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Thread: The President's Speech on Libya

  1. #171
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    Re: The President's Speech on Libya

    Quote Originally Posted by Gill View Post
    I think your assessment is a bit harsh. The Libyan rebels and their skills are not that much different that the American military in the early days of the Revolutionary War. They were a ragtag bunch of civilians with few military skills until Baron von Stueben whipped them into shape and made them into a true army.

    The Libyan rebels have little or no military training and little access to true military hardware. I've heard accounts that they've not secured mortars properly, resulting in them firing backwards toward their own people. You can't blame them for their lack of knowledge.
    There are some differences, albeit more modest on the battlefield. While there were some serious issues concerning the capabilities of the American army, the army was able to do enough to survive and build capabilities prior to the Battle of Saratoga. There was evidence of a strategy where small successes could be leveraged for symbolic value e.g., Battle of Princeton. One has seen little evidence of strategy from the anti-Gadhafi forces, even after they received a period of robust close-air support.

    In terms of political leadership, the American revolutionaries were light years ahead of the anti-Gadhafi forces. They had a unifying positive agenda set forth in the Declaration of Independence. Even as a significant loyalist element existed, there was also broad support across the colonies for independence. In contrast, there is little evidence of significant support for the anti-Gadhafi forces outside of eastern Libya. Furthermore, the anti-Gadhafi elements have offered no notable documents that would guarantee fundamental rights to all Libyans (rhetoric is not a subsitute for concrete documents), much less guaranteed amnesty for those who abandoned the dictatorship (incentives that are essential given tribal and other divisions that exist within Libya).

    Politically, the American revolutionaries were reaching out continually to France and others who were potential allies e.g., the Americans had a permanent diplomatic representation in Paris (John Adams performed that role for about two years). The leadership of the Libyan anti-Gadhafi forces did not make a single presentation to the UN Security Council, even as it was the Security Council that was assessing and later acting on the situation in Libya. Not one of their senior leaders has relocated to the U.S. That some in Libya's missions and embassies have defected does not alter that outcome, as they do not have direct access to the leaders of the anti-Gadhafi forces. The short-sightedness of that political situation cannot be overstated.

    With that said, we still don't know who they are and what their true intentions are.
    That, in my view, is not due to a lack of due diligence by the U.S. and others. It is the direct result of exactly the political shortcomings I have mentioned above. The anti-Gadhafi movement's inept political performance provides little confidence that the movement would be capable of handling the far more complex issues of governance. The lack of information on their "true intentions" reveals a lack of agreement on anything but the notion that Gadhafi's dictatorship must go. As the American revolutionaries were brought into discussion, the organization and performance of the Continental Congress (not just a mere council) provided evidence that governance could be handled effectively in a post-British colonial America. The Declaration of Independence revealed that the American revolutionaries didn't merely stand for an end of British rule, but had a vision for a post-British America.

  2. #172
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    Re: The President's Speech on Libya

    tom brokaw, yesterday:

    Reporting from Baghdad, Iraq yesterday, NBC's Tom Brokaw said the Saudi Arabian monarchy is "so unhappy with the Obama administration for the way it pushed out President Mubarak of Egypt" that it has sent senior officials to the Peoples' Republic of China and Russia to seek expanded business opportunities with those countries.

    After remarking on the difficulty of establishing democracy in the Middle East, Brokaw said that Defense Secretary Robert Gates "will face some tough questions in this region about the American intentions going on now with all this new turmoil, especially in an area where the United States has such big stakes politically and economically."

    "And a lot of those questions presumably will come from King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia," reported Brokaw on the Nightly News. "I was told on the way in here that the Saudis are so unhappy with the Obama administration for the way it pushed out President Mubarak of Egypt that it sent high level emissaries to China and Russia to tell those two countries that Saudi Arabia now is prepared to do more business with them."
    Brokaw: Obama Losing Saudi Arabia to the Russians, Chi-Coms - Tom Brokaw - Fox Nation

    do you think this is what the white house intended?

    or could it be a case of the administration not fully knowing what it's doing?

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    Re: The President's Speech on Libya

    meanwhile, in nations that have more responsibly been weighed impactful on what have always been considered our genuine national security interets in the middle east, the gulf and israel...

    yesterday:

    Supporters of Syria's president Bashir al-Asad opened fire during fresh protests on Friday killing at least 22 people, as tentative government concessions showed no signs of winning over the opposition.

    Yemen, where more than 120 people have died in three months of protest, was last night also nearer a state of open conflict after President Ali Abdullah Saleh rejected a peace deal presented by his Gulf neighbours, led by his closest ally, Saudi Arabia.
    Syria: government troops in violent reaction to fresh protests - Telegraph

    what are we doing in libya?

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    Re: The President's Speech on Libya

    meanwhile, in libya, today:

    Shelling in East Libya Forces Rebel Retreat/VOA

    adjabiya, last bastion of the rebels in the east, now threatened by khadafi forces, 200 miles down the road from surt

    khadafi already controls all of the west except misrata

    http://i.infoplease.com/images/mlibya.gif

    fyi
    Last edited by The Prof; 04-09-11 at 01:29 PM.

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    Re: The President's Speech on Libya

    If Obama expects any real democracy in places like Libya, Egypt, Ivory Coast, well color me surprised. MB are playing the world like a fiddle. Just wait when their shiny new constitution is all Sharia.

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    Re: The President's Speech on Libya

    this week, on the banks of the canal:

    While Western governments have long worried about Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood, Egyptians are more concerned about the rise of Salafist groups, which have been blamed for a series of violent incidents in rural areas.

    The Salafists have denied responsibility.

    The Salafists have a strict interpretation of the Koran and believe in creating an Islamic state governed by Sharia law as it was practised by the Prophet Muhammad and enforced by his companions in the 7th Century.

    They argue that the Muslim Brotherhood has become too focused on politics at the expense of religion.

    "An Islamic government is a government that is based on Sharia law", said Abdel Moneem al-Shahat, a rising star of the Salafist satellite TV circuit. "Sharia can't be changed because it comes from the days of Prophet Mohammed."

    Egypt's Salafist groups, which started attracting significant support in the 1980s have in the past kept a low profile. But since the revolution they have been much more vocal.
    BBC News - Salafist groups find footing in Egypt after revolution

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