Amid the elation inside Libya, and much self-congratulations in the United States and NATO, news of the overthrow and execution of Muammar Qaddafi by Libyan rebels has overshadowed events that are far less promising and welcome.

The Telegraph is reporting that, on the heels of Libya’s “liberation” at the death last Thursday of Qaddafi, an event that finished for good his four decades of despotic oppression, the leader of the Transitional Council has announced a much more stringent adherence to Sharia Law. The implications of this are far-reaching, and the move appears to be much more than a symbolic nod to Islam as the country’s dominant religion. It is an indication that the “revolution” in Libya has had heavy Islamist involvement, including Al Qaeda, Hezbollah, and The Muslim Brotherhood, something many have suspected since the beginning of the unrest. It is also an indication that Libya will be marching backward, away from the international community:

Mr Abdul-Jalil went further, specifically lifting immediately, by decree, one law from Col. Gaddafi’s era that he said was in conflict with Sharia – that banning polygamy.

In a blow to those who hoped to see Libya’s economy integrate further into the western world, he announced that in future bank regulations would ban the charging of interest, in line with Sharia. “Interest creates disease and hatred among people,” he said.

The Telegraph article concludes:

Mr Abdul-Jalil’s decision – made in advance of the introduction of any democratic process – will please the Islamists who have played a strong role in opposition to Col Gaddafi’s rule and in the uprising but worry the many young liberal Libyans who, while usually observant Muslims, take their political cues from the West.

It isn’t hard to imagine just what the “democratic process” will look like under Islamists’ enforcing Sharia law. The Libyans’ 42-year nightmare may be over. Perhaps only to be replaced by another that may last much longer.

There are myriad lessons to be taken from Libya’s situation and her apparent regressive path.

In the “Libya model”, allying oneself with unknown entities of unknown allegiance against a dictator’s regime, and then fighting by proxy through those entities, even superpowers relinquish control of events. Without significant friendly presence on the ground, the goals and objectives of those unknown entities trump your goals, whether you intended them or not, which can lead to potentially severe unintended consequences that make the cure worse than the disease. There are practical matters as well, the location and possession of some 20,000 SA-24 MANPADS, and stockpiles of HD (sulphur mustard) munitions being among them. Revenge against regime supporters, persecution of religious and ethnic minorities, perpetrated by the people we aided in bringing to power, undoubtedly will be the order of the day.

As events follow their unwelcome course in Libya, and we find ourselves with virtually no means to influence them other than with proclamations, it is time to face the somewhat unwelcome truth that this revolution looks far closer to Teheran in 1979 than we care to admit. And worse, this time we helped drive those events without any means of control. When the final bill comes due for Libya, the cost may astound us.

******************************************

Al Qaeda flag flies over courthouse in Libya

Several Al Qaeda flags among Benghazi protesters

Nope, nothing to see here, folks.

************************************************

Seems events in post-Qaddafi Libya have run quite close to prediction. Violence and revenge in the wake of civil war on the part of the “good guys” against any known or suspected regime members. Or black migrant laborers, rival villages, tribes, militias, property holders, take your pick. This from The Independent:

The winning anti-Gaddafi militia are not proving merciful. Often they have had relatives killed in the fighting or imprisoned by the old regime who they want to avenge. Sometimes they come from tribes and towns traditionally hostile to neighbouring tribes and towns. Gaddafi supporters are being hunted down. According to one person in Gaddafi’s home town of Sirte, they are facing a “continuing reign of terror”.

“There is a deep and spreading frenzy, particularly among some of the youth militia and the Islamists, to hunt down anyone associated with the former regime,” the source said.

And just to show that the violence isn’t all religious or ideological, this:

The purge of Gaddafi supporters is made more dangerous by the infighting between the militias, and between them and the politicians. Association with the old regime can be used to discredit an opponent. There may also be self-interest since death squads are reported to be taking their property.

Not quite what we had in mind when we decided to go to the window to back a horse in this race. Unintended consequences. Predictable, sadly, but unintended.




Posted by UltimaRatioReg in Foreign Policy, Hard Power, History, Homeland Security, Uncategorized


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  • Derrick

    Well…if that’s what the people of Libya want…there isn’t really anything NATO can do about it. If the people of Libya democratically select a constitution that enforces Sharia Law, so be it.

    So Libyan banks won’t charge interest? OK…I’m going to refinance my mortgage with a loan from a Libyan bank then. :P

  • Matt Yankee

    For me this dumb move sounds like our outlook on our Southern Border. We refuse to admit just what kind of people Mexicans are (nationals nothing to do with RACE!) as some would have you believe Canadians are really no different. Ha! We seem to be totally incapable of seeing other cultures for who they are and then making judgements. As long as this affliction persists we have no business making any foreign interventions other than maybe in Europe or Canada…you know, where they are somewhat like us.

  • UltimaRatioReg

    Derrick,

    This, ahead of the “democratic process” all but ensures that what the “people of Libya” want will make no difference whatever.

