well, attentive JWN readers will know I have disagreed strongly with Anne Applebaum in the past. Crucially, she is probably very eager for NATO to retain its coherence, its capabilities, and its “credibility”, while I see it as a dangerous relic of an imperialist past and a deep drain on resources that should be used for socially useful goods.
But Applebaum does bring a helpful degree of realism to today’s column.
What she doesn’t mention is the fact that American mismanagement of the decade-long NATO mission in Afghanistan has already considerably weakened the older ties within the organization… So the dreadful military “adventure” in Libya incited by the self-regarding (and strongly pro-Israeli) French philosopher “BHL” maybe just brings it that much nearer to its final death-knell.
But then, what indeed is NATO’s mission– what is NATO?– now that the Soviet Union has been so long dead and buried? In Afghanistan, George W. Bush and Barrack Obama tried to use NATO as a sort of force auxiliary for the projection of American military power in Central Asia. In Libya, Sarkozy and Cameron have tried to use it as their force auxiliary, helping them to realize neo-imperialist goals defined for them by BHL.
By the way, I missed– but just found– this excellent late-March commentary by the FT’s Gideon Rachman.
He wrote,

    the reality is that the Libyan war is more likely to mark a last hurrah for liberal interventionism than a new dawn. For the brutal truth is that the western powers that are the keenest promoters of the idea will not have the economic strength or the public backing to sustain many more overseas interventions. And the rising economic powers – China, India, Brazil and others – are deeply sceptical about the whole concept.
    … Britain and France have maintained the instinct to think globally, without the resources to back it up. Even the US, by far the world’s pre-eminent military power, is signalling strongly that it is losing the will to be the world’s policeman.
    In the Victorian age, the British once sang – “We don’t want to fight, but by Jingo if we do/ We’ve got the ships, we’ve got the men, we’ve got the money too.” The Libyan intervention feels like a last reprise of that old tune, rather than a bold statement for a new age.

Yes, indeed. Gideon Rachman strikes me as a far more credible guide to the power balances and sensibilities of the 21st century than Bernard-Henri Levy.

45 thoughts on “Applebaum warns Libyan war may weaken NATO

  1. JohnH

    Obama made a landmark statement: the US is not taking the lead. To my knowledge, this is the US’ first break from its role as “indispensable leader.” The implications are profound, particularly if the jingoists, until now dominant in policy circles, can no longer muster the clout to overturn Obama and foist US leadership on the world.

  2. Domza

    There’s always somebody available to say that whatever is happening “is more likely to mark a last hurrah”. It’s cover.
    This is why you can talk about the Mau Mau emergency that surrounded me at the age of six years in Kenya was “the end of Empire”, whereas my entire life and all of yours right up to now has been accompanied by non-stop Imperial wars, of which Libya is only the latest though one of the most heinous.
    Remember that Libya was the first (in 1951, the year before the Kenya State of Emergency was declared) to become independent and it was the only one that had created a European standard of living for its people.
    The European powers and the US do what they do because it is a solution for them at the expense of the African people. It makes a profit.
    This Rachman guy is throwing dust in people’s eyes, playing a double-act with the other clown. Meanwhile, this is business, bloody, horrible business as usual, and which never stopped.

  3. brian

    The end of NATO: thatd be the best possible news . NATO thinks it can compete with the US in breaking international law JUST becaus they are white. NATOS war on Libya is another supreme war crime…they should be taken to the Hague…but as we know that is reserved for black africans.
    What we are seeing is 1984 over and over and over.
    NOW given thes precedents, can the scots and Bretrons expect their bid for power in UK/france to succeed? Launch armed aggression called peaceful protests, when repulsed by Her majesties/ French forces, get the support of some foreign militaries to bomb the national armies…
    an eg has been set, so the above is reasonable!

  4. prasad

    Now Libya is fighting with NATO forces from so many days but it gains nothing both sides so many people have died and lot of people are injured with this war so Libya should think of it. No one can gain anything with this war. Only peace talks are the best solution for this problem.

  5. Salah

    Some things are clear, though. In Benghazi, an influential businessman named Sami Bubtaina expressed a common sentiment: “We want democracy. We want good schools, we want a free media, an end to corruption, a private sector that can help build this nation, and a parliament to get rid of whoever, whenever, we want.” These are honorable aims. But to expect that they will be achieved easily is to deny the cost of decades of insanity, terror, and the deliberate eradication of civil society. ?

