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Libyan War - Third Mothership

by Nomad Wed Mar 23rd, 2011 at 08:18:51 PM EST

Overview 23-24 March:
We're entering the sixth day of western-led military intervention since the decision to create a no-fly zone over Libya. The no-fly zone seems to be well established by now, and the main focus of the military actions have shifted to air strikes on ground targets:

British Air Vice Marshal Greg Bagwell said Col Gaddafi's air force "no longer exists as a fighting force".

Latest reports from Libya speak of an explosion at a military base in the Tajura region east of Tripoli.

There were also reports that government tanks had shelled the hospital in the rebel-held western city of Misrata.

Witnesses had earlier said the tanks encircling the city had pulled back from their positions under air assault from international forces.

Whether these attacks on Gadaffi's forces are still legitimate under resolution 1973 is likely debatable.

The Dutch Parliament agreed this evening with throwing in six F-16s and added a minehunter(!) to the warship flotilla patrolling the Mediterranean shorelines. Is this the payback for the Lynx helicopter Libya captured during a botched rescue mission?

Yet leadership at an international level continues to be in a bind now Turkey has blocked attempts to have NATO seize control of the operations. Turkey wants air strikes on ground targets stopped, while Gadaffi has not stopped attacking rebel-held cities.

This is the third thread for Libyan updates. Previous threads:
Libya - by ATinNM
Libyan War - Second Mothership - Nomad

Please add reports when they come in.


Air strikes as reported by the BBC:

[editor's note, by Migeru] Libya stories:

Display:
What to say about Libya if you're a Republican (Large graphic)

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Thu Mar 24th, 2011 at 09:44:18 AM EST
We need a tax cut?

So, in what may be my last act of "advising", I'll advise you to cut the jargon. -- My old PhD advisor, to me, 26/2/11
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Mar 24th, 2011 at 09:46:24 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Goes without saying

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Thu Mar 24th, 2011 at 09:51:31 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The universal solution.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Thu Mar 24th, 2011 at 12:40:12 PM EST
[ Parent ]
War in Libya: Moammar Gadhafi Warplane in Misrata Shot Down by French Fighter Jets - ABC News
Libyan strongman Moammar Gadhafi challenged the allies' no-fly zone for the first time today, sending up a warplane over the city of Misrata where it was quickly shot down by French fighter jets, a senior French military official said.

The plane launched by Gadhafi was a "galeb," a single-engine military aircraft.

The coalition has had total control of the skies the last few days. Africa Command's Gen. Carter F. Ham said on Monday that no Libyan planes had flown since the start of the operations on Saturday. The Tomahawk missile strikes have effectively degraded Libyan air defenses to the point that the coalition has not even recorded any radar activity coming from Libya.



So, in what may be my last act of "advising", I'll advise you to cut the jargon. -- My old PhD advisor, to me, 26/2/11
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Mar 24th, 2011 at 10:07:35 AM EST
Just at the Point William Hague was standing up in the house of commons saying the Libyan airforce had been destroyed.

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Thu Mar 24th, 2011 at 10:23:33 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It's a training aircraft.

So, in what may be my last act of "advising", I'll advise you to cut the jargon. -- My old PhD advisor, to me, 26/2/11
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Mar 24th, 2011 at 10:42:24 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Well it appears to fairly accurately reproduce the effects of what having a real aircraft up is if we have the aircraft up we're supposed to have.

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Thu Mar 24th, 2011 at 10:52:40 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Bizarre.

A Soko G-2 is no match for a modern fighter.  It was a no-hope mission.  

Gadaffi, or someone in the ruling circle, may have been testing the effectiveness of the NFZ in some way?

They may have been trying to sneak a commander for the regime's forces into the battle area?  

The pilot may have pissed someone off and sent-up purposely to die?

Won't know unless we get access to the records.

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre

by ATinNM on Thu Mar 24th, 2011 at 01:14:36 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm guessing testing the NFZ.

So, in what may be my last act of "advising", I'll advise you to cut the jargon. -- My old PhD advisor, to me, 26/2/11
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Mar 24th, 2011 at 03:10:06 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I see a claim that the Rafales destroyed the Libyan plane with an air-to-ground missile after it landed at Misurata (!)

So, in what may be my last act of "advising", I'll advise you to cut the jargon. -- My old PhD advisor, to me, 26/2/11
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Mar 24th, 2011 at 03:18:37 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Libya Live Blog - March 24 | Al Jazeera Blogs
The French patrol carried out an air-to-ground strike with an AASM weapon just after the plane had landed at the Misrata airbase.


*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Thu Mar 24th, 2011 at 06:23:45 PM EST
[ Parent ]
War Nerd Blog: Day One, Year Zero - By Gary Brecher - The eXiled
I'm switching tactics today. No more of those cumbersome massed offensives, meaning columns four or five thousand words long that take weeks to research. From now on I'm going to blog every day. Scout's honor. (I was one too--well, a Cub Scout, got as far as Webelos. The rule was, if you went further than that you were a fag.)

...

So for the next three months I'll post a short blog every day. Including Sunday, just to flick a Sicilian thumb at my mother's side of the family, who think it's wrong to do much except mope and stare through the lace curtains at people who aren't moping hard enough and feel a little better thinking about how they'll be surprised once they're  roasting in eternal napalm.

...

And speaking of desert war--another classic segue, huh?--you're probably wondering why I've been ducking the war in Libya. It's true, I've dodged combat there better than Cheney dodged the Cong. Which is weird, even for me, because jeez, it's Libya, how hard can it be? Well, that's been the problem: how do you make odds on Libya vs. Libya? If it was Libya vs any other country on earth--seriously, any other country on earth, even one of those little islands that exist to keep Tony Montana's money from being overtaxed by those damn bureaucrats--I'd bet on the other guys. Libya vs. Cayman Islands: Go Gators! The Tax Crocs by three touchdowns! Billionaires' commandeered yachts screeching onto the beaches of Tripoli with hardened Russian bodyguards storming ashore at $100 per billable corpse!



So, in what may be my last act of "advising", I'll advise you to cut the jargon. -- My old PhD advisor, to me, 26/2/11
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Mar 24th, 2011 at 10:43:53 AM EST
WN Day Two: F-15-1 - By Gary Brecher - The eXiled
It's a little odd that an F-15E would have this mechanical failure over a war zone. It's a reliable double-engine aircraft, fairly recent--last one produced in 2001. But I hope it's true. Better that than think it was actually brought down by one of Qadaffi's third cousins who gambled that the green button on his Stinger meant "fire," and got it right. If it actually was at high altitude, like they say, then the Stinger explanation is unlikely. But just on general principles, I'll wait a few days before I believe anything DoD says.

...

But [Qaddafi] must have something going. Maybe it's pure sweet ego. "Anyone who doesn't love me doesn't deserve to live." That's a quote from Qaddafi. I read that and for a second all I could think was, "I wish I felt like that!" No wonder the man seized power at age 28. He was probably throwing tantrums at age three because he couldn't seize power yet.

...

Another great quote from one of Qadaffi's sons, explaining why hundreds of civvies were having a campout at the regime's Tripoli HQ: "They are here as voluntary human shield." That's the best kind, the voluntary ones. In a pinch, however, the kind you round up with heavy machine guns are good too.



So, in what may be my last act of "advising", I'll advise you to cut the jargon. -- My old PhD advisor, to me, 26/2/11
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Mar 24th, 2011 at 10:47:55 AM EST
[ Parent ]
WN Blog Day 3: Blown Turrets, Human Shields...Thank You, Libya! - By Gary Brecher - The eXiled
Who ever imagined Libya...I mean Libya, with a record of O-and-Forever, with a knockout from Chad on its record...would put on a show like this? Some of the pictures I've seen are so amazing I've been trying to figure them out for days. Like this one of a dead Libyan tank after the French Air Force hit it. Look at that turret! Flew clean off, like the turret-chassis joint's almost intact, and landed 30 yards away. That's what they call a precision air-to-ground munition.

...

The French AF has to be using something else to kill tanks, but those are the three weapons the references list for the Rafale. Am I missing something obvious--like, can you fit some basic tank killer, HOT or Milan, to a Rafale? I'm asking readers: anybody have a better idea what the French used? They must have some smaller smart air-to-ground weapon but they don't seem to be advertising it very well.

And I mean "advertising" seriously. The French sell a lot of weapons and this war is a giant showroom/infomercial for their defense industry. They should be sending pictures of that tank turret decorating the Sahara and stamping the name of the munition that did it on every copy. No way to run a bomb factory, damn it.



So, in what may be my last act of "advising", I'll advise you to cut the jargon. -- My old PhD advisor, to me, 26/2/11
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Mar 24th, 2011 at 10:54:17 AM EST
[ Parent ]
They should be sending pictures of that tank turret decorating the Sahara and stamping the name of the munition that did it on every copy.

Only if it is French made.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Thu Mar 24th, 2011 at 12:49:24 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The War Nerd on the F15 case...

WN Day 4: Turret Skillets and Gremlin Holes - By Gary Brecher - The eXiled

Anyway, so the F-15E goes down and the DoD can't deny it completely because friendly Libyans were all over the scene in minutes. This is why DoD hates allied civilians. They were probably getting ready to deny everything: "F-15E? Never heard of it. Is that an IRS form?" except everyone in the suburbs of Benghazi had his cellphone out and was taking pictures of the wreckage.
ceebs:
US rescue chopper shoots Libyan rebel rescuers of crew of crashed US F15 wounding six one loses leg
Clearly the US Department of Defence hates allied civilians.
So it was time for their second lie of defense, "equipment malfunction." I said yesterday that might be true and it might not. Well, this morning I wake up to find that a reader with the same un-trusting nature found a picture of the wreckage (probably from a friendly Libyan's cell camera--no wonder the rescue helicopter supposedly opened fire on these nosy damn friends of ours) that shows something a little odd. You'll see that this reader, Ulrich, has circled a lot of small, same-sized, round holes in the plane's wing. As Ulrich said, "Those sure look like bullet holes to me." Using "bullet" loosely, that is, because they're pretty big. More like, say, AA machinegun holes. Something pretty big but not explosive, which I guess would let off 23mm rounds, like from a ZSU. More like the heavy Soviet machine guns Sahel guys like to install in their Toyota trucks.

See? Anybody out there with photo intel experience want to comment on those holes? I'm no FAA inspector so I'm just saying, it looks to me like Ulrich has a point. And one thing you can be totally sure of is that the DoD always, always lies about why their aircraft go down. If they had their way there'd be no aces in the history of air combat. Baron von Richthofen would just be this German guy who happened to be around a lot of the time when "equipment malfunctions" happened. But it's funny how those malfunctions seem to happen in places where the skies are full of those cool tracer tracks, like Libya. Especially when it's an F-15 that went down. If it was an F-18 or frankly any Navy plane at all, I'd believe the "malfunction" theory but the F-15 has been around a long time and it's reliable as Hell. Double engined, no maintenance problems I know of except one with the langerons decades back. No reason it should embarrass everybody by crashing outside Benghazi where every souvenir-hunter can claim some titanium. And every Libyan with a cell can take pictures like the one Ulrich sent, with those verrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrry interesting holes in the wing.

So you tell me: we looking at normal dings from hitting the sand, or are we looking at the real reason this plane hit that sand?



So, in what may be my last act of "advising", I'll advise you to cut the jargon. -- My old PhD advisor, to me, 26/2/11
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Mar 28th, 2011 at 05:39:48 AM EST
[ Parent ]
War Nerd Blog Day 8: Flock of Harriers - By Gary Brecher - The eXiled
If there's one thing I can't stand, it's an 80s revivial. You're in Safeway stocking up for the night and start feeling rotten without knowing why. Then you catch a familiar syrupy drama-club vocal and you realize, Oh yeah, ithey're playing one of those 80s revival songs on the muzak.

That's how I felt this weekend when I saw a picture of the USMC Harrier AV8B "Jump Jet" (even that sounds like an 80s band), a classic 80s freak of procurement infighting. The Harrier is getting its picture on the news because it's supposedly "hitting targets inside Libya." What it's actually doing is showing the flag, and I don't mean the stars and stripes. I mean Marine Corps Air Wing. The story of the AV8B is just one long series of turf wars. As a weapon of war, the AV8B is a joke, but as a turf-weapon, a blunt instrument for the Corps to whack the Navy with, it's a killer.


It's also a killer in the simple sense, as in it kills people. Not the enemy. It's a rinkydink little toy plane with no ordnance capacity or range, so it can't do much to kill the enemy. But it sure has killed a lot of pilots. The total was 45 dead in 2002, when the LA Times did an expose on the Harrier--a good, thorough story, one of the few mainstream takedowns of military procurement that really tracks.



So, in what may be my last act of "advising", I'll advise you to cut the jargon. -- My old PhD advisor, to me, 26/2/11
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Mar 30th, 2011 at 06:10:01 AM EST
[ Parent ]
War Nerd Blog Day 9: Worth More Dead Than Alive - By Gary Brecher - The eXiled
The story goes that Qaddafi's been handling the whole production in-house: first he kills some people--the story doesn't say who or why, but most likely rebels--then his guys toss the corpses in trucks and take them to bomb sites where they arrange the bodies like Macy's window decorators or fashion designers (I swear, war these days is getting way too close to fashion, like I said about the mannikin idea) and take Western reporters to see them so one of Big Q's English-speaking sons can yell "Genocide!"

And not to interrupt myself but can we have some kind of NCAA standard minimum introduced on the whole G-word? Like, "You cannot claim genocide unless you can show that at least one percent of your population is dead." The Paraguayans, the most heroic unknown nation in all history, lost about half their civilian population and never claimed genocide. Instead they claimed what real warriors always claimed until around 1950: they said, "Never mind, fuckers, we're still comin' for ya!" And they did. Fought to the last man, then the last woman and child. A magnificent people, shame nobody remembers them.