  • Derrick

    Oh well…I guess the question is why did we put that government in power in the first place then? LOL…

    Oh…maybe it’s because we can take out interest free loans from Libyan banks to pay off our national debts, state/provincial/local debts, mortgages, credit card debts, etc…? :P

  • Jay

    While I am not surprised by the tenor of URR’s comments, I think it is far too early to judge success or doom and gloom wrt Libya. I am always unsure of the future of some societies/cultures/governments that enable or encourage the toxic mixture of religion and politics.

  • UltimaRatioReg

    So Jay,

    Can you show me where a return to Islamist Fundamentalism and Sharia, to include the measures outlined above, has turned out well?

  • JadeGold2000

    Yeah, Jay. American occupations always turn out wonderfully.

  • Total

    “Can you show me where a return to Islamist Fundamentalism and Sharia, to include the measures outlined above, has turned out well?”

    Yeah, no. Your hypothetical future problem is not allowable as evidence in a current debate. You can speculate all you want on what *might* go wrong, but don’t act as if it’s guaranteed or as if it *proves* that the LIbyan intervention was a mistake. It’s not evidence, it’s imagination.

    In addition, your logic chain is appalling. The announcement of a closer adherence to sharia law is immediately evidence of Al-Qaeda involvement? Why, exactly? Does the Telegraph have specific evidence that Al-Qaeda was involved or are you simply conjuring that out of whole cloth?

  • UltimaRatioReg

    Total, you mean this “imagination”? This logic chain? From asianews:

    “Every decision that has be taken in Egypt in the direction of radical Islam, was supported, financed, encouraged by countries like Saudi Arabia or fundamentalist personalities. The same Salafist movement extends well beyond Egypt: it is present in Syria, Jordan, Tunisia, right from the beginning of the Arab revolution. They take advantage of the problems experienced by people to gather strength. They were oppressed by dictatorial governments, but have now re-appeared. Often they re-emerge in opposing Christians. Where there are Christians, they reappear in the Islamist fight against liberal or secularist tendencies. In Egypt, the Salafis have not only attacked Christian churches, but also Sufi (mystical Islam) centres, or moderate Islamic figures.

    For several years now , it has become increasingly easy to excite the sentiments of radical Muslims against Christians in the country. In recent decades one topic that always works is alleged conversion to Islam. When they attack a church often this excuse is used, saying: “A woman who has become Muslim is being held captive in this church. The monks, the clergy prevent her from living her life. “

  • Total

    “Total, you mean this “imagination”? This logic chain? From asianews::”

    Yes, that imagination, that logic chain. No specifics are mentioned or examples given. “When they attack a church”…what church? Where?

    And, really–a vague story from Asia News (with no link, I note) is the best example you can come up with? Imagination, indeed.

  • UltimaRatioReg

    Well, Total, here is your link:

    http://www.asianews.it/index.php?l=en&art=21811&size=A

    What church? Where? What church, indeed.

    The March 2002 church attack in Islamabad?

    The Nigeria attacks of October 2002?

    The February 2004 Nigeria attack by Hausa Fulani?

    The December 2009 bombing in Mosul of a Christian Church?

    The Christmas 2009 attack in Kalar, Pakistan?

    The January 2010 shooting in Egypt of Christian worshippers?

    The September 2010 shooting at an Anglican Church in Baghdad?

    The bomb and machete attacks on Christmas Eve, 2010 in Nigeria?

    The New Years’ Day attacks on the Coptic Churches in Egypt?

    The March 2011 burning of two churches in Egypt?

    The shooting and fire bombing of the Coptic protestors two days later in Egypt?

    The April 2011 Kaduna massacre in Nigeria? (Fifty churches burned, 300 dead)

    Or the killing of 27 earlier this month in Egypt of those protesting burning of churches?

    Did the world imagine those? Or do you think somehow they had it coming?

  • Total

    Excellent! See that wasn’t so hard. Specific evidence is always so useful.

    Now, let’s take a look at it. First, none of those are mentioned by the article you linked to, so the weakness of the article remains.

    Next, your assertion is that these attacks are linked to the Arab spring and the freedom movement in Egypt, Libya, etc. Now demonstrate that connection. Are there such attacks in Libya? Are the Church attacks you linked to above carried out by the forces of the provisional governments or the resistance movements? And no, simply identifying them all as Islamist is not enough; you have to demonstrate actual linkages between the groups.

    You’re also ignoring my other point: predictions of something that might happen in the future are just that, predictions, and are not admissible into evidence as a way of judging current events. Hypotheticals are just that.

  • Total

    Oh and conflating Al Qaeda and the Muslim Brotherhood reveals how little you know about the different political and religious groups within Islam.

  • UltimaRatioReg

    No, Total, it is you who are ignoring the point. Likely intentionally, which is your MO. Are those attacks linked to radical Islamic fundamentalism? Every one. And many more.

    That Islamic fundamentalists behave as they do because of the beliefs they espouse, is hardly hypothetical. That those Islamists have infiltrated the “Arab Spring” in Egypt and Libya is admitted by the rebels themselves. That they are grabbing for the levers of power throughout the Middle East is also not news. The “popular front” tactics with an Islamist bent.

    As for unwavering past performance not being a predictor of the future, I don’t know what to tell you. If you are the last in a line of ten people jumping from an eighth floor window, and the first nine splatter on the pavement below, you can have a pretty good idea how your descent will turn out.