    Who Are the Rebels?
    by Jon Lee Anderson, APRIL 4, 2011

  6. bevin

    It really highlights the nature of the Empire that the Foreign Minister of Poland’s wife is a right wing columnist for the Washington Post.
    One wonders why he doesn’t get a real job, with power and prestige, like his wife’s.

  7. brian

    what does bubtaina mean by ‘democracy’? and how can he get it by engaing with dictatorships like the US and UK?

  8. David

    Really brian, “dictatorships like the US and UK”? Democracy here and in the UK certainly have flaws but no where near what can be construed as “dictatorships”.

  9. Salah

    Brine & David,
    While no doubt the democratic system in western word far more set and better than what in most ME countries or other part of the world, make no mistake most of you who seek to move and live in western world enjoying the democratic system and its befits, the system not perfect as you may think, but there is no base to compare it what in ME countries or regimes at all.
    You believe that US represented by GW Bush (Shoe recipient) rushed under US anger after 9/11 to launch war on Iraq and invaded, but let not forgot same Bush and his father both very strong supporters for ME dictatorships regimes now US asking them to leave their seats?

    The phrase “second resolution”, with its echoes of the pre-Iraq diplomatic wrangling of 2003, strikes an ominous note. The French call for UN authorisation of regime change is, at best, a rash gamble.

    At worst, it will shatter the coalition, drive Britain in the direction of another catastrophic land war, and chip away at the pillars of legality on which this war was erected.

    Regime change as an ambition is neither imprudent nor unusual. This is the British position in Burma and Iran. But it is reckless, wishful, and devoid of nuance.

    First, France could not get the resolution it hints at. Resolution 1973 barely escaped a Russian and Chinese veto. Only days ago, a meeting of the Bric countries condemned the use of force against Libya and called it all-but illegal. Every one of these four emerging powers is a member of the UN Security Council.

    Second, Resolution 1973 was a triumph of international diplomacy. It combined Arab support, elastic language, and humanitarian objectives. Libya was everything Iraq was not. If western powers sought – and were denied – a second resolution, but pushed for regime change regardless, this triumph could be stillborn. Unilateral action would inflame Arab opinion, dissolve Turkish and German support, and generate an international chorus of condemnation.

    We would be ill-advised

  10. Salah

    One interesting question is whether a lot of the hardline Arab states are like this. Places like Iraq, Syria, or Saudi Arabia spend a lot of time telling their citizens that everyone feels a particular way, and punishing those who dare to differ, which has the effect of encouraging people to falsify their preferences. But who knows? Given the right trigger, those brittle authoritarian regimes might collapse overnight, with most of the population swearing – with all apparent sincerity – that it had never supported them, or their anti-Western policies, at all.

    Perhaps we should think about how to make it so.

    Patriotism and Preferences
    By Glenn Harlan Reynolds, 03/13/2002

  11. brian

    ‘Really brian, “dictatorships like the US and UK”? Democracy here and in the UK certainly have flaws but no where near what can be construed as “dictatorships”.’
    dictatorship usually means control by a central figure as opposed to control by the people or a party…We know the US /UK etc dont allow the people any influence in political decision making (who authorised the war on Libya? the people of US and EU?)
    But a party is also acts as a single figure, and thus its behavior can be said to be dictatorial.

  12. Salah

    Wonder if some as you comment about him as “the most interesting and informative” why note he goes to his own space and teach others with his “interesting and informative” knowledge, isn’t?

  13. David

    You engaged in a bit of hyperbole with your statement now you seem to want to walk it back to just “its behavior can be said to be dictatorial”.
    Specific individual decisions like whether to enforce a no-fly zone in Libya or “authorize a war on Libya” are never in any democracy up to the people. The people influence political decision making through their choice of party or candidate preferences.
    This is exactly the way democracy is supposed to work.