But that was then and this is wimpytown. That's the main thing to remember: how weird it is that your own side's dead bodies (or bodies you can claim were from your side) are valuable now. That's new in warfare, a sign of the weird, weird moment in military history we're in right now. You go back in history and it's the winners who gloat over the dead bodies of the losers. I remember trying to read up on Tibetan military history--that was a fiasco, right up there with marching on Moscow--I came across a tidbit among the gibberish where the Tibetans, who were always fighting with the Mongols, collected the ears of all the Mongols they'd killed in this battle, and there were so many ears the cart axles broke, bla bla bla...and then they put the ears in a public square and they stank so bad it was always known after that as "The Square of the Stinking Ears." I know, I know: Tibetans are weird. But the point is, that was a pretty typical pattern: put the killed enemy's head on a stick, stand it at the village gate to show everybody you're bad people, not to be fucked with.



So, in what may be my last act of "advising", I'll advise you to cut the jargon. -- My old PhD advisor, to me, 26/2/11
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Mar 30th, 2011 at 06:12:56 AM EST
[ Parent ]
But then the US has a long history of claiming their victims did it to themselves.
by generic on Wed Mar 30th, 2011 at 09:49:18 AM EST
[ Parent ]
THE EXILE - Qadafi: Buckles, Size XXXL - By Gary Brecher - The War Nerd (April 5, 2004)
Saying that Qadafi "buckled" just now is like saying that a sixty-year-old prostitute just lost her virginity. Qadafi's done more buckles than the Bangladeshi sweatshops that make my XL belts. Qadafi has specialized in giving in to any pressure for more than 30 years -- then taking revenge, backstabbing-style.

...

Qadafi's such a wimp that he didn't just "buckle" to the US and Britain way back in the 80s, but he even "buckled" to Chad, the lowliest, most messed-up country in the world. What the hell does Libya have to do with Chad, you're wondering? Well, it was like the only date Qadafi could get to the prom -- the only country even more messed-up than Libya. Qadafi started out looking east, to Egypt and Israel. He tried to unite Libya with Egypt in one big happy Israel-fighting family. The Egyptians had a good line about that merger: "It is an excellent plan. Libya has the money and we have the brains." Libya had the money because it's got oil. That's the only reason Qadafi can afford to run around embracing causes and printing his book.

...

You get the picture? This is a man who has no guts and no shame. Getting him to "buckle" is nothing new, and nothing to brag about. You want to do something impressive? Get Kim Jong-Il  to sing "Give Peace A Chance." Yeah -- big televised duet with Yoko. That's when I'll be impressed.



So, in what may be my last act of "advising", I'll advise you to cut the jargon. -- My old PhD advisor, to me, 26/2/11
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Mar 24th, 2011 at 11:10:04 AM EST
Americans Approve of Military Action Against Libya, 47% to 37%
Though approval of the current actions against Libya is lower than that for other U.S. military efforts, the level of disapproval is lower than Gallup measured for the Haiti and Kosovo/Balkan situations, and similar to that for Grenada.


Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Thu Mar 24th, 2011 at 12:42:11 PM EST
Watching what is happening in Misurata.  

The air strikes, as of this writing, seems to have stopped the regime's artillery and rocket attacks.  Think it is likely some have been destroyed and the remaining have stopped to prevent themselves from being destroyed.  

Sporadic reports (source: satellite phone calls?) from people inside the city are saying fighting has dwindled to skirmishing, mainly regime snipers shooting at anyone on the streets.  The snipers are, apparently, being cleared-out, a long, slow, and dangerous process.

After two weeks, the situation in the city is grim.  The electric power to the central district has been cut off.  Some of the outlying areas have electricity; it is unclear if they are getting a constant or interrupted supply.

The water supply is reported to have been "cut off" for at least the last week.  There must be some kind of water supply within the city; how much and how it is being distributed is an open question.

Medical situation is critical; the doctors have run out of anesthetics and other supplies.  

The food situation is grim mostly, it seems, from regime snipers interdicting street movement.  

Tactically, Misurata is very important.  The regime has shown no ability to regain control of a city by military assault; Zawiya eventually fell because the resistance fighters ran out of military supplies.  The resistance has shown no ability to take defended cities either.  Thus the importance of Misurata.  If the city can hold, it offers the Transitional National Government a base of operations and a logistic support center in western Libya.  

Somehow the TNG needs to open a supply path to the city.  A job easier to state than to do.

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre

by ATinNM on Thu Mar 24th, 2011 at 12:50:34 PM EST
With the naval blockade in place it might be best to resupply by sea.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Thu Mar 24th, 2011 at 01:33:49 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Absolutely.

However that takes a lot of time.  First to find the stuff.  Then to find the freighters.  Then to load the freighters.  Then to ship across the bounding main.  Then to unload the freighters.

And there is the matter unloading freighters when they may be attacked with artillery or rockets is an "interesting" operation.  

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre

by ATinNM on Thu Mar 24th, 2011 at 01:53:57 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Reading that Gaddafi controls the Misurata harbour and is shelling the city from the sea. Also that about 6,000 foreigners who were hoping to flee the country by sea are stuck there.

So, in what may be my last act of "advising", I'll advise you to cut the jargon. -- My old PhD advisor, to me, 26/2/11
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Mar 24th, 2011 at 03:20:08 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Medicine and critical supplies may still be able to be brought in away from Gadaffi's troops by Zodiacs and simi-submersible craft, like the Columbian drug smugglers use, especially if they are concentrated in the harbor and if they come to be blockaded in the harbor and cut off from supply. And, from Google, Misurata has several beaches on the north side of the city, while the harbor is on the east side of town, where the shoreline dips south. If the coalition has control of the sea and air, an the resistance holds any of the beaches it would be relatively easy. But Gadaffi's forces may well be largely confined between the highway and the coast and the resistance confined to the city itself, which is south of the highway.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Thu Mar 24th, 2011 at 04:48:28 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I don't know much about amphibious operations so take with salt.

The USS Kearsarge is off the coast of Libya and has 3 LCAC on board with a cargo capacity of 60 tons.  These things are designed to land on a beach and, IIRC, some distance over land -- if it's the right kind of land.  :-)

One problem is the "boots on the ground" restriction.  The Marines aren't going to want to bring these things in if they don't have Beach Masters, shore parties, and some sort of security.  


She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre

by ATinNM on Thu Mar 24th, 2011 at 10:45:55 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Libya Live Blog - March 24 | Al Jazeera Blogs
:21pm

At least 109 people have been killed in the rebel-held city of Misurata and more than 1,300 wounded in a week of attacks by forces loyal to Gaddafi, a doctor in the city told AFP news agency. The doctor working in Misurata's state hospital said on condition of anonymity:



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Thu Mar 24th, 2011 at 06:21:42 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Libya Live Blog - March 24 | Al Jazeera Blogs

On Thursday alone "four martyrs fell because of sniper fire," he added.

Timestamp:  7:37pm  Libyan rebels kill 30 government snipers in Misurata and manage to reach the centre of town, a rebel spokesman told Reuters news agency.



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Thu Mar 24th, 2011 at 06:23:08 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Reports an aid ship was prevented from entering Misurata harbor.

Also reports the Gadaffi forces have destroyed a wharf and have the harbor area under attack.

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre

by ATinNM on Sat Mar 26th, 2011 at 02:24:45 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Libya Live Blog - March 24  Al Jazeera

1:52pm The US Naval Institute has released (t)his handy map showing the location and nationality of the international forces brought to bear against Gaddafi:


"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Thu Mar 24th, 2011 at 01:45:14 PM EST
Two Italian aircraft carriers! No more Bunga Bunga parties for Gadaffi!

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Thu Mar 24th, 2011 at 01:47:05 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Seeing claims the revolutionaries in Az Zintan have beaten back the regime forces, destroying 5 tanks, capturing 15.

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre
by ATinNM on Thu Mar 24th, 2011 at 01:55:50 PM EST
Turkey backs NATO command of Libya operations - Africa - Al Jazeera English

Command of military operations in Libya will be transferred from the US to NATO within a day or two, Ahmet Davutoglu, Turkey's foreign minister, has announced.

Turkey had helped to implement a naval blockade of Libya, but had earlier expressed concern about the alliance taking over operational command of the UN-backed no-fly zone from the US.

Speaking to journalists on Thursday, Davutoglu said: "Compromise has been reached in principle in a very short time. "The operation will be handed over to NATO completely."



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Thu Mar 24th, 2011 at 06:19:42 PM EST
Libya Live Blog - March 24 | Al Jazeera Blogs
4:57pm

Detained government soldiers and suspected mercenaries are kept in a former military prison near Benghazi, now taken over by rebels. Some of the men admit to serving with Gaddafi's forces, but say they had no other choice, but to fire at rebels and civilians during battles for cities in the east of the country:

Abul Majid Mohammed, who served in the Al Fadila Battalion of the army, told Reuters news agency:

If anybody refused to open fire they would kill them, or burn them alive and on our eyes they killed soldiers who refused to fight.


*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Thu Mar 24th, 2011 at 06:24:48 PM EST
Libya: Allied air strikes secure Misrata for rebels  Guardian

Nearly 12 hours of allied air strikes have broken the Libyan regime's five-day bloody assault on the key rebel-held town of Misrata. Residents said the aerial bombardment destroyed tanks and artillery and sent many of Muammar Gaddafi's forces fleeing from Misrata, ending a siege and attack by the regime that cost nearly 100 lives from random shelling, snipers and bitter street fighting.

Mohammed Ali, an IT engineer at Misrata's main hospital, said that waves of air strikes began shortly after midnight on Wednesday. "They bombed a lot of sites of the Gaddafi army. There is a former hospital where his tanks were based. All the tanks and the hospital were destroyed. A column of tanks was destroyed on the edge of the city," he said. "After that there was no shelling. We are very relieved. We are very grateful. We want to thank the world. The Gaddafi forces are scattered around. All that is left is the snipers and our fighters can take care of them."

Ali said people in Misrata wanted the coalition to keep up the air strikes until all Gaddafi's forces were driven away from the town to ensure that those who were able to escape with armoured vehicles and guns did not return.

A doctor in the town, who did not want to be named, said snipers were continuing to sow fear by targeting not only rebels but civilians. "The sniper problem is a big one. A lot of people are still afraid to leave their homes," he said.

The apparent breaking of the siege will be a blow to the Libyan ruler's attempts to reassert control over the entire west of the country.



"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Thu Mar 24th, 2011 at 10:52:56 PM EST
Gaddafi's entourage sends out secret peace feelers

(Reuters) - Members of Muammar Gaddafi's entourage are putting out feelers to seek a ceasefire or safe passage from Libya, according to U.S. and European officials and a businessman close to the Libyan leadership.

Messages seeking some kind of peaceful end to U.N.-backed military action or a safe exit for members of Gaddafi's entourage have been sent via intermediaries in Austria, Britain and France, said Roger Tamraz, a Middle Eastern businessman with long experience conducting deals with the Libyan regime.

Tamraz said Saif al-Islam Gaddafi, Muammar's eldest son, and Abdullah Senoussi, the Libyan leader's brother-in-law, were the most prominent Gaddafi entourage members involved in seeking ways to end the fighting.

A U.S. national security official, who asked for anonymity when discussing sensitive information, said that U.S. government agencies were aware that Saif al-Islam and Senoussi had been involved in making peace overtures.

The U.S. official, and a European government official who is also following Libyan events closely, said that U.S. and European governments were treating the purported outreach with caution, but not dismissing it out of hand.

Saif must be longing for his days at the LSE.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."

by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Fri Mar 25th, 2011 at 12:08:04 AM EST
either that, or if the troops hear, and think the higher ups are on their way to a life sitting round a Saudi pool, then morale sinks as they dont want to be the ones left holdig the bag when the whole thing falls apart

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Fri Mar 25th, 2011 at 04:21:40 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Unfortunately, they are highly unlikely to be welcome in Saudi Arabia -- ever! There is that little incident of G. trying to assassinate King Abdullah back when he was the Crown Prince. They might take Muammar just so they could throw his ass in a Saudi Prison, but only if they caught him fair and square. They wouldn't likely want to be seen violating the rules of hospitality.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Fri Mar 25th, 2011 at 11:36:12 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Libya Live Blog - March 24 | Al Jazeera Blogs
6:29am

Libyan regime officials took journalists on a trip yesterday to the town of Bani Walid, around 150km southeast of Tripoli, to demonstrate support for Gaddafi in the area, according to the AP. The Warfalla tribe, Libya's largest, is strong in Bani Walid.

Some residents told reporters they had recently received weapons from the regime, which has also distributed money to the Warfalla, according to western intelligence sources, the AP said.  



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Mar 25th, 2011 at 02:40:11 AM EST
Live Blog Libya - March 25 | Al Jazeera Blogs
8:23am

Al Jazeera's Anita McNaught reports from Tripoli on the Gaddafi regimes confusing account of civilian casualties. While it appears that coalition air strikes have led to casualties, it's so far been impossible to know whether the dead are soldiers or civilians.



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Mar 25th, 2011 at 02:41:26 AM EST

She says there wre 33 coffins, but only 18 bodies in them, with more than half the dead taken somewhere else, and "they were put into graves dug for a funeral already held last Sunday". Huh!?

She also says the government puts the civilian death toll at 100, but that includes "cadets".

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Fri Mar 25th, 2011 at 05:27:08 AM EST
[ Parent ]
On Al Jazeera English, they reported that the loyalist forces in Ajdabiya sent out a tribal elder with an offer to withdraw from the city under ceasefire. The rebels rejected it because they don't want the Ghaddafi forces to take their tanks with them.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Mar 25th, 2011 at 02:44:00 AM EST
Live Blog Libya - March 25 | Al Jazeera Blogs
9:40am

The United Arab Emirates seems to have embraced a role in the no-fly zone. We mentioned earlier that it would be sending 12 warplanes (six F-16s and six Mirages); now the state news agency WAM is quoting Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed al-Nahayan giving confirmation that they will participate in patrols to enforce the no-fly zone, though as "an extension" of the UAE's "humanitarian operations."