  • UltimaRatioReg

    Total, I didn’t “conflate” the Muslim Brotherhood and Al Qaeda. You may wish to brush up on your critical reading skills. Both were mentioned, but not “conflated”.

  • Total

    That Islamic fundamentalists behave as they do because of the beliefs they espouse, is hardly hypothetical. That those Islamists have infiltrated the “Arab Spring” in Egypt and Libya is admitted by the rebels themselves. That they are grabbing for the levers of power throughout the Middle East is also not news. The “popular front” tactics with an Islamist bent.

    And again you retreat into vagueness, without specifics and simply throwing out grand phrases like “grabbing for the levers of power.” What does that mean? Almost anyone could be said to be “grabbing for the levers of power.” Are they or are they not actually in positions of power in Arab uprising movements? If they are, who are they, specifically? And not some politician making soothing noises about a return to Islam, but actual Al-Qaeda folks who are in positions of authority in the uprisings.

    Total, I didn’t “conflate” the Muslim Brotherhood and Al Qaeda. You may wish to brush up on your critical reading skills. Both were mentioned, but not “conflated”.

    I’ll let your own words answer this one: “It is an indication that the “revolution” in Libya has had heavy Islamist involvement, including Al Qaeda, Hezbollah, and The Muslim Brotherhood, something many have suspected since the beginning of the unrest.”

    That’s treating them as equivalent, something only the ignorant do.

  • UltimaRatioReg

    Total, you do intentionally obtuse very well. Epecially when you claim “equivalent” means “conflate”.

  • Total

    Total, you do intentionally obtuse very well. Epecially when you claim “equivalent” means “conflate”.

    Wow. Next you’ll be quibbling about the definition of “is.” You Bill Clinton in disguise.

    All right, let’s try that again:

    I’ll let your own words answer this one: “It is an indication that the “revolution” in Libya has had heavy Islamist involvement, including Al Qaeda, Hezbollah, and The Muslim Brotherhood, something many have suspected since the beginning of the unrest.”

    That’s conflating the two.

  • RickWilmes

    There is a link between the Muslim Brotherhood and Al Qaeda.

    “Among the brotherhood’s graduates: Al Qaeda’s number two leader, the Egyptian doctor Ayman al-Zawahiri who was imprisoned for three years on weapons charges following President Anwar Sadat’s assassination in 1981, Hamas, the terror network behind suicide bombings and rocket attacks in Israel, and the Islamic Jihad Movement in Palestine, whose goal is the destruction of Israel.

    Walid Phares, who is a terrorism analyst for FOX News, has studied the Muslim Brotherhood. Phares says its history shows that the group is not secular and not moderate.

    “The Muslim Brotherhood is the mothership for the jihadi ideologies and thinking. And therefore one can say today’s Al Qaeda, and today many other jihadists, are off shoots of the Muslim Brotherhood.””

    http://www.foxnews.com/world/2011/01/31/just-muslim-brotherhood/

    The Muslim Brotherhood is also active in Libya.

    http://www.jihadwatch.org/2011/03/muslim-brotherhood-rising-in-libya-envisions-government-on-quranic-principles.html

  • UltimaRatioReg

    If you want to think so, be my guest.

    Or are you claiming that those three organizations aren’t Islamist?

  • RickWilmes
  • RickWilmes

    Some more information about the Libyan rebels.

    “Since many of the rebel leaders are so difficult to research from afar, and since a sociological profile of the rebels cannot be done on the ground in the midst of warfare, perhaps the typical methods of social history can be called on for help. Is there a way for us to gain deeper insight into the climate of opinion which prevails in such northeastern Libyan cities as Benghazi, Tobruk, and Darnah, the main population centers of the rebellion?

    It turns out that there is, in the form of a December 2007 West Point study examining the background of foreign guerrilla fighters — jihadis or mujahedin, including suicide bombers — crossing the Syrian border into Iraq during the 2006-2007 timeframe, under the auspices of the international terrorist organization Al Qaeda. This study is based on a mass of about 600 Al Qaeda personnel files which were captured by US forces in the fall of 2007, and analyzed at West Point using a methodology which we will discuss after having presented the main findings. The resulting study, permits us to make important findings about the mentality and belief structures of the northeastern Libyan population that is furnishing the basis for the rebellion, permitting important conclusions about the political nature of the anti-Qaddafi revolt in these areas.

    Darnah, northeast Libya: World Capital of Jihadis
    The most striking finding which emerges from the West Point study is that the corridor which goes from Benghazi to Tobruk, passing through the city of Darnah (also transliterated as Derna) them represents one of the greatest concentrations of jihadi terrorists to be found anywhere in the world, and by some measures can be regarded as the leading source of suicide bombers anywhere on the planet. Darnah, with one terrorist fighter sent into Iraq to kill Americans for every 1,000 to 1,500 persons of population, emerges as suicide bomber heaven, easily surpassing the closest competitor, which was Riyad, Saudi Arabia.