  14. brian

    Not at all hear a lot about something called the International COmmmunity….taht makes these decisions,…what is it? are you a member? are you consulted? No: Me neither
    as for your L:choice of party..Last time i looked BOTH major parties are war mongers,.and NOT they cant just say: we were elected so the people agree with our decisions,
    Is that how you see this UNrepresentaive democracy? Thats a fraud. Its not rule by the people Its rule by a set of con men/women. Gadaffi knows this: you dont:
    ‘The party is a contemporary form of dictatorship. It is the modern instrument of dictatorial government. The party is the rule of a part over the whole. As a party is not an individual, it creates a superficial democracy by establishing assemblies, committees, and propaganda through its members. The party is not a democratic instrument because it is composed only of those people who have common interests, a common perception or a shared culture; or those who belong to the same region or share the same belief. They form a party to achieve their ends, impose their will, or extend the dominion of their beliefs, values, and interests to the society as a whole. A party’s aim is to achieve power under the pretext of carrying out its program. Democratically, none of these parties should govern a whole people who constitute a diversity of interests, ideas, temperaments, regions and beliefs. The party is a dictatorial instrument of government that enables those with common outlooks or interests to rule the people as a whole. Within the community, the party represents a minority.

  15. David

    I seem to have touched a nerve. If you want to believe that “Popular Conferences are the only means to achieve popular democracy” please do so. But don’t for a second think that “we the people” are so stupid and/or duped that we don’t realize we live in a dictatorship just because we are unhappy with the some of the actions of our elected representatives.
    I lived for ten years on a kibbutz in Israel and from the brief reading of the website it looks like Kibbutizm are actually pretty close to your “popular conferences” but you know what, we weren’t always happy with all decisions there either. And I would suspect that if you ever had a place with “popular conferences” people would find it didn’t always act the way they wanted either.
    To paraphrase the expression “democray is worst possible system, except for all the others”.

  16. brian

    Tell me Dave, when did your govt ever consult you before a major undertaking like a war? or the rest of your country men/women? They didnt..they just say: we are in power , so we can do as we please . If you dont like it you may vote for the opposition next election, and they will behave in the same way. They assume that since they were voted into power by a slim majority this gives them the mandate ro do waht rhey like.,..even if theny had promised to do the opposite (US midterm elections 2006..Dems elected into a majorioty in senate and House…on promise to end iraq war..when they got in, they reneged)
    hm…this is revealing:
    ‘ lived for ten years on a kibbutz in Israel and from the brief reading of the website it looks like Kibbutizm ‘
    as for your kibbutzim…did they ever get to vote for war? maybe they did and chose the path of war…Few in europe would do so…the EU was et up to avoid intereuropean war….but international war?
    ‘To paraphrase the expression “democray is worst possible system, except for all the others”.’
    what are the others? and ‘democracy’ is not what we have…as the demos are not brought into the political decision making.

  17. Teliserg

    So has HC found the time to tell us how many innocent civilians demanding their rights (oops, I meant Syrian quislings and CIA paid agents) are being slaughtered by her beloved anti-imperialist Bashar – or does she continue to brownnose Bashar and his ruling class?
    You “anti-imperialists” (including the kool-aid drinkers on this board) are nothing but intellectual midgets and moral delinquents.

  18. Teliserg

    Brian: The party is a contemporary form of dictatorship. It is the modern instrument of dictatorial government.
    You must be joking right? Party (in a western democracy) is a voluntary political association. You don’t like any party, you go make your own. While a dictatorial government is a forced involuntary system on the population.
    To make such basic errors of understanding of this nature shows you kool-aid drinkers are not even fit to think. Go and stick to your ideology (that all affairs are reducible to US syphoning oil). Without your silly ideology, you would end up in a madman’s asylum.

  19. Nell

    As comments are closed on the post to which this refers, ‘Bayard Rustin understood Palestinians’ (March 10), I’m placing mine on a post for which they’re still open:
    No, Bayard Rustin did _not_ understand Palestinians. The title of this post is misleading and wrong.
    Rustin failed to apply his understanding of what motivated the struggles of African-Americans to Palestinians who were dispossessed, colonized, and mistreated by a structurally racist state — or at least if he did, he kept that understanding to himself. A Quaker writer makes reference to Rustin’s having believed that Israel had committed injustices against Palestinians, but cites nothing to support that. If Rustin ever made any such statements, which I doubt (though I would welcome citations to the contrary), they came in the context of “yes, but…” apologies for U.S. support for Israel and justifications of Israel’s behavior.
    By 1968, at the time of the quote in the post, Rustin was working closely with neoconservatives. He went further and further down that path during the 1970s and into the 1980s.
    Bayard Rustin was an extremely complicated man whose courage and immense accomplishments are tarnished, but far from obliterated, by the positions he took from 1964 onward, when he decided to work within the corridors of power. He took increasingly right-wing stances on foreign policy across the board — indistinguishable by the early 1980s from those of his friends Midge Decter and Norman Podhoretz. But Rustin had been an unblinking Zionist all along.
    I opened the post thinking that maybe Helena had uncovered some writing or speech from Rustin’s career that showed awareness of the conflict between his commitment to universal human rights and his willingness to overlook and excuse the suppression of Palestinians’ rights. Sadly, no.