Just a couple days ago, the UAE's former air force chief said his country wouldn't deploy forces to Libya because it was displeased over the US and European interpretation of protests in Bahrain.



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Mar 25th, 2011 at 05:01:56 AM EST
Sarkozy Libya Plan Got Push From `American Vertigo' Author Levy - Bloomberg

French author Bernard-Henri Levy was present at the creation of President Nicolas Sarkozy's decision to intervene in the Libyan civil war.

With Foreign Minister Alain Juppe in Brussels, Levy, 62, attended Sarkozy's March 10 meeting at the Elysee Palace with leaders of the Libyan opposition. Having arranged the encounter, Levy urged Sarkozy to become the first to recognize them as the government of Libya -- which he did.

It was Levy who confirmed a Le Monde report that day that Sarkozy was pushing for air strikes against Muammar Qaddafi. Juppe's meeting in Brussels with his European Union counterparts failed to yield consensus on recognizing the Benghazi-based opposition and on military attacks. The United Nations voted a week later to authorize a no-fly zone.

"It's too serious an issue to have someone like Bernard- Henri Levy tell France what to do in Libya," said Stephane Rozes, who founded the Paris-based Cap Institute, a political- advisory firm. "His public posture is not good for France or its diplomacy."



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Mar 25th, 2011 at 06:25:58 AM EST
Libya rebels name U.S.-based academic as finance chief | Reuters
Tarhouni has a doctorate in economics and finance from Michigan State University and teaches at the Foster School of Business at the University of Washington, Seattle.

"He understands the Western mentality," she said.

Tarhouni has been a member of the Libyan opposition for 40 years while living in the United States.

(h/t Angry Arab)

So, in what may be my last act of "advising", I'll advise you to cut the jargon. -- My old PhD advisor, to me, 26/2/11
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Mar 25th, 2011 at 07:46:54 AM EST
Libya uprising: Libyan rebels appear to take leaf from Moammar Kadafi's playbook - latimes.com
The rebels of eastern Libya have found much to condemn about the police state tactics of Libyan leader Moammar Kadafi: deep paranoia, mass detentions, secret prisons and tightly scripted media tours.

But some of those same tactics appear to be creeping into the efforts of the opposition here as it seeks to stamp out lingering loyalty to Kadafi. Rebel forces are detaining anyone suspected of serving or assisting the Kadafi regime, locking them up in the same prisons once used to detain and torture Kadafi's opponents.

For a month, gangs of young gunmen have roamed the city, rousting Libyan blacks and immigrants from sub-Saharan Africa from their homes and holding them for interrogation as suspected mercenaries or government spies.

(ditto h/t to Angry Arab)

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Fri Mar 25th, 2011 at 08:18:41 AM EST
Having read the above article, especially the end, this sounds a bit hollow:

Live Blog Libya - March 25 | Al Jazeera Blogs

7:52pm

AFP: The Libyan opposition national council is "off to a good start in word and deed," US ambassador Gene Cretz said on Friday, praising their vision of human and women's rights.



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Mar 25th, 2011 at 05:36:38 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Heavy gunfire heard from Deraa square where thousands of Syrian protesters gathered, people seen fleeing scene - Reuters witness

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Fri Mar 25th, 2011 at 10:24:30 AM EST
Syria Live Blog - March 25 | Al Jazeera Blogs

Protesters in Deraa are shouting slogans denouncing Maher al-Assad, brother of the Syrian president and head of the Republican Guard, a witness tells Reuters. As they headed to the main square in the city after the funeral of at least five protesters killed by security forces this week, thousands chanted:

Maher you coward. Send your troops to liberate the Golan



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Fri Mar 25th, 2011 at 10:25:34 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Live Blog Libya - March 25 | Al Jazeera Blogs
10:30pm

Libyan rebels enter Gaddafi-held city of Ajdabiya from the east.



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Mar 25th, 2011 at 05:35:46 PM EST
Live Blog Libya - March 25 | Al Jazeera Blogs
8:00pm

Gaddafi promotes all members of his armed forces reports Libyan state TV

File it under all children being above average...

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Fri Mar 25th, 2011 at 05:37:40 PM EST
Libya: Is Khamis Gaddafi Really Dead?  Global Voices

Rumours have been circulating online and in mainstream media for about two weeks that Khamis Al Gaddafi, son of Muammar Gaddafi, has been killed. Tonight, the rumours are making the rounds again, with a new twist. They say the 27-year-old militia leader, who runs a brigade which carries his name, was killed during an air raid on Bab Al Aziziya Compound, where the Gaddafis reside in Tripoli. Unconfirmed reports add that his brother Muattasim was killed by Gaddafi for `refusing to follow' orders.

Al Arabiya (Ar) confirms news of Khamis' death, quoting unnamed sources while the Libyan denies it.



"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Fri Mar 25th, 2011 at 11:54:26 PM EST
Some aid reaches Libya's Misrata despite snipers  Reuters

The west Libyan port, the North African country's third biggest city, has experienced some of the heaviest fighting between rebels and forces loyal to Muammar Gaddafi since the uprising began.

....

"It is still difficult to get out of Misrata. The snipers are still hiding in buildings on Tripoli Street," Sami said. "It is the main thoroughfare that takes you to the city centre." "We don't know how many of them remain. The rebels have so far killed 30 of them."

Rebels say they have regained control of the port from government forces who seized it on Wednesday. The port is the city's lifeline for food and medical supplies, international officials say. Brooks said ICRC supplies were being shipped to the port.

The ICRC has asked the Libyan government for direct access to those suffering from the war so that it can provide them with aid. "This is being refused despite repeated efforts and dialogue with Tripoli," Brooks said.

Mustafa Gheriani, a rebel spokesman in Benghazi, said the Misrata port area was recaptured by the rebels but blockaded by Gaddafi naval forces on Thursday. He believed the naval forces had now pulled back and the rebels were trying to organise aid shipments by sea.



"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sat Mar 26th, 2011 at 12:17:13 AM EST
The situation at Ajdabiya

Rebel forces massing for an attack on the strategically important town of Ajdabiyah fired steady bursts of artillery at army positions after Gaddafi's forces refused a ceasefire offer.

Opposition forces on the road to Ajdabiyah seemed more organised than in recent days, when their disarray stirred doubts about their ability to challenge Gaddafi. They had set up road blocks at regular intervals and Reuters counted at least four truck-based rocket launchers -- heavier weaponry than had been seen earlier this week.

Winning back Ajdabiyah would be the biggest victory for the eastern rebels since their initial push westwards went into reverse two weeks ago and the better equipped Gaddafi forces drove them back towards the rebel stronghold of Benghazi. It would also suggest that allied airstrikes are could be capable of helping rebel fighters topple Gaddafi.



"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sat Mar 26th, 2011 at 12:22:48 AM EST
Libyan rebels retake key eastern city

In Ajdabiya, drivers honk in celebration; others fire guns into the air. A government official in Tripoli describes the retreat of Kadafi forces as a "tactical pullback" and blames the bombing of coalition forces.

Rebels fighting the regime of Libyan leader Moammar Kadafi have retaken the strategic city of Ajdabiya in the country's east, officials in the capital acknowledged.



She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre
by ATinNM on Sat Mar 26th, 2011 at 11:07:31 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Libyan leader 'using hitmen' - Africa - Al Jazeera English

Recently there have been numerous assassination attempts on leading rebels in their eastern stronghold of Benghazi.

Libyans fighting to depose Muammar Gaddafi say he is using hitmen - an invisible force - to carry out targeted killings.

Some documents have been found, detailing those set to be killed. And many more so-called 'Gadaffi lists' are thought to exist.



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sat Mar 26th, 2011 at 03:24:24 AM EST
Associated Press

TRIPOLI, Libya (AP) -- A distraught Libyan woman stormed into a Tripoli hotel Saturday to tell foreign reporters that government troops raped her, setting off a brawl when hotel staff and government minders tried to detained her.

Iman al-Obeidi was tackled by waitresses and government minders as she sat telling her story to journalists after she rushed into the restaurant at the Rixos hotel where a number of foreign journalists were eating breakfast.

She claimed loudly that troops had detained her a checkpoint, tied her up, abused her, then led her away to be gang raped.

Her story could not be independently verified, but the dramatic scene provided a rare firsthand glimpse of the brutal crackdown on public dissent by Moammar Gadhafi's regime as the Libyan leader fights a rebellion against his rule that began last month.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Sat Mar 26th, 2011 at 10:29:43 AM EST
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Sat Mar 26th, 2011 at 10:33:36 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Libyan Woman Struggles to Tell Media of Her Rape - NYTimes.com
TRIPOLI -- A Libyan woman burst into the hotel housing the foreign press in Tripoli Saturday morning and fought off security forces as she told journalists that she had been raped and beaten by members of the Qaddafi militia. After nearly an hour, she was dragged away from the hotel screaming.

"They say that we are all Libyans and we are one people," said the woman, who gave her name as Eman al-Obeidy. "But look at what the Qaddafi men did to me." She displayed a broad bruise on her face, a large scar on her upper thigh, several narrow and deep scratch marks lower on her leg, and marks that seemed to came from binding around her hands and feet.

She said she had been raped by 15 men. "I was tied up and they defecated and urinated on me," she said. "They violated my honor."

She pleaded for friends she said were still in custody. "They are still there, they are still there," she said. "As soon as I leave here they are going to take me to jail."



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Sat Mar 26th, 2011 at 10:41:51 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Nic Robertson (NicRobertsonCNN) on Twitter
  1. Sm journalists tried to protect her, challenging officials about where they taking her but they drove off with her in white car. 3 minutes ago via web
    • Clarify'g earlier tweet: bag/cloth thrown over her head, they took her into back garden, then bundled out hotel front door w/out bag/cloth 5 minutes ago via web
      • Govt officls claimd she was "mentally ill" & being taken to "a hospital." She managed to shout out they were taking her to jail. 20 minutes ago via web
        • Govt offcls threw bag/cloth over woman's head, bundled her, kicking & screaming, out of hotel and into van. 21 minutes ago via web
          • CNN camera violently snatchd, systemtclly smashd to pieces & video footage stolen. Some journlsts beaten in blatant disply of regime thuggry 23 minutes ago via web
            • Waitress threatnd her w/knife, calling her "traitor." Govt offcls began beating journlsts trying to interview her. 26 minutes ago via web
              • CNN cameraman on scene said she showed journalsts bruises, scratches on thighs, bruised face, rope burns on wrists & ankles 34 minutes ago via web
                • Within mins of beginning to tell her story, govt officls and hotel staff moved in to shut her up. 38 minutes ago via web
                  • Woman came into restaurant of journalists' hotel today claiming she'd been detained at govt chkpt, held 2 days, tied up, beaten and raped.


                  Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
                  by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Sat Mar 26th, 2011 at 11:18:09 AM EST
                  [ Parent ]
                  Nic Robertson (NicRobertsonCNN) on Twitter
                  1. Charles Clover Financial Times who tried to stop thugs was put in van & driven 2 border. Sd was told last nght hd 2 leave bec of his reports 30 minutes ago via web
                    • Repeatdly challengd at presser later, Libyan Dep FM said they will be "investigating & find out how she is & that we will let you know." about 1 hour ago via web
                      • Journalists demnding to see her. David Kirkpatrick NYT & I went to offcls in charge who claimed dont know who took her or where she taken.


                      Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
                      by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Sat Mar 26th, 2011 at 12:31:35 PM EST
                      [ Parent ]
                      Poor woman... a real martyr.

                      For the overall picture, let's not forget this, either:

                      Libya uprising: Libyan rebels appear to take leaf from Moammar Kadafi's playbook - latimes.com

                      The rebels of eastern Libya have found much to condemn about the police state tactics of Libyan leader Moammar Kadafi: deep paranoia, mass detentions, secret prisons and tightly scripted media tours.

                      But some of those same tactics appear to be creeping into the efforts of the opposition here as it seeks to stamp out lingering loyalty to Kadafi. Rebel forces are detaining anyone suspected of serving or assisting the Kadafi regime, locking them up in the same prisons once used to detain and torture Kadafi's opponents.

                      ...One of the accused shown to journalists was Alfusainey Kambi, 53, a disheveled Gambian wearing a bloodstained sport shirt and military fatigue trousers. He said he had been dragged from his home and beaten by three armed men who he said also raped his wife. A dirty bandage covered a wound on his forehead.



                      *Lunatic*, n.
                      One whose delusions are out of fashion.
                      by DoDo on Sat Mar 26th, 2011 at 04:04:36 PM EST
                      [ Parent ]
                      The revolution eats itself. That's why rebellions should be swift and clean. The longer this goes on the bigger the damage to social and political hygiene. Not that things haven't been fucked up before. A long trek towards democracy, always teetering on the brink of a failed state.

                      Schengen is toast!
                      by epochepoque on Mon Mar 28th, 2011 at 08:10:55 PM EST
                      [ Parent ]
                      BBC News - Yemen's President Saleh 'negotiating' departure

                      Agreement is close on a transfer of power from Yemen's veteran President, Ali Abdullah Saleh, a government minister says.

                      After six weeks of protests, Mr Saleh has said he is willing to step down this year.

                      But the demonstrators want him to go immediately.

                      This is the first time the government has confirmed that President Saleh is negotiating the terms of his departure, observers say.

                      They add that amid the growing pressure, many see the statement by Foreign Minister Abubakr al-Qirbi - a close ally of the president - as a clear sign that Mr Saleh's resignation is now a matter of time.