     According to West Point authors Joseph Felter and Brian Fishman, Saudi Arabia took first place as regards absolute numbers of jihadis sent to combat the United States and other coalition members in Iraq during the time frame in question. Libya, a country less than one fourth as populous, took second place. Saudi Arabia sent 41% of the fighters. According to Felter and Fishman, “Libya was the next most common country of origin, with 18.8% (112) of the fighters listing their nationality stating they hailed from Libya.” 

    http://tarpley.net/2011/03/24/the-cia’s-libya-rebels-the-same-terrorists-who-killed-us-nato-troops-in-iraq/

  • Total

    Interesting that you’ve given up on defending any other part of your post. I’ll take those parts as withdrawn.

    As to this:

    Or are you claiming that those three organizations aren’t Islamist?

    You are in the position of writing the equivalent sentence to “christian fundamentalist organizations, like the Branch Davidians and Opus Dei” and wondering why anyone with a brain is hooting at your lack of knowledge.

  • UltimaRatioReg

    Total,

    The post stands on its merits, the main gist of which has been expressed in a number of places elsewhere by a fairly wide cross section of people. That you choose not to acknowledge such, whether you choose to agree with it or not, makes your rather strange attempt to twist and manipulate the written words more than a bit foolish.

    Have a great Saturday night. Which is not to be conflated with Sunday, though they both remain days of the week.

  • Total

    The post stands on its merits, the main gist of which has been expressed in a number of places elsewhere by a fairly wide cross section of people. That you choose not to acknowledge such, whether you choose to agree with it or not, makes your rather strange attempt to twist and manipulate the written words more than a bit foolish.

    Oh, lord. That’s the best you can manage? “Lots of (unspecified) people agree with me and you’re being silly!” Next, you’re going to tell me that you’re getting emails that support you. If you have specific links to people, let’s see them. And I’d appreciate a “fairly wide cross section” as you promised.

    Have a great Saturday night. Which is not to be conflated with Sunday, though they both remain days of the week.

    Cute. So, no actual response to my point? Conflating Al-Qaeda and the Muslim Brotherhood is like putting the Branch Davidians and Opus Dei together in the same sentence. It illustrates your ignorance, and nothing more.

    No, the reality is that you read an article in the Telegraph, an extremely right-wing paper, felt it fit nicely in with the American right-wing’s inability to concede that Obama had a substantial and cheap foreign policy victory, and threw it out as a post. Now that you’re being called on it, all you can do is waffle and try to parse words and make vague comments. You *are* Bill Clinton.

  • RickWilmes

    Total,

    The following book shows the link between the Muslim Brotherhood and Al Qaeda.

    http://winningtheunwinnablewar.com/

    “Consider, as a final example of the trend, the 2005 parliamentary elections in Egypt, the Arab world’s most populous country. The group that scored the most impressive gains was the Muslim Brotherhood—the intellectual origin of the Islamist movement, whose offshoots include Hamas and parts of Al Qaeda. The Brotherhood’s founding credo is “Allah is our goal; the Koran is our constitution; the Prophet is our leader; Struggle is our way; and death in the path of Allah is our highest aspiration.”12

    The Brotherhood’s electoral success was staggering. Although the group is officially banned in Egypt, its candidates won eighty-eight seats—about 20 percent—in Egypt’s assembly, and became the largest opposition bloc the body has ever had.13 This was all the more significant considering the regime’s brutal attempts to protect its grip on power. During one round of voting, the New York Times reports, “police officers in riot gear and others in plainclothes and armed civilians working for the police began blocking polling stations, preventing supporters of the Brotherhood from casting their votes.” Dozens were injured, and several people died from gunshots to the head.14 Some observers reckon that the Brotherhood could have won even more power if it had not limited itself to running 125 candidates (it did so, presumably, to avoid an even tougher government crackdown).

    The Muslim Brotherhood, Hamas, Lebanese Hezbollah, the Islamist regime in Iran, the Mahdi Army, Al Qaeda—these are all part of an ideological movement: Islamic Totalitarianism. Although differing on some details and in tactics, all of these groups share the movement’s basic goal of enslaving the entire Middle East, and then the rest of the world, under a totalitarian regime ruled by Islamic law. The totalitarians will use any means to achieve their goal—terrorism, if it proves effective; all-out war, if they can win; and politics, if it can bring them power over whole countries.” p. 56

  • UltimaRatioReg

    Your last paragraph is very instructive.

  • RickWilmes

    Some more evidence and commentary on the effects Sharia law will have on Libya.

    http://m.triblive.com/triblive/pm_18307/contentdetail.htm?contentguid=1XgiJ5Ti

    Robert Spencer is director of Jihad Watch at the Los Angeles-based David Horowitz Freedom Center and author of 10 books, including The New York Times best-seller, ″The Truth About Muhammad,″ and ″The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (and the Crusades).″

    Q: What is Shariah law and why should the United States be concerned that it will play a major role in the new Libya?

    A: Shariah law is the very comprehensive law that covers pretty much every aspect of life. Muslims consider (it) to be the law of God that is unalterable, perfect and unchangeable.

    It discriminates against women. It discriminates against non-Muslims. It denies the freedom of speech and the freedom of conscience. It’s not going to create a free society by any stretch of the imagination. And the United States is now in the position of having aided in the creation of yet another repressive regime that denies human rights.

    Q: Could this be worse than Moammar Gadhafi?

