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Thread: Libya rebels set conditions for any ceasefire

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    Re: Libya rebels set conditions for any ceasefire

    meanwhile, much closer to what has always been considered of genuine interest to united states national security, today:

    Thousands of protesters took to the streets in cities around Syria on Friday to chants of “We want freedom” and security forces responded with tear gas, electrified batons, clubs and bullets, killing at least seven people, according to activists, residents and a Syrian human rights group.
    it's ugly---tear gas, electric batons, bullets

    in douma, damascus and daraa

    large, intimidating police lines outside mosques

    apartments of suspects raided...

    open the link

    meanwhile, hillary on last sunday's ftn on cbs actually called assad "a reformer"

    Clinton Says U.S. Won't Intervene in Syria, Sees Progress in Libya Fight - Bloomberg

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    Re: Libya rebels set conditions for any ceasefire

    the problems are as follows:

    1. obama's stated mission of protecting civilian life is impossible unless gaddafi goes

    2. despite the fact that obama promised us on march 18 that we would be in libya "days, not weeks," our commitment over there appears open ended

    3. his claim that nato is doing the lifting, not us, is self contradictory

    4. he's not being straight with us, and he's astonishingly inept

    5. his equation of united states national security with coalition maintenance, humanitarian hopes and a need to protect "united nations credibility" is extremely odd, to say the least

    6. meanwhile, more immenent american concerns---israel and the gulf---are ignored

    7. the rebels, it appears, are a rabble

    worry
    Last edited by The Prof; 04-01-11 at 09:33 PM.

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    Re: Libya rebels set conditions for any ceasefire

    Quote Originally Posted by ric27 View Post
    First of all...who are these rebels????

    What we are seeing is mostly is a ****ed up, ineffective and disorganized mob *rebels* and is rapidly becoming into a messy stalemate. The mob's goal seems to be, the overthrow of Ghadaffi, but no coherent plan for democracy, i.e. parties, elections, etc....nada

    Now, the US is involved in someone else's civil war, with little hope for a happy ending

    Notice how Obama and, the Libyan thuggery describe near anarchy and open revolution as Democracy. That is sheer madness.
    Kind of like the blind leading the deaf and dumb-ass Obama isn't it..

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    Re: Libya rebels set conditions for any ceasefire

    I'm hearing, we are pulling all aircraft out of the Libyan airspace.

    We won't be committing after all. A waste of manpower and equipment with no clear goal and with no accomplishments.

    Amateur Obama clearly did not do his homework

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    Re: Libya rebels set conditions for any ceasefire

    Quote Originally Posted by donsutherland1 View Post
    Today, The Jerusalem Post reported:



    Libya rebels set conditions for any ceasefire

    Just so it is clear, I strongly support free speech and poltical liberalization in Libya. But as enlightened as those principles are, the problem associated with the demand actually has nothing to do with those principles.

    The problem is that the anti-Gadhafi forces are actually raising demands in a position of weakness. Their political performance and battlefield setbacks (even with Coalition air cover) has put them in a weaker position than they were even a few days ago for making such demands. Demands have credibility when a party has, in theory, the possibility of imposing those conditions if the demands are not met. In this case, the on-the-ground situation suggests that the anti-Gadhafi forces lack such a capability. Hence, they are not in a position to be making such demands and it is highly likely that the demands associated with troop withdrawals will be ignored by the Gadhafi regime. Those demands might connect with outsiders, but the anti-Gadhafi forces already enjoy outside support. Instead, they need to build popular support in Libya.

    Why would the dictatorship do something that its foes have little chance to accomplish on their own, even with the generous air support that has been furnished? If such a realistic capability existed or appeared likely to develop, then the regime's calculations might have a better chance of shifting toward a managed exit. Of course, being that it is a truly revolutionary regime, such an exit is not the most likely course it would pursue. Nonetheless, that outcome would be far more likely if the anti-Gadhafi forces had a possible capability to force the outcome. Right now, they don't. In fact, they've been on the retreat in recent days. Therefore, the Gadhafi dictatorship is not likely to give them what they cannot hope to achieve on their own. Power and concrete battlefield achievements matter, but the anti-Gadhafi elements don't understand that.

    The larger and more disturbing aspect of this fundamental lack of understanding of the fit between power, policy, and diplomacy is that if the anti-Gadhafi elements cannot get those basic principles right, how can one reasonably expect that they would suddenly be able to handle the far more complex responsibilities of governance, uniting Libya's peoples and tribes, and restoring stability, all of which would be needed to avoid the significant dangers associated with a post-Gadhafi power vacuum. Yet, those are precisely the tasks that would be required once the Gadhafi regime collapsed or was driven from power.
    I think you put too much value in the use of military power so you miss more important political aspects. What the rebels demanded was not bold or decisive. All they demanded is basically a ceasefire that includes a withdrawal from the cities and allowing people their freedom of expression. This is mainly a political demand. By making a very limited demand the rebels create a win-win situation. If the government accedes to the demand of allowing freedom of expression it will mean an outburst of dissent in the West providing potential avenues for the rebels to pressure the government. At the same time refusing the offer creates the impression that the government will not stop fighting even when it only means allowing people basic rights. This reinforces the impression that the rebels are fighting for peace and freedom while the government is fighting for war and oppression.

