Libya, Then Syria
From David Letterman’s Thursday Late Show Top 10 List:
Signs Muammar Qaddafi is hiding in your neighborhood:
Number 2) Neighbor keeps parking his tank on your Prius
Number 3) Monday: Quiet; Tuesday: Quiet; Wednesday: Mobs of Pitchfork-Toting Libyan Rebels; Thursday: Quiet
Number 4) Navy SEALs requested permission to turn your kid’s tree house into a sniper’s nest
From the comments on Exiledonline.com:
10. Paul | August 23rd, 2011 at 2:00 pm
So in the span of less than one decade the United States has installed pro American regimes in two of the biggest oil producing countries in the world. The Neo-Con goal after 9/11 was to turn the middle east into friendly liberal democratic regimes. Well so far, that is happening. It’s popular to write about the end of the american empire these days, however, I see a lot of wins.
THE WAR NERD: LIBYA: THE BERB-BURB ALLIANCE
By Gary Brecher
As far as I can tell, there were a few big reasons, starting with geography. They were close to Tripoli to start with. It’s a long drive along the Med from Benghazi to Tripoli, and a lot longer when you’re being shelled. Zawiya is a close to Tripoli, which is bad when Qaddafi sends his SP artillery over there but suddenly becomes a huge advantage when your guys dig in, hold on, use that NATO air support and start picking off his rocket batteries. Once you’ve done that, neutralized his advantage in heavy armor, it’s infantry on infantry and I haven’t seen one single sign that any of Qaddafi’s units had any stomach for close-in fighting. And that includes the “elite” Khamis Brigade, under the command of Son #29 or whatever. “Elite”! I think in terms of Qaddafi’s army, that means they showed up at roll call more often than not. Supposedly Qaddafi was using his Sahel mercs, the only real fighters in his forces, as MPs: They had orders to shoot anybody running from the front. That works, as long as you can keep the troops in their trenches, but bad troops can never fight once the line is breached, and they’ll run through fire to get away—they’ll be braver running away than they’d ever be attacking. One of the longterm weirdnesses of military history.
Libya: Obama’s Pyrrhic Victory
Our troubles have just begun
by Justin Raimondo
Aug. 24, 2011
Juan Cole derides the oil angle as a “conspiracy theory”: funny, he didn’t hesitate in blaming Greedy Capitalists for the plundering of Iraq’s oil, now did he? But of course the Libyan rebels are already threatening Chinese, Russian, and Brazilian oil concerns with expulsion from the country for not recognizing the new government in advance of their still-to-be-confirmed victory. Whom does Professor Cole expect will take their places?
This is “progressive” politics, Juan Cole-style: an international campaign to install crony capitalism by force. Cole once made the mistake of citing me as a source, and had to do penance by allowing some incredibly pretentious fellow professor to post a long screed on his blog explaining just why Justin Raimondo is a reactionary tool of the capitalist class and no one should ever listen to a thing he says. Look who’s the reactionary tool of the capitalist class now!
To see Professor Cole on Maddow’s war-fest – smirking as he exulted in the advance of the rebel army – was to see, super-imposed on the television screen, the ghostly figure of Bill Kristol smirking his way through an interview on Fox News, hailing the “great victory” of the “Iraqi people.”
Triumph in Libya? Not So Fast, NATO
by Ivan Eland
August 24, 2011
In fact, the Libyan conflict demonstrates that the U.S. is perfecting the technique of using ragtag local ground forces to fix enemy regime forces in place so that its air power can pummel them into sawdust. Previously, the United States had demonstrated this capability using the Kosovo Liberation Army to wrest Kosovo from Serbia in 1999 and using the Northern Alliance to take over Afghanistan after 9/11. The successful invasion of Iraq also was conducted using smaller quantities of forces on the ground — this time U.S. forces — in combination with the employment of massive U.S. air power. This model seems to promise winning brushfire wars without much cost in either blood or treasure.
Of course, the quagmires that Afghanistan and Iraq have become should indicate that, in many cases, this model is flawed. Taking over the country is one thing and ruling it is quite another. As with those two conflicts, if guerrilla war, tribal civil war, or general chaos results in Libya, the world will look to NATO to solve the problem. Colin Powell’s “Pottery Barn Rule” — “if you break it, you’ve bought it” — is a truism in foreign policy circles but is nevertheless regularly ignored.