                      Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
                      by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Sat Mar 26th, 2011 at 10:43:38 AM EST
                      Reports opposition forces are "closing in" on Brega, the next city east and on the way to Tripoli from Ajdabiyah.  



                      She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre

                      by ATinNM on Sat Mar 26th, 2011 at 11:12:01 AM EST
                      Reports that Brega has been bypassed and rebels moving on to Ras Lanuf

                      Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
                      by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Sat Mar 26th, 2011 at 11:51:20 AM EST
                      [ Parent ]
                      Starting to see reports opposition movement past Brega towards Ras Lanuf.  

                      As important: there are rumors some regime commanders have been killed and/or captured, decapitating their Chain of Command.  

                      Speculation:

                      After this many days of fighting the logistic situation of the regime's forces on the western front may be getting critical.  If the coalition air forces have been able to interdict supply and re-supply the regime may have to pull their forces back (under orders or rout) to a rallying and supply point.  If that is the case the next stop maybe Sirt.

                      (?)

                      She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre

                      by ATinNM on Sat Mar 26th, 2011 at 11:55:20 AM EST
                      [ Parent ]
                      AJE reporting a regime "senior general" was captured in or outside - not clear - Ajdabiyah.  


                      She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre
                      by ATinNM on Sat Mar 26th, 2011 at 12:42:47 PM EST
                      [ Parent ]
                      Saw that earlier, its reported to be the deputy commander of the army, but there was no sign of any confirmation as yet

                      Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
                      by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Sat Mar 26th, 2011 at 12:54:53 PM EST
                      [ Parent ]
                      We'll find out in a few hours.  From what the AJE reporter said the regime's forces were defeated by a combination of coalition air power and revolutionary ground forces.  The regime has relied on armor and artillery for the main striking power of their attacks or blocking forces reinforcing/supporting a 'crust' of front-line infantry seemingly inside the town.  

                      Once the fire power of the supporting units dropped it's very likely the infantry collapse happened very quickly, allowing the opposition to move in on command posts before they could bug out.

                      But ... who knows?  

                      Interestingly:  on AJE's introduction to the top of the hour report and later in the report I saw a quick shot of soldiers with body armor and helmets.  First time I've seen that.

                      She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre

                      by ATinNM on Sat Mar 26th, 2011 at 01:13:21 PM EST
                      [ Parent ]
                      Reports on twitter channel #Feb17 (available via Google) Al Jazeera Arabic confirming Brega and the oil facilities are under control of opposition.

                      She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre
                      by ATinNM on Sat Mar 26th, 2011 at 12:24:30 PM EST
                      [ Parent ]
                      Al Jazeera English reporting tear gas and live fire are being/have been used against protesters in Syria.

                       

                      She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre

                      by ATinNM on Sat Mar 26th, 2011 at 12:31:04 PM EST
                      Coalition air strikes around Misurata as fighting is reported to have broken out, again, in the city.

                      She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre
                      by ATinNM on Sat Mar 26th, 2011 at 12:47:11 PM EST
                      Twitter reports, of unknown reliability, claiming Misurata is under mortar and artillery attack with "intense fighting" between regime and revolutionaries in the town.

                      She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre
                      by ATinNM on Sat Mar 26th, 2011 at 12:52:51 PM EST
                      [ Parent ]
                      Caller to Al Jazeera saying the situation in Misurata is "very, very, dire."

                      Gadaffi armor is entering the city under mortar and artillery support.  Then spreading out to avoid coalition air attacks.  

                      She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre

                      by ATinNM on Sat Mar 26th, 2011 at 01:32:03 PM EST
                      [ Parent ]
                      What could go wrong with armor spreading out in a city of 300,000, most of whom are hostile?

                      "It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
                      by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sat Mar 26th, 2011 at 03:04:51 PM EST
                      [ Parent ]
                      More speculation :-)

                      Reports earlier this week told us regime armor in the center of the city, unsupported by infantry, were targeted by air strikes.  So it's doubtful they will try and pull that one again.

                      There are rumors Gadaffi, or one of his commanders, is pulling regime forces out of Tripoli to Misurata, putting them in civilian clothing and on regular buses.  Once de-busing at Misurata, they could move into the city in civilian clothing alongside or after their armor has cleared a path.  

                      IF this is true, it puts the coalition air forces in a bind.  Attacking these buses would leave dead bodies in civilian clothes littering the area and the regime could claim civilians are being attacked by the alliance and the same if they are targeted inside the city.

                      She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre

                      by ATinNM on Sat Mar 26th, 2011 at 03:22:12 PM EST
                      [ Parent ]
                      Live Blog Libya - March 26 | Al Jazeera Blogs
                      The city of Misurata is besieged from all sides. Gaddafi's troops had laid siege to the city and after the no-fly zone [was imposed] Gaddafi troops who were stationed in certain [areas] are now spreading out around the city.Some of them are also positioned inside the city in the main road called Tripoli Street. As a matter of fact, the city of Misurata since morning has been under heavy gunfire and heavy bombardment ... by tanks or mortar shells. This bombardment is indiscriminate and arbitrary, sometimes targeting residential plots and one entire family was killed - the father and his children.They are also stationed in other rooftops, especially the high buildings ... Anybody in the street comes under heavy gunfire and now the situation is exacerbating and is very, very dire.


                      *Lunatic*, n.
                      One whose delusions are out of fashion.
                      by DoDo on Sat Mar 26th, 2011 at 03:58:36 PM EST
                      [ Parent ]
                      Reports mortar and artillery fire has stopped and loud explosions being heard in Misurata.

                      She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre
                      by ATinNM on Sat Mar 26th, 2011 at 03:25:14 PM EST
                      [ Parent ]
                      Tens of thousands of people are protesting against the Cameron regime in London, the capital of the UK.

                      ;-)

                      She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre

                      by ATinNM on Sat Mar 26th, 2011 at 01:28:54 PM EST
                      Apparently Libyan TV reporting on that

                      Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
                      by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Sat Mar 26th, 2011 at 03:09:28 PM EST
                      [ Parent ]
                      One thing Gadaffi is really good at is propaganda.


                      She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre
                      by ATinNM on Sat Mar 26th, 2011 at 03:23:45 PM EST
                      [ Parent ]
                      The Libyan Youth Movement, Shabab Libya, is sending a member to Libya to provide on the ground tweets and reports.

                      She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre
                      by ATinNM on Sat Mar 26th, 2011 at 03:47:17 PM EST
                      No reports of resistance or major fighting as revolutionaries move westward from Ajdabiya.  Brega and the oil facility seems to have been taken.  Reports of revolutionaries moving on Ras Lanuf.

                      Has the regime's military collapsed in central Libya?

                      She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre

                      by ATinNM on Sat Mar 26th, 2011 at 03:56:46 PM EST
                      Live Blog Libya - March 26 | Al Jazeera Blogs
                      4:16pm

                      .Rebels tell the AFP news agency they have retaken the eastern town of  Brega, and a journalist confirms their forces are in the town centre. "We are in the centre of Brega," rebel fighter Abdelsalam al-Maadani told AFP by telephone.

                      "Gaddafi's forces are on the retreat and should now be at Al-Bisher (30km, 20 miles) west of Brega," he said.

                      Has the regime's military collapsed in central Libya?

                      I don't think so. Maybe the advance troops sent west to Benghazi; but wait for Sirte.

                      *Lunatic*, n.
                      One whose delusions are out of fashion.

                      by DoDo on Sat Mar 26th, 2011 at 04:00:03 PM EST
                      [ Parent ]
                      Opposition stalled at Ras Lanuf earlier and it may happen again.  It all depends on how much military force and supplies were left when the regime did their dash to Benghazi.  

                      Sirt is going to be a tough nut for the opposition to crack.  If there isn't an uprising in the city, I doubt they can take it.  

                      She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre

                      by ATinNM on Sat Mar 26th, 2011 at 04:15:38 PM EST
                      [ Parent ]
                      Report:

                      Was in Ajdabiya all day today went from the Eastern to Western checkpoint...alhamdulillah, today was big, lets hope its what we think

                      Spoke to ppl in Ajdabiya...after planes bombed Gaddafi troops @ Eastern chkpnt, the shabaab were able to advance onto Gaddafi troops from inside the city, from the direction of the sea and from main road into chkpnt.

                      I arrive in Ajdbiya early this morning, walked into former media building being used by #Gaddafi as a weapons depot. In "weapons depot", found no light weaponry, all big caliber ammunition.

                      If Ajdbyiya was the forward logistic point for regime forces they may not be able to form a blocking force until they go back to Sirt.  

                      Also it establishes a supply point for the opposition further up the coast road.

                      She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre

                      by ATinNM on Sat Mar 26th, 2011 at 04:02:50 PM EST
                      No news out of Zintan today.

                      She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre
                      by ATinNM on Sat Mar 26th, 2011 at 04:19:31 PM EST
                      March 26th Updates Libya Feb17

                      22:49 Reuters French warplanes destroyed five Libyan military planes and two helicopters at Misrata air base on Saturday, a French armed forces spokesman

                      23:44 CONFIRMED from Tripoli We received confirmation from Tripoli that the fuel situation is now at the edge of breaking point. Queues for petrol/gas have reached record lengths and fuel is being rationed severely. The same issue is present with cooking gas (sold in refillable canisters). It is expected that the city will run out of both within the next 2 days

                      22:43 CONFIRMED From Misratah Gaddafi's tanks and artillery which is stationed in Timeenah area have been bombed by coalition fighter jets. These same forces had bombed and shelled the area of Timeenah and Qasr Ahmed earlier in the day

                      19:09 AFP A revolutionary fighter tells AFP: "We are in the centre of Brega... Gaddafi's forces are on the retreat and should now be at Al-Bisher (30km) west of Brega."



                      "It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
                      by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sun Mar 27th, 2011 at 12:32:39 AM EST
                      Al Jazeera correspondent says east Libya rebel forces reach outskirts of Uqayla after taking control of Brega

                      Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
                      by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Sun Mar 27th, 2011 at 04:22:21 AM EST
                      [ Parent ]
                      Live Blog Libya - March 27 | Al Jazeera Blogs
                      2:51pm

                      There are reports Libyan rebels have taken back control of the town of Bin Jawad, about 525km east of Tripoli, as they push forward towards Gaddafi's stronghold of Sirte on Sunday, according to Reuters.

                      The latest advance puts pro-democracy fighters firmly in control of all oil terminals in eastern Libya - Es Sider, Ras Lanuf, Brega, Zueitina, Ajdabiya and Tobruk.

                      Al Jazeera's James Bays reporting from the outskirts of Bin Jawad said rebels are in control of the town and there has not been any fighting, with most of Gaddafi's fighters having fled or surrendered.

                      It seems there has a been withdrawal and a surrender of Gaddafi forces, not a battle. They removed some of their vehicles that were not bombed further up the road but they removed these vehicles in haste.

                      There is only one plan. That is to head on, head west up this road. There really is only one coastal road and that is the road to Tripoli. The problem they are going to face is the huge roadblock ahead of us and that's Sirte. A Gaddafi stronghold where many of his troops are based.

                      They have now re-tracked the first rebel advance, and it was like the first one.

                      *Lunatic*, n.
                      One whose delusions are out of fashion.

                      by DoDo on Sun Mar 27th, 2011 at 10:15:52 AM EST
                      [ Parent ]
                      Live Blog Libya - March 27 | Al Jazeera Blogs
                      12:01pm

                      Al Jazeera's James Bays reported from Uqayla, where opposition rebels had taken control. He said the recent advances made by anti-Gaddafi fighters could prove problematic for western coalition forces.

                      The coalition forces can say everything they are doing is aimed at protecting civilians. But now it's not Gaddafi forces who are advancing, it's opposition forces advancing. The next big place on the map after Ras Lanuf is Sirte. Now that is a big city, it's Gaddafi's stronghold. If opposition fighters start advancing on that, how can you say it's Gaddafi's forces who are threatening civilians? Gaddafi's forces will be the ones holding the ground, and those that are advancing would be the opposition fighters. [It will be] much harder I think for the coalition then to act in favour of the opposition in the terms of that UN resolution.



                      *Lunatic*, n.
                      One whose delusions are out of fashion.
                      by DoDo on Sun Mar 27th, 2011 at 10:19:16 AM EST
                      [ Parent ]
                      The 'coalition' will show its true colours when the front reaches Sirte. If this is really about protecting civilians, then bombs will fall in Misurata only.

                      *Lunatic*, n.
                      One whose delusions are out of fashion.
                      by DoDo on Sun Mar 27th, 2011 at 10:22:19 AM EST
                      [ Parent ]
                      I haven't found any confirmation elsewhere, but McClatchy has an article on the leader of the rebels.
                      The new leader of Libya's opposition military spent the past two decades in suburban Virginia but felt compelled -- even in his late-60s -- to return to the battlefield in his homeland, according to people who know him.

                      Khalifa Hifter was once a top military officer for Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi, but after a disastrous military adventure in Chad in the late 1980s, Hifter switched to the anti-Gadhafi opposition. In the early 1990s, he moved to suburban Virginia, where he established a life but maintained ties to anti-Gadhafi groups.

                      Late last week, Hifter was appointed to lead the rebel army, which has been in chaos for weeks. He is the third such leader in less than a month, and rebels interviewed in Libya openly voiced distrust for the most recent leader, Abdel Fatah Younes, who had been at Gadhafi's side until just a month ago.

                      by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Sun Mar 27th, 2011 at 01:06:20 PM EST
                      Hopefully they aren't entrusting affairs to a CIA mole now...

                      *Lunatic*, n.
                      One whose delusions are out of fashion.
                      by DoDo on Sun Mar 27th, 2011 at 01:39:35 PM EST
                      [ Parent ]
                      Does this not break Godfin's law?

