Here’s another indication that there may eventually be US troops on the ground in Libya.
During a Senate hearing on Tuesday, Sen. Jack Reed of Rhode Island asked Adm. James Stavridis about NATO putting forces into “post-Gadhafi” Libya to make sure the country doesn’t fall apart. Stavridis said he “wouldn’t say NATO’s considering it yet.” But because of NATO’s history of putting peacekeepers in the Balkans — as pictured above — “the possibility of a stabilization regime exists.”
So welcome to a new possible “endgame” for Libya. Western troops patrolling Libya’s cities during a a shaky transition after Moammar Gadhafi’s regime has fallen, however that’s supposed to happen. Thousands of NATO troops patrolled Bosnia and Kosovo’s tense streets for years. And Iraq and Afghanistan taught the U.S. and NATO very dearly that fierce insurgent conflict can follow the end of a brutal regime. In fact, it’s the moments after the regime falls that can be the most dangerous of all — especially if well-intentioned foreign troops become an object of local resentment.
In fact, Stavridis told Sen. James Inhofe of Oklahoma that he saw “flickers of intelligence” indicating “al-Qaeda [and] Hezbollah” have fighters amongst the Libyan rebels. The Supreme Allied Commander of NATO noted that the leadership of the rebels are “responsible men and women struggling against Col. Gadhafi” and couldn’t say if the terrorist element in the opposition is “significant.” But the U.S. knows precious little about who the Libyan rebels are.
The new prospect of NATO force on the ground in Libya seemed to alarm Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia, who got Stavridis to say that there’s “no discussion of the insertion of ground troops” in NATO circles. (And “to my knowledge” there aren’t troops there now, he said.) But Stavridis told Reed that the memory of the long NATO peacekeeping efforts in the Balkans is “in everyone’s mind.”
And the US isn’t even running the show – NATO is.
What could go wrong?
Reports are coming in that French jets have fired the first shots in the UN-supported intervention in Libya. The coming conflict will determine, in the short term, whether the Gaddafi regime is toppled and, in the longer term, whether the international community rediscovers its appetite for intervention which had been so diminished by the controversies over Iraq and the difficulties of the Afghan mission.
That there is intervention at all in Libya is down in no small part to David Cameron and William Hague. Hague played a key role in ensuring that Arab countries were prepared to commit to putting planes in the air in this operation, something that was crucial to moving the vacillating Obama off the fence. Indeed, I am told by British government sources that two to four Arab nations will now take part. By moving the American position, Cameron and Hague have demonstrated—as Blair did over Kosovo—that despite being the junior partner in the special relationship, Britain can, with bold leadership, nudge Washington into changing policy.
Hague was also key to keeping the Lebanese on board when the resolution proposing a no fly zone became a more robust one promising all necessary means. It is worth noting that the resolution does not rule out ground forces. What it does rule out is an occupying force but that is distinct from the use of ground forces for a specific tactical objective.
The Libyan crisis has shown why an EU foreign policy is such a risible idea, EU members very rarely take the same position on a matter as demonstrated by the German abstention in the Security Council and the failure of the EU to back a no fly zone. All of which, makes it rather odd that Cathy Ashton, the EU’s ineffective foreign policy commissioner, attended today’s Paris summit.
I’m not sure this is a good thing. If Europe wants to be so involved then let them take care of it. There is no signal yet that the rebels want to be friendly with America
According to Bismarck’s best-known maxim on Europe’s most troublesome region, the Balkans are not worth the bones of a single Pomeranian grenadier. Americans could be forgiven for harboring similar sentiments after the murder of two U.S. airmen in Germany by a Kosovar Muslim.
Remember Kosovo? Me neither. But it was big at the time, launched by Bill Clinton in the wake of his Monica difficulties: Make war, not love, as the boomers advise. So Clinton did — and without any pesky U.N. resolutions, or even the pretense of seeking them.
Instead, he and Tony Blair and even Jacques Chirac just cried “Bombs away!” and got on with it. And the left didn’t mind at all — because, for a modern western nation, war is only legitimate if you have no conceivable national interest in whatever war you’re waging.
Unlike Iraq and all its supposed “blood for oil,” in Kosovo no one remembers why we went in, what the hell the point of it was, or which side were the good guys. (Answer: Neither.) The principal rationale advanced by Clinton and Blair was that there was no rationale. This was what they called “liberal interventionism”, which boils down to: The fact that we have no reason to get into it justifies our getting into it.
A decade on, Kosovo is a sorta sovereign state, and in Frankfurt a young airport employee is so grateful for what America did for his people that he guns down U.S. servicemen while yelling “Allahu akbar!”
The nations that built the modern world decided to outsource their future. In simple economic terms, the arithmetic is stark: In America, the boomers have condemned their shrunken progeny to the certainty of poorer, meaner lives.
In sociocultural terms, the transformation will be even greater. Bismarck, so shrewd and cynical about the backward Balkans, was also the father of the modern welfare state: When he introduced the old age pension, you had to be 65 to collect and Prussian life expectancy was 45.
