The Unasked Question in Libya: Where Are the "Reformed" Members of LIFG?

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Because I can only secure resources for travel to Tripoli when the country's foul dictator is footing the bill, it's impossible to pursue the one Libya War story that really deserves pursuing. So I offer this to all of those brave journalists in the field, both in Benghazi and Tripoli, who seem to be ignoring a rather important issue. And while it's important to cover this or that military strike, to note the lack of movement from the inexperienced anti-Qaddafi forces, to give on-the-ground battle updates (though there doesn't appear to be much of this yet), shouldn't we be hearing more about those emerging as leaders of the anti-Qaddafi forces?

For those of us skeptical of the intervention in Libya (but will nevertheless cheer if Qaddafi, veteran scumbag and funder of scumbags, disappears from the world stage), one of the many unanswered questions is: "Who is it that these strikes are supporting?" When I visited Libya, the purpose of the trip was to demonstrate the successful government campaign against the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG), an al-Qaeda farm team that worked with bin Laden in Sudan and Afghanistan and whose stated goal was the overthrow of the "secular" (by LIFG standards) Qaddafi regime. Through a series of prison initiatives ultimately called "corrective studies," the government released almost all of its "rehabilitated" LIFG prisoners who, it claimed, had renounced terrorism. And when the regime was teetering last month, as a sop to the more extreme elements in the protest movement, the government released its remaining LIFG prisoners.

When I met a handful of these guys last year, as security officials loomed, scribbling in notepads, they unconvincingly claimed that they had seen the light, denied that they had been tortured, and said, without emotion or inflection—that tone that one heard in Stalinist show trials, when poets and ex-party officials confessed to being "wreckers" and Trotskyite saboteurs—that they were adherents of the Green Book and terribly sorry for their past offenses. It was a thoroughly unconvincing performance (though some of the other Western visitors were very much convinced). Soon after my visit, CNN's Nic Robertson did a few reports, coordinated by the Qaddafi Foundation, that detailed the "new jihad code that threatens al-Qaeda"—the LIFG's "corrective studies" program.

Robertson's credulous report (and I don't mean "credulous" as a pejorative adjective; his belief in the efficacy of "corrective studies" could be vindicated by events) ends on a rather optimistic note: "Given its credibility and the fact that several other prominent Jihadists in the Middle East have turned against al Qaeda, the LIFG's about face may be an important step toward staunching al Qaeda's recruitment." The good old days, when everyone in the media loved Saif. 

So to Nic Robertson, who is on the ground in Libya, and the others milling about with rebels and anti-Qaddafi forces: Where are the released LIFG soldiers now? And if they are in Benghazi, without Libyan intelligence officials looming over them, are they still sticking to the "corrective studies" script?

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  1. shouldn’t we be hearing more about those emerging as leaders of the anti-Qaddafi forces?

    According to John Kerry, administration officials have already spoken with him. Yes, “him” as in one guy.

    1. Did they bring him back for a second interview, or did they just offer him the job on the spot?

      1. They’re still awaiting the results of his Hartman Value Profile.

        1. For a second there I thought it was going to have something to do with Sgt. Hartman from Full Metal Jacket. I am disappoint.

          1. Oh, wait ’til you get a job with an organization whose HR dept uses this thing. Then… THEN you will be disappoint.

  2. I do seem to recall seeing that AQ has announced its support for the rebels.

    I have a bad feeling that, as in Egypt, we have been played to advance the careers of Islamic extremists.

    I have little doubt that a repressive Libya has been fertile ground for Islamonutter recruiting, and that, as in Egypt, the resources that Islamonutters can bring will give them a leg up on whoever (if anyone) is actually trying to install a legitimate government there.

    1. When marching in the street to depose a tyrant…

      Oh never mind.

  3. For someone who’s been to Libya, you sure don’t have anything interesting to say about it.

    1. Everyone talks about Libya, but no one seems to do anything about it.

  4. “Qaddafi, veteran scumbag and funder of scumbags”

    The above could be used to describe Obama, W, William Jefferson Clinton, Bush the Elder, precious Ronnie, the miserable, nasty peanut farmer, the stumbling, bumbling all-american center, tricky dick………

    Who here can deny that MoG is a piker when it comes to being a veteran scumbag and funder of scumbags compared to the aforementioned rogues gallery?