                      Sweden's finest (and perhaps only) collaborative, leftist e-newspaper Synapze.se
                      by A swedish kind of death on Mon Mar 28th, 2011 at 04:18:44 PM EST
                      [ Parent ]
                      Reports of military cars an personnels leaving Sirte towards Tripoli. if this is confirmed that means a lot
                      #libya #feb17

                      Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
                      by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Sun Mar 27th, 2011 at 04:40:14 PM EST
                      20 military vehicles including tracked aa. with family cars arround piled up with posessions. civilans in cars

                      Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
                      by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Sun Mar 27th, 2011 at 04:59:06 PM EST
                      [ Parent ]
                      Reuters reporter near Sirte confirmed the news about military and civilian vehicles leaving towards Tripoli.
                      #Libya #feb17

                      Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
                      by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Sun Mar 27th, 2011 at 05:00:14 PM EST
                      [ Parent ]
                      Live Blog Libya - March 27 | Al Jazeera Blogs
                      6:30pm

                      A convoy of 20 military vehicles have reportedly left Gaddafi's stronghold of Sirte and were seen moving towards the Libyan capital, Tripoli. Dozens of cars crammed with families and belongings were seen along the coastal road heading towards the capital.



                      *Lunatic*, n.
                      One whose delusions are out of fashion.
                      by DoDo on Sun Mar 27th, 2011 at 05:20:23 PM EST
                      [ Parent ]
                      The regime's military in central (Benghazi to Sirte) Libya has vanished following the fall of Ajdabiya.  In the last 36 hours the opposition has advanced ~280/170 kilometers/miles.  

                      She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre
                      by ATinNM on Sun Mar 27th, 2011 at 06:34:06 PM EST
                      [ Parent ]
                      Live Blog Libya - March 27  Al Jazeera

                      6:53pmA Canadian military officer says NATO has begun to execute the no-fly zone operations over Libya and impose a naval arms embargo.

                      Lieutenant-General Charles Bouchard, the Canadian general in charge of NATO operations codenamed "Operation Unified Protector", said on Sunday:

                          Along with its non-NATO partners, NATO will do everything it can to deny any use of air power and it will do so with care and precision to avoid harming the people of Libya.

                          Our current mission is to close Libya's airspace to all flights except aid and humanitarian flights.

                      Bouchard has been appointed to run Libya operations based in Naples, Italy, enforcing a UN-mandated no-fly zone and arms embargo.

                      6:30pm A convoy of 20 military vehicles have reportedly left Gaddafi's stronghold of Sirte and were seen moving towards the Libyan capital, Tripoli. Dozens of cars crammed with families and belongings were seen along the coastal road heading towards the capital.

                      5:15pm Libyan rebels have said they plan to start exporting oil from fields in their territory "in less than a week", and said the Gulf nation of Qatar will market the crude.

                      A rebel representative, Ali Tarhoni, said he signed a contract with Qatar recently and the deal will ensure "access to liquidity in terms of foreign denominated currency".

                         We are producing about 100,000 to 130,000 barrels a day, we can easily up that to about 300,000 a day.

                          We contacted the oil company of Qatar and they agreed to take all the oil we export and market that oil for us. We have an escrow account ... and the money will be deposited in this account, and this way there is no middle man and we know where the money is going.

                      The is by actions TNC making the case that they are more reliable counter-parties than is the Gadaffi Regime while at the same time funding their government.

                      "It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."

                      by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sun Mar 27th, 2011 at 07:53:01 PM EST
                      I saw something earlier today that said that the rebels are now in possession of 80% of the countries port capacity for the transshipment of oil. Dont know how reliable this figure actually is though.

                      Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
                      by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Sun Mar 27th, 2011 at 08:25:33 PM EST
                      [ Parent ]
                      Morale collapses in regime forces in the east of Libya  Guardian  

                      A doctor at the hospital in Ras Lanuf, which handled most of the government soldiers wounded in the coalition air raids on Ajdabiya and the road from Benghazi, described the raids as causing hundreds of casualties, breaking morale and leaving many soldiers faking injuries to escape the assault. The doctor - who wished to be identified only by his first name, Abdullah - had responded to a call from Gaddafi's government for medical personnel to go to the front two weeks ago.

                      Today, he accidentally found himself on the rebel side of the line. "The first days, Gaddafi's forces had very high morale and they came in large numbers, thousands. There were the army soldiers and then the volunteers in the militia," he said. "They were fighting the rebels, no problem, and winning. But then came the bombing [by coalition air strikes]. The first day we had 56 seriously wounded. To the head, the brain, lost arms and legs. Soldiers with a lot of shrapnel in them. It was like that every day after."

                      Abdullah said all the wounded were fighters for Gaddafi, with about two-thirds injured in the bombing of Ajdabiya where there were days of fighting as government forces blocked the rebel advance. The doctor said he did not know how many soldiers were killed in the air strikes because the bodies were taken from the battlefield for burial. "The soldiers who came to the hospital told me there were 150 dead just on the first day of the bombing. After that, there were fewer because they hid," he said.

                      "It started to have a big effect on their morale. They said they could fight the rebels but not the planes. In recent days, many of the soldiers were trying to find excuses to leave the front. Ten to 20 a day came to the hospital pretending they were injured, asking for a medical certificate. They didn't have any physical injuries, but I gave it [a certificate] to them."



                      "It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
                      by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sun Mar 27th, 2011 at 08:08:39 PM EST
                      Libya Live Blog - March 28  Al Jazeera

                      6:09am  Al Jazeera's Sue Turton reports that the opposition council now says that they are expecting that the "real fight" will occur in the Tripoli area, as opposed in Sirte, where stiffer resistance had been expected.

                      6:00am  Al Jazeera's Sue Turton in Benghazi reports that the opposition's National Council has claimed that Gaddafi's hometown of Sirte was taken at 11.30pm last night (local time) by opposition forces.

                      Shamsi Abdul Mullah, a spokesman for the council, said that the city was found to be "unarmed" and opposition fighters did not encounter much resistance.

                      A column of military vehicles was reportedly seen leaving Sirte, bound for Tripoli.


                      Looks like what is left of Gadaffi's military is running for Tripoli as fast as they can. Perhaps many want to self-demobilize at home.


                      "It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
                      by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Mon Mar 28th, 2011 at 12:58:26 AM EST
                      That was a surprise. But, do the rebels have the manpower to control the city and attack further West?

                      As for NATO, in Sirte, they now made clear that they bomb for the rebels rather than to protect civilians.

                      *Lunatic*, n.
                      One whose delusions are out of fashion.

                      by DoDo on Mon Mar 28th, 2011 at 02:44:00 AM EST
                      [ Parent ]
                      The newer reports on Al Jazeera's blog are confusing: the taking of Sirte was confirmed by another rebel but denied by Reuters with a reporter on the ground, and there is fighting 140 km east of Sirte.

                      *Lunatic*, n.
                      One whose delusions are out of fashion.
                      by DoDo on Mon Mar 28th, 2011 at 06:01:00 AM EST
                      [ Parent ]
                      Gates: Libya not `a vital interest' for US, but part of region that's of vital US interest - The Washington Post

                      Gates tells NBC's "Meet the Press" that "we clearly have interests" in Libya, though he doesn't believe it's a vital American interest.

                      President Barack Obama, who's scheduled a speech Monday about Libya, used his weekend radio address to explain his decision to take military action against Moammar Gadhafi.

                      Obama said that when innocent people are being "brutalized" and when a leader such as Gadhafi threatens "a bloodbath that could destabilize an entire region" and when other countries are ready to help save lives, then it's in "our national interest to act."



                      So, in what may be my last act of "advising", I'll advise you to cut the jargon. -- My old PhD advisor, to me, 26/2/11
                      by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Mar 28th, 2011 at 04:50:36 AM EST
                      The War Nerd Day 4: Turret Skillets and Gremlin Holes (By Gary Brecher - The eXiled)
                      A lot of readers had suggestions for the munition that popped it. The one I'm inclined to go with was by "helplesscase" who told me what I should've known already: the Rafale can carry the US-made, laser-guided GBU12, a classic tank killer. In fact, it can carry four at once.

                      This seems like the best guess about what killed that tank, because GBU12 is one of those HEAT munitions that sends a jet of superheated metal into the interior of the tank. When it zips through the armor and enters the crew compartment at about the temperature of the sun, it's as if all the tea ever made in England hits boiling at the same nanosecond, and the turret pops off. Can't be much fun for the crew. Casey Jones managed to get "scalded to death by the steam" in an old train. A tight NBC-sealed crew compartment has to be the world's fastest pressure cooker, make those microwaved toy poodle videos look like mercy killing.

                      I was going through eXiled archives and found another popped MBT picture, from Mark Ames's tour of Georgia after the South Ossetia War. Here's the link to Ames's story. You'll see the indoor turret halfway down:

                      This is the classic effect of a shaped charge turning the crew compartment into a white dwarf star for a few milliseconds: tank loses its head, weak point at turret ring rips out and it's time to play "Find the Giant Frying Pan with the 120mm Handle." This one flew halfway through a multi-story building, giving a cool abstract art effect although the Georgian landlord probably didn't see it that way. Or the Georgian tank crew.



                      So, in what may be my last act of "advising", I'll advise you to cut the jargon. -- My old PhD advisor, to me, 26/2/11
                      by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Mar 28th, 2011 at 05:33:42 AM EST
                      War Nerd Day 5: Waiting for the Money Shot - By Gary Brecher - The eXiled
                      Libya's been like this "war" scene in the Looney Toons classic "Rabbit of Seville": Elmer comes after Bugs with an ax. Bugs grabs a bigger ax; Elmer comes back with a revolver, and so on until Elmer shows up with a huge cannon that looks like a Parrot gun. You think Bugs is going to find an even bigger cannon, Big Bertha or something-but he pulls the ultimate tactical surprise by popping up with a box of candy and a big diamond ring. Elmer's so touched he just goes all starry-eyed and next thing you know, he's in a wedding dress--a really horrible sight-and Bugs is ready to con him again.

                      That's pretty much how it's gone in Libya. Protesters show up with AKs and RPGs, Qaddafi responds with tanks and his pitiful imitation of an air force. NATO squelches that with real air power, and now it's time for the box of candy. Which arrived today in the form of another "Green March for Peace" by Libya's largest tribe, the Warfalla. ("Warfalla"? Somebody always stealing my tag.) The Warfalla have been paid big to put on a show for the news crews, marching to Benghazi for "peace," in the sense of "Qaddafi stays in power and takes his revenge quietly and peacefully in soundproofed cellars."

                      Benghazi is the heart of the revolt, and there's a tribal angle to that too: Benghazi is where the Zuwayya, the tribe of the King who was deposed by Qaddafi, hang out. So there's a whole tribal dimension to the Libya mess nobody really wants to deal with. Might start people thinking there's no good guy here, which there isn't. That's no good for journalists; they got to have a good guy, and they'll make one up if they can't find one. (Never a shortage of bad guys, you'll notice. Finding bad guys is like sending those Amazing Race people on a challenge to find asphalt--not that much of a challenge.)

                      Hilariously, the guy illustrates his blog post with a picture of the Moroccan Green March of 1975...

                      So, in what may be my last act of "advising", I'll advise you to cut the jargon. -- My old PhD advisor, to me, 26/2/11
                      by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Mar 28th, 2011 at 05:45:56 AM EST
                      War Nerd Blog Day 6: When Fashion Meets Kaboom - By Gary Brecher - The eXiled
                      First I wanted to add something to what I said yesterday about the Moroccan Green March into Spanish Sahara in 1975. I said a long while ago that war is just demographics on speed. And that goes the other way too: illegal immigration is just war slowed down. I don't mean that like some hysterical Minuteman having a coronary in his Dodge Ram because somebody ran across the Arizona border: "They're invading!" but I do buy the general concept that mass immigration is weirdly similar to guerrilla war without weapons. (Well, sometimes without weapons.) The way it's usually done, smuggling Mexicans into the US or Africans into the EU in crates or trucks, is a lot like a huge, slow covert operation.

                      That's what makes the 1975 Green March, when hundreds of thousands of unarmed Moroccans just tromped over the border into Spanish Sahara and dared the miserable handful of Spanish border troops to open fire, so amazing. That wasn't illegal immigration on the sneak, that was a massed, pre-announced invasion--without weapons. (Of course it wasn't really immigration because all those Moroccans got right back in their trucks once they'd crossed the line and claimed sovereignty. Spanish Sahara isn't a nice place and you wouldn't want to live there.) Instant annexation, instant demographic transformation (temporary, sure, but instant)--a successful conventional invasion by unarmed civilians. A first in world history as far as I know.



                      So, in what may be my last act of "advising", I'll advise you to cut the jargon. -- My old PhD advisor, to me, 26/2/11
                      by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Mar 28th, 2011 at 05:48:39 AM EST
                      [ Parent ]
                      Week of horror in Ajdabiya's hospital | Al Jazeera Blogs

                      Walking through the corridors of the El-Mgareaf hospital, Dr Suleiman Refadi went from sadness, to boiling fury, to unhindered joy in the space of just half an hour.

                      The general surgeon had stayed holed up in the hospital in east Ajdabiya for the six days Gaddafi's forces spent in his city after retaking control last week. He and a number of his staff risked being shot by snipers in the city or being arrested and taken away like so many others during this time.

                      Three of his doctors had disappeared on their way to pick up injured civilians just two streets away from the hospital. Only their shot up ambulance was found.

                      The surgeon told me about the women he had treated who said they had been raped by government soldiers. One woman was snatched from outside her home as she called for her child to come indoors. Another was inside her own house near the west gate to the city when soldiers broke in and raped her.

                      Meanwhile, the Al Jazeera blog has a very disturbing video up, showing dead children killed by some blast, but it is unclear whether NATO or Gaddafi forces are blamed.