President Barack Obama praised the plebiscite as proof of the “vibrancy of Turkish democracy.” As Michael Rubin has noted in National Review, not only has Obama approved the sale of 100 F-35 Joint Strike Fighters to Turkey, the Defense Department has demurred from conducting a study to see whether the sale will threaten US interests in light of Turkey’s burgeoning strategic ties with Iran. And not wishing to embarrass the administration that has given a full-throated endorsement to Erdogan’s regime, the Democrat-controlled Senate Armed Services Committee has refused to ask the Pentagon to conduct such a review.After the Obama administration canceled the F-22 project, the F-35 will be the US military’s only advanced fighter. In light of its strategic alliance with Iran, Turkey’s possession of the jets could constitute a serious threat to US air superiority in the region.As for NATO, the US’s most important military alliance had no comment on Turkey’s rolling Islamic revolution. This is not in the least surprising. NATO has stood at a distance as Turkey has undermined its mission in Kosovo and transformed it into a virtual Turkish colony. So too, NATO has had no comment as Turkey has worked consistently to disenfranchise Bosnia’s non-Muslim minorities and intimidate the Serbian government. At this late date, it would have been shocking if NATO had a comment of any kind on the AKP’s consolidation of its Islamist thugocracy.Iran, for its part, is not at all squeamish about both recognizing the significance of events in Turkey and extolling them. It has reportedly agreed to contribute $25 million to the AKP to help Erdogan in his bid for reelection next year. Turkish-Iranian trade has gone up 86 percent in the past year.In a visit to Istanbul this week, Iranian Vice President Mohammad Reza Rahimi said, “Turkey is the best friend of Iran in the world. Turkey is very important for Iran’s political and economic security. Our Supreme Leader [Ali] Khamenei also asks for acceleration of political, economic and security relations with Turkey.”And still the West sleeps.As it watched the AKP’s steady transformation of Turkey from staunch ally to staunch enemy, for seven years Israel tried to make light of what was happening. Indeed, its decision to opt for denial over strategic disengagement prompted it to continue selling Turkey state of the art military equipment. The IDF now acknowledges that Turkey has shared this equipment with the likes of Syria and Hizbullah.Israel hoped that Turkey would grow so dependent on its military relationship that it would abandon its intention to ditch the alliance. That foolish hope was finally destroyed when Turkey committed an act of war on the high seas on May 31 with its terror flotilla to Gaza.EVERY MOVE since then to make light of Turkey’s actions has been shot down by yet another Turkish affront. In its latest slight, Turkey loudly announced that Gul will not have time to meet with President Shimon Peres at the UN General Assembly in New York this week while Gul was only too pleased to free hours from his schedule to meet with Iran’s Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.And still, perhaps out of deference to Obama, Israel has remained circumspect in its statements about the dangers Islamist Turkey poses not only to it but to the free world as a whole. And this is a shame. But then, it is hard to imagine Israeli warnings making any difference.The US and Europe’s refusal to consider the implications of Turkey’s abandonment of the West in favor of Iran goes hand in hand with their abandonment of the cause of liberalism throughout the Middle East and the world as a whole. Among other things, their dangerous behavior is emblematic of their consummate elitism.The likes of Obama and the heads of Europe view their own publics as mere nuisances. For Obama, the groundswell of opposition to his radical and failed economic reforms doesn’t indicate that there is something wrong with what he is doing. As he has made clear in repeated statements in recent weeks, as far as he is concerned, his steady loss of support is simply proof of the American people’s ignorance.As for Europe, it is not a great stretch to say that the entire EU is an elitist project consolidated against the will of the peoples of Europe. The EU leadership thought nothing of ramming its expanded powers down the throats of its unwilling constituents. After the Lisbon Treaty was rejected in referendum after referendum, Europe’s leaders conspired to pass it by bureaucratic fiat.This contempt for their own people leads the leaders of the West to disregard human rights abuses from China to Syria as unimportant. So too, it has paved the path for Obama’s courtship of the Muslim Brotherhood in the US and Egypt and his decision to back the mullahs against the Iranian people in the aftermath of the stolen presidential election in June 2009.
I’m not sure it will help things to realize what is going on… because the damage is already done. We (including Israel) are arming our enemies with the best technology. read the whole thing.
meanwhile it Turkey….
Police are searching for protestors who booed the prime minister following the FIBA 2010 World Basketball Championship final in Istanbul after identifying them in security footage from the arena, private news site CNNTürk reported Saturday.
The Istanbul Police Sports Security unit asked for video footage of the ceremony held after the match between Turkey and the United States in Istanbul on Sept. 12. Twenty people were identified in the footage and one of them, a minor, was detained. He was later released after a court decision.
Erdoğan was booed at the award ceremony honoring the world’s top two basketball teams. Politicians at the event reacted negatively to the jeering, while basketball players also criticized the protestors.
Team captain Hidayet “Hedo” Türkoğlu, who plays for the Phoenix Suns in the NBA, apologized to the prime minister for the protest and center Semih Erden also criticized the act, saying sports should not be mixed with politics.
HUDSON NY EDITOR’S NOTE: This newspaper, Hurriyet (meaning Freedom), is about to be fined out of existence, unless it wins on appeal. And who controls the judiciary now … ?
Strictly speaking, the Turkish constitution says this:
Article 25 Freedom of Thought and Opinion
Everyone has the right to freedom of thought and opinion. No one shall be compelled to reveal his thoughts and opinions for any reason or purpose, nor shall anyone be blamed or accused on account of his thoughts and opinions.
Article 26 Freedom of Expression and Dissemination of Thought
(1) Everyone has the right to express and disseminate his thoughts and opinion by speech, in writing or in pictures or through other media, individually or collectively. This right includes the freedom to receive and impart information and ideas without interference from official authorities. This provision shall not preclude subjecting transmission by radio, television, cinema, and similar means to a system of licensing.
(2) The exercise of these freedoms may be restricted for the purposes of protecting national security, public order and public safety, the basic characteristics of the Republic and safeguarding the indivisible integrity of the State with its territory and nation, preventing crime, punishing offenders, withholding information duly classified as a state secret, protecting the reputation and rights and private and family life of others, or protecting professional secrets as prescribed by law, or ensuring the proper functioning of the judiciary.
(3) The formalities, conditions and procedures to be applied in exercising the right to expression and dissemination of thought shall be prescribed by law.