    1. Who here can deny that MoG is a piker when it comes to being a veteran scumbag and funder of scumbags compared to the aforementioned rogues gallery?

      I deny that. The leaders in your rogue’s gallery never made it illegal to dissent or form an opposition party, nor did they have anyone killed merely for criticizing them. (Of course they could not have done so even if they had wanted to.)

  5. “Who is it that these strikes are supporting?”

    I am a big believer in the sort of realist foreign policy I associate with people like Jean Kirkpatrick…

    Where we made alliances (and mistakes) with vicious dictators so long as they were helping us win the Cold War. There’s no doubt we made mistakes in that endeavor, but despite all the mistakes and Pollyanna dismay at the efforts of the Reagan Administration and others, I maintain that stopping the expansion of Communism in the developing world was absolutely essential to our success in the Cold War.

    I believe we may need to do the same sort of thing to win the War on Terror–with a twist! During the Cold War, we sometimes sided with vicious dictators against rebellious elements within their own countries who were fighting for communism…

    This time? Siding with rebellious elements within various indigenous movements against a dictator or two may be essential to winning the War on Terror.

    In the past, doing what was best for the American people sometimes meant holding our noses while shaking hands with tyrants; so maybe we have to do the same thing with indigenous movements now? If there’s a credible indigenous threat to Mullahs of Iran or the North Koreans, does anybody really think we shouldn’t help them if they don’t meat our Pollyanna standards?

    The world isn’t a black and white place. We have to make tough decisions about what’s in the best interests of the United States given the way the world is right now–not given the way it should be.

    If our best interests involve resisting Gaddafi’s attempt to slaughter rebellious elements in his own country, then we’re limited to using whatever help is available.

    Waiting around for the people of the world to conform to our Pollyanna expectations means we’d never do anything! …and regardless of whether you agree with what we’re doing in Libya at the moment, surely action is sometimes necessary. …even if we have to choose between bad guys who are working in our interests on the one hand–and bad guys who are working against us on the other.

    1. Ken Shultz|3.24.11 @ 3:49PM|#
      “I am a big believer in the sort of realist foreign policy I associate with people like Jean Kirkpatrick…”

      Good. Do it on your own dime.

    2. Pollyanna dismay at the efforts of the Reagan Administration and others, I maintain that stopping the expansion of Communism in the developing world was absolutely essential to our success in the Cold War.

      At best it was an accidental success. Because of our interference with the expansion of communism, we essentially forced a command-and-control economy to expend resources it really didn’t have to begin with on building its own military-industrial complex to fight a war that was never going to be fought.

      But the idea that without our opposition that communism would have been knocking on our door is dubious. I believe that if left alone, Russia might have become more like China– or at the other end of the spectrum, like North Korea. In the case of it devolving to North Korea, it would have been a hermit kingdom desperately clinging to old Marxist ideologies while its people starved and its real-world influence was nil.

      The world isn’t a black and white place. We have to make tough decisions about what’s in the best interests of the United States given the way the world is right now–not given the way it should be.

      While this argument might apply to the broad concept of foreign intervention, I don’t see how this applies to Libya. Libya is quickly becoming clusterfuck. We don’t know who we’re supporting. We don’t know what our goals are. NATO can’t even figure out who’s in charge, and we might actually strengthen Qaddafi’s hold on power– but wait, Obama said he had no interest in removing Qaddafi anyway… confused yet? I know I am.

      and regardless of whether you agree with what we’re doing in Libya at the moment, surely action is sometimes necessary.

      Of course action is sometimes necessary. But again, these broad platitudes don’t apply to anything going on in Libya.

      1. Soviet communism’s expansion was ultimately necessary for economic reasons–beyond just having to finance a military complex.

        North Korea would expand if it could for the same reasons–they can’t expand, so they just let millions of their people starve to death periodically. Does anybody think they’re about to implode? How much longer can they go on that way–does anyone know? Why couldn’t the Soviet Union have gone on that way?

        And there wasn’t anything accidental about our success. Those policies that ultimately won us the Cold War were fought over tooth and nail.

        If we had restricted ourselves to only worked with those who could pass the smell test, for all we know, we might still be facing down a much larger Soviet Bloc today…

        We may bemoan the ultimate consequences now, but what if we hadn’t worked with the Mujahedin?

        Surely, no one would argue that they didn’t contribute to our ultimate success in the Cold War.