    One must also consider how it plays within the government. We have seen a continuing stream of defections in the government and military as well as obvious signs of many at a high level looking for some end to the conflict. That in fact provides the rebels a strength. Here the rebels can say that they will not allow the conflict to end so long as their demands go unfulfilled. Just the threat of a protracted war gives the rebels leverage. For Gaddafi to refuse such a limited demand and continue the conflict it can create even more disunity and dissent within his government and the military as those wanting an end see a golden opportunity quashed.

    Quote Originally Posted by ric27 View Post
    I'm hearing, we are pulling all aircraft out of the Libyan airspace.
    Actually that is not exactly what is happening:

    After the U.S. standdown takes effect on Sunday, Navy ships and submarines armed with Tomahawks will remain in the Mediterranean in position to resume firing if requested by NATO and approved by the Pentagon, the officials said. U.S. attack aircraft at land bases in Italy and aboard a Navy amphibious ship will also be at the ready, the officials said.
    Source: The Enterprise

    Basically this is just part of the official handover to NATO. The U.S. military will not be acting at its sole discretion, but instead act as requested by NATO.
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    Re: Libya rebels set conditions for any ceasefire

    Quote Originally Posted by Temporal View Post
    It doesn't matter what government precipitates out of the Libyan rebels, as long as they are loyal to us.
    Loyalty in that region has a very short life, being paid off tend to make so called loyalty have longevity. In the M.E. the U.S. really has only one true ally and friend even if we didn't send them arms, the reason would be commonality.

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    Re: Libya rebels set conditions for any ceasefire

    Not mention we can't afford another war not even the two current ones we are engaging now.

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    Re: Libya rebels set conditions for any ceasefire

    Quote Originally Posted by Temporal View Post
    It doesn't matter what government precipitates out of the Libyan rebels, as long as they are loyal to us.
    That could potentially be a big if.
    Nobody who wins a war indulges in a bifurcated definition of victory. War is a political act; victory and defeat have meaning only in political terms. A country incapable of achieving its political objectives at an acceptable cost is losing the war, regardless of battlefield events.

    Bifurcating victory (e.g. winning militarily, losing politically) is a useful salve for defeated armies. The "stab in the back" narrative helped take the sting out of failure for German generals after WWI and their American counterparts after Vietnam.

    All the same, it's nonsense. To paraphrase Vince Lombardi, show me a political loser, and I'll show you a loser.
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    Re: Libya rebels set conditions for any ceasefire

    Quote Originally Posted by StillBallin75 View Post
    That could potentially be a big if.
    It is ABSOLUTELY a big risk. Problem is we're dealing with unstable people in an unstable environment. These people have lived under arbitrary and violent conditions for generations.

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    Re: Libya rebels set conditions for any ceasefire

    Quote Originally Posted by donsutherland1 View Post
    I don't necessarily disagree. However, they already enjoy a good part of the world's sympathies. What's at question is how much support do they actually enjoy within Libya.

    I would suggest that actually trying to build the movement into one with broad-based popular support among Libya's peoples/tribes and especially improving battlefield performance should take priority. Tying political demands to ceasefire terms are a sure way of blocking a possible ceasefire when one lacks the power to lend credibility to such demands.

    Now, if the anti-Gadhafi forces actually had the power to possibly impose their terms, it might be a shrewd political move to offer ceasefire terms that were unacceptable to the other side. Then, the terms would likely be rejected and the stronger party could then use that rejection to continue to pursue its larger objectives beyond what might be possible were a ceasefire agreed. The anti-Gadhafi forces are not in any such position.

    Their military and political tactics to date have been abysmal. Their political leaders have yet to outline a coherent sketch of what a post-Gadhafi transitional government would look like, much less stand for. No guarantees of amnesty and safety for civilians who might have supported Gadhafi's regime and/or reside in Gadhafi strongholds have been made. Few could have designed a more ineffective approach to trying to gain the support of a majority of Libya's people. Providing meaningful incentives for people to turn against the dictatorship is as close to a "no-brainer" as it gets.

    The anti-Gadhafi movement has even squandered the gains made possible by the Coalition's close-air support (military efforts that went beyond the NFZ, and support that might be ending once the U.S. AC130 gunships and A-10 Warthogs are withdrawn from active use in Libya). IMO, their setbacks have much more to do with inept (and that's probably an understatement) political and military leadership coupled with an absence of broad-based popular support, than the advantages of Gadhafi's military forces, which have now been substantially degraded.
    Maybe it's an attempt to gain a political victory by merely claiming it, like some do here.
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