                      *Lunatic*, n.
                      One whose delusions are out of fashion.

                      by DoDo on Mon Mar 28th, 2011 at 06:03:15 AM EST
                      'Noble' War In Libya - Part 2

                      As a Sunday Times leader made clear on March 20, sometimes you just have to draw a line:

                      `[T]here can be no accommodation with a man like Gadaffi or any of his family who aspire to succeed him.' (Leading article, `Allies need a rapid victory to outwit Gadaffi,' Sunday Times, March 20, 2011)

                      Seven years earlier, Alan Massie wrote in the same newspaper:

                      `The sight of Tony Blair shaking hands with Colonel Gadaffi last week will have disgusted many... One may sympathise with these sentiments but, pushing emotion aside, Blair has shown courage. It would be lovely if international politics could be conducted so you were always dealing with decent people. It might be nice if governments were able consistently to pursue the "ethical foreign policy" of which Robin Cook used to speak so enthusiastically but the world isn't like that.' (Massie, `Keeping Gadaffi close is the safest option,' Sunday Times, March 28, 2004)

                      Sometimes, then, there can be accommodation with a man like Gaddafi. It was important not to overstate the extent of his crimes:

                      `Of course, Libya remains essentially a dictatorship, even if not as repellent a one as that of Saddam's.'

                      And democracy was far more likely to take root in the Middle East `in an atmosphere of friendship than of hostility'. Thus Blair was `bringing Libya into the fold of the community of nations'.

                      Like a skilled conjuror, the media slips effortlessly, and without explanation, between the obvious need for `positive engagement' and the obvious need to `confront tyranny'.



                      Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
                      by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Mon Mar 28th, 2011 at 07:26:40 AM EST
                      Spain sets own rules of engagement for Libya mission · ELPAÍS.com in English
                      There are also new limitations with regard to the nature of the mission. Four F-18s are authorized to enforce the no-fly zone as set out in paragraphs 6 and 7 of Resolution 1973, but not "to adopt all necessary measures to protect civilians and areas populated by civilians under threat in Libya," as paragraph 4 of the same resolution states. France has used this clause to destroy tanks that were attacking Benghazi, a move that the Spanish members of the mission, though equipped and trained for it, will not be allowed to make.

                      There is one last limitation to the Spanish mission. Without anyone asking it to, the government has decided to put a one-month limit on Spain's contribution of four F-18 fighter jets and a B-707 refueling aircraft. It has also set a three-month limit on the participation of its frigate Méndez Núñez, the submarine Tramontana and the maritime patrol aircraft CN-235 in the naval blockade that NATO decided to launch yesterday morning. These deadlines can be extended, and will require the government to seek new authorization from Congress - this time before the Defense Committee, not in a plenary session - but in circumstances that could be far more difficult than those existing today.

                      Prime Minister José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero did not offer any explanations for this time limit. He simply said that it was "an initial period" and that, if the situation requires it, the government will go back to Congress to request permission for an extension. "Action will have to be taken [in Libya] until there are guarantees that the population is protected," he stated.



                      So, in what may be my last act of "advising", I'll advise you to cut the jargon. -- My old PhD advisor, to me, 26/2/11
                      by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Mar 28th, 2011 at 09:47:13 AM EST
                      President al-Assad Receives Phone Call from Saudi King Supporting Syria in Face of Conspiracy SANA , Syria
                      Damascus, (SANA)-  President Bashar al-Assad on Monday received a phone call from the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Abdullah bin Abdul-Aziz expressing the Saudi Arabia's  support to Syria in the face of conspiracy which targets its security and stability.


                      Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
                      by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Mon Mar 28th, 2011 at 11:02:42 AM EST
                      Cairo Diary: will Egypt help in Libya? | The Spectator

                      Nothing would help the international campaign against Colonel Gaddafi as much as the Egyptian military -- and therefore Egypt -- swinging in behind the UN-authorised effort. It would be one of the few things that would make the Libyan dictator worry and could push fence-sitting loyalists towards the rebel cause.

                      Materially, it could also be important; with the Libyan resistance reluctant to receive Nato help, Egypt could be very helpful as a conduit for weapons, intelligence and even on-the-ground military support. A post-combat mission would also be greatly aided by Egyptian involvement or leadership.

                      Unfortunately, after a few days in Cairo, I think it is more likely that Colonel Gaddafi will turn himself in than Field Marshal Tantawi, Egypt's de facto ruler, will send his army into neighbouring Libya. There are four main reasons why:



                      Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
                      by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Mon Mar 28th, 2011 at 11:04:10 AM EST
                      Wait, they're proposing that Egypt break a few paragraphs of the latest UNSC resolution on Libya? (arms embargo, no foreign troops...)

                      So, in what may be my last act of "advising", I'll advise you to cut the jargon. -- My old PhD advisor, to me, 26/2/11
                      by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Mar 28th, 2011 at 11:07:40 AM EST
                      [ Parent ]
                      More like they are explaining why, sadly, they won't violate those limitations. And they omitted a fifth reason: there would be concern that Egypt was planning to annex Libya.

                      "It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
                      by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Mon Mar 28th, 2011 at 11:28:45 AM EST
                      [ Parent ]
                      He leaves out reason number five, which was actually voiced in public: fear about the fate of the large number of Egyptians in Libya.

                      *Lunatic*, n.
                      One whose delusions are out of fashion.
                      by DoDo on Mon Mar 28th, 2011 at 03:10:07 PM EST
                      [ Parent ]
                      Diplomats discuss Libya's future as Italy plots Gaddafi's escape route

                      Efforts appear to be under way to offer Muammar Gaddafi a way of escape from Libya, with Italy saying it was trying to organise an African haven for him, and the US signalling it would not try to stop the dictator from fleeing.

                      The move came amid mounting diplomatic and military pressure on Gaddafi as Britain tries to assemble a global consensus demanding he surrender power while intensifying air strikes against his forces. An international conference in London - including the UN, Arab states, the African Union, and more than 40 foreign ministers - will focus on co-ordinating assistance in the face of a possible humanitarian disaster and building a unified international front in condemnation of the Gaddafi regime and in support of Nato-led military action in Libya.

                      On the eve of the conference, Italy offered to broker a ceasefire deal in Libya, involving asylum for Gaddafi in an African country. "Gaddafi must understand that it would be an act of courage to say: 'I understand that I have to go'," said the Italian foreign minister, Franco Frattini. "We hope that the African Union can find a valid proposal."

                      A senior American official signalled that a solution in which Gaddafi flees to a country beyond the reach of the international criminal court (ICC), which is investigating war crimes charges against him, would be acceptable to Washington, pointing out that Barack Obama had repeatedly called on Gaddafi to leave.

                      ....

                      British officials said they would rather see Gaddafi face trial, but if his escape was the price of a peaceful settlement they would be able to live with that.



                      "It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
                      by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Tue Mar 29th, 2011 at 12:20:23 AM EST
                      Michael van Poppel (mpoppel) on Twitter
                      Iman al-Obeidi is being sued for defamation by 4 men under investigation for her alleged rape, Libyan government spokesman tells NBC


                      Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
                      by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Mar 29th, 2011 at 06:55:54 AM EST
                      Libya Live Blog - March 29 | Al Jazeera Blogs
                      1:55pm

                      The Libyan opposition's Transitional National Council has released a two-page political platform, called "A Vision of a Democratic Libya."

                      Among other principles, the document calls for a national constitution that separates government into executive, legislative and judicial branches, a guarantee of the freedom of expression, and "a state that draws strength from our strong religious beliefs in peace, truth, justice and equality."



                      *Lunatic*, n.
                      One whose delusions are out of fashion.
                      by DoDo on Tue Mar 29th, 2011 at 08:51:09 AM EST
                      Libya Live Blog - March 29 | Al Jazeera Blogs
                      5:35pm

                      Al Jazeera's Hoda Abdel-Hamid reports from about 20km east of Ras Lanuf that pro-Gaddafi forces have begun shelling the city, forcing opposition fighters to retreat east once again.

                       

                      Well, we had to evacuate Ras Lanuf about half an hour ago. We are about 20km away from there, that's because we starting hearing all of a sudden the 'crump' of explosions getting closer and closer, and again there was a wave of retreat. Hundreds of cars of the opposition fighters down this road, they've just gone by, probably you might see some more come by as we talk.  

                      "So certainly what we can say at this stage is that Bin Jawad is not any more in the hands of the rebels, actually the Gaddafi forces now are managing to pound Ras Lanuf and are getting closer and closer to them, pushing the opposition fighters eastwards more and more. I think this is an exact repeat of what happened about three weeks ago."



                      *Lunatic*, n.
                      One whose delusions are out of fashion.
                      by DoDo on Tue Mar 29th, 2011 at 12:06:32 PM EST
                      Libya Live Blog - March 29 | Al Jazeera Blogs
                      4:03pm

                      Al Jazeera's Hoda Abdel-Hamid reports from Ras Lanuf that the news from Bin Jawad is that the city has fallen to pro-Gaddafi forces, and opposition fighters are now retreating to Ras Lanuf. 

                      She also says that the opposition's military commanders are complaining that their fighters "do not want to be" disciplined or act in a structured way.

                      Furthermore, the rebels' supply lines are stretched.



                      *Lunatic*, n.
                      One whose delusions are out of fashion.
                      by DoDo on Tue Mar 29th, 2011 at 12:07:08 PM EST
                      [ Parent ]
                      Left off the last para:

                      She said that pro-Gaddafi forces were not using tanks or airstrikes in this offensive, indicating that they were more reliant on artillery and mortars. 


                      *Lunatic*, n.
                      One whose delusions are out of fashion.
                      by DoDo on Tue Mar 29th, 2011 at 12:08:53 PM EST
                      [ Parent ]
                      The rebels need some small tactical UAVs to do forward observation for their own artillery. They probably have enough that they could stop this assault if they knew how and where to fire.

                      "It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
                      by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Tue Mar 29th, 2011 at 02:06:21 PM EST
                      [ Parent ]
                      I think it's one of those rules of thumb that in excess of 75% of all casualties and fatalities are caused by Artillery. especially when one side has very little armour.

                      Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
                      by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Mar 29th, 2011 at 09:28:32 PM EST
                      [ Parent ]
                      More than you want to know about modern artillery operations.  

                      The genius, if that's the word I want, who designed and developed the actual practices was the Finnish general Vilho Petter Nenonen.  It's not exaggeration to state Finland owes its independence to this man.  

                      She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre

                      by ATinNM on Tue Mar 29th, 2011 at 02:27:18 PM EST
                      [ Parent ]
                      Libya Live Blog - March 30

                      2:59am Nancy Soderberg, a former US ambassador to the United Nations, says the United States may consider providing "defensive weapons" to anti-Gaddafi fighters in Libya - but doing so "quietly".

                      She tells Al Jazeera that officials will always seek to further their strategic interests, but that the US did not create the armed rebel groups, and doesn't entirely know who they are.



                      "It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
                      by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Tue Mar 29th, 2011 at 10:56:10 PM EST
                      Nancy Soderberg, a former US ambassador to the United Nations, says the United States may consider providing "defensive weapons" to anti-Gaddafi fighters in Libya - but doing so "quietly".

                      In other words, if the US wants to violate the UNSC resolution they'll do it by smuggling the weapons in?

                      So, in what may be my last act of "advising", I'll advise you to cut the jargon. -- My old PhD advisor, to me, 26/2/11

                      by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Mar 30th, 2011 at 02:19:43 AM EST
                      [ Parent ]
                      Sigh... and what do they mean by "defensive"?

                      *Lunatic*, n.
                      One whose delusions are out of fashion.
                      by DoDo on Wed Mar 30th, 2011 at 05:37:27 AM EST
                      [ Parent ]
                      It's "defensive" when "our guys" do it.

                      So, in what may be my last act of "advising", I'll advise you to cut the jargon. -- My old PhD advisor, to me, 26/2/11
                      by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Mar 30th, 2011 at 06:01:21 AM EST
                      [ Parent ]
                      they'll do it by smuggling the weapons in?

                      More likely by looking the other way while the TNC BUYS the weapons from an arms merchant. I saw a comment to the effect that "there is no UN arms embargo for LIBYA", (my caps), by which I understood that the argument was that the embargo applied to Gadaffi.

                      "It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
                      by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Wed Mar 30th, 2011 at 09:39:49 AM EST
                      [ Parent ]
                      ARGeezer:
                      I saw a comment to the effect that "there is no UN arms embargo for LIBYA", (my caps), by which I understood that the argument was that the embargo applied to Gadaffi.
                      The language of the resolutions refers to "the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya", which is the official name of the Libyan state under Gaddafi. The National Transitional Council refers to themselves as the legitimate representatives of the "Arab Republic".

                      That's an interesting legal(istic) nuance...

                      So, in what may be my last act of "advising", I'll advise you to cut the jargon. -- My old PhD advisor, to me, 26/2/11

                      by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Mar 30th, 2011 at 09:44:39 AM EST
                      [ Parent ]
                      It is a bit more than a nuance. The embargo only applies to Gadaffi unless there are other resolutions or other language.

                      "It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
                      by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Wed Mar 30th, 2011 at 10:01:15 AM EST
                      [ Parent ]
                      So if the UN had wanted an arms embargo on all libyan factions they would have had to refer to 'Libya' or something like that?

                      Now, what if Gaddafi decides to rename his regime?