        1. “We may bemoan the ultimate consequences now, but what if we hadn’t worked with the Mujahedin?

          Surely, no one would argue that they didn’t contribute to our ultimate success in the Cold War.”

          To anybody out there who tells me that what we need is a foreign policy where we never have to make nice with any bad guys–and there are never any negative consequences?

          Then I’m gonna say, “Hello, Pollyanna!”

          1. To anybody out there who tells me that what we need is a foreign policy where we never have to make nice with any bad guys–and there are never any negative consequences?

            I’m not one of those. But that still provides no justification for Libya. None whatsoever.

        2. Soviet communism’s expansion was ultimately necessary for economic reasons–beyond just having to finance a military complex.

          I didn’t say they were doing it to finance a military industrial complex. I’m saying we forced them to spend huge resources on it because they believed they had to match our military prowess.

          North Korea would expand if it could for the same reasons–they can’t expand, so they just let millions of their people starve to death periodically. Does anybody think they’re about to implode?

          Actually yes. Many analysts do believe they’re on the brink of imploding which could possibly explain their absolutely crazy behavior over the last few years.

          And there wasn’t anything accidental about our success. Those policies that ultimately won us the Cold War were fought over tooth and nail.

          Except that the way the cold war was “won” caught the west entirely off guard.

          If we had restricted ourselves to only worked with those who could pass the smell test, for all we know, we might still be facing down a much larger Soviet Bloc today…

          Negative. They would have collapsed. Maybe not as soon– well, I think definitely not as soon, but they would have eventually. It’s the nature of a command-and-control economy. It can’t sustain itself.

          We may bemoan the ultimate consequences now, but what if we hadn’t worked with the Mujahedin?

          I can’t say, but I can say that the Mujahideen didn’t like us before, they don’t like us now. They took our hardware because they needed it.

          The Islamo-crazies will never like us. So I’m not really convinced our intervention in Afghanistan created 9/11.

          But this is beside the point. I see no national interestin in Libya.

          I see a humanitarian one… maybe, but we’re not the world’s cop.

          1. Negative. They would have collapsed. Maybe not as soon– well, I think definitely not as soon, but they would have eventually. It’s the nature of a command-and-control economy. It can’t sustain itself.

            It would have gone on longer without something to push it into collapse.

            Of course, the anti-anti-Communists were happy letting people suffer under Soviet Communism. It was, after all, the wave of the future.

        3. Let us not forget that Jimmy Carter’s proposed defense spending for fy 1983 and 1984 exceeded Reagan’s actual spending for those years.

          Let us also not forget that Ronald Reagan did not “win the cold war”. Reagan was right about the future of the Soviet Union – it was destined for the dustbin of history.

          Do you really think that Gorby and the Kremlin creeps peacefully signed the death warrant for the Soviet Union because of Ronald Reagan? Do you think that the Soviets feared our military? More than they did under Carter? Keep in mind that they knew that Reagan’s actual military spending was no greater than what Carter intended to spend?

          Look at Beirut in 1983. The Soviets saw that we (rightfully) got the hell out of there. They saw that we didn’t do a damn thing about the Korean airliner being shot down. They saw that we did not dare take them on directly in Afghanistan – we would have got our asses handed to us.

          They also saw that the united states military did not exactly kick ass in Vietnam. I have spoken to many ordinary Russians who, while being anti-soviet and fans of liberty, just giggled at the gibberish that “the military had one hand tied behind their back in Vietnam”. They were able to understand that we got our asses kicked by the Cong.

          1. “Let us also not forget that Ronald Reagan did not “win the cold war”. Reagan was right about the future of the Soviet Union – it was destined for the dustbin of history.”

            I see.

            So can you go ahead and give me a calender date to circle for North Korea? ’cause it seems to me that they could go on like this forever–and I don’t see why the Soviet Union was any different.

            I’m a commercial real estate developer–nothing is destined.

            This isn’t about Reagan anyway. It’s about those policies. Things would not have gone as they did if all of those policies had been different–and obsessing about Reagan has nothing to do with it.

            1. Which policies?

              Containment?

              Spending more on defense in order to drive up the cost of war communism for the Kremlin?

              Aiding the mujahadeen?

              I made the point about Reagan’s prediction that the Soviet Union was destined for the dustbin of history because it was – as is any nation state which practices military Keynesianism. Yep, that means that we are headed for the dustbin of history as well.