    A: Yes, certainly. Gadhafi was terrible, but he was isolated.

    The Shariah regime will be in touch with and allied with other Shariah regimes, and they could act in concord to do far greater damage than Gadhafi ever envisioned.

    Q: Shariah law allows polygamy, flogging, adolescent marriages, right?

    A: As a matter of fact, polygamy was outlawed in Gadhafi’s Libya, and one of the first things that the National Transitional Council did was remove the prohibition on polygamy. That, of course, essentially dehumanizes women and reduces them to the status of commodities.

  • RickWilmes

    More evidence that Al Qaeda is in Libya.

    “Earlier this week, I went to the Benghazi courthouse and confirmed the rumors: an al Qaeda flag was clearly visible; its Arabic script declaring that “there is no God but Allah” and a full moon underneath. When I tried to take pictures, a Salafi-looking guard, wearing a green camouflage outfit, rushed towards me and demanded to know what I was doing. My response was straightforward: I was taking a picture of the flag. He gave me an intimidating look and hissed, “Whomever speaks ill of this flag, we will cut off his tongue. I recommend that you don’t publish these. You will bring trouble to yourself.””

    http://www.vice.com/read/al-qaeda-plants-its-flag-in-libya

  • Total

    Your last paragraph is very instructive.

    Good. Learn from it.

  • UltimaRatioReg

    “Specific evidence is helpful”

  • Total

    “Specific evidence is helpful”

    Good start. Keep going.

  • Total

    I’m sure, URR, you are simply gathering your wide range of sources indicating Al Qaeda is in Iraq and that they are much stronger than a report from a David Horowitz group and a random sighting of a flag (noting that a number of Islamist flags look much the same as the Al Qaeda one).

    A good bit of evidence would be someone on the ground in Libya saying that yes, we are Al Qaeda and we are part of the revolution. Do you have something like that?

  • RickWilmes

    Total,

    There is more than enough evidence for Americans to be concerned that Sharia law and Islamic Totalitarianism will take over Libya.  Our foreign policy with respects to Libya shows a huge double standard as the following shows.

    “2. There’s a glaring double standard in America’s (excuse for a) foreign policy in the Middle East. Consider the situation in Libya and the one in Iran. When massive protests took place in Iran during 2009/10, Washington was mute then grudging in its wishy-washy response; ultimately, it failed to lend the protesters even a shred of moral support against the militant, Islamist regime in Tehran, a regime that poses a demonstrable, existential threat to our interests. Contrast that with the response to the Libyan uprising (tribal civil war?). Yes, Gaddafi can be classified as a menace, but a trifling one, far less of a problem than the threat from Iran. Yet it is in Libya that America decides to take military action to back rebels against Gaddafi’s regime.

    Let’s unpack that for a moment: we do move against a minor, tinpot dictatorship where we have little at stake, while leaving the fire-breathing Tehran regime in place — tacitly endorsing its rule by failing to help the protesters. We do launch bombing raids in Libya — if the UN and Arab League approve it — for the sake of rebels whose goals we don’t know if we share, against a regime that’s of minor significance to our security. But against a threat to us, from Iran, we adopt statue-like passivity.”

    http://blog.aynrandcenter.org/libya-vs-u-s-self-interest/

  • UltimaRatioReg

    Total, the photo of an Al Qaeda banner is “random”, the admission by the rebels that they have AQ in their midst, intel analysts warning of presence of Hamas, AQ, MB, you don’t consider to be a “good bit of evidence”.

    There are none so blind. You would like everything presented to you on a platter and then disregard the source based on your biases against such, and then claim “no proof” You are reaching Baghdad Bob-like denial.

    Do your own homework. Even that bastion of extreme right-wing views, Huffington Post, had an article this past week regarding the likelihood of revenge killings and the inability of NATO/US to stop or control such.

  • Total

    The picture of a flag is not an admission of any sort, unless you have an actual admission of just such. Try to come up with something better, please.

    You also need to come up with something better than a post from a Horowitz site. So, were these the same analysts who worked on WMD in Iraq?

    Finally, you apparently have no evidence of your own, at least none that you’ve mentioned, and are simply willing to piggyback on whatever random evidence other commenter throw against the wall. That makes the original post look even more foolish, something I thought difficult. You’ve actually succeeded in making a post that doesn’t kow its Islamists from a hole in the ground look worse. Wow.

  • RickWilmes

    Total,

    Is an Italian newspaper an acceptable source?

    “Abdel-Hakim al-Hasidi, the Libyan rebel leader, has said jihadists who fought against allied troops in Iraq are on the front lines of the battle against Muammar Gaddafi’s regime.

    In an interview with the Italian newspaper Il Sole 24 Ore, Mr al-Hasidi admitted that he had recruited “around 25″ men from the Derna area in eastern Libya to fight against coalition troops in Iraq. Some of them, he said, are “today are on the front lines in Adjabiya”.

    Mr al-Hasidi insisted his fighters “are patriots and good Muslims, not terrorists,” but added that the “members of al-Qaeda are also good Muslims and are fighting against the invader”.”

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/africaandindianocean/libya/8407047/Libyan-rebel-commander-admits-his-fighters-have-al-Qaeda-links.html

  • Byron

    Could ya’ll let the rest of us know when we can get back in the pool?

