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Thread: Libya rebels set conditions for any ceasefire

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    Re: Libya rebels set conditions for any ceasefire

    Quote Originally Posted by Demon of Light View Post


    Actually that is not exactly what is happening:



    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.
    High throwing tomahawks isn't going to do jack but get rid of some inventory. Either way you look at this deal we are screwed.

    It has become quite obvious this **** thats going down isn't for "democracy". It's some MB/ fundamentalist thingy - encouraging/coordinating, the middle east coups which Obama and his ill-advised 'advisors' have yet to fully understand the complete and utter ramifications of these actions.

    We are on the wrong side of this thing because there is no right side. If we have no intention of finishing it....then why get in?

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    Re: Libya rebels set conditions for any ceasefire

    For all of Daffy's reputation and past deeds, what suggests that Libyan's lives have been miserable enough to endure a civil war? Remember, most of us just want to live our lives - we are not freedom fighters. We want to go to sleep safe in our beds. Not fear for our lives from bombing raids. What is the size of the rebel coalition? How many men are actually fighting in this rag-tag band? Do they even have popular support? I don't presume to know the answers; but we should have known them before we interfered.

    While I do think that Obama had popular support for acting, and was criticized that he didn't act sooner, had the answers to those questions indicated otherwise, the American people would have understood our reluctance to get involved.
    The devil whispered in my ear, "You cannot withstand the storm." I whispered back, "I am ​the storm."

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    Re: Libya rebels set conditions for any ceasefire

    Quote Originally Posted by MaggieD View Post
    For all of Daffy's reputation and past deeds, what suggests that Libyan's lives have been miserable enough to endure a civil war? Remember, most of us just want to live our lives - we are not freedom fighters. We want to go to sleep safe in our beds. Not fear for our lives from bombing raids. What is the size of the rebel coalition? How many men are actually fighting in this rag-tag band? Do they even have popular support? I don't presume to know the answers; but we should have known them before we interfered.

    While I do think that Obama had popular support for acting, and was criticized that he didn't act sooner, had the answers to those questions indicated otherwise, the American people would have understood our reluctance to get involved.

    I would only add that the tide of support for action is turning rapidly as this thing unfolds. It has the feeling of a trap in every sense.

    Beck: Is Libya a 'Dumb War'? - FOXNews.com


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    Re: Libya rebels set conditions for any ceasefire

    Quote Originally Posted by Demon of Light View Post
    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.
    I'm basing my assessment on human psychology. The principles are the same, whether one is in the market place or involved in diplomacy. If one wants to pursue an agreement, there has to be mutual benefit. If, however, one wants an agreement that strengthens one's own position vis-a-vis a rival, then one has to have the capacity to possibly gain the desired benefits on one's own, the willingness to do so, and understanding by the rival of both factors. Otherwise, the rival won't agree to terms that the other party is not believed to be able to achieve on its own. Of course, there can be miscalculations.

    In any case, it should come as no surprise whatsoever that the Gadhafi government rejected the highly conditional ceasefire offer. With respect to the ceasefire offer, the call for free expression wasn't the problematic area. The call for the Gadhafi government to yield battlefield gains that the anti-Gadhafi forces likely lack the capacity to reverse on their own were terms that the Gadhafi government were unlikely to accept.

    Now that the ceasefire has been rejected, should the anti-Gadhafi forces continue to face battlefield setbacks, one can expect that they will be appealing to the Coalition to resume or provide even more aggressive close-air battlefield support, which would go beyond protection of civilians. Given the lack of critical interests involved, I don't believe the Coalition should provide that support. The revolution should be waged, won, or lost by Libyans.

    Finally, on an unrelated point, but in yet another example on what is becoming an exhaustive list of political and military incompetence on the part of the anti-Gadhafi forces, those forces fired an anti-aircraft gun when Coalition jets were in the air. Predictably, the coalition jets struck the anti-Gadhafi forces. BBC reported:

    At least 12 people are reported to have been killed when a coalition plane enforcing the no-fly zone fired on a rebel convoy between Brega and Ajdabiya late on Friday night...

    The rebels were on their way to Brega when they fired into the air with an anti-aircraft gun, the BBC's Nick Springate reported from the scene of the attack.


    Of course, even if no Coalition planes were in the air, this incident would have provided an example of practices that needlessly waste ammunition. When ammunition is in relatively short supply, one should not be wasting it. Of course, that basic logic is something that has, at least to date, escaped the calculations of the anti-Gadhafi forces.
    Last edited by donsutherland1; 04-02-11 at 12:57 PM.