              North Korea? You think it will go on forever? In its present form? Historically, it will be viewed as no more than a pimple on the penis of a protozoa. Its evanescent. Ephemeral, I tell you.

              1. The policies? Again, was it part of the typical Brookings Institution or John Hopkins SAIS or Rand policy wonk’s playbook to bank on a Gorby voluntarily closing shop?

              2. “Aiding the mujahadeen?”

                Do you think that might have had something to do with it?

                …because if it did, that would make a pretty good example!

                In fact, I used it as an example!

                This thread isn’t about Ronald Reagan. I used it as an example of an effective strategy that helped us win the Cold War–and that’s what it did!

                If we want to stop being identified with the oppressors in this conflict? Maybe we should get on the side of the oppressed! …and just because there aren’t any good guys, doesn’t mean there aren’t any of them who might be working in our interests…

                You want to talk about Jean Kirkpatrick? ’cause Ronald Reagan doesn’t have anything to do with it!

                P.S. Ronald Reagan!

          2. We should have never gotten involved in Vietnam unless we were going to invade the north. We knew before we went in there that that was never going to happen. When we bombed the north, and mined Haiphong harbor, the north caved. Nixon was then able to have his “peace with honor” exit.

            In 1975, with no chance of the US going back in, the NVA, not the “Cong” swept down from the north and easily eliminated a government that only existed with our support. So, the Russians that you know are wrong about who kicked whose ass. A war can be lost, even if militarily you are winning every battle.

            Did Reagan win the cold war? Of course not. Every administration from Truman to Nixon, along with Reagan, won it. What the Soviets saw when Reagan came along was that despite the Carter intermission, the US was crazy enough to continue its military build up, including Star Wars and other crazy shit. They simply could not keep up with the US militarily, and economically. They’re system sucked. They had to implode. It just took almost 50 years of constant and intense pressure on their economy to do it.

            1. They placed that pressure upon themselves.

              The North did not cave. That is just plain wrong. It continued to fight during the bombings. If the North caved, then why did we go bye-bye?

              Sure, if you believe the Pentagon, the North suffered more casualties. But the number of casualties sustained does not determine who wins. The North won.

              As for the Cong, they were everywhere. To argue that they did not contribute to the downfall of communist South Vietnam is just silly.

              1. Moreover, the fact remains that Gorby and company voluntarily shut the deal down. It was not a culmination of the efforts of every administration from Truman to Reagan.

                Start with Truman. What did he do to prevent the iron curtain from being unfurled? He could have taken Patton’s advice and pushed the Red Armny back to the 1939 borders. Sure, while all we can do is speculate as to whether such a course of action would have been successful, we can conclude that Truman accomodated and accepted the formation of the iron curtain.

                Thus, ab initio, the Truman administration simply accepted that there would be an iron curtain and that the people of eastern europe would be dominated by a totalitarian regime far more evil than the recently vanquished third reich or imperial japan.

                One could argue that, if Truman had been more farsighted, he could have prevented the cold war by adding Moscow to Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Do you think that there would have been a cold war if Truman had taken advantage of our nuclear exclusivity?

                1. Moreover, the fact remains that Gorby and company voluntarily shut the deal down.

                  Tell that to the people of the Baltics.

          3. @LibertyMike: those Russians can giggle all they want, it’s a fact that our military had its hand tied behind its back in Vietnam. When Nixon let the military do what it needed, the VietCong were crushed. By the end of the Vietnam war, the VietCong weren’t a factor.

            Ken, I’m partial to your far more mature foreign policy view than many on here, but I just can’t figure our for the life of me what the US’s security interest is in Libya.

            1. The terrorist threat to this country hasn’t gone away. In fact, with so many country’s resources up for grabs in North Africa and the Middle East right now? A lot of bad guys could do us a lot of harm if we don’t play our cards right.

              Now that the game is changing, I think it behooves us to get on the side of the ummah against the vicious dictators–the utility associated with playing the other side of that fence against the ummah may have just disappeared over the horizon for good.

              So how do we pick which fires to put out? Opportunity and cost (no pun intended).

              We have an opportunity here in Libya, and I think it’s gonna cost us next to nothing if we do it right–especially compared to what it cost us in Iraq.

              If we can do a ton of good in Libya for the cause of US security–for just a billion dollars and no American casualties? That’s so much better than what we did in Iraq, which cost us $700 billion, 4,430 American dead and 31,965 Americans wounded.