  20. Teliserg

    Brian – how does it feel to support one of the most bloodiest and despicable dictators this earth has seen? He just managed to kill 10,000 people and disappear another 20,000 people who disagreed with him. You postcolonial kool-aid socialists are such an odious and repugnant lot. Why dont you and HC join the British Socialist Labour Party who went to Libya and claims that Ghaddafi has not hurt a single civilian. After all, Ghaddafi is an avowed nationalist socialist and you fascism lovers will be most happy to be part of his security apparatus. Hopefully when the revolution succeeds, people like you and HC and Shirin will be tried for criminal support of a bloody dictatorship and the internet will then contain less of such vermin?

  21. brian

    Despite detailed investigation we could not find any evidence that the three regions of Tripoli cited in UN resolution 1973 had been subjected to government forces bombardment nor that their had been fighting between government troops and the people , we received many testimonies to the contrary.
    your 10000 is a fiction used by the insurgents and yiou to justify massmurder by NATO/US the invasion of Libya and its return to a colony of europe

  22. Teliserg

    Bombardment of Tripoli by Ghaddafi? Whoever claimed that? Do you have source that the opposition has claimed the shelling of Tripoli?
    So the bombardment of Zawiya never happened and the bombardment of Misrata is not happening, and the kidnapping of dissidents in Tripoli is not happening, and the bombardment of berbers is not happening?
    I also suppose that HC and you will deny people getting killed in Deraa, Homs, and Latakia Syria, and all the videos posted on youtube are photoshopped by the CIA?
    As said before, the three of you flat-earthers and koolaid drinkers belong to an asylum.

  23. rosemerry

    French philosopher “BHL” should be “French philosopher BHL”. Sarkozy is also a fanatical Zionist as well as self-important enough to undo De Gaulle’s correct act of leaving NATO over forty years ago.

  24. rosemerry

    I have just read teliserg’s offensive ravings, and wonder how he can read Helena’s posts and still act in such a way.

  25. brian

    ‘So the bombardment of Zawiya never happened and the bombardment of Misrata is not happening, and the kidnapping of dissidents in Tripoli is not happening, and the bombardment of berbers is not happening?’
    what dissidents being ‘kidnapped’…or do you mean armed insurgents captured? oh Misarata has happened. …just as thered be a bombardnemnt of Newcastle of the Scots decided to mount an armed insurgency and take over te city..whats NOT happening is Libyas army targeting civilians..nor do we have them killing 10000 people, a figure YOU cant substantiate nor can the TNC:
    so why do you keep lying me what-ever-your-name-is..who are you really? one of the libyan jihadists?

  26. brian

    Its remarkable that former colonial powers some of whom committed genocide in Africa can attack an africa country, that has not attacked them and be applauded by the dipsht media and ignorant masses…But the word they use is:
    ‘humanitarian intervention’, Orwellianism Orwell never thought of…So what is Humanitarian Intervention’ and why is it such a a dangerous doctrine?
    ‘Besides, if we apply the underlying principles of interference behind the aggression against Libya, it means that anyone can intervene anywhere they want to. Imagine that the Russians intervene in Bahrain or the Chinese in Yemen : the world would be a general and ongoing war. Therefore one major feature of the right to interfere is the infringement of standard international law. And if we had to change international law to new laws justifying the right to interfere, it would result in a war of all against all. This is an argument to which the advocates of the right to interfere never give an answer.
    And lastly, such interventions strengthen what I call the « barricade effect » : all the countries in the sights of the United States will start to feel threatened and will seek to increase their armaments. We all remember what happened with Saddam. Moreover, Gaddafi had said to the Arab League : « We have just lost a member state of the league and none of you have done anything. But it can happen to you too, because even though you are all U.S. allies, so was Saddam in the past. » Now the same thing is repeating itself with Gaddafi and the threat which hangs over many states is likely to relaunch the arms race. Russia, which is not an unarmed country, has already announced that it would reinforce its troops. But it can go even further : if Libya had the nuclear weapon, it would have never been attacked. Actually, this is why North Korea is untouchable. Therefore, the left which supports the intervention in Libya should definitely realize that humanitarian interference is inevitably going to relaunch the arms race and lead to long-term wars.
    how ironic that its the civilised euros who trash the major tenets of civilisation

