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Thread: Libya rebels set conditions for any ceasefire

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    Libya rebels set conditions for any ceasefire

    Today, The Jerusalem Post reported:

    Libyan rebels fighting Muammar Gaddafi said on Friday they would agree to a ceasefire based on conditions including that the Libyan leader's forces quit cities in the west and give the people freedom to speak out.
    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.

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    Re: Libya rebels set conditions for any ceasefire

    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.

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    Re: Libya rebels set conditions for any ceasefire

    CNN and others aided and abetted the madness early on by training cameras on photogenic rebels in an attempt to romanticize the uprising which surely has roots on the political left in partnership with what they are now calling "Islamists."

    When unleashed from repressive shackles this part of the world goes toward Islamic extremism as if that is its only true and natural home. The west hasn't propped up repressive regimes at great expense for nothing.

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    Re: Libya rebels set conditions for any ceasefire

    It doesn't matter what government precipitates out of the Libyan rebels, as long as they are loyal to us.

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    Re: Libya rebels set conditions for any ceasefire

    Can Obama tell, the American public if there is a cohesive political agenda among the fighters at this point?

    Seems too me there's a large gap between what Obama knows is happening and what he thinks is happening.

    Now, there are reports that Washington has now warned the rebels that if they kill civilians NATO will bomb them too

    WTF is going on here?????

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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 this is being done to lend credibility in the world of public opinion. They are openly demanding freedom of speech to help garner support from outside Libya. They know that Khadafi wouldn't willingly give it to them even if they were strong. The man is a tyrrant.
    "He who does not think himself worth saving from poverty and ignorance by his own efforts, will hardly be thought worth the efforts of anybody else." -- Frederick Douglass, Self-Made Men (1872)
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    Re: Libya rebels set conditions for any ceasefire

    Quote Originally Posted by American View Post
    I think this is being done to lend credibility in the world of public opinion. They are openly demanding freedom of speech to help garner support from outside Libya. They know that Khadafi wouldn't willingly give it to them even if they were strong. The man is a tyrrant.
    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.

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    Re: Libya rebels set conditions for any ceasefire

    word is (as if anything this leadership says on a friday morning can be expected to retain any veracity even by friday afternoon) that the low flying aircraft used by the coalition against gaddafi's ground forces will by pulled by saturday which would be tomorrow

    source is msnbc this morning

    of course, with this whacked out crew in the white house a lot can change (and back again) between now and tomorrow morning

    stay up

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    Re: Libya rebels set conditions for any ceasefire

    yeah...

    The Pentagon is about to pull its attack planes out of the international air campaign in Libya, hoping NATO partners can take up the slack.

    The announcement Thursday drew incredulous reactions from some in Congress who wondered aloud why the Obama administration would bow out of a key element of the strategy for protecting Libyan civilians and crippling Moammar Gadhafi's army.

    "Odd," ''troubling" and "unnerving" were among critical comments by senators pressing for an explanation of the announcement by Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Joint Chiefs chairman Adm. Mike Mullen that American combat missions will end Saturday.

    "Your timing is exquisite," Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., said sarcastically, alluding to Gadhafi's military advances this week and the planned halt to U.S. airstrikes. "I believe this would be a profound mistake with potentially disastrous consequences."

    Gates said no one should be surprised by the U.S. combat air pullback, but he called the timing "unfortunate" in light of Gadhafi's battlefield gains. He noted that the air attacks are a central feature of the overall military strategy; over time they could degrade Gadhafi's firepower to a point that he would be unable to put down a renewed uprising by opposition forces, he said.

    "The idea that the AC-130s and the A-10s and American air power is grounded unless the place goes to hell is just so unnerving that I can't express it adequately," Graham said.

    Asked by Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H., whether he was confident that NATO could sustain airstrikes alone, Gates replied, "They certainly have made that commitment, and we will see."
    US Ending Its Air Combat Role in Libya - ABC News

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    Re: Libya rebels set conditions for any ceasefire

    today:

    The nascent rebel effort in eastern Libya, sustained for weeks by revolutionary passion and zeal, has begun to fray in the face of chaotic battlefield collapses and ineffective leadership.

    Many of the idealistic young men who looted army depots of gun trucks and weapons six weeks ago believed the tyrannical 41-year reign of Col. Moammar Kadafi would quickly collapse under the weight of a mass rebellion.

    Now those same volunteer fighters, most of whom had never before fired a gun, have fled a determined onslaught by Kadafi's forces, which have shown resilience after being bombarded and routed by allied airstrikes a week ago.

    Some exhausted rebels capped a 200-plus mile retreat up the Libyan coast by fleeing all the way to Benghazi, the rebels' de facto capital, to rest and regroup. Others remained at thinly manned positions at the strategic crossroads city of Ajdabiya on Thursday.

    Small groups of rebels stood their ground and fought Kadafi militiamen who seemed on the verge late Thursday of recapturing the oil city of Port Brega.

    For many rebel fighters, the absence of competent military leadership and a tendency to flee at the first shot have contributed to sagging morale. Despite perfunctory V-for-victory signs and cries of "Allahu akbar!," the eager volunteers acknowledge that they are in for a long, uphill fight.

    "Kadafi is too strong for us, with too many heavy weapons. What can we do except fall back to protect ourselves?" said Salah Chaiky, 41, a businessman, who said he fired his assault rifle while fleeing Port Brega even though he was too far away to possibly hit the enemy.
    Libya fighting: Rebel effort beginning to fray - latimes.com

    lat continues:

    at least some of the rebels smoke hashish in between those wild, wasteful rifle shots into the air

    their "commanders are nowhere to be found"

    they are desperately short of weapons and ammo, some rebels are being charged 80 cents per bullet fired in anger

    "orders are never issued except by fellow soldiers, and these are routinely ignored"

    gaddafi has jammed cellphones in the east, they don't have enough phones anyway, their leaders in benghazi have appropriated 800 for personal use

    "leaving each gun truck to fight on its own"

    when retreating, many fire wildly into the air, sometimes barely missing their mates

    captured tanks and rockets, those not yet ruined by those who don't know how to use em, sit idle

    general abdul fatah younis, gaddafi's interior minister and the rebels' most recognized leader, is broadly distrusted

    "another battlefield problem" are the teenagers who, some of them, hitchhike to the front, unarmed

    and these are the people hillary wants to arm?

    it appears they'd only end up killing themselves if we did

    worry

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