  • UltimaRatioReg

    Don’t tell me you Cajuns are willing to swim with gators, but are afraid of a little ol’ troll!

  • Total

    Don’t tell me you Cajuns are willing to swim with gators, but are afraid of a little ol’ troll!

    Ah, so the lack of evidence now forces you to resort to name-calling. The descent continues.

  • UltimaRatioReg

    Rick,

    I am afraid that to someone like this, there is no “acceptable source”. Virtually anything presented will be dismissed out of hand as not being enough evidence.

    There have been for many months myriad concerns expressed over the composition and power brokers in the Libyan (and Egyptian) rebels, and that Islamists of several ilks were positioning themselves to fill power vacuums left when regimes disintegrated. Now that is looking like the case.

  • Matt Yankee

    “But none of this should be surprising. In Tripoli, Abdelhakim Belhaj, a well-known al Qaeda fighter and founder of the notorious Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG), is now leading the rebel “military counsel” in Tripoli.”

    Total stupidity.

    Let me remind you that we helped the Haqqani Network and the like to defeat the Soviets with our Stingers only to be turned on and shot. That was another “cheap victory” at the time that was paid back in spades on 9/11.

    THAT FLAG on THAT COURTHOUSE in THAT CITY should be enough of a clue to those capable of EVER receiving one.

  • Matt Yankee

    Another little clue might be the ONE HUNDRED THOUSAND Coptic Christians fleeing Egypt…just a small clue really…really SMALL! You could think they are just all going on vacation from the newly liberated democracy but WHY would you leave AFTER the revolution??? I thought all are welcome and free…yes as free as a bird…caught by a snake.

  • RickWilmes

    URR,

    Sadly, I think the whole Middle East is slowly falling into the hands of Sharia law one country after another. Any individual wanting a secular government based on individual rights has fled or is dead.  

    Sadly, I don’t think this war will be over until the Marines return to the shores of Tripoli and bust down the Roosevelt gate at the American embassy in Tehren.

    Only than will there be no doubt about who is in charge and what the flag flying overhead means.

    http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Raising_the_Flag_on_Iwo_Jima

  • Total

    There have been for many months myriad concerns expressed over the composition and power brokers in the Libyan (and Egyptian) rebels, and that Islamists of several ilks were positioning themselves to fill power vacuums left when regimes disintegrated. Now that is looking like the case.

    Then come up with them. This vague “myriad concerns expressed” which passively-voicedly avoids naming any names is simple obfuscation on your part. You promised evidence from a “wide variety” of sources and have fail in anyway to come up with it.

    that Islamists of several ilks were positioning themselves to fill power vacuums left when regimes disintegrated

    Heh…heh…heh…heh. Now you’re going with “Islamists of several ilks”? Shall we conflate Republicans and Democrats by describing them as “political parties of several ilks”? How about the Yankees and the Red Sox? “Baseball teams of several ilks”?

    THAT FLAG on THAT COURTHOUSE in THAT CITY should be enough of a clue to those capable of EVER receiving one.

    Your caps lock key is broken.

  • UltimaRatioReg

    Total, give it up. Nobody is going to take the time to spoon feed you eight months of current events so you can act like a petulant school boy.

  • Total

    Total, give it up. Nobody is going to take the time to spoon feed you eight months of current events so you can act like a petulant school boy.

    Translation: “I don’t have the evidence, and I’m going to try and hand wave that fact away.” Classy.

  • RickWilmes

    Granted the following is from the right-wing CNN, more evidence and commentary to consider.

    “In testimony before Congress earlier this year, NATO Supreme Commander Admiral James Stavridis said of Libya’s rebel force, “we have seen flickers in the intelligence of potential al Qaeda”.”

    http://security.blogs.cnn.com/2011/10/25/could-al-qaeda-fill-a-power-vacuum-in-libya/

  • UltimaRatioReg

    There are hundreds of articles from all sorts of news agencies regarding this topic, and the assertions I make in this post. Admiral Stavridis’s comments, those of Middle Eastern analysts, The House Select Intelligence Committee, CNN, The Wall Street Journal, the Guardian, New York Times, Fox News, Washington Post, Washington Times, Telegraph, BBC, Al Jazeera, Associated Press, you name it, are all in the public domain. Counting the web content, those articles number in the thousands.

    You can go find them yourself and read them, or you can play this silly game and pretend they don’t exist, and demand someone show them to you.

  • Byron

    “Don’t tell me you Cajuns are willing to swim with gators, but are afraid of a little ol’ troll!”

    Actually, I’m quite proud of being Cajun…and while we will gladly shoot a gator with a .22 long at less than three feet then drag it into a john boat, then EAT the alligator, we will not shoot and eat trolls…they taste bad and never shut the hell up right up until we finish it off. Not to mention, living under the bridge all the time makes them smell very bad.

  • Total

    You can go find them yourself and read them, or you can play this silly game and pretend they don’t exist, and demand someone show them to you.

    You’re really not clear on how argumentation works, are you? You’re making the assertion, you need to provide the evidence. “There is lots of evidence that the defendant is guilty, but I’ll leave you, the jury, to go out and find it” is not compelling.