  27. brian

    Finally, for all its talk about democracy, the Crusaders are backing a MINORITY in east Libya : for the mass of libyans support gadaffi.
    Why did the uprising begin in East Libya and not Tripoli? Egypts beagn in cairo! Cause Gadaffi has MASSIVE support

  28. Teliserg

    What a low-life, Brian. That picture you linked to are Ghaddafi’s soldiers and merceneries who are targetting civilians and who have been killed by the resistance and freedom fighters. Serves them well for attacking unaramed and innocent people.
    The rest of the videos linked on that page don’t exist. Some idiot is compiling olinks to nonexistent videos and claiming that it shows resistance fighters being brutal or something.
    And Tripoli did rise on Feb 17, just like dozens of other cities. But with 400 tanks and 10,000 merceneries and death squads paid by Ghaddafi in Tripoli, the uprising was put down. Checkout Wikipedia. Tens of people were killed.
    There is solid evidence that 3,000 civilians have already been killed by Ghaddafi. He uses artillary to bombard cities so he can enter his death squads to kidnap any dissenter and resistor.
    About double that number has been disappeared. About 20 people a day are shelled everyday in Misrata for the past 30 days. Not to mention cluster bombs. Where are the koolaid douchebags like HC and Shirin to decry the use of cluster bombs — Oh, I see, if its used by their “anti-imperialist” side, it is all OK.
    I don’t think you fascist lovers are ever going to recover from the hole you have dug yourself in.

  29. Teliserg

    For the intellectual frauds and morally depraved on this board (HC, Brian, Shirin, Saleh).
    “Doctor Khalid Abufalgha, a member of a Misrata medical committee that tracks casualties in the conflict, said 365 people had been killed, including 85 civilians, and 4,000 wounded in the Mediterranean town.
    Not to mention that those resisting the occupation of Ghaddafi by guns are simply civilian activists.
    Now mutiply this by 10 to get an idea of the whole country. Let us never forget the slaughter of Zawiya, fully reported by Sky News reporter when she was trapped there.

  30. Salah

    Teliserg, our fraudulent crying of the civilians loses in Libya and elsewhere in ME, although each human life lost is tragic and very sad to everyone who cares about the humanity.
    Please our “intellectual fraud” tell us how many your lovers the Zionists killed in Gaza, why your ilks push to drop shameful academic Goldstone Report? or where are your from the ONE Millions Iraqi killed by US invasion?
    Looks you’re deaf and blind but you’re writing as if you are in another planet.
    I watched TV yesterday the put on TV the picture of 9 years old kids that he was injured by Tyrant mortars but those tomahawks Missiles (108 Missiles in first day of bombing) and the bombing of University of Tripoli by advanced missiles and fighters as if no one injured or killed by NATO bombing Not by Tyrant killing machine.