              We’d be crazy not to look at that!

              I was against the occupation of Iraq for strategic and humanitarian reasons. The danger of over involvement remains the same, but I think all of those strategic and humanitarian reasons are reversed here in Libya. So when I run the cost/benefit analysis, I see a whole lotta benefit and relatively speaking?

              Almost no cost at all.

              Algeria may be about to go the way of Libya. Syria may go the way of Libya. Once the dust settles, you’re gonna see these regimes realign themselves and their interests. When that happens? We want to be on the side of the ummah. Because there are competing interests for their resources, hearts and minds who mean us harm.

              This is a low cost, high return opportunity to thwart that.

              Nobody here wants to see American ground troops in Libya less than I do–that’s why we should stop badgering the president to seek an authorization from Congress. Because if Congress declares war on a Muslim country, we’ll be shooting ourselves in the foot with ummah all over again, just like we did with Iraq.

              1. “Because if Congress declares war on a Muslim country, we’ll be shooting ourselves in the foot with ummah all over again, just like we did with Iraq.”

                Additionally, if Obama had an authorization from Congress, I think it would be a lot more tempting for him to commit ground troops.

                And if declaring war on another Muslim country is shooting ourselves in the foot with ummah? Then committing another round of ground troops would be shooting ourselves in the head.

                I’ll be opposed to the whole operation the day we declare war or commit ground troops.

    3. I agree with Ken S.’s thinking in general, but does anyone here know whether it’d be better to side with the rebels vs. Quackdaffy, or Quackdaffy vs. the rebels?

      Actually what may be best is to appear to side with one side while slyly actually helping the other. Oops, the gun slipped, I shot the wrong guy, sorry. Maybe kill a few French.

  6. If our best interests involve resisting Gaddafi’s attempt to slaughter rebellious elements in his own country, then we’re limited to using whatever help is available.

    Including, apparently, AQ.

    I’ll be fascinated to hear the walkback from realists if, as seems the likelier outcome, we wind up having paved the way for an Egypt and Somalia that are allies of Iran and supporters of Islamic extremism.

    1. “I’ll be fascinated to hear the walkback from realists if, as seems the likelier outcome, we wind up having paved the way for an Egypt and Somalia that are allies of Iran and supporters of Islamic extremism.”

      Well, that’s the danger–isn’t it?

      Standing by and doing nothing while the people of Benghazi were slaughtered by some vicious dictator who had recently made nice with the United States–do you think that would have improved our position with the Muslim world?

      For the moment, we’re on their side. That’s why France wants to lead the coalition to enforce the no-fly zone. They want that positive publicity with the Muslim world so bad!

      Regardless, we’re stuck between realist positions anyway–such is life in the real world…

      Doing nothing was essentially a realist position advocating a vicious dictator to keep the Libyan people in check anyway–wasn’t it?

      1. Doing nothing was essentially a realist position advocating a vicious dictator to keep the Libyan people in check anyway–wasn’t it?

        That’s like saying because you don’t physically try to restrain someone from jumping off a bridge you advocate suicide. Or that if you see someone is about to get hit by a car and you don’t run out in the road to try and push them out of the way you advocate running people over with cars.

        1. I’m not saying that’s the way it should be.

          I’m saying that’s the way it is.

          1. “I’m saying that’s the way it is.”

            Stating your opinion in no way equates to ‘the way it is’.

      2. For the moment, we’re on their side. That’s why France wants to lead the coalition to enforce the no-fly zone. They want that positive publicity with the Muslim world so bad!

        That or maybe they don’t want a bunch more refugees flooding their country.

        1. The protests in Algeria right next door are heating up–France almost had a civil war over Algeria before…

          They want to be on the right side of that conflict in Algeria if and when it happens. …and things are really heating up in Algeria right now.

          P.S. Right next door!

  7. I doubt that supporting a group that is backed by an organization whose acknowledge goal is to destroy the US against a dictator who hasn’t given us any problems in 20 years is a good position. I also don’t see how replacing a dictator who slaughters jihadists for threatening his hold on power with jihadists who slaughter people for not adhering to their version of Sharia Law will make much of a difference in the level of freedom experienced by Libyans. Well, I used to think that way, but thankfully, Ken has shown me that I was an idealistic moron. Thanks.