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    Re: Libya rebels set conditions for any ceasefire

    Quote Originally Posted by Demon of Light View Post
    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.
    with all due respect, the demand for a cease fire is by definition primarily a military matter

    it's also as empty a position as, say, john boehner commanding barack obama to repeal obamcare unilaterally, a posture completely separated from practicality

    realpolitik not only trumps abstraction, hardball reality actually renders meaningless mere thought and argumentation

    Just the threat of a protracted war gives the rebels leverage.
    not when they're getting their butts kicked

    the manifestation of reality, today: FT.com / Middle East & North Africa - Libyan government spurns ceasefire as 'mad'

    take care, pray for our coalition soldiers, pray for the people of libya

    pray for our poor perplexed president
    Last edited by The Prof; 04-02-11 at 01:42 PM.

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    Re: Libya rebels set conditions for any ceasefire

    Quote Originally Posted by ric27 View Post
    It has become quite obvious this **** thats going down isn't for "democracy". It's some MB/ fundamentalist thingy - encouraging/coordinating, the middle east coups which Obama and his ill-advised 'advisors' have yet to fully understand the complete and utter ramifications of these actions.
    I disagree on that strongly. While it is obvious that certain Islamic fundamentalist groups are seeking to exploit these developments for their own benefit, as any group would, there is nothing indicating to me that it is being caused by them or that it inherently means they will gain decisive political power from it.

    Quote Originally Posted by donsutherland1 View Post
    I'm basing my assessment on human psychology. The principles are the same, whether one is in the market place or involved in diplomacy. If one wants to pursue an agreement, there has to be mutual benefit. If, however, one wants an agreement that strengthens one's own position vis-a-vis a rival, then one has to have the capacity to possibly gain the desired benefits on one's own, the willingness to do so, and understanding by the rival of both factors. Otherwise, the rival won't agree to terms that the other party is not believed to be able to achieve on its own. Of course, there can be miscalculations.

    In any case, it should come as no surprise whatsoever that the Gadhafi government rejected the highly conditional ceasefire offer. With respect to the ceasefire offer, the call for free expression wasn't the problematic area. The call for the Gadhafi government to yield battlefield gains that the anti-Gadhafi forces likely lack the capacity to reverse on their own were terms that the Gadhafi government were unlikely to accept.

    Now that the ceasefire has been rejected, should the anti-Gadhafi forces continue to face battlefield setbacks, one can expect that they will be appealing to the Coalition to resume or provide even more aggressive close-air battlefield support, which would go beyond protection of civilians. Given the lack of critical interests involved, I don't believe the Coalition should provide that support. The revolution should be waged, won, or lost by Libyans.

    Finally, on an unrelated point, but in yet another example on what is becoming an exhaustive list of political and military incompetence on the part of the anti-Gadhafi forces, those forces fired an anti-aircraft gun when Coalition jets were in the air. Predictably, the coalition jets struck the anti-Gadhafi forces. BBC reported:

    At least 12 people are reported to have been killed when a coalition plane enforcing the no-fly zone fired on a rebel convoy between Brega and Ajdabiya late on Friday night...

    The rebels were on their way to Brega when they fired into the air with an anti-aircraft gun, the BBC's Nick Springate reported from the scene of the attack.


    Of course, even if no Coalition planes were in the air, this incident would have provided an example of practices that needlessly waste ammunition. When ammunition is in relatively short supply, one should not be wasting it. Of course, that basic logic is something that has, at least to date, escaped the calculations of the anti-Gadhafi forces.
    Seriously, it's like you ignored 90% of my post just now. The ability to defeat an opponent is not the only form of leverage and demands can serve dual purposes. Like I said, the demands serve a political purpose where no answer from Libya's government can conceivably be the right one. It is a heads-I-win-tails-you-lose situation. No matter how Libya responded it would provide the rebels some form of political and ultimately strategic advantage. Ability to impose terms by military force is not the key aspect of that proposal, but the ability to continue the war.
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    Re: Libya rebels set conditions for any ceasefire

    Quote Originally Posted by Demon of Light View Post
    I disagree on that strongly. While it is obvious that certain Islamic fundamentalist groups are seeking to exploit these developments for their own benefit, as any group would, there is nothing indicating to me that it is being caused by them or that it inherently means they will gain decisive political power from it.
    Again, you fail....