  31. brian

    lets see teliseg the troll dodge this:
    How the war began: anonymous racist tweets swarmed to kick start the war on libya
    ‘Let’s look at some of the tweets that gained early notice, and let’s pay attention to the ideas and images that they combine as well as the sheer misinformation, while we also note that some are recycled by journalists, such as Mona El-Tahaway, omnipresent TV pundit of the Arab revolutions and supporter of U.S./NATO air strikes against Libya, and Al Jazeera’s Dima Khatib. The dates are also important. (Note, I myself retweeted these so that they would appear in my Twitter feed, where I first began this discussion.) Key elements of the messages appear in bold font:
    LibyanThinker URGENT!!! From contact in the Army: So far, 1300African Mercenaries have arrived in #Libya to date. Cant’ the World hear our cries??? Sat Feb 19 2011 23:21:00 (Eastern Standard Time) via TweetDeck Retweeted by you and 84 others
    monaeltahawy 2 mercenaries caught Bayda. From Chad, claimed 2 b part of Khamees [Qaddafi’s son] Military Unit. Said were promised $12,000/ #Libyan killed. Sat Feb 19 2011 20:32:50 (Eastern Standard Time) via web Retweeted by you and 100+ others
    Tripolitanian I URGE THE LIBYAN ARMY TO SIDE WITH THE LIBYAN PEOPLE – don’t let these African mercs kill your family! #Libya #Feb17 Sat Feb 19 2011 20:23:04 (Eastern Standard Time) via web Retweeted by you and 54 others
    Dima_Khatib Witness tells a plane full of mercenaries leaves Harare Airport in Zimbabwe headed to #Libya #feb17 Sat Feb 19 2011 20:15:06 (Eastern Standard Time) via web Retweeted by you and 100+ others [later proved to be entirely false]
    LibyanThinker NEW! #Gaddafi has given the African Mercenaries full freedom in raping Libyan women. #Libya Sat Feb 19 2011 19:57:04 (Eastern Standard Time) via web Retweeted by you and 20 others
    LibyanThinker @streamsWL they were attacked earlier by the khmis battalion and Afro-Mercs are still moving around the city. Sat Feb 19 2011 07:46:24 (Eastern Standard Time) via TweetDeck in reply to streamsWL Retweeted by you
    LibyanThinker URGENT!!!! African Mercenaries are massacring the people of #Bayda #Libya Sat Feb 19 2011 04:45:01 (Eastern Standard Time) via web Retweeted by you and 3 others
    LibyanThinker RT: A massacre against the civilians is going on in #Libya The international community & UN must intervene to stop the massacre @AJEnglish Fri Feb 18 2011 01:42:14 (Eastern Standard Time) via web Retweeted by you and 4 others [this message was directed to all readers of #Libya news, and Al Jazeera English, merely three days after the protest had begun, and long before any alleged threat of a final massacre in Benghazi late in March]
    LibyanThinker URGENT!!! African Mercenaries danced around and desecrated the bodies of #Benghazi martyrs according to witnesses. #Libya #feb17 Thu Feb 17 2011 20:44:45 (Eastern Standard Time) via web Retweeted by you and 34 others [a story is made to sound true if one adds “according to witnesses” — a key ingredient to all folklore is the tool, “some people say” — adding “urgent” and “confirmed” is meant to impress that this is “a true story”]
    LibyanThinker Mercenaries operating in #Libya have been confirmed to be #French speaking Africans from CHAD. #feb17#Tripoli #Benghazi Thu Feb 17 2011 18:53:19 (Eastern Standard Time) via webRetweeted by you and 26 others
    [Incidentally, LibyanThinker’s Twitter account does not go back further than February 16, meaning that it was created, by an anonymous person — claiming to be in Canada — just to produce tweets that spread the opposition’s media message.]
    AliLePointe 100% CONFIRMED: MERCENARIES IN BADYHAMASSACRING PEOPLE! @AJELive @andersoncooper @CNNBRK@CNN @Cyrenaican #feb17 #libya Sat Feb 19 2011 04:42:41 (Eastern Standard Time) via web Retweeted by you and 35 others [note the distribution list: all readers of #Libya and #Feb17 news, and CNN and Al Jazeera]
    AliLePointe CONFIRMED: QADDAFI’S PAID AFRICAN MERCENARIES ARE IN BENGHAZI ATTEMPTING TO KILL EVERYBODY. #libya #feb17 Fri Feb 18 2011 19:33:30 (Eastern Standard Time) via web Retweeted by you and 28 others [note what is “confirmed,” an outrageous allegation that the total annihilation of Benghazi was in progress, and the sole culprits were Africans]