    1. If you think our interests should determine our foreign policy rather than who has a heart of gold?

      Then you’re not an idealistic moron.

      1. If you think our interests should determine our foreign policy rather than who has a heart of gold?

        I’m a national interest guy.

        I certainly can’t detect any in Libya.

        If the Islamonutters take over there, then they may well make themselves sufficiently noxious that we acquire a national interest in kicking them out. Kinda like happened in Afghanistan.

        I agree, Ken, that we’ve got a range of bad options in these “popular” uprisings in the Mideast. Somehow, I don’t think a clownish reaction aligned with al Qaeda is the way to go.

        1. That’s just because you’re a reasonable person!

          I think we have a good chance to make up some of the ground we lost in Iraq with the Muslim world here…

          If we were committing ground troops or declaring war, I’d be all against this too for the many of the same reasons you are.

          …but since we’re not doing that? I don’t think we have to worry about that so much.

          1. Ken Shultz|3.24.11 @ 5:02PM|#
            “…I think we have a good chance to make up some of the ground we lost in Iraq with the Muslim world here…”

            Please hire your own PR agency; that’s not the job of the US military.

          2. Ken, I think you are naively trusting that

            (a) people in the Mideast who would get pissed off at us for declaring war will be cool with us just bombing and machine-gunning from helicopters.

            (b) that we won’t wind up with Americans in-country. Wars are slippery slippery slopes – once you get in “just a little”, its hard to back out.

            1. ” – once you get in “just a little”, its hard to back out.”

              The number one reason for teen pregnancy

            2. Wars are slippery slippery slopes – once you get in “just a little”, its hard to back out.

              I love the beauty of today’s Drudge links.

              One says:

              “OBAMA: No ground troops, no matter what happens…”

              The next reads:

              “2,200 ground troops head to Libya…”

          3. make up some of the ground we lost in Iraq with the Muslim world here…

            So we gambled and lost and the plan to fix the problem is to gamble some more?

            Perhaps we would be better off simply admitting that the US in military intervention terms is a degenerate gambler.

            But even without using the stretched metaphors the biggest complaint coming from the Muslim world about the US is that the US is all up in their shit.

            Perhaps a better solution to getting back the faith of the Muslim world would be to do what they ask instead of doing the exact fucking opposite.

            1. “So we gambled and lost and the plan to fix the problem is to gamble some more?”

              If it was a gamble, it was a gamble in which we never really had a chance of winning the hearts and minds of Muslim world.

              If we ever had any chance at all? The Bush Administration flushed it down the toilet at Abu Ghraib. …and to what end?

              I don’t know.

              What we’re doing in Libya is more like what we did in Kuwait. There were twelve years between Kuwait and Iraq.

              …and we didn’t necessarily have to do what Bush the Lesser did in Iraq. We could have done it all differently. I was against invading. We didn’t necessarily have to occupy Iraq.

              I don’t think we’re about to occupy Libya.

              1. Ken Shultz|3.24.11 @ 7:11PM|#
                “So we gambled and lost and the plan to fix the problem is to gamble some more?”
                If it was a gamble, it was a gamble in which we never really had a chance of winning the hearts and minds of Muslim world………….”

                All of this shuck and jive is irrelevant.
                The US has no business being involved at all. None.
                Hoping to save face may make you feel ‘holy’ or something, but your emotions don’t matter.

                1. “All of this shuck and jive is irrelevant.
                  The US has no business being involved at all. None.
                  Hoping to save face may make you feel ‘holy’ or something, but your emotions don’t matter.”

                  I’m paraphrasing here, but Milton Friedman’s attitude about the Fed? Went something like, “I don’t think we should have a Fed, but if you’re gonna have one anyway? Then here’s what I think we should do…”

                  Talking about the way the world should be has its place, but we have to live in the real world. We have to try and protect our rights and liberties with whatever tools the real world gives us in whatever circumstances the real world presents.

                  Some of my greatest achievements have been despite various government agencies not behaving as they should–anybody who thinks they can’t succeed because the world isn’t as it should be? Is somebody I don’t want making decisions for me and my investors.

                  The world isn’t as it should be, and never having been involved in Libya is no longer an option…

                  Now what are you gonna do? Cry like a baby about how the world isn’t as it should be?!

                  Unless you’re livin’ in a dream world, your job isn’t to make decisions in a world where everything is as it should be–now stop cryin’ and get to work!