                      So, in what may be my last act of "advising", I'll advise you to cut the jargon. -- My old PhD advisor, to me, 26/2/11

                      by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Mar 30th, 2011 at 10:34:41 AM EST
                      [ Parent ]
                      Security Council Approves `No-Fly Zone' over Libya, Authorizing `All Necessary Measures' to Protect Civilians, by Vote of 10 in Favour with 5 Abstentions

                      "Enforcement of the arms embargo

                      "13.  Decides that paragraph 11 of resolution 1970 (2011) shall be replaced by the following paragraph : "Calls upon all Member States, in particular States of the region, acting nationally or through regional organisations or arrangements, in order to ensure strict implementation of the arms embargo established by paragraphs 9 and 10 of resolution 1970 (2011), to inspect in their territory, including seaports and airports, and on the high seas, vessels and aircraft bound to or from the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, if the State concerned has information that provides reasonable grounds to believe that the cargo contains items the supply, sale, transfer or export of which is prohibited by paragraphs 9 or 10 of resolution 1970 (2011) as modified by this resolution, including the provision of armed mercenary personnel, calls upon all flag States of such vessels and aircraft to cooperate with such inspections and authorises Member States to use all measures commensurate to the specific circumstances to carry out such inspections";

                      Contrasting this with the embargo against Somalia, in resolution  733 the UNSC decides that all states shall "implement an immediate and complete embargo on all deliveries of weapons and military equipment to Somalia". This applied to all parties of the conflict. Later versions (751 and forward) has specific lists of embargoed organisations and individuals (including aliases), but the general one from 1992 only had "to Somalia".

                      Resolution 1973 refers multiple times to "situation in the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya" and similar phrasing making clear that "Libyan Arab Jamahiriya" is used as the formal name of the state and its internationally recognised territory.

                      I am no lawyer, but I think it is crystal clear that the embargo as phrased covers all parties in the territory, including the rebels.

                      Not that it will matter, remember "enemy combatants" and other linguistic tricks.

                      Sweden's finest (and perhaps only) collaborative, leftist e-newspaper Synapze.se

                      by A swedish kind of death on Thu Mar 31st, 2011 at 04:57:43 PM EST
                      [ Parent ]
                      There is what the resolution says and there is how it is interpreted. I have read statements by officials asserting that there was no UN arms embargo for the whole of Libya. This could be contest by assertion with various parties acting on their asserted interpretation.

                      "It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
                      by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Thu Mar 31st, 2011 at 05:42:33 PM EST
                      [ Parent ]
                      Exactly.

                      And considering how many officials that claimed to believe that this:

                      Article 5
                      The present Convention shall apply to the
                      persons referred to in Article 4 from the
                      time they fall into the power of the enemy
                      and until their final release and repatriation.

                      Should any doubt arise as to whether
                      persons, having committed a belligerent act
                      and having fallen into the hands of the
                      enemy, belong to any of the categories
                      enumerated in Article 4, such persons shall
                      enjoy the protection of the present
                      Convention until such time as their status
                      has been determined by a competent
                      tribunal.

                      somehow excluded "enemy combatants", we are in international politics acting in a non-sense space where anything can mean anything, if you have the military force to back up the interpretention. So it would not have mattered if it had been formulated otherwise.

                      Sweden's finest (and perhaps only) collaborative, leftist e-newspaper Synapze.se

                      by A swedish kind of death on Thu Mar 31st, 2011 at 06:07:36 PM EST
                      [ Parent ]
                      And Machiavelli would smile.

                      "It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
                      by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Thu Mar 31st, 2011 at 07:15:05 PM EST
                      [ Parent ]
                      Migeru:
                      The National Transitional Council refers to themselves as the legitimate representatives of the "ArabLibyan Republic"
                      oops

                      So, in what may be my last act of "advising", I'll advise you to cut the jargon. -- My old PhD advisor, to me, 26/2/11
                      by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Mar 30th, 2011 at 11:09:39 AM EST
                      [ Parent ]
                      US and Britain may arm Libya rebels if Gaddafi clings to power Guardian

                      The US and Britain have raised the prospect of arming Libya's rebels if air strikes fail to force Muammar Gaddafi from power. At the end of a conference on Libya in London, Hillary Clinton, the US secretary of state, said for the first time that she believed arming rebel groups was legal under UN security council resolution 1973, passed two weeks ago, which also provided the legal justification for air strikes. The British foreign secretary, William Hague, agreed that the resolution made it legal "to give people aid in order to defend themselves in particular circumstances".

                      But Clinton admitted the Americans "do not know as much as we would like to" about the interim national council (INC). In Washington, Admiral James Stavridis, Nato's supreme allied commander in Europe, told the Senate that intelligence analysis had revealed "flickers" of al-Qaida or Hezbollah presence inside the movement, and argued it required further study.

                      ....

                      The west's main Arab ally, Qatar, also said providing weapons to Gaddafi's opponents should be considered if air strikes failed to dislodge him. The Gulf state's prime minister, Sheikh Hamad bin Jaber al-Thani, said the effect of air strikes would have to be evaluated in a few days, but added: "We cannot let the people suffer for too long."

                      Or we could be clever and "allow" the Qataris to provide the arms, and perhaps a few artillery officers.

                      "It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."

                      by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Tue Mar 29th, 2011 at 11:07:28 PM EST
                      Meanwhile, the re-run of the back-and-forth three weeks ago (but with artillery in place of tanks) continues:

                      Libya Live Blog - March 30 | Al Jazeera Blogs

                      • Timestamp:  3:35pm

                        Al Jazeera has learnt from sources on the ground that Gaddafi troops are on their way to Brega. Reuters is reporting that pro-Gaddafi forces are pressing further east with an artillery offensive against rebel fighters.



                      *Lunatic*, n.
                      One whose delusions are out of fashion.
                      by DoDo on Wed Mar 30th, 2011 at 09:53:15 AM EST
                      Libya Live Blog - March 30 | Al Jazeera Blogs
                      • 12:15pm

                        James Bays, outside Ajdabiya, also notes that it might be difficult for coalition pilots to discern Gaddafi's irregular fighters and mobile mortar teams riding in jeeps and the backs of trucks from the rebels fighting with them. 

                      • Timestamp:  12:10pm

                        Bays also describes the tactics being used by Gaddafi's forces. They send mobile mortar teams several kilometres off the main road, flank the disorganised rebel columns, and begin shelling them from a distance. Almost without fail, the mortar fire - possibly combined with long-range Grad rocket attacks - has forced rebels to retreat.

                        Perhaps more ominously, Bays says he thinks there could be plainclothed regime spies traveling on the main road with the rebels, feeding information back to Gaddafi's troops.



                      *Lunatic*, n.
                      One whose delusions are out of fashion.
                      by DoDo on Wed Mar 30th, 2011 at 09:56:04 AM EST
                      [ Parent ]
                      Libya: Government Use of Landmines Confirmed | Human Rights Watch

                      (Benghazi) - Muammar Gaddafi's forces have laid both antipersonnel and antivehicle mines during the current conflict with armed opposition groups, Human Rights Watch confirmed today.

                      "Libya should immediately stop using antipersonnel mines, which most of the world banned years ago," said Peter Bouckaert, emergencies director at Human Rights Watch. "Gaddafi's forces should ensure that mines of every type that already have been laid are cleared as soon as possible to avoid civilian casualties."



                      *Lunatic*, n.
                      One whose delusions are out of fashion.
                      by DoDo on Wed Mar 30th, 2011 at 09:54:17 AM EST
                      Not that I would be surprised, but is HRW a credible source in this conflict? I remember them making up Russian cluster bombs in Georgia.
                      by generic on Wed Mar 30th, 2011 at 12:24:47 PM EST
                      [ Parent ]
                      Libya Live Blog - March 30 | Al Jazeera Blogs
                      4:43am

                      Former Nicaraguan foreign minister Miguel D'Escoto will be the new official representative of Libya's Muammar Gaddafi to the United Nations, Nicaragua's first lady - former Sandanista revolutionary and wife of Daniel Ortega - Rosario Murillo has told the AFP news agency.



                      *Lunatic*, n.
                      One whose delusions are out of fashion.
                      by DoDo on Wed Mar 30th, 2011 at 09:57:47 AM EST
                      Habla usted Espannol, Muammar?

                      "It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
                      by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Wed Mar 30th, 2011 at 10:13:38 AM EST
                      [ Parent ]
                      Libya Live Blog - March 30 | Al Jazeera Blogs
                      1:15am

                      More from Anita in Tripoli:

                      When we arrived a month ago, what was obvious was that it was a city that was not functioning properly any more. It was empty, it was shut up. And that is because it was a city run on foreign labour. And a huge amount of that skilled foreign labour had left by the time we got here - and that's been exacerbated since.

                      It's just not possible to keep everything running without that foreign labour they had. So we're seeing big queues at petrol stations, those are getting more tense with every passing day ... and supplies are running out. We're seeing bread queues because bakers have left the country; fish isn't available as it used to be as the fishermen aren't fishing any more.

                      All these sorts of things are closing in on Libyans here. No-one's starving, but life hasn't been 'normal' for more than a month here.



                      *Lunatic*, n.
                      One whose delusions are out of fashion.
                      by DoDo on Wed Mar 30th, 2011 at 10:00:53 AM EST
                      Libya Live Blog - March 30 | Al Jazeera Blogs
                      5:49pm

                      The first coalition air strike in two days against Gaddafi's forces was carried out near the eastern city of Ajdabiya, where rebels have sought shelter after being pushed back from the frontlines.

                      The AFP said huge plumes of smoke rose into the sky amid cries of jubilation among the rebels, who had called for air support earlier.

                      Justifying their lack of fight, the rebels pointed out they were poorly armed with vintage or looted weapons, some of which jammed or had no more ammunition. They called it  a fight of "the people" against an army.

                      A rebel fighter, Yunes Abdelghaim, 27, told AFP:

                      We want two things: that the planes drop bombs on Kadhafi's tanks and heavy artillery, and that they [the West] give us weapons so we can fight.

                      Now if I want to be cynical, what about listening to your commanders and use some tactics? Iraqis blew up US tanks with no stronger weapons.

                      *Lunatic*, n.
                      One whose delusions are out of fashion.

                      by DoDo on Wed Mar 30th, 2011 at 01:11:56 PM EST
                      Often it is necessary for the older and wiser heads to wait until the young "full of themselves" enthusiasts get some sense knocked into them. The "rebels" have captured numerous tanks and artillery. They probably have mortar tubes and shells. And there are a number of former military personnel among those who have turned against Gadaffi. I would hope that some of the officers have been organizing some who understand military organization into effective units and have been conducting training exercises. A few crews that really know how to use their weapons and will do so in a coordinated, disciplined manner would make all the difference. I cannot blame the TNC for not sending such units out with the current batch of enthusiasts.

                      "It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
                      by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Wed Mar 30th, 2011 at 03:26:22 PM EST
                      [ Parent ]
                      Speaking of enthusiasm: Do we actually want the TNC to take Tripoli? How much support do they have in west Libya? I doubt the loyalists would be in a position to launch attacks if they were worried about rebel sympathisers in Tripoli.
                      by generic on Wed Mar 30th, 2011 at 08:09:47 PM EST
                      [ Parent ]
                      At one time, the opposition controlled a lot of cities around Tripoli (see map below), and still controls Misurata and Zindan in the west (Zindan is not on the map but is SW of Tripoli).

                      In Tripoli itself, Gaddafi forces supressed mass protests with tanks and wildly shooting mercenaries. I think Sirte and the oil towns in the southwest are Gaddafi's most solid base, I haven't read any reports of rebellion there.

                      How people in and around Tripoli will like not the TNC in general but the pickup truck riding Benghazi boys, is another question.

                      *Lunatic*, n.
                      One whose delusions are out of fashion.

                      by DoDo on Thu Mar 31st, 2011 at 04:07:48 AM EST
                      [ Parent ]
                      DoDo, few will beat me at cynicism: To grow an insurgency takes time. If the Alliance holds off Gadaffi long enough and if the weapons are there (who wants do donate?) the insurgency will spread its wings just fine. Provided the "rebel fighters" stop acting like clown soldiers. They should throw in some copies of "Insurgency in the Desert" by Lawrence of A. Maybe ship in some Iraqi 'consultants' - diversify the Iraqi exports beyond oil.

                      That's one exit strategy for the West. Kindle the flame of insurgency (now called rebellion for freedom (tm)) and leave it cooking. Not very glamorous I admit.

                      Schengen is toast!

                      by epochepoque on Wed Mar 30th, 2011 at 05:07:20 PM EST
                      [ Parent ]
                      Ulrich Ladurner of Zeit magazine again turns his skeptical eye to Libya. A summary (not a literal translation) of the questions:

                      Is the intervention still covered by UN 1973?

                      No, this is now much more than the NFZ approved by the UN. Allied forces have bombarded not only antiaircraft positions but also tanks, artillery, etc. Americans are flying A-130s. Rebels have gained a powerful air force.

                      ... We know this constellation from Afghanistan. At the beginning the US bombarded the Taliban (majority Pashtun) from the air while the Northern Alliance force (majority Tajik) advanced towards Kabul.

                      Is it important to abide to the resolution? Isn't it even more important that the West deposes a bad dictator?

                      Since the intervention forces expanded the resolution without authority the war is no longer legitimate, legally and morally. Which may not count much as long as the victory stories keep coming. ... As the Taliban left Kabul under US bombardment, George Bush cautioned the Northern Alliance not to take the city too fast. An agreement with the Pashtun was desired but the Northern Alliance didn't care. The NA's militia streamed into Kabul and assumed all important offices. Many Pashtuns were driven into opposition or to the Taliban.

                      What happens if Tripolis falls fast?

                      Without a functioning state, the first thing people will want is security. A functional police and army would be needed but where would they come from? Some outsider would have to help build those new forces. So the allies would have to decide whether to send instructors.

                      ... In Afghanistan the war began with a few thousand soldiers, now there are 140,000. Big business for private contractors. Which would be fueled by oil revenue just as the mercenaries are paid by Gadaffi.

                      What do the US want?