  • Matt Yankee

    Are you a lawyer? Only a lawyer could think like you…or someone directly related to you is…tell me am I right?

  • Total

    Are you a lawyer? Only a lawyer could think like you…or someone directly related to you is…tell me am I right?

    Nope, not a lawyer. Just someone in search of any kind of evidence.

    Strange how actually asking for proof (as opposed to bowing to the “everybody knows this is true”) is somehow lawyerly.

  • UltimaRatioReg

    Prove to me the moon isn’t made of green cheese. And don’t show me “moon rocks”, because you weren’t there when they collected them, so there is no proof they came from the moon.

  • Total

    Prove to me the moon isn’t made of green cheese. And don’t show me “moon rocks”, because you weren’t there when they collected them, so there is no proof they came from the moon

    If I was asserting that the moon was made of green cheese, then you certainly would expect me to provide evidence of it. You are asserting something. You need to provide evidence of it.

    What are they teaching in the schools today?

  • UltimaRatioReg

    What are they teaching in schools? As of today, no telling. But when I was in school, they taught that one should make him/herself conversant in the subject matter, to include what people are saying. That is particularly true of those who have noted expertise or analytical input, and don’t expect someone to do it for you.

    Someone who fails or refuses to do that isn’t really a serious intellectual player. Especially true in the age of search engines. Do your own homework. Your assertions that the premise of the post was “imagining” and “conjuring” fall flat in the face of those hundreds of articles publications who posit similar things, and/or warn of that very danger.

  • Total

    But when I was in school, they taught that one should make him/herself conversant in the subject matter, to include what people are saying. That is particularly true of those who have noted expertise or analytical input, and don’t expect someone to do it for you.

    You should take that to heart and PROVIDE EVIDENCE for your assertions.

    Good Lord man, you made an argument, now back it up with evidence. You are now defending the idea that you can randomly throw out assertions and then tell people to find the evidence for those assertions themselves because you can’t be bothered. That’s the position you want to defend?

  • UltimaRatioReg

    “Good Lord, man”? You have a picture of an Al Qaeda flag flying over a courthouse in Libya, and proceed to lecture about there being no proof that AQ is in Libya? The declaration of Sharia in Libya does not hint at all at Islamic Fundamentalism holding sway? The comments by Adm Stavridis and HSIC are also “imagined” and “conjured”?

    This is a blog post, not a twenty page magazine article. Google “Stavridis”, “Libya”, and “islamists”. Are you so uninterested in background that you cannot perform that function, and claim my assertions have no basis unless I do it for you? You cannot believe there is an intellectual and philosophical relationship between the Muslim Brotherhood and AQ because you are too lazy to google “Sayyid Qutb”? Or that MB were allied with Hitler and the Nazis (which they have yet to repudiate, by the way) because your fingers can’t search “Grand Mufti” and “Nazis”?

    Again, this is a BLOG POST. It assumes some common background information is known by the reader/commenter, and some intellectual curiosity on the part of that person to delve a bit further.

  • Total

    A vague picture of a flag without any other confirmation and a vague declaration by a politician about Sharia law (I love that you’d be intensely skeptical of a politician’s words in the US but in Libya they’re gospel) is not confirming evidence. You claimed evidence from a wide variety of places:

    Admiral Stavridis’s comments, those of Middle Eastern analysts, The House Select Intelligence Committee, CNN, The Wall Street Journal, the Guardian, New York Times, Fox News, Washington Post, Washington Times, Telegraph, BBC, Al Jazeera, Associated Press,

    And yet you wiggle and squirm when asked to provide it.

    Again, this is a BLOG POST.

    Blog posts are not exempt from having to back up their statements. Well, blog posts that want to be taken seriously.

  • UltimaRatioReg

    I stand corrected. Next to you, Baghdad Bob is Curious George.

  • Total

    I stand corrected. Next to you, Baghdad Bob is Curious George.

    Ad homs are not a substitute for evidence. Revealing, though.

  • UltimaRatioReg

    Other than public statements by the TNC head, photographic documentation of Al Qaeda presence, US and Israeli intelligence analysis, admissions by the Libya rebels, public commentary by a Combatant Commander, eyewitness testimony, and a publicly stated goal of the Islamists to establish Sharia Law and reconstitute the Caliphate, there is absolutely no evidence that anyone should suspect AQ or MB or Hamas of being in Libya or having designs on seizing power.

    Not a shred. Other than that. Yes, revealing.

  • Total

    See, was that hard? And it only took 60+ comments before you managed the basics of polite argumentation. Well done.

    Now, to continue your education, the next step when one presents an argument and evidence (hallelujah!) is that the evidence gets evaluated. So. Let us work through your links.

    1. The Daily Mail article is a rehash of the early one about the Al-Qaeda flag, with one important variable: it has a better picture of the flag. That allows us to see that it’s, in fact, NOT Al-Qaeda’s flag, which is a plain yellow moon and lettering on a black background ( see, eg, here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Al-Qaeda ) but a lettered white moon and writing on a black background, which is a generic Islamist flag (see, eg, here: http://www.militaryphotos.net/forums/showthread.php?195033-Weekend-Photos-5th-and-6th-Match-2011/page2 ). So, no, it’s not evidence of Al-Qaeda, despite your hysteria, but a basic Islamist flag. I wouldn’t deny that there’s Islamist influence (like the Muslim Brotherhood) but that’s a substantial difference than Al-Qaeda (which you don’t seem to understand, but no matter. Remember: Branch Davidians and Opus Dei, both Christian).