    Back to basics

    Populist uprisings in the ME are all well and good, but if there is no real planning for what comes after the "revolution" then you get a power vaccuum and exploiters like the Muslim Brotherhood step in and take over. The same thing happened in Iraq when that regime was destroyed - religious types gained a pissload more power and street cred when they didn't have to look over their shoulders for old Saddam's secret police. Insurgent activity and religion-based militia activity increased as a direct result. We all know the immediate aftermath of that.

    The whole country isn't worth 1 US, British, German, Danish, etc, etc life.

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    Re: Libya rebels set conditions for any ceasefire

    Quote Originally Posted by Demon of Light View Post
    Seriously, it's like you ignored 90% of my post just now. The ability to defeat an opponent is not the only form of leverage and demands can serve dual purposes. Like I said, the demands serve a political purpose where no answer from Libya's government can conceivably be the right one. It is a heads-I-win-tails-you-lose situation. No matter how Libya responded it would provide the rebels some form of political and ultimately strategic advantage. Ability to impose terms by military force is not the key aspect of that proposal, but the ability to continue the war.
    I didn't address the political aspects, as those go beyond the immediate issue of a ceasefire. I probably should have made clear that I was focusing on a narrower issue.

    With respect to trying to work out an acceptable political arrangement, the anti-Gadhafi forces' terms would amount to a reasonable opening position from their side for negotiations. It would also make sense for them to raise those issues once a ceasefire were in place, but not in order to put a ceasefire in place.

    My point is that making a ceasefire conditional upon things that the anti-Gadhafi forces likely have little hope of achieving on their own and expectations toward that end from the Gadhafi dictatorship only creates a barrier to a ceasefire. Does Libya's government need a ceasefire? No. It has been making methodical gains. With its making gains, it has no urgent need for a ceasefire, much less one that would require it to yield what its opponents very likely cannot force it to give up. Do the anti-Gadhafi forces need a ceasefire? Probably. With some exceptions, they're losing ground on the battlefield. Politically and militarily, they remain highly disorganized and ineffective. Barring a dramatic increase in Coalition support--essentially the Coalition's increasingly waging the revolution on behalf of the anti-Gadhafi forces--the absence of a ceasefire increases the risks that the anti-Gadhafi forces will be defeated.

    Power does matter. The on-the-ground situation is important and will shape things. One cannot reasonably expect the Libyan government to make substantive concessions that its foes likely can't bring about, much less for a ceasefire that the Libyan government doesn't really need. Predictably--maybe to the anti-Gadhafi forces' surprise--Libya's government rejected the ceasefire.

    Should the anti-Gadhafi forces be confronted with the full consquences of their offering a ceasefire one could not reasonably have expected the Libyan government to accept, they will likely call for a resumption of Coalition close-air support or perhaps even greater intervention. Needless to say, any such calls should not be heeded given the absence of critical interests among the Coalition's members, not to mention genuine concerns about a lack of broad-based popular support for the anti-Gadhafi elements and their own dismal political/military capabilities.

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    Re: Libya rebels set conditions for any ceasefire

    indeed, in the world of adults, power is ALL that matters

    meanwhile, the theater more threatening:

    Scores of Syrians have been killed or arrested recently in the greatest challenge to President Bashar Assad's 11-year rule. The government there has been able to keep a lid on the situation so far, but it is starting to set off alarm bells in Washington.

    Syria may have a dismal economy and few natural resources, but it is right in the center of the Middle East and is critical to U.S. interests. Ted Kattouf, a former American ambassador to the country, says for that reason, Syria has always been able to punch above its weight.

    Kattouf says that includes supporting Islamist groups Hezbollah and Hamas. He says Syria has also been able to "successfully to manipulate events in Lebanon for decades."

    "And then, of course, there's the whole issue of Israel," he adds.

    The Obama administration had been trying to bring Syria into the fold of the Arab-Israeli peace process, with little success. And, at the same time, it has been trying to peel Syria away from one of its main allies, Iran.

    If Assad is seriously weakened or overthrown because of the current uprising, it will not only affect U.S. foreign policy. It is likely to have a spillover effect and upset the dynamic of the region.

    Analysts say the Obama administration is in a bind about whom to back — protesters demanding freedom and reform, or the Assad regime to help keep a lid on a potentially explosive situation.

    There are some, including Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and John Kerry, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, who saw Assad as a reformer.
    Unrest In Syria Raises Alarm In Washington : NPR

    are you sure this white house knows what it's doing?

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