  32. brian

    No telisludge…the videos are of the insurgents killing people..and this is backed up bhy th analysis of Maximilian Forte. More of his artice:
    ‘Racial fear and xenophobia lie at the very crux of the first public emergence of calls for Western intervention, and the first utterance of “no-fly zone.” Those in the West who backed the interventionist impulse (for many more reasons of their own) latched onto these calls. The former Libyan deputy ambassador to the United Nations, Ibrahim Dabbashi, alleged that Gaddafi was employing “African mercenaries” to protect the regime. This is how TIME supports his claims: “The nationalities of the soldiers are not known, though some unconfirmed reports indicate some soldiers may be French-speaking. The numbers of soldiers is also unknown, although witnesses in Libya claim to have seen several planes land at different airports across the country and disgorge hundreds of fighters — an intervention of sufficient size to suggest a foreign government’s complicity in their departure for Libya, if not actual support” (emphases added). Right there we see the link between racial fear and airports, and hence the calls for a no-fly zone, which were originally tied to “protecting” Libya from incoming black mercenaries. Only subsequently were justifications for a NFZ widened to include suppression of Gaddafi’s air force and targeting his ground forces.’

  33. brian

    telisludge wrote:
    ‘Not to mention that those resisting the occupation of Ghaddafi by guns are simply civilian activists.’
    thats part of the fraud:
    ‘Re-enter Ali Abd-al-Aziz al-Isawi who previously served as Secretary of the General People’s Committee of Libya (GPCO) for Economy, Trade, and Investment — now responsible for “foreign affairs” and “international liaison” as the third-ranked member of the TNC. Now he has been sending the media, in his new role, a similar message that denigrates and scapegoats black Africans:
    “They [the mercenaries] are from Africa, and speak French and other languages.” He said their presence had prompted some army troops to switch sides to the opposition. “They are Libyans and they cannot see foreigners killing Libyans so they moved beside the people.” In a separate interview, Essawi told al-Jazeera: “People say they are black Africans and they don’t speak Arabic. They are doing terrible things, going to houses and killing women and children.”
    Was al-Isawi one of Gaddafi’s “hostile hidden hands” in the attacks on migrant workers back in 2000? While Gaddafi denounced the violence in 2000, members of the state’s own security forces reportedly took part in some of the attacks. The UN also noted that over the years members of the state security forces have been complicit in attacking African migrants. One would like to know if they did so, spontaneously, on their own initiative, or were ordered to do so from higher ups. We should note that the former Libyan Interior Minister, and a former Minister of Public Security, Abdul Fatah Younis, is now a rebel military commander.
    Top officials in the Libyan TNC are thus on the record, both now and when they served in the regime, for producing various accusations against black Africans. For those of us who have studied nationalism, both the instrumental objectification of otherness and the primordialism of racial belonging can be powerful strategies and resources used by ethnic elites in mobilizing supporters. That there may be this deeper agenda of scraping off the stain of “Black Africa” seems convincing; the copy-and-paste manifesto of the rebels’ commitment to liberal democracy, not so much.’

  34. Teliserg

    For all you reactionaries, national socialism lovers, and intellectual frauds here (HC, Saleh, Brian, Shirin) who support the death squads of Ghaddafi and Assad – I have news for you:
    1- US is now using predator drones with hellfire missiles that can take out one jeep at a time.
    2- Misrata has been liberated by NATO and the democracy forces.
    3- Ghaddafi received major defeat in the Nafousa mountains.
    4- Your beloved Assad may get kicked out tomorrow.
    Liberal Democracy kicks ass of Marxism and fascism. Suggest all fascists and murderer slaveowner Paedo Mohammad lovers here to move to Gaza.

  35. brian

    telisludge goes from bad to worse: praises US drone death squads:
    ‘1- US is now using predator drones with hellfire missiles that can take out one jeep at a time.’
    well the pakistanis know from experience that that drones kill civilians
    ‘For the first time, a drone missile strike has killed U.S. troops. Defense Department officials said that a Hellfire missile killed a Marine and a Navy seaman in Afghanistan. The two U.S. troops were supposedly mistaken for “militants.”
    libayn army doesnt use death squads..and the insurgents can expect their numbers to be whitle down by the US death squad drones

  36. brian

    FYI Telisludge:
    The American drones carried out a record number of 124 attacks in the tribal areas of Pakistan in the 12 months of 2010, more than double the number of predator strikes conducted in the 12 months of 2009, killing 1,184 people, compared with 2009\’s death toll of 760 in 53 such attacks.
    so US is getting ready to reallyu violate RES 1973
    Stupid Obama is either a complete fool, or is a slave to white power, because he is gettnig ready to skyrocket the death toll in Libya

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