              2. If it was a gamble, it was a gamble in which we never really had a chance of winning the hearts and minds of Muslim world.

                hindsight is 20/20.

                I have no argument with that…i do have an argument that there is one shred of evidence that Libya will be an easy win.

                The outcome of Libya is just as opaque as Iraq was in 2003.

                In their times they were both gambles. To deny that is delusional. Yes the lotto numbers I picked 7 years ago were sure to lose…but the only reason we know that is because I did lose. Knowing this does not change the fact that the next lotto ticket I buy is going to be a gamble.

                Note: If you have some special knowledge about how Libya is such an easy target for liberation compared to 2003 Iraq feel free to fill us in.

                1. Right here at Hit & Run, I opposed our occupation of Iraq because of humanitarian concerns and because I thought it would strengthen Iran, a state sponsor of terror that really does have a WMD program.

                  Looking back? It seems to me that Iraq wasn’t worth it. …because of the humanitarian costs and because it strengthened the hand of Iran, a state sponsor of terror that really does have a WMD program!

                  Foresight can be 20/20 too.

                  “If you have some special knowledge about how Libya is such an easy target for liberation compared to 2003 Iraq feel free to fill us in.”

                  We’re handing it off to NATO. I don’t know whether NATO will win this thing–but we’ve limited our downside to basically what we’re in for right now.

                  Because we’re handing it over, because we didn’t declare war, because we didn’t commit ground troops…our losses can’t get much higher than they are right now.

                  I don’t know that Libya is about to become a shining example of tolerance and democracy to the rest of the Arab and Muslim worlds. I just know that our losses there are mostly limited to what we’ve already lost there–and that amounts to not very much.

                  Two sides to every investment–what you can gain, and what you can lose. If I’ve limited my losses to practically nothing–then that’s a shrewd investment even if the upside is limited!

                  Contrast that to our investment in Iraq, where anything but tolerance and democracy flowering in the desert was sure to be considered a failure–and our costs amounted to $700 billion and more than 50,000 U.S. casualties…

                  It isn’t even a comparison.

                  1. Ken Shultz|3.24.11 @ 8:21PM|#
                    “…We’re handing it off to NATO. I don’t know whether NATO will win this thing–but we’ve limited our downside to basically what we’re in for right now.”

                    See, see? We can do illegal things if we just get a chance to blame someone else. See how easy it is?
                    Sorry, not on my dime.

      2. I don’t see how our interests are served by taking out a guy who has recently tried to reconcile with the West and replacing him with a group of people who are backed by an avowed enemy of everything that we stand for.

        1. Aren’t you tired of seeing Lex Luther as the villain in every Super Man movie?

          Same idea.

  8. “progra,.”

    I find it hard to believe that your spellchecker missed that.
    The only remaining possibility is that it is a code…
    WHAT ARE YOU TELLING THE KOCHS!

    1. These Reason guys have educations in stuff like literature, grammar and english. They don’t use spelling checkers.

      1. Or, apparently, Firefox, which automatically painted it red for me.

          1. I want to get into the discussion about how there is a nascent group of safari enthusiasts who intentionally try to get that piece of shit to work on Linix.

            On a side note it is easier to find a lunatic trying to port Safari onto Linux then it is to find evidence of the LIFG.

  9. It’s possible LIFG doesn’t exist, was a false flag from Zhaddafi to show why he is so needed in power by the West.

    1. I state before in another thread that at this point, Qaddafi could present the west with a hand-picked “opposition leader”.

  10. “Who is it that these strikes are supporting?”

    Tony and Danny are expected to pull them out of their ass any second now….

    Of course they themselves are expecting Obama to pull them out of his ass so the wait may be longer.

  11. Moynihan I don’t know if that was your headline, but it sure made “asking the hard questions” pop right into my head.

  12. This article mentions an ex-LIFG fighter, Noman Benotman, who now ‘works against extremism’ and against Qadhafi:

    http://tripolipost.com/article…..c=1&i=5677

    Also more here:

    http://www.dw-world.de/dw/arti…..94,00.html

    (Too lazy to look into it further)

  13. They are trying to make us believe that this incursion into Libya is to protect the people of that country. Yeah. I was born very early in the morning – but it wasn’t this morning:

    http://www.tomdegan.blogspot.com

    Tom Degan

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