    2; I quote Adm Stavridis from the article in full: “A top US commander on Tuesday spoke of “flickers” of talk of Al Qaeda presence in Libya lately. “We have seen flickers in intelligence (reports) of potential al Qaeda and Hizbollah elements,” US admiral James Stavridis, NATO supreme commander for Europe, told the senate armed services committee.
    But there wasn’t much to report, not yet at least. “At this point I do not have details sufficient to say there is a significant presence of al Qaeda or any other terrorist presence,” he added in the same breath.” Interesting, but certainly not the conclusive slam-dunk testimony you hold it out to be. “Flickers” and “do not have details” is a pretty thin reed.

    3. The Israeli article says nothing about Al-Qaeda, simply that a weapons cache was discovered in Egypt and that it was thought to be Libyan weapons. No evidence of that, and no evidence of where it was going or who it was moving.

    4. The last link is to the Stavridis quote and builds on by using Bruce Riedel, a “former” CIA analyst, who talks about the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group as being the Libyan branch of Al-Qaeda. The interesting thing is that the LIFG has denied being affiliated with Al-Qaeda, with the former head of the group going so far as to publish an op-ed in a Libyan paper in 2007: “Noman Benotman, ex-head of the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group which is trying to overthrow the regime of Muammar Gaddafi, published a letter which asked Al-Qaeda to give up all its operations in the Islamic world and in the West, adding that ordinary westerners were blameless and should not be attacked.”

    More recently, the group changed its name to the Libyan Islamic Movement, put itself under command of the rebels: “Both reject claims the LIFG has been affiliated with al-Qaeda, noting that the group refused to join the global Islamic front Osama bin Laden declared against the west in 1998. Mansour has been based in the UK since the late 1990s. Al-Madhouni, who co-ordinated all LIFG activities in one area of Libya until 1996, later returned to Afghanistan but has lived in a Middle Eastern country since 2001. They say the LIFG wants to ensure a peaceful transition after Gadafy is overthrown. “We want to help take our country from the revolutionary stage to the stage of rebuilding the nation,” says al-Madhouni. “At that point we will hand over our weapons, when the LNC demands it.” (see http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/world/2011/0329/1224293298818.html ). So Riedel doesn’t even know the current name of the group and doesn’t know (or doesn’t reveal) that they are explicitly disavowing any connection past or present to Al-Qaeda. Maybe they’re lying, but jihadis (eg Al-Qaeda in Iraq) have rarely been shy about avowing their hatred for the West.

    So you are doing better than you have been–heck, any evidence on your part is better–but convincing? No. The evidence you put forward–and really, that’s the best you could manage? Those are your primary examples? “Flickers”?–is not convincing.

    I couldn’t let it go without noting the sly slippage you tried:

    establish Sharia Law and reconstitute the Caliphate,

    Where on earth did the Libyan leader talk about reestablishing the Caliphate? That’s nowhere in the article and is way beyond anything I’ve seen reported. Evidence?

    Finally, I note that the Telegraph article which you started this little right-wing fantasy post with also has this:

    But that formulation can be interpreted in many ways – it was also the basis of Egypt’s largely secular constitution under President Hosni Mubarak, and remains so after his fall.

    Eek! They’re going to imitate that noted jihadi Hosni Mubarak! Eek!

    To sum up: you’re doing better, but nothing like demonstrating your point. Still, you did, after much caterwauling, produce some evidence. Well done. Imagine the sound of one hand clapping.

  • Total

    A longer comment, evaluating the evidence given, is in the moderation queue. We’ll see if it shows up.

  • UltimaRatioReg

    Sixty minutes of my life wasted, apparently.

    I hope it didn’t take this long to toilet train you.

    You had made the comments about “imagination” and “conjure”. Seems there has been quite a bit of speculation and concern about Islamists, including AQ, Hamas, and MB among the Libya rebels, the very thing you assured me I had imagined. I gave you but a spoon full of the hundreds of sources out there. Eat the rest of the bowl yourself, like a big boy.

    Unless, that is, as I told you waaaaaayyy up top, that you are intentionally obtuse, and likely for the reason of political leanings. At which point, you may indulge in the comments version of fingers in your ears and shrieking so you won’t have to hear the scary story.

  • Total

    I believe that what I specifically said was:

    “The announcement of a closer adherence to sharia law is immediately evidence of Al-Qaeda involvement? Why, exactly? Does the Telegraph have specific evidence that Al-Qaeda was involved or are you simply conjuring that out of whole cloth?”

    And no, you still haven’t come up with anything that demonstrates that.

    Sixty minutes of my life wasted, apparently.

    Much more than that, trust me, and not on this.

  • http://www.usni.org admin

    The snark has gone to 11 here. Cut it out all.

  • http://www.usni.org admin

    Comments closed

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