                      Obama's speech didn't clarify things. Allied forces are bombarding Gadaffi's troops but they don't want to overthrow him. They want to protect the rebels from retribution but they don't want liberate them from Gadaffi, either. Rebels are supposed to do that on their own, but they can't without Western air power.

                      ... The US is an enabler not the decisive force. Many Americans will not accept that. Is this war really in the national interest of the US?

                      What do the Europeans want?

                      Obama's modesty has one definite consequence: the Europeans have to take the lead. That's all right with Sarkozy who is looking for a success story. He said "Every ruler, especially every Arab ruler, has to understand that we will react the same every time."

                      Does that mean the Europeans will intervene in Saudi-Arabia, Syria, Yemen, Algeria? Everywhere where an autocratic regime is protested against? Is this new interventionism the default position of the EU? Probably not. But what is the position of the EU? What's the goal for Libya? It's certain despite the strong words by Sarkozy, that France alone doesn't have the military capabilities to enforce a peace in Libya.



                      Schengen is toast!
                      by epochepoque on Wed Mar 30th, 2011 at 04:47:24 PM EST
                      Libya Live Blog - March 31 | Al Jazeera Blogs
                      1:11am

                      Al Jazeera's Anita McNaught tells us that Koussa was not alone, and that there are several senior Libyan government figures waiting to fly to European capitals.

                      She said they include the current head of intelligence, the oil mininster, the secretary of the general peoples' congress and a deputy foreign minister. She tells us:

                      It seems the government of Gaddafi is collapsing around him tonight, and they're running for the hills. 

                      But its all about Cololnel Gaddafi here. The people are loyal to him, not to his ministers, so how this will be taken by the Libyan people is another matter - that's if they know what's going on. Today, state TV said that Moussa Koussa was going on holiday. We'll see if they say the same for these others.



                      *Lunatic*, n.
                      One whose delusions are out of fashion.
                      by DoDo on Thu Mar 31st, 2011 at 08:23:07 AM EST
                      More 'defections from Gaddafi inner circle' - Africa - Al Jazeera English

                      There are unconfirmed reports that more people have left the inner circle of Muammar Gaddafi, the Libyan leader, following the high level desertion of Moussa Koussa, Libya's foreign minister, who arrived in the UK on Wednesday.

                      It is understood a group of top officials who had headed to Tunisia for talks have decided to stay there.

                      Some Arabic newspapers said Mohammad Abu Al Qassim Al Zawi, the head of Libya's Popular Committee, the country's equivalent of a parliament, is among the defectors, and reports of  other defections, such as that of top oil official Shokri Ghanem, remain unconfirmed. 



                      *Lunatic*, n.
                      One whose delusions are out of fashion.
                      by DoDo on Fri Apr 1st, 2011 at 03:07:49 AM EST
                      [ Parent ]
                      Libya Live Blog - March 31 | Al Jazeera Blogs
                      --NATO is aware of a report of civilian casualties in Tripoli. The top Vatican official in the Libyan capital, Giovanni Innocenzo Martinelli, told Catholic news agency Fides that at least 40 civilians died in Tripoli when a building collapsed. He also said air strikes had "indirectly" hit hospitals, including one in Mizda, 145km southwest of Tripoli. General Bouchard said NATO is investigating to determine whether its forces were involved.


                      *Lunatic*, n.
                      One whose delusions are out of fashion.
                      by DoDo on Thu Mar 31st, 2011 at 11:55:54 AM EST
                      Gaddafi envoy in Britain for secret talks

                      Colonel Gaddafi's regime has sent one of its most trusted envoys to London for confidential talks with British officials, the Guardian can reveal. Mohammed Ismail, a senior aide to Gaddafi's son Saif al-Islam, visited London in recent days, British government sources familiar with the meeting have confirmed. The contacts with Ismail are believed to have been one of a number between Libyan officials and the west in the last fortnight, amid signs that the regime may be looking for an exit strategy. Disclosure of Ismail's visit comes in the immediate aftermath of the defection to Britain of Moussa Koussa, Libya's foreign minister and the country's former external intelligence head, who has been Britain's main conduit to the Gaddafi regime since the early 1990s.

                      A team led by the British ambassador to Libya, Richard Northern, and MI6 officers, embarked on a lengthy debriefing of Koussa at a safe house after he flew into Farnborough airport on Wednesday night from Tunisia. Government sources said the questioning would take time because Koussa's state of mind was "delicate" after he left his family in Libya. The Foreign Office declined "to provide a running commentary" on contacts with Ismail or other regime officials. But news of the meeting comes amid mounting speculation that Gaddafi's sons, foremost among them Saif al-Islam, Saadi and Mutassim, are anxious to explore a way out of the crisis in Libya.

                      "There has been increasing evidence recently that the sons want a way out," said a western diplomatic source. Although he has little public profile in either Libya or internationally, Ismail is recognised by diplomats as being a key fixer and representative for Saif al-Islam. According to cables published by WikiLeaks, Ismail has represented the Libyan government in arms purchase negotiations and acted as an interlocutor on military and political issues.

                      "The message that was delivered to him is that Gaddafi has to go and that there will be accountability for crimes committed at the international criminal court," a Foreign Office spokesman told the Guardian , declining to elaborate on what else may have been discussed. Some aides working for Gaddafi's sons, however, have made it clear that it may be necessary to sideline their father and explore exit strategies to prevent the country descending into anarchy.



                      "It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
                      by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Thu Mar 31st, 2011 at 06:10:41 PM EST
                      Libya Live Blog - April 1

                      3:35am Henry Schuler, a former US diplomat to Libya, is wary of taking Moussa Koussa's flight to Britain at face value. He told Al Jazeera's Inside Story that officials should be cautious of treating his reports as entirely factual:

                         We have to bear in mind that its rather unusual that Moussa Koussa was able to leave Libya without being detected. Especially since his name was conspicuously absent from the no travel and asset freeze sanctions - that should have been a warning to Gaddafi that something was afoot, that someone was trying to lure him away.

                          I can't believe entirely that Gaddafi simply missed the chance to stop him from leaving. I'm not sure he's not out doing an errand for Gaddafi - as he did throughout the past decade.

                          We're told he's going to talk about what conditions were like and they're hoping to get intelligence as to Gaddafi's state of mind - and if he provides disinformation in that respect, it will make it extremely difficult to make a reasonable assessment of how the regime is standing up.

                          There's a great danger in psychological warfare, which the British are conducting in this case, of blowback - where the people who are waging a psychological battle begin to believe their own propaganda.


                      From this might we assume that, if Mousa Kousa IS a double agent, he is working with Libya and the Brits, but not the USA?

                      2:05am The US Federal Reserve lent a Libyan state-backed bank as much as US$26billion during the financial crisis, it has been revealed. The Arab Bank Corporation, which is today 59.3 percent owned by the Libyan government, borrowed in slices as big as $1.175billion from the US central bank.

                      Democrat-allied Senator Bernie Sanders said the Fed made "46 emergency, low-interest loans" to the bank, providing a total of $26 billion in credit, though not all at one time. He said:

                         It is incomprehensible to me that while creditworthy small businesses in Vermont and throughout the country could not receive affordable loans, the Federal Reserve was providing tens of billions of dollars in credit to a bank that is substantially owned by the Central Bank of Libya.

                      The bank was not majority-owned by the Libyan government at the time of the loans, says the AFP news agency.


                      First things first, Bernie. From this we can tell that Bernie is not SeriousTM. It should not be necessary for the Serious PeopleTMto explain to him the difference between a co-conspirator and a mark.

                      "It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
                      by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Thu Mar 31st, 2011 at 10:57:15 PM EST
                      Libya Live Blog - April 1 | Al Jazeera Blogs
                      7:48am

                      In Bab al-Aziziya, dozens of Libyans that the government calls "voluntary human shields" mass each day, though their numbers have thinned out considerably since the allied airstrikes started.

                      Last night, they partied in the compound, waving flags and beating drums. Many in the crowd were from Tripoli's Bu Sleim district, a pro-Gaddafi stronghold whose support for the leader has helped keep protests from spreading in the capital.



                      *Lunatic*, n.
                      One whose delusions are out of fashion.
                      by DoDo on Fri Apr 1st, 2011 at 03:08:27 AM EST
                      Libya Live Blog - April 1 | Al Jazeera Blogs
                      6:43am

                      Eman Al Obeidi, the Libyan woman who burst into a Tripoli hotel claiming to have been raped by troops loyal to Muammar Gaddafi, is still missing.

                      Avaaz, the civil society organisation, has set up a petition demanding that Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan calls on Gaddafi to release Eman. They say that while Gaddafi will ignore most international outrage, he has listened to the Turkish government when they asked him to release foreign journalists.

                      Over a 189,000 people have already signed the petition.



                      *Lunatic*, n.
                      One whose delusions are out of fashion.
                      by DoDo on Fri Apr 1st, 2011 at 03:09:13 AM EST
                      Libyan fixer's visit to London may show Gaddafi's sons want a way out | World news | The Guardian
                      An aide to Gaddafi's powerful son Saif al-Islam, the clues to his power are to be found in his office in Tripoli, a huge suite in a guarded compound. They are to be found too in what he has done: acting as an interlocutor for the regime on everything from blocked licences for arms sales and political contacts.

                      So the news that he has been in London in recent days for meetings with British officials is more than intriguing. Ismail is Saif's fixer - intelligent, discreet and powerful.

                      And increasingly, according to those familiar with how Saif and his brother Saadi are thinking, Gaddafi's sons have become aware that they have a problem that they need to find a way out of - despite Saif's bellicose language.



                      Economics is politics by other means
                      by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Apr 1st, 2011 at 05:42:22 AM EST
                      Libya Live Blog - April 1 | Al Jazeera Blogs
                      9:12pm

                      In this short audio message posted to the Voices of Feb 17 Audioboo page, a resident of Az Zintan says the western part of the city is being hit by Grad rockets fired by pro-Gaddafi forces. He says government troops have surrounded the town of Kikla (about 60km east of Zintan), and are also attack Aquila.



                      *Lunatic*, n.
                      One whose delusions are out of fashion.
                      by DoDo on Fri Apr 1st, 2011 at 03:25:39 PM EST
                      Libya Live Blog - April 1 | Al Jazeera Blogs
                      6:20pm

                      It appears that the opposition's commanders are taking firmer control at the front lines, screening fighters who are trying to join up with their forces based on their experience, and barring journalists from entering zones where they are concerned about giving away their positions.



                      *Lunatic*, n.
                      One whose delusions are out of fashion.
                      by DoDo on Fri Apr 1st, 2011 at 03:34:27 PM EST
                      Libya Live Blog - April 1 | Al Jazeera Blogs
                      5:35pm

                      Al Jazeera's Sue Turton reports from Ajdabiya that a number of civilians were killed in the village of Argkuk when a coalition airstrike hit a pro-Gaddafi vehicle which, being full of ammunition, exploded.

                      A commander at the front described the incident as a "mistake", while a doctor at Ajdabiya's Al Gharif hospital, where the wounded were taken, said that seven civilians had been killed in the explosion, and 25 others injured.

                      He said that the relatives of those hurt or killed were very clear that they were not blaming the NATO-led coalition for the deaths, taking the position that if the pro-Gaddafi vehicles had been allowed to escape, "thousands" could have died in Ajdabiya because of them.

                      NATO has told Al Jazeera that is unclear as to whether the ammunition-laden vehicle was destroyed by artillery, mortars, an airstrike or some other cause, and that while it had launched an inquiry into the incident, without ground forces to verify the on-the-ground evidence, it would be difficult to determine exactly what happened. 

                      Oh come on. You have the mission videos.

                      *Lunatic*, n.
                      One whose delusions are out of fashion.

                      by DoDo on Fri Apr 1st, 2011 at 03:35:42 PM EST
                      'Libyan rebels killed in NATO air strike' - Africa - Al Jazeera English

                      NATO said on Saturday that it is investigating reports that a coalition warplane struck pro-democracy forces near the front line of the battle with fighters loyal to the Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi.

                      Burnt out husks of at least four vehicles, including an ambulance, were seen by the side of the road near the eastern entrance to the oil town on Saturday, the Reuters news agency reported. Men prayed at freshly dug graves nearby as they buried their colleagues.

                      "Some of Gaddafi's forces sneaked in among the rebels and fired anti-aircraft guns in the air," Mustafa Ali Omar, a pro-democracy fighter said. "After that the NATO forces came and bombed them."

                      The Libyan government, meanwhile, has produced a video said to show civilians, including women and children, in a Brega hospital. They are believed to have been wounded as they tried to escape the air strikes.

                      Doctors say more than 240 people have been killed in Misurata in the last month alone, as a counter-offensive by Gaddafi's troops raised the number of casualties.



                      *Lunatic*, n.
                      One whose delusions are out of fashion.
                      by DoDo on Sat Apr 2nd, 2011 at 09:46:26 AM EST
                      'Libyan rebels killed in NATO air strike' - Africa - Al Jazeera English

                      The reports came as pro-democracy forces claimed victory over Gaddafi troops in the battle for Brega after heavy clashes.

                      Fighting appeared to have subsided on Saturday morning on the outskirts of the town and only the sound of NATO fighters flying overhead disturbed the calm.

                      Several residents told the AFP news agency that pro-democracy forces had recaptured the town and were trying to seek out a group of pro-Gaddafi snipers who were still active.

                      ...Al Jazeera's Laurence Lee, reporting from the eastern city of Benghazi, said his team was told that Gaddafi's forces have stopped using tanks "because they can be easily spotted by NATO airplanes".

                      "Instead they are using pick-up trucks with mortars on the back which look a lot more like the rebel forces.



                      *Lunatic*, n.
                      One whose delusions are out of fashion.
                      by DoDo on Sat Apr 2nd, 2011 at 09:48:43 AM EST
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